PewterReport.com is beginning a new offseason 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.
@FranMannato @PewterReport Do you see the possibility that Bucs move Johnthan Banks to safety?
Answer: That is an interesting thought, and obviously that does occasionally happen in the NFL, but without speaking to anyone about it, and purely speculating, I would say that is a long shot to happen, at least this year. I believe Banks will be looking at 2016 as a chance to start over in a sense. Unfortunately for him, this will be his third defensive backs coach in four years. We talk about the difficulty of quarterbacks learning new systems, but it is essentially true across the board, especially in the secondary. In fact former Bucs head coach Greg Schiano once told Scott Reynolds and myself that other than quarterback, he believed cornerback was the hardest position to transition from college to the pros. Now add in three coaches, three different messages and a revolving door of players around him, and it is no wonder Banks struggled somewhat in 2015. I am not making excuses for him by any stretch. He, and all of the secondary players, need to, and must play better. The Bucs are going to have to count of some of these returning players to be key components in what is hopefully a turn around season under new defensive coordinator Mike Smith.
Answer: There is a chance he hits the open market, but no way Tampa Bay doesn’t fight to retain his services. It would certainly be a gamble to allow him to see what is out there. All it would take is one team flush with cap money to really throw a wrinkle in things. A team, say like the Raiders, could go all in, and with Martin a California native, the money could be too much for him to turn down or more than the Bucs are willing to spend. Two things we know for certain, the Bucs want Martin back and he wants to be back. Also from what we hear, Martin’s agent has a good relationship with the Bucs front office. That in itself is a good thing. Many have tweeted or posted on the message boards that running backs are a dime a dozen, and you can easily pick one up in the draft to replace him. But if that were the case, where are all the running backs drafted since 2012 that played better than Martin or were more valuable to their team’s offense last year? Let’s not forget he led the NFL in runs over 20 yards with 14 of them. The next one was Todd Gurley(11) and then Adrian Peterson with 10. That is pretty elite company. Add in his 1,402 yards rushing (2nd in the league) and his yards per carry average (4.9 avg.) also second in the league among running backs with over 100 carries, and I don’t see how anyone could say Martin is a dime-a-dozen running back.
@JP3Gatorbait @PewterReport Do you think the Bucs trade up in the draft? Maybe get into that top five? #PRMailbag
Answer: I would love to see it, if they are after Jalen Ramsey. I know I favored Jameis Winston last year, and I follow the Seminoles, but it was strictly based on what I thought was best for the team moving forward. I cover the Bucs, not the Noles, and the Bucs winning football games and being successful makes my job more enjoyable and in the end probably more profitable. So the same thought goes for Ramsey. I have watched his career in Tallahassee and have personally talked to FSU coaches and a number of scouts. I have heard nothing but great things about him. Is he a perfect player? No, but much like Winston he is all about football. In fact Ramsey shuns the spotlight considerably more than Winston. He is an elite talent that can be used all over the field. It would be hard to pick out any weaknesses in his game that couldn’t get better in the NFL. And we know the Buccaneers love Ramsey as well, but they also know they won’t have a shot at him if they stay at No. 9. The question now becomes, how much do they like him? Enough to move up, sacrificing future picks in this draft or next year? That will be up to GM Jason Licht and his front office to determine.
@jhassinator @PewterReport if the Bucs don’t spend most of there cap money on players, Doug Martin etc, should us fans think about wanting a new GM? #PRMailbag
Answer: No I don’t believe so. To me, a bigger concern would be if they spent a ton of money year after year, and got nothing out of it except salary cap problems. And if Licht consistently missed on draft picks. And don’t forget, even though we don’t see the Glazers out in front, and giving sound bites to ESPN and other media outlets say like a Jerry Jones, it doesn’t mean they aren’t involved. They always have final say. The GM has a lot of influence, but at the end of the day the owners sign the checks. Unless this team has a monumental collapse, a horrible draft, and we find out Dirk Koetter is in over his head, then Licht will be fine. And for the record, I do not foresee any of those scenarios to play out in 2016.
Answer: Second round maybe but I am not sure they want to spend a second round pick on a young man that is coming off major surgery, and for a position where they have two exception starters in Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander. And the SAM linebacker sees the field no more that 50 percent of the time in many schemes, so would they bring him in to be a part time starter, even if he heals up with no issues? I love the player very much, and will use him as my main argument for those who say players shouldn’t leave school early. I hope and pray he can come back as strong as he was and had an exceptional NFL career. Unless he is facing Tampa Bay.