SR’s Fab 5 is a collection of reporting and analysis on the Bucs from yours truly, Pewter Report’s Scott Reynolds. Here are four things that caught my attention this week, plus some random tidbits in my Buc Shots section at the end. Enjoy!
I turn 50 tomorrow on April 23 – I didn’t mind turning 40 a decade ago.
At age 40 I was in great shape, and to me, 40 was the new 30.
I’m still in pretty good shape as I hit 50. But some health scares last year with my esophagus (I lost my voice for close to two months last summer and it slowly came back in the fall), a little bout with skin cancer, and the sudden and tragic death of my friend and colleague Mark Cook, who was 50, last August have me feeling quite mortal these days.
The Reynolds family
Pewter Report has covered the Bucs 2022 draft about as well as we can. You won’t find better coverage elsewhere. Longtime PR readers know we do the best job of nailing Bucs draft picks with our Bucs’ Best Bets every year. We accurately forecast the selections of both Joe Tryon-Shoyinka and Kyle Trask last year. Both were Bucs’ Best Bets at their positions. And were picks No. 32 and No. 64 in our final mock draft last year.
Previous Bucs’ Best Bets include Devin White and Jamel Dean in 2019 and Vita Vea in 2018. I think we’ve correctly picked about 40 Bucs or so in my 27 years faithfully serving you at Pewter Report (formerly Buccaneer Magazine back in the 1990s).
We’ll have our final Bucs 7-Round Mock Draft on Sunday night, plus more PR podcasts and draft previews with Bucs’ Best Bets next week. So instead of me overloading you with even more Bucs draft talk in this SR’s Fab 5, I thought I would do something different.
I’ve decided to reflect on my nearly three decades of Bucs coverage and list the 50 things I have loved the most about covering your favorite team. I think you’ll find some of the things I mention to be insightful and hopefully entertaining.
FAB 1. Pewter Report, My Staff And Our Readers
Table of Contents
1. The Support From My Family Makes It Possible
Ashley is the love of my life, but she jokes that Pewter Report is actually my wife and she’s my mistress. After all, I’ve had a longer work relationship with this Bucs reporting enterprise – 27 years – than any other relationship I’ve had outside of being my mother’s son. But I couldn’t do this without the love and support of Ashley and the kids – Ellie, Caden, Logan and Jillian. Thank you for the love you’ve shown me. And for putting up with the long hours in training camp, football season and around free agency and the draft.
I also appreciated the support from my late mother, Judy. She was the one who got me interested in football as a kid and encouraged my writing. Mom was my biggest fan.
2. The Pewter Reporters I Have Worked With
Matt Matera, Jon Ledyard, Mark Cook, Alison Pendrick, Scott Reynolds and Taylor Jenkins – Photo by: Ashley Reynolds
Any general manager is only as good as his staff. And I’ve been blessed to work with some amazing Pewter Reporters in my time. There are way too many to name because I will forget some, but long-timers like the late, great Mark Cook, Jim Flynn, Charlie Campbell, Trevor Sikkema, Matt Matera and Jon Ledyard deserve to be singled out for their loyalty and great contributions.
I love how the Pewter Report staff has grown over the past year, too. J.C. Allen, Paul Atwal, Josh Queipo, Kasey Hudson and a few others we’ll add soon. More great Pewter Reporters mean more great content for you – the Bucs fan.
3. Helping Develop Young Reporters
It’s been awesome to play a small role in helping some young reporters reach new heights – even if its elsewhere. Jenna Laine is now thriving as ESPN’s Bucs reporter. Campbell has been a draft fixture at WalterFootball.com Sikkema went from Pewter Report to The Draft Network and is now at Pro Football Focus. Former intern Chris Krenn is now the media relations manager and beat writer for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Taylor Jenkins is now a lead sportswriter for the Plant City Observer.
All of these great journalists – and others – had the talent to get there on their own. I didn’t do much to help them. Yet I’m honored to have worked with them and call them Pewter Report alumni. If you’re a young reporter and would like some advice or old man wisdom, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.
4. Naming Pewter Report
Pewter Report Magazine
As some of you know, I went to Kansas State University from 1990-95 before moving to Tampa to cover the Bucs. The enterprise was known as Buccaneer Magazine back in the day. Buccaneer Magazine was a tabloid-sized newspaper published weekly during the season with four big offseason issues. Some of you old-timers were subscribers back then. We debuted BucMag.com, our first website, in 1998.
We’ve always been an independent media outlet. But we had a sub-license to use the name Buccaneer from the team up until 2002. That’s when the Glazers approached us about a name change to avoid confusion. We used to get calls at our office about season tickets, and the Bucs used to get calls from fans wanting to subscribe or change their address.
The Glazers politely asked us to change the name and we complied because any marketing we did back then had to get approval from the team, which was cumbersome. I was a public relations major with emphasis on journalism at K-State. I also interned for three years with the KSU sports information department for some practical P.R. experience. So I came up with the name Pewter Report. The word “Pewter” was used because of the unique Bucs color. And the word “Report” was because that’s what we did. I found it funny that as a P.R. major I would run a company also known as “PR.”
5. Working With The Bucs Communications Staff
Speaking of P.R., the Bucs public relations staff – officially known as the communications department – has been outstanding to work with over the years. There have been some great ones I’ve worked with in the past, including Jason Wahlers, Tony Morreale, Dan Berglund and Jeff Kamis among others. But communications director Nelson Luis and his staff is the best I’ve been around. Mike Pehanich, Chris King, Andrew Holman and Danielle Burns are absolute aces that make Pewter Report’s job easy.
6. Pewter Report’s Media Partnerships
Pewter Report has had tremendous partnerships with WDAE 95.3 FM and WFLA News Channel 8 over the years. Proud to work with John Mamola and his on-air crew, as well as Dan Lucas and Karen Loftus on News Channel 8. It’s been fun to take PR from the website to the airwaves on radio and TV to reach new Bucs fans.
7. Pewter Report’s Secret Weapons
Scott Reynolds, Cliff Welch and Bucs COO Brian Ford
Pewter Report’s director of photography Cliff Welch has actually been with the company longer than I have. He started shooting for Buccaneer Magazine in the early 1990s. Welch’s photos have gotten better each year. I hope you’ve enjoyed them in the old magazines and online on PewterReport.com.
Kyle Theil is PewterReport.com’s webmaster. He’s the mechanic that keeps the PR car going around the track at high speeds. We think of Theil like the fifth Beatle of Pewter Report. He’s vital to the growth of our website.
8. Growing The Pewter Report Enterprise
Who would’ve though Pewter Report would outlast the Tampa Tribune? It’s been wild to see our ascension up the media totem pole from the days when the Tribune, the Times, the Orlando Sentinel, the Bradenton Herald and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune all covered the team. Now it’s just PR and the Times from the old days.
PewterReport.com hit 1.3 million visitors in 2020 – the first time we’ve hit a million. We had over 2.5 million visitors last year and this year we’ve already reached 1.6 million Bucs fans. That’s amazing growth that I’m really proud of.
9. Pewter Report’s Ownership
You don’t know Hugh MacArthur, but he’s Pewter Report’s owner and president. My actual title is vice president and publisher. MacArthur is more than my boss. He’s my dear friend and mentor. His unwavering support through some down Bucs years and through the pandemic has been both crucial and generous. His sister, Alison Pendrick, has been a huge addition to our company and runs our operations behind the scenes. Couldn’t do it without either one.
10. You, The Loyal Pewter Report Reader
Folks, I saved the best for last. It’s you – the diehard Bucs fan and loyal Pewter Report reader. Pewter Report wouldn’t exist and I wouldn’t have this career without you logging on and reading our Bucs content. Thank you all for supporting me, and our endeavors at PR for nearly three decades.
FAB 2. The Bucs Players
Okay, let’s get to the fun stuff – the Buccaneers. Here are my favorite Bucs players I’ve enjoyed covering through the years.
11. Interviewing The Legendary Ronde Barber
Scott Reynolds and Bucs legend Ronde Barber – Photo by: Mark Cook/PR
Barber was my absolute favorite Buccaneer to watch and interview. As an objective media member, I’m not supposed to have favorites. Too bad – it’s Barber. He’s one of the most cerebral and exciting players I’ve ever covered. I loved our interviews, which always went over the allotted time because Barber was just so interesting. It’s a crime he’s not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
12. Surviving Hurricane Warren Sapp
I call him Hurricane Warren not just because he went to Miami. Sapp was a force of nature on and off the field. We butted heads a few times in open locker room media sessions, but mutually respected each other. The brash, bold Sapp was an amazing interview because you never knew what you were going to get. If I was going to start a team he would be my first overall pick out of all the Bucs not named Tom Brady. This dominating Hall of Famer literally willed the Tampa Bay franchise to greatness.
13. Being In The Presence Of Tom Brady
Due to the pandemic I covered Brady for a full year on Zoom before I actually met him at the Bruce Arians Gala last year. Brady is an international sports icon the likes of which Tampa Bay has never seen. Seeing him and his mastery of the quarterback position in person is such a thrill for this reporter. It doesn’t matter if it’s on a game day or a training camp practice.
14. Appreciating The Great Lavonte David
Consistent. Clutch. Kind. Leader. Under-appreciated. Those are some of the words that come to mind while describing David and his brilliant, 10-year Tampa Bay career. He’s the second-best linebacker in Bucs history behind Brooks, and one of the nicest, most accommodating players to interview, as well. David even came out and spoke to my Pop Warner a few years ago. He’s just a great guy and a tremendous player. I feel for David for not getting the national recognition he’s due. When the Bucs won Super Bowl LV, I was the happiest for him.
15. Watching The Greatness Of Mike Evans
Scott Reynolds and Bucs WR Mike Evans – Photo by: Mark Cook/PR
I’ve covered a lot of great Buccaneers’ careers wire-to-wire, including Barber, Sapp and Derrick Brooks among others. Seeing Evans’ rise to greatness from his first 1,000-yard season as rookie in 2014 to becoming a Bucs legend has been very satisfying. Covering a franchise known for defensive legends, it’s been fun to see the greatest offensive player in Tampa Bay history come of age. And his off-field philanthropy is noteworthy, too.
16. The Simeon Rice Experience
I swear Rice is an alien from the distant planet Simeon. His language and verbiage is intergalactic for sure. Interviewing Rice, who always had a smile on his face, was always a comical treat. Rice was the best athlete I’ve ever covered. I would watch him practice for three hours in the Florida heat and then run sprints like a fast gazelle afterwards. He never tired. Rice was the greatest, most dominating edge rusher I’ve ever seen in red and pewter. He needs to be in the Bucs Ring of Honor.
17. The Runaway Train That Was Mike Alstott
Alstott was quiet and didn’t like doing interviews. His serious, no-nonsense, workmanlike approach to football was so interesting to observe. The six-time Pro Bowler could make a 6-yard run look like an adventure with his unique blend of agility, balance and raw power. The A-Train energized not only the Bucs, but the fans as well with some of his electric runs. His touchdown run against Detroit in the 1997 playoffs was a thing of beauty, and his TD in the Super Bowl – the first by any Buccaneer – was legendary.
18. The Truth From Demar Dotson
When I needed a money quote I always sought out Dotson. The big, 6-foot-9 right tackle with the Southern drawl always told the truth and didn’t sugarcoat anything. There was no player that made himself more accessible to the media than Dotson. Not because he had an ego. He just appreciated the media and helped us do our jobs. Dotson is one of the best “self-made man” stories there is. He played basketball at Southern Miss and only one year of football. The longest of long shots played 11 years in Tampa Bay, mostly as a starter.
19. El Dragón Hardy Nickerson
The Bucs players called him “Hardware.” I called him “El Dragón” because that’s what he was called in a Nike commercial back in the 1990s. His flex and Incredible Hulk pose fired up his teammates and the crowd. Nickerson brought the attitude necessary to turn the franchise around in the mid-90s. He was intimidating to interview because he was so intense all the time. Nickerson is one of my favorites and should be in the Bucs Ring of Honor.
20. Mr. Jekyll And Hyde John Lynch
Lynch was the nicest guy in the world during interviews, but on the field he was a monster. One of the hardest-hitting players I’ve ever covered, Lynch once knocked out his brother-in-law. True story. Lynch, a recent Hall of Famer, and I are still friends today. And I’m glad he’s never hit me.
21. Well-Reasoned Tony Mayberry
One of the smartest players I’ve ever covered, Mayberry was the thinking man of the Bucs locker room in the 1990s. He was a great quote as a result, and I appreciated his technical savvy as the best center in Bucs history not named Ryan Jensen. He was the first Tampa Bay offensive lineman to make the Pro Bowl (three times). Mayberry deserves to be in the Bucs Ring of Honor.
22. Clutch Quote Will Gholston
Bucs DE Will Gholston and Scott Reynolds – Photo by: Mark Cook/PR
I really admire Gholston because he’s a gritty defensive lineman that does the dirty work in the run game. He’s played 10 years in Tampa Bay and has been a go-to guy for me when I need support quotes on other players. Smart, knowledgeable and opinionated, Gholston will be the first player I seek out when open locker room resumes this year.
23. My Favorite Wildcat Martin Gramatica
Hey, it was a blast having a fellow K-Stater in Tampa Bay. Yes, Josh Freeman went to Kansas State, but Gramatica was my favorite Wildcat in the locker room. His energetic celebrations after field goals were legendary at K-State and Gramatica continued that with the Bucs. That made him a fan favorite. He was one of my favorites, too. So happy he is calling Bucs games for the Spanish flagship station.
24. The Comedy Of Brad Culpepper
No one was funnier in the Bucs locker room than Culpepper. He was like the court jester, and always kept the mood light. While Sapp ruled the locker room with an iron fist, Culpepper provided a unique and needed balance. The two players worked extremely well together on and off the field because of their tremendous football I.Q. Culpepper got his law degree in the offseason while a member of the Buccaneers.
25. Mr. Nice Guy Cam Brate
Bucs TE Cam Brate – Photo by: Scott Reynolds/PR
Brate is a nice guy – a really nice guy. He’s also a really steady, solid tight end. Brate has come up with some clutch catches and touchdowns during his eight seasons in Tampa Bay. He’s a great interview and always wins the Fox 13 Bucs locker room trivia contest against his teammates. Brate has also been to several Pewter Report functions over the years and is generous with his time.
26. Super Sub Tyoka Jackson
I actually became friends with Jackson because we were around the same age in the 1990s. We went to a Wizards-Magic game together in Orlando and out to eat a few times and he was a guest at my wedding. I even named one of my dogs Jackson after him. Jackson was a great quote in the locker room and I really learned the value of super-sub players like him. Guys like Jackson could come off the bench and play valuable minutes on defense. Ellis Wyms was the same type of player in Tampa Bay.
FAB 3. The Bucs Coaches
Football is a players game, but coaches are responsible for the players’ development. They set the tone, build the culture and make the crucial calls on game day that (hopefully) put the players in the best position to be successful and win. I’ve covered some tremendous coaches in Tampa Bay.
27. Learning From Jon Gruden
I learned more football from Gruden and his coaching staff than anyone else in my tenure at Pewter Report. He had his flaws, but I admired the passion and gusto with which he coached. The 2002 Super Bowl season will always have its place in Bucs history. Gruden got a late start after being traded for in mid-February. He had to assemble a new offensive coaching staff and find the right players. It was one of the most difficult and finest coaching jobs of all-time, leading to a 12-4 record. I developed a great relationship with Gruden over the years and call him my friend to this day.
28. Respecting Tony Dungy
I started covering the Buccaneers in 1995, walking in the door with Sapp and Brooks. After experiencing the train-wreck of Sam Wyche, Dungy arrived and brought calm, patience and winning to Tampa Bay. He settled the stormy seas and allowed the Bucs to cruise to victory after 13 years of non-playoff seasons. Dungy won with grace and class and helped build one of the league’s greatest defense. His daughter and mine were friends, so we would also see each other at birthday parties. My mom would get a kick talking football with Dungy on those occasions.
29. Butting Heads With Monte Kiffin
Scott and Ellie Reynolds with Bucs legendary DC Monte Kiffin
I loved Kiffin and campaigned to get him into the Bucs Ring of Honor. But we butted heads big time in 2001. Kiffin once called me into his office and read me the riot act after something I published in Buccaneer Magazine. The details are too much to get into right now, but he didn’t talk to me until training camp during the summer of 2002. Kiffin and I mended fences and have had a great relationship since.
30. The Energy Of Raheem Morris
I remember interviewing Kiffin one time about Mike Tomlin and the legendary defensive coordinator said, “I’m happy to talk about Mike, but the guy you need to keep an eye on is Raheem Morris.” Kiffin was right. Morris’ energy is non-stop and he quickly rose up the ranks to become the successor to Gruden at age 33. Morris and I had a great relationship and I flew out to K-State to see him when he was the Wildcats defensive coordinator in 2006. Can’t wait until he’s a head coach again. Morris deserves it.
31. The Generosity Of Joe Cullen
I really got to know Cullen during his time in Tampa Bay as Lovie Smith’s defensive line coach. I wish he had stayed on under Dirk Koetter rather than Jay Hayes, who was awful and later fired. Cullen taught me a lot about defensive line play and even did a free coaching clinic for my Pop Warner defensive linemen during the summer of 2015. I was glad to see him finally get a defensive coordinator job in Jacksonville last year. Cullen earned it and did a credible job.
32. Being Wowed By Mike Tomlin
Former Bucs coach Mike Tomlin with Ashley and Scott Reynolds
I featured “Mike T” on the cover of a Buccaneer Magazine titled “The Next Big Thing.” Brian Levy, Tomlin’s agent had me overnight FedEx some copies of that issue to the Rooneys in Pittsburgh and credits me for helping Tomlin get the Steelers job. I appreciate that, but doubt it. It was all him. “Mike T” was special from the moment I saw him coach for the first time in 2001 as the Bucs defensive backs coach. The passion, the presence, the command of attention and the attention to details. The Bucs had a franchise-record 31 interceptions in 2002. Tomlin’s DBs had 20 of them. I’m so happy that he’s had so much success coaching in Pittsburgh.
33. Understanding Special Teams From Rich Bisaccia
I think it was during the third day of the draft in 2003 or 2004. Bisaccia was pissed off and feeling unappreciated for some reason and pulled me into his office. Back in the old One Buc Place, Bisaccia’s office was the size of a walk-in closet. But he gave me an impromptu crash course on special teams and all that goes into. Bisaccia has to be a defensive line coach, an offensive line coach, a defensive backs coach and a receivers coach all in one. He lectured me for an hour, and I appreciated it. I gained incredible insight.
34. The Simple Brilliance Of Bruce Arians
Arians is both simple and brilliant. I’ve loved that about him. His no B.S., straightforward manner of speaking is right to the point. Everyone knows where he stands with B.A. And despite being one of the best offensive minds in football, Arians had the brilliance to empower his staff. Arians always gives credit where credit is due. It was a quick three years, but Arians has made the case for being the best head coach in Bucs history.
35. The Mastery Of Todd Bowles
If you haven’t figured it out yet, I love defense. Out of the 16 Bucs players I featured in Fab 2, nine were on the defensive side. After watching some awful defenses under Greg Schiano, Bill Sheridan, Lovie Smith and Mike Smith, Bowles finally brought great defensive back play to Tampa Bay. I love how Bowles gets pressure on the quarterback with his blitz schemes. And who didn’t love Bowles’ mastery of the Chiefs in Super Bowl LV? I’m excited that this defensive mastermind succeeded Arians.
36. Having Drinks With Greg Olson
Olson was the Bucs QBs coach in 2008 and then became the offensive coordinator and QBs coach from 2009-11. For some reason I just connected with Olie. He and I went for some drinks up at Bucs training camp in Orlando in 2008. We would meet up on a couple Fridays at The Blue Martini for drinks and football talk years after that. Olson is just a great guy who has taught me a lot about football from our conversations.
FAB 4. The Greatest Moments In Bucs History
I’ve had the honor of watching some of the greatest moments in Bucs history over the years. I’ve picked six that really stood out.
37. Watching Ronde Barber Run 92 Yards To Glory
It was the greatest pick-six of all time. It was the greatest play in Bucs history – made by my favorite Buccaneer. Ronde Barber’s 92-yard interception return in Philadelphia sealed the Eagles’ fate and made No. 20 a legend in Tampa Bay. Barber’s pick-six sent the Bucs to their first Super Bowl. I get goosebumps every time I see a replay of that INT. Run, Ronde, run!
38. Bucs Win Super Bowl LV
Bucs QB Tom Brady – Photo by: USA Today
Watching the Bucs destroy the Raiders and win Super Bowl XXXVII in 2002 was amazing. But I actually liked Super Bowl LV better because it was at home in Raymond James Stadium. Todd Bowles’ Bucs defense hunted Patrick Mahomes from the start. And it kept the Chiefs offense out of the end zone. Tom Brady’s three first-half touchdowns earned him the Super Bowl MVP, capping off a magical season in Tampa Bay. That was Mark Cook’s last Bucs game before he passed away last August. I’ll never forget that game for a multitude of reasons.
39. The 1997 Wild Card Win
Thirteen years of not making the playoffs had taken its toll on Tampa Bay. The fan base was downtrodden until Tony Dungy, Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks, John Lynch and Mike Alstott turned the team around in 1997. Alstott’s 31-yard TD jaunt gave the Bucs a 20-0 lead in the third quarter en route to a Wild Card win at home. The stadium was electric. I’ll never forget Brad Culpepper picking up a massive Bucs flag and waving it in the end zone as fireworks lit up the sky when it was over. Everyone caught Buc Fever.
40. The Bucs Battle Flags
Bucs fans – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
The Glazers provided all 65,599 Bucs fans with Bucs battle flags for the first time for Tampa Bay’s 2002 Wild Card game against San Francisco. All the Bucs fans waving red and white battle flags in the stadium was a sight to see. The Bucs crushed Jeff Garcia and the 49ers, 31-6. Now the Bucs battle flags come out for home playoff games – and it’s awesome.
41. The First Bucco Bruce Throwback Game
The Glazers did a great job outfitting Raymond James Stadium with orange and white décor, playing 1970s disco and 1980s rock music in the first throwback game in franchise history. For the first time since 1996, the Bucs donned the Bucco Bruce helmet and creamsicle orange jerseys to host the Packers in 2009.
It was quite an upset. A Tampa Bay team that finished 3-13 in Raheem Morris’ first season beat Green Bay, 38-28. Rookie Josh Freeman out-dueled Aaron Rodgers on a magical day.
42. Not Watching Matt Bryant’s 62-Yard Field Goal
The media typically leaves the press box to go down to the field level with about two minutes left in the game. I was down near the tunnel entrance to the field with about two dozen media members when Matt Bryant lined up for a 62-yard field goal against Philadelphia. We were watching the game on a big screen TV as we couldn’t really the see field from our vantage point in the bowels of the stadium.
It was wild because there was a seven-second tape delay on the broadcast. We heard the crowd erupt, knowing Bryant made the miracle kick before he actually kicked on TV. As soon as the euphoric Bucs fans began to scream with joy, Bryant was still lining up for his kick on television. Surreal moment.
FAB 5. The Behind-The-Scenes Stuff
To end my journey down memory lane, here is a collection of some behind-the-scenes stuff that has stood out to me from my time at Pewter Report.
43. Breaking The Jon Gruden Story
Scott Reynolds and Jon Gruden – Photo by: Trevor Sikkema/PR
Trevor Sikkema and I paid a visit to Jon Gruden at his FFCA office on July 27, 2017. It was the Fired Football Coaches of America office as Gruden called it. My mission was to get a jump on his comments on being inducted into the Bucs Ring of Honor before his press conference during training camp that year. I asked him a throwaway question about wanting to possibly coach again after seeing his name linked to several college vacancies like Notre Dame and Tennessee. I though Gruden would just laugh it off. Instead, Gruden gave me the best scoop of all-time.
He was returning to coaching.
“You know? I’m preparing myself to come back,” Gruden told me. “I am. Every day. I’m preparing to come back.” I broke the story in my SR’s Fab 5 the next day that Gruden was going to return to the NFL. It made national news and went viral on social media. Thanks, Jon.
44. Watching Film With Greg Schiano
I did not have much of a relationship with Greg Schiano until the last six weeks of his tenure in Tampa Bay in 2013. We had a very heated meeting at the AdventHealth Training Center after practice one day. He was feeling the heat of another losing season. After that we had some serious mutual respect for each other.
Schiano even gave Mark Cook and I a private, one-hour film session a week after the Panthers game in the Bucs auditorium, which was quite cool. After he was fired, Schiano invited me over to his house to go over some defensive drills that I could teach my Predators Pop Warner defense. Again, quite cool.
45. Playing Tackle Football At One Buc Place
The year was 1995 and I just moved to Tampa to cover the Bucs. My roommate at the time, Mark Dominik (yes, that Mark Dominik), said that a bunch of folks were going to play a game of tackle football after work. He invited me to play. Among the participants I remember were Buccaneers.com senior writer Scott Smith, vice president of communications Nelson Luis and video director Dave Levy among others. Yet we were all in our 20s back then.
The location for our game was the practice field at the old One Buc Place. Yes, this was back in the 1990s before people signed waivers to avoid lawsuits. From what I remember, I played running back and Dominik was the quarterback. He turned the wrong way to hand the ball off to me and elbowed me right in my temple. Dominik gave me a concussion and I blacked out. True story. I retired from playing football – even on a recreational basis – after that.
46. Going To Cover Other NFL Events
Ex-Bucs GM Mark Dominik and Scott Reynolds – Photo by: PewterReport.com
Aside from being able to cover Super Bowls, my career as a Bucs beat writer has enabled me to cover other cool football events. I always love trips to Mobile for the Senior Bowl and Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine. Plus the NFL Annual Meeting (aka the NFL Owners Meeting) is pretty awesome, too. Everyone in the media goes to these events, and most of the coaches and general managers are there, too.
47. Baking In The Sun At Bucs Camp In Orlando
At age almost-50 my skin is now showing the effects of me broiling in the Florida sun for all those years covering training camp at Disney’s Wide World of Sports in the Gruden years. The heat index would often top 100 degrees in the afternoon. Yes, there were two-a-day practices back then. And there was often no wind in Orlando to cool things off.
Instead of seeking shelter under the media tent like most of my colleagues, I braved the heat and the sun instead. I learned a lot about football by standing near the media rope around the practice fields, listening to the assistant coaches just feet away. Training camp was Football 101 for me.
48. Being On The Sidelines At The End Of Games – Back In The Day
Before the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 the media in the press box was allowed to go down on the field and stand on the sidelines or in the end zone for the last four minutes of the game. Now we can’t due to security concerns. But it was an awesome environment being at ground level for the conclusion of so many Bucs games. I miss that atmosphere.
49. The London Trip In 2019
Pewter Report’s Scott Reynolds and Mark Cook – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
I was looking forward to going to London to see the Bucs play the Panthers in 2019. Had some moderate expectations before I went, but London really blew me away. I can’t wait until the pandemic restrictions in England end to go again. I’ll remember that trip because it was my last with Mark Cook before he passed. He and I walked through Hyde Park and out of 9 million people in London, whom did we see? Warren Sapp of all people. We stopped and had a fun chat for 30 minutes.
The next day, Mark, Cliff Welch and our host Roger McQueen walked the River Thames in downtown London and whom did we run into? Jason Licht and his family – it’s a small world after all.
50. Getting The Inside Scoop
So what keeps me going at Pewter Report after all these years? Two things. I want to cover the Bucs for 50 years at Pewter Report. My late grandfather, Claude Smith, worked for one company – WT Galliher & Bros. lumber company in Washington, D.C. – his whole life. As a teenager he unloaded railcars of lumber. He worked his way up to company president. Then he retired as the CEO after 50 years with the company. My grandfather is my inspiration. With 27 years in, I’m more than halfway there.
The other thing that keeps me going is the inside scoop on the Bucs that I get. Half of what I know I can never write or publicly state on a podcast. Some of the inside scoop I’ve received over the years would absolutely blow your mind, Bucs fans. Stick with me long enough and I’m sure I’ll share some with you in the years to come.
Thanks for sticking with me to age 50, Pewter People. I greatly appreciate it.
Scott Reynolds is in his 27th 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 coordinator/defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]
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