PewterReport.com is beginning a new offseason feature, giving readers an opportunity to get their questions answered by the PR staff. Today, Mark Cook answers five questions taken from Twitter submissions using the hashtag #PRMailbag. Each week one of the questions used will earn the person who asked it a PewterReport.com T-shirt.
Question 1. @FranMannato @PewterReport Do you see the possibility that Bucs move Johnthan Banks to safety?
Answer: That is an interesting thought, and obviously that does occasionally happen in the NFL, but without speaking to anyone about it, and purely speculating, I would say that is a long shot to happen, at least this year. I believe Banks will be looking at 2016 as a chance to start over in a sense. Unfortunately for him, this will be his third defensive backs coach in four years. We talk about the difficulty of quarterbacks learning new systems, but it is essentially true across the board, especially in the secondary. In fact former Bucs head coach Greg Schiano once told Scott Reynolds and myself that other than quarterback, he believed cornerback was the hardest position to transition from college to the pros. Now add in three coaches, three different messages and a revolving door of players around him, and it is no wonder Banks struggled somewhat in 2015. I am not making excuses for him by any stretch. He, and all of the secondary players, need to, and must play better. The Bucs are going to have to count of some of these returning players to be key components in what is hopefully a turn around season under new defensive coordinator Mike Smith.
Question 2. @bucsfootball @PewterReport do you think the Bucs let Doug Martin walk? #PRmailbag
Answer: There is a chance he hits the open market, but no way Tampa Bay doesn’t fight to retain his services. It would certainly be a gamble to allow him to see what is out there. All it would take is one team flush with cap money to really throw a wrinkle in things. A team, say like the Raiders, could go all in, and with Martin a California native, the money could be too much for him to turn down or more than the Bucs are willing to spend. Two things we know for certain, the Bucs want Martin back and he wants to be back. Also from what we hear, Martin’s agent has a good relationship with the Bucs front office. That in itself is a good thing. Many have tweeted or posted on the message boards that running backs are a dime a dozen, and you can easily pick one up in the draft to replace him. But if that were the case, where are all the running backs drafted since 2012 that played better than Martin or were more valuable to their team’s offense last year? Let’s not forget he led the NFL in runs over 20 yards with 14 of them. The next one was Todd Gurley(11) and then Adrian Peterson with 10. That is pretty elite company. Add in his 1,402 yards rushing (2nd in the league) and his yards per carry average (4.9 avg.) also second in the league among running backs with over 100 carries, and I don’t see how anyone could say Martin is a dime-a-dozen running back.
Question 3. @JP3Gatorbait @PewterReport Do you think the Bucs trade up in the draft? Maybe get into that top five? #PRMailbag
Answer: I would love to see it, if they are after Jalen Ramsey. I know I favored Jameis Winston last year, and I follow the Seminoles, but it was strictly based on what I thought was best for the team moving forward. I cover the Bucs, not the Noles, and the Bucs winning football games and being successful makes my job more enjoyable and in the end probably more profitable. So the same thought goes for Ramsey. I have watched his career in Tallahassee and have personally talked to FSU coaches and a number of scouts. I have heard nothing but great things about him. Is he a perfect player? No, but much like Winston he is all about football. In fact Ramsey shuns the spotlight considerably more than Winston. He is an elite talent that can be used all over the field. It would be hard to pick out any weaknesses in his game that couldn’t get better in the NFL. And we know the Buccaneers love Ramsey as well, but they also know they won’t have a shot at him if they stay at No. 9. The question now becomes, how much do they like him? Enough to move up, sacrificing future picks in this draft or next year? That will be up to GM Jason Licht and his front office to determine.
Question 4. @jhassinator @PewterReport if the Bucs don’t spend most of there cap money on players, Doug Martin etc, should us fans think about wanting a new GM? #PRMailbag
Answer: No I don’t believe so. To me, a bigger concern would be if they spent a ton of money year after year, and got nothing out of it except salary cap problems. And if Licht consistently missed on draft picks. And don’t forget, even though we don’t see the Glazers out in front, and giving sound bites to ESPN and other media outlets say like a Jerry Jones, it doesn’t mean they aren’t involved. They always have final say. The GM has a lot of influence, but at the end of the day the owners sign the checks. Unless this team has a monumental collapse, a horrible draft, and we find out Dirk Koetter is in over his head, then Licht will be fine. And for the record, I do not foresee any of those scenarios to play out in 2016.
Question 5. @kellyburke551 Do you think the Bucs would go after Jaylon Smith if he makes it to the second round? Hoping teams stray away from the ACL. #PRMailbag
Answer: Second round maybe but I am not sure they want to spend a second round pick on a young man that is coming off major surgery, and for a position where they have two exception starters in Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander. And the SAM linebacker sees the field no more that 50 percent of the time in many schemes, so would they bring him in to be a part time starter, even if he heals up with no issues? I love the player very much, and will use him as my main argument for those who say players shouldn’t leave school early. I hope and pray he can come back as strong as he was and had an exceptional NFL career. Unless he is facing Tampa Bay.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at email@example.com
Dougie is far from a dime-a-dozen RB, he’s one of the better RB’s in the NFL…top 10 at least. I also don’t think he can be easily replaced in the draft, as E. Elliott is the only guy I see that could do that. I said a few times recently that we should draft Elliott, but only because he would be the BPA and will be as good as Martin if not better, not because Martin would be easy to replace. I will say that there were a lot of RB’s that got injured last season that are as good if not better than Martin. Ones that come to mind are J. Charles, L. Bell, L. McCoy, A. Foster, D. Johnson, T. Gurley, D. Freeman…then of course there is A. Peterson who wasn’t really injured last year, and M. Lynch who is retiring. Then you have guys on the cusp that are hot on Martins trail and could prove to be as good with more playing time like J. Langford and T. Rawls. I mean I really do like D. Martin, but let’s round this out with the rest of the story presented above. He did great things last year like lead the league with 14 carries of over 20 years but he got caught from behind in every one I can remember. Our offense in terms of yardage was good but in terms of scoring it was bad. Imagine if those 14 runs turned into 14 more TD’s? Add in the fact that he lost 5 fumbles and those are more potential scoring opportunities lost. As a total package with his injury history that’s why I only put him in the top 10 in the league.
PInk my man, you just hit the nail on the head. I would love to have Dougie back, but we shouldn’t break the bank for him. As for Simms, he is a perfect Change of pace back and shouldn’t be asked to carry the load. Maybe the bucs take a flyer on Ivory or Lamar Miller if Dougie gets away? I still think next years running back class will be special so we will see I guess.
It’s not likely the Bucs will use the franchise tag on Martin because that would cost about $12 mil. They’ll try to get a long term deal done at about half that per year; but if not, they seem to be happy with their back-up RB & could draft a RB in the later rounds.
On a side note, I love Ramsey too for the reasons you stated above…as a safety. For the teams going off his 2014 video where he played safety but made plays all over the field I don’t think he’ll make it past the #3 pick…maybe even #1 overall. If you keep him at safety and have him play deep middle, blitz and cover the slot or TE I think he represents the BPA in this entire draft class. As an outside CB I think he’s a top of the 2nd round type of player.
I want Doug back and would put the franchise tag on him. As to trading up, the only player I would trade up to get is Bosa. No way you give up extra picks for Ramsey. He’s good, not THAT good.
I truly think if the draft goes according to most of the teams. Tampa could sit down at no.#9 and see who wants to bite and make that trade. Tampa should sit there and see what goes. Go Tampa
There will be a great defensive player available at #9. Just hoping the Bucs let the board come to them. Also a strong possibility to trade down.
Doug Martin was very productive in the years he was healthy. However, I try to keep in mind that the NFL has become a passing league and many teams use the RB much less than they used to. I think that’s the reason most people say RB’s are a dime a dozen. Players like Devonta Freeman, Arian Foster, Demarco Murray, Jeremy Langford and Thomas Rawls were not drafted in the 1st round, but were effective when given the opportunity to be a bell cow and not in a committee. I like Doug Martin and rock his jersey on most game days, but I don’t think the Bucs should overpay for a player that hasn’t been able to stay healthy 2 out of 4 years and is undersized in what has become a passing league.
I always find it amusing to read the Doug Martin accolades on the same pages that pimped Bobby Rainey as “the Bucs best running back.” Interesting evaluation on Ramsey, Pink. Looks like you are viewing him as a safety. If that’s the case, safeties typically aren’t drafted in the top 5.
You can’t over pay for Martin. Ramsey will be a safety in NFL. Maybe he tanks in combine and slides to us ( wishful thinking ). BPA in draft at #9. Don’t reach for need. Build from strength.
Mark, I don’t Twitter so this format leaves me out and it’s to short. Need more questions allowed and answered.
I also think Rasmey is a dynamite safety. As a Noles fan, I loved watching him back there. As you said though, there is no way this dude sucks at the combine. He’s a track star and long jumper, this dude is going to kill the combine.
If Doug Martin becomes too pricey I wouldn’t think twice about letting him walk and drafting Elliott. Doug is a very good RB but I think Elliott has a higher ceiling given his top end speed and durability.
I’m not convinced on the defensive players available in the draft. Ramsey will surely be good, but I could be just as satisfied with one of the Eric’s in FA. Whatever DE would could get at #9 will be a project not a difference maker. I still contend that the “easiest” way to make the 2016 Bucs into a playoff team is to draft OL (Jameis is the franchise folks), pick up a ball-hawking safety in FA, and just try to outscore and out-turnover everyone. We still aren’t SB ready, and a B-grade DE isn’t going to make us ready any time soon…shore-up our strength and let it ride!!
I think that if doug martin walks then Tampa will be in deep problem.He’s worth the money Pay him have Jackson take a pay cut.
I really like the idea of the Bucs trading down if they can find the right deal. They need multiple players on defense and an extra WR would be nice. Although at the end of the day I am not a pro scout and don’t know jack s#!t.
don’t sell yourself short @jshumaker…the little secret nobody mentions is that the “pro” scouts don’t know jack s#!t either….
I mean they watch A LOT more football than you (or I) but does the guy who watches paint dry all day long know that much more about how to paint the Sistine Chapel…the evidence (in football…e.g., Jamarcus Russell #1, Ryan Leaf #2, etc…) would suggest not.
The OLine improved quite a bit from last season, but Martin came back in great shape, and his YAC helped them out as well. Wasn’t he top of the league for that? He and Sims were a good combination last year- hate to lose that
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