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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31 Comments

  1. 1

    chefboho

    I’m right there with ya. It’s like Christmas every Sunday recently. What a gift this team has turned out to be

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  2. 2

    artpac

    We are growing. Hargreaves may be our most talented corner ever (yes I am aware he has a long way to go to surpass the production of Donnie Abraham much less Ronde). McCoy is staying healthy better and the production is there. David is making the big plays. Alexander is making some plays. And I love what I am seeing from Spence.

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  3. 3

    macabee

    I’ve seen quite a few teams come and go – Buc teams that is – good ones, bad ones – ones just so! What we have here is a pretty good football team, folks! No matter what the score or stadium played, they believe they can win – and winning they are! It feels so good to be able to sit back and watch these young victors ply their craft.

    We should stop worrying whether Lavonte David can still play or whether Keith Tandy can be a suitable replacement at safety. We should just believe and join the extended family of Buccaneers to champion them into the playoffs and possibly beyond. Like that comet that comes around every so many years – this is our time, this our team! Go Bucs!

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  4. 4

    macabee

    Remember last year Lovie Smith would not permit no cussin’ (sic cursing) in the locker room. Well, the times they are a changin’ folks and likewise the culture is changing.

    In Koetter’s victory locker room speech, right after giving Lavonte David the game ball, he laid a few Teddy Roosevelt words of wisdom on them and as Chef Emeril would say, he kicked it up a notch. Going away he reminded them to “Speak softly and carry a big mother f*$%’n stick!”

    Now I could be wrong, but I think that might be a sign of a culture change! Go Bucs!

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    1. 4.1

      Iowabucfan

      Just saw that. I give that a mother f*$%’n hell yea!

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    2. 4.2

      Naplesfan

      Extra points for the Teddy Roosevelt reference.

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    3. 4.3

      jongruden

      Cussing has no bearing on anything, Walsh and Belichich didn’t cuss but Parcels did I just don’t think it matters,

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      1. 4.3.1

        cgmaster27

        I don’t think it’s about the cussin Jon, it’s about the mindset of the team. It’s the energy and jubilation of knowing you don’t have to have a filter when you come to work. I think it makes a huge difference, not because of the cussing itself, but because of the mindset it creates when your coach takes a team captains speech off at the knees pregame that can kill a teams drive.

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  5. 5

    seat26

    Let’s not get to over confident. I am thrilled that we are where we are. But basically it was only a month ago when we were looking down the barrel of another horrific season. We have scratched out a few very good wins against decent teams. We still have a long way to go, and we are very thin at several crucial positions, one of which is Receiver. If anything happens to Evans, or Martin or Winston, we are in big trouble.

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    1. 5.1

      Naplesfan

      It matters not how confident we fans are. We have zilch to do with the performance on the field. It matters that the players don’t get over confident… but it also matters that they not be under-confident too. They need to believe in themselves so that when they get behind in the score on the board, and get in a difficult situation with key players forced out by injury, that they not stop believing in their ability to win.

      I think that we have great leaders on the team, both offense and defense, and great coaches too, who are clearly keeping it real.

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  6. 6

    BUC 727

    you’re correct Seat26. We are razorthin at reciever. I think it may be time to activate Huff, and maybe bring Randy Moss out of mothballs…IJS

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  7. 7

    scubog

    Always love your comments macabee. I too have witnessed the good, the bad and the ugly. Somehow this team, in spite of the obvious weaknesses as so adeptly pointed out by buzz killing Seat 26, it plays hard and is no longer cowering in the face of adversity as in years past. I’ve experienced wins over the years that somehow felt like losses. Often, folks would want to put an asterisk by it to not receive full credit. This season those wins are deserved. The asterisk should be on the losses to the Rams and Raiders as those games should have been won. Sure is fun to be discussing our possible playoff position instead of our Draft position.

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    1. 7.1

      jongruden

      Scu stop kissing up to Macabee ha

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      1. 7.1.1

        macabee

        Jon,

        It’s your old friend macabee! I’m just in time to come to your aid again. As you have before, you’ve again confused kissing up with pissing down. One would think that with the all the moisture (corrective comments) you’ve received from Scu and me, by now you would have come in out of the rain. Come inside son. It’s not rain! ha

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        1. 7.1.1.1

          jongruden

          Macabee- I give Scu a hard time I sat with he and his wife for game as his guest, he is a huge smart ass and he gives me a hard time for liking the Cards so yeah, he can take some ribbing for kissing your ass, haha

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          1. 7.1.1.1.1

            macabee

            Well then, that makes me your friend too! And err……sorry about the rain! haha

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          2. 7.1.1.1.2

            scubog

            JonnyG is just jealous. I like your posts too JonnyG………….well some of them.

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  8. 8

    Naplesfan

    As Mr. Shelton wrote, it’s the progress … the progress. This defense has clearly grown together over the course of the season.

    Unlike Shelton, I am not ready to write these guys off as lesser talented than the great Bucs defenders of old, however. I believe Lavonte David is just as talented as Derrick Brooks. Gerald McCoy is a different kind of DT than Sapp, but I believe he is just as talented, and for the first time in his entire career, unlike Sapp, he is getting quality support on the D-line, and it clearly shows. I believe Noah Spence is quite possibly just as talented as Simeon Rice, already becoming a harassing force on the end, making life very difficult for some of the most talented quarterbacks in the league. Ayers has proved to be a great addition, and Clinton MacDonald is a quiet presence, nobody calls his name, but he’s a helluva anchor and when he’s in the lineup we’re just damned better. I love how Hargreaves is already the corner none of the quarterbacks want to challenge, and he’s a great physical tackler.

    I think the best thing we have going for us for the first time in way too long is quality coaching, both offense and defense.

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    1. 8.1

      Ron Gibson

      IMO, Ayers was the addition that brought the DL alive. He is a great run stopper and contains his side allowing the other players to get after the QB. Notice how we tanked when he was out and then as soon as he is back life became very difficult for opposing QBs.

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    2. 8.2

      scubog

      What Brooks and Sapp had was swagger. Not sure I’ve seen it from David and McCoy to the level of our two HOF’s. Maybe in time, but not just yet.

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  9. 9

    Garv

    Love it Gary! I must disagree on one thing though. I think there IS a lot of raw talent on the defense! Alexander, Hargreaves and Noah Spence are going to be stars! We now have depth on the DL. McCoy and David seem to be back on track, McCoy for yet another Pro Bowl at least.

    And next man up? The well coached Buccaneers having been doing that all season on both sides of the ball.

    DAMN this is fun! Saints at home for a playoff atmosphere game next Sunday? HELL YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  10. 10

    fredster

    Was so obvious this team was going the wrong way with Lovie. We have the right coaches now and I always believed that. Yes the depth is an issue and we saw that with the injuries how bad it can go quickly. I never bought the BS about not having enough talent to win now. Young team and finally getting confidence.

    Been long time since I had this much fun watching my Bucs play the last 4 games. Very long time.

    Go Bucs!

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    1. 10.1

      Ron Gibson

      However the staff has done an amazing jobs finding players on the streets to come in and help with the injuries we have had. This is the best I have seen the Bucs react to losing players to injury in decades.

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  11. 11

    Horse

    This team is finding ways to win. They believe in themselves and this is what makes a good team. Go Bucs! Lets get those Saints!

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  12. 12

    jongruden

    Football is fun again in Tampa which hasn’t happened in awhile now maybe these fans can stop seeing their tix to visiting fans and actually go to the game again so we can stop hearing Scu talk about how he has to be surrounded by fans clamoring for opposing team. Confidence is everything in the NFL and swagger once you get it you can beat anyone once you lose it you can lose to anybody, the Bucs have it right now and they will make the playoffs this yr.

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    1. 12.1

      scubog

      I’ll never stop complaining about the fans who repeatedly sell their tickets to the enemy. Treason I say, treason!

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  13. 13

    jongruden

    Selling not seeing*

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  14. 14

    Ron Gibson

    Yes they are learning Smith’s defense and thriving in a very complex scheme. The down side to that is the rest of the league is watching and I’d be shocked if Smith does not at least get an interview for a HC position. We need someone to be his understudy so we do not have to change the defense again if he gets hired away.

    OTOH, I think the Bucs have some good years ahead and Smith may decide he has a better chance to get a ring here than jumping to another team.

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    1. 14.1

      cgmaster27

      I wouldn’t be to worried about that after this season. For all we know, he might see this as a better job for him. Less of the headache of head coaching and he’s working with an old friend in Koetter. At least I hope that’s how he feels. He’s getting into a groove and he adapted his scheme around what the players do better. That’s what good coaches do and it’s paid off big time for us.

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  15. 15

    Pick6

    my standards for lovie smith weren’t all that unreasonable. i just wanted to see the team getting better with relative consistency. that didn’t happen and for that reason i felt the firing was 100% warranted. now we are seeing what i (and i assume team Glazer) have been looking for since Raheem’s Youngry Bunch regressed unbeleivably in 2011. guys settling into their role and coaches making adjustments as they learn what does and doesn’t work for the players they have on the field

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  16. 16

    XpfcWintergreen

    I am with you, macabee.

    Good times have arrived now! …. and for the foreseeable future, too!

    GOOOOOOO BUCS!!!!

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