July 7, 2022

Bucs Life

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Can the Bucs Wait on “White Tiger 2”?

3 min read

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. finishes the team warm up session before their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Bucs had a rare and electrifying receiver, Joey Galloway, from 2004 to 2008. Galloway had game-breaking speed. He did earn the moniker “White Tiger” from Head Coach; Jon Gruden. Why? Galloway often pulled a groin or hamstring every other twitch. As the White Tiger, Galloway was rare; but special. Antonio Brown is creeping into White Tiger 2 status. I think the Bucs should kick the tires on Odell Beckham, Jr.

In 2019, Jon Gruden traded two draft picks to the Pittsburgh Steelers for Antonio Brown. It was a highly suspect deal in that the two players the Steelers got in that deal ended up being Diontae Johnson and Zack Gentry. However, Gruden’s instincts were on point. *Though the Raiders got cornered to releasing Brown. The Raiders offense became constricted, responding by scoring nine (9) points against the Chiefs, three (3) points against the Jets, etc. The Larger point: The offense was constricted into the gnashing and writhing of star running back Josh Jacobs into the teeth of vaunted Front Sevens.

Of course, without White Tiger 2, the Bucs don’t have that problem, but Antonio Brown is a reliable valve for Tom Brady when healthy. Brown is the most talented receiver in NFL History under 6’0”, *with apologies to Steve Largent and Steve Smith, Sr.; Brown’s big-play ability was notably missing in New Orleans. He fights differently, and he’s guaranteed money on ‘Crossers’, which the Saints have had problems covering this season. Odell Beckham, Jr. is not Antonio Brown, but his knack for getting open on ‘Deep’ and ‘Deep-intermediate’ routes along with ‘Crossers’ would be a death knell for defenses. As Bruce Arians has pointed out, “Most teams don’t have three great corners”. Watching the Saints, Falcons, and Panthers, the Bucs have the best defensive backs in the NFC South if Carlton Davis III, Sean Murphy-Bunting, Dee Delaney, and Richard Sherman return from injury; however, even they would have a difficult time in keeping up with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Odell Beckham, Jr. The NFC South would get dismantled, and the dogfight for the Division that materialized in ‘Week 8’ in New Orleans would be a Looney Tunes desert mirage.

Can the Bucs win without Antonio Brown or Odell Beckham, Jr.? It’s likely but an unnecessary calculation. Of course, the seriousness of the injury to AB is vague. And Arians has kept these close to the vest over the years. And the math for Mike Greenberg would be tricky to bring in OBJ if his price tag remains the same as before he was on the market. Scotty Miller and Tyler Johnson are proven pros; however, they are not Antonio Brown or Odell Beckham, Jr. Brown had knee surgery this summer and has now sustained an injury with an undetermined timetable for his return. He could be “White Tiger 2” just waiting to pounce. If the Bucs can avoid that gamble, Odell Beckham, Jr. would ensure the Bucs wideouts remain uncoverable and frighten every defensive coordinator from Green Bay to Los Angeles witless.