Pewter Report Roundtable

April 17 - Pewter Report editors Scott Reynolds, Leo Haggerty and Jim Flynn have each shared their reaction to Tampa Bay's three most recent player signings. You don't want to miss what the Pewter Reporters had to say in this 900-word commentary.

Pewter Report Editor-In-Chief Scott Reynolds

"It's hard to imagine Jacquez Green returning to Tampa Bay. He was a lazy player who failed to improve during his first tour of duty with the Bucs. He better not be lazy this time around or WRs coach Richard Mann and head coach Jon Gruden will run his butt right out of town. To stay in Tampa he'll have to win the kick and punt return duties. That means not running out of bounds on kick returns and taking some licks. Green had better be tougher than what he showed from 1998-2001. I always thought if Green couldn't cut in Washington under Steve Spurrier in his college offense than he couldn't cut it in the pros. He's not a lock to make this roster and this will likely be his last chance in the NFL before he joins Reidel Anthony in the unemployment lines."

"I think the signing of Dwayne Rudd was a great one by the Bucs. He's a more explosive player than Al Singleton was and look for defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin to capitalize on his pass rushing skills by blitzing him from the strongside more than he did with Singleton. The trio of Rudd, Derrick Brooks and Shelton Quarles may be the most athletic linebacking corps in the NFL. While Rudd has been a productive player for Minnesota and Cleveland, I expect his game will really take off in Tampa Bay."

"I like Aaron Stecker. He's a hard worker and a nice utilityman who can return kicks and be a situational back on offense. However, I think the Bucs will really want Travis Stephens, their fourth-round pick from a year ago, to get more playing time. Stephens is more explosive than Stecker is and that should be a good battle for training camp. Like Green, Stecker signed a one-year contract, and his roster spot is not guaranteed."

Pewter Report Managing Editor Leo Haggerty

"No, I'm not going to hammer the Bucs for bringing back wideout Jacquez Green. If the Pewter Pirates brought him in as a return specialist then I believe it's a good move. I could even live with the thought that the Buccaneers brought him in to be a situational fourth wide receiver to stretch the defense. If Green was brought in with the notion of competing for playing time as one of the top three receivers then it's a waste of time. You can't teach and old dog new tricks."

"Keeping Aaron Stecker was another good move by the Bucs. Stecker gives the Buccaneers a real change-up from Pittman and Alstott at running back as well as one of the top kickoff returners in the conference. And kickoff returns, as we all know, is an area where the Pewter Pirates have been pounding the rock for decades and just can't seem to crack that boulder for a touchdown. Maybe Stecker is the guy to make history this year."

"If we look at this move as a comparison of strongside linebackers, Tampa Bay has upgraded the position. Rudd is faster plus more athletic than the departed Al Singleton, and we all know that to play for defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin you have to be able to run. Now, if they can find a helmet with an extra set of chinstrap buckles...or maybe I shouldn't I even go there."

Pewter Report Assistant Editor Jim Flynn

"Tampa Bay had nothing to lose by signing wide receiver Jacquez Green to a one-year contract. Green's deal is only worth about $525,000, so if he doesn't impress the team as a return specialist, they won't hesitate to part ways with him, again. I like the fact that the Bucs brought in a receiver who has the potential to be a deep threat. Green certainly didn't live up to his second-round drat pick status during his first four-year tenure in Tampa, and although I'm not a huge fan of his, I think the former Florida Gator is talented enough to push punt returner Karl Williams and kick returner Aaron Stecker this season.

"Speaking of Stecker, Tampa Bay's decision to tenure a one-year contract to its restricted free-agent running back was a smart move. Stecker is a player who received limited opportunities in Jon Gruden's running back by committee approach last season, but he did catch Gruden's eye at the end of last year. Stecker is somewhat stuck behind Michael Pittman and Mike Alstott, but if he can start training camp off strong, he could receive more playing time."

"Tampa Bay has never depended heavily on its strongside linebacker in Monte Kiffin's 4-3, cover 2 defensive scheme, but the addition of Dwayne Rudd could be a sign of an evolution of sorts. Although we have yet to see him play in Tampa Bay's defensive scheme, I consider Rudd an upgrade since he's faster and more athletic than Al Singleton. While Singleton played well in his first year as a starter last season, he didn't deliver a lot of big plays, and the Bucs feel Rudd can do that for a defense already full of playmakers."


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