SR’s Fab 5 is a collection of inside scoop, analysis and insight from yours truly, Pewter Report publisher and Bucs beat writer Scott Reynolds. Here are a few things that caught my attention this week at One Buc Place:
FAB 1. WINSTON VS. MARIOTA DEBATE ALREADY UNDERWAY IN TAMPA BAY
With the 2014 NFL season already past the halfway point and a slew of teams, including Tampa Bay, chasing a top 5 draft pick rather than the playoffs, 2015 NFL mock drafts have begun popping up around the Internet. Not surprisingly, most of the major ones having the Buccaneers selecting a quarterback in the first round.
If the foursome of Oakland, Jacksonville, Tampa Bay and the NY Jets hold serve and wind up atop the NFL Draft, that could help – or hurt – the Bucs’ chances of landing a player or two that they covet. Tampa Bay isn’t sold on either Mariota or Winston. Despite his gaudy numbers, some NFL teams wonder if Mariota is a product of Oregon’s spread offensive system.
He is not a take-charge, type A personality and is more laid back like Josh Freeman than fiery like Drew Brees. There are some low-key quarterbacks that have had success in the NFL like Eli Manning and Joe Flacco, but most teams want a player like Brees, Aaron Rodgers or Ben Roethlisberger leading their teams.
There is a lot to like about Mariota, but he is not as accurate as his numbers suggest, and despite his mobility he takes too many sacks because of his lack of pocket presence.
Winston is an absolute gamer and has rallied Florida State to wins in the BCS Championship Game last year, in addition to a host of other games during his redshirt sophomore season like North Carolina State, Notre Dame and Louisville. He has the “it” factor that could propel him to stardom in the NFL as it has in college where Winston has in the past 22 games.
Yet NFL scouts have been alarmed by the number of interceptions he’s thrown in his two years (21) with the Seminoles, in addition to the dumb, immature decisions he’s made off the field that caused a great deal of embarrassment to him and Florida State.
The biggest of which was a sexual assault accusation that was levied against Winston stemming from an alleged incident in 2012. Winston wasn’t charged, but he has a student conduct hearing at Florida State set for December 1 that could decide his football future in Tallahassee, although some have speculated that his lawyers will continue to attempt to push the dates back until after the season, when then Winston could leave school and avoid any of scrutiny that may come from the conduct hearing.
Despite the need for a franchise-type quarterback, the Buccaneers would love to have a shot at a pass-rushing defensive end like Nebraska’s Randy Gregory should the junior declare for the 2015 NFL Draft, but neither he nor USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams may be there if Tampa Bay doesn’t pick higher than third or fourth.
Here’s how some of the top four picks in the 2015 NFL Draft look according to several of the top mock drafts around the Internet:
SI.com (last week prior to Week 11 action)
Raiders – Nebraska DE Randy Gregory
Jets – Oregon QB Marcus Mariota
Jaguars – USC DL Leonard Williams
Buccaneers – Florida State QB Jameis Winston
The Big Lead
Raiders – USC DL Leonard Williams
Jaguars – Texas A&M OT Cedric Ogbuehi
Buccaneers – Florida State QB Jameis Winston
Jets – Oregon QB Marcus Mariota
Raiders – USC DL Leonard Williams
Jaguars – Nebraska DE Randy Gregory
Buccaneers – Florida State QB Jameis Winston
Jets – Oregon QB Marcus Mariota
Raiders – USC DL Leonard Williams
Jaguars – Nebraska DE Randy Gregory
Buccaneers – Oregon QB Marcus Mariota
Jets – Florida State QB Jameis Winston
Without a chance at the top two pass rushers if his scenario becomes reality next spring, the Bucs would be faced with the prospects of drafting Missouri’s Shane Ray, who surpassed Aldon Smith and Michael Sam’s single-season record of 11.5 sacks for the Tigers with 12 (and counting), if Tampa Bay is dead set on getting a speedy edge rusher. Otherwise, the Bucs may have to “settle” on a quarterback – either Winston or Mariota – and may not have their pick of QBs if the team is selecting fourth or later in the draft.
The Bucs are doing a lot of research and evaluation of both quarterbacks right now, but one has to think of the lagging ticket sales and lack of enthusiasm about the team from its fan base. When the Glazers took over the team in 1995, the Bucs began to draft a lot of local talent to drive interest in the team.
The 1995 draft featured Miami defensive tackle Warren Sapp and Florida State linebacker Derrick Brooks. Florida offensive tackle Jason Odom was drafted the next year, followed by Florida State running back Warrick Dunn and Florida wide receiver Reidel Anthony in 1997. The 1998 draft saw the additions of Florida receiver Jacquez Green and Florida State safety Shevin Smith. A year later, Florida State safety Dexter Jackson and fullback Lamarr Glenn were drafted by the Bucs, followed by middle linebacker Nate Webster in 2000 and Florida offensive tackle Kenyatta Walker in 2001.
Perhaps the Glazers will return to that formula and tab Winston to lead the Buccaneers franchise in 2015 – if his character improves and if he’s still on the board when Tampa Bay selects. That move would be cheered by some Bucs fans – likely Florida State alums and Winston followers – and jeered by others that have already become fans of Tampa Bay drafting Mariota.
This is a debate in the Buccaneers fan community that is starting now and won’t conclude for seven more months until the draft arrives.
FAB 2. SCHERFF MAY BE THE SAFEST PICK FOR BUCCANEERS
If the Buccaneers have a top five pick and the defensive end that they covet and the quarterback that they want isn’t available, don’t be surprised if Tampa Bay selects Iowa offensive tackle Brandon Scherff with its first-round pick. That pick may be downright unsexy to Bucs fans, but it would actually be a great selection.
If the Bucs aren’t sold on either Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston or Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota – or both – if the underclassmen declare for the 2015 NFL Draft, then Scherff may be the safest pick in the draft and fills several needs.
First and foremost, Tampa Bay’s offensive line isn’t very good, so adding a blue-chip left tackle candidate in Scherff makes sense. Drafting either Winston or Mariota doesn’t make much sense behind the current line, which has struggled in pass protection and in providing balance to an offense by producing holes for Tampa Bay’s running backs.
Secondly, the Bucs need more nasty players, and Scherff is regarded as the nastiest offensive lineman in the draft. Here is a clip of him pancaking a blitzing defender against Pittsburgh, and another one of him using one arm to drive block a Northwestern defender seven yards, followed by a pancake block at the line of scrimmage two plays later.
Scherff’s toughness is legendary on the field where he bullies defensive linemen and inspires his teammates. Scherff tore the meniscus in his knee against Ball State and stayed in the game and played through the pain. He had surgery three days after the game and was supposed to miss 2-3 weeks. Instead he returned to practice and played four days against Iowa State and hasn’t missed a game since.
Scherff’s toughness and brute strength is also legendary in the weight room where he hang-cleaned 410 pounds three times in the offseason.
“He’s the best we’ve ever had,” said Iowa strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle, comparing Scherff to the other linemen that have been in the Hawkeyes’ program.
Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz has built a solid program for nearly two decades centered on great offensive line play. Ferentz has put several great Iowa linemen into the NFL, including the likes of All-Pro guard Marshal Yanda, second-round pick Eric Steinbach and first-round draft picks like Robert Gallery and Bryan Bulaga.
“We’ve had a lot of outstanding linemen over the last 15 years,” Ferentz said. “And I think Brandon really embodies a lot of the best qualities of all those guys. Certainly he has some physical characteristics that are just highly unusual, quite frankly.”
Scherff was recruited as a 280-pound quarterback out of Denison High School in Iowa where he was also a fast-ball pitcher (mid-80s), a basketball star that averaged a double-double, a varsity letter-winning tennis standout as a freshman, and a state champion shot putter as a sophomore. Although his 6-foot-5, 321-pound frame passes the eyeball test, Scherff is much more athletic than he looks.
He has a vertical jump of 32 inches, which is great for an offensive lineman, and can clean and jerk 400 pounds over his head. According to a report on ESPN.com, Scherff ran a 1.58 in the first 10 yards of the 40-yard dash.
Compare that to former Auburn tackle Greg Robinson, who was the second overall pick last year, who ran a 1.68 and 4.92 in the 40-yard dash. Former Michigan star tackle Taylor Lewan ran a 1.64 in the 10-yard split and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.87. Scherff is expected to run as fast if not faster than Lewan did in Indianapolis next year.
As athletic as Scherff is, he’s a sound technician on the field. He is one of those safe, can’t-miss prospects in the 2015 NFL Draft. You know, the kind of player losing teams pass over because he may not fit an immediate, more pressing need. Whoever drafts Scherff will benefit because he is a player that has multiple Pro Bowls ahead of him due to his competitiveness, drive and effectiveness as a blocker.
Some NFL scouts compare him favorably to former Texas A&M star Jake Matthews, who was a first-round pick by Atlanta last spring. Other scouts believe he will be better at guard like Logan Mankins was after he transitioned from left tackle at Fresno State to left guard in New England.
Whether Scherff can play left or right tackle, or whether he is better suited inside at guard won’t matter to Tampa Bay. The Bucs need help at both guard and tackle. And if a player becomes a multiple Pro Bowler at any offensive or defensive position, it’s a good first-round pick whether it’s the fifth overall pick or the 25th.
When a team picks as high as the Buccaneers probably will next spring only four positions warrant a selection in the top 10 – a quarterback, a left tackle, a pass-rushing defensive end or a three-technique defensive tackle. Tampa Bay already has a Pro Bowl three-technique, so the other three positions are fair game in the first round.
The Bucs can’t afford any more misses in the draft. Misses, especially with first- and second-round picks, have crippled Tampa Bay’s roster over the past decade and it’s no wonder the team hasn’t made the playoffs since 2007.
Tampa Bay has only drafted three Pro Bowlers since 2000 – guard Davin Joseph, who is no longer on the team, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and running back Doug Martin. Yet it should be noted that linebacker Lavonte David, a second-rounder in 2012, was snubbed for the Pro Bowl last year, although he did make the All-Pro squad.
The Bucs desperately need to hit on their first-round draft picks with players like Scherff in the future to add more star power to the roster. After Tampa Bay lets defensive end Adrian Clayborn, the team’s first-round pick in 2011, and running back Doug Martin, a first-rounder in 2012, go next year, the Bucs will only have two first-round draft picks left from any draft – defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (2010) and wide receiver Mike Evans (2013). No wonder Tampa Bay is 1-8.
FAB 3. WRITING IS ON THE WALL FOR GOLDSON, KOENEN
Bucs free safety Dashon Goldson went from being a Pro Bowler and a prized free agent to a player that rotated with unheralded Bradley McDougald against Cleveland and Atlanta. Goldson has missed 26 snaps on defense over the past two games, and with an $8 million cap hit in 2015 the writing is on the wall that the Buccaneers will be parting ways with their overpriced safety.
If Tampa Bay can get the same level of play out of McDougald, an undrafted free agent out of Kansas two years ago, for about $7.25 million less – and that’s what the Bucs are examining – then that’s a big plus for the team’s salary cap next year.
“Well, we want to take a look at Bradley,” Bucs defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said. “He’s done some good things to warrant being on the field and taking a look at him and that’s really the only way to get it done. Dashon has done some good things for us and we think he will this Sunday and in games to come, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t take a look at Bradley and see what he’s capable of doing. So we’ll see how he progresses.”
The hard-hitting McDougald, who forced an interception with a big wallop on Cleveland tight end Gary Barnidge, has the range to play free safety and the physicality to play strong safety in the Tampa 2. The Bucs like his versatility.
“At this point he’s one of those guys that can be interchanged,” Frazier said. “He can play down low but he can also be flexed out and cover tight ends and there were a couple of occasions on Sunday where we actually matched him up with their core wide receivers and he handled himself well. So he’s got some flexibility, not just being a run stopper but having some man cover ability as well. In our league, with the way people spread you out, you need that. So he’s not a one-dimensional guy.”
Goldson, who has just two fumble recoveries, a forced fumble and an interception in 20 games in Tampa Bay over the past two years, will likely be released as a salary cap casualty in March. Because $3 million of Goldson’s $7.5 million base salary is guaranteed, the Bucs will save $4.5 million of cap room, in addition to another $500,000 in a roster bonus that he wouldn’t receive if he were to be released in March.
With the Buccaneers being approximately $18 million under the salary cap next year, the $5 million in cap room the team gains should it release Goldson pushes the available cap room at $23 million.
Tampa Bay can pare several other players – even some recently signed free agents – from the roster to clear more cap room to sign better players in 2015. Punter Michael Koenen has been a huge disappointment this season, and that prompted the team to sign punter Jacob Schum to the practice squad on Thursday.
Koenen is on the books for $3.25 million in base salary next year, which is way too much for the type of performance he’s given over the past two years. Cutting Koenen doesn’t result in any dead cap money, so the Bucs are now up to $26.25 million in cap space in this hypothetic exercise.
Tight end Brandon Myers has been replaced as the starter by rookie Austin Seferian-Jenkins, and carries a base salary of $2.25 million next season. That could come off the books with no dead cap money and push Tampa Bay’s available cap room to $28.5 million.
If the Bucs wanted to pursue another, cheaper center, Evan Dietrich-Smith’s release wouldn’t carry any dead cap charge and would free up $3.75 million. Now the Bucs are up to $32.25 million.
If the Bucs felt compelled to release cornerback Alterraun Verner, there would be no salary cap hit if he was released prior to the fifth day of the league year in March. Tampa Bay would save $4.25 million with Verner’s release. That would push the available cap room to $36.5 million.
Running back Doug Martin will enter the final year of his contract next year and his lack of production will see the Bucs release or trade him in the offseason. That will free up $1,315,572 in salary cap room and drive the available cap room to approximately $37.8 million.
Left tackle Anthony Collins has underperformed and only $3 million of his $6 million base salary in 2015 is guaranteed. The Bucs would take a $3 million charge in dead cap room if it cut him, but would have $3 million in base salary freed up – so it would be a wash.
The same thing applies to defensive end Michael Johnson. He has $9 million left in guaranteed money that would result in a dead cap charge, but the Bucs would save that much in base salary and the team would clear a roster spot if it wanted to part ways with the underachieving edge rusher, who has just two sacks this season.
A couple of veterans the team wants to keep – wide receiver Vincent Jackson, guard Logan Mankins and quarterback Josh McCown – will make a lot of money in base salary in 2015. The Bucs may want to approach those players and ask them to take pay cuts.
Jackson is scheduled to make $9,777,777 in each of the next two years, while Mankins is slated to make $6.25 million in 2015 and $6.75 million in 2016 and 2017. McCown has just one more year left on his deal and has a base salary of $4.25 million. Perhaps the Bucs could renegotiate some of these deals and free up another $3.5 million.
That would leave Tampa Bay with approximately $41.3 million in salary cap room to pursue players like defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who can void the final year of his deal and become a free agent, or a defensive end like Jerry Hughes. The Bucs made a big splash in free agency last year, but the way director of football administration Mike Greenberg and general manager Jason Licht structured most of those deals Tampa Bay can walk away from some of those mistakes without cap penalties.
The ability to essentially hit the “do-over” button in free agency means the team can try once again to hit more than it misses when it comes to signing players that can help Tampa Bay next year.
FAB 4. TEDFORD WON’T RETURN TO TAMPA BAY IN 2015
Buccaneers offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford, who is taking a leave of absence following a heart procedure during the preseason, won’t be returning to Tampa Bay. Not just in 2014, but also next year. Tedford is done with the Buccaneers and the team is done with him.
That might seem like big news, worthy of the lead mention in SR’s Fab 5. So why am I burying the lead in the fourth segment of this week’s column?
Because Tedford not returning to Tampa Bay isn’t really news, it’s simply a foregone conclusion that we all anticipated. Remember Lovie Smith’s press conference on September 24 when he was visibly agitated about answering questions regarding Tedford’s absence heading into Week 4 when the team anticipated his return by then?
“We’re going on as if Jeff isn’t coming back,” Smith said. “That’s why I won’t be giving updates or anything like that. This group is what we’re going with right now.
“There’s nothing more I can tell you about the situation. He can’t go, there’s no need for me to get into any more details and we’re going on like Jeff won’t with us for the rest of the year. Going into something medically that I don’t know a lot about just wouldn’t be beneficial to anybody.”
The reason why Tedford was placed on indefinite medical leave was because he didn’t feel like returning after he was cleared from his heart surgery. That’s about all I can disclose at this time due to HIPAA laws. Tedford has a right to privacy regarding his medical conditions, and I’m going to respect that right.
At the same time, the Bucs were expecting him to return by Week 4 and he chose not to for reasons the team thought he could ultimately manage, which deeply upset some inside the organization. Tedford most likely wouldn’t be welcomed back at One Buc Place because the organization feels like he left the team – and quarterbacks coach Marcus Arroyo – in the lurch.
For a team that has never truly had a franchise quarterback or a potent offense in the history of the Buccaneers, this is the second time in the last decade that Tampa Bay has had someone else run the plays of a departed offensive coordinator. Former Bucs quarterbacks coach Greg Olson was thrust into the role of play-caller when Tampa Bay fired offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski prior to the fourth preseason game in 2009.
Ironically, the Bucs started off that season 1-8 in Raheem Morris’ first year as head coach, and finished with a 3-13 record. As expected, the offense struggled mightily in 2009 as Tampa Bay scored 14 points or less in eight games. This year, the Bucs have scored 14 points or less in three games with seven contests left in the 2014 campaign, so there are some unfortunate similarities.
The real story isn’t the fact that Tedford won’t return. It’s the fact that Smith will need to find a new offensive coordinator in his second season as a head coach in Tampa Bay.
There have been a lot of reasons why the Bucs haven’t been successful this year. Tampa Bay whiffed in free agency with a lot of the new players that were signed in the offseason. It’s taken too long for the players to grasp the Tampa 2 defense. Special teams have been a disaster this year in every phase.
But the real culprit of Tampa Bay’s demise has been the offense, which was supposed to have been run by Tedford.
While Olson remained the Bucs’ play-caller in 2010 and used the offseason to implement his own scheme that led to a 10-6 record, Arroyo won’t be calling plays in 2015. Not in Tampa Bay anyways.
There will be a new offensive coordinator at One Buccaneer Place next year, and it’s doubtful that he will come from the college ranks. The last two offensive coordinators that came from college – Jagodzinski and Tedford – haven’t even made it to the regular season. That has shocked and embarrassed the organization twice. I don’t think the Glazers will sign off on a play-caller from the college ranks again.
Let the speculation on who will be coordinating Tampa Bay’s offense next season begin.
FAB 5. SR’s BUC SHOTS
• Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans is leading the team in receiving yardage (585), receiving touchdowns (five) and yards per catch (15), and is one catch away (39) from tying Vincent Jackson for the team lead in receptions (40). As great of a rookie season Evans is having – and he’s on pace to have 73 catches for 1,096 yards with nine touchdowns – he’s disappointed in one aspect of his game that takes a great deal of pride in. Run blocking.
“In the run game I’m missing more blocks than I usually do and I can make more plays,” Evans said. “When the ball comes my way I could make more plays.”
In pre-draft interviews, Evans expressed his love for using his massive 6-foot-5, 235-pound frame to block on the perimeter in the running game, suggesting he liked the feeling of a knockdown block almost as much as scoring a touchdown.
“I like scoring a touchdown more because it’ll give us a better chance to win, but I thrive off blocking. Last game, I had a couple knockdowns and that really got me going early. People don’t see that, but that’s a big part of my game. I like putting people on their back and making them fear me. I can control that. I can’t control the ball coming to me every play, but if somebody’s out there and I can help my running back, then I’m going to lay a block on somebody.”
It’s that type of attitude that made the Buccaneers fall in love with Evans prior to the draft and select him with the team’s first-round pick.
• All rookies have to go throw growing pains in their first initial season in the NFL. Wide receiver Mike Evans dealt with not getting his feet in bounds for a touchdown that was called back earlier in the season, and also for fumbling the ball at the 1-yard line in the preseason by not having it in the proper hand. Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins lost the Vikings game with a fumble and had a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct after a touchdown catch last Sunday against Atlanta, which drew the ire of head coach Lovie Smith.
Fellow rookies Charles Sims and Kevin Pamphile experienced their first gaffes in the 27-17 loss to the Falcons on Sunday. Sims, the Bucs’ third-round pick, lost his first fumble in the fourth quarter, and Pamphile, a fifth-rounder, gave up his first NFL sack to Kroy Biermann in the fourth quarter while subbing for the injured Demar Dotson.
These rookie mistakes have contributed to the Bucs’ losing ways this year, but it’s good that these players are going through these growing pains in a wasted season. The hope is that they can learn from these mistakes and that they won’t be repeated in 2015 and beyond.
The veterans have done a great job of mentoring to the rookies, and each one of these four players has a great deal of promise ahead of them wearing red and pewter.
“I think all of the veterans have taken me under their wings,” Pamphile said. “Even though I don’t play center, Evan [Dietrich-Smith] has taught me a lot about reading defenses. Demar has been teaching me about technique. They’ve all done a good job of helping to prepare me. There are a lot of great veterans on this team that have helped us rookies.”
• You may remember me hyping East Carolina wide receiver James Hardy earlier this year in a previous SR’s Fab 5. The 6-foot-1, 188-pound receiver is a smooth pass-catcher with what could be the best hands in college football. After catching 88 passes for 1,105 yards and 11 touchdowns as a sophomore, Hardy had 1,284 yards and eight touchdowns on 114 receptions last year. Thus far in 2014, Hardy is up to 80 catches for 995 yards and seven touchdowns.
Factoring in a freshman season in which he had 64 receptions for 658 yards and six scores, the chain-mover now has 346 career receptions for 4,042 yards and 32 TDs. Hardy needs just 19 more catches to surpass Oklahoma’s Ryan Broyles as college football’s all-time leading receiver in terms of career receptions with 350. In Thursday night’s loss at Cincinnati, Hardy had 15 catches for 188 yards and a touchdown, and also added another score on a 7-yard end around.
• While I like East Carolina wide receiver James Hardy, who carries a second- or third-round grade, USC junior receiver Nelson Agholor, who hails from Tampa, is quickly emerging as one of my favorites, too. In USC’s 38-30 win over California on Thursday night, Agholor posted a career-high 16 catches for 216 yards and two touchdowns. He also had a 78-yard catch-and-run score called back due to a penalty.
I mentioned Agholor in last week’s SR’s Fab 5 when talking about USC junior quarterback Cody Kessler, who had four touchdowns in Thursday night’s win, and it’s worth noting that he became the first receiver in Trojans history to record back-to-back 200-yard games.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Agholor has a similar build to Hardy, but has more breakaway speed than the ECU Pirate receiver. Agholor has five touchdown catches that have traveled 60 yards or more, and has 157 catches for 2,337 yards and 18 touchdowns in his career.
Agholor has a career-high 82 receptions for 1,079 yards and 10 touchdowns on the season, in addition to two punt return touchdowns, which ties his career high. Agholor had two punt returns for touchdowns last year, including one for 93 yards.
After drafting all offensive players last year, Tampa Bay will need to address the defensive side of the ball in 2015. But with a receiving corps that needs more speed, the Bucs might want to consider selecting Hardy or Agholor if he declares for the 2015 NFL Draft.
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Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd 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 enjoys 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]
Pingback: JoeBucsFan.com » Blog Archive » Report: Tedford “Didn’t Feel Like Returning” - Tampa Bay Bucs Blog, Bucccaneers News
I could easily see the BUCs first pick spent on the OLine. It’s not sexy but we’ll see.
Fab 1: Obviously Oregon has a great offensive system, but why mention the spread offense? Most college programs are running it, including UCLA (Hundley’s numbers aren’t anywhere near Mariota’s) and most of the PAC-12. Brees, Rodgers and Roethlisberger aren’t in this draft so we have to draft who is available. Mariota or even Winston could end up even better than those three so you never know. “There is a lot to like about Mariota, but he is not as accurate as his numbers suggest, and despite his mobility he takes too many sacks because of his lack of pocket presence.” How is he not as accurate as his numbers suggest? Is he not as fast as a timer suggests or is not as old as his birth certificate suggests? Like Parcells said, “You are what you are”. He “takes too many sacks” because his O-line is more injured this year than last year. He escapes many more sacks than he takes due to his mobility; check out the Thursday night game he played in a few weeks ago. SR, it’s like you’re trying to instill fear into us and to be afraid to draft a perfectly good QB. No QB is perfect so why overlook so many positives when we clearly need a QB? Drafting any position has risk (which the Bucs have proven by drafting DE’s Gaines and Clayborn, QB Freeman and safety Barron recently). Why not take a great player like Mariota cheaply in the draft when QB is the most important position in the NFL that makes the most money in the 2nd contract (about $20 million/year)?
Fab 2: I haven’t liked any of the OT’s I have seen play this year, but I haven’t watched an Iowa game yet so I haven’t analyzed Scherff. I’ll be sure to check him out though. He sounds great, but how many sacks has he given up this year? No mock draft has him ranked in the top 10 where I’m sure we’ll be picking so unless we trade down he seems like a fantasy pick.
Fab 3: I agree on all points made. I don’t care who we keep from the guys you pointed out. Suh would be great, but again that seems like a fantasy pick since we resigned McCoy (smartly so).
Fab 4: That’s what I guessed was going on between Tedford and the team since Lovie seemed abrasive on the subject. That sucks for us but I don’t want him back if that’s what happened.
Fab 5: I agree on all points made and I would love to add some more speed to our WR core!
Nicely put Pinkstob…I too don’t understand how “he is not as accurate as his numbers suggest”…for the same reason…even Lovie this year said “you are what your record says you are”…how is Mariota not as accurate as his numbers say he is? I watched him put a licking on Stanford (a pretty darn good college D) and I’ll tell you his accuracy was great, his pocket presence was great, his escapability was great, his arm strength was great, his finesse was great, and he’ll be great for the Bucs!
If not a QB in 2015, when? Need to start over on offense so get a new OC,QB at the same time and rebuild the OL. I’m so tired of missing on DE’s we need to pass on DL in the first round. With the new scout dept. it sure looks like we still need someone that can evaluate talent. To get a NFL OC means we will get someone that is fired from another team or someone with no experience so why count out a college coach? 2015 will be Lovie’s second year and we have made no progress in year one. We have no QB,no OC, poor OL and a poor D. What else could go wrong, plenty I guess.
At this point in the season I believe a debate over which QB we draft is a bit premature. 2 or 3 wins and we are out of the running. Let’s see how 2014 plays out.
True – but which 2 or 3 teams are we going to beat…we don’t play Oakland, Jax, the Jets, Tenn…our best chance is maybe this weekend, but we’re on the road and it’s going to be cold in DC (I can see Morris running for 200)…then at Chicago (no chance), Cincy at home (I guess their not great), then we’re on the road again to Detroit and Car to get killed, and our last gasps are against the Pack and Saints…if I was a betting man….
2 or 3 wins they should not even have 1 win. We suck!
I feel for Tedford, but that is a very “interesting” point on Tedford. Thanks for the insight.
Just so you know, you are not subject to HIPAA. Now, your source, if it is someone within the Buccaneers, likely is, assuming they got the information from Tedford’s medical records and not Tedford himself.
I think the bigger story here, is not that he is out and chose not to come back, it is that there are people in the Bucs organization that were unhappy about it. I would like to know more about that, and I don’t think the specifics of his medical condition are necessarily relevant. I certainly respect someone who suffered a major heart issue to decide that they do not want to return to work, which is no doubt probably a huge source of stress. Lovie and the Bucs organization in general has always seemed compassionate and fairly understanding…seems out of character for them to criticize someone in Tedford’s position.
SR,since we don’t have much to keep us interested this year as Buc fans and we are all keeping an eye toward next season let me ask you this.
Has there been any talk behind the walls of 1buc in possibly trading for Johny football? It would give us the flexibility to draft another pic with our high pick,It would put our stud WR with his BFF,It would sell tix,It would create interest,and he is a year removed from his rookie season and matured a bit.This just seems to make too much sense.Hes solid both in the pocket and using his instincts.
With Hoyer most likely getting an extension do you think this is something Licht would entertain?
Good topics SR. PLEASE NO QB IN FIRST ROUND!! SCHERFF gives us the best opportunity of not having a first round bust and like you said is tough. From what I gather, Telford had a change of heart (no pun intended)He has every right to walk away, now if next year he is an OC or head coach somewhere then that bothers me. Glennon deserves a legitimate shot IMO. Give him some lineman more experience this year and SCHERFF next year with Simms healthy could make a world of difference on offense. Defensively, outside of 5 players, START OVER! GO BUCS!!
Very frustrating to hear about Tedford. No doubt he did lead to the collapse of this team.
I’ll have to do some more research about Brandon Scherff. I personally prefer Andrus Peat over him.
I remember watching the Tedford PC and thinking about how Tedford seemed like a very bright guy, who also seemed to have a strong opinion of how he wanted to do things. In a case where Lovie would cede Tedford the offense like Gruden did with Kiffin that could work. But I wondered to myself if Lovie was capable of that, and quite frankly it doesn’t surprise me that he wouldn’t be.
Tedford certainly seems like he can be a great asset for a team but at the same time you have to know what type of guy you are working with and what you are going to get from him pros and cons. And I suspect Lovie was not up to the task.
Hey SR I love ur article but I’m going to have to disagree wit u the tackle from Iowa because the last few can’t miss elite left tackles from there never get to play left tackle because they are not athletic enough Robert gallery was a can’t miss number 2 pick of Oakland and never worked out well Brian bulaga of green bay kicked to right tackle I believe Winston and mariota would b smart picks I have watched both and I truly feel with how young we will b on offense and our potential on d we get either guy we will b a dynasty I feel we all got ahead of ourselves and forgot this team needs time to gel I think Dotson needs to flip to left tackle kick Collins inside to guard let the rookie take over at the right tackle but whatever happens we need time to gel we have pieces were we could b special in the near future,
Very easy draft philosphy when you need a qb and your in position to draft a franchise qb you do so, period. I do not the second coming of jarmarcus Russel in Winston, the guy is dumb as a box of rocks, anyone who shop lifts in a city where he is the most recognizable is stupid beyond stupid. Mariotta is a gifted athlete who has size and speed if we pass on him we might be as dumb as Winston
Hey Scott, if Tampa were to release all these (or at least a few) free agents we JUST signed, wouldn’t it be a turnoff for any potential FAs next year?
I wouldn’t want to sign with a team knowing they just released players that they signed the year prior. Even if I was super confident in my abilities.
We can talk QB all we want, but what has cost us most games is no pass rush. If our RDE isn’t there at our spot, I hope we trade down.
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At first I thought about joining the debate. But then I thought why debate an obvious eventuality. Lovie spent a year in his basement. I going to take a guess that he doesn’t want to return there soon. I say let the evidence speak for itself. Watch the game Sunday and the next 6 games.
Then decide if you want to return next year with McCown, Glennon, and new OT Brandon Scherff as the path to winning in the NFC-South. Oh don’t get me wrong, Scherff is a great pick just like Jadevon Clowney was a great pick. Horse, Clowney is the example of the can’t-miss defensive player you’re talking about.
I’m not going to waste any more of your time with useless rhetoric. If Lovie wants to end up on his back with both legs in the air, follow Scott’s advice and pick an OT instead of a QB. And like the good journalist that he is Scott will write a nice Obit for Lovie and his past accomplishments and remind us that the key to victory in the NFL is a franchise QB.
I rest my case!
That’s interesting that you are willing to write off Clowney after half a year due to a short term injury to make a point. We would take him in a heartbeat given our sad DL performance. That said, I think your point stands without dragging Clowney into it. We need a QB. More importantly, we cannot keep missing on our picks. Regardless of who we pick, we need to strike gold on 3 of our first 4 picks.
I’m not writing Clowney off. Facts are stubborn things. My point is that no one is an absolute certain pick. Clowney is a #1 overall pick and he has yet to live up to expectations. It’s not me making this point’ it’s his own coach that has questioned his resolve. And it’s not one injury, it’s been one after another – the latest being the Flu. For all I know, Clowney may be all-world, but today, he’s MIA. I repeat – facts are stubborn things. Be sure you have yours together!
Agreed. Facts are stubborn things. The flu and short term injuries are not.
For you my friend, please listen to the John McClain video. Sorry If I sounded short, need to get my weekend started. Personally, I wish Clowney the best, but his coaches are frustrated. Enjoy and have a good weekend!
On Tedford: Now I wasn’t there but I can guess this is how it went down.
Lovie says “You’re going to have to make McCown into a franchise QB. Tedford said “What? You can’t be serious!” Lovie said “and Glennon is our QB of the future”. Teford replied “That’s enough to give a guy a heart attack, seriously I’m out”. Lovie said “What? You can’t be serious!” Tedford said “Ta hell I am, see ya, wouldn’t want to be ya! Lovie said “Well if you’re going to be that way, we’re going to use Arroyo and go to the Super Bowl!” Tedford was last heard leaving the building “Ah ha ha ha ha! Ah ha ha ha”!
Pretty sure that’s how it went down! Stay tuned, there’s more! Lol.
We are embarrassment in every way! It starts with the Glazers Brothers. They could never wear Maclcom Glazer jock strap. Ever since Malcom’s health deteriorated our organization has crapped the bed ex. coaching fires and hires, dumping money into soccer which is for 4&5 year old to play. Missing in the draft year in and year out. If we pass up Winston that is it!!! If he is a Bust it will just be one more drop in our deep bucket of bust. Knowing the our organization we will draft another Clemson DE! Our O.C. situation is an embarrassment too! Hiring MR. T. was not the right choice besides grooming QBs what the hell did he do? Did he even sniff a National Title? Another great hire! I can go on and on…. Draft Winston!!! all he has done is WIN.
I would not be surprised if Lovie resigns.
Macabee; Are you saying Mariota or Winston are franchise QB’s? I hope you’re right. My problem is I am not convinced yet, but there are a few games yet and I hope I can follow that path too. We have missed most times drafting a QB in the 1st round except for Doug Williams, and that was 1978.
I don’t see Mariota at all, but Winston has that we can do it factor which wants me to believe he could be our QB. My only concern is I know too many people in Tallahassee and there is doubt about his behavior. I am not sure if he will grow up soon enough. The NFL won’t put up with much like Jimbo has in Tally.
No, Horse, it is impossible to draft a franchise QB just like it’s impossible to draft an All-pro DE or OT.
Any player taken in the draft must earn those titles or that recognition. I don’t know if either one of those young men will amount to a hill of beans anymore than you could predict that DE Larry English who was taken in the first round would live up to his draft position.
I’m saying I’ve seen enough of the Bucs to know that we do not have a QB that can compete with the other QBs in the NFC South. My brain does not say Ok,then draft an OT.
If past is prologue and the avg. lifespan of a Buc HC is 2 years, then if I were Lovie, I’d be looking for the player that has the best chance of turning this team around in the next 12 months.
Knowing that it could be hit or miss, I’m taking my chances with the QB. Because I know to do nothing is a guaranteed on time failure!
The Tedford issue could be (just speculation of course ) they promised him a QB in the first round, possibly Carr and then they changed the plan. I would have taken Carr over McCown or Glennon to start the season.
If this team is thinking at all about Winston and I hope they are, I would send #55 Brooks to FSU to investigate Winston from top to bottom. If Brooks gives the OK I would pick Winston in a heart beat.
Kindred, I read where Brooks has been talking to Winston, and has endorsed him. 55 knows you can’t win in the NFL without a Q.B., wish Brooks ran the Bucs. Wasn’t going to weigh in on picking a Q.B., but I can’t resist. The new CBA doesn’t make it a death sentence anymore to use a top pick on a Q.B.. The Pats have Brady, yet they’re always drafting Q.B.’s, Mallet, Goropalo. Wouldn’t want to see us draft a can’t miss L.T. that we end up having to move to guard. IMO, there are NO can’t miss picks in this draft, so draft the most important position on the team, and hope he’s the guy. Without a great Q.B., we’ll always b e a door mat, can’t some of you see that Glennon, and McCown can only take us to the top of the draft?
MAC, to your point of impossibility, which we know is really improbability, isn’t it better to have more picks? If you have more picks in a sample than others your probability increases finding an “it” right? You have used New England before so look at how they draft. Is it sexy? Belichick always increases his sample size (draft choices)…why? Yes he has Tom but seriously, what about the DL and OL and the defense seems to stop teams when it counts most. IF and I do mean IF L&L are drafting well then why would you not want to increase draft picks? Texans should have gotten more picks even if he did pan out. I can almost bet Bilichick would have. Jimmy Johnson in his day would have and yes, because of how improbable it is picking an “it” kind of guy. We need players (with an s) not a player. QB is important but the years have been hard on me as well as all of us. I want a playoff team. Good team players trumps finding one “franchise” player in the possibility world. IMHO Go Bucs!
You, Horse, and others make a convincing argument for picking an O-lineman or D-lineman or even BPA. Who can argue with trading down and getting more picks? It makes total sense to do. It has proven to be a wise strategy for several winning teams – several winning teams that already have a franchise QB.
I’m simply saying that Lovie does not have that luxury. He and Licht promised us a win-now team. If somebody can get the Glazers to come out and say “Lovie you’ve got a job here no matter how many games you lose over the next 4 years” I will gladly change my mind and embrace the “we don’t need a QB now” strategy.
Now be honest, when you get right down to it what you’re really saying is, if we get better players around Glennon or McCown, we can win the NFC-South. Sorry, but that is a ticket for an evening on the Titantic that I must respectfully turn down.
When you’re up to your assets in alligators, you’d better be trying to find someone who can help you drain the swamp!
I like the idea of taking Scherff in the first round. The best teams have great QBs but they also have great OL and DL’s. I subscribe to building from the inside out because if the line of scrimmage is lost the skill players cannot have an impact. We should take Scherff and then trade up to take a QB. The USC kid sounds like a good prospect but so far I have not seen information on his football IQ, pocket presence, escapability and decision making. It would be nice to get a comprehensive review of the top 5 QBs.
surferdudes..Thanks for the info.
Macabee & Surferdudes; you have convinced me to grab a QB in first round. Your logic is very acceptable. Now the question is who and when?
I love ya man, but don’t let me or anyone else shape your opinion on such a critical decision for the Bucs. I guarantee you that Lovie and Licht are going to toil over this one too. Remember the old Flip Wilson line “the devil made me do it”. You have put forth convincing arguments for taking on O-Lineman or trading down. Stick to your guns if you believe that is the best strategy. I’d hate to draft a QB that turns out to be a complete flop and you say “the devil talked me into it”. Lol.
Lovie knows he will be on the hotseat next year, and drafting a rookie QB is the easiest way to earn another year. Its the perfect scapegoat
Didn’t work for Greg though.
Mark..Greg drafted Glennon, bad move from the start. Percentages of hitting on a third round pick is a lot higher then a first round pick. This has to be the year for a top pick QB, 2016 QB’S look a little weak.
This is worst Buc team of all time we need to get QB Mariota and we need a new Head Coach and GM. Wow how many misses on the draft picks after RD 1 and all those free agents?
Mike Mayock thought Glennon was a first round QB, not a 3rd rounder. I didn’t agree then nor do I agree now.
Sox, what misses are you talking about. You couldn’t be talking about this last draft as ASJ looks to me like he will develop into a real good TE and we haven’t seen enough of Sims to make a decision one way or the other. Several others picked in the last draft also look promising but it is too early to tell.
After watching Glennon and McCown Bucs Fans want to pass on a potential franchise qb who is 6’3 and runs a 4.4 sec 40 yd dash for a OT, somewhere there is a fan of another team reading these blogs saying ” well its no wonder they suck”
Always love your posts macabee. Never any anger or fear tainting your opinions. Funny how you wanted to stay out of the fray but got sucked into it. I’m a believer in drafting the best player regardless of position. There’s virtually no position where our currently rostered player wouldn’t likely be replaced by one drafted in the top 5. People are afraid to take a shot at either Mariotta or Winston because of the chance of failure at QB is so great. Instead they prefer to “hedge the bet” by drafting the “safer” player or positioning ourselves to get more choices to draft quantity over theoretically superior quality. Makes sense, unless you have the worst QB in your Division. I don’t know whether either Mariotta or Winston are that guy. But I know this much, neither McCown nor Glennon are the answer. If not now….when do we take the chance to finally get a QB the opponent fears instead of the ones we Bucs fans fear?
the nfl is qb driven, most teams draft a qb high, not in the mid rounds, so we waste earl draft pick this year on non qb , then finish middle of the pack where drafting a qb is a reach like ponder or locker, if the bucs have a chance at Winston take hime, stay away from mariotta, im telling you Oregon qbs throughout history don’t pan out, so please stay winless for Winston, he just wins and is a true gamer and on field leader, the off field bs is just kid stuff, how old is he under 21, he will mature
Yeah Dan Fouts (Oregon) never worked out either, lol
Winston reminds me of Josh Freeman, I see the same player. BTW we already had Freeman and he was quite good MOST of the time. I have no idea what the off the field issues were that destroyed his career, but in this regard Winston reminds me of Freeman as well.
Anywho we NEED a QB, Glennon isn’t the answer to anything, he’s not a play maker and we should have traded him last offseason and got that 2nd or 3rd round pick, he’s value is only going down. We NEED to draft a QB with our first pick, we NEED to trade up if we have to. If we don’t take these steps then next year at this time we’re going to be still talking about needing to take a QB in 2016… repeat.
Ryan Leaf, Jamarcus Russell.Vince Young,Blaine Gabert,Joey Harrington,David Carr, Matt Leinart, Akili Smith, Heath Shuler
Ok so where are these 1st rounders now
Can’t miss!! what a laugh. What about our own Buc 1st rd QBs forgot to even mention them.
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Finally I can get back into the Bucs fans- I look at the upcoming 2015 nfl draft a few months away. But one thing I have come have about this new Buc Coaching Staff. It’s Not how you start off from Day One But how Tampa will be looking after the season. I’ve seen that Tampa Coaching staff is molding their team for the future. It will be very Interest to see If they get to 8 and 8, or even 7 and 9. But I see progress. Tampa Bay has some salary cap money right now. I see some of the information that what they might do.Might Glenn is a good qb for a b/u. But if Tampa does win 4 or even 6. 6 and 10 would be a feat after a 1 & 8 start. I see if they do make it at 4 & 12 or 6 and 10. I would select their needs. 1. DL or OL, 2. LB or CB,3- QB, 4- Best player avail, 5 mult picks, 6-mult picks. So Lets see.GO Bucs
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It is so refreshing to read some intelligent statements as compared to the super negative joebucfan site.
Personally, I would rather draft an OLineman or trade down to stockpile draft picks.
Too many people expect a miracle when it comes to drafting QBs. Just look at the league today. How many top notch ones are there. I could coach the Packers with Rodgers at QB; same with Brady and Manning.
Too many flops because of the pressure to win. It takes time to build a decent team; did you really expect the Bucs to be successful this year?
What did you expect L&L to say. Yes, we will be lucky to win 5 games. The lynch mob would have been out for them.
What this organization needs is stability and a better reputation.
I have written on numerous sites as to why would any FA want to come to Tampa Bay?
Being a Canadian I can think of many reasons not to want to live in Florida; I used to winter there before I move out to BC; nothing personal by the way. I’m referring to things in general, and not the people.
As good as Revis is, and man I wish we had him this year, is he worth $16 million.
How many good players can you really expect to be drafted? Will they make the team? Will they contribute immediately?
I would rather go the FA route, but be careful who you pursue.
There has been much criticism this year over a number of them. Some of it might be warranted, but there could be things going on behind the scene that might surprise us.
It has been an unreal year with a number of weird things happening, but I am patient and optimistic.
Merry Xmas from Canada.
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