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. SPENCER IS THE HAPPIEST COACH AT ONE BUCCANEER PLACEIn last week’s SR’s Fab 5, I analyzed Tampa Bay’s running backs position, which should be the most lively, competitive and entertaining training camp battle this summer at One Buccaneer Place. This week, I had a chance to speak at length with new Buccaneers running backs coach Tim Spencer about his players. Needless to say, Spencer, who coached Pro Bowl halfback Matt Forte for years in Chicago, had a huge grin on his face during the entire interview.
“I feel very fortunate to have the group of guys that are working their tails off,” Spencer said. “Doug [Martin], Bobby [Rainey] and the group that has been here – they’ve been doing an excellent job hustling. I don’t even have to tell them. They have that part down. They work their butts off. I wish I could keep all of them because all of them are doing good.”
The group Spencer is talking about consists of Martin, the Bucs’ first-round pick and leading rusher in 2012, and Rainey, who led the Bucs in rushing last year with 532 yards and five touchdowns, along with Jeff Demps and Mike James – both of whom joined Martin on injured reserve by midseason – and newcomers Charles Sims, the team’s third-round pick in 2014 and Brendan Bigelow, an undrafted rookie who played for offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford at the University of California.
“We have the young guy, who is going to be able to push everybody,” Spencer said of Sims. “I like it. It’s probably been the best group of solid three running backs that I’ve been able to coach since I’ve been in the league. I’m looking forward to the competition, but we’re out here in shorts. You get to see the athleticism more so than you can see them with the pads on where they can make people miss and bounce off tackles. That will come, but I like the athleticism that I do see.”
Martin has been talked about as the team’s starter this year due to his past accomplishments, but he also has the most trade value in case other backs, such as Rainey or Sims rise up in training camp and show Spencer, Tedford and the new coaching staff that there may not be as much separation in talent as once thought. But for right now, Martin is the lead back and has shown no ill effects from season-ending shoulder surgery from a torn labrum he suffered at Atlanta.
“I like Doug’s work ethic,” Spencer said. “He’s a physical player and he wants to be right. He doesn’t make many mistakes. I love his work ethic.”
Interestingly, Spencer spoke the least about Martin compared to the other running backs on Tampa Bay’s roster. An NFL source told PewterReport.com that Martin may dance too much in the backfield for the Bucs’ liking, and that the running back’s hesitation last year was just as much to blame for his underwhelming production – 456 yards rushing with just one 100-yard performance – as the poor play of Tampa Bay’s offensive line. The source said that he wouldn’t be surprised if Martin got traded prior to the start of the season.
While that may not be out of the realm of possibility – how many believed starting quarterback Josh Freeman would be jettisoned before Week 6 last year? – it is too premature to see that scenario playing out. If Martin plays well in the preseason regardless of how other running backs fare he’ll stick around because of his talent and experience.
While he wasn’t overly complementary of Martin, Spencer had plenty to say about the Bucs’ other running backs, especially Sims, who starred at Houston and West Virginia and had 3,465 rushing yards and 2,108 receiving yards and scored 51 total touchdowns. Spencer attended Sims’ pro day this year and raved about him to the other coaches and Tampa Bay’s scouts.
“I like the athleticism and I like guys that can do a little bit of everything,” Spencer said. “Is he going to block the way he runs? Is he a tough guy? Do you see the same type of effort when he’s running the ball as you see when he’s pass blocking. That’s one of the things. Now if he’s a great runner and his pass pro isn’t great you still take him, but I like that he took pride in all of his game. That was very important to me.”
Heading into the draft with Martin, Rainey, James – who all had one 100-yard rushing game in a Buccaneers uniform last year – Tampa Bay was set at running back, but couldn’t pass on the versatile Sims, whose receiving ability and running style reminded both Spencer and head coach Lovie Smith of Forte.
“He has qualities that Matt has,” Spencer said of Sims. “He had played receiver, which can be an advantage for us because we can get a couple different guys in the backfield. It’s nice to have that guy. We can do a lot of different personnel things with a guy like that. He has those qualities that Forte has and I like that.”
If he gets the offense down during the preseason he could be the primary back that splits carries with Martin this season. Although Smith has said he prefers to have a workhorse back, his assistants believe in having a rotational system at running back and playing with as many as three rushers.
“I think you have to alternate,” Teford said. “J.J. Arrington was 2,000 yard rusher – and then we had a couple of times where we had guys with 1,000 yards a piece, but I don’t believe one back can carry the load, it’s just too physical. I think you need to have probably two to three guys that bring different things to the table, but I think you need to at least have two to be able to spell them here and there and keep them healthy and that type of thing. That’s the goal – try to create some depth right there where there’s not a drop off when one guy goes in, the other guy comes out, there’s no drop off, we just keep going.”
Spencer agreed that the Bucs need a one-two punch in the backfield.
“I like keeping guys fresh – there’s no question,” Spencer said. “You do need two guys in this league, obviously. But if a guy is going good, you let him go. If he needs a blow, you take him out. I do like to have two guys, but numbers-wise, I don’t know how many we’ll be able to keep. Special teams will obviously play a role in that.”
If Martin and Sims end up being the top two running backs, players like Demps, Rainey, James and Bigelow likely need to shine on special teams in order to secure a roster spot.
“[Including fullbacks] I think I have eight guys in my room and I’m going to be trying to keep them all,” Spencer said. “I’m hoping that I get four or five and I’m hoping that they play teams. If one of those guys is a core special teamer and he’s a running back, that’s great for our situation. If you’re not a one or a two, and you are a three or a four – you’ve got to be a core [special teamer].”
Demps, a former Olympic sprinter and silver medalist, is expected to make the roster because of his role as a utility back. Tedford and Smith put a premium on speed and Demps is believed to be the fastest player in the NFL. In addition to seeing time as a slot receiver and a running back catching passes out of the backfield, Demps will factor into the kick returner competition.
“He’s really fast,” Spencer said. “He’s ultimate fast. He can really run. You sit there with amazement just to see the burst he has. You see guys thinking they are going to cut him off and they whiff. I like what I see in Jeff because Jeff really works.
“We have some things we need to do to really harness that speed and get him in the right situations, but he can definitely help us out. You do see that speed because he has Olympic speed, but the young cat is a fast kid. Bigelow is fast. Sims is fast. These guys are fast on the field.”
Spencer was also pretty high on two young rushers, Rainey and James, that emerged late last year when Martin went down with his shoulder injury.
“Bobby is a guy that can do everything and do everything well,” Spencer said. “I like that guy. He kind of reminds me of the Adrian Peterson we had in Chicago, but with a little more shake.
Peterson was the Bears’ second- or third-string running back for several years and backed up the likes of Thomas Jones, Cedric Benson and Forte.
“Adrian could do everything – he blocked well, he was a smart football player and he was in the right place and he could catch the ball. He could do it all. You’ll find a spot for that kind of guy.”
James, who is being tried as a personal protector on punt in addition to being a contender in the Bucs’ backfield, has also caught Spencer’s eye. James has added nearly 10 pounds of muscle this offseason without sacrificing any of his speed.
“I call him ‘Big Back,’” Spencer said. “He gets downhill quick and I like that. He’s about 230 pounds and he’s smart and physical. He’s got enough wiggle. He doesn’t have a lot but he’s got enough. He goes hard and you’ll get out of his way.”
Bigelow, the newest running back in Tampa Bay, is sidelined with an injury right now, but displayed some skills that make him a perfect fit in the Bucs’ offense during the rookie mini-camp.
“He brings speed, he has good hands and he has been in the system,” Spencer said. “He’s got a little hamstring issue now, but when he gets back in hopefully that carryover he’ll have from knowing the system will help because he does have speed and really, really, really good hands. It will be interesting. It’s a deep spot and it’s good.”
With six halfbacks that could ideally play in Tampa Bay’s offense, Spencer knows that the Bucs will be cutting a couple of good players in September prior to the start of the 2014 regular season.
“If those guys are doing well, they’ll do well [elsewhere],” Spencer said. “If it doesn’t work out here, they’ll do well somewhere else. I like what I have. I can’t wait to see these guys perform. It’s going to be fun. I just hope they all stay healthy and they all have an equal chance to get out there and do the things that they can do.”
The Bucs certainly don’t mind going into training camp with such depth at running back, especially due to the fact that the team was hit with so many injuries at the position last year with four rushers on injured reserve.
“This is my deepest running back class I’ve had,” Spencer said. “I’ve had some good ones, but this is probably the deepest because it’s deep! It’s deep to the very last guy for a spot. It’ll be interesting in camp.”
FAB 2. FULLBACK IS A DYING POSITION IN TAMPA BAY AND THE NFLThe Bucs didn’t have much interest in re-signing Erik Lorig, the team’s starting fullback in the offseason – not just because Lorig was making just over $1 million in 2013, but because the position is becoming devalued across the NFL and in Tampa Bay. The NFL has become a pass-first league and putting an extra wide receiver on the field has become more important than having a lead blocker, especially with the spread offense with single-back sets becoming more prevalent in pro football.
“Fullback, what’s that position?” Bucs head coach Lovie Smith joked at the NFL Owners meeting in Orlando this spring. “For us, we think that it is a position. I know as you look on our roster right now, but as a general rule, the fullback position is a position that is being pushed aside a little bit because of what type of guy you have to have at that position. I think there’s still a place for it, but that guy has to be able to do multiple things.
“You’re not going to have a two-back set that often. So you have to warrant him dressing, so he has to do more things like I said. Those things are normally special teams. You have to have a certain type of guy that can be a big lead blocker. You have other options at lead blocker, too. You can put other positions there, too, whether it’s a big offensive guard, a big offensive lineman, he can take some of the lead plays also. With your fullback, you want him to be versatile enough to go outside and not just line up in your traditional fullback position. That’s a hard guy to find.”
The Bucs had three fullbacks on the roster for a brief period of time this offseason, but cut Josh Baker after a few weeks, leaving holdover Lonnie Pryor and newcomer Jorvorksie Lane as the two lone lead blockers in Tampa Bay. Not only are Pryor and Lane battling each other for one roster spot, they are also battling some tight ends for a place on the Buccaneers, too. In single-back sets, offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford will have his tight ends motion into the backfield as an H-back to the wing position to lead block for the halfback.
It would not be a stretch to see the Bucs keep four running backs and four tight ends rather than a fullback this year, even though that’s not how position coach Tim Spencer, a former fullback himself, wants to see it go down.
“You can use a tight end [to lead block], but it’s different,” Spencer said. “The H [back] is different than the F [back]. He can do some of those things, but in the down-home, dirty running – isoing the linebacker at the line of scrimmage – that’s different when you are five yards deep. It’s easier when you’re up there at the line of scrimmage. When you are coming from five yards distance, now that’s a collision.
“Obviously we would like to have one of those guys (Pryor or Lane), but that guy has to be able to play teams. You have to be able to do more than bang people. He’s got to be able to catch the ball. He’s got to be an athlete and at least play special teams. I’m hoping our guys can be able to do that so we can have that guy when we want to run it and smash it.”
The Buccaneers’ running game features different personnel groupings, but only a few feature a fullback. Spencer said that in order for Pryor or Lane to stick on the 53-man roster they will have to display versatility on offense and special teams.
“It’s very important for us to have a fullback,” Spencer said. “We like a big guy like that in the run game. That guy has to be able to play special teams, he has to be able to knock people out and catch a flat route. He has to do some more things like go out wide – not go down the field, but other things.
“I think Jorvorskie can do that, but I just haven’t seen those guys on teams. We won’t know until the pads come on this summer.”
Lane, who is 258 pounds, was a running back at Texas A&M years ago and can run the ball as well as block, although he likely won’t touch the football unless it’s as an outlet receiver. He’ll need to impress as a lead thumper.
“I think he can cover them up,” Spencer said. “He’s pretty big.”
Pryor, who is more svelte at 229 pounds, has more speed and may be able to be more of a factor on special teams covering kicks and punts. Unlike the team’s halfbacks, fullbacks like Pryor and Lane haven’t had much of an opportunity to strut their stuff during the OTAs and mini-camps, which are padless and non-contact.
“It’s tough, especially for the fullbacks,” Spencer said of the on-field work during the offseason. “You can see the running backs – the tailbacks – because they do a little more things and are put in positions where they can make plays. The fullback makes his bread when you put the pads on. There aren’t a lot of things for him to do and show his athleticism except for the drills. But I do like what I see in the drill part of it.”
FAB 3. EXAMINING QUARLES’ NEW ROLE WITHIN THE BUCCANEERS ORGANIZATIONA lot of savvy Buccaneers fans and PewterReport.com visitors noticed that Shelton Quarles received a promotion according to the front office roster on Buccaneers.com. I interviewed Quarles this week to find out what his move from director of pro scouting to director of football operations was all about.
Quarles will essentially serve as head coach Lovie Smith’s right-hand man the way Paul Kelly served Jon Gruden in Tampa Bay, the way Jay Kaiser filled that role with Raheem Morris and the way Kevin McConnell assisted Greg Schiano over the past two years.
But there’s a twist with Quarles. He’ll still be serving the team as a pro scout and talent evaluator and he’ll also report to the team’s new general manager.
“I would say that’s a fair assessment,” Quarles said. “Being able to coordinate things with Lovie and our general manager Jason Licht. I think it’s a good opportunity for me to communicate quite a bit with the league and get up to date with the policies. The personnel side of things, to a certain extent, is pigeonholed into looking at players and not having too much communication with the league. Whereas now with the expanded role and responsibilities, I have the chance to communicate with people I’ve never communicated with before and become familiar with a lot of different things as it relates to compliance with the league. I’m excited about the opportunity. It’s a good thing.”
The Buccaneers have done a lot of shuffling in the front office since Smith and Licht took over in January. Gone are director of player personnel Dennis Hickey and director of college scouting Eric Stokes along with several of the team’s college scouts, recently replaced by Jon Robinson and Mike Biehl, respectively. Scott Cohen has been elevated to Quarles’ former director of pro scouting position when the former Buccaneers linebacker from 1997-2006 was given a promotion.
“It was a combination of Jason and Lovie thinking this would be a good fit with my knowledge of the organization and that particular role,” Quarles said. “I’ve watched from afar, of course, not knowing the definite policies, but knowing what needs to be done on a day in, day out basis.”
For Smith, who coached Quarles when he was Tampa Bay’s linebackers coach from 1995-2000, the previous relationship he had with his former pupil made him the obvious choice as his prime assistant.
“There’s definitely an extra level of trust or trust in general, knowing what kind of man he is,” Smith said of Quarles at the NFL Owners Meeting. “I have leaned on Shelton quite a bit, getting his expertise. He’s been here a while. He knows all of the players. When you come in new, you have to trust someone. … He has been very helpful to me in the transition and I didn’t expect anything else.”
The fact that Quarles will now be on the practice field on a daily basis rather than confined to his office to watch tape of potential free agents from other teams will help him better scout the existing talent on the Buccaneers and identify the team’s needs.
“It gives me an opportunity to see it from their vantage point with my personnel background and knowing what type of players fit in our league and work well within our organization and what that looks like,” Quarles said. “From the players side, knowing how those guys communicate amongst each other, knowing that will help as well.
“I’m excited about the organization. I was talking to my wife earlier and she said, ‘You bleed pewter and red.’ I feel the same way. I’ve been with this organization for 17 or 18 years. There’s no other place I’d want to be. If it had to happen and I had to move on, then so be it. But I love Tampa. My kids were born here. I love the people. We enjoy the area. The Glazers have been loyal to me. It all started with Malcolm Glazer hiring Tony Dungy.”
Quarles, whose 985 tackles rank fourth-highest in Bucs history, spends the majority of his time right beside Smith, a man he has learned from and admired for years. Quarles marvels at how Smith’s knowledge of the game and about being a damn good head coach has grown exponentially over the years.
“We have a lot of meetings together and we go over lots of [league] rules and responsibilities,” Quarles said. “Just listening to Lovie talk in the meetings we’re in whether he’s talking about the equipment guy or somebody with their contract or somebody that we want to bring in, he is someone that is well versed and well rounded in all aspects of being a head coach. It’s fun listening to him talk and listen to him make decisions and the reason why he made them. He’s gained a lot of knowledge over his years as a head coach, and I’m looking forward to continuing to work with him to develop a great football team.
“We start off meetings about getting to Phoenix [for the Super Bowl]. That’s our goal. We want to get there and win another championship for our organization.”
As a Pro Bowl middle linebacker in 2002, Quarles was a vital member of the Buccaneers’ victory in Super Bowl XXXVII. By now working directly with both Smith and Licht, Quarles is not only enhancing his own experience as a vital member of Tampa Bay’s front office, he’s also in better position to help build the right Buccaneers roster that will return the team to it’s winning ways.
“That was a fun time,” Quarles laughed. “We need to get a few more of me out there and we can win another Super Bowl.”
FAB 4. COLLINS EMERGING AS A LEADER ALONG TAMPA BAY’S OFFENSIVE LINEWith the departure of left tackle Donald Penn, right guard Davin Joseph and center Jeremy Zuttah, the Buccaneers lost more than just a lot of experience along the offensive line. Tampa Bay also lost a lot of leadership on offense.
Penn was the outspoken leader of the offensive line – and at times the offense – while Joseph was among the most respected Buccaneers and perhaps the team’s best leader by example. Declining play once both players turned 31, combined with a 4-12 record in 2013 and high salaries in 2014 led the Bucs to cut both Penn and Joseph, in addition to trading the underachieving Zuttah to Baltimore.
Tampa Bay’s vacancy at left tackle and center have been filled by Anthony Collins and Evan Dietrich-Smith, respectively, while the team is still looking for a guard to replace Joseph. More importantly, both veteran linemen have stepped up to fill the leadership void that the heavy turnover in the offensive line room created.
“Coach Hop (offensive line coach George Warhop) said it the first day,” Collins said. “Everybody on the O-line is a leader. We’re a leader for the whole team. The whole ‘C’ (captain patch) on the chest thing doesn’t matter. We’re the O-line. We need to come first.”
Warhop is a very demanding type of coach that seems to fit Collins’ desire to lead the team.
“To be honest with you, I think we determine the team,” Warhop said of his offensive linemen. “I think how my guys play and how they practice has a great effect on the whole team. So if the third group doesn’t perform well in the preseason, how are you going to evaluate the third group of receivers, running backs, or whatever? If we’re not practicing well against our defense, how are you going to evaluate the linebackers and the [defensive] linemen? So I firmly believe we are the [key] to us being successful, selfishly or not.”
The duo of Warhop and Collins is a match made in heaven. The athletic left tackle and his position coach share a feisty attitude that borders between cocky and confident.
Collins is essentially a slimmed down version of the talkative Penn when Penn was in his prime. When the former Bucs left tackle was on top of his game he brought a real swagger to the offensive line and was able to go toe-to-toe with some of the game’s best pass rushers like Jared Allen, Osi Umenyiora, DeMarcus Ware and Will Smith and shut them out. The team hopes the 28-year old Collins has the same kind of physical makeup to have that level of success in Tampa Bay.
Collins has played well for stretches in Cincinnati at both right tackle and left tackle, which is where he ended the 2013 campaign, but has yet to go an entire season wire-to-wire for 16 games as a starter. That’s something he’s looking forward to proving he can do in Tampa Bay.
“Be a man,” Collins said when asked what it will take to be a starting left tackle for the Buccaneers. “First off, you have to be a man. A lot of people are uncomfortable at that position. I’m very comfortable at that position. You’ve got to be a man and prove it. Down in them trenches you can’t be soft. Once you’ve been a man, everything else will fall into place.”
The first thing that Bucs fans will notice about Collins is his fit and trim physique compared to the large, sloppy body that Penn had at times when struggling with his weight. Because Tampa Bay will be running a more up-tempo offense under new offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford, the team’s offensive linemen like Collins must be in peak physical shape from a conditioning standpoint.
“Our strength coach, Coach K (Dave Kennedy), he’s getting us in shape,” Collins said. “He’s making sure that the tempo is feasible. He’s working us all through the summer to make sure we’re ready to go.”
Warhop has already seen Collins’ body become even more conditioned over the past couple of months.
“He’s doing a nice job in the weight room, his body has changed based on what Dave’s doing with him in there,” Warhop said of Collins. “He’s done a nice job here. It’s always a process, but he’s embracing it and doing it right more and more every day, which is what I want. I’m really impressed with him. He studies his butt off. He does not want to make a mistake, and that goes a long way. If I didn’t trust him, he would not be here. So we have a lot of faith in him and that’s why he’s here and in that position.”
No unit has gone through the type of transition that the offensive line has this offseason in Tampa Bay with 10 of the team’s 15 linemen being either imported through free agency or the draft. Collins said that despite all of the new faces the offensive line unit has come together quickly.
“I didn’t know anybody,” Collins said. “The first day I had to know everybody. Once they got to know me and I got to know them it made it real easy.”
As much of a leader as Collins has already become during the offseason, he defers the top ranking leadership role to veteran quarterback Josh McCown, who has taken One Buccaneer Place by storm with how connected he has become to each and every unit on offense. McCown has quickly earned the respect of veterans and rookies alike and everyone has marveled with how quickly and effectively the Buccaneers offense has fallen in line behind him.
“He’s a real leader,” Collins said. “He’s a veteran. You can’t question that. As far as his play, it’s going to speak for itself. But as far as him being a leader, he’s all we need.”
FAB 5. Here are a few things to hold you over until the next edition of SR’s Fab 5:
• Don’t be surprised if the Buccaneers are without a 1,200 rusher despite the expected emphasis on the running game this year. The reason is because Tampa Bay’s rushers will be splitting carries this year more than ever. If the team rushes for a collective 1,800 yards as it did in 2012 when Doug Martin rushed for 1,454 yards during his Pro Bowl season, expect the distribution of yards to be quite different in 2014.
Tampa Bay’s leading rusher might barely top 1,000 yards, while the primary backup contributes 500 yards and the third running back chips in 300 with the carries being divided up between three runners. The carries have been even more split up during this offseason among the team’s six running backs in an effort to give each runner a chance to show he knows his assignments and display his athleticism.
In addition to trying to showcase each halfback, Buccaneers running backs coach Tim Spencer is also making sure his stable of rushers has fresh legs heading into August.
“I try to make sure I don’t wear out the group so that we’re healthy heading into training camp,” Spencer said. “We’ve been really splitting the reps up. If you ask Doug, he’ll say he wants more reps, but you have to pull back with that guy – all the guys really.”
• Buccaneers offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford and quarterbacks coach Marcus Arroyo aren’t the only ones who remembered undrafted free agent running back Brendan Bigelow’s big game against Ohio State in 2012. Bucs running backs coach Tim Spencer saw Bigelow rip off 160 yards and two touchdowns on just four carries two years ago.
“I saw that live because my son, Evan, is a starting receiver at Ohio State,” said Spencer, who also played for the Buckeyes. “I was out there that year for the game and I got to see him live and in person.”
No wonder the speedy Bigelow ended up being signed by Tampa Bay as an undrafted free agent.
• Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht has the final say when it comes to adding players in free agency and the draft, but when it comes to the final 53-man roster head coach Lovie Smith has final say over the team’s personnel. Thus far, Licht and Smith have seen eye-to-eye on personnel matters and they already have a strong rapport that will help both men be on the same page when it comes to roster cutdowns in September.
But there will be another decision-maker that will have an incredibly strong influence over the final roster, and that’s special teams coordinator Kevin O’Dea. With the final depth chart spot in most units coming down to how those reserves perform on special teams, O’Dea, who has coached with Smith before in Tampa Bay and in Chicago, will have a lot of input over the final 10 percent of the roster.
Smith trusts O’Dea implicitly and the special teams coordinator could be the ultimate decision-maker when it comes to deciding if the Bucs will keep three or four tight ends, five or six wide receivers, nine or 10 defensive backs and whether Tampa Bay keeps a fullback or not.
• George Warhop is as pleased as any NFL offensive line coach can be with his unit considering that the OTAs and mini-camps are non-contact practices without pads. Warhop is integrating 15 offensive linemen, including 11 that were not on the team’s 53-man roster last year, into Jeff Tedford’s new offense.
“They’ve all done a nice job,” Warhop said. “I’m really, really pleased. They come out here, they work every day. I can’t compliment them enough about their effort out here in the OTAs and before that in the phase two work, they’ve worked their tail off. They’ve been very responsive to what we’re doing. Jeff’s offense is different from most NFL offenses in terms of how we communicate and they’ve embraced that. We have very, very few mistakes. So I’m excited about all the new guys.”
With Anthony Collins locked in at left tackle, Evan Dietrich-Smith anchoring the line from the center position and Demar Dotson entrenched at right tackle, all eyes remain on the two guard positions, which currently don’t have a starter.
“I will just say they’re all doing a nice job,” Warhop said. “We’re rolling several guys in there at guard, there’s probably six or seven guys playing guard. And at this point, I can’t say there’s a whole lot of separation because we’re not in pads. But they’ve all done a nice job.”
• And finally, we have some exciting news to share. We will be having a pre-training camp Pewter Report get-together at Keel & Curley Winery, the official winery of PewterReport.com, in Plant City, Fla. on Saturday, July 19 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. But this isn’t just any ordinary get-together.
The PewterReport.com editorial staff, including yours truly and editor-in-chief Mark Cook, will be on hand to answer any Bucs-related questions, in addition to a Q & A session with Tampa Bay tight end Tim Wright, who will be available to take pictures and sign autographs. But wait, there’s more.
The PewterReport.com visitors in attendance will be able to take a group tour of the Keel & Curley Winery and do a wine tasting of some of the most delicious wines you’ve ever tasted for just $5. That’s half off for PewterReport.com fans, and it’s a great activity to do with your significant other.
If wine is not your beverage of choice, Keel & Curley is also home to Two Henrys Brewing Company, so there is plenty of beer to sample and drink, too, amid all of the Bucs knowledge that will be flowing. I highly recommend The Standard chocolate stout. Stay tuned to the front page of PewterReport.com next week for more details on this July event.
Before I let you go, please help out our good friends and business partners, Keel & Curley Winery, by signing this petition to help them save their wine-tasting room. It will only take two minutes of your time and I would greatly appreciate it.
The Keel family is absolutely great and has been a real asset to the Plant City community for well over a decade with their blueberry farm and winery. Thank you in advance for helping with their petition and feel free to share the link with others and encourage them to sign it, too.
Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd 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 enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]
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