Bucs WR Mike Evans - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
It is a new year and with it comes a new Bucs Monday Mailbag where we answer your Twitter offered questions. You can submit your question each week via Twitter using the hashtag #PRMailbag.
Below are the questions we chose for this week’s edition of the Mailbag. Read them over and offer up your thoughts in the comment section.
Question: With the recent news of Evans not wanting to sign an extension this year, does thatgive the impression he is thinking of leaving for another team as opposed to extending here in Tampa?
Answer: No. I truly believe Evans wants to be here, and I know for a fact Tampa Bay wants him here for a long time. He is part of the puzzle Jason Licht started putting together when he arrived and they see him as being part of what will bring this town another Super Bowl in the next few years. Will that happen? That is still up in the air, but this organization is either going to, or not going to, with Evans as a member of this football team.
I wouldn’t get caught up in agent talk. It is just that for the most part. Evan wants to be here long term, the Bucs want him here long term, so he will eventually sign a new deal to a Buccaneer for the next several years.
WARNING: Video music NSFW
Question: With huge holes on both side of the ball, cloud of suspension over Jameis Winston, and Jason Licht’ s horrid defensive record in FA (besides Grimes), give me one thing in 2018 to look forward to sir?
Answer: This team isn’t the Cleveland Browns? Seriously, it could be worse. I will admit after the end of the season, and the Bucs not making any coaching changes, I felt much like you do. 2018 is going to be a lame duck season and a repeat of 2017, essentially. But now, a little over a month and a half later, and a chance to reflect back and look ahead, I do see some things to be excited about. Now, I won’t be predicting a 12-4 season this year, but with a lot of luck and some key acquisitions, this team can be in the playoff hunt.
First of all, the defense has to be better right? I mean can it be worse? 22 sacks in a 16-game season is pathetic anyway you stretch it. This team will find some better pass rushers, and I think a new voice coaching the defensive line can also help. Kwon Alexander will be better. Justin Evans will be better. Noach Spence, if he can stay healthy, will provide a boost. Gerald McCoy is Gerald McCoy and should benefit from better players around him. Lavonte David is as solid and dependable as they come. There are some pieces, now it is up to the front office to make it better.
And the thing that excites me the most about next season is the offensive potential. I like Winston coming into his fourth season and second working with DeSean Jackson. I think the duo of Cam Brate and O.J. Howard will be the best 1-2 punch at that position in the NFL. Mike Evans wants to rebound. Chris Godwin showed flashes. And the front office will add some new blood at the running back position that will only help take the pressure off of Winston.
As mentioned, the Bucs will need some luck to make some playoff noise, but even if the defense doesn’t drastically improve, heck, this team ought to be able to go out and just outscore a lot of team. I am not jumping up and down about 2018, but I don’t know the outlook is as grim as we might have thought immediately following the season. And again, even if things don’t turn around, at least the Bucs aren’t the Browns, right?
Question: Is Brent Grimes coming back? Should he?
Answer: The jury is still out on if Grimes is back in 2018, but the Bucs sure hope so. I do as well. While they need to draft and develop some young talent at cornerback, getting Grimes back for at least one more season at least gives the organization a bit of breathing room until someone is ready to take his place.
And yes, to answer your second part, he should be back. Grimes is a great locker room guy by all accounts and is still extremely talented despite his “old age” in NFL years. This team has plenty of other holes to fill, and Grimes coming back at least gives them some piece of mind at one of the cornerback spots heading into 2018.
Question: Should the Bucs draft defense, or should they go for the final pieces to make the offense superior?
Answer: On the surface the answer is unequivocally yes. All seven picks. But as I wrote earlier, and as I have mentioned on the Pewter Nation podcast a couple times, the NFL is an offensive product, and if you can’t score points, you don’t win many championships. I mean look at the glory days of the Bucs and their outstanding defenses. An average or even above average offense and there would an entire case of Lombardi trophies in the the lobby at One Buc. And things have changed even more since then in favor of the offense. If the Bucs can average 28 points or more in 2018, they are in the playoffs. They would have been in the playoff last season had they scored four touchdowns a game.
Of course the Bucs will, and should, address the defense this offseason, but adding a premiere playmaker at running back would go along away in making this football team respectable again.
Question: If I show up at Pin Chasers during a PR bowing event in an airbrushed Def Leppard half shirt and maroon short-shorts can I bowl on your team?
Answer: You can be the captain of the entire league if you show up like that. Just no jorts please. I don’t want anyone to think we welcome Gators fans.
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]
Still need a talented OG and C to block for that RB, but I’m sold Mark. Toughest thing for the team is going to be finding and signing an impact DE or two, especially if they decide to stay in a 4-3 base the majority of the time. Like Okafor and Ealy as options, but the need for DE’s league-wide is going to make their market extremely competitive. Okafor’s Achilles recovery will suppress his market some, but still think he’ll have plenty of suitors.
Wow when your best CB is 35 years old that is not good.
As far as DL the Bucs can address the DT position this year but other than a trade up can they get Chubb.
Ronde was our best corner well into his 30s and we did ok
True, but how many Ronde’s we got floating around out there?
Good Questions, Good Answers. While I am not nearly as excited about 2018 as I was last year this offseason really is intriguing. IMO, I would finish the offense with an O_line that can block for a new RB from the draft and protect Winston. I know this is not popular and in another offseason when there was more Defensive talent available I would side with the “Improve the Pass Rush contingent.” But as I see it you don’t draft mediocre Defensive players When there is a good resource of Offensive talent. I agree it’s an offensive league and our best defense may have to be keeping our offense on the field. As far as Grimes, it would be nice to have him back, but over the last few weeks it seems like some good CB’s have surfaced in FA and we may have to pay a couple of them. Finally Evans should want to wait to sign, potentially far more Bucks.
I KNOW I’m in the minority here but I’m not sure the Buccaneers should be overpaying for a 35 year old CB. Fact is, time takes its toll and even last season Brent missed games. The key is the pass rush, or lack of it, anyway.
So unless Brent really wants to come back to Tampa and does so with a reasonable contract, I think it’s time to move on. When it comes to FA in the NFL it should be about what the player can do for your team in the future and not what he’s done in the past. Sorry, but at 35 his best days are done and the Buccaneers are not a CB away from the playoffs anyway.
I am with Garv on this one.
Me too, unfortunately… I have really liked Grimes since we got him, but he might not be a good fit for our defense anymore. If we can not sign a couple of guys to take his place, I wouldn’t mind getting him back at a reasonable price.
Resign Grimes and add another CB and Safety in Free Agency and keep our Defense Free Agents after dumping Saagy and our over the hill DE. Go to a Three Four Defense with press coverage and timely blitzes of all different types. Start McCoy as your three technique DE with our 340 pound Center from USC , Stevie Tui’kolovatu, as NT and Gholston or McDonald as the five technique DE, with Noah Spence as OLB or a similar 250 DE as one second round pick, and Alexander and Beckwith ILBs; David as the other OLB. Guarantee that would be a competitive defense!
There would be plenty of picks left to fix our OL and RB situation too. Unless we get the top NT or DE Chubb at seven move down and get Orlando Brown LT in the first round and Penny RB in the first second round pick. No need for a Guard because Smith would move to LG, then get Baltimore’s Center in Free Agency or take Michigan State’s Center in the third round, freeing up Marpet to move to RG; Dotson at RT backed up by Pamphile (who was also a basketball player in College and has been out of place at G since his main talent is pass blocking) with Benenoch as the back up Guard and Hawley as backup C/G. Thus fixing our OL so we can dump Sweezy and Evan Smith for more cap room and then sign the Brown’s RB and let Martin and Rogers go for even more cap room; then resign Ryan Fitzpatrick to another year contract. With any cap room left get strong Special Team players in Free Agency and take the Gator place Kicker with a fifth or later pick, and BPA with any other picks. Offense Fixed!!!
I’m sorry just say no to 35 year corner backs. I rather younger guys take their lumps and develope. Maybe bring in a big ticket free agent like trumaine Johnson or Malcolm butler or two guys at low prices like ej gaines and Patrick Robinson. But I don’t wanna see 36 year old grimes being torched on the field. Also say no to 32 year old d lineman let’s get guys entering their primes like Sheldon Richardson, ziggy ansah or dontari poe not Bennett who I like but he is 32 and we saw what happen to ayers
Julius Peppers had 11 sacks last year as an ancient (in your terms) 37 yo DE, and had 7.5 sacks the year prior. If used properly, older guys (sad to say 37 is old, I’d kill to be there again,lol) can still get it done.
This is true but for as great Julius peppers is do u wanna take the risk of giving a one year 9-10 million dollar contract then he is nothing but a true shell of himself. I’m just not willing to risk it last year mayb cuz I thought we were a playoff team this year idk. Bringing in Ansah and Quinn if release has risks also but the potiential to have multiple years of a good pass rush is worth it to me. But a reasonable contract for peppers and either Quinn or ansah plus a draft pick and healthy spence could also help.
Believe if Peppers is playing in 2018 it’s probably only with the Panthers. Was just making the point that, if used as situational pass rushers instead of every-down lineman, some older players can still produce. Imo, it’s OK to have older DE’s that are still quality rushers as part of your depth.
Mark, I think you are still in Dreamland.
Show me the proof Spence is going to come back and contribute something? He was being easily contained one on one. We obviously need defensive ends. That’s got to be the top priority. That is why I am encourage trading down to get more draft picks. Use all that extra cap room to sign many of our young players now; Evans, Alexander, Smith, Marpet , Brate, and Winston mid-season. Almost all of these old veterans we have acquired over the last few years have not done much as to production except Grimes and I don’t think there’s that much left in his tank. We have a lot of positions to fill on defense before we even think about offense. Okay okay Blast Me away.
Off topic, but since the DL coach interviews appear to have been completed, have to think the contract is what’s delaying the announcement. Being that most of the staff seem to operating on one-year deals, curious if that’s becoming a factor in finding Hayes’ successor.
Last year the Bucs and the fans were overly confident even if the predictions might have played out with a few more completions, a couple of smarter calls and a kicker. This year pewter seems to be unduly pessimistic. The articles seem to focus on how exactly the Bucs are going to blow it.
Come on, y’all, could you maybe muster up a little bit more of a positive outlook? I bet the Browns beat writers aren’t so down in the dumps.
And, Pewter, your poll question needs some editing. Yes and No are not options in a multiple choice test. Should the Bucs resign Grimes or look to the draft? Yes is not a response. I submit that most people, including me, picked “Both”, because it’s the only answer that is even logical.
Understand where you’re coming from Pete, though I believe their thought process was that the yes/no option was intended strictly for the part of the question re: resigning Grimes. Agree though that it could have been worded differently, also including a “free agency” option as well.
It might just be a lack of trust with the Buccaneer organization? I know I have lost confidence with the past marketing posture.
I mean who in their right mind would raise ticket prices based on the amount of games won?
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