Posts From Mark Cook

FSU’s Fisher Says Winston Is A Victim Of Character Assassination

18 comments 📅March 27, 2015 11:56 am

Oklahoma State v Florida State
Florida Sate head coach Jimbo Fisher was a guest on WDAE-620 AM with morning hosts Tom Jones and Rick Stroud on Friday and went off on some of the reports about Jameis Winston, calling them character assassination and half truths.

Fisher also talked with Jones and Stroud about having Winston as his starting quarterback the past two seasons and raved about his leadership qualities and why he thinks he will be a successful NFL quarterback.

Of course, what else would you expect from a coach, but Fisher who has been vocal in his support for Winston over the last 15 months, certainly sounded passionate and sincere.

But make up your own mind, and listen to the full interview below.

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Bucs’ Ownership Still Confident In Lovie And Licht

7 comments 📅March 26, 2015 7:51 am

The Glazer family is notoriously quiet, some would even say mysterious at times, speaking to the media on rare occasions, usually during the Bucs night practice during training camp, then again at the NFL owners meetings. Joel Glazer met with some of the local media covering the meetings in Phoenix, including friend of, long-time NFL writer Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune.

Kaufman asked a number of questions to the Bucs co-chairman including if what the ownership groups thoughts are on head coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht after a disappointing 2-14 season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan with a brown bag on his head – Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PRQ: In light of last offseason, what is your comfort level that your coach and GM will be making the right personnel decisions. Was your faith shaken in any way?

A: No, we have full confidence in both Jason and Lovie. The key point to us when you look back is do people learn from their mistakes, admit certain mistakes, or do they hold on and not learn from those situations? We’ve had a lot of discussions, and it’s clear they have a very good plan. I always give tremendous credit to people who can identify situations they were involved in, realize it’s not the right situation moving forward, and move on. They both did that, and I give them credit. We’re a year later, we had a positive draft class and we all ultimately agree you build your team through the draft.

 Q: After a 2-14 season, is the seat getting warm for your head coach and GM?

A: No, we’re firmly behind Jason and Lovie. You can look at last year in a lot of different ways. We were 2-14, and you can’t hide from that, but then you can look a little closer and find some positives. We had eight games we lost by six points or less, we had plenty of leads in the fourth quarter, the defense improved as the season went on, Mike Evans was really a bright spot. We’re going to take those positives, bring them forward and add some more positives.

You can read Kaufman’s full interview with Joel Glazer by clicking here.

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Smith: “We Feel Comfortable Picking One Of The QBs”

8 comments 📅March 25, 2015 11:54 am

NCAA FOOTBALL: NOV 02 Miami at Florida StateThe great debate on what the Buccaneers will do with the overall No. 1 pick is becoming more and more clear, as Tampa Bay head coach Lovie Smith told the media on Wednesday morning at a breakfast at the NFL owners meeting, that team is leaning one way.

“Odds are, we’re going to go a certain direction. But we don’t have to make this decision and you wait until you have to,” Smith said to Rick Stroud from the Tampa Bay Times. “We would feel very comfortable, though, picking one of the (QBs).”

Smith said he has no problems with Winston.

“Everything checks out on him, too … the guy can complete every throw,” Smith said. “A lot has been said about his football intelligence. He’s just a leader.”

While most feel Tampa Bay will take Winston, former Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota is still in the equation as well. On Wednesday morning Smith dispelled the notion that Mariota is too timid.

“People say he’s quiet. He hasn’t been quiet around us. Bright, confident,” Smith said. “Of course we know about his athletic ability. We’ve done a lot of research on him and he’s going to be a good player in the league.”

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Bucs Waive LB Magee

2 comments 📅March 25, 2015 10:24 am

The Buccaneers have waived linebacker Brandon Magee, the team announced on Wednesday.

Undrafted out of Arizona State in 2013, Magee signed with Dallas as a rookie free agent, spending brief time on the Cowboys practice squad before appearing in eight games with Cleveland as a special teams player. He was waived by the Browns in July of last year before signing with Tampa Bay a day later.

Magee started last season on the Buccaneer’s practice squad before being promoted to the active roster in September. The 24-year old linebacker played in nine games for the Bucs, showing promise on special teams as he contributed with nine tackles on the kick coverage unit. However, his season was cut short after suffering a pectoral injury during Week 14 against the Lions.

Magee, who is a two sport athlete, has also been selected three times in the MLB Draft. First by the Rays in 2008, then by the A’s in 2011, and most recently the Red Sox in the 23rd round in 2012, where he would participate with the team during last summer’s spring training. Twitter reports on Wednesday said Magee would be reporting to Boston’s minor league complex in Ft. Myers for spring training again this year.

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Bucs Ownership Is Comfortable With Both Mariota And Winston

16 comments 📅March 24, 2015 9:22 pm

Despite Bucs head coach Lovie Smith saying that Tampa Bay could draft a position other than quarterback with the first overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft over the weekend, the odds of the team passing on both Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston are extremely slim.
The Glazers were in Phoenix for the annual owners meeting – Photo by Cliff Welch/PR
On Tuesday Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer spoke to the media while at the annual owners meeting, and had positive things to say about each quarterback, including that the team is comfortable with both players at this point, according to and Tampa Bay Times beat writer Rick Stroud.

“With anybody we’re looking to draft, we do an extensive amount of work on their background, history and all that,” Joel Glazer said. “After everything we’ve done and where we’re at right now, we’re comfortable where Jameis is at, we’re comfortable with Marcus.”

Glazer said he and his family understand the significance of the pick, and feel that Smith and general manager Jason Licht will be have done everything possible to make the right choice when they hand in card – no matter who’s name is on it – in Chicago on draft night.

“Absolutely, this is critical, one of the most important decisions we may make in a long time,’’ Joel Glazer said. “But fundamentally, we believe in letting Lovie and Jason do all their ground work, and their staffs, come to their conclusions, discuss it with us, talk about their reasoning and as long as it makes sense, we’re supportive. It’s that way with every decision and this will be no different. But at the end of the day, whatever decision we make, I see us all being on the same page, agreeing and moving forward.

“No question, having the first pick in the draft is a huge decision for the organization and a huge opportunity for the Buccaneers…But again, this is chance to add to the roster and that first pick, and doing everything we can to get that choice right, is going to be critical.’’

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TV Blackout Rule Dropped By NFL For 2015

6 comments 📅March 23, 2015 2:51 pm

The NFL, often slow to adapt to change, is finally using a little common sense, and has decided to drop the blackout rule that has been in place since the goal post were still in the front of the end zone.

Untouched House Belonging To Indian Aristocrats Is SoldSince the early 1970′s, the NFL required teams to blackout games in the local market if the game was not sold out 72 hours before kickoff. That policy was amended in 2013 and allowed NFL teams to opt for an 85 percent ticket sale mark to allow local broadcast, something the Glazer family has done over the previous two seasons, including buying up the amount of tickets needed to reach the 85 percent threshold.

Prior to 2013, Bucs fans found a number of local games unavailable for viewing locally. At one point in the late 90′s through the mid-2000′s Tampa Bay enjoyed a long string of consecutive sellouts, and at one point boasted a waiting list for season tickets. The team’s inconsistent record after the Super Bowl win in 2002, coupled with an economic recession, saw the season ticket fan base drop dramatically, leading to the blackouts.

The NFL hasn’t said what will happen in 2016, but with the multimillions each NFL team makes per season from the broadcasting contracts, NFL owners can no longer legitimately make an argument that gate revenue is needed to make teams sustainable. While it certainly pads their pockets – with parking, ticket and concession revenue – the product on the field will be the determining factor on hoe many people show up on Sundays.


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Goodell Ok With Winston Not Attending NFL Draft

9 comments 📅March 23, 2015 9:47 am

If Jameis Winston wants to stay home and watch the draft with his family in Alabama, that is just fine with Roger Goodell.

The NFL commissioner sat down with MMQB’s Peter King over the weekend at the NFL owners meeting and addressed the subject.

He was clear that he wanted to spend time with with his family,” Goodell said. “We’ve had that occur several occasions over the years.”

NCAA FOOTBALL: NOV 02 Miami at Florida StateMany feel that Winston will be selected by the Buccaneers who hold the first pick in this year’s NFL Draft.

The last overall pick to skip the draft was Dan Wilkinson who was drafted No. 1 overall by the Bengals back in 1994.

“I wouldn’t know because I wasn’t part of those invites,” Goodell said. “But I’m not concerned with that. I think that it’s something we respect when a player says I’d like to be with my family on that day. It’s an important day for them also.”

In the sit down video interview, Goodell also discussed the meeting requested by Winston earlier this month and said he was clear what the league expects from Winston going forward as an NFL player in regards to the league’s code of conduct policy.

– Winston photo by Cliff Welch/PR




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Bucs Add Free Agent Punter

4 comments 📅March 20, 2015 10:00 am

Many Bucs fans have questioned why punter Michael Koenen is still on the roster, especially after high-priced underperforming players like Anthony Collins and Michael Johnson have been released. Koenen’s salary ($3.25 million) makes his future is shaky at best, and now the Bucs have added some competition at the position with the signing of free agent punter Andrew Wilder.
Arizona Cardinals v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Wilder (6-3, 205) played collegiately at Northern Arizona University, where he served as both a punter and kicker. During his time with the Lumberjacks, Wilder led all FCS punters with a 46.3-yard average in 2012 and ranked fifth in 2013 with a 44.5-yard average.

A native of Scottsdale, Arizona, Wilder was a free agent during the 2014 NFL season.

– Part of this report is from the Buccaneers Communications Department

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Bucs Must Go Back To The Drawing Board After Missing Out On Hardy

26 comments 📅March 18, 2015 3:14 pm

After being part of a two-team race to acquire the services of free agent defensive end Greg Hardy, the Buccaneers apparently pulled a hamstring.

No details of what exactly happened have come out yet – and maybe won’t – other than general manager Jason Licht saying via a Rick Stroud tweet, “At the end of the day, we didn’t feel good about it.”

The disappointment of missing out on Hardy is resonating throughout the Twitter world and on our message boards. Now the Buccaneers will need to go back to the drawing board as they attempt to find a starting right defensive end.

With the majority of impact free agent defensive ends already signed, the pickings are slim, with some unimpressive names like Kroy Biermann, Anthony Spencer and a 35-year old Dwight Freeney left to help with the pass rush. No thanks, I’ll pass.

Tampa Bay did have some success with waiver claims last year, including Jacquies Smith and Bradley McDougald, but counting on other team’s cuts to build your pass rush is a recipe for disaster.
Greg Hardy has 34 career NFL sacks – Photo by: Getty Images
Tampa Bay now hopes they can find an impact pass rusher in the draft in addition to hoping some of their young players on their current roster – like William Gholston and T.J. Fatinikun – can develop into solid pass rushers.

It appears now Hardy will be a Cowboy and the Bucs will have a chance to see “what could have been” up close and personal when Tampa Bay hosts Dallas at Raymond James Stadium at some point next season.

Perhaps Hardy’s domestic violence issue from 2014 was the factor. Maybe we will never know. But one thing is known, Tampa Bay will need to find a right defensive end and with them bowing out of the Hardy race, and things just became a little more difficult.

It is back to the drawing board for Licht and head coach Lovie Smith and hopefully Plan B will be effective.

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Jeremiah Breaks Down All Things Winston In New Podcast

6 comments 📅March 18, 2015 3:07 pm

Former Ravens and Browns scout and now NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah released a new podcast on Wednesday and focused on former FSU quarterback Jameis Winston.

Oklahoma State v Florida StateIn the podcast Jeremiah talked to Stanford coach David Shaw, former FSU QB Charlie Ward, football and baseball teammates and a number of others who have or have had a relationship with Winston.

Jeremiah also broke down Winston’s leadership, his high interception totals, his athleticism and several other aspects of Winston.

From the description of the podcast, “Daniel Jeremiah conducts a scouting report of Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston by diving into Winston’s college tape, combine performance and off-the-field matters. With interviews from college and pro head coaches, former teammates and more, D.J. gets the full picture of the former Heisman trophy winner and looks to answer the question — is Jameis Winston the next Ben Roethlisberger, the next JaMarcus Russell or somewhere in between?”

To listen to the full podcast click here.

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