It’s always difficult to make season-ending grades for a team that had so much potential and didn’t quite live up to it. Of course we’re talking about the 2017 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – the team that was featured on Hard Knocks and expected to make the playoffs for the first time since 2007. The end result was a disappointing 5-11 record.

On one hand, you have the shortcomings. You convinced yourself of what could have been with a roster or unit and when things don’t measure up to it, you automatically think that it has to be a failure as a result. But, on the other hand, there are still good things that were done. The Bucs did win some football games in 2017, and even in some of their losses, certain players and position were able to show exactly what they’re capable of.

So how do you balance out each? Well, that’s what PewterReport.com is here to do. On the next few pages we’ll go over each positional unit on the Buccaneers and grade out their performances form 2017 as a whole, both versus their potential and in the reality of how they performed for their team. Let’s start with Tampa Bay’s offense.

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30 COMMENTS

  1. After watching the Titans beat KC and how Marcus Mariota has won his first playoff game from behind, Thinking about management decisions to hire Lovie Smith Winston instead of Mariota Dirk Koetter, keeping whole staff after bad season
    it seems the management of this team are pure stupid or they want to be the bottom team on purpose to keep salaries down . It is sad because I really am a Buc fan, but it so hard to watch these morons run this team.

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    • And, who tipped that first TD “pass” to the Titans QB?

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    • Yup a whopping 57% of his passes completed with an interception, and what any fan with eyes viewed as a fumble. His TD pass to himself was all luck and the reason the Titans won this game was a running game and defense. But you keep telling yourself it was His masterful 200 yard performance that won it for them.

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      • You Winston fan boys just don’t get it.

        A quarterback got his team to the playoffs, and everybody in the entire NFL world including all the major media writers, along with the man’s teammates on the Titans, all credited this player as the man of the game, was lauded by others like Peter King for the offensive performance of the entire wild card playoff weekend … and all you want to do is focus on the glass half full.

        Your unreasoned defense of Winston no matter what compels you to write like a brainless fanboy in complete contravention of what everybody else in the NFL knows to be true.

        Really, cg, and you other Winston fanboys, give it up. Just give it the hell up,.

        I celebrate all great performances – when Winston had a couple of them this year, I celebrated those. I celebrate Drew Brees’ performance yesterday, and also celebrated a great performance, though in a loss, by Cam Newton. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.

        Homerism is rampant here on this website’s commment pages. Get over yourselves. The NFL world does not revolve around your blatant, ridiculous homerism.

        If and when Jameis Winston gets the Bucs to the playoffs … and wins a playoff game … and gets selected by the major media as the playoff hero of the wild card round., we should all celebrate that. I will be there celebrating too.

        Homerism is the great cancer of sports talk. It unfortunately infects a lot of brains in the world of fans. The game and its greatest players are much more important than any attempts to denigrate great performances using only the brain dead mantra of homerism.

        Please – go ahead and downvote me. The more downvotes I get for this comment the prouder I’ll be of the NFL and what it means to be a true fan of the game,

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        • Mariota had no business making it to the playoffs. He was the 27th ranked QB in QBR and threw 13tds to 15ints. But yes the Bucs made a mistake drafting Winston because Mariota won a playoff game where the officiating was a joke, the Chiefs choked, his running back was phenomenal and his defense allowed 0 nada points in the 2nd half. But yes your absolutely right Mariota is the reason they won the game and he’s the reason they made to the playoffs. That defense, that running game, and that Oline had very minimal impact it was all Mariota. Yes the National media roots for a guy that’s easy to root for. I have absolutely nothing against Mariota I actually preferred him until I started watching more film. But you Winston haters need to go become Titans fans, is ridiculous how idiotic you guys sound. Listen Winston is the better QB and I’m 110% sure that if he was the Titans QB they would’ve made to the playoffs probably even won their division. But let the hate blind you from the facts.

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        • I didn’t downvote you because I’m some FSU homer. I downvoted you because I can’t believe how amazingly wrong you are top to bottom on Mariota’s performance both this year and in the wild card round.

          Mariota played 15 games and went for 3,232 yards on 62% completion percentage with 13 TDs and 15 Ints. Winston beat him in basically every important category this year with less games and on a shittier team. You don’t have to be a homer to realize that Mariota had a very down year and wasn’t playing anywhere near a playoff-worthy level.

          Such play showed in the playoffs when, against a pretty poor Chiefs defense, a combination of flukes and really bad officiating even put the Titans in position to win. I don’t know what game you were watching, but I saw Derrick Henry and a solid enough defense snatch a victory from the jaws of defeat. Henry was the clear MVP of that game.

          But yeah, guys like Peter King were raving about Mariota so he must have put in a stellar performance. What’s next, was Blake Bortles’ absolutely dreadful 12/23 for 87 yards and a TD performance what willed his team to win as well? He’s so valuable. /sarcasm

          Naples, I give you credit. I thought I would go the whole year without hearing ridiculous Winston homerism comments from the Mariota sour-grapers. You’ve proven that some topics will never die. Well done. /slow claps

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  2. Trevor, thank you. Not bad; I thought you were a little too kind on a few grades, unless you were give a handicap due to coaching ? Was that your intentions?

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    • giving not give

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    • The grades given were on average one full grade too generous. When a team goes 5-11, that means nobody gets a grade higher than a c.

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      • A team’s record has nothing to do with a unit’s performance. Absolutely nothing. They either played well or they didn’t.

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    • Horse, I agree that Trevor was feeling a little magnanimous on some of these grades.

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  3. Grades were way too generous. I only hope it due to, as you mention, the difficulty of evaluating positions after the season the pretty much ended shortly after Irma.

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  4. The grades are right in line with how our groups as a whole would compare to other teams. We all know the obvious weaknesses and strengths. I for one rely more on what I really see than what Football Focus tells me I see. I also see the potential, which is a word that means you haven’t done anything yet, of a few developing players. I see other youngsters whose potential is more wishful thinking on my part, who need to be replaced. The ones that really annoy me are the veteran free agents who just rarely live up to the hype.

    In a few short weeks the games will end and the time for Jason Licht and company to seek out players, who can improve these grades at each position, can really begin. I hope the plan is to focus on the Draft and not waste valuable man hours evaluating soon to be free agents whose contributions to the team are far less that the contribution to their bank accounts.

    Licht has given us both good and suspect Draft classes. He has brought in undrafted free agents who have far exceeded expectations that have made up for some Draft errors. In my book he’s in the middle of the pack of his General Manager brethren. Had Roberto and Vernon Hargreaves become the stars expected, Jason might grade a bit better.

    To me the Glazers are showing more patience than many folks want because there has been just enough good to warrant one more year with this regime. The best part is that the problem is clearly visible. We know what is causing the roof to leak. Now all we have to do is fix it.

    It probably can’t be remedied in one Draft so we’re going to have to make do with who is already on the roster by making them better. That’s where the coaching staff comes in. We need to hire McGyver or Mr Fixit.

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    • Scubog, spot on!

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  5. The whole character level of this team shows years of poor management from the top if you really want comparison just watch the other teams in playoffs this year, the problem looks like the smart owner of this team died left the team to spoon feed fools. Not sure I can stomach another year of this carnival !

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  6. I thought the grades were a bit generous. Drafting the N.D. guard, or the Ohio St center wouldn’t be bad in the first round if Chubb is off the board. We need to build both lines up this off season. Anyone know who the best F.A. guards, and centers might be? Same for D ends, and D.T.’s. Might do well picking up another F.A. corner. Coaches, or coaching something needs to be tried. Approach to practice, how this team practices, some things need to be changed, or at least tried. How about letting Monkin game plan, and play call during preseason? How about Smitty get’s his ass on the sideline during preseason? See if it helps, or at least try.

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    • Surferdudes, two names – Center Weston Richburg/Giants and LG Andrew Norwell/Panthers who made the PFF All-Pro team. Among offensive guards with 170-plus pass-block snaps, Norwell finished second in pass-blocking efficiency at 98.3. Unless the Bucs take LG Quenton Nelson in the draft, this is a the type of FA that makes a difference.

      These are top UFAs. Richburg will probably make it to FA as the Giants (cap space) can’t keep both he and OT Justin Pugh. Norwell is not likely to make it unless he insists on testing the market. Jason Licht’s strategy of waiting to the end of FA and trying to find value FAs is not working. You get what you pay for – Chris Baker vs Calais Campbell.

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  7. I don’t see how the RBs couldn’t get a D or an F. Martin had a measly 3 yard per carry average and was a total disaster being showed up by Barber and Rogers who averaged closer to 4 yards per carry. There is no extra gear for any of our RB’s, and while I think we keep Barber as a strong 2nd string player there is no way he is a starter.

    The other major beef I have is OT and the review of Smith’s performance. Are you guys watching the same games? Smith has been an absolute and unmitigated disaster both from a penalty standpoint and from a blocking standpoint. You can’t salvage the whole season’s grade because he didn’t suck as much in the final 3 games of the year. Our standards are too low as Buc fans and we can’t even be real with ourselves.

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  8. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy reading these as much as the next guy, BUT:

    these grades don’t reflect anything of validity because positional groups don’t work in a vacuum. Meaning that how a QB plays is highly dependent on a number of factors including how the Oline plays, how the RBs play, the plays called etc.

    So trying to grade one positional group unto itself is just an exercise in futility because the groups are too inter-connected.

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  9. Trevor, I like the idea of moving Marpet back to center and drafting Ohio St. C – Billy Price. So goes the OL, so goes the rest of the offense. I hope the Bucs are going to having a heavy DL-OL draft.

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  10. Man if Our DEs were a D, what do you gotta do to score and F around here!? Not show up for the games?

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  11. Understand your reluctance to grade D Smith harsher at LT, but potential and flashes don’t equal production. Besides skill level, what separates the best from the rest is the internal drive to dominate and refusal to lose. Smith has the skills, but not the latter. He reminds me a lot of Donald Penn when he was here. In Penn’s case it took a release to wake him up and put a permanent chip on his shoulder to elevate his play consistently. Hopefully Litch can get Smith some legitimate competition for his spot and see if that’s enough to kick in that inner drive.

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  12. Side note, would be an interesting case study to compare the rosters of Tenn and TB and the moves that’ve been made by Robinson and Licht since Robinson took over as GM in Tenn in 2016.

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  13. I had the opportunity to see Barber play at Auburn.
    I can’t remember who they played but he had a great game. If given the chance we might have a good RB. IMO

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  14. Overall pretty agreeable grades, a lot of units showed streaks of both good and bad. Lastly, you are telling me that if the DE’s were an essay, you wouldn’t fail them? Haha good read Tre

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  15. Cgmaster, I couldn’t have stated the facts better.
    BrianDorrey, I has e to agree with u. Do the TE’s get a D for just showing up.other than that D, I thought grades were pretty fair.
    I was one of those who supported keeping Martin but I now think he has lost his conviction AFTER signing that big contract.
    Time to say bye unless he wants tho sign for much less with a lot of incentives packed into the deal.
    I was never in favor of moving Market to center like a lot of the people who post out here were.
    And yes it is hard to grade the DB ‘s when the DL is giving the QB 4 or 5 seconds to get rid of the ball.
    For a second round draft pick, Donovan Ssmith has been progressing. Most LTs in the NFL are chosen in the first round. AlI hear from his detractors is the same old negative reviews they read in some draft magazine when they selected him but I did think yours was fair Trevor.
    So Wadelesx, I not only waattch the game I watch the All 22 after the game. Do you.

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    • What these guys do DrD is watch on TV and follow the ball because that’s what the telecast shows. Maybe they should atttend a game once in a while and watch the O-line first hand. If they see a flag on the ground and it’s on Donovan Smith, who has the toughest assignment of his linemates, for some reason they give it more critique than the ones called on the rest of the O-line. When they see Jameis holding onto the ball trying to salvage the play they think the O-line, and in particular Donovan Smith, should keep the opponent at bay forever. For some reason they don’t want to see the real problem is inside at guard. Yes, out of the 60 or so plays each game, #76 might have a time or two when the DE gets around him. Yes, there is the occasional penalty. But the guy has lined up every play since he walked in the building. That accounts for something.

      Regarding Marpet to center. It was Jason Licht who predicted Marpet would be a better center than guard and would eventually play him there. I don’t think it’s time yet to declare the move a failure. I will say, I don’t think #74 was dominant. I think he was thinking too much.

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      • Scubog, I agree with you about Smith. I also think Marpet will be much improved this year at Center. At OG is another story. I can see same starting RG staying because 2017 was all about getting back up to his previous playing shape. LG is a big issue, but I would be very surprised if we didn’t address it via Free Agency and also select a future guard in the lower rounds. We just have too much of a need for DE’s and another CB; I hope in the early rounds that’s where we improve our Defense. What’s your thoughts?

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  16. All in all, excellent grading for the team. Can’t disagree with the problem areas and how to improve them.

    Bucs should avoid making splashy free agent moves. Teams that win free agency are hardly guaranteed playoffs. They need a solid players or two or three who are not necessarily looking for their retirement money.

    Drafting a top overall defensive end that can be BOTH an edge rusher and play every down is a key need. So is a defensive stalwart cornerback. Bradley Chubb (DE) of North Carolina and Ronnie Harrison (S) of Alabama will be highly sought prospects at their respective positions. If the Bucs want to ensure one or both of these picks, they should prepared to move up early in the first round (Chubb) or move up in the second round (Harrison) to get them.

    Look at what the Saints did with the right draft hits.

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  17. Licht did a poorer job this year than Richardson, who likely propped up Licht before he left and made the difference getting the Titans into the play offs this year.
    Licht was surpassed by every GM in our Division this year. He needed to be fired but instead got an extension from our naive owners. Smith plays like a second pick LT when we need a first pick LT like most good NFL LTs. Move Smith to LG this year and he will be an All Pro there in this year. Take a Center in the third round and a pass rushing DE who also can stop the run. Go Bucs!!!

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