We’re going to try a new feature on PewterReport.com over the summer called SR’s Fab 5 Reaction, which will be published every Tuesday morning following the most recent SR’s Fab 5 column from the previous Friday. My SR’s Fab 5 column is the most popular and widely read column on PewterReport.com and always gets a lot of excellent commentary from its readers.

I do read all the comments, but my role as publisher often prevents me from thanking each Bucs fan for taking the time to comment, or to offer my thoughts on their comments. Sometimes there is a point in my SR’s Fab 5 that I want or need to clarify or emphasize, or a question is prompted from a reader that should be answered.

So every Tuesday I’ll grab a few interesting comments from the latest SR’s Fab 5 and offer up my reaction to them in SR’s Fab 5 Reaction for some fun and further insight into the points I was making on Friday.

The comments listed below have been edited only for clarity and grammar – not content. If someone has an issue with something I write, there won’t be any censorship here and I’ll address it head on.

Let’s have some fun and see where this goes this summer, shall we? I’m interested to see what type of reaction there is to SR’s Fab 5 Reaction. Alas, I won’t be reacting to comments from SR’s Fab 5 Reaction, though as I’ve got to spend my time working on a brand new SR’s Fab 5 for Friday.

This week’s SR’s Fab 5 topics include: Hey Bucs, It’s Time To Win; More Disrespect Than Respect For Bucs From National Media; Sapp Loves Fellow Country Boy Winston; Trouble Is Brewing For ASJ.

Ex-Bucs DT Warren Sapp - Photo by: Getty Images
Ex-Bucs DT Warren Sapp – Photo by: Getty Images

SR, thanks for calling out the Bucs. [Warren] Sapp and [Derrick] Brooks called out the Bucco Bruce “Yucs” and began to turn around this team. Someone needs to call out the players on this current roster and make them understand the influence they have over the psyche of this community.

We love the Lightning and cheer for the Rays, but nothing lights a fire in the Tampa Bay area more than when the Bucs are winning. Hopefully [Jameis] Winston, who is developing into their vocal leader, will put this team on his shoulders and call them out. His work ethic and enthusiasm are already having an effect. Next, [Gerald] McCoy needs to get pissed off enough to rally the defense to play up to its potential. – JayBuc52

Thank you, JayBuc52. I definitely caught “Lightning Fever” this year after I went to a few games. What a fun team to watch. The Lightning is full of young stars, and the atmosphere inside Amalie Arena is pure electricity – pun intended.

However, in seeing all of the buzz and hype about the Lightning around the Tampa Bay area over the past two years with their deep playoff runs it brought back memories of this town in an absolute frenzy in 1997 after a 5-0 start concluded with a trip to the playoffs and a postseason victory against Detroit. I remember the Bucs car flags on vehicles going up and down Dale Mabry any day of the week and everybody was in Buccaneer red during football season. Florida is a football state and Tampa is a football town. When the Bucs get back to their winning ways, “Buc Fever” will eclipse any level of buzz the Lightning has created.

I have no doubt that Jameis Winston will be the right quarterback to lead the team to the playoffs in relatively short order based upon what he was able to do in two years at Florida State. That’s why PewterReport.com (and Bucs G.M. Jason Licht, of course) wanted Winston rather than Marcus Mariota as the No. 1 pick in 2015. Winston has the “It” factor.

Ex-Bucs QB Trent Dilfer - Photo by: Getty Images
Ex-Bucs QB Trent Dilfer – Photo by: Getty Images

Scott, I brought my son to a few games and had him meet players outside the stadium walking to the player parking lot, etc. He had Bucs jerseys, pennants and a bed cover for his bed. After so many losing seasons and watching the likes of Byron Leftwich, Josh McCown and Josh Freeman lead this team to subpar seasons, he jumped ship to the Cardinals, his hometown team anyways, so I can’t be too mad! Ha!

I was at the Niners game [in 1997] as well, and remember thinking great I get to see the Niners take it to the Bucs again in person after years of watching Joe Montana shred our defense. I thought it would be the same for Steve Young and the Niners. It was a great day and I went down to the exit for the players after the game and Derrick Brooks was standing there literally talking with another fan and my friend said, “Do you want to try and get a picture with him?”

I said, “No, it’s okay. I’m waiting for [Trent] Dilfer.” Yeah, that bothers me still today. That’s like passing up on Lavonte David for a chance at Luke Stocker. Okay, Dilfer wasn’t that bad, but bad enough. – jongruden

That’s a funny story about Trent Dilfer, jongruden. Thanks for sharing. During my two decades covering the Buccaneers I’ve always gravitated towards some of the semi-stars or backup players when it comes to my reporting.

No disrespect to the likes of Mike Alstott or Derrick Brooks, but they would often tow the company line and weren’t the most lively quotes. I would often get more enlightening quotes and sheer honesty from the likes of Tyoka Jackson, Frank Middleton, Ellis Wyms and Brad Culpepper than I would from Warrick Dunn and even John Lynch. Warren Sapp was the star player exception, as he would always deliver something juicy and insightful.

The Bucs vs. 49ers season opener was one of the most amazing NFL games I’ve ever witnessed. Tampa Bay destroyed San Francisco and Warren Sapp and the Bucs defense was a demolition crew that day. The funny thing is that a million Tampa Bay fans say they were at that historic game, yet it wasn’t even sold out and it wasn’t on TV due to the blackout rules. Glad you got to see it.

Bucs FB Mike Alstott - Photo by: Getty Images
Bucs FB Mike Alstott – Photo by: Getty Images

Thanks PR, for that snippet of the Bucs vs. Fins game. I forgot how fun WD-40 (Warrick Dunn and Mike Alstott) was to watch. Maybe [Danny] Vitale and [Doug] Martin can get some of that old magic back.

Watching [Trent] Dilfer play you would have thought that he was the greatest. Good to go back in time for a while. Hope ASJ gets his [stuff] together. Time to grow up, kid. – chetthevette

It was fun to watch some of the old Bucs clips again, wasn’t it? Talking with Warren Sapp was even more fun, and I have some more Sapp glory days stories coming in this week’s SR’s Fab 5, too. He and I had a rocky relationship during our time together in Tampa Bay from 1995-2003, but we’re good now, and I have nothing but respect for Sapp as a football player.

I always told people, “You can have him Monday through Saturday, but I’ll take him every Sunday.” Sapp was the Bucs’ fire-starter. He viewed every practice as a game that was just as important as a Sunday. He ruled the Bucs with an iron fist, especially after Hardy Nickerson left following the 1999 season.

And yes, Trent Dilfer had a great game against Miami in that 1997 victory. Remember, for all his faults, Dilfer went to the Pro Bowl after the historic 1997 season and became the first Tampa Bay quarterback to do so. It will be interesting to see how Danny Vitale is used this year – and how much. Keep an eye on Charles Sims, though. That kid is just scratching the surface and is poised to have a big year.

Ravens & Logan Reynolds - Photo by: Scott Reynolds/PR
Ravens & Logan Reynolds – Photo by: Scott Reynolds/PR

I understand wanting to cheer for a winner, but I don’t really understand not cheering for your hometown team. I imagine for young kids, their favorite team will change, especially if they remain in the area they grew up.

I am from Canada and started to get into the NFL around 2001. Obviously, the Buccaneers were great and I started rooting for them. But once I did that, I stayed with them. If I were from Minnesota, I would be a Viking fan.

It’s outrageous that people from Florida don’t cheer for the Bucs or Jags. I know it happens all over the place, but if your home team sucks when you are 10 so you choose someone else, and then home town team wins it all when you are 40 you have to feel like a bit of an [expletive] or you have no choice but to be a bandwagon jumper. – SaskBucs

As I admitted in my SR’s Fab 5 column, my 11-year old son, Logan, is a Baltimore Ravens fan living in Wesley Chapel just north of Tampa. I got plenty of raised eyebrows from some of my friends, who said, “How could your son be a Ravens fan when you cover the Buccaneers?” Then I pointed out that their sons, who lived in nearby Land O’Lakes, liked the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos, respectively, and they understood.

Kids like winners, and if the hometown team happens to be a winner, that’s the team they’ll gravitate towards. I was born in Alexandria, Virginia, so I grew up a Redskins fan for the first six years of my life, watching John Riggins, Dexter Manley, Dave Butz, Joe Theismann, Art Monk and the Hogs.

Then I moved to Kansas City at age 7 and didn’t switch my allegiance to the Chiefs, who were awful when I arrived in 1980, until they started winning. Then I was a die-hard Chiefs fan, who loved Derrick Thomas, Christian Okoye, Deron Cherry, Albert Lewis and Neil Smith, so I get it.

As I stated in my column, the good news is that Logan’s “NFC team” is the Buccaneers, and he does have a Lavonte David jersey and does attend at least one Bucs game each year. However, former Bucs defensive line coach Joe Cullen is now the Ravens defensive line coach, and knowing about Logan’s allegiance to the Ravens, he invited him to come up to Baltimore for a game this year. Oh, boy. The Bucs better starting winning soon or my chances of converting him don’t look too good! Damn you, Coach Joe!

Jameis Winston impressed some of the Houston Texans – Photo: Getty Images
Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Well, as other posters had stated, winning changes everything. The other thing these Bucs teams had in common with losing in the NFL was no QB. We have that now and we can only go up from here.

I love the interviews with [Warren] Sapp, and as I’ve said he’s a [expletive] off of the filed, but on the field, he was exactly what this franchise needed. Him talking to Derrick [Brooks] about the losses we had brought up a good point to for me. Picking players from winning colleges matters. These guys get used to winning and will not except losing.

As for Stephen A. Smith, he’s a racist asshole anyways, so who cares what he thinks? If he thinks Lovie was fired because of his skin, he clearly didn’t see how terrible of a coach he really was.

The disrespect in the media was at an all-time worst last year when [Todd] Gurley, how had one 100-yard game in his final eight, managed to beat Jameis [Winston] out for Rookie of the Year honors. What a joke. Jameis and Sapp could easily get along, as their personalities on the field are very similar. Luckily, Jameis is a much better person off of it.

As for Austin Seferian-Jenkins, I have no idea why he wouldn’t know the offense. It’s pretty much exactly the same as last year. And I saw some of his tweets after [he left the practice field], what a tool. – cgmaster27

You bring up a great point in that the Bucs drafted great players from winning organizations back in the day with the likes of Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks and they didn’t stand for losing. Drafting players like Jameis Winston and Roberto Aguayo from Florida State, Mike Evans from Texas A&M, Noah Spence, who started his career at Ohio State, Adam Humphries from Clemson and others certainly helps create a culture of winning, as does getting Super Bowl champion free agents like Clinton McDonald and Robert Ayers.

As for Stephen A. Smith, I think it’s sad and misguided that he looks at almost everything through the prism of race. His commentary about Lovie Smith getting the shaft in Tampa Bay essentially because he’s an African-American was ridiculous. His racially-tinged claims were beyond foolish when I brought up the fact that the majority of the coaches the Glazers have hired have been black and that the Bucs have hired more African-American coaches than any other NFL franchise. Stephen A. Smith certainly has no credibility with me.

I wholeheartedly agree with your comments about Todd Gurley getting selected over Jameis Winston as the NFL Rookie of the Year. Winston was robbed. More disrespect for the Buccaneers. Gurley faded down the stretch statistically and barely topped 1,106 yards rushing, while Winston became just the third rookie QB in NFL history to eclipse 4,000 yards.

As I pointed out in my SR’s Fab 5 column, due to the depth at the tight end position on Tampa Bay’s roster, Austin Seferian-Jenkins had better grow up quickly, get in line and get in his playbook. Bucs general manager Jason Licht quickly shed three high-priced free agent mistakes in quarterback Josh McCown, left tackle Anthony Collins and defensive end Michael Johnson after just one year. He’s not afraid to do the same thing with a second-round pick if ASJ doesn’t get with the program ASAP.

And kudos to head coach Dirk Koetter for setting the tone this offseason. Perfection is what is expected at One Buccaneer Place. Nothing else will be tolerated. Way to send a message to his team.

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

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: sr@pewterreport.com
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Buc on the Move
Buc on the Move
4 years ago

Not sure how I feel about all the Tampa kids growing up as fans of other teams. I get it when older transplants stick with their original allegiances, but I feel like all of these bandwagon kiddos of the millennial generation are a product of the times. In previous generations, ethical principals like loyalty and integrity were stressed and were important. Now, everything is centered on instant gratification, and I believe that trickles down even to bandwagon fans of far off teams. When my family moved from Pinellas county to SE Texas in the late ’70s, the Luv ya Blue… Read more »

Reply to  Buc on the Move
4 years ago

Buc on the Move, I think you make some good points but a lot kids are influenced by there parents and friends. I know growing up in Pinellas county, there were few buc fans. Majority of the football fans were from other states that had relocated to Tampa. I remember going to sports bars in the late 80s early 90s and the majority of the bar would be other teams fans. I moved to KC back in 2001. I am still a loyal Buc fan to this day. My son was born in 2004. He really didn’t get into football… Read more »

4 years ago

Scott, what a great idea. I always enjoy the Fab5 and there are some excellent comments offered by readers. Your responses add more depth to the Fab5!

4 years ago

On ASJ – it’s sad fact of the NotForLong League and indeed perhaps a sad reality of aging generally, but ASJ is 23 years old and like some 23 year olds, he seems to be “growing up” slower than other 23 year olds…it does happen sometimes and he is, again sadly, running out of town to do that growing up.

Here’s hoping that his maturity cycle reaches it’s magic crescendo in this his 24th year…

Reply to  EastEndBoy
4 years ago

Update: I appreciated hearing his apology today, and his re-commitment to Koetter, and to doing a better job of what is expe