Todd Bowles: Rookies Have Been “Great” – – Tampa Bay Bucs Blog, Buccaneers News

Bucs GM Jason Licht.

Perhaps Joe and Bucs coach Todd Bowles have different definitions of “great.”

For Joe, Lee Roy Selmon was great. Derrick Brooks was great. Warren Sapp was great. James Wilder was great. Simeon Rice was great. Rondé Barber was great. Tom Brady, Tristan Wirfs and Mike Evans are great. Lavonte David, too.

In Joe’s eyes, “great” means you are a no-doubt-about-it Hall of Fame player, an All-Pro or a dominant player in a team’s franchise history.

But Bowles used the term “great” on Saturday to describe his rookie class this season.

“They’ve been great from Day 1,” Bowles said. “They’ve been great from Day 1. It just shows the everyday consistency and the intelligence to learn.

“They never hit the rookie wall. They played special teams all year – they did whatever it [took]. The veterans brought them along the right way. It was great to see.”


Now Joe is not trying to kill these guys. They are rookies. Throwing rookies overboard after just one season is terribly short-sighted and grossly irresponsible. But Joe doesn’t believe as a group, the rookies have had enough impact to earn the term “great.”

Logan Hall (who?): The Bucs’ top pick on the defensive line? Who kidnapped him? Have you seen him lately? Hall very well may develop into a stud but Joe is spooked that a rookie got worse, not better, as his first NFL season transpired. Early in the season, Hall was getting around 30 snaps a game. Since Thanksgiving, have you heard his name called other than Todd Bowles calling him out?

Luke Goedeke: Basically gifted a starting gig at left guard, in part due to Ryan Jensen’s knee injury, Goedeke got benched midway through the season. He actually looked better playing right tackle in the final game of the season than he did at left guard.

Rachaad White: Maybe the best full-time rookie. He’s made an impact and it’s not White’s fault he’s playing for a coordinator so far over his head he needs a scuba tank on the sidelines.

Cade Otton: Rookie tight ends rarely make an impact but Otton has shown flashes with 42 catches and 2 touchdowns. His hands are a little too inconsistent, but Joe thinks he will improve. Joe would love to see him bulk up in the offseason as Joe is not overly impressed with his blocking. Otton, like White, likely would improve with a competent offensive coordinator.

Jake Camarda: Now this guy has made an impact! Already one of the better punters in the game, Camarda may have made the biggest play of the season to save the Bucs’ bacon. A lot, and Joe means a lot, of folks hammered Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht for selecting Camarda in the fourth round. Give the man his due. Licht nailed this pick.

Zyon McCollum: McCollum seems to be Ryan Smith II, in a good way. McCollum is really good on special teams and currently shouldn’t be on the field on defense. There is upside here as McCollum is a crazy good athlete. Remember, he’s a third-day draft pick coming from Division I-AA. Patience, grasshopper.

Ko Kieft: Joe still thinks Kieft is a steal. He’s on the field on offense every game, which is incredible for a rookie sixth-round pick. When is the last time the Bucs had a sixth-round pick play in every game his rookie season? Bruce Gradkowski (2006) came close, and he was no good. Kieft just crushes linebackers on blocks (not so much defensive ends) and is an underrated receiver, though he needs to polish up his hands. Joe loves Kieft’s hard-nosed, violent tendencies.

Is this what you would call a “great” rookie class? Joe can’t go there. Good, maybe. Promising? Yes, of course.

When all but one of your draft picks make a team coming off 29 wins in the past two seasons, and four have played in every game with none playing less than 11, that’s not a shabby rookie class.

Joe would hold off for a while before glossing the Bucs’ 2022 rookie class with “great.”

This content was originally published here.

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