SR’s Fab 5 is a collection of inside scoop, analysis and insight from yours truly, PewterReport.com publisher and Bucs beat writer Scott Reynolds. Here are a few things that caught my attention this week at One Buc Place and around the NFL:
A note from SR: I’m vacationing throughout the month of July, but I didn’t want to leave my loyal readers of SR’s Fab 5 without any fresh Bucs content this summer. Because of my vacation schedule and the time it takes to invest in writing a 6,000-word column, I’ve had to compromise. The first two sections of this week’s and next week’s SR’s Fab 5 column will feature brand new editorial followed by two “Best Of” sections and than a new SR’s Buc Shots segment. Enjoy.
FAB 1. BUCS FOCUSED ON BRENT GRIMES, NOT MIKO
Tampa Bay’s secondary wasn’t as bad as you might think it was last year.
That’s the message that Bucs general manager Jason Licht and Tampa Bay’s personnel department sent to the team and its fan base when it not only kept cornerbacks Alterraun Verner and Johnthan Banks from a year ago, but also re-signed safeties Chris Conte, Bradley McDougald and Keith Tandy to short-term deals.
Oh, Tampa Bay’s secondary could be better, especially after allowing a league-high 70 percent completion rate by opposing quarterbacks and surrendering 31 passing touchdowns, which was tied for fourth-most in the NFL last year.
Bucs CBs Alterraun Verner and Brent Grimes – Photo: Cliff Welch/PR
Throw in the fact that the Bucs secondary only produced six interceptions in 2015, including just two from the cornerback position, which is an embarrassment, and you can see why head coach Lovie Smith, who was the defensive play-caller last year, and his defensive coaches were sent packing after just two years on the job.
To be clear, in firing Smith and keeping Verner, Banks, Conte, McDougald and cornerback Jude Adjei-Barimah, who all started last year, the front office essentially said the problem in pass defense in 2015 was more coaching and scheme than it was lack of talent.
To hedge their bets, the Bucs bolstered the secondary in free agency with the signings of four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes, who played for Mike Smith in Atlanta from 2008-12, and cornerback Josh Robinson, and then drafted cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III with the 11th overall pick, and selected safety Ryan Smith in the fourth round.
“We know we improved our depth at corner,” Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter said during the OTAs. “We have great competition. We’re trying to get competition at every position. Vernon Hargreaves and Alterraun Verner have both stood out.”
Of all the new additions to Tampa Bay’s secondary, Grimes and Hargreaves are the headliners. Verner had the best spring of any cornerback and is expected to start opposite Grimes, who missed some time during the OTAs with a minor injury, at right cornerback. Banks and Robinson appear firmly entrenched as second-team cornerbacks heading into training camp.
Adjei-Barimah has impressed and saw most of the first-team reps at nickel cornerback during the OTAs and mini-camp, but many, including PewterReport.com, expect Hargreaves to eventually become the starting nickel due to his exceptional ball skills. How long Hargreaves stays in the slot in nickel defense is the bigger question, though.
Bucs CB Vernon Hargreaves III, GM Jason Licht and HC Dirk Koetter – Photo by: Cliff Welch
With a high draft pick invested in the former Florida standout, it’s only a matter of time before Hargreaves moves outside and becomes an every-down starter.
“I think we’ve got guys that can play both inside and outside and Vernon falls right into that category,” Smith said. “At Florida he was more of an outside guy, so we wanted to first expose him to the nickel position. As I said, we’re going to play more five-defensive back and six-defensive back schemes than we are when we’re lining up with four DBs, so we have to have these guys cross-trained and I do believe he has the football intelligence and the background to play both inside and outside.”
Grimes, who was signed at the urging of Smith and Koetter, is still playing at a high level despite the fact that he will turn 33 on July 19. But it’s clear the Bucs drafted his replacement in Hargreaves, a player who already admires Grimes.
“There’s a whole bunch of good guys that I’m here to learn – you know, Brent Grimes is a guy that I really look up to,” Hargreaves said. “I like to model his game, so I’m going to be in his pocket, asking him a bunch of questions and he’s going to be annoyed with me, but he’s just going to have to deal with me for a little bit.”
The reason why Grimes, who is coming off his fourth Pro Bowl appearance, is playing in Tampa Bay and not Miami this year is largely due to what transpired with Grimes’ outspoken and controversial wife, Miko, whose profane Twitter rants against the Dolphins organization – specifically quarterback Ryan Tannehill – and some Dolphins beat writers made national news last year, in addition to her arrest in the parking lot before a Miami game.
“I think everybody knows what she represented,” Dolphins owner Stephen Ross told the Palm Beach Post. “I thought it was best that the Dolphins move on from Brent and Miko.”
Miko Grimes made national news for all the wrong reasons again this week in anti-semitic fashion against Ross.
“Gotta respect ross for keeping his jew buddies employed but did he not see how tannenbaum put the jets in the dumpster w/that sanchez deal?????”
— Miko Grimes (@iHeartMiko) July 11, 2016
Her remarks offended the Jewish community, including Fox NFL insider Jay Glazer, and according to Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole, the Glazer family (no relation to Jay), who own the Buccaneers and signs her husband’s checks.
The Buccaneers declined to comment on Miko Grimes’ remarks.
Brent Grimes isn’t being judged inside One Buccaneer Place for the rude, bigoted comments from his wife on social media, and has plenty of allies in the building in Licht, Koetter and Smith, who are solely focused on Grimes’ ability on the football field.
“Grimes is an extremely good athlete,” Smith said during the OTAs. “I like to say he’s short, but he plays big. This is a guy that’s been to multiple Pro Bowls, he’s a fantastic athlete, he’s got great jumping ability, he plays much bigger than his measured height and he’s very athletic. He’s quick out of his breaks and he’s one the fastest and quickest defensive backs I’ve ever been around.”
But the Glazers are image-conscience owners and pay a great deal of attention to what is written about and talked about in the media. They trust Licht and Koetter to do their jobs, but at the end of the day, it’s the Glazers’ team. If they decide that Grimes’ wife becomes too much of a distraction to the point where it becomes detrimental to the team they won’t hesitate to take action, although that’s unlikely to come this year.
Bucs CB Brent Grimes & DC Mike Smith – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Licht and Koetter drafted Hargreaves to eventually replace Grimes, who was only signed to a two-year deal worth $13.5 million, but it comes with $7 million in guaranteed money in 2016. The plan was that Hargreaves would be groomed to succeed Grimes in the starting lineup down the road. But if the rookie gets the defense down quickly and ascends up the depth chart, Grimes might be replaced sooner than some might think, especially if Miko’s foul mouth becomes a detriment to the team.
There is no doubt that the Buccaneers will be a better team from a talent and competitive depth standpoint with Grimes on the roster and Hargreaves learning from him.
“This guy reminds me a lot of Brent Grimes,” Koetter said after drafting Hargreaves in April. “One of the things Jason does is we do ‘comparable players’ and this guy has excellent plant and drive, he’s quick, he’s tough. He can play off, he can play press, he can play supporting the run, he can play on both sides, possibly play inside at nickel. We’ll see when he gets here, but I think it’s a big win.
“I really like the kid’s confidence. I liked his confidence a lot. I thought he was very articulate, I thought he had bright eyes. I thought he was eager to learn, I thought he had a short memory. I think at corner in the NFL – the guys he’s going to be covering in our division – he’s going to need to have a short memory. We thought Jameis [Winston] was maybe a little too overconfident last year, but that could be a good thing and I think that Vernon’s confidence is going to be an asset as well.”
As long as Grimes is playing at a high level the team will hold its nose and tolerate Miko Grimes’ social media rants – some of which are ignorant and uncalled for. The minute his play is viewed as being in decline, Hargreaves will take over whether that’s in two years, next year or even sometime this year.
“He’s got great quickness, tremendous explosiveness, he’s smart, competitive, he’s playing two spots – he’s playing corner and nickel,” Koetter said of Hargreaves. “Exactly what we thought when we drafted him.”
FAB 2. HOW MUCH OF A DISTRACTION IS MIKO?
If you didn’t know who Miko Grimes was before this week, chances are you do now.
The foul-mouthed wife of new Buccaneers cornerback Brent Grimes, a four-time Pro Bowler, took to Twitter last year to rip the Miami Dolphins organization, specifically quarterback Ryan Tannehill, and members of the media that cover the Dolphins. On Monday, she caused a stir by using an anti-Semitic remark in a tweet directed towards Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, who is Jewish.
Miko and Brent Grimes
The remark offended a lot of people in the Jewish community, including the Glazer family, according to Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole. I can confirm that several members of the Bucs’ brass weren’t happy with Miko Grimes’ racial outburst on Twitter.
Neither the Bucs, nor the Dolphins commented, which was to be expected, although respected Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones wrote an excellent column on the subject. Here’s a key point from Jones’ column:
“Much of what she says can be dismissed as the rants of a celebrity wannabe. Most of what she says is, and should be, ignored. Until she crosses the line and makes anti-Semitic remarks as she did on Twitter this week. Then it absolutely should not be ignored. Then it’s everyone’s responsibility to call her out, including fans, the media and, especially, the organization that employs her husband. To ignore such views is to be complicit in her discrimination — and that goes for all of us.”
I didn’t want to write a word about Miko Grimes this year. I would certainly prefer to write about Brent Grimes and his contributions to the Buccaneers instead.
The fact that she has a history of saying outlandish things on Twitter, and that some of those remarks could have certainly contributed to the release of her husband by Miami earlier this year is news-worthy, and essentially dictated that PewterReport.com follow Miko Grimes on Twitter.
I have ignored scores of her incendiary tweets over the last couple of months, including some absolutely offensive, repulsive, racially bigoted tweets on July 8, the night that 11 Dallas police officers and a transit cop were shot with five of those officers dying. I didn’t want PewterReport.com to even have to cover Miko Grimes’ anti-Semitic remarks on Twitter earlier this week, but once the story went national we were forced to and reluctantly posted a story.
I don’t know Miko Grimes. I haven’t met her and I do not like to judge a book by its cover.
Perhaps she’s different in person. Yet she swears on Twitter that what you see is what you get, and that her Twitter persona is the real Miko. If that’s the case, I have a hard time giving her the benefit of the doubt due to her ignorance and lack of civility.
It was inevitable that Miko Grimes would block our @PewterReport Twitter account, which happened late Tuesday night. Earlier that day I tweeted out:
“The #Bucs don’t like her, but they also don’t employ her. They are solely interested in Brent – not Miko.”
@PewterReport July 12
That was in response to a tweet from a Bucs fan, who said: “Can’t understand why the TB front office has remained quiet. Thought they would disavow her comments publicly w/more force.”
I want to warn you that some of the editorial that follows contains profanity and a level of vulgarity not typically found on PewterReport.com.
I was trying to relay the news as I heard it from my Bucs sources, but Miko obviously took issue with that and replied to @PewterReport by saying: “Who told u they dont like me u lying piece of shit?”
I don’t get offended easily – and I wasn’t offended after Miko’s post. I have some of the thickest skin in the business after 22 years of covering the Buccaneers and being a public figure in the Tampa Bay area and in NFL circles. I’ve been called far worse before and didn’t reply to Miko directly, only stating to another Bucs fan that, “She’s clueless. That’s pretty apparent.”
Clueless – as in not knowing me, or the excellent reputation PewterReport.com has built over the last two decades with the team and the Bucs fan base by telling the truth in our reporting. We don’t lie, and will be more plugged in at One Buccaneer Place than she will ever be.
Shortly before being blocked from viewing her Twitter account Tuesday night, Miko Grimes tweeted: [email protected]
Again, it’s no big deal. Name-calling doesn’t offend me.
But I state this because I want you to know that this is the type of uncivilized, bigoted person we’re dealing with here. As Jones wrote in his column for the Tampa Bay Times, she deserves to be called out and repudiated.
Late Tuesday night @PewterReport joined a media “blocked party” that also includes ProFootballTalk.com, WDAE 620 AM, WDAE afternoon sports talk host Steve Duemig, and Tampa Bay Times Bucs beat writer Greg Auman.
Why anyone would want to ban a classy journalist and mild-mannered fellow like Auman is beyond belief, and makes no sense to me.
I couldn’t care less that Miko Grimes banned us, and I hope for her husband’s sake and the Bucs’ sake that outside of this column I don’t have to write her name again this year because there haven’t been any more ill-mannered outbursts on social media that make national news.
But unfortunately, I don’t think that’s going to happen. The team hasn’t even reported for training camp and Miko Grimes is already in the news for all the wrong reasons.
Bucs ownership and some in the front office are upset behind the scenes. Tampa Bay fans are upset, and if I were a Bucs player – a teammate of Brent Grimes – I would be upset too, because her negative mouth is undermining some of the positivity that good guys like Gerald McCoy, Vincent Jackson, Jameis Winston, Alterraun Verner and others are trying to bring to Tampa with their class, civic deeds and community service.
In case you haven’t noticed, Raymond James Stadium hasn’t been sold out on a regular basis in years. The Bucs need to attract as many fans as they can – not keep them at arms length or drive them away. Miko Grimes’ mouth could have that effect.
What do you think would happen if Tampa Bay’s defense is slow to come together early in the season and the Bucs stumble to a 0-2 start after two very difficult road games at Atlanta and Arizona? How would Miko Grimes react to that situation, and who would be her next target on Twitter – a Bucs player or a play-caller or another member of the media?
The question isn’t whether Miko Grimes will be a distraction this year. The question is how much of distraction she’ll be. I’ve been around a lot of egos in the NFL and some of the people with the biggest egos need attention like they need oxygen, unfortunately.
Miko and Brent Grimes – Photo by: Getty Images
The PewterReport.com staff won’t be going around the locker room asking Bucs players to respond to Miko Grimes’ tweets during the year, but other reporters surely will. If a player responds with something sensational, then that could cause an unwanted distraction in the locker room and we’ll have to cover it like other media outlets will, but we won’t go looking for those kind of stories.
I hope it doesn’t come to this. I hope the leadership in the Bucs locker room circles the wagons and tells all the players not to comment on Miko Grimes and to pretend she doesn’t even exist. I hope this is the last time she takes up any room in an SR’s Fab 5 column.
Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter admitted he knew what he was getting into when Tampa Bay signed Grimes in March.
“We already had a relationship with Miko,” Koetter said at the NFL Owners Meeting in Boca Raton. “I knew Miko in Atlanta. Smitty knew her. And (linebackers coach) Mark Duffner knew her (in Miami). Wives don’t coach and wives don’t play. So I’m not that concerned about it.
“I think we’re strong enough as a team and as an organization to handle distractions, and I don’t know that it will be a distraction. I don’t know what happened in the past. I don’t know the circumstance. So it’s not my place to comment on that.’’
Koetter probably didn’t think he’d have to spend time early in training camp addressing the social media persona of one of his players’ wives, but he likely will after her anti-Semitic remarks on Twitter on Monday. Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht is laser-focused on the benefits that a playmaking cornerback like Brent Grimes can bring to a secondary in need of better coverage rather than anything his wife says.
“I think the bigger distraction is losing and not playing good defense,” Licht said in March at the NFL Owners Meeting. “We met Miko, Brent and his family and enjoyed every minute of it. I don’t see any problem. We didn’t have any discussion about it to be honest with you. Mike and Dirk and coach Duffner all have history (with Grimes). I am very excited about all of them being in Tampa.”
Has Licht’s views changed since then? Have the Glazers’ views changed?
I will say this, Bucs fans. Brent Grimes hasn’t said a word in support or condemnation of what his wife said about the Dolphins or about some of the awful, racially-charged, anti-cop statements she made the night of the shooting in Dallas last Friday night. That’s his prerogative and I respect it. It’s probably wise that he doesn’t address anything Miko says on social media.
Miko Grimes has the First Ammendment right to say whatever she wants on Twitter, and I support her right to free speech. However, anyone’s free speech is subject to scrutiny and creates the opportunity for her to be judged by others. There can also be some consequences as a result of some of the things she says, too.
Brent Grimes, who does not have a Twitter account, seems like a very nice guy and his credentials on the football field speak for themselves. I’m looking forward to covering him this year, and I’m not going to judge him based on some of the outlandish things his wife says. The Bucs certainly don’t, and neither should you.
His wife can block @PewterReport on Twitter and call me as many names as she wants. In fact, I’m glad she’s done it so I don’t have to be subjected to viewing some of her posts that I – and I think most reasonable people – find offensive.
Despite my objections to some of Miko’s remarks, her husband is still going to get an unbiased, fair shake from the staff at PewterReport.com and myself – without question.
Bucs training camp is open to the public. Just because you might take issue with what Miko Grimes says and how she acts, don’t take it out on Brent Grimes from the grandstands.
Being a distraction is Miko’s job (unfortunately) – not yours.
For Tampa Bay’s sake, I hope the Bucs start the season hot, make the playoffs, and Brent Grimes leads the team in interceptions en route to another Pro Bowl. Otherwise all of the attention in central Florida won’t be about Mako, most talked about new roller coaster at Sea World. Instead all of the attention will be about Miko, Tampa Bay’s newest roller coaster on social media.
FAB 3. BEST OF SR’s FAB 5 – HOKE A BIG REASON FOR DRAFTING HARGREAVES
The following part of this edition of SR’s Fab 5 was taken from the April 29, 2016 column.
Part of the reason why Tampa Bay’s secondary was so poor last year – registering just six interceptions and allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete 70 percent of their passes – was because of poor coaching.
A big reason why former head coach and defensive play-caller Lovie Smith was fired after a 6-10 season in 2015 was because he wouldn’t make changes to his defensive staff, most notably in the secondary where his son, Mikal, coached the Bucs safeties, his mentor, Larry Marmie, coached nickel backs, and his friend Gil Byrd, coached cornerbacks.
Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter brought in a proven defensive coordinator in Mike Smith, who brought in a proven defensive backs coach to work with the cornerbacks in Jon Hoke, who will work alongside Brett Maxie, whose primary responsibility to coach Tampa Bay’s safeties.
Bucs DBs coach Jon Hoke – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Perhaps the most impressive thing to me about Tampa Bay’s three-day mini-camp was the coaching job done by Hoke, who is in charge of a position that recorded exactly two interceptions last year in a dismal showing by the secondary. Hoke is legit, and has a background of coaching defensive backs at several small schools prior to Missouri (1994-98) and Florida (1999-2001) before entering the NFL with stops in Houston (2002-08) and Chicago (2009-14). Hoke spent last year as South Carolina’s co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach under Steve Spurrier.
Having Hoke on board as a veteran cornerbacks coach played a big role in Tampa Bay’s selection of cornerback Vernon Hargreaves in the first round.
“He’s very knowledgeable and very relatable,” said Bucs cornerback Alterraun Verner, who had one pick last year and looked good during the mini-camp as Tampa Bay’s starting right cornerback opposite newcomer Brent Grimes. “He’s doing a very good job of challenging us. A lot of the things we were doing last year are different this year. He’s very challenging and he’s very vocal. I think he’s done a really good job so far.”
After playing for a more laid back coach in Byrd, Bucs cornerback Jude Adjei-Barimah agrees with Verner’s assessment of Hoke.
“He’s no-nonsense, high-intensity, man,” Adjei-Barimah said. “He has the attention to detail that is going to make us better as a secondary. I can’t wait for us all to gel as a secondary.”
In my 22 years of covering the Buccaneers I have seen some excellent defensive backs coaches in Herm Edwards, Mike Tomlin, Raheem Morris and Jimmy Lake. I know a good defensive backs coach when I see one, and Hoke made an immediate positive impression on me.
In fact, the Bucs cornerbacks have spent more time on footwork over the past three days than they might have spent over the first three weeks of training camp last year.
“There is more emphasis on fundamentals, especially with us going to play in a new scheme,” Adjei-Barimah said. “Our individual periods help us transition for when we go into team work periods. Lots of footwork drills – that’s what playing DB is all about. It’s footwork and using your eyes.”
Hargreaves has some of the finest footwork of any cornerback coming out in this year’s draft, and he’ll fit right in with what Hoke wants to do. Footwork is so important to Hoke that he has his cornerbacks conduct a drill in which they can only mirror and defend a receiver with their feet and their hips, and must keep their hands behind their back during the drill. Hargreaves should excel in this drill.
Verner said part of the reason for more footwork is that the cornerbacks are required to backpedal rather than the turn-and-run style of coverage they played the last two years in Tampa Bay.
“Last year we weren’t required to backpedal, so there really wasn’t the need for us to do some of the stuff we’re doing this year,” Verner said. “Knowing that we weren’t doing it last year, it’s more like reviewing a lesson for some people.”
Hoke is a stickler for details. He’s demanding and he can be a bit surly when a player screws up during a drill. It’s quite refreshing to see a guy of his pedigree coaching a unit that was often shredded last year by Pro Bowl quarterbacks and non-descript passers alike to the tune of a 70 percent completion rate.
“Oh man, 70 percent – that’s right,” Verner said. “We have to get that lower into the 50’s this year.”
Bucs CB Alterraun Verner – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Aside from working on footwork, Hoke and secondary coach Brett Maxie, who works with the safeties, has Tampa Bay’s defensive backs also working on tackling the one-man sled every day. That’s not just to brush up on run support skills, either.
That’s for blitzing.
“I was thrilled to get half a sack last year,” Verner said. “I like blitzing this defense because it changes things and teams can’t line up and say, ‘Well, these guys aren’t coming.’ Anybody can come at any time in this defense, especially with looks and the way you get to things I think it’s really going to mix it up for quarterbacks. And then when they see it one time they’ll be aware of it and they’ll be looking. Then it’s going to be on us to give them good looks and not give it away. It’s going to be fun. I want to blitz a lot.”
Verner got his first career sack last year and will have more opportunities in 2016 in Mike Smith’s high-pressure defense. Hargreaves didn’t record a sack at Florida, but it sounds like he’ll get an opportunity to do so in Tampa Bay in addition to covering receivers and picking off passes under Hoke’s tutelage.
FAB 4. BEST OF SR’s FAB 5 – WHY COULDN’T THE BUCS STOP THE SLANT PASS?
The following part of this edition of SR’s Fab 5 was taken from the March 18, 2016 column.
It’s no secret that the Buccaneers defense struggled to stop simple quick slant passes last year, especially in the red zone. But why did Tampa Bay struggle so much against the slant?
Former Bucs head coach Lovie Smith was asked that very question in late October during a press conference, and half way through the season he didn’t have an answer.
“It’s the technique,” Smith said. “You’re supposed to take it away. Once you get down into the red zone, that’s what you do. You make them throw the hard throw. You make them throw the fade, which is a harder throw to complete than the quick slant. But with our players, we haven’t gotten that point across yet.”
Ex-Bucs head coach Lovie Smith – Photo by Cliff Welch/PR
That’s actually a contradictory statement from Smith, whose defense was modified this year to invite teams to throw slant passes when Tampa Bay’s head coach assumed defensive play-calling duties from Leslie Frazier last spring. This week I asked Alterraun Verner why the Bucs cornerbacks rarely contested passes last year and allowed slant routes to be caught at a maddening rate. I think you’re going to be as amazed at his answer as I was.
“That’s really a complicated answer, but I’m going to make it as simple as I can,” Verner said. “The defense that we ran last year was an ‘outside-in’ basis. We wanted to protect the outside and deep – the fade routes, the out routes, the things that happen on the perimeter. We wanted to funnel everything in. Most of the defense we played, that’s what the goal was – to funnel everything in and keep everything in front of us.
“When it came to slant patterns and dig routes – everything inside – as corners we were under the impression that we were funneling it into our help. We were supposed to have a safety there or a linebacker there. We were told that it wasn’t really our play to make, but we wanted to be close enough to where we wanted to not make it an easy completion. We still needed to be able to compete for the ball, but it was with the understanding that we wanted to protect against what we were weak at.”
What Verner is alluding to is that the Bucs don’t have the fastest group of cornerbacks, so Smith wanted to try to eliminate the footraces down the field against faster wide receivers. There was some merit to that, but the problem was that the communication wasn’t strong enough between the cornerbacks and the revolving door of safeties and the linebacking corps, which featured a rookie in middle linebacker Kwon Alexander, perhaps due to the failure of the secondary regularly meeting as one unit rather than three separate units – cornerbacks, nickel cornerbacks and safeties – like Smith preferred.
Simple play-action passes, such as rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota used in Tennessee’s 42-14 win over Tampa Bay, often manipulated the coverage and pulled the linebackers or safeties out of position, thus opening up the slant routes even more. With the cornerbacks guarding the outside, receivers typically had carte blanche to run free on the inside.
What Smith envisioned with this coverage was Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks picking off slant passes with regularity or legendary Bucs strong safety John Lynch lowering the boom on receivers running slant passes across the middle. But Smith’s line of thinking was severely outdated for life in the NFL in 2016, and was more akin to the 1990s.
Bucs CB Alterraun Verner – Photo by: Getty Images
“With our defense last year I think that’s when you would see back in the day the John Lynches and all of them, when they came down you would see all of those big hits,” Verner said. “The receivers may have caught the ball, but they didn’t want to do it again because they didn’t want to get hurt. I think with the rule changes you can’t be that kind of physical without being worried about targeting. I felt like teams could have the slant because the way the league is now that there is so much protection for players on those plays. Back then they would get knocked out. That’s probably the simplest way I could put it.
“It wasn’t our job [as cornerbacks to cover the slant] because we were supposed to have somebody in those areas. We were told plenty of times that slant patterns weren’t going to beat us, that deep balls – a fade or a post – were what gets teams beat. That’s what the philosophy was, I guess, to some sort in regards to the slant. It was frustrating when you think about Tennessee in Week 1, Carolina, Washington and other teams really killed us on the slant routes and things inside. It was frustrating that we didn’t make enough adjustments to figure it out, and we didn’t make enough plays on our end to discourage it.”
Smith didn’t trust his cornerbacks’ speed to cover deep routes, but they wound up being bystanders too often underneath, forced to watch catches for first downs and touchdowns happen in front of them. Even though he isn’t the fleetest of foot, Banks felt slighted with the change in schemes and is looking forward to playing in Mike Smith’s more aggressive scheme in 2015.
“I can play both man and zone equally well,” Banks said. “That’s what we did in college. We played both man and zone. I’m not the fastest guy, but I’m 6-foot-2. That makes us for a lot of stuff. I’m excited to go out there and compete and feel like a corner again instead of watch guys catch slant passes in front of us.”
In addition to allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete an astonishing 70 percent of their passes against Tampa Bay with high percentage throws like slants, the Bucs defense surrendered 31 passing touchdowns in 2015. Roughly one third of those scores were slant passes in the red zone.
“That’s the easiest route in the book in the red zone – the slant,” Verner said. “You want them to throw a fade route, even though it looks prettier when the receiver catches it, it’s much harder to complete. A throw to the inside is so easy. It was frustrating, and I know for fans it had to be frustrating. You don’t have to be a football guru to know that it’s an easier throw to the inside for the quarterback.
Bucs CB Johnthan Banks – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
“They scored a lot of touchdowns doing it. I know it was frustrating, but that’s going to get remedied. I’m not going to say that there won’t any slants caught because other teams make plays. But there will be a lot more of those slants really contested in the coming year.”
The production of the Bucs cornerbacks declined rapidly with the change in play-calling from Leslie Frazier in 2014 to Smith in 2015. In 2014, the Bucs had 14 interceptions, including 10 from the secondary where the cornerbacks had eight picks and the safeties had two. Tampa Bay’s cornerbacks broke up 27 passes, while the safeties broke up 13 passes that year.
Last year with Smith calling the plays, the Bucs only produced 11 interceptions with just six coming from the defensive backs. Safeties Chris Conte and Bradley McDougald each had two picks, while Verner and Sterling Moore each only had one. Tampa Bay’s safeties had 15 pass breakups in 2015, but the number of pass breakups from the cornerbacks fell from 27 in 2014 to just 18 last year.
“I think the stats kind of paints a pretty accurate picture,” Verner said. “As a secondary we weren’t as good as we needed to be. When you only have six interceptions from our group that’s way too few. That’s not enough. There are people in the league that have six by themselves. No matter what we say about the system or being coached, that’s still disappointing. It was definitely disappointing. When you have myself and bring in Chris Conte and have Johnthan and Bradley McDougald. We had talent. We should be able to make more plays on the ball and we didn’t get that done.
“To sum it up it was disappointing, but I think the reason a lot of guys are being brought back is because we know what every guy is capable of doing. Dirk has seen us every day. He’s seen the work we’ve put in. He and Jason [Licht] trust us enough to bring almost the same group back to get it done with a few additions. You don’t want to end a year with six interceptions. Johnthan and myself had six together the year before and probably should have had a lot more that year.”
Verner and Banks firmly believe that Tampa Bay’s new defensive scheme, which is going to feature a wider array of blitzes designed to pressure quarterbacks, will better allow the Bucs defensive backs the opportunity to showcase their skills.
“I’m excited for OTAs and for camp because there are going to be a lot of plays made in practice from the secondary position,” Verner said. “Johnthan is a ballhawk. He had three picks his rookie year, and he had four picks in his second year. Look at all the picks he had in college. He’s a ball magnet. He goes and gets the ball. I think him getting another opportunity, he’s going to be able to showcase that. I know Johnthan is licking his chops. We’ve been talking back and forth a lot about competing. I know what he’s going to bring to the table.”
Banks got fired up talking to Koetter, Smith and Tampa Bay’s new position coaches Jon Hoke and Brett Maxie about the new defense back in January.
Bucs DC Mike Smith – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
“I think it’s a great scheme,” Banks said. “I’m excited about it. It’s like my rookie year with Coach Schiano. It was a fun out there. Coach Schiano was sending blitzes every which way and the quarterback doesn’t have time to think about it and they just throw the ball to you. I’m excited to not just sit out there, but get out there and compete for the ball. With this new defense the ball is going to have to come out quick. The quarterback can’t just sit back there and hold the ball and pick us apart. I’m excited. I think it’s going to be a great year and we’re going to have a lot of fun.”
Before you knock Schiano’s defense in 2013, understand that Banks had three interceptions as a rookie, Bucs Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy had a career-high 9.5 sacks, linebacker Lavonte David was an All-Pro with his best statistical season, recording career highs in pass breakups (10), sacks (seven) and interceptions (five), in addition to two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. The Bucs also had a Pro Bowl cornerback in Darrelle Revis in 2013 before the Bucs switched to the Tampa 2.
Schiano’s defense produced 21 interceptions in 2013 with his secondary producing 12 picks, in addition to 73 pass breakups with 27 coming from cornerbacks and 18 from the safeties. Those are numbers that Smith wish his defense produced against the pass.
Verner believes that the myriad of exotic blitzes Smith has in store for Tampa Bay will also benefit second-year quarterback Jameis Winston. Verner suggests that Winston will be throwing quite a few more picks in practice without facing as many predictable coverages as he saw at One Buc Place last year.
“I guess you could say that and you could quote me on that,” Verner said. “At least that’s going to be our goal. I know Jameis is working really, really hard. I know he’s going to be fired up and ready to go. I know he was very vocal in challenging us last year.
“I think there are going to be some great battles, but with this new defense I think we’ll try to get the best of him as much as we can for sure – all of the corners are. Our offense can make some plays, too. Jameis, Mike Evans, Austin [Seferian-Jenkins] – all those guys are capable, too. We’re not going to clean sweep them, but we are going to make it real difficult for them.”
That goes for opposing quarterbacks, too. Opponent QBs won’t be completing 70 percent of their passes against Tampa Bay’s defense this year. And slant passes won’t be so easy to complete, either.
FAB 5. SR’s BUC SHOTS
• While Buccaneers fans are all hoping that Dirk Koetter gets a victory in his head-coaching debut on September 11, history suggests that might not be a good thing unless he can break a dubious trend in doing so. Only four Tampa Bay head coaches have won their first games and none of those coaches had much success.
Ray Perkins won his first game as Tampa Bay’s head coach in 1987, beating Atlanta, 48-10, in a season that finished 4-11. Perkins lasted just under four years with the Bucs and had a 19-41 record. Interim head coach Richard Williamson replaced Perkins and beat Minnesota, 26-13, in his head-coaching debut. Williamson was fired after one season with a 4-15 record.
Ex-Bucs head coach Sam Wyche – Photo by: Getty Images
Sam Wyche was also a winner in his Bucs coaching debut, beating Phoenix, 23-7, in 1992. Wyche’s team finished 5-11 that year and he was fired after four seasons in Tampa Bay with a 23-41 record.
The last head coach to win his debut in Tampa Bay was Greg Schiano, who beat Carolina, 16-10, and went on to finish with a 7-9 record in 2012. Schiano’s tenure with the Bucs lasted just two years as he couldn’t overcome a 0-8 start in 2013 and compiled an 11-21 mark in Tampa Bay.
The regimes of Tony Dungy and Jon Gruden, who are the two most winning coaches in Bucs history, also started with losses. Dungy’s team got destroyed by Green Bay 34-3 at home and finished the 1996 season with a 6-10 record. The Bucs went 5-2 down the stretch and that provided the catalyst for a breakout 10-6 campaign in 1997.
Although Gruden won the Super Bowl in his first year in Tampa Bay, the 2002 season began with a 26-20 loss at home in overtime. Punter Tom Tupa was trying to avoid being tackled for a safety in the end zone by Saints running back Fred McAfee and attempted to throw a left-handed pass which was intercepted for a touchdown by rookie linebacker James Allen.
“We lost the first game of that year on a punt!” Sapp said. “Gruden’s offense wasn’t even on the field, and my defense wasn’t on the field and we lost the damn game. He and I were walking into the locker room together and I said, ‘Hell of a way to lose a game, isn’t it? Relax, man. We’ll be fine. It’s just Week 1.’”
• Buccaneers running back Doug Martin has hit the 1,400-yard rushing mark twice in his four-year NFL career – first as a rookie in 2012 and again last year and that has put him on course to make franchise history. Martin, who is currently the fourth-leading rusher in Tampa Bay history, made the Pro Bowl in both of those seasons and has compiled 3,806 career rushing yards. Another 1,400-yard season from Martin in 2016 will give him 5,206 yards and move him ahead of legendary fullback Mike Alstott and into second place.
That type of year would set Martin up to become the Bucs’ all-time leading rusher in 2017 with just 752 more rushing yards. That distinction currently belongs to James Wilder, who amassed 5,957 yards between 1981-89. Despite having two Pro Bowl-caliber backs in Warrick Dunn and Alstott, Wilder’s franchise rushing record has stood for 26 years. But Martin may become the back that finally breaks it over the next two years.
• What a terrible week it’s been in the national news with the Dallas police shootings last Friday night that were prompted by the shooting of two black men, Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota. Then there was yet another possible radical Islamic terrorist attack in France, killing at least 80 people in the city of Nice. We are indeed living in scary times.
What I thought about last week as the videos of the shootings of Sterling and Castile made their way around Twitter and social media was how people were jumping to conclusions without all of the facts. The videos were indeed horrible, and the initial reaction was that neither shooting seemed justified. It’s understandable how those images set off immediate, emotional responses, especially within the black community.
As a journalist, I’m in the fact-gathering business, and I remember what happened in Ferguson, Missouri when the myth of “hands up, don’t shoot” angered some in this nation over the police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black man that was attempting to grab a white policeman’s gun. His death prompted protests and some riots in Ferguson during the summer of 2014.
A federal civil rights investigation proved that “hands up, don’t shoot” didn’t actually happen as Brown did not put his hands up and say “don’t shoot,” but the way it spread initially all over social media you would swear it was an undeniable fact.
Yet members of Congress on the U.S. House floor rushed to judgment and did the gesture as a show of support for Brown, as did St. Louis Rams players Tavon Austin, Jared Cook, Steadman Bailey, Kenny Britt, Chris Givens when they were introduced before a game on November 30, 2014.
However, the Eric Holder-led United States Department of Justice under President Barack Obama’s watch did not find any evidence that this occurred, and did not find the physical or forensic evidence to bring charges against officer Darren Wilson. A grand jury decided not to indict Wilson and credible eyewitnesses claimed that “hands up, don’t shoot” didn’t happen.
I remember the outrage at the University of Missouri last year when #ConcernedStudent1950 protester Jonathan Butler’s claims that he was hit by the university president’s car during a protest amid the homecoming parade. That too was a lie, as this video, which surfaced days after the alleged incident, clearly shows.
Butler’s lie set off an immediate firestorm on social media and created visions in people’s minds of him getting plowed over by an angry university president, and wanting justice. This incident even helped prompt the Missouri Tigers football team to boycott practice and led to the president’s removal before the truth came out.
There are definitely some bad cops out there have done some heinous, racist acts, and they do get convicted and punished for their crimes, as in the case of Abner Louima in New York and Russell Rios in Texas to name a few. If the evidence – when all of it is presented – shows that the officers that shot Sterling and Castile were unjustified in doing so, then they definitely deserve to do time in prison.
But the bad cops are statistically few and far between. I have some very good friends in the Tampa Police Department and have come to find that most cops are hard-working, law-abiding officers that want to help serve their communities. It’s a tough job that few citizens want to do.
However there are some communities in this country where unwarranted abuse by the police towards unarmed black men has occurred, and it’s my hope that the recent deaths of Sterling and Castile do shed light on that so that some of the racial wounds that still exist in our country can heal.
I’ll leave you with this. I read a really good article entitled “Don’t Make Snap Judgments About Shootings Based On Viral Videos,” and I encourage everyone to watch the movie 12 Angry Men – either the original version in 1957 with Henry Fonda, or the more modern updated version from 1997 that featured a more diverse, star-studded cast, including Jack Lemmon, Ossie Davis, Courtney Vance, George C. Scott, Tony Danza, James Gandolfini and Edward James Olmos among others. I recommend the 1997 version.
Without ruining the movie, 12 Angry Men takes place in a jury deliberation room during a murder trial and there is plenty of rushing to judgment that takes place in it. I made my kids – who are just now embarking on social media – watch it last weekend and it really opened their eyes. I told them to not jump to conclusions in life, and to be patient and wait for all of the facts to come out before making judgments. The 12 Angry Men movie really speaks to that point.
• And finally, my beef with Pro Football Focus grows over their continual disrespect for the Buccaneers. According to PFF, Tampa Bay linebacker Kwon Alexander is one of the worst linebackers in the league due to his supposed 27 missed tackles. Forget the fact that despite missing the last four games of the season, the rookie was second on the team with 93 tackles, three sacks, two forced fumbles, two interceptions and a fumble recovery. There are plenty of NFL linebackers that would love to have Alexander’s stat line.
PFF recently came out with two rankings articles that I take issue with. The first was ranking the front seven of every NFL team and PFF having Tampa Bay as the 31st-ranked unit. PFF seems to be weighing so much of what didn’t happen (missed tackles) as opposed to what did happen, and by that I mean the fact that the Bucs ranked second in the NFL in yards per carry (3.4 avg.) and were first in the NFL in least amount of big plays.
Tampa Bay is also first in sacks and tackles for loss combined over the last two years thanks to the play of the front seven. Maybe the Bucs’ front seven isn’t the best unit, or perhaps or a top 10 unit, but to rank a unit with two Pro Bowlers in Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David 31 is absolutely ridiculous and laughable.
Throw in the fact that PFF lists Jeremiah George as a projected starter at strongside linebacker instead of Daryl Smith, who has been the starter all offseason, and it’s a clear sign that PFF is not the know-it-all site it pretends to be when it comes to football. They need to do a better job with their homework.
Then PFF releases its rankings of the league’s receiving corps, and labels the Bucs as the ninth-best in the league, which is good. But PFF fails again in the homework department by listing Brandon Myers and Luke Stocker as key depth at tight end with no mention of Cameron Brate, who led all tight ends in catches with 23 for 288 yards and three touchdowns, which ranked second on the team in 2015.
Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd 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 enjoys 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]
A contentious Fab 5 this week. Miko, ISIS, BLM, PFF… For a man that’s suppose to be on vacation, you’ve obviously not “found your beach” yet… Good and fair stories though. I just worry about your blood pressure. You work hard all year and I’d like to see kicking out stories for PR for a while. I recommend something cold in one hand and the sound of waves droning in the background as you forget about the Bucs for just a little while. They’ll be here when you get back and as for all of your readers; we can entertain ourselves… Jon can tell us the value of Stocker, CG can pound Pink about Winston, someone will mention God or Trump and the strand will go on for days. You’ll be back in plenty of time with a renewed sense of optimism that this is the Bucs’ year and we’ll all finally have something to be proud of. In the mean time… R-E-L-A-X.
Haha, I don’t think I’ve even seen Pink on here in a while. I’m sure we could find something to disagree about. We don’t have a QB situation like last year to keep us rolling through the boring parts of the offseason. But soon football will be back.
Yeah, I think the Winston beat downs were getting to him. Maybe he’s signed in under another user name now? Just look for random pro-Mariota ramblings.
I hope Brent Grimes has a great year on the field, but his choice for a life partner doesn’t say much for his character. Those cops who died never killed anybody. To find joy in the deaths of the innocent is despicable. Bigotry and prejudice comes in many forms, and they’re all ugly.
I hope Brent Grimes has a good year and help the Bucs to many victories. One of my concerns is that he goes home to her and has to deal with her. One of the many reasons why I love my wife is because she is low maintenance. There is no question that she is not. Social media can be a valuable tool if used properly. There are some people who are better off not having a Twitter account. I present to you Exhibit A.
TC can’t start soon enough so we can get back to what happens on the Field. Go Bucs!!!
Is Miko correct on all of her shared opinions, no, but to infer that a simple word usage, and yes, the term jew as she used it was a simple word used with no derogatory or complimentary adjectives attached to it, immediately implies racisim is pc garbage and thought policing at it’s worst.Funny how I’ve heard nothing but REAL ANTI-SEMITISM rhetoric and even worse carried out actions every day for decades out of the middle east where it is VERY MUCH ALIVE AND WELL. The frequency and deamenor of which has doubled on itself by thousands since our current “POTUS” has been in office alone, but yet all thse but-hurt media talking heads are out there calling Miko the anti-semite racist because she called someone out and chose to do it by identifying them by their religion…I was born and raised a catholic kraut myself, so what?! Even funnier how people used to understand that words only have power if we choose to give it to them, well, not funny anymore though.GO BUCS!!!
You don’t think that Miko ranting “jew buddies” was meant to be anti-semitic? Wow, you don’t get around much. Are you an adult?
I fortunately do qualify as an adult based on my experiences, maturity, and time on this earth alone. Obviously you haven’t spent enough time around real “adults” in your life to know that if you cannot even offer a simple rebutal to someone’s stated opinion without blatantly insulting them, it is you whose lack of age and or maturity level shows and should subsequently be questioned. Wise-up D.
I have to agree with you. That was a poor choice of words in my opinion. Her statement wasn’t negative at all. She should have said something like “Jewish comrades” instead of “Jew buddies”, but I’m not going to pretend that I feel she was being hateful.
Wanted to say goodbye to my PR friends in person. I’m going to do something different this season – I’m going to just watch football for my enjoyment like I used to do pre-social media.
I’ll explain the photo I used to reflect then (40) and now (67) in a final post with a picture of my family today. Wouldn’t be me if I didn’t go out with a flair for the dramatic. Lol!
Enjoyed chatting with you but it is time for me to move on. Good luck and good day to all of you! Bye!
First Macabee please do not leave. Your comments are always informative, balanced and not biased (either way). We need people like you on PR so please stay. Which leads me to my second comment.
Second. Scott great FAB 5 no I mean great FAB 3. I am speaking for me but perhaps many of the readers of PR. We love football and the Bucs because it gives us an escape from the crazy and sometimes insane world that we live in. FAB 1 & 2 ejects us from our peace and safe haven of football and the Bucs and just throws us back into the mayhem of our world. The true Buccaneer fans (me since 1976) do not care what Miko Grimes says, believes or spouts and we do not want to see it in PR. Your only giving voice to her stuff and or anyone else on either side of the issue. Finally, not sure why Macabee is leaving but if he does his lost voice will diminish this web site.
Please reach out to him and leave the madness of this world out of PR.
Thanks for listening,
You will be missed mac! I hope someday you change your mind and at least do some periodic, strategic post.
Mac, I sure hope these aren’t your last posts as they are always good for an insightful laugh. We hope you do return one day and I can only say thanks for the posts and enjoy the season.
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Please say it ain’t so?
Macabre; I have enjoyed your posts. Hope you come back soon.
Macabee, Very sorry to see you go. But I understand. I almost never most myself anymore.
Thanks Mac – it’s been a pleasure. All the best!
Is it possible that Miko is bipolar or maybe a raging alcoholic that can’t control her angry outbursts? In my career I have had good troops that kept their noses clean and produced good results at work, but had their promising careers derailed because ultimately they are responsible for their dependents actions. While being a professional athlete is a far cry from the military, it carries an inherent role model responsibility with it, whether wanted or not, that the player should be held accountable for. I’m sure Brent loves his wife, faults and all, or maybe is just too scared to say anything to her about it, but when she causes controversy in the media, it is bound to affect the team and become a distraction. Eventually either Brent or the team will have to decide risk verse reward of his play on the field justifies the distraction his wife presents. It’s sad because it looks like she is just wanting attention, positive or negative, and has no regard for how it might affect Brent, begging the question of whether she loves him or the spotlight being married to him provides.
Good job SR on taking the high road in reporting her actions and outbursts while keeping your integrity intact by not responding to her comments about Pewter Report. Too much hate already exists in the world without venom spewing spotlight seekers stoking the fire, especially towards the Law Enforcement community that already has a tough enough job keeping families and communities safe. Maybe one day the team will produce such a good product on the field that there will be too many positive things to write about so as not to allow time for covering the ignorant, hateful things a players spouse might say.
Scott, i always love the Fab 5 and look forward to it every week but i dont come on PR for content on police shootings and things of that nature. I understand its a topic that has taken front and center in the media and our society but i dont feel as though this is the place for it. I come here for BUCS content and thats it. I also understand this your site and you can do as you wish. I furthermore get jt that there is a lull in bucs action this time of year and you are on vacation and need content. I am merely nicely explaining my pov as not thinking its such a good idea having topics like this or politics on here. Like i said, i always look forward to Fab 5 every week but wa somewhat shocked and disappointed that this topic is taking up “air time” on PR. ENJOY YOUR VACAY…IM SURE U NEEDED IT!
Agreed. I don’t read that stuff or read national, local, or international news, except as pertains to economic issues. I don’t want to read it here.
This ^. If I want to hear right-wing rhetoric, I’ll turn on a.m. radio – NOT. Please stick to football and stop the conservative moralizing. Btw, who the fuck is Miko? I would’ve never heard of her if you weren’t giving her a stage.
How is this even news? Why does it matter what a woman types on twitter? Why does PR feel the need to add fuel to the fire by writing articles directed towards her? I thought this was a football outlet, no? I’m sure there’s more insightful articles that could have been written on some x’s and o’s of the Bucs new defense, am I right?
Good Fab 5 once again. In terms of Miko, personally I think shes pretty trashy. While she is more than entitled to her own opinion. AS long as they aren’t directed at our team, I have no problem. The minute she starts riding our own players, then it’s a problem.
You can’t possibly say it wouldn’t effect our team in a negative way. Even with having to talk to other media outlets every time she blurts more BS , to have to answer questions every week would get annoying as hell.
I wouldn’t worry about hr affecting Jameis at all. With what that dude played through in college, he’s mentally up to any challenge.
As for the police maters, these are all tragic events and the world is going to hell in a hand basket. Never seen anything like this, the great divide that is happening.
I’m into going to go any further as I have family that are good police officers so that subject is a little too passionate for me.
Seen the movie and read the book 12 angry men, but it was many moons ago.
As for PFF, I think they are kind of a joke when it comes to ratings. Not sure how they value stuff at all. I agree though as it’s almost like they hate the Bucs. They severely undervalued Luke Stocker and that simply can not be overlooked.
Enjoy that vaca buddy, the world will still be falling apart when you get back. Which leads me to say, i think the world needs football now more than ever.
I know that sounds superficial, but we all need some distraction , something to take our mind off the crap going on out there.
We need a little FOOTBALL!
“To be clear, in firing Smith and keeping Verner, Banks, Conte, McDougald and cornerback Jude Adjei-Barimah, who all started last year, the front office essentially said the problem in pass defense in 2015 was more coaching and scheme than it was lack of talent.”
The 70% completion rate had nothing to do with a lack of pass rush, right?
“HOW MUCH OF A DISTRACTION IS MIKO?”
When the media stops talking about her, she ceases to be a distraction. So even the above question is perpetuating the potential for distraction. See? All this nonsense is a media creation. Miko Grimes is nobody until the media decides to make her somebody. So the question is part and parcel of the issue. If people ignore her, she goes away. Pretty simple… But media wants to drum up outrage to sell advertising, and she becomes someone, and eventually this creates a distraction. Make no mistake, it isn’t Miko’s comments that are a distraction, it is the undeserved attention her remarks are given. Honestly, I don’t care what she says. I don’t care what she has to say. She is nobody worthy of my attention.
When a woman craves attention she will do whatever it takes to get it. This woman loves the spotlight and has no talent fit for public consumption.
Unnecessary sexist generalization on women.
it won’t be long now that she’ll be defending her actions in a civil suit and hubby will be paying for it.
In my opinion Miko is an entertainer that is un entertaining. Who cares. Great points on Fab 5. Having kids of similar age so true about living in Dangerous times. Many people are brainwashed and don’t even realize it. KUDOS SR. I’ve defined thick-skinned as having above average wisdom and tolerance. Both declining everyday in the USA.
The only reason I am abandoning my off season hiatus is to wish Mac the best and sincerely hope he shares his superior football knowledge with us on occasion in the future. You will be missed Mac.
Why is pr following miko on twitter in the first place.
Miko is nuts plain and simple. I doubt she becomes a big distraction or matters here in Tampa. Grimes is a stop gap player at the end of his career. Get a good year or two out of him and that would be fine.
Cracks me up to hear people here saying this article is too political or too right winged. Yea, saying we should support police and the vast majority of cops are good cops that risk their lives daily for not much money is crazy right winged politics? Or saying we should get all facts before we react is right wing politics. What a Bunch of frigging idiots.
I really don’t care what Miko Grimes has to say. I wonder if her questionable choice of words is really who she is or if, as someone said, she is trying to be an entertainer. I wonder what Brett thinks about his wife’s Twitter persona. Is she a reflection of who he is?
Like many, I want to come to Pewter Report for insight about my favorite team or other football related topics, not for social commentary. I agree with Fredster’s observation that there’s always someone with an angry message toward the “right” but I rarely see a negative comment directed to the “left.”
macabee: I hope you’ll reconsider. I know I will miss your posts. Not many here have a sense of humor. Thank you for entertaining and enlightening me.
Two more weeks Pink. Looking forward to seeing you at Training Camp.
Mac, enjoy the life change. With Miko, at least people are talking about us. Why would the Glazers have to respond? Right now they are Miko’s Jew buddies. Don’t be offended, she has whop, chink, nigga, she name it buddies. As long as you’re a buddy, you’re O.K.. Anything the Glazers say could move them from the Jew buddy list, to the Jew sh-t list. If you see a rattle snake in your path, best keep quiet,and give it a wide berth as you walk around it.
Miko is perpetuating a stereotype…the prettier they are the crazier they are! It’s easy to see why she is always getting in trouble with the public or game day security personel!
I hope you change your mind and stay macabee. I enjoy reading your common sense insights and the additional relevant links you post.
I always look for your insights in the comments section.
I hope you change your mind.
I liked this site a LOT more when it was just about the Bucs and issues that had to do with the Bucs. Granted now, Miko in all her obnoxiousness is part of that. But, I don’t come here to read commentary on world events….just the opposite Frankly. And WHY does every right wing leaning person insist on having to label these awful terrorist events as RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORIST acts? As if Islam is the only religion capable of such horrendous acts? All you’re doing is giving these fruitcakes what they want, which is why your Commander in Chief refuses to use that label.
Maybe it is because it was RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORIST who perpetrated them.
Scott, the reason Pewter Report is my #1 source of Bucs news and insight is because there is no one better at reporting original information on the Bucs not just re-tread information. Your SR Fab 5 is a must read. I also appreciate the fact that you typically don’t report on the TMZ type stuff like Miko’s actions and when you do it’s usually how it may affect the Bucs organization. That being said I really don’t care what any player’s wife, mom, dad, brother, sister, kids, or any relative tweets out and if I did then I would personally follow them. So thanks for addressing this Miko situation but hopefully you’ll keep it to the news on the field and in One Buc Place like you have always done and in turn makes Pewter Report the best!!!
I, like many others here could care less about Miko and what she says or does. If Brent plays at the level we are expecting, she can rant on twitter all she wants and it shouldn’t effect his job. I am anxious to see our new defense and especially our secondary this year, there is nothing anyone can say or do to change that.
I hope this is the last time Miko is mentioned here. Good or bad, she is not a player and therefore has no place on PR. I just want to read about wins so let’s get some!
Please continue calling out PFF. They have a misconception around NFL fans as the go-to source of unbiased, numbers-based player rankings. I think they USED to be that, but since they were bought out they’re just like any other national media source…very biased and mostly opinions under the guise of fancy numbers.
Interesting Fab5.. When I remember to look at PPF it becomes obvious why I don’t care what they say. What a bunch of morons.
Speaking of morons, this Miko girl is some piece of work. What intestinal fortitude her old man has. This guy is the re-incarnation of Gahndi. But I guess every nut has a screw. You can determine who’s the nut for yourself.
I just hope that this does not get into Grimes head. We shall see.
Good arrival about Jon Hoke. Should be a big upgrade over Lovies kid. This just proves that nepotism is kind a bad.
Since one of the underlying themes here is free speech, the June 4th issue of Economist magazine features “Free speech under attack.
If the media would just stop reading her Twitter posts, then they won’t have anything to report. Most fans could care less about what players’ wives and parents think! We can just ignore her. Doesn’t she knows we had to deal with Warren “I’m an a$$hole to local media & fans” Sapp off of the field! She’s a novice compared to him. He didn’t hide behind the isolation of social media, he was nasty to your face. If the Bucs or NFL choose, they can just ban her from team or league related events and facilities.
Macabee, very sorry this is your last post. You are one of my favorite and most informed blogger, and you will be missed!
Some of us or most of us could care less what Miko says but I think SR whole point is it’s not that way with all fans and if she keeps it up especially if we start losing early it could have an effect on attracting or keeping fans which is detrimental to what the Glazers, Licht and the Bucs are trying to do. That’s something we don’t need as a team IMO. There’s always someone who gets offended and her rants could drive away ( unnecessarily )new fans or existing fans wither you care what she says or not. The Bucs organization really cant afford that. I think that’s all SR is trying to say. Anyway….. Man, will Football hurry up and get here. GO BUCS!!!
It should go without saying that Scott Reynolds is more than capable of speaking for himself. Yet it seems like he may need some help here because it appears that some of you failed to comprehend some important points Scott was trying to communicate. Scott stated several times in this Fab 5 that he doesn’t want to report on Miko any more than any of us care to read about her. But it’s news related to the Bucs. And as he’s explained in the past, he simply reports news relevant to the team. Like her or not Bucs fans; Miko is news relevant to our team. But then we come to what appears to be the biggest source of contention this week; we’ll call it Fab 5 Buc shots section 3. Here’s where some of you really missed the point. Ask yourself. Why did Scott include this section? Is it because he’s a right wing nut who wants to spew his political ideology on his site because he can? The answer is of course, no. The overwhelming body of evidence on this site demonstrating the man’s professionalism clearly answers that question. He deserve more respect than that. And yes I’m talking to you Dy-Nasty D. It was obvious to me why he included the section. Read it again yourself. He couldn’t have been more clear.
“What I thought about last week as the videos of the shootings of Sterling and Castile made their way around Twitter and social media was how people were jumping to conclusions without all of the facts.”
But let me help you in case that doesn’t clear it up. WE’RE ON A SOCIAL MEDIA SITE RIGHT NOW. He was simply relating and connecting the issues of the bigger world to the issues of this team and ON THIS SITE. This message board is a social media site and many of you jump to conclusions without facts. And in an extremely professional way he’s talking about not jumping to conclusions even about crazy lady Grimes. I for one am glad to have Scott as the professional he is reporting about the team that I love. He shows time and time again his journalistic integrity. I wish this site was all football just like most of you. But it’s not up to us to decide what’s news relevant to this team. It’s news and thanks for reporting it Scott.
The shootings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling are not relevant news for Buccaneers football. Neither are Scott’s (ignorant) thoughts on the cause of social unrest in Ferguson, MO. Neither is the information he shared about Jonathan Butler or the events at Mizzou.
The only one of these that could very, very slightly be argued to be relevant to the Bucs (and it’s an enormous stretch) are Miko Grimes’s expressions related to the recent shootings. Even then, going super in depth on the incidents themselves is inappropriate for this setting.
I too will miss your insights. I really have enjoyed learning from you. Thanks for sharing with us.
You might consider making a return visit occasionally. I happen to be a retired guy who is 69 years old. My life does not revolve around PR or the Buccaneers either. That is why I just jump in randomly here.
I respect that you may have other reasons for leaving us. With that thought in mind I will just say “So long!”
Whelp, SR, you’ve officially lost me, too. I won’t be back to PR again. I’ve said multiple times that this is a Bucs news website with a touch of analysis. At least, that’s what it should be. I really, really mean this – nobody here cares about your thoughts on social or political matters. Nobody here wants you to do interest pieces two or three times a year that are strictly focused on sharing a distinctly Christian viewpoint. And don’t even tell me that you’re just covering the team or whatever. That’s nonsense, and you know it. Christianity is a proselytizing religion. I get it. And THAT’S what you’re doing when you write those pieces. Not just reporting.
Anyways, back to my overall point.
This is not the proper avenue for news, politics, religion, discussions of (most) social events, etc. Nobody comes here for that. I promise. You’re being selfish by constantly using PR as your own personal soapbox. If you want to create a separate site that is focused on those other issues, then by all means, do it! Even occasionally mention it in your pieces on PR to try to draw this community’s attention to it. That’s fine. But the way you’re doing this now – using this site as a means for you to regularly express your personal beliefs – is inappropriate and unwanted to most of this community. Seriously, just read the comments.
You’ve lost macabee, and now you’re losing me. Others will go, too. I promise. People don’t want this. Will you still continue to do this as you lose clicks, advertising revenue, etc.? You have a professional responsibility to the various people you keep on your payroll. If/when your stubborn insistence on making this your own soap box continues to alienate readers and ultimately undermine the financial success of this site, will you keep it up?
My parting opinion – everything you said about the events of the Michael Brown shooting and the UM protests is accurate. And I agree with your overall approach to judging situations. I have taken the same stance with these recent deaths. But to state that it was the Michael Brown shooting that created the events in Ferguson is incredibly ignorant. Yes, that was the final catalyst, but what took place in Ferguson was the result of years and years of build up of the effects of institutional racism and systemic discrimination against the black people of the Ferguson community. I mean, did you even read the actual report? Something like 80+ pages of that report (which is linked directly in the article you linked) detail the incredible levels of discrimination the Ferguson police department and the city of Ferguson have utilized over the years.
But nevermind all that. It was just a bunch of black people freaking out over a misunderstanding of one event, right? And it’s super important to make it clear that “hands up, don’t shoot” didn’t actually happen. Now, while it certainly is for the sake of the officer involved in that altercation, it is NOT RELEVANT to the riots and civil unrest in Ferguson. If it hadn’t been Michael Brown, it would have been something else, because when you hold people down for long enough, eventually, they will respond.
I’m out. Enjoy continuing to share your unwanted and painfully ignorant perspectives. I’ll find my Bucs content elsewhere.
I’ve enjoyed getting to interact with most of the members of this community. Good luck to you all. Go Bucs!
I leave this community with an excerpt from the actual justice department report on Ferguson, MO and the events of the Michael Brown shooting. If you’d like to read it for yourself (you should if you’d like to have an INFORMED opinion on this subject), you can do so here: https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/opa/press-releases/attachments/2015/03/04/ferguson_police_department_report.pdf.
“This culture within FPD influences officer activities in all areas of policing, beyond just ticketing. Officers expect and demand compliance even when they lack legal authority. They are inclined to interpret the exercise of free-speech rights as unlawful disobedience, innocent movements as physical threats, indications of mental or physical illness as belligerence. Police supervisors and leadership do too little to ensure that officers act in accordance with law and policy, and rarely respond meaningfully to civilian complaints of officer misconduct. The result is a pattern of stops without reasonable suspicion and arrests without probable cause in violation of the Fourth Amendment; infringement on free expression, as well as retaliation for protected expression, in violation of the First Amendment; and excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
Even relatively routine misconduct by Ferguson police officers can have significant consequences for the people whose rights are violated. For example, in the summer of 2012, a 32-year-old African-American man sat in his car cooling off after playing basketball in a Ferguson public park. An officer pulled up behind the man’s car, blocking him in, and demanded the man’s Social Security number and identification. Without any cause, the officer accused the man of being a pedophile, referring to the presence of children in the park, and ordered the man out of his car for a pat-down, although the officer had no reason to believe the man was armed. The officer also asked to search the man’s car. The man objected, citing his constitutional rights. In response, the officer arrested the man, reportedly at gunpoint, charging him with eight violations of Ferguson’s municipal code. One charge, Making a False Declaration, was for initially providing the short form of his first name (e.g., “Mike” instead of “Michael”), and an address which, although legitimate, was different from the one on his driver’s license. Another charge was for not wearing a seat belt, even though he was seated in a parked car. The officer also charged the man both with having an expired operator’s license, and with having no operator’s license in his possession. The man told us that, because of these charges, he lost his job as a contractor with the federal government that he had held for years.”
Incredibly, it really does only get worse from there.
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