FAB 5. SR’s Buc Shots
• PewterReport.com had a great year in prognosticating Tampa Bay’s draft pick by hitting on three of our Bucs’ Best Bets – defensive tackle Vita Vea, offensive lineman Alex Cappa and wide receiver Justin Watson. As it turns out, we almost nailed four of them.
Word has it that the Bucs were strongly considering drafting Washington State quarterback Luke Falk with Tampa Bay’s sixth-round pick, but general manager Jason Licht’s good friend, Tennessee G.M. Jon Robinson, beat him to it by four picks in the sixth round. With Licht addressing a plethora of pressing needs this year, don’t be surprised to see Tampa Bay draft a quarterback next year to serve as Jameis Winston’s backup – even if Griffin makes serious strides this offseason and beats out Fitzpatrick for the backup job.
• The Buccaneers passed on signing former Denver running back C.J. Anderson, and watching him sign with NFC South rival Carolina could come back to haunt Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht, especially since he signed a one-year deal worth $1.7 million. A backfield that has rookie Ronald Jones II, C.J. Anderson and Peyton Barber and Charles Sims is better than a backfield that has Jones, Barber, Sims and Jacquizz Rodgers.
“We are always looking and always monitoring, but I would say right now we’re not in any hurry to add a back,” Licht said. “Some people might view someone else as an upgrade – that may be their perception, but we may feel differently. We always have our eye out for good players. We’ll see how it goes.”
Without saying it, Licht seemed to imply that the 27-year old Anderson wasn’t necessarily a great running back. But with 3,051 yards, 20 touchdowns and a 4.4 avg. the 5-foot-8, 224-pounder is certainly more accomplished than any back on Tampa Bay’s roster. Isn’t Anderson, who has 146 catches for 859 yards (8.3 avg.) and four touchdowns better than either Sims or Rodgers, who are the leading candidates for the third down back role? It sure seems like it.
One injury to Jones and the Bucs’ running back stable is exactly the same as it was last year when it struggled (minus a struggling Doug Martin) to run the ball with consistent effectiveness.
• PewterReport.com continues its coverage of the 2018 Bucs draft in the latest Pewter Nation Podcast, as Trevor Sikkema, Mark Cook and yours truly offer up our expert opinions as we preview Tampa Bay’s rookie mini-camp, which will be held this weekend. The popularity of the Pewter Nation Podcast continues to grow, so be sure to give it a listen. You can click here to listen to Episode 72: New Kids On The Block.
If you missed PewterReport.com’s post-draft edition of the Pewter Nation Podcast where we analyze the draft picks of Jason Licht and Dirk Koetter you can click here to listen to Episode 71: Locked In On Licht’s Draft.
If you haven’t listened to our latest podcast yet, it’s the perfect way to enjoy your lunch on a Friday afternoon or battle rush hour traffic on your way home from work. 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.
• After some missteps in drafting and signing guys with questionable character, such as former tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and former defensive tackle Chris Baker, Bucs general manager Jason Licht told me that if there were any character question marks about players in this year’s draft that they wouldn’t be considered by the Bucs.
“I took more guys off our board this year than I ever have,” Licht said. “Usually you have the guys that you take off for medical reasons, and you have the guys that are multiple offenders for drugs or arrests. We can take a guy that made a mistake that we feel good about. But we also took off guys that would be sucking the culture out of the organization or guys that I couldn’t go to bed at night about, wondering, ‘What’s next?’ Those guys just aren’t good fits. At the end of the day it just kicks your ass and comes back to bite you. If we felt that they would suck the culture out of the locker room they were off the board.”
Consider that a lesson learned from dealing with the lazy Baker last year.
• Do you want up-to-the-minute news and observations from this weekend’s Bucs mini-camp? Make sure you become one of the 29,000 Twitter followers of @PewterReport. If you want updates from Bucs press conferences, rookie mini-camp, Bucs OTAs this offseason 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.
• You might have heard about this about new Bucs defensive line coach Brentson Buckner before, but just in case you didn’t, here’s an interesting nugget about him from head coach Dirk Koetter at the NFL Owners Meeting back in March. After Buckner, a former nose tackle in San Francisco, Pittsburgh and Carolina, retired from the NFL he began his coaching career at the youth football level in North Carolina and that’s where he developed his relatable style and teaching methods.
“We haven’t been on the field together yet, but it’s always a plus – a guy that played the position,” Koetter said. “That’s always a plus from the players’ standpoint. He has a unique background. When he was transitioning from playing to coaching, he started off in youth football. I’ve had other people I know reach out to me that played on his little league team. My daughter dates Luke Maye, the basketball player from North Carolina. Luke Maye played little league football and Buck was his coach. I’ve had other players that we’ve had on our team reach out to me and say, ‘Buck was my little league coach.’ It’s a small world. It really is.
“When he interviewed with us that was one of the things he was telling Mike Smith, Jason and myself. When he first started coaching, he was coaching kids, and that’s how he developed his coaching style. Now the fact that he played for a long time also helps out.”
That is a very interesting story about an assistant coach that is expected to make a big impact in turning around the fortunes of Tampa Bay’s defensive line.
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