Dexter Jackson was the safety who intercepted two passes in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Super Bowl XXXVII victory over the Oakland Raiders. You know, when the team was good.
Now things have turned sour.
Jackson told 98.7 The Fan, via CBS Local, that embattled head coach Greg Schiano, whose Bucs are 0-6 this season, tried to run him off while Jackson was watching practice one day.
“Schiano sent his guy over to run me out of practice one day,” Jackson said. “This guy said, ‘Who are you? What are you doing here? You can’t be here.’ I said, ‘go get the Glazers if you want me to leave.’ He (Schiano) tried to run me out.”
Jackson has tried to stay close to the franchise in recent years but says he was warned by friends of his in the organization about the way thing are now inside the walls.
"I even tried to get a job there," Jackson said. “Some people said, ‘Be careful, man, you don’t want to work here,’ and I was like, ‘Wow, I’m a Buccaneer,’ and people have been telling me to be careful.”
The Buccaneers told Pro Football Talk that the incident happened in 2012, not this season, and that it wasn't quite as bad as Jackson is claiming.
“Dexter showed up unannounced at the facility during a Saturday walk thru before our game against the Philadelphia Eagles last season,” Bucs cirector of communications Nelson Luis told PFT via email. “Because he wasn’t expected, one of the football staffers, who had never met Dexter, approached him and asked if he could help him. Dexter said that he was a former player and that he had been told he could come out whenever he wanted. The staffer explained that we would be happy to have him out at the facility but that the usual protocol with former players is to tell us they are coming.
"Dexter was allowed to stay for the remainder of practice and actually spent a few minutes after practice on the field with a couple of the players and was formally introduced to Coach Schiano.”
Jackson works with area kids but says he was asked to stop bringing them to Friday practices, even though he had done so under previous Bucs head coaches. The reason? They were a distraction, Jackson was told.
“I usually bring kids to One Buc Place, 4th and 5th graders in Hillsborough County and Pinellas County doing my case management work with a lot of youth in this area,” Jackson said. “They told me to stop bringing kids on Friday because I’m distracting professional players.”
Again, the Bucs countered with a reasonable explanation for what Jackson is claiming.
“We have an established community program that allows select groups of elementary school students to take tours of One Buccaneer Place as an incentive program,” Luis told PFT. “The tours are conducted on Tuesdays because that is the players' day off and allows access to many of the most compelling areas of the facility such as the locker room, training room, weight room, etc. The Buccaneer organization is deeply committed to children and education as the core of our community relations platforms and coach Schiano has been supportive of our efforts in those areas. ...
“We would have been happy to work with Dexter to find an appropriate day and time to assist him with the commendable work he is doing with his children in the community. However, Fridays during the NFL season are an important day of final preparations for the upcoming game and would not be the ideal day to host a group of children.”
Is Schiano to blame? Is Jackson making too much of this? It's difficult to decipher, but these types of stories only seem to come out when a team is flagging badly.
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