PewterReport.com began a new offseason feature this year, giving readers an opportunity to get their questions answered about the Bucs 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.
Jay Smith asks, do you think we will see a significant increase in no huddle this year?
Answer: While difficult to say for sure, after the success last Friday against the Browns, it is something Dirk Koetter and his staff are considering. There are multiple things to consider, first and foremost – the elements. It would surprise me to see it in an early season home game with afternoon temperatures in the 90’s. The physical conditioning of the players would factor into it, and the toll it might take on recovering the before the next game. Secondly, the opponent’s offense you might be facing as well would also need to be factored. For example, a Chip Kelly-type offense would make you consider how you approach the pace of the game. Do you want to run a track meet? And lastly, how good is your own defense? If you run a no-huddle attack, and you go three-and-out, then you are asking your defense to get right back on the field, and you are giving your opponent a few more possessions during a course of a game.
Robert Gordon asks, Which player could be a surprise for the 53 man roster, just like Adam Humphries last season?
Answer: We will have to wait until the last preseason game to see if another Humphries emerges. Despite his great game against the Dolphins last season, he was still not originally on the initial 53-man roster, instead he was signed to the practice squad. And of course Humphries didn’t get the chance to prove himself until injuries depleted the wide receivers last season. So to predict who might be the next Humphries would also require predicting which starters might go down. I will say keep an eye on safety Ryan Smith, who isn’t in danger of being cut, but started training camp behind the eight ball some, due to offseason injuries that limited him. But he has made great strides, and with the release of Major Wright on Sunday, it tells me the team has high hopes for Smith’s ability to develop, whether it be this year or next.
PCleanerz asks, Do you think the Bucs will sign a veteran WR to help with our depth issues, maybe a Randle or White kinda guy?
Answer: I do believe it will be bantered about and much of it will be determined by who is available and if the Bucs can get first claim on them. As far as Roddy White goes, I haven’t gotten anyone in the front office to even act a little giddy when I have brought his name up. However if a major injury happens then he could be on speed dial, but as of now, I don’t believe there is any serious interest in White. It really is ashamed that no one has really stepped up and claimed that fourth and fifth spot in camp. Many have flashed, but none have staked claim to it, and that doesn’t give Koetter and his staff a lot of confidence moving forward. It might be safe to assume Donteea Dye makes the roster(assuming his hamstring injury isn’t too serious) based on him being the primary kickoff returner, but after that, it is still wide open. And if no one emerges on Thursday, you can bet the Bucs will be scouring the waiver wire next weekend following the cut down to 53 across the league.
Mark asks, what is the over/under 28 Passing TD’s for Jameis Winston this season?
Answer: I am going to say I would take the over. Not by too many, as 28-30 is about where I am thinking. But like last season, I would add another handful on the ground, as we know Koetter likes to run the bootleg inside the 10-yard line, and Winston isn’t afraid to give up his body in order to score. So my prediction is 30 TDs through the air, four on the ground, with 13 interceptions. But don’t hold me too it!
Douglas Sean O’Connor asks, Ali Marpet is getting some early buzz for possible Pro Bowl consideration. Do you see any other break out performances this year?
Answer: If we are talking offensive line, I would say Donovan Smith. He has quietly developed this offseason and training camp and if he stays healthy, he should be considerably better than last season, where he was pretty good. I also could see wide receiver Mike Evans having a monster year if he continues to catch the ball well and continues to develop chemistry with Winston. A 90-plus catch season with 1,400 yards are 12 TDs is not out of the question at all. Of course keeping Vincent Jackson healthy and on the field will be crucial. If Jackson misses significant time, teams know Evans is the only receiver capable of carrying the Bucs on his back. And teams will take him out of games by making sure he doesn’t get any 1-on-1 looks.