TAMPA, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' receiving corps has drawn comparisons to a basketball team due to its size.
However, it has become obvious that the team’s best receiver doesn’t really like the comparison. For the second time in recent weeks, Vincent Jackson said he doesn’t want the team’s receiving corps to be known just for its size.
"You hope that’s a factor that helps you," Jackson said. "But that’s not what we focus on. We go out there to execute. We go out there to be complete receivers, a complete offense. We have great running backs, great tight ends, good receivers and we’re going to spread the ball around. I don’t care if you’re 6-5 or 5-11. If you can get that ball in the end zone, we’re going to find ways to do that."
Jackson is 6-foot-5. So is rookie wide receiver Mike Evans. Same for rookie tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. That’s an impressive collection of size. But the Bucs drafted Evans in the first round and Seferian-Jenkins in the second to be more than basketball players. They were drafted to help take some of the defensive coverage away from Jackson.
Last season, the Bucs didn’t have any consistent threats in the passing game besides Jackson. But Evans already has been plugged in as a starter and Jackson is happy with what he’s seen out of the rookie.
"I’m very happy with Mike’s progress," Jackson said. "What he’s done and the way he’s come in here and approached this season. Even though he was drafted high and had success on the college level, he knows there’s a lot more for him to do. As a receiver, he can grow in many areas. He’s working hard at his craft. He’s taking all the coaching that’s being delivered to him. That’s all you can ask for from a young guy. He’s going to continue to learn. It’s always going to be a learning process. But he’s up to speed. He’s doing great things in our offense right now, everything that we’re asking of him."