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.”

Former Bucs Pro Bowlers Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp, Tony Mayberry, Mike Alstott and Hardy Nickerson - Photo by: Getty Images
Former Bucs Pro Bowlers Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp, Tony Mayberry, Mike Alstott and Hardy Nickerson – Photo by: Getty Images

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?

Pewter-Nation-Podcast-Pewter-Report

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.”

Bucs DT Mitch Unrein - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs DT Mitch Unrein – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

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.

620-WDAE“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!”

WDAE is owned and operated by IHeartMedia, the leading media outlet in the Tampa Bay market and its content is available across multiple platforms, including its broadcast station; online via its branded digital site; mobile; and social, with nationwide listening through iHeartRadio, the all-in-one streaming music and live radio service – with its more than 800 million downloads, 80 million registered users and more than 75 million social media followers across the Network.

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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]

23 COMMENTS

  1. Jesus effing christ Scott, sure I will be pissed, frustrated, and disappointed if the Bucs are bad again.

    But Im not gonna just stop being a fan. good lord

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    • Other than that, really good column Scott, but still, regime change, more losing, none of that is gonna have me switching teams and I would be disappointed in any Bucs “fan” who would.

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  2. Been with the Bucs since the get-go . Will always root for them and proud they are my team regardless of when’s and losses. Go Bucs!

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  3. Good What If’s here Scott. I’m just not gonna get my hopes up high this yr. Not with that Thud this past season. I got us optimistically goin 8-8. People forget,,we’re not the only team thats made improvements. I will say though,,we go as far as Jameis and the Defense takes us. Last yr, we had 5 very winnable games but absolutely zero Defense. Tough Schedule? Sure. But 31 other teams got tough ones as well. Every game is tough. I don’t put a lot of faith in preseason at all. I’ve seem teams win all those games and come out..Flat during the regular season. I want to see If Jameis is improving. Its time for him to take a few leaps if we are to be successful.

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  4. Injuries and turnovers….the two great forces of fortune in the NFL….get them on our side and playoffs is completely realistic.

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    • Agree

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  5. I just can’t wait to get the bad taste of last year out of my mouth.. I wish the season was starting Sunday.

    Go Bucs!!!

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  6. And YES T. Mayberry in the ring of honor.

    Go Bucs!!!

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  7. “How good are the 2018 Bucs?”

    That was an awful lot of words just to say, “I have no idea.”

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    • Totally agree!

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  8. Tony Mayberry for the Ring of Honor? Are you sh**ing me? No, no, no, NO. Are Bucs fans’ standards so LOW? OK, the guy was a good center. He played better than the 108th pick used to draft him, but he was never great, he was just better than his draft position. He earned his pay, and did a good job. But, that same description could apply to a LOT of TB players.

    You want to know what Mayberry’s most memorable play is? The snap he sailed over Shaun King’s head in the 1999 NFC Championship. In case anybody forgot, that was a game the Bucs lost 11-6. Take away the 2-point safety that resulted from Mayberry’s bad snap, and the Bucs are suddenly within 3 points of the Rams at the end of that game, instead of 5. So, a FG could have tied it, otherwise. Bucs were in a position to kick a FG and very possibly tie to force overtime with a FG. But, Mayberry’s huge mistake put that out of reach, and the Bert Emmanuel non-catch (which later resulted in the Bert Emmanuel Rule) pretty much ended the Bucs’ chances.

    You younger fans don’t want to give the older guys their due. LB David Lewis deserves a spot in the ROH before Mayberry does. He played back when the NFL didn’t bother to keep defensive stats, so he is forgotten already. The guy was a major reason for the team winning the last two games of 1977 (the first wins in TB history), and continued to be a force on the Bucs defense until 1982. The NFL didn’t keep tabs on tackles or sacks back then, but Lewis had 10 INTs for the Bucs between ’77 and ’81. Mayberry might have had 3 Pro Bowl selections to Lewis one, but Pro Bowl selections are a joke, anyway. I’d give Lewis a ROH nomination before Mayberry, any day of the week, and twice on Sunday.

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    • Completely agree about David Lewis over Mayberry for the Ring of Honor. Lewis was there from just about the very beginning of this franchise, combined with Batman Wood & Cecil Johnson gave us one of the best line backing crews in the league at the time. The youngsters don’t realize that while our offense was the leagues worst, our defense was one of the best, being rated #1 in 1979 only 2 seasons after starting in the league at 0-26 in our first 26 games ever played. That says a lot, and people need to take notice of the defensive players we had back then. It shouldn’t be just us graybeards that realize this!

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  9. I moved here in 77, everyone was a Miami fan, I began my love affair with the Bucs thinking, how long can they be bad? I’m not going anywhere. I like the tough start to the season, and think we’re catching a break with our first two games. The Saints will be without their back, and I believe after an emotional home opener the Eagles won’t fly high in the Tampa heat, and have a let down. If we can start the season 2-0 we’re on our way. At any rate we’ll know who we are first five weeks.

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  10. Jameis has to improve and be a more accurate passer for the Buc’s to be improve and this needs to be from the first snap of the game. To many times he is high and of the mark with his throws during the early stages of the games.

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    • In the 11 games he played start to finish Jameis had a 64.4 comp %. Last time I checked that’s a very good number. Even more impressive considering he’s at the top of the league in air yards per attempt. So if you think that’s the issue on this team, you need to rewatch last season game by game again

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  11. I hate the idea of having to “game plan around turnovers” how about Jameis Winston either improves his turnover ratio or gets the fuck out. This isn’t college anymore and we can’t gameplan around his turnovers” and have a realistic chance of ever getting into the playoffs, ever winning this division, or winning a Super Bowl eventually with this type of tolerance for mediocrity

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    • Well when you have a historically bad defense that has you playing from behind, 55 out of 60 minutes, a bottom 5 running game, a terrible kicker, and below average pass protection, interceptions are going to happen. Unless you expect Jameis to be Jesus. Well in that case, yeah, he’s not gonna fullfill your ridiculous expectations. It’s a team sport pal. Jameis could have had 5 int’s last year instead of 11, and the Bucs are still a below .500 non playoff team. That’s not opinion, that’s a fact

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  12. Tell that to the Packers Charlie, who did the same thing with Brett Farve. And give the language a rest.
    I’m more concerned about his fumbles than his INT’s.
    It could be worse though. We could have Marcus Mariotta who had more INT’s than TD passes last year. If you had in his lost fumbles the number gets even worse.
    This all happened with a solid running game and a good defense. Two things Winston didn’t have last year which no doubt forced him to make some throws he probably wouldn’t have if the other team wasn’t scoring at will.
    And if you think Winston is satisfied with being mediocre, then you haven’t read much about how much he works on improving his game during the offseason.
    Winston has improved his accuracy every year, despite preferring to throw the ball down the field instead of to the side to his running backs which he no doubt should do a little bit more often.
    Hopefully he will look at his last five games he played to see how much that helped him. I’m betting he does.

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    • Totally agree DrD. I too am more concerned with the frequent fumbles. As you noted, give him a semblance of a running game, even a mediocre defense and average kicker and perhaps the youngster might not think it’s all on him.

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    • Totally agree dnd

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  13. I guess the free agent center didn’t make enough of an impression to call him by his real name. Maybe once they get into pads and he’s hitting people you’ll call him Ryan instead of Sean.

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  14. Agree on Winston. If we actually have a decent kicker, run game, and defense this year and he still forces it a lot then I’ll start to worry. Until then I’m not concerned. I think any young qb would think it’s all on him with the garbage we have had around him.

    As far as predicting how good I stopped getting too optimistic because it’s been a long damn time and too many disappointments.

    That said considering the schedule and all the rookies, and other unknowns with so many changes and chemistry etc, to me they are an 8-8 team plus or minus a couple games. Some key injuries and 6-10 very possible. They stay healthy, catch few breaks, rookies like Davis and Vea , are good year one. If they O line and center are any good, they stay healthy, I could see maybe 10-6. Don’t see any better than that with the all things considered.

    Go Bucs!

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  15. Like the podcast but can we get Cook to stop with the awful and constant jokes. Makes it hard to listen to

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