It is time for another edition of the Bucs’ Monday Mailbag, where PewterReport.com answers reader submitted questions each and every Monday. Due to some technical issues, the Monday Mailbag is later than normal, but it is still Monday in Alabama and west of there.
You can submit your questions next week via Twitter by using #PRMailbag.
Question: How’s the kicking competition going? Will Roberto Aguayo make it to final cuts?
Answer: Well there is no competition going on right now. Aguayo just got married and unless Nick Folk followed them on their honeymoon to Tahiti, I doubt there is any kicking going on. And even if Aguayo hadn’t gotten married, this is the players and coaches last chance to get away and recharge before the month-long grueling training camp process begins. One Buc has pretty much been a ghost town and will be until the first of next week.
To answer the second part of your question, unless Aguayo just stinks the joint up in the first couple weeks of camp, I believe the battle will come down to the final preseason game. The main reason is, kickers are streaky. Folk may be 30-of-30 in camp practices before the final preseason game, then completely meltdown, and go 0-for-4 in the final preseason game and see his confidence go down the tubes. That is doubtful but not 100 percent out of the question. Then what if you had released Aguayo two weeks before?
There truly is no benefit to anyone to let Aguayo go before the end of the preseason. Well maybe for Aguayo, who would have a chance of latching on somewhere else, but truthfully if the Bucs let him go because of a poor camp, who is going to pick him up?
Question: With everyone hyping the Bucs up for 2017, what’s the minimum requirements for this season to be considered a success?
Answer: If this team stays relatively healthy, then I think it is playoffs or bust. This team needs to get to 10 wins and a wild card spot at minimum in my opinion. Of course there are extenuating circumstances that might make a eight or none win season acceptable, but it would mean someone like quarterback Jameis Winston missing a number of games, or say a terrible rash of injuries on the defense. Fans aren’t the only ones with extremely high expectations. The organization is in “win now” mode. They didn’t sign DeSean Jackson in hopes to build for the future. They expect to improve on last season’s 9-7 record. And will be disappointed in anything less.
Question: What was the most heart breaking loss in Bucs history? And what was the most surprising win in Bucs history?
Answer: Well I am old timer, so the games I mention, many of the readers might have never seen. But to me, the most heartbreaking loss is easily the 9-0 loss to the Rams in the 1979 NFC Championship game. While Bucs fans knew the team was going to be better in 1979, not many expected the team to make it to 10 points away from meeting the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl. The team started the season 5-0 and they made the cover of Sports Illustrated. The team that just a few years earlier was the laughingstock of the NFL after starting 0-26, were now media darlings. There were no more cracks from Johnny Carson on the tonight show after 1979. And to make matters even worse with the loss, was the fact that the Buccaneers had beaten the Rams earlier in the season handily 21-6. Most Bucs fans were cautiously optimistic that the team would be heading to Pasadena when the game kicked off late on that Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately the Rams defense was just a little better that day, and after Doug Williams was knocked out of the game, it wasn’t to be for the Bucs and their fans. I have this game on DVD (thanks to unnamed PewterReport.com reader) and I watch it from time to time, still hoping the Bucs somehow pull it out.
As far as most surprising win, I want to say the team’s very first one in late 1977 against the Saints (New Orleans fired coach Hank Stram the next day) but thinking more about it, I will go with the win over the Eagles to advance to the Super Bowl. The Eagles had been the team that just seemed to have the Bucs number and after the opening drive and score by Philly, aided by a long Brian Mitchell kickoff return, and after a two-play scoring drive my first thought was, here we go again. But this Bucs team was resilient, and kept the game close and battled the Eagles all afternoon. When Ronde Barber returned Donovan McNabb’s pass for a touchdown it sealed the game essentially, and my allergies immediately began to act up. To just get to the Super Bowl, and do it by beating the Eagles and closing down the terrible Veteran’s Stadium was almost too good to believe. The Super Bowl win two weeks later was just icing on the cake.
Question: If Winston somehow ended up going to UF instead of FSU, would he have even been drafted?
Answer: I am not sure if this is a legitimate question, or just one posed by a Noles fan wanting me to take a shot at the Gators! But I will answer it to the best of my ability. To get to the point, yes he would have still been drafted. Maybe not No. 1 overall, or even in the first round, but Winston would have made the Gators’ offense in 2013 and 2014 much better than they performed under Will Muschamp. The defense in those years was tremendous, and it was the lack of quarterback play in my opinion that hurt the Gators more than anything.
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, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. 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@example.com
Super Bowl XXXVII was played one week later, not two, on January 26th. I’m not sure why it wasn’t the usual two week break.
I was at the 79 game, it was a heart breaker. I have to say though losing to the Rams, the greatest show on turf was worse. That game, was it a catch, or wasn’t it, man we had a chance for the upset of all time! The 79 game, those 10 points seemed insurmountable, never felt like we had a chance with our offense then. When you think we almost made it to the S.B. with King as Q.B., that would’ve been some feat.
I agree surferdudes. The Bucs defense that day was fantastic and brought the greatest show on turf to its knees. If only they had any semblance of an offense.
I was there too Surfer. That was a tough one. Bucs scored a TD that would have put the Bucs up 7-6 but OG Greg Roberts jumped offside and the play was called back. Rams were inspired by Jack Youngblood playing with a broken leg.
I always felt it was the other way around. The ’79 Bucs had a defense just as dominant, and an offense just as inept, but I felt Doug Williams, while he was never an accurate or consistent passer, was always a winner. I never got that feeling from King. Bucs had very similar situations in both ’79 & ’99, great defense, incosistent offense, mediocre talent at WR, decent running game. Both played the Rams in the NFC Championship.
I always felt Williams gave the Bucs an actual chance, whereas King was just a rookie, and didn’t have the experience to make a big difference. When Williams went down with a torn bicep on his throwing arm (I bet he would have continued playing if it had been his left arm injured & not his right), the Bucs were only down 6-0. But without Williams, Bucs had NO chance at all.
The ’79 game seemed like a worse loss, since the Bucs got shut out, but was actually just as close as the ’99 game until Williams got hurt. Remember, in ’99, the Bucs offense only scored 3 points. The other Bucs field goal in ’99 came when Steve White intercepted Warner deep in Rams territory on the opening drive, and Bucs offense took over already in field goal range.
I was at the StL game – that was definitely rough, especially since the D played their asses off & they were moving the ball down for the winning score when the ‘non-catch’ happened…that 03 MNF loss to Indy still makes me wanna puke though
I remember that Monday night loss to the Colts. It was heart breaking game and was the turning point to our season. After that game our whole season went to hell. Manning came back down 21 points late in the 4th quarter with 5 minutes remaining and won that game. After Barbers pick 6 with 5 minutes to go the Bucs everyone thought it was over. I remember watching the announcers interview McCardell for player of the game in the last couple minutes of that game and right in the middle of the interview he gets up and says he has to go and go back into the game because the colts had just made it a 7 point game with just over 2 minutes to go. It was the first time I have ever seen a losing player get player of the game.
Still butthurt over that loss, and by the officials missing a key catch interference call on the Colts onside kick recovered by Bashir for Indianapolis when the Bucs were ahead 35-21. Since Vanderjagt kicked the ball straight up off the tee, and it never hit the ground before recovery, Bashir should have been called for catch interference. That should have awarded the Bucs the ball with 3:30 left, and Colts would have had no chance to tie the game in regulation with only one timeout and the 2-minute warning left to stop the clock.
Still, even if Bucs had won that game, they would not have gone to the playoffs in 2003 with an 8-8 record. Gruden never was able to build any consistent offense in his 7 seasons in Tampa.
OMG on that Indy loss…
If Winston was on the gators, we would have won 2 titles instead of 1… go gata
I’m 49 so the 79 game I was too young to care much. Most heart breaking to me was 1999 NFC championship game where Rams beat us and the damn TD to Ricky Prohl at the end. The whole Burt Emanuel catch thing sucked bad too. I called him Hurt Emanuel back then. Damn guy was never healthy! That 1999 defense was better than 2003 suoerbowl defense imo. They did it with no offense really. Sean king didn’t scare anyone and WR’s sucked. All you had to do was stack the box to stop Allstott and Dunn…..
There is no story on PR about it but I’ll post about it here because I consider it to be Bucs related that the Panthers just fired their GM. I think this is good for the Bucs this season due to the lack of organizational stability for the scouting department. However, this is bad for the Bucs in the long term because Gettleman was not a good GM. The Panthers have drafted poorly under Gettleman.
If you name all of the Panthers best players (Newton, Olsen, Kueckly, Davis, Short, Turner) they were all brought in before Gettleman got there. Those players are older now for the most part and I was looking forward to the era when those players were gone like Steve Smith, Josh Norman and Deangelo Williams are and there would be nothing left but mediocre players that Gettleman brought in. Now we have to hope the Panthers don’t bring in a better GM.
The good news is New Orleans hasn’t been drafted any better over the past four years so unless they draft another Drew Brees type QB or get a better GM themselves they’ll be beatable twice a year in the near future. I do think the Saints had a good draft this year but hopefully it’s too little too late.
My Ex and I are on that tape of the ’79 NFC Championship game, around the 50 second mark……a Sad day for us old-timer Buc fans, but still great memories!
Greatest regular season victory….it was the victory over the undefeated juggernaut Randy Moss Vikings….1998.
I wasnt alive for the 1979 game but for me the worst loss was the loss to the Rams in the NFC title game in 2001 I believe. I still remember Bert Emmanuel’s catch that wasnt a catch that would’ve given us a first down and a chance to win late. As a St, Louis native I was the only Bucs fan in a house of Rams lol, good times.
The best played game I have ever seen the bucs play was when they beat the undefeated Vikings – watching that one was simply stunning.
Agree…which player was it that afterwords was walking around and shouting, making the David/ Goliath comparison? Was it Brooks? Barber? None the less, I also think it was a big confidence “shot in the arm” for our Bucs team as they were rising to greatness.
Can you give some insightr is to why the Bucs did not attempt to sign McDougald.
good read…hope Agua to can turn it around and be long term fix. Reynolds made a good case few months ago about his season not being as bad as it felt.
on disappointing loss, agree on the 2003 colts game and 1999 championship game. was at game in 79 and we left feelings happy at how far the team had come. in 1999 we were robbed of a chance to win.
2 games not mentioned were the 2008 loss to the Raiders when we were up by 10 in the 4th with the playoffs on the line and the 2013 loss to the Jets when David hit Hayes late with 6 seconds left to let them hit game winning field goal and start us on a terrible slide at 0-8.
As for surprising victories, the 1998 Vikings win has to be right up there with the playoff win against the Eagles. I’m surprised too that the 2009 upset against the Super Bowl champion Saints was not mentioned or the 10-5 upset over a powerhouse 1988 Bills team led by Testaverde.
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