On Sunday, the Cleveland Browns are on the road to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. To help preview a few topics from the Buccaneers’ perspective, we reached out to Gil Arcia from Bucs Nation and exchanged five questions with him. Enjoy!
Chris: “It must feel like ages ago when the Buccaneers were riding high from two Ryan Fitzpatrick victories. Last week was Jameis Winston’s first full game back as the starting quarterback -- how did he perform?”
Gil: “Winston played very well. He was elusive in the pocket and directed traffic while calling out signals at the line of scrimmage. He had a couple throws that were off but primarily played well. His first interception was poor placement to DeSean Jackson and his second was just bad luck. But his overall play was very good.”
Chris: “Cleveland has faced some difficulties recently with stopping the run, a category the Buccaneers are near the bottom of the league in. Does that stem from poor run blocking, a lack of talent at the position, or playcalling?”
Gil: “I feel it’s bad blocking up front, especially on the right side of the line. Right guard Caleb Benenoch has struggled and the aged veteran right tackle Demar Dotson has as well. There hasn’t been enough push up front for the running game to get going. But you can also say from a play calling perspective there hasn’t been much commitment to running due to games being shootouts for the most part.”
Chris: “The Buccaneers used the No. 12 overall pick on DT Vita Vea, but he seemed to be hurt, and doesn’t have a tackle in two games. Considering Tampa Bay’s struggles defensively, are there plans to get him involved any time soon?”
Gil: “Vea played 42-percent of the snaps last week but has not made much of an impact unfortunately. The selection was puzzling back in April after they had just made all those changes along the defensive line. There were issues in the secondary, and we are seeing them now in season. That should have been the primary focus with their top pick.”
Chris: “When I look at team rankings, it jumps out that the Buccaneers are 32nd in passing yards allowed and passing yards allowed per play. Are there holes all over the secondary? A lack of a pass rush? Both?”
Gil: “As I alluded to previously, there were concerns coming into the season for that part of the defense. There was uncertainty with Vernon Hargreaves III moving into nickel, Brent Grimes aging, and a lack of depth behind them. At safety, Chris Conte was a liability before being injured a couple weeks ago but second-year safety Justin Evans has played very well after finishing the season strong last season. If the Bucs want to turn things around, they need to figure out the secondary and figure it out fast.”
Chris: “Tell us about one player on the Buccaneers who Browns fans may not have heard of, but who could have a big impact on Sunday’s game.”
Gil: “Rookie cornerback Carlton David got a lot of playing time before missing last week’s game and will see more this Sunday. With that said, we can certainly see him play a big role against Cleveland facing a rookie quarterback.”
Thanks again to Gil for taking the time to answer my questions.