FAB 5. SR’s Buc Shots

• In case you missed it, Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston was fined $12,154 for poking Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore, which triggered a brief brawl between New Orleans players and Tampa Bay players, including wide receiver Mike Evans, who was suspended without pay for this Sunday’s game. The suspension will cost Evans $43,125.

• One final note on Winston’s pre-game “Eat A ‘W’” speech. The young quarterback was asked whether or not he was surprised at the criticism he received over it and said, “I’m not. When you’re losing, everything is magnified and everything is worse.”

That’s true. As I mentioned earlier about the focus New England quarterback Tom Brady shows before the game, he does show some emotion about an hour before kickoff before settling into a zone during pre-game. This passage from ESPN.com about how Brady handled the taunting of Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce before last year’s playoff game.

Here’s a hint. Brady didn’t poke a finger at Kelce’s helmet.

“Brady made it part of his pregame ritual to run onto the field for warm-ups while Jay Z’s ‘Public Service Announcement’ blares from the speakers inside Gillette Stadium. You can tell it’s one of his favorite parts of game day by the way he pumps his fist, bounces on the balls of his feet and acknowledges the rabid Patriots fans already in the stands. Against the Chiefs, he trotted the length of the field slowly, knowing it might be his last chance to soak in the atmosphere of Gillette Stadium this season. When he reached the end zone, he roared, slashing the air with a vigorous punch. Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce, looking on from a few yards away, mocked Brady with a celebration of his own, punching the air and bobbing his head. Brady glanced at Kelce, acknowledging he had seen the gesture, but jogged away in a manner suggesting that lions do not concern themselves with the opinions of sheep.”

There is a lot that can be learned from Brady. I know Winston is just “being himself” with his hyped up pre-game speeches, but he has to ask himself, “Are they working?”

In Winston’s 40 games as a starter, Tampa Bay has only led in 15 of those contests in the first quarter, while trailing in the first quarter in 19 of those games. The Bucs were tied in the first quarter on six occasions. Yet in 40 games Tampa Bay has only scored in double digits (10 points or more) in the first quarter just four times.

Winston has a 17-23 record as a starting quarterback. Maybe it’s time the Bucs’ leader tries a new approach to get his team – and himself – more focused on starting faster in games.

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• Thank you, Pewter Nation, for helping us surpass 28,000 Twitter followers for our @PewterReport Twitter account. For those of you who don’t follow us on Twitter, please do so and help us reach 29,000. For  the latest Bucs news, observations from the PewterReport.com staff, reports from Bucs press conferences and notifications of the latest PewterReport.com stories, join the masses who follow @PewterReport and help us continue to grow our following on Twitter. And if you are on Facebook, please follow our Facebook page by clicking here.

• ProFootballTalk.com commented on a report that suggested NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is “furious” over the fact that a few owners, led by Dallas’ Jerry Jones, want his next contract to be incentive-laden tied to performance. According to the report, Goodell has been paid roughly $200 million over the past 11 years, and his new deal would pay him roughly the same money that he is making now if the incentives are reached.

Jones’ effort might be too late as the owners approved the NFL Competition Committee to move forward with finalizing Goodell’s contract in May and incentives weren’t on the table for discussion back then. In a league where many players have performance bonuses or roster bonuses tied to their contracts to protect a team against injuries or underperforming, Goodell should face the same scenario. Especially now when instances like the Ray Rice debacle, Deflategate and the Ezekiel Elliott case have given Goodell and the league a black eye, TV ratings and attendance are down, and advertisers are unhappy over the way the league has handled the National Anthem protests.

I personally think it’s time for a new NFL Commissioner as this might be a tipping point for the league, but it’s too late for that now. Goodell has made the league too much money in the past and has too many allegiances with ownership. With the current Collective Bargaining Agreement expiring in 2020 and needing to be renegotiated in a couple of years, and so much hostility existing between Goodell and NFL Players Association executive DeMaurice Smith, I think the owners are making a big mistake by keeping him.

Pewter-Nation-Podcast-Pewter-Report• The banged up Bucs are at home this week to face the New York Jets this week, trying to end a five-game losing streak. Check out the Pewter Nation Podcast that previews this Sunday’s battle of current and former Jets quarterbacks and former and current Bucs quarterbacks – Josh McCown and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Get the insight and analysis on the Bucs from PewterReport.com’s Mark Cook, Trevor Sikkema and yours truly in our latest podcast. We talk about the health of the team, Jameis Winston’s pre-game speech and what has gone wrong in Tampa Bay this season in this week’s podcast. Here is a link to the latest Pewter Nation Podcast – Episode 43: J-E-T-S, JETS, JETS, JETS

If you haven’t listened to this week’s podcast yet, it’s the perfect way to enjoy your lunch on a Friday afternoon or battle rush hour traffic on your way home from work. We’ll be taping another Pewter Nation Podcast on Sunday afternoon after the Bucs play the Jets. In addition to listening to the Pewter Nation Podcasts on PewterReport.com you can also subscribe to the free podcasts at PodBean by clicking here and on SoundCloud by clicking here.

• Be sure to check out PewterReport.com’s Preview and Predictions each Saturday where Mark Cook, Trevor Sikkema and I analyze the upcoming Bucs game, give our prediction and our “Pick To Click,” which is the player we think will stand out for Tampa Bay. I currently have the lead in predictions with a 6-2 record – my only misses being picking the Bucs to beat the Vikings and the Cardinals. Cook and Sikkema are both tied with a 3-5 mark.

And before Sunday’s game, be sure to read my PewterReport.com’s 2017 Bucs Midseason Awards column, in addition to Cook’s PewterReport.com’s Bucs 2017 Midseason Offensive Grades. The defensive grades story will be published on Saturday. All three stories are well worth your time.

• I asked straight-shooting Tampa Bay safety Chris Conte if the team believed too much in its own pre-season hype and press clippings to start the season and entered 2017 feeling overconfident. His answer was spot on.

Bucs safety Chris Conte – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs safety Chris Conte – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

“Football comes down to a few plays and execution,” Conte said. “Just because you talk about being great, doesn’t mean you’re going to be great. You’ve got to go out there and earn it every Sunday, Monday, or Thursday that you’re out there. We have to come prepared. You can’t just expect things to be handed to you, especially in this league. Obviously, as a team, we haven’t done a good enough job of executing and doing the things that make a football team great. You can’t just sit back and listen to what other people say and be like, ‘Okay, we’re good.’ People say we’re good, but now you have to earn it. I think the NFL proves that. You have to go earn it every single day.”

Looking back on the team’s 2-6 start, was being featured on Hard Knocks a distraction for the Buccaneers?

“No, – well, I don’t know,” Conte said. “Yeah, Hard Knocks is a distraction, but I don’t think that’s the reason why we’re where we’re at. I think people are stupid if they bought in to what other people said about us before the season. I’ve never done that and I don’t think anybody should ever do that. I try not to read anything out there and listen to all that stuff. If anybody did, they’re stupid.”

Well said, Chris.

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• And finally, I will be taking a family vacation for Thanksgiving for the first time in 24 years. It’s so hard to find time around the holidays to fit in a vacation during football season, but I’m doing so this year as we’re driving to Kansas City for a week so my wife and my kids can see my hometown and meet my college roommates and their families. We’re also going to Kansas State University, my alma mater, to see a Wildcats football game and basketball game. Mark Cook and Trevor Sikkema will handle the writing on PewterReport.com and the Pewter Nation Podcasts while I’m gone.

I’m already writing next Friday’s SR’s Fab 5 column presented by Discount Garage Doors, and I believe it will be one of the most talked about SR’s Fab 5 columns of the year – DO NOT MISS IT! It will also be my last one of the month before I go on vacation, so enjoy your Black Friday shopping.

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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 »