The PR Bucs Monday Mailbag is where PewterReport.com’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.

Question: Is linebacker Kendell Beckwith’s playing career really over?

Answer: I won’t speak in certainty, as I am not sure anyone can say definitely at this point, but it doesn’t appear good. We do know it appears as if he will miss a second straight season after the Bucs placed him on the reserve/non-football injury list this past May.

Bucs LB Kendell Beckwith - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs LB Kendell Beckwith – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

It’s really a sad situation for Kendell Beckwith who overcame a devastating ACL injury in college to only come back in eight months and be a solid contributor as a rookie for the Buccaneers. We, like most when we heard it was a broken ankle, expected him to miss some time, but that he would be back sooner rather than later. And there was a point last season when we thought he would be back on the field by mid-season. In fact, early in the year we saw him in the locker room often with his teammates and even playing ping pong at times. It appeared it was just a matter of time before he was cleared to play. But something must have happened during his rehab to set him back and force him to miss another year, and possibly more.

Unless Beckwith himself decides to divulge the full story, we may never know everything that happened as the team can’t reveal specifics of a medical injury due to HIPAA laws.

Question: If we get at least average production out of Noah Spence, Ronald Jones II, and Vernon Hargreaves III – what is the Bucs record?

Answer: It is kind of early to put me on the spot with a record prediction, but I’ll do my best to answer the question. The problem is, while all of the players you listed could have bounce back years, if Jameis Winston struggles, or Mike Evans misses part of the season with an injury, or say for instance O.J. Howard all of a sudden forgets how to catch a football, then it’s probably 5-11 – or worse.

Now, I don’t expect any of those things to happen, so I will base my prediction on the scenarios you laid out, and the issues I mentioned not taking place. If all goes as you suggested, I could see the Bucs being at least 8-8 and pushing closer to 10 wins. This football team was 5-11 with a historically bad defense last season. Just an upgrade of the coaching staff on defense would lead me to believe three more wins are possible. And if they kicking woes are corrected, Winston has a career year under Bruce Arians and this team stays relatively healthy, fighting for a wild card isn’t too far fetched in my mind.

Bucs CBs Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jamel Dean
Bucs CBs Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jamel Dean – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Question: Do you see Jamel Dean challenging Vernon Hargreaves III for the outside corner spot opposite Carlton Davis by mid-season? His size and speed are ideal in this attack style defense and at playing press man.

Answer: I don’t know if it will be Jamel Dean beating out Vernon Hargreaves III or replacing an injured Hargreaves, but yes, I can see Dean getting some significant playing time this year. Unless he just melts down in training camp and the preseason, the Bucs will find a way to get him on the field. And years in the NFL means nothing to Todd Bowles and his staff. They won’t play favorites with veterans. The best players will play and Dean showed in the OTAs and mini-camp he isn’t afraid and isn’t overwhelmed by being in the NFL.

Of course we felt the same way about Davis last season when he looked like a seasoned veteran in the preseason only to get a rude awakening in New Orleans on opening day. Davis didn’t record an interception and had a good, but not great rookie season.

And no matter how well Dean, or Sean Murphy-Bunting plays in the preseason, there will be some, “Wow, I didn’t see that coming” moments once the live bullets start flying in the regular season. The major question will be how will they respond to the adversity. Talent doesn’t appear to be the issue. Instead, confidence and the ability to move on after a bad play will be the determining factor for the rookies in 2019.

Question: How many wide receivers do the Bucs keep? Who do you think ends up making the final roster?

Answer: Much will be determined by how the preseason goes, what units have the most depth and who stand out on special teams. If a receiver is deemed to be the best kick/punt returner, you could see the Bucs opt to keep six receivers. But if the return job goes to a running back like Dare Ogunbowale, maybe they keep an extra back and only go with five receivers.

WR Jesus “Bobo” Wilson – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

And at this point even Bruce Arians can’t say how many at each position he will keep. That 53rd player might be someone the team doesn’t think it can sneak onto the practice squad, so it keeps him on the active roster and at that point someone has to go from another position.

As of now, it is clearly Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Breshad Perriman as the top three guys at wide receiver. Those players are locks. After that, it appears Justin Watson is No. 4 and I think rookie Scotty Miller is fighting hard for the fifth spot. But don’t sleep on Bobo Wilson, who has kick return ability, and Arians and his staff have complemented undrafted rookies Anthony Johnson and DaMarkus Lodge, too. Tampa Bay has a ton of receivers in camp and that battle in training camp is one I really look forward to watching develop.

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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]

23 COMMENTS

  1. I think Miller is right now the clear favorite for the 5th spot given his unique skill set. Bobo will have to beat out Lodge and Johnson for ST/reserves for that final sixth spot.

    But I think the Bucs end up keeping six WR’s because Arians runs a lot of 3 WR sets an injury would immediately make the depth shaky.

    As for Dean I have this hunch that he is going to win one of the starting spots from day 1. I just feel that if Dean generates turnovers in pre season contests that he is going to be a starter. This team desperately need players that can generate turnovers.

    And finally with Beckwith it is unfortunate but also shows that throwing that much draft capital to a single player is often a gamble. Any draft choice is a gamble but Licht gambled and lost. The opportunity cost is several draft picks but it is what it is.

    I just wish Licht recognized that the draft is a gamble and would stock pile draft picks to make more selections instead of trading up for a few players.

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  2. The first major key to season is San Francisco 49ers,the Bucs have had a easy time past 2-3 years with 49ers
    Problem this year is 49ers are 6-1 with Jimmy G and barring pre season injury Jimmy will play.
    This is a must win game due to the long road stretch coming 4th game. COULD BE KEY TO SEASON!

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  3. Arians has said he will add final pieces to the puzzle after week 3 of the preseason. He points to adding players like Dwight Freeney, Chris Johnson, and Frostee Rucker in the past. That said, I think the Bucs will be able to add to two positions if they aren’t satisfied with the results or depth in the preseason: RB and OL.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am 100% hopeful for Wilson, RoJo, Ellington, and Peyton Barber toting the rock. Here is a look at a few teams that may have too much depth at RB and might not be able to keep everyone:

    Philly: Miles Sanders, Jordan Howard, Josh Adams, Corey CLement, Wendell Smallwood
    SF: Tevin Coleman, Jerrick McKinnon, Matt Breida, Jeff Wilson Jr., Raheem Mostert
    Indy: Marlon Mack, Nyheim Hines, Spencer Ware, Jordan Wilkins
    Was: AP, Derrius Guice, Chris Thompson, Samaje Perine, 3 others
    Det: Kerryon Johnson, CJ Anderson, Theo Riddick, Zach Zenner, Mark Thompson
    Atl: Devonta Freeman, Kenjon Barner, Ito Smith, Jeremy Langford, Brian Hill, 3 others

    Current free agents available include Jay Ajayi, Chris Ivory, Charcandrick West, Fat Rob Kelley, and Kerwynn Williams.

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  4. Man I hate this time of year. Pewter Report does a heroic job of providing interesting info, but from now until training camp starts is the worst part of the off season for me.

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  5. Great questions and likewise great answers too. I am going to focus on the WR position, The Bucs have 13 WRs on the roster and a good problem. The problem is that they can all play. I am surprised that WRs Anthony Johnson and Damarkus Lodge did not get drafted. I am going to guess its because so may college players are coming out early, there is a glut of talent at certain positions. You can get a priorty UDFA that would have been a 5, 6, or 7th round pick.

    Scotty Miller is a draftee that is expected to play and so far he looks really good with the long ball. Other UDFAs have played well in OTAs – Ubosi, Schnell to name a few. Spencer Schnell looks a lot like Adam Humphries to me, but we’ll see. I love having this problem but wouldn’t want to be the one making final cuts. lol. Below is an up close look at the WR room. Go Bucs!

    WIDE RECEIVERS – 13

    15 Brent, K.J. WR 6-3 202 25 1 Wake Forest
    13 Evans, Mike WR 6-5 231 25 6 Texas A&M
    12 Godwin, Chris WR 6-1 205 23 3 Penn State
    81 Johnson, Anthony WR 6-2 209 23 R Buffalo
    18 Lodge, DaMarkus WR 6-2 202 21 R Mississippi
    10 Miller, Scotty WR 5-11 174 21 R Bowling Green
    16 Mitchell, Byrant WR 6-2 198 26 R Northwestern State-Louisiana
    19 Perriman, Breshard WR 6-2 215 25 5 Central Florida
    83 Schnell, Spencer WR 5-9 180 21 R Illinois State
    14 Simpson, Cotrelle WR 5-11 193 21 R Richmond
    89 Ubosi, Xavier WR 6-3 215 25 R Alabama-Birmingham
    17 Watson, Justin WR 6-3 215 23 2 R Penn
    85 Wilson, Jesus (Bobo) WR 5-9 186 24 2 Florida State

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  6. Great stuff Mac!

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  7. To bad our OL and DL rooms aren’t having trouble finding a chair for everyone.
    Those are the two areas that need the most attention.
    Big Sombero, I believe Arians wil be looking at the waiver wire in the final couple of weeks of preseason to see if any veterans are cut loose because of their contracts. There always does seem like a few are let go every year.
    I have no doubt BA will make a move for them if he feels that have more talent that the person he can replace them with.

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  8. I was in the Mediterranean the last 30 days and there was very little news about anything having to do with football.
    I’m way behind the 8-ball as to what was going on other than McCoy went to another team.
    So far all I have read is Arian’s is a good rah rah cheerleader. Right now whether that has anything to do with the regular-season wins who knows.
    A lot of expectations for Spence to all of a sudden become a presence, and Hargreaves stays healthy.
    So what’s going on with the running game; did I miss something these last 30 days and we picked up another running back?

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  9. Alldaway, can you clarify what the hell your talking about with Licht throwing to much draft capital at Beckwith? Beckwith was a 3rd round selection and at the time slipped because of the knee issue, he was totally impressive as a rookie.
    Great move by Licht unless you feel Licht should have been clairvoyant and had somehow know that his buddy would get in a car accident.

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  10. Too bad Beckwith let his idiot friend ruin his career.

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  11. Ciao Horse! Welcome back to the good ole USA! I’ve been to Italy, Spain, and Portugal myself! The Med was stunning. Torremelinos and Malaga were amazing! Bull fighting, Pablo Picasso’s home, wine barrels, and so much more!

    You missed nothing really. Rookie class is looking much better than anticipated. Scotty Miller has been a daily playmaking machine. White, Bunting, Dean and Edwards are getting lots of PBU’s and interceptions. Bucs replaced McCoy with Suh. Suh signed for $9m, but can earn $10m. McCoy signed with Carolina for $4m signing bonus, $3m salary, and $3.25m in potential bonuses contingent on making the roster, making the 45 game day, sacks, playoffs, and pro bowl. Basically an $8m deal if he performs like he has the last 3 years.

    Bruce Arians vowed to have a physical camp with TACKLING and no music. Likes the attitude and fire of the new guys, especially Suh and White.

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  12. Thank you for the updates BigSombrero.
    Ever been to the military side of the port of Liverno, Italy? Impressive sight for all to see; extending many miles inland of military equipment/supplies packed & ready for deployment immeiately. Big NATO Base with mostly US soldiers involved.

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  13. Horse, sounds like a great vacation! We are not going to know much about the running game until the pads come on and we see how physical our OL will be and if a worthy player will start at RG. In underwear football both Barber and Jones look good as well as the undrafted RB who has good film playing subpar teams. We have yet to see the power football offense BA will unleash and how he will stop speed rushers who are the kryptonite for D. Smith. We need to know as well who will start at RG. So far BA has done an outstanding job and is turning around the losing culture and has all our players buying in. The new DBs from the draft look very promising and are speedy ball hawks! Glad to have you back!

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  14. No unfortunately I haven’t been to Livorno. I went to Palermo, Italy. If Italy is a boot that is kicking a ball, Palermo is located on the ball. Basically its in Sicily Italy. It’s a port city with a Naval base. My liberty was short and uneventful there. Livorno is further north near France if my memory serves. We also went through the Suez Canal, saw Egypt, crossed the equator, and traveled to Mogadishu(Somalia), Mumbasa(Kenya), Abu Dhabi(United Arab Emirates), and Bahrain also. Two deployments while in the Navy will do that!

    Cheers and welcome back!

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  15. Owlykat; thanks for the updates. So the situation has to change as to a strong running back backup and a solid starting Right Guard. On defense yes I believe they have improved on the defensive backs, linebacker’s, but still no real replacement for jpp. I do agree with some comments about letting JPP go because it’s very iffy if he would be available in November or December. we could use those funds to pick up another veteran lineman. Go Bucs!

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  16. Welcome back Horse. We missed you.

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  17. @skipper

    Beckwith was acquired by the Bucs with a trade up into the third with a 4th and 6th round selection. Personally I thought Beckwith would still be there in the fourth round but I guess Licht felt otherwise.

    Licht also traded up for Aguayo in the 2nd round a year earlier by discarding the fourth round pick he gained in an earlier trade down in that draft.

    I am not a fan of teams using draft capital to trade up after the first unless they are a playoff caliber team IMVHO. The Bucs were clearly not playoff caliber and they probably needed all the draft capital they could muster to find gems. That 6th rounder would have been ideal to land a decent center as an example instead of forcing Marpet to move to center. Drafting a center would have allowed Marpet to remain at guard. And the Bucs may have not needed to throw that much money at a free agent center.

    Licht gambled with Beckwith and Aguayo and he lost. The gamble would have hurt a lot less than if the Bucs didn’t use draft choices to trade up for both of these players. It is what it is.

    To put it in perspective.

    Aguayo and Beckwith look like they are not playing another down in the NFL. From the 2016 draft you still have 5th rounder Benenoch, 6th rounder Bond on the roster competing with a new staff now And then you have players like Tui, Vitale, and McNichols who are not on the Bucs roster. It is 50/50 chance that late round players after the third round stick but they are still valuable roster fillers on cheap rookie contracts IMO. More opportunities to have depth to develop and maybe find a gem. Then you have Whitehead, Watson, and Cichy and will have to show what they have with a new staff.

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  18. Forget to mention Ryan Smith was a fourth rounder from the 2016 draft and still with the Bucs as a special teams ace and maybe pushing for playing time this year.

    To me those 4th, 5th and 6th round picks are valuable for finding filler guys on the back end of the roster. I just wish Licht would realize this sooner.

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  19. Ok – I’ll bite: “if they kicking woes are corrected, Winston has a career year under Bruce Arians and this team stays relatively healthy, fighting for a wild card isn’t too far fetched in my mind.”…those are some pretty enormous “ifs”.

    In fact, we were pretty healthy by NFL standards in 2018 (outside of Kwon, we didn’t really lose anyone of consequence)….and it got us 5 wins. What would a Winston “career year” look like? His best year (I guess that’s what you mean by a career year) was maybe his rookie year…and I don’t see a career year like that getting us in the playoffs….absent some sort of miracle in the running game, which didn’t seem to make the “ifs” list.

    I’m trying to find this optimism so many of you seem to be carrying into this year, but all I keep hearing is how Bruce Arians replacing Dirk Koetter is going to make apparently 5 wins difference with more subtractions than additions to the roster.

    I still see that enormous hole at RG – Peyton Barber as our RB – a bunch of rookies/second-years in the secondary – no proven DEs (I like Nassib too, but he’s never had more than half a dozen sacks and that was playing opposite JPP) – we’re putting a ton of faith in a rookie MLB.

    I see potential on the roster, but “fighting for a wild card”…that I only see “if” Brees, Ryan and Newton get hurt.

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  20. Scubog, thank you. Wife and I celebrated our 52nd Wedding Anniversary. We had a blast! Perfect weather and seas for 28 days. I’m fired up for the season to start.
    I think we finally got the right coach at the right time for the right reasons. I’ve got to give Licht credit on this one. Go Bucs!

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  21. @eastendboy

    The Bucs had a lot of injuries in 2018 which forced a lot of the 2018 rookies into action. Koetter’s goal of going into the season healthy didn’t last long (especially on the D-line and later with the secondary).

    Bucs offense has been good enough the last three years to be in the playoffs. Bucs have needed some semblance of defense and a decent kicking game to make it happen. It is hard to make the playoffs with only 1 out of 3 phases firing on all cylinders. Anger’s sudden decline last season along with continued FG kicking woes really hurt the Bucs as much as the porous defense.

    Now to go into the main point of why there is optimism.

    All NFL teams have holes on the roster but most of the Bucs holes were self inflicted by the previous coaching staff.

    For example, if the Bucs were serious about the RG position they would have stuck E. Smith or Liedtke full time and stopped the Benenoch experiment early.

    Bucs could have incorporated Jones more and more into the game plan to use his speed at RB.

    Nassib and Barrett are proven OLBs and they will have no trouble transitioning to this style of defense. The concern is with depth but Anthony Nelson is a rookie people are sleeping on because he was a fourth rounder. When the pads go on Nelson, Nassib and Barrett are going to flash the most.

    As for Devin White and the faith in him that is why you draft a player that high and pair him with a proven LB like David. Bucs drafted one of the best blitzing LB’s in the draft to pair with one of the more well known blitzing, downhill LB’s in the NFL in L. David.

    To me this team can show remarkable improvement. That o-line is the big question mark because the defense with some competent coaching is “good enough” along with the offensive skill positions.

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  22. @alldaway: While I don’t share your perspectives, I won’t pick apart your post – I’m glad there is optimism in the fanbase. Go Bucs!

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  23. Horse, congrats to you and your wife on 52 years !! That’s amazing in these times…..my parents just celebrated their 55 yr anniversary (but no Mediterranean trip).

    EastEndBoy, your statement “we were pretty healthy by NFL standards in 2018 (outside of Kwon, we didn’t really lose anyone of consequence)” makes me wonder how closely you follow our Bucs.

    Kwon Alexander, Kendell Beckwith, Devante Bond, Riley Bullough, Chris Conte, Vinny Curry, Carlton Davis, Evan Dietrich-Smith, Justin Evans, Brent Grimes (who is dead to me), Vernon Hargreaves, O.J. Howard, DeSean Jackson, and M.J. Stewart were among the players who started at least 3 games in 2018 (except Beckwith who started 11 games in 2017 then missed all of 2018), and missed from 3-16 games each in 2018 due to injuries. This doesn’t take into account Winston’s games missed due to suspension followed by his benching after returning etc.

    Regarding the “enormous hole at RG”, I too was surprised that the OL (RG in specific) was not addressed in the draft, but as a fan I trust the decisions made by the management, personnel, scouts, etc. What choice do we have? Even B.A. admits that final cogs in the 2019 Bucs machine are on other rosters at the moment – I’m good with that as well.

    It’s not unusual for fans (especially longtime Bucs fans) to feel levels of optimism each season…….

    “If you expect the worst, you’ll never be disappointed.” – Sarah Dessen

    ““Pessimists are usually right and optimists are usually wrong but all the great changes have been accomplished by optimists.”
    ― Thomas Friedman

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