Bucs WR Vincent Jackson spoke to the local media on Wednesday, discussing his selection to the Pro Bowl and also talked about a number of things including the potential he sees for the offense to improve and also how much he enjoyed playing for head coach Greg Schiano.
Tampa Bay’s latest Pro Bowl player – WR Vincent Jackson – spoke to the media on Wednesday and shared his thoughts on the honor, along with playing for head coach Greg Schiano and receivers’ coach P. J. Fleck.
Jackson, who is making his fourth trek to the Pro Bowl, says he still enjoys the trip.
“It is always a (new) experience, there are always new faces there every year,” Jackson said. “ The league does such a good job putting it together and they make it so family friendly. It is a great vacation for our family and friends that get to come out. It is well done.”
Jackson was named to the 2013 Pro Bowl on Tuesday, joining defensive tackle Gerald McCoy in representing the NFC. Jackson, who was a first alternate for the Pro Bowl, replaces Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who had to back out of the game due to injury.
The last member of the Buccaneers to make the Pro Bowl was right guard Davin Joseph in 2011. The last time Tampa Bay had multiple players represent the NFC in Hawaii was in 2008 when Joseph, cornerback Ronde Barber, linebacker Derrick Brooks and kick returner Clifton Smith went to the Pro Bowl.
The former Chargers standout was signed as a free agent this past offseason, inking a $55.5 million dollar deal and was asked if he would have any advice for other potential free agents that may consider joining the Buccaneers in March.
“I would tell them it is a top-notch organization and it is a top-notch structure with great coaches here,” Jackson said. “They have built a system and a feeling of family and continuity. Not only with the team itself, but I think they have done a great job in the community as well. I tend to be more impressed with coach Schiano. He is a lot of fun to play for and he is a competitive guy and he is going to make sure you are as well prepared as you can possibly be. It’s a lot of fun playing for him.”
Jackson was also complimentary to offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan.
“Obviously with this being our first year with this offensive system and a new system for everyone including Josh (Freeman),to get that first year under your belt is huge,” Jackson said. "And if had gotten a new guy here it possibly could have been a new system and we would have pretty much had to start from scratch again this spring like last year. So having this confidence (in Sullivan) we kind of k now what to expect from him and the coaching staff knows what to expect from us and it will definitely give us a head start this offseason.
“There is a huge chance that we will be better next year. You see a lot of offenses struggle their first year when they get a new coordinator or new head coach. Even though we put in a lot of work and we were playing at a high level and we felt very comfortable in the system, well early in the season there was still plenty we could improve on and been more consistent. This offseason we wont have to spend as much time installing with some of the veterans guys.”
This will be Jackson’s third Pro Bowl and his first as a Buccaneer. In his first season in Tampa Bay, Jackson caught 72 passes for 1,384 yards – both were career highs – and eight touchdowns. The last Bucs wide receiver to make the Pro Bowl was Keenan McCardell in 2003.
Jackson said former receivers’ coach Fleck – despite his age – was a benefit to himself, and the entire receiving corps.
“I am definitely going to miss P. J. more so that football is involved but as a person,” Jackson said. “We developed a great friendship in our time together. He is a great person, a great man. I couldn’t be happier for P. J. and definitely as a football player he honed some of my skills. He did a great job of scouting us all out, every receiver we had in the room. It was fun to have a teacher like that. Every day I came to work I knew I was going to get better.”
Despite the honor of being selected to the Pro Bowl, Jackson would trade it all in a heartbeat.
“It was a great year for me personally,” Jackson said. But obviously I would take some postseason action and some more wins instead of the personal accolades.”
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