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SR’s Fab 5 is a collection of inside scoop, analysis and insight from yours truly, PewterReport.com publisher and Bucs beat writer Scott Reynolds. Here are a few things that caught my attention this week at One Buc Place and around the NFL.

FAB 1. Perriman’s Speed Outside Allows Godwin To Be Bucs’ Slot WR

Breshad Perriman has everything a team like Tampa Bay is looking for in a wide receiver.

Perriman is a big, athletic target at 6-foot-2, 215 pounds. He ran a sub 4.3 time coming out of UCF in 2015 and is still plenty fast at age 25.

Perriman has everything – except what Adam Humphries has, which is clutch hands.

At $9 million per year, the cap-strapped Bucs couldn’t justify keeping an undersized slot receiver in Humphries, despite his work ethic and dependability. It’s a shame because Humphries was really a safety blanket for Jameis Winston, who enters a big contract year without one of his reliable primary targets.

But new head coach Bruce Arians has big plans for Chris Godwin and that means taking on a bigger responsibility as the slot receiver where the Bucs wanted a bigger body to play the Larry Fitzgerald role in Arians’ offense. That’s a role in the slot that the 5-foot-10, 192-pound Humphries just wasn’t equipped to play.

Fitzgerald thrived in the slot under Arians where he caught a career-high 109 passes in both the 2015 and 2017 seasons. Now it’s Godwin’s turn to play slot receiver, which is a far different role in Arians’ offense than it was in Dirk Koetter’s offense, as we first reported back in February in a previous SR’s Fab 5.

With his size and physicality, Godwin has been compared to Fitzgerald, and that’s a comparison the Bucs’ third-year receiver embraces coming off a career year in which he had 59 catches for 842 yards (14.3 avg.) and seven touchdowns.

Bucs WR Chris Godwin - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Bucs WR Chris Godwin – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

“I would definitely say Larry Fitzgerald and Julio Jones are the guys I study the most – I really respect their game,” Godwin said. “I try to learn what I can from their games and apply it to mine. I love watching their film.”

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Godwin has the size to outmuscle smaller nickel cornerbacks and the speed to make it hard for safeties to keep up with him in coverage. Plus, Godwin is a tremendous blocker and that will be utilized a lot in the box to help spring Peyton Barber and get the Bucs’ ground game going.

Godwin’s size and speed can help Tampa Bay in ways that Humphries couldn’t in the team’s new offense, which loves to feature vertical passing down the seam. That’s an area where Godwin and third-year tight end O.J. Howard should thrive this year.

Perriman’s size and speed can also help the Bucs – provided he can catch the ball, which has been an issue since his days at UCF.

Perriman’s penchant for untimely drops led to his quick demise in Baltimore after just three years. Perriman, who is the son of Brett Perriman, a star receiver for the Detroit Lions, who played 10 years in the NFL, missed his rookie season to a torn ACL and that stunted his development at the professional ranks.

After catching 43 passes for 576 yards and three touchdowns in three disappointing seasons with the Ravens, Baltimore released the 26th overall pick in 2015 prior to the 2018 season after not picking up his fifth-year option for 2019. Perriman had 33 catches for 499 yards (15.1 avg.) and three touchdowns in his first year playing in Baltimore in 2016, but fell down the depth chart in his final season there, catching just 10 passes for 77 yards (7.7 avg.) and no scores.

After a one-week stint in Washington last year, Perriman moved on to Cleveland where he played in 10 games and caught 16 passes for 340 yards (21.3 avg.) and two TDs. Perriman is hoping he can build on the momentum he started last season with the Browns.

After thinking it would be in Cleveland again, the Browns traded for Odell Beckham, Jr., which prompted Perriman and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus to go to general manager John Dorsey and ask out of the one-year deal they had agreed to. Perriman opted for the same one-year, $4 million deal in Tampa Bay to play with Jameis Winston and for Arians.

Arians’ offense wants to force defenses to play Cover 2 with two safeties back in coverage worrying about Perriman’s speed on one side and Mike Evans’ size and big-play ability on the other. Two safeties playing deep in Cover 2 would allow Godwin and Howard some really favorable matchups down the middle of the field. If defenses want to play Quarters coverage, which is Cover 4, in addition to Cover 2, that only makes it easier for the Bucs to run the ball, and can create some one-on-one matchups outside for Perriman and Evans.

The Bucs needed to replace Jackson’s deep speed on the outside after trading him to Philadelphia. Time will tell if Perriman can actually be an upgrade. But with the team’s plan to use Godwin inside in the slot, he’s going to be an upgrade over Humphries, who wouldn’t have been an ideal fit in Tampa Bay’s new offense.

Bucs WR Breshad Perriman

Bucs WR Breshad Perriman – Photo by: PewterReport.com

And even if Perriman’s production this year doesn’t match Jackson’s, the fact that he could be used as a decoy going deep with regularity to open up things underneath for Godwin, Evans and Howard would still make him a value addition. Defensive coordinators are always afraid of speedy players that can take the top off the defense.

The hope is that a fresh start in Tampa Bay and more confidence, Perriman can build off a solid season in Cleveland where he was a complimentary receiver and really be an assist man opposite Evans and also to Godwin, who should thrive in his new role playing his idol – Fitzgerald – as the Bucs’ new slot receiver.

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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 PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: sr@pewterreport.com
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Jolly Bucs Fan
Jolly Bucs Fan(@jollybucsfan)
2 years ago

Great article Scott. Feeling pretty positive this year. Here are some of my thoughts. 1. Boy is Godwin in for a great year. I was a little disappointed in him last year. Seemed to drop the ball or fumble it one to many times, but he is young, talented, a hardworker, and a team player (would rather have guys with ME and Godwin’s mentalities than the A.Browns and OBJ’s.) Godwin has already started to build a solid rapport with JW. Will still miss Humps ability to get open and make crucial 3rd down catches, but Godwin will have a great… Read more »

destinjohnny
destinjohnny(@destinjohnny)
2 years ago

Pewter report Crew I know Jason is a good guy and you all like him.
But it’s time you called for his job.
At the end of the day he is a below average scout who can’t build a roster.
It’s time….

drdneast
drdneast(@drdneast)
2 years ago

There’s only one ball and if you have 4 talented WRs and two TE’s , someone is going to get left out. There were to many times in 2017 and 2018 when I saw both QBs force the ball into Jackson just so he wouldn’t whine, wasting a valuable down.
I’m just glad he’s gone.
Like Goodfellow, I have noted in the past that Winston didn’t have a much problem going yard with his other WRs, why was Jackson such a problem.

Wausa
Wausa(@wausa)
2 years ago

I agree with most points in the article. I do think Jamies is much better at the deep ball than you insinuate. His biggest problem by far with long passes has been with DJax. The Bucs need to fill some holes in free agency(right guard, corner, linebacker and safety) and then attack the trenches in the draft. I’d much rather the Bucs focus on defensive line and offensive line in the first four rounds rather than get a off the ball linebacker, corner or running back, even though they currently have needs at those positions. The Bucs have been very… Read more »

fredster
fredster(@fredster)
2 years ago

Despite lot people constantly bashing Licht I’ve agreed with every move Licht has made lately. I’m glad abuvs kept him on and that he helped land us Arians. I hope he drafts well this year that’s been hit or miss and a learning curve for sure. Licht was 100% right letting Kwon go. I agree and said same thing weeks ago. He is good not great and he hasn’t been the best in staying healthy. He also is not very good in coverage period anyways wish him luck he plays with lots of heart. I agree with O line assessment… Read more »

BUC-ASS-BOB
BUC-ASS-BOB(@buc-ass-bob)
2 years ago

They really think Perryman is to replace DeSeanJackson ???????? Destin Jonney
You are correct it is time to get a new GM however they’re happy with the things the way they’re going that’s why they’re going the way they go.

e
e(@e)
2 years ago

Nice article, Scott. I agree that they couldn’t overpay for Kwon. I doubt that he will play out that contract. I’m glad he’s getting paid though. Yes, FLOOD! Flood & flexibility. Draft a guy like Jonah give you solidity across the entire O-line. I personally think that Watson will end up having better numbers than Perriman by the end of the year. Give me a slower guy with route running and excellent hands any day.

drdneast
drdneast(@drdneast)
2 years ago

Not only is this Winston’s prove it year, it’s Hargreaves and Spences as well. If Hagreaves ends up covering slot receivers he is already a disappointment since you don’t draft slot cover guys with high No. 1 picks.

LordCornelius
LordCornelius(@lordcornelius)
2 years ago

IMO the only issue with “flooding” RB/secondary/O-line is that this draft is loaded at front 7 / DL and we are rebuilding a 3-4 defense where most of our front 7 is old outside of Vea. We should take full advantage of this. The biggest reason the Bucs have been terrible for so long is they have had a bottom 3-5 defense basically every year. The one year we had just an average defense with Winston we had a winning record despite a top 5 difficult schedule. Carolina has drafted DTs and DEs R1/R2 when they already seemed loaded at… Read more »

Buc-Up
Buc-Up(@buc-up)
2 years ago

I still believe we should’ve claimed Kareem Hunt off Waivers last season. They would’ve had him under that contract for another two years averaging less than $1 million/yr. Cleveland signed him for $1-1.1 million/yr and will have him for 8 games. They already had Nick Chubb and Duke Johnson, so he’ll be a bonus for them when he returns from his suspension. He was an absolute need here. If he comes back, balls,and stays out of trouble, then he’ll make a lot more as a Free Agent or Franchise Tag in 2020. We had a shot at one of the… Read more »

EastEndBoy
EastEndBoy(@eastendboy)
2 years ago

Mid-off-season report card. We’re roughly half way through the off-season hoopla (the big wave of FA is over now anyway)…so how’s our GM done: Acquired Deion Buchannon (uh huh); Brashard Perriman (oh my…not that guy); another punter (at least Anger had a great last name); re-signed a few guys most notably Barber (ok – not that exciting really) and I guess D Smith (ugh, but ok we had to). Lost: Kwon Alexander (tough loss but I can understand…leaves another hole now), Adam Humphries (ok – he was too expensive and moving Godwin should help…but now we have a hole at… Read more »

pomer1eau
pomer1eau(@pomer1eau)
2 years ago

The secondary is still the weakest part of this team IMO. Is Tre Boston still out there? He’s 26 and has been on 3 different teams in the past 3 seasons accumulating 160 tackles, 24 passes defended and 10 picks. Not sure why any one of those teams have not signed him to a long term deal. Am I wrong to think he’s a good safety and could help this secondary? Thoughts?

sunshineben
sunshineben(@sunshineben)
2 years ago

then bucs are a lousy team (LOOK AT THEIR RECORD) and now have no cash with a bad team .. Yet fans still defend Light who should have been fired..how many excuses can fans make before enough is enough ?

flarick
flarick(@flarick)
2 years ago

Scott Reynolds wrote an excellent article this week, especially the part about flooding the preseason and training camp roster with lots of inexpensive free agents. Combining a flood of low-priced free agents at running back, defensive back, and offensive line with Bruce Arians’ “two practices at the same time” preseason philosophy may just uncover some diamonds in the rough. Too often Bucs fans, and really most fans around the league I think, and sometimes even Jason Licht and his professional scouts I fear, are attracted to the latest shiny object in free agency and the draft. There are plenty of… Read more »

inspecto
inspecto(@inspecto)
Reply to  flarick
2 years ago

Keep in mind that the more players in OTA’s and camp The less reps each player gets. That could become an issue. Hopefully with such a big staff that will not become a problem.

Go Bucs !!!

EricNV
EricNV(@ericnv)
2 years ago

Great article, Scott, as usual. I’d like to see us draft front 7 defense in rounds 1 and 2, like but if Lindstrom is available in the 2nd round, we’ve got to take him. The only reason I wouldn’t draft J Williams in the first round is that LB is a critical need for us, and this draft doesn’t have much depth. I look at this year’s draft as Licht’s last chance to prove he’s a good GM, and if he gets it right in the 2nd round this year, as well as 1st and 3rd rounds, all is forgiven… Read more »

DT25
DT25(@dt25)
2 years ago

If we draft a RB in the 2nd round again, I’ll lose it. Flooding the roster with talent still requires we do it intelligently. We have A LOT of positions we need to flood besides RB…OL and LB for starters…but losing Grimes and moving Stewart to safety means we likely need to add at least one CB, if not 2. And it would still be wise to address the DL again with GMC taking his final bow this season, Unrein being released, and Gholston being essentially useless the past 2 years (and honestly, he should probably be released to free… Read more »

DT25
DT25(@dt25)
2 years ago

All that said, I’d be more willing to sign a cheap RB and then add a late round RB to the mix to figure out the best combination…but taking another RB early in the draft with the other needs on this team would be a fireable offense for Licht…and the list of those is starting to pile up a little too high already.

EastEndBoy
EastEndBoy(@eastendboy)
2 years ago

I concur : we have a lot of holes on this roster, and seem to be adding more by the day…better be some incredible draft in the works.

Horse
Horse(@horse)
2 years ago

Good thoughts Scott. I still don’t understand why McCoy and Gholston weren’t asked to take a pay cut. Both were under performers in 2017 & 2018. My preference is to release or trade them for something; both have shown enough from past seasons they aren’t going to improve anymore because of age & injuries.
I wouldn’t structure Evans contract either; better to save that for real emergency’s. Just my opinions.

Devasher
Devasher(@devasher)
2 years ago

Another “In defense of Jason Licht” Fab 5.

Let the results of 53-loss-Licht’s final season in Tampa this year play out and no amount of rationalizing by Scott Reynolds will matter. You have a two time coach of the year and Scott’s constant badgering of the coaching staff (and not the construction of the roster) will then turn into “with the Bucs cap-strapped Jason Licht managed to do his best to build a team into 6-10 in 2019 and should be retained for another year when Ryan Jensen’s can be cut without penalty.”

owlykat
owlykat(@owlykat)
2 years ago

If we drop to 7 in the first round and get White we don’t need Bucannon starting there because White will have Minter next to him helping him on the field play in the new scheme. Have Bucannon start at Safety and train them then later in the year if we have a rash of LB injuries he will be able to move back there. Just get a Veteran Safety that is all we really need now. Scott please watch the tape of the Kentucky Florida game and you will see the answer for backing up Barber and starting as… Read more »

owlykat
owlykat(@owlykat)
2 years ago

Just get a Veteran CB not Safety.

BigSombrero
BigSombrero(@bucwild02)
2 years ago

@SR -Entertaining Podcast and Fab 5 Podcast: Good listen but one tiny mistake…As you reported, the Bucs and Beau Allen restructured his base salary $4 million. What was not mentioned was he can still make the lost million through incentives, kicking it right back up to $5 million. The trade off for him was that he gets to be a free agent again after the 2019 season and go to the highest bidder. Fab 1: Hopefully Perriman can revive his career in Tampa. He was clearly a bust for the Ravens. In watching his highlight reel from Cleveland, his speed… Read more »

surferdudes
surferdudes(@surferdudes)
2 years ago

You are what your record says you are. Licht’s record is what it is, dismal. You fans can defend him all you want, but his record is way below .500. Hopefully B.A. and crew can turn this ship around, Koetter, and crew were awful coaches, but that’s on Licht too. He had the power to hire, or fire coaches that weren’t getting the job done, and did NOTHING! We have him to thank for clueless Koetter. Stop giving Licht a pass, he’s the reason we’re devoid of talent.

EastEndBoy
EastEndBoy(@eastendboy)
2 years ago

@BigSombrero: Very perceptive of you – with apologies to the Licht Apologists: If Licht can claim credit for acquiring [insert whoever here], it must be pure genius. If he cuts [insert same player here], it was a “smart move” by said genius. If [insert any player here] is garbage, it was [Koetter, Lovie, SchiaNo] fault (I read on here that OLine coach George Warhop must have ruined all those great OLinemen that Licht acquired for him. LOL). If draft pick proves horrible (nearly everything out of round 1 aside, apart from maybe Marpet, Godwin and perhaps Justin Evans?), drafting is… Read more »

BigSombrero
BigSombrero(@bucwild02)
2 years ago

@EastEndBoy My old handle! I agree with your thoughts about leadership claiming the good things and blameshifting the bad things. This season will be interesting, but there are big changes on the horizon. The whole organization is on a 1 year deal. If BA can’t work a miracle, and make no mistake that’s what it will be, a miracle, then it all gets blown up. Consider BA’s tasks: Have success with Byron Leftwich calling plays in his 1st year as an OC. Who’s scheme though? Bruce Arians or Byron Leftwich’s? He defended the job Leftwich did last year in AZ… Read more »

BigSombrero
BigSombrero(@bucwild02)
2 years ago

I left out the fact that Ron Rivera also had a Superbowl appearance. He made it to the Super Bowl by DESTROYING the Bruce Arians Arizona Cardinals in their magical “All or Nothing” season.

Devasher
Devasher(@devasher)
2 years ago

You nailed it @EastEndBoy Towards the end of Dominik’s 28-52 half-decade of incompetence (but still one game better than Licht’s), fans and writers like Scott all proclaimed the foundation was there with Gerald McCoy, Lavonte David, Mark Barron, Johnthan Banks and Doug Martin even though that was only 5 players. Then Licht is hired, does some tinkering with the roster and voila! 2-14 and the worst team in football. By now most fans, including many writers that excused Dominik’s mistakes admit he was a failure. The same history will be written about Licht and writers like Scott will just pretend… Read more »

Alldaway 2.0
Alldaway 2.0(@alldaway)
2 years ago

I agree 100%.

Bring in a vet G, vet OT, another vet RB, vet S, and a vet CB. Go hog wild and let them compete.

plopes808
plopes808(@plopes808)
2 years ago

Bravo Mr Reynolds, Another great article I agree with on all points. For all the “losses” we’ve taken in FA so far, I believe Licht has made the right moves. I love Kwon, but $13.5mil is just crazy and Lynch will probably realize that too late. Getting rid of MeJax is a great move relating to both cap and chemistry. Perriman will provide similar speed as well as increased catch radius, which will make things easierl for Jameis. There was only one receiver with chemistry issues so the problem was pretty blatant. I also agree with “flooding” the roster with… Read more »

Ron Potter
Ron Potter(@finalsorbust)
2 years ago

Good article that makes solid points. DJ really had a way of making Winston’s warts look worse. When it comes to catching the deep ball from Winston, Evans and Godwin have a better connection with Winston. Less is more. I like the approach to free agency this year. The previous coaches have failed to develop talent behind our clear-cut starters, fringe positions and a lot of the defensive players. They also experienced some bad luck. For example, they gave a chance to Isaiah Johnson over Keith Tandy and then Chris Conte went down with injury… all of a sudden, the… Read more »

scubog
scubog(@scubog)
2 years ago

I always enjoy reading the Fab 4 plus the Podcast and sponsor pimping Fab 5 every Saturday morning. Of course I also get a kick out of the all too predictable comments section; some of which are longer than the article. Guys like Big Sombrero and others sure have a lot of free time spent on Pewter Report. Now Naplesfan has gone underground and I miss him. We come to know each other………at least our on-line personas, even though most of us have never met. I suspect some points of view are a bit exaggerated from reality and that the… Read more »

Captain Sly
Captain Sly(@captain-sly)
2 years ago

Licht should be criticized for the position he’s in and some of the decisions he’s made. The problem I have with some of these negative commenters is that they never name a GM that hits on every coach,FA, or draft pick. I don’t like everything Licht has done but there are about 20 GM’s in the league that I’m glad are not running our team.

surferdudes
surferdudes(@surferdudes)
2 years ago

We don’t care what the other 31 G.M.’s are doing, we care about our Bucs. Licht came in with top draft choices, and all kinds of money to spend. His first pick was a good one, Mike Evans, how could he screw that up he was the sixth pick in the draft. Still an argument could be made it should’ve been A. Donald, build from the trenches out to the skill players, he went ass backwards. It seems Licht has convinced ownership that success is signing your picks to second contracts, Marpet, Evans, Smith. I say success is a winning… Read more »

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