Bucs take a gamble on Brown’s talent

by Gary Shelton on October 24, 2020

in general

Saturday, 3 a.m.

All the Bucs need now is someone to turn back the calendar to 2017. If they can do that, they should be in great shape.

The Bucs are about to make their latest effort to recapture the past. According to sources, they have agreed on a one-year contract with bad boy wide receiver Antonio Brown.

It seems like a fairly safe bet. If Brown, perhaps on his last chance, can return to form, he could ease the pressure on Mike Evans and Chris

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Godwin, who have both battled injuries. And if he acts up, the team can release him with no sweat.

It can be a gamble, signing veterans with fat resumes. It is a young man's league, and by the time most stars get name recognition, their games are already on the downslide.

Still, it is a huddle that can be rich in accomplishment.

Take, for instance, the 2017 season.

That year, quarterback Tom Brady won 13 games and reached the Super Bowl (he lost to the Eagles). He threw 32 touchdowns and just eight interceptions that year and accounted for 4,557 yards.

The same year, tight end Rob Gronkowski caught 69 passes for 1,084 yards and scored eight touchdowns.

In Jacksonville, rookie Leonard Fournette rushed for 1,,040 yards and scored nine times.

And in Pittsburgh, Brown caught 101 passes for 1,533 yards and nine touchdowns.

Now they are all Bucs, as are Evans, Godwin, Jason Pierre-Paul, Lavonte David, Ndamukong Suh, Shaq Barrett and Devin White. You can add Ronald Jones II and Carlton Davis III if you wish. Call it the famous names roster. The Bucs appear to be all-in in their efforts.

Will it work? At times this season, as in last week's 38-10 win over Green Bay, it has seemed so. But the offense tends to go into slumps, and the defense still gives up too many big plays, and penalties are a problem. They remain a streaky team.

Against the Raiders, and former coach Jon Gruden, we will again see if the team can play from start to finish. The game is now at 4:25 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.

Prediction: Bucs 23, Raiders 21.

In other picks:

Louisville over FSU.

Miami over Virginia.

Pittsburgh 24, Tennessee 20.

Seattle 30, Arizona 24.

New England 20, San Francisco 17.

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