FAB 2. 2018 Pewter Predictions

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will begin the 2018 regular season on Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans against the reigning NFC South champion Saints. That means it’s time for PewterReport.com to post its 2018 Pewter Predictions when it comes to the Buccaneers players.

Who will be the MVP of Tampa Bay’s offense, defense and special teams? Who will be the Most Improved Players on offense and defense? Continue reading to find out.

2018 BUCCANEERS OFFENSIVE MVP
WR Mike Evans
Tampa Bay made Evans the second-highest paid wide receiver in the offseason with a rich, lucrative contract extension, and the 6-foot-5 wide receiver seems intent on earning every penny. Evans is one of a select few wide receivers to begin his NFL career with four straight 1,000-yard seasons. If he stays healthy for at least 14 games, pencil him in for another one.

Bucs WR Mike Evans – Photo by: Getty Images
Bucs WR Mike Evans – Photo by: Getty Images

Evans has recorded two 12-touchdown seasons in Tampa Bay – one during his rookie season and another one in 2016 when he made his first Pro Bowl appearance. Evans’ end zone production dipped to five last year, and he had 320 fewer yards, too. Look for Evans to be the engine in Dirk Koetter’s passing game, catching 80 passes for 1,250 yards and scoring 10 touchdowns as the Bucs’ best weapon on offense.

2018 BUCCANEERS DEFENSIVE MVP
LB Lavonte David
With apologies to Pro Bowl middle linebacker Kwon Alexander and Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, David will wind up taking MVP honors on defense. He just makes too many splash plays to be ignored – even if he continues to get snubbed for the Pro Bowl. Last year, David led the Bucs with five forced fumbles, in addition to an astounding five fumble recoveries, including one for a touchdown, which was his third defensive score in his illustrious seven-year career in Tampa Bay.

Alexander made get the nod as the team’s leading tackler this year, but expect David to once again be a takeaway machine with a healthy dose of forced fumbles, fumble recoveries and interceptions, which is something David didn’t have last year, in addition to recording a sack. Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith will be blitzing David and Alexander more this year, and look for David to notch five sacks en route to his second Pro Bowl appearance.

2018 BUCCANEERS SPECIAL TEAMS MVP
K Chandler Catanzaro
Catanzaro needs to be the Bucs’ Special Teams MVP this year as the kicker position has been a huge letdown in Tampa Bay in nearly every season under general manager Jason Licht. Catanzaro, who was given a contract that pays him $3 million annually, has a stronger leg than Patrick Murray, who wound up replacing Nick Folk last year. But the biggest issue for a kicker is accuracy.

Catanzaro began his career in Arizona making 87.9 percent of his kicks as a rookie in 2014 and then 90.3 percent of his field goals the next year. After a disappointing season in which he made just 75 percent in 2016, he was released and latched on to the Jets where he rebounded, making 83.3 percent of his field goals. The Bucs would love him to connect on 85 percent of his kicks or better, and that is an attainable mark.

Bucs RB Peyton Barber - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs RB Peyton Barber – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

MOST IMPROVED OFFENSIVE PLAYER
RB Peyton Barber
After leading the team in rushing in 2017 with 423 yards and three touchdowns, Barber hangs on to the rushing crown in 2018 with his first 1,000-yard season. While not flashy, Barber is the type of power rusher that plays ahead and can pick up a solid four yards per carry and move the chains. With more experience and a more svelte physique, Barber is ready to have a breakthrough season with a handful of 100-yard games. At 230 pounds, Barber has shown that he has the size to handle the workload, and with rookie Ronald Jones being a disappointment thus far, he might have to be the bell cow runner in Tampa Bay this year.

MOST IMPROVED DEFENSIVE PLAYER
FS Justin Evans
Evans received some lofty praise from defensive coordinator Mike Smith this week when he said that the second-year safety had Pro Bowl capability. Smith is right, and the reason why is not just because the rangy and athletic safety can pick off passes, as he did last year with a team-high three in just 11 starts. It’s because Evans has improved in pass coverage. Evans gave up as many touchdowns as he prevented a year ago as a rookie, and he’s made big strides in that area this offseason and in the preseason.

LEADING SACKER
DE Jason Pierre-Paul
Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy led the Bucs in preseason sacks with two, and he’s led the team in sacks in every year since 2013, but that changes this year. McCoy improves his sack total from six from a year ago to eight this year, but Pierre-Paul edges him out for the team lead with nine. Pierre-Paul had eight in New York last year and improves his sack total by one with his new team in Tampa Bay. The Bucs record 40 sacks, which is an improvement over the 22 they produced last year, but still don’t have a double-digit sacker – something Tampa Bay has not had since Simeon Rice in 2005.

Bucs FS Justin Evans - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs FS Justin Evans – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

LEADING INTERCEPTOR
FS Justin Evans
Veteran cornerback Brent Grimes and linebacker Kwon Alexander tied with Evans for the team lead last year with three interceptions. This year, a more experienced and confident Evans goes out and gets five interceptions to lead Tampa Bay in this category all by himself. The Bucs will play a good deal of Cover 1 and Cover 3 this year as defensive coordinator Mike Smith will play more press man coverage. That allows Evans to be the single high safety, read the quarterback’s eyes from centerfield and use his speed to go get the ball.

BEST ROOKIE
CB Carlton Davis
Davis, one of the team’s second-round picks, doesn’t look like a rookie cornerback. The physical, 6-foot-1, perimeter defensive back has the size that has been lacking at the cornerback position in Tampa Bay since the days Aqib Talib roamed the secondary. Davis will be tested a lot as rookie and will lead the Bucs in pass breakups, which is something he has a knack for doing with his long arms. Davis will only record two interceptions, as he needs to work on his hands and focus on coming up with a takeaway rather than settling for a pass breakup.

BEST FREE AGENT ACQUISITION
C Ryan Jensen
Pierre-Paul arrived in Tampa Bay via a trade, so he technically doesn’t qualify for this category. Jensen edges defensive end Vinny Curry because of the importance of the center position and the fact that Jensen won’t come off the field unless he’s injured. Tampa Bay made Jensen the highest-paid center in the league due to his run blocking prowess and nasty demeanor. Look for Jensen and left guard Ali Marpet to power the Bucs’ interior ground game. Jensen is also a better pass protector than he’s given credit for.

Bucs DT Gerald McCoy - Photo by: Mary Holt/PR
Bucs DT Gerald McCoy – Photo by: Mary Holt/PR

PRO BOWL BUCCANEERS
The Bucs will show improvement from last year’s disappointing 5-11 record and will be in the playoff race into December. That means they will be more of a high profile team than they were a year ago, and that means more media exposure for the Bucs players. Tampa Bay only had two Pro Bowlers in defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and middle linebacker Kwon Alexander. Both of them will return to the Pro Bowl this year along with linebacker Lavonte David, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and wide receiver Mike Evans. Free safety Justin Evans has a Pro Bowl-caliber year, but gets snubbed in favor of incumbents like Seattle’s Earl Thomas, Philadelphia’s Malcolm Jenkins and the New York Giants’ Landon Collins.

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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]

39 COMMENTS

  1. 8-8 is purgatory and would hopefully get Koetter and everyone else canned.

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    • 8-8 with our schedule and Jameis being suspended would be exceeding reasonable expectations and would keep everyone around for sure.

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      • 8-8 would be a let down. The talent around the QB is 11-5ish.

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  2. Scott did you write your Fab 5 before watching last nights game? It looked to me like Ryan lost some zip on his arm. I was impressed with Philly’s D, but both offenses looked lost at times. Talk about red zone struggles, what’s up with that Atlanta? Although I still think our record might be 7-9, or 8-8, last nights game tells me that those two supposed power house teams are very beatable. It also shows that any given Sunday, right?

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    • I watched the game last night and I saw two less than average teams slug it out. If we can score points we could beat both of those teams. I mean like 30 or more points.

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  3. Scott, 5 pro bowl Bucs this year? Sorry, I’m not seeing it. Three tops if we are lucky and do make that 8-8 record you predicted. You might get 5 if we get to 10 or 11 wins, but I don’t see that in the cards. McCoy, Evans and maybe David this year. Kwon might make it as an alternate. That’s my take anyway.

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  4. Here are my thoughts as simply another fan.

    The window is closing on Drew Brees’ career. The time is now if he is going to have a chance to get one more Super Bowl ring. The Saints should be on a mission this year. The Saints will come out on top in the NFC South division.

    In order for us to get to 10-7 and into the playoffs we will have to have gone 4-2 within our division. There is is an outside chance we could split with the Saints and sweep either the Panthers or the Falcons. I am not betting on that.

    However, I DON’T see us as bottom dwellers in terms of talent and depth, grit or motivation. The majority of pundits have underestimated how strong we are this year even with our tougher schedule.

    Based on everything I see we will go 9-7 this year but, sorry no playoffs yet.

    Fitzpatrick will give us a 1-2 start and then Winston will deliver an 8-5 finish. A 9-7 season record this year will be seen as more meaningful than the one we had two years ago by the Glazers. Koetter will be back and predictions for a 11-5 or 10-6 season will abound all over the place this time next year.
    ______________________
    Go Bucs!!!!! Wreak havoc!

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  5. “I WISH GRUDEN THE ABSOLUTE BEST IN OAKLAND AND LAS VEGAS, BUT THE BUCS ARE BETTER OFF WITHOUT HIM. AS TAMPA BAY’S 2018 SEASON BEGINS, IT’S UP TO KOETTER TO PROVE ME – AND ULTIMATELY THE GLAZERS – RIGHT.”

    GTFO with that nonsense.

    Prove you right? You were leading the “Fire Koetter” campaign all off-season, while wearing your “I Love Chucky” boxers and fawning over Gruden’s supposed offensive greatness.

    Go and enjoy the circus in Oakland and don’t forget your clown shoes.

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  6. There is a real good chance that the Raiders have a better season than the Buc’s. As for personnel choice our future will be sealed when the Buc’s offer Winston a long term deal at the going QB rate, it’s just too high of percentage of the cap.

    I don’t see us winning more than 5 games. Reality starts in just over 48 hours.

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  7. Scott, I really need an explanation on something. So I read the part where you said that the Bucs see Vea as a three technique. To me he is the perfect size to be a nose tackle next to McCoy, but that’s just my opinion. If the Bucs feel differently that’s fine by me, that’s not my point. My point is this, if they see him as a three technique, did we really select a back up player on a team that desperately needs a playmakinf safety like Derwin James, who would be a Day 1 starter and leader in our secondary? I was already upset about passing on Derwin but now it’s even worse if they really drafted depth over an instant impact secondary player that we have so desperately needed the past few years. Remember we have always been good at stopping the run, but our secondary? Swiss cheese the past few years for everyone but Grimes. Please try to explain Lichts thought process on this one, cause I don’t get it.

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  8. Thanks Scott.

    Overall, this really highlights the whole Licht problem for me. Vea and RoJo are nonexistent in your analysis of our potential success. Our best rookie is the 4th guy he selected? Our first pick (a top-12 gimme) was intentionally selected to be a back-up? That’s a horrible draft strategy.

    Your article really starts and ends at a similar point for me…Gruden should leave [all] personnel moves to somebody that has a better idea, and Licht should leave [at least the draft] to someone else as well. I will continue to give him credit (as I note you did too) for contracting work as a GM, but underwhelming on top draft picks:
    Vea is a backup,
    RoJo, is he even a backup
    Aguayo, the worst 2nd round pick in league history
    D Smith, repeatedly one of the worst ranked OTs in the league
    ASJ, bust (for the same reason he had a red flag in college)
    Winston now has a massive “?” on his back, and riding on his third chance
    VHIII has been underwhelming for sure
    Noah Spence is a massive “?”

    Really, he’s hanging his hat on Evans (a top-7 pick) and Marpet…and the fact he listened to Lovie Smith banging the table for Kwon (the one guy Lovie personally scouted that year).

    The resume feels a little light (pun intended) to me 🙂

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  9. I remember all the fuss about the old guys Chucky brought in and that’s understandable. But at the same time we were relevant as we had our share of winning. Weren’t we a bit hamstrung too as we had to give up draft picks to get him here putting us in a position to have to rely on free agency? All im saying is that Gruden won at Oakland before he came to Tampa, won here with more regularity than we have been for the last 9 years before the mob fans got impatient and ran him off after the last 9-7 season. Had winning record in 3 of his last 4 seasons. Wins and losses over what “could have been” if we were younger. He could take a less than perfect roster and still win.

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  10. Licht IS the bullet, and the Bucs didn’t dodge him.

    At least the Baby Glazers showed a glimmer of common sense by extending Licht only one season, limiting the dead money on his contract when they face reality and can him at the end of this season, along with Koetter and his coaching crew.

    As for Gruden, it is a little early to be crowing about dodged bullets. Gruden’s record as both a head coach and a talent evaluator is vastly better than the Licht/Koetter combo has produced over the last 5 years.

    We’ll count’em up come January, and compare Ws (whether eaten or not), and see who still has a job in the NFL. Don’t bet your retirement on L & K.

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  11. Let the season begin! I’ve said enough for awhile. I hope we win them all. Go Bucs!

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  12. I’m really curious what the financial situation in Oakland is like right now. Remember, they had to take out a $650 million loan to finance the Vegas stadium after Adelson backed out. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least that the only reason they traded Mack was because they couldn’t afford to pay him at this specific moment in time (and that changes once the PSL money starts coming in).

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    • You do realize the Raiders make around 350 mil a year in revenue. The Salary cap is only 177,000,000.00 for players. Even after all other expenses are paid they still clear 90,000,000.00 plus a year. To say they didn’t have the money is crazy. they just didn’t want to invest that much into 1 player. Mack is making 24 mil. roughly 1/7 of the cap. That is a lot to invest in 1 player not a QB.

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      • You’re forgetting that the $650 million loan they took out is in *addition* to $500 million they had already pledged to pay towards the stadium absent of any other loans, in a three-year period beginning last fall. So that’s roughly $170 million per year going towards the stadium right now (and probably more in the first year or two, AKA right now, given that construction materials are routinely ordered well in advance) on top of player’s salaries and other normal operating expenses, and there still have been no PSLs sold for general seating to help cover things. It is NOT crazy AT ALL to believe that the purse strings are tight in Oakland right now out of necessity – especially given that the popular belief was that Mark Davis had to sell the team when Al died because he couldn’t *afford* to keep them.

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        • (And yes, some of that $500 million came from the NFL, but it’s still easy to see a scenario where most if not all of the Raiders’ usual profit is going straight into the stadium.)

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          • If that was the case they would be more than 13 mil under the cap and wouldn’t be able to afford to pay Gruden 10 mil a year. Obviously they aren’t worried about money when they have given out one of the largest contracts ever to a coach.

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  13. As usual I disagree with Scott. Comparing the roster Licht has concocted over five years versus the one Gruden has at the beginning of his first year is a joke. At least he didn’t blow up the OL in year one the way Licht did, a gigantic mistake he has never rectified and which continues to haunt the Bucs today.

    What did Gruden do? He focused on building up the lines with ALL FOUR of their first draft picks, including a LT in the first round. Many second-guessed the move but it’s already looking smart since Penn, the LT Licht cast off in ’14 who then made the Pro Bowl in ’16 and ’17, is finally wearing down.

    Second guessing the decision to trade Mack away for draft picks is an easy and amateurish position to take. There’s a reason no team is paying two players $20 mill a year – it would devastate their ability to fill out the rest of the roster. Like Licht, you seem to look at the world through a fantasy football lens instead of thinking about getting the best 53 on the roster. Decisions like that leave you with, hmmm, let’s see… both a first round pick and an expensive contract for two pass catching TE’s despite the limited # of opportunities to make impact plays relative to other positions.

    If you would take the time to actually look at the Raiders’ roster you’d see it’s loaded with DL talent including rookies Key, Hall and Hurst plus Tank, Fadol and Irvin. I’d take their DL over ours in a heartbeat especially looking out a year or two when we’ll need to replace GMC and JPP plus of course Spence who has been a bust since the day he was drafted. Tying up another $90 mill guaranteed would have been a catastrophic decision for the franchise, kudos to their front office for making the tough decision instead of pandering to the fans.

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  14. You know what’s going to get Licht fired, Scott? Results. And no amount of puff pieces you write or drum that you bang will be able to drown that out when it comes to a fan base that will be at best indifferent to another middling-or-worse season.

    Scott, I can’t tell if you’re aware of just how brainwashed you appear to be about the GM, but you like to cite the Derek Deese, Todd Steussie and Charlie Garner triumverate of free agent doom. So let’s go down memory lane Scott and see what those contracts were actually for in 2004:

    Charlie Garner: 6 years/20 million, 3.33 million a year
    Todd Steussie: 6 years/20 million, 3.33 million a year
    Derek Deese: 6 years/15 million, 2.5 million a year

    9.16 ~ million committed in first year salary to players that traumatized Scott: 2004 Team Record 5-11
    Salary Cap: 80.58 million – selected free agents, 11.4% of cap space

    Now let’s look at “Dear Leader” Jason Licht’s first free agent foray in 2014:

    Michael Johnson: 5 years/43.98 million, 8.79 million a year
    Anthony Collins: 5 years/30 million, 6 million a year
    Alterraun Verner: 4 years/26.5 million, 6.25 million a year
    Josh McCown: 2 years/10 million, 5 million a year
    Evan Smith: 4 years/14.25 million, 3.6 million a year
    Clinton McDonald: 4 years/12 million, 3 million a year
    Brandon Myers: 2 years/4 million, 2 million a year
    Michael Jenkins: 1 year/1.5 million a year

    36.25 ~ million committed in first year salary to players Scott has forgotten about: 2014 Team Record 2-14
    Salary Cap: 133 million – free agents 27.2% of cap space

    Now Bruce Allen also signed Ian Gold, Matt Stinchcomb, Mario Edwards and Matt O’Dwyer in 2004, but I don’t know that I’ve ever read Scott recall those signings, instead focusing on the old ineffective half of a free agent period that essentially took up 1/10th of the teams overall cap space and that was flushed out relatively quickly. Which is worse Scott, the 9 million in in combined salary for those 3 elder vets in 2004 or the guaranteed salaries to Michael Johnson (24 million/16 paid) or Anthony Collins (15 million)? Did you block 2014 from you memory?

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    • You’re forgetting the time value of money.

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      • I included the salary cap room and %. You could go with inflation rate but contracts aren’t as proportional to inflation but rather the cap. Allen’s triumverate that so bothers Scott totalled 11.4% of the cap. Licht’s players in 2014 comprised 27.2%. A significantly larger % of the cap for a team with one of the worst records in Bucs history.

        Even considering the cap in 2004 was 61% the size of the one in 2014, would you say that any of the 3.3 million dollar per annum deals that Scott cites in 04 is 60% of the behemoth contract given for one season of Michael Johnson?

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  15. Love Gruden but it’s true imo he’s terrible at building teams.

    As far asPewterReport back tracking they were pretty clear on not taking Gruden when they learned price tag was 100 million and 10 years….

    I’m on the fence with Licht. I agree with them extending 1 year and see what happens. To many big blunders that cost so many games with Agiayo etc.

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  16. Aguayo

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  17. 9-7 Bucs miss playoffs, but Defense improves immensely. 38 sacks, 19 interceptions. Barber gets 900 yds, Winston misses 4000 yds by a hair. Evans has a record year, Godwin gets a 1000 yds.

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  18. I wouldn’t make too much of the Bucs’ depth chart at this point.

    First, I think it is in keeping with the philosophy Buckner has emphasized. A player should be a defensive lineman first, then maybe focus on a role.

    Second, I think the original plan was to have Vea cross trained so that he can possibly step in to replace Gmac whenever he departs the scene down the road. (That would be if they don’t succeed in finding a better replacement by then, somehow.) I would not be surprised to see him assume the starting place on Gmac’s right side as early as the end of the season or perhaps at the start of next season.
    _______________
    I sure hope there was not much substance to the idea that the Glazers were chopping at the bit to drop Koetter and bring in Gruden.

    Gruden was an offensive guru and and a fine head coach. He was never an overall “football genius” on the order of a Bill Parcells or a Bill Belichick. He was over-hyped in my opinion. Letting him call the shots on player personnel would have been a disaster here as Scott has detailed.

    As much as I liked Chucky I’ve never forgotten how he underused or failed to use fan favorite Mike “The A-train” Alstott. I also remember how he sent John Lynch packing after he was injured during just one year. Lynch made four more Pro Bowls with the Denver Broncos after he left us.

    I would say that we dodged a torpedo rather than a bullet!
    __________________
    Go Bucs!!!! No Excuses!

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    • Gruden was so bad at building teams that he only managed to build two that played each other in the Super Bowl … and produced more division championships and winning teams than any other coach/GM team in the history of the franchise.

      I mean, with a record like that, how could it possibly get worse?

      The Bucs know the answer to that question, and we the fans have been living it for the last decade.

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  19. As for not drafting Derwin James instead of Vita Vea.

    Smith had some high praise for 2nd year free safety, Justin Evans, this week. Sounds like our organization has great expectations regarding him. (I, for one, was basically clueless on this going into the draft this year. I only had the idea that he might become our starter.)
    __________________
    Go Bucs!!!! No Excuses!

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  20. Always a lot to argue about on this site. Enjoy life. Remember, the secret to sanity is to exaggerate the goodness of the world. So much anger and hostility in this digital age. Life is short. Make sure you take the time to smell the roses and spread some love. I do get the impression that quite a few of you would be disappointed if the Buccaneers beat the Saints.

    By the way, Matt Ryan showed last year that his skills were diminishing. He’s not the quarterback he was two or three years ago. The Falcons have a decent roster overall, but they’ve been under performing ever since they lost a super bowl they should have won.

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    • buddah, those are wise words, but this site has haters and haters love to hate.

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    • Interesting, the definition of sanity is: “the ability to think and behave in a normal and rational manner”

      But buddahs secret to sanity is to exaggerate goodness? That doesn’t sound to rational to me. Maybe you mean secret to happiness?

      If someone has cancer and they exaggerate how good they are feeling and fail to go to the doctor is that really the outcome you want?

      If you have a car that breaks down every month should you exaggerate how well the car is running and keep pumping money into fixing it?

      I agree that we should accept what we cannot control but dont think the Glazers aren’t paying attention to fan sentiment. Dont think the “Fire Schiano” billboard and the constant articles from Scott Reynolds about getting rid of him weren’t an influence on ownership. The Bucs are a business and if the fan base isn’t buying what they are selling they will either change course or move. So you can bet that it matters what the fans think. It matters to challenge writers who have an agenda. Because otherwise what is the point?

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  21. Good job Scott, Just a few comments. Loved Chucky when he took us to the SB, but I think the Game has changed and I feel like he may have a difficult time adjusting. Hope I’m wrong. Agree that ME and DJ will be standouts but think Chris Goodwin will steal the show this year. Worried about ruining game and one man does not make a team. Kalilh Mack needs to prove himself in the Bears D. We are talking NFC now.

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  22. Scott, what happened to your “Not won’t get fooled again.” mentality? Seems like you’re drinking allot of coo-laid all of a sudden. Challenging for playoffs? Playoffs? I just hope they win one of their first 4 games.

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  23. So many crazy and inaccurate statements made out here today it makes the head swim.
    Matt Ryan’s arm isn’t going soft, but I bet his body is pretty beat up after the beating he took last night.
    He was vertical almost as much as he was horizontal during that game.
    Which confirms what I have been saying adnauseum out here for the last five years. Constant pressure on the QB is the only way to beat guys like Brees, Brady, Ryan and Rogers. They will slice and dice you up if you let them get to comfortable in the pocket.
    Speaking of Brees, I have heard people saying the same thing about him for the past three years and so far his arm is still as lively and accurate as ever.
    And to think we could have signed him but we had Chris Simms as QB. Thanks Gruden.
    And finally and I hope for the last time and I think I have explained this to you before Devashar, but Lovie Smith had complete control of the roster his first year here.
    He chose the FA’s, not Licht. Gee whiz get it through your head. Check the facts if you care to instead of being a hater of all things Licht.
    And there isn’t a GM in the league who hasn’t blown some one or two draft picks. Give it a rest.
    As for Gruden, I concur with everything you wrote Scott, but the problem is you and the rest of the Pewter Report were practically lobbying the Bucs to hire Gruden midway through the season.
    I’m glad they didn’t listen to you for all the reasons you stated.
    However, I will say like what one other writer stated, he had no choice but to go after older FA’s the first couple of years since we gave away our No. 1 and No. 2 for two straight years for his services.
    As for your game buy game predictions, I rarely read those things from anyone. To many variables, mainly inuries, to even consider them valid at this point.

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    • Lovie Smith had control over the final 53. Meaning that on cut down day Lovie could keep the players he wanted over what the GM would want (ie a coach is more likely to care about a contributing player than a draft pick the GM tied his name to that isnt).

      This clause in Lovie’s contract was bastardized by fans into the belief that Lovie was running personnel. If your premise was true why did Licht go from being one of the top contenders for the the Dolphins GM gig so he could take a job watching Lovie make roster moves for him? That would be incredibly stupid. So you think Lovie was running between the head coach office so he could sit in Licht’s chair all day? What was Jon Robinson doing all day? Bringing Lovie and Leslie Frazier their coffee so they could discuss who to sign next?

      If Licht magically gets a mulligan for his first two years (of which his second draft with Lovie was the best of his career but let’s pretend Lovie was in control there too), then what happened to Licht in free agency since? Was the 5 year/32.5 million dollar contract for JR Sweezy or the 3 year/15.75 million dollar contract to Chris Baker a significant upgrade over the results when Lovie was allegedly running Bucs personnel while trying to find cut ups of his Tampa 2 to show to his defense?

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  24. Naples, Gruden built the Bucs 2002 Super Bowl team? Pretty sure he didn’t build that team or defense in 1 year. Lol. He was a very good offensive mind that took a Super Bowl caliber defense and made offense good enough to get over the hump and win that super bowl. Not like they weren’t close already they went to nfc championship game 1999.

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    • If you remember Gruden had a LARGE part in getting both Superbowl teams to the finish line. That is a huge accomplishment. Dungy could not build an offense, proven by his colts tenure he just used what was there. Does that mean that was not Dungys team? No, just like the Bucs were Grudens team. Tampa would be better today with Gruden on our sidelines. And the press conferences would be much more entertaining.

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  25. ” And the press conferences would be much more entertaining.”

    fo sure

    Go Bucs !!! Beat Philly

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