About the author

Gary Shelton

Legendary sports columnist Gary Shelton returns to PewterReport.com for his second season of providing post-game commentary on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers like no one else can. No one has won more sports writing awards than Shelton, who has covered Tampa Bay area sports for decades with his unique brand of humor and insight. Bucs fans can Shelton daily on GarySheltonSports.com and follow him on Twitter at @Gary_Shelton

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  1. 1


    Great win. It wasn’t pretty but a lot of unlikely heroes made their mark today. Defense is finding a way to win every week even when our unstoppable offense is stopped. I am not sure we will go to playoffs because our opponents schedules look a lot easier than ours, but I know this season is already a success. We are going to have a winning season, I am almost sure of that, and, Wow. Just wow. How far we have come from last season !!

  2. 2


    Dangerous is right, our defense, anyway.

    I am starting to get a little worried that we’re making a habit of non-productive offensive performances since our beat-down of the Bears at the beginning of this 5-game win streak. To beat the Cowboys next Sunday night it’s likely going to take more than 16 points of offense.

    I hope Coach Koetter lets Jameis and the boys on offense air it out a little more in next week’s game plan. The ‘Boys are a lot better than the Saints.

    1. 2.1


      Naplesfan; the Giants did it, why can’t we?

      1. 2.1.1


        The difference is the Cowboys were on the road, where the visiting offense is always at a disadvantage with crowd noise. The Cowboys are also a team that has a very good offensive line and running game, as well as a passing game, whereas the Saints are more one-dimensional with Brees’s passing.

        At Dallas is going to be a bigger challenge.

        Besides, a lot of folks are not acknowledging that our defense, while very good, still let the Saints down to almost to their end zone, where their receivers dropped two passes that should have been TDs, one of which was called a TD but was overturned on review. Slightly better hands by two Saints receivers, and we would have lost the game at home to the Saints on Sunday.

        We cannot depend upon those micro-results always bouncing our way. We need more points.

        In case folks haven’t noticed yet, the Bucs have the worst scoring offense in the NFC South, and it’s getting worse not better. That trend needs to be flipped.

  3. 3



    Giants 10, Cowgirls 7.

    I know I was supposed to be rooting for the Cowgirls last night, but my loathing of the team is such that I just couldn’t do it.

    1. 3.1


      That was a road game. The ‘Boys will be loaded for bear playing at home this Sunday night. Though I expect another good if not great defensive performance by the Bucs, we cannot depend upon getting a win by scoring only in the teens.

    2. 3.2


      Dear drdeast, I myself was very conflicted during the Boys and Giants. I knew I was supposed to root for the Cowboys, but I just could not do it. Loathing is a fantastic word to the way I feel about them.
      I hope next week you and I can crow big time after we kick their asses.

  4. 4


    Besides the game clinching interception by Keith Tandy, the Special Teams play by Josh Robinson, Ryan Smith, and Alan Cross at the 1 yard line was a thing of beauty – perfect punt coverage. A Special Teams ballet of precision and grace that could be set to music! Bravo!

  5. 5


    I was disappointed with the offense but there is a good chance they were looking ahead to the Dallas game. I know I was. Hopefully the offensive struggles clear up with some guys getting off the injury list.

    I can’t wait to see what this defense does to Dak. I have been stunned hearing the commentators saying that the Bucs are back to running the Tampa-2 because they are getting pressure with just their front 4. They are putting up the same kind of stats that the Sapp/Brooks/Lynch/Barber defenses were putting up. The only difference this time is that we actually have an offense and QB that doesn’t crack under pressure.

    1. 5.1


      The commentators were wrong about us playing the “Tampa 2” … they’re just being lazy. Our defense is much more complex than the old Tampa 2, including three deep and a fair amount of man coverage. Mike Smith’s defense is nothing like the old Tampa 2.

  6. 6


    The only thing that worries me about this team going forward is that it appears when they get a lead, the offense plays not to lose. Koetter always seems to get more conservative with each successive possession. Unless their behind, they never take any shots downfield and catch defenses off guard in the later quarters. Or they don’t try to put teams away early.

    It starts to appear like our opponents defense have made the right adjustments and begin to look like their playing better against us as the game progresses. But it’s our offense that draws back, gets conservative, and doesn’t do what it did earlier in the game to get a lead. I don’t think they should take the foot off the gas until your coming to the mid-way point of the fourth quarter, or you have berried your opponent. But they are doing is working, and I’m happy with that. So go Bucs, and beat Dallas!

    1. 6.1


      Dirk certainly did call a very conservative game last night. Only 26 total pass attempts, and of them only 3 were deep passes, with only 1 connecting for 17 yards (barely “deep”) to Huff.

      I can understand how NFL coaches tend to be conservative compared to college coachs – they just are – and that when your defense is playing lights out, it’s hard to remain aggressive. Koetter seems to have recognized that and in his post-game comments he was critical of his own playcalling.

      We really need to see the passing game open up more, with at least 35 pass attempts per game, and of those at least 6-10 attempts being at 20 or more yards down the field. We have the receivers who are capable. We have a quarterback who is capable. Yes, it might expose us to an extra INT, but scoring only in the teens in repeated games is simply not good enough. We need to be airing it out more.

      In particular, I hated the Doug Martin up the gut from the half yard line after the Huff muff. With the way the Saints loaded everybody in the box, expecting exactly that play, we should have stationed both Martin and Sims in the backfield to block for Jameis and then have one of them split out to the flat. Nobody would have covered the pass, meaning little opportunity for a pick six, and it very likely could have resulted in not only getting us out of the hole, it could easily have been a 99 yard touchdown pass. But no, Dirk went for the safety instead.

    2. 6.2


      Stats must show differently because most teams do the same thing. In other words, we got the lead, let the other team take the chances. I’m not saying you’re wrong because I feel the same way as you; never take your foot off the pedal.

  7. 7


    “Every week, it seems less like a mirage”.
    That my friends is the way to describe the way I feel about this team.
    Gary Shelton can definitely spin a phrase.

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