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: If the Bucs move on from Jameis Winston does that mean Jason Licht is gone? Does Bruce Arians stay without Licht? I feel like they are all tied together with job security.

Answer: I think that was the plan last January for sure. Licht helps bring in Arians, Arians turns Winston into a consistent Top 10 quarterback, and the 2019 Bucs show improvement and gear up for a serious playoff run in 2020. So far that hasn’t been the case. We can look at a million different reasons why, we can debate who to lay the blame on and why it didn’t – or hasn’t yet – worked.

The real question and debate should be how does it get fixed, and is any part of it salvageable? The problem is, the time to find these answers is rapidly ending. The Bucs have six games left in 2019 and a lot more question marks than time to answer them all.

If I had to guess, and this is purely speculation, as there most likely hasn’t been any decisions made, but if I had to guess, I would say the whole gang gets one more season to turn it around. Meaning Licht stays, Winston gets a one-year deal and Arians makes some changes in the offseason, possibly including taking back the play calling or at the very least, becomes much more involved.

The Glazers don’t want to blow it all up and start over, but what is looking more and more like a 5-11 season for the third straight year, that is exactly what could happen if they give this group one more season to turn it around and that doesn’t happen in 2020.

Question: Why don’t the Bucs have a backup who can play? We’re always told that Ryan Griffin can’t step in for Winston because he’s never played in a NFL game. Why is he even on the team? When Brees and Cam Newton went down, their backups started immediately.

Answer: They thought they had that backup in Blaine Gabbert who had played for Arians in the past. Gabbert’s career hasn’t been anywhere near what many expected when he was drafted 10th overall in the 2011 NFL Draft, but Arians had a trust in him when he was signed as a free agent last March. Unfortunately the turf at Raymond James had other plans when Gabbert came down awkwardly on it last August in the preseason game against the Browns snd injured his shoulder.

As far as not having a Teddy Bridgewater type player as do the Saints, Sean Payton and the Saints are all in on a deep run towards the Super Bowl and Bridgewater was the perfect guy to backup the older more fragile Brees. And it worked out perfectly for them when Brees went down and the Saints won all five games in his absence.

And let’s be honest, no one, not even the Panthers, believed Kyle Allen would step in for Newton and have the success he has. They got lucky for a handful of games, but with two losses in a row and defenses catching up with Allen, he isn’t the long-term solution. There was only one Bridgewater available to sign and at over $7 million, that is a lot to pay to a player the Bucs would have hoped never saw the field.

Question: How much roster turnover do you expect next year? Seems like it’s the same mistakes every week. I feel like a big overhaul is happening and it started with VH3. Obviously they won’t cut OJ Howard but do you think they move on? Something ain’t right there. 

Answer: Every season teams have a decent amount of roster changes and this year won’t be different for the Bucs who have a lot of free agents. In fact it could be more than usual as the Buccaneers will be trying to determine which of their free agents will be priorities to keep and which ones they can move on from. And after a full season Bruce Arians and his staff will know who they want to keep, who needs to go and where the holes on the roster are.

You can’t fully evaluate a roster strictly by watching the previous year’s film. As a staff you want to see first hand how the players react to your coaching style, their practice and study habits and how it translates to the field. Arians and his staff did they best they could based on game tape, but clearly in the case of players like Vernon Hargreaves, what they saw on film wasn’t what they got once they were on the field.

As far as Howard, it is still too early to say. No one really is questioning his athleticism or pure talent, but it just hasn’t translated to the field. And I am not sure if that is on Howard, Winston, Leftwich or Arians. I will say if Arians was the coach in 2017, I am not sure Howard is drafted by the Bucs. He seems to be a much better fit in the style of offense Dirk Koetter ran than what Arians does. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Howard’s name thrown around all offseason, up until the draft, as part of a trade scenario.

Question: What’s the obsession with Dare Ogunbowale over Rojo? I mean I can understand Barber getting his reps over Rojo to help Rojo, but 44 offers nothing to this offense and the feel good story is over.

Answer: It strictly comes down to pass protection. Ogunbowale rarely sees the field unless it is third down, a passing down, and that is because he is the best at not only recognizing the pressure and where it is coming from but also sticking his head in there and helping to protect Winston. The staff clearly trusts Ogunbowale the most and that is why you tend to see him in on third down, or in the hurry up when defenses know the Bucs will be dropping back to throw.

Previous articleBucs’ Arians Only Blames Winston For 10 Of His 18 INTs
Next articleBucs’ Arians: “We Have A Gift Habit, Giving Away Points Early”
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]

35 COMMENTS

  1. If you keep the same group together next year with six games left the Bucs will be out of the playoffs just like they are this year .
    If they keep playing Winston he will have more clunkers This is five years when is enough is enough no other team would put their fans through this.

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  2. On a side note ,i saw a post on jbf that macabee has passed away. Is this our maccabee? If not throw a post on here and let us know you’re alright mac. If not rest in peace to an always knowlegdable and good poster. The opposite of buc ass slob.

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    • That’s so sad man, I’ve been wondering where he’s been the last few weeks but now I know..seen him on this site for years..RIP Macabee.

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      • macabee was my favorite poster. Always knowledgeable about the game, thoughtful in his remarks and respectful of others’ points. Often funny and never political. I’ll miss him. Would have been a great neighbor and friend.

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  3. IF we plan on turning over the roster(which should happen) shouldn’t Bucs fan around the world be nervous as hell? His first order of business when taking over the first overhaul was releasing Revis, not trading but literally giving him away. Fans should be terrified at the thought of Licht and massive roster turnover Bc he’s seldom if ever right on personnel decisions and we have a lot upcoming. Bruce has no ground to stand on and if he’s tied to Licht like some indicate then he can pack his bags and leave too. We hired Bruce and got Byron so I’m not enamored with the actual coaching job anyway. Year 6 and I’m seeing off coverage, long developing pass plays and Jameis NEEDING 50 pass attempts to give us a shot. The same recipe Bruce claimed was the recipe for disaster when he watched film of last season. Vernon is gone, Vita is a 2 down player and White is overrated. 13 tackles for gain and no splash plays, he’s like the black Barrett Rudd which isn’t worth #5. We won’t ever win with Licht at the helm Bc he has no clue what it takes.

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  4. Atlanta is licking their chops right now. its gonna be ugly

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  5. I believe it is our Maccabee. Sad.
    I called him one of “The Three Amigo’s” who kept me in line as to the Buccaneers.
    Mac: always factual data
    Pink: Calling it like it is
    Scu: devoted fan & entertaining wisdom

    I don’t see this team being blown up;
    I do see a spinning round draft picks on lineman. I hope you trade down often so Licht doesn’t screw it up.

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    • Thanks for the props Horse. I’ve always admired your honesty and respect for others. I’m pretty sure we crossed paths a time or two back in the late 60’s. I do try to inject a bit of humor into this often bleak site. I too will miss macabee. Pink and I are friends in real life. He’s a great guy.

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  6. Mark, is nobody from PR going to talk about how horrible the officiating was against us?? The 4th down stop where they gave the saints a 1st? The 4th down conversion where they call the BS OPI call on Evans? PLEASE GIVE THIS SOME ATTENTION. Problems are never solved unless addressed.
    PS. Dean not playing a snap after a breakout performance…WHUUUUT??!

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    • Austin, not to mention pj williams lined up a full yard offsides on that very play.

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  7. We’ve been fed bad excuses for play calling and starting players, I think they are low key playing for the draft. It’s the only way i can justify the lack of Blocking, not starting your best corner “Dean” because of zone?, not targeting OJ at all after the drop….at all, not going to Jones at all in the second half, Passes to Miller and Perriman and not Godwin and Evans? they ran the same defense as the first Game!! no adjustment? at All???? Yes miller got a nice TD catch and pass but C’mon Byron, no answer to the blitzing? it’s not like we practice against the top blitzing defenses every day, really?

    I am sick of watching teams whoop us, especially at home, just playing THEIR type of football that we see every Sunday and us having no answer and looking unprepared, no special plays, and no adjustments.

    I bought into BA’s say it like it is ‘Truthful” approach …..until it wasn’t. (sigh) End of rant.

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    • Yeah, he’s not being honest, we all know that, but hopefully he’s just buying his time till he can dump Winston.

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  8. We are all just crushed! We thought this year IT would be different! It’s not. Hard really to put ur head on what’s exactly going on here. Licht has to go. That’s a given. Don’t like the thought of Licht overseeing the roster dump/rebuild. BA looks disheartened. Almost like this is not what he came back for or what he thought it was going to be. I’m not so sure that this season won’t wear on his health to the point where he just taps out and goes fishing. Hell… I would! His biggest mistake so far… as this fan sees it… is turning over play calling to Leftwich. It hasn’t worked. I think he may realize it but is unable to take back the play calling because of what it might due to Leftwich future employment opportunities and it would be admitting that he was wrong. His talk about Winston’s interceptions was just dribble. Jameis is what his stats say he is. The only question left for determining Winston’s future is, are you willing to Franchise him for one more year look see at 27 million?!

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    • I made a topic at the start of the season telling y’all this team still sucks. We need a new GM, coach and owners.

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  9. Buc baller is 100 percent right , Arians had no idea he was coming to team that only wants to be a opponent to collect revenue sharing with contending teams.
    Arians was described as a quarterback whisper but it looks like Jameis is going to set new records of interceptions.
    every Interception he throws the rest of the season will be a career high for him I did see Jameis improving towards the end of last year but that’s all been thrown out the window With this so-called quarterback whisper they brought in.

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    • This is a Disaster! The mistake this coaching staff has made with Winston is they keep putting the game on his shoulders to Win. With this roster a punt is okay once in awhile. You can’t keep having your QB dropping back 50+ and expecting different results especially with this Oline. The game plan should start with running the football and end with running the football. However coaches get fixated on the arm strength and Big Play Ability and dismiss the turnovers. Winston’s Good as long as he has players around him, but this staff seems to be making the same mistakes….
      I need a reminder of why we got rid of Dirk?

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  10. Look, BA is a great Offensive Coach, and he’s not coaching the Offense it seems. Our coaching staff is either highly overrated, or we have a dearth of talent, or both.

    BA should take over play calling, see if him in Jameis’ ear can change things. Cause Byron isn’t getting through. Lefty should coordinate all the things necessary, but play calling itself he doesn’t have the feel for yet.

    Who’s our TE coach? Fire him.

    As to the decision not to play Dean at all, WTF? We cut Vern to give more playing time to people, and the dude who made big strides the week before, we bench? Unless he was late for meetings, being a complete dick, fighting with coaches or teammates, I cannot think of one reason to not play him.

    A head coach, coaching a soft team with no leadership, must be more hands on than BA has been. Now, if your health won’t allow you to do that, then I am sorry but you this is not what’s best for the team. This is the worst Jameis has ever looked, and IMO this is by far an away his worst season. Is it all on him? Probably not, but elite QBs elevate those around them. Jameis cannot do that.

    One more year of this regime? I will say this only once, Shiano’s teams played hard…This team has given up. Bring back Shiano.

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  11. 3 Keys for playoffs in 2020:

    – Improve the O Line

    – Improve the Secondary (Need to acquire a vet CB)

    – Arians takes over offensive play calling

    These are the 3 major weaknesses, everything else will come together once those 3 happen.

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    • I was about to type my first version of a “wishlist” for next year, but this is basically it… so thanks for reading my mind…

      Who are we kidding, though, EVERYBODY who is a Bucs fan can see these are major needs. Now, what do we actually DO about it? Hopefully not another year of ignoring the OL.

      We need new OL starters, and better OL depth. And then add more. And just when we have enough, add one more late round pick, one more value FA, and 2 more UDFA. Then scour the waiver wire in Preseason to see if we need to make another move.

      Fix the OL, bolster the DL, get a couple vets (who can still ball) in the secondary. If we do this, I’m OK with Winston on a 1-year deal next year. Not so much because I think he’ll be vastly different, but then our next Qb has an OL and defense to speak of rather than setting him up to fail.

      Oh yeah, what about a run game? What we have ain’t the answer.

      Maybe 2021?

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  12. RIP Mac.

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  13. Do we have confirmation that it is P.R.s MAC? Anybody know for sure? If so, RIP Mac.

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  14. Bucbalker, look at Joe Bucs Fan he has an article about it and you can look up his obituary October 17th. A family posted on JBS website.

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    • JBF site on article Five Things; at the end of the article he talks about Maccabee .
      Gregg Allman confirmed it from one of Maccabees sons.

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  15. OK this is very off topic but was wondering if anyone knows what happened to the HOT DOG GUY on the east side of the stadium directly across the street. He has not been there at all this year and I have been stopping and getting a hot dog from him for the last 15 years?

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  16. I’ve been reading everyone’s comments on PR for about 7-8yrs when I got the link from Walterfootball. I just started commenting so I can be part of the PR TB Buccaneer family and the main guy I wanted to talk about Bucs football with has passed away. You didn’t know me but I always scrolled to checc what you had to say.

    Enjoy the next chapter. Maccabee

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  17. Is this season really that much of a surprise? Getting BA was a huge role of the dice for a team that is nowhere near a super bowl run. How the GM still has this job today, let alone after taking a kicker in the 2nd, is beyond me. Winston was absolutely the right pick years ago. You needed a QB, you take the best one available. But until the team finally moves on from Licht, Winston, and stops trying to band aid every season, things will stay the same. There is no reason whatsoever to keep the band together another year imo.

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  18. Winston – There is no way a sane individual would franchise him. The average salary of the top 5 QBs would be about 28 mil. Realistically, Winston is worth between 2-7 mil (Tannehill was 2, Bridgewater 7 for example). A good GM should be able to find 2 or 3 QBs in that price range that better fits Arians system. Please tell me what Winston would be like without Evans?

    Arians should be given another year, Leftwich maybe not. I know the Tampa D is one of the worse in the NFL but Boles still has Mike Smith holdovers plus the effort seems to be there if not the competency.

    Licht should be OUT. Anytime your team has a losing record and you are in the bottom 10 of Cap Space, it is clear what you drafted and/or put together is poor but overpaid.

    Bottom Line: Go cheap with QBs and invest in an Offensive Line.

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  19. Thanks Horse! Just read the article. Happy Trails Mac. Like to take a moment to give my condolences. It’s important. Peace to all… and remember in the end it’s just a game!

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  20. Jameis Winston career is now a briuughhhdge QB. In my opinion he won’t sign with Bucs unless it’s a minimum 3yrs. This is home. So instead let him walk and take a prove it 1-2yr deal somewhere else. If he wants to compete for a starting job you have Cin, Mia, and Denver. Maybe Pit or Lac depending on their aging QBs do. I would say Ten but it looks like they have their bridge QB in Tannehill. More than likely all will be drafting for a QB. So he would only start 6gms-1yr anyway. His best case scenario, go to NE Patriots for bacc up money learn how to be a QB and hope he can salvage his career. Plus Belichick is known to bring in flawed characters and show them the patriot way(lol).

    As for the bucs. Everything has already been blown up a from self destructions protocol. 90% of this team has been drafted in the last two years or they’re free agent acquisitions. The GM literally blew his first FOUR draft classes. Not ONE, not TWO but FOUR. Come on man. Can’t tear something down without proudly displaying it first.
    Resign Barrett
    Reconstruct David and Pierre-Paul
    Give David a 2yr extension off of the 1 non guarentee year he has left. Make first year guaranteed but split it in half and pay one half of it up front to his non guarentee giving him stability and the bucs flexibility
    Pierre-Paul might be out and leave for a contender. Try to get someone serviceable to rush from the outside unless Nelson can grow like I think he can (IOWA!!).Mercilus, Dupree or Fowler Jr. I think Leanord William’s from the jets could be an addition to the D-Line for the cheap. He hasn’t done ish since his first 2yrs but I think he could work next to Vita. Danny Shelton could be their budget too. William’s, Shelton, and Vea would a crazy in the front three together. Grab Andy Dalton 1-2yrs. I think he’ll be cheaper than Winston and a “grown up” attitude character for the next youn QB. His only bad habits were due to physical limitations. See what his homie AJ Green doing. He’s been injured a lot so he could be cheap. Small risk for the reward.
    Draft QB
    Trade up in the bacc end of the first(since the GM likes to make trades but not with any relevancey)
    Draft LT,C,ILB,Edge Rusher,WR,G,D-Line.
    NO SECONDARY!!

    In a dream world resign SB, LD, and JPP
    Give Leonard Williams and Danny Shelton nice but reasonable contracts. Andy will be released at sometime so he’ll be a good mentor and place holder for at least 6gms. AJ Green on the outside.
    QB,LT,C,ILB,Edge Rusher,WR,G,D-Lineman

    Not that many holes as one would think. The GM just the first 4 draft classes he saw over and the last two are still growing up. Its going to take at least another full yr or two to recover from it and put a respectable football team out.

    And PLEASE. SOMEONE PLEASE. Tell Leftwich dumb ass to get his butt up in the both so he can have a bird’s eye view of what’s going on. To actually able to see the field and make chess moves. This Bozo is walking through trees but doesn’t know he’s in a forest. That one change could/would make him a way better play caller

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  21. I too have been a big fan of Macabee and am sorry to hear he passed away.
    RIP Buddy!

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  22. Welcome DMIbucs98! A fan of Mac’s is a friend of mine!

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  23. I’m pretty sure the clock in his head is ticking loudly and the seat of culpability is warming up on Jason Licht. After five years this team is his and only his creation. After five years of drafting near the top of each round, his roster is still struggling to even reach a level of mediocrity. I believe only a near running of the table these last 6 games is going to save him……..perhaps Jameis Winston and who knows, Bruce Arians and mega-staff might make it a clean sweep.

    The only thing that matters is the won-loss record. B.A. declared the team had enough talent to win, but the results say it didn’t. If the talent is there, then Bruce and his hand picked disciples have failed. Most teams could muster winning five games with virtually any QB behind center. Goodness knows we’ve had our share of defeats at the hands of never-been and has-been QB’s. Soooooooooo, where lies the problem?

    No one should feel safe at seasons end. Apathy among the fans, including Scubog, increases with each disappointment. Few enjoy the “game day experience” except the opponent as our team has become the Washington Generals to the visiting Globetrotters.

    I personally don’t think Jason Licht can survive if the team finishes with another 5 dash 11. That record might also be the end of the Jameis Winston era. If those two things happen, I can then see a scenario in which Bruce Arians decides to take the midnight train to his lake house in Georgia.

    The question for me is…….now what?

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    • Personally I wish BA, BL, & T Bowles and all take a “Midnight Train” to Arians Lake House….

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  24. Anyone that can still muster up excuses for Jameis Winston must have Stockholm Syndrome – when a victim begins to develop sympathy for their tormentors

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  25. Crying shame to hear about Macabee. Like so many on here, I enjoyed reading what he wrote. Tampa lost a great fan and person. Rest in peace.

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