FAB 4. SR’s Buc Shots

The year 2020 marks my 25th season covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for you, the loyal PewterReport.com reader. As I begin this milestone season, I’m going to spend the next 25 weeks telling some never-before-told Bucs stories and recalling some of my most memorable moments in my professional journey.

Here is a link to last week’s first installment.

As promised, here is the story of my run-in with former Bucs backup quarterback Casey Weldon.

Former Bucs QB Casey Weldon
Former Bucs QB Casey Weldon – Photo by: Getty Images

In 1996, my second year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, I had my first dust-up with an NFL player when something I wrote upset Weldon. The Buccaneers had used their first round draft pick on Trent Dilfer in 1994, and I thought it was only fitting to give Dilfer as much time as possible to develop into the franchise quarterback the team hoped he would become.

Weldon, who was a Heisman Trophy runner-up at Florida State, had plenty of supporters in the Tampa Bay area, especially among Seminoles fans. Weldon was a scrappy, undersized quarterback that Sports Illustrated had compared to Joe Montana when he was back at FSU. The backup QB is usually the fan favorite, and Weldon was very confident that he was the best quarterback on the roster.

But it was clear that his skill set was limited and that his only real future in the NFL was as a backup quarterback.

So in the pages of Buccaneer Magazine while supporting Dilfer, I wrote that Weldon was better suited to be in the Arena Football League. That really wasn’t meant as a slight, as the AFL was incredibly popular in the 1990s and the Tampa Bay Storm AFL team enjoyed sellout crowds and won championships with quarterback Jay Gruden, a hometown hero.

Buccaneer Magazine was distributed in the locker room back in the day and was widely read by the players. Hey, if I wrote about you, wouldn’t you want to read it, too?

So Weldon read what I wrote and he confronted me about it right when Dilfer was holding court with a gaggle of reporters around his locker on a Wednesday during the media session. Weldon’s locker was right next to Dilfer‘s and I happened to be standing in front of it when he approached me wearing nothing but a towel as he just came out of the shower.

Weldon was a bit of a hothead back then and even got into a fistfight with Dilfer on a golf course during his time in Tampa. Our exchange was R-rated and he began with some profanities directed towards me that I can’t really print, but the gist of what he said was hey, “Keep sucking up to your boy Trent.”

As a 25-year-old reporter it was quite embarrassing for me to get called out by an NFL player in front of the rest of the media for the first time. Thankfully for me, Dilfer kept talking and all of the cameras stayed on him rather than focused on the brief exchange Weldon and I were having a few feet away.

Weldon was getting pretty angry and for a second I thought he was going to shove me or potentially slug me, especially when I opened my big mouth and said, “Casey, Trent Dilfer is the worst-rated quarterback in the NFL – and you’re behind him, so what does that say about you?”

After that I turned and walked away thinking to myself, “What the hell did I just say?!”

My mouth was writing checks that my body was not prepared to cash!

Former Bucs QB Casey Weldon
Former Bucs QB Casey Weldon – Photo by: Getty Images

In hindsight it was kind of funny, me getting into a verbal altercation with a 6-foot, 206-pound quarterback in a towel in the middle of the locker room, but me disparaging Weldon wasn’t really professional nor was it smart to do.

I avoided Weldon like the plague for the rest of the season, and he didn’t come back to Tampa Bay in 1997, as the team wanted to fully commit to Dilfer without Weldon around as a distraction.

I didn’t see Weldon again until years later, right before I got married in 1999. Weldon signed with the Redskins that year and as I was at the airport picking up my father, who was flying in from Washington, D.C. for the wedding. To my surprise, I saw Weldon emerge from the jet way with a Redskins duffel bag over his shoulder.

I could feel my face turn pale as the blood rushed from it due to my shock and amazement. I must have been white as a ghost.

The first thing that popped into my mind was Weldon slugging me for old time’s sake and me having a black eye for my wedding. Luckily for me, Weldon didn’t see me and I quickly ducked away so he wouldn’t.

Crisis averted and lesson learned. Don’t disparage players and get into confrontations in the locker room.

Stay tuned for another Bucs story from yesteryear in next week’s SR’s Fab 5.

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Scott Reynolds is in his 25th 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 sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: sr@pewterreport.com
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Wausa

If what you are saying is accurate then the Bucs should adjust their offense to a more balanced attack, put the transition tag on Jamies and draft a developmental QB in the middle rounds of the draft.

If the Bucs do not sign or tag Jamies it is fairly obvious he will be signed quickly by another franchise if he hits the open market.

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matador

Hopefully someone within our division. That would help our DB’s stats more than a strong pash rush

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BigSombrero

If the Bucs cut bait with Jameis, I hope they bring in a smart veteran who has a strong accurate arm. Maybe they can trade for Ben Rothlisberger. He’s played in a Bruce Arians offense. If the Bucs draft the 4th best tackle in the 1st round with plans to switch him from left to right tackle and the 4th or 5th best RB in the 2nd, who here expects the running game to turn the corner? I say take the pick and use it on a guy who immediately improves the W/L column. The Bucs can get the #1… Read more »

BigSombrero

I value production over projection. Specific players I favor for the Bucs at 14 are #2 DE Gross-Matos, #1 RB J.Taylor, #2 DT Kinlaw, and #1 S Grant Delpit in that order.

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tbb345

IF a large chunk of Arians decision on Jameis is based off of one play in a meaningless game where his top 2 targets were missing (let alone the fact that he was showing toughness by playing through a thumb injury) then this franchise has very, very serious problems with its evaluation process.

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matador

What if it’s based on five years of killing his team’s chances with blockheaded turnovers? Then what would you think?

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CrackerBall

I think 72 games is a large enough sample size…

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awwdembucs

Alot of guessing here. I think we as fan’s will know more after we see what the Bucs do in FA.

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Badtimes

I think Arians started having misgivings about Winston well before the last game.

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Brandonges

After three straight years of drafting Safety, please bring in a vet. There are a lot of free agents available who should come relatively cheap. This draft should be all about getting younger and cheaper in both of the trenches.

Also, as a homer, surprised Cam Akers isn’t generating more buzz. He carried the FSU offense behind a garbage line. He has good hands and looks like a 3 down back built for today’s NFL.

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CrackerBall

Agreed… I think we have drafted enough S, and DBs in general, over the last few years – so sign a F/A if you feel the need. Gotta try and make’em work. Save that valuable draft capital for OL, DL, QB, etc.

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Horse

Good Fab 5 Scott. Is it possible all the pewterreport staff when discussing players, who are not Buccaneers, be consistent in listing their height and weight?.

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The Wall

Top four needs; right tackle, right guard, running back, then safety.

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EastEndBoy

1) “Licht shouldn’t have re-signed him at all”…another Licht gaff. 2) Safety??…good grief, how many swings at the plate is Licht going to get before he’s called out. 3) “move Donovan Smith to RT”…he couldn’t do worse than at LT, but $14.5m for a RT is insane. Licht has backed us into a corner with this problem. 4) and finally, why is the conclusion that a team can’t win with a young QB? Why do we have to bring in a veteran if we don’t want Winston? Goff as a rookie won 9 games (and in year 2 went to… Read more »

Horse

EastEndBoy, so agree with you.

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Brandonges

Agree, especially on the last point. Lamar Jackson is probably going to win MVP in his second season. Plenty of teams have found success with young QBs.

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DonkeyHunter

Agree with all this.

And, can we PLEASE stop with this “move Smith to RT” nonsense?

It’s about as ridiculous as the “Draft a RB in the 1st Round” nonsense.

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FinkleisEinhorn

#2: I agree with the comment above. Very surprised at the lack of chatter on Cam Akers, especially considering PR’s ties to FSU. This guy is a monster and was FSU’s entire offense. If he had played for LSU, he’d be talked about as a 1st round pick. Grab him the 3rd and don’t look back.

#3: The thing I’m most impressed with Dugger? He actually specified his weaknesses when asked. Shows maturity, humility and self-awareness.

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Horse

I agree about Cam Akers, but he’s going to be picked up in the second round not the third.

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Horse

Those of you who voted negatives I didn’t watch FSU games like I did reminds me of many other successful running backs that have played in the NFL. He’s strong quick and fast and can catch a ball. I hope he stays under the radar so we can grab him. FSU has not had a good offensive line these last 3 years and he still did good; think about that as it’s similar to the Bucs.

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awwdembucs

Horse Akers can play, he’s tough as nails and can catch well also. The thing is nobody seems to know what round to draft him.

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Alldaway 2.0

Bucs are better off re-signing AA then drafting another green safety that will not start next season and will ride the pine.

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Buc-Up

When I was at FSU I took a Seminole Conditioning Class by the team’s strength coach in Soring ’91. I worked out with both Casey Weldon and Brad Johnson. I was way underwhelmed by Casey’s spare tire and lack of physique. He was in no way intimidating and seemed like an asshat! Brad was tall and built like a brick house, plus a very nice guy!

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Horse

After NFL, Weldon was a Head Coach for one of the High Schools in Tallahassee; because of anger issues had to be let go. He knows football but back then he hadn’t dealt with his anger issues yet. I hope he addressed it. Mark Cook do you know?

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MIArmysoldier

Scott- I remember Casey Weldon comming to my scool in Bradenton in ’96. I remember him being extremely cocky and arrogant. He was supposed to be there to give a talk on self motivation and being a team player. It basically was him talking about absolutely nothing nothing, he threw a few passes to couple of people and ended with him takung a few pics for our yearbook. The only time he really even smiled was when those pics were taken- but no guys were in the pics- it was him surrounded by a group of teenage girls a giggly… Read more »

awwdembucs

I watched the east west game. The QB Morgan looked good. Strong arm can run if need be. If he is still on the board 5th or 6th. The Bucs might want to think about him. He needs some good coaching but stranger things have happened. Just a Thought

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owlykat

Get a first round LT. Moving D. Smith to RT would be a disaster since speed rushers would have as much of a hay day on the right side as they presently do from the left side. Move him to RG and let Cappa start at RT.

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Bucsfan1983

Wirfs, Dobbins, Dugger, are my first 3 picks for the Bucs. I would be beyond thrilled for these three.

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David DeLeon

Bucs higher up need to have their poker face on. “Winston we are not sure we want you” wait till close to deadline and try to hustle on the price tag.

Instead of 30 million we sign him for 26-28 million.

Everyone is happy

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