Here are some thoughts on the Bucs’ preseason opener against the Dolphins. Tampa Bay won, 26-24. But the final score isn’t that important in games like this.
*Ryan Fitzpatrick looked sharp. Considering he’s going to be starting quarterback to start the season, this is a good thing.
*Jameis Winston took over for Fitz. Winston was also solid, that is, until the starting offensive line came out and nearly got his head taken off. He’s suspended for the first three games of the season, but can play in the preseason. Ryan Griffin also played very, very well. It was a good night for all of the quarterbacks.
*It looks like Peyton Barber may have the inside track to be the starting running back. He scored Tampa Bay’s first touchdown, and looked impressive in limited action. Ronald Jones – a.k.a. “RoJo” – also ran one into the end zone. But, he also dropped a pass that was right in his hands. From what I’ve read on social media, this has been a problem in training camp.
Speaking of problems, we STILL can’t get a reliable placekicker. Chandler Catanzaro made two field goals, including the game-winner in the final minute, but he missed another FG, and an extra point. He needs to be more consistent than that. My goodness.
As for the first-team defense, it’s hard to tell. The first-teamers did not allow a touchdown. It was a rough performance for Ryan Smith, though.
All in all, there was more good than bad. We like that around here.
Training camp for the Buccaneers is underway. And so is Buccaneer Bri’s sixth year of writing this little blog about the team.
What should we be looking for as workouts begin? Well, Ryan Fitzpatrick is our starting quarterback for the first three games because Jameis Winston is suspended. The offensive and defensive lines have both been overhauled. Dirk Koetter is starting the year on the hot seat (and in my opinion, so should defensive coordinator Mike Smith.) And the team’s apparent new slogan is “wreak havoc.”
Expectations appear to be low. That makes sense, since Tampa Bay went 5-11 last year and the other three teams in the NFC South all made the playoffs.
One thing will not change: my passion for this team. Diehards stick with their team through good and bad. So will I. And I hope you will tag along for the ride that officially resumes September 9 in New Orleans.
Let’s prove the pundits wrong and shock the world.
If you believe the team’s apparent new slogan, then yes.
The Buccaneers just released a new set of promo videos – one of which features Gerald McCoy – and it looks like “wreak havoc” is what we need to get used to this season. No more “Siege the Day.” No more “It’s a Bucs Life.” Apparently, the banners outside Ray-Jay have all been changed to reflect as well.
I like the change. On social media, the post is accompanied by the words, “keep doubting us.” That’s a reference to the fact that no one expects the Bucs to do much in 2018.
Oh, how I wish the Pewter Pirates prove the “pundits” wrong…
What had been rumored for about a week became official Thursday afternoon: he’s been suspended for the first three games of the season for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. For those who don’t know, this all stems from the alleged groping of an Uber driver two years ago.
I read Winston’s statement. He apologizes to the driver of that Uber. One thing he doesn’t say, is that he’s going to appeal, at least at the time of this writing. And a statement released by the team a short time later also makes no mention of an appeal. I think that’s telling. So, Ryan Fitzpatrick will likely be the starter to open the season against three playoff teams from a year ago, including the Super Bowl champion Eagles.
When the Bucs drafted Winston, the one thing I kept telling myself was: he has to stay out of trouble off the field. Clearly, he did not. And now, his reputation is marred even more so than the issues he had at Florida State. What does his future hold in Tampa? I think he’s okay, for now. But what if the Buccaneers surprise everyone and get off to a hot start? What if when Winston returns to action, he still doesn’t perform like a #1 overall pick should on the field? Those are questions that will be answered down the road.
Admittedly, I don’t do much with the NFL Draft when it happens, mostly because I don’t follow much college football on the national level. So, when the Buccaneers draft someone, more often than not I say, “who?”
That said, as I look over who Tampa Bay picked over the last few days, it looks like they’ve done a decent job addressing their most pressing needs. First-round pick Vita Vea provides much-needed help up front. When I wrote about his selection the other night, I said I hoped the Bucs would address their awful secondary with the remaining picks. Well, three of their next four picks are either cornerbacks or safeties. And RB Ronald Jones could…. could be the heir apparent to Doug Martin.
We’ll see how it all plays out. But it looks like Jason Licht did pretty well, at least on paper.
After a disappointing 5-11 season, the Buccaneers need help in a lot of areas. Among the biggest needs – the defensive line and the secondary. With their first pick in this year’s draft, they addressed the former in a big way.
The key word here is…. big.
Vita Vea is a 347-pound defensive lineman from Washington. 347 pounds! The Bucs traded down from #7 to #12 (via Buffalo) to get him. Put him in the mix with Gerald McCoy and free agent pickup Beau Allen, and the recipe is there for a unit that may actually lay a finger on the quarterback. Tampa Bay was dead last in sacks last year.
So, what about the early reaction on social media? Well, it’s mixed. It seems a lot of fans were hoping the Bucs would get a stud to help in the secondary. Me? I’m okay with the pick, as long as the use their three picks in the second round to do something about the worst pass defense in the NFL. If they don’t…. well, you don’t want to know how I’ll feel.
The Buccaneers’ 2018 schedule is now out. Now it’s time to dissect it, decide which games are most winnable, and for out-of-town fans like me, think about which game to head south to see.
My first thought after taking a look at this: ouch! What a tough five-game stretch to open with. The Bucs face four playoff teams, starting with the division champion Saints in the Superdome, followed by the Super Bowl champion Eagles in the home opener. Then, they get the Steelers on a Monday night. How does a Bucs’ team that went 5-11 last season end up on MNF? Oh, that’s right, they’re playing the Steelers, which will give the idiots at BSPN something to crow about while at the same time dissing Jameis Winston, even if Winston gets off to a good start.
Tampa Bay goes to Chicago in September. It sure beats December. But Baltimore in mid-December could be interesting to say the least.
There is a stretch of three straight home games in late November/early December. And wouldn’t it be interesting if the finale against the dirty birds from Atlanta is meaningful? One can dream, anyway.