When Tampa Bay acquired DeSean Jackson, they were desperate for a play maker to open up the field, and we all know, if there is anyone that could do that it was DeSean Jackson.
Thinking about who we acquired made me think why we acquired them. DeSean not only was known for his agility and speed, but also his punt returning ability. Giants fans know this all too well. 2010 he returned a bad punt 60 yards with 14 seconds on the clock in a tie game to win it, not without running horizontally along the goal line after burning the defense for 10 yards before stepping in for the touchdown of course. Big game, a division rival and he steps up. Another example of that would be the Cowboys game also that season. His speed was there, but so was the ball. 4 catches for 210 yards. Embarrassed the secondary. Kind of like what Chris Godwin did week 17 last season against one of our rivals, the Saints.
Jameis and Chris have never had the pressure of hurry up and develop chemistry like DeSean and Jameis did when Jackson first arrived. But if you watch the game against the Saints, there was no chemistry issue for Godwin as Jameis fed him the whole the game. Inside, outside, down the field you name it.
While I can’t deny what D-Jax brings to the game, I just hope we are utilizing his strengths as best we can. He came into the NFL on returning punts as well as playing receiver and although it’s been a few seasons since he has returned punts I still would like to see him do it again. I think our special teams’ group could really enjoy the spark that DeSean could give them, and I believe it may quench a thirst D-Jax still has.
As far as WR2 and WR3 go, I really couldn’t argue with putting Godwin ahead of Jackson to start off the season. Although Jameis won’t be throwing until week 4 at the earliest which kind of throws out the chemistry from week 17 last season, I still believe it would benefit the team as well as D-Jax more in the long run. I know it isn’t 2010 anymore, and I know a few of us may wish it was, but watching highlights from Jackson last season, against the Vikings top tier defense, or even during training camp, I believe he still has got it. Deep ball, slant, or corner route and he still breaks away with the best of them.
The season is long and as a veteran who could possibly see more of an expanded role in the return game, I couldn’t see a better reason to allow Godwin to develop and progress as a young receiver while allowing Desean to get his touches and still be a contributing part of the team. With players like Cam Brate, Ronald Jones, OJ Howard and Mike Evans still looking to contribute these guys will have to enjoy doing their job even when it isn’t in the spotlight.