Wide Receiver DeSean Jackson has been at the center of Bucs news for a few weeks now. From requesting to be traded, to saying on his own podcast that he wants to finish his career on the Bucs, to having an Instagram post voicing his frustration after a loss. It’s been a cryptic message seemingly every day from the world of Jackson.
Finally, after weeks of trying to break the code of Jackson’s true feelings, we got to hear from the veteran Bucs wide receiver. What we learned, above and beyond all else, is that Jackson wants to win, and the fact that they’re not is the center of any of his anger.
“I don’t feel we’ve been playing the past couple games at our best,” Jackson said. “What we’re capable of doing with the talent we got in this locker room, we got to just to ball out, have accountability with everyone in this building, it’s not just one person.”
“I mean, honestly, the frustration is just knowing the players we have in this locker room,” Jackson said. “Not being able to have the results the past four games, whatever that number is, that’s the frustration with me, it’s not individual, it’s just accomplishing what we want to accomplish, and that’s winning football games. That’s what drives my frustration is because I know what we’re capable of doing. It’s really about getting them opportunities and getting the most out of them.”
Jackson started out the season as the hottest receiver in the league with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback, tallying 421 receiving yards and three touchdowns through four games. After the switch back to Jameis Winston, those numbers decreased significantly. Once the move was made again to reinstate Fitzpatrick as quarterback against Carolina, the thought was that Jackson’s production would pick up again. However, that was not the case, as Jackson only caught two passes for 32 yards, leading to his post game frustration on Instagram.
All he wants to do is help the team, though. Knowing what he does provide, it’s about putting him in those spots to succeed.
“Obviously as a competitor in this league, I know what I’m capable of bringing to this team,” Jackson said. “Energy, excitement, just giving them opportunities. It hasn’t really been there the past couple of games, but as a competitor, as a professional, I’m just trying to keep my composure, keep my temper and everything in control.”
This may have led to some of the frustration, both from the team’s lack of success stacked on top of the personal production.
“I can’t say I’m as happy not winning, not being productive,” Jackson said. “So for me to say that I’m happy with that, I would be lying to you.”
When it comes to the play calling, Jackson knows what he would like to see, but understands that the coaches might have a different plan with all of the weapons that the offense possesses.
“In my eyes, how I see it is obviously not how the offensive coordinator or the coaches see it.” Jackson said. “It can be a selfish question to answer, but like I said once again, I know what I’m capable of bringing to the team, I know what I can do as far as big plays and explosiveness, and I know what that does to other guys, and it’s just sparks energy.”
He just wants a chance. No matter how big or small that chance is.
“Just being in a position to take advantage of my opportunities is the biggest thing I can say” Jackson said about getting opportunities. “When the ball comes my way and I have an opportunity to make my plays, regardless if it’s once a game or 10 times a game, I’m going to do that, and make the most out of it.”
So why did Jackson ask for a trade? Well, that’s something we might not find out. Jackson took the privacy route about his conversation with GM Jason Licht.
“Whatever the conversations were, that’s between us.” Jackson said. “It’s over and done with now, we got eight games left to continue to try our best to get in the playoffs and go on a run here.”
Clearly Jackson has changed his tune after saying on his “One of One” podcast that he wanted to remain a Buc for the rest of his career. Jackson is 31 now, he’s a seen a lot of football and wants to get back to the playoffs. He doesn’t have any signs of slowing down.
“If it ever gets to that point where I’m not making my plays, then that’s when you can ask is it the age or getting to old and that,” Jackson said. “But I still feel like I’m playing at a high level. I want to take it as far as I can until the wheels fall off.”
As far as retiring on the Bucs though, that’s just how he feels.
“Because that’s where I’m at right now in my career,” Jackson said about his statement to retire on the Bucs. “I’m here, I never try to get in a sense of where I have been or where I want to go, just doing a good job of staying here, keeping my feet underneath me today, that’s where I’m at here in Tampa Bay. I love the fans, I love my teammates.
“I just want to translate that over to winning, and I’ve won a lot in my career, I’ve lost some, too, and I know what it’s like to win, I know what it’s like to get in the playoffs and play in them crucial games. That’s something here that Tampa’s been missing, I just want to get them back to that.”
Fittingly enough, Jackson will face off against one of his old teams, the Washington Redskins on Sunday. One of his calling cards has always been having big games against his old teams. While this one isn’t as personal as the Eagles, he still wants to give them his best shot.
“Anytime I get a chance to play against a team that I used to play for, I try to let them see what they’re missing,” Jackson said.
Now we have some of the answers to the signals being sent by DeSean Jackson.