More talent must be added on Defense before Mike Smith can be judged

Can we get a clever saying for why Chris Conte isnt playing?

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:

CATCH 22

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?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans need to take a harder look at Jameis, Fitz

SuperHigh expectations, wasted draft picks, injuries to team without depth, all spelled doom; but Bucs fans should want to see the good Koetter/Jameis days again, not just change for Changes sake.

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.

What to do about Jameis Winston for Tampa Bay Buccaneers

James is Innocent until proven guilty. But if he did it, its over for him.

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.

 

What we learned about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from their week 10 Win over New York Jets

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.

FANTASY CORNER

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

TE Rob Gronkowski 21.5%. 9.4pts

K Greg Zuerlein  11.6%. 17Pts

D LARams 10.5% owned.  15Pts

It ALL ADDS UP to Irony- Jason Licht: “This franchise needs a new face”, yes…for yours.

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!”

Continue reading “It ALL ADDS UP to Irony- Jason Licht: “This franchise needs a new face”, yes…for yours.”

Why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going the wrong way in 2017

Lets begin with a preface:

  • 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

Without a shadow of a doubt, Jameis Winston is the leader of these Bucs. Dirk Koetter is not with some exceptions.

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.

Continue reading “Why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going the wrong way in 2017”

Tomorrows Column promises full break down on Bucs Break Down

Stay Tuned tomorrow for a historic look; Nothing is safe from my pen!

We may have an ownership group that is too spineless to make decisions without checking FarceBook for “fan” opinions.

We may have a head coach who has too many shoes on, certainly more than he’s ever had.

We’re seeing a team that was too young and immature to be told all offseason “You guys are going to be good”!

Before you judge Jameis Winston and Mike Evans, try to remember they were born when Hardy Nickerson, John Lynch, and Dave Moore became a Buc; Thats not an excuse, they’re old enough to know better, but if you remember the frustration Jameis felt when he couldn’t play at  Florida  State due to a one game benching; it was enough to scare him straight. You could see the frustration build up on his face. To date, Ive never see a closer comparison to Brett Favre; gunslinger who has to put the teams’ back, on his.

 

Dirk Koetter was a lazy pick for Glazers in 2016; but its time for Bucs owners to stand their ground on Coach

NO.1 Passing offense leader…
No.2 Passing offense leader.

Which franchise is more successful? The one whose had 3 NFL Coaches since 1969, or the one who may contemplate a 6th Head Coach in 11 years? Answer before the break… First, a story!

Mike the Mechanic is a great mechanical mind. He can dissect a motor and move parts around to make a magnificent engine move forward again.

But when Mike the Mechanic opened his own shop, it closed in two years, because Mike knows Mechanics, not Billing, Advertising, or management.

Kerry the Cook was a great Cooking guru. Kerry could cook up a 7 course meal that could make your  mouth water. Kerry knows food, and cooking, Baking, and quick. But Kerry opened “Kerry’s Diner” and it crashed, because Kerry didn’t know more than cooking.

Dirk Koetter is a great offensive coordinator, and the Glazers felt the ire of Bucs fans who were tired of Lovie Smith so they took the easy way out and Fired Lovie, and Hired Koetter because they didn’t want to change up Jameis Winston’s routine having had a good solid rookie season.

Answer: Not a trick question; Pittsburgh Steelers 1969 Chuck Knoll, 1992 Bill Cowher,  2007 Mike Tomlin.     Tampa Bay Buccaneers  Jon Gruden fired 2008, Raheem Morris 2009, Greg Schiano 2012, Lovie Smith 2014, Dirk Koetter 2016, ??? 2018?

  • Pittsburgh   93-51 since 2008
  • Tampa Bay 55-89 since 2008

Note: While it may feel easy to blame ownership, Bucs spent more on Free Agents than Pittsburgh who developed their draft picks more than needed Free Agents, something impossible if coaches are on carousel

Continue reading “Dirk Koetter was a lazy pick for Glazers in 2016; but its time for Bucs owners to stand their ground on Coach”

Buccaneers are stuck with him now, but is Dirk Koetter really that much better than Lovie Smith?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans are tired of the Head Coach that presides over the same old stories for losing:

  • Bucs keep it close on the road, but FG kickers misses makable key kicks
  • Bucs face a scrub QB, but defense can’t stop him from having a career day until its too late.
  • Bucs overcome a deficit to tie the game, but turn the ball over so other team wins.
Two 4,000 yard seasons in his first two not big enough? Jameis may pass 5,000 yards passing in his 3rd.

No folks, Im not talking about this current coach… these may sound familiar under Koetter too, but this is Love Smiths tenure Im referring to. SUPRISE! Not much has changed.

Whether its Brinza kicking (or missing) vs Houston in 2015, or Aguayo in ’16/17.  No matter if the backup is Langford, or Keenum (pick a Keenum win, any win), the defense is still losing to the Noobs. And no matter if its A.S.J. fumbling in OT, or sure handed Adam Humphries…its still getting done.

So I ask you Bucs fans or NFL fans, whats REALLY the difference? Why have the Bucs really become competative in 2016 and 2017? The answer is painfully obvious and  two fold;

1) Theres more talent on the offense and players have experience in the system.

2)For the first time in 35 years, the Bucs have a leader on the team who is not only on offense, but is the QB. Thats right folks, Im saying it. Its not Dirk Koetter who turned this team around, its Jameis Winston.

Maybe its time for Scott Reyolds of Pewter Report and his cronies to admit- They jumped the gun with the Fire Lovie garbage. Thats not to say Lovie Smith would be doing any better right now, but we wouldn’t be doing any worse. Does anyone think Dirk Koetter is going to ever be considered coach of the year candidate? How.. his boss is his Defensive Coordinator up in the Box.

Ill say it again.. Dirk Koetter isn’t responsible for the turn around, the increase in talent on offense is, and the drafting of a true leader who puts the whole team on his shoulders… Jameis Winston.

Most Bucs fans dont know the ORANGE Bucs weren’t always losers. They started 0-26 as a new franchise, and then only 16 games later, went 10-6 and birth in NFC Championship game where they were a TD and FG away from a Super Bowl vs Steelers. Those Bucs started a 3 out of 4 year playoff run with two postseasons ending in Dallas where many a seasons have. Whats this have to do with anything? That was the last time the OFFENSE had the real leader on the team. Dungy/Gruden Bucs had Sapp/Brooks/Nickerson, but thats defense. You have to score points to win

You can’t compare his numbers to todays qbs, but he improved each year, could throw a TD on any pass, and team just won with him under center. Sound like NO.3?

games. Those Orange Bucs were led by a QB, Doug Williams, undisputed leader of the team. AFTER Doug Williams was allowed to leave to USFL, Bucs had BACK TO BACK 2-14 seasons, and 14 years of Double Digit Losing. All the coaches hired couldn’t change a thing, but get a born leader at QB and Bucs are in every game.
Dirk Koetter still doesn’t have game management down yet, and Defense can’t stop anyone when it has to. Sound Familiar? Now defensive players are speaking out about not getting enough playing time, something that would kill past Bucs lorckerrooms, but not Jameis’s.

I hope everyone lets ANYONE have it when the “Fire Koetter” posts goes up over there.

Winston blamers need to get real

As if it weren’t enough Jameis Winston has become a phenom by passing for 4000 yards in his first two seasons, it looks like he’s going to join the elite passers in the NFL, by possibly throwing 5000 yards this year. Its not out of the realm of possibilities. How do you stop him now that he officially has two stud Tight Ends to throw to. O.J. Howard had his first multi- TD game, and Cameron Brate is just Stud  City.

BURNING OF ATLANTA II

At least we can make fun of Atlanta…

I saw a cool sign driving through Atlanta . It said “US HWY 19, Atlanta 3 F

Seriously, Matt Ryan got locked out of his house last night after the game. Could not get into his own house! Someone painted an end zone in front of it

Atlanta Radio: ” Will the parents of the 11 children left at Gillette Stadium last night please pick them up at North End zone Gate 4, They are beating the Falcons 7-2 !”

NOW is NOT the time to cut Nick Folk as Tampa Bay Buccaneers FG kicker

10:47 to go in the 4th quarter a 52 yard FG attempt would have been child’s play for New England’s Gostowski.  Coach Bill Belichick passed, and punted with the lead. 52 yards is only 3 longer than 49 where Nick Folk missed from last night, when with 4th and 2 the Bucs COULD have gone for it.

Of course second guessing the call based on the result is something Ive never been a big fan of.  But ill tell you what I am a fan of: making common sense calls, and  using your head not your heart to make decisions.

Lets look at some of the facts:

The Tampa  Bay Buccaneers are 2-2

Folk was 2 of 4 last week:

  • He pushed a 46 yarder just right from left hash.
  • He pushed a 49 yarder just right from the left hash.
  • This is after being perfect in practice kicks including a 58 yard one. Folk missed an extra point also pushed just right from left hash.

When Folk misses, the announcers quickly bring up how the Bucs are snakebit and over exaggerate the situation. If the Bucs had not experienced the whole Aguayo story, including the trading of the pick for him, the drafting of him so high, and all the misses.

Yes, the Bucs lost the game because Nick Folk missed a kick he should have. But he only missed ONE kick he should have, the last one, the 31 yard attempt. Your probably screaming right now “FOLK WAS 0-3!! THATS 9 points”!!  No… and here is a big mistake on coach Dirk Koetter – at the end of the half, going for a super long 56 yard kick that most  kickers are 50-50 on. That kick skews the results.

Look, Im no Nick Folk fan; he was brought here to add some competition for Roberto Aguayo to get his head back into the game. It didn’t work, and after one bad game, Bucs front office had seen enough and dumped Aguayo.  Folk was probably never part of the plan.

To be fair, Folk has never been a great kicker. He’s a career 80% kicker, down to 73% in the months of November and December, when the kicks count the most. Trust me, this was no free agent score. So when you trot this guy out for a 56 yarder at home in front of home fans who boo’d the Kid Aguayo at CAMP after missing extra points in a preseason game… you set  him up for failure: Kicking in the NFL is mental, not fundamental, and certainly not fun when your in a rut. (See Below for  one the Bucs better kickers in recent history; Connor Barth)

So you want to  cut Nick Folk around 8am this morning? Great..  Week 6 in the NFL, how many good kickers do you think are floating around unclaimed?  No… you can’t succumb to emotional response, you have to use your head.

Here’s what happens…

This is what NFL Free Agent Field Goal Kickers look like after you decide emotionally that Nick Folk will miss 80% of his kicks the rest of the year….

 

So then you Cut Nick Folk, and everyone is happy….then you have to go out and sign a kicker to kick the rest of the year, in all the big games you expect the Bucs to have.. here is what the pool of kickers looks like now..

 

I play DFS on a daily basis, one of the key features to winning in DFS is understanding Positive and Negative regression.

Nick Folk has been in the NFL for over 10 years; he is a veteran kicker; he is the opposite of Aguayo. He has battled slumps before and as an 80% kicker, he is now going to more than likely go on a tear of accuracy to move the meter back up to 80%.  Folk is NOT the rookie Roberto, he’s not an untested rookie, the dude kicked at a 87% clip last year, which is probably where this negative regression is coming from. Its all about numbers, nothing is about chance; you flip a coin 100 times, its going to go 50-50  Tails to heads ratio. Some points, heads will go on a 10-0 tear. Its not a conspiracy with the  universe going all heads up, its just as likely you’ll see 3-1 tails several times coming up soon. Positive Regression.

END OF THE LINE;  Jan Stenerud or MARTIN GRAMATICA ?

Sometimes kickers fade off the charts from surgeries or injury like Martin Gramatic who kicked the Bucs crazy accurate. If not an injury, an NFL kicker will maintain his accuracy level until well into his 40s. Morten Anderson, Garo Yepremien, Eddie Murray, Jason Elam, Mark Moseley (A TOE KICKER) John Carney and many more. Their distance diminished, and accuracy decreased slightly from lack of strength. But their accuracy maintained, and Folk should stay around until the offseason when you can target another kicker with a better chance of a being “The Answer”.

 

How about a History Lesson? Subject Connor Barth

In 2009, Connor Barth missed his first kick with Bucs wide right (38 yards), three games later he missed a 51 yard kick Wide Right, the following game he missed two more, hitting the left upright on a 36 harder and Wide Right on a 42 yard kick. Two games later after making one kick, Barth missed his first kick of the game, 38 harder hitting the right upright. Sandwiched in between the first three games, Barth hit three FGs in a row against Miami.  Overall, this description sounds like a kicker far worse than Folk.     Barth went on to nail three in a row to upset the Seattle Seahawks on the road, then kicked 2 of 2 to help upset the Saints, winning 2 of 3 games that helped the 2009 Bucs go into 2010 with an attitude and accomplish a 10-6 record.