It was the Collapse At The Capital  – the Tampa Bay Buccaneers blowing a 24-0 first half lead at Washington only to lose 31-30 in the final seconds of the game.

I’ve seen enough.

I know you have.

This Buccaneers team can’t finish.

Let’s hope the Glazers have seen enough, too, and decide to finish the Lovie Smith era – and quickly.

“All losses really hurt, but you have some that really leave a deep scar,” said the beleaguered Bucs head coach following a historic choke job. “And this is definitely one of those.”

Smith, whose record is now 4-18 as the head coach in Tampa Bay, is scarring the Buccaneers and their fan base by finding horrific ways to lose games.

The Bucs were supposed to work on fixing a very shaky secondary during the bye week. Top cornerback Johnthan Banks returned to the lineup to replace Tim Jennings, who was awful against Jacksonville, but it didn’t matter.

Protecting a 30-24 lead with 2:24 left in the game, two of Smith’s favorite defenders, safety Bradley McDougald and cornerback Mike Jenkins, got torched on a Redskins touchdown drive that made Kirk Cousins look like Sonny Jurgenson, Joe Theismann and Mark Rypien. Against soft coverage and no pass rush, Cousins made it look easy.

Bucs head coach Lovie Smith - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs head coach Lovie Smith – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

“They had a lot of open looks and a lot of man coverage,” Smith said. “They were making plays where we couldn’t guard them. It’s a combination of both. You try to mix it up as much as you can. Whether it’s zone or man it usually comes down to a one-on-one situation and we didn’t make enough plays.”

The dagger was a 6-yard slant pass to tight end Jordan Reed for the game-winning touchdown with 24 seconds left. McDougald was isolated on Reed and allowed an inside release, which is a cardinal sin inside the 10-yard line.

“You’re supposed to not let them have the slant,” Smith said. “It’s as simple as that. When you get down close to the goal line like that you make them throw a fade. You don’t let them complete the easiest throw. We didn’t get that done today.

“We had opportunities. First and goal and not being able to get a touchdown down there really kind of set up that finish for them. For us, we still have a six-point lead. Defensively, we have got to be able to close the door.”

But Smith’s Buccaneers just can’t seem to finish.

Many Bucs fans want to point to Tampa Bay’s third-and-goal play call from the Redskins’ 1-yard line, which was a 2-yard loss on a toss to running back Charles Sims as a critical turning point in the game – and it was. A touchdown there gives the Bucs a 34-24 lead with 2:27 remaining and a 3-3 record early in the 2015 campaign.

Yet I want to illustrate the fact that Tampa Bay held a 24-7 lead with 1:20 left just before halftime with three timeouts remaining, yet Smith was content to run the clock out and head to the locker room instead of trying for more points. Starting at Tampa Bay’s own 12-yard line, Sims ripped off an 8-yard run and then the Bucs were aided by a Redskins timeout with 1:15 left. Sims picked up four yards and a first down and Smith just let the clock run.

With time still ticking and 30 seconds needlessly running off the clock, Sims rambled for 13 more yards and another first down out to the Tampa Bay 37, which then prompted Smith to call his first timeout of the half. A holding call on the next play brought the ball back to the Tampa Bay 27, but there was still 35 seconds on the clock and two timeouts left to help try to get another Connor Barth field goal on the board before halftime.

Heaven knows the Bucs could have used three more points at the end of the game.

That kind of terrible clock management before halftime cost the Bucs last year in a 19-17 loss to St. Louis, this year in a 37-23 loss to Carolina, and nearly came back to bite Smith in a close, 38-31 victory over Jacksonville two weeks ago in a nearly identical situation as Smith decided to sit on a 20-14 lead and go into halftime with three timeouts in his pocket.

Why does Smith have an aversion to scoring points prior to halftime? He has acknowledged that he doesn’t want anything bad to happen right before the half, but that line of thinking prevents anything good from happening, too.

Bucs head coach Lovie Smith - Photo by Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs head coach Lovie Smith – Photo by Cliff Welch/PR

The Bucs have had trouble finishing in the fourth quarter because they don’t try real hard to finish in the second quarter, either.

No lead is safe in the NFL, especially when you have an awful pass defense like Tampa Bay does that allowed Cousins to complete 33-of-40 passes (82.5 percent) for 317 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Add Cousins’ name to the likes of other non-descript quarterbacks who have beaten Smith’s Buccaneers in Austin Davis, Derek Anderson (twice last year), Ryan Mallett and rookie Marcus Mariota.

Former Tampa Bay head coach Jon Gruden once told me that an NFL team gets between 10-12 possessions per game on average, and that each one is precious.  If you aren’t trying to score on each possession you are simply wasting them.

Thanks to a surprise onside kick in the third quarter that gave some momentum to Washington after it tightened the score to 24-14, the Bucs only had nine possessions to the Redskins’ 11 on Sunday.

And due to Smith’s complacency before halftime, the Bucs only really tried to score on eight of those nine possessions. That’s a fact, and a clear sign that Smith got out-coached by Jay Gruden.

Aside from working on a shaky pass defense over the bye week, I thought the Bucs would be re-emphasizing the need to cut down on penalties, as Tampa Bay has been one of the most undisciplined teams in the NFL this year. The Bucs tied a franchise record with 16 penalties for 142 yards while the Redskins were flagged just four times for 20 yards on Sunday.

“It was losing your poise,” Smith said. “We had too many penalties. Some of the penalties got them going when we had our big lead. It’s just not the type of ball that we should be playing. We had trouble with penalties early in the season but I thought we had gotten past that, but we haven’t.”

How in the world did Smith think the Bucs had improved in the penalty department? Did he not recall the 10 penalties for 72 yards in Tampa Bay’s last game against Jacksonville?

Is he not aware of the fact that only Buffalo has more penalties (72 for 670 yards) than Tampa Bay (64 for 533 yards) does, but that’s only because they’ve played seven games while the Bucs have only played six?

In fact, the Bucs have been penalized 10 times of more in five of their six games this season.

Bucs vs. Titans – 12 penalties for 97 yards
Bucs at Saints – 11 penalties for 90 yards
Bucs at Texans – 10 penalties for 84 yards
Bucs vs. Panthers – 5 penalties for 48 yards
Bucs vs. Jaguars – 10 penalties for 72 yards
Bucs at Redskins – 16 penalties for 142 yards

The scary thing is that Smith sees improvement in areas where no one else does, like penalties and on defense, despite getting flagged in double digits nearly every week and giving up a whopping 14 passing touchdowns in the red zone – including six in the past two games – this year.

Since taking play-calling duties away from defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier – despite improved defensive play down the stretch last year – Smith’s defense has already surrendered 30 points or more in six games this season.

30+ Points Allowed In 2015
Titans 35 (out of 42)
Panthers 30 (out of 37)
Jaguars 31
Redskins 31

Last year, the Bucs defense allowed opponents to score 30 points or more just four times out of 16 games.

30+ Points Allowed In 2014
Falcons (42 out of 56)
Saints 37
Ravens 48
Lions 34

I’ll remind you that there are 10 games left in this season.

Bucs fans have always loved defense from the days of Lee Roy Selmon and Richard “Batman” Wood and Mark Cotney in the 1970s, to the days of Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp, John Lynch and Ronde Barber in the late 1990s and early 2000s. To see this type of crappy defense is scarring Tampa Bay’s fan base.

Smith is famous for saying the kind of improvement he sees doesn’t always show up on the scoreboard, but the scoreboard is the ultimate arbiter of success in the NFL. Head coaches are measured by their wins and losses, and Smith is now 4-18 as Tampa Bay’s head coach, which is absolutely unacceptable, as the Bucs have lost more than a handful of winnable games over the past two years because they are incapable of finishing games.

Ex-Bucs coach Greg Schiano - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Ex-Bucs coach Greg Schiano – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Smith’s predecessor, Greg Schiano, had a better record (7-15) through his first 22 games in Tampa Bay than Smith does, and he was fired after just two seasons. There is precedent for the Glazers not letting Smith see the third year of his five-year contract – the final year of which is a team option.

Forget the notion that Smith should get a pass this year because he has a rookie quarterback. Winston hasn’t played like a rookie in half of the team’s games, and certainly played great in a winnable game at Washington on Sunday.

Raheem Morris, who also coached was saddled with a rookie quarterback in Josh Freeman, was 7-15 in his first 22 games, and he had a much younger and less talented team to work with in 2009-10 than Smith does right now. Morris was fired after three years in Tampa Bay.

The four teams that have beaten Smith’s Bucs this year have a combined record of only 12-15 this season.

Teams That Have Beaten Tampa Bay In 2015
Carolina – 6-0
Washington – 3-4
Houston – 2-5
Tennessee – 1-6

Dating back to last year, Tennessee has lost 15 of its last 16 games. The Titans’ only win was a 42-14 trouncing of Tampa Bay on opening day this year. What an embarrassment.

There is improvement going on in Tampa Bay, but it’s on offense – not Smith’s side of the ball. The young, revamped offensive line is coming together. Wide receiver Mike Evans is starting to get hot. Doug Martin is back to his rookie form, and he and Sims are the most effective 1-2 punch in the NFL at running back.

Winston hasn’t played like a rookie the last two games in completing over 70 percent of his passes with three touchdowns and no interceptions, while leading the offense to score 31 points against Jacksonville and 23 points against Washington. It’s a shame that the fantastic efforts of Winston, Evans and Martin were wasted by poor game management and poor pass defense on Sunday.

At the very least, the Glazers need to demand that Smith turn the play-calling duties over to Frazier, who has a bird’s eye view from the press box, for the rest of the season because the scoreboard suggests Smith is failing in that capacity. But I would take it a step further.

I would look south to Miami and see how the Dolphins have responded to interim head coach Dan Campbell, who is 2-0 after the firing of Joe Philbin following a 1-3 start. After failing to score more than 20 points in its first four games, Miami has beaten Tennessee, 38-10, and Houston, 44-26, under the energetic Campbell.

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

I wonder if energetic offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter could inject more life into the Buccaneers as an interim head coach than the stoic Smith has, and get this team to be more aggressive. I’d like to see him have the chance.

The problem isn’t necessarily the talent. The Bucs scouting department has had two very good drafts that have produced seven starters, and has unearthed some gems in young, undrafted defensive ends Jacquies Smith and Howard Jones, who have combined for seven sacks, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries for touchdowns, in addition to undrafted wide receiver Donteea Dye, who caught a touchdown on his first NFL reception at Washington. General manager Jason Licht and pro personnel director Jon Robinson need to stay put and keep acquiring talent.

The Dolphins haven’t changed any personnel over the last two weeks. Miami changed head coaches, and with that it changed the tone and the direction of the franchise.

Something isn’t right at One Buccaneer Place. There is complacency in losing close games because Tampa Bay is 4-11 in games decided by eight points or less under Smith.

Something in Smith’s message isn’t resonating with the players. The Bucs still can’t cover in pass defense. They still get penalized an average of 10 times per game. Tampa Bay still can’t finish games.

“I’ve had a lot of losses and all of them hurt,” Smith said. “Some hurt a lot more. Right now this one is hurting about as bad as any I could think of. You’re supposed to hurt when you finish the way we did, but then you look at the big picture a bit. We’re disappointed in this loss, but I still say we can be a good football team if we can clean up a few things.”

Smith is in charge of getting those things cleaned up and he’s failed. The Bucs’ 2-4 record this year is proof of that, and a murder’s row of upcoming games against Atlanta, the New York Giants, Dallas, Philadelphia and Indianapolis will make this a November not to remember in Tampa Bay.

When did a 4-18 record become acceptable to the Glazers? It’s time for them to make a change in Tampa Bay and fire Smith.

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Scott Reynolds is in his 24th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his son's Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]

114 COMMENTS

  1. Spot on. The Veteran players on the D are not buying in. It’s time to show Lovie the door and promote Koetter.

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    • Maybe Revis could have helped out the secondary…Verner and Banks were pointing fingers talking about who had what assignment on that final drive after a reception….and they aren’t Rookies.

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      • Not sure it’s the fault of the players. We keep change from man to Tampa2 or 3. How is the player to always know what defense is for what play?
        They have to be confused. A player like David just doesn’t all of a sudden not know how to play his position. That’s coaching and or lack of same. How anyone can defend Lovie’s defense and his record to date, I will not understand. If “continuity” to keep Lovie is important as some have suggested, then based on what has happened to date with Lovie, we will continue to be big time losers again this year. I am not a mosochist, so I want him gone now – why wait for the pain to continue?

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    • This is my comment-The team showed up today. I think this is one of the games that the bucs was the underdog,And when the game was close the Bucs game replace the Saints game in East Texas. I think IN FACT> This year NOW Tampa will win more games then everyone thought. I THINK TAMPA BAY WILL GO INTO ATLANTA AND WIN< I THINK THE NEXT THREE GAMES ARE WINABLE I WAS SO GLAD AT THE BUCS EFFORT> SO FANS DSON”T GIVE UP ON THEM>REMEMBER LOVIE SMITH HAS A JOB TO DO> GIVE ANOTHER CHANCE THROUGH 2016,

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      • I hope you are right…but doubt you are right…honestly will be surprised if we win another South game, or a NFC east game. Chicago,…another bad team…yes…good chance…Indy and St. Louis….maybe.

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      • George, I had to look at the hour you posted that. You can’t be sauced at 11AM, can you?
        What are you seeing in Lovie that most others do not see?

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  2. you had me until this “At the very least, the Glazers need to demand that Smith turn the play-calling duties over to Frazier, who has a bird’s eye view from the press box”

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  3. Embarrassed to be a Bucs fan this morning. Koetter, you’re alright in my book. Lovie, go back to your basement.

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  4. Schiano was 100 times better than lovie and he got ran out of town…please run Lost Lovie out of town quickly

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    • Why don’t people stop saying this and that. In Fact Schiano was mostly a college coach. Now if you want to get a college coach. Then folks go after Coach Steve Spurrier. The Great Coach at Florida, South Carolina and coach Wash redskin. If you want to hired a coach Hirer Him after Lovit Smith ERA. He mention he may come back to coach. That’s my opion. Ever game would be sold out. GO BUCS

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  5. Are the Glazers still paying Schiano off? I’m thinking that they won’t want to be paying the tab for two fired coaches, even though that seems warranted. As a Canes fan, I can say that a 58-0 beatdown is a good enough reason to sway an AD fire the coach immediately, when he was initially committed to having the coach play out the season. I will also say that Lovie did get the team to a 24-0 lead at one point. It ain’t a 58-0 beatdown. The question is, if the Glazers are going to keep Lovie; can an old dog learn new tricks? Did Lovie demand the ultra-conservative play calling in the second half or did Koetter? If Lovie is out, the Bucs fans are in for more years of rebuilding with new personnel that the new coach wants and more and more losing in that time. I’m still happy to see that the Bucs have found a QB to build around for the long term. I just hope the Bucs don’t squander the rare opportunity to have a potential franchise QB lead their team. That would be the real tragedy for Bucs fans.

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    • You do know that too many games like this can at the very least set back a franchise QB, and cause him to press, don’t you?

      Promote Koetter, see if he can put a decent D staff in place, and see if we can build a “D”….how ancient history Sapp’s “Just give us 17 points” is. Maybe the new mantra should be “Just give us 50 points”.

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    • e, FYI.
      Schiano signed a 5 year 15mil contract in 2012 and has another 3.2mil that is guaranteed in 2016. Lovie signed a 4 year 5mil/yr guaranteed contract with a 5th year option that would at minimum, pay him thru 2017.

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      • Thanks for the info, Mac… I just don’t see the Glazers paying three head coach salaries any time soon?

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        • Why not? It’s peanut money compared to all the FA players that were brought in by Lovie that haven’t worked out.
          Why was it we got rid of Revis again -(who were the players we brought in for that money are they still here), but yet it’s been said we are playing a lot of man? Confusing.

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  6. Saw this in Chicago as well. A D stacked with talented players that could never get over on Green Bay due to constant poor coaching from Lovie and being out coached in making game time adjustments. Then he is fired and watches games in his basement for a year without a sniff from good organizations.

    So what do the Glazer boys do? Hire him hoping he will be different here, and count on the memory of his position success decades ago to fill the seats. Who really expected different? And then to give them the keys to the franchise? And who keeps doing such hair brained things?

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  7. Hey Scott, did you have this article ready last game? But then after the win over the Jags you had to shelve it. Not you though..youll just wait until the next loss that has any drama to it.
    So you don’t see that last year was a joke due to Tedford, but you want to hold it against Lovie anyways? Pathetic for someone who has covered football for so long.

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    • Lovies record doesn’t lie…this team is going nowhere fast. Who is to blame for Tedford’s bailing out…which he did after recovery? And who screwed up thinking they could count on him? Who demanded Revis being cut? Who pushed for the sub-par FA’s we signed with that money? Face it…we will most certainly not be playoff competitive ever with Smith, much less SB competitive. Case closed..can him.

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    • Agreed.

      This is copy pasta from Scott Reynolds. Sad how far PR has fallen.

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    • Im 200% with you niko521. its a complete joke. its obvious that our secondary flat out just sucks. weve got banks, other than that, things are really iffy. nane one first rounder in our secondary..verner has dissapointed, and he can be added to the list of under achieving fa that have come here…its obvious and scott rynolds is beyond blind for not seeing that clearly our last two drafts have been all offensive players. when all but one draft pick has been on offense over the course of two yrs. what do you expect?? when you cant cover, your gonna struggle to finish games. lovie clearly sacrificed his bread and butter to make sure that the offense was put in place, which is looking to be going in that direction, witge all the “Toot my own horn” articles that scott rynolds has written about winston. i understand about being frusted about blowing the lead, but this is rediculous. i saw a buc team that started fast. how about your boy winston, he showed he can play a strong game from literally his first to last throw. hes legit, and lovie deserves the chance to adress “his” side of the ball.

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      • This all sounds like a nice excuse for Lovie to me. All of those clowns in the secondary WERE PICKED BY LOVIE! Don’t sit here and say he didn’t have a choice. Jennings, Jenkins, Moore, mcdougal, all either brought in or let by Lovie so stop with the excuses. There were plenty of dbs this offseason in need of a job and Lovie picks his beats retreads.
        How the hell are you ok with the mediocrity he’s brought?
        Did you watch his less conference yesterday? When asked about the lead and going into half he said he would do it again. Really? To me that says he arrogant enough to think this shit can secondary can hold a team below thirty. It also makes him look completely clueless for believing so. Has he not seen every other game this season including an opener where a rookie carved us up.
        Please just a stop with excuses, Lovie has won 4 games in 22 that’s pathetic and not even on par with what Raheem and schiano did with a lot less talent.

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        • cgmaster, did i ever once say im,ok with mediorcrity?? i didnt. so shut your mouth. im looking at thimgs from a logical, clear minded stand point. he brought in thise guys bc they understand the tampa 2. the problem is that there not that good. i see you chose to neglect my question about how many first round picks we have on our offense, ill go a step further. other than gmc, name on other player on defense that was drafted in the first round or within the first 3 rounds. tge answer is david and banks…thats been it. so our talent on that side of the ball isnt good and lovie deserves one more draft. you all are so quick to dump one coach and get to the next one. thats why were so bad and thats why no coach wants to come here bc they know they wont be given any time to turn things around. what coach wants to come to a team that has fired its coach after every other srason. i wonder if your the one whose ok with mediorcrity cgmaster…

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          • No I won’t shut my mouth after your moronic post. Being a tough guy on the keyboard just makes you look like a child, which you might be I don’t know. You obviously like mediocrity as you want to give lovie a chance another season.
            And what does first round picks have to do with anything genius? Please enlighten me as to how many first round picks carolina has on their defense besides Kuechly tough guy?
            You think Lovie can teach first round picks how to play defense when he can’t even teach guys that were in his system for years? Was Norman from Carolina a first round pick? I’m looking at the top 15 int guys right now and 3 were picked in the first round so just stop with the stupidity there scout. My god you’re clueless.
            Lovie has had two years and FA to get better and hasn’t. It’s idiots like you who are just happy being good enough.

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  8. Great article, promote Koetter and send Lovie back to whatever hole he crawled out of.

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  9. They need to make the move sooner than later. I say we give the job to Koetter and allow Frazier to stay as the DC. Koetter can continue to build the continuity he has with Winston and The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior and Lovie is always going to be who Lovie has always been and that has been average. If I recall we won our only Super Bowl with Gruden whom solely focused on offense and allowed Kiffin to handle the defense (Yes he had a great defense left by Dungy) but he did what was needed to accent the defense on offense and I don’t recall Gruden telling Kiffin to take it easy on defense, play conservative so why is it acceptable for Lovie to saddle the offense to be conservative?

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  10. If I’m Licht and the scouting department I’m scouring the practice squads across the NFL for DBs that have the skill set for this defense and signing at least 1 or 2 then demanding Lovie cut 1 (or 2) from Jenkins, Jennings, McDougald …nothing gets player’s attention more than the threat of losing your job. If they are not suppose to give the inside slant, or they are suppose to jam receivers, not fall too deep in their zones, but still are making these same mistakes …CUT them. Rookies can make the same mistakes but maybe we’ll find some acceptable talent going forward.

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    • John…wouldn’t you think cutting failed FA’s last year delivered that message? Newsflash…it isn’t one or two players…it is Lovie. There is no hope for him…and you want to repeat what we did last year…please…not again.

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      • That’s actually a good point. But I still think at this point playing younger DB’s and letting them get the exp is better than letting these guys collect a paycheck …certainly couldn’t hurt.

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        • I’d cut Jenkins and Jennings tomorrow. McDougald has played good ball and is still young. If nothing else let him spend a couple of games on ST.

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  11. I wonder if we would be having this serious of a conversation about Smith if we had stopped them at the end of the game? I’m not reading to throw Smith under the bus just yet. I’m more incline to give Frazier free rains to call the defensive plays. I still see Smith as a calming Head Coach for the players; I am bothered we are lacking player motivator’s on defense. In order for this Defense to work you have to have a pass rush and I don’t a consistent rush. To bring in older players who aren’t has sharp as their past for CB and Safety positions, doesn’t make sense to me. Play the rookies is my motto and has been for quite a while.

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    • There is no hope for Lovie…bad game coach…he gets out coached continuously and consistently….the guys couldn’t even line up properly in the secondary. And how long before Koetter moves on. Please…Unless you think Licht can staff this team with a half dozen or more Probowl players, Lovie will never win the big one. And BTW…look how the Packers are doing on D after losing most of their DB’s in FA…no more excuses.

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      • Horse, I’m with you on this thought. I don’t see the Glazers paying three coaches. Frazier had run good defenses with the Vikings before getting the bump to HC. Let Smith focus on penalties.

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  12. I agree with everything said. I honestly thought when Smith was hired, the defense would at least be strong, but it’s clear to me after this game that Smith isn’t getting through to the players on that side of the ball. Too many penalties, bad clock management are killers in today’s NFL. I really hate that we have to bring in ANOTHER head coach, but Lovie clearly is not getting it done. This is not a talent issue, this Bucs team is talented enough to win. It’s a coaching issue and one that apparently isn’t improving.

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  13. I darn near wrote a novel last week on why I thought Lovie would not be fired. Rarely do I eat my words, but this time I must. I have defended Lovie many times before, but in the face of this loss, it’s apparent that we will never consistently win with his leadership.

    At the end of the 2nd quarter and the opening of the 2nd half, I could literally feel the team going into a turtle shell. We were no longer playing to win, we were playing not to lose. When you ask the question, why would a team (Chicago) fire a coach with a 10-6 record? This game answers that question loud and clear.

    I like this team and we can see the foundation for a really competitive offense. But when you’re on the 4 yard line with a 1st down and a QB that’s had a near flawless game and he’s not involved in the series of plays that wins the game it goes to a mentality and personality that defines your team. With Lovie Smith we will never be a “win or die team” – just not in his DNA.

    I don’t know who called the plays after Martin’s run to the 4 yard line. I can’t accuse Lovie of stepping in and taking over the play calling, but as HC, he should have been involved. And the game should have ended right there. Every human fault is forgivable, but that’s not to say there shouldn’t be consequences.

    I’m a fan and fans are fickle. I reserve the right to change my mind. Lovie’s fate rests in the hands of the Glazers, but one would think that nobody could be pleased with that outcome. I only get to offer an opinion and I’m sad to say, it’s time to move on!

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    • I wonder if the coaching turnstile is in full effect in Tampa? We could easily be here on the PR in a couple of years waiting for the next ex-coach? I would think that if the point in today’s staff meeting could be “No longer will we play scared.” … Head down to Home Depot and buy some plywood, paint it on there and screw the damn sign over the coaches’ office and they could give it a slap on the way out of the office and onto the field?

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      • e,
        I admitted I’m a fan and fans are fickle. This week I’m mad and want someone to pay for that loss. We saved Gruden’s job and put “code red’ Cousins into the annals of Redskins history.

        Please read (in your spare time) my post from last week. If the Bucs beat the Falcons, I’m subject to flip-flop again. That’s what it means to be fickle! lol.

        https://www.pewterreport.com/articles/monday-afterthoughts-its-always-sunny-in-tampa-bay/

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        • I think you’re spot on with someone having to pay… unfortunately, I think it’s Bucs fans! I read the post and I wondering why PR hasn’t hired you yet? I remember you post on TBT over the years, but I can see why you ended up on PR. Without a doubt, the most comprehensive Bucs coverage that I’ve come across. Plus, when TBT went to a subscriber only model, I was outta there… You have every right to be fickle. I’ll try to sift out some of the good in this ugly Bucs week, season, decade… I guess that’s my right. On to the Dirty Birds and I look forward to your assessments!

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  14. Lovie has to stop being so bull headed and learn to adjust… that secondary and pass rush is a big problem but people have been saying similar crap about firing Marvin Lewis in Cincy for years… and they’re one of the best teams in the NFL so far this year…they’d be in the same boat as the Bucs if it they’d listened to the press and the fair weathered fans… IT TAKES TIME… the problem with Tampa Bay is no one has patience… every two years everybody wants to scrap the coach and the team & rebuild… it will never work that way!!! you need consistency and continuity which takes time to build

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    • It does take time to build success as you are stating and it is not ideal to start over every two years. I don’t believe that is questioned but the issue is do you give time to someone who has shown his entire career to not adjust or change his style? What exactly are we giving time for? The fact he is a Defensive guru in some minds yet he is being out coached not only by other coaches but by his own OC who keep in mind has a rookie QB and 2 rookie OL playing and has brought back Martiin back to his rookie form.

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    • But you have to build with the right guy…and BTW…when Cincy wins a SB, get back with us. As I remember, Minnesota was beating everyone but us one year, and many teams have done as well. But can they out coach the opposition in the big one? Lovie couldn’t with Urlacher and company in his appearance.

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      • Agreed!! Lovie isn’t the right guy at all and especially now that the league has completely flipped to an offensive driven game. I would equate to peoples argument at giving Lovie more time to giving your cheating girlfriend more time to learn to be faithful, never going to happen.

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        • Don’t think he us the cheating girl friend…more like the ex-girl friend that thinks her performance in her twenty pounds lighter disco outfit and “disco fever” dance will win the dance contest, and can’t figure out why she didn’t win. Times have changed and she hasn’t figured it out.

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    • I tend to agree grafik… I know these kind of losses are real kicks in the gut, but I’m hopeful that the most important ingredient to winning in the NFL these days is a solid QB and we may very well have one for the first time in a long time… That’s my focus these days…

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    • Good post.

      This article is essentially a mirror image of the one that came out before JAX game. At this point copying and pasting from a previous article for use of a new article doesn’t show much inspiration or tact, but comes off as cheesy and tacky instead. Copy pasta indeed.

      The team is trying to rebuild which is what is happening with the #1 overall pick with Winston drafted.

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  15. Even if you fire Smith the last thing you want is Koetter spending less time with Winston.

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  16. Doug Martin should have been on the field on third down. They also should have gone for it on fourth down. If we missed, the skins would have still needed a td to win. This one is all on Lovie.

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  17. Like I said the last time the subject of firing Lovie came up…I don’t care who they fire at One Buc Place. Just so long as they wait until the end of the season so we can see who needs to go with him. Showing the next head coach that we’ll give him at least 2 years is more important to getting the better coaches to apply than getting a head start on the hiring process. Historically teams always responded well initially to a head coaching change mid-season; what’s happening down in Miami is nothing unprecedented (e.g. Chiefs played well for Romeo Crennel after he was made HC mid-season).

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  18. the money left on lovie’s contract should not be a factor in the decision. we paid michael johson and anthony collins more than $10 million to not play for us 2015, eating $15-20 million for a coaching staff (assistants, coordinators included) should not be an issue if it is holding the franchise back. and it is.

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  19. Good article scott and right on. I’m sicf of this guys shell mindset. The mi nute we get a lead he want to curl up in a ball and hope we win. This defense IS HIS DEFENSE. HIS PLAYER! This is the worst secondary I’ve ever seen. They are nowhere near a receiver. Kirk F%$^&*g Cousins had 82% against us. That is damn pathetic. And then we got nice guy Mccoy saying pleasant stuff after the game with smiles. GTFO with that crap. Mccoy is on my shit list too. How about you make an impact play outside of the first quarter mccoy! You were invisible today!
    Fire lovie, I don’t care what it costs us, he’s worthless and clueless. Keep Koetter at all costs and move on from Lovie and his bears rejects. I wold take Schiano all day over this clown and I can’t believe I’m even saying that.

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  20. As always, I liked your post Macabee.
    Because of the loss, I would have no problems with Lovie getting canned “if” Koetter were to replace him.
    My reasons are the same as PR’s. Koetter has built a solid offense while the defense, which has Lovie’s fingerprints all over it, has regressed.
    I’m not an X’s and O’s guy, but when I see someone playing 15 yards off the receiver, something isn’t right.
    Said players was also targeted multiple times during the TD drive.
    I am not a knee jerk guy and have defended Lovie numerous times.
    But this is Lovie’s defense and his fingerprints are,all over it. He even calls the defense.

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  21. This article is right on. I said it last night on a post and I’ll say it again. Coach L, I cant even say his name, has created a culture of loosing here in Tampa Bay. He frequently says “we are getting better” in his pressers, but at the end of the day, when the score board reads zero’s, the result is the same. A LOSS.

    His lack luster approach and his consistent positive attitude, telling his players that they are improving each week is asinine. They are NOT IMPROVING! You don’t tell a drunk in rehab that is showing up to meetings loaded, that he is getting better. Do you think that Brooks, Alstott, Barber, Lynch, or any of those guys, if they were coach or on the staff, would be telling these players that they are getting better? That’s a big fat NEGATIVE.

    This attitude is what has created mediocrity and the culture of loosing in Tampa Bay, and it is unacceptable. 4-18 over the past couple of years says it all.

    Fire Coach L today, so we can right the ship, pun intended, and bring back that swagger that the teams of the past had.

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  22. A lot of Lovie hate. The problem starts deeper then that. Glazer children are not owners who care. They consistently make terrible hires. The only way to change this organization is an owner who has just the Buc’s as his primary concern. Find another Vinnik to buy this franchise. Owners should have a passion to WIN!!! Go Buc’s.

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    • It does reach the doorstep of the boys. If I were them, I would concentrate on the best GM I could hire and trust….and have them make the football decision…who have we had since Richie? If Licht is the guy that they still believe in, lean on his knowledge…if not hire a new GM. These boys don’t know much more about the game side of football than I do…they need to find someone that can help them make the right decisions.

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  23. And hire the old Ball coach!!?????
    Really!!!! How did that work out the last time he was an NFL coach??

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  24. Notice how angry the fan base is after yesterday’s setback. It’s only going to get worse around here. Lovie lost more supports yesterday. We are tired of losing. We deserve better, Glazers.

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  25. So now we’re down to firing coaches before they even get to the midway point of their 2nd season… seriously people? This is the endless rebuilding that will lead to nothing more than more failure. Miami had their head coach for years and they had a team that was expected to be a contender, the Bucs were expected at best to be a 6-10 this year, and they’re playing like a team that will finish in that range. While I’m extremely frustrated by the loss the team isn’t going anywhere anyways. Changing coaches yet again isn’t going to lead to any success. Lovie has a history of success, it’s not like he’s Morris or Schiano, let the guy at least get through the year before calling for his head. It’s amazing you people think firing yet another coach, doing yet another rebuild is going to lead to anything other than more failure.

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    • If you rebuild on Lovie, you are building on sand….how many bad FA hirings and cases of being out-coached do you need to see?

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      • Rabble rabble rabble… rabble rabble rabble…

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  26. The good news is that the team is getting better. We may have a very good QB which leads to a very good offense. That is part of what Smith has done. The defense is poor at best and that is one him. We have a defensive coordinator. Time to bench Smith and use the other guy and see what happens. That is how a good head coach would handle the problem. He needs to be a head coach and not a head case coach.

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  27. I was not a fan of the Lovie hire and still think it was a mistake. However, to have any chance of success they have got to have some continuity. If Lovie is fired today that person would be the 4th coach since ’09 (7 seasons). Nobody can win that way. Besides, the real question when firing somebody is: who will replace them?

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    • Give Koetter a chance…if this O keeps growing he will go elsewhere as a HC….funny…we handed Rah the keys to the HC office and he never was more than a position coach….and you don’t believe Koetter might deserve a chance? He will get one likely, somewhere other than Tampa Bay.

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  28. There is a lot of truth to what you say a-bomb and would agree with you if it wasn’t for the fact that this is Lovie’s defense and he calls the plays.
    The Redskins, when they finally realized how easy it was to pass on the Bucs, carved us up like a Thanksgiving turkey.
    And this was from a QB who was only completing passes in the 50 percent range.
    Lovie picked this defense personally from Henry Shelton, Bruce Carter, Mike Jenkins, Al Verner, Bradley McDougal, Major Wright, to Tim Jennings.
    Except for Shelton and Chris Conte I see nothing there but average and below average players.
    Our secondary is no doubt the worst in the league and only serves as a scout team for opposing offenses.

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  29. I am not in favor of firing the Head Coach at the end of the Season. I still believe he can turn this around with this coming draft. He has seen from the get go you need DE’s in order to get a good pass rush. He has tried to do it via Free Agency and deserves the chance to draft DE’s in the early rounds. Our Offense was so bad when Schiano was fired most of Smiths early picks have been for Offense. This draft Coach Smith and GM will focus on DE’s and CB’s. How soon we forget how bad the situation was when Smith got here. How many 4 and 5 year players are on this team? We still need some more talent on Defense. Next year at this time I will be screaming if we are 2-4. As to Kotter, what did he really do at Atlanta for Matt Ryan? I’m not ready to annoint him. Why didn’t Atlanta promote him?

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  30. Well, the first half was fun to watch. Not time to fire Lovie yet. Continuity is critical. Even a team with a bad coach will get better as they gel together in a system. I wish we could fire the CB’s however!

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  31. I think @pinkstob makes a good point about needing to think forward to hiring the next coach…that guy is going to want to know that no matter how bad he screws up (which can’t be worse than SchiaNo and Lovie) he gets at least 2 full years to make his mark.

    I also think it’s very telling how much progress the offense has shown, and how much regression the defense has shown…anyone still think we have a top-10 defense?

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  32. Horse is right. This could have gone either way. Yes our Defense is not good. But Cmon, Did anyone here think we were going to win more than 5 games this year ? We were the worst team in the NFL and we have a rookie QB. But how about the rookie QB ? He had quite a day. The offense is coming together, Martin is a beast again and even Evans showed up. We will undoubtedly have to have a couple more defensive drafts to turn our defense around.

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    • Defense “not good”…hilarious. And Martin might not be here next year, if we continue to spiral down.

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  33. I never thought we were a Top 10 defense when we were a Top 10 defense.
    The breakdown in coverages against the Jags proved that.
    Time to move on from the dinosaurs named Jenkinsaurus and Jenningsaurus.
    If we are going to continue to blow coverages. lets at least do it with some young players we might be able to develop.
    Both Jennings and Jenkins will be sitting on their couches next year on Sunday.

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  34. and people act like you’re going to find premier pass rushers & DBs just walking on the street LOL yes L&L bought in the guys on defense but the free agent market has been pretty bad… unless you like overpaying for a 30+ has-beens or a guy with one good season

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  35. I don’t agree with Scott at all. Schiano left the cupboard bare and Licht and Lovie have had two good OFFENSIVE DRAFTS. The talent upgrade is obvious. They also hired a damn good offensive coach, though he had a bit of a cramp on third down at the 1 yard line. I do think that they are protecting Jamies too much. A pass to the tight end on third down would have won the game. Lovie is not going anywhere. They will win 5-7 games as predicted. Licht and the Front office may insist on a new defensive coordinator. I would. They are not going to tinker with an offense that had improved miraculously and not just because of the quarterback but because of better personnel, good drafting, etc. I’m surprised that nobody has talked about some of the terrible calls in the game. They should have called two roughing the passer penalties against the redskins and Evans was held in the endzone twice. The holding calls were alfully ticky-tack as well.

    The only way that Lovie gets canned is if they lose 12 games or more. I really don’t that’s going to happen. the onsides kick changed the momentum of the game. Othertwise this was a win. The secondary plays confused. But they aren’t going to be able to fix that until the offseason. In Light I trust. He’s earned it. the next two drafts will be on the defensive side and after that we’ll be at the top of the NFC South.

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  36. I’m tired of the “cupboard was bare for Lovie” garbage excuses. Go back and look at what Shiano and Morris had to work with. That argument does not hold water at all. He’s had two drafts, and the Glazers have given him a lot of money for free agents and most were a total waste. He’s not only a poor coach that gets out coached routinely he is terrible at evaluating talent on offense and defense. I guarantee we would have won another game if not for the stupid kicker debacle. The way those defenders were playing off the receivers at the end was insane. You cannot tell me that they were doing that on their own or freelancing? That is ridiculous. It’s the defense that Lovie called. He plays not to lose. If they were freelancing then he’s lost the locker room and needs to go anyways. He’s in over his head and cannot manage the game and call defense that’s for sure. Koetter is the only person on this staff I’m sure needs to stay. It makes sense at least to me not being an expert, we could give Koetter a chance at coaching and give Frazier at least until end of year to see if he can do better on defense. You can’t tell me it would get worse. No way. There will be others that will continue to say he needs more time. How much more? 3 years? 4? 5? Every game he stays coach is just another game before this team starts improving on defense. It has not gotten better in any area except offense. Koetter has gotten a lot out of a rookie O line and QB.

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    • fredster; the Glazer’s only gave them the bare minium. Give this some time. Schiano was a horrible Coach and drafter; he had to be fired. Smith is a proven coach and I’m comfortable he told the Glazer’s it would take three years to turn this around. I think most of us felt it would too. Hang in there.

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  37. Oh and Buddah who are we going to beat to win 5-7 games? Dream on. We barely beat the horrible Jags. We will lose next 4 for sure. Who left on that schedule are we going to beat? If they win another game I’ll be shocked. 4-12 is a dubious proposition at this point.

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    • Chicago is as bad as we are….that is the game I’m hoping for a victory….but then again, they know Lovies “defensive” philosophy…whatever that is.

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    • If we lose to Atlanta; I’m okay with losing the rest of our games and pick at the top of the draft. We need this next draft to have it turned around. Hang in there.

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    • I would love to see them beat the Falcons. That would be a huge momentum switch after what we just went through!

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  38. If fans think that firing Lovie Smith will bring short term improvement to the team, they are in for a rude awakening. Please explain to me how firing our HC(and DC) right now would bring any good to the team.
    We have done this before with Schiano. Out with the old personnel and in with the new, and the “rebuilding process” starts all over again, except this time our roster is stocked with players that fit Lovie’s 4-3 system. So unless the Glaziers decide Leslie Frazier is our future at DC, it wouldn’t be wise to kick out Lovie and expect growth this year or next year with whoever we bring in.
    And, on that note, who is a potential candidate for HC right now that would be a good, quality selection as a HC and would fit our 4-3 personnel scheme as a DC? That’s not to say that we need another Lovie who is basically the DC and HC, but what about just potential DCs? I don’t think Marinelli could come to Tampa or would even want to. And beyond that I haven’t heard of other outside potential candidates.
    The only short term fix to this problem is Leslie Frazier. He has experience as a HC in the NFL and knows the defense, obviously. His defensive play-calling ability is probably better than Lovie’s, given the continuity and improvement seen in the end of 2014’s campaign, and Frazier has to been more astute at game managing. However, is promoting Frazier to interim(and possibly permanent) HC at this point in the season better than sticking it out with the Love-master? No.
    We have a young team, at least offensively, and any kind of spurious and drastic action taken to change the leader of this team is risky. There is the potential for good and bad either way, but, after the Redskins game, there is no denying that progress IS being made. Albeit, almost all offensively; however, lets give Lovie the rest of this season. Lets fire someone in a lesser position, Byrd or Lovie’s son most preferably, and see where those changes take us. Although it isn’t the long-term answer, as I don’t believe Lovie has the IQ to win a Superbowl, this is the best option currently available.
    Please, I beg for patience. Lets not make the mistake of firing Lovie and hiring another Schiano. The best option is to wait and pray for a Savior (potential, high IQ HC) to hit the market and snag him up.

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    • I’m with you and agree. Hang in there fans. One more draft and this will be turned around. Go Bucs!

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    • Well said.

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  39. Burning 3 timeouts in the 2nd half alone was enough to show Lovie has no game management skills.

    Give up control of the defense or go down with the ship and be replaced next year

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  40. Scott…we are actually 3-11 in games under Smith.

    I don’t know what to do. Sad part is that I do think we are getting better.

    I do think handing the reins of the defense back to Frazier is a must

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  41. Thank you PR/SR – this was the exact time and it is responsible to report the facts as media and vested Bucs outlet as you are business and fan! Thank you this made my Monday much better my feelings are mutually shared by reputable people.

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    • Whom do you suggest we get?

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      • Aye, there’s the rub.

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  42. Anyone “OK” with losing games the rest of the year for draft picks and keeping St. Lovie is a MORON!!! Do you honestly think it’s OK to pay to see a team as BAD as this one is for TWO YEARS? OK to lose 11 of 12 at home thus far? OK to BLOW leads like yesterday? It’s NOT OK jackwagon! This Buccaneer team has NO IDEA HOW TO WIN GAMES! That’s on St. LOVIE! Under his supervision the Buccaneers STINK!!!!!!!

    Good read Scott. If only those with brains had the power to do what you suggest. If only….

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    • Obviously you are too angry to understand that was in jest, so just keep thinking that way if it makes you feel better. You might want to consider some therapy though instead of spending your money on those tickets. Go Bucs!

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      • Jest? It was NOT a “funny” game and nor are you a particularly funny poster. Scott is right IMO and you might want to consider KMA.

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  43. Yea lets compare Lovie at 2 wins last year to Marvin Lewis who makes playoffs every year. Lol. Omg how sad is it we are talking about the draft in October! Lovie needs to go period. Another draft or year of free agency is not going to help him. He can’t coach, can’t manage clock, can’t call defense, can’t evaluate talent, can’t get players to play without approaching 20 penalties, etc. If he’s not the answer then move on! He clearly is not the answer. Frazier has better results calling defense. I have no doubt there was enough talent on this team to win 7-9 games this year. It’s just a joke. How anyone thinks he just needs more time is beyond stupid. They will be lucky to win 3 or 4 games this year. Also enough talk about not getting a good coach unless we give him 2-3 years. Someone is going to turn down millions of dollars and chance to coach in NFL because they might be fired and paid millions of dollars to do nothing like Shiano? Lol. Let’s show the fans you care and there are consequences to being the laughing stock of the NFL.

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  44. fredstar; I hear you. Who are you suggesting we get? I am willing to give Lovie three drafts to turn this around. I wish it could have been two, but it’s not. Three is all he gets for my support. I really don’t believe anyone could turn this team around in two years, but I know we were hoping for it. Go Bucs!

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  45. Emotionally, like some, I am ready to end the Lovie Smith era and begin anew tomorrow. But logically I know that’s not the best tact. Firstly, the Glazers are not going to make it another “New Day in Tampa Bay” until the end of the season. At that point they will assess the situation. We can all say, “Fire his a$$!”; but then the question becomes , OK, now what? Koetter? Don’t we still need him to be OC and not take on the massive HC duties? Spurrier? I couldn’t stop laughing over that suggestion. Frazier? Another one for Comedy Central. As much as my confidence in Lovie Smith has waned due to the lack of discipline and downright stupidity of some of the players in his charge, I’m willing to let the remaining games play out to see if he is able to make a come-back in the second half of the season the way his defense allowed the Redskins to seize victory when a loss was all but assured.

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  46. Horse, I don’t need to see another season of simple as that to know this club is going nowhere under Lovie. You really think giving him another year will make a difference? The Dolphins have reeled off two impressive wins promoting Cambell, and firing their D coordinator. We can accomplish that just firing one guy Lovie. I’d like to see Hardy Nickerson at the helm. I think this team needs a warriors mentality, Lovie’s to passive. We don’t have to start from scratch. Our offensive scheme is fine, this style of defense works, we just don’t have the head guy pushing the right buttons. You can see the change in Miami, we need that change here.

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    • suferdudes, Miami has struggled a lot longer than us and they did have some talent on the team before this last coach was hired and now fired. We were really a bad team under Schiano and wasted draft picks to top it off. Would I prefer to let Lovie go after this season? Of course. I don’t believe it is going to happen. I believe the owners agreed with Lovie he would get three drafts. This next draft will be our turning point because we don’t have the DE’s. I know everyone is tired of me saying it. First 3 draft picks will go for Defense regardless who the Coach might be. We are close to having this turned around as it was going to take 3 drafts no matter who was in charge. Just my opinion.

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      • Earlier, your last post in fact, you claim you are willing to keep St. Lovie for a third year and another draft. Willing to lose the rest of the games this season if the Buccaneers fail against the Falcons. Now, hour later you would “prefer” to let St. Lovie go after this season? Which is it? You flip flop more than Hillary for God’s sake. THINK before you type and try a little honesty and passion. It goes a long way on a message board.

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  47. Yesterday I was adamant, today I’m ambivalent – who knows, tomorrow I may be ecstatic! I’m moving on and not looking back!

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  48. By watching Lavonte’s body language in the last game I can tell frustration is mounting. The backbone of our squad is a solid pass defense and we don’t have a single starting caliber safety on the roster; please cut Jennings, Jenkins, Conte, and Wright. I can’t help but feel Koetter is turning the offense around with a laughable O-line but we have seen 0 improvement on defense over the last 2 seasons. Lovie is a great analyst- his conferences outline all aspects of what we failed to accomplish yet improvements are never made the next week.

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    • Lavonte had every right to be upset , he’s the one that blew the inside coverage. What the hell is he doing creeping down into the box when there isn’t even a damn running back on the field. What has happened to that guy this year?!

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  49. Fire St. Lovie and ask Dirk Koetter to take the job. The team is not responding to St. Lovie and it’s obvious. Time to move on from a colossal mistake. The record speaks for itself.

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    • WILL St. Lovie be fired before the end of the season? Probably not. And it’s too bad. But any Buccaneer fan satisfied with his “leadership” is just not paying attention. Any fan NOT angry after the meltdown on Sunday following St. Lovie’s 1-10 record at home just doesn’t care in the first place. Well, the home games will be 50/50 visiting fans now and season ticket holders will be letting the Glazers know they’ve had enough. So unless the Buccaneers win at least 6 games this season I certainly HOPE a change is made after this season. Hey, you think St. Lovie’s team can go 4-6 the rest of the way? Hope so, seriously doubt it. But fans have EVERY right to express their displeasure with St’ Lovie’s record here ESPECIALLY after his team being so totally unprepared after a bye week. Hell he was unprepared after having MONTHS to prepare for the Titans…… nothing new. So this FIRE ST LOVIE!!! might be ignored by the Glazers but I’m typing it anyway becaue I give a damn.

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      • Unfortunately Garv some posters are just ok with us being mediocre and giving excuses for Lovies ineptitude. The guy can’t coach his way out of a paper bag and I want him gone. During the season won’t haoppen and the Glaziers never do that so I’m fine with that. But after the season he needs to be gone. And I don’t want to hear this “lovie didn’t draft defense the last two years” Well he sure wasted three picks last year after the fourth round on no safeties or Db’s, and 80% of this defense is players he piked, so there is no more excuses.
        The offense on this team is young and can be explosive, but well never win with Lovies BS conservative mindset and HIS defense. Just as frustrated as you Garv.

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        • You are wrong about Lovie being bad for two years…in truth he was bad for closer to a decade, 1-1 in the post season since 2006. Why in the heck do people think I was so upset when he came here? 85-81 I believe as a HC, and he will be below 500 if he is here till the end if the year. He was lucky and had a great D Chicago during the Urlacher years, and squandered it.

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  50. I have no – zero, access to this team other than being a fan, following the news, reading and listening. There is really no way for me to know what is going on inside One Buc. I do know that last year new management made some serious personnel changes including a very offense-heavy draft. This year, we see more significant additions and subtractions with a rookie QB that looks promising – helped greatly, if not always consistently by a young O-line. So as a fan I think I know enough to say the offense is in pretty good future shape. Can’t say the same for the D. Spotty pass rush, linebackers struggling in pass protection (even David missing key tackles) and D-backs that look like a collection of flea market bargains. As a fan, I see this. What I can’t see is how this translates in to a coach who is so lacking in leadership skills he must be fired. Where is this knowledge coming from? Is there a rumbling coming from the players? the owners? Again – as a fan, I see individual players making mistake after mistake. And maybe position coaches could shine a little light my way. I didn’t expect the Bucs to be great this year. I saw several losing record predictions from other fans likely expecting (as the article says) Winston to play like a rookie. I believe not seeing the other parts of the team as a work in progress is a bit narrow – and pointing to Lovie as a poor leader seems like an unobserved leap. I am going to watch this play out, wait until January – listen and learn from what little “real” information fans get, and then decide what I’ve seen thru 16 games … not 6. Go Bucs!

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    • You are delusional if you think Smith shouldn’t be fired. This team is worse than last year. He has zero answers. Get a clue.

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  51. Who are we going to beat to get to 5 or more wins? As anyone who follows pro football knows, it is notoriously difficult to make these kind of predictions. Things change every week due to injuries, momentum, motivation, etc. After we beat New Orleans, there was genuine excitement and most of us thought we could take Washington. At the end of the first quarter most Buccaneer fans watching the game, were sitting in disbelief. Let’s not forget that the Buccaneers have scored more than 90 points in their last three games. This offense should keep us in games. Indy is a beatable team; Atlanta has tailed off offensively after a big start to the season, struggling at Tennessee and getting blown out in New Orleans and dodging a bullet at home against the Redskins in Overtime. They don’t impress me as anything more than a pretender. The Bears have worde personnel than us; the Giants are up and down and should have lost to a Dallas team devastated by injuries. We’ve already beat New Orleans and Carolina is good but not great; their offense doesn’t scare anyone and they play close to the vest. We could win any of these games or we could lose any of them. Regardless, they still have to play the games.
    I was as miserable as anyone Sunday night, but I see no percentage in rushing into yet another coaching change. We already know that good coaches have Tampa marked as a team with incompetent management and one that would have fired yet another coach after two years. Lovie Smith took a team to the Super Bowl and he won 10 or more games four times in a tough division. I’m not happy with the current results but I’m not yet ready to start yet another long rebuilding job. Give him his three years. Let him have a defensive draft. Last year everyone was shouting about what a mess management had made out of our offensive line. Now with arguably the best offensive lineman still not available, those decisions look awfully good for the future.

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    • You are delusional if you think Smith shouldn’t be fired. This team is worse than last year. He has zero answers. Get a clue.

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  52. Agree 100%. Finally someone with the guts to tell it like it is. This team is worse than last year. No improvement whatsoever. Lovie has zero answers.

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  53. The Bucs do not need a new head coach. What they need are stability and better players. That’s what the successful franchises have: teams like the Packers, the Patriots, the Steelers. They don’t have constant turnover at head coach. And they continually acquire good professional football players, primarily through the draft. The Buccaneers are on their third head coach in the last six years. The results of their drafts over the past decade are mediocre at best. It reminds me of the Bucs as they were in the mid-80s to mid-90s. I don’t think that dismissing Coach Smith at this point would solve anything. It would just create more turmoil, uncertainty, and instability. It would just start the rebuilding process all over again. A new head coach would bring in his assistants, and his schemes, and the Bucs are right back at square one. What the Bucs need are more good football players! Some pieces of the puzzle are certainly in place, but more are needed. The team simply has to do a better job scouting and drafting good football players. Develop them in a system with stability. Firing the head coach every two years isn’t going to solve anything. That’s what they have been doing, and it isn’t working! Why would it now?

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    • You know little to nothing about the Packers. They do have their systems down, but lose players in FA and due to injury every year. What the DO have is a great GM that constantly finds diamonds in the rough and has very good coaching…motivating and teaching… to bring good players through the pipeline,=.

      What we need is to keep Koetters Offensive system…it seems to be jelling…and get rid of everyone with their hands on the Defense. And hire a HC that knows how to manage the clock, time outs,adjust their game plan..and find a D coach to motivate and teach a defense.

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  54. I say give him one more year. Or at least give him the opportunity to get through this season. Unless we get blown out by a weak team coming up. We looked amazing in the first half, 16 penalties and an extremely weak secondary killed it. If Lovie drafts well and we don’t lose the Dougernaut (I prefer Muscle Hamster), we may have something special next year. Go Bucs!

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  55. I remember some years back when they basically asked jon gruden why he kept bringing in bum qb’s to training camp and he replied something like “because peyton mannings don’t grow on trees”.. if we do fire lovie, who do we hire to replace him? joe philbin? brad childress? there are not quality coaches out there. Secondly, what would a coaching change do for jameis’s progress? we should stay the course now, mid season firings never do any good. Im actually seeing alot of good in this buccs squad now i think we are an elite DE away from being a really solid team. If you actually pay attention our defensive backs look really bad due to a severe lack of a pass rush..

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  56. Everyone’s anger is certainly justified. However, as much as my emotions tell me he should be fired, Lovie should stay on at least another year. Coaching roulette never works out, it just provides a Band-Aid to make fans feel better temporarily.

    What needs to happen is Lovie needs to give control of the defense back to Frazier. Frazier had the defense running pretty well after the bye last year. Since Lovie took over, we’ve become the defensive doormat of the league. If Frazier can’t get the defense going then we can replace him next year with someone who can.

    We’ve drafted pretty well the last 2 years with the exception of our wasted picks last year. One good draft with a good DE and maybe a few DBs would give us the necessary pieces to turn this around.

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    • Also, lets not forget we are still paying Schiano. Firing Lovie would mean we have to pay a new HC and the prior 2. I don’t see the Glazers paying 3 coaches next year, so it doesn’t seem like an option either way.

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  57. There are 10 games left in Lovie’s second year. Yea it was a frustrating loss. I only saw one comment on how horrible the refs were. We had 16 penalties, a lot of them were totally ticky tacky, to 4 penalties on Washington. I saw a ton of no calls on Washington. They called a ruffing the passer on us and then when Washington did thew same exact thing to Winston, no call. They called back a 40 yard run on 2 calls that were not even there. They took a touchdown off the board for us on a crappy interference call on the same drive. We ended up with a field goal. The fix was in. It was a frustrating loss. Shame on Pewter Report for writing this piece of trash article just to increase clicks. Only an idiot would fire Lovie with 10 whole games left in his second year. Give him time. This reminds me of all the same people saying Gerald McCoy was a bust after 3 years.

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