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The forgotten member of last year's deep tight end class makes his NFL debut Saturday night http://www.buccaneerslockerroom.com/authentic-m.j.-stewart-jersey , and Jake Butt is fired up to show he's just as good as O.J. Howard, Evan Engram and David Njoku.Butt was considered as talented as that trio of first-rounders last year but he slipped all the way to the fifth round, where Denver grabbed him with the 145th overall pick after he tore his right ACL in Michigan's 33-32 loss to Florida State in the Orange Bowl following the 2016 season.He was the eighth tight end taken overall, one spot ahead of Iowa's George Kittle, who caught 43 passes for 515 yards and two TDs in San Francisco.While Butt was missing his rookie season and focusing on getting healthy for 2018, he couldn't help but keep tabs on his fellow rookie tight ends as they piled up 230 catches and 26 touchdowns last season."Some were arguing it was the best tight end class ever. Yeah, I kept up with them," Butt said Thursday. "Obviously, a lot of those guys did some great things. Evan Engram stands out. I got to see him live in our stadium, he was making some big plays. O.J. Howard, I've known him since high school, just an absolute beast. David Njoku, Adam Shaheen, they did well."And now it's my turn to go out there and compete with them and get the right to earn (the title of) who's the best out of that class," Butt said. "Man, that'll be fun. We'll all be pushing each other."The Broncos host the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday night, and Butt will line up with the starters."He'll be with the first group probably for two series and maybe a little bit afterward, but not much more than that," coach Vance Joseph said.Butt can't wait."I'm just ready to go out there and start playing some real football again," said Butt.He acknowledged feeling like a wide-eyed rookie."This will be my first NFL game, so what my class went through last season this is what I'm going through right now. So, just to get in that stadium, in front of our fans, with my team and being out there actually participating, it's going to be a fun time," Butt said.Butt is pain-free and has had a solid training camp so far as veteran Jeff Heuerman sits out with a sore knee. "But it's a whole different beast when you get out there and do it live against another team," Butt said. "So, I want to go out there and continue to be technique sound, work my fundamentals, block well."The Broncos lost their best blocking tight end when Virgil Green signed with the AFC West-rival Los Angeles Chargers this spring, and Butt knows blocking is what's going to keep him on the field and allow him the chance to catch up to the rest of the 2017 tight ends class."We've got some talented receivers on the outside Chris Conte Jersey White , so if you can have a tight end that they can't key on whether it's a run or a pass, that's going to put some pressure on that defense," Butt said. "And if you're able to execute, that could translate into some big plays for our offense."Butt and general manager John Elway were hopeful that Butt would only miss half of his rookie season last year, but it quickly became apparent during the one week he was allowed to practice that he'd be better off waiting until 2018."The hardest part about last year was not knowing," Butt said. "Being on PUP, you're waiting, you're waiting, you're waiting and you don't know if you're going to have to wait longer. But once they shut me down for the year, it just became a focus of let me get as healthy as possible for 2018."Butt was one of several members of the Broncos' 2017 draft class who played very little (DeMarcus Walker, De'Angelo Henderson) or not at all (Chad Kelly, Carlos Henderson) last season.There's been a lot of buzz about this year's loaded draft class . If Butt can return to form, though, he'll give a boost to the 2017 class that's taken heat for its many mistakes and immaturity."I think our story's still being written," Butt said.And he could be the lead author.Notes: Unlike last year, Von Miller will play in the preseason opener. "He's totally healthy, he's had a great camp and we have no reason not to play Von," Joseph said. "Von's in great health and good spirits, so why not?" ... Heuerman, S Su'a Cravens (knee) and OL Menelik Watson (chest) won't play.Bucs at Bears: Reviewing five keys to victory Well, I’ll go ahead and let everyone know, this is not a pretty review. Tampa Bay essentially failed in all five keys to victory that I outlined prior to the baffling blowout loss to Chicago.It was a game where nothing went right. Seriously. Mitchell Trubisky had thrown just nine touchdowns to ten interceptions in his career before he got a chance to play the Buccaneers. Offensively, it wasn’t any better against a Bears defense that pressured Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston all game.1. Limiting turnoversA week after turning the ball over four times against Pittsburgh, the Buccaneers lost possession of the ball three more times against Chicago.Fitzpatrick tossed another interception after three against the Steelers while Jameis Winston threw two picks during his 2018 debut.With a defense that is one of the worst in the NFL, Tampa Bay has to take extra care of the football going forward. 2. Slowing down the Chicago pass-rushTampa Bay allowed three sacks a week ago and they surrendered a season-high four sacks against the Bears vaunted pass-rush. It’s been an ugly two weeks for this offensive line after a solid start to the season.Now, it seems like we’re left with more questions than answers. Were the first two weeks a fluke? Or were the last two weeks a fluke? It’s safe to say that this is a puzzle that needs to be solved quickly. 3. Flustering Mitchell TrubiskyConsidering that Trubisky looked like the second coming of Joe Montana on Sunday, Tampa Bay failed here big time. The defense generated just one sack (in the first quarter) and three quarterback hits all day.That allowed Trubisky to stand in the pocket and deliver passes. He finished the game with 364 yards and six touchdowns. How will the defense respond after getting absolutely picked apart by one of the worst quarterbacks on their schedule? 4. Scoring touchdowns in the red zoneAfter a 2/5 performance in the red zone against Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay wasn’t much better against the Bears. The Buccaneers finished 2/3 in the red zone and were forced to settle for a field goal during the first quarter from the Chicago 13-yard line.The touchdown the Bucs scored didn’t come until the fourth quarter when this game was well out of a reach. You have to wonder if this team will take a step forward or stay relatively the same in the red zone with Jameis Winston leading the offense. 5. Finding more balance on offenseThe running game has been a problem for Tampa Bay since week one. The Buccaneers had 112 rushing yards in their season-opening win over the New Orleans Saints.In the three weeks since then, the Bucs have recorded a total of 166 yards on the ground. The offensive line has failed to consistently pave running lanes and the running backs haven’t been great at hitting them either.Tampa Bay ran 18 times for 60 yards (3.3 YPC) against Chicago. They haven’t had a rush longer than 23 yards all season and have scored just one touchdown on the ground, courtesy of Fitzpatrick.
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