TAMPA – New Buccaneers deep threat DeSean Jackson skipped most of the Bucs offseason workouts this past spring, but that’s not why he and quarterback Jameis Winston have yet to click on the field this fall.
“That’s neither here nor there,’’ Jackson said Tuesday, two days after he visibly expressed his frustration over his lack of top-level production during the Bucs 25-23 victory over the Giants.
“It doesn’t really matter. We’re in season now. OTAs aren’t mandatory. I had obligations I had to do so that doesn’t really matter here. I mean, we practice so much and spend so much time with one another (as it is).’’
That time together hasn’t resulted in the kind of big plays the Bucs were hoping to get from Jackson when they signed him to a three-year, $35 million contract back in March. Jackson has been targeted 20 times but caught just nine passes for 143 yards and one touchdown.
The longest of those receptions has been a 32-yarder, but Jackson appeared quite frustrated with his lack of production after virtually every ball thrown his way this past Sunday was well off the mark.
Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said after the game that Jackson had “every right to be frustrated” because he’s an elite receiver who needs to be utilized more but Jackson said his frustration didn’t stem from a lack of use.
“I want to make plays,’’ Jackson said. “Anytime I get an opportunity to get the ball I just want to make good play and help my team win the game and create big plays, so (my frustration) was just a part of that.’’
Winston spoke with Jackson about the issue immediately after the game and said the two have spoken again since and that they believe they’re on track to making improvements.
Jackson admitted, though, that part of the problem is that he and Winston still don’t have a firm grasp of the nuances of each other’s game and that it will simply take time to develop that.
“When you’re out there playing with a guy for so many years, he knows what to expect,’’ Jackson said. “He’s still fresh, still new with me. But we all know how much he wanted me and how much I wanted to be here.
“We just have to work through it. I mean, I’m not going to abort ship. I’m going to stay on plan and eventually it will come together. We just have to continue to go out there and beat away at it.’’