FAB 5. SR’s Buc Shots
Shaq Barrett won the NFC Defensive Player of the Month for his hot start to the 2019 season, which saw him compile nine sacks, three forced fumbles and an interception in Tampa Bay’s first four games.
“I always think Shaq is going to get there every play just based on how he’s producing this season,” Bucs safety Jordan Whitehead said. “Every time we need a big play he makes it. He had the interception, he had the hit on the quarterback that led to my interception and he had the sack-strip at the end of the game. That’s four weeks in a row that he’s been able to get to the quarterback and I’m sure that’s going to continue.”
NFL analyst and former NFL offensive lineman Brian Baldinger has an excellent breakdown of Barrett’s sensational start. Watch the video clip attached to his tweet.
.@Buccaneers @MOOCHIE048 has my vote for #DPOY thru the first 4 games. He’s a menace stopping the run and possesses #Marvel superhuman power getting to the QB. Shaq Barrett is a BEAST! #BaldysBreakdowns #gamechanger @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/3Je1k4KK4I
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) October 3, 2019
• Tampa Bay wide receiver Chris Godwin is off to a tremendous start to his third year in the league with 26 catches for 386 yards and four touchdowns. That puts him on pace for 104 catches for 1,544 yards and 16 touchdowns, which would be an absolutely monster season.
Not only does Godwin lead the NFL in catches that result in a first down, he had a career-high 12 catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns in Tampa Bay’s 55-40 win against the Rams with 11 of those catches picking up a first down.
“That’s a pretty good stat,” said Bucs head coach Bruce Arians. “That’s the thing – when you’re running the ball and you’re blocking like he does, there are a lot of opportunities around the middle of the field to make big plays – and outside. Again, it goes back to our philosophy – mine, personally – if you’re willing to do it, I’m willing to get you the ball.”
• PEWTER NATION PRE-GAME PODCAST! – The 2-2 Bucs travel to the Big Easy to battle the Saints, which are 3-1 despite not having Drew Brees at the helm. This episode of the Pewter Nation Podcast is chock full of interesting stats and analysis as the Pewter Reporters reflect on Sunday’s 55-40 win in Los Angeles and preview this week’s Bucs vs. Saints game. Which Pewter Reporters picked the Bucs to win? Listen and find out!
And if you missed Sunday’s “Bucs victory podcast” you can listen to it this weekend and get caught up! Pewter Reporters Mark Cook, Trevor Sikkema and Matt Matera were in L.A. for the upset and recapped all the action. Make sure to give it a listen.
There is no better time to listen to a new Pewter Nation Podcast, which is presented by Chris Garrido of Westshore Financial, than on your drive home from work on Friday or early Saturday morning at the gym before college football begins. Enjoy your weekend and know that the next Pewter Nation Podcast will be up on Monday afternoon following Tampa Bay’s game this Sunday in New Orleans.
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• Tampa Bay rookie Nick Fitzgerald has done something pretty remarkable – something I can’t remember any other Buccaneer player doing in my 24 years of covering the team. He made the practice squad after not practicing for a single play in training camp or playing a single snap in a preseason game. Fitzgerald pulled his hamstring in July while playing beach volleyball and was forced to miss the entire month of August while it healed.
“To me it speaks volumes that even though they didn’t see me in pads and didn’t see me in the games, what they saw work ethic-wise, and ability and what I can do for the team,” Fitzgerald said. “There were plenty of guys that got hurt that were cut immediately, but every day came and went and I stayed around. I was just trying to stay around until tomorrow, get back healthy and get back in to the practices and maybe work my way up to making the active roster at some point this season.”
Fitzgerald, who was a dual-threat quarterback at Mississippi State, has continued cross-training between quarterback and tight end, which was something that began shortly after the team’s rookie mini-camp back in May. He was also training to be a core special teams performer, too.
“Man, I do a lot of things,” Fitzgerald said. “I do a lot of special teams. I do a lot of scout work for special teams and I try to give the guys on special teams and defense the best look I can. At practice I split some of the scout reps at quarterback with Griff (Ryan Griffin), but at the same time I’m in the tight end meeting room. So I’m not quite sure yet what I’m going to be doing here, but when they tell me I’ll be doing it 100 percent.”
This week in practice, Fitzgerald has been assuming the role of Saints quarterback Taysom Hill, who comes in as a running, Wildcat-style quarterback in some of Sean Payton’s gimmick packages.
“Yeah – he wears his jersey [number] and that’s about it,” Bucs head coach Bruce Arians said. “Nick, he can throw it. He can do those things, but as far as running routes and stuff, it’s not quite the same, but he’s out there doing it.”
For now, Fitzgerald is a man without a true position, but he isn’t complaining. He’s on an NFL practice squad after missing the preseason, which says a lot about his skill set and the level of intrigue that the team has about him. Yet Fitzgerald is curious about which position his future holds so he can get to the right weight for maximum performance.
“To me I definitely think I need to put on a little more weight if that is the position they want me to play,” Fitzgerald said. “If they want me to go out there and run routes and block I need to put on weight. But if I’m going to stay doing special teams and quarterback stuff then I can stay slimmer and quicker so I can get down the field and go cover punts and kicks. Whenever they finally decide on what I’m position I’m going to play I’ll adjust my weight accordingly. My weight fluctuates with the hot weather, so I’m somewhere between 225-230.”
• THANK YOU! PEWTER REPORT HAS SURPASSED 33,500 FOLLOWERS ON TWITTER! Thank you – Pewter Nation – for following the PewterReport.com Twitter account, as we have hit a new milestone with 33,000 followers and we’re now up to 33,500. We cover Bucs practices, Bucs press conferences, Bucs games and break news on our @PewterReport Twitter account.
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