SR’s Fab 5 is a collection of inside scoop, analysis and insight from yours truly, Pewter Report publisher and Bucs beat writer Scott Reynolds. Here are a few things that caught my attention this week at One Buc Place:
FAB 1. ANNIHILATION IN ATLANTA PROVES BUCS ARE GOING NOWHERE
Embarrassing doesn’t even describe it.
Neither does shameful.
Humiliating might be more appropriate.
The Buccaneers weren’t beaten by the Falcons in Atlanta on Thursday Night Football. They were absolutely annihilated by a damning score of 56-14.
“There’s not a whole lot for me to say, really, after a game like that,” Tampa Bay head coach Lovie Smith said. “I’m embarrassed by our play. We failed in all phases. Of course it starts with coaching. It starts with the head football coach. I thought I had our football team ready to play. Obviously, we weren’t ready to play. We couldn’t stop them on defense. Couldn’t score any points on offense. Special teams, we couldn’t get anything done there.”
Keep in mind that at one point in the fourth quarter, the Bucs were down by 56 points, which was the largest deficit ever by a Tampa Bay team. And keep in mind that the Bucs franchise started 0-26 from 1976-77, but none of those losses were as by a 56-point margin – or even the 42-point margin that ended the game.
“We weren’t competitive,” Smith said. “Most of the questions [the media is] going to ask I’m going to agree with tonight. We’ve been [competitive in the first two games]. We have injuries, and we’re missing some good football players, but the guys that we had out there – we should have played better than that.”
On Thursday, the Bucs played without starting two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, starting running back Doug Martin and starting tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, but it didn’t matter. Tampa Bay was simply overwhelmed in all three phases of the game by the Falcons.
To add injury to insult, starting quarterback – for now – Josh McCown injured his thumb in the second quarter when his right hand hit the helmet of Falcons defender Robert McClain and couldn’t return to the game.
“We’ll take x-rays and we’ll know more tomorrow,” McCown said. “I hit the guy’s helmet and the way he landed on me, I think my thumb was under him somehow. I grabbed a ball on the sidelines and I just couldn’t grip a ball. That was the main thing.
“We were ready to go,” McCown said. “We knew they were a better defense than they kind of statistically suggested. They are better here at home. We didn’t execute and didn’t do what we were supposed to do and they took advantage of it and made plays.”
The Bucs managed just two first downs in the first half and were outgained 300 yards to just 63 yards, and were outscored 35-0 after the first two quarters. McCown threw his fourth interception in the first three games as a Buccaneer, a pick-six to Falcons defensive back Kemal Ishmael.
Even if McCown wasn’t hurt bad and can play next week, it seems like it is time to make a change at quarterback. The offense has stalled under the 35-year old’s watch. The Bucs are averaging a measly 10.3 points per game and have yet to produce 300 yards of offense in more than one contest this year. McCown completed just 5-of-12 passes (41.6 percent) for 58 yards with one interception in Atlanta.
So is Smith ready to contemplate changing quarterbacks?
“We’re so far away from talking about stuff like that,” Smith said. “You can beat us up on the game right now. There are a lot of things to talk about that happened right now as opposed to what we’re going to do in the future. What we’re going to do in the future … of course we have to make some changes. The direction we’re going right now isn’t getting it done.”
While Smith didn’t want to discuss a possible quarterback change right after the game, he did praise the play of backup Mike Glennon, who completed 17-of-24 passes (70.8 percent) for 121 yards and a touchdown.
“I thought Mike came in and did some good things,” Smith said. “There weren’t a whole lot of bright spots tonight. Your backup quarterback doesn’t get a whole lot of reps [in practice]. I thought Mike jumped in and was eager to play and if there was something bright that came out of his game, of course it was his play.”
If McCown has a sprained or broken thumb, that injury would force Glennon into the starting lineup perhaps sooner than Smith would like, but that may not be a bad thing. While he lacks McCown’s mobility, Glennon has a calm poise in the pocket that McCown doesn’t appear to have.
Another change could be coming at running back where despite his touchdown catch in Week 1 and his 144 yards rushing last week, Bobby Rainey may be benched when Doug Martin’s injured knee allows him to return to the starting lineup. Rainey was the most productive weapon in Thursday’s loss, rushing the ball 11 times for 41 yards (3.7 avg.) and catching seven passes for 64 yards, but he fumbled twice.
“Just frustrating,” Smith said. “You can’t do it. Turnovers have just really ruined some of the good things we’re doing. Bobby is a good runner, but you can’t turn the ball over. Just the turnovers but itself – we get a takeaway and turn it over on the same play. How many times does that happen? A fumbled snap – just too many things we did wrong today to have a chance to win. If you do that many things you get embarrassed the way we did tonight.”
Benching Rainey would be a mistake, though. He runs with a greater sense of urgency than Martin does, and has better quickness, field vision and agility that allows him to create something out of nothing.
Rainey has three fumbles in three games, and the Bucs can’t have that, but he is the team’s most productive offensive player with 291 total yards this season, and one of Tampa Bay’s five offensive touchdowns. A running back that holds on to the ball and averages just one yard per carry – which is what Martin and Mike James have done this year – doesn’t help the offense, either.
With the loss in Atlanta, Tampa Bay didn’t fall to 0-3 on the season – it crashed and burned to 0-3 on the season.
This team is not going to the playoffs. Tampa Bay is not going to finish with a winning record or even an 8-8 mark in 2014. At this rate, the Buccaneers are going to be contending for the first overall draft pick in 2015.
But given the first-round picks outside of McCoy in 2010 that the team has drafted in the 2000s – Kenyatta Walker (2001), Michael Clayton (2004), Carnell Williams (2005), Davin Joseph (2006), Gaines Adams (2007), Aqib Talib (2008), Josh Freeman (2009), Adrian Clayborn (2011), Mark Barron (2012), Martin (2012) and Mike Evans (2014), will Tampa Bay find salvation next May? You tell me.
Simply put, this team is going nowhere fast.
Tampa Bay can’t run the ball. It can’t defend the run.
It can’t pass the ball. It can’t defend the pass.
It can’t protect the passer. It can’t rush the passer.
It can’t stop throwing interceptions on offense and has a hard time getting picks on defense.
And it can’t win on special teams, either, as Rams safety T.J. McDonald demonstrated last week with a blocked punt and a blocked field, and Falcons return specialist Devin Hester did with a 62-yard punt return for a touchdown on Thursday night.
“At the same time, as bad as this game was it counts as one loss,” Smith said. “We felt better about ourselves last week, but that game counted as one loss also. In the big picture, and that’s what we have to look at, we’re 0-3 with 13 more games to go. We realize we have to make changes. We have to do some things differently, and we will.”
Smith said that changes are going to be made. In case he hasn’t noticed, this Bucs team is not deep with talent at all. What kind of changes are they going to make? Outside of benching McCown and starting Glennon, and benching Rainey, which he shouldn’t do, what other changes can Smith facilitate?
If he’s going to bench Rainey, Smith needs to use the same reasoning to bench center Evan Dietrich-Smith, who had just as many turnovers – two fumbled snaps – as Rainey did in Atlanta and two really dumb personal fouls.
I would start Danny Lansanah, who had a pick-six in the fourth quarter, at strongside linebacker over Jonathan Casillas, who hasn’t show much me in the first three games of the season. I would also consider giving Keith Tandy some playing time at either safety position as Mark Barron and Dashon Goldson aren’t making plays on the ball and Tandy had three picks in spot duty last year.
Outside of that, there is just not a whole lot of talent on this team, and if there is, it isn’t showing up on Sundays.
“It’s just embarrassing,” McCown said. “It’s embarrassing and it’s certainly not something any of us want to be a part of. It’s frustrating to say the least. Not a whole lot of words. It’s just embarrassing.
“It’s hard right now at 0-3 with a loss like this one. It’s tough and it hurts. I still believe that we have the right guys and the right team. We’ll learn a lot about ourselves through this.”
After Thursday night’s performance, I think we’ve learned enough about these Buccaneers. It might get worse before it gets any better.
Can you say 0-6 heading into the bye week?
FAB 2. THE HONEYMOON IS ALREADY OVER FOR SMITH, TAMPA 2 IN TAMPA BAY
The Glazers made a bold move in hiring Lovie Smith just days after firing Greg Schiano, signing him to a reportedly five-year, $25 million contract. Smith came with an 81-63 record from his nine years in Chicago where he earned the reputation for building strong defenses, as well as being a bit too conservative at times on offense.
After three losses to start the 2014 season, the fans that were cheering Smith’s arrival in January are now beside themselves and bemoaning the Bucs’ lack of defense prowess, the ineptness on offense and Smith’s conservative approach to the game, which can be maddening at times.
In hindsight, releasing high-priced Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis, who has just as many interceptions (one) than the entire Bucs defense has through three games, in exchange for quarterback Josh McCown, defensive end Michael Johnson and cornerback Alterraun Verner looks like a bad move.
And can someone bring back Mike Sullivan to help Vincent Jackson get the ball downfield?
Did I actually write that?
The bloom is already off Smith’s rose. A 56-14 beat down in Atlanta will do that. The honeymoon is officially over for Smith in Tampa Bay after just three games.
Yes, Raheem Morris suffered a bad defeat like the Bucs did on Thursday night, losing 48-3 at San Francisco. But that was during the year he was fired in 2011.
And Schiano had a clunker, too – a 41-0 skunking in New Orleans in 2012. But at least he won six games and started his first year in Tampa Bay with a 6-4 record.
The troubling aspect about the Bucs’ 0-3 start this season is that Smith isn’t inexperienced like Morris and Schiano were as NFL head coaches. He’s been to the playoffs. Smith has been to the Super Bowl.
Oh, wait. So had Sam Wyche when he arrived in 1992.
Lord, please don’t let Smith become the next Wyche in Tampa Bay.
Smith was supposed to bring experience and wins to the Buccaneers right now. That’s why the team spent a fortune on new players and hit free agency hard.
“Even if we want them to, fans are not going to be patient,” Smith said before the start of the season. “There is no such thing as rebuilding and ‘we will eventually get it together.’ It’s about now.”
After the Josh Freeman debacle during Schiano’s last year, and losing so many close games to start the 2013 season 0-8, Smith was welcomed with open arms by the players.
“I’d be lying if I said we weren’t ready for a culture change,” Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said. “We stuck together through the circus of all the stuff that took place. We were ready for change. Everybody was.”
But nobody expected this. Not starting the season 0-3 with to a humbling, 56-14 loss in Atlanta.
Bucs fans hailed the return of the Tampa 2 defense upon Smith’s hire. The team sold the notion that “the good ol’ days were back.” It was a return to Tampa Bay’s glory days with Smith, Buc Ball and the Tampa 2 defense.
Of course all that is missing from the Tampa 2 these days is Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp, Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks and two future Hall of Fame defensive backs John Lynch and Ronde Barber. Hardy Nickerson is still around, but he’s coaching linebackers these days rather than playing linebacker.
If Bucs fans have a good memory, they’ll remember that the last time the Tampa 2 was actually run in Tampa Bay it surrendered 38 points to Carolina on Monday Night Football, gave up 34 points to San Diego two weeks later, and allowed 31 points to Oakland in the season finale that caused Jon Gruden and defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin to be fired at the end of the 2008 season.
Speaking of Kiffin, this offseason he was removed as Dallas’ defensive coordinator after the Cowboys allowed 6,645 yards in 2013, which ranks as the third-most yards ever allowed by an NFL team. Kiffin’s Tampa 2 scheme also surrendered 388 first downs last year, which ranks second-worst in NFL history.
Thursday night’s 49 points allowed by the Buccaneers defense was not exactly a shining moment for the Tampa 2 scheme, which may have seen it’s day in the NFL just like the run-and-shoot offense and the wishbone.
Yet the team will have to make the Tampa 2 defense work because Smith isn’t going to stray from the defensive scheme be was raised in with the Bucs back in the 1990s and then brought to St. Louis and Chicago. But if the scheme ultimately doesn’t work because the Bucs don’t have the personnel or NFL offenses have caught on to it, it will be Smith’s demise in Tampa Bay.
That won’t come at the end of the 2014 season, though. Smith will certainly be around in 2015 unless he goes winless this year. Hey, if Schiano can win four games, as he did last year after a 0-8 start, so can Smith.
And yes, there are even some “Bring Back Schiano” threads on the PewterReport.com message boards right now. That’s how upset some Bucs fans are.
Smith’s $25 million contract ensures that he’s likely on a longer leash than fans might want him to have. Keep in mind that the Glazers are still paying Schiano $3 million per year, and will do so through 2016. They don’t want to shell out $8 million per year on two former head coaches and then have to spend millions more on a new one.
Of course the performance of Smith’s team is doing nothing to rally the Bucs fan base and help sell tickets and luxury suites at Raymond James Stadium, and the Glazers have a very close eye on that.
Smith said the Bucs needed to become relevant again. After a 0-3 start I’m not exactly sure when that time will come.
Perhaps it will in 2015. It better be next year for Smith’s sake.
FAB 3. TAMPA BAY’S SECONDARY IS NOWHERE NEAR THE BALL
Do you know how many pass breakups Tampa Bay’s secondary had last year?
Would you believe 73? The Buccaneers also had 21 interceptions in Greg Schiano’s feast-or-famine defense in 2013.
Tampa Bay averaged 4.6 pass breakups per game and 1.3 picks per game. That’s a far cry from what the Bucs’ back seven has produced through three games in 2014.
In the 20-14 season-opening loss to Carolina, backup quarterback Derek Anderson completed 24-of-34 passes (70.6 percent) for 230 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions while looking like former Bucs beater Jake Delhomme. The NFL statisticians didn’t credit the Bucs with a single pass breakup in that game, although they missed one when free safety Dashon Goldson dropped a fourth quarter interception.
In last week’s 19-17 loss to St. Louis, third-string quarterback Austin Davis completed 22-of-29 passes (75.9 percent) for 235 yards while looking like Kurt Warner. The Bucs were credited with just two passes defensed – one by safety Mark Barron and one by nickel cornerback Leonard Johnson.
“I think to a man we’re not pleased with how we’re playing,” Bucs head coach Lovie Smith said following the Rams game. “That’s starting with yes, breaking on the ball. Yes, stripping of the ball and taking the ball away. Our entire game right now, we’re not pleased with, even tackling. It’s all of the above right now and we have to see marked improvements. That’s an area for our football team and if we can just do that, we’re going to be in pretty good shape.”
While the Bucs did produce three forced fumbles and finally recorded an interception in Atlanta to bring their total takeaway count to a whopping five this year, Tampa Bay’s pass defense was the worst it has been all season. Actually facing a starting NFL quarterback for the first time – and a Pro Bowl-caliber thrower in Matt Ryan – the Bucs were shredded for 286 yards and three touchdowns through the first three quarters as Atlanta built a shocking 56-0 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Ryan, who was sacked just once and barely pressured otherwise, set a Falcons record for completion percentage by connecting on 21-of-24 passes. That’s 87.5 percent, folks.
Ryan started the game 6-of-6 before middle linebacker Dane Fletcher recorded just the third pass breakup of the season for Tampa Bay. After that play, Ryan finished the first quarter completing 10-of-11 throws for 110 yards with two touchdowns and the route was on.
Even in third-and-long situations, the Falcons converted and Bucs defenders weren’t in position to contend Ryan’s passes. He completed a third-and-17 by throwing a bullet to Julio Jones, who had nine catches for 161 yards and two scores, in between cornerback Johnthan Banks and free safety Dashon Goldson. On third-and-10 in the first half, Ryan hit Jones again for a gain of 21 yards.
Ryan came in throwing three interceptions in the first two games. On Thursday night, he threw just three incompletions against the Bucs’ hapless secondary that is always a step away from receivers and seems intent on letting them catch the ball and then making the tackle.
So after three games with just four pass breakups, the Bucs are far from where they were a year ago, and are on pace to record just 21 pass breakups last year. To put that in perspective, that is 52 fewer than last year, and one fewer than cornerback Alterraun Verner had by himself in Tennessee last year.
Optimistic Bucs fans want to bring up want to bring up how the 1996 team took half a season to learn the Tampa 2 defense well enough to start winning games. The Bucs surrendered an average of 27.3 points per game in the first three contests of the Tony Dungy era.
While that is correct, that was a defense that had way more talent on it than this year’s Tampa Bay defense, which has allowed an average of 32.7 points per game during its 0-3 start.
The Bucs have a first-round draft pick invested in strong safety Mark Barron and a second-round pick invested in Banks. Tampa Bay also has big money invested in Pro Bowlers Goldson and Verner. More is expected and needed out of those four defensive backs if the Tampa 2 is ever going to work again in Tampa Bay.
FAB 4. MISSING BUCS DEFENDERS MAY MISS OUT ON BIG PAY DAYS IN 2015
The Buccaneers lost more than just two games at the start of the season. Tampa Bay also lost three key members of their defense in the first two weeks of the 2014 campaign when defensive end Adrian Clayborn suffered a torn biceps, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy broke his hand and middle linebacker Mason Foster suffered a shoulder injury.
Not only are the Bucs missing out on their production at the start of the season, those players are missing out on the opportunity to make more money in 2015.
All three Bucs defenders – Clayborn, McCoy and Foster – are in a contract year, and the fact that each was playing in the new Tampa 2 scheme makes it difficult to determine their market value – at least for Clayborn and Foster. To be clear, McCoy, who will hopefully to return to the lineup soon as his broken hand heals, set his market value with 14.5 sacks and two Pro Bowl appearances over the past two years.
Even if he missed the rest of the season, McCoy’s value would still be quite high based on the fact that recovering from a broken hand is much easier than recovering from a torn ACL or a broken clavicle, so his 2015 performance shouldn’t be affected by his 2014 injury. Because great three-technique defensive tackles are hard to find, McCoy’s market value is up there with that of fellow free-agent-to-be Ndamukong Suh, Detroit’s three-technique defensive tackle due to his high level of play and shortage of talent at the position league-wide.
With the three-technique defensive tackle position being so important in the Tampa 2, the Bucs will make McCoy a strong offer or place the franchise tag on him to ensure he doesn’t leave Tampa Bay. Even though McCoy may have a difficult time reaching double-digit sacks due to time missed because of his injury, his market value shouldn’t take a hit.
McCoy is one of the best players on the Buccaneers and he loses no leverage in this situation with Tampa Bay. The only thing he may miss out on is making more money than Suh in 2015 if the Lions star can stay healthy this year and post better numbers than McCoy. The biggest question surrounding McCoy’s contract talks will be whether he actually wants to stay in Tampa Bay after five years without the playoffs.
Clayborn and Foster don’t have the luxury that McCoy enjoys when it comes to their market value. Clayborn, the team’s first-round pick in 2011, has missed most of two of the past three seasons and has just 13 career sacks. He certainly won’t be cashing in on a lucrative, long-term deal after missing the last 15 games of his contract year.
Clayborn’s best shot might be to sign a one-year, prove-it contract in 2015 because pass-rushing defensive ends are in demand – not necessarily ends like Clayborn. He topped out at 7.5 sacks during his rookie season, and only had 5.5 last year after the Iowa product came back from ACL surgery that cost him most of the 2012 season. With left defensive end Will Gholston, Clayborn’s replacement, having more upside and athleticism than the four-year veteran, and the Bucs likely to draft a defensive end early next May, Clayborn might not even get an offer from Tampa Bay.
The same fate might apply to Foster, who is out for an undetermined period of time with a shoulder injury. Foster made some strides in pass coverage last year with a career-high seven pass breakups and three interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns.
Right now the Bucs don’t have an in-house replacement at middle linebacker, although Dane Fletcher is getting his audition. Foster needs to return to action quickly to not only help Tampa Bay’s defense with his athleticism and experience, but also to help him earn a big pay day and a long-term contract from the Bucs or another team in 2015.
FAB 5. SR’s Buc Shots
• When will the Buccaneers turn to Mike Glennon at quarterback? That’s the question I heard all week from Tampa Bay fans – even before Thursday night’s 56-14 debacle in Atlanta.
Before kickoff, my answer was that the Bucs would have to go 1-5 or 0-6 heading into the bye week before Lovie Smith would turn away from his handpicked guy. After Atlanta, Tampa Bay has two tough road games at Pittsburgh and at New Orleans, and then a home game against Baltimore before the bye week. That’s a tough stretch for a team searching for its identity on offense and trying to get healthy on defense.
But now that quarterback Josh McCown is hurt it’s time for head coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht to let Glennon audition for the 2015 job with the final 13 games of 2014. The team needs to figure out if he indeed is the quarterback of the future like Smith professed in May. If he’s not and the Bucs finish with a losing record, finding a quarterback may be at the top of Tampa Bay’s to-do list in 2015.
• For those Buccaneers fans who want general manager Jason Licht to have a fire sale and get of players like wide receiver Vincent Jackson because the team is 0-3, it isn’t going to happen. This isn’t Madden football where you can trade players on a whim.
Jackson will be 32 in January and has a base salary of $10 million this season. There may only be a team or team that even has the salary cap room to swing a trade for Jackson, and then how much is he worth? He’s caught just 10 passes for 102 yards (10.2 avg.) and one touchdown, and Jackson has struggled to get open this year.
The new Tampa Bay regime will want to get a good look at Mike Glennon to see if he’s the QB of the future, and it would be doing him and that evaluation process a disservice if Glennon is robbed of a talented receiver to throw to like Jackson.
• It seemed like Devin Hester nearly beat the Buccaneers and his former head coach, Lovie Smith, all by himself on Thursday night. Hester had a 20-yard touchdown on an end around, forced a fumble by punching the ball out of Mark Barron’s hands and recovering it, catching a pass for 25 yards and then dazzling on special teams with a record-breaking 62-yard punt return for a touchdown.
That broke his tie with Deion Sanders for the NFL record for most returns for a touchdown in league history.
“He’s the greatest returner in the history of our game,” Smith said. “The greatest returner in the history of the game is supposed to have the record. The guy we saw tonight is the guy we drafted and the Devon Hester of old.”
Instead of giving millions of dollars to quarterback Josh McCown, defensive end Michael Johnson or center Evan Dietrich-Smith – I would have coughed up $3 million for Hester in the offseason if I were Smith or general manager Jason Licht.
Don’t you think Hester could help out the Bucs’ return game and provide a spark on offense? After all, wasn’t “speed in space” offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford’s catch phrase during the offseason? Instead, the 31-year old Hester has the chance to beat Smith and the Buccaneers twice per year now that he’s in Atlanta.
• Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith is scarred from last night’s humiliating 56-14 loss at Atlanta.
“As I talked to the team we have a scar, and scars don’t go away,” Smith said. “It will be on us. For the rest of our lives we’re going to remember this game. I’ve had some games like this that I still do remember. Luckily we have 13 more games to go. Even with this football team, we have the chance to play them again. I told Mike, we didn’t give them a whole lot of competition tonight. The next time we will.”
• There has been talk about the NFL wanting to switch to an 18-game regular season schedule and ditch two preseason games. The Buccaneers, who have now started a season 0-3 for the 13th time in franchise history, might want to petition the league to cut the regular season schedule down to 12 games and start the season in October.
Did you now that the Buccaneers are 5-15 in September over the past six years? Over the past three seasons, Tampa Bay has a 1-10 record in September with that lone victory coming in Greg Schiano’s first game, a 16-10 home win to start the 2012 season. The bad news for Tampa Bay is that there is one more game in September this year – next week’s contest at Pittsburgh – where the Bucs could fall to 1-11 over the past three years and 5-16 over the past six seasons.
Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd 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 enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]
Lacks McCown’s athletic ability, but before Glennon’s 19 yard run, the Bucs didn’t have a rush longer then that. I think I’m done with the “McCown has escapability” rumors. I saw Glennon with my own two eyes, get sacked just like McCown, and evade the rush, and gallop (if that’s what giraffes do) for 19 yards on one play. Guess what folks, Glennon isn’t a world beater, but he showed more athletic ability then McCown did.
“Glennon has a calm poise in the pocket that McCown doesn’t appear to have.”
I completely agree with this Scott. Glennon just makes the O-Line look more effective. I am not sure if its the way he steps up or just a quicker read/react but something changed with the way the offense looked when Glennon came in.
Can we just draft a whole new team?
Here are my observations of last night’s debacle.
First, either Atlanta has the fastest players in the league or the BUCs have the slowest. The BUCs are running tentatively — in all positions like they are stuck in molasses.
Second, Glennon’s drop back is much faster and further than McCown’s. This gives him more time to look for his receivers.
Third, we don’t have any mean, nasty players on our team. They are all politically correct and my grandmother would approve of them marrying her granddaughter. that is NOT what I want to see on the football field. I want someone NASTY who will hold his teammates accountable. I vote for Incognito. Maybe he can light a fire under some of these players.
Last, the defensive backfield is a joke. On many occasions I saw players just stop and look confused about whether or not they were in the right position. One of the early touchdowns proves my point. Atlanta’s receiver pushed off a BUC defender and moved to the back of the endzone and caught the touchdown. The defender just STOPPED, like he was playing zone coverage — but there wasn’t anyone even remotely close to him. At some point you need to recognize that and continue with your man.
What bothers me the most in all of this is that the players don’t seem to care.
All I cried about all off season was Revis leaving. Thank you for someone finally noticing how big a difference that one move made (cost us). Everything else is what it is (and it sucks), but I think every problem began there. Revis took away half a field. Banks & the safeties can handle half a field!
STAY THE COURSE! Bucs are built to win this year!
Major FAIL guys and it’s time to admit it. Start rebuilding asap and FIRE Lovie. It’s not 1997 anymore.
Garv in Connecticut where the Bucs are a laughing stock. Having to agree.
No easy answers or quick fixes here. The talent is thin – we’ve looked the same in the first three games as we did in preseason – just awful. Really not sure where we go from here. And BTW – Glennon is not even close to the answer. No QB, No O-line, No secondary, a banged up D-line, and special teams that look like they should be playing on Friday nights instead of Sundays. Gonna be a long season!
Ugly uniforms, ugly season.
I said it before we hire Schiano and said it again before we hired Lovie. We should be running a 3-4 defense. The best defenses in the league are playing a 3-4 and our talent is suited better for that defense. Look at what the change has done for the Saints. Lovie was a terrible hire. we wasted a first round pick on the Revis thing and now we are screwed because Lovie won’t be fired for at least two season.
Couldn’t agree with you more!
I disagree. The Seahawks and Panthers have two of the best defenses in the league and they both run a 4-3. The Saints are near the bottom of the league so far in D and haven’t been able to get stops. His particular 3-4 scheme is not sound at all. Either scheme can work, it’s the talent and nuances that make the difference.
Please explain who the 0 Tech is if the Bucs go to a 3-4 and which 4 linebackers are going to play.
SR nailed it. The Tampa 2 doesn’t work any longer, not against today’s NFL passing game. The scheme is outdated.
“What do you think about your team’s execution?” McKay responded, “I’m all for it!” “Can’t stop a pass, or a run…otherwise we’re in great shape.” “Well, we didn’t block, but we made up for it by not tackling.” “Three or four plane crashes and we’re in the playoffs.”
More like 10 or twelve plane crashes this year!
Can you imagine how empty the stadium is going to be for this entire year if they don’t at least show there is some future to look forward to. Right now, I can’t see this team making a playoff run until the entire roster and coaching staff is cleared out
I am going to have a whisky tonight and forget about it.
Wow, we just got whipped 56-14. Good thing, it only counts as one loss. I am still happier than during Schiano’s reign. Lovie will get things going. Give em more than 3 games.
Dear Lovie, What a mess. I have been a Buc supporter since the very start – yes even before you came around here the first time. I have seen dismal performances by the Bucs, and sadly your team last night was as bad as any of the Yuccaneers. It’s hard to imagine that the players on our team are actually that much worse than the players on every other team (or at least the 3 we’ve played so far)…so what is it? Why is it that our Dline cannot reach a QB, while every other Dline rolls over top of us to get to our QB? Why does our secondary seem to watch WRs and TEs catch balls, while other teams’ secondaries make interceptions? Why do we give the ball away like a hot potato but can’t take it away from a baby? There is a reason – I have heard lots of excuses so far, but it’s your job to find the reason. In my humble opinion, having watched nearly every Buc game for going on 39 years, the only time we have ever been relevant was when we had a reasonable QB for a brief stint. All of the other seasons we had varying degrees of talent at various positions – we have that varying talent now too (so we should be fine there)….but our QB position can only be described as “the worst in the whole league”. Sure, you’ll put Glennon in next – and maybe he’ll look like Joe Montana relative to McCown – but he’s not Joe Montana…he’s a backup, a good backup but a backup…better than the guy you have starting (but so is my grandma). So all of this to say, Lovie – it isn’t about the Tampa 2 (play what you want), we will never be relevant until we get an actual, proper, big league QB…just ask your friends in Green Bay or New Orleans or Atlanta or Indianapolis (and so on) how they make a bunch of average NFL players into a contender every year….it’s the QB!
Born & raised in Tampa, always been a Buc fan. Worn a bag on my head as a kid w/ dad during the “hey, hey Tampa Bay you know how to shine dark days”, and cried w/ joy during the super bowl…this might be the worst game I’ve seen them play. I say that only because the other bad losses we knew the team stunk. We ate the propaganda pie this year.
PR-PLEASE save the “most Impressive” article this week, anything would be a reach!
All that said, Go Bucs
I was a season ticket holder and we lost 26 straight games, and I wore my Buc’s gear proudly. I just put it in the closet.
We have a QB that completed 71% of his passes. One change made. We can not play Tampa 2 with the personnel we have. Make the next change. God, it is a rainy day, make the change and bring sunshine back to Tampa.
I just watched the Lovie Smith press conference and I gotta give it to the man, he is cool under fire. Never blinked, owned the fiasco, and called it a “scar” that he will remember. His resolve kinda reminds me of the boxer, Jack Johnson, from the old bare knuckle days. I trust Lovie and think he deserves time to fix the monstrosity we saw last night.
Now if that had been me, I would have come out dressed as the unknown comic from the old Chuck Barris Gong Show. With the infamous bag over my head and responded “What game? Oh, that game!Uhh… What had happened wuz…. #Total embarrassment!
#1 the Bucs did lose by 42 in 1976 at Pittsburgh. #2 Tampa two needs the right players. No one says west coast offense is old, everyone knows how to defend it …. Lovie didn’t have game pass him by in 1 year. He has to get this team to play better
Nice job SR, you said it all. I disagree about Rainey and still think Martin should start but who cares who is right about that when they’re both hurting the team, just in different ways. I will say I am ready to move back to Glennon. I think they both stink now, but McCown’s fearful body language and inaccurate throws were new and tip thy he scales in Glennon’s favor. As for the team as a whole I still love our draft class from this year. Unfortunately last night was the ultimate result of quantity over quality (Revis for other players), character over talent (we know the names), poor drafting and a biblically awful curse when it comes to injuries since 2003.
I am so fed up with NFL football coaches and their marriages to certain philosophies be it offense or defense. I have yet to see this staff try to compensate for our lack of pass protection by calling bootlegs or moving the QB outside the pocket. He have not seen any manner of adjustments made to tailor the game plan to our personnel. As for our defense,same goes. We simply lack the players to effectively employ the cover 2, not to mention that in today’s NFL it is simply outdated. Week after week it’s just more of the same, asking players to do the impossible with the same futile results. Like putting a square peg in a round hole. The NE Patriots are a shining example of what it takes to be successful at coaching today in the NFL. They have no “pedigree” they will adjust their style of play and schemes from weak to weak putting the players in the best possible position to have success and/or to exploit their opponent.
Whew, things really look bad–even for a franchise that perpetually looks bad.
But we historians know there is hope. In 1989, Chuck Noll’s Pittsburgh Steelers opened the season with a 51-0 loss at home and followed that up by losing 41-10 on the road. They finished 9-7 and made the playoffs. No hope of that here, but I’m still think that this team has enough talent to eke out a few wins.
Same speech for; poor drafting the last few years has shown what happens. I was wrong about McCoy and Barron. One was a bust; i just stated the wrong one. I am trading Martin, Barron, Stocker; heck anybody for draft picks. Only McCoy and David are safe.
Horse, the more I think about it, I’m starting to believe you may be right to start trading players that probably aren’t going to make it here any way.
Vincent Jackson is dropping to many passes to keep an 11mil salary. Same for Goldson. Currently he is not earning a 9mil salary.
Some of these guys can’t be traded because their salaries are prohibitive. Logan Mankins will get a hard look this year too. Too much money to get the kind of return we’re seeing.
We are not going to recognize this team next year.
Good article and it’s a depressing situation. I really believed Smith would be good after his Break and we had enough talent to win 8-10 games if we stayed healthy. Nobody has a crystal ball but if I was owner of this team I would have a very uneasy feeling about hiring Lovie. Shiano did better with less talented players and rookie QB. I don’t want to hear about be patient or he needs time. Win now was what was being touted after his hire. Bucs fans have waited too long for a decent team. Sadly we will have to endure at least two years of Lovie now. I don’t know how anyone can say after that shameful game he is a good coach or have much hope. This had been 3 pathetic games and his hand picked QB is a disaster.
Who in their right mind actually believes there is any team worse than the Bucs right now? That was an ass whipping that goes down as the worst in Bucs history, which is saying quite a lot. Damn it I want the cellar of the power rankings and anything more than that is insulting
81-63 in 9 years. Hummmm – averages 9-7 record. Not top tier.
Yes, Horse. Mark Dominic = BAD. Picks =. Years of misery for Bucs’ fans = 🙁
not one person said that we are in new offense with no OC. everyone was right about the defense , what defense? I’ve been a rabid fan since 76 and this game was the first time I turned it off or left the stadium at halftime. I just couldn’t bear it anymore. Things seeme so promising 5 months ago. Now it’s all turned to sh33t.
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