The PR Bucs Monday Mailbag is where PewterReport.com’s Mark Cook answers your questions from our @PewterReport 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: I know Jones is compared to Jamaal Charles a lot, but I see a lot of Cadillac Williams before the knee injuries. What do you guys think?
Answer: I wasn’t on staff with PewterReport.com when the Bucs selected Cadillac Williams in 2005, so it is hard for me to compare their college tape, as I never really saw any of Williams. But, if Jones can produce the way Williams did early, and avoid the injury bug, then I think most people would be very happy. Williams produced over 2,000 yards in his first two seasons, including 1,178 yards on the ground as a rookie, that included a 71-yard TD dash that season. If Jones can be like Williams, but be more durable, then the Bucs got a heck of a player.
Former Bucs RB Cadillac Williams – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Comparing Williams’ NFL games against Jones tape in college I suppose there are some similarities, but I am like those who see more Jamaal Charles than Williams when watching what he did at USC. Williams weighed 218 pounds and was a bigger back than the 205-pound Jones. To me, Jones looks like he is more explosive and more elusive in the open field. I would give the nod to Williams as far as an inside-the-tackle runner, but not by much.
I like the pick of Jones and he was definitely in my Top 5 backs coming out; behind Penn State’s Saquon Barkley by quite a bit, but not too far behind LSU’s Derrius Guice. There were some rumors of some character concerns with Guice, although not really confirmed, and his draft position didn’t match up with his tape. Therefore you would have to think there may be some legitimacy to the rumors floated out there and the noted verbal spat between Guice and the Philadelphia Eagles staff at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Question: Draft is over, give me two names of players on the roster who should be nervous of who the Bucs drafted.
Answer: I would imagine every year at this time, some player get nervous. Ronde Barber once told us that Raheem Morris used to to tell him ‘We will keep you until we can find someone to replace you.’ Coaches and general managers don’t have the luxury of sitting around for years hoping a player develops, especially coming off a 5-11 season.
That record was earned, despite injuries, bad luck or whatever. If you don’t win, you get fired. It’s the same for players – perform or you will be replaced. Just looking at the draft picks and where the Bucs went with their picks, I would have to say there are some secondary players that have to be at least concerned, if not nervous. Tampa Bay selected two cornerbacks and a safety in hopes of upgrading its dismal secondary play in 2017. Those picks weren’t by accident. The team wants to be be better against the pass and the new guys will push the vets.
The rookie player that I think has the best chance to start the season at cornerback is Carlton Davis. Any cornerback not named Grimes should bring their best in 2018 or the former Auburn standout will gladly take their spot on the field. That doesn’t mean the Bucs would cut Vernon Hargreaves, Ryan Smith or Javien Elliott but it does mean they could be watching game from the sidelines. Davis is brash, confident and cocky, all things I like if I were coaching.
Question: With the draft picks on defense, are the Bucs looking to move more to a 3-4 or over type look with Vea in the middle and Evans as the high FS?
Answer: In all honesty I think the drafting of defensive tackle Vita Vea with the first-round pick, along with the free agents brought in this offseason, solidifies the Bucs sticking with a 4-3 base defense. I don’t really see many of Tampa Bay’s defensive ends fitting as stand-up 3-4 edge rushers, and I think the plan is to line Vea up at nose with McCoy at three-technique tackle to create nightmares for opposing offensive lines.
The pressure in the middle should help the outside pass rush considerably, and with new interior linemen Beau Allen and Mitch Unrein, Tampa Bay has a really solid defensive line rotation. Add Vinny Curry and Jason Pierre-Paul, and hopefully a healthy Noah Spence, and this is easily the most improved unit on the team. This roster has all the makings of a 4-3 front seven.
Question: Hey there Admiral Grump, what do you think is the likelihood of signing C.J. Anderson and Eric Reid now seeing that we only drafted one RB and one 4th round safety?
Answer: I would certainly take a look at both if I were the Bucs, and maybe they have. In fact I am sure they have. Now whether they think either are good fits or not, is still up in the air. The safety market has dried up and I think Reid could be signed fairly cheap to a one-year deal. I like Reid’s potential to get playing time at the strong safety position. He is a physical player and San Francisco had moved him to a Mark Barron-type hybrid linebacker before injuries forced him back to safety.
As for Anderson, the Bucs like Peyton Barber an awful lot and just spent a second-round pick on Ronald Jones II. Charles Sims was just re-signed to a one-year deal, and the Bucs trust Jacquizz Rodgers. I think that might be the four running backs on the opening day roster, although one injury to Jones and the team is right back to where it started with limited speed and play-making ability. Anderson is certainly worth exploring, but we are not aware of any serious discussions between him and Tampa Bay at this time.
Anderson, while having some mileage on the tires, had his first 1,000 yard season last year, and again, in my opinion, would be an asset in Tampa Bay. There is no doubt the Bucs see rookie Ronald Jones and Peyton Barber as the future, but they are only a couple hamstring or knee injuries away from Jacquizz Rodgers and Charles Sims being the starters. That won’t excite many Bucs 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]
My thoughts exactly regarding the need to continue to add to the RB corp. Have to believe the team can find more capable replacements for Rodgers and Sims that can actually compete for playing time and produce when given the chance. Just a rolled ankle or pulled hammy from having to depend on those two produce. With the number of guys the team has brought in to compete at S, seems doubtful that the Bucs will be bringing in any FA’s at the position. Would love to see both Whitehead and Evans at S with Iggy rolling on the PS for a year and replace Tandy in 2019.
Keep Evans and Whitehead, Backups can be Tandy and Iggy, don’t really need Conte anymore( I hope,) if the rookies perform well.
I’m definitely support of signing one of the FA safeties. Eric Reid fits the bill, but I’d be happy with Vaccaro or Boston, too. It’s silly to rely on Tandy, Conte, or a 4th rd draft pick to start next to Evans (who still has a lot to prove) when you can now sign a legit starter for a reasonable offer.
When you think of what the Cowboys held their nose to when they signed Greg Hardy. In addition to the advocacy that the Bucs go after him by PR, it’s crazy to see Eric Reid not on an NFL roster going into May. The dude is a 26 year old former first round pick and pro bowler, and is a legit starting strong safety.
The Bucs would receive a definite upgrade by signing him to the roster and there is no reason Jason Licht shouldn’t if he wants to win more games this year.
Carnell “Edsel” Williams is one of the most overrated Bucs players of all time… AND we passed on drafting Aaron Rodgers and DeMarcus Ware for that guy. He had one good season, and only averaged 4.1 per carry. His 2nd year, he averaged 3.5 per carry. His career average per carry was 3.9.
He would’ve been okay as a 3rd round pick… but he had an injury history and durability concerns, but Jon Gruden (the legend) fell in love with him and made him the 5th overall pick. This was just one example of why Gruden should not get to pick his players and one could argue, a contributing factor to him getting fired. If we had taken Rodgers, Gruden probably could’ve remained coach a little longer.
So, excuse me if I’m not overly excited about anyone comparing RoJo to Edsel Williams.
I have no knowledge of how each individual in the Glazer family views the political controversies surrounding kneeling for the national anthem. Sports writers, in general, are trying to report the news and not editorialize on a daily basis. Sports news insiders have to walk a certain tightrope in order to maintain certain channels of communications.
That being said I have made a strong inference about the three Glazer brothers’ policy regarding character issues such heavy drug usage or wife beating to give a couple of examples. Licht has hinted in open during at least one press conference that there is a bar that is set at a certain height for all potential Buccaneer players as per the Glazer triumvirate.
We saw an apparent example in action in reference to a recent trip to see a job candidate made by Koetter that was reported during the past week. In that case, the guy is going to be given a shot. Things that used be considered “sowing wild oats” by a young man or issues of youthful immaturity are not a grounds for exclusion alone.
This is my read of various situations I have been aware in relation to our team.
The fact that Reid was moved to hybrid LB like Barron was says to me his coverage skills suck. No thanks. The kneeling is garbage too, but isn’t my only concern.
Everyone though Ward was an instant upgrade at safety too….I’d pass.
Oh he kneels….the horror. I was in an Irish Bar last night for the lightning game and not one white person stood or stopped talking during the national anthem as it blared on the TV. Stop with this outrage over kneeling. People are such hypocrites. Instead of being upset with these black athletes, be upset that people of color are getting killed because skittles or cell phones are “mistaken” as guns.
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