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#pounditFriday, December 4, 2020

Articles tagged: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tom Brady’s first start with Bucs will snap incredible Las Vegas streak

Tom Brady

Tom Brady will start his first ever NFL game without Bill Belichick as his coach on Sunday. For the first time in nearly five years, Las Vegas oddsmakers are anticipating that Brady will not emerge victorious.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 3.5-point underdogs for their opener against the New Orleans Saints. As ESPN’s Adam Schefter noted, that marks the first time in 74 regular-season starts that Brady’s team has not been favored.

The Bucs should be favored in plenty of games this season, but Brady will almost certainly find the underdog role to be a refreshing change of pace. He feeds off of others doubting his abilities, and there are plenty of people doing just that now that he is 43 and trying to master a new system.

Brady will have his work cut out for him in his Tampa debut. Drew Brees finds himself in a similar situation from an age standpoint, and the Saints quarterback offered a great quote about that this week. NFL fans couldn’t ask for a much better Week 1 matchup.

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have teamed up yet again! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Tampa Fiesta shirt. You can buy it here.

Josh Rosen signs with Buccaneers, will join practice squad

Josh Rosen

Josh Rosen was waived by the Miami Dolphins on Saturday, and he will now have an opportunity to learn under the greatest quarterback of all time.

Rosen has agreed to a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to Mike Garafolo and Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. He will begin with the practice squad, however. Rosen could have found a spot on an active roster but opted for a good situation with Tom Brady and Bucs head coach Bruce Arians.

The Bucs currently have Blaine Gabbert serving as their primary backup behind Brady. They also have veteran Ryan Griffin. Arians has not ruled out keeping three QBs on the active roster due to the coronavirus pandemic, so perhaps Rosen will make the cut at some point. That may have factored into his decision.

Rosen, who was drafted No. 10 overall by the Arizona Cardinals in 2018, struggled in his first two NFL seasons. He played poorly on a bad Cardinals team as a rookie, and then threw one touchdown and five interceptions in six games with the Dolphins last year.

Rob Gronkowski says Bruce Arians can deliver some tongue lashings

Rob Gronkowski

Bruce Arians is viewed as much more easy-going than Bill Belichick, but that does not mean the Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach is afraid to ream out his star players. Rob Gronkowksi has witnessed that first-hand after coming out of retirement.

Gronkowski took a year off from playing last year, and there was some talk earlier in the offseason that he was struggling with his conditioning. Gronk told reporters this week that Arians has come down on him hard a couple of times and isn’t afraid to deliver a tongue lashing.

“At first it was like, wow, that was pretty funny if you’re not receiving it,” Gronkowski said. “Then when you receive it you’re like, oh shoot, it’s not as funny anymore.”

Gronk said he appreciates trash talk — even if it comes from the head coach.

“The trash talking is always cool, too. That’s part of football,” he said. “There’s never gonna be just a pat on the back every single play or every single route. It’s football. You’ve gotta be mentally tough and mentally strong or you’re gonna get called out.”

Gronkowski played nine seasons with the Patriots, which is why he recently said he feels like a rookie with his new team. However, he and Tom Brady should have the chemistry down pat. Even with the conditioning issues, Arians has already set extremely high expectations for Gronk.

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have teamed up yet again! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Tampa Fiesta shirt. You can buy it here.

Report: Buccaneers are ‘serious suitors’ for Leonard Fournette

Leonard Fournette

Tom Brady may be getting another weapon on offense in the form of Leonard Fournette.

According to Albert Breer of The MMQB, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are “serious suitors” for Fournette, though no deal is done yet.

There’s no obvious fit here, as the Buccaneers’ backfield is already very crowded. Ronald Jones is likely in line for the largest role, with Dare Ogunbowale and newly-acquired LeSean McCoy as factors too. It’s hard to see where Fournette fits into that puzzle, but it may just be an effort to give Brady as many weapons as possible.

The Buccaneers may be competing with Brady’s former team to secure Fournette’s services.

Ronald Jones is the ‘main guy’ in Buccaneers’ backfield

Every skill position player on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ roster has a tremendous opportunity to put up big numbers this season with Tom Brady running the offense, and running back Ronald Jones is apparently one player who is poised to take advantage of the situation.

Jones, whom the Buccaneers selected with the 38th overall pick in the draft two years ago, has drawn rave reviews for the work he has put in with Brady this summer. He’s focused on improving as a pass catcher, and head coach Bruce Arians told reporters this week that Jones has already seized the top spot in the backfield.

Jones caught 32 passes total in three seasons at USC, but he showed improvement in that department last year. He led the Bucs in rushing with 724 yards and six touchdowns while also catching 31 passes. Jones could double that number in 2020 if he earns Brady’s trust, and he recently spoke about how he is trying to do just that.

“He always tells me to get low in my routes and run my routes like I already have the ball,” Jones said of Brady giving him advice, per Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times.

In addition to getting pointers from Brady, Jones has also worked with a trainer during the offseason to improve his catching fundamentals. He said he fell into a bad habit of letting the ball hit his body instead of extending his arms, which is something he has worked on.

Tampa Bay is probably going to play a lot faster on offense this season than some of their key players are accustomed to. Judging by some recent comments Arians made, it sounds like Brady has adjusted to the new system more quickly than expected. Jones could be in for a breakout year if he continues to work hard enough.

Cameron Jordan takes a shot at Buccaneers’ NFC South chances

Cameron Jordan might not be quite as impressed as most people with what the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have done this offseason.

By adding the likes of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, the Buccaneers have been mentioned by many as a Super Bowl contender, to say nothing of their NFC South chances. The New Orleans Saints will have something to say about that, though, and Jordan fired the first shot on Monday.

“But I do know we have to step up our game, we’ve got to elevate,” Jordan told NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football,” via Kevin Patra of “They’ve got the second-greatest quarterback of all-time, right behind Drew Brees, and now we’ve got a head-to-head two times a year. We’ve got our work cut out for us and then they have an addition, you bring in Rob Gronkowski and LeSean McCoy, you already had two 1,000-yard receivers in (Chris) Godwin and Mike Evans. This is a team that’s fighting for second place.”

There’s definitely something tongue-in-cheek about Jordan’s remarks. He knows the Buccaneers are a threat, but he’s also entirely confident that the Saints can hold them off in order to win what would be their fourth consecutive division title.

Jordan may want to take heed of what Bruce Arians has been saying lately. Under Brady, the Bucs will be no joke.

OJ Howard sets extremely high expectations for Bucs’ offense

OJ Howard

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have more hype surrounding them this season than probably any other year in franchise history, and tight end O.J. Howard is clearly not afraid to add to it.

During an appearance on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” this week, Howard said he believes the Bucs’ offense has the potential to be the best in the league.

“You look at us and line us up versus any offense in the league, we’re right up there with the top of them,” Howard said. “So only time will tell how good we are. But I think when you put us on paper, we’re one of the best in the league, if not the best.”

On paper, there’s no denying it. The Buccaneers had arguably the best wide receiver tandem in the NFL last season with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, and many believe Tom Brady will elevate their respective games even further. Howard should also have some outstanding opportunities to get open with Rob Gronkowski likely drawing double coverage, so he could be in for a breakout year.

Of course, the entire offense hinges on whether or not Brady will continue to perform at a high level at age 43. Howard doesn’t seem concerned about that.

“One thing about Tom, I watched him for years in New England, he’s always in the game,” the tight end said. “I think that’s something he can bring to our team. No matter what the score is or how it starts in the first half, I think you always have a chance to win when it comes down to the final minutes of the game. He’ll keep it close.”

Assuming good health, the Bucs should score points in bunches. Bruce Arians has been known to get the most out of quarterbacks, so he and Brady should work well together. It would be tough for Bucs fans to not be excited after hearing what Gronkowski recently said about his decision to come out of retirement, and you can’t blame Howard for getting wrapped up in that.

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have teamed up yet again! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Tampa Fiesta shirt. You can buy it here.

Report: Buccaneers still not interested in signing Antonio Brown

Antonio Brown

Antonio Brown would surely welcome the opportunity to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season, but it does not sound like the team is interested in signing him.

Former longtime NFL executive Michael Lombardi hinted on Tuesday that he believes the Bucs could still sign Brown. Lombardi said “they’re chipping away” to get Tampa to add the seven-time Pro Bowler, which may have been a reference to Tom Brady trying to convince Bucs head coach Bruce Arians and Tampa’s brass. However, ESPN’s Dianni Russini reports that the Buccaneers are still not entertaining the idea of signing Brown.

Brown and Arians worked together when Arians was the offensive coordinator with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Arians referred to A.B. as a “diva” last year and said Brown is no longer the same person the Steelers drafted, and Brown blasted Arians in response. That’s one of many reasons there have been reports that there is no way Tampa Bay will sign Brown. Brown, of course, has made it clear that he would love to sign with the Bucs.

Do the Buccaneers need Brown? Probably not. They already have arguably the best wide receiver tandem in the NFL in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, and they also lured Rob Gronkowski out of retirement. Between Brown’s extensive off-field issues and his rocky relationship with Arians, he probably isn’t worth the potential headache.

Antonio Brown could eventually sign with Buccaneers?

Antonio Brown

Tom Brady has seemingly maintained a close relationship with Antonio Brown since the star receiver’s brief tenure with the New England Patriots last year, and there has been a lot of talk about Brady wanting to play with Brown again in 2020. At least one well-connected member of the NFL community believes that could still happen.

Former longtime NFL executive Michael Lombardi, who now works for The Athletic and hosts a podcast, indicated on “The Pat McAfee Show” Tuesday that he feels there is a strong chance the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will sign Brown.

Brown and Bucs head coach Bruce Arians worked together when Arians was the offensive coordinator with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Arians referred to A.B. as a “diva” last year and said Brown is no longer the same person the Steelers drafted, and Brown blasted Arians in response. That’s one of many reasons there have been reports that there is no way Tampa Bay will sign the seven-time Pro Bowler. Brown, of course, has made it clear that he would love to sign with the Bucs.

Brown is still awaiting word from the NFL on a possible suspension following an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct from two different women. Since those allegations came to light, Brown was charged with burglary with battery after he and his trainer, Glenn Holt, allegedly attacked a moving truck driver. Brown recently pleaded no contest to a charge in that incident and avoided jail time.

If all of that wasn’t enough to give NFL teams pause, Brown also streamed a live video on Instagram back in January that showed him berating police officers in front of his children.

Should the NFL announce a suspension for Brown that doesn’t last the entire 2020 season, we have already heard of some other teams that might be interested in him. His history with Arians makes a reunion with Brady seem unlikely, but the Bucs would become even more dangerous if they added Brown to the mix.

Jamal Adams adds Buccaneers to list of preferred trade destinations

Jamal Adams

Jamal Adams still wants to be traded, and it looks like he’s even revising his list of preferred destinations on the fly.

Adams told former NFL safety Ryan Clark that he would also welcome a trade to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That would reunite him with former head coach Todd Bowles, who serves as Tampa’s defensive coordinator.

The Buccaneers are certainly becoming an attractive trade destination for a lot of reasons. Anyone who goes there will be teammates with Tom Brady, and the Bucs are likely to be contenders as long as he’s there.

Adams wanted a new deal and demanded a trade when he didn’t get it. The 24-year-old safety doesn’t have a lot of leverage, though, so a trade is certainly no guarantee. We do know the seven other teams he’d prefer to go to in addition to Tampa Bay.