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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• We are on our way to 29,000 Twitter followers for our @PewterReport Twitter account. Thank you, Pewter Nation! For those of you who don’t follow us on Twitter, please do so. For  the latest Bucs news, observations from the PewterReport.com staff, reports from Bucs press conferences and notifications of the latest PewterReport.com stories, join the masses who follow @PewterReport and help us continue to grow our following on Twitter. And if you are on Facebook, please follow our Facebook page by clicking here.

• Former Bucs head coach and ESPN Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden will conduct a practice with more than 30 military personnel from MacDill Air Force Base on Friday morning, December 8. Following a meeting with the service members, Gruden will take the service members on the field and conduct a practice on base from 10:30-11:30 am. PewterReport.com will be there to interview Gruden afterwards. Stay tuned to @PewterReport on Twitter for live updates and to PewterReport.com for a recap of the event.
• I am taking zero credit for this, but I’m glad that Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston has decided to give up the pre-game speeches, as I suggested in a previous SR’s Fab 5 after his infamous “Eat a ‘W’” pre-game rant prior to the Saints game a month ago. Over the past few weeks, including on Sunday when Winston returned, the Bucs have turned to linebacker Lavonte David for pre-game pep talks on the field.“It’s really whoever wants to speak and talk to the team and address the team,” Winston said. “I haven’t played. Last game was my first game back. It’s good to see different forms of leadership and different forms of communication with guys because some people react to different things and I’m so happy Lavonte has stepped up into that role and has done a great job.”

Bucs QB Jameis Winston - Photo by: Getty Images
Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Getty Images

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.

Bucs OC/WRs coach Todd Monken - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs OC/WRs coach Todd Monken – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

“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.”

• And finally, if you 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! It’s time to do some holiday shopping and 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.

Fanatics- NFL_TampaBay_Buccaneers_300x250You might have seen the red Bucs Gear tab on PewterReport.com’s menu bar at the top of the website. Clicking on that link or any Fanatics.com banner on PewterReport.com, including the one to the right, contributes to the continued development of our website for your enjoyment.

Now you know where to visit if you are looking to purchase a Lavonte David, Mike Evans or O.J. Howard Bucs jersey – or any sports merchandise. Visit PewterReport.com first, then click on the Bucs Gear tab.

We appreciate your support, Pewter Nation. It’s help like this that continues to fund our efforts to provide you with the best Bucs coverage on the Internet.

 

 

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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]

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GoldsonAges
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GoldsonAges

Regardless of the teams issues this year I would keep koetter over McDaniels, Patricia, or Gruden. Gruden’s defense GAVE UP ON HIM during his last 5 years here. Do we not remember that awful stretch? McDaniels does not have the respect of the players. Did you see Brady ripping into him on the sidelines in the last game. And why is Patricia going to be a good coach? Simply because he is under a great coach? Rubbish. I am hoping the Glazers stay the course with Koetter and clean out the awful scouting department. If Peyton Manning is ready to… Read more »

Devasher
Member
Devasher

Bill Parcells once said “You are what your record says you are.” And that’s true in most cases, except when you are Jason Licht and Pewter Report is covering you. In that case, you may be the GM of the best 4-8 team in professional football, although the 4-8 Houston Texans may disagree and have a better -13 pt differential to Tampa’s -45. The fact that Tampa just lost to a Brett Hundley led Packers team and Licht’s teams have won 35% of their games is really only secondary to the completely subjective “upgraded talent” department that Scott has made… Read more »

Ken Grant
Member
Ken Grant

The defense didn’t give up on Gruden. Things fell apart when everyone found out Monte was likely leaving.

Also, the scouting department is fine. You are still bitter than you were completely wrong on Josh Evans. Get over it.

Devasher
Member
Devasher

I’m sorry I don’t know who Josh Evans is… are you talking about Justin Evans? And what a great impact Justin Evans has made for the fortunes of this franchise! Why if Josh…I mean Justin Evans wasn’t here, the Bucs might not have beaten the New Englan….I mean, that pick against Green Bay was the difference in the ballgame…oh wait, you mean this team is 4-9 and headed for it’s 4th straight non-playoff season under Licht because his greatest moves in the past two years are drafting a safety, a strongside linebacker and a TE? You mean those positions don’t… Read more »

spartan
Member
spartan

I know you said you are not advocating for Koetters firing Scott, but you certainly are writing like he is a dead man walking.

TBAtlas
Member
TBAtlas

A-effiing-men brother. At this point, I’m not even mad anymore that PR is shilling for Koetter to get fired and Gruden to replace him because the PR’s interview of Gruden got 5 minutes in the national spotlight. We’re not stupid.

And yes, until there’s something actually solid, it’s just shilling.

Here’s the bottom line when it comes to managing a franchise:

Instant
Sustainable
Success

Pick two.

Ja'crispy
Member
Ja'crispy

my favorite thing Belicheck said in that video…”Good players cant overcome bad coaching. Its impossible.” So true.

MudManVA
Member
MudManVA

Nice fab 5 again. Grading the whole Licht should be given a contract extension. If you are the GM your are going to have hits & misses in regards to drafting & signing personnel. We can rehash all his hits & misses, but his wins are far greater than his misses. The roster has gotten better since he arrived. Any BUC fan not drinking the Kool-aide could see that the BUCS were 2-3 more drafts away (after last year) from being a “real” playoff team. Both lines need to be improved, and our young players need to grow up/mature. (I… Read more »

martinii
Member
martinii

Good articles Scott, not exactly what I thought I would be reading at this point in the season. Definitely thought we would be discussing play-offs. let me say at this point as unpopular as it may seem, I am not ready for a coaching change. It has become a bi-annual ritual that over the last several years has produced little to no improvement in the number of Wins. In fact 2016 9-7 was a breath of fresh air and fed into the heightened expectations of 2017. I doubt if we could get a quality coach or coordinator with out reputation.… Read more »

matador
Member
matador

I’m not saying Gruden is the savior but if you still think he won with Dungy’s team you are clearly an idiot. Please please PLEASE recount for us position by position how you came to that conclusion. We’ve become a nation of idiots forming opinions based on feelings instead of facts. Do us the favor of making a fact based argument. Thanks in advance

a-bomb
Member
a-bomb

The premise here about coaches that adjust is spot on. There is little evidence to indicate that Smith and/or Koetter are capable of making these kind of adjustments. I do take some issue with the implication that Licht is somehow insulated because he has “improved the talent.” If you want to see how a “real” GM runs a team look no further than Steve Yzerman. Not only are the Lightning loaded with talent now, but they also have a very well stocked farm system. Yzerman and his staff just make decisions that always seem to work out- I don’t think… Read more »

DonkeyHunter
Member
DonkeyHunter

I’m glad how SR claims to not have an agenda, and then proceeds to report about how he spoke with players in the locker room about their feelings and thoughts on Gruden.

Koetter and Licht should’ve kicked his ass out of there on the spot.

Naplesfan
Member
Naplesfan

Good fab 5, Scott. In game coaching is an absolute must, and does separate the bad from the good from the great. But good in game coaching, including adjustments, is also a product of preparation and contingency planning, as Bill Belichick explains from his quotes. If you haven’t already thought out not only Plan A but also Plan B and Plan C and Plan D in advance, then you just become clueless on the field, just pulling out of your hindquarters whatever comes to mind (like Coach Smith’s incredible 14 different defenses for JJ!!!). Definitely both McDaniels and Patricia ought… Read more »

matador
Member
matador

It has been Bust Central under Licht. He must go. If the Glazer boys keep him it will just prove they’re clueless. How many of his picks have been unqualified successes? Very few is the objective answer. Feel free to list them out to prove me wrong, I’m open to information based arguments.

reymatos
Member
reymatos

I fully agreed with you that matador…Jason Light and Mike smith need to GO..!!! …I’m starting the fan push for Derrick Brooks to become our next GM…It’s time…he’s done a great job as the Storm GM and free agents will come here to play and not steal the Bucs money because we over pay for them such as (Lazy Chris Baker). They know a DB a (Hall-of-farmer) is watching…!! Koetter should get another year unless Derrick thinks otherwise..!! Mike Smith should be the first one out the door..!! He system doesn’t work…!!

drdneast
Member
drdneast

So we are going to fire Koetter because the Mike Smith defense has been rancid pretty much all year. Scott, you make abut as much sense as some of the people who post out here. Also, weren’t you one of the people who were relieved last year when Smith wasn’t hired away.an OL Where was your foresight last year. Give me a break. I’m all for firing Smith, but the core reason for this defenses ineptness is because our defensive line is old, slow and over the hill. When I was calling for a defensive lineman in last year, you… Read more »

Buc 1976
Member
Buc 1976

The D line is old. I have wondered how far VH3 Would have fallen if the Bucs had taken Rankins instead. As for Spence undersized for a Dlineman. As for our GM the best draft was when Jon Robinson was here pluses we had 1st or 2nd pick every RD. The FA signings are bad except for Grimes and he kind of fell in our laps.

surferdudes
Member

Well drd, if you’re going to blame Smith’s defense, shouldn’t you blame the man who wanted to hire him? That would be Koetter. Scott you say Licht signed Martin, and others for fear of seeing them move on, having success, and being criticized for not resigning them. Belichick does not have that fear, part of the reason for his success. He’s let popular players walk, traded others considered by some vital, yet he keeps winning with what he has. Credit has been given for resigning McCoy, and David. I saw David miss a tackle that would’ve prevented that T.D. Sunday,… Read more »

Horse
Member
Horse

Good Article Scott; I just don’t have a clue what we should do after this season is over. The things you have pointed out with the Patriots ares valid. After the season is over I hope the Glazers give Licht and Koetter a pass for one more year if they are willing to make some changes and one of them is to let Mike Smith go and Koetter gives up play calling and be just the Head Coach. I’m not a Gruden fan because I felt part of Gruden problems with the past Bucs as Head Coach and player caller… Read more »

e
Member
e

So, for how many years has PR talked up the new coach in the first year and then proceeded to tear him down the next? I don’t believe that any coach is going to be successful with the franchise under such immense pressure. Ron Riviera won 6 games his first year and then 7 the next? Would he have survived the PR assault? Belichick went 6, 7 & 7 wins his first three years in Cleveland… then, 5 wins in NE before he latched on to Brady. Tomlin did have success, but with an established team & franchise QB right… Read more »

reymatos
Member
reymatos

We just need a GM with an eye for Football talent….Derrick Brooks needs to be the BUCS next GM..!!

cgmaster27
Member
cgmaster27

well when it comes to what we have here, this offseason will be full of some tough choices. One thing is for certain though is that Mike Smith needs to go, end of story. HIs defense has been awful outside of a 5 game stretch last year. Hope the Giants take him. When looking at whether we should keep Koetter and LIcht, if I were the Glazers I would give Koetter another year ONL:Y under certain circumstances. 1, you need to get an offensive coordinator to call plays, and 2 fire you buddy Mike Smith. Then and only then do… Read more »

inspecto
Member
inspecto

Trading up to draft that kicker in the 2md is very damning to Light.If he was 50/50 that would push under.

seat26
Member
seat26

I am still of the opinion that our expectations were unrealistic for this year. we won 9 games last year and maybe we were not as good as other 9 and 7 teams. We still had several positions that we were weak at and we didn’t address them in the Draft. And we have been injured in positions this year that we were strong in making us and all around mediocre team. I love Howard, but we already had one of the best TE’s in football and I really think that first pick was a waste strategically. The Coaching has… Read more »

buccaneerNW
Member
buccaneerNW

The Gruden propaganda network is at it again. PR pumps Gruden like FuxNuze pumps Trump.

Dbuc63
Member
Dbuc63

bucNW, Still suffering from TDS. (Trump Derange syndrome) GET OVER IT

buccaneerNW
Member
buccaneerNW

Not as long as there’s a fascist traitor in the White House. Not gonna get over it. You must be one of the gullible morons who voted for the ignoramus.

buccaneerNW
Member
buccaneerNW

Also, if you wanna talk about derangement, what’s more deranged than a president and a party that still spend time deflecting away from issues to bring up old conspiracy theories about HRC which have been thoroughly debunked. Oh I’m sorry, Russia must be fake news, despite the ongoing investigation and obvious lies and coverups from virtually everyone we’ve heard of in the campaign. But you might not have heard about any of that because you’re probably putting on a tinfoil hat and filling your brain with FuxNuze and Breitbart. Delusional morons.

Pit of misery
Member
Pit of misery

all I know is something has to change! The free agents are terrible the play-calling is terrible and the defense stinks

seat26
Member
seat26

I agree. I am not sure that it is coaching but maybe you are right. I think we got unlucky with Baker. He is past his prime. Ayers is good but too old as well. Jackson is just not being used enough in my opinion.
Some of this is Injury related. But I think if we can have one or two more drafts as good as this last one but in positions that we need addressing, we can be a lot better. One guy on the Defensive line who can play at an above average level is not enough.

reymatos
Member
reymatos

Mike Smith & Jason Light need to go….Derrick Brooks needs to be our next GM..

drdneast
Member
drdneast

surferdude, you make some valid points about McCoy and David and I’m not against trading either of them if the price is right. Unfortunately at the moment, McCoy is about our only serviceable defensive lineman. I also don’t think anyone is going to offer us a No.1 pick for either one of them. This team really needs to revamp it’s defensive line and has needed to for the last four years. Every defensive lineman that Dominick drafted proved to be a bust except for William Gholston and he is no world beater. They better seek an A rated DL in… Read more »

seat26
Member
seat26

I took a lot of heat for wanting to trade McCoy last year, because the hype on him was so great I believed we could have gotten multiple picks. If we had taken a DE, Corner and Running back early, who knows how different this year might have looked? But then without McCoy this year, we might have lost every single game. It’s a tough position to be in when the talent level is so strong at Linebacker and so suspect on the Defensive line.

deeznuts
Member
deeznuts

At this point, it’s time for amageddon. Cut everyone who isn’t Lavonte David, Kwon Alexander, Gerald McCoy, Mike Evans, DJax, Ali Marpet, Demar Dotson, Brate, OJ Howard, or Jameis Winston.

Maybe we can keep a few guys like Justin Evans (even though his INT’s dont make up for his blown coverages), Ryan Smith, Kendall Beckwith, and Chris Godwin.

The offensive line, head coaching, and pass defense/rush are atrocious. Gruden wouldnt touch the current roster with a 50-foot pole.

Bucs Capacitor
Member
Bucs Capacitor

Wait, so the main knock on McDaniels is that once things got tough and they started, he didn’t know how to handle his players? Given our recent history, do you REALLY think that that’s a quality we need in a head coach in Tampa? You can tell me all you want about how he’s had time to learn under Belicheck…but he had time to learn under him BEFORE Denver. I’m sorry, but while McDaniels is a great playcaller, all we can do is hope that he’s learned from his mistakes. The only true proof we have in his head coaching… Read more »

Bucs Capacitor
Member
Bucs Capacitor

* started losing

I need to proof read before posting.

Buc76
Member
Buc76

Scott knew the season was over after the Arizona game and that was Correct. Fire Koetter and Licht

seat26
Member
seat26

Regime changes every two years are not helping us.

Buc-in-Philly Fan
Member
Buc-in-Philly Fan

It seems nothing helps our Team. Maybe we really are cursed. I am so tired of sucking….