“Flat-Out Lie”

October 16th, 2017

Ira Kaufman is the most beloved, revered and esteemed Buccaneers columnist in town. He has hung his hat at JoeBucsFan.com world headquarters since July 2016. Tampa Bay’s only Pro Football Hall of Fame voter, Ira busts out columns here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and his award winning podcasts fire Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can also see Ira every football Sunday at 10:30 a.m. on FOX-13, Scott Smith’s Tailgate Sunday.

BY IRA KAUFMAN

Flat, flat, flat. Simple as that.

If only the 2017 Bucs could be summed up in a nursery rhyme. Let’s try another:

If you’re flat and you know it, miss a tackle

If you’re flat and you know it, miss a tackle

If you’re flat and you know it and you really want to show it

If you’re flat and you know it, blow a coverage.

Gerald McCoy, Lavonte David and Brent Grimes all used the word “flat” to describe Tampa Bay’s performance at the outset of Sunday’s matchup.

How do think that particular adjective is going over with the Glazer family today?

Buc defenders could have said they were off their keys. They could have said the Cardinals threw some new wrinkles at them. Heck, they could have blamed lousy beds at the team hotel.

But no, they said they were flat. That may be the most chilling word in the NFL lexicon.

The dictionary tells us that flat translates to: lacking interest or emotion; dull or lifeless. Common synonyms are: boring, dull, tedious, uninvolving.

After five games, that’s a description that should keep Dirk Koetter up at night. The Glazers have to be wondering how it ever got to this point.

“We’ve got to be ready to play,” said Grimes. “We just weren’t ready to play. You don’t ever want to put something like that on film.”

That film should be rated “R” for reprehensible.

Misguided McCoy

McCoy said Arizona showed nothing different than the Bucs anticipated. In other words, Tampa Bay wasn’t out-schemed.

There was a time not so long ago when the Bucs simply didn’t have enough talent to compete. Haven’t we moved on from there?

You’d never know it from their second desert debacle in as many years.

“Terrible start,” David said. “Got to have a better sense of urgency.”

The worst aspects of Sunday’s ass-whipping are the questions it raises about the team’s preparation. Buc players looked like they treated this matchup like an exhibition game, not an opportunity to pick up ground on the NFC South leaders.

“We’ve hurt ourselves way too much,” said McCoy. “We’re 2-3 and we could easily be 5-0.”

C’mon, man. What games are you watching?

Approaching A Franchise Record

I haven’t mentioned Mike Smith’s name yet, but I’ve saved the worst for last.

Tampa Bay’s defense is yielding an average of 24 points and 403 yards. No Buc team has ever finished a season allowing 403 yards per game. That includes the twin 2-14 clubs coached by Leeman Bennett in the mid-1980s and Lovie Smith’s 2-14 comedy of errors in 2014.

Opponents are converting 46 percent of their third-down attempts. Passers are completing throws at a 70.9 percent clip.

Are you kidding me?

So far this season, the Bucs have faced Mike Glennon, Case Keenum, Eli Manning, Tom Brady and Carson Palmer. Except for Brady, that’s not exactly Murderer’s Row.

Dead ahead are Cam Newton (twice), Drew Brees (twice), Matt Ryan (twice) and Matt Stafford.

Oh my.

Tampa Bay is last in the league with six sacks. That’s not just flat … that’s flat-lined. Opposing QBs have a combined 104.0 passer rating. And now for the most telling stat of all — average yards per pass attempt.

The Buc defense ranks last in the NFC, allowing 8.2 yards per throw.

A year ago, Smith’s group sparked Tampa Bay’s second-half charge after a bye week. The Bucs battered Russell Wilson, Alex Smith and Brees into submission, giving their supporters confidence this would be a defense to be reckoned with.

Turns out that was a flat-out lie.

35 Responses to ““Flat-Out Lie””

  1. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    LOL

    FLAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Bobby M. Says:

    We have trouble on the horizon which brings in to focus the emphasis of Licht’s drafts….I dont want to go so far to say he’s not finding talent….he’s obviously found some gems HOWEVER when the league is stacked towards passers why are we so concerned about depth at LB, CB and Safety when we dont have proven production on the DL? There’s a thought process that successful teams use over and over with drafting QBs….They are so valuable that if you luck up and get one, its a great problem to have. The same should apply to DEs….draft one every year in the top 3 rds. A good pass rush makes an avg secondary look solid but a solid secondary will never make a avg pass rush look good.

  3. gotbbucs Says:

    Sad…..

  4. sorryitriggeredyou Says:

    sure it’s just defense Ira, another… lie. Forest for the trees good sir.

  5. sorryitriggeredyou Says:

    Blaming the players as usual I see 🙂

  6. Mike Johnson Says:

    Outgunned, Outplayed, Outcoached, Outsmarted, This sums it up. On to Buffalo. And they are..a better team than Arizona. Isn’t it funny how Koetter and Smith were suppose to be the saviors? Somewheres there’s an owner named Arthur Banks..sayin, .Now you see what I saw..and pleasantly smiling.

  7. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    sorryitriggeredyou Says:
    October 16th, 2017 at 12:51 pm
    Blaming the players as usual I see 🙂
    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    So who would you blame?

  8. johnnybuc Says:

    mike smith making lovie look good this season

  9. JonBuc Says:

    The Bucs have flatlined. If nothing else, Ira has been so money during this seemingly disastrous season. By far the best free agent signing and let’s hope he’s reunited…and it feels soo good with his pal Jon Gruden. At least that would be compelling.

  10. C eh N eh D eh Says:

    Hard Knocks exposure gone to their heads? The curse is real 🙁

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    If the Bucs play for the rest of the season like they’ve played for the last 2 games, they could very well end up 2-14. They not only lost to what was described as a ‘horrible team’ yesterday, they were totally blown out, despite what the final score might show. When you’re behind 24-0 at the half and 31-0 a few mins into the 3rd qtr, you’ve been blown out. Had Arizona kept their foot on our necks, final score could’ve just as easily been 48-0 … or worse.

    I expected a LOT more from this Bucs offense, but it’s still not as disappointing as the Bucs defense. Yesterday they couldn’t stop the run … period. They couldn’t stop the short pass … I’ve never seen receivers running so wide open in any football game I can remember. Brent Grimes, to his credit, was all over the field. VHIII was all over the field too … unfortunately never within 10 yds of any Cardinals receivers. He made 5 tackles but missed at least that many more. And to think, Bucs fans were talking playoffs & Super Bowl with this team. They’ll be lucky to come in last place in the NFC South playing like this.

    And Bobby M, part of it is the players (we’ve got relatively little quality depth & some major holes on defense). But the bigger problem right now is coaching. Getting really tired of hearing Bucs’ coaches saying that they didn’t coach well enough, game after game. Buckle up … and find a way. As the Marines have said for years: “Lead, follow, or get the (blankety-blank) out of the way.”

  12. JMarkBuc Says:

    OJ was supposed to be the steal of the draft, and he looks completely lost. For me Fitz’s shovel pass at the end of the half was crafty. All Howard had to do was take two steps to the right and TD! An OL could have caught that lob pass. Either OJ is the second coming of Luke Stocker (yikes), or he is terribly coached. So many problems, and not just on D. Bench VHIII, this kid is terrible and an embarrassment to the team, but especially to the fans, with his ridiculous celebrations.

    Maybe we all misinterpreted DK’s intent for a bad ass stick carrying football team..looks more like ” let’s give the other team a big MFing stick to shove up our bad a$$es. Losing games is one thing. Playing like a high school JV team is another….

  13. Jim Says:

    The Bucs chose a QB for their number one pick, then chose a HC based on his ++ relationship with said QB, then spent last year chanting and drafting #WEAPONS4WINSTON and now it’s all on the defense? Right…

  14. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    JMarkBuc Says:
    October 16th, 2017 at 1:13 pm
    OJ was supposed to be the steal of the draft, and he looks completely lost. For me Fitz’s shovel pass at the end of the half was crafty. All Howard had to do was take two steps to the right and TD! An OL could have caught that lob pass. Either OJ is the second coming of Luke Stocker (yikes), or he is terribly coached. So many problems, and not just on D. Bench VHIII, this kid is terrible and an embarrassment to the team, but especially to the fans, with his ridiculous celebrations.

    Maybe we all misinterpreted DK’s intent for a bad ass stick carrying football team..looks more like ” let’s give the other team a big MFing stick to shove up our bad a$$es. Losing games is one thing. Playing like a high school JV team is another….
    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    It’s well known that rookie TEs are not really productive until their second year in the NFL.

    OJ Howard is playing his butt off blocking though

  15. ClodHopper Says:

    Sure could use some Bill Sheridan dline stunts right about now!! 😂😂

  16. unbelievable Says:

    lol Clod, it couldn’t be any worse.

    Stunts are actually very effective when used correctly. Just not on every single play with lineman who are slower than molasses and DBs that can’t cover.

  17. Kobe Faker Says:

    @BucsAnthem!!!

    “OOOOOOhh Please!”

    Stop your nonsense…OJ is a rookie so dont target him this year????

    This is the new NFL. If your skillset is that you can create explosive plays and be a playmaker at the NFL level(Which no doubt OJ can) HE MUST BE USED!! DO you think the giants not target evan engram because he is a rookie? STOP reading the BS from these fanboy sites and watch the new NFL

    at 66 and 250lbs, 4.5 speed and great route running skills..HE IS FVKING UNDERUSED!!! HE IS a fvkin MISMATCH wherever he linesup!

    31 nfl coordinators would love to have OJ right now and design plays to destroy defenses

    #FREEOJSTOCKER…

    “NO Problem muendo” John Gruden

  18. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    Kobe Faker Says:
    October 16th, 2017 at 1:44 pm
    @BucsAnthem!!!

    “OOOOOOhh Please!”

    Stop your nonsense…OJ is a rookie so dont target him this year????

    This is the new NFL. If your skillset is that you can create explosive plays and be a playmaker at the NFL level(Which no doubt OJ can) HE MUST BE USED!! DO you think the giants not target evan engram because he is a rookie? STOP reading the BS from these fanboy sites and watch the new NFL

    at 66 and 250lbs, 4.5 speed and great route running skills..HE IS FVKING UNDERUSED!!! HE IS a fvkin MISMATCH wherever he linesup!

    31 nfl coordinators would love to have OJ right now and design plays to destroy defenses

    #FREEOJSTOCKER…

    “NO Problem muendo” John Gruden
    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    One day, your pipe dream about OJ Howard will come true…….just not this season

  19. JMarkBuc Says:

    Bucs anthem

    We have, and have had, a blocking TE. If OJ can’t at least run a 10 yard out and catch it…he should be able to “post up” just about anybody in this league.

  20. [email protected] Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    LOL, “Stats are for losers” (like us)
    “Speak Softly, and carry a Big Mother Funkin Stick, my azz”
    Big Bad Chris Baker allowed the football to be taken from him.

    It looks like another “wait till next year” again, and last place in the NFC South

  21. Bradinator Says:

    We shoulda saw it coming. We made no real changes to the D-line (I can’t count Baker as a change) that would have resulted in an enhanced pass rush. Without it, Hargreaves and Co are exposed. Develop a blitz with our athletic LBs, naw! Why would we do that? Give Hargreaves safety help over the top? Nope. Why we drafted a TE in round 1 is beyond me. We needed pass rush help desperately. I live in Denver and have to go watch the games at a bar. We spend our hard earned money just like we were buying tickets every week. My wife and I are there religiously. A game like yesterday makes me doubt my sanity and my loyalty. That was brutal, just like last year when AZ took us apart. Ridiculous excuse for preparation. Really, really, soul destroying.

  22. [email protected] Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I agree Bradinator
    Cameron Brate is leading the NFL in TD passes caught, for a tight end.
    We didn’t need OJ Howard
    Most of us at a draft day party were disappointed when we drafted him, when we needed D Line Pass Rusher help more.

    We are wasting the best years of Gerald McCoy’s career, w/o any legit pass rushing threat.

  23. Tony from Los Angeles Says:

    Arians has the Bucs number.
    They will bounce back next week and most of you knee-jerk, sky is falling crowd will start talking about the playoff run the team is about to start on.

    The Bucs are 2-3. they are notorious slow starters in games and in season. that’s Jameis’ style. I think the current situation will light a fire under his ass. Watching the backup drop 33 points in about 23 minutes will do wonders to a man’s playing ability.

    The secret to a better defense this season os an offense that controls the clock and the scoreboard. They’ll bounce back against the Bills, who simply don’t have the receivers to exploit the Bucs’ weaknesses. Then we will see what this team can really do.

  24. Nprbuc Says:

    Did everyone watch the game yesterday ? We have a lot of talent,on both sides of the ball.Our receivers made some outstanding,contested catches versus toss and catch for the Cardinals. With the exception of Marshmellow, we field a winning team every week.to have such a talented, well paid team show up on a Sunday and say they were flat? What the he’ll is that? Our coaching is the biggest problem this team has. How can you not have a team ready to play against a team that embarrassed you so bad last year? They should have been dying to get on the field

  25. Destinjohnny Says:

    Sabans rat poison has infected our squad

  26. Destinjohnny Says:

    We only have 8-8 talent at the end of the day.
    We won’t be good until we get a pass rusher

  27. Not there yet Says:

    You’re last in the NFC South and after all that preparation the answer for that beat down is you came out flat? This is not about talent…. There’s a reason Tony Dungy and Chucky were so successful. Year 1 coaches are treating it up this year that don’t have half the offensive weapons we do

    Maybe this is why Mike Smith and Dirk were given the boot. Hard knocks was all fun all the time but look at them now when the real work has to be done, no one is having fun now and you can’t be a players coach when your team plays like that, gotta make em hate you so much they wanna kill someone on Sundays

    This team just isn’t physical at all and it shows

  28. Dirty Bucs Says:

    Guys, we need 2 good CB and 2 good DE to even think about having the defense we want. Oh, and if we want above average talent at QB…we need another one of those as well.

    Those of you who think Jameis is the answer are fooling yourselves. He’s going to have great games, but he’s also going to frustrate us tremendously more often than not. Maybe he gets it fixed in year 4, but here in year 3? Nope. The statistics are misleading. He’s still making poor decisions, overthrowing over the middle, can’t connect on the long ball consistently (or even give the WR a shot at it). WAKE UP, fellow Bucs fans.

    All that said, I’ll root for my Bucs every week. I think we always have a chance to win. I just don’t expect to win the closely contested games, since we make too many mistakes to beat good teams in close games.

  29. grafikdetail Says:

    flat can describe the coaching & vanilla offensive & defensive play calls

  30. JayBucBoi Says:

    Still a #StickCarrier ! Just wish the Bucs would quit leaving their sticks at the crib!

  31. Buc1987 Says:

    VHG has a little stick.

  32. LakeLand Says:

    The Bucs are Flat out sorry

  33. Samsung Says:

    Please stop apologizing for wasting the best years of McCoy , great players make others around them good, he is an average player that isn’t double teamed much as he claims

  34. Captain Big Stick Says:

    Ohhhh snap! It stings so much because it is true!!

  35. BucEmUp Says:

    THANK YOU IRA!!!!
    I am so happy to finally read the truth about the biggest most glaring problem on his team. Mike Smith. False hope coming off of last seasons “lie ” of a defensive showing. I called it this offseason d couldnt see how so many had faith in Smith after weeks 15 and 16 of last season.

    Smith is the worst DC in the league and I guarantee if he gets fired he doesnt even get another shot as a coordinator in the nfl.

    Promote Jay Hayes as DC and things will get better. Im also open to Koetter passing along play calling duties to Monken and seeing how that pans out