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QUESTION: What are the chances that Joe Tryon-Shoyinka (aka young Myles Garrett) actually gets more sacks than Jason Pierre-Paul or Shaquil Barrett this year and becomes our second-most productive pass rusher? More than Devin White?
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ANSWER: I wouldn’t rule it out, given how Joe Tryon-Shoyinka looked in the preseason, leading the team with two sacks and forcing a fumble. The advantage Tampa Bay’s first-round pick will have this year as a designated pass rusher is that he’ll be the freshest pass rusher on the field in the second half of games going against fatigued tackles. His athleticism and speed off the edge should allow him to record six sacks as a rookie – maybe more.
Bucs OLB Joe Tyron-Shoyinka – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
I think that the amount of snaps that Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaquil Barrett will get this year as the starters will certainly give them each more opportunities to get to the quarterback more than Tryon-Shoyinka will have. I think Barrett will edge Pierre-Paul in sacks this year for the team lead, 13 to 12. But it’s not like Tryon-Shoyinka couldn’t surprise and finish second on the team in sacks with 8-10 instead of the six I predicted. He has the talent to do so.
And you were smart to mention inside linebacker Devin White. He was actually the second-leading sacker last year with nine – just a half sack behind Pierre-Paul’s 9.5. Barrett was third with just eight. Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles loves to blitz White up the A-gap, so White will be in the mix for Tampa Bay’s sack lead, too.
QUESTION: Why do the Bucs hate their home jerseys? Okay, I know they don’t hate them. But only three games out of 17? That’s crazy low, right?
ANSWER: When you say “home jerseys” I assume you are talking about Tampa Bay’s red jerseys. According to Wikipedia, the Bucs’ team colors are Buccaneer red, pewter, orange and black. Not white. So it’s curious that the Bucs wear white so much.
Every NFL team must have a white jersey, which is typically worn on the road. Although teams like Washington and Dallas wear white jerseys at home. The Bucs don’t have a true home jersey. Due to the Florida heat, Tampa Bay will usually wear its white jerseys at home for the first two months of the season and then break out the red jerseys at home in November and December when the temperatures drop.
Bucs DT Ndamukong Suh – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Having said that, the Bucs open at home – at night – in white jerseys with pewter pants. So there is no valid reason why Tampa Bay couldn’t start the season in red and pewter. Perhaps it’s for good luck because the Bucs wore that uniform combination in the last three postseason games last year, including Super Bowl LV. But Tampa Bay played in red jerseys and pewter pants on the road at Washington last year in the wild card win.
The Bucs could easily wear red jerseys and pewter pants to open the season at home against the Cowboys because the sun will be down by the time the game kicks off at 8:20 p.m. But they’ll go white-on-pewter instead. The other perfect time use for wearing red jerseys at home is in the 2021 season finale at home against Carolina on January 9. But the Bucs have opted for white-on-pewter again for that game, which lacks logic if you ask me.
In all, the Bucs will only wear red jerseys three times, which is unfortunate, and the all-pewter look twice after wearing it three times last season. Last year the team wore red jerseys and pewter pants four times during the regular season and once in the playoffs. Thankfully, Tampa Bay only wears the bland, all-white vanilla look just twice in 2021 after wearing it four times last year, which was just too much. Personally, I can’t wait until the Bucs can don their throwback creamsicle uniforms once again next season.
QUESTION: Do you really think Jordan Whitehead could start on Thursday having not practiced for weeks? He’ll have at most what, 2-3 practices next week best case scenario?
Bucs S Jordan Whitehead – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
ANSWER: Jordan Whitehead, the Bucs’ starting strong safety, is a four-year pro and is entering his third year as a starter. He knows how to play the game and has played in Todd Bowles’ scheme for going on three seasons. If he’s cleared to play I think he’ll be fine – even with limited practices prior to the season opener against Dallas. Whitehead has been dealing with a hamstring injury. If he doesn’t fare well in practice for some reason or just isn’t ready to go for Thursday night, the team won’t hesitate to start Mike Edwards instead.
Where Whitehead – or any player returning to action after being out for several weeks – might struggle is with the football conditioning and endurance aspect of the game. Because of that, I suspect we’ll see Edwards playing multiple series versus the Cowboys on Thursday night – even if Whitehead starts. Look for that to continue for the first couple of weeks this season until Whitehead’s stamina returns. If I had to guess, I suspect Edwards starts and Whitehead is worked into the mix for a few series if he’s cleared to play.
QUESTION: Other than the Glazers and Shelton Quarles, who else has Super Bowl rings from both Super Bowl 37 and 55?
ANSWER: That’s a great question, and it caused me to do some digging on Buccaneers.com. Outside of the Glazers and Shelton Quarles, who was a Pro Bowl middle linebacker on the 2002 Super Bowl team, I think there are three other Bucs staffers who have Super Bowl rings from 2002 and 2020. Director of team security Andres Trescastro has been with the Bucs for 24 years, and Rob Julian has been Tampa Bay’s director of athletic fields and grounds for 29 years.
Buccaneers.com senior editor Scott Smith has also been with the Bucs for over 25 years. He was a public relations staffer in 1995 when I first started covering the team for Buccaneer Magazine – the predecessor to Pewter Report. Smith moved from the team’s P.R. department to the main writer at Buccaneers.com when the team website started in the late 1990s.
Quarles, who is now the Bucs’ director of football operations, is the only member of the organization to win a Super Bowl ring as a player and a member of the front office. I’m not sure that will ever happen again. Quarles is in his 25th season with the Bucs. He spent 10 years on the field and the last 15 years working in the front office.
QUESTION: In the majority of your predictions for the season you have us losing to New England. I personally do not see that happening, but do you? Would you change that loss to a win now that Mac Jones is going to be starting and has never faced a true pass rush?
ANSWER: You’re referencing Pewter Report’s predictions for the season in the PR Roundtable from last week. Technically, J.C. Allen is the only one who said that the Bucs would lose to the Patriots in New England. Jon Ledyard, Matt Matera and myself believe the Patriots game will be challenging. But I have Tampa Bay winning at New England – specifically because rookie Mac Jones, the Patriots’ first-round pick will be under center.
Alabama QB Mac Jones – Photo by: USA Today
I agree that Jones has never faced a pass rush as dangerous as the one the Bucs will bring up north. Not even when he played at Alabama and was protected by an offensive line that featured a slew of first-round picks. New England opens the season against Miami then travels to New York to face the Jets. Then New Orleans comes to town before Tampa Bay. Jones will have a few games to get adjusted to being a starter, but none of those teams will test him when it comes to rushing the passer like the Bucs will.
The Patriots have a good offensive line and a solid ground game, so it won’t all be on Jones. But New England is in a rebuilding mode after missing the playoffs last year. Bill Belichick will have his team prepared, but the Bucs have better talent – not to mention Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski. Both of whom will want to play well in their return to the place where they started their NFL careers.
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: email@example.com
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