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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30 Comments

  1. 1

    Andy Ely

    Not a very impressive offseason mock up, underwhelming FA Signs. We need one or two bigger splashes than that. I like the draft for the most part. I feel like we cannot wait until the 3rd round to get a pass rusher especially if Adrian Clayborn is what we bring in from FA his stats were inflated last year by one 6 sack game against a back up tackle. We need a little better of an offseason for the Bucs staff to keep their jobs past this season

  2. 2

    FLBoy84

    Lost me at Sims, Tandy and Claiborne there Mark. Stick to the podcast, it’s what your best at. 😉

  3. 3

    cgmaster27

    I’d absolutely love this is we didn’t still have a glaring hole at DE afterwards. I’m not for bringing Claybourne back. As you stated, almost all of his production came in one game. I really like your draft and just tweak the FA a bit to get a corner like Trumain Johnson and then in the third you could grab another pass rusher in stead of a corner. As for your draft, I love James naturally, I’m a bit of a homer myself, but we have a need a SS and James and Evans would be wonderful back there. I think you might be able to even trade back a bit and get James. Not too far as the combine worked its magic with him as expected. This is just the wrong draft class to need a DE and Jason Licht got burned on this by not being ready for it.

  4. 4

    Sheldon

    FA signings isn’t there for me. I like the first two or three rounds but hey it could work. I think we will trade back into the 2nd round like always so a CB in the 2nd like Jaire Alexander would be great to get. But the 1st and 2nd picks were money.

  5. 5

    SCLOBERNOCKER

    Like the draft, not so much the FA. I’m really high on James if we cant get Nelson/Chubb. Best of the rest as far as I see it. Its also gonna be real hard to not pull the trigger on Sony if hes there at 38. I mean REAL HARD. Given that, we need to plan ahead and get some decent DE to cover that possibility. Vinny curry looks to hit the market soon. Maybe check the trade wire for a guy not named Quinn/Bennett.

    Also, I’m disappointed you only picked one Nole. I figured you would have no choice but to one up Trevor after his 3 Gator draft. You fell short by 3.

  6. 6

    bucball1

    It’s way better than the other two guys they want the league to have a feel good story in Tampa for picking the guy for ucf get off that an just build a real football team for god sake

  7. 7

    BobLbLawsLawBlg

    I like this plan the least. Does nothing but kick issues on both lines down the road.

    If Nelson, Chubb and Barkley arent there at 7 they have to look at moving down.

  8. 8

    JustaBuc

    This is easily the best battle plan of the three. Like, not even close. It doesn’t go AAA at every position expecting that it’ll actually get that and there’s a sense of direction here beyond “let’s get the best free agent at every position right now”. I can actually see a realistic shot of this plan working.

    Of course we should aim for the best players available but those would be icing, not the plan A. You plan for the worst. Cook seems to get that.

    As for the draft, I like James but, man, I really hope Nelson is there for us 🙁 Otherwise I think it’s also pretty good.

    Ty for the battle plans PR!

  9. 9

    htownbucfan03

    I don’t like it but this has been the bucs M.O. since we fired lovie and hired Dirk. We get bargain guys in free agency except for one “big ticket” free agent then it’s a bunch of players who we don’t kno. They probably will re sign grimes and sign an ej gaines cuz he fits Mike Smith defense an off man scheme. Even tho I trully believe in trying to get Julius peppers to pair him with McCoy and new line coach buckner and also signing an younger vet like Aaron lynch or okafor I can see them bringing clayborn back because it’s the bucs. The only draft pick I liked was at 7 cuz James is an elite talent but we do little to address a d line that has no talent except McCoy. Signing McDonald is good but he is depth. While I don’t like this plan it’s most likely very accurate

  10. 10

    FLBoy84

    As much as we give you guys crap for your thoughts, it always helps to remember there are actual, highly paid GM’s who make massive mistakes as well. Like Philly trading with the Bucs up from #12 to #7 and grabbing Mike Mamula and giving the Bucs the opportunity to draft both Sapp and Brooks in Rd 1. There’s a few others that come to mind, but they’re better left for another day.

    1. 10.1

      Piratic

      Man, I had forgotten about that!
      Well done.

  11. 11

    Julian Jordan

    I like that you addressed positions of need.

    Not enjoying the personnel selections.

    I want to make one of these I’m pretty discouraged by the battle plans.

    Holding out hope for Trevor but more importantly I’m holding out hope for Light’s battle plan.

  12. 12

    LordCornelius

    Revamping the D-line to get pressure on the QB should be the #1 priority in any of these offseason plans imo – and grabbing Clayborn plus a late round pick isn’t going to do it for me. I’d have very little optimism about our 2018 outlook with these plans.

    Even with the O-line – those 2 guys scare me as signings that could bust or possibly just be mediocre at best. I’d rather spend that $$ on a more proven CB than Colven for example; or more pass rush/DT help.

    We need to add 2 DTs and 2 DEs at a minimum this offseason – and not just late round picks or bottom of the barrel FAs; but actual guys who can contribute.

  13. 13

    XpfcWintergreen2

    With the acquisition of Zach Fulton (LG), Spencer Long (C) and Dion Lewis (RB) I can see how we might draft Derwin James (SS) and Sony Michel (RB) with our first two picks.

    Since my focus has been on edge rushers and defensive tackles I find myself wondering what would have happened had we never jettisoned Michael Bennett or Adrian Clayborn. … Oh, well! …. 🙂 … Bringing back Clayborn is OK with me.

    ________________
    Go Bucs!!!!

  14. 14

    Amo

    I hope we trade with Buffalo. We get two firsts and a third. That will help us more than a safety, albeit a good one, and praying Sony falls. Go Bucs!

  15. 15

    surferdudes

    You don’t sign any F.A. D tackles, you don’t draft any D tackles, and on your final roster you only carry 3 D. tackles, two over 30, and one who’s never played. Are you the half witted brother of Jason Licht who’s only drafted one D.T. since he’s been here? You’ll never win that way.

  16. 16

    Alldaway 2.0

    One armed bandit back! Nice.

  17. 17

    Horse

    Mark, Trevor, Scott, are you guys working for Koetter and Licht now? So far all I am seeing is ” the ship is still sinking”? I don’t see any of these game plans getting us more than 6-7 wins and just wasting millions of dollars. Get ready for another lousy season if either one of these plans are are Incorporated. I just can’t be positive here, other than you tried. Excuse me as I go throw up!

  18. 18

    Spartan01

    All three Buc Battle Plans are really good! Really enjoyed those. Did mine below.

    Taking into account re-signing guys, bringing in new talent, and planning ahead 1-2 years and also leaving some slack as insurance we’ve probably got around 35M max to play with in FA and still be relatively safe.

    Assuming no Sweezy, Ayers, Pamphile, Evans, Hawley, Tandy, Russell, Siliga, Mclain, Sims, Smith, Etc.

    FA:
    LG – Josh Kline (8M)
    RG – Zach Fulton (5M)
    DE – Alex Okafor (4M)
    DE – Kony Ealy (2M)
    RB – Dion Lewis (5M)
    CB – Aaron Colvin (2M)
    CB – Ross Cockrell (2M)
    S – Terrence Brooks (2M)
    LB – Jerry Attaochu (2M)
    Total 32M

    DRAFT:
    1 – DT Payne
    2 – RB Michel
    3 – S Bates
    4 – OT Christian
    5 – S Cruikshank (ST)
    6 – OG Gossett
    6 – CB Wallace
    7 – WR Berrios

    53 MAN ROSTER
    QB – Winston/Fitzpatrick/Griffin
    RB – MICHEL/LEWIS/Barber
    WR – Evans/Jackson/Godwin/Humphries/Martino/BERRIOS
    TE – Howard/Brate/Auclair
    G – KLINE/FULTON/GOSSETT/Liedtke
    C – Marpet
    T – Smith/Dotson/Wester/Benenoch/CHRISTIAN

    DE – EALY/OKAFOR/Spence/Gholston
    DT – McCoy/PAYNE/McDonald/Stevie-T
    LB – David/Alexander/Beckwith/Bond/ATTAOCHU
    S – Evans/BATES/Conte/BROOKS/CRUIKSHANK(ST)/Robinson(ST)
    CB – Grimes/COCKRELL/Hargreaves/COLVIN/Elliott/WALLACE

    ST – Murray/Anger/Ferris

    1. 18.1

      Horse

      That one defensive end drafted?

  19. 19

    Buc on the Move

    Haven ‘t we done the whole Safety at 7 thing before…

  20. 20

    Cody

    Hey Mark,

    I think this is probably the most realistic plan that the Bucs could do this off-season. My only critique is that I think Sony Michel and Dion Lewis are a little too similar at the running back position. I think I’d rather pass on Dion and let Tampa run it with Peyton Barber and Sony.

  21. 21

    Jonathan Goodfellow

    Your plan to fix the DL is to sign Clayborn and then spend a 3rd and a 6th on DEs? Clayborn is likely a 4 sack max guy. (only 3 sacks outside of the dallas game)

    3rd and 6th rounders are highly unlikely to produce more than a few sacks each, if that.

    If Noah Spence doesnt stay healthy, or doesnt develop, you have doomed the Bucs to another year of pash-rush ineptitude.

    IMO, very bad plan. Lot of money left to spend, add some more FA DEs as insurance, i.e. okafor, ealy. Anyone. Draft SS in rd 3 instead and develop them, grab DL in one of the first two rounds. Perchance a trade back with AZ or Buf? acquire an extra premium pick or two to grab RB, DL, and DE in first two rounds. CB & SS and rounds 3-4

  22. 22

    Hank Scorpio

    I like Derwin a lot, think he would be a good pick-up and be a perfect compliment to Justin Evans, who is a true FS, whereas most of Derwin’s highlights take place within 10 yds of the LOS like a SS, which is where he projects best in the NFL.

  23. 23

    owlykat

    Appreciated reading your plan, Mark. I like Michel if we can’t get Penny, but I prefer Penny not only because he had more yards as a RB last year than anyone but also because he has run back kicks for touchdowns. It would be a big mistake to let Pamphile get away because he was wrongly played only at Guard, and his forte is pass blocking because he played basketball in college just like Dotson did and should be our backup at Tackle and not Wester who was poor when he tried to start at RT. I would also take Orlando Brown in the third round when he slides down because of his poor showing in the combine because he will be needed when D. Smith keeps getting beat at LT and having to hold causing penalties stopping drives again this year, and then has to move to Guard where he can be a future All Pro and we could put in Brown who can hold down LT for ten years and will be a big upgrade, and when Dotson gets injured again at some point Pamphile could step in and do a lot better job than Wester. We can do much better than Clayborn for DE help too. That is critical! We need to go DE with our first pick. If Chubb is there we take him, and if not grab Taven Bryant to play DE. I know that would be criticized as a reach but his combine stats were so similar to J.J. Watt and Taven has the quick get off like Watt and can Press 500 pounds and use his hands to get to the QB and with Buckner’s fine coaching and watching Watt on film Bryant may be even better at DE than Chubb. Grab Settle in the second round, who the NFL Network gives a 6.7 Draft Grade after the combine when they rate Vea a 6.5 and they call Settle an instant starter, and pair him with Stevie T inside, and move McCoy to DE on the other side and you would have a very scary DL who could stop the run in it’s tracks, and harass the opposing QB too. Your other choices look great to me with those changes Mark, and we could get respect again!!!

  24. 24

    Sam

    LOL this is what an FSU education will get you… a terrible article. Oh wait, Cook didnt even go to FSU! Cant even listen to the podcast anymore because of all his unprompted gator attacks

    1. 24.1
  25. 25

    Ron Potter

    A lot of good ideas here, Mark. We’re missing on Star Lotuleli tho. I really think he’d be a great addition to compliment McCoy and McCoy complimenting him!

  26. 26

    ryan24

    Chris Boswell’s a stupendous idea but he’s RFA, been given a 2nd round Tender and the Steelers are highly likely to match any offer. As good as Boswell’s been, all Bucs fans need to hear is the Bucs gave up their 2nd rounder for a kicker…….again.

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