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

FAB 1. The Bucs Are Cursed!

Tampa Bay is 3-5 at the midway point in the 2018 season, a disappointing yet familiar place for the franchise to be. Over the last decade, the Bucs have had a losing record halfway through the season only once, and that came in 2010 when the team built a 10-6 record using smoke and mirrors.

1-7 in 2009 = 3-13
5-3 in 2010 = 10-6
4-4 in 2011 = 4-12
4-4 in 2012 = 7-9
0-8 in 2013 = 4-12
1-7 in 2014 = 2-14
3-5 in 2015 = 6-10
3-5 in 2016 = 9-7
2-6 in 2017 = 5-11
3-5 in 2018 = ?

A 3-5 start, which the Bucs have had in three of the last four years, has typically meant a losing record with the 2016 season being the exception. Tampa Bay won five straight games that year thanks to the defense recording a bunch of takeaways and playing great on third down. Yet at 9-7, the Bucs fell one game short of the playoffs that year.

A quick look at the schedule shows winnable games against San Francisco (2-7) and the New York Giants (1-7) and even against a beat-up team like Washington (5-3) on Sunday and two teams that may be in the downward spiral in Baltimore (4-5) and Dallas (3-5). Playing the way they are right now, hoping to score a win against Atlanta (4-4), Carolina (6-2) or New Orleans (7-1) seems nearly impossible if the Bucs keep losing the turnover margin.

Tampa Bay would need at least an 8-8 record to put the pause on regime change, and that means a 5-3 finish, which seems daunting right now. Should the Bucs have a losing record and clean house, do you trust the Glazers to hire the right general manager and head coach after hiring Mark Dominik, Raheem Morris, Greg Schiano, Lovie Smith before Jason Licht and Dirk Koetter?

Perhaps more importantly, do the Glazers even trust themselves?

No one saw Smith’s 2-14 record coming during his first season as head coach, especially after Schiano was fired for going 4-12 the previous year. That wasn’t supposed to happen.

Smith was an experienced head coach who had been to the Super Bowl before and had ties to Tampa Bay. He was replacing Schiano, who was in over his head coming from the college ranks – and yet Smith was worse.

The Bucs don’t need a new head or a general manager.

They need a witch doctor. They need a voodoo priestess. They need a Catholic priest ready to perform an exorcism.

This franchise is cursed!

Somebody, somewhere really angered the football gods.

We’re not talking about just one simple hex here. This is a full-on curse of epic proportions with many layers affecting different aspects of the franchise.

Former Bucs coach Tony Dungy – Photo by: Getty Images
Former Bucs coach Tony Dungy – Photo by: Getty Images

Somehow, some way, the Bucs had a good decade of football between Tony Dungy and Jon Gruden where the team posted five years of winning 10 games or more, making the playoffs six times, winning three division titles and one Super Bowl.

Since then it’s been a decade of pure suffering for Bucs fans and everybody at One Buccaneer Place.

Let’s take a closer at some of the curses that are currently in effect.

The Doug Williams Curse
In the Buccaneers’ 43 years of existence, the team has drafted five quarterbacks in the first round – the first of which was Doug Williams in 1978. After helping lead the Bucs to a 10-6 record, an NFC Central title and a playoff win to get to the NFC Championship Game in 1979 and playoff berths in 1981 and ‘82, Williams left the Bucs for the USFL over a contract dispute in 1983.

Williams was making $120,000 a year, which was the lowest salary for a starter in the league, and less than the salary of 12 backup QBs. After the ‘82 season, Williams requested a contract that would pay him $600,000 per year. Former Bucs owner Hugh Culverhouse stuck to his initial offer of $400,000 and Tampa Bay wouldn’t make the playoffs again until 1997 under Dungy and new owner Malcolm Glazer, who purchased the team in 1995.

Many thought the curse was broken when the Bucs made the playoffs in 1997, and certainly was gone by 2002 when Tampa Bay won its Super Bowl. But Williams was a quarterback drafted by this franchise and the real effects of the curse have been revealed in the present day, as none of the quarterbacks the Bucs have drafted in the first round, including Vinny Testaverde (1987), Trent Dilfer (1994), Josh Freeman (2009) and Jameis Winston (2015), would sign a second contract with the team. Dilfer, Freeman and Winston all got close before having a calamitous final season with the Bucs either due to injury (Dilfer) or performance (Freeman and Winston).

Former Bucs QB Doug Williams - Photo courtesy of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Former Bucs QB Doug Williams – Photo courtesy of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

In fact, the Williams curse also extends to all quarterbacks that have been drafted by Tampa Bay, as no quarterback selected by the Bucs in any round has signed a second contract with the team. Will this curse continue in 2019? The fate and future of Winston will ultimately be determined over the last eight weeks of the season. The Bucs have picked up Winston’s $20.92 million fifth-year option, but it is only guaranteed for injury, and they could move on from him in the 2019 offseason if they want.

The Matt Bryant Curse
Former Bucs kicker Matt Bryant suffered a tragic loss when his son Tryson died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in 2008, which was his final year in Tampa Bay. Bryant suffered a leg injury in training camp, and instead of standing by him or putting him on injured reserve, former general manager Mark Dominik cut him in training camp in favor of Mike Nugent, a high-priced kicker signed in the offseason. Bryant was an 83.1 percent kicker in Tampa Bay and had made 84 percent of his kicks in three out of his four seasons with the Bucs with his biggest kick coming in 2006 when he kicked a franchise-record 62-yard field goal to beat the Eagles.

Nugent flamed out quickly, making just 2-of-6 field goals as Bryant caught on with Atlanta later that season when he was healthy and hasn’t looked back – making 88 percent of his field goals with the Falcons over the last 10 years. Since Bryant left Tampa Bay, the Bucs have struggled to find a competent kicker, rolling through the likes of Shane Andrus, Connor Barth, Lawrence Tynes, Rian Lindell, Patrick Murray, Kyle Brindza, Roberto Aguayo, Nick Folk and now Chandler Catanzaro. That’s nine kickers in 10 years.

Just when the Bucs thought they found a long-term replacement in Barth, who kicked for them from 2009-12, the Bryant curse really went into effect. Barth made 83.3 percent of his field goals, which is nearly the exact same field goal percentage Bryant had achieved before being released, and then tore his Achilles tendon playing in a charity basketball game just before training camp in 2013.

The Bryant curse got so bad that Tynes, who was signed to replace Barth in 2013, never kicked for the Bucs as he contracted a MRSA infection in August that ended his career, forcing the team to pay him what is believed to be as much as a million dollars in a settlement that was finally reached last year. The Bucs also spent a second-round pick on Aguayo, a risky move that didn’t pan out as he was the league’s worst-rated kicker as a rookie in 2016.

Since cutting Aguayo in training camp last year, Tampa Bay is on its third kicker, as Folk didn’t last six games, and Murray, his replacement, wasn’t re-signed because he didn’t have a strong enough leg. Now the Bucs cross their fingers and pray every time Catanzaro lines up to make an extra point, and had to watch the 43-year old Bryant drill a 58-yard field goal a few weeks ago to seal the Falcons’ 34-29 win in Atlanta.

The Jon Gruden Curse
Follow the logic on this one. Malcolm Glazer was tired of the Bucs’ offensive mediocrity under Dungy and had the guts to fire the team’s all-time winningest coach and the architect of the Tampa 2 defense and make the blockbuster trade for Gruden, who won the Super Bowl in his first season in Tampa Bay in 2002. When the Bucs owner suffered a series of strokes the ownership switched to his sons, Bryan, Joel and Ed.

Former Bucs head coach Jon Gruden - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Former Bucs head coach Jon Gruden – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

In 2008, the Glazer boys fired Gruden after back-to-back 9-7 seasons, three NFC South titles and a Super Bowl victory. You could argue that the franchise was going nowhere under Gruden, as mediocrity set, bad draft picks kept piling up and the Bucs roster was getting older and older with each free agent acquisition. But firing Gruden didn’t really solve anything and sent this franchise into the downward spiral it’s in now a decade later.

The Gruden curse is so bad and so powerful that it not only infected the Buccaneers, who have yet to make the playoffs since his departure, but is also infecting the Oakland Raiders since Gruden’s return to coaching this year. In 2002, Gruden was credited for helping build both Super Bowl teams – Tampa Bay and Oakland. Now he deserves the credit for destroying both, with the Bucs getting a slow death over the last decade since his departure, and the Raiders getting a swift, painful one in his first season back in Oakland.

Thanks, Chucky.

The Monte Kiffin Curse
The glory days in Tampa Bay have all centered around great defense from the days of Hall of Famer Lee Roy Selmon and the 1979 No. 1 ranked defense in the NFL to Kiffin’s defense from 1996-2008, which featured Hall of Famers in Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks and possible future Hall of Famers in John Lynch, Ronde Barber and Simeon Rice. When Dungy arrived in 1996, he made Kiffin his defensive coordinator and the Bucs defense was so good that the Glazers kept him and the defensive staff intact when they fired Dungy and made the trade for Gruden.

From 1996-2008, the Bucs were known for great defense for 13 years under Kiffin. It’s hard to believe in the present day with the mess that Tampa Bay’s defense is in that Kiffin’s Tampa 2 defense only ranked outside the top 10 twice. The first came in 1996, the first year under Dungy and Kiffin, and the second came in 2006 when injuries ravaged the Buccaneers across the board.

Bucs Defensive Rankings 1996-2018
2018 – 29th – 414.2
2017 – 32nd – 378.1
2016 – 23rd – 367.9
2015 – 10th – 340.4
2014 – 25th – 368.9
2013 – 17th – 348
2012 – 29th – 379.9
2011 – 30th – 394.4
2010 – 17th – 332.7
2009 – 27th – 365.6
2008 – 9th – 306.1
2007 – 2nd – 278.4
2006 – 17th –329.4
2005 – 1st – 277.8
2004 – 5th – 284.5
2003 – 5th – 279.1
2002 – 1st – 252.8
2001 – 6th – 290.8
2000 – 9th – 300
1999 – 3rd – 267.5
1998 – 2nd – 271.6
1997 – 3rd – 289.3
1996 – 11th – 300.9
(Years in italics were when Kiffin coordinated the defense)

Before the Bucs ranked 17th in total defense in the injury-marred 2006 season, Kiffin’s unit was ranked first in 2005 and second in 2007. Since Kiffin’s departure in 2008, Tampa Bay’s defense has ranked 25th or worst in the NFL seven times in the last 10 years.

Seven.

Mike Tomlin, Monte Kiffin and John Lynch – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Mike Tomlin, Monte Kiffin and John Lynch – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Much like the Bucs’ 10-6 record in 2010, the defense’s Top 10 finish in 2015 was inconsequential because Lovie Smith had lost the team. After a 45-17 win at Philadelphia to get to 5-5, the Bucs lost five of their last six games, including four straight to end the season as Smith’s message was tuned out by the team.

While Smith did achieve a top 10 defense in 2015, his outdated Tampa 2 scheme allowed quarterbacks to complete 70 percent of their passes because they couldn’t stop the slant pass – ever.

The Bucs and their fans have always dreamed about having a fun, high-scoring offense like Green Bay’s under Brett Favre in the late 1990s, St. Louis’ under Kurt Warner in the early 2000s or New England’s under Tom Brady in the recent decade. Who knew it would come at the price of having one of the worst defenses in the league?

Considering that the Bucs hired three straight defensive-minded in coaches in Morris, Schiano and Smith, it doesn’t make it easier to believe that Tampa Bay’s fortunes will simply turnaround by replacing Koetter with another defensive-minded head coach.

The Simeon Rice Curse
Speaking of defense, you’re probably well aware of this curse, as it’s been well documented that the Bucs have not had a double-digit sacker since 2005, which was Rice’s last season in Tampa Bay. After a season in which Rice produced 14 sacks, he injured his shoulder late in the year and was unceremoniously released as he failed the Bucs’ physical on the eve of training camp in 2006.

The football gods made the Bucs feel their wrath immediately, as Tampa Bay would go on to have an injury-riddled 2006 season, finishing 4-12, which was the worst season Gruden endured as the Bucs head coach. After having a double-digit sacker for seven seasons from 1999-2005, Tampa Bay has yet to find a player that can reach double-digit sacks since Rice, who had 69.5 in his time in red and pewter.

Michael Bennett, an undrafted free agent defensive end in 2009, came close with nine sacks in 2012. Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy got as close as possible with 9.5 sacks in 2013, followed by two more seasons of 8.5 sacks in the following years.

Bucs DE Jason Pierre-Paul - Photo by: Mary Holt/PR
Bucs DE Jason Pierre-Paul – Photo by: Mary Holt/PR

Newly acquired defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has a team-high eight sacks with eight games to go. He’s in tremendous position to finally break this curse, needing just two more sacks, and should do it unless he gets injury.

If Pierre-Paul can get double-digit sacks, maybe that can start a chain reaction that will help Tampa Bay lift the other curses it’s been subjected to over the last decade and beyond.

Ultimately, it’s up to the players, isn’t it? It’s up to Winston to stop throwing interceptions. It’s up to Catanzaro to make his kicks. It’s up to the defensive players to cover better, tackle better and create more takeaways. It’s up to JPP to keep sacking the quarterback.

If they can’t come through down the stretch, find an altar, grab a knife and a lamb or a chicken, and bring some holy water.

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Scott Reynolds is in his 25th 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 sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]
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cgmaster27

When watching bucs games ,its no doubt most of us feel cursed at times. When it comes to this regime, I dont think 8-8 is good enough. 9-7 to me or you clean house. To be honest I dont even want licht near this draft class after last years draft. And dont tell me rookies need time. I’m watching rookies all over the league play well and our first round pick cant even run into a tackle at this point. Hell I read am interesting article about the running back closed form 2017 and the is about 10 guys playing… Read more »

GrayBalls

I don’t fully disagree with what you said here. But, I do have a question. Who would we line up in a 3-4? I don’t believe we have the personnel for that as a base package. 5-2-4 is something, I believe, would work much better with the current roster. From RE-to-LE: Spence/Nassib-Gholston/Curry-Vea/Allen/Gholston-McCoy/Allen/Vea-JPP/Nassib/Spence. LBs David and Alexander(when healthy), both playing spy/shadow Taylor and Beckwith(when healthy) can both play this role as as spell players. There is plenty of depth and the right kind of talent on the squad to employ such a scheme and have a healthy rotation. It, in theory,… Read more »

Caloyski

Yes, they probably are; however, before we contact any priest for ritual exorcism, maybe the Bucs may want to consider Feng Shui. I’m no Feng Shui expert, but I’m a believer and practitioner. Currently, the whole Bucs organization is experiencing very BAD “CHI” (Harmony).

Maybe they can hire a Feng Shui expert and look at how One Buc is set up, the buildings surrounding One Buc, the interior, etc.

Just a suggestion but what do they have to lose. (No Pun intended)

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tog

I don’t understand all the Alexander love. he was terrible both as a leader and as a middle linebacker. He is probably the worst starting coverage linebacker in the NFL. The defense was terrible with him it hasn’t changed without him.

the problem is Adarius should never be in and that’s on licht. He is truly horrible. That doesn’t make kwon better it just means Licht failed to find an effective backup.

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fredster

Good read. It’s been I real circus last 10 years for sure! You asked do we trust Glazers to make the decision for coach, or GM? Do they trust themselves? I would say answer is a big fat no. Lol. I’d like to see Licht and Koetter get another year and not blow the team up and risk offense not being good again. I know Licht has struggled in areas and I’m on fence with keeping him. On the dense with Winston I have said my posistion enough but without a run game and worst d in league they set… Read more »

cgmaster27

The thing about this offense my friend is that with these skill position players, you could run any offense and be successful. I think its speaks more to our wide receiver and the talent that koetters system

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Buc stops here

Totally agree. Jason Licht and the Glazers seem to have lucked out and finally got the offense figured out. With a competent QB the team scores enough points to win. The problem has been the Licht/Koetter brain trust has not been able to figure out how to make a defense work. If you fire everyone and bring someone else in now, you do risk losing the offense you have. The only question I have is how to fix the defense – they don’t seem to have any clue right now on how to do it. Except 2010 when it was… Read more »

pinkstob

Fab 1: There is no curse. The transition from the Bucs playing at a respectable level to playing like crap happened after the Glazer sons took over. You want to help? Put their feet to fire with antagonizing and embarrassing articles that bring light to how their father built their wealth by making well informed, intelligent decisions. Write articles about how their pride and ego in insisting on running the team is all that is keeping the Bucs from winning. Keep the heat on by demanding they hire a firm to research and hire a President of Football Operations to… Read more »

Naplesfan

Here, here!

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e

I agree with most of your points, Pink. The Glazers are the one constant since the Superbowl and they should be held to account. I also agree on the unis.

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BUC-ASS-BOB

As much as I dislike the moves Jason Licht makes I can not believe he is a stupid as it would take to make some of these moves he makes I have to believe he is being pressured by the morons in the Glazer family. Decisions that make no football since are constantly being made. Remember the Glazer morons are spoon fed kids that have never had to win at anything. They never lived in the world you and I live in, you can not predict anything about the way they run this team. I would say as bad as… Read more »

Rut

I simply could not agree more with every comment you made Pink. Fab 1. The media really needs to grab the power they have to influence the Glazers because if there’s one thing those twerps care about, it’s their public perception. The first few coaches that didn’t work, you could say it’s the coaches. Raheem was a good awful decision but I honestly really liked the Schiano hiring. I’ve always felt he was “right coach/wrong time” for this team because he brought some talent in and played them pretty well, the problem was he pissed everyone off with his tyrannical… Read more »

Devasher

I’m impressed you can still make it through an entire Fab 5 Pink. I start at Fab one, hear Scott do his best Jason Licht defense/deflection (which he does almost every week without fail) then stop reading and check the comments. You’re 100% right. It’s not a curse, only an idiot believes in curses. Sorry, are the Red Sox or Cubs still “cursed”? I guess when you get competent ownership and management curses have a tendency to magically lift. You see, I said, magically, so it’s clear it’s magic and not actual competent ownership. Scott’s Fab 5 was once the… Read more »

BucRy

We have turned into the Cleveland Buccaneers, a joke of a franchise.

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stlbucsfan

The Bucs are not cursed we just have subpar coaching and a general manager that can’t properly identify talent. If the Bucs go 3-5 during the second half of the season Licht will have the exact same record as Mark Dominick through 4 years. People say that the talent level is night and day from when he got the team but the reality is the results tell a completely different story. The next Bucs GM needs to be a guy that sees the value in taking risks on players like a La’el Collins late in drafts instead of drafting guys… Read more »

Devasher

Exactly right Stlbucsfan. Licht took his risks on Jameis Winston, Charles Sims, Roberto Aguayo, Austin Safarian Jenkins and failed miserably. The reason his teams don’t win games is because he was incredibly bad at picking players both in the draft and in free agency. He’s on head coach number 2 (Lovie, Koetter) and defensive coordinator number 4 (Leslie Frazier, Lovie, Mike Smith, Mark Duffner). Somehow despite being on the fourth DC in 5 years the defense still sucks and is last in the NFL. Any chance it’s not coaching? Maybe it’s the players? Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No… Read more »

martinii

Good read Scott. Several thought provoking comments and yes I agree there have been many games where I concluded the Buc’s were cursed. I certainly don’t have the football knowledge to assess why the team at times acts as if it is trying to lose the game vrs. win. There was a time when I thought it was my fault. I asserted to any and every divine entity that would listen that “If the Buc’s win the Super Bowl I will never bitch about them again.” In hindsight that did not turn out well over the past decade. On a… Read more »

Naplesfan

No curses, the explanation is correlation with causation. 1976 to 1994 – team owned and mismanaged by the tightwad Hugh Culverhouse (last year by his heirs) Terrible owner, terrible manager, terrible results 1995 to 2007 – team owned and well managed by Malcolm Glazer, a canny manager and owner, produced the only era in team history when the team could actually be expected to be successful year after year. Way too short an era, but the good owner caused the good results 2008 to the sucky present – team owned and managed by the Baby Glazers after old man Glazer… Read more »

pinkstob

Agreed. To your last point though if the Glazers hire a firm to hire the PFO, you remove the opportunity for the Glazer offspring to screw it up. They can find the firm based their past history of hiring results. The Glazers can also find a good board of directors that have had success hiring good CEO’s to find the PFO. I know the Glazers have the contacts among the richest people in this country to pull off such a search, but their ego and pride is getting in the way. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet.… Read more »

pinkstob

In short, my expectation is that the Glazers may not be able to identify good football minds, but they can ask their contacts who knows a firm or a board of directors that has had success finding great business operation minds? A great business operation mind with a passion and deep understanding of football can come from a variety of backgrounds. A good business operation mind can transfer across business and find success. That’s why Steve Jobs was able to recruit the CEO from Pepsi to come work at Apple and help lead them to the next level of success.… Read more »

Naplesfan

You are right in that there probably are some good people out there somewhere in NFL land who could be hired if the Glazers were willing to put their egos aside and let the pros take over. I just don’t know that they can put their egos aside like that. I would think that there are successful owners out there who could mentor the Glazer boys, maybe some one outside of the NFC South. Guys like Robert Kraft, or Pat Bowlen, or Dan Rooney. But our luck the Glazers would ask Jerry Jones for help! And then get it! 🙁… Read more »

Alldaway 2.0

I respectfully disagree! Maybe I am old school but you need 11 disciplined players on defense and the turnovers will start to flow in.

I think in the current NFL era having an elite talent on defense is overrated because of how pass happy the league has become.

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EricNV

I actually think the Glazers would not be better off by firing Koetter at the end of the season. Fire the GM, DC and defensive coaching staff, and special teams coaches, but give Koetter his due with the offense by keeping him. Conversely, if they insist on firing both Koetter and Licht, keep the OC and promote to HC or insist that the new HC and GM keep the current OC. That will hopefully remove the Bucs’ curses.

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Naplesfan

Defenses are always measured relative to their peers. With the rules as they are now, defenses are greatly hindered.

But it still makes a helluva difference if you are the 1st ranked defense, or the 32nd ranked defense. And you don’t have to have the no. 1 ranked defense if you have the no. 1 ranked offense … but adding first and last together still equals mediocre, or worse. A top 5 offence combined with a middle 5 defense equals playoffs.

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drdneast

I have sometimes question Scott Reynolds insight on an occasional basis, but not his logic. Maybe I should have precluded he was suffering from early stages of dementia last year when he started lobbying for Jon Gruden to be rehired as head coach. Seriously, if anyone with half a brain had examined Gruden’s overall record here, they never would have even considered the idea. But now we have the ultimate in teenage hysteria from Reynolds. A curse or many curses. Definition: a solemn utterance intended to invoke a supernatural power to inflict harm or punishment on someone or something. Really.… Read more »

Bucsfan1983

Defense needs playmakers.

Hmm… You know who is a playmaker on defense. Derwin James.

You know who’s not? Overweight bust Vita Vea

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BucRy

I saw Vea hustling last game..just to miss a tackle lmao

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Jonbuc

It sure feels like a curse…and almost as if The Bucs and Gruden made a deal with the devil for the SB Title…as Gruden had the Raider playbook and everything fell into place. It’s been a dumpster fire since…with so few things to cheer about but plenty of cleats to the groin along the way. The uniforms are pretty crummy…winning week 17 last year to lose out on Bradley Chubb and instead keeping Licht’s Out around to absolutely butcher the draft…the top premium picks in particular. I feel for Scott and the talented band of writers who have to continue… Read more »

drdneast

Everyone misses on draft picks but Licht has a woeful record in Round 2 which is not good. Let’s face it, our LB’s aren’t as good as Pewter Report touts them to be. Lavontae David had one good year under Schiano and that was it. Alexander makes a lot of tackles but doesn’t make very many big plays. From what I have seen, neither is really that outstanding in dropping back into zone coverage. Finally, both of them got into Warren Sapp this week arguing about how to play defense on an end around. Both insisted they should they try… Read more »

drdneast

Sorry, I meant to say both players insisted they should try to tackle the ball carrier from the inside rather than set the edge.

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macabee

No curse! No Voodoo dolls! The Bucs are what their record says they are – a bad football team! This is no mistake. They are the product of: *Unproductive Drafts *Lack of Player Development *Failed Free Agency *Ineffective Coaching *Resistance to Change The Bucs drafts over the years have been unproductive. We drafted Gerald McCoy and Mike Evans that have met or exceeded expectations from draft position. Who else have the Bucs drafted in the first or second round? The measurement here is Pro Bowl /All Pro level of play. Most first/second round picks have not produced desired results consistent… Read more »

e

If Mac is putting on the life preserver, I’d say this ship is going down!

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Dman

Nice piece Mac.

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martinii

Bravo Mac, well said. Glad to see some concise criticism from someone whose opinion I have respected for years. I’ll admit I have reduced most of my post to antidotal rambling consistent with my ever shrinking inability to care. I’ve grown tired of wasting the few brain cells I have left on this reoccurring nightmare in Tampa.

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drdneast

Sorry, I meant to say both players said the scheme calls for them to tackle the ball carrier from the inside rather than set the edge.

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e

So, what about spending a few bucks to bring in Tony Dungy as President of Operations for the Bucs?

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pinkstob

I hate to say this because I love the guy and he deserved to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, but based on the many, many times I have heard Tony Dungy speak (and I also have his book) I think he is very wise but not all that smart. Being wise is making good decisions based on the information you have and being smart is how quickly and accurately you can anticipate and assimilate new information and do something productive with it. For that position I want someone who is both wise and brilliant. I want him (or… Read more »

Dman

Seems to be smart enough to be sitting on a few million $$$ with a Super Bowl ring and a gold HOF jacket….

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pinkstob

Warren Sapp has the same things.

Again I think Dungy is wise but not smart enough for the job. I don’t want the Bucs to become the Lakers with Magic in charge.

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Naplesfan

A PFO is better if he is wise than if he is smart. Being wise is being able to judge people and whether a GM candidate is smart enough, and wise enough, to judge talent and figure out what kind of talent is necessary to compete in today’s NFL, and maybe think out ahead a couple of years as well. I think that is something that Tony can easily pull off. Ditto with being a sounding board for the GM, and for the head coach (after all, he was extremely successful at that job, even if he no longer want’s… Read more »

e

Pink, I can’t account for who the wisest guy in the room is, but I’m sure that Einstein would f*$* up this team if he was our GM. Tony was the first person; along with Rich McKay, to find players that became the foundation for a long term winning team. Was it luck? I don’t know. He has a history with the franchise, and the ring to prove his worth. And, more importantly, I think he has the respect around the league to entice veteran coaches to want to come here and build something. I would bring Tony in, assuming… Read more »

pinkstob

Focusing in on a candidate before the process has even begun is how you hire the wrong candidate. That’s why we are in this mess now because that’s what we did with Dominik, Morris and Koetter. Let a firm or or board of directors do their job and review the pros and cons of 75 candidates, not us fans zeroing in on one who has previous ties with the team. If Dungy is truly the best man for the job the cream will rise to the top and he’ll get the job anyway. That’s why we ended up with the… Read more »

pinkstob

Naplesfan, if you’re going to pay someone that much money and give them that much power why not pick someone that is wise AND really smart? There are 7 billion of us on this planet to choose from. Why settle for wise and not brilliant when you can both?

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scubog

I’ve always believed my being a “smart ass” and not just wise or well…….smart, is my most valued trait. Quick wit versus a library of knowledge stored somewhere in my brain that, as I age, gets further and further lost in my memory banks. Dungy’s strength was surrounding himself with quality coaches, except maybe Mike Shula and his ability to influence his players. His downfall was his stubbornness. At this point he’s a familiar respected face who, at least initially, would cause the fans to think stability and direction was in our future. There may well be others who would… Read more »

pinkstob

Nope, I have no recommendations. My last recommendation was Schiano and the Bucs actually hired him a week or two later. That turned out so poorly that I fired myself from recommending people to lead this team.

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Dman

I think this article misses the point entirely. Everything starts at the top – with ownership. The best NFL franchises have the best owners. The Rooney family in Pittsburg, Robert Kraft in New England – how about Jeff Vinik with the Lightning. It starts at the top. Culverhouse was horrible. Malcom Glazer righted the Pewter Pirate Ship and we won a Super Bowl. He was a good owner. But as he aged and passed the team on to his sons, we’ve run aground. This generation of Glazers is just not as good as either their father or the elite owners… Read more »

tog

As someone who has a family company that is being turned over to the 4th generation (in a hyper competitive market), it’s INCREDIBLY hard to pass businesses down successfully. In our family it started from nothing (actually a baby carriage rental company) with the 1st generation, was bankrupted by the 2nd, completely turned around by the 3rd, and is being built more strongly by the 4th. If you’re particularly wealthy you too easily end up with incompetent schmucks who are used to wealth and power and not having to do anything to get it. Or you end up with kids… Read more »

Dman

Couldn’t agree more. And not trying to condesend to Brian, Joel Glazer, et al, but subsequent generations don’t always have the same drive, have not been honed by the prospect of losing everything and most importantly, haven’t developed the ability to identify talent. Malcom Glazer did that particularly well.

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dm4bucs

There is no curse. We lack players with talent. For every hit Jason L. has, we have multiple misses in either draft or FA. We like to say well we missed on that 2nd round pick, but we got a UDFA that produced when in fact them producing is more a product of us missing on so many talented prospects between rounds 1-4 in the draft.

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cobraboy

I don’t miss Alexander. The Bucs D has been no worse than with him in it.

I’d gut the entire D, coaches & players. There may be 3-4 keepers on that side of the ball, and that’s it. You could pick random D players from the draft or FA and not be any worse than the s#!tpile these guys show every week.

I have never loved and hated the same team at the same time so much in my life.

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Horse

We aren’t cursed Scott and you’re just creating fake news or is it just filler because you have nothing else to write about? This team is in serious trouble especially the Operational aspects of the Buccaneers. They don’t deserve the millions they are getting from the NFL. They aren’t prepared to adjust to the downward trend of a market drying up in the Tampa Bay area. How stupid not to reduce ticket prices especially for fans under 18 years of age to grow them into future Buccaneers ticket holders? Glazer’s, how can you run a Pro Football Enterprise like you… Read more »

owlykat

Good article Scott, but I kept waiting for you to mention the main Playmaker we had in the five win end of 2016 was starting Tandy at Safety, so the Bucs gave Smitty a big raise to keep him and then just put Tandy back on the bench; then Licht let Tandy walk! How stupid! Equally stupid was not leaving Tandy at CB which is what he played well at WVa when we drafted him. He is the same height as our best CB of all time, much faster, tough, and equally a great playmaker. We could really have used… Read more »

cgmaster27

So read today that mesean can return punts any time he wants per koetter. You see him out there returning punts? This is a microcosm of this ineptleadership. And then koetter makes him captain! How many ways can coach stoke this dude ego. He asked for a trade, doesnt want to return punts now either. The dude has been a cancer on every team hes been on. And koetter doesnt have the balls to tell his ass to get out there and return punts anyways! Weak coach equals a weak team. Time to move on. Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit… Read more »

revfish

The problem is that some of our movers actually made sense at the time. If memory serves, Scott, I think you supported the Gruden move, Saving that he had lost the locker room and was a bit inconsistent or the players did not what he was saying at times. Forgive me if I am wrong. And call me crazy, but I remember that Doug William’s situation and remember reading that Tampa offered him $600,000. You do not report things that you don’t know, so were those old reports in accurate? Rate this item:Thumb UpThumb DownSubmit Rating00 No votes yet. Please… Read more »

Horse

If I remember correctly Williams was offered some cash and the rest of it was some Culverhouse real estate he was developing? Anybody else remember it?

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scubog

It was $400,000 (Dougie wanted $600,000) and as you remembered, interest in some real estate deal that ultimately proved to be a failure.

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scubog

I think it’s the “Curse of the Scubog Player Jersey”. At the end of last season I decided to buy a # 3 jersey since it looked like Jameis was turning the corner those last few games. As John Bellucci would say, “But noooooooooooooo”. I’m afraid my purchase has doomed the team. Only 8 more games to see if that seldom worn jersey will go in the closet with my Rhett, Barron (2 of those) Williams (both Caddy and Mike), Martin, Revis, Johnson, Eckwood, Testaverde, Jones, Dilfer and probably some others I’ve forgotten or dropped off at Goodwill. Hope my… Read more »

matador

If you believe in crowd sourcing, the clear conclusions from the posts above are:

1. Our GM has a terrible track record and needs to be replaced.

2. Unless the baby Glazers defer to someone with genuine football insight when choosing his replacement, the outcome may not be any better.

Probably forgetting a few but thanks to stlbucsfan, Naples and (as always) Mac for particularly well written posts (IMHO). It’s honestly the quality of the posts, not the articles, that keeps bringing me to the site.

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GrayBalls

Couldn’t agree more. I enjoy the articles, for the most part. But, it is definitely the comments that bring me back. Whether they are insightful, funny or just outright moronic

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liquidmuse3

This is real simple. Hire a good GM, and let him hire the coach. This hasn’t really happened since Rich McKay hired Tony Dungy. Glazer hired Gruden, Gruden hired Allen. The Glazers installed Morris and Dominik at the same time. Bill Belichick really hired Greg Schiano as he made a personal recommendation to the Glazers. Lovie Smith hired Jason Licht, and they simply promoted Dirk Koetter because of the Winston thing. Make Monken the new Kiffin, he’s the guy who stays on, but other than that, do something you haven’t done since the days of McKay and Dungy. Rate this… Read more »