This was no quiet Wednesday at One Buc Place. Between the players getting their special gifts from the NFL, the coaches being asked about the recent roster moves and the team dropping injury bombs on the media before things even got started, there was plenty of action around the building on Wednesday.
These were the four things we learned from One Buc Place on Wednesday.
Starters Out; Starter Back
Before we even got to the first scheduled event of the day at One Buc Place, it was announced by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that the team would be placing starting offensive linemen Ali Marpet and Demar Dotson on IR for the remainder of the season.
Both Marpet and Dotson left Sunday’s game in Atlanta with knee injuries, but both did return to finish the game. It was later confirmed to Tampa Bay Times reporter Rick Stroud that Dotson played the rest of that game on a torn PCL.
However, as a few starters went down, the team gained another; this one at the most important position.
Quarterback Jameis Winston was back on the practice field today, and the players around the locker room were happy about it. In the clip above, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy talked about Winston now being “back in his element.”
Regardless of the record, Winston and the group he will be playing with are happy he’s back.
Bucs Cleats For a Cause
Something very cool that the NFL is doing this year is called the “My Cause, My Cleats” initiative.
What the league is doing is allowing players to wear custom cleats for one week that represent a charity or organization of their choice.
Watching the players open up their shoe boxes and see their cleats for the first time was like Christmas coming early for these guys. It was a fun day in the locker room because of that.
45 Bucs players are participating in the initiative this year, and if you want to see all 45 of the cleats, you can click the Twitter link above and scroll through.
A Failed Gameplan
The big takeaway (well, unfortunate takeaway) from Sunday’s game in Atlanta was Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones coming out of the game with 253 yards on 12 catches with two touchdowns.
Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith was expectedly asked about this, and his answer to not having an answer for Jones was pretty honest.
“That was a friggin terrible gameplan.”
Smith talked about the combination of the pass rush not getting home with some miscommunications in the secondary, but how ever you want to skewer it, it was bad. The worst part was that the team, and Smith himself, never adjusted while the Falcons did.
Winston to Start (Officially Official)
We were told that Winston would be practicing this week, but nothing was confirmed about whether or not he was officially staring until head coach Dirk Koetter took to the podium after practice.
He told us that as long as Winston is healthy, he’s the starter and there will be no debate about it.
Winston will take the field in Green Bay without two of his starting offensive linemen or his starting running back, Doug Martin, who is in concussion protocol.