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FAB 1. Edwards’ Evolution In Bucs Defense

We’ve been waiting for a performance like this from Mike Edwards for some time now.

Not just us at Pewter Report. The Bucs – and Edwards himself – have waited for a major breakout game where he catapults himself into the starting lineup and makes so many plays that the coaches would be fools to take him off the field.

You’ve probably been waiting for it, too.

We’ve all seen the glimpses, right?

Like his first sack of Taysom Hill out of the slot while playing nickel cornerback as a rookie in 2019. We saw it with his first interception in the end zone last year at Denver, and then picking off Aaron Rodgers a few weeks later right when he subbed in for Antoine Winfield, Jr.

Edwards will be to Saints fans what Ronde Barber is to Eagles fans – an eternal nemesis. For it was Edwards who picked off Drew Brees’ last NFL pass and ended any hope of a New Orleans comeback in the divisional round of the playoffs last year.

I’ve got a feeling Matt Ryan and Falcons fans are already beginning their hate for Edwards after his two pick-sixes in the fourth quarter in last week’s 48-25 win over Atlanta – and why not? Ryan has thrown more touchdowns to Edwards than any Falcons player this season.

“There’s certain people I’ve been around in my career that just find a way to get the ball in their hands and make plays with it, and Mike obviously comes up with a lot of those at the end of the game,” Bucs quarterback Tom Brady said. “During the game too, he just gets good jumps on the quarterback, he’s in good positions to make the plays and he makes them. It’s one thing to be in a position and to have it there – how many have we seen go through the defensive backs’ hands? But he catches it and that was really great to see. Great way to kind of put a stamp on the fourth quarter like that. Great plays by the defense.”

After Sunday, Bucs fans are already beginning their love for Edwards as the newest playmaker to burst on the scene in Tampa Bay. It’s taken a little while.

There was the botched kick return last year in New Orleans in the first game of the season that didn’t help his cause. And Edwards did not always take the proper angle to get to the ballcarrier on defense.

Bucs FS Mike EBucs FS Mike Edwards dwards

Bucs FS Mike Edwards – Photo by: USA Today

Credit the Kentucky product for working on his deficiencies over the past year or two and earning more playing time on defense.

“Mike Edwards – hell of a football player,” Bucs head coach Bruce Arians said. “He plays a lot of positions and did a great job in that fourth quarter.

“He’s always been a ballhawk. Last year as we got going, he was always in during third-down situations. [We’ll] just continue to expand his role. He’s earned that right.”

This week against the Rams, look for Edwards to see more time at nickel cornerback – likely at the expense of Ross Cockrell – where his playmaking skills will be needed to help stymie L.A.’s potent passing attack. It’s the versatility to play free safety, strong safety and nickel corner that made Edwards so attractive to the Bucs in the 2019 NFL Draft.

“Mike is a playmaker from the safety position,” said Bucs general manager Jason Licht after selecting Edwards in the third round. “He’s moved around, he’s played a little bit in the nickel position. We see him more as a safety for us, as well. He has good speed, tough guy and just finds a way to get his hands on balls or intercept balls. Any Kentucky guy that we’ve talked to throughout this process, you ask them, ‘Who you want to bring with you [in the NFL]’ and it’s just Mike Edwards. It’s simple.”

And that was the year Kentucky pass rusher Josh Allen was drafted in the Top 10. But Edwards, who was a four-year starter for the Wildcats, was a team captain and the leader on that defense. Edwards amassed 190 tackles, 23 pass breakups, 10 interceptions, including a pair of pick-sixes, two fumble recoveries, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble at Kentucky.

“Mike is exactly what we look for,” Bucs safeties coach Nick Rapone said after the team drafted Edwards. “We thought he had the ability to do everything that we wanted. First of all, he’s physical. Second of all, he can blitz. Third of all, he can cover. Fourth of all, to the best of our knowledge, he is cerebral. A safety in this scheme has to be cerebral.

“We saw all of those qualities in him. We’re not traditionally the 6-2, 215-pound safety because we’re a man team, we’re an aggressive football team, so they have to be able to play man-to-man. So we think he fits exactly what our safeties need to do. Without a doubt he was a leader. That’s what you’re looking for.”

In his third year Edwards is showing all of those traits and the reasons why the Bucs added him to their secondary. Edwards’ evolution hasn’t happened overnight, but his arrival in the starting lineup comes in the nick of time.

Bucs S Mike Edwards

Bucs S Mike Edwards – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

“My rookie year I was still learning a bit, trying to learn [the] defense and being more comfortable,” Edwards said. “Last year, I felt really comfortable accepting my role and taking further notice. This year, everybody just feels very comfortable playing with each other and knowing the whole defense, executing what we have to do out there, and just knowing what Coach [Todd] Bowles is putting out there. As far as myself, taking my role and getting better each week, creating turnovers, and just making plays every day.“

With a team-leading two interceptions two weeks into the season, Edwards’ ballhawking ability is getting him noticed around the league. Edwards was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his two pick-sixes against the Falcons. The Bucs have noticed Edwards’ playmaking ability ever since he arrived in Tampa Bay.

“Ever since I was growing up, people always looked at me as a ball hawk,” Edwards said. “I’ve always been around the ball trying to make plays, create turnovers. That is what I tried to do when I came here. From day one, I always try to make a point of emphasis to take the ball away. Whenever the ball comes my way, I try to get interceptions or takeaways. As you can see [Sunday], I got two turnovers and I am trying to keep improving every week.”

This is a big week for the Bucs’ secondary, which will try to contain Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and the Rams’ aerial assault. The Bucs could use some more big plays from Edwards this Sunday.

“Ever since I was little, a lot of people count me out,” Edwards said. “A lot of people talk stuff about me or whatever. I just take that to the chin. Keep it in my back pocket to build motivation. It’s just something that I’ve always had on my mind. I’m just trying to keep showing people what I can do and just keep executing and keep making plays.”

FAB 2. What’s Wrong With RoJo?

What’s wrong with RoJo, who has completely underwhelmed in limited action through two games this season?

Is it a slow start for fourth-year running back Ronald Jones II? Or are the first two weeks of the 2021 season a sign of some bad things to come for the former second-round pick?

A big game on Sunday in Los Angeles, where Jones played collegiately at USC, could change everything and turn his contract year around.

Bucs RB Ronald Jones II

Bucs RB Ronald Jones II – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

But right now it seems like Jones is mired in a mess of his own making. A fumble in the first game of the season against Dallas ended his 2021 debut after four carries for 14 yards.

In last week’s win versus Atlanta, Jones didn’t lower his shoulder and pick up a first down on a 9-yard catch in the second half. Then he completely missed an open hole on the next play on second-and-1. He bounced his run outside and was tackled for no gain.

Jones redeemed himself on fourth-and-1 with a 5-yard run to convert the first down, but then whiffed on a blitz pick-up that allowed Falcons linebacker Deion Jones to sack Tom Brady. On Monday head coach Bruce Arians indicated he has more trust in Leonard Fournette in the passing than he does in Jones.

“Yeah, it speaks for itself,” Arians said. “Ro’, that’s his guy. He’s got to get out of those types of situations. I thought he ran hard and protected the ball but, again, you can’t have those mental errors.”

It seems like Jones’ performance in the passing game is the main issue. Jones missed a first half pass against the Falcons because he turned the wrong way coming out of the backfield.

While Arians and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich pay lip service to the running game each week, suggesting the Bucs want to “establish the run,” the numbers tell a different story.

In the Week 1 triumph against Dallas, Tampa Bay threw the ball 50 times and ran it just 16 times. Last Week in the win over Atlanta, Brady threw the ball 36 times and the team ran it 17 times – not counting a scramble by Brady and three kneel downs by Blaine Gabbert.

Curiously, Jones got the start against the Falcons, but finished with 27 yards on six carries (4.5 avg.) and one catch for three yards in 26 snaps. Once again, Leonard Fournette received more snaps – 31 versus Atlanta – and had more production. Fournette had 11 carries for 52 yards (4.7 avg.) and four catches for 24 yards versus the Falcons.

Through the first two weeks, Fournette has outgained Jones, more than doubling his production.

Bucs RB Ronald Jones II – 2021 Stats
10 carries for 41 yards, one catch for three yards

Bucs RB Leonard Fournette – 2021 Stats
20 carries for 84 yards, nine catches for 51 yards

After Jones’ fumble in the Cowboys game, Arians said: “Ro’ was running really, really well until the fumble, and then he struggled mentally to get over it. That was too big of a game and go out there and not be focused, so Lenny got the rest of the way.”

Bucs RB Ronald Jones II

Bucs RB Ronald Jones II – Photo by: USA Today

So after Week 1, Arians said it was a mental struggle for Jones.

After Jones’ lapses in Week 2, Arians said it wasn’t mental. Just his poor play.

“This is his third year (in the current Bucs offense), man,” Arians said. “It shouldn’t be a problem and at times it is. It’s just attention to detail, like missing that blitz. He is a great runner. [He] caught the ball well. I would have liked to have seen him run for the first down. His mind is fine, it’s just his play isn’t as good as it should be.”

So why is Jones struggling coming off a big year in which he was just 22 yards shy of 1,000 and was the Bucs’ leading rusher, averaging 5.0 yards per carry?

I wish I could tell you. It’s times like these that not having access to Bucs open locker room media sessions really hurts the local media’s coverage of the team. Jones hasn’t been made available for questioning since the preseason, and until he has a big game, he likely won’t be heard from again. The team’s communications staff will shield him from interviews and not make him available if he doesn’t want to talk.

Yet there is not really much to talk about – and that’s the problem.

The results are what they are. The Bucs don’t trust Jones in the passing game with his blitz pick-up or catching the ball out of the backfield. And just in case you haven’t noticed, these Buccaneers like to air it out on offense.

The head coach’s nickname is “the QB whisperer.”

The offensive coordinator is a former first-round quarterback.

The guy under center is the greatest quarterback of all time.

Yeah, if you’re a running back playing in Arians’ scheme, you better be proficient in all areas of the passing game as well as being a good runner.

I mean that’s why the Bucs went out and got Giovani Bernard this year to help on passing downs, right?

Well … that’s a puzzling story for another column, Bucs fans. We’ll see how the season plays out with regards to Bernard – and RoJo. There are still 15 games to go and a lot can happen.

Bucs RB Ronald Jones II

Bucs RB Ronald Jones II – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

But unless Jones gets it together in the passing game, there could be some trouble brewing.

I get the sense that Arians is getting fed up with Jones’ inability to consistently catch the ball, pass protect and identify the blitz pick-up over the years the way he got fed up with Tanner Hudson’s inability to block. After three years of imploring Hudson to become a better blocker he was cut in August because the Bucs were tired of waiting for him to come around.

Maybe I’m wrong, but Jones’ combined 11 touches in the first two games tell me otherwise.

I’ve heard that the Jones camp was very unhappy with how he was benched in Week 1. Arians’ decision to start Jones was likely based on appeasement, as it certainly wasn’t based on performance.

Remember, Fournette was sulking and very unhappy prior to the Vikings game last year and nearly got cut. Yet he turned his attitude around. That – combined with Jones’ broken pinkie and getting COVID at the end of the season – allowed him to become “Playoff Lenny” and ultimately “Lombardi Lenny” in the postseason.

Jones can have the same type of turnaround, but it needs to happen soon or it’s going to affect his asking price in free agency.

And unless Jones can really improve in the passing game and become more reliable, he’ll have one less suitor in Tampa Bay when he hits the free agent market next March.

FAB 3. 4 Matchups To Watch: Bucs Offense vs. Rams Defense

Each week you can find 4 Matchups to Watch on offense and defense in my SR’s Fab 5 column. Here is an advanced look at Tampa Bay’s game vs. Los Angeles where the 2-0 Bucs travel to SoFi Stadium to face the 2-0 Rams. The Bucs and Rams are both favorites to represent the NFC in this year’s Super Bowl, which will be played in L.A. Let’s take a look at the matchups to watch when the Bucs are on offense against Raheem Morris’ defense.

Bucs LG Ali Marpet vs. Rams DT Aaron Donald

Bucs LG Ali Marpet

Bucs LG Ali Marpet – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Donald had seven tackles last week against the Colts, but no sacks. Yet Donald has 10 hurries, three hits and one sack on the season, so he’s off to a great start versus the run and the pass. Donald didn’t play every snap against Quenton Nelson in Indianapolis, nor will he line up against Marpet on every play this Sunday. Donald lined up at left defensive end on both the left and the right side, and he will also line up over right guard Alex Cappa. But he’s best on the weak side in the B gap against the left guard – and that’s Marpet, who might be Tampa Bay’s best offensive linemen.

Marpet will be iso’d on Donald on a decent amount of snaps, but he’ll also receive some help from both center Ryan Jensen and left tackle Donovan Smith when he’s drawing No. 99 for his assignment. Marpet has fared well against Donald in the past. Last year Donald didn’t even record a single tackle in L.A.’s 27-24 win at Tampa Bay on Monday Night Football, but Marpet missed that game with a concussion. In their initial match-up in the Bucs’ 55-40 win in Los Angeles, Donald was held to four tackles and no sacks. While this game isn’t in prime time, Marpet can make a big statement to get on the Pro Bowl radar by shutting Donald out again.

Tampa Bay LT Donovan Smith vs. L.A. OLB Justin Hollins

Bucs LT Donovan Smith

Bucs LT Donovan Smith – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Hollins started off the season hot with two sacks in the opener against Chicago. The Rams’ fifth-round pick two years ago has earned a starting job and is an emerging pass rush threat. He has great length at 6-foot-5, 248 pounds and is built like Leonard Floyd, who typically rushes from the left side, but could go up against Smith for a few plays. Hollins had a career-high three sacks last year and seems poised to set a new career mark this season.

Smith has had the best training camp and preseason of his career and is really focused on having a fantastic season. He did get beat for a sack-fumble by Dante Fowler on a third-and-20 situation on Sunday, but Fowler is a quality, experienced edge rusher. Tom Brady could have gotten rid of the ball sooner, but Smith bounced back well from that play. Smith and the offensive line will have to contend with a loud, noisy environment on the road for the first time this year at SoFi Stadium in L.A.

Bucs WR Mike Evans vs. Rams CB Jalen Ramsey

Bucs WR Mike Evans and Rams CB Jalen Ramsey

Bucs WR Mike Evans and Rams CB Jalen Ramsey – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Ramsey squared off against Evans last year and did a pretty good job in coverage. Brady targeted Evans seven times when matched up against Ramsey and the Pro Bowl cornerback only allowed four catches for 40 yards. Ramsey won’t draw Evans an assignment on every play as the Bucs will move him around, but these two NFL stars will clash in L.A. for a majority of the game.

With Antonio Brown likely out of this week’s game due to COVID-19, Evans will need a repeat performance of last week’s two-touchdown showing to pick up some of the slack. Evans had five catches for 49 yards and a touchdown last year against the Rams, but his score didn’t come against Ramsey. Big, physical cornerbacks like James Bradberry, Marshon Lattimore and Ramsey have given Evans some problems in the past. He’ll need to show Ramsey who the real star in Hollywood is on Sunday if the Bucs are going to win.

Tampa Bay TE Rob Gronkowski vs. L.A.’s Back Seven

Bucs TE Rob Gronkowski

Bucs TE Rob Gronkowski – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

The Rams used five different players to take turns covering Gronkowski in last year’s match-up. They did a solid job, holding him to just two catches for 25 yards on six targets. Raheem Morris is the new defensive coordinator, but he’s shown through the first two weeks that he will mix and match different defenders to cover tight ends. That was the case in Week 1 with Chicago’s Cole Kmet, and last week with Indianapolis’ Jack Doyle. Ideally, the Rams would like to have safeties Jordan Fuller or Taylor Rapp cover Gronkowski on vertical routes due to their speed, rather than inside linebackers Kenny Young or Troy Reeder.

No one has been hotter in the red zone for Tampa Bay lately than Gronkowski, who has a pair of touchdowns in each of the last three games he’s played in dating back to Super Bowl LV. All three of those games were at Raymond James Stadium, though. Can Gronk take his scoring act on the road to L.A.? He’ll receive a lot of attention from different defenders in coverage, but has the size to beat the Rams’ safeties and the speed to beat their linebackers. He just needs one-on-one coverage or to find the holes in zone – and a perfect pass from Brady. The Rams do a great job of playing team defense against tight ends.
ADVANTAGE: Gronkowski

FAB 4. 4 Matchups To Watch: Bucs Defense vs. Rams Offense

Each week you can find 4 Matchups to Watch on offense and defense in my SR’s Fab 5 columns. This week’s game is a big one for both the 2-0 Bucs and the 2-0 Rams, as these two teams could square off again in the playoffs. Tampa Bay won in L.A., 55-40, back in Bruce Arians’ first season as head coach in 2019. Last year, the Rams won the rematch at Raymond James Stadium on Monday Night Football, 27-24. How will Todd Bowles’ defense match up against Sean McVay’s high-octane offense? Let’s find out.

OLB Shaquil Barrett vs. RT Rob Havenstein

Bucs OLB Shaquil Barrett

Bucs OLB Shaquil Barrett – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Havenstein is a mountain of a man at 6-foot-8, 330 pounds. Not only is he sound as a run blocker, but his long arms make it to difficult for edge rushers to round the corner and get to the quarterback. Havenstein, a former second-round pick, hasn’t given up a sack or a pressure yet in two games this season. Barrett, whom Havenstein will be squaring off against, has one of the Bucs’ two sacks on the year. This is a David vs. Goliath type matchup on paper, as Barrett is undersized at just 6-foot-2, 250 pounds.

Barrett may also see some action at right outside linebacker replacing Jason Pierre-Paul on that side if JPP doesn’t play, as expected. Rookie Joe Tryon-Shoyinka might be more comfortable rushing from the left side. But Barrett also figures to get plenty of action on the left side against Havenstein. While he didn’t record a sack against him last year, Barrett did have four hurries against the Rams. Two years in L.A., Barrett had a sack and three hurries against Havenstein, and also had an interception while dropping in coverage versus the Rams.

DB Mike Edwards vs. WR Cooper Kupp

Bucs S Mike Edwards

Bucs S Mike Edwards – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Kupp is the best slot receiver in the NFL not named Chris Godwin. He has absolutely shredded the Bucs in the last two meetings, totaling 20 catches for 266 yards and a touchdown. In 2019, Kupp posted nine catches for 121 yards and a TD, mostly against former cornerback M.J. Stewart, who surrendered seven catches for 91 yards, according to Pro Football Focus. Last year, Kupp torched Tampa Bay’s secondary for 11 catches for 145 yards with three receptions for 50 yards coming against nickel cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting. The Bucs used seven different defenders to match with Kupp in either zone or man last year – to no avail.

Edwards and Ross Cockrell will team up against Kupp in the slot, although Edwards is faster, more athletic and a better playmaker. Edwards, this week’s NFC Defensive Player of the Week, had two pick-sixes against the Falcons. He’ll need to stick to Kupp like glue, because the 6-foot-2 receiver is one of the best after the catch. This game will be a big moment for Edwards in terms of future playing time. If he can hold his own in the slot, the Bucs will feel good about the nickel cornerback position moving forward without Murphy-Bunting.

CB Carlton Davis vs. WR Robert Woods

Bucs CB Carlton Davis III

Bucs CB Carlton Davis III – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

As much of a Buc killer as Kupp has been, Woods has been even more dangerous. In two games against Tampa Bay, Woods has caught 25 passes for 294 yards and one touchdown. In 2019, Woods went nuts, catching 13 passes for 164 yards in L.A. He had five catches for 37 yards against Davis that year. Last season, Davis had 12 receptions for 130 yards and a TD. He torched Davis for 80 yards on four catches on Monday Night Football, according to Pro Football Focus.

Woods is more than a possession receiver. He has some sneaky big-play ability that Davis knows firsthand. While Woods may have gotten the better of the match up last year statistically, it wasn’t a complete loss for Davis. He got one of his four interceptions on the year against Woods last year versus the Rams. Davis is really playing well to start the season with several pass breakups and an interception. He’s not the fastest cornerback in the league, but Davis is one of the most physical, and he matches up well with Woods, who isn’t a burner.

CB Jamel Dean vs. WR DeSean Jackson

Bucs CB Jamel Dean

Bucs CB Jamel Dean – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Jackson, who played for Tampa Bay from 2017-18, has had a problem staying healthy over the last couple of years at age 34. But he is healthy right now after signing with Los Angeles – he’s just not being used. Through two games, Jackson only has two catches for 21 yards. That prompted McVay to suggest this week that he needs to get Jackson more involved. What better time than against Jackson’s former team? Jackson still has the deep speed to take the top off a defense, so Dean and the Bucs safeties will have to be on guard for go routes and deep posts, in addition to wide receiver screens underneath.

Dean is the fastest player in the Bucs secondary and when Tampa Bay sees Jackson on the field that is the matchup Bowles will likely try to get. Dean is the only defensive back that can stay with Jackson past 20 yards, and with Matthew Stafford’s big arm, look for the Rams to take a deep shot or two down the field. Where Dean will have to be careful is with stop-and-go routes. Jackson is a crafty veteran and his film study will show him that Dean has been susceptible to looking into the backfield at the quarterback on pump fakes and not sticking with receivers. Dean will have to have his eyes trained on Jackson and Stafford – even in zone coverage.

FAB 5. SR’s Buc Shots

• BUCS NOT PLAYING UP TO THEIR FULL POTENTIAL – YET: Despite the Bucs having the league’s best offense and scoring more points than any other team, ESPN’s Jenna Laine reports that Tampa Bay is leading the league in some dubious categories, too. Perhaps the best is yet to come for the Bucs offense – when it can get out of its own way.

• EDWARDS’ TD “CATCHES” FROM RYAN: Adding insult to injury, as in the Falcons’ 48-25 loss to the Bucs, NFL Memes points out that Atlanta QB Matt Ryan has thrown more touchdown passes to … Bucs defensive back Mike Edwards, who had a pair of pick-sixes, than to any Falcons receiver this season. Yikes.

• NEW PEWTER GAMEDAY LIVE STREAM THIS SUNDAY: Pewter Report’s Pewter GameDay LIVE streaming show starts kicks off at 4:25 p.m. ET for the Bucs at Rams game. The game itself will not be featured or shown on the LIVE show, but Pewter Report’s Jon Ledyard, Paul Atwal and Scott Reynolds will be analyzing the game, offering up expert opinions and will be interacting with Bucs fans in the live chat.

The action begins with an hour-long Pewter Pregame Show beforehand at 3:30 p.m. ET that features Josh Allen and Kasey Hudson as hosts with Reynolds, Ledyard and Matt Matera as guests before kickoff. Both the Pewter Pregame and Pewter GameDay shows are energized by CELSIUS.

If you liked Pewter Report’s Live Draft Shows in April it will resemble that format – but be discussing the game in real time. Pewter Report will have Pewter GameDay LIVE streaming shows for every Bucs game this year.

The Pewter Report Postgame podcast will start approximately 40 minutes after the conclusion of the Bucs at Rams game.

• BUCS-RAMS PREVIEWS ON THE PEWTER REPORT PODCAST: The Pewter Report Podcast is energized by CELSIUS and broadcasts four live episodes each week. Here is the lineup for next week: Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at 4:00 pm EST with the Pewter Pregame, Pewter GameDay and Pewter Postgame on Sunday starting at 3:30 pm EST prior to Bucs at Rams.

The Pewter Reporters spent this past week previewing Tampa Bay’s Week 3 game against Los Angeles on the recent episodes of the Pewter Report Podcast on our YouTube channel. Check out all of this week’s shows below.

Jon Ledyard, Scott Reynolds and the rest of the Pewter Report staff break down the Bucs’ 48-25 win over the Falcons and hand out some game balls.

Will the Bucs sign free agent cornerback Richard Sherman? Hear the thoughts from Ledyard and Reynolds on Monday’s episode.

Ledyard and Reynolds breakdown the Bucs vs. Rams game in Wednesday’s preview show – plus segments of “Leonard!” and “Ronald!”

Ledyard and Matt Matera analyze Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, who may replace Jason Pierre-Paul this week in L.A. as the Bucs travel to face the Rams.

celsiusWatch the Pewter Report Podcasts live on our PewterReportTV channel on and please subscribe (it’s free) and add your comments. All Pewter Report Podcasts are archived so you can watch the recorded episodes if you missed them live.

There is no better time to listen to or watch a new Pewter Report Podcast – energized by CELSIUS – than Friday afternoon on the way home from work, or early Saturday morning during your workout or while running errands.

The popularity of the Pewter Report Podcast continues to grow. In addition to listening to the Pewter Report Podcasts on you can also subscribe to the free podcasts at PodBean by clicking here and on SoundCloud by clicking here. And of course the Pewter Report Podcast is also available on iTunes and YouTube. Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode.

• BRADY’S MASTERY OVER FALCONS CONTINUES: Before Sunday’s 48-25 win over the Falcons, The Athletic’s Greg Auman tweeted out these facts about Bucs QB Tom Brady.

Following Tampa Bay’s victory, Brady remains undefeated against Atlanta, and with his five touchdowns, he now has 22 career TDs and just two INTs in the regular season. Brady’s passer rating last Sunday was 129.2.

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for 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:
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28 days ago

There’s nothing “wrong” with RoJo, he was just never THAT good. Not bad, but not great. Wasn’t a huge prospect in the draft, never showed anything amazing outside of that 98-yard TD run thanks to Jensen being a monster blocker. I’m not sure why people expected him to be some massive breakout star. Arians is the only one who has said that lol

Reply to  eaustinyoung
27 days ago

Agree completely. RoJo’s a competent NFL RB at his best and lately he’s been far from his best. I think he has always lacked football awareness and it really showed last week.

28 days ago

With respect to RoJo, his issue is not talent or physicality, it is above the shoulders. That should be fixable, with some help from his teammates perhaps more than from his coaches. Regarding this game in LA, I am not worried at all about the ability of our offense to move the ball and score points, especially if they keep the giveaways and penalties down. I AM worried about our pass rush, which has been anemic. That in turn makes the secondary, which is very young and banged up, look worse than it should. The trenches are where the passing… Read more »

Last edited 28 days ago by Naplesfan
Reply to  Naplesfan
28 days ago

Naplesfan, the pass rush is still there, it’s just difficult to get to the QB when they are overwhelminly using a short passing game to defeat it. Matty Ryan only through two passes over 10 yards last week. Two. Both incompletions. Our DC seems content to let our backs play 5 to 8 yards off and then make the tackle and make the other team work their way tediously down the field. Thus the TOP being in favor of the other team by the end of the game.

Reply to  drdneast
28 days ago

The interior of our D line is performing well, but the edge rushers aren’t getting home. It’s not lack of sacks, but rather, lack of ability to pressure the quarterback from the edge. Yes, the short passing game does act much like a running game, making it harder for the edge guys to get home. But unless Bowles figures out a fix for this, our opponents are going to follow that formula for the rest of the season and postseason. Pass 80% of the time to within 10 yards of the LOS. Pretty simple, actually, as an offensive game plan.… Read more »

Last edited 28 days ago by Naplesfan
Reply to  drdneast
27 days ago

What’s obvious to you and me doesn’t seem to register with everyone. Perhaps it’s because we’re actually at the game. I will say this much. JPP was pretty invisible against the Falcons. Of course we learned later he was hurting.

Reply to  Naplesfan
26 days ago

This isn’t RoJo’s 3rd year, it’s his fourth. But he was so mentally unprepared and fragile his first year, the coaches basically redshirted him. RB is the easiest position to do well as a rookie and Jones couldn’t hack it. He then built up his body to become a supreme athlete, but mentally he’s just checked out.

28 days ago

Right off the bat you can see the focus in Edwards eyes catching that INT. I have rooted intensely for him to succeed since we picked him and it’s incredible his boss for the ball and his reaction time and ball skills. He really is an asset that we need on the field more often and maybe with SMB being hurt it could be a blessing in disguise that Edwards gets in the Nickel Roll permanently and turns it into a hybrid Nickel Corner/Nickel Safety/Nickel LB spot.

28 days ago

All I can say; Go Bucs! Keep the Repeat Alive!

28 days ago

The Bucs didn’t have a diffcult time covering Cooper Kupp last year, they had a difficult time tackling him as Kupp’s YAC was obscene in that game aganst the Bucs. He often made the first and second tackles whiff or shake off one armed tackling. I have been a big RoJo backer since he got here, especially because he seemed to put in a lot of time working to improve his craft. So I too am a bit disappointed in his play so far this year. Tantamount to that was him missing the block on the blitzing Falcon LB. C’mon… Read more »

28 days ago

What’s Wrong With RoJo? Every kid who dreams of playing in the NFL should take a lesson from RoJo and Jemel Dean. Nice guys. And two of the most gifted athletes on the team. When they’re playing well, they are two of my favorite players to watch. RoJo reminds me of Roger Craig. The problem they both seem to have is limited education. You can recognize it the moment they open their mouth. I feel sad for the background that many of these kids come from… but, it is SO IMPORTANT they take advantage of the opportunities they have to… Read more »

Reply to  JSW
28 days ago

Agree JSW! U hit the nail on the head. I just don’t believe he’s that bright. Athletically gifted, but limited intellectually. That’s not a knock against him. It’s just the way the system treats these gifted athletes sometimes. Won’t work in the pros! I wish RoJo well, but we may be seeing all that he can realistically do.

Reply to  JSW
27 days ago

What a POS with that load of sanctimonious crap.

28 days ago

Athletic ability alone may be able to get u through college, but the NFL is a different beast. RoJo needs to get his head in the game. Running out of bounds one yard short of first down is inexplicable. He seems to lack situational awareness. But, I’m afraid that after 3 years, this is who RoJo is. There’s always the draft next year!

Reply to  bucballer
27 days ago

Not trying to make an excuse for the youngster since I think all RB’s should refrain from stepping out of bounds and hit the defender. From my perch, when RoJo was running toward the sideline, the guy holding the down-marker stepped back out of the way and slightly back. I think RoJo thought he had gone past the first down point because he did go out of bounds beyond it, but in reality was being held a foot or so short. Be nice if someone could ask him about it.

28 days ago

The good news is unlike the muscle hamster Rojo hasn’t been paid yet. I doubt if he’ll get that pay day here. Like Scott said we hardly run the ball. Licht has done a good job drafting except for kickers and runners. I get the feeling he’ll take another swing at it this years draft and let Ro walk.

27 days ago

Nothing wrong with RoJo. He’s a RB, BA doesn’t run the ball. Put the ball in his hands 20 times a game and he’s a 1,000 runner. For the kid’s sake I wish they’d just cut him so he can play for a team that will use him.