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2020 NFL Scouting Combine Open Thread: TE, QB, WRby Gil Arcia on February 27, 2020 at 9:00 pm
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports The workouts are here. The workouts for the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine will go live on Thursday at 4:00 PM ET. First set of positions to workout this year are the tight ends, quarterbacks, and wide receivers. Workouts are scheduled to run through the evening and end at 11:00 PM ET. Enjoy each other’s company below and share your thoughts and opinions on who you are looking forward to watching the most.
Buc ‘N’ Nuts Podcast returns to talk Arians, Winston, and jersey changesby James Yarcho on February 27, 2020 at 8:35 pm
Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images The Buc ‘N’ Nuts podcast dives into the latest and biggest stories coming out of Indianapolis and One Buc Place Derick returns with the Buc ‘N’ Nuts podcast to discuss the biggest topics surrounding the Buccaneers over the last couple weeks. With jersey changes coming, Jameis Winston indecision looming, and the media availability to Bruce Arians and Jason Licht at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis there is no shortage of topics. What did Arians’ and Licht’s comments mean? What’s the future hold for Winston? And what could we see in the new look Bucs uniforms - and better yet, does it really matter if they don’t win games? Check it all out in the player below or by clicking here as the Buc ‘N’ Nuts podcast makes its triumphant return!
Jameis Winston not Buccaneers’ first choice according to NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthalby David_Harrison on February 27, 2020 at 6:34 pm
One man’s interpretation of Bruce Arians’ NFL Scouting Combine remarks In a column titled, “Panthers, Buccaneers ignite unpredictable quarterback carousel”, on NFL.com, writer Gregg Rosenthal has come to the summary the Tampa Bay Buccaneers do not view Jameis Winston as their top option at quarterback for 2020. The article begins, “Jameis Winston is not the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ No. 1 option at quarterback for 2020.” Not much interpretation needed there. But the statement is Rosenthal’s interpretation of what was - or wasn’t - said in Indianapolis when Bucs head coach Bruce Arians spoke to the media, both in concert and individually. The comment Rosenthal specifically sites in his own writing is Arians’ stating, “As a head coach you have to decide ‘Is there a better option?’...I really don’t know who’s available. Licht can talk to agents now, so we’ll find out hopefully in 36 or 48 hours.” Of course, by now, most everybody who cares about what’s going on in Tampa also knows Arians mentioned Tom Brady and Philip Rivers as two players he’d ‘pick up the phone’ to call as potential dance partners for the upcoming NFL season. Those comments combined have led the NFL editor and writer to believe Winston is an option for Arians, just not the first one. Rosenthal also speculates a landing spot for Winston, if he were to leave Tampa, could be with the Las Vegas Raiders and former Super Bowl winning Buccaneers head coach, Jon Gruden. If the Raiders view Winston’s upside as being higher than incumbent Derek Carr’s, then it’s completely possible Gruden would want to pursue a former Heisman winner and the only quarterback in the NFL to throw for 5,000-yards in 2019. Rosenthal’s conclusion is a reasonable one, but there are also those who took Arians’ comments as a sign Winston would in fact be back with the Buccaneers. James Yarcho and I discussed this fact on the most recent episode of the Locked On Bucs Podcast, and wanted to open the conversation here in the Bucs Nation community as well. So, what do you make of what’s been said, and even what’s not been said, in Indianapolis so far?
Free Agent Profile: Running Back, Chris Thompsonby James Yarcho on February 27, 2020 at 2:00 pm
Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images With only Ronald Jones and Dare Ogunbowale under contract, the Buccaneers will pursue a running back this offseason The Buccaneers’ running game hasn’t been impressive for the better part of the last ten years. A couple of 1,000 yard seasons from Doug Martin, but by and large its been disappointing. A constant rotation of below average backs have led to a rotation of helplessness. Ronald Jones and Peyton Barber had a respectable season but heading into the 2020 season only Jones and Dare Ogunbowale are under contract. That means the free agency market could open up some opportunities for the Bucs to improve at the position without having to spend high draft capital. Chris Thompson has proven to be an effective rusher in this league and could do so on a team friendly deal. Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images CHRIS THOMPSON’S CAREER THUS FAR Thompson was a fifth round pick - 154th overall - in the 2013 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. Thompson has started just one game but has played in 66 over the last seven seasons, racking up 1,194 yards and five touchdowns on 250 carries - a 4.8 yards per carry average. Thompson has also accumulated 1,772 receiving yards and ten touchdowns on 212 receptions making him a relatively evenly split dual threat out of the backfield. Thompson has been somewhat a victim of circumstance, being buried on the depth chart behind the likes of Alfred Morris, Robert Kelly, Samaje Perine, Adrian Peterson, and Derrius Guice. Through all that, Thompson has been consistently injected into the offense and producing when given the opportunity. The former Florida State Seminole hasn’t eclipsed 400 yards rushing yet in his career, but has accounted for at least 500 yards of total offense in three of his last four seasons. Unfortunately, Thompson has had a lot of injury issues throughout his career, which we will get to momentarily. WHY IT WORKS If Bruce Arians stands behind what he says and Ronald Jones can actually be the guy in Tampa, Thompson provides a veteran presence that can give RoJo a breather and be the second back on the depth chart. He can come in the game in any situation as he’s proven he can carry the ball and also be an effective pass catcher. That way, the Bucs aren’t stuck in a situation like they’ve been in the past where they are telegraphing what they play call is based on the running back (looking at you, Charles Sims.) Thompson should also come in at an affordable rate, coming off a two year deal with $4.5 million in guarantees. Thompson’s production falling off during the duration of that deal will lean towards the team that signs him getting an even more affordable contract. And although the injury history - while somewhat concerning for his on field availability - will also help in negotiations for the business side of things. BUT... The injuries. There’s a lot of them, so buckle up. Since his days at Florida State and into his pro career, Thompson has dealt with; fracture of his vertebra, torn ACL, torn labrum, sprained ankle, another torn labrum, broken fibula, and a rib bruise. That’s a lot. Thompson falls into that high risk, high reward category where if he stays healthy he can develop into a major contributor to the offense while being the second half of a one-two punch with Jones. WHAT WE DON’T KNOW For starters, we don’t know what kind of role Chris Thompson is looking for. Is he on the hunt to be the feature guy? Is he good with the role he’s been in while in Washington? Is he looking to join a contender or just the biggest paycheck he can find? All these play into the player’s potential interest in a team. While the Bucs may be on the cusp of contending in the playoffs, they certainly aren’t on the cusp of a championship. With questions surrounding what they’ll do at the quarterback position - which should be answered in some capacity by time free agency kicks off - there may be some hesitancy from players about joining the Bucs when they don’t know who the guy under center will be. We also don’t know if Ron Rivera will be trying to keep him in Washington with Guice and Peterson or what kind of interest Thompson will generate on the open market. It’s extremely unlikely Thompson will be one of those initial wave type of players, but there may be some interest from guys like McVay in Los Angeles or Gruden in Jacksonville as they’ve worked with Thompson before and know what he’s capable of. MAKE THE DECISION It’s completely plausible that the Buccaneers just bring Peyton Barber back and continue the tandem that began to blossom last season. It’s also just as plausible that the Bucs look to improve the position. Is Chris Thompson that improvement? What do you think of him? Vote in the poll below and discuss in the comment section.
Did Bruce Arians violate the league’s Anti-Tampering Policy?by Gil Arcia on February 27, 2020 at 3:30 am
Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images Tampa Bay’s head coach may have made a boo-boo. Here I was on a Wednesday night trying to enjoy some music on my Beats from the likes of Danny Gokey and Andy Mineo among others with some acoustic ballads sprinkled in when our very own James Yarcho slid into my text messages to pop my bubble. All because of articles written in the Tampa Bay Times and the Boston Globe. On Tuesday, we debated within our staff if Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians violated the NFL Anti-Tampering Policy when he said he’d place a phone call to Tom Brady when the league’s negotiating period begins. By the actual definition, he didn’t really tamper, right? Any interference by a member club with the employer-employee relationship of another club or any attempt by a club to impermissibly induce a person to seek employment with that club or with the NFL. I mean, induce means to “succeed in persuading or influencing someone to do something” and Arians didn’t technically persuade anyone (in this case, Brady) into doing anything. At least not yet anyway. But both articles in both papers suggested Arians did in fact tamper. Now I see why. There are these little sneaky clauses legal departments put in documents. In this policy, that’s no different. And it falls under the section labeled Public/Private Statements. Any public or private statement of interest, qualified or unqualified, in another club’s player to that player’s agent or representative, or to a member of the news media, is a violation of this Anti-Tampering Policy. There it is. The very. First. Sentence. It’s doubtful anything will happen. Like Ben Volin wrote in his article for the Boston Globe, the Patriots would probably welcome it so that they can get a better feel for the market. So rest easy, Bucs fans. Know that you’re head coach may not hurt the team at the end of the day. Now back to some Lecrae, Social Club Misfits, and maybe some Ed Sheeran and/or Toby Mac. That’s right. I’m all over the place. Thanks, James.