• Part of the reason why Bucs cornerbacks coach Kevin Ross isn’t concerned about having such a young group of corners is because they won’t be exposed or constantly left on an island with defensive coordinator Todd Bowles calling the plays. Bowles and Ross coached together in Arizona from 2013-15 and Bowles is a master at seeing the field as a chess board and making the right moves with his pieces – attacking with strengths and protecting weaknesses.
Bucs DC Todd Bowles – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
“Todd does a great job of using his players to their strengths,” Ross said. “He doesn’t try to make them do things they can’t do. It’s our job to put our guys in position to make plays, and not a position to fail.”
Ross was out of coaching last year after Arians left the Cardinals in 2017, but answered the call when Arians wanted him to come coach Tampa Bay’s cornerbacks.
“He makes players and coaches want to run through a wall for you,” Ross said of Arians. “He’s easy to work for. His demands are real simple – teach these guys how to win and put them in the right position to make plays.”
• Keep an eye on rookie cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting, the team’s second-round pick. The Bucs’ brass is awfully excited about him, and legendary cornerback Ronde Barber, who is entering the Bucs Ring of Honor this year and will be calling Tampa Bay’s preseason action on WFLA News Channel 8, loves Murphy-Bunting’s quick feet.
The player Murphy-Bunting reminds me of his Barber’s former teammate, Donnie Abraham, who was the starting nickel corner in 1996 and set the franchise’s rookie record with five interceptions that year. At 6-foot, 195 pounds, Murphy-Bunting is slightly bigger and longer than the 5-foot-10, 192-pound Abraham was, and has been watching some of the league’s best cornerbacks to prepare for his NFL debut.
Bucs CB Sean Murphy-Bunting – Photo by: PewterReport.com
“I used to watch a lot of Darius Slay,” said Murphy-Bunting, who played at Central Michigan. “He was a hometown guy. I actually did a workout with him my sophomore year. He let me come to the field and work out with him. He’s a real technician at the line of scrimmage and he’s a long, lanky guy like me that I could compare my measurables to.
There are other guys across the league like Stephon Gilmore and Marshon Lattimore – there are different guys that I look at and take things from. I feel like I can have the kind of success those guys are having.”
• BUCS TRAINING CAMP IS HERE – FOLLOW PR ON TWITTER! The PR Twitter account continues to grow in popularity and there are some big reasons why. We cover Bucs practices, Bucs press conferences and break news on our @PewterReport Twitter account.
So if you aren’t one of the 32,400+ that follows PewterReport.com on Twitter please do so right now so you don’t miss out on Bucs practice footage, press conference notes and video, injury updates, breaking news and notifications about the latest stories and columns on PewterReport.com. Follow us today!
Here is PewterReport.com’s training camp schedule on WDAE:
Friday, August 9 – Scott Reynolds (3:30pm)
Monday, August 12 – Mark Cook (8:10am)
Friday, August 16 – Mark Cook (3:30pm)
Monday, August 19 – Scott Reynolds (8:10am)
Friday, August 23 – Scott Reynolds (3:30pm)
Monday, August 26 – Mark Cook (8:10am)
Friday, August 30 – Mark Cook (3:30pm)
Weekly regular season appearances twice a day on Mondays and Fridays and a two-segment show on Wednesday mornings begin in September on WDAE 95.3 FM – stay tuned!
• BUCS FOOTBALL IS BACK – AND SO IS A NEW PEWTER NATION PODCAST! The Bucs kick off their 2019 preseason at Pittsburgh against the Steelers on Friday, August 9, and the Pewter Reporters – Mark Cook, Trevor Sikkema, Matt Matera, Taylor Jenkins and yours truly – offer up their analysis on the team’s first two weeks of training camp and who they are excited to see perform in the preseason opener. Don’t miss this episode!
There is no better time to listen to a new Pewter Nation Podcast, which is presented by Chris Garrido of Westshore Financial, than on your drive home from work on Friday or running around doing errands or at the gym on Saturday. The next Pewter Nation Podcast will be taped early next week following the first padded training camp practice on Sunday.
• The Bucs have already had two players that were likely to make the 53-man roster go down with season-ending shoulder injuries. The first was reserve offensive lineman Michael Liedtke, who was a backup guard that could play left tackle in a pinch. The second is rookie safety D’Cota Dixon, who was having a very impressive training camp and looked like he was on his way to earning a roster spot.
Dixon impressed the coaches with his fast, aggressive playing style that led to several hard hits and interceptions in practice. The 2019 season will end up being a redshirt year for Dixon in Tampa Bay. Here is his highlight film from Wisconsin so you can see what the Bucs will be missing this year.
• Part of the reason why Tampa Bay second-year safety Jordan Whitehead has had a successful training camp and is currently atop the depth chart is because he really hit the weight room and added some needed size this offseason.
“I’m about 195 to 200 now, depending on the day, but I was about 185 or 190 last year,” Whitehead said. “Last year I was in a good scheme, but this year I’m in a great scheme and I feel real comfortable. [Coach Bowles] has a great plan and has put us in some really good spots. He’s going to put you where you’ll make some plays. We need to get more picks this year. That’s what the coaches have been preaching to us in the secondary all the time – make plays. Last year we didn’t have enough interceptions. That’s going to change this year.”
Bucs SS Jordan Whitehead – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Whitehead will start opposite rookie Mike Edwards, a third-round draft pick from Kentucky, who has also made his share of plays in training camp.
“I’m playing strong safety, but both spots are interchangeable,” Whitehead said. “Mike was a great player in college and he’s picking up on things fast. He’s gotten a lot of interceptions, and that’s a good thing. Mike is learning this defense really quick. I’m impressed. The more reps he gets the better he’ll be.”
• One of the reasons why the Tampa Bay coaches and players love Bucs cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III is due to his infectious energy and excitement about playing football. This is from a couple of years ago, but if you haven’t seen this edition of Mic’d Up with Hargreaves from Buccaneers.com, it’s a must-watch, and downright hilarious. Glad to see him healthy this year and having a good camp.
• PewterReport.com is proud to renew our partnership with AdventHealth during football season, and I’ve got an exciting promotion to tell you about. AdventHealth is the leading hospital and health care provider in Florida and elsewhere across the nation, as well as the title sponsor of the Bucs’ AdventHealth Training Center – formerly known as One Buc Place.
AdventHealth is giving away a flyaway trip for two Bucs fans to see Tampa Bay play at Detroit. So if you want to see your Buccaneers play the Lions on December 15 and visit the Motor City, click on the AdventHealth banners on PewterReport.com and register to win. It’s quick, free and easy. Double your chance to win by telling your friends and family members about this promotion – just make sure they take you if they end up winning the AdventHealth Bucs flyaway promotion!
Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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