PewterReport.com began a new offseason feature recently, giving readers an opportunity to get their questions answered by the PR staff. Today, Scott Reynolds 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.
Last week’s winner was JPGarv.
Question 1. Scott Rairigh asks, which 2-3 UFA signings are you excited about?
Answer: I can’t say I am excited about any undrafted free agent, but there are a couple interesting prospects. First of all there is nothing official until the Bucs send out a press release saying they players have signed their deals. Each year there are a couple players linked to teams who have verbally agreed over the phone to sign with an NFL team, only to get a better offer and change their minds. But two that are a little intriguing to me are Cassanova McKinzy a linebacker from Auburn and tackle Taylor Fallin from Memphis.
McKinzy is a big linebacker, 6-1,248, and would most likely have never been brought in if Lovie Smith were still in charge, based on his size alone. Scouting reports say he can struggle in coverage at times, but is very physical and sheds blocks impressively. Plus he is a thumper. Jason Licht said at one point during his press conferences that the Bucs needed to improve their linebacker depth, and McKinzy showed enough flashes at Auburn that the Bucs think he could impress enough to make the team. Mike Smith is looking for a bigger more stout defense, and it appears and McKinzy certainly fits that bill.
Fallin is another big guy at 6-6, 330-pounds. He is a monster of a man and I was little surprised his name wasn’t called late Saturday based on his size alone. The Bucs were excited to land him and the good news for the team, and Fallin, is he won’t be pressured to do anything but get better and become a developmental player for the team. The Bucs appear stacked at the tackle position, but having him come in and learn from a veteran like Gosder Cherilus and Joe Hawley, will benefit the three-year starter from Memphis.
Question 2. Pickett971 asks, do you believe not taking a defensive tackle could have bad implications late in the season depth wise?
Answer: If you are the Bucs you hope not. Right now, on paper at least, it looks a little thin, but the Bucs aren’t too far down the waiver priority list after winning just six games, so there could be some guys become available moving forward that could come in and provide good depth behind Gerald McCoy, Akeem Spence and Clinton McDonald. It will be interesting to see how Mike Smith sets his defensive line, particularly on passing downs and remember Will Gholston could move down to a tackle position at times. But as stated, this roster will have a couple more defensive tackles on it when the 53-man roster is revealed following the preseason I am convinced.
Question 3. Junioraumanac asks, do you think that Peyton Barber will make the team?
Answer: He could, as the Bucs are limited behind Doug Martin and Charles Sims. Mike James returns and we saw him a little more involved during the team’s first mini-camp last week. Barber is interesting as he was basically a one-year wonder. I personally wonder who his advisors were that decided he should leave school after just one season as a featured back. He doesn’t have elite speed, but from why we’ve been told he is a guy that runs tough, has good vision and has a second gear to accelerate through the hole. But he doesn’t have that third gear to take it to the house. I think Barber will battle James for a roster spot and of course much will be determined by how many backs the Bucs keep and how much he can contribute on special teams.
Question 4. Douglas O’Connor asks, IMO the Bucs don’t have an NFL caliber starting S. Can you argue for, how, and why DB Ryan Smith could be our new starting S?
Answer: I disagree they don’t have starting caliber safeties, and obviously the team does as well, as there were a number of very good prospects at that position available when the team selected Roberto Aguayo in the second round. Now I am not saying the Bucs have Pro Bowl caliber safeties on the roster, but I really want to see what they are able to do in Mike Smith’s defense as opposed to the last regime. I think this is a huge year for Bradley McDougald. he had big expectations on him coming into 2015 and whether it was coaching or the player – or a combination of both – the expectations weren’t met. And I thought Conte played pretty well despite not being put in a great position last season. The scheme should be more aggressive which means the safeties will have an opportunity to play more aggressively as well, as opposed to playing a deep zone often like they did last season. And the Bucs like Ryan Smith at safety, at least to begin with. He played two seasons of safety in college so he is familiar with the position, and Tampa Bay thinks he has the right size and mentality to translate it to the NFL.
Question 5. Tehoriginator asks, which team(s) did the Bucs believe were poised to take Aguayo before pick 74?
Answer: I have no idea really. But obviously Tampa Bay felt they couldn’t wait another several picks to take him. In their mind they have another Jason Hanson, a 15-year starter that you don’t have to worry about. He is a given, and the team won’t go through another season like last year where they brought in Kyle Brindza late in the preseason, only to watch him melt down early in the season, and then have to bring in Connor Barth to salvage the rest of the season at that position. I was told over the weekend by a source that Aguayo was the best kicker they have ever scouted in their many years of scouting. Now you can argue even if that is the case it is still a kicker, but as Scott Reynolds pointed out over the weekend, there are many reasons why it makes more sense than initially thought when the selection was made last Friday night.
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]
After Brindza missed four field goals and two extra points in only five games last year, and directly costing at least one loss, I believe this was a great choice. Just wait and see how kickers’ value will go up with the latest rule changes.
Well said. Go Bucs!!!
Peyton Barber left Auburn early out of desperation. Family needs money and word is that his mother is homeless. Could be the type of motivation to land him a roster spot.
I don’t doubt that every team picking ahead of us in the 3rd round would not have not thought hard and long as to why they wouldn’t take him versus not. I can’t say that for the last 3 selections in the 2nd round round, but why risk it because of a 4th round pick. Maybe other teams wanted more than a 4th round to move up in the 3rd/ My point is who knows and I surely don’t care because he is going to be a good reliable kicker; that much we do know. Some of you have bought way too much into the past Pewter Report DT hype.
Given that 90% of the kickers in the league are drafted after the 4th round, most not drafted at all, I would say that you might consider that a reason why the price of a 4th to move up (combined with the 3rd) was considered laughable by some. And while Aguayo ranks as the all-time most accurate kicker in his career, his conversion rate has gotten worse each year in college. In 2015 Aguayo converted 80.8% of his FG attempts. In 2015 Connor Barth converted 82.1% of his FG attempts, so take out the Brindza debacle (which was just a bad move by Licht in the first place) and tell me how a kicker who converted a lower FG% in 2015 than the kicker the Bucs had on their roster is expected to noticeably improve the team with scoring?
I think Licht was considering Aguayo’s ability to accurately kick just outside the goal line on kickoffs. If there was a huge weakness in Barth’s game, it was kickoffs, which is why the team was paying huge money to Koenen to handle kicks for so long. Also, kicks are harder in college, due to the wider angle of the hash marks on college fields, and higher likelihood of bad snaps/holds in college.
Kickoffs are overlooked. There is evidence that a kicker who can accurately kick off just short of the goal line with above average hang time (Aguayo) will help to limit starting field position and possibly reduce scoring by making the other teams drives longer. As of this season, kicks that end in touchbacks will come out to the 25, whereas previously the ball was placed at the 20. 5 yards may not seem like much, but over an entire season, this yardage can add up.
You can tell which UDFAs the Bucs coveted by the size of their signing bonuses.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers did a $20,000 signing bonus and guaranteed $15,000 of Leonard Wester’s 2016 base salary.
Bucs gave Notre Dame safety Elijah Shumate a $13,000 bonus to sign as an undrafted rookie free agent. Shows he was coveted after draft.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers guaranteed $5,000 of 2016 base for Dominique Robertson and gave him $7,500 signing bonus. Warhop’s nephew.
Thanks mac, Shumate has my interest peaked . Mayock called him, “a box safety that can play LB in dime packages as well as Special Teams” during his Combine performance. Said he played quality football @ ND & will make a home for himself in the NFL. Mayock calls all the ND games, so he’s seen the young man play up close and often. I really hope we bolstered our 2ndary this off-season, because I tend to agree w/ Douglas O’Connor’s point that the Bucs’ don’t have everything they need there to be successful…yet.
Thanks mac. It’s Scott, finally got a user name. Where can this information be found? I am intrigued by the WR our of Mount Union, Nandar.
none of this Kicker chatter will be remembered after his first game winning field goal or multiple field goal game.
I keep hearing, We need a kicker, He is the best ever, He will win games. B.S. There is a reason why the Bucs continue to pick near the top of the draft year after year. Because they are bad horse traders. They don’t get enough for players they trade away, and they pay too much for the ones they want. Spending a 2nd for a Kicker is the kind of thing that the Raiders do or Cleveland or one of the many teams who occupy the cellar of their division over and over. We have so many needs on this Team, even if he is a pro bowler, it was foolish. Bucs have got to get better at working the game of the off season. Having the Best Kicker ever is like having the best Punter ever. If you cannot score touchdowns or stop the other team from scoring touchdowns a kicker is not going to make a difference Great Teams after they become great and they need to put the finishing touch on the team they waste a high pick on a Kicker. But when you need DTs, DE’s and a secondary who can stop the other teams receivers, don’t waste a high pick. IMHO
Unfortunately Aguayo is not guaranteed to win the Bucs games, seat26, as anyone who saw the Georgia Tech upset of FSU (Ga Tech was not a good team last year), knows Roberto Aguayo’s “game winning kick” was blocked by Tech and that block was returned for a TD at the end of regulation. So yes, Roberto Aguayo won a game last year, for Georgia Tech.
It was a 62 yard kick genius. It got blocked due to low trajectory. I’m guessing you’ve known a few kickers that have never missed?
It was a 56-yard kick, genius. I have no idea where you made up that number from. When criticizing someone’s point it helps to get your facts right. Secondly, I guess we won’t have to worry about him trying a 50+ yard field goal in the NFL much?
Also, who’s fault is it for the low trajectory? The longsnapper? Oh, it was the kicker. And all kickers miss kicks, not every kicker gets a game-winning kick blocked and returned on them for a brutal last second loss (other than Alabama’s kicker of course).
Ask any Saints fan if a kicker is not valued. They will all tell you for years the only reason won at all was Morton Anderson. And when they let him get away they were very sad. I’m not saying that he’s the greatest but let’s give the guy a chance.
I like Aguayo. I really do. I actually watched an interview and then sent a question in to Scott Smith about him on the March 8th #BucsLive! about how high he would be drafted and asked Scott to gauge if the Bucs should have interest. He said he personally wouldn’t give more than a 6th round pick for any kicker since you can find them anywhere. That said, I hope Aguayo is amazing. He seems like the ultimate competitor and winner. I like the pick. I just wish the Bucs would have picked up another stud at DT for the line. There were so many DT’s to like in this draft and the Bucs didn’t take any of them. For Pete’s sake, they have 8 cornerbacks now!
Brothers in BUCS- he is a great kicker, as on offense when you drive the ball in range you want points. Last year it was eh, and most often it broke the teams spirit when they got nothing. Licht is a meat head scout, he & team have been money thus far, have just s little faith. If spence can stay off the dope this top of the draft can be money. The piece are coming together. Mike smith’s D is going to help (it can’t be worse than lovies). Let’s not howl ate moon yet, heads up BUCS…keep the faith!
It is not about if he is a good kicker. He may be the best ever. However when you are a crappy team, and you spend a 2nd round pick on a Kicker, with so much talent left on the board. You may have cost your team dearly in the long run. There is a reason the Patriots are always in the playoffs. They draft well and they coach well. If we do not improve those areas we will draft in the top 10 for another 10 yrs all over again.
I was excited from last two years drafts. This was a deep Defensive draft. We got a small Corner who is slow and we got a small DE who is fast. And we got the greatest kicker of all time.
Or perhaps the bucs have just had the worst coaching in the NFL the last couple years. This team is basically starting over as far as defensive scheme goes and the offense is fairly good from what I saw last year. So for you to make a comment saying we have such a “crappy team” seems a little short sighted to me. You just mentioned that COACHING is a huge part of winning. When’s the last time we’ve had that? So give licht and these pics a chance, ok coach?
Yes, the Patriots are always in the playoffs. And yes, they draft well and coach well. Those factors are important. But what’s most important is they have arguably the best QB that has ever played. Hopefully, the Bucs now have a QB who’s going to make up for some defensive shortcomings. Kickers score points. Defensive linemen rarely do.
Comical, absolutely comical how we somehow think had we used our original 3rd round choice and our acquired 4th round choice that either of those two players would be destined for anything more than a rotational back-up or Special Teams role. Here in Pewterville, we were brainwashed into thinking DT was a position of dire need and simply had to have a body to fill a roster spot. Last year 5 DT’s were on the roster, which is the norm. At this point it’s safe to say the two starters are McCoy and McDonald with Akeem Spence as the rotational guy. That leaves two primarily back-up and /or role players for which I’m fairly certain will be Gholston, Ayers and one of the unknowns competing for a roster spot. If we somehow drafted this great DT in the 3rd round, it’s doubtful he sees the field much except for 4th down Special Teams………just like the new kicker. Which one puts point on the board? Maybe we should have drafted a guard and had him do double duty like the time OG George Yarno was our kicker after Capece was kaput. I remember this crap, which I guess is why I’m glad we at least took a shot at stabilizing the kicking position.
Wasn’t there a great long snapper available in the 2nd round? Excuse me Scubog, but where was Alexander drafted last year ? 4th round. We could have picked up a Fullback in free agency, we had a good kicker who already saved our A ses last year after we cut him. We need help on Defense. Yes more bodies were needed. We squandered an opportunity to improve our defense. And there was a lot of talent still left on the board. I pray everyone we picked is a pro bowler, including our ” best college kicker of all time”. but mostly I pray that McCoy stays healthy.
Well shit Seat, I don’t know why you just aren’t the GM. We’d have won a couple of superbowls with your genius guiding us. I’ll take LIcht’s experience over yours any day.
Your argument is to say that because someone is a professional with past success they must not make mistakes like the rest of us. Rich McKay drafted more hall of fame players in one round than most GM’s will in a career and he still traded up for Kenyatta Walker. Tell me again how that works?
I also love ho you think every pick in the 4th is like Kwon. DO you realize how rare that is? SO please stop with the comparisons.
I agree scubog, but I hope they will play him at safety also. He has the athleticism and size for it. Remember Groza played tackle.lmao.
Fellow PR-ites…let it go…its all been said now….the stage of grieving we should all be at is “acceptance”…time to move forward and win some games with the Buccaneer-men we have…not lament the ones we don’t.
And just to shine a small ray of hope onto the whole “players we didn’t get” thing…while at the same time providing an excellent rebuttal to all those voices I hear from time to time telling me that “you’re not a GM and you don’t know anything”…have you seen the list of players (that’s 1st rounders) who did not have their 5th year options picked up this week….a lot of “big names” that the so-called experts picked….so, take some solace in the fact that we picked who we did – and if you don’t like the picks, well chances are all the alternatives will bust out too…
Well said EEB!
Wow scubog, I’m impressed by your memory and analysis.
Seat26, you do make a valid point about McCoy’s health since he always seems to be nicked uo, but if the Bucs felt after the second round there wasn’t a viable DT to take, I’m sure not going to question them.
Drafting someone just to fill a need doesn’t work as this team has proven in the past before Licht got here.
However, since you pointed the Patriots out, there was a good reason they didn’t get to the Super Bowl this year. Their FG kicker missed a PAT and they ended up chasing that point for the rest of the game. They never got it back.
Great field goal kickers are invaluable and the Raiders selected one in 2000 with the first round pick and he is still kicking for them 16 year later after numerous Pro Bowl appearances.
Who did we draft in 2000 with the first round. Noone. We wasted it on MeShawn Johnson. Out of the league now.
How about 2001. A one and a two on Kenyatta Walker who is probably stocking shelves for Wal Mart now.
I don’t know if this kid is going to work out for 16 years and neither do you. I also don’t know if the Jags and owboys injured LB’s they drafted are going to succeed or if Vonn Bell, a safety, is going to make it to his next contract.
I do know Licht was questioned about his first four picks last year and they all performed and passed with flying colors.
I trust his opinion much more than yours.
Usually I don’t agree with you DRD, but you hit the nail on the head with this one. ANY PICK can bust. We used a second round pick a few years back on Bowers, a first round on Barron, cadillac williams, Mike williams. I can name 20 or so players taken in the first or second round that don’t even play on this team anymore.Hell some don’t even play in the NFL. People need to stop acting like Kwon was the norm. Getting 4th round starters like him is the exception, not the rule.
It isn’t just Kwon. The first 4 picks last year all started and played exceptionally. I would say it might end up being the best draft we have ever had.
DRD, the Raiders did select a kicker in the first round of the 2000 draft that is still playing. How many superbowls has that kicker won them? What other probowl kicker was selected in that draft? Neil Rackers, only he was taken in the 6th round by Cincy. Rackers has as many probowls as Janikowski, 1. Janikowski only has 1 probowl appearance and he wasnt even a starter, he was an alternate (LOL). I bet if the raiders had a do over, they would have taken someone else in the 1st and Rackers in the 6th.
I don’t like to 2nd guess this organization after the last two drafts they have had, but I think everyone on this page knows that Defense was paramount in this draft, It was there and we needed it. I think the first two picks are solid. But I think strategy in the draft is important. With all the needs we have,
We should have gone after a DT and a Safety. We could still have gotten a kicker later in free agency or at the end of the draft. If these picks are as successful as last year’s I will eat some crow gladly. But I stand by my remarks and no CGmaster I am not a GM. But I have been a NFL fan for over 50 yrs. And a Bucs fan since the day they got the franchise.
Yes Seat we could have gotten a kicker in free agency…..just not that kicker. Look, we all know that was a bit high for a kicker, but it was a bold move to hopefully solidify the position for years to come. I for one, have grown weary of us bringing in a collection of try-out kickers and hope one works out reasonably well. I’d like to trot out a guy who is practically a sure thing. Been through a lot of games when it seems the opponent always connects on those kicking opportunities at the end of the half while ours misses the chance.
Here’s a baseball analogy for Licht’s last two drafts:
In a “big game” the batter hits a grand slam that wins the qame. The fans go wild and cheer madly. In the next tight game the guy drives in two runners but is caught for an out at second base. Some fans boo him for this. “He should have stopped at first!” In the ninth inning he hits a solo homer to tie the game and send it into extra innings. This is where things stand now.
This may not be a good analogy but, I hope I get my point across.
Last year may or may not have been a truly outstanding draft. It is unrealistic to expect the same kind of results this year.
Licht is not a “meathead”.
I can’t wait to see what the team looks like in game one.
I have no idea what to expect for the season. I will hazard a guess in August just before the season starts.
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