About the author

Trevor Sikkema

Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]

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  1. 1


    I was hoping for this hire before this article. Now I like it even more. He could be our Bucs DC in very short time.

    1. 1.1


      Was thinking the same thing 1bucfanjeff. If Smith moves on next year, his replacement may have just been hired. Let’s hope for a successful 2018 first though. 🙂

    1. 2.1


      Like the Stephen Nicholas hire as well as Defensive quality control coach. Another experienced coach and ex-player can only help.

  2. 3

    Ken Grant

    Love the idea of being more aggressive both upfront and on the back end. If this is indeed the plan Minkah or Derwin would make a ton of sense. Would also be good news for VH3, Elliot, and Jude as I feel they are all better in press than in off.

    1. 3.1


      Love the idea of James back there if we trade back, but the problem with your press idea is that Mike Smith never runs it. We all knew coming out Hargreaves was a much better press guy than a zone guy and yet they continued to use him in that way. I hope we run press coverage a ton more this year, but we’ll see. I don’t think Mike Smith will run too much of it.

      1. 3.1.1

        Trevor Sikkema

        It’s true that Mike Smith doesn’t really run press, but we’ve also been told that there were meetings face-to-face with people and coaches after the season about things that need to change. Perhaps press and man coverage is one of those things.

  3. 4


    Trevor, with this hire, and the possibility of switching to a more 3-4 aggresive, who would you say is the more likely pick at # 7, and does this possibly change our draft needs? After reading the article, it makes me think Vita Vea is likely the guy we take, and that there is no expectation that we get Chubb.

    1. 4.1

      Trevor Sikkema

      I still think Chubb is their No. 1, but they liked Vea even before this hire — perhaps that’s part of why they chose him because he might have similar philosophies in where they want to go. Vea interest could be evidence of that. They’ll pick the best player they need, though.

  4. 5


    I like the hire, I’m fine with 3-4, but I have probably a naive question after such good analysis in this article.

    Was Hayes just a scapegoat and will Buckner really get full control of what the D-Line does? Don’t position coaches pass down and run what they are told by the Coordinators? Will Mike Smith still be the problem or does Buckner run his line and LB and DB coaches adjust?

    He sounds like a good coach, i think it’s too early to say he’s the DC of the future especially because I feel this year is make or break for the coaching staff. I suppose if they somehow rebound successfully and Smith becomes a hot commodity for a HC position we can look to Buckner as being the saving grace and promote to DC, but otherwise I would see it more likely being that Buckner moves on to another team as DC or this whole staff moves on and not by their choice.

    1. 5.1


      All great points Bucco63, that “thankful for a defensive coordinator that let’s us rush four at a time” line made me think of Hayes and Smith as well. Hoping they let the players play to their strengths this year.

    2. 5.2

      Trevor Sikkema

      Hayes was sort of a scapegoat. What I mean by that is that, yes, Mike Smith was the one calling the defense and it ultimately falls on him (giving up the most passing yards for the second year in a row tells to his faults beyond the lack of pass rush), but Hayes was the one who was calling what the defensive line did in terms of path to the quarterback. Hayes is the one calling stunts and twists and games and which players get one-on-ones and all that. It’s Smith call on what to do play-to-play, but the position coaches still have say in how it’s exactly done.

  5. 6


    Should’ve went a bit further Trev, and added your thoughts on what Type of F.A., and draft choices Buckner would target. I’m thinking having someone like Vea would appeal to him.

    1. 6.1

      Trevor Sikkema

      Myself, Scott and Mark are going to do our “Bucs Battle Plans” again this year in a few weeks and I’ll be answering those types of question in there. Wanted to just intro this one with the players that are currently in Tampa Bay, but I hear you! We’ll get to that.

  6. 7


    I love the Buckner hire. After reading this it makes me think that we would be better off switching to a 3-4. We have great linebackers, would give Mccoy 1-on-1 which would benefit him, would make a lot of sense to draft Minkah Fitzpatrick at #7, And would cause VH3 to play more press coverage which is what hes best at.

  7. 8


    Really like the Buckner hire, but don’t know enough about the philosophy of Monachino or Kuligowski to offer an informed opinion on them. Actually like the possibility of going to a 3-4 (have for the last few years), as I think we’d have an easier time constructing the squad with the pool of available players. As far as available FA’s, like Trumaine Johnson (solid press-man CB) Fuller and Robinson at CB, Burnett, Branch (ACL issue) and Brooks at S, DT’s Jones, Easley and Logan (and yes Trevor, Vea as well), Ansah, Ealy, Okafor and Murphy at DE and would think Bowman, Williamson or Davis would look great at ILB.

  8. 9


    I love the hire. I’m a little shocked in a good way as I thought for sure they would hire the guy from the Colts that worked with them before. I love this guys fire. Former player with some attitude. I’m all for switching to a a 3-4 as traditional edge rushers for a 4-3 is much harder to find these days than hybrid LB’s coming out. I think Vita could be a real solid choice here is we run it a little more often. However, will Gerald like the 3-4? I”m not so sure. If not, why didn’t we run it more last year? I wouldn’t think a defensive scheme is based off of what your D-line coach can run. That’s Mike smith territory, and I just don’t trust him. I hope I’m wrong for sure.

    1. 9.1

      Trevor Sikkema

      Gerald is certainly the center piece. I can see him working as a one-gap player in a 3-4. There are variations of it that allow for McCoy to still get one-on-ones and for Noah Spence to become a stand-up pass rusher, which I’ve always thought suited him best. 3-4 also allows Alexander and David to blitz with more disguise. Both have to be much more involved in that way then they were in 2017 — which wasn’t at all. That was a waste, if you ask me.

      1. 9.1.1


        And if that’s the case, David could start getting the Pro Bowl recognition he’s deserved almost every year without the nod.



          Exactly. A bit aggravating that it’s typically the 3-4 OLB’s that get the votes primarily based on their sack numbers.

  9. 10



    If the Bucs go to a 3-4. I would think Tremaine Edmunds would be a great pick in the first round. I’m not sure people realize how productive and how much of a freak athlete the kid is and btw he is a kid(only 19 year old).

    I’d be surprised if he is not highly productive right out of the gate.

    1. 10.1


      Love Edmunds as well but he didn’t get the education as a pass rusher for some reason. I see what you see. He looks for all the world to be a prototype 3-4 OLB physically but he played mike in college and looks to be slotting to mike as well in the pros. I have seen sam LB’s compared more to the 3-4 rush ends but not so much the mikes.

      All being said, I think that his potential down the road will be higher than his immediate impact. From what I understand regarding Buckner, he could figure out how to use a player like Edmunds and set him up for long term success.

    2. 10.2

      Trevor Sikkema

      Edmunds being just 19 on draft day is crazy. I like him as a prospect, but unless the Bucs were to trade down and he were to still be there, I wonder what his immediate impact would be on a roster that already has four solidified linebackers (counting Spence as one, in this case). I’m all for picking good players, but Edmunds, for a defense that needs to get better in other areas first, would be a tricky value fit with realistic circumstances.

      I think they’d still look more defensive line than linebacker, especially at No. 7.

  10. 11


    When you folks get around to your 2018 “Bucs Battle Plans” article you might include a short discussion on how Mike Smith views the 3-4 base scheme versus that of the 4-3 scheme. Peradventure, I completely misunderstood what he said or I merely just misheard.

    Or then again, maybe I am suffering from the “Mandela Effect”. ___ ;^? ___ 😛
    Go Bucs!!!!

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