Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tampa 2sdays with co-writer Anthony Pugliese. Article can be found at http://www.thescrumsports.com
Have the Bucs Done Enough in Free Agency to Make The Jump To the Next Level?
By: Chelsea Snyder
The Buccaneers were fairly aggressive in free agency and landed three players at needed positions. There were no groundbreaking signings, but retaining Doug Martin was definitely huge for the Buccaneers. J.R. Sweezy from Seattle, who is solid player, was also a big grab. Although Sweezy is deemed inconsistent, he is capable of making some pretty impressive blocks in the run game. The Bucs also helped the defense with defensive end Robert Ayers and corner Brent Grimes. Ayers should automatically boost the Bucs pass-rush, while Grimes boosts the back seven. We all can agree the Bucs are a mess in the secondary, so Grimes is a very much-needed addition.
Tampa Bay seemed to have a solid free agency period, but we wont know how well this free agency class is for at least a season. When all is said and done, the Bucs had issues they needed to address and they did, maybe not with stars but definitely with solid players. It is possible that the Bucs have found a solution to make the jump to the next level.
By: Anthony Pugliese
Although I believe that this Buccaneers team is definitely heading in the right direction, they haven’t quite done enough to jump to the next level. That’s also not saying that after the draft my answer would be the same. The Bucs entered today with just over $16 million in cap room. Around $6.8 million of that number needs to be reserved for signing their draft picks. That leaves $9.2 million in salary cap room, which means the Bucs had/have money to play with.
On defense, the Bucs signed Robert Ayers to a 3 year, $19.5 million deal. With only one season (last) with more than five sacks, Ayers seems to fit the bill of a DE2 more than the DE1 the Bucs were in need of. He definitely helps fill a need, but a defensive end will still need to be drafted who will compete for a starting job and secure the position for the future. The Bucs resigned Bradley McDougald to hold down the fort at free safety for 1 year at $2.5 million. They could have signed Reggie Nelson to play safety and make an immediate impact to the entire secondary, for a difference of $1 to $2 million against the cap, which they had. The addition of Brent Grimes bolsters the corner position, and although there were better options out there, he signed a team friendly deal that is a low risk, high reward situation for the team. Daryl Smith was an underrated signing, as he is a tackling machine.
Last season, the offensive line seemed to be coming together. There is a change now that Logan Mankins decided to retire, and the Bucs signed J.R. Sweezy to take his place. This is a time will tell move, as it appeared early in free agency there were better options, but Sweezy does have potential to be one of the better guards in the league. Again, time will tell. I believe the Bucs should also be looking for a third wide receiver. Taking a look at Anquan Boldin could come cheap, and having Boldin, Mike Evans, and Vincent Jackson on the field at the same time could account for many mismatches.
Although not quite there, fear not Bucs fans, your time is coming……
I had the pleasure of interviewing Redskins CB Deshazor Everett and writing an article for TheScrumSports.com! Article can be found at http://www.thescrumsports.com.
The Trials and Tribulations of an Undrafted NFL Rookie
For undrafted free agents, landing a spot on a 53-man roster is just the beginning. After being passed over 256 times it is crucial for college free agents to produce, having to tough it out through any type of adversity if they want to earn snaps come August. No other players have more on the line than these men. Some have the potential to achieve stardom, like Arian Foster, while others may have to return back to their lives without pro football. In a nut shell, it comes down to which diamond in the rough can make a statement with their ability to take to coaching and translate their game to the next level. Washington Redskins Rookie Cornerback, Deshazor Everett, knows the grind of being an undrafted free agent all too well.
Best known for his game-changing interception against the Alabama Crimson Tide in 2012, the former Texas A&M cornerback was signed as an undrafted rookie with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2015.
“I was nervous. I knew my time could have ended at any given moment”, says Everett after reminiscing about his rookie season.
Only three days into OTA’s Everett was injured with a grade 2-hamstring tear, resulting in him being released at the end of July. Everett was then picked up by the Washington Redskins in early August.
Availability and staying healthy is key when it comes to playing in the league. Miss a couple of practices and you slide right down the depth chart.
“ The competition level is so high and it is a daily grind. I knew it was time for me to make something happen and get noticed.”
Everett made Washington’s 53 after a strong preseason, until the following day when the Redskins signed free agent TE Anthony McCoy. To make room on the roster the Redskins waived Everett.
“I thought to myself, do I belong here? It was one of the only times in my life that I didn’t want my phone to ring.”
And if things could not be more of a roller coaster for Everett, he was signed to practice squad that following day, to then be promoted back to the 53-man roster in early October. It is safe to say Everett secured his roster spot during the Redskins’ third preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens, when he destroyed punt returner Asa Jackson, jarring the ball loose and setting up Washington with the ball on the Baltimore 30-yeard line.
“You just have to wait your turn, and when opportunity presents itself — make a play. It is a cutthroat job and you are tired everyday, but it is worth it when you love the game.”
Everett credits his stepfather, Joseph Bolden, for his hard work ethic and hunger to keep reaching for more.
“During high school, I remember coming home late and exhausted after playing a Friday night game and all I wanted to do was sleep in the next day. He [Bolden] would come in my room early Saturday morning and wake me up to come help him do work outside, no matter how tired I was. I credit my work ethic to him.”
For Everett, I’m sure there is satisfaction in knowing after a rough start to his NFL career he played in 11 games his rookie season, but that doesn’t mean his hard work is over.
“Every day you have got to go out there and work. Do what you do. That is what I am trying to do, go out there and work to get better.”
Michigan State vs. Central Michigan post game recap
Michigan State held on to it’s No.2 AP ranking this week after a their win against Central Michigan, but its toughest competition this season is getting closer.
This is the second straight week the Spartans have been among the top two teams in the country. This is also the second week that the Big Ten has dominated the top two spots in the AP Poll. This is highly historic as the last time this happened was nearly a decade ago. The potential of a No.1 vs No. 2 matchup on November 21st in Columbus is getting stronger and stronger.
But still, questions loom for State.
This past weekend, the Spartans controlled the fourth quarter and came out on top 30-10. It was 17-10 in the third quarter, Central Michigan had the ball when Michigan State held on fourth-and-2 from the Michigan State 37 and with pressure from Riley Bullough and Shilique Calhoun, Cooper Rush threw an incomplete pass. That was as close as it came to tying up the game.
on the ground, MSU ran it better; gaining 181 yards and running back Gerald Holmes had two touchdown runs in the final quarter.
“I still feel like we’ve not played out best football game. And part of that is everybody comes—we’re gonna get everybody’s best shot”, said Coach Mark Dantonio.
Calhoun helped the Spartans shake up Central Michigan’s offence, and its kicking game too. The senior defensive lineman had 2 ½ sacks and a blocked field goal, alongside Demetrious Cooper who had the second blocked field goal.
Sophomore Shane jones played well in place of Bullough, who had to sit out the first half after he was called for targeting in last week’s game against Air Force.
The injuries for MSU are beginning to pile up. In addition to Jack Conklin’s injury, the Spartans played without defensive tackle Joel Heath, and lost tight end Josiah Price (ankle) and safety RJ Williamson (lower body).
“There’s nothing really we can do about that. It’s football. We need to get the no.2 guys to go in there and fill their spot, and match the intensity of the no.1 guys,” said Dantonio.
This Saturday, Michigan State will prepare to play in its first conference game this season against Purdue. Kickoff is set for 12:00pm EST