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FAB 1. Winston’s Last Stand?

Sunday might be Jameis Winston’s last stand with the Buccaneers.

No, I’m not saying another poor outing or another loss will cause Winston to be benched or that the team will necessarily turn to Ryan Griffin down the stretch.

I’m saying another multiple interception game – and I feel it coming – coupled with another loss – I feel that coming, too – will be a turning point for the Bucs’ brass and the Glazers when it comes to possibly bringing Winston back to be the quarterback in Tampa Bay for 2020.

Winston has played well against Atlanta before, winning his first three games against the Falcons, including two on the road. But the Bucs are 0-4 against the Falcons with Winston at quarterback, dating back to 2016.

Yet Winston has had success against these NFC South foes despite the team’s losses. In seven games against Atlanta, he’s completed 67.4 percent of his passes for 1,985 yards with 20 touchdowns and just five interceptions. In both games last year, which were decided by a total of seven points, Winston completed 68 percent of his passes, threw for 395 yards in Atlanta and 345 yards in Tampa Bay, while tossing a combined eight touchdowns and three interceptions.

But in his last five games, in which Tampa Bay is 1-4, Winston has thrown 13 interceptions and fumbled eight times and only thrown eight touchdowns. While not all of those turnovers are Winston’s fault – head coach Bruce Arians suggested that only 10 of Winston’s NFL-leading interceptions are his fault – it’s fair to say that Winston isn’t playing as well as he did from Week 2 to Week 5 when he threw 10 touchdowns and only two interceptions while guiding Tampa Bay to a 2-2 record during that span.

It’s fair to say that Winston certainly isn’t trending up right now.

When Bucs general manager Jason Licht selected Winston out of Florida State with the first overall pick in 2015, Licht thought Winston had the “it” factor.

It turns out he does.

Although it’s not the “it” factor the Bucs were hoping Winston for as he won a national title, a Heisman Trophy and lost one game at FSU in his two seasons as a starter.

Instead it’s been a different kind of “it” factor.

It’s an “it” factor that includes one part head-scratching poor decisions, one part bad luck and an awful lot of turnovers.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston
Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Mary Holt/PR

The first word in the phrase “bad luck” is “bad.”

Call it what you want – bad luck, bad mojo, a black cloud – wherever Winston goes, turnovers seem to follow.

In five years in the NFL, Winston is approaching a whopping 100 turnovers between his 76 interceptions and his 18 lost fumbles, according to NFL.com. That doesn’t come as much of a surprise as Winston threw 65 touchdowns and 28 interceptions as a two-year starter for the Seminoles.

“We’ve got to quit giving it away,” Arians said. “It’s not a talent issue. It’s a performance issue. We’re turning the ball over.’’

I like Winston. I applauded this team’s selection of him in 2015. I’ve stood up for him, defended him and waited for him to turn into a winner – something other than a turnover machine. For all that Tampa Bay has invested in Winston from the first overall pick to the tens of millions of dollars to all the time and patience, I want Winston to be the team’s franchise quarterback. I’ve waited for that.

But after five years I’m still waiting.

And so are you.

And so are the Bucs.

Will it happen in his sixth year – his second season with Arians?
Will it ever happen, or is Winston just destined to be a bad luck turnover machine?

If we are to only evaluate Winston only on this year as Arians has said, which is what I wrote about last week, then he has a 3-7 record as a starter with a league-high 18 interceptions as a fifth-year quarterback. Not good.

The interceptions aren’t all his fault.

The losses aren’t all his fault.

But no current starter has even come close to turning the ball over like Winston has in the league within the last five years – or even the last decade. Eli Manning and Blake Bortles were close, but both are now backups.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston
Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Coming off his second game with four interceptions or more this year with a four-INT performance in last week’s 34-17 loss to New Orleans, I just feel like we’re about to see another multi-interception game from Winston in Atlanta on Sunday against a rejuvenated and re-inspired Falcons defense that has recorded 11 sacks and four interceptions in the last two games. For the Bucs’ sake, I hope I’m wrong.

The Winston apologists will lament the fact that he hasn’t gotten help from a defense that has ranked in the bottom five in the NFL in points allowed over the last three years. Nor has he gotten help from a consistent running game or from an offensive line that has given up 40 sacks and 41 sacks over the past two years, and is on pace to surrender 57 sacks this season.

Those apologists certainly have some legitimate points, but Winston is also not free from blame.

Winton’s penchant for being the cause of – or at least a contributor of – turnovers reminds me of former Bucs cornerback Aqib Talib, the team’s first-round pick in 2008. Talib had talent, but it seemed like he had a black cloud hanging over him wherever he went.

Talib got into a fight with fellow rookie and Bucs teammate Cory Boyd at the NFL Rookie Symposium upon being drafted. He was suspended one game in 2010 after getting in a fight with a taxi driver.

Bucs CB Aqib Talib
Former Bucs CB Aqib Talib – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

In the 2011 offseason, Garland, Texas police issued a felony warrant for Talib for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after he allegedly fired a gun at his sister’s boyfriend. Chargers were ultimately dropped due to insufficient evidence and character issues involving the boyfriend.

In 2012, Talib was suspended for four games for using Adderall without a prescription. Despite his talent, the Bucs felt like he was a bad influence on the team and another suspension waiting to happen. Not wanting to deal with another headache, Tampa Bay traded Talib to New England later that year where he spent two seasons.

Talib, who became a five-time Pro Bowl cornerback, spent four productive years with Denver where he won Super Bowl 50. But on June 5, 2016, Talib reported that he was shot in the leg outside a Dallas strip club. He later revealed that he lied and falsified the police report, and actually shot himself in the leg.

Winston has had a few major, well-publicized off-field issues, but not the volume of incidents that Talib has had. The off-field issues are what have dogged Talib throughout the years. For Winston it’s been the turnovers on the field.

Unless the Bucs don’t win another game this year and Winston winds up with more interceptions than touchdowns (he’s already close), I suspect Arians and Licht will use the franchise tag on him in 2020. Winston certainly hasn’t done anything this year to warrant the faith that comes with a long-term contract extension.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston and Saints QB Teddy Bridgewater
Bucs QB Jameis Winston and Saints QB Teddy Bridgewater – Photo by: Getty Images

The Bucs will have a few month after the season to determine if they want to roll the dice and sign another veteran quarterback – as Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton, Los Angeles’ Philip Rivers and New Orleans’ Teddy Bridgewater might be available – or roll the dice with one more year of Winston. If it’s anybody but the 27-year old Bridgewater, look for the Bucs to draft a quarterback next year to be the heir apparent once Dalton or Rivers hangs it up.

If Winston returns, don’t rule out the Bucs drafting a quarterback in the first or second round to compete with him in 2020. Since I have already profiled some of the veteran QB options the Bucs may have next year in a recent SR’s Fab 5, let’s take a look at some of the top quarterbacks that will be available in next year’s NFL Draft.

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Scott Reynolds is in his 24th 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 son's Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]

85 COMMENTS

  1. I’ve seen enough to know that Jalen Hurts is gonna be a great NFL quarterback. He has the size, arm strength and mobility to turn a franchise around. This franchise for one needs a player like him. Winston, hopefully, will be shown the door along with Jason Licht.

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    • Unless Lincoln Riley is coming with him, PASS!

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      • Exactly bucsfan, not sure why anyone thinks hurts would fit in this offense we run because he wouldnt.

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        • Who believes we’re going to go with the current offense? High probability Licht gets canned .. if he goes, Arians goes (retires as a failure), and then the new GM picks a new head coach who is going to do a total rebuild of offense and defense.

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  2. As long as we don’t draft a QB in rounds 1-4 in the 2020 draft, I’m good.

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  3. Nice article, laying out decisions the Bucs will have to make and possible outcomes. What stuck with me:
    “If Winston returns in 2020 there better be a legitimate challenger – a serious threat to compete with Winston for the Bucs’ starting job next year and in the future. That challenger needs to either push Winston towards greatness or push him out of Tampa.”

    That is the right thought process at this point. Any other view after his play this year is setting up no fans in the stands. If there is no option to Winston then ownership wants the stadium empty in 2020.

    One thing left out about the whole Kapernick fiasco – the big thing was the NFL laying on the Kapernick legal team 2 hours before the demonstration a contract – saying that the media could not attend. That was a huge risk to Kapernick because then the NFL could watch (with 20 teams) and come out saying, “He does not have it, he sucks.” Since he does not trust the NFL, he could not go for that – and that is why at the last minute the venue and location changed. While most of the problem is with Kapernick and his presentation as stated, part of the fault is the NFL as well – they blocked media access to his performance so they could twist it anyway they wanted and say he does not deserve a contract.

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    • Kaepernick sucks bro. He can only play QB in victory formation bc he is the best kneeler in the nfl. The guy sounds like he has a mouth full of ice cream when he talks

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      • Didn’t say I liked him, Deeznuts. Just said he was being set up for failure. Being even handed is part of the NFL – that setup was not that at all.

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        • Kaepernick chooses to remain militant on the side that remains unpopular. This is a personal choice, and I for one am pleased with his NFL employment troubles.

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    • Stephen A made a valid point regarding the venue change. You can’t just show up with a full media crew ready to shoot coverage for a national event with a politically and racially polarizing individual such as Kaepernick at a high school without first notifying the school Superintendent and local school board of your intentions. This had to be planned well in advance. Kap knew what he was doing, and it had nothing to do with the NFL documents.

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      • Not according to ESPN the morning show. They disagreed with Stephen A. They believed what I felt – the NFL documents about no media allowed killed the deal – and was sprung on them just two hours before the start. No time to negotiate at all. I don’t like Kapernick but no media?

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        • So then it would appear that Kaepernick and his team felt the NFL was going to do something to derail the event, although they couldn’t know what it would be, so they made arrangements in advance to have the event at the high school, just in case. Sounds plausible. More and more facts are coming to light as time goes on. My knee jerk was to agree with Stephen A. His assessment sounded legit, at the time. Guess we’ll have to see where this goes, if anywhere.

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      • You do realize that the whole event was set up from the get go to protect the NFL and screw Kaep. He certainly realized it.

        The NFL should have done nothing at all. If the owners don’t want to sign Kaep for political reasons, that is their prerogative as owners of private franchises. But for the league to jump in and create a fake tryout, it was obviously designed to make Kaep look bad and take socio-political heat off the owners who were never going to sign him anyway.

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    • The NFL did not have to even arrange the try-out. Trump gave the NFL and teams cover by saying he would love to see Kap be back in the NFL. 20 teams showed up the day before games were going to be played.

      Kap showing up with Nike, tells me this was a PR stunt by Kap & Nike. Doing a throwing session means little. Think of how many had great pro days that turned out to be busts. But Nike would use this workout to make Kap look like a HOF QB.

      I’m sure the teams would require Kap not to kneel. I think he would be ok with that to get back into the league. But Nike does not want him as an athlete ….he is more valuable as a martyr.

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  4. >The BUCS need to use their first round pick on a tackle. Dotson is done. (personally I would move D Smith to right tackle)
    >They need to sign or trade for starting caliber DB’s to stabilize that unit. Having all 1st and 2nd year players in the defensive backfield is a disaster.
    >They need another stud D lineman to go with vita. Suh is short term
    Now QB’s
    >If our O line isn’t solidified any QB is going to suffer
    >If you throw 51 times you’re going to put your QB in jeopardy
    >Not going to get Burrow without trading up to 1 & giving away the farm.
    >Tua is an option but injury history should scare everyone
    >Hurts is a 1 read & run QB (my observation)
    >Franchise Winston or sign Bridgewater

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    • Signing Bridgewater would be optimal, so far as trying to make a playoff run next year goes, plus it allows us to put off drafting a QB in the earlier rounds. This coming off season needs to be all about solidifying the OL, signing Shaq and JPP/Suh (or both), and getting some quality veteran CB or two in the secondary. Our draft needs include a day 1 starter at OT, a DT who is ready to start day 1 if we don’t retain Suh, quality backup at OT, G, ILB.

      Apart from the QB position if Winston is sent packing, the biggest impact player we can get in the off season is signing a veteran CB or two. Won’t be easy to find or sign, but that is the quickest way to turn this team around.

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    • You’re beautiful. Thank you for speaking truth. Except Teddy aint coming here.

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    • Bucs are currently on a trajectory to finish 3-13 unless they turn it around starting this weekend, which few if any believe they will.

      At 3-13 the Bucs are in line for a top 3 or 4 pick. They don’t need to trade up to get a fine talent, whether at QB or any other position. Fine QBs can be taken throughout the first round, meaning the Bucs could trade down, get an extra pick, and still get a fine talent at any position.

      The two leading candidates for MVP this year were taken in the third round and the last pick of the first round.

      It’s much less about WHERE a team picks than HOW it picks. Seeing talents and matchups and fits that other teams don’t see is how teams that are perennial winners, like the Pats or the Packers get ahead and stay ahead.

      Therefore, far more significant than the 2020 quarterback class is the 2020 general manager class.

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  5. Unless the Bucs get a high enough pick for Burrow, no QB is worth drafting to replace Winston.

    Also no FA QB is worth signing.

    Winston will get franchised, BA will have Licht fix the O Line and Secondary. Prove it year for Winston.

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    • I just don’t see any other way

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    • Winston needs to be gone.

      Whether we replace him immediately with a decent veteran who can handle duties while a rookie gets healthy or tuned up, or go immediately with a first rounder to start week one, that’s an interesting choice.

      But Winston is an anchor dragging us down .. and even more so, the guy who picked him and staked his NFL career on picking Winston first overall in 2015, Jason Licht, is an even bigger anchor. He is a vast hole in the hull who sinks us every season before we can even leave the pier.

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  6. PS-Stay the hell away from Kap. He wasn’t great before he knelt, and I don’t think he is any kind of long term answer. It will divide the fan base and impact franchise $’s

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  7. FAB 1) I am expecting two constants in the Failcons game. First, our secondary will be a shambles….completely torched by Ryan to Julio/Ridley/Hooper. That will put us behind on the scoreboard and out the emphasis on our passing game. Second, as Trevor noted this week, because our OLine simply cannot pass protect Winston will be under fire all game. That combination of the same 2 factors (a poor secondary, and a poor OLine) that have plagued our team for 6 years under Jason Licht, will keep the pressure on Winston and result in turnovers that doom us.

    FAB 2) Herbert would be a joy to see in pewter! Jason Licht cannot make that pick….let’s hope Licht is gone and a new GM is on board to make it!

    FAB 3) no thank you to any of those backups…we do not need a rookie backup QB…we need a franchise QB.

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    • Also….RIP @macabee. Always enjoyed his work.

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      • Thank you very much for your kind words they are greatly appreciated…

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  8. Is Jameis a lousy QB? I know many (if not most) of you have decided he is, but is it really fair to judge him when the Defense gives up 30+ points every game, the OC can’t call a play to save his life and the offensive line is Swiss Cheese? I would like to get these things fixed first before we assess Jameis as a QB.

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    • You make a good point, but unless Winston gets hot and minimizes his mistakes (minimizing the sacks from taking to long to throw, knowing when to throw the ball away) over the next 6 days, I just don’t think he’s worth keeping another year. Winston can do things to help hide the OL deficiencies, like get out of the pocket more often. He needs to show the coaches and fans that there is some light at the end of the tunnel.

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      • Sorry, just saw my typo. Meant to say, “…over the next 6 weeks”.

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        • I did the math, Bucs opponents are averaging 33.6 points thru 10 games. He has to throw all the time to keep up with the other team’s scoring bonanza. Kind of makes it easy for the opposing team’s DC to game plan. I’m not saying he’s perfect or great but f*ck our Front Office/Coaching Staff do not do him any favors…

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          • And close to half those points are scored off turnovers by Winston and the offense.

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    • The defense doesn’t cause offensive turnovers. One of the principal reasons the defense gives up so many points is because the offense keeps turning over the ball to the other team. The offense doesn’t cause defensive incompetence, which is real, but half the damned points scored against the defense are really the fault of the offense turning it over.

      And, to be specific, Winston leads all players in the NFL throughout his entire five year career in turnovers. That cannot be denied.

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      • @naplesfan Have you got someone better in mind? Do you want to go with a castoff like Cam Newton or Andy Dalton? Marriotta is going to be out there. He averages about 100 yards plus change and doesn’t score much but by your metric that he “doesn’t turn the ball over”, he is a superior QB. So why not him even though he can’t even beat out journeyman Ryan Tannehill for the starting job? Or hey, let’s move up in the draft, roll the dice on Tua whose body can’t even handle a College Schedule. My prediction is he will be the next RG3. Jameis isn’t perfect. He makes stupid mistakes on and off the field but I don’t see any immediate and obvious upgrades.

        All I know is that last Sunday Jameis had his typical 2 INTs against ATL but the defense kept Julio in check, sacked Matt Ryan 5 or 6 times and the O-Line didn’t allow a sack on Jameis. But Surprise! We won the game comfortably. If you put something close to a complete team around JW, he will be fine.

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  9. MacArthur Boykins was a class act. I always scanned the comments after articles looking for his posts. He knew his football and never argued with anyone. He predicted Bruce Arians would be the Bucs next coach before the man was even on the radar of many football journalists. He was right about a lot of stuff.
    I never met the man, but I will miss his insights and diplomacy.
    Rest in peace, Macabee.

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  10. If the Bucs don’t address the offensive line, then any QB for the Bucs will be a disaster.

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  11. I say this entire draft should be used om both sides of the trenches. Any qb behind this crap line is goong to get killed. Not to mention our complete lack of running game doesnt help.
    In terms of the college qbs we aren’t getring burrow, the rest of the class isnt looking as good as it was. Herbert might be our best option, but Tua is still intruiging if he drops. But he is definitely injury prone and again, behind this line hell be on the dl every year.
    Big no on fromm as he had a noodle arm and his stats arent inpressive for a team that is superior to every team they play.
    Eason needs another year and absolutely no to hurts. Hes an rpo qb that would suck in this system. Its a tough choice to say the least but our lines need replaced badly.
    Kap will never take another snap in the nfl. And the clown doesnt deserve to. No matter your stance on the kneeling, name one job where yiu can quit, sue your boss, and then try to get yiu6r job back. The clown just did all this for publicity and his shirt says it all. Kap thinks hes a slave?! Screw him. Thats an insult to anyone who actually was.
    To finish, thats a great little piece for macabee. Rip sir to a great insightful poster.

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    • I already know where this article is going so why read it!
      Name the rookie that can come in here and stand behind this line, wait until these receivers get open on these long developing routes and deliver a strike into these tight nfl windows and do it 50+ times a game.
      There aren’t but about 10 Pro QB’s that can do that but you want me to believe we’ll be better off drafting a college QB?
      The more I read this stuff the more I realize how much of a waste of time this is. I am so sick hearing about our QB as if getting rid of him will solve all our problems, But no one wants to talk about the scheme!
      Coaching & Scheme matters folks! If you think Joe Burrow is just going to waltz in here and BA/Leftwich just hand him the playbook without any tweaking and suddenly the offense is Top 5 in the league you’re Delusional!

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    • Offensive line performance is certainly important, part of overall team competence .. but the NFL is full of teams, now, and historically, with well performing quarterbacks behind iffy offensive lines.

      The two leading candidates for league MVP this year, Russell Wilson and Lamar Jackson, simply don’t need effective offensive lines because of their abilities to both scramble out of the pocket and still hit the receivers in stride, and as necessary, run with the ball. Russell ran a lot in his early years with the Hawks, because he had a good blocking line, and because he can run. But as he’s gotten older, and wants to preserve his longevity, he is running less and throwing more, and has a much inferior O-line to protect him than in the Super Bowl years.

      Lamar Jackson runs a lot, and likely if he can stay healthy, over time, he will learn to run less and throw bootleg passes on the run more.

      A smart, fast, shifty quarterback can make up for a mediocre offensive line.

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  12. I don’t get why Kaepernick being out of the NFL is suck a big deal. He lost his starting gig in San Francisco and has been out of the game forever. No NFL Team has any obligation to employ anyone. The whole “Blackballed” deal with awarding him money is total trash. His taking a knee, supported or not, caused drama that wasn’t worth it for a back up, I don’t see where the crime is. Just because Schools hold these players hands all the way to Draft Day and then they are chosen and paid doesn’t guarantee them anything. The whole thing was a mess, he got the attention he was trying to get on his way out on the bench and that’s it. Sorry but Nobody owes him anything…

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    • For the record, I am a Firefighter and respect our Flag as much as it can be respected. I also understand the issue the African American Community faces and support their right to demand action. Not saying kneeling during the anthem was right or wrong because it’s not my place to judge. I wouldn’t do it, but people have the right to Do it and others have the right to disagree, that is the Beauty of our country.

      My point is, in its own right, the situation of the NFL not employing him is in their right. They don’t have to employ anyone, you can’t force them to put someone on their team just because, that’s not how it works. Whether you agree or not doesn’t matter, the point is they have no obligation to hire him anywhere, nor anyone else for that matter.

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      • It is absolutely true that the NFL is a private business, and the owners can sign or blackball anyone they want, as long as they do not discriminate on the basis of the several protected categories in civil rights law.

        But it is also absolutely true that the NFL depends upon private citizens buying their product. And the NFL’s current challenge is that America is a very divided nation, politically. We see it every day in the news. A large proportion of Americans think that Kaep was wrong to kneel at the national anthem, and large proportion of Americans agree that his political demonstration was both appropriate and necessary. Considering that about 70-80% of all NFL players are African American, many of them being raised in communities where the police target and abuse and even murder them because they’re black, that is not an irrelevancy to the game of NFL football.

        How all this affects NFL revenues and profitability going forward, who is to say. But it’s not nearly as cut and dried a matter as most of the commenters here seem to believe.

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    • You should take a gander at the following poll performed by Five Thirty Eight, which polled people on their political affilations by NFL team. It’s pretty eye opening.

      https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-every-nfl-teams-fans-lean-politically/

      Overall, the NFL leans Democratic Party over Republican Party by 6.3%.

      Of the 32 NFL teams, only six of those team’s fan bases lean Republican.

      Of all 32 NFL teams, the Buccaneers are the most Republican fan base of all, at +9.5%.

      So in the echo chamber here of the GOP leaning fanbase for the Bucs, everybody assumes it is a winner for the NFL to blackball a NFL player whose only offense was to make a political stand against oppression of African Americans by American law enforcement agencies, which is not only strongly perceived by our African American fellow citizens, but is entirely borne out in the nightly news, over and over and over again.

      But in the real world of the total NFL fan base, the NFL blackballing Kaep for his political stand is a loser.

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  13. RIP Macabee. Damn. I’m really sorry to hear that and thank you Scott & crew for posting that acknowledgement. He was a voice of reason and intelligence on the PR boards… A “Go Bucs!” for you, sir.

    Scott, yes… I am the apologist! I did say all of those things (which are true), but I did say that Jameis is not without fault. They won’t get a shot a Burrow without giving up the house. If I had to take a chance on another QB in this group, it would be Fromm. He seems to do well competing against top-flight competiton almost every week at Georgia. I hope that the Bucs resign Winston and if then drafting a QB in the first round, have them compete for the starting job. Going straight to the rookie again, mean yet another couple of years of losing.

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  14. Fab 1: I don’t think Talib and Winston are good comparisons. I loved Talib and can’t stand Winston because of that they do/did on the field. Talib was always a top 5 CB (both in Tampa and elsewhere) whereas Winston has never been anything close to that. The both got in trouble off the field, but that’s where the similarity ends. We won’t have to worry about Winston going to another team and winning a Super Bowl as a starter and playing in another Super Bowl like Talib did, that’s for sure.

    Fab 2: I would take just about any QB over Winston, including all four of these guys. I would rank them in this order and would take any of them with our 1st round pick:
    1. Burrow
    2. Tua (only because he’s expected to be fully recovered in 3 months)
    3. Fromm
    4. Herbert (I’m not as big a fan of him as most, but I haven’t seen him play in many games. The games I have seen haven’t knocked my socks off though and made me want to see more).

    Fab 3: Again, I would take just about any QB over Winston, including Eason and Hurts in the 2nd round.

    Fab 4: Again, I would take just about any QB over Winston, including Kaepernick, although I’m sure he is only backup QB material at this point.

    Fab 5: So, so sad to hear about Macabee. He had been posting here as long as I can remember coming to PR which was around 2004. I almost always read his posts out of curiosity on what he had to say. Let me let you all in on something. Do you know why I have been putting such passionate posts on here since around 2008 (about 4 years after I started coming to the site)? It’s because at it became clear to me as the players and coaches that helped us win a Super Bowl were kicked off the team one by one I woke up one morning and realized that not everyone that posts on these boards is going to be alive to see us win our next Super Bowl. None of us know the day or the hour when we will leave this world. I post with such passion no matter who disagrees with me, be it another poster on someone from PR, because I want this team to win another Super Bowl no matter what the popular opinion is on a particular owner, GM, coach, QB or any other player. The reason for that is I know that if we can win another Super Bowl, it won’t matter who was right or who was wrong about the players and personnel of the Bucs. It will be the one night where every single Bucs fan and every single poster on this website and every single member of the PR staff will rejoin as one. That’s the dream night I am fighting to get to because I was not coming to this website when the last Super Bowl was won.

    Macabee was a well known poster on this site that will not be there on that night when we win the next Super Bowl and the saddens me, along with any other lesser known posters that will pass on before that night happens. I intend to keep pressing on with my posts in the hopes that the right eyes read them and can affect the effort to minimize how long it takes for the Bucs to win their next Super Bowl. That way there will be as many of us left as possible to celebrate together when that day comes.

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    • Unfortunately pink, none of us may be alive the next time this team gets to the big game. Hell ill take the playoffs at this point.

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    • Well said, Pink.

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    • Pinkstob, well said.

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    • I certainly hope our Bucs win another Super Bowl, win the Division Championship, make the play-offs, have a winning record or even just win a game before I cross the creek.

      I’ll sure miss macabee. In Buccaneer Heaven he’ll probably have a nice chat with LeeRoy, Ricky Bell, David Logan, Reggie Cobb, John McKay, Mr. Glazer and other former Bucs who left us too soon. He’ll probably even look around for Hugh Culverhouse just to ask him why he let Doug Williams go. Sadly, Mr. C didn’t quite make it through the pearly gates. Preferring to make a deal with the Devil.

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  15. If a great QB falls to the Bucs in the first three rounds, by all means pick him up. If one isn’t available, beef off the O-line.
    But, please don’t give away multiple draft picks to move up and grab a quarterback. Don’t be that team.

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    • Well, it’s pretty likely now that the Bucs are going to end up with another high first round pick again. No need to trade up.

      It’s not where you pick that matters.

      It’s how well you pick that matters.

      Russell Wilson – third round. Lamar Jackson – last pick of the first round. The two leading candidates for league MVP this season.

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  16. I don’t think we should base our decision on drafting a QB, and what kind on what Arains wants. Whoever we’d draft is going to be around longer then Arains likely will. I doubt it will happen, but both BA, and Licht should be fired the way this season is going. We might not have a shot at Burrow, but how about his thirty year old OC? How about we get a new GM who hires a defensive minded young coach to be our HC, like Dallas’s DC, then hire Brady LSU’s OC as our OC. Draft a QB, trade some assets, start from scratch. New GM, new defensive minded HC, up, and coming OC who would be perfect working with a rookie QB coming from college. That’s what I think we should do. What will we do? Over pay Jameis, Licht, and BA return, we slug through a 6 win season in 2020.

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    • I do like the idea of bringing in the LSU coordinator and making him our new offensive coordinator. You’re not going to sell me on Leftwich. After his ignorant statement saying jameis needs to take less hits shows how shortsighted he is. Well Leftwich, if you want your qb to survive, stop calling long drawn out run plays where seemingly all the wr’s are in the same area. I’m a huge Burrow fan but 1) we won’t draft early enough to grab him, and 2) this oline would get him killed. Oline and dline have to be the priorities. This team is going no where until that is fixed and I sure as hell don’t trust Licht to do it. It seems like the only coaches this team wants these days are old school coaches. They need to evolve and be creative. I haven’t seen any of that since John G. Such a frustrating team.

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      • Everyone complains about the O-Line. Our line is average, not terrible. In Arians’ offense, you cannot expect the QB not to get hit. The QB got hit in Pittsburgh, Indy, and Arizona in Arians’ offense. This offense is not designed to protect the QB. Compare our offense to the offense in New Orleans. Brees is protected by quick routes, Winston is not.
        Combine all of this with the fact that we have no pass rush. ZERO. It completely exposes our young DBs. Opposing QBs have all day to throw against our Defense, then people complain about the DBs.
        We need to upgrade the Defensive line and we need an Offensive Tackle for sure. But philosophically, I hate our offense. It exposes our QB and causing the line to block for an unrealistic amount of time.
        Defensively, we need to draft at least 2 pass rushers that can actually rush the passer. I’m so tired of this team drafting rush defenders. The defensive backs will be much better if they don’t have to cover for 4 seconds on every freakin play because the QB has no rush to worry about.

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        • I’m like average? Demar Dotson is getting beat like a rented mule and whose his backup? How about donavan Smith that gets paid $14 million to get beat once or twice a game for being lazy? Whose his backup? Yes, this team needs oline just as badly as dline. There’s zero depth on either side and the oline has a major need for an upgrade on two important positions which is tackle and defensive end. Although I will agree with you that this stupid long developing passing offense is terrible for this day in age. You need creativity and quicker passing to be successful. It really is Koetter 2.0 except here, BA doesn’t believe in TE

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          • Oline, not I’m. Damn auto correct.

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  17. Licht not getting fired unfortunately. Arians not going anywhere,. None of the top quarterbacks will be around when we draft. Winston probably gets franchise tag. Draft OT with #1 pick. Draft quarterback in 3rd round.

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    • The Baby Glazers have surprised us before and made radical decisions. Unfortunately, virtually all of those radical decisions proved to be bad decisions.

      Fired Gruden at the end of a winning season. Hired a nobody third level assistant to replace him. Hired a third tier college coach to replace the prior failure. Two years later fired him, then hired a guy who was not even coaching anywhere, but simply taking notes in his basement. Fired the GM, and hired a GM based upon the recommendation of the guy out of the league taking notes in his basement. Took Winston as no. 1 overall in the 2015 draft. Two years later fired the basement guy, promoted the OC to HC, continued to suck, terrible draft after terrible draft, terrible free agent hire after terrible free agent hire, then fired the former OC, hired another very old retired guy sitting in his basement taking notes, or taking heart medication or whatever, produced an even suckier win loss record.

      See what I mean?

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  18. Fab 1:
    If there is an offensive tackle with great potential I would expect to see us draft him with our first pick.  Then draft a quarterback second.  That quarterback would not have to have the expectations that Winston had coming into the league.  He would need to be an accurate passer with a low interception rate obviously and have decent mobility.  I believe our core talent already would allow building the superior support needed for a winning team.

    I remain convinced that BA has the temperament and leadership to complete the task of turning our losing culture around.

    Fab 3:
    Arizona was very wise in the way they handled acquiring a quarterback over the two year period.

    The kind of QBs you have discussed are what I had in mind for what I hope will be our second pick.

    Dungy and McKay did not succeed in a “miraculous” turnaround in one year and neither has Arians and Licht.  We are in a rebuild/retool mode and the second year’s decisions will be crucial.  If we have to prepare a replacement for Winston next year so be it.  The third year would be the year that has to produce dramatic results.  We’ve had going on eleven years of losing so one or two more years may be required to see substantial results.  We Buccaneer fans have no choice but to endure. 
    __________________
    Go Bucs!!!

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  19. In terms of Winston, it’s not about being an apologist, it’s about seeing what he’s capable of and praying that he finds himself on the positive side of his record setting rather than the negative. If he could have solidified his position this year we could focus on the O-line and Secondary and push forward. Now we may have to spend our 1st round pick on a QB which sets back the O-line yet again. No matter what they have to do at QB next year, they have to do everything they can to solidify the line which seems to be mainly new Left and Right Tackles and Depth, otherwise no QB will survive back there. I just wanna see us succeed and wanting the players you have to do that should be automatic. If they can upgrade anywhere moving forward then they always should. I will keep saying it, Veteran presence in the Secondary and Drafting O-Line and a a QB if needed has to be the priority. Improve the Tackles and the RB and QB play will improve along with it. It has to be done and it has to be done now.

    The most frustrating part still is that this Bucs team can still win any game they play it which makes the losses that much more frustrating.

    That being said, someone like Burrow would be Amazing. I just don’t know how much longer we can go without a Stud LT…

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  20. I really enjoyed reading Macabee’s thoughts and comments. His obituary illuminated what an accomplished person and family man he was. He will be truly missed.

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  21. I don’t want to hear it anymore. I’ve been as big a Jameis supporter as any, and I’m 1000% no questions asked, hands down DONE! Don’t let the door hit your a$$ on the way out. He’s a monumental bust. How any QB in the league can possibly have 18 picks with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, OJ Howard, Rojo, and Bruce Arians as coach. You can’t be remotely competent with this supporting cast, quit football. And I don’t want to hear a word about the OLine or defense. Spare me. Here’s a list of 10 QB’s who either stink, we’re drafted in rounds 3-7, or have absolutely nobody to throw to, or all 3, who have a better comp %, TD/INT ratio, and QB Rating better or the same as #1 overall bust JW. Here we go: G.Minshew(6th rd) 61.2%, 3.25 TD/INT ratio, 92.8 QB Rating. J.Brissett(3rd rd) 64.6%, 3.75 TD/INT ratio, 95.7 rating. R.Fitzpatrick(absolutely pitiful supporting cast) 63.2%, 1-1 TD/INT ratio, 80 rating. S.Darnold(nobody to throw to) 63.2%, 1.1 TD/INT ratio, 81.1 rating. K.Allen( undrafted) 61.6%, 1.1 TD/INT ratio, 80.2 rating. M.Rudolph(3rd rd) 62.3%, 1.5 TD/INT ratio, 83 rating. T.Bridgewater: 67.7%, 4.5 TD/INT ratio, 99 rating. R.Tannehill(backup QB) 71.3%, 2-1 TD ratio, 104.4 rating. C.Keenum( worst receiving core in the league on a 1 win team) 67%, 2.25 TD/INT ratio, 94.8 rating. And finally Jameis. 59.6%, 1-1 TD/INT ratio, 80.5 rating. These other 10 QB’s combine for the following averages. 64.7%, 99 TD’s vs 53 INT(1.87 TD/INT ratio) and a 91.2 rating. Stop with the excuses. Tua getting hurt will be the best thing to ever happen to the Bucs. Because now they’ll be able to get him with the 5th or 6th pick without having to trade up. Let the Jameis era finally be over!!!

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  22. Rest in peace, macabee.

    Thoughts of love and peace and our prayers go out to the family and friends of Mr. MacArthur Boykins.

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  23. What I think would set the Bucs up well for the future:
    1. Let Winston go. Too expensive for what he is at this point.
    2. Sign a decent FA QB that can bridge the gap until you draft Lawrence in ’21.
    3. Sign a veteran FA CB or two.
    4. Use your top picks to draft best talent available on the O-Line. Trade up from rounds 2/3/4 if you have to.

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  24. I think Jason Licht was right – Winston does have the “it” factor

    Unfortunately, there are 2 more letters that belong in front of “it”

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  25. We have enough experience and stats you know that Winston is inconsistent and will remain same..

    It doesn’t matter what we would do if we don’t get rid of the present GM.

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  26. Thanks Scott for honoring Maccabee. Not surprised he was valdvictorian of his class. I admired his posts. No need to Franchise Jameis. We will need the Franchise Tag for keeping Barret or he will be gone. Offer Jameis a 12 million dollar prove it one year contract with some incentives built in. He can’t get that money as a backup. Use the second pick for best QB available; the first pick for a LT, and move D. Smith to OG. Get a free agent older OT who has been to the pro bowl, in Free Agency, and a big DT in the third round. Cappa can compete for RT or play RG if D. Smith is not good enough at RG. Also sign a veteran CB in free agency.

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    • Five years isn’t enough “proof:?

      Quoting Bill Parcels:

      “You are what your record says you are.”

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  27. OL needs a major transfusion just like the secondary got. First-rounder, plus at least 1-2 more picks in the first half of the draft. Dotson’s time is up, Smith is showing he’s just not a franchise LT, and we need better depth to push EVERYONE, including Marpet.

    I’m fine with franchising Jameis and drafting a QB in round 2 to push him, but not round 1. Drafting QB round 1 is just going to reset the cycle we’ve been stuck in since the Gruden days.

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  28. Thank You to Pewter Report for honoring Macabe with the nice tribute in today’s Fab 5. He would have appreciated it and he is already being missed.

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  29. Great article here Scott and breakdown of available draft QB’s. Unless Arians changes, We are stuck with Winston one more year. But with him, either the Defense needs to improve immensely or He (jameis) needs to improve dramatically. Something tells me Arians is gonna need hellava Defense if he sticks with Jameis. I know he and Licht realize something big has to change with this franchise next season..Something REAL BIG! Fans are about ready to not only burn the pirate ship..But the Glazers, Licht and Arians along with it. MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY!!!!!

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  30. Thanks Scott for your recognition of Macabee. I have read and responded to his post for years. I am certainly no expert on Buc’s football but Mac was l never read a post he wrote where I didn’t learn something. I never read a post that demonstrated antagonism or ill will against another fan. I will miss him and send my sincere condolences to his family.

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    • Burrow or bust.

      I’ve said it since September, Burrow is the best QB in the country, and easily the most NFL ready.

      With Evan’s, Godwin and Howard, the guy will turn this offense into what Jaboo never could. A force to be reckoned with and without giving the ball away.

      Lose the rest of your games, then do whatever it takes to trade for the number one pick.

      The other QBs in this draft are fairly average and all with question marks.

      Tua had major injury concerns. Hebert is plays against bad competition in a funky offense. Fromm hasn’t shown me all that much at Georgia. Hurst would be a total misfit in this offense.

      Burrows or bust boys.

      But it’s the Bucs, and they will probably sign a vet like Dalton and draft some scrub in the top 5 that will be average.

      BucsLife

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      • I must admit if there’s ever a college player you back the brinks truck up for, its Burrow. That dude can play and what a competitor? He astonished me with how fast he was on his scrambling aside from the pin point accuracy.

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      • Burrow is certainly a great NFL prospect.

        But I shudder at the notion that a single player can be expected to be the savior of the team, and it is either that player or bust.

        That is what got us where we are with Winston.

        Neither of this years MVP candidate QBs were highly sought over in their respective draft years, one going in the third round and the other at the very last pick of the first round. Last year’s MVP quarterback was taken no. 10, far behind the first quarterback taken in 2017, Mitch Trubisky, who most believe is a bust.

        Neither of the two QBs taken 1 and 2 in 2015 have proved to be franchise quarterbacks. The current playing GOAT, Tom Brady, a sixth round pick .. and the best quarterback in our division, Drew Brees, was taken at the top of the second round.

        There are no saviors in football. There are good picks, mediocre picks, and busts.

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  31. I guess that PR is just posting this article for clicks. I get it. But lets be real, without the OLINE and secondary getting fixed, there isn’t a qb alive that could be successful here. Franchise tag Winston after drafting a first round LT, move D. Smith to the right side, and sign a veteran CB. D. Slay maybe????
    Then we will be playoff ready.

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    • Not true.

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  32. Not sure I’d draft a QB – how about signing a veteran in FA or trading for someone. Just not exited about the boom or bust of rookie QB’s. We need lineman regardless of who the QB ends up to be.

    Draft the best left tackle we can get in the first round, then draft the best right guard we can in the second round. Move D. Smith to the right side where he is better suited. Then draft best D lineman we can find in rounds three and four. Then let Jason Licht draft WR’s with the rest of our picks, its what he cares about most.

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  33. Winston will clunk in at least 3 more games and the Morons at Buc one will continue with it is not his fault and they will keep him into next year
    and lose more games next year than this year!
    The BS will keep coming until all fans give up the plan in works.
    Glazers are the biggest joke in football the other owners snicker behind there backs.

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  34. Oh yea, the Bucs have a need in the defensive backfield. How many picks have we waster back there in the last three years?
    The Bucs need a killer on the DL and a R OT. Then go looking for a QB.
    Get one who can run the RPO because that’s the way the league is heading.
    This team isn’t going anywhere until the OL can run and pass project and it won’t stop a leaking backfield until more consistent pressure is put on the QB.
    And would someone please fire Licht.

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  35. I will really miss Maccabee. He was the most insightful of all the posters to PR. We can all learn a lesson from his humility and respectfulness when posting.
    RIP Mac.

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  36. Good read. Some of your points about Winston and the offseason maybe(s) sound familiar Mr. Scott Reynolds(lol). Joking aside, depending on free agency and the bus draft capital including compensation piccs. I could see a trade up for a QB(before my fellow commenters kill me. Cheifs, Ravens, Texans, Rams, Eagles, if not mistaken Seahawks in the 3rd) if they believe they have that guy or use added piccs to trade bacc into the 1st to get a borderline player(QB,LT,DL,EdR). But then again they were in a favorable situation not to in 15′ with the 1st overall.

    I think the situation with the Defense are just to many possessions for things bad to go wrong. The more thrown at them(secondary), the more acceptable to getting them scorched. Zone would be a quicc answer but outside of LD and Shaq the linebaccers aren’t really good at it. Won’t be a very cohesive unit in zone. Would like to see more S help in obvious passing situations. Bring Evans in with Whitehead and Edwards. Whitehead can serve as SS(run support, robber/Falt/ spy in different zones) with LD and White inside. Shaq and JPP rushing. Vea and Suh penetrating inside. Dean and Davis outside interchange SMB with Evans. Then you could blitz and zone and show different schemes.
    If right now is the time to see these young guys. Let’s get very creative and see what’s to come about. This is on you Bowles and the coaches under you on that side of the ball.

    The things that hurts/helps every team are penalties, turnovers, playing behind/ahead the downs, and amount of possessions.
    More possessions more chances to score. 180° more chances to get scored on.
    %goes up when averaging4+ yrds on 1st and 2nd. Favorable down and distance. 180° allowing less than an average 4yrds on 1st and 2nd. Favorable down and distance. Turnovers. WE ALL KNOW WHAT THEY DO!!
    Penalties. WE ALL KNOW WHAT THEY DO!!

    Come on coaches. These are the basics
    Get creative. Ask for the best. You say throw them into the fire. Throw them into the FIRE!! No need to be safe anymore

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  37. The Glazers are business people first. They know the fan base will completely desert the team if they bring Winston back for even one more year.

    If BA threatens to quit, based on the watered down version outsourcing the actual coaching to coordinators we wouldn’t have hired, you let him walk.

    And no matter what you bump Bust Licht to president of football ops since you’re stuck paying him, just get him the hell away from the draft.

    With the best QB available in the draft out of reach (it’s a Bucs life) and a need to turn things around pronto we seem highly likely to have Foles or Bridgewater next year.

    At least that lets us spend a lot of high picks on the lines, hopefully the following year also, the way Gruden did his first two years in Oakland.

    Then either we’re in the hunt, or if say Foles isn’t working out after two years of restocking the lines you try to draft a QB.

    Fly in ointment is it’ll be hard to suck enough to get a really high pick with good lines and a QB whose specialty isn’t turning the ball over 😃

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  38. Has anyone noticed the difference in pass protection from a good offensive line versus ours? Look at the Kansas City Chiefs for instance. Look at all the space in the pocket the quarterback has. Even when Winston is not getting sacked his pocket is virtually non existent…no space. Our tackles retreat immediately and are right on top of their QB With the defensive end in arms length of Winston. Besides that the long developing play calls with this crappy align don’t make sense. So while there is still blame for Winston absolutely I agree he is not getting any favors with those around him including the coaches.

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  39. Buc management will not give up on Winston this Season, and will likely not let Griffin play. If they franchise Winston they are making a fatal mistake. This has to be the Season that Winston shows he is worthy, if he doesn’t they have to look elsewhere. I see them taking a QB with the first pick and at least two offensive linemen in the 2nd and 3rd round. This Franchise has a long way to go to be competitive, and if they decide to keep Licht, it may never happen.

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  40. Look… optimistic boobs…. I TOLD YOU. I FREAKING TOLD YOU. But no one wanted to listen. This whole thing is NOT …good enough. It should have been blown up last year, buy wasn’t. Licht should be GONE ALREADY. Winston ..GONE. Hargreaves….yeah I’m sure glad he’s gone right now, otherwise those toast long play touchdowns would have happened. You know… The 2 Bunting knocked down.? Lol Doesn’t matter. Miami went 7-9, 9-7, 9-7 or something, then realized…IT JUST WASN’T GOOD ENOUGH, and blew it up. Should have been done in Tampa. Heck… I think Tannehill is better than Winston, and he still got shown the door. Complete redo in Tampa. Hang on to the 8 good players we have and build around them, but Winston ain’t one of them. I would like to see this team reach the playoffs again before I die, but I’m starting to think probably not. Malcolm knew what he was doing. His sons….not so much.

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  41. Thanks for all the comments, PR faithful. Really appreciate reading them all. And yes, macabee was an intelligent, class act – and is missed greatly.

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