It’s time for PewterReport.com’s 2-Point Conversion post-game column, which features two statements, two questions and two predictions based on the latest Bucs game. Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston threw four interceptions before giving way to Ryan Fitzpatrick, whose comeback fell just short in a 37-34 heartbreaking loss. The Bucs fall to 3-4 on the year and travel to Carolina to face the 5-2 Panthers next week.

2 BIG STATEMENTS

STATEMENT 1: Bucs Need To Bench Winston – For The Season
Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston threw a season-high four interceptions, including a pick-six, and was benched near the end of the third quarter of Tampa Bay’s 37-34 loss to Cincinnati.

Those are interceptions number seven, eight, nine and 10 on the year for Winston, by the way. Honestly, Winston had three more dropped picks. It could have been worse.

Winston has now thrown at least two interceptions in all four games he has played in this year. I wrote about it in Friday’s timely SR’s Fab 5 column – calling Winston a turnover machine. He certainly proved that point on Sunday with four more turnovers in Cincinnati.

Bucs QB Ryan Fitzpatrick - Photo by: Getty Images
Bucs QB Ryan Fitzpatrick – Photo by: Getty Images

It’s time for the Bucs to turn the page on Winston, at least for the rest of this year. I’m not saying trade the guy. It’s way too early to consider that. That’s a thought to ponder in the offseason.

But with Tampa Bay at 3-4 right now, it’s time to bench Winston in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick and hope he can re-create enough FitzMagic to win down the stretch and put the Bucs into playoff contention. Fitzpatrick completed 11-of-15 passes for 194 yards with two touchdowns, including a 72-yarder to Mike Evans, in addition to a QB rating of 154.9 in a little over one quarter of action.

“Fantastic – hats off [to him],” Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter said after the game. “That’s why you have a veteran backup. He goes in after a pick-six, so he had about two minutes to warm up and played with composure and did a great job of bringing us back.”

Koetter has seen Fitzpatrick win the NFC Offensive Player of the Week award twice this year and post three straight 400-yard games to start the season, which is an NFL record – not to mention 11 touchdowns, which is nearly double the amount of scoring strikes that Winston has thrown over the same number of quarters played. He saw Fitzpatrick rally the Bucs to a 34-34 tie with less than a minute to go in Cincinnati, and probably should have inserted him as the starter at halftime before Winston threw his pick-six. After the game he said he thought about it before Winston connected on a 60-yard TD to DeSean Jackson and led the Bucs down the field for a field goal before halftime.

Keep in mind that Winston has only started three games and played in one other half and he has 10 interceptions. Winston is averaging an interception nearly every quarter he plays in, which is absolutely ridiculous.

I have seen several Buc-killer quarterbacks in my two decades of covering this team from Green Bay’s Brett Favre to Carolina’s Jake Delhomme to New Orleans’ Drew Brees.

You can add Winston to that list.

Yes, Winston has been a Buc-killer, too, as his 19-29 record as a starting quarterback suggests. In his last 16 starts, including Sunday’s against the Bengals, Winston’s record is only 4-12.

Think about this.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston - Photo by: Getty Images
Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Getty Images

The Bucs were minus-4 in the turnover ratio on Sunday and it still took a last-second field goal for the Bengals to win. If Winston doesn’t throw a pick-six and if the Bucs were maybe minus-2 in turnovers on Sunday they win – easy.

“I can’t turn the ball over – I’ve got to fix it,” Winston said repeatedly after the game.

All this despite Tampa Bay’s offensive line playing truly horrendous football on Sunday in terms of pass protection, giving up six sacks, nine QB hits and numerous holding penalties, which didn’t help Winston’s cause. But Winston’s poor decision-making was bad enough on its own.

“It’s a simple message,” Koetter said. “We were minus-three last week and some how eeked out a win. We were minus-four today and it’s almost impossible to win. … We can’t turn it over seven times in two weeks. That’s not hard to see. That’s pretty obvious.”

I’ve given Koetter a lot of credit and praise for doing some very difficult things this season, such as handing over the play-calling duties to Todd Monken, and firing his good friend Mike Smith and replacing him at defensive coordinator with Mark Duffner. I’ve said Koetter has put ego aside and done what is necessary to win this year, which shouldn’t be a surprise as his own job is on the line.

“Today is not the day I have to decide that, right?” Koetter said after the game when asked about benching Winston in favor of Fitzpatrick. “I don’t have any problems making decisions, and I’ll make it when the time is right. But now is probably not the right time.”

Now Koetter has another difficult decision to make at the quarterback position – one that will invite controversy.

This isn’t about the future. This isn’t about trying to validate general manager Jason Licht’s first pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. This isn’t about determining if Winston is worth a long-term contract extension right now.

This is about starting the quarterback gives the Bucs the best chance to win in Carolina next week and the rest of the season. Sunday’s performance – with four more interceptions – suggests that it’s not Winston.

It’s Fitzpatrick.

And technically, Fitzpatrick is Licht’s guy, too.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston and GM Jason Licht - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs QB Jameis Winston and GM Jason Licht – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

No, Fitzpatrick doesn’t have a Tampa Bay first-round pick invested in him, but Licht signed him last year and re-signed him this year, so this decision shouldn’t be about ego or reputation. This should be about what is best for the Bucs in the present day – not the future.

If the Bucs don’t win in Carolina and this team falls to 3-5, there is no future for Koetter or Licht, and they won’t be the ones deciding whether or not Winston gets a contract extension or not.

I’ve given Winston the benefit of the doubt for quite some time, pointing to his talent, his penchant for playmaking and his youth and upside as his positives. I’ve wanted Winston to be the guy – the Bucs’ franchise quarterback – but his penchant for turning the ball over, which was one of his biggest knocks coming out of Florida State, is an absolute killer for this team.

And that was clearly evident on Sunday in Cincinnati.

STATEMENT 2: JPP Continues His Pro Bowl Push
Bucs defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul had two sacks in Sunday’s loss and tied a franchise record by recording a sack in six straight games. Pierre-Paul now has eight sacks on the season, which leads the team, with nine games left and almost seems assured to reach double digits, which hasn’t been done in Tampa Bay since Simeon Rice recorded 14 in 2005.

Bucs DE Jason Pierre-Paul - Photo by: Getty Images
Bucs DE Jason Pierre-Paul – Photo by: Getty Images

Pierre-Paul has already tied last year’s sack mark of eight, which he recorded in 16 games with the New York Giants. Pierre-Paul has had two years in which he notched double-digit sacks – 2011 when he had 16.5 sacks, and 2014 when he posted 12.5 QB captures. Pierre-Paul has been to two Pro Bowls in 2011 and ’12, and could very well be back on his way to having that distinction again.

The Pierre-Paul trade is one Licht’s finest personnel moves, and ranks up there with acquiring wide receiver DeSean Jackson and trading for Logan Mankins, who made the Pro Bowl in his second and final year with the Bucs. Licht has had his share of questionable personnel moves, but to get JPP for a third-round pick is an absolute steal.

2 PROBING QUESTIONS

QUESTION 1: Are The Bucs Going To Trade DJax?
Despite today’s loss in Cincinnati, probably not. Jackson and Winston finally connected on a deep pass, a 60-yard touchdown late in the second quarter, and the lack of connection between the two down the field was Jackson’s biggest source of contention in wanting to be traded, according to a pre-game report by NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport.

Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter – Photo by: Getty Images

As I stated in my article about the trade rumors prior to kickoff, the Bucs had no intention of trading Jackson as of Friday, as Tampa Bay likes its deep at the wide receiver position, which is the strength of the team. I still think that’s the case even after the Bucs fell to 3-4 with the loss to Cincinnati. After the game Koetter said he didn’t know about Jackson’s request for a trade.

“Frustrated? I don’t think he would be alone – I’m frustrated,” Koetter said. “I would expect he is, too. All the best play-makers I’ve been around in my career – they want the ball. So, yeah. That doesn’t surprise me. As far as requesting to be traded, I don’t know anything about that.”

Jackson finished with three catches for 68 yards on Sunday, and his 60-yard touchdown catch gave him the NFL record for total touchdowns covering 60 yards or more with 24, which surpasses Jerry Rice’s mark of 23. If Fitzpatrick continues to start at quarterback that will only make Jackson happy and want to stay in Tampa Bay, too.

QUESTION 2: How Bad Did The Bucs Miss Alexander?
Real bad. Not only did Tampa Bay’s run defense get gashed up the middle by Joe Mixon over and over again, especially on a 43-yard run in the second quarter, the Bucs defense just looked lost and lifeless after stopping Cincinnati’s first drive with a stop on fourth down.

Alexander, who made his first Pro Bowl last year, is out of the year with a torn ACL, which happened just before halftime in last week’s 26-23 win over Cleveland. He hasn’t necessarily had a Pro Bowl start to this season as he’s missed some tackles and overran some plays, but Alexander is the heart and soul of the Bucs defense.

Bengals RB Joe Mixon - Photo by: Getty Images
Bengals RB Joe Mixon – Photo by: Getty Images

There was clearly some missing energy on the field on the field on Sunday, especially in the first half when the Bengals rolled up 27 points while Mixon was rolling up 114 yards and two scores on 14 carries (8.1 avg.). Mixon finished the game with 123 yards rushing on 21 carries (5.9 avg.) as Tampa Bay’s defense stiffened in the second half, limiting Mixon to just nine yards on seven carries.

Adarius Taylor started in place of Alexander and surrendered a touchdown to Tyler Boyd across the middle in the first half, in addition to missing some run fits that allowed Mixon to pile up big yardage on the ground. Taylor finished with just three tackles in his first start at middle linebacker and had a big 5-yard delay of game penalty that moved Cincinnati’s game-winning field goal attempt up by Andy Bullock. Weakside linebacker Lavonte David led Tampa Bay with eight tackles along with safety Justin Evans.

2 BOLD PREDICTIONS

PREDICTION 1: Bucs Could Replace Catanzaro With Santos
Bucs kicker Chandler Catanzaro could very well be cut next week and replaced with Cairo Santos, who was brought in for a workout on Tuesday. Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht contemplated signing Santos last year after he was released by Kansas City, but he wasn’t completely healthy, so Pat Murray was signed instead.

Catanzaro missed an extra point on Sunday, and has missed his first extra point attempt in three straight games over the past three weeks. Catanzaro has now missed four extra points this year, in addition to two field goals, including a 40-yarder last week that could have beaten the Browns at the end of regulation. Instead, he drilled a 59-yard field goal to win it in overtime.

It’s one thing to make a mistake with personnel. It’s another thing to hang on to a mistake, as it only compounds the problem. Catanzaro made two other extra points and two field goals from 38 yards and 25 yards. I’m not sure if the Bucs view Catanzaro as a mistake yet, but if they do, Santos could be the kicker next week in Carolina.

PREDICTION 2: Stewart Could Be Benched For Harris
Early in the year I questioned whether or not Bucs rookie M.J. Stewart had enough athleticism to play cornerback – especially in the slot. Tampa Bay’s second-round pick is tough and physical, but didn’t test well athletically at the NFL Scouting Combine. Too often this season he’s immediately in the trail position, and that disturbing trend continued on Sunday in Cincinnati.

Bucs CB MJ Stewart - Photo by: Getty Images
Bucs CB MJ Stewart – Photo by: Getty Images

Bengals slot receiver Tyler Boyd turned Stewart around at the line of scrimmage on a 28-yard pass down to the Bucs’ 1-yard line to set up Mixon’s first touchdown run in the first quarter. The same thing happened on a 26-yard catch-and-run by Boyd in the second quarter before he was pushed out of bounds at the Tampa Bay 8 to set up Mixon’s second touchdown run.

Mixon also dashed for a 43-yard run when Stewart had the angle but not the speed to catch the Bengals’ rusher. Stewart was injured in the second half and didn’t return. Stewart was replaced by De’Vante Harris, who played better, tighter coverage down the stretch and could be the new starter at nickel cornerback going forward.

Stewart wasn’t the only Bucs defender who didn’t play well for new defensive coordinator Mark Duffner on Sunday, though. The pass rush wasn’t good enough, the coverage wasn’t tight enough, the red zone defense wasn’t stiff enough and the run defense wasn’t stout enough to keep the Bengals offense from scoring 30 points.

 

Previous articleKoetter Doesn’t Commit To Bucs Starting QB At Carolina
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Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]

41 COMMENTS

  1. Spot on Scott! I would add to also place Winston on the In Active List and bring Griffin up to be Fitzpatrick Back Up. Never thought I would be saying this about Winston, but he is a bust; time to move on.

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  2. FSU/RAPIST/FLUMBLER/INTERSECTIONIST/LOSER/[email protected]

    GOODBYE HOPE THEY OUTRIGHT RELEASE YOU BEFORE TUESDAY

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    • Thumbs down just because you are a douche!

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    • I agree, we cannot have an INTERSCTIONIST as the face of the franchise. Intersections are dangerous and cause serious injury on a daily basis. It’s just a matter of time and Tampa can’t afford this risk.

      If that’s not bad enough he turns the ball over too much as well.

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  3. Dont see any reason ,with jobs on the line, that they start jameis. He sits the rest if the season unless fitz gets hurt. Sucks we might be going through another qb but Jameis is killing this team with his turnovers and everyone of those today was flat out on him. Bad football.
    Fitz brings needed energy and well need it next week against Carolina.
    Stewart is a liability in the slot big time.

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  4. It’s strange that observers are seeing these things. I’m so tired of changing the staff all the time but it’s going to happen again. Ownership needs to start developing a change plan now to get quality into the organization from top to bottom.

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  5. Bold prediction 1:
    Fitz will not play much better than Winston and play like he did against Steelers and Bears as Bucs will continue to not run ball and let QB be pressured. He will throw 2-3 picks per game until benched as well.

    Prediction 2:
    JPP will make pro bowl and is NOT the reason Bucs can’t stop the run. Sorry Bob your an asshat.

    Prediction 3:Bucs will finish Under .500 this season and will go back to Winston after Fitz flounders 2-3 games. Lol. Winston will look great at times but still Throw 2 picks per game.

    Prediction 4: the Bucs D will continue to give up over 30 points all year no matter who The QB is and look like crap especially first Half if games.

    These aren’t very bold predictions and are very likely what will happen unfortunately.

    This team is a joke. They should have moved on from Mike Smith last year. They should have benched Benenoch and Stewart weeks go. They have a talented young turnover prone QB and an old back up QB that has been even worse with turnover ratio in his career overall.

    Oh well always next year is what we come to know as Bucs fans before October is even over.

    Just need a RG,RT,CB,RB,QB, safety and we are there baby. Lol.

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    • Sad part, Benenoch still playing and making lots of mistakes, guess there waiting for him to develop and actually he shouldnt be in the league! WTF?! What happened to backup guard and tackle, Liedtke and Wister, they are both better than Benenoc, Smith, and Dot, just dont understand? And people give you thumbs down, thats hysterical, guess we got dumb ass fans with no knowledge of football. We need a quality coach to run team/organization, just dont know who that could be, ask Dungy if he would come back?! Dump Winston, put in new right OG, Liedtke and give Wister, RT, a shot at starting over Dot. We are screwed as far as Defense, there are NO answers this year, need philosophical change to putting together Defense to contend with pass happy league, (do away with 3-4 or 4-3 how about a 3-8 Defense?! 3- DL’s, and 8-DB’s, NO LB’s), then blitz a few DBs every now and then, AKA Barber days?!

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      • Injuries have killed us on defense. You cant lose 2 of your 3 best players on defense including your defensive QB, starting corner, safety, 2 DT’s and DE and expect to be good. Sadly this defense has yet to take a snap with 90% of its starters on the field. Healthy I think we are a avg defense. Losing kwon really hurt us.

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  6. Oh and peobabaly need defensive coordinator, coach and GM. Other than that we are a playoff team!

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  7. Have tried by best to support Winston – Bust may be too early as he may go on to have a terrific NFL career at his young age; however, he has a long way to go. 20 Million?? Give me a break. Thought it interesting during the game that the commentators stated Winston said he would never change the way he plays. Could have easily been 6-7 IT’s. If Winston starts Sunday at Carolina it is evident that the owners are the ones making the decision. If I was Koetter and they demanded he play him, it would be for one play – He’s going to get fired anyway if he has to play Winston so make your point and try to win the game and let it play out. I doubt the defense can stop Cam, but if for some reason they can, he’ll live for another week. If I’m Jason, I’m on the phone to the Raiders – they have a surplus of picks (Winston may be be worth one of them – if not their second rounder is almost a first. The team didn’t want Winston as a captain, the off the field issues speak for themselves. Gruden always loved Favre, maybe he can see some potential – he would have a year to evaluate and coach him and again, with the surplus, it might be worth a gamble. Start Fitz, have Ryan on the bench in case of injury or a blow-out win or loss to see what he has. It is really a shame, but if the Bucs can’t make the playoffs we start over yet again. I’ve followed the Bucs from 1981 and only missed one game, so a restart at my age means I’ll probably never see another Super Bowl, but for future Bucs fans, you need to make the change.

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  8. My prediction: the long list of Licht busts has finally grown too long and his contract will lapse at season’s end.

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    • Licht’s contract doesn’t lapse until after 2019

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      • My crystal ball was a little fuzzy….I meant the “early-lapse” clause will be instituted by the Glazers.

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  9. I think the Bucs ownership would be making a grave mistake if they wiped the slate clean and started over. This team is almost there. We need a better defense, but our offense can carry this team to the playoffs if one or two problems are solved. Our QB turns the ball over too often and our kicker needs to get his head right. Without those two problems, this team is six and one right now.
    By all means, bench Wnston and get a new kicker, but don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. As Douglas Adams said, “Don’t panic.”

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    • I do agree on this one. Everyone knows that starting over every 2-3 years is a certain recipe for disaster. I would like the reporters here, do an analysis of “hit and miss” over the tenure of the GM. Absolutely no one hits on everyone and when he signs free agents, i.e., Jackson, D-Line additions, etc., everyone is excited and thinks they will make an impact. I’m an old man, so I don’t want to see a total re-start, we have a first time coach and an apparent bust at QB. We also have great receivers, tight-ends, and a D-line if healthy should be dominate with another year under their belt. I remember well when Rhonde Barber, John Lynch, etc. were considered “quote busts”. I remember the critics when Dungy gave a thumbs up to Warren Sapp, despite the baggage and the decision to draft Derrick Brooks which created an uproar. If anyone can name “one team” that has been successful changing GMs and Head Coaches every 2-3 years, let me know and I swear I will never post again. Anyone with knowledge of the NFL knows that college success does not translate to NFL success and that linemen and secondary with rare exception take 2-3 years to develop (again, Lynch and Barber). Hate to tell you fans, but there is not a line of people wanting the HC job, or GM job, knowing the Bucs history of 1-2 years to make it work. The head coach will be decided based on the end of the season – the NFL coaches and GMs know the Bucs history, i.e., Cleveland II, unless you are a has-been looking for one last chance or a coordinator/college coach willing to gamble your career, no one, absolutely no one would want this job. Believe it or not, everything starts in the trenches and the “true skill positions” such as RB, WR, TE, Def Line & Off Line. The O-line is still dismal, but our D-line, linebackers (assuming we can re-sign Kwon) along with the WR & TE’s have been exemplary as it pertains to talent under Jason. Would love to see a couple of additions in the front office as advisors, such as D. Brooks, Dungy, etc., but starting over again? There are 53 players on the team – the QB’s in this league are so over-rated as to importance and salary, it is ridiculous. Sit Winston or trade him before Tuesday or during the off-season and use the cap money on building depth, stock-piling draft picks, and allow for some continuity. As I finish this, I have decided not to post again. My only wish is the NFL during collective bargaining would put in a provision that “NO POSITION” can exceed 10% of the salary cap – maybe then would the casual fan realize the QB is a small, small portion of the equation and the truly great ones (3-4) in the entire NFL are only great because of the other 52 players. Goodbye and Good Luck to the loyal fans. I will always love my Bucs and I have my Super Bowl victory in my lifetime. Thank you Malcom for that, Tony for building the Defense, and Jon for adding the pieces needed and a different voice for bringing it home!!

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      • Dear Dbenn, i wanted to offer you these words of encouragement! “dont give up yet”! But i couldnt write any narrative to give you hope that BUCS could make playoffs anytime soon. So offer you this, maybe Coach Belichick gets divorce with NE, and comes to BUCS next year? Trades or fires nearly entire team, gets entire new coaching staff, and somehow gets QB to un-retire, say Dan Marino?! Then we got a shot. It sucks that BUCS coaching carousel persists every several years! Get young hot shot with new ideas, like Belicheck! Loves the game, dedicated, wait a minute sounds a little too Grudenesque?! Just he is crazy! Dont know who that is but need a brilliant mind and love for the game, maybe can watch from heaven, hell i am in 50s and dont think will see BUCS win another?! So if cant beat em then I am joining you and signing off too! Love the team, will rout foe em to win just dont see it soon?! Out!!! Peace!!!

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      • dbenn: Dungy had nothing to do with the drafting of Sapp and Brooks. Both were drafted by Sam Wyche as was John Lynch. You see, Dungy won with Wyche’s team.

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    • I agree. I don’t think it’s necessary to get rid of Head Coach or GM at this time and let’s see what happens as to whether there is approvement over the next nine games.
      When I use the word “bust”, I mean he has it helped us win the way we thought he should when we drafted him. He can still play in the NFL maybe even start for another team,but no way is he worth the kind of money that has been mentioned.

      Macabee, can we get out of this option?
      Has anything actually been signed by both parties for a fifth year?

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  10. 5 years into Licht’s disasterous tenure in Tampa Bay:

    Defense is for the second year in a row the worst unit in the league.

    The first overall pick he used to select a cornerstone player who finished up his 3 game suspension for his second sexual assault accusation and promptly did his best Blake Bortles impression by throwing his 10th interception in 4 games.

    The players Licht drafted this year are ineffective or worse when they play. The entire 2016 NFL draft is a bust. You can’t expect MJ Stewart to become more athletic at this point like a guy Licht passed on in current Panther and former LSU burner Donte Jackson who ran a 4.32 and has 3 INTs on the year.

    When your GM’s best moves are signing a 36 year old QB on his 8th team, a 35 year old corner and trading for a 29 year old DE despite the massive amount of draft picks and free agent money he’s given out he’s a failure. Thats not a good foundation Scott. And it doesn’t take 5 seasons of missed playoffs and a 25-46 record to tell you that.

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  11. So what can we get for wINsTon before the trade deadline? 6th rounder? LOL

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  12. Winston should trademark the phrase “I can’t turn the ball over – I’ve got to fix it”, since he’s used it after practically every game since he’s been in the league. At some point it’s got to become more than just lip service. Only silver lining is that Mariota hasn’t developed into a true franchise QB yet either.

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  13. So, for those of you who think the Bucs made a mistake drafting Winston, two questions.
    1. Did you think it was a good idea at the time?
    2.If not, who would you have drafted instead of Winston?

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    • Yes I did think it was a good idea at the time. He was the better option and has still performed better than Marriota. As far as QB’s to look at I’m not too high on QB’s this year. Next year however should be some good ones coming out

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    • I was on record as a supporter of selecting Winston over Mariota because Mariota looked like he would get ragdolled in the NFL after seeing him body slammed by OSU and his nagging injuries in college as well as his lack of experience in a pro offense.

      That said there were two major flags with Winston: 1. Off the field behavior, including a sexual assault claim 2. Turnovers on the field.

      So far he’s been suspended 3 games due to a second sexual assault claim 10 months after he was taken number one overall despite all the negative publicity he got the first time and he’s second in the league in interceptions this year despite playing in almost half the games the rest of the league has played in his 4th year. So the worst fears about him were effectively realized.

      If Winston manages to do any worse he’ll be some teams backup or out of the league because he can’t help himself. You take risks when you take a guy who is in the news for the wrong reasons in college and you have to expect that there’s a shot your roll comes up snakeyes. Jason Licht has a wealth of experience seeing snakeyes come up as Bucs GM.

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    • I thought from the get-go we were picking the right guy; I was wrong.

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  14. What’s the point of bringing him back Scott? He is what he is, no sense in paying him 20 million to find out what we already know. He’s as you say, a turnover machine, always has been, always will be. His decision making on the field has now perhaps passed his decision making off the field, and not in a good way. This was his prove it year, not next year at 20 mill. If I were the Glazer’s I’d have Licht trade him, and whoever else might fetch a pick so my new G.M., and H.C. can have a clean slate to work with. This team from top, to bottom reeks from all the losing. Time to clean house, and move on. That would at least give us fans hope for a new beginning.

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  15. See my comment from the Game Recap article…

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  16. Thanks Scott as usual great insight and Pewter Reality. Only hope Our management can see the obvious also. Coaching is a rough seat. The ride can be bumpy and short. Finding the right people that’s a Top Down motion. So here again we circle. Call it what you want but don’t call our organization good.

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  17. One interesting comment today from the broadcasting crew – that after last week’s barely won game over a mediocre Browns team, Winston pointed to that win was his response to a media question about his ongoing turnover issue … rather than showing serious committment to fixing it … the gist of the broadcast crew’s reaction to Winston’s response was, like, “Dude, WTF???”

    A team could probably survive a high turnover rate if we had a top shelf defense that itself generated an equal or greater number of takeaways, and could shut down offenses in the red zone, as the Bucs of the late 90s/early 00s used to do. But Licht has so completely eviscerated the Bucs defense in his nearly 5 years of suckitude that the Bucs don’t survive the giveaways.

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  18. In all the angst over Winston’s meltdown today, it is too easy to forget two big facts:

    1) that our other quarterback came of the bench cold and engineered an amazing 18 point comeback in the 4th quarter, and

    2) Our defense, despite the inspirational performance of the offense, and despite its improved performance in the second half, still managed to give up another 30 points, and let Cincy drive down the field in the final 1:10 to win the game. Our defense still completely sucks – still worst in the league.

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    • Remember Fitzpatrick effectively did the same thing against Arizona last year bringing the team back after Winston’s injury. Fitz was 2-1 last year but it was discounted due to the “level of competition” while Winston somehow got a pass for losing to Brett Hundley and the Packers last year.

      Fitz is 4-3 in his 7 starts this past two years while Winston is 4-12 with literally the same team. If you’re trying to win football games this year you pick Fitzpatrick. If you’re trying to go for a top 5 pick in the draft for a new GM to select you go with Winston.

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  19. Here is my “fantasy football coach” imaginary scenario.

    The first thing “I” would do if I were Koetter on Tuesday morning is have the three quarterbacks assemble in a room with “me”. I would tell them Fitzpatrick is going to start until he has a “bad” game. Then Winston will regain his starting role. If he has another “bad” game he will be benched for the last time this season and then Ryan Griffith will become the starter.

    Then I would assemble all coaches and players and make a few more appropriate remarks to all and then start the practises and preparation for the game against the Panthers.
    ___________
    Go Bucs!!!!! No excuses!

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    • The first thing I would do if I’m coach Koetter is update my resume and talk with my friends in the league about places to land after I get canned this year. And I don’t blame Koetter, as he got dealt a garbage GM who had no clue on how to build an NFL roster and left gaping holes in the secondary, line and missed on his one premium QB selection while throwing draft picks and money at horrible kickers.

      Unfortunately Dirk has little chance of surving this season unless Fitz returns to his Kurt Warner-on-steriods form for the remainder of the season. There will be a housecleaning and hopefully the Glazer Babies can luck into a decent GM hire for once.

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  20. I have been a Winston supporter since he was drafted. But I am done. He is almost literally the second coming of Vinny Testaverde. He may play 17 years in the league like Vinny, but it won’t be with TB and he likely won’t be a starter. Fitz has earned the job, and as Parcells use to say you are what your record says you are.

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  21. P.S. What is unsaid my little scenario is that if I were Koetter it would be obvious by the time that I brought Griffith in as starter that the season is “over” and my days as head coach are a “when not if” I am to be fired situation.

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  22. Should we make a push to see if chucky trades Derrick Carr, we don’t have time to wait for a draft pick to develop

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  23. P.S.S. My little scenario really is fantasy. Who knows if Jameis will ever “earn” another chance to start for us again.

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  24. The failures over the past few years rest on one man’s shoulders: Jason Licht. The 2016 draft was a swing and a miss and it’s looking like the 2018 draft class was a big swing and a miss.

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  25. Announcement made at Koetter’s day after press conference – Fitzpatrick will start against Carolina. He does want to win now, and feels the way Winston is playing at this time that Fitzpatrick gives them their best chance. Winston will not be traded (no surprise there).

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  26. just announced Fitz will be the starter this week.

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