Gage shared that fact on his Instagram story last week, a video of him making a play during an 11-on-11 drill in practice from 2022. JoeBucsFan.com captured and shared the video via Twitter.
Gage came to the Bucs last year as a free agent on a three-year, $30 million deal. He didn’t match the performance on the field amid his hefty contract due to injuries —four games missed— and subpar play at times.
His 8.4 yards per receptions with the Bucs showed the biggest decline from his Atlanta Falcons days. Gage averaged 10.7 yards per catch in four seasons with the Falcons.
In 2022, he also posted his lowest reception and yardage totals since the first two years of his career. Gage’s only improvements were a career high five touchdowns and career best 72.9% catch percentage.
Russell Gage Was ‘Uncoverable’ Early in 2022
If Gage can turn things around this season, the Bucs could get the best of him on the field. Buccaneers.com’s Brianna Dix wrote that Gage “was described as being ‘uncoverable’ in training camp last year” before the hamstring injuries.
“He is a lethal open field runner on jet sweeps and will add another dimension to [offensive coordinator] Dave Canales’ playbook,” Dix wrote. “The coaching staff confirmed that Chris Godwin will split reps between the slot and lining up outside in 2023, which will allow Gage to work the middle with Godwin on the boundary.”
“With hip fluidity and quick feet, Gage has the ability to quickly break off routes in the short-to-intermediate area. He will be one to watch during one-on-one receiver/defensive back drills at training camp,” Dix continued.
Gage and fellow Bucs veterans will report to training camp on Tuesday, July 25. Rookies reported on Monday.
Ex-Bucs WR Cole Beasley Signs With Giants
One former Bucs receiver who didn’t live up to hopes in 2022 found a new home.
Beasley, who unretired later to play again for the Buffalo Bills in 2022, signed with the New York Giants last week. His 2022 season looked like a shell of his more dominant days amid career lows for catches and yards in four games played.
He has 556 receptions for 5,744 yards and 34 touchdowns in his career.
Bucs WR Chris Godwin Airs Thoughts on Tom Brady Return
“I honestly, I think that’s pretty funny,” Godwin said during the “Rich Eisen Show” recently. “I’d be very surprised if he came out of retirement again, like, he put me down but I’d be very, very shocked.”
Brady retired a second time on February 1 this year, and he reiterated his decision during a Sports Illustrated interview in June.