PewterReport.com is beginning a new feature off an an old one this week called the PR Roundtable. In the new edition of the Roundtable the staff will take just one topic each week and share some brief thoughts. Take a look and tell us what you think, and share your feelings on the topic in the comment section.

This week’s topic: What is the one gift you would like Santa to deliver to the Bucs for 2018?

Publisher Scott Reynolds: Christmas is less than a week away and the Bucs sure have been naughty this year, disappointing in a season full of high expectations with only four wins when some (including this guy) were projecting 10 victories this year. Still, they deserve a few presents, especially because they have played with pride despite being out of playoff contention for several weeks now and haven’t given up. So what do the Bucs need the most in 2018? I’d say a new coaching staff.

Jameis Winston showed why he should still be considered one of the up-and-coming franchise quarterbacks in the league in Monday night’s 24-21 loss to Atlanta, completing a career-high 77.1 percent of his passes for 299 yards with three touchdowns and no turnovers. He just needs a new voice, one that can push him towards greatness and demand more out of him. I feel like Winston has plateaued and a quarterback guru like Jon Gruden has a great deal of appeal to me, especially given his fondness for the Bucs’ No. 1 overall pick in 2015 and his desire to develop a young quarterback. Gruden turned Rich Gannon and Brad Johnson into Super Bowl-caliber quarterbacks and squeezed all the talent he could out of the likes of journeymen Brian Griese and Jeff Garcia in Tampa Bay.

Gruden isn’t just an offensive-minded coach. He’s a head coach that demands accountability from the defense and the offense, and was the catalyst for Tampa Bay’s No. 1 ranked defense in 2002 by challenging the defense to score nine touchdowns, which the unit did with three defensive scores in Super Bowl XXXVII. Gruden will attract an all-star staff that will want to work for him and take this underachieving team to the next level.

There are going to be between six and 10 head coaching vacancies in about two weeks, including one in Tampa Bay I believe. I can’t think of six really good head-coaching candidates, to be honest, which is why I think having Gruden come back to the Bucs makes sense. The timing is right. While it wouldn’t be the most popular move with every Bucs fan, Gruden would be the best present for the organization, especially the Glazers, who would like his star power to help fill Raymond James Stadium back up to capacity, and his coaching acumen to help get the Bucs back to the playoffs.

Editor Mark Cook: 
Dear Santa,

Please send a pass rusher. Pretty please. Bradley Chubb would be nice.

Signed,
The entire Bucs organization and their fans

P.S. Enjoy the milk and cookies on the table. Cold beer and a Brocato’s deviled crab are in the fridge.

If Jason Licht, or whoever is the general manager of the Buccaneers, spends all seven draft picks on defensive players next April, I wouldn’t complain one bit. Sure the Bucs need some help on the offensive line, but Monday  night showed, even with a makeshift line it can do enough to give them a chance to win. The same can’t be said about the Bucs pass rush.

Let me be clear, the Bucs will not, can not, become a playoff team with the current roster of pass rushers. Doesn’t matter if Vince Lombardi came back with Don Coryell running the offense and Buddy Ryan running the defense, they won’t be more than a .500 football team without controlling the line of scrimmage and getting pressure on the quarterback. Especially when they play six games a year against Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Cam Newton.

Enter North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb. My 17-year old son used terms like “beast” and “lit” and while I couldn’t tell you exactly what it all means, it sounds like a pretty good fit when talking about of Chubb and his ability. Maybe. As an FSU fan I personally witnessed Chubb single-handily beats the Seminoles. One on one, double teams, tight ends chipping. It didn’t matter. Chubb was an unstoppable force.

There are plenty of needs on this football team, but none more than a pass rusher. Chubb is the guy who could make an impact right out of the gate.

Intern Austin DeWitt: If I could gift anything to the Buccaneers this offseason it would be a true RB1. Even before being a healthy scratch against Atlanta for a violation of team rules, it was reasonable to believe Doug Martin would not be in Tampa after this year. We’ll always remember those two great years Martin had, but what we’ll remember even more is the other four years that weren’t so great.

I think the Bucs like what they have in Peyton Barber. For right now he is the best running back on this team and deserves to start. However, moving forward into 2018 I don’t believe this team can be successful hinging its run game on the back of Barber. Every good backfield has depth and Barber has flashed in recent weeks showing great potential as a solid back up. He hits the hole, or lack thereof, and takes defenders with him. If the Bucs end up with the right guy, Barber could play a key role in a lethal tandem.

 When I say that I would gift the Bucs and RB1 I don’t mean taking Saquon Barkley in the first round. This team has very obvious problems rushing the passer that need to be addressed in the first round. On top of that, it has been proven that there is no need to spend a first round pick on a running back. For every Ezekiel Elliot, Todd Gurley, or Leonard Fournette in the first round there is a Le’Veon Bell, Kareem Hunt, or Devonta Freeman in the second round or later. Of this year’s leading rushers, there is only one back in the top five that was drafted in the first round and four first round backs in the top 10. While that number gets a bit higher when expanded to the top 10, it still shows that it isn’t necessary to spend a first round pick on a running back. That said, no one wants to see a repeat of Jeremy McNichols in the fifth round, either.

The sweet spot for running back seems to be somewhere between rounds 2-4. There are some very intriguing names in this upcoming draft that could be an option for the Bucs in those rounds. Draft stock will rise and fall a lot between now and draft day, but backs like Bryce Love, Rashaad Penny, Damien Harris, Kerryon Johnson, Sony Michel and Nick Chubb are all names to look out for when the Bucs are on the clock on day two.

Beat writer Trevor Sikkema: For my Christmas list for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, I’m going a bit outside the box.

The team certainly needs a new voice in the locker room, as Scott has pointed out, and Mark and Austin have identified some player needs that should be addressed as well. But, my Christmas wish for the Bucs is for some new uniforms.

That’s right, you heard me. The Buccaneers changed their uniforms to what we currently see today back in 2014. I wasn’t a fan then, and I’m not much more of a fan now. There’s too much going on. I don’t mind some of the ideas of the uniforms
individually such as the desire to combine some of the classic feels with the new age colors, but all of it at once is too much. If anything, they should have emphasized colors in entirely different uniform kits. How can a uniform combo have the colors red, white, pewter orange and chrome? That doesn’t make sense.

I’m much more of a clean uniforms kind of guy. I love the Bucs color rush jerseys because it’s all one dominant color. If the Bucs main uniforms were the color rush red and the color rush white, Santa would make my eyes happy. What they try to do now is just too much. It took them two years to come up with the final design of the uniforms, and I can say that I’ve created better uniforms in Madden in two hours – you know, that is until Madden took away the ability for you to create custom uniforms and teams because they don’t want you to create a product better than their own that might make you like what they do less and therefore lessen the chance of you spending money on their product. Oh, I’m sorry, was that too real? I digress.

Bottom line, they could have contacted me and saved a lot of money. The Bucs have cool colors, just don’t use them all at once. Let it be clean like the color rush.

 

 

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About the Author: Mark Cook

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, the beach and family time.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]
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devasher
devasher
4 years ago

All are good points. Corner is also a need. I don’t see Brent Grimes sticking around for long, Hargreaves is a nickel corner until proven otherwise and Ryan Smith should stick to special teams.

BucFan circa76
BucFan circa76
4 years ago

Good lists! I will add for Santa to please give us a BYE week next season and no hurricane just prior to season opener (ok, so an assist by Mother Nature is needed as well). Cant help but wonder how much that bye week switch to Week 1 caught up to us the 2nd half of the season while other teams were enjoying their’s. A CB please (I agree with devasher), RB, and O-Lineman to go along with 3 or 4 D-Linemen. Oh, and a young, aggressive, motivated D-Coordinator to replace the likeable but past=his=time Smitty. Lastly, I love the… Read more »

AlexanderNascimento
AlexanderNascimento
4 years ago

Congrats guys!!!
Thank you for one more year of Bucs coverage!
And thanks for Trevor Sikkema, he was a great “Santa’s finding” last year, hahaha…
Happy holidays from your brazialian reader
Go Bucs

Buc-n-Philly Fan
Buc-n-Philly Fan
Reply to  AlexanderNascimento
4 years ago

What dick gives a “thumbs down” for this post???

Trevor has been an excellent addition and apparently we have some Negative Nancy’s out there. Nice job P.R.!!!

Trevor Sikkema
Reply to  Buc-n-Philly Fan
4 years ago

Haha, thanks guys! And thanks for all the great conversations and back-and-forths during my first year!

surferdudes
4 years ago

All good points by P.R. staff, and all who’ve commented. Since we can’t fill all our needs in the draft I’ll add if we get a new G.M., he’ll have to hit on free agents for a change. Ward, Folks, Sweezy, Baker, mehh! We’ll have to do better then that to compete. The new G.M. will also have to make some tough decisions on current players. Guys like Evans, Smith, Brate, Marpet, Kwon, will be due for pay days soon. They all won’t be able to be retained, and deciding who stays, who gets let go, or who we should… Read more »

martinii
martinii
4 years ago

Loved Gruden when he was here, appreciate the success he had. He won’t be back and I am glad. We need stability and continued rebuilding. Chucky would become frustrated with this process and I’d rather remember him as a winner. Keep Koetter, keep Licht, add talent and continue rebuilding.. Another manor change would be disastrous. Pick pass rusher first, RB second. When everyone heals up in 2018 we should have a pretty good base, esp. offense,

buddah
buddah
Reply to  martinii
4 years ago

Keep Koetter; hire new defensive coordinator. Gruden is who he is; you don’t hire someone thinking he’s going to change. That’s a bad formula for marriage and even worse for a football coach. Stability is what this franchise needs. If we don’t make the playoffs next year, then we can change. Fire the whole training staff. Too many weak ankles and unsteady hamstrings.

Charlie C
Charlie C
Reply to  martinii
4 years ago

Stability for Christmas. All these Grinches that want to fire people every two years deserve the lumps of coal of no playoffs for a decade. Keep everyone and give it TIME to work!!!

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
4 years ago

A new coaching staff is tops on my Santa list for the Bucs. I think it will be Jon Gruden at the top of that pile. A really good defensive coordinator is a must too. Second – I don’t quite agree with Mark on an all defense draft. We need horses on the offensive line as much as we need them on the defensive line. I like the idea of a better no. 1 running back, but I am of the school of thought that a good running game is 80% on the run blocking and only 20% on the… Read more »

Horse
Horse
Reply to  Naplesfan
4 years ago

Naplesfan I agree with you about the OL and DL, but this year we really need 2 top DE’s in Rounds 1 & 2 in the draft. With a pass rush our Offense is good enough to get us 9-10 wins in 2018. We lost so many games at the end of a game because of the pass rushing. As much as I love to draft DL & OL, this time the focus has to be on DE’s. Just my opinion.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
Reply to  Horse
4 years ago

Well, I am pretty sure the Bucs aren’t going to draft 7 DEs Taking them in the first and second round, I have no problem with at all. Getting quality talent in rounds 3 through 5 is do-able too

Besides, we don’t even know if we’ll feature a 4-3 or a 3-4 base defense under next season’s coaching regime … and if the plan is a base 3-4, then OLBs may be just as much a part of our pass rush as the D-line.

SCLOBERNOCKER
SCLOBERNOCKER
4 years ago

No to the color rush…. Its not horrible, but its just too much.
I love the chrome domes, but agree that the current unis have a bit much going on. That said, I don’t see TB changing them any time soon. Too much invested…

Horse
Horse
4 years ago

I’m for what Pewter Report has stated. Merry Christmas to all! If I had my wish I would draft in this order DE, DE, RB, Safety, CB, OL, DT. I hope I receive from Santa Claus a player trade for a draft pick present too, or a trade down to pick up more draft picks. My New years Eve wish is for signing Free Agents who will be worth their salary. Go Bucs!

e
e
4 years ago

I like Gruden, but is his west coast, quick release, accurate throw offense going to match Winston’s long windup, gunslinger skillset? Is this an oil & water mix? Jameis is the future of this franchise and Jon would have to work his magic around Jameis’ style. Trevor: Excellent point on the unis. As a 20 year graphic designer, I couldn’t agree more. Less is more. Some of the most best unis in the NFL in my opinion are the Steelers, Packers & Cowboys. The Bucs should not rely on shoe designers, who are wayyyy too busy in their designs, as… Read more »

Garv
Garv
4 years ago

OK….. IMO the problem with the Buccaneers lies in the trenches. ESPECIALLY along the DL but also on the OL. But the truth is there are needs at CB too. And RB. My first pick in the draft is THE best pass rusher available. After that there are so many needs I’ll leave it to the “experts.” Actually I’ll leave it to Jason Licht. Yes, assuming he’s still here as has been reported. Now Trevor, you know we enjoy your excellent takes both in articles here and the podcasts. But please, PLEASE, stay away from the uniforms. Those color “rush”… Read more »

Trevor Sikkema
Reply to  Garv
4 years ago

Lol, I don’t think the NFL or the team will be contacting me about them anytime soon, so don’t worry!

Garv
Garv
Reply to  Trevor Sikkema
4 years ago

LOL You have a point there.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
4 years ago

In keeping with the Christmas theme of our PR Roundtable and wish lists:

The 12 Days of Bucsmas

On the twelfth day of Bucsmas my true love sent to me

12 girls cheer-leading

11 starters starting

10 second run off

9 ‘ffensive linemen

8 sacks a game

7 take a way-os

6 ‘ceivers leaping

5 Golden (SB) Rings

4 quarters playing

3 deep on roster

2 minute warning

and a Gruden calling all of our plays

scubog
scubog
Reply to  Naplesfan
4 years ago

Nice to see you have a sense of humor.

scubog
scubog
4 years ago

Every year my wife and kids ask me what I want for Christmas. I’m pretty content and have everything I need so I usually say, “anything with a Bucs logo”. They hate hearing that. I even still wear the old-school orange and the new red and pewter in public. I’m not a big fan of the re-design, but I do have a few new-school player jerseys. I agree with the Pewter Report fashion editor, Trevor and poster “e” that the championship uniforms didn’t need to be completely revamped. I absolutely hate the color rush all red. Players look like ketchup… Read more »