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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.

FAB 1. Chubb Would Help Bucs’ Pass Rush Woes

Meet North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb.

He’s one of the best pass rushers in the country and he could be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ first-round pick in just six short months.

At 2-6, the Bucs would be slated for the fourth overall pick if the NFL Draft were held today. There’s no telling how many wins the Bucs will get over the second half of the season or where Tampa Bay will end up picking next April.

The guesses here are “not enough” and “picking inside the top 10.”

There will undoubtedly be a couple of quarterbacks that will go high inside the top 10. There always are, and that will benefit the Bucs by pushing some coveted players down a few spots. Perhaps Penn State’s do-it-all running back Saquon Barkley is on the clock at the same type Chubb is. No matter who winds up being the head coach or offensive play-caller next year, or who ends up as the general manager in Tampa Bay, this should be a no-brainer.

Because this is another draft full of very talented running backs, the pick should be the 6-foot-3, 275-pound Chubb all day long for the Bucs.

The four most important positions on a football team are as follows: quarterback, defensive end (someone to rush the passer), left tackle (someone to protect the quarterback) and cornerback (someone to shut down the quarterback).

Running back is not one of those four positions. Right now the Bucs’ most glaring need is at defensive end where the Bucs have a collective three sacks from the position in eight games. That’s pitiful.

After beginning his Wolfpack career at linebacker during his freshman season, Chubb, whose cousin, Nick, is a star running back at Georgia, moved to linebacker where he has lived in opposing backfields over the past three years, totaling 52.5 tackles for loss, 23.5 sacks, six forced fumbles, four passes defensed, one fumble recovery, one interception and one blocked kick.

After his sophomore year when he recorded 66 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, five sacks and two forced fumbles, N.C. State coach Dave Doeren encouraged Chubb to call Wolfpack legend Mario Williams, a defensive end that was drafted first overall in 2006 and ask him to wear his old No. 9 jersey. Williams gave Chubb his blessing and told him to “rep it well.”

Last year, Chubb, whose brother, Brandon, was a star linebacker at Wake Forest and now plays for the Detriot Lions, had a breakout season with 56 stops and 10 sacks. His 22 tackles for loss in a single season were second in Wolfpack history behind only Williams’ school-record 27.

This year as a senior, Chubb already has amassed 53 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks and a forced fumble with at least four games to go. Unlike Bucs designated run stopper Will Gholston and designated pass rusher Noah Spence, Chubb is equally adept at stuffing the run and rushing the passer.

He was a terror in N.C. State’s landmark 27-21 win at Florida State this year, collecting seven tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks and a forced fumble. He notched eight stops, three tackles for loss and two sacks the next week in a win over Syracuse.

Two weeks ago against Notre Dame left tackle Mike McGlinchey, a potential first-round draft pick, Chubb had eight tackles, three tackles for a loss and a sack. Last year against McGlinchey, Chubb brutalized him for five tackles and three sacks in a 10-3 victory. Last week against Clemson left tackle Mitch Hyatt, who also draws first-round grades from NFL scouts, Chubb had eight tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss.

What makes Chubb the best defensive end in the 2018 draft class is his production, his blend of power and quickness and his non-stop motor. To quote ESPN’s David M. Hale in a story about Chubb, “Doeren calls Chubb ‘the catalyst,’ a title the Wolfpack defensive end isn’t quite comfortable repeating, but it’s a title he has earned. In the weight room, in the locker room, on the field – as Chubb goes, so goes N.C. State. And Chubb goes at only one speed.”

Wolfpack strength coach Dantonio Burnette said: “Chubb is the energy guy. He comes in with the juice.”

In N.C. State’s win over Florida State, ESPN play-by-play announcer Jason Benetti heaped praise on Chubb during the broadcast, saying, “Dave Doeren said, ‘Really nice kid off the field, not the nicest guy on the field.’”

ESPN color analyst Anthony Becht replied: “He used some real explicit terms to describe what kind of a guy he is on the field. That’s what you love about him. He’s going to shake your hand like a gentleman, but he’s going to come on the field and wreck havoc.”

The Bucs could use some havoc along the defensive line, especially at defensive end. And the entire team could use the edge that Chubb brings – an edge that has been missing in Tampa Bay since the days of Hardy Nickerson and Warren Sapp.

Chubb is a nasty dude.

After dominating Florida State, Chubb went over to the Seminoles logo after the game and spit on it. He was later told to apologize for it by the school, but I love his “take no prisoners” demeanor.

“We had to get over the hump, and that was the hump we talked about so much,” Chubb said after the win over FSU. “The emotions of being out on that field. I was just walking up and down and cheering my guys on. I knew for us to win, someone had to be that positive influence, and I wanted it to be me.”

Coming off a 7-6 season, expectations were high in Raleigh, N.C., and Chubb embraced them at the ACC Media Day prior to the start of the season.

NC State DE Bradley Chubb - Photo courtesy of NC State Univ.
NC State DE Bradley Chubb – Photo courtesy of NC State Univ.

“We want to be that team that you don’t want to play because you know we’re going to hit you hard in the mouth,” Chubb said.

So far N.C. State has a 6-3 record on the year heading into Saturday’s game at Boston College. Prior to the Wolfpack’s 38-31 loss against No. 4 Clemson last week, Chubb had the top Havoc Rate in the ACC on Football Study Hall, ahead of other notable defensive ends like Wake Forest’s Duke Ejiofor, Boston College’s Harold Landry and Clemson’s dynamic duo of Austin Bryant and Clelin Ferrell

“He’s the real deal, man,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said about Chubb during a conference call last week. “He’s long. He’s fast. He’s explosive. He plays with excellent technique. He’s a very knowledgeable, instinctive player.

This guy has got all the little nuances down. He understands what you’re trying to do offensively, so that allows him to anticipate. When you have the type of speed and skill and strength that he has, plus you have knowledge, you’re a tough guy to handle, which he is.”

During the loss to Clemson, Chubb went over to Tigers quarterback Kelly Bryant three times and stole his towel in an effort to mess with the young signal caller and get him off his game. I like a little psychological warfare, just as Sapp used to do by reading his opponents’ media guides for personal information that he was use against them in the trenches to get them rattled.

Sapp longs for the day when the Bucs have another dawg in the locker room.

“We called it ‘dawg’ in our locker room. D-A-W-G,” Sapp told the Tampa Bay Times this past summer. “I need a dawg in my locker room. I want somebody who bites.”

That someone may be Chubb next April.

A guy that swipes a quarterback’s towel during the game, and spits on the logo of a hated division rival?

You might call it unsportsmanlike, but I call it awesome, especially when Chubb produced 16 tackles, five tackles for loss, two sacks and a forced fumble in the Florida State and Clemson games combined. That’s the type of ruthless, ass-kicker the Bucs have been missing on defense.

They’ve also been missing sacks – desperately – this year, and Chubb is just two sacks away from tying Williams’ N.C. State record of 25.5. It’s early and the 2018 NFL Draft is six months away, but when the Bucs’ first draft board for next year comes out I would have Chubb’s name at or near the top.

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Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]
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RootsCrew

Jesus. Just trade Winston away and be done with it. The kid can’t do anything right. Check it down! No, throw it deep. No, complete 70% of passes while chucking it deep. Be a leader, but don’t say anything and don’t be yourself. Quit trying to change and neuter him. This culture of losing infects the entire locker room. Winston will still fight for every game. He expects his teammates to fight with him. GMC isn’t a pregame guy. Kwon doesn’t seem to give speeches. LVD? Nope. Mike? Nope. We let Shep, great pregame talker, leave for Carolina. Who else… Read more »

JustaBuc

Well said. While some of this Fab 5 is good, Scott seems to grasp at straws when explaining field play. It started with the training camp discussion and this whole Jameis pep-talk discussion is simply a continuation of that same line of thinking. Being soft in camp might have an effect 1-2 weeks into a season, not 10. In a same vein, if Tom Brady twerked for his game warmups, I’m sure he would be calling Winston out for not twerking because there is exactly 1 template to success for players in this game and if you don’t do it… Read more »

Horse

Okay he’s not going to be a top 5 quarterback probably not a top 10 quarterback. Why would you trade in? Do you think other teams are stupid. We’ve got bigger problems than Winston fur sure.

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RootsCrew

To be clear, Horse, I’m not actually saying trade him away. I’m a huge believer in Jameis. I was just typing out my frustrations at the never ending things he has to live up to or change or do to appease this fanbase. It’s absurd at times. He will be a top 10 QB. The scheme he’s in actually magnifies his flaws. It doesn’t limit them. And yes, we have bigger issues than Jameis. Even if he’s contributed to some of the issues on the team.

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Naplesfan

Jameis has to live up to being the no. 1 overall pick in the draft – that’s the burden that comes from such high expectations … and he has to live up to being the designated starting quarterback of a team that has given him more weapons to throw to than any other quarterback in the league today. Jameis has to live up to being midway through his third season, which most folks were calling his inevitable “breakout year”. Jameis has to live up to at least minimal standards of sportsmanship, which he clearly violated last Sunday with his dick… Read more »

EataW

we should ride with Jameis for at least another year. build an OLine in the meantime. I wouldn’t mind drafting Chubb but i’d be much more excited with Mike Mcglinchey OT, Notre Dame. He could be one of the best OT in the league plus it’s a position of need

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surferdudes

Trade Winston? That’s probably what the Falcons thought of a young Brett Farve, when they dealt the wild child to G.B.. It took a real coach, Holmgrem to mold him into a HOFer. I think that’s what Winston needs, a real coach, a real G.M. to put players around him that help him succeed. Expecting a 23 yr old to carry a sorry franchise over the finish line is unrealistic. Scott did you hear what Gruden had to say about Winston’s antics? Pretty much what you said. Gruden, I’d tell him to tone it down. I’d tell him to follow… Read more »

Naplesfan

Maybe,surfer. Maybe a new coaching regime will transform Jameis as he’s been into a beautiful butterfly. Or not. Each year it’s been a litany of excuses. His rookie year, well, he’s a rookie, and he passed for a lot of yards .. but didn’t score many points, and it was all blamed on his coaches under the Lovie Smith regime. Second season, it was all blamed on having no running game, and no offensive line (both of which were actually pretty good during his ineffective rookie season … but whatever), and most of all, Jameis had no “weapons” to throw… Read more »

Naplesfan

It’s clear from the totally-expected mumber down votes that there are more Jameis Winston fans here than Bucs fans. Bucs fans demand performance from everybody associated with the franchise. For Winston fans, that applies to everybody EXCEPT Winston – the “sacred cow”.

Jameis needs to be every bit as accountable as any other person on the team … no sacred cows, period.

He needs to shape up or ship out.

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Horse

Surferdudes you’re slowly winning me over; still not there yet. We would have to have a very seasoned GM who understands what it takes to have a good defense.

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Naplesfan

Good Fab5, Scott. I like your recommendations on free agents ….. nobody on the team now should feel safe, even the ones you like and I like. A test in the last half of the season is to see who is still giving their all, and who is mailing it in when the playoffs are not a possibility. The mailers need to be given one way postage out of One Buc Place. As for Winston, you said what most Bucs fans are thinking. I rather suspect it is exactly what most of Winston’s teammates are thinking too. Amongst a certain… Read more »

Buc 1976

Naples I was a BIG supporter of Winston!
I know he has been injured this season but I have to wonder if he made the choice to play and ignored med. staff to rest it a week or two. If that is the case not only did it cause him to be hurt worse but also may have hurt the team. I applaud his toughness but sometimes you have to do what is best for the team. IMO there are a lot of ??? MARKS with Winston.

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tnew

One guy they have to really start thinking about as well is McCoy. He is the highest paid Buc and tho under contract, he only would count $500K against the cap. He is in position for a restructure to a more team friendly deal or a trade and sign somewhere else. Given the contracts that are coming up, it would seem smart business to handle this with him sooner than later. I’m personally not sure what I would do with him. The more film I watch isolating on him, the less sense it makes to me sinking huge money into… Read more »

Destino102

This team this year has been all talk and no substance. We have the talent on both sides of the ball (except D-line, minus McCoy). We jsut don’t seem to know how to win games. We lose because of Kicking. We lose because of the Offense. We lose because of the Defense. We lose because of bad play calling. Players aren’t even sure what our identity is. Let me tell you what are identity is. We are Under Dogs. Since the inception of this franchise, we have always been under dogs. Even in our Super Bowl season, we were under… Read more »

tnew

As far as the “Winston sucks early in the game” argument. He is a young player who will continue to mature. The coaches and all of the captains need to help getting these guys motivated. That speech he gave in New Orleans was terrible, but even more terrible was the guys around him. That was the flattest group of guys (I’m saying before the whole finger licking thing) I’ve ever seen. Winston probably looked around and saw this, got desperate and failed miserably at a spontaneous attempt to get them going. Hopefully, someone else will emerge on this team to… Read more »

Naplesfan

If being a consistent first half failure is “more easily correctible”, then why hasn’t it been corrected?

Excuses excuses, always more excuses.

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tnew

Like I stated clearly. He’s a 23 year old maturing player.

And I clearly stated they are more easily corrected. Not easily corrected. I never said they shouldn’t be corrected. Fact of the matter, 4th quarter leaders generally have it or don’t have it.

Whatever

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BrianDorry55

Man, I am trying not to start thinking about the draft already, but you definitely got me excited about Chubb. This team badly needs some nasty. Speaking of nasty, I love me some Jameis, but the “always positive” schtick has worn thin on me. Facing a horribly disappointing 2-6 start is no time for rah rah pregame crap. Seriously, could there have ever been an easier time to choose the right words before a game? “We’re a 2-5 football team. We suck. Is that who you are? Are you a 2-5 football player? Are we better than 2-5? Lets go… Read more »

stlbucsfan

Jameis is 23 and maturing into his role as the leader of this team. Their will be growing pains but him being passionate is great maybe we need someone else to relay the message but that has been the problem since Sapp left. NOBODY ever delivers the message as a result it never happens. Jameis is not perfect but people so eloquently look at other young QBs having success and act like their offensive lines have nothing to do with it. Philly and Dallas protect their QB something Bonehead has still to get right. Our front office attempted and failed… Read more »

surferdudes

Good points all, it’s obvious it’s not just one thing, or one player that’s holding this team back. We traded Steve young years ago, let Doug Williams walk, both turned into S.B. MVP’s. I’m not giving up on a 23 yr old first round pick. Jameis had a running game, and a defense when at FSU, we have neither. Geoff was a bust until McVay came along, and I believe as good as Wentz is, he’d struggle on this team. Enough of first time H.C., and G.M.’s. Glazers need to hire someone, to hire someone. Tom Coughlin has done wonders… Read more »

Horse

Well here comes one of the things I have said many times before? We need a lot of draft picks especially in the early rounds. For me I’m trading down 10 to 15 spots for a additional 2nd and 3rd rounder or an additional first-rounder. I’m convinced we need a left tackle who’s going to protect Jameis in 2018 first priority; I know we need defensive ends too; that’s why I’m suggesting we trade down and still pick up one or two good DE.

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VinceC

We know their are problems across the board on thi team. However I believe that Smith’s defense is a joke. It is non aggressive with no imagination. 4 down lineman with linebackers 5 yards from the line, corners 5 to 10 yds off the ball and safeties playing centerfield begs for long gains. When he does blitz the other team knows it’s coming and adjusts for usually big gains. That’s because instead of 4 linemen he puts 5 or 6 which doesn’t happen very much. In Carolina game they never touched Newton. You got to be kidding. 8 sacks in… Read more »

scubog

Cam Newton must be searching for the towel he puts over his head when his spit goes bad because we Bucs fans stole it and have thrown it into the middle of the Ring of Dishonor to announce we have given up on the season. How quick we often are to flip flop or lay in wait for something bad to happen so we can regurgitate our previous bias. Here, we seek any sort of crumb so we can do as we have for 40+ seasons…………. blame the QB and coach. Oh, how easy that is to do. Now we… Read more »

Horse

Scubog, that makes good sense. I’m putting this on Licht because we have come full circle once again. Rather than obtaining additional draft picks by trading down and actually using them to build your team for the now and future, Licht always trades back up and there goes those extra draft picks.

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Mike.Seven

Jamies is in doubt by this ownership and management do you really think Bucs are going to place a franchise tag and pay 22-26 Million a year on a QB that has been a constant 87% QB rating with more losses than wins. Not a chance! The question is do you want to solve QB problem 2018 draft year or wait till 2019 after Jamies Rockie contract runs out. If they base this team next year on Jamies we will have good shot at first pick 2019. I would rather fix team new QB and coach end of this year… Read more »

surferdudes

Scott, those comments were from his call in last Weds, every Weds, around 7 A.M. on the Mike & Mike show.

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rob roy

The Bucs really need to nail the first three picks in next years draft. There are some very talented players in this draft and NC State’s DE Bradley Chubb is the top DE. The Bucs could pick as low as number 5 or somewhere between 5 and 10. Chubb may go as high as number 4. DE Harold Landry, Boston College and DE Arden Key, LSU, are both special players and should be available when the Bucs pick. If S Minkah Fitzpatrick (6-2 216) Alabama is still there when the Bucs pick, he will be difficult to pass up. He… Read more »