FAB 5. SR’s Buc Shots

• New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur wants to start rookie quarterback Daniel Jones against Tampa Bay. But is that really a wise move? Eli Manning, a 16-year veteran, is in decline for sure, but he’s won five of the last six meetings against the Bucs, including last year’s 38-35 triumph in New York.

Giants QB Eli Manning - Photo by Cliff Welch/PR
Giants QB Eli Manning – Photo by Cliff Welch/PR

Manning was 17-of-18 for 231 yards with two touchdowns in that game despite being sacked four times, and produced a 155.8 QB rating. In his only loss to Tampa Bay, a 25-23 home victory for the Bucs on a last-second field goal in 2017, Manning was 30-of-49 for 288 yards with two touchdowns, no interceptions, no sacks and had three carries for 22 yards and one touchdown run.

Manning has had the Bucs’ number over the years. I would have given him the start in Tampa Bay on Sunday if I were running the show in New York, but the future is now for Jones. Expect a heavy dose of blitzes from defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, and for the Giants to counter with screens and draws to running back Saquon Barkley.

• Bucs safety Jordan Whitehead is tied for second on the team in tackles with 14 through two games and is thriving in Todd Bowles’ 3-4 defensive scheme, which has him playing much closer to the line of scrimmage this year. Last year, Whitehead and the team’s other safeties often played back in Mike Smith’s Cover 4 scheme that was largely ineffective. Whitehead has made many more plays in the box this year as a result of the scheme change, and had a huge tackle on fourth down last week in Carolina, stopping a Cam Newton scramble short of the first down.

Bucs SS Jordan Whitehead
Bucs SS Jordan Whitehead – Photo by: Getty Images

“It’s good to be near the action,” Whitehead said. “You want the ball to come to you. You want to make a play. The position I’m in there are a lot of chances for me to make plays. I want to make the best of my opportunities. I’m more of a run stopper – that’s what I pride myself in. I want to cover too, but me being at the line of scrimmage – that’s part of my ‘A’ game. I want to get into the backfield and minimize the gain.”

Whitehead said he spent the offseason and summer focusing on one Pro Bowl player that Bowles coached when he was running the New York Jets.

“I was watching the Jets right before Coach Bowles got in here and I was watching Jamal Adams because that’s the position I play,” Whitehead said. “Obviously, he was in the Pro Bowl last year and watching him gave me a feel for the type of defense Coach Bowles plays. He puts me in position to make a lot of plays.”

• GET YOUR PRE-GAME ON WITH A NEW PEWTER NATION PODCAST! – The Bucs are 1-1 hosting the 0-2 New York Giants on Sunday and there is no better way to get ready for the game than to listen to the latest Pewter Nation Podcast. All five Pewter Reporters took part in this roundtable discussion of what Tampa Bay needs to do to slow down rookie quarterback Daniel Jones and Pro Bowl running back Saquon Barkley and get its second win of the season.

Click here to listen to Pewter Nation Podcast 146: Got To Take The Odds

Bucs WR Chris Godwin
Bucs WR Chris Godwin – Photo by: Mary Holt/PR

With Trevor Sikkema and yours truly in Carolina following Tampa Bay’s big road win last Thursday night, WDAE 95.3 FM’s Len Martez joined Mark Cook, Matt Matera and Taylor “Grizz” Jenkins for a post-game Pewter Nation Podcast last Friday to discuss the big Bucs victory. Make sure you give that a listen this weekend if you haven’t already.

Click here to listen to Pewter Nation Podcast 145: Victory Friday With Len Martez

And if you are in the mood while driving around doing weekend errands or handling some chores around the house, here are two other recent Pewter Nation Podcasts for you to enjoy.

Click here to listen to Pewter Nation Podcast Episode 144: Under The Brightest Of Lights

Click here to listen to Pewter Nation Podcast Episode 143: We’re Running Out Of Time

There is no better time to listen to a new Pewter Nation Podcast, which is presented by Chris Garrido of Westshore Financial, than on your drive home from work on Friday or early Saturday morning at the gym before college football begins. Enjoy your weekend and know that the next Pewter Nation Podcast will be up just hours after the Bucs vs. Giants game on Sunday night.

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. And of course the Pewter Nation Podcast is also available on iTunes. Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode.

• The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced plans for the upcoming Fantennial Weekend, with events taking place this Friday through Sunday, highlighted by the Bucs Beach Bash, a family-friendly, beach-themed music and entertainment event featuring iconic artist Billy Ray Cyrus to be held at the TradeWinds Island Resorts on St. Pete Beach this Saturday.

Bucs Beach Bash“This 100th season of NFL football is a yearlong celebration of our game as well as a chance to provide our great fans with unforgettable moments,” said Buccaneers chief operating officer Brian Ford. “Our Fantennial Weekend features something for every football fan, with Buccaneers Legends kicking off the festivities Friday night under the high school lights and continuing into Saturday with a full-blown music festival at TradeWinds Island Resorts on St. Pete Beach. Sunday at Raymond James Stadium will serve as the perfect ending to a memorable weekend of football and fun as we induct Buccaneer legend Ronde Barber into our Ring of Honor during halftime of our game against the New York Giants.”

To kick off the Fantennial Weekend, the Buccaneers will have a Friday Night Football Campus Tour at Plant High School, as the Panthers take on Bloomingdale on Friday, September 20. Buccaneers cheerleaders and Captain Fear will join Buccaneers Legends Anthony Davis, Vincent Jackson, Ricky Reynolds and Super Bowl XXXVII MVP Dexter Jackson at the event. Fans in attendance will have the chance to play games, win prizes, try on a Buccaneers uniform and experience the Buccaneers Street Team RV, which is outfitted to include Madden gaming stations.

Also kicking off on Friday is the inaugural Bucs Beach Bash —a free music festival on the beach at the TradeWinds Island Resorts on St. Pete Beach. Friday’s activities include a beach cookout and partying with Pirate Flag, the premier Kenny Chesney tribute band in the United States. On Saturday, September 21, the event begins at 11 a.m. and will feature a variety of local bands, DJs, trivia, unique partner activations, Buccaneers/NFL 100-themed contests with prizes, the Jr. Bucs Kids Zone, Street Team, Cheerleaders, Captain Fear, pirates and Buccaneers legends.

The highlight of the event will be the free concert featuring multi-platinum selling recording artist Billy Ray Cyrus, who recently paired with Lil Nas X to perform the hit song Old Town Road. The single set the record for most consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, holding the top spot for 19 consecutive weeks. Cyrus, perhaps best known for his chart-topping hit “Achy Breaky Heart,” will take the stage at approximately 8 p.m.

Parmalee, whose 2013 breakout hit Carolina shot to No. 1 in Country Airplay, will precede Cyrus, beginning at approximately 5:30 p.m. In between the two acts, the show will pause for a Sunset Celebration to allow partygoers the opportunity to watch the breathtaking view over St. Pete Beach, annually rated as one of America’s top beaches. The night sky will light up with fireworks as the concert concludes and the RumFish Grill After Party will keep the celebration going into the early morning hours.

The Fantennial Weekend concludes on Sunday, September 22, when Tampa Bay faces off against the New York Giants and Buccaneers Legend Ronde Barber will be inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor during a special halftime on-field ceremony.

• Tampa Bay has had a good deal of success stopping third-and-short situations through the first two games of the season, so much so that Carolina went for it on fourth-and-short three times last Thursday night. Thanks to a stingy effort from Todd Bowles’ defense, the Panthers came up empty all three plays.

The Bucs defenders know exactly how important being aggressive is in short yardage and have already seen the fruits of their labor.

“That’s one of the most critical times in the game – when they’re going for it,” Bucs defensive end Will Gholston said. “That’s when you steal a possession and getting our offense back on the field. It’s demoralizing for any defensive lineman when a team can run the ball on you. It doesn’t matter if it’s fourth-and-short or first-and-10. That’s something that you don’t like. We take pride in stopping the run and stopping the quarterback.”

Bucs OLB Anthony Nelson
Bucs OLB Anthony Nelson – Photo by: Getty Images

Although the Bucs had just one turnover on Thursday night – a fumble recovery by Ndamukong Suh after Cam Newton was hit by linebackers Lavonte David and Anthony Nelson – stopping Carolina on fourth-and-short three times was essentially three more turnovers, as it wound up giving the ball back to Tampa Bay’s offense.

“It’s huge and B.A. (Bruce Arians) has said it – there are a couple of plays that decide each game,” Bucs left guard Ali Marpet said. “Those plays can be those short yardage plays. Those types of plays are huge and the fact that we can make those stops and for us to have the confidence in our defense is also huge. As an offensive lineman it’s extremely frustrating when you can’t get those short yardage plays – those ones that you have to have. It can be defeating and that’s how I think that’s how the Panthers felt. Our defense did a really nice job. It was a huge win for us.

“Those guys are doing a phenomenal job of doing what B.A. says, which is to defend every blade of grass. Those guys take that to heart and it means something to them. It shows up on game day.”

THANK YOU! PEWTER REPORT HAS SURPASSED 33,000 FOLLOWERS ON TWITTER! Thank you – Pewter Nation – for following the PewterReport.com Twitter account, as we have hit a new milestone with 33,000 followers and we’re now up to 33,200. We cover Bucs practices, Bucs press conferences, Bucs games and break news on our @PewterReport Twitter account. So if you aren’t one of the 33,000 Bucs fans that follow PewterReport.com on Twitter please do so right now so you don’t miss out on our Bucs coverage, including injury updates, breaking news and notifications about the latest stories and columns on PewterReport.com. Follow us today and help us get to 34,000!

• Pewter Report Happy Hour With SR At The Fat Rabbit – Next Wednesday! PewterReport.com fans, join me and other Bucs fans at The Fat Rabbit pub in New Tampa next Wednesday, September 25 from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. Bring your Bucs questions to ask, and I’ll share some inside info and tell some Bucs stories that I just can’t print.

I’ll have some PewterReport.com swag to give away and The Fat Rabbit will have $1 off all draft beer, $6 calls on Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, Jameson and other liquor, in addition to $5 wells. Wednesdays also feature half off wine – glass or bottle.

Our advertising partner Heritage Isles Golf and Country Club will also be on hand with some giveaways for PewterReport.com readers, too. Heritage Isles Golf and Country Club is located just minutes from The Fat Rabbit so be sure to check out their driving range and golf course, too.

The Fat Rabbit is located at 16029 Tampa Palms Blvd W. in New Tampa just off Bruce B. Downs Boulevard. It’s one of my favorite places to eat, drink and watch sports in a cool, upscale vibe. You can check out their extensive menu online at FatRabbitPub.com and I look forward to seeing you there next Wednesday!

• We’ve become a very impatient society where a lack of immediate success or gratification turns into instant frustration. Perhaps it’s the rise of the fantasy football culture that has produced so much angst over NFL players’ lack of productivity, but whatever the reason, just know that there are 14 games left on the Bucs’ 2019 schedule.

That means there is plenty of time for tight end O.J. Howard and wide receivers Mike Evans and Breshad Perriman to produce in Bruce Arians’ offense. Evans has just six catches for 89 yards in the first two games and has yet to score his first touchdown in Tampa Bay, as Chris Godwin has been the star of the passing game thus far with 11 catches for 174 yards and two TDs.

Bucs WR Chris Godwin and TE O.J. Howard - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs WR Chris Godwin and TE O.J. Howard – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Howard has been limited to four catches for 32 yards, and the former 2017 first-rounder hasn’t played well as a blocker or a receiver yet. But Cameron Brate began the 2018 season without a catch in the first two games and wound up with six touchdowns by the end of the year.

Third receiver Breshad Perriman had two catches for 10 yards in the season opener and dropped a potential touchdown at Carolina. But prior to Thursday night’s game at Jacksonville, wide receiver Adam Humphries, who signed a huge contract with Tennessee, had just four yards on three catches through the first two games.

So all of the hand-wringing over the lack of offensive production through the first two games and thoughts of just trading Howard away because he’s had a slow start is just nonsense. There are 14 games left in the season and patience is necessary.

Keep in mind that outside linebackers Von Miller and Bradley Chubb have no sacks through the first two weeks in Denver. I don’t think Broncos fans are wanting to see either player traded away due to their slow start.

• And finally, join me at the Bespoke & Co. 5th Annual Signature Event on Wednesday, October 3 at Armature Works in Tampa. This Casablanca-themed event will be lots of fun – as every Bespoke & Co. Signature Event has been over the last four years. Dress up in your formal wear or business attire and enjoy open bars, heavy hors d’oeuvres, live music, casino gaming tables, and much more.

Bespoke & Co. is the official custom clothier for PewterReport.com and a long-time advertising partner with PewterReport.com. This year they are partnering with Children’s Cancer Center with all of the sponsorships benefiting that charity organization.

Your $150 ticket to the event gets you a fabulous night of fun and fashion, as well as a swag bag filled with great items and discounts to many local companies, including a Bespoke & Co. gift certificate for a complimentary custom-tailored dress shirt valued at $225.

Get your tickets to Bespoke & Co. 5th Annual Signature Event today by clicking here. We look forward to seeing you at Armature Works on October 3 from 7:00 – 11:00 p.m.

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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]

27 COMMENTS

  1. The article is incorrect, Jalen is playing his 4th season this year and his 5th year option was exercised and is roughly 13M next season.

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  2. NO WAY!!! this guy is cancer. Plus Licht will get rolled and give up too much

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  3. IF..our organization was truly smart, They would have traded or acquired a DE when JPP went down. We need to augment our pass rush and kick it up a notch. We don’t need Ramsey. Chemo has no effect on him.

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    • *cough taco charlton cough just passed on him cough cough *

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      • Didn’t want a 🌮 Taco and a Nacho on the same team. Lol.

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        • But we laugh while being losers and the joke of the NFL huh?

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  4. FAB1) not interested at all. Head case/in it for the $$$$/overrated/much better places to spend $20m of cap space.

    FAB2) Donovan Smith didn’t return to Tamp Bay because he’s some great team-player….we paid him….$14m/yr…more than anybody else (sensibly) was willing to pay for the perennially worst rated LT in the league…a guy who every single week gets “clowned” (as Trevor noted). Comparing his “desire” to be a Buc with Mike Evans or LaVonte is ridiculous!

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  5. Dotson better not bitch about being here, he’s lucky to be here, or on any NFL roster. Mike, and David have been paid, and treated very well during their time here, so I don’t see why’d they want out. Both have been part of the losing, so they shouldn’t complain. It’s great they’re low key guys, and good team mates, I’ll give you that. Saying we have to stop Barkley is two easy, every team game plans for him. This game to me comes down to Winston. If he comes out like he did against the 49ers, we’re in trouble no matter what Barkley does. He has to play like a fourth year franchise QB, and Jones has to play like a rookie getting his first start on the road. If it turns out the other way around, we’re in trouble, and the talk will be which QB we draft next year to replace Jameis. The pressure is on us, if Jones has a good game, and Jameis loses the game for us we’re back to square one.

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  6. Big Game! Go Bucs!

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  7. No thanks to Ramsey, I like our young corners and I would like to keep our top picks.

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  8. Will not/cannot mortgage this team’s future with entertaining the idea of signing such a cancer and unstable prima dona like J. Ramsey! We just cleared out a head case and his addition would hurt team more than help! I’m just saying… Go Bucs!

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  9. We should have won the first game but beat ourselves, we won last week but in both games our Offense was stagnant. I hope this week they really start to settle in and find their groove. I have confidence in this Defense because they have held pretty strong so far against the run and getting pressure on the QB but you have to anticipate there will be a couple scores so before we hit the road here it would be really nice to see the Offense get things rollin.

    Starting in the NFL is a long way from Duke and I really hope Vea and Suh and Barrett and Nassib finds ways to welcome him, even though Rookies and backups seem to have our number a lot of times. This Defense gives me more hope than ones of recent years past so we will see.

    Again, I just want to see us continue to improve and get more comfortable with the Schemes and really make use of the talent on both sides of the ball, then the wins will start comin.

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  10. And no way should they waste a 1st rounder (and more) on Ramsey. It would be great to have a young Pro Bowl CB but anyone driving a Brinks Truck to Camp is a Turd and hopefully teams have learned from the Brown situation that it’s not worth it.

    Plus that 1st round pick next year is either gonna be for a OT or god forbid a QB so we need that pick. Hargreaves is showin up, Davis has had too many penalties but Bunting will come around this year or next and Dean will be back from injury. With Edwards bound to get better and better and Whitehead back there our Secondary is young but there is a lot of speed mixed in and they are gonna continue to grow together and $20mil a year for one CB can be spent elsewhere like in the Trenches.

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  11. Just want to throw it out there Scott, Millenials never asked for participation trophies, most think they are dumb too. But it was our parents(Gen X and older), that thought it was a good idea. So if you want to blame anyone for “Millenial Entitlement” blame the generations before them that fostered it.

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    • Damn putting the name shameless in this post! I like it!

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  12. Bucs need to tranquilize Winston before games. Maybe TM meditation. He comes out very excited with happy feet and short strides his throws which cause them to be 5 feet of the receivers head, and 100 mph.

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    • IMO the surefire tranquilizer would be to run the first 15 scripted plays with west coast heavy concepts. If they were to move the pocket with designed rollouts to give Jameis easy quick hitters in the flat that gain YAC it would do wonders to get him in a rhythm. I just can’t figure out why this hasn’t occurred in almost 5 years here. It’s always drop back, sit in the pocket and push the ball past the sticks; rinse and repeat. Then we wonder why guys like OJ Howard don’t make an impact on the game, when guys like George Kittle are being moved around like chess pieces getting the ball delivered at or around the LOS and making multiple people miss for 8,10,12+ yard gains on a throw that went about 4 yards. Especially in the redzone. How many easy goal line touchdowns can you remember guys like Peyton or Brady throwing where it was a wide open floater to a guy in the flat? Now how many times have we seen play design like that with Winston at quarterback?

      Sorry for the rant. But yes I agree he’s erratic to begin games I just don’t feel like the gameplans ever do him justice to save him from himself right out of the gate.

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      • Rant away. I agree.

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  13. I can’t stand Ramsey. Not worth the baggage. Another Deshaun Jackson but with even bigger mouth.

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  14. No to Ramsey. Up until this year’s draft, the Ramsey rumors were definitely appealing. Kudos to Licht and coaching staff who drafted DBs and challenged VH3! We’re in no position to be losing draft capital for a DB when we have other needs on the roster for young 1st round talent.

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  15. The Bucs ticket to success this year will be that they will consistently get no love from the media. Thursday was the first taste of this. Big divisional win on the road in primetime – crickets. It will become their fuel to band together and set out to tell the world “F*** you!”. It won’t be this media love affair with the talking heads going “aww look at the Bucs doing well we knew they had it in them!” like many are hoping for. It needs to be a pissed off “you didn’t believe in us so don’t expect us kissing ass on NFLN” after every underdog win this year.

    Jalen Ramsey doesn’t fit this equation simply because the media slurps up anything related to him. Thinks he should be getting 20 million a year and wants to see him on the Cowboys or Chiefs. If he was the one making that game winning tackle against McCaffery it’d be world-news and people would be beside themselves talking about his greatness.

    I personally want no part in that. The Bucs can do it without this guy. Continue to stop the run at an elite level and these young cornerbacks will develop just fine. They are in maybe the best hands possible given their skillsets (Todd Bowles).

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  16. Let Ramsey walk on by.

    Big game on Sunday. Pressure is on Bowles to put a game plan together that welcomes Daniel Jones to the NFL in the tradition of the old Buccaneer defenses of Tony and Monte. And on Rhonde’s big day, nothing would be better!

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  17. Sweet irony what happened to AB today isn’t it? Lost endorsements and now his job. Nobody is bigger than the game…ask Pete Rose! I hope there is a solid game plan dialed up to gang tackle Saquan and pressure this young QB! Let them dogs loose and let’s eat this “W”! Go Bucs!

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  18. Fab 2 is one of the more pointless items I have seen on this site period.

    Who cares? Did anyone learn anything? Maybe just post an op-Ed about how you don’t like millennials, “participation trophies”, and how much you value a contract. Just don’t post it under the guise of something informative or like it has anything to do with the Bucs

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  19. You would play Eli against this Bucs team? He won 5 of the last 6 against us, sure. Yet you fall to consider way more important factors:

    1) This Bowles defense is completely different. We are creating pressure and our secondary looks competent.
    2) Eli has no ability to extend with his feet, and would get crushed. Jones may be a rookie, but he can move and has better tools.
    3) Anyone off the street could have beaten the Bucs the last 6 years (and did). That Eli record against us is a meaningless statistic.

    Bucs 30, Giants 13

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  20. This fab 1 is the reason we have sucked for so many years. Saving money for VH3? We are hoping and praying as a fan base that Hargreaves becomes half the corner that Jalen Ramsey is, then we would be happy to pay him? Instead of paying him and other average players, why can’t we accept the fact that licht just cannot draft corners well, he drafts a lot of them but not good ones (see MJ Stewart and Bunting). Our Achilles heal this season will be the fact that we don’t have anyone capable of shadowing a teams 1 WR, and we will get torn up when we go against teams with a premier WR like Julio Jones.

    When a walking future hall of famer because available in their primes, you break the rules. You trade a little more than you should. You let other average role players walk. Look at what the bears did with Khalil Mack. Is anyone saying today that they gave up too much?

    But my main point is this. Why do players who hate to lose become the villains? In our case, I feel like too many players like Gerald McCoy for many years didn’t care enough about losing. Our team needs more fiery competitors that hate losing more than they like winning. Only when we have players like that will we turn the culture around.

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  21. Who edited the copy of this piece? Embarrassing failure on the editor’s part with constant spelling, grammatical and word misuses. Mike Evans, don’t ever consider “living” us!

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