The Massachusetts Pirates professional arena football team in Worcester has signed former New England Patriots offensive lineman Tre’ Jackson. Jackson becomes the first Super Bowl Champion to join the Pirates organization.
Jackson was a fourth round draft pick in 2015 by the Patriots and appeared in 13 games, starting nine while dealing with a knee injury. That injury forced him to miss the entire 2016 season but he did earn a Super Bowl ring as the Patriots defeated Atlanta in overtime 34-28 in Super Bowl LI. In 2017 Jackson was claimed off waivers by the Los Angeles Rams but failed his physical and was released. After a stint in the Alliance of American Football, he wants to bring his skills and leadership to the Pirates.
“That’s the main thing I hope to bring is leadership and as well as the physical side. Being the guy with experience, I know the situation, I know what it takes. I’ve been put in situations before and I just look to keep rolling and playing ball. I’ve been on a few winning teams with a National Championship and a Super Bowl. Experience plays a big part in it. Having a “go to” guy with that experience; I look forward to being that,” Jackson said.
Jackson, a native of Jesup, GA, played his college ball at Florida State where he was a three year starter and won a NCAA National Championship with the Seminoles in 2013 as a junior. That season he started 14 at right guard as FSU went undefeated. The team set school and conference records for total offense with 7,267 yards, 51.6 points per game and 7.67 yards per play. They also set the national record for points with 723. He helped to protect freshman quarterback Jameis Winston who went on to win the Heisman Trophy. That season Jackson was a first-team All-ACC selection. The following season the 6’4” 320 lb. lineman was a unanimous All-American selection in addition to being a first-team All-ACC performer. Now he’s looking for the one on one match ups that come with arena football.
“My main thing, I was raised on not letting the man across from me beat me. Now this is one on one and I don’t have to worry about other things so it’s just me and him and who’s going to win out at the end of the day. I’m looking forward to getting on the field, picking up the game fast and just playing ball. At the end of the day I want people to look at me and be like, “That’s Tre’ Jackson.” When people know your work that’s one thing, but when people know you and your work it’s another thing, so I just want show “that’s offensive lineman Tre’ Jackson,” when somebody sees me,” he said.
It is the second major move the Pirates have made this week as former NFL All-Pro receiver Dexter McCluster joined the team on Monday. Pirates President and General Manager Jawad Yatim hopes Jackson’s success follows him to Worcester.
"We've been looking to improve the offense throughout the bye week as we prepare for New York and I believe we've done that with the additions of Tre' and Dex. We've been struggling to find some consistency along the offensive front and with the addition of Tre', I believe he can solidify those issues for us. Anytime I have a chance to get a player who’s been in that system up 495 in Foxboro, I certainly jump at that. Players who have been a part of that organization truly understand what it means to be a champion at the highest level and we are hoping Tre' can spread some knowledge from his previous experiences and be a leader for us on and off the field. I believe our issues are more mental than physical which makes our rough start even that much more frustrating. We need to have more of a sense of urgency and appreciation in the way we prepare each week and Tre' is a guy that I'm sure understands that. His presence should rub off on the younger guys and assist in establishing a winning culture in our locker room that we've been attempting to find all year. I’m glad to have the big man aboard the Pirate Ship," Yatim said.
Most recently Jackson was with the Orlando Apollos of the Alliance of American Football. He says his past NFL knee injuries are far behind him.
“I’m ready to go like yesterday. I’m looking forward to it. I’m feeling good, no worries with that. I’m just looking forward to getting back on the field. The game is played physically. I’m going to be in your face the whole game; just a head smashing gridiron game,” he said with confidence.
Jackson is well aware of the scrutiny he’ll be under, being a former Super Bowl Champion playing in New England.
“I feel like offensive lineman get the most critiques of any position on the field. If the game is going good is put on the quarterbacks and running backs, but it the game is going bad on the offensive side of the ball it’s automatically put on the offensive line. You have to keep your head up, keep pushing, keep playing and keep managing,” he added.
The Massachusetts Pirates are members of the National Arena League (NAL). The Pirates play all home games at the DCU Center located at 50 Foster St. Worcester, MA. 01608. For more information on the Massachusetts Pirates please call (508) 452-MASS (6277), email email@example.com or visit www.masspiratesfootball.com. Single game tickets are available online at ticketmaster.com or the DCU Center Box Office. For group outings please call 508-452-MASS (6277). Follow the Pirates on Facebook at Facebook.com/MAPirates on Instagram @mass.pirates, as well as Twitter @mass_pirates.