Looking back at the Bucs’ win over Miami

by Gary Shelton on August 18, 2019 · 0 comments

in general, NFL, Tampa Bay Bucs

Griffin has been sharp./TIM WIRT

5 Observations

1. As much as Bruce Arians wants to keep Cairo Santos in the argument, Matt Gay has his kicking competition won. Santos was an insurance policy in case Gay Aguayoed, but unless the team finds an injury with Santos, it's over.

2. Maybe it's just me, but I would consider Ryan Griffin in an even battle for the No. 2 quarterback position. Blaine Gabbert isn't exactly untouchable.

3. Tanner Hudson doesn't block well enough, which is the primary skill a backup tight end needs. But he catches it so well that I keep him around.

4. Three Dolphin quarterbacks had a rating of just 62.8 Friday night, and two of them are potential starters. Maybe this secondary should play Miami all of the time.

5. Can we just start the regular season now?

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Could Dean help out the secondary?/TIM WIRT

5 of the Best Takes

Tight end Tanner Hudson cracks the list two weeks in a row now as his chances of not only making the team, but beating out Antony Auclair as the Buccaneers’ third tight end continue to increase. Hudson was absolutely vital for the Buccaneers’ game winning field goal and scored the go-ahead touchdown two drives before.

In addition to single-handedly putting the Buccaneers in field goal range with 45 yards receiving in the matter of 18 seconds, Hudson caught his second touchdown pass of the preseason on a four yard reception with three and a half minutes to go in the game that put the Buccaneers on top. The 2018 undrafted free agent from Southern Arkansas is forcing his way onto the Buccaneers’ roster with a strong showing in the preseason.

As the Browns travel to Raymond James Stadium next week, keep a close eye out to see if Hudson can carry the momentum into week three of the preseason.

-- Pro Football Focus

One of the more underrated signings in the entire National Football League this offseason was the signing of Shaquil Barrett by the Buccaneers. After five seasons of contributing behind superstars with the Denver Broncos and grading out well, Barrett is ready to take on a more significant role with the pewter and red.

Last night he recorded his first sack as a Buccaneer as he came unblocked off the edge with a great bend to cut down his path to the quarterback. This should be the first of many for Barrett who, with the right opportunity, could become a force off the edge for the Buccaneers.

In his five seasons with the Broncos, Barrett tallied a total of 14 sacks, 25 tackles for loss, and 35 hits on opposing quarterbacks. As a former undrafted free agent out of Colorado State, Barrett has put together quite the productive career thus far and looks to take his game to the next level in Tampa Bay this year.

While Carl Nassib and Noah Spence are listed as the starters for the Buccaneers on the edge right now, it will not be a shock to see him jump one of the two by week one of the regular season. Regardless, Barrett will see the most playing time this season than he ever has in his career, and he has earned it.

-- Pro Football Focus

It has not been a well-kept secret that neither Ronald Jones nor Peyton Barber are particularly adept at catching passes out of the backfield. That is why the Buccaneers brought in running back Andre Ellington this offseason; however another running back currently on the roster may beat the veteran out for the third down back job.

Dare Ogunbowale continues to thrive as a receiving back out of the backfield as he finished the game against the Dolphins last night with three catches for 54 receiving yards, including a catch and run of 41 yards. Ogunbowale, while his yards per carry remain relatively low running behind backup offensive lineman, also leads the Buccaneers in rushing this preseason as well.

Younger than Ellington, Ogunbowale has now played himself firmly in the conversation to win the third-down back role for the Buccaneers and it would not be shocking in the least bit to see him win it. Ogunbowale is in his third year out of the University of Wisconsin where he ran behind Melvin Gordon.

Expect Ogunbowale to continue to get the bulk of carries moving forward for the Buccaneers as undrafted rookie Bruce Anderson continues to struggle and as Jones and Barber rest with the starters. If he continues to thrive like he did last night and has in practice, count on Ogunbowale to make the final roster.

-- Pro Football Focus

After missing the first preseason game last week with an injury, rookie cornerback Jamel Dean did not disappoint last night against Miami. He finished with an interception in the endzone as the Dolphins were threatening to score, and he dropped another pick after putting himself in great position.

Dean was one of two cornerbacks selected by the Buccaneers on day-two of the NFL Draft last April, and quite frankly, he has outplayed Sean Murphy-Bunting thus far through the preseason. With massive size for a cornerback, if he wins the job as the third cornerback, it can be expected that Vernon Hargreaves would slide into the nickel and Dean would be a bully outside the numbers.

At the combine, Dean ran a blazing 4.3 second 40 yard dash with an astounding 41 inch vertical jump and nearly 11 foot broad jump. He is coming off of a couple knee injuries while in college, but has been healthy for a year now and looks to be holding his 6-1 and 206 pound frame well.

In addition to the interception, Dean tallied two additional pass breakups and two solo tackles. The rookie out of Auburn is absolutely an athletic freak and physical specimen; if he can fine tune his skills in Tampa Bay, he has all of the makings of a lockdown cornerback.

-- Pro Football Focus

Okay Buccaneers fans, try your best to control your emotions, but we are now halfway through the preseason without a missed field goal. While drafting a special teamer is not a wise idea as most of the kickers in the league are undrafted free agent additions, the Buccaneers may have gotten lucky with fifth round pick Matt Gay.

Gay has been booming kicks from well over 50 yards in practice, including a 65 yarder, and has yet to miss a kick this preseason. Last night Gay nailed a high pressure 48 yard game winning kick for the Buccaneers with six seconds left in the game; additionally he made a 32 yard field goal and made his one extra point attempt as well.

While the Buccaneers have been pushing the agenda of a kicking competition between Gay and veteran Cairo Santos this offseason, it has been apparent that the job has been Gay’s from the start. Even if the job has been Gay’s from the very beginning, he has proven that he deserves the job as well this summer.

His performance that included the game winner this week comes on the heels of a game last week against the Steelers where he split the uprights on a 55 yard attempt as well. Gay has now hit a field goal in the 30, 40, and 50 yard range this preseason as he continues to separate from Santos; the Buccaneers may have finally solved their kicking problem that has plagued them for years.

-- Pro Football Focus

Could Gay be a keeper?/TIM WIRT

Game Balls

Offense: Should we just name this award for Ryan Griffin? The kid is having a ball, throwing for 500-plus yards in two weeks and leading his team to late scores. He won't play, but if he did, you wouldn't feel badly about it.

Defense: So far, the preseason has hinted that this secondary is a lot better when Dean is in it. It was his interception that started the comeback, remember?

Special teams: There is a difference to Matt Gay. I know he'll go through valleys -- don't all kickers -- but he seems to have the stuff to deal with it.

Blaine Gabbert hopes to hold onto No. 2./TIM WIRT


Quarterbacks: Neither Jameis Winston nor Blaine Gabbert were as sharp as they were in week one, but the weather has to be taken into consideration. Grade: B-.

Running backs: The Bucs averaged just 2.7 yards per carry, which is kind of where we came in. Peyton Barber and Ronald Jones II have shown flashes, though. Grade: C+.

Offensive line: Four sacks and a 2.7 rushing average is not a good night. Grade: C.

Defensive line: The Bucs got four sacks of their own and, except for Miami's late touchdown drive, seemed to be in control. Grade: B.

Linebackers: I'm still waiting for that keeper play by rookie Devin White, but Shaq Barrett was good. Grade: B.

Secondary: The Bucs were better against the Dolphins, and Jamel Dean looked like he could be good. Grade: B.

Bradley Pinion averaged 44.4 yards per punt./TIM WIRT

5 Unsung Heroes

1. Demone Harris, linebacker: Had two tackles for losses, including a sack.

2. Shaq Barnett, linebacker: A sack and a constant pressure.

3. Tanner Hudson, tight end: Caught six passes for 93 yards.

4. Brandon Pinion, punter: With all the talk of the field goal kickers, don't forget about Pinion, who averaged 44.4 yards on seven punts.

5. Bobo Wilson, wide receiver: Wilson had catches of 30 yards and 18 to help the Bucs move. Since he returns kicks, he could compete for the last receiver spot.

The Bucs have taken their time with White./TIM WIRT

5 Best Newcomers (So Far)

1. Bruce Arians, coach

2. Matt Gay, kicker

3. Tanner Hudson, tight end

4. Shaq Barrett, linebacker

5. Jamel Dean, cornerback

Bucs are third in offense behind coordinator Byron Leftwich./TIM WIRT

Fun With Numbers

1. Halfway through the preseason, Ryan Griffin is far away the best passer in the NFL. He has 531 yards, far ahead of (ex-Buc) Mike Glennon's 375.

2. Tanner Hudson leads the NFL in receiving with 13 catches. His 177 yards also leads the league. And he's turned the play into "third and Tanner."

3. The Bucs are tied for third with the Giants in offense. How many "g's" in juggernaut?

4. The Bucs are 17th in team defense.

5. Matt Gay is tied for sixth in field goal kicking.

Wilson had two big catches for Bucs./TIM WIRT

5 Thoughts

1. Bruce Arians seems to be very good at challenges.

2. Ryan Griffin is now the new King of Preseason, replacing former running back Earnest Graham. In four preseasons, he now has thrown for 1,536 yards. In six previous seasons, however, he has yet to throw a regular-season pass.

3. It strikes me that Jason Licht had to have some nerve to draft a kicker in Matt Gay. He had botched the pick of Roberto Aguayo by trading up to get him in the second round, then dumping him after one disappointing year. If it were me, I never would have drafted another kicker in the history of ever. But Gay seems like a very good gamble.

4. The only thing that's really wrong with the Bucs' Ring of Honor is that there haven't been enough recent contenders for it.

5. The Bucs announced that general manager Jason Licht has been retained. Oh. I thought they said he had been retrained.

Kevin Minter has played well./TIM WIRT

The Last Turnaround

2004                                                                           2018

Gruden            Coach           Arians

5-11            Previous Season       5-11

11-5             Next Season          n/a

Simms, Griese     Quarterback       Winston

Cadillac Williams    Running back  Peyton Barber

Joey Galloway        Receiver      Mike Evans

Ronde Barber         Best defender Lavonte David

Tanner Hudson has had a great camp./TIM WIRT

Looking Ahead

5 Great Browns

1. Jim Brown

2. Paul Brown

3. Otto Graham

4. Marion Motley

5. Paul Warfield

Mayfield was efficient last year./JEFFREY S. KING

5 Good Browns (current)

1. Odell Beckham Jr.

2. Myles Garrett

3. Baker Mayfield

4. Joe Bitonio

5. Nick Chubb

Alex Cappa hopes to start./TIM WIRT

Tale of the Tape

          Browns                                                      Bucs

7                      Coaches since '08            6

0                      Playoff wins since '03      0

Jeff Garcia            Underachieving QB       Jeff Garcia

0-16 (2017)              Worst season            0-14 (1976)





Breshad Perriman hasn't made an impact yet./TIM WIRT

5 Bucs Who Could Break Out

1. Mike Evans

2. Devin White

3. Breshard Perriman

4. Jameis Winston

5. O.J. Howard

Arians wins the review call on pass interference


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