PewterReport.com is beginning a new offseason feature, 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 one of the questions used will earn the person who asked it a PewterReport.com T-shirt.
@thunderchunkyPA @PewterReport #PRMailbag What is the one improvement you would like to see under Coach Koetter?
Honestly the penalties. And we all know that it is impossible to eliminate them altogether, and some are easier to accept than others (playing aggressively) but the lack of discipline over the last two seasons, most likely was part of the Glazer’s decision to fire Lovie Smith. The most frustrating ones of course are the pre and post-snap infractions that are often poor decisions by the players or a lack of focus. How do you get rid of them? That is the million dollar question and one Koetter needs to figure out. As the old cliche goes, “The first rule to winning is to not beat yourself.” Or something like that. Bottom line is, the Buccaneers are not talented enough to win strictly on their talent. So eliminating giving teams free yards because of penalties is an absolute must if the Bucs hope to challenge for a playoff spot in 2016.
Chris @TB_Bucs_4Life @PewterReport Could the Bucs defense have a dramatic turnaround this upcoming season like the offense had last season? #PRmailbag
I suppose anything is possible, but it will require the Bucs from office hitting on more than just a first-round draft pick to do so. They will need a Winston, Marpet, Smith, Alexander-type draft on the defensive side of the ball, in addition being better in free agency than they have been over the last two seasons. I expect the defensive scheme to be somewhat better based on Mike Smith in charge, but this roster will need an influx of talent to make the type of gains we saw from the offense in 2015.
yungmigo87 @yungmigo87 @PewterReport What defensive scheme does Mike Smith run and which position would he need to address first?#PRMailbag
He will run a base 4-3 defense but I believe it will be more flexible and imaginative than we saw under Smith and Leslie Frazier. Expect more blitzes, although Mike Smith said in his press conference last week, you always hope you can get pressure from your front four. Any time you blitz however, you are leaving a hole somewhere, and if the blitz isn’t successful, most NFL quarterbacks will exploit it. It also wouldn’t surprise me to see the Bucs show different looks from their front seven, but based on current personnel they are definitely more suited to runs 4-3 scheme.
@AlexWare38 @PewterReport do you think the defense will blitz more under Mike Smith? #PRMailbag
As mentioned above, Smith would ideally would prefer to not have to blitz, but that is only if he can get his front four to get more consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks. I was watching the 2002 NFC championship game against the Eagles recently and forgot how many blitzes Monte Kiffin dialed up against Donovan McNabb in that game. And that was with defensive line that did a great job of getting pressure on their own. Of course having a player like Ronde Barber was a huge asset. As of now there isn’t a Barber on this team that can provide blitzes from anywhere on the field. And also as mentioned above, if you blitz and don’t get there, you are exposing your defense to potential big plays. I would expect more blitzes that we have seen over the last couple years, but this defense won’t be confused with the 1985 Bears where they brought pressure nearly every snap.
I would say it is a much more desirable place than it was prior to last season when the Bucs were coming off a 2-14 season. With the addition of quarterback Jameis Winston, a strong running game led by Doug Martin and an offense that was ranked fifth in total yards, it should be a much easier sell to potential free agents this spring. Defensively it may not be quite as easy, although money talks, and the Bucs have plenty to spend if they choose to go that route. And let’s face it, we live in Florida. Where would you rather be in the fall and winter? Tampa or Detroit? Add in the fact there is no state income tax, the team will have an upgraded stadium to play in, and all of the other things the Bay area has to offer, to me, I would guess Tampa Bay would make for a very desirable place to play, live and raise a family.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
I would really like to see us pick up a speed receiver in FA. Then we can concentrate on defense in draft unless a quality O-linemen is sitting there at 9.
I think their will be new chances and new starters-Go Bucs
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