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. Read them over and offer up your thoughts in the comment section.

Question: is there any realistic hope that the Glazer’s make the right decision this offseason? Coaches and GMs have cycled in and out but one thing remains the same.

Answer:There is always hope. You have to just keep trying until you find the combination that works. It is kind of like being in a relationship. You can’t just stay together for the sake of staying together. When you know it isn’t right, you have you have to pull out and find the next one and hope it is the right one.

We don’t for sure know what the end result will be this season as far as the staff and GM goes, but unless something turns around completely, it doesn’t appear it will end well. And with a new staff there will be some tough decisions made on the current roster. I am guessing this team looks completely different a year from now. And why shouldn’t it? 5-11 last season, and if they are lucky maybe 5-11 again this season.

The one thing we know almost for certain is the ownership will stay the same. This is a very profitable business and the Glazers, contrary to what some might believe, are big football fans and want to see this team win. The value of this franchise only continues to rise each season and there really is no reason whatsoever for them to sell this team.

They will keep trying. And that is the really the only thing you can do.

Question:Kinda like they book/game Where’s Waldo, where is rookie Vita Vita? Shouldn’t he have at least been in on goal line situations?

Answer: He is over behind the park bench wearing those Harry Potter glasses and weird stocking cap. Look to the top left near the fire station and you’ll see him. At 340 pounds he is hard to miss.

Actually on Sunday at New York, he was missing in action on the field for the most part. You didn’t have to search very hard to find him sitting on the defensive bench for a majority of the game. 10 games into his rookie season, there is no other way to say it than to say he’s been a disappointment. I have no explanations for him, or Ronald Jones for that matter. You really need your first two picks to be contributors if not starters. Right now, with six games to go, neither have had any impact. It is way too soon to call either a bust, but nothing I have seen so far indicates that either will do a whole lot to help this team in 2018.

As a general manager on the hot seat, this draft doesn’t exactly make ownership exude confidence in you. Not all picks will be hits. Find me a general manager who is 100 percent. Heck find me one who is over 50 percent. However, when there are players drafted after your No. 1 pick, and they are helping their teams win, and play positions the Bucs are struggling in, it isn’t a great look.

You hope the light bulb clicks on for Vea, and you hope it happens soon. This staff and front office need players to be impact players sooner rather than later. Who knows what type of player Vea becomes five year from now. Unfortunately who will be left from the front office to see it firsthand?

Question: We are so desperate for a decent kick returner, any chance we could see Justin Watson get a shot? He can’t do any worse.

Answer: I think if Dirk Koetter does in fact get fired, you can put a little of that on his handling of the special teams. I understand star kick off returners are really a thing of the past as the NFL tries to make things safer on kickoffs. However, as much as I like Jacquizz Rodgers, I don’t believe there is a whole lot of teams who shiver when they see him back to return kicks. Tampa Bay did switch it up at New York, but much like Rodgers, opponents aren’t worried about Dare Ogunbowale taking one to the house.

Same with Adam Humphries returning punts. From my perspective it appears the Bucs are just looking at safe options to be returners, not game changers. The Bucs special teams haven’t been very good under Koetter when you start factoring in the kicking woes as well. Instead of using special teams as another weapon to put pressure on opposing teams, it just seems to me it is an afterthought with this staff.

As far as Watson getting a shot? Who knows, but as you said, he can’t be an worse.

Question: Would Bucs fans be okay with keeping Jason Licht if it meant getting former Cardinals coach Bruce Arians?

Answer: You will have to ask them honestly. And I am sure they will chime in with comments on this post, and also on the PewterReport.com message boards as well.

Arians is intriguing for sure. From what he has said, he loves Jameis Winston and perhaps he is the guy who can get through to him about protecting the football. I know he and Licht have a relationship, obviously from their days together in Arizona so that is a plus for Licht. The thing is, general managers don’t normally survive two coaching changes. I don’t know if Licht is back in 2019 if Dirk Koetter is fired. But if he does, and Koetter is fired, expect to see Arians name talked about often due to the connection between the two.

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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]

49 COMMENTS

  1. Vea being invisible isnt a surprise to anyone who saw his college stats. Hes not a 3 tech, hes a nose guard our dumbass gm wasted a pick on. Sorry but when OJ Howard has more tackles in a game than your rookie d tackle, that’s emberassing. Vea has been invisible all season since his return. And if we dont go to a 3-4 he will continue to be useless. Especially when better players were draft behind him. But our gm fell in love with his supposed “athletic” ability. Velcro vea. This draft should be the one that gets licht fired.

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    • No, our GM fell in love with being tougher 1st, 2nd, and 3rd over drafting talented, productive players. Almost makes you wonder about *him*, honestly. I’m sorry your team embarrassed you last year Jason, how’s this team doing?

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  2. I get that the draft is a crap shoot. I thought the draft overall looked very good at the time.
    Except for Vea. I know I’m beating a dead horse here, but no mock I saw ranked him higher than James. I simply don’t understand what the Bucs saw in him. I was baffled and pissed off at the end of the first day for wasting our draft pick and I still feel that way. Even the most casual fan knew that James was the better player. With the amount of money paid to the coaching staff and front office, they should be able to draft better than I.
    No excuse for that screw up. None.

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    • There is zero excuse for passing on derwin, the better player that for a position of need for a rotational nose tackle. Licht should be fired for that pick alone.

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      • He should be fired for a number of things, including that.

        And I seriously hope both him and Koetter are gone at the end of the season, if not before.

        Hell I say fire Dirk now, promote Monken. Find a new GM in the offseason. What do we have to lose at this point?

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    • There are plenty of football fans and Bucs fans and commenters here who believe that everything starts in the trenches, and picking good or great linemen on both sides of the ball is the key to long term success. So on that basis, such folks would take a good DL over a good safety. I tend to be in that group. It is a completely intelligent and defensible stance to take, pardon the pun.

      But like with all other draft picks, no matter which position, you better draft good people. If you draft the right position (typically “of need”) but pick the wrong guy to fill it, that’s a failure.

      Particularly on days 1 and 2 of the modern draft, it’s really important to hit on many more picks than you miss on (with any GM, even Bill Belichick, the acknowledged master GM for the last two decades in the league, nobody ever gets 100% of them right).

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      • My problem was not the position of the pick, it was the pick itself. Vea is a terrible pick at a position we DIDNT need. This was a complete panic move by licht, to try and get mccoys replacement. And he drafted the wrong guy. Safety, a position of great need, regardless if you want the trenches or not ,made way more sense than vea and theres no defending the pick. Licht outhought himself once again trying to be the smartest guy in the room.

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      • Offensive linemen or pass rushers, sure. Vita is a good pick 3-5 years ago, maybe. This is a track meet now, and Jason is still drafting with the mentality of a meathead, unfortunately.

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    • Also Scott was making predictions early on about Via would be the Buc choice; kind of parted the waters for Licht to pick him. My question about Via is “does he have a strong desire to play this game”? Not sure he does, I hope he proves me incorrect. In the off season Via needs to stay in Tampa area the majority of the time and let the Buc trainers whip him in football shape. Same for some of these other players who go off and train with someone out of the area; they come back looking buffed, but aren’t football contact/tackle ready.

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      • New trainers, please. These guys only specialize in muscle pulls.

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    • Obviously we didn’t have a need for James because we already had Evans, Conte and Tandy on the roster (add sarcasm font). Vea may pan out to be a decent starting NT, but you need than that from a #12 overall pick. Would’ve preferred James as well.

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  3. Did anyone watch last week against redskins Vita Vea was embarrassed by how bad he played
    Did no one watch the 2017 Fiesta Bowl before drafting Fatman Vita Vea
    Did no one on Bucs scouting watch the film ????
    Against small Pac 12 teams he dominated
    Against USC and Penn state he got his ass handed to him
    Hint NFL line man are even better than USC and Penn state.
    Now new GM and coach will have to watch 14 million go out to player that will get cut in trailing camp
    and not get relief from other team.
    All hall of fame coaches say the same thing with 1st pick in draft draft best athlete on the board
    Never did they say draft fat worst athlete on board
    I still remember Pewter Pod cast for draft how Trevor related it to Xmas
    and then with first Pick Moron Jason Licht says we trade Josh Allen to Buffalo for Fat man Vita Vea .
    Just imagine what you could have later traded Josh Allen for ?
    I think you might have done a little better than the Fat Man.

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    • Never forget mentality too. Vita “impressed” Jason with his ”kick the guy’s ass in front of me” line. Meanwhile, he’s this soft-spoken guy. Meanwhile Derwin James was the alpha male of a pro-ready locker room and the minute he left they went straight downhill as a team.

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  4. My problem with this staff is that we always seem to draft players who excel at one position just to try them at another. I’m not sure how many times other teams do this but it’s terrible for their development. We did this with Donavan smith, Ali Marpet, Vita Vea, MJ Stewart. It’s mind boggling and an indictment of how idiotic our coaching staff really is

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    • Exactly. Smith and Ali are probably RTs, Vita is a 3-4 NT, and Stewart is a S.

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      • And Whitehead might be a better RB than Jones.

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        • So where would this staff have positioned Derwin James had we drafted him?

          😁

          ___________________
          Go Bucs!!!!!

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  5. Vea was a terrible pick, Licht should be fired for it. Your boy Reynolds should be fired too. He had a hard on for Vea and gloated about the pick after the draft. They are both idiots.

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  6. It’s hard enough dealing with constant turnover with the Bucs without cleaning house at Pewter too. I like Reynolds. I like the entire writing team. Keep them all. It’s a great site.

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  7. Lookahere Guys. IF you are not a good owner(s) and the Glazers surely have no clue. You hire people around you who know Football inside and out. The Glazers have not done that. In order for Any organization to be sucessful, you must identify and correct. Red zone failures and lack of defense are our glaring problems. That falls on the coaches and players. Somewheres along the line, coaching messages are not getting thru. Don’t tell me we don’t have talent. We have a lot of talent just like 31 other teams. I LMAO when a lot of you actually thought Koetter and Smitty were the answer. Hell, they could not get it done in ATL! Why would you think anything different here? Thats on the Glazers. My Bucs remind of 2 movies. First the Mel Gibson Apopcalyto one where the native was named..ALMOST. And the other with Tom Cruise in Edge of Tmw where we are stuck in that repeating loop. If this organization is not careful it will go down in the annuals of NFL history as being THE WOSRT EVER. Get with it GLAZERS or sell the team.

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    • The Bucs have actually won a Super Bowl, which is one stat better than 13 other NFL teams. Do you actually think the Bucs have been worse than the Cleveland Browns, or even half as bad as the Browns over the past 20 years?

      The Glazers need to clean house for sure, starting with Koetter and Licht, although I’m open to keeping Licht if, in fact, they’re able to lure Arians to Tampa. They can let McCoy go, those guys from the streets posing as starting linebackers, Grimes, Spence, the right side of the OL and Donovan Smith, so long as they can find a viable alternative to Smith. The culture of losing within the Bucs organization must end now!

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    • I didn’t vote the negative, but should have because EricNV you actually think the Glazer’s are making decisions without sport consultants?

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      • EricNV, my bag; I meant this to go to MIKE WRIGHT.

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  8. While you won’t find a GM who will hit on all their draft picks you can surely find one who can construct a roster that beats Licht’s 25-49 record in Tampa.

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  9. I thought Arians had health and family issues.

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    • its gonna take an awful lot of cash to bring Arians out of retirement. Yes, he does have health issues and his wife told him to quit. And thats exactly what he did. Leave the guy alone. Let him recuperate. To get to where we need to get is gonna take a lot of stress, work and anguish!

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  10. Why the love for Arians? Another retread old coach like Norv Turner. Bucs need to find the next McVay, not the current 66yr old Bruce. Keeping Licht because he worked with Arians is no reason to keep Licht. The problem with taking Vea with the first pick was this draft was deep at D.T., a good one could be had through the 3rd round. James was clearly the better talent. Whether it’s Jameis, or Fitz the interceptions come with this offense. Yeah it racks up yards, but throwing for large chunks all the time is risky business. This offense completely lacks receiving from it’s back field. All the real good offenses have a dynamic back the Q.B. can dump off to for big plays. Rams, N.O., K.C. all have backs that make a T.D. out of a check down, we don’t. I believe our offense is more turn over prone always having to rely on those down field throws to the receivers. We can blame both Q.B.’s for the picks, but maybe this offense just lends it self more to them.

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    • While you’re right that a big play offense that emphasizes the ball to it’s receivers is more likely to result in interceptions it’s also true that Fitzpatrick and Winston have a consistent record of turnovers both under Koetter and prior to playing under him.

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  11. vita bust

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  12. Mark, how did you blow the first question. They basically asked are we gonna get a team president not named Glazer.

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  13. Pray for Bill Belichick and the Patriots to part ways or backup the Brinks truck to take him off Bob Kraft’s hands. Give him whatever he wants to come here to coach and be President of Football Operation. Be it $15-$20 million/yr plus a piece of ownership in this team. Hell, offer him a piece of Manchester United if they need to. Just get him here to instill a winning culture! Then he can retire from coaching when he wants and just run Football Operations.

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  14. To early to tell about Vea. He hasn’t played enough. Jones? Now that is a disappointing player. This guy was talked about as a first-round pick in several draft circles. The tape on him is amazing at USC. He has looked awful in real games. But the truth is, there really isn’t much to talk about in our entire draft. Alex Cappa is a mystery. He hasn’t been active for even one game. We gave away a 4th and a 6th for him. Carlton Davis might end up sticking, and Watson too, but other than that, I wonder if any of them will be starters in 3 yrs. It is just amazing that with 8 picks and all that shuffling around and trading up and down, and we cannot find one player that could make an impact? But even in this dumpster fire, there are few positives. JPP has 8 and a half sacks with 6 games to go. Mike Evans has become the #1 Receiver in Buccaneer History. We may end up having two receivers this year over a 1000 yds and two others at 7 or 8 hundred. Barber is coming on with six games to go. Howard looks like a beast every week. But how did we end up making Brate a fill-in player? How did Linebacker go from being the strength of our team to a weakness?
    I hate to say it, but we are going to be starting over next year, from top to bottom even if Licht sticks around. Other than Receiver, TE, and DE where else do we not need a do-over?

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    • JPP has 9 and a half sacks with six games to go. Forgive me.

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      • LB went from strength to weakness due to injuries. When healthy we have a great trio of LBs.

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        • I know. I like Alexander, Beckwith, and David. I am disappointed that all three are out.

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  15. I want Arians.

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    • As the Rollin Stones once said, YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT. But if you try sometimes..you just find..what you need.

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      • Very appropriate Mike as is “Can’t get no satisfaction”. We Bucs fans know that tune.

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  16. Can you imagine our offense playing against our defense? 🙂

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  17. Granted James has been an impact player but recall he didn’t go in the first 15 picks in the draft because he likely protected himself his senior year at FSU because his production his senior year didn’t look like an impact NFL starter. It takes three years to develop a great DT starter usually including both Sapp and McCoy for that matter. But we would not have needed a RB if we had traded up and taken Cook at the end of the first round. Remember the Giants had their impressive 1st round pick watch video of Cook to learn how to run in the Pros.

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  18. wnb035, sorry but I have to disagree. Our LB’s are average at best.
    Can you remember the last time one of them made a plash plays. I think it was two years ago for the both of them. Alexander against the Rams and David against the Eagles. Both had pick sixes. David also had a two sack performance against the Panthers in week 17 in 2016.

    Whether this is because of the scheme or thier play I have no idea but just because both rack up some tackles, that does’t make them great or even good LBs.

    We have been for years by the local media and Pewter Reprt how great they are but I;m not seeing it on Sunday. When was the last time wither one intercepted a pass.

    I agree with you seat26, it is way to soon to expect Vea to be blowing up backfields and causing disruption. As we all know by now it took Warrnen Sapp three years to get acclimated to the pro game and the allegedly great Gerald McCoy ended up on injured reserve his first two years.

    Vea’s season has been stunted since he was out for the entire preseason and then some but what I haven’t seen a whiff of is Noah Spence. Is he on a milk carton yet?

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  19. BTW, I would not be against a Director of Football Operations to over see both the GM and head coach.
    I would also like to see a new GM. Licht has whiffed on tow many second round picks in the last five years and also made some questionable decisions on selecting certain plays.
    Case in point was when we selected Chris Godwin over Kareem Hunt. I like Godwin, his attitude and his play, but we were in desperate need of a RB and he would have been the wiser choice. Of course if we was running behind our OL who knows if he would be as effective as he is with the Chiefs.

    I am not in favor of replacing Ketter unless a much better candidate comes along and if it is defensive coach, it is imperative he hire an innovative OC who is experienced at using different offensive sets and schemes.
    The old days slamming a RB up the middle and droping back to pass are over. The Bucs need to use some more RPO’s like the Panthers employ at the very least.
    But whoever comes in here or stays I would hipe the first thing they do is get rid of MeShaun Jackson and his huge salary and use some of it to give The Hump a raise to keep him here.
    You would have to be blind not to have seen Jackson’s half hearted play yesterday on Fitz’s and Winston’s final interceptions.
    Compare that to Hump’s who kept battling for the ball yesterday to keep it successfully away from the defenders.
    Hump is about the same size as Jackson and you don;t see him skittish about going over the middle or taking sideline screen passes and running through the monsters on defense.
    You can;t say the same about Jackson.
    As far as I can see, Jackson has been a cancer on this team.

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    • Too bad Hump doesn’t have DJax speed.

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  20. This regime is over no matter Bruce Arians or not.

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  21. One thing at least Arians has a winning record of over .600. He also went out on his own terms. He retired and is sitting in a broadcasting booth with Gumbel. The Glazors seem to miss on the big ones (see Parcels), but going after Arians seems like a positive choice. Then watch the Glazors screw up and another owner gets him. Either way J. Licht should be gone, enough is enough.

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  22. Lots of good comments from my fellow, frustrated and disappointed…….again, Bucs fans. We may all offer different solutions to the losing, but our goal is always the same…..to follow a team able to consistently reach the play-offs and beyond. We may all offer different points of blame, but the truth is there is culpability everywhere.

    The Glazers have been willing to spend whatever it takes and allow their management team to do their jobs. That should have been a recipe for success, but it just hasn’t worked out. No one can be sure how a new hire will fare. They will certainly seek the advice of others. Ultimately they are responsible.

    I thought Jason Licht’s “good ol’ boy” common man demeanor and experience with some of the NFL’s most respected organizations would result in great Drafts and F.A. choices. Sadly, he has had far more misses than hits while spending a lot of Glazer money with nothing to show for it. Where are the widely recognized stars on this team that has been drafting at the top for most of Licht’s tenure? Mike Evans and perhaps JPP and that’s about it. We can all woulda, coulda, shoulda after the results are known, but after 5 years the bottom line is this team still lacks star power, especially on Defense and Special Teams. That is at the feet of Jason Licht.

    I thought Dirk Koetter, who even as an offensive minded coach, desired a “bass ass” team would take the offensive talent and develop it to be one of the tops in the league. He has certainly done that with the exception of the inopportune self-inflicted mistakes on offense. Sometimes it seems the “Weapons for Winston” are even being underused. Problem is Koetter is supposed to be the HC not just the OC. That’s all on Dirk Koetter. Let Monken be the true OC. You be the HC.

    Many of us thought DC Mike Smith just needed more talent on defense since that side had been somewhat ignored by Licht. But after a great end to the 2016 season when we were fooled, the defense spiraled downward until it hit the absolute bottom even as Licht tried to infuse Draft picks and F.A.’s. Many blamed the scheme so Mike Smith became the scapegoat. Is it the X’s and O’s or the “Jimmies and Joes”? I think it’s both, but lean more toward the absence of play-makers at all three levels. If Buckner is that great D-line coach many thought, why have all but JPP disappeared? That seeming lack of quality coaching and so-so players falls on both Dirk Koetter and Jason Licht.

    Our kicking teams are certainly nothing “special”. Without rehashing the Roberto debacle that I actually understood; no team has been so deflated by missed FG’s and PAT’s. Neither have we had a kick returner to at least cause us to sit up in our seat. Then again, we rarely force an opponent to punt. This too is on Jason Licht.

    Unless the last six games are as surprising as the first two there’s little doubt that there will changes. Some more deserving than others. We will do what we do best, second guess after the results are known.

    For me; I become more apathetic and numb to it by the day.

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  23. Koetter actually said something insightful about Vita Vea this weekend that he needed to work harder at shedding blocks. Obvious, but true and needed to be said. Has he said it to Vea?

    It’s rare Koetter shows any mind about the defense and that’s why I was impressed by his remark. Where’s that kind of head coaching for our defense? It’s what they need and they haven’t been getting it under Mike Smith and Dirk Koetter.

    MJ Stewart continues to be the draft pick that’s lost on me. Vita Vea? I get it. Carlton Davis? Excellent. Jordan Whitehead? Ok. But MJ Stewart?? I wanna know who pushed for that pick! There were way too many better options on the board. That pick is unforgivable and that’s not a knock on the actual player. This is a knock solely directed at the people responsible for making that pick when there were plenty higher-ranked options, not just at that position, but also at other positions!

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  24. Funny, but Roy Cummings had quite a different take on the progress (or lack thereof) of “Velcro” Vita elsewhere. Check it out for yourselves if you care to.

    ______________
    Go Bucs!!!

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  25. P.S. Scott, (not Mark)

    Your software remains somewhat of a disaster for posting. It continues to randomly give me fits when I try simple things such as signing-on and posting comments.

    Do you want me to come out of retirement to do a little systems analysis and design project for you? (Or even a one time trouble-shooting endeavor?) 🙂 (You could easily find the real guy in your records behind this monniker if you needed.)

    ____________
    Go Bucs!!!!!

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