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Friday, October 18, 2019

Articles tagged: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Watch: Panthers attempt rare fair catch kick against Bucs in London

If fans in London were confused by what was going on to close out the first half of Sunday’s game between the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, they certainly were not alone.

Trailing 17-7 with eight seconds remaining in the second quarter, the Bucs were about to punt the ball away to Carolina from their own 26-yard line when three consecutive pre-snap penalties backed them up to the 11. At that point, the Panthers decided they wanted to try what is known as a fair catch kick.

Most fans in America had no idea what that was, but it is an option a receiving team has if they want to attempt an uncontested field goal after a fair catch on a punt return. The decision gave Panthers rookie kicker Joey Slye a 60-yard attempt, but he missed it wide right.

Former NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino explained the play further, noting that is has not been used since 2013.

Many fans in London have had to learn the rules of American football, and their American counterparts joined them in that for a short period on Sunday. I can personally say a fair catch kick is something I have never seen, and even I had no idea what it was.

Jason Pierre-Paul agrees to restructured contract with Bucs

Jason Pierre-Paul

Jason Pierre-Paul still has no clear timeline for a return as he continues to recover from a neck injury, but there is now a chance the star defensive end will never play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers again.

Pierre-Paul and the Bucs have agreed to a reworked contract that will now expire following the 2019 season, ESPN’s Field Yates reports. The new deal clears salary cap space for the team while allowing Pierre-Paul to collect more than $10 million this year and potentially become a free agent if he is cleared to play.

Pierre-Paul was in the third year of a four-year, $62 million contract he signed with the New York Giants back in 2017. The Giants traded him to Tampa prior to the 2018 season for draft picks. The 30-year-old made a huge impact with the Bucs last year, as his 12.5 sacks in 16 games were the most he has had since 2014. However, yet another non-football injury changed his career path during the offseason.

Pierre-Paul suffered a neck injury during a single-car crash back in May. He was initially expected to miss at least the first six weeks of the season, but there have been questions about whether he will play in 2018 at all.

If you remember, Pierre-Paul already had to battle his way back with the Giants years ago after he lost a portion of his hand in a fireworks mishap. His football career has been a rollercoaster, to say the least.

Bruce Arians has harsh criticism of Buccaneers’ offensive line

Bruce Arians

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians had harsh criticism of his offensive line following the team’s 13-12 win over the Cleveland Browns in Friday’s preseason game.

The Bucs allowed seven sacks in the game, five by the team’s starting linemen. After the game, Arians said his linemen “got their a– kicked. One on one,” via the Tampa Bay Times’ Rick Stroud.

The Browns have a pretty beastly defensive line led by Myles Garrett, Olivier Vernon and Sheldon Richardson, so their defensive unit will probably be racking up sacks this season. Regardless, that’s far too many sacks for an offensive line to allow.

Tampa Bay was hoping to see Jameis Winston take a major step forward in what is a make-or-break season of his career. He’s going to need all the help — and protection — he can get. The Bucs need to step things up come Week 1.

Ndamukong Suh reportedly agrees to one-year deal with Bucs

Ndamukong Suh

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made a surprising decision to release star defensive tackle Gerald McCoy on Monday, but it now looks like they had his replacement in mind all along.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Bucs have agreed to a one-year deal with Ndamukong Suh.

McCoy was set to make $13 million in 2019, which was an amount the Bucs were not comfortable paying. Suh made $14 million in his lone season with the Los Angeles Rams last year.

Suh is actually a year older than McCoy at age 32, and McCoy has more sacks in each of the past four seasons. McCoy was signed with Tampa through 2021 prior to being released, so the move was probably more financially motivated than anything. The immediate signing of Suh is further evidence of that.

Bucs release new statement on Jason Pierre-Paul car accident

Jason Pierre-Paul

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers revealed last week that Jason Pierre-Paul was involved in a car accident and treated at the hospital, and they are not providing any additional information in the wake of a report that the defensive lineman could miss the entire 2019 season.

On Tuesday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Pierre-Paul suffered a fractured neck and could require surgery. Rather than confirm or deny that report, Bucs general manager Jason Licht issued a new statement saying that the team’s medical staff is still evaluating Pierre-Paul.

“As we stated last week following the news of Jason’s auto accident, our immediate concern was for both Jason and his passenger,” Licht said. “While Jason was treated and released in south Florida the same day of the accident, we wanted to ensure that our medical team had an opportunity to perform a thorough evaluation here in Tampa, and that process is currently ongoing.”

Schefter said Pierre-Paul is scheduled to meet with some specialists, but the early belief is that he will not play in 2019.

As you know, Pierre-Paul lost part of his hand in a gruesome fireworks accident when he was with the New York Giants several years ago. While the details of last week’s accident are unclear, it seems like he has some horrible luck.

Pierre-Paul made a huge impact on the Buccaneers’ defense last season, recording 12.5 sacks in 16 games.

Bucs coach Bruce Arians shares his opinion on brutal schedule stretch

Bruce Arians

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be at a significant disadvantage compared to other teams next season because of the way the NFL structured their schedule, and head coach Bruce Arians is not hiding the fact that he is unhappy about it.

While certain teams will have easier schedules than others because of the divisions they play in, the NFL is doing the Bucs no favors by sending them on the road for seven consecutive weeks in the middle of the year, including a trip to London. On Tuesday, Arians called the scheduled “ridiculous.”

The Bucs have a home game against the New York Giants in Week 3 on Sept. 22. From there, they travel to Los Angeles to face the Rams, New Orleans to face the Saints, and then all the way to London to take on the Carolina Panthers. They have their bye week after the London game, but they then have back-to-back road games against the Tennessee Titans and Seattle Seahawks in Week 8 and Week 9.

How much of a gauntlet is that? One NFL schedule-maker already admitted that the league messed up, though that won’t help the Buccaneers now. The team lured Arians out of retirement because they believe he is one of the better coaches in football, and the 66-year-old is going to have to do some of his best work during that brutal two-month stretch.

NFL schedule-maker admits Buccaneers have right to be unhappy

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The NFL released its full schedule this week, and it was met with the usual complaints about which teams have it easy and which got a tough draw. While the league can’t do anything about the fact that the New England Patriots get to play everyone in the AFC East twice again, the way the season is mapped out for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers seems downright cruel.

And at least one league official knows it.

Mike North, the NFL’s senior director of broadcast planning and scheduling, said on Sirius XM NFL Radio’s “Late Hits” Thursday that the Buccaneers and their fans have a right to be angry about the schedule, which has the Bucs on the road for seven straight weeks.

“If we had to do-over, if we had a redo, I’d love to take another shot at that Tampa Bay schedule,” North admitted. “I’m not sure that’s really fair to their fans. I’m hopeful that we didn’t do something to the Buccaneers that they feel like was really unfair.”

The Bucs have a home game against the New York Giants in Week 3 on Sept. 22. From there, they travel to Los Angeles to face the Rams, New Orleans to face the Saints, and then all the way to London to take on the Carolina Panthers. They have their bye week after the London game, but they then have back-to-back road games against the Tennessee Titans and Seattle Seahawks in Week 8 and Week 9.

That is too much travel, and it should not have happened.

“I know we’re not allowed to root for anybody,” North said. “But I’m kind of rooting for the Buccaneers through October.”

North said teams typically don’t complain publicly about schedules because they don’t want to sound like they’re making excuses, but no one would blame the Buccaneers for being upset. While we may not have listed them as taking part in any of the best revenge games of the upcoming season, the Bucs could be playing with plenty of anger in the middle part of the year.