SAN DIEGO—When last we saw Chargers' receiver Vincent Jackson on the football field, he was drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the 2009 AFC Divisional playoff game against the New York Jets on January 17, 2010.
This on the same day that he caught seven passes for 111 yards. Also on the same day, he was pulled over on the way to the game and cited for driving with a suspended license and expired tags.
Now back at practice with the Chargers, and active for the first time in 2010, I asked Jackson about what he learned since that day.
"I'm just getting ready for the Indianapolis Colts," Jackson said. "I'm excited about this new season. I'm not worried about anything in the past and we're moving forward and excited about the game this week."
Jackson missed the first 10 games of the season over a contract dispute, and the only reason he has returned is to accrue a full season of service time so he can become a free agent.
He declined to explain his rationale.
"That's not what I'm here to talk about.," Jackson said. "I'm talking about the Indianapolis Colts. I'm here, I'm a football player and on this roster and I'm going to go out and give it everything I've got to help this team win."
Jackson says he has not spoken with General Manager AJ Smith about his contract status, nor does he plan to. As for his future with the Chargers beyond this season, he said this: "We'll cross that bridge when we get there. Right now, this season is very exciting for me. I love being here. I've never asked to be anywhere else. This is where I wanted to be. This is home for me since day one and I'm excited to put on that jersey."
Jackson said he had worked out in Arizona since April, so he could perform right away. Head coach Norv Turner also noted that Jackson looked very fresh in practice.
"That's exactly what I plan to bring, a fresh face a new body," Jackson said. "Somebody out there who is hungry, wants to go out there and perform well. These guys are playing well and whether I was here they were going to give it everything they got. But there is a fresh feeling in the air. A new body. I plan to go out and contribute any way I can."
That contribution begins Sunday night when Jackson will start for the Chargers against the Colts.