The Show-Stealers

July 22nd, 2017

More takes from JoeBucsFan Saturday columnist Gil Arcia


Training Camp in just under a week!

You’re beginning to smell the fresh cut grass at One Buc Place mixed in with sounds of metal clanking as construction continues on the indoor practice facility.

Yes, the humidity is warmed up and ready to go.

Last week’s column featured some training camp position/player battles that perhaps will be the most intriguing ones that carry into the season. In this week’s Echoes From The Cave, we dive into projections/predictions for the 2017 Buccaneers season.

Jameis Winston – America’s Quarterback has thrown for over 4,000 yards in each of his first two seasons. With added weapons, look for Winston to surpass that. He may flirt with that 5,000-yard mark. Andrew Luck passed for over 4,700 yards his third season. Maybe even 40 touchdowns? The offensive line will allow Winston to reach those marks, don’t worry.

Mike Evans & DeSean Jackson – These two have been talked about like there is no other duo better in the league ever — since Jackson was signed in March. Don’t believe me? Ask NFL Network reporters and anchors. This season, the two can share 1,000-yard-plus seasons with 10-plus touchdowns each. There was another Jackson back in 2014 that shared a 1,000-yard season with Evans, but he only recorded two touchdowns.

O.J. Howard – Howard enters his rookie season with lots of promise. He averaged just over 15 yards per reception while at Alabama and will undoubtedly try to match that in his first year in the NFL. I think there is a strong chance it happens.

The Corners – There is no way I’d talk up Brent Grimes and leave out Vernon Hargreaves. Some are ready to label Hargreaves a bust while labeling Grimes too old. Those takes couldn’t be further from the truth. Look for Hargreaves and Grimes to be guys quarterbacks want to avoid as the season goes on. Both can potentially get over five interceptions, easy.

Kwon Alexander – I really don’t know what to say. Alexander appears to be more motivated this offseason than ever before. His disrespect in the recognition column ends this season, and there is one way describe his 2017 campaign: All-Pro.

The Bucs also will see the spotlight shine over the defensive line and the running backs. They will see names like Noah Spence at defensive end and Jacquizz Rodgers at running back steal the show.

This may be one of the best seasons we have seen from Tampa Bay in quite some time.

13 Responses to “The Show-Stealers”

  1. DefenseRules Says:

    @Joe … “The offensive line will allow Winston to reach those marks, don’t worry.” Why should we be concerned about the OLine Joe? Marpet moving to center? No problem. Sweet not having played in a year and coming off a bad back? No sweat. Dotson getting up there in age and coming off a so-so year? No biggie. Donovan Smith being our only true left tackle? What could possibly go wrong? Hopefully everyone stays healthy and performs like gang-busters.

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Defense Rules……not the poster….the prediction.

    Most of the talk is about the new offense….with good reason, but I think the surprise will be our defense……the maturing of Hargreaves & Spence….addition of Baker and a healthy Jack Smith will make the difference….that coupled with another year of Mike Smith will help.
    We started to see this defense come together last year….this year, it will make the difference with the playoff bound Bucs. You heard it early from TBBF.

  3. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    Agreed Gil.

  4. DefenseRules Says:

    TBBF … Agree 100%. Personally think that the defense will gel much faster than the offense. Plus I like our defensive depth much better this year than last.

  5. Fred E. Bucs Says:

    My only worries are depth at DT and LB. Are Siliga and (roookie) Stevie Tu able to spot McDonald and McCoy? I am hoping that Stevie turns out to be draft steal…I’d bet he will already be a fan favorite before camp ends and an “MVP” during preseason games, so to speak. We will see a lot of him. Remember, this is low round pick who lived out of his car, etc. I want to see him really flash.

    Who among Glanton, Bond, and Lynch will be a starter at LB? Are they starter caliber? What do you guys think?

    At CB, I feel pretty good with McClain to go with Hargraves and Grimes. In fact I feel REALLY good about that.

    I’ve thought a lot about Safety, and am betting Conte starts initially (at camp) over Evans. I know a lot of guys don’t like Conte, but Justin Evans is going to have to earn the job–so that camp competition will be important to watch, and love him or hate him, Conte will be a good mentor for Evans. Yes, I do hope Evans wins it–it is only a good news story from there. But Conte is a fearless, experienced guy whom the Bucs need right now, even if it’s mentoring and backup. So not worried on Safety.

    Knock on wood. Just want to get through the next week where players whooping it out one last time (C’mon guys, no guns or drugs or DUIs or domesitic violence…please), and then through pre-season without major dings.

  6. stpetebucsfan Says:

    This team is so close…..are we there yet? Minny or bust.

    We not only have talent at the starting positions we are finally even beginning to develop some decent depth.

  7. SB Says:

    Howdy fellas. I’m so stoked for this season

  8. RayJameisStadium Says:

    We are about to see one of the most balanced Buccaneer team in it history.

    The running game and the defense could make this team the most balanced Buccaneer team ever.

    Expect Different!

    Koetter will be holding the Lombardi trophy next to the Glazer Brothers in February at the Super Bowl!

    Go Bucs!!!

  9. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Speaking for Pablo

    “Pablo misses Howard Hones….but having Hacquis Smith & George Hhonson will have to do.”

  10. Danati74 Says:

    What happen to Howard Honez?

  11. Pickgrin Says:

    HO JO was nor re-signed Danati

    I think this team will be very hard to beat in 2017 – IF the Oline and Dline can both do their jobs as units at least moderately well. And IF the injury bug stays away. Our depth across the board is not good enough to get us to the Super Bowl – but I believe our starters are that talented as a whole.

  12. Gilhealy Says:

    Gil, that’s exactly the dealio. Tampa’s got a bad a$$ team with a lot of swag. I gotta say, if we go light on injuries, this will be a special year.

  13. Locked In Says:

    I think how injuries play out are going to determine a lot this year. We know some players will go down, we’ll see how the rest of the team responds to them.