“That Guy Is A Problem”

August 2nd, 2022

Russell Gage (17) got past Logan Ryan in practice Monday.

If Tom Brady and new wide receiver Russell Gage needed time to get on the same page, you never would have guessed that only a week ago they participated in their first organized Bucs practice together.

Gage missed minicamp with a mysterious injury (during the offseason NFL teams are not required to release injury intel and Gage wouldn’t tell Joe what it was). Brady noted at minicamp that Gage “has a lot of work” to do work so they could meld.

Through five days of training camp, it sure looks like those two have been teammates for years. On passes roughly 15 yards and in, Gage gets open and creates separation time after time.

After a few practices, Bucs coach Todd Bowles quipped, “I don’t think we have covered him yet.

Yesterday Gage had a sick move when running down the left seam and, with the ball in the air, he did a spin move to the outside on a defensive back to get a step and caught Brady’s pass along the left sideline.

Bowles is not the only defensive-minded person impressed by Gage’s practices. So too is Bucs veteran corner, Carlton Davis.

“He is so shifty,” Davis said. “His releases – it’s so crazy. He’s underrated, but that guy is a problem when it comes to game planning and understanding your leverage because he plays in the slot, and that position in particular is a quarterback’s favorite go-to just because it’s so close and so convenient.

“He’s a guy who likes to win – he wins. And that’s one thing about him, he wants to win every rep and going up against him in practice, man, I got to say it, this receiver group that we have now has just been fun just to go up against every day. You never know what you’re going to get. You got [Jaelon Darden], Mike [Evans], you got Julio [Jones], Chris [Godwin] coming back, you got Tyler [Johnson] – you just got so many different guys who can do so many different things well – Scotty [Miller], you know – at any given moment someone could take the top off the coverage or they could just beat you with speed.

“So, it’s great for me as a corner to just get that overall look from everybody, from the speed to the power and [Gage is] one guy that brings the shiftiness and the subtleness and the quickness to it and I love competing against him.”

Now as you heard on the latest edition of the “Ira Kaufman Podcast” Gage has been getting open so often on short routes, Joe said it’s sort of reminiscent of how Antonio Brown always found a way to get open, minus all the theatrics and headcase antics.

Joe is not calling Gage the next Brown. That’s irresponsible and outrageous. But the way he is so often open on short routes and how he presumably will be more dependable, maybe the Bucs’ receiver corps won’t take a step back without Brown, who physically is a Hall of Famer but mentally needs serious help.

20 Responses to ““That Guy Is A Problem””

  1. Kody Says:

    Signing Gage and Julio is extremely exciting. I can’t believe we got those two guys backing up Godwin and Evans. And we got our young bucks—Scotty, BP, etc. And by all indications Cade, Ko and Rachaad can all catch balls like wide outs. So this could be the most exciting passing game season for TB and the Bucs ever. Can’t wait till the first game!

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Gage isn’t AB…..but I think he can certainly replace his production…

    We may see fit to trade one of our WRs…….

    Evans, Godwin, Gage, Perriman, Jones, Johnson, Miller, Grayson, Darden, Thompkins

    There’s 10……not sure the 3 that don’t make the roster will stick on the PS.

  3. Dooley Says:

    Silky smooth route runner for sure, good to hear Gage is making an impression felt.

  4. Bird Says:

    And he is very similar size to AB. Shifty is AB for sure so that is good news for bucs. Brady has to be stoked.

    So down AB and gronk

    But adds Gage , julio and rudolph.
    Yah. Brady has to be stoked.

  5. Hodad Says:

    Got to get this guy on my fantasy team.

  6. Casual Observer Says:

    TBBF – My understanding of the new PS rules are that 4 players can be protected each week. And repeats are allowed. We are so loaded at WR that I expect 2 WRs to be protected full-time.

  7. Bucsfan13 Says:

    Having these weapons mean nothing if you can’t protect Brady. It’s amazing that we’re going with an unproven C and average LG. This is an all in season! How long will the leash be on Hainsey. It seems like the team is content on keeping him. We need a vet to compete with Hainsey.

  8. Gofortheface30 Says:

    Hodad- my two cents – I don’t think any Bucs receiver will be 100% reliable week in and week out for a fantasy play. In good way tho, because we just have so many weapons. Evans is really the one guy to me who would be a relatively safe play, because of his touchdowns. Gage will undoubtedly have games where he’s 8 catches for 96 yards and 0 tds. Evans will have 4 for 55 for 1td. That might be a lot of fans this yr actually, but Evans will have more points. But, I’m more fanduel than regular league so from my perspective gage is a flex play that you can buy for cheap and get good value

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    ‘On passes roughly 15 yards and in, Gage gets open and creates separation time after time.’

    Is anyone beside me concerned about what that MIGHT be saying about our Secondary? Russell Gage is VERY good IMO, but so are guys like Cooper Kupp, Davante Adams, Deebo Samuel, Ja’Maar Chase, CeeDee Lamb and a few others we might see this year.

  10. #8 Says:

    Defense I agree–I am worried on our D depth.
    Suh. Or Flowers. Or both-

  11. sasquatch Says:

    And to think there were people screaming for us to draft a WR. The usual hysteria.

  12. Tim Says:

    Gage is sounding like he might be that exception to the rule about nobody improving after leaving Matt Ryan. If he does improve over his time with the Falcons, perhaps the Bucs’ system simply works better with his skillset.

  13. teacherman777 Says:

    Hainsey has never played center in his entire career.

    He was a tackle at Notre Dame.

    We are rolling into the season with a center who has never played center before.

    We need to make a trade!

    2nd round pick for the best center we can find.

    Jensen is signed for 2 more.

    We can trade for a guy who plays center and guard.

    So when Jensen returns next year, our newly acquired center can slide to guard.

  14. lambeau Says:

    Gage says he was a DB in college before switching, so he knows how to create leverage running routes from that experience. Tom’s gonna fall in love.

  15. Will Says:

    I think Gage getting open so quick and often probably means our DBs are playing their normal 6-7yds off not wanting to get beat over the top defense. Problem is that our tackling has been terrible in the open field so those quick hitters turn into huge gains. I’m with you DR reading such good things about Gage killing it daily in practice worries me that our DBs are in trouble. Hope I’m wrong.

  16. geno711 Says:


    It is a passing league. Excellent slot guys get open – especially with smart quarterbacks who understand the defensive schemes.

    Our corners are a little above average. No one is elite in that group. I think we will continue to be what we have been in the secondary — a solid group.

    It does not concern me at all unless you felt that the only way for the Bucs to win was to have elite cornerbacks.

  17. Chris Tucker@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Some seem to be sleeping on Rasheed White ?
    The Saints have an excellent defense, and a really great secondary.
    IMHO, Rasheed White is going to be a key player for us beating the Saints this year.
    He was a converted wide receiver, so not only does he have excellent hands, he also has the speed to flat burn a defense preoccupied with our other receivers, every time he catches the ball.
    Watch and see, I bet he burns the Saints this year!

    LOL, Gage and Julio are old teammates from the Atlanta Falcons, so as long as we can protect Brady, I think we are going too be awesome this year.

    Some here are calling for that Center Tretter. Tretter is a higher rated Center by PFF than Jensen, but ……. He comes from a totally different blocking scheme then the blocking scheme we use.

    I was a little bit worried about Hainsey too, until I was made aware that he was the highest rated Guard in the USA, coming out of High School!

    You know he must be smart, because he attended Notre Dame, a College that flat out refuses to drop it’s Academic Standards for Football Players, as other schools do. At Notre Dame, if you can’t do the work, you can not play Football for them. Michigan is another College that has upheld it’s Academic Standards.

    An NFL Center must not only be able to block well, but he must also be able to call the blocking schemes as well.

  18. Buc king Says:

    I would still stand pack at center for now and see Jensen potential to come back this year.
    Tretter I believe his name is might be a option.
    My thoughts is see what you have at camp.
    Then decide if you need to find another o line guy.
    I think bradys release time will make anyone look decent at oline.
    It’s just a matter of dies he like how hainsey snaps it to him and can hainsey lead a o line.
    Now for the secondary or depth I look to see how the rookie and Tryon look cause that may be a bigger need to have a successful defense.
    Also I much like Joe hold on to the pipe dream of gronk coming back.

  19. Bucschamp Says:

    Shifty slot is good news

  20. SlyPirate Says:

    I don’t understand the Hainsey shade?

    1. He played in 9 games last year, all at Center. Zero pressures or sacks allowed.
    2. He was going to be the starter had Jensen not re-signed.
    3. He makes plays Jensen can’t.

    (Watch Scotty Miller’s rushing TD video from last year. You’ll see, not a Pro Bowl caliber Center, but an All Pro caliber center blocking on that play.)

    4. Brian Baldinger absolutely loves this guy.