Rookies Return; 60-Percent Prayer In Effect

July 21st, 2019

Which three will it be?

It doesn’t feel official, but it is.

Training camp has kicked off for the Buccaneers’ healthy rookie class.

They reported for work today without fanfare (the Bucs didn’t invite the media) and the team snapped a few pictures you can see via their Twittering below.

Nothing stands out in the photos, but this is about the time of year when Joe has a serious discussion with the football gods and earnestly asks for three of the first five draft picks to be legitimate contributors quickly.

That kind of help didn’t come from last year’s rookies. Only one of the first five picks had a real impact: Vita Vea.

If you extend the zone to the first six 2018 rookies drafted, you could add safety Jordan Whitehead to the list. So that’s two out of six — and that could be stretching it considering how bad the secondary was. But Joe is a fan of Whitehead, who performed very well considering his fourth-round status.

In 2017, the Bucs hit the four-out-of-five mark with their rookies, and they still finished 5-11! Justin Evans looked solid. O.J. Howard put up numbers on limited targets, while Chris Godwin came on late and Kendell Beckwith looked like the real deal nearly all season.

Devin White, cornerbacks Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jamel Dean, plus safety Mike Edwards and DE Anthony Nelson are the Bucs’ first five draft picks of 2019. Joe doesn’t care how you want to carve it up, three of those five have to deliver a season worth remembering if the Bucs are going to win more than they lose this year.

Good luck, guys!

31 Responses to “Rookies Return; 60-Percent Prayer In Effect”

  1. July Joe Says:

    Devin White will be a SUPERSTAR from game 1

    I like both Bunting and Dean

    I’m not sure about anyone else

  2. July Joe Says:

    I meant to put Mike Edwards in with Bunting and Dean, I like all three of those guys.

  3. Magadude Says:

    Knock on wood, but I don’t see how it can be any worse than last year…and even then, Vita Vea missed some time and wasn’t really “ready “really until well into the season. He is one of the first guys I’ll be watching in camp. We need Whitehead to play beyond his one year experience…lots of green players back there.

  4. DanBucsfan Says:

    Daisy Mae has passed away. Devin White is gonna dedicate his season to her

  5. AwShbucs Says:

    White, SMB, Edward’s and Gay will all be day one starters and impact players. While Dean, Nelson and Miller will all be solid contributors in their roles.

    This is my highest rated Bucs draft since 2015.

  6. JimmyJack Says:


    -Devin White & VitaV become Pro Bowlers.

    -Bucs finish 11-5


    -D.Smith win the Pewtey for Most improved Buccaneer.

  7. Race to 10 Says:

    No fanfare needed since the only thing they’ve ever done to the point is sign a rookie contract. Work and make fans love you, hopefully the days of hype before doing anything are gone. I wanna see fierce competition and I think I we will now that Geraldine is gone

  8. Magadude Says:

    @JimmyJack…think if D Smith makes the squad, I fear it means we didn’t draft well, have a major injury, and that VHIII isa bust. I don’t see a slot for him. IF the past few years are an indication. He may be well improved, and that would be fine.

  9. Cobraboy Says:


    Real football.

    I look forward to daily deep dives by the Joes, Sage, and the Wonder Intern.

  10. JimmyJack Says:

    Maga I think you confused Ryan Smith. I was talking about the other Smith, Donovan.

  11. JimmyJack Says:

    For me football truely aren’t back til we actually get a taste of live action. I believe August 9 will be our first preseason game so we’re still 18 days a way in my book…….I believe that will be a ESPN game too(Bruce vs Pittsburg) so that will make it even better.

    BTW is Ronde still calling the preseason ges or is he too Hollywood for us now?

  12. Bird Says:

    I saw that too about Daisy Mae

    Hope he takes out some frustration on some QBs and running backs.

  13. dmatt Says:

    Most will underestimate this years bucs. Last yr we came out the blocks hot n on fire but due to poor coaching the Steelers who we had on the ropes out coached koetter n MSmith. In come BA n Posse with a better offense n much improved defense due to maturity experience, n speed. This team is much better than last years team. 10-6 or better.

  14. BUCnDaDDy Says:

    Thank you!🔝

  15. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    I think D White becomes a starter, they better hope he stays healthy. I don’t think any other draft picks will succeed.

    Gumpster Fire.

  16. Buc4evr Says:

    Hopefully the rookie that delivers this season will be Matt Gay. How many games have the Bucs lost in the last five years because of lousy kicking. A reliable kicker is good for at least two maybe three more winning games.

  17. Magadude Says:

    YES! I did…and was thinking through the Smiths and forgot about him. Duh, left tackle. Yes, hope D. Smith shines. We need it.

  18. Buccaroo Says:

    Nevertheless they are rookies, and it’s unfair to truly expect them to play like veteran ball players in an NFL system that is fundamentally different than college offenses and defenses. But, if the question is just a rhetorical question that can’t be used as a battering ram against rookie players because they didn’t exceed expectations, then the answer is YES it would be nice to see at least three of the five play great.

  19. Defense Rules Says:

    I don’t get it. Why think negatively about rookies NOT making it? None of our rookies has done anything yet … good OR bad … to indicate how well they’ll perform this year. Same goes for the new players we’ve signed to 1-year ‘prove-it deals’ (and there are a number of them). Same goes for Bucs players like Spence & RoJo who are trying to ‘resurrect their careers’ starting now. Root for them all to kick ass & take names. Competition is great because it benefits the TEAM.

    Cobraboy … ‘Wonder Intern’? I wonder if Zach would like that better than ‘Manbeast’. That falls into the category of ‘cruel & unusual punishment’.

  20. #1bucsfan Says:

    We need everyone to produce not just the rookies specially #3

  21. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I don’t know what to expect. But I know this: Rookies playing big on most teams is uncommon. Most teams get one in the rookie year. Occasionally, a couple teams get more.

    Second year players tend to show things, good or bad.

    Third year usually clarifies things…with the exception of quarterbacks, and assuming the players get enough game reps.

  22. BA FAN Says:

    I am looking forward to hearing all the details of the practices in pads. All our rookies stayed here without a break and learned the playbook so well they should be able to play fast without too much thinking. That will be a big advantage over our rookie classes in past years so we should get more capable rookies starting this year and not just White.

  23. isrBuc Says:

    Yet another proof that a restart is mandatory. We all know how bad drafts come back to hunt you.
    The smart thing is to stop the madness, clear house for picks and cap and start over like smart teams do.
    The worst case scenario is to have a GM who’s job is on the line and desperately trying to “win now”.

  24. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    isrBuc, restarting is a horrible idea. We have some very good players…too many to clear house.

    Good teams do NOT start from scratch every few years. They develop young players well. They don’t rely on free agents, they focus on draft and the occasional trade.

    Free agency is best used for depth or to acquire that rare player that almost never comes along (like the Saints did with Drew Brees years ago). Or sometimes to add the right final piece.

    The Bucs need two things to become winners…an above average kicker and an average or better defense. We have the offense. Really, we don’t even have to have a running game.

    The only question is cap.

    Goulston is toast. Dotson is on his final year. Those two would clear up a little cash. But…if Winston does very well this year, he’ll get 30+ million per year. That’s gonna hurt.

    But good teams have to pay for good QBs.

  25. Pete I Says:

    “But…if Winston does very well this year, he’ll get 30+ million per year. That’s gonna hurt.

    But good teams have to pay for good QBs.”

    Hahahahahahahahahaha… boy that IF looms big!

  26. Defense Rules Says:

    Well said Bonzai … right up until the ‘We have the offense’ part. We don’t know that at this point. What we do know is that last year we HAD an offense that ranked #3 in the NFL in YARDS GAINED but only #12 in POINTS SCORED. We know that it scored 396 pts last year (24.8 PPG), 2nd best in Bucs history. We also know that it’s EXPENSIVE (salary Cap-wise) and it was INCONSISTENT all git-out, scoring 28.6 PPG in the first 8 games last year but only 20.9 PPG in the last 8 games. That’s simply not good enough, especially when you lead the league in making turnovers. IOW, Bucs have a LOT of work to do on offense.

    We also have a LOT of work to do on Special Teams. For one thing, we left a lot of points on the field last year. That’s unacceptable. It appears at this point that this year’s S/Ts will be essentially all new. Presents a great opportunity, but also it’s totally unproven at this point.

    And as a certain someone (with LOTS of help) constantly reminds us, last year’s defense was horrific. A train wreck … allowed 464 points, #31 in the NFL and 2nd worst in Bucs history. But again, this year’s defense will be essentially new. New DC, new scheme, multiple new starters & backups. Presents a great opportunity for improvement, but it’s also totally unproven at this point.

    Fact is Bucs’ fans don’t know what we’ve got in this team, on offense, defense or S/Ts AT THIS POINT. Far as I’m concerned, Bucs have tremendous POTENTIAL, and that has me excited. But it’s worth nothing unless that POTENTIAL can be turned into PERFORMANCE. And there’s no easy way to make that happen as we both know. But I have faith that BA & this coaching staff can and will make that happen. How quickly it’ll all come together is open to debate, but it WILL come together.

    And here’s where I go off the cliff … the Bucs’ DEFENSE will lead the way.

  27. Defense Rules Says:

    Bonzai … Stop worrying about costs. Bucs have done a good job to date of clearing Cap space. After paying Devin White (assuming a $5.3 mil Cap hit) we should still have $3.6 mil left AT THIS POINT with all our rookies paid. Several of those rookies making less than $645K (the Top-51 cutoff right now) will most likely make the team. Thus that $3.6 mil will likely grow when the 53-man roster is completed to well over $4 mil. The present salary Cap has us paying JPP his full salary, and I doubt that’ll happen. I think he’ll go onto the NFI list and we’ll subsequently recoup $7.4 mil there.

    IOW, Bucs SHOULD have at least $11-$12 mil in salary Cap space to play with later this summer. I’d guess that we’ll keep $4 mil or so ‘in reserve’ (contingencies) so $7-$8 mil SHOULD be available for ‘upgrades’ before the season starts. That’s a veteran Guard & RB. No need to rush things yet though since they’re not on the market yet. Patience.

  28. Countrybrew Says:

    Nelson will be the quiet surprise

  29. TOM Says:

    The Bucs will go as far as Winston goes. Make or break year.

  30. m0j0 Says:

    I am very optimistic about this rookie class. They have size and speed and are getting plenty of great 1 on 1 coaching.

  31. Buc1987 Says:

    Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “I don’t know what to expect. But I know this: Rookies playing big on most teams is uncommon.”

    Except this is JBF Bonzai.

    All rookies are expected to shine in year one.