Okay – we have this whole numbers game figured out without any drama.
Tom Brady will still wear No. 12. And Chris Godwin, who used to wear that number, will now switch to No. 14. Godwin offered Brady his longtime number, and it goes without saying that TB12 accepted.
I’ve liked Godwin from the beginning, and this classy move makes me like him even more. When you talk about the Bucs’ receivers, it used to be, “Mike Evans is a stud.” Now, it’s “What a two-headed monster they have.”
By the way – the Buccaneers teased today that the new uniforms are coming out one week from today – April 7. The anticipation is building.
Everybody stay safe out there during these challenging times. It’s rough on all of us, but we will come out of this stronger than ever. And God bless everyone on the front lines of this pandemic.
With all the hoopla surrounding the Tom Brady signing, the Buccaneers have quietly secured most of their stout defensive line from last year.
On Thursday, Ndamukong Suh signed a one-year deal. So, he, Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul will all be back next year. The only linemen who won’t return are Carl Nassib (Oakland) and Beau Allen (New England.)
One of the lasting images I have of Suh from last year is his fumble return for a touchdown to seal the upset victory over the Rams in L.A.
The Bucs were the #1 defense against the run last year. There’s no reason to believe they won’t be near the top next year.
What a month it’s been for the Bucs. If you’re not excited by now, I don’t know what to tell you.
Photo Courtesy: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Now that Tom Brady is officially the new starting quarterback of the Buccaneers, it’s time to say a few words about the man he’s replacing, Jameis Winston.
Winston won’t be back. He already posted on social media that he’s moving on, saying he loves Tampa and “I look forward to seeing y’all again in February.” Interpret that how you may. As of this writing, another team has not picked him up.
Do I feel bad for him? Sure, I do. He had five years here as the starting quarterback, and didn’t always have the strongest supporting cast, especially in pass protection and pass defense. He threw for almost 20,000 yards while he was in Tampa, including over 5,000 last year. He threw 121 touchdowns in five years.
But he’s gone because of the mistakes. The 30 interceptions did him in. He threw 88 picks in five seasons. He also lost 23 fumbles, and while you can argue that some of those were the result of poor offensive line play, the numbers speak volumes. He cost his team a lot of wins, though he certainly isn’t the only Buccaneer I can say that about.
Some team will pick him up eventually. He may have to compete for a starting job, or maybe not. But I wish him well. He’s got plenty of talent. If there’s a team out there that can get him to make better decisions, then he definitely has a future in this league.
It’s official. It’s really happening. Sure – I’ve been hearing about this news since Tuesday night, but being a diehard fan, I wanted to hear the official announcement. And on Friday morning, I did.
Tom Brady – the greatest of all time – is now the Buccaneers’ new starting quarterback.
A month ago, there’s no way I could’ve pictured this happening. Even when Tampa Bay was mentioned as one of the teams in the running for Brady, I considered it a longshot. Well, people who know me know that I’m usually wrong more than I’m right. I did it again on this one.
There’s no need for me to mention all of Brady’s accomplishments. You know them all – highlighted by the six Super Bowl wins.
Can a 42-year old quarterback really bring a championship to a team that hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2007? We’ll see. The offensive line needs more. The Bucs don’t have much of a running game. And the pass coverage, while showing improvement late in 2019, still needs some help. And it wouldn’t hurt to draft a quarterback in next month’s draft, since Brady isn’t going to be in Tampa for very long.
But man, this is exciting with a capital E. The Bucs have struggled mightily to fill up Ray-Jay, and when they do, it’s usually because of thousands of visiting team’s fans. I have a feeling we’re going to see some sellouts in 2020. Those visiting team fans will still be there, but Bucs fans will occupy the rest, and drown them out.
Photo courtesy: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Two big pieces of the Buccaneers’ star-studded defensive line are coming back.
First, the Bucs signed Jason Pierre-Paul to a two-year contract. J.P.P. had 8.5 sacks in just 10 games last season.
Also, Tampa Bay placed the franchise tag on reigning sack leader Shaq Barrett. He was set to become an unrestricted free agent on Wednesday. Shaq had 19.5 sacks in his first season with the Bucs.
It remains to be seen what happens to the other members of the front four: Ndamukong Suh and Carl Nassib. Bruce Arians made it clear after the season ended that keeping the nucleus of this defense together was a priority.
Oh, and what about Jameis Winston? He should know his fate by the end of the week, perhaps as early as Wednesday. I don’t know how that it going to play out, but that will likely be the next big development in what’s already been a busy week.
Photo courtesy: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Well, so much for the chance at finishing the season at .500.
The Bucs lost their 2019 finale in overtime to the Falcons, 28-22, in overtime. The game ended with Jameis Winston throwing a pick-six on the first play of OT. His first pass in a Tampa Bay uniform was an interception returned for a touchdown. His career in Tampa may have ended the same way.
No, this wasn’t all on Jameis. Matt Gay missed three field goals, bringing back memory of the Giants meltdown earlier in the year. His performance Sunday should not be ignored whatsoever.
But let’s get back to Winston. By now, you’ve probably read all the stats: he threw for over 5,000 yards. He’s the first player to throw 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in a season. Seven of those INT’s were returned for touchdowns. And now, Tampa Bay has to decide what to do with him.
I’ve waited until the end of the year to make my personal decision. I’ve seen enough. Winston has cost this team too many games by himself. And while he is not responsible for every defeat over the last five years, he deserves a lot of the blame. There is no justification for throwing 30 interceptions (and losing five fumbles) in your fifth season in the NFL. This was, by far, the most picks he’s thrown in a season (the next highest total is 18 in 2016.) If he did that in his rookie year, I’d cut him some more slack. But he’s had five years to figure this out, and he hasn’t done it.
Winston’s critics will point to the still leaky defense, the aforementioned missed kicks, the record passing numbers he put up, the worry about starting from scratch with a new QB, etc. But for me, all of those mistakes, and the inability to play consistently well, is too much for me to stomach anymore. It’s time for Jameis to go.
Photo courtesy: USA Today
After a four-game winning streak, we’re back to talking about Bad Jameis. You know, the one who makes all those mistakes and costs his team the game. To be honest, he never really disappeared; there was just enough Good Jameis to offset Bad Jameis.
Against the Texans on Saturday, Winston threw interceptions on the first two possessions. The first turned into a pick-six. The second one would’ve netted the same result if not for a penalty against Houston on the return. He would throw two more picks in the game, and Peyton Barber contributed the fifth Tampa Bay turnover with a fumble that led to a Texans’ touchdown. Winston also missed a couple of open receivers in the end zone on deep balls.
When you turn it over five times, you’re not going to win. I’m still amazed when I saw them commit four turnovers against the Colts, yet still got the victory.
Don’t blame the defense for this one. This unit played pretty darn well. The offense – and special teams (Matt Gay had a field goal blocked) – handed the game to the Texans. It was Bucs beating Bucs, again.
After the Bucs rattled off four wins in a row, I figured Jameis was sure to come back next season. But then you see him have a game like this. If you’re keeping track, he’s now up to 28 interceptions. That is insane. Even with one game remaining, I still don’t know for sure what the future holds for him in Tampa.
One more to go against Atlanta.
Photo courtesy: Tampa Bay Buccaneers