Cameron Brate: “That’s Total B.S.”

November 15th, 2017

The Sage of Tampa Bay sports, Hall of Fame voter and JoeBucsFan.com columnist Ira Kaufman, knows the elephant in the room is all the national chatter about Jon Gruden taking over as head coach of the Bucs in seven short weeks. So Ira is doing his old-school reporter diligence to dig out what this reality means at One Buc Palace. 

If you’re interested, you do NOT want to miss Ira’s podcast tomorrow — or today’s column.

BY IRA KAUFMAN

Cameron Brate says there’s enough time, and he’s right.

You don’t have to be a Harvard man to realize the Bucs can still squeeze some success from a season that has been painfully short on joy.

There’s still time to pull off a second-half surge like this franchise accomplished in 2016, when a 3-5 start gave way to a 6-2 finish.

It all starts Sunday in Miami, where the Dolphins sleep with the fishes. After opening at 4-2, Miami has dropped three in a row, including blowout losses against the Ravens and Panthers.

There’s still time for the Bucs to prove they want Dirk Koetter to return to their sidelines next fall.

“We’re not out of this by any means,” says Brate, one of the few Bucs who has played up to his potential. “In the NFL, we all know that if you’re not winning, you’re going to get new guys in the building. But I can speak for pretty much everyone on this team that we really believe in everything Dirk does for us and we believe in this coaching staff as a whole.”

If adversity reveals character, the Bucs have been through quite an X-ray machine — and the test is far from over.

After facing the Dolphins, Tampa Bay closes with six games against teams that currently all sport winning records — including four matchups within the NFC South.

Let’s be honest here, the Bucs haven’t beaten a good team all season.

A win in South Florida won’t change that fact, but a good showing down the stretch would indicate to fans and ownership alike that Koetter hasn’t lost support where it counts.

In the room.

Tight Group

Cameron Brate plays strong defense

I asked Brate about speculation that Koetter’s message no longer resonated.

“That’s total b.s.” Brate said. “We went through a really bad patch, losing five in a row, especially because there were some winnable games in there. But it’s a tight group. We want to play for each other and play for our coach.”

Brate said Koetter’s attitude never changed throughout the prolonged tailspin.

“He kept the same demeanor, which is what you want as a player,” said Brate. “There was no desperation. It was more like we believe in each other.”

The next seven weeks matter because the Glazers don’t want to be in the habit of changing coaches every two years. Right now, the Bucs are charter members of a group along with the Giants, Broncos and Raiders known as the Underachiever Club.

That’s an organization you want no part of, especially with the Jon Gruden rumors swirling around in earnest.

NFL teams never come back exactly the same, but the Bucs can control the degree of turnover with their play.

The bottom of the roster will churn over … that’s a given. The next seven games will determine in large part the extent of the changes at the top.

Although the bleeding stopped last week, this team remains on life support. Brate swears the Bucs still believe, and that matters.

The proof will be on the field for all to see.

Especially the owners.

Ira 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.

31 Responses to “Cameron Brate: “That’s Total B.S.””

  1. Bob Higginbotham Says:

    Love your work Ira!

  2. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “That’s an organization (the Underachiever Club) you want no part of, especially with the Jon Gruden rumors swirling around in earnest.” Whew, I thought for a second that smoking ember was gonna die out. Good catch Joe. Gruden should be good for a couple more days now.

  3. Defense Rules Says:

    Oops, misquoted Joe. My bad. Good catch IRA.

  4. gotbbucs Says:

    I’m not looking for miracles, the season is lost. I’m looking for some promise again to lead us into the offseason.
    There’s no way that I want to see this team go through a regime upheaval again this soon.

  5. Bucnjim Says:

    To bad he will not mention those who do not think like he does. He is a great teammate and would never do such a thing, but my guess would be a handful of Players that ruin it for everyone.

  6. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    Big whoop if the players like Koetter. The players of the 2011 Bucs loved Raheem Morris. And I be willing to bet away all my gold and silver dabloons that you couldn’t find a single Jaguars player that didn’t love Gus Bradley.

    Who cares. I don’t. Heck, I like Dirk as a guy. But I can not help but think that we have seen the ceiling of where Koetter the head coach can get this team. Just good enough to miss the post season.

    Koetter’s regression as a play caller is a big reason for why this season is already essentially over. Time to assemble a coaching staff of proven winners. My vote is for Jim Harbough and Nick Fangio.

  7. Destinjohnny Says:

    It’s almost like when mike Shula was at bama doing a fair to okay job and they brought in Saban

  8. BucEmUp Says:

    I said it two years ago and I will keep saying it. Koetter can be a great head coach but he needs time and he needs Mike Smith to adapt. Smith ruined the first half of this season and killed the total moral of thentire team by deploying an ineffective scheme causing players on both sides of the ball to play without a purpose. When the team believes in what they are playing for they look like different players. Last week Smith totally changed up the way the D played and you saw the players response. If fitz can get. Them through the next two games with wins….and the defense plays aggressively then maybe JW comes back like his old self and we see a Miracle

  9. BucEmUp Says:

    I said it two years ago and I will keep saying it. Koetter can be a great head coach but he needs time and he needs Mike Smith to adapt. Smith ruined the first half of this season and killed the total moral of thentire team by deploying an ineffective scheme causing players on both sides of the ball to play without a purpose. When the team believes in what they are playing for they look like different players. Last week Smith totally changed up the way the D played and you saw the players response. If fitz can get. Them through the next two games with wins….and the defense plays aggressively then maybe JW comes back like his old self and we see a Miracle finish no way in hell you fire koetter especially if got through to smith

  10. JimmyJack Says:

    Jackson said it and now Brate said it. The players on the team still care about winning these football games………Some of you fans can call these game meaningless and that’s all fine and dandy. But if the management of this team ever tried that it would have horrible consuquences.These players we have would want nothing to do with a team that surrenders it’s pride for a freaking rookie. That’s how you collapse a team not build one hahahsha.

    What a ridicilous notion……Could you even imagine the Steelers tanking because of a poor start? Of course you can’t and for good reason.

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    A fan that thinks a game is meaningless is a sad excuse for a fan. Do you want players and coaches to think that way?…..Of course not.

    This is a sport where the objective is to win…..period. Would you tell your child a game of theirs was meaningless? Hell no,

    Let’s stop this nonsense about meaningless games….it’s an insult to our team.

  12. NFLNut Says:

    ^ If the Steelers started 2-6 this year and Big Ben was leaning towards retiring, I definitely think they would have considered tanking to get their next franchise QB, the same way the Colts did when Luck was in the draft … the same way the Spurs did for Duncan … tanking can be a very effective tool to use from time to time.

    Now, whether it’s worth tanking to get Saquon Barley instead of playing your butt off and ending up with Nick Chubb or Bryce Love is debatable … but if your team has an old or horrible QB and there is a franchise QB in the draft, not tanking would be idiotic.

    For example if I owned the J-E-T-S I would have made sure my team got the #1 pick this year … they have THREE GARBAGE QB’s on the roster and need that #1 pick and yet they’re in line for like the #8 pick or something … that’s just stupid.

  13. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Dirk is 5-11 the first half of the year and 7-2 the 2nd half so far.

  14. LakeLand Says:

    If they sweep the Falcons, beat Carolina, beat New Orleans, then they get props from me. Miami, Green bay, Detroit games are games that they should win.

  15. Architek Says:

    Don Ira!!!!

  16. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Does anybody think Chucky will return to the NFL to turn a team around or take on a rebuilding project? Not likely. Head to Knoxville Chucky! With your sales ability you’ll have the best talent in the nation headed to Rocky Top. You’ll have over 100,000 rabid fans at all your home games…and the facilities are pretty amazing.

  17. JimmyJack Says:

    Nut……Get outta here with that. The colts dint tank they traded Peyton Manning and let some other walk and started a rebuilding phase. Quite different then our situation.

    Tanking happens very rarely in the NFL, and probably never for a half a season. I don’t know what your talking about. And the Jets just hired a HC……..How the heck you gonna hire this guy to come in and destroy his resume? Also get out of here with your basketball comparision when you only need 2 stars to field a competitive team.

  18. JimmyJack Says:

    And how would the Steelers go about taking anyways……Are they going to bench their best players, maybe fire Tomlin and bring in an interim? oh may e they will just tell their players to lay down? That’s the most ridicilous suggestion I ever heard.

    Maybe if they wanted another QB they would make a draft trade? That sounds way more reasonable.

  19. Dom is gone Says:

    No need to tank… we will have a top 5 pick trying to win games!

  20. Not there yet Says:

    I guess a positive is the players are still in denial. If defense doesn’t show up the team is screwed because the play caller on offense is too timid to score points.

  21. [email protected] Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    No way in Hell Chucky is going to Tennessee, not in this lifetime.
    Harbaugh couldn’t out recruit Alabama and Ohio State, and neither will Gruden.
    No star kid in his right mind wants to go to Tennessee over Alabama, even if Belichek is coaching.
    Gruden encourages these wild rumors, and uses them as leverage to get as much money and job security as possible, out of his current employers.

    That said, the good people of Tennessee sure deserve a better coach, and hopefully will find one.

  22. Kobe Faker Says:

    Who the hell is Brate trying to fool?

    Even though he looks like he went to school at Polk county community college instead of Harvard, Brate is smart and stating what is politically correct right now, but I heard he is practicing Jon Gruden’s impersonation at the showers

  23. I'm tired and 87 is right Says:

    Joe I need your help. I bought tickets for the Bucs Miami game back in September through fan retreat site and never got my tickets. When should I expect them seems how the game is less then 5 days away? I know you have connections there👍🏼
    This seems very odd. Perhaps you missed a ticket download option emailed to you? They only selling instant download tickets. It’s a great service. Give them a call toll free at (855) 207-4245 and let Joe know if you need a direct email after that. –Joe

  24. Duke Says:

    NFL nut,

    There is another way to get a #1 pick other than tanking. You trade up .
    I keep reading the comments that we can’t draft Barkley because of the jets win.
    That’s not remotely true and it pretty much overlooks what has happened in the last few drafts. If the team targets Barkley then there’s a deal to made to get him. Although, Guice is the guy who I’d target. Somehow He is under the radar
    and that could be helpful if the team decided to you know draft to fill canyons.

  25. USFBUC Says:

    Do you guys actually expect any player to come out and say, “yeah we totally hate the coach and we were told by the GM that we are supposed to lose”? Outside of a few extreme circumstances of super star players you never hear players bad mouthing the staff or team they are currently playing for.

    Go look at our stats in the last few games. Our offense was moving the ball and scoring points in the first few games and then after Buffalo the offensive production nosedived. Whether the players admit it or not they have given up.

  26. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    @Duke

    Wow man, that makes so much sense. Yeah now that you said it, boy golly I can’t find any faults in your logic.

    Win meaningless games so that we have to trade away additional assets just to get a player we could have gotten for no additional cost.

    Brilliant thinking there guy…

  27. unbelievable Says:

    I said this yesterday and I’ll say it again:

    [email protected] tanking if you’re not trying to draft a QB. That is some weak minded sh!t

  28. I'm tired and 87 is right Says:

    Thanks Joe! I found that they were sent in August after digging further in my email. Go Bucs!!

  29. Duke Says:

    Blake,

    I see you missed the point. I agree with you that given an opportunity to pay more or less, less is the pick. But it’s not the only pick. I don’t believe it’s wise to give up much for moving up in the draft to pick a RB .

    Barkley certainly isn’t the only back in the draft but if He is, which is what I replied to, then you go get him . Logic, no Blake it’s not, it’s about perceived value. If you think Barkley is the best back, pro bowler, hall of gamer difference maker super bowl denominator then cost is not an issue.

    Face facts, 50% of first round picks are busts. The % of drafting a great or good player decreases significantly by round. If Barkley is a lock( no need to lose on purpose. The team is doing just fine with unintentional losing. They’re stacking them L’ s up. ) then it’s not a big deal to give up a couple picks.

    Bottom line Blake, you’re looking for change but doing everything the same way.
    Who’s the hottest team in the NFL? The Eagles and how did they get there? Not by losing for Wentz and not by being a scared v agina who is afraid to give up too much , what…….. potential. Nope they made a deal for a player they believe is that difference maker. They gave up chit tons for Wentz . How’s it working out?Oh, wait how much did they overpay, apparently little if anything because ain’t nobody dry humping that dead dog. Seems my logic is not as faulty as your own.

  30. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    @Duke

    Only problem with your little Wentz theory, is that the eagles were a pretty complete football team before they went and traded for Wentz. Minus some receivers, they had a top 5 Oline, and a top 10 defense.

    IF… we were in the same situation, I would whole heartily agree with you, but we aren’t. We are still an incomplete roster with plenty of holes to fill.

  31. Brandon Says:

    I’d love to find a GM or coach that places the ultimate value on their defense on their front 4 and then works their way back. Raheem and Dominik were horrible evaluators of talent but they had their hearts in the right place in TRYING to bolster the defensive line. Schiano thought you built the D from the secondary on up with Revis and Goldson signings and drafting Barron and Banks high… that’s simply moronic. Lovie went back to attempting to bolster the defensive line and swung and missed big time with Michael Johnson but under Koetter and Licht they haven’t even really tried at all to bolster the front 4 and instead relied on the “genius” of Mike Smith to field a good defense… the funny thing is… every half decent defense Smith has ever been a part of started up front with the front 4. In Baltimore, their defensive line was excellent, he had Henderson and Stroud in Jacksonville and whenever Atlanta played decent on defense (which was rare) it was because somebody was helping John Abraham. But here in Tampa, they’re content to field a line consisting of McCoy and a bunch of run stuffers…. they spent one premium pick (1-3) on a pass rusher the past two seasons…NOT ENOUGH! If they can’t put an emphasis on improving the pass rush, this defense will ALWAYS suck and these guys need to go! Mike Smith needs to go either way, he’s trash, always has been.