FAB 5. SR’s Buc Shots

• Not only did the Miami Dolphins lose starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill to a torn ACL during training camp, they’ve also lost a starting cornerback Tony Lippett to a torn Achilles tendon this week. Former Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler, who has a history with Dolphins head coach Adam Gase dating back to their time together with the Bears, has come out of retirement to sign a one-year, $10-million deal to be Miami’s starting quarterback.

The last time the Bucs played Cutler it was in a 36-10 rout over the Bears last season. Cornerback Brent Grimes and safety Chris Conte each picked Cutler off, with Conte returning his interception for a touchdown. Cutler was 16-of-30 for 182 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions, and also was sacked four times, including once for a safety by defensive end Robert Ayers, Jr.

Rookie linebacker Raekwon McMillan, Miami’s first-round pick, tore his ACL during the Dolphins’ first preseason game. Miami was already down a starting linebacker as Koa Misi was placed on injured reserve prior to training camp with a lingering neck injury.

Facing a Dolphins team at less than full strength only increases the Bucs’ chances of scoring a road win in Miami to start the 2017 season.

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• Our @PewterReport Twitter account continue to grow at a rapid rate and we are closing in on 27,000 followers. Thank you for your support! If you aren’t following us on Twitter for practice videos and live tweets from practice and press conferences in addition to live game tweets and story updates from PewterReport.com, you can join the legions of Bucs fans out there in Pewter Nation that follow @PewterReport by clicking here. And if Facebook is your social media platform of choice, you can follow us by clicking here.

• While Bucs Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has been dominant in training camp practices and in the preseason games, especially against the run, defensive tackle Clinton McDonald, a three-year starter at nose tackle from 2014-16, is thriving as a reserve, backing up McCoy and new nose tackle Chris Baker. Through two preseason games McDonald has four tackles and a tackle for loss.

“I’m enjoying playing both positions,” McDonald said. “You never take camp for granted because it’s a hard grind, but at the same time, to be able to work the nose and to work the three, it makes you more versatile in the scheme of football. I don’t mind it at all. I’m having fun out here.”

McDonald has gained 10 pounds this offseason and is up to 300 pounds. The addition of Baker will likely keep McDonald fresher and less banged up during the season. McDonald has missed at least three games due to injury since his arrival in Tampa Bay in 2014. McDonald had five sacks, two fumble recoveries and an interception in his first season with the Bucs, playing in 13 games. McDonald missed 10 games with a season-ending injury in 2015, but came to record 3.5 sacks in 12 games last year.

• PewterReport.com is excited to partner with Fanatics.com, the leader in sports apparel and fan gear. You might have seen the red Bucs Gear tab on PewterReport.com’s menu bar at the top of the website. Clicking on that link or any Fanatics.com banner on PewterReport.com, including the one to the right, will give PewterReport.com a commission on any sale you make.

Fanatics- NFL_TampaBay_Buccaneers_300x250Whether it’s purchasing Bucs gear or any merchandise from any team in any sport on Fanatics.com, when you buy anything through clicking the Bucs Gear tab or banner ads on this site first you’ll be supporting our efforts here at PewterReport.com. Now you know where to visit if you are looking to purchase a new DeSean Jackson or O.J. Howard Bucs jersey. And remember this when it comes to the holiday shopping season, too. Visit PewterReport.com first then click on the Bucs Gear tab.

We appreciate your support, Pewter Nation. It’s help like this that continues to fund our efforts to provide you with the best Bucs coverage on the Internet and improve our website.

• Tampa Bay defensive end Will Gholston has also added a few pounds in the offseason in an effort to better hold up better against the run, despite being the team’s best run stopper along the defensive line.

“I’m not 300 pounds yet,” Gholston said. “I’m close to the same weight I was last year. I’m about 290. You know I like to play at 285, but it depends on what the coaches want. I feel more comfortable though. It’s not like I lost anything with putting on a few pounds.

“I was smaller before under [former head coach] Lovie [Smith], but I think they like big guys around here now and Coach [Jay] Hayes has showed me how to use my leverage and use my strength because he is a big guy.”

Gholston came to the Bucs as a 282-pound defensive end out of Michigan State in 2013, but shed 15 pounds and got done to around 265 pounds for Smith, who wanted lighter, faster defensive linemen. Now that he’s gained 25 pounds over the last two years, Gholston feels more powerful.

Pewter-Nation-Podcast-Pewter-Report“It’s Year Five and I’m trying to do something I haven’t done,” Gholston said. “I’m trying to get more sacks and have the body type that will last the whole season.”

• The popularity of the Pewter Nation Podcast continues to grow thanks to YOU, Pewter Nation! After hour-long podcasts during the offseason we are now producing two shorter podcasts (30-40 minutes) during football season – one mid-week and another one immediately after the Bucs preseason and regular season games.

Make sure to visit PewterReport.com this weekend for our post-game analysis of Tampa Bay’s preseason win at Jacksonville in a new Pewter Podcast Podcast, featuring Mark Cook, Trevor Sikkema and myself. 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.

• College football season is almost upon us. That means the 2018 draft season starts in earnest for draftniks like me – and perhaps you. It’s never too early to take a look at Bucs mock drafts, is it?

CBSSports.com has the Bucs picking eighth (?!) overall and selecting Penn State running back Saquon Barkley. While that’s a great fit because of Barkley’s skill set as a runner and a receiver, I think eighth is way too high for Tampa Bay to be picking.

Former PewterReport.com writer Charlie Campbell, who now works for WalterFootball.com, has Tampa Bay picking 20th overall, which is more reasonable, and selecting Notre Dame offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey in the first round. Campbell’s second-round pick for the Bucs is Ohio State defensive end Sam Hubbard.

Walter Cherepinsky of WalterFootball.com has the Bucs with the 22nd overall pick and selecting Kansas defensive end Dorance Armstrong in the first round. Cherepinsky’s second-round draft choice for Tampa Bay is USC running back Ronald Jones.

• You may have seen the banner ads for When I Say Maid on the website and wondered what a maid service is doing advertising on PewterReport.com. You don’t have to be rich to have a maid. Between my wife and I working full-time and having four kids that are active in youth football and cheer after school and on weekends – especially during football season – we don’t have time to keep our house clean. And trust me when I say that a household of six can dirty up a home rather quickly.

That’s where the folks at When I Say Maid come in. They offer top-notch maid and housekeeping services in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco Counties in Florida. If you want to have watch parties at your house you’ll want it clean for your guests. And if your watch party gets too rowdy, When I Say Maid can help with the clean up.

Call owners Ian and Charissa today at (727) 216-8816 to schedule a cleaning, or log on to the WhenISayMaid.com website and schedule your cleaning there and receive 10 percent off your first cleaning. Why waste your precious weekend cleaning your house when you could be out enjoying your time off? Better yet, enjoy your clean home courtesy of When I Say Maid. I’ve become a When I Say Maid customer and I strongly encourage you to do the same and support the businesses that help support PewterReport.com.

• And finally, PewterReport.com is hosting a PR Meet & Greet with Bucs fans and PewterReport.com readers, @PewterReport followers and Stick Carriers this Saturday, August 19 at 12:30 p.m. ET at the Brew Bus Brewing Co. tasting room following Bucs training camp. Training camp at One Buccaneer Place on Saturday is from 9:45 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.

Meet the Pewter Report staff at the Brew Bus
Meet the Pewter Report staff at the Brew Bus

The PR Meet & Greet event is free, and for the first 25 fans that mention PewterReport.com to publisher Scott Reynolds upon arrival so is their first beer!

Brew Bus Brewing Co. is located at 4101 N. Florida Avenue in Tampa just 2.5 miles (8 minutes) from One Buccaneer Place by I-275 and offers 20 different beers on tap. Stop by after practice and meet Reynolds, PewterReport.com editor-in-chief Mark Cook and PewterReport.com Bucs beat writer Trevor Sikkema, ask Bucs questions and get the latest scoop from training camp in a truly happy hour at Brew Bus!

Mention PewterReport.com at the bar and receive 10 percent off your beer on Saturday. If you’re hungry after training camp place an order at the bar for The Eatery, the on-site kitchen at Brew Bus, although food will not be complimentary. Click here for The Eatery menu.

There will also be a drawing for PewterReport.com swag and Bucs door prizes at 1:30 p.m. ET. Winners must be present to claim their prize.

Are you going? Click on our Facebook Event Page and let us know. Let’s have a beer and talk Bucs football!

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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]

12 COMMENTS

  1. The Bucs looked quite solid last night. I was impressed with the O-line in the first quarter with the amount of time Jameis had time to throw. The trick for Koetter/Bajakian will be to clear up that gray area in JW’s mindset when to give up on a play. I love JW’s scrap, but that INT illustrates the biggest weakness in JW’s game. I love everything else that he’s doing though. Watching MY team with the scary franchise QB that is going to win a lot of games for our team is truly a joy to behold. Other than that, I thought Doug was impressive and I hope that he stays on track.

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  2. So far I didn’t see a whole lot out of our defensive line rush except for McCoy. Chris Baker looked fat and slow. Ayers and Goldston looked like last year. McCoy was the only one who stood out as to our starters on the line. We’re talking so much about the offense all the time maybe we should start paying more attention to our defensive posture.

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  3. After watching last night’s preseason game, a couple of observations made. I re-watched the game today to be sure. Neither OT Caleb Benenoch nor Leonard Wester is ready to step in for RT Demar Dotson if he has to miss time due to injury. And we’ve seen the back-up QB play with Griffin out. The O-Line must now protect Winston like a Faberge’ Egg. If he goes down we’re doomed!

    The Bucs have lots of cap space even if they want to extend WR Evans sooner rather than later. The Bucs have made no attempts to bolster the O-Line at the tackle position. If Kevin Pamphile slides over, then we have a gap at left guard. I would find no comfort in seeing G/C Evan Smith moved there. There were moments in last night’s game where LT Donovan was having difficulty. Benenoch really struggled with Jags starting pass rusher Dante Fowler. He gave up at least one sack, had a costly penalty and a few other QB pressures.

    Jameis will be deadly when he has time to go through his progressions. But if we have to lose him for 2 or 3 games, we can forget about any playoffs because QB Fitzpatrick is not the guy to put this team on his back and pull it through.

    The Bucs FO is not acting like a team gearing up to make a playoff run. Other NFC teams Atlanta/Carolina/New Orleans are all attempting to bolster their O-Lines – it starts up front. I have no idea what the Bucs will do should such a scenario arise. I can only pray that we never have to face that situation. Go Bucs!

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    • Unlike me, Mac is (literally) nearly always right but I completely agree on OL, have been saying that for two years while PR was parroting (and gloating about it) the coaches’ positivity about the players they have to work with – what did you expect the coaches to say?

      We have no quality depth. Fingers crossed on Sweezy but he’s an unknown at this point and Marpet is our only OL that you’d actually draft If you started from a blank sheet of paper. If Smith can’t make the next step this year we will have over-drafted in the second round, again, and need to draft a LT next year when everyone else will be OL shopping in a supposedly deep year at those positions.

      Licht has done some very good things in mid-late rounds but the early rounds have been killing fields for him beyond the ‘obvious easy’ high first round decisions like taking the best WR and one of the two best QBs, and hopefully also the best TE (VH3 still TBD). After 2-3rd round picks like ASJ, Sims, Roberto and Smith, next year I propose that JL excuse himself from the draft room after the first round and come back at the top of the 4th 😀

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  4. I like seeing young guys redeem themselves from last week (Ryan Smith, Beckwith). But I was disappointed in the play of other young players (eg J. Evans, Moxey, VH3, etc).

    All in all this is still a young team so you are going to see up and down play. Pre season game 3 will be interesting though because none of the backup Dlineman have stood out so far.

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  5. Just a few observations: Jameis looked good and consistent. He seems to be cutting down on the eratic mistakes, with of course the one huge exception. I am sure many thought my rant on the one huge brain fart meant that I was a Jameis hater, actually he is by far my favorite player. If you are winning 30 to nothing take a shot, but at that stage in the game with the score margin what it was, cooler heads prevail. It shows he still needs to work on on “Patience,” and I doubt after several conversations with Koetter the last few days we won’t be seeing a repeat of that calamity. The Defense looked good. If a good OT gets cut at the last minute I would not have a problem paying for him. The Dotson injury concerns me and certainly reinforces the need for depth. Finally I see a significant drop off between the starters and back-up. By midway through the season I see a rotational approach to several positions. I realize for preseason play calling is vanilla so I am looking forward to a deeper playbook. One other thing that Jameis needs is work on the long ball. DJAX is going to need better accuracy to be affective.

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  6. Hey Scott, just read that Jaguars signed K Patrick Murray. He beat out Conor Barth and played really well for us a couple years ago before getting hurt – why didn’t go after him?

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  7. Nice Fab 4 SR.

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  8. If the Bucs have really screwed one thing last few years up it’s been the FG kicker. Not having anyone good since 2011 really says it all. It’s not just been one coach or regime getting it wrong either which is kind of crazy to me. Anyways finding a solid, not stellar kicker is just not that hard! It’s like come on man.
    Anyways back on topic of the Jags game. The game was good. I really enjoyed it. Jameis has improved his accuracy thus far. Really want to see him connect on some deep balls to Jackson. The TD Evans dropped was pretty long through with good touch I thought.
    I was disappointed that Sims and Rodgers didn’t play well like last week. Other than that not too many dissapointments on offense.
    It’s already been said but Jameis absolutely needs to learn to give up on a play. At 23 that should only get better with maturity. Koetter chewed his ass pretty good and he needs that. It’s pre-season yes but still don’t throw damn ball up for grabs when going down to the ground that’s just not acceptable and no pro QB does that that’s any good. Other than that nothing too terrbile on offense stood out to me.
    On defense there were lot mistakes and guys wide open. Lucky for us the balls kept getting dropped or thrown too short (Bortles).
    Lots work to do still but you have to be happy with the run defense. Of course we were playing a bad offense with no run game…..
    Still lot to be optimistic about. Hope Folk can give us a solid year until we find a better option. My gut says he can hit 85% or so ok just really have doubts about longer ones like 45-55 yards. He has two more games to get little streak going and get his head right.
    Go Bucs!!!!!

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  9. Having watched the preseason games to date I see the talent that has so many so excited. Unfortunately, as of yet the skill and talent of the players has not yet shown up in games. I know it is preseason but the passing of that period will soon be at hand. Here’s hoping repeated errors will become much more frequent than they are now. Perhaps the cuts will help get the team to that level.

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  10. Thanks for showing all Buc’s Fans how much better off we could have been if Licht had not made so many bone headed mistakes, Scott. If you had been the GM the same time we have had Licht, we would already have been to the playoffs and gone a long way. I watched the Titans last Preseason Game today and it is clear our former head Scout who was made the Titan’s GM already built up the Titans better than Licht has the whole time he has been here with the Bucs.

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  11. The Bengals have two excellent kickers while the Bucs have none. The Bucs should trade a sixth or seventh rounder next year for one of the Bengals kickers.

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