Friday, January 19, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL Quarterly Report: Players, teams to buy and sell

The NFL season is a quarter of the way complete and nothing is as it might have seemed. The Vikings and Eagles are up, the Cardinals and Panthers are down. The Broncos and Patriots have been just fine, even without Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. With Brady set to return from a four-game suspension, the Times' Bucs/NFL coverage team looks at the biggest surprises and disappointments so far this season.

Player or team to buy

Rick Stroud, @NFLStroud

Buy the Philadelphia Eagles. Wentz is the real deal and their defense is better than expected in an NFC East up for grabs.

Buy Matt Ryan. Matty Ice just threw for 500 yards and WR Julio Jones had 300 of it receiving.

Tom Jones, @tomwjones

I'm buying Dak Prescott. The Cowboys rookie quarterback is smart with the football and, as we've seen here in Tampa Bay, that might be a QB's most valuable asset. Tony Romo will eventually be the started when he returns, but Prescott is this franchise's future.

Read more:

NFL Quarterly Report: Biggest surprise and disappointment

NFL Quarterly Report: Coach of the year and those on the hot seat

NFL Quarterly Report: MVP and Super Bowl picks

Greg Auman, @gregauman

I'll buy the Eagles, but more because of Jim Schwartz's defense than the rookie QB. Most would have picked the big-spending Giants or the Cowboys to unseat the Redskins, but Philadelphia has been the most impressive team out of the gate.

Julio Jones? It's hard to improve on 1,871 receiving yards, which led the NFL last season, but after gaining 300 yards on 15 targets Sunday, he looked poised to become the first 2,000-yard receiver in NFL history. The Bucs won't have it easy trying to chase down Matt Ryan and his favorite target, who have a two-game lead on the rest of the NFC South.

Thomas Bassinger, @tometrics

Buying the Ravens. Teams that lose a lot of close games tend to bounce back the next season. Fourteen of Baltimore's games last season were decided by one score. It was 5-9 in those games.

Ernest Hooper, @hoop4you

Baltimore Ravens (but schedule grows increasingly difficult)

Martin Fennelly, @mjfennelly

Buy Arizona. They will get better

Player or team to sell

Bassinger

Selling Lamar Miller, Texans. Miller's 351 rushing yards are fourth-most in the NFL, but can it last? His 93 carries are second only to Ezekiel Elliott (94) of the Cowboys. In four seasons with the Dolphins, he carried the ball 20 times twice. This season, he has carried the ball 20 times in three of four games, and the one game he didn't have 20 carries, he had 19. His 3.8 yards a carry ranks 26th.

Hooper

QBs who over-value their worth (see Cousins, Kirk; Fitzpatrick, Ryan)

Fennelly

Sell Denver quarterback Trevor Siemian. Even at 4-0 I'm not buying him.

Comments
Rick and Tom podcast: What does it mean when Bucs GM cringes at expectations?

Rick and Tom podcast: What does it mean when Bucs GM cringes at expectations?

Bucs general manager Jason Licht told Rick Stroud that he cringed at some of the preseason expectations last season, and the outrage from some fans has been more than he expected.In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones break down what it a...
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DeSean Jackson says Jameis Winston needs to stop trying to “impress the world,” and play his game

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Bucs LB Kwon Alexander headed to Pro Bowl

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Shrine Game journal: Homecoming for Utah OL Salesi Uhatafe; Quinton Flowers works on snaps

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Published: 01/15/18
Iowa State’s two-way star Joel Lanning practicing at linebacker for East-West Shrine Game

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ST. PETERSBURG — Joel Lanning has the unique distinction of being listed as an "LB/QB" on the West roster for Saturday’s East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field.And while the former Iowa State star spent the entire practice at middle linebacker Mond...
Published: 01/15/18
Bucs GM Jason Licht ‘cringed’ at expectations, optimistic about future

Bucs GM Jason Licht ‘cringed’ at expectations, optimistic about future

TAMPA — It was a brutal year. That’s how general manager Jason Licht views the Bucs’ 2017 season.Start with Hard Knocks and the surrounding expectations, some he embraced and others he "cringed at." They all went unfulfilled, mostly due to injuries, ...
Published: 01/15/18
Jason Licht addresses what went wrong for the Bucs in 2017 and how they plan to fix it

Jason Licht addresses what went wrong for the Bucs in 2017 and how they plan to fix it

It was a "brutal year." That's how general manager Jason Licht views the Bucs 2017 season.Expectations, many of them he said he "cringed at," nonetheless went unfulfilled due to injuries, particularly the right shoulder sprain suffered by quarterback...
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Bucs search for a backup quarterback becomes paramount amid NFL’s probe into Winston

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With the NFL investigating allegations against Jameis Winston that potentially could result in a suspension, the Bucs will need to address the backup quarterback position again this off-season."That's another position I always want to do whatever we ...
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Rick and Tom podcast: Who says you need a franchise QB in the playoffs?

Rick and Tom podcast: Who says you need a franchise QB in the playoffs?

The NFL’s final four teams are set, and the starting quarterbacks are Tom Brady, Blake Bortles, Case Keenum and Nick Foles. In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones break down this past weekend’s games, including the Vikings’ miraculous fin...
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