FAB 5. SR’s Buc Shots
• Former Bucs center Tony Mayberry, who was featured in this week’s edition of SR’s Fab 5, is one of several former Tampa Bay stars to play his last game in the Pro Bowl, including Hall of Fame defensive end Lee Roy Selmon and guard Logan Mankins. For Mayberry, his final Pro Bowl came after the 1999 season, which marked the third straight Pro Bowl honor he received.
“As far as Pro Bowls, I was lucky to play long enough to show some consistency,” Mayberry said. “I was just happy to be there.”
Mayberry remembers a time when the Pro Bowl was a much more physical, competitive game than today’s all-star event, which is akin to flag football with how few big hits there are as players are trying to avoid injury.
“They really don’t do much when they get out there anymore. They just coast through the game,” Mayberry said. “I remember Junior Seau ran down my chest on one play in the Pro Bowl. Guys went nuts back then. Guys like John Randall would just be killing guys at the Pro Bowl back then. Junior Seau, Zach Thomas – those linebackers were maniacs out there. Those were great times, but it was a nice, humbling thing to have happen to me.”
Former Bucs fullback Mike Alstott, a six-time Pro Bowler, went to every Pro Bowl with his center and was surprised that Mayberry decided to call it a career after a decade.
“I was really shocked that he didn’t continue to play for a few more years,” Alstott said. “He and I were back there setting the wedge for the kick return team for a few years. We both hated that – the wedge, not the Pro Bowl. I love Tony. He’s a great guy. The Pro Bowl was definitely different back then.”
• For the first time since 2005, the Buccaneers have a defensive end that can legitimately record a double-digit sack season, breaking the dubious 12-year streak without a double-digit sacker in Tampa Bay. That player is new defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.
The last player to do it was legendary defensive end Simeon Rice, who had 14 in 2005. Pierre-Paul has recorded two double-digit sack seasons in his previous eight years with the New York Giants. He posted a career-high 16.5 in 2011 and had 12.5 sacks in 2014.
After losing some of his fingers to a tragic fireworks accident in the summer of 2015, Pierre-Paul had seven sacks the next season in 2016, and notched 8.5 last year. The closest any Buccaneer has come to that mark was Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who had a career-high 9.5 sacks in 2013. McCoy led the Bucs with six last year as Tampa Bay posted a league-low 22 sacks.
Pierre-Paul seems up for the challenge when asked about reaching double-digit sacks this season to end the Bucs’ drought.
“We’ve just got to change that,” Pierre-Paul said. “That’s why it’s a new team, everything. We’ve got to change that.”
• The weekend is here, so get caught up on the latest Pewter Nation Podcasts. We have a brand new Pewter Nation Podcast featuring special guest Tom Jones, sports columnist extraordinaire from the Tampa Bay Times, on the podcast this week sharing his insights into Bucs mini-camp along with Mark Cook, Trevor Sikkema and myself. You can listen to that podcast by clicking here: Episode 78: Mini-Camp With Mr. Jones
If you missed our last Pewter Nation Podcast from Thursday, June 7 after the Bucs’ last OTA session, here is a link to that podcast: Episode 77: Final Thoughts On OTAs
You can also click here to listen to one of our most controversial Pewter Nation Podcasts right here: Episode 76: Worried About Winston?
The popularity of the Pewter Nation Podcast continues to grow. 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. Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode.
• New Bucs defensive tackle Mitch Unrein sees how loaded the defensive line is with talent, but understands that all of the pieces have to come together for the unit to have success stopping the run and rushing the passer. Talent alone won’t get it done.
“I feel like talent is not going to be our issue,” Unrein said. “It’s going to be everyone doing their job and playing within the defense. I think Coach [Brentson] Buckner is doing his job in getting everybody in to what our job is specifically inside the defense. Everybody has learned the defense and has it down pat so we can get out there and start humming at the start of training camp. I feel like we have a great room and everyone is close knit. We were always trying to hang out on the weekends and barbequing and trying to get to know each other a little more. I’m really getting excited for this season.”
Unrein likes the physical nature of his new teammates and the physical style Buckner demands from his players.
“I actually came down here before I signed and Beau Allen was down here and we got to hang out the night before I signed and went out to dinner,” Unrein said. “I got to go out with Coach Buckner and Coach [Paul] Spicer and got to hang out with them. I just felt like the vibe was really good here. I was in Chicago for three years and played against these guys. We only beat them once when we came down here. It was a tough team to play against, and my whole attitude is to be physical. It really attracted me – not only the coaching – but the players they already had here and the players they were bringing in.”
After the Bucs signed Unrein and Allen the new talent kept coming, which was a pleasant surprise to Unrein. General manager Jason Licht signed defensive end Vinny Curry shortly thereafter, then traded for Jason Pierre-Paul, then drafted defensive tackle Vita Vea in the first round.
“We’ve got a lot of talent, but we’re not getting big heads about it at all, though,” Unrein said. “There is a lot of work that needs to be done. Being talented on paper is one thing, but once you get out on the field it’s a different thing. We’re just going to keep our heads down and forget the noise and just start grinding come training camp. That’s all you can do. In the first game, all of the work we’ve been putting in will show out there.”
• We picked up quite a few Twitter followers during our Bucs mandatory mini-camp coverage. Make sure you become one of the 29,400 Twitter followers of @PewterReport prior to Tampa Bay’s 2018 training camp. If you want updates from Bucs press conferences, training camp practices and new PewterReport.com story notifications be sure to follow us on Twitter and help us grow to 30,000. To follow @PewterReport on Twitter please click here, and to follow us on Facebook please click here.
• And finally, we are excited to announce the extension of our partnership with 620 WDAE for the upcoming 2018 Tampa Bay Buccaneers season. With over 20 years worth of appearances on Tampa Bay area radio station analyzing Buccaneers football, PewterReport.com will once again provide the station with unique insight, analysis and news on WDAE on air and digital platforms.
The extension begins this Friday with the conclusion of Tampa Bay Buccaneers mandatory mini camp, as the Bucs will look to improve on last year’s 5-11 regular season record. With high expectations surrounding the Buccaneers heading into the 2018 season, PewterReport.com coverage will continue to have a dominant presence on WDAE from the start of training camp through the 2019 NFL Draft.
“PewterReport.com is thrilled to renew its partnership with 620 WDAE, home of the best Bucs coverage on radio, and supply its shows with our expert insight and observations from our year-round coverage of the team,” said PewterReport.com Vice President and Publisher Scott Reynolds. “The WDAE line-up of shows is as strong as it’s ever been, and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed the chemistry we’ve built with Ronnie and TKras, Ron Diaz and Jay Recher, as well as J.P. Peterson in our appearances over the past two seasons.
“Tampa Bay fans have a lot of places to turn for information on the Bucs, but when they turn their radio dial to 620 AM or listen online at 620wdae.com or via the iHeart Media app, they know the quality of content they’ll be getting because the PewterReport.com staff constantly sees the WDAE staff at One Buccaneer Place, gathering information, observing the team and forging relationships with the players, coaches and front office. When the Pewter Reporters join forces with the WDAE hosts on-air multiple times per week, there is no doubt that 620 listeners will become the most educated and informed Bucs fans around as a result.”
Building off the successes of last year on WDAE, listeners will be able to hear PewterReport.com analysts every Monday and Friday throughout the entire schedule of Buccaneers training camp among other appearances on the weekends.
Beginning with the kickoff of the regular season, you can hear PewterReport.com coverage with three weekly radio appointments during the whole Bucs season on Ronnie and TKras morning program (MON-FRI 6am-9am) plus twice weekly during the regular season on the other WDAE daily programs.
PewterReport.com content will also be prominently featured on 620wdae.com each and every day, as well as a new Sunday morning program which details will be announced at a later date.
“620 WDAE is once again excited to be partnering with PewterReport.com’s entire team, led by Scott Reynolds, Mark Cook and Trevor Sikkema,” Program Director John Mamola said. “This partnership continues to grow each and every year providing the best on air and online local coverage of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Join the krewe, and go Bucs!”
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