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.