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March 14, 2014 @ 3:51 pm
Current rating: 3.00 Stars/6 Votes

SR's Fab 5 - 3-14

Written by Scott
Reynolds
Scott Reynolds

Scott
Reynolds

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Lots of Bucs free agency insight and analysis, plus scoop on Tampa Bay's draft, the team's interest in Fresno State QB Derek Carr, the reality of the Darrelle Revis trade and how Lovie Smith's faith has been a huge selling point to free agents is all found in this edition of 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. Here are a few things that caught my attention this week at One Buc Place:

FAB 1. A FULL-BLOWN FREE AGENCY FRENZY IN TAMPA BAY
Wow!

Whew!

Sigh!

What an absolutely crazy start to free agency at One Buccaneer Place under the watch of new head coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht. There are so many points to hit on with the flurry of activity that I will spend the first part of this week’s SR’s Fab 5 on what stood out to me during the Bucs’ first 96 hours of free agency.

• First and foremost, PewterReport.com’s web traffic is up 50 percent from a year ago in March. Granted the only real free agent splash the Bucs made last year was signing free safety Dashon Goldson, and this year the Bucs have already signed nine unrestricted free agents, including three of their own. Throw in the hoopla over the team’s updated logo and helmet and uniform change and it’s been a record month of March already – and we still have 17 days left.

I know there are a lot of places to go for Buccaneers information and insight. New Bucs blogs seem to pop up every day. But I’ve been covering Tampa Bay professionally for 19 years as a credentialed member of the media and I want to thank each and every one of you fans for continuing to rely on PewterReport.com as a trusted source of Bucs news. Your support is greatly appreciated. Now here’s some analysis on your favorite team.

• The addition of veteran journeyman Josh McCown is a strong signal that the Bucs will be drafting a quarterback this year, possibly with the seventh overall pick. The player I firmly believe Tampa Bay will be targeting is Fresno State’s Derek Carr. If you remember, PewterReport.com was the first to focus on Carr’s history with Tedford, and that prompted us to put Carr in PewterReport.com’s initial 2014 Bucs’ mock draft.

The 34-year old McCown, who signed a two-year deal with the Bucs, will only be a stop-gap player until the quarterback of the future is acquired, and it doesn’t seem to be Glennon given how McCown has already been named the starter by Smith. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Tampa Bay trade down in the first round to acquire another pick or two and then grab Carr a little later in the round. Then the Bucs could trade Glennon for a mid-round pick as he is a far better player – with some proven NFL experience – than NFL teams could get in the middle or late rounds this year as the QB class is not overly strong or deep with talent.

With McCown being the transition quarterback, Carr wouldn’t have the pressure of starting as a rookie and could see some spot duty in 2014 to get his feet wet while learning from McCown, who could serve as his mentor. A big reason why Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, a former pupil of new offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford at the University of California, developed into a star quarterback in the NFL was because he sat and learned for a few years behind Brett Favre.

Quarterback makes the most sense for the Buccaneers in the first round as the team has already acquired a starting left tackle, a starting defensive end, a starting defensive tackle and a starting cornerback in free agency this year. The one thing Smith battled for years in Chicago, and what ultimately led to his demise as the team’s head coach was the quarterback position. Smith went through Kyle Orton, Brian Griese and Rex Grossman before finally trading for Jay Cutler. And when Cutler was injured in 2012 the Bears’ season went down the drain and Smith was fired because the team didn’t have adequate depth at the QB position.

• PewterReport.com was the first to give you a head’s up that the offensive line was going to be blown up. Right after the season was over in an early January edition of SR’s Fab 5, we revealed that the former regime of general manager Mark Dominik and head coach Greg Schiano were going to cut left tackle Donald Penn, who gave up 11 sacks last year, and force right guard Davin Joseph to take a big pay cut or face the threat of being released. It’s obvious that the tape didn’t lie and that Smith and Licht felt the same way after watching it as both Penn and Joseph were axed this week to make room for younger, cheaper, better players.

On Friday, the Bucs signed Green Bay center Evan Dietrich-Smith, whose addition could mean the end of Jeremy Zuttah’s tenure in Tampa Bay. Dietrich-Smith inked a four-year deal worth $14.25 million, and he’ll earn less than the $4.25 million that Zuttah is set to make. The Bucs could keep Zuttah and have him compete at guard, but might make him take a pay cut to do so. Stay tuned.

• Smith has been beating the 4-12 drum all offseason, saying whenever given the opportunity that the team’s record last season was unacceptable. He’s holding a lot of players from last year’s team accountable, too. He’s all but declaring war on former Dominik and Schiano players that didn’t play very good football in 2013, with the exception of Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis, who was cut for salary cap reasons. I’ll have more on Revis later.

But players like Zuttah and his $4.25 million salary, and punter Michael Koenen and his $3.25 million salary, have to feel very uneasy about their current standing at One Buccaneer Place. There are more roster cuts to come, but Smith and Licht are going about it a certain way.

Because of the respect that the organization had for Joseph, a former captain and all-around great guy, who represented the Buccaneers with class on and off the field, the team let him go on Saturday so he could get a jump on free agency. But as Smith and Licht acquire new players they are smart enough and patient enough to wait until they have a replacement for an older player under contract before releasing the players they want to move on from.

Linebacker Jonathan Casillas was under contract with a new one-year deal before free agency and prior to Dekoda Watson and Adam Hayward hitting the open market. Verner was signed prior to the release of Revis. Collins was signed prior to Penn’s release. Expect the same method of operating at center and punter, and that’s why Zuttah and Koenen should be sweating. However, if the team is not able to land a suitable upgrade in free agency or the draft, the Bucs could hold on to them for one more year and then part ways with them in 2015.

It’s an incredibly intelligent way of doing business and a clear sign that Licht and Smith know exactly what they’re doing. Despite the flurry of free agent moves, Licht said Tampa Bay still has plenty of salary cap room, especially by clearing just over $23 million additional cap dollars with the release of Revis and Penn this week.

• As I’m sitting there listening to the newest Buccaneers in their introductory press conferences this week I was struck by how they are all like-minded. They are all perfect soldiers ready to follow Smith’s lead. Every single one of them made a very strong first impression on me. The words humble, loyal, high-character, hard-working and classy come to mind when describing the likes of defensive end Michael Johnson, defensive tackle Clinton McDonald, cornerback Alterraun Verner, tight end Brandon Myers, quarterback Josh McCown and left tackle Anthony Collins.

These are the first players Smith and Licht have added to the roster under their regime and these are the kind of players they are looking for. My second thought was how Bucs wide receiver Mike Williams absolutely does not fit in with this group of players nor do reckless, hard-partying ways fit the mold of what Smith and Licht are looking for in people they want to represent the Buccaneers organization and the citizens of Tampa Bay.

PewterReport.com was out in front of the Williams story back in January, revealing how the former regime was going to cut him during the offseason, which drew criticism and a sense of disbelief from some Bucs fans. But then Greg Auman and Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times followed up our report with a strong investigative piece detailing Williams’ partying lifestyle and how it disrupted others in his old Sanctuary neighborhood in Lutz.

I’m telling you that after seeing the high-character players Smith and Licht trotted out to the media this week that Williams is not long for Tampa Bay as we previously reported unless the wide receiver has a “come to Jesus” meeting with Smith – literally and figuratively – and does an immediate and serious 180-degree turn with his personal life.

• A speed receiver is coming to Tampa Bay. You can tell by the Buccaneers’ interest in Carolina receiver Ted Ginn, Jr., who signed with Arizona, and Pittsburgh’s Emmanuel Sanders, who would be an ideal fit in Jeff Tedford’s offense, that the Bucs are looking for a player with jets. Don’t be surprised if Sanders ends up signing with Tampa Bay. Smith, who hails from Big Sandy, Texas and has a Texan accent, loves Texans, evidenced by the signing of McCown, who is from Jacksonville, Texas, Collins, who is from Beaumont, Texas and McDonald, who is from Jacksonville, Arkansas, which is a neighboring state. Sanders hails from Bellville, Texas and went to SMU.

Smith is a strong Christian man, and Sanders is also a man of faith, and that’s an important connection. I’ll have more on that later in this edition of SR’s Fab 5.

• When looking at Smith and Licht interact with each other the word “cohesion” immediately comes to mind. Smith agreed with me on Wednesday after the team’s press conference.

“We’re just getting on the same page right away,” Smith said. “[Jason and I] might as well be in the same office. It’s just [back and forth from office to office] early to late. The [players] aren’t here right now, so we’re definitely just ball coaches right now putting this all together. Some of the things that we like about Tampa [the free agents] are seeing, too. Guys want to be a part of something that you develop. The jerseys and the new helmets – it all goes along with what we’re trying to do.”

Speaking of the new jerseys and helmets, the new helmets look amazing. The jerseys will grow on you when you see them in person. I have to agree with Bucs co-chair Ed Glazer on that one. I’ll have more on that topic later in this edition of SR’s Fab 5.

FAB 2. EXPERIENCED PLAYERS ARE PREFERRED IN TAMPA BAY FOR SMITH, LICHT
Another important aspect to the way Tampa Bay head coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht are building the Bucs their way is the fact that they don’t want young, inexperienced players on the field – at all.

Whereas former general manager Mark Dominik and head coach Greg Schiano played as many rookies as they could it seems – quarterback Mike Glennon, tight end Tim Wright, running back Mike James, cornerback Johnthan Banks, nose tackle Akeem Spence and defensive end Will Gholston with some having to play due to others being injured and not having adequate depth – Licht and Smith wouldn’t mind sitting their rookies and let the established veterans play. That’s not to say that a rookie or two won’t see the field or even start, but ideally, Smith wants as much experience on the field as possible. That, coupled with the fact that the Bucs only have five draft picks currently, is the reason why Tampa Bay is being so aggressive in free agency.

“In an ideal world you don’t want guys to go through the growing pains,” Smith said. “We’re getting those [new free agents] after they’ve gone through a lot of the growing pains right now. Really, the second contract should be the prime of your career, and we’re getting some of those guys right then. I’m going to go back to Josh [McCown, a former backup quarterback]. If you haven't played a lot it puts a little more time on you, too. We’re going to be a young football team. We really are, but we don’t want inexperienced play. We want a little bit of youth with experience.”

The fact that experienced players like cornerback Alterraun Verner, 25, defensive end Michael Johnson, 27, defensive tackle Clinton McDonald, 27, tight end Brandon Myers, 28, and left tackle Anthony Collins, 28, are so young is a huge plus for Tampa Bay, according to Licht.

“I hope so, it sure would increase the chances of me having some longevity in my profession here, too,” Licht said. “It’s a big, big bonus that these players were young and some of them still haven’t hit their prime yet. To get a Pro Bowl cornerback, to get a Pro Bowl-level defensive end, to get a tight end that has similar production to Antonio Gates at their age is very exciting.”

I think that’s also the reason why Bears cornerback Charles Tillman wasn’t signed and why Bears return specialist Devin Hester isn’t a Buccaneer yet. Tillman, who re-signed with Chicago for one year on Friday, is 33, and Hester is 31 and the Bucs aren’t going to pay top dollar for guys in their 30s. That’s part of the reason why Joseph and Penn are gone. When the market comes down for Tillman and Hester then the Bucs will be interested in signing either one or both.

While the aim is to have as many young players in their prime on the roster, Tampa Bay isn’t opposed to having older veterans on the team, evidenced by new starting quarterback in McCown, who will be 35 this season.

“From Day 1, we’ve been transparent about our goal to get a veteran, seasoned quarterback on this roster that’s playing his best, and that’s Josh McCown,” Licht said. “What better person to have here to help Mike Glennon develop than Josh McCown? We win on both ends. That’s the way we're looking at it. Any quarterback who would be here would benefit from Josh. He is eager because he’s naturally a mentor on and off the field, with anybody he comes across.”

FAB 3. THE TRUTH ABOUT THE REVIS SITUATION
This week I have heard the craziest notions from members of the national media, local media and some Bucs fans regarding the trade for cornerback Darrelle Revis, who was released on Wednesday to create $16 million in salary cap space. Most prominent is that the Revis trade was one of the worst trades in Bucs history, NFL history and even world history.

Huh?

Let’s see, the Bucs gave up a mid-first-round pick and a fourth-round pick for a player regarded as the best cover cornerback in the game of football and all he did was successfully rehab his knee, start 16 games for Tampa Bay, force two fumbles, pick off two passes, record a sack, recover a fumble, earn a spot in the Pro Bowl … and somehow that’s a bad trade?

I don’t get it. Trading away quarterback Steve Young is a bad trade. Giving up a first-round pick for defensive end Booker Reese is a bad trade. Trading for Revis, who shut down half the field with his coverage ability wasn’t a bad trade at all.

You could say paying him $16 million was too much and that would be fair. But also to be fair, the way that deal was structured with such a high base salary was put in place to create a scenario where there wasn’t any salary cap-crippling dead money, either, whenever the team wanted to part ways with him.

“There are different elements to the Darrelle Revis contract,” former Bucs general manager Mark Dominik said on Sirius XM Radio this week. “The main, most important thing when I negotiated the deal with his agents was the fact that we had flexibility if we ever needed to walk away from it we could. That’s why even with the trade to the Jets, we had a fourth-round conditional that could go to a third if we didn’t feel great about it. We could do that and I think that’s what Lovie Smith and Jason Licht are thinking about. Do they want a third-round pick or a fourth-round pick? Do they want Darrelle or do they not what Darrelle on the football team?”

The Buccaneers certainly had the salary cap room to keep Revis if they wanted to. The new regime of Smith and Licht just simply preferred to keep the third-round draft pick instead of the fourth, and wanted the $16 million in salary cap space gained by releasing Revis Island, so they cut him.

The reality is that the decision to cut him after just one year – a Pro Bowl season – is just as dubious as trading for Revis. The Bucs had the salary cap room to keep Revis, and I liked the idea of pairing him with Alterraun Verner and Johnthan Banks. However, Tampa Bay really wanted to overhaul the roster and decided the cap space tied up in Revis was too valuable. According to Licht, the Bucs wouldn’t have been in position to add as many free agents as they have this week with Revis and his $16 million still on the roster.

“That’s very safe to say,” Licht said. “There may have been multiple ones. I’ve said it repeatedly. We’re building a team. No one person can make the impact that four, five, six, seven or eight players can make on a team.”

That’s fine, and that’s Licht and Smith’s prerogative. But ultimately what makes the Revis deal a disappointment was that the new regime wanted to part ways with him after Tampa Bay traded for him a year ago.

Renting a player for one year and giving up a first- and a fourth-round pick to do so is a bad deal. Yet if Dominik were still running the team, Revis would be, too. The more years the Bucs could have gotten out of Revis’ service the better in terms of truly evaluating the trade. If Revis played four years in Tampa Bay and went to four Pro Bowls, getting a stud cornerback for four years for a first- and a fourth-round pick would have been considered to be a great trade.

Blame Dominik for overpaying Revis with a $16 million base salary, which is $6 million more than the second-highest paid cornerback, but don’t blame him for only giving up a first-rounder and a fourth-rounder. But you also have to blame Smith and Licht for not giving it a try for a year and trying to make it work.

It’s hard to blame Revis for not taking a pay cut to stay in Tampa Bay, either. The guy has never seen free agency and wasn’t going to if he stayed with the Bucs. Free agency is an avenue that allows players to do three things – get paid and pick the team they want to play for and pick the city they want to live in.

Revis was traded to a 7-9 Buccaneers team and never got the chance to be courted by a legitimate Super Bowl contender. His compensation for not having that opportunity was a mega-contract worth $96 million over six years.

So where was Revis’ loyalty to Tampa Bay you say? Well, the new regime didn’t have any loyalty to him by asking him to take a pay cut right off the bat, either.

Revis was likely thinking, “I was worth $16 million coming off a torn ACL that cost me much of the 2012 season. Now that I’m back and playing in all 16 games and making another Pro Bowl I’m somehow worth less?”

I don’t blame Revis for not wanting to take a pay cut. He knows the Bucs aren’t going to win a Super Bowl in the next three years and Revis would likely be cut then at age 32, which would make him past his prime, especially at that mega-salary.

Why not refuse the Bucs offer and force the team to cut you and hit free agency for the first time? If you are going to have to take a pay cut, why not choose where you want to play if you are Revis and put yourself in position to win a Super Bowl? That’s exactly what he did.

Licht said that he did try to reduce Revis’ salary but wouldn’t even reveal what the acceptable number for keeping him in red and pewter was.

“There was an attempt, but I’m not sure what that price is,” Licht said. “We exhausted all avenues and we just came up empty. We got into some very in-depth discussions about it with his people. They were very amicable discussions. His agents are great people and easy to deal with, but unfortunately not easy enough for us to come to an agreement with. They have his best interests in mind. They made the best decision for Darrelle and we made the best decision for the Buccaneers.”

Like with left tackle Donald Penn, Licht was unable to find a trade partner willing to cough up a draft pick for a player that the entire league knew was going to hit the open market anyways. Complicating matters was the fact that there was a hard deadline in place as there was with Revis, who was due $3 million on Thursday.

Don’t damn Licht or Smith for not being able to come up with anything for Revis on the trade market. Carolina couldn’t trade wide receiver Steve Smith and Dallas couldn’t trade outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware, either, due to those players’ age and high salary cap figures.

This wasn’t necessarily a bad trade for Revis. This wasn’t necessarily a bad decision to cut Revis. It just is what it is. The Bucs move on without their 2013 first-round pick, their 2014 fourth-round pick and their Pro Bowl cornerback with only the $16 million in cap space to show for it.

FAB 4. SMITH’S FAITH IS A HUGE DRAW FOR NEW BUCCANEERS
Let me preface this section of the SR’s Fab 5 by saying I’m not advocating religion or Christianity in this column, nor am I trying to alienate or anger anyone by talking about Lovie Smith’s Christian beliefs and the beliefs of some of the newest Buccaneers. I am sensitive to the fact that some of you may practice a different religion or none at all, and you have that right.

I am asking that you open your mind to this football-related mention of Christianity and how it is affecting the Buccaneers’ recruitment free agency under Smith’s watch. Without further adieu, the fact that Smith is a strong man of faith and public with his Christian beliefs, similar to his friend and mentor Tony Dungy, played a big role in attracting some of the top free agents the Bucs were able to land this week.

And perhaps more importantly, his faith-based belief will help shape Tampa Bay’s roster this year and years to come.

Make no mistake, though. Smith is a football coach, not a minister. He’s not looking to build a congregation. He’s looking to build a football team.

You don’t have to be a Christian to become a Buccaneer. Smith is not going to shun a good football player just because he doesn’t believe in God. But if a player is a believer there’s definitely an added attraction there, and that goes both ways as the latest round of free agents are definitely further drawn to Smith because of his faith.

“It’s strong, it’s very strong,” Bucs defensive tackle Clinton McDonald said. “When you have one or two gathered in His name, good things are going to happen. Just have the support of a man of faith and to have the support from other teammates that have the same faith that you have it brings a stronger, more cohesive unit together. Finding out that more people like Gerald McCoy that have that same faith and mindset is very encouraging.”

Pro Bowl cornerback Alterraun Verner has the saying “Many goals and ambitions but let it be up God’s will!” at the top of his Twitter page, and said that Smith’s faith was a strong selling point for him coming to Tampa Bay.

“Definitely,” Verner said. “That’s a big part of Lovie and his reputation. He’s a sincere guy and that’s how people view him. [Cornerbacks coach] Gil Byrd is the same way. He’s very outspoken about his faith. I actually worked out with Gil coming out of school. He took me out to eat and we talked about life and things in general. Their character – that was a big thing for me. I’m going to get honesty from them. I’m going to get the truth. They aren’t going to sugarcoat things – good or bad. If I’m not playing well I expect both of them to be on me. I respect them from that sense.”

Tight end Brandon Myers wrote the word “Blessed” on his Twitter page on March 11 after signing with Tampa Bay.

“He brings it all to the table,” Myers said of Smith. “He’s a guy of faith and he’s a great leader. He can pull guys together. It was a big deal to be able to come here and I’ve heard a ton of great things from other guys about him. I couldn’t be more excited.”

Myers said he was encouraged by the fact that there are many other Christians on the Buccaneers.

“I feel like everyone here has the same mindset,” Myers said. “They are here to win games and change the organization. [Christianity] is just a bonus. If everyone believes and has a single focus, good things happen. If you don’t have guys that are focused things can get off track.”

One of the most outspoken Christians on the team is new quarterback Josh McCown, who had this to say during his initial press conference in Tampa Bay.

“I’ve learned throughout my life that, as a person of faith, there’s a scripture that says “Tomorrow is not promised” and all those things,” McCown said. “That’s kind of how I’ve tried to view the world is that things change very quickly. My whole career has kind of been that way.”

Verner is already familiar with McCown having attended a Christian workshop with him a year ago.

“It’s funny because some of the players on the team I’ve run into in some type of a Christian setting,” Verner said. “Josh McCown was actually my PAO leader. The PAO is Pro Athletes Outreach and it’s a Christian conference the NFL has. Last year, Josh was my group leader. He led our group and was the ambassador. Seeing that part of him and seeing him play well with the Bears and now seeing him here it’s cool.

“Gerald McCoy and I train together and we’ve gone to numerous Bible studies together. At the Pro Bowl we went to the chapel service together, so I know where his faith is. Those are extra bonuses that matter to me. You know that you have brothers on the team that I can help and that can help me [spiritually].”

Left tackle Anthony Collins is the latest Christian to join the Buccaneers due to the opportunity that awaited him in Tampa Bay and Smith’s convictions, which helped him pick suiting up in red and pewter over offers from Carolina and Cincinnati. Collins revealed his faith in his initial press conference in Tampa Bay when talking about having to wait six years for the chance to become a full-time starter in the NFL.

“God always has his own timing,” Collins said. “You’ve got to wait. Patience is a virtue. Now is my time.”

When Dungy was Tampa Bay’s head coach in the late 1990s there were several outspoken Christians on the team – including quarterback Trent Dilfer, running back Warrick Dunn, wide receiver Horace Copeland, and linebackers Derrick Brooks, Hardy Nickerson and Shelton Quarles among others – that were nicknamed the “God Squad” by outsiders. That nickname was seen as a term of endearment by believers, and was a bit of a shot at the supposed “do-gooders” by non-believers.

It seems like Smith, who was alongside Dungy from 1996-2000, is assembling the God Squad Part II in Tampa with a host of new believers via free agency joining the likes of McCoy and others in Tampa Bay.

Smith will be the first to tell you that his faith has helped make him the man of conviction and character that he is today. Religion is a vital part of his life, and Smith’s approach to coaching football with his beliefs at the heart of it all makes his players – believers and non-believers alike – want to play for him.

“I think because he cares,” McCown said when asked what makes Smith so special. 
“You spend five minutes with him and you feel like he cares about you as an individual and as a person. That matters to players. As long as I’ve played, if I’ve learned one thing it’s that relationships matter and the relationships that you can build in the building matter.

“As much as we talk about this being a business, the guys that I’ve played with through the course of my career – it’s resounding how much, when an issue comes up, how much you can look at why an issue happened and go, ‘Man, it’s because the relationship is fractured between the player and the coach and because the player doesn’t feel cared for.’ I believe that more than anything, and appreciate that so much from Lovie is that I believe he cares and the guys believe that as well.”

McCown has known Smith for years, but even relative newcomers like McDonald can feel Smith’s presence at work and it definitely is an attraction.

“Lovie is a great coach and he has great schemes on defense going back to the Bears,” McDonald said. “All the things he’s done going back to here with Coach Dungy – his body of work just speaks for itself. He knows how to get guys motivated and to get guys going.

“It’s a great honor [to play for him]. It’s a responsibility to Lovie. He chose me. He brought me here and he wanted me. I have a responsibility to Lovie to perform the way he needs me to perform. I’ve got to be dedicated to my craft and what I think I can be each and every year.”

Licht said that the Buccaneers have been so successful in recruiting top-notch free agents and signing them without having to overpay due to Smith’s aura. Players want to play

“There is no doubt that he is the best recruiting tool that we have in this building and perhaps the NFL,” Licht said. “I’ve talked about this before, but it’s his presence. He’s demanding and you don’t want to let him down. He has that presence about him that I’ve talked about – that calmness, but how he expects everyone around him to do your best. Whether you are a player or a staff member, you do your best around him.”

The feeling that you get when you are in Smith’s presence is incredibly hard to explain. There is a charisma and a sense of absolute legitimacy about him, even during personal interviews with him, that draws you to Smith.

It’s way beyond likability. It’s more like magnetism, really, and I haven’t experienced it since the days of interviewing Dungy.

Now imagine that presence from a man of faith like Smith, combined with the chance to start for the Buccaneers and a lucrative paycheck. That’s quite a sales pitch.

Smith’s presence has to come from somewhere. Some would say it’s his God-given talent.

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

• One more faith-based-related Bucs’ matter. One of the most spiritual players and outspoken Christians in the 2014 NFL Draft is Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr, who was the Bulldogs’ leader and prayer leader over the past couple of years. Given my reporting about Lovie Smith being a man of faith, and the fact that offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford has known Carr since he was six years old after having coached his brother, David Carr, at Frenso State, you can see why there is a logical connection between Carr and Tampa Bay in PewterReport.com’s pre-draft reporting.

• Some pundits will point to Washington and Dallas in the annual running for winning the offseason, but not having anything – playoff wins or Super Bowl titles – to show for it in recent memory, and temper Bucs fans’ enthusiasm for the big splashes made by Tampa Bay thus far in free agency. The Bucs have had made big splashes before that seemed to hold much promise in April, only to bring disappointment in September. Names like Alvin Harper, Bert Emanuel, Todd Steussie, Derrick Deese, Charlie Garner, Derek Ward and Eric Wright come to mind through the years.

But free agency, when done right, can be an instant shot in the arm. Take the 2002 Buccaneers as a prime example. Almost every free agent signed that year by former general manager Rich McKay and head coach Jon Gruden, except for tight end Marco Battaglia and guard Matt O’Dwyer, made a huge impact in helping Tampa Bay’s first and only Super Bowl championship. Names like Roman Oben, Greg Spires, Kerry Jenkins, Michael Pittman, Joe Jurevicius, Keenan McCardell, Ken Dilger and Rickey Dudley come to mind.

Free agency is no different than the NFL Draft most of the time. There are hits and misses, and teams are just trying to get more hits than misses. But when you factor in money, new coaches, new systems, new teammates, new cities, new expectations and new circumstances you can’t always expect the same results from free agents landing in Tampa Bay that they had with their former teams. Again, it’s about getting more hits than misses.

• New Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht has been extremely pleased with the work of the front office staff he inherited. Tampa Bay’s free agent signings are a testament to the hard work of Licht, head coach Lovie Smith, director of football administration Mike Greenberg, who is handling the contract negotiations with agents, and others.

“Everyone has worked incredibly hard from Shelton Quarles to Scott Cohen, Rob McCartney and Eric Stokes,” Licht said. “When I was first hired, we put together a plan and we stuck with it. Our plan was to be sitting here today with multiple players that could help us win a championship.”

And that’s what happened during the first week of free agency in Tampa Bay.

• And finally, I have an admission to make. After voicing my displeasure over Tampa Bay’s revamped uniform in last week’s SR’s Fab 5 and getting to see the Buccaneers’ new jerseys in person, they do look a lot better. Ed Glazer, you were right.

Tampa Bay’s new cutting edge uniforms are incredibly lightweight, which the players like, and tight-fitting courtesy of the latest technology by Nike. While I’m still not crazy about the font, which seems to be the biggest issue among fans, the red jerseys look so much better in person than they did in the photos released by the Buccaneers.

Bad photography of the new uniforms due to an ill-advised black background, and the decision to release photos where the uniforms and helmet actually look black rather than pewter is what marred the team's first impression of the new jerseys and pants with the Buccaneers fan base. The bungled uniform rollout on social media rather than via a live press conference could have been avoided, and ultimately detracted from the team’s enhanced logo and updated helmet, which actually look awesome in person.

I predict the new logo and helmet will be a huge hit, and that the majority of Bucs fans will ultimately come around to the new uniforms in time.
Last modified on Friday, 14 March 2014 18:08
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  • avatar


    (1) Zuttah is certainly overpaid, but considering our current situation in the interior O-line, there really isn't a better way to spend his money right now. We have Nicks, a huge question mark with his foot, and EDS. Outside of that, we literally don't have an interior linemen we really ever want to see the field. Even if we draft a G with a 2nd or 3rd round pick (which I think we will), we still need a guy like Zuttah this year. I'm not questioning you, Scott, in saying that the team is trying to move on from him. I'm just saying that if we do that now, it's a serious mistake. (2) If we draft Carr at 7 overall, I'll flip out. He's not a 1st round caliber player, and essentially the entire case for taking him there is based on a draft-by-need approach, which is a just plain dumb way to approach drafting. I'd like to think that our dearth of signings have enabled us to truly go with BPA rather than reaching horribly for a QB. Carr should be a 2nd round pick, period. Taking him at 7, especially with much better players like Watkins, Mack, Ebron, and others available, would be a big, big reach that would likely be a mistake. I hope you're wrong on this one.
  • avatar


    I'm a huge fan of PR; but this defense of the Revis trade is...well indefensible! I understand the fact that PR has to make a statement to try and save face after devoting a whole article before the Bucs released Revis...I believe the title was something like "It would be a mistake to trade Revis". I said the Revis trade was the worst in Bucs history and stand by my post. As for the religious angle, I've noticed that commonality among thr FA signings; and as an atheist I just skipped over Fab 4 (my "bible" is 2 sentences: Treat others as you want to be treated. And, always do the right thing).
  • avatar


    I;m constantly amazed at the negativity one gets when writing about christianity. No one would care if the article said they were muslim or Buhdists. You mention christianity though and everyone is up in arms. NewsFlash...there is no separation of Church and Football. and if anyone took the time to actually read the article..the main point was that Lovie's faith is an attraction to free agents of similar faith in the way that we do not have to overpay for free agents because FA WANT to play for Lovie. Its a good article and in no way should it NOT have been written just because it deals with religion. I think you should ask yourself why your so turned off when you hear about religion...if indeed you are turned off (because Im def not speaking to everyone). The Uniforms are something Im proud to say I was first to write about how the photos are misleading. The day they were released I wrote to find pics that show the pewter as pewter not black....to finally get a good indication of what they look like. One final comment...Pewter Report is by far the best source of information about the Bucs that there is. As for blogs you should be cautious about going to a blog for information. For the most part...blogs are a great place to seek out opinions. At least I make no qualms about that being my blog's biggest purpose.
  • avatar


    Scott, thanks for the article, great read. I believe you were fair and not taking sides in fab 4 -- just giving us insight into Lovie's makeup and the kind of character he is looking for in his players. I have to admit there seem to be a lot of hate-filled fans. It was shocking to me. Horse, I have always liked your insight and your open apology tells me you are a good man. Macabee, if your story is true, I am sorry you lost your dad, as for the rest.... There's still time to see the light brother.
  • avatar

    I think a scenario that Dallas trades up to 7th to pick up Khaill Mack to replace OLB Ware. Then we could draft QB Carr at 16th and pick up an extra 2nd and 4th round pick for a WR, TE, OLB, OL and DL. Also this would be perfect, if N.E. then trades up to 16th for Louis Nix III to replace Vince Wilfork at DT. That would give us 29th in 1st round to draft QB Carr and THREE 2nd rounders. We would have to give N.E. our 4th round to do this, but three 2nds would rock in this deep draft. The one problem that would arise in both trade downs is if Arizona (which could use a QB) would draft QB Carr. That's the only team that could ruin that second trade down scenario. Thoughts?
  • avatar

    If Mack is there at #7 and the Bucs don't take him, I would be shocked... and disappointed.
  • avatar


    Thanks for reporting your views and opinion about Smith and Licht Scott. That is why I read your writings, for your opinion of the buccaneers which in this case includes the HC background.
  • avatar

    Lol well since Lovie is so in to christian players maybe we should bring in pacman jones who's apparently repented and found god? Or Maurice clarett who should be coming out of prison soon what do you say buccs fans? The religious stuff in your article was nonsense man lets correlate football to just football. I have no problem with Christianity or any other religion what so ever in fact i believe that the majority of people are just sheep and need something to use as a moral compass which is fine by me if thats what it takes to keep crime down and our society whole. But i just dont like it to be in my face all the time. Lets be honest ladies and gentlemen when was the last time you had an atheist knock on your door like "hi did you know that god is a superstition"?
  • avatar

    lol the faith stuff is way over the top. Stick to football please. Merica
  • avatar

    Uhmerkuh. Phuk Yeah!
  • avatar


    You made my point about the Revis deal when you wrote, "Renting a player for one year and giving up a first- and a fourth-round pick to do so is a bad deal." I agree with you that if Schiano and Dominik were still here so would Revis, but that is the wrong way to look at it. The facts are we rented Revis for one year, not his best year, and paid too much for it, way too much. Carr may be an NFL QB and if the Bucs trade down for him great. He is not worth the seventh pick in the draft. Picking him there would like picking Glennon in the third round.
  • avatar


    That's the point DBuc63. ALL........not just Christians.
  • avatar


    PewterReportsRS; Scott I would like to apologize about lashing out at you because of FAB 4. I went back and read the Article 3 times and realized that you did present it in a way that I should not have gotten so high and mighty. The Fab 4 was fare and balance. Again I am sorry that I took it another way. It is now obvious to me that you were just reporting something that you saw with the selections in Free Agency; that's suppose to be your job and you did it.
  • avatar


    Been reviewing the grades of FA and it looks like we finally have a GM That knows talent and what to pay for talent. Allen, Hickey and the GM of Oakland just to name a few seem to be incompetent. It's great that we did not overpay like in the prior years. IMO we should due well with Licht. Now let's make a few great picks in the draft and improve the team for a 2015 playoff run. I say 2015 because I think they will need another FA and draft to become reality good and they will need 2014 to install their new schemes. It looks like if you don't perform you are OUT OF HERE. GO BUC'S !!
  • avatar


    Kinderrt; I think you are probably right. It is nice to see value and not having to break the bank to get it.
  • avatar


    Great read Scott! I will give you 10K every time you write an article that pisses off these secular posters! Just mention Jesus or God and holy crap, abomination! Sad to see this country becoming more polarized but I find the humor in the lack of maturity,objectivity and most of all Hippocracy that comes with it. Be interesting if an article or two about Judaism or Islam was written. Would the secular still be as passionate...perhaps, so they would say. Any article connecting spirituality to players, coaches, or even the NFL is welcomed by me. Spirituality lies in many NFL players thus making it relevant and part of the game. So many of these poster's comments I skip over because I have the choice just as they do. PEACE OUT! GOD LOVES YOU ALL! lol.
  • avatar


    Dbuc63; to tell you the truth, I would have said the same thing. I like Scott; I like FAB 5 and have said so many times. I have disagree with Scott a few times, but still liked and appreciated his stand and opinion. Politics and religion can get dicey and you have to known your audience.
  • avatar

    Scott would not write about all the connections if they were Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, or Atheist... He just wouldn't, because he's not interested in pimping other points of view. And yes, if he did, I would object if I felt there was a subtle sales-pitch that "religion-x = unquestionably good"... And seriously, don't start bashing secularism. Despite the best efforts of the zealots and proselytizers and the FauxNooz "patriots" to convince people we are a Christian nation, this country was founded on secular values, one of which is freedom to practice whatever religion (or none at all).... all of which is kinda off topic. Bottom line is, despite Scott pretending to "report" on these Christian connections, which is a legitimate area of reporting, it clearly crossed the line, as usual, as cheerleading for kreiste. They're free to do so. This is their website, but they are not winning friends among secular folk who don't want to get a Christian message buried in their football reading. I mean, it's bad enough that all these players are kreistophiles and we'll have to hear bullcrap like "god has a plan for me"... Ugh. Dumbasses.
  • avatar

    The jeezus-themed signings did not escape my notice, especially McDonald's praise-based response to questions that regular people would answer directly. If these guys weren't players for my favorite team, I would call them brainwashed fools. Also, despite your efforts, Scott, the kreiste-themed Fab still came out as pimping for jeezus rather than a dispassionate reporting on the connections between people who happen to share the same superstitions. You kreistophiles can't seem to avoid jeezus-pimping.
  • avatar


    Right on Scott! Another fine piece of reporting on the pirates of the pewter pants!! Always a good read. We need you to post a Fab Five every day. Fab 5 x 7 days a week = Fab 35 weekly!
  • avatar


    This George Hicks east texas,class of 1964 HB Plant -Iam a Christian who grewup at 1st Baptist Church in Tampa until I went into the Army for 23 years. Over the years I put faith in the Lord and Today Iam 68 and half and in Sept 28,2014 I will turn 69. I cannot believe that all these Christians players are joining this Buc team this year. Tampa Bay has been bless Fans. Iam looking forward to the Draft and the 2014-2015 season.GO BUCS
  • avatar


    Wow. Well, a couple of things come to mind, my mind that is. Firstly, I'm impressed and relieved that the Bucs are not going after the over 30 crowd, at least not for big CAP dollars. Bringing in so many FA and the draft picks later on we'll need players who are willing to change and play for the future. Cool thing is the future is also NOW! As for the religious comments from Scott and multiple posters, I have no problem with men of good character coming here. Many men of good character have strong spiritual values. They have their priorities set and tend to be good leaders. It's a good thing and SHOULD have been typed about. But that's all I'M going to type about it. Great 5 Scott, I'm starting to really look forward to seeing this team on the field again soon. I am confident we will get a great player at 7 no matter who that player is. One on the QB's, probably.
  • avatar


    Well said, BucFanNC. A lot of people conflate certain things (race, religion, wealth) with certain characteristics; in reality, while there may be a positive correlation, an individual has choices to make about the culture to which they will subscribe. Adrian Peterson is overtly religious, but it doesn't seem to have any effect on his non-football life, as he parties like Mike Willians and has out of wedlock children by the bushel. What's interesting is how many people have realized that Scott's reporting on a subject about which he was passionate and emotionally invested slanted the tone of the article. I wonder if they recognize how much that happens in all their news, even on the "safe" outlets like ESPN, CNN, etc.
  • avatar

    Good article SR. The Carr connection is strong with this teams IMO. Wouldn't be surprised if he is pick.
  • avatar


    I’m a Christian too. But I’m also a big time sinner and for the most part, I’ve enjoyed it! I plan to sin again if I ever catch Flo the Insurance Girl on a rainy afternoon in a housecoat and a pair of socks. My dad died and left me a considerable amount of money. I spent some of it on wine, I spent some of it on women and the rest of it I just plain wasted! I’m not above cheating a little too if that’s what it takes to win Buc games. Belichick does it all the time and is in the playoffs every year. Oh, and I lie sometimes as I’ve done in this post to make my point. Sometimes we are much too serious, when we should be laughing and having fun. Spirituality is important and it’s up to each individual to pursue it in his own way. That last sentence is the only serious thing I plan to say today. So if any of you should see Flo, give me a call! LoL.
  • avatar


    Scott, no place for religious views. Please stick to football!!
  • avatar

    Right on dictate2u.
  • avatar


    This is pewter report not religion report right? PR prides itself on being subjective and about in depth analysis of the team we all love. SR it really does irritate me when you step on the pulpit and say we should trust this player because he is a Christian. They make mistakes too. Please keep this wonderful column to news we couldn't get off Wikipedia or some other bio site.
  • avatar

    I'm a christian, a coach, and a player (back in the day). Having a team mate or player I'm coaching have high character is huge. It doesn't matter what has built that character. But the character is SO important. Having a humble team mate that is not selfish is irreplaceable. Having a player who is coachable and not a "know it all" is all you can ask for at any level, no matter the skill. Christianity is only one place that builds character, there are many. But having character is a must!
  • avatar

    Yup. Agreed. But the subtle message is that "christianity = good values" and vice versa, but the same could not be said for other religions. For instance, there are a few Muslim players in the NFL, and if they were, for instance, observing Ramadan along with some other muslim teammates, I think the tone of the "reporting" would be a bit different. If a handful of atheist players on a team got together once a week for a discussion of secular humanist ethics, would this be sold as "good values" in a Fab 5? Doubtful. The bias is obvious. PewterReport is becoming the FauxNooz of Buccaneer websites.
  • avatar

    Horse, I'm a Southern Jew.I don't care what faith my team or teammates have as long as it gives them the inspiration to achieve greatness.This is football .It has Always been influenced by Christianity.Ironically other then the players it is owned and run by Jews.FROM AL Davis,Kraft,Ross and 11 other team owners including our Glazers.Half of our front office is also Jewish.And until Carmini was traded we had 3 Jews playing on da Bucs with Lorig,Carmini and I forget who the 3rd one was. My son came thru a Christian school ,won 2state championships here in Fl as a QB and played 4years of full scholly D1 ball.Not because of faith but because of the vehicle a faith based environment provided him.In fact we used to joke with his coaches and school administrators that it took a Jew to lead the team to the promised land.All in fun.I was part of the staff and we (and other Jews)would be part of prayer(silent worship).No biggie. Scott love Fri fab 5-Keep up the good work
  • avatar


    Scott.. Good Fab 5 but when you talk religion it's the same as talking politics, everyone has their own outlook. My motto is never talk religion or politics with friends or lend friends money if you want to keep your friends. The part that you talk about the players and Lovies beliefs is fine just way to long as it was a little like preaching. I have been a PR subscription holder since the doors were opened on FL Ave. As I don't recall how many years ago that was but have enjoyed the information that I get from PR continue the good work.
  • avatar


    I agree that the fact that Love lives his faith and character out so consistently without hypocrisy is the key issue. People like to work with like minded individuals. I get that non-believers don't want to be preached at, and from everything I know about Lovie, he respects and seeks out men of character from all walks of life. I understand where you were going. Great article Scott.
  • avatar


    I believe that being a good person of high character, regardless of any religious view, is far more worthy of respect from society than the look down their nose, condescending attitude some "people of faith" have toward those who don't outwardly profess similar beliefs. Even in this article, the point seemed to infer that being a Christian somehow in and of itself, makes the player a better man. Not everyone who goes to church, recites gospel and wears a cross around his neck deserves our admiration. Likewise, a person who doesn't base his life around a religion, doesn't deserve others' wrath. Seems to me, religious people should seek to be more tolerant and respectful of the rights of the rest of the world and not think of them as infidels. Scott; it's relevant that free agents are drawn to Coach Smith because he displays some of the character traits they admire, with one of them being a common faith. But going on and on and closing with the "God given talent" was a little much.
  • avatar


    Scubog, well said. I would love to have a team of men of full faith who love God and sing his praises. Now focus on the game that you are playing in. Every time Scott gets on his religious bandwagon I feel like I should get him a tent and some plates and a small portable pool for baptizing on the pirate ship. Fire the cannons! Scott just saved another one.
  • avatar

    I am a Jew, myself. This sort of thing doesn't really bother me anymore. The Glazers are Jews. They hired Christian coaches twice. Our first Christian coach grabbed Muslims like Rahib Abdullah to play. I would expect Lovie to do the same. There are people of all faiths in sports. Who cares? If a higher power helps you bring an air-filled leather ball into the endzone, fine. If a belief in a supreme being fuels your fire to win athletic competitions, fight through injuries and bring home Lombardi trophies... Glory be.
  • avatar


    Scott, I think it's great that you are a Christian. I think it's great that Lovie is a Christian and some of the players may have found this a positive. If you wanted to note that as a nugget or even a Fab then I would be fine with it. But you basically wrote an entire column praising Christianity's influence on the team. Which I do not think is great. Derek Carr is a Christian too, that's wonderful. He sucks as a pro prospect, and if you bother to remember this post 5 years from now when Carr is a backup-at-best please think of me. Apparently Carr's faith hasn't helped him navigate the pocket, avoid throwing off his back foot or give him consistent throwing mechanics. If the Bucs waste a first or second round pick on Carr then I pray that his faith gives him miraculous powers that he has not shown thus far while throwing bubble screens to talented receivers in the mountain west.
  • avatar


    Joe Gibbs was not shy about his faith. Tony Dungy wasn't either. I believe they won 4 super bowls between them. If Lovie Smith can use God as a recruiting tool, more power to him. I'm not sure why it would offend Jews to point out that obvious connection. I'm more interested in getting good players with high character who have a passion for the game than anything else. Besides, with the loss of Adam Hayward, Gerald McCoy is going to need some new prayer partners at midfield before the game.
  • avatar


    Buccos, let me give you some past history of Jews being forced in the 1940's and 1950's having to read prayers and versus out of the first testament in Clearwater public schools. Teachers calling us southern Jews Jesus killers and many other negative remarks. The KKK was still strong back then. By the 1960's religion was being taken out of public schools and I thought it was a shame because I felt like God still needed to be there' but just stay more general so all of Gods children could Rejoice and praise Gods love. God gave us many branches of the tree to climb to the Kingdom. Like I said Scott don't know about life except for his little own world. My world is much bigger and I have seen many things and I always come back to; what is the purpose of life.
  • avatar


    Yes Horse!!!!! This is about football not religion or other existential factors. Thank you Horse for your posts.
  • avatar

    You can look at the Revis trade any way you want but in the end it was a bad trade..a catastrophic piece of stupidity on the part of Schiano and Dominick...They could have signed Brent Grimes for less than a 1/3 of the price they gave Revis and still have the 1st round pick from last year on the roster plus not have to give up this years 4th. I get cutting Revis and freeing up the 16 million for other purposes which seeing what Lovie and Licht have done is encouraging but to say that the Revis trade is anything other then one of the dumbest trades imaginable is rather stupid in itself.
  • avatar


    The thing that Scott does not acknowledge regarding the failed trade is the fact that Dominik 'painted himself into a corner' by letting all of the quality free agents sign while trying to trade for Revis. It wasn't that Revis is a bad player, he's arguably one of the best. But if Sean Smith, DRC, Brent Grimes, Talib are all available to sign for no compensation and all four sign for 5.5 million or less per year, but your GM decides that he would rather trade the 13th overall pick and a future 3/4th round pick for the right to pay 3 TIMES AS MUCH as the top 4 corners in free agency (who all had successful years IIRC) then the GM is an idiot. Dominik literally could have signed 3 of those corners for the price of one Revis (3!!). The deal was so clearly panned that no team in the league was willing to give even a 7th round pick to pay Revis that amount despite being a 'Pro Bowler' and Revis ended up taking 4 million less on a one year deal. You cannot separate the deal and the contract because the two were intertwined as was the passing of all the other players the Bucs could have signed instead.
  • avatar


    Totally agree, at the time it was going on I could not understand why we did not pick up a couple less expensive CB's instead of putting all of our eggs in the damaged Revis basket and we would have money to spend on another area of need as well.
  • avatar


    Take that back, maybe over forty year old virgins.
  • avatar


    I wouldn't care if he was a man of great Muslim, Jewish, Buddist, whatever faith, and he got players with the same belief. As long as their faith doesn't allow the sacrifice of young virgins, and they can at least make the playoffs, I'm all in.
  • avatar


    surferdudes, I love that!
  • avatar


    Scott; Fab 1, 2, 3, I so agree with you. Fab 3, I disagree with you. Fab 4, was insulting as a Jew. You don't know jack about life. Quit wearing your religion on your sleeve. There are just as many Christians, Jews, Buddhist, Muslims, New Age Religion's that have love in their hearts and don't have to announce to everyone for a feel good feel.
  • avatar


    Horse.. He did not insult you or your religion in any way...Chill out ! Don't think you know jack about life.
  • avatar


    I have to say that I was a little disappointed with the Christianity point. I think Scott might have been reading a little too much into the players statements because of his own personal beliefs. It seems to me that they were more interested in Lovie's character and honesty than his religion and I think that religion had little to no effect on these signings. And it seems like the majority of the article focused on Christianity, which again seems like a reflection of the authors personal beliefs. Which is fine, if I was coming to this site to learn about Christianity, but that's not why I come here. It seems a bit much that the most words were spent on the discussion of Christianity. And I think that it's not really a well presented argument either. It seems more like projecting.
  • avatar

    Very well said Brooklyn! Now I understand why he's come down so hard on the "evil" Mike Williams.
  • avatar

    Say what you want about the uniforms but i'm not buying into it. If the Bucs uniforms were bad then I'd agree with changing. The uniforms weren't bad. This was all about Nike making a change to get rid of the Reebok design. Plain and simple.
  • avatar


    Fab 4: a very well written piece. thanks for bring your ballls to the table on a topic at the top of my mind when watching the FA intro press conferences online. they are all great guys. people with strong convictions. a new era of Buccaneer men. thank you for sharing. Go Bucs! from Helsinki, Finland.
  • avatar

    Awesome Fab 5 Scott! Thanks!
  • avatar

    The best thing about Lovie/Light cutting Revis is that they have been awesome at getting more (good/great) players and value for the $16 Mill which really makes it hard for me to be very disappointed. Very impressed with all they have accomplished so quickly. And there not even done. GO BUCS!!!
  • avatar

    Very excited for the upcoming draft in hopes that the BUCs finally draft a franchise QB! We BUCs fans deserve to finally have a true franchise QB for many years!
  • avatar

    That's just one of a few reasons, IMO, religious beliefs are a very slippery slope for a sports column, and ...well, maybe should be kept to one's self.
  • avatar


    Not in the sports world!
  • avatar


    You just don't get it Scott. So what if Revis goes to four pro bowls in a row if we're 4-12 those four years? No one is questioning the fact the Bucs got a pro bowl corner, he's Revis. Licht, and Smith are right using that money to get great F.A.'s as you say because of all the needs we have. The team should be playing for superbowls, not pro bowls. I agree with you about drafting a Q.B. in the 1st round, but why give Glennon away for a mid round pick? Two years if McCown is gone you would've groomed two young Q.B.'s instead of one, think of what Glennon could be worth then. Other then that, great fab 5.
  • avatar

    You "are" advocating ... maybe a "Fruedian Slip" there?
  • avatar


    The uniforms are 'o.k.' They make the Bucs look like a video game; I'm just glad they didn't screw the helmit up to bad!
  • avatar


    All I want to say is I've noticed similar chemistry between Licht and coach Smith that I did between Schiano and Dominik.
  • avatar

    God, I hope they don't draft Derek Carr. It would be a blessing if we could get first round talent in the first round.
  • avatar


    I've seen good tape and bad tape.
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