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?
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.
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.
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.