Buccaneers News NFL: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston will be suspended for the first three games of the 2018 NFL Season.



Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2018 Season Preview




Chris Ransom follow @DraftUtopia Posted on 8/15/2018.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Free Agency Recap


Tampa Bay signed Ryan Jensen who came in as a backup center on the Baltimore Ravens last season only to win a starting job. The Buccaneers overpaid Jensen. They also signed Philadelphia Eagles backup defensive tackle Beau Allen. Tampa Bay also got Vinny Curry from the Eagles to be their 4-3 right end. They traded for Jason Pierre-Paul as well to compliment Curry at 4-3 left end.



Tampa Bay Buccaneers Draft Recap


The Buccaneers drafted Vita Vea in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Washington's defensive tackle was beating out Beau Allen for the starting defensive tackle job next to Gerald McCoy before being injured in the preseason. Vea should start week 1 as long as he's healthy by the start of the regular season. Tampa Bay's other draft picks are going to be used for depth.




Tampa Bay Buccaneers Quarterback Summary: Jameis Winston has three consecutive seasons with 3,500 passing yards. Winston threw for that many passing yards even with a down year in 2017 after two straight seasons of over 4,000 passing yards. Ryan Fitzpatrick, the backup will begin the season as Tampa Bay's starting quarterback for the first three games.


Dirk Koetter is an offensive genius. Tampa Bay's head coach is awesome at developing quarterbacks and did a phenomenal job developing David Garrard, Matt Ryan, and Jameis Winston in the NFL. Mike Bajakian enters his fourth season as the Buccaneers quarterback coach after being an offensive coordinator at Central Michigan, Cincinnati, and Tennessee. Winston really cleaned up his act and focused on football with Koetter and Bajakian guiding him in each of his first three seasons. It didn't matter if the Koetter was offensive coordinator or head coach. The point is Tampa Bay found their quarterback with Winston and have the coaches around him to succeed with Koetter as a head coach/mediator who specializes in developing quarterbacks along with Mike Bajakian.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Running Back Summary: Tampa Bay has three running backs with Peyton Barber, Jacquizz Rodgers, and Ronald Jones their 2018 second round pick out of USC. Jones was doing second team reps, but after having 9 carries for 9 rushing yards in his preseason debut, he got demoted to third string.


Tampa Bay has a lot of depth and stability at running back. At the same time, it's uncertain who the starting running back is.


Running backs coach Tim Spencer has had a lot of success with running backs. He developed Matt Forte on the Chicago Bears until 2014 when he left Chicago to go to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Spencer is now in his fifth season with Tampa Bay.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wide Receiver Summary: Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson are Winston's top two receiving targets. Chris Godwin dominated in his week 17 start versus the New Orleans Saints and is now pushing Jackosn for the number two receiver spot. He's jumped Adam Humphries as the slot receiver on the depth chart. Adam Humphries is now a depth player, but has one year on his contract. Tampa Bay has additional targets like Bobo Wilson, Freddie Martino, and 2018 fifth round pick Justin Watson out of Penn competing for those final two roster spots on the Buccaneers depth chart.


I think we will see two wide receiver sets with Evans and Jackson. We will also see three wide receiver sets with Jackson in the slot with Godwin on the outside. We could even see some four wide receiver sets with Evans and Godwin on the outside with Jackson and Humphries both lined up in the slot. All these options and possibilities make Tampa Bay's passing game so deadly.


Offensive coordinator Todd Monken was Tampa Bay's wide receivers coach before being promoted to offensive coordinator under Dirk Koetter. Skyler Fulton is going to coach the wide receivers this year and will be mentored by Monken personally. I think that Monken will do a good job calling plays to get the most out of Tampa Bay's passing game. He could have done a better job calling plays in 2017, but he's someone who has a bright future in the NFL if he continues to grow. At the same time, if Tampa Bay struggles he may be out of a job if Koetter gets fired.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tight End Summary: Cameron Brate and 2017 first round pick O.J. Howard make a good tight end tandem. Howard is going to compliment Brate since Brate got a huge extension. You also got Ben Steele entering his second season as a tight ends coach. I feel like Steele will do well as a tight ends coach.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offensive Line Summary: Tampa Bay has Donovan Smith starting at left tackle, Ali Marpet starting at left guard, Ryan Jensen starting at center, Caleb Benenoch at right guard, and Demar Dotson at right tackle. I feel like this is a good run blocking unit, but also a suspect pass blocking unit that will struggle to keep Jameis Winston from getting sacked. Tampa Bay spent a third round pick on Alex Cappa out of Humboldt State who can line up at left tackle, left guard, right guard, or right tackle with his versatility. Tampa Bay is using Cappa as a backup for now after releasing J.R. Sweezy.


George Warhop is Tampa Bay's offensive line coach. That tells me Tampa Bay will focus on run blocking to set up the running game while letting Winston use his mobility and scrambling to extend plays out of the pocket rather than improve the pass protection at this point. That's what Tampa Bay did in 2016 even though Winston played more from the pocket which is why Winston took more sacks and threw ore interceptions in 2016 as well as 2017.


Tampa Bay has an offense with the ability to rank in the top 10 in points per game, total yards, passing yards, and rushing yards. They have all of their coaches back even though they underperformed. To make matters worse Tampa Bay's offensive line is still a huge liability in pass protection so the Buccaneers should wield a middle of the pack offense when Winston returns. They may start out as the NFL's worst offense during Winston's suspension.



Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defensive Line Summary: Tampa Bay has Vinny Curry starting at 4-3 right end. Jason Pierre-Paul is starting at 4-3 left end as Tampa Bay replaces a former Giant Ayers with another former Giant in Pierre-Paul. Noah Spence is now a rotational defensive end after being injuured for most of 2017. Gerald McCoy returns as the starting defensive tackle and Vita Vea compliments McCoy at 4-3 defensive tackle. Beau Allen provides some depth behind Vea ass a 4-3 defensive tackle.


Brenston Buckner was the defensive line coach with the Arizona Cardinals for the past few seasons. They ran a 3-4 while Tampa Bay runs a 4-3. I'm not sure Buckner is the best fit for Tampa Bay as far as coaching goes. If he turns this defensive line around it will speed up the rebuild in Tampa Bay immensely.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Linebacker Summary: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have Lavonte David at 4-3 right outside linebacker. Kwon Alexander is going to start at middle linebacker. Kendell Beckwith will likely start at 4-3 left outside linebacker. Tampa Bay has excellent starters at linebacker. The depth at linebacker is pretty thin if any of those three get injured.


Mark Duffner did okay in year two. That was mainly due to Mike Smith, the former Falcons head coach who went 66-46 as Atlanta's head coach being the defensive coordinator for Tampa Bay for the past two seasons. Smith went from promising as a defensive coordinator to predictable. He really needs a strong third year along with linebackers coach Mark Duffner if he wants to keep his job.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defensive Backs Summary: The Buccaneers have excellent depth at cornerback. Brent Grimes and Vernon Hargreaves III will start across from each other at cornerback with Grimes as a field cornerback and Hargreaves III as a boundary cornerback. Ryan Smith is the nickel cornerback. Carlton Davis one of Tampa Bay's 2018 second round picks that they got from the Buffalo Bills is now the dime cornerback and could be starting as early as 2019. M.J. Stewart the other second round cornerback that Tampa Bay drafted is the quarter cornerback.


Tampa Bay is loaded with cornerback depth. Grimes is in a contract year and Hargreaves III has regressed since his rookie season.


Justin Evans is now the new strong safety. Chris Conte is starting at free safety. Tampa Bay needs an upgrade over Chris Conte at free safety, but the rest of this secondary appears to be quite formidable. While Tampa Bay is loaded at cornerback, this team has a weakness at safety that many NFL teams can exploit. Jordan Whitehead is the backup strong safety to Justin Evans and I feel like he's an upgrade over Chris Conte.


Brett Maxie enters his third season as the defensive backs coach. Maxie specializes with developing cornerbacks more so then safeties. That's why he's a nice fit for Tampa Bay since their secondary is built around the cornerbacks more so then the safeties.


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a bottom feeder in sacks because Vinny Curry never had double digit sacks as a 4-3 right end when he was with the Philadelphia Eagles. The run defense has potential to be a top 15 unit if everyone is healthy. The pass defense could be a top 20 unit with the cornerback depth. The safeties will get picked apart.



Tampa Bay Buccaneers Special Teams Summary: Chandler Catanzaro is coming in to be the new kicker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Punter Bryan Anger is a solid punter. Adam Humphries is the kick returner with Jacquizz Rodgers as the punt returner on Tampa Bay. Nate Kaczor enters his third season as Tampa Bay's special teams coordinator.




Tampa Bay Buccaneers Worst Case Scenario: Tampa Bay goes 1-15. As a result they have the leagues worst record.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Best Case Scenario: Tampa Bay goes 9-7. This team posts a winning record and gets back to where they were two years ago despite missing the playoffs.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2018 NFL Schedule


Week
Date
Opponent
Time
Cable Network
Result
Week 1
September 9
AT
1 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 2
September 16
VS
1 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 3
September 24
VS
8:15 PM EST
ESPN
L
Week 4
September 30
AT
1 PM EST
FOX
W
Week 5
Bye Week
Week 6
October 14
AT
1 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 7
October 21
VS
1 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 8
October 28
AT
1 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 9
November 4
AT
1 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 10
November 11
VS
1 PM EST
FOX
W
Week 11
November 18
AT
1 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 12
November 25
VS
1 PM EST
FOX
W
Week 13
December 2
VS
1 PM EST
FOX
W
Week 14
December 9
VS
1 PM EST
FOX
W
Week 15
December 16
AT
1 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 16
December 23
AT
1 PM EST
FOX
L
Week 17
December 30
VS
1 PM EST
FOX
W


Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2018 Projected Record (6-10): Tampa Bay kept all of their coaches even after they lost control of players in the locker room. They hired a new wide receivers coach to learn under offensive coordinator Nick Mullens and a new defensive line coach. Jameis Winston will not play until week 4 and that may affect the teams success. Their isn't a true number one running back and the offensive line is still an issue which is why I see this being a really long season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I have Tampa Bay finishing last in the NFC South Division once again, but this team goes 6-10 because they are better then people realize and they have a lot of talent despite poor coaching.








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