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More than four months have passed for Stefon Diggs

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  • More than four months have passed for Stefon Diggs

    He still hears about the play a couple of times per week.As nice as the accolades can be , they won't win the Vikings any games this year."I'm kind of over it at this point. It's definitely a blessing, but we've got a brand new season to worry about, a lot of exciting things taking place right now, so I'm going to focus on that," Diggs said. "It's definitely an old smile right now."After a career-high eight touchdowns in 2017 while forming one of the NFL's best wide receiver duos with Adam Thielen, Diggs has entered the final year of his rookie contract, bound for a big raise.With Kirk Cousins now in place, he's working with his fourth primary starting quarterback in as many seasons in the league. John DeFilippo also represents his third offensive coordinator.Diggs is not one to be ruffled, though, not with the hurdles he has cleared over his career and the setbacks he's faced in life since his dad died 10 years ago."For me, it's just the same old building process, getting back going, getting the trust of your quarterback. That excites me Tampa Bay Buccaneers T-Shirt , having a new challenge," said Diggs, who went to the Atlanta area with Thielen earlier this spring to hang out with and catch passes from Cousins.Those receiver-quarterback relationships are as important as any on the roster."As far as being our general and the guy that's going to lead us, I put 100 percent faith in him," Diggs said.Diggs is not the only integral Vikings player with an expiring deal, joining linebacker Anthony Barr and defensive end Danielle Hunter in the about-to-get-paid-a-lot club with no guarantee all three of them will fit under the salary cap.The price for Diggs has markedly increased since the "Minneapolis Miracle " game not only because of the clutch catch.Mike Evans (Tampa Bay), Sammy Watkins (Kansas City) and Jarvis Landry (Cleveland) have all signed new contracts since March with annual average values of more than $15 million. Diggs has been watching, naturally, with several public praises of his peers . Reading between the tweets? Diggs is clearly confident he'll be in their situation soon."I like to congratulate guys every chance I get," Diggs said. "So for my particular situation, I let my resume speak for itself. It'll figure itself out."If an extension doesn't get done in 2018 and he becomes a free agent, he could still sign with the Vikings, of course. Exploring the market doesn't sound like a goal of his Tampa Bay Buccaneers Hats , however."I love playing for the Vikings. I started here. I've had all my time here. I love my teammates. I love my staff. There's no place I'd rather be," he said.Barr was the only notable player missing on Wednesday from practice. Coach Mike Zimmer said Barr told him he wouldn't attend, but Zimmer didn't divulge a reason. Barr's absence could be driven by a form of soft protest about the lack of a new deal or self-preservation from injury. These organized team activities in late May and early June are not required. Only the minicamp in mid-June is contractually mandatory.One player whose presence was more pertinent than anyone's absence was kicker Kai Forbath, who was startled last month when the Vikings drafted Auburn kicker Daniel Carlson in the fifth round. Such moves rarely end well for the incumbent."I fortunately have never lost a competition, and I'm not shying away from this one just because they drafted him," Forbath said. "As long as I make my kicks, everything should take care of itself."Final Grades: Buccaneers vs Bears Soooo, who?s ready for the bye week?I certainly need a week off after that excuse for a football game. From the moment that both teams took the field, the Bucs had no chance to win. Now they get two weeks to try and figure out what went wrong and how to stop it. No one wants to relive this past Sunday, but we are going to do so one more time in this week?s final grades. OffenseEasily the worst offensive performance of the season, Tampa Bay couldn?t get anything going outside of a couple of big passes to DeSean Jackson and one touchdown drive in the fourth quarter after they were already down 45-3.It was a shell of the offensive powerhouse we had seen over the last two and a half games. Now, a lot of that has to do with the Bears? defensive excellence, but it also feels like Tampa Bay didn?t make the necessary corrections after their loss to the Steelers.Questionable calls such as the decision to pull Ali Marpet in order to block him one-on-one surrounded the coaching staff. The result of the play was an interception after Mack destroyed Marpet and was able to hit Jameis Winston?s arm as he threw the ball Tampa Bay Buccaneers Hoodie , causing the ball to flutter in the air. The Bucs couldn?t get a ground attack going for the third straight game. They only converted 33% of their red zone trips. For the second straight week, they were negated in the turnover department. These were all issues that cropped up against the Steelers and then magnified by the Bears. Brian Baldinger does a great job breaking down Tampa Bay?s ineptitude on offense with a good mix of when the Bears? defense was responsible for blowing up plays. I highly recommend you give it a watch.It was an all-out catastrophe that took a group effort on Sunday.If this offense continues to perform like this, then it?s going to be a very long season. Final Grade: 0.0 (F)DefenseDid you watch the game? If you weren?t able to, did you look at the score?This isn?t lazy writing, this is pure honesty. Tampa Bay?s defense was garbage in every facet of the game. That?s all you need to know. Final Grade: 0.0 (F)Special TeamsWhen the special teams got their chance to play, they did well. Catanzaro made all of his kicks for the second straight week. Even though he only had two opportunities, each made kick is a boost of confidence. Two of his three kickoffs went for touchbacks, as well. Do I dare say he is becoming - gasp - reliable?The coverage units did a very good job, but the return game lacked for the second straight week. Not that it will lose you games, but the Bucs need to find some sort of spark in that area in case they run into another trap like they did in Chicago. Bryan Anger had a decent day, averaging a net 40 on his punts, but he still has a long way to go if he wants to break into the top ten. Final Grade: 3.0 (B)CoachingDirk Koetter said it best after the game that he thought everyone on the staff should be fired, starting with himself. This staff - especially the offensive side - got off to a pretty good start for the first two games of the season Cheap Customized Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jerseys , but it seems like now they are right back where they left off in 2017. Mike Smith?s scheme is terrible and needs to be fixed. What?s even worse is that the players seem like they don?t even know what the hell is going on most of the time. There were at least four blown coverages against the Bears.Is there any hope left for Mike Smith?Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsThe offense, while still the backbone, has now struggled for six of the last eight quarters. Todd Monken and Koetter must find ways to elevate the offense. The bye week couldn?t have come at a better time. They will get an extra week to regroup and try to fix the issues this team currently has. What will be even more telling is what happens in Atlanta next weekend. If the Bucs blow this game in the usual fashion that has been witnessed over the past two and a half years, then there may be some major shakeups sooner rather than later. Final Grade: 0.0 (F)Overall Grade: 0.75 (F)Without a doubt, this is the lowest grade I?ve given in two seasons of writing for SB Nation. This was one of the worst games for the Bucs in recent memory and there have been a ton of bad ones to recount. Bad coaching, a lack of execution, and miscommunication all played a pivotal role in an embarrassing loss. There was a lot riding on this game. If you?re a fan, you have to be wondering about whether this team really wants it or not after watching them play like this after a tough loss. Overall Grade For The 2018 Season: 2.38 (C)
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