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.