Statistics from the US Department of Transportation show more than 700,000 registered motor carriers are traversing our highways and roads. These trucks, which can be packed with everything from bricks and stone to dog food and grocery items, keep thousands of American businesses afloat. For business owners shipping these products across the country, precise planning and high-level tracking are required. But with increasing rates and a wide range of delays to overcome, overseeing a shipment of LTL freight is easier said than done.
For overworked business owners, managing multiple shipments can seem impossible in today's freight landscape. But the reality is that many businesses rely on less-than-truckload shipments to keep their doors open. When these shipments are compromised, their business is too. But there's a viable solution: LTL freight brokers in Tampa, FL like RelyEx provide reliable solutions to common LTL shipment problems, eliminating the stress and worry of LTL shipping.
With more than 30 combined years of LTL experience and a solutions-oriented team, RelyEx is your go-to choice for streamlined, efficient LTL shipping services. To understand the true value of RelyEx's less-than-truckload shipping options, it helps to understand first what LTL shipping is and why it's used.
In the freight industry, LTL stands for "less-than-truckload." It is a widely-used method of transportation for smaller shipments that don't require the space of a full truckload. In an LTL shipment, several customers' loads are placed onto one truck, which helps reduce how much it costs to ship those products.
In fact, if your freight doesn't fill an entire trailer but weighs 150-15,000 lbs., LTL freight shipping in Tampa, FL, may be the most efficient, cost-conscious way to transport your products. That's because, in an LTL setup, you're only paying for the space your freight takes up. LTL shipping companies like RelyEx optimize LTL loads by choosing the most efficient routes at the best rates so your cargo gets to where it needs to go without any issues.
Business owners often choose LTL freight services in the following circumstances:
When it comes to LTL delivery options, there are a lot to choose from. But not every LTL broker is created equally. Some LTL companies do not have the tools or technology to track your shipments and optimize your routes. In worst-case scenarios, they may not be insured or reliable. If you're looking for an experienced LTL carrier that exceeds expectations with time-tested strategies and innovative technologies, look no further than RelyEx.
With more than two decades of experience in LTL operations, our team utilizes the power of GlobalTranz to compare rates across hundreds of approved carriers in the blink of an eye, while also providing the most cost-effective options for moving your freight. When you choose RelyEx for LTL shipping, you can leverage our expert team to handle your shipments. You can also manage the process yourself via GTZShip, which is Globaltranz's user-friendly management system. With GTZShip, you can access and compare LTL shipping rates, track your shipments, and manage your financials, all from one intuitive platform.
When it comes to LTL freight in Tampa, FL, clients trust their products with RelyEx for many reasons, including the following:
Because GTZShip keeps outsized freight available, it can negotiate the best LTL rates on your behalf. Our clients can access these extra-low rates in one of two ways:
Regardless of the option you choose, RelyEx's knowledgeable customer care reps will cover all of your LTL shipping options, so you can make an informed shipping and purchasing decision for your freight.
Yes, you read that right - in addition to giving you access to industry-leading rates, RelyEx's partnership with GTZShip gives you full management of your freight. We're talking about access to reporting, tracking, and much more. This extensive visibility is essentially a one-stop shop for everything related to the status of your freight.
Unlike some LTL shipping software, this system requires no contracts or signup fees, making it simple to provide quotes and book immediately when you're ready. Whether you use GTZShip directly or rely on our team to book your freight, your company will always have access to this free technology.
While it's true that RelyEx provides customers with the best rates and technology in the LTL industry, we go above and beyond the normal call of duty. Why? Because we strive to treat your shipment as if it's our most important one. Put simply, we put a lot of time and effort into making sure we do things right the first time around. Our fierce commitment to the customer and to quality protects not only your reputation, but your bottom line by preventing lost customers and sales.
RelyEx excels at LTL shipping because we are:
From dedicated LTL solutions to transactional relationships, RelyEx is here to help. Unlike other LTL companies, we get the job done right with customer-focused service, industry expertise, and Globaltranz's industry-leading Transportation Management System.
Our dedicated team of LTL specialists provides you with the best freight visibility available, whether you need a few shipments a week or you need hundreds. In order to do so, we communicate with carriers throughout the entire shipping process, so you know your items are delivered on time. Though rare, if we spot an issue, we'll provide you with an alternative solution immediately.
Plus, if you have large quantities that need to be shipped, our team is happy to provide you with customized reporting for free. That way, you can access at-the-moment updates and important shipment documentation with a few clicks or taps.
When your freight is too light for full truckloads but too heavy for basic parcel carriers like UPS, LTL shipping is a great option to consider. When you use an LTL shipping company like RelyEx, you get even more value. We've been over some of the basics associated with LTL freight shipping - now let's touch on some of the biggest benefits of using a company to handle logistics from start to finish.
One of the most common reasons clients use LTL services is because they're able to save money. LTL shipping is much less expensive than the alternative, which is to hire a private driver and truck. When you go in on LTL services with other shippers, you can have your products delivered at a fraction of the cost of going private. In this setup, you pay for space you use, not the space you don't use, which is common in full truckload freight shipping.
As an added benefit, relying on an LTL freight company like RelyEx can lower your warehouse costs since more shipments can be sent at a time. That means you don't have to wait weeks or even months for a trailer to fill up.
When you use a parcel carrier like FedEx, you can only ship up to 150 pounds at a time. That means you'd have to break down your shipment into separate boxes in order to ship. With LTL freight shipping, your packages can be palletized and shrink-wrapped so they're shipped in a single load.
At RelyEx, our team knows how important your shipment is, whether you're sending thousands of pounds of products or a single pallet. That's why we ensure your products are packaged correctly and have security protocols baked into every service we offer. Plus, by keeping your freight together, we decrease the chance of damaging your cargo, which pleases your clients and boosts your customers' satisfaction.
The magic of LTL shipping lies in the fact that we fill fewer trailers with more freight. Doing so reduces global emissions and makes the process much quicker. Imagine using a semi-truck to haul products that only fill a quarter of the trailer. It would waste money, time, and space that could be used for other products. With LTL shipping, you're protecting the environment and reducing the number of partially-filled trucks on the road. This, in turn, saves you money and makes you an eco-friendly company - something you can use as a selling point for your business.
LTL providers like RelyEx use advanced logistics technology to ensure your cargo arrives on time and without damage. By investing in technology like GlobalTranz, we save our clients from doing so themselves. With GlobalTranz, our clients gain access to robust tracking options like real-time freight locations, so you can monitor your shipment's progress. With GlobalTranz, you get more than just a way to book your LTL cargo â you benefit from our qualified network of carriers, expert logistics support, and leading technology features.
It's impossible to say exactly how much your LTL shipping may cost because the NMFC, or National Motor Freight Classification, determines those prices. Using this standard, pricing is dictated for commodities moving in intrastate, interstate, and foreign commerce. Items are grouped into 18 different classes, based on four characteristics:
If you're shipping a product that is more likely to be damaged, stolen, or cause damage to other items, it may affect LTL shipment pricing.
Does your product require specific care or handling instructions? If so, you can probably expect higher prices.
This factor accounts for how much space your item occupies in relation to its weight or the weight per cubic foot for each piece of freight you are shipping.
How easy is it to load and transport your commodity? Can it be loaded and transported with other items?
When combined, these characteristics are used to establish an NMFC code for your LTL cargo. These codes are crucial, as they help your LTL carrier understand the challenges of shipping your products. If the item you need to ship has a high NMFC code, it's because it's more difficult to transport, which usually means it's more expensive to ship.
Depending on where and how often you ship LTL freight, your broker may choose a regional or national LTL carrier. Regional carriers often service a group of states within a region. National carriers have a larger footprint and can often eliminate the need to use several carriers for your shipments. RelyEx has the infrastructure and strategies for all of your LTL shipping - contact our office today to learn more about your options.
Though regional and national carriers are different, they often use similar models for shipping. Two of the most popular types of shipping methods include hub and spoke distribution and LTL consolidation.
In this traditional model, your shipments go through a network of warehouses, terminals, and hub facilities where your products are grouped with other shipments. Your freight then travels to local "spokes" (or terminals), where they are delivered. If you need to ship freight over short distances, this model may be a good choice to consider.
Some common benefits of the hub and spoke model include:
LTL consolidated shipping is a model where LTL carriers bring several shipments from different shippers to a final destination. Instead of using hubs and spokes along the shipping route to bundle freight and move cargo, LTL consolidation works by taking multiple shipments and turning them into a single truckload. This truck then makes multiple stops, where your products are delivered.
Some of the most common benefits of LTL consolidation include:
At RelyEx, our goal is to expertly manage the movement of your freight so you can focus on your core business. With more than 20 years of combined experience with LTL freight shipping in Tampa, FL, our team can select the most efficient and cost-effective model for your needs. That way, you can accomplish your day-to-day tasks while we handle the heavy lifting and any logistical challenges.
At RelyEx, we believe that trustworthy, comprehensive, and streamlined LTL shipping options are better for your business. And for us, what's better for your business is better for ours. That's why, when it comes to LTL shipping, we work tirelessly to ensure every aspect of your freight experience is embedded excellence. We take this unique approach because our management were once customers like you. They were people who, for one reason or another, had to deal with frustrating and often unsolved shipping and logistics challenges. Today, we take pride in solving those challenges and only partner with carriers who match our high standards.
If you're looking for an LTL company in Tampa, FL that prioritizes customer service, strong communication, and proactive thinking, we're here to help you avoid delayed shipments and missed expectations.(843) 885-3082
With a new NFL season on the horizon, change is inevitable for every franchise. For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a retooled offense will take shape under the direction of Dave Canales. He will bring a new system to Tampa Bay, similar to the one implemented in Seattle, with an emphasis on a quarterback-friendly scheme. The system is expected to have an uptick in wide-zone runs with movement up front. The run game will be accentuated in 2023, complementing the running back room featuring second-year pro Rachaad White, offseason acquisition Chase ...
With a new NFL season on the horizon, change is inevitable for every franchise. For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a retooled offense will take shape under the direction of Dave Canales. He will bring a new system to Tampa Bay, similar to the one implemented in Seattle, with an emphasis on a quarterback-friendly scheme. The system is expected to have an uptick in wide-zone runs with movement up front. The run game will be accentuated in 2023, complementing the running back room featuring second-year pro Rachaad White, offseason acquisition Chase Edmonds and fourth-year player Ke'Shawn Vaughn.
The Bucs will likely aim to feature Rachaad White in a more prominent role in 2023, benefiting his slash running style. Last season, White accumulated 469 snaps (38.57%). White finished his rookie campaign with 481 yards on 129 rushes and a touchdown for an average of 3.7 yards per attempt. In the passing game, White contributed 290 yards on 50 receptions and two touchdowns. His improvement in pass protection on blitz pickups allowed him to stay on the field for all three downs. Although the stats will not show it – the Bucs finished last in the league in rushing offense in 2022, averaging 76.9 yards per game on the ground (franchise worst) – White had a productive season between the hashes. Falling behind dictated the flow of games for Tampa Bay last season and Canales will vie to revitalize the Bucs' ground attack in 2023. White is a natural runner when he gets to the second level, showing patience in block development. With good balance, body control, burst getting north and pass-catching skills out of the backfield, White will play an integral role for Tampa Bay's offense in 2023.
"I think it's an interesting room," Running Backs Coach Skip Peete described. "I know I evaluated Rachaad [White] coming out and I really liked him a lot. I think he's a very talented inside runner – a guy who has good vision and balance, has the ability to create on his own. I think he's really an underrated pass receiver coming out of the backfield. I really liked K. Vaughn coming out. I think he's a natural runner with good balance. He hasn't really been utilized a great deal in the passing game, but I think he's capable of doing that and I think we're going to give him that opportunity going forward.
"Patrick Laird is a guy that I know came out of the University of California that possessed a lot of different things as far as run skills, balance, pass protection, special teams qualities. I mean all those guys I think fit the room real well. It's going to be something that's a collective group that's going to work hard together and do good things together. Also, with Chase Edmonds, a guy who's played several years in this league that really can be a runner, receiver. I think the one thing that's going to help all of them is that they have a different unique style that's a little bit different from each other."
Ke'Shawn Vaughn, the club's fourth-year back, rushed for 109 yards on 26 carries in 2022, averaging 4.2 yards per tote. He saw minor bits of action, as did his counterpart Giovani Bernard (retired). Vaughn thrives as a one-cut runner, building momentum to create yards after contact. With leg drive, Vaughn is hard to bring down and possesses the patience to excel as an outside zone runner. He will compete for reps, along with Chase Edmonds. In March, Edmonds inked his deal with the Bucs, entering his sixth NFL season.
Edmonds spent the first four seasons of his career in Arizona (2018-21) prior to splitting the 2022 season between the Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos. Over 70 career games played, Edmonds has tallied 2,874 yards from scrimmage and 17 total touchdowns. He joins Saquon Barkley as the only players from the 2018 draft class with 1,500-or-more career rushing yards and 1,000-or-more career receiving yards. In his first five seasons, Edmonds has recorded 401 carries for 1,796 yards (4.5 avg.) and 11 touchdowns, while hauling in 144 receptions for 1,078 yards and six touchdowns. Edmonds is effective at utilizing his redirection skills to exploit would-be tacklers. With lapses in containment, Edmonds makes defenses pay by working the perimeter. He adds athletic traits to the running back room.
After placing Kenjon Barner on Injured Reserve during the 2022 slate, the Bucs signed running back Patrick Laird in August to add depth. Laird spent three seasons with the Miami Dolphins (2019-21), appeared in 37 games (four starts), and contributed 76 rushes for 244 yards and one touchdown. In addition, he compiled 36 receptions for 289 yards in the passing game. He entered the league as a college free agent with the Dolphins in 2019 and will work to cement a role with the Bucs during training camp.
Following the 2023 NFL Draft, the Bucs signed undrafted free agents Ronnie Brown and Sean Tucker. Tucker (5-9, 207) produced 3,804 yards from scrimmage across 33 games for Syracuse in three seasons as a starter, including 3,182 on the ground. He followed up a 1,496-yard, 12-touchdown breakout year in 2021 with another 1,060 rushing yards and 11 scores last fall. He was a first-team All-America selection as a sophomore after setting single-season school records for rushing yards and 100-yard games (nine). Shepherd's Ronnie Brown, who accumulated 2,352 yards from scrimmage at the Division II level, was a first-team Division II All-American last fall after scoring 24 total touchdowns for the Rams. His career totals in 41 games for Shepherd featured 3,041 rushing yards (8.2 per carry), 81 receptions for 1,158 yards and 41 total touchdowns. Both will strive to leave an impression during training camp.
Position Group: Running Back
Ronnie Brown (UDFA)
Sean Tucker (UDFA)
TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — In 2007, the Florida Department of Transportation partnered with the City of Tampa to build a new fountain under the new expansion of Interstate 4.The fountain was envisioned as the “Gateway to a new Ybor”. The cost to build it at the time was $1.3 million.The idea of a “Gateway to a new Ybor” never panned out, and the fountain soon became a problem.“The sad thing is, obviously they had to enclose the fountain. We all know because the homeless population overwhelme...
TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — In 2007, the Florida Department of Transportation partnered with the City of Tampa to build a new fountain under the new expansion of Interstate 4.
The fountain was envisioned as the “Gateway to a new Ybor”. The cost to build it at the time was $1.3 million.
The idea of a “Gateway to a new Ybor” never panned out, and the fountain soon became a problem.
“The sad thing is, obviously they had to enclose the fountain. We all know because the homeless population overwhelmed it, used it as their bathtub, shower, beach area if you would,” said Thomas Falahee, who owns the Stained Market Place across from the fountain.
The city put up a brick and metal fence around the fountain to keep the homeless out, but trash and leaves are still an issue.
The city says the fountain has also become very costly to maintain.
“Just general sight cleanup, chemicals for water quality, we’re spending over a hundred thousand dollars a year on this facility,” said Rory Jones with the City of Tampa Water Department.
There are other issues. Several trees around the fountain have fallen, cracking the pavers that make up the sidewalk and the fountain now has leaks.
“We have leaks in this surface, we have knee walls that are deteriorated,” said Jones.
The city estimates it could cost another $1 million to make repairs.
Travis Horn is a business owner in Ybor and the former head of the Ybor Chamber of Commerce.
“I love public art and pretty spaces in public, but there comes a time when you have to stop throwing good money after bad,” said Horn. “I think honestly, the money would be much better spent putting cops on the street over on 7th Avenue than pouring more money into a boondoggle over here.”
Now the city wants to wipe the slate clean and get rid of the fountain and put something else into the space.
“The future is turning this into something that’s useable for the community, that the community wants to see and they are able to use,” said Sherisha Hills, the head of the City Parks Department who is in charge of coming up with a new use for the space. “Our biggest thing is outreach to the community, so in the next several months we will talk to the community and see what they would like to see there.”
TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A pastor’s quick actions after noticing the signs of a stroke are the reason why his wife is alive today.In an emergency situation when every second counts, knowing the signs and symptoms of a stroke are critical and that’s why one South Tampa pastor was able to save his wife’s life.Cindy and Bernie Lieving love spending time together, but lately typical daily tasks like preparing meals for dinner mean even more. ...
TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A pastor’s quick actions after noticing the signs of a stroke are the reason why his wife is alive today.
In an emergency situation when every second counts, knowing the signs and symptoms of a stroke are critical and that’s why one South Tampa pastor was able to save his wife’s life.
Cindy and Bernie Lieving love spending time together, but lately typical daily tasks like preparing meals for dinner mean even more.
Bernie Lieving is a pastor and the two were in a church service when everything changed.
“When I turned back around to face the front, the room was spinning so badly,” said Cindy Lieving. “It was spinning so badly, and I couldn’t make sense of up or down.”
Bernie knew something was off right away. Cindy was showing acute signs of a stroke.
“Her blood pressure was 193 over 95 and we knew we had to go to the ER now,” exclaimed Bernie Lieving.
Cindy was rushed to Tampa General Hospital immediately.
Dr. David Z. Rose is a neurologist at Tampa General Hospital and USF Health. He says knowing the signs and symptoms of a stroke are critical.
Rose recommends calling 911 immediately because every minute that passes can determine whether a patient is able to survive the stroke and the following impact on their quality of life.
“Every minute we’re saving three weeks of life,” said Rose. “Every hour, we’re saving them years of their life. That’s why stroke is a medical emergency.”
Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain.
According to the American Stroke Association, stroke is the fifth cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States.
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts (or ruptures). When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it and brain cells die.
Rose says the sooner a patient is treated the better the outcome will be.
“A lot of people are living with stroke, living longer with stroke, but they’re still pretty disabled,” Dr. Rose said.
We talked with Barton Malow vice president Len Moser about the plan to build the Bulls’ new home.|Updated YesterdayThe USF on-campus football stadium project quietly is moving into its next phase.The design-build team — led b...
We talked with Barton Malow vice president Len Moser about the plan to build the Bulls’ new home.
The USF on-campus football stadium project quietly is moving into its next phase.
The design-build team — led by construction company Barton Malow and architecture firm Populous — spent weeks meeting with the Bulls, school officials, students, fans and other stakeholders about the estimated $340 million project. Now they’re taking that feedback and starting to incorporate it into the latest designs.
“It’s great to hear their vision…” said Len Moser, Barton Malow’s vice president, sports. “It’s going to happen.”
USF has only authorized $22 million for design, so the board of trustees must eventually approve the full budget and construction — a two-step process Moser said is common in higher education. Moser expects to present a guaranteed maximum price in the spring or summer of 2024 to meet USF’s goal of opening a 35,000-seat stadium north of the practice facilities for the 2026 season.
Moser recently spoke with the Tampa Bay Times for a Q&A that has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
Why was this a project that appealed to you all?
It really lines up with a lot of Barton Malow’s strengths, probably corporately and locally here in central Florida, being a sports project, one, but also a higher education project. When those line up, that’s automatically appealing to us. Then I think USF being a new client for us. We love to expand our client base. I know we’ve worked up and down the west coast there of Florida since the ‘70s. We just opened our office there in Tampa, as well.
The on-campus part of this project is huge. They talk about bringing the team home, if you will, back on campus. To be involved in that really transformational kind of project is huge. Those don’t come along very often.
How much different is building a stadium now vs. when you built Orlando’s Exploria Stadium in 2017?
Certainly the supply chain challenges are really front of mind. Everyone’s aware of that. I think we continue to do our best to identify those early, advise our owners about it, preplan so that we’re ahead of those kind of things. We talked about long lead items. Those were more about a couple months of lead time vs. what now can be a year or more of a lead time for a particular piece of equipment.
It’s also putting pressure on owners and their budgets and their funding, right? We’re coming to them saying, ‘Hey, we need to release this equipment early to meet the schedule,’ and they may not be there with their funding. Their financing plans may not be in place yet. That’s even, I think, more important for us in our preconstruction and planning to pull all those things together to make sure we stay on track.
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The financing and funding — that’s not a you issue necessarily, but it’s an issue with USF on the other side because the cost of borrowing money has changed so much. I’m sure that has dramatic impacts on what you do.
It does. State universities relying on Tallahassee and then having their internal fundraising ... there’s a lot of moving parts, which is why these projects take a long time. But it’s good to see the excitement with the leadership at USF. Everybody is for the project, and we’re very excited about that, because that means we’re very confident things will move forward when you see that kind of excitement.
I can vouch for the enthusiasm and interest.
We’re seeing it, too, in the market with our subcontractors and suppliers. As busy as everyone is, this project specifically gets a lot of attention, which I think will be good for the project in general, for the budget. A lot of competition for our (diversity) goals.
What gives you confidence you can hit that 2026 timeline?
I think our experience with this kind of project. The size, the dollar value and then the time that they have in their plan for construction all are things that we’ve encountered before, and we’ve delivered. Obviously it’s incumbent on USF to get their funding and their financing together, and they’ve been working on all that. They’re confident that that’s all going to line up when we need to go before the board and get the blessing to move into construction.
What can you do for a USF stadium that you wouldn’t have been able to do 20 years ago?
I think it’s that the social-ness of these stadiums, so it’s not sit in your seat for three hours to watch a football game. There’s all kinds of different things to do, places to be, places to hang out, standing room, different views and vistas of the field, views and vistas back to campus. I think it’s more about that whole overall experience than it used to be when it was, ‘Give me the biggest seating bowl, make sure I have access to restrooms and concessions and give a certain view of the field.’
Now it’s just broadened to a lot more things to keep fans coming back to the stadium. Wining helps, too, obviously. You’ve got to win. I think in this facility, too, the university really wants it to be year-round, multipurpose, not just football.
Is that similar to other projects you’ve done?
More and more. It’s that multipurpose function, 365 operation. How do we keep it activated both for revenue as well as just for appearance? When you’ve got a facility that’s in use, it’s a little easier upkeep than if it’s sitting idle.
What do you want the casual USF fan to know about this project and why it’s important?
If you’re a USF fan in any capacity, student, alum, part of the community, it’s going to be transformational to the campus, to the student body, to the student life experience. It’s really going to change not just the physical landscape of the campus but just the whole energy, the whole availability of amenities and of opportunities with the 365 operation. I don’t know if the casual fan thinks about it more than just — because it’s called the on-campus football stadium, that it’s being thought of in a broader sense. The casual fan might not just recognize quite yet, but they’ll see the results, though.
These projects, we have one foot on the brake and one on the gas. One day, it doesn’t feel like a lot’s happening. There’s not a lot of decisions being made. It feels like progress is just prodding along. Then the next day, there’s a deal made, and it’s like, ‘Go, go, go, full speed ahead.’ That’s what makes it fun. It’s sometimes frustrating, but at the end of the day, it’s always fun to get on the gas and get to the finish line.
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On Tuesday, Senior Writer/Editor Scott Smith and I debated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2023 schedule, discussing our take of the most anticipated clash come fall. Now we're going to take a look at headliner rookies donning the 2023 slateThere are many intriguing marquee matchups within the Buccaneers' 2023 itinerary, and among them are several rookie names that have already begun to monopolize headlines. The Bucs will face the defending NFC Champion, Philadelphia Eagles in Week Three and their Georgia first-round picks, Jalen Carter a...
There are many intriguing marquee matchups within the Buccaneers' 2023 itinerary, and among them are several rookie names that have already begun to monopolize headlines. The Bucs will face the defending NFC Champion, Philadelphia Eagles in Week Three and their Georgia first-round picks, Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith. Both are expected to fortify the Eagles' front, a unit that spearheaded their run to Super Bowl LVII.
Tampa Bay will face several young, unproven quarterbacks among the compilation of opponents, including Panthers' signal-caller Bryce Young, twice. He was the most heralded and pro-ready quarterback of the 2023 class and Young will strive to leave a mark between the white lines during his rookie campaign. In addition, the Bucs will face first-year quarterback C.J. Stroud in Week Nine and Anthony Richardson in Week 12.
In a prime-time spotlight, the Bucs will travel to Buffalo in Week Eight and will battle one of the NFL's premier quarterbacks in Josh Allen and his new weapon, Dalton Kincaid. The Utah product was deemed one of the best pure pass-catchers in the 2023 class, not just at tight end. He will give Allen a large target over the middle of the field to exploit zone coverage. Twice on the schedule, the Bucs will face the Falcons' new elusive back, Bijan Robinson. The inside-outside runner is electric with the ball in his hands and can stack moves, adding to his unpredictability. There were question marks regarding the Falcons selecting a running back in the top-10 given the wear and tear of the position, but time will tell. Robinson certainly has exceptional traits.
Today, Scott and I will debate which rookie is worthy of "top talent" status on the 2023 schedule. In essence, who can potentially be a game-wrecker in their first year?
This is the fourth in our week-long series of schedule-related debates. Here is the run-down for the whole series:
Friday, May 12: What one thing would you most like to thank the NFL schedule makers for this year?
Monday, May 15 What is the toughest stretch of games on this year's schedule?
Tuesday, May 16 What is your most anticipated game on the Bucs' 2023 schedule?
Wednesday, May 17: Who is the top rookie the Buccaneers will face on their 2022 schedule
Thursday, May 18: What is one thing you would change about the Bucs' schedule if you had the power?
Scott and I are not going to duplicate answers, so the order of our debate is critical. It is once again Scott's turn to go first.
Scott Smith: RB Bijan Robinson, Atlanta Falcons
There are tons of good choices to sift through here. For one thing, all five of the teams that spent a high pick on a quarterback in last month's draft, including three in the first four picks, are on the Buccaneers' schedule. I'm convinced Carolina's Bryce Young and Houston's C.J. Stroud will be starting right from the start and there's a better than even chance that Indianapolis' Anthony Richardson will be under center by the time the Bucs visit in Week 12.
The Texans actually have two players I considered for this pick, as they traded up to get edge rusher Will Anderson with the third pick. He should be an impact player early in his career. I considered Jalen Carter with the Eagles, as well, but that's just three games into his career and hopefully he won't have everything worked out by then.
In the end I didn't go with any of those quarterbacks because rookie passers generally aren't Day One stars. Am I thrilled that Young is in the NFC South now? I am not, but there are some other quarterbacks on the schedule who concern me more this year.
However, one position at which rookies quite often make a huge impact is at running back. Heck, Tyler Allgeier was a fifth-round pick by the Falcons last year and he cracked 1,000 rushing yards. Now he's probably number two on the backfield depth chart because Atlanta, which ran the ball on a higher percentage of plays than every team but Chicago last year, used the eighth-overall pick on Texas star Bijan Robinson.
Robinson is widely regarded as the best running back prospect to enter the league since Saquon Barkley was drafted second overall in 2018, and Barkley ran for 1,307 yards and made the Pro Bowl as a rookie. Wait, there's more. Barkley also led all NFL players, not just rookies, with 2,028 yards from scrimmage that season because he was a fantastic weapon in the passing game. He caught 91 (!) passes for 721 yards and scored a total of 15 touchdowns.
You know who else is a great pass-catching back? Bijan Robinson. There is already talk that the Falcons will find a way to use him as a slot receiver in addition to a running back. I could easily see him putting up 1,500 yards from scrimmage or more.
Arthur Smith's Falcons were really the most run-heavy team in the league because the Bears' numbers were affected by a quarterback who averaged more than 10 carries per game, many of which began as passing plays before he took off. Smith has his team run under any circumstances – early, late, down 10, up 10, first down, third down. Now, that run-heavy game plan can possibly be tweaked a little, replacing some of those runs with passes to Robinson.
Oh, and the Bucs play the Falcons twice. They're going to see a whole lot of Bijan Robinson in 2023.
Brianna Dix: Edge Will Anderson Jr., Houston Texans
There were choices I could have gone with and although I almost named Dalton Kincaid as my all-star, I am going to go with Will Anderson Jr. There were mocks that had Will Anderson Jr. going first overall at one point. With both an explosive first-step as a pass rusher and dynamic ability as a run defender, Anderson is a player that the Texans can build their program around, or seemingly so (the man has not played a down of pro football yet).
Anderson became the first player in Alabama history named a unanimous All-American twice. There is a learning curve for every player as they make the leap from college to the pros but pass rushers traditionally perform well in their first year, just look at what Micah Parsons did for Dallas in 2021 or the impact Aidan Hutchinson had for the Lions in 2022. In his first season as a pro, Parsons was named a first-team All-Pro, was the unanimous Defensive Rookie of the Year and was voted into the Pro Bowl. He set the Cowboys' franchise rookie record in sacks with 13.0 and became the focal point of blitz and stunt packages in Dan Quinn's 4-3 base, hybrid sub-package system. Hutchinson, the Lions' prized possession, was named the 2022 NFL Rookie of the Year. He led all rookies with 9.5 sacks last season and became the first rookie since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic, with at least nine sacks and three interceptions.
Will Anderson Jr. could be the next player in that elite mold. The Texans know how to develop defensive linemen, most notably J.J. Watt. By the time the Buccaneers face the Texans in Week Nine, Anderson will have had time to work through the adjustment period and refine his pass rush arsenal. He became a well-rounded defender in Nick Saban's scheme and since being drafted third overall, Anderson has transitioned from linebacker to defensive end for Houston.
"Defense wins championships" and "the battle is won in the trenches" are phrases that have become synonymously linked to the NFL over the years. Well, I am going to combine both of the coined phrases for my prediction in selecting, Will Anderson Jr. With tantalizing traits, I see him having an immediate impact for the Texans.