Last year Vincent Jackson felt underpaid in San Diego and found the right suitor in Tampa Bay. He signed a $55 million contract, $26 million guaranteed, with the Bucs. So far it was money well spent for Tampa Bay. He caught 72 passes for 1,384 yards in. Jackson recounts what went wrong in San Diego and his excitement about the future in Tampa Bay. Vincent Jackson joined KOA in Denver on The Dave Logan Show to discuss loving his time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers so far, his respect for Greg Schiano’s coaching style and his thoughts on the future of the Bucs.
Tell us about your first year in Tampa and the prognosis going forward?
“It’s been a great year here, man. I honestly couldn’t be more excited about joining this organization. There’s a lot of good, young talent here and bringing in a new coaching staff here with Greg Schiano and the staff that he was bringing with him. He’s just a guy who runs his ship the right way. I couldn’t be more impressed with Mark Dominik, our GM, the Glazer family and the owners down here. It’s really a top-notch organization down here. Tampa is a sports town. We have the Rays. We got the Tampa Bay Lightning and, of course, a pretty big Bucs following, so it’s a fun place to play.”
What impressed you the most about Greg Schiano in his first year coaching in the NFL?
“That’s the thing everybody is worried about. People say well he’s a college coach and is he going to be able to come to the professional level with grown men? But he’s had quite a bit of experience in the NFL as an assistant and just working under some other coaches for years — guys like Bill Belichick and he spent some time in Chicago with the Bears. He had the background and the biggest thing I took away from that first year was the fact that he was still willing to learn. As much as he had a reputation for being a tough guy and being very stringent on his schedule, which I think is a matter of efficiency, he really does a good job of talking to his players — especially the veteran guys. And he’d like to know what is going on in the locker room and he’d like to know what’s working and what’s not working and what guys think things should be done different, and it makes sense. If the guys working for you are happy and you are doing things that work for them then obviously they are going to play harder for you.”
What are your reflections on what happened in your final year in San Diego?
“It started years ago with the departures of some great players like Drew Brees and Junior Seau and some real top names in that community. As it continued with LaDainian Tomlinson and a number of other big names and talents that have come through with that organization that they just haven’t been able to hold onto. They’ve done pretty well in the draft and they try to develop players, but whenever you get to that next level you gotta keep some veteran guys around and they just couldn’t seem to be able to do that and it’s very hard to win in this league without that veteran leadership, and I’m glad I got be around there for awhile. It’s tough for the fans to come back every year and buy season tickets when you are feeling like they are not putting the best product out there and obviously when you are not winning on the field and not getting into the playoffs consistently, that’s when things gotta change — whether it is coaching staff or management, and that’s kind of where they are at right now. I still talk to quite a few guys who are there like Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates and they are excited to get a fresh start and get a fresh face in there and get back to the glory days of years past.”