New Bucs WR DeSean Jackson - Photo by: Getty Images
SR’s Fab 5 is a collection of inside scoop, analysis and insight from yours truly, PewterReport.com publisher and Bucs beat writer Scott Reynolds. Here are a few things that caught my attention this week at One Buc Place and around the NFL.
FAB 1. AS EXPECTED, BUCS LAND SPEEDY JACKSON IN FREE AGENCY
Take a close look at that picture of new Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson.
See how far ahead he is of the Chicago Bears defensive back?
Do you see the separation created from 4.35 speed?
Last year, Jackson was the most explosive player in the NFL, averaging 17.9 yards per catch for the Washington Redskins. In fact, at age 30, Jackson’s reception average in 2016 was slightly better than his 17.7-yard career average.
Since the end of the 2016 season, Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter and general manager Jason Licht have been lamenting at how Tampa Bay saw a big drop in the number of explosive plays on offense from the 2015 season when the team had the league’s fifth-ranked offense and went over 6,000 yards for the first time in franchise history.
Jackson had four plays over 50 yards in 2016 en route to catching 56 passes for 1,005 yards and four touchdowns for the Redskins. Last year, Tampa Bay was the only team in the league that didn’t have an offensive play of 50 yards or more.
Former Bucs WR Joey Galloway – Photo by: Getty Images
With 4.35 speed, Jackson is an older, slightly slower version of University of Washington wide receiver John Ross, whom Jackson actually trains with and mentors (don’t rule out Ross to Tampa Bay at No. 19 if he’s still on the board). Ross set an all-time NFL Scouting Combine record with a 4.22 in the 40-yard dash.
Jackson becomes the most explosive wide receiver in Tampa Bay since Joey Galloway’s heyday from 2005-2007 when he averaged 16.6 yards per catch and had 17 receptions of 40 yards or more. And Galloway accomplished that and produced three straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons with the Bucs at age 34-36. The 30-year old Jackson appears to have plenty of miles left on his tires like Galloway had when he arrived in Tampa at age 33.
Now former Bucs receiver Vincent Jackson is no slouch, and averaged 16.56 yards per catch from 2011-16. That ranks third behind DeSean Jackson’s 17.47 avg. and Torrey Smith’s 17.0 avg., according to ProFootballReference.com, but he was a different type of receiver at 6-foot-5, 235 pounds.
Vincent Jackson produced 14 plays of 40 yards or more, including a franchise-record 95-yard catch in 2012, but he wasn’t the speedster that Galloway was or DeSean Jackson is. And he failed to produce a catch of 40 yards or more in each of the last two seasons.
Not only will Jackson’s arrival bring big-play ability with his own production, he’ll help out Mike Evans’ production, too. Evans had a career year last season with 96 catches for 1,321 yards and 12 touchdowns, which tied the franchise record he set as a rookie in 2014. With Jackson’s presence on the field it will be more difficult to double-team Evans.
“Now they can’t put bracket coverage on Mike,” said Evans’ agent Deryk Gilmore. “They probably still will, but if Jameis [Winston] can get it to DeSean, who can stretch the field, that’s great.”
Evans told PewterReport.com how excited he was to have Jackson as part of the Tampa Bay offense.
“Jackson’s speed and big-play ability will help our team greatly,” Evans said. “I think it was an awesome pickup.”
Tampa Bay was one of two teams last year that didn’t record a 50-yard touchdown, according to ESPN Stats & Info. Jackson has had 37 career catches of 50 yards or more with 21 of them going for touchdowns.
Bucs WR DeSean Jackson – Photo by: Getty Images
Not only does a proven veteran with dangerous speed give opposing defenses somebody else to worry about and more options for Winston to throw to, Jackson will also help the Bucs’ running game. With only Evans to really focus on after Vincent Jackson was placed on injured reserve with an ACL injury last year, Tampa Bay’s opponents could double-team Evans, single up on everyone else and bring a safety down in the box to help stuff the run.
Jackson’s ability to stretch the defense will force more Cover 2 and Cover 4 coverages and keep a safety out of the box on first downs. Teams will have to keep both safeties back in coverage more often and that should help the running game, which in turn will help Tampa Bay’s play-action passing game, which is predicated off a strong rushing attack.
Not only did Evans, Winston and the Bucs’ passing game improve with the acquisition of Jackson helps much maligned Tampa Bay’s offensive line and running backs, too. That’s the type of impact the Jackson signing has in Tampa Bay.
And for the loyal readers of SR’s Fab 5, I’ll remind you that you first learned of the Bucs’ interest in Jackson a month ago when I wrote that “Jackson Could Fill Bucs’ Need For Speed” on February 10.
Jackson certainly does that.
PewterReport.com’s reporting was out in front of the Jackson signing and the re-signings of defensive end Will Gholston and running back Jacquizz Rodgers. So you won’t want to miss PewterReport.com’s Bucs draft coverage as our 2017 Bucs’ 7-Round Mock Draft 3.0 hits the website on Saturday. I’ll be handling that mock draft, and PewterReport.com’s new Bucs beat writer, Trevor Sikkema, will be doing a new NFL first-round mock draft on Sunday.
Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
There’s no way what you’re saying about Dominik/ Cutler is true.
It was WIDELY reported that Cutler was available for trade before it happened. There were even a bunch of rumors that he was going to be traded to the Bucs.
One of the specific rumors was this a 3 way deal between the Broncos, Bucs, and Patriots, that would send Cutler to Tampa, and Cassel to the Broncos.
Even if that trade was never discussed, there were way too many reports/ rumors saying that Cutler was going to be traded before it happened that it would have been impossible for Dominik to not know he was available.
Yes, the Bucs jumped in at the last minute to the trade talks. I’m not saying that the Bucs never inquired about trading for Jay Cutler. I’m just saying that initially Mark Dominik didn’t know about it and wasn’t able to put together a quick, clean deal for Cutler from the start. By the time the Bucs jumped in, there were plenty of other suitors.
Link discussing 3 way trade:
Either I took too many bong hits or you are discussing an article from 2009 and not the present
News breaks that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are trying to acquire Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler in a trade for a first-round draft pick. In turn, the Broncos would trade the first-round pick to the New England Patriots for quarterback Matt Cassel.
“I’m upset,” Cutler says in reaction. “I mean, I’m really shocked at this point.”
The Broncos do not make the trade, and Cutler remains with the team. Cassel is shipped to the Kansas City Chiefs for a second-round draft pick.
McDaniels says Tampa Bay initiated the trade talks and the Broncos will not trade Cutler. “He’s not the only person in the last few days we’ve received calls on,” the coach says.
Scott, I really like your observation that having DJax on the field helps a lot of other players out, and indeed the entire offense. Having a really dangerous over the top speedster like him not only helps take pressure off Mike Evans, who’s used to drawing both the best and second best CBs most plays, but it also takes the safeties back further and out of the box, which will improve the ability of our running game and likely also the receiving production of our RBs.
Of course, Jameis is also helped immensely with this new teammate, because he loves to throw long – he threw more 20+ yard passes than any other quarterback in the league last season – but unfortunately all too often he overthrew his receivers who just could not get downfield and under where the ball was headed. DJax should fix that up right proper.
I like this one:
“Dominik did not reply to Pewter Report’s text messages regarding the Cutler report”
I wonder if Griffin would be a possible backup for Jameis next year… Robert Griffin III? It sounds like he’s going to be cut soon from Cleveland and could be intriguing possibility? I wonder what magic that Koetter and Bajakian could would with RGIII? If there were to develop him, could he be trade bait down the road? On another note, I’d like to hear from Scott, Mark & Trevor on where they think the roster weaknesses are currently as the team has plugged some holes on the roster?
RGIII doesn’t see enough potential danger on the field. He looks like a child playing on the train tracks in the NFL. As much as I don’t like untested qb’s, they do have a slight advantage to unproven ones.
I don’t think the Bucs view RGIII as a good replacement for Mike Glennon. I just don’t think he’s a good QB and a good system fit.
Good Fab 5 Scott.
Thank the stars we never pulled the trigger on Cutler. I never thought he was an answer for the BUCS. It’ll be interesting to see if any one steps up for him.
Very excited about our Wr’s this year. I’ll miss Shep, he always seemed like a good guy to have around. When the BUCS take OJ Howard we will be scary good receiving. If OJ is not there Njoka (spelling?) could do it. If either one is gone I’ll trust Litch.
Of all the teams that Glendon had to go to it had to be the Bears. I still wish him luck, but that’s a tough place to succeed.
Looking forward to the mock draft tomorrow, I’ll make a prediction for it fight now
#1. RB Cook / TE Howard /TE Njoka
#2. BB Mixon/ WR JuJu Shuster / SS Taiwan Taylor
#3. SS Orion Stewart /WR Chris Godwin
#4. SS Tony Conner
#5. LT Vernon Sainvil- Canadian.
After 5 rounds I have no clue.
Now for some venting. What is up at Waterfootball? Do they just hate the BUCS? Bigger bias than PPF. And their site sucks, slow loading and bombarded with stupid ads for porn sites. Their insight is terrible. Is it Walter or Charlie? Hope it isn’t Charlie, he was a pretty good reporter for PR.
Now on to channel 8 sports. Thursday night with great news about the BUCS their first lead was the Valspar open. Golf? For real? And their coverage of the Lightnig blows also. Hope I haven’t PO the golfers that come here, but c’mon man, golf over the BUCS?
Feel better now.
While I am venting, NFL Network aired 22 minutes of air time about Tony Romo out of 42 minutes of broadcast time in an hour.
How long does it take to say Romo might be traded?
Pretty sorry coverage of most teams.
That’s the Cowboys Network ruled by Jerry Jones.
I agree about NFL Network and even ESPN. Bucs always get the shaft from the major networks when it comes to coverage.
Thank god I am not the only one……its ridiculous,,,,
Thank god I am not the only one……absolutely ridiculous……Wait, breaking news……” Tony Romo just went from the living room to the kitchen”……well have more later”….and they will say this for 24 hours straight…” Bucs making a strong push for Jackson”….400 times for 2 days…This is reporting????..Vent over, Thanks…
I noticed PR mentioned that Ross is still a possibility for the Bucs at #19. Until reading that I thought he was not a good pick. Although putting 2 speed burners on the field at the same time would be interesting
Yes, keep an eye on this. If John Ross is there that would be quite a lineup: Ross, DeSean Jackson, Mike Evans and Adam Humphries.
Good fab five and I can’t wait for your Mock tomorrow. ONe thing I will always give PR, they are the ears of the Bucs and you guys have made some damn good predictions over the years.
It’s great having Jackson, he can still take the top off of a defense. I think he will thrive in this offense. Jameis loves to go deep and you can’t overthrow Jackson. I could see Jackson having some of the best numbers of his career here in Tampa. Saw an interview with Good morning NFL talking about the same thing. They had Brandon Marshal on and he thought Jackson could only get better with Jameis. He went on to say how incredible Jameis is and that he’s never met any player with the passion and drive that Jameis has. Pretty high praise from someone who’s met Jameis officially 1 time. Maybe a shocker to some who believe our QB isn’t thought highly around the league. This move has Jameis written all over it and if you don’t think he wasn’t recruiting Jackson hard, think again. If the team keeps progressing in the right direction Jameis is the kind of guy that can bring players like this in to win some games.
Big Mike is absolutely going to get paid and if I were the Bucs I’d do it this off season. As a team you wouldn’t even consider insulting him by picking up his 5th year rookie contract. And the cap will go up again next year as it does every year. But why wait and get into a bidding war once O’Dell and other players from that rookie class start getting paid. It worked when we signed Gerald.
I love the signing of Baker as well as he’s productive against the run AND the pass. He’s a good upgrade of Spence and we were never going to win a bidding war for Campell services. This is a quality move for right next to Gerald and we will have a stout interior push , which I think is more important than your end push. Pressure in a QB’s face is the best kind of pressure.
The size has gone up which is good as well as lovie preferred his lineman lighter and quicker.
I like the Dobbs idea for drafting a QB. He has history with Coach B, and he’s got talent. Would be a very nice backup to have, because I”m not a fan of our backup situation at all right now. I’m happy Glennon got his and hope the best for him, but it just shows how QB starved teams are.
This draft has me very excited as the Bucs can go a good bit of different ways considering the draft is deep at the three offensive skill positions, which we need.
Thank you, cgmaster27. PewterReport.com isn’t always right, but we’re often more right than wrong. I’ve been doing this for 23 years now and have a pretty good gauge on this team’s needs and how they plan on going about addressing them.
Very good Fab 5 Scott. Has anyone heard a word about the status of the indoor practice facility that has been going to be built at any moment for the last 3 years?!?
Thank you, 76Buc. Yes, the indoor practice facility should be built later this year.
If we draft Ross, our starting receiving group about mid season will look like this: Evans, Jackson at wide outs, Humphries in the slot and Ross on IR.
Ha! I actually laughed out loud at that. Keep in mind that John Ross stayed healthy all season. Had a torn labrum, but played through it.
3 concerns about DJax signing.
1. He has been injured a lot in the last few years.
2. Winston needs to improve his deep ball. Not having a 50+ yd play is also the fault of Winston.
3. The OL needs to give Winston time to throw the deep ball.
If DJax is “injured a lot” and still produced an average of 1,007 yards per season the last four years, including over yards last season, when he led the league in yards per reception and most receptions over 20 yards, and lead the league in YPR over his entire 9 year career … I say, “gimme more of his injuries” if that is the result.
The bottom line IS the bottom line.
There’s truth in that post, magoobee. Fingers crossed on all 3.
Agree, if Winston has all these weapons how does a DC attack this high powered offense? I’ll tell you; they attack Winston. Lot’s of pressure, blitzes, and disguised coverages. Make him throw quickly to avoid sacks and his inaccuracy will take care of the rest with INT’s. The idea is that all that talent won’t matter if he can’t get the ball to them. He needs to grow into the postition quickly.
As a Fan all I know at this point in time, we appear to need help at Center as nothing has been confirmed that Marpet or Pamphile is working off season working on their hiking skills. There’s a solid reason why Hawley hasn’t been signed yet, but I do expect someone to sign him as a back up.
Forgot to say; Another good Fab 5 Scott.
What about Gostaulk, I hear he’s a comer. I know I spelled that name wrong.
But I agree, we are one man short on O Line,
This team can plug in Ali Marpet, Kevin Pamphile, Evan Smith, Ben Gottschalk, Josh Allen or James Stone at center. That’s six different options.
Great fab 5, happy we got Djax and can’t wait for 7 round mock tomorrow. Keep up the good work.
Thank you, David.
Enjoyed SR5 Scott. Now that we have Jackson it is almost surreal in that last year at this time we had Evans, Vjax, and ASJ To challenge the NFC South with. I hope this year works out better and for that reason I would hope that Licht adds (in addition to Humphries) a couple more WR’s as insurance. We can go for size and average speed now that Djax is on board. I have noted that Dalvin Cook is beginning to drop since the draft. Not to say his skills have diminished but other players are coming into the spot light. John Ross for example. As FA stabilizes and we get closer to the draft I fully expect to see a lot of change in the rankings. What once seemed out of our reach may fall to us on draft day. Finally I expect Licht to add a few more Free Agents. JJ Wilcox would help. I believe in moderate talent level that can assist in a rotational role that does not break the bank are the best targets going forward. Skilled veterans mentoring rookies with potential will provide a long term winning formula. Glad to hear Sweezy is doing well. A lot like have an extra FA fall into our laps. Keep us posted.
Thank you, martinii.
DJax – a definite upgrade to the #2 WR
Baker – a definite upgrade to NT
Foles – a push at backup QB (assuming he signs)
No major losses in FA
All that adds up to a better 2017 Bucs team, and we haven’t hit the draft yet. This is a good start to the offseason. No, we haven’t added any top talents but by and large we already have those (apart from RB) and what we needed was the role players…
…now this puts a huge bullseye on the draft at RB for us…we need one big time! Would still love some OL moves, but I am resigned that it’s not likely to happen.
Scott can you finally tell us what the real problem with Freeman was? I think enough time has passed that warrants an explanation. I know you have heard what was really going on from the inside. Was it alcohol or was it drugs? I have been perplexed by his situation ever since that awful 2013 season opener that I attended and the fall out the followed it. Please let me know what actually happened to him! That phone interview he did during the preseason was really crazy, he was clearly on something. Its been long enough, spill the beans!
He seemed to go off the deep end after he posed in that Michael Jackson outfit.
Some things that are known can never be told, at least not in the media, without drawing a defamation lawsuit, or invading someone’s privacy.
Yes, I know. No, I’m not at liberty to say at this time, unfortunately.
I thought you were on crack jshumaker, not grass
Well Horse, the fact they haven’t rushed to sign Hawley tells me they have an option up their sleeve. Is it Marpet, Pamphile, a draft choice, F.A.? All the Buc interior linemen practice at center through out the season. Maybe someone at P.R. can get a hold of Marpet to ask him if he’s been even asked to possibly make the switch. Does he even want to? Come on guys, get us a real inside scoop.
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