FAB 5. SR’s Buc Shots

• Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans has had more success versus the Falcons, and that’s good news considering he’ll face them in Atlanta on Sunday in what could be a very pivotal game in the NFC South. Evans talked about the reason why he’s had so many catches and so much production against the Falcons.

“I think it’s that they play more man than New Orleans and Carolina,” Evans said. “New Orleans plays more man now, I guess because they’ve got better corners. The Falcons always play man and they’re pretty simple. They want it to be a one-on-one game. I love one-on-one matchups. That’s always tough for a DB going against a top receiver. All teams in the NFC south game plan well against me, though.”

Evans made a play that some deemed the catch of the year in the NFL two seasons ago during an 11-catch 150-yard, two-touchdown performance against the Falcons on Thursday Night Football.

Because he plays them twice a year, Evans has had the most success against his NFC South divisional rivals. Here is how Tampa Bay’s 6-foot-5, 225-pound receiver has fared against Atlanta, Carolina and New Orleans.

Evans vs. Atlanta
2014 – 4 catches, 52 yards (away)
2014 – 7 catches, 125 yards, TD (home)
2015 – 3 catches, 48 yards (away)
2015 – 5 catches, 61 yards, TD (home)
2016 – 5 catches, 99 yards, TD (away)
2016 – 11 catches, 150 yards, 2 TDs (home)
2017 – 6 catches, 78 yards (away)
2017 – 5 catches, 79 yards, TD (home)
46 catches for 692 yards and 6 TDs

Evans vs. Carolina
2014 – 5 catches, 37 yards (home)
2014 – 2 catches, 13 yards, TD (away)
2015 – 3 catches, 32 yards (home)
2015 – 4 catches, 99 yards (away)
2016 – 6 catches, 89 yards, TD (away)
2016 – 5 catches, 65 yards, TD (home)
2017 – 5 catches, 60 yards (home)
2017 – 6 catches, 107 yards (away)
36 catches for 502 yards and 3 TDs

Evans vs. New Orleans
2014 – Did not play (away)
2014 – 5 catches, 64 yards, TD (home)
2015 – 0 catches (away)
2015 – 3 catches, 39 yards (home)
2016 – 4 catches, 42 yards (home)
2016 – 7 catches, 97 yards, TD (away)
2017 – 1 catch, 13 yards (away)
2017 – 5 catches, 55 yards (home)
2018 – 7 catches, 147 yards, TD (away)
32 receptions for 457 yards and 3 TDs

• The Buccaneers will be keeping close tabs on Falcons star receiver Julio Jones, who has the third-highest receiving yards this year with 564, as well as rookie Calvin Ridley, who has six touchdowns, which is the most receiving scores in the NFL. But Tampa Bay can’t sleep on veteran receiver Mohamed Sanu.

In the last four games against the Bucs, Sanu has recorded 20 catches for 239 yards and a touchdown, in addition to throwing a 51-yard touchdown to Jones out of the Wildcat formation in a 34-20 win over Tampa Bay in Atlanta last year.

It’s rare that trick plays work a second time against the same team, but defensive coordinator Mike Smith will need to have his defense ready for Sanu throwing the ball again just to be on the safe side. Smith’s defense also needs to be prepared to face a lot of bunch formations in Atlanta. That formation gave Tampa Bay fits as several coverages were blown in Chicago as second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky threw a career-high six touchdowns in a 48-10 beat-down before the bye week.

• Bucs football season is here (so is Tampa Bay Lightning season!) and if you want to buy a new Tampa Bay jersey – or college football apparel – there is only one place to turn and that’s Fanatics.com. PewterReport.com has partnered once again with Fanatics.com to provide our readers with the best online shopping experience and widest array of team merchandise and apparel found on the Internet.

Fanatics- NFL_TampaBay_Buccaneers_300x250The best part about it is that when you click on the Fanatics.com banners or links on PewterReport.com a portion of the sale goes to PewterReport.com to help pay for operating costs of the website you’ve come to love and trust for your Bucs news. So whether it’s NFL, college football, college basketball, NHL or MLB gear you are looking for, you’ll find it at Fanatics.com where they have the retro Starter pullover jackets now in stock. Click here and shop today.

• Tampa Bay’s passing attack has set new team records with Dirk Koetter at the helm. The Bucs set a franchise passing record with 4,165 yards in 2016 thanks mostly to Jameis Winston’s 4,090 passing yards. Last year, Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick broke that record by combining to throw for 4,607 yards.

With Fitzpatrick and Winston combining to throw for 1,501 yards through three games, the Bucs have the league’s top-ranked passing attack, averaging 363.3 yards per game. If Tampa Bay held its average over the entire season, which is unrealistic and won’t happen, the team would set a new NFL record with 5,812 passing yards. Peyton Manning’s 5,477 yards in Denver in 2013 is the current record.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston - Photo by: Mary Holt/PR
Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Mary Holt/PR

Yet if the Bucs only pass for an average of 260 yards per game in the remaining 12 contests, which is another 3,120 yards, they will set a new team passing record with 4,621 yards. If the Bucs can maintain an average of 292 passing yards per game over the last 12 games, they will top 5,000 passing yards (5,005) by the end of the season, which, of course, would set a new team passing record in Tampa Bay.

• The @PewterReport Twitter account hit a milestone as we eclipsed 30,000 Twitter followers at the start of the Bucs’ regular season. Now we’re nearing 30,500 followers. Join us, Pewter Nation, and 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. To follow @PewterReport on Twitter please click here, and to follow us on Facebook please click here.

PewterReport.com is also updating our @PewterReport Instagram account more regularly this season. Make sure you are following @PewterReport on Instagram and you can do so by clicking here.

• Keep an eye on cornerback Brent Grimes and right guard Caleb Benenoch this week in Atlanta. The coaches haven’t been thrilled with the play of either player thus far and both could be on short leashes.

The 35-year old Grimes had to be talked away from retirement, which isn’t good to begin with, and seemed disinterested at times in games against Pittsburgh and Chicago. Grimes was benched at halftime and was replaced by Ryan Smith. That could happen again on Sunday in Atlanta if Grimes struggles in coverage or run support. Opposing teams have targeted the undersized corner in their rushing attack.

As for Benenoch, he has been playing two-thirds of the snaps at right guard, but has allowed four sacks in the last three games, in addition to multiple pressures. The Bucs have been rotating Evan Smith in for one-third of the snaps, but those numbers could flip if Benenoch continues to struggle, and Smith may wind up as the starter. He’s clearly played better than Benenoch, who is in his first year as a starting guard in the NFL.

• Well, we’ve done it. We’ve recorded 100 episodes of the Pewter Nation Podcast – thanks to YOU, our loyal PewterReport.com readers and listeners. Get all the Bucs vs. Falcons pre-game talk in addition to some wit and entertainment in the aptly titled Pewter Nation Podcast Ep100: This Is The 100th Episode.

If you missed out on Episode 99, then you are lame. But you can shed that label by listening to it. Change you life. You can hear Pewter Nation Podcast Ep99: The Time For Change Has Come by clicking this link.

Pewter-Nation-Podcast-Pewter-ReportListening to the Pewter Nation Podcasts on your drive home from work on Fridays or on Saturdays while doing some chores around the house or running errands this weekend is just smart. So do it. The next Pewter Nation Podcast will be taped after the Bucs – Falcons game, so stay tuned for the post-game thoughts from Sikkema, Cook and yours truly as Tampa Bay tries to avoid a 2-3 start.

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.

• Bucs running back Ronald Jones II is expected to be active on Sunday for his second NFL game. Jones had 29 yards on 10 carries (2.9 avg.) in his NFL debut at Chicago in Week 4 after being inactive the first three games. Those 29 yards were more yards than he has rushed for during the entire preseason where he totaled just 22 yards on 28 carries (0.8 avg.).

The coaches need to see Jones hit the holes faster and with more authority in Atlanta so that he has the chance to get to the second level where his speed can be utilized to break off explosive runs. While Jones has made strides in pass protection, he still needs to work on his hands in the passing game. Jones dropped an easy screen pass on his first receiving attempt in Chicago two weeks ago.

Bucs RG Ali Marpet - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs RG Ali Marpet – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

• Congratulations to Bucs guard Ali Marpet on his five-year contract extension, which is worth an average of $10.825 million per year with $26.8 million in guaranteed money. That makes Marpet the seventh-highest paid guard in the league, and the deal is a win-win for both the Bucs and their best offensive lineman.

Marpet received $2 million more this year as an in-season signing bonus, which will prorate over the next five years (2018-22). That means that Marpet’s additional cap charge this year is only $400,000 more than it was before, giving Bucs general manager Jason Licht and director of football administration Mike Greenberg the salary cap room to work on extensions for middle linebacker Kwon Alexander and left tackle Donovan Smith. Expect Alexander’s next.

• And finally, Essential Integrative Medicine is the official team chiropractor of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Dr. Tan Tran serves as the team’s game-day chiropractor on the sidelines. Would you want anyone else to treat you for your chiropractic needs?

If you are suffering from back or neck pain or have been in an automobile accident and are suffering from the effects of whiplash, call Dr. Tran and make an appointment. Essential Integrative Medicine has two locations – South Tampa and Brandon. Visit EssentialIntegrativeMedicine.com for more information and to schedule an appointment.

Now Dr. Tran and his staff have more effective ways to treat your pain symptoms with stem cell therapy and have launched a new medical enterprise called Essential Stem Cell Therapy, which is under the careful leadership of Dr. Sandy Estes. Stem cell treatments not only help patients regain a pain-free lifestyle, but they also can help you avoid costly surgery. Stem cell treatments can regenerate the tissue in the body that has been damaged from age, disease or joint degeneration.

Essential Stem Cell Therapy is located at 3715 West Azeele Street in South Tampa. Visit them on the web at EssentialStemCell.com or call (813) 253-0711 for more information or to schedule your appointment.

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Scott Reynolds is in his 24th 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 son's Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]

44 COMMENTS

  1. We are 1-3? 2-2 last time I checked. Lol

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    • Overall against Atlanta, not this season I think that sentence is reading.

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    • Bucs are 2-2 this season – but 1-3 vs. Atlanta under Dirk Koetter as head coach and with Mike Smith as defensive coordinator.

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  2. Don’t mean to sound negative and That’s great about the records with Evans but it would be great if he didn’t have at least one huge easy drop every game too.

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  3. Here is the problem with this statistical match up – the Bucs offense is not the same as it was the first four weeks, there is a different QB. No one knows how Winston will do. Most assume he will do the same or better, but there is a chance he will do worse. Namely, throw more INTs which has been something of an issue for him at times. If he does not the odds are we will see the same or better.

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    • We’ve also seen a couple of o-lines, and a couple Fitzpatricks. Can’t put this all on either QB.

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  4. Dirk is just slow to the draw, he’s a day late and a dollar short for everything. Took him a whole season and strong urging from management to turn over play calling despite the mounds of evidence that his offense wasn’t that good and the overall game management was terrible. It’s taken him 3 seasons and he still can’t see that Mike Smith is either awful or has no idea how to assemble a formidable defense in todays NFL. He says in one breath competition is key and that those who earn playing time will play then rolls Brent Grimes out there to get abused on the heels of an awful preseason and Ryan Smith playing better. He inherits LaVonte who somehow got 6 sacks in a season with Schiano yet he hasn’t amassed 6 sacks in his 3 total years on the job on a team that desperately needs it. So as much as its nice that the players like him it’s ultimately irrelevant considering he’s a bad head coach.

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  5. You play the way you prepare. I saw practice photo’s from yesterday, and the Bucs were outdoors, but are playing in a dome Sunday. Why not practice in that expensive indoor facility the Glazer’s bought you? It’s like needing a screw driver for a job, but using a hammer instead. Should we win the opening toss I hope Koetter doesn’t put his garbage defense on the field first cause we’ll be playing from behind the rest of the day. The Saints took the opening kick off against us, and easily scored. We were lucky to keep pace in that game, but deferring the opening kick didn’t turn out to well against the Bears. Nothing fires up a home crowd more, and a teams defense then taking the opening drive down the field for a score. It’s nice to get the ball to open the second half, but not if you’re down by 30. Koetter needs to put his best unit on the field if possible first, and it certainly isn’t the defense. Keep making the simple easily correctable mistakes, and we’ll continue to lose. Let’s hope we can out score the Falcons. It would be easier if we score first.

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    • Teams who win the toss defer because if your defense gets them off the field you now have an opportunistic advantage to score first in both halves. It’s always worth it to defer. If you put your offense and they go three and out, now you’ve just gave that opportunity to your opponent, and the momentum.

      As far as the coin toss goes against the Bears, Koetter had no idea they would go into the locker room at the half down by 30. I don’t think anyone did. No one will ever know what the halftime score will be at the start of a game. So you can’t use that as a reason why he shouldn’t have deferred.

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  6. The last reason Dirk is terrible is because of what he’s asked Jameis to do since drafting him. Which is run a vertical passing attack with no running game or defense. No young QB in the league has been asked to do more offensively with less. People look at the WRs and TEs and think that his numbers should be better but that has never been how you help young QBs flourish. Dak flourished in Dallas when they ran the ball and consistently controlled the line of scrimmage, his line hasn’t been the same this season and we see how he’s regressed. Goff had Gurley his rookie year and looked absolutely terrible, he got a better HC, they improved the OL and defense and we see how his play has taken off. Mariotta has had more postseason success than Jameis but that’s bc they have a good defense and running game which take the pressure off of him. He’s not dropping back and throwing the ball 35-50 times a game like we have consistently asked him to do pretty much since day 1. Wentz took off after the got a OC that established the run and even they got the ball out of Wentz hand quickly on a lot of the passing concepts. I could go on but you get the point, I agree Jameis makes errant throws and bad reads but I saw Fitz do the exact same thing under duress bc of the strain this offense puts you under as the QB. We heard rave reviews about Godwin last year yet Dirk the OC/HC couldn’t figure out that moving Desean to the slot would allow Godwin to get on the field and give Jameis a bigger weapon on the outside? Monken takes over playcalling them boom Desean is the slot as if some great discovery was made. Dirk is terrible whether the players like him or not.

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    • I agree 💯 percent

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  7. One of my favorite Mike Evans plays was when he out sprinted Marshon Lattimore for a TD at the beginning of the year. Marshon is a good young DB, but he didn’t respect Evans speed. Looks like Evans offseason workouts paid off and Lattimore lay prone on the carpet wondering how he got past him.

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  8. Making game predictions, including predicting the character of a game (offensive shootout, defensive struggle, etc.), is a very good way to look the fool.

    Seriously, how many experts in the media or commenter world predicted that Trubiskey and the Bears would put on an offensive clinic in just the last game we played? Besides nobody in the entire universe.

    I chuckle in thinking about all the times people predicted shootouts, and instead a defensive struggle ensued … and vice versa.

    Our defense has been historically bad all this season .. but nobody can guarantee that they won’t suddenly find their way and completely hogtie the Atlanta offense. Our own offence has been very good to begin but trending downward … does the downward trend continue, or does the offense suddenly go on another tear?

    The point is, nobody knows.

    That’s. Why. We. Play. The. Games.

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    • It’s either going to be a shoot out or a blow out. It will not be a game with offensive ineptitude from both squads. These defenses are too short handed and these offenses are too explosive. It’s pretty straight forward.

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    • The opening line in Vegas for this game had it at a 57 o/u -3.5 Atlanta. That my friend is considered a “shootout” by the foremost experts in the world of sports gambling. And it’s because of people thinking like you that Vegas keeps growing taller and brighter.

      But I like your positive thinking, and I also think to myself, “What if the Bucs figured something out on defense over the bye and come into their own?” This is probably why I do not gamble. It’s hard for me to side with my head and bet against my heart. But it’s possible! Even a blind squirrel finds a nut, and sometimes Vegas pays out big time. However, their lines are usually spot on as they are not in the business of losing to often. This is where a lot of so called “experts” get their ammo to make bold predictions then use stats to solidify their points.

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      • Just a note about Vegas lines. The point is to have 50% of people bet one way and 50% of people bet the other way. When you lay -110 for the over or under, the house gets the 10%. It has less to do with what happens and more to do with perception of the public to bet equally for both sides.

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  9. It will be high scoring. If Bucs can protect we have a chance. O line better play much better Atlanta has decent pass rush even though secondary has issues like ours.

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  10. Think Lovie Smith a few years back on national TV. You’re about to see it again. 56-10 Falcons. This coaching staff has lost this team. It’s over. The season was over before it started. They all need to go!

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    • Slow down there big fella. The team fully supports Koetter. It’s obvious. When players don’t like a coach, they usually are split down the middle and half run their mouth about playing time or play calling or scheme or whatever, while the other half just keep grinding through it.

      Remember Schiano? Toes on the line!! They couldn’t wait to see him gone. Half called him out, half kept quiet. Side note- Personally, I thought Schiano had a chance to get the most out of the defensive core they were building. McCoy and David were never better than they were under Schiano, in my opinion.

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  11. Let me get this sorted in my head a QB with a 114.4 QB rating that in 3.5 Games throw 1356 yards average 387 yards a game with 11 touchdowns is benched for a QB with a lifetime rating of 87%
    and no one on this site other than me questions the total combined intelligence of the management and coaches of this team.
    Will be interested to see how this works out, no defence and QB that average 87% rating that likes to throw ints and likes to fumble when pressured.
    Imagine that !

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    • The correct spelling is “defense” and “offense” (offense misspelled in an earlier post by someone else).

      Man, I’ve said it before, you dudes can’t spell! Even when you probably have a little red squiggly line below a misspelled word pointing out the error for you. I’m not trying to be condescending here, but seriously, it kills the credibility of your post. Whose going to listen to someone who can’t spell elementary grade words?

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      • Just trying to make the world a better place one word at a time. Well, maybe two words in that post!

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      • “Whose” is improperly used in your post about grammar. Proper grammar would be “Who’s” which means “Who is”.

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        • Because it is used in the plural form of asking a question to multiple people, ‘whose’ is acceptable grammar and usage here.

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      • Dude, you ARE condescending, and you are a liar in claiming that is not your intent to be a condescending dick when you clearly revel in being a condescending douchebag.

        As for spelling, asswipe, comments are comments and not paid publications, and apparently you are too stupid to notice that there are no red squiggly line spell checkers in the comment generator on this website.

        Finally, dickwad, if you are going to post a stupid condescending rant about other commenters not spelling every word correctly, then don’t stupidly make a far dumber grammatical error by using “whose” when you should have written “who’s”, dumbass

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        • So your going to result to name calling?

          I used to think that most posters here were adults, but clearly that is not the case. In which, most adults should know how to spell elementary grade words, and then not result to name calling when someone tries to help out with their spelling.

          Just for the record, the red squiggly line comes from your own browser, not the website. Browsers started using them like over 10 years ago.

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    • It’s not that you’re the only one BucAssBob. Its just not logical to leave Fitz in there. Fitz is gone after this year. Jameis may or may not be gone after NEXT year. This is the year they have to figure it out with him. He was drafted #1 overall. He will be the future or they’ll likely all be gone.

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  12. So if I am the Falcons offense I am going to throw short passes until the blitz makes me throw deeper.
    So if I’m the Falcons defense I am respecting Winston’s mobility and pressing the WR’s.

    What do I expect from the Bucs defense; not reacting fast enough to what they are doing in order to change the vanilla scheme.
    What do I expect from Buc’s offense; score 42-45 points so we can win! Go Bucs!

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    • Flawed thinking Horse. Short, quick passes beat the blitz every time. Have you ever noticed how lineman and blitzers are given a free run on a screen pass? Have you heard of hot routes? The way to beat the short dink and dunk game is by NOT BLITZING. Blitzes only work to stop the intermediate and long passing plays, not the short or quick ones.

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  13. Dude, when you have the worst defense in the league you should keep them off the field as much as possible. Ever hear the expression, put your best foot forward? When you continually give up a score deferring the kick off putting your offense in a hole to start a game, maybe you should rethink your strategy.

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    • Evans all day long. Donald was small for a DT and it wasn’t a sure thing. Mike Evans? He was a sure thing.

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  14. Evans is great. However, I like to start a poll with the following question?

    1) Bucs drafting Evans at #7
    2) Rams drafting Aaron Donald at #13

    Which one would you prefer?

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    • What is your opinion PR?

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      • That’s really tough because I could see both players in the Hall of Fame. I know Mike and have covered him for five years. It’s hard for me to pick against the guy. I love him. But WRs are easier to find than dominant DTs are. I can’t bring my fingers to type it, though …

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    • Odell Beckham at 12th pick same ?

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      • Yes. My opinion you start building from the inside then out not withstanding franchise QB. That means you draft DL, OL. You can WRs later in the draft like Michael Thomas and Chris Godwin in the third round. You typically don’t find the Aaron Donalds of the world outside the first round.

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        • So you support Vita Vea over Derwin James? That’s building inside out.
          Also, you would pass on Julio Jones (#6 overall) to take Nick Fairly(next DT available was taken #13 overall)?

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          • Time will tell. There are exceptions to every rule. Who would you pick over Aaron Donald or Warren Sapp, not withstanding a franchise QB?

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          • How about Khalil Mack? That is building inside out. Definitely pick him over Derwin James.

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        • Name me a great WR: Jones, AB, Evans, even Jerry Rice. I will still pick Sapp, Donald, Mack every day of the week.

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  15. Surferdudes, I agree with somewhat but only because we really don’t have a defense. We have 7 guys running into each other in the back end. Dude is right and analytics support his statement.
    Unfortunately, analytics doesn’t factor in our defense.
    I hope they bring Noah Spence out of mothballs this week and use him in some imainative ways. I know, I know, but I can hope. Blitz him as a standup LB from the end, blitz him up the middle. Run some stunts and crosses try a safety or CB blitz for gods sake but please just do something different.
    The Steelers beat the Falcons by putting pressure on Ryan from different parts of the field. Should we do something unusual and try the same thing.

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  16. It was only 2 seasons ago that our defense played horribly, then came back after the bye and had turned the corner. We can all only hope this is the case this year. If not…I foresee screaming and celebrating on offense, then trying not to throw the controller at my screen on defense.

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    • If you look at both teams defensively, we both have bad secondarys. The key will be the run game as Atlanta is also bad against the run, while we have been pretty stout over the first 4 games. We also look to be getting Beau Allen back in addition to getting Vita back last week, which should make for an even better run defense.

      It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that the key for us will be getting our own run game going and keeping their offense off the field. Unfortunately, I’ll be playing Jameis, DJax, and Sanu in fantasy this week so I’ll be torn about running or passing the whole game.

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  17. Great comments, guys! Enjoyed reading them – as always!

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