How The Bucs Can Beat The Rams And Saints

Bucs OLB Shaq Barrett and NT Vita Vea – Picture by: Cliff Welch/PR

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. How The Bucs Can Beat The Rams And Saints

The final time the Bucs beat the Saints within the common season was on Sept. 9, 2018. Ryan Fitzpatrick was Tampa Bay’s quarterback and engineered a gap day, 48-40 win in New Orleans by passing for 417 yards and 4 touchdowns and dashing for an additional.

When the Bucs take the sphere on Sept. 11 to tackle the Cowboys within the 2022 season opener, it’ll have been over 4 years since Tampa Bay has crushed New Orleans within the common season. The Saints have seven straight wins over the Bucs.

Rams QB Matthew Stafford – Picture by: USA At this time

Maybe much more importantly, the Bucs have misplaced three straight to the Rams courting again to 2020. Contemporary off beating Tampa Bay twice final yr, together with within the playoffs, Los Angeles gained Tremendous Bowl LVI. The Rams are a greater workforce coming into 2022 and pose an excellent larger menace to the Bucs than the Saints do. Regardless of being swept by the Saints for a 3rd straight yr in 2021, the Bucs nonetheless gained the NFC South. New Orleans did not make the playoffs.

In fact, Tampa Bay can have two photographs to (lastly) finish the streak in opposition to New Orleans in 2022, as they’re divisional foes. But, the Rams are on the schedule for a fourth straight season, too. They usually’ve given Todd Bowles’ protection matches.

So, what do the Bucs have to do to beat the Saints and the Rams this yr?

That query has stumped loads of the gamers I’ve requested this offseason.

“Man, that’s a terrific query – if I knew the reply ,we in all probability wouldn’t be 0-3 in opposition to them,” security Antoine Winfield Jr. stated.

“I have no idea,” Bucs Professional Bowl exterior linebacker Shaq Barrett stated. “Want I knew as a result of we might have gotten it fastened a very long time in the past.”

“Actually don’t know,” cornerback Jamel Dean stated. “I simply assume that after we play these two groups, we get so emotional in direction of them that we simply don’t play our recreation. We simply get undisciplined, and simply begin making some pricey errors.”

Bowles was relatively tight-lipped in regards to the dropping streak to the Rams and Saints when requested about it.

“Properly, we knew they have been on the schedule,” Bowles stated. “We’re simply specializing in ourselves and our draft picks proper now. Once more, we have now issues to wash up from these video games, in addition to different video games – even video games we gained. There will likely be time to cope with that when it comes and we’ll do our homework that strategy to see what they’ve on us to attempt to beat them.”

Properly, I’ve accomplished some homework on the Bucs’ mixed 10 consecutive losses to each the Rams and Saints. There is not only one factor to level at as a result of soccer is a workforce recreation. In most of these losses, each Tampa Bay’s offense and protection haven’t performed properly.

Bucs OLBs Shaq Barrett and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka and Saints QB Taysom Hill

Bucs OLBs Shaq Barrett and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka and Saints QB Taysom Hill – Picture by: Cliff Welch/PR

Tampa Bay tight finish Cameron Brate thinks the Bucs have to run the ball extra successfully in opposition to New Orleans and L.A. As I recommended in a current SR’s Fab 5, he’s in all probability not flawed.

However what about on protection in these video games?

After desirous about it for just a few seconds, Barrett truly provided up some clues.

“Defensively, we’re not forcing turnovers sufficient, and within the video games the place we do [force] turnovers, we’re capable of be within the recreation and even win the [Saints] recreation,” Barrett stated. “For the Rams, it is likely to be sacks, actually. I tackle all of it – as a result of we don’t get sacks actually after we play none of these groups. So, if we’re capable of get extra stress on the quarterback, I feel we’ll have the ability to drive turnovers, drive fumbles and we’ll have the ability to come out on high.”

Barrett has gotten only one sack in opposition to the Rams in 4 conferences. And that got here in 2019. He’s been held sackless within the final three video games – all Tampa Bay losses. Barrett solely has one sack within the final seven video games in opposition to the Saints, together with the playoff win in 2020.

The shortage of sacks and interceptions has been a standard denominator within the Bucs’ common season defeats by the hands of each the Rams and the Saints since 2019. That’s when Bowles took over the protection.

Tampa Bay has solely registered six sacks in these six common season losses in opposition to New Orleans. And extra importantly, Saints quarterbacks have had a outstanding touchdown-to-interception ratio in opposition to Bowles’ protection. New Orleans’ quarterbacks have thrown 15 touchdowns and only one interception in opposition to Tampa Bay’s protection in these six video games.

Conversely, the Saints protection has racked up 21 sacks in these six wins over the Bucs and created a bunch of turnovers. Jameis Winston threw 4 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, together with a pick-six, in two losses to the Saints in 2019. Tom Brady has thrown six touchdowns and eight interceptions, together with a pair of choose sixes, in 4 common season losses to New Orleans.

Bucs CB Sean Murphy-Bunting

Bucs CB Sean Murphy-Bunting – Picture by: USA At this time

Merely put, Dennis Allen’s protection has outplayed Bowles’ protection.

The lone Bucs’ win over the Saints got here within the 2020 Divisional Playoffs, and that has been the one time Bowles’ unit flipped the script. Whereas Tampa Bay didn’t sack Drew Brees, he solely had one landing and threw three pricey picks. Winston threw the opposite Saints TD go, however it wasn’t sufficient in a 30-20 Bucs victory within the Bayou.

On the opposite facet of the ball, Brady threw two TDs, no interceptions and was solely sacked as soon as within the playoff win.

Within the final three losses to the Rams, the Bucs protection has solely registered three sacks and two interceptions. In the meantime, Rams QBs Jared Goff (2020) and Matthew Stafford (2021) mixed to throw 9 touchdowns in opposition to Tampa Bay’s protection.

Like New Orleans, L.A.’s protection has outplayed Tampa Bay’s protection. Brady has been held to simply 4 landing passes and has thrown three interceptions whereas getting sacked seven instances in these three video games.

The lone Bucs win over the Rams with Bowles working the protection got here in a 55-40 shootout in L.A. The distinction? It was sacks and takeaways.

Whereas Goff handed for 517 yards and a pair of touchdowns in opposition to the Bucs, he did throw three interceptions and was sacked twice. A type of sacks resulted in a scoop-and-score landing by defensive deal with Ndamukong Suh.

Winston handed for 385 yards and 4 touchdowns and was solely sacked twice. The Rams protection did have a pick-six in opposition to Winston, however it wasn’t sufficient to prevail.

Bucs LB Devin White and Rams QB Matthew Stafford

Bucs LB Devin White and Rams QB Matthew Stafford – Picture by: Cliff Welch/PR

Simply getting extra stress on Winston in New Orleans and on Stafford in L.A. gained’t do. Suh was proper in Stafford’s face with a stress as he rifled a 44-yard strike to Cooper Kupp to arrange the Rams’ game-winning subject purpose within the 30-27 playoff loss again in February.

In speaking with the hosts of The Pivot Podcast, legendary Bucs Corridor of Famer Warren Sapp, probably the greatest pass-rushing defensive tackles of all time, scoffs on the thought of simply pressuring the quarterback (4:00 mark).

“I would like that quarterback. I would like him to show it down,” Sapp stated. “The hits and the pounding {that a} quarterback takes – it impacts them. You possibly can’t inform me – the stress shit they speak about? Man, come on, man! [Quarterbacks] awakened beneath stress. Give me a rattling break. … You’re going to have to use the stress that’s you on his ass.”

The Bucs protection wants extra hits, sacks, strip-sacks and interceptions with a view to beat the Saints and the Rams this yr. It’s not the one factor Tampa Bay might want to do higher to finish the streaks, however it’s an enormous one.

FAB 2. Sapp Loves Bucs Rookie DT Corridor

One play doesn’t win or lose a soccer recreation.

However that Matthew Stafford-to-Cooper Kupp 44-yard bomb in opposition to the Bucs’ ill-timed, all-out blitz in Tampa Bay’s 30-27 playoff loss to Los Angeles was an enormous play. And it turned out to be the dagger within the Bucs’ hopes of repeating as Tremendous Bowl champions. The lasting recollections of that play have been Kupp getting a step on security Antoine Winfield, Jr., who was a step gradual in man protection, and Ndamukong Suh being a step away from Stafford.

Proper or flawed, there’s a perception among the many Bucs’ brass that an inside defensive lineman that was youthful and quicker than the 35-year outdated Suh may have gotten to Stafford to both hit him or sack him so he couldn’t full that deadly strike.

It’s that play that prompted former Bucs head coach Bruce Arians to say on the NFL Scouting Mix:

“For us proper now, it’s quickness,” Arians stated when requested what the Bucs want up entrance. “We’ve acquired energy – we’ve acquired loads of energy. We want some quickness within the inside go rush. We’ve acquired a very good exterior go rush, so for us, it’s watching these guys and seeing whose inside go rush [fits us]. But additionally, who continues to be stout sufficient to cease the run. We don’t want one other Vita [Vea]. There’s not one other one on the market anyway. And if we get our guys again (Suh, Will Gholston, Steve McLendon), I’m wonderful, too. However we want one thing faster in there.”

Bucs DT Logan Hall

Bucs DT Logan Corridor – Picture by: Cliff Welch/PR

That perception manifested itself within the Bucs deciding on athletic inside defensive lineman Logan Corridor on the high of the second spherical with their first draft choose.

And it factored into the reasoning to not re-sign Suh.

Since he took the observe subject with a Bucs helmet on, Corridor has gotten rave evaluations.

“Properly, we like his athleticism,” Bucs head coach Todd Bowles stated of Corridor. “He’s studying easy methods to play along with his pads decrease – taking up double groups and understanding when to drop his knee and never simply bouncing up and dashing the passer.

“However, he’s an excellent athlete. We haven’t had that sort of athlete inside shortly – since we’ve been right here. We simply sit up for him getting higher scheme-wise after which making the most of his athleticism.”

On final week’s Pewter Report Podcast, Bucs defensive finish Will Gholston stated Corridor was “extra athletic than J.J. Watt in his prime.”

That’s a bit far-fetched, as Watt examined barely higher athletically than Corridor did when each gamers entered the NFL Draft.

It’s one factor for common supervisor Jason Licht or Bowles to gush over Corridor. They’ve a bias as a result of they picked him. Gholston is now Corridor’s teammate.

However former Bucs Corridor of Fame defensive deal with doesn’t have any stakes on this recreation. Whereas Sapp bleeds pink and pewter, he wasn’t keen on Tampa Bay drafting massive nostril deal with Vita Vea within the first spherical of the 2018 NFL Draft. And he nonetheless hasn’t warmed as much as Vea.

I spoke with the straight-shooting Sapp about Corridor after he was invited by Bowles to work with the rookie and different Bucs defensive linemen this week. Sapp didn’t know a lot about Corridor or his recreation earlier than seeing him in particular person throughout Tuesday’s OTA, however got here away actually impressed.

Bucs Hall of Fame DT Warren Sapp and D-line coaches Lori Locust and Kacy Rodgers and DE Will Gholston

Bucs Corridor of Fame DT Warren Sapp and D-line coaches Lori Locust and Kacy Rodgers and DE Will Gholston – Picture by: Cliff Welch/PR

“Lengthy, hostile, cellular, agile and desirous to study,” stated Sapp, describing Corridor as a participant. “I haven’t seen a kind of in a very long time within the Nationwide Soccer League. It was a pleasing shock – it completely was.”

Vea wasn’t at Tuesday’s observe to maybe change Sapp’s thoughts, however the QB Killa raved in regards to the rookie.

“They acquired this proper – they acquired this one proper,” Sapp stated. “Holy shit, they acquired this one proper! You recognize there are some guys you meet who’re too good to hurry the passer? Not him. Who’re these NFL scout those that inform me they learn about defensive linemen after which this child falls by means of the cracks [to the second round]? Wow.”

Sapp has labored with Bucs defensive linemen earlier than, most notably Gerald McCoy, Tampa Bay’s first-round choose in 2010. Now, he’s excited to work with Corridor.

“That is one thing completely totally different,” Sapp stated. “Gerald reached out to me. And Gerald was all the time a fan of mine. He stated he would’ve gone to Miami if they might’ve launched me to him (laughs)! It’s an entire totally different animal with regards to this child. I don’t even assume he is aware of who I’m! I’m joking, after all.

“Each he and Gerald are lengthy, and each are massive males – very, very massive males. I haven’t been round this child lengthy, however Gerald was only a good, good man (laughs). I don’t sense the niceness out of this child. He’s acquired some dawg in him – like he needs to chew. You get that from him straight away. He needs to chew! He needs to study. That’s the factor I really like about him. He doesn’t have all of the solutions – however he needs to. And that’s what you like.”

FAB 3. Improved Bucs’ Go Rush Consists of Extra Batted Balls

Tampa Bay has been probably the greatest groups within the league with regards to getting sacks. Todd Bowles’ blitz-happy scheme has produced 47 sacks in 2019, 48 sacks in 2020 and 47 once more final season.

Bowles, defensive coordinators Kacy Rodgers and Larry Foote and new exterior linebackers coach Bob Sanders are onerous at work making an attempt to enhance the gamers’ method with a view to surpass 50 sacks this season. However in an age of extra shotgun snaps, three-step drops, smoke routes and large receiver screens that primarily come from one-step drops, attending to the QB is more durable than ever.

Bucs NT Vita Vea

Bucs NT Vita Vea – Picture courtesy of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay’s go rushers can nonetheless have an effect on the passer even with no hit or a sack, although. The coaches have put an emphasis on creating extra batted balls on the line of scrimmage this offseason.

“Properly, it’s essential as a result of we had loads of three-step drops final yr and the ball was popping out fast,” Bowles stated. “So even when you have been clear, you weren’t getting [to the quarterback.]. So, we’ve acquired to have higher emphasis on seeing the quarterback when he’s elevating up and after we can get our palms as much as bat some extra balls down as a result of we aren’t getting there for the sack as a result of the ball is popping out too quick.”

Tampa Bay’s entrance seven batted down 16 passes on the line of scrimmage final yr, and 17 in 2020. A type of deflections by Vea wound up being intercepted by Shaquil Barrett in opposition to Atlanta in Week 2. Barrett, who is simply 6-foot-1, has been among the many greatest at batting balls at or close to the road of scrimmage over time with 13.

Bucs Batted Balls In 2021

Shaquil Barrett 4
Jason Pierre-Paul 4
Vita Vea 3
Joe Tryon-Shoyinka 3
Steve McLendon 1
Anthony Nelson 1

Bucs Batted Balls In 2021 Postseason

Joe Tryon-Shoyinka 1
Shaquil Barrett 1
Steve McLendon 1

Bucs Batted Balls In 2020

Shaquil Barrett 6
Jason Pierre-Paul 6
Will Gholston 2
Ndamukong Suh 2
Anthony Nelson 1

Bucs Batted Balls In 2020 Postseason

Jason Pierre-Paul 3

Bucs Batted Balls In 2019

Ndamukong Suh 4
Vita Vea 3
Will Gholston 2
Shaq Barrett 2
Anthony Nelson 1

Former Bucs DT Ndamukong Suh and OLB Jason Pierre-Paul

Former Bucs DT Ndamukong Suh and OLB Jason Pierre-Paul – Picture by: Cliff Welch/PR

Six-foot-5 exterior linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul, who’s 33, wasn’t re-signed this offseason. However like Barrett, he was among the many main defensive linemen at batting down passes with 13 during the last two years, together with the postseason.

Tampa Bay’s main rotation up entrance consists of some giants, together with rookie defensive deal with Logan Corridor, who’s 6-foot-6. Corridor joins exterior linebackers Joe Tryon-Shoyinka (6-5) and Anthony Nelson (6-7), nostril deal with Vita Vea, defensive finish Will Gholston (6-6) and new defensive deal with Akiem Hicks (6-4) as defenders who’re 6-foot-4 or taller.

“That’s actually good size and we’ll make extra of a pitch this yr about getting our palms up and them making an attempt to get extra batted balls,” Rodgers stated. “If you sort of look, we’ve acquired 6-6 right here, 6-5 there, 6-4 right here, 6-6 there. We like them massive and lengthy.”

FAB 4. Bucs Utilizing Bolts For Inspiration

Over the previous couple of seasons, the Bucs have regarded to the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey membership for some inspiration. Proper after the Bolts gained the 2019-20 Stanley Cup, the Bucs gained Tremendous Bowl LV in Tampa Bay. Each groups celebrated with boat parades in downtown Tampa as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.

One other boat parade adopted for the Lightning because the workforce gained back-to-back Stanley Cup championships final yr. The Bucs fell in need of repeating final season, dropping 30-27 to the eventual Tremendous Bowl champion Rams within the NFC Divisional Playoffs.

Bucs tight finish Cam Brate is commonly seen sporting an Alex Killorn jersey throughout hockey season. Each he and Killorn have been at Harvard on the identical time within the 2010s.

Bucs OLB Shaq Barrett

Bucs OLB Shaq Barrett – Fox TV

However there may not be an even bigger Bolts fan on the Bucs than exterior linebacker Shaquil Barrett. The 2-time Professional Bowler brings his household to a number of Lightning video games annually, and even introduced the Lombardi Trophy to Amalie Area previous to a playoff recreation following the Tremendous Bowl win.

“I’m an enormous Bolts fan,” Barrett stated. “My children find it irresistible. I find it irresistible, and the ambiance is superb. And they’re actually good, so it makes it simpler to be a fan, too. I really like that they’re actually good. So, I really feel as if that in the event that they preserve successful and so they preserve doing it, then we’ve acquired to do it.”

Whereas there’s a lot love between the Bucs and Bolts group, Barrett stated that the Lightning’s back-to-back championships, and the truth that they’re within the combine for a possible three-peat, does apply some stress.

“They’re bringing championships again, and I really feel like they’re placing stress on us,” Barrett stated. “I really like stress and I really like performing beneath stress and popping out on high. We simply take a look at them and allow them to inspire us and get the job accomplished like they’re getting the job accomplished.”

After sweeping their division rival, the Florida Panthers, the Lightning have superior to the Jap Convention Ultimate for a 3rd straight yr. Tampa Bay misplaced the primary recreation in opposition to the Rangers in New York, 6-2. Sport 2 of the collection is Friday night time at Madison Sq. Backyard.

The Bolts return to Tampa for his or her first dwelling recreation of the collection on Sunday afternoon. And if he’s on the town, there’s an opportunity Barrett is likely to be in attendance.

FAB 5. SR’s Buc Photographs

• CONTINUITY IS KING ON THE O-LINE: Continuity is simply as essential as expertise alongside offensive traces within the NFL. The Bucs discovered that out the onerous manner after they missed injured proper deal with Tristan Wirfs within the 30-27 playoff loss to the Rams. However through the common season, Tampa Bay had the healthiest offensive line within the league.

• WIRFS AMONG ELITE OTs IN PASS PROTECTION: Wirfs made his first Professional Bowl and All-Professional workforce final yr and is taken into account among the many greatest linemen within the league regardless of taking part in solely two seasons within the NFL.

THIS WEEK’S PEWTER REPORT PODCASTS

• BUCS PLAYERS GUEST STAR 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.

Final Thursday, Bucs defensive lineman Will Gholston was Pewter Report’s particular visitor and talked about rookie DT Logan Corridor.

Tuesday’s podcast coated the Bucs’ OTA observe and mentioned the signing of DT Akiem Hicks.

Wednesday’s present centered on what different strikes the Bucs may make, particularly at edge rusher.

Bucs large receiver Cyril Grayson Jr. was the particular visitor on Thursday’s episode.

celsiusWatch 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 possibly can watch the recorded episodes when you missed them reside.

There is no such thing as a higher time to hearken 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 can too 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 also be obtainable on iTunes and YouTube. Be sure you subscribe so that you don’t miss a single episode.

FINAL VIDEO

• THE END OF FITZMAGIC: Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who performed for 9 totally different NFL groups, together with Tampa Bay from 2017-18, is retiring after 17 seasons. As Pewter Report’s Bailey Adams factors out, Fitzpatrick was beneath middle for the final time the Bucs beat the Saints within the common season again in 2018.

• FITZMAGIC IN TAMPA: Listed below are a few of the magical highlights of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s first two wins within the 2018 season in opposition to the Saints and the Eagles.

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