FAB 5. SR’s Buc Shots
• Buccaneers head coach had the right message for his team as they departed for a six-day vacation during the bye week. Despite losing two games in a row, Tampa Bay is 2-2 and still has plenty of time to go on a run and make the playoffs.
“At the end I put up a slide of what the standings are right now,” Koetter said. “I said the exact same Bill Parcells quote (“You are what your record says you are”). You look at what the NFC South standings are right now and there is New Orleans at number one at 3-1, and oh, by the way, we’re the one that beat them. We’re in the middle at 2-2. We are one game out of first place. We don’t feel good, as I stand here right now, coming off [Sunday], but what if we would have lost the first two games and won the second two games? Would we feel better today? Again, they are wins and losses, and we have 12 more of them when we get back.”
The Bucs were due five days off per Collective Bargaining Agreement rules for the bye week, but after Sunday’s crushing defeat, 48-10, at the hands of the Bears, Koetter felt his players could use one extra day of clearing their minds and coming back focused on 12 straight weeks of football.
• Because of the Bucs’ bye week we only recorded one podcast, and that was on Monday after Dirk Koetter’s day-after-game press conference. It’s pretty deep. Give it a listen. You can hear Pewter Nation Podcast Ep99: The Time For Change Has Come by clicking this link.
Last week’s Pewter Nation Podcast was one of the strangest and funniest podcasts we’ve ever done. Things get heated between Pewter Reporters Trevor Sikkema, Mark Cook and I as we previewed the Bucs vs. Bears game, and argued about which quarterback should start – Ryan Fitzpatrick or Jameis Winston. Listen and laugh at Pewter Nation Podcast Episode 98: The Many Layers Of Fitzpatrick vs. Winston
Listening to the Pewter Nation Podcasts on your drive home from work on Fridays or on Saturdays while doing some chores around the house or running errands this weekend is just smart. So do it. The next Pewter Nation Podcast will be taped next week before the Bucs at Falcons game, so stay tuned for the post-game thoughts from Sikkema, Cook and yours truly as the Bucs try to avoid a 2-3 start.
The popularity of the Pewter Nation Podcast continues to grow. In addition to listening to the Pewter Nation Podcasts on PewterReport.com you can also subscribe to the free podcasts at PodBean by clicking here and on SoundCloud by clicking here. Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode.
• Tampa Bay is trying to avoid a 2-3 start for the fourth year in a row and the third year in a row under Koetter. The Bucs were able to overcome such a slow start back in 2016 thanks to a midseason five-game winning streak. The Bucs went 6-10 in 2015, which prompted the Bucs to replace Lovie Smith with Koetter the next year, and Tampa Bay finished 5-11 after starting 2-3 last season.
The Bucs have the offensive firepower to stay in most games and produce wins, but the improvement will need to come on the defensive side of the ball on the other side of the bye week. Facing a desperate 1-3 Falcons team will be a stiff challenge, especially considering that Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan plays well at home, and the Falcons have the sixth-rated passing attack in the league, averaging 314.8 yards per game.
Atlanta is also outscoring the Bucs, averaging 29 points per game to Tampa Bay’s 28 points per game. That’s not good news for a Bucs defense that is surrendering 33 points per game. If you’re looking for a silver lining, perhaps it’s the fact that the Bucs have played pretty with Jameis Winston being 2-0 in Atlanta, winning in overtime 23-20 in 2015 and upsetting the Falcons on opening day in 2016, 31-24. Last year was a different story as Atlanta captured a 34-20 win with Winston sidelined with a shoulder injury.
• Bucs football season is here (so is Tampa Bay Lightning season!) and if you want to buy a new Tampa Bay jersey – or college football apparel – there is only one place to turn and that’s Fanatics.com. PewterReport.com has partnered once again with Fanatics.com to provide our readers with the best online shopping experience and widest array of team merchandise and apparel found on the Internet.
The best part about it is that when you click on the Fanatics.com banners or links on PewterReport.com a portion of the sale goes to PewterReport.com to help pay for operating costs of the website you’ve come to love and trust for your Bucs news. So whether it’s NFL, college football, college basketball, NHL or MLB gear you are looking for, you’ll find it at Fanatics.com where they have the retro Starter pullover jackets now in stock. Click here and shop today.
• Right before I told you that Mike Smith’s Bucs defense is absolute garbage, I warned you about Tampa Bay’s awful pass defense in last week’s SR’s Fab 5. Of course I was wrong in thinking that the Bucs might actually have more success against a second-year quarterback like Mitchell Trubisky. Here’s what I wrote:
“One thing that should aid Tampa Bay’s pass defense in the coming weeks is facing second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky on Sunday in Chicago and Cleveland’s rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield in four weeks. While Evans says the Bucs can’t afford to take Trubisky, his lack of experience and the fact that he’s learning a new offense this year under new head coach Matt Nagy should help.”
I then offered up this quote from Bucs free safety Justin Evans to end that Fab 2 segment.
“If anything we could probably try to mess with his head a little more because Drew and Ben have seen things a billion times, so they probably knew exactly what we’re going to do, so it’s probably hard to try and disguise coverages,” Evans said. “If anything, that’s probably the only thing we can exploit because he’s an NFL quarterback and he starts – so you’ve got to respect that or he’ll make you look bad.”
Unfortunately, that was a prophetic statement by Evans, who easily had his worst game of the year in Chicago.
• The @PewterReport Twitter account hit a milestone as we eclipsed 30,000 Twitter followers at the start of the Bucs’ regular season. Now we’re nearing 30,500 followers. Join us, Pewter Nation, and make sure you are following PewterReport.com on Twitter so you don’t miss out Bucs press conference and interview footage as well as breaking news and injury updates. To follow @PewterReport on Twitter please click here, and to follow us on Facebook please click here.
PewterReport.com is also updating our @PewterReport Instagram account more regularly this season. Make sure you are following @PewterReport on Instagram and you can do so by clicking here.
• Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston didn’t fumble once during the preseason despite getting sacked twice, nor did he fumble in the second half against the Bears in his 2018 debut. Fumbles were a big problem for Winston last year as he lost the ball 10 times either in the pocket or scrambling outside the pocket and getting sacked.
To help reduce his fumbles this year, Winston is wearing a tacky glove on his left-hand, which is his non-throwing hand. Wearing the glove helps improve his grip on the ball and aids in ball security as defenders swat at it in the pocket and try to strip him of the ball when getting sacked. So far, so good with the glove.
• And finally, PewterReport.com has dual sponsors for this year’s Tampa Bay injury reports in StretchPros and Lane Family Wellness. Dr. Tommy Lane is the owner and lead physician at Lane Family Wellness, and is good friends with Stretch Pros founder Chip Orr. Both are big Bucs fans and PewterReport.com readers, so we encourage you to become clients at StretchPros in South Tampa and Lane Family Wellness in Carrollwood.
Together, those businesses bring you the Tampa Bay Injury Reports each Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and Dr. Lane will be providing commentary and insight on injuries to Tampa Bay players on PewterReport.com throughout the year.
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