It is Monday and that means it is time for another edition of the Bucs Monday Mailbag, answering your questions submitted via Twitter.
Question: When does the Bucs first round pick Vita Vea get back on the field?
Answer: Most likely he will miss at least another week. Expect to see him start running on his own this week, but the team isn’t going to push him back too fast and risk having him miss the season.
Few details have come out on the specifics, but I would imagine at his size, any type of lower leg injury is something you can’t rush. Those legs have to support 350 pounds in the trenches. It is really unfortunate for Vea, as he has missed hundreds of snaps and reps in practice, that he can’t get back. When he does finally get back to 100 percent, he will be way behind.
The good news is the Bucs didn’t draft him to come in and be a Day 1, three-down starter, and there are guys in the rotation there that are benefiting from the extra work. The team was hoping he would have an impact this season — he still may — but it appears it will be delayed quite a bit with the injury recovery and time missed.
Question: What are the chances of the Bucs getting a solid free agent safety such as Eric Reid or George Iloka?
Answer: I wouldn’t count on either player. Reid’s price tag has been extremely affordable for a while now without much interest although the Titans took a peak earlier this month. And Iloka’s cap hit for any team that clams him is $6.4 million. The Bucs aren’t really in a position to drop that kind of money on a player this late in the preseason when they have a roster full of veterans and young players they are excited about.
The Bucs like Justin Evans as he enters his second season and are high on rookie Jordan Whitehead, although he is banged up. Chris Conte remains at the top of the depth chart, and the reliable Keith Tandy is also there, joined by Godwin Igwebuike, Isaiah Johnson and Josh Lidell.
Question: Thoughts on Ronald Jones being the 3rd team RB right now?
Answer: It is disappointing to say the least. I think everyone in the organization had much higher hopes for the rookie from USC, but he has really struggled through the first two preseason games. However, the team isn’t giving up on him and as a second round draft pick they really couldn’t anyway, but they hoping it will click soon. At times, it appears he wants to hit a home run every time he touches the ball, instead of just taking the yards that are there. Like an old coaching friend used to say, “get two yards, don’t lose me four.” Meaning get me something. And while the blocking wasn’t great by any means, there were opportunities to gain more positive yards. Like many young college backs I believe he wants to bounce things outside on every run. He will learn at some point, the question is how long will it take?
Question: Are the Bucs going to have 5 or 6 WRs ? Names of the possible WR ?
Answers: Dirk Koetter actually talked about that yesterday at his press conference.
“There’s only 53 of them and you’ve got to have enough at every position. You can’t keep 10 receivers and six offensive linemen. It’s got to balance out and at the skill positions – your receivers, your tight ends, your running backs and then are you going to keep three quarterbacks [or] two quarterbacks? That all plays into it as we get down to the end. I know [the media] has to work at projecting who that is, but I try not to do that too much because it’s all going to change. It’s going to change based on injury, it’s going to change based on two more preseason games, it’s going to change based on practice. It could change based on a trade. You just don’t know. I’ve got a lot of other things to worry about. Of course we have a pecking order – everybody does. You have your own. We’ll just see how it works out.”
Right now it I am guessing five make the opening day roster – Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Adam Humphries, Chris Godwin and Justin Watson. Behind them it would be Bobo Wilson, Bernard Reedy, Sergio Bailey, Erv Phillips and Freddie Martino.
Bottom line is, a lot of talented football players will be cut.