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October 11, 2011 @ 7:53 pm
Current rating: 4.50 Stars/2 Votes

Jackson: "It's Good To Be Back"

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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The NFL reinstated Bucs free safety Tanard Jackson on Tuesday after a 19-game suspension for testing positive for drugs. Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik and Jackson held a press conference Tuesday evening to discuss the safety rejoining the team.

Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik and newly reinstated safety Tanard Jackson met with members of the media Tuesday evening at One Buccaneer Place to discuss Jackson rejoining the team after serving a league-imposed suspension that lasted 19 games. Below is a transcript from the press conference.

Mark Dominik’s opening statement:
“We were notified today by the National Football League that Tanard Jackson has been reinstated to this football team. We have a process here where over the next two weeks to activate him at any time now. If we need to do that we obviously have to create a roster spot for him. There is a lot of confidentiality that goes into this program and we will answer as many questions as we physically can answer, and will answer for you all. And certainly here in a second we will let Tanard speak for himself. If there are any questions you all have for me, in terms of logistics or how this whole process works, I’d be happy to answer a few."

When did you learn of his reinstatement?
“We learned of it this morning, officially, that this morning that Tanard Jackson would be able and eligible to be reinstated as of 4:00 today. Once that came across the NFL waiver wire that’s when it made it 100 percent official. But I heard from the league office this morning.”

How soon do you think Tanard will be ready to play football?
“I’ll leave that up to Coach [Raheem] Morris and what he does on the practice field, over the next four or five days … the next basically two weeks to see what he can do. The moment we feel he is able to help this football team, he will be on the football team helping us prepare and hopefully helping us win games.”

With the loss of Cody Grimm are you fortunate to have Jackson back?
“Well, obviously losing a guy like Cody Grimm has an impact on our football team. Tanard has not played football in 56 weeks, has not practiced very much at all in terms of real football drills and so it going to be an opportunity to get back out there and show that memory muscle hasn’t been lost. And what he can do to help this football team has to be significant enough for us to want to activate him.”

Tanard has already had a couple situations (with substance abuse) what is it about him that makes you want to activate him?
“Fair question. For me, the substance of this policy is very private. I know that Tanard is going to talk a little bit about it. But the fact that I know he has been in treatment, that is a big step in terms of recovery. I know the NFL Commissioner, as well as the league offices, feel like we have gotten to this stage here he can be reinstated, gave us the confidence to obviously welcome him back to this football team.”

What is your trust level?
“Our trust level is actually very high. I had a chance to obviously be around Tanard since we drafted him as an organization back in 2007. I feel like again, knowing what he has gone through, now that I have been up to date on as well, what he has done to get himself to this point speaks volumes to how important this is for him – both personally and professionally.”

Jackson took to the podium after Dominik and shared his thoughts on being away from the organization.

What is it like being back?
“It is good to be back. Fifty-six weeks. Wow.”

How ready do you think you are to play for this team?
“I’m anxious. Very excited. Just willing to do whatever it takes at this point to help this team.”

Tell us about the process and what you have learned?
“Without going into a lot of detail, I was in treatment. I did a stint in treatment that I needed and was required for reinstatement. That is all I can get into on that.”

What activities have you been doing?
“Working out. In treatment I was able to go to the gym do some things to try and stay in as best shape as possible with the resources I had at the time.”

Can you put into words what being out of the league has been like?
“It’s tough. You build a lot of relationships. From your teammates on up. Being away from those guys and not being able to be in contact with them was difficult. It was a long period where I couldn't besides the [unofficial Bucs mini-camp in Brandenton in June] I was able to attend, which was very beneficial to me. It allowed me to see how much I missed it.

Where are you at now?
“Trying to move forward. Being accountable. As we all know just trying to earn the trust back. It is not something that is going to be done overnight. Not something that is going to be done in a year. It is going to be (held) accountable to those that supported me through this.”

What do you think of this football team?
“I like it. Young. Energetic. Knows how to win.”

Did the lockout affect this process?
“It slowed the progress down and is out of my control. I wouldn’t say that. Because again, it is a league matter. As both you and I know, there is only so much I could do. But I think it worked out well.”

What does it say about this organization to welcome you back?
“It's hard to express that in words. This organization survived me through a lot. All I can say is I’m proud to have those guys in my corner.”

Last modified on Tuesday, 11 October 2011 21:32

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  • avatar

    If Tanard is active for this game after only three days of practice, it shows how weak our safety position really is.
  • avatar

    if anyone thinks t jack is not gunna play they are nuts. our secondary has not been the same since we lost t jack. If he is able to go he will play. Rah knows what this guy can do one the football field. I see a big rest of the season for t jack.... hes gunna show the league what they have been missing. GO BUCS GO!
  • avatar

    Why didn't anyone ask why it took so long to get reinstated, if he was eligible to apply for reinstatement 60 days prior to 9/22/11?
  • avatar

    I'd be shocked if he's not on the field Sunday. T Jac not playing football for 56 wks, over Lynch with Brees coming to town, I'll take T Jac, and Rah will too. He might not be in football shape, but he's gotta be fresh. Rotate him in with Asante, and Jones, cut Lynch, bring Black up from the practice sq. Lynch is as good as he's going to be, cut bait let Black learn from T Jac.
  • avatar

    TJax is a special player on the field and he served his time and should be welcomed back. However, like other players that get in trouble off the field, not once, but twice or more, they seem to have serious character flaws. It is very hard to change a person. As folks know in Tampa all about Dwight Gooden and his constant struggles. TJax needs to be serious and take it day by day. Football will be a great distraction, but come March... I hope some Bucs players take TJax on, befreind him, and can keep him focused. For now, welcome back!
  • avatar

    I am sure the only guy not happy with this news is Bree's...so happy to see you back!!! Go Bucs!
  • avatar

    a safety oasis in the secondary desert!
  • avatar

    I will be surprised if he is not active for the Saints game. Getting in football shape is not the same for a safety as a Dlineman. He can get most of that in just by running, sprints etc. He just needs to knock the rust off of his technique and adapt to any changes in the scheme that has occured in his absence. He might not start, but he will get into the game. Look who he is competing against and then it makes sense.
  • avatar

    Scubog, I agree. However, I wouldn't be surprised if Raheem got him on the field for 5-10 snaps of the Bears game to get his feet wet before the bye week. Either way, it's just good to know he's back. We need his athleticism and playmaking ability in the secondary (assuming he can get back near what he was 56 weeks ago).
  • avatar

    T'jack, you have been sorley missed, and I hope you can get back to form quickly. The Bucs need you badly!
  • avatar

    I expect he will return to the field after the bye week. Injuries will probably determine who gets released but I expect Johnson will go back to the Practice Squad when McCoy is healthy. I'm so glad this young man didn't allow his life to continue the downward spiral. Our secondary just got a whole lot better.
  • avatar

    scubog, totally agree. TJ is no where near being in NFL shap mentally or physically. I would not risk him coming back to early and pull a hamstring.
  • avatar

    I'm so glad Tjax is back!!!!!!
  • avatar

    Hopefully he's been running routes because we need WR help too.
  • avatar

    I am so happy ! One of my favorite players.I hope football is really important to him and he's a great player for us for a long time.welcome back.
  • avatar

    I'm praying this guy has gotten his life together and is near football shape. Its great to have him back.
  • avatar

    Do your thing tanard get in shape get motivated and come back with a vengence. This secondary needs you.
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