FAB 5. SR’s Buc Shots

• It would be quite the adventure if the Bucs replaced Dirk Koetter with Washington State head coach Mike Leach. Not only would Tampa Bay’s high-octane passing game be in good hands, but Leach would also entertain the hell out of the media and Bucs fans with his interviews and press conferences. Check out this funny quote from Leach, who got his head coaching start at Texas Tech from 2000-2009.

“You can’t really talk about great sports movies, though, without mentioning Talladega Nights, that Ricky Bobby one,” Leach said. “That movie is off-the-charts funny – and after getting to know some NASCAR guys over the years, I realize that it isn’t just a straight comedy. It’s part documentary. I know people who do stuff like name one of their kids Walker and the other Texas Ranger. If you go to any elementary school classroom in Texas, some kids in there are going to be named either Austin, Dallas, or Houston. That’s basically the same thing. I wouldn’t do that, or at least I’d try to get more creative with it. Name your kid Amarillo or Carrizo Springs. You know what? I’m going to move back to Texas, have another kid, and name him Fort Stockton.”

And Leach’s advice to a recently engaged reporter who asked him for some wedding advice is just classic. This is hilarious.

• As a long-time Bucs beat writer covering this team for 23 years I have seen a lot in Tampa Bay. I have personally witnessed and covered the best Buccaneers of all time. I walked in the building in 1995 with two players who would turn into Hall of Famers in Warren Sapp, the team’s greatest defensive lineman, as well as Derrick Brooks, the Bucs’ all-time best linebacker.

I also had the privilege to cover Ronde Barber, the greatest defensive back in Tampa Bay history, as well as Mike Alstott, who scored more touchdowns with the Bucs than anyone. I’ve covered a Super Bowl-winning quarterback in Brad Johnson and one of the best pure pass rushers of all time in Simeon Rice.

Bucs WR Mike Evans - Photo by: Mary Holt/PR
Bucs WR Mike Evans – Photo by: Mary Holt/PR

Now I’m a witness to history as Mike Evans will set yet another receiving record on Sunday against Atlanta. Likely with his first catch, Evans will pass Mark Carrier’s single-season Bucs record of 1,422 yards, which was set back in 1989, and become Tampa Bay’s single-season record holder. Earlier in the year, Evans became the Bucs’ all-time receiving yardage leader as well as the all-time receiving touchdown leader.

At age 25, Evans is already the greatest Bucs receiver of all time – and he’s just getting started. And I am fortunate to be able to witness and chronicle his greatness.

DRAFT DIAMOND: OKLAHOMA OT CODY FORD
PewterReport.com is the undisputed leader in Bucs draft coverage each year. During the 2018 draft, we accurately forecasted the selection of three Tampa Bay draft picks as defensive tackle Vita Vea, offensive lineman Alex Cappa and wide receiver Justin Watson were all Bucs’ Best Bets.

Draft season for the PewterReport.com staff starts in September as we do a great deal of scouting during college football season. Trevor Sikkema, who also provides content for TheDraftNetwork.com, provides SR’s Fab 5 with a weekly segment called Draft Diamond where we focus on a different draft prospect each week. This week’s Draft Diamond is Oklahoma OT Cody Ford.

When you think about Oklahoma’s offense, you like think of quarterback Kyler Murray, wide receivers Marquise Brown and CeeDee Lamb, and running back Trey Sermon, etc. You think of the playmakers. But how about the guys up front who allow those players to make the plays?

Oklahoma OT Cody Ford
Oklahoma OT Cody Ford – Photo by: Getty Images

Ford, a 6-foot-4, 330-pound redshirt junior offensive tackle for the Sooners, has put together one heck of a season, and he’s quickly becoming one of the biggest risers in draft media.

First and foremost, Ford is fast. At 330 pounds, he can mirror edge rushers with fantastic balance and good agility in his lower body. He’s still raw in footwork technique, but the ability to learn it at a high level is there. Ford’s athletic ability also makes him a force when asked to pull or zone block. In straight up man-blocking situations, especially against the run, Ford is powerful. Jon Ledyard of The Draft Network even calls him a “mauler,” a term you love to hear about with offensive linemen.

Really, Ford presents the potential total package as an offensive lineman. He’s big, athletic and can process rushes well for the experience he has. The Buccaneers will be looking to upgrade their offensive line in a variety of ways this offseason. Perhaps they won’t be picking high enough in the draft to select left tackle Jonah Williams from Alabama. But if they don’t, Ford could be a serious option for them, even in the first round.

For more info on Ford and plenty of other draft prospects, make sure you’re visiting TheDraftNetwork.com and following them on Twitter @DraftNetworkLLC

• Oh my goodness! It’s the 100th episode of the Pewter Nation Podcast (again). PewterReport.com’s Trevor Sikkema, Mark Cook and I analyzed this Sunday’s Bucs vs. Falcons game in the new Pewter Nation Podcast that was recorded on Thursday at One Buccaneer Place, as well as the futures of Dirk Koetter, Gerald McCoy and DeSean Jackson. Be sure to listen to Pewter Nation Podcast Episode 100 Part 23: The Final Countdown by clicking here.

If you missed Monday’s Pewter Nation Podcast, Episode 100 Part 22, which came out after Tampa Bay’s loss at Dallas, make sure you listen to it while you are out and about this weekend in between relaxing and watching bowl games. You can listen to Pewter Nation Podcast Ep100 Part 22: All I Want For Christmas (Is A Coach) by clicking here.

Pewter-Nation-Podcast-Pewter-ReportListening to the Pewter Nation Podcasts on your drive home from work on Fridays or on Saturdays while doing some chores around the house or running errands this weekend is fun – so do it. The next Pewter Nation Podcast will be taped after the Bucs – Falcons game on Sunday. Don’t miss the post-game thoughts from Sikkema, Cook and yours truly as Tampa Bay tries to end the 2018 season on a winning note.

The popularity of the Pewter Nation Podcast continues to grow. 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. Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode.

• Bucs general manager Jason Licht has hopefully learned a lesson with J.R. Sweezy this year. I’m not chastising for Licht signing Sweezy a few years ago to a big contract. It wasn’t Licht’s fault that Sweezy injured his back and missed his first year in Tampa Bay following surgery, or that it took him a full year to get back into football shape.

The lesson to be learned is that Sweezy shouldn’t have been cut prior to training camp. Upon his release, Sweezy returned to Seattle where he had a fine year and was named as a Pro Bowl alternate. Meanwhile, the Bucs started Caleb Benenoch at right guard with disastrous results as Benenoch has surrendered 9.5 sacks and been flagged for seven penalties.

Former Bucs RG JR Sweezy
Former Bucs RG JR Sweezy – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Licht didn’t need to cut Sweezy before camp and he shouldn’t have. The Bucs didn’t need the cap room. He should have let Sweezy, who was coming off a broken leg, compete for the job in camp to push Benenoch. Instead, Benenoch was essentially handed the starting job as both the front office and the coaching staff simply wanted him in the starting lineup to justify the fifth-round draft pick the team invested in him and the time offensive line coach George Warhop had invested in him.

The truth is that if Benenoch has a future playing in the NFL it’s at right tackle where he played in college. Benenoch has twiggy legs and doesn’t anchor well against big 320-pound defensive tackles. It would have been interesting to see if Sweezy could have played as well at right guard in Tampa Bay as he did in Seattle this year. I have to think that he would have played better than Benenoch regardless.

• Our @PewterReport Twitter account is nearing 31,000 followers. If you aren’t following PewterReport.com on Twitter please do so right now so you don’t miss out on Bucs press conference and interview footage as well as breaking news and injury updates. To follow @PewterReport on Twitter please click here. To follow us on Facebook please click here. And to follow @PewterReport on Instagram and you can do so by clicking here.

• Keep an eye on the John Harbaugh situation in Baltimore. The Ravens preemptively announced that Harbaugh would return to coach in 2019 as the team tries to work out a contract extension. I’m not saying that the Bucs are going to be trading for Harbaugh, but I think they will call to ask would it would take in terms of compensation to acquire him.

• One coaching candidate that I’m just lukewarm on is former Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy. How much of the Packers’ success under McCarthy was because of him as opposed to Aaron Rodgers? I think Rodgers had a lot to do with it, and that concerns me as it pertains to McCarthy.

• Something tells me this is the last game in Tampa Bay for defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, as I wrote in last week’s SR’s Fab 5 column. It could very well be the last game for 33-year old right tackle Demar Dotson, too. I have immensely enjoyed covering both of those long-time Buccaneers. Both were class acts on and off the field, were very good players in their prime and both were gracious to the PewterReport.com staff with their time.

Bucs WR DeSean Jackson
Bucs WR DeSean Jackson – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Sunday will also be the last game in red and pewter for wide receiver DeSean Jackson and cornerback Brent Grimes. I did not enjoy covering either one of those players and never truly felt like they completely bought in to Tampa Bay. There was always a certain amount of selfishness from those two that rubbed me the wrong way.

I felt like both were simply hired guns in free agency – kind of like the same feeling I had with quarterback Jeff Garcia. He was never really a Buccaneer. Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and center Ryan Jensen, two new free agent imports this season, feel more like Buccaneers to me than Jackson or Grimes ever did.

Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

• And finally, a BIG THANK YOU to all of the PewterReport.com advertising partners – including this column’s exclusive sponsor, Discount Garage Doors – for making this site possible in 2018. Advertising is the lifeblood of PewterReport.com, and I strongly encourage you to click on the banner ads and give your business to the businesses that support our efforts here at PewterReport.com.

And a BIG THANK YOU goes to all of you out there in Pewter Nation that faithfully read the Discount Garage Doors SR’s Fab 5 each week as well as all of the great content on PewterReport.com. We’ve had a record web traffic year – up nearly 10 percent from 2017 – despite another five-win season from the Buccaneers, and our success is due to YOU – the loyal PewterReport.com visitor.

On behalf of the writers, interns, photographers and staff members at PewterReport.com, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and holiday season and wish you all a VERY Happy New Year!

 

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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: [email protected]
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Pete Wood

Good article. Three quick thoughts.
1. I may have been wrong about Vea. He just might have been worth the draft pick.
2. Bucs should cut everybody on the list above to make more cap room. Except Brate. I like Brate. He’s worth the money and gives the Bucs a two pronged TE attack.
3. The real problem with this team is the Glazers. They need to hire a president of football operations, step back, and let that person run the team.

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cgmaster27

Great article scott. I would cut every guy you have on that list, although seeing the trade market for gerald would be better. Cutting these guys will definitely put us in a whole in spots, but you cant keep bodies just to have them. Fortunately, this is a very deep and good d tackle class. Pairing someone like ed Oliver with vea would be soooooo good. Although if we dont keep donavan, LT will have to be a priority. I’d franchise donavan and hibe him a one year prove it deal as you guys said on the podcast. I wouldnt… Read more »

Pete Wood

Would you cut Brate?

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cgmaster27

I love brate but hes not worth the money. Hes averaging about 2 catches a game without oj. Great teammate but would any other team pay him what we are? I doubt it.

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Bucfannomatter

Yup. Give the new front office more cap space. 😉

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BucWonder

I read that Brate was playing injured all year. This year wasn’t the real Brate. Yes, we may have overpaid a bit, but the 2 TE sets are a nice weapon to have. I’d keep Brate.

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Michael Prayon

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! This was a very good read. I think everyone should be cut except McCoy and Brate. I know McCoy’s stats have dipped but he’s still been effective and disruptive which does not show up on the stat sheet. I really want McCoy to stay and make the playoffs with the Bucs because it would be a damn shame if they cut him and he goes somewhere and goes to the playoffs with a different team and get a ring after leaving the Bucs. I think you also keep Brate to create mismatches for defenses… Read more »

fredster

Great article. I think everyone on the list needs to go. I worry a bit with McCoy not being here may hurt Vea and he may get doubled more. I guess JPP and others will have to step up to fill in. O get it from a financial standpoint it makes sense and as much as I respect Gerald as a Person and player I really would like to see a nasty edge on this defense and lone he just never brought. Pete always good to see when someone admits they were wrong. Shows character. So many posters on here… Read more »

76Buc

Send the Ravens $8 million and 6 draft choices and he’s ours.

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Skeuld1

So pass on Eric Reid because of his outspoken political view, but hire Mike Leach despite his outspoken political view? OK.

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BUC-ASS-BOB

See if I understand this article correctly the pewter boys want to keep Winston give him 21 million and get rid of half a dozen of the best players on the team to do that they also think it’s a good idea to put jpp Veta Vito and Carl Nassib to intimidate the offense into not running at them can only imagine how that will work out I next they will suggest Hugh Jackson for coach

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cgmaster27

Good players?! You think Grimes is good? How about mesean? You think gholston is worth the money? My goodness your idea of good in football is the opposite of anyone with a brain.

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BUC-ASS-BOB

Gerald McCoy Goldston DeSean Jackson to get rid of these players so you can keep a bust quarter back I’ve been having this argument with CJ master and Chef boho for 3 years and still here we are bottom of the league again same clowns defending Jameis Winston every year

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chefboho

Says the guy who wants to keep Desean because he’s “fast” you logic is as low as you knowledge of understanding football. You lose credibility when you literally talk about one thing and one thing only. I guess you know more than the Bucs brass when it comes to judging talent. Keep trying bob, one day you’ll move from couch coach to the corner with a nice tall yellow hat that says dunce on it.

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MizzouBucs24

Great article. Trying to trade McCoy or Brate is good idea not sure I would just cut them. Although McCoy should take a pay cut to stay. I have no idea what direction the Glazers will go when hiring a head coach. I just hope they are aggressive on both sides of the ball. I want to see an offense that has a weekly game plan to attack the opposing defense not just run the same old plays ever week. And a defense that plays aggressive and blitzes. Oh, and can we please draft some aggressive playmakers on defense and… Read more »

surferdudes

Buc ass, those half dozen players have won a total of 10 games in two years. Like it, or not the Bucs aren’t going to give up on a 25 year old Q.B. who was the 1st over all pick in the draft. They can move on from McCoy who’s been here 9 years, through many coaches, and hasn’t gotten close to helping turn this losing franchise around. With all due respect Scott, I’ll take Buckner’s view of Vea over yours, and Licht’s. Where do you come off thinking you know more then Buckner about defensive linemen? I hope the… Read more »

BUC-ASS-BOB

Gerald McCoy Goldston DeSean Jackson to get rid of these players so you can keep a bust quarter back I’ve been having this argument with CJ master and Chef boho for 3 years and still here we are bottom of the league again same clowns defending Jameis Winston every year and by the way that bust quarterback has only won six games in the last 2 years

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cgmaster27

Hey buc ass, list me one qb who has one with a bottom 5 defense and running game for 2 straight years? I’ll wait, but as usual when it comes to common sense questions, you hide.

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drdneast

I don’t see one player on that list any team would trade for at their current salary. Not even Brate and I like his play. Smith possible because $2 million for a serviceable G/C is a good bargain.Once again, that speaks volumes about Licht.

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FLBoyInDallas

Mike Leach would be an interesting hire. I wouldn’t be upset if he’s the guy. However, I do think Chris Petersen from the UW is an even more promising head coach with an outstanding offensive background as well as being a winner everywhere he’s been, and by a large margin. His overall record as a head coach is an amazing 139-32, and that’s while coaching two programs that aren’t exactly known as powerhouses in Boise State and the University of Washington. At both schools he took programs and instilled a very strong winning culture as well as consistent offensive success.… Read more »

Devasher

I kind of find it funny that Scott would be wary of Mike McCarthy (which he should be) despite his long and successful resume in GB given the past decade where Scott has gone after every coach in Tampa because there isn’t more success and has never shown an appetite to go after the people in charge of building the roster. So after 11 seasons of missing the playoffs with a revolving door of coaches we now consider that maybe a singular talent like Aaron Rodgers plays a bigger role than a specific play call or timeout the head coach… Read more »

surferdudes

No thanks to Leach as H.C.. He can get away with talking about college players like that, but that shit wouldn’t fly in a pro locker room. The clip of him talking about marriage was funny, but we’re looking for a H.C. Scott, not a lounge act. I really can’t believe Scott you’d want the Bucs to hire an old college coach who’s more of a comedian then he would be a leader of men. I’ll take an up, and comer Coordinator like Richard, LeFluer, or Beenimy.

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JohnGaltsGhost

Butt Leach, he’s a man he’s 40

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TheBaron70

And that’s the culture of losing. Losers can’t take honesty, neither can their fans. We lose because we think we have a roster of stars. Spoiler alert, we don’t. Do you think Leach we allow that BS to go on with Jackson. It’s complete nonsense. A guy like Jackson should have been called out in the media immediately for his crap. It would be refreshing in Tampa to have a football coach who actually didn’t hide things.

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Donovan Smith is a bottom tier left tackle and should paid like it. If someone wants to pay him like he is decent then let another team make that mistake.

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Move him to right tackle then pay him like a right tackle

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drdneast

Well said comments about MeShawn Jackson and Brett Grimes although my feelings about Grimes don’t run as strong because he did give us tow good years. If someone offered me $8 million to play one more year I would probably do it too even if my heart wasn’t in it. That falls on Licht. What galls me about Jackson is that for too long the media made it seem like it was Winston’s fault they weren’t connecting until on one TV broadcast a bright analyst observed that Winston didn’t seem to be having that problem with his other receivers. Then… Read more »

cgmaster27

Drd I’m glad someone else can see what those of us with a brain can see. If I were jameis id throw the ball at mesean feet every time. Late for meetings, sleeping in meetings, fighting coaches , and we still have people defending that cancer. If he was so good how come the eagles and Redskins couldnt wait to get rid of him? Hes a one trick pony that runs bad routes and has zero effort. Good riddance

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tog

I really like Leach as a coach and am a huge fan of his. I don’t know if he’d make a good NFL coach, but I hope so. He certainly would be fun to watch, I just don’t know if he has the leadership traits required. And can he hire a good staff? I would love to watch it though. It’s interesting that the Bucs can create cap room, but that also creates a lot of holes on a talent starved team. Not counting backups, you’re opening up a bunch of holes at RT, DT, NT, TE2 plus losing talent… Read more »

Jordan Chavez

Wow. Great article Scott. I don’t always agree with your views but I do always enjoy reading your material whether I agree with it or not and this article was one of the best I’ve ever read from you. Here are my few notes. 1. Vea is going to be a very good player for a long time. Like you’ve mentioned before, Vita hasn’t even played 5 full seasons of defensive line in his LIFE! He is just learning and will continue to get better. 2. I am a big UW fan. And even with saying that I would be… Read more »

stlbucsfan

This was a very good Fab 5. I agree with all of the cuts with exception of 2. I think we should simply re-structure GMCs contract. We need to improve the DL but not at the expense of creating a gaping hole. If he’s willing to re-structure which he should then keeping at around 7-8M makes a lot more sense. We still have JPP so going full throttle at a youth movement wont best utilize him. I agree that drafting someone like Oliver would be ideal but I still think a rotation of Vea, Oliver and GMC should be the… Read more »

Wausa

MIKE LEACH would be a fantastic hire for the Bucs. He knows what he’s doing and would bring a ton of excitement to the city.

If he is the Buc’s coach next year I think there is a great chance the Bucs have the number one ranked offense in the NFL next year.

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DT25

Good to see Cody Ford getting some love. Think a trade down and taking Ford might be my favorite option if Jonah, Bosa, and Quinnen Williams are off the board.

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Horse

I’m holding some comments until the game is over Sunday. I’m not listening to Koetter,Coaches, Licht, or well paid players; they all had their chances and chose something else. I’m ready to clean house. Yes we have quite a few holes to fill because the existing players weren’t very good.

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Bucfannomatter

Why? Because you are waiting on a bigger body of work?? Lmao. All of these losers need to go. Period. Now. Last week, actually.

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BUC-ASS-BOB

Keep Jameis and you will not get a top-level coach keep Jameis you’re going to get a second-tier coach in the same crap is going to happen again next year

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BucRy

Brate is the only player I would keep on that list, OJ has some injury issues so even though Brate may be a little overpaid, I still think he should be on the team.

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Captain Sly

I struggle with that one too, the problem is going to be the new HC’s offensive philosophy. How much value they give two TE sets. Brate may be a luxury we can’t afford. One thing I have not heard anyone talk about is hump making 5 mil I like Humphries but he’s not worth 5 mil if we’re talking about cutting all these players to create cap space.

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bucball1

Him an McCoy need to take a pay cut to stay we are not winning with all of these overpaid players clean house

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sunshineben

bucs need new gm,head coach and different qb. Stay tuned buc fans starting Monday as hopefully changes will be announced….Happy New Year to all !!

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Bucfannomatter

This RIDICULOUS Organization… Has won 10 games, in 2 years. TEN. ..IN TWO YEARS!!! The Saints won 13, this year. When can you say, we EVER won 13? Don’t care WHO STAYS. WHO GO’S. I root for ALL OF THEM GO! ALL. EVERY …SINGLE…ONE. IT’S freaking stupid. No one should survive the ridiculouslness that is Buccaneer football right now. Reset please.

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Bucfannomatter

Blow it UP!!!!! Blow it UP!!!! Blow it UP!!!! I manage the game better in my Madden video games, then Koetter has on most days, the last 3 years. When my girlfriend says to me “Why isn’t he calling a timeout”, and she’s RIGHT….. Time to say adios to these bunch of wanna be’s, and bring some people in here that can actually get the job done. Koetter was right earlier in the season…they should have ALLL…. BEEN FIRED. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. Just throwing some truth at you folks. Reset button. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No… Read more »

Bucfannomatter

Any of you clowns that want to see another year of what you just saw…..???? Go buy yourselves some tickets. You’ll be the only ones there. Or better yet… Save the money, and poke yourselves in the eye with a fork. That will be the equivalent of oneore year of these chumps.

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Bucfannomatter

Cap crunch my a$$. Let them ALL…GO. Brate’s the only on there worth keeping anyway, and he’s nothing special.

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BUC-ASS-BOB

There’s going to be an opening for six to seven coaches come Monday and I don’t think they’re six or seven good coaches out there to be hired I don’t see any urgency out of the glaciers at this time to get a good coach so it’ll be interesting to see what happens

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Bucsfan1983

Keep McCoy, Brate and Anger. Re-sign Kwon, Humphries and Donovan(if he’ll move to G or RT, if not, don’t re-sign).

Scott I’m starting to real warm up to the idea of Mike Leach.

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DrT1066

Do a Belicheat and trade McCoy for a second and third while he still has some value. The draft is loaded with DTs
When the Bucs had a great defense and no offense they got Gruden.
When the Colts had a great offense and a bad defense they got Dungy.
The Bucs don’t need Leach. They need a defensive coach. Jim
Schwartz?

Dungy..

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76Buc

They didn’t have a great offense ever until now.

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EastEndBoy

The problem with moving on from all those guys is that we still need players to play the game….and we have massive holes at CB and OL. If we hire a competent GM who can draft us a solution to CB and one (or with the will of Zeus, two) new OLinemen, that leaves no real draft capital to replace all of these guys you want to cut. So, are the FAs better and cheaper than these guys…I doubt it.

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76Buc

Leach and Schiano are the same guy. Been down that road.

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76Buc

Change that. Leach is Schiano with a sense of humor.

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76Buc

Keep McCoy and Brate. Aloha to the rest.

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76Buc

I wouldn’t want to cover Jackson or Grimes (I would like to cover his Miko). I think we should hire the cheating chic in the photo for morale purposes.

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