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

FAB 1. GIVEN HOW BAD TAMPA BAY’S DEFENSE IS, WILL SMITH SURVIVE?
How bad has the Buccaneers defense become under first-year head coach Dirk Koetter and defensive coordinator Mike Smith?

So bad that the Atlanta Falcons didn’t even punt in their 43-28 demolition of Tampa Bay on Thursday Night Football. The Bucs fell to 3-5 and are now 2-1 in the NFC South.

The Falcons didn’t even punt and scored points on a stunning eight out of 11 possessions. One of Atlanta’s possessions came with 1:46 left before halftime and another came with just 59 seconds left in regulation after recovering an onside kick.

I’ve covered the Buccaneers for 22 years and I can’t remember the last time Tampa Bay’s defense didn’t force a punt. And it wasn’t like there was an avalanche of takeaways by the defense, either.

Falcons WR Julio Jones - Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR

Falcons WR Julio Jones – Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR

The Falcons fumbled once when Gerald McCoy sacked Matt Ryan and linebacker Daryl Smith recovered. Outside of that fumble, Ryan was nearly flawless as he did his best Derek Carr impersonation, completing 25-of-34 passes for 344 yards and four touchdowns.

Had this game gone to a full overtime like Sunday’s loss to the Raiders did, I have no doubt that Ryan would have hit 500 yards passing like Carr did.

The depleted Bucs offense wasn’t the culprit in this loss. It put up two touchdowns in the first half without the benefit of a running game due to the absence of Doug Martin (again) and Jacquizz Rodgers.

Predictably, it was the Jameis Winston and Mike Evans Show, and it was fun to watch. Evans had a career-high 11 catches for 150 yards and two touchdowns before leaving to be evaluated for a concussion. Winston fumbled a handoff to Antone Smith and fumbled himself on an extra effort play trying to pick up a first down on third-and-1, but as a passer he was quite good.

Winston completed 23-of-37 passes for 261 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. That should be good enough for most quarterbacks to put up a win on most game days in the NFL.

It was the defense that continues to let Tampa Bay down. Already gassed from playing 93 plays on Sunday in an overtime loss to the Raiders, the Bucs defense wilted after halftime. Leading 20-14 at halftime, Smith’s troops couldn’t get off the field as Ryan marched the Falcons 86 yards on 11 plays to increase Atlanta’s lead to 26-14.

A fateful three-and-out by the Bucs offense on its next possession as Winston couldn’t connect with Evans on first down or Cecil Shorts on third down gave the ball right back to the Falcons, who went on a 10-play, 82-yard drive that ended in another Ryan touchdown to increase Atlanta’s lead to 33-14.

The Bucs held possession for just 4:02 in the third quarter compared to the Falcons, who controlled the ball for 10:58 while putting two touchdowns on the board and essentially putting the game away before the start of the fourth quarter.

“That third quarter, we just couldn’t get off the field,” Koetter said. “[Smith] tried a lot of different defenses, we just couldn’t get a stop.

“We didn’t stop them the whole second half. I’m not sure exactly why. We’ll have to check it out tomorrow. We definitely couldn’t stop them in the second half.”

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

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

It wasn’t just the second half. In the second quarter, Koetter had such little faith in the Bucs defense that he declined a 15-yard penalty that would have created a third-and-22 for Atlanta at the Tampa Bay 38-yard line. Koetter didn’t want to give Ryan another down to work with and settled for a Matt Bryant 41-yard field goal.

Somewhere Monte Kiffin had to be shaking his head in disgust.

On John Lynch night in Tampa Bay, Lynch probably was disgusted, too.

“We talked about it,” Koetter said. “It would have pushed them back right to the edge of Bryant’s range and they would have had another down so we thought it was probably going to end up about the same way and possible worse. So we figured we’d just take our chances right there.”

In hindsight it was probably the right call by Koetter. If the choices are “same” and “worse,” the answer is worse with this defense because it is worse. It’s regressing.

The story for the second half of Tampa Bay’s season isn’t going to be about a playoff push for the 3-5 Buccaneers. That’s not happening as long as this defense is playing as crappy as it is.

“Something has to give, something has to change,” McCoy said. “I don’t know. If I knew, we would do it. I don’t know.”

It was sad to see John Lynch get inducted into the Bucs Ring of Honor on Thursday night. It’s supposed to be a happy night, reliving the glory days of playoff years and a Super Bowl championship on the new huge BucVision video boards, but it was actually quite somber.

The last time the Bucs played really good defense was probably when Lynch wearing pewter and red. It’s been so long I’ve forgotten.

The story down the stretch isn’t even going to be about who the Bucs will spend their top 10 draft pick on (again). It’s going to be about the fate of Smith and his scheme.

There are whispers that it is too complicated for his players to absorb and perform in. The Bucs are asking a lot from their rookie cornerback on one side and an aging vet who is no longer elite on the other.

Do the Bucs need smarter, better defenders across the board next year? You bet.

But will Smith get the chance to coach them?

Mike Smith and Lovie Smith - Photo by: Getty Images

Mike Smith and Lovie Smith – Photo by: Getty Images

Or will this season spiral so out of control to the point where Koetter and general manager Jason Licht need someone to fall on the sword in order to save their jobs?

One of the many reasons why former Bucs head coach and defensive play-caller Lovie Smith was fired was because he wouldn’t fire his son, Mikal, who was the team’s safeties coach.

Lovie deserved to be fired, but I was certain that Koetter would find a better replacement.

Will Koetter be forced to fire Smith, and if push came to shove, would he actually do that to his friend and mentor? Or would Koetter take a stand to keep Smitty around?

Or does this Tampa Bay defense need time and continuity – along with some better players – to gel, which means that Smith would get another year?

Is it the scheme or is it the players – or both? Unfortunately, the same questions about the Bucs defense that lingered under Lovie Smith are continuing under Mike Smith.

The same kind of play is lingering, too.

Tampa Bay has just four interceptions this year through eight games, along with the inability to stop the pass. The Bucs can’t regularly get to the quarterback, either.

“Definitely pass rush and coverage go hand in hand,” Koetter said. “We’re not getting the pass rush and we’re not covering very well either.”

By the way, Drew Brees has yet to have the chance to carve up this bad Buccaneers bunch. That fun begins in December.

Can Tampa Bay schedule Jacksonville anytime soon? Maybe Cleveland? Remember when the Bucs sacked the Browns eight times in the preseason?

Bucs LBs Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander - Photo by: Getty Images

Bucs LBs Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander – Photo by: Getty Images

Where did that style of defense go? Where did all of the interceptions and the promise of tighter coverage this year go?

Remember when Lavonte David was a really good linebacker that made plays? Where did he go?

“We’ve still got to change,” said Bucs middle linebacker Kwon Alexander. “The mentality is that everybody needs to have the same mentality as themselves, that nobody can stop them. If you have that mentality, then nobody can stop you. I don’t think people really have that mentality right now that we can stop anybody we hit.”

The Falcons certainly weren’t stopped. They didn’t even punt.

Does Smith and his complex scheme get the boot after this year? That is the question over the final two months of the season.

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

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: sr@pewterreport.com
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Alldaway 2.0
4 years ago

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… Read more »

bueller
Reply to  Alldaway 2.0
4 years ago

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.

cgmaster27
4 years ago

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.… Read more »

wnb0395
Reply to  cgmaster27
4 years ago

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… Read more »

MWD
MWD
Reply to  cgmaster27
4 years ago

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

MWD
MWD
Reply to  Michael WestDominguez
4 years ago

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

cgmaster27
Reply to  Michael WestDominguez
4 years ago

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.

Naplesfan
4 years ago

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… Read more »

Naplesfan
Reply to  Naplesfan
4 years ago

Dungy, not Dungey

cgmaster27
Reply to  Naplesfan
4 years ago

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.

wnb0395
Reply to  Naplesfan
4 years ago

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.

Naplesfan
Reply to  wnb0395
4 years ago

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.

Brand G
Reply to  Naplesfan
4 years ago

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… Read more »

Naplesfan
Reply to  Naplesfan
4 years ago

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!

Horse
4 years ago

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

wnb0395
Reply to  Horse
4 years ago

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.

Brand G
Reply to  Horse
4 years ago

They say that about everybody smh

fredster
4 years ago

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… Read more »

stlbucsfan
4 years ago

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… Read more »

cgmaster27
Reply to  stlbucsfan
4 years ago

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.

wnb0395
Reply to  cgmaster27
4 years ago

I agree STL.

LordJim
Reply to  stlbucsfan
4 years ago

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

EastEndBoy
Reply to  stlbucsfan
4 years ago

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.

Garv
4 years ago

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… Read more »

russmillerwy
4 years ago

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… Read more »

EastEndBoy
Reply to  russmillerwy
4 years ago

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.

DEBUCSOWN
4 years ago

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.

fredster
4 years ago

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.

jongruden
4 years ago

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… Read more »

fredster
4 years ago

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.

ElioT
4 years ago

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… Read more »

Naplesfan
Reply to  ElioT
4 years ago

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?

macabee
Reply to  Naplesfan
4 years ago

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

Naplesfan
Reply to  macabee
4 years ago

Thanks .. I’ll start following them.

Brand G
Reply to  Naplesfan
4 years ago

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

Naplesfan
Reply to  Brand G
4 years ago

Thanks … will keep an eye on him too

fredster
4 years ago

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….

Brandonges
4 years ago

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… Read more »

chipbuc
4 years ago

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

chipbuc
4 years ago

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.

cgmaster27
4 years ago

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… Read more »

Naplesfan
Reply to  cgmaster27
4 years ago

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?

erick325
4 years ago

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… Read more »

Naplesfan
Reply to  erick325
4 years ago

Mega thumbs down to this entire comment

Bucfish7
4 years ago

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 ,… Read more »

RootsCrew
RootsCrew
Reply to  Bucfish7
4 years ago

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.

Naplesfan
Reply to  Bucfish7
4 years ago

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… Read more »

Naplesfan
Reply to  Bucfish7
4 years ago

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%… Read more »

Bucfish7
Reply to  Naplesfan
4 years ago

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… Read more »

fredster
4 years ago

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.

RootsCrew
RootsCrew
Reply to  fredster
4 years ago

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.

Naplesfan
Reply to  RootsCrew
4 years ago

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… Read more »

RootsCrew
RootsCrew
Reply to  Naplesfan
4 years ago

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… Read more »

EastEndBoy
4 years ago

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… Read more »

MWD
MWD
4 years ago

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… Read more »

threadkiller
4 years ago

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… Read more »

drdneast
4 years ago

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… Read more »

chetthevette
Reply to  drdneast
4 years ago

Amen

chetthevette
4 years ago

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… Read more »

chetthevette
4 years ago

Roof tops

chetthevette
4 years ago

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

drdneast
4 years ago

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… Read more »

chetthevette
Reply to  drdneast
4 years ago

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.

Mad Buc
4 years ago

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.

chetthevette
4 years ago

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

Matthew
4 years ago

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.

chetthevette
Reply to  Matthew
4 years ago

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

Matthew
Reply to  chetthevette
4 years ago

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

SenileSenior
4 years ago

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!!!

scubog
4 years ago

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… Read more »

MudManVA
4 years ago

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… Read more »

dfk68
4 years ago

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… Read more »