To quote the immortal Allen Iverson “Practice… were talking practice.”, was his rant on how unimportant practice was to him.
Iverson played in only one NBA championship series, and has ZERO championships.
While Basketball differs from football in many ways, we all know in the NFL the way you practice is the way you play.
Last week JoeBucsFan.com’s Ira Kaufman let go on his podcast that before the Monday Night Game where Jon Gruden was entered into the Ring of Honor, a celebration night was held. Kaufman, who is a favorite of Gruden’s, asked the former Super Bowl champion if he saw the Bucs practice and what he thought of it.
Coach Dirk Koetter complained all preseason and training camp that the Bucs were not practicing up to par. Turns out many should have heeded the warnings, and not the built up expectations of the media based on last years results.
Of course when there is a bad practice, there is usually a distraction not that far behind it. What was last years big distraction? Its not too HARD to KNOCK down the door of a division champion… each year a few surprise teams are doing it. but you practice good, and during the camp/preseason days, more than a few reports were coming out about bucs hamming it up to the cameras.
Next year, that won’t happen. It can’t happen, because in the NFL, ‘How you practice, is how you play’.
It was over 150 years ago when Lord Acton announced “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Not so much the corruption were worried about, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a perfect example of how a head coach who is given ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY over an NFL franchise, tend to not coach long because it cant be done.
Wether its too many hats, or not enough time to go around, or the fact some people just cant pick the winners like some others. History shows us the best franchises have a separation of power: a General Manager who picks talent, and a Head Coach who takes care of the team given him.
Of course a successful team will know how to make the two sides mesh well together, a GM who picks the right players for the Coach’s system, but who knows how to get good players.
Both GMs the Bucs had were terrible w/Gruden: Rich McKay could spot talent but it didnt always mix with Gruden’s system. Like picking a left handed QB in Chris Simms. Gruden will no doubt want to be the Boss, and his track record has shown he’s not good as a talent picker.
If Gruden is paired with a strong GM who will yield to Chucky’s system knowledge but stand his own with his convictions on picks.
Dont despair Bucs fans, as Jon Gruden once said after a disappointing loss in 2006 “Futures so bright, you gotta wear shades”! Well Dirk Koetter should say the same thing, IF he’s allowed to hang around until then that is.
For starters, and for a future article, the 2011 CBA was a disaster for football. It was great for the players who no longer have to deal with 2 a day practices in pads. In fact, the CBA has practically made padded practices disappear; and I fear thats why you see so many injuries. NFL players need that contact during practice to stay in game shape all year. But thats not the reason the Bucs offense hasn’t been able to get going on offense.
We’ve spent so many draft picks acquiring talent on offense, when the defense is where the Bucs need to go with badly. You’ve heard of complimentary football, where the Defense helps the Offense score, and the offense helps the defense by keeping the ball and letting the D rest, and special teams helps both out by giving Offense the Ball in short field (from good returns), or taking the other team out of scoring range (with good punts). But the offense needs to sue the defense in 2017 for non support, and here is why; The Bucs have too many weapons now on offense for the limited amount of snaps the team has with the ball.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2017 have one of the worst 3rd down defense in the NFL. Opponents convert more 3rd down opportunities, keeping the ball longer, PREVENTING the BUCS offense from doing the same.
Last night vs the Atlanta Falcons on Monday Night Football, TE OJ Howard and WR DeSean Jackson went down and out with injuries, leaving the offense to its 2016 form more or less: Winston, an RB (Peyton Barber instead of Doug Martin) , Mike Evans and Cameron Brate.
The offense looked like last year again, Jameis Winston to Mike Evans. Winston to Brate; and it was clicking again because these three players got into a groove. But the Bucs added another WR and TE to improve but they dont have anywhere NEAR enough snaps to develop any kind of groove with these extra weapons.
Last year, the Bucs were 94/214 or 44% on 3rd down conversions by the offense. This year? Not so hot people.. 66/167 or 39.5% a far cry from last year. Thats when the Bucs DO have the ball, when they dont have the ball the defense cant get it back for them, so they dont get the reps needed with more stars on the field.
This year opponents are 94/191 or just under 50%. Last year? 67 out of 195; 34.3%, which explains why the Bucs offense was so good last year compared to this year; they simply have less plays in a game than they did a year ago.
With less plays in the game, and the Bucs not keeping the ball when they DO get it back, but instead punt it right back to the other team, they are in essence playing complimentary football….for the OTHER TEAM.
Next year, the Bucs front office MUST put defensive talent on the field; specifically defensive line talent.
In 1979 A coach took over the San Francisco 49ers and improved their offense immensely, but they had the worst secondary in football. They were bringing players in off the street in 1980 to try to improve the secondary. The answer was obvious, the 49ers drafted 4 DBs in the 1981 draft;
1st Round Ronnie Lott DB USC
2nd Round Eric Wright DB Missori
3rd Round Carlton Williamson DV Pitt
5th Round Lynn Thomas DB Pitt
When the 1981 49ers came out of the Tunnel in the Pontiac, MI Silverdome for week 1 meeting with the Detroit Lions, they started 3 rookies in the secondary, and 3rd year Free Safety Dwight Hicks.
There was trial, there was error, but at the end of the year, the same 49ers came out of the Pontiac Silverdome tunnel one more time that year. The Super Bowl was played in the Silverdome in 1981, and the 15-3 49ers beat the bengals.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers should trade, maneuver any way possible to get pressure on QBs next year, to get other team off the field on 3rd downs (like they did in the last minute last night), to give Jameis Winston and the Bucs offensive weapons more reps to get into some kind of rythym so OJ Howard and DeSean Jackson AND Brate and Mike Evans can get some more balls thrown their way, and work off the rust!
We often mis-use clever descriptive words, like “Caught between a rock and a hard place” is supposed to describe having two poor choices confronting you, but people will always mess it up and say it in the wrong context. Catch 22 is another one, the true nature of a Catch 22 is a conundrum, a ‘no way out’ cycle of logic.
Military wont let you fly combat missions if your insane, but applying for insanity to avoid a combat mission means you are fit for duty because anyone who would do that to get out of going on deadly mission has his wits! (That by definition is Joseph Heller’s Catch 22).
So here’s the Bucs versions of those two:
Julio Jones rips us a new one two weeks ago, would he do it to Minnesota too? Read this excerpt from Chris Wesseling on NFL.com:
After watching Atlanta’s All-Pro receiver explode for 253 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 12 receptions last week, Zimmer told FOX’s broadcast crew, “We are aware of how great Julio Jones is, and I think we’ll cover him a little bit differently than Tampa Bay did.” Pro Bowl cornerback Xavier Rhodes joked that he would shadow Jones to the point of aligning at linebacker if Jones were to moonlight in the backfield. With help from Minnesota’s safeties, Rhodes limited Jones to a negligible 24 yards on two catches and six targets.
Is it that Bucs Defensive coordinator Mike Smith stopped knowing anything about defense? Or is it the Bucs dont have a Xavier Rhodes on the team to shadow a star like Julio? Brent Grimes is a great DB, but we played zone and Jones just stayed on the other side most of the time.
Even Rhodes wouldn’t be able to cover Jones if the Vikings couldn’t get to the Falcons QB! Tampa Bay has no pass rush to speak of, a familiar statement on Bucs articles since 2006.
Tampa Bay found ANOTHER great linebacker in rookie Kendall Beckwith, to add to the FIND of Kwon Alexander and Lavonte David. Maybe the best linebacker trio in the NFL, the Bucs need to focus on Secondary and pass rush before they can compete on defense, or offense for that matter. If the defense doesn’t get the stop on 3rd down, the offense losses another potential possession.
The most compelling CON view of Bucs coaching staff is a simple one; Mike Smith was Julio Jones Head Coach, he drafted him. Julio’s offensive Coordinator at the time? That would be Dirk Koetter, current Bucs head coach. Its not that Julio had a good game, he destroyed you, and you two coaches should have no only been able to prevent a slaughter by him, but at least come up with half time adjustments to prevent it from getting worse?
You’ve read the comments on PewterReport.com and JoeBucsFan.com, everyone is frustrated with the losing, and they are taking it out on the players, some of which deserve it.
But not Jameis, and not yet. Bucs FRANCHISE QB Jameis Winston is a bonafide fantasy weapon, which translates to he’s a pretty good Quarterback. He’s not great…but he’s pretty good. Know what else he isn’t?
He isn’t 24 yet.
He has NFL records, good ones like first NFL QB to post 4,000 yards passing in his first two seasons (and was on pace to blow that away), and he’s in his 3rd NFL season. The Bucs got him so young, that he’s not going to be 24 until he’s in his 4th NFL season!
Want to know how young that really is? I could compare him to other NFL QBs like Drew Brees and say Brees was throwing TDs at Purdue when Jameis started Kindergarten. But Ive got a better one: JOSH FREEMAN.
Surely if you want to bench Winston for…. anyone, you’ve been a Bucs fan long enough to remember Josh Freeman right? The Bucs got him young too, and he had some success early too. That was a long time ago, those Josh Freeman days.
Josh Freeman is 29.. he could not only still be playing in the NFL, Today good QBs aren’t considered old until their late 30s. Thats how long the Bucs could be enjoying the services of Mr. Winston and his record breaking feats in his first two years.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is an excellent backup QB at this stage of his life. He has lost arm strength, you dont see that, because the Bucs have two dangerous receivers that teams need to watch out for, so they stay back. Without Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson, defenses would stack 8 in the box and dare him to throw. Doug Martin would get even less than his 2.0 yards per carry.
Stop with the “we should cut ties with Jameis Winston, because it makes you sound like you dont know much about football, and if you find people who agree with you, they dont know much either. Now if something comes down the Pike Jameis had a problem with that Uber driver, thats strike ONE on him, and only 1. Franchise QBs are hard to find, ask about 10-15 NFL teams who are either looking or soon to be.
In 8 games, Winston has 1920 yards, thats playing with a bum shoulder at least two games, more if were to believe latest talk about this. Fitz has 1100 in 6 games; the passes dont go that deep anymore for Fitz. If you think the bearded one is better on his feet… he is, at 5 yds a carry to 3. Thats what you get when you have been playing for 13 years under different coaches; you pick up different things.
Look, in a world where Blane Gabbert is starting at QB, Jameis Winston will be playing football for a long time to come, lets keep him in a Bucs uniform so we dont have to see him change it over and over. Because Jameis isn’t the only Buc the fans want to dump in the Bay.
Next: Dirk Koetter, juggler, must remove some side dishes from his plate.
Amidst all the allegations of sexual misconduct that has hit political representatives, Movie/TV show makers, basically people in authority who mis-use that authority to get something from women in return for a favor they can provide. Or..it comes from sexual deviant behavior or a combination of both.
Some people wonder why were hearing so much of this; in my opinion, looking back at history, whenever an ILL or bad policy/ Wrong has been removed from society for good, IE Slavery, there is always a last push. A last vestige of our world perhaps not even knowing its destruction is imminent, lashes out in one last attempt. Call it a ‘Battle of the Bulge’ …. perhaps Charlottesville is one other such gasp for air for racism.
But this isn’t about racism, or sexist advances, its about the Bucs QB, Jameis Winston. The question is: what do we do with him.
The answer is simple; nothing. The man is innocent until proven guilty, we cannot change this, not even for a moment. Famous or not, ZERO Tolerance or not, Winston cannot be looked at for a wrong doing if we dont know for sure wether he did it or not; so lets look at the options otherwise; because one way or another something is going to come out.
HE SAID SHE SAID
This is clear cut.. she said Jameis was the only one in the car. This cant be too hard to figure out. If it shows an extra person than this driver is Uber Toast, I dont want to hear anythng else from her, I dont believe a word she says.
If it turns out Jameis was in the car alone, thats very. bad for Winston, but not irrepairable. But if it comes out that Jameis actually DID grope her, the Bucs need to move on from Jameis, and Jason Licht- and you may as well give Dirk Koetter a discount on u-haul.
Why clean house? This happened 20 months ago, or March of 2016, just after the rookie year of Jameis Winston, who barely survived rape allegations at Florida State. So bad were they, the Seminoles were moving on without Winston after paying 1 million dollars in hush money to the girl and worse yet, submitting to 5 years of Rape awareness programs and publishing annual reports on these programs.
Winston escaped, the New York Times agrees after an examination, because of a NUMBER of shortcomings in the investigation by the police; and that Florida State and the Police did little to really determine what happened. To be clear, and thats 100% clear, I do not think that means he did it. I think that means they didn’t want to know, but any way you look at it, was TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT. …
…and then a year after getting drafted Winston grabs some Uber driver’s crotch??? One year? You have no choice but to admit your vetting team was flawed, they got duped by Jameis, or people they talked to fell for the act of an individual who is going to spend his life making stupid decisions. When we see the finger pointing POKE and the HEAD BUTTING of a Dallas Cowboy shows he cannot stop himself when passion gets the best of him.
Again, to be very clear.. this is a WHAT IF scenario. What IF we find out Jameis DID IT. Licht is gone for drafting him and hiring the quack firm that did the ‘research’ into vetting him. It means you have to find ANOTHER Franchise QB after the last TWO you drafted didn’t work out for NON FOOTBALL REASONS (Josh Freeman). And maybe its time for the Glazer boys to look for an ownership group thats local to buy the teams majority stake, and have the controlling majority find a good football mind.
For all the talk from Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com about the possibility of Jon Gruden coming back to coach Tampa Bay, it felt more like it was Tony Dungy roaming the Bucs sideline. 6-3 most of the game, Field Goal kicker MAKING Field Goals, defense getting turnovers, Bucs QB throwing a Pick the next play !
Dirk Koetter tried to get the message through this training camp: Start off fast so you dont have to crawl back into it, then find yourself short at the end. The Bucs didn’t get it, but they’re crawling back.
Charles Sims has a role in the offense, and its caching balls out of the backfield. A Running back should be a priority going into next season; Free Agency or not.
The Bucs may not make the playoffs, they probably wont. But if they lost this game that would have been a guarantee.
With 5 Sacks on the day, Tampa Bay had one of the top Fantasy scores on the Main Slate. Ownership of the Bucs Defense? 1/3 of 1%.. if you had Tampa Bay’s D, you scored when NO ONE else did. The Exact OPPOSITE of the top owned player on most slates, RB Bilal Powell who had 37% ownership in most slates, up to 65% in the 600K luxury box on Fan Duel.
It was a Fade the Slate week if there ever was one. The top 4 projected running backs all but one had poor games with Le’Veon Bell underachieving with his 13.7 Fan Duel points. That came with a cost as he had 28% ownership and a $9400 price tag. That not being bad enough, you had epic fails by Jordan Howard (30%) Bilal Powell (32%) and Leonard Fournette (24%) with high ownership and no results! Howard had 5.4 Fan Duel Points, Fournette with 6.4 and the most owned player Powell with 3.4 points. Meanwhile Mark Ingram had the best fantasy day with 34.1 at only 3.2% ownership. Ingram was 3 of the top 4 spots in the FanDuel Millionaire Maker.
This week our highest slate was 127.02 good for 2145th place out of 30k
QB. CJ Bethard. 2% Owned. 26.02pts
RB Fournette. 26.4% and Jordan Howard 20.8% (5.6 and 5.4 PTS)
WR Sammy Watkins 3.6%. 11.1 PTS Robert Woods 7.1%. 33.1 O Mohamed Sanu 10% 4.4pts
You can add it up, and you can figure it out, its not hard.
This team was supposed to make the playoffs, it was supposed to grow from last years 9-7 Bucs team that came very close to failing if not for Jameis Winston grabbing the Bucs by the horns and pulling them up for a win.
At the heart of the Bucs Jameis Winston led franchise, the coaching of Dirk Koetter. Anyone who knows me, knows that I support continuity.
No, not the Apple feature on newer Macs, the kind the Packers have with Mike McCarthy at coach, or the Steelers with 3 coaches since 1969. But the great Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp and John Lynch all taught us… The Tape doesn’t lie. “the eye in the sky, does NOT lie!”
This season is over, the Bucs are not making the playoffs. However, that doesn’t mean tune out. There is a lot at stake.
I’m a Bucs historian, Ive studied, followed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers since week 2 of 1979; There are people who know more about the Bucs locker room than I do, but there is only a handful who know the BUCS ORGANIZATION’s history like I do, and so that is the basis of this article.
It wont be short, so cop a squat and get your read on!
RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW
The concept that Dirk Koetter was the driving force behind the Bucs turning the corner, winning 5 games in a row, is pure fantasy. Jameis Winston started to take over this team right about the same time, and it’s not obvious this team ebbs and flows as Winston does. For all the good Dirk Koetter did as Offensive Coordinator in 2015 setting Bucs records, when he became the Head Coach he added on a world of responsibility he has never had to accept before and the offense hasn’t been the same since.