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The PR Bucs Monday Mailbag is where PewterReport.com’s Mark Cook answers your questions from our @PewterReport 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: Why does it feel like Ronald Jones II is not the number 1 back? If he runs the ball on the goal line, I have no doubt we score. Leonard Fournette misses the hole a bit too much and doesn’t hit it as hard and fast as Jones. Why is RoJo being held back so much?

Answer: That is one of life’s mysteries – like who built Stonehenge, the Great Pyramids of Egypt, and how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop? In other words, we may never know.

Bucs RB Ronald Jones II – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

As I mentioned in the most recent Most Disappointing article on Sunday night, there isn’t anything we can point to and say that Leonard Fournette does better than Ronald Jones II. Possibly a small case could be made he is a better pass protector, but that is negligible in my opinion. Fournette doesn’t just miss the hole at times, he is indecisive, and when around the goal line, dancing behind the line of scrimmage gets running backs dropped for a loss in most cases.

Jones averaged 7.3 yards per carry on Sunday afternoon against the Chiefs, but only had nine attempts. Nine. That is almost criminal. The Bucs only attempted to run 17 times on Sunday and only 18 times the week before.

If teams want to keep a quick-strike offense off the field as much as possible, they must control the clock. And they do that by keeping the clock moving while churning out yards on the ground, not going three-and-out. The Bucs’ first four drives of the game went for, 2:00, 1:18, 1:27 and 1:32 in terms of time of possession.

As a result, the Bucs trailed 17-0 in the first quarter and that limited Tampa Bay’s use of the running game from the second quarter on. The Bucs lost the time of possession by 13:33 against the Chiefs.

Question: Is there any chance after the bye week that Bruce Arians considers taking over play calling from Byron Leftwich?

Answer: Considering and doing are two different things. Bruce Arians might consider it, but I think there is very little chance that it happens. He wouldn’t want to embarrass Byron Leftwich for one, but ultimately embarrass himself by saying he made a mistake for the last year and a half by having Leftwich call plays.

Bucs OC Byron Leftwich

Bucs OC Byron Leftwich – Photo by: USA Today

At the end of the day, this is Arians’ offense that Leftwich is calling and running. Arians might call the plays at different times and in a different sequence, but the philosophy doesn’t change and they aren’t re-designing the playbook. It is what it is for this year. Perhaps they look at making changes in the offseason, but they won’t do anything drastic sitting at 7-5 with four winnable game upcoming.

Question: They say there are no moral victories, but I don’t know. After a nauseating first quarter, the Bucs adjusted and outscored the defending Super Bowl champions, 24-10, and damn near won the game. The Bucs should feel good about this loss, right?

Answer: We could say the same thing after the Rams game I suppose, but at the end of the day, the one on Sunday counts the same as the 38-3 drubbing by the Saints a few weeks ago. And if teams start thinking anything different, as a team at least, they are in trouble. Losses should fuel the entire organization to come back and be ready to work harder, stay later and do whatever it takes to get back on the winning track.

Bucs QB Tom Brady

Bucs QB Tom Brady – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

When casual fans glance at the final score from Sunday as opposed to watching the game they might think it was much closer than it actually was. While the 27-24 final score was only a three-point differential at no point did I ever feel like the Bucs were in control or had a shot at winning, as they often trailed by 17 or 10 points throughout much of the game. It almost felt like the Chiefs pulled back on the reins a little bit in the second half.

Yes, we can feel good about the fight the team showed, and as CBS commentator Tony Romo said, he feels the Bucs offense grew a little in this game and should continue to get better.

But honestly it isn’t the offense that bothers me as much as the defense that seemed to not have many answers for the Chiefs offense. For almost the last four weeks we have heard Bruce Arians say he likes how the defense adjusted in the second half. My concern is why they weren’t more prepared for what their opponents were going to do right out of the gate. It’s Week 12, there are very few new wrinkles teams are showing at this point in the season.

Question: Is it time to start a discussion on replacing the coaching staff? It is the same tired vanilla game plan every week that opponents have figured out. Did you listen to Tony Romo saying that we are not playing to Tom Brady’s strengths?

Answer: If the Bucs fail to make the playoffs, then perhaps some changes might be made but there likely won’t be any major overhaul. Tom Brady is here at least one more year and this team isn’t going to throw a brand new staff at him in what could be his final season.

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

I heard what Tony Romo said and didn’t disagree with anything he said. Even if Bruce Arians has what he thinks is a nice race track, if he buys a Formula One race car he can’t run it on a drag strip. I mean technically he could, but is he getting the best use out of the car by doing that?

Tampa Bay’s staff should absolutely be adapting their race track to fit Brady’s strengths, and I don’t think they have done that nearly enough this season so far.

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About the Author: Mark Cook

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, the beach and family time.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 mark@pewterreport.com
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BigSombrero
9 months ago

Bucs suffered no major injuries. They should lick their wounds from a 1-3 third quarter of the season and come back in week 14 ready to turn up the intensity for the final four games of the season, especially week 14 vs the Vikes. As Mark Cook points out…Changing the coaches, left tackle, packages, scheme, or playcallers will not be happening while they try to win their remaining games and qualify for the post season. The ship has sailed and is fully underway. The Vikings, Falcons, and Lions are all outmatched by this team on offense and defense, but none… Read more »

Chi-Town Buc
9 months ago

Great article as usual, Mark. Simple fixes:

Run.The.Ball.

Keep Jones on the field. To continue to bench him or give his carries to Fournette after every little mistake he makes is ludicrous.

Stop asking Brady to throw deep so much. He’s made a HOF career off working short to intermediate routes

Arians needs to stop being so pig-headed.

Eddie
Reply to  Chi-Town Buc
9 months ago

Arians needs to stop being the head coach of Tampa Bay

BigSombrero
Reply to  Eddie
9 months ago

Who would take over in the interim? Bowles? Leftwich? Licht? Waterboy?

More dumb comments from fans who have no clue. Firing BA is as likely as benching Brady for Gabbert.

HELLO! MCFLY! NOT GONNA HAPPEN.

What’s even funnier is there are 16 fools (and counting) who agree with you!

drdneast
Reply to  Chi-Town Buc
9 months ago

I concur strongly and if you need to spell Jones, use our rookie RB. After watching Fournette whiff on two blitzers on the play where TJ hit Godwin on the long pass I don’t think he is a better pass blocker than RoJo. I mean he completely whiffed on both of them and Brady ended up on his back after the play.

Selmon-63
Reply to  Chi-Town Buc
9 months ago

Totally agree with running the ball, but maybe mix it up on first down . . .

jiggyjoe
9 months ago

There is a reason that the Chiefs are Super Bowl winners. They are a very good team. What the Bucs should do is work to get better. No matter what the staff says, the results will be the same. That is to say players have to run, pass or catch better than the other team. BA is a good coach who has coached very good QBs. I am sure Coach Leftwich is using what BA gives him. I think he will get better as time goes by and he gets more control. You have to remember that Coach Leftwich was… Read more »

Eddie
Reply to  jiggyjoe
9 months ago

Agreed that Leftwich was once a QB, but good QB? Maybe I am missing something here

surferdudes
9 months ago

God only knows what the Glazers are thinking about this season. They’re the only ones who matter. I’m sure they were hoping for a division title, not going to happen. I’m sure they expect the playoffs, we should do that. Do they expect to at least win a playoff game? If it was super bowl, or bust, it looks like this year will be a bust. So what will they do? I never expected Gruden to get canned. He won a division title, NFC championship, and S.B. with Brad Johnson, and got fired. Arains hasn’t delivered with Brady, so no,… Read more »

BigSombrero
9 months ago

I’m ready for the criticism, but I’ll post my pre-Brady era, “how to fix Winston” mantra once again. To win in 2019, the Bucs needed to run the ball better and play great defense. All offseason I said the Bucs were a RB, RT, S, and DE away from threatening to win the division and make a run. I wanted a veteran safety. I wanted a cheap young stud at RB and DE. I wanted a RT or three in later rounds. I was told it isn’t 1970 anymore. Its a passing league. Yada, yada. Fast forward to now and… Read more »

Dman
Reply to  BigSombrero
9 months ago

Run the ball, play better D, add RT, RB, S, DE. I would have – and did add – a RG and fix play calling to reduce the 5 and 7 step drop passing plays that were getting our QB killed and promoting INT’s. In year two under BA and Bowles we’re generally playing better, but we’re having the same problems as last season. Fall behind early, abandon the run, inexplicable play calling and comebacks that fall short on INT’s.

I don’t get the thumbs down, maybe it’s the hat.

BigSombrero
Reply to  Dman
9 months ago

Why do I get the thumbs down? Simple…

As Dennis Leary might sing – “I’m an asshole! (Chorus: He’s an asshole! Such an asshole!)”

Last edited 9 months ago by BigSombrero
Dave
Reply to  BigSombrero
9 months ago

At least you didn’t include draft a RB at 14 as one of your win now strategies. In particular, Jonathan Taylor at 14 lol. Hopefully you realize now, just how horrrible that move would have been, and how much it would have set this team back. JT has been a horrible pick, even at 42. Nevermind if he was 14th

buddah
9 months ago

I understand the critiques and the frustration created out of super high expectations. Only a hand full of teams each year improve their win total by three or more games. That’s why the most realistic estimate of wins was 8-10. We still have a chance for 11, but few of us believe we can run off 4 straight to end the season. The way I look at it, we are on par with the Indianapolis Colts, a team that also had a qb free agent with high expectations. When you look at the standings what you find if pretty much,… Read more »

McKay Curse
9 months ago

My concern with this team is that we have 1,000 coaches and NO ONE seems to be able to put a game plan together for the first quarter or even the first half. As often as Bruce throws Tom under the bus, he needs to take a long look in the mirror and see that his coaches are not living up to the hype. As the head coach, HE needs to step in and either take over or crack some heads until we get this ship on the right track. Even if we do make the playoffs, I do not… Read more »

Horse
9 months ago

Mark, sounds like you believe like most of us it will be the same scheme on both sides, and most of us fans will just accept what it will be. I guess we can at least say: Finally, we made it to the playoffs.

buccaneerNW
9 months ago

We’re 7-5, which is the best we’ve been at this point in a season in a long time, we’ve had a little rough stretch, and someone is asking about overhauling the coaching staff? Really? Some perspective is in order. We could finish 11-5 and in the playoffs for the first time in forever. Just shaking my head.

BigSombrero
Reply to  buccaneerNW
9 months ago

It would be a collosal collapse to miss the expanded playoffs with this roster against this season’s schedule. If that happens, all bets are off the table. Until then, sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

Dave
Reply to  BigSombrero
9 months ago

Amazingly, I agree. We were 7-3 at one point, with a 7 team playoff field. Missing the playoffs at this point, knowing that our last 4 games are against non playoff teams( Atlanta twice, Minnesota, and Detroit), would be a monumental meltdown

liquidmuse3
9 months ago

An entire new staff? Why are you discounting Josh McDaniels coming aboard as HC. Petricia is available at DC too. But really, this allows Tom to segue to a John Elway/GM role.

BigSombrero
Reply to  liquidmuse3
9 months ago

That is some great use of sarcasm! FYI in case there are any literal readers!

43 Is Only Old in Human Years
9 months ago

Last year we had a QB that turned the ball over too much in critical games. This year we we have a quarterback who turns the ball over too much in critical games. I really don’t care if is 22 interceptions or 11 interceptions it is too much. Brady was brought in to cure that problem but it hasn’t been fixed. He is in a three way tie for second for most interceptions thrown this year. The turnover machine Carson Wentz has only 3 more than him. Compare that to winning QB; Mahomes – 2, Brees – 3, Rogers –… Read more »

76bucsfan46
9 months ago

I would like to see us change our coaching staff for next year. My recommendation is KC’s offensive coordinator. It’s time to bring in a fresh offensive mind. We have the talent and need a replacement at left tackle. I believe we need a change on defense aswell.

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