Gruden Blasts Bucs’ Practice Habits

March 3rd, 2018

Hey, Bisaccia. You wouldn’t believe what they were doing down in Tampa. Jiminy Christmas.”

The stage was set. Two nights before Jon Gruden was inducted to the Buccaneers Ring of Honor, he was the guest of honor for a V.I.P. party at Hooters in Tampa.

Joe was not invited. Sage columnist Ira Kaufman, however, was a treasured guest and attended with his wife.

Ira and Chucky, a pair of Tampa Bay sports icons, are friends. Before Chucky recently closed his Tampa office and film-study mancave, Ira was one of the few men alive with an open invitation to drop in unannounced. (For those skeptical, listeners to the Ira Kaufman Podcast heard Chucky deliver a passionate introduction to each episode for several weeks, where Gruden explained why he considered Ira an “expert” in pro football.)

Well, Ira and Chucky chatted 1-on-1 on that Saturday night in December and Ira put on his reporter hat for just a minute.

Ira asked Chucky what he saw out at Buccaneers practice that week as he prepared to call the Bucs-Falcons game for Monday Night Football. Ira relayed the interaction on a recent podcast.

“‘Awful. Awful. Practice habits, terrible. Ball on the ground all the time.’ Ira said quoting Chucky.

“He was appalled. Gruden was appalled at Bucs practice, maybe more than one. It might have been multiple practices. That was during the five-game losing streak. The Bucs were still playing hard, but they were sloppy. They were sloppy. It took Gruden about 90 seconds to realize just how sloppy they were. He was not impressed. Was that a factor in him joining the Raiders? No. There were 100 million factors. He was absolutely unimpressed by the Buc practice.”

Bucs fans remember Dirk Koetter complaining about unacceptable practices in training camp at least once a week. Was it a year-long pattern that affected the team on the field.

It’s hard to say. The Bucs were ready on opening day, jumping out after Hurricane Irma to a 26-0 lead . They also got their doors blown off early in Minnesota and then bounced back at home the next week with a 13-0, first-quarter lead and cruised to victory against the Giants. And they would have beaten the Patriots four days later if they had a decent field goal kicker.

Dirk Koetter had the team ready for the season, but things fell apart after a month.

Brutal December practices, per Chucky, is something to file away in the back of your head. Joe sure is.

72 Responses to “Gruden Blasts Bucs’ Practice Habits”

  1. Hodad Says:

    Not surprised, it’s been said Koetter is more worried about injuries, and saving his players bodies then working them hard, and having them prepared. When you practice sloppy, you play that way. Soft practices, soft team, the tape don’y lie, and neither does the 5-11 record.

  2. TampaTown Says:

    Hands of death and destruction?

  3. Defense Rules Says:

    @Chucky … ‘Awful. Awful. Practice habits, terrible. Ball on the ground all the time.’ Wow, that’s very condemning for December practices. Given that we had THIRTEEN (13) turnovers in our FIVE (5) December games, maybe Chucky was onto something. Especially since we went 1-4 in those 5 games and those 4 losses were by a TOTAL of only 15 points. Obviously Bucs’ turnovers made a HUGE difference in the outcomes. Was always taught playing sports growing up that “You play (games) the way you practice.” Someone needs to tell Dirk.

  4. The Anomaly Says:

    Another wasted three years of garbage. We are protesting with our wallets.


  5. Mike Evans GOAT Says:

    Get ready for another year of mediocrity every1. This team can’t go anywhere with the current staff

  6. AlteredEgo Says:


  7. Mr. Ed Says:

    A blind person could see that the Bucs have terrible practice habits. You are how you practice, you are what you measure.

  8. LakeLand Says:

    It’s always a party at the Bucs practice….listen to hip-hop and a lot of dancing.

  9. tnew Says:

    One of the main jobs of the head coach is to construct and manage effective practice sessions. There is too much regression on the team to just discount the practice as a factor. With the newfound CBA, training time is so greatly limited and every second must be maximized. Many, many people commented on just how lax and easy the sessions were. This is a factor and my number 1 reason why I wasn’t in favor of bringing back Koetter. I know that the players should be self motivated, but the coach is the driver. It starts there.

  10. Eric Says:

    Where is Allen Iverson.

  11. Eric Says:

    People think we can achieve mediocrity?

    Asking a lot.

  12. AlteredEgo Says:

    more Schanio …

  13. Defense Rules Says:

    Eric … LOL. It’s Scapegoat Smitty’s fault. Bucs’ defense should know better than to keep knocking the ball out of the offense’s hands in practice.

  14. Pickgrin Says:

    screw Schiano – more cowbell!!

  15. University of Seffner Says:

    I wonder what Gruden would say about Greg Schiano’s practices. Schiano was pretty strict.

  16. ZK Says:

    Was he blasting the soft practices or was he tell the truth? There’s a big difference between the two.

  17. SB Says:

    “Practice? are we really talking about practice? I mean…….Practice?!?”

  18. Destinjohnny Says:

    Get Gruden talent and he wins a super bowl

  19. BucEmUp Says:

    Dirks soft..I thought he had a pair and would lead this team..just fire everyone and promote Buckner now we already know it’s gonna be a losing season

  20. AlteredEgo Says:

    LOL….poor G’Boyz….something money just can’t buy….sell the team

  21. Joeypoppems Says:

    Yea not surprised. This is a soft team.

  22. Not there yet Says:

    Dork Koetter thanks you for waiting for the off-season to mention this. Practice and overall play of the team lies squarely on the coach who said this was by far the most talented team we’ve ever had

    Two 5 game losing steaks in one season but for some reason every year fans think it will get better if we add talent. Head coach and gm matter. These two don’t work well together, no vision no idea what a playoff contender looks like which is why they can’t build one.

  23. LakeLand Says:

    The New Orleans Saints signed ex-Panther Safety, Kirk Coleman

  24. SB Says:

    “Destinjohnny Says:
    March 3rd, 2018 at 6:05 pm
    Get Gruden talent and he wins a super bowl”
    Problem is Chucky can’t find the talent, someone else has to draft it for him.

  25. AlteredEgo Says:

    hey…the pedo is over the line…

  26. Mike Evans GOAT Says:

    Just saw that word at the combine is that the Bucs DID try to trade for Quinn!!!

  27. JonBuc Says:

    2018 looks to be a “red shirt” season for our beloved Bucs…Lame Duck Licht’s Out and Killing Us Softly Koetter for some reason given another year. Meanwhile, Jon Robinson brings in Iron Mike Vrabel. Do you think his Super Bowl experience/resume and credibility as a player will be motivating? Mularkey and Koetter cut from the same velvet. The Den of Depression is also located in my trailer home. Don’t knock it…wall to wall carpet and skirting around the outside.

  28. BetterBuccinBelieveIt Says:

    Make of this what you will Buc faithful. Seemed like we needed more news.

    CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reports free agent Dontari Poe could end up with the Bucs.

    Poe isn’t expected to re-sign with Atlanta after rehabbing his value on a one-year deal last season. The Bucs make sense as a landing spot as an NFC South team that runs a 4-3 scheme. Washington, Denver, and Indy have also been linked to Poe. Mar 3 – 6:39 PM


    Go Bucs!

  29. The Buc Realist Says:

    Coach Gruden was just there while JW3 was working on his deep ball!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. Kaotic56ace Says:

    Are any of you know it alls even bucs fans I’m a die hard when I look back on last year I see a lot of meaningful injuries on defense early and 7 games decided by 7pts or less could have hone either way this is the same coach who took a 4-12 team to 9-7 one game short of the playoffs in one year with the same personal how quickly that’s forgotten we need a few pieces but my team is in a better spot then most despite what our record showed and what a has been coach and computer football analyst have to say we gone be OK nothing that comes fast is Worth having it takes time and effort just don’t get to bandwagon hopping when dirk gets my boys on point

  31. Chucklehead Says:

    I keep seeing the image of McCoy jogging on the beach and its a hot sunny day. Hes working hard and just wants to be done but as hes jogging Tmax is sun bathing naked on a beach towel and McCoy accidentally kicks some beach sand into Tmax’s vag. It would have been ok but Tmax is a big fan and McCoy was so tired he didnt stop to say he was sorry and help him up. And that explains the hatred.

  32. Chucklehead Says:

    Cant believe that one wasnt mediated.

  33. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Gerald McCoy is letting people know who he wants again. He just tweeted for Mo Wilkerson, Charles Johnson and Honey Badger to come to Tampa:

    “@mowilkerson @randywattson @Mathieu_Era We’re ready for you!! We have room. Just saying!!”

  34. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Easy solution now that there is an indoor practice facility. If they don’t practice well, don’t let them practice in it for the following week.

    If they lose a game, do the same.

    That will get them working hard pretty quickly.

  35. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


    Dirk Koetter is not a lame duck. Neither is Licht.

    They’ll turn things around this year. That will mean 2 of the last 3 years were good ones. That ain’t bad, overall.

    It will also prove that fans (?) give up far too easily.

  36. JAB83 Says:

    [You know exactly why you are in moderation. You can’t behave. — Joe]

  37. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Destinjohnny Says
    “Get Gruden talent and he wins a super bowl”

    that’s just it…you have to find the talent for him, because he can’t find it himself…and then you have to keep him from running it off.

  38. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Carr will be released inside of the next three years, benched in 1-2 years. That’s how Gruden rolls.

  39. darin Says:

    Spot on. Dirk made the team soft with his patented patty cake camp. We can only hope thats one of the leasons he learned this year. They did practice with jax and he saw up close how they practiced and where they went. If he starts talking that “I gota have all my starters ready for week 1” crap and takes hours and days off again we’re in for another long one.

  40. Sweeptheleg Says:



  41. LakeLand Says:

    The Bucs could have signed Dontari Poe last season, before the Falcons.

  42. JonBuc Says:

    “Buc Insider” BB said


    Dirk Koetter is not a lame duck. Neither is Licht.

    They’ll turn things around this year. That will mean 2 of the last 3 years were good ones. That ain’t bad, overall.

    It will also prove that fans (?) give up far too easily.

    Having mercifully gone way from the Elf Erotica site in favor of declaring Buc expertise, I can see why you feel the need to be optimistic. I guess we shall
    see. I have little to no blind faith.

  43. Lamarcus Says:

    I also remember Joe ur Tampa Media “friends” we’re straight hammering Koetter for making them run gasser for those bad practice habits. Maybe Koetter let off cause of that

  44. tmaxcon Says:


    No I did not go far enough truth hurts

  45. tmaxcon Says:


    I am assuming you are another low standard fool who considers the ignorant dungy the clowns 2 playoff wins in six years glory years and would rather go 0-16 as long as the team was full of choirboy heartless quitters like cancer93

  46. Anon Says:

    You got problems dude. You reply to him twice, then come back 30 minutes later because you can’t get him out of your head. See a shrink.

  47. tmaxcon Says:

    But let’s be honest buc fan does not want to deal with reality they want a pos hypocrite like dungy the clown in charge or a fool like 55 who can’t count to 10 without removing his socks and shoes

  48. Mike Evans GOAT Says:

    Holy $hit Maxipad your stupidity never ceases to amaze me lol^^^^

  49. JimmyJack Says:

    This is why our team can’t contend. Poor work ethic, poor preparation. It shows up on game days when we play with no attitude or intensity.

    It starts with coaching setting the tone and needs to be demanded and carried by team leaders. Right now out tone is “awful,awful” preparation. It doesn’t mater which players we have when that’s the established tone.

    This is why guys li,e Baker and Ward flop. It’s why DJax is caught lacking effort. It why ASJ had to be run out of town…….It’s not a Tampa thing it’s a poor coaching thing.

    Maybe the leader(Winston, Kwon, Marpet) take it on their own to demand a higher level of preparation. But they have never been on a contending team in this league, they may not know what it takes. Maybe our coach figures it out this year.

    It only looks like a long shot at this point. I really don’t know what the thinking was with bring Dirk back this year. His team had a chance to make something of this season when they played at home vs Car and in N.O. Both games we were unprepared and got destroyed. When we had a chance to get into the playoffs in 2016. We were unprepared and were physically dominated vs Dal and pulled a no-show the next week at N.O. Dirk hasn’t established anything close to a winning culture here and a big ole booooo to all you media know-nothings who supported bring back Dirk and his choking team.

    I’ll tip my cap if you’re right but it pretty obvisous that all this teams fans have right now is senseless hope, again.

  50. JimmyJack Says:

    Notice I didn’t list GMC as a captain. The reason is obvisous. There’s only one moronic poster on these boards that actually still thinks Gerald is a leader and captain.

  51. tmaxcon Says:

    Mike Evans GOAT

    You really mean my accuracy is hard to accept but can not be questioned or denied

  52. tmaxcon Says:


    So the C she wears is not existent because it does not fit your pathetic low standards and nutswallowing agenda

  53. Lamarcus Says:

    GMC is garbage. Why is he still on the team??

  54. tmaxcon Says:

    Let’s Put all our differences aside and raise a shot to the 4-12 2018 buccaneers

  55. Oxycondoms Says:

    Bucs should hire Mean gene to be gm

  56. Doctor Stroud Says:

    Burn the Godfather painting!

  57. Guzzie Says:

    Anyone else feel like the Bucs are cursed?

  58. Guzzie Says:

    Sorry my bad, obviously the Bucs are cursed

  59. loggedontosay Says:


    Low standard fool? You are naked in the streets my man. Everyone sees it. One can only feel sorry for you. I have pity for you. One can only hope that someday the right cocktail of medication is proscribed for you. You are sadly sick, and I just want to help you.

  60. Thespiritof1976 Says:

    Jon Gruden is a two faced overrated loudmouth who could never develop a QB.

  61. JimmyJack Says:

    Tmax you see a C on a jersey and you think think that’s what makes a leader. You see McCoy on ESPN and raise your expectations.

    You buy in hook line and sinker to what you see on TV and who the team chooses to put on a beer cup.

    Realistic fans knew McCoy was never going to be a generational leader after his first or second year. Your the lone fan still peddling him as a leader. We’ve been waiting year after hopeless year for thing team to bring in some true leaders. Realistic fans also noticed in year one that Kwon is that guy. Him and Winston are the future and both need to get more vocal IMO.

    Anybody that follows football or hockey knows that the C doesn’t mean much more then respect a lot of the time. That’s why there are 6 captains in football. You tell me who our six leaders are on this team? Nevermind, that doesn’t exist.

  62. Rod Munch Says:

    Remember Winston saying he had to give emo Dirk a pep talk after the Carolina game, when Dirk kept saying something like “if I’m still here” over and over again. Dirk isn’t head coaching material, that’s pretty obvious to me. He just in general doesn’t have his team ready, doesn’t make halftime adjustments and since he insists on being the OC he’s completely overmatched there as his play calling for most of the reason was terrible as it 100% predictable. I think the Bucs doing as well as they did in 2016 was in spite of Dirk, not because of him. I said it at the time, but firing Lovie was absolutely the wrong thing to do because it meant Dirk being taken away from his OC duty and he’d no longer be working with Winston extensively. So instead of a good OC, the team now has a bland predictable OC, a HC overmatched and a DC that should be a HC but is awful at being the DC. The coaching setup for this team is all wrong, people are not in the correct place, and it shows. The Bucs can overcome this versus bad teams (the Bucs were 4-1 last year versus teams under .500) but against good teams it’s too much to overcome.

  63. Duke Says:

    Spirit of76,

    Rich Gannon, Brad Johnson had stellar careers before Jon Gruden. Oh wait….
    They didn’t.
    How can you develop a rookie QB when you haven’t had one…..Hmmmm!

    The Gruden isn’t a good coach because He never developed a QB is cliche, a bumper sticker worthy slogan. It’s for the fan who needs a convenient opinion but is too lazy to think. If you tossed it out in hopes that it makes them seem smart. Hint, it doesn’t.

  64. Mike Evans GOAT Says:

    Dirk just refuses to adapt his Scheme to fit his talent, other coaches do it. Bill O Brian completely changed his Offense in a week to fit Desean Watson, and Dirk can’t adjust over 2 complete offseasons. SMH we are going nowhere. The best coach for this team is in Detroit right now.

  65. adam from ny Says:

    we need players who breath fire and spit out nails…and constantly adjust their keesters too…is that mccoy???…hell nah…i hear he just got an endorsement for jello pudding commercials, now that bill cosby has moved on

  66. Mike Johnson Says:

    Nice guys may finish 1st in bible testing..But they always finish last in the NFL. From what I’ve seen of Buc practices..they are parties. very loud rock and hip hop all over the place. Caoches shouting over the music/ Players gettin in antics with the music. I’m not impressed with Koetter or Smitty. never have been. Who do Smitty’s terrible Defenses answer to furing games? Certainly not Smitty. He’s sittin on his a.s high up in the pressbox. And Dirk cannot make game adjustments for his life. Our Bucs will win again one day. But I can guarantee you all it will not be under called dynamic dup.

  67. Frank Pillow Says:

    The evidence was on the field- all season long. Too many individuals. Too bad a scheme. Too little toughness. Too few players who cared enough to will this team to close out games. Our HC is a lightweight. Our GM a well intentioned dufus. Our ownership group detached from reality. We are an Uber drivers crotch away from total implosion- and it’s freakin March!

  68. Bucballbaby84 Says:

    I love Dirk but it’s time for him to get an attitude with these guys and show we are not gonna play around and those motors on those guys had better be going 100 percent at all times. I agreed that there was a lot of poor practices and poor practice habits. It showed most certainly in games. You wanna be great then do what it takes to be great! Everyone knows poor coaching and players drives were what it was that lost a lot of those games last year. We gotta get better in every aspect of every phase.

  69. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    JonBuc Says
    “Having mercifully gone way from the Elf Erotica site in favor of declaring Buc expertise, I can see why you feel the need to be optimistic.”

    To be clear, and this is the only time I will address such remarks…my writing is NOT Erotica. It is family safe. Child safe.

    I realize you are just trying to make people think you are funny because you crave the attention and approval of your fellow trolls, but all you are doing is showing how ignorant you are.

  70. SOEbuc Says:

    Anyone that watched Hard Knocks could tell you that. Can we please get off what Chucky has been saying about the Bucs and move on. Love to see the Raiders go 4-11 this year.

  71. SOEbuc Says:


  72. Phil Says:

    Hopefully Koetter learned something in his first year as a head coach and will run a much tougher camp this year. If not he will be gone next year.