FAB 3. Bucs’ 2019 Foes Present A Challenge

An early look at Tampa Bay’s 2019 schedule shows that the team will playing the NFC West as well as the AFC South next year, and we now know that one of the Bucs’ home games next year will be played aboard – either in London or in Mexico City. Tampa Bay is one of five teams – the others are Oakland, Jacksonville, the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers – that will be playing a home game in a foreign country.

NFL International Series
NFL International Series

Four games will be played in London and one will be played in Mexico City. The guess here is that the Bucs will be returning to London where they have played twice, losing to New England, 35-7, in 2009, and to Chicago, 24-18, in 2011.

The Big Takeaway
Despite playing in the rugged NFC South, the Bucs’ 2019 schedule presents some opportunity for the team to bounce back next year if Tampa Bay fares well at home. The reason why the Bucs will have to win a lot of home games is because their road schedule appears to be absolutely brutal.

2019 Home Opponents
Atlanta (4-9)
Carolina (6-7)
New Orleans (11-2)
Arizona (3-10)
San Francisco (3-10)
Houston (9-4)
Indianapolis (7-6)
NFC East*

2019 Away Opponents
Atlanta (4-9)
Carolina (6-7)
New Orleans (11-2)
Tennessee (7-6)
Seattle (8-5)
Los Angeles Rams (11-2)
Jacksonville (4-9)
NFC North*

The NFC East opponent will either be Philadelphia (6-7), Washington (6-7) or the New York Giants (5-8) depending on where the those teams finish in their division and where the Bucs finish in the NFC South, which will likely be third or fourth. But Tampa Bay’s NFC East opponent will probably not be division-leading Dallas (8-5). The Bucs beat the Eagles at Raymond James Stadium in Week 2, but lost a home game to the Redskins and an away game to the Giants. Tampa Bay plays at Dallas next week.

The NFC North opponent the Bucs will play on the road will either be Minnesota (6-6-1), Green Bay (5-7-1) or Detroit (5-8) depending on where the those teams finish in their division and where the Bucs finish. It won’t be Chicago, which is 9-4 and leading the division. The Bucs traveled to Chicago this year and got destroyed, 48-10.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Chances are, five of the eight opponents the Bucs will play at home (or in London) will likely finish with losing records. So there could be an opportunity to pad the win column if Tampa Bay can take care of business at home.

The opposite holds true for the road games where Tampa Bay will have to travel to face three playoff teams in New Orleans, Los Angeles and Seattle, in addition to Tennessee, which is a tough place to play and a possible playoff team. Winning at Atlanta and Carolina isn’t easy, either.

The FABulous Ending
Going 4-4 on the road might be the absolute best-case scenario next year given the team’s challenging road slate, so the Bucs will need to go 6-2 at home or 5-3 at the very least to have a chance of posting a winning record. And keep in mind that one of those home games will be away from Raymond James Stadium next year, too.

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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]

53 COMMENTS

  1. The Bucs have a lot of issues to address. Head coach is not one of them.
    Keep Koetter.
    Bucs have had eleven coaches in their history. Here are the top three for winning percentage.
    Dungy 56%
    Gruden 51%
    Koetter 42%
    Yep, you read that right. Nobody else is even close.
    Here’s something else to ponder. Since firing Dungy, the winning percentage of every new hire has gone down. Morris 35%, Schiano 34%, Smith 25%. Koetter is the first new hire to be an improvement over the previous coach since Dungy.
    Y’all, I’m the voice in the wilderness, but Koetter is a good coach. Whoever replaces him will be a mid level college coach or a coordinator from some other team. If we’re really lucky that new coach will keep our current OC and DC, but I doubt it.

    We’re a playoff team next year if we keep our current GM, HC and coordinators. Clean house and we’re, once again, two to three years away.
    Go Bucs!

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    • You are in the minority my friend, and the yellers & the screamers are getting ready to troll your ass.

      I however lean on your side, but there would have to be coaching changes under Koetter. Special teams, OL coaches are starting points. 1 more year to give him 4 years to turn this team with the wind. This team fights & plays hard for him, and that does mean something.

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      • Teams playing hard and fighting for koetter was a great thing to see last year, but it’s the same this year with the results being the same..losses. I don’t care that the team “fights” hard for koetter if we don’t get the wins.

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    • I agree with you Pete, but you’re not going find many fans here that will. Another well reasoned post, but it doesn’t fit the current scorched earth opinions held by many posters.

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      • Asking the current regime which has missed the playoffs for 5 straight years, who’s been below .500 in all but one year is not a reasoned post.

        If you hire someone to build a house and 5 years later it’s still not close to completion do you keep throwing money at the same people hoping eventually they’ll get it done?

        The Browns have been bad because they have had an incredible track record of missing at QB. Since they came back into existence in 1999 the only QB from Cleveland to make the Pro Bowl is Derek Anderson in 2007. Anderson threw for 3,787 yards, 29 TD’s and 19 Int’s and would never throw for more than 9 TD’s again in his career.

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        • I like your contractor analogy Devasher. I disagree that we’re not close to completion though. I think we are closer than many fans realize. Our Dline was rebuilt in one season. Focus on Oline this off season, get a fast RB, and some secondary help and this team is very competitive. The roof is on the house and it’s dried in. There is no need to fire everyone and have a new contractor start over with a slab.

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          • The way I see it, the Bucs house is three quarters finished. All the necessary permits and inspections have been done. The current contractor says he’ll finish it in a few months.
            A new contractor says he can do a better job, but he doesn’t want to work with the existing structure. He wants to tear down the entire house, get all new permits, use his own sub contractors and materials and start from scratch. He says he’ll have the house finished in two years, maybe three, possibly four. But, he guarantees it will be a much better house.
            Oh, and by the way, he’ll be the sixth contractor and the fifth tear down since a hurricane demolished your dream house in 2004.

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          • Can we find a new contractor who says he can finish the job with the structure we have?

            You know, like we did with Jon Gruden back in the day.

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          • Gruden is currently busy tearing the Raider house down to the slab.

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    • I agree with Pete also. No good has ever come from a constantly changing coaches every couple years. Look at the Browns. Since letting Belichick go the Browns haven’t kept a coach longer than 3 years. there is def a correlation there. Every time we change coaches it sets us back 2-3 years. Koetter has shown improvement even though our record doesn’t show it. We now have a top offense and our defense is starting to play ok. With a couple additions to the oline and secondary we will be a playoff team next year.

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    • I am leaning a little (but very little) that way.
      One reason is the 2019 draft and the QB situation. If we blow the whole thing up we might as well blow up the roster too in particular at quarterback. The problem is this year’s draft class is horrible at quarterback. So why not give Winston his option year to prove himself and the coaching staff one more season. If they fail they’re gone next year and Winston’s gone next year and the new regime and try to get Tua, Herburt, or Fromm etc.

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      • 2005 1st overall pick Alex Smith was almost cemented as a bust until Jim Harbaugh came on in 2011. Smith has made 3 Pro Bowls, led the NFL in passer rating in 2017 and had a winning record every season since.

        2016 1st overall pick Jared Goff was essentially unplayable his rookie year under Jeff Fisher. Since Sean McVay came into LA Goff has had two seasons of 100+ QB Ratings and last week notwithstanding looks like one of the top young QB’s in the league.

        2018 1st overall pick Baker Mayfield has had a significant improvement in play in the 5 weeks since the Browns fired Todd Haley/Hue Jackson and installed Freddie Kitchens.

        2015 1st overall pick Jameis Winston has only had one true OC/HC since he arrived in the league and it’s been Dirk Koetter (with respects to Todd Monken). It arguably makes more sense to see what another fresh coach can do with a final year than waste it on Koetter. We know what Jameis can do in this system. We haven’t seen him do it with anyone else, and it’s fair to think there’s more talent that can be harnessed under the right coach.

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    • I, for the life of me, fail to see any great coaching quality from koetter..all you supporting koetter really confuses the hell out of me. What is everyone seeing? Cause from every year he has been here all I’ve seen is failure..failure to progress as a team and get better under the coaches…I was on the koetter train last year for him to come back, thought he needed just one more year and that he would correct his mistakes..but none of those have happened! He still plays conservatively to win the game when we have the lead, he obviously was panicking earlier when he took play calling duty away from monken…he kept Mike smith around way too long and finally being forced to fire him..now, we have a huge problem on o line that he refuses to address. So please tell me, what is so good about dirk? What has made anyone say “yeah, this is our coach for sure” he’s way too inconsistent! I don’t see what you all are seeing so please help me see what you do..no, he isn’t the worst coach in the world but he sure isn’t good either, it’s obvious with our record.

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  2. Scott-
    If you’re the GM how do you play the draft? Assume you use the tag on Smith, who do you select?

    Your absolute needs are: RG, CB

    Your roster issues are:
    RT – getting old & on downside
    LT – Is going to cost you big time, and his play isn’t anywhere near his price tag.
    RB – Barber is all heart, but uber talented. Jones?! This team needs a bell cow.
    DT – McCoy is starting to disappear & aging
    S – Are the nuts & bolts you have on the roster good enough going forward.

    Draft Notes:
    Great talent on DL & CB. Not great especially after RD 1 on OL.
    How do you wave your magic wand and solve most of the BUCs issues before 2019 kick-off?
    Sitting at around 10-ish do you take: CB Greedy Williams, one of the elite DL prospects, or reach for an OL knowing there likely might not be an answer in round 2-7?

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  3. Scott putting the blame for our poor O line play squarely on Warhop is ridiculous. Is he a good coach? Hell no, but it’s the responsibility of the G.M., and H.C. to upgrade players, and coaches who are failing. The real blame lies with Koetter, and Licht, and I can’t for the life of me understand why you’re giving them such slack. You go on to say that Cappa is not developing under Warhop. Do you think the problem might be that he’s from Humbolt St, wherever the hell that is, instead of let’s say, Alabama, Mich, Ohio St, or some other big five school? Licht loves to move up in the draft for the rare finds instead of simply drafting three, or four year starters from big time schools who’ve played the position of need at a high level. It really is as simple as that. Don’t point to Marpet as a success. He played L.T. at the university of nowhere, and his now on his 3rd line position in the last four years, and hasn’t come close to being a pro bowler even though he’s now being paid like one. D.Smith was deemed lazy, and slow coming out of college, yet Licht took him. Pay the man, he’ll get lazier, and slower. This team is poorly constructed, and poorly coached. The blame lies with Licht, and Koetter, put the blame where it really belongs. You’ve called straight for many years, what the hell happened to you?

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  4. Totally agree with surferdudes. Licht is the main culprit for all of this failure. He runs the team, he picks the players. Failure on top of failure. Half baked ideas and no real philosophy. He’s a scout level personnel guy and barely even that. Koetter is a 2 time failed offensive coordinator. He never should have been offered head coach. If you look at the standings a 9-7 will probably make the playoffs and we can’t even muster that. They all have to go. We need a complete overhaul like 1996.

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  5. Scott asserts without evidence or analysis that the fault for an underperforming offensive line is with its coach, Warhop

    Give us the evidence … give us the analysis. What specific coaching from Warhop is it that is holding back Donovan Smith, or Demar Dotson, or Caleb Benenoch, or Ryan Jensen?

    I’d like to know. Along with all the others calling for Warhop’s head … give us your evidence that coaching is the root cause.

    Whether or not Warhop is a good coach with mediocre player talent, or a bad coach with superlative player talent … or is somewhere in between … is something you writers and commenters can never prove one way or the other.

    What I go on most is that we’ve had ineffective or mediocre offensive lines ever since Gruden and Dominik were fired and Jason Licht was hired. I believe we’ve had problems first and foremost with bad general managing .. and we’ve also had issues with coaching.

    The new GM and hopefully PFO will need to come in, evaluate everybody, both roster and coaching staff, and replace whomever needs replacing. I trust that if they are quality football people they will make the right choices, mostly anyway, and then we can dig our way out of the basement pretty quickly – as little as the first year in 2019.

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    • I think Warhop needs to go if we retain Koetter. Koetter needs an OL coach who demands more power-blocking schemes and power-blocking plays. Koetter’s stubborn commitment to run at the times he calls for run plays do not work well with the talent we have on the OL.

      Sure, we could use another high profile Offensive Lineman either thru a high draft pick or free agency. Not just to replace somebody but for depth reasons too. Sometimes BPA and availability do not coincide with need and we need an OL coach that’s married to the success of the OL players we have and not married to a specific scheme or blocking philosophy. I think the Warhop-Koetter connection has run its course.

      Marpet should’ve never been moved around as much as he was. They make Donovan Smith move around too much. Jensen goes from a top 10 NFL center to a bottom 10 NFL center when he comes to us. Benenoch and Pamphile sorely lacked player development. They make these young guys think too much on the field.

      If they don’t get rid of Warhop or Koetter, then Koetter cannot be interfering with play-calling at all! His involvement in play-calling must be zero! The OL unit was a top 5 blocking/pass-protecting unit the first two weeks of the season when Monken was calling the plays. Was that sustainable? Perhaps not. But I believe the OL performance could be better than it currently is if Monken was calling plays totally free from Koetter’s interference. Play-calling must be tailored to the offense’s strengths and to the players’ strengths. With Koetter calling the plays, it is not too much.

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  6. Sure pick on Warhop. That’s an easy target but lets protect Licht right so he next GM knows you will back him too. Scott you are not an objective journalist. You are a shill for Bucs management trying to curry favor with the next regime.

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  7. Yeah, Smitty was an easy target too. Oh, it turned out that it wasn’t the players (or the lack of) but the coach since the change. The defense is playing much better with a lot of scrubs under Duffner.

    Unfortunately the fans are divided into 2 groups that are black & white:
    1- burn the house down & try again
    2- keep constancy overall but tweek some of the coaches on staff

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  8. LOL!

    More Licht ball-washing from SR.

    Shocker!

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  9. This offensive line is awful for what we are paying for it. Jameis is running for his life back there and the runningbacks are constantly hit in the backfield. Fun fact Jones has 42 rushing yards this year. 44 after contact. Let that sink in. Every run is after contact. It’s a joke. Warhop, who has been here for the last 5 years is another reason koetter should be fired. How can your run game suck for that long and not fire the guy? Just another thing koetter waited too long on. Our entire right side of the line is garbage. what does that say about cappa, when he cant beat out benenoch, who might be the worst offensive lineman in the game right now?
    That all doesnt even Include our slow left tackle.
    As for the draft I say bolster both lines. Offensive line is a must and McCoy isnt getting any younger. But I am a little more excited if licht isnt doing the picking. The guys just csnt evaluate runningbacks or lineman.

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  10. Remember last year when Marpet was moved to center after playing R.G. for two years? At the time Licht said the plan was always to move Marpet to center we think he can be a pro bowl center. After one year on the job Licht goes out and makes Jensen the highest paid center in the league, and moves Marpet to L.G. where he’s never played before. What happened to the plan? I’ll tell you, it was either flawed, or there really was no plan. The guy just doesn’t know how to draft, and build a team. It’s painfully obvious by now, yet Scott, and the P.R. staff won’t call him out. Five years, of Warhop, four to many. Holding on to coach Smith. All the second round busts, trading up for a kicker for God’s sake, he doesn’t know what he’s doing. Koetter is not a leader of men. Last week I saw a real coach, Payton, on the sidelines getting after his troops. On our sideline I saw Jameis getting into it with Jensen. When asked Koetter said he didn’t see it, just like he didn’t see the fight last year with Evans, and Lattimore. See no evil, hear no evil. Deaf, dumb, and blind that’s the Bucs leader. He stood on the sideline wearing his witness protection sunglasses, sporting his I’m getting fired retirement beard, while his team was being throttled at home yet again with no answers. Yeah it’s all Warhops fault. Come on P.R., put the blame where it belongs.

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  11. Naplesfan, the fact that it seems you are defending Dominick and Gruden as a coach and GM who were able to put a quality team together shows just how delusional you really are.
    Dominick, by far, was the worse GM this team has ever had. Bruce Allen and what ever moron who was Ray Perkins GM run a close second.
    The cupboard was not only bare it was deserted when Licht got here.
    And that is not to say I am a big fan of Licht’s anymore.
    I believe it is time for Licht to move on and a new GM to be hired who will direct which coaches should be kept or given the home version of the Buccaneer board game. Licht has simply blown to many second round picks since he has gotten here. The worse being the trade for Aguayo who had the mental makeup of a mashed potato.
    Pete Wood I am ambivalent about the firing of Koetter and the main reason being the players really seem to give good effort for him. Unfortunately the mental aspect of the game is not always there but that is more on the players being responsible for their assignments.
    Case in pont is the blocked punt on Sunday. The coaches made the players aware of the twist the Saints used to block punts and prepared them for it. Then it appears Cameron Lynch takes a nap on the play.
    Who do you blame for that. Well I blame Lynch.
    Whatever the case, I am in full agreement with the firing of Warhop and despite what I just said about the special teams coach, he needs to go as well and not just because of that play. The Bucs rank near the bottom in a lot of special teams catergories. That’s third prize in my book.
    And just so I can say I told you so, while many people were blaming Doug Martin for his poor running and wanting to get rid of him, I was blaming the OL. Don’t get me wrong, it was time to move on from Doug because I thought he had lost his edge after his last contract, but the main culprit for his subpar runs was the OL.
    While we are at it, if Licht stays, needs to quit drafting OT’s and trying to turn them into OG’s. It takes more time to get the players up to speed and they need a good fundamental coach who can bring them along and right now we apparently don’t have that in house.
    A better idea would be for him to trade the second round pick away for a good OG we can get three or four years of solid service from like we did with JPP for a third. Licht doesn’t seem to be able to do anything with them in the draft anyway so why not get something productive out of them instead of squandering them away.

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    • I’m not defending Dominik, but the offensive line play has clearly gotten much worse than when he was GM. He had other issues, like the inability to sign a quality quarterback. But he was much better on his O-line.

      And yes I absolutely WILL defend Jon Gruden – he is one of the only two head coaches in Bucs history to get over 50% wins (Dungey being the other), and the only coach to produce a NFC champ and a Super Bowl Champ. Four winning seasons and three playoff seasons out of 7. “nuff said about Gruden. Nobody else can put up so all should shut up about his production as head coach of the Bucs.

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      • So wait, now your telling me that coaching makes a difference after all the posts you made about it ring a player issue? Make up your mind already or you lose credibility.

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        • Gruden had much better players, all of whom came either from Rich McKay, the best GM the Bucs have ever had, and from Bruce Allen, who was much better than either Dominik or Licht. And then he coached them up right.

          Coaching matters. But success starts with good players, and continues with good coaching. Blaming coaches when the players suck is dumb.

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  12. Warhop is a symptom but certainly not the problem with the OL. He has been doomed by terrible acquisitions both in the draft and free agency. Jason Lichts inability to see what others have seen for awhile have hindered his ability to properly fix the OL. NEWSFLASH Donovan Smith is not and never has been the top end LT the Bucs or PewterReport have tried to force feed us for the past few seasons. That realization years ago would’ve allowed us to move him to g or Rt where he’s better suited and then would position us to pay him whats he worth at the position he should’ve been playing. Licht had 1 draft hit on Marpet and then has continued to wet the bed in every attempt hes made to address the OL and believe you me there have been plenty. Anthony Collins, Kareem Edwards, Caleb Benenoch, Alex Cappa, JR Sweezy, Donovan Smith all highlight the error in either selection or usage by these players. I was never that big of a JR Sweezy fan but to let him go and then rotate G’s that are lesser players never made sense. Sweezy wasn’t the roadgrade Jason Domanick paid him to be but hes still better than what we currently have rotating at starter, that falls on Licht. I’m not sure if Ronald Jones is a complete bust or if he simply has no room to run because lets be honest no RB could set the world on fire when they get hit in the backfield on over half their rushes and the other half have no room to run once they make it to the line of scrimmage. You don’t fault Licht because the OL needs improvement, you fault him because he’s wasted money and resources EVERY season in an attempt to fix the OL and hasn’t been able to do it in 4 seasons, enough is enough. Of course you fire the OL coach but that certainly shouldn’t be a topic its the obvious. Football has been and will always be won in the trenches and Licht has been absolutely terrible. He told us last year that man all we need is a double digit sacker and we are off and running, well we have one of those and it hasn’t exactly fixed all the problems. You cant trust a GM that cant fix issues over 4 seasons when they are making concerted efforts to do so. Good intention but awful results and this is a results driven business. The Bucs deserve better than a throw some *hit against the wall and hope it sticks type of GM. Lastly he still needs to win 1 more game to TIE Mark Dominicks record for 5 years as GM, it says everything you need to know about ole Jason. We need to fire more than the cannons around Ray Jay.

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  13. surferdudes I agree with you about Licht but not about Koetter.
    You should know by now after three years that Koetter is never going to publicly chastise a player in public. He is either going to shoulder the blame or as you say, take cover in the witness protection plan.
    You can scream and yell all you want to about it, but that is just the way it is and that is why the players still have his back.
    I thought it was stupid to move Marpet out of his RG position as well but half the armchair GM morons on PR were calling for the Bucs to make him a center.
    Why do you change the position of a player who has had two good years as a RG and convert him to center. If you want a center, get a center. If you want a RG, get a RG. Now our best OG is playing his third different position in four years.
    Quit trying to convert players to different positions so you can show how smart you are.
    Sheer insanity.

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  14. The problem with the Licht argument by the posters here is the Smith/Duffner experiment works against it. Smith wouldn’t utilize his players’ strengths but instead imposed his “system” on them. Duffner (with the same players- actually less because of the injures) has improved the defense by crafting a defense that utilizes the players strengths. Scott’s point is well-taken: just like Smith, Warhop continues to run zone blocking plays that this team cannot execute. That is coaching, not the fault of the GM. It may be an indictment of Koetter, but it is hard to transfer that argument to the GM.
    Licht and Koetter certainly have made mistakes. Licht, in particular, has shown growth in that the talent on this roster is certainly better. If I were the Glazers, I would have to be convinced that there is a demonstrably better option out there before I would cut Licht loose. Trouble is, there does not seem to be.

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    • So it’s Mike Smiths’ fault that Jason Licht drafted VHIII when everyone saw his physical and athletic limitations. In a league where the athletes are getting bigger and faster you get a CB in the 1st round that’s small, slow and was dominated in the SEC when he played the better opponents. As GM Licht should be responsible for accessing the current state of affairs on the team so that he can make the necessary changes in the offseason. Who eye balled the Chris Conte over Bradley McDougald swap 2 offseasons ago? McDougald is playing at a Pro Bowl level while we keep hearing offseason quotes about how lucky we should be to have Chris Conte lol. Mike Smiths only claim to fame was the stretch of football played WITH McDougald and WITHOUT Conte but somehow the right move was to resign to Conte and lose McDougald on a 1 year deal to the Seahawks? Who is responsible for the 2nd round DE we drafted that suits up less than the kids for the punt, pass and kick contests. Or losing Clint McDonald who at least generated some push for Mitch Unrein and Beau Allen? Mike Smith certainly didn’t play to his players strengths but then again we saw that last year and yet again ole Jason decided to bring him back for another season.

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    • Actually, nobody ever says this, but the defensive backfield that Smith had to play with is mostly on IR, or hardly ever plays due to injury. Those are the starters and A teamers signed by our crappy GM. Duffner has actually had better success working with the scrubs some of whom were not even on the roster when Smith was coaching. I submit that Duffer is working with better players than Smith had ..even if they are no-name scrubs. Smith really had no choice but to play the guys that Licht gave him to work with, until they got hurt and/or on IR>

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    • Actually, the relatively unknown defensive scrubs under Duffner are playing better and making more plays than did the high paid starters drafted and signed by Licht. They are better and they play better. Coaching makes little difference unless someone can point to specific coaching decisions that are obviously bad. Nobody can point to any such bad coaching decisions by Smith. Or by Warhop.

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  15. I remember taking a sports management class at FSU in 2005. At the time Larry Brown had been named the Knicks head coach after taking the Pistons to two NBA Finals appearances and one NBA championship. I’ll never forget one of the instructors who confidently proclaimed that Larry Brown would fail in New York because there was no talent and talent mattered more than any coach would. And fail Larry Brown did. Brown went from two straight seasons where the Pistons won 66% of their games and had tremendous success in the postseason to a 23-59 (similar to Licht’s record here) debacle in New York before his short tenure mercifully ended. Brown would go on to finish his NBA coaching career with 2.5 seasons at Charlotte before he was fired with a 9-19 record.

    basketball-reference.com/coaches/brownla01c.html

    Talent matters. So naturally Scott takes aim at George Warhop. Which is fine, I never cared for Warhop, but it should be noted that the offensive line was a concern going into the season and had shown little in the preseason to believe there was ANY depth to speak of. It’s almost like some of this could’ve been predicted based on the players the Bucs have on the o-line…oh wait I think I found the person who did!

    pewterreport.com/bucs-strengths-and-weaknesses-heading-into-2018/

    Devasher Sep. 2, 2018 at 10:13 pm
    Potential means you haven’t done it. The Bucs haven’t done it and until they prove otherwise, it makes more sense to look at recent or 10 year history as a guide than fantastical dreams where everything clicks in spite of critical holes on the line, the defensive backfield with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center for 3 games handing off to Peyton Barber and a weak o-line.

    If you told me Fitz and Barber are the starting QB and RB going into last season and both lines had a string of injuries with significant depth problems with the o-line I’d say the team would be in for a long year. In fact I’ll still say it.

    Devasher Sep. 2, 2018 at 10:04 pm
    The o-line is the weakest part of this team and I don’t think its particularly close. I get that corner and safety are also weak spots but I have no idea how Scott can cover this team as closely as he does and think that the o-line will be even functional given the holes (RG/LT) injury history of some of the players (Dotson) and lack of depth.

    I’m willing to bet it becomes clear the o-line is going to prevent the offense from keeping sustained drives as you’ll see free defenders on the QB and RB’s get stuffed which keep the offense in 3rd and long positions. Mark it down, Scott.
    _______________________

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  16. Ultimately the only way to judge Licht is on his record. As mentioned above he’s on the same pace as Dom who was fired. He’s sitting on 50 losses in five years, that’s an average of 10 losses each season, not going to cut it folks. As for Koetter, no one can convince me he’s a capable H.C.. Last night I saw the coach of the Chargers go for the win with a two point conversion. Koetter would never do that, not that he could ever put his team in that position to begin with. Just like last week when he went for another failed F.G. instead of going on 4th, and 3 trying for a T.D. instead that would bury his foe, and inspire his team. He’s a gutless, clueless wonder who will never ever be considered for another NFL H.C. job. That should tell you all you need to know about him.

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    • Koetter was far from impressive in his time as HC of ASU. I think if you spoke to those that followed him at that program you’d have a lot of surprised people that he would have found himself being the HC of an NFL team. But Dirk proved himself as an NFL OC thereafter and the timing of his success and Jameis being drafted recently gave rise to Scott calling for and Licht speaking with ownership about firing Lovie and promoting Dirk above his abilities. So Dirk the successful OC became Dirk the overmatched HC.

      It still amazes me that people want to pretend Licht is blameless while blaming the coaches when the guy literally recommended his promotion to ownership as well as signing off on each of the current assistants.

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  17. Good read Scott and I agree that the running game leaves a lot to be desired. Just a few comments if I may: I would seem logical that our offensive strategy is to throw the ball. With the QB’s and receiving corp we have the team is built to pass first. As remedial as it seems that strategy undermines great statistics in the running game. I agree Marpet is our best lineman, Smith is a revolving door for a left tackle although at RT Tackle with the Franchise tag may be a good move. Way too many times has Benenoch appeared lost and looking for a football game to play in. When he covered for Dotson he appeared to be more comfortable at RT. I don’t know about Cappa, haven’t seen him play enough and I like Jenson because he plays with anger and aggression. I could see a couple of OL pics in 2019, but I am not sure that new management will have the same affinity for small school talent. Additionally we need a compliment to Barber. I have little confidence in Jones even though I thought he was a great pick this year. He really looks lost. Finally like I alluded to it appears we have a new regime change coming, although I’ll admit I agree with Pete Woods that we basically should be careful what we wish for. Some would say we are not that far from improvement Albeit trial and error dashed with perennial disappointment. The game has changed dramatically in the last decade and we as fans can’t view it as 2002 anymore.

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  18. It doesn’t only show the true ineffectiveness of the rushing game, Scott. It shows the true ineffectiveness of the offensive scheme designed by Dirk Koetter too. These are not designed QB rushing plays. Koetter doesn’t scheme to have the QB running.

    So why is our QB running so much? 1. Nobody’s open in this poor scheme. Fitz was running when the OL was blocking good so I list the OL second 2. Poor pass protection. When the QBs try to force the passing game, we get INTs. And a lot of those passing yards Koetter bragged about in his press conference the other day is when we’re playing from behind.

    Those two reasons can both can be greatly affected by poor play-calling too.

    So the QB rushing stats show the true inefficiency of the pass game too. Not just the run game. We’re not Carolina, who actually does scheme for their QB to run.

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  19. For those calling for Licht’s head, I ask you, isn’t is job to build the roster? Is the current roster better then the 2013 roster?
    Let’s go position by position.

    QB: Winston/Fitztragic is certainly better than Freeman/Glennon.
    Wr: this group is absolutely better then what we had in 2013
    Rb: Barber vs Martin? Call it a push
    OL: worse
    DL: JPP and Nassib make it much better
    Lbs:Kwon and Beckwith make this much better than what we had in 2013
    Dbs: very slightly better
    ST: a draw
    So in most cases the roster has improved and in some places substantially. The only area where we are worse is o line. So Licht has done his job. What people forget it is how bad this roster was when Jason Licht took over and then it was going to take more than four years to fix it.

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    • Let’s be clear JohnGaltsGhost, the average NFL career is 3-6 years depending on how you evaluate the players coming in. You’re subjectively looking at players that are still playing and comparing them to a roster 80% of which who are already out of the league. This is why everyone gets excited over draft picks, you don’t know what they will end up doing. Similarly if you try to extrapolate Carl Nassib as this long term fix on the D-Line and ignore that the Browns cut him a few months ago you’d be ignoring that NFL history is littered with players that can sustain some success for a season or two.

      Remember how good Mike Williams was his first three years in Tampa? How about Cadillac Williams, Michael Clayton, Doug Martin, Tanard Jackson as rookies? Remember when Shawne Merriman was a 10+ sack a year beast for the Chargers for 3 seasons? Remember that one year Antonio Bryant came to Tampa and had nearly 1,300 yards receiving?

      No one can win a subjective argument on whom you personally like more than someone else. But I can compare the team’s win/loss records to other seasons or to other teams. And despite perpetual optimism from some fans who also happened to praise Dominik out of the door, you are what your record says you are and Licht by extension is a no good, very bad NFL GM.

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  20. Then why did they go 9-7 2016 and gotten worse?

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    • Are you asking why the team in 2016 played better than every other team under Licht, @horse

      Well, PR has covered the back end of that season as “smoke and mirrors” with Keith Tandy playing out of his mind with 4 INTs and Chris Conte had a well timed INT in KC. The Bucs also played the Panthers in week 17 that was a meaningless game for both teams and try and they might the
      8-8 Bucs won that late season exhibition. So congrats to Licht and Co, it was the only time in 5 tries the Bucs won more games than they lost.

      Imagine if I proposed a deal with anyone here: There will be a GM who will build a team that will only win more games than it loses ONCE over the next 5 years. It will miss the playoffs all 5 of those years, commonly preparing for the draft by October. By year 5 the team will have as many questions about it’s roster (CB, S, RB, OLine) as it did when they hired the GM. Do you want to hire that GM? Maybe you would Horse, but I think most people would avoid that scenario.

      Side note: At what point did you recognize Mark Dominik built a similarly bad roster @horse? You seem like you would’ve been one of the holdouts that proclaimed his 3 masterpieces of McCoy, Lavonte David and Doug Martin as all an NFL team would need to build on despite a 53 man roster. I’d be interested in knowing at what point you realized he was bad as well.

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    • Are you asking why the team in 2016 played better than every other team under Licht, Horse?

      Well, PR has covered the back end of that season as “smoke and mirrors” with Keith Tandy playing out of his mind with 4 INTs and Chris Conte had a well timed INT in KC. The Bucs also played the Panthers in week 17 that was a meaningless game for both teams and try and they might the
      8-7 Bucs won that late season exhibition. So congrats to Licht and Co, it was the only time in 5 tries the Bucs won more games than they lost.

      Imagine if I proposed a deal with anyone here: There will be a GM who will build a team that will only win more games than it loses ONCE over the next 5 years. It will miss the playoffs all 5 of those years, commonly preparing for the draft by October. By year 5 the team will have as many questions about it’s roster (CB, S, RB, OLine) as it did when they hired the GM. Do you want to hire that GM? Maybe you would Horse, but I think most people would avoid that scenario.

      Side note: At what point did you recognize Mark Dominik built a similarly bad roster Horse? You seem like you would’ve been one of the holdouts that proclaimed his 3 masterpieces of McCoy, Lavonte David and Doug Martin as all an NFL team would need to build on despite a 53 man roster. I’d be interested in knowing at what point you realized he was bad as well.

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  21. Scott, I like the layout; less fluff and to the point. No way the DB from a small college is going in the 2nd round and I bet he’s really not 6′ either. There will be OL available in Rounds 1 & 2 and RB’s in Rounds 3 & 4.
    Scott I wouldn’t be proud of PR predicting Spence , Cappa, Watson drafted by the Bucs; so what have they done for us? There is blame all around; GM, Coach, Player’s. We’re fast to find knew player’s; should be the same for GM & Coach.

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  22. $13 million for Donovan Smith!!! Are you high? Did you forget a decimal place in there? The dude is trash and always has been. He’s not worth $1.3mm per season. Use a first round pick or throw an obscene amount of money at another free agent. Either way, get Smith off this team. No one needs the constant pressure he allows in addition to the three penalties per game he gets.

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  23. Good article I agree with everything pretty much Pewter Report pointed out. I don’t care who the RB is they won’t do much behind this lame ass line.

    Smith is terrible LT. The stats don’t show how bad he is because his score ups come at such bad times in big games. Paying him 14 million is nuts I don’t care who free agency brings. There has to be a better solution. Has to be!

    Warhop has sucked for 5 years with different players. He is not getting the job done I don’t know how anyone can defend him. Running the ball is not rocket science it is an attitude as much as scheme and these guys couldn’t run the ball on my grandma. Lol.

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  24. All good comments. Bucs fans just want some consistency in performance and a team that plays with passion. Changes need to be made. Period. Licht has 50 losses in 5 years. Gone. Koetter is 19-26. Not horrible within itself. The problem is he ultimately decides as Head Coach the identity of the Offense and Defense. What is the identity of this Buc’s team? Apparently we r a pass first offense with not much of a run game. We r what we thought we were. The problem is the system and the coaching. Of course talent is an important ingredient as well. Koetter, I believe, is in over his head. He has no answers. He continues to play cautiously and not to lose. He continues as he always has because to change is to admit fault. He is too slow to make the change. He is the one who ultimately picks his staff or his teachers. Too late to realize that Smith was horrible( I believe his comment was I was expecting this). He also said about Smith,” what good would a change do?” I think Duffner has answered this question. Once we can agree that changes must be made and will, we can discuss and debate the replacements. As a business decision attendance is dwindling. Changes will be made folks. And I’m just one fan who agrees with this course of action.

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  25. I thought he should’ve been fired after last year… I’m just saying

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  26. You know who would look good at RG for us:

    Gabe Jackson…that guy Licht passed by to take a 3rd down RB that is long gone,

    or better yet, Quentin Nelson…that guy Licht never even tried to trade up 1 slot to get, instead selecting yet another DT for the team.

    Whatever Warhop’s role in this debacle, Licht is the mayor of our debacle-town!

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  27. I know this sounds picky but I would not lump Noah Spence in as a small school player. He played for Ohio State before he got caught doing ecstasy.

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  28. Good lord, the season is over and you guys are finally getting around to this!!!!

    Average backs that all of a sudden become stars in the NFL shine because they have superior O Lines.

    Championship teams are such because they have dominant O lines. Anybody remember the Hogs?

    Peyton Barber is a hell uv a back. Runs hard EVERY time, top rated RB in the league for yards after contact. Watched him giving his line high fives on the bench last Sunday while they let him get crushed within fractions of a second of a second after getting a handoff.

    Ronald Jones is shell shocked after getting the NFL experience with no O line in front of him. 4.4. speed, a stud at USC and a bench warmer in Tampa. No coaching, no O line, but he’s the bust.

    Yeah, maybe we prioritize the O line this off season.

    PS While we continue to built the D line. All about the trenches.

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    • Couldn’t agree more.

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  29. “But the fact that Benenoch is playing out of position – I don’t think he’s built to play guard – and hasn’t developed, nor has Cappa and Pamphile before them,”-easy fix-switch D. Jones to RG and let Benenoch and Cappa fight it out in their natural positions. Draft an LT. Jones goes to the pro-bowl after a breaking in period.

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