Five Things

October 10th, 2022

(Photo courtesy

The Bucs are in sole possession of first place. No apologies for a win. No effs given. Survival of the fittest. Grab your coffee and let’s get rolling. It’s Victory Monday!

Horrible Officiating

One of the Joes was watching the game on TV. The other was at the game. From the press box, sometimes things happen along the sidelines that make a clear picture difficult unless you stand up and block others’ views.

Watching on TV, Joe had all sorts of angles on replays.

On the pass play immediately before the phantom roughing-the-passer penalty on Grady Jarrett of the Dixie Chicks, which basically won the game for the Bucs, Scotty Miller, from Joe’s press box view, appeared to have gotten boxed out with the ball soaring over his head.

Live, nothing appeared out of the ordinary. Miller outmuscled for a ball? Gee, that’s never happened. Joe, sitting next to the great Ira Kaufman in the press box, didn’t think anything more of the play. Nor seemingly did anyone else in the press box.

Joe heard the crowd booing but didn’t make much of it.

Of course, the Joe watching on TV went nuts over the awful non-call on social media. Joe at the game later saw the replay and clearly Miller got robbed. Dude got tackled well before the ball was near him.

So yeah, Joe doesn’t want to hear any crying from the Dixie Chicks. They were robbed, sure, but the Bucs were equally robbed on the very play before the phantom roughing flag.

If Alford would have done to Miller in front of an Ybor City nightclub on a Friday night as he did to Miller on this particular play, Alford would have needed someone to bail him out of the Orient Road jail.

The Awakening of the Young Pass Rushers

You know what got Joe so pumped? The young pass rushers may have broken out as they hassled runaround Atlanta quarterback Marcus Mariota all game.

Joe Tryon-Shoyinka may have had the best half since the Bucs drafted him last year. He had two quarterback hits and a sack in the first half. Awesome.

Rookie Logan Hall continues to improve each week. Not only did he have a sweet sack of Mariota, but he had a Gerald McCoy-type play where he got so much penetration off the snap and into the backfield, it blew up a run play by the Dixie Chicks that resulted in a four-yard loss.

Hall may not have gotten the tackle but he was directly responsible for the tackle for loss.

And here’s the cool thing about JTS and Mariota: JTS went to Washington. With the exception of Washington State, Mariota’s alma mater Oregon is the most bitter rival of the Huskies.

So after the game, Joe asked JTS if being able to sack a Ducks quarterback made the win all the sweeter. Joe also asked if JTS gave Mariota any Huskie trash talk. JTS lit up.

“I was thinking before the game that I forget he went to Oregon,” JTS said with a wide smile on his face. “I’m glad I got his @ss!”

In the two years JTS played at Washington (he sat out 2020 to protect himself from The Sickness), the Huskies never beat Oregon. So at least JTS had the satisfaction of putting Oregon’s lone Heisman Trophy winner on the ground.

Playoff Lenny A Three-Down Back

Though wrong, there remains a perception among NFL fans that Playoff Lenny is a hell of a runner but you don’t want to throw him passes.

Playoff Lenny’s last year in Jacksonville and his second year with the Bucs should have proven the man is a serious weapon in the passing game. So it seems arrogant Dixie Chicks’ defensive coordinator Dean Pees isn’t a believer. Keep thinking that way, pal.

In film work last week, Playoff Lenny said both Tom Brady and Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich told Playoff Lenny to expect a lot of targets yesterday. That’s because Atlanta linebackers overcompensate to cover deep passes and pretty much leave running backs uncovered in the flat.

Playoff Lenny told Joe after the game he prepared to be a major part of the passing game and the Bucs’ research was dead on. They left Playoff Lenny alone and he buried them.

Playoff Lenny had 10 catches for 83 yards, his best career receiving game. Playoff Lenny had a couple of games in Jacksonville where he had over 60 yards and he has had several with the Bucs where he had over 40 yards.

When Brady confirmed his 2022 return to the Bucs, Playoff Lenny began working hard to be a complete back, he said, working hard on his catching skills. (Meanwhile, some were pushing the rumor that Playoff Lenny was eating his way to becoming the next Bobby Bacala).

The extra work has paid off.

So for those clinging to the notion that Playoff Lenny is strictly a runner, it’s time to let go of that fallacy.

Playoff Lenny is a dangerous every-down back.

Strange Play-Calling Late

Many chortled that the Dixie Chicks helped dig their own grave when they all but refused to throw in the fourth quarter and instead ran time after time helping to kill the clock for the Bucs. But it wasn’t as if Leftwich was outsmarting Dixie Chicks coach Artie Smith.

Of the first six Bucs offensive snaps of the fourth quarter, five were incomplete passes, leading to two three-and-outs.

In the Bucs’ third possession. which began with 4:38 left and the Bucs clinging to a 21-15 lead, the first two plays Playoff Lenny ran for a total of 15 yards. Good running. Smart playcalling. Bleed the clock. The next two plays were passes and it took the benevolent phantom roughing-the-passer call to save the Bucs’ bacon.

With Playoff Lenny getting warmed up, why was Leftwich throwing?

Joe guesses that’s the difference between Leftwich and Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians. Both men loved to pass. But when nursing a lead late, Arians would pound the ball.

Cade Otton Breaks Through

It was good to see another young player have a big impact in yesterday’s win. Tight end Cade Otton had his best game.

Joe has been on Otton’s train since training camp. In fact, Joe predicted he would become a starter during this season. That seems like a when, not an if.

With Cam Brate out with a concussion and veteran Kyle Rudolph reduced to cameo appearances (provided he’s on the active gameday roster), Otton got a lot of snaps yesterday.

He responded with 6 catches and 43 yards on 7 targets. Just as important, it seems he has gained the trust of Bucs quarterback Tom Brady.

“Yeah, he’s doing a good job,” Brady said after the game. “Football means a lot to him. He’s off to a good start in [his] career. He’s a hard-working kid – shows up every day, tries to do the right thing, he’s really prepared.

“We all have a lot of confidence in him, especially with Cam [Brate] going out.”

If Otton keeps having games like yesterday — steady and solid, nothing flashy — he will start soon. And you can bet the last beer in your cooler or fridge he will be the Bucs’ starting tight end next year, no matter who the quarterback is.

29 Responses to “Five Things”

  1. Bucschamp Says:

    Lenny breaking tackles was fun to watch. And that pic is funny

  2. Da Bucs Guy Says:

    Bucs needing refs help to just beat the falcons was not fun to watch.

  3. Defense Rules Says:

    Good ‘Five Things’ Joe, although it’s really hard to get warmed up to JTS or Hall at this point. Neither one of them is very CONSISTENT, but that’s been a problem with our entire DLine IMO. I’ve seen both of them get absolutely curb-stomped on some plays, but then again I’ve seen the same thing from Vea, RNR & others on the DLine. This isn’t a Super Bowl DLine at this point in the season, but there’s a long way to go yet. Definitely need another big body DT to provide some relief for Vea. I’m sure that Hicks will be a nice addition when he returns, but I wouldn’t want to hang our SB hopes on him.

    The plays that drive me nuts are when JTS either lets himself get boxed out of a play or runs himself out of the play. That’s where veterans like Shaq & JPP excel; they can bring the pressure from the edge without compromising the edge (to runs) in the process.

    As Joe wrote last night, nobody gets blown out of a run play quite like JTS. –Joe

    JTS will learn that in time I guess. Having ONLY 2 years of college football then taking the next year off due to COVID tells me that he’s probably just still green. I’m sure he’ll eventually get there, but for now I’d rather see him get fewer snaps & Anthony Nelson get a few more.

  4. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Joe guesses that’s the difference between Leftwich and Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians. Both men loved to pass. But when nursing a lead late, Arians would pound the ball.

    But I thought BL was in complete control of the offense and THE MASTERMIND behind our stellar offense the last few years?

    I called BS on BA for claiming BL was the man.


  5. teacherman777 Says:

    Otton even looks a bit like Tommy.

    Tommy said it.

    “Football means a lot to him.”

    Otton was a great 4th round pick. To go along with Kwon Alexander and Jordan Whitehead.

  6. Alanbucsfan Says:

    In 2019’s Oregon vs Washington game (Justin Herbert was Oregon’s QB and had 4 td’s and 0 int), JTS had 2 combined tackles (1 solo) and 1 PD- sound familiar?

  7. gotbbucs Says:

    One thing Lenny is not, is a short yardage running back. He hasn’t picked up a 4th and 1 yet this year.

  8. Cchead Says:

    Logan Hall got his sack coming off the edge. I would like to see more of him playing there. It definitely makes the Dline stronger.

  9. Hodad Says:

    This is JTS first year starting, same for Hall who’s also a rookie. Not even Warren Sapp lit the world on fire his rookie season. Hall flashed with a nice four yard loss, and got a sack. JTS got a sack, and made life hard on Mariota. I don’t know what some of you expect from such young players. I think both players are exceding expectations at this point.

  10. PSL Bob Says:

    PSL, I agree on several of your 5 thing. JTS and Logan Hall played with passion. Otton earned a starting role. Winfield was all over the field in the 1st half. My main disappointment was the D’s inability to stop the run. Two games in a row the opponent’s offensive line has dominated in the run game. We really need to fix that.

  11. Ed Says:

    Bowles should take defensive line and have them watch yesterdays Cowboys-Rams defense. The Cowboy defensive line played a fantastic game. There is no loafing on that line, players playing hard and fighting at the line of scrimmage.

    They were fantastic and beat up on Matthew Stafford. Rams scored one touchdown at home and that was a short throw to Cooper Kupp with a 60 yard run after catch.

    Watch the film so when the Rams come to town the defensive line does its job.
    Every running back the Bucs have played the last 4 games is getting 3 or 4 yards after contact. Defensive line has been physically beat up by running back.

    Many of the 6-8 yard games the Bucs have been surrendering are just a failure of the defensive lineman or LB from tackling.

    What is it with White that he refuses to drive into his tackles, he is using his arms to try and throw the runner down. Why doesn’t he use his shoulder pads and wrap up?

  12. Biff Barker Says:

    Jane Tryon’s big day reminds me of a story about a blind squirrel.

  13. Kody Says:

    Love Cade and Ko. Both had big catches in the last 2 games. These guys along with Lenny and R.White SHOULD become a big factor in the passing game going forward. Target them early, and opposing teams will start sweating them and make it easier for Evans, Godwin, Gage, Miller, and company to get open.

    Two drives yesterday proved the Bucs can drive 80 to 90 yards down field, picking opposing Ds apart. Now we just have to do that with consistency.

  14. HomerSimpsonRocks Says:

    Yeah BA would likely have overruled Byron on some of those pass plays late.

  15. Dooley Says:

    Teams are going to keep running those zone stretch plays against us on defense by taking advantage of how our DL plays gap assignments and how our entire front 7 tends to have a hyper/over aggressive nature in the box. It’ll be interesting to see how Bowles and the defensive staff go about countering that tact and checking their own tendencies moving forward.

  16. BucU Says:

    Kyle Rudolph is terrible now. I can’t believe I was excited when we first signed him. He has absolutely NOTHING left. He should be waived immediately.

  17. Urnotsmart Says:

    Talk about the “pass interference” with Terrell and evans. Falcons got robbed

  18. David Hicks Says:

    Helps to have the refs on the payroll.

  19. Manny Says:

    6 things- its last year all over again. Depleted secondary almost cost us the game with injuries to davis, edwards, bunting and ryan that no one is bringing up. I want the updates as soon as you get them joe. This is whats most important.

  20. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    Kyle Rudolph should be placed on some kind of protocol.
    There needs to be more protocol categories.

    I could think of a few, but I’m trying not to be ugly, lol

  21. TJ Says:

    So many people are just looking at one play and being influenced by all these news outlets and pundits that live off of writing articles to get clicks or sensationalize. I’m sure people and commenters all over didnt even watch the entire game but only highlights of only the 1 play. ANY informed person noticed the atrocious, inept one sided officiating and miscalls towards the FALCONS ALL game. If the play didn’t involve “Brady” it wouldn’t be a thing. It’s exactly like when a coach gets asked about a players “miscue” costing the game and then the coach says there are 3 or 4 other things we could of did. The world needs to stop being sheep following a narrative. Bad calls happen on both sides, ie Scotty Miller was mugged, Refs not knowing the rule with goal line substitution, and numerous others. It’s sad watching all the haters come out.

    Oh to my point Joe. The roughing the passer call DID NOT “basically “win” the game for us. The dominating first half did. You are a writer. Maybe it “sealed the win” but use appropriate words to keep the narrative “real” and in perspective.

  22. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    I watched a few plays in this game, and I’m already a football analyst.

  23. Sorryjackchuckiesback Says:

    If he puts on some more muscle and learns to block he does remind me of a Gronk type TE … Good hands, fights for yards, strong!! … He just needs a little more muscle and taught better technique in blocking!! He’s going to be a really good TE I do believe

  24. firethecannons Says:

    Pass catching Lenny is a fan favorite-no doubt! Love the pic!
    stupid commenters on this website did not even process the fact the bucs got hosed on two PI ‘s with Scotty Miller that were not called and a hold on Antoine Winfield that allowed them to score. Still wining about the “but but but the Falcons had a chance” Lol!

  25. Joe Says:

    Oh to my point Joe. The roughing the passer call DID NOT “basically “win” the game for us. The dominating first half did. You are a writer. Maybe it “sealed the win” but use appropriate words to keep the narrative “real” and in perspective.

    Joe was there in-person. Saw it with his own two eyes. That play “sealed the win” and “basically won the game for the Bucs.”

    The way the Bucs defense was gassed in the fourth quarter, Joe had little to no faith or hope they would keep the Dixie Chicks out of the end zone had the Bucs punted.

  26. orlbucfan Says:

    The injury to Mike Edwards is the only concern I have in this game. That the O is getting healthy—good, we’ll need it. I’m glad JTS got another sack. He’s getting in that backfield. The DL has to jell as does the OL. The season is only 5 games old. I had the usual Bucs Radio on, but I’ll tell you. MM is a slippery fast runner. He may not be Mahomes with his supporting cast, but he was fun to listen to. I just shrug off the usual incompetent zebs. I’m thrilled for Fournette. He is showing more and more why Jax picked him as a high draft choice. Their loss, our gain, that’s for sure!🙂

  27. LakelandSteve Says:

    Is the only reason the Bucs are still carrying Kyle Rudolph on the roster is his contract? It seems like they could use that roster spot for someone who could actually help the team or add some help to Special Teams.

  28. JVZ Says:


    This is JTS first year starting, same for Hall who’s also a rookie. Not even Warren Sapp lit the world on fire his rookie season. Hall flashed with a nice four yard loss, and got a sack. JTS got a sack, and made life hard on Mariota. I don’t know what some of you expect from such young players. I think both players are exceding expectations at this point.

    So, so true. There are so many here that became “spoiled” by 1 recent Super Bowl they seem to be down on amazing rookies.

    You went directly to the point. Good job!
    Now if the primadonas her would only take your words of wisdom vs their arrogant know it all insanity……

    No hope on that one…..

  29. garro Says:

    Love the pic ….now I want one 🙂