Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas
Just took a glance at the mailbag for the first time in a couple of days and there was an overriding theme.
I'll let Dave from Los Angeles sum up the thoughts of many Tampa Bay fans and even a couple of people who work inside One Buccaneer Place, who gently broached this topic when I was out there Thursday.
Dave wrote: Pat, I've never written to you before, but after reading your ranking of the top DB's in the south, I had to. Were you just really tired, or possibly drunk? How do you leave off Tanard Jackson? Not only should he be on there, he should be top 5 at worst. Please tell me you were in the middle of a bender when you wrote this.
For those who haven't been following, I've been ranking the NFC South players by position and Dave is specifically referring to Wednesday's item where I ranked the top 10 defensive backs. To answer Dave's question about my state of mind when assembling the list, none of the above. Leaving Tampa Bay's Tanard Jackson off that list was a calculated move.
I had Jackson on the list at one point. But, in the final analysis, I didn't think he belonged and that's why he didn't appear on the list. Yeah, Jackson had a pretty nice rookie year in 2007. But I saw him a lot in 2008 and didn't think he had a very good year -- of course, some of that was because the defense around him was collapsing. If you want to talk stats, Jackson had one interception last year. I'm sure it was a nice interception, although I can't recall it, but it was one interception.
I think Jackson has the skills to bounce back and perhaps even become the best safety in the division. But, right now, he's not.