It is Monday and that means another Bucs Monday Mailbag where we answer your questions that readers submitted via Twitter using #PRMailbag.
Question: If not Jon Gruden who would you hire to replace Dirk Koetter? No college or Tony Dungy leftover scraps please.
Answer: Well, Greg Schiano is available.
I just literally heard the heads of thousands of PewterReport.com readers explode. Obviously I kid. I think if a change is made then it would be an all-out pursuit of Gruden. After that you look for some young up-and-coming coordinators. That worked out very well for the Rams this year, and may still yet for the 49ers when they get Jimmy Garappolo settled in as the starter. Names that will get looks this offseason are Josh McDaniels, Jim Schwartz, Jim Harbaugh and a name being bantered about a somewhat is Seahawks defensive coordinator Kris Richard.
But as noted, there is only one name that will get most Bucs fans and he brought the team their only Super Bowl.
Question: We all know the Bucs need a pass rushing DE in the worst way. For the draft do they get a DE by any means necessary?
Answer: You would most certainly think that whoever is in charge of drafting next season would make defensive end a high priority. As far as at all costs? There are still other needs, and you can’t reach on what could be a Top 10 pick strictly based on need. The problem is, this isn’t the deepest class of edge pass rushers, and an impact player like Bradley Chubb most likely is going inside the Top 5. So then the question is, what would you have to give up, to move up if you plan on going defensive end at all cost?
And as always, part of the draft strategy of teams changes depending on how they do in free agency the month before. The problem is, a quick scan of potential defensive end free agents doesn’t knock my socks off. Ziggy Ansah from the Lions sticks out to me, but you can bet the Lions are hoping to bring him back. And if he does hit free agency, it won’t be cheap to sign him, with a number of suitors.
The Bucs need to bring in multiple pass rushers and hope to hit on a couple. You can continue to build the offense but until the Bucs can get pressure on the quarterback, it is going to be difficult to win many games.
Question: I’m watching linebackers and linemen running into offensive lineman sideways or just directly at them, only to get blanketed in a block or all squished in the same area. Is that a block shedding or lack of gap discipline?
Answer: I would actually tend to say it is coaching. I have noticed the same thing at times this year where you have defensive linemen nearly should to shoulder over the center, only to run looping stunts, or even McCoy going outside the defensive end. What is the quickest way from Point A to Point B? A straight line. Also you see a lot of slants by the defensive line where if they don’t penetrate and make a play in the back field, it is an easy cut back for the running back and a ton of yards. The front seven almost running themselves out of the play essentially.
I am smart enough to know I am not smart enough to be an NFL coach. And Mike Smith has forgotten more about football than most of us will ever know. With that said, if I see if it, you can bet opposing offensive coordinators see it, and are scheming to take advantage of it. It is maddening at times. But obviously this staff thinks it is the most effective way.
Question: Are the Bucs now the joke/laughingstock of the NFL with Flacco’s mocking of Winston’s ‘Eat A W’ speech?
Answer: Well apparently to Raven quarterback Joe Flacco they are. I thought it was pretty tasteless personally, but to each their own. I can’t imagine a division rival quarterback mocking one of their own however. It is a fraternity and brotherhood among most NFL players – particularly quarterbacks, and it isn’t like the Ravens and Bucs are rivals. But again, when you put things out there, and you underperform, you open yourself up to these type of things. The Bucs have to own it until they are a better football team. But it was a little odd to see.
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, the beach and family time.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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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