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:What are the chances of an Adam Humphries return? Humphries is Julian Edelman-like and he just won the SB MVP, not saying Humphries would do that, but he’s as reliable to Jameis Winston as Edelman is to Tom Brady.
Answer: This is going to be one of the most difficult decisions this team makes this offseason. We know for a fact they want Adam Humphries back, and we also can say they reached out to his agent during 2018 about an extension. The Bucs had a number in mind, but the Humphries camp wanted considerably more than Tampa Bay was willing to pay at that time. But this is all part of negotiations. One side comes in low, the other side comes in high, and hopefully they find some agreeable middle ground through the process.
I am guessing this coaching staff, after watching film of Humphries, has him in the “keep” pile. And if DeSean Jackson ends up in the “go” pile then it becomes even more imperative that head coach Bruce Arians and general manager Jason Licht find a way to keep him. If Jackson and Humphries leave due to salary cap reasons, the Bucs have just Mike Evans and Chris Godwin as experienced receivers, and now a position of strength is one that Tampa Bay may have to address in the draft. The team likes Justin Watson, last year’s fifth-round pick, quite a bit, but he is still raw, and if the Bucs have an injury to either Evans or Godwin, is Watson ready to be the team’s No. 2 receiver?
I do think Tampa Bay does do what it can – within reason – to keep Humphries at around $6 million per year, and he told me late last season this is where he wants to be. But all it takes is one team in free agency to throw crazy money at him to make it difficult for the Bucs to retain him.
Question: Can history repeat itself to see the Bucs and Raiders in next year’s Super Bowl, since it happened after the last Rams vs Pats Super Bowl?
Answer: You bring up an interesting point, but I think we are quite a ways off from seeing the Bucs and Raiders match up in the Super Bowl next year – or any time soon. More so with the Raiders than the Bucs probably, but both teams have a lot of improving to do before we can even dream of that. When the Bucs and Raiders played in the Super Bowl during the 2002 season they were both coming off of very good seasons the year before. That wouldn’t be the case now.
This Bucs team isn’t one of those Tony Dungy teams that made it to the playoffs only to be disappointed in the postseason. The 2019 Bucs team would need to double the wins from 2018 to even get into the playoffs, much less make a serious run. And we all know how disappointing the Raiders were last year in the first season under Jon Gruden in his return to Oakland. The Raiders are picking fourth overall in the draft, and the Bucs are right behind at No. 5.
I would settle for a nine-win season in Tampa Bay, and I think that is a fair expectation for this team in 2019. Could it be worse or could it be better? Certainly, but I am not ready to head to Vegas and drop my paycheck on the Bucs making it to the Super Bowl in 2019.
Question: Did the Bucs also replace their strength and conditioning team? And do you foresee them moving on from some in the scouting department after the draft? Especially those who scout kickers and RBs?
Answer: Yes the team did add three new strength and conditioning coaches, while also retaining as assistant. The Bucs communication department put out this press release last week:
Head Strength & Conditioning Coach
Anthony Piroli spent the 2018 season working as the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach at Mississippi State, after having served as an assistant strength & conditioning coach for the Bulldogs in the 2014 season. Between his stints at Mississippi State, Piroli spent three seasons (2015-17) working as an assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Arizona Cardinals. A native of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, Piroli began his coaching career at his alma mater, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, in 2007. From there he spent time at the University of Pittsburgh (2008-09) and working at Power Train Sports Institute in Pittsburgh (2009-11). Piroli was the co-owner and Director of Sports Performance at Evolution Sports in Pittsburgh from 2011-14, before joining Mississippi State. He also served as a volunteer strength coach for Ohio State in the summer of 2013.
Speed & Conditioning Coach
Roger Kingdom is a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist in the 110-meter hurdles in 1984 and 1988. He spent the 2018 season as the Interim Director of Track & Field/Cross Country at UCF. Prior to that, Kingdom worked as an assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Arizona Cardinals for four seasons (2014-17). He joined the Cardinals after 10 years at California University of Pennsylvania, working with the Track & Field/Cross Country teams (2004-13).
A former world and American record holder and one of only two runners to ever win consecutive Olympic titles in the 110-meter hurdles, Kingdom was named the 1989 USA Track and Field Athlete of the Year, the 1989 Jesse Owens International Amateur Athlete of the Year and Track and Field News 1989 Athlete of the Year. A five-time United States outdoor champion (1985, 1988-90, 1995), he won gold medals at the Pan American Games (1983, 1995), the World Cup (1989), the World University Games (1989) and the Goodwill Games (1990). He retired from active competition in 1999.
Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach
Michael Stacchiotti spent the 2018 season at Mississippi State, working under Anthony Piroli. Prior to that, Stacchiotti spent a season with the University of Cincinnati (2017) and two seasons at Colorado State (2015-17). He began his collegiate coaching career as an intern strength coach at Mississippi State in 2015, following time working at the prep level in Ohio. Stacchiotti played collegiately at Baldwin Wallace University.
And Chad Wade, another assistant will enter his sixth season with the team.
I don’t think the Bucs have any major shakeups to their scouting staff planned, although there could be some tweaking of the group later in the spring. Some could be offered promotions on other teams, but we haven’t gotten any indications that any major changes are coming. Any changes would happen after the draft in May.
Question: Which players do you see the Bucs sitting at No. 5 for? I definitely think they would stay at No. 5 and hope some blue chip players could fall to them. If they don’t fall, what kinda player would Tampa Bay trade back for?
Answer: This is an interesting draft for sure, as there is no consensus on the Top 5 when you start looking through the different mock drafts. Other than Ohio State DE Nick Bosa, Kentucky edge rusher Josh Allen and Alabama DT Quinnen Williams there really isn’t a consensus of the same players in a majority of the drafts as we have seen in past years, and there doesn’t appear to be a consensus on who the top quarterback is in this year’s draft.
Is it Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins, Missouri’s Drew Lock or Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray? Add in the fact you could see some quarterback needy teams move up to get their guy and it appears this is a good draft for Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht to move down and pick up some additional picks, as he did in the first round in 2016 and last year.
I think the only three no-brainers for the Bucs would be if Allen, Bosa or Williams dropped to No. 5. At that point it would be very difficult to move down if that took place. It is still really early in the evaluation process and we will see guys rise and fall, especially after the NFL Scouting Combine in early March. The Combine is a big part of the final evaluation process for teams, not so much the on the field stuff as the one-on-one interviews and medical evaluations.