Wednesday, July 18, 2018


Thomas Bassinger, Times staff writer

Thomas Bassinger, Times staff writer

It all began late 1991 with a Nintendo controller and a game cartridge that read, in gold block letters, "Tecmo Super Bowl" (Ready! Down! Hut! Hut! Hut! Hut! Hut!). That's when a young Thomas Bassinger discovered the fearsome Ronnie Lott, the dominant QB Eagles and the superhuman Bo Jackson and spent countless hours taking their 8-bit counterparts up and down the football field (Remember Wayne Haddix, Bucs fans?). He's been hooked on football and statistics ever since. Today, he contributes to coverage of the Buccaneers and the NFL for the Tampa Bay Times. He is the author of the Turning Point postgame analysis and studies All-22 game film for the weekly scouting report of the Bucs' upcoming opponent. Follow him on Twitter during the games @tometrics.

Quarterback Jameis Winston leads the Bucs onto the field before their game against the Cardinals last season. [Associated Press]

NFL player salaries: How much will the 2018 Tampa Bay Buccaneers make?

†Here’s a look at what each player on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is set to earn this season.
Published: 07/17/18
Even with the addition of center Ryan Jensen and the move of Ali Marpet back to guard, the Bucs have one of the NFL's weaker offensive lines, according to Pro Football Focus. [Associated Press]

Pro Football Focus: The Earth is a cold, dark place and the Buccaneers are really, really bad

So training camp is less than two weeks away, and you're beginning to feel hopeful. Why not the Buccaneers, right?To which Pro Football Focus might respond, "We'll tell you why not."The analysts at the website are not high on the...
Published: 07/13/18
Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Ryne Stanek (55) delivers a pitch in the second inning against the Detroit Tigers Tuesday, July 10, 2018 in St. Petersburg. CHRIS URSO   |   Times

Ryne Stanek extends scoreless Ďstartí streak in Raysí 5-2 win over Tigers

ST. PETERSBURG — If he keeps this up, maybe he'll get a few Cy Young votes. Maybe one day he'll get a call from Cooperstown. Maybe they'll hold a number retirement ceremony at the ballpark in Ybor.Ryne Stanek, the...
Published: 07/10/18
Updated: 07/11/18
Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Carlos Gomez (27) scores on a single by Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Willy Adames (1) as Detroit Tigers catcher John Hicks (55) makes the late tag in the third inning Tuesday, July 10, 2018 in St. Petersburg. CHRIS URSO   |   Times

Thomas Bassingerís takeaways from the Raysí 5-2 win over Detroit

ST. PETERSBURG — Takeaways from the Rays' 5-2 victory Tuesday over the Tigers before 13,478 at Tropicana Field:1. With Tuesday night's win, the Rays improved to 47-44, putting them three games over .500 for the first time this...
Published: 07/10/18
Updated: 07/11/18
Ryne Stanek allowed a run in a third of an inning in the Rays' 10-9 win over the Tigers on Monday night.

For starters: Raysí Ryne Stanek looks to extend scoreless Ďstartí streak

ST. PETERSBURG — Ryne Stanek, who pitched a third of an inning Monday night, will open the game for the Rays tonight when they face the Tigers at Tropicana Field. He has not allowed a run in eight straight starts, though he has pitched...
Published: 07/10/18
Updated: 07/11/18
Cornerback Donnie Abraham played nine seasons in the NFL, six with the Bucs and three with the Jets. [Times (2000)]

Pro Bowl cornerback weighs in on Bucs rookie defensive backs

When did you realize the Buccaneers needed an overhaul on defense?Week 3 when the Bucs had 12 defenders on the field and still couldn’t stop Case Keenum from connecting with Stefon Diggs for a 59-yard touchdown? Or Week 6 when...
Updated one month ago
More than three-quarters of Mike Evans' catches last season resulted in a first down for the Bucs. [Times]

Why Bucs receiver Mike Evansí lack of yards after catches isnít a huge problem

Late in a game against Detroit last season, Ben Roethlisberger dropped back 7 yards into the end zone and scanned the field. In the middle, JuJu Smith-Schuster blew past cornerback Quandre Diggs. The Lions’ two safeties, their last line...
Updated one month ago
Officially, Jameis Winston threw 11 interceptions last season, but one analysis found that number should have been closer to 19. [Associated Press]

WATCH: Here are the 8 Jameis Winston interceptions that defenders dropped

I published a post last week about Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston and how he was one of the...
Updated one month ago
In nine games for the Bucs last season, Bernard Reedy, right, returned seven kickoffs for an average of 20.7 yards. [Associated Press]

How the NFLís new kickoff rules will affect the Buccaneers

Kickoffs in the NFL are going to look different this season.No one knows how exactly. But they’ll be different.Owners recently approved several changes, ostensibly to reduce collisions. Among the changes:• The...
Updated: 2 months ago
Jameis Winston had more turnovers than touchdown passes last season — and it could have been worse. [Getty Images]

The numbers prove it: Jameis Winston had a lucky season

Jameis Winston was one of the luckiest quarterbacks in the NFL last season, a Football Outsiders analysis shows.Winston threw 11 interceptions...
Updated: 2 months ago