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TJ Rives | Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sideline Reporter

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence
The Truth Network Radio
October 3, 2022 6:06 am

TJ Rives | Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sideline Reporter

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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October 3, 2022 6:06 am

Sideline Reporter for the Tampa Bay Bucs TJ Rives joins the show from Raymond James Stadium to recap SNF.

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Hey guys, Mike Valenny for Cash the Ticket Podcast. If you like sports betting or if you just like sports, it's the podcast for you. We try to cover all the big games and maybe some of the games you didn't even know were important. Give you some angles, pick some winners, have a good time, and hopefully help you meander through college and pro football season. So join us a couple times a week to get all your information you need to bet the games that you watch.

It's Cash the Ticket on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. Right now we are pleased to welcome TJ Reeves, longtime friend and guest of the show. He's from the Buccaneers sidelines and now that his work is done, we're anxious to pick his brain. But TJ, before we talk about football, football was returning to Tampa after the NFL consulted with local officials and authorities deciding to host the game there at Raymond James in the wake of Hurricane Ian, even though many parts of Florida are even now beginning the recovery process. And there are still rescue efforts underway. It's been devastating, obviously, in Florida over the last few days. So what was it like for the Bucks and for you personally as part of the broadcast team to get back to the stadium after everything that happened?

Well, first of all, good to be with you. And I'm glad we're beginning with this because there are things that are much more important than sports and football. And it has just been a harrowing, devastating time, obviously about 100 miles to the south of Tampa proper where the game was played tonight.

In the Fort Myers Cape Coral area. And you're talking about hundreds of thousands of people that are going to be affected for weeks, months and maybe even longer loss of life like you were talking about. And look, Orlando got hit as well with the with the storm weakening, but still got hit it like a category one hurricane.

So they've still got people displaced without power and problems. So we should not lose sight of that. And there was a real attitude of camaraderie and feeling for the other people in the state in that stadium tonight.

They're calling it Florida strong and with good reason here because Amy, this is not something that's going to be over with in a couple of weeks or even in a couple of months with what happened to the south of us in the Tampa Bay area was very fortunate that this thing swung early to the northeast and hit the bottom of the state instead of right through this area. So we realize that we understand that and it kind of trivializes sports. But now we'll go to the trivial and talk about the game in whichever way you want to lead. I will follow.

I appreciate that. And Tampa certainly is a community that can not only donate money, but offer other support and resources to the communities that were harder hit. We know the Buccaneers are doing that. The NFL is donating a bunch of money.

So is Tom Brady. So a lot of assistance going to those people who desperately need it. TJ, just personally, what was the last week like for you and your family? So it's crazy because we live in the northern suburbs. And so you're watching everything last Sunday night, last Monday, and you've got to be ready. You've got to be ready to leave. You know, what are you taking with you? You're taking your family. You're taking a pet. You're taking vehicles and then you've got to figure out where you're going.

Here's the crazy thing. So many people evacuated to the middle of the state to Orlando or beyond because the track again was to come north of Tampa and then swing into the northeast, maybe over our area or just above our area. Well, it turned out it was much lower geographically. So it swings. It piles right through the middle of the state diagonally, right where thousands and thousands had evacuated to. So thankfully, they didn't get hit as bad. But you plan for these things.

You try for these things to plan ahead, to have a supply of water, supply of batteries, supply of nonperishable food, things such as that if you're going to stay. But when you've got a category four, I mean, this is the second most powerful storm that's ever hit the state of Florida ever. Hurricane Andrew, 1992 and then this one. So when we saw that last Monday or Tuesday, you're on your toes on we may have to get out of here and be in Orlando or be somewhere on the eastern part of the state of the southeastern part of the state. And obviously the team went to Miami because that was never part of the hurricane track here to go to go practice this week and be safe with their families.

So it was it was minimal for us in terms of effect. But by the same token, the entire state is always on alert relief from late June until about this time, the beginning of October, that these things crop up. We're spending a few minutes with TJ Reeves, who is the Buccaneers sideline reporter for their radio network and has a personal perspective on this week. When you think about the way that the game started with a fumble on the opening kickoff, it was off to the races after that for the Kansas City Chiefs. Wow.

Yeah, no question. And, you know, the Bucks ready to get the ball on offense. The crowd is fired up. And then suddenly it's a rookie Rashad White and the balls on the ground. And Kansas City got the ball and they're in the end zone before you can spell the home.

They're in the end zone on the path to Kelsey. So that was deflating. But that was not the whole game. I mean, obviously what happened for the next fifty nine minutes after that was the real story. And I believe it was just the Chiefs. It may be a little bit of revenge mode. They did lose to this team in the Super Bowl.

Obviously, everybody knew that in the storyline. Highly motivated. Mahomes very much locked in. They were phenomenal on third down. Buccaneers could not get off the field again for the second straight week on third down. And the Chiefs did a fantastic job up front of bullying the Buccaneers for a lot of that first three quarters, let's say, where they extended the lead. I mean, they ran the ball for nearly 200 yards for all the big time throws that Mahomes made. They were just leveling the Buccaneer front seven and running the ball.

And that was as big a key as anything. As you point out, one hundred eighty nine yards rushing, Clyde Edwards, a layer was pretty much able to do whatever he wanted, but he wasn't the only one. It's been a long time since we've seen the Buccaneers give up this kind of yardage, as well as twelve for seventeen on third down. The Chiefs go five of six in the red zone.

What happened? Everybody wants to know that answer because the defense has been so good for the first three games, the two wins over Dallas and New Orleans. And really, after Aaron Rodgers and company got the 14 points, they really flipped the script and shut them out in the second half as well. But tonight they didn't have answers up front.

That's that's a big part of it. And another thing is missed tackles. And I know Todd Bowles said after the game to us on Buccaneers radio, he also said it to the media.

We're not going to use the displacement to Miami as an excuse. We didn't tackle at all tonight. And we didn't make nearly enough plays on third down when the Chiefs, I believe, hit like nine of their first ten third downs in the game. That's not winning football.

You're not going to be able to beat a high powered elite team if you can't get off the field. And when the Chiefs go all the way into the final minute of the game and they haven't punted and didn't turn the ball over until Mahomes turned it over with about three minutes left. They had punted the entire night because they kept scoring.

So, again, as good as everything was the first three weeks, a lot of it came unraveled. And Todd Bowles said to us after the game, we are going to go back to the basics. We are going to go back to the beginning here and start over fundamentally on tackling because it was not good on Sunday night. So, TJ, there was one jaw dropping moment for Patrick Mahomes.

Actually, there always is more than one. But there's one that we'll see on Highlight Reels over and over in which he scrambles right to the sideline in the red zone. He spins out of a tackle toward the end zone.

And then there's this combination jump pass, push pass to Clyde in the end zone for the touchdown. What was your perspective on that moment? Well, I had a front row seat, a ringside seat. So, I'm inside the five-yard line doing my job on the sideline for Buccaneers radio and he's coming right at me. So, the first thing is self-preservation because I see him coming and I see people chasing. So, I back up.

I do what you're supposed to do. I back up four or five steps because I'm not going to be standing there by the dotted yellow line when about a thousand pounds of players, plural, come plowing into me. So, I back up like three steps and he literally, as everybody has now seen on the live call on NBC or on the highlights or on Twitter and the internet, he stopped. And the first thing I'm thinking is, okay, he's going to try to go out of bounds.

No, he stopped. And then suddenly he just did the flick, like an optioned underhand flick, perfect touch to Edwards Hilaire. And my jaw is open. My jaw is open because there are not many players on the planet that make that play, athletically, that make that play. And you're right, we see things like that regularly from him and I had a ringside seat for that one. I can say this is my 18th year, 18 of them on the Buccaneers sideline. I haven't seen a quarterback athletically stop on a dime like that and with three or four people bearing down and around him, just suddenly flick the ball effortlessly to an open receiver in the end zone. That was a great play. He definitely makes it up as he goes along.

There's no way they practice these things. Right. And it's certainly something like that. It's just God-given. He has the ability to see things. You know what it reminds me of, you didn't ask me this part, but it reminds me of Wayne Gretzky being a step ahead. Jordan seemed to be a step ahead.

Pick one. And Gretzky was maybe two steps ahead when he played. Mahomes is that way on a lot of what he does. And there are other quarterbacks. Brady can be considered a step ahead, maybe not athletically running around. But Mahomes seems to be a step or two ahead of everything. And sometimes that gets him in trouble. He gets nonchalant like the interception there at the very end of the game, but a lot of times it makes for spectacular plays in watching him do that.

And again, you can't say enough. Somebody was saying upstairs, 602 days, 602 days since Super Bowl 50. And I think the Chiefs were keeping track of that and were ready for some revenge tonight. TJ Reeves fresh off the Buccaneers sidelines as the Chiefs roll into Tampa and rack up more than 400 yards of offense against that Bucs defense and winning on Sunday Night Football.

It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. I know that the Buccaneers were trailing most of the game. And in the first half, they were trailing by three scores for a stretch there. But are you surprised by the disparity between passing and only three rushing yards on six attempts for the Bucs in this game?

Not nearly enough. And they've got to get that fixed. And this has happened from time to time over the last three years with Byron Leftwich calling plays. And of course, this is the first year that Bruce Arians is not there as well, whose forte is play calling, game planning, scheming around things. They've got to get that part figured out. And really the last two weeks not able to run the ball nearly effectively enough.

And there are some times where circumstances dictate that. I mean, tonight when the game is 21-3 in the first half, how much are you going to run it? You come out to start the second half and you pick up a first down, but then you can't do anything else with the ball.

You're not going to be running the ball in that situation. So they have got to find a way to get some balance back, especially with Leonard Fournette, because you have the ability to kind of keep the defense at least on its heels at times and set up your play action some at times. And by their own admission, I mean, did Todd Bowles set it?

Tom Brady set it tonight after the game. They didn't do nearly good enough at sustaining drives and getting the run game going. That has got to change as you move forward here, but you also credit Kansas City.

Again, they fortified their defense. Spagnola was ready and they took a lot of things away from the Bucks tonight and got a revenge win for sure. Mike Evans returns to the lineup and had a big game. Of course, that connection with Tom Brady is amazing. And with his second quarter touchdown, he broke the career franchise record for yards from scrimmage. What are a few words that you can use to describe what Mike has meant to the Buccaneers?

Special player. There is no doubt that he is a special player with respect to catch radius, go up and get the ball. I don't know that there is a better receiver in the NFL, certainly in his time over the last eight years at vertical, go up and outfight defenders for the football with the long arms and the catch radius. He is such a great target, but he will also go down the field and take a hit. He took some pops in the first half, including on his touchdown, and still kept going.

It makes a tremendous difference to have Chris Godwin. Julio Jones was out there some. I did not get feedback after the game whether Julio re-aggravated the knee injury. He didn't play a lot in the second half, Amy, of the game.

Again, he's been bothered by the knee since the Dallas game, and it may have been bothering him again in the second half of the game tonight. But this is a different offense when you have those guys out there. It frees up some of the others like a Cameron Braid or like a Russell Gage and others to go make some plays because you have those weapons back there. Even while being double-teamed, a good portion of the time that he's out there on the field will still make plays. Brady still is able to put him in the right spot to make plays after the catch even.

That was fun to watch. That was one of the ways they got back in the game. Late in the first half, the problem is they just could not stop the Chiefs after halftime from putting points on the board and keeping the arm's length away. Credit Andy Reid and credit the Chiefs' offense for keeping on the gas. TJ Reeves is with us from Tampa.

It's After Hours on CBS Sports Radio. Before I let you go, we're talking about the Chiefs' offense and the Bucs' defense, but it had been a fairly anemic start to the season for Tom Brady's offense. Through what, 11 quarters, they had three offensive touchdowns, so we saw a lot more points tonight. How far are they away from finding that rhythm that we saw with them in the last couple seasons?

Oh, I think it's coming, and you saw it tonight. If he stays healthy, and obviously he got popped in the first half, and we were concerned on that blitz where he went down. He went and threw the ball some, and of course they went down the field and scored a touchdown after that, and he still had zip on the ball in the second half. So now he'll get checked, and obviously at 45 years of age you're concerned about that shoulder or any time he gets hit like that, but the offense has weapons.

You just have got to find some balance running the football. You put 31 points up on the board. He threw for over 300 tonight in the game.

I think I saw this was only the fifth time, five in 130 times, where he put and his offense put 31 points on the board, and they didn't win the game. So it's very unusual, not common for them to have that kind of offensive night either in New England or Tampa Bay and not win the game. So I think this team will be better moving forward, and these were four tough games, again, on the road at Dallas, on the road at New Orleans, then at home with Green Bay, an elite team, and at home with Kansas City, an elite team. So you end up 2-2, long way to go. Let's see if the Bucks get back to some normalcy after being displaced last week for the hurricane with practice and get ready to play the Atlanta Falcons and see what happens from there.

Next three games are Falcons at Pittsburgh and then at Carolina, so two games there in the NFC South. You can find T.J. Reeves on Twitter at Buck, B-U-C, Sideline Guy, fresh off the Buccaneers Radio Network and Sunday Night Football, but mostly we appreciate his insight about what it's been like in the state of Florida for these last few days. T.J., always good to catch up with you. Thank you so much. Anything for you, young Lenny. Have a great evening. Thank you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-28 05:50:56 / 2022-12-28 05:58:05 / 7

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