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SR’s Fab 5 is a collection of inside scoop, analysis and insight from yours truly, PewterReport.com publisher and Bucs beat writer Scott Reynolds. Here are a few things that caught my attention this week at One Buc Place and around the NFL.

FAB 1. Bucs Are Hardly A Bad Ass Football Team

On April 29, 2017, Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter was asked what kind of identity he wanted for his football team.

“A bad ass football team,” Koetter said.

Since going 9-7 in 2016, Koetter’s first season as Tampa Bay’s head coach, the Bucs are hardly bad ass. They are 8-17.

Instead of being bad ass, they just stink like … well, you know.

We are two and a half years into Koetter’s regime and four and a half years into Jason Licht’s reign as general manager and the culture hasn’t changed. The Bucs are still losers, and they have a loser’s mindset.

I am not personally attacking the players or suggesting they can’t play in the league. I’m simply looking at the team’s record, which is the ultimate judge of what a player playing the ultimate team sport is.

The Buccaneers accept defeat too easily.

Oh, the Bucs battle. They fight back. They don’t give up.

They lost four games by three points in 2017 and three more by less than a touchdown. This year, Tampa Bay has lost two games by three points and another one by five. Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

The Bucs don’t do enough to win – often enough.

I walked into the locker room on Sunday following Tampa Bay’s 16-3 loss to Washington as the team simply melted down time and again in the red zone. The locker room was quiet. The players were dejected.

It was a picture of the culture of losing. It was a scene of players accepting defeat.

It was Gerald McCoy, who has been in this position for the better part of nine years, struggling to find the right words to say.

It was Demar Dotson, who has been here one year longer than McCoy, saying the same sad refrain of the Bucs “shooting themselves in the foot.”

The veterans certainly suffer from HWGA syndrome.

Here We Go Again.

Against the Redskins, the Bucs were beating themselves with turnovers (again) and allowing the enemy to score first and get a lead and have to play catch-up (again).

Licht has tried to change the culture, bringing in players from Super Bowl teams like Clinton McDonald in 2014 and Jason Pierre-Paul, Beau Allen and Vinny Curry this season. The problem is that they are outnumbered. There are far more Buccaneers in the locker room that haven’t made it to the playoffs – let alone a Super Bowl.

The vast majority of these players simply don’t know how to win and they accept losing too easily.

Bucs LT Donovan Smith - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs LT Donovan Smith – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

The Buccaneers locker room is too subdued too often. The players are resigned to losing.

There are five stages of grief in the Kubler-Ross psychological defense model – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. It seems like the Bucs just skip the first three stages and go right to depression and acceptance.

I’d like to see more anger. Not finger-pointing or locker room fights, but just sheer anger.

The kind of anger that Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks felt before the San Diego game in 1996 when they roomed together and watched Chris Berman call them the Yuck-aneers on the ESPN pre-game show. The Chargers took an early 14-0 lead in San Diego, which would have been the cue for the Yuck-aneers to fold and embrace the HWGA Syndrome.

Only the Yuck-aneers didn’t show up. The “original bad ass Buccaneers” did, coming back from 14 points down to win 25-17. That win was the turning point for a Tampa Bay team that shook off a 1-9 start and finished 5-2 down the stretch.

It turns out that was the best 6-10 team in Bucs history as they used that season to go 10-6 the next year and notch a Wild Card playoff win over Detroit.

Tampa Bay fans have been waiting for a similar scene to unfold for more than a decade now (sorry, the smoke-and-mirrors 10-6 season in 2010 doesn’t count). There needs to be some anger. There needs to be some resolve.

This woe-is-me, I’m-in-disbelief-again crap isn’t cutting it.

The Bucs need a serious attitude adjustment and I’m not sure Koetter is the guy that can make that happen. Not when he has the same befuddled look on his face in his post-game press conferences as his players do.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston - Photo by: Getty Images
Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Getty Images

I remember getting excited about Jameis Winston’s post-game press conference following a 38-10 loss at Carolina in the 2015 season finale. That was Lovie Smith’s last game as head coach and Winston called out some of his teammates.

“We’re going to create a winning mindset – a mindset that you will never give up,” Winston said at the podium with a look of defiance. “A relentless mindset of being able to persevere over adversity.”

Then Winston implied that the Bucs’ culture needed to change.

“I guarantee (there are) some of our coaches that want it more than some of our players, and that’s the bad part,” Winston said. “That’s the bad part. Our coaches want it. They want it. They’re up there working hours and don’t even get to see their families. … I know our coaches want it. We need to get our guys to put in the work like our coaches put in.”

Where did that edge from Winston go? I liked the edgy Winston better than they smiling, W-eating Winston we’ve seen the last couple of years, didn’t you?

Following a loss to Cleveland that left the Bucs 1-7 in 2014, McCoy said: “Every time the game is over we sit here and say, ‘Oh, they made a play, we didn’t. When are we going to get tired of that? I’ve been dealing with this for five years, I’m tired of it … you’ve got to get tired of losing, man.”

I suppose McCoy is still tired of it after nine years, but yet where are the game-altering, fourth quarter sack-fumbles? McCoy gets enough sacks to make six Pro Bowls, but not enough important ones to win more than six games a season, which is the average number of games the Bucs have won per year since he was drafted by Tampa Bay in 2010.

The Bucs simply need to learn to not tolerate losing.

Bucs MLB Adarius Taylor - Photo by: Mary Holt/PR
Bucs MLB Adarius Taylor – Photo by: Mary Holt/PR

Look at Bill Belichick, the NFL’s greatest head coach of all time. He simply doesn’t tolerate losing. That’s the standard. If you want to change the culture in Tampa Bay you have to make losing unacceptable.

That hasn’t been the case for far too long at One Buccaneer Place. Win or lose, the players get paid the same. Win or lose, they still play ping-pong and shoot hoops in the locker room. Win or lose, they still give up sacks and keep their starting jobs. Win or lose, they still miss tackles and give up touchdowns and keep their starting jobs.

Yes, in one sense, football is a child’s game – except that it isn’t on a professional level. These are paid professionals who are paid to win games – not just play in games. Too many losses and then players, coaches and general managers lose their jobs and have to uproot their families and move to a different city.

Win or lose, moms and dads don’t mind paying $5 at the gate to see little Johnny play Pop Warner football. But hard-working Tampa Bay families that plunk down $1,000 per season ticket to sit in Raymond-James Stadium roasting in the sun don’t want to watch the Bucs play football.

They pay money to see the Bucs win.

This is real. This is serious.

Maybe Koetter should slip a little bit of Sun Tzu’s “Art of War” wisdom in the Bucs’ playbooks.

“The art of war is of vital importance to the State. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.” – Sun Tzu 544-496 BC

Football isn’t war, but it really isn’t a mere game, either – not at the professional level. This is about winning and losing. Win, and you get to keep your job and get a contract extension. Lose, and people lose their jobs – their livelihoods.

Bucs WR DeSean Jackson - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs WR DeSean Jackson – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

It’s time for the Bucs to get angry and get serious about winning.

I’ll be honest. I didn’t know what to think about DeSean Jackson last year. Now, I love the guy. He hates losing. He hates losing more than he likes winning. He hates losing so much he wanted out of Tampa Bay – and I don’t blame the guy.

The fact that he said that he now wants to stay in Tampa Bay and retire as a Buccaneer makes me respect him even more. He wants to be part of the solution. He wants to win.

I want more guys like him on this team that get pissed off and don’t accept losing.

The Bucs need to find more players that hate losing more than they like winning. Every year there are free agents that come from better teams and players that get drafted from winning programs, but they get to Tampa Bay and get sucked into the losing culture vortex and they learn to accept losing.

This underachieving team is a lot closer to being stank ass than it is bad ass, and that’s a fact – a 3-6 fact.

If you are a Tampa Bay player, coach or general manager and you are reading this – show us that you aren’t a loser.

Win. A. Game.

Then another one. And another.

Until then, you’re a loser – and you’ve lost five of your last six games, including three in a row.

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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]

57 COMMENTS

  1. Good article. I agree with you about the need for an attitude shift. I am convinced that the reason the Boston Red Sox finally broke the curse and won the world series in 2004 was because of David Ortiz. He believed they’d win, even when down three games to none against the Yankees. Contrast that with reliever Calvin Schiraldi in 1986 who looked that he thought the Sox would lose in game six before he threw the first pitch.
    I have to quibble with only naming two wrs and one tight end Bucs should keep. I would add Brate, Watson, and Humphries to your list.

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    • Thank you. Me personally, I would agree and keep Brate, Humphries and Wilson – but the truth is that they are not untouchable. That means a new head coach comes in and those guys are not automatic keepers, especially Brate, unless the new head coach runs a 2 TE offense.

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  2. What I gather from this, is we need to get rid of McCoy and Demar Dotson, and start plucking guys who come from winning cultures. Fill the middle of our roster from guys from Green Bay, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, New England, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Minnesota. Then draft guys out of Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Georgia. That way we can infuse this team with guys who are used to winning and winning often. That will raise the morale and ultimately the talent level on this team. Guys who do not accept losing as a culture.

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    • We’ve been doing that, or rather, Licht has, but it still didn’t work. Licht added two members of Philly’s winning culture from last year to our team. A handful of other free agents were signed from other winning teams like the Packers and Seahawks (who won a lot of games before this season, at least). Most of the people we draft come from college teams with winning records. Just like every other NFL team does.

      If that was all it took, the Bucs would be winners by now.

      Something(s) obviously are still lacking beyond players who are used to winning.

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      • I get that, but you cant expect to add 1 or 2 guys to a 53 man roster and expect the entire culture to change. Think if we got rid of guys creating cap space and then we added 8-10 guys, then drafted 5-6 more guys who make the roster. So you infuse the team with 13-16 guys. That is a huge difference, compared to the like 4-6 guys. Also getting rid of the guys who have just been around this losing culture for too long, and stop giving Chris Conte contract extensions.

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        • Kind of like what Jon Gruden is doing in Oakland.

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        • A winning culture comes from the top. It’s the head coach the creates a winning culture not the players. The LA Rams we’re losers for a decade-and-a-half in comes a new coach and of the best team in the NFC. Chicago had a losing culture for the last decade, new coach leading the division. San Fran have been a bottom dweller for a decade before Harbaugh showed up. If you want to change the culture you got to do it from the top down

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      • But they were both scrubs.

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  3. I am skeptical that attitude creates losing … it’s usually the opposite, that losing creates attitude.

    Also, the canard that “this team doesn’t know how to win” is pretty silly but refuses die as it should.

    There is no such thing as “learning how to win” – either your team has better players and/better coaches and wins because it is better than its opponents, and makes more plays when they matter the most, or not.

    No current member of the Bucs roster should be extended until after the new regime takes over. Don’t saddle any new GM or head coach with decisions made by the sorry current regime of losers, like stupidly executing Winston’s fifth year option. Licht should have interpreted the refusal of the Glazers to extend him more than one season as a clear indication that he’s on probation and must not hamstring the franchise with any more of his errors, a la his “Reign of Error”. Of course, it also would have been smarter if the Glazers had refused to extend Licht at all after his sorry performance the previous four seasons. But then, that’s the Baby Glazers we’re talking about.

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    • I dunno. I think attitude had a lot to do with the Patriots beating the Falcons in the Superbowl. Teams that believe in themselves can pull off miracles sometimes.

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      • Fans and media writer can never know the attitude of individual players, on the huddle, and lined up on either side of the ball, or in the locker room, let alone some sort of amorphous impossible to identify or quantify “team attitude”.

        All we can do is watch the results and then some fans invent reasons in their minds for why they happened. It’s nothing but projection, not knowledge, when it comes to player attitudes.

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    • Naplesfan..you are nuts if you think all it takes is more talent to win consistently in the NFL. Without looking it up, could you name me 3 starters on the Steelers defense right now? On New England’s defense? There is a culture that an organization creates from the top down and it ABSOLUTELY makes a difference. I’m not saying we have great talent on defense (we don’t)…and I’m not saying that Brady and Rothleisberger in my examples above don’t make a big difference (they do). I’m just saying that a losing culture, which we have right now in Tampa, does play a role in the outcomes.

      Exhibit #1:
      Cantazaro XP % ’14 to ’17 = 94.4% (including 100% in ’17)
      Cantazaro XP % in 9 games with Bucs = 85%

      Cantazaro 40-49yds ’14 to ’17 = 80%
      Cantazaro 40-49yds in 9 games with Bucs = 0 for 3

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      • I never used the word “talent”, you did. I used the words, “better players and better coaches … and better team … and players who who make more plays.”

        The best players aren’t necessarily the most talented, extremely talented players bust all the time, we all know that. Attitude, work ethic, intelligence, coachability, character, all of those attributes that are at least as important as talent in making “better players … who make more plays”.

        Talent is highly overrated.

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  4. Every unit of the team needs a strong vocal alpha leader like the Bucs had during their Glory years;
    For the DL it was Sapp. For the LB’s it was Brooks. For the DB’s it was Lynch and Barber.

    The reason the offense was always mired in mediocrity was because it didn’t have any strong personalities like that except for the jerk WR Keyshawn Johnson.

    Ask yourself, would you let Gerald McCoy lead you anywhere except to an ice cream shop.

    Well he was the team’s so called leader until this year. Egads. No wonder this team is mired in mediocrity or worse.

    I’m not saying McCoy is a bad player but anyone who is so used to losing and has a get along go along that puts up with Swaggy Bakers behavior last year without dressing him down is no leader but that is who we had.

    Last night I watched the Seattle-Green Bay game and was envious of the way the Seahawks defense performed.

    I believe they turned over half the defensive roster this year but there they were, harrassing and chasing Rogers around for the whole game.

    And they are bad ass.

    You want bad ass, go get bad ass.

    If the Bucs turn the GM and head coach position over, take a hard serious look at Seattle and Pittsburgh front office people and staff.

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  5. Trade for or draft a better left tackle and move Donovan smith to Wright tackle

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  6. “Not as many as you thought, right? This team is not as talented as it appeared back in July, is it?”

    ::::raises hand:::::

    The idea that a ‘winner’s mentality’ will make bad players like the Caleb Benenoch and Ryan Smith’s of the world magically learn how to play good NFL football is a pipe dream. I’m sure Bill Belichick hated losing just as much in Cleveland as he did in New England but guess what? One of the greatest coaches of all time went 36-44 in 5 years as the HC there. All but one season ended with 5-7 wins and 9-11 losses. His first season in New England Bill again went 5-11. What changed? Tom Freaking Brady. Having the greatest QB of all-time and a season to build up your defense seemed to make a guy who was winning 45% of his games into a first ballot HOF head coach.

    Was it a winning a mentality that changed things for Belichick? No, it was talent. Bill didn’t win in Cleveland because he didn’t have the horses. The Bucs aren’t winning today because they don’t have the horses.

    When college recruiters go out and scout players for their school do they take short, slow players because of their “winning mentality?” or do they take big, fast players and try to use their talent to win them football games?

    The most overplayed refrain is how Sapp and Brooks refused to lose. Know why they didn’t lose many games in Tampa? They were college all-american, first round pick, HOF talented guys on a team that had a lot of prime talent to play alongside of. Even Warrick Dunn would go on to become a top 25 all-time rusher one slot after OJ Simpson and one ahead of Ricky Watters. Having a guy with borderline HOF career as one part of your rushing offense while having a stacked defense certainly made Tony Dungy’s life easier and it helped Tampa win games.

    It’s the Jimmy’s and the Joe’s Scott. You can coach change yourself into oblivion but in the end, the majority of the people on the field every Sunday have been playing football since they were children. No coach is going to elevate slappies into all-stars or teach them something about football they’ve never heard of. Find the right players like Rich McKay and that front office did when the Bucs lead the league in Pro Bowl selections and you’ll find the wins will follow.

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    • Good points devasher but you seem to forget the last two super bowls the Patriots won. They were NOT the most talented team on the field. Not even close. Attitude and want to is just as important as talent. Those Patriots teams were not as talented as Atlanta and Seattle when they played. They just have a winning mind set a great qb, and a great coach. Watch that upset over the falcons. Edleman was constantly saying they were coming back. I believe his words were, “this is going to make a great story guys”. You think the bucs have thta mind set when they get down? I dont ,they just fold like origami.

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      • Your examples are from two teams that both literally made the Super Bowl out a 32 team league. Should a ’91’ overall talent should beat a team with ’90’ overall talent 100 times out of 100? Of course not. There are always variables that go into a win or a loss if the talent is close enough. Obviously one example is that Seattle beats New England if they run the ball at the goal line, that was a poor play call that takes away a victory. However the two teams were both very good, talented and the game was capable of going either way.

        Regarding the Atlanta/New England Super Bowl, we remember Atlanta being up 28-3, but does anyone think that Atlanta was a team that was that much better than New England? No. They were a team that was playing well, and as with all sports a team that is down is going to loosen up and work to gain group while the team ahead often plays tighter or relaxes. Every week a team that is down comes back to tie or win a game, that’s not uncommon. The uncommon thing was the difference in score and that score was outsized to begin with. No one had Atlanta blowing out NE by 25.

        We can look back and try to find narratives that fit our conclusion but in the end Vince Lombardi could’ve been the head coach of the Cleveland Browns last year with Bill Walsh as his OC and Bill Belichick as his DC and the Browns still aren’t winning more than 2 games. Coaching helps on the margins but you aren’t going to smoke-and-mirrors your way to victory often in the NFL or in any competitive league without the talent to back it up.

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    • Better players are not necessarily the most talented, and quite frequently the best players are not the most talented at their respective positions.

      Nobody thought Tom Brady was the most talented quarterback in the draft when he went in the sixth round.

      Tom Brady has the whole package … enough talent to get by, lots of intelligence, lots of warrior mentality and toughness and character, lots of coachability.

      Ditto with Brett Favre, who was a mere second round draft pick … ditto with Drew Brees, also a second rounder.

      Draft position is almost exclusively determined by perceived talent … and guess what, on average about half of all first rounders bust out of the league, either completely, or are let go by the team that drafted them. When such players fail, it is virtually never because of lack of talent – it is virtually always because of lack, of all the other attributes of a successful NFL player.

      Better players is a combination of all the attributes of successful football players.

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      • Let’s start with the fact that a first round pick is significantly more likely to make the Pro Bowl than any other round of the draft. Quick, name the three best Buccaneers of all time…would you by chance come up with Lee Roy Selmon, Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks? All first round picks with Selmon being first overall. The best player on the current roster is Mike Evans, a first round 7th overall selection.

        You can check wikipedia of any draft’s player selections and you’ll find that first round picks are the heavy majority of all Pro Bowlers. An example of this would be an article that discusses the origins of the 2016 Pro Bowl players (which I cannot post without moderation).

        Using the phrase “a mere second round pick” is comical. It’s a premium selection. Since when is any fan saying “oh look our mere second round pick did something! I can’t believe it!”

        Brett Favre was a high second round pick (33rd overall) and in addition to coming out of powerhouse Southern Miss, his senior year he threw for 7 TD’s and 6 INTs while never completing more than 56% of his passes in his career. You can see why he went 33rd overall and not in the top 5 by the school and numbers alone.

        Drew Brees (went 32nd overall which would be a first round pick today) and Russell Wilson are great examples of guys who were perceived to be too short to be successful NFL QB’s. Their college production was never in question as Brees was 3rd and 4th in Heisman voting and Wilson was 9th in Heisman voting his senior year.

        My point isn’t a combine/stats argument but rather players that perform well individually in both Pro Bowl and All-Pro’s are the main ingredient in winning football. There’s a reason why the Bucs have had very few Pro Bowlers in addition to very few wins in the past decade and it’s not the coaching that is preventing people like MJ Stewart from running 4.3 40’s or Ronald Jones from finding and breaking runs.

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        • A lot of first-round picks make the Hall of Fame. A lot of first-round picks are also busts. Talent gets you into the NFL. Talent and hard work keep you in the NFL. Ronde Barber was a third-round pick and became the best Bucs DB of all-time. Tampa Bay has drafted their fair share of CBs in the first two rounds – more talented than Barber by draft definition. But after a rough rookie season, Barber went to work and studied and improved his craft and became a legend. He’s a Top 5 Buccaneer on my chart and should be in the HOF. Part of the “hard work” element is coaching. Barber had Herman Edwards, Mike Tomlin and Jimmy Lake as his position coaches. That helped greatly, too.

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          • Ronde Barber is one of the best Bucs of all time, a model of consistency (after his rookie year) and someone who would never miss a game. At the same rate his identical twin brother Tiki was taken in the first round that year at the running back position and ended up with over 10.7k career rushing yards putting him 27th overall in all-time rushing. When your identical twin has the athletic ability to become an all-time leading rusher at RB, something probably says that you should also have some of those same athletic genes even if your 40 was particularly bad at the combine. Coaches and scouts will often point to a player’s family (the Matthews, Longs, Mannings) as a way to promote a player’s chances for success. Good genes really do make a difference and the Barber twins were both very successful at the NFL level in part from it.

            Third round picks like Ronde or John Lynch becoming the all-timers they did is the exception not the rule. When you miss on a first round pick, as you’ve noted in the past your team gets set back a bit. If Jameis, VHIII, Vita Vea all become one contract Buccaneers and the second round picks continue to be a wasteland Jason Licht tenure will have set this franchise into another 5 year rebuild despite all the premium selections he was afforded due to his poor choices/signings and roster construction.

            Essentially we’ve watched a lot of bad football this past decade with very little to show for it thanks to a very unsuccessful GM who was given more in draft capital and money than either Mark Dominik or Bruce Allen were yet managed to do worse with it.

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  7. I think the keep list is several more than who you stated Scott.
    I am sticking to the money ball tactics; if Coaches, Scouts, GM don’t perform; move them on quickly.
    It is about winning and having leaders in all areas of the Buc Organization. It starts at the top and the Glazer’s aren’t leaders; they may make lots of money, but it doesn’t mean they can lead. Only a few Owners have shown they can lead. They have to step aside and let an experience President of Operations run this show.
    We need change in the whole organization. Change is good. Go Bucs!

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    • All a President of Operations is is a glorified G.M. Whoever is at the top – Jason Licht right now – calls the shots. You can have a team president and a G.M. below him, but all the “G.M.” is then really is a director of football operations.

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      • Scott, what I am trying to say is that the glazers need to stay out of it. if they don’t want to make any other decisions than a president of operations would allow that to happen. You’re right if the Glazers want to stay involved with picking a GM and reporting to them directly.

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  8. I disagree about Lavonte David being untouchable. He’s been part of the losing culture and a key member in the worst defense in Bucs’ history, or even in NFL history. He’s yesterday’s news, and the Bucs could use the cap space trading him would provide.

    I would NOT sign Alexander to another contract. Trade or cut him.

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  9. Agree David needs to go. Now he’s captain loser having taken the title from McCoy. They both need to go. Un fortunate for Kwon getting hurt, but a new regime might want to go in a different direction.

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  10. Well after seeing this and believing in the guys you listed to keep, if they blow this team up for a new coach, he would have a ton of cap space to play with. With all the cuts you mentioned including Winston and his 21 million, that’s over 72 million in cap space not counting what we still ha e available. I agree this team accepts loosing and I see it on the field week in, and week out. 1st and goal, usually a penalty, second down a sack or dropped pass, etc. you get the point. We can only
    Hope the next coach knows what the he’ll he’s doing

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    • Also I must say, as much as I appreciate McCoy, the person, and the athlete, I won’t miss his “hey guys, we are here to have fun” speech when we’re down by twenty. I don’t want to hear that shit from a supposed captain

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  11. I hope someone from the Owner arena reads Pewter Report.
    The marketing of this team needs changing. You can’t sell tickets for these prices when the product isn’t there. Reduce ticket prices on everything by 15%. Grow a new fan base by giving kids/young adults (22 and under) an additional 15% discount (definitely different color ticket and must show ID of some sort).

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    • And let’s not forget $9.00 for a Coke! Ridiculous!

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    • If you haven’t noticed; many Season Pass Members (especially the east side) purchase the tickets only to sell them at a profit to the opponent. That’s part of the “losing culture” that extends to our increasingly apathetic fan base. When a third of the supposedly loyal fans don’t choose to go to the game to cheer on their team because losing is expected the players have to see that and be affected by it. It’s like when as a kid you’re in the Christmas play and your parents don’t show up. Might that not affect your psyche? Of course it would.

      Point is, the losing culture is us too. My hometown Steelers fans expect to win. Here in Bucville, we expect to lose. HWGA

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    • Trust me, THEY ALL READ PEWTERREPORT.COM. From the top down …

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  12. Good points all over the place in this article, Scott. I thought Kevin Pamphile had a horrible 2017, of course, but I also thought he had been very solid in the 2016 campaign.

    I would only disagree concerning the statement you made concerning the execution of the game plan not being Koetter’s fault. It seems our game planning has been awful most of the season, and last Sunday’s was no exception. It seems other teams are better at adjusting their game plans when it becomes evident in the 1st quarter that the plays being called just won’t work.

    If we stink it up Sunday against the Giants, then I’m definitely all in on a major overhaul of this team, beginning with the HC and GM. I think it would be

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    • (hit the post button before I was finished with my last point)…wise to try and hold on to Buckner and Monken, but it’s ultimately up to the new GM and new HC to make that call.

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      • what has Buckner done ? def line not scaring anyone

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        • That’s not all on the defensive line coach. All Buckner can do is coach his players up to the scheme provided. When exotic looks are called the d line is up to task. Let’s look at one player, in particular, Pierre-Paul. He’s been good the last several years, but this season he looks much closer to the form that showed his best personal season, statistically. I like Duff, but the linebacker unit, as a whole, has looked lost and out of place. This hurts defensive line play. The secondary has a ton of blown assignments, this hurts defensive line play. While they’ve not been stellar, they have looked much better than previous years and the fault of “missed gaps” is not all on them. I believe most of that falls on bad play behind them and the d coordinators not calling the games aggressive enough

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  13. Scott, one of your best articles ever. And you are right about both Warhop and Turnstyle D. Smith. Here is how to change the culture of losing: Tony Dungy is the only Coach who changed the Bucs Culture to a Winning Culture in Buc’s History and he did it in six months and without a wholesale turnover in the existing roster. At first they lost every game for six months but then they won the last seven games in a row and continued winning during his regular seasons until he was fired. He inherited a good offensive line that his GM bolstered with some top free agents and drafted a great RB and excellent FB. However he lacked a Super QB and top WRs and TEs. However he took the players he was given and went with a grinding running game making enough first downs to rest his Defense so they could hold down their opposition’s scoring and then get enough turnovers to get short fields and some pick sixes to win their games. His forte was Defense and he always developed great defenses both here and in Indianapolis. The reason he failed to win playoff games to get to the Super Bowl here was his GM didn’t get him a top QB and receivers so he could pass effectively to win playoff games. When he got to Indianapolis he inherited a top QB and receivers and had a more accomplished Offensive Coordinator. He had to wait some years to develop a top defense but then he won a Super Bowl. By putting his name on our ring of honor the Glazer Brothers should have built a good rapport with him. Then all they would have to fire would be Koetter and Warhop. They should get his agreement to keep our accomplished Offensive Coordinator and that he will not repeat the failed defense that Lovie proved was to easily beat by modern Offenses. And then hire an accomplished proven GM such as the GM with the Titans and not hire a scout with no GM experience again. Dungy was tough and held people
    accountable. If his players did not pay close attention and follow his directions he would ship them out and they knew it, but they all respected him and loved playing for him because they also knew he cared about them and would help them develop and succeed in both football and life. Many of his assistant coaches have become NFL Head Coaches. Dungy has his home in Tampa and been able to spend time with his kids as they grew up. He may be ready for a new challenge!

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    • Tony Dungy is retired and loving it. He stays connected to the NFL and his “football fix” with his NBC gig.

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      • BTW, thank you for the kind words, owlykat.

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  14. As others have posted, I’m hoping the Glazers are active subscribers of Pewter Report!

    As the paying fan base, it would be helpful of they were reading where we stand. As much as we “like” some of the current players and coaches, we pay to watch the team win. The current group are not winners. Not worth trying to dissect this.

    I watch every week. I’m on PR throughout every week. I’m a die hard. But we deserve ownership make the changes that are needed – and to get a start on that sooner than later. I’m thinking Monday.

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    • The Glazers read PR, Dman. All the time. And they read article comments from fans, too.

      The Glazers want to win. I applaud their previous firings because of their impatience with losing. That’s a good quality to have. I just have to think that they are second-guessing themselves about their ability to pick the right head coach to change the culture after Raheem Morris, Greg Schiano, Lovie Smith and now Dirk Koetter. After going an apparent 0-4, I know I would be second-guessing myself.

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      • Scott, I would be second-guessing it too if I was the Owner and/or who helped me in the selection process.

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      • Thanks, Scott. And it sounds more and more like they need a VP of Football Operations. Many of us have pined for Tony to come back in that role. Most of the time those kinds of things don’t work out, but I think we need someone that can right the Pirate Ship.

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  15. Donovan Smith is not a good LT. Signing him long term will be a disaster. He has well documented issues with motivation and a huge pay day will only cause a decline in his sub standard play.

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    • As far as I know Donovan Smith is motivated and doing his best. I’m wondering if he lost 10 lb and reshaped his body a little bit he might be okay at left tackle. I hope we don’t make the Donald Penn mistake again?

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  16. Agree, Donovan Smith shouldn’t get an extension. At least not a big one. I’d actually like to draft a LT in the first two rounds, and move Donovan to RT.

    draft pick/Marpet/Jensen/Cappa?/D Smith

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    • There are so many other areas we need to address besides left tackle. I think we can sign D Smith for a reasonable price.
      Maybe we can redo Dotson contract for a little less knowing it’s going to be tough for him to play all 16 games. We still need to upgrade CB, DE, either left or right guard depending where Marpet plays, and find another QB in the early rounds if we can’t sign Winston to a reasonable contract based on if we actually decide to keep him.

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      • The problem is that Donovan Smith would walk into free agency and get at least $12 million per year. He’s the best available LT available. In fact, teams would probably overpay to get him and he would get $13 million plus. That’s how free agency works.

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  17. The problem I see with moving D. Smith to RT is any good DC in the NFL will just move their speed rusher to Face D. Smith on his right side and will just Zoom Around Turnstyle Smith in a nano second and drag down our QB or ball carrier.

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  18. Donovan Smith will leave the bucs and turn into an all pro.

    Great article though.

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    • Thank you, BucRy.

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      • Scott, it was a good article and you did your homework. I do appreciate it even though I don’t always agree with every single point; most times I do.
        Thank you again.

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        • Thank you, Horse!

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  19. Ever think the O-line and whipping boy, Donovan Smith might give up more sacks and our QB’s more INT’s because Koetter and Monken do nothing but pass, pass, pass with only a token run here and there? Think the Red Zone struggles just might have something to do with the opponent knowing a pass is coming?

    Culture Change or Winning?, Winning or Culture Change?………….Egg or Chicken?

    So, what/who can ignite the fire that was extinguished that night the Colts came back from 35-14 to defeat the reigning Super Bowl Champions? Hmmmmmm

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  20. Bill Polian said that Donovan Smith was a guard not a tackle. It is like Mark Barron at Safety all over again. My God he would be a dominant guard. Davins Joseph was a pro bowl guard. Not sure if he could have played tackle long term.

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  21. Well Scott, we’ll be well-positioned for the next Donavan Smith…or one of similar talent (but perhaps with better motivation).

    …and this whole argument sounds achingly familiar to what I was said would happen 4 years ago when we drafted the next, ex-franchise QB of the future…the owners couldn’t spot character if it were wrapped in $100 bills and covered in gold (…well, to be fair, they’d probably spot the packaging).

    This team’s low estimation of character is likely a reflection of the ownership’s commitment to it. The integration of toughness & rigid commitment to only adding character to this organization – left the building with Tony & Jon.

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