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Pewter Report’s Scott Reynolds solutions your questions from the @PewterReport Twitter account every week within the Bucs Monday Mailbag. Submit your query to the Bucs Monday Mailbag every week through Twitter utilizing the hashtag #PRMailbag. Listed below are the questions we selected to reply for this week’s version.
QUESTION: What does Cade Otton must do to win TE1 job?
ANSWER: The Bucs actually like Cade Otton’s tape at Washington. They view him as a prototype Y tight finish – a participant that may be a receiving goal within the passing recreation and an in-line blocker. Whereas he definitely doesn’t have the bodily instruments that future Corridor of Famer Rob Gronkowski has, Otton needs to be a greater model of Cameron Brate when he positive aspects expertise.
So, what does Otton should do to change into Tampa Bay’s beginning tight finish, changing the retired Gronkowski? The group’s fourth-round choose has to get wholesome and keep wholesome. Otton missed your entire offseason recovering from ankle surgical procedure from final fall. He needs to be cleared to take part in coaching camp. Otton took lots of psychological reps throughout the OTAs and mini-camp, however he must get used to contact on the NFL stage. And he must develop chemistry with the Bucs’ quarterbacks.
For Otton to supplant Brate because the group’s starter, he’ll must have a powerful grasp of the playbook and the fundamentals – alignment and project. As soon as he has confirmed to the coaches – and to Tom Brady – that he may be dependable, Otton ought to wind up beginning forward of Brate in the end.
To essentially see some taking part in time, Otton additionally must preserve hitting the burden room and get stronger as an in-line blocker. At Washington, he relied extra on approach and being a positional blocker moderately than energy and brute pressure. That sort of energy may not come till 2023 when he can commit a complete offseason to energy program.
QUESTION: What’s the Bucs’ greatest impediment in successful one other Tremendous Bowl?
ANSWER: The simple reply is thrashing the Saints within the division and the Rams within the convention. Tampa Bay is 0-7 towards the Saints within the final seven video games towards New Orleans. The Bucs are 0-3 of their final three video games towards the Los Angeles Rams, together with a loss within the NFC Divisional playoffs final 12 months. However that’s not the most important impediment.
The most important impediment is the group’s well being. The Bucs suffered a rash of accidents at cornerback all through a lot of the 12 months adopted by accidents at vast receiver late within the season. Tampa Bay’s offensive line obtained banged up within the playoffs and that contributed to the loss to L.A. – the eventual Tremendous Bowl LVI champion.
It’s no coincidence that the Bucs’ two Tremendous Bowl seasons got here with very wholesome rosters these years. In 2002, Tampa Bay solely had one starter on injured reserve. That was Booger McFarland, and nostril deal with was a really replaceable place in Monte Kiffin’s protection. The Bucs didn’t miss McFarland as they cruised to a 48-21 win in Tremendous Bowl XXXVII towards the Raiders. Chuck Darby and Buck Gurley stepped in and performed nicely towards Oakland.
In 2020, the Bucs have been extremely wholesome all year long. Solely beginning proper guard Alex Cappa was on injured reserve. Aaron Stinnie crammed in admirably and stored the offense buzzing. Whereas backup tight finish O.J. Howard was out for a lot of the season, Tampa Bay greater than obtained by with Rob Gronkowski and tight finish Cam Brate. And the Bucs did get vast receiver Antonio Brown, a midseason signee, again from a knee damage for the Tremendous Bowl.
If Tampa Bay can keep wholesome, it has the expertise to win the Tremendous Bowl once more in 2022.
QUESTION: Can we count on to see Logan Corridor within the rotation at edge like Joe Tryon-Shoyinka was inside final 12 months?
ANSWER: I don’t suppose so. I wouldn’t rule out Logan Corridor, the group’s new 3-technique defensive deal with, getting just a few reps outdoors on the sting throughout his rookie 12 months. Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles has even used Professional Bowl nostril deal with Vita Vea as an edge rusher in just a few defenses over the past two years. However Corridor might be spending 90%-95% of his reps in between the tackles.
Joe Tryon-Shoyinka noticed an honest quantity of reps inside final 12 months as a result of the Bucs lacked fast, penetrating inside defensive linemen. Corridor’s arrival, plus the addition of veteran Akiem Hicks, ought to assist alleviate that. Tryon-Shoyinka will nonetheless see a while inside in some nickel rush packages, particularly when Shaq Barrett and Anthony Nelson are wholesome. The Bucs like Nelson’s growth and wish to get him on the sector extra at outdoors linebacker in 2022.
QUESTION: Will Tom Brady have extra mixed touchdowns than the protection has sacks?
ANSWER: That’s a really fascinating query. Tom Brady threw for a Bucs-record and a league-high 43 landing passes final 12 months. He additionally two dashing scores, in order that’s a mixed 45 whole TDs. Again in 2020, which was Brady’s first 12 months in Tampa Bay, he threw for 40 touchdowns and ran for 3 extra scores. That was a complete of 43 TDs.
The Bucs’ protection had 48 sacks in 2020 and 47 sacks final 12 months. So, in each seasons, Tampa Bay’s protection had extra sacks than Brady had mixed touchdowns. I might count on that development to proceed in 2022.
Even when Brady goes nuts and throws for 45 TDs this 12 months and rushes for 3 or 4 extra, I might nonetheless see the Bucs’ protection getting extra sacks. It’s only a hunch, however I believe Tampa Bay’s protection appears poised for 50 sacks or extra this season.
QUESTION: You guys did every part (after which some) to ship nice content material regardless of lack of entry throughout COVID protocols. I do know that may make issues troublesome to get inside scoops on the group. Have issues loosened up for this season (i.e. locker room entry, interview availability, and many others)?
ANSWER: Thanks very a lot for the praise! We at Pewter Report definitely tried our greatest to ship information and inside scoop throughout the COVID-affected 2020 and 2021 seasons. It was an actual problem with lots of the interviews being performed through Zoom moderately than in particular person. That meant hardly ever getting any one-on-one interviews (even through Zoom) with Bucs gamers and never a lot unique content material.
Fortunately, the COVID protocols have been lifted by the NFL and we’ve resumed having face-to-face interviews this offseason. That can proceed into coaching camp, and we’ll lastly have open locker room once more for the primary time because the 2019 season. I can’t wait. It’s that atmosphere if you construct belief and relationship with the gamers. Not solely will they open up and provides some inside scoop and unique content material, however the gamers are extra relaxed within the locker room and can often ship higher quotes in that atmosphere.