The PR Bucs Monday Mailbag is where PewterReport.com’s Mark Cook answers your questions from our Pewter Report 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: How do the Bucs defend Travis Kelce? How do we get Rojo back involved?
Answer: Defending and stopping Kelce is a mystery to some degree. He is in my opinion, the best tight end in the game with freakish athletic ability for someone at that position. The Bucs actually did a decent job in their matchup earlier this season, allowing eight catches for 80 yards and no scores. But stats don’t paint the whole picture, however. If the Bucs were to duplicate that in this week’s game they would feel pretty good, unless say six of those catches were on third down and moved the chains. And just because Kelce doesn’t get in the end zone, doesn’t mean his contributions on drives that do end up in scores can be overlooked.
TE Travis Kelce – Photo by: USA Today
He is a matchup nightmare whether teams try and use a linebacker in coverage or even give safety help. Whatever defenses do, if they give him too much attention, then that is going to leave other weapons one-on-one. It really is going to come down to containing quarterback Patrick Mahomes with pressure and not allowing him to go through all of his progressions. With time to throw and move around, Mahomes will carve up the Bucs defense as he did earlier this year where he threw for a season-high 462 yards, and also three scores.
As far as Jones getting more involved, his health will be the biggest factor. While he played in the last two playoffs games, there was likely still some lingering issues from his quad injury, either physically or perhaps just mentally. Jones didn’t run with the same authority against the Packers as we have seen at times in 2020. Of course the Packers did a really good job against the run whether it was Jones or Leonard Fournette, limiting Tampa Bay’s ground game to just 76 total yards and a 3.2 average.
Question: Besides Tom Brady, are there any other Bucs you could see retire when the Bucs win the Super Bowl?
Answer: I don’t believe there is any chance Brady would retire following Sunday’s Super Bowl, win or lose. There has been no indication that he doesn’t plan on being back next year, and even possibly beyond 2021. Brady plays football for the love of playing. He’s made enough money, has enough accolades and there isn’t a lot left to accomplish as he has already solidified his place in Canton as a first ballot Hall of Famer. Brady has spoken often this year about how much he enjoys the game and I don’t see that changing in the next week.
Bucs QB Tom Brady – Photo by: USA Today
As far as any other players retiring, I can’t think of any off the top of my head. Not unless they were to suffer a significant injury in the game as lineman A.Q. Shipley did earlier this season. I really see the majority of this team returning to either defend their Super Bowl title, or try and make amends for losing to the Chiefs.
Question: Will Arians feel the urge to get more involved in play-calling if the game gets close late, in his last Super Bowl as head coach? Not to say he will take over, just maybe pick and choose his shots?
Answer: No, Arians isn’t going to play 19 games and then in the last – and biggest one – disrupt things by getting more involved than he has this season. It is hard to argue with the results of what the Bucs have done in 2020 and part of that success has been Arians’ decision to delegate and trust his coaching staff. Like always, Arians is involved somewhat during the week in the game plan – on both sides of the ball – and likely throws a suggestion in from time to time. And the same thing on game day. Arians is always listening in and will suggest things from time to time, telling Leftwich to “pound it,” or Bowles to “bring the heat” occasionally, but ultimately the coordinator is the one making 99.9 percent of the calls. That isn’t going to change on Sunday.
Question: Would the win against the Packers last week make it in your Top 5 of all-time Bucs wins and if so where would it rank?
Answer: Yes, it does make my Top 5 list of best games in Bucs history.
Number one for me personally is the win over the Eagles to get to the team’s first Super Bowl. Yes, the Super Bowl win itself could be No. 1 and for most fans it would be, but to me, beating the Eagles, Tampa Bay’s biggest nemesis during the Dungy years, was the best and most satisfying win in my opinion.
Bucs CB Ronde Barber: Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Second would be the Super Bowl win itself, no explanation needed.
And here is where I would rank the Packers win. To go on the road, in a crazy COVID year, with a new quarterback and do it at Lambeau Field as the underdog to the probable league MVP in Aaron Rodgers, has to be number three.
After that I would say the New Orleans win in the playoffs this year, or a good argument could be made the first playoff win in franchise history against Philadelphia in 1979 deserves to be No.4. And then I would round it out with the team’s very first win over the Saints in 1977 to end their record-setting 26-game losing streak.
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 email@example.com
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