What Bucs Position Will Exceed Expectations This Year?


For this weekend’s Pewter Report Roundtable, the crew tackles one other robust query. This week’s immediate: “Which Bucs place group will exceed expectations in 2022?”

Scott Reynolds: I Assume The Bucs RBs Will Flip Into A Crew Energy

Everybody is aware of that Bruce Arians/Byron Leftwich’s offense is run by means of the extensive receivers. It’s a large receiver-based offense, and that’s a giant purpose why Tom Brady wished to signal with the Bucs in 2020. With that being mentioned, I believe the working backs will step to the forefront this yr, particularly if Rob Gronkowski doesn’t return. With out Gronk, Tampa Bay’s tight finish place is common at finest. And that relies upon largely on how rookie Cade Otton develops. The extensive receivers will nonetheless see nearly all of balls from Tom Brady. However the re-signing of Leonard Fournette and the addition of Rachaad White modifications every part.

Bucs RB Leonard Fournette – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

The working backs may choose up the slack within the passing recreation, particularly now that Ronald Jones II is gone. Fournette confirmed he’s able to being a three-down again, and White excelled within the passing recreation in faculty. Giovani Bernard is again as an skilled third-down again. And Ke’Shawn Vaughn has made strides as a receiver this offseason. Brady can have loads of targets for his outlet receivers, however we may see Fournette and White line up out extensive or within the slot from time to time to create some mismatches.

And don’t overlook that Fournette averaged a wholesome 4.5 yards per carry final yr. That earned him a wealthy contract value $7 million per yr. The Bucs have 7 million incentives to get him his carries, too. With the Bucs buying and selling for proper guard Shaq Mason, an distinctive run blocker, Tampa Bay could be inclined to run the ball extra. Head coach Todd Bowles may worth the working recreation greater than Arians did. That can solely showcase the likes of Fournette – and the opposite backs – a bit greater than final yr.

Matt Matera: It’s A Rebound 12 months For The Bucs Inside Linebackers

I’m fairly positive it’s secure to say that Lavonte David and Devin White didn’t meet expectations final yr. To be honest, we maintain the duo in such excessive regard that their degree of play is held to a better diploma than others, however due to that it left us wanting extra. The factor that was lacking was the splash performs, and I believe the group will get again to that this yr with some contributions from the backups as nicely.

Bucs ILB Lavonte David

Bucs ILB Lavonte David – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

Neither David or White had an interception final season. David additionally had a profession low 5 tackles for loss whereas White didn’t have a compelled fumble regardless of enjoying in each recreation. Accidents had been a difficulty for David, forcing him to overlook 5 video games. That left White on his personal because the chief. There’s no questioning the athleticism and expertise that White has, however typically he can get in his personal method by over pursuing and basically being that Bull in a China store. White additionally admitted he can play higher and has already taken measures to take action.Collectively, they’re two of the perfect within the recreation to do it, and so they’re getting extra assist this yr from the teaching workers.

One of many modifications for the Bucs on the teaching workers is shifting Larry Foote from exterior linebackers coach to inside linebackers. It’ll actually profit David and White to have a brand new voice of their ear. Foote will bluntly provide the reality. That’s precisely what they want. With a brand new coach in and a contemporary perspective, the splash performs will get going for them. I’m additionally keen to look at Okay.J. Britt and Grant Stuard this season. Britt labored quite a bit as a prime inside linebacker throughout mini-camp with David out. I’m curious to see if he can take it to the following degree if he needed to fill in. Stuard was the perfect particular groups participant for the Bucs, we’ll see if he’ll stick with it and get some nationwide recognition for it.

J.C. Allen: Edge Rushers Ought to Feast

Final season the surface linebacker group produced simply 23 sacks for the Bucs. This yr ought to be a totally completely different story. Jason Pierre-Paul was mired by damage and solely compiled 2.5 sacks. Shaq Barrett missed three video games and completed with 10 sacks, whereas then rookie Joe Tryon-Shoyinka notched simply 4 sacks in a component time position as he acclimated to the NFL. The most important shock was Anthony Nelson taking a leap in his improvement and including 5 sacks of his personal. Cam Gill tallied 1.5 sacks himself.

Bucs OLB Shaquil Barrett

Bucs OLB Shaquil Barrett – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

The 23 sacks in 2021 ought to be absolutely the flooring for the Bucs this yr. With a full time position in retailer for JTS, and a swap again to the best aspect for Barrett, 23 sacks between the pair ought to truly be their flooring as nicely. When Barrett final performed on the best aspect of the protection in a full time capability he had his finest season racking up 19.5 sacks. Now I’m not saying that ought to be the benchmark for his manufacturing in 2022. However I don’t assume that 15 is an unreasonable quantity to realize. particularly if he’s wholesome for a full season.

Tryon-Shoyinka confirmed flashes of brilliance final yr subbing in for Pierre-Paul. He has a full yr within the system beneath his belt and has remodeled his physique over the offseason. He additionally has an understanding of what it takes to play a full 17 -plus recreation season. With that, 10 sacks ought to be an achievable quantity for him. Particularly in case you contemplate the large boys up entrance consuming blockers in Vita Vea and Akiem Hicks. Add in related manufacturing from Nelson and Gill and this unit may attain 30 sacks alone. Which might go a good distance in the direction of reaching 50 whole group sacks on the season.

Josh Queipo: Bucs Inside Defensive Line Is Poised For A Breakout

When elite expertise meets with good depth you are likely to see expectations exceeded.  That’s what the Bucs have with their inside defensive position. Vita Vea was just lately ranked within the prime 10 of all defensive tackles within the NFL. Akiem Hicks continues to be a monster when wholesome. Rookie Logan Corridor has obtained infinite quantities of reward throughout OTA’s. Will Gholston is coming off of among the finest seasons of his profession.

Bucs NT Vita Vea and DT Akiem Hicks

Bucs NT Vita Vea and DT Akiem Hicks – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

That’s 4 deep on the place. And it’s youthful than a yr in the past when Ndamukong Suh was 34 and reserve Steve McLendon was 35. When wholesome, Hicks nonetheless has loads of juice at age 32. And Corridor is a decade youthful in age. This might coalesce for the makings of a dominant unit that builds on its unimaginable run protection.

The Bucs D-line may begin including massive sack numbers as nicely. Final yr the Bucs inside mixed for 15.5 sacks. It’s not unreasonable to see this group rising that quantity into the 20-25 vary. And if that occurs the Bucs could be nicely on their strategy to attending to that elusive 50 sack quantity they’ve been oh so near over the previous three seasons.

Bailey Adams: Bucs Safeties Received’t Skip A Beat In 2022

The Bucs have seen quite a lot of place teams affected by turnover this offseason. Security is not any exception, with Jordan Whitehead leaving in free company to signal with the Jets. The extent of run assist he introduced from the again finish of the protection made a significant distinction for Tampa Bay, and it isn’t one thing that’s simply changed. With the 2018 fourth-round select the door, there are questions on how the safeties will fare in 2022. The unit is lead by Professional Bowler Antoine Winfield, Jr., however past Winfield, that’s the place doubts may are available for some.

Bucs S Mike Edwards

Bucs S Mike Edwards – Photograph by: USA In the present day

As necessary as Whitehead was for the Bucs during the last couple of years, the group can nonetheless count on quite a bit out of their safeties. Winfield may very nicely go from Professional Bowl degree to All-Professional standing in 2022. Mike Edwards is probably not the kind of run defender that Whitehead is, however he’s a ballhawk. As a reserve security, Edwards confirmed a knack for making affect performs. If he can proceed to take action, Tampa Bay may get much more manufacturing from its safeties this yr. Provided that Winfield is the prototypical “do-it-all” security, it offers Todd Bowles and his workers choices for tips on how to finest make use of Edwards.

Tampa Bay introduced in two newcomers this offseason to spice up the again finish of its protection. Keanu Neal is a confirmed commodity, even coming off of a down yr enjoying linebacker in Dallas. The previous Falcon has confirmed to be a drive when wholesome, particularly towards the run. In the meantime, Logan Ryan can fill in at security is required as nicely. That can show priceless for the Bucs. Troy Warner is one other title to look at again there, as safeties coach Nick Rapone talked about him as a man who they count on to enhance in his second yr in Tampa Bay’s protection. As troublesome as it’d’ve been to see Whitehead go, I believe the Bucs have the items to get even higher on the security place in 2022, exceeding expectations within the course of.

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