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.

As you may have guessed, the majority of the questions revolved around Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston.

Below are the questions we chose for this week’s edition of the PR Bucs Monday Mailbag.

Question: How short is Jameis Winston’s leash now?

Answer: I don’t think it is any shorter on Monday morning than it was on Sunday morning. Jameis Winston had an awful game in Sunday’s 31-17 loss with three interceptions, including a pair of costly pick-sixes, and if this continues in 2019 Bruce Arians and the team will have to move on and look for a new quarterback to roll out in 2020. But Arians is experienced enough and also confident enough in his, and the staff’s ability, to right the ship.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston
Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Getty Image

Arians knew all about Winston’s turnovers before he took the job. He also knew Winston’s strengths. This isn’t a new issue. Arians didn’t come out of retirement if he felt he would be embarrassed and this year would be a complete disaster. Arians has already established a legacy as a head coach in the NFL with two Coach of the Year awards as evidence, and he doesn’t want to tarnish it. The bottom line is, if he didn’t think Winston was capable, he would have stayed at his lake house in Georgia and played endless rounds of golf at Lake Oconee.

However, it is getting harder to defend Winston’s play, especially in his fifth year. The Bucs can live with an interception from time to time as all quarterbacks throw them, but gifting an opponent 14 points is a loss nearly 100 percent of time a time. Winston is feeling the pressure of his contract year, whether he, or anyone else wants to admit it. So much is riding on this season – not just for the organization, but also Winston personally.

Getting back to your question, Winston at the minimum has until the bye week following Tampa Bay’s game against Carolina to turn things around. If this team is winless and Winston has shown no improvement, then I could see the team moving onto Blaine Gabbert or Ryan Griffin. The Bucs can’t beat themselves and that’s what happened on Sunday against the 49ers due to Winston’s three interceptions.

Question: This offense looked horrible, going back to the third preseason game and that was without Mike Evans. Are teams going just start to double him all game knowing we don’t have a pure deep threat or don’t respect Jameis Winston abilities?

Answer: If opponents are smart they will. If I am an opposing defensive coordinator that would be my game plan until Jameis Winston and the offense can show they can beat me in other ways. It was refreshing to see a semblance of a running game, and I wonder how long before Ronald Jones is named the starter over Peyton Barber. But other than some sporadic success running the football, nothing else really stood out offensively on Sunday.

Tight end O.J. Howard has a terrible game with a fumble and a pass bouncing off his hands and turning into an interception, while fellow tight end Cam Brate was non-existent other than the two touchdowns he had called back due to Demar Dotson penalties. And where was Breshad Perriman on Sunday?

While it is fair to beat up Winston for his poor decision-making on Sunday, I don’t think offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich should be let off the hook completely. We all know Winston is a streaky passer, who thrives off chaos at times, yet there was no no-huddle offense mixed in, very little imagination on first down and where was the play-action? I thought running the football is supposed to open that up. I will go back and re-watch the game today, but from my recollection, I don’t remember seeing a lot of play-action.

Question: How many more performances like that until Jason Licht and Jameis Winston are both finally let go?

Answer: At least 15. Jason Licht and Jameis Winston aren’t going anywhere this year. The Glazers have too much invested in both of them to just send them packing before the season is over. Once the season is over then the evaluation will begin.

But remember Licht just signed an extension this offseason, and like coaches’ contracts, it is most likely guaranteed. Not that the Glazers are afraid to pay someone to sit at home. They fired Jon Gruden and Bruce Allen in 2008 after signing three-year extensions. They also let head coaches Raheem Morris, Greg Schiano, Lovie Smith and Dirk Koetter all go with years left on their contracts.

Bucs GM Jason Licht - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs GM Jason Licht – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

But something Licht has going for him is his relationship with Bruce Arians. While I wouldn’t necessarily call it a package deal, most would agree Arians is here and Licht got his new deal based on their prior working relationship the two have.

Hypothetically if this team goes 3-13 and Licht is fired, would Arians even stick round? Would he want to have to endure a new G.M., a new quarterback and a complete rebuild? The 66-year old Arians didn’t come here on a five-year wanting to rebuild.

Question: What is your record prediction now?

Answer: My 10-6 prediction for the 2019 Bucs isn’t looking great. But I will stick with it. Why not?

Overreaction Monday is in full effect. And I get it. There was a lot of hype with this team, maybe not nationally, but Bucs fans and many in the media locally felt Tampa Bay would win on Sunday against San Francisco, and that this was going to be a rebound season. I still think it can be.

But let’s look back on last season. Did anyone expect the 2-0 start? And then after those two wins did anyone foresee the Bucs only winning three more games out of their last 14?

It wouldn’t surprise me to see this season be a lot like Tony Dungy’s first year with the Bucs in 1996 when the team began 1-7, but finished 6-10 with momentum. This is a brand new system on both sides of the ball, a new playbook to learn and several new players who are still getting to know each other. There will be growing pains. Sometimes even three-interception growing pains.

But it is a long season. And to give up after one game is as silly as believing last year’s 2-0 start was not a mirage in hindsight.

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Next articleBucs’ Arians Says INTs Were Not All On Winston
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]

33 COMMENTS

  1. The D and running game are vastly improved. Now if we can only get consistent QB play?????

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    • IF, biggest 2 letter word in the English language. Over under on how long before the trolls start talking about the 2020 draft?

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    • So you don’t think right side of the offensive line had anything to do with?some of Winstons problems?

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      • Yes I do but I think we win that game with any other starting NFL qb. I have backed Winston but I cant do it anymore after that. He has bounced back after bad games in the past. I truly hope he does and we get a win in a place we normally don’t play too well.

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  2. These Buc-ass-Clones will have a different take but Mark you’re right about everything you have said here. Its “Over Reaction Monday”and the Glazers are not about to blow the whole thing up because one game. I believe we have a good team and I will stand behind that comment!

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  3. B.A. like all coaches has a big ego. He saw Winston, and thought he could be the one to turn his career around. He thought he could do for Jameis what he did for Ben, Manning, and Luck. Guess what? Jameis isn’t anywhere near the talent level of those other QB’s. When B.A. whispers in Jameis’s ear, you can hear the sound come out the other ear. Jameis is inaccurate, makes poor decisions, and no amount of coaching is going to change that. Every coach Jameis has ever had from Fisher, to Koetter, to Monk, have tried to coach this out of him, and has failed. Early results have shown, B.A., Clyde, Moore, and Lefty haven’t gotten him right after working with him since March. Yes we’ll move on from Winston probably after the bye week as you say Mark, but the season will be toast by then. Jameis is what he is, I’ve seen enough to know he’ll never be a consistent enough NFL QB. If I was Jameis, I’d start working on my fast ball. You don’t have to worry about throwing picks, and fumbling in baseball.

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    • How Million $ QB’s have you coached? How Coach of the Year or Super Bowl trophies have you won? Zero, I think I’ll trust Arians judgement over yours. Sorry!

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    • Great idea! Baseball is more Winston’s speed. There’s fewer split-second game make or break decisions for a pitcher. The NFL appears too fast for him.

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    • this being Jamies contract years solves everything. He is done if he does not get it done this year. No if an’s or butts….extra t intended.

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    • You neglected to mention Carson Palmer. He is about on Jameis skill level. Had a ton of turnovers some year. I think he we should give him more than one game with a competent coach. And look what they’ve done with the D? That’s more scheme but I think it may take a game or two for Winston to get into game form with a new offense. You heard, the coach said two of the int’s he put the ball where he should’ve but the guys made the wrong reads. I just don’t want to overreact to Week 1. Now if after 4-5 games he’s shown no improvement, or worse, somehow regressed, then give Griffin some experience. It’d be easier to let Winston continue to go out there and continue to have a chance if the D can keep us in games and we can squeak out a couple W’s the first 1/4, and it looked to me like they can. I know it was not pretty but this stuff really does seem fixable. His eyes haven’t been getting so big. Maybe some first game jitters too. We know he’s prone to jitters. (This is starting to sound like a bad QB.. LOL) I’m prepared to give Arians and Winston and Leftwich etc a game or two to get these guys ready to dominate. Now if it looks like the offense isn’t working for everyone they’ll change the plays their calling! something we never saw.the old coaching staff do. My rambling point is let’s give them a mulligan and see how much they can fix by wee.. S#!÷! That’s right, we play Thursday.. Ok, so an 0-2 start isn’t the best but.. Ok I’m just depressing myself now but they CAN still win this season!

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  4. Winston is starting to look like Vinny…..he’s going the way of Vinny unless there is a drastic change. He’s pretty far down that road already. No deep threat anymore will hurt his Mike Evans connection and the offense doesn’t look like its suited for him. We got big problems!

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  5. So it was just because it was a new system that Winston looked as lost and clueless out there as he did? If that’s it, why didn’t he play more during the preseason?

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    • Nobody is going to risk their QB1 in preseason playing behind a 3rd string line getting blown up by a Bum defender who want even make the practice squad. Relax it’s 1 game!

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      • Of course not. The O line should have been out there too.

        Yes, it’s one game. The problem is that Winston played like it was his first NFL game, not the beginning of his fifth season.

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  6. Overreaction Monday is in full effect no i am not backing Jamies Winston up at all but is bucs fan needs too be quiet about a QB change it’s only week 1 yes Jamies lost us the game but it’s not entirely his fault we went for it on 4th down, we had no pass rush and had multiple chances to stop them on 3rd down and we didn’t. But it’s week 1 and we gotta see the bright spots on this team our defense has not look this good in years, RoJo looks like he’s bounced back to be the number 1 option and our young DBs had a pretty good damn game. Im not happy but i do see some bright spots in this team and i am hoping Bruce can make the adjustments and we steal a game at Carolina this Thursday and get some momentum going to make and win some ball games this season

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  7. I think we all expected too much on the first game, it will take some time for the bucs to actually adjust to the new system here in Tampa, but I can’t say that Jameis will get any better. We will have to see in a few weeks.

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  8. Last year after suspension and benching the Bucs had a locker room division lead by a loudmouth muti all-pro receiver claiming that Winston could not throw an accurate pass, Bucs only had room for 1 of them and choice was to cut the receiver solve the locker room division with 1 cut.
    Gone is DeSean
    Problem is all the Bucs woke up this morning and read about Desean league week 1 MVP performance and scrolled all the way to the bottom of stats to see Winston with leagues worst QB performance.
    All the players know that without Jameis horrible whispered play that they were in that game yesterday.
    I think Bucs have a huge locker room problem now and it is only going to get worse.

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  9. I blame the Loss on myself. See I brought my Son to his first Football game yesterday. My Dads first Bucs game was a Loss, My first Bucs game was a Loss and so it was inevitably Fate that My Sons first Bucs game was a Loss. See there was really no other way for it to turn out.

    Everyone’s gonna shit on Winston even though there was a lot of route running problems with a couple of the INTs. With Pre Season being practically non existent you get Game 1s like like half the league yesterday where most of the teams played like garbage with all the rust.

    My viewpoint is I want Winston to find his way and play like the Franchise QB he can be finally and we’re all good. BUT if he doesn’t then we will be Drafting another QB this year. I’ve never wanted him to stay no matter what, only if he earns it, and this year he has to earn it or he will be gone and we will be moving on.

    It’s a long season. The Defense actually impressed me yesterday. Aside from a few missed tackles and a couple long plays I thought they looked pretty darn good. Jones made me very happy in the stand yesterday, he has started to find his way! The Offensive Line collapsed a few times like all do but I thought they did a pretty decent job against a #1 Draft Pock Dline yesterday, opening some running lanes. Pass protection wasn’t the best but it wasn’t unforgivable. The Defense will
    Only get better and the Offense needs to spend the next week in the film room.

    Only Time will tell. Still excited about the season.

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    • Good rational thoughts

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  10. Mark,
    Nice logical answers to the fire and brimstone fan. It was a horrible performance. Winners move on. Losers hang on to it like a bulldog with a bone. If they have their way Winston will replace Brady much like Young replaced Montana. It is the way of the Bay area’s MSM and fans.

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  11. Preseason is a joke because players don’t play.

    With a new coaching staff, new scheme, new playbook, new play callers, why would you not leave your starters out there a long time in the first couple of games so they can actually learn?

    This is what all of us should expect from Jameis: unable to hit the deep pass or outside shots, making stupid (not poor, but stupid) decisions, then giving us the dumbass cliches. WTF. Yup, another losing season is upon us. Hopefully we don’t do mediocre, and just get maybe 2 or 3 wins, but knowing our team, it will be 7 wins and picking in the middle of the first round.

    As to our defense, no pressure on the quarterback AGAIN, we were late getting into our sets, play calling was slow and late getting communicated, White looked lost as can be and SLOW. At least our Defensive line looked serviceable. Take the green dot away from White, let him focus on what he has to do, not what the entire defense has to do. It’s a lot to give to a rookie who hardly played in preseason.

    Our special teams was crap. But Gay at least kicked the ball straight.

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  12. Two ways to go at it: The Dolphins traded away their best lineman and a couple of other good ones and got beat by 40 points yesterday and it is clear they will be losers this year and probably next year as well. I thought it was genius to bring in BA and his great assistants and then for them to say the team is good enough now without an overhaul. In the modern NFL every team has talent and it’s really about motivating these guys to perfection, which brings us back to Jamies. He is starting to establish himself as a mediocre QB. He has been in the league too long to make the mistakes he made last week. Obviously if he keeps it up BA and Licht are gone end of season. Four years ago, It was him or Mariota. BA has put his chips on Jamies , but the Titans won yesterday. Every game Jamies plays like this puts the city of Tampa and Buc fans on a death watch. Three picks is way too many for a guy who has been a starter in the league for four years.

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  13. Hey Pewter Fans NFL stats are out Jameis Winston Rating 45.4 that is 32 in the league out of 33
    Matt Moore last was 0-1 pass and 39%

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  14. All is not bad with the Bucs! Unfortunately the play of the QB almost dictates how the wins and losses will go. Most QBs have that internal clock and the ability to feel pressure before it arrives. Jameis continues to hold on to the ball too long and even when he is holding it too long he does not secure the ball! I just don’t see how the Bucs will be consistently better with Jameis as our QB? Like that we seem to be establishing a running game with RJ but the poor play at QB will effect the entire team. Maybe Jameis rebounds and actually looks like an NFL QB on Thursday night? If not, I fear it’s going to be a very long season. Here’s hoping backup QB RG gets a least a shot at running BAs offense. A man can dream can’t he? Go Bucs!

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  15. Bucs go 10-6 and the league and everyone will be stunned. I think this past game shows that turning around Winston is going to take longer than anticipated by anyone, if it ever happens. Odds are high it won’t.

    Licht is a package deal. If Arians is fired, then Licht will be too. That is the only way Licht is going now. Either they succeed with Winston, or the next QB. If neither happens and there is no improvement in three years that is the earliest you would see both gone.

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  16. I don’t think the offensive scheme is the problem by itself, I just don’t think we have the O line to execute it. Jamies is still taking 5+ step drops looking down field. He had happy feet from the rush in the first quarter. I’m not absolving Jamies here, bad decisions in year 5 are not likely to be fixed. But if you want to win, adjust your scheme to fit your team. Our line can’t support more than 3 step drops from the majority of passes, maybe a 5 step drop once in a while. Shorten the routes, run the ball. Give these guys a chance based on what they can do. Not seeing that.

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  17. The problem Dman is that this offense was supposedly built around Jameis???

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    • I’ve never heard that. This is Arians’ scheme that everyone thought was made for Jamies. And maybe it is, we can’t give him the protection needed to execute it with deeper drop backs. Dotson just can’t get it done. Cappa is a back-up at best. Dotson was hugging his guy on one of the holding penalties that nullified a TD to Brate. Cappa doesn’t have the ability, he may develop, but he’s not there yet. One step, two step, three step throw.

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  18. “Where was Breshad Perriman?”….right where he has been his entire NFL career; dropping more passes in his breadbasket. As Trevor said in his latest article, “get someone in there that can catch”.

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  19. Chill,its 1 game.A season has never been lost 1 game in.what ya going to say when he lights Carolina up on Thursday night?The head coach looked at da tape and came out and said 2 of da 3 interceptions wasn’t even his fault.Let da man get comfortable,give him a few games to get his feet under him.And while your at it bench cappa cause he can’t pass block to save his mama right now.

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  20. It’s just one game and it’s a new system that even Carson Palmer struggled with for weeks. But good grief! What a horrible way for Winston to start his 5th year with 2 pick sixes! Just cannot give the opposing team 14 points like that and expect to win. This was worse for Winston than last year’s Cincinnati game and he should be mature enough to know this. He should be mature enough to know that he can’t make those kind of passes again. I’m tired of hearing how he’s throwing where the Receiver SHOULD be. Eat it and take the sack, scramble, throw it away (penalized or not)…but for goodness sakes don’t throw pick sixes anymore! I want Winston to succeed and get the second contract with the Bucs but for goodness sakes don’t be the reason we’re losing games this year like what happened yesterday!

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  21. It sure is sad when “fans” like Bob are so thrilled by the loss, the poor play of Jameis Winston and even the good showing by an Eagle WR. Seems the personal opportunity to thump one’s chest is the goal.

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    • An incredibly annoying goal at that!

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