TAMPA – New Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson obviously knew of quarterback Jameis Winston before he arrived in Tampa Bay but he admits he really didn’t know him when he signed the three-year, $33.5 million deal that made him and Winston teammates.
Jackson has taken strides to get to know Winston since, mostly through text messages and phone calls, and what he says he’s learning has only helped to make him feel even better about the decision he made to join forces with the Bucs.
“He has a determination to be great,’’ Jackson said during an interview Thursday on ESPN’s SportsCenter. “It hasn’t even been a month since I’ve been with the Buccaneers and we’re going back and forth, texting, talking on the phone, and I can see how hungry he is.
“He wants to win. And not only win, but he wants to bring a championship to Tampa. I think those are the intangibles you want in any young quarterback, but he’s a guy that doesn’t just talk about that but has the work ethic, too. That’s what makes the difference.’’
The Bucs are obviously hoping Jackson makes a difference with their offense, which was in need of a deep threat and now has arguably the best one in the league working opposite fellow wideout Mike Evans, whose presence also attracted Jackson to Tampa.
Jackson said he believes he and Evans “can dominate together,’’ and for those who may be concerned about how Jackson will fit inside the Bucs locker room, it seems he’s ready to embrace the role of mentor and team leader that would naturally fall to a 30-year-old veteran.
“I remember being in Philadelphia with Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook and Brian Dawkins and kind of picking their brains and leaning on them and then going to Washington and being that guy that’s a little older and (that’s) expecting other players to be at their best and expecting to get the best out of (them),’’ Jackson said. “It’s really just a mentality that you have to have to where you accept nothing but greatness, because we’ll put in the work and hopefully it will pay off.’’