More in store for Brown and Tryon?
A reminder that you can send me questions anytime on Twitter (@ScottSBucs) and that they are easier to find if you include the hashtag #SSMailbagBucs. We’re also now asking questions every week on our Instagram page; look for this story on Wednesday. As always, if you want to put a longer question in the mailbag and prefer to email your question, you can do so at [email protected]
big shootout at Joe Tryon. Will he continue to play while JPP is released? When will JPP be back?
– @ coke_man25 (via Instagram)
Please tell me you meant “scream”. I really don’t want anybody shooting Joe.
And, yes, Joe Tryon-Shoyinka will obviously continue to play while Jason Pierre-Paul is sidelined by his shoulder injury, and he will continue to play after JPP come back of this injury. Maybe you were wondering if Tryon was going to continue to start while JPP was out, and the answer to that question is still yes. Before Pierre-Paul was sidelined, Tryon played a total of 40 snaps in Bucs’ first two games while Anthony Nelson played 21. Since then, Tryon started both games and played 101. snaps or 81.5% of the team’s total. Nelson played 36 snaps in those games, going from 10.5 per game to 18 per game. Obviously, Tryon’s jump in playing time was much bigger than Nelson’s, and there’s no one else in that position, so there’s no reason to expect that. that Tryon’s share drops significantly as long as JPP is unavailable.
The real question will be how the snaps will be distributed after Pierre-Paul returns. Did Tryon’s response to the massive increase in playing time convince coaches that he should get over 20 snaps per game? Pierre-Paul and Shaq Barrett are well known for competently handling a very high percentage of defensive snaps – Barrett is at 84% in four games and Pierre-Paul was on 88% of them before getting injured – but the Bucs could need to make a little more room for the rookie. His two sacks and four QB hits in New England were huge.
So when will Pierre-Paul be back in action? Maybe this weekend. That mailbag goes up before training on Thursday, but JPP was a limited participant in training on Wednesday. He also trained in a surprisingly limited fashion last Friday, but that wasn’t enough to clear him for last Sunday night’s game. Still, he’s clearly going in the right direction and he’s famous for being able to play despite injuries. He played all last season and led the Bucs in the sacks while dragging a pretty messed up knee.
I really don’t think the Bucs will know yet, as of Thursday, if Pierre-Paul will be ready to leave on Sunday. Considering its toughness, you certainly can’t rule it out. I to do know that his return will be welcome. His defensive teammates often rave about the energy he brings to everyone when he’s on the pitch. It will be good to get it back.
as a (potential) canadian trader who prefers the NFL regular season to the CFL and NHL I understand how winning the SuperBowl makes a team âworldâ champions! when their game is confined to the lower 48 states. Why stop there? They could be the Galactic Champions! As one of the pundits said earlier, the 2021 season could be like playing 17 Super Bowls! Do you think the Buccs can rehearse as pangalactic Milky Way champions?
Yours, Anton (by e-mail)
Well, before I start to slander (even brazenly) others for their word choices, let me tell you, good sir, that you have committed two atrocities in my opinion. First of all, the Super Bowl is two words. I’ve shouted this from the top of the mountain before, but I guess not everyone got the message. SUPER BOWL IS TWO WORDS. Sorry, it’s a pet peeve for me.
Also, the correct way to shorten Buccaneers is “Bucs”, not “Buccs”. There is no real reason for this, it is correct. This is how it always has been and this is how it will be. If you mean “Buccos”, which is really something you see more often in connection with the Pittsburgh Pirates, so you can use two C. Otherwise it’s a C. Bucs. Get with the program, my Canadian friend.
(By the way, when I checked the spelling of this mailbag before submitting it, SuperBowl and Buccs were flagged as misspellings. I feel justified.)
Now that we have that sorted out, let me also say that I totally agree with you. I always thought it was strange that Super Bowl winners were commonly referred to as “world champions”. I mean, I think it’s pretty clear that the winner of the National Football League would have beat any other team from any other part of the world, but these teams never even have a chance to win the title! In fact, I try to use this description as infrequently as possible, preferring âSuper Bowl Champions,â but I can’t claim that I’ve never used it. Uh, actually the book about the 2002 Super Bowl winning team that I was fortunate enough to have the chance to write, is called “World Champions, the Official History of the 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. “. Come to think of it, I don’t know why that was the “official” story of this team, but there is nothing to change now.
I guess that’s just one of those things people started saying at one point and it just stuck. In this way, it’s similar to the Super Bowl itself. The first three Super Bowls weren’t even officially called Super Bowls. Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt came up with the title in 1966, inspired enough incredibly by his children’s love for the Super Balltoy, and it was used unofficially for the following years before being finally adopted (and applied retroactively) in 1970.
Typing this paragraph reminded me of the names of other major sports league championships in the United States, and as you are no doubt aware, Major League Baseball ends each season with a “World Series”. This league includes a Canadian team, but it barely understands the whole world, and there are actually some very high level baseball leagues in other countries. If you ask me, that’s an even more blatant assertion of world domination than the NFL’s use of “world champions.”
So, yeah, someone just started saying it and everyone thought it sounded good so here we are. I’m already familiar with Lamar Hunt’s Super Bowl story, but I had to google why NFL title winners are commonly referred to as world champions. It turns out it’s basically because Lamar Hunt’s original idea was not officially adopted until 1970. The first three games were officially called the âAFL-NFL World Championship Gameâ. You win the world championship game, you are world champions. As easy as that.
Of course, we’re just chasing our own tail here, because putting “World” in that title for the first three potential Super Bowls was just as arbitrary. I don’t see a good reason why they weren’t just called the “AFL-NFL Championship Game”. But they weren’t, and here we are.
By the way, I thought I’d point out that there is actually a pretty good sci-fi book series called “The Galactic Football League”, by Scott Sigler. And, yes, this is actually American football being played on multiple planets spanning our galaxy in the distant future. If that premise sounds a little silly to you (and incredibly encouraging for the NFL), let me assure you that these books actually have a lot of substance and explore certain topics (racism, crime, gambling) that are relevant today. I have read them all and enjoyed them very much. And no, I don’t know Scott Sigler and I don’t get any kind of kickback for this plug.
– @gransgransashes (via Instagram)
Seems like a strange question to me following a game in which Antonio Brown got 11 targets, just one short of Mike Evans on Sunday night at Foxborough. Do you mean more than this? Like, 20 or something? He had six more targets than Chris Godwin while playing 33 fewer snaps. The man is targeted!
Brown missed the Bucs’ third game in Los Angeles while on the reserve / COVID-19 roster, so he played one game less than almost all of the team’s major wide receivers. And yet he’s still third on the team for targets, with 21. A little apt for the team’s third receiver, I think. Evans leads with 37 and Godwin is next with 30. Including the missed game, Evans has 9.25 targets per game, Godwin 7.5 and Brown 7.0.
Having said that, I actually think the answer to your question is yes. After the Rams and Patriots games, it looks like the teams are trying to pull the ball deep against Tom Brady and the Bucs offense and are leaning towards more men in cover than in the box. This challenges the Bucs to execute it and patiently move the ball around with short passes. Against the Patriots, Brady threw 24 of his 43 passes either behind the line of scrimmage (screens, in other words) or within 10 yards on the field. He was 17 for 24 on those passes for 141 yards. On passes between 10 and 19 yards down, Brady was two of 11 for 46 yards. He had 81 yards on 20 yards (plus a big win for Brown erased by a penalty), but it only happened on three of eight passes.
I think the Buccaneers are going to continue to see this defensive approach a lot. Brady was one of the league’s best deep passers last year and that has been a big part of the team’s offensive success. This year he’s throwing it out into the field much less often, and whether by design or due to defensive strategies, the new approach is toojob. Bucs lead the NFL in passing yards; they just need more passes to get there than last year.
So who does this favor in the receiving body. A smart colleague of mine who won’t be named here told me in the press gallery long before kickoff Sunday night that he thought Brown was going to have a big night. His theory was that Brown is one of the best Bucs players with the ball in his hands, and if you’re going to throw a lot of quick passes, you want to do that to the guys who are going to add footage after the catch. Halfway through the game, I officially recognized his wisdom.
So if the Bucs see a lot of the same defensive strategy, I think there will be a lot of opportunities for Brown. And what we know very well about Brady is that he’s going to throw it in the open no matter who it is. So basically Brown can control if he gets some more targets to go forward. If he continues to open up to a high clip and can make plays after the capture, Brady will continue to find him.