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The Pewter Report staff answers your questions from the @PewterReport Twitter account each week in the Bucs Monday Mailbag  Submit your question to the Bucs Monday Mailbag each week via Twitter using the hashtag #PRMailbag. Here are the questions we chose to answer for this week’s edition.

QUESTION: Haven’t heard much about how Shaq Barrett is doing in camp. How has he been looking? Poised for a big year?

ANSWER: It’s fair to say that Shaquil Barrett has had a bit of a quiet training camp. Jason Pierre-Paul and rookie Joe Tryon have stolen the headlines by flashing in camp on a regular basis. Barrett has been overshadowed as a result.

But that’s not to say that he hasn’t played well or won’t have a good year. Keep in mind that Barrett often plays left outside linebacker and goes up against right tackle Tristan Wirfs, who is already one of the best pass protectors in the league – even though he’s entering his second season.

Bucs OLB Shaquil Barrett

Bucs OLB Shaquil Barrett – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

If anything, all of the stalemates between Wirfs and Barrett will make it easier for Barrett to beat lesser tackles. It’s not like this guy forgot how to rush the passer. Barrett has amassed 27.5 sacks over the past two regular seasons, and recorded four sacks in the 2020 postseason.

Back in June Barrett met with media and proclaimed that he was going to have a really big year after notching only eight sacks last year. Tampa Bay rewarded him with a four-year contract extension worth $17 million per year after being the team’s franchise player in 2020.

“I’m still super hungry,” Barrett said. “I’m ready to show them that I’m worth every last penny that I’m given and show them that I’m one of the best at my position.”

QUESTION: Has There Been A Regression From Alex Cappa Or Is Aaron Stinnie Playing Great?

ANSWER: There is a bit of a competition at right guard. Part of that stems from Alex Cappa perhaps not being all the way back from his fractured ankle in January, and the emergence of Aaron Stinnie, who played well in his absence in the postseason. Throw in the fact that both Cappa and Stinnie are in contract years (Stinnie is a restricted free agent) and there is plenty of motivation for both guards to want to start.

Cappa has had a really good training camp, and has been dominant in 1-on-1 pass protection drills in some practices. But in 19 snaps this preseason he hasn’t exactly played well, especially in pass pro. Stinnie has stepped and played well in games, but not well enough to overtake Cappa yet.

Bucs RG Alex Cappa NFL

Bucs RG Alex Cappa – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Yet Bucs head coach Bruce Arians is really making this a competition with his comments about the right guard position.

“It’s closer than you might think,” Arians said. “Stinnie played really well in the playoffs, and Cap, he needs to play because he missed all that time. It’s a nice thing to have. It’s a good situation, it’s great competition. There’s a little bit of a battle, but it’s Cap’s job to lose.”

You heard the man. Cappa is in the driver’s seat right now.

Yet at no time during the practices that have been open to the public has Stinnie taken any reps with the first team and Cappa with the second team.

QUESTION: Why is Keith Armstrong still employed by the Bucs?

ANSWER: Wow. That’s quite a question. Yes, Tampa Bay’s special teams has underwhelmed over the past two years, especially in the return game. And the Bucs coverage units, especially kick coverage, have really been disappointing.

Keith Armstrong deserves some blame, as he’s responsible for the units as Tampa Bay’s special teams coordinator. This is his third season with the Bucs and I’m curious to see if there is any improvement in the return game and kick coverage unit. Tampa Bay has some continuity on special teams now, so this is a big year for Armstrong.

I don’t know how many coaches Bruce Arians has fired since becoming a head coach in 2013, and I don’t know how long of a leash Armstrong has in Tampa Bay this year. But the Bucs’ kicking and punting game was really good last year, so it hasn’t been all bad. Let’s see how this year progresses on special teams, but the results from the first two preseason games have been disappointing.

QUESTION: How badly do the Bucs need Jose Borregales? What is the most likely outcome – he ends up the starter, another team signs him, or he remains on the practice squad all year?

Bucs K Jose Borregales

Bucs K Jose Borregales – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

ANSWER: Ryan Succop did have a shaky start to Bucs training camp, the 13-year veteran seems to have ironed things out. And the fact that he nailed a 49-yard field goal in Tampa Bay’s 34-3 loss to Tennessee in the second preseason game only helps his cause. The Bucs have provided some competition this offseason in Jose Borregales, an undrafted free agent out of Miami.

Succop signed a four-year contract worth $12 million after connecting on 90 percent of his field goals and extra points in 2020 while helping the Bucs win Super Bowl LV. Succop set a franchise record with 136 points and remained perfect in his career in post season field goal attempts.

Borregales, the Lou Groza Award winner, has performed well in practice, and I think the Bucs would like to put him on the practice squad unless he gets picked up elsewhere when the final roster cuts come down. With the COVID pandemic still affecting the league, every team will keep a kicker on the practice squad, and Borregales seems like he would be a good fit in Tampa Bay.

QUESTION: Joe Tryon-Shoyinka is doing great, but I wonder how is he comparing to all the pass rushers that were drafted in front of him.

ANSWER: Let’s take a statistical look at the edge rushers that were selected in the first round ahead of Washington’s Joe Tyron-Shoyinka, who was Tampa Bay’s pick at No. 32. Miami’s Jaelan Phillips was drafted by Miami at No. 18 and Michigan’s Kwity Paye was selected at No. 21 by the Colts. The Saints drafted Houston’s Payton Turner at No. 28, Buffalo selected Miami’s Gregory Rousseau at No. 30 and Baltimore picked Penn State’s Odafe Oweh at No. 31.

Bucs OLB Joe Tyron-Shoyinka

Bucs OLB Joe Tyron-Shoyinka – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Statistically speaking, Rousseau leads the way with two sacks in two preseason games. Tryon-Shoyinka and Paye each have one sack, but in reality, Tryon-Shoyinka should have two because of the terrible roughing the passer call in the game against Cincinnati. Phillips and Turner have been sidelined for periods of time in training camp, while Oweh has played in the preseason games, but not registered a sack on defense.

It’s still early to properly assess and evaluate the edge rushers taken in this year’s first round. But the early returns from preseason show that the Bucs got a good one with a very promising future in Tyron-Shoyinka, who was the third edge rusher on their draft board and the fifth one taken in the first round.

Not only is Tryon-Shoyinka receiving great coaching from outside linebackers coach Larry Foote, he’s also having his learning curve accelerated by listening to and watching Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaquil Barrett every day in practice. Both Pierre-Paul and Barrett have been to the Pro Bowl and have produced double-digit sack seasons in the NFL.

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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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3 months ago

Tryon is looking like a great disruptor off the edge. I think it’s great that he has 2 different style pass rushers to learn from in Barrett and JPP. Also, it’s a good thing Stinnie hasn’t overtaken Stinnie. Sounds like a starter no matter what! Lol

3 months ago

Typo above said Stinnie couldn’t overtake Stinnie. I guess sometimes you really are your own worst enemy. Lol
In all seriousness special teams other than kicking have been a joke. They look like more of a joke since we lost guys this year and have new ones TRYING new positions. It could cost us lot close games and I’m not an Armstrong fan. It’s sucked really. This year I doubt will be better if anything could be a disaster.

Last edited 3 months ago by fredster
3 months ago

Our 2020 starters are intact. We have added good depth in the rotational positions across the board. This team is ready to compete except for maybe the Dallas game, I’m hoping our fans will make the difference in this 1st game. We play 17 games this year, and with only 1 bye week, Coach will be glad we have depth in all positions. Go Bucs! Keep the dream alive!.

Reply to  Horse
3 months ago

Might regret saying this but I’m looking forward to the Bucs laying a major case of kick-ass on the Cowboys. Their defense stunk last year and we are catching them at the best time of the year. No way those guys are going to be playing as a cohesive unit with all of the new additions to their defensive squad. On top of that Dak is still nursing some sort of health issue. Bucs beat Cowboys by 10.

3 months ago

HOW BOUT THEM BUCS!?!?!? Just wanted to drop a note to Scott and John thanking them for the excellent job you guys do with the site here.

Reply to  COBRAHD
3 months ago

Stinnie has stepped and played well in games, but not well enough to overtake Stinnie yet.”
excellent job ??

Captain Sly
Captain Sly(@captain-sly)
Reply to  inspecto
3 months ago

Haha! He said “excellent site” not a perfect site. However that’s funny

3 months ago

Please tell me everyone isn’t gonna have to type and read Tryon’s whole last name all of the time. Just Tryon is way easier Haha

Reply to  Spitfire
3 months ago

Ask Sean Murphy-Bunting.

Reply to  Spitfire
3 months ago

Have you seen Vita Vea’s full name? Tevita Tuliʻakiʻono Tuipulotu Mosese Vaʻhae Fehoko Faletau “Vita” Vea

Reply to  Spitfire
3 months ago

He came in as Tryon Spit. I refuse to call him anything more due to lazy fingers.

3 months ago

We have a lot of money tied up in our O line. If Cappa deserves a payday, we might not be the team that can afford to give him one. Next year between Cappa, and Stinnie, it will probably come down to who we can afford, or plug Hainsey in for lack of funds. I just don’t see how the Bucs can pay big money to another O lineman.

Action Jackson 72
Action Jackson 72(@pwilly13)
3 months ago

Special teams, specifically Kick and Punt coverage are the only areas where the Bucs have shown no improvement under this coaching staff. I’m afraid it’s going to cost us a game or two, hopefully it won’t be in the playoffs. Armstrong ain’t getting it done.

Mb Nfl Double Your First Deposit Football Team Vs Bucs Pewter 728x90 Jpg