With Bucs training camp quickly approach the PewterReport.com staff asks – and answers – 15 critical camp questions that need to be answered this August as Tampa Bay prepares to embark on the 2019 season. Over the next 15 days PewterReport.com will offer up its thoughts on the topics that the Bucs will need to sort out in order for the team to be successful this season and possibly compete for a long-awaited playoff berth.

These are the things that the PewterReport.com staff will be following closely in camp, and invite our readers to share their thoughts as well in the comment section.

Bucs’ Critical Camp Question No. 15:
Can Breshad Perriman Effectively Take Over For DeSean Jackson?

Not quite. While DeSean Jackson brought some headaches to Tampa Bay during his two years as a receiver for the Buccaneers, there was never any question about his dynamic speed and explosiveness. And while it didn’t work out as planned, one can’t really blame general manager Jason Licht for rolling the dice on the former Redskins and Eagles standout.

For whatever reason, Jackson and quarterback Jameis Winston never really got on the same page with the deep ball, and while Jackson did put up some solid numbers – 91 receptions, 1,442 yards and seven TDs in 26 games – there are still a lot of “what if” questions that will make fans wonder how much better and more effective Jackson could have been had he and Winston connected more often.

Jackson was traded to Philadelphia in the offseason and the former UCF star and former Ravens and Browns disappointment Breshad Perriman was signed to a one-year, $4 million deal in free agency in March.

Perriman has a history of drops dating back to his college days in Orlando, but came on strong in the second half of 2018 with Cleveland with more secure hands. Perriman finished last year with 16 receptions for 340 yards and two scores, but averaged a whopping 21.3 yards per reception, proving that he has his own set of jets. And while it may not be quite in the class of Jackson, Perriman did reportedly run a 4.25 40-time during his college pro day.

Bucs WR Breshad Perriman
Bucs WR Breshad Perriman – Photo by: PewterReport.com

Head coach Bruce Arians does love speedy receivers and while they aren’t necessarily the primary target in his offense, the speed element helps clear out the underneath routes and could keep safeties occupied, giving more primary options like receivers Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and tight end O.J. Howard more one-on-one opportunities.

Perriman has yet to prove to be in the same class of receiver as Jackson. His season career high in the NFL is just 33 catches for 499 yards, which is nothing to really brag about, and that came in 2016. While he would give Jackson a run for his money in a foot race, he is far from the complete receiver that Jackson is. Still, the Bucs were wise to sign Perriman, who is at a career crossroads and knows in order to really cash in. He will need to at least come close to the 800-yard mark at the minimum to truly replace Jackson’s production.

Team sources tell PewterReport.com out of all the free agent signings, many in the Bucs’ brass are most excited about Perriman and what he could bring to the table in 2019. From a scheme standpoint, Perriman can absolutely take on Jackson’s role, however if he doesn’t improve his hands and route running then defenses won’t respect his presence on the field. This is a make-or-break year for Perriman, but from every indication from the offseason practices we watched, it looks to be a good signing by the Buccaneers and could end up being a steal by the time the 2019 season wraps up.

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Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]

24 COMMENTS

  1. No he cannot. That’s the honest assessment. He is not anywhere close to the category of DeSean Jackson. DJAX was a pro bowler. He may have under-performed with Winston (not with Fitz), but that’s not an endorsement of how well Perriman is going to do. His track record is poor…bad even. Setting expectations for him at the level of DJax (a pro bowler) is ridiculous.

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  2. This is a ridiculous premise, how can you compare the two since it’s a totally different offense? Who knows what Perriman will be asked to do by BA, compared with what DJax was asked to do by Koetter. Same applies to Godwin in the slot, compared to Humphries. What I do know is Perriman will be more of a willing blocker in the run game, unlike Jax who couldn’t block a flea.

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  3. I’m really getting tired of our team being run like a 2nd rate organization. We pay a guy 4 mil and hope he matches the production of a Pro Bowler like D Jax. How about spending the cash on a proven player and embracing the young talented receivers on the roster. Yet we find money to spend on 1st rd bust but can’t sign a starting caliber RG to protect the most valuable asset on the team the QB. Sorry Buc fans for the negative post I am just little testy this morning.

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  4. What he has to do to improve his game, is not easy. Bad hands & route running. Sounds like a corner playing WR. Lol. Hope I’m wrong, looks like another buc blunder.

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  5. Losing Jackson is addition by subtraction. He’s been one of the most inefficient and overrated receivers throughout his career. If the ball wasn’t designed to go to MeSean and wasn’t right on the money, he wouldn’t even try. Perriman won’t have the same stats, but he won’t need to. He’s there to run really fast, take the top off the defense, and catch the occasional ball. Jackson’s extra targets will be served much better by going to Godwin, who is already a more complete receiver.

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  6. All we need from Perriman is one catch early in the season (or preseason) where he blazes down the field and does an adiós Mother Teresa for an 80 yard TD. Teams will remember that the rest of the season.

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  7. I reserve judgement on what Perriman will or will not do this season, but DJax was a cancer to this team,

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  8. Perriman is not even in the same league as Jackson, One was paid a fortune to go to Eagles the other would be a backup on 90% of the teams in league………………………..

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  9. I agree with 76Buc. Perriman is not here to replace DJax. He’s here to make sure those safeties have to respect the deep pass, clearing room down the seam for Godwin, Howard and Brate. If he catches a few deep balls early in the season, zone defenses are going to have lots of soft spots for Winston to pick and choose where he throws the ball.

    If Perriman can’t catch deep balls reliably, we’ve got a rookie speedster who seems like he could step right in and possibly light it up for the Bucs. Either way, I think the Bucs have that deep ball threat position well covered this season.

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  10. I’m not so worried about Perriman individually because I’d like to think between Perriman, Watson and Miller (who are all fast) we will be able to find someone to be the deep threat.

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  11. DJax was a pro bowler, not is a pro bowler. BA said when he got hear he expected his receivers to run block, something DJax was unwilling, or unable to do. I suspect that’s a big reason he’s gone. He’s a one trick pony, never willing to lay out for pass, or god forbid throw a block on a LB to help in the run game. The prick wasn’t even willing to return punts for us. He won’t be missed by this BUC fan.

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  12. We overpaid. Perriman has speed, but he is not consistent.

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  13. DJax needed to go. This was best option nobody else available that had more speed. If he plays like he did last season this was steak and some people are going to be surprised, but I sure don’t fault Licht for making this move. Had to. He and Winston have been hooking up. 4.2 40 is elite speed and one fastest period. I doubt at his current age DJax is faster. He had shit attitude and never fought or reached for a ball period. Glad he’s gone.

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  14. Adam Schefter reports that Browns’ RB Duke Johnson signed today with a new agent, @RosenhausSports. Johnson still is expected to seek a trade. Rosenhaus helped facilitate a trade for the Browns that got Breshad Perriman out of his deal in Cleveland.

    Profootballtalk’s Mike Florio calls the Bucs a “team to watch” for Duke Johnson.

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  15. Would love to have Duke Johnson as our 3rd down back @macabee

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  16. Perriman is a speedster and is still young so I think it was definitely worth the $4M to give him a one year tryout. As for his drops, sometimes a little coaching can go a long way when a player lacks certain fundamentals. 76Buc said it best: all we need is one 80 yd burn. That will set the tone for the season. Let’s hope Jameis can improve his deep ball this year.

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  17. Duke Johnson or Melvin Gordon? Seems both want to get paid but their teams are not having it. Too bad the Bucs are broke. Or are they?

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  18. @eastendboy, I’m not sure where this whole idea of mesean being this stud reciever ,but the numbers dont lie. 11 years and that dude has had 5 1000 yard season and only 4 seasons with more than 5 tds. Making the pro bowl means nothing. Not to mention how many locker rooms hes ruined.

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  19. Replacing Jackson even from a football only perspective is besides the point. Jackson is the past and failed us in the previous scheme.

    I see the potential impact in the speed that both Breshad Perriman and Scotty Miller bring to the field. They can contribute uncertainty and help keep opposing defenses off balance. We have a superlative group of pass catchers in Evans, Godwin, Howard and Brate. We have two very good blockers in TEs Howard and Auclair also.

    Now if we can find or manufacture some pass catching out of our backfield by season start, look out! Then maybe our pedestrian ground game will be sufficient.
    ____________
    Go Bucs!!!

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  20. I don’t care how Perriman compares to Jackson. I care about how Perriman can help our team win. Something Jackson couldn’t accomplish other than that first play against the Eagles that surprised them. After that, the diminutive receiver did little else, other than pretend to be a “star”. Sometimes a “flashlight” outshines them.

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  21. Perriman brings a different element than Jackson, so I agree with the others. Perriman is not replacing Jackson. Scotty Miller is the better comparison IMO.

    Perriman has the size/speed combo to really open things up for Howard, Godwin. Brate and Evans. Throw in Scotty Miller and you have an offense that can compensate for the loss of DJAX.

    Pros of DJAX: Proven deep and short area threat. Can’t jam or press him. Can’t cheat safeties when he is on the field.

    Cons of DJAX: Lacks size and hand aggression to contest balls thrown toward sideline go routes or red zone. Only suitable for posts deep downfield or gadget plays underneath. Limited route tree makes him a short or deep threat. Not really an intermediate threat.

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  22. Good analysis of Djax alldaway 2.0 what people are missing in comparing the two is Djax could “Catch”the ball. What good is a wideout that can’t catch. Perriman is going to have to prove that he can catch the ball consistently in order for defenses to respect his speed or his route running abilities. Otherwise you are just another fast guy on a field with other fast guys.

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  23. Over the past 4 seasons Jackson has averaged 45 catches and less than 4 TD per year. He turns 33 this season. I think they dropped him at the right time. Receivers who rely on speed are not generally effective after the age of 30. $12 million is too much to pay for 40 odd catches and 4 TDs. Perriman is 26 with his production still ascending and he works for 1/3 the wages.

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  24. a deep threat should not be heavily targeted. Desean Jackson was a luxury player and Perriman\Miller make for an adequate replacement. As the article notes, a guy with wheels that is targeted deep 2 or 3 times a game is probably most important for what he opens up underneath on every other snap. you are better off with a guy who has no ego in that role

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