It'll be another six months before we see how the Buccaneers offense operates with deep threat DeSean Jackson in the fold. Until then, here's a look at some of the most memorable moments of his nine-year career:
Sept. 7, 2008: Rams vs. Eagles
During his first nine seasons as Eagles head coach, Andy Reid never started a rookie receiver in an opener. Jackson not only ended that streak but also made an immediate impact by catching six passes for 106 yards in a 38-3 win. He became the eighth rookie since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 to rack up 100 receiving yards in his team's first game....
You might've heard: DeSean Jackson is fast.
But do you know how fast?
Let's say a brown bear approaches you and Jackson. You're dinner. Jackson? He stands a chance.
The Bucs' preference, of course, is that their new receiver continues to win foot races against beasts that weigh 200 pounds, not 400. That's why they promised this week to pay the free agent at least $20 million over the next two seasons....
Dec. 19, 2010. The Eagles, my hometown team, trailed the Giants 31-10 in the fourth quarter.
And I felt sad. Very, very sad.
I hated everything. The Eagles. The Giants. Football. Even the decorations Fox puts on its score bug during Christmastime. Stupid lights....
The first time Josh Huff fielded a kickoff for the Buccaneers, the ball hit him in the face.
Not exactly what Tampa Bay had in mind when it signed the receiver/returner in November.
Huff went on to average 12 yards on six kick returns, and the team's average fell to an NFL-low 14.6 yards — more than 7 yards below the league mean.
That's not just a single-season low.
That's an ALL-TIME low....
DeSean Jackson. Calais Campbell. Tony Jefferson.
Coming to a stadium near you?
When the free agent frenzy begins next week, the Bucs have the resources to land those big names. They'll be armed with about $70 million in cap space.
Here's the thing, though: They don't have to spend any of it. Not a cent....
Baseball Prospectus: Moving Evan Longoria to first base 'starting to look inevitable' for Tampa Bay Rays02/10/17 The Heater
It's the most wonderful time of the year.
Every February, checking the mailbox becomes fun again.
Most of the time, there's nothing but bills and credit card solicitations. It's like opening a pack of baseball cards and getting Pat Kelly, Jeff Manto and Kurt Manwaring.
Then, finally, the package arrives. I rip open the bubble wrap, and there it is.
The Baseball Prospectus annual. Hundreds and hundreds of sweet, glorious pages of player projections, commentary, TAv, FIP and WARP....
Pro Football Focus has named its top 101 players of the 2016 season, and three Buccaneers made the cut.
Receiver Mike Evans ranks 12th, cornerback Brent Grimes ranks 43rd and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy ranks 73rd.
None of the three was ranked in 2015's list. Doug Martin was the only Bucs player included.
Evans is PFF's best receiver after Julio Jones of the Falcons. Grimes is the site's eighth-ranked cornerback, and McCoy is the 10th-ranked interior defensive lineman....
Down 25 points in Super Bowl LI, the Patriots needed a series of best-case scenarios to climb back into the game. Even after they cut the Falcons' lead to 16, they still needed two touchdowns and two two-point conversions just to tie.
All the while, they had to hold Atlanta scoreless....
Matt Ryan vs. Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback showdown in Super Bowl history. Will it live up to the hype?02/03/17Bucs
You wanted Aaron Rodgers vs. Tom Brady. You didn't get it.
Instead, you got something better: Matt Ryan vs. Tom Brady.
In fact, by one measure, it's the greatest quarterback showdown in Super Bowl history. Yes, even better than Joe Montana vs. Dan Marino.
That measure is a modified version of yards per pass attempt. Adjusted net yards per attempt (ANY/A) is similar to yards per attempt except that it rewards quarterbacks for touchdowns and penalizes them for interceptions and sacks....
Taylor Gabriel raced to the pylon and then angled to the middle of the field. As he crossed the 25, he looked back at Matt Ryan.
The ball was in the air.
Nearing the goal line, Gabriel extended his arms, secured the pass and fell into the end zone like a golf ball into a cup.
Four days later, Gabriel charged toward Bucs cornerback Brent Grimes. Twenty yards into his route, he cut to the sideline. Grimes slipped, allowing Gabriel to separate and make the 26-yard catch. He went on to cap the drive with a 9-yard rushing touchdown off a jet sweep....
Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota are defying history.
Often, for every star quarterback taken atop the draft, there has been a flop. A Bledsoe and a Mirer. A Manning and a Leaf. A McNabb and a Couch. A Luck and a Griffin.
After two seasons, Winston and Mariota are poised to become the franchise quarterbacks the Bucs and Titans hoped they would be. In 2015, they proved that they were, at worst, capable starters that possessed the necessary drive to evolve into long-term fixtures. In 2016, they led their teams from 1-3 starts to the brink of playoff contention. Tampa Bay finished with its first winning season since 2010; Tennessee its first since 2011....
William Gholston's third-down sack of Matt Ryan at the end of the second quarter Thursday presented the Buccaneers an opportunity.
Instead, coach Dirk Koetter, in possession of two timeouts, let 28 seconds roll off the clock and took his team into halftime down 20-14.
In a 43-28 home loss to the Falcons that was much worse than the score indicates, a few seconds might seem irrelevant....
Receiving yards for Julio Jones against Bucs in 10 career games; the most he has against any other opponent is 883 (Panthers).
Yards gained per catch for Jones on Thursday. He caught eight passes for 111 yards and a TD. He came in averaging 20 yards per catch, the most in his career.
Passer rating for Matt Ryan against Bucs on Thursday, his best of the season. A perfect rating is 158.3....
Falcons-Buccaneers Scouting Report, Week 9: Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Atlanta's deep passing attack11/03/16Bucs
Four days ago, Derek Carr picked apart the Buccaneers defense to become the 10th player in NFL history to pass for 500 yards and four touchdowns. Tonight on Thursday Night Football, Tampa Bay will host Matt Ryan, the ninth player to join that club.
When the Buccaneers last played the Falcons on Thursday Night Football, Atlanta scored four touchdowns in the first 16 minutes. By the end of the third quarter, the Falcons tacked on four more scores and led 56-0.