Russell Gage Is “Under The Radar”

May 19th, 2022

Russell Gage escaping people’s antennae.

Joe is legit worried about Bucs receivers. That may have been the deepest position on the team last year but when receivers went down with injuries (Chris Godwin with his knee and Antonio Brown with his head) that deep stable didn’t exactly step up and take over.

But NFL Network’s Rich Eisen is telling folks who are dismissing newcomer Russell Gage to calm down and relax. Eisen, host of the aptly named “Rich Eisen Show” seen on Peacock, believes Gage will totally blow up catching passes from Tom Brady.

Joe was lukewarm to the Gage signing. Not a bad receiver, but come on. He was the third banana to Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, a sixth-round pick. But Eisen believes it would be a massive mistake to underestimate Gage. In fact, Eisen said the most overlooked transaction of the offseason is the Bucs signing Gage.

“This guy is good,” Eisen said. “You know who is going to get him involved? You know who is really going to love him? You know who is going to know how to get him involved? You know how he is going to still be involved once Chris Godwin comes back from a knee injury?

“Tom Brady is going to figure this thing out, guys. Russell Gage is on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and we’re are all focused on everything else there. From Brady coming back and [Bruce] Arians leaving and Todd Bowles coming and so on and so forth. …

“Russell Gage is a terrific wide receiver.”

Joe sure hopes Eisen is on the mark. The Bucs, especially if foot-rubbing Rob Gronkowski doesn’t return, are going to have to make up for a whole lot of production that won’t be available this fall, at least for the first few weeks of the season.

If Gage can ball out, that will be a monster help.

You can see the full segment in which Eisen discusses Gage in the Peacock video below.

36 Responses to “Russell Gage Is “Under The Radar””

  1. rrsrq Says:

    If he is 70% AB without the drama, we got a winner

  2. Jeff Says:

    Need a 3rd WR to emerge while Godwin rehabs for the entire year.

  3. Bojim Says:

    I’m actually looking forward to seeing him play.

  4. Dooley Says:

    Mike Evans will still draw double teams, Gage will probably get a crack at all the WR positions across the board and we’ve got Perriman-Grayson-Miller-Darden-Johnson to mix in with those two WRs until Godwin returns. Figuring out how many WRs we’ll keep once the fat is trimmed down to 53 is probably going to be a task for the coaching staff especially if one of our UDFA WRs can win the KR/PR competition of returner from Darden.

  5. Biff Barker Says:

    We are all wishing Gage the best. He fhould do well in this offense with TB12. What could help immensely is the emergence of Tyler Johnston. I’m sure he’ll pass on the chili dogs and burrito Supremes. e.g. the Josh Freeman diet. lol Yes, TJ will be in fine shape and ready to play. If him and Tawmy can figure it out, Gage will have a much smoother start.

  6. Mort Says:

    You have no excuse to not know how he plays. It’s the off-season. What the hell else are you watching? This dude is a baller. Tom is going to show you just how dangerous he can be.

  7. #8 Says:


  8. Bucsfanman Says:

    I liked the signing, and still do. Basically with Godwin out, it’s Mike Evans, Russell Gage, and everyone else. We are returning everyone from last year except AB. Of which, none of the aforementioned “everyone else” stepped up when AB wigged out.
    There were a lot of guys nursing injuries so I’m willing to give some benefit of the doubt. Hopefully this group returns with a score to settle.

  9. SOEbuc Says:

    I look at Gage numbers and highlights and say the same thing as Eisen word for word. We have stacked up run blockers there is no doubt the Bucs may be using the run and PA until CG can return. I love the Gage pick up and eventually at # 3 he will be awesome. So excited to watch how the run game will be used.

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    Don’t underestimate Tom Brady’s role in maximizing Russell Gage’s value this year.

    Mike Evans had a 54.7% catch percentage for his first 6 years (2014-2019). Once Tom Brady arrived, Mike’s catch percentage jumped a full 10 points to 64.6% (2020-2021).

    Chris Godwin had a 66.1% catch percentage for his first 3 years (2017-2019). Once Tom Brady arrived, Chris’s catch percentage jumped over 11 points to 77.3% (2020-2021).

    Antonio Brown had a 65.5% catch percentage for his first 10 years (2010-2019). Once he came to Tampa with TB12 throwing to him, AB’s catch percentage also improved to 70.2%, almost 5 points increase.

    Lenny Fournette was fairly good pass-catching RB for his first 3 years with Jacksonville, catching at a rate of 77.0% (2017-2019). Once he arrived here & got with Tom Brady, his catch percentage improved to 80.2%. Not as big an improvement as the others, but an improvement nonetheless.

    Point being … Tom Brady makes everyone around him better. I’m sure his accuracy helps, but he’s also great at throwing people open. Russell Gage is an excellent receiver, catching at a rate of 67.2% for his first 4 years (2018-2021). Playing with Tom Brady, I’d bet that’ll go up by at least 8% (to around 75% catch rate for 2022). Yup … the Brady Effect make a difference.

  11. Goatfarmer Says:

    The receiver group will be strong, minus Dardung the Terrible.

  12. Pewter Power Says:

    He is right, the last two years gage has been ballin’ out. Brady will make him even better

  13. Cobraboy Says:

    I have no doubt Gage will be a huge addition to this team.

    He was more than solid for the Chicks even when Ryan was getting mauled.

  14. Bucco Bruce Says:

    I hope Gage is good and all. However with the speculation that Godwin will be out until mid season I still can’t fathom why we didn’t go after Jarvis Landry and now he is a damn Saint to boot. Up to 6mil with incentives for 1 year and thats to a team without a shot this year. I believe the Bucs could have grabbed him for a bit less and with Evans, Gage, and Landry we wouldn’t have to worry at all about rushing Godwin back which means he could potentially come back later in the season at 100% and fresh for the playoff push. Right now I have 0 confidence in the depth. Especially if God forbid Evans or Gage go down.

  15. Chris Tucker@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    LOL, Gage is hardly under the radar. This is the NFL where the other teams know more about a player than he knows about himself.
    Gronk is not gone either, he will be back this year.
    It is too bad AB was such a head case, because he was a very very talented receiver.

  16. PassingThru Says:


    My impression is that Gage is more versatile. Like Godwin, Gage can be moved around, both inside and to the outside. Landry is really more of a pure slot, contested-catch bully, more than a receiver with short-area, quick separation ability like Gage. The latter is more of a Brady-type receiver.

    And of course, Landry is older and his production has been on the decline.

  17. Cobraboy Says:

    Keep in mind Brady *recruited* Gage.

    Gage has similar quicks to the other slots that have feasted with Brady, like Welker, Amendola, and Edelman, guys who could get open quick for a first down.

    I suspect Godwin will go wide when he returns with Gage in the slot.

  18. Goatfarmer Says:

    Cobra – I’ll bet you see a mix where Godwin and Gage each take turns playing out of the slot, Evans will also move in their from time to time. All three are versatile as hell. I like it.

  19. SlyPirate Says:


    AB has foibles off the field but on the field he’s one of the best EVER. He was and still would be the Bucs’ best WR. Gage is a great 2-3. He’s not a #1.

    No diss on Gage just checking the people thinking he’s as good as AB.

  20. stpetebucsfan Says:

    There’s no shame in backing up. JJ was a stud and Ridley is terrific as well.

    @D.R. As usual way to use the stats to put “The Brady Effect” into perspective.

    As an aside D.R. as a former jet jockey are you going to see Top Gun? You can fill us in on the true excitement as opposed to the exaggerations.

    I was a huge WWI aviation fan and the Blue Max is one of my all time favorite aviation movies…but watching George Peppard fly his plane under the bridge?
    I could see that.

    But Tom Cruise whipping a jet under the same size bridge?

    Please tell us D.R. you didn’t risk our tax dollars flying under bridges. LOL

  21. Stanglassman Says:

    All the fantasy draft boards have him as a sleeper pick.

  22. kyle Says:

    maybe once the dust settles and training camp comes around we take a flier on julio jones? Maybe the dude can still play a few snaps a game on those busted hammies until godwin comes back?

  23. kyle Says:

    wow DR^^!! awesome post.

  24. Defense Rules Says:

    StPete … I loved the first Top Gun movie, and I’m sure I’ll see the second one too. But why would you think there were ‘exaggerations’ in there? You know that Hollywood always ‘tells it like it is’ right?

    George Peppard was an intriguing character BTW. And yes, I like ‘The Blue Max’ too because it had some great air battle scenes. ‘Flyboys’ was another great WW I flick with some great flying in it, as is ‘The Red Baron’ (Baron von Richthofen was in a league by himself with 80 victories; you can find that one only on YouTube BTW; it’s 2 hrs long but has some great flying, especially closer to the end).

  25. Ash Says:

    Looking for a bounce back for Scotty taking that wr3 spot while Godwin is on the mend.

  26. D-Rok Says:

    Guys, every fiber in my being screams that Gage will be huge until Godwin returns. And when Godwin returns, this offense might be unstoppable. Sure, AB has more talent, but from the tape, Gage has a ton of heart and is a team-player. Excited to see what Gage can do.

  27. ClwJB Says:

    Had not read this take prior to commenting on the prior article – don’t sleep on Gage, he is good as heck and was not utilized by Marty Ice the way he will be by TB12

  28. David Says:

    Gage is going to be great. Just look at his numbers in ATL even when Julio wasn’t there. I think Grayson and Perriman really step up. Hopefully Johnson, Darden, & Miller as well.

  29. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Thanks for that tip on “The Red Baron”. I loved both the aerial and bedroom scenes in the Blue Max. When George Peppard taps on the snare as Ursula Andress walks down the hall….

  30. Anonymous Says:

    BRADY,BRADY,BRADY ….to become a great QB, there must be greatness around you! ……we all know without MIKE & CHRIS, BRADY’S numbers would not be the same, just saying!

  31. BillyBucco Says:

    Good posts for once..
    Intriguing to think of the possibilities.

    I like the comparison to Welker and Edelman because he is quicker than Godwin,
    but let’s not think Edelman could fly through the air and hang like freaking Michael Jordan while snagging a TD out of the hands of a dude who though he was getting an interception.

    And let’s not think that TB 12 isn’t gonna pull the reigns back on the ole No Risk it motto. That means more bubble screens to the slot which reminds you of what?
    Better play action though with a solid run game will also get the Millers and Grayson’s involved.
    I agree if Godwin gets to a 100% this year, look out!

  32. BREVARD Buc Says:

    Gage is good. No worries. I think a rookie (maybe two) steals spots.
    It wouldn’t surprise me if Johnson doesn’t make the cut.

    The kid from Utah State is intriguing.

  33. PassingThru Says:

    Let’s not forget that Edelman (like Amendola who has also been mentioned here) were NOT strictly slot receivers. They were effective in the slot, but they were also capable of moving to the outside. This keeps defenses off-balance, which is why you’d see one of them in motion prior to the snap. It was to force the defense to show it’s hand (man vs. zone). That’s a relatively new dimension to Tampa Bay football, it wasn’t part of biscuit football.

    So what does Tommy Boy like in a receiver?

    1. Someone who can read a defense after the snap. They see the field, they know where the seam is, because Brady sees it as well.

    2. Someone who has great short-area quickness. That’s why I mentioned that Gage is a fit rather than Landry. That short area quickness provides separation. Brady is very accurate, he’s not looking to fire up a contested pass unless he really has to. He wants his receivers to be open, rather than fight for the ball.

    3. Someone who can play the slot, but also play on the outside, for reasons that I already mentioned. The slot and outside have different skill sets, believe it or not. Versatility is key.

    4. Reliable. It doesn’t mean you catch every pass, but you work your ass off and have a competitive fire. Folks forget that Edelman was always among the league leaders in dropped passes.

  34. PassingThru Says:

    5. (Forgot to add) Sees defensive coverage mistakes and alters their route to take an advantage of the mistake.

  35. Buddha Says:

    Grayson is the wild card. He will get 50+ catches.

  36. Tbbucs3 Says:

    I’ll believe when I see it. PFF loves Gage but he didn’t exactly light it up with the Falcons.