DeSean Jackson: I Want To Return Punts

August 15th, 2018

DeSean Jackson has returned a grand total of three punts in the past four seasons for a grand total of -5 yards.

But that’s a tiny sample size for a guy who once was one of the great returners in the game.

Joe talked to Jackson 1-on-1 in Tennessee today after the Bucs squared off with the Titans in a joint practice in advance of their preseason game on Saturday.

Jackson has been seen in practice fielding punts — not today — but he’s yet to have a return for the Bucs.

He wants that to change.

Joe was very direct with Jackson about whether he really wants to be a full-time punt returner at 31 years old.

“100 percent. 100 percent. I’m back there. Man, give me the call. I’m here, Coach,” Jackson said. “I loved [returning punts]. That’s what I do. It’s just a niche I have for the game. I just think get me back there in space and having the ball in my hand, it’s something I look forward to doing. Hopefully, I get my number called.”

There are few guys earning eight figures a year who want to expose themselves to the shots punt returners often get.

But perhaps Jackson, who returned four punts for touchdowns during his first three seasons with the Eagles, sees punt return as a way to show more of his value amidst a Bucs receiving corps that’s loaded with talent.

Ironically, Jackson was acquired last year during the offseason of explosive plays. It was the focus of Dirk Koetter last season and it’s why Jackson was brought here. But that didn’t work out.

Yeah, there’s heightened injury risk, but Joe would love to see the leash come off Jackson and let him scare the crap out of the Saints special teams coordinator on opening day.

As for working against the Titans, Jackson said he was energized by working against stud Titans cornerbacks Malcolm Butler and Adoreé Jackson.

23 Responses to “DeSean Jackson: I Want To Return Punts”

  1. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    High risk, high reward. If Djax goes down returning punts, it could very well be the end of his NFL Career. On the bright side, it could give him so extra value…

  2. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    Some ^

  3. Lord Cornelius Says:

    I’d love to see that week 1 regular season. No need to risk it in preseason but I’d love him to be the full time or at a minimum part time guy at PR.

  4. ShutTheBucUp Says:

    Koetter is not a risk taker. He won’t allow it.

  5. jmarkbuc Says:


    At least we are super deep at the position should anything happen, obviously I don’t want a career ending thing.IJS

  6. Stanglassman Says:

    I think we may see a mix of the new RB Dare O. And the newly signed cb DeVante Harris returning kickoffs. Apparently Harris was a great kick returner at Texas A&M.

  7. Pickgrin Says:

    Let DJax keep taking punt returns reps in practice – don’t show it in any of the pre-season games of course – then put him out there for all the punt returns in the New Orleans game.

  8. AlteredEgo Says:

    Wow…that is impressive for him to offer to return punts…I’d certainly keep him tuned up each week and use him from time to time…


    As deep as we are at WR, I see little risk yet potential high reward. He could potentially get off returning kicks and could give us something we have NEVER had!! When Karl “The Truth” Williams (who I loved) is your best punt return threat of all time……….this seems like a no brainer to me. Hopefully, we don’t Buc it up! Go Bucs!!

  10. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    I could, and probably am, wrong, but I really don’t recall seeing a bunch of return guys going down to injury. It’s more so the other guys that get hurt. Of course Clifton Smith comes to mind, but that was a dirty hit. If I’m Dirk and my job is on the line, I’m doing whatever it takes to help me win games. I feel like far too often coaches who are clearly on the hot seat have this false sense of security that they aren’t.

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    No guts no glory! DJax wants to do it & could obviously give us some explosive punt returns over time. If I were Koetter, I’d go for it.

  12. Dooshlarue Says:

    Love the idea!
    Put your big boy pants on Dirk and make it happen.

    Go Bucs!

  13. Wausa Says:

    The Bucs are deep at the position so I am all in on Djax returning punts unless Evans, Godwin or Humphries gets injured.

  14. Not there yet Says:

    Make it happen coach….. No excuses because if Dirk loses his job it will be his fault and likely due to being to timid and rigid to be a head coach, offensive version of Lovie Smith and I really hope to see all this potential realized finally.

  15. HomerSimpsonRocks Says:

    Wonder if he’s concerned he’ll be traded, or is he just being a good team guy this year.

  16. Nick2 Says:

    Im old enough to remember a guy named Nathan Wonsley, a running back who started out scorching hot back in the 80s the first few games to carry a lot of our offense only to return a punt get injured and never play again. I do like DJax courage though and he has the moves and speed to take it to the house on every punt. I am sure he will get the call on key returns but to give it to him on every punt would be unwise.

  17. BucEmUp Says:

    As bad as this team has been it’s irresponsible to not put your most electric player in that position. Godwin and Jwatson can handle the other wr roles along with humph and our two tes if Jackson goes down but hoeofulkynhe won’t. He needs to be back there

  18. Broy34 Says:

    This team as well as Desean want to win football games. This man is a top 3 punt returner of all time. Let him do it. I get Koetter not doing it if he didn’t want to but when he’s volunteering and he’s leaps and bounds better than everyone to ever wear our uniform it seems simple to me

  19. Buccfan37 Says:

    Let DJ return punts or kick offs until he coughs up the ball.

  20. Bucamania Says:

    Been saying this for awhile. Desean should be the punt returner! Dude is electric and the Bucs have plenty of WR depth.

  21. Talk2da4skin Says:

    Also been saying it for a while. What else we use him for

  22. Riggz Says:

    Imagine if we actually had contributions from special teams? Like successful field goal attempts and punt returns for touchdowns? Is that something other teams do who actually win games and make it to the playoffs? No one is scared punting it to Humphries (no offense). Jackson is SPECIAL. Teams would have to change their strategy if he was back there. Longest playoff drought in the league besides the Browns, but Koetter will keep the same unsuccessful formula.

  23. Godeep66 Says:

    Please let him do so NOW. It may elevate is trade value if he pops a few.