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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buccaneers rookie Beckwith plays like a vet in debut

Roy Cummings

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Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire

TAMPA – Buccaneers linebacker Kendell Beckwith is one of those rare rookies who doesn’t play like a rookie.

“He’s what I call a rookie-non-rookie,’’ veteran defensive tackle Clinton McDonald said. “He’s a rookie but he plays like a veteran.’’

  No one can deny Beckwith played like a veteran during the Bucs 29-7 dismantling of the Bears on Sunday.

Beckwith started the game as expected at strongside linebacker but soon moved into the middle after Kwon Alexander left the game early in the second quarter with a sore hamstring.

As the final score suggests, the Bucs barely noticed the difference as Beckwith finished out his NFL debut with five tackles, including two for a loss, and a pass breakup.

Beckwith was particularly sharp in coverage, where was targeted eight times and allowed only four catches for 43 yards, including just 16 yards after the catch, according to Pro Football Focus.

“I can’t say it enough times,’’ Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said of the player the Bucs spent their third-round pick on this past spring. “It’s an amazing story the guy is even out there.

“He’s coming off an ACL tear (suffered last November) and so we’re fortunate, and the fact he can play multiple positions is great because he stepped in there today and did a really nice job.’’

 Beckwith, an LSU product, has been doing a nice job ever since he first surprised the Bucs by stepping onto the practice field for the first day of training camp back in July.

After missing all the team’s offseason workouts while rehabbing from his season-ending knee injury, Beckwith was ticketed to start camp on the physically unable to perform list. He quickly earned a spot in the starting lineup instead.

It helped that Devante Bond, the first of the Bucs two 2016 sixth-round draft picks, went down with a knee injury, but there’s no doubt Beckwith has earned his playing time.

He ranked third on the team during the preseason with 17 tackles, including four for a loss, and also recorded a couple of sacks while splitting time between the middle and strongside backer spots.

 “He’s just one of those guys that, you don’t have to worry about him being a rookie,’’ defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said. “Obviously he’s going to have some rookie moments, but he came from LSU and he kind of reminds me of somebody else who came from LSU.’’

That would be Alexander, who had a non-rookie-like rookie season himself two years ago and is now one of the cornerstone of the Bucs defense

Oh, and by the way, don’t expect that cornerstone to be missing from the lineup when the Bucs return to action against the Vikings next week. Alexander said after the game that he didn’t “tweak or pull’’ his hamstring, adding that it was “only a little sore.’’

No surprise there. After watching Beckwith play, Alexander’s hamstring probably started feeling a lot better.

 

 

Roy Cummings is a native of Chicago, Illinois who grew up in the suburb of Lombard. He and his family later moved to Lakeland, Florida, where Roy attended high school at Kathleen High. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communications in 1983 and immediately went to work for the Tampa Tribune. After five years working in a Polk County bureau covering everything from high school sports to college football to the Orlando Magic of the NBA, Roy moved back to Tampa and became the Tribune's first beat writer for the Tampa Bay Lightning, covering the team from its inception through the first eight years on the ice. He was then moved to the Buccaneers beat, where he stayed until the paper was folded in May, 2016. A two-time Florida Sports Writer of the Year, Roy has extensive experience covering all Tampa professional sports teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs coach Arians again non-committal Tuesday on QB Winston

Florida Football Insiders

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It’s become increasingly apparent, that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are ready to move on from potential free agent quarterback Jameis Winston. And Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, coach Bruce Arians gave the latest example that he and the Buccaneers front office will look at the other options available first.

Arians spoke at a podium on numerous subjects, but the most prominent is what Tampa Bay will do in the coming days with Winston?

Arians was asked directly about potential for a franchise tag for his starter a year ago and what the Bucs might proceed to do? But, he refused to endorse that option on the former number one overall pick Winston. And, the Bucs coach maintained that the team will possibly us the franchise tag for defensive end Shaq Barrett.

Further, Arians gave a pointed specific answer on Winston’s poor play last December as the team finished 7-9 and that has the team looking at other options,

Arians has consistently refused back Winston since the off-season began. This included at an NFL coaching seminar earlier this month in Tampa. He said to the media at that time:

“Really nothing has changed,” Arians said. “What’s Door No. 2? You know? Can we make the one we have better? All those things you go through right now.”

“You’re just sitting there waiting to see is there someone available? … Is he a better option? 

The Buccaneers faltered in the middle of the season to drop to 3-7 and then, Winston and Co. blew its final two games to finish 7 – 9 with Winston throwing a career-high 30 interceptions.

After their final loss at home to Atlanta in overtime, where Winston threw the game losing “pick six,” Arians was candid after the final game by saying about Winston’s play that it would have to be evaluated pass by pass and game by game in the off-season. Further, he told the media then, that there “was some great and some terrible…. and you have to decide, if the great outweighs the terrible.”

While Winston did throw for a career-high 5000 + yards in 2019, his interceptions and total turnovers continued to be his downfall throughout the season. The Buccaneers finished 1 – 6 in games against teams with winning records and Winston had 17 total turnovers in those seven games. He finished with the 30 picks that included 10 of them in the Bucs final four games.

Tampa Bay obviously will have the opportunity to go after a free agent quarterback or two, as there is much speculation about the likes of Tom Brady with the Patriots. Plus, Philip Rivers will not be re-signed by the Chargers and is available come March. And, now that Drew Brees has announced he wants to play at least one more year for the Saints, their backup Teddy Bridgewater will be in demand on the market.

The Bucs are also continuing the evaluating the QB class for the Draft the next few days in Indy, which could have some interesting names still available in the second and third rounds and beyond.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs confirmed Monday they will have new uniforms in 2020

Florida Football Insiders

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, the Bucs confirmed what they have been hinting at, they will have new uniforms in 2020. But the real question is: what does “new” mean in this instance?

First, the team released another video with clues about them intending to change their uniform and potentially alter their logo:

The Bucs also released a statement through their website confirming that April will be the unveiling of the new uniforms, as well as, potential new color scheme, logo, etc. and had these comments from co – owner, Ed Glazer:

“We have heard the feedback from our fans loud and clear and have been working with the NFL and our league partners at Nike to usher in a new look as we enter this next decade of Buccaneers football. We look forward to revealing more details in the near future about our official unveiling event which will take place later this spring.”

As we wrote earlier this month, the Buccaneers have been hinting at trying to enhance their uniforms and there is some belief there will be more orange, the original color of the franchise. There is also educated speculation that the team may go back to a white helmet, which will enable them to have “throwback uniform games” that they’ve not been able to have for the last seven seasons.

This is because under league concussion protocol, players must have the same helmet all season and the Bucs primary one has been pewter in color since their chance in colors and logo in 1997,

The Bucs last altered their uniforms in 2014 by brightening the color red and slightly changing the logo and making it bigger on their pewter helmet. Teammates Ryan Jensen and Mike Evans are shown in the current color scheme, etc. above.

NFL teams have to submit changes in their colors and logos a year in advance. So obviously, this has been in the works for the Glazer family that owns the team for some time.

It should be noted that the Buccaneers NFC South Rivals, the Atlanta Falcons, have already made mention that they are changing their uniforms and color scheme. And, it’s believed that they will go back in 2020 to their original base color of red including possibly red helmets and potentially, primarily gray pants that they wore for over twenty years.

The Falcons have had black helmets for the better part of 30 years going back to Jerry Glanville changing the color scheme to primarily black jerseys in his days at the Falcons coach in the early 1990s.

Back to the Bucs. There is no other team in the NFL that has orange as their primary jersey color. The Bengals Broncos and Browns have occasionally worn orange “alternate jerseys” but not full time.

So, if the Glazers are again embracing a change to mostly orange jerseys, it will be unique. The video Monday showed a red jersey on a sewing machine, which could be a clue or could be misdirection of what the team actually intends to unveil in April.

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