Back in April, Bucs Nation’s Evan Winter wrote a piece titled “Chris Godwin doesn’t give a damn about preseason hype.”
Since then, almost four months have passed. Godwin has continued to get love from all over the place. His coaches have continued to praise him and his teammates expect him to continue rising to greatness. The Buccaneer fan base is still excited about him. And even on a national level, there is a ton of hype being thrown in his direction — whether it’s for fantasy football purposes or for the real thing.
It’s August, and the preseason hype surrounding Godwin’s name hasn’t slowed down.
Well, guess what? He still doesn’t care about it.
“I don’t really pay it no mind, to he honest with you,” Godwin told Bucs Nation after Friday night’s practice. “The way I see it, it’s like all the preseason hype will be for none if I don’t go out there and perform — if the team doesn’t go out there and perform.”
“All I’m really focused on is coming out each day trying to get better. Trying to improve every day at my craft so that I can do what I can to help.”
Godwin is set to take on Tampa Bay’s No. 2 receiver role behind Mike Evans in 2019. It’s the first chance for the former Penn State standout to be featured as a top guy. As a rookie in 2017, he hauled in 34 passes for 525 yards and a touchdown. In a No. 3 (borderline No. 2, really) role last year, he caught 59 passes for 842 yards and seven touchdowns.
There was a lot to love in Godwin’s first two seasons, but now is when the legit expectations kick in. Bucs head coach Bruce Arians said this offseason that Godwin could be a 100-catch guy. Many are expecting him to get to 1,000 yards for the first time in his career. In terms of fantasy football, he’s become a very popular breakout pick. It’s not hard to see why.
But as Godwin said, there is no time to pay attention to the hype. Tampa Bay is one week into training camp, and there’s a lot going on. With a new offense being installed, Godwin knows his focus has to be on that. There have been some growing pains for the offense as a whole during the first week of camp, but the 2017 third-round pick said it’s just a part of the process.
“I feel pretty good. There’s a lot of new things to learn, a lot of nuances,” he said. “But it’s all part of the growth process. There’s gonna be up and down days, but I’m excited about the opportunity to go out there and show what I got.”
There’s already been progress. Godwin said he’s seen good things from Jameis Winston in the first week of camp. The two linked up for this big gain on Friday night:
Talked to Chris Godwin after practice. He had some good things to say about Jameis Winston’s camp so far: “We go as he goes. He’s an incredibly hard worker and I’m excited about what he has in store for this year.” Good connection between the two here: pic.twitter.com/Bxn3C3w5hU— Bailey Adams (@BaileyJAdams22) August 3, 2019
Godwin knows he and the offense have work to do. Having the No. 1 passing offense in the NFL wasn’t enough for the Bucs last year. But Bruce Arians and Byron Leftwich are in the building now to get the offense to be more efficient and less sporadic. Ultimately, they’re here to make this offense contribute to the big picture goal: fielding a winning football team.
But while the work is going on inside the building and outside on the practice fields, don’t expect the Chris Godwin hype to die down any time soon. And definitely don’t expect Chris Godwin to care about it.