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, five of the questions used will earn the person who asked it one of our new Tampa Bay schedule refrigerator magnet.
Question 1. Yuccaneers asks, Do you think with Winston slimming down – Bucs looking for him to run more this coming season that we as fan might see more bootlegs, QB waggles and a moving pocket to change the launch point and add some additional wrinkles for opposing defense to game-plan for while giving Winston the option to run in space should there not be a receiver open?
Answer: That is something I have thought about, however the body slimming didn’t happen because of a directive by anyone. In fact Dirk Koetter has said it was Winston’s decision to change things after his trip to Hawaii and after spending time with players like Russell Winlson. However, with the transformation, I am guessing it certainly has made Koetter’s eyes light up as far as how it could be used to the Bucs advantage in 2016. I am also guessing some of the things you mentioned were probably in the works regardless. With Winston in his second season, there is no question that Koetter wants to add more to his quarterback’s plate, and Winston being in better shape should increase his mobility, which in turn opens things up a little more in the play calling. Of course it wasn’t like Winton struggled running the ball in 2015 as evidence by his rushing TD totals. But doing some of the things you mentioned in your question should only help Winston develop a better all around game.
Question 2. Mark asks, do you see the Bucs having multiple players with double-digit sacks this year?
Answer: Well I think most fans would be happy to just to have one player with double-digit sacks in 2016 since it has been 10 seasons since it last happened (Simeon Rice, 2005). However, there is a chance. Not enough I would roll a wheelbarrow of cash into a Las Vegas sports book and slide it across the table, but a chance nonetheless. I said it a few times prior to the draft, that I think the player who could break the double-digit sack curse, other than Gerald McCoy, was already on this team. I am a big fan of Jacquies Smith, and believe if he is able to stay healthy he has a real shot at 10 sacks this season. Obviously McCoy is the most likely player to hit that mark, but just as in the case of Smith, both need to stay healthy and start 16 games. If that happens, then yes, there could be two players that record 10 or more sacks. Again, I am not on my way to Vegas to hand over my life savings. A few bucks however? Might be worth a bet.
Question 3. Jeff Westberry asks, we haven’t had as many 4 and 8 p.m. games in forever, do you think that could be because we’re back to being respected again?
Answer: No Jeff, far from it actually. But I get it. You own a business and you are going to put someone front and center to essentially advertise your brand, who do you choose? Mark Cook or Brad Pitt? By the way, I am the Bucs in this scenario, and Brad is the Patriots or Broncos, just in case you might have it mixed up. Seriously though, the NFL looks at it strictly by the numbers, and the numbers they have, based on their research and evidenced by the prime time schedule, say the Bucs aren’t there yet, as far as casual NFL fans wanting to see them. Of course the league also puts every team in prime time at least once a year, and this season the Bucs have two nationally-televised games, so maybe with Jameis Winston at the helm, and a few other young stars, the Bucs are trending up on the national scale of respect. But if this team goes 2-14 in 2016, you can bet that all goes out the window and you will only see them on a single Thursday night game. As far as the 4 p.m. games go, a big part of that is the fact the Bucs are set to play a number of west coast teams, and the league is also cognizant of the fact in September in Florida it is brutally hot, and starting home games at 4 p.m. as opposed to 1 p.m. was done to help out the fans and the players.
Question 4. Chris asks, will Bucs pass more or rush more in the redzone this season?
Answer: I don’t know if that is a philosophy thing, or something that will be dictated by the opponents themselves and the personnel the Bucs have on their roster. But I am guessing the latter. But if Austin Seferian-Jenkins can develop into the player he is capable of becoming, teaming him him with two other 6-5 receivers, it certainly, in my mind at least, makes it fairly obvious where the Bucs advantage is when down near the red zone. Also add in the fact that Tampa Bay doesn’t have a bruising, bowling ball-type, short-yardage back on the roster, I think he personnel is more suited for airing it out. Also lets not forget Winston’s ability to improvise and use his feet on pass plays as well.
Question 5. Bucs Football asks, is there any changes to the offense that we can expect in 2016?
Answer: I don’t see anything dramatic changing heading into 2016. And why should it? Tampa Bay finished in the Top 10 in total yards and set a franchise record with over 6,000 total yards last year, all with two rookies protecting a rookie quarterback, while having at times two undrafted rookie receivers on the field. Of course, as mentioned above, expect things to open up a little more and the offense will give opposing defenses some different looks without question. For instance, expect more deep ball shots in 2016. Koetter has mentioned be wants Winston to give his receivers more opportunities to make plays when they have single coverage., For whatever reason, Winston was a little hesitant at times to let the ball fly on deep routes last year. That will change in 2016 in my opinion.
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 sure hope we do see Winstom airing it out more. We have the guys who should be able to win the battle for the ball with our height advantage.
As long as Evans starts pushing off he should be able to have a chance for those 50/50 balls.
I’d rather Winston work on his accuracy and decision making than the long ball
Question 2 I got a laugh out of, lol Boy the things you see on here, hey Mark, we haven’t had a double digit sack guy since Simeon Rice in 2007 I believe so yeah two? Lets just have one please.
oops 2005 thx Scott
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