Cover 3 is a weekly feature column written by PewterReport.com’s Tampa Bay Bucs 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 Story of the Week

He didn’t say “we.”

When Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter was asked about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ future game overseas last week, as it was announced by the NFL for the first time, his answer was pretty standard. He sort of laughed and said that all it means is that one game will be overseas. You could get the feeling that he didn’t love the idea – I’m sure no coach does. But then he went onto just saying that his team is focused on the upcoming game against Baltimore.

However, there was a little add-on at the end of his answer that raised some eyebrows.

“I’ve been associated with games out of the country before and when you get to them, I think the players do enjoy that week – when you actually get over there,” Koetter said. “Trips are long. Usually you’re rewarded on the back end with your bye week. Once you’re over there, it’s football, it’s new and it’s different. I think for right now, we’re trying to focus on Baltimore. We’ve got our hands full with Baltimore. That’s something that’s going to happen in the future and when the Bucs get to that point in the season next year, I’m sure it will be good.”

He didn’t say “we.” He said “the Bucs.”

Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter
Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter – Photo by: Getty Images

The Buccaneers’ 20-12 loss in Baltimore at the hands of Lamar Jackson and the rest of the Ravens’ roster all but sealed the fate of Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter, but perhaps that quote the week before hinted that he’s seen the writing on the wall himself before that result even came to fruition.

Koetter is a no B.S. guy. He doesn’t lie well, especially in the moment. I’m sure that was a trait general manager Jason Licht really liked about Koetter when he was considered as a head coach. Licht probably didn’t want a company man. He didn’t want a “yes” man. He didn’t want someone who was afraid to say the things that needed to be said or do what needed to be done. Koetter has certainly done that, in some ways. He’s been aggressive in how he’s built his offense, and benching Jameis Winston when he thought it was the right move. But in other ways he hasn’t, say not being aggressive enough to move on from Mike Smith sooner.

When it comes to how he handles questions from the media, Koetter still wears what he thinks on his sleeve; he doesn’t hold back or back down from questions nearly as much as other coaches do around the league. Because of that, sometimes you can pick up little hints. I think last week’s hint of him not saying “we” by default or by second nature wasn’t just a slip of the mind or “not anything to write about”. I think he really has doubts he’ll be back. I don’t blame him.

I do not know what was said between Koetter, Licht and the Glazers this offseason. I do not know if there were ground rules of what Koetter knew he had to accomplish to remain the head coach. After a disappointing 5-11 season the year before, Koetter even called the move to retain him “courageous” of the team’s ownership to give him another year – this likely due to the swirling Jon Gruden rumors near the end of 2017. But whatever it was, they did or did not say to him aloud, the Bucs finish in 2018 – whatever it may be – likely falls short of what he needed to do, especially the way it was done.

Koetter’s built-in excuse going into the year could’ve been that they didn’t have their starting quarterback for the first three games. But once the team won its first two in dramatic, NFL-record setting fashion, that excuse was no more. Instead he then had to juggle quarterbacks. I thought he made the right choices at each turn, but the results were not on his side, regardless. Then there was the defense. After a year where the Bucs were the worst defense in the NFL, it seemed as though Koetter never even considered moving on from Smith, and when he did you could tell there was some nudging to do so, even though Koetter said there wasn’t.

Now the problem is the offense. Not only is Koetter, an offensive-minded head coach, no longer considered the best play-calling option on his own staff, the Bucs’ best option, as it has been proclaimed, can’t even score more than three points in the last two second halves of football they’ve played. And before that, they scored just three points with 500 yards of offense against the Redskins.

All of that goes through Koetter’s mind. He’s human; he knows.

Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter – Photo: PewterReport.com
Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter – Photo: PewterReport.com

That’s why his brain didn’t tell him to say “we.” His brain can’t lie on a whim like that. It’s just not Koetter.

This past game against the Ravens was actually the least at-fault of the recent nails in his hypothetical coffin as Buccaneers head coach. The conditions were awful and, boy, did his players let him down big time.

But that’s just the thing. Week after week, someone lets Koetter down. Not that he hasn’t been to blame for this season, too, but there are a few games this year where he’s taken to the podium afterwards and you can just tell he wants to say out loud “What more can I do? I can’t go out there and suit up myself!”

But ultimately that is on him, too. A coach must get his players to respond to the coaching, and when you don’t have answers in the post-game speech to your team or at the podium to the media – your players just won’t respond. Teams often take the identity of its coach. When the Buccaneers have won games, it’s easy to see why players fight for Koetter. He enjoys it just as much as they do; they take that part of his personality on.

But after two straight seasons of disappointment, and disbelief and hollow words spoken more than actual adjustments that work, the players have take on that identity of Koetter, too. And they’ve done a lot more losing than they have winning.

If Koetter’s teams were winning, this is a coaching staff and a roster that could really catch fire with momentum and confidence, but it hasn’t happened – and I’m afraid it never will.

Because soon it won’t be “we.”

It will be “the Bucs.”

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Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]

69 COMMENTS

  1. Round one. Derwin James.
    Oh, never mind.

    +17
    -36
    Rating: -19. From 53 votes.
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    • “I’m going to give you a this-or-that choice for three round of the upcoming draft, and I want you to pick one player for each round and write your results in the comment section. I want to read them.”

      Oh, I didn’t know Derwin was being re-drafted this year.

      +8
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      • Some of y’all are too serious!

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        Rating: +5. From 23 votes.
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  2. I feel like reading comments in this site is like reading scripts from twilight zone .
    1. The brilliant coaching staff has change the play calling to give #3
    less chance to have interceptions and the result is !
    Gone are the interceptions
    Gone is the big yardage
    Gone are the points
    No chance of a win
    And the end of year Gone is the management and coaching.
    Hopefully they are not so stupid to keep Winston and pay him 21 million for 3 wins next year

    +15
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    Rating: -22. From 52 votes.
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    • Jameis will be here next year, get used to it.

      +39
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      Rating: +29. From 49 votes.
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      • Don’t bet on it. The new regime will not be wedded to the massive error in drafting him in 2015.

        Whether the new regime believes Winston is actually worth $21M hit on the salary cap, we’ll see what their plan is. Probably not … just best to move on from the botched drafting of Winston.

        Look around at all the other young quarterbacks drafted in the last few years that are not only playing far better than Winston, but are leading their teams to winning records, playoff appearances, and first round playoff byes.

        Meanwhile Bucs fans wait and suffer.

        +7
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        Rating: -29. From 43 votes.
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        • Like I said above, get used to it. He will be here next year as a final prove it year to a new coach. No regime is dumb enough to bring in some rookie to run an organization. Let alone who from free agency? You gonna lure a coach in with Tyrod Taylor?
          And stop with the money stuff, it’s middle of the road for a QB. We’ve all stated that countless times to you.
          And which qbs are playing better? Goff who has 1 tds and 6 picks in his last three games?
          Mariota who has a combined number of 11tds, 8 picks and 8 fumbles this year oh and don’t forget the 250 TOTAL passing yards with 0 tds and 2 picks his last two
          Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold? I won’t even go there
          I’ll give mahommes his dues, but hes just on another level right now than ANY other qb in the game. You know what the difference is though?Better COACHING and all around better teams.

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          Rating: +18. From 22 votes.
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          • You pay Winston for one year and you see what he can do with a new coach/OC.

            It’s is not a long term commitment. If he plays poorly and gets benched or if some other skeleton comes out of the closet you cut bait. But at least then you’ve given the guy every reasonable chance before facing the prospect of him winning a SB for another team as is Bucs tradition.

            There are countless holes on this team that a new GM can address before burning down the QB position and going full-Browns rebuild next year.

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            Rating: +10. From 10 votes.
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    • You think a new rookie QB will perform well with this offensive line and RBs ?

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      Rating: +34. From 40 votes.
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      • Nah he doesnt ,but hes also the genius that said jpp sucks so theres that.

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      • A rookie certainly can play much better than any season Winston has had. Other needs are apparent too, but the offensive line is not the weakest link on the Bucs.

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        • LOL ok!

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  3. Is there really a RB option in the 2nd round in this mock?

    Smh…

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  4. OT Jonah Williams

    RB Darrell Henderson

    S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Florida (or best available CB)

    +8
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    Rating: +3. From 13 votes.
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  5. Round 1: Greedy Williams
    Round 2: Darrell Henderson
    Round 3: Garret Brumfield

    I would like this draft, but I would change the 2nd round pick for a defensive lineman so we can capitalize on this deep defensive line draft. We need to get some youth and depth on this d-line

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  6. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Glazer Brothers have already decided to fire Koetter and called in Licht and told him so and ordered him to try and hire Arians out of retirement and work out the details so they can make the announcement immediately after the firing of Koetter and Warhop. It would be attractive to Arians because he is comfortable with both Licht and our Defensive Line Coach. Licht could suggest Logan Mankins as the replacement for Warhop and if OK could work out that hire for the new Coach. Arians would decide on whether to keep our OC and our DC or rather he can bring in someone better. He could already start watching film and evaluating what to tell Licht he wants in the draft and who to cut and who to give long contracts and what free agents he needs. We could do a lot worse!

    +26
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    • What worries me about Arians is that he came out and said he only wants to coach the Browns. Why just the Browns? Why not the Bucs? Licht and Arians were both at Arizona together and Arians knows that the bucs needs a new coach, so why wouldn’t he want to come to Tampa? I wonder if him and Jason get along.

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      • Arians is totally correct with his stated thinking. Why tie himself to Licht, and why tie himself to Winston?

        The Browns are actually competitive these days, and their rookie quarterback is impressing the entire league.

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        Rating: -2. From 14 votes.
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  7. RD1: Greedy Williams
    RD2: Amani Oruwariye
    RD3: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson

    This offseason we need to go heavy on defense.

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    Rating: -2. From 10 votes.
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  8. 1. OT Jonah Williams, Alabama
    2. CB Amani Oruwariye, Penn State
    3. OL Garret Brumfield, LSU

    This was kind hard for the 3rd pick. I don’t think a safety could be a bad idea. However, the run game is not great, and we’ve had some injuries in the safety crew. Whitehead has looked good, Adams will be a good backup, and Evans will be healthy next year.

    “The game is won in the trenches”

    Also I’m sick Licht reaching for RBs when Pit has shown 3 RBs can run behind that line…The game is changing these days and getting OL picks fixes not only the running game, but gives our QB more time for our offense to get these long routes setup. I see it as 2 birds 1 stone solution.

    +28
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    • This guy gets it. Agree 100%…Barber and RoJo will be much better players once our stuff percentage isn’t 2nd to last in the entire league (behind a banged up Atlanta OL who certainly wouldn’t be last if they were healthy like our OL is). With Donovan potentially not getting a new contract, Benenoch needing to be replaced immediately, and Dotson possibly on his way out too…that’s a lot of work to do on already the worst OL in the NFL.

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  9. The Glazers just fired the coach of Manchester United . Hope they do the same with the Bucs.

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  10. I’m drafting O-line, but hey, it’s hard to draft not knowing who the coach is. Frankly, that’s going to determine how we draft.

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  11. Best O-lineman or D-lineman available in every round. You simply cant have enough of them.

    A better O-line and Barber will be fine, he has good vision and runs hard. Better talent/coaching on o-line will get him the help he needs to be a better than avg. back.

    D-line >>> CB in today’s NFL. Have to get pressure up front to disrupt passing game, DBs have rules stacked against them in coverage.

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    Rating: +31. From 31 votes.
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    • I agree that the lines are the most important facet of professional football beyond the QB, however prospects matter too:

      If it’s 1998 and you’re the Raiders, you’d be right to take CB Charles Woodson 4th overall over 7th pick OT Kyle Turley.
      If it’s 2011 and you’re the Cardinals you’d be right to take Patrick Peterson 5th overall over 7th pick DE Aldon Smith.

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  12. Watching those 3rd downs, I see two definite missed opportunities for touchdowns. On the 3rd and 2 from the Baltimore 3 (following the 64-yard reception by Mike Evans): The Bucs are running a pick play there between Chris Godwin and Adam Humphries, hoping to get Humphries open for the touchdown. Concept is fine there, facing man coverage. Baltimore played it very well, and Adam was covered nicely. But on the other side of the formation, Evans beat his man cleanly on a quick post. He was wide open. Had Winston gone there on his first read throwing on a 2- or 3-step drop, it was easy pitch and catch for the score. Then, after recovering the muffed punt, facing 3rd and 5 from the Baltimore 9, Humphries runs the crossing route, which brings up the safety. Evans is running a similar type route behind Humphries. When that safety comes up to help cover Humphries, that area behind him is vacated. Evans runs into the vacated area, wide open. Winston should have seen that. Another easy score missed. Two plays here where your supposed number 1 option in the red zone is wide open, and the Bucs fail to get the football to him in the end zone. It’s so depressing to watch this. The plays to be made to win are clearly there. The Bucs just don’t make them.

    On the mock draft: Round 1 I go with OT Jonah Williams from Alabama. The right side of the Bucs offensive line needs a rebuild. Assuming they re-sign or franchise tag Donovan Smith, plug Williams in at RT. Demar Dotson is 34 years old and on the decline. Round 2 I go with RB Darrell Henderson from Memphis. The Bucs certainly appear to have missed big-time on Ronald Jones II, and desperately need an explosive threat in the offensive backfield. Henderson fits the bill. Round 3 I go with OL Garret Brumfield from LSU. I am not sold on either Justin Evans or Jordan Whitehead at safety, but at this point, I want depth and more talent on the offensive line. Control the line of scrimmage, on both sides of the ball, and wins will be a lot easier to come by.

    +5
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    Rating: +3. From 7 votes.
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    • I do NOT want the bucs to waste money spending on smith..unless he takes way less than what he may be thinking he is worth…but I doubt that would happen, he’s probably going to want to get paid so it just might be best to let him walk.

      +10
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      Rating: +9. From 11 votes.
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    • I completely agree with your three picks. Take the two OL and the RB, unless there’s another OL or DL available in round 2. This team focused on improving the DL last year, but it could still use another hoss, but the OL has one quality center and one quality guard. Time to go big or go home.

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  13. OT Williams, CB Amaini Oruwariye, OL Brumfield because follows:
    CB Greedy Williams is only a RsSoph , RB Henderson not high ranked for that spot, Safety not as much a need as before.

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  14. On that first 3rd down attempt why not a quick slant to one of the big bodies of Evans, or Godwin. Two deep routes, and sideline route, the middle of the field was wide open. Quizz stays in to block instead of being an option, why, they only needed 3 yards, your back shouldn’t need to do that on what should’ve been a quick throw. Cover one was a complete waste of time, with the Bucs instead of we talk. Everyone has known for some time Koetter will be fired. Stop trying to read the tea leaves already P.R., it’s a done deal. Licht is toast too. We’ve come to expect some inside info from P.R., or at least insightful info on what might come. Try to find out who the next G.M., H.C. might be, and stop writing about the obvious.

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    • I generally don’t agree with many of your posts. This, however, spot on

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  15. It depends upon what happens with potential trades and free agent signings, but if a starting quarterback is not otherwise signed before the draft, then a quarterback should be our first round pick.

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    • I generally don’t agree with many of your posts. This however…. Status quo. You’re an idiot

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  16. The Bucs do not need to draft another RB high in the draft. Fix the trenches, I hope Oliver slides in the draft or comes close enough for hopefully our new GM to trade up and select. If not Im taking the highest rated OL/DL/CB available in either round. There’s a reason that Fitz and Jameis are inconsistent. The head coaches are not bright enough to scheme players open against man coverage and have no running game. People can talk about other young QBs winning while neglecting the other facets of their team that are drastically better than what Jameis had in Tampa. We assembled an offense with below average OL, no running game and an emphasis on a vertical passing attack. The reason we don’t consistently score is because we don’t consistenly protect and the run game is almost unheard of. No other young QB is winning in these circumstances. Goff has played well, the last 2 weeks Gurley has rushed for about 90 yards combined and Goff has 2 TDs to 7 INTs in that span. Look at Mahommes numbers with Hunt and then go check them post Hunt. Wentz has not lit the world on fire this season, Mariotta makes the playoffs because the Titans can run the ball and play good on defense. Do you think Mariotta would have more success in this offense? I think not, so the reality is this team was build incorrectly and piss poor personnel decisions are the reason Jameis hasn’t enjoyed more success. He had a balanced attack at Florida State and played fine, he was also very good here when Doug Martin was a legit threat so I don’t buy the whole “we cant win with Jameis” nonsense. We cant win with a GM that tells us a RG is a LT. Or that after 4 seasons Caleb Benenoch is the best we can come up with at G. Or that Jensen should be the highest paid C in football despite getting manhandled on Sunday on top of his routine boneheaded penalties. Or a defense that was on pace to give up the most points in league history before the Glazers stepped in and put an end to the stupidity. I could go but why, this draft is cool but PR routinely comes up players that are better than what we ultimately end up drafting so I’m holding off on mock draft until we clean this filth from One Buc Place.

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    Rating: +18. From 18 votes.
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    • very high chance Oliver slide after the jacket incident…

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  17. I think we should put a moratorium on any in state college players. Our fan base has proven that it’ can’t be emotionally neutral when dealing with players from rival schools. We needs safety, OL and DL help. We are good almost everywhere else. A running back would be good but not in the first three rounds. Several RB will be available late that can beat out the softness of our current rookie, and help Barber with more of a one-two punch.

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    Rating: +7. From 11 votes.
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    • CB is still a glaring hole.

      There is no evidence at this point that VHIII, Carlton Davis, MJ Stewart or Ryan Smith will be on the Bucs roster in 4 years let alone successful NFL CB’s.

      If I set the over/under at 1 current Bucs CB is on the roster in 2022 how confident are you in the over?

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      • I mean, I have very little confidence in many players being on our team four years from now. We can always use a good cover corner. I have more faith in VHIII than most on here. In the right system, he would thrive. Oddly enough, I think he would have done quite well in Duffner’s system.

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        • You’re correct than many players will be gone however when drafting GM’s are ideally expected to draft for 3 years down the line while plugging immediate needs with free agents. If any of the aforemented CB’s prove to be a capable starter and get a second contract then they would be on the roster in 2022.

          I would says there’s as much a chance that positively none of current corners make it to 2022 as two of them making it.

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  18. Also, we don’t want Oliver from Houston. He’s a malcontent that doesn’t have the discipline to succeed early in the NFL. Too much of a project.

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  19. Round 1 – Jonah Williams
    Round 2 – Amani Oruwariye
    Round 3 – Garret Brumfield

    Using your options those would be my choices.

    What was Koetter’s biggest mistake in everyone’s mind?
    Holding on to Mike Smith too long?
    Benching Winston?
    Not having Monken call plays sooner??
    Drafting or not drafting an available player?

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  20. For an outsider’s perspective, per an article today by Mike Sherman of the TBT:

    “The Bucs are going to have a difficult time attracting top head-coaching candidates if Dirk Koetter is fired, according to one of the most plugged-in NFL reporters.

    “Right now, the Tampa Bay job is just south of the Cincinnati job on the watch-out-what-job-you-take coaching line,” NBC Sports’ Peter King said Tuesday morning on a Pro Football Talk segment. “When you talk to agents of coaches, none of them are excited about the Tampa Bay job.”

    King, who spent years writing about the NFL for Sports Illustrated before moving to NBC this year, mentioned several candidates when going over other prospective openings in places like Cleveland and New York (Jets). He offered no candidates for the Bucs job, saying it would be attractive to “someone who wanted to be a coach for so long they’ll take a job anywhere.”

    King said uncertainty about quarterback Jameis Winston and the future of general manager Jason Licht are factors.

    On Winston, who has a $20.9-million contract option for next season that is guaranteed only if he gets injured, King said, “he certainly hasn’t demonstrated that he earned that money.”

    King closed the segment on the Bucs by saying, “I think it could be a clean sweep in Tampa.””

    For all the silly wishful thinking by the Jameis fanboys here, firing Koetter will, by itself, resolve nothing. As Peter King said, it needs to be a clean sweep – GM, HC, and QB.

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    • Naplesfan you may very well be right that Jameis needs to go. I personally just don’t feel he’s been put in the best situation to succeed. I’m not sure any young QB could come here and succeed. Let’s be honest we have easily had the worst special teams unit in the division and probably the league during Lichts 5 years. That’s a combination of an obsolete return game despite the drafting of players like Kaelin Clay and more FG kickers than probably any team in the NFC. I’m no genius but I would have to imaging having zero faith in your FG kicking would have an affect on your on field decision making. Might lead a QB to take more chances when the end result would be relying on the foot of Roberto, Folk, Catanzaro and more. Also which young QB is winning with a running game that’s featured 1 game with a 100 yard rusher entering week 16, the answer is none. All that and I haven’t mentioned the defensive issues which are obvious. So the point is you COULD be correct, but I don’t think anyone would be correct in saying that they know for certain. He’s been doomed by a GM that’s drafted kickers in the 2nd round and a head coach whose offense “took off” after he gave up play calling, his supposed strength. Nobody would’ve taken Mitch T. over Jameis heading into the season but it’s funny how quality coaching can change perspective. I just hope we find a GM that properly analyzes the roster and a head coach that coaches to his players strengths not a particular scheme.

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      • Of course the Bucs problems go far deeper than just the quarterback, for all the obvious reasons.

        But the one thing about the quarterback, just as Peter King stated, Winston simply isn’t worth $21M next season. We’re paying him just over $8M this year – the $13M difference to next year’s guarantee if he is retained could pay for a couple of pretty good veterans on the offensive line or the defensive backfield, or one very good person in either of those position groups.

        We’re paying our backup $3.3M .. I’d just prefer to let Winston go, draft a first rounder quarterback – such as Justin Hebert – and plan on starting Fitzpatrick early in 2019 unless the rookie develops very quickly. Then at any time when the rookie is ready, let him start.

        That’s what most of the successful teams of the last several years have done.

        I also am of the opinion that the salaries for veteran quarterbacks are getting ridiculous, with over the hill injury-riddled Aaron Rodgers being the most expensive at over $33M per year. Paying any QB that kind of money means a team simply cannot afford top talent elsewhere on the team. Best to draft a rookie every four or five years, see if he develops, and if he does attempt to sign him for a longer term contract at a lower cap number, similar to what the Pats have been doing with Tom Brady, who is paid just half what Rodgers is getting. And gee, look which team is in the playoffs literally every single year, and which one(s) isn’t (aren’t).

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        • I think the position the Bucs are in positions them to pay Jameis less than top end QBs with the option to get there with incentives. That mitigates the teams risks and allows them to focus on other more obvious needs. A 3 year deal in the Blake Bortles range won’t cripple us or hinder our ability to draft a QB in a year or 2 if needed. Just think it’s best to shore up the obvious areas and then see if we have a dud or a decent QB in Jameis.

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      • It’s honestly difficult to tell how some of the talent Licht has brought in even would look under new coaching. Don’t forget, a ton of simple coaching changes have helped teams with damn near the same roster go from perennial losers to playoff contenders in a single season. McVay did it. Reich did it. Nagy did it. Yes they all added a few key pieces…but a majority of the rosters for all of those examples were left in tact. Licht has built a talented roster that has yet to scrape its potential because of poor coaching and player development…so I’m not yet ready to bury him until we can see what this roster looks like under a new coaching regime. If we get the right guy for the job, I think a lot of people will be surprised to see the players they already proclaim as “busts” have simply been misused or under developed by Koetter and Mike Smith.

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        • Licht actively recommended that poor head coach and signed off on all of his assistants which makes it the second head coach in 5 years with his roster who couldn’t get it done.

          The Bucs also have now had 4 defensive coordinators through 5 seasons (Leslie/Lovie/Mike/Mark) and virtually every year they rearrange the deck chairs on the titanic while PR blames the coaches for not getting more out of a group of defenders that have done little on the field or in personal accomplishments to suggest they are being held back by poor schemes.

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    • So are we saying our GM hasn’t built a foundation in year 5 that head coaching candidates are all flocking towards? That they may actually avoid?

      Hmmm…. it must be Mike Smith’s fault. If not Smith, it’s definitely George Warhop’s fault. If not Warhop I can’t figure out who to blame. Someone needs to tell me who the team water boy is, maybe he has something to do with it?

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  21. Jonah Williams
    Darrell Henderson
    Brumfeld

    Williams is an elite pass blocker put him in at LT and move Smith to RT and when his contract comes up let him know he’s getting RT money not LT money.

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    • His contract is up at the end of this year, so unless the franchise tag and or sign him to a contract extension he isn’t going to RT

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      • Then you offer him an extension for middle of the road RT money but less than what Dodson is making if he doesn’t take it let him walk

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  22. Based on what is available, I’d go

    Williams, Oruwariye, Gardner-Johnson

    Here’s what I would do outside of the players provided above,

    1) CB Greedy/Baker/Murphy

    2) S Nasir Adderley

    3) OT Andre Dilliard/Yodney Cajuste

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  23. Naples, of course Jameis is coming back no matter who the G.M., or H.C. might be. The Bucs have the money, they’re not going to give up on a first round 25 year old Q.B. who’s only had one offensive coach. You make it sound like 21 million is way out of line for that position. Sam Bradford has been getting that kind of pay check in like forever. Would you rather they guaranteed 84 million to someone like Cousins? They’ll gladly pay the one year 20 million to see if the new regime can get him to the next level, and see if he’s truly turned the corner with his personal life. They can still even franchise him for 2020 if they’re not completely sold on him after next year. The last thing they want to do is let him go, and have him find success elsewhere. You usually make some good points, but your feelings for Winston are getting in the way of what is really a no brainer for the organization bringing him back for 2019.

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  24. Bucs Mock Draft:

    Round 1 – OT
    Round 2 – OT
    Round 3 – OL

    Going to take a lot of resources to fix this mess. Marpet is the only one playing at a starter (or above) level.

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  25. Sooo we want to draft another undersized RB who doesn’t do much in the passing game…this time from a mid-major college? Bold strategy Cotton. We should probably focus on the OL and watch Barber and RoJo improve. But who am I to judge, there’s only proof of great offensive lines all over the league making 2nd and 3rd string RB’s look like stars solely by NOT ranking dead last in nearly every run-blocking metric that’s currently calculated.

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    • Is Pittsburgh on their 3rd string or 4th string running back?

      We need to beef up our trenches on both sides. In the first round if a de is the best available you take him. If a OT is best available, take him.

      In this draft there are five defensive ends that would be top 5 picks in a different draft

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  26. Not sure if Kwon goes that low. This just fits inside next years cap (minus dead money from Spence):

    QB
    Winston – 5th Option – $20,922,000
    Ryan Griffin – UFA – $3,000,000
    Kyle Shurmur (6th Rnd) – $541,508

    RB
    Peyton Barber – 1st Rnd Tender – $4,449,000
    Ronald Jones – $1,607,251
    Shaun Wilson – $573,333
    Dare Ogunbwale – $480,000

    WR
    Mike Evans – $20,000,000
    Chris Godwin – $875,041
    Justin Watson – $645,434
    Sergio Bailey – $495,333
    Terry Godwin (4th Rnd) – $685,315

    C/OG
    Ryan Jensen – $10,000,000
    Ali Marpet – $11,025,000
    Rodger Saffold – Free Agent – $10,000,000
    Caleb Benenoch – $783,297
    Alex Cappa – $813,426

    OT
    Jonah Williams (1st Rnd) – $3,632,407
    Demar Dotson – $4,850,000
    Leonard Wester – Low Tender – $2,045,000

    TE
    OJ Howard – $3,025,805
    Antony Auclair – $651,668
    Tanner Hudson – $480,000
    Donnie Ernsberger – $480,000

    SPECIAL TEAMS
    Cairo Santos – UFA – $1,000,000
    Garrison Sanborn – UFA – $1,000,000
    Bryan Anger – $3,000,000

    DT
    Gerald McCoy – $13,000,000
    Vita Vea – $3,369,145
    Jeremiah Ledbetter – $480,000
    Demone Harris – $480,000

    DE
    JPP – $14,500,000
    Carl Nassib – $868,000
    Will Gholston – $3,750,000
    Will Clarke – $800,000
    Wyatt Ray (5th Rnd) – $576,373
    Pat O’Conor – $480,000

    LB
    Kwon Alexander – UFA – $7,500,000
    Lavonte David – $9,750,000
    Kendall Beckwith – $844,000
    Jack Cichy – $606,344
    Germaine Pratt (3rd Rnd) – $766,580

    S
    Justin Evans – $1,417,989
    Landon Collins – Free Agent – $10,000,000
    Jordan Whitehead – $736,814
    Isaiah Johnson – Low Tender – $2,045,000
    UDFA – $480,000

    CB
    Carlton Davis III – $998,435
    Amani Oruwariye (2nd Rnd) – $1,348,859
    Vernon Hargreaves – $4,511,076
    Ryan Smith – $868,041
    MJ Stewart – $1,155,253
    Javien Elliott – Low Tender – $2,045,000

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    • Where is Brate?

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      • No way at $7M (plus no dead money next year). Was nice to have him here while OJ got up to speed, but that’s it for him.

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  27. I think Jonah Williams goes top 5

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  28. Bucs need to go OL early and often. But of course if you strike out again on the head coach its not going to matter who you draft.

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  29. Based on your question I would go as follows.

    OT Jonah Williams, Alabama
    RB Darrell Henderson, Memphis
    OL Garret Brumfield, LSU

    This is regardless of who the coach and GM might be, I guess.
    ______________
    Go Bucs!!!!

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  30. Round 1:
    OT Jonah Williams, Alabama

    Round 2:
    CB Amani Oruwariye, Penn State

    Round 3:
    OL Garret Brumfield, LSU

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  31. Let the Draft talk begin! Hopefully one day soon, before I cross the creek, come Christmas time we’ll be talking about the playoffs and our projected Super Bowl opponent. But alas, we here in Bucville have little to keep the embers of our fandom smoldering, so we go back to the future of what we think is to be come April. Don’t tell me about names or positions, tell me the BEST PLAYER(S). One thing is sure; in spite of Naples clamoring for it, the GM won’t waste a top ten pick on an uncertain rookie QB when there are so many more holes elsewhere. Likewise, I think Donovan Smith gets resigned if nothing more than to keep from having to replace him. Personally I’d like to see him at RT. Maybe move his friend Ali to the right side with him.

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  32. I think if we pickup Ramsay in free agency then we’ll probably be looking at Jonah Williams, Ed Oliver, Devin White or Greg Little in that first round. One thing’s for sure, we need more playmakers on defense!

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  33. I appreciate many of the insights and suggestions by the posters on this board.

    I think we all agree, even PR now, that rebuilding the OL is job #1. But with GMC and JPP being close to the end of their respective careers, the DL is almost as pressing.

    With this draft apparently being strong at DL we need to take advantage of that while also making progress on the OL.

    Bottom line, Licht has left us with more holes than donuts, so we don’t have enough draft picks to accomplish that. That forces some tough decisions.

    For instance we are going to have to trade away Brate. Given his age I would probably also let McCoy go, and use the 13 million to fund the test drive of Winston one last year under a more proven coaching staff. Personally I expect that experiment to fail, but it seems 50-50 that the Glazer‘s will be willing to give up on him so if the new coaching staff is amenable to playing him while we focus on rebuilding the lines I could live with it.

    I can think of other moves that would give us more high picks but I know they are too inflammatory to even bring up so I won’t. Whether by trading down slightly or trading players away we need more high picks and this year I would invest every one of them on the lines, unless a clear-cut gem at another position is staring us in the face.

    Bottom line we could do worse than taking a page out of Gruden‘s book trading a few players that will help us build to be long term winners at the sacrifice of short term performance. Gruden basically took five linemen in the first three rounds this yr if you include stealing Hurst in the 5th. And has a boatload if high picks to use in the next two drafts. Imagine if we had done that last year how much better positioned we would be going into this draft, and the next one.

    I know I said someone popular thing so fire away! 🙂

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    • I thought you had good comments matador. Of course my support alone could get you an automatic thumbs down from Naples.

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  34. ‘some unpopular’ sorry for not rechecking

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  35. Round 1: you could go either way. What I would do is I’m showing Donovan Smith the door. He doesn’t give 100 percent effort and you can’t coach effort. So I’m taking Jonah Williams to replace Donovan Smith.

    Round 2: I’m taking the CB from penn state. First reason Bucs staff have not given rojo a chance in 89 snaps he’s played 23 of them were rushing the other 66 as a pass catcher. They simply played his weakness over his strengths. It should be the opposite. Keep adding young CBs to play against tough receivers in the division.

    Round 3: I’m taking the safety from Florida for depth behind Justin Evans who could not get over injuries this season. Cappa will be a solid OL with a staff that can develop him. Warhop hasn’t developed any OL since 2015.

    -Chris

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