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 did Spencer Schnell do to go from leading as a receiver in the preseason opener to barely any snaps in the second and third preseason games to not even a member of the practice squad?

Bucs WR Spencer Schnell and head coach Bruce Arians
Bucs WR Spencer Schnell and head coach Bruce Arians – Photo by: Cliff Welch?PewterReport.com

Answer: The team didn’t see any long-term NFL success for Spencer Schnell, who is listed at 5-foot-9, 181 pounds – and those numbers were probably generous. Schnell was not fastest of the receiver group, and he did play in the second and third preseason games, but really couldn’t separate from defenders.

Schnell was definitely a guy that I could see fans rooting for – similar to Adam Humphries when he was in Tampa Bay, but Schnell wasn’t as big as the 195-pound Humphries was, nor was he as quick. Looking more like an accountant than an NFL player, the fact that Schnell made it as a tryout player and through four preseason games is an impressive feat. But clearly the staff didn’t see a ceiling higher than what he achieved over the last five months.

When a player is at an disadvantage athletically and size-wise, he really needs one aspect of his game to stick out in a big way. For Humphries it was his hands. He caught everything. For Schnell there just wasn’t that one trait the staff could see him doing exceptionally well.

Question: Do you think Scotty Miller is much better then what we saw in preseason or did they keep him because of his draft status?

Answer: That is a good question and something we discussed on this weekend’s Pewter Nation podcast. Scotty Miller, the team’s sixth-round pick, clearly impressed the staff enough in the offseason and the first couple weeks of camp to stick on the 53-man roster. Miller is without question a blazer, and maybe the one thing that impressed the staff as much as anything, besides his speed, was his ability to pick up and grasp the offense.

Miller is a heady player and worked his way up on the “varsity” field early in the preseason prior to his hamstring injury. You don’t get called over to the big boy table unless you fully grasp the menu. Coaches don’t want to spend a lot of time explaining things to players once the reps start flying in training camp.

Bucs WR Scotty Miller
Bucs WR Scotty Miller – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Miller’s versatility as a guy who is willing to return kicks also helped him, and sure, when it comes to a couple guys who are almost dead even in competition, the team tends to go with a player that was drafted.

Question: We all have questions about Tampa Bay’s O-line. What is more important – keeping Jameis Winston upright or opening holes for the running game?

Answer: I think in a league where so much of the passing game is emphasized, protecting the passer is slightly more important. That isn’t to say that not being able to run the football is a positive thing, as clearly a balanced attack is more conducive to winning. But a team must be able to throw the football in today’s NFL to have success.

Just take a look at how teams value positions in the NFL today. Quarterbacks, left tackles, wide receivers and edge pass rushers are the highest paid positions in the NFL and all have to do with the passing game in one way or another. Running backs? Not so much.

Question: How about a prediction on TD:INT ratio for Jameis Winston in 2019. I’m going with 30 TDs and 12 INTs. Also, how hot is Nick Carter in person? Asking for a friend.

Answer: If your prediction comes true, there will be a lot of happy campers in Tampa Bay. Thirty touchdowns and 12 interceptions would mean the Bucs have a winning record, Jameis Winston is signed to a long-term deal and the needle would be pointing up for the Buccaneers and their fans.

I am not quite as optimistic, but still think Winston will have his best year this season under new head coach Bruce Arians. I will go with 28 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Arians told the media back in January he can live with one interception a game, of course where on the field and when that interception occurs makes a lot of difference, too.

Celeb Bucs fan Nick Carter
Celebrity Bucs fan Nick Carter

As far as Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys goes, he is a handsome devil for sure! At least if you go by the ear-piercing screams that filled the Amway Arena a couple weeks ago when they played a sold-out show I was able to attend. I got Carter an autographed Winston jersey and he was extremely excited to add it to his Bucs collection. Growing up in Tampa, Carter has always been a huge fan of the team and is an avid reader of PewterReport.com, and we appreciate him supporting what we do.

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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]

23 COMMENTS

  1. I think the team is intrigued by Miller but they are not sure about him yet so they want to see him develop during practice some more.

    Bailey making the team probably is a bigger story than most realize because it shows the Bucs may be able to find a gem or two to develop as a young depth. Trewyn is also a PS candidate along with the return of Seaton.

    Drafting an OL or two is a must going into next year. But the biggest priority is to start to develop some homegrown depth. This is important for long term salary cap ramifications and fielding an oline that is not at the mercy of having to sign a big FA or be forced to use a high draft pick to plug a hole.

    Warhop’s inability to develop any OL to help aid the team for depth or starter potential set this offense back the last few years.

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  2. The Bucs plan is to real in Winston , have him hold on to ball rather than force pass , when throwing shorten the distance of ball in air, keep him under 15 yards in air and use the receiver to make the yards.
    This will reduce the chance of INT’s and use ball control to keep other team’s O off the field.
    The plan with O line is to protect Winston allow him to have a extra sec to throw and see options on field as the receivers become open.
    Also the O line will open up the running lanes allowing RoJo to complete for rushing title and make the big plays like Zeak did in Dallas.
    After watching first string O Line in Cleveland first half I think Joe Gilbert’s O line is right on track!!
    Go Bucs

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    • Thank god you know what the coaches are planning. If there’s any info during the year that’ll help us posters out, please share. Lol. BAB , you have zero clue what the plan is for Winston or any of these players for that matter. What you’ve seen in preseason is very vanilla. No one knows until the games start. We’ll find out Sunday though. Go Bucs.

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    • “REAL” in Winston.

      If you didn’t make it through the 8th grade, you’re probably better off just not posting..you’ve already removed all doubt.

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      • lol nice. I cringed when i read that too.

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    • BUC-ASS-BOB keep doing what you’re doing bud. It’s hilarious how you get everyone’s panties in a wad. I’ve been reading this site for years, and you sir, by far, are the best character on it. Far be it for someone on a public chat to have a different opinion, or one that is not popular…

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    • That being said, you’re wrong as all hell lol. Mentioning our online and running backs in comparison with Dallas is ridiculous.

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      • You mean with this O line RoJo will not beat Zeak?
        RoJo averages about 1.6 yards a carry

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        • Our o line is the best in the NFL… Did in miss something?

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          • Since I have been watching football I never saw a worse line than I did against Browns first half.
            Research showed Joe Gilbert was fired with prejudice Dec 2017 blaming him for the worst line that caused so many injuries to Andrew Luck and 5 other QB over a three year period.
            BA called his being available Stars line up
            The Stars will line up in Jameis head when he is seeing out his ear hole this year , with this Joe Gilbert line

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          • BOB, you dont think that that’s an overreaction? Saying that this is the worst oline you’ve ever seen because the Bucs had a bad game, against a fantastic d line, might be a knee jerk reaction. Do they need help? Without question they do, but I can name a couple olines in the NFL without one pro bowl caliber player on them.

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          • At least they have one! Lol

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          • Yes over reaction, that said I never personally saw a line do a worst job in a single game. Credit should be given to the Browns they looked good.

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  3. Scotty Miller impressed during underwear football, but missed time when the pads came on. I saw him short arm that pass that turned into a pick, then fall to the ground to avoid contact. I saw him fair catch a punt with a 15 yard cushion in front of him. I don’t think he has what it takes when the hitting gets real.

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  4. Surfer you are right about Scotty Miller the only thing I can think of as to why they chose him is the intangibles: Speed, Quickness, and Intelligence. I believe they fill as though they can couch toughness into him, But you are right he looked intimidated on several plays out there including that interception. A lot of what he brings to the table will show up well on special teams.

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  5. Good Mailbox Mark

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  6. Suck-ass-slob is a retard that thinks he knows everything even though time after time he’s shown to be wrong all the time. He knows nothing about anything except shooting off his bib mouth and looking stupid. Lol.

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    • Bucs last place year after year prove me right Fredster, And year after year you make excuses for you QB and hope for the next year for him to prove you right.
      I loved it when you were defending him during the Uber incident.

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  7. Can we please relax on the Cleveland game. I agree that it was bad and an ass kicking. It was the third preseason game. Read that again.

    Third preseason game.

    Remember when the Patriots went 0 and 4 in the preseason and then they went 18 and 0 and on to the super bowl? (by the way good work Eli). Pre. Season.

    Clearly the line is an issue and yeah its probably gonna be bad all year. Worst line you will ever see is being dramatic.

    Also Mark is that you with Nick Carter? You look pissed

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  8. Just a few days until the real games start and we have Bob still regurgitating the O-line’s performance in the Browns game as if it pleased him. A game the Bucs won by the way. I sure wish some of you understood the difference in the goals of these exhibition games and an actual game.

    As for Scotty Miller. I watched a lot of the Training Camp practice sessions and the youngster impressed. If you folks only saw the limited opportunities in the games(?) when he was still recovering from a hamstring , then perhaps you should trust the judgement of the staff.

    My goodness we in Bucville are so quick to write off a player who’s career has barely begun. “That Barber is too slow and small…….cut him!” That John lynch should have stuck with baseball……cut him!”

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  9. I’ve been in a love hate relationship with the Buccaneers since 1976 and each and every season I convince myself things are looking up. This time around I feel like things are finally looking up lol. Buc-ass-Bob i hate to say it but i do see the problems with Jameiss and they are as follows in my eyes. (1) He holds the ball to long because he trying to make the big play on every down. (2) He has no touch on the long ball. (3) is not his fault but he gets too high strung for the beginning of games and generally throws the ball high because of this. (4) also not really controllable by him, I’ve yet to see a coach play to his strengths which after looking at his completion percentage at all distances on the field he is a better 15 yd and in thrower than anything. This leads me to believe that the West Coast Offence game would be better suited to his talents if he would only learn to release the ball quickly.

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  10. Scubog, I didn’t see him at practice, but that’s just what it is, practice. In the small sampling I’ve seen in preseason, Johnson UDFA looked better, and although they don’t play the same spot O Conner is just a flat out better football player. Cutting O Conner, and keeping Miller just doesn’t make sense to me. If your GM would rather keep his draft choices, like Spence for years over better players you have what Licht has, a dismal won loss record.

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    • The preseason games are little more than an 11 on 11 drill.

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