FAB 5. SR’s Bucs Shots

• The reason why the Bucs didn’t pursue former Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden, who had been released by Cleveland this week? Haden wasn’t going to start and the Bucs have two starters already in Brent Grimes and Vernon Hargreaves III. Grimes is better than Haden, and the team believes Hargreaves is better suited outside than inside at nickel corner, so there isn’t room for Haden, who will make $7 million in 2017 playing in Pittsburgh.

With Grimes in a contract year and slated to make $6 million in base salary with a $500,000 roster bonus, signing Haden for more money the Bucs would run the risk of rocking the apple cart by signing the former Browns cornerback. The Bucs are interested in re-signing Grimes after the season, but want to see how this year goes and if he is still playing at a high level.

Of course all it would take would be a season-ending injury to Grimes or Hargreaves to make Bucs general manager Jason Licht have regrets. Still, Tampa Bay feels very confident in second-year cornerback Ryan Smith, who has all the physical tools and confidence, but just lacks experience.

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• When the Detroit Lions made quarterback Matthew Stafford the highest-paid player in the NFL with a five-year, $135-million contract extension that features a $50 million signing bonus and $92 million in guaranteed money Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston and agent Greg Genske had to smile. Winston is only in the third year of his four-year rookie deal that contains a fifth-year club option that would prevent the 2015 first overall pick from hitting free agency until 2020 if exercised.

The Bucs can begin contract extension talks with Winston and Genske after the 2017 season. If Pro Bowl wide receiver Mike Evans doesn’t beat him to it with a contract extension this year, Winston will be the Bucs’ first $100-million man with a deal that should average over $25 million per year.

Negotiations between the Bucs and Evans haven’t gone as fast as many expected, but once the season begins they could begin to gain more traction. Houston just re-signed wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to a five-year deal worth $81 million, including $49 million in guaranteed money that is $10 million more in total money and in guaranteed money than Atlanta’s Julio Jones. Over the past three years, Evans has more receiving yards, more receiving touchdowns and one less catch.

• Are you ready for some REAL football? Get ready for the season by buying your Bucs gear and/or college football sports apparel for any team in any sport and support PewterReport.com at the same time! PewterReport.com has partnered Fanatics.com, the leader in sports apparel and fan gear and receives a commission from each sale made through our site. You might have seen the red Bucs Gear tab on PewterReport.com’s menu bar at the top of the website. Clicking on that link or any Fanatics.com banner on PewterReport.com, including the one to the right contributes to the continued development of our website.

Fanatics- NFL_TampaBay_Buccaneers_300x250Now you know where to go if you are looking to buy a new DeSean Jackson or O.J. Howard Bucs jersey. And remember this when it comes to the holiday shopping season, too. Visit PewterReport.com first then click on the Bucs Gear tab.

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• Tampa Bay re-signed quarterback Ryan Griffin to a one-year contract extension through 2018 this week to ensure some stability at the backup quarterback position. Ryan Fitzpatrick will enter the 2017 campaign as Jameis Winston’s backup due in part to Griffin’s shoulder injury in the preseason opener at Cincinnati.

That injury will keep Griffin out of action for a few more weeks and he may even go on injured reserve to save a roster spot. Fitzpatrick was only signed for one year, and at age 34 he’s not the long-term solution. The Bucs were hoping to find out exactly what they have in Griffin, a player they have invested the last two seasons in, during the preseason, but his injury robbed them of that opportunity.

• Bucs defensive end Jacquies Smith started running at One Buccaneer Place this past week following his second knee surgery, but it is uncertain as to his timetable for recovery. Smith wasn’t very forthcoming this week when asked about the likelihood of him being ready to play in the 2017 season opener at Miami.

“I’m not here to disclose that kind of information to people,” Smith said. “Like I said, the progress is going great and I feel a lot better. But at the end of the day, it is what it is. It’s pretty black and white. If I’m out there, I’m out there. It’s that simple. If I’m out there Week 1, I’m out there. If I’m not, I’m not.”

• The Bucs are hopeful that linebacker Devante Bond (knee) will be back in action by the season opener. Bond, who missed most of the preseason and all of his rookie season with a hamstring injury that placed him on injured reserve, was expected to battle rookie Kendell Beckwith for the starting SAM (strongside) linebacker role this year. Instead, Beckwith, who has been healthy, has played well in the preseason and will get the start in Miami in Week 1.

• Thank you for supporting the Pewter Nation Podcast. We are producing two podcasts (30-40 minutes) a week during football season – one mid-week and another one immediately after the Bucs regular season games. Here is a link to the latest Pewter Nation Podcast – Episode 27: Oh Pass Rush, Where Art Thou?

Pewter-Nation-Podcast-Pewter-ReportMake sure to visit PewterReport.com Sunday morning for our post-game analysis of Tampa Bay’s preseason home opener against Cleveland in a new Pewter Podcast Podcast, which Mark Cook, Trevor Sikkema and I will record immediately following the Bucs vs. Browns game at the stadium. 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.

• Here are Dirk Koetter’s final thoughts on the Bucs’ preseason after Thursday night’s brutal game that quite frankly featured a lot of players that just aren’t NFL caliber. The Washington Redskins beat Tampa Bay, 13-10, as both Ryan Fitzpatrick (2-of-7 for 6 yards) and Sefo Liufau struggled to move the ball. Liufau threw a touchdown pass to Bernard Reedy, but also threw a pick-six. Had the Redskins defensive backs held on to the ball, Liufau could have thrown as many as four interceptions in the second half.

‘’I wish we were 4-0, but we’re not. We’re 1-3 and no one will give two craps about that,” Koetter said. “The games – it’s hard to really say how the games took place. You know I was a college coach for 23 years and then I came to the NFL. And preseason football is the weirdest thing because winning really isn’t the thing. In amateur sports, high school and college, you don’t play any games where you’re not trying to win or winning isn’t the thing. And it’s just different. That’s all I can say. Not good or bad. It’s just different.

Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter
Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter – Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR

“We believe the No. 1 thing you have to do in preseason is get through it as healthy as you can. It’s just counterintuitive because you want to put on a good show, you want to put a good product out there, but at the same time, you’re fighting back playing your best players. You’re fighting back showing schemes you don’t want to show. I don’t enjoy that part of it. I love practice. I love the practice part, I love having 90 guys, I love seeing new guys and there’s new players every year that show up and surprise you.”

Because of the uneven play from the Bucs offense and defense in the preseason it’s tough to gauge what type of team Tampa Bay will field this year.

“It’s easy for all of us, myself included, and most of you [in the media] included, to speculate on what type of team we’re going to have based on the preseason,” Koetter said. “But you know what? None of us really know. None of us really know how this group of 53 guys is going to come together and how we’re going to play this season. There’s been a lot of talk – a ton of talk. But the talking is done and it’s time for us to earn it and we’ve got to do our thing next Sunday. If you’re in this business, player or coach, that’s what you’re in it for.”

• Football season is here with college football already underway and the NFL beginning next week. If you’re in Tampa and looking for a great place to catch the action, grab a meal and have some drinks, I highly encourage you to check out North 30th Sports Pub and Grille, which is located at 11402 N. 30th Street in Tampa close to the University of South Florida campus.

Check out their menu on North30thPub.com where you’ll find all of the great food you’d expect at a sport bar, including delicious wings, burgers, pizza, hand-crafted sandwiches, seafood and more. North 30th Sports Pub and Grille has a great drink menu featuring plenty of custom cocktails and ice cold beer on tap. Visit their Facebook page for the latest specials and special events by clicking here.

North 30th Sports Pub and Grille has a family-friendly environment and is a great place to catch all the football action with over 50 big-screen TVs. Make sure to visit North 30th Sports Pub and Grille this football season and tell them PewterReport.com sent you.

 

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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]

32 COMMENTS

  1. Bayless is a Cowboy hack that literally says things to mug for the camera and create controversy. One of the most important things I saw this preseason was that the team came out of it without any major injuries. I’m still stunned to see different sites having the Bucs finish fourth in the NFC South. I know it’s a damn tough division, but fourth? I think that as much that Jameis has improved, I also think that resigning Smitty was the best move of the offseason. I think that the D is going to surprise some people and this team should be sending PR into their “playoff scenarios” mode by December.

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    • No free-agent pickup or draft pick was as important as retaining Mike Smith. We desperately needed continuity in the coaching staff and front office (which we’ve only had one other time since Gruden was let go) after finishing 2016 on an upward trajectory. Thank goodness for Dean Spanos being a idiot and going through with the Chargers’ move to Los Angeles… if they do the smart thing and stay in San Diego, I don’t think we would’ve kept Smith. The timing on the decision-making on both sides was not a coincidence, IMO.

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  2. Skip Bayless is a pompous ass who knows nothing, absolutely nothing about the Buccaneers other than what he’s seen on Hard Knocks. No credibility whatsoever. I’d rather not spend a second thinking about him or his bogus opinions but here I am. Five minutes I’ll never get back.

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  3. Brian Anger is a WEAPON! A punter as a weapon? In Anger’s case, absolutely. He gives the Buccaneers great control of field position time and again.

    Good stuff Scott. Incidentally, it might be a good idea to allow comments after each individual Fab of the Five? Each one deserves individual comment and I really believe you’d get more if you took my suggestion.

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  4. We still need to bring in another QB and put Griffin on IR and let’s see where he is and several weeks. I still don’t see backup offensive tackle, the same for defensive ends. As of today I only see 8-9 wins if Winston stays healthy. Maybe we’ll get lucky and get those 10 to 11 wins, but that’s areach as of right now.

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  5. If Greeny ‘s on board with Winston and the Bucs then I’m not holding much hope for the season. Dude is the kiss of death if there ever was one.

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  6. Random thought, but isn’t time we revise the “downed inside the 20” stat considering teams now get the ball at the 25 after a touchback? And where did that term come from anyway? Why not “downed inside the 10” which is much more impressive and effective? Just a thought….

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    • Getting the ball at the 25 is only on kickoffs, punts and turnover touchbacks are still at the 20.

      And I think it’s the stat because most punters can kick it 60-75 yards into the endzone for a touchback, whenever they want to, the skill comes from hangtime, ball placement, and putting the correct spin on the ball to give your ST a chance to down it.

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  7. One thing I have noticed about Jameis in the preseason is that he starts to the game faster, or better. The last two seasons, and even in college, he started off slow. That is one of the benefits of him being more accurate this year. Great stuff on Jameis!

    I am proud to say I have never watched a show Bayless has been on. I wonder if him, and Tom Jones, have any self respect as men, to even try to get it right.

    Anger is everything we hoped Aguayo would be. It looks like it’s a lot of fun to be a gunner when he is punting!

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  8. Seahawkers podcast has a whole segment at better at life than Skip Bayless, one of the funnier segments out there. There Prisco World segment is absolutely x10 better at life than Skip Bayless though.

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  9. Could’ve stopped the headline at, “Bayless is clueless”

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  10. SR………”If there is one thing about today’s world of sports reporting and news reporting in general that I detest is the supposed need for hot takes – the more controversial and attention grabbing the better.”

    SR……..Gruden will be returning to coaching!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  11. If Skip doesn’t like Dirk who cares, keep winning games and he will get on board. Feel the Bucs should’ve taken the gamble on Cameron Irving due to his ties with Jameis and talent coming out of college. Hopefully our line stays healthy but we can never have too many talented big guys used to playing in the FL heat.

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  12. The less said about Skip Bayless the better. May his name never pass our lips and keyboards again.

    I love our coaches,as well as our players. Don’t give a rat’s rear end for pre-season games as anything more than scrimmages designed mostly to figure out who makes the cut to 53. Other than that, they’re irrelevant to regular season expectations.

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  13. Scott, I’m not sure why you guys have been pushing the re-signing of Evans all off season as if they are running out of time. I am not surprised at all. When the bucs re-signed McCoy and David, they both had one year left on their contract and not two like Evans does. That is why the contract talks have not picked up steam. Neither side is in any rush. Why should they be? Evans option year is going to pay him $15 million. Last time I checked, that is still top 5-6 in the league at his position. Evans will get paid his worth in due time. No need to rush.

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    • The rush isn’t to get him signed, The rush, although there obviously isn’t one, would be to sign him for less. Because obj is going to get signed too. So we either let obj set the market and end up paying more or we set the market with Evans and probably pay less. Well almost certainly. That’s the incentive.

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      • Look, you are talking about pennies at this point. Antonio brown makes about 17 mil a year. Hopkins just signed a contract that put him in that ball park. Evans and obj will be in that ball park. Its not like the bucs are going to save 30 mil by signing evans now. The market is already set. Again, evans option year next year pays 15 mil.

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        • I think we’re basically both agreeing that there is no rush. But all the intel I’ve heard leading up to now was that they preferred to set the market. I agree though nickels and dimes at this point.

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  14. If Skip Bayless predictions held any salt Tim tebow would have multiple Super Bowl rings, RG3 would be starting QB for the Dallas cowboys, and… I probably don’t have to say more. You can youtube compilation videos of everything he’s gotten wrong, it’s pretty great.

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  15. Koetter is the best thing that has happened to this team in a long time. So is Smith. When we make it to the playoffs, there will be a lot Crow to go around for skeptics. The Defensive line is a little sketchy, but if we are lucky and keep healthy, good things are going to happen.

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  16. Right now I’m picturing Skippy bleeding out on a cold castle floor. Lord Skip Balesh, not bad Scott.
    Basically Bayless is a dickhead. Always has been. Excuse my potty mouth Scott but sometimes you got let it fly.
    8 more days and we shall see if the BUCS are for real.
    I haven’t been this juiced at a start of the BUCS season for awhile.
    GO BUCS
    GO RAYS
    GO LIGHTNIG
    HELL, GO TAMPA

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  17. I’m often amused and frequently just baffled at what I overhear fans in the stands blurt out loud enough so those around them can, in their minds, be educated by their utter nonsense and ill-informed rhetoric. This past game (?), the idiot behind me, who obviously received the tickets as a gesture of sympathy from the true season pass holder, actually found fault with punter Bryan Anger when the cesspool (field) of players was filled with a collection of turds floating around until today’s scheduled cuts.

    That fan might well have taken his cue from Skip Brainless who always tries to portray himself as a bit of an intellect when in reality we all know he’s just another pompous Cowboy fan still living in the past.

    As the host of Iron Chef says, “Let the battle begin!” Thankfully, our favorite team came out of these meaningless games(?) relatively unscathed. The goal was to evaluate the players and improve the roster from a year ago. I believe that was accomplished. Other than the questionable back-up QB, I think the team has better talent at each position group than at the start of the 2016 season.

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  18. Regarding Bayless–The national medial largely ignores the Bucs, which means they do little homework and there is usually not much depth behind the statements they make. Bayless has followed Jameis a little closer, but is off base with his assessment of Koetter, imo. He is correct with his facts, but wrong with his conclusion.

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  19. JW has indeed looked more controlled and accurate so far. If he can maintain that in the regular season it would be huge. Cutting down his total turnovers to something below the 20+ he has averaged could alone be enough for two more wins. Fingers crossed…

    The most telling line in the FF came from one of our own starters on offense:

    “If he has time in the pocket he can deliver a good ball every time,” Bucs wide receiver Adam Humphries said.

    If, indeed. He certainly has the weapons. Will he have the time…? It’s all guesswork at this stage. Again, fingers crossed

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  20. Bayless along with most ESPN talking heads is the result of the failed Disney?ESPN upper management brain trust, and their PC SJW warrior mentality is turning off viewers every where. It seems they have little understanding of why most America watches sports especially football. They need no lessons in “group think” from those idiots.

    Their NEW World order of programming leaves much to be desired.

    I seldom watch any of them anymore. Their schtick has grown tiresome. They have completely lost touch with most Fans.

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  21. Runole, thanks for amusing us with your inner Donald Trump. Political correctness used to be called being polite and civil until the uber right made such civil behavior a dirty word.
    ESPN is having a tough time not because of what you perceive to be their political leanings, but because they sunk huge amounts of money into the NBA and it isn’t paying off.
    Now for some football.
    Scubog. as usual, you nailed it.
    Skip Bayliss knows very little about anything except for his beloved Cowboys.
    I would love to see Bayliss step into an elevator with Troy Aikmen and see what he looks like when he comes out.
    If you remember Bayliss was the one who was spreading unfounded rumors around about Aikmen possibly being gay.
    Aikmen almost quit Fox when he found out they hired him.
    The guys is just a complete no talent jerk with a big mouth which is what keeps his name in print. See Howard Stern,

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    • Drd. At least Howard is somewhat funny. Satire and dumbass not equatable.
      GO BUCS

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    • Drdneast

      He probably got that idea from ron and jp who always spew that slant on reality. The fact that many stream their tv now has nothing to do with espn numbers i guess. Its all about politics according to them as why viewership is down. I love how they constantly bash espn about their “left” leaning views and how they do not tune into sports for politcs but yet all they do is spew their right leaning views. Very hypocritical.

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  22. Trey Wingo’s comment wasn’t moronic. It was right on the money. Taking Roberto Aguayo in the second round was the worst draft pick ever. Aguayo was the only kicker drafted the year he was drafted. If one of Conner Barth’s misses in 2015 would have been a make, his field goal percentage for the season would have been better than his career percentage. I find it hilarious that the Bucs waived Barth when Aguayo was drafted, but the Bears decided to keep Barth instead of Aguayo. Kicking the most extra points is as indicative if not more of making the playoffs than FG accuracy or making the most 50-yd FGs (reasons why the Bucs drafted Aguayo in the first place). There is a large percentage of teams that have undrafted players as their starting kickers. At the time, more weapons for Winston were needed more than a better kicker.

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  23. Calvin Boaz, can you say Ryan Leaf, Bo Jackson that big steroid tackle Green Bay took years ago, Booker Reese etc, etc. Any first or second round pick that doesn’t make the team is a mistake, it doesn’t matter what position he plays and the draft is littered with wasted first and second round picks.
    Did you know I believe it is 50 percent of the players chosen in the first round aren’t in the league after four years. What makes those better picks.
    If Aguayo had kicked in the pros like he did in college he would have been a weapon.
    BTW, I didn’t like the kick either but I have moved on. I suggest you do the same.
    Give it a rest.

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    • Tony Mandrich. That’s the big steroid using tackle you refer to.
      He actually had a some what decent career with Indy.
      Hands down Bo Jackson is the worst ever. At least all those other bums show up to camp.
      Go Bucs

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  24. Skippy is like a hemroid that needs to be removed!

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