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.”
“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.”