SR’s Fab 5 is a set of reporting and evaluation on the Bucs from yours actually, Pewter Report’s Scott Reynolds. Listed here are 4 issues that caught my consideration this week, plus some random tidbits in my Buc Pictures part on the finish. Take pleasure in!
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FAB 1. Bucs Losing A Likelihood To Discover Out About Trask
Welcome to 2023, the place my SR’s Fab 5 columns can be a bit of skinnier – similar to a New Yr’s decision. Hopefully you’ll get pleasure from SR’s Fab 5 columns which can be faster to learn and full of extra opinion, perception, professional evaluation and inside scoop than ever earlier than.
The Bucs are losing a golden alternative by not beginning Kyle Trask towards the Falcons in Atlanta on Sunday.
I do know the Bucs need to maintain their foot on the gasoline and end the 2022 common season with a profitable report – to not point out the momentum of a three-game profitable streak. However it is a prime alternative to take a glimpse into the post-Tom Brady future, which might be as quickly because the 2023 season, and get a very good take a look at the crew’s second-round decide in 2021.
We’ve seen Trask play the vast majority of preseason video games. We’ve seen him get the No. 2 QB reps in coaching camp behind Blaine Gabbert when Brady took a 10-day hiatus this summer time.
However what we haven’t seen is Trask obtain move safety from the likes of tackles Tristan Wirfs and Donovan Smith, nor have we seen him throw the ball to Mike Evans or Chris Godwin. Likelihood is, we could not even see that subsequent August even when Brady doesn’t return to Tampa Bay, because the Bucs could attempt to purchase a veteran quarterback as a result of they don’t know the way Trask will fare as a starting-caliber QB.
So, why not use Sunday’s sport at Atlanta to attempt to discover out what Trask can and might’t do?
We already know that Trask seems mediocre surrounded by mediocre expertise within the second halves of preseason video games. He accomplished 29-of-55 passes (52.7%) for 312 yards with one landing and two interceptions as a rookie in his first preseason whereas being sacked 5 occasions. This previous August, Trask accomplished 43-of-67 passes (64.2%) for 457 yards with one TD and a pair of picks whereas being sacked seven occasions.
Wouldn’t it’s one thing if he threw a pair of touchdowns to Evans or Godwin and earned a win over the Falcons in his first actual NFL begin? The Bucs would have the possibility to really feel higher concerning the QB place transferring ahead with out Brady when that occurs.
Conversely, if Trask seems terrible within the beginning lineup, then it may be a crimson flag to the crew to begin waving the white flag on the previous Gators star by discovering a succesful veteran to guide the crew within the interim post-Brady – and spending one other draft decide on one other developmental QB of the longer term.
“Since he’s been right here, each time I look out my window, he’s on the market engaged on his personal,” Bowles mentioned of Trask on Wednesday. “He has the best resolve and toughness and interior power nearly than any individual I’ve seen. A younger man popping out – he prepares day-after-day.
“When his time comes, he’s going to be prepared as a result of I see him working at it day-after-day. He has interior toughness, he has interior power, and he has the drive and the desire to win. If you happen to put that collectively, given the chance, I believe he’s going to make the most of it.”
Bowles ought to give Trask the chance this Sunday to see if he’s going to make the most of it by beginning him and resting Brady.
However he gained’t.
As a substitute, we’d see Trask within the second half throwing to the likes of Scotty Miller and Deven Thompkins as a substitute of Evans and Godwin and we’ll stay uncertain about his true progress and potential.
FAB 2. Bowles Undoubtedly Deserves To Return As Head Coach
I assist Todd Bowles. I do know a few of you don’t, and we are able to comply with disagree about him staying on because the Bucs head coach.
However Bowles will certainly be again in 2023 after profitable the NFC South in his first season. It doesn’t matter what occurs this Sunday in Atlanta – whether or not or not the Bucs end 8-9 or 9-8 this season – and it doesn’t matter how far the Bucs go within the playoffs.
Time will inform if Bowles can be part of the ranks of Tony Dungy, Jon Gruden and Bruce Arians, his predecessor and mentor, as an elite Bucs head coach or if he’ll be one other Dirk Koetter. You’ll do not forget that Koetter began off his Bucs head teaching profession with a positive 9-7 report in 2016 earlier than a pair of 5-11 data within the subsequent two seasons doomed his tenure.
Apart from profitable the division, the large purpose why I assist Bowles is as a result of the gamers do – all of them. Regardless of spending a lot of the season with a sub-.500 report and an offense that’s been painful to look at almost each week, the Bucs have caught collectively and fought collectively. That’s an indication of excellent teaching.
“Yeah, he’s achieved an amazing job and [I’m] simply having fun with my time with him,” Bucs quarterback Tom Brady mentioned. “Clearly, I performed towards him for fairly some time, too. He’s bought nice presence, nice management. Yeah, he does an amazing job. I believe there’s excessive expectations, he’s bought a variety of expertise and it’s been a variety of enjoyable.
“We each love soccer so I believe that’s a very good place to begin. We’re right here to win video games and be skilled, and never getting too up or too down over the course of an extended season.”
With a win towards the Falcons on Sunday the Bucs have an opportunity to complete 5-1 within the division, which is one thing that not even Arians did in his three years as Tampa Bay’s head coach. That might match Jon Gruden’s 5-1 report within the NFC South throughout the Bucs’ 2005 season when his crew went 11-5 and gained the division.
In truth, Bowles and Gruden are the one two which have gained the division of their first season as Bucs head coaches. Gruden gained the division and a Tremendous Bowl in 2002, going 4-2 within the NFC South.
Now, it hasn’t at all times gone in accordance with plan. There have been some actually irritating losses this 12 months as accidents and the roster turnover from the 2021 crew that went 13-4 have left the 2022 Bucs much less proficient than most anticipated they’d be.
However apart from profitable the division, Bowles has achieved some objectives this season that Bucs followers actually wished to see – particularly beating the Saints, which his crew did twice, and the Rams, which ended shedding streaks to each. After getting trampled for 173 yards on the bottom in a 21-3 loss at Carolina in Week 7, Bowles’ protection rebounded and held the Panthers to only 74 yards on 22 carries (3.4 avg.) within the rematch.
This season has been an adjustment for certain with Bowles taking on for Arians so late within the offseason on March 30, which was two weeks after the beginning of free company. As a result of he inherited Arians’ workers, I’d like to see Bowles get a shot to choose his personal teaching workers like each different new rent will get to do.
I count on there can be some adjustments, primarily to the offensive workers because the Bucs have struggled to run the ball in any respect – Tampa Bay ranks useless final 76.4 yards per sport – and to attain greater than 18 factors per sport. I might wager that Bowles can be seeking a brand new offensive coordinator to interchange Byron Leftwich instantly after the Bucs’ playoff run ends.
Impressively, Bowles has been a real head coach in each sense of the time period, as he hasn’t blamed the offense for losses though his protection has carried the Bucs by a lot of the season. He will get credit score for getting his gamers to stay collectively and never level the finger with the protection pitted towards the offense.
Sooner or later, Bowles must cease making personnel strikes too late, equivalent to leaving struggling rookie left guard Luke Goedeke within the beginning lineup too lengthy and never chopping return man Jaelon Darden and changing him with Deven Thompkins sooner. And Bowles’ decide at offensive coordinator in 2023 can be simply as key to the Bucs’ success as whoever strains up below heart – whether or not it’s Brady, Kyle Trask or somebody new.
Additionally, if Bowles can study from his sport administration errors this 12 months – and it looks like he’s been a bit of extra “no danger it, no biscuit” in latest weeks, which is encouraging – then I’ve religion that he could be a rattling good head coach in Tampa Bay for a while.
Like Bowles, the Bucs haven’t wavered this season. With a number of comeback victories this season, the Bucs have confirmed to be fairly resilient.
Identical to their head coach.
FAB 3. Monken Would Be A Nice Match In Tampa Bay
If you happen to’ve listened to me on the Pewter Report Podcasts, learn my Bucs Monday Mailbag columns and former SR’s Fab 5 columns, you understand how fond I’m of the concept of bringing Todd Monken again to Tampa Bay. Monken, who was a receivers coach with the Bucs in 2016-17 and the crew’s offensive coordinator below Dirk Koetter in 2018, has spent the final three seasons on the College of Georgia.
Whereas calling the performs, the Bulldogs are 36-3 below Monken since his arrival in 2020. That features a nationwide championship in 2021 and an SEC championship this season, in addition to an opportunity to defend Georgia’s nationwide title towards TCU on Monday evening.
What I like about Monken – apart from his no-nonsense teaching type, his blunt quips and attacking type of play-calling – is how he’s functioned at Georgia working for a defensive-minded head coach in Kirby Sensible. I imagine Byron Leftwich can be fired after the tip of the season, and Monken can be a perfect candidate to interchange him.
All season lengthy, Bowles has wished to run the ball higher, however Tampa Bay’s dashing assault ranks useless final within the NFL at 76.4 yards per sport, which is pathetic. Georgia has been “RB U” for a while now, placing the likes of Todd Gurley (2015), Nick Chubb (2018), Sony Michel (2018), D’Andre Swift (2020), James Cook dinner (2022) and Zamir White (2022) into the league in recent times.
So, Monken knew he had to run the ball within the SEC. However he opened up the offense by incorporating extra passing on first downs (sound engaging?) and extra play-action (sound good, Tom Brady?) to completely meld the passing sport and the working sport, which happy Sensible and has complemented Georgia’s dominant protection over time.
“Imagine me, after I’m pondering gameplan-wise, I’m fascinated with how we might be explosive — and the way we are able to run the ball and assist us be explosive all suits collectively,” Monken was quoted in The Athletic. “You’ll be able to’t management the sport when you can’t run the ball comfortably. You’ll be able to’t. You’ll be able to’t management the sport. You’ll be able to have a bunch of statistics and make it look higher and make you’re feeling higher. However when you can’t run the ball comfortably you possibly can’t win the sport. And that’s from a man that likes to throw it. My entire background is wideouts and quarterbacks. So I do need to throw it, I get pleasure from throwing it.”
This 12 months, Georgia’s offense ranks seventh nationally in yards per play after ending fourth final 12 months. That’s up from forty sixth in 2019 earlier than Monken arrived. Monken has helped flip walk-on quarterback Stetson Bennett IV right into a Heisman Trophy finalist. That’s a promising signal contemplating the Bucs may need to develop a younger quarterback in 2023 or 2024 relying on Brady’s standing.
Monken, who’s effectively regarded by the present Bucs’ brass, is making $2 million per 12 months at Georgia, so the Glazers must pony up some cash with a purpose to lure him again to Tampa Bay. However the alternative to teach Tom Brady – if the legendary QB decides to return for a fourth 12 months in crimson and pewter – could also be the most effective lure of all.
“It’s important to watch out. The grass isn’t at all times greener, and cash isn’t all the things,” Monken mentioned. “Now, I worth getting paid. Don’t get me incorrect. I don’t do that for nothing, however the actuality is you need to watch out as a result of your happiness is in profitable. It’s about profitable. It’s the combat music within the locker room. That’s what it’s about.
“Anyone that claims, ‘Hey, I’m at college A, and boy town is nice, I like it. It’s nice for my household, and we’re 4-8, and I’m completely happy as hell.’ That’s not me. I’d moderately be profitable in Alaska than shedding in San Diego.”
With Brady, the Bucs have gained for the final three years – profitable Tremendous Bowl LV in 2020 and back-to-back NFC South titles over the previous two years. Monken can convey the creativity and clutch play-calling that’s been lacking this season to not simply have the Bucs settling for division titles, however profitable one other Tremendous Bowl.
FAB 4. Bucs Want To Be Rooting For The Eagles
Philadelphia has had two weeks to clinch the NFC East division title and the No. 1 general seed within the NFC playoffs, however an harm to Professional Bowl quarterback Jalen Hurts has derailed the Eagles. A 40-34 loss at Dallas and a 20-10 loss to New Orleans – each with Gardner Minshew at QB – has opened the door for the Cowboys to win the division in Week 18.
So, why ought to Bucs followers care concerning the Cowboys and Eagles?
A win by Dallas (12-4) at Washington (7-8-1) and a loss by Philadelphia (13-3) to the New York Giants (9-6-1) would give the Cowboys the division title and ship the Eagles to Tampa Bay for the Wild Card playoffs because the No. 5 seed. As I touched on in my 2-Level Conversion column earlier this week, the Bucs shouldn’t need that to occur. So, let me increase my level.
This isn’t the identical Eagles crew that the Bucs beat at Ray-Jay final 12 months, 31-15. Hurts was sacked twice and threw two interceptions, whereas the Eagles’ dashing assault was held to 95 yards and a landing on 17 carries. This 12 months, Hurts has thrown for 22 TDs and rushed for 13 – each profession highs – whereas solely throwing 5 interceptions.
Extra importantly, Philly’s protection has racked up an absurd 68 sacks this season. 4 gamers have double-digit sacks, led by linebacker Haason Reddick’s 16. Beginning defensive linemen Josh Sweat, Javon Hargrave and Brandon Graham all have 11 sacks. Fletcher Cox, the opposite beginning defensive deal with, has seven sacks.
Tampa Bay’s offensive line, which has two banged-up tackles in Donovan Smith (foot) and Tristan Wirfs (ankle), ought to need no a part of that move rush. The truth that the Bucs can’t run the ball already makes them one-dimensional and performs into Philly’s palms.
Going through the Cowboys, whom the Bucs have overwhelmed in each the 2021 and 2022 season openers, is way more palatable. Sport-planning to cease Professional Bowlers Micah Parsons (13 sacks) and DeMarcus Lawrence (six sacks) seems simpler than making an attempt to cease 5 Eagles defenders which have accounted for 56 sacks between them.
And concentrating on slowing down CeeDee Lamb, Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliot must be much less of a problem than making an attempt to cease the dual-threat Hurts, Miles Sanders, a 1,200-yard again, and a pair of 1,000-yard receivers in A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith, who’ve 18 TDs between them.
Plus, Dallas has a historical past of choking within the playoffs and hasn’t been to the NFC Championship Sport since 1995 regardless of 11 postseason appearances since then.
So, how ‘bout them Cowboys?
FAB 5. SR’s Buc Pictures
• BRADY EXCELS IN COMEBACK VICTORIES: If you happen to’re a Tom Brady fan and also you’re not following Tom Brady Info (@TB_Facts) on Twitter, you’re lacking out. Right here’s an amazing Brady stat for you.
• BRADY WINS 19TH DIVISION TITLE: No person’s achieved it higher than Tom Brady. And chances are high, nobody will ever come shut resulting from his sustained excellence and longevity.
Tom Brady has gained his division for the nineteenth time in 21 full seasons.
The one 2 occasions he didn’t:
2002: 9-7, led NFL in TD passes
2020: 11-5, gained Tremendous Bowl pic.twitter.com/HIlqkMNgDF
— Tom Brady Info (@TB_Facts) January 1, 2023
• IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Bucs broad receiver Chris Godwin is nearing 1,000 yards and a Bucs receiving report, and Tampa Bay’s 2023 opponents are nearly recognized heading into Week 18. Learn these tales and extra on PewterReport.com.
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THIS WEEK’S PEWTER REPORT PODCASTS
• BUCS-FALCONS PREVIEWS ON THE PEWTER REPORT PODCAST: The Pewter Report Podcast is energized by CELSIUS and broadcasts 4 reside episodes every week. Subsequent week’s schedule will function PR Podcasts on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday because the Bucs finish the 2022 common season in Atlanta in a rematch towards the Falcons.
The Bucs gained their second division title in a row and Matt Matera and Scott Reynolds talk about it on a Victory Monday version of the podcast.
On Wednesday Matera and Reynolds preview the Bucs vs. Falcons sport and talk about which QBs must be taking part in.
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