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.
Willie’s Hog Dust Original Blend / $7.99
Willie’s Hog Dust Original Blend Seasoning started some 20 years ago in his backyard. In 1991, grocery stores didn’t carry it and you couldn’t order it on the Internet. Willie started mixing different spices until he found a blend that worked. Willie then made a spicier version and a sweeter version of the same rub to complement different foods. This seasoning is also used by several BBQ teams on the Kansas City Barbecue Society tour.
Pick up some Willie’s Hog Dust Original Blend at Just Grillin, which is located at 11743 N. Dale Mabry Highway in Carrollwood, just 15 minutes north of Raymond James Stadium. Or shop online at JustGrillinFlorida.com
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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.
If 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.”