This SR’s Fab 5 column on the Bucs is exclusively serviced by Discount Garage Doors – the official garage door company of PewterReport.com. If you are in need of a new look for your garage doors or if you are in need of repairs, turn to Discount Garage Doors. Whether it’s a broken cable or springs or a crooked door, Discount Garage Doors can help you out. Click here for a list of locations as Discount Garage Doors services 17 Florida counties and The Villages.

Football season is here and that means HURRICANE SEASON in Florida! Remember Hurricane Irma last year? Get your home and your garage doors outfitted with hurricane protection kits today. Call 866-420-DOOR or visit DGDoors.com to view Discount Garage Doors list of services and garage doors that can be installed to improve the look of your home. And remember, Discount Garage Doors offers FREE service calls. Don’t wait – call today!

Mention PewterReport.com and SAVE 10% OFF your order or service call at Discount Garage Doors!

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. The Moves Koetter Needs To Make

Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter made a lot of the right moves in the first two weeks of the season, especially giving up play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Todd Monken, for which I praised him.

The Bucs benefited from those decisions for the first two weeks of the season with an opening day upset at New Orleans, 48-40, beating Saints future Hall of Famer Drew Brees and Sean Peyton at their own game, and a stunning 27-21 win over the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.

But a hot 2-0 start has cooled to a 2-2 record after a heartbreaking 30-27 loss to Pittsburgh on Monday Night Football and an embarrassing 48-10 loss at Chicago.

Now Koetter needs to make the right moves – again. His job is at stake, as are the jobs of many on the coaching staff and possibly in the front office, too.

I’ll remind you that the Glazers fired the last two coaches – Greg Schiano and Lovie Smith – that had back-to-back losing seasons. And Raheem Morris was fired after producing just one winning season out of three in Tampa Bay. A similar fate awaits Koetter unless he can right the Bucs ship after the bye week.

So what are those right moves? Does it involve firing defensive coordinator Mike Smith, whose defense surrendered six touchdowns to Mitchell Trubisky and allowed him to play better against this Bucs team than either future Hall of Famer Brees or Ben Roethlisberger did?

Not according to Koetter.

“For those people that think snapping their fingers and changing your coordinator a quarter of the way through the season … okay, what would you do after that?” Koetter said. “If we fired Mike Smith, then what would the next move be, alright? Changing one person when we had things go wrong at all levels yesterday – as I said yesterday, we as coaches have to coach better. That starts with me, but Mike Smith didn’t miss any tackles. He didn’t not rush the passer. He didn’t blow any coverages. He didn’t have any communication errors. Sure, the play-callers on both sides of the ball would love to have calls back. I mean anything that doesn’t work … but we have to figure that out.”

It’s true that Smith didn’t miss any tackles or blow any coverages, but he also didn’t blitz Trubisky – a second-year quarterback in his second offensive system in as many seasons – a single time in the first half when the scouting report said that he was the worst-rated quarterback in the league when pressured.

Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

That’s not necessarily a fireable offense, but it’s a sign of extremely poor coaching job, especially when no adjustment was made in the first half to bring pressure in the form a blitz or more exotic looks. The lone exotic look Smith showed in the entire game resulted in a sack. Imagine that! But he didn’t even go back to once even though it worked before.

What is a fireable offense is giving up 400 yards of total offense in 19 of the 36 games that Smith has run the defense. That’s inexcusable.

Do you think a bye week will fix it? Does Koetter think Smith can simply snap his fingers and things will automatically improve? Koetter’s delusional if he thinks that’s the case.

Back in 2016, Smith’s defense was the best in the league on third downs. Last year it became the worst on third downs. This year the Bucs are giving up more total yards, more passing yards and more points than they did a year ago when they had less talent.

So what’s changed since 2016? Smith no longer blitzes the A gap with middle linebacker Kwon Alexander with regularity, and no longer deploys a double A gap blitz with Alexander and Lavonte David as he did more frequently in 2016. That immediate pressure in quarterback’s faces resulted in sacks and hurried throws that either failed to pick up the necessary yards to gain or were incompletions or interceptions.

After David recorded five sacks in 2016 and Alexander recorded three, neither linebacker blitzed as often and neither recorded a single quarterback capture last year, which is inexcusable and a big reason why the Bucs ranked last in sacks with 22.

When Alexander blitzed against Philadelphia in Week 2 he got a key sack-fumble. When Alexander blitzed on the first series of the second half he drilled Trubisky and forced an incompletion. Of course with the score already being 38-3 it was too little, too late by then.

Koetter wondered aloud about what good firing Smith would do? Well, he essentially fired himself as the offensive play-caller and turned those duties over to Monken, and the offense now ranks third with 432.8 yards per game, the passing game ranks first with 363.2 yards per game and the offense ranks seventh in scoring, averaging 28 points per game.

Seems like a change worked pretty well on that side of the ball, why not make a change on the defensive side before it’s too late?

Bucs DC Mike Smith and LBs coach Mark Duffner - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs DC Mike Smith and LBs coach Mark Duffner – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

I would replace Smith with linebackers coach Mark Duffner because I would want Alexander and David to be featured more on defense and in the pass rush. As Duffner is the linebackers coach, I’m trusting that would happen. It’s been a long time since Duffner has been a defensive coordinator in the league, but at this point, it might be worth the risk of giving him a shot at calling the plays. At least since he’s on the current staff he would have a sense of what not to do.

Duffner was Cincinnati’s defensive coordinator in 2001-02, and in his first year the Bengals defense allowed the unit’s fewest single points (309) since 1989 and the fewest yards per game (302) since 1983. The Bengals also set a franchise single-season record for sacks that year with 48, which was a mark that stood for 11 years. Duffner, who is in his third year with the Bucs, has 19 years of NFL coaching experience and 22 years worth of experience at the college level, including 11 seasons as a head coach at Maryland (1992-96) and Holy Cross (1986-91).

If the Bucs were to replace Smith the best time to do it would be during the bye week, and the replacement would have to come from in-house because the season is already under way and the train is rolling down the tracks. It’s too difficult to bring an outside coordinator in right now and have the players learn a new defense on the fly without the benefit of OTAs and training camp. That would only cause more chaos.

Duffner would get the nod over defensive line coach Brentson Buckner, who may be a coordinator one day, but has zero play-calling experience and would prove to be too much of a gamble with so much at stake this season.

Smith doesn’t even have to be fired by the Bucs. He can remain on the staff in the role as a senior defensive consultant without play-calling duties. I don’t necessarily like to see anybody lose his job.

Smith got his start in the NFL in Baltimore as a defensive line coach under defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio from 1999-2001 and then became the Ravens linebackers coach in 2002. When Del Rio got the Jacksonville head coaching job in 2003 he brought Smith with him to be the defensive coordinator until 2008 when Smith became Atlanta’s head coach until 2014.

Smith delegated the defensive coordinator duties in Atlanta to several coordinators, so before joining Tampa Bay’s staff in 2016 the last time he had called plays was in 2007 when the main priority was stopping Tennessee running back Eddie George. Back then when Smith was in Jacksonville, Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning throwing for 300 yards was a big deal in the NFL. Now in the modern day NFL, eight teams are averaging over 300 yards passing per game.

Bucs DC Mike Smith - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs DC Mike Smith – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Heck, it’s uncommon when quarterbacks don’t pass for 300 yards anymore. But the league’s great defenses don’t allow more than 245 yards passing per game – and there are currently 12 defenses that are accomplishing that with four defenses holding opponents under 200 yards passing per game.

The game of football had passed Lovie Smith and his Tampa 2 defense by years ago, and it’s looking like the same can be said of Mike Smith and the quarters defense and the off-man coverage that he prefers to play. The NFL has rapidly evolved into a passing league with a bunch of plays and formations stolen from the college game. I haven’t seen evidence that he is adjusting well to these newer concepts. The only seven stop drops you see any more – which were offensive staples back in the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s – now come in max protection schemes, which the Bears deployed a few times on Sunday, including their first touchdown.

On the Trey Burton touchdown, Chicago had seven players blocking four with both Alexander and David camping out five yards off the line of scrimmage in zone coverage guarding no one. The back and the tight end that they would have been assigned to stayed in to block – and neither Alexander nor David attacked and Trubisky had all day to scan the field and throw the ball.

I know of one NFL team that brought in several offensive coaches from the college ranks in the offseason to go through a coaches clinic with that NFL team’s defensive staff on how to keep up with and defend new innovative formations, schemes and plays. That NFL team has a defense that is currently ranked in the top 12 in all four of the major categories – run defense, pass defense, total defense and scoring defense.

I have no idea whether or not Duffner could make better adjustments than Smith, but at this point, would it hurt to try? I just don’t have faith in Smith, his scheme and his lack of in-game adjustments at this point, and neither do Bucs fans. Our current Ford’s Garage Pewter Poll on PewterReport.com showed that 93 percent of those voting said the Bucs should fire Smith, and the poll had over 1,300 votes as of this writing.

Bucs LBs coach Mark Duffner - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs LBs coach Mark Duffner – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

On paper, this is a better Tampa Bay defense in terms of talent and experience than it was last year – and yet the results are worse. There is no way the Bucs can continue to surrender 445.8 yards and 33 points per game and expect to have a winning season. It won’t happen. And I’ve seen nothing to suggest that continuing on in the same manner with Smith at the helm will change that for the better.

Aside from a change at defensive coordinator, other moves I would make would include benching cornerback Brent Grimes in favor of third-year player Ryan Smith. Grimes is a liability against the run whereas Smith is faster, tougher and a willing tackler. Smith played a fantastic game at cornerback against Philadelphia in Week 2 and had a very good second half of football against Chicago when Grimes was benched.

Keep in mind that Grimes had to be talked into playing one more season – $8 million will convince a lot of people – and that’s never good. I’m not suggesting that Grimes is collecting a check or is necessarily half-hearted about football, but at age 35 and coming off a sub-par training camp, let’s just say I don’t think he’s as motivated this season as he has been in years past.

I would also bench second-round pick M.J. Stewart at nickel cornerback and give Javien Elliott a shot. Elliott played well as a rookie in a few starts at nickel in 2016 and has done enough in practice and the preseason to stick around Tampa Bay since then. I thought Elliott had a good camp this year.

Stewart, who is starting in place of the injured Vernon Hargreaves III, has gotten picked on every week and surrendered several big plays and a couple of touchdowns last week in Chicago. He might benefit from watching on the sidelines and come in every third series on defense. Stewart is smart and tough, which are qualities the Bucs were looking for when they drafted him, but after Sunday’s game I questioned whether he has enough athleticism in my 2-Point Conversion column.

Bucs CB Javien Elliott – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs CB Javien Elliott – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

By no means is the book isn’t completely written on Stewart after four games, but I just wonder if Stewart, who ran a 4.54 at the NFL Scouting Combine and tested in the bottom one third of all defensive backs in other athletic drills, has what it takes to cover quicker, faster receivers in the slot. Elliott is quicker and faster, running a 4.41 time as an undrafted free agent out of Florida State, plus this is his third season in Tampa Bay’s defense.

On the offensive side of the ball, I would start Evan Smith over Caleb Benenoch and flip the existing script as both players see playing time at right guard. I would have Smith play two-thirds of the snaps and only one-third for Benenoch.

I know the Bucs have high hopes for Benenoch and for Alex Cappa, the team’s third-round pick from this year’s draft, but while the front office would like to see draft picks like Stewart and Benenoch get playing time to develop, the Bucs need to win games. Like Elliott at nickel cornerback, I feel that Smith, who has more experience and has played better than Benenoch, deserves a shot to start.

I would keep Cappa on the bench until he develops – even if his rookie season is a redshirt year. Cappa looked like a sack waiting to happen in training camp and the preseason, and it typically takes offensive linemen several years to develop into quality starters.

I would keep Jameis Winston as the starter, but if he starts off cold and throws a couple of first half interceptions in the first half where it doesn’t look like it’s going to be his day, I wouldn’t hesitate to put Ryan Fitzpatrick into the game for a spark and then go back to starting Winston the next week.

Koetter has to be a bit selfish and understand that his job is to win football games. Period.

Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter – Photo by: Getty Images
Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter – Photo by: Getty Images

Koetter’s job is not to make sure Ronald Jones, Stewart or Benenoch develops, or that Winston gets ample time to warrant a long-term contract extension. It’s not about working with Licht to make sure the team’s draft picks start, nor is it about sticking with Smith at defensive coordinator because he trusts Smitty will figure it out.

“First off, let’s get one thing straight,” Koetter said on Monday. “It has zero to do with relationships, okay? None of this is about relationships. This is business, alright? This is how I make my living, and it’s about how every guy in this building makes his living, so we can put that one to rest.”

If that truly is the case, then it’s time to move on to a new defensive coordinator and to go with the lineup that gives the Bucs the best chance to win on a week-to-week basis. But while we may see some line-up changes when Tampa Bay travels to Atlanta, don’t expect anyone other than Smith to be calling the defensive plays.

1
2
3
4
5
Previous articleWinston Must Keep Bucs Offense Clicking
Next articleFantasy Friday Rankings: Week 5
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]

39 COMMENTS

  1. You say the first interception is not Winston’s fault and i disagree. He had a good amount of space in the front and he needs to step up the pocket when there is pressure. All the good QBs step up when they sense pressure on the outside provided they have space in the front. Any QB can throws dimes when given a complete clean pocket. I’m don’t know if these small things are instincts or things that can be coached but sure are required to be a franchise QB. Winston for now just doesn’t have them. He is definitely a good QB just not great.

    +11
    -31
    Rating: -20. From 42 votes.
    Please wait...
  2. No one knows better than Koetter & Smith that they are coaching for their jobs. Changing DC after 4 games is crazy. Maybe modern NFL football has passed Smith by, but making a coordinator change at this point has more down side than upside. Most defenses are getting torched with the new rule changes, shoot look at NO, Minn, Philly, ATL just to name a few (they were supposed to be good). Did Zimmer & Quinn forget how to coach D? There are only a few defenses that are good under old standards: Bears, JAX and that is about it. The rest are treading water.

    Scott you predicted the BUCS to be 2-2 by now, and they are (they just didn’t get here how you thought). You predicted the Bears winning, and they did. It was ugly, and NONE of they players came to play except JPP. You predicted that they would NOT be a playoff team, and they won’t.

    Overreaction to the BUCS winning early and overreaction to the BUCS losing late. Injuries have decimated the defense, and a pile of rookies or 2nd year players playing on the back end. The offense is going to have to win games (like they did in the first 2 wins). How long did it take Barber & Lynch to be good NFL players Scott? I believe it took years as you often write about.

    If the BUCS drafted James instead of Vea they would have no D-line because of injuries. Pick your poison. They are a couple of years away of drafts & player development.

    As all of PR predicted they are somewhere between a 7 and 9 win team, period. If they are what you thought they were then what the hell are we screaming about!!??

    +21
    -7
    Rating: +14. From 28 votes.
    Please wait...
    • PS-If Monken is so great then why didn’t the BUCS score more than 10 points against the Bears, and in 4 games why don’t the BUCS run the ball more effectively? (Barber isn’t great, but he doesn’t suck either)

      The back-up QB, OC, and DC are always better than the starter that loses.
      Come on we’re better than that

      +5
      -13
      Rating: -8. From 18 votes.
      Please wait...
    • MudManVA – agree completely. No one should be screaming about them being 2-2. Maybe beating the high flying Saints and their offense and the Super Bowl champs made everyone think in one year this team is fixed and ready to go. It is not.

      One other thing to add what you wrote – who thinks Koetter, who Smith stuck with in Atlanta no matter how bad things got after they won division titles and never won a Super Bowl, is going to now turn around and dump his life-long coaching friend? I like the suggestion above to keep him on as consultant and try Duffner at calling plays with his background, but I don’t see Koetter doing that with his history with Smith protecting him in Atlanta. Nice suggestion, not going to happen.

      +6
      0
      Rating: +6. From 6 votes.
      Please wait...
    • Your comment about Vea vs. James fails to take into account context and needs at the time. Yeah, there are injuries now but even if the defensive backfield was healthy it would still be garbage. The line, when healthy, has the talent to be good.
      I’ve noticed in reading this column that it seems like Scott wants to make a certain point then will put in whatever work is needed to make that point. Some points have a ton of data and back-up whereas others have basically nothing and come off as lazy. It’s a distressing pattern.
      And the James vs. Vea discussion isn’t beating a dead horse as SR suggests because he, and posters like you, continually fail to just admit that the pick was, at best, a questionable decision at the time that has only gotten worse. That’s all that needs to be said to end a majority of these comments. Instead it’s excuses and odd reasoning.
      Bottom line, Vea is a DT whose main specialty is stopping the run in a league that is increasingly about the pass. He’s only a 2 down player for at least this year and more than likely next year as well. Licht signed two players before the draft who already fill this (not especially important honestly) role. To sink even more capital into a sub-package player is inexcusable.
      We all want Vea to do well and he has a chance to be a very good player and every rookie deserves time. But those things and the criticisms of Licht and Vea I wrote above aren’t mutually exclusive. SR seems to think they are and it makes this column come across as biased and not the balanced reporting SR holds himself to

      +3
      -6
      Rating: -3. From 9 votes.
      Please wait...
  3. I am just a huge football fan, I really don’t know football technically but have been a fan of the game for over 60 years and a Buc’s fan since day one. That being said I listen to people who should know some of the answers, former players and coaches who announce and analyze games on television and radio. NFL TV and NFL radio on XM satellite radio. Regardless of our Head Coaches Smart Butt statement that Smitty didn’t miss a tackle or a coverage, down to the last person everyone I listen to says this system will never work. They break down the TB defense and say you get stuck with linebackers on the number one wide receiver the way it is run right now and that will almost always result in a completion. All these experts seem to respect our talent but say it is a lack of coaching and good discipline on defense. I have called into a few programs and ask retired HOF player what do they feel is the problem in Tampa and down to the last person they say the defensive scheme. I guess Koetter knows better all of them. I really hate smart assed answers like the coach didn’t miss on tackle, no his scheme missed them all!!!!

    +33
    -1
    Rating: +32. From 34 votes.
    Please wait...
    • Great point Bob. Well stated, sir.

      +2
      0
      Rating: +2. From 2 votes.
      Please wait...
  4. GREAT ARTICLE! Will it get done? Probably not. But you can’t expect the offense to carry a 32nd ranked defense into the playoffs and Mike Smith is at the top of the “we’ve seen this before” meltdowns AND the two-year ranking of last place.

    I really sympathize with professional Sportswriters like you guys and everyone else covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It must be incredibly frustrating to try to give us fans other topics besides the ONE MOST IMPORTANT TOPIC that could really give this team hope for improvement on the defense…. hope for more wins… hope for the playoffs.

    But I digress, your article nails the fact that Mike Smith sticks to failing strategies for too long…. very slow to make adjustments in the game…. and also very slow to pickup on NFL trends.

    I’ll also add that I would hate to see the Bucs ONCE AGAIN throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The offense ranked 10th last year and is currently 3rd in the NFL this year. Koetter’s offensive scheme is good and while his play-calling is suspect, he and Monken make a good team offensively. I’d hate to see things get worse as the season progresses where the cries for firings become more ignorant than warranted. As it stands right now, Mike Smith has definitely earned a firing and this QB chatter to start the season has been a distraction to what really holds the Buccaneers back from being winners.

    +12
    -1
    Rating: +11. From 13 votes.
    Please wait...
  5. If the Bucs played vanilla cover 2/cover 3 90% they would definitely not give up 400 yards per game. That is how bad things are that playing vanilla cover 2 would be an upgrade lol.

    +9
    0
    Rating: +9. From 9 votes.
    Please wait...
  6. I was calling for Dotson, and Grimes to be replaced this year for the very reasons you stated Scott. Time has caught up to both players. It was obvious to many of us why not Licht? Maybe it was, but drafting Cappa, and Stewart wasn’t the answer. M.J. might be to slow for the NFL game, and Cappa coming from a small school had no experience playing either R.G., or R.T.. How as a G.M. do you move up into the 3rd for a player you have to project what they might become in the NFL? Pointing to Marpet as example of a small school success is only true in the mind of Buc fans. He’s on his 3rd position change in as many years, and only in the mind of Buc fans is he a pro bowler. Spoiler alert, he’s not, and so far this year he won’t be again. If you need a R.G., or R.T., for gods sake draft one that has tape playing those positions at a high level for three years at a major program! Vita Vea is a 3-4 nose tackle. He doesn’t have the tools to play a three tech in a 4-3 defense. If the Bucs plan on sticking with a 4-3 they’ll need to draft someone else. As far as blitzing David, and Kwon more, they need a clean shot at the Q.B. to get home. They do not have the size, and power to push the pocket if they get picked up by a blocker. Same goes for the run game. Get a blocker on them, and they get swallowed up, they can’t shed blocks. What I’m saying is every supposed star on our team is way over rated. Licht’s scatter shot draft approach, combined with poor F.A. signings has doomed the Bucs. He needs to go. We need a G.M. with a real vision, and plan for this team.

    +6
    -13
    Rating: -7. From 19 votes.
    Please wait...
  7. As a 42 year season ticket holder I reflected upon having spent about $100,000 on season tickets!
    What could I have done with the money instead? More things for the children and grandchildren? An MBA that I’ve thought about?
    42 years of primarily frustration must be some sort of psychopathology, don’t you think? Yes, I spent time in the Old Sombrero with the paper shopping bag,when they had them, over my head. I’ve sat through raging thunderstorms like many other fans.

    Yes, I have been entertained. Record-setting games by the opponents. There are many more than just Mitchell Trubisky. And as Shakespeare wrote, A Comedy of Errors, by the Bucs.

    I am a very loyal person, perhaps too loyal.
    I have been quantum levels above just foolish.
    The Bucs are both.
    Please pardon my rumination.

    +16
    0
    Rating: +16. From 16 votes.
    Please wait...
  8. I can only respond to negative comments regarding my son, Brent. One minute you like him and the next he is a liability. Obviously none of you know Brent or you wouldn’t say the things you do. The person that wrote this story with his comments needs to meet with Brent and just maybe you would understand real football actions.

    +5
    -15
    Rating: -10. From 20 votes.
    Please wait...
    • Brent was good in his prime, but he is 35, always injured, and just not the player he used to be. These are facts, he was good, but it’s time for him to hang it up. He has been a liability this season.

      +18
      -3
      Rating: +15. From 21 votes.
      Please wait...
    • No one hates the man. As fans, I think we all admire his journey. I think we’ve been entertained by his game. He just hasn’t been the same this season. There’s plenty of blame to go around for the two losses. Fitzpatrick, Alexander, David, and Grimes will shoulder much of the blame for their performances on the field in those two losses. They played poorly and they aren’t rookies. These are the savvy veteran leaders of the team. Everyone expects better performances from those guys, probably including themselves.

      +10
      0
      Rating: +10. From 10 votes.
      Please wait...
    • Ms. Hall, you have every right to be proud of what your Son has accomplished. By no means would any crticism be meant towards the person, son, husband or father but to a level of play that is backed up by game film. This does not question the character of the man but it does question the ability of his skill sets at this point in time. His playwas a factor in an embarrassing loss. I am sure he recognizes it as well.

      To say that reporters or fans should not comment on this level of play is naive to the fact that this is exactly what reporters are paid to do and exactly what fans do when their beloved Team shows up to only embarrass us again.

      I personally appreciate what Brent has brought to the Bucs. It may be at a time though that he consider getting healthier before going back out there and potentially put this Team AND himself in harms way.

      +10
      0
      Rating: +10. From 10 votes.
      Please wait...
      • Brent has been hurt and no one knows that better than him. Yes it is a reporters job to write about the players, but shouldn’t they know and report the truth. Maybe we are looking at different tapes, but Brent does what he is told.

        +9
        -6
        Rating: +3. From 15 votes.
        Please wait...
        • We are not hating on him as a person so please don’t take it that way.

          +7
          0
          Rating: +7. From 7 votes.
          Please wait...
        • Deborah Hall, I believe it was stated for weeks Brett had an injury. I was quite surprised once Brett was given the okay to play that he would be the starter after missing so much time.
          It wasn’t fair for him or the fans for Mike Smith to start Brett after missing all those weeks. Chicago took advantage of the situation, but it is the game of football.
          I know you’re a very proud of your son and well you should. Brett has had a successful career, but everything must come to an end eventually. I I have the greatest respect for him and I believe most fans feel the same way.
          I myself had three wonderful careers and each one had to end due to age and health, but I did my best and that’s all anyone can ask for; I hope Brett feels the same way when he is my age.

          +3
          -2
          Rating: +1. From 5 votes.
          Please wait...
    • It’s an honor as a Bucs fan to read your post, Deborah. Makes me feel good to see that Brent has a very supportive family. Hope he continues being successful here in whatever capacity he plays, and when football is done, I hope that true success follows him and his family in all his endeavors! God bless!

      +3
      -2
      Rating: +1. From 5 votes.
      Please wait...
  9. Doesn’t matter, Mike Smith is garbage!

    +13
    -1
    Rating: +12. From 14 votes.
    Please wait...
  10. Still giving Jones the benefit of the doubt. The dropped pass was ugly, but the definition of a rookie mistake: trying to run before he caught the ball. He’s not the first to do it and surely won’t be the last. When he had blocking, he looked solid on the ground. Unfortunately, he also got completely blown up in the backfield multiple times again, so until our OL gets their shit together, I don’t expect him to break out. Same goes for whatever QB we put back there…the OL was able to protect Fitz well the first two games and he did some incredible things. But the last two games, it appears the Monstars took their talent and the results have been clear. No matter which QB we play, if we are giving up pressure the way we have been the past 2 weeks, we won’t win games.

    +11
    -1
    Rating: +10. From 12 votes.
    Please wait...
  11. Not sure how the Bucs scouting staff works, but would be curious if the same scout that pimped McNichols also rec’d Jones, being that they are both West Coast RB’s. Sadly Aaron Jones was picked 20 spots after McNichols, would’ve loved to see him as a Buc.

    +4
    -3
    Rating: +1. From 7 votes.
    Please wait...
  12. Gotta hate writing about this because it means at week 5 we are already thinking about coaching changes.

    I’ve gotta say though If the Glazers do decide to clean house after this season if Koetter posts another losing record… I’m not sure who I would be advocating for as the new GM.. But I definitely know who would be the right choice for Head coach. None other then Chris Peterson coach at UW.
    If you follow Coach Pete at all you know his programs are built first on a character and secondarily a winning mentality. I think that’s exactly what the bucs need a culture change. No more losing culture. Chris Peterson would be a huge addition to this franchise. I know the sexy picks lately have been the innovative offensive coordinators from high scoring offenses but I for one am tired of coaching changes every 2-3 years. Chris Peterson would bring a culture change and stability.
    On a side note… Hopefully he would bring Jimmy Lake back to the bay area as a D coordinator. That dude radiates confidence and swagger. I would love for him to mold Davis, stewart, Hargraves, Evans and Whitehead. I mean just look at the dbs he has coached (Marcus Peters briefly, Budda Baker, Kevin King, Sidney Jones, Taylor Rapp, Byron Murphy, John Ross, and Shaq Thompson) The only big time recruits out of those were Shaq and Budda other than that he developed most of those guys.

    Thats just my opinion tho… What do you guys think? Who would be your choice for a new HC?

    +3
    -4
    Rating: -1. From 7 votes.
    Please wait...
  13. He got 1 thing right. Mike Smith did not call any blitzes and has not been.

    On the other side we have not been leaving protection in or changing protection. Why for a full half we let K. Mack rush against just the Tackle with no TE help?

    Putting Winston back in just means more of the same Turnover Machine and he cant connect on the deep ball like Fitz can if Fitz has time.

    5-6 wins this season. Another wasted season, poor coaching and sub-par Scouting.

    +3
    -4
    Rating: -1. From 7 votes.
    Please wait...
  14. I always knew this franchise was not truly serious about Winning another superbowl anytime soon. After all, they hired 2 rejects from the ATL Falcons. Arthur Blanks knew. Due to Koetters Loyalty to his old coach, He will Go down with the ship. Its sad because he will take a few good people with him. Not many fans thought Smitty should have been retained after last yrs sorry Defensive showing. And now, its happenning all over again. Yes, we will flash defensively here and there. Will probably even win in ATL. But I don’t see this team taking off under its current regime. Smitty’s time has come and gone in this NFl. Hell, he won’t even come down out od his pressbox to lead his troops on the sidelines!! Perhaps we should let it just play out and get that top 5 draft pick next year. But I have no confidence in this coaching staff. I got us either going 6-10 or 7-9. The Glazers will have no choice but to..end our Misery.

    +6
    -1
    Rating: +5. From 7 votes.
    Please wait...
  15. Still think i would like DC Mike Smith on sideline! I see no apparent advantages of being upstairs… at least it doesn’t appear to have helped him make calls! i’m just saying…

    +5
    -1
    Rating: +4. From 6 votes.
    Please wait...
    • He might have an “accident” if he’s that close to the players when he’s making such weak calls during a game… Would love to hear how the players REALLY feel about the D he’s running.

      +3
      0
      Rating: +3. From 3 votes.
      Please wait...
  16. I wish we could all get over the Florida State Washington thing. IT IS OVER!!!!!!!!! We chose the DT not the Safety. Let’s get over it! Please! It’s irrational to keep harping on something that is in the past and can’t be changed. DT is harder and takes longer to develop than safety. Both players are probably going to be very good. Very good safety’s are always available, but 345 pound DTs with speed and athleticism are not. Let’s act rationally. We just don’t what will happen, but we do not have a “way-back machine.”

    +5
    0
    Rating: +5. From 5 votes.
    Please wait...
  17. Thank you Scot Patterson. There is no excuse for not having a TE help our Tackles by chipping K. Mack. It could have helped avoid a beat down. There also is no excuse for retaining Smitty who is a total BUST of a DC. Otherwise, thank you, thank you, thank you Scott for your written detailed analysis on how to improve the Bucs. Koetter should follow your advice. Your plan is brilliant as usual, and it is a huge improvement over Koetter’s plan to trust Smitty to fix it.

    +3
    0
    Rating: +3. From 3 votes.
    Please wait...
  18. So what we know about our Bucs this year. We still have lots of holes. Safety,DT,CB,RT,RG. Benenoch and Dot both stink. Koetter is too stubborn to fire Smoth or at least demote him. Looks like will be blowing it up again at end of year. Koetter is an idiot. Smiths scheme is garbage. It will not work. I just hope they can maybe keep Monken as coordinator. I’m 50/50 on Licht too. He’s made some good moves and some really bad ones.

    +5
    0
    Rating: +5. From 5 votes.
    Please wait...
  19. Good God Buc fans have become as predictable as Mike Smith’s defense.

    I knen that when Dot struggled against Mack, that the idiotic Buc fans would say that Dot is garbage and washed up. Although he shut down the DEs he face in the first 3 weeks. I understand he had a bad mistake on a blitz pick up against the Steelers, but other than that was very good. Then he was asked for most of the game in which the Bucs trailed, to block to best DE in football..and you yahoos want to say he’s no good because Mack got the best of
    him…Geeeezus!

    +4
    0
    Rating: +4. From 4 votes.
    Please wait...
  20. Fanofdadabucs your the idiot. Go watch games again you moron. He stinks right now period and to say otherwise makes you a jackass. Don’t put words in my mouth I didn’t say “he was washed up” I said he stinks and Benenoch does too. Given his age and knee surgery he just had it’s not looking good this year but who knows maybe he will bounce back. Grimes is washed up and you quote me on that.

    +1
    -1
    Rating: 0. From 2 votes.
    Please wait...
  21. We also have no depth behind Dot or C. benenoch which is also an issue and why I listed RT and RG as holes.

    +1
    0
    Rating: +1. From 1 vote.
    Please wait...
  22. The right side of Bucs line cannot run block either. It’s not all about pass protection from that side but the pass protection has been horrible two games now. Benenoch should be benched like the article says. Benching Dot won’t help there is nobody depth wise it’s bad situation and I wouldn’t bench him just yet anyways.

    +1
    0
    Rating: +1. From 1 vote.
    Please wait...
  23. Can we please stop talking about switching to a new DC being the equivalent of our players having to earn a PhD. These are professional football players. Every DC in the NFL asks his players to do the exact same things. All of our linemen (some better than others) know how to pass rush, play run defense, and stunt. All of our LBs (some better than others) know how to cover TEs and RBs, and they know all of the blitzes ever devised. All of our DBs (some better than others) know how to play press-man and zone.

    What a new DC brings is not some magic new task that our players have never heard of before. The DC is not telling the linemen when to bull rush versus when to speed rush (they figure that out themselves). Same for tactics at LB and DB.

    What a new DC brings is a new strategy as to when, how often, and in what combination (creating disguises) the players are asked to do all of those things that they already know how to do (some better than others).

    If like me, you believe our players are of similar talent (some better than others) to the other teams, and that our players are doing the same things that all of the other teams are doing, then that leaves only this issue of what a DC actually does – when, how often, and in what combination. And that does not require the players to earn a PhD, just that the DC already has one. I would suggest Smitty does not, but there are many out there that do and we should change ASAP.

    +4
    0
    Rating: +4. From 4 votes.
    Please wait...
    • Agreed, too many people here are talking as if a DC change could possibly make this defense any worse.

      +1
      -1
      Rating: 0. From 2 votes.
      Please wait...
  24. Benenoch should be held accountable by cutting him and picking up another guard to try. Smith should be given a shot and if he cannot do it give Leidkey a try. He should be available at every game because he can play well at Guard and Tackle if needed.

    +1
    -1
    Rating: 0. From 2 votes.
    Please wait...
  25. Mike Smith HAS to go at this point. His defensive scheme has done absolutely zero for this team the last 2 seasons so far and there is little to no chance that it will suddenly click and help the team win this year. Our offense has carried the team so far and the defense has done nothing but drag us down. Koetter’s foolish blind loyalty to Smith will result in the entire staff being blown up and starting from scratch again. This is a shame as our offensive staff has done a really good job not only this year, but since Koetter has taken over.

    The whole Vea vs James debate is pointless unless someone out there has a time machine. One thing I will say for Vea though, I saw him on multiple occasions pushing 2 O-lineman backwards. The push he gets will open things up for the rest of the D-line, and if Mike Smith ever decides to call a blitz, our LBs will have open lanes to the QB.

    The doom and gloom is surely warranted on the defensive side of the ball. Nothing short of a miracle will turn this defense around. At this point all we can hope is that our offense can somehow manage to maintain their success the entire season and win us a few shootouts. The O-line definitely needs to step their game up though for that to happen. Whatever they were doing the first 2 weeks, they need to return to that.

    +1
    -1
    Rating: 0. From 2 votes.
    Please wait...
  26. Why is it that Mike Smith seems to want his players to play his scheme regardless of where the players’ strengths lie? I’m quite certain he was influential on each defensive draft pick over the past 3 years, so I’m sure he knew ahead of time these DBs excel at press-man coverage, not zone coverage. The only player on the entire team who seems comfortable in zone coverage is Grimes, and he completely sucks so far this season.

    It seems like Smith wants to put square pegs into round holes, and hasn’t learned a damn thing from his previous failures on defense. At worst, a change in play callers might put these players into better position to actually stop opposing offenses more often than not. At best, it might just be the morale booster the DBs need right now.

    +2
    0
    Rating: +2. From 2 votes.
    Please wait...