Random thoughts on the Bucs and the NFL

Well, I think we’ve been through all of the position players the Bucs are likely to draft if they stay at the number three or number four pick.  After looking at wide receivers, left tackles, defensive tackles, defensive ends and quarterbacks, I am still on the record as saying Wisconsin left tackle Joe Thomas is the man if he is on the board when the Bucs pick.

2. Despite the historical analysis, I keep hearing whispers of Calvin Johnson’s alleged 4.33 speed and “Randy Moss ability with Marvin Harrison attitude.” I don’t know Calvin Johnson from Adam in the Garden of Eden, but I can tell you there is one more reason I worry about us drafting him, and I can sum it up in two words:  Detroit Lions.  Why the Lions?  Well, they drafted wide receivers three years in a row in the top ten picks in the draft. They were so lousy at picking good ones they had to keep picking again, and again and again. Out of Charles Rogers, Roy Williams and Mike Williams, perhaps Roy Williams will pan out.  The others are busts. Why is this relevant? Well, the Bucs have spent two first day picks in the last 3 years on wide receivers:  Michael Clayton at number fifteen overall in 2004 and Maurice Stovall in the third round in 2006. With two first day picks, this should not be a position of need that causes the Bucs to take Calvin Johnson in the top five during the 2007 draft.  Maybe it all works out, but another top pick at wideout when there are so many other pressing needs on the team makes me worried. I don’t want to see Matt Millen disease taking root at One Buc Place.

3. Talk about throwing the baby out with the bath water! Marty Schottenheimer goes 14-2 last season and gets canned.  I guess if Jimmy Johnson can get fired after winning a Superbowl in Dallas, anybody can, but AJ Smith’s logic is escaping me. He lost all of his talented coordinators so he fires the head coach? I guess he decided to go for the full reboot.

Somehow, despite all of this change, the Chargers are still listed as 2008 Super Bowl favorites by the wise guys in Vegas. It won’t last as money pours in on other teams, but I sure wish there was a way go short a team!

5. By the way, great tidbit in last week’s Sporting News on how the Pro Bowl has very little coaching and nobody really expects you to win, kind of like Marty Schottenheimer in the playoffs. Ouch!

6. Can someone please just put Art Monk and his 940 catches in the Hall of Fame already?  I am so sick and tired of listening to and reading about all of the whining every year when he doesn’t get elected it is making me sick. I just don’t care anymore. Please, put him in and put us out of our misery.

Speaking of the Redskins, that Joe Gibbs sure is a coaching genius, isn’t he? Sad to see, but he’ll go out on his shield just like Parcells did this season. Coaches from the pre-cap era are dinosaurs.

Simeon Rice still has the richest contract for a defensive lineman in NFL history and, as Chevy Chase would say, Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead. Five years and counting on the former.

Supposedly Rene Descartes and Isaac Newton invented calculus simultaneously and with no knowledge of what the other was doing. I guess that explains the sudden burst of creative energy across the Tampa Bay area media suggesting the Bucs consider drafting Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson if Joe Thomas and Calvin Johnson are off the board in the first round.

10. And, frankly I’m not certain why the Bucs need two top five picks at running back that are injury prone, can’t catch, and have difficulty picking up the blitz.

11. Don’t you just love the idea of Michael Vick calling his own plays at the line of scrimmage next season? How many ways can you call an incompletion or a run? Perhaps he’ll audible an interception?

12. Mock drafts and player projections in February are ridiculous. Gotta love Mel Kiper and his enthusiasm though, don’t you? Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith rocketed into Kiper’s top 25 right before the Gators’ game. He vanished the very next week.  I also love Kiper hyping Colorado kicker Mason Crosby as a second round pick at worst. Mel clearly reads his own stuff a bit too much. When should a kicker ever be a second round pick?  The answer is never. Certainly not when you can sign one off the street that makes 80 percent of his field goals, including a game winning 62-yarder!

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