Jackson, 29, who spent his first seven seasons with the San Diego Chargers before being picked up by the Bucs, compared his current club with his former team on Monday.
“We were a little more flashy as far as the names go [in San Diego], but I think we’re just as talented here all the way across the board,” Jackson said, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times.
Jackson might be right on that front, it’s tough to tell at this point. But the second part of his message makes a mockery of logic and reason, even if it is a noble and admirable thing to do to stand up for teammates.
“We have tight ends, running backs and obviously, Josh Freeman, and he’s a quarterback I think should be mentioned among the top five in the league.”
Wait, what? The top five? Perhaps he was looking to provide a great vote of confidence for Josh Freeman.
But if he’s going to do that, maybe he should say something along the lines of expectations for a breakout season for Freeman, which is entirely plausible, rather than classifying him in the same category as Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning and Aaron Rodgers.
In his first three seasons, the former first-round pick (17th overall in 2009) out of Kansas State has played in 41 games (40 starts) and completed 795 of 1,315 passes (60.5 completion percentage) for 8,898 yards with 51 touchdowns to 46 interceptions. He’s also rushed for 763 yards with four scores on 153 attempts.
The 6-6, 248-pound quarterback comes off a third-year slump, throwing for 3,592 yards and 16 touchdowns to 22 interceptions in 15 games (all starts) and completing 346 of 551 passes (62.8 completion percentage). His second season, however, was stellar. He started in all 16 games, completing 291 of 474 passes (61.4 completion percentage) for 3,451 yards and 25 touchdowns to just six picks.
While Freeman, 24, would assuredly appreciate his teammates having his back, he’s nowhere near the conversation of the Top 5 QBs. It’s safe to say he’s not in the same neighborhood as Jay Cutler, Matthew Stafford, Matt Ryan, Cam Newton, Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco, Tony Romo, Michael Vick, Matt Schaub, or Philip Rivers, either, at least not yet.
“My son, keep your father’s commands, and don’t forget your mother’s teaching. Keep their words in mind forever as though you had them tied around your neck.”—Proverbs 6:20-21
Michael Gartman is a College Football and NFL Senior Writer, the AFC South and NFC West Lead Writer and the Founder, CEO of GridironGrit.com. He also writes for RantPolitical.com, where he reports on topics across all sides of the political spectrum and analyzes important issues in the liberty movement. Follow @_MichaelGartman, @RantPolitical and @GridironGrit on Twitter!