Sikkema’s Stat of the Week

It had been a long year, one that couldn’t get over fast enough. Before that snap, you could see the entire season flash before your very eyes; Hard Knocks, the hurricane delay, the first win, the ensuing losses, Jameis Winston going down in the Cardinals game, no bye week, the frustration in the Super Dome, injuries, free agents busting. You could hear every press conference ringing in your ear. The disappointment, the hollow promises, the dejection. Not a single division win had been recorded. Heartbreak in Carolina at the last second on Christmas Eve, and the same in Green Bay in extra seconds.

We had all had enough. The players, the fans, the coaches, the media; we were done with 2017.

But we weren’t done yet.

On a first-and-10 on the Saints’ 39-yard line, with 15 seconds left in the 2017 season finale and trailing by a point, it happened.

Four-wide with running back Charles Sims to Winston’s right. New Orleans showed Cover 3 with a heavy blitz coming up the A-gap with both linebackers. Center Joe Hawley snapped the ball to Winston, who was in shotgun, but the linebackers dropped back into coverage instead. The pocket formed and the field was scanned. All the Bucs needed was 10 yards for a field goal. Sims was open on a release route up the middle; there it was. Winston had that pass, but his eyes saw something else. Without hesitation, Winston looked to his right, he saw the match-up, and he let it fly.

Bucs wide receiver Chris Godwin - Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR

Bucs wide receiver Chris Godwin – Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR

The ball went up and as it came down, it was perfect. Right into the hands of the in-stride rookie receiver Chris Godwin.

Touchdown Tampa Bay; victory Tampa Bay.

You see, where that flashback story could have been highlighting quarterback Jameis Winston’s pass or head coach Dirk Koetter’s play call or the offensive line’s good work, none of those things were the main takeaway, for me. Yes, all of those things needed to happen at the right time, and they did. But, if you ask me, that play was Godwin’s highlight, because no other player on the field could have made that play. Not Mike Evans, who was being shadowed by star cornerback Marshon Lattimore, not Adam Humphries, who would not have been asked to run a vertical route like that, and not Cameron Brate, who likely would not have had the speed to breakaway from the defender to receive that pass in stride.

That final play of the season brought together a lot of the things we mentioned before, a lot of things that went into the Bucs forgettable 2017. But more memorably it also brought together and finalized a great rookie season for Godwin.

In a year that the Bucs’ main goal on offense was to “get more dynamic” they didn’t exactly live up to that in the passing game.

Winston’s shoulder being hurt did not help them, but the utilization of the players they had didn’t seem to pan out, when healthy, either. If you take out tight end O.J. Howard’s insane 16.6 yards per catch average, Godwin finished the season with the next highest efficiency rating per catch. If you’ll notice, Godwin also had the longest play of any receiver at 70 yards. Godwin wasn’t suppose to have that much of a role in 2017 with such a deep receiver pool on the roster, but he did. You know why? Because he’s that damn good, and it was obvious midway through the season that experience was the only thing standing in his way.

Godwin got off to a slow start in 2017 with just eight catches and 83 yards in his first eight games. But, as the opportunities came, Godwin took them and never looked back recording 26 catches for 442 yards in the second half of the season, trailing only Evans in total yards.

Godwin got his chance to shine due to injuries to many and a suspension to Evans last year, but going into 2018, it seems as though injuries to other players won’t be in the way of Godwin getting “starter” reps. At least, that’s what his offensive coordinator Todd Monken thinks.

“I see him as a starter,” Monken said. “That’s how I see it. He’s earned the right to be a starter. Whether it works out that way or not, I don’t know. But he’s earned the right, finished the year that way … Whatever we’ve asked him to do, he’s done it well, and he’s only going to continue to get better. Why? Because he’s big, he’s fast, he’s physical, he’s smart. He’s going to continue to develop and it’s important to him. He takes care of his body, does it exactly the way you want.”

A starter, huh? Well, what does that mean? I mean, Evans isn’t going anywhere. Does that mean Godwin is going to start taking reps from DeSean Jackson?

Bucs WR DeSean Jackson - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Bucs WR DeSean Jackson – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Let’s look at some numbers.

In 2017, Jackson averaged 13.4 yards per catch, a career-low for him, versus Godwin’s 15.4 average. Jackson also recorded just 1.53 yards accumulated per route run, another career-low, while Godwin finished his season with a 2.04 average. In yards after the catch, Jackson finished with a 3.8 average, you guessed it, another career-low, and Godwin ended with a 5.1 average. Finally, Jackson’s longest play of the year was for 41 yards, yep, a career-low, and Godwin, as we know, recorded the team-best 70-yard play late in the season at Carolina.

Jackson will be 32 years old coming off one of the worst seasons of his career while Godwin will be a decade younger and coming off a pleasantly surprising rookie campaign. But, are the numbers as damning to Jackson’s role as a starter and as boastful to Godwin’s case as one as it seems? Is Godwin really ready to overtake such a role from one of the best deep threat players to play the game over the last decade?

On the next page, we dive into Godwin’s film to answer those questions.

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About the Author: Trevor Sikkema

Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. 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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DT25
DT25
4 years ago

Amazing break down Trevor. Page 3 absolutely nails everything I was pounding the table for last season. What better way to finally incorporate some quick-hitting momentum routes for Desean AND get Godwin more involved than sliding Jackson into the slot? How this wasn’t a common formation last season still confuses me to this day.

DT25
DT25
Reply to  Trevor Sikkema
4 years ago

And just saw your tweet from today’s practice…praise the sweet baby Jesus it’s finally happening. First step to making adjustments: being aware adjustments need to be made. Seems like we’re actually on to something here.

Ktown
Ktown
4 years ago

100% agree. Seems obvious as primary roles. Then switch things around to keep offenses guessing. Forget DeSean’s feelings.

X: Mike Evans
Z: Chris Godwin
Y: DeSean Jackson

Also, you rotate desean (and the others to some extent) in and out of the game for 2 tight end sets (keep them fresh).

Buc 1976
Buc 1976
4 years ago

IMO the young man has a very bright Future.

BUC-ASS-BOB
BUC-ASS-BOB
4 years ago

And with that pass went Bradley Chubb that game had zero meaning New Orleans go to same spot in playoffs Bucs still last place in divination. Draft pick goes from Bradley Chubb to fat Veta bust.
Even after Glazers told coach his job was his 2018 win lose or draw last game wink wink./
Very small minds , sorry to insult I would like see Bucs start winning and until Glazers make major changes you will be wanting this season over to soon Mr Sikkema !

Buc-n-Philly Fan
Buc-n-Philly Fan
Reply to  Trevor Sikkema
4 years ago

I think this is “Buccaneer Bob” that tries to get on 620 that is drunk all of the time. You can tell by his “speech” when he says “Bucs still last place in divination”…lol.

Have another drink Bro and come back when you are a true fan of WINNING!!!

plopes808
plopes808
Reply to  Trevor Sikkema
4 years ago

Don’t feed the troll Trev! He’s got an unhealthy obsession with Chubb and he’s hoping we fail so he can say “I told you so.”

Mike.Seven
Mike.Seven
Reply to  Trevor Sikkema
4 years ago

Will save further comment for the season a little concerned that last game Penn state really made Veta look bad and now Cappa shoved him around a lot. NFL has a lot of studs on O line, unlike PAC12.

Ken Osborne
Ken Osborne
Reply to  Mike.Seven
4 years ago

I’ve been trying to find video of cappa and vea where did you see this at? Did you actually go to the ota’s and see this?

Ken Osborne
Ken Osborne
Reply to  Mike.Seven
4 years ago

Mike.Seven where did you see this did you actually go to the ota’s. Or is there video? pewterreportts ……

wnb0395
wnb0395
Reply to  BUC-ASS-BOB
4 years ago

But without that play we don’t get Stewart, C Davis (who I think will end up being the steal of this draft), or Cappa. I don’t feel Chubb is worth Vea, Stewart, Davis, and Cappa.

Kimba
Kimba
Reply to  wnb0395
4 years ago

Totally agree with you–you bring up the perfect response! We would of taken Chubb and then no additional picks. Honestly JPP should be better than Chubb in this next year. JPP is an awesome talent.

plopes808
plopes808
Reply to  wnb0395
4 years ago

100% agreed! This guy even suggested we should’ve traded up to get Chubb which is completely laughable

Mike.Seven
Mike.Seven
Reply to  wnb0395
4 years ago

Cappa is the best pick of Bucs draft the rest will wait and see, This team needed a good D lineman in good shape like Chubb due to time Bucs D on the field, not a fattie that Cappa through all around in minicamp.
I would bet Mike Smith is concerned about way Cappa through Veta around.

plopes808
plopes808
Reply to  Mike.Seven
4 years ago

There was NO WAY we could’ve gotten Chubb where we were picking. Time to move on fellas…

Sneedy16
Sneedy16
Reply to  BUC-ASS-BOB
4 years ago

I’m pretty sure you’re drunk. lol

scubog
scubog
Reply to  BUC-ASS-BOB
4 years ago

You obviously weren’t at the game with a Saints fan in front of you claiming victory and chanting “Who Dat”. You too might have welcomed that winning TD to shove it up the Saints Buc Ass.

None of us, including you, know if Chubb or Vea will have the better career. What I do know is, we got two CB’s we wouldn’t have had. Me, I enjoyed the win.

Buc 1976
Buc 1976
Reply to  BUC-ASS-BOB
4 years ago

Part of your name is right on!

Motobird
Motobird
Reply to  BUC-ASS-BOB
4 years ago

B-A-B: Incredibly stupid stuff saying a team should try and not win to get draft picks, or that an owner would insinuate that to a coach (wink wink) Beyond ignorant. As if you know at that time who the best draft picks are, as if you think a team could or would really do that, and as if you know that Vita Vea is going to be a bust. Bucs had an excellent draft by all accounts. JPP is an acceptable substitute for rookie Bradley Chubb at least for a minute or two – who is saying Chubb can’t bust?… Read more »

pinkstob
pinkstob
4 years ago

I agree with TS and DT25 and Ktown. The offense is more productive with Godwin on the outside so let Godwin start ahead of Desean and let Desean play in the slot in 3 WR sets. Godwin stinks at special teams anyway so having Godwin as a starter gets him off special teams so you kill two birds with one stone.

IDGABuc
IDGABuc
4 years ago

It’s not really a knock on Adam Humphries to want to bet Evans, Jackson and Godwin on the field together. Well, not much of one. Both Godwin and Jackson are faster and have more big play ability and Koetter is always talking about explosive plays. Just makes sense.

Ja'crispy
Ja'crispy
4 years ago

Trevor Sikkema for Offensive Coordinator! He seems like he knows how to use our receivers better then the current staff!

Bucsfan1983
Bucsfan1983
4 years ago

Completely agree Trevor. DJax in the slot, move him around, get him in space. I think Godwin will have an improved year from rookie season and I see DJax having a bounce back season.

FLBoy84
FLBoy84
4 years ago

Agree with most that Godwin on the outside and Jackson in the slot is the way to go. Side note… that top clip is a perfect example of why so many of us are frustrated with Donovan Smith. Granted he had two guys to block, buy at least stop ONE of them from getting into the backfield to make the tackle. Hard to say you’re Top-3 in the league when you put plays like that on film.

surferdudes
4 years ago

Godwin’s roster spot could be in jeopardy they resigned Reedy!! LoL.

Horse
Horse
4 years ago

Injuries for probably has something to say about all of this analysis. You did good again Trevor. Here’s another question for you and for me this is my concern;. If Winston goes down we are in serious trouble with Fitzpatrick in Griffin. I don’t understand why we didn’t draft a QB, and I would love to hear your answer to this question?

plopes808
plopes808
Reply to  Horse
4 years ago

We’ll be ok with Fitz, hopefully we draft one next offseason though as there doesn’t seem to be much confidence in Griffin.

XpfcWintergreen2
XpfcWintergreen2
4 years ago

Wonderful Analysis. Now, what if Evans, Jackson, and Godwin all have excellent to great seasons this year. What are we going to with Howard, Brate, and Humphries as receivers? What a terrible dilemna to have! By the end of the season, all the negative “true” fans and bandwagon fans will be crowding us out of the stadium anyway. Tickets will be hard to find again. Ask the long-suffering fans who have been around since the 80s what success brings. (That was in an era long before I got here.) This old geezer won’t care that much. You can have just… Read more »

plopes808
plopes808
4 years ago

Agree with everything you’ve written Trev! It’s absolutely ridiculous that our offensive staff didn’t utilize this setup last year. By now, hopefully they’ve learned better and put us in the best position to win.

drdneast
drdneast
4 years ago

When I read something like what Buc-Ass-Bob, I just shake my head sadly.
I don’t know if it is coming from an alcohol damaged mind or from a culture now that celebrates and rewards stupid boorish behavior, thinking and ideas.
What I do know is common sense and you can’t talk about developing a winning culture when you encourage your players to lose.
Once you teach and condone losing, it takes longer to undo than it does to build a winning culture.
Get some help, Bob.