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Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Vincent Jackson will stretch field for Bucs

By Pat Yasinskas

It’s pretty obvious one of the reasons the Buccaneers signed Vincent Jackson was to improve their deep passing game.

The numbers say Jackson should provide an instant upgrade. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Jackson, alone, almost was more productive in the downfield game than the entire Tampa Bay receiving corps last season.

On throws of 21 or more yards last season, Jackson had 12 catches for 451 yards, and his five touchdowns tied for third in the NFL in that category.

Tampa Bay’s entire receiving corps combined for 14 catches for 459 yards and four touchdowns on throws of 21 or more yards last season.

Over the past four years, including the 2010 season in which he missed 11 games, Jackson is fourth in the NFL with 37 receptions on throws of 21 or more yards. DeSean Jackson leads with 42. Calvin Johnson is second with 39 and Carolina’s Steve Smith is third with 38.