Clearly Jackson is still No.1 but he now has much better backups than he has had the past two seasons. Cadillac started nine games for the Bucs last year, although he gradually lost the No.1 job to LeGarrette Blount. Norwood has value as a third down back, a kick returner, and even as a slot receiver at times.
Jackson states he believes new offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels can help him regain a bigger role in the passing game. Jackson caught 90 balls in his epic 2006 season but hasn’t topped 51 reception since. Jackson has averaged better than 1,300 yards rushing and 48 receptions over the past two seasons.
Since 2001, when McDaniels began his NFL coaching career with New England, his teams have produced 1,000-yard rushers only twice. Corey Dillon (1,635 yards) and Antowain Smith (1,157) both reached that mark with New England. Also during that time, Kevin Faulk owns the highest single-season receptions total for a running back with 58. He had 507 yards rushing that season. Faulk is the only running back with more than 37 receptions in a season for teams featuring McDaniels as a coach.
Of course, McDaniels has never had the luxury of working with a back as good as Jackson.