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. Adam and Laura asks, in your interview with Licht he mentioned listing his top10 players on Pats roster. Who are your top10 Bucs in ’16?
Answer: Tough question but a good one. Licht was asked by Belichick to list the 10 most valuable in terms of helping produce wins, not necessarily the 10 most talented rostered players. So with that in mind, here goes my list of Top 10 Buccaneers for 2016. First and foremost is QB Jameis Winston. In today’s NFL having quality quarterback play is essential and makes the wheels on the bus turn. Secondly, I think getting to the opposing quarterback is the next most important aspect of the team, so I would say Gerald McCoy. My third most player may be a surprise to some, but Donovan Smith as Winston’s blindside protector is in my opinion an important position. Staying along the lines of offense, Mike Evans as the team’s expected No. 1 receiver would be my fourth most valuable Buccaneer. That isn’t to say Vincent Jackson or the tight ends are important, but having a go-t0 receiver – and one with still more upside – is a valuable part of the team.
Rounding out my Top five would be cornerback Brent Grimes. In a league dominated by the passing game, having a shutdown corner is essential, and we saw a lack of that last season and part of the reason the team struggled defensively. My last five are running back Doug Martin, linebackers Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander, running back Charles Sims and kicker Roberto Aguayo. Yes, I understand Aguayo hasn’t even kicked in an NFL game, however the placekicker will be the team’s leading scorer, and if he can perform even close to the expectations that the organization has for him, he is easily a Top 10 player of importance for 2016.
Question 2. With the great play and depth at corner what chance do you think Johnthan Banks gets a try at safety??
Answer: That is a question posed by a number of fans, and while his size would possibly allow him to play that position, there was no indication in the offseason that Banks would be changing positions. It would surprise me to see Banks try and learn a new position beginning in training camp. It would be a very late start to see him playing an unfamiliar position in the NFL as all he has done since his rookie year is line up at cornerback. Now say there was a huge rash of injuries at that position in camp, I suppose they might consider it, but Jason Licht had an excellent success rate of plucking free agents off the street last camp with the additions of Gosder Cherilus and Joe Hawley after injuries to Demar Dotson and Evan Smith suffered injuries.
Question 3. Robert Gordon asks, what is the biggest challenge for Coach Koetter in his first training camp as a head coach?
Answer: Truthfully I can’t think of any major things off the top of my head. Of course there will be things that will new and somewhat foreign but lets not forget his time as a head coach in college. Certainly the two are different, but leadership is leadership, and Koetter has that quality from what we have seen as well. In addition he is as confident of a first-year coach as I have been around. And sources recently told us that Koetter had his entire offseason and training camp fully written out and planned out long before the draft. He is meticulous in his preparation, and I think that will serve him well moving forward.
Question 4. Greg asks, What is Dirk Koetter doing to cut down on the penalties?
Answer: Great question and one that we are still trying to determine. Looking back on 2015, many of the penalties were a result of mental errors. Those things can be corrected hopefully by better preparation. Offensively, with the players being in their second year of the offense, some of those things should clean themselves up. Pre-snap formation penalties, even delay of games should be better just based on more repetition. Some of the penalties though were just technique errors. When a player, particularly a young player, gets overwhelmed their technique is usually the first thing to go. For instance if Ali Marpet is winded in the fourth quarter and is late getting out of his stance while pass blocking, that’s where you see a jersey grabbed. Or say Vernon Hargreaves is in coverage and guesses instead of reading his keys or getting to his spot, he is more likely to draw an illegal contact flag. So I think Koetter and his staff will do a better job of working on technique and making sure the players are better prepared.
Question 5. Steve asks, will the Bucs secondary rank in the top ten this season?
Answer: The fans, players and organization would love to see that, no doubt. Will it happen? That is the hope, but it may take a little while to see that fall into place with a new scheme and a new staff. While playing defensive back in the NFL isn’t done too many different ways, the style of play will need to be instilled, but maybe what will be needed most, is a new attitude. I think some players played tentative last season, afraid to make mistakes, and were affected by the constant game of musical chairs we saw in the secondary for most of the season in 2016. And adding Brent Grimes, Josh Robinson and drafting Vernon Hargreaves, means there will be a lot of new pieces in place to try and get on the same page. But that is what the offseason and camp is for, and the Bucs aren’t the only team trying to learn a new system with new players. It should be fun to watch in camp and preseason as far as how long it takes for these guys to mesh.
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@example.com
Good Article mark. As to Question 5; isn’t DE positions the real answer as to whether our Defense is above average?
Mark, what’s your take on BREXIT?
just kidding….Great Insight on the team, thanks
Well JohnnyBuc1 its like this see, I am all for…..just kidding. Above my pay grade.
I just hope we don’t have GAMEXIT this season. You know, when the Bucs are playing so poorly (see Titans game) that the fans hit the exit in the 3rd quarter.
Maybe I am over hopeful but I can’t see another Titans game this season. Jameis figured out interceptions hurt and our defense HAS to be Better with the new additions in the backside, Having refs at practice will cut down on penalties during the season. Hope I am not just dreaming here…….
I am really trying to be positive about this team this year, Been with this team since inception so I have seen it all and have crawled through the ups and downs….way downs for a long time. Go Bucs.
I was born in 93 and honestly the 2002 Bucs were my first football team I’ve ever rooted for and they’ve been my team since. So my question to you is, jme0151, have you ever seen the bucs media this excited for a season or is this the usual off-season excitement? Thanks!
jme0151, I hear you.
I really believe if we had this coaching staff last year we would have finished 10-6 instead of 6-10.
Scubog, for the first time ever I left a game early after the first half two years ago when the Ravens pasted us.
Don’t remember when I left the Titans game but I didn’t hang around until the end then, either.
What was great was that Winston gathered himself and came back the next week to defeat the Saints.
For all these writers who think Lovie should have been given another year they should rewind the first and last games of the season.
Most of the team was woefully unprepared to play the first game and didn’t even want to show up for the last one.
Both times the defense Lovie put together was shellacked.
I’ve never missed a home game and never missed a play. I pee when the TV Timeout guy let’s me know. I’ve considered leaving a few times, but I’ve resisted to keep the tradition going. My family has instructions that if I, as Culverhouse would say, “cross the creek” at the game, they’re not to move me until the game is over or I start to stink.
Great philosophy scubog. A credo to live, ahh I mean die by.
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