Bucs have lofty expectations for OLB Joe Tryon-Shoyinka in 2022

After showing flashes of brilliance as a rookie, Tampa Bay’s first-round pick from last year has high expectations as a full-time starter

When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers spent last year’s first-round draft pick on outside linebacker Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, they saw an athletic pass rusher with limitless potential who could excel in their defensive scheme.

After a promising rookie season as a rotational player behind two experienced veterans, the Washington product now finds himself in the starting lineup opposite Shaq Barrett, replacing Jason Pierre-Paul.

Tryon-Shoyinka has big shoes to fill, and while new head coach Todd Bowles doesn’t expect him to be the second coming of JPP, expectations for the second-year pro are still through the roof.

“Well, they’re high,” Bowles said Wednesday when asked about his expectations for last year’s No. 32 overall pick. “He’s very athletic. Obviously, we took him in the first round. Going into year two, we expect him to have the nuances down with a lot of the things he did last year and expect him to come into his own. I don’t expect him to be [Jason Pierre-Paul], I expect him to be Joe. He has a skill set all on his own that he could be a good player.”

(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Barrett thinks his new running mate off the edge is capable of putting up the same kind of big numbers he’s been posting himself over the last few years in Tampa Bay.

“I think Joe could be a double-digit sack guy every year,” Barrett said Wednesday. “I’m excited for him. In practice, I’m seeing him put the work in so it’s just a matter of time for him to just get out there and get comfortable with it on a play-in, play-out basis, and then he’s going to take off. It could be the first game or the second game, but I have faith in him that he’s going to be making plays – not just sacks, but forced fumbles, tackles for loss, passing game – he’s going to really affect the game. It’s going to be fun to play with him.”

Tryon-Shoyinka appeared in every game for the Bucs last year, making six starts in the regular season, posting four sacks and 10 quarterback hits.

Now that he’ll be a full-time starter, the former Husky will have even more opportunities to show off his explosive pass-rushing ability, as the Bucs hope to make another Super Bowl run in 2022.

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Bucs WR Russell Gage nursing an injury, not practicing at OTAs

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Russell Gage is present for this week’s OTAs, but he’s not practicing

One of the most important additions the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made this offseason was signing wide receiver Russell Gage in free agency, who is expected to serve as the Bucs’ No. 2 receiver until Pro Bowler Chris Godwin returns from last year’s season-ending knee injury.

Unfortunately, Gage has yet to hit the field for the Bucs during their voluntary offseason workouts, as it appears he’s nursing an injury of his own.

Bucs head coach Todd Bowles was asked Wednesday about Gage’s status, and his answer was understandably vague for this time of year.

“Well, he’s a little sore right now, so we’re resting him,” Bowles said. “We don’t need to play him right now. So, when he’s here, he’s getting his treatment and everything. It shouldn’t be anything serious for training camp.”

While it’s encouraging that Gage’s situation doesn’t appear to be serious, it’s still something to monitor if Bowles expects the new pass-catcher to be unavailable throughout offseason workouts.

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Cade Otton excited about his fit in Bucs offense

Tampa Bay Buccaneers fourth-round pick Cade Otton believes his skill set will be a perfect fit in his new offensive scheme

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are still waiting to see if Rob Gronkowski will be returning for another season, but in the meantime, they spent a fourth-round pick in the 2022 NFL draft on his successor.

Washington’s Cade Otton has a well-rounded skill set that should make him a perfect fit for Tampa Bay’s offense, and he’s excited about how Byron Leftwich’s scheme puts the tight ends in position to make a big impact.

“I think it’s a great fit,” Otton said during the Bucs’ recent rookie minicamp. “It’s super cool to see the way this offense treats their tight ends. We can basically line up in any spot on the field and run all of the same routes as wide receivers do. It’s a great opportunity to be a big part of the team and contribute to the offense in a big way.”

Otton is currently recovering from ankle surgery, so he spent rookie minicamp taking mental reps and digesting the playbook.

“Right now, we’re just taking it day by day,” Otton said. “I’m feeling better every day. I’m hoping it goes quickly, but I’m getting to work with a great training staff. Right now, I’m just taking a lot of mental reps, but I’m excited to be ready to go.”

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Kyle Trask gets praise from veteran Bucs pass-catcher during OTAs

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate sees a bright future for second-year quarterback Kyle Trask

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers spent a second-round pick in the 2021 NFL draft on quarterback Kyle Trask, but he was inactive for every game of his rookie season, while veteran Blaine Gabbert served as the backup to Tom Brady.

Nothing has changed ahead of Trask on this year’s depth chart, and he heads into his second NFL season with the potential for a similar situation in 2022, holding a clipboard while the Bucs try to make another Super Bowl run.

If Trask is to make a strong impression, it’s likely to happen only in practice, where he’ll actually get live reps to show off his talent and development.

During this year’s first voluntary offseason workouts, Trask impressed veteran Bucs tight end Cameron Brate.

“I thought Kyle did a great job today,” Brate said after one practice. “Obviously, it’s tough – he’s working with a whole new group of receivers [and] different groups of offensive linemen, so getting all of those guys on the same page is huge for the quarterback. I thought Kyle did an awesome job with that today, and he made a couple of great throws. You can kind of tell he feels a lot more comfortable this year compared to where he was last year, with a full year of learning the offense.”

Brate believes that the former Florida Gators passer is taking the right approach to his role in Tampa Bay, and has both the mental and physical tools to be successful whenever his opportunity does come.

“I think the future is really bright for Kyle,” Brate said. “I think he has got a really good mindset and demeanor about him to play the quarterback position in the NFL, and obviously the arm talent is there, as well. He’s just got to keep improving and keep stacking these good practices.”

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Bucs’ Byron Leftwich, Jacqueline Davidson to join NFL diversity program

Byron Leftwich and Jacqueline Davidson will represent the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a new diversity program at the NFL league meetings

The NFL will have their first-ever “Coach and Front Office Accelerator” program at this year’s league meetings in Atlanta, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have a pair of ascending leaders in attendance.

Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and director of football research Jacqueline Davidson will take part in the program, which aims to expand leadership opportunities for women and minority candidates in both coaching and management roles.

Here’s more information on the program from the NFL’s official release:

As part of the NFL’s ongoing commitment to promote greater coach and C-suite level diversity among clubs, the League announced plans today to host its inaugural Coach and Front Office Accelerator, May 23-24 at the Spring League Meeting in Atlanta. The Accelerator will convene more than 60 diverse head coach and general manager prospects from all clubs and the League, and ownership representation from all 32 clubs.

The program will provide senior women and minority prospects with leadership development sessions with football operations experts and facilitators, as well as time spent networking directly with club owners. The effort is designed to continue building a diverse hiring pipeline for future head coach and general manager positions throughout the League.

Each club nominated rising prospects to participate in the two-day Accelerator. In addition to leadership development and sessions on the business of football, attendees will engage in candid discussions on how to take the next step in becoming a coach or front office executive.

“The NFL is committed to diversity and inclusion and this program is the latest in a series of steps designed to improve our hiring practices,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “The program ensures that clubs receive exposure to high performing, up-and-coming NFL talent.”

Leftwich has served as Tampa Bay’s offensive coordinator since 2019, and has been one of the league’s most successful units in each of his three seasons. Davidson’s work has helped the Bucs develop one of the NFL’s most talented rosters, and helped the team navigate the salary cap in creative ways to maximize their current Super Bowl window.

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Todd Bowles won’t be ‘putting handcuffs’ on Bucs’ offensive play-calling

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles doesn’t care how his offense scores points, as long as they win

Bruce Arians was famous for his “no risk-it, no biscuit” philosophy, which was evident in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ style of play on offense over his three seasons as the team’s head coach.

Some have wondered whether or not that style of offense will continue now that Todd Bowles is the head coach in Tampa Bay. After offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich made it clear earlier this month that he has the same approach as Arians, Bowles himself said he won’t be pulling the reins back on the offensive play-calling.

“My attitude is to win the game any way possible,” Bowles told the media Tuesday. “If we have to throw the ball 50 times to win, that’s great. If we have to run the ball 30 times to win, that’s great. We’ll take what they give us – we’ll always have shots for big plays.”

Obviously, [Tom] Brady is a great passer,” Bowles continued. “We want to equal that with the running game, if we can. But, if they’re taking away the run and we have to throw the ball 60 times – and [Brady] throws five or six touchdowns – I’ll take the win. If we’re running the ball pretty good, and we can guard about 25 to 30 times, I’ll take the win. Whatever we have to do to win the ballgame. Nobody’s putting handcuffs on the offense from that standpoint. We’re going to do whatever we have to do to win the game.”

Brady led the NFL in pass attempts, passing yards and touchdown passes last season, at 44 years old. It wouldn’t be surprising if all parties involved preferred a more balanced approach this season, with a stronger emphasis on balance with a strong running game. But’s clear they won’t be forcing that balance at the expense of success, regardless of how they move the ball and put points on the board.

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Bucs give back to local community with annual ‘Day of Service’

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are making an impact in their community by helping to renovate a local park

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers continue to make an impact beyond the field, paying it forward to help the local community in various ways.

Recently, the team participated in their annual “Day of Service,” helping to renovate Highland Pines Park in Tampa.

Bucs players and staff members were among 150 people who teamed up for the occasion, which included upgrading the computer lab inside the park’s recreation center.

Kudos to the Bucs and everyone else who pitched in to help improve this space for the Tampa Bay community.

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Ali Marpet opens up about retirement, and the next chapter of his life

Hear from former Bucs Pro Bowler Ali Marpet on why he retired from the NFL at 28 years old, and what’s next for him

The biggest question for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers heading into this offseason was the status of legendary quarterback Tom Brady, and whether or not he would return for another season.

What the Bucs (and their fans) didn’t expect was the shocking retirement of Pro Bowl offensive lineman Ali Marpet, who walked away from the game at just 28 years old, after seven stellar seasons in Tampa Bay.

Even after Brady decided to return for another season with the Bucs, Marpet hasn’t had a change of heart, clearly content with his decision to hang up his cleats instead of chasing another Super Bowl with the GOAT.

So, why would a player leave the game in his prime, with tons of money still on the table, and a chance for another championship?

“The biggest reason for me was the physical toll: I didn’t want any more of that. There were some things I wanted to accomplish in my career that I had done,” Marpet told Melissa Jacobs for The Guardian. “I loved playing football. But one of my strongest values is health and if I’m really going to live out what’s important to me it doesn’t make sense to keep playing. There are also the unknowns of the head trauma of the NFL and how that plays out. Plus, your joints, the aches and pains that come with surgeries and all that stuff.”

Marpet’s own injury history impacted his decision, as well as the physical toll required simply exist as an offensive lineman in the NFL, he told Jacobs:

Marpet missed three games after a concussion in November 2020, and suffered mild symptoms afterwards. However, he says repeated subconcussive blows – which have been linked to brain trauma – are perhaps more significant.

Bearing the literal burden of an elite offensive lineman also took its toll. Marpet, who played at 300lb, developed sleep apnea and hypertension. “I was eating as clean as possible for a 300-pounder but having all the weight on your body is bad,” he says.

One of the best offensive linemen in Bucs history, Marpet is ready to start the next chapter of his life, which includes a focus on the mental health field.

“I’m not entirely sure yet what my actual role will be, but I want to work with people in a one-on-one setting,” Marpet told Jacobs. “I’m very eager and excited to build my skills and figure out where they can best aligned.”

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Bucs leading the NFL in ticket sales for 2022 season

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are currently the hottest ticket in the NFL for the upcoming season

Every year, the NFL schedule release gives fans the opportunity to make their plans for the upcoming season, booking travel and buying tickets to the games of their choice.

Just a few days after this year’s schedule was revealed, there’s an unsurprising team that’s leading the league in ticket sales.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, led by Tom Brady and just one year removed from a Super Bowl victory, are the highest-selling team in the NFL so far, per Seat Geek.

The hottest ticket on the Bucs’ schedule? A Week 4, prime-time showdown on national television against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, a rematch of Super Bowl LV.

Tampa Bay also has other home games featuring marquee matchups between Brady and other superstar quarterbacks such as Aaron Rodgers, Joe Burrow, Lamar Jackson and Matthew Stafford.

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Bucs make roster moves after rookie minicamp

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are shuffling their roster after this weekend’s rookie minicamp

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are shuffling their their roster following this weekend’s rookie minicamp, signing a handful of tryout players.

Here are all the details on who’s being added to the roster, and who is being waived to make room for the new faces: