began a new offseason feature last 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.

Why would Mike Smith take the San Diego job? Terrible stadium, impending move and bad ownership. Isn’t it a 1st time HC job?

Answer: The Bucs dodged a huge bullet when the Jaguars decided to go with Doug Marrone instead of Mike Smith as their new head coach. And in my opinion, the Jaguars made a mistake. I think Smith would have been the perfect choice to go to Jacksonville and offer some stability and leadership to a franchise that is trying to become respectable once again. Adding Tom Coughlin to the organization was a smart choice, but I just believe Smith would have been a better choice. With that said, I am not complaining.

And I am in agreement with you that the San Diego job doesn’t look very attractive at this point, for all the reasons you mentioned. Now if the Chargers were going to stay in San Diego for sure, with plans for a new stadium, then what’s not to love about that? But until they have a clear plan for the future, I am not sure that Smith is ready to head out west to a new job place that is floundering in the wind while ownership decides what they are going to do.

Are the rumors true that if Mike Smith takes a HC position, Mark Duffner or Jay Hayes would takeover, or do they look elsewhere?

Answer: There is really no way to know for sure what exactly Dirk Koetter would do if he had to replace Mike Smith, but I am speculating that he would first look to promote from within to avoid having to deal with his defense learning a news system. Remember last year with the Lovie Smith and Koetter firing and hiring, the word we kept hearing was continuity as far as the offensive side of the ball? Well I think it would be the same thing with the defense if Smith were to leave. While it was far from perfect, we did see this defense show glimpses of what it can become, and to hire someone with a whole new philosophy, would stunt that growth that took place last season. 

But I also don’t believe Koetter will hire someone who he isn’t convinced is 100 percent qualified. So if there isn’t the confidence there that anyone on staff can do it, then you could possibly see a Gus Bradley hired to take over. 

Question: Everyone (including ) is talking offense on day 1 of the NFL Draft for the Bucs. If it’s defense, what’s the pick?

Answer: I think getting Jameis Winston and the offense more weapons is a huge priority, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the Bucs are guaranteed to select an offensive player with their first round selection. And much of what they might do with the first pick could come down to what they are able to do in free agency.

If it is defensive player I would guess a defensive end would be a safe pick. I have seen a couple mocks with the Bucs taking a pass rusher like Solomon Thomas from Stanford or Tennessee’s Derek Barnett. Walter Football has the Bucs looking at Jabrill Peppers from Michigan, so not everyone is saying offense, although I do think the Bucs would have a tough time leaving a Dalvin Cook or a Corey Davis on the board to go defense. 

But as I noted, draft plans are a long way from being finalized as the Bucs will need to determine who they are bringing back, and also who they might add in free agency. 

Question: If Cam Robinson from Alabama is there at No. 19 for the Bucs do they take him or do they do what they said and stand pat?

Answer: At 6-6, 326 pounds, Robinson is an opposing figure and a mountain of a man that will end up a first rounder, but whether the Bucs select him would come down to if they believe he is a 10-year, plug-and-play left tackle, and a significant upgrade over Donovan Smith. I haven’t paid a ton of attention to Robinson, but I do know the Bama offensive line was excellent once again and Robinson was very good in pass protection. From the scouting reports I have read, he doesn’t quite have the light feet that teams want, but again how many 6-foot-6 inch players do?

I personally don’t think the Bucs take a tackle in the first round this year, as they know they have more pressing needs offensively. And by all accounts, the organization isn’t as disappointed in Smith and the offensive line, as some fans are. 



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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 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
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