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Even in just helmets and shorts, the competition has been elavated as the Bucs transition from OTAs to mandatory mini-camp. Both sides of the ball have had to learn a new playbook, and the defense in particular is forming a new, aggressive look.

From drafting rookie defensive backs Sean Murphy-Bunting, Jamel Dean, and Mike Edwards to recently signing Ndamukong Suh, the scheme brought on by defensive coordinator Todd Bowles has been paying off early.

Quarterback Jameis Winston has seen the improvements firsthand when facing them in practice each day. Each pass that is made has normally been contested, and the different looks and blitz set ups make for a tough battle.

QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: PewterReport.com

“It’s challenging because they don’t have pads on,” Winston said. “So they got the upper hand right now. Everybody’s showing up for work every single day. They’ve been challenging them well so it’s good that everybody’s stepped up to the challenge and some guys are even fighting through injuries themselves, still playing.”

Winston has been particularly impressed by the young rookie trio. What’s stood out to him really is how quick they’re keeping up with the pace, especially at a position on the Bucs team that doesn’t have much of a veteran presence around them.

“They compete,” Winston said. “That’s all you can really expect. It’s shocking that they’re playing with their feet, they’re not getting too many holding calls, you’re not getting too many pass interference, and for young guys that are practicing like this for the first time, it’s unique.

I’m happy, if you look at them right now, our young guys are out there on the field doing extra reps, not our veterans. When you look at our defensive back room, we don’t have many veterans, after losing Brent Grimes, everyone’s under 24 years old. All those guys are feeding off each other and they’re executing pretty well.”

Bucs’ head coach Bruce Arians has also observed how difficult they are making it for the wide receivers.

“It’s a battle right now,” Arians said. “Not enough receivers are winning one-on-one.”

Winston pointed out one caveat to the upstart progress from the defensive backs.

“When you don’t got Mike Evans out there it’s challenging.” Winston said. “Mike is a jack of all trades, so those guys ain’t got a chance to face him much so we got to put some more fear in their heart.”

Outside of defensive backs, you can also turn to the addition of Ndamukong Suh for a culture shift. Suh was brought in to bring an edge, which the Bucs hope also rubs off on the rest of the defense, such as Vita Vea and Devin White. At each level of the defense, there has been an improvement made.

In a short amount of time even Winston has felt the impact of having a player of Suh’s caliber around this team.

“You just feel his presence in the locker room,” Winston said. “Just a great guy, an NFL vet, and been dominating in this league for a long time. We’re definitely happy to have him.”



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About the Author: Matt Matera

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2 years ago

These DB’s playing press are getting into these receivers and I love. I don’t care about the QB picks in training camp. This is a new offense , with big mike missing time and periman missing time as well. But how good is it for our offense to get some work against a 3/4 defense with press coverage? this will only help. Not to mention I read one reporter say on one play, the defense brought like 7 people! I can’t wait to see what Bowles does with this defense, but again, it’s underwear football so it’s hard to gauge… Read more »

2 years ago

Yes but we have to be aware of the McCoy wrath in game 2 because we never saw it from his previous seasons here.

2 years ago

Apparently you can kick McCoy a d his team’s was for 60 minutes and he shrugs it off.
But if he has to make 5 million less to play he gets all pissed off.
Exactly what I meant when I said McCoy was content getting his butt kicked and losing as long as he made his millions.

2 years ago

Its easy for Winston to see improvement on the defense when Gerald McCoy is no longer on the team. Hahahahaha I saw the clown prince of gotham giving his interview on espn. His hair was very pretty. It matched his sparkly necklaces and his exquisite suit. When asked about Bruce Arians calling him out, he was all caught up in his feelings by saying “He doesn’t even know me!” He didn’t want to know him either. GMC is a coach killer and fake player. Proven through 9 different HCs/DCs in multiple systems. Can’t wait to thump Carolina in week 2.… Read more »

2 years ago

How did this turn into the Gerald McCoy article? Anyway, we knew the DB’s they drafted were good, and fast, and ball hawks. We knew they would push the incumbents to play harder and it seems to be working. What I find most impressive is how much trouble a press defense is causing this offense. Yeah, sure, Evans and Perriman are in and out with whatevers, but these are still rookies playing a new scheme and they are rocking it! I’m not surprised they are intercepting Winston. Heck, anyone can do that. But they are causing havoc for a top… Read more »

2 years ago

Winston will shine when Evans is there. I am hoping they get creative with O.J. I would love to see him become a hybrid player that lines up at different positions. I think he could play TE, WR, FB. I would love to see him play QB in a trick play. Bucs Offense is not the problem. (Well besides not having a right guard and no running game) The challenge is going to be turning that Defense around. What will happen without JPP and McCoy? How will it perform without Alexander and Beckwith? Our Secondary is so young.

Alldaway 2.0
Alldaway 2.0(@alldaway)
2 years ago

I think it is good that Winston is challenged and forced to learn how to play through adversity and with different receivers.

Winston has to learn that not all WR’s can contest the ball like Evans. As much as Arians has pointed this out about DB’s beating WR’s 1 on 1. In the end, a QB has to also recognize this and adjust accordingly.

2 years ago

What a difference a year can make. This draft may gone down as one of Lichts best. That would be awesome.

I really am done talking about McCoy. He’s gone and I’m glad the change was made. Go Bucs!

2 years ago

Attitude toughness Swagger ego.
Sounds like they’re describing the 77 Raiders only difference is the 77 Raiders had a Hall of Fame coach Hall of Fame quarterback and 7 other Hall of Famers on the squad. However I am optimistic they can take a team without a single All Pro in 2018 and Coach them up. Go pewter boys go Bucs.

2 years ago

BUC-ASS-BOB, keep in mind none of those players or coaches on the ’77 Raiders team were in the hall of fame at the time. Could the ’19 Bucs be a repeat of the ’77 Raiders? Sure, anything is possible. Right now, I’d be happy just to see the Bucs make the playoffs next January.

2 years ago

Bob, Positivity suits you man.

Bradenton BucFan
Bradenton BucFan(@bucsblues)
2 years ago

I can”t see the playoffs. I can see improvement that may not show up in wins & losses. Our schedule is brutal. The o line is bottom five. Our RB”s have potential but no line. We have to run the rock at home due our humidity & heat advantage. We should be top 5 in run defense, if not or Winston gets hurt our season will look like 2018. Our front office does not value HOGS. Which could hurt us in many ways. I hope I’m wrong, I think we will make playoff run in 2020 & 2021, if Winston… Read more »

2 years ago

I am worried that our 5th round pick (Kicker) is going to be the most impactful.

Mb Nfl Double Your First Deposit Football Team Vs Bucs Pewter 728x90 Jpg