PewterReport.com began a new offseason feature this year, giving readers an opportunity to get their questions answered by the PR staff. Today, Mark Cook answers five questions taken from Twitter submissions using the hashtag #PRMailbag. Each week, one of the questions used will earn the person who asked it one of our new Tampa Bay schedule refrigerator magnet.
Question 1. Jeffrey Westberry asks, do you think Mike Smith’s defense can get Lavonte David back to 2012 form? And what was your honest opinion on Lovie Smith’s defense?
Answer: I believe so. And lets be honest, his 2014 and 2015 wasn’t bad by most standards. But there is no question Schiano and Bill Sheridan really set things up and designed the defense to make David the focus, and it showed by his splash plays that season. Davis is primed to have a Derrick Brooks-like impact year in my opinion. I’ve never seen him as confident as I have so far this offseason. Really the whole defense appears to ready for the season to start yesterday if you know what I mean. I’m not knocking Lovie Smith, but to me, and this is just my opinion, but it looks like the players are almost relieved somewhat if that makes any sense. I feel like they all played hesitant last year, scared of making mistakes. And we know that was the case in the secondary for sure. Everyone on the team respected Smith (well maybe not Sterling Moore) and I did, as a man. I just don’t believe he built his defense around the players, instead forced them to try and fit into the scheme.
Question 2. Tyson Mansfield asks, do we lock up William Gholston early since he’s in a contract year, and a system that he will flourish in?
Answer: I think it is way too early to determine that. Gholston is had elite size and strength, and maybe talent, but for whatever reason he hasn’t quite put it all together. Will this year be the year he does it? No question the organization hopes so, and have proven they have no problem rewarding players who do it, even in a contract year, as evidenced by the Martin deal this offseason. I suppose if his agent came to the team with a reasonable offer that could lock him up at a fair salary for both sides the Bucs might consider it, but they won’t pay any exorbitant salary right now. You can’t pay a player based on hoping he finally puts it all together.
Question 3. Justin Haas asks, if Sweezy isn’t the guy by mid-season Bucs and see Kevin Pamphile as better, do you think there would be a possible trade?
Answer: Well I guess that isn’t out of the question. The problem is, if Sweezy struggles to the point Pamphile replaces him, would there even be any trade value? But I don’t think it comes to that. Sweezy had a number of suitors during free agency including his own team, the Seahawks. The fact that they wanted him back tells me he is the real deal. Of course, some would say if he was that good Seattle would have locked him up before free agency. Who knows? I do know that Jason Licht is extremely excited about adding Sweezy to this offensive line. I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt on this one.
Question 4. Dan McLeod asks, we know its early but In your opinion who is leading for the WR #3 spot?
Answer: You answered your own question! It is way too early. But based on what I have seen in OTAs, Humphries and Bell are in a battle for that spot. They have both been on the field with the first team so far this offseason. But as a member of the organization pointed out to me, don’t forget about Louis Murphy in the race. If he comes back healthy, then he has as a good a chance as anyone. It will be a fun battle to watch in camp, one I look forward to seeing. Whoever it is, will be better because of the others pushing them.
Question 5. David asks, what does Smith have to do to get value from the group of corners he will have this year?
Answer: I am not sure exactly what you mean. If you are talking production, I think just having them feel comfortable in the system will go a long way. Of course this team has really upgraded the talent in my opinion. Even as a Florida State fan, I can appreciate Vernon Hargreaves and the talent he should bring to this team whether it be as the nickel corner or starter opposite of Brent Grimes, who was a great addition. Add is Josh Robinson, and returners in Alterraun Verner and Johnathan Banks and you have a very solid secondary. Plus I am excited about the new coaches as well. John Hoke is an old school, get-on-their-rear type of coach. He doesn’t smile or backslap. He is kind of an old school throwback coach. And coach Maxie is an upgrade to the staff as well. Add in Mike Smith calling the defense, and I believe the secondary will be the most improved unit on the team.
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]
I suspect the reason the Seattle didn’t wrap up Sweezy prior to free agency were more cap related than talent related.
I, too. believe the competition for the third WR position is only going to benefit this team.
Last year before it was training camp it was almost a given that Evans, Jackson and Murphy would be the top three WR’s.
But due to injuries to both Kenny Bell and Murphy last season both Humphries and Dye saw a lot of plays in their rookie year.
This competition only bodes well for the Bucs future.
I personally like all three but believe Dye is the weakest link in the field due to his mental lapses in the game.
You know that I believe that this team will be a surprise in the Nfl. I think if the team jell like I think we will a lot more games then the Nfl thinks. How about a record 11 & 5. You said what! I said 11 & 5. If Tampa catches some of these so call powerhouse teams last year, They might not be that much powerhouse as what was last year. All of the so term Old Timers remember when The old Tampa Bay Orange Bucs won 5 & 0.Tampa could start off fast I believe this year they would shock the league. This is George Hicks who was around durning that time. Why not in 2016-2017 Go Bucs
I have a question. Will Koetter defer the kickoff should we win the coin toss, or being an offensive minded coach want to try and score first? Had to laugh when Smith would put his best unit, lol, on the field first, only to be diced up by the likes of Mariota.
surferdudes, I have no problem with that strategy of putting the defense on the field first, even more so if your offense is the strongest unit.
Belichek does it with the reasoning if he can score last in the first half and first in the second half, it gives the team a real momentum shift.
Of course your offense actually has to consistently score for the theory to actually work.
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