FAB 5. SR’s Buc Shots
• If the Glazers decide to keep general manager Jason Licht and sign him to a contract extension, Licht could green light the idea of pursuing either New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels or defensive coordinator Matt Patricia if the team opts for a coaching change due to his familiarity with each candidate. McDaniels was on Bill Belichick’s staff during Licht’s initial time with the Patriots as a scout and assistant director of player personnel in 2002.
Although McDaniels had left for Denver from 2009-11 when Licht returned, the Bucs GM did work with Patricia during his second stint in New England. Having that knowledge about two of the top available head-coaching candidates in 2018 from personal experience could prove to be invaluable if a replacement for Dirk Koetter is needed. Unless of course the Glazers want to pursue a more familiar candidate in former head coach Jon Gruden, who will be inducted into the Bucs Ring of Honor at halftime of the Bucs vs. Falcons game on December 18. Licht has only met Gruden once, which was at One Buccaneer Place during his Ring of Honor press conference on August 2.
• Speaking of Licht, he once told me that the only free agent that left Tampa Bay that he really wanted to re-sign was special teams captain and reserve wide receiver Russell Shepard. Licht wanted to keep Shepard for his leadership and special teams coverage ability, but wasn’t willing to match Carolina’s three-year, $10 million contract fora fourth-string wide receiver.
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The reason I suggested Winston back off the pre-game speeches is that he has struggled too often on first drives and in the first quarter as it seems like he gets too hyped before some games and his accuracy suffers as a result. On Sunday, Winston started the game 4-of-5 for 60 yards and a touchdown pass to tight end Cameron Brate.
Winston said one of the takeaways he learned from watching veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick from the sidelines was Fitzpatrick’s poise and calm demeanor. I asked Bucs offensive coordinator Todd Monken if Winston seemed more calm at Green Bay.
“I did, I sensed it as well,” Monken said. “A lot of people have talked to Jameis about that. Guys that are high-strung, competitive guys get fired up and you can see it in their body language and their footwork. I thought he did have a calm demeanor. I thought that showed in the way he checked the ball down, which he did early in the game. They gave us some looks to check the ball down, so that was part of it. He did a very nice job of assessing what we were getting and [knowing] where to go with the football early in his drop.”
Winston acknowledged that he was more calm at the start of the game, mirroring Fitzpatrick’s demeanor.
“Yeah, you can say that.”
• The Bucs return home this week to face the Detroit Lions., and I made my return to the Pewter Nation Podcast. Check out the latest Pewter Nation Podcast that previews this Sunday’s game and touches on last week’s overtime loss at Green Bay. Get the insight and analysis on the Bucs from PewterReport.com’s Mark Cook, Trevor Sikkema and yours truly and a … special appearance by Uncle Stan. Is it tragedy or comedy? You decide. Here is a link to the latest Pewter Nation Podcast – Episode 49: Uncle Stan’s Revenge
If you haven’t listened to this week’s podcast 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. We’ll be taping another Pewter Nation Podcast on Sunday afternoon after the Bucs play the Jets. 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.
• Bucs rookie tight end Antony Auclair caught his first pass in the NFL on Sunday in Green Bay. Auclair caught an 11-yard pass on Tampa Bay’s first offensive play. All of the Canadian sports sites on Twitter that follow him – because Auclair hails from Quebec – flooded Twitter with gifs of his catch and congratulations to their native son.
“That was cool, actually – that was pretty cool,” Auclair said. “That was one of my goals, to get a catch this year. I was really excited because my face was on TV, I guess, and smiling in the huddle. It was a simple play. I ran in the flat and saw that the corner was in Cover 2, so I just sat there and Jameis [Winston] saw the same thing so he threw me the ball. It wasn’t complicated, but it’s nice to get a first catch.”
Auclair’s rise up the depth chart began a few weeks ago when he took Luke Stocker’s spot on the 46-man game day roster. The team likes what its seen from Auclair to the point where Stocker became expendable and was released. Auclair appreciates the faith that the team has shown in his development.
“For sure, right now, it’s fun,” Auclair said. “I’d rather play than only practice all the time. Every game is an opportunity to progress and get better and show what I can do. It’s really exciting and I appreciate that for sure. Like I said, I see it as opportunities to get better every week.”
• Bucs offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Todd Monken always has a way with words. He knows some of the best football sayings out there, and dropped a good one on the media during his press conference on Thursday.
“Every possession has to end in a kick,” Monken said. “Either we’re punting, kicking a field goal or a PAT – it has to end that way if you want to be successful. We’ve done a pretty good job of that. Over the last four weeks, [we’ve had] two turnovers. Unfortunately, the one he had last Sunday resulted in a possession where we’re going into score and they get seven the other way.”
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