Eye In The Sky comes to you from PewterReport.com contributor Steven Cheah, who has been breaking down the Buccaneers All-22 onTwittersince 2015. Cheah will be joining PewterReport.com with video analysis for a monthly feature to closely examine the top plays you may have missed. Here are a few plays that stood out when watching the tape.
While this column will be monthly, I’m not going to mandate a Top 10 or Top 5, but simply take a look at the plays from a four-week stretch and decide which ones specifically are worth of being denoted as a ‘Top Play’ from that quarter of the Bucs’ 2019 season. From Weeks 1-4 we’ve got six plays that really stood out on the All-22 that you may have missed on TV or even in-person. Let’s build some suspense by going bottom to top:
No. 6 – BARRETT KNIFES IN
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Tampa Bay outside linebacker Shaq Barrett can play the run in addition to all the sacks (nine!) he’s been getting, too.
Maybe his weakness is his run defense? Nope. Check out his insane jump he gets! He beats both the RT AND the TE crossing the formation for a trap block to get a TFL. Wow!! #Bucsfilm2019wk3pic.twitter.com/jDBus3LkGv
Dare I say Barrett is the best free agent signing this organization has had since defensive end Simeon Rice in 2001? Wide receivers Vincent Jackson and Joey Galloway were really good acquisitions, too but neither were ever in the conversation for Offensive Player of the Year. Rice brought that pass rush off the edge that put the defense over the top and made Tampa Bay a legit Super Bowl contender, which hopefully is what Barrett will do. If he keeps up this pace, he may pick up some additional hardware along the way.
This play is wild to see the type of jump he gets. He not only beats the right tackle to the inside, but he beats the trap block and meets Saquon Barkley as soon as he gets the hand-off. Three Giants, one Buccaneer. Winner = that one Buccaneer with a tackle for loss.
NO. 5 – CAPPA WINS WITH BRAINS AND BRAWN
Young right guard Alex Cappa outsmarts the best player in the league.
Alex Cappa pulled one of the slyest moves on this play. Donald uses a jump chop to defeat OL's hands, but Cappa FAKES shooting his hands early, causing Donald to react with the jump chop, only there aren't any hands there! He then uses his length to win the rep. #Bucsfilm2019wk4pic.twitter.com/5Y2UrWSu0a
Right guard was a huge question mark coming into this year and was the Bucs’ biggest weakness in 2018. Caleb Benenoch was quickly released after making the final 53-man roster, and Cappa, a second-year lineman out of Humbolt State, was given a shot. Cappa was a third-round pick a year ago, but didn’t seem at all ready to play last year. This year Cappa looks like he’s filled out a bit more weight-wise and he’s been taking advantage of his opportunity with good play.
Here he is matched up against the best player in football – Rams All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald – and not only holds his own, but wins. The way he wins is really impressive, too. Donald crafted a jump chop move two seasons ago and utilized it often on his way to a league-high 20.5 sacks last season. Cappa knows this and baits Donald into using the move which is incredible for anyone, let alone a second-year player from a small school. Cappa then uses his length once Donald has declared his move. He does a nice job keeping him out of Jameis Winston’s face and steers him towards his help. Really impressive stuff from Cappa.
NO. 4 – WINSTON WIGGLES AWAY FROM BOSA
Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston showing San Francisco rookie edge rusher Nick Bosa that getting sacks isn’t as easy as it used to be at Ohio State.
Jameis' athleticism in the pocket is underrated. Whenever there is a free rusher, it's not a certain sack. Here Jameis gives Nick Bosa his 'Welcome to the NFL' moment. This is #3 at his best. #Bucsfilm2019wk1pic.twitter.com/OFK5PnhMLz
Winston’s pocket mobility has always been underrated. He utilizes reverse pivots like Tony Romo used to do really often and is slippery for a big quarterback. Bosa was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft and basically born to play football. His brother Joey is a big time player for the Chargers and his dad was a former first-round pick, too.
The Bosas are basically the league’s defensive version of the Mannings, and in his first game, Winston gives the younger Bosa his “Welcome to the NFL” moment by completely shaking him after Bosa wins the rep and would appear to be on his way to his first career sack. It’s not that easy at this level, rook. Winston not only slithers free, but hits Mike Evans in stride with a perfectly thrown ball.
NO. 3 – JONES FOLLOWS THE LEADER
Center Ryan Jensen leads the way for Bucs running back Ronald Jones II – 25 yards down field.
Ryan Jensen was a huge free agent signing last offseason coming over from Baltimore. The Bucs made him the highest-paid center in the league and quite frankly, he didn’t play up to his contract. But this year is a new year and Jensen has been worth every penny so far in 2019. On this play he shows his speed for a big guy and makes sure to finish the job en route to a 25-yard run by Jones.
NO. 2 – DAVID’s DASH AND BASH
Bucs inside linebacker Lavonte David shows off his sideline-to-sideline speed.
This play is insane. Like a lion catching it's prey. With the Rams trying to get out of bounds and stop the clock, Lavonte David comes FLYING in to make the tackle in bounds. Clock continues to run. Winning football play from a complete freak at the LB position. #Bucsfilm2019wk4pic.twitter.com/MPrqSDcn5a
David is one of the best Buccaneers to ever do it at the linebacker position. He’s been such a mainstay here that he can often be overlooked. But when you pop the tape in, it’s so clear this guy just has another gear – even at age 29 and coming off a knee injury in training camp.
On this play, with the Rams looking to conserve time while moving the ball down the field, David is not only aware of the situation, but has the elite physical traits to do something about it. Watching this just took my mind out to the Serengeti thinking about a lion catching it’s prey for dinner. David’s speed and ferocity truly jump off the screen.
NO. 1 – MARPET MASTERS McCOY
This isn’t the kind of payback former Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy had in mind when he faced his old team in Week 2.
Remember all that "I've been watching y'all [Panthers D-line] dominate this [Bucs O-line] group for years" Gerald McCoy was talking last week pre-game? Well, Ali Marpet started to change the narrative here by putting Gerald on his back. #Bucsfilm2019wk2pic.twitter.com/YFftkmTLKi
In Week 2, the Bucs were faced with as much of a must-win game as you could have in mid-September. The possibility of falling to 0-2 with five games away from Raymond James Stadium in a row on the horizon after their next home game against he Giants, Tampa Bay needed to make a statement on Thursday Night Football against division rival Carolina.
Those TV cameras picked up McCoy saying that the Panthers defensive line had dominated the Bucs’ offensive line for years and all that changed was that he would be a part of it now. He likely didn’t hear that clip before the game, but Marpet certainly started to change that narrative as he put McCoy on his back here in a play that certainly made Bucs fans that did hear that sound bite smile.
Did I miss any you thought should have made the list? Let me know in the comments section below or feel free to reach out to me on Twitter at @StevenCheah
I’ll be back next month at the midway point in the season with even more plays from the Bucs’ second quarter of the 2019 campaign.
I hail from, and currently live in New Jersey, but have been a Buccaneers fan since 1997. I have been a PewterReport subscriber/consumer almost as long. In 2015 I wanted to get closer to the game, so I started breaking down the All-22 tape and haven't missed a week since. I put all clips out via twitter @StevenCheah and will also be putting together some features on PewterReport with the Eye in the Sky column.