How The Bucs Can Beat The Rams And Saints

Bucs OLB Shaq Barrett and NT Vita Vea – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

SR’s Fab 5 is a group of reporting and evaluation on the Bucs from yours really, Pewter Report’s Scott Reynolds. Listed here are 4 issues that caught my consideration this week, plus some random tidbits in my Buc Photographs part on the finish. Get pleasure from!

FAB 1. How The Bucs Can Beat The Rams And Saints

The final time the Bucs beat the Saints within the common season was on Sept. 9, 2018. Ryan Fitzpatrick was Tampa Bay’s quarterback and engineered a gap day, 48-40 win in New Orleans by passing for 417 yards and 4 touchdowns and speeding for an additional.

When the Bucs take the sector on Sept. 11 to tackle the Cowboys within the 2022 season opener, it is going to have been over 4 years since Tampa Bay has overwhelmed New Orleans within the common season. The Saints have seven straight wins over the Bucs.

Rams QB Matthew Stafford – Photograph by: USA In the present day

Maybe much more importantly, the Bucs have misplaced three straight to the Rams relationship again to 2020. Contemporary off beating Tampa Bay twice final yr, together with within the playoffs, Los Angeles gained Tremendous Bowl LVI. The Rams are a greater group getting into 2022 and pose an excellent greater menace to the Bucs than the Saints do. Regardless of being swept by the Saints for a 3rd straight yr in 2021, the Bucs nonetheless gained the NFC South. New Orleans didn’t make the playoffs.

After all, Tampa Bay can have two photographs to (lastly) finish the streak towards New Orleans in 2022, as they’re divisional foes. But, the Rams are on the schedule for a fourth straight season, too. They usually’ve given Todd Bowles’ protection suits.

So, what do the Bucs have to do to beat the Saints and the Rams this yr?

That query has stumped loads of the gamers I’ve requested this offseason.

“Man, that’s an excellent query – if I knew the reply ,we in all probability wouldn’t be 0-3 towards them,” security Antoine Winfield Jr. stated.

“I have no idea,” Bucs Professional Bowl outdoors linebacker Shaq Barrett stated. “Want I knew as a result of we’d have gotten it fastened a very long time in the past.”

“Actually don’t know,” cornerback Jamel Dean stated. “I simply assume that after we play these two groups, we get so emotional in direction of them that we simply don’t play our sport. We simply get undisciplined, and simply begin making some pricey errors.”

Bowles was fairly tight-lipped in regards to the shedding streak to the Rams and Saints when requested about it.

“Nicely, we knew they have been on the schedule,” Bowles stated. “We’re simply specializing in ourselves and our draft picks proper now. Once more, we’ve got issues to scrub up from these video games, in addition to different video games – even video games we gained. There shall be time to cope with that when it comes and we’ll do our homework that option to see what they’ve on us to attempt to beat them.”

Nicely, I’ve performed some homework on the Bucs’ mixed 10 consecutive losses to each the Rams and Saints. There isn’t just one factor to level at as a result of soccer is a group sport. In most of these losses, each Tampa Bay’s offense and protection haven’t performed properly.

Bucs OLBs Shaq Barrett and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka and Saints QB Taysom Hill

Bucs OLBs Shaq Barrett and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka and Saints QB Taysom Hill – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

Tampa Bay tight finish Cameron Brate thinks the Bucs have to run the ball extra successfully towards New Orleans and L.A. As I advised in a current SR’s Fab 5, he’s in all probability not fallacious.

However what about on protection in these video games?

After enthusiastic about it for a couple of seconds, Barrett truly supplied up some clues.

“Defensively, we’re not forcing turnovers sufficient, and within the video games the place we do [force] turnovers, we’re capable of be within the sport and even win the [Saints] sport,” Barrett stated. “For the Rams, it could be sacks, actually. I tackle all of it – as a result of we don’t get sacks actually after we play none of these groups. So, if we’re capable of get extra strain on the quarterback, I believe we’ll be capable to pressure turnovers, pressure fumbles and we’ll be capable to come out on prime.”

Barrett has gotten only one sack towards the Rams in 4 conferences. And that got here in 2019. He’s been held sackless within the final three video games – all Tampa Bay losses. Barrett solely has one sack within the final seven video games towards the Saints, together with the playoff win in 2020.

The shortage of sacks and interceptions has been a typical denominator within the Bucs’ common season defeats by the hands of each the Rams and the Saints since 2019. That’s when Bowles took over the protection.

Tampa Bay has solely registered six sacks in these six common season losses towards New Orleans. And extra importantly, Saints quarterbacks have had a outstanding touchdown-to-interception ratio towards Bowles’ protection. New Orleans’ quarterbacks have thrown 15 touchdowns and only one interception towards Tampa Bay’s protection in these six video games.

Conversely, the Saints protection has racked up 21 sacks in these six wins over the Bucs and created a bunch of turnovers. Jameis Winston threw 4 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, together with a pick-six, in two losses to the Saints in 2019. Tom Brady has thrown six touchdowns and eight interceptions, together with a pair of choose sixes, in 4 common season losses to New Orleans.

Bucs CB Sean Murphy-Bunting

Bucs CB Sean Murphy-Bunting – Photograph by: USA In the present day

Merely put, Dennis Allen’s protection has outplayed Bowles’ protection.

The lone Bucs’ win over the Saints got here within the 2020 Divisional Playoffs, and that has been the one time Bowles’ unit flipped the script. Whereas Tampa Bay didn’t sack Drew Brees, he solely had one landing and threw three pricey picks. Winston threw the opposite Saints TD move, but it surely wasn’t sufficient in a 30-20 Bucs victory within the Bayou.

On the opposite facet of the ball, Brady threw two TDs, no interceptions and was solely sacked as soon as within the playoff win.

Within the final three losses to the Rams, the Bucs protection has solely registered three sacks and two interceptions. In the meantime, Rams QBs Jared Goff (2020) and Matthew Stafford (2021) mixed to throw 9 touchdowns towards Tampa Bay’s protection.

Like New Orleans, L.A.’s protection has outplayed Tampa Bay’s protection. Brady has been held to simply 4 landing passes and has thrown three interceptions whereas getting sacked seven occasions in these three video games.

The lone Bucs win over the Rams with Bowles operating the protection got here in a 55-40 shootout in L.A. The distinction? It was sacks and takeaways.

Whereas Goff handed for 517 yards and a pair of touchdowns towards the Bucs, he did throw three interceptions and was sacked twice. A type of sacks resulted in a scoop-and-score landing by defensive sort out Ndamukong Suh.

Winston handed for 385 yards and 4 touchdowns and was solely sacked twice. The Rams protection did have a pick-six towards Winston, but it surely wasn’t sufficient to prevail.

Bucs LB Devin White and Rams QB Matthew Stafford

Bucs LB Devin White and Rams QB Matthew Stafford – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

Simply getting extra strain on Winston in New Orleans and on Stafford in L.A. gained’t do. Suh was proper in Stafford’s face with a strain as he rifled a 44-yard strike to Cooper Kupp to arrange the Rams’ game-winning discipline purpose within the 30-27 playoff loss again in February.

In speaking with the hosts of The Pivot Podcast, legendary Bucs Corridor of Famer Warren Sapp, top-of-the-line pass-rushing defensive tackles of all time, scoffs on the concept of simply pressuring the quarterback (4:00 mark).

“I need that quarterback. I need him to show it down,” Sapp stated. “The hits and the pounding {that a} quarterback takes – it impacts them. You’ll be able to’t inform me – the strain shit they discuss? Man, come on, man! [Quarterbacks] wakened underneath strain. Give me a rattling break. … You’re going to have to use the strain that’s you on his ass.”

The Bucs protection wants extra hits, sacks, strip-sacks and interceptions to be able to beat the Saints and the Rams this yr. It’s not the one factor Tampa Bay might want to do higher to finish the streaks, but it surely’s a giant one.

FAB 2. Sapp Loves Bucs Rookie DT Corridor

One play doesn’t win or lose a soccer sport.

However that Matthew Stafford-to-Cooper Kupp 44-yard bomb towards the Bucs’ ill-timed, all-out blitz in Tampa Bay’s 30-27 playoff loss to Los Angeles was a giant play. And it turned out to be the dagger within the Bucs’ hopes of repeating as Tremendous Bowl champions. The lasting reminiscences of that play have been Kupp getting a step on security Antoine Winfield, Jr., who was a step gradual in man protection, and Ndamukong Suh being a step away from Stafford.

Proper or fallacious, there’s a perception among the many Bucs’ brass that an inside defensive lineman that was youthful and quicker than the 35-year previous Suh might have gotten to Stafford to both hit him or sack him so he couldn’t full that deadly strike.

It’s that play that prompted former Bucs head coach Bruce Arians to say on the NFL Scouting Mix:

“For us proper now, it’s quickness,” Arians stated when requested what the Bucs want up entrance. “We’ve received energy – we’ve received loads of energy. We want some quickness within the inside move rush. We’ve received a superb outdoors move rush, so for us, it’s watching these guys and seeing whose inside move rush [fits us]. But in addition, who remains to be stout sufficient to cease the run. We don’t want one other Vita [Vea]. There’s not one other one on the market anyway. And if we get our guys again (Suh, Will Gholston, Steve McLendon), I’m positive, too. However we’d like one thing faster in there.”

Bucs DT Logan Hall

Bucs DT Logan Corridor – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

That perception manifested itself within the Bucs choosing athletic inside defensive lineman Logan Corridor on the prime of the second spherical with their first draft choose.

And it factored into the reasoning to not re-sign Suh.

Since he took the follow discipline with a Bucs helmet on, Corridor has gotten rave evaluations.

“Nicely, we like his athleticism,” Bucs head coach Todd Bowles stated of Corridor. “He’s studying how you can play together with his pads decrease – taking up double groups and understanding when to drop his knee and never simply bouncing up and speeding the passer.

“However, he’s an excellent athlete. We haven’t had that type of athlete inside shortly – since we’ve been right here. We simply sit up for him getting higher scheme-wise after which benefiting from his athleticism.”

On final week’s Pewter Report Podcast, Bucs defensive finish Will Gholston stated Corridor was “extra athletic than J.J. Watt in his prime.”

That’s slightly far-fetched, as Watt examined barely higher athletically than Corridor did when each gamers entered the NFL Draft.

It’s one factor for common supervisor Jason Licht or Bowles to gush over Corridor. They’ve a bias as a result of they picked him. Gholston is now Corridor’s teammate.

However former Bucs Corridor of Fame defensive sort out doesn’t have any stakes on this sport. Whereas Sapp bleeds purple and pewter, he wasn’t keen on Tampa Bay drafting large nostril sort out Vita Vea within the first spherical of the 2018 NFL Draft. And he nonetheless hasn’t warmed as much as Vea.

I spoke with the straight-shooting Sapp about Corridor after he was invited by Bowles to work with the rookie and different Bucs defensive linemen this week. Sapp didn’t know a lot about Corridor or his sport earlier than seeing him in individual throughout Tuesday’s OTA, however got here away actually impressed.

Bucs Hall of Fame DT Warren Sapp and D-line coaches Lori Locust and Kacy Rodgers and DE Will Gholston

Bucs Corridor of Fame DT Warren Sapp and D-line coaches Lori Locust and Kacy Rodgers and DE Will Gholston – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

“Lengthy, hostile, cell, agile and desperate to be taught,” stated Sapp, describing Corridor as a participant. “I haven’t seen a type of in a very long time within the Nationwide Soccer League. It was a pleasing shock – it completely was.”

Vea wasn’t at Tuesday’s follow to maybe change Sapp’s thoughts, however the QB Killa raved in regards to the rookie.

“They received this proper – they received this one proper,” Sapp stated. “Holy shit, they received this one proper! You already know there are some guys you meet who’re too good to hurry the passer? Not him. Who’re these NFL scout those who inform me they learn about defensive linemen after which this child falls via the cracks [to the second round]? Wow.”

Sapp has labored with Bucs defensive linemen earlier than, most notably Gerald McCoy, Tampa Bay’s first-round choose in 2010. Now, he’s excited to work with Corridor.

“That is one thing completely totally different,” Sapp stated. “Gerald reached out to me. And Gerald was at all times a fan of mine. He stated he would’ve gone to Miami if they’d’ve launched me to him (laughs)! It’s an entire totally different animal in the case of this child. I don’t even assume he is aware of who I’m! I’m joking, in fact.

“Each he and Gerald are lengthy, and each are large males – very, very large males. I haven’t been round this child lengthy, however Gerald was only a good, good man (laughs). I don’t sense the niceness out of this child. He’s received some dawg in him – like he needs to chew. You get that from him straight away. He needs to chew! He needs to be taught. That’s the factor I like about him. He doesn’t have all of the solutions – however he needs to. And that’s what you’re keen on.”

FAB 3. Improved Bucs’ Cross Rush Consists of Extra Batted Balls

Tampa Bay has been top-of-the-line groups within the league in the case of getting sacks. Todd Bowles’ blitz-happy scheme has produced 47 sacks in 2019, 48 sacks in 2020 and 47 once more final season.

Bowles, defensive coordinators Kacy Rodgers and Larry Foote and new outdoors linebackers coach Bob Sanders are arduous at work making an attempt to enhance the gamers’ method to be able to surpass 50 sacks this season. However in an age of extra shotgun snaps, three-step drops, smoke routes and huge receiver screens that basically come from one-step drops, attending to the QB is more durable than ever.

Bucs NT Vita Vea

Bucs NT Vita Vea – Photograph courtesy of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay’s move rushers can nonetheless have an effect on the passer even and not using a hit or a sack, although. The coaches have put an emphasis on creating extra batted balls on the line of scrimmage this offseason.

“Nicely, it’s vital as a result of we had loads of three-step drops final yr and the ball was popping out fast,” Bowles stated. “So even in case you have been clear, you weren’t getting [to the quarterback.]. So, we’ve received to have higher emphasis on seeing the quarterback when he’s elevating up and after we can get our fingers as much as bat some extra balls down as a result of we aren’t getting there for the sack as a result of the ball is popping out too quick.”

Tampa Bay’s entrance seven batted down 16 passes on the line of scrimmage final yr, and 17 in 2020. A type of deflections by Vea wound up being intercepted by Shaquil Barrett towards Atlanta in Week 2. Barrett, who is barely 6-foot-1, has been among the many finest at batting balls at or close to the road of scrimmage over time with 13.

Bucs Batted Balls In 2021

Shaquil Barrett 4
Jason Pierre-Paul 4
Vita Vea 3
Joe Tryon-Shoyinka 3
Steve McLendon 1
Anthony Nelson 1

Bucs Batted Balls In 2021 Postseason

Joe Tryon-Shoyinka 1
Shaquil Barrett 1
Steve McLendon 1

Bucs Batted Balls In 2020

Shaquil Barrett 6
Jason Pierre-Paul 6
Will Gholston 2
Ndamukong Suh 2
Anthony Nelson 1

Bucs Batted Balls In 2020 Postseason

Jason Pierre-Paul 3

Bucs Batted Balls In 2019

Ndamukong Suh 4
Vita Vea 3
Will Gholston 2
Shaq Barrett 2
Anthony Nelson 1

Former Bucs DT Ndamukong Suh and OLB Jason Pierre-Paul

Former Bucs DT Ndamukong Suh and OLB Jason Pierre-Paul – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

Six-foot-5 outdoors linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul, who’s 33, wasn’t re-signed this offseason. However like Barrett, he was among the many main defensive linemen at batting down passes with 13 during the last two years, together with the postseason.

Tampa Bay’s main rotation up entrance consists of some giants, together with rookie defensive sort out Logan Corridor, who’s 6-foot-6. Corridor joins outdoors linebackers Joe Tryon-Shoyinka (6-5) and Anthony Nelson (6-7), nostril sort out Vita Vea, defensive finish Will Gholston (6-6) and new defensive sort out Akiem Hicks (6-4) as defenders who’re 6-foot-4 or taller.

“That’s actually good size and we’ll make extra of a pitch this yr about getting our fingers up and them making an attempt to get extra batted balls,” Rodgers stated. “While you type of look, we’ve received 6-6 right here, 6-5 there, 6-4 right here, 6-6 there. We like them large and lengthy.”

FAB 4. Bucs Utilizing Bolts For Inspiration

Over the previous couple of seasons, the Bucs have appeared to the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey membership for some inspiration. Proper after the Bolts gained the 2019-20 Stanley Cup, the Bucs gained Tremendous Bowl LV in Tampa Bay. Each groups celebrated with boat parades in downtown Tampa as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.

One other boat parade adopted for the Lightning because the group gained back-to-back Stanley Cup championships final yr. The Bucs fell in need of repeating final season, shedding 30-27 to the eventual Tremendous Bowl champion Rams within the NFC Divisional Playoffs.

Bucs tight finish Cam Brate is commonly seen sporting an Alex Killorn jersey throughout hockey season. Each he and Killorn have been at Harvard on the similar time within the 2010s.

Bucs OLB Shaq Barrett

Bucs OLB Shaq Barrett – Fox TV

However there may not be a much bigger Bolts fan on the Bucs than outdoors linebacker Shaquil Barrett. The 2-time Professional Bowler brings his household to a number of Lightning video games every year, and even introduced the Lombardi Trophy to Amalie Enviornment previous to a playoff sport following the Tremendous Bowl win.

“I’m a giant Bolts fan,” Barrett stated. “My children like it. I like it, and the ambiance is superb. And they’re actually good, so it makes it simpler to be a fan, too. I like that they’re actually good. So, I really feel as if that in the event that they hold profitable and so they hold doing it, then we’ve received to do it.”

Whereas there’s a lot love between the Bucs and Bolts group, Barrett stated that the Lightning’s back-to-back championships, and the truth that they’re within the combine for a possible three-peat, does apply some strain.

“They’re bringing championships again, and I really feel like they’re placing strain on us,” Barrett stated. “I like strain and I like performing underneath strain and popping out on prime. We simply have a look at them and allow them to encourage us and get the job performed like they’re getting the job performed.”

After sweeping their division rival, the Florida Panthers, the Lightning have superior to the Jap Convention Last for a 3rd straight yr. Tampa Bay misplaced the primary sport towards the Rangers in New York, 6-2. Recreation 2 of the collection is Friday night time at Madison Sq. Backyard.

The Bolts return to Tampa for his or her first residence sport of the collection on Sunday afternoon. And if he’s on the town, there’s an opportunity Barrett could be in attendance.

FAB 5. SR’s Buc Photographs

• CONTINUITY IS KING ON THE O-LINE: Continuity is simply as vital as expertise alongside offensive traces within the NFL. The Bucs discovered that out the arduous method after they missed injured proper sort out Tristan Wirfs within the 30-27 playoff loss to the Rams. However in the course of the common season, Tampa Bay had the healthiest offensive line within the league.

• WIRFS AMONG ELITE OTs IN PASS PROTECTION: Wirfs made his first Professional Bowl and All-Professional group final yr and is taken into account among the many finest linemen within the league regardless of taking part in solely two seasons within the NFL.


• BUCS PLAYERS GUEST STAR ON THE PEWTER REPORT PODCAST: The Pewter Report Podcast is energized by CELSIUS and broadcasts 4 reside episodes every week. Pewter Report Podcasts sometimes air on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 4:00 pm EST within the offseason.

Final Thursday, Bucs defensive lineman Will Gholston was Pewter Report’s particular visitor and talked about rookie DT Logan Corridor.

Tuesday’s podcast lined the Bucs’ OTA follow and mentioned the signing of DT Akiem Hicks.

Wednesday’s present centered on what different strikes the Bucs might make, particularly at edge rusher.

Bucs huge receiver Cyril Grayson Jr. was the particular visitor on Thursday’s episode.

celsiusWatch the Pewter Report Podcasts reside on our PewterReportTV channel on and please subscribe (it’s free) and add your feedback. We archive all Pewter Report Podcasts. So, you possibly can watch the recorded episodes in case you missed them reside.

There isn’t a higher time to hearken to or watch a brand new Pewter Report Podcast – energized by CELSIUS – than Friday afternoon on the way in which residence from work. Or early Saturday morning throughout your exercise or whereas operating errands.

The recognition of the Pewter Report Podcast continues to develop. Along with listening to the Pewter Report Podcasts on, you can too subscribe to the free podcasts at PodBean by clicking right here and on SoundCloud by clicking right here. And naturally, the Pewter Report Podcast can also be accessible on iTunes and YouTube. Be sure to subscribe so that you don’t miss a single episode.


• THE END OF FITZMAGIC: Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who performed for 9 totally different NFL groups, together with Tampa Bay from 2017-18, is retiring after 17 seasons. As Pewter Report’s Bailey Adams factors out, Fitzpatrick was underneath middle for the final time the Bucs beat the Saints within the common season again in 2018.

• FITZMAGIC IN TAMPA: Listed here are among the magical highlights of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s first two wins within the 2018 season towards the Saints and the Eagles.