FAB 5. SR’s Buc Shots

• I mentioned Oklahoma’s undersized defensive end Ogbonnia Okronkwo as one of the very good college pass rushers the Bucs would have to skip over in the draft if they stayed with a 4-3 scheme because of the lack of size necessary to play the position at the next level. One of my favorite college pass rushers, Ole Miss outside linebacker Marquis Haynes, is another prime example.

I’ve written about him before in a previous SR’s Fab 5, and I’ll mention the 6-foot-2, 230-pound Haynes again now that his college career is over. Haynes posted 45 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks during his senior season. Haynes, a four-year starter, has registered no fewer than seven sacks in a season and finishes his Rebels career with 32 sacks, which is tied for the seventh-most in SEC history, along with 47.5 tackles for loss. Several of his quarterback pressures have led to interceptions, as you’ll see on the accompanying highlight video below.

Haynes has also been a takeaway machine with 12 forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and one interception in his four years at Ole Miss. Haynes has been a model of consistency, recording three forced fumbles each year for the Rebels defense. A switch to the 3-4 defense puts the Bucs in play for talented pass rushers like Haynes. Staying in a 4-3 scheme automatically eliminates him from consideration in Tampa Bay.


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• Another one of my favorite pass rushers is Wyoming junior defensive end Carl Granderson, who finished his junior season with 9.5 sacks, which ranks fourth in the FBS. I’ve written about him before in a previous SR’s Fab 5. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound Granderson recorded 77 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, two interceptions, two forced fumbles, a safety, and returned a fumble 58 yards for a touchdown in Wyoming’s bowl win over Central Michigan.

Granderson showed up in some of the Cowboys’ biggest games this year, recording nine tackles and a sack against Iowa, five tackles, three tackles for loss and a sack against Oregon, and 12 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and three sacks against Boise State. Granderson had five tackles, a sack his scoop-and-score against Central Michigan in what could be his final collegiate game. Underclassmen have until January 15 to declare for the 2018 NFL Draft.

Granderson, who has 14.5 sacks in two and a half years at Wyoming, isn’t a finished product yet. But if he declares for the 2018 NFL Draft he would be an interesting developmental pick in the middle rounds. Granderson, who is like a poor man’s Leonard Floyd, has the size to be a 3-4 outside linebacker right now or a 4-3 defensive end by adding an additional 10 pounds of size in the weight room.

• Holiday Shopping Season has come and gone, and if you didn’t get what you wanted for Christmas or if you got some money for the holidays and are looking to buy some Bucs gear or sports apparel for ANY team (Lightning?) in ANY sport (college football, NBA, NHL, etc.) there is a way to do that and support PewterReport.com! PewterReport.com has partnered Fanatics.com, the leader in sports apparel and fan gear, and receives a portion of each sale made through our site.

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• The Bucs are home to play the red hot New Orelans Saints on New Year’s Eve. Will it be the curtain call for Dirk Koetter? Only the Glazers know for sure. We discuss that and more Bucs analysis in addition to ranking the girls from The Facts of Life, sharing our best and worst Christmas gifts, and Mark Cook tells a hilarious story about his Def Leppard shirt back in high school in the latest Pewter Nation Podcast.  Here is a link to that Pewter Nation Podcast – Episode 55: The Facts Of Dirk

Our final Pewter Nation Podcast of the year will be taped live at Raymond James Stadium following the Bucs’ season finale against the Saints on Sunday night. Be sure to ring in the new year by giving that a listen on Monday just after midnight.

Pewter-Nation-Podcast-Pewter-ReportIf you haven’t listened to this week’s podcasts 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. 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.

• The bad news for the Buccaneers with regards to free agency is that the 2018 crop is light on talented 4-3 defensive ends and running backs, which are two positions of need in Tampa Bay. The draft has some talented 4-3 defensive ends, but is loaded with tremendous running back prospects.

There is no doubt that the Bucs will draft a running back this year as the team needs to overhaul its backfield with the exception of promising young running back Peyton Barber. But there is one the free agent runner that has some appeal and that’s Cleveland’s Isaiah Crowell.

At 5-foot-11, 225 pounds, Crowell is a bruising running built like Barber, but with more burst to his game. He’s rushed for 3,097 yards and 21 touchdowns in his Browns career, while averaging 4.3 yards per carry. He has yet to have a 1,00-yard season, which will keep his contract demands reasonable, but that’s likely because he’s played in Cleveland.

Crowell came close in 2016 when he rushed for a career-high 952 yards and seven touchdowns, while averaging 4.8 yards per carry. This year, Crowell has rushed for 832 yards and two scores with a 4.4 average. The former Georgia and Alabama State running back has some good open-field speed, evidenced by a run of 54 yards in 2015, an 85-yarder last year and a 59-yard jaunt this season.

Crowell is also a good receiver and has 96 catches for 770 yards (8.0 avg.) and one touchdown. He caught 40 passes for 319 yards last year, and has 28 catches for 182 yards in 2017. The muscle-bound Crowell might remind Jon Gruden of Michael Pittman. He’s not as fluid as Pittman was catching the ball, but he’s a better pure runner. Whether it’s Gruden or Dirk Koetter at the helm next year, pairing a veteran like Crowell with a rookie running back would go a long way in bolstering Tampa Bay’s backfield.

• Thank you, Pewter Nation, for a tremendous, record-breaking year in 2017! While the Buccaneers might have disappointed this year, Buccaneers fans and PewterReport.com readers certainly didn’t! On behalf of the entire PewterReport.com staff, I want to thank you for visiting PewterReport.com and supporting our advertising partners. If you haven’t done so in a while, please click on some of our advertising partners’ banners and check out their goods and services and become their customers and clients as they help support our efforts here at PewterReport.com.

We are all in this together, Bucs fans. And as someone once said about Tampa Bay, “The future’s so bright, I’ve got to wear shades.”

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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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Pete Wood

I don’t want to fire Koetter or Smith. The only change I want is for Koetter to turn over play calling to OC.
I do not think Gruden is the answer.
Okay. I’m waiting for the angry villagers to storm my house with pitchforks and torches.

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Darrell

Who are the stick carriers? I wish y’all at PR would have a general consensus about this subject. Some say he’s definitely gone and now maybe not. I was hoping you had more insight than the rest of us lol.

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tpeluso

My feeling all along has been exactly what you said here and what the Pewter Poll should be changed to reflect: The ONLY reason to fire Koetter is if Gruden is already boxed, wrapped, tied up with a bow and waiting for us under the Christmas tree the day after Black Monday. If Gruden decides not to leave ESPN or chooses another team for his comeback, then Koetter should stay with appropriate changes (turning over play-calling, a new DC that runs a 3-4 that fits our defensive talent better).

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Ken Grant

Our personnel does NOT fit a 34 front. Spence on the edge is about it. The rest are pure 43 guys. Awful idea.

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BucWild02

I disagree with you Mr. Ken Grant. The Bucs have beef up front in McCoy, Baker, and Golston. Plus they will get Stevie Touiloulou(sp?) back next year and have Siliga currently. At LB, the Bucs have David, Alexander, Beckwith, and Spence. Thats a pretty good 3-4 lineup. Bucs could bring pressure from all over and finally(!!!) get their sack numbers up.

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surferdudes

Scott you contradict yourself a lot. You mention not having Martin for the G.B. game, yet admit he’s not very good anymore. Like having him that game would’ve made a difference. You want Smith, and Hayes gone, but want to keep Licht who hasn’t given them any help up front. Our D line sucks, that’s on Licht, he hasn’t paid much attention to that unit. You’re expecting Smith to get blood from a stone. I’m for cleaning house. Licht’s record speaks for itself, he’s been out drafted by all of our South counter parts the last four years. Koetter won’t… Read more »

Horse

Surderdudes, what is your real condifence percentages Gruden will actually Coach in Tampa? I’m about 10%. Even Scott has pulled back based on this weeks FAB 5.

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chipbuc

Scott the problem with keeping Koetter and firing Smith is, i don’t think any good defensive coordinator is coming in for maybe a one year stint if the bucs have another bad year. If your going to change the D coordinator i think you almost have to bring in a new head coach to bring in a quality coach to run the D.

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macabee

Sometimes you should just say nothing. The smart thing to do is to wait until Monday. However, perhaps inviting the wrath of my friends surferdudes and matador, I will say again, I will have no objection if Koetter is given another year as HC, but not if he refuses to change the DC. I have no expertise selecting DCs, but I can read. The consensus is that John Fox will not return as HC in Chicago. Fox has had a top 10 defense at Carolina, Denver, and Chicago. And he has expertise coaching the 3-4 scheme. Fox would be my… Read more »

Horse

Macabee; right with you.

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MudManVA

Amen mac

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MudManVA

Thanks Scott for the enjoyable read once again. I do think the Bucs best option is a 3-4 with all its talent at LB and Spence. The McCoy could be a beast at DE. I share the same thoughts as my PR readers above that we hoped you had insight into the coaching situation. You have been pretty hard in your stance that koetter would be fired & Gruden would be back up until this article. NOW you are backpedaling like our soft corners!!! LoL I would like stability at TB but I don’t think our current staff is the… Read more »

Horse

Koetter should stay only if he fires his DC and much of that coaching staff. I’m for changing to a 3-4, but I don’t see Spence in either the 3-4 or 4-3. He’s too small to play the 4-3 and not talented enough to play the 3-4 as he’s not that quick when it comes to reacting. Golhston is still aproblem whether it’s a 3-4 or a 4-3; he’s really just a rotational guy at best. We need two DE’s regardless of a 3-4 or a 4-3 in the very early rounds regardless of who we might sign in Free… Read more »

nitey

I’ve been in Koetter’s corner mostly up to the last game. He either needs to be Head Coach and give up play calling or resign himself to being a OC somewhere else. It’s apparent he can’t do both. I also believe if Koetter is retained it’s apparent his play calling hasn’t put his offensive players in their best position to succeed. His use of Jackson and Martin this season is more than enough evidence that he just didn’t do well enough. He speculated at his season ending conference last year that maybe he should give up play calling and if… Read more »

devasher

12/24/2017 – Scott Reynold’s 2-Point Conversion “STATEMENT 1: Gruden Returns In 2018 Notice how this is under the “Big Statement” section rather than under the “Bold Prediction” department? That’s right. This is a statement, not a prediction anymore.” QUESTION 2: What Happened Before Halftime With Koetter’s Clock Management? But the biggest factor in my opinion came in the first half when the Bucs had to settle for three field goals in the red zone. Yes, Koetter did stink in the red zone, and that’s been a recurring theme over the past two years, but in 2017 especially as the Bucs’… Read more »

JustaBuc

Dude, you beat me to quoting those exact quotes myself. Scott’s been riding Gruden’s jock all year and I hardly find it a coincidence that he SUDDENLY walks back on all of it when it’s heard that Koetter is coming back.

I wish I could be in the room myself if Reynolds and Koetter meets up. Scott gambled and lost big like I thought he would when you don’t put yourself on the team’s pulse and instead make conjectures. Learn your lesson Scott! Sources!

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stlbucsfan

Definitely disagree that there aren’t other candidates that can do a better job. I’ve mentioned Harbaugh on several occasions and think he’s 10x the coach Dirk has shown himself to be. I use the same logic with my Bucs as I did with my Gators. Why keep an offensive minded HC when the offense is trash/unproductive. With all the tools we have I’m sure Jeff Fisher could stumble through the season with similar results. You don’t fire a coach bc “well Im not sure what else we can get” you fire a coach bc he is not doing his job.… Read more »

Ken Grant

There is some truth here. Fab1 feels like some serious backtracking from the 2-pt. conversion piece.

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devasher

Scott could have just admitted he received information that he was wrong and stood on his previous critiques about Koetter, many of which are very reasonable. Scott could have pointed to things he was hopeful Koetter would improve on and how to get there, he could have discussed how the OC/DC’s of New England were great candidates that he still stood by but the Glazers were rumored to be interested in one more year with the current regime. But instead Scott spun like a top only 5 days after guaranteeing that Koetter would be fired, nary a mention about why… Read more »

JustaBuc

Amen yet again. Couldn’t have said it better myself devasher.

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Ken Grant

Gotta say Fab1 gives some excuses for Koetter that I don’t think hold up. Was the team hit with a sizeable amount of misfortune? Sure. Did Koetter make the appropriate adjustments both throughout the season and during games. Not ever close. We have watched conservative decision making, erratic play-calling, and stubborn gameplan approaches doom this team to loss after loss. Remember when in 2016 the defense “turned the page” and was allowed to speak up and communicate with each other and adjust the scheme to their strengths? Anyone wanna tell me why 2017 felt like deja vu only this time… Read more »

FilmBuc

Ok. Firing Smith for a guy like Horton – who has NEVER had an elte defense – makes zero sense. Smith has had better success in the past than Horton at almost every stop. Scott made a lot of excuses as to why Horton didn’t succeed in Tennese and why he was fired after one year stints TWICE – but doesn’t afford the same level of excuse for Smith who not only was not given any aditional pass rushers this offseason, but lost the only sem–mediocre ones he had to injury. I completely agree that Koetter should only be fired… Read more »

jongruden

I said from the start I did not think Koetter is head coach material I knew him well from his days here at ASU, Gruden has a resume which includes 3 division champs and a sb winner, I know he was successful in Oakland don’t know the exact record. This is not even a debate how could it be when comparing Gruden to a “hasn’t done squat coach” in Koetter? Gruden does well with vets and I would consider by next yr we have vets at key positions like Qb, WR, DT, LB O line etc he would bring a… Read more »

Horse

It’s been awhile Jon Gruden; now that we know he isn’t coming, hope to hear from you again. Where have you been?

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cgmaster27

This one is tough for me as I do like Koetter and I think Jameis can benefit from constant stability, but as some stated above, there would have to be other things in place. Mike Smith will clearly have to go and I really like Mac’s idea of getting John fox in there. Great idea Mac! Koetter would also need to give up play calling. His play calling in the red zone has been awful for the last two years for sure. That was he can focus on improving things more on his end of the time management side of… Read more »

drdneast

You mentioned three coaches the team has quit on since firing Gruden but you left out one very important coach in theat equation. Jon Gruden himself. As I recall, after Monte Kiffen announced he wouldn’t return to the Bucs the next year, the Bucs, who were 9-3 at the time, rolled over and played dead by losing four straight, including the final game against probably one of the worst QB’s ever in the NFL and a third or fourth string RB. The Bucs defense has been the overwhelming reason the Bucs have lost this year and Koetter has had no… Read more »

scubog

We always seem to agree on football related topics. If not Jon Gruden (mostly because of the “juice” his hiring would inject in the fandom), keeping Koetter and bringing in an entirely new defensive staff and maybe even some new special teams coaches is probably the right direction. I too don’t think Donovan Smith is anywhere near as bad as he’s portrayed; although he did struggle a bit against the Panthers. The O-line’s problem is in the middle.

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e

Nice article Scott… I don’t envy the position that the Glazers are in on Monday. I’m a fan of consistency, but what other names could be out there by weeks end? There always seems to be a big surprise at the end of every coaching carousel. As far as the 3-4 change… I could see that turning into a lost season of acclamation for the players on that, even though it makes sense on paper. Happy New Year’s to you, Mark, Trevor and staff and keep up the great work in ’18! Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes… Read more »

surferdudes

Horse my feeling on Gruden is about 90% he returns to coach the Bucs. I don’t see him wanting to leave for another city with his son entering his senior year. This is his home. I think he’s had his fill of broadcasting, and at his age, it’s now or never. The guy is a competitor, it’s his passion, said it himself a few weeks ago. Gruden has never said it publicly, but he’s heard it forever, he won with Dungy’s team. I think that statement sticks in his craw. Should he take over a 4-12 Buc team to winning… Read more »

macabee

Come on PR report the latest news. The Glazers have named Dirk Koetter as the 2018 Bucs head coach.

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martinii

Mac, I haven’t posted anything because I am reading this late in the day and don’t want to bust anybody’s bubble.

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Jake from state farm

Stupid idea. Make Gerald McCoy a 2 gap defender? His strength is his get off and penetration skills. Making him a two-gap defender negates that. That’s just not using players to their strength. Hense, the reason why we are where we are always.

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buddah

Finally a balanced assessment. Good analysis. I prefer Koetter but would root for Gruden. All teams in today’s NFL are flawed. jo

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GoldsonAges

Thank God Koetter is coming back. Maybe PR can hit on a 2 point conversion because ever since they started up the Gruden hype the articles have been unreadable trash, coming from a life long PR fan

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