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: Will Mike Smith’s defense ever not be predictable?
Answer: Does a bear….. in the woods? Kidding. Kind of. I mean lets be honest here, Monte Kiffin will probably end up in the Bucs’ Ring of Honor and the late 70’s and early 80’s Bucs defenses were never some crazy heavy blitzing, catch-you-by-surprise type of defenses. Those teams dominated, not with unpredictability and crazy formations, but with talent and a fairly simple scheme that the players could run in their sleep.
I am kind of a fan of just lining up and saying my guys are going to kick your guy’s (blanks) for the next three hours. If anything, it could be argued the Mike Smith’s defenses, since his time here in Tampa, were too complicated. Remember his first season when they started the season and they were awful until after the bye week? They simplified things, made a few adjustments and worked on better communication, and boom – you had one of the league’s best defenses over the last half of the season.
Talent is key. If you have the horses to stop the run then you are ahead of the game, and you can keep the opposing offense behind the chains. The more exotic you get the more chances you have of giving up a big play or you have communication issues leading to breakdowns. I think if this team stays healthy they can generate enough pass rush with just four, then throw in a few linebacker/corner blitzes to keep teams on their toes, they can win a lot of games.
Question: Bucs offense looks good so far, is this a sign of things to come or fools gold?
Answer: It has looked great so far, and you do have to wonder if part of it is Todd Monken taking over play calling, and 0.if it continues into the regular season. The Bucs have as good of an offense – on paper at least – as any in the league, and certainly have the most talent in the history of the franchise. But, as a fan of these reality cooking shows, you can have all the ingredients in the world in the kitchen, but if the chef doesn’t have the vision, or the execution, you can ruin even the finest cut of meat.
Luck plays into it as well. The Bucs have to get their offensive line healthy and hope it can stay that way through the season. If they can do that I have confidence in Koetter and Monken in the kitchen this year and think it can be special season offensively.
Question: Will Rojo be a bust?
Answer: Yikes. Bust is a strong word. I think there is no question that through the first three weeks of the preseason Jones’ performance has been disappointing, averaging just a little over a yard per carry and not showing the flash we saw from his college tape at USC. But the good news is that the Bucs don’t need him to be the NFC rookie of the year to have success. I think it is still way too early to make any judgements on a player, and the team internally thinks he will be just fine. Maybe not as fast of a development as they hoped, but aren’t even thinking in terms of a bust.
Jones didn’t lost any speed, wiggle or burst since leaving college, he is just trying to figure out how to put it all together against NFL talent and in an NFL playbook.
Question: With all the depth we have, will a WR trade happen before or after the season starts?
Answer: We got a lot of questions earlier this year about it the Bucs might consider trading Adam Humphries or DeSean Jackson before the season started and I felt like they wanted to see this collection of guys together another year. I really think the only way we see the team move a receiver is if the season is lost early and they start purging the roster for future draft picks. Even then I don’t know if they move anyone, only because if the season starts awful, Koetter and general manager Jason Licht won’t be here next year most likely, and so what would it matter if they traded players for draft picks?
I think they live and die with the guys they have and see what the win tally is at the end of the year.