Vinnie Iyer Talks To Joe

July 27th, 2017

NFL scribe talks Bucs.

Yes, Joe is cleaning out his voice recorder as we inch towards training camp. Almost there, folks.

Today, Joe brings words from Vinnie Iyer, lead NFL columnist for The Sporting News.

JoeBucsFan: How do you think Dirk Koetter has done with the Bucs?

Vinnie Iyer: It was pretty solid, the one concern I would have is the way things happened in the running game with Doug Martin and that fiasco. They need to try to figure that out. I know they had some injuries there as well. I think for them to be a consistent offense and for [Jameis] Winston to get better is two things: They have to run the ball better and they have to find other guys to catch the other than Cameron Brate and Mike Evans, and they should have [with the signing of DeSean Jackson and drafting O.J. Howard].

Joe: How dangerous could this passing game be?

Iyer: I think it could be huge. The way Brate has played, I think he has surprised people with how athletic he is and how consistent he is and obviously Winston trusts him a lot. They are not that far away. Humphries is a good slot receiver, too. You saw what the Giants were able to do with Sterling Shepard.

Joe: Defense, specifically the pass rush. Yeah, it’s improved but still an issue. Still not what you would like.

Iyer: No. You would expect them to be better because they have so much talent in that front seven. It is kind of a mystery why they haven’t been that much better. I still think they could use some better help at defensive end. They are good inside with [Gerald] McCoy. I think they have lacked that [pass rush]. They have found guys that have done well at other places like Adrian Clayborn and Michael Bennett. They have to build some depth at that rotation. Imagine Michael Bennett in that mix? I think that is the key, try to find something off the edge. If you look at the way the division is going, Panthers have a lot of speed and playmakers at linebacker. Falcons got to the Super Bowl by doing that as well. New Orleans got faster there. I think they have some talent there with Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander, but I think at defensive end, they need speed off the edge, especially with the quarterbacks in the division. Those guys are not going to slow down any time soon.

Joe: Florida was founded by an adventurer in a quest to find the fountain of youth. Brent Grimes, 34, may have secretly found it. He played last season like he was 24.

Iyer: I think [the Bucs] had a nice combination with him and Vernon Hargreaves. It is something that Brent Grimes has always been defying a lot of things. He wasn’t supposed to be that good. He’s small and from a small school. And now, is he too old? I think just is a good technique player and that has always been great for him the way he recovers and can leap. [Reuniting with Mike Smith] definitely helps. I have high expectations for the Bucs but I am trying to temper them given what division they are in. Even though they have improved, they could be out [of the playoffs], just look at that division.

4 Responses to “Vinnie Iyer Talks To Joe”

  1. unbelievable Says:

    “Even though they have improved, they could be out [of the playoffs], just look at that division.”

    So true. But I think we finish 1st or 2nd in division, provided we don’t get the injury bug too bad.

    We can take NO and CAR. The Falcons will be formidable, unless they have a Super Bowl hangover from that epic collapse.

  2. Defense Rules Says:

    Very balanced analysis, and Vinnie hit several nails right on the head. Run game? Bucs still have ??? there … for now, but surely one of them will hit big time. Better receivers for Jameis? Great potential to be sure, and I’m glad he mentioned Humphries in there. Defensive ends? We should be good ‘heavy’ for stopping the run, but speedwise we’re still lacking … I think Smitty’s counting on increased pressure QB from the DLine interior. And ‘Unbelievable’, if we split with all 3 teams in our division I’ll consider that to be very good … all 3 teams match up well against the Bucs.

  3. uckinator Says:

    Yes – We are in a talented division. The optimist in me sees an (dare I say it?) old Drew Breeze. Father time is undefeated. Might take another round to KO Breeze. Atlanta is going through a super Bowl hangover (kudos to unbelievable), and Carolina has a QB coming back from injury. Yes, all of these teams are solid, but it starts and ends with the QB.

  4. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I’m well past let’s just get a winning season and reach the playoffs. That was good for LAST year.

    THIS year I honestly believe we should gun for the SB and a visit to Minny.

    IF we are in the toughest division…great! As #3 loves to say iron sharpens iron.
    I hope a real dogfight in the division toughens us for the playoffs. Unreal expectation or not…one and done in the playoffs will not thrill me. Depending how it happens it MIGHT satisfy me.