The PR Bucs Monday Mailbag is where PewterReport.com’s Mark Cook answers your questions from our @PewterReportTwitter 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: Seems like from the first few practices that Winston isn’t being highlighted as much? Even before the suspension this was a big year for him. Seeing anything concerning?
Answer: No question the focus through the first four days has been Ryan Fitzpatrick getting the work with the first team. And that makes sense. The most important game is the next one and that happens to be against the Saints and without Winston. There is no doubt that Winston still needs more work. With just three seasons in the league, compared to 14 for Fitzpatrick, developing Winston for the long term is crucial for his success – and the team’s. However, Dirk Koetter knows an 0-3 start would be a disaster and digging yourself out of that hole into a playoff team is nearly impossible, according to stats. Koetter needs Fitzpatrick to succeed and he needs Winston ready to go those last 13 games if he wants to be here past the 2018 season. So I am sure he has thought long and hard all offseason how he was going to approach this year’s training camp.
As far as concerning, it is way to early to tell. On the surface, no, I don’t, but we will just have to see how the season plays out and when it is all wrapped up in late December we will know if Koetter handled it right or wrong.
Question: Looks like Ronald Jones has trouble pass blocking and I have been reading he not adept at catching either. I thought one of main reasons of drafting a RB early was to not tip off opponent on run vs. pass based on substitutions. Does he look to not be a multi-dimensional RB?
Answer: I haven’t seen anything yet to make me feel like he isn’t multi-dimensional. Like most rookies when they come into the league, getting used to the speed of the game is the toughest thing to do. I am sure the immense playbook, wicked heat and just getting acclimated to an NFL training camp is making his head spin. And it is only four days into practice, and just one in pads. I want to see his weekly improvement, but more importantly, how he performs in actual games games this preseason. But there is nothing to make me think Jones won’t be successful. I have always maintained this is Peyton Barber’s starting job to lose, but who starts doesn’t mean a lot as we know Koetter likes to platoon his backs. Jones will get his touches this year, and I think will be fine once the dust settles.
Questions: What free agent QBs would you like to see the Bucs bring in if Ryan Fitzpatrick or Ryan Griffin go down this preseason with an injury?
Answer: You’re a glass half empty kind of guy aren’t you? But I see your point, as scary of a proposition that is. And as far as what free agents I would like to see, if that dreaded scenario you mentioned plays out, the used QB scrap heap is pretty thin at this point. Obviously the most talented and the one with the most proven success is Collin Kaepernick, but I think they would have to lose both quarterbacks before they would entertain bringing him, and the media circus that would follow, to Tampa. However if you are down to say just a single healthy quarterback, the season most likely is not going to end well. So why not at that point?
After that you are looking at names like Jay Cutler, T.J. Yates, and the Derek Anderson’s of the world. Not a pleasant thought, especially if you are Koetter and Jason Licht.
Question: Watching Curry and JPP’s interview it seems like the DL has a renewed energy/vibe. Along with the new players and Buckner do you think they can be a top 10 Defense this year?
Answer: That is asking a whole lot. However I do agree this is a completely different type of defense than we have have seen in years. Maybe going all the way back to the Bucs Super Bowl defense. And I need to apologize to Jason Pierre-Paul for doubting him when he didn’t participate in OTAs. This guy is good. Like really good. But of all the new faces Beau Allen might be the one who makes the biggest difference. Not stat wise but just from setting the tone. He and Vinny Curry, from what we have told, have been great teammates and leaders. I remember asking Jason Licht after the draft about the new players on defense and he said he feels like not only did they bring in good players, but the right players. I took that as, in the past, they went after some bigger names but bigger names don’t always mean like good fits from a behind the scenes standpoint in addition to on the field scheme scheme as well.
This group looks different. As far as predicted where they end up, it is too soon to say, but on paper they absolutely look like they have the makings of a Top 10 defense. How soon it all comes together and how healthy they can stay will determine that part of things.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
PewterReport.com prides itself on being the most complete, comprehensive news source covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and delivering inside scoop on the team found nowhere else.