It is Monday and that means it is time for another edition of the Monday Mailbag, where the PewterReport.com staff answers your questions submitted via Twitter. This week beat writer Trevor Sikkema joined in to help answer the questions along with Mark Cook. Take a look and share your thoughts on today’s questions and answers.
Question: If you had totally team control, what are a few moves you would do? And if it includes firing coach and GM what combo do you like best. Or should we bail on some players?
MC Answer: Well first off let me start by saying I am one of those who hates the idea of firing three coaches in six years. No question stability in an organization is important, from an internal and also an outside perspective. However, just like being in a bad relationship, if it is wrong and you know it is wrong, you just need to move on. Trying to force something to work just for the sake of staying together isn’t the best option. In our personal lives, or in football. Now, I do say in both, you have to give it every opportunity to work before calling it quits. Like a divorce on a personal level, there are last repercussions. Innocent people end up getting hurt, but if it is best for the long term survival then you just need to rip the bandage off quickly. But only the Glazers, Jason Licht and Dirk Koetter know the internal relationship and ultimately it is the Glazers who have to make the decision and then live with it.
From where I sit, and for what it is worth, if I am the Glazers, I am at least gauging the interest of possible new coaches. From Gruden to Harbaugh, to trying to find some up and coming coordinator either offensively and defensively. The last three games would be factored in, but if the team goes 4-12 it would be difficult for me to retain Koetter and his staff. From 7-9 to 4-12 with money spent in free agency and a good draft, and you end up with three less wins? That is a hard sell to not only fans who fill the seats, but also the corporate partners and suite holders.
I think Licht could get an extension. I know many fans think his track record isn’t great, and there have been misses at critical spots, but compared to other general managers, especially former Tampa Bay ones, Licht is performing well. However, rarely do GMs survive two coaching changes. And of course a lot depends on who comes in as head coach, if in fact there is a change made. If it is Gruden, would he want full control? Or is he okay with just focusing on the X’s and O’s and leaving the scouting and drafting up to a front office? I could see Gruden and Licht being paired together. But it is too early to tell what happens. As mentioned about, the last three games will go a long way in determining what happens the Monday after the Saints game.
Question: Why do you think they don’t at least give Todd Monken a chance to call the plays? I have been saying for weeks…what do we have to lose?
TS Answer: It’s not what we have to lose as much as it might be what Koetter has to lose.
This season has not been what we all expected it to be for this team, and if we’re thinking that, then you know the players, the coaches and the front office members are thinking it, too. With the offense regressing with more weapons this year, that falls on the play designer and the play caller.
If Koetter gives up play calling now, what does have to stand on when job security question come up this offseason. The short answer is not much.
Monken has had great success as a college play caller. He led Oklahoma State to Top 5 scoring offense for two straight season before becoming the head coach at Southern Miss and bringing them to offensive relevancy as well all before coming on with the Buccaneers.
Would it be a good move for the Buccaneers offense? We think so. The responsibilities as a head coach might be all too overwhelming for Koetter. he’s been a guy who likes to control the things he can, and now, for the first time in his career, that includes being a head coach an really the offensive coordinator. All of the hats he’s had to wear may have clouded his judgement or ability to improvise with an offensive game plan.
Monken as the play caller makes sense, but if Koetter gives it up now, he might be partially raising a white flag as head coach.
Question: Is there tension between Mike Evans and Koetter? Why is he not being utilized as I feel he should be? He was so reliable last year…
TS Answer: I don’t think Evans is being underutilized because of anything between he and Koetter; I think it’s just a product of a bad offense.
Back when he was basically the only show in town, Evans would always get his guaranteed targets. his year they’ve obviously tried to be more diverse – it has since proven to fail.
I think it should be noted that Evans has some maturing in his own game that he still needs to do as well. Evans’ goal this season was to be a better receiver after the catch, and though a good deal of that stat has to do with perfect chemistry between receiver and quarterback (which Winston has had struggles with due to ball placement issues) Evans has been, at times, too comfortable with a catch and drop to the ground.
But, that’s all just to say that this offense, by design, has without a doubt digressed in terms of efficiency and getting the most out of their player – whether there’s “only one ball” or not.
I don’t think that’s a personal Evans-Koetter problem.
Question: Looking to the future (sigh), what starters do you see leaving the team next year, regardless of who the coach is? I’m thinking Grimes, Brate, Doug, and DJax.
TS answer: Grimes could be on his way out via retirement. Though his coaches say he is just as athletic as he’s ever been and that he could play for as long as he wants, at 34 years old you wonder how long he, in fact, wants to play. He could return, but we’d lean on the side of him not being on the team next year.
There is a good chance Doug Martin is not with the Buccaneers next season. His contract isn’t worth the production they’re getting out him, especially if they’re going to go with such a deep running back rotation. Expect the Bucs to be OK with Barber on the squad next year and for them to draft a running back at some point as well.
Brate is the player named above who we think isn’t going anywhere. Tight ends are too valuable for a power offense, and Brate is one of the best receiving weapons to the position. He and Howard can both thrive in the same offense. And the Bucs will have no problem keeping him in the fold.
DeSean Jackson is an interesting one. Jackson is clearly not happy in Tampa Bay – who isn’t with this disappointment? If the Bucs bring in a new head coach, that will say a lot in whether or not Jackson stays or is move. He might even request his own trade if it’s not the right fit. Jackson can still do good things in Tampa Bay as long as Winston can move forward as a deep ball passer. If not, this question will always pop up for the duration of Jackson’s contract with the Buccaneers.