It’s Thursday of game week, which meant it was time to hear from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator and starting quarterback.

Since the starting quarterback is no longer Jameis Winston, the media got a fresh face in front of them on Thursday as Ryan Fitzpatrick took to the podium for the first time since being signed this offseason.

With that and more to recap, these were the five things we learned on Thursday at One Buc.

Injury Report

There wasn’t much of an update for the injury report and that’s not a good thing.

The Bucs two staring offensive tackles, Donovan Smith and Demar Dotson, are still out. Pass rusher Robert Ayers was also not seen at practice, but cornerback Brent Grimes was back out there. If the Bucs tackles can’t go, that means that Kevin Pamphile and Leonard Wester will likely start in their place.

If you thought the starters weren’t playing well, this one could get ugly with their backups in.

Jackson’s Attitude

There’s been some talk amongst fans about the effort being given by Bucs free agent wide receiver DeSean Jackson. Some fans question whether or not he’s giving it his all, or whether he’s a team player or more of a “me” guy.

Bucs offensive coordinator Todd Monken was asked about Jackson’s attitude and he said that wanting the ball and being selfish within your own abilities is nothing new for any skill player. He said that the important part is knowing what you can control, and when you get frustrated with, it has to come with constructive criticism of how to get better – he said Jackson is doing that.

That was a great answer; for Jackson and for Monken.

Marpet On Mounting Pressure

One of the questions asked during the open locker room period on Thursday was whether or not this team was feeling increased pressure every week with every loss.

Bucs center Ali Marpet was the one answering the question in the clip above, and his answer had some hidden meaning to it. He said that the team is continually frustrated, but it’s not like it’s more now than it was.

Marpet is a pretty no B.S. guy. For him to say that in the manner that he did tells us that losing – and being asked questions about losing – over and over is continually frustrating, but no more so than the first loss they had.

Contrary to what most fans believe, these guys aren’t complacent with losing just because they’re getting paid. They get mad every time they fail, whether it’s once of five times.

Fitzpatrick Takes The Podium

With Winston out, it was Fitzpatrick’s time to take the press conferences as the starting quarterback.

Fitzpatrick was a breath of fresh air. He was funny and charismatic. He was witty with his responses to the media, but also serious and wise when it called for it.

One of the things we learned today from Fitzpatrick is just how close he was to retiring this offseason. He said that 2016 was the toughest season, emotionally, of his career, and that he really thought about being done with football. But, he said when he got to come into the game this season in Week 6 against the Cardinals, he realized just how much he would have missed it.

He’s happy still playing and playing here.

He also told us that he got engaged to his wife at a McDonalds, so we learned that, too.

Brate Seeing An Old Friend This Sunday

Starting tight end Cameron Brate was one of the players who was interviewed during the open locker room period on Thursday.

He was asked about the Harvard connection with Fitzpatrick and what it will be like to have an offense without Mike Evans, but the best question to him was when he was asked about an old teammate of his, Austin Seferian-Jenkins.

Bucs fans remember Seferian-Jenkins well – or maybe not so well. He was the Bucs’ second round pick in 2014 and played for Tampa Bay for two seasons before being cut. He was cut for a series of off-the-field issues that had to do with a lot of personal problems in his life.

After time time off, Seferian-Jenkins was signed by the Jets in 2017, and that’s where he will be on Sunday as their starting tight end. Brate said that he still keeps in contact with ASJ often and that he’s very happy to see him get his life back on track.

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About the Author: Trevor Sikkema

Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]
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4 years ago

Can the news get any worse for crying out loud. Damn!

4 years ago

Who decided Ali Marpet should move to center. Which person or people on a team that keeps losing decided that. I’m not an expert. Is it working out? I’d like to know. Would he have been better at guard still?

Reply to  Buc76
4 years ago

Marpet is playing well at center …. he had some missed snaps in the early couple of games, but got past that. The problems with the offensive line do not begin with him.

Brooks Dunn-Winston
Brooks Dunn-Winston
4 years ago

Marpet is playing great at center. Sweezy, Pamphile, and D Smith have been awful.

4 years ago

Fitzpatrick won’t be the weak link in our offense as starter. He certainly won’t be a deer in the headlights case, he’s seen everything a NFL defense can do and won’t get confused. Our biggest weak link offensively is the run blocking, and by extension, the running game. If we could somehow get that rolling, then play action passing becomes a threat, and we have the receivers we need – even without Mike Evans this week – to catch the ball. Play calling is also a chronic weakness – far too predictable (run on first down nearly every time, so… Read more »

Buc 1976
Buc 1976
4 years ago

The Jets have a good D Line so Ryan could be running for his life.