Looking back on the Bucs’ win over Denver

by Gary Shelton on September 29, 2020

in general

Gronk limbers up the legs TIM WIRT

Tuesday, 3 a.m.

5 Thoughts

  1. Yes, the next goal for these Bucs is to develop a killer instinct. Yeh, it takes a while after a franchise spends decades developing a killed instinct.

2. There are a lot of choices for Bucs' fans buying a new jersey. There is Tom Brady, and Rob Gronkowski, and Leonard Fournette. There is Lavonte David and Shaq Barrett and Devin White. But if I wore such clothing, I think I'd want to buy a brand new Antonio Winfield Jr. jersey.

3. Unlike Bruce Arians, I'm not ready to put the Bucs' defense among the elite of the league. But the last time the Bucs' defense was this impressive, Monte Kiffin was calling gate blitzes.

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4. I've never been a huge Ronald Jones II guy. But I felt bad for him with the lack of holes on Sunday. Remember Vince Lombardi talking about running to daylight? What it's completely dark?

5. Welcome back, Rob Gronkowski. Hope you had a nice time while you were gone.


(From Bruce Arians' day-after press conference)

(On if a shortened off-season is contributing to muscle pulls around the league): “I think that is a big part of it. The whole league [has experienced] soft-tissue injuries and major injuries. The lack of spring practice and the lack of training camp – I think you’re starting to see that now. Just continue to work and do as much. Our sports science people are excellent and try to make sure they don’t happen again.”

(On the improvement of the special teams)"  You take that one play out on the [blocked] extra point and I thought it was a major win for special teams. Not only the blocked punt, but we had a punt return inside that set up a score. One bad penalty or we’d have run that punt after the safety all the way up to midfield. I think Mick (WR Jaydon Mickens) did a good job with his punt returns – handling the ball – and I thought Bradley Pinion had a hell of a game with the touchbacks [and] the three punts inside the 20. We pinned them back there all day. I thought our special teams really, really won the battle.”

(On the Bucs' sack totals): "Coverage, the front and it’s a bunch of different guys. I think Todd [Bowles] is doing a great job of putting players in position to get good matchups. Will Gholston’s got sacks, Vita (Vea) got sacks, [Ndamukong] Suh got sacks, both outside ‘backers, inside ‘backers and safeties [have sacks]. It’s a matter of pick your poison [and] who you want to try to block, because somebody’s coming from somewhere.”

(On the recovery of linebacker Devin White after falling down on a play): “He better get up and catch him because he’d never live that down in the film room. We’re in an all-out blitz and he tripped and his guy got out. He has such great speed [that] he ran him down. He looked like he was running in mud. That’s a play that Devin can make. He made that great play in Seattle last year where he chased the guy down and caused a fumble. His speed is always going to show up.”

(On the team withstanding charges from the opposition): “I think we’re a very, very hungry team. We have relaxed a little bit, but then we have the ability to notch it back up. The coaching staff does a great job on the sidelines of keeping it motivated, keeping it full speed [and keeping] attention to detail so those things don’t happen. Having been a part of it in the past a couple times, we don’t accept that anymore.”

Game Balls

Offense: Yeah, you could give it to Brady. But on a day when Chris Godwin was injured and Mike Evans double-covered, why not give to Rob Gronkowski for the first time.

Defense: It isn't often you get to go home again and make them sorry you're gone. Shaq Barrett had two sacks for the Bucs after being shut out in the first two weeks.

Special teams: Special mention to Pat O'Connor, who blocked a punt. But the game award goes to the entire punt coverage team, which didn't allow a yard on returns.


Quarterback: Tom Brady threw for 297 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. This week, no one is going to question is age. Grade: A-.

Running back: The Bucs didn't find a lot of day light. There will be times they will need to be better than this: Grade: C.

Offensive line: Brady's sacks were more coverage sacks, but the line needs to be more efficient. Grade: C.

Receivers: The tight ends bailed out Brady this week. Don't look past Scottie Miller, who is quickly becoming a player. Grade: C.

Defensive line: The line had four of the Bucs' six sacks and shut down the Denver running game. Grade: A.

Secondary: Two picks and two sacks from the Bucs' back end, and five of the team's top six tacklers were from the secondary. Grade: A.

Kicking: It was a keeper day for the special teams. Grade: A.

5 More Thoughts

  1. When I think of the Chargers, I think of a few things. 1/ Tony Dungy's first really big win. b) Kellen Winslow (Senior) destroying the Dolphins; 3.) Lance Alworth;4.) Junior Sean and 5) Underachievement.

2. Okay, big question: If the Bucs had stuck with Jameis Winston instead of investing in Tom Brady, what would the team's record be? Personal guess? They'd be 2-1. Winston would have more interceptions than Brady (say, five), but he was always a big yardage guy. For the Bucs, Brady is a much better bet from here on out, however.

4. I thought it was a hoot that the Broncos put cardboard cutouts of the South Park want in the seats for Sunday's game. Maybe the Bucs could counter with Simpsons' characters. Didn't Homer used to be the general manager around here?

5. Did the Bucs hold someone else again?

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