Copyright 2006 PewterReport.com

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Here are five things that caught my attention this week:

FAB 1. Roman Oben. Kerry Jenkins. Jeff Christy. Cosey Coleman. Kenyatta Walker. Cornell Green. Zack Quaccia. Jason Whittle. John Wade. Matt O’Dwyer. Matt Stinchcomb. Lance Nimmo. Austin King. Sean Mahan. Derrick Deese. Todd Steussie. Anthony Davis. Jeb Terry. Dan Buenning. Scott Jackson. Chris Colmer. Davin Joseph. Jeremy Trueblood. Toniu Fonoti. Donald Penn. Nick Mihlhauser.

The Bucs have brought in veteran offensive linemen through free agency. They have shelled out big bucks and they have gotten guys on the cheap. They have brought in young offensive linemen through the draft. They have drafted high and they have drafted low. They have even gone the route of the undrafted free agent.

It hasn’t worked. The Buccaneers have not had a Pro Bowl offensive lineman under offensive line coach Bill Muir and I’m not sure they are ever going to.

For some unknown and damning reason, Tampa Bay has really only had a couple clear-cut stud offensive linemen in this franchise’s 31-year history – namely left tackle Paul Gruber and center Tony Mayberry, who was the first Bucs Pro Bowl offensive lineman in 1997.

Aside from getting the group of Oben, Jenkins, Christy, Coleman and Walker to play above their ability in Tampa Bay’s playoff run in 2002, and getting the group of Davis, Buenning, Wade, Mahan and Walker to play competently – but not tremendously – last year, Muir’s track record with the Buccaneers has been rather poor.

Has Muir had the luxury of having a player with first-round talent such as guards Steve Hutchinson or Alan Faneca or tackles Walter Jones or Tra Thomas? No. But he hasn’t shown the ability to take an athletic talent like Walker, whom the Bucs paid a first- and a second-round pick for, and gotten him to play up to his potential. The jury is still out on Joseph, Tampa Bay’s other first-round lineman, but the early results are promising.

But it isn’t like Muir has simply been dealt a bad hand. He’s had a lot of say in hand-picking the offensive linemen he wanted. The results haven’t been good.

The word is that the Bucs scouting department under Rich McKay deferred to Muir when it came time to pick the offensive linemen in 2003 because they hadn’t had much luck in previous years with players like Coleman, Jason Odom and Todd Washington. So what happened? Muir conjured up Nimmo, who was a bust from the start, King and Mahan, who is the only player left from that ’03 draft trio. Muir added Whittle and Wade in free agency, and only Wade stuck around.

Did you realize that Tampa Bay passed over Jordan Black (who was drafted in the fifth round) in favor of Nimmo, a player who wasn’t even on some teams' draft boards? Black won’t sniff a Pro Bowl, but he has started 26 games for Kansas City and is currently protecting Trent Green’s blindside since Willie Roaf’s retirement.

Did you know that the Bucs passed over Dan Koppen (who was drafted in the fifth round) for King? King, who went to Northwestern but spoke like he had rocks in his head, is now a backup in Atlanta. All Koppen has done is win two Super Bowl rings and start 53 of the 54 games he has played in for the Patriots.

Speaking of the Patriots, Russ Hochstein wasn’t good enough to stick with the Buccaneers as a backup guard, yet he has started 10 games for New England. Go figure.

What is astonishing is that the best season by a Buccaneers offensive lineman under Muir may be Oben’s initial campaign with Tampa Bay in 2002. The second-best is perhaps Buenning’s rookie season last year. That’s it. The Bucs offensive line has been consistently inconsistent under Muir and it may be time for him to go after the 2006 season.

If Jon Gruden survives this season, which is shaping up to be a 3-13 campaign, he will likely be asked (read: forced) to make some coaching changes. Gruden needs to look no further than Muir. Scapegoat you say? Take the word “scape” out of it – Muir has been a goat when it comes to producing a quality offensive line during his time in Tampa and it is holding back Jon Gruden’s offense.

Gruden has enough problems trying to get a young wide receiver (Michael Clayton) to catch the ball, a young running back (Cadillac Williams) to hold on to the ball, and a young quarterback (Bruce Gradkowski) to throw the ball. A solid offensive line that could protect the passer and open up holes for the running game would aid all of Tampa Bay’s young skill position players.

Gruden won’t comment on his evaluation of his coaching staff until after the season, but he did offer up one interesting nugget from Monday’s post-game press conference following Tampa Bay’s 17-6 loss to Atlanta on Sunday:

“I’ll be honest with you, our run blocking yesterday left a lot to be desired,” Gruden said. “We didn’t make on-the-move adjustments very well. Defenses are allowed to stem and move before the ball is snapped. When that occurs, we’ve got to be able to react quicker and more precisely. Carnell made some great one and two-yard runs yesterday, I mean great runs. I’m really disappointed in our run game as a whole, very disappointed.”
 
In some ways, this statement is an indictment of the offensive line, but in other ways it is an indictment of Muir. Whenever the word “adjustments” is mentioned in a critique it always refers to coaching.

For those of you who don’t know, Muir is Tampa Bay’s offensive coordinator by title, in addition to being its offensive line coach. But Muir leaves the play-calling duties to Gruden. What Muir’s role is regarding the offense is to game plan the opponent along with Gruden and assistant head coach Art Valero, and install the running game. While Gruden works with the quarterback and the receivers and installs the passing game, Muir is responsible for the running game and the pass protection schemes that marry up with Gruden’s pass routes.

Thus, Muir deserves more blame than Gruden does for a running game that is going nowhere despite a running back capable of rushing for over 1,000 yards. But Gruden deserves the blame of having Muir as his offensive line coach. The interesting thing to note is that Gruden actually inherited Muir – he didn’t hire him.

Muir was hired by the Glazers in anticipation of them hiring Bill Parcells to be the team’s head coach, as he was Parcells’ offensive line coach for the New York Jets. Gruden appreciated Muir’s wisdom and his prowess for getting the line to play virtually mistake-free football in January of 2002. But as Gruden knows right now, 2002 was a long time ago.

The team felt Muir needed some help with the offensive line after the 2004 season, so it hired Aaron Kromer to be his senior assistant. That move hasn’t helped too much, although the players Pewter Report has spoken with say that Kromer has been a welcome addition to the offensive line room.

The question for 2007 is whether Muir will be leading the meetings in the offensive line room, or will it be Kromer or someone new? Based on the results of the last five years and the lack of progress that the offensive line has made, a new direction is needed.

FAB 2. If the current draft order holds and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are picking third in the 2007 NFL Draft, they may have a shot at landing the top defensive player on the board in Clemson defensive end Gaines Adams. Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn will likely be gone to either Oakland or Detroit in the first two picks, and there’s a decent chance that Detroit could take wide receiver Calvin Johnson with the second overall pick.

If Johnson is off the boards, Tampa Bay would likely consider drafting Wisconsin offensive tackle Joe Thomas, Ohio State wide receiver-return specialist Ted Ginn, Jr. (should he leave early for the NFL as expected), or Adams. With Tampa Bay’s glaring deficiency in the sack department this year – the Bucs have an NFL-low 17 sacks this year – Adams would be a welcome addition unless the Pewter Pirates address the defensive end spot in free agency.

Aside from earning first-team All-Amercian honors this year, Adams was also selected as the ACC Defensive Player of the Year with 10.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries, including one for a 66-yard touchdown against Wake Forest that is one of the nominees for the Pontiac Game-Changing Play of the Year. He needs just three sacks in Clemson’s bowl game to break Michael Dean Perry’s Clemson career sack record (28). Adams has 26 career sacks.

With an ideal, 6-foot-5, 260-pound frame that holds up against the run and the pass, Adams would be a great fit rushing from either side of Tampa Bay’s defensive line. At Clemson, the coaches would flip-flop Adams from right to left to keep opposing offenses off balance. Because of his quickness and athleticism, Clemson also dropped him into coverage on zone blitzes the way Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin uses Simeon Rice, who may not be back in 2007, on zone blitz calls.

Not only has the Tampa Bay scouting department been studying Gaines’ body of work, it has also an in-house resident who can give the best scouting report on the gifted pass rusher – defensive end Charles Bennett, who is one of Tampa Bay’s seventh-round draft picks. Bennett and Adams were bookend pass rushers at Clemson from 2004-05. If he hasn't already, Bennett will be called in to debrief the college scouting department on Adams' character and demeanor.

“He’s a good guy,” Bennett said of Adams. “He’s a great pass rusher. He’s a smart, level-headed guy. That’s my bro. We roomed together all throughout college and we looked out for one another. He’s an all-around good guy.

“He had a lot of playing experience. He’s played since he was a sophomore. He played more snaps than I did at Clemson on the defensive side of the ball. Good players make big plays. I was the leader last year. This year, he’s the leader. He made big plays when they needed them.”

Even though the prospect of Tampa Bay drafting Adams could possibly squeeze him out of a roster spot next year due to his seventh-round draft status, Bennett would welcome the Bucs drafting his former teammate in April.

“We’ve definitely talked about it,” Bennett said. “We would love it. I told him that I would have to outwork him because he would come in in a good situation (as a first-round draft pick). I would have to outwork him and do what I could. Maybe we could be roommates together. You never know.”

But Adams isn’t the only Buccaneer who could provide a first-hand scouting report on a former teammate who is destined for top 5 draft status. Thomas played left tackle next to Bucs guard Dan Buenning while together at Wisconsin two years ago, and Tampa Bay wide receiver Maurice Stovall caught passes from Quinn last year at Notre Dame.

FAB 3. PewterReport.com was the first media outlet to report that Tampa Bay running back Earnest Graham had re-signed with the Buccaneers. We don’t have to report that Graham is one smart cookie for doing that deal.

Why? Graham bucked the trend and actually negotiated his own contract without an agent and saved the typical three percent commission that agents charge to represent players. Less than five percent of NFL players negotiate their own deals without the help of agents.

How much did Graham save by serving as his own agent? His base salary increases from $425,000 in 2006 to $510,000 in 2007. Three percent of $510,000 alone is $15,300. Provided Graham is still a Buccaneer when he gets paid his $605,000 base salary in 2008 and he’ll save $18,105.

“I had a guy I talked to that kind of advised me on my situation, but I don’t have an agent at the moment,” Graham told PewterReport.com. “I pretty much dealt with them one-on-one and it wasn’t really hard. With my situation, it wasn’t a lot and it wasn’t too complicated. I dealt with Doug Williams and Bruce Allen on my deal.

“I went in there with what I thought I was worth and what I thought was good for me and they tried their best to meet it and we came out with something that made both sides happy and I was cool with it.”

Considering that football players are taxed in the highest income bracket and see at least 35 percent of their income taken by the government, keeping an additional $33,000 or so by eliminating an agent is quite significant.

“Yeah, it did make a difference,” Graham said of saving the standard agent fee. “I didn’t see a reason to go out and get an agent in my situation. It wasn’t that complicated. Typically they get three percent, so I didn’t see any reason to do that. I went ahead and did it myself. They approached me and told me that they wanted to reward me for all of the hard work that I’ve done over the last three years and they wanted to get an extension done.”

Graham didn't get a typical signing bonus that teams like to spread over the life of contracts, but what he did get was a $150,000 bonus in the form of a base pay increase for the last weeks of this season. Graham also saves the three percent on that, too.

While Graham was a feature back at the University of Florida, he knows that the only place he’s going to get featured in Tampa Bay is on special teams, especially with other ballcarriers such as Cadillac Williams, Michael Pittman and Mike Alstott ahead of him on the depth chart. Currently, Graham is leading the team with 17 tackles on special teams and has found his niche as a Buccaneer.

“Special teams was something that the coaches stressed, and I listened,” Graham said. “I didn’t play special teams at college, but I did that when I came here as an undrafted free agent. You see the numbers that they keep and at first you aren’t aware that the number 53 is a real small number. You’ve got your starters, you’ve got your backups and then you’ve got two or three guys who make the teams just due to special teams.

“It’s good money for just running down the field and doing something that you enjoy doing. I love what I do and I’m looking to finish first in special teams tackles this year. That is a goal of mine. It’s a big goal that I set out to do before the year started. Torrie Cox and I are pretty much tied for the lead right now. It’s a race to try to get tackles.”

Presently, Cox and Blue Adams are tied for second behind Graham with 16 special teams stops. Graham is a smart guy and knows that there are plenty of special teams aces who make half a million dollars each year for the better part of a decade and have a nice career financially.

“Jameel Cook was the one guy who got in my ear about special teams,” Graham said. “He told me to get good at it and to play hard for Rich Bisaccia and you’ll make a spot on this roster. Jameel finished first on special teams last year and he really took me under his wing and helped me mold my mentality towards it. I’m making a pretty good living off of doing that. If it leads to anything else and I get to contribute on offense, so be it. But I’m here to play special teams and that’s what I’m paid to do and I like doing it.

“Every week I prepare myself to play, but against Pittsburgh at the end of the game I got some draws and some wide open looks. I tried to go in there finish off some runs, try to run hard and break a couple of tackles. It felt good to get some playing time, even if it was at the end of the game in a losing situation. I want to play. Special teams is very different from what I was used to on offense. It’s intense, high speed and very physical. I liked it right away. I’ve watched film on other special teams guys around the league and have tried to get better.”

While Graham relishes his annual role of Mr. August when he leads the team in rushing during the preseason, the regular season is what counts and running down and covering a kickoff is just as exciting as breaking off a touchdown run in a meaningless exhibition game. Graham will have his hands full this week on special teams when Tampa Bay travels to Chicago to face rookie return demon Devin Hester, who already has an NFL record six returns for touchdown this season.

“It’s something you have to take pride in,” Graham said. “I don’t look at it like this team is throwing me some scraps by putting me on special teams. Some guys might look at it like that, but I don’t do that. I see guys come through here all the time who don’t ‘get it.’ They might want to run the ball or try to crack the starting lineup, but you have to have a niche. You have to be able to make some plays on special teams. The one thing about this league is that once you are out, it’s hard to get back in. It’s much easier to stay in this league than try to get back in.”

Earnest Graham is a smart man – and now he’s a little bit richer, too.

FAB 4. Speaking of riches, some Buccaneers fans are fretting because while Tampa Bay is an estimated $25 million under the salary cap of $109 million in 2007, there are 15 other teams in the same boat. But there is a difference. While other teams may have a ton of cap room, too, many have a lot of their own free agents that need to be re-signed – and some won’t come cheaply.

Pewter Report does not have access to every team’s 2007 salary cap situation and free agent lists, but one has to look at Tampa Bay’s unrestricted and restricted free agent class and predict that the Bucs could have the players they want back without eating up even $10 million. Other NFL teams might have to spend at least half of their cap surplus re-signing their top players. Here’s a list of Tampa Bay’s free agent class of 2007:

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
FB Mike Alstott
CB Phillip Buchanon
CB Torrie Cox
T Cornell Green
TE Keith Heinrich
G Sean Mahan
LB Wesly Mallard
TE/LS Dave Moore
QB Tim Rattay
QB Chris Simms
FB Jerald Sowell
DE Dewayne White

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
CB Blue Adams
G Jeb Terry

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS
S Kalvin Pearson
WR Paris Warren

The Miami Herald reported last week that the Dolphins are one of those 16 teams that have over $20 million to spend in free agency, but noted that several big-name starters such as offensive tackle Damian McIntosh and defensive linemen Vonnie Holliday and Tim Bowens were among the stars that needed to be re-signed. Miami could spend $8 million on just those three players alone and the Dolphins still have over 17 unrestricted free agents left to consider signing.

Tampa Bay could easily join the ranks of San Francisco, Arizona, Tennessee, Buffalo, Minnesota, St. Louis and Green Bay by releasing or trading some players. A list of those players and their respective cap savings is listed in Pewter Report’s December Issue – the Cheerleader and 2007 Salary Cap Preview – but the total that Pewter Report computed was an extra $21.3 million.

Fear not Bucs fans, your team will have plenty of money to spend in free agency. Here’s hoping Tampa Bay spends it wisely.

FAB 5. Here are some things to hold you over until next week:

• Tampa Bay head coach Jon Gruden could be in a real pickle in the Bucs’ season finale´ against Seattle. His feature back, Carnell “Cadillac” Williams, currently has 772 yards rushing heading into Sunday’s game against Chicago. If Williams hits his average of 59 rushing yards per game over the next two weeks at Chicago and at Cleveland, he will have 890 yards rushing heading into the game against the Seahawks. With only 110 yards to reach 1,000, Gruden would naturally want Williams to hit that rushing plateau for a second-straight year. Call it a consolation prize for Chucky, Cadillac and the Bucs for a really bad 2006 season. But if Mike Alstott announces he’s going to retire from the NFL and that the Seahawks game will be the last game of his career, Gruden really needs to ensure that Alstott’s touches increase from 3-4 per game to 10-12 in his final game. That may mean Williams would miss out on his chance at the century mark. So be it. Alstott has done more for this franchise than any other running back has – and no Buccaneer has produced more touchdowns. Gruden’s lack of offense and 3-10 record already have fans calling for him to be fired at the end of the season. If Alstott declares that he’s going to retire and doesn’t get at least 10 touches, there could be a riot at Raymond James Stadium, and Gruden might not make it out alive. In a meaningless season finale` to a season without much meaning, Gruden needs to give the fans what they want – one last ride on the A-Train. Even if it means Caddy doesn’t get 1,000 yards. If Gruden dials up 40 more against Seattle, that noose around his neck just might get a little looser. If Gruden doesn’t – that noose gets much tighter.

• If Mike Alstott doesn’t announce his retirement prior to the season finale´ against Seattle, shame on him. I don’t want to hear any whining or complaining from Alstott, his fans or apologists if he waits until the offseason to decide to retire and then bitches because he didn’t get enough carries or touches from Jon Gruden in the A-Train’s last game as a Buccaneer. The team and the fans will give him a proper tribute and farewell if he announces prior to the Seattle game. But Gruden cannot be blamed if Alstott isn’t featured more on New Year’s Eve if the A-Train keeps quiet. Last year, a lot of folks assumed the Redskins playoff game was Alstott’s last, but he decided to return in 2006. Even if Alstott’s immediate future with the Bucs is undecided he should still announce that he plans on retiring. It didn’t stop Junior Seau from making a quick U-turn out of retirement once New England came calling this fall. Rock legends like The Rolling Stones and Kiss have had several “farewell” tours. Alstott can have one, too, if he decides to change his mind and return in 2007.

• I’d like to give a lot of credit to Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin for creating an excellent defensive game plan to stymie Atlanta last Sunday. Upon further review, give each player (except for safety Will Allen, who was flat-footed when juked for a 21-yard touchdown by fullback Justin Griffith) and defensive coach a higher mark for Sunday’s effort against the Falcons. Here is some X’s and O’s for your football purists out there. You really can’t commit to stopping the run by playing a Cover 2 zone. The reason is because in a one-gap defense like Tampa Bay plays there are eight gaps to fill (A gap, B gap, C gap, D gap on each side of the center) and only seven defenders to do so (four defensive linemen and three linebackers). When Tampa Bay plays Cover 2 it is rolling the dice that it picks the right gaps to fill with only seven defenders. With Atlanta being the best rushing team in the NFL averaging a stunning 202 yards per game on the ground, Kiffin didn’t want to leave that to chance, especially with a quarterback like Michael Vick, who entered Sunday’s game needing only 46 yards to surpass Bobby Douglass’ record of 968 yards rushing, which is the highest season total for a quarterback in the NFL. Keep in mind that Tampa Bay also surrendered a franchise-high 306 yards on the ground in Week 2 at Atlanta. So Kiffin played a mix of man coverage and Cover 3, which is zone coverage, but pretty close to man because the two outside corners and a safety are responsible for the deep thirds of pass coverage. In fact, cornerback Ronde Barber said on his weekly radio show on WDAE 620 AM that this was about the most man coverage he’s played in a single game as a Buccaneer. It worked. Barber and Phillip Buchanon, who got the start at left corner in place of Juran Bolden, who played nickel, had great games shutting down Michael Jenkins, Ashley Lelie and Roddy White. Playing man coverage kept Tampa Bay’s linebackers around the line of scrimmage, and Kiffin had Shelton Quarles, Derrick Brooks and Ryan Nece spy Vick, holding him to five yards on three carries. Quarles finished with 1.5 sacks, splitting the first one with Nece, who did a great job of containing Vick and using the sideline as a 12th man. Defensive ends Greg Spires (eight tackles) and Dewayne White (four stops) also did a great job of shutting down Atlanta’s option and containing Vick. The reality is that Atlanta gained only 280 yards and scored 10 of its 17 points against Tampa Bay’s defense. By surrendering only 139 yards rushing, the Bucs held the Falcons 63 yards below their season average. Well done, Monte and Co. If Tampa Bay’s offense wasn’t so impotent, the Bucs would have had their fourth win of the year last Sunday.

• The Buccaneers are really pleased with the play of cornerback Phillip Buchanon and under tackle Jovan Haye, who were both in-season acquisitions. Buchanon, who was picked up off waivers from Houston after flaming out in Oakland, replaced Brian Kelly on the roster, and Haye, a former Cleveland practice squader, was brought in to help fill the void left by Anthony McFarland’s departure. Both players had their best games as Buccaneers against Atlanta. Buchanon had six tackles, two passes defensed and an interception in the end zone. He looked very comfortable playing man coverage, which comprised the majority of Tampa Bay’s game plan. Buchanon, who will be an unrestricted free agent in 2007, is impressing the Bucs and could be Tampa Bay’s starter next year – either in base coverage and/or nickel. He’s young, he’s experienced, he’s athletic and he’s the quickest corner on the team. Buchanon needs to become a more physical corner and get his confidence back. He took big steps on Sunday. Haye had five tackles against Pittsburgh and made a career-high six stops against Atlanta, at times outplaying the injured Ellis Wyms at under tackle. Haye, who is under contract next year in Tampa Bay, has quickly earned the respect of his teammates by playing hard on every down and being a fiery, energetic defender on Sundays. He’s physical and strong inside and is still learning how to play defensive tackle after playing defensive end at Vanderbilt two years ago. Credit Tampa Bay’s personnel department for finding these gems in-season, which is very hard to do.

• Speaking of defensive tackles, the line on the stat sheet for Indianapolis’ Anthony “Booger” McFarland showed one tackle while the Colts run defense got shredded by Jacksonville for a franchise-high 375 yards rushing. If you watched highlights of Jacksonville’s big runs, they all came up the middle where McFarland was relegated to bystander status. With 42 rushes by the Jaguars, how does a defensive tackle only get one tackle? Criticize Bucs general manager Bruce Allen all you want for signing Derrick Deese, Todd Steussie and Charlie Garner, but Allen absolutely fleeced the Colts by sending this turd to Indy for a second-round pick.

• Jon Gruden is feeling an enormous amount of heat right now for a putrid offense and a 3-10 record, and understandably so. But one has to wonder if Tony Dungy becomes the only NFL coach to be fired from two teams after producing winning records and making the playoffs? No, I don’t think the Indianapolis Colts are going to fire Dungy after this season, but you never know. I love Dungy as a person and a coach and have a tremendous amount of respect for him, but he was charged with building a Colts defense that rivaled its offense and he has largely failed. While most of the salary cap money has been used on offensive players such as Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne and Edgerrin James in recent years, Dungy has used plenty of first-day draft picks to use to build his defense. Since arriving in Indianapolis in 2002, Dungy has spent 10 out of 12 first-day draft picks on defense, but to no avail. Dungy’s defense looked horrible last week at Jacksonville and one has to wonder what he’s actually done in Indianapolis since he kept offensive coordinator Tom Moore around to run the offense and didn’t fiddle with Manning’s game. Dungy and Gruden have quite a few similarities these days, although Dungy is still in the running for the Super Bowl while Gruden is in the running for the Senior Bowl. However, Gruden has the satisfaction of owning a Super Bowl ring while Dungy is still waiting for his day to come one February evening. Sadly, given his track record in the postseason in Tampa Bay and Indy, I don’t think it will ever come.

• Finally, I’m here to remind all of our Pewter Insider subscribers to renew or extend their subscriptions right now. Why? Pewter Report is slightly increasing our prices across the board to help offset increase costs in the printing business. However, they will still be a great deal lower than they were under previous ownership, which charged $49.99 for a combo subscription. For example, the price of an annual combo will increase from $36.99 to $39.99 on January 1. The prices for two- and three-year subs will also see slight price increases. And no, we won’t be raising our rates for at least the next 12 months, and it is doubtful that we ever will as $39.99 is a fair and attractive price point based on our data. But I encourage you to lock in 2006 rates NOW and save some cash. Plus, our FREE $5 Sports Fan-Attic gift card promo is still going on and will continue through the end of the December. For a one-year combo, you’ll save $3 on your subscription AND get a FREE $5 Sports Fan-Attic gift card. You’ll save even more and be rewarded with a $15 gift card by locking in 2006 prices for three years with a three-year subscription for $83.99. The most critical offseason in Bucs history is almost upon us, and you know that’s when a subscription to the Pewter Insider becomes even more valuable – especially with big offseason issues such as the Free Agency Preview, Free Agency Review and Bucs Draft Preview coming up in the next few months. Don’t wait until January. Save some cash and renew or extend your subscription now by calling 1-800-881-BUCS(2827) or clicking here. And if you don’t get what you want for Christmas or Hanukkah or any other seasonal holiday you may celebrate, give yourself the gift of inside information with a Pewter Insider subscription. Besides, the Senior Bowl is just over 30 days away.


Looking for the best selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers merchandise? Pewter Report endorses Sports Fan-Attic, with 9 Tampa Bay area locations in most major malls. To shop for Bucs merchandise on the Internet, as well as the largest selection of NFL, NCAA, NBA, NHL, MLB and NASCAR, visit SportsFanAtticShop.com.

Scott Reynolds is in his 25th 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 sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: sr@pewterreport.com
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