FAB 5. SR’s Buc Shots
• The Bucs received some great news last week on the injury front with regards to many players. Defensive tackle Vita Vea has a very good chance of playing in the season opener against San Francisco next Sunday. Call it an 85 percent chance.
If Vea somehow does miss the 49ers game the expectation with his knee injury is that he would play against Carolina on Thursday Night Football five days later. Vea has been able to heal his LCL (lateral collateral ligament) injury with rest and without surgery
The optimistic prognosis is also good for starting MO linebacker Lavonte David, who had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. David is expected to start in the season opener on Sunday, but might not play the whole game due to the fact that the Bucs play the Panthers on a short week. Expect to see Deone Bucannon get some series at MO linebacker next to Devin White versus the 49ers to rest David.
Tampa Bay should also have tight end Cam Brate back for the season opener, and there is an outside chance that free safety Justin Evans gets some playing time versus the 49ers if the soreness leaves his Achilles and he returns to practice this week.
Rookie safety Mike Edwards should also return from his hamstring injury, and the Bucs are also excited with the fact that rookie outside linebacker Anthony Nelson might be ready to return to practice from his MCL injury. Nelson has missed the entire preseason due to his knee injury to his knee.
And finally, Blaine Gabbert’s dislocated shoulder wasn’t as bad as originally thought and he might be out just one or two more weeks because it’s his non-throwing shoulder. Tampa Bay isn’t quite completely healthy yet – but by kickoff of the season opener, the Bucs should be almost at full strength.
• One of the most encouraging things about Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston’s preseason was that he had no turnovers. Winston is a proven playmaker, accounting for a franchise-record 88 passing touchdowns and nine more scores on the ground. But what has held him back from greatness – and the team back from the playoffs – is his penchant for untimely turnovers. Winston has thrown 58 interceptions, and has fumbled 38 times, including 18 that have resulted in turnovers.
The good news is that Winston didn’t have any fumbled exchanges with any running back in August, and on 39 pass plays he threw the ball 29 times without an interception. Despite being sacked six times and scrambling on three other occasions, the fifth-year starting quarterback didn’t lose the ball after being hit by a defender.
“He didn’t fumble,” Bucs head coach Bruce Arians said after Winston’s final preseason performance against Cleveland, in which he was sacked five times. “He got hit a couple times. The one time he tried to scramble out of there and got hit from behind, that’s been a fumble in the past. But, he had two hands on the ball. We converted some third downs early. Then, the protection just broke down on him. So, it’s hard to evaluate him. He was fine as far as I’m concerned.”
• THE PEWTER NATION PODCAST RETURNS! The Pewter Reporters are back at it with a new Pewter Nation Podcast once the Bucs’ roster cuts are announced. Stay tuned for that later during the Labor Day weekend.
If you missed our last podcast where we analyzed the contract extension of Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht and looked at the players on the bubble ahead of the team’s preseason game against Cleveland make sure you check it out.
Mark Cook, Trevor Sikkema and I also had a post-game podcast following Matt Gay’s 48-yard game-winner to beat the visiting Miami Dolphins in the Bucs’ second preseason game. This was a really good podcast with plenty of instant analysis.
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 running around doing errands or at the gym on Saturday. The next Pewter Nation Podcast will be taped immediately after the Bucs vs. Browns preseason game.
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. And of course the Pewter Nation Podcast is also available on iTunes. Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode.
• Playing in Todd Bowles’ 3-4 scheme has meant the career rebirth for several Buccaneers, such as Noah Spence, who is now an outside linebacker after spending three years as an undersized defensive end, and cornerbacks Vernon Hargreaves III and Carlton Davis, who are much better suited for press-man coverage. Add Patrick O’Connor’s name to the list, too.
O’Connor likely makes the 53-man roster as the final defensive lineman on the depth chart after a great preseason that saw him post 13 tackles and a team-high two sacks. He’s not the biggest interior defender at 6-foot-4, 270 pounds, but his initial quickness works better inside as a 3-4 defensive end or defensive tackle than it did as an edge rusher as a 4-3 defensive end.
“It fits because I have a quick twitch get-off and fast hands so I can get on the blocker,” O’Connor said. “I was given the opportunity at linebacker to go fly around and make plays. Now I’m inside. Yeah, I like it a lot – even being an undersized three-tech or four-I (defensive end) because speed always beats the bigger boys. That’s where I take advantage of it and we’ll see what happens.”
• PEWTER REPORT IS NEARING 33,000 FOLLOWERS ON TWITTER! The PR Twitter account continues to grow by leaps and bounds and there are some big reasons why. We cover Bucs practices, Bucs press conferences and break news on our @PewterReport Twitter account. So if you aren’t one of the almost 33,000 Bucs fans that follow PewterReport.com on Twitter please do so right now so you don’t miss out on Bucs game coverage, press conference notes and video, injury updates, breaking news and notifications about the latest stories and columns on PewterReport.com. Follow us today!
• All the talk that the Bucs would miss Gerald McCoy’s locker room presence and that Ndamukong Suh would somehow be a locker room cancer has turned out not to be true. The Bucs players have clearly moved on from McCoy with outside linebacker Carl Nassib becoming more of a vocal leader on the field and in the locker room in his absence, and also with Jason Pierre-Paul’s absence.
As for Suh, he’s been a great teammate that has quickly earned the respect of the Bucs players.
“He’s a monster,” said defensive lineman Patrick O’Connor. “He’s so strong and he can beat everyone with power. Out of nowhere he’ll make an inside move and make them look silly.
“He brings wisdom as well as being a good energy dude. He’s a good teacher. He always helps out the younger guys and myself. I would say he’s just an overall good vet in the locker room.”
Bucs inside linebacker Kevin Minter echoed O’Connor’s sentiments.
“Very impressive dude,” Minter said. “I was looking forward to playing with him when I heard we were going to get him and I haven’t been disappointed. He brings that attitude that we’ve needed around here. You can tell he’s a guy that knows how to get to the playoffs.”
• And finally, Hurricane Dorian is closing in on Florida and is expected to make landfall on the East Coast on Labor Day. Residents in the Tampa Bay area and the West Coast of Florida won’t feel the direct impact of the storm, but it could still be a category 1 or 2 hurricane by the time it moves across the state and reaches the Gulf of Mexico.
That means high winds, which could damage your home and garage doors. If your garage doors get blown off and massive winds enter your garage it could put your roof in jeopardy. If you lose the roof, your house is wiped out.
It might be too late to do anything about Hurricane Dorian, but you know that the next tropical storm is right around the corner in September if you live in Florida. Secure your home with hurricane-proof garage doors from Discount Garage Doors, the official garage door company of PewterReport.com.
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Give Discount Garage Doors a call at 1-866-420-DOOR and tell them PewterReport.com sent you. And to all Floridians this weekend, please stay safe.