FAB 3. Nelson Could Immediately Help Bucs

Let’s face it. There may not be a more unsexy first-round pick in the NFL than a guard.

Running backs, wide receivers and pass-catching tight ends are sexy picks. First-round quarterbacks bring the splash. First-round pass rushing defensive ends and intercepting defensive backs bring the flash. Left tackles and defensive tackles are accepted first-rounders by fans because they are often necessary.

But if you want to hear moans and groans from an NFL fan base draft a guard.

Unless it’s this year, and it’s Notre Dame left guard Quenton Nelson.

It’s rare that a guard is considered to be the best offensive lineman in the NFL Draft. That distinction typically falls on left tackles and some times right tackles, but rarely guards.

Notre Dame LG Quenton Nelson – Photo courtesy of Notre Dame

This year it’s different thanks to the massive, 6-foot-5, 335-pound Fighting Irish lineman from Holmdel, New Jersey. Nelson, who recently declared for the 2018 NFL Draft, has been a three-year starter at left guard for Notre Dame since his redshirt freshman season.

“He’s a plug-and-play NFL starter and should have a long, successful pro career,” NFL.com draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said of Nelson.

The Bucs have a glaring need at guard in 2018, as Kevin Pamphile and Evan Smith, who rotated at left guard, are scheduled to be unrestricted free agents after both had a disappointing season. Neither could be back this year.

Right guard J.R. Sweezy reworked his contract after missing the entire 2016 campaign due to back surgery. His return to football didn’t go as planned as he was inconsistent and didn’t bring the anticipated push in the running game that Tampa Bay was expecting. Sweezy is expected to make $5.25 million in base salary in 2018 and if the Bucs want to move on from him this year he will only account for $1.875 million worth of dead cap money.

The Bucs might be better off moving Ali Marpet back to right guard, drafting Nelson to play left guard if they can, and finding a center in free agency like Baltimore’s Ryan Jensen or the New York Giants’ Weston Richburg. That could put more power in Tampa Bay’s ground game.

Nelson has teamed with left tackle Mike McGlinchey, a fellow first-round prospect, to help Notre Dame running back Josh Adams record 3,201 yards and 20 touchdowns on 480 carries (6.7 avg.), including 1,430 yards and nine touchdowns in 2017 on 206 carries (6.9 avg.). Nelson is known for his penchant for pancaking defensive linemen to the ground and finishing his opponents all the way through the whistle.

“Q is a brawler,” linebacker Joe Schmidt said. “He’s somebody that loves to get in there. He’s a tough, hard-nosed, nasty football player, and that’s what you want on the offensive line.”

Nelson, a consensus All-American, has a quiet, workmanlike, blue-collar demeanor that will remind Bucs general manager Jason Licht of former New England and Tampa Bay Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins.

“I think it’s better to have too much aggression than too little,” Nelson said.

It can be hard to sit through offensive linemen highlight reels because blocking isn’t as flamboyant as breakaway runs, diving catches or quarterback sacks, but I can honestly say that I’ve never said “Wow!” more while watching a highlight tape than when I played the one below of Nelson (56).

The words “amazingly impressive” come to mind.

It’s not just Nelson’s size or power that has NFL scouts drooling. It’s also his quick feet, strong hands, leverage, hip explosion and technique that are jaw dropping.

“He can bench press a truck,” said Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly. “He’s big, he’s strong, he’s physical, he’s got toughness but he moves his feet really well.

“That’s really probably the one thing that I don’t say surprises you, but when you see a kid that big, it’s hard to envision a kid running out the way he runs. He runs exceedingly well for his size.”

Remember that the goal of any team drafting in the first round, but especially in the top 10, is to draft a Pro Bowl-caliber player.

That’s it.

Find an elite starter – one that has Pro Bowl potential.

The Bucs have done that twice with Licht running the draft, selecting wide receiver Mike Evans in 2014 and quarterback Jameis Winston in 2015. O.J. Howard, this past year’s first-rounder, has the tools to develop into a Pro Bowl tight end, while cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III, who was the 11th overall pick in 2016, is struggling to cut it as an NFL starter.

Ask any NFL scout and they’ll tell you that Nelson is the closest thing to a sure-fire hit as there is in this year’s draft.

Notre Dame left guard Quenton Nelson – Photo by: Getty Images

Believe it or not, drafting a guard in the first round may be the easiest way to find a Pro Bowler. There have been 15 guards drafted in the first round in 10 drafts over the last 13 years – an average of about one per year. The jury is still out on the two most recent guards selected in 2016 – San Francisco’s Joshua Garnett and Seattle’s Germain Ifedi – and there have been some busts, such as Jonathan Cooper and Danny Watkins.

But Washington’s Brandon Scherff and Dallas’ Zack Martin, who was a left tackle at Notre Dame when Nelson arrived on campus, had initial success during their rookie seasons and quickly became Pro Bowlers. In fact, Martin became the first rookie linemen to make first-team All-Pro in 57 years in 2014.

First-Round Guards Drafted In 2005-2016
2016 NFL Draft
No. 28 Joshua Garnett – 49ers
11 starts / 15 games

No. 31 Germain Ifedi – Seahawks
28 starts / 28 games

2015 NFL Draft
*No. 5 Brandon Scherff – Redskins
PFWA All-Rookie Team
2x Pro Bowl
46 starts / 46 games

No. 28 Laken Tomlinson – Lions/49ers
24 starts / 32 games

2014 NFL Draft
*No. 16 Zack Martin – Cowboys
PFWA All-Rookie team
4x Pro Bowl / 2x All Pro
58 starts/58 games

2013 NFL Draft
No. 7 Jonathan Cooper – Cardinals/Patriots/Cowboys
24 starts / 39 games

No. 10 Chance Warmack – Titans/Eagles
50 starts / 58 games

No. 20 Kyle Long – Bears
*PWFA All-Rookie Team
3x Pro Bowl
55 starts/ 55 games

2012 NFL Draft
*No. 24 David DeCastro – Steelers
3x Pro Bowl / 1x All Pro
80 starts / 81 games

No. 27 Kevin Zeitler – Bengals/Browns
PFWA 2012 All-rookie team
87 starts / 88 games

2011 NFL Draft
No. 23 Danny Watkins – Eagles
18 starts / 26 games

2010 NFL Draft
*No. 17 Mike Iupati – 49ers/Cardinals
4x Pro Bowler / 1x All Pro
103 starts / 103 games

2007 NFL Draft
*No. 29 Ben Grubbs – Ravens/Saints/Chiefs
2x Pro Bowl
125 starts / 129 games

2006 NFL Draft
*No. 23 Davin Joseph – Bucs/Rams
2x Pro Bowl
112 starts / 116 games

2005 NFL Draft
*No. 32 Logan Mankins – Patriots/Bucs
7x Pro Bowler / 1x All Pro
161 starts / 161 games

*indicates first-round guards that made the Pro Bowl

Nelson wouldn’t be the sexiest first-round pick for Bucs fans to celebrate in April, but it sure would bring smiles to the faces of Winston and the running back Tampa Bay selects in the second or third round. And if Nelson were to become a Pro Bowler as I and many draft pundits believe he’ll be, Bucs general manager Jason Licht and head coach Dirk Koetter will be smiling, too.

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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 think the Bucs five game win streak in 2016 was smoke and mirrors. A win is a win is a win. If the Bucs had beaten New England and the Packers this year, would that have been smoke and mirrors, because the Pats were in disarray and the Packers didn’t have their starting QB? Nope. We would have gladly taken those wins. We could have won both those games, but we choked. The 2016 Bucs didn’t choke. Give credit where credit is due. I hope we bring back Mike Smith. Firing him would be largely a symbolic move.… Read more »

ayron54

Feels like fab 2 is half full of low key apologizing and back peddling. Lol

I look forward to Friday mornings when these fab 5’s come out! Thanks SR, another great article.

Go Bucs!

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ayron54

Fab 1… sorry. Forgot this one was a fab 6. Lol

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Devasher

“I’m sure he didn’t appreciate all of the Gruden articles I wrote, but I was just doing my job. PewterReport.com uncovered that there was legitimate interest in Gruden’s desire to return to coaching in 2018 in Tampa Bay, and there was legitimate interest from the Bucs hiring him as Koetter’s replacement. I was simply reporting what I knew to be true at the time – the Raiders just made a better offer for Gruden in the end.” Above is your Fab 1, posted today 1/5/17, below, in your Fab 1 on 12/8/17 you profiled McDaniel’s and Patricia, whom were most… Read more »

Naplesfan

I’m pretty sure that Scott is not giving any endorsement whatsoever to the Glazers’ decision to retain the underperforming coaching staff and GM for yet another season of sustained mediocrity. It’s clear Scott doesn’t like it. Reporting what he does is what he does for a living. You and others may not like what he’s reporting, and as a result make attacks on Scott for reminding you of something you’d rather not be reminded of. In my humble opinion, Scott is just doing his job. If a majority of readers and commenters are glad that the Glazers made no changes,… Read more »

Devasher

You missed the point, which to your post is: If Scott has an opinion (which he clearly posited as noted above) it would not be very honest to say that he was “simply reporting what I knew at the time.” That simply is NOT true. Scott had an opinion, he posted it, I quote it, and despite his own written words which are easily accessible on this site he walked it back as though he had no opinion on the matter. Your response to my post is to say that he has an opinion. Great! No one is saying he… Read more »

JustaBuc

There’s a huge piece going on right now about the Kraft-Belichick-Brady trio by Seth Wickersham and how it might be falling apart and you know the difference between that piece and the past 3 months of Grumors on this site? It’s a sentence like this: “… according to interviews with more than a dozen New England staffers, executives, players and league sources with knowledge of the team’s inner workings, the three most powerful people in the franchise — Belichick, Brady and owner Robert Kraft — have had serious disagreements.” Now the story is most likely nonsense, but it at least… Read more »

Horse

Scott, I feel the same way as others. All you did was create fake news then blame it on something else that really wasn’t there. Fact checking is what it is about. Top it off you can’t even say you were incorrect; that was all I was asking for. So you can talk the talk, but can’t walk the walk.

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Naplesfan

There was nothing fake at all in what Scott reported. You just didn’t like the news, and so you want to shoot the messenger, Horse. I liked the message. I like what Scott wrote. But the Glazer babies have shown themselves to be serial incompetents and could not bring themselves to do what really needed doing – firing everybody and starting over. It is for that reason that I further suggest that in the spirit of “firing everybody”, the baby Glazers should have fired themselves by putting the team up for sale. And then I would pray that Jeff Vinik… Read more »

JP

I think there’s a loyalty issue with Dirk and his defensive coaches. Reminiscent of Dungy and his offensive coaches back in the day, but Dungy had a ‘D’ that could single-handedly win games not so sure Dirk’s offense has that. Great article BTW.

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tpeluso

Fab 2 makes me think one thing: How much would a trade-up to #3 to guarantee us Chubb cost?

Ugh… I am not a fan at all at spending our first-rounder on a guard.

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tpeluso

And that’s after reading Fab 3, for the record. Still think 7 is too high to be drafting a guard.

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ahenneke

It seems like last year at this time, the Pewter Report articles were terrified that Mike Smith was going to get a head coaching job someplace, after doing such a great job with the defense. It is interesting how quickly we can change our opinions. It was also suggested that the 2016 five game winning streak was due the rash of injuries that our opponents had when they played the BUCS, yet when the BUCS have a ton of injuries, we suggest that is no excuse. My opinion is that the BUCS primary problem is that they don’t know how… Read more »

Horse

We have a different market in the tampa Bay area. We’re getting younger, less intune to sports and any media from cable channels and we have plenty of other activities to enjoy such as the weather and water.

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Pete Wood

I love when we create categories that don’t really exist. Wins against injury depleted teams aren’t really wins. Balls tipped by receivers aren’t really interceptions. You don’t see the Pats giving up their home field advantage in the playoffs, because the Bucs win didn’t count since we didn’t have a good kicker and should have won the game. A win is a win is a win.

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Devasher

*Except if it’s about Jason Licht.

Jason is entitled to have a worse winning percentage than Mark Dominik over his career, constructing 4 NFL rosters that win less than 35% of it’s games, but if DC Mike Smith who has a 14 year career in the NFL as a DC that lead Jax D to top 12 rankings in all 4 of his years there and a 59% winning percentage as HC has one very bad year without players who can rush the passer, he needs to go.

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buddah

So true. Last year, everyone was in love with Mike Smith and begging the Glazers not to let him get away. Fickle.

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Naplesfan

It’s not fickleness – it’s performance. Perform good, fans like coaches. Perform badly, fans dislike coaches.

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Horse

Geez Scott; there’s 12 teams in the Playoffs, it’s a little early to say Bucs aren’t interested in any of those coaches for an up grade. Can you please stop with the Gruden crap; most of us could care less. You continually try to defend what you past posted than man up and just say hey I missed on this you. Instead you sound like someone else in a high position. Stop it please! As to drafting a OG over a DE’s and I meant DE’s, is how we got to this present situation by ignoring the need. The priority… Read more »

Horse

Scott, first try to trade down, then go for a CB/Safety as I believe that’s our still same need which is Defense. Can’t see a OG worth it when we have needs at defense. You and I didn’t put us in this present situation; Licht, Koetter, Smith did. If they want to stay employed past 2018, I hope they pay attention with the focus on Defense. Thank you for responding Scott. I do enjoy your Articles.

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buddah

Totally agree. Stay with your draft board. When is the last time the Buccaneers had an all pro offensive lineman.

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macabee

I am going to stake my reputation as past president of the Disgraced Armchair GMs of America that DE Bradley Chubb will be there at pick #7. Not to worry. Competition for Chubb has been the Colts at #3 from most of the mocks I’ve seen lately. Colts owner Jim Irsay has come out publicly stating that he wants another Edgerin James for QB Luck. RB Barkley answers that bell. Others before pick #7 want/need QB or OT. Chubb is a Buc if they want him! Go Bucs!

https://horseshoeheroes.com/2018/01/03/jim-irsay-wants-select-running-back-high-2018-nfl-draft/

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e

Gulp… You’ve got to be a brave GM to risk a top 10 Penn. St. RB pick!

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JustaBuc

I got an even wilder prediction for you on top of that – Nelson isn’t getting past 3 in the draft. The biggest threat to draft Chubb atm is the Giants with Big Man Gettleman. He could also go for G Nelson, as the GIants OLine is trash or even Barkley, as they really could use one. Might even go QB! Giants are the wild one in the mocks so far. I trust Gettleman is going to stay true to his fat-people-matter ways and go for OLine though. But you better bet your damn farm that whoever coaches the Colts… Read more »

macabee

Obviously, my first choice is Chubb, but I will not be upset if instead the Bucs took either OG Nelson, CB/FS Fitzpatrick, or traded down for extra picks and took DE Marcus Davenport/UTSA 6-6 255 4.77. Draft is loaded with D-Line talent.

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JustaBuc

Agreed, fine with all of those guys. I have some concerns health wise on Fitzpatrick but yeah, those would be fine. I like DT Vea as well.

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cgmaster27

Yeah I agree with you about the Colts. Every has Chubb mocked to them, but how in the world can they ignore offensive line again with Andrew Luck and that shoulder?

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mjmoody

What is it that I don’t know about Arden Key? LSU keeps putting great players in the league & the Bucs’ seem to do especially well w/ them. Maybe I haven’t seen enough of Chubb? He’s a shorter, stouter, bull rusher that’s great in college, but doesn’t always translate to the NFL. IMHO. I’m just asking here, I know that I don’t know.

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macabee

Key is a great player but has been inconsistent. Some people think he’s a head case because he left the team unexpectedly with no explanation. I think he’s okay but he’s going to face interviews at the combine that will determine his draft status.

https://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/lsu-football/not-crazy-suggest-arden-key-doesnt-return-lsu-prepares-2018-nfl-draft/

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mjmoody

Great Link, thanks. Reinforces what I’ve read thus far. Very physically talented, very raw draft. That beautiful & terrible NFL word; potential, Your pick is as good as your coaching. Brings it back around doesn’t it?

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Naplesfan

Nobody knows how any draft will proceed an hour before the opening bell, let alone months beforehand. Team needs evolve, new coaches and GMs come on board, players impress or don’t impress in the college allstar games and draft combine and individual workouts, stuff comes to light (bad behavior) and suddenly a player’s stock plummets. In an NFL where quarterback play is so important that teams will literally do anything to improve at that position, suddenly QB talents start shooting up draft boards. Licht is a decent draft picker – that’s about the only thing he’s reasonably (but not especially)… Read more »

e

Don’t sleep on Ohio St. C – Billy Price. He will end up moving up into the middle of the first round. I wonder how much better the line would be with Marpet back at guard and Price at center? I’ll say this in defense of the Glazers (here comes the down thumbs!) They’ve tried the coaching roulette for a decade. Now, they are giving continuity a shot. I like it. I’m thinking that a team with not a whole lot of second contracts is trying to compete in a division with three Superbowl experienced and franchise QBs is going… Read more »

revfish

Two things: first, I appreciated the last Gruden article here even as I’m glad that sage is over with. Given y’alls coverage of it, if you don’t address it, you open yourself up to criticism and questions, but now when you defend yourself, people want to cry “sour grapes on you.” Your job is to report what is going on and to keep us in the know, and you did. I was one who talked with Mark about did it undercut Koetter’s standing out of honest concerns, but he was forthright with me and I was very pleased and respected… Read more »

Alldaway 2.0

I will be a contrarian and say that the Bucs problem since 2007 has been a lack of talent in the trenches and not coaching. Gruden took a talent depleted team as far as he could. But we all agreed that in that playoff game against the Giants the Bucs did not have the horses in the trenches. What have the Bucs done since a decade ago to address the trenches? They have drafted trench players but not enough have lasted their duration for Tampa Bay. It is hard to have a winning team and a playoff team without trench… Read more »

rob roy

I agree that not re-signing Akeem Spence and replacing him with Chris Baker was a mistake and in addition, not re-signing Alterraun Verner, had a negative effect on the defense in 2017. Verner is a former All-Pro who was signed to replace Darrelle Revis. He is also one of the best tackling CB’s in the league. His absence in the slot was sorely missed. Verner ended up signing with Miami for just $980,000. I disagree with drafting a guard with the first pick in the draft because of needs at DE, CB, DT and RB. There are two “special” players… Read more »

BucFan circa76

SMOKE AND MIRRORS? Really?? You could argue the same for all of our close, last minute losses this season despite Jameis playing injured for 4-6 games (at least), missed field goals early on and then later on (a missed extra point almost cost us the Saints game recently). I know your panties are in a bunch because the Bucs couldn’t (or didn’t) bring Gruden back and make you a soothsayer, but hey its obvious the Glazers were feeling like Santa Claus lately by giving Koetter another season to make It right – this time without HBO/Hard Knocks and WITH some… Read more »

scubog

Totally agree circa 76. Having been a subscriber even before Buccaneer Magazine with the old It’s Sports magazine; you just don’t put an asterisk on a win or a loss. It is what it is. Now Scott is reversing course with his assessment of the 2016 Defense. Apparently the evaluation was faulty. It sure misled a lot of folks into believing the players had learned the scheme and were ready to thrive in it in 2017 with Mike Smith at the helm. The stance is now that Mike Smith, once thought to be the guru and Jay Hayes, are the… Read more »

Alldaway 2.0

Fix the trenches. Draft and sign some young guys at DE, DT, OT and OG. This isn’t rocket science. This is why the OL looks better than the DL (eg Marpet, Smith). Ayers – 32, turns 33 in Sept McCoy – 29, turns 30 next month Baker – 30, turns 31 i Oct Gholston – 26, turns 27 in July Clarke – 26, turns 27 in May McDonald -31, turns 32 tomorrow Siliga -28 , turns 29 in April Russell – 25, turns 26 later this month Ward – 25, turns 26 in Sept O-Connor -24, turns 25 in Nov… Read more »

GoldsonAges

Insanity is firing your coaches every two years. I only got through 1/2 of Fab1. I’m looking forward to the offseason and less terrible articles. It’s time for PR to get over Gruden and get on with the program

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Devasher

I find it interesting that a guy in Mike Smith, a well-respected coach with 14 largely successful years of coordinating/coaching is apparently the root cause of all that ails the Bucs. Yet, this is roughly the same record the Bucs have had on average over the past 9 years (31% winning this year 35% over 9 years). Remember when it was all Lovie’s fault? What about when Schiano was to blame for everything? Or when Raheem Morris let the players run amok. Seems like the deck chairs keep changing but the Titanic keeps sinking. Name me one edge rusher with… Read more »

Ja'crispy

If Chubb, Nelson, or Barkley are gone I wouldn’t mind trading back with Arizona to the 15th pick. We would most likely get their 2nd round pick. So we have #15, #38 and #47 overall draft pick.

I also didn’t know anything about Quenton Nelson and would have never thought of drafting a guard in the first round. After watching that video, assuming Chubb if off the board, I wouldn’t be mad at all. That dude as pancaking those d-linemen.

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Ken Grant

And the ones that don’t get pancaked are showing him their back as they try to disengage. They are quitting on the play. That’s what you ideally want. To demoralize the other guy. Make him give up.

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SCLOBERNOCKER

I’ve been saying for a while that if Chubb is gone, we need to go Nelson at 7. He’s BOA at that point and dude is a freak.

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Rut

The Cardinals need a QB bad, they just lost their head coach, QB, and probably their best wide receiver. They’re going to be rebuilding big time in Arizona. Jason Licht has ties to that organization. My guess? The Cards move up to our spot and we get an extra 2nd and 3rd round pick out of it. This draft is pretty deep, I think that’d be our best move. We don’t just need starter spots filled, we need depth. Gotta load up on players and make the best fight for it. That’s what I’d do if I was Licht. Rate… Read more »

surferdudes

I’m O.K. with drafting a guard with pro bowl ability. Anything along the line on either side of the ball is sorely needed. Not surprised no coaching changes could occur. Not surprised no other team values any of our assistants. Koetter has a bad coaching dynamic within his staff. Neither coordinator has a chance at a head coaching gig with someone else. Smith viewed as to old, and our defense sucks, Monkin because he doesn’t call plays. Great coaches leave a coaching tree when they’re done. Holmgrum, Reed, Gruden, Mooch, who’s the up, and coming coach on our staff? Rate… Read more »

Amo

We are not smart enough to take Nelson.

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martinii

One of my 11 New Years Eve resolutions is to put the 2017 Buc’s season behind me. All the Gruden rumors, all the excuses, all the close loses, all the injuries, all the Fake News is history today. Nothing I or we can do about it so might as well sweep it under the rug. 2018 is a fresh new year, full of challenges, hope, and excitement. It is what it is and hopefully I will still be celebrating well into 2019. I am not a football expert and 95% of what I post is opinion. I spent 40 years… Read more »

macabee

You and me Martinii. I make out over Chubb because the Bucs pass rush was so bad last year. I have no idea how he would transition to the NFL. Myles Garrett, last years draft phenom was okay, but did not have the season he was expected to have due to injury. And we all remember Jadeveon Clowney/Texans – just now starting to play as advertised. It’s a crapshoot! I will be happy to have any player that contributes, I’m not hung up on perceived stars. But we are entering the silly season and me like most fans get hyped… Read more »

martinii

Thanks Mac, just kidding about the shoe salesman, but your research shows how hard it is to predict how these players are going to turn out. I think often times it’s the team the wind up on.

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Rich

Barkley is good, but I don’t believe any running back can succeed with the current offensive (sic) line. Buc’s need to upgrade the offensive line both for the running backs and the QB

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stlbucsfan

I see GMC has reached out on Twitter to Michael Bennett welcoming him back once the Seahawks release him. Another interesting story line is the potential release of Aquib Talib from Denver. Both players I never thought should have ever left are now potentially available and at positions of need. Target these types of FAs as they should come motivated to win in a place where they didn’t get it done before. They both have an edge this defense and coupled with the right edge rusher could turn this into a top 15 defense with of course a solid running… Read more »

Horse

Both those guys would destroy the team unity.

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Horse

Bennett hardly has any gas in his tank; if Seattle is releasing him isn’t that enough to tell us we need to stay away from him? It’s been over 5 years since been it’s been here and he’s a lot older.

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Rich

Everyone talks about firing Smith what about the pathetic offensive line coach. Also as I look at the draft I believe we have more urgent needs than draft picks on the first two days of the draft. I don’t care who is available, Bucs need to trade down and set themselves up so they have between 5-7 picks those first two days. We have already proven one player cannot turn the franchise around, there are to many holes in the roster (2-DE, CB, OT, C/G, DT,S,RB)

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Buc71

How about player performance? It’s NOT coaching. Mike Smith was Great in Atlanta. His coaching works. This is a player issue. Get better players, players need to execute what the coaches call. Run the plays properly. Make tackles, blocks, passes, runs, catches, etc… This 5-11 season is squarely on the players. Not coaches fault. Fundamental football. Get it done. Changing coaches every couple of years DOES NOT WORK.

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Charlie C

Our Bucs have done one thing consistently the last ten years: lose. Stop the coaching carousel. Glad to see Koetter get more time. Now let’s make some smart drafting moves ( heavy on the defense ), get working on the Jackson/Winston chemistry, and look ahead to finding an identity on defense. Our linebackers our probably the best unit in football. Help them by getting McCoy some help and many of this year’s close losses become next years wins.

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Bucs die hard

Hey scott can anybody tell me why no one is talking about this front office personnel/scouting department???? i mean wtf…… I feel like thats the real problem…..dey need to be checked asap….who are they???? They need to be put on blast on your next fab5

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GoldsonAges

The only offensive lineman I’ve seen who should be in the conversation with pick No.7 is Connor Williams LT Texas. Quentin Nelson is a mauler guard who cant pull or reach 2nd level blocks with any consistency. A one dimensional guard would be a disaster pick that early.

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Horse

Way too many people already picking players to be top notch NFL performers for our team. I have no clue who will really be better than what we have already. Lets wait until the Senior Bowl and the East-West games are played where the college players are invited to show us what they really can do.

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Horse

One thing I do know because I have seen enough to tell me we are in dire need of pass rushers.

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fl0nase

I have to admit, I really do not understand the anger towards SR related to the Gruden reporting. Gruden WAS interested in getting back into coaching. It’s just dumb to think that he didn’t talk to the Glazers and also dumb to think he would ONLY talk to the Glazers. 10 million a year for 10 years is a CRAZY deal and whatever else happened that’s why he’s the Raiders coach. The biggest disappointment is all the copy wasted talking about Gruden now that we know he’s coaching in Vegas baby. Maybe that’s what’s got everyone so worked up. As… Read more »

scubog

I for one don’t for a second think the coaching staff is set for 2018 just yet. Did we not pay attention when Koetter noted that everything and everyone will be evaluated? It’s been only six days since our final game of the 2017 season. Is it not reasonable to think those reviews are now taking place? Is it not possible that Koetter and Licht are waiting to see who might become available to upgrade the staff? As I recall the upcoming Senior Bowl is a huge job fair. Sit tight fellow Bucs fans. What’s “insane” is to think the… Read more »

Pete Wood

The Raiders actually agreed to Gruden’s demands. I see no way he lives up to expectations. Al Davis must be spinning in his grave.
Wouldn’t it be poetic justice if Del Rio came to the Bucs now? I want Smith to stay, but would enjoy that working out for Bucs and messing with Raiders at the same time if it has to happen.

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BrianDorry55

The assistant coach who absolutely needs to go is George Warhop. That guy has one good line in 2015 and they have absolutely SUCKED every other year. I assume 2015 was an aberration because he didn’t have enough time to coach the talent out of Marpet and Smith. Get him the hell outta here.

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Wadeless

I think the person that needs to go more than the coaches (I would have supported a Smith firing but understand keeping Koetter for another year) is the GM Licht. Talk about a track record. He has so many misses with high picks such as: 1. Roberto after trading UP for heaven’s sake, 2. Donovan Smith makes me pine for Kenyetta Walker, 3. Seferian-Jenkins was such a cancer I’m not sure how you couldn’t have scouted that, 4. wasting a 3R pick on the seldom used Sims, 5. the jury being very much out on injury prone Spence and Hargreaves)… Read more »

Wadeless

And his lower round picks (R4-R7) have been pretty abysmal too: 2014–He went 0-3 w Herron, Pamphile and Edwards 2015–He went 1-4 w Alexender being the lone hit with misses Bell, Clay and Iosefa 2016–A bit too early to tell completely but the names Ryan Smith, Benenoch, and Bond don’t make me think All-Pro let alone good NFL starter. We know Vitale is a miss already from this group. 2017–Tu’ikolovatu and McNichols; the latter whom will never play a game with the Bucs. The more you look at this the worse it gets. Outside of Howard, Alexander and Beckwith, I… Read more »

JustaBuc

It just got comical when it sounds like you are seriously expecting consistent All-Pro/starter hits from Rounds 4-7. The Aguayo pick totally sucked, and while ASJ had the talent it didn’t pan out for us. The rest are still early or debatable.

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Wadeless

I never said that I was seriously expecting consistent All-Pro/starter from rounds 4-7. From my count Licht hit on potentially 1 of 13 picks in those rounds. Outside of Kwon, who on that list are you ready to anoint as a good pick? You sound like an apologist for Licht’s picks.

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Wadeless

The “rest are debatable”. Really??…I beg to differ. These picks are not debatable: 1. Donovan Smith sucks…just ask Winston’s sore shoulder. 2. Sims had 150 touches in 2015 and since then he had 75 touches two years ago and 56 touches last year…if that’s the type of production you want from a 3R pick I think your expectations are too low JustABuc 3. I said the jury is out on Spence and Hargreaves but you have to agree that if they don’t have outstanding third years, then they too are busts. I think they are leaning closer to bust then… Read more »

BrianDorry55

Beckwith looks like great pick so far. As does Godwin. Maybe you should go scour through those rounds where you have an issue with what we did…you may be surprised to see that most GMs aren’t hitting regularly where you think they may be.

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BrianDorry55

Well you don’t typically get “good NFL starters” on Day 3.

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Wadeless

I just listed every pick from 4 – 7. Here they are again. Outside of Kwon there is nothing noteworthy here: 2014–He went 0-3 w Herron, Pamphile and Edwards 2015–He went 1-4 w Alexender being the lone hit with misses Bell, Clay and Iosefa 2016–A bit too early to tell completely but the names Ryan Smith, Benenoch, and Bond don’t make me think All-Pro let alone good NFL starter. We know Vitale is a miss already from this group. 2017–Tu’ikolovatu and McNichols; the latter whom will never play a game with the Bucs. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No… Read more »

ahenneke

There was a good article about the Saints defense in today’s Wall Street Journal, of all places. Summarizing it down to a couple of sentences, the Saints’ defense went from allowing the most points in 2015 and the 2nd most in 2016 to being really good in 2017, and thus the reason they are in the play-offs. The Saints did add a new defensive line coach, but the primary reasons for the success was the awesome play of DE Cameron Jordan, hitting big on draft picks CB Marshon Lattimore (Rd #1), Safety Marcus Williams (Rd # 2), and getting lucky… Read more »

Naplesfan

Just as with every other opinion I have, I could easily be wrong. But my opinion is that I’m with Scott at disliking that the Glazers elected to sustain the mediocrity of the Buccaneers franchise for yet another dreary season of ineptitude. I subscribe to the opinion that NFL teams are simply reflections of their owners. Competent owners generally win a lot more games and have a lot more franchise success than do crappy owners. The Glazers are clearly crappy owners, and their sustained level of incompetence has doomed the Buccaneers to sustained incompetent performance. They are the Jimmy Haslams… Read more »

cgmaster27

The glazers have made some mistake Naples no doubt, but do you think gruden was worth that contract? I don’t. 10 years guaranteed is absolute insanity. Heck it wouldn’t surprise me if gruden was just using he Bucs to get a bigger deal. Rough cal on this one but I don’t blame the glazers in this particular instance. But like you said , they have made mistakes.

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Naplesfan

As much as I like Jon Gruden, he was not the only choice. Indeed, Scott himself wrote of Belichick’s two senior assistants being great candidates a month and a half ago. There are others too. Even Belichick himself might be in play. In any case, the baby Glazers committed the Original Sin of stupidly and insanely firing Jon Gruden in 2008 .. and that simply initialted the long assed string of sorry coaching and GM hires we’ve been stuck with ever since. Each hire has gotten progressively stupider and more pathetic. It all starts with good owners who attract and… Read more »

JustaBuc

Can you connect how the owners translate to… well… anything on the field? Afaik, the “good” owners just hire a coach and collect cash.

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Naplesfan

Good owners hire good GMs and head coaches. Bad owners fire good head coaches and GMs, and then turn around and replace them with bad head coaches and GMs .. that would be the baby Glazers. Bad coaches and bad GMs deliver bad results. It all starts at the top and, just like bullshit, rolls downhill from there. The good or the bad.

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Bucsfan1983

No staff changes is crazy! So no one is held accountable. Should have brought back Gruden.

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JustaBuc

Lol no, not at that price. Best of luck to the Raiders.

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Bucsfan1983

I wouldn’t have hesitated at the price one bit. The Glazers are billionaires. The Bucs haven’t made the playoffs in a decade and have gone thru 4 coaches since firing Gruden. The price doesn’t scare me one bit.

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scubog

Funny how folks want to spend someone’s money. It would sure be a concern to me. It’s a one way deal. Gruden’s compensation is guaranteed, but he can’t guarantee his own performance and a Superbowl win at some point of his 10 years or even a winning season. I like Jon Gruden. My concern, like it is with some players who “cash in”, would be if Chucky, who already has a big ego, gets even more full of himself. Got to get a championship within three years or I suspect Mark Davis will wish the deal had some sort of… Read more »

Wadeless

Is your last name Glazer? Seriously, you are such an apologist for this sad ownership team…

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jrwilson85

I hope the Bucs take Quenton Nelson from Notre Dame if he’s available at 7. Nelson is seen as a once in a decade type of player and the Bucs O-line needs to toughen up. The Bucs need help on defense too, but I just don’t think you can pass on a player like Nelson.

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JustaBuc

I’d like to note how tired and cliche the term “once in a lifetime/decade/generation” has become as it’s thrown around every year. But yeah, Nelson would be a fine pick either way 😛

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Charlie C

Instead of “POUND THE ROCK” let’s go with this theme for 2018: “FIX THE TRENCHES!!!” FIX THE TRENCHES !!! FIX THE TRENCHES !!!!

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DCGoth

I enjoyed reading your breakdown as to why there likely won’t be any coaching changes in 2018. Particularly, I could see Koetter being concerned about Del Rio.

I really don’t see a path for Koetter returning for a fourth year. I also hope Licht sails off on that same boat.

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surferdudes

There’s more to the Gruden signing then winning championships. For the Raiders at this time playing out the next two seasons waiting to be moved, having Gruden keeps them relevant. They needed Jonny Vegas. Gruden will win games with that offensive talent, but they ‘ll be happier having his star power to carry over into opening night in Vegas. Just as well our native son went for the bright lights. We didn’t need Gruden coming back this time, but we might need to find the next Gruden in the future. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please… Read more »

jackpc

Mercy! Bucs are still paying on contracts of two ex-coaches. 0 years at $10M/per is outrageous for someone not named Nick Saban.

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Garv

I feel it makes total sense for Coach Koetter to keep the coordinators and assistants he wants. It’s up to him and not message board posters and “experts.” It’s Dirk’s job on the line! Apparently I’ll just have to keep posting it from time to time until it sinks in. It is almost impossible to win football games in the NFL without a pass rush or running game! The Buccaneers CLEARLY gambled on Doug Martin, Sweezy, Noah Spence and Jack Smith and LOST! Without the horses you can’t pull the wagon. It’s all about the offseason now, about Jason Licht… Read more »

jackpc

Bucs are drafting 7th but I would be OK in moving up to draft an impact player

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Bucsfan1983

I think if taking an OL in the first three rounds, it should be a LT. We need to move Donovan Smith from there, whether thru draft or FA. That is bigger for me in terms of fixing O lIne. Move him to LG or RT to replace Dotson.

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jackpc

You are right about Bucs’ defensive failings. There is no excuse. I respect Mike Smith’s lengthy coaching experience – and past friendship with Dirk – but they must know that Mike and his staff did not get the job done and not repeat the same mistakes. What ever happened to the idea discussed last off-season of a modified 3-4 defense to better match with opponent’s offense? We now have an ideal potential speedy linebacker corp (present crew + Noah Spence who is more of an ideal stand up rusher) and should use their speed and ability to tackle to run… Read more »