Putting the Pieces Together

Vincent Jackson on two huge new additions in Tampa Bay, and whether Josh Freeman can get the job done
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1. I think Josh Freeman is the quarterback who can take the Buccaneers to the next level. This is his second year in this system, and you can see his comfort level and grasp of the moving parts. With less to think about, he’s able to go out there and just use his physical tools, which are very good.

2. I think even though Greg Schiano has the reputation of being a no-nonsense, nose-to-the-grindstone coach, I’d call him a players’ coach. He wants to know everything about all his players, and he treats the team like a big family. I know if I ever need anything, no matter what it is, he’d be there in a heartbeat.

3. I think Tampa Bay wasn’t a hard sell to Darrelle Revis. We share an agent, and I talked to him before he was traded and signed the extension. I just told him that we’re building something special here, and he could be a big piece of it. And I also told him how much fun it is to play for Schiano. Beside his physical skills and playmaking ability, Revis is going to be great for our younger guys, bringing that experience we need on defense.

4. I think the addition of safety Dashon Goldson is just as huge for us as Revis. He’s a playmaker and a vocal guy—the type of leader we need to make sure everybody is where they need to be, especially now that Ronde Barber retired.

5. I think one of the things I love most about Tampa is that it was a perfect place for me to launch my Jackson In Action 83 Foundation, which provides support for military families who have loved ones deployed. I’m an Army brat, and I can relate to the kids on MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. It’s also been a special common ground for me and Bucs GM Mark Dominik, who has a soft spot in his heart for the military.

6. I think after my playing career is over, I’ll work in business and real estate development. I studied business at the University of Northern Colorado and took part in the NFL’s program for players at the Wharton School of Business. Collaborating with a team, developing a strategy and watching it grow is exciting to me.

I just told (Darrelle Revis) that we’re building something special here, and he could be a big piece of it.

7. I think I truly enjoy working in the community. Beside the positive impact we can have, it allows us to relate to our fans. That bond helps us fill our stadium, making Raymond James one of the toughest places for opponents to play in the NFL.

8. I think one of the most important intangibles I bring to the Bucs is making sure guys have fun! I try to bring that attitude and that energy to the team, and I think others feed off of that.

9. I think my best attribute as a receiver is my ability to make a play anywhere on the field. As much as my stats show that I’m a deep threat, I can line up in the slot and run intermediate routes and go across the middle. I don’t want to be the guy who lines up in the same position and runs the same routes all the time. I want to help our team by plugging in anywhere on the field.