V-Jax Plays “Small-Guy” GameJune 14th, 2014
Those who claim Bucs rookie Mike Evans is a clone of Vincent Jackson aren’t being fair.
Joe’s seen with his own eyes that Evans is raw, which he’s supposed to be at just 20 years old and only a few years into his football career. It’s evident in practice in route-running work.
On the flip side, Jackson is unique for a man his size.
In case you missed it, Jackson’s peers voted him as the 44th best player in the NFL and the ninth best receiver overall for 2014. Bucs cornerback D.J. Moore says Jackson gets the respect because of his versatility, in addition to his production.
“He’s a tall guy that runs small-guy routes,” Moore told Joe. “He gets up out of the routes real well, and he doesn’t just line up at the bottom of the numbers and run he kind of gives you a little extra and what not.
“I had the pleasure of covering Steve Smith last year in practice [in Carolina]. He would do the same thing. The older guys kind of make it harder for you. They read your releases and stuff like that. Vincent is really good at that and can be effective anywhere on the field.”
What can Joe say about V-Jax? He’s a great football player, though Joe holds out hope Jackson can be better, maybe fight a little harder to not get caught from behind, cure the dropsies that plagued him a bit in 2013 but not in 2012, and show less frustration on the field.
Big picture, however, Joe is splitting hairs with that critique of Jackson. The big man is one of the great pass catchers in Bucs history coming off back-to-back 1,200+ yard seasons.