About the author

Mark Cook

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]

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    Here are some more observations from when I watched practice Sat, Sun and Monday:
    – It was different watching the offense practice in red and the defense in white and it kept confusing me the 1st half hour of the 1st practice. I haven’t missed a training camp since 2007 and the defense has always been in red. A changing of the guard perhaps in terms of which side of the ball is expected to be the fan favorite, hence wearing the “home” colors? We’ll see…
    – I’ve never seen so many screens run to RB’s and TE’s and to me it’s a welcome site. However by Day 3 I realized that every screen I remember the offense running resulted in a big play except one. I would have thought that the eventually the defense would have adjusted. Mike Smith’s defense looked good overall but have got to sniff out and stop about half of the screens run on them otherwise other offenses will catch on and we’ll get pounded with them all season. Defensively we have to know coming into the game who the other team likes to go to on screens and defend it better (in our case it’s definitely Sims…every time we split him out wide the ball came to him except once that I remember).
    – D. Martin and Sims both looked as good as they did last season, however the rest of the offense looks slightly worse in my opinion. They just don’t seem to be in a rhythm like they were at this time last year.
    – I really thought Brate may take the starting TE job by the horns early in training camp but he made his share of mistakes, from a fumble to dropped passes. It was kind of disappointing since ASJ doesn’t look any better to me than he did last year. Brate did look much better on Monday than he did Sat and Sun.
    – I’ll list more comments in other articles, particularly what I saw out of the defensive players.

    1. 1.1

      Mark Cook

      Good stuff. I don’t agree the offense looks worse, I chalk it up to the defense being head and shoulders better. More man. Quarters. Blitzes and different looks. This is actually pay off in my opinion for the offense down the road. They are being challenged unlike last year in camp.

      1. 1.1.1


        Thanks MC. It’s a fact that the defense is now running all the stuff that you listed above. However, none of the things you listed should affect poor Center/QB exchanges, dropped passes when no defender is around, passes thrown behind, over or ahead of receivers when there is little pressure, fumbles, etc. The things that you listed that do affect the offense are things like the QB holding onto the ball longer and having to make tougher decisions, which I deliberately didn’t list as knocks on the offense because I know that’s due to better defense.



          I also saw more false starts on offense than I saw at this time last year which should be scheme independent of the defense.

    2. 1.2


      Small correction: I meant to say, “I’ve never seen so many screens run to RB’s and WR’s…” I saw a lot of TE screens to the inside a few years ago that worked but never seemed to get called in the regular season.

      1. 1.2.1


        Your awesome Pink, thanks.



          Thanks Jme0151!

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    Keep up the comments gang. Those of us far away who can’t be there appreciate it very much!

    1. 2.1


      Here here…….Scottsdale is a long way from Buc land although I do still own a home in Safety Harbor. Go Bucs.

      1. 2.1.1


        Yes, Cedar Falls is also a long ways away. I enjoy PR’s coverage very much. I also like the fan’s perspective.
        Thanks Pinkstob!



          Agree. Honolulu, Hawaii is far away as well.



            I used to have to wait for the old magazine to arrive. I couldn’t wait for it to get here.

  3. 3


    Been reading this page and the comments for years, and I finally decided to create an account to engage in the dialogue. I begin Law School in three weeks, so I’m gonna need something to help me decompress from the rigors of being a 1L *Sighs*

    With that being said, while all the hype has been about the improvement the defense has shown thus far (Defense wins championships, right?) I truly believe that the offense, in particular having a balanced attack, is what will push us into a new era of respectability and constant contention. I’m glad that Hump got the nod in the slot. He may not have stood out in a physical aspect, but his hard work and consistency is paying off. Hope some of this will rub off on Kenny Bell. We need him to step in for VJax when he hangs it up. That being said, I’ll take work ethic and great hands over speed, jumping ability, and an occasional acrobatic catch any day. Same thing goes for Cam Brate and ASJ. I see Brate getting the nod, based off of dependability alone. Heard he’s been a little slow to start camp, but I have no doubt he’ll hold off ASJ. Also, good to see Sims being used all over the field. If he can get stronger between the tackles, we’ll have the top 1-2 backfield in the league. Lastly, I haven’t heard Donovan Smith’s name mentioned too much. Classic example of the glass either being half full or half empty. Hopefully, the lack of mention means that his performance has been steady, and not a sign of mediocrity.

    That’s all for now. Looking forward to breaking bread, and exchanging Football acumen with everyone.

  4. 4


    I don’t want to be the defender of ASJ here. I just have opinions based on observation and just a bit of experience. Other than injury, in my view there is no way that Brate is going to become the starting TE lined up with “Stocker the Blocker” with ASJ on the bench. Folks need to take off their biased glasses and cast aside their wishful thinking. Brate has a nice story. I too want to root for the underdog. My measure of greatness is when the opponent has to game plan for a player. Now ask yourselves, which player has the best chance to keep DC’s awake at night? A 260 pound, 6′-5″ monster who can block, run and catch, drafted in round 2 or a rather light (in more ways than one) Ivy League undrafted big WR? Unless ASJ gets hurt or does something foolish, he will be a big part of the game plan…….for both teams.

  5. 5


    Couldn’t agree more that I’m over this ASJ or Brate thing some fans have created. We are a much better team bc of Brates development but that doesn’t now mean ASJ is expendable. At the end of the day ASJ is a 23 year old kid that has made his share of blunders on the field but who didnt at that age. His rookie season he pretty much had no OC then last year he got hurt but was very productive when healthy. We have been patient with far less talented and productive players so Im still willing to bet that he figures it out sooner than later. Sidenote I agree that the offense will be much better bc of the many looks we are getting in practice. I definitely noticed that Jameis was more comfortable when teams sat in zone coverage like the soft kind Lovie implemented in practice as opposed to the more attacking defenses like the Titans. Teams would get leads, play more zone and then I would notice Jameis settle down a bit and get in a better rhythm. So spicing it up in practice hopefully means the struggles occur during the summer and not on gamedays. Keep up the good work and as always Go Bucs.

  6. 6


    Players today are such big babies. Working and toiling out in the hot sun for five straight days and now they are whining about getting a day off.
    “The beatings will continue until morale improves.”
    Good to see Alexander transforming into a pros pro.
    Whoever strts at TE will be the better addition to the lineup, I don’t care who it is.
    As far as youthful blunders, I continued to make mine into my 40s so it’s hard for me to criticize a 22 yo for getting emotional (Evans) or showing off at a meaningless point in a game (ASJ).
    Besides, how many times have I read from fans about her about the players not having enough passion or emotion during a game.
    You can’t have it both ways.

  7. 7

    Mark Cook

    ASJ can be as good as he wants to be. He has Pro Bowl talent. But the only holding him back is himself. Watch out for Vitale getting some of the TE catches. Jason is very high on him, plus he is a fine young man who loves football. IF this team stays relatively healthy, they will make some noise this year. Like serious noise.

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