Bucs followers, the following version of SR’s Fab 5 will publish on July 15. There is not going to be an SR’s Fab 5 column on Friday, July 8 attributable to my trip. Have a protected and comfortable Independence Day on July 4!
SR’s Fab 5 is a group of reporting and evaluation on the Bucs from yours really, Pewter Report’s Scott Reynolds. Listed below are 4 issues that caught my consideration this week, plus some random tidbits in my Buc Photographs part on the finish. Get pleasure from!
FAB 1. 5 Breakout Bucs
This week’s version of SR’s Fab 5 is comprised of 4 High 5 lists that hit on some totally different matters this summer season. The primary is an inventory of 5 Bucs gamers that would/ought to have breakout seasons in Tampa Bay this yr.
CB Jamel Dean
Dean made enormous strides in his third season with the Bucs. He beat out Sean Murphy-Bunting for the beginning outdoors cornerback position. In truth, he had the very best Professional Soccer Focus grade of any Tampa Bay cornerback final yr. Dean had a 71.8 general grade and a 74.7 protection grade. These numbers have been higher than Carlton Davis III (71.6 and 73.8), who simply received paid $13.4 million per season. Dean was PFF’s Twentieth-rated cornerback final yr. Davis was ranked twenty first.
There’s no cause why Dean can’t lead the crew in interceptions in 2022. He’s in a contract yr and has spent the offseason engaged on his arms. If he will get 4 or extra picks this season and continues to be nearly as good as – if not higher than – Davis, then Dean may make what Davis makes – or extra. If Dean can rise to Davis’ stage and keep there with a long-term contract extension, the Bucs could have a duo of lethal outdoors cornerbacks for years to return.
S Mike Edwards
Edwards has 5 interceptions, together with two pick-sixes, a pressured fumble and a fumble restoration over the past two seasons as a backup. To place that in perspective, Carlton Davis III, a beginning cornerback, has 5 INTs over the past two years together with a fumble restoration. Cornerbacks Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting have 4 interceptions mixed over the past two common seasons. Edwards is a ballhawk – an enormous play ready to occur.
The Bucs consider extra taking part in time will result in extra large performs from Edwards this season as he enters a contract yr. However first, he’ll should show he can do extra than simply cowl receivers and tight ends and choose off passes. Edwards must present he can supply help towards the run and be an efficient tackler. He doesn’t should be as bodily as Jordan Whitehead was. But when Edwards isn’t bodily sufficient, Keanu Neal will probably be ready within the wings to steal some snaps – or the beginning job. The guess right here is that Edwards makes sufficient splash performs to remain on the sector.
OLB Joe Tryon-Shoyinka
Is Tryon-Shoyinka prepared to start out? We’re about to seek out out. He noticed motion in each sport final yr, with a handful of begins. With Jason Pierre-Paul gone, the Bucs’ 2021 first-round choose will step in to interchange him. However being a starter is one factor. Being a breakout Buccaneer is one other. Can Tryon-Shoyinka have a breakout season – maybe a double-digit sack season?
He’s definitely able to it from an athletic standpoint. JTS had 4 sacks as a rookie and was in shut vary for one more 4 sacks or so and simply missed. A double-digit sack season will surely point out a breakout season. However so would an eight-sack season in his second yr within the NFL – and his first as a full-time starter. Odds are extra seemingly that occurs. JTS advantages from all the eye Shaq Barrett will get and notches eight sacks – or extra.
DT Logan Corridor
Corridor, the crew’s second-round choose, has gotten an terrible lot of pre-camp hype about his athletic instruments. Let’s see if he lives as much as that reward when the pads come on. The stress for Corridor to excel as a rookie was lessened with the Akiem Hicks signing. That ought to permit him to play freer in his first yr in Tampa Bay. His six-sack purpose for his rookie season is a daring one, however must be doable if Corridor is nearly as good as Warren Sapp, Will Gholston and others say he’s.
With some nice veterans to be taught from in Hicks, Gholston, Rakeem Nunez-Rochez and Professional Bowler Vita Vea, Corridor ought to have some speedy success. Whether or not that comes within the type of three sacks or six sacks (or extra) will probably be identified come December. There’s no cause why Corridor can’t be the best rookie defensive deal with within the league this yr.
RB Rachaad White
There’s simply one thing about this man. Not precisely positive what it’s. Possibly it’s his confidence. Or perhaps it’s simply White’s easy capacity to run and catch the ball as an all-purpose again. Like all rookies, he hasn’t performed a down within the NFL but. However White has the athleticism that will make some query why he was a third-round choose a number of years down the highway.
With Leonard Fournette re-signing for $7 million per yr, White isn’t going to get loads of taking part in time. However him benefiting from it’s what is going to matter. Fournette gained’t get 250 carries this yr. He solely had 180 final yr. Ronald Jones II ran the ball 101 instances, whereas Ke’Shawn Vaughn carried the ball 36 instances. There will probably be loads of carries (and catches) for White if he can surpass Vaughn on the depth chart. Right here’s betting that occurs.
FAB 2. 5 Bucs On The Bubble
The following High 5 record is made up of 5 Buccaneers which might be on the bubble heading into the 2022 common season. These Tampa Bay gamers actually need a terrific coaching camp and preseason to safe a spot on the 53-man roster this yr.
WR Tyler Johnson
Johnson was a disappointment final yr, arriving to coaching camp out of form and drawing the ire of former Bucs head coach Bruce Arians consequently. Whereas he ultimately received in form for the common season, he dissatisfied. After catching 18 passes for 169 yards (14.1 avg.) and a pair of touchdowns as a rookie, Johnson caught 36 passes for 360 yards final yr. However he solely averaged a pedestrian 10 yards per catch, and he didn’t produce any touchdowns.
Johnson’s lack of separation attributable to common pace was obvious all through the season. He additionally underwhelmed as a blocker within the slot when he changed Chris Godwin down the stretch. Johnson has had a pleasant offseason, starring within the OTAs. However he’ll should be extra bodily when the pads come on in camp, and he’ll must play sooner this yr. The competitors is fierce at extensive receiver, with 10 gamers competing for basically three roster spots behind Godwin, Mike Evans and Russell Gage. Johnson just isn’t a lock to make the crew.
WR Scotty Miller
Like Johnson, Miller is a veteran whose roster spot just isn’t assured this season. After having a breakout season in 2020, the speedy receiver suffered a severe toe harm in Week 3 that stored him out for many of the yr. When Miller returned to motion late within the season, he made extra of an influence as a fill-in particular groups gunner and on end-arounds than he did as a receiver. Miller solely caught 5 passes for 38 yards in 2021.
Due to his 5-foot-9, 170-pound body, Miller isn’t featured on particular groups. And that can harm his possibilities of making the crew. His finest wager is likely to be to problem Jaelon Darden for the return specialist position to make the 53-man roster. Miller practices fielding punts in observe, however by no means will get a shot to do it in video games. Getting into a contract yr, he must have the camp and preseason of his life to make the crew. He wants to remain wholesome and constantly flash the pace that made him a deep risk in 2020. Darden and electrical rookie Deven Thompkins seem like probably the most direct competitors for Miller in August.
OL Nick Leverett
Leverett’s versatility aided him in making the 53-man roster final yr. He spent final preseason seeing time at left deal with and middle, and noticed his first common season motion at left guard in a win at Indianapolis. Will that be sufficient this yr, or will the competitors the Bucs added this offseason push the Rice product off the roster? Tampa Bay drafted guard Luke Goedeke within the second spherical and signed veteran deal with Fred Johnson.
Leverett doesn’t appear to be within the combine for the beginning left guard place, as Aaron Stinnie, Robert Hainsey and Goedeke received the reps there within the OTAs and mini-camp. Leverett was oftentimes a backup at proper guard. It’s a numbers sport alongside the O-line, and it’d take Tampa Bay maintaining 10 linemen for Leverett to make it. Stinnie, Goedeke, Hainsey, who’s the crew’s backup middle, Tristan Wirfs, Ryan Jensen, Shaq Mason and Donovan Smith are locks. Johnson and Josh Wells are prone to make the crew as backup tackles. Leverett would then declare the tenth and closing roster spot. If the Bucs solely maintain 9 linemen, Leverett may very well be the odd man out.
DT Deadrin Senat
The Bucs added three defensive tackles this offseason, together with rookie Logan Corridor and a pair of veterans in Akiem Hicks and Senat. Corridor and Hicks are locks to make the crew, however Senat, a five-year veteran, just isn’t. At 6-foot, 305 kilos, Senat is the smallest of Tampa Bay’s defensive lineman – by far. The previous Falcons third-round choose might be pigeonholed to play nostril deal with, and Tampa Bay already has a succesful reserve in Rakeem Nunez-Roches.
The Bucs sometimes maintain six defensive linemen for the 3-4 protection. Hicks, Corridor, Nunez-Roches, Professional Bowler Vita Vea, Will Gholston and particular groups ace Patrick O’Connor will seemingly comprise the six. If the undersized Senat goes to make the roster, he’ll should beat out O’Connor for the sixth and closing spot. And that may harm the Bucs’ particular groups. It’s laborious to see Senat making the 53-man roster until there’s an harm. A spot on the observe squad appears extra seemingly.
Okay Ryan Succop
Succop didn’t kick in any respect in any of the crew portion of the OTAs or mini-camp that the media noticed. Was that attributable to harm or did the Bucs simply wish to get an prolonged pre-camp take a look at kicker Jose Borregales? Sadly, we didn’t discover out. Succop, who turns 36 in September, gained’t be kicking perpetually. And his age and prior harm historical past have restricted his vary. He’s solely tried 4 kicks of fifty yards or extra within the final two years and is 2-of-5, together with the postseason.
Borregales, a former Lou Groza Award winner out of Miami, spent final yr on the observe squad. He’s received a booming leg able to driving the ball from past 50. Borregales was 6-of-8 on long-distance kicks from 50 yards or longer in school. If Borregales’ accuracy improves in coaching camp and the preseason, it might put Succop’s job in jeopardy. Succop wants to remain wholesome and stay correct in camp. He must show that his leg just isn’t in decline as approaches his thirty sixth birthday.
FAB 3. 5 Predictions For The Bucs 2022 Season
Listed below are 5 predictions for 2022 that not solely embody particular person Bucs participant performances, but in addition efficiency by the crew as a complete.
Bucs Protection Reaches 50 Sacks
Todd Bowles’ protection has come near producing 50 sacks over the past three seasons in Tampa Bay. The Bucs notched 47 sacks in Bowles’ first season in 2019, then improved to 48 through the Tremendous Bowl season in 2020. Final season noticed the protection revert again to 47. However the unit narrowly missed a bunch of sacks and will have completed with over 50. This yr must be the yr the place Tampa Bay reaches 50 sacks (or extra) for simply the second time in franchise historical past.
The franchise document for many sacks in a season was 55, set in 2000. That yr, Warren Sapp had 16.5 sacks – half a sack behind league-leader La’Roi Glover. Professional Bowl outdoors linebacker Shaq Barrett will seemingly prepared the ground once more. Staying wholesome within the secondary will probably be key, as Bowles was pressured to play sure coverages final yr attributable to accidents within the defensive backfield. Whereas the Bucs nonetheless led the league in blitzing, Bowles couldn’t blitz as a lot as he wished to consequently.
Bucs Produce A Trio Of 1,000-Yard WRs
Tampa Bay has had a pair of 1,000-yard receivers in the identical season a few instances in franchise historical past. However the Bucs have by no means produced three 1,000-yard receivers. In truth, it’s solely been achieved 5 instances in NFL historical past. The primary was the San Diego trio of John Jefferson, Kellen Winslow and Charlie Joiner in 1980. Arizona, with Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston, was the final NFL crew to have a trio of 1,000-yard receivers. The Bucs have been on their solution to doing it final yr earlier than an harm and suspension received Antonio Brown off observe in October.
Mike Evans and Chris Godwin each completed with 1,000 yards final yr. The numbers Brown (545) and Tyler Johnson (360) produced mixed for over 900 yards. With Rob Gronkowski retiring, the Bucs will seemingly throw extra to the receivers than the tight ends in 2022. That ought to give newcomer Russell Gage an opportunity to hit 1,000 yards, too. Gage has come near hitting 1,000 yards the final two years in Atlanta, ending with practically 800 yards receiving in every season.
RB Leonard Fournette Rushes For 1,000 Yards
The Bucs haven’t had a 1,000-yard rusher since Doug Martin in 2014. Ronald Jones II got here shut in 2020 with a team-high 978 yards. This yr, Fournette appears poised to hit 1,000 yards if he can keep wholesome. The Bucs have 7 million causes to get Fournette the ball after paying him a king’s ransom this offseason. He ran the ball 180 instances for 812 yards (4.5 avg.) final yr, and he missed three and half video games.
Had he performed in all 17 video games, Fournette seemingly would have hit 1,000 yards in 2021. He wanted simply 42 extra carries averaging 4.5 yards per carry to achieve that mark. Fournette solely had two 100-yard video games final yr, with simply three video games with 80 yards or extra. He had 4 video games with 17 carries or extra and 7 video games with 11 carries or much less. If these numbers flip and Fournette winds up with 220 carries in 2022, a 1,000-yard dashing season is all however assured.
TE Rob Gronkowski Returns – At Some Level
I assumed Gronkowski was going to re-sign with the Bucs previous to coaching camp. And I used to be unsuitable. As a substitute, he retired on June 21. Maybe he desires to tug a veteran transfer and simply skip camp. Will Gronk be again previous to the beginning of the common season in September? Or is the long run Corridor of Famer merely listening to his physique and listening to that it could actually’t maintain up for 17 video games?
Possibly Gronk comes aboard at midseason to assist the Bucs win a Tremendous Bowl like Antonio Brown did in 2020. Former NFL govt Mike Tannenbaum believes the 33-year previous Gronkowski will return sooner or later within the 2022 season. In truth, he put the possibilities at 100%. It’s laborious to consider that Gronk would miss out on what may very well be Tom Brady’s closing season in Tampa Bay – and maybe the NFL.
Bucs Win Fewer Video games In 2022
Tampa Bay went 11-5 in 2020 and gained the Tremendous Bowl. Final yr, regardless of a rash of accidents, the Bucs set a brand new franchise document with a 13-4 document but misplaced within the NFC Divisional spherical of the playoffs. Tampa Bay was even poised to host the NFC Championship Recreation if the Bucs had gotten previous the Rams.
Tampa Bay has a brutally powerful schedule this season, that includes eight groups towards groups that made the playoffs a yr in the past. Don’t be stunned if the Bucs end 11-6 or 12-5 this yr however are a greater crew that goes additional within the postseason. In fact, Tampa Bay may advance to the Tremendous Bowl profitable 13 video games once more (or extra). However even with a lesser common season document, the 2022 Bucs is likely to be extra formidable come January.
FAB 4. 5 Largest Positional Wants For The Bucs In 2023
Whereas there may be loads of anticipation concerning the upcoming 2022 season, there may be loads of uncertainty about 2023 in Tampa Bay. Right here’s a take a look at the High 5 positional wants for the Bucs subsequent yr.
All indicators level towards the 2022 season being Tom Brady’s final in Tampa Bay, and maybe the NFL. Is Blaine Gabbert or Kyle Trask able to take over as a starter subsequent yr? Will one preseason put together Trask sufficient to be an NFL starter? Will Gabbert, who will probably be 33 subsequent yr, even be re-signed in 2022? It takes a star quarterback to get a crew to the Tremendous Bowl and win it within the modern-day NFL, which places an emphasis on the passing sport.
It’s laborious to counsel that Gabbert or Trask have star potential at this stage. Outdoors of Lamar Jackson, who will seemingly be again in Baltimore, the record of free agent QBs subsequent yr isn’t too thrilling – assuming Brady retires. Sam Darnold, Daniel Jones, Jimmy Garoppolo, Baker Mayfield and Taylor Heinicke are the “headliners.” Might the Bucs draft one other QB within the first spherical subsequent yr to compete for the job, or might Tampa Bay maybe commerce for one? It will likely be fascinating to see how Jason Licht and Todd Bowles tackle the QB place in 2023.
Devin White will probably be getting into a contract yr in 2023 and the contract for Lavonte David, who turns 33 in January, will probably be expired on the finish of this season. Will David return for one more yr or will the Bucs transfer on? Who will substitute the Bucs legend in 2023 if Tampa Bay goes in a distinct course? Will White step up and earn a contract extension? There are loads of questions and never many obvious solutions proper now.
The within linebacker spots – Mike and Mo – are crucial to Todd Bowles’ protection. White and David are crew captains, and the Mike LB runs the protection. The Bucs are hoping Okay.J. Britt may be capable of grow to be a job as a starter. However he’s not practically as athletic as both White or David. The 2023 linebacker draft class has a number of studs, nevertheless it’s not deep. Clemson’s Trenton Simpson is a reputation to look at. He has particular pace and appears like a Bowles linebacker. Discovering a particular, starting-caliber linebacker subsequent yr is a precedence.
Starters Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting are within the closing yr of their rookie contracts. From a wage cap standpoint, it’s seemingly that just one returns in 2023. The early favourite is Dean, who actually made strides in protection final yr. Murphy-Bunting has the flexibility to play each inside on the slot cornerback place in addition to outdoors. Throw in the truth that reserves Ross Cockrell, Rashard Robinson and Dee Delaney (unique rights free agent) are in contract years and the Bucs might out of the blue be skinny at cornerback in 2023.
Bowles isn’t afraid t0 play rookie cornerbacks. He did that in 2019 with each Murphy-Bunting and Dean. So, if the Bucs should draft a cornerback within the first or second spherical to step in in case the crew strikes on – so be it. Tampa Bay likes the promise and potential of Zyon McCollum, a Day 3 draft choose. However it’s an enormous leap from Sam Houston to the NFL, and McCollum may not be prepared to start out and function a alternative for Dean or Murphy-Bunting in 2023.
Mike Edwards is the main candidate to interchange Jordan Whitehead at robust security this yr. He’s getting into a contract yr, and newcomers Logan Ryan and Keanu Neal have been solely signed to one-year offers. Which means half of the crew’s safeties may very well be gone subsequent season. The guess right here is that both Edwards or Neal returns in 2023. However depth will nonetheless be a problem for Tampa Bay and can should be addressed both within the draft or free company.
The Bucs have at all times prioritized the protection place. Bucs normal supervisor Jason Licht has spent two second-round picks on Professional Bowler Antoine Winfield Jr. (2020) and former Buc Justin Evans (2017), whereas Edwards was a third-rounder in 2019. Licht and Bowles, who performed security in school and within the NFL, practically drafted Georgia security Lewis Cine within the first spherical this previous April. Safeties play a significant position in Bowles’ protection, and the place is a vital one general in in the present day’s pass-happy NFL.
The Bucs re-signed Professional Bowler Shaq Barrett to a long-term contract extension in 2021 after which drafted Joe Tryon-Shoyinka within the first spherical to ultimately substitute Jason Pierre-Paul. Barrett and Tryon-Shoyinka ought to make a dynamic duo on the sting. However prime reserve Anthony Nelson is in a contract yr and the cabinet is relatively naked afterwards. Cam Gill has confirmed to be nothing greater than a situational go rusher and isn’t a lock to make the crew. The identical may very well be stated for Elijah Ponder, who was on the observe squad final yr.
Throw in the truth that Barrett turns 30 this fall and Tampa Bay will want extra depth, and an eventual successor for him. Edge rushers are an vital a part of Bowles’ protection as they’re those primarily accountable for attending to the quarterback. The Bucs are one harm away from common – or beneath common – on the place. Even when Nelson is re-signed to a modest deal as a reserve in 2023, including one other pass-rushing outdoors linebacker within the draft makes loads of sense.
FAB 5. SR’s Buc Photographs
• WHITE COMPARES FAVORABLY TO A PRO BOWLER: Bucs rookie working again Rachaad White is extraordinarily athletic. Simply how athletic? Effectively, he’s drawn comparisons to 49ers Professional Bowl receiver Deebo Samuel, for starters.
• MORE ON BRADY’S RED ZONE MAGIC: Tom Brady’s pink zone passing mastery was mentioned in final week’s SR’s Fab 5 column. However it’s not nearly him throwing touchdowns and avoiding interceptions. It’s about Brady getting his crew in the long run zone. No QB has achieved it higher – or extra typically.
Drives led that ended with both a TD go or a dashing TD of 1-3 yards
(Together with Postseason)
1. Tom Brady — 937
2. Drew Brees — 789
3. Peyton Manning — 731
Brady has 148 greater than every other QB.
— Tom Brady Info (@TB_Facts) June 22, 2022
• BUCS RB WHITE JOINS THE PEWTER REPORT PODCAST NEXT WEEK: Bucs rookie working again Rachaad White would be the visitor on the Pewter Report Podcast on Tuesday, July 5 at 4:00 p.m. ET. Don’t miss this episode, as we’ll speak to White about his expectations for his rookie season in Tampa Bay.
THIS WEEK’S PEWTER REPORT PODCASTS
• SUMMER BUCS TALK ON THE PEWTER REPORT PODCAST: The Pewter Report Podcast is energized by CELSIUS and broadcasts 4 reside episodes every week. Pewter Report Podcasts sometimes air on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 4:00 pm EST within the offseason.
Matt Matera and Kasey Hudson talk about whether or not the Bucs are nonetheless prime contenders within the NFC with out Rob Gronkowski.
Matera and Josh Queipo discuss which new Bucs addition will make the most important influence in 2022.
Matera and Hudson talk about Bucs over/unders on the offensive facet of the ball in 2022.
Matera and JC Allen are joined by Mr. Bucs Nation on Thursday to debate the defensive over/unders.
Watch the Pewter Report Podcasts reside on our PewterReportTV channel on YouTube.com and please subscribe (it’s free) and add your feedback. We archive all Pewter Report Podcasts. So, you’ll be able to watch the recorded episodes for those who missed them reside.
There isn’t any higher time to take heed to or watch a brand new Pewter Report Podcast – energized by CELSIUS – than Friday afternoon on the best way dwelling from work. Or early Saturday morning throughout your exercise or whereas working errands.
The recognition of the Pewter Report Podcast continues to develop. Along with listening to the Pewter Report Podcasts on PewterReport.com, you may also subscribe to the free podcasts at PodBean by clicking right here and on SoundCloud by clicking right here. And naturally, the Pewter Report Podcast can be obtainable on iTunes and YouTube. Be sure you subscribe so that you don’t miss a single episode.
• GET READY FOR WHITE: Are you able to see new Bucs working again Rachaad White in motion? Right here’s a glimpse of what you’ll be able to count on from his senior season at Arizona State.