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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. BUCS SHOULD TRADE DOWN IN SECOND ROUND, STOCKPILE PICKS
Armed with the number one overall draft pick and needing a franchise quarterback, Tampa Bay just can’t afford to trade down and stockpile draft picks in the first round. Former Bucs general manager Mark Dominik made that point to me when I interviewed him at the 2015 Reese’s Senior Bowl.

“You have to say, ‘I really don’t want a franchise quarterback right now’ [to make that trade],” Dominik said. “That’s a hard thing to say, especially if you need one.”

Instead, the Buccaneers, who have multiple holes to fill on their roster, will have to seek more picks by dealing some of their own players – possibly quarterback Mike Glennon, who could be in demand with a weak free agent and draft class at the position, and running back Doug Martin – or by trading down in rounds after the first round.

With Tampa Bay having the second pick in the second round, which is the 34th overall selection, the Bucs will be poised to trade down within that round to stockpile extra draft picks in the middle and later rounds. The Bucs have several needs and there should a plethora of players available in the second round at multiple positions in this deep draft to choose from.

It is expected that UCLA junior quarterback Brett Hundley, who is regarded as the third-best quarterback after Florida State’s Jameis Winston and Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, will dazzle at Combine with his speed and athleticism and up his draft stock to that of a second-rounder. Most of the NFL scouts and talent evaluators PewterReport.com has talked to this offseason have Hundley rated as a fifth-round pick because he will need time to develop his progression skills, pocket awareness and improve his accuracy.

If there is one position that typically gets “over-drafted” each year it’s the quarterback position. Looking back, Christian Ponder and E.J. Manuel both had great weeks at the Senior Bowl in 2011 and 2013, respectively, and upped their stock from third-round prospects to that of the first round because of the overwhelming need at the QB position across the league. The Bucs could benefit from increased interest in Hundley in the second round, and find a trading partner with a team that wants him – or another player that happens to fall out of the first round.

UCLA v Arizona StateAccording to the widely used NFL Draft trade chart, the 34th overall pick has a point value of 560. That means that a team that needs a quarterback and that drafts in the middle of the second round, such as Houston, which picks 48th overall, or Buffalo, which has the 51st overall pick, could pursue a trade with Tampa Bay if Hundley is still on the clock. The Texans’ 48th overall selection is worth 420 points, while the Bills’ 51st overall pick is worth 390 points.

Consummating a trade with Houston for Tampa Bay’s second-rounder could net the Bucs the Texans’ second-rounder (420 points), and picks in the fourth (64 points) and fifth rounds (32.6 points), according to the NFL Draft trade chart. Or the Bucs could pitch in their fifth-rounder (42 points) and ask for the Texans’ second-round pick and their third-rounder (190 points).

Buffalo could surrender their second-round pick (380 points) and their third-rounder (175 points) for Tampa Bay’s second-round selection without the Bucs having to give up any other picks, according to the values listed on the NFL Draft trade chart. Keep in mind that the NFL Draft trade chart is just a guideline, and there are no rules that state that teams must adhere to the chart. There’s a chance a bidding war erupts with several quarterback-needy teams for Hundley if his stock rises at the Combine, and the price could be even higher, which would greatly benefit Tampa Bay.

Here is a look at the pool of players – grouped by position – that could be there either at the top of the second round – or down through the round – that the Bucs could be interested in.

POSSIBLE ROUND 2 TARGETS FOR TAMPA BAY
OFFENSIVE LINE: After drafting a quarterback in the first round, the Bucs’ second-most pressing need is fortifying their offensive line, needing starters at right guard and right tackle – if Demar Dotson’s move to left tackle is a permanent one.

OT La’el Collins – A left tackle at LSU, Collins’ NFL future may be at right tackle or at guard. He’s a feisty competitor who shined during the Senior Bowl, but could slip to Round 2.

OT Cameron Erving – He has the talent to play left tackle, right tackle or center in the NFL. Erving is a strong, athletic player with great versatility and may slide out of the first round.

OT Ty Sambrailo – A left tackle at Colorado State, Sambrailo is a right tackle or a guard in the pros. Sambrailo is tough, smart and a good technician and an underrated athlete.

G Tre Jackson – A three-year starter at Florida State, Jackson is a dominant, run-blocking guard that has good feet in pass protection and the athleticism to block downfield.

G A.J. Cann – Cann is a smart, athletic technician that was equally adept at run blocking and pass protection at South Carolina. He is vying to be the first guard drafted.

G Laken Tomlinson – A big, square-bodied guard with a mean streak and tenacity. The Duke star really upped his stock at the Senior Bowl with a strong showed.

RUNNING BACKS: While the Bucs will likely spend a Day 3 pick on a running back, the team desperately needs to upgrade its rushing attack and could surprise everyone and take a talented halfback earlier than most would expect. Tampa Bay did that a year ago with the drafting of Charles Sims in the third round.

RB Todd Gurley – Gurley is coming off a torn ACL, and if this mega-talented Georgia back somehow slides into the second round he’s simply too good to pass up.

RB Ameer Abdullah – The Nebraska star was the Senior Bowl MVP and is a gifted runner and receiver with tremendous acceleration, vision and surprising toughness.

RB Jay Ajayi – Ajayi displayed incredible balance, strength and speed at Boise State and has seen his stock shoot up draft boards as teams dive into his game film.

RB Tevin Coleman – The Indiana stud used brute strength, physicality and breakaway speed to rush for over 2,000 yards despite being a marked man on offense.

Wide Receivers: Tampa Bay has two tall targets in Vincent Jackson and rookie sensation Mike Evans, but needs to add some speed and home run-hitting ability to the offense. The Bucs are looking for a slot receiver, and one that can double as a return specialist.

WR Nelson Agholor – Agholor, a Tampa native, returned four punts for TDs at USC and averaged over 1,000 yards and nine receiving TDs per season the last two years.

WR Tyler Lockett – Kansas State’s all-time leading receiver led the nation with a 19.4-yard punt return average and used his speed for a total of four return TDs in college.

WR Phillip Dorsett – Quite possibly the fastest player in the draft, the Miami star averaged 24 yards per catch and scored 10 TDs in 2014, and has limited return ability.

WR Jamison Crowder – The fast and shifty Crowder produced three 1,000-yard receiving seasons and returned four punts for touchdowns at Duke.

DEFENSIVE LINE: There isn’t a lot of great talent along the defensive line in the second round, but there are a couple of prospects that could help Tampa Bay’s pass rush.

DE Nate Orchard – The Utah product was second in the nation with 18.5 sacks and had a great Senior Bowl week, showing speed, agility and tenacity coming off the edge.

DT Carl Davis – Iowa’s big, hard-charging defensive tackle boosted his stock with a strong week at the Senior Bowl and is equally tough against the run and the pass.

MIDDLE LINEBACKERS: Tampa Bay needs to find a starting middle linebacker to replace Mason Foster, and the new quarterback of the defense could be found in the second round this year.

LB Eric Kendricks – The UCLA Butkus Award winner is a playmaking beast with the ability to drop in coverage, rush the passer, pursue sideline-to-sideline and create takeaways.UCLA v Colorado

LB Paul Dawson – Dawson showed he could do it all at TCU by racking up sacks, interceptions and tackles for the aggressive Horned Frogs defense.

LB Denzel Perryman – The strong, hard-hitting, compactly-built Perryman continued the strong middle linebacker play at Miami and displayed great leadership.

NICKEL CORNERBACKS: While the Bucs could find a starting nickel cornerback in the later rounds, there are a few premier playmakers that will be available in the second round.

CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu – A former first-round pick before an ACL tear in December, Oregon’s Ekpre-Olomu is a fierce tackler and a fantastic ballhawk that can dominate the slot.

CB D’Joun Smith – The scrappy Florida Atlantic star is more quick than fast, but has tremendous ball skills and a competitive nature for battling wide receivers for passes.

SAFETIES: With the potential departure of overpaid Dashon Goldson, the Bucs could have a huge need at safety and might fill it in the draft by finding a starter to replace him.

FS Cody Prewitt – The big Ole Miss star is a stud run defender in the box, but has surprising range in coverage, evidenced by 24 pass breakups and nine INTs.

That’s 22 players that I have in a second-round draft pool for the Buccaneers – nearly an entire round’s worth of prospects. I know that Tampa Bay likes most of these players, while some are projections I’ve made based upon these players’ skill sets and the Bucs’ needs. Almost all of these 22 potential second-round picks seem capable of starting in the NFL as rookies, and with so many holes to fill on Tampa Bay’s roster, the Bucs could benefit greatly by trading down into the second round and acquiring more draft picks.

The value in this deep draft for Tampa Bay is in the second, third and fourth rounds where there is plenty of talent. By trading down in the second round and parting ways with a player or two – such as Glennon and/or Martin – via trade, it is possible that the Bucs could come away with their own first-round pick, another team’s second-rounder, as many as three third-round selections and a fourth-round pick or two entering Day 3 of the draft. That could represent as many as six or seven potential starters in 2015 as the Bucs have needs at eight identifiable positions, including quarterback, right tackle, right guard, middle linebacker, defensive end, nickel cornerback, slot receiver and return specialist.

For those Bucs fans that want to see their team trade down in the first round and stockpile picks, the second round will likely be the round to do it. That way, Tampa Bay can still get its franchise quarterback – likely Winston – as well as addressing several needs with additional draft picks in the early and middle rounds.

FAB 2. FOR MARIOTA TO HAVE SUCCESS IN TAMPA, BUCS WOULD NEED TO RUN SPREAD OFFENSE
While in Mobile, Ala. for the 2015 Reese’s Senior Bowl I ran into a former Buccaneers scout that I had known for years. He understood the need for Tampa Bay to draft a quarterback and thought – like most do – that Florida State’s Jameis Winston is head and shoulders above Oregon’s Marcus Mariota in terms of development as a pocket passer and being more ready to play after having operated a pro style offense for two years. He said it wasn’t even close between the two quarterbacks, and I had heard that before from several other NFL scouts and talent evaluators.

He told me that Mariota’s lack of anticipation on this throws and accuracy when throwing from the pocket were a big concern in the NFL, in addition to his ability to go through progressions, as well as make the necessary audibles and checks at the line of scrimmage instead of turning to the sidelines to look at Oregon’s cards. But the scout told me that he thought Mariota could succeed in the NFL if the team that selects him – aside from Chip Kelly’s Philadelphia Eagles – changes their scheme and commits to running a spread-type system that he ran at Oregon.

The scout said that the accommodations Carolina’s prior offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski made for Cam Newton as a rookie in 2011, and those that San Francisco’s play-caller, Greg Roman, made for Colin Kapernick that same year eased those players’ transition into the pros because those NFL teams incorporated some of what those quarterbacks were familiar with in terms of the spread offense at their respective colleges at Auburn and Nevada, respectively. The scout pointed to Vince Young’s NFL career and his downward spiral in 2010 as a great example.

While with Tennessee, Young was the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year and a Pro Bowl quarterback in 2006, in addition to becoming a Pro Bowler in 2009. But after falling out of favor with Titans head coach Jeff Fisher, who preferred Kerry Collins at quarterback and transitioned the offense towards that of a pocket passer style, Young could no longer operate in a system that wasn’t tailored for his skill set, which involved some of the quarterback run game, and play-action rollouts.

After bouncing around the league in Philadelphia, Buffalo, Green Bay and Cleveland from 2011-14 and never finding the right fit for his skills, Young retired from the NFL last offseason and returned to Texas, his alma mater, to serve in the school’s division of diversity and community engagement. At age 31, Young’s days in the NFL are over.

“What happens is that one of those young, mobile quarterbacks has success running something that resembles what they did in college for a year or two, then these NFL offensive coordinators want to start throwing the ball [all the time],” the scout said. “It takes away what guys like Vince Young and [Colin] Kaepernick do best and eventually ruins them. They try to make these guys pocket passers, especially when one of them gets hurt scrambling, like RGIII (Robert Griffin III) did, and they’re not. Look what’s happening to him and Kaepernick to a degree.”

The scout said if the Buccaneers want a pocket passer then they should draft Winston. If Tampa Bay wants to commit to running a spread-style offense then it should draft Mariota. It’s really that simple, according to the scout.

I agree. The Bucs should not drTennessee v Oregonaft Mariota and try to convert him into a pocket passer. He’s just not that type of quarterback, and hasn’t shown the ability to consistently throw into tight windows. According to NFL talent evaluators I’ve spoken with, that type of anticipation and accuracy is more of an innate trait than it is a teachable skill.

You either have it or you don’t. Personally, I don’t think Mariota has it, and there are other skeptics out there that agree with me.

Despite the fact that new Bucs quarterbacks coach Mike Bajakian was the offensive coordinator at Central Michigan (2007-09), Cincinnati (2010-12) and Tennessee (2013-14) under Butch Jones and ran a version of the spread offense, it wasn’t the same as the offense Mariota ran at Oregon. And Bajakian won’t be calling plays in Tampa Bay. That’s offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter’s job, and he’s never run the spread offense before.

Despite the attempts by some to connect Koetter to the spread offense, his tenure at Oregon ended in 1997 – 12 years before Kelly brought the spread to the Ducks program. While Koetter and current Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich coached together for nearly a decade at Boise State and Arizona State, Koetter has only run a pro-style offense and developed pocket passers over his career.

Without the Bucs switching to the spread offense, and it doesn’t look like that will happen with Koetter at the helm, drafting Mariota just doesn’t make sense. Especially when there is an exceptional pocket passer in Winston to select with the first overall pick.

Without getting into specifics during his post-season press conference on December 29, Bucs head coach Lovie Smith said his new offensive coordinator, which turned out to be Koetter, will run a balanced attack and even mentioned the spread as a possibility.

“First off: of course I’m going to give him specific things that I want him to do,” Smith said. “Do you want to know those specific things? We want to have balance and we want a productive offense. That’s a pretty wide variety, direction of range on what we want to do. Contrary to public opinion, for some, I don’t want to run the ball out of a 100 play game, I don’t want to run it 99 times from there, and we just want balance.

“I’m keeping all options open, from spread looks to – again, I just want to be able to run and pass the football when we need to and when we want to. It’s kind of as simple as that and as we mold this Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense together, it’s not like I’m going to be over the guy’s shoulder saying ‘Hey, do this or do that.’ I’ve given offensive coordinators that I’ve had a lot of full range to implement their system.”

Koetter’s system will likely resemble what he ran in Atlanta over the years with Matt Ryan handing off to Steven Jackson and Devonta Freeman and throwing the ball to Julio Jones, Roddy White, Harry Douglas and Tony Gonzalez.

Smith went on to point out some of the negatives associated with the spread offense, especially running it at the NFL level where defenders are bigger and faster and scrambling quarterbacks like RGIII have shown a tendency to get hurt.

“I think it’s a good offense, but with every good offense there are some negatives I guess you would say [and one of those] is about protecting the quarterback,” Smith said. “On the other side of the ball, when you’re playing read-option teams, eventually most read-option quarterbacks get hurt I think, so you want to try to protect your quarterback as much as possible, but to occasionally have a couple of those [plays] in your offensive attack is a must nowadays.”

To Smith’s point, Winston is athletic and mobile enough to run a couple of quarterback draws and keepers to surprise defenses. He’s not the statue in the pocket that current Bucs backup Mike Glennon is.

While most NFL scouts and talent evaluators believe Mariota would take a couple of years to develop if a team wanted him to transition into a pocket passer capable of taking snaps under center, reading defenses and making calls at the line of scrimmage and quickly going through progressions in the passing game, Smith and general manager Jason Licht don’t have the time to develop him. Coming off a 2-14 season – and with Glennon not showing the ability to be a winning starting quarterback in the NFL, evidenced by his 4-14 record over the past two years – Smith and Licht don’t have the luxury of going through a 4-12 season in 2015 while their first-round pick develops behind the scenes in practice, but not on Sundays. If they took that approach, there could be a coaching and front office change in 2016 after two dismal seasons at the helm, and Smith and Licht could simply be drafting and developing Mariota for the next regime.

The Bucs would have to incorporate the spread offense for Mariota to quickly transition to the NFL and play as a rookie, and given Smith’s opinion on protecting the quarterback and the hiring of Koetter as the team’s offensive coordinator, it doesn’t look like that would happen. It makes the most sense for Tampa Bay to draft a pocket passer like Winston with the first overall pick instead.

FAB 3. ESCAPABILITY A CONCERN FOR MOBILE QBs THAT AREN’T COMFORTABLE IN THE POCKET
Oregon’s Marcus Mariota and UCLA’s Brett Hundley are two of the most athletic and mobile quarterbacks in the 2015 NFL Draft. Mariota is considered to be a top 10 prospect, while Hundley’s stock could actually rise into the second round with a good showing at the NFL Scouting Combine and at his pro day at UCLA because it’s a weak QB class. Both quarterbacks are expected to dazzle with their speed and athleticism in Indianapolis on Saturday, as times under 4.7 are expected in the 40-yard dash.

But for all of their speed and mobility, Mariota and Hundley – both products of spread offenses in the Pac-12 that featured a ton of high-percentage throws and the quarterback run game – those two quarterbacks took a lot of sacks in 2014 compared to the two top-rated pocket passers in Florida State’s Jameis Winston and Baylor’s Bryce Petty. There is a huge difference between having the mobility to escape and and actually escaping the pocket.

That’s why NFL scouts are so concerned with Mariota and Hundley’s ability to transition from a spread-type offense to becoming pocket passers in a pro-style offense in the NFL. Despite having blazing speed and rushing yards and touchdowns galore, both Mariota and Hundley don’t have great pocket presence or awareness, and take more sacks than they should.

Mariota took an eye-opening 31 sacks, which was a career high, on 486 passing plays last year. That’s a sack on every 15.7 drop backs. He had taken just 18 sacks on 404 passing plays as a sophomore in 2013 and 17 on 353 passing plays as a redshirt freshman. Oregon’s offensive line did suffer some injuries in 2014, including some minor injuries to left tackle Jake Fisher and center Hroniss Grasu, both of whom are mid-round draft prospects this year.

Yet the feeling among NFL scouts and talent evaluators is that a three-year starter like Mariota should be more experienced as a junior and find a way to take fewer sacks by throwing the ball away more often or having more awareness in the pocket. That didn’t happen last year.

Hundley has even less pocket presence than Mariota does. Less capable of going through his progressions than the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner, Hundley often looks to run when his primary receiver is covered and doesn’t have the patience – or the ability – to quickly scan the field and work through his progressions in the passing game. That’s why some NFL scouts have a fifth- or sixth-round grade on him and feel he will be over-drafted.

As a redshirt freshman in 2012, Hundley was sacked an astounding 52 times on 531 passing plays, an average of nearly one sack for every 10 drop backs. He showed significant improvement as a sophomore, getting sacked just 35 times on 444 passing plays, but Hundley was more indecisive as junior, getting sacked 38 times despite dropping back to throw only 407 times.

Petty, who is battling Hundley for the right to be the third quarterback selected in the 2015 NFL Draft behind Winston and Mariota, was only sacked 24 times on 472 passing plays last year. That’s an average of one sack every 19.7 drop backs. As a junior, Petty was sacked just 18 times on 411 passing plays.

Florida State v LouisvilleWinston proved to be much harder to sack in college. While he played behind a more talented offensive line than the other three quarterbacks, Winston did get sacked 27 times as a redshirt freshman on 411 pass plays en route to winning the Heisman Trophy and the BCS Championship in 2013. Yet he showed tremendous improvement as a sophomore last year, taking just 17 sacks on 484 pass plays, which is an average of one sack for every 28.5 drop backs.

Winston and Petty won’t come close to beating the 40-yard dash times of Mariota and Hundley at the NFL Scouting Combine. But avoiding sacks is much more than just being fast and athletic.

Having a pocket presence and the awareness to avoid the rush is about making quick decisions, knowing where the check downs are and having a quick enough release to dump the ball off to dodge a sack. The ability to process information quickly and move around inside the pocket by stepping up in the pocket or sidestepping the rush is actually more important than being able to run a 4.6 in the 40-yard dash.

Former Bucs quarterback and current NFL analyst for ESPN Trent Dilfer ran the Elite 11 QB Camp in 2011 when Winston was a highly-touted high school senior. At the time, Dilfer praised the 18-year old Winston’s intelligence and ability to process information, proclaiming it to be superior to the other quarterbacks in attendance. He told Winston that NFL defenses are quite good at containing athletic passers at the pro level, and forcing those scrambling quarterbacks to beat teams with their arm.

“When you are playing on Sundays, which I really believe you will if you want to, it’s going to come down to a third-and-7 in the fourth quarter, down by four – and they are going to keep you in the pocket,” Dilfer told Winston. “They are not going to let you be fast and quick and all that. And that’s going to be a mistake because you are going to beat them here (points to his head), and that’s what I’m most impressed with.”

Like Dilfer, NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock is a big believer in quarterbacks winning games from the pocket, and that’s why he has Winston rated ahead of Mariota.

“Most quarterbacks come out of the spread now, and they’re projections, like Marcus Mariota,” Mayock said. “I love so much about Mariota, but he is a projection. I’m much more comfortable projecting Winston, even with the interceptions, because he was a pocket guy at Florida State. And his ability to win games in the second half is mind-boggling.”

Mariota and Hundley may indeed generate substantial buzz for their athleticism at the NFL Scouting Combine, but that won’t help them as much on Sundays when it’s third-and-7 and both defensive ends are playing contain and the middle linebacker is applying pressure by blitzing through the “A” gap. That’s where Mariota and Hundley will hurt themselves – and their future teams – if they don’t take steps necessary to develop better pocket presence and learn how to go through their progressions in the pocket to get rid of the ball quickly at the next level. But that’s not going to happen overnight due to the spread offenses they were in at Oregon and UCLA, respectively.

Unfortunately for impatient NFL teams, developing those skills is going take some time, as Tennessee is seeing with Jake Locker, Washington is finding out with Robert Griffin III and Cleveland is experiencing with Johnny Manziel. That’s why teams that draft Mariota and Hundley need to be patient with their quarterbacks and not rush them into the starting lineup – or incorporate some elements of the spread offense that they’ll be comfortable with. Being patient is easier to do with a quarterback like Hundley, who could go in the second or third round, as opposed to Mariota, who figures to be a top 10 pick, as there will be more pressure on the first-round pick to play sooner.

FAB 4. RHETT’S AIRPLANE HI-JINX IN 1996 
To celebrate my 20 years of covering the Buccaneers I’m going to share with you some of the behind-the-scenes encounters I’ve had over the last two decades. These stories will appear in the first 20 SR’s Fab 5 columns of 2015, which encompasses much of the offseason.

Last week I detailed some shenanigans involving former Bucs running back Errict Rhett and his pet Rottweiler. I’m going to finish up my trip down memory lane with Rhett with a couple of his hi-jinx on the team-chartered plane. In 1996, I had the good fortune of traveling on the team plane with the players and coaches, seeing a unique side of the Buccaneers, including Rhett, as they traveled to away games.

Rhett got a few laughs at the expense of rookie defensive end Marcus Jones, the team’s first-round pick in 1996. Jones was deathly afraid of flying, and after Rhett’s holdout ended and he rejoined the team he quickly found that out.

Rhett happened to be sitting behind Jones on the flight and once the plane left the ground, Jones started to tremble and sweating profusely. Once the flight made it’s first turn and hit the slightest bit of turbulence just minutes after taking off, Rhett started pounding on Jones’ seat and yelled, ‘We’re going down! We’re all going to die!’ That caused Jones to assume the crash position, yell and freak out, much to Rhett’s amusement as he began to laugh hysterically along with some of his Buccaneers teammates. Rhett was a jokester and he was determined to get a laugh – even at another’s expense.

But Bucs linebacker Derrick Brooks got the last laugh at Rhett’s expense later during the 1996 season. The two players made a bet on the Florida-Florida State game that was held on the day Tampa Bay traveled to Carolina to play the Panthers. The Gators were undefeated and ranked first in the nation, while the undefeated Seminoles ranked second.

Errict RhettThe nature of the bet was that the loser of the bet had to stop, drop and do 20 push-ups at the victor’s whim. When the score was announced on the plane intercom near the end of the flight that the Seminoles had won, 24-21, in Tallahassee, the plane erupted and Brooks yelled out to Rhett to do his push-ups.

Rhett ignored the pilot’s request to stay seated with the seatbelt on. He got down in the aisle of the plane, much to the flight attendants’ chagrin, and did 20 push-ups as Brooks and most of the Buccaneers roared with laughter.

After the Panthers destroyed the Bucs, 24-0, in a rain-soaked game in Carolina the next day to clinch the franchise’s first playoff berth, I went up to Rhett to talk to him after the game in the locker room. Rhett finished the game with 68 yards on 18 carries (3.7 avg.).

When I approached him, Rhett looked at me shook his head.

“Man, we sucked today,” Rhett said.

“This had to be a rough weekend for you with the Gators losing to the Seminoles and then the Bucs losing,” I said.

Rhett looked at me and muttered, “You have no idea.”

He then proceeded to tell me that all throughout the night, Brooks called his hotel room phone and demanded he do push-ups. In the middle of the night, before the wake-up call, at breakfast, on the bus to the stadium, and during the pre-game warm-ups Rhett was told to do 20 push-ups each time due to the Seminoles winning and him losing the bet.

“Man, my arms are so sore today,” Rhett told me. “I must have done a thousand push-ups since yesterday thanks to Brooks!”

FAB 5. SR’s BUC SHOTS

• Much has been made about the amount of interceptions Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston has thrown this year (18) compared to how few picks Oregon’s Marcus Mariota has tossed (four). NFL Network’s Mike Mayock told MMQB’s Peter King this week that he’s “scared to death of Jameis Winston off the field, and I’m scared to death of how many interceptions he throws. He threw seven interceptions against Louisville and Florida, and could have been 12 or 13 if the other teams could catch the ball.”

But what about fumbles – the other kind of turnover? Of the top four quarterbacks in the 2015 NFL Draft, Winston is the best with only 13 fumbles over the past two seasons with four resulting in turnovers. Baylor’s Bryce Petty is next with the fewest fumbles in his career with 13 – five of which resulted in actual turnovers. Twelve of Petty’s 13 fumbles happened over the past two years when he was a full-time starter.

Mariota is next with a hefty 27 fumbles in three years, an average of nine per season. He had nine as a redshirt freshman with five lost to the other teams, 11 as a sophomore with three ending up as turnovers, but reduced the number to seven in 2014 with three resulting in turnovers.

Hundley is even worse with an astounding 29 fumbles in three years. He had 11 fumbles as a redshirt freshman, losing three, seven fumbles with no turnovers as a sophomore in 2013 and 11 more fumbles as a junior with seven resulting in turnovers.

• If you want a strong indication that the Buccaneers are going to use their first-round pick on a quarterback, consider that since 1998, the first overall pick in the draft has been used on a quarterback 12 times. That’s by far the most of any position and proof that the NFL is a quarterback-driven league. Three defensive ends and two offensive tackles have also been selected first overall since 1998.

• The last four quarterbacks selected with the first overall pick – Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck (2012), Carolina’s Cam Newton (2011), St. Louis’ Sam Bradford (2010) and Detroit’s Matthew Stafford (2009) – have been opening day starters as rookies.

• The NFL Scouting Combine could set the stage for the Buccaneers signing linebacker Lavonte David to a contract extension. With a great deal of agents descending on Indianapolis over the weekend with their draft prospects, NFL general managers split time between interviewing those wanna-be pro players and talking with agents about free agency. In addition to some tampering, agents will try to get their existing clients who are entering contract years new deals.

Mitch Frankel, David’s agent, is in Indianapolis and I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a meeting scheduled with general manager Jason Licht regarding extending the star linebacker, who was a Pro Bowl alternate in 2014. David will likely command between $7-8 million per season based on the fact that he’s a more talented linebacker than Seattle’s K.J. Wright, who signed an extension worth an average of $6.75 million per season last December.

• Stay tuned to PewterReport.com next Wednesday for our third edition of the 2015 Bucs’ 7-Round Mock Draft following the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine.

• I wanted to give a big thank you to celebrity Bucs fan Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys for his time to do a 30-minute interview a few weeks ago. I did a two-part story on Carter, who is an avid PewterReport.com fan, that talked about how the Buccaneers actually helped start his Backstreet Boys career and how he would like to see Tampa Bay draft quarterback Jameis Winston with the first overall pick this year. It was great getting to know Carter, who was very cool and extremely down to earth. You don’t even have to be a fan of the Backstreet Boys or pop music to appreciate what Buccaneers football means to this Tampa Bay area native. If you haven’t read the stories yet, I encourage you to do so. Both have been very popular reads this week on PewterReport.com.

• And finally, I also wanted to thank the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization for recognizing my 20 years of covering the team with a framed Pewter Report Bucs jersey that was given to me last month. I was surprised and a bit speechless when presented with that gracious gift. As the creator of the name Pewter Report, which came about in 2002 as we transitioned away from Buccaneer Magazine, receiving the Pewter Report Bucs jersey with the No. 20 on it was a PRBUCS20JERSEYtremendous gesture and one that I greatly appreciate.

Covering the Buccaneers and providing insight and inside scoop to all of you fans and serving you as a direct conduit to the team is a responsibility that I greatly enjoy and one I take very seriously. This Pewter Report Bucs No. 20 jersey hangs in my home as a constant reminder of how blessed I am to have each and every one of you visit the website regularly, loyally read my SR’s Fab 5 columns and choose PewterReport.com as a primary source of news and analysis on the Buccaneers. By you visiting PewterReport.com and patronizing our advertisers and sponsors, and the Buccaneers recognizing PewterReport.com as one of the leading sources of Bucs news, I have been provided with a long-standing career that has supported my family for two decades. Thank you.

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

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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surferdudes
surferdudes
6 years ago

Nice insight on the Q.B.’s Scott. Come on Famous Jameis!

jongruden
jongruden
6 years ago

I’m tired of talking about the mariota vs Winston Debate at this at this point I don;t care which one we choose as long as its only these two guys. As far as the other picks I want a LT in round two we only have one proven starter in Demar Dotson so we desperately need another tackle, then in round 3 I would address a LB and take guards in round 4 after that its a free for all I don;t really care where we go after that

Dbuc63
Dbuc63
Reply to  jongruden
6 years ago

So now the guy who degraded anyone favoring Winston or even critiquing Mariota is now on board with Winston. Perhaps even your reading comprehension is better as well. I for one do not like either one of the QB’s and if we pick Winston, I hope I’m wrong, but it will be 4 more years of subpar play and back where we are today. It’s a crap shoot at best. I also read a statistic on the Bucs that stated we never resigned a QB that we drafted..EVER. I hope we break that spell in 4 years if we go… Read more »

macabee
macabee
6 years ago

I learned something yesterday that I did not know – Mariota has never called a play from the huddle…well, not since high school. By his own words from his impressive presser when asked what his biggest NFL adjustment will be, Mariota answered without hesitation, “It’s going to be huddling. I haven’t huddled in a while. It seems like a little detail, but it is kind of a big thing.” He further went on to say “Coach Connell (Kevin Connell) had me write the plays down and I’ve been saying them at night, just to get used to hearing my voice”!… Read more »

e
e
6 years ago

Ha! Great story on Rhett as well as the recognition from the Bucs organization. Congrats! e

jongruden
jongruden
6 years ago

I’ve watched Hundley is whole career as he is from AZ and I watched him in highschool, he is very atheletic with a strong arm and very fast we he takes off, the problem with him is he is very inconsistant and sprays the ball wildly at times, he reminds me of Freeman which isn’t a good thing. i would stay away from Hundley!!!!!

magoobee
magoobee
Reply to  jongruden
6 years ago

Agree totally. Accuracy is VERY important.

Bucko40
Bucko40
6 years ago

PR I hope you have a contingency plan when the Bucs select the Game Manager over the Gunslinger.

ayron54
ayron54
6 years ago

We need to take a serious look at Dorial Green-Beckham!! At 6 ft 6 and the speed and freak of nature athleticism he possess he could learn and and to our twin towers approach and eventually be there to replace when the time comes. I’m very interested to see this kid at the combine. Lovie Smith would be the perfect coach for this kid.

magoobee
magoobee
Reply to  ayron54
6 years ago

A corrections officer is the best coach for this kid.

KINDERRT
KINDERRT
6 years ago

I’m a little tired of the comparisons of Winston to Mariota also but it will continue up until draft day. That being said I also agree with SR that with our personal and players the pick should be Winston. It would be foolish not to pick someone who rates close to Luck but when it comes to the Bucs anything is possible. The Rhett story is quite funny, maybe more so to me as I know Marcus Jones well as he still lives in Tampa. I will have to ask him about the story and get his take on it… Read more »

makski
makski
6 years ago

Hey jongruden, I agree on drafting a LT, or at least getting one in FA. I do not think that Dotson is the answer at LT. I think he can be a very respectable RT, but do not think they should permanently move him to LT. We need a QB, LT, a Guard or 2, a nickel CB and a MLB. Then throw in some of the other many positions of need, PR/KR, WR depth, RB depth, DE depth or possibly starter etc. Oh boy Bucs, I hope you guys are ready and studying HARD for this FA period and… Read more »

Bucmeister
Bucmeister
6 years ago

That is what I call a fair and balanced report. After your report on the super human QB that can do no wrong versus a nice guy that should stay home and not even consider the NFL you should become Winston’s agent. Yes MM had more sacks this year, it couldn’t have had anything to do with 60% of his OL was injured. You “forgot” to mention they lost their starting left tackle before the season started. Poor Winston, all he had was 3 OL who will be drafted in the first two days. Mayock stated its not fair to… Read more »

buclover1988
buclover1988
Reply to  Bucmeister
6 years ago

All Scott Reynolds knows how to do is be biased Bucmeister. In order to do a therough persuasive piece, you must present both positives and negatives about both subjects then provide an overall conclusion on why you believe your choice is the right one. that’s writing 101 but that’s not found here. Stop kknocking mariota who is by far the best mobile qb to come out imo since Michael Vick and mariota posses way more franchise qb qualities than Vick. The way you talk Scott as well as all your “nfl scout sources” mariota shouldn’t be taken until the seventh… Read more »

deeznuts
deeznuts
Reply to  Bucmeister
6 years ago

I am in the same boat (pirate ship) as you guys. PR and the media knock Mariota for being the soft spoken even though our franchise leaders, Gerald McCoy/VJax/Lavonte (and years past- Ronde Barber, D.Brooks, etc), are similar personality types. You don’t have to be a rah-rah loud guy to lead your offense down the field (Even Josh Freeman had quite a few 4th Q comebacks); IMO the best NFL QB- A.Rodgers- is also a quiet guy. We will be making an unforgettable mistake if we draft Winston- Mayock has even stated his fear of Winstons INT issues. I don’t… Read more »

grafikdetail
grafikdetail
Reply to  deeznuts
6 years ago

• Winston is a much better pocket passer – NFL games are won by QBs in the pocket • Winston won every start, including a championship with a clutch throw, except 1 in college • Winston has experience under center, calling plays in the huddle and making his own checks at the line • Winston can come in and start right away and have a better chance at success, which is important for Lovie and Licht coming off a 2-14 season • Winston is 7-0 in games decided by 7 points or less. Mariota is 2-3 in those type of… Read more »

pinkstob
pinkstob
6 years ago

Fab 1: I agree 100%. I think some of the guys you named as 2nd round candidates will fall to the 3rd or even 4th round but the point remains the same: we should be trying to trade down in the 2nd to pick up as many of these guys as possible later on. Fab 2: Some of your points I agree with on this one and some I don’t. One problem with this debate (and this isn’t just on PR) we aren’t talking the same language when we use certain terms. Let me clarify what I mean. Most have… Read more »

pinkstob
pinkstob
Reply to  pinkstob
6 years ago

One last point on comments on Fab 2. All five of the offense I described are “pro style offenses” because they are all used in the NFL to some capacity.

pinkstob
pinkstob
Reply to  pinkstob
6 years ago

Okay so that wasn’t the last point about Fab 2. Vince Young only scored a Wonderlic score of 6 and later retook it and scored a 16. Mariota is way smarter than that and will be able learn any NFL offense, where Young couldn’t.

ABLT
ABLT
6 years ago

Scott – Thank you for stealing my article about trading down, which I wrote on BucsNation.com TWO days ago. Sure, you dressed it up, added a few sentences – but this is honestly ridiculous.

http://www.bucsnation.com/2015/2/18/8065345/the-case-for-trading-down-from-the-bucs-2nd-round-pick

beardmcdoug
beardmcdoug
Reply to  ABLT
6 years ago

he didn’t “steal your article”. The concept of the Bucs trading down in the second because this team would be better suited stocking up during a bottom heavy draft isn’t exactly rocket science. you we’re inventing the wheel there buddy. that’s a weak ass allegation.

beardmcdoug
beardmcdoug
Reply to  beardmcdoug
6 years ago

weren’t

buclover1988
buclover1988
Reply to  Scott Reynolds
6 years ago

Lol ok. Scott Reynolds does not plagerise. That’s ridiculous that anyone would ever accuse him of that. Scott, I know I give you a hard time but I know you work hard. Without you, following the bucs wouldn’t be the same

DCGoth
DCGoth
Reply to  Scott Reynolds
6 years ago

I agree. I read both articles, after following the link. The only similarity is in the title. Beyond that, there is little to no resemblance between the two columns.

As SR mentioned, this is along the lines of having a similar mock draft.

georgehicks
georgehicks
6 years ago

I’d appreciate. What would happen if Tampa traded down with example with Cleveland for their two picks in the first round, then gets Cleveland 3rd pick this year and a no#2 in 2016, and with pick 13 Tampa could get QB hundley or a DL with pick 12 or pick QB Bryce Petty with 19, Then Tampa trades Matin and Glenn for mult picks then bring in another QB like Sanchrz. Or Just picked tyhe best QB at no#1, and trade away Glenn and Martin in Rd-2 and Rd-4 like you said. Iam so sick in tired of Tampa says… Read more »

DCGoth
DCGoth
Reply to  georgehicks
6 years ago

Trading down just isn’t the answer. The Bucs will not win with Petty or Hundley. Additionally, the Sanchise, Foles, or even Glennon are not going to carry a team in the interim while one of those players develops, and LS needs to produce results after going 2-14. The Bucs need to draft on of the two quarterbacks available and hope they can build from the other picks and Free Agency. On a personal note, I am willing to wait it out if I see the Glasers attempting to build a decent team; however, I will not pay for season tickets… Read more »

compewterpirate
compewterpirate
6 years ago

Why would anyone listen to Mark Dominic? His draft record as GM of the Bucs was abysmal. There is a considerable degree of rationale in favor of a decision to trade down in the first round and parlay our #1 overall draft pick into multiple 1st and 2nd round selections, both this year and next. That would ensure an essential upgrade in personnel across the board and greatly improve the team as a whole. Having a high or indeed #1 draft pick is not and never has been any guarantee of acquiring a franchise quarterback. For example, out of recent… Read more »

buddah
buddah
6 years ago

BORING AND BIASED. I am not an Oregon fan and I did not go to FSU. I want what is best for my team, the Buccaneers. Jamies Winston is a high risk selection. I agree that if you’re thinking short term, he should be the pick. But I have no doubt whatsoever that Mariota will have the better career. he’s the better athlete and the saner individual. Scott, your reporting is really terrible. Three months ago, you wrote a piece saying that the Buccaneers should trade down IN THE FIRST ROUND. Have you forgotten that? Now it’s all about Winston.… Read more »

compewterpirate
compewterpirate
Reply to  Scott Reynolds
6 years ago

Hi Scott, Always a pleasure to talk to you about the Bucs. If you read my post above you will understand exactly why I agreed with you, back in October, about the Bucs using their #1 daft pick to trade down and garner multiple high value draft picks in return. Since that time it has become only more apparent that this is a bad football team, with multiple positional needs, that has been left denuded with respect to talent on the roster, by thoroughly incompetent and ineffectual drafting over many years. In my opinion that makes it even more imperative… Read more »

salish_sea
salish_sea
6 years ago

I’m kinda over the QB talk. Also, I just don’t care about Errict Rhett run-ins from 20 years ago. That’s fluff. I want football talk that matters for next year that hasn’t been done on every other football site. Fab 5 is no longer a great source for insider info that it once was. Oh well. Honestly, I would rather hear about players on the bottom of the roster who the Bucs might be excited about developing than hearing the Winston/Mariota talk. And serious, the nostalgia items in the Fab 5 need to go.

buclover1988
buclover1988
Reply to  salish_sea
6 years ago

True the qb talk is getting old, but it’s still a huge deal when it comes to the bucs future. The whole nfl world has there eyes on us and what we do will change our franchise Forever. Its that big of a deal to this team. Are we gonna take a jamarcus Russel or Eric crouch? Do we get a Peyton manning or arron rodgers? Or do trade down load up on picks, hit every one if them or do we trade down and whiff while either mariota, Winston, or both have stellar careers and our franchise is the… Read more »

BuccanAy
BuccanAy
6 years ago

Over the past few years,actually since the hiring of Mark Cook, this site has made a major transition away from un-biased, anaylitical breakdowns of possible Buc draft choices, with a nice writeup of pros vs cons as to why they may be a fit here. Which was great stuff, and a true service to the readers of PR. But over the last few, objectivity has taken a back seat to more personal opinions of PR writers, one of which is religious affliation. Derek Carr was the front runner at Qb, according to PR because of his Christian beliefs, while Mike… Read more »

buclover1988
buclover1988
Reply to  BuccanAy
6 years ago

Extremely well put buccanay.

DCGoth
DCGoth
Reply to  BuccanAy
6 years ago

Unless Jesus is willing to take snaps under center, which I’m thinking not, all I care about is winning. WHile I would prefer Mariota, I will be happy with either QB selected, as they both did well at the combine; however, I could really care less if they are bible thumpers or Satan worshippers. Just win.

1BigOne
1BigOne
6 years ago

Off subject here. But can any of you that live in Tampa get gear for cheap? I love in California and my only option is NFL.com which I find to be highly overpriced. Or maybe direct me to a website that has cheap stuff?

WindyCityBuc
WindyCityBuc
6 years ago

Okay Scott. We get the point. Not only do you think that the Bucs should draft Winston, but you also think that they will in fact, draft Winston. You don’t need to keep making that argument to us readers. You aren’t a lawyer making an argument to a jury. You have clearly stated multiple times in multiple articles that this is how you feel. We get it and that’s fine. The fact of the matter is that until they turn their card in on draft day, nobody knows who they will take. And that includes you with all of your… Read more »

scubog
scubog
6 years ago

Boy the natives sure are restless Scott. This is supposed to be a football/Buccaneer site but too often people want to inject their religious (Christian) beliefs as if you can’t be a good human being unless you wear that moniker. Some here believe Mariota will become the better QB simply because they think he is a better person and refuse to look beyond that when evaluating him as a NFL prospect. If Mariota were in fact the better QB, the fact that he’s a real nice guy would only be an added bonus. No one knows how either will turn… Read more »

matador
matador
6 years ago

With every article PR confirms that some of the posters are more insightful than its writers. Pinks tog’ sin particular points out the many flaws in your approach and thinking. mayo I points out that Winston could have thrown 12-13 picks in two games and your response is to…switch the subject to fumbles??? No, you’re not pushing a biased agenda are you? I wish you’d just stop, especially since you’ve been wrong about our QBs every time.

arick1010
arick1010
6 years ago

SR…I usually don’t read comments, and after what I read after the Feb20 Fab 5…amazing. Only one Fab 5 comment for me…every Saturday, one of my life enjoyments is to read about the Bucs. SR…I disagree with about a third of what you write, but enjoy reading 100%, and my first read every Saturday (for most if not all of the Fab 5’s history) is Fab 5. When I first signed up for PR, I think I mailed you a check for about 5 years (trying to help you stay alive), and signed up as OneBucNut. I don’t know if… Read more »

cbrady2k
cbrady2k
6 years ago

I really enjoy these long form articles, always well written and entertaining. Keep it going.

Buctebow
Buctebow
6 years ago

My only real concern is whether the Bucs turn in their card before their time runs out! One way or another we will get a good player.

georgehicks
georgehicks
6 years ago

WELL BUC FANS THERE ARE A LOT OF OPTIONS.NO#1 FIRST PICK DRAFT A QB-J WINSTON. THEN GET OL AROUND HIM,AND THE REST DEFENSIVE PLAYERS-GO BUCS

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