The PR Bucs Monday Mailbag is where PewterReport.com’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: With a lot of depth at WR and big contracts coming next year (Smith , Alexander, Marpet) is Adam Humphries a potential trade candidate?
Answer: I really don’t believe so. Now, if you ask me if he is here next year, I would have to say most likely not. He will be an unrestricted free agent in 2019, and all it will take is one team throwing big bucks his way and the team most likely won’t try and match it. And that isn’t to say the Bucs don’t like Humphries, because they do. But his current salary of $2.9 million is pretty much in line with his production. And based on Mike Evans being the No. 1 for a long time and the development of Chris Godwin and some younger players, paying any more than what they are paying this season just doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Humphries had his best season of his career in 2017 with 61 receptions for 631 yards, but that appears to be his ceiling with this team based on the depth chart. Of course, anything is possible, and if a rash of injuries to some other team’s receiving corps were to take place early in the season, Humphries could be sought after. If a team made the Bucs a really good offer, then it is possible they could part ways.
Humphries loves Tampa and would enjoy spending the rest of his career playing in Tampa Bay, but he also understands that the NFL is a business.
Question: Since Jameis Winston negotiated his suspension to only 3 games, do you think he would’ve appealed a lengthier ban?
Answer: All of this talk of a negotiated deal with the league is just that – talk.
We just don’t know how much truth there is to that. And the more I think about it, I don’t know that I believe it. I just don’t see the NFL negotiating a deal if they felt there was enough proof, especially in a violation of a sexual nature. In my opinion — and just my opinion — I believe the NFL felt there was a possibility that the occurrence did, in fact, take place, however they knew that if this were a court of law there was no way it would have held up. So that is where the three games came from, instead of more. The situation tarnished “The Shield” therefore there was no way it would go completely unpunished. And Winston’s reputation, fair or not, was a factor. So, as far a a negotiation goes, I think that is the wrong term. More like a settlement or resigned to the fact Winston was getting something.
Now, to your main question, yes had it been longer than three games I absolutely feel Winston would have fought it hard. But his people knew that he wasn’t going to get off unscathed short of the Uber driver recounting her accusation. And when that didn’t happen they accepted the punishment probably reluctantly.
Question: Why does safety Keith Tandy always get the shaft? I don’t understand the underutilization of him when he was the best safety two years ago, and based on Trevor’s cover 3 he’s been the most consistent safety.
Answer: You know that is really a good question, and one I can only speculate on. The fact is, every time Tandy gets significant playing time, all he does is produce, going back to his second year in the league when he nabbed three interceptions for Greg Schiano. I coached high school football for five seasons and youth football for a number of years and it seemed we always a player who didn’t impress a lot physically or in practice, but for whatever reason, just had a knack for making plays when the lights came on. And, as a coach, you just overthink things. You tend to not believe it, or feel it was more luck than skill, but all the player did was produce. I see a lot of that in Tandy. He isn’t overly imposing physically, doesn’t wow you with speed or crazy athleticism, he just gets the job done.
Question: Odds of the Bucs taking a flier on Kaepernick or Johnny football to compete for the Backup QB spot?
Answer: Slim to none on Kaepernick, and not a chance in H-E-double hockey sticks on Manziel. This isn’t my opinion, just my speculation, so don’t get mad and bring up all kind of crazy stats about Kaepernick when I say this, but, I don’t believe the organization believes he is a good fit for a Koetter offense. His strengths, and I do believe he has plenty, aren’t really in the wheelhouse of Koetter’s style of offense, at least until this point. We did see the Bucs show some RPOs in the offseason, but up until then, that hasn’t been something Koetter has really shown prior. And again, this is just my opinion, but I just don’t know the organization wants the circus that would follow Kaepernick if he were to come to Tampa Bay.
Again, don’t unleash angry tweets and comments. I don’t know if those things are completely true, I can’t say with certainty the Bucs feel that way, it is just my speculation. I am a fan of Kaepernick, and on a personal opinion level respect his opinions and political positions. I also respect him for spending millions of his own money to do things to try and make a difference. A quick story – we get a conference call weekly with opposing head coaches and also a player from the opposing team, and one of the most enlightening ones I had was a couple years back prior to Tampa Bay traveling to take on the 49ers. It was late in the afternoon when Kaepernick called, due to west coast time and there was only a few media members still at One Buc. But Kaepernick came across very sincere and respectful and I learned a lot that late afternoon/early evening. I don’t necessarily agree with everything, however I completely respect where he is coming from and believe he is committed to making a change.
If Kaepernick were in the realm of Tom Brady, you bet teams would be willing to deal with all of the attention that would come with signing Kaepernick. But he isn’t. Is he better than several backups, and even a couple starts in the league? You bet. But, is he good enough, talent wise, for teams to be willing to deal with all of the attention they would have nationally, and even internationally if they signed the outspoken former 49ers? That, is my opinion, is why he is still a free agent.
Question: Do you see a different type of training camp compared to last year’s “soft” camp?
Answer: This question was asked earlier this year, and is actually one I get a lot even outside of the Mailbag. Here is what I wrote last time in case you missed it.
It will be interesting to see exactly how Koetter handles things this camp. Were the Bucs 5-11 last year because they had a softer camp than previous coaches? Obviously the answer is no, at least not entirely. There were plenty of other issues (injuries, lack of running game and pass rush) and having a more physical camp would not have changed any of those problems, in my opinion. However, I do believe that, at the very least, it can instill some mental toughness that down the road, say in a close fourth quarter game, that might be the difference in the outcome. And even if it changes just one game, maybe that one game is the difference between 9-7 and 10-6 and a playoff berth or not.
I’ve mentioned the Jaguars running sprints following the joint practices last year with Tampa Bay, and how quickly the Bucs wanted to get off the field following the sweltering heat last August. Heck, I couldn’t wait to get back in the air conditioning myself. But Tom Coughlin and Doug Marrone wanted to make a statement to their players after spending the previous four seasons under “Mr. Nice Guy” Gus Bradley. The organization needed to change the mentality of the Jaguars and it obviously worked.
As far as a tougher camp, I most certainly would like to see more inside tough drills, more goal line and my past camp favorites, the 1-on1’s between the offensive line and defensive line. I don’t think we need to see tackling to the ground, but despite these guys knowing how to tackle, what is wrong with working on the the fundamentals a little more? To perfect your craft you have to practice your craft.
At the end of the day, it is Dirk Koetter’s team and his call. He has weighed out all the different options and worked out the “what-if’s”, and he will design camp around what he thinks is the best way for this team to succeed in 2018. We will see if it was the right approach in a few months.