FAB 5. SR’s Buc Shots

• Several Bucs fans and draftniks were fans of “The Human Joystick” Tarik Cohen, a short, shifty running back out of North Carolina A&T last year. Cohen was selected in the fourth round by Chicago and has totaled 1,118 yards during his rookie season with the Bears. As a change-of-pace back, Cohen has 262 rushing yards and two touchdowns, 267 yards receiving and one TD on 35 receptions, 155 yards on punt returns and 413 yards on kick returns. The 5-foot-8, 181-pound rookie even threw a 21-yard touchdown pass.

This year’s version of Cohen may be Grambling State’s 5-foot-8, 205-pound runner and return man, Martez Carter. The senior halfback, who has accepted an invitation to the NFLPA Collegiate All-Star Game, has rushed for 2,574 yards on 382 carries (6.7 avg.) and scored 28 touchdowns. He’s posted at least 800 yards in each of the last three seasons.

Like Cohen, Carter can be a factor as a third-down back in the passing game as he has amassed 906 yards and seven touchdowns on 70 catches and an impressive 12.9 yards per catch average. Carter also has averaged 9.92 yards per punt return and averaged 22.8 yards per kick return with four returns for touchdowns.

Carter has great contact balance, a fearless running style, very good speed, and surprising power for a smaller back. He’s had nine offensive plays of 40 yards or more this year. Check out his highlights – Carter is fun to watch.

• He took a lot of heat from a lot of overenthusiastic Bucs fans this spring for writing this column, but give Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones some credit for writing a cautionary tale about the 2017 Buccaneers. In a column called “Tapping The Brakes On The Bucs’ Bandwagon,” Jones looks like a soothsayer or a prophet for suggesting that 2017 wouldn’t be a playoff year in Tampa Bay.

With the disappointing Bucs saddled with a 4-7 record heading to Green Bay, Jones doesn’t necessarily want to be vindicated because I think he wants to see the team do well as a commentator on all things Tampa Bay sports, but I’ll vindicate him anyway. Sometimes fans mistake a good writer’s objectivity for negativity just because it’s something they don’t want to hear, and I think that was the case here.

Jones is a friend, a colleague and one of my favorite columnists. I don’t always agree with his takes, but I know he’s a straight shooter and writes what he believes. I certainly respect him for it – even when it isn’t necessarily good news.

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• Thank you, Pewter Nation, for helping us surpass 28,200 Twitter followers for our @PewterReport Twitter account. For those of you who don’t follow us on Twitter, please do so and help us reach 29,000. 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.

• I spent the last two weeks working some of my league sources to get their gauge on the Buccaneers from the outside looking in. The universal conclusion is that the talent is not bad in Tampa Bay. The offensive line isn’t functioning properly, especially in the run game, but there is some talent there. The defensive line definitely needs help with an edge rusher or two, the running back stable needs some fresh legs and some juice, and the cornerback position needs an upgrade, but the Bucs are definitely underachieving.

Shaky kicking early in the season, the lack of a pass rush, poor game management, bad defensive game plans are the general consensus of what’s wrong with the Buccaneers, and most of the sources I spoke with pointed the finger at coaching. Unless Tampa Bay wins five straight games to finish 9-7, I don’t see any way this staff stays employed.

Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter - Photo by: Getty Images
Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter – Photo by: Getty Images

Despite a plethora of talent on offense, Dirk Koetter can’t figure out third downs and the Bucs don’t score enough points – with or without Jameis Winston. The game-planning on defense has just been terrible this season. Defensive coordinator Mike Smith should be fired for manning up a green cornerback like Ryan Smith so much on Julio Jones. He used to coach Jones in Atlanta and has coached against him three times in Tampa Bay and should know better.

If my instincts are correct and Jon Gruden comes back to the Buccaneers, the three assistant coaches I believe are worth keeping are linebackers coach Mark Duffner, tight ends coach Ben Steele and wide receivers coach Todd Monken, although I think Monken could wind up leaving Tampa Bay for a college coaching gig sooner rather than later. I’d also give some thought to keeping cornerbacks coach Jon Hoke and safety coach Brett Maxie. I haven’t been impressed with anyone else.

• I wanted to pay a quick tribute to veteran tight end Luke Stocker as this SR’s Fab 5 draws to a close. It was a bit of a surprise move because it came so late in the season, but the Bucs needed to see more of rookie tight end Antony Auclair and that came at the expense of the 29-year old Stocker, a seven-year veteran in Tampa Bay.

Stocker was often a widely criticized player by Bucs fans because he never became the receiving tight end he was at Tennessee where he broke some of Jason Witten’s records. Stocker was more of an Anthony Becht-type blocking tight end and they rarely get much credit. Where I’ll give credit to Stocker is for his time and insight. Stocker was always a “go-to guy” when I needed a quote or some clarification about what I saw on the field. He was always quick to praise his teammates and took great pride in helping develop young tight ends like Cameron Brate, O.J. Howard, Alan Cross and Auclair.

Former Bucs TE Luke Stocker - Photo by: Getty Images
Former Bucs TE Luke Stocker – Photo by: Getty Images

Stocker has a burning desire to coach either in the NFL or college when his playing days are over, and with so many injuries over the past few years, his college career may be starting in the near future. A lot of Bucs players call him “Coach Stocker” because of his immense knowledge of the offense and how he would help any teammate in need.

There’s a reason why Stocker stuck around through four head coaches during his Tampa Bay tenure. They saw his value as a blocker and as a great teammate. Perhaps you didn’t see that on TV or from watching the Bucs from the stands, but Stocker did bring some real value to the Bucs over the year, and that deserves to be recognized. He’ll be missed at One Buccaneer Place, and on behalf of the PewterReport.com staff, I certainly wish Stocker well in his future endeavors and thank him for the time he spent talking football with us.

• I’ve had a reversal of thought when it comes to Tampa Bay playing quarterback Jameis Winston down the stretch. This team needs to see him on the field to gain more experience and improve. Winston is in his third season and next year will be a contract year unless the Bucs pick up his fifth-year option for 2019. This organization needs to know if he’s going to ascend as a quarterback or if he’s going to continue to be a streaky passer capable of making some tremendous plays or boneheaded mistakes.

Waiting until next year only shrinks the amount of film the team will have to draw some conclusions about Winston’s progress. This team needs to know if he’s a better version of Josh Freeman or a player that deserves a second contract and fulfills his potential of being a franchise quarterback.

Those wanting Winston to stay out of harm’s way for the sake of his future have a valid point. Playing him in front of a shaky line has its risks and nobody wants to see him turn into Andrew Luck with a severely damaged shoulder. But there is also a risk of not playing the 24-year old passer and stunting his growth. That has as much risk to the future of the franchise as anything. If Winston doesn’t develop into the player the Bucs thought he was when they made him the first overall pick in 2015, that will hinder Tampa Bay’s chances of making the playoffs in 2018 and beyond.

• The holiday shopping season is upon us and if you want to get your dad, your son, your brother, your uncle – or yourself – a great gift or two, look no further than Just Grillin in Carrollwood. Just Grillin is like Toys ‘R Us for grown men (and women) who like to grill. With hundreds of spices, sauces, rubs and brines, along with a wide selection of Weber Grills, Big Green Eggs and Yoder Smokers, and plenty of grilling tools and accessories, Just Grillin is your one-stop shop for the holidays.

Just Grillin sponsors the Tailgate Spice of the Week in every SR’s Fab 5 column, and I highly recommend the Bourbon Barrel Sugar that is featured this week. The Bourbon Barrel Sugar, which I use in Old Fashioneds as well as on meat and chicken on the grill, in addition to the Bourbon Barrel Salt and Pepper make great stocking stuffers.

Whether it is for the gifts you’re looking for or things you’ll need to help you cook a fantastic Christmas dinner this year, shop online at JustGrillinFlorida.com or in-store at 11743 N. Dale Mabry Highway in Carrollwood, just 15 minutes north of Raymond James Stadium.

 

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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]

30 COMMENTS

  1. Uncle stan this whole first page

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  2. Interesting how you mention Bill Clinton and his half dozen accusers but not the 13 women who have accused our current president.

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    • Yes, I was going to say the same thing, Skipper… But, that’s how Scott rolls.

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  3. I believe if Schiano walked in on that shower scene he would’ve put a stop to it. No way Schiano the man, father turns his back on something like that. I didn’t like him as a coach, like I don’t like Koetter as a coach. However I don’t know any of these players, or coaches personally so when I post a comment it’s strickly from what I see on the field. I hope all fans feel the same way, and hate this guy, or that guy should never be part of the conversation.

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    • Surferdudes; exactly. I know I have no hate in my thoughts regardless how it comes out in my poor grammar reply’s; I believe many of us are this way.

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  4. Truth. What Tennessee and it’s “fans” did to Greg Schiano is as disgusting and shameful a smear I’ve seen in some time. Say what you will about Greg, and I happen to believe he’s a good man who deserved another year when he was fired for the awful St. Lovie, but no man should have been subjected to this kind of public personal attack on his character.

    Frankly it will be my pleasure to see Tennessee lose for years to come for this disgraceful outrage. F’ em.

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  5. Scott good Article. I don’t know if we can afford to pick up a RB until the 3rd round as we need OL and DL help too; probably 2 DE’s. I’ll keep preaching the need to trade a player or two where we have depth in order to pick up more draft picks. We have done a poor job in Free Agency and that hasn’t help either, but Coaching is where the main problem lies. I think Licht gets a one year pass. I still can’t get around the thought the Glazer’s would have anything to do with Gruden. I hope they try another up and coming NFL DC or OC. Just my thoughts.

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  6. I love Rashaad Penny. If we take a DE in the 1st round, do you think he will be available in the 2nd round? With all those great stats it seems like he could go in the 1st round. If he falls to us in the 2nd round i would take him in a heartbeat. We could really use a runner like him and hes great at returning punts/kickoffs. Kerryon Johnson looks good too. Whatever happens in the draft we need to take a dynamic all around RB in the 2nd or 3rd.

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  7. Enjoyed the RB analysis. Doug’s history and other than Barber we don’t have a future. I agree with Horse we can’t lose focus on Edge Rusher an OL, but if a decent back falls or last till RD3 we need to go after him. Things still a little unsettled about where we will pick. I believe we need to win often and well for our last five games and evaluate everyone on the roster.

    Call me old school but I don’t want Gruden. The Buc’s don’t have a Tony Dungy built team that he can win with. If he wants back into coaching I am sure owners like Jerry Jones will be interested. While I believe Koetter and Smith need to improve I can’t see another 2 yr Turnover. No one will want to have anything to do with Glazers and The Buc’s. I say build on what we have, add a few more pieces and be patient.

    Every play is designed to score with, players who drop passes, miss assignments, and draw penalties cause questions regarding play calling. QB’s can audible out of plays if the defense shifts, so play calling is not totally on Koetter. I have no problem with him assigning it to another coach, but I am tired of everyone blaming him for player mistakes.

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  8. Okay, I’ll bite on the Schiano is a good man deal. One thing I’ve learned as a man is that the best thing someone can say about you is that you’re a good man. That means a lot. With that being said, just because you’re a good man, doesn’t make you a good coach, or head coach for that matter. I’ve said it many times, I love Monte Kiffin because he knew his role, he knew what he was good at, and he did it at the top of the game for 10 years right here.

    Can’t say I was thrilled with Fab 1 but I guess I can see how you had to get that off your chest…

    The best was the piece on my man Stocker. Loved that kid and I hope he gets to where he wants to be after playing.

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  9. Kind of off-topic, but I’m still trying to figure out why you use the words “serviced by” and not “sponsored by” when referring to DGD. I assume that you are referring to the 33rd definition of “service” which is “to supply with aid, information, or other incidental services”. Anyhow, even with that, I always enjoy reading them.

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  10. No coments on Schiano.
    When it comes to the draft the Bucs can not fill all the holes on the Defensive line and Offensive line in one draft.

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  11. Showing your politics again, Scott:

    “his accusers were slut-shamed by the media that was sympathetic to Clinton’s politics”

    That is absolute BS. Those women were not slut shamed by the media as I recall. That’s the thing with you right wingers — you’re always making up #FakeNews about how the “liberal” media makes excuses for democrats or liberals that they actually don’t. If anything, it’s the right wing outlets that are the most shameful in their acceptance of bad behavior (sexual or other criminal) based on politics — FuxNuze had Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly… They’ve ignored Don Dump’s extensive sexual misbehavior and I’m betting they’ve gone pretty easy on Roy Moore (I can’t stand to watch to find out)… You right wingers are living in a fantasy world. Also, why was this inserted into the story anyway, AS ITS OWN PARAGRAPH? No bias here, right? No spin zone? Hahahaha, right… And don’t mistake anything I’m saying as dismissing Clinton’s escapades as president… But, ya know, he was president 17 years ago… And we now have a serial predator as president and it goes uncommented by right wingers like you. Seriously. Blinders on. Bet FuxNuze doesn’t mention Trump’s many accusers (they’re all lying, right?)… Keep spewing nonsense.

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    • I do find it funny that Scott throws his politics around, some intentionally, some unintentionally, then gets outraged when Gerald McCoy or Mike Evans expresses any political thought.

      So it’s cool if you let your right-wing politics show on a Bucs site but if an NFL player like Mike Evans or Gerald McCoy does the same, and particularly one you don’t agree with you find ways to express your “ALL CAPS” opinion.

      It’s the height of hypocrisy Scott, but that’s your right. Just like it’s Gerald’s and Mike’s right to say and stand for things you don’t agree with as their views are no more relevant to playing football for an NFL team as your views covering it for an NFL covering publisher 😉

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      • I’d love to see Scott respond, but now that he’s been called out as a Hannity-level propagandist, he’ll probably blame Obama.

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        • It’s unfortunate for Scott that he’s espoused his beliefs in enough ways that he’s pigeonholed into this MAGA cap wearing, FN viewer, but he hasn’t left much to the imagination.

          Much like his favorite president who has seen 4 subordinates face charges or plead guilty due to a Russian investigation run by and appointed by Republicans, Scott has made his bed and now he can lie in it 😀

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  12. ON football matters… If Schiano learned (1) how to deal with media more cooperatively, and (2) how to not be a constant hardass, I think he’ll end up being a very successful HC with a top D1 program. Could end up back in the pros, and I think he will succeed. He was dealt a bad hand here and then made some of his own mistakes… But remember how great his run defense was in year 1 with the Bucs… There were some positives going on that got washed out with some of the Freeman distractions, in addition to MRSA, and some questionable draft picks by Dominik. Would’ve been better to keep him around another year than to hire Lovie Smith. but we get Licht out of that change and he’s a better GM than Dominik… Anyway, hindsight…

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    • Couldn’t agree more. I wasn’t a big fan of Schianos offense but our defense was hard hitting and smart. Problem was they were always on the field and got gassed by an inconsistent offense that hated each other in the locker room. Remember that Carolina game where we held them to 12 total rushing yards as a team?? Carolinas gonna run ALL OVER this team this year, just watch.

      Under Schiano, we were tough. We hit you in the mouth. I didn’t like the Goldson pick up, but for Christsake the man talked REVIS into coming here. The right kind of players bought into Schiano. But he had a team full of brats.

      But the past is the past. Looking ahead, I really hate Koetter at this point because he makes so many dumb fuck coaching decisions but I think he needs a full year as just a head coach. Being an offensive coordinator was his “thing” but he needs to grow and take the next step, just as he’s asking his players to do. I think he’d be a good HC. You could see the players actually liked him and trusted him during that won streak last year. But he tainted that trust by trying to do too much. He can win it back by stepping back and letting the assistants do their jobs.

      I also think we should keep Licht. Come on Glazers, thus past offseason was the best hype and feeling we’ve had for Tampa in a long time. Even Raheem Morris’ 10-6 “youngry” team didn’t win over the national media like we did last year. We were darlings. It’s time to trust the guys that put you in the spot, and get rid of the ones who are actively destroying it (Mike Smith, Jay Hayes, whoever the hell our defensive backs coach is)

      Clean house on the defense and bring in someone aggresive. Mike Smith talked all offseason about multiple looks. Apparently he only meant multiple by switching between cover 4 and cover 2. He only started cover 1 and 3-3-5 once the fans started calling out plays from the sidelines lol.

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  13. Schiano is a proven a-hole and scumbag to many people over his football career. Fact.
    Yet Scott wholly presumes his innocence from testimony based on a night of sharing: a family dinner, some football tape, good ole boy values, and fear of the same the god.
    The times we live in.

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  14. Say what you want about Schiano, but he’s the only coach that knew how to get the most out of Lavonte David’s talent!

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  15. Scott after all the political crap you’ve stirred up over the years on a website that’s supposed to be about football, to bring it up at all yet again I have lost all respect for you.

    As many times you’ve angered your customers pushing your politics on them, were you my employee I’d fire you for it. Post your political bull cap on your Facebook page and keep your political opinions off our damn Bucs site.

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    • Ironically Scott has the toughest time when football players express their own thoughts (as they happen to diverge from his own despite being no more an appropriate a setting than Scott using this platform).

      But I have yet to read a post yet that hasn’t implicated Scott’s politics as they happen to be, Fox-&-Friends-Right-Wing-BS. It is what it is, I’d love to talk politics with Scott someday. I just don’t know how appropriate a Bucs board is for it though 😛

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  16. The Glazer’s gave us fans a raw deal when hired Schiano.

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  17. Good timing on featuring R.B.’s in this Fab 5. With the college championships this weekend you gave us a clue on who to watch for. I like college backs who split carries with other backs during their careers. Like Michel, and Chubb. I like the Penny kid because he faced lesser competition therefore I believe has less wear, and tear. I’d stay away from Johnson from Auburn. The kids shoulder is messed up. He shouldn’t have continued against Bama, and I don’t think he should even play this weekend, but will, and do further damage. As for our stable of backs, I would’ve moved on from Martin, Sims, Quiz before this season. I got hammered for stating such, a lot of Martin love out there, but in a R.B. loaded draft how good would Kamara look right about now? So Martin is washed up, why not cut him, and bring in some P.S. backs for try outs? Do we even have one on our own P.S.? If not, further proof Licht is not a good G.M..

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  18. I think complimentary duo RBs are better than a three down do it all back aka bellcow. Right now the Bucs need a slasher to add to Rodgers, Barber and Sims. Martin’s future is unknown at this point.

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  19. Are memories really that short…Greg SchiaNo a good coach? Have we forgotten:
    – “half time is for a taking a dump not making adjustments”
    – his ‘strategy’ (a term I use incredibly loosely) of throwing around time outs whenever he felt like have another conversation, leaving us constrained in time management game after game
    – whatever the heck he was doing with Freeman…I don’t care how big of a mess Freeman may or may not have been, SchiaNo ended it on the field that’s for sure – taking any chance of Dominik trading him for something off the table and leaving us with Glennon
    – his cadre of 27 assistants and whatever the heck they were supposed to be doing – what a waste.
    – you mentioned his draft input and then somehow totally excuse it…why?
    – his record…as Love said, “you are what your record says you are”…a bad coach!

    Come on man!

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  20. I feel like the RB question is being discussed backwards. Fixing the oline will suddenly make all our RBs look so much better when they’re not being hit in the backfield. I don’t think Martin has any lack of talent whatsoever or anything like that.

    Would have rather seen a column focused more on scouting Oline than RBs in that sense.

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  21. I have to agree with Matador Mark, keep your right wing leanings out of the sports section so I don’t have to spend time correcting you.
    As an earlier writer noted, you speak of the women who were “slut shamed” by Clinton’s staff, who, as almost everyone will rememberby a tight group of well funded right wing groups intent on destorying President Clinton.
    Yet you conveinently forget about the mass of women who accused your glorious leader, the traitorous racist Donald Trump, of sexually assaulting them.
    Not only that, but Trump actually admitted to it, but also peeping on young underage teenage girls during his beauty contests.
    What a big fat pig.
    I also found it the height of irony, the moralistic Ken Starr was eventually run out of Baylor for ignoring and trying to cover up the rapes of coeds on his campus by players on the football team.
    Now on to Schiano.
    I never believed Schiano ruined Freeman’s career because basically there was nothing in it for him but the unemployment line if he did.
    Freeman ruined Freeman’s career from what i heard from a couple of reliable sources in your industry by partying way to much. So much that the Bucs were so concerned about it they went out and drafted Glennon.
    I remember the Jets game where the Bucs were penalized twice for delay of game on the same series because the headset in the helmet was broken.
    Schiano, for some strange reason, was blamed for that whereas I blamed Freeman who also missed the team bus to the game that morning I believe.
    He must have been n one hell of a bender that Freeman couldn;t een call a QB sneak to keep from getting a penalty.
    As for wanting a RB that is just fine but like most people believe out here, where is he going to run to if the current OL stays in place.
    This is the smae logic you used two years ago when you were dancing around calling for the Bucs to draft Hargreaves.
    The game starts in the trenches.
    I don;t care if you have four Deion Sanders and Jim Brown in the backfield, it isn’t going to mean spit if the QB has all day to throw while drinking a cup of joe and defenders are hanging on to the RB when he gets the handoff.

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  22. I have to agree with Matador, Mark, please keep your uber right wing philosophy off the sports section so I don’t have to spend time setting the record straight.
    You speak of the women who were slut shamed by Clinton’s staff, but conveniently leave out they were all recruited ad funded

    by a tight group of well funded right wing groups intent on destorying President Clinton.
    Yet you conveinently forget about the mass of women who accused your glorious leader, the traitorous racist Donald Trump, of sexually assaulting them.
    Not only that, but Trump actually admitted to it, but also peeping on young underage teenage girls during his beauty contests.
    What a big fat pig.
    I also found it the height of irony, the moralistic Ken Starr was eventually run out of Baylor for ignoring and trying to cover up the rapes of coeds on his campus by players on the football team.
    Now on to Schiano.
    I never believed Schiano ruined Freeman’s career because basically there was nothing in it for him but the unemployment line if he did.
    Freeman ruined Freeman’s career from what i heard from a couple of reliable sources in your industry by partying way to much. So much that the Bucs were so concerned about it they went out and drafted Glennon.
    I remember the Jets game where the Bucs were penalized twice for delay of game on the same series because the headset in the helmet was broken.
    Schiano, for some strange reason, was blamed for that whereas I blamed Freeman who also missed the team bus to the game that morning I believe.
    He must have been n one hell of a bender that Freeman couldn;t een call a QB sneak to keep from getting a penalty.
    As for wanting a RB that is just fine but like most people believe out here, where is he going to run to if the current OL stays in place.
    This is the smae logic you used two years ago when you were dancing around calling for the Bucs to draft Hargreaves.
    The game starts in the trenches.
    I don;t care if you have four Deion Sanders and Jim Brown in the backfield, it isn’t going to mean spit if the QB has all day to throw while drinking a cup of joe and defenders are hanging on to the RB when he gets the handoff.

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  23. Sorry I missed this Fab 5! This is FREAKING HILARIOUS!!! Schianopoleon got a RAW DEAL??????

    I’m just waiting for Scott to start telling us what a rotten deal Clown Donald is getting from Robert Mueller and the 19 different women that have accused him of sexual assault. We shouldn’t have to wait too long. lol

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