“As a wide receiver, I’ve got to go run my route, and I have to have an assist from my quarterback in order for me to do well,” Jackson said. “So hopefully that assist will come around, hopefully sooner than later.”
Jackson for the season has 18 catches for 278 yards and a touchdown but in the past two weeks has only four catches for 40 yards. He admitted to having discussed his frustrations with team officials.
“I was talking to [team president] Bruce Allen today, and I was like, ‘I know things aren’t hitting,’ but as a wide receiver, that’s what you want — you want to get the ball,” Jackson said. “You want to score a touchdown. You want to catch long passes. Things of that nature, you want to do. I just want to earn — whatever it is I’m getting paid, I want to earn it. I want to produce for my team.”
Jackson this season counts for $9.25 million against Washington’s salary cap and will become a free agent in the offseason.
But while he mentioned that he needed the “assist” from Kirk Cousins, Jackson did not criticize the quarterback.
Cousins, for his part, said that he can’t force the ball to Jackson and “I just go where my reads take me,” but he acknowledged that he has had some situations in which he’s missed opportunities to complete big throws to Jackson.
The two have connected on only one deep touchdown pass this season, a 44-yarder against New York. Jackson has gotten open multiple times only to have Cousins overthrow him, or to draw pass-interference calls. Against Cleveland, Jackson had just one catch for five yards, but he did cause a pair of pass-interference calls of 50 and 21 yards, respectively.
Jackson knows those penalties help the offense. But he wants to make a greater impact.
Coach Jay Gruden said that Jackson needs to become more of a focal point of the offense.
“We have to try to get our playmakers the ball a little bit more; there’s no question about it,” Gruden said. “But we can’t force the issue either, you know? But when I wake up at 4:30 in the morning, or 4 and he’s standing outside my garage with a baseball bat, I think I better get him the ball, you know?”
The coach laughed at his own joke, then added, “He deserves the ball a little bit more, but I’ll tell you want he does do. He dictates a lot of coverage, which does open it up for other people. … He had a couple opportunities last week against Baltimore. We didn’t hit him, but he’s still a major, major threat out there that doesn’t go unnoticed by the defense. I promise you that.”
Jackson expressed hope that his production will start to increase this week.
“Hopefully it’s not a one-catch or a three-catch game,” he said. “Hopefully I can go off and have 10 catches. We’ll see. Whatever the plan is, as long as we get that win, and beat the Eagles, that’s what matters.”