FAB 5. SR’s Buc Shots
• LSU linebacker Devin White made it clear during his media interview session at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis that he would love for Tampa Bay to draft him at No. 5 and play alongside former LSU linebackers Kwon Alexander and Kendell Beckwith. White spent a year backing up Beckwith and the two have a love of horses.
“Man, you got LSU alumni all over the field,” White said. “[Alexander] told me to come up here and kill it and that’s what we do. He said everything you do is your brand. Just protect your brand and build your brand. Just be the person you are and don’t shy away from any competition.”
The Bucs had a formal interview with White at the Combine and won’t be opposed to drafting him in the first round even if Alexander is re-signed in free agency. The reason? Alexander is coming off a torn ACL and has missed 18 games in four years, while Lavonte David is 29 this year and has just two years left on his contract.
“My personality fits being a (middle) linebacker pretty well,” White said at the NFL Scouting Combine. “You can’t be a guy who is shies away from leadership. You can’t be a guy who doesn’t study and doesn’t know what he’s doing on the field because at the end of the day, you’re the quarterback. You got to get everybody lined up. You’ve got to know what everybody is doing and get them all lined up. You got to be able to play fast, calm and collected and you got to be a playmaker. You’ve got to be an absolute stud.
“And for me, I’m not shy. I’m up here talking. I’m smiling. I’m having fun. You’ve got to be that person when you’re on the field as well. Everything translates. If a linebacker is up here and he’s not enjoying this or not talking with confidence, he can’t go and control a bunch of grown men. Because I just turned 21 two weeks ago, I’ve got to go into the league and win those guys over and show them my path to football is the same as y’alls and we’ve got to win.”
• Speaking of Bucs middle linebacker Kwon Alexander, there are whispers that he is seeking between $11 million and $13 million annually in free agency. It’s difficult to gauge his market value coming off a torn ACL in his contract year that limited him to just six games. So expect Alexander to hit free agency to gauge his worth.
Because of the great relationship between Alexander and general manager Jason Licht, the Bucs are hopeful that Alexander will bring his best offer back to Tampa Bay for a chance to match. The feeling at PewterReport.com is that if that number is north of $10 million, which is what Lavonte David makes, the Bucs may hold the line and let Alexander walk.
With the open negotiating period for NFL free agency starting on Monday prior to the start of free agency on Wednesday, March 13, we’ll know Alexander’s fate within a week.
• If you missed our extensive list of NFL Draft prospects that interviewed with the Buccaneers at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, click here to find out which players Tampa Bay spoke with on a formal or an informal basis.
• PRE-FREE AGENCY PODCAST! The PewterReport.com staff was reunited this week for a new edition of the Pewter Nation Podcast. Mark Cook, Matt Matera and I previewed the start of Bucs free agency, listed some players the team might target and discussed the re-signing of left tackle Donovan Smith and what it means to Tampa Bay moving forward. You can listen to Pewter Nation Podcast Episode 111: Smith Gets Paid And Free Agency Speculation by clicking here.
If you missed our last two Pewter Nation Podcasts you can check them out right here. Cook, Matera and Taylor Jenkins discussed their own Bucs Battle Plans on PewterReport.com prior to free agency. Listen to Pewter Nation Podcast Episode 109: Offseason Battle Plan Review by clicking here.
I flew solo on a Pewter Nation Podcast live from Indianapolis as I analyzed Jason Licht and Bruce Arians’ meetings with the media at the NFL Scouting Combine. Pewter Nation Podcast Episode 110: SR Calls B.S. In Indy is must-listen podcast, and you can do that by clicking here.
There is no better time to listen to a new Pewter Nation Podcast than on your drive home from work on Friday or running around doing errands or at the gym on Saturday. The next Pewter Nation Podcast will be taped during the middle of next week as Bucs free agency begins.
The popularity of the Pewter Nation Podcast continues to grow. In addition to listening to the Pewter Nation Podcasts on PewterReport.com you can also subscribe to the free podcasts at PodBean by clicking here and on SoundCloud by clicking here. Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode.
• Bucs head coach Bruce Arians has a lot of his former players on his coaching staff, including offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, running backs coach Todd McNair, cornerbacks coach Kevin Ross, linebackers coach Larry Foote and offensive assistant Antwaan Randle-El.
“They bring a different perspective,” Arians said. “The more diverse you can make your coaching staff the better because you get so many different ideas. Former players have different ideas. Guys that have just coached their whole life have different ideas. Women have different ideas and I think there is a place for them and their ideas on a coaching staff.”
Arians made Jen Welters the first female assistant coach in the NFL back in 2014 in his second year in Arizona. Speaking at the Women’s Careers In Football Forum in Indianapolis during the NFL Scouting Combine last week, Arians made news when he said he wanted to create a full-time coaching position for a woman in Tampa Bay, perhaps as early as this year.
“Arians asked the participants how many wanted to be coaches. Approximately eight women raised their hands. He then asked how many had sent him a resume after he was named Tampa Bay’s head coach. None had. While the probability of an NFL head coach sifting through resumes for entry level positions is inherently low, Arians claims he not only reads every emails he receives – he estimates receiving 427 job inquiries in the past year – but personally responds to each. ‘You have to beat doors down.'”
• One change that might be coming to Tampa Bay’s practices under new head coach Bruce Arians is quieter practices. Arians is an old school coach who doesn’t like music blaring over loudspeakers during practice. That has become a staple at One Buccaneer Place since Raheem Morris took over as head coach in 2009. The team didn’t play music at practice under Tony Dungy and Jon Gruden.
Arians said he was amazed how many teams played music during practice when he worked for CBS last year and would watch Friday practices in preparation for Sunday’s football broadcast.
“Every Friday I got to go to practice and see how everybody else was doing it,” Arians said on a recent appearance of PFT Live. “I’m old school, man. I can’t stand music. Everybody plays music. Alright, maybe I have to give in on music. … The music for sure – they’re going to have to talk me into that one,” Arians said. “I’m the old airplane noise – get a headache after listening to that crowd noise shit. That’s part of it. You have to bend a little bit.”
“I’m not a music guy – I’m old school,” Arians said. “But everybody was playing music on Friday. That’s going to be the hardest thing for me giving in, but just watching how everybody did it differently in the walk-throughs and the practices, especially on those Friday practices that I think are very critical.”
It will be interesting to see if the Bucs continue their practice of playing music during practice under Arians, and if so, how often.
• Barring something unforeseen, the Bucs will likely lose wide receiver Adam Humphries in free agency. PewterReport.com’s Mark Cook warned about this back in mid-February. Humphries is expecting a deal that will average between $8 million – $10 million per year, and Tampa Bay would likely not pay more than $7 million per year – and ideally would like him back for less.
• Our @PewterReport Twitter account continues to rise to 32,000 followers. Thank you to those Bucs fans that recently followed us!
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