Bucs QB Jameis Winston - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
On episode four of Hard Knocks: Training Camp With The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, NFL Films featured the first game in Raymond James Stadium of the 2017 season as the Bucs took on the Cleveland Browns.
With just two games left to go, time is starting to run out for the fringe players who are hoping to make themselves regular season Buccaneers. The third game is usually where the starter play the most, but we know that things don’t always happen as they’re planned.
Here were our favorite moments from episode three.
We’re not sure why it took so long for rookie wide receiver Chris Godwin to get his time in the spotlight on Hard Knocks, but in episode four he finally did. The show opened up early on featuring him working out with his girlfriend, and that played into the most surprising moment.
Godwin’s girl could whoop his ass.
Godwin met his girlfriend Mariah during their freshman year. Godwin actually played high school football for her father. The first scene of those two together was at the gym, and she definitely looked like someone who pushes Godwin in the weight room – he admitted that, too.
The rookie show was absolutely the funniest moment.
Though it didn’t come with too much background explanation, we assume all of the rookies had to put on a slide show and impersonation show for the rest of the team.
The best part was when they featured Chris Baker. During one of the impersonations, they made a comment that Baker only has to take one rep a day, to which Baker gave the one impersonating him (Justin Evans) a choice of words meaning to “buzz off.”
But, they weren’t done picking on him there. At the end, they counted down the top five ugliest players on the team, and Baker was number one, to which he responded by holding a certain finger high in the air to the laugher of the room.
Our favorite quotes came from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager when he was speaking to the assistant GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who was paying him a visit. In it, the Lightning’s assistant GM asked Licht about Winston, and this was his response.
“He’s the best leader I’ve ever been around… He inspires me.”
This show is not a fake redemption tour for Jameis Winston. It’s not some ploy to put him in the best light when he doesn’t belong there. It’s not a scripted, pick-and-choose show to make him look the best. This is who Winston is at all times.
Some people will never get over it, but we suppose that’s their choice against the evidence.
There were a few favorite shots from episode four. For one, the set up of the new locker room at the opening of the show and the finished product when they were showing it off to the players featured some great cinematic images.
But, rather than pick the most aesthetic shot from this episode, we picked the most impactful one: Winston staring into nothing for 10 straight second after his interception in the Browns game.
That moment spoke a thousand words while saying none. It encapsulated Winston’s season; how he could see a mistake like that in the regular season and what it was going to mean if it happened. It was as if he was looking into the future and thinking, “If I do that in two weeks, all of this hype, all of this talent, everyone counting on me won’t matter.”
That, to us, was powerful.
Our favorite moment of the episode had to be the story of wide receiver Donteea Dye getting back on his feet.
This is a guy who truly just loves the game of football, and loves to be out there every day. After watching this episode, you really got an idea of how hard it was for him to miss the time he did.
He’s a fun-loving guy, but he’s a hard worker, too. He’s often one of the last to leave the practice field, whether that’s getting extra reps with Winston, spending time with the fans, or catching passes on the catching machines. Getting to see him thrive in the game and keep his name alive for that fifth wide receiver spot was cool to see.
As for impactful moments, those are obvious. Rookies Jeremy McNichols, Bobo Wilson and Riley Bullough only have one more week, and it better be their best. We’ve tried to temper people’s expectation of McNichols as camp has gone on, and this week’s episode of Hard Knocks showed why loud and clear. As for Bullough, you could just tell the words cut out of Mike Smith’s mouth at the end of the episode were, “You can see why… he’s not going to make this team.”
One more week.
One more episode.
What do you think will happen?
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]
I enjoyed this episode a lot. Short on drama, long on comedy. These guys really like each other. I dread Saturday Sept 2nd at 4:00pm, the NFL version of Saint Valentine’s Day. Geesh, some tough decisions have to be made. I also liked the relationships of players and their softer sides with significant others. Good show, I’ll watch the final episode but I’m ready for some real football now! Go Bucs!
I’m going to miss HK after next week. I love the episodes and all the office coach/gm talk that we never get to see.
One gets the sense that Koetter and the other coaches really like Riley Bullough a lot, but know that he lacks the physical talent to compete in the NFL, or at least, on the Bucs defense. On the other hand, one gets the sense that Coach Koetter also likes Jeremy McNichols, but is angry, actually, that his mental abilities don’t match his physical talent. The Bucs obviously want the young running back to succeed, having spent a 5th round pick on him. But unless he gets his head in the game he’s not going to make the team … that was made very clear.
Happy to see Chris Godwin performing above expectations for a third rounder, and OJ performing at expectation for a first rounder.
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