Buc Up…with Rob Kriete – OCTOBER 24

-Tom Brady now has 14 TDs in the first six games of the season breaking the Tampa Bay record that was held Super Bowl XXXVII winning QB, Brad Johnson.

– Raiders Head Coach, Jon Gruden, was the head coach in Tampa Bay from 2002-2008, leading the Buccaneers to that Super Bowl 37 victory over the then Oakland Raiders, who traded Gruden’s rights to Tampa in exchange for four draft picks in 2002. Four draft picks for a head coach after Bill Parcells skipped out before signing on the dotted line. I think any team would trade four picks for a title, any day.

-The Las Vegas Raiders are coming off their scheduled bye week for their home game against Tampa Bay on Sunday for a contest that has been moved to 4:05. It is always tough to play a team on their home turf while coming off a bye-week with big win against the Chiefs the previous week.

As is the usual now, our Leo Haggerty got to chat the coach of the opposing team this week. Talking to Jon Gruden, Leo had this exchange:
Leo: “You were able to beat the Kansas City Chiefs which not a lot of people thought anybody was going to do. Any similarities between the Chiefs offense and the Buccaneers offense?”
Coach Gruden: “No, not really. Both really good offenses. Balanced offenses especially in Tampa because they can really run the football. That’s really one of the unsung things that people aren’t really talking about and that’s their running game. Their ability to run the football and throw screen passes and then create big plays with Evans with their receiving corps and their tight ends will be a problem for us. They can do a lot of things well and that’s the hardest thing for us to defend.”

Leo: “The Raiders have been a haven for Clemson players. Why is that and how are they doing for you?”
Gruden: “Yeah, we like Coach Swinney down there at Clemson. Trayvon Mullin is playing better for us. Cle Farrell has been a solid player for us. Tanner Muse is on Injured Reserve. John Simpson has started a couple of games at left guard. Hunter Renfrow is a quality receiver. They know how to practice and they know how to prepare and they know how to win. That’s something we needed in this franchise and those guys are fine, great young men. You’d like them if you met them.”

-Continuing their trend of assembling a veritable fantasy football quality offense, the Buccaneers signed Antonio Brown on Friday evening. Even though the Bucs receiver squad has experienced injures to Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and new Tom Brady favorite, Scotty Miller, this move comes with risks. Tampa has not been a great place for receivers that demand the ball (i.e. Keyshawn Johnson…as we revisit the Super Bowl team). If Brown can accept a role less than being a guy consistently getting the ball, it can work. Antonio can stretch defenses and open more room for the running game at the same time. With this opportunity in Tampa, he seems to have a lot to gain if he can be a role player for the Bucs. If he passes his Covid-19 protocols, Antonio should be ready for game-action by Week 9 against the Saints in Tampa.

-Congratulations to standout linebacker, Lavonte David, who earned NFC Defensive Player of the Month Honors for September after collecting 24 tackles (two for loss), two passes defended, one interception, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery.

-Leo Haggerty of ItsSportsMagazine.com, who gets face time with Bruce Arians each week, asked him, “Is there one player on the Las Vegas offense and defense that needs to be accounted for on every play?” Bruce replied, “There’s a few on offense, that’s for sure. Waller, the tight end, and Henry Ruggs, the receiver. You have to know where they’re at the entire time. It all starts with Josh Jacobs, a great running back. Defensively, not as much. I think they’ve got a couple really good pass rushers, but it’s just man-on-man. You’ve got to do your job.”

-This week’s matchup is a great one. An athletic, highly-talented offensive line for the Raiders with a great back, Josh “Money” Jacobs, who can run and catch passes up against a strong Tampa Bay defense that really knows how to slow down a running game.

Want to thank the Buccaneers Communications Department for allowing us to use some of the photos in this article.

-Prediction of the Week: Bucs 36
Raiders 28