The PR Bucs Monday Mailbag is where’s Mark Cook answers your questions from our @PewterReportTwitter 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: If Fitzpatrick plays lights out and goes 3-0 when Winston is suspended do you see Fitzpatrick keeping the starting job or will it go back to Winston?

Answer: That is the million dollar question. And while it will create some anguish among the staff and front office, it would be a nice problem to have, right? A 3-0 start would be huge for this football team and for the security of the coaches and front office. But Winston is the future, or at least that is the hopes of the organization. I think the caveat is the part where you asked if he is playing lights out.

If his team somehow manages to go 3-0 but it mainly because of the play of say a strong defense and special teams, but only efficiently on offense, then the team would most likely go back to Winston. However, if Fitzpatrick is a Top 5 or Top 10 quarterback then it would really be hard to take him out of the lineup.

Overall Koetter’s philosophy has been that when starters are back and ready to play, they go back in the starting lineup — see Doug Martin last year after missing time with his suspension. But again, what a great problem to have.

Question: Has M.J. Stewart been the most consistent rookie from OTAs to camp and who has been the next best?

Answer: He really has been, especially of late. Koetter talked about Stewart’s football IQ and how that is helping him with the scheme and the playbook. His grasp of the concepts have certainly pushed him to the top of our list. But let’s see what happens in the preseason. The good news for this team is all of the cornerbacks have looked much improved. Especially Hargreaves, who has really impressed me so far this camp. Again, when the lights come on the contenders and pretenders tend to separate themselves.

Question: If Grimes doesn’t play what kind of CB line up do you see? Could M.J. Stewart be a starter over Davis thanks to the great training camp he had?

Answer: I think everyone has been impressed with Stewart, but Davis since Day 1 of rookie camp has been on the outside on Grimes’ side. And that is what we have seen a lot in camp. Ryan Smith seems to be getting the most first team looks opposite Grimes/Davis with Hargreaves running with the first team in nickel.

Stewart is kind of “first man up” at all the positions but might start off the season as the backup for Hargreaves. But there is still so much time left to sort it out. I expect it to be Davis and Smith with Hargreaves that start at Miami on Thursday night.

Question: How serious is Vita Vea’s injury and how much has this slowed his development?

Answer: We really haven’t gotten much of an update. It doesn’t appear to be serious, as we saw him walking the last few days and not with the scooter, albeit still in the boot. But that is more being proactive. And the fact that he’s 350 pounds, which is a lot of weight to put on a lower leg injury. The boot helps to relieve some of that.

There is no doubt it has slowed down things for Vea as there is only so much you can learn from watching from the sidelines. He needs those practice reps and also it will hurt him missing the Dolphins game. Of course, the good news is Jason Licht beefed up the depth and it shouldn’t hurt the team overall. But every snap Vea misses in practice and in games is a rep that would be making him better. Plus I miss seeing Brentson Buckner yelling at him.

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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 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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3 years ago

I want to see the rookie Cbs get max playing time. Ryan Smith is average at best, and Grimes is washed up.

Reply to  nybuccguy
3 years ago

I totally agree with you on Smith, but not Grimes. I keep hearing that Smith is having a good camp, but most of the time I see a long TD pass, Smith is the one getting beat, and he is supposed to be fast? I like the rookies a lot, wasn’t quite sure when we drafted them, but they really seem to be playing well.

Bradenton BucFan
Bradenton BucFan
3 years ago

I agree, smith could be better if he had learned more from brett &/or better coaching. our bad safety play does not help either. The new guys seem hungry

Buc 1976
Buc 1976
3 years ago

I think Vea should have been in Tampa well before camp opened. The heat and humidity is a very real adjustment. Learning how to stay hydrated.