FAB 5. SR’s Buc Shots

• Nothing against Will Gholston or former Bucs defensive end Robert Ayers, Jr., but the addition of new defensive ends Jason Pierre-Paul and Vinny Curry have really helped Tampa Bay’s tackles and tight ends improve their blocking. Pierre-Paul brings freakish ability and an amazing blend of strength and speed, while Curry brings quickness, power and determination.

Bucs TE O.J. Howard and DE Jason Pierre-Paul - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs TE O.J. Howard and DE Jason Pierre-Paul – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

“JPP is the flashier player, but Vinny’s a great player, too,” Bucs tight end O.J. Howard said. “He brings that mentality to play hard and he knows what it takes to win a Super Bowl – he did it last year. So whenever you have a guy that comes to your team that year after winning a Super Bowl, you have to take what he says and try to run with it because he knows what it takes to become a Super Bowl Champion. I think Vinny comes out and works hard every day.”

Howard and the Bucs’ trench players on offense know they have their hands full with a revamped defensive line that also includes three new tackles in Beau Allen, Mitch Unrein and first-round pick Vita Vea. Those three interior linemen bring sheer power, while defensive ends like JPP and Noah Spence brings raw speed off the edge. In just one offseason, Tampa Bay’s defensive line has been rebuilt and features a host of talented players with a myriad of ability.

“It says a lot about the position that we play as tight ends, how much studying we have to do, how much you have to know about your opponents,” Howard said. “Being able to look at all of those guys, they’re different players, and you’ll be able to see guys like that all year long, so to get that in practice every day it’ll only help me get better for when we play those players.”

• It’s great that the Buccaneers went up to Nashville and soundly beat the Titans on their practice field in two joint practices this past week. Do you know what it means? Absolutely nothing – although this video of defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul making Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan – one of the best in the game – look silly is quite amazing.

Tampa Bay did the same thing at Jacksonville last year and the Bucs starters even had their way with the Jaguars in their preseason clash. But which team had the better season? With HBO’s Hard Knocks cameras rolling, Tampa Bay was picked to be an upstart playoff team while Jacksonville seemed destined for hard knocks of its own during Doug Marrone’s first season leading the Jaguars. Instead, the Bucs underwhelmed and underachieved, going 5-11, while the Jags were the surprise team in the AFC, winning the South division with a 10-6 record.

You’d rather see the Bucs perform well in joint practices and get the better of their opponent rather than the other way around, but when the 2018 campaign concludes and we look back at what transpired in Nashville this week – or even in the game on Saturday – it will likely have any real bearing on how the season transpired because neither Tampa Bay nor Tennessee is a finished product in mid-August.

• On the heels of Tony Dungy’s Bucs Ring of Honor induction press conference, we had former Bucs guard Ian Beckles join PewterReport.com’s Mark Cook and Trevor Sikkema and myself as our special guest to talk about Dungy’s success in Tampa, as well as Beckles’ thoughts about playing for both Dungy and Jon Gruden, who was Beckles’ offensive coordinator in Philadelphia in 1997. The outspoken Beckles offered up a good mix of humor, analysis and sharp criticism of a certain Buccaneers player in Ep 88 Blast From The Past (With Ian Beckles). DO NOT MISS THIS PODCAST. It’s one of the best ones we’ve ever done, and we thank Beckles for appearing.

Pewter-Nation-Podcast-Pewter-ReportThe 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.

• The @PewterReport Twitter account continues to grow by leaps and bounds at an incredible pace. We’re up to 29,700 visitors as we are gaining over 200 new followers a week. Join the crowd! Make sure you are following PewterReport.com on Twitter so you don’t miss out on cool practice videos and important news and injury updates.

Become one of the 29,700 Twitter followers of @PewterReport prior to Tampa Bay’s 2018 regular season. 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.

PewterReport.com will also be updating our @PewterReport Instagram account more regularly this season. Make sure you are following @PewterReport on Instagram and can do so by clicking here.

• Although third-year cornerback Ryan Smith continues to struggle in coverage in both practice and in the preseason opener, don’t think that he is going to be released. Smith is one of the team’s top special teams players, especially as a gunner on the punt team. It takes young cornerbacks time to develop, especially a player like Smith from a small school like North Carolina Central, as Bucs legend Ronde Barber mentioned in last week’s SR’s Fab 5.

Bucs CB Ryan Smith - Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR
Bucs CB Ryan Smith – Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR

The Bucs aren’t going to give up on Smith right now, especially given his physical tools. Smith is 6-foot, 190 pounds and is one of the fastest players. He’s likely the fifth-best cornerback on the roster behind Brent Grimes, Vernon Hargreaves III and rookies Carlton Davis and M.J. Stewart, and that’s okay because the Bucs need five cornerbacks. And if a cornerback is that far down the depth chart he needs to be a stud on special teams, and that’s what Smith is.

• We get to see the debut of Bucs rookie running back Shaun Wilson on Saturday night in Nashville. Wilson missed the preseason opener due to an injury, but continues to “wow” the coaching staff when he’s on the field. The 5-foot-9, 185-pound Wilson had some bright spots in pass protection drills this week in Tennessee, which is key as he is trying to win a roster spot as a third-down back and receiver out of the backfield, in addition to the kick and punt returner duties.


“He’s looking sharp” Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter said of Wilson. “Obviously you don’t like to see a guy miss time when he’s banged up, but Shaun should get his first action Saturday night and we’re excited to see what he can do.”

From what I’ve been told, Wilson will have to suddenly plummet over the next couple of weeks to not make the 53-man roster. The Bucs are pretty high on him. Hopefully he’ll have a better debut than fellow rookie running back Ronald Jones did last week when he rushed for nine yards and a touchdown on eight carries and dropped a pass. Tampa Bay is looking for Jones, who caught the ball better in practice this week, to bounce back in Saturday’s preseason game against the Titans.

• Like most young position coaches, Skyler Fulton has aspirations of moving up the coaching ladder from Tampa Bay’s wide receivers coach to be an offensive coordinator or perhaps even a head coach one day. As I said earlier in this week’s SR’s Fab 5, there is something special about Fulton’s coaching style and the way he connects with his players. Fulton knows that he is in an ideal situation to learn how to call plays being around the likes of head coach Dirk Koetter and offensive coordinator Todd Monken.

Bucs WRs coach Skyler Fulton and head coach Dirk Koetter - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs WRs coach Skyler Fulton and head coach Dirk Koetter – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

“I’ve been so blessed to be in the position I’ve been in with Monk and Coach Koetter, and even (quarterbacks) Coach (Mike) Bajakian, and to be able to sit and really just focus on trying to be the best receiving coach in the NFL – I’m not saying I am – but that’s just my perspective,” Fulton said. “Obviously I don’t have as much experience as some of the other coaches of receivers, but I believe I have some tools that they don’t have. So to have a guy like Monk or Dirk that technically can watch all the things that our receivers are doing and stay on me and coach at the same time as me, I obviously get those guys to bring the energy. I can hold those players accountable and catch some of the little things they need to work on. So that standpoint is an ideal situation for me, and with our quality control guy Zack Grossi, Monk, Dirk and myself, having some say on the receivers, whether it’s splits, or routes, or techniques – it’s awesome because I feel like they really put me in a position to play my strengths as a coach, and they’re playing to their strengths as coaches, and it leads to a lot of production for us as a team.

• I know my friend and colleague Tom Jones, the lead sports columnist for the Tampa Bay Times, has written several anti-Jameis Winston columns over the summer after his three-game suspension was reported. Winston has suggested that the Bucs get rid of Winston due to his character concerns, but knows that’s not the team’s plan.

This week’s column is about Winston and Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota, who was selected one spot behind Winston second overall in the 2015 NFL Draft. Which QB would Jones pick if he had the call? The answer may surprise you. Check out this fair, well-written column.

News Channel 8 Sports Team: Annie Sabo, Dan Lucas and Gabrielle Shirley
News Channel 8 Sports Team: Annie Sabo, Dan Lucas and Gabrielle Shirley

• PewterReport.com has official partnerships with WFLA News Channel 8 and 620 WDAE that started during Bucs training camp. The PewterReport.com staff appears on News Channel 8 and the WFLA.com sports website regularly with insight and analysis from Bucs camp, as well as in-studio appearances on News Channel 8’s Bucs Bonus Show Sunday nights after the 11:00 p.m. newscast. Pewter Report’s Trevor Sikkema traveled to Tennessee to cover the Bucs – Titans joint practices and filed this report with WFLA’s Dan Lucas.

I will be on the Sunday Bucs Bonus show on News Channel 8 at 11:35 p.m. ET with Lucas and Annie Sabo on Sunday recapping the Bucs’ game against the Titans from Saturday night. Make sure you tune in for my insight and analysis on the Bucs’ second preseason game before they battle the Detroit Lions in the preseason home opener next Friday night at Raymond James Stadium.

• PewterReport.com’s regularly scheduled appearances on 620 WDAE continue with Mark Cook joining J.P. Peterson on-air today (Friday) at 4:30 p.m. I’ll be on Monday morning with Ronnie and TKras reviewing the Bucs vs. Titans preseason game. Here is the schedule of the remaining PewterReport.com appearances during Bucs camp:

Friday August 17 – Mark Cook w/JP (4:30pm)
Monday August 20 – Scott Reynolds w/Ronnie & TKras (8:15am)

Friday August 24 – Trevor Sikkema w/JP (4:30pm)
Monday August 27 – Mark Cook w/Ronnie & TKras (8:15am)

Friday August 31 – Scott Reynolds w/JP (4:30pm)
Tuesday September 4 – Trevor Sikkema w/Ronnie & TKras (8:15am)

• And finally, PewterReport.com would like to welcome Malki Law’s The Car Accident Firm as a new advertising partner. The Car Accident Firm is a legak team designed specifically for persons involved in car accidents or other types of automobile accidents. The Car Accident Firm is designed to be the only business one needs to contact when involved in a car or other type of automobile accident. Best of all, The Car Accident Firm will get you paid for your injuries, time off of work, expenses, damages, property loss, future expenses, medical care, future medical care, disabilities, inconveniences, loss of companionship, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering.

The only fee or way a client of The Car Accident Firm will have to pay anything is if The Car Accident Firm gets a person paid for injuries, future medical expenses, disabilities, and pain and suffering. Even then, The Car Accident Firm only gets a percentage of what they get for the client.

Unlike other law firms, The Car Accident Firm doesn’t charge for getting clients paid for their property loss or damage to their vehicles. Attorney Afram Malki put together the Malki Law Firm (aka The Car Accident Firm) so that people don’t have to call a random hot-line to get help and instead can get the help of an experienced and righteous attorney and his well trained law firm.

Hopefully you never need the services of Malki Law, but if you do make sure to give them a call at 1-877-THE-FIRM. With offices around the state, they are available 24/7 to serve you. And besides being a great law firm, Afram Malki is a huge Bucs fans, and we appreciate his support of PewterReport.com.

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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]

15 COMMENTS

  1. Sorry, dont care if you plug him, I am not going to give Tom Jones any clicks.

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    • Jones is Horrible…..

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  2. I’m with you Jonathan. Tom Jones is a self absorbed, sanctimonious hack and my advise Scott is to stay away from plugging for your “friend”. He is only going to hurt your business.

    I know you would loose a large number of loyal supporters of your site if you were to ever hire Tom Jones.

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  3. Tom Jones is a tool.. thank god he is no longer on 620..
    Really excited about Howard this year.. The sky is literally the limit with him.

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  4. Great insights and glad PR is also appearing on Channel 8’s Sports Shows because that is my Family’s favorite channel.

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  5. Tom J
    Is so,so negative!!

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  6. OJ Howard is sure to become a pro bowler. I have no idea what other were thinking when so many passed by him? But I am happy they did.Go Buc

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  7. Great Fab 5 Scott. I cant stand T Jones. Wasn’t gonna click but i did just to see his answer. Jones says the debate is Winston or Mariota…. then he says neither. What a Wuss!!! What an idiot!!!!! That’s not how a either or debate works. He’s the one who should be run out of town! And that was the last Tom Jones article I will ever read! GO BUCS!!!

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  8. Completely agree on glue players/exploitable holes. I’ve seen fans take players like McCoy and Jameis to task for not doing more to carry the team, but they were not the problem last year. Holes on both lines, in the secondary, in the kicking game, and in the running game were.

    Football is the consummate team sport and if there are weak links at this level other teams will surely find them. Look no further than the additions made during the off-season as evidence the team saw those same deficiencies. The team had/has outstanding core players in Jamies, McCoy, David, Evans, Marpet, Kwon, and Grimes, but they cannot play multiple positions.

    Hats off to Licht & Co. for not only getting impactful talents like JPP and Jensen, but also closing up gaping holes at corner, guard, defensive tackle, and end. This will allow the core guys to truly shine knowing they can count of the man next to them.

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  9. Enjoyed the Fab 5 as always except for the negative article by Tom Jones.

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  10. Who cares what Tom Jones think? He was the idiot that blew Jameis’ words to the girls sit down out of proportion and caused national hysteria by the talking heads. Any sane person could clearly see that was not what Jameis was doing especially if you heard the entire speech. Tom is definitely not worth the click.

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  11. Between Jones and Fennelly, the Times brings us enough doom and gloom to make me wish I was a Browns fan.
    Most of their columns are written in a condescending arrogant superior than the reader tone.
    The column they combined to write together after the Dolphins game was the absolute worst. Full of pithy sarcastic remarks. It was like listening to a group of girls tear down the new girl in class because of her hair and dress.
    I have pretty much quit reading either one of them.

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  12. Wow, wrote that Jones post before I read any of the other posts. I’m very rarely part of the herd but this time I don’t mind grazing with the rest of you.
    My attitude about Jones and Fennelly also have nothing to do with them not being homers for the Bucs.
    Both of their sanctimonious writing styles are annoying, especially Fennelly’s.

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  13. I just hope WDAE has gotten rid of Michael Clayton on their Sunday game broadcasts. He was so annoying I would turn the radio off off after a game, even after a win.
    Someone please tell me they did.

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  14. One of the reasons I’m so happy with my subscription to pewter report is in sites such as wide Tampa will not be giving up on Ryan Smith due to his special teams prowess. I would not of thought of that.

    We had some discussion about it on the red board but still believe you are too hard on Ronald Jones. He was not perfect, but don’t believe most of what happened to him was his fault. As you say though, what we think of him at the end of the year will not depend much and what he did in the preseason

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