Keyshawn Johnson Calls Out Vincent Jackson: ‘I Need You to Deliver’

Keyshawn Johnson paid a visit to One Buc Place today. The former Super Bowl wideout-turned-analyst was doing a piece for ESPN on Darrelle Revis and stopped by the media workroom for a break, chatting about his time in Tampa Bay and offering some interesting observations about the current Bucs roster.

Among the most intriguing comments was his take on Pro Bowl receiver Vincent Jackson. Johnson said point-blank, “As a player, I think he’s okay.”

Just okay?

“I think he’s done a good job. I think he’s gotten the most out of his talent…I know he puts up good numbers and he’s averaging 19 yards a catch — but with 1:30 to go, down by five, ‘I want you to take that shot, I need you to take that shot.’ If he can do that, then to me…that’s when you become ‘that guy.’”

Johnson acknowledged Jackson’s production. He’s had over 1,000 receiving yards four out of the last five years. But he wants to him come through in the clutch.

“I don’t give a sh** about how many catches you’ve got, how many yards you’ve got. But when we’re down by five, I need to feed you. I need you to deliver. That’s what you need to be able to do. I need you to be that Andre Johnson when you cross into the end zone, there’s five seconds left on the clock.”

“You can say, ‘Well he is clutch, he catches this…he does [that].’ That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about that guy, I’m talking about that Kobe [Bryant], that LeBron [James], take that shot…I know you’re getting the ball.”

“It’s like when I played. You know I was getting the ball, but when the sh** hit the fan, you knew I was getting it and you still couldn’t [stop it]. I think he has the size, he has the ability, he’s not a guy who talks – that’s not his style – and if he could just take that shot, then it pushes him to that next phase of the game.”

“You can have zero catches until the last two minutes of the game, and then take that shot. That’s what pushes you to the next level. I see a guy like Mike Williams – he’s taking shots, he’s been taking shots at the end of the games in his career. He’s not the niftiest, fastest, most-explosive, but at the end of games, when he’s had the opportunity, he took a shot.”

Johnson also talked about quarterback Josh Freeman. When asked if Freeman was ‘the guy,’ Johnson responded, “He has to be. Who else are you going to get?”

 “Is he better than Teddy Bridgewater, right now? Is he better than Aaron Murray?  So when you start to look at that, it’s like, ‘Is he better than the guy they drafted from NC State [Mike Glennon]? Probably so.

He believes Freeman needs to ignore the contract situation, forget about his impending free agent status, and just perform more consistently. ” He needs to put the screws to the Bucs, which means, ‘I’m gonna throw for 5,000 yards, I’m gonna get us to the playoffs, and now I’m gonna do what I need to do.’ It’s a good problem to have.”

“‘You have no worries. Don’t panic, don’t think about injury. Just go out there, sprinkle a little bit out there, now put the screws to them.’ You see what I’m saying? Back them up into the corner, because he has the ability.”

Johnson also believes the Bucs have the ability to contend with the help of Darrelle Revis on defense, offering a rather bold prediction.

 “The secondary will probably be in the top-three secondaries in the whole league, if Darrelle’s on the field and he’s healthy…It’s a huge change from last year. They can probably play a little more man-to-man and feel good about it.”

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1Buc says:

I love Keyshawn, that guy was completely fearless when he was here. He was never afraid to make a catch in the middles of the field knowing he was going to get his clock cleaned so with al due respect, VJ was absolutely clutch last year. I don’t recall the game but early in the season last year he made a TD catch in the endzone with single digits left on the clock. I never saw him wilt when the game is on the line. So Key, I love you man but unless this was just meant as motivation you got this one wrong! VJ was great pick up in FA last year!

Edmond says:

I know people are gonna be harsh to Key for his comment but take an outsiders perspective(Non Tampa fan). Vincent Jackson is good but thats it. Case and point the 99 yard catch last year. VJax actually looked like he was getting slower the more he ran. Him not scoring leads to a momentum changing goalline stand. Bucs lose game. In San Diego three years ago against the raiders Philip Rivers throws up a jump ball and against a 5’9 corner Vjax dosent even attempt to go for it. Ball gets picked chargers lose game on that play. Say whatever you want about Key but plays like those didnt go on his resume. U guys kill me sayin he wasnt a great reciever. 800 catches? 10,000 yards? 5 pro bowls? Bad QB play every year including 10 yard and under passer Brad Johnson? But oh no Key is wrong right? Dosent mean Vincent Jackson can’t be clutch. But as of now no he isnt a top 10 reciever.(A. Johnson C Johnson J Jones R White D Bryant D Bowe S Smith H Nicks V Cruz D Thomas P Harvin J Nelson) Id take all of them over Vincent Jackson. Does that make me right? Nope but he is an average reciever like Key said. Above average at best.

CJP says:

Dez Bryant, Percy Harvin, Steve Smith, JORDY NELSON over Vincent Jackson… Get a clue bro’

LionsFan says:

I agree that Keyshawn was just trying to motivate VJ further, which I believe will serve it’s purpose (Because I believe VJ is on a mission this year).

It is funny to me though the player Keyshawn is describing VJ clearly already is!! VJ will probably push it to the next level though, by the sounds of things at training camp he already has!!

Bucs are going to have an awesome year.

RCS says:

jlist – I get what your saying, but who is Johnson to call out Vjax? he was an ok player, but he was never even close to the player that VJax is. If this was a all time great calling Vjax out then I’m fine with it. But someone like Johnson just needs to do his job and interview players and not call them out…

jlist says:

Slow down bucs fans! I’m not particularly fond of keyshawn and VJ is a beast but…… what I think he was trying to say is right now he’s good. Ultimately if he takes that last step he becomes that elite, “you can’t stop me and you know I’m getting the ball,” future hof receiver. He is great but Bucs fans, he is “that guy,” and you ain’t seen nothin’ yet Keyshawn! CANNONS WILL FIRE!

l ewis darden says:

Yeah vince is a beast top 5 reciever in the nfl

Buc4life says:

Keyshawn just stfu! VJ is a monster! miles upon miles better than you were!

Did you not watch that Carolina game with 15 sec left he caught the ball between 2 guys, and then the 2 point conversion…

The man had a killer year, and he is gonna ball hard again this year… Chump

Greg285 says:

Key needs to stop hating! V Jax was worth every dime last season and will be this season as well! He can only make plays of Freeman gets him the ball like he did against Carolina last season! But I guess Key didn’t see that game?