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The Pewter Report Bucs Monday Mailbag is where Mark Cook answers your questions from our Pewter Report Twitter account. You can submit your question to the Mailbag each week via Twitter using the hashtag #PRMailbag. Here are the questions we chose for this week’s edition of the Pewter Report’s Bucs Monday Mailbag.
Question: How much did staff know about Joe Tryon’s knee and procedure before the draft?
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Answer: During the second day of rookie mini-camp, I asked Bruce Arians about the team’s level of awareness to Tryon’s injury
Bucs OLB Joe Tryon – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
“Oh, heck yeah. He did something when he was working out and had it fixed right away,” Arians said.
Clearly it wasn’t a major injury as Tryon was seen standing on the sidelines and even running to keep in shape throughout the two days. And without a knee brace.
There is no reason to believe he won’t be ready to go soon, possibly even for the team’s mandatory mini-camp in June, but most certainly by training camp which typically kicks off in late July.
Question: With most of the draft being about special teams, which draftees have the best chance of contributing on offense or defense if a starter get injured?
Answer: While the Bucs hope an injury doesn’t force anyone to see the field, Joe Tryon should have the most impact. We know the Bucs were in a unique position returning all 22 Super Bowl starters, however teams still expect their first-round pick to contribute in some way.
Bucs OLB Joe Tryon – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Look for Tryon to fill the Anthony Nelson role as the team’s third pass rusher, even being on the field at the same time as Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul. The Bucs might move Pierre-Paul inside on passing downs, creating mismatches with opposing offensive line’s interior players. A lot depends on how quickly Tryon can get up to speed in learning the defense and getting himself NFL ready.
The Bucs hope quarterback Kyle Trask doesn’t see the field in 2021 unless it is in the fourth quarter of a blowout win. But Trask may not even dress this season. Last year’s No. 3, Ryan Griffin, was inactive all season. The expectations are for Blaine Gabbert to be the primary backup to Brady and Trask to be third-string, possibly leaving Griffin on the outside looking in. But injuries in camp and the preseason will dictate the pecking order at that position.
Question: Is this the best team the Bucs have ever fielded?
Answer: On paper I don’t think there is any question about that. The 2002 team was special, but led by a dominating defense full of Pro Bowlers and future Hall of Famers. The Bucs 2002 offense was efficient, despite not being called upon to carry the team to victory.
This year is somewhat the opposite of 2002, with the offense being the stars of the show. However, the defense has a chance to be a special group as well. Maybe not 2002 special, but expectations are there for a top 10 defense. The Bucs offense in 2002 wasn’t even a top 20 unit during the regular season. Perhaps they could have been, but they didn’t need to be.
Bucs Hall of Fame DT Warren Sapp – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
This year the Bucs have an opportunity to field a top 5 offense and a top 5 defense, something that hasn’t happened in the franchise’s history. Only major injuries at key positions could prevent that from happening. But if the Buccaneers can stay relatively healthy, this should be the best team in franchise history.
Question: What are the chances for Mr. Irrelevant, Grant Stuard, to make the Bucs 53-man roster? He will probably be on special teams but can he fit into Todd Bowles’ scheme?
Answer: If you had asked me a week before the draft if the last player drafted in the 2021 NFL Draft could make the Bucs’ final roster, I would have said the odds are slim. And that still might be the case.
Bucs ILB Grant Stuard – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
But looking at the way the draft played out, combined with studying the current roster, we can see where the Bucs were very strategic and specific on Day 3. Stuard is one of those players that might be such a special teams ace that he ends up making the team based on that alone.
In terms of fitting in with Bowles’ scheme, there is a lot of work to be done. As inspirational of a story that Stuard brings to Tampa Bay, there is a reason he wasn’t selected until the final name was called last month. He has some physical limitations that puts him at a disadvantage to be a full-time defensive starter. That isn’t to say that the Bucs and the other 31 NFL teams couldn’t have missed on their evaluation. It still happens from time to time. But for now, if he can even make the team and contribute on special teams this year, then everyone would consider it to be a terrific value pick.
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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