Maybe a trade tomorrow
Time: 11:00 p.m. Saturday
While the Bucs made no trades on Saturday, don't rule it out on Sunday.
Gruden said late Saturday that the Bucs' fourth-round pick (the third overall in that round, could be a valuable commodity.
"Those first four or five picks of the second day are heavily traded," Gruden said. "We'll meet tonight after the draft, isolate seven or eight names. We want to take advantage of where we pick and take players we rate high, not just for need."
A Gruden slip?
Time: 10:55 p.m. Saturday
While talking about the offensive line, Jon Gruden may have let his intentions at quarterback slip a bit.
In talking about the offensive line, Gruden said this: "We don't want Cadillac (Williams) to get hit, and we didn't do a good job of that last year. And we want to take care of (Jeff) Garcia, and, uh, Chris Simms, whoever the quarterback is."
It's hard to convey in the written word, but that "uh" made many of us pause and think, "Hey, he may have just let something slip."
A "Grudien" slip, perhaps? Or is that too cheesy?
The new leader
Time: 10:50 p.m. Saturday
After the draft was over on Saturday, Jon Gruden let the media in on the logic on the Arron Sears selection.
The Bucs appear to believe that Dan Buenning's future is at center and will move the guard there to compete with Matt Lehr and John Wade. They appear to be set on giving Sears every chance to win the left guard spot.
Also, Gruden made it clear who the new leader of the offensive line was — second-year right guard Davin Joseph.
"Joseph needs to be the leader of this line, and I've told him that," Gruden said. "He did it for (Bob) Stoops (at Oklahoma), and he needs to do it for me."
Piscitelli's role model
Time: 10:46 p.m. Saturday
"John Lynch is one of my all-time favorite safeties and I always watched him play," Piscitelli said.
I admit, this guy flew under my radar, but his size and reported hitting ability remind me a lot of Lynch. Also, this guy likes to be the gunner on special teams. I got the impression the Bucs were really excited to get this guy when they did. New defensive backs coach doesn't seem worried about his reputation as a below average tackler. Morris said that reputation came as a result of one poor tackle in a big game. Jon Gruden said repeatedly that Piscitelli had a penchant for big plays in big games.
Looking at No. 64
Time: 8:55 p.m. Saturday
This is shaping up to be a defensive pick. Ray McDonald, Charles Johnson, Marcus McCauley, Stewart Bradley, Quentin Moses and Tank Tyler are all still available as New Orleans picks at No. 58. I think Moses and Johnson are third-round value, but I'd have no problem with any of the others, with McDonald or Tyler as my favorites for the pick.
Time: 8:10 p.m. Saturday
Tennessee G Arron Sears said he talked to Bucs coach Jon Gruden when he was selected and that Gruden referenced an earlier conversation between the two during Sears' visit to Tampa Bay two weeks ago.
"As soon as I picked up the phone, Coach Gruden had his assistant on the phone and she gave him the phone and he said, ‘I told you that you were going to be a Tampa Bay Buccaneer, how do you feel?' I was just excited. My family and I had just been sitting around all day and having a nice cookout and I got the call form him and I was pretty excited."
Looking ahead at pick No. 3
Time: 7:40 p.m. Saturday
This will be an interesting selection because the Bucs own the 64th pick and the 68th pick, which means they'll not only have to determine the best player available, but also if any player they pass on might be taken between 64 and 68. Then, they have to gauge if they can stand to lose any player they pass on at 64. Sounds like what I go through in my fantasy football draft.
I know we're still an hour away, but I think this is a defensive selection. Monte Kiffin made it clear that the inside of the defensive line needed to be addressed. Turk McBride and Tank Tyler are still there, along with Ray McDonald and Tim Crowder. I think they'll address under tackle next because I don't think Tyler will slip into the third.
The newest Buc
Time: 6:40 p.m. Saturday
Tampa Bay took Tennessee guard Arron Sears with their 35th pick in the second round.
So I was wrong on both counts. Sears is a player the Bucs had in to the facility during the visitation period. In some circles he was the best guard on the draft board. At 6-foot-3 317 pounds, he's a massive mountain that's hard to move and could step right into that left guard spot that some believe Dan Buenning may not be ready to fill when training camp begins. It also creates some more competition on the offensive line, which is always a good thing.
Time: 6:35 p.m. Saturday
Entering the second round
Time: 6:20 p.m. Saturday
The first round, mercifully, is over. It's the longest first round ever. Congrats to the NFL. Roger Goodell said, "This is a record you don't want to break."
I think Jon Gruden was right about one thing earlier today.
"I'm really surprised sometimes that it takes the whole 15 minutes," he said. "You know you're going to take your guy. Just send a pick in."
It appears the Buccaneers are going to get a solid player with their 35th pick overall, depending upon which need they decide to address.
If it's offense, I'd look at either wide receiver or offensive line. There's plenty of help there. Certainly Lane Kiffin gave the Bucs a good letter of recommendation on his former pupil, USC's Dwayne Jarrett. Teammate Steve Smith is also there. Don't rule out USC C Ryan Kalil, who would address the need for a future replacement for veteran John Wade, and Texas G Justin Blalock, who I thought would go in the first round. Arkansas OT Tony Ugoh could be there, too.
If it's defense, I'd stick with the front seven. Monte Kiffin mentioned in his press conference earlier that the under tackle position still needed to be addressed. There's plenty of help there in Alan Branch, Tank Tyler and Turk McBride. But I think I'd put my money down on ILB David Harris here. The top ranked inside backer fills a position of need now with the release of Shelton Quarles. Florida's Ray McDonald and Michigan's LaMarr Woodley, both considered ends, could be there, too.
At least the logic of holding on to these second-round picks can now be seen. I would certainly rather use these second-round and third-round picks to add talent and not use them to trade up and get Calvin Johnson, no matter how good he is.
Time: 5:40 p.m. Saturday
This first round is creeping along, thanks to six draft-day trades. But that's not even close to the NFL record for first-round trades.
There were 15 first-round trades in 1995, the NFL record. If you include Atlanta's and Houston's trade in March, this year's total is only seven as Baltimore enters the fray.
Second round is coming
Time: 4:43 p.m. Saturday
It's time to start thinking about the second round, where the Bucs have the 35th and 64th picks.
Offensively, the Bucs could address wide receiver, where USC's Dwayne Jarrett, Tennessee's Robert Meachem and Ohio State's Anthony Gonzalez may all be available at 35. If Gruden is intent on a quarterback, Stanford's Trent Edwards — a player the Bucs hosted at their facility — will be there. Tackles Joe Staley (Central Michigan) and Tony Ugoh (Arkansas) are still available, as are guards Ben Grubbs (Auburn), Justin Blalock (Texas) and center Ryan Kalil (USC).
Defensively, where the Bucs need more help, Michigan DT Alan Branch may drop into the second round. Tennessee's Turk McBride and N.C. State's Tank Tyler may be there, too. All could play that all-important three technique. Purdue's Anthony Spencer and Florida's Ray McDonald are the best available ends (and McDonald could play tackle, too). Penn State LB Paul Posluszny is dropping, but may not get past Chicago at No. 31. Miami's Jon Beason is still out there, too. And Michigan's David Harris, who's been racing up mock drafts and player rankings the last month, could be an option. Most of the elite corners are gone, but Fresno State's Marcus McCauley and Arkansas' Chris Houston remain on the board. Miami S Brandon Meriweather may also be an option if he keeps sliding.
All in all, the talent appears to be there for the Bucs to find help at several positions.
No more Brady
Time: 4:20 p.m. Saturday
If the Browns do nothing the rest of the day, they just had a terrific draft.
First, they take a blue chip offensive tackle, Joe Thomas from Wisconsin, with their No. 3 pick. Then as the quarterback they wanted fell down the draft board, they engineered a trade with Dallas to move up to No. 22 so they can take Brady Quinn.
Well played, Romeo, well played. He now has his QB of the future and the guy who's going to protect his blind side for the next 10 years.
And, I must release my inner Cowboys fan for a moment. I was all set to slam this pick until I found out that the Cowboys not only got the Browns' second round pick, but also the Browns' first-round pick in 2008. It's not like the Browns are going to win the AFC North next year. They'll be lucky to be .500. That's likely a Top 16 pick.
Well played Jerry, well played.
More of Monte's greatness
Time: 3:55 p.m. Saturday
I can't even imagine how Monte Kiffin is wired, but here's some more of his hilarious press conference on Saturday.
On his kid, Lane, picking for Oakland at No. 1 and his close friend, Detroit's Rod Marinelli, picking at No. 2: "I had my cell phone in my pocket quite a bit in the past couple of weeks. Can you believe this? My son has the first pick and he controls a lot of what we're doing. He happens to be a good friend of mine. The next guy with the second pick is a guy that's a real good friend of mine named Rod Marinelli who I coached with for 10 years. I've got two really good friends here. Hey guys, can you help out?! Did they come through or what?"
After his frenetic tirade about tape not lying, he was asked if he wanted some coffee: "That's why I drink decaf. I try to stay low key."
And then he talked about his college days: "You should have seen me in the college days. I'm not proud to say this, but in the old days I used to smoke cigarettes. I don't anymore. Back in those days you could smoke in the buildings and the meetings. The players that I coached in those days, you had the chalkboard and not the wipe boards. I had three different cups of coffee going, three different cigarettes going, I had chalk all over my fingers. But back to your coffee deal?"
On being worried that the Bucs might take Adrian Peterson: "Rocket backfield? Geez. They can't both get the ball at the same time."
And, finally, on hearing the pick of Adams: "We did hear about that (a possible trade), but I don't think there was anything to that. There were probably some phone calls made. When they did say Gaines Adams, I did say, ‘Is this for sure?'"
Monte's Happy — REALLY HAPPY!
Time: p.m. Saturday
We didn't even need to ask Monte Kiffin a question to get a reaction regarding Gaines Adams.
"Let's hear it for the defense!" Kiffin yelled. ‘It's been a long time coming! Man, that feels good. I kept hearing all about the quarterbacks. Heck, we've got what — six quarterbacks. We don't need another quarterback? Can he rush?"
There's no stopping him at that point.
"Years ago we had it humming. I'm telling you, it's not all about quarterbacks sacks it's about pressure. The QB can feel it. They make too big a thing out of sacks, and I'm not going to downplay that, but sometimes a guy makes a great play on a run for a five-year loss, and then it's second and 15. There's no category for that. It's important to get the pressure. The quarterbacks steps up under center and he looks over there and he feels it (the pressure). He feels it in Chicago and he feels it in Indianapolis. They used to feel it from the Bucs and I don't feel like they've been feeling it the last year. So, anyway, Gaines Adams brings that to the table. Great young man. Loves football. He's got a quiet demeanor about him. You think, ‘We'll, he's kind of quiet, can he play?' Yeah, you can be quiet and still be a darn good football player. But he doesn't play quiet when the ball is snapped, I can tell you that. We felt that way about Shelton Quarles. We're extremely excited about this. So fire away."
Is Gruden thinking Quinn
Time: 2:57 p.m. Saturday
Brady Quinn continues to drop, and if you look at the draft board after the Jets took Revis at No. 14, the only team that might be able to make a case for a need at quarterback is Green Bay at No. 16. Then, potentially, Kansas City at No. 23.
It begs the question — might Gruden consider trading up? Dallas, at No. 22 and set at quarterback, might be a likely trading partner. That pick is worth about 750 points on the draft pick value chart. They would need to package at least one more pick to pull it off.
You can be sure Gruden's thinking about it.
We have a trade
Time: 2:50 p.m. Saturday
The first big trade — Carolina and the New York Jets swapping first-round picks, along with some later-round picks — puts the Jets in an enviable position. Do they go cornerback, where they have an obvious need? Or do they put Brady Quinn out of his misery.
On Adams' marijuana use
Time: 2:30 p.m. Saturday
Much was made about Gaines Adams' admission of marijuana use during a confidential interview with the NFL, information that was eventually leaked to Pro Football Weekly.
Adams addressed that issue during his teleconference with the Tampa Bay area media.
"I was just being truthful," Adams said. "That's the kind of guy that I am. I just wanted the teams to know that, if they draft me, that they'll be getting a truthful guy."
Jon Gruden also addressed the issue.
"It's a concern," Gruden said. "Several players admitted to using it. It's been addressed. He spent two days with us out here before the draft. There needs to be an understanding what this league and society is all about and the commissioner (Roger Goodell) has made that clear."
Quinn to the Rams
Time: 2:10 p.m. Saturday
Just chatted with someone who works for the Bucs who used to work for the Rams, and he told me that head coach Scott Linehan isn't that in love with Marc Bulger. That might pave the way for the Rams to end Quinn's misery at No. 13.
If they don't, how far does Quinn have to drop before Gruden starts losing his mind and trading everything in sight to get him?
Time: 1:54 p.m. Saturday
The Miami Dolphins just set themselves back a few years passing on Brady Quinn at No. 9. Terrible pick. They took Ted Ginn way too high. Given all of Quinn's connections to that staff in Miami, this is a horrible mistake.
Even Quinn was surprised. His girlfriend has been sitting next to him the whole time, and God bless her, I think I know what she's thinking:
"This is costing me shopping money."
Time: 1:35 p.m. Saturday
Jon Gruden said there was plenty of speculation about what the Buccaneers would do with the No. 4 pick, and said it was all untrue.
"We sat quietly in a room with no phones ringing," Gruden said.
Gruden also said that Gaines Adams would play right end, which puts him in direct competition with veteran Simeon Rice.
Gruden was asked several times about the rumors surrounding the No. 4 pick, and he said it would take "something drastic" to make a trade happen.
He did say, however, that all the rumors can sometimes lead to some confusion, even inside the insular walls of One Buc Place.
"There's so many analysts, so many rumors flying around, you start looking at your own people in your own building and say, ‘Hey are we trading this pick? Who said that?' We're all pointing fingers at each other. We're going to beat the hell out of each other if we don't make our pick pretty soon."
Time: 1:02 p.m. Saturday
Jon Gruden is about to come down and address the media.
Adams is a Buc
Time: 12:55 p.m. Saturday
I'm sure Jon Gruden was tempted to take Brady Quinn, but he and his general manager, Bruce Allen, made the smart selection in taking Gaines Adams at No. 4. Allen said it himself after the end of the regular season – this team lacked a pass rush. Adams can provide that to a team that has three ends of 33 years of age or older.
Before the pick, Gaines Adams was on his cell phone in the green room, apparently talking to either Gruden or Allen.
P.S. Sal Pal slipped and called Chris Simms "Phil Simms" as he was breaking down the Bucs' options at No. 4.
P.P.S. Adams might still be traded. Stay tuned.
Time: 12:41 p.m. Saturday
If Brady Quinn drops past Cleveland, that makes for an intriguing 15 minutes if you're Jon Gruden. But I don't think that's going to happen.
Time: 12:32 p.m. Saturday
The Lions just took Calvin Johnson.
The Lions fans look pretty happy at Ford Field.
But the intrigue isn't over yet.
The Revenge of Rod
Time: 12:30 p.m. Saturday
ESPN just said that the Lions are demanding both of the Bucs' second-round picks in any deal for the No. 2 pick or Calvin Johnson.
You get the feeling Rod Marinelli is enjoying trying to stick it to his former employers.?
Time: 12:30 p.m. Saturday
Calvin Johnson was shown laughing as ESPN came back from commercial. Something's going on.
Al? Wake up! It's time to pick
Time: 12:20 p.m. Saturday
The Raiders took LSU QB JaMarcus Russell of LSU. So, just about every mock draft has been right for the last two months.
Apparently the Raiders entertained several trade offers before settling on Russell. Cleveland was a likely suitor, but owner Al Davis reportedly wanted a king's ransom — a first, a second, a third and a pick next year.
BTW, the Raiders had not used a first-round pick on a quarterback, running back, wide receiver or tight end in the last 10 years before Saturday.
OK, Bucs fans, here we go. The Lions — and quite possibly the Bucs and Falcons — are on the clock. And the Lions will take the entire 15 minutes. Wonder if Matt Millen has call waiting?
Time: noon Saturday
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell just declared the draft open. Let the madness begin. The Raiders are on the clock.
I get the feeling the Raiders will take the whole 15 minutes.
No deal imminent
Time: 11:58 a.m.
ESPN just reported that no deal is "imminent" between Tampa Bay and Detroit for the No. 2 pick. That coming from a senior league official.
Now it's getting fun. The next hour is going to be crazy.
New York, New Yuck
Time: 11:54 a.m.
During the NFL's short recognition of the tragedy at Virginia Tech University, several alums were on hand, including former Hokies Bruce Smith and Michael Vick. Both were partially booed by the crowd at Radio City Music Hall
Classless. Absolutely classless.
Altered Bucs rumor
Time: 11:07 a.m.
Draftsharks.com also sent me an e-mail putting a new wrinkle on the Bucs-Lions rumors. DS is reporting that the Bucs and Lions are talking about a package that would send the No. 4 pick, a second-round pick, CB Brian Kelly and a later round pick for the No. 2 pick.
Everyone was wondering when the rumors would pick up. Here's we go!
Chargers are going to get better
Time: 11:07 a.m.
Look for the San Diego Chargers to acquire Tennessee's No. 19 overall pick for running back Michael Turner sometime soon. I just got this information from my fantasy football draft service (Draftsharks.com), and they're usually pretty reliable. If this happens, then the Chargers would have No. 19 and No. 30 and a great chance to upgrade at WR, one of their real team needs.
Another WR on block?
Time: 11 a.m.
Remember that Denver's Javon Walker was dealt on draft day last year.
And we still have an hour before this whole thing starts.
Set up at One Buc
Time: 10:45 a.m. Saturday
I'm set up at One Buc Place and it's pretty quiet right now. But all six plasma screens in the media room are going right now and ESPN's Sal Paolontonio (I might not have spelled that right) just walked in. He's reporting live from Tampa today for the Worldwide Leader.
Sal is now entranced by NFL Network's feed, featuring Jamie Dukes and Jess Palmer.
"Jesse Palmer!" Sal says incredulously. "He looks good but he has nothing to say. We've the most volatile draft in years and they're talking about having a few beers."
More to come.
Scout special offer
Time: 12:54 a.m. Saturday
From Saturday through Wednesday new subscribers to BucsBlitz.com can get one month's subscription free, with the purchase of a one-month subscription. This deal only lasts for five days. Get two months of news on your favorite NFL team for the price of one, now through Wednesday.
BTW, my Mavs are getting hammered by the Warriors in Game 3. We look old, slow and like we don't want to be there.
Is this for real?
Time: 9:50 p.m. Friday
NFL.com's Adam Schefter is reporting that the Lions have settled on taking Calvin Johnson at No. 2, unless someone offers a blockbuster deal to acquire the pick. Apparently offensive coordinator Mike Martz has won this battle, for now.
It should be noted that Scout.com's Nate Caminata reported this story at noon Friday, about six hours before Schefter broke the story.
Schefter did report late Friday night he reported that the oft-rumored Randy Moss trade may happen before or during the draft. The trade would sent Moss to Green Bay.
If Moss goes, it's widely believed that the Raiders will take Johnson and draft a quarterback in the second round. There are apparently two major stumbling blocks — restructuring Moss' $20 million deal and Al Davis' approval, according to the report.
Buzz for trading up
Time: 9:45 p.m. Friday
ESPN.com broke down the competition that could ensue between Tampa Bay and Atlanta for the No. 2 overall pick, which would likely yield WR Calvin Johnson.
Tampa Bay has four first-day picks, and it appears as if Detroit is actually willing to take less than market value for the No. 2 pick. That might be good news for Bucs GM Bruce Allen, who probably doesn't want to pay the farm of draft picks he'd need to in order to acquire Johnson.
Meanwhile, the Falcons also have four first-day picks and have natural local ties to the Georgia Tech product. The stumbling block for Atlanta is where it selects — No. 8. If Detroit trades down, it's likely they'll target Clemson DE Gaines Adams, who may not be available at No. 8.
Time: 9:30 p.m.
Listening to Bucs general manager Bruce Allen on Tuesday made me wonder if he's just out of touch or borderline delusional.
On one hand, he told us that he had a pretty good idea of what every other team in the NFL is doing. Then, in the next breath, he told us in the media that the rest of the NFL teams have no idea what the Bucs are going to do.
Our group has done a very good job of keeping our information in house," Allen said. "I can say that because when I see all the different predictions, they really have no insight into what we're going to do."
So all the information flows to Bruce, but none of it flows out? Okay …