Roy Cummings Chats With Joe

July 14th, 2010

Don't expect Greg Olson to have his feet held to the fire if Josh Freeman struggles in 2010, says Tampa Tribune beat writer Roy Cummings. photo by Kyra Hallett.

While Joe hammers away to deliver his readers all things Bucs every day, Joe loves this somewhat quiet time of year. It gives Joe a chance to enjoy plenty of relaxed conversation with his media colleagues.

Joe caught up to esteemed Bucs beat writer Woody Cummings recently, and the veteran beat scribe at The Tampa Tribune & graciously agreed to a Q&A session for readers.

Joe hit up Cummings with questions about expectations inside One Buc Place, the rookie class and more. …Thanks, Woody!

Joe: This new Bucs regime already has gone through two offensive coordinators. Whispers are that if Josh Freeman struggles this year a lot of the blame will fall on Greg Olson. How concerned are the Bucs that Freeman could end up like Alex smith or Jason Campbell and have a flavor of the year for an offensive coordinator? What’s their mindset on that?

Tampa Tribune beat writer Roy Cummings: One thing you have to remember about Josh Freeman is that he has spent all his time as the Bucs starting quarterback working in Olson’s offense. He wasn’t getting very many reps during the time Jeff Jagodzinski was in charge, so I would think he had a pretty easy time making the adjustment to the new scheme. And that’s a scheme that, for the most part, is very familiar to the people who will be playing around him. If Josh Freeman struggles this year, I don’t think it will be because of Greg Olson’s offense or a change a year ago in coordinators. It will be because he’s a first-year starter who is still learning not only the league, but his own strengths and weaknesses.

Joe: How much rope will the Bucs give Raheem The Dream? How will he earn a passing grade from the organization in 2010?

Cummings: I think Raheem’s rope is a pretty long one and extends well beyond this season. The key for him is to A) stick with the rebuilding plan that the Glazers have implemented and B) get the players to buy into his approach and his system. The first part of that equation is pretty simple, because it only calls for Raheem to grow as the team grows. The second part is a little trickier because it requires Raheem to continue to get the most out of his players at a time when they are going to produce only modest win totals – at best. As long as the players believe in Raheem and play hard for him, he’ll be fine. If you see any sign of quit in the players, though, particularly the key players such as Josh Freeman, Kellen Winslow, Gerald Mcoy, etc., then Raheem’s in trouble.

Joe: The Bucs have a profound lack of experienced, proven depth at most positions. How much does this concern Mark Dominik? And do you expect to see the Bucs make more Keydrick Vincent–like signings as the season draws closer?

Cummings: The Bucs are not as concerned about the lack of veteran depth as you might think. It is a concern up front on offense because those guys are charged with protecting Josh Freeman, but in other places the Bucs are more than willing to go with the kids, even in reserve roles. Remember, the Bucs’ goal right now is to build a team that can be a Super Bowl contender for eight to 10 years or more. It will probably be another year or two before they complete the process, so the lack of veteran depth is simply a byproduct of the rebuilding program. As this team grows and gets closer to becoming the team the Bucs want it to be, they will add more veterans. For now, though, they want the kids to play.

Joe: There’s been a lot of buzz around rookie Mike Williams. What’s your take so far on this big crew of rookies? And who else seems to have that something special to be a standout contributor in his first season?

Cummings: I think the buzz created by Mike Williams is well warranted. With all due respect to Arrelious Benn, Williams is the best receiver prospect on the Bucs roster. He has stud ability. So do Gerald McCoy and Brian Price. Those two guys are special and should eventually give the Bucs one of the best interior defensive fronts in football. Of all the other rookies the one I like the most is Myron Lewis. I think he can make an immediate impact on defense as a right corner in the nickel package. The other guy to watch is Dekoda Watson. I’ve talked to a couple of scouts who compared him to a young Derrick Brooks. I’d say give Watson a year or two and then watch out. He could creep up on this team and become the best linebacker they have in the bunch.

Joe : “Joe” is not convinced the troika of running backs is that good, and now Earnest Graham will take a pounding from Day 1 at fullback. This, more than a lack of receivers, will hurt the Bucs. Is Dominik convinced he has the right guys in the backfield or will this, along with defensive end, be an area of primary need next year?

Cummings: To me the running back situation is a glass-half-full, glass-half-empty sort of thing. Some believe the Bucs are very deep, some, like you, don’t. I can see both sides. The good news is that if Williams goes down, the Bucs have a proven and capable backup in Ward and another proven and capable option in Graham. That makes them pretty deep at RB. The problem is that they don’t have a legitimate fullback. Graham can fill that role in Greg Olson’s offense because he’s an excellent pass catcher, but the Bucs have to be hoping that Chris Pressley or some other fullback emerges for them. If that happens, they become even deeper because they can then move Graham back to running back. Bottom line: the depth problem is not at RB, it’s at FB. Correct that and the Bucs should have no trouble putting together a capable rushing attack.

Joe: Over decades, you’ve been a beat writer for various major sports teams. With training camp just two weeks away, do reporters get excited, too? Do you get fired up for football season?

Cummings: Absolutely. The hours are long and the workload is heavy, but it’s the start of a new season and I’m very excited to see where this team is headed. The Bucs right now are like a new book or a new movie that you’ve just started reading or watching. At this point we’re still being introduced to the major characters and we have no idea where it’s all headed or what the outcome will be. That’s exciting and adventurous.

51 Responses to “Roy Cummings Chats With Joe”

  1. bucfanjeff Says:

    Yawn…is it camp yet?

  2. Kyle Says:

    No yawn Joe.

    “As long as the players believe in Raheem and play hard for him, he’ll be fine. If you see any sign of quit in the players, though, particularly the key players such as Josh Freeman, Kellen Winslow, Gerald Mcoy, etc., then Raheem’s in trouble.”

    Still say he can’t survive four wins. How long do the Glazers stick it out with the fans fleeing the team?

  3. Radio Mushmouth Says:

    Raheem has a long rope that extends well beyond next season??? What??!!

    Seriously , does the Tampa Tribune really pay this guy for his stupid opinions??

  4. eric Says:

    “Remember, the Bucs’ goal right now is to build a team that can be a Super Bowl contender for eight to 10 years or more”

    Thank you Glazer hack!!!!

    Lets see, since it wont start for two years, thats a group of players staying together for 12 years! Anybody ever pointed out to this idiot the average length of time a NFl player even stays in the league?

    3 1/2 years you dolt!

  5. Dave Says:

    Truth hurts, hatemontgers. What is Cummings supposed to make stuff up?? This is the 2010 Bucs. Deal with it.

    Cummings knows the game changes based on peformance. Rough freaking crowd. Eric, you’ve successfully gotten under my skin.

  6. MOBucs Says:

    A very fair and objective assessment of the team by Cummings! It will be another rough year, but there sure are lot of things to like about this young team! 2 1/2 weeks to go!

    Go Bucs!

  7. JimBuc Says:

    Shocking — only took three posters for somone to take a shot at Cummings’ credibility and it was Mushmouth. OK, well . . . the last part is not so shocking. Uh . . . well . . . first part isn’t either. In the words of Rosanna Rosanna Danna . . . NEVERMIND.

  8. Radio Mushmouth Says:

    I think the Tampa Tribune has a similiar plan for Cummings . He’s on a long leash, and they must figure about 8 years from now he’ll finally become a decent beat writer.

    I have my doubts about that one also…

  9. JDouble Says:

    ”The Bucs right now are like a new book or a new movie that you’ve just started reading or watching. At this point we’re still being introduced to the major characters and we have no idea where it’s all headed or what the outcome will be. That’s exciting and adventurous.”

    Love it.

  10. BigMacAttack Says:

    Who’s Roy Cummings? Does he play for the Rays?

  11. BigMacAttack Says:

    Oh Okay, Roy Cummings the pornstar. I got it.

  12. thomas Says:

    I just can’t fathom a journalist being so ho-hum about this obviously sham of a plan. I understand that Cummings’ information is tied to access, and the Tribune cant afford to lose any advertisers, but you have to consider the context within which he speaks.

  13. Mr Hands Says:

    Radio Mushmouth is pretty much the worst commenter I’ve encountered in many years of reading blogs. I’d suspect he was a troll but his posts are just a little too stupid.

  14. Radio Mushmouth Says:

    Despite your years and years of reading blogs , you’ve failed to notice that the majority of the people agree with me … So who’s the stupid one?

    Believing the Bucs will give this mental midget ,”Rah” ,2 or 3 more years of double-digit losing in order to implement some incoherent plan of future sucess, is the TRULY stupid opinion , not ours.

    Get a clue, jack-ass.

  15. BigMacAttack Says:

    Radio Mushmouth is family.
    If this was the Adam’s Family, he’d be Uncle Fester.

  16. Sobo Says:

    Funny how you blast Roy Cummings’ credibility yet you are followers of faceless cartoon character who goes by “Joe.” Somebody should do a sociology thesis on this site.

    What do you all expect Cummings to say in July?

    First time commenter. Last time commenter. Peace.

  17. Louie the HATER! Says:

    Slow news day. In tomorrow’s Tribune, there will be an article with Woody interviewing Joe.

  18. RustyRhino Says:

    @ Eric,
    “Remember, the Bucs’ goal right now is to build a team that can be a Super Bowl contender for eight to 10 years or more”

    Thank you Glazer hack!!!!

    Please explain why this make him a hack????

    We have seen it happen before, and it has came right out of the OWNERS mouths, and the team is ‘trying” to rebuild a foundation that has for years been crumbling.

    you must have meant this:
    One who undertakes unpleasant or distasteful tasks for money or reward; a hireling.
    A writer hired to produce routine or commercial writing.
    But to call someone these things would mean that you have knowledge on the dealings of these people. Do you profess to have this knowledge?
    Or are you just hacking to hear your self hack?
    as in to cough in a short dry manner.
    I’m just wondering?

  19. Mr. Lucky Says:

    Personally I thought that the comments that came out of Cummings sounded like Dominik talking to Joe.

    I can appreciate the fact that Cummings is looking at the potential of the players but it was presented in such a laid back manner. Sure I know it’s only July but I was expecting a sirloin but got pureed peas.

    I wanna go back on vacation 🙁

  20. DRB Says:

    It’s Rosanne Rosanna Danna…….. and she never said that…….. it was Emily Litella who used that phrase on SNL. Both characters played by Gilda Radner.

  21. Radio Mushmouth Says:

    RustyRhino ….it’s laughable that you would buy the Glazers “rebuilding ” line , when it’s so blantanly obvious the REAL plan is to save as much money as possible while they desperately try and climb out of a billion dollars debt.

    That’s the only reason Radio got the job in the 1st place ..he came cheap …not because of some superior vision he had of building through the draft for a future of sustained sucess…..bwahahahahaha! Yeah right ! This guy couldn’t plan himself out of a wet paper bag. He’s simply doing what the glazers allow him, and after this season they will fire him and use him as the scapegoat . At the end of it all , you will BOTH be one of the Glazer Nerds Useful Idiots.

  22. Capt.Tim Says:

    Article is spot on. Good work Roy! And as for the Slow Squad members, sorry boys, the truth has been spoken! I realize you must be hating life,lol! Yes, a couple years away from winning, Morris is Coach LONG TERM! No Brandon Marshall, No Bill Cowher, No Chucky! Just a buncha kids, running around “Raheem” style. Most importantly, no one is listening to the hater! Why bother ta go on? Ok, one more time, if I please have all the haters meet me at the Skyway Bridge, and form a single file line, we’ll try to get this done quickly! I’m here to help you guys out! Ok, good! Now let’s walk over to the “jumper” Platform. Excellent! Ok now, one at a time, don’t push . . .

  23. Bucnjim Says:

    Life’s too short to hate that much all the time. Even though I don’t agree with the good captain all the time; it’s definately a pirate’s life for me. That kind of stress will kill you! If it doesn’t Capt. going to make you walk the plank anyway so…..

    Just like the ole song says:

    Make the haters walk the plank throw em in Tampa Bay…

  24. Capt.Tim Says:

    I think Raheem is fine if he wins TWO games, as long as the team looks improved( hey, more haters just got in line!!). As Mr. Cummings explained, OL is the only real concern, and the only place we will sign free agents( Still MORE!!). Team is gonna play the Rookies, Two deep if necessary.Wins aren’t as important as GROWTH( ah, there’s the last of ’em!). And I think it’s the right thing ta do!! We have to build a core of talent to move foward at this point. Youth is the way to go!( damn, now they’re pushing each other, ta get to the jump station!). The Bucs are doing this the right way, and I can’t wait to see the young guys play! Should be exciting!( now they’re choking each other, it’s pandemonium!!)

  25. Capt.Tim Says:

    Bucnjim, righteous,! We don’t always agree. But we ARE both buc Fans! All this hatred over a GAME is rediculous! Nobody here HAS to watch! If you like the Bucs, go to the games! If you hate them, then don’t! But SHUT UP about it already! Hopefully this Skyway jumper plan I’ve instituted will help with the problem. Then we fans can talk Football without these annoying, self-centered little idiots always chirping in. And YoHo, YoHo, it’s always the sweet pirate life for the good Captain- all aboard! Land lubbers- it’s the platform for ye!! Lol!

  26. Radio Mushmouth Says:

    Question: If you are really trying to build for the “future” , and not just be cheap , why would you not want to sign your franchise left tackle long term ??

    Answer: Because it isn’t about the future , you nitwits !!

  27. McBuc Says:

    Radio…I do not see that the majority is with you. All teams in the NFL rebuild from time to time. Maybe we could have been a little slower about it, but you might as well rip the badaid off right? The difference between you and the “half full” crowd is you seem so sure about the outcome. The “half full” crowd underastands that we do not know what we have after one year. It would have been nice for Morris to get a year or to as DC, but it did not work out that way.

  28. McBuc Says:

    That should have been a year or two…LOL

  29. Capt.Tim Says:

    Yes,yes, mushmouth, whatever you say! Now, please step on to the platform, yer holding up the line! Now, just walk foward . . TaDa! The Pirate nation has improved by subtraction! Down ta Davey Jones locker with ya, ya scalleywag! Lmao

  30. oar Says:

    CaptTim, You do know canoes do not require a captain, right? lol!

  31. BigMacAttack Says:

    Well I never thought I would see the day that ANYONE would be defending Roy Cummings. TBO, Roy, Ira & Anwar’s coverage of camp 2 years ago and all the Favre speculation was so bad, so far from reality, and so opinionated it was a joke. I’m not a Journalist, but like anything else they provide a SERVICE, just like Joe. Some people do it well and are liked by most and some don’t do it so well, and are often criticized. Roy gets more bad comments than anybody on the Bucs’ beat except maybe Stroud, whom I like. I’ve heard Roy called a Hack time and again, and that is one of the nicer terms I’ve heard used for him. Sometimes I wish they would just stick to the facts, stick to what they know and stay out of left field. Stephen Holder is at least 100 times better at his job than any of the TBO staff, and I too, have call them a bunch of Hacks. They were horrible to Gruden and how they covered him, but Raheem is their Obama, and they have a new love affair with him, just like the liberal main stream media does with that Hack in the Whitehouse, and all his incompetent 40/wk cronies that are only there to collect a paycheck and promote their Socialist Agenda. Maybe Roy could get a job in Washington with The Commander in Joke.

  32. DRB Says:

    Of course someone is going to turn this into a “Bash the president” thread. Let the ignorance begin….

  33. Not a Rocket Surgeon Says:

    LOL – the ignorance began at “July 14th, 2010 at 4:40 pm”

  34. Louie the HATER! Says:

    @Capt. Tim, what a gul-a-bull!

    We’ll get in line on the Skyway right after you.

  35. JimBuc Says:

    “Question: If you are really trying to build for the “future” , and not just be cheap , why would you not want to sign your franchise left tackle long term ??”

    Uh . . . amazing what leaving off one word can do. The question you are actually asking is:

    “Question: If you are really trying to build for the “future” , and not just be cheap , why would you not want to sign your franchise left tackle long term NOW ??” (you left off the “NOW”)

    That is what you are really asking and the answer is simple: because they do not have to and because they do not want to give any player a disincentive to sign a new CBA, right? Pretty simple and obvious, right?

    Ugh . . .

  36. tampa2 Says:

    I wonder how much “Propaganda Pay” Cummings gets from the Glazers? He and Ira are sure good at feeding us the lines that are handed to them.
    It will probably take the Bucs 10 years to recover from this failed attempt to convert an amateur into a coach. But they can sure pocket the cash while the ship goes down into the abyss to pay for their Billion Dollar Debts.

  37. Capt.Tim Says:

    Roy Cummings is a genius! It’s been scientifically proven that the only people who disagree with his articles are , well, IDIOTS! His work is SPOT ON!. Enough already, you slow sqaudders are cutting in ta my drinking time. Let’s keep this damn line moving! Still got a few of ya ta send ta Briney Drink!

  38. oar Says:

    CaptTim, “Enough already, you slow sqaudders are cutting in ta my drinking time.”
    Drinking time?? It’s 1pm dude! Do you drink all day long? I think you are taking the whole “got a little Captain in you?” thing WAY TO SERIOUSLY!

  39. McBuc Says:

    It’s five O’clock somewhere! Drink up Capt!

  40. McBuc Says:

    HA, it is almost 5 O’clock here!

  41. Capt.Tim Says:

    Oh, a rare bad day for The Capt.! These haters are so slow witted, they even FALL slow!! They’re all still down there, bobbing along like the worlds ugliest cork collection!! I’m up here leaning over the rail of the skyway, and I can still hear them up here! “Raheem sucks” “glazers are Cheap” “we won’t win 3 games”! Their sad Lil hate filled voices, drifting up from the Bay. Ever time their head bobs outta the water, it’s another “we hate the Bucs” montra to asail my ears. My poor assistant is steady running straight shots over , but I can’t drowned out the sound. There’s Eric, Thomas, mushmouth, lightningBuc, Patrick, and the rest! Just bobbing up and down! It’s like a nightmare, I’ll never be able ta sail threw here again without seeing their shriveled Lil prune faces! Are there any ladders leading up to the burner stacks at The Tampa Electric plant? There Has ta be be a way!

  42. Capt.Tim Says:

    And by the way, I do NOT drink all day!! That preposterous! I frequently take naps during the day, and sometimes I take a time out to have Sex with some lucky young thing! As my lovely assistant puts it, I’m like an aquatic Tony Starke, without the cool metal Suit. I rather like that one!

  43. oar Says:

    An aquatic Tony Starke? Hmmm, ooh I see like Puddle Man or maybe Piddle Man! lol

  44. Capt.Tim Says:

    I would have an especially cutting reply for that, except I’m a little tipsy. I reserve the right to respond, in cutting fashion tomorrow. And thank god for spell check!

  45. BigMacAttack Says:

    They just had a Capt Tim on “To catch a Predator”.

  46. Louie the HATER! Says:

    Alright, Joe removed this comment. Joe really doesn’t need pedophilia references coming up under his name in Google.

  47. Capt.Tim Says:

    Louie, no. You and I have different lifestyles. My young things are female, between 20 and 27( oldest one on the boat today). Nothing you would be interested in.BMA- if I was on that show, I’d be one of the cops- but it wouldn’t work, because I’d be shooting the bastards!

  48. Mr Hands Says:

    Yo Mushmouth, if you don’t realise that the Glazers would never sign Penn this year even if they wanted to, due to the fact that they don’t have to, because of the CBA situation, then it’s more evidence to me that you are indeed pretty stupid.

    If you seriously think Penn is going to hold out of any actual games this year, losing a significant amount of money and further diminishing his already small chances for a big contract in the future, then it’s more evidence that you are pretty stupid.

    When I combine these two pieces of evidence with the violent tone of your posting and your continual repeating of the same garbage over and over and over, then it’s pretty clear cut that you ARE, in fact, the worst commenter I’ve seen on a blog. Ever.

    I ain’t hatin’, I’m narratin’.

  49. Louie the HATER! Says:

    @Mr. Hands: “… the Glazers would never sign Penn this year even if they wanted to, due to the fact that they don’t have to…”

    The Glazer brothers sound like they are really conflicted and confused if that’s the case. But, that could explain their decision making process for the last year or so.

  50. Capt.Tim Says:

    Yer Mr.Hands, Louie is in fact, an idiot!

  51. Capt.Tim Says:

    By the way, Louie, hope you and I have a chance to discuss that post of yours in person someday