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, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
PewterReport.com prides itself on being the most complete, comprehensive news source covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and delivering inside scoop on the team found nowhere else.