PewterReport.com began a new offseason feature recently, 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 one of our new Tampa Bay schedule refrigerator magnet.
Question 1. Melissa Avent asks, with Mike Smith’s new defensive style, do you think we will finally get back to the Tampa D of 2001?
Answer: Whoa, slow down! Kidding, but setting expectations to the 2001 defense would be unfair to both the old defense and the new guys. I certainly do believe we see a more competitive defense than what we saw last season without question. But they will be two completely different defenses as well. First off, the scheme is different. The days of playing Monte Kiffin’s Tampa 2 as the primary base coverage are gone, although a Cover 2 defense is one of many different coverages you could see from Mike Smith’s defense. The other major difference is the talent level. And while I believe the current Bucs defense has a lot of potential, are there two Hall of Famers on it, or maybe four (Sapp, Brooks, Barber, Rice)? And truthfully you don’t need to have one of the best all-time defenses to win a Super Bowl. You could even argue that having a middle of the road defense with an excellent offense gives you a better shot at winning it all than the other way around. This year I would settle for a competitive defense, ranked in the Top 15. If the offense can equal last season’s stats, but score more points and Winston shows growth, I don’t see why this team can’t flirt with the playoffs late into the season and maybe sneak in.
Question 2. BucGatorBolt asks, do you see any situation that Glennon is still traded?
Answer: As of now, not really. Unless a playoff caliber team loses their starter in the preseason, or before the trade deadline, I think Glennon is on the roster throughout the year, and the Bucs lose him as an unrestricted free agent after the season. And that isn’t the worst thing that could happen. The worst thing would be if the Bucs had traded him in the offseason and Winston went down with a major injury early and you had to turn to Ryan Griffin. And that isn’t a knock on Griffin, but I’d take Glennon’s experience and talent over Griffin’s all day. I think the Bucs could win some games with Glennon, and is it too far-fetched to think Glennon may be a better quarterback after spending a year with Winston? Talent in the room rubs off. Both ways. Winston is a better quarterback because of Glennon, and I would guess if we asked Mike he would say the same thing about Jameis. In fact, you’ve given me a story idea during the next OTA session.
Question 3. A. Smith asks, just how good do you think Noah Spence can be in this league? What pro does he most remind you of?
Answer: It is nearly impossible to even make a guess, but the tools are there. It hasn’t just been the Bucs coaches who have said they feel Spence was the best pass rusher coming out this season, many pundits also echoed that sentiment And if that proves true, the Bucs got a steal in the second round by selecting the former Buckeye and Eastern Kentucky standout. I for one am not worried about his past issues in college. To a man, eye to eye, Spence appears remorseful and a guy who understands what he is poised to lose if he were to fall back into his old ways. I believe him and so does the organization. I also love he comes into this season with a chip on his shoulder, self-inflicted or not. Whatever he can use as motivation is fine with me. As far as who he reminds me of, I deferred to Scott Reynolds and he mentioned Terrell Suggs, and and to a degree Von Miller. If Spence can have his name mentioned in the same class as those two a few years down the road, Tampa Bay and their fans will be thrilled.
Question 4. Robert Gordon asks, which player will benefit most from Mike Smith’s new multi look/ attacking style of defense?
Answer: Without seeing the defense in action yet, it is hard to determine, but just on the surface, Lavonte David comes to mind. This is a player who really excelled in Greg Schiano’s defense three years ago, and there is no reason to think he can’t again. And it isn’t like he didn’t play well under Lovie Smith, it was just the splash plays were missing somewhat. David is in his absolute prime and is such a terrific athlete, I can’t see MikeSmith not finding a way to make him the focal point of this defense. Interesting side note, back before the draft I talked to an NFL front office executive about Myles Jack and he raved about his ability, but also noted he wasn’t as instinctive as some in the league, and then pointed out David as an example of one of those guys. I really took note of that and think David can become a household name this season.
Question 5. Robert Pickett asks, from a talent perspective who has a better chance of being a future starter Ryan Smith, Caleb Benenoch, or Bond?
Answer: What are you trying to get two of them mad at me? Seriously though, it’s very tough without seeing any of them in pads or going against other players, but if I had to pick one I would go with Benenoch. Talking to some talent evaluators, there was a common theme that if Benenoch has stayed one more year he most likely would have been a first or second rounder in next year’s draft. I asked him about that during the rookie mini-camp and he said he had no regrets and felt he was ready. And I believe he comes into the perfect situation. Unless there is a major rash of injuries, he won’t be forced to start right away and can take things slowly. But I wouldn’t count out the other two though. I really like Ryan Smith, and had he played at a bigger school he would have been drafted higher in my opinion. Bond is someone to keep an eye on as well. I was at the bowling function with the rookies last Friday and he is a really big guy. A different type of build that Lovie Smith preferred. I believe Mike Smith likes thicker, more solidly built linebackers and Bond looks to be that type of guy. His junior college tape was more impressive than his Sooner film, but honestly I wasn’t overly impressed with Kwon Alexander coming out of LSU either. So there’s more proof for you that I am just a writer and not a professional scout.
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
Mark, I have to totally disagree with you as to Glennon over Griffin. If Glennon gets in any game he will be blitzed to death because he is so slow to react. Griffin I haven’t seen much tape on him, but if the Saints were trying to hide him on their PS then that does say something. Time to move past Glennon; for me he is wasting a spot on the roster. Nice guy, but just not NFL material.
Hopefully neither one of these guys see the field. I am glad that GM Licht is making the OL a priority and making sure there is plenty of depth there. Just think where the Colts would be if they have done this. Go Bucs!
Ordered my Noah jersey. Can’t wait!!
2001 defense with a possible four Hall of Famers
(Sapp,Brooks,Barber,Rice). NO LYNCH!
I believe you got it backwards – a great defense almost always beats a great offense. Ask Rich Gannon about the Bucs in the SB. Ask Tom Brady and Cam Newton about the Bronco’s defense in this year’s play offs.
If memory serves DrT, the last team that tried to blitz Glennon was the Benglas in last years preseason game and the play ended up as a TD reception to Russell Sheperd in the end zone.
Just because a QB has trouble with the blitz at the beginning of his career doesn’t mean it is inscribed in stone forever like the ten commandments.
Don’t quit your day job.
I think you meant that for Horse drd.
Thanks for bringing that up drd- beat me to it…i do disagree w/ horse on that- I think it’d be fine to go w/Griffin, but Glennon will do a good job for one of the NFL teams
Umm, preseason game? Please! You’re desperate to try to prove Glennon is valuable.
I am with you Horse. Haven’t seen much from Glennon since he has been here. If he is so good then other teams would be all over him….which they aren’t. Time to move on.
I think his stats tell his story:
CMP% – 58.8%
YDS – 4,025
TD – 29
INT – 15
Rating – 83.7
Not bad for the limited opportunity he has been given.
How about 5 HoF’ers: Sapp, Brooks, Barber, Rice, and Lynch.
I loved Koetter’s comments this week: every team in the league is running the same plays…
why do we think that it’s so different on defense? Is Mike Smith going to start blitzing 9 players or dropping 11 into coverage, or having everyone play on one half of the field only…of course not…we will do the same things that every other team does…it’s just a question of how often we do things like blitz, how often we play zone versus man…but it’s not a revolution my friends…
we’ll be better because the players we have to execute the blitzes and coverage are better…not because Mike Smith has developed some secret new defensive strategy…
with one exception: unlike under Lovie, I fully expect our DBs and Coaches to be on the same page about what they’re supposed to be doing.
I have formed no opinion yet because I’ve not seen the new Mike Smith defense. Until then, I will keep in abeyance the words written about Smith’s defense in Atlanta when he was fired. Maybe it was lesson learned. I’ll wait and see. Read item 1 in the link.
Actually, it was meant for someone who said Glennon couldn’t handle the blitz. Must have seen it on another page. Whoops.
Glennon can’t handle one guy who gets in the back field he had zero escape ability and takes the sack when the sack was easily avoidable, he can’t throw on the run, he has a slow delivery etc When he has a clean pocket and can drive the ball he has a “Flacco” type of arm problem is in the NFL you have to improvise and escape from pressure and Glennon is terrible at that, maybe if we use Stocker as an extra blocker and give him time ha
Glennon has composure and a strong accurate arm. He may not be a scrambler, but he could start on half of the NFL teams. I am thinking we will get lucky, and a team will lose a starter in preseason and he will get traded closer to his real worth. Patience buc fans.
Well if there are delusional Stocker Fans than I suppose there are delusional Glennon Fans as well (sigh)
It will be very interesting to see the decisions Smith makes in adapting his defenses to his players he has. I think a key will be in seeing what he does with our slow, tall, CB from Miss. State with good length. I think he needs to try him at Safety from the start of camp. We already have four talented, faster CBs who can probably beat him out at CB. We will have our fast Rookie Safety along with Tandy who has good speed too. They can cover any part of the field our lanky Miss. State Safety can’t get to fast enough but what he can cover he has good experience and is a playmaker and good tackler too. I think he makes a better safety than CB and I think Smith will see that too.
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