For all those who understand time travel and the secrets of the universe skip down to the next paragraph. For those who don't, follow this theory: for every instant of time each of us face infinite choices and decisions. For each one of these infinite possibilities, a new "universe" is said to exist playing out the inevitable "what if..."
In this scenario, I will play out an interview taking place in one of these parallel universes where everything in the draft happened the same, except we took Fleener instead of Martin for the 31st pick in the 2012 draft.
Press (AP) Q and A with Bucs Management (BM)
Explain the move to trade down for Fleener
BM: We had him ranked as a top 20 player in the draft, when the opportunity came up to grab him we took it, no way did we think he would make it passed Indy at 34.
Some analyst had mocked RB Doug Martin to you, why not a RB in that position?
BM: We felt there was great depth in this years RB class and felt selecting a RB like Michael Smith in the 7th presented great value in what we were looking for, a complementary 3rd down change of pace guy. Don't forget, we have great RB named Blount, we believe he was not given a fair shot last year since we abandoned the run most game playing from behind. His fumbling problems are easily correctable. A guy like Martin represents too much of a luxury pick, for a team trying to rebound from a 10 loss season, we cannot afford luxury picks. Besides, with our new OL, who ever we stick back there will be headed to the pro-bowl.
Does Fleener represent Winslow's replacement?
BM: Winslow has been an important component to our team for the last few years, he has been one of the leagues best receiving TE for a while. We all know Winslow has struggled with injuries since he arrived here and we have to assume his shelf-life is less than healthy players. The addition of Fleener now gives us more breathing room, it allows Winslow to rest when he needs to and give us the flexibility for some interesting formations when both are healthy. When you have two threats at TE position plus the receiving corp we've built, there is no defense in the league that will not fear our passing game.
Is the TE position becoming more valuable in the NFL today?
BM: I think we have seen the progression of that position for a while now, having at least one great receiving TE puts tremendous pressure on the opponent's defense. Arguably you can make the case that a great TE is more valuable than a great WR, in the next few years I wouldn't be surprised to see a TE in the top 10 picks. So to get the consensus best TE in the draft, we feel very fortunate.
I thank you for your time today, any perditions for the 2012 season?
BM: Super bowl!