So much for struggling without Jameis Winston.

The Tampa Bay
Buccaneers are not only thriving in the suspended quarterback's
absence Cheap
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, they're evolving into an offensive
juggernaut that's set to perform on a national stage when the Pittsburgh
Steelers visit Monday night.Thanks to Ryan Fitzpatrick and a talented collection
of playmakers that include DeSean Jackson, Mike Evans, O.J. Howard and Chris
Godwin, the Bucs (2-0) are off to their best start in eight years and have the
NFL's top-ranked offense.The Steelers (0-1-1) are not far behind at No. 2,
however inconsistency on defense has Ben Roethlisberger and Co. winless through
two weeks."I respect what they've done. I'm not so sure I'm surprised," Steelers
coach Mike Tomlin said of Tampa Bay's emergence with wins against the New
Orleans Saints and the reigning Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.They've
done it with Fitzpatrick, a 35-year-old journeyman who has thrown TD passes for
seven NFL franchises, delivering the best two games of his career."Man, he's got
some explosive weapons. He's stepping in for Winston, but Fitz is not a step-in
guy. This guy has started in multiple cities," Tomlin said."We've seen him
extensively in Cincinnati and Buffalo. He's a smart guy, Ivy League-educated,
always made good decisions. That's why he's been able to sustain himself and
play for the length of time that he's played."What once looked as if it might be
a potentially disastrous stretch to open the season with Winston suspended three
games for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy suddenly is an opportunity
for the team's first 3-0 start since 2005.Very encouraging for a franchise that
has missed the playoffs 10 consecutive seasons, the second-longest drought in
the league behind the Cleveland Browns (15).Fitzpatrick believes he's playing
the best football of his career."But, I mean, it's early. Consistency is the
biggest thing," the 14th-year pro said. "Trying to stay consistent with a high
level of performance and just continue to try to win games."As well as things
are coming together for the Bucs, though, it's been rocky times for the
struggling Steelers, off to their worst start in five years.Pro Bowl running
back Le'Veon Bell has not reported to the team and signed his one-year franchise
tenderAnd star receiver Antonio Brown made headlines after shouting at offensive
coordinator Randy Fichtner on the sideline last week and then responding to
criticism on social media from a former team employee by suggesting the team
trade him if it wants to find out how productive he can be without
Roethlisberger.Tomlin, however, isn't flinching."We are two weeks in. We do not
have a large body of work. We are focused on winning this next opportunity," the
coach said."I am not ready to paint with a broad brush ... in terms of where our
football team is or what is going to define this group."Some things to know
about the Steelers and Buccaneers:JUJU ON THAT BEATAll the self-created
melodrama surrounding Brown has overshadowed another significant development for
Pittsburgh's offense: the continued rise of second-year wide receiver JuJu
Smith-Schuster.The 21-year-old came on strong over the second half of his rookie
season in 2017 and has picked up right where he left off. Smith-Schuster is tied
for Brown for the team lead in receptions (18) and his 240 yards receiving ranks
fifth in the league."He just has a great knack and feel for the game, knowing
when to sit down in zone, knowing when to move in man," Roethlisberger said."He
uses his body and size at times, so I think he's really studied the game, and
studied his game and has really gotten better."RING OF HONORHall of Famer Tony
Dungy, who won a Super Bowl as a player with the Steelers and later transformed
Tampa Bay from a laughingstock into a championship contender as a coach, will be
inducted into the Bucs' Ring of Honor during a halftime ceremony.He joins Hall
of Famers Lee Roy Selmon, Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks, as well as Doug
Williams, Jimmie Giles, Mike Alstott, John Lynch, Paul Gruber, coaches John
McKay and Jon Gruden and late owner Malcolm Glazer as members of the ring.NOT
HERE TO TALK ABOUT THE PASTThe Steelers have made it a habit of stubbing their
toe early in the season only to find their groove at midseason and reach the
playoffs each of the past four years. Not that their resiliency has provided
them any sort of comfort facing the club's worst start since 2013."It doesn't
matter what we've done in the past," defensive end Cam Heyward said. "I'm not
worried about what we've done two years ago, a year ago. Worry about what we've
got to do now, the present. Be in this moment. Understand we made some mistakes.
Now we've got to correct it."FLAG DAYDefensive breakdowns and Brown's behavior
aren't Pittsburgh's only problems. The Steelers have hurt themselves under an
avalanche of penalty yards.Pittsburgh has been flagged 24 times for an NFL-high
206 yards in penalties through two weeks.Tomlin described the issues as
"popcorn Cheap
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," meaning they're coming from all over the
place. If there's a bright side for the Steelers, it's that they've found a way
to clean things up as the season progresses.A year ago they were called for 23
penalties through two games and finished with the ninth-fewest penalty yards in
the league.AP Sports Writer Will Graves in Pittsburgh contributed to this
report. Four quarterbacks are certain to go in the first round of the NFL draft
Thursday night, all of them early.Five might be off the board midway through the
top 32 picks. And, who knows given the desperation pro teams are displaying
about finding that franchise QB, we could see six of them go on opening
night.Barring trades — and there will be a few of them — here's one attempt at a
mock draft.1. ClevelandOnce more, the Browns try to find their long-term guy at
the key offensive position. There are plenty of positives and enough negatives
about the top four quarterbacks to make this a crapshoot. We'll roll with the QB
with the most upside ...JOSH ALLEN, QB, WYOMING2. New York GiantsDespite the
screams from Big Blue fans to find the replacement for Eli Manning, the Giants
believe he has two or three very good years left. So do we. Helping Manning
recapture the glory will be the highest-rated player in the entire draft.SAQUON
BARKLEY, RB, PENN STATE3. New York Jets (from Indianapolis)They traded to this
spot with one express purpose: finding the next Joe Namath. Or a reasonable
facsimile.SAM DARNOLD, QB, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA4. Cleveland (from Houston)The
Browns took a stud defensive end last year at the top in Myles Garrett. They get
to bookend him with this crop's top defensive player.BRADLEY CHUBB, DE, NORTH
CAROLINA STATE5. DenverMany teams will call the Broncos when they see that two
of the hyped quarterbacks remain. John Elway will listen, then will grab what he
hopes will be the next, well, John Elway.BAKER MAYFIELD, QB, OKLAHOMA6.
Indianapolis (from N.Y. Jets)If they don't trade again — and if they're
convinced Andrew Luck will, indeed, return to Pro Bowl form — the Colts have
lots of options here. They also have tons of needs.QUENTON NELSON, G, NOTRE
DAME7. Tampa BayNelson would have been on the Bucs' radar, but no other blocker
rates in the top 10, so they turn to filling a hole on defense with ...DENZEL
WARD, CB, OHIO STATE8. ChicagoCertainly not in the quarterback derby after their
bold move for Mitchell Trubisky a year ago, the Bears can go many ways here. The
most help for them to go up in the NFC North is ...TREMAINE EDMUNDS, LB,
VIRGINIA TECH9. San FranciscoWith Jimmy G in the fold for years (and
multi-millions), the rapidly rebuilding and improving 49ers get a stud on the
defensive side reminiscent of Patrick Willis.ROQUAN SMITH, LB, GEORGIA10.
OaklandPredicting what Jon Gruden ever will do — such as leaving the comfort of
the broadcast booth for the Black Hole — is foolhardy. Then again, what is a
mock draft?MINKAH FITZPATRICK, S, ALABAMA11. MiamiThe Dolphins worked on every
kind of scenario to get them into the QB derby. Guess what: Miami's staying put
was the best strategy.JOSH ROSEN, QB, UCLA12. Buffalo (from Cincinnati)Lots of
groaning going on in Western New York after division rival Miami takes Rosen.
The Bills could reach here for a quarterback, but are better served addressing
the chasm on the offensive line with ...MIKE McGLINCHY Bryan
Anger Jersey
, T, Notre Dame13. WashingtonOther than the trade for
Alex Smith, a big one of course, the Redskins have been relatively quiet this
offseason. There's a need on the defensive line and in the secondary. With such
a choice, go for the pass rusher.MARCUS DAVENPORT, DE, UTSA14. Green BayThis is
not a top-heavy draft for receivers, but one stands out as a first-rounder.
Aaron Rodgers has expressed some "differences" with the Packers on offseason
moves, but will like this one.CALVIN RIDLEY, WR, ALABAMA15. ArizonaBruce Arians
is gone. Carson Palmer is gone. Most significantly, Tyrann Mathieu is gone, and
that's the guy who will be replaced here.DERWIN JAMES, S, FLORIDA STATE16.
BaltimoreOzzie Newsome's last draft. The GM has been spot-on so many times in
his tenure, but he's also missed recently with some high picks. Baltimore's
offense needs a boost.DERRIUS GUICE, RB, LSU17. L.A. ChargersWe said the Giants
weren't looking at the future replacement for Eli Manning. The Chargers, who
traded Manning's rights to New York back in 2004 and got Philip Rivers, take a
different approach.LAMAR JACKSON, QB, LOUISVILLE18. SeattleDon't you dare utter
the world "rebuild" around GM John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll. Not even in
a whisper. Still, this roster needs some big-time hits in the draft. Maybe start
with ...JOSH JACKSON, CB, IOWA19. DallasA receiver would seem to make sense,
except no wideouts warrant this spot. Edge rusher does, as well as almost
anybody on defense. Cowboys take big guy in middle.VITA VEA, DT, WASHINGTON20.
DetroitMatt Patricia is a defensive coach and the Lions have enough needs there
for him to skip filling the holes at tight end or running back to get an
all-around stud.HAROLD LANDRY, DE-LB, BOSTON COLLEGE21. Cincinnati (from
Buffalo)Anyone and everyone is on the board for Cincinnati, which never shies
away from character issues with its players. There aren't such issues with
...WILL HERNANDEZ, G, UTEP22. Buffalo (from Kansas City)Missing on their
quarterback earlier in this round, the Bills ponder whether to gamble a bit on a
signal caller here. They also know the Patriots, up next, have a liking for
...MASON RUDOLPH, QB, OKLAHOMA STATE23. New England (from L.A. Rams)After seeing
his defense torched in the Super Bowl, Bill Belichick must have been gritting
his teeth for 2陆 months. He gets one player to help shore up the unit in
...LEIGHTON VANDER ESCH Womens
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, LB, BOISE STATE24. CarolinaCam Newton has done
some of his best work, including winning league MVP honors, when he's had deep
threats to throw to. Torrey Smith isn't the answer, but maybe this pick will
provide the guy.CHRISTIAN KIRK, WR, TEXAS A&M25. TennesseeNew coach Mike
Vrabel, like Detroit's Patricia, comes from the New England defensive stable.
He'll appreciate the chance to upgrade the defense with ...DA'RON PAYNE, DT,
ALABAMA26. AtlantaAnother team seeking defensive help, particularly someone
inside who can occupy blockers, penetrate gaps and has enough versatility to
play run and pass. That guy is ...TAVEN BRYAN, DT, FLORIDA27. New OrleansComing
off one of the best drafts in team history, the Saints would be thrilled to come
close this time. Tight end is their biggest need and you know Drew Brees will
make good use of ...HAYDEN HURST, TE, SOUTH CAROLINA28. PittsburghThe way the
Steel Curtain was torn asunder by Jacksonville in the playoffs, folks in
Pittsburgh must be rabid in their desire for a return to normalcy. One pick
won't do that, but the Steelers make a good start with ...RASHAAN EVANS, LB,
ALABAMA29. JacksonvilleFollowing a superb turnaround, the Jaguars will be a
focal point team for the first time in years. A target for Blake Bortles, to
whom they are committed for three more years, is an important step.D.J. MOORE,
WR, MARYLAND30. MinnesotaAfter their megadeal with Kirk Cousins, it would be
shocking if the Vikings don't address his protectors. Several times.ISAIAH WYNN,
G, GEORGIA31. New EnglandBelichick went defense at No. 23. Now, he goes ...
defense.JAIRE ALEXANDER, CB, LSU32. PhiladelphiaThe Super Bowl champions — it
might sound weird, but the Eagles are legit to contend again in 2018 — could go
a popular route and take Penn State TE Mike Gesicki. More likely is aiding the
offensive line.CONNOR WILLIAMS, G, TEXAS
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