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: The latest power rankings on NFL.com has us as at 29, this seems too low? We are only ahead of the Dolphins, Cardinals & Bengals. Discuss.

Answer: I agree it appears too low, but I also didn’t predict two back-to-back 5-11 seasons either. Trying to determine power rankings before the final rosters have even been set is really just a fun thing with little substance behind it. Who saw the Andrew Luck retirement coming? I am guessing the Colts power rankings will drop significantly now.

How many of the Bucs preseason games did this writer watch in full? How many practices did they attend? Probably zero to both questions. My point is, they don’t really fully know this team and are basing it looking at last year’s numbers, key additions and subtractions and how the team did record wise last year.

Bucs OC Byron Leftwich and QB Jameis Winston
Bucs OC Byron Leftwich and QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR\

I wouldn’t t get too caught up in any ranking or season predictions, at this point. No one knows how the season will turn out, it is all just speculation for now.

Question: Can you see Bruce Arians pulling off moves to add to this roster as we approach the season? He can’t be happy with what he sees with the O-Line!

Answer: Absolutely. The Bucs will be scouring all the cuts, and even trade scenarios over the next week as they get ready to take on San Francisco in just under two weeks. Arians even said recently that the bottom players on the 53-man roster shouldn’t get overly comfortable, as chances are there will be some moves made. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me to see a few players who aren’t on the Bucs roster today, be dressed for that 49ers game.

Bucs RG Alex Cappa
Bucs RG Alex Cappa – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

And no, Arians wasn’t pleased with the offensive line’s performance on Friday night against Cleveland, but he isn’t quite ready to trade Mike Evans for a new guard just yet. It was a bad game, no doubt, but, as an offensive lineman told me on Sunday after practice, they will be fine. He knows they are better than they showed and is confident this group will be ready for the season. For his sake – and quarterback Jameis Winston’s health – I hope he is correct.

Question: After seeing RoJo nearly tear his knee up last week, he’s trotted out again to return kicks. Is this actually his job come regular season?

Answer: I was as surprised as anyone to see Jones back to return kicks after escaping what could have been a costly knee injury in the game against the Dolphins the week before. I really have no idea why they would risk it, especially after Jones looks like he will be counted on this season to spell Peyton Barber, if not eat into his carries.

I don’t know that the team has settled on a kick or point returner as of yet, but I like Bobo Wilson at both return spots. And if he is to make this team he will have to be counted on as a special teams player. No one has really stood out in their preseason auditions to me, and it may take a breakout game from someone on Thursday to night before a decision is made.

Regardless, it’s clear the Bucs won’t be keeping a roster spot for just a return guy. It is going to be a guy who can also contribute in other areas as well.

Question: Is it totally out of the question that Dare Ogunbowale could work his way into the RB1 conversation?

Bucs RB Dare Ogunbowale
Bucs RB Dare Ogunbowale – Photo by: Mary Holt/PewterReport.com

Answer: Working his way into it is a legitimate possibility. I think it is pretty well set that Peyton Barber enters the season as the first team running back, and Jones will get some touches as well. At the very least, I think we see Ogunbowale be a third down guy, as he may be the best running back as far as his hands and running routes. And he also is productive after the reception as we have seen this preseason.

He has been a blast to watch this camp and if he can stay healthy it will be hard to keep him off the field. I don’t know that he takes the RB 1 job at any point this season, but he will be pushing the guys in front of him.

Previous articleBucs’ Safety Evans Plans On Playing In Preseason Finale
Next articleArians Says 10 Spots Are Still Open On Bucs Roster
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]

24 COMMENTS

  1. My instincts tell me that this is not the starting five OL that will finish the season. Arians is not going to tolerate what happened in the third pre season game for long.

    Ogunbowale is going to push for a lot of playing time. Looks very good in the screen game and can make people miss.

    RoJo as a kick returner is not too much of a concern given during the regular season a lot of those KO will be touch backs.

    And finally I don’t mind if the Bucs fly under the radar with national rankings. This team may surprise people if they pull it out all together to finish games strong.

    +22
    -2
    Rating: +20. From 24 votes.
    Please wait...
  2. Trouble with assessing a team based on preseason games is that you don’t know the team’s objectives. It seemed to me that the Buccaneers were trying to give Winston as many deep down-the-field passes as possible. Still true that the offensive line, particularly the right side played horribly. But what about the Browns, they started three possessions in Buccaneers territory and ended up with 9 first half points. If you’re the browns, you have to be worried about your quarterback’s performance, 10 for 26. True enough that the Browns were without their two top receivers, but the Buccaneers were without Evans and Brate. Say what you want, holding an NFL team to 150 yards total offense is impressive, especially without your top three defensive players and four starters. Kudos to Bowles. These preseason games are maddening. The risks are high; the rewards are low. We will know more in a couple of weeks. Over the past three years, the complaint has been that we can’t stop anyone. But this preseason, aside from penalties, teams have had trouble moving the ball against us. Our time of possession has been impressive. There is at least reason for optimism. Kicking game: improved; secondary: improved; linebacking: improved; offensive line: offensive; pass rush: ???? But all in all, how much are teams really showing? Not much.

    +28
    -2
    Rating: +26. From 30 votes.
    Please wait...
    • Ever thought it just might have been The Brown have a mean..kick-ass Defensive line? Like we thought..we were gonna have?

      +13
      -2
      Rating: +11. From 15 votes.
      Please wait...
  3. I haven’t seen anything from RoJo to suggest he will be a good kick returner, I still feel like his vision for a RB is mediocre. Dare has much better vision and instincts as a runner and returner. The biggest problem I see on defence is our ability to keep the QB from breaking off big runs for 1st downs. All in all I like what I’m seeing from everyone with the exception of Jameis who insists on holding the ball to long. I saw some stats that showed that Jameis holds the ball much longer than the avg qb. Combine this with his baseball windup when he throws and he is going to be the cause of many of the sacks be endures.

    +9
    -19
    Rating: -10. From 28 votes.
    Please wait...
  4. Mark, anybody,

    Does anyone know how BA and staff rate Barber, Jones, Ogunbowale, Ellington, Wilson and Anderson as blockers in pass protection? What would be the order based on this criteria only?

    +8
    0
    Rating: +8. From 8 votes.
    Please wait...
    • 1. Barber
      2. Ogunbowale
      3. RoJo
      4. Ellington
      5. Anderson
      6. Wilson

      This is my best guess.

      Wilson was cut early on because he didn’t have the ability to pass block and stay healthy. Ellington one would think is in the top three as a pass blocker given how much playing time he has seen with the 1s in third down situations. But Ellington’s pass blocking has been bad that I would put RoJo ahead of him.

      Ogunbowale is considered the second best pass blocker on the team according to Arians.

      Now with that said it is possible Arians rankes Ellington higher and Barber lower but overall this is pretty close.

      +10
      0
      Rating: +10. From 10 votes.
      Please wait...
  5. RoJo was 4 rush’s for 8 yards, I really do not understand what the confusion on him is , he will be #2 running back because if he is not that would make Jason Licht look bad.
    James will be stater even with a average preseason rating of 80 which just happens to be his 4 season average rating imagine that, After paying him 21 mil they have to start and play him or it would make guess who look bad ! never mind Griffin leads the league in just about every category and a 100.4 rating.

    +9
    -29
    Rating: -20. From 38 votes.
    Please wait...
  6. Thanks for the quick response, Alldaway!

    +1
    0
    Rating: +1. From 1 vote.
    Please wait...
  7. Not taking at least one offensive lineman in the draft was a mistake. Strangely, it would appear that last year’s defensive backs are looking very good this year. We probably should have taken a guard or a tackle or both in the 2nd or 3rd round, instead of doubling down on the DB’s. I have to admit I see a lot to be positive about this year. The new coaching regime seems to be bringing the best out of last year’s players. Acquiring Suh was a great move. It would also appear that we are deeper at RB than we thought. If Spence and Hargraves make a comeback, and Suh and Vea combine to give us a pass rush, this could be a fun year to watch on TV or at the stadium.

    +16
    -3
    Rating: +13. From 19 votes.
    Please wait...
  8. “It was a bad game, no doubt, but, as an offensive lineman told me on Sunday after practice, they will be fine. He knows they are better than they showed and is confident this group will be ready for the season.”

    Color me ‘half glass empty’ but this statement does not make me feel much better. Been hearing for years that “they’ll be fine” after an ugly loss, and that rarely actually changes. Tired of the non-nonchalant, completely-comfortable-with-where-we’re-at attitude out of this o-line. Show some fire & grit. Get pissed at losing for once.

    +15
    -3
    Rating: +12. From 18 votes.
    Please wait...
  9. It seems like I remember in pst preseasons that in the 1st game Starters play 1 drive, 2nd game they play the first quarter, 3rd game it used to be a Half or more and none in the 4th. It looked like both teams were just getting their feet wet with their Starters Fri night. Neither team looked polished and that they were simply getting their first real starting time clocked in. They need that to get warmed up and especially for the Oline to watch it on tape and see where they need to shore things up. Cappa has looked solid up to Fri and he may still have some growing to do by seeing real game time but he will improve more and more and more with every snap.

    I for sure wanted us to Draft a Lineman in the 2nd round and with Hindsight being 20/20, yeah we should have grabbed Risner in the 2nd but Bunting will be someone that will break out next year and we had to flood the Secondary to get the right amount of pieces.

    When Week 1 comes and the real playbook and game plan is used, we will see many more check down passes, many more crossing routes and things will flow more smooth. Good thing is we have a “Softer” start which will hopefully allow us to get everything straight and get some chemistry going and if there is going to be improvement we will see it then. Otherwise it will be a long 4 quarters for Winston every week. Only time will tell!

    Also, I would venture to say that the next few Drafts will include 2-3 Offensive Lineman in any given year.

    +11
    -2
    Rating: +9. From 13 votes.
    Please wait...
  10. I have studied bruce Arians a little bit, I believe if he puts his best 22 players on the field and does not play politics and play certain players to save jason Licht reputation the Bucs will be a better team.
    Bruce needs to take 100% control and do it his way, Only his reputation is on the line.
    If he lets jason Licht dictate to him like Jason did with Dirk ! This season will be over by third game going into the long stretch and by the time Bruce forcefully takes control it will be to late.
    Hopefully Friday night was a eye opener for Bruce.

    +12
    -12
    Rating: 0. From 24 votes.
    Please wait...
  11. Love to see RT or RG that’s decent off waivers or something but it’s long shot to get starting caliber. This team will be lot better but the so line may hold them back on offense.

    Ryan griffins 100 QB rating against 3rd and 4string means dick Suck-ass-globs. Why are you so impressed? He’s been in league 10 years he should looks good against rookie scrubs you moron.

    Jones was good through 2 games O line sucked last week and didn’t open holes. I’m happy with 3 RBs.

    +9
    -11
    Rating: -2. From 20 votes.
    Please wait...
  12. This O line will be OK. However they will not be consistent. Especially when faced with a team which has a Beast of a Defensive line like the Browns. Of which, I am not at all the least impressed with our pass rush.
    Maybe when Vea and JPP get back..If ever, things will improve. But to really agitate an opposing Offense’s gravel, you gotta have a pass rush. And I’m not seeing one..or at least a good one from these Bucs. So I don’t think we will surprise anybody. We might win an extra game or 2 if our FG kicker is as good as he looks. I’m still at 8-8. But no playoffs for these Bucs. Calls’em likes I see’s’em fellas

    +7
    -5
    Rating: +2. From 12 votes.
    Please wait...
  13. Will find out in short order what BA will tolerate and what he won’t. I you’re looking for help in Week 1, really only have a week and a few days.

    Agree kick returner should be one of the WR speedsters not RoJo.

    I like what I see Dare OG as well, but he’s been running vs. #2 defenses in preseason. My take is he’ the #3 RB on the final 53 man roster.

    +3
    -2
    Rating: +1. From 5 votes.
    Please wait...
  14. As far as the rankings, you are what your record says you are. Of course it’s to early to tell who will do what, but the last time we were hyped during hard knocks we finished 5-11. Respect is earned, we haven’t earned any respect yet. The right side of our O line is my biggest concern, Licht didn’t do anything to fix it. Dotson is another year older, and I’ll say it now, he won’t last 16 games. It’s going to take a very long time for Cappa to become a competent NFL guard if ever. It takes O linemen who’ve played against great players in college at big programs like Bama to make their mark in the NFL, I doubt Cappa played against any D linemen in college who’ve made it to the NFL. You can’t coach experience, and Cappa has very little, if he keeps missing assignments like he did Friday, or get man handled like he did, we’ll have to bench him in order to keep Jameis alive.

    +8
    -2
    Rating: +6. From 10 votes.
    Please wait...
  15. Who is hyping us? The local press says we’re a disaster; Vegas says 6.5 wins; Nobody here is really going out on a limb. I’d say overall that we’re flying under the radar. Nine wins would be viewed as a good season. Playoffs would give Arians another coach of the year for his mantel; 7 wins would have to be viewed as a decided improvement. Six wins is tolerable, but disappointing given the quality of the coaching staff. Five or fewer wins would make us ask, for what? In my opinion, we have moderately improved the overall skill level of the team. In the NFL, the difference between the haves and the have-nots is very thin. Offensive lines outside of Dallas and New Orleans are for the most part mediocre. Look at Atlanta and Carolina; they don’t much more than we do.

    +4
    -2
    Rating: +2. From 6 votes.
    Please wait...
  16. The Browns have the best defense I have seen this year. Don’t jump to conclusions on our OL yet. The Browns Defense made other OLs look inept too this Preseason. The Redskins have a good OL Coach who stymied our Defense last year with five OL players snatched off the street shortly before they played us. They have their starters back this year on their OL and the Browns stymied them too this year. Cappa is the best pulling offensive lineman we have and he looked good against the Steelers this year. If we can grab a good RT in the cutdown that will help. We just ran manila plays against the Browns. Our line looks better running BA’s plays. BA could have used our TEs to chip the Brown’s stud DEs but he didn’t. He probably wanted to see how our OTs would hold up on an island. He found out. He wants to beat the Browns when we play them this season since they snubbed their nose at hiring him. You watch. They are overconfident on what their defense can do to stop us; BA will find a way to beat them. Trust BA, he will find a way!

    +8
    -1
    Rating: +7. From 9 votes.
    Please wait...
  17. The biggest thing people seem to be missing is that this is preseason. We are playing very vanilla on both sides of the ball and not tipping our hand. Once week one comes around and we see the real playbook, we’ll have an accurate idea of what we have. Until then, I wouldn’t read too much into anything.

    +3
    0
    Rating: +3. From 3 votes.
    Please wait...
  18. Mark Cook stated, “I really have no idea why they would risk it,…” Answer; a biscuit.

    +3
    0
    Rating: +3. From 3 votes.
    Please wait...
  19. Preseason games and Preseason rankings are meaningless. There will be surprises in the upcoming winners and losers columns. As buddah mentioned; there’s really not much different in other team’s O-line than our own. Smith, Marpet and Jensen aren’t going to be replaced anytime soon. Hopefully Cappa continues to develop. Big Dot and O-line depth is the real concern for me.

    +1
    0
    Rating: +1. From 1 vote.
    Please wait...
  20. Barber isn’t going anywhere as the starter as he is the best pass protector and with this line we need all the chips we can get. I think the dynamics of this RB group are weird btw. 1st down Barber, 2nd down Barber, 3rd down Ogunbowale…. where is Rojo? I mean he is not your ideal third down back since he’s the worst at pass pro and catching.

    So I guess they just take turns with series and long drives.

    Hey we want to pass, Barber gets first and second down, Ogunbowale gets third
    Hey we want to run, Rojo het first and second down, Ogunbowale gets third

    That’s my guess

    +1
    -1
    Rating: 0. From 2 votes.
    Please wait...
  21. Dare looked like the best back on the team to me but wtf do I know…

    +2
    0
    Rating: +2. From 2 votes.
    Please wait...
  22. Jones can’t be sleeping too well at nite with Ogunbowale sitting behind him. Bobo or Ellington both look like returners to me. Jones still runs with poor vision, bad for a kick/punt returner …

    +1
    0
    Rating: +1. From 1 vote.
    Please wait...