FAB 2. Buckner’s Attitude Makes Him The Right Fit For Bucs’ D-Line

I had no idea who the Buccaneers were going to hire to replace defensive line coach Jay Hayes. All of the candidates that they interviewed for the job made sense.

It was only right to give Tampa Bay assistant defensive line coach Paul Spicer an opportunity to interview. He might have been part of the problem last year as Tampa Bay’s defense only produced a league-low 22 sacks, or Spicer might have been simply following Hayes’ orders and he might have had some ideas and philosophies that were 180 degrees in the opposite direction.

Bucs DL coach Brentson Buckner - Photo courtesy of the Cardinals and Bucs
Bucs DL coach Brentson Buckner – Photo courtesy of the Cardinals and Bucs

Former Colts defensive coordinator Ted Monachino made sense from a familiarity standpoint. He coached with Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter and defensive coordinator Mike Smith in Jacksonville as the team’s defensive line coach, and before that, he was with Koetter in his college stops at Boise State and Arizona State.

The Bucs dipped into the college ranks to interview former Missouri defensive line guru and current Miami D-line coach Craig Kuligowksi. In his 15 years at Mizzou, Kuligowski produced four first-round defensive linemen and 24 defensive linemen that had All-Conference honors in either the Big 12 or the SEC.

But, the one that made the most sense was former Arizona defensive line coach Brentson Buckner, a former NFL defensive tackle that spent plenty of years battling the Buccaneers while in Carolina as a member of the NFC South rival Panthers. Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht knew Buckner from their days together with the Cardinals in 2013, and Buckner received a glowing recommendation from former Arizona head coach Bruce Arians, who retired after the 2017 season.

Buckner played in Cincinnati for a season while Bucs linebackers coach Mark Duffner was there, and he played a year in San Francisco when defensive backs coach Brett Maxie was an assistant coach with the 49ers. The guess here is that they also gave Buckner a thumbs-up.

But, it wasn’t as if Buckner needed votes of confidence from Bucs staffers. His track record with the Cardinals speaks volumes. From 2013-17, Arizona recorded 203 sacks, which tied for the seventh-most in the NFL. In 2016, the Cardinals led the league with 48 sacks, which was the third-highest single-season mark in franchise history. Defensive lineman Calais Campbell, who made two Pro Bowls (2014-15) under Buckner’s tutelage, led the team with eight sacks that season.

The Cardinals defense ranked in the top six of the NFL in yards allowed per game in four of Buckner’s five seasons with the team, while it ranked in the top seven in points allowed per game in three of those years. He instilled toughness and a bad-ass mentality into his unit, and that’s been the missing element in Tampa Bay’s defensive line over the years.

During his press conference, I asked Buckner what his vision is for his unit.

Bucs DL coach Brentson Buckner - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs DL coach Brentson Buckner – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

“The vision for this defensive line is to be physically and mentally tough,” Buckner said. “When you turn on that film, you’re going to see four guys recklessly attacking the guy in front of them like their lives depend on it. When they can’t do it, the next guy behind them is going to come in and do it. We’re going to work well together. We’re going to hunt until the whistle blows. We don’t want anyone to feel comfortable.

“All week long, that offensive line is telling their coach and their running back and quarterback that they can run this play and block those guys. We’re going to take that personally. We’re not going to go out there looking for a fight. We’re going to go out there inviting a fight when that ball is snapped because we want to be vicious. We want our play to precede us when we walk into a stadium. We don’t want other teams to say, ‘What are the Bucs going to give us today?’ We want to them to know that when the Bucs step on the field, it’s going to be a battle. We might not win them all, but your training room is going to look like we did.”

That’s the kind of bad-ass mentality that legendary Bucs defensive tackle Warren Sapp would appreciate. It’s been my experience in covering an NFL team for over two decades that the best defensive line coaches are like drill sergeants.

Rod Marinelli.

Mike Waufle.

Joe Cullen.

Those guys were intense, yellers and screamers, and I didn’t get the sense Hayes had that type of intensity and his quiet demeanor felt out of place to me. I’m not trying to slight Hayes, whose track record in Cincinnati was quite good, but it just didn’t seem like he had the right type of attitude that was needed in Tampa Bay. Sapp felt the same way about him, too.

Based on what I know about Buckner from Arizona and his initial press conference with the Bucs, I think Buckner has the exact kind of attitude that is needed in Tampa Bay. But, it’s not just about his attitude. It’s about his results.

Buckner got all kinds of players to produce in Arizona. Defensive tackle Darnell Dockett was considered a bit of a loose cannon and a freelancer, and Buckner reined him in and made him play within the scheme.

He was able to help John Abraham lead the Cardinals with 11.5 sacks in 2013, squeezing one final year’s worth of production out of that aging veteran. Abraham’s sack total hadn’t been that high in four years. Campbell had a career-high nine sacks that year in Buckner’s first season on the staff.

Bucs DL coach Brentson Buckner - Photo courtesy of the Cardinals and Bucs
Bucs DL coach Brentson Buckner – Photo courtesy of the Cardinals and Bucs

The next year saw Alex Okafor have a breakout season with eight sacks in his second year in the league. In 2015, Buckner helped 36-year old Dwight Freeney post a team-high eight sacks, which was the most he had produced since he had 8.5 with the Colts in 2011.

In 2016, Buckner developed Markus Golden into a double-digit sack producer with 12.5 QB captures in a breakthrough season. Newly imported edge rusher Chandler Jones, who arrived via a trade with New England, was nicely integrated into the defensive scheme and recorded 11 sacks. Meanwhile, Campbell had eight sacks in another productive season.

Last year, Buckner didn’t have Golden to work with due to a torn ACL that cost him the entire 2017 campaign, but Jones stepped up with a career year, leading the NFL in sacks with 17. Buckner also squeezed some production out of veteran Corey Peters and undrafted free agent Olsen Pierre, who had an impressive rookie season with 5.5 sacks and a forced fumble.

The fact that Buckner has gotten production out of past-their-prime vets, Pro Bowlers, premium draft picks, undrafted free agents and reclamation projects is a good sign for Tampa Bay. Buckner is a hands-on technician, using himself and his experience in the league to the benefit of his players. But what I think will help Tampa Bay’s defensive line more than anything is his tenacious attitude and mentality.

Speaking of attitude, it was great hearing the stories from Buckner’s days in Carolina when he and Kris Jenkins took verbal shots at Sapp from and vice versa back in the 2000s.

“My first year at Carolina we went 1-15. The next year, they changed the division and we went 7-9 and Tampa won the Super Bowl, so I came right down here for the first home playoff game and sat in the stands and watched. Me, Kris Jenkins, Mike Rucker and Julius Peppers, as much as we disliked Warren Sapp, we admired what they did. We wanted to see the atmosphere that they would create when they came out, the energy with which they played with. To see those guys run out of that tunnel on Sunday, you thought it was an earthquake. I remember calling Mike Rucker from the stands and telling him that this is what we had to create in Carolina. They did that with their front four. It wasn’t the quarterback running out, wasn’t the star running back. It was the defensive line that was being introduced. We sat back marveling and saying that we wanted to model ourselves after them and get to the point where when we stood toe to toe, we wanted to be the better model. That’s what we did and it was a mutual respect that created competitive hatred between one another but it was all out of respect. We wanted what those guys had created here [in Tampa] and we tried our best to get it.

Former Panthers DT Brentson Buckner (99) - Photo by: Getty Images
Former Panthers DT Brentson Buckner (99) – Photo by: Getty Images

“I wanted it [the competitiveness]. I admired Sapp because he would do those little jabs knowing that the other team would come back and then his guys would step up to the occasion. So I said, ‘Alright let’s poke the lion a little bit.’ I have this big 320-pound, 6-foot-4 young buck and he’s the best defensive tackle and I knew Sapp would come out. That would drive Jenkins because he was a quiet guy and that would drive him because he would get mad if Sapp said something about me. Like I said, I looked at that whole formula. I looked at the way Sapp carried himself and the way that Simeon Rice was just cooler than the other side of the pillow. I looked at [Anthony] ‘Booger’ McFarland and how those guys would just play off of one another. Everyone had their own distinct role and we would try to mimic ourselves after them.”

Not only does Buckner know how to coach defensive linemen, he also knows how to change the culture. He was instrumental in doing that in Carolina when he played for the Panthers, and he also did it in Arizona where the Cardinals were 10-6 in his first season as their defensive line coach, followed by two playoff berths and 11-5 and 13-3 records over the next two seasons.

There is a losing culture at One Buccaneer Place and I have a feeling that Buckner is going to be instrumental in changing that sooner rather than later. Kudos to Koetter and Licht for what appears to be a real quality hire and an upgrade to their coaching staff.

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Scott Reynolds is in his 24th 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 son's Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]

46 COMMENTS

  1. LIcht has stated multiple times he likes how certain guys are “wired” (Aguayo, Baker and Folk come to mind as recent ones). Hoping he’s learned he’s not an electrical mentalist and tweaks his style of evaluating a bit. He has hit on some solid draft picks though, hoping this draft produces 4 or 5 as well.

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    • Like the new Point Chart as well, along with their idea that “trading down on day three and picking up veterans is the smart move”. Believe this is NE’s alternative to signing free agents, which has worked out fairly well for them, especially when they’re only giving up 4th-7th round picks typically.

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  2. Sam Hubbard needs to be on the list of players in that second pool.

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  3. Huh?
    The Bucs should give up an additional pick for the Bills picks? No way. I say the Bills should toss in some additional picks. What the charts don’t reflect is that with the number of QBs being drafted the Bucs are essentially giving up a number three pick,not a seven, as far as the players that interest Tampa.
    I don’t care what the official charts say. The charts are wrong.

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    • I can agree in some way. Being politically correct you have to go with what he wrote about.

      I don’t think that we should give up another pick for the Bills to move up. The trade chart placed in the article is close to accurate with the last years QB trades but there was about a 100 point variance and with the Bills likely desperate need for a QB (thanks to the coach starting Petterman for that one game) Jason Licht should be able to pull it off. Have all the faith in him!

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      • The one good thing about trading down for the Bills picks is that the Bills will undoubtedly pay too much for he number seven pick. I’m not opposed to the idea, but think pewter’s numbers are off.

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        • 90% agree with you, and 10% need to add an extra point that wasn’t mentioned.

          Competitors drive the price up regardless of the value on the draft chart. I’ve heard a lot of word on the street from the Cardinals’ fans that they’re dying to land Lamar Jackson. If SF can convince CHI that they’ll trade down so another team takes Trubisky, which is a very likely scenario this year for QB’s as well, then we sure as heck can fleece our favorite deal from BUF or ARI.

          Organizations also add value to QBs that are “their guy”. They won’t accept substitutes. Trust me, trade talks might start at equal trade chart value, but the price only goes up from there.

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  4. Yeah I’d be okay with both of the Bills picks. I honestly think it could happen too. As a new coach in Buffalo, I’d be going all in on a quarterback this offseason if I’m McDermott.

    Tampa has more needs than draft picks and since we’re not going to get one of the three elite players in the draft then we should drop back.

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    • Some of those needs are going to be filled by FA’s Cody, but agree that with the FA QB’s that are going to be available (Cousins, Keenum, Bridgewater, Bradford and McCarron), there’s a good chance the top targets the Bucs favor may be gone by #7. If that’s the case, then a trade down would probably be wise.

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    • Don’t be satisfied with two 1’s. We can get so much more! This is a QB we’re talking about and BUF is going to have to fight a lot of teams to get one. Especially if, of the 5 likely to go in the first round, they only like 1-3 of them.

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  5. Thanks for doing the hypothetical Bills and Bucs trade!

    With that said where on your Big Board are these players? Also, are the players being mentioned for day one through the end of day two picks?

    Just have seen at other places Penny going in the third round and know that you have more insight into how the Bucs might be seeing things.

    Also, are any of these players good fits for DE with us?
    -Duke Ejiofor from Wake Forest. I know his grown a lot as a player and feel he has a lot of growth left in him.
    -Dorance Armstrong from Kansas.

    How about for RB and taking the place of Simms (in case he isn’t resigned), any thoughts on Akrum Wadley from Iowa or Martez Carter from Grambling?

    Last one (for now), what about the small school tackles;
    -Brandon Parker from North Carolina A&T
    -Desmond Harrison from West Georgia
    -Greg Senat from Wagner

    Thanks again.

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  6. Not advocating this, but if it happens, I like Luke Easterling’s trade chart better. Just for fun here’s a different cut at it.

    https://draftwire.usatoday.com/2018/02/21/2018-nfl-mock-draft-updated-4-round-projections-with-trades/

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    • Maybe I missed it, but in that link to the draft with trades, what did Bucs give up for the two Bills picks?

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      • Pete,

        Read at pick 7. Bucs only gave up 7, got 21 and 22 plus a 2nd rounder. By the standard draft chart that would be an even trade. Bucs have to get something for doing that. That would be hard to turn down. lol.

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        • In a strange way, the less QBs picked in front of us, the more valuable our #7 pick becomes. Don’t be surprised if the trade macabee listed, WITH a potential later year pick, happens on draft day.

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  7. Scott,

    Can you guys make your own Bucs Big Board over at PR? I think that would be more fun than a mock draft.

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  8. Settle looks very Sapp like. If we were going to take Vea at seven, we’d be better off trading down with Buffalo drafting Settle, while gaining another #1, maybe more.

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  9. If Chubb, Barkley, and Nelson are off the board by pick #7 I think the best case scenario would be to trade with the Bills for their 2 first rounders. I would even prefer that over taking Fitzpatrick at #7. Theres just too many holes to fill and there will be some very good talent in the early 20s. Other then the 3 I mentioned I don’t see anyone worthy of the 7th overall pick that fits our needs.

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  10. I’d be happy with a Bucs/Bills trade where the Bucs pick up Billy Price & Deron Payne. Build dem lines!

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  11. Yeah ,I’d take the Bills 21 and 22, but would also consider the Cardinals 15 and 47 if they’re QB hunting. Much more likely to get a Vea or Payne at 15 than at 21. Chargers, Lions, Redskins will have grabbed those guys up by then. If Wynn or Michel falls to us at 38, then grab one. At 47 look at S DeShon Elliott/Jessie Bates/Justin Reid, and then at 69 look at CB Quenton Meeks/Holton Hill. Grab DE Ejiofor at the top of the 4th (he’ll drop due to no combine or pro day due to surgery, the way Beckwith did for us), and then Either OT Brandon Parker, DE Jaylon Ferguson, or RB Nyheim Hines in the 5th. Will Clapp and Jojo Wicker in the 6th.

    Use this chart for trade values (much nicer):

    https://www.drafttek.com/NFL-Trade-Value-Chart.asp

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    • From what I hear, Vea is not going to get past the Chargers. Trading with ARI is the only real potential spot atm where we can trade down and still have a decent shot at Vea. No guarantee, but possible. I like your thinking.

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  12. Depending on who is available at #7, I’m all for trading down with Buffalo. Whether that’s for the 21st and 22nd picks, or their 21st and both of their 2nd round picks (possible 2019 2nd too.) We have so many holes to fill on defense (thanks to that dreadful 2016 draft) and the OL that we need multiple good players. Having 3-4 picks in the first 60 selections is greater than 2 and staying in the top 10, imo.

    A draft like these two would make the team better AND address areas of needs.
    #21) Derwin S
    #22) Price C
    #38) Hubbard DE

    or
    #21) Payne DT
    #38) Wynn G
    #53) D. Jackson CB
    #56) Chubb RB

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  13. I have been encouraging this trade for a while now. If we choose too, we could trade down the 22nd spot and pick up more draft picks in the 2nd/3rd rounds. This would really solve a lot of issues and we would be more competitive in the NFC South this season.

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    • Yeah, that 21/22 spot is a bit of a dead zone for us, especially if Vea, Payne, James, etc are gone. Landry, Price, Hubbard there? No, I’ll pass. Wouldn’t mind trading both 21 & 22 (w/ CLE & NYJ) and getting 8 good players between rounds 2-5. So, basically, if we can pull two additional second & third round picks for our #7, that would be fine.

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  14. Outstanding article as usual, Scott. I have even said I would prefer they fire Licht for not building our trenches and his losing record while he has been here and hire you as their GM. However, if you look at other teams that succeed, they all use first round picks for LT. Using a second round pick for LT and spending three years for Smith to develop has been a failure for the Bucs and has endangered our QB to injury and has upped the QB’s turnovers and resulted in too many holding penalties by Smith because of his lack of skill in pass blocking. I favor moving down in the first round and taking LT Orlando Brown or one of the other projected four first round LTs and moving Smith to LG where he will be a real star. Use Buffalo’s other first pick for Penny who gives us both a breakaway RB as well as a run back specialist who has run back kicks for touchdowns and a good change of pace back for RB Barber and hire Crowell from the Browns as the other RB. At Center our GM can hire Jensen from Baltimore or in the third round either take Arkansas’s Center or Ohio State’s Center or Michigan State’s Center and move Marpet back to RG and Dotson at RT, with Pamphile to back up the Tackle position (having been a basketball player in college like Dotson), Benenoch to back up both Guard positions, and Hawley C/G to backup the Center, and we would have a championship line. With Buckner’s Coaching I think Sevie T will be able to hold down the NT position and McCoy and Gholston or McDonald at DE, use the second round pick for one of five 250 lb DEs in the draft that can be converted to OLB or use Noah Spence there on one side and David on the other or Beckwith and Alexander and Bullough as ILBs, resign Grimes and hire the other CB with Justin Evans at Safety and a punishing tackler hired at the other Safety position.and Pinero as place kicker in the draft 5th pick or lower–only missed one kick all year and kicked an 87 yarder in practice and kicked deep on kick offs. The fourth pick could be used for a second 250 pound DE who can play OLB for the bucs.

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    • Let’s keep focused how bad our pass rush was. Whether we go to a 3-4 or stay with the 4-3 the present defensive ends are not the answer. Why do we talk so much about the offense when we have this defensive problem?

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  15. Re: Fab 1

    The first article that I saw regarding this “trade down scenario” was from DraftWire.

    https://draftwire.usatoday.com/2018/02/21/2018-nfl-mock-draft-updated-4-round-projections-with-trades/

    Just in case you’re interested.
    ____________
    Go Bucs!!!!

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    • Whoops! macabbeeMac had it covered already.

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      • macabee, that is … (clunky typing and a bit of creeping senility)

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  16. How the heck do you guys have Gholston as definitely coming back? We overpaid this guy last offseason, and he did absolutely nothing to help our defense last year. Unless we restructure his deal, he is a total waste of cap space. RESTRUCTURE OR RELEASE! I also think we should move him over to DT or 3-4 DE. Even restructured, he is not good at 4-3 DE.

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  17. Re: Fab 2 … Buckner

    Enjoyed the info and analysis. Looks like the Bucs got lucky when Bruce Arians retired. Kinda like when Howard fell to us in the draft last year. The football gods don’t all frown on us!

    _______
    Go Bucs!!!

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  18. Since we’re just throwin’ things against the wall (old spaghetti trick) lately I’ve been seeing mocks that have Chubb, Barkley, and Nelson off the board. If that’s the case, I’m really starting to like OLB Tremaine Edmunds/Virginia Tech. If we were to say trade down with the Raiders at 10 and pick up a 3rd or the Cardinals at 15 and pick up a 2nd, I would have no problem with selecting Edmunds.

    OLB Tremaine Edmunds is a 6-5 250lb instinctive rushing/tackling machine that is a coupla burgers and a bag of fries away from a 260lb DE. He could make a nice book-end to Noah Spence in 3-4 sets. No serious inclination yet, just thinking out loud. Go Bucs!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlyvMFKaeHM

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    • Who do you think the raiders would trade up to take?

      His an amazing talent as is his brother. My own opinion i think the raiders could really use a guy like that or like smith from Georgia.

      Is a great idea!

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      • Sorry taking a minute to get back to you but I have searched all over for the mock where I saw the Raiders trade and I can’t find it. It may have been a trade where RB Barkley was still on the board (which I would not do). Arizona has made no secret that they would like to trade up for a QB, But I think Edmunds will be gone. I have read that with a good combine, he has a chance to be a top ten pick. Hope you get your guy. Go Bucs!

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    • I agree macabee:
      Tremaine Edmunds has great production, is only 19 and is freak athlete. I expect big things from him.

      Edmunds, Saquan Barkley and Derwin James will most likely come out of the combine looking like the three most freak athletes in the draft.

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  19. What does everything think about them adding cordy glenn to the trade?

    Also ince the rams just acquired marcus peters do you see us trading for a veteran? It worked for us and mankins.

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    • Guessing they made that trade to replace Trumaine Johnson, who’s a FA. Smart move as long as Peters keeps his head on straight. Johnson would be a solid addition to our DB room, though he won’t come cheap as there’s going to be a ton of interest in him.

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  20. This could be a very interesting draft this year.
    We can discuss the draft alot but I am waiting to see what the Bucs do in FA. Go Bucs

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  21. @Fab 2

    I’m so sick and tired of analysts and reporters talking about “attitude” like it actually matters and is the reason people are successful. We spend so little time talking about the amazing results Buckner has delivered in ARI and then immediately undermine it when we talk about how the attitude is the reason for his success. F*ck that! Give the man his real due.

    The title should be “Buckner’s Results Make Him The Right Fit for Tampa”. I couldn’t give less of a sh*t if he was a happy-go-lucky surfer dude and the entire crew of players cried a lot and did ballet. As long as he can show the DLine how to take up gaps, get to the quarterback and stuff RBs that’s all that needs to be said.

    TB needs to stop living under the shadow of irrelevant players and old-boy thinking of how people need “bad-ass mentality” when all they really need is to be able to do the damn job.

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  22. I gave your remarks a thumbs up. Your points are well made.

    “bad-ass mentality”

    Your tone has some of the same attitude, however. Football is ever a violent sport. The players are humans. They are “men playing a man’s game” at the highest level there is. They have to function like machines to some degree and try to remain overgrown “young boys at heart” at the same time.

    The “bad-ass mentality” is just one of the “intangibles” that sports writers use frequently. Cliches reflect the street slang and war analogies of the times.

    __________
    Go Bucs!!!

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  23. 1) trade down, why not…we’ve tried everything else
    2) he sounds good, but if we plan to rush max-4 again (whether that’s out of a 3-4 or 4-3) and expect to get pressure we’re in for another long season
    3) maybe, maybe but I have seen far too many late round picks touted as future stars on our team…I’ll believe it when I see it
    4) just take someone in the trenches….please for once.

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  24. First time ever posting. Lifetime fan from Cincy, OH

    As far as free agency goes, with the thought process of shifting to 3-4 front
    RB Isaiah Crowell-CLE
    C Ryan Jansen-BAL
    DE Sheldon Richardson-SEA (cut or renegotiate Gholston)
    CB Trumaine Johnson -LA

    Draft, make the trade with buffalo. Our first for 21,22 and their 2nd.
    1.1- Vea if available or Settle
    1.2- Darwin James if available or best corner
    2.1- best guard ( Hernandez-UTEP or Wynn-UGA)
    2.2-best safety/corner depending on first round (Harrison-Bama or Alexander-UL)
    3- Best RB available (Penny-SDSU, Ballage-ASU or Freeman-ORE
    4-7 get rotationional players on d-line and developmental linebacker

    This scenario provides us with three capable running backs. An interior O-Line of Wynn Jansen Marpet( finally back at guard). D-Line McCoy Vea/Settle Richardson with Spence and David as OLB and kwon and KBeck in the middle. Johnson and rookie CB on outside, more time for Ryan Smith to develop and VHIII in slot. Evans and rookie/conte at safety.

    Thoughts?

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  25. Welcome to the forum Brian.

    This time of year is always so much fun reading all of the player evaluations and predicted and/or proposed Draft scenarios. Folks toss out so many, some are bound to hit and they can pound their chests like King Kong. Me, I just sit back and enjoy.

    With regards to trading down with the Bills, I have a simple analogy type question. Do you want to go to the Prom with the head cheerleader (7th pick) or two girls from the flute section (21st and 22nd picks)? Both options have some benefits. Many believe more is better. I typically prefer quality over quantity. I’d usually rather have one BMW than two Kias.

    In this case, I’m not so sure the quality I’d want will be there at #7. Thus, a Horse-trade down for the Bill’s 21 and 22 is a bit more palatable; especially if yet another later Draft pick is put into the booty.

    No matter what happens there will be fans rejoicing and fans threatening to cancel their season pass membership. Me, I take a wait and see approach and refrain from jumping to a conclusion like it’s an Olympic event.

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  26. “The Bills might be fine moving up to No. 7 in a quarterback-rich draft prior to April 28 because they know that Chubb, Nelson and Barkley – and possibly Fitzpatrick, too – are gone in the first six picks, and that will leave two or three of the top quarterbacks left for Buffalo to take.”

    Why would Licht trade up BEFORE the Bucs are on the clock? That’s ridiculous. Sure, work the deal out ahead of time with Buffalo if they’re truly interested, but you certainly don’t make anything official ahead of time. Licht would look like an idiot if Chubb, Barkley, or Nelson were available and he’d already taken a deal to move down. You only ever see pre-draft trades for picks if it’s the first or second overall.

    I still haven’t read a valid argument for WHY Buffalo would even want the 7th pick. If they’re trading up ahead of the draft they want to pick #1 or #2 to get their top rated QB. Not the 4th one off the board at #7.

    If Buffalo’s guy somehow IS available at #7 who are they trading up to get in front of? All 5 of the teams drafting after the Bucs already have QB’s. The Bills can afford to wait, spend less draft capital, and move in front of Arizona or Washington later in the top 12 if they want to move up on draft day.

    If we’re truly going to hope for a trade down a more realistic one is with a team in the teens wanting to take their top WR in front of Chicago and SF. Maybe one of the WR prospects can elevate themselves to being worthy of that kind of move.

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  27. This is real simple, and I said it 4 years ago: Blount was better. I know he’s not 100% a starter, but he is a starter, and he was ALWAYS a little bit better than Martin, so there was no reason to even draft Doug. Thanks, Greg.

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  28. I would do the trade with the Bills if we got 21, 22 and their 2nd round pick 53 for 7.

    Then give me, Da’Ron Payne, Sony Michel, Duke Ejiofor and Mike Hughes.

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