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. It’s gut-check time in Tampa Bay as the Bucs have fallen to 2-4 after a stunning 30-27 defeat at Buffalo thanks to a late turnover and poor play by Mike Smith’s defense yet again. The Bucs defense surrendered 434 yards and allowed the Bills to convert 10-of-16 third downs (63 percent) in the loss.

TWO BIG STATEMENTS

STATEMENT 1: This Bucs Defense Is Awful
If you would have told me that Jameis Winston would throw for 384 yards with three touchdowns and one meaningless interception, and that rookie tight end O.J. Howard would have six catches for 98 yards and two touchdowns and Mike Evans would have seven catches for 88 yards and a touchdown I would suspect that the Bucs routed the Bills in Buffalo – in any other year but this year.

This year, the Bucs defense is awful, especially on the road. It’s worse than it was at the start of the season last year when Tampa Bay’s defense surrendered 32 points at Arizona, 30 points at home to Los Angeles and 27 points to Denver. This year, Tampa Bay’s defense has allowed 34 points at Minnesota, 38 points at Arizona and 30 points at Buffalo.

The main reason is the lack of pass rush. Defensive end Robert Ayers got the lone sack today, which was his first of the season, and it came against a tight end. The Bucs just don’t have the talent up front outside of defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who had one tackle and three quarterback hurries. Noah Spence has one sack in the last 11 games dating back to last year. Combine a non-existent pass rush with inconsistent pass coverage and it’s a recipe for disaster – not just against quarterbacks like Eli Manning and Tom Brady, but also against the likes of Case Keenum, Carson Palmer and Tyrod Taylor.

Head coach Dirk Koetter and general manager Jason Licht gambled on four things this offseason – and lost. First, the only additions to the defensive line were run-stopping defensive tackle Chris Baker and re-signing run-stopping defensive end Will Gholston. The Bucs didn’t draft or sign any other pass rushers.

Second, they put all their eggs in a basket in a basket that contained 31-year old Ayers, Spence and his surgically repaired shoulder and Jacquies Smith and his surgically repaired knee. Ayers looks like a shell of his former self, Spence has been a non-factor this year after coaches and teammates said he could be a double-digit sacker, and Smith never made it back from injury and was released. The Bucs’ pass rush plan this season has backfired spectacularly.

Third, the Bucs believed that defensive coordinator Mike Smith’s defense could pick up where it left off and that new wrinkles would help. Tampa Bay has used some 3-4 and 3-3-5 looks at times this year, but without much impact. Smith has also mixed man coverage, cover 3 and quarters (cover 4), but it doesn’t seem to matter without a consistent pass rush and soft coverage. The Bucs defense hasn’t gotten better or even stayed the same this year. It’s gotten worse, especially against the run and on third down.

And finally, Koetter and Licht believed that by getting Jameis Winston more weapons that they could outscore opponents and might not need as many valiant, dominant performances from the Bucs defense this year. Adding DeSean Jackson and O.J. Howard has helped as the two have combined for 33 catches for 566 yards and five touchdowns, while Pro Bowl receiver Mike Evans (34 catches for 459 yards and four touchdowns) and tight end Cam Brate (27 catches for 341 yards and four touchdowns) continue to do their thing. The problem is that most of the Bucs’ scoring has come in the second half, rallying from behind.

Tampa Bay’s offense isn’t doing its part early in games, and it’s not helping to play complimentary football.

Bucs’ First Half / Second Half Points
Week 2 vs. Bears – 20 / 3 = 29-7 win (defense scored 6 points)
Week 3 at Vikings – 3 / 14 = 34-17 loss
Week 4 vs. NY Giants – 16 / 9 = 25-23 win
Week 5 vs. New England – 7 / 7 = 19-14 loss
Week 6 at Arizona – 0 /33 = 38-33 loss
Week 7 at Buffalo – 6 /21 = 30-27 loss

The Bucs have only scored 49 points on offense in the first half this season, while scoring 87 points in the second half.

“There are a lot of plays at the beginning of the game where we’re going to look back and say, ‘Wish we would have done this,’” Winston said. “We’ve got to finish.

“We’ve got to score early – touchdowns. We moved the ball well. We stopped ourselves on every single drive. Every drive. We have to fix that. I have to fix that. I have to do a better job and we’ve got to execute.”

At the end of Week 7 in the NFL, expect Tampa Bay’s defense to be ranked in the bottom third of the league in yards allowed, scoring defense and third down defense, in the bottom five for interceptions and dead last in sacks.

STATEMENT 2: Poor Tackling Is Dooming Tampa Bay
I’m sure I’m going to have some people at One Buccaneer Place denying PewterReport.com’s assertion that an incredibly soft training camp may have something to do with the lousy tackling that has taken place over the last two weeks in losses at Arizona and Buffalo. That’s okay. I don’t have all the answers and may be grasping at straws, but it sure seems like the Bucs coaches and players are grasping at straws, too.

The PewterReport.com staff talked about it on our Pewter Nation Podcasts and we’ve written about it. This year’s training camp was as soft as Charmin toilet paper. I’ve never seen less contact in training camp in my 24 years covering this team, and I have to think it’s playing some kind of role in the lack of physicality by the offensive line in opening up holes in the running game, and the lack of effectiveness in stopping the run and poor tackling by Tampa Bay’s defense.

Bucs LB Lavonte David - Photo by: Getty Images

Bucs LB Lavonte David – Photo by: Getty Images

In August I spoke to former three-time Bucs Pro Bowl center Tony Mayberry as we watched a training camp practice. He was stunned at how little contact there was during practice, which was by design as Koetter wanted to stay as healthy as possible for the regular season.

“Back then training camp hardened you, it deadened your nerves, it fortified you,” Mayberry said. “It made it so you felt you were ready for the season because your fingers had cracked and been twisted up. You already got your little dinger. You had all the things you would have in the season all one after another. By the time the season came around and they took the gas off from training camp – you couldn’t wait for the start of the season because it got easier. You felt like you were physically and mentally ready to play. It’s tough for these guys because they are saving their bodies, but nobody cares about training camp when it’s over. These preseason games don’t count. All that matters is Week 1. That being said, with the nature of this game, it’s not something you want to jump into Week 1. I don’t want my full-out contact to be the first game. I want to make sure I’ve done it and suffered a bit. Then I know I’m ready.”

The Bucs defense looked ready in Week 2 in the season opener in a 29-7 rout of Chicago, but hasn’t really since then outside of a decent effort against New England. Poor tackling has been an issue this year, but has reared its ugly head more so in these last two losses because of the amount of yards and points Tampa Bay’s defense has surrendered.

“We missed tackles,” Koetter said. “We missed tackles in the first half on their quarterback.”

Buffalo rushed for 173 yards and two touchdowns while averaging 5.2 yards per carry against Tampa Bay’s defense, which was supposedly upgraded to stop the run this year.

TWO PROBING QUESTIONS

QUESTION 1: Why Do The Coaches Keep Saying Help Isn’t On The Way?
Whether it’s “Help isn’t on the way” or “The cavalry isn’t coming” or “Our guys are our guys,” we’ve heard both Koetter and Smith utter these phrases this season, which is coach-speak for “We don’t have the necessary talent to execute what we want to do.” I’ve heard it enough times in my 24 years of covering the Buccaneers and the NFL to be able to correctly identify it.

Koetter was asked if he had the right personnel on defense after Sunday’s loss to Buffalo and said he did.

“Our personnel is good enough, but our execution isn’t good enough,” Koetter said. “We missed too many tackles and gave up too many big plays.”

I know that’s not the case, but can’t blame Koetter for saying anything otherwise. With 10 games remaining the head coach can’t throw his players under the bus. Koetter is right that the guys they have on the team are their guys. There are no saviors on the street in October.

Bucs DT Chris Baker - Photo by: Getty Images

Bucs DT Chris Baker – Photo by: Getty Images

Take a hard look at Tampa Bay’s current defense. There won’t be quite a few of those players around next year, barring a dramatic turnaround in the second half of the season. The guess here is that Ayers, who has two sacks in the last nine games, is released with one year left on his deal at age 32. Baker, who will be 31 next year, doesn’t have any guaranteed money after this year and hasn’t produced enough to warrant his $4.875 million contract in 2018. Defensive end Will Clarke and defensive tackle Sealver Siliga signed one-year deals and will also be free agents next year.

In the secondary, cornerback Brent Grimes hasn’t played as well this year as he did last year and will be a 35-year old unrestricted free agent. Cornerback Robert McClain and safeties T.J. Ward and Keith Tandy are slated for free agency next year. And the Bucs won’t take any cap hit if they release safety Chris Conte, who will be 30 next year and in the final year of a contract that is scheduled to pay him $2.25 million.

Of course if this type of play continues, the Bucs might be running a new defensive scheme entirely next year if changes are made to the coaching staff.

QUESTION 2: Do The Bucs Still Have A Shot At The Playoffs?
No. While Tampa Bay’s 2017 season technically isn’t over at 2-4, the Bucs would have to go 8-2 to get to 10-6 to realistically have a shot at making the playoffs, and the way they are playing I don’t see that happening. Do you?

Even a 7-3 finish would only guarantee a 9-7 record, and we saw that 9-7 wasn’t good enough last season to make the postseason.

Tampa Bay, which has now lost three straight games, would have to win three straight to get above .500, which wouldn’t happen until mid-November. As former U.S. President George W. Bush would say, “That’s fuzzy math.”

The fact that the next two opponents are NFC South foes Carolina (4-3) and New Orleans (4-2) doesn’t increase the Bucs’ chances of winning as both teams have proven to be formidable opponents this year. If Tampa Bay doesn’t start playing better defensively and getting off to a faster start offensively the Bucs will have a better shot at a top 10 draft pick than they will the playoffs.

Offensively, the Bucs have comet to life and have averaged 30 points per game, but shockingly that hasn’t been enough due to how awful the defense is playing. You would think that if Tampa Bay would score 30 points per game they would win, but that’s not the case.

Defense wins championships and Tampa Bay’s defense is at a 2-4 level right now.

TWO BOLD PREDICTIONS

PREDICTION 1: There Will Be Coaching Changes In 2018
I caught some flak last week for writing about how Dirk Koetter may be on the hot seat soon if he didn’t fix some of Tampa Bay’s problems quickly. Some said that was way too premature. How do you feel about Koetter and his coaching staff now, Bucs fans?

Unless this team has double-digit losses this season, I actually think Koetter, who is now 11-11 as Tampa Bay’s head coach, may be safe this year – unless the Glazers decide to pursue former Bucs head coach Jon Gruden. But if the Bucs were to rally to finish 7-9 or 8-8, Koetter would likely have to make some changes to his coaching staff in order to stay without some significant improvement over the next 10 games.

Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Defensive coordinator Mike Smith may have to fall on the sword unless this team can improve in stopping the run, creating more takeaways and generating more of a pass rush. If it’s deemed that a lack of talent is more of a problem than the coaching and play-calling, Smith may stick around, but some assistants, perhaps defensive line coach Jay Hayes, would be forced out due to lack of production from their units.

Whether it’s an assistant coach or two, a coordinator or the entire coaching staff, heads will roll in January if the Bucs don’t make the playoffs in a year filled with very high expectations. The Glazers have proven to be impatient owners.

PREDICTION 2: There Will Be Empty Seats At Ray-Jay Next Week
While the boycott against the protests against the NFL players kneeling down during the National Anthem has caused plenty of empty seats around the league, that hasn’t affected Tampa Bay yet. The Bucs had two near capacity crowds in their last two home games against New York and New England.

But let’s not kid ourselves. There were an awful lot of Giants and Patriots fans in Raymond James Stadium during those games, and the Bucs’ 2017 season had just gotten underway and was in the midst of a six-game home winning streak until losing to the Patriots.

Now that the Bucs have lost their last two road games and return home 2-4 to face the 4-3 Panthers, expect a smaller and less enthusiastic crowd in Tampa Bay next Sunday as Carolina fans don’t travel nearly as well. The Bucs haven’t given their fans much to cheer about the last three weeks and it will show at the turnstiles. The guess here is around 50,000 in actual attendance – about 15,000 less than capacity.

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 27th 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 spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive coordinator/defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]
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Buc76
Buc76
4 years ago

People need to wake up. Mike Smith got run out of Atlanta. Koetter is not a head coach. Licht is not a General Manager. This whole regime needs to go. This is just the next screw up after Raheem Morris, Schiano, Lovie Smith and now this. The season is over. It’s time to clean house and bring back Gruden. Derrick Brooks General Manager. This team has no identity. It’s not going to happen with these coaches.

Horse
Horse
4 years ago

Scott you’ve got good points. I believe Licht and Koetter will be here for 2018; not sure if Smith will even make it through the season. No question there was big-time screw-ups selecting smaller and lighter defensive ends than the norm. Last year Smith said he would run a 3-4 and 4-3; time for him to show us what he can do with the 3-4. I would make Spence the fourth linebacker and let one or two of them rush every time. We don’t need to try to pick up anybody else’s DE’s or DT’s; time to use as many… Read more »

Randy H.
Randy H.
4 years ago

It’s actually 49 points in the first half this year as 6 of the first half points against the Bears came off of a Pick 6.

Randy H.
Randy H.
4 years ago

Although it may be a longshot, 9-7 might get in this year. Looking at the standings now, all of the 2nd place NFC teams, except for Seattle, are only one game above .500 and one of those is the Packers (see what they’ve done since “Superman Breaking News” went down). I think 9-7 could get in as a Wild Card this year. This season has really been strange on a week-to-week basis.

seat26
seat26
4 years ago

I am dreading a coaching change. Anything but that. We cannot continue to have a Coaching Carousel and new schemes every other year. I think our offense is set with an addition of an offensive lineman or two and a running back, all good. On defense, I hate to say I told you so, but clearly, McCoy is not the same player he was a couple of yrs ago. We should have traded him before this last draft. If Pressures were all that mattered he would still be like gold, but Sacks do matter and so does run stopping. We… Read more »

Dave
Dave
Reply to  seat26
4 years ago

Really? McCoy stinks and we should have traded him when we had the chance? You can’t be this brainless? You say hurries don’t matter, sacks do, and he doesn’t get any. Ok well first off his job absolutely IS NOT to sack the QB. His job is to be so good that he is double and triple teamed on EVERY SINGLE PLAY, which frees up the rest of the DLine to have 1 on 1’s. Which is a huge win for the DLine. Except there’s one problem. The rest of the DLine is far and away the worst DLine in… Read more »

cgmaster27
cgmaster27
4 years ago

It hurts to think about another coaching change, but unless we just crash, I don’t see Koetter being fired. Licht, should get a new contract. He has some misses, and some hits, all GM’s do. But he did have a glaring oversight at our lack of pass rush. That 5 game defensive stretch at the end of the season last year was fools gold. This defense is old and not good at all. It’s going to need a complete overhaul with as many picks as you can get. Grimes looked slow today and our secondary will be a mess next… Read more »

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
Reply to  cgmaster27
4 years ago

I’m not with you completely on “the offense has done its job”. In yesterday’s game, the offense continued its really really bad habit of very slow starts, scoring only 6 points in the first half, which is crap. Then suddenly coming alive in the second half .. but then throwing it all away on what should have been the game winning drive in the last 3 minutes of play by coughing up a fumble in our own territory with the game tied at 27. You don’t lose a game by 3 points without it being a team effort. And the… Read more »

Dave
Dave
Reply to  Naplesfan
4 years ago

Naplesfan twice you said that the offense blew the opportunity to drive down for a game winning TD. So exactly how many game winning drives is Winston supposed to engineer per game? Because last time I checked, Winston already marched his team down the field for a game winning drive. I’m so tired of hearing about slow starts. And that’s a big reason for every loss. It was 10-6 at the half. So it was a 1 score game. So a slow start(in points not yards) had absolutely NOTHING to do with this loss. 27 points and 400+ yards of… Read more »

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
Reply to  Dave
4 years ago

If you’re tired of hearing about slow starts, then the answer is not for you to clap your hands over your ears and shout “”nananananananana”. The answer is for the Bucs offense to start playing all four quarters, and getting TDs instead of FGAs. It’s not just about Jameis either. I think he played a very good game, but hs is only one of 11. If you think it’s sufficient to come from behind only once, and then who cares if the result is a loss or a win, then I’m certainly not with you at all. Have you ever… Read more »

Dave
Dave
Reply to  Naplesfan
4 years ago

Well if we had a defense that didn’t resemble a division 2 college defense, than we wouldn’t need shootouts. Obviously it wouldn’t hurt for the offense to get more TD’s instead of FG’s early in the game. That’s common sense. But is it anything more than a minor reason Why this team is struggling, absolutely not! I don’t care when the points are put up as long as they’re put up. There’s a bunch of factors going into the slow starts. And it’s far from just Jameis. Horrible play calling, stupid penalties, dropped passes, ineffective ground game, and some credit… Read more »

Xavier
Xavier
4 years ago

Play calling on def. and off. Is a really big problem right now. Coaching preparing the team for games is also a really big problem, just rewind to the cardinals game. To much talent on this team and the def. is definitely not motivated, I think on offense it’s mainly the play calling and basic schemes. The coaches have to tweak something and get a winning streak started which I can’t help to laugh at, after watching this team DO LITERALLY the same thing they did last season, I can only blame coaches and ownership….

cgmaster27
cgmaster27
4 years ago

Well as I sit and watch this falcons game, I get more and more pissed off. This division is ripe for the plucking and were just giving games away. Also just saw acrossed the wire that Spence may need season ending shoulder surgery. Fantastic! That 2016 draft is a straight bust at this point.

Alldaway 2.0
Alldaway 2.0
4 years ago

Conte should not be a starter! I said it in the off season…if the Bucs do not upgrade the safety spot to force Conte to the bench they failed the off season priority on defense.

Why was JJ Wilcox traded away? And why is Ward a “part time player”?

J. Evans is clearly not ready and it is not his fault the team insists on trotting Conte out there.

Next, the defensive line needs a shake up.

Xavier
Xavier
Reply to  Alldaway 2.0
4 years ago

Safeties are weak as hell, but I dunno if that is from play calling not in position or not running the reads. Def. as a whole just looks off. To much talent on defense to be getting run all over and scored on in less than 2 mins. That’s been happening allot this season.

Buc 1976
Buc 1976
Reply to  Alldaway 2.0
4 years ago

The Bucs defense as off this moment is NOT a play-off caliber defense.
They have tried to infuse over the hill defensive linemen instead off drafting some what they saw in Spence is Von Miller type player and he is not. The 2018 draft has some good looking defensive linemen so Jason L. Get a couple.

Dave
Dave
Reply to  Alldaway 2.0
4 years ago

Couldn’t agree more. The main reason for this Bucs defense being this bad is because of horrendous coaching, scouting, and play calling. Mike Smith needs to be fired NOW! Not tomorrow, not next week, and not in the off-season, NOW! Don’t wait, do it now! Bucs coaching is in the bottom 1/3 of the league. And it was on full display this game. Here’s your scouting report on the Bills. They rank 29th in pass offense, 2nd in rushing attempts per game, and are 1 of only 2 teams( Jags being the other) who run more than they throw( 29.2… Read more »

Buc 1976
Buc 1976
Reply to  Dave
4 years ago

Conte must practice well in games he is a step slow.

Dman
Dman
4 years ago

The offensive side of the ball is young, they make mistakes, but there’s talent. The D is old – period. There is emerging talent – LB’s safety from A&M starting to come around. The rest is pretty bad. I don’t think you can coach enough to overcome the talent deficiency. Special teams with Anger and the return of Murray could be solid for a while. There are only so many draft picks, undrafted free agents and free agents that you can pick-up in a year. I’m gonna say Licht has done some good things, not good [trade up for Roberto].… Read more »

Xavier
Xavier
Reply to  Dman
4 years ago

I think the team was developed more around an explosive offense this season, but with the atrocious def and the not so explosive offense our weakness is showing. Goes back to coaching sadly. To late in the season to nuke the defense. We have this problem almost every season all the way back to testeverde days.. we kinda look like the 80’s Bucs this season.

Bill
Bill
4 years ago

I think the offense is close to being set. We have a lot of young talented players. I think this off season needs to start a complete defensive rebuilding. I am talking from the coordinator all the way down. No chance of making the playoffs this year so maybe we stick a few of the younger players in there and see of er have any keepers but the underachieving aging vets need to go.

SCLOBERNOCKER
SCLOBERNOCKER
4 years ago

Keep Cutter, fire Smith, and switch to a 34. As mich ad i prefer a 43, this team is far closer to a 34 roster. LB is the kost talented squad on the team and only ones tgat can rush worth a damn.

stlbucsfan
stlbucsfan
4 years ago

Anybody who thinks Mike Smith is the problem with the defense doesn’t have a clue. Licht did the man no favors by adding no one to the pass rush, not factoring in father time with Grimes and banking on the worst CB in football becoming an aggressive ball hawk by osmosis. We chose to pursue FAs like TJ Ward when others like Joe Haden made more sense. We heard so much about Spence all summer but to me he’s never flashed anything more than an occasional speed rusher. His pass rushing arsenal seems to be very limited and results in… Read more »

macabee
macabee
4 years ago

I love our local pen and mic club (media analysts), but they never ask the hard questions in Koetter’s press conferences. What are you going to do about the defense?, What do think the problems are? and Can you fix them? They all come home and write about the issues but never confront the coach straight-on about them. And oh by the way, where is GM Jason Licht. He must be hidden away in a secure location because I have seen no visual sightings, no televised interviews, no press box appearances, not even a cameo sitting in the stands. The… Read more »

macabee
macabee
Reply to  Scott Reynolds
4 years ago

Scott, I went back and listened to Koetter’s last presser and some of those questions were asked indirectly by asking why they were giving up the explosive plays? And he replied as you suggested about the run fits and poor tackling. He says it is not talent, but execution. You did a wonderful job in your piece to unravel the coach speak and call it what it is. PR has taken a bold stance in holding this administration accountable and even pointing out the possible consequences if it is not corrected. You stand alone in that regard. But the question… Read more »

Horse
Horse
Reply to  macabee
4 years ago

Macabee, I think most of us got it and you weren’t challenging Scott to ask tougher questions because we all know they won’t answer them. What I don’t understand is why not use the Practice Squad to sign up potential players and move them up to the 53 man roster or cut them and find some more. No one can’t tell me those last 3 or 4 players are a must like Joe Hawley or even Barber, or Reedy at this point. Baker has shown us nothing and Conte has lost a step; try some other players, we got nothing… Read more »

chetthevette
chetthevette
4 years ago

Where the hell is Monte Kiffen. Please please call him up. He has got to be 90 years old, but so what. Just have him come in, we can’t be any worse. I have Back Conte in the past but not any more. Put Ward in and keep him in. Why did we sign him? To sit on the bench? Play the man. We can’t be any worse. Hargreaves, what a joke. The kid is scared to look bad and that causes him to look horrible. Tell him to man up. Why did we sign Baker? Same thing, get his… Read more »

Dave
Dave
Reply to  chetthevette
4 years ago

Chetthevette perfectly put! In a game against the 2nd ranked team in rushing attempts per game who also ranks 29th in passing offense, our 2 best run stoppers( Ward and Baker) barely see the field. That is the definition of HORRENDOUS coaching. That’s Kyle Shanahan in the 2nd half of the SB level bad. Mike Smith needs to be fired NOW!! He was the single biggest reason they lost this game. Does he not study the opponent and their strengths and weaknesses? If not, does he do anything at all that gives this defense a chance to be successful? Because… Read more »

76Buc
76Buc
4 years ago

I’m getting old (70). Been waiting too long. I’m disgusted with what’s happening to the NFL, so I only watch the bucs, but I’m now out until things change.

surferdudes
4 years ago

If Gruden wants back in, it’s a done deal. Scott, you were just a week ahead of your time when wrote, Gruden lurking. It will be awfully awkward Monday night near season’s end when Jon is inducted into the ring of honor, and we have a losing record. I can see Joel now, I’d also like to announce tonight the firing of Koetter, Licht, welcome back Jon!! Firing Koetter for anyone other then Gruden would be a mistake. Firing Koetter for a superbowl winning coach, an honor inductee, pillar of your very own community is the only move that would… Read more »

GoldsonAges
GoldsonAges
4 years ago

Licht is a good GM but has been outright bad at drafting since Jon Robinson was hired as GM in Tennessee. They need to upgrade their drafting dept. They are lacking severely. They had consensus on VH3 and Aguayo? Not very good. DSmith was supposed to be a top shelf guard. He may be one day. He surely isn’t cutting it at left tackle. I’ll stop there but as a draftnik could go on for days on the failures. Koetter is a good coach with a good system but JW should have full autonomy to audible into a better play… Read more »

Dave
Dave
Reply to  GoldsonAges
4 years ago

GoldsonAges agree with mostly everything you wrote. Especially with Jameis being able to call the plays at the line and audible to a better play based on the look he’s seeing, and your opinion on Mike Smith. Agree on both 100%

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
4 years ago

I certainly don’t know the relative contributions of talent, schemes, gametime coaching, and player effort. We’ll have to grind our way through the rest of this season to see what the results are. But the team we see now, with the upcoming 6 divisional games all of which could easily be losses (Atlanta, Carolina, and New Orleans are certainly all easily capable of beating the Bucs as they are today), the end result could well be double digit losing season. I don’t know that anybody necessarily survives that outcome – from GM on down to coaches and any and all… Read more »

devasher
devasher
4 years ago

How exactly are Jay Hayes and Mike Smith supposed to make the defense a formidable unit with the lack of talent on the line and in the secondary? If you look at Robert Ayers, a player in his early 30’s who has rarely been counted on for sacks, or Gholston/Spence who have never produced NFL sacks, where was the expectation coming from? Compound that with Vernon Hargreaves showing that he is one of the worst corners in the league when left outside and Brent Grimes showing his age, what defensive coordinator or line coach is going to beat their opponent… Read more »

Horse
Horse
Reply to  devasher
4 years ago

Dude, you get creative. Blitz one two three people and tighten up on the LOS with your corners and have them hit their wide receiver then drop back. How about playing some man-to-man? How about a 6-2- 3. How about a Zone with two of your DB’s playing man-to-man. Make them so deep and nothing else and we’ll take our chances. Lots you can do, but to do nothing and rely on just hope and luck isn’t going to make it.