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: What are the odds you would say we see Jason Licht do a Logan Mankins-type trade again? With this being such a crucial year for Jameis Winston we need that O-line solidified and I can’t trust UDFA and backups to be starters.
Answer: I have no idea what the odds are, but it is 100 percent an option at the very least. The Bucs know this is a crucial year for a lot of people, with general manager Jason Licht being at the top of that list. He certainly doesn’t want to rest the fate of his career, and possibly that of Jameis Winston on a single position. This is where training camp and the preseason comes into play and will determine how the team moves forward.
Remember it was just prior to the last preseason game when the Bucs traded for Logan Mankins. The team realized they were in trouble during the preseason, and things fell into place for that trade. Licht will trust head coach Bruce Arians, his staff and scouting staff to make that determination, and I am certain there have already been some discussion on if the team can manage with the players they currently have on the roster. I also know that Licht and his scouts have a list of potential cap casualty players and possible some trade candidates if it gets to that point.
Question: Will the Buccaneers go 9-7?
Answer: Yes. No. Maybe?
Here is why I think the Bucs could be 9-7 and then I will list why they won’t.
Coaching. The Buccaneers were 5-11 last season and with a handful of defensive stops, a couple more made kicks and a few less interceptions, some better defensive play-calling and schemes and that record could have been 9-7. This is where coaching comes in. As bad as we want to blame the previous coaching staff, the fact is they knew more about football than all of us combined. But for whatever reason it wasn’t conveyed or taught properly. Particularly on the offensive line, and in the defensive backfield. I am completely confident in this new staff, first that they will have the right scheme fit for the personnel they have, and also will be better communicators in the classroom.
And why they won’t?
Talent. The Bucs may just not have enough talent to get to 9-7 without quite a bit of luck. There are question marks at running back, the defensive pass rush without Jason Pierre-Paul, right guard, and once again in the secondary, which will be full of rookies and second-year players. I do think the coaching improves the record, regardless of some weaknesses on paper, but this schedule does the team no favors and despite what we believe to be a better coaching staff, it is still a completely new scheme and will take some time to get running on all cylinders.
Going 9-7 or better would make most people very happy, and save some jobs at One Buccaneer Place. If this team can manage a 9-7 record, Jason Licht gets an extension, Jameis Winston will be back, and Bruce Arians will be in the running for NFL Coach of the Year. It also means the rookies contributed, the running game was sufficient and the team was able to mask the loss of Pierre-Paul.
Question: With so many kickers struggling the past few years is it possible Bryan Anger was the problem? Maybe holding the snap wrong? He held for a lot of kickers recently who struggled here.
Answer: I used to joke with Scott Reynolds about that from time to time. In fact, Anger kind of looked like one of the villains on Scooby Doo when they ripped the mask off at the end of an episode. But in all honesty, of course we know there was no chance Anger was trying to deliberately sabotage the Bucs kickers. I mean, he was trying to keep his own job, so my Scooby Doo theory isn’t plausible.
But the one constant over the last few seasons of kicking futility was Anger, and the long snapper to some degree. But I really believe that was just coincidence. With the number of video angles teams have access to, there is very little chance a technique flaw would have been the cause for so many kicks going awry.
The bottom line is, the kickers were just bad, and statistically Raymond James can be a difficult stadium to kick in, believe it or not.
Question: Current Bucs player most likely to become a coach one day and why?
Answer: The quick, easy answer would be quarterback Jameis Winston. Now if he secures a second contract he will have enough money to not have to go through the grind of being a coach. Even so, I could see him as a volunteer high school or youth coach once his playing days are over. From a personality and an IQ perspective, Winston would make a heck of a coach one day. I have witnessed every one of his youth camps that he does in Tampa and have seen the interaction he has with the kids firsthand. He sincerely enjoys teaching and helping kids get better at football. He also makes it fun. Something lost at times in high schools and youth sports.
Guard Evan Smith, backup quarterback Ryan Griffin both might make good coaches down the road. Smith is a grinder, loves to talk and already pretty much looks likes a grizzled offensive line coach. While Griffin has been in the league for a number of years and has worked with s number of quarterbacks and different coaches, He also has an easy going demeanor that I think would translate well in the coaching world.
And lastly, a wild card in the bunch is wide receiver Bryant Mitchell. I spent some time watching him at Winston’s last youth camp back in June, and also at Mike Evans golf tournament a few weeks ago and came away impressed with his communication skills, his overall personality and he seems to have a passion for youths. I see coaching in his future if he wants it.