PewterReport.com begins a new offseason Monday feature, 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 a PewterReport.com T-shirt.
Question 1: drewgriffincom @PewterReport Watching a team like the Texans has to make Mike Glennon valuable. This QB class is not good. 2nd rounder? #PRMailbag
Answer: Seeing Houston quarterback Brian Hoyer commit four turnovers on Saturday in the AFC Wild Card loss to Kansas City was difficult to watch. It certainly proves how crucial quarterback play is not only throughout the season, but especially in the playoffs. In the case of Houston, I wondered earlier this year if the quarterback musical chairs would get Bill O’Brien fired. Hoyer finally emerged as the starter, and played well enough to get Houston to the playoffs but the AFC South was a weak division this year, much like the NFC South was a year ago.
Would Mike Glennon have fared better than Hoyer on Saturday? Probably, but history shows first-year playoff starters at quarterback tend to struggle. Look at the four losing quarterbacks this weekend (Hoyer, Washington’s Kirk Cousins, Minnesota’s Teddy Bridgewater and Cincinnati’s A.J. McCarron) – all were starting their first playoff game. It is a whole new level of play needed in the playoffs, as the pressure is and intensity is ramped up to a whole other level.
But to your point, I can’t say the Texans will be calling Bucs general manager Jason Licht tomorrow, but you can expect some interest. At one point, the general consensus was that Glennon might fetch a third- or fourth-rounder, but with what appears is a relatively weak QB class coming out in this year’s draft, Glennon’s value only increases. I am not sure a second-rounder would happen, but it might be enough for Licht to pull the trigger. Glennon is entering the final year of his rookie deal, and most agree he wants to be a starter. And with Jameis Winston firmly entrenched as the future for the Buccaneers, the odds he would consider re-signing with the Bucs is remote. Yet Licht knows the value of a good backup quarterback and likely won’t pull the trigger on a trade unless it’s for a second-rounder. He knows he could likely get a mid-round compensatory pick following the 2017 season if Glennon signs a sizable contract elsewhere as a free agent.
Question 2: @sbw27 @PewterReport #PRMailbag Kenny Bell, if healthy will he help the receiving corps next year?
Answer: No one can say for sure, but I do know the Buccaneers are still very high on Kenny Bell, the former Nebraska receiver. How unfortunate that he was hurt and placed on injured reserve this year. With the rash of injuries at the position in 2015, Bell would have gotten valuable game experience and would have been able to give the team a preview of exactly what he could have contributed. Not only at receiver, but maybe at the kick returner position where it is believed Bobby Rainey has seen his last days fielding kicks for the Bucs after struggling to make an impact – and also with ball security.
Bell will be given a chance to earn a roster spot again in 2016, but really missed a golden opportunity to showcase his abilities. Of course his hamstring injury wasn’t his fault. In the meantime, players like Adam Humphries and Donteea Dye were able to fill the role that most likely Bell would have provided. Although I am not sure either did enough to guarantee a roster spot going forward. I still believe the Bucs will look to add a pure speed receiver this draft – possibly Notre Dame’s William Fuller, Baylor’s Corey Coleman or Colorado State’s Rashard Higgins – or even look to free agency. Of course much of that will be based on if aging veteran Vincent Jackson returns in 2016.
Question 3: @1vabucsfan @PewterReport If (when) DK is made HC do you expect any offensive coaches to be retained, mainly QB coach and who’ll call plays? #PRmailbag
Answer: I think the fact that so far all of the offensive staff has been retained speaks volumes on what Dirk Koetter and the organization thinks of them. If Koetter isn’t the coach then all bets are off, and chances are many – if not all – could be let go. It just depends on who the new coach would be.
If it is Koetter, I don’t expect any shakeups at all. Mike Bajakian, the team’s quarterbacks coach, probably hasn’t gotten his proper due as far as the development of Winston. At least not the same that Koetter has. Bajakian and Winston reportedly have a great working relationship, and honestly those two spend way more time together during the course of a week than Winston and Koetter do. Looking at the other position coaches on offense, it would be hard to justify letting any of them go. George Warhop’s offensive line was much improved, the running backs help set franchise records, and even the tight ends contributed more than many people may realize. Think about John Embree and the job he did getting Cameron Brate ready – and playing well – in the absence of Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
If Koetter is the coach I wouldn’t expect any movement on the offensive coaching side, however if it is anyone else – Arizona offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin perhaps – then it most likely will be left to the discretion of whoever the new man in charge is.
Question 4: @rgalm10 @PewterReport VH3 or Ramsey? If both are gone would Bucs reach for Mack Alexander (if declares)? #PRMailbag
Answer: It is still so early in the draft process to tell. Florida’s Vernon Hargreaves III was one of my favorite players in college football coming into 2015, but kind of slipped a little towards the end of the season. He was exposed against Alabama and even Michigan in their bowl game. Scouts I talked to said playing the ball in the air against bigger receivers is something he struggled with in college, but not many people threw his way, so it wasn’t a perceived weakness until this year. Still, as far as a turn-your-hips and run-with-a-receiver type cornerback, not many – if any – are better than he is at this point.
As a Florida State fan, I am also a big fan of Jalen Ramsey. Intensity is what Ramsey brings, along with exceptional athleticism. You can line him up at multiple positions and count on him to understand his role and more times than not, he will win his battle. I think he will grade out higher as a safety as opposed to a cornerback as scouts start releasing their analysis. But he certainly wouldn’t be a liability as an NFL cornerback. Charlie Campbell of WalterFootball.com and I spoke to Jameis Winston about Ramsey the day after the Bucs game against the Panthers and he feels like Ramsey can line up and be successful anywhere on the field, and Winston compared him to Richard Sherman of the Seahawks. It looks like Ramsey has overtaken Hargreaves on a number of draft boards, but either player would help the Buccaneers and be a starter from Day 1 of training camp, if not mini-camp.
Photo: Florida State University
Clemson’s Mackensie Alexander made a huge jump from 2014 to 2015 and as a redshirt sophomore, he could be playing his final college game on Monday night against the Crimson Tide. Alexander was a first team All-ACC cornerback and has yet to give up a touchdown in man coverage this season. CBS’ Dane Brugler says he doesn’t possess ideal size, but is really the only weakness in his game. I am not sure if he is worthy of the No. 9 overall pick, though. Let’s see how he does against Alabama, where he will certainly be tested.
Question 5: @DontBucNH8 @PewterReport how confident do you feel about Koetter being the next HC? And who would you like as Defensive coordinator? #PRMailbag
Answer: I still maintain there is a 75 percent chance that Dirk Koetter will be the next Bucs head coach. I just can’t imagine the Buccaneers wanting to take the chance of bringing in a new coach, and potential new staff, after the numbers the Bucs offense put up, setting franchise records. It is certainly possible that the new coach could convince Koetter and the staff to stick around, but another season like 2015 and Koetter will eventually leave for greener pastures (and new tax bracket). And if say it were Cardinals offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin, he would most likely want to handle the play calling duties, which is something he has yet to do in Arizona, so where would Koetter fit in?
Defensively, if it is Koetter, don’t be surprised if he gives defensive line coach Joe Cullen some consideration. I know that may sound crazy, but Cullen knows the personnel on the roster, was a defensive play-caller in college, has a firm grasp of X’s and O’s and Rod Marinelli, his mentor, made the transition rather well from D-line coach to defensive coordinator. After that I am guessing you could see Mike Smith as a potential candidate if he doesn’t get a head coaching job this year. If it isn’t Koetter, then it is wide open, and impossible to even speculate.
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@example.com
Nice new column Scott! Q1) I think you nailed the Glennon strategy…won’t be surprised to see him back. Q2) Kenny Bell…I’m just not that excited…would much rather have “an aging” VJax back…still our #1 WR IMO until Evans learns a thing or two (or ten) about how to play Q4) Draft…we have so many holes at the moment…and we have a defense built (theoretically) to play a zone-heavy style…we need to see what the next DC will do, because it may be a lot more than a Safety, CB and DE that we need…and I’m not still not sold that our OL is where it needs to be, yet we better fix it or our shiny new QB may not be so shiny anymore…
I think we need a DC that adapts his philosophy to fit his personnel until he can get his guys in the draft or FA. Lovie wanted to fit square pegs in round holes. Something nobody is mentioning. You can hire an HC from within and not interview anyone else. The Rooney rule does not apply if you hire an HC from your own staff. It’s a promotion.
I don’t understand why bucs would want Mr.Koetter as head coach. His record in college is not impressive and he was not wanted back in Atlanta.
I know that I, personally, would hate to see Koetter get the HC position. He has taken one good season, along with a career of mediocrity, and stretched it as far as it will probably go. If he gets the job, it is just bringing the Glazers one step closer to being the Jimmy Haslam of the South.
Koetter set a new franchise record for total offense with rookie players and in spite of missing key guys and Lovie’s bungling game management in his FIRST year on the team. I can’t wait to see what this offense can do when they are experienced, healthy, and Koetter has complete control. After 4 decades of defensive strength the Bucs finally have some real potential to build an offensive powerhouse. Koetter is the key to it all. Jameis will improve faster with Koetter leading the way on the field. It doesn’t hurt that we finally have a GM that knows how to stock a roster. It’s great to feel excited about the future of this team for a change.
Excellent points Sparky. Few of us know much about other team’s coordinators and I certainly don’t want another retread. As for Koetter; I agree that no one knows how any coordinator will fare as a HC. Many are young and promoted from being the “hot” candidate with relatively limited experience. Koetter at least has a few, grey hairs and is now battle tested from his college HC days. I think the benefits of him and the offensive staff remaining far outweigh the unpredictability of an entire coaching staff upheaval. Even on the defensive side, Cullen and Hardy did well enough with the hand they were dealt. The now departed secondary coaches where indecision was the norm deserved to be shown the exit. Hearing the forthright Koetter speak each week was refreshing.
Fans probably forgot when Lovie Smith was the HC they were very upset on Lovie Smith decisions,Now fans are upset about Lovie Smith is gone. Now Buc Fans let see what happens and support the bucs again. Tampa can moved on to the challenges and the future. GO Bucs.
Keeping Koetter will make this offense and Winston better at least in the short term. If there is another candidate they took over him would have to be very strong and interview amazingly well. You people can say what has Koetter done and he’s not that great but we know what he did with the offense. If they bring in someone it’s possible they do better eventually, but it is way more of a crap shoot IMO. Unless it’s an experienced head coach they interview you never really know what you will get. At least we know with him we get great offense and don’t go backward. Defense was a joke so it can’t get worse so not even worried about that. Lol. Hopefully we get a really good D coordinator.
I am excited for the future, not sure what the correct answer is as far as HC goes. Unless the Bucs pull a top tier coach away from a winning program (I doubt it) then they will have to roll the dice a bit and see how the next HC performs. I have only recently been following Tampa, I am a lifetime diehard FSU fan and always enjoyed NFL but I have not been passionate about it like I am all of a sudden. Love getting to watch my favorite Nole all time (Jameis) playing on sundays. I didn’t miss a game this year, looking forward to the combines and draft.
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