FAB 5. SR’s Buc Shots
• Bucs defensive lineman Will Gholston is excited about seeing action at both defensive tackle positions where he will be backing up Gerald McCoy and Beau Allen. Allen recently told me that you have to be a little crazy to like to play inside and take on 600 pounds of muscle when offensive linemen come with a double team.
“Do you have to be crazy to play defensive tackle? Yeah, I think you need to be a little crazy to be an NFL football player in general – or coach, even,” Allen said. “Let’s not leave them out. They’re crazy, too. At times it can be a thankless job on the inside but you’ve got to love it. For us, for me, Mitch [Unrein], Vita [Vea], Will, Gerald [McCoy] even – anyone that’s on the inside – it’s not necessarily about the stats. It’s about getting the job done, doing whatever you need to do and doing whatever you can to get the win whether that’s stopping the run, taking on double teams, freeing up your linebackers or driving the pocket so the quarterback can’t step up and throw a long pass downfield. Those are things that you don’t see in the stat sheet but they’re really, really important.
“Sometimes interior defensive line play is not really sexy, but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. Sometimes to the casual fan, you don’t really a lot of appreciation as a nose guard or interior defensive lineman, but that’s all right. I think all of us interior guys on the Bucs and across the league, we know what we’re being asked to do and we understand our role of taking on double teams. If you ask anybody on the defense, I think they certainly appreciate it.”
Allen is a beefy, 320-pounder that has the size and strength to anchor against double teams. He has to use technique in order to prevent being driven out of his gap, but playing perfect technique is even more important to a guy like Gholston, who weighs just 280 pounds.
“A double team is wholeheartedly what they say it is – it’s a double team,” Gholston said. “It comes with the technique, I like the way I’m being taught how to play to be honest with you. I know the one thing that sticks to me the most is that overall reminder of arm extension and knocking people off the ball. That’s the one thing, anytime I think about my technique. I get good hand position and extension, and knock them back. It makes the game easier. I love the height and leverage I have. I feel like we are taught to take on the double team, if you take the double team correctly, it makes the game a little easier without a doubt.”
Gholston is becoming more and more comfortable playing inside with all of the reps he got during the preseason.
“At first, I just feel like it’s a comfort thing, just getting comfortable with it and understanding technique,” Gholston said. “It doesn’t matter how much I weigh, because Coach Buckner had guys there that are like 260 or so and even playing tackle [in Arizona], so I can’t complain about dropping a couple pounds.”
• Attention football fans! Here’s your chance to make some money watching the game you love. Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa is holding a $500,000 Pro Football Pick ’Em Challenge, which will take place weekly through January 20, 2019. You’ve probably seen the ads on PewterReport.com.
Cash and free play weekly prizes totaling $25,000 will be up for grabs for any Seminole Wild Card member and there is no cost or buy-in. Seminole Wild Cards are free to guests 21 and older.
Starting at 3:00 a.m. each Monday, guests may select picks for the upcoming Sunday and Monday pro football games at the Pro Football Pick ’Em kiosks located in the hotel lobby. There’s a maximum of one entry per day. Deadlines to submit picks are Sunday by 1:00 p.m. (weeks 1-17), Saturday by 1:00 p.m. (weeks 18-19) and Sunday by 3:00 p.m. (week 20).
Weekly prizes will include $7,500 cash (first place for most correct picks), $5,000 free play (second place for most correct picks) and $25 free play (for 500 random winners who will be drawn on the Tuesday of each week from entries submitted from the previous week’s games). Winners will be posted at the Player’s Club and on the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa website each Tuesday by 6:00 p.m. Standings or results will not be given out over the phone.
Free Play prizes will be loaded to the winning accounts and valid Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. through the following Monday at 11:59 p.m. Cash prizes must be claimed at the Main Cage within seven days of winning, expiring on the following Monday at 11:59 p.m. Unclaimed prizes will be forfeited.
• The @PewterReport Twitter following continues to grow. We’re approaching 30,000 Twitter followers, so join the crowd! Make sure you are following PewterReport.com on Twitter so you don’t miss out Bucs press conference and interview footage as well as breaking news and injury updates.
Become one of the 29,900 Twitter followers of @PewterReport prior to Tampa Bay’s 2018 regular season and help us grow to 30,000. To follow @PewterReport on Twitter please click here, and to follow us on Facebook please click here.
PewterReport.com will also be updating our @PewterReport Instagram account more regularly this season. Make sure you are following @PewterReport on Instagram and can do so by clicking here.
DRAFT DIAMOND – MISSISSIPPI STATE DE MONTEZ SWEAT
PewterReport.com is the undisputed leader in Bucs draft coverage each year. During the 2018 draft, we accurately forecasted the selection of three Tampa Bay draft picks as defensive tackle Vita Vea, offensive lineman Alex Cappa and wide receiver Justin Watson were all Bucs’ Best Bets.
Draft season for the PewterReport.com staff starts in September as we do a great deal of scouting during college football season. I’m starting a new SR’s Fab 5segment this week called Draft Diamond where I focus on a different draft prospect each week.
The Buccaneers just added two veteran edge rushers in free agency in Jason Pierre-Paul and Vinny Curry, and added Carl Nassib via the waiver wire, so they’re done at the defensive end position, right? Wrong.
A team can never have enough pass rushers, and the 30-year old Curry is essentially on a one-year deal, while no one knows if Nassib will pan out. Meanwhile, Noah Spence hasn’t progressed like the team had hoped, so yes, Tampa Bay could very well be looking at selecting another defensive end for its rotation in the 2019 NFL Draft.
One player that has me excited is Mississippi State defensive end Montez Sweat, a big, athletic rangy 6-foot-5, 245-pounder who is the SEC’s leading sacker. After transferring from Michigan State via Co-Lin Community College, Sweat had 10.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss. In last week’s victory over Stephen F. Austin, Sweat started the season with two sacks and six tackles.
Sweat will have a tougher task going against All-Big 12 right tackle Dalton Risner and left tackle Scott Frantz – both of whom have NFL futures – as Mississippi State travels to Kansas State on Saturday. Kickoff is at noon Eastern on ESPN. I’ll be watching as a K-State alum, but I’m expecting Sweat and the Bulldogs to have a big day in Manhattan.
• The 2018 Bucs regular season is here and we are now doing two Pewter Nation Podcasts a week on PewterReport.com. PewterReport.com’s Trevor Sikkema, Mark Cook and I joined forces to put out the latest Pewter Nation Podcast, which was taped mid-week to preview the Bucs vs. Saints game on Sunday. There is plenty of football insight in this episode, in addition to a sudden war that erupts over ham and turkey for holiday dinners.
Be sure to check out Episode 92: Big Test In The Big Easy today on your drive home from work or before Sunday’s game. The next Pewter Nation Podcast will be taped Monday after Sikkema’s return from New Orleans where he will be covering the game live for PewterReport.com.
The popularity of the Pewter Nation Podcast continues to grow. In addition to listening to the Pewter Nation Podcasts on PewterReport.com you can also subscribe to the free podcasts at PodBean by clicking here and on SoundCloud by clicking here. Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode.
• Since 2000, the Buccaneers have only had four running backs lead the team in rushing yards in back-to-back seasons. Michael Pittman accomplished that from 2002-03, followed by Carnell “Cadillac” Williams in 2005-06, LeGarrett Blount in 2010-11 and Doug Martin in 2014-15. Peyton Barber has the chance to become the next running back and Tampa Bay to accomplish that feat.
Barber posted 423 yards rushing last year as a part-time starter, taking over for the ineffective Martin at the end of the season. After averaging 5.8 yards per carry in the preseason and scoring two touchdowns, Barber is the undisputed starter heading into the 2018 season. If he stays healthy it’s a safe bet Barber will top last year’s total. With enough carries a 1,100-yard season isn’t out of the question.
• Gerald McCoy, Beau Allen, Will Gholston and Jerel Worthy aren’t the only ones who will be lining up inside at defensive tackle. Defensive ends Vinny Curry and Jason Pierre-Paul have also played inside in nickel rush situations, replacing Allen at nose tackle. The Bucs want to get a lot of inside pressure to prevent 6-foot quarterback Drew Brees from stepping up in the pocket to throw the ball.
So if Curry or JPP moves inside, who will come in and play at defensive end in nickel defense? It will either be Noah Spence or newcomer Carl Nassib. With defensive tackle Vita Vea being inactive this Sunday with a calf injury, both Spence and Nassib should be active on the 46-man roster. Nassib will likely play left end in a reserve role, while Spence has experience rushing from both the left and the right.
“We’ve got to have a lot of flexibility,” said Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith. “I think Coach Buckner has done a good job in terms of preparing guys to play all across the board. I think you guys that have watched practice, you’ve seen, you’re not going to know who’s going to lineup at tackle, who’s going to lineup at end, based on what it says on the depth chart. Those guys are ready to play multiple positions, which I think is an advantage for us.”
• And finally, PewterReport.com has dual sponsors for this year’s Tampa Bay injury reports in StretchPros and Lane Family Wellness. Dr. Tommy Lane is the owner and lead physician at Lane Family Wellness, and is good friends with Stretch Pros founder Chip Orr. Both are big Bucs fans and PewterReport.com readers, so we encourage you to become clients at StretchPros in South Tampa and Lane Family Wellness in Carrollwood.
Together, those businesses bring you the Tampa Bay Injury Reports each Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and Dr. Lane will be providing commentary and insight on injuries to Tampa Bay players on PewterReport.com throughout the year.
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