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June 29, 2011 @ 1:23 pm
Current rating: 4.00 Stars/2 Votes

Suspended Safety Jackson Works Out With Bucs

Written by Scott
Scott Reynolds


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Bucs free safety Tanard Jackson, who has not been seen or heard from since he was indefinitely suspended by the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy after Week 2 last year, took advantage of the NFL lockout and showed up to Tampa Bay's unofficial mini-camp on Wednesday to work out with his teammates.
BRADENTON – One of the notable participants during Wednesday’s unofficial, voluntary Buccaneers mini-camp at the IMG Performance Institute in Bradenton, Fla. was Tanard Jackson. The former starting free safety was on the list of players expected to attend the three-day mini-camp, but didn’t show up until Wednesday morning.

Jackson, who looked like he was in playing shape despite being suspended since Week 3 of the 2010 NFL season due to another violation of the league’s substance abuse policy, was happy to take advantage of the circumstances of the NFL lockout and return to the practice field with the Buccaneers because league rules are no longer in effect without a collective bargaining agreement.

“I’ve just been trying to stay in shape and doing what I can do,” Jackson said. “There’s not much I can do during this lockout with me being in the situation I was in. I’m just happy to be out here with some of my teammates and hopefully I can get into the season and be back and be a part of this team.”

Jackson's suspension began on September 22, 2010, and he is eligible to apply for reinstatement 60 days before that date this year. Jackson was suspended for the first four games of the 2009 season for violating the league's policy on substance abuse for the second time.

Due to Jackson being suspension, he did not incur a year of service time and he will not be a free agent in 2011. Jackson was in the final year of a four-year contract, but his suspension keeps him under contract with the Buccaneers for the 2011 season.

The Bucs have not commented publicly about Jackson since general manager Mark Dominik released this official statement last September.

“Tanard is a talented young man whom we hope is able to use this year to put his troubles behind him and ultimately return a strong man and player,” said Dominik. “It’s up to Tanard whether the team and our fans eventually realize his considerable promise.”

Numerous team officials have told PewterReport.com that they intend to bring him back for another chance should Jackson be reinstated by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who ironically was at Tampa Bay’s mini-camp this morning along with NFL Players Association executive DeMaurice Smith. Both Goodell and Smith were at the IMG Performance Institute to address the NFLPA’s rookie symposium and stopped by during warm-ups to see the Bucs before they practiced.

Jackson said he has mostly been out of contact with his Tampa Bay teammates during his suspension.

“Because of the rules and stipulations during my suspension when the league was in effect, and with the stuff that was going on afterwards I didn’t really communicate with a lot of players,” Jackson said. “This is my first time communicating and talking with a lot of the players since September of last year.”

Jackson was asked if he had returned to Syracuse University to train and stay in shape, but said that he chose to stay in Florida.

“No, I’ve actually been home alone,” Jackson said. “[Football] is a major part of my life and this is a great feeling to be back out here with the team. That’s the most important thing for me right now – to get back out there.”

Jackson was greeted with a warm welcome from his teammates on Wednesday morning.

“Oh, man! My eyes lit up [when I saw him] because all I remembered when I went to make a tackle for loss and T-Jack blew me up,” said Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. “I was like, ‘Man, if you somebody else like that … let’s go!’ That’s all I visualized. He’s a little guy but he packs a hard punch. He’s a firecracker, man. He’s ready to go.”

During the Wednesday morning practice, veteran Bucs cornerback Aqib Talib spent a lot of time hanging with Jackson and working with him by giving him a refresher course on what he has missed over the past year during his suspension.

“That’s my guy. Yeah, he’s out here,” Talib said. “It’s always good [to see him].”

Jackson was a fourth-round pick of the Buccaneers in the 2007 NFL Draft. He had been the starter at free safety since his first game as a rookie. In the 12 games he played in during the 2010 season, Jackson recorded 85 tackles, a career-high five interceptions, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery and scored two defensive touchdowns. In the two games he played in during the 2011 campaign, Jackson recorded 13 tackles with two tackles for a loss and one fumble recovery.
Last modified on Wednesday, 29 June 2011 16:01

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  • avatar

    Really hope he comes outta this good, been a fan since syracuse years. He is a fantastic player if he just keeps clean, a def impact on defense!
  • avatar

    Lets wake up here folks? Don't count on Jackson because the odds are way against him that he will stay clean past a few months. Sorry to say this, but sometimes it's best for people like him to re invent themselves and go do something else. This is not about money, but about changing your life as a person.
  • avatar

    Now that talib is headed to the big house, he's the future of the Bucs secondary. I'm glad he's acting like it.
  • avatar

    TJax being re-instated after 4 games would be a bonus. Would make for a lot of depth at Safety: Jones, TJax, Grimm, Black, Asante, Lynch IF, BIG IF, TJax comes back completely clean and ready to go this year, then I see TJax, Black, Grimm, Asante being the Safeties for the foreseeable future
  • avatar

    What a bonus it will be if Jackson is able to come back the way fellow weed worshiper Ricky Williams did when his career went "Up in Smoke."
  • avatar

    Good to see TJack back...hope Goodell reinstates him as soon as TJack applies
  • avatar

    good to have cheech i mean tjack back!!!
  • avatar

    Mjmoody I remember that lick he put on D. Clark. I mostly remember it because it was the last good, hard crushing hit I remember a Bucs DB putting on a receiver or TE. The league just doesn't let these players hit like they used to. It's going to be awesome having T-Jack back and once he's game ready physically and mentally I say we put him back in at FS. The best players should play, period. He's the best ballhawk on the team next to Aqib and he's a solid tackler (they both are actually). "Score or get the ball back." Morris and Lake like to rotate guys in anyway so he, Grimm, Jones and even Black can all share time. With Asante in the mix I don't know how you keep all these guys. I would probably put Asante on the practice squad and keep 4 safeties on the team once T-Jack gets back. Go Bucs!!
  • avatar

    I couldn't of said it better myself pinkstob, I think Tenard is the most talented player on defense, he has that "it" factor like Ronde and maybe Talib. I say embrace the man when he comes back, you'll be glad you did 'cause he does bring mad impact on all of his hits and is always around the ball. Ok, so he screwed up with the weed a few times, which is way too many, I get it, but let's face it, what he did wasn't a violent crime, but rather a stupid thing that ended up hurting his team, us fans and especially himself , this HAD to devastate him.... so if by now he hasn't learned a bitter lesson, then he doesn't deserve the God given opportunity that's in front of him. I say he won't let this one (chance) get away, we may end up seeing a rejuvenated Tjack with a fire in his belly, and a desire to win back the fans!! Our D really has some awesome upside!
  • avatar

    Alright PR now your just turning the knife. T-Jak has been my guy ever since he almost killed Dallas Clark coming across the middle. This is the first time I have been happy there is a lockout. This article is an emotional roller coaster ride. Speaking for on the field play only, Talib and T-Jak back together again just gives me cold chills. Let Grimm, Asante, Black, and Jones all work it out amongst themselves. Sprinkle in Ronde, M. Lewis, and Biggers--ooooooo--Bring on GB baby!
  • avatar

    I love T-Jack! Sean Jones is gettin old so we need him back to put Grimm at strong safety. We may even be able to convert Ahmad Black to corner.
  • avatar

    I like T-Jack alot as a player, stay off the weed and you will make lots of money and have a profound career 4 yrs to come
  • avatar

    "Jackson's suspension began on September 22, 2010, and he is eligible to apply for reinstatement 60 days before that date this year. Jackson was suspended for the first four games of the 2009 season for violating the league's policy on substance abuse for the second time." So.... He could be re-instated by late July?
  • avatar

    He can apply for reinstatement but he won't be considered for reinstatement until at least after September 22, 2011.
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