Fab 5. SR’s Buc Shots

• Another reason why Tampa Bay must win against Cleveland at home on Sunday? The Browns are the NFL’s worst road team, losing 23 straight games away from Cleveland. The last time Cleveland won a road game was a 33-30 overtime win at Baltimore on October 11, 2015. That’s over three years ago.

Browns head coach Hue Jackson and QB Baker Mayfield - Photo by: Getty Images
Browns head coach Hue Jackson and QB Baker Mayfield – Photo by: Getty Images

The Browns have come close several times, most recently losing in overtime, 45-42, at Oakland on September 30 of this year. In fact, the Browns have had three overtime games this year, the most in the NFL, and are 1-1-1 in those contests. Cleveland’s lone overtime win came with a 12-9 victory against Baltimore on the heels of their overtime defeat at Oakland. The Browns opened the 2018 campaign with a 21-21 tie with Pittsburgh at home.

It’s crazy, but the Browns have had seven overtime games in the past three years under head coach Hue Jackson, but are just 1-5-1 in those contests. No team has had more overtime games than Cleveland over that span. Jackson, who took over in 2016, is still searching for his first road win as the Browns head coach. The Bucs are trying to make sure that doesn’t occur on Sunday in Tampa Bay.

DRAFT DIAMOND – PENN STATE CB AMANI ORUWARIYE
PewterReport.com is the undisputed leader in Bucs draft coverage each year. During the 2018 draft, we accurately forecasted the selection of three Tampa Bay draft picks as defensive tackle Vita Vea, offensive lineman Alex Cappa and wide receiver Justin Watson were all Bucs’ Best Bets.

Draft season for the PewterReport.com staff starts in September as we do a great deal of scouting during college football season. Trevor Sikkema, who also provides content for TheDraftNetwork.com, will provide SR’s Fab 5 with a weekly segment called Draft Diamond where we focus on a different draft prospect each week. This week’s Draft Diamond is Penn State CB Amani Oruwariye.

Oruwariye stands at 6-foot-1, 205 pounds. He’s a redshirt senior, who has had plenty of game experience, but until this season, that never garnered a starting role. That doesn’t mean he hasn’t been able to make his impact, though, as he has recorded seven interceptions in his career prior to this season. In 2018, he’s been the Nittany Lions’ top outside cornerback.

Oruwariye is a true outside cornerback. He plays both the left and right side of the field, and has shown he is comfortable with shadow assignments in man coverage, as well as Cover 3 zone coverage roles on the outside. He has the mentality and length to be a press corner, but his technique needs work in that area, especially with his hands and when to fight of wide receivers.

The Tampa native (he attended Gaither High School) has the size to get it done on the outside, and his athleticism is not a liability, as can sometimes be the case with bigger cornerbacks. He has good ball skills and challenges passes well in the air. Right now he seems to be a late first-round or early second-round cornerback that the Bucs could truly use on the outside without limitations.

For more on Oruwariye and many other draft prospects, make sure you’re visiting TheDraftNetwork.com and following @DraftNetworkLLC on Twitter.

• Bucs football season is here (so is Tampa Bay Lightning season!) and if you want to buy a new Tampa Bay jersey – or college football apparel – there is only one place to turn and that’s Fanatics.com. PewterReport.com has partnered once again with Fanatics.com to provide our readers with the best online shopping experience and widest array of team merchandise and apparel found on the Internet.

Fanatics- NFL_TampaBay_Buccaneers_300x250The best part about it is that when you click on the Fanatics.com banners or links on PewterReport.com a portion of the sale goes to PewterReport.com to help pay for operating costs of the website you’ve come to love and trust for your Bucs news. So whether it’s NFL, college football, college basketball, NHL or MLB gear you are looking for, you’ll find it at Fanatics.com where they have the retro Starter pullover jackets now in stock. Click here and shop today.

• The @PewterReport Twitter account hit a milestone as we eclipsed 30,000 Twitter followers at the start of the Bucs’ regular season. Now we’re nearing 30,700 followers. Join us, Pewter Nation, and make sure you are following PewterReport.com on Twitter so you don’t miss out Bucs press conference and interview footage as well as breaking news and injury updates. To follow @PewterReport on Twitter please click here, and to follow us on Facebook please click here.

PewterReport.com is also updating our @PewterReport Instagram account more regularly this season. Make sure you are following @PewterReport on Instagram and you can do so by clicking here.

Former Browns DE Carl Nassib - Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images
Former Browns DE Carl Nassib – Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

• With Vinny Curry out this week with an ankle sprain – he was in a cast and on a scooter at One Buccaneer Place this week – defensive end Carl Nassib will be counted on to provide more pass rush on Sunday, and motivation shouldn’t be a problem. Nassib was drafted in the third round by Cleveland in 2016 and featured on Hard Knocks this year prior to be released during the roster cut-downs following training camp and the preseason.

“Yeah, we’re excited, it’s the next game on the list so we want to be 1-0,” Nassib said, downplaying the fact that he will be playing his former team. “I’m excited to go out there and help my team win as much as I can. it’s going to be interesting going to see my old friends and guys that I’ve been with there. I’m just going to go out there and try to get a W.”

• As you may know, we’ve recorded 100 episodes of the Pewter Nation Podcast – and for some strange reason we’ve decided to call our latest show Episode 100 Part 3. Pewter Report.com’s Mark Cook, Trevor Sikkema and Scott Reynolds provide plenty of pre-game Bucs vs. Browns discussion in addition to some humor and entertainment in Pewter Nation Podcast Ep100 Part 3: Are The Bucs The Browns Of The NFC?

If you missed out on Episode 100 Part 2, which was an excellent blend of wit and Bucs insight, you must listen to it as it was one of the most listened to podcasts of the year as the Pewter Reporters discussed Mike Smith’s ouster as defensive coordinator on Monday. You can hear Pewter Nation Podcast Ep100 Part 2: Mike Smith Out As DC by clicking this link.

Pewter-Nation-Podcast-Pewter-ReportListening to the Pewter Nation Podcasts on your drive home from work on Fridays or on Saturdays while doing some chores around the house or running errands this weekend is just smart. So do it. The next Pewter Nation Podcast will be taped immediately after the Bucs – Browns game, so stay tuned for the post-game thoughts from Sikkema, Cook and yours truly as Tampa Bay tries to improve to 3-3 and avoid a four-game losing streak.

The popularity of the Pewter Nation Podcast continues to grow. In addition to listening to the Pewter Nation Podcasts on PewterReport.com you can also subscribe to the free podcasts at PodBean by clicking here and on SoundCloud by clicking here. Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode.

• In last week’s SR’s Fab 5, I chronicled how wide receiver Mike Evans was on the verge of becoming the Bucs’ all-time leading receiver with his first 14 receiving yards in Atlanta, in addition to threatening several other Tampa Bay receiving and scoring records in the future. This week I wanted to let you know that quarterback Jameis Winston is on the verge of making some history of his own.

Winston surpassed Doug Williams on the Bucs’ career passing touchdown list last week when he threw for four touchdowns in Atlanta. Winston now has 75 career touchdowns since joining the team in 2015. Williams had 73 from 1978-82.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston - Photo by: Getty Images
Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Getty Images

With just three more touchdown passes, which could come on Sunday against Cleveland, Winston will surpass Vinny Testaverde, who had 77 TDs from 1987-92. Tampa Bay’s all-time touchdown leader is Josh Freeman, who tossed 80 from 2009-13. Winston needs just six touchdowns to become the Bucs’ all-time TD passer, which should happen later this year.

Winston did break a record on Sunday with nine career games with at least three touchdowns, breaking the previous mark of eight, which was set by Brad Johnson. Winston now has three career games with at least four touchdown passes and can tie Johnson’s record of four with one more.

Winston passed for 395 yards last week in Atlanta and now has 12 career 300-yard games, which is tied with Testaverde for the franchise record in that category. Winston’s QB rating was over 100 in Atlanta, which marked the 15th time that has happened in his career, which is a new Bucs record.

• After not catching a pass in the first two weeks of the season, Bucs tight end Cameron Brate has caught three touchdowns over the past three games and is tied for the team lead with wide receivers Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson and Chris Godwin in that category. The only problem is that the Bucs are now 0-3 this season in which Brate has a catch and a touchdown.

Bucs TE Cameron Brate - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs TE Cameron Brate – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

“So at my own personal expense, shoot, I’d rather win,” Brate laughed when I told him of that dubious distinction. “Absolutely, so the last couple of weeks have been hard for me in that aspect.”

Since 2016, Brate is tied with Minnesota’s Kyle Rudolph and Green Bay’s Jimmy Graham for the league lead in touchdowns among tight ends with 17.

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Scott Reynolds is in his 24th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his son's Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]

35 COMMENTS

  1. I’m sure you guys already know that you can read past page one.

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    • NVM. Wish I could delete last post. Sorry.

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  2. I think that has been the thought at this point – a loss here means all hope for this season is lost after 6 games. Problem is, against rookie QBs, the Bucs are absolutely horrendous.

    Greg Altmann just published the following. While the past does not predict the future, this is pretty damning:

    NFL’s worst records against rookie QBs since 2011?

    Bucs 1-10
    Jaguars 5-9
    Browns 6-10
    Vikings 5-6
    Raiders 3-3
    Bills 7-7
    49ers 6-5
    Redskins 8-6
    Chiefs 4-3
    Titans 9-6
    Eagles 6-4

    So the Bucs are by far the worst team dealing with Rookie QBs going back over the last 7 years. Yes, the Bucs have been bad during this time but not winning here just means they are terrible yet again this year and probably it is the end of Koetter/Licht by the end of the season.

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  3. What scares me about Duffner as DC is that the linebackers, his unit, are really not doing anything that great this year.

    not great at blitzing, not great at gap assignments, not great in coverage. If he is not able to coach them up can he really coach up the rest of the D?

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    • Not great at blitzing?? Umm because Mike Smith rarely called blitz’s for them.

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    • How much of that is Duffner and how much of it is Mike Smiths scheme and rarely blitzing? Maybe Duffner wanted to blitz more and Smith wouldn’t let him. We will find out soon.

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  4. You want to play harder for coach Duffner because you know he cares for you? What kind of crap is that? You should play as hard as possible all the time for yourself, your team, and because you absolutely hate to lose. There’s our problem in a nut shell. We have a mentally weak defense, with mentally weak leadership who’ve been to O.K. with losing for to long. We need a defensive face lift from scheme, to so called star players who’ve under preformed these last few years. I hope Duff can get more out of this crew, I’m just not sure this is the crew that can get it done.

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  5. One word:

    APATHY….

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  6. Just get a win…. no more talk, no more excuses, no more hugs, just win….

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  7. While all games are important in a 16 game season, the notion that a single game will make or break a 16 game season is just media hype. I’m a skeptic about the current Bucs regime and team, but surprising outcomes are always possible in a 16 game season.

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  8. I do not think drafting another RB is necessary. Better to develop Barber and ROJO as this is a pass first team now. Plus, I still like that rookie Wilson. So in summary you have two rookies at RB and a third year guy starting to find his groove. No reason to panic at the RB spot.

    Once the Bucs start building leads and the defense improves so will the running attempts and rushing yards. That is how most NFL teams that have good rushing attack do it. The old school way of playing defense + running the ball with a lead.

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  9. The Browns think they can win this game. The Bucs will find a way to lose like they always do. This is the season. 4 losses in a row and a 2-4 record. its over if they lose and its over for Koetter and Licht. We need a new regime. Think Tony Dungy, President of Football Operations and go from there.

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  10. Is it really the best strategy to have the least rushing attempts in the NFL? Yes, the passing offense is doing well, but if you can’t run the ball down the stretch and into the playoffs, is there really any chance for a team to succeed? How have the RBs been inhibited by an offense that is not running that much? Rojo has the talent. The offense needs to evolve into a more balanced squad. Not running the ball also keeps the D on the field, and nobody wants to see that.

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  11. surferdudes, you are speaking with so much more clarity lately, did you get off the bong diet.
    I remember when Scott presented hiss case for firing Lovie and he changed my mind with his sound argument.
    Last year Scott didn’t call for Koetter’s firing but he sure was pining openly for Jon Gruden to return.
    Thank god that didn’t happen.
    I guess Reynolds had amnesia when it came to Gruden’s draft picks and personnel moves once he got his own lap dog into the GM office.
    The Glazer’s aren’t going to fire anyone for the rest of the season so to speculate now on the subject is ridiculous unless Reynolds has an ulterior motive.
    Let the season play out and see what happens.
    If the offense keeps operating at a high level and the defense keeps playing like a bunch of clumsy moronic girls scouts like they have been for the last 5 games, why would you fire Koetter.
    Licht put together this defense and the personnel and as good a job as he has done finding some offensive nuggets, especially in FA, he hasn’t done the same for the defense.
    So far. his defensive picks have been huge underachievers.
    So why do you throw the baby out with the bathwater.

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    • Drdnest, I have been saying the same thing. Koetter is an offensive minded coach who doesn’t know a lot about defenses. He trusted Mike Smith which turned out to be a mistake. Koetter has built us the best offense we have ever had in Tampa. We are avg 28 ppg and over 450 ypg. Those are crazy numbers for us. Koetter was hired to develop Winston and improve our offense which he has done so far. We just need a great DC who can make our defense avg. With an avg defense we can make the playoffs and be a contender.

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    • Holding the GM responsible who single handedly destroyed the Bucs multi-decade legacy of strong defenses over a sustained 5 year timeframe, with his defenses (players and coaches) getting progressively worse and worse each season until now he and his work product have hit rock bottom with the worst defense in the league for two straight seasons, well, that is not called “hatred”.

      That is called “accountability”.

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    • You said the free agent pics on defense have underwhelmed. I don’t believe JPP is underwhelming.

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  12. I really want to grab Armani Oruwariye in round 1 to pair with Carlton Davis outside!!

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    • He looks good but I really like Greedy Williams from LSU.

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      • Greedy Williams, best DB name ever!

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      • Greedy goes in top 10-15. I’m wanting the Bucs to pick around 20 or a little later. That means they won 8+ games 🙂

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    • I didn’t see anything special about Oruwariye in that video other than his ability to position himself to make plays. Most of interceptions were on balls the quarterback should have never thrown. He doesn’t look like he wants to tackle either. Not starting for Penn State. PASS

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  13. I hope Tampa doesn’t draft another skill player with their high draft picks. Invest in the lines and secondary. 2017 was the year to get a RB and Tampa missed – and SR is right about Tampa’s perception of Martin. That, combined with other needs and the fact that OJ Howard was a gift too good to pass up in the first round, pushed RB down the priority list. A better O-Line will enhance Barber and Jones.

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    • Agree, I want to grab a true LT and move Donovan Smith to RT.

      2019 2nd round pick/Marpet/Jensen/Cappa/Smith 🙂

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  14. Forget the draft until after the season.
    Does anyone think we could trade McCoy for even get a fifth round selection for after the way he has played this season. I don’t.
    Scott, glad you used the Rhonde Barber example of how it takes some time for some players to develop in this instant gratification world we live in today.
    What surprises me even more is some so called “fans” are so qucik to call players busts just so they can be proven right about the choice or thier hatred toward the GM and everything he does.
    That is a big sign of narcisisism. Another character flaw more evident in today’s society.
    As for me, I make no bones about the fact I know very little about any of the Bucs draft picks when they are chosen and because I have a job that doesn’t involve being involved in evaluating professional football talent, to pretend that I did would only make me look pompous.
    I too think RoJo is showing improvement to and hope he continues to do so.
    Why would any reasonable thinking Bucs fan wish otherwise.
    Unfortunately, as we often see from some of the posts out here, there are others that don’t.

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    • Holding the GM responsible who single handedly destroyed the Bucs multi-decade legacy of strong defenses over a sustained 5 year timeframe, with his defenses (players and coaches) getting progressively worse and worse each season until now he and his work product have hit rock bottom with the worst defense in the league for two straight seasons, well, that is not called “hatred”.

      That is called “accountability”.

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    • C’mon Naplesfan, after all these years , you are still spelling Ronde with an ‘h’?

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  15. Good Article Scott. Defense I hope will stay close to LOS because of Browns running game. We need big DL in this game, not a tweener like Spence.
    Bucs should win this game.

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  16. I know the Browns are a different team now, but please don’t lose to them lol.

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  17. What was wrong with Dare O?

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  18. SR creates a straw man to defend Vea…..real shocker!

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  19. And once again, we are looking ahead to the Draft before Halloween. Boo! There’s still a lot of football left before we Bucs fans should be so eager to declare the season over; even if the Browns win on Sunday. This is the history of our fan base. As Buc-N-Phiily said, “APATHY”.

    In spite of the Browns being regarded as the NFL’s worst team the past few years, there will be thousands of their fans infesting our “home” turf to create Dawg Pound south. “Woof Woof” cheers will be heard anytime the Brownies do something positive. They still have that thing we “homers” call “hope”.

    I’ve said many times. All teams can beat you and you can beat all teams. The Browns have made a lot of Draft blunders, but also have made some good choices. I really liked Baker Mayfield’s demeanor. It’s just a matter of putting it together and gaining confidence. They have lost games similarly to our own Pewter Pirates. Those types of defeats are the most difficult to get over.

    As WNB0395 said, this Offense is as good as it’s ever been. Unfortunately, the Defense has been as bad as I can ever remember. We’re not used to this flip-flop. This sure isn’t Dungy Ball. No longer will Sapp’s 17 points win the game. Start fast and just keep your foot on the accelerator.

    Already, after a surprising 2-0 start, a couple of woulda, coulda, shoulda won close losses and one ass-whippin we’re too ready to sing, “The Thrill is Gone” and turnout Don Merrideth’s lights.

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  20. Buc stops here- I knew our Bucs had issues, but that’s worse than I had thought. Add in back-up QBs, and it’s even worse!

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  21. Do you think that our GM heard that Kareem Hunt liked our uniforms and said I could never draft a man with such awful taste?
    RoJo will run the ball when the O LINE starts blocking, easy does it on the RoJo bust talk.
    One more comment. I am glad the Duffer will be on the field, never thought or liked idea of coaching from the booth. How can you get a guy motivated unless you are looking him in the eye.
    GO BUCS

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  22. Poor product for over a decade. Now what was SR saying?

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