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. Mark asks, when are we gonna get our best look at Danny Vitale? Answer: That is difficult to answer. Dirk Koetter said that the starters will go a little longer this week against Jacksonville, then the first half most likely in Week 3 of the preseason. So that limits the amount of time he can even be on the field other than on special teams. At the same time, Vitale has to earn playing time in a crowed unit of players. With Brandon Myers banged up, then Vitale probably moves up a little. Playing time Saturday may also be based on how he performs during the joint practices against the Jaguars on Wednesday and Thursday. Week 4 will be where he would most likely see the most playing time, as far as a number of snaps, however if he improves between now and then, and the Bucs feel comfortable with his role as a contributor on a regular basis for the upcoming regular season, he could get some reps with the first and second strong prior to that. Again, it is very difficult to speculate as this point. Question 2. RobPickett asks, with Robert Ayers and Kwon Alexander bringing intensity to the defense is there a chance Gerald McCoy or Lavonte David don’t end up captains? Answer: I am not sure how Koetter will handle the captains as far as how many, but I find it hard to think that McCoy or David would not continue to serve as captains. It isn’t as if their play suffered last season, and both will be full time starters this season if they get through the preseason healthy. I love what both Ayers and Alexander brings to the team as far as intensity, and in particular Ayers and the leadership he has displayed. But I don’t think either Ayers or Alexander will lose any sleep if they fail to earn a designation of captain this season. Question 3. NickSitro asks, a lot of people love Kenny Bell but he clearly lost his grasp on the return job, in your opinion, who wins the job? Answer: While he certainly disappointed his coaches, fans and himself, I wouldn’t say Bell is completely out of the mix. I am guessing he is praying to get another shot this weekend against the Jaguars and if he does, and if averages 40 yards a return, then he is back to being the front runner. The question now is, what type of opportunity will he get, if any. Donteea Dye is a guy who is intriguing to me. He is blazing fast and seems somewhat fearless. I love returners who receive the kick and don’t dance, instead get up the field as fast as they can, looking for a crease. Another mediocre showing this week and you can bet Jason Licht will be scouring the waiver wires after the first set of cuts happen following the third preseason games. I love Adam Humphries, however, I was not impressed with his punt returns last week, especially his decision to head to the short side of the field on his returns. I don’t know what the call was, but there seemed to be a lot more room to return towards the middle of the field. Question 4. MikeDenti asks, Who is going to call plays on defense this season? Kwon? Or will Lavonte get back to it? Answer: I haven’t heard anything to suggest anyone different than Kwon to handle the role to be honest. Most teams utilize the middle linebacker to handle those duties. And now with Alexander in his second season, he should be more comfortable, although he is learning a new defensive system. Of course so is David. Another reason it most likely is Alexander is that it frees up David to focus solely on being a playmaker, and allows him to see the offense pre-snap a little longer than if he had to worry about getting guys in the right spot. To be honest though, I haven’t paid attention to that so far this camp, and will do so during practices this week. Question 5. JustCallMeAl asked, Do you think Russell Hansbrough has a chance to make the final roster? Answer: I suppose any of the 90 men on the roster have the opportunity to make the team with three preseason games left. However, for many it is still an uphill climb. Right now, obviously Doug Martin and Charles Sims are firmly established as starters. It appears Mike James will be the No. 3 and the Bucs are high on Peyton Barber. Now it becomes a numbers game. How many players do they keep at that position? And what else can they contribute to the team, as the chance to see playing time in the regular season would only happen if there was a terrible rash of injuries to the players in front of them. But as I stated, there is a chance, albeit a small one. But stranger things have happened.
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]
Sorry, but I cannot find out where to leave a question for the Monday Mail Bag, so I am leaving it here. How many former Buccaneer players are on other NFL rosters, which GM drafted them, which coach cut them and how significant of a role are they performing on their current team? I know that’s a mouthful so please take your time in answering it. I think it will show some disturbing trends and be a significant reason why this team has had such a difficult time building a winner.
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