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: Not to sound harsh, but why won’t the Bucs just cut Jason Pierre-Paul if Bruce Arians said it might be six months before he might even play? Start to look at a trade option or use that $7.5 million elsewhere? After all, it’s a business.

Answer: I get what you are saying and I don’t necessarily disagree. But I am not Jason Licht, Bruce Arians nor am I a member of the Glazer family. They are the ones who would make that decision. Arians did say on ESPN on Friday that it could be six months before Jason Pierre-Paul plays again, but is that six months from last Friday? Or is it six months from the the date of the accident that occurred early in May? That might be a huge factor.

Bucs OLB Jason Pierre-Paul - Photo by: Mary Holt/PR
Bucs OLB Jason Pierre-Paul – Photo by: Mary Holt/PR

If they are confident he can get back on the field by the middle of November, what a boost it would be for the defense to bring in a fresh quality pass rusher for what I am sure Arians is expecting to be a playoff push.

The Bucs will continue to be on the lookout for pass rush help, via roster cuts after training camp or even possibly a trade, although that doesn’t seem too likely. The Bucs starting right outside linebacker in September very well may not even be on their current roster. Arians has a history of bringing in veterans players (edge rushers Dwight Freeney and John Abraham) close to the start of football season that end up contributing. I would expect this team to continue looking, and have some guys on the radar that if they get released, then the Bucs would jump at signing.

Question: Byron Leftwich is taking over as offensive coordinator this year. His body of work as a coach so far is minimal. Shouldn’t fans be concerned too much responsibility is being handed to a coach who hasn’t demonstrated success?

Answer: Fans might be concerned, but Bruce Arians isn’t. And I am going to trust the guy with Super Bowl rings and a couple Coach of the Year awards.

Now, could Arians be wrong? Possibly, and it won’t take long to know. The good news is there are capable play-callers on this staff that could handle the job in case it turns out awful, including Arians himself.

However, while Leftwich is officially the offensive coordinator, I do believe it will be a collaborative effort between Leftwich, Arians, quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen, who was a former NFL play-caller, and run game coordinator Harold Goodwin. And make no mistake, Arians will be in Leftwich’s ear on the headset offering his input on game days.

Question: Is Ndamukong Suh going to be lockered next Vita Vea, like Gerald McCoy was last year?

Answer: We have no idea as of yet, as the media doesn’t have locker room access until the preseason begins. As of now, player availability is when they come off the field following OTAs and mini-camp, and select players in the media studio from time to time. And it is quite possible this staff is still deciding how they want the players grouped in the locker room for training camp.

Bucs DT Vita Vea - Photo by: Mary Holt/PR
Bucs DT Vita Vea – Photo by: Mary Holt/PR

I am not sure how hands-on Bruce Arians is with how the locker room groupings or the “seating chart,” but for the most part, positional players are grouped together. For instance Jameis Winston, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Ryan Griffin were locker neighbors over the last few years. Wide receivers Adam Humphries, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Justin Watson were together, and as you mentioned, Gerald McCoy, Vita Vea and Jason Pierre-Paul all were side by side under Koetter’s time in Tampa Bay.

Question: What do the strength coaches have planned to make this training camp better with special equipment, techniques etc.?

Answer: I don’t have a lot of specifics, or at least a lot I can share at this time, but let’s just say it will be drastically difference from the last regime. From nutrition plans, to even having some of the equipment removed and replaced with different machines inside the weight room. And just last week the Buccaneers announced a hiring that brings it all together.

In fact here is the press release from the team we received last week.

“The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced that the team has hired Greg Skaggs as its director of athlete performance.

In the newly-created role, Skaggs will oversee the team’s sports science program, working closely with Head Strength & Conditioning Coach Anthony Piroli and Head Athletic Trainer Bobby Slater to develop best practice policies for player training and recovery.

Skaggs will help develop a program to optimize player performance and safety while collaborating with the medical services team who will implement evidence-based recovery protocols and evaluate factors to help predict and prevent future injuries.

Skaggs comes to the Buccaneers from the University of Oregon, where he served as the Director of Athletic Medicine from 2007-2019. Prior to being hired full-time with the Ducks, Skaggs spent 10 years in private practice as a family practice and sports medicine practitioner in Oregon and worked with the University of Oregon Athletic Medicine Department part-time for three years.”

Due to the rash of injuries over the last couple of years, especially last season, general manager Jason Licht wanted to get better on all fronts and improving the training staff was one of them. He received the blessings of Bruce Arians, who was all for the increased staff and is a big believer in sports science.

Skaggs will oversee both the strength and conditioning staff, as well as the training staff and make sure those two units work in tandem to help prevent injuries and aid in the speedy recovery of injured players. Skaggs is one of the best in the business and Tampa Bay was fortunate enough to pry him away from Oregon.

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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. Finally a new training and medical team! I’ve been screaming for this for years. I could have sworn I saw Alan Alda in the training room and on the sidelines.

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  2. Finally the Bucs organization has moved into a new era of sports science and medicine. Hopefully it will help lengthen players career, keep them safer and healthier, while improving the performance on the field.

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  3. Tough call on JPP. My guess is the team will sit tight AND QUIET unless there’s a player they want and a deal to be had.

    One thing no one is commenting on is the impact of the neck injury on JPP’s current health, his ability to train, maintain strength in his neck, shoulders, back, arms, etc. With a neck injury, how immobilized is he, is he wearing any kind of brace, will his muscles atrophy. I’m pulling for him, but br will be surprised if he’s able to play in 2019. [Ok, so maybe I’ve had a neck injury…]

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  4. Like what they did with GMC, they won’t release him without having something else in mind. If we could save his whole salary from the cap, I’d cut him in a second.

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  5. The first 3 games are Bucs best options for win before the dreaded road trips start, If leftwich stumbles which I believe will happen changing OC during season will be very hard.
    I am know for being Arians big doubter I felt he should have taken more time and found best qualified OC and DC available in football instead he went to his old buddies with very little positive recent history. NOBODY SEEMS TO NOTICE ARIANS LEFT AZ IN A MESS AND HAS NOW HAS BROUGHT SOME OF THAT MESS HERE TO BUC LAND. Last year AZ 32 place team that was the house Arians built he owns it.

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  6. Ass, sorry (not really) but non of your points are valid to anyone else because they are yours. You are just a negative Nancy and that it. AZ was great when Bowles was there. Leftwich didn’t have Arians when he was an O.C. They were on 3rd string players and Arians wasn’t there to coach them. Just as we have good players now and they didn’t play well under bad coaching, every coach isn’t responsible for what happens when they are not there. So your point is moot, invalid, unsupported and unwanted. You can just skew the Math to fit your agenda. You blame Bowles for NY but he didn’t have the financial support from the owners yet you never give him credit for his time as an actual O.C. in AZ. Leftwich stepped in and improved the Offense in the short time he was there yet you wrote him off automatically from the start. Arians took AZ from 5-11 to 13-3 yet you wanna blame him for what happened after he was gone. The way you feel about Arians and his Crew is how we all feel about your opinion so how bout we call it. We like your better half bob-ssa-cub better anyways…

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  7. Reading Noah Spence is working out here in Tampa with GMC prepping for mandatory mini-camp. Appreciate GMC still mentoring this guy. Really pulling for Spence this season. Have always thought he was a natural 3-4 OLB.

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  8. Don’t take my word for it. Here is what PFF had to say about the Buccaneers in 2019 (six days ago):

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  9. CONCLUSION

    With the addition of Bruce Arians and Todd Bowles, the Bucs are shaping up to be one of the most fascinating teams to watch in 2019. In fact, they are a staff favorite here at PFF:

    “Very intrigued with what Tampa Bay is going to do next season.” – PFF Senior Analyst Steve Palazzolo on the PFF NFL Podcast

    “Arians’ offense is perfectly suited for Jameis Winston.” – PFF Data Scientist Dr. Eric Eager

    “All eyes should be firmly fixed on this offense. No risk it, no biscuit + Jameis Winston + Mike Evans = fun in the NFC South.” – PFF NFL Editor Mark Chichester

    Under this regime, the Bucs could surprise all and become this year’s worst-to-first team. Regardless, Tampa is only trending up from here with Bruce Arians at the helm.

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  10. Spitfire, Read the articles in AZ Arians spent 5 years there last 2 years 7-8-1 2016. Then 8-8 2017 then fired/retired or retired how ever you want call it ! Az 2018 worst team in NFL first pick 2019 Draft Spitfire who built that last place team ??? Az media blames Arians….. Bowles Head coach at Jets overseeing one worst defence in league of his design, he was hired to bring a better D to jets and he took Jets to 3-4 / 4-3/ Bowles 3-4 and three years bottom D in league.
    Fired ran out of town. Leftwich ran OC 108 points 8 games using team built by Arians o line drafted by and built by Arians all 3 QB were were Arians choices.. now one of those QB is in Buc uniform and will be back up for Jamies if Jameis gets hurt Bucs will have same QB and OC as az had last year that scored 108 points in 8 games.

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  11. B-A-B, the previous coach, Steve Wilks, had the same opportunity to get rid of some if not all of the players that Arians left. Whether he did that or not was up to him…not what Arians left behind. It was up to him to coach those players up. Not to say “Arians left me garbage so we’ll suck this year!” When Lovie was here, he got rid of Schiano players and incorporated his Bears players. When Koetter was here, he incorporated his Falcons players. Bowles, being a head coach was not the defensive coordinator. He was the overall head coach just like Arians who has said that he try not to interfere with the quarterbacks as much as not to have too many”cooks in the kitchen!” The Jets left Bowles out to dry. Do you see how they gave Gase a new (2nd year) quarterback, one of the best running backs in the game, Leveon Bell, and they were able to pick up Quentin Williams. Your statements have no merit. You’re not a Buc fan, you’re a troll!

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  12. I think that Bob should take is ass to Buffalo, since he likes them so much.

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  13. First rule: Don’t feed the trolls!
    So please, guys just ignore any poster with “ASS” in his name.

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  14. I am surprised that JPP hasn’t been placed on the Reserve-Non-Football Injury list along with Kendell Beckwith.

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  15. That was Richard Simmons you saw ! How fitting, a session of Sweating to the Oldies for Bruce, the Retread.

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