Each week PewterReport.com’s Mark Cook answers your submitted questions about the Bucs. You can have your question answered by asking on Twitter using the #PRMailbag hashtag. Here are this week’s five questions. 

Question: From these two, which seems more likely? 1. Doug returns, is Comeback Player of the Year (Homerism) 2. Doug is traded for draft options.

Answer: Honestly, I don’t think either is very likely. I think the most likely scenario is the team drafts his replacement, re-signs Jacquizz Rodgers, and keeps Charles Sims and Peyton Barber. 

But no one would love to see Martin beat his demons, return to Pro Bowl form, and becomes an example of a player who was able to overcome, more than I would. I am a big fan, and prays he turns things around. I think most of us have known someone, or maybe even ourselves, who have dealt with addiction. I also hope it was Doug himself who made the decision to enter rehab to clean things up and not just because he got caught. I think if that’s the case he stands a much better chance of getting over the addiction. 

Unfortunately the NFL is a business, and as coaches are famous for saying, they will keep you around until they can find your replacement. Martin certainly has sped up that process in my opinion, With the Bucs placing faith in him and signing him to a large contract, to only see him let his team and the organization down must be something that doesn’t sit well with the coaches and owners. That is speculation on my part, but I can’t imagine the team wasn’t hurt by his choices.

Again, no one is hoping Martin kicks his issues to the curb and becomes the player he still has the potential to me, more than I do. But right now, it is more about turning his life around and his long-term well being as opposed to worrying about football. 

Question: Everyone keeps talking about weapons for Winston. What about Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey?

Answer: Well he certainly would provide a weapon for Winston. As pointed out in SR’s most recent Fab 5 last Friday, McCaffrey checks off a lot of boxes of needs that the Bucs could fill. 

“In his three years at Stanford, McCaffrey rushed for 3,922 yards and 21 touchdowns on 632 carries (6.2 avg.) with 99 catches for 1,206 yards (12.2 avg.), 34 punt returns for 380 yards (11.2 avg.) and one touchdown and 57 kick returns for 1,479 yards (35.9 avg.) and a TD. That’s 822 touches in his Stanford career, an average of 22 per game.”

Those are certainly numbers that would be a weapon for Winston. But the big question is, how does Jason Licht and his crew rank McCaffrey? You can’t take a player at No. 19 if you have him as the 40th player on your board. Of course, perhaps a trade down and getting additional picks is an option, or maybe he is ranked in their Top 10. 

I wouldn’t be opposed to the Bucs drafting McCaffrey at all – depending who might still be on the board when Tampa Bay is on the clock. Of course I am not expecting Licht to be dialing me on draft night asking my opinion either. 

I recommend for those who haven’t, read SR’s Fab from last week. Not only does he make a good case for McCaffrey, he also profiles Kareem Hunt who could be available in the third round. 

Question: Are the Bucs still planning to have the indoor practice facility built in time for camp this year?

Answer: As far as we know that is what most are hoping happens, but like anything when dealing with construction, and something this significant, it doesn’t mean it will happen in the time frame, everyone, especially the organization hopes. That isn’t to say it won’t, but there is always a chance it is delayed. We haven’t had any access to One Buc since the end of the season, so I couldn’t tell you if the first inch of concrete has been poured yet. I do know from speaking to someone in the organization, it will get done. Eventually. And the sooner the better for the player’s sake, and even safety. Besides the extruciating heat that takes a toll on the body, don’t forget west central Florida is one of the leading places in the WORLD for lightning strikes during the rainy season. 

And we know Dirk Koetter is a believer that the heat doesn’t necessarily provide an advantage long term in a season, instead believing it can hurt more than help. So I am guessing he is pushing as hard as anyone to get an indoor facility up and running as soon as possible. 

Question: How many prime time games are you predicting in next year’s schedule?

Answer: Rubbing my crystal ball and looking into the future, I see three primetime games for the Buccaneers. The same as last season. A Sunday night game, a Monday night game and a Thursday night game. One game against a division rival (Falcons), the Giants game on Monday Night Football, and a late season flexed Sunday night affair, one with playoff implications, as I expect the Bucs to be in the thick of the playoff race again late next season.

The home Patriots game could be one that makes the national stage. A veteran Tom Brady versus and up-and-coming Jameis Winston would make for some interesting story lines leading up to that game. We are still a month and half a way from knowing however, and I am just throwing darts at this point. 

Question: After two full seasons in the league, where does Jameis Winston rank among NFL QB’s? From 1-32.

Answer: From strictly a statistical standpoint, Winston was middle of the road. In some categories he was a Top 10 guy, in others, in the bottom half. But when it was all said and done, they question Bucs fans should ask is, what other quarterbacks would you take over Winston? 

There are less than five if you ask me, and even then, when it come to starting a franchise from scratch I am not sure there are more than two I would take over the former FSU star. Even a player like Tom Brady, one of the best ever, how many more seasons of excellence does he have left? A few possibly, but as many as Winston potentially has? A case could be made for Marcus Mariota, not by me mind you, but I can see where some would still take the Titans signal caller over Winston, as he is more mobile and throws a prettier ball. But I am a fan of the intangibles that Winston possesses, not to mention his passion to continue to work hard to get better. 

Will Winston win a Super Bowl in his career? No one can say for sure, but I would tend to bet yes rather than no, if forced to gamble. Of course so much of it comes down to the team that surrounds the player. Who would have ever guessed Dan Marino would go ringless in his career. Or that Brett Favre would only win one championship? 

Stats in 2016 say Winston is around No. 15, but he is easily Top 5 in my book. 

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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]

12 COMMENTS

  1. I’m surprised they haven’t even rolled out a plan for the facility publicly yet. Show the fans they’re doing everything to put a winner on the field, and they’re putting that ticket price increase back into the team.

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    • Amen!

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  2. I am so proud of Mark Cook. Answered a question about a running back and did not mention Dalvin Cook. Just pulling your leg man.
    Now let’s talk about Doug. The only way I would not resign him is if Dalvin Cook is there at 19. I’m not saying that Cook would solve our RB situation, but he is good and when stars from Florida schools are the best value pick take them. Do you think Winston would have such a big buzz in Tampa if he went to say, Penn Stare? Not a chance. Bring in state stars so fans of state teams can root for them. Win win.
    Now about Dougs situation, as certified wino I can say that if the front office supports Martin in his rehab and he is honestly wanting to get better support from the BUCS will be very good for both sides.
    GO BUCS

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  3. In regards to ranking Jameis, there are only a couple QBs under the age of 30 that are playing that well. Of those, 2 of them (Mariotta and Carr) are recovering from nasty broken legs. You include durability, age and character, there isn’t any QB that I would trade Jameis for.

    You made some good points about Martin. I thought releasing and resigning real cheap was the best way to go, but he is old for a RB. Although after reading this article, I hope they just use one of their mid round picks on a RB. Although I don’t think it should be their 1st round pick unless Cook or Fournette slide

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  4. Everyone is making the assumption that the Bucs should cut Martin and resign him at a much lower cost. Like it is the Buc’s decision whether or not to resign him… what makes everyone so sure Martin would want to resign with Bucs if cut? I wouldn’t if I were him… simple as maybe he needs a change of scenery. I don’t think Martin plays for the Bucs again… I’m just saying…

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  5. No to A. Peterson as he will want too much cash! No to D. Jackson as well… clubhouse cancer and plays when he wants to play! Not the culture we are trying to create here! Maybe Garcon, another veteran WR that is salary pleasing for the BUCS! Draft a RB as I’m sure there will be someone decent in first 3 rounds! For now maybe we go with best player available with first pick…

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  6. Winston is nowhere near top 5 in the league today, not just on stats, but on actual and holistic quarterback performance. That’s not a criticism, by the way … it’s a fact that only a Bucs homer could hope to argue against.

    But then why would anyone expect a second year quarterback to be super elite? That’s what it means to be top five – it means to be in the small handful of the very best quarterbacks in the league. Someone in serious consideration for league MVP.

    Winston is likely at least, and I really mean this literally, at least three or more years from the beginning of his peak performance years. Perhaps he’s more like six or more years from hitting his peak. We can expect him to improve steadily throughout that timeframe. After all, Tom Brady didn’t approach his peak performance level until his 8th year in the league, and that’s under the coaching of Bill Belichick, whom I think everyone in the league agrees with the fact that he gets more out of his players than any other coach in the history of the NFL. The bottom line results for Belichick and Brady speak for themselves.

    So no, I don’t expect Winston to win league MVP this year. I do expect him to get significantly better, along with the rest of the team. That’s not homerism, just a statement of reasonable expectations.

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    • Agree totally Naples. When ever people start jawing about Winston, saying he isn’t elite I have to remind them this KID is still just 22 years old.
      Sat here thinking about any QB that came out of the gates and was elite. Only one comes close, Marino. And we all know those guys are rare.
      GO BUCS

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    • I agree with Naples more and more with every post.
      The one caveat I’d offer on JW being the best of the young QBs is that his accuracy is still not what it needs to be and there is no guarantee he’ll be able to tighten that up just with more experience.
      Knocking Carr and the universally reviled Mariota (at least on these boards) because they’re injured is silly – playing behind our Swiss Cheese line JW is one awkward hit away from being in the same boat.
      On that subject, based on what I’ve seen from them so far I’d take Carr over JW. He just throws a better ball, quicker motion, with accuracy and touch more consistently. Sure JW flashes but he’s too inconsistent.
      If you counter that the comparison isn’t fair because of the OL the Raiders have, then you have to be arguing for us to spend 2-3 high picks on the OL over the next two drafts to fix that obvious problem. If not, the numbers and what I see watching the Raiders on DTV says to me that he’s the better QB right now. Maybe JW surpasses him eventually but the erratic play and poor ball placement needs to stop.

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      • I like Carr a lot, as well as Mariota. Each improved significantly over their rookie play, and Carr improved quite a bit each season of play. The injuries were just freak things that could happen to any quarterback in an instant, just a big guy falling on the quarterback’s lower leg is all it takes.

        I don’t think that Winston improved much over his rookie play, other than he was a little more consistent. The poor play at times of the offensive line certainly didn’t help, and associated with that, the poor running game also didn’t help him either. Plus his former no. 1 WR Jackson was a non-factor, and we also lost our former third member of the big three (or, and I really hated this name, the “Dunkaneers”) to personal problems. So Jameis had a lot of things on the offense that were suboptimal. Thankfully Mike Evans and Cam Brate filled in as well as they possibly could, and that helped us get to a winning season.

        If we get the rest of the offense beefed up this off-season, I think Jameis could make a pretty big leap this year. I especially am intrigued by the possibility of sighing Desean Jackson to give us a true burner at WR for the first time since Joey Galloway. Jackson could end up being the one to help Jameis improve his long ball accuracy, since he is so fast he can overtake an overthrown ball that most other receivers would see flop to the turf.

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  7. I totally believe trading down for McCaffrey and gaining picks is a viable option come draft day. I’m not sure how well he’d fill the role of every-down back, but you can’t deny that he could be a very dangerous weapon when paired with the offensive mind of Dirk Koetter.
    As far as Jameis, there are a handful of ANd for whom a case could be made, but I’m not sure I’d personally want anyone else. Even though at times he does things I’m the field that make me want to smack him (lol), like You, Mark Cook, I love his hard work and passion to improve, but his ability to motivate and get teammates to rally behind him is a valuable skill that is special and rare.

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  8. Bucballer, I believe Doug Martin has to be given an ultimatum: restructure his contract or hit the road. Much like Mark Cook again, I hope for a redemption story for Doug Martin, and it’s great if it is in Tampa. However, I don’t think it is feasible to keep him at his current salary with his past inconsistency and the fact that he averaged 2.9 YPC last season. I don’t believe he should be cut because of the addiction (it is simply what made an out from his contract possible), but the performance is a real issue.

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