|Jackson's speed doing Patriots no good on bench|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 02 August 2008 14:30|
``It's definitely frustrating when the team is having such a good season and you're not really part of it,'' Jackson said Saturday after the Patriots returned to practice after taking Friday off.
The third-year receiver from Florida showed flashes in his rookie season, catching 13 passes for 152 yards and three touchdowns while appearing in 12 games. But 2007 was a lesson in frustration for the 36th overall pick. Injuries limited him to only two regular-season games and he didn't catch a pass.
This year, Jackson impressed the coaches and earned praise for his efforts with the first team after Wes Welker missed some time at the beginning of training camp. Welker and cornerback Ellis Hobbs III returned from the physically unable to perform list Saturday and practiced.
``It's a little tougher since Wes came back but I think I've competed pretty well,'' said Jackson.
But praise from coaches will take you only so far when you're competing against All-Pros such as Randy Moss and Welker and seasoned veterans such as Jabar Gaffney and Kelley Washington, also an ace special-teams player.
``Welker and Moss are two different kinds of players with Randy outside and Wes in the slot, but they both run great routes and you can learn a lot watching them,'' said Jackson.
Jackson has also been working with the Patriots' punt and kickoff return teams, where his blazing speed makes him a constant threat. He returned three punts his rookie season for 76 yards, including a 39-yarder, and last year averaged 17 yards in five kickoff returns.
Jackson said he isn't sure what his role will be when the Patriots take on the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium on Thursday in their first preseason game.
``The coaches haven't told me anything but I am listed on the depth chart for both punts and kickoffs,'' he said.
Jackson said he is just looking forward to playing a game again since sitting out virtually all of last season and playing sparingly in his rookie season.
``I want to get out there, catch a ball and run with it,'' he said. ``Sometimes it feels like I haven't done that since college.''
Starting tackle Nick Kaczur spoke to the media for the first time Saturday, expressing thanks to the Patriots organization for supporting him during his recent legal troubles involving speeding and possession of oxycodone pills.
Kaczur recently paid a fine of $355 in upstate New York for speeding and had a misdemeanor drug possession charge continued for six months, to be dismissed if he stays out of trouble.
In another roster move, the Patriots placed veteran tackle Anthony Clement on injured reserve.