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. Read them over and offer up your thoughts in the comment section.

Question: Simple question, who starts at QB Week 4 at Chicago?

Answer: It might be a simple question to ask, but not necessarily one to answer. On the surface, it is simple, I suppose. If Ryan Fitzpatrick has this team 3-0 after three games and playing lights out, how can you replace him?

But you also have to also consider long term. If Ryan Fitzpatrick were 25 and not 35, then it really is a no-brainer. But will Fitzpatrick even want to play beyond this year? Do you potentially stunt the development of a player you selected No. 1 overall three years ago in hopes that a journeyman quarterback who has played on seven different teams in 14 NFL seasons can capture the fountain of youth and lead his team to the Super Bowl? I mean, would any production company in Hollywood even green light a script like this?

If I am coaching this team, then Fitzpatrick is the quarterback until he gives me a reason to replace him. Yes, I understand that Jameis Winston could very easily be duplicating the exact same numbers if he had played the last two games. Let’s not forget, he was the best quarterback in the preseason, even better than Fitzpatrick. But, Winston isn’t playing, and only can blame himself for that.

I say keep rolling with Fitzpatrick as long as the ride continues. And just maybe one day we see the Ryan Fitzmagic movie coming to a theater near you.

Question: Cameron Brate’s name has hardly been called thus far. Why? It’s still early, Do you think this is due to Monken calling plays or maybe O.J. performing better?

Answer: As Trevor Sikkema said on Sunday during the podcast, Brate isn’t getting the snaps because the guy playing in front of him is just better. There is no shame in admitting that. The Bucs didn’t draft O.J. Howard to be Cameron Brate. They drafted him to be better. And he is. That isn’t a knock on Brate at all. He is one of my favorite guys, and I will almost guarantee you that at some point this season he will be a factor in helping this team win a football game. But for now, how can you say that Brate would be producing the way Howard is? The Bucs are extremely fortunate to have to tight ends capable of being a difference maker. And, at some point, whether it be by injury to Howard or by the opposing defense taking Howard out of the game, Brate will get involved in the offense more. But the last thing I am going to do at this point is reduce Howard’s snaps when he’s playing as well as he is.

Question: Should I be getting ready to watch the Bucs in the playoffs or should I be pulling back my expectations a bit?

Answer: Hold on now! You know what though? Why not expect it? Bucs fans deserve to have hope and optimism moving forward. There is still a ton of football to be played, but if this team can mange to start 3-0, stats say they have a very good shot to make the postseason. In fact, the last two times the Bucs started 2-0, they won 10 games. I think 10 games gets you at least a wild card this year and could very well win the division. NFC South teams will be beating themselves up all season long (we already saw it with the Bucs and Saints, and the Falcons and Panthers on Sunday), and 10-6 might be enough to take the divisional title. Who knows that the next three months holds, but for now enough this rare air you are breathing as a Bucs fan.

Question: With the passing game doing so well, it’s been overlooked how the running game has struggled. Worth it to try Jones out, or get Wilson more carries? Barber hasn’t exactly lit it up.

Answer: No doubt the running game has struggled, but if teams are going to load up to stop the run first, keep throwing it deep and keep throwing it often. Maybe part of the passing success is because teams are keying to stop the run? I would have to really go back and look closer at that possibility, but whatever the Bucs are doing, it is working.

The one thing I would do is get Shaun Wilson a few more touches each game. He is more dynamic of a runner than Jacquizz Rodgers and I think he possesses some of the trait the team hoped Ronald Jones would provide.

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About the Author: Mark Cook

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 protected]
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BucWild02
BucWild02
3 years ago

On question 1: Fitz has been putting the ball “on the money” as Koetter might say. That’s not to say Jameis can’t, but in addition to accuracy or ball placement there are other factors that I think Fitz has excelled at. 1. Leadership style: He seems to have the complete respect of everyone. A real pro who’s making it fun for everyone. 2. Decisive: He is getting rid of the football. 0 sacks in week 1. 2 sacks for -9 yards in week 2. 3. Efficient: He is completing everything! Week 1 was 21 of 28 for 75%. Week 2… Read more »

thewbacca
thewbacca
Reply to  BucWild02
3 years ago

To point 1: When DJax loans you his clothes so you can bare your chest hair for the post game presser, you’ve made a bond. These receivers gotta love him. They have all stood by Jameis but are as welcoming Fitz as well. If I were a hot-seat coach with a stable locker room and winning team, I change nothing.

Dude
Dude
Reply to  BucWild02
3 years ago

5. Lets don’t forget the use of “looks” according to Fitz, who said Desaun “gave him the look” for the go ahead for that first play yesterday. You got to love it!

Glen Sturdevant
Glen Sturdevant
Reply to  BucWild02
3 years ago

If you sit Winston it’s done, you can’t bench a guy then bring him back and pay him 20mil. Here is the question and I know it’s hard for you genius football gurus to think this simple but , who is better? That is all that needs to be asked. We have a fifteen year sample size of Fitz that says he isn’t as good as Winston. All of Jameis’ numbers career wise are better than Fitz’s And he’s improved every year. So career vs career JW is better , physically JW is better this preseason JW was better ,… Read more »

BucWild02
BucWild02
3 years ago

On question 4:
The Bucs have been using their backs as extra blockers. It’s working. Blitz pick up allows Fitz time to make the magic happen. Protection beats coverage. If that’s all the RB’s do all year and the Bucs keep putting up 4 TD’s and 400 yards and winning, then it’s brilliant.

FLBoy84
FLBoy84
Reply to  BucWild02
3 years ago

Really like Shaun Wilson as well, but think is a big part of the reason Rodgers is still getting the call over him at this point.

BucWonder
BucWonder
Reply to  BucWild02
3 years ago

Fitz mentioned Barber picking up a blitzer on a key play, and how it’s 11 players working together to make a play successful. There’s no stat for blitz pick up. We are watching a real team and I love it.

bveghte
bveghte
3 years ago

… but Fitz can’t eat W’s the way Jameis can.

a-bomb
a-bomb
3 years ago

I don’t necessarily disagree that Fitz has played lights out. But, he has ample time to throw and has receivers that are open because they are a mismatch. I would remind everyone that the guy in the preseason who was hitting deep throws to DJax was none other than JW. This team was built for JW’s arm strength. JW can do everything Fitz has done, from a talent perspective. Perhaps Fitz has an advantage in his decision making, but I think with these weapons JW doesn’t have to feel as if he has to win the game every play. However… Read more »

WiltheBrewer
WiltheBrewer
Reply to  a-bomb
3 years ago

a-bomb, Winston’s strength over the first few seasons has not been the deep ball, though…3-0, and you can’t make that switch for CHI!! More of an argument for that post- bye week

wnb0395
wnb0395
Reply to  a-bomb
3 years ago

Jamies physically can do everything and more fitz is doing but mentally he cant. He cant read defenses the way Fitz is doing. Fitz is getting the ball out way quicker than Winston. He anticipates the WR are going to be. He has been putting the ball where only the receiver can get it. Jamies holds onto the ball to long and doesn’t always see the whole field. He locks onto WRs and forces throws a lot. Winston had these same weapons last year but couldn’t do anything with it. He continually missed DJ wide open down field. He would… Read more »

surferdudes
3 years ago

If you look at the running game we do just enough early to make the defense at least play honest. Barber’s best runs happen at the beginning of games which is key. We’ve struggled later in games with the lead, and that is understandable the defense knows the run is coming. So right now the run game is doing just enough to open up our passing game. I will say I’d rather see Quizz’s touches go to a more dynamic back, like Wilson. I sure would like to see Rojo on the field at some point hopefully after the bye… Read more »

Jlog
Jlog
3 years ago

Until Winston proves otherwise he’s not franchise material.

Dude
Dude
3 years ago

I just hope Jameis is taking in all of the Fitzmagic and is learning from Fitz’s success from not trying to force things. If Jameis can learn one thing from Fitz, this is it. No doubt Jameis was playing lights out himself during preseason, but preseason is over and Fitzmagic has taken place. I think the Bucs have to stay on this ride until it ends, if it ends this year. If, and when it does, lets hope Jameis picks up where he left off in week 3 of the preseason. I have a crazy feeling he will. Were just… Read more »

FLBoy84
FLBoy84
Reply to  Dude
3 years ago

Biggest thing I hope JW takes away from watching Fitz is the mentality of being smart with the football. With the great play-calling and as many talented weapons as this offense has, someone is going to be open on practically every play. No need to force things at this point, just take the yards and move down the field. Believe his teammates will be less than pleased if he gets in there and reverts back to recklessly turning the ball over. Mostly hoping the time away helps him appreciate his life and the opportunities he has and he comes back… Read more »

omura4ya
omura4ya
3 years ago

Can we just go sign DAN BAILEY please!!!! What are your thoughts?

BucWild02
BucWild02
Reply to  omura4ya
3 years ago

Last year Catanzaro was 80% (32/40) on field goals. He was 88% (23/26) on extra points. This is who he is. That is the standard he was hired to meet. I am not surprised by his kicks.

BucWild02
BucWild02
Reply to  BucWild02
3 years ago

Conversely, Dan Bailey was 76%(22/29) on field goals. 92%(36/39) on extra point attempts.

Horse
Horse
3 years ago

Good answers mark.
Not even ready to discuss Fitz versus Winston. I know it will all work out later.
We have won 2 games and we have to stay focused on the Steeler’s; one thing I know they will be ready for us.

fredster
fredster
3 years ago

If they can afford Bailey I’d drop Catanzaro like a brick. Guy inspires no confidnce in me at all. We will need long FG at some point to win a close fame.

Barber needs to be replaced? Idiotic statement. Had good game against Saints. Eagles may be best run d in nfl. Plus he’s been picking up every blitz that comes his way. Replace him with Jones? Lay off the crack that was dumbest thing I’ve heard in a while.

fredster
fredster
3 years ago

Actually I don’t even trust Catanzaro to hit the damn extra point. He’s terrible. Get Bailey and this team is a very compete scary offense.

BucWild02
BucWild02
Reply to  fredster
3 years ago

I feel your pain but Bailey is actually LESS accurate than Catanzaro. Look at it like this, now all kicks are exciting!! I broke down their percentages from last year in the thread above. I won’t mention the salary cap implications since it isn’t my money, but I’m pretty certain Catanzaro will get his check whether he’s cut or not.

Pete Wood
Pete Wood
3 years ago

I like our kicker. Give him a chance.
Did we ever figure out if that missed field goal last week was tipped or not? Seems like there was some debate.

drdneast
drdneast
3 years ago

QB controversies are great for the media and fans but that is just about it. Koetter will play whoever he wants at the QB position and he won’t give a damn how the fans feel as he shouldn’t. Right now he is fortunate that he and Licht made the right choices that he has the luxury of even making the decision. He also has that luxury at the RB position where he has a stable of backs that are both experienced and raw rookies. He isn’t forced to throw anyone into the fire before they are ready with Barber and… Read more »

drdneast
drdneast
3 years ago

Give the kicker a chance?
This is Tampa where we want to cut players right on the spot if they drop a pass, fumble a ball, miss a tackle, blow a block or throw an INT.
If they are a rookie, they are immediately labeled a bust.
Give him a chance? Give me a break.
BTW, did you notice all the troubles kickers were having all over the league yesterday.
But Tampa Bay fans, who must not watch any other NFL games, are oblivious of such matters.

omura4ya
omura4ya
Reply to  drdneast
3 years ago

+ indicates Hall of Famer Share & more▼ × Modify & Share Table Embed this Table Get as Excel Workbook (experimental) Get table as CSV (for Excel) Strip Mobile Formatting Copy Link to Table to Clipboard About Sharing Tools Video: SR Sharing Tools & How-to Video: Stats Table Tips & Tricks Glossary Scroll Right For More Stats · Switch to Widescreen View▶ Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37… Read more »

fredster
fredster
3 years ago

Ok so we need to Give the kicker a chance? Hes had all preseason and two regular season games now, and he’s missing several easy FG’s and easy extra points. One extra point maybe that’s a fluke he’s missed what 4 or 5 now counting pre season? Where are you getting stats that his percent is better than Bailey? I’ll look it up I don’t know exact numbers but Bailey has to be well over90% and Catanzaro was 66% last week! As far as giving him a chance how many games do you watch him miss easy FG’s and extra… Read more »

fredster
fredster
3 years ago

2011 23 2012 24 2013 25 2014 26 2015* 27 2016 28 2017 29 2018 30 Career Games 0-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50+ Scoring Scoring Punting Year Age Tm Pos No. G GS FGA FGM FGA FGM FGA FGM FGA FGM FGA FGM FGA FGM Lng FG% XPA XPM XP% Pnt Yds Lng Blck Y/P AV 2011 23 DAL K 5 16 0 1 1 9 8 11 11 12 10 4 2 37 32 51 86.5% 39 39 100.0% 2 79 41 0 39.5 4 2012 24 DAL K 5 16 0 1 1 5 5 13 13 7… Read more »

fredster
fredster
3 years ago

Year
Team
FG ATT
FGM
PCT
COMB
2018
TB
3
2
66.7

2017
NYJ
30
25
83.3

2016
ARI
28
21
75.0
1
2015
ARI
31
28
90.3
6
2014
ARI
33
29
87.9
2
Career
125
105
84.0

Catanzaro stats

fredster
fredster
3 years ago

Catanzaro is 66% with Bucs thus far….

Morgan R
Morgan R
Reply to  fredster
3 years ago

Things even out over the course of a year. That’s why kickers are graded on their season AVERAGE.