Bucs safety Ahmad Black was the featured guest for the PewterReport.com Insider's Get2Gether sponsored by Courtside Grille in Tampa on Sunday. Back was joined by former Bucs defensive end Tyoka Jackson and both spent a portion of the afternoon answering questions from Bucs fans.
PewterReport.com hosted the first of four Pewter Report Get2gethers for Pewter Insider subscribers on Sunday sponsored by The Courtside Grille in Tampa. The event was well attended and well received.
The crowds started arriving just before 1 p.m. filtering in over the next half hour, and were greeted by the PewterReport.com staff consisting of publisher Scott Reynolds, editor Mark Cook, vice president of business operations Kim Roper, draft expert Eric Dellaratta and longtime director of photography Cliff Welch.
The Pewter Report staff mingled with the guests as the free appetizers (boneless buffalo wings, chips with Courtside Grille's amazing spinach dip, and a terrific chicken and broccoli pasta, along free soda and tea) that were provided for our Insiders in the private meeting area were served buffet-style.
Former Buccaneers standout defensive end Tyoka Jackson made a surprise appearance and told several stories of the glory days playing for defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin and head coach Tony Dungy, and also about his days with St. Louis Rams. Jackson also took several questions from the audience and shared his thoughts about the current state of the Buccaneers, which he believes is on the right track under head coach Greg Schiano.
Next up was the guest of honor, Buccaneers safety Ahmad Black, who drove up from Miami the morning of the event in order to attend. Black, always smiling, spent the next half hour answering questioning from Reynolds, Cook and several of the dozens of PewterReport.com readers that were in attendance.
Black was honest when talking about the difference between 2011 under former head coach Raheem Morris and the 2012 team led by Schiano. Black told the audience that the Buccaneers' players at first wondered about some of the methods, but it was obvious that the change in attitude was needed. Black said the days of players showing up late to the facility or to their individual meetings are over under the new regime, and believed the changes for the better were reflected by the three-game improvement in the win column. Black also told those in attendance that the discipline carries over to all aspects of being Buccaneers, even including what they players put in their body for food.
Black was asked if he could put a finger on the struggles in the secondary and Black was candid in his response, saying it fell on the players, not the coaches or scheme. Black said too many guys were undisciplined at times on the field, taking their eyes off the receivers, almost trying to do too much. Those lapses led to a lot of big chunks of yardage surrendered and were a big reason Tampa Bay was unable to keep the mid-season momentum going.
Another great question came from the audience, asking what player might come as a surprise as far as being difficult to cover in practice. The answer certainly was a surprise – as the former Gator told the readers that wide receiver Roscoe Parrish, who is an unrestricted free agent, was very explosive off the line and difficult to handle at times, noting his shiftiness got the best of a lot of the Buccaneers defenders during practice. Black also said to keep an eye on Tiquan Underwood as he also created match-up problems for some of the secondary during the afternoon practices at One Buccaneer Place during last season.
After the half-hour question-and-answer session was over, Black was presented with a 16x20-inch framed print of himself blitzing Saints QB Drew Brees photographed by Welch in New Orleans. Black loved the picture, but laughed, telling those in the audience that he got in trouble on that play as he hesitated and was late getting to Brees on the blitz.
Next up was the prize giveaway drawings that included two of the Black and Brees prints, two tickets to Pewter Report's luxury suite for an upcoming game in 2013 and a number of gift certificates.
Black soon went to a reserved booth where he spent the next hour meeting and greeting Bucs fans and PewterReport.com readers, signing autographs and taking photos with those in attendance.
Long-time PewterReport.com insider Skip Brown was impressed with the event, and the day afternoon in general.
“I really was impressed with the whole afternoon,” Brown said. “The food, location and the guests were all excellent. Scott and Mark were their usual informative selves and having Tyoka share some of the stories about the old days was great. I really enjoyed Ahmad and what he had to say about the team and the future. I have already told some people the food and drinks were worth a lot more than the $10 to be an Insider. I’m really looking forward to the next one. You can bet I will be there.”
The next Pewter Report Get2gether will be Pewter Report's annual Draft Party, which will take place on Friday night, April 26 also at Courtside Grille in Tampa. The PR Get2gether will take place on Day 2 (rounds 2-3) of the 2013 NFL Draft, which allows people to attend the Buccaneers sponsored draft party at Raymond James Stadium on Thursday night, which is the first round.
Make sure to follow PewterReport.com for more details about the next Pewter Report Get2gether and if you want to attend, consider becoming a PewterReport.com Insider by calling 1-800-881-bucs(2827). The cost is just $10 per year.
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