FAB 5. SR’s Buc Shots

• I talked about it in this week’s Pewter Nation Podcast, in addition to my appearance with J.P. Peterson on 620 WDAE on Thursday afternoon, and I think it’s important to discuss it here. I’m not sure how high the Bucs’ ceiling is in 2018 – perhaps 10 wins, but I think Tampa Bay’s floor is seven wins.

I saw the report in USA Today that forecast the Bucs’ record this year as a 5-11 repeat of last season. Despite the challenge of a tougher schedule, I don’t see how a team with this much talent goes 5-11 again unless there is a rash of key injuries and/or the coaches screw it up with bad game plans and play calls.

Bucs DE Vinny Curry - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs DE Vinny Curry – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

I’ll wait until after the preseason to make my 2018 Bucs season predictions for PewterReport.com, but I’ll let you in on my current line of thinking. Right now it’s going to be somewhere between 7-9 and 9-7. I’m not saying that a long-awaited double-digit winning season and trip to the playoffs is out of the question. In fact I think that’s more likely than the Bucs having another season of double-digit losses.

But after buying into the hype – and helping to build the hype – for too many years only to be burned, I think a more cautious prediction is in order this year. Stand by for that in early September and cross your fingers against any significant injuries in training camp and the preseason.

• We just recorded the final Pewter Nation Podcast of the offseason. How does that sound, Bucs fans? Our next Pewter Nation Podcast will be recorded next Thursday live from One Buccaneer Place as training camp begins, which is the official start of football season. PewterReport.com’s Mark Cook and Trevor Sikkema and myself talked about the floor when it comes to the Bucs’ projected 2018 win total, in addition to the most important training camp battles in Tampa Bay. Click here for Episode 82: ‘Twas The Week Before Training Camp

If you missed last week’s Pewter Nation Podcast, our good friend and colleague Greg Auman from the Tampa Bay Times joined join Cook and Sikkema as last week’s special guest while I was a away on vacation. Find out what Cook, Sikkema and Auman have to say about the Bucs. Click here for Episode 81: The Auman Effect

Pewter-Nation-Podcast-Pewter-ReportThe 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.

• Bucs training camp is two weeks away! Make sure you are following PewterReport.com on Twitter. Become one of the 29,000 Twitter followers of @PewterReport prior to Tampa Bay’s 2018 training camp. If you want updates from Bucs press conferences, training camp practices and new PewterReport.com story notifications be sure to follow us on Twitter and help us grow to 30,000. To follow @PewterReport on Twitter please click here, and to follow us on Facebook please click here.

• In case you missed yesterday’s big announcement, PewterReport.com and News Channel 8 WFLA are teaming up to provide enhanced coverage of your favorite team – the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. News Channel 8 is the long-time official station of the Buccaneers and home for Tampa Bay’s 2018 preseason games, in addition to hosting the popular Bucs Bonus programs as part of Super Sports Sunday following each game.

News Channel 8 Sports Team: Annie Sabo, Dan Lucas and Gabrielle Shirley
News Channel 8 Sports Team: Annie Sabo, Dan Lucas and Gabrielle Shirley

With over 20 years exclusively covering the team, PewterReport.com is the authority on Bucs coverage online when it comes to analysis, unique insight and expert opinion. Together, News Channel 8’s and PewterReport.com will cover the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a way that has never been done before.

The PewterReport.com staff, which is comprised of Scott Reynolds, Mark Cook and Trevor Sikkema, will join WFLA’s Dan Lucas, Annie Sabo and Gabrielle Shirley to appear regularly on News Channel 8 with training camp appearances, as well as scheduled appearances on every Bucs Bonus pre-game show in the preseason, each Sunday night following Tampa Bay’s home and away games, in addition to interviews weekly during the season that will appear on News Channel 8 and on the WFLA.com website.

“News Channel 8 has long been the television leader when it comes to Bucs coverage in the Tampa Bay area, and we are thrilled to exclusively partner with WFLA this season,” Reynolds said. “News Channel 8’s regular Bucs Bonus has become a ‘must-watch’ program for Tampa Bay fans that want highlights and player interviews following the game, and PewterReport.com is excited to provide analysis and commentary to help fans enhance their understanding of Bucs football. We highly encourage our vast audience of Bucs fans and PewterReport.com readers to watch News Channel 8 sports and Bucs Bonus programs for the best coverage of the team, and we are looking forward to working with Dan, Annie and Gabrielle this season.”

• Speaking of media partnerships, PewterReport.com’s radio partnership with 620 WDAE kicks off next Friday, July 27 when Mark Cook joins J.P. Peterson at 4:30 p.m. to talk about the start of Bucs training camp. The PewterReport.com staff will be on 620 WDAE with live radio appearances during Bucs training camp every Monday with Ronnie Lane and Tom Krasniqi at 8:15 a.m. and every Friday at 4:30 p.m. with Peterson.

I’ll be on with Ronnie and T-Kras next Monday morning, July 30 at 8:15 a.m. live from Bucs training camp, followed by an appearance from Trevor Sikkema on Peterson’s afternoon drive on August 3 at 4:30 p.m. Can’t make it to Bucs training camp? Don’t worry, as 620 WDAE will be covering Bucs training camp live each day from One Buccaneer Place with updates and insight from the Pewter Reporters twice a week starting next week and through the month of August.

• One of the players generating a lot of buzz in the offseason is defensive end Vinny Curry, who brings great leadership ability in addition to his toughness against the run and his ability to get to the quarterback. While not the prolific pass rusher that Jason Pierre-Paul is, Curry will take on a role similar to that of former Bucs defensive end Robert Ayers, Jr. and be able to rush from either side as well as inside at defensive tackle in nickel pass rush situations.

Aside from the versatility he brings from being able to play multiple positions, Curry is a fire-starter at practice where he has been known to push and shove and get physical even during walk-thrus. This helps set the tempo for a more physical practice in the trenches and should help bring out the best in Tampa Bay’s offensive linemen and blocking tight ends.

The outspoken Curry brings a lot of clout to the Bucs coming off a Super Bowl victory over New England and will only add to the leadership in the defensive line room. Curry’s presence is already being felt before the pads come on in training camp, and that’s a good thing.

• Summer is here and it’s the perfect time to buy a new home or sell your home as property values are on the rise in the Tampa Bay area. Whether you are looking to buy or sell, call on Mike Cassens of Mike Cassens Realty – part of the Sure Way Realty Group in Tampa – for all of your residential real estate needs.

Cassens serves the entire Tampa Bay area (Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco Counties) and is a graduate of USF. Cassens has been in Tampa for decades and knows every square inch of town. He’ll work hard to sell your house and help you find the new home of your dreams. Visit his dynamic website at TampaHomeDeals.com to look at available inventory or give him a call at  (813) 235-3495.

Cassens is a big Bucs and Bulls fan, so you’re in good company when you choose him as your realtor. Be sure you tell him that PewterReport.com sent you.

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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]

16 COMMENTS

  1. If Dirk has any since at all he will make Fitz the starter until after the 4 th game and give him all reps with first string going into season
    once 4th game is over and by week give Jamies the reps with starting O during the by week.
    If they plan on plying him

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  2. Hey Scott, overall a really good Fab 5, but I think you missed some questions. In my mind, the questions isn’t about the talent on the team (although you covered many good areas of concern), my questions concern the ability of the coaching staff. You touched on Mike Smith and Nick Kozar but I have questions about whether Todd Monken will actually call plays and if so, will he do a better job than Dirk, if not, what kind of impact (if any) can we see out of him. My next concern George Warhop, what is he going to do different this year? Every year we hear about the weakness of the run blocking or pass blocking but honestly, it never really seems to improve. Yes, you can only coach the talent that you have, but I see teams like Atlanta and Carolina with suspect offensive lines always seeming to improve as the season goes on. My other coach on the hot seat is Jon Hoke, again last season’s defensive backfield was abysmal, was that coaching or was it a lack of talent and experience? We have less experience this year, perhaps more talent … what is his plan to coach it up? My final question is about the coach I’m most excited about, Brenson Buckner. Last season the defensive line looked soft and confused, what is coach Buck going to do to improve that? I know Smith will call the defense, but Buck is going to control that line. I yearn for the days of having Rod Maranelli (sp) coaching the defensive line and I think/hope Buckner is up to the challenge of making Buc fans proud of our defensive line again.

    Those are the questions *I* want answered. Hopefully, you can address them in a future Fab 5.

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    • +1

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  3. TBH, this felt like a very hometown perspective.

    If you asked any other fan base what they thought of Justin Evans, the reply would almost assuredly be “who?”. Probably a little early to be calling for the probowl…I can’t get the image out of my mind of Kelvin Benjamin making him fall down in the endzone before catching the easy TD. Hope he’ll come along but maybe a little ahead of ourselves.

    Again, ask any other fan base for the trade value of Will Clarke and Gohlston….crickets.

    Reedy as our answer (which we’ve been waiting for since 1976, with the exception of one season from Clifton Smith) in the return game???????

    IDK, just seems overly rosy to me.

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    • Reedy is about 150 times better in the return game as Humphries. Yes, Hump was consistent, caught the ball well and made good decisions. But, anyone who is happy with a 4-9 yard possible return after that catch is crazy. What was Hump’s longest return of the year? Sorry, but I have never liked Hump back there at all, I was so mad when we got rid of Reedy and I knew that Hump would then be the returner. I’m not saying it should be Reedy, give Wilson and some others a chance, but we ABSOLUTELY need to replace Humphries in the return game. He is way too slow and not shifty enough. He gets tackled way too easily.

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      • +1

        Humphries is a solid slot guy. Let’s keep him there.

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      • +1, give both Wilsons (Shaun and Bobo) a shot at it along with Reedy.

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        • and don’t forget Watson

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    • Your points are mostly valid. But, you don’t ask a fan base about trade value of a player. You ask your pro scouts. Clarke, won’t get much for that guy, but Gholston, he would maby return a 3rd rounder due to his ability against the run. But, again, that’s a part of a fan base perspective

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  4. Scott, really not much news here; most of it is things we have heard before in previous Pewter Report articles. I think we’re all ready for some football.

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  5. Hey Scott, nice job setting the stage for training camp, and to quote Horse, “.. we’re all ready for some football”!

    I want to believe we’ve upgraded our talent level. We lost a couple games at the margins last year, but overall we didn’t have the talent. Licht tried to address the soft spot this offseason, but the guys still have to produce.

    At this point, I think 8-8 is where we are. Will be a fun six weeks.

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  6. Scott
    Free agent strong safety ? Eric Reid?

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    • +1, the talent is worth the possible backlash which shouldn’t be much at this point. Plus, being a free agent so long probably brought down his price tag quite a bit.

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  7. Why is how QB reps are being split up such a big question? Fitzpatrick is the guy for first 3 games so he will get the majority of snaps. Don’t see how giving more snaps to Winston would make sense and help us in those 3 games and don’t see how taking more reps would help Winston when he will be out of practice etc for like a month before returning.

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  8. EastEndBoy, it is also interesting how your attitude skewers your perspective. To be totally honest with you, I have no recollection of the play you mentioned regarrding Evans. I do however remember his intercepting the GOAT for his first NFL INT and also snatching another in the end zone against the Dolphins. I wonder why those escaped your memory.
    And if you think Golston would command a #3 pic. It is you who is a homer. DE’s who can’t sack the QB are a low priority in this league

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    • @drdneast – I’ll forgive your errant comment, as I forgive Evans for his endzone errors and look forward to continued progression on his way to an admirable (though perhaps not probowl) career. Have a quick look back and you’ll read my comment as “Gohlston has no significant trade value”….the comment about him being worth a “3rd round pick” (directly in opposition to what I wrote) was the completely legitimate opinion of another PR poster, but not (clearly) my opinion….that was the point of what I wrote.

      As for Evans being on his way to the probowl because he intercepted Brady 1 time, I guess by the logic Xavien Howard is on his way to HoF….(look it up).

      Finally, as I said above, I am not anti-Evans, I just consider that touting him as a probowler at this point is a little ahead of ourselves.

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