Bucs QB Jameis Winston - Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR
Tuesday night was a long time coming. For months, Bucs fans have been eagerly waiting and waiting to see their team in the brightest of spotlights under the most high quality cameras that come with HBO’s Hard Knocks. The first episode didn’t disappoint.
As you can imagine, quarterback Jameis Winston was the feature player for most of the hour-long episode. However, there were plenty of other features in episode one including DeSean Jackson, Mike Evans, Gerald McCoy and even linebacker Riley Bullough.
As do most of the opening episodes for in-depth shows, Hard Knocks began by taking a look at Winston’s upbringing in Bessemer, Alabama. The camera showed what life was like for Winston growing up – a simple life, to say the least. It also featured some of the home life of Gerald McCoy and how important family is to him.
In the middle of the show, Hard Knocks featured DeSean Jackson quite a bit, mainly his transition to a new team at an older age, acclimating to Tampa, FL and the Buccaneers offense. They highlighted some of his biggest plays so far in training camp, plays that surely got those outside of the local spotlight fired up.
The rest of the episode featured the good, the bad, the excitement and the struggles, all through beautiful cinematography. Here were some of our top moments from episode one.
The most surprising moment of the show had to be when we learned that rookie running back, Jeremy McNichols, not only knows, but is like family with rapper Snoop Dogg. In fact, the show featured a moment where the two FaceTimed and Snoop gave McNichols some advice.
We’ve been at camp since it began, and none of us knew that was coming.
The funniest moment had to be when the coaches made the rookies sing in front of the whole team. Rookie wide receiver, Chris Godwin, may suck at signing, but he got up there and sang “Ain’t No Mountain High” with confidence. Linebacker, Riley Bullough did the same with his.
Quarterback Sefo Liufau actually has some pipes on him, and didn’t do half bad with his. However, when safety Justin Evans had to read lyrics off his phone just to quietly try to mumble the words to “Eye of the Tiger,” running back, Doug Martin, promptly took to the stage to sweep him off with a Michael Jackson moon walk.
There were a few quotes that were memorable, some motivating and some humorous, but the one that stood out the most was one that was spoken in the first five minutes of the show from head coach, Dirk Koetter.
“Teams are like rockets, most of the work is done beforehand.”
This was Koetter’s way of reeling in the hype of his team before they even played a game. It was his way of saying that they may be great on paper, but unless they put in the work, they won’t be able to get the job done when they need to.
What makes a rocket go is done before its launch date. What will make the Buccaneers a playoff team will be done before the regular season.
There was a lot of very good cinematography in episode one. We were big fans of the drone footage they got from all angles of One Buc Place, and thought it really showed the place well.
However, the best shot, in our opinion, was when they simultaneous cut back and forth between Winston’s incredible scramble and bomb to Mike Evans against Chicago last year and Winston scrambling around in practice in the same manor this training camp. The shot perfectly encapsulated who Winston is as a quarterback. He’s a guy who is unconventional by nature, and plays like the one that happened in the Chicago game don’t happen by luck alone.
The best moment had to be the final scene. In it, it showed a dejected Winston after a terrible practice going home to his hotel room. But, whether the day before was good or bad, Winston wakes up every morning at the same time with the same motivation and the same focus. It showed him getting to the facility before the sun came up, praying and meditating at his locker in an empty locker room, and getting his workout in before anyone else was in the building. The final shot was of him lifting weights in a focused moment – what a cliff hanger that was.
Those were our favorite moments, now it’s time to hear yours.
What did you think of episode one? What was your favorite moment, and what do you hope gets more air time next week?
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 liked it. Thought it was very entertaining. First time I heard about LB Riley Bullough. Good for him. I thought LB Richie Brown was the prized UDFA LB signing, but haven’t heard anything about him yet. Overall It was good, but hope we get more on players that are up and coming and trying to make the team. I’m a football junkie, so obviously I’d like to see more football action. OC Todd Monken is rather outspoken. lol. Getting a closeup of the construction of the training facility was good too – place is huge! Good show – I will watch future episodes. Go Bucs!
Oh, and Gerald McCoy’s son is a chip off the ole block. Like dad, the kid is gonna be a big’un. lol.
I loved it! My fav scene was Doug sweeping the rookie off the stage! & Most definitely loved RILEY #49!!! GREAT LEADER…hope he stays w/us!!!
NEED A JOE DIRT #49 JERSEY!
PS. Check your spelling Pewter Report…you’ve got some errors!
Get a grip Liz! As the late Mark Twain said…..”I have no respect for a man who can only spell a word one way”.
Riley Bullough is a character. He’s like that real intense and passionate linebacker on your high school football team that never changed and made it to the NFL. He’s got the perfect personality for a special teamer and I hope he makes it. Him cursing every time he hit the sled made me really laugh.
Another interesting thing is I heard Dirk say that McNichols was the best receiving back. Seems like that would foreshadow the end for Charles Sims.
I liked the fact that folks around the country may actually change their perception of our team and its’ players and perhaps no longer think of the Bucs (Yucks) as perennial cellar dwellers. Hereabouts, even the most “doomsday prepper ” fan has to acknowledge the increased level of talent, but more importantly, the change in culture within the organization. New teams rise and fall every season. As the Stick Carriers cheered, “Why not us?,,,,,,,,Why not now?” Maybe, just maybe, those fans in Detroit, who have been wallowing in mediocrity since the “Another One Bites the Dust” era, won’t automatically circle the Bucs game as a W after seeing Hard Knocks.
Loved the action play where Riley broke up the pass to Howard. Riley is definitely a guy I’m going to be watching. I hope he can at least catch on to the practice squid. Hated to see the couple of players cut. Koetter did that with class.
Loved it !! A few thoughts….
1. Looks to me that GMC has genuinely grown into and embraced his role as a true vet leader. I think most who study leadership would agree that his emphatic comments to the media about it “all being about #3” really demonstrate that. I hope the haters give him some room to grow as a Buc as opposed to always staring backwards.
2. The nation should now, finally, be catching on to the fact that “crab leg stealing” Jamies is a distant part of the past. Its clear that #3 is as real as it gets in terms of commitment and walking the walk. Is he a perfect QB yet? Hell no. He needs to work on decision making and accuracy; but he clearly knows it and is well along the path to getting there by continuing to bust his ass every single day.
3. Very impressive cinemaphotograpy & editing by NFL films. I’m sure at least a few other Big Lebowski fans enjoyed the homage to the classic opening scene as a way to condense and highlight the “players day off” activities; which in the past has often been one of the weaker parts of the Hard Knocks show.
4. Hoping / expecting on future episodes to see more “Wrath of Kwon”, VH III, “Noah end in sight Spence”, and “Ali Magic Marpet ride”.
Yeah, I loved the Big Lebowski nod too!
Overall, I was impressed. No signs of any fake drama, the producers clearly have and show a lot of respect for this team and its organization … I guess I was expecting something more along the lines of an expose, a la the usual sports crap they serve up on HBO Sports.
There’ll likely be more drama as the season goes on, though, it’s to be expected as the Bucs play and react to their pre-season games and the one-time big cut to 53 at the end of pre-season (a first this year in the NFL). Perhaps there will be some actual fighting between players, but that seems rather doubtful with this bunch … to be honest, the egos on this team are just not that outlandish as we see on so many other professional sports teams, whether NFL or NBA or MLB.
My favorite moment was the rookie sing. Not only was it funny, but the viewer can tell that these players and coaches genuinely see themselves as one big family. Unfortunately for 40 some guys who come into to training camp and leave without a job, the family won’t be big enough.
Winston came across as a likeable guy, someone who himself really likes his teammates. There are many ways to be and act as a leader, but genuinely liking and respecting the ones you are expected to lead is a key element of true leadership, as opposed to rah rah stuff. Ditto with Gerald McCoy, who also loves his teammates and declares that to lead one must first serve. I think both guys are inspiring in their own ways.
One other really funny and special moment was during the rookie sing, when Antony Auclair stood up and sang O Canada in French … the reactions of the other guys in the audience was spectacular … first shock, then huge guffaws, then they all stood up and put their hands across their hearts and attempted (very poorly) to sing along with Antony!
Great show. I’ve been a fan of Hard Knocks in the past but watching MY team is just special. I kept thinking that fans of the Panthers, Saints, and Falcons must have loved seeing Winston struggle near the end of the episode. Either that really was a bad practice or it was clever editing to string together incompletions and interceptions to set up for the “Rocky” training montage at the end. No matter. Hall of Fame QB’s have had bad practices. It was the quote at the end that stuck with me. “Winners win and losers lose”. Jameis is a winner. He truly is more like Rodgers than Brady and I love it that way.
On the scenes of players getting cut. I too love this show for following real people on the bubble trying to achieve a dream. I root for them to make the team and am always pained when they get to go see the coach with their playbook. And I will root for some unknown players on this season of Hard Knocks too. But the difference this year is that it’s the Bucs. Whether I like the player or not matters zero. What matters is whether they are good enough. I’ll feel for you but say so long if you just aren’t good enough. Looking forward to the next episode.
I liked seeing how passionate Gruden was giving a pep talk to Winston. I got the feeling that if the Bucs would let him Gruden would love to spend time there coaching everyone for free just because he loves coaching so much.
Just watched the first episode and was fantastic. Loved the shots and cinematography and it was really well put together. It really wasn’t shown to be scripted and was just the guys being themselves.
Riley Bullough was a show stealer and I hope he makes the cut. You always need that guy with that intensity , regardless of if he’s starting or not.
Just impressed overall with its presentation. The end of the episode was probably my favorite part. really intense stuff there, good to see the good that goes with the bad in these camps. And just shows Jameis strive for excellence. As Bucs fans we know this stuff, but this show will change some minds. Can’t wait for the next episode.
As a long time Buc Fan I absolutely loved all of it! I actually feel like us missing the playoffs last year was maybe a blessing in disguise. I remember the hype surrounding the 1998 squad after making the playoffs the year before, only to go 8-8. I am definitely buying in to all of the hype with this years team.
Just finished watching it. A balanced presentation. (I never watch Hard Knocks as I haven’t had cable TV for years. Watched it on the Web.)
I love the way Koetter seems to be on top regarding every man on the roster. I’ve seen head coaches who never learn the names of all their players, even by mid-season.
Every facet that was shown says to me that the Bucs have arrived as a class organization. The management, coaching and team are showing quality and excellence. This bodes well for expectations for years to come.
Look forward to watching the remaining installments. It add more perspectives to attending open training camp days and using all the media I have time to devote to it.
Also I enjoyed all the comments here.
Really psyched! Go Bucs!!!!!!
Anyone know who the motivational speaker is that Jameis listens to? That guy is a powerful speaker.
Wake up with a purpose….Winners win and losers lose… Don’t blame others, take responsibility for your life. Great stuff!
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