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PewterReport.com began a new offseason feature this year, giving readers an opportunity to get their questions answered about the Bucs by the PR staff. Today, Mark Cook answers five questions taken from Twitter submissions and our message boards using the hashtag #PRMailbag.

Question: Where do the Bucs turn to receiving wise now?

Answer: When it rains it seems to pour for the Bucs on the injury front this season. All teams have injuries, but it seems when one player goes down, multiple players from the same unit get banged up as well for the Bucs. Just take the running backs for instance this season. And of course the season started off with Jacquies Smith going down in Week 1 that created a bad domino effect in on the defensive line. 

Hopefully for the Buccaneers Adam Humphries injury won’t prevent him from playing this week against the Saints. While he hasn’t been a player that the Bucs focus on, make no mistake, his role on this offense is important, and he is one of the most dependable players on the 53-man roster. If by chance Humphries is unable to play, look for the Bucs to promote Josh Huff and/or Donteea Dye from the practice squad. 

I really don’t foresee the Buccaneers bringing in a receiver off the street. It would be hard for a player to walk in cold, without prior knowledge of the offense, and be able to contribute this late in the season. It doesn’t mean Jason Licht didn’t start scouring the waiver wire as soon as he took his  seat on the plane at the San Diego airport last night. Tuesday is a tryout day, and I am guessing the Bucs might have a few free agents in for a peek, but most likely Cecil Shorts replacement will come from the current roster or practice squad. And hey, how about a little love for Freddy Martino?

Question: Is practice squad wide receiver Josh Huff ready?

Answer: For the team’s sake, they hope so. Huff could be the guy who takes Shorts roster spot, although, as mentioned above, Dye could also be the one. And depending on Humphries health, perhaps both of them get called up. As far as being ready? Obviously that is a something only the coaching staff knows, although it was believed the team was considering adding him to the active roster a few weeks back, but he suffered a minor injury in practice which prevented the move. We haven’t seen much of Huff in practice, only because we are limited to viewing just the first 30 minutes of practice each day. So it isn’t like getting looks from training camp or the preseason.

Question: Is it just the four-game winning streak or is Dirk Koetter really getting dialed in as a playcaller? Especially in the 2nd half.

Answer: That is a great observation and one I have been thinking of recently as well. And to be honest, I don’t know the answer. Is it the play calling or is the execution? Or is it both. The thing with Koetter is, he has a ton of play calling experience, but defenses change, personnel changes and so on. So I would guess it takes a while to get your feet under you, especially when you go from being the play caller to the head coach. Before this season, he could sit in the booth and not even pay attention to what the defense was doing when his offense was on the sideline, but now as the head coach, he is involved in every aspect of the game. So I would say there was a bit of a learning curve, but one he has adapted to rather quickly. And there is no question the offense itself is more experienced so the execution is better as well.

Question: How long do Bucs stick with Roberto Aguayo at kicker?

Answer: I firmly believe, and someone in the organization might correct me, but if Aguayo was just a free agent guy they signed off the street he would have at the very least had some competition brought in. Missing 31-yard field goals is just unacceptable. But when you invest a second round pick in a kicker you almost have to ride out the season unless he is costing you games week after week. Without going back and looking at it, other than the Rams game maybe, I can’t say that Aguayo has actually cost the team a game. However, the best of the best are going to miss in crucial situations. Scott Norwood might be the biggest example of that. I don’t think the Bucs make any moves at this point. Aguayo will be around until the end of the season unless he just goes in full meltdown mode in my opinion.

Question: Does JW have the green light to change a play especially in the run game? Seems JW should recognize the 8-9 man fronts.

Answer: From what we understand Winston can and does check out of certain plays based on the defensive formations. That is one of the things I believe has impressed the organization as much as anything, and that is his football IQ which is off the charts. Now there may be situations where Koetter is adamant that they run the specific play, but for the most part Winston can switch things up when necessary. However, the defensive personnel and formations adjust to the offensive formations and at times it doesn’t matter what the look is, the Bucs may not have the personnel on the field to do much different than what the original play call was, if that makes sense. And you are also fighting the play clock and communication issues in loud environments. Sometimes you have to run the play even though it looks like the defense won that particular formation chess match. 

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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, the beach and family time.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 mark@pewterreport.com
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drdneast
4 years ago

I think the last question pertained to the last couple of games where there were so many players standing in the box I was surprised they still hard air to breath and we still ran the ball. Heard on Kotter’s radio show today that there are indeed plays he wants run but after seeing how some if the teams were stacking the box, he was seriously thinking about giving Winston more liberty to change the call under those circumstances. Wow. All coaches hate to give up control, no matter who they are. It’s just the nature of the beast. One… Read more »

cgmaster27
Reply to  drdneast
4 years ago

I’ve wondered that myself from time to time. You’ll see 8 in the box and they still run and I think to myself, “i know Jameis can see that, why not audible out”? I heard Koetter as well and he should give Jameis a little more freedom on those calls. I mean we run on first down like 90 % of the time. We need to keep the defenses guessing.

Devasher
4 years ago

Mark, there is no “maybe”, Roberto Aguay-no cost the Bucs the win against the Rams. He missed a FG and an XP, to which the Bucs went for two on two occasions and failed both times trying to make up lost points. That is 6 points lost. The Bucs lost by 5. As Kyle Brindza can tell you Jason Licht is going to do more than give you “competition” if you struggle and aren’t a high pick of his. Be real.

Naplesfan
Reply to  devasher
4 years ago

Uhhh, no, devasher. Our kicker didn’t cost us the Rams game, our defense clearly lost that game for us by giving up 37 points to a team that has the league’s worst offense, ranked # 32 in points for. Get real.

scubog
4 years ago

I think Shorts is put on IR and replaced by Charles Sims.

surferdudes
4 years ago

He’s our kicker for the rest of this year, but Licht needs to make him compete for his job next year. Bucs seem to run on first down 90 percent of the time, to compound things they line up with their jumbo package. Like Mark said, it’s hard to check to a pass with that personal group. Maybe we should run more out of a spread formation, with a single back on first down. We need to change formations, and tendencies, like not always running on first to help get the ground game going. Been to predictable in our play… Read more »

LordJim
4 years ago

Aguayo should have competition now. He is a starter who is destroying the momentum of this team at best and at worst costing games. Moreover it tells people on the team that they will not be pushed if they are of a high enough draft pick, even when they are clearly the worst in the league at their position. The team has turned on him if the body language and spoken words broadcast on national TV are any indication. Licht needs to swallow his pride and do what’s right.

Keith F
Reply to  LordJim
4 years ago

Yeah LordJim, I agree the body language says a lot. Even Winston was momentarily upset! Heck, Koetter looks pissed every time. I think he will be fine (NEXT YEAR) but I’m surprised they don’t bring in a guy to at least finish the season. I’m not saying cut Aguayo but give him a whole off-season to adjust to the NFL. I know this won’t happen and could destroy his confidence. It’s been well-documented how the best kickers in the NFL have struggled their first year so give the guy the rest of the year off before he gets the YIPS!… Read more »

Naplesfan
Reply to  LordJim
4 years ago

Aguayo is clearly NOT the worst at his position, not by a very large margin. Since Week 5 is is 87.5% on his kicks – well above average for the league. In the same timeframe he is within 0.6% of the league average on extra points.

Aguayo had a slow start, and since then he has done very well.

Are you guys even paying attention? The dude won AFC Special Teams Player of the Week just 2 weeks ago.

Randy H.
Reply to  Naplesfan
4 years ago

Um, that would be NFC, not AFC.

Naplesfan
Reply to  Randy H.
4 years ago

typo, yup …

stlbucsfan
Reply to  LordJim
4 years ago

Im beginning to wonder if Naplesfan is actually Roberto Aguayo. He IS the worst kicker in the league so please stop posting this “but from week 5 on” nonsense his numbers are what they are. Sure he won Special Teams player of the week after making 4 FGs from 35 yards and in CONGRATS! But that doesnt negate his shaky performance for the remainder of the games and even yes after week 5, see his missed 31 yard FG last week for details. I’ve eased off Licht’s back a lot bc some of his guys are starting to pan out… Read more »

Naplesfan
Reply to  stlbucsfan
4 years ago

So your standard for “not the worst in the league” is a kicker who has made 12 of his last 14 kicks, which at 87.5% is better than most of his fellow place kickers in the league (only 13 kickers have better than that average this season). Giving Aguayo four weeks to get his game together as a rookie seems much more than reasonable. Over the last 8 games – half a season -he’s clearly done better than average in the NFL, including Sunday’s miss against the Chargers. By that same standard, Jameis Winston is “the worst quarterback in the… Read more »

stlbucsfan
Reply to  stlbucsfan
4 years ago

He’s ranked dead last among qualifying kickers. Your last 12 kicks or since week 6 caveats are cute but are just smoke and mirrors to cover up the only thing that matters, our kicker is below 70% on the year. Jameis is not ranked dead last bc he only completed 2/3 passes and McCoy is not dead last bc he only had 1 sack. As usual you are making statements that have zero relevance to whats being said. Stay focused here, our kicker….Roberto Aguayo….who missed a 31 yard chip shot in resort like weather….is ranked DEAD LAST in the league.… Read more »

drdneast
4 years ago

Some people want to affix the loss of a game on one single player, and their are a lot of them, are so simpleminded.
This isn’t a tennis. golf match or a 100m dash. This is a football game composed of a “team.”
In the instance of the Rams game, that was a total team loss from the head coach on down.
I’m sure if you asked the players they would tell you the same thing.
There was enough blame to go around for everyone after the Rams debacle.

Keith F
Reply to  drdneast
4 years ago

Let’s be honest here. His FG% is only as high as it is because they are giving him so many kicks around 35 yards. You shouldn’t have to cross your fingers on a 35 yard kick. Don’t get me wrong, I want him to workout because I love the job Licht is doing. I don’t want any blemishes on Licht’s resume because I want Koetter and Licht to be here a long time…good or bad!

Naplesfan
Reply to  Keith F
4 years ago

Uhhh, we don’t give Aguayo many chances on long field goals because our offense is really good at driving down the field (ranked 12th in the league in total offense), but our offense is also very poor at red zone offense (ranked 20th in the league for the season, and we are — gulp! — ranked no. 31 in the league over the last three games!!!), so we tend to stall out inside the opponent’s 20 … a LOT. That is not a reflection on Aguayo, but on our offense.

Keith F
Reply to  Naplesfan
4 years ago

True but what I’m saying is Aguayo FG% probably would be lower if he had to attempt more FGs from beyond 40 yards. He’s 3 for 8 for kicks over 40 ( 0-1 over 50 ). I’m saying his FG% is already one of the worse in the league, luckily to your point he gets to attempt a lot of short FGs. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hating on the guy! I want him to succeed and I know there’s an adjustment period so I hope he can turn it around. Unfortunately, we need to go 3-1 to make… Read more »

rorogator
4 years ago

Is there any kicker that we could take in the first round in 2017? I mean, a 1st round pick would have to do better than a 2nd round pick…right?

Shoot…even to trade up into the top 10 for the right kicker…they always say “Kickers win titles!”

Automatica Gramatica!!!

What about Sweezy? Would his injury prevent him from kicking?

inspecto
Reply to  rorogator
4 years ago

rorogator, you had to remind me of Sweezy, I said after the first game he would never take the field in a Buc uniform. Where is he any way ??? still in the tub? What a waste.

chetthevette
4 years ago

Good Afternoon all, There is only one player that we can compare Roberto to. Sebastian Janakowski. Janakowski’s rookie percentage 68.8. Janakowski’s career percentage 80.2 Not a great career average but passable. So far this year Roberto’s average is 68.2 Is it great? No but that with the first stinker games thrown in there. Lets hope that Roberto can channel his inner Morton Anderson and finish strong. I for one still believe he can do it. Remember some great players stunk the joint up their first years in the league, Rhonde Barber did not register his first tackle until his 4th… Read more »

MUVLODGE
4 years ago

Plain & simple Robertblow isn’t gettin it done. It isn’t a position where u can hit on 68.2% and expect to retain your job. His job is as vital as JW. Each play he touches the ball ( other than kick offs ) is directly related to points. We are in dog fights in these games we are a young team that is learning on the fly and can’t afford a kicker this bad. If we have an 80%+ K then we will be fine but if not then we will not make the playoffs. I was the one that… Read more »

drdneast
4 years ago

Naplesfan, I am no Aguayo fan that is for sure, but the logic you are using is based on facts which drive a lot of fans even nuttier and more visceral. I didn’t agree with using a No. 2 pick on Aguayo but he had nothing to do with that so why blame him. As I said earlier, most fans are simple minded, They want to blame a loss on a single player because it makes it easier for them to focus their hate and rage on one individual. In the chargers game Rivers threw that ill advised pass that… Read more »

jongruden
4 years ago

I didn’t know who the author of this article was until I read the paragrapgh and realized it had to be Mark Cook defending Arguayo and making excuses for his play even went to mention Scott Norwood who missed winning field goal 25 yrs ago, Mark Cook just can’t see beyond the FSU Chant that rings in his ears this kicker is barley above 500 for the yr and can’t make 30 yd field goals were from say Auburn the defense for his play wouldn’t be written. Be objective when writing articles covering this team you want to get a… Read more »

cgmaster27
Reply to  jongruden
4 years ago

Well Jon as always, we live in a country were you don’t have to read the articles. What’s getting tiring i the constant bashing of a kicker who was selected second round, not his choice by the way. The same bashing I saw from YOU pre draft about Jameis, how has that worked out? The same bashing I saw from you and others Jameis’ first year. How did that work out? Point is, even us Noles fans, wouldn’t have selected Robertro n the second round so get over yourselves with you anti Nole blabber every post. It’s tiring listening to… Read more »

cgmaster27
Reply to  cgmaster27
4 years ago

I mean heck Jon no one saw you on here for four weeks while we were losing, so you’ll have to excuse Mark for not catering to your needs as you were probably at the Arizona team page until they started sucking. Hhaha

jongruden
Reply to  cgmaster27
4 years ago

Cg, ok lets get back to attacking each other, I was on board with Winston btw just didn’t like his character out of college and thought Mariotta is better, I was on here long before you ever thought of coming on this site but I know as a fellow Nole supporter would come to his defense. So do we want to go back and forth like old times or do you want to give it a rest with personal attacks its up to you and not troll every thing I post like Drdnest?

cgmaster27
Reply to  jongruden
4 years ago

Not attacking at all Jon, but all I’m stating is facts. No one on this site can mention a Nole player without being called a homer by you and others. That’s a fact as your post on this article further illustrates. As for reading the article, you don’t have to read it, also a fact. And someone responding to your posts doesn’t make them a troll, it’s called debating, it’s what people do on forums. Nowhere in my response did I attack you at a all. I was just busting your balls for old times sake. So the key here… Read more »

jongruden
4 years ago

Mark don’t leave out this part ” I can’t say that Aguayo has actually cost the team a game. However, the best of the best are going to miss in crucial situations. Scott Norwood might be the biggest example of that. I don’t think the Bucs make any moves at this point. Aguayo will be around until the end of the season unless he just goes in full meltdown mode in my opinion”.

jongruden
4 years ago

Mark- I touched a nerve understandably so, but you are bias when it comes to talking about FSU Players, Arguayo has been horrible this yr and misses 30 yarders on a regular basis and is barely above 500 for field goals on the yr there is no excuse for that result period. Your justifying or trying to reason that his field goals haven’t cost the Bucs a win yet and that even great ones like Scott Norwood of 1990 misses too, your reaching for straws in that statement. You have the right to write any article the way you want… Read more »

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