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April 5, 2013 @ 2:32 pm
Current rating: 3.50 Stars/4 Votes

SR's Fab 5 - 4-5

Written by Scott
Scott Reynolds


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How does Greg Schiano really feel about Bucs QB Josh Freeman? Why would it be better for Tampa Bay to wait until the 2014 draft to select a QB? What was the real reason why DT Roy Miller wasn't re-signed? Why could the Bucs be drafting another three-techique DT in April? Find out in SR's Fab 5.
SR's Fab 5 is a collection of inside scoop, analysis and insight from yours truly, Pewter Report publisher and Bucs beat writer Scott Reynolds. I’m back from my spring break vacation. Here are a few things that caught my attention this week at One Buc Place:

FAB 1. The Buccaneers want Josh Freeman to be a true franchise quarterback and the QB of the future. General manager Mark Dominik needs Freeman to have a great year because his future is tied to Freeman, his first-ever draft pick, and the team’s first-round selection in the 2009 NFL Draft.

Dominik loves Freeman and made sure that the team’s starting quarterback had an open pathway for success in 2013, which is a contract year. No proven veterans for Freeman to see over his shoulder. While the team is looking for a more capable backup than Dan Orlovsky, who was cut on Thursday, his replacement will not be a legitimate challenger for Freeman’s job.

And there is no way the Bucs will spend a first-round draft pick on a quarterback because that would pose an immediate threat to Freeman.

Dominik didn’t trade for Seattle’s Matt Flynn or Oakland’s Carson Palmer, even though ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Palmer would have rather have been traded to Tampa Bay rather than Arizona. The reason is that Dominik wants to give Freeman a distraction-free opportunity to live up to his potential, to rid himself of the occasional poor, inconsistent games that typically end up in a Buccaneers defeats.

A Bucs source told PewterReport.com that while Freeman is loved by Dominik, he is only liked by head coach Greg Schiano. In his first year with Freeman as the team’s head coach, Schiano went 7-9 and that’s not good enough.

Although there were games that the defense blew fourth quarter leads, such as games against the New York Giants, Washington and Philadelphia, there were also three losses against Dallas, New Orleans and St. Louis in which Freeman played awful and looked like a bad rookie quarterback.

CBS Sports NFL writer Pete Prisco tweeted that he heard that Schiano and Freeman were at odds with each other. On February 25, Prisco tweeted “I keep hearing the talk that the Bucs (as in Schiano)don’t really like Josh Freeman and visa-versa (sic).”

While PewterReport.com has not heard anything regarding Freeman not liking Schiano, the source told PewterReport.com that Schiano likes serious, no-nonsense football players and that Freeman can come off being too aloof and not serious enough for the head coach’s liking. Multiple sources tell PewterReport.com that Freeman worked harder than he’s ever worked in the film room and in the weight room in 2012 and it showed. Freeman dropped 20 pounds down to 230 pounds and also set a career-high with a franchise-record 27 touchdowns and a team-record 4,065 yards passing.

But will that be good enough for Schiano, who openly wanted more competition for Freeman at his season-ending press conference? Schiano recanted those remarks at the NFL scouting combine, likely after discussing the quarterback situation with Dominik, who is likely more interested in clearing the path for Freeman’s success getting him a challenger. Schiano also went on to say that he felt like Freeman could be a Super Bowl-winning QB, and hope that happened in Tampa.

The reality is that Schiano inherited Freeman and has no prior connection to him other than beating him in college when Freeman was at Kansas State and Schiano was at Rutgers in the Texas Bowl in 2006. If Freeman can win in 2013 he will likely earn Schiano’s love. With a better year, the Kansas City native will also earn a lucrative contract extension. Then Schiano and Freeman will be tied together for several years.

And they better learn to love each other.

FAB 2. If Josh Freeman isn’t the long-term answer at the quarterback position in Tampa Bay past 2013, then who is? The answer may not lie in the 2013 draft class of quarterbacks, which is not considered to be overly talented. In fact, there may be just one or two selected in the first round, and potentially not even one in the top 10 unless a team truly falls in love with West Virginia’s Geno Smith.

The 2013 crop of signal callers is so bad it prompted NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock to say, “I can’t stand this whole quarterback class.”

If Tampa Bay decides against extending Freeman’s contract, it will likely look to the 2014 draft because there is no telling which veteran quarterbacks may be available next year in free agency or via trade. So let’s take a look at some of the more interesting options, and we’ll have to include some junior quarterbacks because the upcoming senior crop isn’t too exciting outside of Alabama’s A.J. McCarron, who has delivered two championships despite only slightly above average measurables and arm strength, Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas, who has great ability and size at 6-foot-6, 258 pounds, but lacks consistency, and Georgia’s Aaron Murray, who is fighting the tag of not being able to win the big games.

There are a couple of other interesting senior QBs worth watching during the 2013 college football season, including Clemson’s Tajh Boyd, Fresno State’s Derek Carr, San Jose State’s David Fales and LSU’s Zach Mettenberger, but there are more interesting underclassmen signal callers to take note of too, and not just Heisman winner Johnny Manziel. Here is a list of some of interesting junior quarterbacks that will become household names – and potential 2014 draft picks – to keep an eye on:

Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater
Bridgewater completed 287-of-419 passes for 3,718 yards with 27 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 2012, and caped off a tremendous sophomore season with a 33-23 upset over Florida in the Sugar Bowl. He completed 20-of-32 passes for 266 yards with two touchdowns and one interception against the Gators. Bridgewater, who has ideal QB size at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, threw multiple TDs in 10 out of his 13 games last year.

Marshall QB Rakeem Cato
Cato, who stands just 6-feet and weighs only 182 pounds, was the nation’s leading passer in 2012, completing 406-of-584 passes for 4,201 yards with 37 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. The mobile Cato, who has already thrown 52 TDs in two years, added 168 yards and a touchdown on the ground. He will need to add some bulk to his skinny frame in 2013, but has a stronger arm than one would expect.

Ohio State QB Braxton Miller
The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Miller may be the best dual threat quarterback not named Johnny Football. Miller led the suspended Buckeyes to an undefeated season last year while completing 148-of-254 passes for 2,039 yards with 15 touchdowns and six interceptions, in addition to rushing for 1,271 yards and 13 scores on 227 carries. In two years at Ohio State, Miller has rushed for 1,986 yards and 20 touchdowns, while throwing for 3,198 yards and 28 touchdowns with just 10 picks.

Oklahoma QB Blake Bell
Why in the world would a quarterback that has completed just 10-of-20 passes for 115 yards with one interception and no touchdowns be placed on this list? Because the 6-foot-5, 254-pound Bell has rushed for 372 yards and 24 touchdowns in two years as Oklahoma’s short-yardage and goal line specialist and he plays at Oklahoma, which means he’ll be slinging the ball all over the field in 2013 as replaces Landry Jones as the starter.

One sophomore quarterback that really caught my eye last year and is poised to become a household name in 2013 is Utah State’s Chuckie Keeton, who guided the Aggies to their best season ever and a bowl victory over Toledo. Haven’t heard of him yet? You will.

Keeton burst onto the scene in his first start as a freshman and nearly beat Auburn in the 2010 season opener. Utah State lost, 42-38 at Auburn, but Keeton completed 21-of-30 passes for 213 yards and rushed eight times for 33 yards and two touchdowns.

During his freshman season, Keeton completed 106-of-174 passes for 1,200 yards with 11 touchdowns and two interceptions, while rushing 68 times for 293 yards and four touchdowns. As a sophomore, Keeton completed 275-of-407 passes for a school-record 3,373 yards with 27 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also carried the ball 129 times for 619 yards and eight touchdowns. Keeton’s 3,992 total yards in 2012 also set a Utah State record.

Keeton’s best passing days came against Wyoming in 2012 when he completed 16-of-21 passes for 228 yards and five touchdowns in a 63-19 victory. Against UNLV, Keeton completed 21-of-34 passes for 404 yards with four touchdowns and one interception in a 35-13 victory. Against Louisiana Tech, Keeton completed 20-of-34 passes for 340 yards with two touchdowns, while also rushing for a career-high 121 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries.

If you haven’t seen Keeton play, check out his highlights. He's fun to watch.

Although he’s undersized at 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, Keeton’s draft stock can benefit from the success of perennial Pro Bowl quarterback Drew Brees, who stands just 6-foot, 209 pounds, and Seattle phenom Russell Wilson, who is only 5-foot-11, 206 pounds. Keeton’s mobility will make him more attractive as the NFL is now favoring mobile quarterbacks with the incorporation of the zone read into pro offenses. The running success of quarterbacks like Wilson, Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III and Collin Kaepernick will elevate NFL team’s opinions of Keeton.

Wilson rushed for 489 yards and four touchdowns in his rookie season, while RGIII gained 815 yards and seven scores on the ground during his inaugural NFL campaign. Despite playing in just 13 regular season games, Kaepernick rushed for 415 yards and five touchdowns and then rushed for a postseason-record 181 yards and two more scores in a playoff win against Green Bay. Kaepernick totaled 264 yards rushing and three scores in the playoffs while averaging 10.6 yards per carry.

Keeton had five games in which he rushed for 75 yards or more last year, including a 121-yard, two-touchdown effort in a thrilling 48-41 overtime victory at Louisiana Tech. He had a 62-yard touchdown run in the Aggies’ bowl win over Toledo, and a 76-yard touchdown jaunt over New Mexico State.

If Freeman falters in 2013, one of these players could be his successor. And if he shines, one of these quarterbacks could be his backup.

FAB 3. The signing of Derek Landri shows how little the Buccaneers value the nose tackle position. While Roy Miller did an admirable job eating up double teams and freeing up Gerald McCoy to penetrate backfields to rack up five sacks and make his first Pro Bowl, in addition to helping the Bucs go from worst to first in rush defense, he recorded just 23 tackles and two tackles for loss as a starter in 15 games.

Did you know that Landri’s backup, 30-year old veteran Gary Gibson, had 18 tackles, three tackles for loss, and a fumble recovery while playing less snaps in 2012? Gibson only started one game, which was against Philadelphia when Miller missed the game due to an injury. Gibson actually made more plays – three tackles for loss and a fumble recovery – than Miller did with fewer snaps.

Letting Miller go to Jacksonville in free agency was all about money. The team liked Miller’s talent and he was a great teammate in the locker room and well respected by his peers. But he plays a position the Bucs don’t want to put a lot of money into.

Miller received a $500,000 signing bonus from the Jaguars and $1.975 million of his two-year, $4.4 million contract is guaranteed. Miller is averaging $2.2 million per season in Jacksonville.

The 6-foot-3, 312-pound Gibson is set to earn $1 million in 2013, and Landri signed a two-year deal that will pay him $1.25 million this year and $2 million in 2014. The Bucs essentially got Gibson and Landri for the same amount that Miller will make in Jacksonville this season.

Although the Bucs are back to employing a tilted nose tackle under Greg Schiano like they did in the glory days with Brad Culpepper during the Tony Dungy and Monte Kiffin years, they aren’t putting the money behind the position as they did with Culpepper and Anthony “Booger” McFarland, who was a former first-round pick. The nose tackle in this defense is what the free safety position and the strongside linebacker spot used to be in Tampa Bay in terms of value in the 1990s and early 2000s.

FAB 4. I like the signings of defensive tackle Derek Landri and defensive end George Selvie, who was a star at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Landri will make the team, but Selvie has an uphill climb as he must be out Daniel Te’o-Nesheim, Aaron Morgan, Markus White and Ernest Owusu to have a chance at making the 53-man roster.

Of course the Bucs haven’t done nearly enough yet to improve their defensive line. Even if Gary Gibson or Landri can successfully replace departed nose tackle Roy Miller, Tampa Bay has yet to do anything to replace the production of last year’s leading sacker and fumble creator, Michael Bennett.

It’s interesting to note that Tampa Bay hosted pre-draft visits with Oregon defensive end Dion Jordan and SMU defensive Margus Hunt, whom I have written about since last November and again at the Senior Bowl where he had a lengthy meeting with the Bucs that lasted over an hour. The Bucs will likely use a draft pick on another edge pass rusher, which is a good thing considering that Da’Quan Bowers has just 4.5 sacks in two years in the NFL, and Adrian Clayborn is coming off ACL surgery that sidelined him for Tampa Bay’s last 13 games.

But it’s also important to note that Tampa Bay will undoubtedly draft another defensive tackle – perhaps in the first round. With Landri and Gibson slated to team at nose tackle, the Bucs have little proven, quality depth behind Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy. If an injury happened to sideline McCoy for any real length of time during the 2013 season the defense would be in serious trouble.

McCoy is the only premier penetrator the Bucs have at the defensive tackle position. If he went down, Tampa Bay’s two starting defensive tackles would between Landri, Gibson, Lazarius Levingston, Corvey Irvin, Richard Clebert and Matt Misifilo. Take your pick because any way you slice it it’s bad news without McCoy.

So instead of looking for a nose tackle in the 2013 NFL Draft to start next to McCoy, expect Tampa Bay to look for another three-technique tackle with a skill set similar to McCoy’s. Missouri’s Sheldon Richardson, Purdue’s Kawann Short, North Carolina’s Sylvester Wright, who was recruited by Tampa Bay’s Butch Davis, Bowling Green’s Chris Jones, Missouri Southern’s Brandon Williams and Penn State’s Jordan Hill all fit the mold of what Tampa Bay is looking for as a three-technique tackle. Of course Florida’s Shariff Floyd does too, but he’s likely going in the top 5.

It’s also worth noting that McCoy will be in the final year of his contract during the 2014 season. He’s making over $8 million in 2013 and will be the highest-paid Buccaneer in 2014 with a salary that surpasses $12 million due to the fact that he was the third overall draft choice in the 2010 NFL Draft just before the rookie salary cap was put into place.

If McCoy continues to play well and make Pro Bowls could the Bucs afford to keep him, or would they even want to? To be safe, the Bucs should spend a premium pick on a potential successor to McCoy just in case. And seeing how it usually takes two to three years for defensive tackles to adjust to the NFL and develop, Tampa Bay would be wise to start that process with a defensive tackle that the team spent a 2013 draft pick on.

If that tackle succeeds and the Bucs decide to keep McCoy around, there would be ample, talented depth at the three-technique spot, and both McCoy and the yet-to-be-drafted defensive tackle could line up together in nickel defense on obvious passing downs and attack the quarterback.

FAB 5. Here are a few things to hold you over until the next edition of SR’s Fab 5:

• PewterReport.com friend and colleague J.P. Peterson did a fine 20-minute interview with legendary Bucs cornerback Ronde Barber on TampaBaySportsCentral.com. Barber said that the combination of inexperience in Greg Schiano’s new defensive system and youth at the cornerback position proved to be deadly for Tampa Bay’s secondary last year and there were plenty of growing pains as a result.

“A lot of things – learning the technique the coaches wanted, learning a new scheme that was very press heavy. The corners – we ask a lot of them,” Barber said. “Not a lot of teams play that defense for the reason that it exposes your corners. You are basically playing with half a safety in the box and kind of out, so it helps and it’s great in the run game, which obviously showed. But teams can definitely pick out their matchups and if you don’t win on the outside it can look pretty bad.

“As the year went on, we kind of adjusted. The way we played in Atlanta, I think we’ll see a lot more of that in 2013. It can’t all be that way [in press man coverage]. It’s too hard.”

• I spoke with Hadley Englehard, the agent for Mike Williams, yesterday to get the latest on any possible contract extensions for the Buccaneers wide receiver, who is entering a contract year. Englehard said he spoke with the Bucs yesterday and they agreed to table any contract talks until after the draft so that general manager Mark Dominik could give of those endeavors his full attention. Englehard was given assurances that contract discussions would pick up immediately after the draft.

With all of the salary cap space Tampa Bay, which is believed to be over $28 million thanks to the release of quarterback Dan Orlovsky and running back D.J. Ware on Thursday, I suspect a long-term deal for Wiliams will get done prior to training camp.

• One last note on Barber. Peterson asked Barber if he felt as if his career was Hall of Fame-worthy. I certainly believe he is, and laid out what I believe is the most compelling case for Barber being immortalized in bronze in Canton, Ohio. Here’s what Barber, who has over 1,400 tackles, 47 interceptions, 28 sacks and 16 forced fumbles in his 16-year NFL careeer, had to say about it.

“There was no big fanfare of ‘this guy is a can’t-miss player,’” Barber said upon entering the league as one of Tampa Bay’s two third-round draft picks in 1997. “It was a grind. Over the course of my second, third and fourth year, the position that nobody else really played evolved. You heard the argument, ‘He’s only a system guy and he can only do this.’ Well everybody started playing it and I did it better than anybody else. A lot of people try to find my type – a ‘me’ in their defense because I’ve been able to obviously rush the passer, cover in the slot and I’ve played multiple positions on a defense that was really simple and required your guys to be playmakers. I think I stood out in that regard. It would be entirely too humble to me not to acknowledge that.”

Well said, Ronde.

• And finally, Pewter Report will be unveiling its 2013 Draft Party details in full next week on PewterReport.com, but here is a teaser. This year’s Pewter Report Draft Party will be held at The Grille at Westchase (formerly Courtside Grille, which is where we had the last Pewter Report Get2gether) on the SECOND DAY of the draft, which is Friday, April 26 and will feature a very special guest – Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman.

We opted to hold our annual Pewter Report Draft Party on the second day of the draft for a few reasons. First, the Bucs do a fine job with their draft party, which will be held on Thursday, April 25 at Raymond James Stadium and we don’t want our event to force fans to choose which one to attend.

This way, Bucs fans can go the stadium for the first-round draft pick on Thursday night and head over to The Grille At Westchase for the second- and third-round picks on Friday night, and to meet Freeman, who will be on hand promoting the Josh Freeman ProCamps football camp, which will take place on June 11-12 at Wesley Chapel High School.

Also, we feel that since the NFL moved the draft to primetime and started it on a Thursday night at 8:00 p.m. ET that attendance has been hurt as many of us have to go to work early on Friday morning and the Bucs typically don’t pick until close to 10:00 p.m. Moving our party to Friday night will surely boost attendance – and having Freeman and free appetizers for PewterReport.com visitors will certainly help, too.

The Pewter Report staff, featuring yours truly, editor-in-chief Mark Cook and director of business operations Kim Roper, will be on hand to discuss the Bucs’ first-round pick and preview what’s to come for Tampa Bay in rounds 2-7. Each PewterReport.com attendee will be registered to win plenty of premium prizes, but you have to be present to win. The drawing will take place after the second round of the draft.

We will have more information on Monday on the Pewter Report Draft Party, which is open to all Bucs fans, but space will be limited and reservations will be required. Be sure to check out PewterReport.com on Monday for full details.

Last modified on Friday, 05 April 2013 14:54

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  • avatar

    Schiano better start embracing Freeman, cause whether he likes it or not, his future with the Bucs and likely the NFL will be based on 2013-2014 season. If Freeman has a good year, Freeman will be the QB for Tampa for a long time. If not, Freeman, Schiano, and likely Dominick will all be gone in 2014. To me that would be a shame, because I think Freeman is the Franchise QB that TB needs. I understand the rebuilding process, but quite frankly it sucks as fans when the team is rebuilding. As you know I am not a Schiano fan. I think the interview with Ronde Barber highlights one aspect to why college coaches have problems making the transition to the NFL. At Rutgers they pressed their corners all the time. In the NFL against the receivers the NFL has, you can not expect DBs to do that all the time. They get burned. But stubborn Schiano stayed with that plan until the Atlanta game. You have to adapt, and I sure hope Schiano adapts to get the best out of Freeman that he can, even if that means the coach needs to be more flexible and grow....
  • avatar

    I agree with Scubug that Freeman is the best QB we've ever had (with the exception of Doug Williams), and Schiano needs to get over himself. Margus Hunt will dominate the league on defense for years to come. We better get him. The Giants know you can't have enough DL.
  • avatar

    The 13th pick should make the Bucs a better team, now that´s for sure. Let´s pretend a game situation: Bucs on offense with 2nd & 8 in a one HB and 3 WR´s set, looking to make at least 3-5 yards, to allow a good 3rd down... The best strategy is to keep the defense guessing, so a short route or good gain on the ground. We already got good deep threats to spread the field and a good running game. If we had a Wes Welker/Desean Jackson type Slot, who only needs a little space with the ball in his hands (and even the speed to also spread the field and can take handoffs on gadget plays), the defense won´t know if they should cover the short field or attack the run (Patriots style, thats why they succeeded without a great RB whom they needed to pay top dollars). That´s why drafting Austin would make the whole team better (gives time for blocks to develope, which help Martin of course). I also see, we need a DT like some said. But a good DT has a big body, is strong, has acceleration. Isn´t it easier to be found in later rounds, than a player with the skill set of Tavon?
  • avatar

    Nice article SR. Regarding Fab 4, I agree with taking a 3-technique with our 1st round pick (assuming we don't trade it for Revis which I don't mind doing). What I don't understand is why a 3-technique cant play NT in our defense. These guys are supposed to be more talented, highly coveted players. So why can't they play NT in a 4-3 when NT's are seen as a lower value player? If the opposing team passes on 1st down is the NT not supposed to be trying to sack the QB? From what I saw last year teams were double-teaming McCoy if they passed on 1st and 2nd down, not Roy Miller. If we take a DT with the #13 overall pick let him play for 3 downs. If he gets double-teamed on running plays and doesn't make the tackle because he's a 3-technique by nature, so what? Roy Miller only got 26 tackles last year and we still had the #1 run defense.
  • avatar

    I really don't get how Josh Freeman has earned a reputation for being a tireless worker yet many of you think he needs "pushed" by some has-been or never- been back-up. # 5 might not be the "elite" future Hall of Fame QB we fickle Buc fans want, but in my 37 years of watching one mediocre QB after another for this team, Josh Freeman, in spite of a few (3 in 2012) poor performances, is the best we've ever had. I hope Scott Reynolds gets over Michael Bennett soon.
  • avatar

    The Bucs erred by cutting Orlovsky, who had the talent to push Freeman, if Schiano had put him in with the first string when Freeman was having is frequest bad outings last year. However, if they will pick up Landry from Oklahoma in the 4th round, he has the talent to push Freeman; so we'll see. Get Reavis and draft a CB in the second round, and a DT in the first round, and maybe could get Cabrerra, a TE who can catch and block both, in the third round; then we will be fine. And hopefully we will sign a capable run back specialist and a third string QB in the later rounds. I am pulling for Goode to play well enough at SLB, that we can avoid using a draft pick on a LB.
  • avatar

    Totally agree with SR on drafting 3 tech DT at 13 to rotate/replace McCoy if needed in a couple years. Can't see drafting T. Austin at 13, Bucs are trying to build a power O and going three and four wide is not their style. Maybe Sanders from S. Car. later in draft. Would like to get Revis but only at a fair price. We had 7 wins last season with Biggers and an undrafted rookie playing most of the year. There are plenty of solid corners available in this draft. Dom should hold firm on Revis. Would like to see QB Tyler Bray from Tenn or the kid from Ark. Wilson? drafted in the 4th.
  • avatar

    I don't believe we are at that position where the QB is the difference between winning and losing. We have wasted so many high round draft picks lately and that is what is really the main issue and concern. Anybody that you draft in the top 10 should be a very good player and a starter in his first year and you can tell that he is making a difference. Anybody we draft in the second round should be a contributor in most of his first season games and by the 2nd year be a starter and a good player making a difference. So far Dominik has a lot to still learn, but he is learning. I believe that the Coach has done a good job, but now can he improve in his second year? There is obviously a lot of pressure on the whole team to take it to another level. All I know is that a pass rush has always made the biggest difference on any team if you want consistency. We are not there yet and I hope we actually pick a DE and DT in the first 2 rounds. I don't believe that Josh has to be dynamic; he just has to be a little more consistent. It's the pass rush that must improve if we are going to make it to the playoffs. The Ravens and 49er's made it to the Superbowl because of their Defenses and consistent QB's.
  • avatar

    For the record, I am a happy PR subscriber. It's not always easy to manufacture material, we should all cut the guys some slack, especially during the slower periods. This article shows just how critical hitting on your high draft picks is, and how much failing with Josh (if that is what happens) is going to set the team back. Think about our prior QB draft picks, they were largely similar, and they set the team back for at least half a decade each time. Half a decade!! While I hope Josh can figure it out, and I realize he has the physical attributes you look for in a QB, to date he has not proven an ability to be consistently accurate, nor does he know how to read the field and take maximum advantage of what the D is making available. Unless he improves markedly on both counts, we are stuck in mediocrity as a team, since we don't have the talent or depth to make up for poor QB play. The DT situation is incredibly frustrating as well. GMC $8 MM and then $12 MM? He certainly has failed to play up to his contract and draft position thus far, let's hope he explodes on the field this coming season or he will be a(nother) clear bust for Dom, Hickey & Co. This year is going to be a nail biter.
  • avatar

    But if we give away next years 1st,and 2nd for Revis, we'll be stuck if Freeman fails. Another reason not to go after Revis. If Schiano is at odds with Free, then he's at odds with Dominik. Schiano is going to get three years, if Freeman fails, him and Dom will be gone, and Davis will be the new G.M..
  • avatar

    Looking at next year's prospects? If we would have done that last year, we would have said QB Matt Barkley from USC would be a top 5 pick in this years draft or a top 15 in last years draft. Fast forward to present time and he may be available in round 2. If he is there in round 2, do the Bucs get their no-nonsense QB of the future that will back up Freeman this year? Do the Bucs wait to waste a 3rd or 4th rounder on a "developmental" prospect to back up and "compete" with Freeman. I doubt it. What about trading Freeman? He is in the last year of his contract like Revis. Mark Dominik is responsible to build the best team. Dom's employment is only tied to Freeman if he keeps riding him and re-ups him. The Jets wanted two 1st round picks for a mending CB...and the Raiders paid two firsts for Palmer a few years ago...If we could get two 1st rounders(this year and next) or a 1st and 2nd, I say take it.
  • avatar

    Coddleng a bad QB is not going to make him any better. Freeman is destined to fail not because he isnt good enough but because nobody is making him work hard to be better. Do you really think giving him legitimate competition is going mess with his mind? If he is that mentally weak, how will he ever handle the pressure of a playoff game? If he is that mentally weak he will never be what we need him to be and he should be gone already. Freeman NEEDS good competition. And we need a back up plan now, not next year "incase" Free bombs another season for us. *Waits to hear all the excuses about the bad defense for Free's awful play."
  • avatar

    It is my humble opinion that we are, at this stage of the offseason when fans are overwhelmed with BS and underwhelmed with expectations. I would "forget-a-about " Mr Revis. He has already become a potentially expensive distraction with an attitude and a bad knee. Take a deep breath and draft a couple of corners, sign a seasoned vet or two and play cornerback-by-committee in 2013. Beef up the pass rush and trust that Bowers, Clayborne , and a Margus Hunt-type addition will provide an adequate pass-rush. Finally give Freeman an opportunity to shine in the final year of his contract. If Dom and Josh and Darrelle are part of the Dallas organization this time next year, "Start Over," we are only trying to improve on 7-9.
  • avatar

    There is a good article on bucsnation.com about the Buc's salary cap and how the Revis trade would affect the team. I'm not a big fan of trading for Revis and this article tells me we should NOT trade for him. I think Dominik is doing everything to keep his job and if he gets fired the next GM will have problems long after he is gone.
  • avatar

    eh, Flynn hasn't shown anybody anything and Palmer hasn't had a good year in many, many seasons. (a few on the Bengles roster as well) That "competition" quote is getting blown out of proportion. Over half the teams in the league are looking for QB's. Most of the FA movement to this point is recycling and hoping. I personally don't like Free smiling after gross overthrows, or the rise in interceptions. But I read good stuff about him in the clutch from other players. If you're offering me Bridgewater for Freeman...I'm listening and watching. I'll let you know mid-season.
  • avatar

    I am really not in favor in giving up a 2013 1st round pick for Revis but if it is going to happen and it looks like it probably will, Dominik had better come up with something spectacular with the second pick. Either moving up to get Margus Hunt, Manto Te'o or Tank Carradine in the bottom of the first round or using their second round pick on a CB Trufant, Alford or Taylor. I really like Alford. He really showed a lot this past year. He is a play maker much like T. Matthieu. His performance at the Senior Bowl was outstanding. Dominiks future depends on what he does with this draft so he better conjure up some trades and move up and down in the draft accordingly.
  • avatar

    When you bring in a New Coach there is always the risk that he will want his own QB. One that he has picked or traded for and that he has a vested interest in. Unfortunately Freeman was picked by Rah and that might be his problem. Frankly I think Freeman is the best QB we have ever had. He is not at the point he can win a Super Bowl but he is definitely good enough to get us to the play offs. Give him enough time and a better offensive line and he will do great things.
  • avatar

    Schiano better get over himself and start treating freeman as the qb he's always dreamed of. How in the heck are his teammates supposed to look at him as their leader if schiano doesn't throw his support all in? Regardless of whether or not free succeeds, he needs confidence and support to even have a chance. Schianos letting his fat head get in the way of winning and that's BS. Great read SR
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    I would like us to get STAR LOTULELEI even if we have to trade up. This guy is another Suh!
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    How can we trade for Revis on draft day not knowing if he will be ready for 2013. I don't believe we have been able to talk to Revis about a contract or have our doctors check him out. A contract will take time to hash out so if the trade is to happen on draft day the Jets have to AGREE like NOW!
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    "The reason is that Dominik wants to give Freeman a distraction-free opportunity to live up to his potential, to rid himself of the occasional poor, inconsistent games that typically end up in a Buccaneers defeats." Yeah, right. As in no competition breeds better play among athletes. Ha!!
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    One QB that was overlooked in this draft that Schiano know very well. Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib is considered a very strong vocal leader. If Freeman is truly not the QB that Schiano's wants then you must consider a QB that Schiano's well from his time at Rutger's
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    Good Article Scott. It's very sound to think that the Bucs will draft a DL at the 13th spot or a CB if we trade down or out of the 1st round which I hope we do. I believe that we will not spend a 1st round pick to obtain Revis in this draft or next year. It's possible though we could give the Jets our 1st round pick for Revis and the Jets 2nd round pick.
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    I like the idea of getting Revis and Jets 2nd for our 1st and/or trading down our 1st for extra picks, but i´m not exactly sure who to pick then. Remember that, we would "only" need 1 Very good CB in next years offseason to make this team dangerous as hell, if we picked up Runner/Catcher/Returner Austin first and Barber 2.0 = big playmaker slot CB = Tyran Mathieu, in the 2nd.
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    If we can get Star at 13 it will be the steal of the draft!
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    I like Scotts points about the QB situation (and his reference to next years draft, as there will be a more talented pool of players than in this year; which underlines the fact, that a Revis trade would be a foolish mistake) The other thing is this: Drafting a DT in at the 13th spot? Not a good idea unless he´s a real dominator like the Lions Suh. But in this year draft,there simple is not a DT worth it (same with CB Rhodes), it makes more sense to get a player with premium talent/versatility , a gamechanger like WR Tavon Austin (WesWelker type playmaker in slot - Great Returner - Even takes handoffs hand runs for big gains). Isn´t it obvious?
  • avatar

    Might be a little odd IF the Bucs draft Freeman's replacement on Friday, April 26 th...but entertaining nonetheless
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Dominik And Schiano Have Solid Draft Chemistry Dominik And Schiano Have Solid Draft Chemistry After two seasons, the draft classes of Mark Dominik and Greg Schiano are looking like overwhelming successes. From finding impact stars like Lavonte David, to key contributors, such as safety Keith Tandy, the Bucs are ... [+] Read more
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