FAB 4. 5 Takeaways From OTAs

The Buccaneers are nearing the conclusion of the four OTAs (organized team activities) this week – Tuesday through Friday. The local media was allowed to watch Tuesday’s OTA on May 28 and will be able to view the final OTA on Friday, May 31 at the AdventHealth Training Center at One Buccaneer Place. Here are my five takeaways from watching Tuesday’s OTA, which took place under bright sunny skies and brutally hot conditions with temperatures around 95 degrees.

1. Auclair Is Making Big Strides

Tuesday was Antony Auclair’s birthday and quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Blaine Gabbert gave him a ton of presents in the form of a bunch of perfectly thrown passes – all of which were caught. After practice, the Bucs’ third-string tight end, who has been elevated to the No. 2 spot on the depth chart with Cameron Brate sitting out the spring after offseason hip surgery, told me he had a “career day” with his number of targets. Auclair is entering not only his third year in the NFL, but also playing American football after hailing from Canada, and he’s making a lot of progress.

Bucs TE Antony Auclair
Bucs TE Antony Auclair – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Bruce Arians was quick to note after practice that Auclair’s role in his offense is that of a blocker, but with both Brate and starter O.J. Howard having their share of injury issues, it’s nice to see Auclair developing into an all-around tight end capable of picking up some first downs as a target in the passing game as well. Auclair is a big target at 6-foot-5, 265 pounds, and he has some sneaky speed, too.

2. Miller Is Blazing Fast

The Bucs have been without speed receiver Breshad Perriman for over a week since he injured his shoulder diving for a ball in practice and it’s given new wide receiver Scotty Miller, the team’s sixth-round pick, the chance to get some reps with the starters and the rookie has looked impressive. At 5-foot-11, 174 pounds, Miller is three inches shorter and about 35 pounds lighter than Perriman, but he has instant acceleration and the ability to separate from defensive backs.

Miller caught a couple of deep balls for touchdowns on Tuesday, but the vertical elements in Arians’ passing game just aren’t go routes downfield. Arians and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich will also have Perriman and Miller, assuming he makes the team, on medium and deep crossing routes, using their speed to create yards after the catch to make big plays downfield. While Dirk Koetter’s downfield attack was more vertical based, Arians has some of the same vertical elements in addition to more deep crossing routes taking advantage of the middle of the field. Should be interesting to watch this offense come to life in the preseason.

3. Rookies Are Creating Takeaways

Bucs cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III dropped a potential pick-six in Tuesday’s practice, which drew some criticize from Arians in his post-practice press conference, but Arians said VH3 had an interception in a previous OTA. That’s a good sign because the entire Tampa Bay cornerback group has one combined interception – and that was from Hargreaves in his rookie season. Getting more playmakers was a big priority for Bucs general manager Jason Licht, who spent a second- and third-round pick on cornerbacks Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jamel Dean in this year’s draft a year after selecting cornerbacks M.J. Stewart and Carlton Davis.

Bucs CBs Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jamel Dean
Bucs CBs Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jamel Dean – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Murphy-Bunting and Dean have impressed early on, rotating in with Davis and Hargreaves in the starting defense. Both rookies have come away with interceptions, and Dean ended the day with a pick on Tuesday. After the practice, Arians disclosed that 95 percent of the team’s takeaways have come from rookies, including linebacker Devin White, Tampa Bay’s first-round pick in April, and safety Mike Edwards, the team’s third-round pick. The Bucs only had nine interceptions last year, and the players responsible for six of those picks, including Andrew Adams, who had a team-high four, are gone. New playmakers are needed in Tampa Bay and they might come from the rookie class.

4. Blitzing Will Determine Who Wins The Nickel Job

On Tuesday, Arians listed four players that are in contention for the nickel job as the Bucs’ fifth defensive back, including one cornerback in Murphy-Bunting, and safeties Stewart, Edwards and rookie Lukas Denis. While the nickel position has traditionally been a cornerback in previous defensive schemes under Lovie Smith and Dirk Koetter, it’s open to either a cornerback or a safety in Todd Bowles’ defense because it’s a different role as the nickel blitzes more in Bowles’ defense than in other schemes. In fact, the nickel blitzes more than any other position in Bowles’ defense.

The Bucs won’t have a clear cut starter until the pads come on in August because it’s not just a matter of getting to the quarterback coming free on a blitz. It’s also which nickel candidate can beat a block and still sack the QB. Stewart, who is the current starter, struggled in coverage last year as the team’s nickel and was eventually replaced by Javien Elliott. Stewart’s deficiencies in coverage can be masked with double-teaming the slot receiver with a safety over the top in Bowles’ scheme, so that still makes him a viable option to start. Keep an eye on Murphy-Bunting, though. If he can prove to be an effective blitzer, his superior speed and coverage ability may ultimately give him the edge.

5. Vea Picking Up Where He Left Off

It’s incredibly difficult to evaluate the play of offensive or defensive linemen in OTAs with no pads on. After all, these spring practices are non-contact, right? Someone forgot to tell that to nose tackle Vita Vea, the team’s starting nose tackle and former first-round pick. With or without pads, Vea’s strength is evident for all to see, and there was a play where he literally slapped Caleb Benenoch, who was starting at right guard on Tuesday due to several offensive linemen being sick after a Memorial Day barbeque.

Bucs DT Vita Vea
Bucs DT Vita Vea – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Vea’s move was one part club, one part swim and he caught Benenoch on his inside shoulder and literally slapped him sideways and out of the way as Vea charged towards Jameis Winston like a rhino. Vea had a slow start to his rookie season that was compounded by a torn calf muscle early in training camp, but found his stride towards the end of the year, finishing with three sacks. All indications are that he is picking up from where he left off last year and is turning into a dominant force upfront. Bowles’ 3-4 defense is similar to the scheme Vea played at Washington, so he’s making a smooth transition.

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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. “If the “Quarterback Whisperer” can’t do it, I don’t know who can.”

    The answer is, no one. If Winston does not stop making the silly errors this year he will not be resigned, and he will most likely be relegated to a backup role with another team. This is do it or lose it time. All the nice words won’t make a difference if the play on the field doesn’t represent it. This is close to beating a dead horse now as we have all heard the same story with each head coach he has worked with. In year 5 he is on his last life in Tampa – I hope he makes the most of it.

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  2. Nice article Scott, can’t say that I’m not excited about this season! I believe we will be a much better unit on both sides of the ball with Arians and his staff. Kiffin definitely deserves to be in the ring of honor..no Super Bowl win without his defense.

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  3. Yeah Monte deserves to go in the RoH soon.

    Overall, the Bucs are going to be a different tempo offense looking for fast starts which also helps the defense out.

    Biggest question mark that remains in the o-line blocking IMO. But other than that I feel good about the offense. Now about the defense…lets hope Bowles can put together an NFL average unit.

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  4. Was it stars aligned or was it his former coaches all got fired last year Bowles defence allowed over 400 points Leftwich offense scored 220 points that to me is not a good formula for success but we all know I am a ass for speaking of these things.

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  5. Bowles 400 points leftwich 220 and a QB with huge heart that won 6 games in 2 years must be the stars all lined up in perfect order.

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  6. Sources Carolina clearing 11 million to sign McCoy

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  7. I look forward to Jameis having a better season this year.

    The “QB Whisperer’s” first order of business was perfect: remove the fake QB controversy between Winston and Fitzpatrick while D.Jax fuels the argument. There’s not a single player (or fan) who will be clamoring for Gabbert to go in.

    Key 2: Complimentary football. I like the additions on defense (Suh! White! Barrett!) in correlation with the scheme change. RESET the MINDSET. Winston is at his best when he isn’t expected to do it all by carrying the offense AND defense. Running the ball and playing to O Line player strengths should pay dividends in the rushing attack.

    Last, ball security and awareness is most important when Winston is scrambling with the ball. Personally, I don’t mind the occasional interception while taking downfield shots, because the intercepting team is 20-30 yards downfield. It’s almost like an early punt. The back-breakers are the fumbles while scrambling or getting blind side sacked because he was unaware of pressure.

    This offense could be better a lot better than last year, even without Hump and D.Jax.

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  8. @B-A-B If Carolina signs McCoy for $11 million(or any amount), that would be great! New cellar dweller in the NFC South GUARANTEED! SWEEP!!

    If he isn’t injured, Bucs fans who miss sweet and soft GMC will get to watch him twice a year.

    Bruce Arians has CLEARLY identified the problems with his game. While it will be tempting to run at him every time for many, many yards, don’t forget, he won’t bat down passes so it will be equally easy to whiz passes right by him!

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    • GMC is gone lets leave him alone.

      Go Bucs !!!

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  9. Thanks for the Fab5 SR. Hope you get a small % off the sales you just generated for Ariens’ Book. I just bought one. Got a little time to kill before August.

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  10. Ha! Thank you!

    No, I don’t get any commission on the sales of Arians’ book. It’s definitely worth a summer read, though. The quotes I used just scratch the surface. He’s a very interesting guy. There is plenty more to read in the book and I do recommend Bucs fans read it.

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  11. “By the time a college QB is twenty-one or twenty-two he either has a well-developed sense of anticipation and accuracy or he doesn’t. The cold truth is that NFL coaches can’t develop those skills. Winston’s accuracy has improved every year he’s been in the league from 58.3 percent as a rookie to 64.6 percent last year.”

    I think you are confusing completion percentage for what Arians meant by “accuracy”. Completion percentage is affected by factors like: Mike Evans growth; Adam Humphries with hands of glue getting increased reps; the drafting of OJ Howard; Desean Jackson’s speed taking safeties out of the play; and so on. All of those things have grown over Winston’s time too. Yes, he clearly is a big part of completion percentage, but not the only part.

    On the contrary, accuracy is being able to put the ball on the money – measures like INTs/Attempt; and YAC are as relevant here as completion percentage, when talking about “accuracy”.

    Winston’s: INTs/Attempt:
    2015 = 2.8%
    2016 = 3.2%
    2017 = 2.5%
    2018 = 3.7% (compare to Tom Brady at 1.9%)

    The top Buc in YAC (this includes Winston and Fitz) was Mike Evans last season, ranked 57th in the league with 282 YAC (compare to the leader George Kittle at 870 YAC).

    So, I think taking all of those measures into account: completion percentage, INTs/Attempt, and YAC…at best we could say Winston has been below average in accuracy.

    He definitely has not been “improving” in accuracy….but it may be that moving from Luke Stocker to Cam Brate/OJ Howard, and having Mike Evans grow, probably helped his completion percentage as much as anything else over the past few years.

    Just seeking the full statistical picture to make an unbiased remark.

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  12. Big Sombrero best thing for Bucs is McCoy in AFC

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  13. @eastendboy why is it people
    Continually compare Brady’s stats to our quarterback. They are completely different systems. Have you watched New England at all? Most of his passes are extended handoffs so of course it’s easier to complete passes. Winston led the league in air yards and yards per attempt. Brady was 14th and 11th in those categories. Let’s stop with the silly comparisons to two totally different offensive schemes

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  14. @chefboho , I suppose the use of Tom Brady as a reference point is because he’s been unquestionably the best QB in the league in recent years.

    I was not trying to compare Winston’s overall performance as QB to that of Brady….I was simply using Brady’s INT/Attempt as a reference point – lazily on my part for not calculating every QB’s and picking out the one that actually had the lowest (the point of reference)…I sort of assumed Brady would be among the lowest…maybe that was incorrect.

    If it helps clarify the point for you, you could go calculate them all and let us all know who was actually the lowest…and do so for every year from 2015 through 2018. I just stopped at Brady…again, just being lazy on that point and figuring people would accept that whatever level Brady was at (1.9%) was probably pretty darn good….but I accept that you do not accept that and perhaps others do not as well.

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  15. further, @chefboho, I suppose the argument underlying your comment (leaving out the snarky bit about “silly comparisons”, which is just misreading what i wrote) is that you believe it’s okay – perhaps even good – that Winston is less accurate than Brady because Winston throws the ball down the field more. Two points:

    1) that’s not what Arians quotes above state….which is the point of this article.
    2) if you want to make that assertion, that’s fine but what would help your case is to compare completion percentage, INTs/Attempt and YAC between a number of QBs that follow that sort of down-field offensive scheme – perhaps Brees, Ryan, Luck, Mahomes…which all seem to be more accurate.

    Look – of course we all want Winston to become more accurate – so does Arians – but he himself says that’s probably unlikely….that’s the point of his quotes, which were twisted in this article to say that Winston was definitely getting better and so Arians must be wrong about his conclusion.

    I suggest Arians was not wrong – and that Winston is who is, and we need to have a total team scheme around that, rather than suggest that it’s okay for him to be inaccurate because he throws the ball down the field a lot.

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  16. Great Fab 5.
    Now I will have to pick that book up and read it before the season.
    The only part of Winston’s grit is that he gets to emotionally involved in the game but I think we saw him make improvements on that last year as well.
    I don’t know if anyone with a rational objective who didn’t think Winston was going to be replaced by Fitzpatrick except DumbAssBob and Meshwan Jackson.
    Fitzpatrick, like McClown before him, soon reverted to his old form and in fact already had in his two prior starts against the Steelers and Bears.
    That’s not to say Winston shouldn’t have been benched as I think it taught him a valuable lesson, but he should have returned much sooner.
    Loved the tidbits you threw us after your mainarticle.
    And finally DumbAssBob, no one minds you voicing your opinion out here no matter how often you are wrong.
    Your opinions are just always so negative and based on made up facts in your undeveloped mind.
    No one really believes you are a Bucs fan but just some moronic troll who eats huge amounts of Hormel chili out of the can who never leaves his single wide because your mom can’t keep a constant eye on you in public.
    Take your negative comment about Leftwich. You either are to ignorant to know or just hope others are in the same boat, that the offense Leftwich ran was not his. He was hired as the OC midway through the season to replace the fired OC.
    I have informed you of this before.

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  17. Kiffin ABSOLUTELY has to be in our ring of honor and the fact that Coach has ties to a couple of our beloved legends just makes him that much cooler! It really is now or never for Jameis, seems like the coaching staff is gonna put him in the best positions to win…his bad decision making needs to at least clear up enough to the point where it’s not going to compromise the effort of an anticipated improved defense!

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  18. DrDn
    I clearly understand Leftwich was a quarterback coach for three years under Arians and he took over as offensive coordinator Midway through and the offense got worse the second half of the season scoring 108 points in eight games.
    Yes I live in Dunedin and wouldn’t live anywhere else this is the team here I have no plans to go live any where else. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers is the local team here I am a fan but will not be conned by this BS unfortunately the glaciers have no interest in winning their agenda is not to win and it bothers me pewter likes to take previously fired coaches and make a big deal out of them like we can’t read history. Watching Cleveland create a winning team makes me sad I wish it was happening here

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    • Why don’t you take your negativity to the mistake on the lake. Then, you can bash your local team while wearing a dog mask. That is if you need one.

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  19. I love this team. I grew up loving this team. I don’t just feel like I have to be a fan because this is where I live – my family is deeply connected to the program and the history. No one is twisting my arm (nor any of our arms for that matter) forcing us to be Bucs fans. We love this team because we love this team – through thick and thin.

    I also enjoy this site and the great job they do. If I didn’t, I could simply just not come here and instead stick to one of the other many Bucs sites out there.

    Everyone here from the poorest fan to the richest owner wants to see this organization win, and the majority of this coaching staff has had great success working together to get W’s with teams in similar conditions. Now I might not agree with every organization direction, but I remain optimistic that this team can do great things.

    Have a great day (if you want to) everyone!

    Go Bucs!

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  20. Scott, you left maturity off of your list. Mr. Winston needs to grow up quicker than he is.
    I am talking about bad passes. Not on the field. I am referring to bad passes after getting a snoot full of booze and throwing a shitty pass to an Uber driver. All the men on this site have thrown the same crappy pass once or twice in their life, I know I have.
    We might escape with a slap in the face, but Superstars getting slapped with a lawsuit.
    I feel good that he has learned from that episode. Hopefully his new bride will keep him marching down the straight and narrow. How old is Winston anyways?
    That being said we can be at least be assured that it will be interesting.
    GO BUCS

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  21. I saw some significant sign of growing maturity on Jameis Winston’s part during the course of last season. The way he handled himself during press conferences after he was benched. The offhand remark about how he had taken up the practice of meditation. (If he sticks with sticks with it he will learn how to direct any bizarre inner impulses. He will leave behind any “deviant” inclinations such as he exhibited on previous occasions.) He announced that he was engaged to be married. I have not heard about any wedding yet, but the responsibilities of fatherhood change most young men for the better.

    If the play from Jameis for his last six game is and indicator we can expect nothing but improvement this year.
    __________
    Go Bucs!!!

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  22. EastEndBoy’s posts are the kind of critical thinking and fact-based analysis that’s always missing in SR’s articles parroting what management tells him and spinning blue sky scenarios.

    Winston is not accurate. I wish that was fixable but there’s no reason to think it is. The one thing that could have helped is putting top flight talent in front of him on the OL. But BL & BA chose to forgo that in order to redo BL’s 2018 draft. That’s where we’re at.

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  23. You know, I down voted your post Buc-Ass-Bob but I see where you are coming from. To me though, these guys will be held accountable to Bruce Arians, and there is a huge, and comprehensive coaching staff all preaching the same msg. At least according to most articles I’ve read anyway. Also the GM in New York didn’t last to the following season after Bowles was fired, and Leftwich had a rookie QB behind a, by all accounts, atrocious OL. Given all that I am willing to trust in Bruce & his staff for a few seasons if only because everything they’re saying about the Off., Def. and ST is exactly what I’ve been wanting to hear for years!! I do get your comment though.

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  24. Eastendboy, Ints are not always an accuracy issue. I’ve seen many Ints go because the ball bounced off a receivers chest or hands or because a receiver ran the wrong route. Accuracy can also be measured mostly by watching a QB, not just stats. When you watch Winston and see him drops balls and thread balls in between defenders to a spot only the receiver can catch it you can see his accuracy. It may not be there on the deep ball as much, with Jackson at least. Overall I’ve seen Winston be Amazingly accurate the majority of the time. That’s just me though.

    Brady has low Ints and high Completion % because they run majority dink and dunk routes with slants and cut backs most of the time that I’ve seen at least. Can’t argue his success and drive but Brady has benefited from that system more than anyone with the short game, seeing as how Matt Castle and Jimmy Garapolo looked like MVPs as well when they were in there.

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  25. Ass, you obviously don’t read. Leftwich was WB Coach in 2017 and beginning of 2018 when he then had to take over as O.C. in 2018. You keep saying 3 years and you keep being wrong.

    Also, reports say the Offense improved under Leftwich despite coming in mid season with someone else’s playbook. The team obviously didn’t do enough to keep the Head Coach from being fired but I think anyone but you would admit after doing actual research that Leftwich did a hell of a job in the position he was put in. And now he has an even better playbook to pull from…
    NFL.com article says YPC, Red Zone scoring, he improved a lot of the teams deficiencies despite having an even worse Oline than we do. He may not have won O.C. of the year but first time mid season, it sounds like he was pretty impressive. Now he will actually be O.C. under Arians and improv even more… I cannot wait to see if they improve and the coaching is better and you forget your login info…

    Please do your research before being a Jerk.

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  26. Spitfire, Ass-Bob thrives on negativity, apparently takes pride in receiving down votes.

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  27. Spitfire, I’ve definitely seen Winston make the type of throws you describe. It’s the throws like that which make many willing to overlook the numerous flaws and hope he can realize his – dangerous word alert – *potential*.

    But I watch all of the games too and pay a lot of attention to where the ball is placed when it reaches the receiver (or defender). For every great throw you describe there are five that only a receiver with Evans’ catch radius could make, or that could have been a bigger play if the receiver didn’t have to do the limbo to catch it.

    So I’ll have to respectfully disagree with your characterization of ‘amazingly accurate the majority of the time’ assessment. The difference in ball placement between Winston and the genuinely elite QBs jumps off the screen, in my opinion. I wish it wasn’t so but I see what I see.

    And I guess I’m old fashioned as I still believe you build a team from the inside out for a plethora of reasons but in giving Licht a half decade pass most of the posters here must disagree.

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    • So many f***king coaches and experts here. Most have never put on pads. SMGDH!!!

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  28. Nothing like a Fab 5 based primarily on Winston to get all the Negative Nancy clowns roused up……

    EastEnder(Boy), you obviously havent been a Bucs fan for as long as many of us. You give Mike Evans credit for much of Winston’s success (his “growth” as you put it).

    First, Evans was drafted a year before Winston. If Evans had been unfortunate enough to play WR in Buc eras that included Jack Thompson, Josh McCown & Luke McCown, Vinny Testaverde, Chris Chandler, etc etc, I doubt he would have the same numbers, contract, Pro Bowls, etc.

    I am a HUGE Evans fan and loved this 1st round choice by Licht since the day of the draft. I think Winston has helped him succeed as much as more as he has benefited Winston. On a side note, Winston should have received some “commission” for Hump’s new salary.

    Go Bucs!

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  29. “There’s not a single player (or fan) who will be clamoring for Gabbert to go in.”
    What about buc-ass-bob?

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  30. It’s really very simple. When the defense rises to mediocrity, the running backs aren’t an afterthought, the placekicker capitalizes on the opportunities and the offense isn’t playing from behind the entire game, Winston’s accuracy will improve. Might even have a few less turnovers. I remember the days hoping Doug Williams would get to 50%. I remember the 30+ interceptions Vinny tossed. Ahhhh the memories.

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  31. @76buc Who says B-A-B is a Bucs fan, besides B-A-B? I feel like the Bucs could be 10-6 and his mantra would remain the same. He hates Winston. Hates the owners. Hates the GM. Hates the offense. Hates the defense. Hates the draft. Hates the other fans. I guess we’re all wrong and he knows best.

    I think that about sums it up.

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  32. Great article Scott. Jameis could not have a better coach to elevate his game or a better system to show off that he is indeed an elite QB. I think playing San Francisco in the first game is going to be an ideal test. I think BA knows that D. Smith’s kripton is speed rushers and San Francisco knows it too and they will have Speed Rusher Dee Ford lining up out wide facing D. Smith but if BA comes out first in a two TE set with Humphries on the right and Auclair on the left and Auclair keeps chipping Dee Ford before going out to either block or catch a pass then D. Smith will move in a position to crush undersized Dee Ford and Dotson, now healthy, will be able to block Bosa and Jameis will have time to pick apart San Francisco’s secondary and hopefully our new power blocking scheme will allow Barber and Jones to run successfully too.

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  33. Owlycat, I think you meant O.J. Howard-not Humphries?

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  34. Can you feel the love. I say CAN YOU FEEL THE LOVE !!!

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  35. This article is not even about GMC. Yet..some have managed to inject their hate against him. Why.. baffles me. But..then again, A losing team has to have a few scapegoats. Our 3 this past season have been Koetter,
    Smitty and GMC.
    I Luv how you ended your great articled here Scott..ON PAPER. Winston has had it better than any Buc QB in our history who..for the most part..had to..Run for lives when playing for us.. Dilfer, Young, Doug Williams..just a few who could have been much better with the Bucs sans an Offensive line. Jameis has yet to..live up to the potential/hype. Lets see..IF..this is his turnaround year. I hope so..for his sake and ours.

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  36. Good grief bucfan-circa76, where did all of that come from?

    Let me recap this for you: The article, and my response, were all about how:

    1) Arians wrote a book describing his theory that by the time QBs reach the NFL they are either accurate passers, or they are not, and coaching cannot really change that.
    2) PR wrote a response saying (essentially) Arians is wrong, Winston has become a much more accurate passer over his career.
    3) I responded with: the stats don’t really seem to support that argument PR.
    4) you decided to attack me with “you obviously havent been a Bucs fan for as long as many of us”….and then defend (I guess) Mike Evans because????

    While I didn’t realize you had been voted spokesperson for the “many of us”, for your information, I am obviously older than you, and been a Buc fan longer than you, since I am an original 76er, not a “crica-76er”.

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  37. Yes @spitfire INTs alone is not a good way to look at the issue – my point was really that any single stat (Comp%) is not the best way to look at, but that a better approach is to gauge several stats around the issue (INts/Attempt; Comp% and YAC – as an example of a 3-set).

    I also was not seeking to compare Winston to Brady – as I mentioned above, and again you pointed out, there’s a lot to that analysis. Rather, I suggested above that if one did not appreciate the Brady comparison – because the two systems are possibly too different – then one could look at Brees, Luck, Mahomes, Ryan or others….and there one would find the same conclusion.

    The point is not that Winston is a bad QB, or that we cannot win with him as our QB, the points really were:
    1) don’t dismiss Arian’s theory, and
    2) we need to have a whole game system that works around having a fairly inaccurate QB…which is certainly possible.

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  38. Matador, I’d love to know what games you’ve been watching. Because I absolutely, positively, don’t see Jameis throwing bad balls left and right. Considering he was at the top of the league in air yards per attempt, his completion percentage looks that much better. Also keep in mind, when your defense sucks at the level the Bucs defense did, it changes the way you play offense as a QB. You’re constantly chasing the game, and forced into trying to gain chunk yardage, rather than letting the game come to you, playing smart football, and taking what the defense gives you. It’s remarkable all you Jameis haters never bring that up while bashing him. Notice that all the elite QB’s have great teams around them and their teams win. Brady is never forced to chase a 2 or 3 TD deficit. Jameis can’t just sit back in a clean pocket, and play out the pre-game script like a normal QB. They get down 10 pts before you blink, and bam, he has to abandon smart, safe, higher percentage throws for deep, chunk yard throws. And shocking, he throws a lot of INT’s because of it. Who would have ever thought that could be the end result. And to EastEndBoys: Brady was a whole 1 percent higher than Jameis last year, and he spent the entire season throwing dump offs to White, and 3 yard passes to Edelman who then gains another 5-10 on his own. You
    can throw those passes. Anything more than 15 yards in the air, and Brady was completely off target all year. And that’s not even mentioning the fact that the Pats OLine was one of the best in the league last year, as was their running game. Jameis has a mediocre line and horrible running game. Don’t just look at stats, look at how they got to those stats. Take everything into account. I.E(offensive philosophy, OLine, running game, defense, game script, and coaching)

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  39. Dave @bucball02: again, again…if you prefer the comparison of Brees or Mahomes that’s fine…the accuracy point is unmistakable in the stats. As for the difference to Brady – well, 1) let’s not kid ourselves that anyone is in Brady’s class as the GOAT – I hate the guy, but he’s clearly the best of all time; and 2) the difference in percentage points is closer to 2, and that’s like saying nearly a 1 INT per game difference….kind of a big deal really. But again, again, again, if the Brady comparison is causing challenges, then just go look at how Brees has done behind arguably a worse OLine than we have, throwing down the field even more often.

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  40. Hmm Brady – 65.8, Winston – 64.6. 65.8-64.6 = 1.2. Last time I remember in 2nd grade, closer to 2 would be 1.6 or higher. I guess i learned something new today. Also, saying the Saints OLine is worse than ours is borderline comical. Keep in mind they lose their best OLineman halfway through the year in Armstead. They were still ranked as a top 10 OLine, while we were ranked outside the top 20. While the Saints(with no Armstead) allowed the 2nd fewest QB pressures in the league, the Bucs( with 2 different starting QB’s, which can negate any “its not the line, it’s the QB’s fault” debate) were dead last in the NFL with the most QB hits allowed. But yes, please keep going on about how the Saints OLine is worse than the Bucs

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  41. Dave, your looking at completion percentages again….same mistake that PR did in the article. The (nearly) 2 percentage points difference is in INts/Attempt as I noted in my comment. That’s where I – and the ONLY place where I – brought up the name Brady. Which, again, again, again, again I did because Brady was likely to have (and does have) one of the best INTs/Attempt stats. I could have left his name off and just said “versus the best INTs/Attempt starting QB at 1.5%”….the point would have been the same.

    As for the difference in OLines…well that’s always going to be subjective. I hear your stat of QB pressures, but could just easily point to Brees stat of the 4th fastest time to throw in the league, versus Winston at 29th. Why does NO have such few QB pressures, because Brees doesn’t hold on to the ball. See how OLine stats go. Regardless, the accuracy point – the point of my comments again, again, again, again, again, – stands.

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