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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs WR Godwin had play of training camp Wednesday

Abbey Radeka

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Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
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The joint practices between the Bucs and the Dolphins down in Tampa have allowed both teams to get important reps against other standout players in the league. Day 2 of practice has produced incredible performances from both teams, but the standout play of not only the day, but potentially in all of the Bucs training camp, was a catch made by Bucs WR Chris Godwin.

Godwin went up against the Dolphins’ corner in Xavien Howard twice in 1-on-1s but in the second match-up, Godwin beat him for a touchdown with a highly contested grab.

The Pewter Report’s Trevor Sikkema got it on video.

Sikkema had this to say about his performance during Wednesday’s practice.

“In his second rep, Godwin not only gave us the play of the day, but perhaps the play of the entire training camp.

If you’re not on the Godwin train yet, you better get on, because it’s about to be full and that train is about the leave the station for good.”

But he’s not the only one predicting a breakout season for the former Penn State WR.

About to enter his third season in the NFL after having been a mid-round draft pick from Penn State, Godwin appears to be poised to become more of a nationally known name in what could be a huge year for the Buccaneers offense.

A year ago, Godwin nearly doubled his reception output to 59 from 34 in his rookie season of 2017. He also caught for 842 yards and scored seven touchdowns, while essentially being the Bucs third wide recevier target downfield. And now, with burner- but locker room problem DeSean Jackson gone from Tampa Bay, Godwin is clearly poised to assume the complementary role to Perennial Pro Bowler Mike Evans.

And earlier this summer, Godwin was praised by NFL.com, as potentially being the Buccaneers next first time Pro Bowl player. Marc Sessler compiled a list of all of the NFC teams with players that have yet to earn the Pro Bowl postseason honor and Godwin was at the top of his Bucs list.

Here was his rationale on selecting the 6’1 210lbs. Godwin:

“This was a coin flip between Godwin and dominant-when-healthy tight end O.J. Howard. New coach Bruce Arians has a reputation for deemphasizing tight ends, but he acknowledged he’s never had an athletic specimen the equal of Howard. I trust Arians will use his best players, but I know the coach has fallen hard for his young wideout — who posted a 59/842/7 line in 2018 — saying in March: “I think Chris Godwin is going to be close to a 100-catch guy, especially because I think he can play in the slot. He’s never coming off the field.”

Clearly, the Buccaneers are hoping for a huge bounce-back year from quarterback Jameis Winston who has been an injured and suspended disappointment over the last two years, while compiling just a 3 – 13 record as a starter. Winston is hoping for a fresh start under Arians, who’s got a tremendous quarterback improvement track record.

However, Winston will be the first to admit that players like Evans, Godwin and the tight end tandem of O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate will be critical to whatever success he might enjoy in 2019.

Back to Godwin, it is the perfect opportunity in year three of his four-year rookie deal for him to show big time NFL potential.

And, with the other weapons at the Bucs have, he may be in prime position to do just that.

Abbey is a native Floridan who grew up a fan of all Tampa Bay sports teams. She’s recently graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Media Communication Studies. In her time at FSU, she was an In-Game Host for the Basketball and Baseball teams, and reported for Seminole Sports Magazine, producing feature stories that appeared on Fox Sports Sun. She’s excited to share her perspective on all of Florida’s Football teams, especially the Seminoles.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs moving up in our latest power rankings

Jamil King

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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With conference championships now over, all focus will shift to bowl games in college. Florida Atlantic was the lone state team playing for a title last week, defeating the UAB Blazers in blowout fashion. In the NFL, the Bucs made it three straight victories.

The Dolphins almost made it two in a row before the late-game drama. The Jacksonville Jaguars offense fell flat at home in a blowout defeat. That all leads into how our top 5 looks heading into this weekend:

Florida Gators- The Gators stay on top despite not participating in the SEC title game. They may not have played a game, but they still got a win by being selected to the Orange Bowl. Dan Mullen is now two for two in his Gators career in gaining entry into the “New Years Six.” Two seasons of a row with a big bowl win can only help the gators getting back to where they want to be, and that is competing for championships.

Florida Atlantic- The Owls were able to win the C-USA championship destroying UAB 49-6. This was the second title in three years for the Owls, and their great success under Lane Kiffin. All good things come to an end in this day and age in college football for non-power five schools. And so, Kiffin is now on his way to “the Grove” and will be the head coach of Ole Miss. The Owls reward is to play host to SMU in the Boca Raton Bowl.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers- The Bucs are riding a hot streak right now. They are now on a three-game winning streak. The offense continues to put up big numbers behind QB Jameis Winston. Winston, who threw for a career hight 456 yards Sunday, has the second-most yards and touchdowns, but leads the league in INTs by a large margin.

The defense has been playing very well during this winning streak. Next, the Bucs will go on the road to face a struggling Detroit Lions team.

UCF Knights- The Knights had a rare off week during the AAC Title game. They had won the previous two and Saturday the Memphis Tigers won this one, avoiding the Knights. UCF, however, still won 9 games and will look to make it 10 in the bowl game. They will head an hour south to play Marshall in the Gasparilla Bowl in Tampa.

Many wanted the Knights to draw an in-state team like FSU or Miami; instead, it will be Marshall. It is important for UCF to end the year strong with a decisive victory.

Miami Dolphins- The Dolphins didn’t win this past weekend over the New York Jets. They did, though, show a lot in this contest. For a team that looked down and out the whole first half of the season, they have completely turned it around.

If it wasn’t for a late review on pass interference, the Dolphins likely would have won their fourth game in their last six. Head coach Brian Flores was livid after the game, and that heart and passion has put his name in the running for coach of the year.

No, he won’t win the award, but what he and this team have done has been impressive with the lack of talent on the roster.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs QB Winston in limbo with injured thumb

Florida Football Insiders

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Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
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The Bucs are very much concerned and waiting to see the status of quarterback Jameis Winston injured thumb suffered in Sunday’s wild victory over the Colts.

And they have to be prepared to be without their starting quarterback this weekend in Detroit.

First, credit to Pewterreport.com which was at teammate Mike Evans’ charity bowling event Monday evening, and where the fifth year quarterback participated bowling left-handed with a brace seen on his right hand and thumb:

Winston injured the thumb at some point late in the second quarter of the 38 – 35 victory over Indianapolis. Coach Bruce Arians relayed after the game that Winston came out for the second half warm up and couldn’t grip the ball, when he was trying to get ready for the third quarter.

He went inside for an x-ray and backup quarterback Ryan Griffin ran the team for the first series of the second half. Winston returned and threw for over 200 yards in the second half including the game-winning touchdown to Breshad Perriman in the final five minutes of the game.

After the game Arians revealed that Winston had what he described as “a slight, slight crack in the thumb” that showed up on the X-ray.

On Monday afternoon at his regular news conference, the Buccaneers coach said that it would be day by day evaluation, that Winston had swelling on the thumb and would be getting a second opinion from a specialist:

The injury comes at a time of great debate about whether Winston will be kept on for the Buccaneers beyond this season.? He’s currently playing on the 5th year option of his rookie contract for $20 million.

As we wrote last week, Arians made it clear that the evaluation will begin after the season as to whether Winston will be back for 2020 and long-term.

The former number one overall pick is still leading the NFL in interceptions this season with 23, but he is also second in the NFL in touchdown passes and yardage. And, the Bucs have responded with three straight wins late in the year to keep their NFC wild-card hopes barely alive.

Tampa Bay had hoped use veteran Blaine Gabbert, if something happened to Winston, but Gabbert was hurt in the preseason with a separated left shoulder, placed on injured reserve and will not be able to be activated down the stretch of the season.

So that means if Winston cannot play, Griffin, a six year veteran who has played well in the last two preseasons, will be expected to get his first start Sunday.

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