Cover 3 is a weekly feature column written by’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat writer Trevor Sikkema published every Tuesday. The column, as its name suggests, comes in three phases: a statistical observation, an in-depth film breakdown, and a “this or that” segment where the writer asks the reader to chose between two options.

Sikkema’s Stat of the Week

At 3-5, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have nearly closed the door on a chance at their goal already halfway through the season. If you ask the odds of statistics, they’ll tell you that there is only an eight percent chance the Buccaneers will even reach the playoffs at such a record.

A loss this week resulting in a 3-6 record would bring Tampa Bay’s chances to two percent – all but over.

But, even if they do pick up the win against a traveling Washington team this upcoming week, it’s hard to think the Buccaneers will truly have what it takes to turn things around, and the reason is coaching.

Since going 9-7 in 2016, the Bucs are just 8-16 over the last two seasons under head coach Dirk Koetter. They finished fourth in the NFC South last season, and as of right now, they’re poised to repeat that this year.

But it’s not always results. I’ve talked my head off with stats for quarterbacks, wide receivers, secondary players, front four players; you name it. But where I often used stats to bring context, I’ve also admitted that you can usually bend numbers to make them say whatever you’re arguing on either side – that’s probably why sports always seem to stay so interesting and heated even though the same teams win every year. What’s more important than the results is the progress, and as of right now, the Bucs’ progress under Dirk Koetter is not only unsustainable when it comes to the small amounts of success they’ve had, but shallow even when it does, leaving less-than-inspiring hope for the future.

I didn’t come to that conclusion on my own, though. It’s Koetter’s words that led me here.

Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

“If I had the answers I’d fix it,” has been a quote slightly altered, but its message uttered none the less a handful of times over the past two seasons. At first, it was red zone woes. Then it was soft coverage on defense. Then it became what to do with the running game. Then it was communication issues. Now it’s lack of discipline and an overall failure to find wins on Sundays.

Much like I think we may have been given false hope about just how far along Jameis Winston was coming out of Florida State due to his first year with the Seminoles, I think the 9-7 season in 2016 is also revealing itself to be fool’s gold for this regime as time has gone on.

There have been two drafts, two coordinator switches, and major player signings since 2016, and the Bucs have only gotten worse, and it is becoming harder and harder for me to believe they will get better.

There can’t be communication issues in Year 3 of the same coaching staff. You can no longer make excuses for the players you opted to keep and try to develop as they struggle to produce on the field while the rest of the NFL can turnover talent so quickly. You can’t take what was a promised franchise quarterback and allow him to not progress to the point of being benched while your team is suppose to be in “win now mode.” You can’t be on pace to be the worst defense in NFL history. You can’t tell us offensive line play has been fine when we know it’s cost this team games. You can’t tell us you have faith in a kicker who barely has faith in himself.

You just can’t.

When you look at all of those things, either Koetter and his staff truly don’t know what they’re doing (not sure if I believe that) or they just don’t know how to get it through to the players (maybe more believable). Or perhaps it’s a mix of both.

And that’s where Winston comes in.

I believe the Buccaneers are nearing a fork in the road, one that will define the franchise for the next few years. At the end of 2018, I believe the organization will have to make a choice: This regime or Winston. Perhaps the answer could be neither, but it is becoming clear to me that it can’t be both.

Winston was down right terrible in Cincinnati. I’m not backing down from that, in the spirit of the column I wrote last week about him losing the reins of a franchise that was once on a silver platter for him. But the element of coaching – or correct coaching – has to be a factor, more so than I previously weighed.

Koetter clearly cannot get through to his players after watching them give up five straight touchdowns to the Panthers on Sunday, so now I have to question what his ability to get through to Winston has been over the last three years. Don’t get me wrong, Winston should still naturally be further along that he currently showed in his last start. That part is on him, and something that still makes me question exactly who he can be as an NFL starting quarterback.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston - Photo by: Mary Holt/PR
Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Mary Holt/PR

But when it comes to the improvement of the team and Winston in particular, the reason I said perhaps Winston needs a fresh start elsewhere is because I wasn’t sure how much of a housecleaning the Bucs organization would get next season. And if it wasn’t mass changes than why would I expect a different Winston – or results as a team – than what I’ve seen?

If games like the one in Carolina happen a few more times, the house ought to be cleaned with a pressure washer.

Why? Culture.

It’s real. It’s why I tell people the Bucs are the Browns of the NFC. It’s why I suggested it might be time to move on from Winston; I wondered if Tampa Bay had ruined him like they ruin other talented players, and my internal debate on that spiked after I watched the performance I saw last Sunday.

These players have a culture of losing in them. Not that they go into games thinking they’ll lose, or that they like losing. But they accept it. “It is what it is.” I don’t know when or even if it can be shaken. It’s becoming clear that this coaching staff isn’t the one to pull them out of it.

We hear the players constantly say they like their position coaches, the coordinators, and even Koetter himself. I’m not out to call them liars. I bet they do. But they’re losers together – at least they have been up until now. There’s no way around it. There is no change going on. No one is playing more focused. Outside of scoring more points and being better in the red zone there is no elevation of execution elsewhere. When the Bucs went down 21-7 against the Panthers, the attitude from the guys on the field felt like the same old, same old.

This coaching staff has had three years – some, including offensive line coach George Warhop (five years) have had more – to get this sense of losing, this sense of miscommunication, this sense that failure is fine out of this franchise. They haven’t done it. They’ve just become another group of names in the history line of coaches and front office members that run a decade long of disappointment now.

For that, they will have to choose.

By the time the year is up the Glazers will need to know who they believe in more. Do they believe Koetter has been handcuffed by a quarterback that is too stubborn to learn, or will they believe this coaching staff failed to truly change the players for the better?

My faith in Winston has been rocked, but my faith in this current Bucs regime may be unrepairable after seeing what I saw (again) on Sunday.

Winston will likely get another chance to prove himself this season, but even if he does that, how much can you believe he will stay consistent from the end-of-the-year ride to when games matter again Week 1 of 2019?

Who knows who’s coaching by then?

Who knows who’s playing quarterback?

All I can say is one of them will be different than it is now.

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  1. Dirk is done. Anybody who watches football knows this. He’s done some great things with the offense, but for all those great things on offense, the defense has been completely neglected and it shows week in and week out. You cannot win in this league without defense and ball protection. We have neither and this is Koetter’s downfall.

    I think Winston’s survival will depend on who the new GM is and who the new coach are. Do they want to hitch their wagon to Winston for a year? I probably would just because the QB class in 2020 is much better if Winston turns out to be a bust.

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    • I sadly agree. We have an Atlanta problem: Koetter/Smith got fired from Dirty Bird land and flipped the HC role in the move south to Tampa… bringing in Grimes (from Atlanta by way of Miami) required all this crazy off coverage that simply doesn’t work with modern offenses/rules. More importantly, the Atlanta crew lacks creativity pre-game and are absolutely clueless in-game. They not only can’t make adjustments, they don’t even know the meaning of the word. And when you don’t/can’t learn and adjust on the fly… you get blown out as a team and tuned out as a staff. Aargh!

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      • I would disagree with you making in-game adjustments. Alot of second half’s the defense shows up, and the offense makes a run. That doesn’t happen unless there are major adjustments. However, I would go on to say that the staff can’t seem to get their players ready for the first half, which is absolutely incredible. I’ve never seen a team be so awful in the first half of football, and then come out and make it a game in the second. It’s baffling.

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  2. Despite the turnovers, the offense is putting up record points and stats. If we have an average defense, we only have 1 or 2 losses. The talent and offensive scheme, while not perfect, is not the issue. If you fire Dirk, changes to the offense are bound to happen…is that what we REALLY need to do? Give us a quality DC and watch what happens. In 2001 we had the defense, and Chucky brought enough offense. Right now we have the offense, bring enough defense and we’re hard to stop.

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    • sounds good but doesnt matter if you’re still gonna get out coached & have your team unprepared every week… how potent is this offense with a decent defense most of their points & yardage during Dirk time here has come in “garbage time” after his team has come out flat… how many scoreless 1st quarters has this team had during the Dirk era? not moving the ball on offense & giving up points on defense… 1st half this season this team has avg 14 pts… not bad, take away the 1st 2 games and its only 10 pts…

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      • We avg 15 points in the first half of games. Only 3 of our 8 games have we failed to score at least 13 points in the first half. Since we are only avg 28.6 ppg the majority of our points have come in the first half of games and aren’t garbage points.

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        • 49% of our yards come in the first half of games also. We only avg 13.25 ypg more in the 2nd half of games. Ironically enough majority of 2nd half yards come from Winston. Winston at QB our offense avg1st half yards 207 2nd half 246. Fitz at QB offense is avg first half 219.4 and 2nd half 218.8.

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        • i literally said they avg 14pt per game in the 1st half this season LOL but you had to make it about winston SMFH… you can put lipstick on a pig all you want…it’ still a pig!! for 3 seasons this team has lost the game in the 1st half because the TEAM comes out flat in EVERY phase… that’s on Dirk… PERIOD!!!

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          • Our defense is a 2nd half defense but our offense is balanced between halves. Stats show that. In past years we may have come out flat on offense but this year our offense is avg more points in the first half of games than the 2nd half so its just our defense.

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    • Meh, the Bucs lead the league in both turnovers/game and turnovers/drive.

      The Bucs have very similar offenses and defenses in terms of production, particularly points. The ATL O is a little worse and the ATL D a little better.

      But you know the biggest different between the teams? Bucs O leads the league in turnovers and ATL O is near the bottom.

      Yeah, the D sucks. But you make the D a lot worse by turnover it over 25% of drives. That means 1/4 of the time the Bucs start a drive they will turn it over. That is TERRIBLE.

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    • I agree, except that we also need much better defensive players. Licht has proved over and over and over and over and over again that he is no judge of defensive talent, whether free agents or draft pick. He only occasionally gets one right, like JPP. A stopped clock is still correct twice a day. That is nowhere near good enough. The bottom line is the bottom line – worst defense in the league two years in a row, on track to be the worst defense in NFL history.

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  3. Why can’t the bucs get out of last place in division? The bucs gm had plenty of time to get quality players and he has failed. Winston has had years to learn his craft in the nfl and failed as a starting qb . Coaches of defense don’t seem to have a clue and the head coach has made some very questionable calls….time is coming to clean house !!!

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  4. Interesting read. Interesting how the coaching staff is responsible for these problems when some of them can be traced back to Jason Licht which is not reported on here. Some are the fault of the player plain and simple.

    “You can’t take what was a promised franchise quarterback and allow him to not progress to the point of being benched while your team is suppose to be in “win now mode.”

    First, it was not Koetter who got Winston suspended. Forgotten in all of this is Winston was progressing from year 1 to year 2, and year 2 to year 3. This year he has regressed badly and that can be traced to one thing – his suspension. Not spending time with the coaching staff has nothing to do with the coaching staff but everything to do with Winston. To place the blame on Koetter for benching Winston because he won’t stop throwing INTs is just ridiculous. If he was playing like Mariotta did against the Cowboys last night, this would not even be a discussion. However, he is not and it can be traced back to his suspension for the most part as he was not regressing in 2017.

    “You can’t tell us you have faith in a kicker who barely has faith in himself.”

    Kicker Matt Bryant was cut by Licht and Koetter and replaced with a bunch of kickers – Shane Andrus, Mike Nugent, Connor Barth, Rian Lindell, Patrick Murray, Roberto Aguayo, and Nick Folk. Now we are on Chandler who is a good long range kicker, but after that, not great. That is not Koetter’s fault the GM cannot find a good kicker – that is the GMs fault.

    “You can’t be on pace to be the worst defense in NFL history. ”

    While true, Koetter knows nothing about the defense – just like Lovie Smith knows nothing about the offense who proceeded him. Just like Tony Dungy knew nothing about the offense. Just like Gruden knew nothing about the defense. Yes, in the end, the head coach takes responsibility but most NFL head coaches know one side of the ball and not the other. The problem here is that Koetter and Licht don’t seem to know what kind of defensive coordinator they need. Monte Kiffin lasted 12 years before he left to support his son in the college ranks. He was the last defensive coordinator the Bucs had who was extremely good. Since then the defense has deteriorated. They need a strong defensive coordinator to turn this unit around, assuming it has the necessary talent to make it work (which I am not sure about). I don’t think Licht or Koetter have any idea on how to do that – leading us the GM being the problem again as well.

    Just pointing out while nice to lay the blame for all of this on Koetter, there is more than enough blame to go around to get rid of the GM as well. Winston will get year 5 if the team can get past his off-fiend issues. Why? That suspension messed up his progression and other top NFL QBs of today progressed like Winston did his first three years and took a leap their fourth year. I think Winston lost this year due to his suspension and will get one more chance to turn it around – with this staff or another.

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    • great points but i believe Matt Bryant was cut by the last regime after he was injured during the offseason and let go after he couldn’t kick all of pre-season that year…

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      • gafikdetail – you are correct. I checked and the timing is off. It was not Koetter and Licht with the kicker. He left in 2008, Licht came into the role in 2014. So Licht folly on the kicker holds true, but he is not responsible for losing Matt Bryant. Thanks!

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    • Mark Dominik (and Raheem Morris) were responsible for cutting Matt Bryant, not Licht.

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      • tpeluso – thanks for that correction, you are correct.

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    • What seems to be lost in this discussion is that there does seem to be some glimmers of hope for the Bucs moving forward. The DL is playing much better than they were at the beginning of the season. That was the biggest problem from last year, and it seems to be going in the right direction. If and when the OL actually opens a hole for the RBs, Barber is able to bang through for good yardage.

      If its a culture of losing which is at the root of it all, whose fault is it? It’s not necessarily on the coaching staff, most of whom have only been here for 3 years or less. With the possible exception of Brent Grimes, it certainly is not on the secondary. The only members of that defense who have spanned multiple coaching regimes are McCoy, David, and Gholston. Perhaps it’s the front office and owners who have spawned this culture, if it does exist.

      While he may well get the ax at the end of the season, Koetter seems to be one of the only people in the organization willing to change the way they approach things. He’s let play calling duties go to his OC (is this still the case Trevor?), he’s soliciting opinions from his players, he let his close friend and former DC go (although I think we all agree it should have been done much sooner), and he’s benched the Bucs’ franchise QB when needed. As much as I can tell, his only fireable offense, apart from his record, is his game planning.

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      • Great points EricNV. I don’t disagree with anything you wrote. I just don’t think (and many agree) the Glazers are going to give him any more time. This is ironic, because as you said, this offense the Bucs have is the best offense they have ever had by far – and that has to do with Licht and Koetter (making the right choices, like not calling plays for the first time in his career – it really jump started this offense this season).

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  5. No need to burn the whole thing down and start from scratch.

    Koetter & Monken have got a good thing going on offense with Fitz. If Winston has to go at this point to spread dollars around elsewhere, fine. Draft a young QB to study under Fitz the next 2 years.

    Koetter has also showed he has the best quality of a HC – the ability to make tough calls like firing pals or giving up play calling. He is doing what needs to be done.

    Revamp the Defensive coaching in the offseason and draft some quality defensive players we actually need (cough..Derwin…cough), and you can have a mediocre D next year.

    Koetter steering the ship + Offense led by Monken + a mediocre Defense = Playoffs.

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    • Koetter steering the ship means the same b.s. for another year… getting out coached & having his team unprepared every week!! If he would have fired his pal last year the Bucs wouldn’t have even been in this sorry place to begin with…

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      • 7th in scoring, 2nd in yds does not seem like the team is being out coached or is unprepared from an offensive standpoint. We can certainly improve in areas (OL and RB) but even with those deficiencies we have managed to perform well on offense. I give credit to Koetter, Monken, Fitz (plus receivers) for that.

        My point is that to do an entire regime change you risk killing all offensive momentum you have as a program, with no guarantee the defense gets fixed.

        Keep in place what is working, and allow Koetter to continue to make the necessary changes with the D coaches in the off season.

        Stability is important!! Bucs fans should be tired of seeing the carousel of head coaches. Make a stand with what is working, and improve what isn’t.

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        • insanity!!! doing the same thing expecting different results… i was with you on the continuity boat for 3 seasons… & its the same spit! Dirk and this staff aint the answer… funny people throw in the towel on winston in 4 seasons but give the guy MOST responsible for this teams winning or losing the biggest pass.

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          • Here is the problem with throwing in the towel on Winston. It is too early to do that. I did an analysis elsewhere in a post where i looked at a lot of the top QBs of today and recently retired (Peyton and Eii Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees) and a few okay QBs (Alex Smith, Ryan Tannenhill).

            Interestingly enough, Winston followed a path of improvement all those QBs showed through season 3. In season 4, he diverted massively. Why? Because of his suspension. I would give him an extra year to prove his worth because with a full off season leading up to the first game of the season without laying off for nearly a month would give him every opportunity to improve. Fail to improve then, then you have no choice but to move on.

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  6. Give Winston one year with a new staff, if he doesn’t progress, then move on. Koetter is done.
    I think we should give Jason Licht one more chance to hire the right coach, but I will understand if he’s fired too (poor record with FA’s signings, the Aguayo pick, the 2016 draft as a whole, this year choice to select Vea, instead of Derwin James, and RoJo, who seems overwhelmed with the level of play in the NFL, instead of Kerryon Johnson or Darrius Guice).

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    • Licht has had a mixed record with FA signings, just like his draft record. Seems his FA signings this year are paying off. The biggest mistakes he’s made are; drafting Aguayo, not signing a FA veteran CB (other than Grimes, who is finally showing his age) during the offseason, and not forcing Koetter to fire Smith sooner.

      I don’t think there are any simple answers to all the problems the Bucs are experiencing.

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  7. No – the reason for Bucs failure is not coaching.

    The reason for Bucs failure is the complete inability of the baby Glazers to hire and retain quality personnel, especially GMs, as well as coaches.

    The bad decisions that actually put the Bucs at this position, four and a half seasons into Jason Lichts Reign of Error, are coming solely from Licht.

    Licht hired Koetter … if Koetter is a failure then the greater failure is Jason Licht, who hired him, and who was given carte blanc by the baby Glazers to both fire Lovie Smith and to hire his replacement, and to draft Jameis Winston at no. 1 overall, and to trade up into the second round to draft a failed kicker, and to produce horrible draft classes in 2016 and 2018. And on and on and on.

    No – the team does not need to choose between the lesser of two evils – a back coach and a bad quarterback. The baby Glazers need to choose between more incompetence, or to fire Licht and to hire a decent personnel man to hire the next GM and all the coaches, and to be a check on the judgment of the GM, whoever he might be. Someone to effectively be the owner’s alter ego and someone who actually knows how to build winning football franchises from the ground up.,

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    • the reason for the bucs failure is 95% coaching 5% bad timing with injuries & suspensions LOL

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      • Nope – you have it backwards. Players play. When the players don’t make plays, it is all on the players.

        And the GM selects the players.

        It takes a special kind of anti-talent to, over five successive seasons, completely destroy the one thing that the Bucs always relied upon – its defense.

        Licht’s failures are extremely obvious.

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        • great coaches get it done… PERIOD… bad coaches blame players & execution… and hire incompetent assistants

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    • No idea why you’re getting downvoted, you’re completely correct.

      Shit flows downhill. From the Glazers through Licht through Koetter through Winston through the rest of the roster.

      The entire mantra “we’re getting outcoached” doesn’t explain how successful the offense has been – with Fitz. Yeah, coaching is part of the problem overall (especially on D). But this is not a talented roster on D, on OL, at RB, and at QB.

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  8. Would rather take a chance on one year more of Winston than one more year of Koetter.

    I think we truly can see that Koetter is just outcoached every game. He has given up on his own team countless times during his tenure. I have seen enough.

    Jameis, while playing absolutely AWFUL this year, does warrant another chance.

    Jameis seems to have solved his fumbling issues for the most part. If you take Jameis’ play the last few years (not counting 2018), EVEN WITH THE INTERCEPTIONS he has been an above average QB. If Jameis can just play at his 2016 and 2017 level without the fumbles than he is at least a decent QB that still could have the potential of improving since he is just 24.

    What happened to Jameis this year to be playing worse than his rookie year? idk. But I would be willing to see what a new regime could do. Perhaps Arians would be a good voice in his ear.

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  9. Well the first issue are the GM and coach, what ever happens there will determine Winston’s fate. I think if the staff is replaced many if not most coaches would want someone other than Winston leading the offense.

    Just the fact that Winston was the number Sunday, clearly says he’s in the dog house not the outhouse.

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  10. Sorry but both Licht, and Koetter have to go. You know doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result applies here. No defense, no running game, no pass rush, no field goal kicker, no veteran depth at all positions. This is a problem we have had for 4 years now. I say, new ideas need to be brought in. Lets think outside the box for a change. Hire a president of football operations to pick the next GM, and then let them pick the next Head Coach, not the Glazers. Winston can be a good QB in this league with the right situation. If you don’t believe me, just look to Goff as a perfect example. He was worst than terrible his first year. Second year the Rams brought in a new coach and new ideas and he’s playing great. Clean house and hope it works out, we have no choice if we want to win.

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  11. If only the Buc’s flaws had anything to do with either of them. Sure, Winston has turned the ball over but, that is primarily a function of having to throw too much due to no running attack. Even with that, if our defense was even sort of good right now, we would be 7-1. Here is what is so fantastic about being a Buc’s fan. The priority of blame will be as follows: Winston, Koetter, defense, GM, Owners. When it should actually be the reverse of that. Winston is going to succeed, he’s got too much talent no to. Not sure I can say the same for anyone else on this list. I do think Koetter is out and I do think a defensive minded coach is needed at this point, unless we can pry McDaniel away from NE.

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  12. Koetter has proved he can’t win with two different QBs this year. So why should they get him a new one next year. Jameis will be here one more year with a new offense to prove if he can be the QB for this team or not. Koetter is gone. Licht may or may not get another year.

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  13. They should both be gone, along with Licht. Nothing from Winston’s play warrants the +$20 million he would make next season. It doesn’t matter who would be starting at QB instead of him. Win or lose, he would not be making as much as Winston would and Winston will lead to losses.

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  14. Trevor nailed it. Koetter has clearly and totally demonstrated that he is not a winning head coach. Monken has done a good job with the offense. Licht has added some top quality players, but Koetter can’t adequately train or manage them.

    The Glazers have not been able to pick coaches very well, so they need some outside help in replacing Koetter, or it could be more of the same with the next HC.

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  15. I enjoyed the comments more than the article this week.

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  16. Well the fans seem to have more ideas and thoughts as to what is going on than the Glazers, GM, Coaches, or Players.

    Here’s my thoughts.
    Based on my knowledge about true value of money I have come to the following conclusion; most people can be motivated by money and competition. Too many people in this organization is being overpaid and most are not performing at their true value.
    1. Pick out the ones that are performing to there True Value. They have to determine what is there true value mean in and stick to their guns on making changes.
    2. Offer to the ones who are not performing to their expectations their contract payout has to be changed with the understanding if they do perform to their truevalue we will redo the contract. Those who say no then I say goodbye.
    3. Those that we know will not make their true value performance ever we should just release.
    This is my groundrules and based on those rules here’s what I’m going to do.
    New regime required. There are a couple coaches I think we should try to keep and there are several players we should keep plus any 1 , 2, 3 year players. Rookiea now are at 1 year.. In other words I’m going to play like Moneyball and the way the Rays have done it last 3 years which has put them in a good place.
    I’m tired of Hope. I’m being selfish and I would like to see the Bucs make it back to the Super Bowl before I leave this world.

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  17. The Home TEAM has been fooled. The Home TEAM fans have been embarrassed enough. Stick a fork in it and move on from JW!

    JW doesn’t have the facilities to be elite at this point in his career nor should the Home TEAM be saddled with trying to wait another 4 to 100 years for him to care about a ball instead of garbage stats.

    Koetter might keep his job for two reasons only! His offensive scheme works (top ranked offense) and the players don’t quit on him like they have JW! This dud is on Lovie and Licht!

    All fans of the Home TEAM prayed to the football gods that it wasn’t a mistake and he would grow up sooner than later but they can’t fix it either. His arrogance (not confidence) is JW’s biggest flaw because confidence has success – arrogance shows no effort for change.

    Licht has to move on but the downside is most GMs want to pick their team

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    • Arrogance? So you talk to Jameis AMD know hes arrogant as I’ve been watching him for 6 years and never heard that. Keep reaching. And saying koetter should get another year is comical.hes had one winning season in 4 but hey,its all Jameis fault right?

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      • I don’t think you could hear it if you wanted to, honestly. Most JW fans hold him up on quite a pedestal, sometimes above the Home TEAM. “Minor setback …” is proof enough for me! Or you can even throw in there “I’m the best chance for this team to win …” drips of arrogance. If he means that this minor setback that has completely destroyed the hope of the fans this season or the fact that the talent around him can’t win without him isn’t proof then so be it.

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  18. we have to change coaches, we can’t go another year of this crap!

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  19. I am willing to give Winston a second chance with real comptition like a Bridgewater or a first round draft pick to make Jameis not feel entitled. I like Jack Del Rio as coach, who has a realtionship with Monken.

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    • Not for 21 million; those could help in free agency.

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  20. Very unbalanced decision choices from coaching and GM. We are stacked at receivers/tight ends but no running game. We are stacked at d line and linebackers but no secondary we depend on a 50 yr Grimes. Dirk needs to be gone with GM. Great qbs have a great balance o-line. Rb. WR. Look at brees situation. Winston since he was draft we haven’t balance the team and then with bad coaching equals to Winston slinging it trying to be hero just like when he took over FSU. Keep Monken. D line coach. And duffner. Hire Bruce arians and he will take Winston to elite. Look what he did with Carson Palmer and a young rothlosberger and young Andrew luck. Hire a good motivator d coach. Trade McCoy he is a soft guy and the defense is soft.

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  21. The only coach I would keep would be Monken, everybody else would be gone. Licht has to be gone because he is too hit and miss with his draft picks and especially the free agent signings. I graduated from FSU and I had rose colored glasses on with Winston for too long (still seeing that Heisman Trophy season where he was amazing), he is a QB that can only hit intermediate passes and makes too many boneheaded decisions (reminds of Jay Cutler now). I would rather Fitz and Bridgewater or Fitz and a QB from the draft if we bottom out than anything and Winston. Del Rio would be interesting as a head coach, but we have to find a good offensive line coach and secondary coach.

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  22. Well… last week I was convinced that Dirk was the guy. This week my eyes tell me that he obviously is better suited as a coordinator than a head coach. I think it’s been proven (Bill Belichick) that good coaching gets average talent to win and that good talent with average coaching does not. But what do I know? Im humbled in my stance as to what’s best for this organization. The campaign for a football operator to bring class and a sense of professionalism to our scattered vision of what a franchise is supposed to be, seems like the answer. Someone who can bring a sense of pride and order to Tampa like Dungy did. We can all speculate from week to week as the problem of the day arises but none of us knows (except Mark Cook, that guy is a genius) what to say because this problem obviously goes higher than the coach or the players. It’s been too long of being soft and lackadaisical. Someone please hold our GM and Coach accountable. Someone who can say, “sorry Dirk, I’ve seen enough of Mike Smith to know ive seen enough” before letting him do the unthinkable and bring Smith back for 2018. It would be in Koetter and Lichts best interest to not be on an island being told not to fail as opposed to having someone have their back and say, “I’m not going to let you fail”. Someone make sure that we have honor and pride in our organization.

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    • This is a really great post. The organization is essentially like being in a car with all the windows painted black. No one has any vision. The Patriots, Steelers, Packers, etc. win because the organization has vision. We have none at this point. I’m buckled in to watch us go over the cliff once again.

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  23. Koetter looks and sounds defeated.He is the best offensive mind we’ve ever had here, but he sure hasn’t shown any evidence that he’s a head coach. The defense is lacking talent and the scheme, if you can call it that is ineffective. I don’t blame Winston on Koetter. Winston is immature and has flaws in his game. I’m just not sure he is bright enough to be a quarterback in the NFL. But when you look around the league, you see so many franchises struggling to find that franchise quarterback. As bad as he has played, he gives you a better chance to win than at least 10 or twelve other quarterbacks. Can temperament be taught? I don’t know. It took Chuck Knoll four years to make Terri Bradshaw quit throwing interceptions and settle down. Winston’s potential would intrigue some high profile coaches. If you cut Winston, the field of eligibles will diminish. Very tough decision.

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    • It took Terry Bradshaw a Steel Curtain to “settle down” and not try to win games by himself.

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  24. If I had to choose between the two, it would be Koetter to go. I’m not sure he’s the right coach for Winston. Jimbo Fisher was constantly in Winston’s face at FSU, especially when he maked mistakes.
    Winston needs that in his HC, OC. Could Arians be that guy, or another coach?
    That’s kind of the reason I wanted to see Gruden return, because he would constantly be in Winston’s face. Second reason I wanted Gruden, was accountability which this team doesn’t have. But not at that 10/100 mill contract he got from Raiders, plus he’s traded half their roster.

    I’m going to be in the minority but I want to see them all return. I want to see Winston, Monken play calling upgrade run game & O Line with a real defense. Defense needs a complete overhaul. I would try to keep Buckner and Duffner if I could.

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  25. Easy Choice. Bring back Winston. Fire Koetter. Let a new HC evaluate Winston to see if we want to keep him.
    Fire Licht. Make Tony Dungy the new GM. Give Bruce Arians an offer he cannot refuse as HC.

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  26. I would be happy if the Glazers would hire Arians as Head Coach and Pagano as Defensive Coordinator and ask what GM they would be happy with and hire the GM last. Fire all assistant coaches except Buckner and Monken. Let Arians then get the Assistant Coaches. However forbid them to rehire Warhop. Arians can decide what Offensive and Special Team Players to keep after watching all the games this year and let Pagano decide what defensive players to keep. Insist on keeping our Cap Specialist for contracts and let the new GM decide what scouts to keep and what scouts to hire. The GM should do contracts with veterans we want to keep and should arrange trades for players we want to move but get something for them.

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  27. Completely, totally blow up the D, coaches and most players.

    I’d trade or release McCoy, David, Grimes, Gholston, Curry and only keep Alexander at a bargain basement “prove it” dealio. That saves $34 million right there (I know Grimes is on a one year deal; time for him to retire; like Austin Powers, he’s lost his mojo, Baby…) I’d put Beckwith in the middle and Alexander at Sam…his natural position.

    Add Winston to the dumpster fire. I am so over that drama queen. Now you have $55 million to retool. Time to see what Griffin can do, and Fitzpatrick still has some juice.

    Spend the entire draft on D and one RG. And screw drafting only Boy Scouts. I want players that have to be put in cages, fed raw meat, and only see daylight on game day.

    I’d put the team on an off-season strength and conditioning program from hell.

    Crank up the D in 2019 and see what QB shakes out IF the Fitz/Griffin combo shows poor potential.

    Keeping the O as is and start from scratch with a totally new D has a better chance of success than blowing up the entire team.

    The D is way too ingrained in the Softie Mike Smith Nice Guy Creampuff way, and a change at DC with the same staff and players mid-season won’t help.

    The morale is down because every man on that team KNOWS the defense is the worst ever fielded on an NFL team. And I doubt ONE player blames Koetter for the failures of Mike Smith and the soft mental midgets on the D (a few exception on the D.)

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  28. More than anything, Licht has got to go with his failure of a #1 draft pick. The Winston has too much talent argument doesn’t hold up with me. Licht has gotten us here, so his pink slip should be the first one given. Unfortunately that means a total reset.

    I’ve seen enough from Winston, and in this day and age want more out of my QB. He should have been hanging on to the ball instead of Uber drivers. Winston is gone.

    I’d personally like to see Koetter with a better DC, as I think his offense is great and would be even better with a defense that got the ball back and on short fields.

    Don’t see why so many want to keep Duff if we blow it up, I haven’t seen him save anything yet.

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  29. Spot on Trevor. You want to see the difference culture makes, look at the Michigan Wolverines. Under Brady Hoke they were losers, losing, with losses in their dreams. In comes Harbaugh and there’s immediate change, followed by continued growth and wins, then finally after a full cycle this year they are true contenders.

    A culture from losers to winners brought about by a total front office clean out.

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  30. Stick with Winston.
    Koetter have chose his fate when he did NOTHING with our defense during this offseason and that showed me how far he is from getting things done. You have the WORST defense in football and you bring every coordinator back? WTF! I know Hayes was fired but that happened for some other reason other then Koetter’s will.
    Go Bucs!!!

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  31. This topic has been debated many times over the past 40+ seasons. Rarely, if ever, has the fan base been totally behind the ownership, the GM, Head Coach and the QB all at once. Once again, the “baby” Glazers, as Naples calls them, will likely face the dubious task of hiring yet another GM and/or HC to hopefully one day grace the Ring of Honor. There’s little doubt that enough “magic” will amaze us the second half of the season to prevent the complete regime change from occurring at seasons end. We’ve all seen too much of what’s behind the curtain. Neither Jason or Dirk has enough up their sleeves. There’s no magic wand, thus both are destined to disappear. That will leave Jaboo in Limboo at least until the entire situation can be properly evaluated by the next act. Here we go again cyber friends.

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  32. Both should go…I like Dirk a little more than Winston at that point. Think his offense is capable of producing a HOF QB if the guy is competent, which it doesn’t seem Jameis Winston is. But sadly Koetter is incompetent when it comes to defense and getting his in game adjustments to come to fruition. And to tarnish the beauty of defense this franchise once held so proud, so profoundly, is quite frankly a slap in the face. This defense is absolutely disgraceful. It was touched on in the podcast. If this defense is mediocre even they have a winning record and are more than likely contesting for the lead of this division. Hopefully if one of the Harbaugh’s becomes available the Bucs do whatever they can to get another one. Give em Fitzpatrick for a year( or draft one in the later rounds of 2019, linemen come first next year.) But then give them the green light to do whatever it take to get Tua or someone else in 2020.

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  33. Watching the past few games I’ve put this season in the rear view mirror. This regime has failed. Talent evaluation is the biggest problem. Failed draft picks lead to FA signing to fill holes left by rookies that can’t make it. Each preseason its all hype about free agents. We over pay for marginal players, they get the big contracts, play below those deals and undermine a pay-for-performance culture.

    I wonder about Koetter. If you look at how many players he’s been given that he ultimately cuts, the vast majority are not even in the NFL any longer. That said, if he’s a key contributor to creating the roster each season, this is on him as well. There have been bright spots, but too few to overcome the deficiencies.

    The Glazers need to decide whether they want to win or just be part of the NFL club. And we need to start NOW. There has been speculation that Tony Dungy could come back as head of football operations. I like that move mid season to begin the assessment process. Whether it is Tony or another candidate, I think that’s were we start.

    And do it now.

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  34. I don’t know why you have to get rid of either when the real problem to me now is Licht.
    He has been a better GM that Bruce Allen and Mark Dominick but that really isn’t saying much.
    Four moves Licht had done have really hurt this franchise.
    First there was the huge Aguayo mistake. Then there was taking Godwin over Kareem Hunt and then this year when he took the slow footed MJ Stewart over the Panthers second round DB who shut down Evens last week. It was also a reach.
    I sure hope John Lynch and Ronde Barber don’t see that last clip or the may pick up a razor blade. Egads.
    Don’t talk to me about abour poor coaching when you see poor tackling result in big plays You should’t have to teach tackling to an NFL player.
    Speaking of poor tackling did you see the half hearted hit Grimes put on McCafferty on his one yard TD run. My god my sister can hit harder than that.
    If the Bucs are going to fire Koetter they should have Jim Harbaugh in thier back pocket ready to go.
    He took a miserable underachieving 49ers organization and turned it into a winner.
    For his reward he was fired for his straight talk and rough manner and demanor.
    He wasn’t very pleasent to the media and that didn’t help him any but we should always let the media decide who should be the coach.
    If the Bucs win the next three games which are very winnable, I wonder if all these media types will change thier projections.
    As for me, it doesn’t matter how the Bucs finish, they need to find a better GM with a solid track record of success.

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  35. The problem is we need a good coach and GM. Who picks these folks? I like the Dungy for president option if that can happen. I like Koetter and Light, but they are always closer to average than great.

    I think the defensive coordinator change happening too late is going to haunt them (I think there have been busts in the draft but no one bats 100%). If they fired Smith at the end of last season (or earlier) and got a good defensive coordinator the whole story would be different (due to input into who to draft/sign and time to get the players ready to play a better system).

    I feel like if we start over we still need a offensive head coach (to keep that side of the ball strong). In today’s league, you need a strong offense and above average defense (where the bucs are failing). Top offenses will beat the best defenses these days.

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  36. It’s not over yet for Koetter but its getting really close. I think Licht, Koetter and Winston are all gone if we don’t win at least 8 probably 9 games. Winston I only see getting another shot if Fitz completely implodes or gets hurt. Once we are out of it, I’d rather see Griffin than Winston back out there. Most likely starting 2019 with a new front office, coaching staff and starting QB. Kind of depressing but teams have shown time and again it doesn’t take long to turn it around if you choose those positions correctly. If you choose poorly you get Bucs/Browns level of ineptitude for a decade.

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  37. Hoping for a new coach, GM and QB
    mostly Licht is at fault for the aawful defense
    Koetter @fault for hiring and keeping M Smith
    Winston @ fault for his offfield antics that led to a 3 game suspension that he could not rebound from

    Love to see a dynamic new college player QB like Drew Lock
    free agency for corners as we cannot develop
    new o line coaching staff to teach run blocking
    need an entire secondary

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