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It’s time for PewterReport.com’s 2-Point Conversion post-game column, which features two statements, two questions and two predictions based on the latest Bucs game. The Bucs had a golden opportunity to score a big upset on the road at Lambeau Field with Jameis Winston’s return to action, but fell to 4-8 on the season after a 26-20 overtime loss to the Packers.

TWO BIG STATEMENTS

STATEMENT 1: Winston Has A Solid Return To Bucs’ Lineup
After a three-game absence due to an injured throwing shoulder, Bucs starting quarterback Jameis Winston returned to the lineup and had a fine day in a 26-20 overtime loss at Green Bay. Armed with a great game plan from head coach Dirk Koetter – perhaps the best of the year – Winston hit several screen passes to Peyton Barber and Charles Sims and hit all four tight ends on the roster with at least one pass, including Cameron Brate, who had two touchdowns on his two receptions, which covered 39 yards. Winston finished the day 21-of-32 for 270 yards and two touchdowns with a 112.8 QB rating.

Winston started the game looking poised, settled and confident while throwing 4-of-5 for 60 yards, including a 28-yard touchdown pass to Brate. Then the Packers brought pressure and that really befuddled Tampa Bay’s maligned offensive line, which was missing starters in center Ali Marpet and right tackle Demar Dotson. After spending the week practicing with Joe Hawley at center, Evan Smith at left guard and left guard Kevin Pamphile at right tackle, Hawley became ill on Saturday and wasn’t able to play. That meant Smith had to go to center, Pamphile back to left guard and second-year player Caleb Benenoch stepped in at right tackle.

Winston was sacked seven times on Sunday and was hit 13 more times.

“I thought Jameis played good, I thought he did a good job except the one play,” Koetter said. “We didn’t protect Jameis nearly as well as we’ve protected this year. That was probably our worst protection game we’ve had all year. Some of that credit to things Green Bay did. And some of them – two that I can remember – we just flat turned guys loose. That’s communication. Jameis was under duress, but he did a great job of competing, as he always does. He did a great job scrambling. He really only had the one negative play.”

Packers DE Dean Lowery – Photo by: Getty Images

Packers DE Dean Lowery – Photo by: Getty Images

Unfortunately, that one negative play led to a Green Bay touchdown in the first half. Pamphile was beaten by defensive tackle Kenny Scott, who sacked Winston. But instead of taking the sack, Winston tried to do too much and throw the ball. As he was being slung to the ground, the ball flew up into the air and into the arms of defensive end Dean Lowry, who raced 62 yards for a touchdown to put the Packers up 17-7.

“I don’t even know how the ball came out,” Winston said. “I think when I ran back he hit a guy’s butt or something. I don’t even know. I know I was going out to the right and I was actually throwing it away.”

Tampa Bay Times Bucs beat writer Rick Stroud tweeted out a true, but damning statistic about Winston: QB Jameis Winston has 39 INTs and 11 lost fumbles in 41 games. That’s 50 turnovers in 41 games.

Winston certainly contributed to the Bucs’ point production with his two touchdowns, but he did give the Packers a key touchdown, too.

“I can’t turn the football over and give their defense, give their team free points,” Winston said.

Koetter agreed.

“We’ve talked about this many times,” Koetter said. “Jameis is going to make some plays. He made a couple of really nice scramble plays today. That particular one there – and like I said he was under pressure all day – in a perfect world he would have gotten the ball out of his hands more. But they were on him quick. We have to remember that he’s 23 years old and experience is still the best teacher.”

Will Koetter be around next year to keep teaching Winston, or will Winston’s penchant for turnovers contribute to him being fired?

STATEMENT 2: Bucs’ Second-Round Pick Evans Was Worth It
It didn’t generate a lot of favorable buzz when it happened, but the second-round selection of safety Justin Evans has turned out to be a very good one for Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht. Fans and some pundits were hoping for a passing rushing defensive end, a running back or an offensive lineman, but the Bucs did need a safety, one that could make plays in the secondary against the pass, especially in a division that features some of the NFL’s top quarterbacks in New Orleans’ Drew Brees, Carolina’s Cam Newton and Atlanta’s Matt Ryan, who is the reigning league MVP.

Evans got off to a slow start due to injuries that hampered him in the offseason during the OTAs and he was slow to make plays in training camp and during the preseason. But once he got his first start against New England, picking off Tom Brady, he’s become a much more confident player. Evans came into Sunday’s game at Green Bay with two interceptions and 52 tackles, which ranked third on the team. He added another interception against the Packers on an overthrown pass intended for Jordy Nelson, and finished with six tackles, which was second behind linebacker Lavonte David on Sunday. Now Evans is the second-leading tackler in Tampa Bay with 58.

He’s still missing some tackles, taking a few poor angles and needs to work on his run fits. Evans is also not a finished product in pass defense, either. He’s given up some touchdowns and big plays, but out of the Bucs’ three other safeties – Chris Conte, T.J. Ward and Keith Tandy – he’s the only one making splash plays, like Sunday’s pick of Brett Hundley, or his diving interception in the end zone against Miami three weeks ago.

Evans had five interceptions and 11 pass breakups in two seasons at Texas A&M, and his junior season saw him as the top safety in the country against the pass with four picks and eight pass breakups. That’s why the Bucs pounced on him midway through the second round.
Evans’ big plays aren’t just limited to interceptions, either. Near the end of regulation, Evans came flying in and tackled Nelson just short of the first down marker to force a fourth-and-1 situation and a game-tying field goal. The Texas A&M product appears to be on his way to having a bright future in Tampa Bay.

TWO PROBING QUESTIONS

QUESTION 1: Why Did The Bucs Think This Offensive Line Was Good?
During the entire offseason both Licht and Koetter used every available opportunity to sing the praises of the existing personnel along the offensive line, which we reported, while others were calling for the Bucs to upgrade their line in the draft. The thinking was that moving Marpet to center and inserting J.R. Sweezy in at right guard following his return from back surgery was going to boost the play of the O-line.

That hasn’t happened. The pass protection has been decent this year, but the running game has been absent on a consistent basis – until Sunday in Green Bay.

That’s when the Bucs’ make-shift offensive line surrendered seven sacks, yet powered a ground game that had a season-high 165 yards and a 4.7 yards per carry. Sweezy was still at right guard, Donovan Smith was still at left tackle and Pamphile was at left guard full time. The only two changes were putting Evan Smith at center and Benenoch at right tackle.

I don’t get it.

How did that unit help Peyton Barber rush for a career-high 102 yards?

“We did great from an offensive line standpoint – we dominated the line of scrimmage,” Winston said. “They were in a new situation. We found out the day of the game that we weren’t going to have Joe, so hats off to those guys. They’re resilient and did a great job.”

That’s Winston being Captain Hyperbole. The offensive line did great run blocking. In pass protection? Not so good. Winston was sacked twice on two missed assignments. Donovan Smith doubled down to help Pamphile on one play and allowed Clay Matthews to record one of his 2.5 sacks. Sweezy doubled a Packers defender with Evan Smith and allowed Lowry to come free on a sack.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Getty Images

Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Getty Images

Here comes Captain Hyperbole again.

“Evan played an amazing game,” Winston said. “We just had a miscommunication there.”

No, Smith didn’t have a great game, and Winston was talking about a fumbled snap inside the red zone. Smith’s rough return to Green Bay, where he played for five years, also included two fourth quarter penalties – a holding call and a very costly illegal block above the waist penalty that negated a 20-yard gain on a screen pass to Charles Sims.

“That was a double cadence and Evan snapped it on the wrong snap count,” Koetter said. “Evan just missed it.”

As for Smith’s penalty on Tampa Bay’s final drive before overtime, Sims’ 20-yard reception set the Bucs up at their own 40-yard line, needing just 30 more yards to get into Pat Murray’s range to possibly kick a game-winning field goal to break a 20-20 tie. Instead, the Bucs faced first-and-20 from their own 10-yard line.

“That one would have been about a 50-yard penalty,” Koetter said. “To have the drive start there, then all of a sudden you’re first-and-20, backed up and the crowd is at its loudest right there. That was a tough call that went against us right there.”

“If the guy calls it, he calls it,” Winston said. “I know Evan was distraught from that because he knew he didn’t do anything.

“I think we had like two miscommunications,” Winston said. “They just found out today that this was going to be our offensive line. I don’t think it’s right to be able to say that they did sub-par when they overcame so much.”

The Bucs offensive line was both good and bad, but in the end, it wasn’t good enough. Had Winston had more time in the pocket, he wouldn’t have lost the fumble that was returned for a touchdown, and the Bucs might have scored more than just 20 points.

Marpet, Dotson, Donovan Smith and Benenoch will be back next year. The team will have to decide the fate of Evan Smith and Pamphile, who will unrestricted free agents, as well as Sweezy, who hasn’t come close to playing up to his $6.4 million salary this year. Sweezy is due to make $5.25 million next year.

QUESTION 2: Why Not Start Barber The Rest Of The Year?
I’ve seen enough of Doug Martin. You know, the guy that hasn’t rushed for 100 yards in the past two calendar years?

Martin missed the Packers game with a concussion, which gave Barber his first chance to start in the NFL. He responded with a career-high 102 yards rushing and also led the Bucs with four catches for 41 yards on screen passes. His 143 total yards also represent a personal best, as well as the most combined yardage any Tampa Bay running back has produced all season. Barber’s 100-yard game was also the first time any Bucs back has topped the century mark all season.

“Peyton Barber played an amazing game – he was magnificent,” Winston said. “When you are running the ball and you are able to get yards off screens, your offense has success.”

Barber runs with power and decisiveness, which Martin lacks. Barber doesn’t dance around in the backfield. He fights for yardage and knows that a two-yard gain to set up second-and-8 is much better than second-and-12.

Bucs RB Peyton Barber - Photo by: Getty Images

Bucs RB Peyton Barber – Photo by: Getty Images

“When you can run the football everything opens up,” Winston said. “We were able to get some screens off the play-action and we would get in empty and get some screens. Coach Koetter called a great game, but when Peyton Barber and that offensive line is dominating the running game, you can do anything on offense.”

Barber reminds me of a young Earnest Graham. We’ll see what this outing does to his confidence and his overall game. I’m not sure how high his ceiling is, and I know that Martin is a more talented back, but I’d rather have a north-south runner like Barber starting for me down the stretch if I’m Koetter.

I’ve already gone on record in saying that the Bucs need to blow up on their backfield next year – except for Barber. So with the season essentially over at 4-8, it just doesn’t make any sense to start Martin down the stretch. At age 29, Martin shouldn’t be in the team’s future plans at running back.

TWO BOLD PREDICTIONS

PREDICTION 1: The Bucs Win Their Last Game Of The Year Next Week
Tampa Bay beats the visiting Detroit Lions next week at Raymond James Stadium. The Lions are 6-6 after losing at Baltimore and Matthew Stafford suffered an injury to his throwing hand in the game. The Bucs play better at home than they do on the road, so I think they’ll upset the Lions next week.

But that will be Tampa Bay’s final victory of the year. I don’t expect the Bucs to beat the Falcons at home on Monday Night Football the next week. What a crazy atmosphere that will be with Jon Gruden in the house to call the game for ESPN and to be inducted into the Bucs Ring of Honor.

I wonder how the pre-game production meeting will go between Koetter and Gruden with all of the Grumors flying? Can you say “awkward?” If the Bucs lose that game, as I expect them to, can’t you see the Glazers and Gruden having a “chance encounter” in the bowels of Ray-Jay after the game?

I don’t see a strong motivation for the Bucs to board a plane and fly to Carolina to play a Panthers team that will need a win to stay in playoff contention on Christmas Eve, do you? I also don’t see how they can beat the juggernaut that is the New Orleans Saints – even at home – the following week. The prediction here is a 5-11 record for Tampa Bay.

PREDICTION 2: Winston Plays Even Better Next Week
I said the Bucs are going to win, and Winston will be a big reason why. I really like how he came out focused in his first game back from a three-week hiatus due to his injured shoulder. I think that continues.

“We played great, we just came out on the short end of the stick,” Winston said after the loss to the Packers. “Sometimes that’s how football works, but when we look back on that film we’re going to say, ‘Dang, we could have done this better or that better.’ It felt good. It felt good as an offense. It felt good as a team.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston - Photo by: Getty Images

Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Getty Images

“Offensively, we have to build off this game. The running game was impeccable. Peyton Barber did an amazing job and our offensive line was very dominant in that aspect.”

I like the game plan that Koetter armed him with at Green Bay and didn’t feel like Winston was really out of rhythm at any point in the game. There was a strong running game for Winston to lean on and he was able to work the play-action passing game off that. Winston had some bad throws under duress, but didn’t miss open receivers.

I have no idea why, other than a gut feeling, that Winston has a three- or four-touchdown game against the Lions. The biggest thing he has to do is avoid turnovers, of course, because Detroit can make you pay. Although the Lions only have 11 interceptions, they have three pick-sixes, and two fumbles returned for touchdowns on eight fumble recoveries.

They’re an opportunistic defense. Winston needs to make sure he creates scoring opportunities for the Bucs – not the Lions.

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: sr@pewterreport.com
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Alldaway 2.0
3 years ago

The problems with the OL are obvious.

When Marpet was at OG, Hawley/Evans couldn’t anchor all that well. When Marpet moves to center he is better as an anchor and moving into space. But Marpet’s departure from RG opens a new hole as Sweazy simply is very ordinary and nothing special.

My prediction is D. Smith is moved to LG. Pamphile may be re-signed if he can show he can play at RT. A new LT and new RG is very real possibility.

Horse
3 years ago

Okay I’m looking at the positives; we have some young players on this team who can play; problem not enough of them. In the off season time to make a plan to find more draft picks. We have a couple players we could get something for them or make a swap which would be good for both teams. We need a LT in the 1st or 2nd round and move D. Smith to LG. I believe that would solve the OL and we should draft another one in the middle rounds for backup and future. We need DE’s and a… Read more »

Buc 1976
Reply to  Horse
3 years ago

Agree Horse the Bucs will have to trade somebody.
Mike Evans maybe that player? Godwin looks like he can step in to replace him.
A linebacker could be traded also.
We as fans would hate to see them go but we need quality Linemen on both sides of the ball.

Cody
Reply to  Buc 1976
3 years ago

Trading Mike Evans isn’t a very good idea. You give up a top 5 receiver in the entire league. The problem with the Evans production has a lot to do with how he’s being used. The man can catch the ball down the field (go to Youtube and watch his highlight tape) but the Bucs have mysteriously chosen to only throw the ball to him on slant routes and curls. Koetter has basically turned him into a possession receiver this year.

chefboho
Reply to  Cody
3 years ago

Agreed. ITS almost like like since they picked up desean Jackson, they use him as a deep threat and evans cathes everythin underneath.

Buc 1976
Reply to  Cody
3 years ago

You have to give up something to get something!

Buc 1976
Reply to  Cody
3 years ago

Cody you are missing my point.
I never said Mike was not a good player!
He is a good player and we would get some good draft picks. In a perfect world a trade would not be needed but we have not added any DE’S for to long. We did draft Spence but to small and injured alot.
The Bucs need high draft picks. They need 2 defensive linemen and 2 offensive linemen.
If our GM would have addressed these positions instead of trading away picks for a kicker maybe we would not need to part with some players.

Cody
Reply to  Buc 1976
3 years ago

I see your point. I just disagree with it. You don’t trade one of the best young talents in the sport for more draft picks. Evans has little to no injury history and is a player that should be a Buc for life.

Horse
Reply to  Buc 1976
3 years ago

Buc 1976, agree; might have to go as far as trading Brate, Alexander, Evans.
I believe Hawley, Martin, Ayers, Sweezy, Baker, McDonald, Conte, Tandy will be cut. I’m sure I missed some. E. Smith, Pamphile stay because they can play various positions on the OL as well paid back ups. I would sign Grimes for guaranteed one year contract with incentives such as games played, interception, caused fumble, etc.

Buc 1976
Reply to  Horse
3 years ago

Horse there are some that understand you can’t trade someone like we will say Sweezy and get a high pick.
NOLA traded Jimmy G. When he was a all pro. They traded. Cooks if that is his name not sure to N.E. and have turned the defense around and their Offense does not have to score 40 points to win.

Mic
Mic
3 years ago

Evans left his gap open on the OT TD, and I remember you being adamant and supportive of the Oline not needing any help this offseason Scott.

Jameis did improve staying on the bench and think he’s gonna do some good things with Gruden

The law of Earnest Graham undrafted backs don’t get to play until someone gets injured no matter how badly the guy in front of them performs

surferdudes
3 years ago

The Bucs play better at home, but I wouldn’t eat a W for next week just yet Scott. It’ll be an angry mob at Ray Jay next week, if anyone shows up at all, looking to stick a pitch fork in any Buc who screws up. Could feel more like a home crowd for the Lions. My question is, should we lose, do the Glazers fire Koetter, and spare him the embarassment of Grudens induction the following week? That would be an awkward production meeting for both men.

Cody
3 years ago

I don’t really understand why Jameis is getting a good review for this game. He put up a lot of yards and was a tough competitor throughout the game based on all the hits he took and the ankle injury. But he only got 20 points on the scoreboard against a Packers defense that isn’t all that great. He also had a running back that took some pressure off of him for the first time all season. I know a lot of the fault goes on the coaching staff as it should. But the Tampa defense gave the team more… Read more »

Eric
Reply to  Cody
3 years ago

totally agree Cody, Jameis MUST improve his decision making. He is way to careless with the ball, both throwing and when under duress in the pocket. It was dumb luck he didn’t have several passes intercepted yesterday. No doubt he has talent, but he is just not consistent. Barely above average, nowhere near elite at this point in his career.

Naplesfan
3 years ago

While I disagree with fans and critics who singled out Winston for causing the Bucs to lose the game in Green Bay, I also disagree with the notion that he had a “fine day” – that’s ridiculous. Instead, Jameis was the same old, same old inconsistent, Jekyll and Hyde player he’s been since his first start 3 seasons ago. That does NOT constitute a “fine day” for a player near the end of his third year, especially a no. 1 overall pick quarterback who’s started nearly every game in three seasons. On the two successful touchdown drives Jameis played like… Read more »

Brian
Reply to  Naplesfan
3 years ago

Lots to unpack here. I just signed up to reply to this post as I think it is representative of a lot of fans’ sentiment this season. First things first: we are a losing team. As such, everyone who cares about this team is looking to identify why we’re a losing team, which is an exercise in blaming. As the saying goes, QB’s get too much praise and too much blame. Prime example for me: Last year I watched Dak Prescott take 10 seconds at every drop back and go through his progressions 5 times before firing an accurate pass… Read more »

Horse
Reply to  Brian
3 years ago

Brian, Excellent analysis.

cgmaster27
Reply to  Brian
3 years ago

Well spoken and excellent analysis Brian. I will warn you though since you’re a first time poster here, Naples is never wrong. You’ll get a long winded argument about espn QBR and how it’s the gold standard. He doesn’t take into account a garbage offensive line and ZERO running game. As for your points, Prescott has looked horrible this year , imagine that, no running game and the best offensive line in football had injuries. As for Mariota , I won’t even go there, I’ve spouted fact after fact to most of these people and they just ignore it. You… Read more »

Naplesfan
Reply to  Brian
3 years ago

Brian – thanks for your response, it is reasonable, but a bit misdirected. There is not a choice to be made on who should be the Bucs quarterback. The choice was made three years ago to draft Winston, to not draft Mariota, and to relegate Glennon to backup. The Winston diehards keep trying to relitigate the 2015 draft, because they think that paints their guy more favorably (though Mariota has a higher QBR, and a better Won-Loss leadership record, this season, and a higher career PR than does Winston). But none of that should matter to Bucs fans today. News… Read more »

Brian
Reply to  Naplesfan
3 years ago

I think what you perceived as misdirected was actually misunderstood altogether. I am not trying to re-litigate the 2015 draft; that was not my point in bringing up Mariota or Glennon. In fact, my principal comparison was really to Prescott. And the point of the collection of all of those examples was to point out that Jameis has shown many, many times in just 3 years that he is more than capable of being not just a franchise QB, but elite in the NFL. You can pick any QB in the league and I’ll draw a comparison of how Jameis… Read more »

Naplesfan
Reply to  Brian
3 years ago

I and nearly everybody who is knowledgeable of and a fan of the NFL disagrees with your assertion that Jameis is performing at an elite level, not even close.

Elite quarterbacks don’t deliver the 2017 equivalent of the Butt Fumble in last Sunday’s game, where virtually every analysis in the media concluded that Jameis is crippled by a lack of decent judgment. Maybe in the homer’s world of some Bucs fans and all Noles fans, Jameis is elite – but virtually nobody else believes that.

Buc76
3 years ago

This team never plays a complete game. Defense and Special teams terrible this time. It all has to end. Koetter and Licht need to go. We need to start over and rebuild around Winston and some pieces that should stay. Half the team needs to go. Monday night against Atlanta is going to be strange. The chants for Gruden’s return will be loud. Hire Gruden back. If they don’t he’ll be gone to another team. Give Derrick Brooks the GM job. He is already Winston’s mentor. You would have Offense with Gruden, Defense with Brooks. Give it a shot.

Cody
Reply to  Buc76
3 years ago

I agree on firing Koetter. But Jason Licht has been an excellent GM outside of the Aguayo pick. No one expected the pass rush to be this bad last March. No one really knew what we would have with the offensive line since Sweezy was coming back and Marpet was going to center. Licht has done a great job in the draft and should stay. Even though I still wish we would have gotten Mariota instead of Jameis in 2015.

stlbucsfan
3 years ago

Jameis played behind a terrible OL and got hurt is the only take away I have from the game. Everything else is more of the same inept coaching we’ve seen all year. No ability to run the ball, then when we are productive we abandon it in the red zone. Almost 100 yards rushing in the 3rdQ but we passed on 5 of 6 downs inside the 5, sounds about right for these clueless clowns. The 6th play was the botched snap that looked like it was play action as well lol give me a break. Special teams still can’t… Read more »

Cody
Reply to  stlbucsfan
3 years ago

Why would you get rid of Licht? The only mistake he made last offseason was not spending $60 million on Calais Campbell. But that would have been a really risky move spending that much money. Especially when our team was successful getting to the QB last year.

AZ_BUC_FAN4LIFE
Reply to  Cody
3 years ago

I would fire Licht for several reasons. First is the poor evaluation of Sweezy. How do you sign a guy with a bad back for that amount of money. Second reason is the Pick of Howard, is he a quality pick? Yes, but is that what the team really needed at that point. Third reason, how is his understudy picking better in Memphis than he is. They Fired the Coach in Tennessee for not protecting Mariota, where is the urgency in protecting our quarterback. Now I know everyone says that you can’t do everything in one draft. Well look at… Read more »

stlbucsfan
Reply to  stlbucsfan
3 years ago

The mistake he made last offseason was not upgrading either line of scrimmage. He relied on JR Sweezy who graded out poorly his last healthy season and was fresh off back surgery. The other guard spot has no starter because both perform at a slightly above backup level. Everyone that could objectivity evaluate this team saw the flaws in Donovan Smith but front office lead us to believe that he just needed more time and that this was the season he “turned the corner.’ The only thing turning the corner are the DEs in hot pursuit of our QB. He… Read more »

Cody
Reply to  stlbucsfan
3 years ago

I agree with what you’re saying about Sweezy and I always wanted Mariota ahead of Jameis in 2015. But the issue the past two years hasn’t been pass protection or run blocking. It’s been that we hand the ball off to Doug Martin rather than feeding the hot hand. That failure falls on the coaching. Going into last offseason the biggest needs on the team were definitely wide receiver and defensive backs. Tampa was adequate on the offensive line and actually pretty good on the defensive line. Licht went out and got the best receiver in free agency and two… Read more »

stlbucsfan
Reply to  stlbucsfan
3 years ago

I still feel like we made the right decision in the draft, Mariota has been injured behind a better OL in TN, there’s no way he’d hold up behind our OL with this running game. We needed secondary help but not at safety. Evans could be a very good player but at CB we had the CB who gave up the most yards in football in VHIII, a 34 year old CB who was performing but still 34 and a guy we drafted in the 5th round that we played at safety last year yet we add nothing? The OL… Read more »

Cody
Reply to  stlbucsfan
3 years ago

Spence got a sack in the only game that he played healthy this year. I think most people expected or at least hoped that Doug Martin would be better coming off the suspension. He hasn’t been. I think most people expected or at least hoped that Donovan Smith would take a big step forward in his third year. He hasn’t. I think most people thought TJ Ward would step in as a strong safety and be a pretty dynamic playmaker once he learned the system a little bit. He hasn’t. Maybe I didn’t have the foresight that you did last… Read more »

stlbucsfan
Reply to  stlbucsfan
3 years ago

Spence doesn’t get a pass because nobody stays healthy, he was unproductive regardless of the reason. Everybody associated with the Bucs should know Doug Martin isn’t reliable. Jason Licht has seen 4 seasons of this, at what point is expecting Doug Martin to perform at an elite level for a whole season insanity? If TJ Ward was brought here to be a difference maker then he should’ve been starting from Day One so that he could’ve worked through the issues quickly, not spread the inconsistent play over 5-7 games while we half way acclimate 3 safeties to whatever their new… Read more »

Cody
Reply to  stlbucsfan
3 years ago

So you expect TJ Ward to play in an entirely new system within a week of signing with the team? I don’t know I just feel like that’s asking a lot of a guy who hasn’t been around for training camp or anything like that. Spence does get a pass for being injured. He played through most of last season with a torn labrum as a rookie. Then he hurt it again in the third game. I agree with the other points that you made about Doug and D-Smith even though I think Smith isn’t a terrible LT. I just… Read more »

arizonajoe
3 years ago

I am sorry, I’m confused. The Packers can’t stop the run all day. We have a first and goal at the 4, three straight passing plays with a TD that luckily bails us out. What the heck is going on?

Destino102
3 years ago

Just based off Jon Gruden’s history when he came to Tampa last time, I expect the Bucs to be very active in the FA and try to bring some Ol and DL talent in. Keepers: Jameis Winston Mike Evans Desean Jackson Ali Marpet Gerald McCoy Chris Godwin Lavante David Kwon Alexander Justin Evans Kendall Beckwith Cameron Brate OJ Howard Clinton McDonald Chris Baker Pat Murray Brian Anger On the Chopping Block: Doug Martin Jaquizz Rogers Evan Smith Keith Tandy Chris Conte Ryan Smith Last chance to prove it: Donavan Smith VH III Noah Spence JR Sweazy Robert Ayers Adam Humphries… Read more »

Cody
Reply to  Destino102
3 years ago

That’s a lot of free agent and draft needs. Who do you want specifically in free agency and the draft?

Destino102
Reply to  Cody
3 years ago

DE Ziggy Ansah
LT Nate Solder
CB Malcolm Butler and/or Vantae Davis
RB Carlos Hyde

Not enough to fill the needs but upgrades to what we currently have. Time to start using that cap space.

Cody
Reply to  Destino102
3 years ago

Yeah I’d love to get Ziggy Ansah.

I’m honestly a little nervous to pick up Malcolm Butler since Belichick has shown no interest in paying him big money.

I think there are plenty of running backs in the draft so I disagree on Carlos Hyde.

Destino102
Reply to  Cody
3 years ago

I agree about the RBs in the draft, but we need about 3-4 RBs on the active Roster and I don’t see Martin, Rogers or Sims being on the team next year. So we need to sign at least 1 as a FA, draft 1, and probably pick a few Undrafted FA after the draft and keep the best 4.

Buc76
3 years ago

Destino 102 nailed it

TopHatRick
3 years ago

Not thrilled with the game plan. When our QB is getting drilled like he did, I would like to see a lot more slants and 3 step drops. Too much pressure on a bad o-line for the 5 to 7 step drops.

Mike.Seven
3 years ago

Maybe Scott Reynolds watched Brady and Patriots and got games confused, not sure why he did not see the red zone drives finish with FG’s , maybe he missed the handoff to 300-pound man in green and yellow for 7 points the other way, maybe he missed the several passes that bounced off numbers of defence jerseys , maybe he missed all the punts .Maybe Scott does not see this team “does not “has any confidence in #3 and they do not play hard for him like they did Fritz , In short without 2 wins from Fritz this team… Read more »

chefboho
Reply to  Mike.Seven
3 years ago

So you have first hand knowledge that the team doesn’t play hard for #3? I’d love to see some proof of that. Otherwise your like a few others on here who like to speculate that they know what their talking about.

Mike.Seven
Reply to  chefboho
3 years ago

I watched the games just like you but with blinders off.

cgmaster27
Reply to  Mike.Seven
3 years ago

Another factless accusation from one of our pewter report trolls.

drdneast
3 years ago

Uggghhh. Jon Gruden as head coach all promoted by Pewter Report. Didn’t Pewter Report also call for the Bucs to fire Lovie Smith and hire Dirk Koetter. Quit being a pack of lemmings and sheep like those dreadful souls who believe the racist traitorous Donald Trump can do no wrong even though there is ample proof he has sexually assualted women and consorted with the Russians before and during the election. I believe the Bucs should give Koetter and Licht onemore year to straigten this defensive mess out or its adios. First, from what I understand from Roy Cummings who… Read more »

drdneast
3 years ago

Brian, excellent post. You used some fine statistics to back up your opinion as well. This stupid comparison between Winston and Mariotta will go on for years and it will prove absolutely nothing. You have what you have. The people who want to stay on the Mariotta bandwagon are only riding it so they can say, “I told you so.” They would rather be right than to see thier so called team win. It’s inane thinking from stupid people. I had no dog in the fight when the time came to choose because unlike many of these armchair GM’s, I… Read more »

Brian
Reply to  drdneast
3 years ago

Precisely.

vtrantb
3 years ago

Scott,
Why don’t you tell Rick Stroud to look up Drew Brees first 3 full seasons with SD. He had a total of 52 turnovers in 42 games. That is 2 more turnover in one more game than Winston. I didn’t look up Eli but I bet it may be worse.

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