Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Combine Pressers: Bears, Bucs, Titans, Bills

Earlier today, we rounded up the noteworthy comments made by a handful of head coaches and general managers who spoke to reporters today in Indianapolis at the NFL’s scouting combine. Wednesday’s press conferences will continue through to about 3:30pm central time, and we’ll keep providing recaps of the highlights from those sessions. Here’s the latest:

Bears head coach John Fox and GM Ryan Pace:

  • Asked about whether he has decided to proceed with Jay Cutler as the team’s quarterback, Fox replied, “We’re not up against a deadline. … We’ll keep you posted.” Fox later continued: “I don’t think there’s any question there’s ability and talent there but there’s a lot more that goes into it.”
  • In addition to dancing around questions about Cutler, Fox was also noncommittal when asked about Brandon Marshall.
  • Like Fox, Pace didn’t put his full support behind either Cutler or Marshall — the new GM didn’t call Cutler the team’s starting QB, and said the team would “take our time” with evaluations. As for Marshall, Pace suggested football needs to be the wideout’s top priority, in reference to Marshall’s 2014 gig with “Inside the NFL.”
  • The Bears head coach confirmed that he met with Josh McCown today and that the club has interest in him. “He’s the right kind of guy… that you want on your football team,” Fox said of the former Buccaneer. Pace also had praise for McCown, suggesting he’s capable of being a starter or backup for an NFL team.
  • Fox also confirmed that the Bears will be switching to a 3-4 defense under new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. Defensive ends like Jared Allen and Willie Young are expected to get a look at the outside linebacker position in the new system.
  • Fox and his staff are still evaluating players like Charles Tillman and Lance Briggs, so there’s no decision on whether to bring them back, but they’ve been “great Bears,” says the head coach. Pace added that the decisions on Tillman and Briggs will be big ones for the team.

Buccaneers GM Jason Licht:

  • The Bucs are leaning toward keeping the first overall pick, but are open to all options and aren’t closing any doors, according to Licht. As for who the Bucs will select with that No. 1 pick? “We have a favorite, but we want to let the process play out,” said the GM, adding that it would be an “insult” to say it’s 50-50 between Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota based on the team’s research and draft meetings to date.
  • For what it’s worth, Lovie Smith said earlier today that the Bucs would be comfortable making Winston the “face of the franchise,” and previous reports have indicated that Tampa Bay prefers the Florida State signal-caller. Licht said today the Bucs will have “several meetings” with both Winston and Mariota.
  • Veteran guard Logan Mankins is part of the solution in Tampa Bay, not part of the problem, according to Licht, who says Mankins has a future with the team.
  • While Licht reiterated the team’s support for Mike Glennon, he said he remains open-minded about discussing trades and moving players in general.

Titans GM Ruston Webster and head coach Ken Whisenhunt:

  • The Titans like Zach Mettenberger but haven’t yet committed to him as the 2015 starter, and will fully consider Jameis Winston and/or Marcus Mariota with the No. 2 overall pick, according to Webster.
  • Although the QBs are receiving most of the attention at the top of the draft, Webster said today that there are several other players the Titans feel are worthy of the second overall pick. The lines of communication are also open for Tennessee in terms of trading the selection to another team. Whisenhunt added that a “defensive difference-maker” would be an option for the club at No. 2.
  • The general manager expects the club to try to fill some holes through free agency, but cautioned that the most effective way to build a strong roster is through the draft.
  • While the Titans will work through their defensive coaching roles this spring, Whisenhunt said today that new senior assistant Dick LeBeau will have control of the unit, and that defensive coordinator Ray Horton is comfortable with LeBeau’s hiring and his role.

Bills head coach Rex Ryan:

Combine Pressers: Steelers, Bucs, Broncos, 49ers

48 head coaches or general managers are scheduled to speak today, tomorrow, and Friday at the NFL’s scouting combine in Indianapolis, with the Eagles, Saints, and Patriots the only teams not represented on this year’s schedule. Those mini-pressers are already underway, so let’s round up a few of the notable comments made by the men who have spoken to the media so far. All links go to the Twitter accounts of various NFL reporters in attendance….

Steelers GM Kevin Colbert:

  • Contract talks between Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers are “progressing,” according to Colbert. With Big Ben heading into the final year of his current deal, the two sides are expected to work out a new agreement at some point during the offseason, and the GM is very confident it can be done within a traditional cap structure.
  • Despite the fact that LeGarrette Blount ultimately played a major role for the Super Bowl champion Patriots, Colbert said today that he and his club have no regrets about parting ways with the running back during the season.
  • While Colbert said he’d love to bring back free-agent-to-be Jason Worilds, he didn’t convey a ton of confidence that something will get done, telling reporters, “Maybe he comes back, maybe he moves on.” Per Colbert, the outside linebacker may need to test the open market to gauge his value.

Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith:

  • Calling Josh McCown a “lifelong friend,” Smith said he thought it was in both the team’s and the quarterback’s interests to part ways earlier this month.
  • The Buccaneers’ new coaches like Mike Glennon, so the plan right now is to move forward with Glennon at quarterback — he’s the only signal-caller on the roster at the moment, but Smith thinks he has the potential to be a solid NFL starter.
  • While Glennon may be atop the Tampa Bay depth chart by default for now, Smith also addressed the idea of selecting a quarterback with the first overall pick in April. According to the head coach, the Bucs aren’t put off by Jameis Winston‘s off-field issues, and would be comfortable with the idea of making him the face of their franchise. The vetting process for both Winston and Marcus Mariota is ongoing, and Smith says the team has already “talked to a lot of people” about both prospects.
  • Asked about Charles Tillman and Lance Briggs, two potential free agents whom used to play for Smith in Chicago, the head coach said he’s not sure how much interest they’ll generate, but he believes they can still be positive contributors.

Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak:

  • Although Kubiak said he has received no assurances that Peyton Manning will be back with the Broncos, all indications are pointing toward him returning. The new Denver head coach talked about adjusting his offense to suit Manning’s skills, which strongly suggest he expects to be coaching the future Hall-of-Famer.
  • According to Kubiak, he had a “good conversation” with Wes Welker, who says he’s feeling good and wants to play in 2015. Of course, the receiver doesn’t have a contract yet, so there’s no guarantee he’ll continue playing for the Broncos. Denver would “love to have him back” though, says Kubiak.
  • Kubiak expects the transition from a 4-3 defense under Jack Del Rio to a 3-4 scheme under Wade Phillips to go fairly smoothly.

49ers GM Trent Baalke:

  • Baalke intends to meet with veteran defensive end Justin Smith after the combine to determine whether or not Smith wants to return for a 15th NFL season in 2015.
  • Asked about wide receiver prospects at the combine and in the draft, Baalke said, “It’s no mystery, we’re looking for guys who can run.”
  • Baalke declined to comment on Jim Harbaugh‘s recent suggestion that the former head coach’s departure from the 49ers was the team’s decision and not his own. “He’s moved on and we’ve moved on,” the GM said.
  • According to the Niners GM, the team’s head coaching job was offered to “one person and one person only” (Jim Tomsula), meaning the club never officially offered the position to Adam Gase. Baalke did confirm that the Niners made an effort to retain defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, but that was dependent on who became the head coach.

Extra Points: Fairley, Tamme, Broncos

A company that is gunning to build an NFL stadium in Los Angeles has given $118K in campaign contributions to officials in the city, according to The Associated Press. San Francisco-based Hollywood Park Land Co., the company developing the proposed 80,000-seat stadium, has claimed Rams owner Stan Kroenke as a partner in the company since last year. Here’s more from around the NFL..

  • A source tells Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link) that Lions defensive tackle and potential free agent Nick Fairley “just wants to be in the most comfortable situation possible.” The status of Ndamukong Suh could go a long way toward determining whether or not that situation is in Detroit.
  • Broncos tight end Jacob Tamme told Alex Marvez of FOX Sports (on Twitter) that he expects to hit the free agent market. Still, he says he’d “love the chance to be back in Denver.” Tamme went on to say that his skill set would work well in Denver’s new offense (link).
  • Whether Peyton Manning returns or not, the Broncos can say goodbye to any chance of returning to their second Super Bowl in three seasons without a reconfigured offensive line, Troy Renck of The Denver Post writes. According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), the Baltimore Ravens, for whom Kubiak served as offensive coordinator last season, posted a 41.4 run-blocking score. The Broncos checked in at minus 4.1.
  • In a chat with Alex Marvez of FOX Sports (on Twitter), Buccaneers center Evan Dietrich-Smith compared the Buccaneers 2014 offense to trying to assemble something without directions because of the coaching issues. The Bucs hope that they have fixed their offensive issues with new coordinator Dirk Koetter.
  • The idea of Ndamukong Suh joining the Raiders has been a well-documented scenario for weeks, but there are plenty more fish in the sea, Bill Williamson of ESPN.com writes. More affordable options on the open market include Terrance Knighton, Henry Melton, Nick Fairley, and Jared Odrick. Knighton, he argues, would make the most sense of anyone in the group. Pot Roast played for new coach Jack Del Rio in Jacksonville and Denver and has expressed his desire for a reunion.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

NFC Notes: Rams, LA, Free, Bucs, Hardy, Lions

Rams owner Stan Kroenke is intent on moving his club to Los Angeles, but the city of St. Louis is just as keen on retaining the Rams. St. Louis’ stadium task force has been impressive its quest to build and fund a new stadium, and if they’re successful, the NFL could be faced with a public relations nightmare, with Kroenke leaving for a major market in LA even though St. Louis rose to the challenge presented by the league.

Presenting an alternate theory, Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch offers two scenarios that would seemingly please both entities involved. In one, Kroenke could purchase the Rams from Mark Davis and move the team to LA, leaving the Rams in St. Louis. In the second (and more likely, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk) scenario, Kroenke and the Rams would move to Los Angeles, but Davis and the Raiders would move to St. Louis and a new stadium. As Florio writes, Miklasz’s “theory” sounds like a detailed account, as though he might have heard it from an off-the-record source but isn’t allowed to actually “report” the news, so it will be interesting to see if any more comes of this.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • Cowboys tackle Doug Free‘s 2015 and 2016 contract years voided today, according to Joel Corry of CBSSports.com (Twitter link). Dallas will carry $3.98MM in dead money on its books in 2015 as a result. The 31-year-old Free, meanwhile, should be one of the top free agent tackles on the market, and reports have indicated that the Cowboy will only sign one of him or Jermey Parnell.
  • Longtime Jaguars defensive end Paul Spicer is interviewing for the Buccaneers assistant D-line coaching job, tweets Alex Marvez of FOX Sports. As Marvez notes, Spicer played under current Tampa defensive line coach Joe Cullen while the two were in Jacksonville.
  • Even though the domestic violence charges against Greg Hardy were dismissed, the league will take a hardline stance on the Panthers defensive end, writes Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer. The NFL has asked to unseal the court documents from Hardy’s case and could look to suspend him for up to six games. If the league does so, the NFLPA will surely file a grievance, adds Person.
  • The Lions are likely to lose either Ndamukong Suh or Nick Fairley to the open market, and backups C.J. Mosley and Andre Fluellen are pending free agents, as well. But defensive end Darryl Tapp (also a FA-to-be) is confident that Detriots’s management will bring back a defensive line full of contributors. “I have no reason to think it wouldn’t be the same situation going into next year as far the guys they would bring in who would buy completely into the system and do things the right way,” Tapp told Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press.

NFC Notes: AP, Bynes, McCown, 49ers, Eagles

The Vikings announced today that they’ve promoted Kevin Warren to chiefs operating officer of the franchise, and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk wondered this morning if that could mean the end of Adrian Peterson‘s time in Minnesota. After all, when Peterson said during the 2014 season that someone in the organization was working against him, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the running back was referring to Warren.

However, on a conference call this afternoon, Warren told reporters, including Ben Goessling of ESPN.com (all Twitter links), that he’d welcome back Peterson with open arms. Although Warren didn’t deny Schefter’s report, he did say, “I can tell you my feelings about Adrian are very positive. I hope he finishes his career here in Minnesota.”

As Goessling observes in his latest ESPN.com article on Peterson, the tone from the Vikings’ front office when discussing the running back seems to have shifted. Whether that signals an increased willingness from the Vikings to bring back the former MVP, or perhaps a desire to improve their trade leverage, things should get interesting as his reinstatement nears, writes Goessling.

Here’s more from across the NFC:

  • Linebacker Josh Bynes, who had been eligible for restricted free agency, won’t receive a contract tender from the Lions, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Nonetheless, the Lions have informed Bynes that they’d still like to re-sign him, presumably at a rate closer to the minimum salary. The 25-year-old will have a chance to speak to other suitors next month.
  • There’s no truth to rumors that Josh McCown could’ve remained with the Buccaneers if he had been willing to accept a pay cut, according to the quarterback (link via Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune). McCown also indicated that at least a half-dozen teams have already expressed interest in signing him (Twitter link via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times).
  • The 49ers have key free agents in Frank Gore, Michael Crabtree, and Mike Iupati, but the franchise tag isn’t a viable option to keep any of those three players, writes Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. I reached the same conclusion last weekend when I looked at the NFC West’s franchise tag candidates.
  • Examining the inside linebacker position for the Eagles, Sheil Kapadia of PhillyMag.com says he thinks the team should try to extend Mychal Kendricks this offseason. Kapadia also admits he has “no clue” which direction the Eagles will go with DeMeco Ryans, who is generally productive when healthy, but has a pricey cap hit ($6.9MM) that includes no guaranteed money.

Extra Points: Rams, Bell, Incognito

Inglewood mayor James Butts told The Beast 980 that enough signatures have been acquired to support a stadium initiative. The next step in the process will be a public hearing regarding the stadium project on February 24th. Of course, there are many more hurdles to be cleared, but this is a potentially big step towards clearing a path toward the Rams heading west to L.A. More from around the NFL..

  • Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell is expected to be suspended for the first two games of the 2015 season following his August arrest, sources told ESPN.com’s John Clayton. Since Bell is a first-time offender, that’s the maximum suspension allowed under the NFL’s new substance abuse policy.
  • New Bills offensive guard Richie Incognito told Jeff Darlington of NFL Media that he discussed the Miami bullying scandal with his new team and told the club about what he learned from the situation. The 31-year-old says that he understands that this will be his last chance to play in the NFL given the hit that his reputation has taken.
  • The Chargers regressed on special teams in 2014 and they’ll need some reinforcements for 2015, Tom Krasovic of U-T San Diego writes. Depending on how things break, it’s possible that the Bolts could carry a kickoff specialist. Of course, doing that would take a bit away from other area on the roster.
  • The somewhat surprising decision by the Buccaneers to release quarterback Josh McCown could signal that the team is gearing up to spend significant dollars in free agency, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes. Meanwhile, if the Bucs don’t use that money to sign another quarterback in free agency, that almost certainly means the club will select either Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston with the No. 1 overall pick.
  • Former Buccaneers GM Mark Dominik‘s experience with Josh Freeman is why he prefers Mariota to Winston, as Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times writes. Both have serious talent, but Mariota is regarded as someone with very high character.
  • The Saints should retain Mark Ingram, but only at the right price, according to Sean Fazende of WVUE. Ingram stands as the fourth-best free agent tailback in Fazende’s view and he feels a four-year, $16MM offer with $6MM guaranteed would make sense for both sides.
  • Michael Felger of CSNNE.com wonders if the Broncos might use Tom Brady‘s contract as leverage in contract talks.

Reactions To Bucs Releasing Josh McCown

Earlier today, the Buccaneers bid farewell to Josh McCown after a rough year in Tampa Bay. McCown elevated his stock in 2013 when he filled in admirably for Jay Cutler in Chicago, but he was unable to carry that momentum over to 2014, winning just one of eleven starts. Even though McCown stumbled badly, he should wind up having multiple teams interested in him, especially given what else is out there at the position. More on McCown..

  • At one point, McCown was quasi-retired, but at this point his plan is to continue playing, according to Albert Breer of NFL.com (on Twitter).
  • McCown has already heard from a few interested teams wanting him to visit, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter).
  • Ben Volin of The Boston Globe (on Twitter) speculates that the Bills would be all over McCown. He adds that the Browns, Texans, Jets, and Titans could also be in on the veteran.
  • Some of the money the Buccaneers saved by releasing McCown could go towards signing linebacker Lavonte David to a long-term deal, Ira Kaufman of The Tampa Tribune tweets. David is eligible to be a free agent in 2016.
  • McCown to the Ravens sounds good on the surface, but it’s not all that likely to happen given the dearth of quarterbacks available, writes Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun. McCown is flawed, of course, but the demand for signal-callers far outweighs the free agent supply. McCown will probably look for an opportunity to start or, at the very least, sit behind an iffy or injury-prone starter elsewhere. Still, McCown flourished under new Ravens’ offensive coordinator Marc Trestman with the Bears in 2013 and Joe Flacco‘s backup, Tyrod Taylor, is a pending free agent. If everything came together, one has to imagine that Baltimore would have serious interest in the veteran.
  • The Buccaneers cutting McCown bodes well for Jameis Winston, Steven Ruiz of USA Today Sports writes. Ruiz figures that the Bucs won’t have the patience to develop Marcus Mariota and will instead go with the FSU star who spent the last two years operating a pro-style offense.

Bucs Release Josh McCown

The Buccaneers’ quarterback situation for 2015 remains uncertain for now, but the team has decided to remove at least one veteran from the equation. According to Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com (via Twitter), the Bucs are releasing quarterback Josh McCown from their roster. The team has since confirmed the move, via a press release.Josh McCown

Coming off an excellent run in Chicago in which he threw 13 touchdowns and just one interception in relief of Jay Cutler in 2013, McCown inked a two-year, $10MM deal with the Bucs last offseason. Many observers viewed the contract warily, since McCown has been a backup for most of his NFL career, posting a 71.2 QB rating in 54 total games (33 starts) prior to ’13. McCown’s age-35 season, his lone year as Tampa Bay’s primary starter, didn’t go well — he won just one of 11 starts, throwing more INTs (14) than TDs (11), and completing just 56.3% of his passes.

McCown’s deal didn’t include a signing bonus, so the Buccaneers won’t be on the hook for any dead money in 2015 — the club creates $5.25MM in cap savings by clearing the veteran’s entire base salary from its books. It’s also possible that McCown won’t be the last QB the Bucs part ways with this offseason. Mike Glennon and Seth Lobato remain on the roster, and Glennon has been cited frequently as a potential trade candidate. Given how weak this year’s market is for signal-callers – both in free agency and in the draft – Glennon could potentially net Tampa Bay a mid-round draft pick.

While there aren’t many long-term quarterback solutions expected to be available in the draft, there are two solid options at the top of the class, and the Bucs, armed with the No. 1 overall pick, will have their choice of either Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota. A report earlier today suggested that head coach Lovie Smith prefers Winston, though with the combine, pro days, and individual interviews still on tap, plenty could change between now and April 30.

As for McCown, he re-enters the quarterback market a year after signing the largest deal at his position. The free agent market for quarterbacks, which I examined on Monday, looks just as weak this winter as it did in 2014. Teams may prefer players like Brian Hoyer and Mark Sanchez to McCown, but the former third-round pick should be among the top options on the board.

One potentially intriguing destination for McCown could be Baltimore. He wouldn’t have the opportunity to compete for a starting job with Joe Flacco locked in as the starter, but the Ravens could be in the market for a backup with Tyrod Taylor facing free agency, and Baltimore’s new offensive coordinator is Marc Trestman, who got the most out of McCown in Chicago. Of course, given the number of teams that figure to seek a veteran to compete for a No. 1 role, and the lack of top-notch options available, McCown may prefer an opportunity that could lead to more playing time.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC South Notes: Bucs, Saints, Panthers

Former Buccaneers GM Mark Dominik may prefer Marcus Mariota to Jameis Winston with the first overall pick in this year’s draft, but Dominik won’t be involved in that decision. On the other hand, head coach Lovie Smith will have significant input in making that call, and according to Pat Yasinskas of ESPN.com, early indications are that Smith likes Winston more than Mariota.

Yasinskas writes that, from what he has gathered, Tampa Bay chose Dirk Koetter over Marc Trestman as the team’s new offensive coordinator in part because Trestman preferred Mariota to Winston. Of course, there’s still plenty of time for Smith to change his mind on the draft’s top two quarterbacks, with the combine, pro days, and individual interviews still on tap, and he won’t be the only person making the decision on that No. 1 pick. But for now, it looks like Winston could be the early favorite.

Here’s more on the Bucs and a couple of their division rivals:

  • Mel Kiper of ESPN.com agrees with Yasinskas’ assessment, and has Winston going first overall to the Buccaneers in his latest mock draft (Insider link). As Kiper explains, he expects the Bucs to take a close look at Mariota, but he believes Tampa Bay will ultimately opt for Winston if their questions about his past off-field behavior are answered to the team’s satisfaction.
  • The Saints have officially announced their complete 2015 coaching staff, including new additions like senior defensive assistant Dennis Allen and wide receivers coach John Morton. Larry Holder of the New Orleans Times-Picayune takes a closer look at the new additions, and at Allen in particular — he expects the former Raiders head coach will “undoubtedly place his mark” on Rob Ryan’s defense.
  • The Panthers confirmed a previously-reported hiring today, announcing in a press release that Cameron Turner has joined the club’s staff, and will assist Ricky Proehl in working with Carolina’s receivers.

NFC South Notes: Hardy, Saints, Bucs, Mariota

The upcoming jury trial for Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy will play a key role in his NFL future, writes the Charlotte Observer’s Joseph Person.

Hardy’s trial for misdemeanor domestic violence charges starts Monday, a month before the former Pro Bowler is scheduled to become a free agent. A District Court judge found Hardy guilty in July of assaulting and threatening to kill his girlfriend last May. If he is found guilty again, Hardy is likely to face at least a six-game suspension under the NFL’s personal conduct policy, which would be a significant blow to his value.

The 26-year-old appealed for the upcoming jury trial and the outcome could decide whether he cashes in during free agency or meets a weak response from the market. Hardy played just one game in 2014 as a result of being placed on the commissioner’s exempt list in September. That amounted to a paid suspension for Hardy, who collected $13.1MM on the strength of 11- and 15-sack seasons the two prior years.

Despite his past success, the Panthers are not expected to retain the five-year veteran, according to Person. Domestic violence issues are especially sensitive in today’s NFL, given the controversies Hardy, Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson caused in 2014, and Panthers owner Jerry Richardson is cognizant of that. “I stand firmly against domestic violence, plain and simple,” said Richardson.

  • The Saints have hired a new running backs coach in Joel Thomas, tweets Sports Illustrated’s Thayer Evans. Thomas held the same position for the University of Arkansas since 2013.
  • With the hiring of Thomas, the Saints have two RBs coaches – the other being Dan Roushar. There is no official word on Roushar’s fate, though the Times-Picayune’s Katherine Terrell speculates that he could shift to tight ends coach, a position he held at Michigan State from 2011-12. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweeted in January that the Saints were parting ways with tight ends coach Terry Malone and wide receivers coach Henry Ellard. However, the team still hasn’t officially confirmed their respective statuses.
  • Former Buccaneers general manager and current ESPN analyst Mark Dominik believes Tampa Bay should use the No. 1 overall pick in April’s draft on Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. Dominik, who was with the Bucs from 2009-13, told ESPN Radio’s Scott Van Pelt and Ryan Rusillo on Thursday that he favors Mariota over Florida State QB Jameis Winston, according to the Tampa Tribune’s Roy Cummings. “He’s super smart, he’s competitive, he’s got a good release, he processes quickly, he gets the ball out of his hand fast,” Dominik said of Mariota. “He does all these other things that are fine. Whereas with Winston, you sit there and you say you like everything about the player. And you do. But there’s that what-if concern that’s laying over him, and that’s hard to manage because that’s something you can’t control and that’s something that you have to hope or find out if you can trust him.”