Post game shouting matches between teammates are more of a symptom of the problem than the problem itself.

In the Bucs locker room Sunday there was a reported skirmish when, per Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, a few players apparently didn’t approve of defensive tackle Chris Baker’s jovial demeanor. Coach Dirk Koetter said he didn’t have all the facts, as he wasn’t in the locker room at the time, but that a little confrontation isn’t unusual for a team fresh off a close loss.

Dirk Koetter spoke about the Doug Martin signing today –“That’s why they call [the minutes after] a cooling off period,” Koetter said Tuesday. “Emotions are running hot. We had a lot of nice opportunities to win [but] we couldn’t do it. No one’s happy about that. I don’t think that would be the first or last time [a shouting match has] ever happened.”

Smiling that soon after defeat is a bad look for any player, but Baker’s reported body-language was particularly damning. It was his offside penalty moments earlier that set the Panthers up with fourth-and-1 from the Bucs 3-yard line, a nearly impossible situation to defend against a 245-pound mobile quarterback. And Baker hasn’t exactly earned the credibility for mistakes like that either.

The penalty was just the latest blunder – and possibly the breaking point for a few of his teammates – in an underwhelming season for the 30-year old tackle.

Since signing a three-year deal worth over $15 million in the offseason, the former Redskin has 32 tackles and a half sack in Tampa. He’s on pace to play around 300 less snaps than last year in Washington, where he had 47 tackles and three more sacks.

On Wednesday, defensive coordinator Mike Smith also deflected attention away from the heated exchange, instead pointing the frustration to the offside penalty.

“Pre-snap penalties, you just can’t have them,” Smith said. “It wasn’t the only one we had in the game. In terms of that specific play, it was one of a handful of plays that had a big effect on the game. That’s the way it is every week.

“In terms of [the post-game confrontation], a locker room is like a family. You’re going to have squabbles. Guess what happens when it’s over? You kiss and you make up and move on. You move forward. These guys are now focused on moving forward and getting a win against the New Orleans Saints this weekend.”

 

Koetter wouldn’t assess Baker’s overall performance this season, saying that they’ll evaluate every player at the end of the year.

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

As for Jameis Winston’s emotional meltdown at the end of the game, Koetter just relayed what he knew about the player and situation.

“Jameis is a fighter and a great competitor and he felt like he recovered the fumble all the way,” Koetter said. “[The refs] went up and waved it Carolina’s ball right off the bat, then took a long time to unpile them.

“When they came up from the pile, Jameis and Julius Peppers, Jameis had the football. He told me he had it the whole time. But the fact that he got a penalty on it – the game was over at that point, so it didn’t matter. But obviously you don’t want unsportsmanlike penalties.”

Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders. Contact him at: [email protected]

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Amo
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Amo

Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son. Baker will be in the WWE in a year or so after burning through his millions. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

scubog
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scubog

Hysterical! Five thumbs down from folks who apparently live their lives “fat, drunk and stupid”. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

Horse
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Horse

Glad to hear other players are standing up and demanding better players performance. Go Bucs! Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

Buc 1976
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Buc 1976

Yes House it is about TIME! Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

surferdudes
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Koetter, didn’t have all the facts, wasn’t in the locker room. Remember the incident on the sideline with Lattimore, Evans, and Winston? Koetter, I didn’t see what happened. Still want this guy leading the team next year? What I see is Martin getting a second chance, then dissing team rules, yet he still has a job. Nice picture of Baker feeding his face in uniform. Koetter hasn’t lost the locker room, truth is, he never commanded it. Don’t give me that B.S. players are playing hard for him. They know he’s gone, they’re playing to save their own asses, film… Read more »

Jlog
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Jlog

He was too busy on the phone looking for his next job. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

Buc 1976
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Buc 1976

In the preseason I made a comment that I read and it said the ROOKIES had laughed at Baker because of the way he practiced. Almost everyone gave me the thumbs down. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

maarnold1775
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maarnold1775

Koetter is in way over his head. He’s lost control over this team and has no clue how to fix it. He needs to go! Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

Buc-in-Philly Fan
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Buc-in-Philly Fan

I recall Naplesfan telling me how ridiculous I was for calling out how lazy Baker was and defending his play. This guy has been very lackluster with his efforts right from training camp and came in with the rep as giving poor effort. I’m not sure if they didn’t want to spend the money on C Campbell because the Glazers didn’t want to or Licht or Smith didn’t want too but I can tell you Campbell did not come with that bad reputation. Another poor move IMO, was D Jackson. I initially liked the idea but this last game showed… Read more »

owlykat
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owlykat

You are right Buc in Philly and now Jackson’s vehicle was found wrecked with bullets and Marijuana found inside. He has not produced as he should have and doesn’t show great effort to lay out for balls from Winston. Both he and the smiling loser who just jumped off sides after being warned to watch the ball were both bad choices by Licht who has a terrible overall record on his free agent picks. He could have used that money and hired Calais Campbell who has balled for Jax this year. Licht needs to walk the plank! Rate this item:Thumb… Read more »

skipper
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skipper

Many reports coming out with regard to Jackson’s vehicle. Looks like it could be someone else who borrowed his car. Nevertheless, even if it was not Jackson, he is hanging with thugs. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

scubog
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scubog

I’m never a big fan of free agency. What I find humorous here is the folks who don’t quite seem to understand that it’s a two way street. To say the Bucs could have had Campbell instead of Baker infers the ex Cardinal wanted to sign here. I sure don’t recall him saying, “Gee, I really wanted to play on that 31st ranked defense, but they were too cheap to pay me.” I had never even heard of “Swaggy” Baker before he showed up here. On the positive side I liked that he had a sense of humor. I didn’t… Read more »

surferdudes
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Campbell might not have wanted to come here, doesn’t mean the money couldn’t have been spent better. All these F.A.’s having issues can’t make the Glazer’s happy. None have had then intended affect, a winning record, that’s the real issue. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please wait...

drdneast
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drdneast

The last I read, having bullets in your car, or a gun for that matter, isn’t against the law. So why the big deal about two bullets. Did they find pizza boxes in the truck Why not mention them as well? So inane. It may not matter to the anti-Koetter crowd, but these players have been playing their best ball since Winston returned. The same can’t be said for the last three coaches, including Gruden, when their final seasons were nearing an end. Everyone of those coaches teams tanked and went belly up. Not Koetters. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit… Read more »