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Tag:Tanard Jackson
Posted on: November 2, 2011 12:59 pm
Edited on: November 4, 2011 9:35 am
 

Film Room: Saints vs. Buccaneers preview

Posted by Eye on Football Analyst Andy Benoit



Back in Week 6, the Bucs beat the Saints 26-20 to move into first place in the NFC South. They enter the Week 9 rematch coming off a bye and once again playing New Orleans for the division lead. The Saints are coming off a surprising loss at St. Louis in which they didn’t fail to show up, but rather, simply got outplayed.

An analyst loves nothing more than to break down a matchup involving two teams that recently played each other. The previous film notes are fresh and applicable. Let’s look forward by glimpsing back.


1. Blitzing Freeman
Gregg Williams is the most aggressive blitzing coordinator in the league. It’s not just that he blitzes frequently, it’s that he blitzes with six pass-rushers (as opposed to five). And they’re fast defenders. The Saints’ nickel defense offers a lot of speed. Strong safety Roman Harper essentially serves as a swift linebacker.

Actual linebacker Jonathan Casillas is a lightning bolt when going downhill. He wouldn’t thrive as a traditional read-and-react run-defending linebacker, but as a read-and-attack blitzer, he’s fervid. Something that stood out in the Week 6 game was that when free safety Malcolm Jenkins dropped into the box, he almost always blitzed. He too does so with speed.

The Bucs offensive line did a phenomenal job at picking up New Orleans’ blitzes in the last meeting. However, the nature of those plays left Josh Freeman with minimal room to step into throws. This revealed that a lot of Freeman’s throwing power comes from his lower body (this could be why he’s a more dynamic passer outside the pocket on the run). Big as Freeman is, his ball floats a bit when he has to rely solely on his arm.

2. Saints coverages
Knowing what they know about Freeman’s arm, it will be interesting to see what coverages the Saints design to allow their corners to jump routes behind the blitzes. A floating ball is an interception opportunity. Tracy Porter is particularly good at route-jumping from his off-coverage techniques in the slot.

The Saints should feel confident in Jabari Greer’s and Patrick Robinson’s abilities to stay with Mike Williams and Arrelious Benn in man coverage outside (neither wideout is particularly quick or fast). If the outside is handled with no help coverage, Porter will have more freedom to take chances from the inside.

Of course, if WE know this, then so do the Bucs. Look for them to design a few routes that could take advantage of Porter’s aggression. The fourth-year corner has been somewhat vulnerable against downfield patterns this season.

3. Running Backs
Earnest Graham started for the injured LeGarrette Blount in Week 6 and wound up rushing for 109 yards on 17 carries. It was plain to see that Graham, with his decent quickness and tempo-changing ability, gave the Bucs’ rushing attack more dimension than it has with the lumbering, bulldozing Blount. And because Graham was a good pass-blocker and receiver, the Bucs could camouflage their run/pass play-calls with him on the field. With Blount, it’s a safe bet that the play is either a between-the-tackles handoff or a basic three/five-step pass.

Blount is healthy now. It would have been interesting to see if some of his spotlight shifted over to Graham this week. We’ll never know; Graham tore his Achilles in London two weeks ago. Tampa’s No. 2 running back is now Kregg Lumpkin. And Tampa’s running game is now one dimensional.

The Saints are also dinged up at running back. Rookie Mark Ingram missed last week’s contest with a bruised heel. Veteran replacement Pierre Thomas played in his stead. Thomas’ screen pass receiving prowess gave the offense a little more dimension, but his lack of phone booth power became a problem when the Rams swarming front seven congested the lanes against New Orleans’ pull blocks.

Style-wise, the Bucs’ front seven is similar to St. Louis’ and, while not great against the run, it’s capable of invoking similar disruption.



4. Facing the Saints offense
Any team that plays the Saints this season should closely study what the Rams did last week. It was simple, really. The Rams started the game with high blitz frequency but backed off after it quickly became apparent that New Orleans’ offensive tackles could not block the defensive ends.

With pressure coming out of a four-man rush, Rams corners played tight press coverage against the Saints receivers, which took away the quick routes that Drew Brees and this offense love. On the inside, the linebackers defended the underneath lanes and the safeties jumped lanes from over the top (that’s traditional two-deep coverage). This mix of man and zone principles requires physical strength at cornerback and speed at linebacker and safety.

The Bucs have the personnel to mimic this gameplan. Rookie defensive end Adrian Clayborn, who has a terrific combination of speed and power for trench play, destroyed left tackle Jermon Bushrod in Week 6. To be blunt, Bushrod gets destroyed often. He’s probably the worst pass-blocking left tackle in the league.

Right tackle Charles Brown had been equally as shaky. He improved his mechanics over the past few weeks but still got abused by a surprisingly explosive and always-fundamentally sound Chris Long last week. It’s a moot point now as he just landed on injured reserve (hip). The unspectacular but experienced Zach Strief is back from injury and once again starting. He’ll be facing Bucs end Michael Bennett, who is not beast but is having a career-year. It’s a matchup that favors the Bucs.

As far as the coverage goes, Tampa has drifted from its Cover 2 tradition and gone to more of a man-based scheme. Their corners are hit-or-miss jammers at the line of scrimmage but all better athletes than those the Rams put on the field. The Bucs linebackers have enough speed to perform in underneath coverage, but the same is not true of the safeties.

A lot of people think Tanard Jackson is an “oh wow!” success story because he picked off a pass in each of his first two games back from suspension. But those picks came off fortuitously tipped balls. On a down-to-down basis, Jackson has shown limited range in coverage.

5. Defending Jimmy Graham
This is always the $64,000 question for defensive coordinators. In their last meeting, the Bucs treated Graham as a wide receiver and defended him with Ronde Barber. This posed a major size differential that the Saints took advantage of (Graham finished with seven catches for 124 yards).

But don’t be surprised if Tampa uses the same tactic again. It fits well into the rest of their defensive scheme. And you can play nickel against the Saints’ base personnel because the Saints don’t have a dominant ground game right now. Tampa’s nickelback, Barber, is an excellent run-defender anyway. Besides, the more overall speed the Bucs have on the field, the better.

After all, they also have to deal with Darren Sproles.

So who will win? Check our NFL expert picks for all Week 9 games

Follow @Andy_Benoit on Twitter or contact him at Andy.Benoit-at-NFLTouchdown.com.
Posted on: October 27, 2011 3:15 pm
Edited on: October 27, 2011 3:34 pm
 

Bucs give Tanard Jackson contract extension

                                                                                                                                                                                        (US PRESSWIRE)
Posted by Ryan Wilson

After being out of football for 13 months, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell reinstated Buccaneers safety Tanard Jackson two weeks ago. Jackson started a few days later, and in the two games since, he's recorded two interceptions, two passes defended and six tackles. He's also upgraded Tampa's secondary after Cody Grimm (who, incidentally, replaced Jackson last season) was placed on injured reserve last month.

Just how important is Jackson to the Bucs? The team signed him to a contract extension Thursday, after he missed the first five games of 2011 as part of his suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

Details via Stephen Holder of the St. Petersburg Times:
The Bucs saw fit to make sure they kept Jackson around longer, approaching him with the contract extension last week. The new deal calls for Jackson to make a base salaries of $1.454 million this season and $2 million in 2012, according to figures from the NFL Players Association. Before now, Jackson's contract was scheduled to expire at the end of this season and he previously was on the books for $600,000 in base salary for 2011.
"The Bucs have been tremendously supportive of him all along," agent Peter Schaffer said, via Holder. "Tampa Bay believes he's made a positive change in his life and that he's taken every possible step to go in a positive direction. No one's ever out of the woods, but they really believe in him and I believe in him."

A 2007 fourth-round pick out of Syracuse, Jackson was suspended for four games in 2009 for the same issues that got him the year-long suspension last year. He has 48 career starts, all with the Bucs, and the only games he missed were due to the aforementioned suspensions.

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Posted on: October 14, 2011 2:40 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2011 2:43 pm
 

Tanard Jackson will play Sunday

JacksonPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Buccaneers safety Tanard Jackson hasn’t played a game since Week 2 of last season after he was suspended indefinitely for violating the league’s substance abuse policy for the third time.

But on Tuesday, after he worked out with his teammates during the lockout, the league reinstated him.

And since he was in such good shape and because the coaches were impressed with him, the Buccaneers, according to Rapid Reporter Scott Purks, have signed him to the active roster and will play him Sunday.

As the Tampa Tribune points out, another reason for his quick activation is that Tampa Bay really needs him after losing safeties Cody Grimm and Devin Holland to season-ending injuries.

In order to make room for him on the roster, the Buccaneers released rookie running back Allen Bradford on Thursday, meaning they have only two healthy running backs (Earnest Graham and Kregg Lumpkin).

But to Tampa Bay, that’s a risk worth taking to have Jackson on the field.

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Posted on: October 11, 2011 3:52 pm
Edited on: October 11, 2011 3:53 pm
 

Report: NFL reinstates Bucs S Tanard Jackson

Jackson should help the Bucs secondary. (US PRESSWIRE)
Posted by Ryan Wilson

Thirteen months ago, the NFL suspended Buccaneers safety Tanard Jackson indefinitely for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.

At the time, Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik said “Tanard is a talented young man whom we hope is able to use this year to put his troubles behind him and ultimately return a stronger man and player. It's up to Tanard whether the team and our fans eventually realize his considerable promise.”

Tuesday, Jackson, who worked out with teammates during the lockout, was reinstated, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.

Jackson, a 2007 fourth-round pick out of Syracuse, was suspended for four games in 2009 for the same issues that got him the year-long suspension last year. Jackson has started 46 career games, all with the Bucs, and the only games he missed were due to the aforementioned suspensions.

Tampa Bay's defense could use Jackson, too. Cody Grimm, who replaced Jackson last season, was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury last month. And Sunday in San Francisco, the Bucs suffered a 48-3 throttling at the hands of the resurgent 49ers.

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Posted on: March 31, 2011 1:48 pm
Edited on: March 31, 2011 6:55 pm
 

Offseason checkup: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Posted by Will Brinson

J. Freeman is the face of the Tampa Bay franchise (Getty).  

Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups. Also, check out our team-by-team podcast:





If you know anyone predicted that the Buccaneers would challenge for a divisional title and/or the playoffs, you should stop reading this immediately, buy that person a plane ticket to Las Vegas and go get your Biff Tannen on.

And even though Raheem Morris' Tampa Bay squad shocked the world, people still aren't ready to believe. That's okay, and probably a little fair until the success becomes consistent, and perhaps more, um, explicable. But sometimes wins aren't borne out by stats and Josh Freeman, an absolute star of a quarterback in the making, is a good sample of that. Freeman led the Bucs on several incredibly impressive fourth-quarter comebacks in 2010, and there's little question that he's the face of the franchise going forward.

All optimism aside, though, there's still plenty the Bucs need to address before going head-to-head against the Falcons and Saints seems like a fair fight.



Defensive line, secondary

Tampa Bay burned its first two 2010 picks on defensive tackles -- Gerald McCoy and Brian Price -- and it wouldn't be all that surprising to see the Bucs use some early selections on the defensive line again this year. Defensive end is a big need, and there's plenty of depth at the position heading into April's draft.

The secondary could be an issue for the Bucs, but it's really up in the air at the moment. That's because would-be-star cornerback Aqib Talib is dealing with "violence issues" that have manifested in the form of a "felony arrest warrant," and Tanard Jackson, suspended for substance abuse issues in 2010, is a total wild card. Ronde Barber's fine when it comes to behavior, but there's little chance he'll play after 2011.



1. Defensive end
After spending two early picks on the interior defensive line in 2010, it actually makes a ton of sense to also address the ends in 2011. And this is the perfect draft to do so with a pile of DE talent that should fall to the back end of the first round. Perhaps guys like Purdue's Ryan Kerrigan and Iowa's Adrian Clayborn would entice the Bucs.

2. Cornerback
It wouldn't seem all that prudent to suggest that the Bucs look for a "problem child" type of corner to beef up their secondary, but if someone like Jimmy Smith falls to them, they'd have to at least consider the move. (And, really, it's not fair to make any comparison with Smith's reported attitude problems and the legal issues for the current Bucs' secondary.) Alternately, don't be shocked to see them beef up the position's depth via later rounds.

3. Running Back

LeGarrette Blount had an absolutely fantastic season for Tampa (and he's blatantly going to be the guy who gets drafted too early in 2011 fantasy drafts) but there are still questions as to whether it was Tampa's scheme or Blount's skills that propelled his year. Even if it was the latter, the Bucs should look to build backfield depth in a year that's prime for doing so in the draft.



Its relatively easy to be bullish on the Bucs heading into 2011, but it's also important to remember that there is room for improvement and growth in Tampa, and with such room can come some growing pains. Of course, it's not terrible news that the draft sets up nicely in terms of depth versus need for this roster.

A repeat of 10 wins in 2011 might be a bit of a stretch, especially if Atlanta and New Orleans improve in the offseason. But discounting Morris' ability to motivate this team would be a foolish move, and there's good reason to expect continued improvement.

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Posted on: February 8, 2011 10:13 pm
 

Tanard Jackson's unique situation

Posted by Andy BenoitT. Jackson

Because he got suspended for all but two games last season, Bucs safety Tanard Jackson will not be a free agent as scheduled. This according to Pat Yasinkas of ESPN.com.

Instead, under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, his contract rolls over into 2011. This, of course, could change, depending on what happens at the negotiating tables. And before all else, Jackson, who was suspended a year for repeated violations of the league’s substance abuse policy, must get reinstated.

Also worth considering is whether the Bucs will want him back. He’s a rangy young playmaker (or at least he was before his suspension), and the Bucs are deathly thin at the safety position. But there are major maturity questions surrounding the former fourth-round pick.
Jackson is presumably in the dark on his Tampa future right now, as the Bucs are not allowed to have contact with him during the suspension.

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Posted on: September 29, 2010 12:35 pm
 

Tanard Jackson to enter rehab

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

According to a report on NFL.com, Buccaneers S Tanard Jackson, who was suspended indefinitely (but, at the very least, for a year) after violating the league’s substance abuse policy and program for the third time, will check into a rehab center in the near future. 

Steve Wyche writes Tampa Bay will keep Jackson, even though his suspension hurt the Buccaneers last Sunday. In his place, they had to start rookie seventh-round pick Cody Grimm, and he didn’t play very well, allowing Pittsburgh’s Mike Wallace to catch a 46-yard TD pass from Charlie Batch.

Andy suggested last week that Tampa Bay GM Mark Dominik might want to place a call to Ken Hamlin, but Hamlin re-signed with Baltimore today, so that option is out the window.

Coach Raheem Morris has said, though, the Bucs will continue to look for free agents who can help minimize Jackson's absence.

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Posted on: September 22, 2010 4:54 pm
Edited on: September 22, 2010 5:33 pm
 

Bucs S Tanard Jackson suspended at least 1 year

Posted by Andy Benoit

The Buccaneers have announced that free safety Tanard Jackson has been suspended by the NFL indefinitely. Jackson violated the NFL’s substance abuse policy and program. The suspension takes effect immediately, and the fourth-year pro is not eligible for reinstatement until September 22, 2011. T. Jackson (US Presswire)

Bucs general manager Mark Dominik released this statement:

“Tanard is a talented young man whom we hope is able to use this year to put his troubles behind him and ultimately return a stronger man and player. It's up to Tanard whether the team and our fans eventually realize his considerable promise.”

Dominik isn’t exaggerating when he refers to Jackson’s “considerable promise”. The former fourth-round pick showed a true knack for playmaking when he first entered the league. He has struggled at times in recent years, namely in reads and decision-making (which, in hindsight, may or may not be tied to his substance abuse), but when he’s right, he’s an ideal centerfielder in a Cover 2 scheme.

Jackson’s absence puts the Bucs in a considerable bind. The second-string free safety is Cody Grimm, who was drafted in the seventh round this past April. Former Bengal Corey Lynch offers more experience, but he’s a limited athlete. And besides, it might be too painful for Bucs fans to see a safety named Lynch take the field without any genuine talent -- especially given that this Lynch even physically looks like Sir John Lynch.

Sabby Piscitelli might seem like an option, but he couldn’t even cover average tight ends effectively last season. The only way he gets back on the field is if coaches decide they’re willing to move starting strong safety Sean Jones into centerfield.

Dominik may want to place a call to Ken Hamlin, who was released by the Ravens on Wednesday.
 

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com