Thoughts about the upcoming NFL season

by Gary Shelton on September 4, 2018 · 2 comments

in general, NFL, Tampa Bay Bucs

Fitzpartrick hopes to keep the Bucs afloat./CARMEN MANDATO

Fitzpatrick hopes to keep the Bucs afloat./CARMEN MANDATO

Tuesday, 3 a.m.

Thoughts as the NFL season prepares to begin:

If Jon Gruden was going to trade away his best player, Mike Evans and you are both probably happy he didn't come back to the Bucs.

-- Drew Brees is the bomb and a side of fries. We all know that. But has anyone else noticed that Brees and the Saints are 3-3 against the Bucs in their last half-dozen meetings?

-- The release of Josh Robinson and Keith Tandy shows this: A guy gets old awfully fast playing on special teams.

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-- The Bucs' signed a couple of guys with pedigree recently. They picked up Jerel Worthy, who went 51st overall to Green Bay. If you're interested, he went seven picks ahead of Lavonte David, eight ahead of Vinny Curry and 19 ahead of Bryan Anger. They also picked up Carl Nassib, who was the second pick of the third round in 2016. If you remember, that made him seven picks behind Roberto Aguayo and 43 picks ahead of Ryan Smith.

-- This could be one of those Jack Lemmon-Walter Matthau movies. Drew Brees is sneaking up on his 40th birthday. Ryan Fitzpatrick is almost 36.

-- In Buffalo, No. 1 draft pick Josh Allen has failed to unseat the immortal Nathan Peterman. Yeah, that Nathan Peterman.

-- If Bill Belichick walks into a tavern, do they ask him to leave so they can have happy hour?

-- The Bucs did not sign former defensive end bust Michael Johnson. He re-signed with the Bengals. What? Was Eric Curry busy?

-- There are only 10 teams older than the Bucs, who have added years with Jason Pierre-Paul and Vinny Curry.

-- The Saints are a seven-point favorite for Sunday's game. If it holds, it would be the Bucs' 14th game of their last 17 that has been decided by seven or less.

-- All in all, Tim Tebow was a better Bronco than Paxton Lynch.

-- When Dirk Koetter says that Vea is making "good progress," I want to ask what other kind there is.

-- No one should give up on Ronald Jones yet. But if you were Dirk Koetter, and Peyton Barber needed a break, who do you put into the game? Jacquizz Rogers, of course. But after him, do you go with Jones of Shaun Wilson?

-- Or Lars Tate? He's rested, he's ready.

-- Everyone wants to see an improved pass rush by the Bucs. But Tampa Bay has sacked Brees only 33 times in 25 games. Twelve of them have come in the last six games.

-- Guessing at the seven inactives for Sunday: Wide receiver Freddie Martino, offensive lineman Adam Gettis, defensive lineman Jerel Worthy, lineback Jack Cichy, saftey Isaian Johnson and corner De'Vante Harris.

-- One Buc from the past who could help this team the most: Lee Roy Selmon.

-- Another one: Warrick Dunn.

-- Another one: Derrick Brooks.

-- Still another one: Ronde Barber.

-- Just for fun, one more: Warren Sapp.

-- Okay, Mike Evans leads this team in receptions. Who catches more, though: Chris Godwin or DeSean Jackson?

-- Jon Gruden is catching a lot of grief for trading Khalil Mack. Still, he's going to need those draft picks with the world's oldest roster. He didn't have them in Tampa, and it doomed him.

--Does anyone else miss the old days when Sam Wyche and Jerry Glanville hated each other? Yeah, football was fun back when it was wrestling.

--- Okay, you're the coach. What's your first play Sunday: Peyton Barber off-tackle, a quick pass to Mike Evans, a seam pass to O.J. Howard, a long pass to DeSean Jackson or illegal motion on Donovan Smith?

-- Who gets the first sack of the year for the Bucs? And when?

-- Who wins more games this season: Tampa Bay or Cleveland?

-- Yes, you can argue that winning the opener is a big deal. The Bucs have made the playoffs 10 times in their history; they won their opener in six of those. No, they didn't win it the year they won the Super Bowl.

-- Willie Taggart probably will not be the next Bucs' coach. Just saying.

-- I still say the Bucs' defensive backs need to make more plays. No, I'm not talking about tackling the receiver after a 17-yard catch.

-- I'm sure Adrian Peterson will have one big game for the Redskins. But since they don't play the Bucs, I have no idea who it will be against.



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