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. As expected, a majority were wondering hoe Mike Smith is still employed. Read them over and offer up your thoughts in the comment section.

Question: Why haven’t we let DC Mike Smith go? Seems to me he can’t coach a defense. We are giving up 30+ points per game with the offense we have we should be 4-0.

Answer: I agree with you on if this was only a mediocre –not even very good – but a mediocre defense, the Bucs could be 4-0. The sting of letting Mitchell Trubisky throw for six touchdowns against this team, is still hurting. You can’t spin it any other way that to say it was 100 percent unacceptable. Yes, there are plenty of young and new faces on the field, but this is football. The basics are still the same. You tackle and cover. For some reason, those two things, particularly the latter, this team is just unable to do under this staff. And it isn’t just this year. This defense, minus a five-game stretch in 2016, have been the worst in the NFL. And have actually gotten worse in 2018. Unbelievable, but true.

As far as why Smith still has a job goes, the only answer I can come up with is the team thinks the issues are more easily correctable with Smith, than trying to revamp the defense under a new coordinator. And I don’t know I believe that or that it even makes sense, but if you or me were performing this poorly at our jobs, for this long, we wouldn’t still have one. And you can’t fire the players. Heck, the teams has tried that. The one constant in this stretch of terrible play has been the coaching staff.

I wish I had more of an answer, but I just don’t. And that is really disappointing in the fact that with just an average defense and this is a playoff football team. Instead, if it continues this way, lots of people will be out of work and here we go with the rebuilding phase again.

Question: Do you see a scenario where either Tony Dungy or Derrick Brooks return to Bucs as President of Football Operations? This organization needs an infusion of accountability from the top on down.

Answer:If this team implodes this year and there is a house cleaning that takes place at the end of the year, then I could see something like that happening. The way it has been done the last decade or so hasn’t worked(again, if we are saying Koetter and Licht are fired at end of the season). So if the process is to start all over again next January then that isn’t a bad idea. It most certainly helped in Jacksonville with Tom Coughlin.

As far your two names, I am not sure either of those work. Dungy mainly because he appears to be very happy with his role as NBC commentator and working with his charities. And with Brooks there would be an experience issue. There is no question he is one the greatest Bucs players of all time, but this league has changed considerably since he left the team almost 10 years ago. Does he have enough experience to take on that role? That would be something obviously for the Glazers to determine of they decided to go that way.

But all of this doesn’t really matter until the season ends. I am not ready to give up on this year and staff just yet. There is plenty of work to do still but this isn’t a roster void of talent. Let’s see how it all pans out this year then we can speculate on changes to the front office.

Question: Why can’t Noah Spence see the field? I’ve heard rumblings going on behind the scenes that it’s more than a football issue. Any ideal of what’s going on? You can’t tell me the Bucs went from being super high on the guy and then he gets no snaps even in the blowout.

Answer: Every day I come to One Buc, I almost expect to see DateLine NBC in the parking lot. “The Mysterious Disappearance of A Defensive End” would be the name of the episode. It is rather bizarre to say the least. And I wish I had an answer for you. But the mystery continues.

If it is only in fact that Spence is just not a good pass rusher, then it was a major mistake by the Buc front office. A second round pick is expected to contribute, if not the first season, certainly by the third year. To be inactive for the most part all year as a healthy scratch isn’t a good look. So you almost hope there are other factors, but what they could be would just be speculation.

Question: Do you think we’ll see more hurry up offense from the Bucs? Ive always thought Winston excels in the 2 minute drill, and with our top 3 WR, and top two TE (I know OJ might not be back this week) were a really tough team to match up to.

Answer: Honestly with the way this defense is playing, I would almost prefer to see them slow it down, get a running game going, and keep the likes of Matt Ryan and Dree Brees off the field as much as possible. The hurry-up is effective if you move the ball. If you go three-and-out, now you are putting even more pressure on a defense that hasn’t shown the ability to stop anyone this season.

I think this offense could excel in an uptempo, no-huddle offense to some degree of success, but until they get their defensive woes corrected, I think it would just add to the issues this team already is facing.

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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]

15 COMMENTS

  1. Good column, but I disagree with you about the Hurry Up offense. The defense is inadequate, to say the least, but the offense has been most effective when they rammed it down the throats of opponents and went full throttle with the passing game. We would have lost to the Saints if we had tried to grind out the clock instead of big passing plays like the first TD to Jackson. We need to play to our strengths and at this point we lack the running game to make your suggestion the most effective strategy.
    Go Bucs!

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  2. If the defense falls flat after the bye week to adjust, the Bucs will have to make a change. There’s simply no credibility left. We got all the hype about the new line, but more than just a few of us expressed skepticism. The amount of confusion against the Bears was embarrassing. If Atlanta lights up this D, expect either a change or wholesale defections in the fan base. We know better.

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    • You dont make coaching changes in the middle of the year. Especially before the trade deadline. Who is out there right now that would do better with the decimated D-line and dbacks? Well?

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      • The Smith scheme has not worked other than a brief 4 or 5 game stretch in 2016 when they ‘simplified’ things. Unless they, he are able to replicate that type of simplification to get these guys on track it really doesn’t matter what the offense does. Teams can’t win with the worst defense in the NFL.

        Get the assistants together, figure out a scheme change and move forward. This is a mid season mess that could tank the whole year. Stubbornness from Licht and Koetter will likely end up costing them their jobs as well. This should have been done in January or February.

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  3. IMO a big part of the problem is our DB’s. It is tough to have 2 or 3 rookies playing at the same time. While their good they still only have 4 games under their belt. With more experience and a healthy D-line McCoy, JPP, Vea, Curry, and Allen with Roches, Nassib in reserve and the mystery man Spence who I think is still having shoulder problems we should see improvement. I am also looking forward to the return of Beckwith. I am more inclined to believe the quality and maturity of the players excels over the quality of the DC.

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  4. As bad as Atlanta is playing if we don’t beat them, then there’s not much hope of winning more than 4 or 5 games for the season.
    Mark I think this is one of your best Mail Bags. I agreed with everything that you said.
    I would like to add hopefully behind the scenes Smith play calling has been transferred to someone on the field; that would help me be optimistic!

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  5. I agree Horse, best mailbag in a long time.
    Also ha e to agree with Dman. I can see giving Smith a few more chances before we make a change mid-season, but if this defense doesn’t improve soon, then we’ve got to make a switch, just for accountability sake.
    Unfortunately Mark, while almost anyone would be fired from their job for Mike Smith level of performance, we’ve all worked with some total dinguses who keep their job regardless, just because of nepotism. Same as Smith.

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  6. I’m here to eat a little crow this week. In last week’s mailbag, I criticized the Bucs for not signing S Eric Reid to help improve the secondary. I went on to laud his pro bowl appearance and state that he had said publicly that he would no longer protest at the National Anthem.

    He was signed by the Panthers and what did that summagun do Sunday? He couldn’t wait to take a knee and continue his protest. I’m not upset that he did, I’m upset that he lied about it! It also says something about how much I know. Sometimes you should just say nothing. I learned there is no way to tenderize crow! lol.

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    • What clown would give a “thumbs down” vote for this post? I think there is this random person who is so supremely unhappy in life that they just give negative nods.

      Mac, I appreciate your honesty and humbleness. I agree Reid is talented but is the negative pub that is associated with his “protest” worth the talent? I can tell you that after knowing he lied about it, I certainly don’t think he would have been worth it.

      Bring on the “thumbs down” votes for being honest and giving my opinion!!!!

      Go Bucs!!

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  7. This is an organization in disarray from top to bottom. They all needed to go last year. I said last year Derrick Brooks GM. Glad its getting out there. This season is over. It was over before it started. It all needs to be gone and they have to start over. They have no identity. The drafting has been horrible. Licht is reactive and wrong most of the time. Koetter is out of his league. A two time failed coordinator didn’t earn the job of Head Coach.

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  8. You can bet the 1-4 terrible Atlanta Falcons get well this weekend and the Bucs will leave there with another loss. Then the drumbeat will pick up. It’s over folks. Its a joke that’s not funny. Costs a lot to go to games and people are sick and tired of this garbage product!

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  9. Spence is a Tweener. Not big enough and fast enough to be an edge Rusher. Not tough enough to be a Linebacker. Bucs are known for buying into the pre-draft hype. They lock in on a player and they will give away the farm to get him. Cappa is a good example. Most Draft boards had him at a 4th or 5th round pick. But Bucs were so sure someone else would grab him they gave away two picks to move up into the third to get him. And now he is inactive. Every game.

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  10. After seeing that Paxton Lynch was hosted for a workout, I am curious to know if there were any any other players invited in for workouts?
    There are talented free agents out there that we could at least be taking a look at. David Amerson is a CB that I believe should be playing in Tampa. I think Brent Grimes is done and for the scheme that Smith runs here, Amerson would be a productive contributor and a perfect fit.
    I also think that SS could use a versatile player like Tyvis Powell to match-up with talented TE threats downfield.
    Licht has got to know that DBs need help with size, scheme versatility and speed. I just wonder who he may be looking at bringing in, if anybody? Does anybody know anything?

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  11. Their are defensive coaches in this league that walk into the room and make your defense top 15. I think our current D. Line coach should be given a chance. It can not get any worse. Very frustrating this fan base butters our bread with defense. Our very first pick ever was a hall fame defensive end. Hard to swallow

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  12. When all else fails run the hurry up & blitz like Jerry Glanville on every down hit everything moving send six to eight all day. It can’t get much worse then it has been for the last few years.

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