It is Monday and that means another Bucs Monday Mailbag where we answer your questions that readers submitted via Twitter using #PRMailbag.
Question: Provided the Bucs have a top 5 pick, what position do you think they use it on? Can we draft an offensive play caller? No? Darn.
Answer: They don’t need to draft a play caller, just write a big enough check to find one. Or perhaps the next coach is already an experienced play caller? Or maybe, if the current play caller can survive, but he gives up the responsibility to someone else. As Scott Reynolds pointed out in his Fab 5 trying to handle all of the responsibilities of being a head coach, while also calling plays isn’t an easy task, and one that is difficult to transition to. as few have succeeded.
As far as drafting, I think you take the best available. I don’t know that any position should be off the table with a Top 5 pick. Well maybe kicker. But seriously, this team could use an explosive running back (Saquon Barkley), a pass rusher (Bradley Chubb) or even an offensive lineman (Mike McGlinchey). Either way it has to be an impact player, and can’t be bust.
Question: I know the voices seeking Jon Gruden as the next Bucs head coach are out there. If you had your choice between Gruden and Harbaugh who do you think will be the best coach?
Answer: That is a great question. My initial thought is Gruden all day. But trying to rekindle magic is never easy. I mean I dated a girl once through part of high school and we broke up for a year and decided to date again, and it was nothing like it was a year earlier. Great person, in fact she was even more attractive, but what we thought would be an easy transition back to where we left things, was just off. It was different. The romanticized vision we had of how it would be just didn’t pan out. The fantasy was better than the reality.
If the Glazers do in fact make a change from Koetter, the next choice has to be based completely on football and not history. I think you interview Gruden as if this was his first job interview and you know nothing of him. He didn’t leave on good terms and there was bad blood. And he wasn’t the most liked coach by some of the players by the time he was fired. However, one thing I like when we talked to Gruden during his Ring of Honor press conference back in August was what appeared to be genuine regret in some of the relationships he had with his players. He’d like a chance to redeem himself in that area for sure. In addition to not developing a young quarterback. He sees Jameis Winston, Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Cam Brate and others and he must be salivating at the opportunity to coach those players if he makes the decision to return and if he is offered the job.
Harbaugh obviously isn’t the most popular pick of the two with fans most likely, but probably is the safest. He just wins wherever he goes. He has a proven track record and hasn’t been out of the game for nearly 10 years like Gruden. Either one would be fine with me, although it isn’t even determined that the Glazers make a change.
Question: If we were to sit Jameis, can we activate Ryan Griffin and see what he can do?
Answer: Well the first part of your question was answered earlier on Monday when Koetter announced that Griffin would be coming off of injured reserve and the team’s No. 2 quarterback this week against the Jets. But I think you play Fitzpatrick until you are mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, then perhaps see what Griffin can do. The Bucs would like to see what Griffin does under center with a first team offense in a meaningful game, but at the same time this staff and perhaps front office is also trying to survive a shakeup. They need wins.
Question: Rank the impact of the following yoyo changes on Bucs losing: Marpet to center, Baker, DJax Sweezy, Ward, loss of Russell Shepard and Hard Knocks.
Answer: Of those listed the only ones I would attribute to any regression this season are losing top motivator rah-rah guy in Shepard and maybe a little on Hard Knocks. Shepard was a fire starter before games, something Gerald McCoy has tried to do a little, and of course Jameis Winston. But the players loved Shepard’s pregame speeches before they came out onto the field. And the Hard Knocks things is debatable. Maybe the team played too much to the cameras, maybe they missed out on some bonding behind the scenes that normally would have taken place without the distraction, but all of that is negligible in my opinion.
I believe the players and coaches share the blame equally. The players aren’t executing very well and the coaches aren’t always putting them in the best position to succeed. At the end of the day it is still about which team has the best plan going into a game, and which teams performs it the best. All the other stuff, while it can contribute somewhat, are basically just excuses.