Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bucs Q&A: Week 12 answers
Have a good question about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? The Tampa Tribune's beat writers - Roy Cummings, Anwar Richardson and Ira Kaufman - will answer it. Send us your own question. Q: Bill Cowher is on the record of saying he will need a solid QB to build around on his next team and he gave that as a reason when he turned the Bills down. A QB to build around is about the only thing that the Bucs may have to offer. Think of the milage the Glazers would get from aggressivly going after Cowher even if they didn't land him. Do you think they open the checkbook to right the Pirate Ship?Chris Burke, Nashville A: It's still too soon to know. If the Bucs show signs of progress in the last six weeks, the current regime probably stays in place. One of the worst things an owner can do is to start playing musical chairs with his coaching staff. It stunts the growth of good young players, especially quarterbacks, and seldom leads to long-term results. And while fans may like the idea of going after but failing to get Cowher, imagine the message that would send to the players who wind up back here playing for Raheem Morris. They'd see him as a lame duck and that would not be productive at all. It's very dangerous to go after a coach if you don't really plan on making wholesale changes. -- Roy Cummings -------------- Q: We just demoted our defensive coordinator and Raheem Morris is taking over the defensive calls and going back to the Tampa 2. Given your experience in all the doings at One Buc Place, what do you see for the future of this dismal coaching staff and for next year? Sidney Valentine, Tampa A: The thing you have to remember about 2009 is that it was always a rebuilding year, even if the Bucs wouldn't admit it. Just like the Bucs have decided that Gaines Adams doesn't fit their defense, they have decided that Jim Bates is not the right guy to run it. Now is the time to make those decisions. That's what this season was about from the beginning and at 1-9, there's nothing to lose in terms of making changes. If moves of that nature set them up for a more successful future, then why not make them and make them now. -- Roy Cummings -------------- Q: Again, the middle of the Bucs defense is wide open and it is so because of the middle linebacker. Barrett Ruud is consistently out of position because he either over runs the plays or has no clue where the play is going. Week after week, there's a big running play that can be pointed to as a key play of the game and it is always Ruud putting himself in position to be blocked out of the way. He plays as if he will be fined if he makes a tackle in the middle or blows up a play in the backfield or gets a sack. Why aren't you guys all over him? Edward Racker A: It's a little simplistic to blame all of Tampa Bay's defensive woes on Barrett Ruud, one of their better players. It's true Ruud isn't making any tackles in the backfield, but it's also true the D-line is consistently pushed off the ball. Ruud can play better -- and he needs to if he is going to demand a big contract. But at this point, the Bucs don't believe middle linebacker is high on their priority list for 2010 because Ruud has already proved he can play at a high level. -- Ira Kaufman -------------- Q: Assuming the Bucs have a top 5 pick in the draft, would they be better to keep that pick and draft Ndamukong Suh (DT, Nebraska), Gerald McCoy (DT, Oklahoma), Eric Berry (S, Tennessee), or Taylor Mays (S, Southern Cal) or should they attempt to trade down and gather more picks. San Francisco has two first-round picks and may want to trade up to obtain one of the best quarterbacks in the draft. CVal, Nashville, Tenn. A: There's no one player in this draft who would instantly turn the Bucs into Super Bowl contenders next season. The plan is to gather as many picks as possible and cash in with an influx of new starters in 2010. The problem is that few teams are interested in trading up toward the top of the draft because you have to pay out considerably more money. The Bucs will be looking to trade down as much as possible and pocket additional picks. -- Ira Kaufman -------------- Q: Boy, I bet the free agents are going to be lining up to come to a sinking ship (no pun intended) like Tampa. A Coach with zero experience, who hires and fires both OC and DC in less than one season, a team with zero chance to win a championship or even be competitive and absolutly zero Bucs Fans remaining if the Glazers don't bring some respect back to the leadership in Tampa next season. How many F/A's and draft picks are going to want to come to Tampa? My guess is zero! Chris Burke, Nashville A: I don't think the Bucs will be all that active in free agency anyway, but you may be surprised at how many will look to come here. The opportunity to win a starter's job may be better here than a lot of other places and that's what most players are after. They want to win, too, but the Bucs are more about signing younger untested players in free agency than older veterans, so they'll still draw some interest. -- Roy Cummings -------------- Send us your own question.