Posts From Mark Cook

Report: Former Eagle Cole Visting Bucs

2 comments 📅March 5, 2015 8:26 am

Free agency is just around the corner, beginning on Tuesday at 4 p.m. but the Bucs are getting an early jump by meeting with a pass rusher that was let go earlier Philadelphia Eagles v Tampa Bay Buccaneersthis week.

Eagles linebacker Trent Cole is visiting Tampa Bay according to Adam Caplan of ESPN and could help boost a pass rush that was very inconsistent in 2014. Cole, who was a salary cap casualty in Philadelphia, was a fifth round selection in the 2005 NFL draft by the Eagles, signed a four-year, $53 million contract extension with $14.5 million guaranteed in March 2012. Eagles coach Chip Kelly mentioned upon Coles’s release that the Eagles would like to have him back, but it appears Cole will explore his free agency.

Cole, who has 88 career sacks, ranks second all time in Eagles history, just behind the late great Reggie White.

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Winston Tells “I Would Love To Be Here”

15 comments 📅March 3, 2015 4:49 pm

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 4.15.32 PM
The possible next quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was in Tampa on Tuesday, getting a tour of the team’s facilities, visiting with head coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht and introducing himself to a potential future target in wide receiver Vincent Jackson.

Jameis Winston was at One Buc Place on Tuesday and the Buccaneers website released a photo gallery and an interview with Winston that took place earlier in the day. The former FSU Heisman Winner made it clear he would love to play in Tampa Bay.

“Being able to play three years in Florida, I would love to stay here in this great state,” Winston told Scott Smith. “I’ve just got to take advantage of this blessing. It’s not really important to me to be the first pick, but it is important to me to be picked. I believe that I have been blessed during my years at Florida State to win a national championship and just be a winning quarterback. And I believe this place – I would love to be here.”

Winston also had an opportunity to meet Jackson.

“I just introduced myself to him, and told him I can’t wait to get him the rock,” Winston said. “So just make sure I am in his mind a little bit, and hopefully one day I will be his quarterback and we get this show on the road.”

You can watch the full video by clicking here.

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Winston Meeting With Bucs In Tampa

17 comments 📅March 3, 2015 11:17 am


Jameis Winston is in Tampa.

What that means exactly is still unclear. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Tuesday morning that Winston was in town for part of a three-day visit that was centered around the Glazer ownership and that the visit is said to be “Glazer-centric.”

Schefter also mentioned a visit this soon – nearly two months away from the NFL Draft – might be unprecedented as potential No. 1 picks don’t visit teams this early.
Schefter wrote, “What’s so unusual about this trip is its timing.Typically prospects don’t begin visiting teams until April. People around the league could not remember a potential No. 1 overall pick visiting the team with the top selection this early in the process.The NFL was made aware of the trip and cleared it, a source said.”

Florida State v LouisvilleSome point to this as a sign Winston is the favorite for the Bucs to draft him, and that the meeting is a get-to-know type meeting with the family, while others have speculated it is an opportunity for Winston and his agents to “sell” the former FSU star to ownership. While it is believed the Buccaneers favor Winston over Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota from a talent perspective, Winston’s off-the-field issues can’t be ignored. Getting the Glazers – who have expressed on a number of occasions a desire to have a players that the community can be proud of  – to sign off on the pick is an important part of the draft process.

Schefter also noted that Mariota is scheduled to meet with the Buccaneers sometime next month.

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Report: Collins Being Shopped; Will Be Cut If No Takers

9 comments 📅March 2, 2015 12:31 pm

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While coming as not a big surprise, Ian Rapoport tweeted Monday afternoon that the Bucs are shopping tackle Anthony Collins and if a trade partner isn’t found last year’s free agent replacement for Donald Penn will be released.

Collins was part of a prized free agent class that was signed on the opening day of free agency last March but wore out his welcome in Tampa Bay by the end of the season. Collins, a former Bengal reserve, started and played in 10 games for Tampa Bay last season and struggled with consistency on the field and battled some injuries. Collins managed to get into the organization’s dog house, and was a healthy scratch over the last few weeks of the season. Sources told that the team wasn’t happy with Collins effort to rehab from a late season injury.

For now Tampa Bay has Demar Dotson pegged to start training camp as the starter at left tackle, creating a void on the right side where Dotson has played well the last few years.

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Despite Report, Jackson Was Not Asked To Take A Pay Cut By Bucs

4 comments 📅February 27, 2015 7:28 pm

Bucs WR Vincent Jackson had a big day against the Saints in Week 5 - Photo by: Getty Images
With free agency approaching it, the Bucs may be looking to free up some salary cap space.’s Jason La Canfora reported on Friday that the Buccaneers approached starting side receiver Vincent Jackson about taking a pay cut, but the veteran said no. However, has learned Jackson was never asked to take a pay cut.

La Canfora wrote, “Tampa shopped
before the trade deadline and while they might still be open to dealing him, they haven’t restarted that process yet, sources said, and at this point it looks like he’ll be back. Jackson will not agree to a pay cut, sources said, and the Bucs have plenty of cap space and need all the assets they can get, especially with it looking more and more like a done deal that they draft quarterback Jameis Winston first overall. Jackson has a $10M base and $12.2M cap hit, and while his role in the offense dipped at times last season, with uncertainty at quarterback, I suspect he is one guy from this group who sticks around. But I’m sure there are three to four teams who would be interested in him for sure.”

The Bucs could be looking to restructure Jackson’s deal which calls for a $12 .2million cap hit in 2015, but both general manager Jason Licht and Lovie Smith have been adamant that Jackson is part of the Bucs plans for 2015. Tampa Bay Times reporter Rick Stroud tweeted on February 18, “#BucsGM Jason Licht will meet with the agent for Vincent Jackson in Indy, presumably to ask for a restructure of his $9.77-mil salary.” Licht also told Stroud that Jackson would “absolutely” be back with the Buccaneers and “we really like Jackson.”

According to the Buccaneers have around $27 million in cap space currently,  but can easily increase that with the release of some veteran players like Anthony Collins, Dashon Goldson, Michael Johnson and Michael Koenen. Other players could be asked to rework their current deals to provide the team more cap room.

The 2015 free agency period kicks off on March 10 at 4 p.m. and while Tampa Bay will be active, they are not expected to make any high-dollar splash signings, instead looking for more value free agents like defensive tackle Clinton McDonald, a player who was the most productive of Tampa Bay’s large free agent class of 2014.

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Gruden: “If You Don’t Like Marcus Mariota, You Don’t Like Human Beings”

13 comments 📅February 26, 2015 9:53 pm

Oakland Raiders v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Former Bucs Jon Gruden is a big fan of both, Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston, the top two quarterbacks in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Gruden, who might still be coaching the Bucs had he drafted and developed a young quarterback, seems enamored with both after being a guest on the Mike and Mike Morning Show on ESPN.

Gruden isn’t buying the system argument when it comes to Mariota.

“He’s not the offensive coordinator,” Gruden said. “It’s not his fault. What they do at Oregon is very unique. That type of football is on its way to the NFL. You’re seeing more and more no-huddle offenses. You see a lot of intermediate passes from 10 yards and in, which is a big part of Oregon.

“When you watch Philadelphia [which is coached by former Oregon coach Chip Kelly] play offense, you see the Oregon Ducks. The No. 1 offense in football the last two years is Philadelphia. So the system works. Mariota can play in that system. Somebody is going to see a (6-foot-4) quarterback with 4.5 speed. This guy is quick, he’s smart, he’s the most humble, hard-working guy maybe in this draft. I want him on my team. I’ll put my system in around him. I think personally Marcus Mariota can play in any system.”

Gruden also spoke highly of Winston as well.

“He’s a dynamic kid,” Gruden said. “You don’t go to Florida State and meet many people that don’t love being around Winston. He is a polarizing player for some. Some people can’t agree on what he is off the field. I’ve got a lot of confidence that he’s learned some valuable lessons and he knows he’s going to be in the spotlight for the rest of his career. It’s up to him to get it done.”

Gruden finished things up in classic Gruden fashion.

“If you don’t like Marcus Mariota, you don’t like human beings.”

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Bucs Finalize 2015 Staff With Hire Of Spicer

1 comment 📅February 26, 2015 11:07 am

The Bucs have finalized their 2015 coaching staff with the addition of Paul Spicer who will serve as the team’s assistant defensive line coach. Spicer replaces Mike Phair who left earlier this year to become co-defensive coordinator.
New Orleans Saints 2009 Headshots
Spicer played 12 seasons in the NFL, mostly for the Jacksonville Jaguars (2000-2008) and collected 28.5 sacks to go along with 252 tackles and six forced fumbles. After retiring in 2011, Spicer joined the coaching ranks, working with current Bucs defensive line coach Joe Cullen in Jacksonville (2011-2012).

The Bucs have no current vacancies on their staff after adding Dirk Koetter as offensive coordinator, Mike Bajakian to serve as the quarterback coach, Andrew Weidinger as assistant offensive line coach and now Spicer to assist the defensive line.

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Fisher On NFL Network Says Winston Has Learned From His Mistakes

2 comments 📅February 25, 2015 12:48 pm

Pundits, draft forecasters and everyone in between have shared their thoughts on former Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston since the NFL Scouting Combine. Now his former head coach, Jimbo Fisher, has weighed on, joining NFL AM on Wednesday morning to talk about his star pupil.

Fisher talked about Winston’s past issues, his interception totals and about the NFL teams who have contacted him regarding Winston, including if the Bucs have been in touch. Fisher was asked if he thought there was any way Tampa Bay would pass on Winston.

“I don’t think so,” Fisher said. “Here is how I look at players even when I recruit, there are certain guys that you don’t want to play against. It is not just can he do it, but there are certain guys you don’t want to play against.”

Fisher also addressed the interception issue in 2014.

“How do you make big plays if you don’t take chances?” Fisher said. “Every play is not wide open. This year some of it he forced the ball and some of it was not on him.”

Rose Bowl - Oregon v Florida StateFisher went on to explain how the receivers were to blame at times with the interceptions.

“This year, some of it, he forced the ball,” Fisher said. “Some of it was not all him, some of it was young linemen in the middle making missed blocks, and making him get rid of the ball early. Or young receivers not knowing the backside of a route – or running the back side of a route saying, ‘Well I’m not going to get the ball,’ then all of a sudden he is throwing it to them because that is the matchup. He was playing chess, they were playing checkers.”

In the interview, Fisher was also very complimentary of Oregon Qb Marcus Mariota.

To watch and listen to the entire interview, click here.

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Simms Says Winston’s Interception Issue “Means Nothing”

11 comments 📅February 25, 2015 10:27 am

Besides the bouts of immaturity displayed by Jameis Winston during his time at Florida State, there are other red flags for teams evaluating his future NFL success.

One of those red flags was Winston’s interceptions last year.

Winston tossed 18 interceptions in 2014, a dramatic jump from his record-setting 2013 freshmen Heisman winning season, but former NFL quarterback and current CBS analyst Phil Simms isn’t alarmed by that number one bit.

FSU QB Jameis Winston scrambled for 7 TDs in two years - Photo by: Getty Images“Who cares?” Simms told Adam Schein on SiriusXM Radio recently. “What does it really mean? It basically means nothing. Think about all the college quarterbacks who had unbelievable touchdown-to-interception ratios and they were careful with the football and can’t play at all in the NFL or who do come into the NFL and become turnover machines.

“I find all that talk – it drives me crazy. If you have common intelligence, you don’t have to be a brain surgeon. The NFL is going to teach you, ‘Hey son, that’s open, throw it to him and if he’s not look at the next one.’ It doesn’t take a lot. It really doesn’t.”

Sims also talked about Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, but wasn’t quite as impressed with the Duck as he is the Seminole.

“The look, great shape, all that. Is he a knock-down, natural, NFL thrower? Absolutely not. Could he be? Yes,” Simms said. “I think his arm action and some of the things he does with the football I really like. He throws on the run well. I think he has the ability to really spin it and that’s going to play well wherever he goes. I always talk about guys who can make the ball rotate, that means you’re going to be able to throw in adverse conditions easier than other quarterbacks.”

Click here to listen to the full interview by Simms.


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Browns “Sniffing Around” On Glennon, Expect Other NFL Teams To Inquire

7 comments 📅February 24, 2015 7:36 pm

With the Buccaneers expected to select a quarterback with the first pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the question becomes, what happens to Mike Glennon?

According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN the Browns have “sniffed around” about the availability of Glennon, as Cleveland is in the market for a player under center as well. brought up a possible trade scenario almost immediately after the Senior Bowl and believes if another team were to offer a third-rounder, it would be hard for the Bucs to turn it down. Teams inquired about Glennon last year before the draft but the Buccaneers declined to pursue a deal, and that was on the eve of a draft that had more QB depth in it than the 2015 class. Last year saw Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater go in the firs round, and Derek Carr go early in the second.Bucs QB Mike Glennon could be in demand on the trade market this offseason – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

While Tampa Bay holds all the cards with Glennon – at least for the next two seasons – having him under contract at a relatively low $700,000 salary, sources have told that Glennon wants to be the starter, and he knows if the Bucs select a quarterback with the first overall pick in 2015, his long-term future and chance to be an impact player with the Buccaneers is essentially over. Add in the fact, that despite 2014 starter Josh McCown struggling down the stretch last year, the Bucs never reinserted Glennon back into the lineup, instead saying they felt McCown gave them the best chance to win.

And while perhaps small in magnitude, but something that can’t be ignored, was Glennon’s bother Sean Glennon blasting Bucs’ head coach Lovie Smith via Twitter last year, after McCown was reinserted into the starting lineup, saying he had lost all respect for Smith in a tweet he later deleted.

A third round pick is not out of the question for Glennon who in 18 starts had thrown for 4,025 yards, 29 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. With a weak free agency class (Michael Vick, Mark Sanchez and Brian Hoyer being the top names) and a dramatic drop off in the draft after Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, Tampa Bay can expect more teams to start “sniffing around.”

The Bucs most likely would prefer to hold on to Glennon as a backup, but with multiple holes to fill on the roster, a significant draft pick offer could make a deal happen with Cleveland, or even a number of other teams in the market for a quarterback.

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