About the author

Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]

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  1. 1

    Alldaway 2.0

    To be brutally honest I do not think it is the coaching problem for the most part.

    The Bucs lack the personnel for the modern NFL.

    They need pass rushers, they need blitzing LB’s and they need Safties that can go m2m. That is the reality of the NFL. That is why so many teams use 3-4 single gap defenses or 4-3 Spagnuolo style defenses.

    And let me emphasize that even in Sapnuolo and Labeau style defenses they still send blitzers even with a talented front four. Titans, Eagles, Bills, Giants, etc.

    I could go on but the elite defenses in the NFL not only have talented defensive fronts but they are also willing to blitz.

    Having safties that can go m2m is imperative for this aggressive style of defensive play with extra blitzers.

    Bucs can’t pressure with their current front four. they do not have the LB’s do it. They don’t have the safties to go m2m to gamble with blitzes. They don’t even have the CB’s to go m2m to gamble doing it. They don’t have the pieces even for a zone defense.

    1. 1.1


      I agree. When you change coaching philosophies every 2-3 years, and go from Raheem Tampa 2, to Schiano trading for Revis and wanting a man to man scheme, to Lovie Tampa 2, to Mike Smith in his first year “do what is best for you,” you will have depth problems.

      There are some good (great) core players, but it is a mess and the depth hasn’t been developed consitently. I hope the Bucs don’t start over by firing Mike Smith as DC.

      It will just be more mess.

  2. 2


    I hate when I read that a defensive scheme is too difficult to learn. These are pros, there is no defense you will be playing in the NFL that you haven’t seen since pee wee ball. This secondary is garbage , front to back. Our safeties are terrible, but who cares, you HAVE to press receivers ever once in a while. Your safeties are goign to get burned either way, why not take a damn chance every once in a while. All we heard all off season was how aggressive this defense would be. It looks just like Lovies defense.
    Jameis has been inconsistent, no doubt, but a total lack of weapons and a turn style offensive line haven helped. I just can’t get over how bad DS played last night.
    MIke Evans is a man among boys and I don’t care if he is on a rookie contract, you start putting money aside for him right now. I still can’t believe he caught that ball, and took an illegal hit in the process., I give up on hating the refs, they continuously suck against us.
    We are fucked on defense, we just don’t have the talent and WTF happened to Lavonte David? Outside of his Schiano years, hes been terrible. It seems the minute we pay a guy, they start to suck, I’m also looking at you Demar Dotson.
    As for Safety help in the draft, I’m all for it, but what about RB? Personally I’m tired of looking at the sideline and seeing Doug collect a check. People swore up and down Dallas needed defensive help last year and they took Elliot, sure enough that worked out. This is a special RB class and we need to at least consider it.
    As for the partying shot, I wouldn’t pat yourself on the back too much guys for the Carr pick, he’s playing with what is in essence 2 number 1 receivers this year, his offense is actually healthy, and hes been sacked a TOTAl of 8 times. That’s right , his offensive line doesn’t suck. If he was playing behind out line, he’d be much like his brother.
    This team will be lucky to win 6 games this year.

    1. 2.1


      Cgmaster27, I completely agree with you on the RB pick. This draft is loaded with RB talent and we need to get one. If you remember correctly, I was the one saying don’t resign Martin but draft Elliot. I knew he was going to be a beast, just didn’t think he would get so lucky as to be drafted by the Cowgirls and there great OL. Everyone knows how great this offense can be when we have a decent running game. We need to draft RB, Ol, DE, and Safety not in that order. For as bad as Winston has been playing recently, he actually played a good game last night considering the lack of talent he has to work with and how crappy our Oline played.

    2. 2.2


      If we go RB and Dalvin Cook comes out as a Junior, do you think we take him and reunite him with Jameis?

      1. 2.2.1


        Out as, does not return after his Junior year….my bad



          Cook will most definitely be coming out. There’s no reason for him to go back and risk anything. The dudes a stud and a possible td on every touch. And that is something we don’t have on our team. That and Doug takes every other year off so we need another good back. I would love to see him on this team, we need some playmakers.

  3. 3


    Any talk by Reynolds or anyone else of firing Mike Smith is completely, out of this world, ridiculous.

    We have had our defense decimated by injury this season, in case anybody forgot that minor detail. All teams suffer losses to injury, but we lost our second best pass rusher for the entire season; our best pass rusher is a DT who routinely gets double teamed and typically misses 3-6 games every season due to injury; our third best pass rusher (as advertised, anyway, when he was signed in FA) hasn’t shown up at all this season; and our fourth best pass rusher was supposed to be a rookie, but we all know rookies don’t usually come close to their ceilings – it takes time and snaps to really learn how to rush in the NFL. We’re then left with fill-ins whom most Bucs fans could never name, let alone have confidence in to be “next man up”.

    In addition to a decimated front four, we have no safeties, just some cast-offs and guys who would never make first team on any decent defense (sorry, guys, but that’s how it obviously is).

    I am not saying that coaching doesn’t matter. It all starts with coaching, but success also requires quality players to be available and to make plays when they are on the field. It’s those latter two that are missing this year. Mike Smith has proved over many years his ability to coach NFL defenses, as long as he has quality players to put up, and enough of them so the quality players aren’t all gassed by the end of the second quarter.

    The only person who is in a position to judge Mike Smith’s coaching is the issue is Dirk Koetter. I don’t recall him casting a tiny bit of shadow in Mike Smith’s direction.

    We might be able to salvage what’s left of this season IF Clinton McDonald is back in the middle of the trenches with Gerald McCoy, and is at full strength … and IF Ayers manages to start looking as advertised last spring … and if Noah Spence continues to learn his trade. But our lack of quality safeties is going to hamper us the rest of this season, unfortunately.

    Oh, and as far as Monte Kiffen turning over in his grave, people seem to forget that he and Dungey went 1-8 in their first season coaching the Bucs, and that was largely due to the crap play of the defense during that first half season as they were learning Kiffen’s schemes. Funny, but there were a couple of Hall of Famers on that D, and several more Ring of Honor guys, including one who went up on that ring last night, who were part of that group of sorry losers who went 1-8 in that 1996 season. Then they went 5-2 the rest of that season, and made the playoffs the following season.

    Put your coaching pitchforks away, Reynolds and the rest of you calling for the firing of Mike Smith.

      1. 3.1.1


        Not to mention Monet Kiffins defense was getting shredded the last 4 or 5 years he was in the league., including college. Love me some monte, but you can ONLY play that defense with HOF’ers at multiple spots.

    1. 3.2


      Naplesfan, for once I completely agree with you on this. I couldn’t have said it better myself. We got to quit with this coaching carousel and let the coaches have a couple years to get the players and talent they need to be successful. Its all the injuries and no talent Safeties that is killing our defense. It didn’t help that Alexander went out last night with an injury also. Everyone knows he is the heart of our defense. When he is out it is noticeable.

      1. 3.2.1


        You only agreed with me once? Geesh, even a stopped clock is right twice a day! 🙂

        Anyway, yes, I didn’t mention that, but with Kwon out with that stinger (apparently?) , that was a huge buzzkill on our defense. Despite the fact that he only has a season and a half of NFL experience under his belt, he is clearly the quarterback of our defense, as all good MLBs need to be.

    2. 3.3

      Brand G

      Why is firing Mike Smith such a ridiculous idea???
      Yes Licht has whiffed on draft picks, hasn’t built the roster effectively through free agency, but he also hired Mike Smith to solidify the defense. Mike Smith is no guru or highly sought after candidate…his scheme isn’t dominant, multiple, complex nor is it productive. Truth is he is the playcaller on that side of the ball and the plays he calls specifically on third down has been horrendous. That alone is the reason he should be fired today. Jay Hayes or Brett Maxie can better coordinate this defense and play to our strengths. If nothing is done during this season, Licht will get his walking papers at the end of the season and maybe coach Koetter too…
      Licht indeed brought in free agents that were cut a year later…My concern is that they were sold on blaming the coaches for last year’s defensive dizaster but kept the same players that were torched last year… Chris Conte, McDougald, and Jude were brought back…well you should’ve brought back Mike Jenkins too I guess right? Licht you should be embarassed…You drafted Aguayo…in the second round…and you moved up to do it…makes it shameful to the entire organization…
      Mike Smith should be fired…but he’s not alone…Jason Licht too… Monken, Conte, Tandy can all hit the market together smh

    3. 3.4


      Koetter announced this afternoon that Howard Jones is done for the season, going on IR. Not that he was a major contributor, but at least he was someone who was learning the schemes … Antone Smith is also done for the season. We can’t even get more than three games out of any running back on this team without sending them to the sideline or to IR!

  4. 4


    I thought I heard when Mike Smith was hired he adjusted his scheme based on the player talent available??

    1. 4.1


      The problem is there isnt hardly any player talent available horse. There is only so much you can do with 3 good players, a couple rookies, a bunch of cast offs, and a ton of injuries. Smiths not a magician. He cant make quality players just appear.

    2. 4.2

      Brand G

      They say that about everybody smh

  5. 5


    We need so many things. Safety is a given. WR,TE, and O line all weak too. Another DT for sure also.

    Not sure what’s up with defense, but watching that game the Bucs were constantly taking bad angles and missing tackles. Guys wide open all game too. Pass rush was good first half. Second half got tired but honestly it wasn’t horrible. It’s just Smiths scheme isn’t working and or they aren’t executing it. Losing Kwon didn’t help but something is very wrong here. Don’t see smith getting another year of this doesn’t improve. He’s not much better than Lovie at this point.

  6. 6


    What will it take for this website to focus on the real culprit behind this teams lack of success, Jason Licht. The first post is about Mike Smith being fired but in reality the struggles are not his fault. Last year we said the issue was the scheme being too vanilla which I actually agree with but then when he get a more man intensive scheme then the players still struggle. We can’t ask these guys to be anything but what the tape has shown them to be which is inadequate. Mike Smith has to scheme for a team that can’t rush the passer or hold up in coverage long enough for most of the blitzes to get through. I hope my post is selected for a response because I’d be curious to see what things anyone can say in support of Jason Licht. Is it Mike Smith’s fault that we retained Verner who still can’t cover but allowed Sterling Moore who actually made plays to leave? Is it his fault that Jason Licht brought in Josh Robsinson who obviously isnt good enough to even get on the field? Is it Mike Smiths fault we drafted a corner that was roasted in every big matchup he had including his last college game? Is it Mike Smith’s fault that we traded Jeremy Zuttah for a 4th and then immediately needed to sign an over the hill Mankins from NE? Is it his fault that we signed Michael Johnson and made him a starter only to realize he’s better served as a rotational lineman, then we compound the mistake and do the EXACT same thing with Robert Ayers and guess what he too is struggling. Perhaps it’s Mike Smith’s fault that Licht inherited a team devoid of pass rushing ability, stated the importance of building through the draft then proceeded to draft 1 DL in his first 3 seasons on the job. Is it Mike Smith’s fault that we saw Conte and McDougald get abused last year but then brought in zero competition for either of them and pretty much handed both of them the starting jobs? Is it Mike Smith’s fault that Clint McDonald and Akeem Spence were hurt last year but then we relied on them to stay healthy with no real additions at that position? Maybe it’s his fault that in an era of taller CBs we drafted a midget then signed an old,midget to compete with the big receivers in our division? Or is Mike Smith to blame for us wasting 2 draft picks for a downgrade at kicker? Not to bash you bc I really like your stance on most things but I think articles like this just take the blame off the person who is ultimately responsible for not improving this team since hes been on the job. For every player he’s “found” I can post 2 or 3 players that he was terribly wrong about. Jameis is the future yet we do absolutely nothing to help him this offseason. We sign Sweezey who hasn’t suited up, we used Kenny Bell as rationale for not adding a speed receiver, used a declining Vincent Jackson as an excuse for not adding anything else at WR, then were apparently on the fence about ASJ but brought in no real competition at TE either. ASJ’ injury history alone suggests that we should have had a backup plan in house, like Martellus Bennett who signed a 1 year deal for beans in NE. I dont expect a GM to be perfect but when I’m better at scouting talent than he is that’s a problem. Take an honest and unbiased looked at Licht’s acquisitions since he’s been on the job and you will see the reason why we have a franchise QB but the results haven’t changed. We will continue to burn through coaches and run off any player with common sense if we dont address the source of our personnel issues.

    1. 6.1


      Have to agree stl. I’ve been a pretty big Licht fan, but he has had some miserable free agencies. How the fuck was Sweezy signed and the dude hasn’t even suited up yet? That’s terrible . And outside of a few hits in the draft, he has been pretty bad, including the trade for Roberto this draft. Especially with all of our needs.

    2. 6.2


      Hear hear. I wouldn’t mind seeing Licht go this offseason.

    3. 6.3


      You know I’m with you on the “Licht is a problem” front….when Dom looks like a talent genius next to you, you shouldn’t be an NFL GM.

  7. 7


    Half way through the season and it’s draft talk…………….. again. I’ll type this about Smith’s “defense” over the course of the last week. Horrible. It looked to us like the guys were totally unprepared, unmotivated and playing to go home. There is no WAY the Buccaneer defense could POSSIBLY be that bad on 3rd and long….HA! EVERY time it was 3rd and long the Falcons converted. It was SO damn bad that our HC declined a 15 YARD PENALTY be cause he was convinced our defense would probably fall flat AGAIN on the 3rd and TWENTY THREE had the Bucs taken the penalty. I’ve never seen that before and the fans in our section didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Well, we ended up laughing till tears ran down our faces anyway.

    I did not see this coming but the fact is this team STINKS and other than a hand full pf players there needs to be another purge. Verner getting over 6 million dollars? LOL There I go laughing again.

  8. 8


    Everyone’s right about the pass rush. Any quarterback can have a career day when he has all the time in the world to wait for his guys to get open and throw like he’s in a 7 on 7 drill. The defensive line has been missing too many impact players for most of the season.

    Koetter’s “you play your best players” quip shows a lack of creativity. There has to be something that Verner, as a Pro Bowl veteran, a one time top of the free agent class CB, can do that one of Smith’s three favorite CBs doesn’t do as well. Create a scheme that takes advantage of that particular talent in an applicable situation. I dunno, maybe even let him play some safety in 3rd and 15 when you’re going to blitz and the safeties are covering man to man? Also, why not sign a veteran pass rush specialist? Some of these UFA rookies are getting tons of playing time and making no plays at all. Spend some dough. Get a pro.

    McDougald is a good safety. Conte has not been this season. Conte played well last season. Pro Football Focus’s data show that. Coverage in the middle of the field has been very weak all season long both downfield and underneath. Why not also put some of that blame on Kwon Alexander? I’ve never been convinced that he’s some kind of infallible golden boy. He has weaknesses that other teams exploit, particularly an overly aggressive style that puts him in the wrong place at the wrong time, biting on a fake or leaving his lane to overpursue. He misses a lot of tackles. He makes very few plays on the ball in coverage. He’s not awful, but spread the blame a bit more judiciously in that middle.

    Russell Shepard has played well enough at WR to deserve a starting role, especially if Evans is in concussion protocol. Let’s face it, even if he is a great gunner, the new kickoff rules and Anger’s precision punting have made that role much less important than it used to be. Cecil Shorts has done very, very little to get open and make plays. He should be on the bench most of the time.

    Donovan Smith is a horrible, horrible pass protector. He’s not getting better. He’s getting worse. He’s a huge part of our three and out problem in must pass situations. Demar Dotson has been fine. Pro Football Focus’s data support this. Signing Sweezy to all that guaranteed money was a terrible mistake this year. Giving Dotson a reasonable raise was not. Maybe it’s time to give a rookie a look at left tackle, or to move Dotson or Pamphile over there and try someone else at less critical right tackle or left guard positions. That’s where something really, really has to change. With Winston already injured, I don’t want to see Ryan Griffin at QB again. His preseasons have shown what he can do already.

    1. 8.1


      I am totally with you on Donovan Smith….what a turnstile…absolutely horrible…he wasn’t going against Von Miller last night….terrible, terrible LT. Winston is getting killed because of this guy…

      While Safety is needed desperately, and WR too…I am of the belief that we need to draft a proper LT as a priority or our prized franchise QB will be the next in our long line of injured players.

  9. 9


    As much as I hate the secondary, you can’t build a defense from the back. I say DT/DE first round, then safety/corner second round. WR/OL 3rd and 4th.

  10. 10


    Licht has had some issues too. The kicker fiasco when we needed a safety was asinine.

    Not ready to blame him 100% or move on yet though. Is it his fault the whole D line has been injured? Not really Mike Smiths either.

    There are many needs in the draft that’s only thing for sure at his point.

  11. 11


    A scheme will only take you so far you have to have the players to execute the scheme we only have McCoy and Alexander on defense yes, I left off David for good reason he hasn’t been the same player for a few yrs now. Secondary is trash all these Conte backers here on this web site are now seeing what I saw in Chicago he can’t cover me doing a post route. No pass rush again hurting this team qb pressures are as important as sacks, William Ghodston is great versus run gives you nothing verses a pass rush he is more of a DT type of player. R Ayers was a 1 st round bust from Denver who turned in admirable half a season with 8 sacks in NY so obviously Bucs sign the guy to a good contract. Winston is still inconsistent with throws high and out of bounds is absurd and needs to fix that or will never be an elite qb in this league. Not winning one stinking game at home in two yrs is outrageous and inexcusable for any NFL Team if we played the Browns right now I honestly don’t know who to pick I guess it depends on which Jamies we see, here’s to another long season as a Bucs Fan and counting the days down until we have our top ten selection

  12. 12


    I assume Ayers high ankle sprain is still an issue. They take a long time and he likely is playing through pain. It is what it is this year. Crazy bad luck and lots injuries. Ayers was a beast against Atlanta first game when he was healthy.

    Donavan Smith sucks. Really the whole O line got beat like a drum last night.

    I agree you build up front first. Lets fortify both lines early then see what can do with other shit late or free agency.

  13. 13


    Screw drafting a safety in the first. If there’s one there that’s truly BPA, then so be it but this team needs D-Line help in the worst way.

    McCoy will be entering his 8th season and they’ve NEVER given him any help!!! McDonald and A. Spence aren’t special and they have both been injury prone.

    The addition of Ayers (injury prone, old and nothing special) plus a developmental 250lb pass rushing specialist did SQUAT this year!!!!

    Jason Lichtmyb*lls thought he was so clever and passed on several good DTs in the draft to take a liability in Agyauo and some project Safety in Ryan Smith… SMH

    This team needs some nasty, tough talent on the D-Line to help our $100 million dollar man and disrupt the opposing QBs.

    Go Sucs!

    1. 13.1


      If there was an equivalent to Jalen Ramsey at our pick next April, I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to take him with our first round pick. I haven’t studied any of the candidates likely in this year’s draft class to know if there is an equivalent talent available in 2017.

      Florida has a couple more outstanding corners this year, said to be as good or better than Hargreaves, in Jalen Tabor and Quincy Wilson, but I dont know that they would work well at safety.

      Has anyone here been doing any homework on top safety candidates in 2017?

      1. 13.1.1


        Jabrill Peppers/Michigan
        Jamal Adams/LSU
        Malik Hooker/Ohio State



          Thanks .. I’ll start following them.

      2. 13.1.2

        Brand G

        OBI MELIFONWU- Safety from UCONN…he’ll be the steal of the draft…



          Thanks … will keep an eye on him too

  14. 14


    Jongruden I agree. We need more talent on defense. Was really absurd to take a kicker knowing that.

    Agree on Conte also. Back up talent really. Not worst in league but his coverage skills are very bad. Run support pretty decent. Misses tackles too but whole team has been too….

  15. 15


    With all due respect SR, it is way too early to begin discussing replacing Mike Smith. He needs at least two years to show he can turn around this defense that is not exactly littered with talent. After only drafting one defensive player in his first two drafts, let Licht get a little bit more talent on that side of the ball before looking to replace Smith. Looking at the corners alone, Tampa is starting a 33 year old, a rookie, and a second year UFA. Combined with possibly the worst pair of starting safeties in the NFL, there isn’t much more Smith can do with this defensive backfield. This problem is exacerbated by a D-Line that only has one player consistently able to get pressure. Give Noah Spence a chance to grow and Ayers the chance to get healthy and at least see what progress can be made. While your point that they didn’t force Atlanta to punt is very valid, the Falcons do have the #1 weighted offense in the NFL. Mike Smith needs at least one more year to implement his scheme and one more offseason for Licht to infuse some talent before hitting the coaching reset button yet again in Tampa.

  16. 16


    Scott i think your kind of nip picking Winston to death. I think under the sircumstance

  17. 17


    Sorry lets start again under the circumstances i think Winston has done pretty well this season. No running backs since game 1 ,no speed at wr or rb, his defense gives him no help. But the biggest reason hes only 22 years old, hes younger than Wentz and Prescott for crying out loud. I guess what im trying to say is give him some more weapons to work with and i think you will see a marked improvement.

  18. 18


    This is telling for all of us bucs fans right here. The credit to these stats goes to Tyler Thomas from twitter.
    And goes to show how injuries and shitty drafting has doomed us to our current mediocrity.

    Bucs had 8 skill position players play last night
    -6 of them were undrafted.
    -5 of 8 of those guys weren’t even active week 1

    The bucs have played 7 first round receivers this year
    Those first round receivers are averaging 144.7 yards a game against us.

    The bucs current 7 highest paid players
    – 5 have missed at least 1 game this year
    – 1 on I.R VJ 1 On Pup Sweezy
    – Combined missing a total of 22 games
    – That’s $ 12, 789, 333 worth of “best ” player sitting on the sidelines
    Those stats speak 1000 words.

    1. 18.1


      Thanks for the stats … sobering, isn’t it.

      It’ll take several more drafts to build the defense up if the picks are good … and we’re likely to suffer at least some draft busts like everyone else in the league does. We may also have to make a splash signing in free agency for once, after lying low the last coupla off-seasons. Can you imagine how our defense would play if we’d gotten Suh to pair up with McCoy?

  19. 19


    I’ll take the easy one first, go compare Winston’s numbers through his first 24 games to anybody who’s ever played, he’ll be top 10 if not top 5 (from memory only Carr and Marino stand out as better). I spent the first quarter of the season listening to Dirtbag Dirk take the podium and tell me that the team only has two problems, and they were the QB and the picks. (Conveniently leaving out the 50 plus pass attempts per game). So what happens in the second quarter, the kid throws 9 TDs and 1 pick. And after a 5-day span where the D gives up 1,000 yards and 73 points, you want to tell me that a 22-year-old QB with 1 drafted player at a skill position and zero pass protection is inconsistent? Wow!!! I guess that’s what Stephen A means when he says Black QBs are covered differently. If he’s ever challenged on that point, at least he has you to bolster his argument. But I notciced you left 2 things out of your FAB 5, so I figured I’d help you out:

    Fab 6

    Dirtbag Dirk comes to us with deep character concerns as he stabbed his last boss in the back and stole his job. Which of us in our chosen professions would want to work with a guy like that? It would only be tolerable if it came along with an exceptional performance. It has not. It has been the opposite. Forget clock management, demonstratable lack of confidence in his players or scapegoating the 22-year-old QB. It’s the fact that he’s openly not coaching special teams or the defense. He’s a head coach in name only. As a result, he has refused to hold Mike Smith accountable. Without accountability, how can there be any improvement? Remember, when he stole Lovie’s job he stole Lovie’s plan. Two years to build the O, this was the year to build the D. He’s overmatched and underwhelming. He should be fired immediately.

    Fab 2

    SORRY LOVIE SMITH. Do you remember those ferocious Falcons and that devastating D they used to batter the NFL into submission while Mike Smith was the HC? Me either. Why does this guy have a job here? Lovie’s D was top 10 (26th scoring), top five against the rush and gave under 4 YPC. His completion percentage was poor because he couldn’t protect the middle of the field. It was a fatal flaw, but the only fatal flaw. He fixes that and we’re good. Under Mike Smith, that flaw is worse, and we can’t stop the run, sacks are down, turnovers are down and no part of the field is being defended. We went from a problem with slants to every problem a defense can have. The diffrence is LOVIE did it with six or seven undrafted free agents. These guys are hand picked, high priced and as PR said many times, this system is custom designed to fit these exact players. Scott you do recall the several dozen times that you proudly that point this off season correct? Yet you still have the unmitigated temerity to say that Lovie should have been fired because of the safeties coach. Was that coach so bad that he put into the game plan that Conte should be covering the other team’s number one receiver like Mike S did vs the Raiders or the Rams? Did Lovie make 54 completely disappear or did 54 set a record for tacles? Has 58 gotten better, or does he still miss tackels and get beaten by TEs that are even slower than ours on crossers? This has been a complete failure cheerleaded by you from the beginning. Say sorry to Lovie and get these guys outta town. Since PR backed the move, PR buys the tickets, two middle seats to Pocotello.

    1. 19.1


      Mega thumbs down to this entire comment

  20. 20


    Hey Scott – long time no talk. I never miss a Fab 5 (because they’re awesome) but I only comment when I have something to say. The national and local negativity surrounding Jameis and how he’s not “progressing” befuddles me. I forget who said it (Bill Polian I think), but a respected talking head in the NFL said that a QB progresses the most from Year 1 to Year 2. I disagree and so does recent history.

    Take a look at the following QBs (below) and how they fared in the top passing categories (completion percentage, TDs vs Int , and passing yds per game) during their first couple of years:

    Drew Brees: Year 1 (played only 1 game), Year 2 (60.8%, 17 TDs vs 16 Ints, & 205.2 ypg), and Year 3 (57.6%, 11 TDs vs 15 Ints, & 191.6 ypg). Not close to elite until Year 4 (65.5%, 27 TDs vs 7 Ints) but still only passed for 210.6 yds per game. Drew didn’t top 4,000 yds until Year 6 and 30 TDs until Year 8.

    Matt Ryan: Year 1 (61.1%, 16 TDs vs 11 Ints, & 215 ypg) & Year 2 (58.3%, 22 TDs vs 14 Ints, & 208.3 ypg). Not close to elite until Year 3 (62.5%, 28 TDs vs 9 Ints) but still only passed for 231.6 yds per game. Ryan didn’t top 4,000 yds until Year 4 and 30 TDs until Year 5.

    Cam Newton: Year 1 (60%, 21 TDs vs 17 Ints, & 253.2 ypg), Year 2 (57.7%, 19 TDs vs 12 Ints, & 241.8 ypg), Year 3 (61.7%, 24 TDs vs 13 Ints, & 211.2 ypg), and Year 4 (58.5%, 18 TDs vs 12 Ints, & 223.4 ypg). Cam did top the 4,000 yd mark his rookie year, but he hasn’t hit that mark since. Cam also didn’t top 30 TDs until Year 5 (last year) – his only “elite” year.

    These are just the guys in our division that are considered “elite” and rightly so; however, do you see a pattern? All three QBs had solid first years (as full-time starters) but then regressed in Year 2 before marking the biggest jump in progression in Year 3. The only QB that could even be considered elite by Year 3 was Matt Ryan but that may even be a stretch. It took 4 to 5 years before these guys became elite.

    Take a look at the early stats of Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Matthew Stafford, Philip Rivers, and Andrew Luck and it’s the same thing – biggest progression from Year 2 to Year 3 and not becoming elite for even longer.

    I only listed “elite” QBs drafted in the first round (outside of Brees who was drafted in the 2nd) because they represent QBs drafted high by bad teams that were expected to become saviors. Tom Brady doesn’t count because he was drafted in the 6th to an awesome team, so he clearly wasn’t expected to be a savior. I also left Aaron Rogers off the list because he held a clipboard for his first 3 seasons, so he doesn’t adequately compare.

    It is clear that the biggest jump in progression for modern-day QBs is from Year 2 to Year 3, and it takes even longer to become elite. I think everyone expected JW to be elite this year, but that’s not fair. I also think that people expected Jameis to make a big jump this year, but that also isn’t fair. In fact, recent history shows that most of these QBs actually regressed in Year 2 as a starter. Given the fact that Jameis is putting up similar and/or better numbers than he did last year should be lauded as incredible but, unfortunately, that isn’t what’s being said.

    We’re asking too much too soon from Jameis, especially with no running game to help him this year like he had Year 1. It takes at least 3 years to become elite and the biggest jump is coming up, so I hope people realize that Jameis is actually far ahead of many, if not all, of the “elite” QBs of our time. The best is yet to come Buc Fans!

    1. 20.1


      This might be the best post I’ve read on this sight. Actual facts to back up your argument. I’m pissed off by the constant negativity surrounding Jameis. A lot of the local media (not including PR) and fans hated him before he arrived and nothing is changing their minds. It’s ridiculous. He struggles just like any second year QB does. Hell, Carr had his struggles last year. This year he’s on fire. With a good #2 WR and actual weapons, our offense will be lethal. It’s just going to take time.

    2. 20.2


      I completely agree with you that quarterbacks take years to fully develop to their potential, at least four or five full seasons of starting, sometimes more. Tom Brady, whose name belongs in, if not at the top of, every conversation about “all time best quarterback, didn’t break 100 passer rating until his 8th season with the Pats, zooming from 87.9 in 2006 to 117.2, leading his team to a record of 18-1 with the only loss in the Super Bowl. In his first 7 seasons, Brady averaged in the upper 80s. And now, absolutely amazingly, he’s having his best season ever as a passer, leading the league with a PR of 133.9!!!

      So, back to Winston, his problem as Scott Reynolds is not his upside, which can be very very good. The problem for Winston is is his downside, which can be very, very bad. He is inconsistent from game to game. Of course, even very good quarterbacks are going to have variance in their performance from game to game, depending upon the quality of the opposing defense and the ability of his offensive teammates to make plays. The issue is the size and the frequency of Jameis’ variance, as Scott pointed out. When your pass completion ratio for a game varies from 70% down to 48%, that’s simply too much variance.

      Now, yes, Jameis is only a second year starter. So the expectations for him are not necessarily the same as the expectations for Drew Brees, Tom Brady, or Aaron Rodgers. But at the same time, Jameis was a number one overall pick in the draft, far above where Brady (6th round), Brees (early 2nd round) or Rodgers (late 1st round) were taken. The Winston fans were whooping up during the pre-draft proclaiming the Second Coming of Christ with Jameis (yes, on some of the Buc fan sites, Noles took to routinely posting pics of Winston as Christ in their hagiographic comments). His fans loudly and often obnoxiously proclaimed that Jameis would lead the Bucs to a Super Bowl as a rookie, and many thereafter, and we might as well fit him up for a yellow jacket now just to save us all the waiting. Well, when a fan base grossly and hysterically overhypes a player as a shoe-in HOFer, greatest ever, move over Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, then don’t be too shocked that the expectations for such a player are a lot higher than they ever were for Brady, Rodgers, and Brees when they were first or second year quarterbacks.

      As it is written in the Bible, “Ye shall reap what ye sow”.

      That is the biggest problem that Winston is facing, really, is that expectations for him that didn’t match reality. He is doing OK as a starting quarterback, that’s it, just plain OK.

      If Jameis were taken late in the first or in later round, like Russell Wilson (who, by the way, posted a passer rating in each of his first four years in the league of 100.0., 101.2, 95.0, and 110.1 , while leading his Seahawks to one Super Bowl championship, one NFC championship, and four playoff appearances), then he beat expectations every season … which is where a quarterback, or any other player, always wants to be.

      This season, Jameis has disappointed me like probably a majority of Bucs fans in that he’s not showing progress as a quarterback. He is not on a learning curve so much as flipping and flopping back and forth, playing well at times and badly at others. The “bad Jameis” needs to go away, and then we can starting seeing “Great Jameis” alternating with “Good Jameis”. If and when he gets there, he’ll be meeting his expectations when drafted no. 1 overall pick last year.

    3. 20.3


      Bucfish7 – let’s also compare Winston, a no. 1 overall pick to Derek Carr, another young QB who was a high 2nd rounder now in his third season.

      Carr started out mediocre as a rookie 16-game starter passer as one would probably expect of a not-top-tier draft pick. His rookie season his passer rating was a meh 76.6, with 3,270 yards in the air, 58.1% completion rate, 21 TD to 12 INT.

      Jameis Winston produced, as we know, a passer rating of better than Carr at 84.2, with 4,042 yards, 22 TD and 16 INT, with an almost identical 58.3% completion rate.

      Now move to season two:

      Carr improved dramatically in his sophomore year, hitting a 91.1 passer rating, 3,987 yards, 32 TD and 13 INT, with a completion rate of 61.1%.

      This season, Jameis is on pace to do about the same as his rookie season. Extrapolating his first half season numbers to a full season, he would produce a passer rating of 85.4, do 4.074 yards in the air, 34 TD and 18 INT, and a completion rate of 59.2%.

      So Carr progressed a great deal as a passer in his second season, while Jameis has not.

      In his third season, Carr has progressed even more over his second season, on pace for a passer rating of 100.9, and 4,644 yards in the air, 34 TD and only 6 INT, with a completion ratio of an impressive 66.3%.

      One other thing that is very impressive with Carr is his consistency this season. He has a passer rating in Raider victories of 101.1, and a passer rating in defeats of 100.4 – only a 0.7 point differential between his good days and his bad days as a passer. His lowest PR this season was a meh but still respectable 79.3 against the Titans. His highest PR this season was 123.4 against the Ravens. That’s still considerable variation, but between OK and great.

      For Jameis, however, his problem is his excessive variance, from very good (highest PR this season of 125.1 against the Falcons in week 1 to the very very bad at 39.2 against the Cardinals and nearly as bad at 40.1 against the Broncos. Those are two very good defenses, sure, but the average passer rating against the two teams so far this year is 69.1 for the Cardinals and 65.7 for the Broncos … meaning Jameis has performed far worse than average against both defenses this season.

      In fact, of all the opponents faced by Arizona and Denver, this season Jameis performed the worst of any of their quarterbacks, by a fairly large margin. When our first overall pick QB significantly underperforms Blaine Gabbert against a quality defense, that’s a problem.

      Again, Jameis’ upside is very good, he’s had a few very good games this season, and his performance in the last two losses weren’t bad, But he still has to eliminate the very, very bad downside games that have plagued him both of his seasons in the league to get anywhere near where a no. 1 overall pick quarterback needs to be .. and he especially needs to make steady improvement by stringing together a bunch of great games and good games.

      1. 20.3.1


        Naplesfan, although I agree with much of what you said, my main points were (1) QBs progress most from Year 2 to Year 3 and (2) people expected too much from JW this year. As you pointed out, DC has really elevated his game this year (Year 3), and the wins are proof. If he finishes out the year like he has been, then he’ll be considered elite. DC did greatly progress from Year 1 to Year 2, but he’s definitely the exception to the rule. Plus, being a 2nd rounder, he did not have near the weight of expectation like Jameis has. That weight can’t be underestimated.

        I think JW wants to live up to those expectations so bad, he tries to make too many plays that aren’t there, especially early in the season. Many of his INTs can be directly attributed to that. He did the same thing last year early in the season, although I can count at least 3 INTs this year that bounced off the hands of our WRs. Licht needs to add another weapon for him to throw to and we need to get our RBs back and you’ll see marked improvement from Jameis next year.

        BTW, correct me if I’m wrong, but if Jameis finishes the year with over 4,000 yds passing again, he’ll be the first QB in NFL history to start out his career with back to back 4,000 yd seasons. That’s nothing to scoff at – you don’t set that record by accident.

        I for one think Jameis is an amazing QB, even right now considering the lack of a running game and WRs to throw to. The team around him is just not good outside of a select few. Give JW another weapon to throw to, give him back a strong running game, and for crying out loud get a pass rush to cover an average DB unit, and we’re making a playoff push next year.

        I thought we’d go 8-8 this year. With a little luck, maybe we’d be 10-6. With a run of bad luck, I could see another 6-10 season. Hopefully our luck turns in the second half of this season to get us back to respectability.

  21. 21


    Sweezy seems like lifetime ago. Lol. How do we keep ending up with injured O line guys that never play? It’s crazy.

    Love Winston but honestly, We could have best O line in league and if Winston doesn’t correct his accuracy issues won’t matter.

    1. 21.1


      Do you not think those two aren’t somewhat linked? Winston is never going to be a consistent 70% completion guy. He’ll likely be low to mid 60’s over his career. Which I will take, because he’s going to make plays that win us games. Center, Left Tackle and Right tackle have to be addressed going forward.

      1. 21.1.1


        Mid 60s isn’t an average passer over a career … it’s far above average, especially if it includes a decent percentage of long throws over 20 yards … Tom Brady’s career average is 63.7%. Aaron Rodger’s career average is 65%. Drew Brees’s career average is 66.5%.

        That’s not to say that Jameis can’t or won’t get there. He certainly has games that are there or higher, with two games this season of 70% or better. But then he also has those turkeys down near 50%, and 3 or 4 INTs. If he can work on eliminating the turkeys, his upside will take care of the seasonal and career averages. I would think that’s do-able, as it’s a matter of mental discipline, not physical limitations.



          You’re right. I was just saying I’ll take him in the low 60’s, cause that will win us a bunch of games. And yes, he does have those stinkers. He’s more Favre than Brady. I truly believe he’ll always have one or two of those a season. Right now the team isn’t good enough to overcome him having a stinker or even just being okay. Hopefully that will change in the next two years.

          I watch the ALL-22 after every game. Our OL is severely limiting his progressions & causing him to rush his mechanics, resulting in poor throws. He’s anticipating getting crushed, hence him rushing throws that are inaccurate or a mile high. He’s got to mentally get past that, but we seriously need to shore up the line. Jameis with time and a true WR 2 would be lethal. But he’s got to keep improving. He’ll get there.

  22. 22


    FAB 4) Damit Jim, I’m a football coach not a scientist….LOL

    When did the bar for scientist come so far down that only scientists can now apparently comprehend the vastness of the concept of fatigue….if only there was a way for a football coach to be able to relate personally to what that must feel like….oh well, I guess we’ll never know. ATV, just sit on the pine.

    FAB 1) at this rate, if we keep putting up defensive stats like 40+ points allowed, 500+ yards allowed, we’ll probably finish dead last in defense. Injuries or not if a DC puts up a DEAD LAST defense, I don’t see how it’s possible for him to keep his job. We did give him at least 4 shiny new starters (again, Ayers has missed several games but not the rest), a DROY candidate from last year, and 2 Probowlers to play with…yes, some duds too, but our talent is not DEAD LAST talent. I agree Scott, barring a major turnaround, I don’t see him back in 2017. As Gary said in his article, when you give opposing QBs “time, comfort, ease” with which to play, it doesn’t really matter why….you’re going to get roasted, and we have.

  23. 23


    I think everyone on this tread knows what our necessities are and it’s evident on the field. We need to seriously evaluate all players through every round of who we take. Yes, it’s sad to be talking about this in November and only mid-way through the regular season. If we seriously tank at this half end of the season, than you part ways with people like Chris Conte and I don’t see how, if players like Fournette or Cook are available, you don’t take one, especially Dalvin Cook. We also need another LB, S, SS, and still a corner and that does not even put me on our necessities at the D-line i.e. DE. Has anyone done any film homework on Hardy Nickerson’s son who transferred to Illinois this year from Cal? I wonder if his play is like his dads who was on beast mode at all times.

  24. 24


    Scott, the whispers of Mike’s defense being too complicated, can you share any more detail? I have to assume those would be whispers from the players that you are hearing. Are player(s) coming to you flat out saying that? Like off the record? Are you reading between the lines of what players/coaches are saying to the media? Are you hearing these whispers from many sources or just one you trust? I haven’t followed Mike’s career closely, I don’t recall ever hearing about him over complicating his defenses before. Also, a lot of these secondary players could not figure out LT their assignment for Lovie or Leslie. We put that on the coaches and their defenses, but if this is another defense these guys can’t get, might it be our secondary personnel?

  25. 25


    Couldn’t disagree with you more in regards to who we should draft.
    This team is always trying to solve its defensive problems from the back end and the end result has been the same for the last six or seven years.
    This team is in desperate need of a pass rush that won’t allow a QB 4 or 5 seconds to rest comfortably in the backfield waiting for his third or fourth receiver to break free.
    There are not to many CB’s or safeties in the league can cover that long, all pro or not.
    Williams Gholston and Akeem Spfence are quality backups but so far, after 4 years, that is what they have proven to be.
    For years this team has brought in and played numerous CB’s and bargain basement DL to no avail.
    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

  26. 26


    Man oh man. I didn’t think we would be at this point.
    Contemplating draft picks half way through the season. I truly believe that no team can withstand the injuries that the BUCS have had. Trotting out players picked up off the street and backups. They’re good backups but you need some real players to compete.
    Did I hear Scott correctly that we need to draft a safety in the first round. Tried that already and how did that work out.
    Traded him for a 7th rounder.
    Cmon man think this through. DLine and OLine.
    I’ll start screaming it from the food tops if it will get through to the BUCS. Build our lines up. You CAN NOT WIN unless you have the meat up front.
    Ezekiel Elliott looks like a super human because of the line.
    Denver is great because of their DLine.
    And here is a news flash.
    The BUCS were once great because of the lines.
    McCoy can not do this alone. Opponents can get a pedicure in the pocket due to our anemic pass rush.
    Having McDonald out is killing us.
    I think you draft the best line man available defensive or offensive. Period.
    GO BUCS.

  27. 28


    Oh yeah, kudos to Mike Evans. To perform like that when everyone knows that he’s getting the ball. Freekin awesome.

  28. 29


    Chetevette you and I see eye to eye on this.
    Build your offense and defensive lines with mean angry hungry dogs and take care of them first.
    As far as Winston’s performance Thursday night I give him an A.
    Look, I love Adam Humprhies but he is strictly a slot receiver and Cam Brate is fine but he doesn’t strike fear in anyone. Face it, the Bucs should have Belichecked Jackson and sent him packing and used the money on another receiver.
    Not only does he have only one real quality receiver to throw to, but the Falcons weren’t respecting our run game at all.
    That made it even harder for the O Line to hold their blocks in passing situations.
    You really don’t want Winston dropping back over 40 times to pass the ball but that is what he had to do.
    If you watched the Vikings/Bears game Monday night it was much the same thing and you could see the Bears had no respect for the Vikings run game and they abused poor Sam Bradford.

    1. 29.1


      Drd. I think the trick with Winston is to just keep him alive. He is going to never prosper without some help from the O line. When of if are we ever going to see Sweezy. What a gig. Get paid 6 mil to sit around. Does Carl nicks ring a bell.
      Go figure.

  29. 30

    Mad Dog

    Everybody is so quick to wanting to fire coaches remember last year Matt Ryan was playing horrible under first year offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan nobody was fired now this year he seems like a genius let’s give the coaches a some time also the defense needs to overhauled.

  30. 31


    Just got done watching LSU Alabama that Adams seem to be a good player. Good tackler and good cover man.

  31. 32


    Donovan Smith SUCKS. as for the defense, i wonder if switching to a 3-4 could be good. McCoy and Ayers can play DE, we would need to find a nose tackle, we could put Noah Spence at OLB which IMO is what he is best suited for and we would need one more pass rushing OLB and we could have LVD and Kwon at inside line backer. Who knows can’t be any worse than what we have.

    1. 32.1


      Oh yeah it can get worse. Go back to the Leman Bennet days and you’ll see.

      1. 32.1.1


        i don’t think i could bare watching a defense worse than this

  32. 33


    To Naplesfan, Bucfish7, Macabee & others:

    Thanks for the the constructive comments and good information you shared.

    To Scott:

    I am happy to see some quality comments and good debate among fans here on PR. No politics and no name calling.
    Go Bucs!!!

  33. 34


    Wow! I can’t believe there are so many comments……or should I say rants. From one who works on Fridays and has a list of
    “Pooper Dos”. (wife’s term of affection) on Saturdays I’m just now getting a chance to read. As the Raider fan behind me screamed when they were able to tie the game, “The mood has changed!” My goodness some of you are ready to hit the nuclear option button without much thought.

    I can’t believe some of the comments. Here, as Dr.D and a few others noted, we have a team relatively devoid of talent. Someone even pointed out the number of undrafted college free agents and street free agents we have starting. Yet, there are those who want to rid ourselves of any player who is injured; no matter that they were in the most recent Pro Bowl.

    I must agree that Licht has done a mediocre job thus far. It’s a bit unfair to blame him for the injuries that are greatly impacting the team’s ability to compete. It’s really easy to find fault when looking in the rear view mirror. It’s telling when the college free agents have been superior to our actual Draft picks. Folks here often blamed Mark Dominic, but in reality he did a pretty good job overall even though some here want to cut his best selections. Richie McKay did some impressive work, but he too had his mistakes.

    I really don’t know why some of you are so down on Donovan Smith. Ok, he gets beat once as do all OT’s and he is made out to be the worst OT in the league. In my view he’s played better than Demar Dotson. I guess I’m going to have to focus on him a little more. In my opinion we just don’t have receivers getting open quickly enough and Jameis is holding the ball while scanning the field looking for #13. It all works together.

  34. 35


    Scott as always your fab 5 is my favorite weekend read. I think the keg blew based on all the response this week! WOW.

    Tampa Bay needs better players, and I fear we don’t have enough premium picks in the next 2 years to get it done. It is not Smith’s fault, and he shouldn’t be fired. How damning is it that we have 2 gassed CB’s in OT (everyone could see it on TV), and our back-ups are so bad that they can’t sub, wow. Look, Quinn was considered a defensive guru at UF & Seattle, but Atlanta’s D is still bad (winning with offense). Why, they don’t have enough good Defensive players. TB & NO changed their D coordinators last year, and the D is still bad. Why, not enough good players. No pass rush which puts stress on a weak secondary. We need players, and PLEASE don’t forget about the offense (as you know that helps the defense).

    We have Evans & Winston, and that is it. Humphries & Brate are average and not game changers. No other WR’s AT ALL! No RB because Martin is only healthy in contract years, and plays 50% of the other years. Simms is only a 3rd down back (we saw that). IF Evans gets hurt our scoring goes to ZERO. We need better players.

    I think Winston has done a great job in his 2nd year, and yes he should and will get better. But have we every had a QB this good, no. He is playing his tail off with no running game, an average NFL OL, and 1 WR. Everyone knows Evans is going to get the ball…that is what doomed the offense in Oakland.

    2 safeties, 1-2 CB, and a pass rusher (a real one). Smith can’t make chicken soup out of chicken poop. by the way where has L David gone? Coaching matters but great players make great teams. Was Dungy brilliant or did Sapp, Brooks, Barber, Lynch, Kelly, booger, Rice, and Quarles make him a defensive guru. I don’t remember his defenses in Indy being that good….it is the players. Player talent matters.

    I fear we are miles away from the players we need without 2 homerun drafts. I fear VH III becomes shell shocked in his rookie season from the beatings he is taken, I fear Winston crumbles down the stretch trying to do too much with little help, I fear…

  35. 36


    This is the second Defensive scheme there have been “whispers” that’s been too complicated. Seriously? Professional football players and coaches can’t collectively figure it out? Do we have lower intelligent players or brainiac coaches? Since the core group of players has said this with two different schemes, I would say it’s the players. Since both coaches have been successful DCs it the past, it also looks like the players. SR, I’m glad I see frustration in your F5! Sounds like you are feeling what we fans are. Where is the “attacking” style of D we heard about all pre-season. Where is the D that Lavonte said could be one of the best ever? Why can’t Smith see his guys are gassed? If every Bucs fan knew safety was a concern, why couldn’t Licht? UGH!! Didn’t we as Bucs fans have to suffer enough of this in the 70s, 80s, and 90s? At this point I wish the Glaziers would just let it ride out. They are the ones that caused this garbage when they intentionally ran lean through the non-cap/floor years. Now we all suffer for it.

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