About the author

Mark Cook

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 protected]

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42 Comments

  1. 1

    EastEndBoy

    I’d say that if OL opportunities are limited in both FA and the draft, then this would be the opportune moment for Jason Licht to prove me wrong about him and find us an upgrade or two. If he’s really a top tier GM then this is the time to deliver. Any arm chair GM can get a WR upgrade this offseason, only a stud can find one at OL. I would be happy to be proven wrong about him…but I’m expecting the preverbial “stand pat”.

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  2. 2

    matador

    “Addressing the line, as some fans are clamoring for, is easier said then done. The draft isn’t top heavy with top caliber talent, and the free agent maker most likely will be thin…”

    And this is why the Aguyo pick is so damning. We spent two picks, which could have landed us one or two upgrades at positions of need and instead got subpar play from a position easily addressed outside of the draft.

    The GM is supposed to be looking two or three moves ahead yet here we sit with Marpet and a collection of players who are marginal starters that would be backups on better teams.

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    1. 2.1

      Naplesfan

      The flaw in your reasoning on the Aguayo pick is that every single draft pick carries with it the opportunity cost of not picking some other player. Licht’s reasoning for picking Aguayo late in the second round is debatable, but the same is true of every pick that Licht and every other GM makes.

      And if you’re going to continue berating Licht for making that pick that you didn’t like, then you also have to give him credit for bringing on Cameron Brate as an undrafted free agent who led the league in TDs at the tight end position. Just where would you expect to draft that kind performance from a first year starter – a top five draft pick?

      You guys need to get over your Aguayo draft whining. It’s over, it’s history, and we still don’t know “how the story ends” because rookie kickers are very commonly underperformers in their rookie year, but the good ones go on to score hundreds of points for their teams over long careers.

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      1. 2.1.1

        chetthevette

        I too am also tired of the RA bashing. How could that pick ruin the offensive line I have no idea, for any unit for that matter.
        Hopefully in 5 years Matador can say “man that guy can kick” about RA.
        Fingers crossed on my part.
        GO BUCS

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  3. 3

    scubog

    I sure hope that someday real soon we stop rehashing the choice if Roberto Aguayo. It’s no worse than the multitude of suspect Draft picks we’ve made the past 40 years. Anyone recall the Bret Moritz selection? That’s my nomination for worst Draft pick ever.

    The offense this season was negatively impacted more by injuries, a DUI, no depth at WR, and Doug Martin falling prey to the curse of the Scubog game jersey and his off the field lifestyle than the line-up at the start of the season.

    Winston’s never say die attitude is his greatest asset but it can also get him into trouble when he tries to over compensate for his teammates’ deficiencies. Jameis will become a star only when the rest of his offense is elevated. Glennon looked adequate in his brief appearance. Grade B-

    With the revolving door in the running back room it’s a wonder that we produced a middle of the pack ranking. Totally disgusting that Doug Martin reverted back to his partying ways after the team committed to him. Sure sends a bad message to his teammates who would look to him as an example. His ineffectiveness for whatever reason destroyed the offense. It’s a sad state of affairs when the team can pick up a guy off the street to perform far better than our burned out star. Knowing the running game was little threat defenses focused on stopping Jameis. Grade D

    Another revolving door in the wide receiver room had Jameis throwing to a collection of undrafted players and guys off the street. Knowing only Evans was a threat defenses focused on slowing down Jameis’ primary target. Grade C+

    ASJ’s off the field lifestyle was nearly as big an impact as Doug Martin’s. With only an undrafted developing player in Brate plus two journeymen who are ineffective in the passing game, the TE position was #84 and little else. Grade C

    Many want to blame the offensive line for the team’s inability to run the ball effectively and at times the pass protection being inadequate. There’s little doubt that an upgrade is needed. But I see the problems more at the lack of skill positions than the big uglies. This is the same unit absent Logan Mankins that had one of the best running games in the league in 2015. Add weapons for whom other teams have to game plan to stop and the offensive line will suddenly look a lot better. Grade C+

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    1. 3.1

      Horse

      Scubog that wasn’t a very positive message you usually sing? This is a much improved team and we actually had reserves who performed better than some of the starters.

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      1. 3.1.1

        scubog

        I didn’t mean to come across as negative, just my perception when analyzing the roster. Our skill positions are very weak. We’re fortunate to have a rising star in Cameron Brate and Mike Evans. But after those two youngsters………….zilch. We simply have to address it this off season and if an opportunity presents itself to upgrade a piece of the O-line, Licht and Warhop should consider that too.

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    2. 3.2

      chetthevette

      Hey scubog,
      I’m sorry that is not even close to the worst draft pick ever. And that was a pretty bad one.
      I nominate Bo Jackson as the most totally screwed up pick ever. Maybe on any team, but I’ll give that to Jamarcus Russle.
      GO BUCS

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      1. 3.2.1

        scubog

        Bret Moritz was the worst Draft pick for the Bucs not the league. The selection of Bo Jackson wasn’t the problem. The inability to sign him was.

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        1. 3.2.1.1

          EastEndBoy

          We’ve had so many terrible selections – it’s truly been farcical. And while I love to hate on the selections of guys in the 1st round that were total failures from the get-go….I think I have to agree @chetthevette about Bo Jackson 1st overall…he told us not to select him, he told us he would never play for us, he told us he would never forgive us for screwing-up his chance to play baseball out at Auburn…and we didn’t believe him and chose him anyway!!!!! Why do we refuse to believe people when they tell us stuff, and think “oh that’ll never be what happens”?

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          1. 3.2.1.1.1

            chetthevette

            Still painful for me to remember that.
            As a matter of fact it’s painful to recall most of our drafts.
            Licht is at least competent.
            GO BUCS

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        2. 3.2.1.2

          chetthevette

          If he would have played no problem.
          Jumpin Jesus, he said I will NEVER play for you, EVER.
          And they still did it.
          Just like in Billy Jack.
          “I’m gonna put my right foot right on your jaw, nothin’ you can do about it.”
          The he did it.
          Maybe the geezers will remember Billy Jack.
          GO BUCS

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  4. 4

    surferdudes

    Limited in free agency, like the draft doesn’t mean there isn’t any options. With loads of cap money would it hurt to bring in someone to compete with Dotson? Goster will be gone, and are you saying there’s no better option at center then Hawley to be signed? EastEndBoy is right, anyone can find a receiver upgrade in this draft. Licht needs to find a way to improve a line that was as said inconsistent. Alex Mack at center was big in helping Atlanta’s offense this year,we can’t stay pat with Hawley, and expect better results. Better find Dot’s replacement too.

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    1. 4.1

      jme0151

      I concur!

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  5. 5

    Naplesfan

    The grades as given seem fair enough.

    The offensive line is a unit that needs constant, year-after-year-after-year tending to. A team typically carries at least 7 OL on the 53-man roster, sometimes 8. Given the facts of players who under-perform, injuries, losses to free agency, and retirements, a team simply cannot afford to ignore the offensive line in the offseason, even if your line is very good. One of the consistent reasons for Buccaneer futility over the decades is our sporadic attention to the offensive line, sometimes going two or three years without making any serious effort to upgrade the talent there.

    At this point the grades for 2016 don’t really matter much – what matters is what are we going to do to get better? Not just on the offensive line, but everywhere, including quarterback.

    I will take issue with Marc’s statement that “…Winston is already head and shoulders above where even the most die-hard Winston fans thought he would be after just two seasons.” I don’t want to rehash all the old pre-draft endless arguments, but clearly the most die-hard Winston fans were predicting immediate Super Bowls and were busy fitting the young man out for his yellow jacket before he tossed his first career pass … a pick six to the team that drafted the other young man in the debate. Frankly, I think that debate, besides being extremely annoying and divisive and downright hateful, was besides the point because both quarterbacks are going to be highly regarded and likely elite players within a couple three more seasons.

    Nevertheless, Winston simply has to get better to make the Bucs a playoff quality team I really don’t care how many yards he passes for – what I want is for him to concentrate solely on making plays while taking much better care of the ball, and getting touchdowns rather than settling for field goal attempts. Way too many of our drives went to the red zone to die this year. Especially in the latter part of the season where we ranked well into the bottom third or quarter of the league in that area. I believe Jameis has the intelligence and physical skills to play much better, but it’s going to take hard work, growing maturity, and several more seasons in the league under the guidance of his coaches. Look for incremental growth for Jameis. Along with more production from his teammates of course, because quarterbacks don’t win games, teams win games.

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    1. 5.1

      Naplesfan

      As for player comparisons, the “model” for what I wish we could get out of the quarterback position is this year’s darling, Dak Prescott. Flying under the radar and being a mere fourth round draft pick not expected to start this season, Dak had the benefit of lower expectations than were had for Jameis Winston. Even so, regardless of the expectations, he suddenly found himself the starter replacing an institution in Dallas … and he performed spectacularly.

      Prescott threw for “only” 3,667 yards, but man … 23 touchdowns to only 4 interceptions. He took care of the ball, got his team touchdowns instead of field goal attempts (3rd in the league in red zone efficiency at 66.7% vs. 21st in the league at 51.9%. He still had 9 fumbles, but I don’t worry too much about that because the quarterback touches the ball on every play and lots of fumbles by quarterbacks are issues with offensive line protection rather than carelessness with the ball.

      That’s where the bar lies … I believe Jameis can get there, but he has to change his attitude about when and where he throws the ball.

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      1. 5.1.1

        chetthevette

        I think all most any QB could thrive in Dallas. It’s time to start my manta,
        ” ooooom , It’s the O line, ooom, It’s the Oline, ooom, It’s the Oline”.
        GO BUCS

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        1. 5.1.1.1

          Naplesfan

          No – a quarterback who doesn’t take care of the football will still throw picks in Dallas. Jay Cutler will still be Jay Cutler, no matter what line he plays behind.

          Proof?

          Virtually the same Dallas offensive line also played in 2015, and the end result was 4-12 record and produced the 31st ranked offense. The four quarterbacks (Cassell, Romo, Weeden,and Moore) who collectively started the 16 games a year ago for Dallas produced 16 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. Four of the five starters on the offensive line in 2015 were starters in 2016 for Dallas.

          It actually makes a helluva huge difference who is playing behind center.

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        2. 5.1.1.2

          Bucnut2

          The O-line defiantly helps a lot. But let’s not forget, JW is WIDLEY inaccurate, seldom throws the ball away and takes a lot of unnecessary sacks. Those things are on JW not O-line.

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          1. 5.1.1.2.1

            Bucnut2

            Should have checked spelling before posting. Meant to say definitely and wildly

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  6. 6

    fredster

    Comparing Winston to Prescott is dumb unless the Bucs have an all pro O-line. Dak very rarely had pressure. When he did have pressure or the run didn’t work like against the Giants he stunk. He went 2-24 on third down during that stretch when he was up in the situation Winston is every week where we can’t run the ball and he runs for his life.

    As for us quitting whining about Aguayo I’ll quit bitching when he makes FG’s over 43 yards or they cut his ass. Lol.

    I do agree Winston needs to improve his accuracy for sure. He also needs to control his emotions and calm down. All will happen I’m sure hes only 22.

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    1. 6.1

      macabee

      Jameis had a birthday Friday, January 6, he is now 23. I had a birthday December 6, I’m now 68. Winston overstrides, I walk real slow (got nowhere to go). Winston gets hyped up, I’m too cool for school (low testosterone). Even though I think youth is wasted on the young, I’d rather be 23 too. Go Jameis. Go Bucs, Go Macabee! Everybody else just Go! lol.

      Happy New Year Fredster!

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      1. 6.1.1

        Horse

        Macabee; you’re just a young kid; I’m almost 71. When I hit 70 I started falling apart. Ah, to be 23 again.

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      2. 6.1.2

        chetthevette

        Mac.
        Reminds of the old joke.
        An old bull is standing on a hill with a young bull. There is a herd of cows at the bottom.
        Young bull says ” let’s run down there and f**k one of those cows.
        Old bull says “let’s walk down there and f**k them all. ”
        You are right , youth is definitely wasted on the young.
        GO BUCS

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    2. 6.2

      Naplesfan

      The standard of play is the standard of play. Saying quarterback comparisons are dumb, is well, really dumb.

      The line doesn’t make the quarterback take dumb risks with the football. The line doesn’t make the quarterback inaccurate with his throws, consistently overthrowing players on throws beyond 10 yards. The line doesn’t force the quarterback to hold onto the ball too long.

      That is all on the quarterback. Sorry, the “we don’t have Dallas’ offensive line” excuse doesn’t wash.

      As the best coach in all of NFL history says to his players every play on every day …”just do your job”.

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      1. 6.2.1

        Bucnut2

        correct

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      2. 6.2.2

        scubog

        To say the quality of the offensive line, running back and wide receivers doesn’t affect the QB play is just plain ridiculous. If that’s the case then why draft a single offensive player or sign a single offensive free agent? Yes, you can go scurrying for evidence and statistics in an attempt to prove your point. I know what I see sitting in the stands and sometimes wonder if you folks who only see the game on TV pay the least bit of attention to anything but the numbers.

        It’s pretty obvious that you and Bucnut preferred the other guy.

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  7. 7

    Buc 1976

    As far as oline goes there are a couple of ways to go move Ali M to center or Left guard if Sweezy is healthy R guard is what he played in Seattle.
    In the draft a couple of centers are worth looking at Ohio States center or Kentucky center both have good size and be drafted 2-5 rounds. If Cory Davis WR is available in first RD PLEASE,PLEASE TAKE HIM. We also need more pass rush somehow.

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  8. 8

    Horse

    The Stats don’t lie and we are right in the middle of the pack which is fantastic from where we were in the past for years. Lets be positive about a 9-7 2016 record. We have many players on IR which will help to improve our team even if we didn’t have a draft or free agency. We would still be a very competitive team. This is the first time in many a year we don’t have to reach for anything. Let the draft come to us and pick best player available. In free agency we have many options and again we don’t have to reach; just pick best player available mentality. There’s much to be positive about. lets enjoy the moment! I would let go all the overpaid players who didn’t perform, our backup’s can replace many of them. I am confident we will not overpay for our own players that are free agents as we didn’t make the playoffs and they don’t deserve to be paid as elite players because not one is at that level. The next few months are going to feel great! Go Bucs!

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  9. 9

    fredster

    I remember when we signed Sweezy and even thinking he was healthy most weren’t too excited. Now he’s going to be our savior after a year off and bad back? Lol.

    We better find ways to get better on O line or it’s going to be another middle of the pack offense at best.

    Hoping Dotson can have a comeback year next year and play like he did before the injury and the big payday.

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  10. 10

    chetthevette

    I think Winston was graded out with a B- as a little harsh. Half the time he was running for his life.
    So that makes me think that the O Line was graded to high. I would give them a C- at best. But it’s not the lines fault. The blame for the line is years of neglecting that position during the draft. Think of the line as a garden, bear with me here. If you plant seedling and nurture it to maturity it will bear more fruit than planting a mature tree.
    It takes years to build a line on a football team.
    All our linemen deserved spots on the team, but we need to have a solid anchor to “grow” our line.
    Mankins was dearly missed.
    Then there is the RB’s. For a unit that was pulling guys off the street they get a B to me. most of thier woes can be blamed on the O Line. I saw it every week, A small crack was all that they were getting. There I go again, it’s the lines man.
    GO BUCS

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    1. 10.1

      Horse

      It all starts with the Center and works out. My guess is the coaches rated it as their biggest need as to the OL.

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    2. 10.2

      Bucnut2

      The B- grade was generous. QB’s who have as many TO’s as TD’s are average at best. Grade should have been a C

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  11. 11

    Bucnut2

    Mark- agree in most part with your grades. I would offer the following commentary. First, you state JW is a franchise QB. However, other than hype, there is nothing about his on the field perfomance to support your postion. QB’s who have almost as many TO as touchdowns in their second year, have no claim on the “franchise” label. Look I am rooting for the guy because he is our QB, but his play in the last 8 games was largely bad. The defense carried us in our 5 game win streak. For those who say he lacked weapons, just remember he had Evans, and Brate for almost all of those games. Here is what we know about JW, surrounded by great weapons, he is a slightly above average NFL QB, think Andy Dalton. There is 0 evidence at this point that he is a franchise QB. In fact, in defending him, many of his supporters reach back to his days at FSU, none are able to point to Anything he has done in his pro career yet. I sincerely hope he evolves into something great. At this point the only thing he is great at is talking. Unfortunately, we are not fielding a debate team.

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    1. 11.1

      scubog

      He’s a much better “talker” than your boy Mariota. You got to give him that.

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    2. 11.2

      chetthevette

      What are you smoking man.
      To refute your statement I will bring up a hall of famer.
      Brett Farve. JW is just as good as Brett in the first 2 years.
      Of course being a gun slinger has consequences. Interceptions and goofy looking plays. I say let him go for it. Who wants a game manager, not me. I want a QB with balls, big brassies that clank around.
      Terry Bradshaw was so inept in his first years he was benched for a heroin addict. True fact.
      I doubt Bradshaw could play in today’s game, no one has any patience. And that whole “franchise” label is stupid. It’s a team man.
      Draft some line men so he doesn’t get killed and watch him go.
      GO BUCS

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  12. 12

    drdneast

    Apparently all of yiou have forgotten the DE formerly known as Booker Reese. Egads.
    EastEndBoy, I’m sure Jason Licht is losing a lot of sleep tossing and turning while worrying about how u feel about his job performance.
    After Mankins retired he did go out and get a solid guard to replace him but unfortunately an injury cut short his season. Hopefully he will be ready to play this year.
    I bieve more than anything else the loss of Mankins and Swerezy hurt this team more than they thougjt it would.
    Be that as it may I also lament the drafting of Arroyo with a No. 2 pick but I have moved on.
    Its time u did the same.
    Overall, I think Licht could br given. B plus for his drafting.
    I always felt Mark Dominick was r worst drafting GM, but with the recent emergence of Spence, Gholston and Tandy, all of whom were later round picks and oddly enough due to go into FA this coming season, I may have to redress my opiniin.

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    1. 12.1

      chetthevette

      Booker Reese OMFG. I’ll need therapy if I keep dredging up the bozos the BUCS have picked.
      GO BUCS

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    2. 12.2

      EastEndBoy

      “I’m sure Jason Licht is losing a lot of sleep tossing and turning while worrying about how u feel about his job performance”…you forgot to sign that one “nananana”.

      Seriously, why write that – do you think Jason Licht is reading PewterReport? Do you think the Glazers are using PR as an input to their 360 degree reviews? What exactly was the point of your comment?….are other bloggers not allowed their opinions? Only your “B plus” matters? Anyone that disagrees with you or dares to criticize one of the Buc employees should be summarily chastised with one of your quips? Grow up…make your points, disagree (if you think Licht is a B plus, fine….try and sway my opinion with some facts) but leave the play ground language on the play ground.

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  13. 13

    drdneast

    Yes Naplesfan poor offensive line play does make a QB make poor decisions when throwing an INT,
    They also greatly contribute to INT’s when they fail to make blocks and the QB’s arm is hit while throwing the ball or when he is strip sacked from the blind side.
    They also contribute by holding on plays or committing personal fouls by putting him in impossible 3rd and 25 situations or because they have bungled around during the entire game and the QB has one last opportunity to pull the game out of his rear end and he makes one last desperation throw to try to win the game.
    All of those situations happened to Winston this year.
    If you doubt me, I can spell them out to you one by one,
    As for me, I’m glad we have a QB who is more concerned with winning a game than worrying about his stats and QB rating like some QBs.
    I could have cared a less which QB the Bucs had chosen two years ago, but it is plainly apparent you still lament the fact the Bucs didn’t pick Mariotta.
    Since that is the case, why don’t you just buy a Titans jersey and get a deal with Direct TV so you can root for your boy at home every week.
    Or at the very least, take your anti Winston hat off.

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  14. 14

    drdneast

    Well said, chethevette
    Loved your comment about having a QB with a big brassy set. LOL.
    Faint heart never won fair maiden..

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  15. 15

    jongruden

    Luke Stocker 5 catches for 23 yds for the year grade A and will make team again next yr

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