The PR Bucs Monday Mailbag is where’s Mark Cook answers your questions from our Twitter account. 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 PR Bucs Monday Mailbag. Read them over and offer up your thoughts in the comment section.

Question: Do you think Buc pass on Derwin James since he declined a private workout with the team?

Answer: No. If they do pass on Derwin James it will be because they have someone else they like more at whatever spot they end up picking. And I am not sure I even fully believe the report. I confirmed that James was here for a private visit a couple weeks back,  and it went well according to the source I spoke with. I was also in attendance at the pro day in Tallahassee where the Bucs were well represented. They absolutely would have liked to have seen him do more on the field drills that day, and I believe Jason Licht was disappointed they didn’t get to see him “compete.” But that was more James’ agent giving his client advice. In my opinion, I see why maybe James didn’t do a whole lot, but as pointed out by someone in the Bucs organization that day, former FSU stars Jalen Ramsey and Jameis Winston did pretty much everything asked at their pro days.

They really like James a lot and think he has the potential to be a Pro Bowler. And that is ultimately what you look for in the Top 10. I believe he is very much in play at No. 7, but the first six players off the board will be the difference on James being a Buccaneer or not. I don’t think they pass on Saquon Barkley or Bradley Chubb if either were to fall, and it would be a table-banging session and a highly debated discussion inside the walls of One Buc if Quenton Nelson is also there when the Bucs are on the clock.

Question: With a high possibility with Barkley gone and Bucs missing out on top free agents at running back, would the Bucs consider bringing a vet like C.J, Anderson in?

Answer: I think that is for sure an option, but I also believe the Bucs will find a challenger in the draft to compete with Peyton Barber for a the starting job. And there will be other teams competing for his services once the draft is over. Right now the Bucs don’t want to commit money to an aging veteran player, at that position anyway, and will wait to see how they end up after the draft. However, the fact is, this team needs some bodies at that position. They can’t obviously go into the season with just Barber and Jaquizz Rodgers battling to start, can they? Even for depth there will be more guys brought in. We know they love Barkley, and the Georgia running backs, but there is really no way to know how the draft goes, and who might be there in the second round. And without a third round pick (as of now) can you count on a fourth or fifth round guy to be an contributing player? Add in the fact this team is still really thin at cornerback, and now you have to wonder where they go round to or if they look to mortgage some future picks to try and plug all the holes this draft. Man, I love this time of year.

Question: What is the latest on the investigation with Uber thing? Jameis Winston is looking lean and sharp and I can’t bear to think about the fact that they may suspend him…

Answer: Insert crickets sound effect here. Trust me, we have tried to get get answers from everyone – from the Bucs to bugging Goodell at the NFL meetings in Orlando last month. From the outside it looks pretty simple – no criminal charges, a he-said, she-said story, and a witness to back up Winston’s claim. But the NFL doesn’t go by judicial law, it is a dictatorship, bent on preserving the image of the shield that is a multi-billion dollar business. As I and many have pointed out over the last several months, if the NFL will suspend their golden boy Tom Brady for for speculating he may have had a cousin’s brother-in-law’s, next door neighbor’s hairdresser’s son let a couple pounds of air out a football, what will they do with Winston? I won’t feel comfortable until about mid-December this year. THEN I might believe Winston doesn’t get sat down for a few games.

Question: I know everyone is talking about Tony Dungy joining the ROH vs. the Steelers on MNF. Wouldn’t it also make sense to induct Hardy Nickerson as well?

Answer: You know, you really bring up a good point. I tend to forget about Nickerson when I talk about the Ring of Honor. We all talk about Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks and all they did to help turn this franchise around, but sometimes we forget the contributions Nickerson made. The guy got here from Pittsburgh in 1993 and made it known in the locker room that we was the boss and he would literally fist fight guys who weren’t as committed to winning as he was. He came from the proud storied franchise of the Steelers and I am sure was shocked by the rinky dink old One Buc, the rats running through the building and the Coke machines that Hugh Culverhouse had that required the player to pay to use. But he was most likely even more surprised at the lack of accountability inside the locker room. He changed that, and combined with the additions of John Lynch, Ronde Barber later on, and of course Sapp and Brooks this franchise did a complete 180. And a lot of that credit does go to Nickerson, even though we forget it sometimes. And we also forget how damn good he was as a player on the field.

I love this video of Nickerson. It really shows the fire he brought every week.

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Previous’s 2018 NFL Draft Preview + Bucs’ Best Bets: CBs
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Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for 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]


  1. “even more surprised at the lack of accountability inside the locker room” – Wonder how he would feel walking into the locker room over the last couple of years? Might’ve been 1993 all over again for him. Hopefully Kwon and some of the new blood will help remedy that situation going forward. And agree Mark, Thursday can’t get here fast enough.

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  2. Per Todd McShay of ESPN regarding the Bucs:

    It seems like they have narrowed in on Derwin James. James going to Tampa Bay seems like the worst-kept secret in the NFL right now.

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  3. I’ve said this before and still believe it to be the case. There will be draft night fireworks (trades up) for a QB. DraftAnalyst’s Tony Pauline reports QB Baker Mayfield being drafted by the Jets is a “done deal.” If true and QB Josh Rosen is taken in the top six, the math gets real easy. The NFL media suits who want high drama on draft night couldn’t have scripted it any better! Go Bucs!

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  4. Lots of excuses for Derwin James: He didn’t play incredibly well last year (but it must have been because he was recovering from his knee injury), his college team starts 2-5, the beginning of their worst season in 40 years while a senior defensive teammate says there’s a lack of leadership and points to people who are preparing for the draft (but he’s a great individual leader), he sat out the bowl game, didn’t do drills at his pro day and didn’t do a workout requested by a team that has the highest pick that will take him (but he’s just following his agents advice).

    I never thought I’d see the day when the Bucs were so focused on drafting a strong safety at 7 and doing their best to cover the guys warts in the process.

    BTW Dalvin Cook played FSU’s Bowl Game in the Orange Bowl against Michigan had 220 yards from scrimage and a TD which was everything the team needed in a 33-32 game that went to the wire. I guess Cook was dinged because he must not have been listening to his agent.

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    • I’m an FSU alumnus and you make excellent points!

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  5. Thanks for the video Mark. Love me some Nickerson. I’m starting to believe we’re getting more and more guys like him on the team.

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  6. Derwin James Per Pro Football Focus:

    James burst onto the scene as a true freshman in 2015, taking over as a starter in Week 6 and never looking back. He went on to lead the nation with the top overall PFF grade at 91.2, while ranking second as a pass-rusher, 31st in coverage and 13th against the run. That kind of three-way impact is rare in the secondary, especially for a true freshman and especially for a player like James who did so while performing multiple unique roles on the Florida State defense. The 2016 season saw James limited to only 100 snaps due to injury, but he bounced back in 2017 to once again lead all safeties with a 92.0 overall grade consisting of the No. 2 grade both as a pass-rusher and in coverage to go with the No. 15 grade against the run.
    With 1,637 career snaps under his belt, James has established himself as the clear-cut best safety in the nation when healthy, and the same skills that led to his gaudy PFF grades will translate at the next level.

    “He is going to be the dude in any locker room he ends up in. That’s his makeup. Physically, he’s probably more talented than Jamal Adams but Adams was more consistent as a player. Derwin is still learning so he has a sky-high projection if his play can catch up to the talent.” — NFC Scouting Director

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  7. i’m having nightmarish flashbacks to the last can’t miss Pro Bpwl SS that we drafted at the 7 spot!

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    • Mark Barron finally turned into a decent weak side linebacker, but I agree with you…Strong Safety at 7 is worse than a Guard at 7. Take the DT from Washington.

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  8. The Bucs will have a parrot announce the fourth round pick… Oh, good morning.

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    • I thought you were joking until I read that a Parrot will actually announce the Bucs 4th round pick.

      Seems appropriate.

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      • It’s going to be the second pick of Saturday morning. It’ll really get interesting if the Bucs trade the pick.

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  9. If I remember correctly, Nickerson was the only free agent that even considered signing with the then lowly Bucs. His signing was the first indication that the Bucs could again be considered as a legitimate NFL franchise. Hell yeah ROH!!!

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  10. He said she said friend said , Rumor She said she has a video Ubor drivers record inside and outside when driving. This will settle out of court same lawyer as in FSU case they just want money . What will happen to Jamies is unknown at this time .

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  11. Man Hardy has got to go in at some point. This year would be sweet. Anyone who watched him play here in person knows how good he was. He didnt take one practice off and he went full speed in practice. He changed the culture around here too.
    As far as Derwin, I think too much is pointing this way. Someone planted it. Has smoke screen written all over it. I dont think he is the pick, especially at 7. Hopefully Licht finally trades back. Alot of talent in tbe top 100 in this draft, then a drop off. Pick up more picks please!

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