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Zach Shapiro

Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders. Contact him at: zshapiro12@gmail.com

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    WR is a big need next year.

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      Iam glad that head coach said that this young man is the #3 WR I hope he stays healthy. I can’t wait and see how many WR and TE Tampa keeps Go Bucs.

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    It’s going to be very interesting to see who the rest of the WR’s will be. I’m also curious to see if L. Murphy makes the team since he can’t seem to stay healthy. Here are some of my other observations from training camp:
    – Ayers had the widest range in performance from any other player I saw. One play he would be slow off the snap in 11-on-11 then later in 1-on-1’s I would see him explode past the O-lineman. I don’t know what to make of him as a Buc yet.
    – I didn’t catch a lot of Jaq. Smith. He was only in on certain packages and he always seemed to be pass rushing from the side of the D-line that was furthest from the fans so I often didn’t get a good look at what he was doing. The good news there is it gave me a lot of looks as Spence since they often rushed on opposite sides of the line. One thing I will say about Jaq. Smith is seeing his physique live confirms to me that he is a pass rusher, not a full time 3-down lineman. Both he and Spence that similar builds and are just not built for putting their hand in the dirt and stopping the run as a DE snap after snap.
    – Verner is playing with more confidence than any other year I’ve seen him in Tampa. He deflected a long bomb to Evans in single coverage. He stayed with him step for step and timed his jump perfectly. However he still needs to turn more of his deflections into INT’s.
    – Grimes looks better than last year also. He still gets beat on routes more often than I would like, but he’s a scrappy player that stays with the route which puts him in position to pick off passes off of deflections.
    – The safeties don’t look any better to me than any other year. They seem to operate as if they are there only to make tackles and help out CB’s on deep passes instead of being attackers of footballs that fly anywhere near their field. They just play too conservatively in my opinion and I don’t know if it’s the scheme or the players. I saw them line up a Cover 2, Cover 1 and Cover 3 positions before the snap so it’s hard to say they aren’t being put in positions to make a play every now and then.
    – LT D. Smith just isn’t very fast dropping back into his stance. I don’t have anything more than a hunch to base this on, but I believe the Bucs were going to draft OT J. Conklin before they got leapfrogged by Jon Robinson and the Titans. Robinson had a lot of insight in terms of what players the Bucs had been scouting heavily and if he wanted him and felt the Bucs would take him it would explain why he traded with the Browns to get just in front of the Bucs. It would also explain why the Bucs traded back after Conklin was picked. R. Barber even said in the offseason that after visiting with Bucs front office that he came away feeling the Bucs were really focusing on building a dominant offense as a recipe for success (or something like that). I say all that just to emphasize that I don’t think the Bucs are satisfied at the OT position and it wouldn’t surprise me to see the team struggle at the position this year and look to draft a LT next year. On a related note, I also believe after what happened in the 1st round that Licht was worried that Robinson knew of the Bucs interest in Aguayo and was worried Robinson was targeting him in the 3rd round which is why Licht traded up for him. Again, just a gut feeling.

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      Oh, hear are my final two observations from training camp…first, Banks still isn’t any good. He didn’t make any splash plays and he got beat often by guys running past him even though he played with the 2nd team defense. Second, QB Ryan Griffin looks pretty good to me. He goes through his reads quickly and gets the ball out of his hands quickly and accurately. To me he goes through his reads quicker than Glennon and frankly looks like a better overall QB than Glennon.

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      I have worried about our safeties also. Just looks the same as last year and that was not good. We just haven’t addressed it this year.
      Maybe we can pick up someone during preseason.
      Definitely the teams weak spot
      Thanks Pink

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    Enjoyed watching practice with you and Mrs. Pink and reading your insightful observations.

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      Likewise Scubog! You always keep things light and interesting :-).

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        Wait, you are real people? Color me surprised 🙂

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