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.
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
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