It is Monday, and that means PewterReport.com answers your questions about the Bucs in an all new Monday Mailbag. You can have your question answered by submitting it on Twitter using the hashtag #PRMailbag.
Question: What have you seen from Gerald McCoy this camp? Will be finally hit the double digit sack mark?
Answer: If he stays healthy, it should happen this year. First of all, the talent around him is a little better, which should take some of the emphasis off of him. Secondly, McCoy has come into camp more motivated than ever, and it has shown from the first day of camp. When McCoy doesn’t want to be blocked, he simply isn’t. Whether it was in Tampa or last week in Jacksonville, McCoy has stood out. Of course, as stated earlier, the key will be to stay as healthy as he can. At his age, little nicks and dings take a little longer to recover from, but McCoy looks to be on a different level. And even if he doesn’t reach 10 or more sacks, his play will help others have more success – and McCoy is okay with that.
Question: It seems like Jeremy McNichols is getting lost on the depth chart. Is he continuing to struggle and is he more like to be on the practice squad than the final 53?
Answer: I wouldn’t say he is struggling, but I think he, like most rookies, are seeing how good NFL athletes are. The worst NFL player was most likely a standout for his college team. The level of competition is fierce and he is in the battle of his life. Most players, like McNichols, are always one of, if not the, best athlete on his college team. It’s a whole other level in the NFL. He will get more reps in the fourth preseason game for sure and an opportunity to prove himself to the coaches. But, if I had to guess I would say he makes the 53, especially with Martin out the first three games.
Former 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick – Photo by: Getty Images
Question: Politics aside, why wouldn’t Bucs sign Colin Kaepernick and keep him either for insurance or trade him before deadline?
Answer: The Bucs have put politics aside on this and still have chosen to not sign Kaepernick. They are not enamored with his play and see some things they don’t feel would fit well in Dirk Koetter’s offense is the conclusion I have come to. I know there has been plenty of breakdowns of film that show he is better than this quarterback or that one, but, for the Bucs, at this point, they don’t see a good fit. I know Jason Licht well enough to know there is no conspiracy by this organization to blackball Kaepernick. That’s all I can tell you. Plenty of players are still kneeling, and in fact the Bucs had a player, Mike Evans, not stand last season.
To say that the Glazers are also involved in not signing him based on race or politics is somewhat insulting as well. The Glazers have hired three African-American coaches, easily the most of any NFL franchise. I can say with almost certainty, if the Bucs thought Kaepernick was the missing link to the path to the Super Bowl, he would already be in Tampa. And the later it goes the more difficult it will be for him to find a job this season. Personally, I want to see Kaepernick back in the league, and think he deserves a chance. But, I just don’t think it will ever be in Tampa Bay.
Question: There is a good chance we will be facing Jay Cutler in week 1. Is this real or just a ploy by big tobacco?
Answer: I admit I did in fact laugh out loud when I saw your question. One of my favorite websites isSmoking Jay Cutler. I don’t know why, but any time I am having a bad day, I can click on it and count on a laugh.
Back to being serious, all indications point to the Dolphins coaching staff doing all they can to prepare him to be the starter for Miami when the Bucs come to town on September 10.
“I feel really good with where we’re at right now,” Dolphins coach Adam Gase told ESPN recently. “This next week will be really good for us, because [we’re] going against another team and playing that third preseason game. We’ll just keep trying to improve and get in that game flow. I liked what I saw [this past Thursday]. I’m ready to get this going [this] week.”
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 email@example.com
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