FAB 2. Bucs Need More Playmakers

The Buccaneers defenders aren’t making plays on the ball this year and it’s killing them. Through the first half of the season Tampa Bay has just one interception along with five fumble recoveries. As a result, the Bucs are minus-15, which is the worst turnover margin in the league.

When Tampa Bay was on its five-game winning streak following a 3-5 start in 2016 the Bucs had a plus-nine turnover margin to help. The Bucs will need a similar turnover margin turnaround – starting Sunday against Washington – to have any chance of salvaging the 2018 season.

It’s no surprise that the Bucs have lost four of their last five games this year because the defense has failed to generate a single takeaway. Tampa Bay has gone five straight games without a single turnover. So why haven’t the Bucs forced more fumbles and picked off more passes.

Look at the 11 defenders on the field.

Who are the playmakers?

We are expecting interceptions and forced fumbles from players that don’t have a history of creating takeaways. Turns out we are expecting too much.

Bucs LB Lavonte David - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs LB Lavonte David – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

The three main defenders who have such a track record are linebacker Lavonte David, who has 18.5 sacks, 18 forced fumbles, 12 fumble recoveries and 10 interceptions in his Tampa Bay career; cornerback Brent Grimes, who has 33 career interceptions, including seven as a Buccaneer, with four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries; and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has 66 sacks, including eight as a Buccaneer, 14 forced fumbles and seven fumble recoveries and two interceptions – both of which were pick-sixes.

These are the players that need to come up with more takeaways for this team – on a weekly basis.

David has a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and half a sack this year. Not enough.

Pierre-Paul has forced one fumble this year. Not enough.

Grimes forced one fumble and has no interceptions. Not enough.

In nine years in the league, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has 50.5 sacks, but only six forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. That’s an average of assisting with one takeaway per year.

In his seven-year career, defensive end Vinny Curry has 23.5 sacks, but just five forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

Bucs MLB Kwon Alexander, DT Rakeem Nunez-Roches, CB Carlton Davis and LB Lavonte David - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs MLB Kwon Alexander, DT Rakeem Nunez-Roches, CB Carlton Davis and LB Lavonte David – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Middle linebacker Kwon Alexander has seven sacks, six interceptions, six forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in 46 games in his career. He had two forced fumbles this year before being placed on injured reserve with a torn ACL. The Bucs miss him in a big way.

Free safety Justin Evans had five interceptions in his last two years at Texas A&M, including four as a junior. He had three interceptions as a rookie last year, but has just one interception and a fumble recovery for a touchdown this season. Those came in the first and third game of the season. Since the Chicago game, Evans appears lost and invisible on defense, and hasn’t made any big plays or created any takeaways. That has to change.

Reserve cornerback Ryan Smith had seven interceptions at four years playing at North Carolina Central, an FCS school, but none against an FBS school. In three years in the NFL he has yet to intercept a pass, although he has forced four fumbles and recovered two fumbles, including one forced fumble and one fumble recovery this year.

The problem is that the rest of the players on defense don’t have a track record for forcing fumbles or picking off passes either in the NFL or in college.

Adarius Taylor, who is filling in for Alexander at middle linebacker, had 3.5 sacks in college and two interceptions, including a pick-six, at Florida Atlantic, but has just two sacks and a forced fumble in his four years in the NFL.

Current strongside linebacker Devante Bond had just three sacks in two years at Oklahoma and has zero splash plays or takeaways at the NFL level.

In three years in the league, defensive end Carl Nassib has 8.5 sacks and no forced fumbles or fumble recoveries.

In five years, mostly as a reserve in Philadelphia, nose tackle Beau Allen has two sacks and one fumble recovery.

Bucs DT Vita Vea - Photo by: Mary Holt/PR
Bucs DT Vita Vea – Photo by: Mary Holt/PR

First-round draft pick Vita Vea had 9.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in three years at Washington. He has zero splash plays or takeaways during his rookie season.

Cornerback Javien Elliott had one interception in his lone year seeing the field at Florida State and has yet to record a takeaway in the NFL.

Cornerback De’Vante Harris had five picks in four years at Texas A&M, but not more than two in any season. He didn’t record a forced fumble in college and hasn’t recorded a takeaway at the NFL level in three years.

Safety Isaiah Johnson had five interceptions at KU as a freshman before transferring to South Carolina where he only had two picks in his final two years. Johnson has two fumble recoveries on special teams in his two years in the league, but nothing so far on defense.

Rookie safety Jordan Whitehead had three interceptions in three years playing safety at Pittsburgh, but has yet to record a takeaway in the NFL.

Rookie cornerback Carlton Davis had three interceptions as a freshman at Auburn, but then didn’t have another one until halfway through his junior year. He has one fumble recovery this year and no interceptions.

Rookie cornerback M.J. Stewart had no interceptions in his final two years at North Carolina after getting six in his first two years. He had three forced fumbles in college, but has yet to create a takeaway at the NFL level.

Bucs DE Jason Pierre-Paul and GM Jason Licht - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs DE Jason Pierre-Paul and GM Jason Licht – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

The bottom line is that the Bucs haven’t been acquiring enough talented playmakers, and that falls on general manager Jason Licht. This past year he put an emphasis on acquiring tough, physical players through free agency and the draft because he thought the Bucs were getting pushed around too much on defense. He did trade for the play-making Pierre-Paul however.

That’s understandable to want to be more physical, and Tampa Bay has played better against the conventional run this year, but hasn’t fared well against the pass because the team doesn’t have enough ballhawking athletes to match-up and take the ball away. Remember, the Panthers rushed for 179 yards last week, but 65 of it came on reverses by wide receivers as Carolina attacked the Bucs’ flanks rather than the tough interior of the defensive line.

Past performance in college doesn’t always guarantee future success in the NFL, otherwise former Texas Tech quarterback Kliff Kingsbury and his 12,429 yards and 95 touchdowns as a three-year starter would have been a star in the NFL on his stats alone. The same could be said for Ron Dayne and Donnell Pumphrey, who are the top two rushers in NCAA history. Neither was successful in the NFL.

Chargers strong safety Derwin James, whom the Bucs strongly considered with their first-round pick, had 5.5 sacks and just three interceptions and two forced fumbles in just over two years at Florida State. He wasn’t really a ballhawk in college, but this fast, athletic defensive back made a nice impact as a rookie with 3.5 sacks and one interception thus far in San Diego.

Panthers CB Donte Jackson - Photo by: Mary Holt/PR
Panthers CB Donte Jackson – Photo by: Mary Holt/PR

Panthers cornerback Donte Jackson had four interceptions in three years at LSU, including just one as a junior last year, and wasn’t considered to be a ballhawk, either. Yet this fast, athletic cover corner has four picks in his first eight games in the NFL, including one to seal Carolina’s victory on Sunday.

Yet sometimes a ballhawk is a ballhawk. Legendary Bucs cornerback Ronde Barber was a three-year starter at Virginia that had 15 career interceptions, including eight as a sophomore in 1994. He didn’t test well at the NFL Scouting Combine and fell to the third round as a result.

All Barber did in 13 years in Tampa Bay was record 47 interceptions, 28 sacks, 15 forced fumbles, 12 fumble recoveries and score 12 touchdowns because he was a natural ballhawk. He had demonstrated a penchant for creating takeaways in college and that continued in the NFL.

You know who else had a track record for taking the ball away in college? Falcons safety Damontae Kazee, who played cornerback at San Diego State. The Bucs brought him in for a visit last year, yet didn’t draft him (against our wishes). Kazee was similarly built like Ronde Barber – 5-11, 180 pounds – and was a turnover machine for the Aztecs, recording 17 interceptions and six forced fumbles (15 of those interceptions came in the last two years, three in one game). Despite his size, Kazee was a physical outside cornerback who took pride in his tackling skills, both in the open field and when laying bigger hits. Heck, he’s playing safety now for the Falcons.

Kazee, who was featured in a PewterReport.com Bucs’ 7-Round Mock Draft, ran a 4.54 in the 40-yard dash and that caused him to slip to the fifth round last year. Kazee was a reserve defensive back last year and had 23 tackles and forced three fumbles as a rookie. This year, with starting safeties Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen out for the season, Kazee has stepped into the starting role and has 43 tackles, four interceptions and one forced fumble.

Falcons CB Damontae Kazee - Photo by: Getty Images
Falcons CB Damontae Kazee – Photo by: Getty Images

The reason why this reserve has been a ballhawk this year in Atlanta is because he always has been a ballhawk. The Bucs should have drafted him.

Over a decade ago, Derrick Johnson was an All-American linebacker at Texas and was one of the best at creating takeaways. The future first-round pick had 11 forced fumbles, including an NCAA-record nine as a senior, along with 10.5 career sacks, nine career interceptions and five fumble recoveries. So it should come as no surprise that Johnson would record 27.5 sacks, 23 forced fumbles, 14 interceptions and three fumble recoveries in his 14-year NFL career as a four-time Pro Bowler. He was a ballhawk in college and a ballhawk in the NFL.

Players like Barber, Johnson and Kazee were ball magnets in college and that penchant for creating takeaways is something Licht needs to be scouring free agency and the draft for in the offseason if he’s still calling the shots. Tampa Bay’s turnover margin can greatly improve next year with an influx of ballhawks in the offseason.

Given the team’s lack of takeaways this year on defense, I asked Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter if the defense was actually picking off passes in practice.

“Yeah, Brent Grimes I think had two interceptions in practice last week,” Koetter said. “I think they’ve been making a conscious effort to do that, but we’ve got to do it in a game.”

It was pretty telling that Grimes’ name was the only one that was mentioned.

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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 »