The Locked on Bucs Podcast was joined by 10 Tampa Bay’s sports director Evan Closky to put a nice, tidy bow on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ win over the Philadelphia Eagles. Evan gives his thoughts on the Thursday Night game in week six, as the defense stepped up as much as they could and Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles deserves a lot of credit for the way this defense has been playing given all the injury issues that side of the ball has been dealing with.
Leonard Fournette - and whichever iteration of “Lenny” you want to give him - has been playing on another level over the past few weeks. In the most recent three game stretch, Fournette is third in the NFL in all-purpose yards, making him an indispensable part of the offensive game plan. Not only did he take full control of the starting - or lead - running back job, but he’s playing himself right into a big contract in the off-season. Does that mean this year is the last we will see of Leonard Fournette in a Buccaneers uniform or will Jason Licht and Mike Greenberg be able to work some more magic and keep “Regular Season Lenny” in Tampa for 2022 and beyond?
Also, where does this leave Ronald Jones? RoJo was the lead dog in 2020 and it was Fournette that had a sit down moment with Bruce Arians telling him to get on board or get out. Have the roles fully reversed in 2021? Jones is currently getting between four and six carries a game and Fournette’s play has also rendered Gio Bernard somewhat irrelevant for the offense. Is RoJo giving up on his role on this team? Or is he still playing with the team first mentality, knowing his number could be called to carry the load at any given moment?
As the Bucs prepare to take on the Chicago Bears, all eyes are going to be on rookie quarterback Justin Fields. Fields has not been overly impressive, but at this stage it’s hard to tell if that’s because of Fields or if head coach Matt Nagy is hurting the offensive growth. Star receiver Allen Robinson has been a ghost all season as Fields tends to look towards Darnell Mooney more often than not. Is a matchup against the battered Bucs secondary a chance for Robinson to get back on track? Or will the Buccaneers defense step up again?
Evan gives his bold predictions for the game and last week seems to have sparked the thought that “Sack Barrett” is on the cusp of coming back. The Buccaneers haven’t had more than four sacks in a game this season, but Barrett was giving Jalen Hurts fits last week in Philadelphia. Now, he has the opportunity to do the same to a rookie quarterback inside Raymond James Stadium - which could signal the return of the Bucs’ sack master.
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