Lavonte David Talks Russell Gage

June 26th, 2022

Eyes on the newcomer.

In every workplace, a close eye is kept on the new guy, especially when he’s pulling in $10 million per year.

It reminds Joe of when Sage of Tampa Bay Sports Ira Kaufman arrived at world headquarters six years ago. Joe had an eye on Ira, who was a little shifty-eyed wondering if his paycheck was going to bounce.

The big-money new guy at One Buc Palace this offseason is Russell Gage, the fifth-year receiver who quietly rose to prominence through four years in Atlanta.

Bucs captain and iconic linebacker Lavonte David has been watching Gage work while being held out of formal practice sessions with a mysterious undisclosed injury.

“He’s going to play a pivotal role,” David said of Gage on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “From what I see and I understand, his work ethic is great and his understanding of the game is awesome. And, obviously, from playing [against] him, he has all the ability and all the talent in the world.”

David can relate to Gage flying under the radar, as David did for years in Tampa during The Lost Decade of Buccaneers football. “He’s been ballin’ but it’s been real quiet because of the seasons Atlanta’s been having,” David said.

The Bucs don’t need Gage to save a sinking pirate ship. If the do-it-all 26-year-old can simply duplicate his Atlanta production, roughly 70 cathches for 750 yards in each of the past two seasons, that should be enough to keep the Bucs offense balanced while it awaits the return of Chris Godwin.

One thing Joe likes about Gage is his success against the Saints through the past two seasons: 27 catches for 299 yards and a touchdown in 4 games.

35 Responses to “Lavonte David Talks Russell Gage”

  1. Chris Tucker@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Yes! He has been a real Saints Killer, in the past.
    Gage is gonna love catching passes from Tom Brady.

  2. Stanglassman Says:

    Are we still pretending the CG is going to miss a bunch of games? Grayson reported witnessing him running 22mph late May/early June. 3 months before camp, 4 months before the regular season. Barring a unusual, unfortunate setback Godwin will be available week 1.

    Godwin may not be himself for the first half and I do believe Gage can pick up any slack. For whatever reason Bucs can’t seem to keep their WRs healthy. Could just be as simple as they use them more than other teams. So either way Gage or a early WR draft pick was imperative for this year.

  3. Tsmpabaybucfan Says:

    Are we still relying on the sole, second hand opinion of Booger on Godwin?……surely with all the media and potential sources we can get a better idea of his progress……and also of Gage’s mysterious injury….
    Gage must have something like a broken peni$ or some embarrassing injury to keep it this guarded.
    We still have enough money to add another quality receiver or TE……although who would we cut?
    And for all those counting out Darden……don’t….he may just surprise…..and we have a strong #4 WR in Perriman who fans seem to always overlook.

  4. Clay Says:

    The Bucs are in trouble. A great team, with alot of depth.
    The anchor only lowers so far before a ship is loose and crashing on the rocks. My greatest concerns are WR/TE. Beyond Mike Evans and an unknown entity in Russel Gage, you have drop happy Tyler Johnson, injured Scotty Miller, Jaelon Darden and unproven speedster Cyril Grayson. We still don’t know about Godwin and his availability. Insofar as TE? Oh boy. Cam Brate is a proven pass catcher, but can’t block my grandma. The 2 draft picks, Otton and Kief telegraph what you are doing. One can catch, one can block. Not having Gronkowski is a huge hole to fill. One might find bodies at the bottom of said hole, as the schedule is absolutely brutal.

  5. Clay Says:

    Forever a Buc, grateful for this forum. As a kid, Bucs home games were blacked out due to the NFL’S archaic ticket sales policies. I used to ride my bike to Lakewood High School, slip through the fence and lay on the 50 yard line listening on my Sony Sports box. Mean Gene and Jesse Ventura delivering a perfect heartbreaking visual description of my team going down in flames. I never, ever, stopped believing.

  6. Bucs Win Says:

    I’m optimistic that Godwin will be back sooner rather than later, with a torn ACL you can’t pivot or make cuts but you can run straight so seeing or hearing about CG running 21 MPH isn’t bad news but it doesn’t really indicate how his recovery is going.
    I gather from the articles and podcasts the Joe’s are skeptical about Gage, I think he’s going to ball out because Tom Brady is the QB and Gage has always had good games against us as well. Matt Ryan is decent but he sure as Hell ain’t no Brady. From what I’ve seen over the last 10-12 years dudes from LSU make great Pro’s. GO BUCS

  7. Anonymous Says:

    I predict that Scotty Miller is going to have a big year

  8. Clay Says:

    Xover…..Let’s go Lightning! LFG BUCS!

  9. Clay Says:

    I hope so Bucswin

  10. Cho Says:

    @clay best comment I’ve read here. Our Super Bowl win was 10x more amazing when you think of stuff like this.

  11. Tsmpabaybucfan Says:


    You’re buying into the Godwin Thanksgiving return & Gage “Mysterious” injury takes…..I’m not…
    And, I don’t understand why everyone keeps ignoring Perriman….he’s probably one of the best #4 receivers in the NFL….

    And, I’ll believe the non-production out of our two rookie TEs when I see it.

    How about looking at the bright side until proven differently.

    And…..I think our more experienced defense will surprise.

  12. Dirtwood Says:

    As another forever hopeful, mostly heartbroken fan (my Dad bought brought me a little plastic buccaneer football home from Westing House when I was 6 and was hooked after that. I don’t think I have missed either listening to (blackouts)
    Or watching every game since 79.
    I have a hard time believing they will win even when I know they should until the game is over. I think the PTSD is hard for older Bucs fans to get past. Here’s hoping we’re wrong!

  13. Dooley Says:

    Gage played on the 26th ranked scoring offense in 2021, Bucs ranked 2nd in that category. I think Gage can help bump up our efficiency on 3rd downs and also think doubling his TD total(4) from 2021 wouldn’t be too big a task in this offense. Gage has a great opportunity to make an even bigger name for himself with this team, especially with Godwin out and I don’t think career highs across the board are too high a goal for him.

  14. SOEbuc Says:

    True Bucs fans keep calling Tyler Johnson “drop happy” in his second year and he was “The next Godwin!” his rookie year. We’ve gone through years of misery, now we gotta keep the faith. LFG!

  15. Day 1-76 Says:

    It’s such nonsense to speculate at this time of year. Godwin will be fine, they will bring in another TE, Kief will catch 3 TD passes in pre-season games, so fans will get all hyped, and never see the field beside ST’s during the regular season or enjoy the practice squad.

  16. David Says:

    I love the signing. Everybody wants a healthy Odell Beckham or Antonio Brown with his head screwed on right… You don’t always need that. They have Evans and Godwin. Gage is a bona fide #2 to starter.
    Not sure if he had 70, depends on when Godwin returns, but with their scheme and Evans on the outside I fully expect that 10 yards a catch to increase to 12

  17. Buczilla Says:

    I hope this dude gets healthy and I can’t wait to see him play.

  18. Tsmpabaybucfan Says:

    Gage is BA approved…..not Bruce Arians…….Brady Approved

  19. steele Says:

    Clay, thank you, I share your concerns. While it is still early, I don’t like what I see, especially relative to the depth and loaded rosters of opposing teams that the Bucs will face. That is all that matters, whether they match up with these top teams. The Bucs have bodies, but that’s not the same as reliable talent.

    TE without Gronk is a mess. It will still be a mess, even if they manage to sign someone like Kyle Rudolph. He is the most balanced option among FAs, but he is past prime. Ebron, Jared Cook can’t block. Jesse James can block, but isn’t a great playmaker. Can they find a way to get Dallas to approve a trade for Dalton Shultz? Or trade for some other veteran out there? Brate can’t block, Otton is a rookie with injuries, Ko is a great blocker who might surprise but he’s a rookie.

    WR is very iffy without Godwin. And now Gage has an undisclosed injury? Johnson, Grayson, Scotty each have issues and are not consistent. I am no fan of the RB corps, either. None of them is a feature back who can carry an offense in clock-killing smashmouth mode (no, Lenny isn’t).

    I do not want another season of praying that Brady can save them singlehandedly.

  20. SOEbuc Says:

    Apparently Tyler Johnson is “drop happy” now year two when everyone thought he was next Godwin his rookie year. Sad.

  21. Clay Says:

    SOEbuc, do your homework. This will be his 3rd year. Props bruh, love my BUCS peeps

  22. Clay Says:

    He dropped more passes than Jack did from Mrs.Roper

  23. Clay Says:

    If Tom Brady believes in TJ, why RG? TJ is a roster body at this point. Crucial drops in crucial games in crucial moments! I want him to succeed like everyone. You can’t catch sh** from TB12? Go play checkers or huskerdu with a JC college team.

  24. GOB Says:

    I’ll believe all the hubbub about Gage when I see it. He’s very slight, and already hurt. Brady already appeared to put him on notice the other day. He’s not big enough to be effective on the outside. Ten Million is nothing for a reciever these days. It made me question if he had better offers, and just wanted to play with the goat. Maybe Brady thinks he can turn him into the next Welker/Edelman, but like I said I’ll believe it when I see it. He’s a fine stop gap until Godwin comes back, but Bucs fans had better pray Godwin is full go by November, and that Gage can get/stay healthy. We’ll see.

  25. David Says:

    Hype with Gage? It’s not hype when you have already produced and proven it.
    Year- Rec. Yds. TD. Starts
    2021- 66. 770. 4. 9
    2020- 72. 786. 4. 8
    2019- 49. 446. 1. 4

    That’s pretty damn good for the 2nd WR. And the reality is half the time he was the third option when Julio was healthy and Ridley was on the field. Then last year they added Pitts to became the #1 receiver.

    It’s going to be the same here. He is second behind Evans and when Godwin is back he is the third option. If puts up 700 to 800 yards between 60 to 70 catches as the mostly third option that will be awesome.
    If Godwin is out long, his numbers could be better, IF NEEDED

    They also use Fournette and dishes it around a lot.

  26. Stanglassman Says:

    Good points David.

    TBBF/ we aren’t relying on 2nd hand accounts or opinions from Booger. This was said in a live interview with Grayson. Said Godwin will be back by training camp. At least implied it. He said he saw CG do the 21 mph in a workout recently. Whoever said cutting is different than straight line speed. No doubt. That’s why I mentioned it was 4 months before game 1 and 3 months bf TC.

  27. Trey Long Says:

    Saints hit on Godwin was clear targeting to injure. I hope the Bucs review that vile hit that caused Brady to go over to the Saints D coordinator and tell him GO F YOURSELF. League MUST be on alert for Saints dirty play. It’s not the first time.

  28. Trey Long Says:

    Saints hit on Godwin was clear targeting to injure. I hope the Bucs review that vile hit that caused Brady to go over to the Saints D coordinator and tell him GO F$#K YOURSELF. League MUST be on alert for Saints dirty play. It’s not the first time.

  29. David Says:


    I agree with those points except the rookie tight ends. I have rarely seen a rookie tight end light the league up.
    One is here for blocking & one for receiving, so we shall see. I do expect more out of Brate. We all know he’s good in the red zone.

    People are discounting Perriman who has been great for the Bucs whenever he sees action.
    Then there is Grayson, all the speed in the world, has proven he can run routes better than Miller, and Brady likes him.
    Then there is Scotty Miller who is back healthy, so we shall see how much he is utilized.
    Tyler Johnson Has shown he can be really good. Had some drops, but so did Evans his first year. He also came in to camp this year already in shape ready to go as opposed to last year.
    And I am not discounting Darden. So many fans here are so quick to write someone off when every rookie should be given 2 to 3 years.

    Basically the depth on this receiving corps is way better than most teams but for some reason there’s a lot of fans who just don’t see it. Go look at receivers four through six on most teams, it’s not very good.

    I’m also not paying much attention to what booger said about Godwin. I’d rather go by what the players on the Buccaneers have said… One said that he’s getting after it and the other said he’ll be back sooner than people think.

    As for gauge and if he’s injured, we will find out in training camp

  30. Buc king Says:

    I hope gronk comes back at the same time godwin does…

  31. Buc king Says:

    We sign Graham… we let te develop then gronk comes back Nov or Dec fir half price…
    I think brady begging could get a half season gronk back.

  32. SOEbuc Says:

    Clay…No clue what you’re talking about saying he’s coming into his third season??? All I’ve heard is he’s looking fit. You are bombing a good Bucs WR from his second year stats compared to his rookie stats. Way to hang in there.

  33. Capt.Tim Says:

    Gage is being paid as a #2 WR.
    For those of you that saw Godwin’s injury, it was brutal. The knee bent forward.
    I hope he returns to form. It wont be easy.
    If not, They have Gage. I hope hes up to the task

  34. BillyBucco Says:

    @Clay how could you possibly know that Otton and Kieft telegraph anything?
    Have you seen them play for the Bucs?

    Sounds like an addition to a very long narrative and it meets your agenda.
    I agree about needing Gronk and want him just as bad as the next guy, but NOBODY knows how good the new TEs are.

  35. Anonymous Says:

    Stanglassman Says:

    Two words. Preventable injuries. Take a look at the number of games missed by skill position players over the last 3 – 5 years. Hammies, groin pulls, and all manor of soft tissue injuries caused by lack of proper conditioning and stretching. Simply nauseating to wonder what might have been having your top 3 receivers healthy and starting the entire season.

    With a new sheriff in town with a mind open to the need for a proper P-L-I-A-B-I-L-I-T-Y and conditioning program under the watchful eye of TB12, Todd Bowles is expected to ENFORCE a part of the program which every player always wanted to rush through by cutting corners and by a lack of self-discipline. I don’t doubt that TB12 will read the riot act to his guys: “You wonder how I can be doing this at 45?? You want to get targets this season?? Then act the professional and care for your $%&* body!! And I’m not talking about #$%&*&% avocado ice- cream either!!! Just do your #$&*$#@ job and #LFG!! ….and I’m looking at you TOO Buc training staff!!!”