FAB 5. SR’s Buc Shots
• For Tampa Bay’s run stuffers like defensive end Will Gholston, nose tackle Chris Baker and reserve nose tackle Sealver Siliga, Sunday was like a dream come true. The Bucs posted their fourth best day against the run in franchise history in limiting Chicago to just 20 yards on 16 carries. Considering the Bears have Jordan Howard, the second-leading rusher from a year ago and speedy rookie Tarik Cohen, that’s quite a feat.
Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith has made stopping the run the number one priority this offseason and his players were pleased with their performance.
“It was a great experience this last Sunday,” the 330-pound Siliga said. “Especially after Coach Smith and all our coaches harping on it all week. To go out there and see the fruit of our labor come to life was a great feeling.”
Neither Siliga nor the 320-pound Baker registered a tackle on Sunday, but they did their job plugging the A gap and forcing runs outside where Gholston was waiting.
“He is a big part of our defense,” Siliga said. “Last year when he got hurt you saw that there was a missing part to our defense. With Will, Gerald [McCoy], and everybody, when we’re all together – especially with Will – it helps solidify our D-Line.”
Gholston, who was signed to a lucrative contract extension in the offseason, led the defensive line with five tackles, including a tackle for loss.
“Last year I believe he led, according to Pro Football Focus, he led the league in stuffs behind the line of scrimmage,” Smith said. “He is a big, strong man and he is a penetrating guy and when we get good knock-back and we get the linebackers coming downhill, we are going to have a chance to be successful and Will is an integral part of it. He should win that C gap for us the majority of the time and that’s what we are counting on. When he wins that C gap, it allows us to do some other things in terms of how we’re figuring our linebacker fits and our secondary fits.”
Melvin’s Barbecue Sauce – Spicy Golden Secret
Melvin’s Spicy Golden Secret is a tangy mustard sauce with some heat. The original sauce was invented in 1933 by Melvin’s father, “Big Joe” Bessinger and it put South Carolina on the map for mustard-based BBQ sauces. This version is made with habanero chilies and liquid smoke. You’ll feel the kick once you try it.
Pick up some Melvin’s Barbecue Spicy Golden Secret Sauce at Just Grillin, which is located at 11743 N. Dale Mabry Hwy in Tampa, just 15 minutes north of Raymond James Stadium. Or shop online at JustGrillinFlorida.com
• I had the chance to speak with several Buccaneers this week about ways to improve the NFL product and I wanted to include this quote from sixth-year NFL veteran cornerback Robert McClain, who would like to see the league revert back to the old days of football when the game was more physical and more violence was allowed.
“With the physicality of the game, they are trying to make it safer, so there’s not much you can do that way,” McClain said. “I feel as though some of the stuff – tackling- and hitting-wise, they could be a little more lenient on some stuff. We all know the risks of playing this sport. Everybody does. It’s the same way you know the risk of flying in an airplane, or a firefighter going in a burning building, or even a rock climber. There are risks to everything. It’s all part of the risk you have with football.
“There are proper ways to tackle that can help, but there are times when you just want to be physical. It’s a physical game. Back in the day they didn’t used to call a lot of that stuff. Brent Grimes and I talk about that all the time. That’s what football was. It’s a gladiator sport. We’re going to hit each other. They are trying to make it safer I guess, but there is not much they can really do. It won’t be as safe as they want it to be. That’s the only thing I would change – some of the hits.”
McClain is right. Firemen know that they could get burned, get smoke inhalation or die due to their profession. Police officers and members of the Armed Forces know they could get shot and wounded or killed in the line of duty. Football players know the risks associated with playing the game and banging heads for three hours a week on game days (and several more hours on the practice field), but get paid handsomely for it – much more than the civil servants I’ve listed above.
The spotlight on concussions and CTE and some lawsuits that have emerged has forced the league to adjust its rules favoring player safety instead of big hits. While nobody wants to see anyone get seriously injured, I do long for the days when players like former Bucs safety John Lynch could tee off on tight ends and receivers roaming across the middle.
It’s a fact that audiences love violence dating back to the Gladiator days in old Rome, and even in present day where UFC fighting has generally passed boxing in fan interest because of blood, harder, violent hits, chokeholds and knockouts. Back in the day, the NFL used to take highlights of Lynch and other big hitters and make videos of players getting creamed and sold them to fans. To me, that was the game of football I grew up with and loved. Unfortunately, those days are over.
• The popularity of the Pewter Nation Podcast continues to grow thanks to YOU, Pewter Nation! With Bucs regular season action now underway, we are now producing two shorter podcasts (30-40 minutes) during the week – one mid-week and another one immediately after the Bucs preseason and regular season games. Here is a link to the latest Pewter Nation Podcast – Episode 30: Bucs-Vikings Preview – Pick Your Poison.
PewterCast podcaster Brent Allen joined the PewterReport.com crew this week (and helped us fix our audio issues!) to talk Bucs vs. Vikings, so give it a listen. Make sure to visit PewterReport.com Sunday night for our post-game analysis of Tampa Bay’s road game at Minnesota in a new Pewter Podcast Podcast, which Mark Cook, Trevor Sikkema and I will record immediately following the game. In addition to listening to the Pewter Nation Podcasts on PewterReport.com you can also subscribe to the free podcasts at PodBean by clicking here and on SoundCloud by clicking here.
• Although he only played in the first quarter before exiting due to swelling in his hamstring, Bucs middle linebacker Kwon Alexander made a splash play for Tampa Bay’s defense, intercepting Bears quarterback Mike Glennon in the red zone. For Alexander, it was redemption as he felt he didn’t improve against the pass last year, finishing the season with only one interception and seven pass breakups in 16 games after recording two interceptions and nine pass breakups in 12 games as a rookie.
“It was a great way to start the season for me,” Alexander said. “I’ve been working hard all offseason on the JUGGS machine trying to get my hands and my coverage right. It all paid off. Catching 300 balls a day. Why would you drop it?”
Technically, Alexander is averaging an interception a game to start the 2017 campaign, but he certainly won’t finish with 16 by the time the season is over. But with one under his belt already, it’s a safe bet to assume that Alexander will be setting a new career high with at least three picks this year.
• While it was great to see Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston and wide receiver Mike Evans add a few wrinkles to their “Euro Filaay” celebration after the two connected for a touchdown in the first half, it was awesome to see celebrations take place around the NFL again after scores. Yet the best celebration of all came in Oakland where new running back Marshawn Lynch, a native of the area, danced for the crowd to the rap song “Oakland” in last week’s game against the New York Jets. Check out this awesome video of Lynch having a blast with the Black Hole rocking and dancing along.
— CHINO IGLESIAS 🎙 (@airChino) September 18, 2017
“It was just joy,” Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie told MMQB’s Peter King. “So much fun. And it was all natural. It just happened. Football needs more fun like that.”
Absolutely. Thank you for being you, Marshawn.
• The Bucs’ 2017 season is underway and sure you follow PewterReport.com on social media for all of the updates from practices, games and press conferences, in addition to getting updates on the latest stories to hit our website. To join our 27,5600 followers on Twitter, click here to follow @PewterReport. To follow us on Facebook, click here.
• And be sure to read the Bucs vs. Vikings Pewter Prediction column Saturday morning on PewterReport.com to see if Mark Cook, Trevor Sikkema and I pick Tampa Bay to win in Minnesota. Thank you for visiting PewterReport.com and making us a trusted source of Bucs news for Pewter Nation.