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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  1. 1


    I’m getting pretty tired of reading about people concerned about the safety position on this team.
    If anyone would look at the second half of the season, they would see all three safeties, Conte, McDougald and Tandy all improving their play.
    In fact, I think there was only one game in which the safeties didn’t come up with at least INT and on a couple of occasions they came up with two.
    This team is much more in need of defensive lineman who can pressure the QB. Two of the DE’s we have, Jacquez Smith and Noah Spence are undersized. The DT position could stand an upgrade as well.
    Three of our four starters on the DL were close to or even in their 30’s.
    To worry about safeties when he have a greater need in the DL is absurd.
    Remember, a killer pass rush can be any DB’s best friend.

    1. 1.1


      Agree 100% drd.
      I don’t know about anyone else but I found the offensive and defensive free agency pieces extremely sobering. Looking position by position exposes how wafer thin we are virtually across the board.
      Which positions are areas of true strength, beyond QB, LB and P? Yes there are a few spots we may end up being better off than others like Guard and Corner (and ironically, possibly Safety) but in general we are relying on a potentially dangerous combination of 30+ yr olds and youngsters who have promise and we’re hoping can step up and be ‘the guy’.

    2. 1.2


      I too think an upgrade is needed at DT next to GMC and maybe even a viable back-up to #93. Akeem Spence has never really stood out and Clinton McDonald hasn’t looked like anything special in his time here. That probably explains why Gholston and Ayers are moved inside on passing downs. Rookie DaVonte Lambert showed some promise for an undrafted player. Siliga and Hughes are at least big. AT DE there is at least a collection of candidates if they can remain healthy.

      I agree with you that the safeties played much better in the second half of the season. It’s always been puzzling to me why Tandy, who always seemed to make plays in his limited opportunities, remained a back-up. I’m not sure I’m ready to elevate him to elite status just yet. He, Conte and McDougald did make those splash plays we all notice, but what about the rest of the time? I suspect Licht and staff already evaluated their entire body of work.

      As a proponent of drafting BPA with a lean toward need while on the clock; I suspect Safety will be a potential target in both free agency and the middle rounds. Since Ryan Smith is returning to CB only Isaiah Johnson and Tandy are under contract. The aforementioned duo of Conte and McDougald is free to go. Need to add to the number before Training Camp.

  2. 2


    Mark – thanks for the kind words! With the safeties needing to be interchangeable in Smith’s scheme the best safety in the early rounds for what the Buccaneers ask their safeties to do is Budda Baker, from Washington, he is excellent in both man and zone – can line up as a nickel slot cover corner and can play in the box – a mid round gem is S Tedric Thompson of Colorado.

  3. 3


    Have to agree, D.T. to me is more of a need then safety. All the talk of us picking one as high as second round, which P.R. predicts scares me. I’m also worried about our right tackle situation. Got to ask tho Mark, any word on the indoor facility?

  4. 4


    For those of you who can remember, it wasn’t the fly paper coverage by our DB’s that made us a defensive juggernaut in the 90;’s till 2004, it was the ferocious and unrelenting play of the front seven that created early or off target throws by the QB that the DB’s turned into TO’s.
    Quit trying to build from the back to the front when the game is won in the trenches.
    Clichés are clichés because they are true.

  5. 5


    It’s now down to the season where Commenter A says he’s tired of all the other commenter who disagree with him, because obviously, only he himself knows what the Bucs need, and it’s _____

    Then Commenter B says that everyone who thinks like Commenter A is nuts, because obviously what we really need instead is a _____, so those other guys need to pipe down.

    Then Commenter C says that all those A and B types are really disconnected from reality, and he’s been saying for four decades in a row now that the only way to build a team is by doing ______, so all those Commenter A and B types really should reconsider their apostacy for daring to disagree.

    This is what’s known in lawyer parlance a “d*ck measuring contest”.

    Personally, I value and enjoy reading all the different opinions, as long as people would stop being so absolutist and consider that running a draft is a multiple choice test where there may be more than one correct answer to the question.

  6. 6


    Enjoyed reading your synopsis, Naplesfan. I know I was in there somewhere. LOL. The truth can hurt and be funny at the same time.

    1. 6.1


      Dr. D: I think I might have been hidden in Naples’ comment as well. Funny, his remarks pretty much define him too …….and probably all of us. In spite of his contest; I’m not whipping Clyde out to measure. I always say, “It’s better to have a Mini Cooper that runs all night than a Lincoln Continental that stalls shortly after crossing the bridge and heading into the tunnel.

      I have yo disagree with your remark about our DB’s during the glory years. Yes, our pass rush was great but, Donnie Abraham, Brian Kelly, John Lynch and Ronde Barber were pretty good too. Both units need to be good.

      I do agree that DT needs to be addressed. Last year PR cited it as a big need, we did next to nothing since. Thus, in my mind, it’s still a concern.

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