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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  1. 1


    Yep, and there was a question 5 weeks ago about whether Smith should be fired. I heard Jaws on PTI last night talking about why the BUCS are winning, and he said they are back to playing “BUC Ball”, winning Defense and effective offense. The defense is no doubt playing night & day from 5 weeks ago, and Smith & co. deserve a lot of credit. This, however, is a different kind of BUC Ball cause we have never really had an offense like this other than the 1 year they won the super bowl, and that offense wasn’t good until the second half of the year. GO BUCS

    1. 1.1


      Frankly, it was only the idiots who even thought let alone talked of firing Coach Smith. Those idiots deserve to be fired from Bucdom.

  2. 2


    I hope our assistant coaches stay anonymous to the other teams in the league. During Dungy’s hay day teams cherry pick our assistants to death.
    Herm Edwards
    Mike Tomlinson
    Rod Marinelli
    And I guess Lovie Smith
    Rich Bisiia. Spelled that name wrong.

  3. 3


    I’m more incline to lean towards it is a pass rush which is the major change. Having healthy pass rushers and McCoy is another plus. Yes Naplesfan I’m one of those idiots. We all make mistakes. It’s easy to criticize.

  4. 4


    Culture Change? Here is another way to look at all of this.

    The first step in culture change had to come down from the Glazers. How many years has it been since Malcolm had to drop out of the picture? He was the original change agent whose takeover eventually led to a Super Bowl championship. The three sons had to learn to work together over the last several years. They oversaw more than one regime change.

    Licht and Koetter then had to do their parts to get there respective staffs working well. When this season began there were many, many questions to be answered for the professional reporters and commentators as well as for the diverse fans such as we have here at Pewter Report..

    Then the the team, the players, had to go through their learning curve and do their part for a culture change.

    Now, It time for long suffering, devoted fans as well as the lukewarm and the bandwagon fans to come to the party. Good times are here, finally.
    You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to make a prediction like the following. If our Buccaneers stay on the trajectory that they seem to be on for the rest of this season, then one result will be this. Next year non-season ticket holders will have to buy their tickets for particular games earlier than they would have in previous years. ;-]
    Go Bucs!!!!

  5. 5


    It’s great that the defense is getting all these accolades and superlatives thrown at them but this week will be their biggest test.
    Drew Brees has been known to carve this team up in the past and he always has a host of receivers to help him in his pursuit.
    The one thing that bothers Brees above anything else is pressure and the ability to move him off the spot and platform he likes to throw from.
    The front line will have to bring their A game throughout the day and make sure they put Brees in third and long situations by stopping the running game.
    Simple as that.

    1. 5.1

      Ron Gibson

      He is short too and pressure up the middle blocks his field of vision. If you can rattle brezy just a little he will eventually be throwing them up for grabs.

  6. 6


    I think this was an easy one to be wrong about. The Defense looked horrible up until just recently. We have a pass rush now, and suddenly with that in mind, we have a secondary that looks pretty good. No pass rush, and the secondary is going to get burnt over and over.

    1. 6.1


      Actually, it was dumb to be wrong in demanding the firing of Smith early in the season, for anyone who actually understands NFL football and how defenses are coached and built. And who knows that a new team is not built in a single game, or handful of games. It takes time, repetition, learning, and experience gained.

      You don’t completely replace your head coach AND your defensive coaching staff, AND completely change out your defensive scheme and play-calling, AND introduce four key starters on defense (two FAs and two rookie draftees), and then expect immediate results on the field.

      It just doesn’t work that way. It almost never works that way.

      We did all of the above this season. I predicted here in these threads all throughout the “bad old days” of the first half of this season that this was the fully predictable result of a defensive makeover, and that we could not begin to measure Smith’s effectiveness as a DC until at the very least, the second half of this season. Or even til next season.

      I was consistent in stating that premise in threads here earlier this season, despite the yappers who were demanding Smith’s firing and whining that we didn’t have a championship defense in the first half season of a new regime.

      By the way, this is exactly how it worked for the Bucs 20 seasons ago, when Tony Dungy and Monty Kiffin came in, flailed badly in the first half of their first season – the first 9 games, actually – and then came on strong in the last 7 games almost entirely due to the defense finally “gelling” and the guys learning Kiffin’s system of defense.

      Watch and learn.

      1. 6.1.1


        It’s also very easy to see what I’m talking about when you contrast the offense this year to the defense. The offense basically stayed the same as last season, same offensive coach who just happened to become the head coach, keeping the offensive schemes and play-calling intact, and allowing our rookie high-performing quarterback to continue his transition into his “sophomore” year, with a few bumps and detours here and there, and the running back corps getting banged up … otherwise, this season was just a continuation of last season. We’ve seen the offense get better, but it still has a way to go, especially when it comes to red zone scoring which has been a glaring weakness this season.

        The defense, however, being a complete makeover, started anew from scratch and there was a heckuva lot of learning to do by the players. Virtually all of the interviews with defensive players in the last few weeks have included extensive remarks that they were on a very steep learning curve this season, especially with respect to learning how to communicate with each other on the field in game play. We saw exactly that process in the last, game-sealing INT by Keith Tandy, who was advised by our rookie CB Vernon Hargreaves III to watch out for exactly the passing play that the Chargers attempted.

        You can’t make that play in Week 1 of a new defense, new coaches, and new players.

      2. 6.1.2

        Ron Gibson

        True and M. Smith’s defense is much more complex than the simple zone we were failing with under lovie. Also a huge factor is Ayers. He doesn’t look all that flashy on the field but he really holds his own playing the run outstanding and still getting outside pressure which frees up the faster rushers like McCoy and Spence. In preseason and the first game we had plenty of pressure but when the injuries started there were too many along the DL. Now we are mostly healthy there and it shows.



          Yup … and ditto for Clinton MacDonald … nobody pays him much notice because he is such a quiet guy, but it is not a coincidence or accident that the defensive line play suddenly improved after he returned to the lineup after spending several weeks on the sideline due to injury. When you have Clinton MacDonald in the lineup, doubling McCcoy suddenly leaves the center of the line exposed. When both are in the lineup, the entire line plays better.

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