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.

Question: When should the coaching staff say, “We know what Jameis Winston is and it doesn’t look like we will change his turnover habit, so we should soon see Ryan Griffin get some snaps?”

Answer: I am not sure if this is a legitimate question or not. This one makes more sense had it come last week after a four-interception game. While quarterback Jameis Winston did have two bad interceptions in the first quarter on Sunday, he ended up leading Tampa Bay’s offense to four touchdown drives, threw for over 300 yards for the sixth straight game, which was a team record, and scrambled for a couple key first downs to extend drives. Was his performance perfect? No. Was it good enough to win? Look at the scoreboard – Tampa Bay prevailed 35-22 in Atlanta. Obviously the answer is, yes.

Bucs WR Chris Godwin
Bucs WR Chris Godwin – Photo by: Getty Images

I get the Bucs fans’ frustration. Winston tosses a bad interception on his first pass, then on the next drive he throws a laser to Chris Godwin that goes 71-yards for a score. Later in the first quarter, he throws an off-balance, ill-advised jump pass to Dare Ogunbowale and it’s another pick. Then Winston settles down and winds up completing 18-of-28 passes for 313 yards and three scores. I actually tweeted during the game, that this type of performance is the carrot that Winston dangles that is frustrating to everyone. He’s got 22 touchdowns, which is among the league’s leaders, and he has an NFL-high 20 interceptions.

Sunday’s win over the Falcons showed what Winston and this team can accomplish with a solid performance from the offensive line and the defense. This same Falcons team got to New Orleans’ Drew Brees six times two weeks ago, and sacked Carolina’s Kyle Allen five times last week. On Sunday against Tampa Bay, Atlanta had zero sacks and just one quarterback hit.

We often talk about the Jekyll and Hyde performances from Winston, but what about the Bucs offensive line? It’s the same with the secondary. Who were these five guys swatting away 16 balls and creating turnovers?

Winston is going to throw interceptions. That’s in his gunslinger D.N.A. and unfortunately won’t change much. But guess who else throws interceptions? Other top QBs. Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz had two on Sunday in a loss. Even Seattle’s Russell Wilson, who rarely throws them, had one on Sunday. And while it’s known that Winston will throw interceptions, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin don’t throw the ball to themselves. And as much as I like Ryan Griffin personally, do you think he completes that 71-yard TD pass to Godwin? Does he even attempt it?

Bucs QBs Ryan Griffin and Jameis Winston - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs QBs Ryan Griffin and Jameis Winston – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

If the Bucs aren’t sold on Winston completely then they should go draft one in the first round, but I would keep Winston for at least one more year. Tampa Bay has a team full of offensive weapons in its prime and I am not starting over with a completely unknown commodity – at least not without having a player like Winston on the roster in case the next supposed “franchise” quarterback is overwhelmed as a rookie and plays even worse.

Question: With the season coming to an end, and a top 10 pick likely, what position do you imagine the Bucs will target in the early rounds?

Answer: It depends on who the Bucs manage to keep in free agency, which is up first in March, and what players the team might add. While I was encouraged with the play of the much maligned secondary and the offensive line, the previous 10 games are still fresh in my mind.

At the very least Tampa Bay needs to find Demar Dotson’s replacement. But I would add more offensive linemen and let them battle it out and start the best five, regardless if they are rookies, veterans or new free agents.

Demar Dotson Injury Report
Bucs RT Demar Dotson – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

And maybe this teams goes quarterback early. That doesn’t mean the Bucs don’t hit Winston with the franchise tag for one more season as the younger QB develops, and if by chance Winston figures it out, then Tampa Bay has some trade capital for 2021 or 2022 with the younger quarterback – and an insurance policy in case Winston doesn’t pan out in 2020.

I also think the Bucs address the pass rush as well. Who knows how many of the potential free agents on the roster are back next March. And even if they can re-sign outside linebackers Carl Nassib, Jason Pierre-Paul and/or Shaq Barrett, Tampa Bay can never have enough defensive line and pass rushing depth.

Question: Of the Bucs’ main free agents, who do you see them re-signing: Ndamukong Suh, Shaq Barrett, Jason Pierre-Paul or Carl Nassib? How likely do you see them re-signing all four? All four had great games against Falcons, and are all finally healthy at the same time!

Answer: In a perfect, salary cap-free world, Tampa Bay would sign all four defenders back – no question. This team has been very pleased with those four players, and on Sunday we saw them all taking turns impacting the game in the Bucs’ 35-22 win in Atlanta.

Bucs linebackers Shaq Barrett and Devin White – Photo by: Getty Images
Bucs linebackers Shaq Barrett and Devin White – Photo by: Getty Images

I have no definitive knowledge of what the front office is thinking right now with five games left, but we have heard that Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul will be targeted to return, and if the money is right, so would Nassib and Suh. The Bucs drafted Anthony Nelson last April with the hopes of him being a younger Nassib, but the rookie has struggled to stay healthy. Had he been able to play in all 10 games this season, and put up comparable numbers to Nassib, then they might be more comfortable moving on from its defensive captain.

Just guessing, I would say the Bucs’ priority order to keep would be: Barrett, Pierre-Paul, Nassib and then Suh.

Question: Long time Pewter Report follower and poster, macabee just passed away. He could go toe-to-toe with you guys and was smarter than any of us. He predicted Bruce Arians coming before PR even had him on the radar. Do you have any words on him and what fans mean to the site?

Answer: Macabee, whose real name was MacArthur Boykins, was one of my favorite PewterReport.com readers and posters. He kept me on my toes, messaged me if we had any errors and even hit me up if he saw some breaking news to make sure we were on it. He was also one of the more level-headed posters we had. Rarely did he let emotion rule his thoughts and while he was a huge Bucs fans, it was quite apparent he knew that it was just a game, and there were bigger things in life to get upset about. Scott Reynolds took the time to acknowledge Boykins in last Friday’s SR’s Fab 5.

MacArthur Boykins
MacArthur Boykins

He was as intelligent as any one I knew when it came to Bucs football, and like myself, he remembered the early days of this franchise, the 0-26 start, the Doug Williams and Bo Jackson debacles, and then the rise to respectability under Tony Dungy that was culminated with a Super Bowl win under Jon Gruden. I am so happy he was able to see that.

And without Bucs fans like Boykins – and you! – coming to PewterReport.com multiple times a day, we wouldn’t be here. It’s that simple. We appreciate ALL of our readers and posters. Some might drive us a little more crazier than others, but everyone is greatly appreciated. PewterReport.com has set web traffic records the last three years – including 2019 already – despite the football team not cooperating very often with wins. But that just shows the type of loyalty and dedication that Bucs fans have.

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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]

40 COMMENTS

  1. It appeared to me that Evans “rounding out ” his route on the first pick allowed the Dback to cut in front of Evans for the pick.A sharpe cut by Evans would have prevented that pick from happening.

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  2. RIP Macabee,
    Always enjoyed his level headed and intelligent comments

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  3. Another good win on the road. Tackle has to be the 1st round pick unless it is a QB. Then it has to be the 2nd round pick.

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    • FOR THE LOVE OF GOD CAN WE PLEASE STOP CONSIDERING A QB IN THE 1ST ROUND?? Sorry for yelling… But all we need first and foremost is the best LT prospect on the board, then move D. Smith to RT. OLine solved. Winston successful career for the future. No more chaos.

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      • Agree, O-line much higher priority than QB. Also, anyone else think that Burrows is the only guaranteed QB prospect this year? Hell, the Ravens won a Super Bowl with Trent Dilfer, who couldn’t even make it here ( no, he was NOT Steve Young). Franchise Winston, build the trenches, mid-round QB to develop and re-assess.

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        • I do not think a mid-round qb would be any better than Ryan Griffin. No need to waste a pick. Use that for a developmental Center or DLine

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      • Amen brother!

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      • Easier to say after a Win. I have watched the Winston Roller Coaster and have been excited and have also turned off the TV disgusted. But its not all on the line YES, Winston also turns the ball over with good protection. I really want Winston to succeed at Tampa. The guy does a lot for the community, really has a great work ethic, and above all wants to Win. But to argue your point if we had Kirk Cousins, Phillip Rivers, or even throw Case Keenum in the mix over the last few years would are record be better??? I cant say no it wouldn’t because the turnovers would be considerably less. I used the QBS above as examples because I believe they are all mid tiered and were all available.

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  4. Macabee will be missed. The wrong Poster died, that’s for sure… (Not wishing death on anyone, just a Walk Hard reference)

    In a world where there were no egos or standards I would Love to see them Franchise Winston and Draft a QB all while Drafting a LT and moving Smith to RT. There are RTs in the League making around his money and it would either be for a Season until his guarantee runs out or we Draft his replacement the next 2 years.

    I think Barrett is a must to bring back next year and Pierre-Paul is too valuable as a Leader and Player not to bring back either. Nassib should be affordable after being Undrafted and hurt yet still valuable. Suh may be last on the list but takes up a lot more space and causes more disruption than the numbers show.

    I still stand by that we need a Veteran presence in the backfield and Draft O-line and a possible QB (even if only as a back up plan). Edwards, Dean, Murphy-Bunting and Davis should really take off next year and our Offense is strong As long as the QB situation is wrangled in and the OTs are replaced.

    We can win any game we play in, we have proven that, but we manage to not win more often which seems to be just a couple pieces away from flipping that. This year has shown that more than any other. I just pray we finally cross that line while we’re still young cause it could be really special if we do…

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  5. I am very sad to hear of Macabee’s passing. I really enjoyed his posts. He was well thought out and very genuine.

    Safe passage to a great Bucs Fan!

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  6. RIP Macabee

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  7. Jameis will always be an enigma for the Bucs! He will make u cuss the TV with a pick six and then throw a 70 yard dart to Godwin! So goes life as a Buc’s fan. Jameis WILL be franchised for 27 million next year! It’s a done deal. 6 straight 300 yard games! He leads the NFL in turnovers but he’s also among the leaders at every major category that matters for QBs except wins! Lastly, while the O-Line could use upgraded talent at two positions on the line, they r not terrible as everyone often states. An NFL QB does not have 6 straight 300 yard passing games in a row if the O-Line “sucks.” Just not possible! Would we like them to play better, less sacks and pressure on Jameis, yes! But, clearly they r a middle of the road O-Line. Good win yesterday. On to the next one. Go Bucs!

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  8. The only problems with Winston are turnovers and maturity off the field, everyone knows it. We won’t get better by playing a rookie QB next year. That being said, his contract would be enough to resign Barrett, JPP, and Suh. It’s easy to say he played well enough to win this week, but his turnovers have consistently put our defense in vulnerable positions and gotten us thrashed by playoff contenders. If we keep Winston, an OLine investment (1st pick, FA) is absolutely necessary, but where is this money going to come from if we resign our DLine??

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  9. The Bucs would be foolish to dump Winston and start over, 2nd in yards and TD’s. Winston’s TD’s to Int’s are similar to Brett Favres with a 3.3 int percentage, Favre spent 16 seasons in GreenBay. The Bucs can win with Winston If the defense plays better as it did on Sunday along with adequate offensive line protection.

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    • I never understand the comparison’s to Farve interception rate. The interception rate in the NFL has been going down year after year. That means something. He is not playing in the same physical corners and defenses holding receivers like QB’s were.

      In 2000 the average passer had 20 TD’s and 17 Int’s. In 2010 that number is 23.5 TD’s and 16 Int’s.
      In 2018 that number was 26.5 TD’s and 13.5 Int’s.

      He needs to be compared to players of this generation. Yes he is 2nd in TD’s and yards. He is again last in turnovers. Both good and bad. Don’t hide the bad with the comparison to Favre.

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  10. Anyone that thinks it’s time for Griffin to play has rocks for brains. They are going to evaluate a Winston all year like they said! Deal with it you morons. After this year they will likely use franchise tag on him unless he 1.)melts down (don’t see it) or 2.) plays stellar int. Free rest of season (don’t see that happening either)

    I also Agree on fixing o line first and foremost! Taking a QB in first rd would be foolish and don’t see it happening. I doubt they draft another CB either but maybe if one in free agency is decent deal they would take I think.

    Go Bucs please continue to build on this win now O line, Secondary, Winston, everyone! Do not back slide now!

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    • It seems to me that the O line was ok earlier in the year. Horrible in London. Horrible against the Saints last week and superior this week.

      If you look around the league and go to other teams stadium’s, they almost all complain about their offensive line and secondary. They are the positions that get exposed along with the QB during the game that us fans easily see the breakdowns.

      Let’s give the Offensive line every bit as much chance to gel as Winston.
      After all coming into this year, we probably had the 15th to 22nd best offensive line and the 15th to 22nd best QB in the league. It is not like Winston ridiculously out plays the offensive line game in and game out.

      So many Winston lover’s blame the offensive line, running backs, and defense all the time.
      There is plenty of blame for our 4-7 start and that includes Winston’s play.

      If it comes down to signing only Winston or both Barrett and JPP, I will let the professionals in the Buc’s front office make that decision. I think you could make a case for either of those scenario’s in my opinion.

      By the way even though I make this post, I think that Offensive Line is the deepest position in this year’s draft so I would not mind the Buc’s drafting there because of the value.

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  11. If Ryan Griffin is not worth putting on the field, why is he on the team?

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  12. Mark, I agree with your assessment on Jameis. For all of the frustration of Bucs’ fans… He is not the weakest part of the team. I think he must be resigned and I have no problem with them drafting someone to push him (Fromm?). I have a feeling that the young guys are starting to get it on defense and this is only going to make Jameis look better down the stretch. I think the Bucs will be looking hard at the top OTs in the upcoming draft. Finally, I’m glad that you & Scott have acknowledged Macabee’s contribution to PR over the years. I used to post on TBT Bucs page for years and they would never have anything to say about their supporters and readers (Macabee was on there as well). Mac was the cream of the crop when I came to all of us armchair GMs. I hope that PR continues to keep it real with the readers, whether it’s about the Bucs or some of the rabbit holes that that will break out now and then…

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  13. I am extremely sorry to read of macabees passing and like you, share many of the same feelings and thoughts about him as you.
    If you know his family, please pass along my heart felt condolences. He will be missed.

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  14. Yeper..you are correct here Mark. Jameis is gonna throw interceptions his whole career. its who he is. A..Hit and miss gunslinger. He will throw 2 interceptions in a row. Then throw a spiral on a rope for a touchdown. I see us keeping Jameis. Just make sure our Defense is solid and can get off the field. Because we will lose many shootouts against good teams.

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  15. “I am not sure if this is a legitimate question or not.” Mark you’re dumber than you look. We have nearly 5 years of games, if you aren’t sure one way or another about that question you are clueless. I don’t care if your pro Winston or anti Winston the question is legitimate.

    I’m anti Winston, no secret there, send him packing draft a QB with the money saved get the best free agent corner money can buy. That move is financial wash and chances are pretty high we have better team. Even a inexperience rookie that has track record of accuracy and ball security is like to outperform Winston in the win loss column. The QB need not even be a 1st rounder, if there is a need in the 1st round we can take it and draft the QB later.

    Being thrilled after Winston has good game against the 25th ranked D, is the very definition of insanity. Anyone that supports keeping Winston at this point, doesn’t want this team to consistently win. We have most the offensive pieces to be successful aside from QB. A single top 10 corner would vastly improve the secondary. We don’t tag Winston or sign him we can afford one, rookie contracts are cheap very cheap.

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  16. This whole conversation about “franchise quarterbacks” needs to be reframed. As far as I’m concerned, there are only four legitimate franchise quarterbacks active right now: Brady/Wilson/Rodgers/Brees. They’ve all won a Super Bowl and have played at a very high level year-in-and year out and have been durable. In the next category, I have Watson and Mahomes and perhaps Prescott, though he doesn’t have the “it” look and has been blessed with a superior offensive line.. They have superior stats and “look like” franchise QBs. But neither has done it yet. Against premier defenses, Watson has looked ordinary. All three need to stay healthy. In the next group, I have Cousins and Ryan and Garoppolo and Rivers. Ryan is declining and Cousins puts up good numbers, but never seems to win the big games. Garoppolo is having a fine season, but has yet to be really tested. Rivers plays just well enough to keep people intested but always makes the crucial mistake at the wrong time.None of these three currently is playing at a franchise level. The you have a fourth group: Goff, Wentz, and Stafford are all being paid as franchise quarterbacks; each has made the playoffs and two of them had their team in the Super Bowl. But all three are currently considered disappointments. In the next group, you have Carr, Mayfield, and Winston. Mayfield is having a bad year, though has picked it up a bit the last two weeks. Carr was taken out early yesterday and is up and down. Winston has more talent than either but is considerably more prone to mistakes. Lamar Jackson is in with this group as well. He has unique talents, and is being used properly, but he is very difficult to judge. Special talent for sure, but too early to know how he will fare when he faces adversity. Hard to know where to put Newton and Murray is too new. Mariota, ughhh. Tannehill, a lot to prove. The point is, drafting a quarterback early or late assures you of nothing. Fewer than 20 percent of the teams in the league can feel secure at the position. Wentz and Goff looked like sure things. Look at them now. Newton won player of the year and now appears to be unattractive to the team he took to the Super Bowl. Among the contenders, I don’t see a Brady, Rodgers, Brees, or Wilson. I wouldn’t give up on Winston quite yet. Though he will never be in group one, he does have the potential to make it into group 2.

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    • I generally agree with the thrust of your article but would take exception with Carr – he is so much more accurate than Winston it’s not even funny. No comparison, beyond the turnovers Winston’s ball placement is his Achilles Heel. We’d be a completely different, winning team with Carr.

      Again, I agree with the general idea though after five years and giving up possession of the ball 127 times and the ball placement issue I’d rather pay Bridgewater or a have cap friendly rookie while filling in our many roster holes.

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  17. Everyone here has an opinion, so let me state mine. Yes the franchise tag is 27 million this year. No one in the NFL, let me say that again no one in the NFL will pay Winston 27 million to play QB for them. So I think our GM or the ownership has to sit down with Winston and say we want you to be a Buc next year but our offer is around 15 mil. That is the best we can do for you. I truly believe that is about all he is worth. If he takes it we keep him, if he doesn’t we move on because he is not even close to being worth franchise money and everyone in the league knows it. At best if Winston plays anywhere but Tampa next year it will be as a backup and no where close to that kind of money so let’s be careful how we spend our money and build our team.

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    • This is exactly what i was thinking. Get him on a 3 contract around 15 to 20 mill with escalators. I think hed take it and bet on himself. But thats hard to tell.

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  18. That’s my problem too Bob… I’m willing to give Jameis one more year…Wow! I can’t believe I just said that…it’s the 27 million Franchise number that bothers me. Way to much for him. What does this do to our salary cap and the ability to resign our own free agents and maybe a couple of new free agents? It just seems an exorbitant price to pay For a QB who hasn’t even taken his team to a playoff. I’m just saying…

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  19. Rest in Paradise MacArthur Boykins. Loved your posts. Level headed and intelligent. Best to his family

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  20. Signing Winston’s extension should be the easiest thing in the world. You give him a decent amount of guaranteed money based on his familiarity with the team, work ethic and grit. Then you incentivize the hell out of it. Make a tiered contract where is he throws X INTs then he gets X bonus money. If he throws more than that it’s less so he literally feels it in his wallet when he throws excessive INTs. A starting QB should be throwing about 10-15 INTS a year, if he starts throwing 20+ his pay goes down dramatically. Then incentivize him for total TDs thrown, making the playoffs, winning playoff games, Pro Bowl etc.

    Three years $50MM-65MM contract where $25MM is guaranteed over the first two years and the rest is a third year option and incentives.

    Couldn’t we all get behind that? I bet Jameis would. He’s a gamer who is down for a challenge and will bet on himself.

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    • This is exactly how it should be handeled by both sides. Good response sapp.

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    • If you could get Bridgewater instead would he be worth the extra $5 mill a year? We have enough overpaid players to afford that

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    • It looks like Gruden may be frustrated with Derek Carr. If he is willing to part ways with his star QB, like he did with Mack and Cooper, would it be worth it to make a deal? Winston for Carr swap? throw in a 4th round pick.

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  21. I agree with those above, you do not take a qb in the first. The more i see of these college qbs, the less inpressed I am, outside of Burrow, who were not getting.
    Herbert looked awful against a bad arizona st team this last week. Tua is made of glass, and sone are wondering if Easom and Fromm should come back for another year.
    Draft trenches all draft day. Both sides as it is needed to get younger there.

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  22. I agree that Barrett and Suh are priorities but I’d hate to see Suh go. He’s been a solid player who does more than stats indicate

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  23. No defense for the second pick, but I’m with Scott that Evans ran a bad route on the first int

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  24. “Winston tosses a bad interception on his first pass,…” Mark, you must have read about the game in the paper because everybody else knows that interception was on Evans as he ran a pathetic route. Even the stupid jump pass hit the receivers hands.

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    • It was way behind the receiver and yet another very bad decision by the human turnover machine. Even BA said it was a dumb play. Go take another look.

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      • Don’t need to look again. It was a dumb play. I just said it hit his hands, which it did. Back in the days of yore they told us if it hits your hands you should catch it. However, it was a jackass, sandlot play.

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  25. Rest in peace Mr. Mac. When I found pewterreport a long time ago to read bucs news and thoughts about how we as bucs fans felt towards the team I personally enjoyed reading his comments the most. Truly a gentlemen, and it showed in his comments. Will be dearly missed. God bless.

    Go Bucs!

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  26. I’m not a Winston fan, but my goodness we’ve had so much worse here. He’s very frustrating to say the least. We won a Super Bowl with Brad Johnson of all people. Saw Trent Dilfer win a Super Bowl with Baltimore. I don’t think we need to pay Jameis 25+ million a season to play QB however. I like Jones, and Barber is serviceable for now. We absolutely need to focus at least 2 of the first three picks, if not 3 of the first 4 on the OL in the draft. An above average QB with the ability to look off a receiver and hit his second guy without panicking would be more than enough to suffice in this offense. Let’s face it, Evans, Godwin, Brate, Howard would make most above average quarterbacks look amazing.

    With the development of the secondary and resigning and restocking of the DL, we will be in very good shape next year.

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