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. Read them over and offer up your thoughts in the comment section.

Question: When Koetter was hired as coach I thought he wanted to have a balanced attack between run and pass. Asking ANY QB to throw 40 plus times a game isn’t balance. Who is more to blame – Licht for not giving Koetter the players he needs or Koetter for abandoning balance?

Answer: As Koetter likes to say, the goal is to have one more point than the other team when the game ends. How you get that doesn’t really matter. Personally, I am not hung up on this 50/50 run and pass balance thing. This team’s offense is clearly built around the passing game, and it is what they do best. With that said, the inability to move the ball on the ground – even a little – yesterday, was awful. It started early with the bad play calls from their own half-yard line that resulted in a safety, and it never got much better as the day went on. And I can’t imagine the Browns looking at the Bucs previous game film and saying, “Hey we have to stop the Bucs run game at all costs.” If that was their focus coming into Sunday, then they deserved to lose.

The biggest issue I see is the offensive line getting manhandled. You give Ryan Jensen $42 million, Ali Marpet $54 million plus Donovan Smith will need between those two numbers moving forward. And Demar Dotson is making $4.6 million. This line has failed to produce a 100-yard rusher this season, and can’t move the ball off its goal line on two straight carries? That is a ton of money for the performance we saw on Sunday against the Browns.

And it wasn’t just a lack of a running game either. Pass protection was really bad at times on Sunday. Jameis Winston was pressured on many of his drop backs and took quite a few shots in addition to being sacked four times.

There are some issues that need to get resolved quickly if this team hopes to finish over .500. It appears the defense is now on the right path, next the offensive line must play better moving forward. In a perfect world, there is some balance between run and pass, but on Sunday, in my opinion, it would have been foolish to continue to try and run into a brick wall over and over.

Question: Does the faith of DeSean Jackson with this team depends on Winston ? I see no connection at all between those two and I don’t think it will ever happen. Why not trade him for a LB to replace Kwon Alexander or a safety?

Answer: It was a bad day, again, for the Winston and Jackson duo. I don’t really understand why it continues to be an issue. You would think occasionally by accident they would eventually hook up on some deep balls. It just hasn’t materialized and that is frustrating to everyone involved, especially when Jackson was able to show his wheels can still run 100 mph. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jackson were able to establish plenty of chemistry earlier this year, so we know the issue isn’t Jackson.

But pulling off trades in the NFL isn’t as easy as pushing a trade override button on a PlayStation. It takes two teams, who feel the value is equal, and also the ability to fit the two traded players within their salary caps. It isn’t out of the realm of possibility, but despite the inability to connect, I believe this football team is still much better off with Jackson on the roster. I doubt you get a player straight up for Jackson anyway in a trade, and most likely it is a draft pick, so I would keep him and keep my fingers crossed the two of them get on the same page at some point.

Question: It’s time to stop pretending with Jameis Winston. He’s never going to take us all the way to the Super Bowl, so why keep living this fairy tale?

Answer: Because as an organization, you really have no choice. You don’t survive as a general manager and head coach taking a quarterback No. 1 overall then giving up on him in his fourth year. It would be admitting failure and essentially telling the Glazers to fire you. With that said, while I am not sure Winston is the guy to lead this team to multiple Super Bowl titles, I do believe there is plenty of things to like and to continue to build around and develop.

Winston will be the quarterback in 2019, but after that a lot will depend on his growth and even who the head coach is moving forward. This is not a great draft class for quarterbacks, good players at that position rarely hit free agency and you already have so much invested. The good news is the Bucs hold all the cards. They let him play out 2019 under the fifth-year option they have already picked up, then if you still aren’t 100 percent sold he is your guy, you can franchise tag him for another year or simply walk away.

Question: Any chance the Bucs release Chandler Catanzaro and sign another kicker, say Cairo Santos (whom I believe they worked out earlier this year)? Too many missed kicks too often.

Answer: I don’t think it happens this week, but I would be shocked if there aren’t five kickers in the building on Tuesday trying out, and the Bucs preparing for another bad game next Sunday. If Catanzaro struggles against the Bengals, then I think you see a change with one of the guys you worked out. The problem is, there aren’t a ton of upgrades just walking the street. Heck, the Bucs thought he was the upgrade this offseason. And maybe he still is. But if he has another game like Sunday against the Browns, Catanzaro’s time in Tampa could come to an end.

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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 protected]

33 COMMENTS

  1. It’s hard to argue with a “W” no matter how much you want to.

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  2. Another excellent article from Mark Cook and the Pewter Report.

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  3. Is it fair to give grief to the ENTIRE offensive line? Yes Donovan Smith gave one lazy rep yesterday. But the majority of the problems lie with the RG position. Benenoch single handedly destroys plays. Evan Smith is a stop gap but he is getting beat pretty bad sometimes as well due to his lack of athleticism.

    As for the MLB situation. If Beckwith comes back and fills in really well, I feel really bad for Kwan. They might keep him on a one-year prove it deal. But if Beckwith performs it would be hard to justify his 8 figure salary demands for 4-5 seasons. We are gonna have to wait and see I guess. He’s the heart and soul of the lockerroom (at least of the defense) from what I see on Social Media.

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  4. Seems Winston drops back so much more than any other quarterback, naturally there is more interceptions associated with more dropbacks–what is stopping Koetter from developing our run game?

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  5. At this point I would like to see the Bucs trade Jameis–see him in another system would be interesting.

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    • What do you take/get for him? I think we would be giving up on a QB that never had an O line or run game or a D. Kinda sucks that he dropped back 62 times….

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      • Best thing would be to develop run game and keep Winston and have him throw less and use RPO more. I am just saying that other teams would probably do that and I wonder if his interception rate would normalize then. Anyway I am a Winston fan and think Bucs are lucky to have him but he gets blasted so much for interceptions when he has twice as many dropbacks as much as most QB’s

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    • Winston has more drop backs than other quarterbacks for sure. Some of that is related to no run game but some of that is on himself also. His inability to hit the deep pass causes him to have to pass more often. Fitz had the same oline, RB, and defense yet didn’t have to pass as many times to get his stats. If Winston could connect on a couple deep passes it would reduce his pass attempts by 10-15 per game or maybe more. Instead he only throws short 10yd passes which causes him to have to throw more times and we all know the more attempts you take the more likely you are to throw an INT.

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  6. Why are we still penciling in Donovan Smith for an extension? The dude was a turnstyle yesterday as he has been for his entire career.

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  7. Here is the new question: How bad of a game did Chandler Catanzaro have against Cleveland?

    He missed another extra point and pushed right a moderate 40 yard field goal.

    He however nailed a 59 yard field goal with time winding down in overtime.

    Does that count as a save or just still an overall bad game? It seems it is a bad kicking game… but looking for others opinion.

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  8. The guy set a record for Overtime with a 59 yarder. He saved his own job. They will not get rid of anyone who wins them a game like that. Its one of those things….. sometimes you get lucky. If he missed then kickers would be coming in. Not now. Even if kickers come in to try out, Licht won’t get rid of him.

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    • Thanks for that reply. That does make sense for now.

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  9. We can’t keep trying free agent kickers, it’s way too much money spent on a position that’s seeing struggles all across the league. Yes, we’re missing a bit too many kicks, but we have to realize kicks are no longer automatic anymore, they tweaked the rules around them for this exact reason, to make games more interesting. I say we stick with Catanzaro for the year, but every year that Licht remains here he needs to devote his 6th or 7th round pick to a kicker. Literally every year. Then the best guy will rise to the top for much cheaper.

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  10. Can someone please answer–I do not get this–Jameis drops back 62 times, has 2 int, usually every game he throws ungodly amount of balls. Why does he get hammered about interceptions when he throws twice as many balls as all the other quarterbacks? And fumbles(if he wasnt throwing so much-he’d have less strip sacks and less sacks in general)-why is it his fault when he is being asked to do twice as much — normal to expect a higher percentage of ints with all the throws and he is trying to come from behind thanks to poor defense.

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  11. Kimba, lets look at Cleveland’s season so far against QBs and you will see why people are not happy with Winston. Winston had a rating of 61.5 against Cleveland. He was 32 of 52, 365 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs. He is the only QB Cleveland has played and lost to if the QB did not have a rating of 80 or above – that is how good Tampa’s defense played this week (which is pretty incredible when you see the stats below).

    What have other QBs done recently against Cleveland?
    Last week, Philip Rivers had a 103. 19 of 26, 306 yards, 2 TDs, no interceptions. A very good performance and Cleveland lost.
    The week before, Joe Flaco had a 60. 23 of 39, 298 yards, 1 INT, no TDs. A not good performance and Cleveland won.
    The week before, Derek Carr had a 92.4. 35 of 58, 437 yards, 4 TDs, 2 INTs. A very good performance and Cleveland lost.
    The week before, Sam Darnold had a 38. 15 of 31, 169 yards, 2 INTs, no TDs. A not good performance and Cleveland won.
    The week before, Drew Brees had an 80. 28 of 35, 243 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs. A good performance and Cleveland lost.
    The first week, Ben Rothlisberger had a 60.5. 23 of 41, 335 yards, 1 TD, 3 INTs. A not good performance and Cleveland tied.

    The teams that lost – all had QBs performing in the 60s. The teams that won, they all had QBs performing 80 or above. Winston failed to do that and the Bucs barely won. He is definitely not the reason the Bucs won. He did just enough so they did not lose, that is it. Don’t tell me he threw too many passes or dropped back too many times – Carr threw more and did far better than Winston could. Other QBs who throw more against the same defense (one did) did great against Cleveland – and they won despite the fact the Raiders are not that good.

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    • The QBR seems like a really variable number, getting points for touchdowns, he threw incredible pass to OJ who gets dropped on 1 yard line(no points for qbr) and he ran in for TD(no points for qbr) so hard to put much faith in the qbr Anyway–good info and I will look at it differently now

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      • The point was – the QBs with a solid QBR won (all of them). All the ones with a bad QBR lost. A direct one to one correlation except for the Bucs win. It shows what the defense had to overcome and did. That is the major point. It also shows you can beat the Cleveland Browns defense throwing even more passes than Winston did – the Raiders did it. Error free play is what makes and breaks teams with Cleveland, nothing more, nothing less. Between the fumbles and interceptions the Bucs escaped with a win. Same kind of play against Cincinnati this week (four turnovers) will result in a loss – I guarantee it.

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        • You are just not being honest and are skewing to fit your agenda. Let me show you:
          “The week before, Derek Carr had a 92.4. 35 of 58, 437 yards, 4 TDs, 2 INTs. A very good performance and Cleveland lost.”
          Your words…58 passes and two interceptions. Yeah he had a better QB rating but his O line stepped the F up and gave him time. What did ours do? They are an F’ing turnstile! He made plays under MAJOR duress ALL game.

          You can make numbers say whatever you want but this Team is NOT helping their QB. We have ZERO running game. Teams have learned to scheme against what we want to do.The Coaches are putting him in poor situations and expecting him to bail them out. You have a bias against Winston. Just be honest about it and stop trying to make a point that is not there.

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          • Winston is the worst qb in bucs division so I want better .He is not accurate and it shows. That does not make me bias but a bucs fan and tkt holder

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          • Buc N Philly, Fitz had the same oline and running game but managed to put up good numbers and didn’t have to pass the ball 60 times. Why? Because he cam hit the deep ball. Winstons inability to connect deep causes him to have to take more throws to move the ball and score. It mathematics. If you beed 75 yards and you only complete 10 yard throws then it will take you at least 8 throws to score. If you can get a deep pass or 2 you will reduce your throws by 8-15. Its that simple. Winston needs to figure out what’s wrong with his chemistry with D Jax. If he does he will be making way less pass attempts per game.

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          • Buc n Philly fan – you just slanted the stats, ignoring the fact that yes, Carr had two INTS as well… and four TDs which you fail to mention. Winston had one running, one was scored on a trick play, and one was scored by the running back. Winston could not get them in the end zone – they relied on trickery, pounding the ball, and a scramble by Winston because he could not throw it to anyone. If you don’t see the difference I don’t fault you for thinking as you do.

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          • wnb0395 – agreed. If Winston could hit the deep ball this would be a different conversation. D. Jackson is not in use at all since Winston started playing because Winston cannot hit him even when wide open. Big difference. You won’t see a 75 yd touchdown play as Fitzpatrick can do on occasion as he is far more accurate over 25 yards than Winston. Problem is he is not the future so he won’t start again this season. He also is a streaky QB which makes it less likely he is wanted to start.

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  12. I don’t understand so much chatter for “getting rid of Winston”? I understand if the decision is beyond football and you have a line that just can’t be crossed. But, getting rid of him in hopes of upgrading at QB on the field?????…who is going to be an upgrade? Will Grier and his 3 INTs against Kansas (KANSAS!). You want Dwayne Haskins and his can’t handle the vaunted pass rushes of Minnesota and Purdue….that’s your guy? Or should we get Mike Glennon back in here, or how about Sam Bradford, or Nick Foles…. If we get rid of Winston, our QB in 2019 is Ryan Griffin….let that sink in.

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  13. Going to play Devils advocate. What if Big Ben decides to hang it up after this season. Could you see the Bucs trading J.W. for a first, third, and their back up Q.B. who played for the university of Tenn? Not calling for that, but if Licht, and Koetter are fired at years end, you would be giving the new G.M. some ammo. I wouldn’t stop there though. McCoy, David, D Jax, anyone who might have trade value, or a high salary could be gone to create cap room, and draft picks. Just a wild thought.

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    • I think that’s called the Jon Gruden strategy. And I wouldn’t want to be a Raiders fan these days.

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  14. Buc Stop Here, u stated Derek Carr had a very good permance against Cleveland, yet Winstons numbers against Atlanta were similar yet e was crucified by some. Were you one of them.
    Listen, I get frustrated with Winstton too during the heat of the game when I’m emotional but then reason settles in.
    Our offensive line hasn’t been good since the Eagles game and we have virtually no running game right now and this passing attack is based off of play acttion. We have play, just no action.
    Winston best plays come when he his on the move, but we rarely move him out of the pocket.
    And as for the Winston/Jackson connection, Winston hit Jackson in stride in the end zone yesterday and Jackson dropped the ball.
    Like I said reason has returned.

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    • drdneast – Against Atlanta I did not crucify him. He played okay there. He did get the ball in the end zone four times, and had two INTS. Identical to Carr against Cleveland. There the defense let them down more than he did. He did enough to win the game, the defense didn’t. In that case his mistakes were outweighed by his good play.

      Against Cleveland he did not complete a pass over 25 yards – zero. The one for 29 yards there was a run that got that yardage, not in the air. Maybe the line did not give him enough time. I would have to watch again to see if that was the case or not.

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  15. With as much money as they have invested into the o-line, when does George Warhop finally catch some criticism? He’s done exactly squat.

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  16. Until Koetter fires Warhop and fixes his always problematic OL, you really cannot properly gauge how good Jameis can be. Any QB getting pressured and sacked as often as Jameis and have to run and be tackled multiple times will have bad accuracy on throws, throw interceptions, and play nervously. I have seen it affect both Brees and Brady both! I also saw how poorly Young played as a Buc with another poor OL. We gave up on him and he became the most successful 49er QB of all time, winning multiple Superbowls!

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    • That is specifically why I said I am not adversed to seeing the Bucs trade Winston–love to see that kid in a different system. Bucs don’t get how important the O line is. Warhop cannot motivate these kids. Benenoch should not be considered starter material either.

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  17. The OL stinks and has stunk for years. Caleb was personally vouched for by George Warhop and Warhop is wrong. Warhop is a terrible judge of OL talent and needs to be replaced. Replace George now.

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  18. Wnbo35, can you post Fitz’s numbers in the last two games he played.. As I noted yesterday in a post, ever since the Steeper game the I line has not been very good.

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  19. This is Winston’s 4th year! Nothing has changed. The most wins in a season was his Rookie Season; why only that season?

    Mark, you’re willing to spend the owners 20 million for a below average QB in order to save face?

    Winston has bad habits and the rest of the NFL knows how to take advantage of it. Coaches have tried to help him (Jimbo, Koetter, Moniken), but he goes right back to those bad habits again and again. I can’t imagine how frustrating that is for coaches. When he is pressured he stares down a receiver and locks on him and throws to him regardless if he is open or not. His eye sight and pinkie finger (that isn’t straight) is a concern. Did playing baseball as a pitcher at FSU cause him an issue? His biggest problem is he makes poor decisions and sometimes he lucks out which isn’t a good thing as it encourages him to continue taking the risks that he shouldn’t.

    At some point you just have to let it go and this is where I am with Winston. I like Jameis and was a fan. He says all the right words and does try to make the change, but there is something deep inside of him that causes him not to permanently change.

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