Player Of The Game?

August 20th, 2018

Impressive night. (Photo courtesy of

If there is one thing the Bucs need, it’s for these rookie corners to get healthy.

Saturday night, Carlton Davis did not dress. Fellow rookie and fellow second-round pick M.J. Stewart did dress and he started.

And he balled out.

In fact, Stewart played so well that ESPN’s Jenna Laine thought he was the best Bucs player on the field.

Bucs player of the game for me: rookie cornerback MJ Stewart, who had two forced fumbles. He left the game with a foot injury and did not return, but his impact was certainly felt — his second turnover gave the Bucs a chance to run their two-minute offense before the half, which Jameis Winston did successfully with a 10-play, 72-yard drive.

Stewart may have been the best Bucs defensive player but it is awfully hard to dismiss the performance of America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston. If Joe’s memory is right, Jameis only had one bad pass for an incompletion. And one could argue Jameis’ worst pass went for a touchdown.

Joe knows one thing after watching two preseason games. These rookie corners must get healthy because there is no way in hell Ryan Smith can be allowed to start another game.

18 Responses to “Player Of The Game?”

  1. Reality-is-a-Beotch Says:

    If this team has to rely on vh3bust or ryan smith another basement title is guaranteed. In addition, draft talk will start week 5…. defense is going to suck against the run until gmc ends up on IR so the rookies must play well to offset soft dline

  2. firethecannons Says:

    on board with all of this–NO to Ryan Smith and Yes to MJ Stewart in the slot and VH3 on the bench as backup

  3. gp Says:

    The best man will play and hopefully ball out
    I’m pulling for the whole team

  4. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    Amen Joe!
    Ryan Smith makes Myron Lewis look good.
    It was either the first or second run play and they ran right at him. The receiver ran straight up the field and Smith just sprinted with him as the ball carrier ran to the void he just made. I just shook my head. No awareness.

    Another play he didn’t get his head around on a deep ball until way too late. Luckily it was an awful throw by Mariota that saved him.

    Final observation, 3rd and 2or3 and Ryan smith is 11yards off. What chance does he have? I was rooting for him but i have since written him off.

    Stewart looks mentally sharp and scrappy. Davis looks long and physical. Smith looks timid and unaware.
    I’ll take these rooks all day.
    Go BUCS!!

  5. Marc Says:

    “Ryan Smith makes Myron Lewis look good”

    LMAO, good one

  6. Blackmagic00 Says:

    Love this site and team. Thank you Joe’s for everything. Half this fan base though? Been here since the beginning and reading al comments as well. Done with the comment portion, but will still keep reading. Half of this fan base is nothing but haters. People who probably go home after work and get abused by their wives, then come here and take it all out on their keyboards while going through a box of tissue.

    Winston will prevail and the rest of the team will go with him! Go Bucs!!!!

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    Will admit Joe that I’m down on Ryan Smith too. Really felt that it was starting to click for him somewhat at the end of last season, but this preseason he’s looked awful. As we saw last week against Miami, our opponents will pick on him all night long until he shows that he can handle himself (and so far that isn’t happening). Either Davis or Stewart will end up starting opposite Brent Grimes IMO. Still hope however that Licht picks up a veteran CB before we kick off the real season.

  8. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Personally, I’m not ready to completely write Ryan Smith off. Last week, he had the best game of all defensive backs, even though everyone here thinks he was the worst. But the numbers don’t lie. I have not taken a close look at the numbers for this week yet.

    But Ronde Barber said it best. MJ Stewart has excellent ball awareness thus far.If he keeps it up, I don’t see how we cannot start him. Davis may not get turnovers as much, but he’s a decent shutdown CB.

    Assuming the two of them continue to do well, I think the 2019_CB starters will be Davis, Stewart and VHIII. (Yes, slot is as important as the outside under the new rules)

  9. teacherman777 Says:

    MJ is not an elite athlete.

    But he is an elite MIND inside of an athlete.

    Ronde made his career by being SMART.

    MJ is a very AWARE of the field and other players.

    And he’s fearless. Like Ronde.

    Go Bucs!!!

    Love you MJ!!!

    Ball out BOOOIIIIII!!!!

  10. Buc4L Says:


    I’m with you!!! Haters go home!!!


  11. Godeep66 Says:

    Joe: Hiw about some props for the kicker? After all, there are many clowns on this site that blame last year’s kicker for a couple of the losses.

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The only one who survives without injury seems to be Ryan Smith……VH3 out……MJ Stewart…foot…..Carlton Davis out & didn’t play…..saving Grimes….
    Whitehead….shoulder. I agree he lacks a great deal….but he does seem to stay happy…

    Looking at the good….he does tackle.

  13. Pickgrin Says:

    Bonzai Says: – “Ryan Smith – Last week, he had the best game of all defensive backs, even though everyone here thinks he was the worst”

    Tbbf Says – “Looking at the good….he does tackle”

    Best game last week? Ryan Smith? Why Bonzai? – because he had tackles on the stat sheet?? Carlton Davis was tackling – but he was also defending and batting down passes for INCOMPLETIONS- Ryan Smith was tackling receivers AFTER the catch (and run). At least he WAS tackling like tbbf said – but wouldn’t passes successfully defended against be much better than tackling downfield??

    The reason Smith had a lot of tackles on the stat sheet last week was because he played quite a bit – and was repeatedly targeted as the CB on the field who COULDN’T defend passes.

    Stewart and Davis already look like real CBs capable of getting the job done on an NFL field. Ryan Smith is still trying to get to that point.

  14. Bucsfanman Says:

    The rookies are looking good. That’s a good sign for this defense. Grimes is aging and will need to be replaced, we’re HOPING that VHIII somehow resurrects his career, and Ryan Smith has been inconsistent. We kind of needed them to be good.

  15. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    Yeah and there’s alot of clowns up here that put all of our losses on Jameis even though it’s a team sport Mr. Magoo!

  16. Bucamania Says:

    MJ may not be an elite athlete but he’s a damn good football player. I’ll take that every day. Whitehead appears to be both. We’ll see. I’m excited about the rooks replacing Ryan Smith, VH3, and Conte.

  17. Bucamania Says:

    Ryan Smith has the best game last week – whaaaa? Anyone who watched the game saw him targeted and abused all game. Carlton Davis and Whitehead played lights out.

  18. Cobraboy Says:

    Any word on the injury situation?