It’s Survival September For Dirk Koetter

April 19th, 2018

Joe is in a minor state of the shock with the Buccaneers’ 2018 schedule.

They’ve got three division winners, including the Super Bowl champions, in the first three games of the season.

That stretch could change the entire direction of the franchise in a good way by the end of September, which closes with a game at Chicago. Or, those first three games could signal the almost annual kick in the groin for Bucs fans.

With a Week 5 bye looming, Dirk Koetter better not find himself with a 1-3 record. That’s just the ice cold reality for a head coach whose teams have been swimming upstream in October of the past two years.

The Bucs have to at least split home games against the Eagles (Sept. 16) and Steelers (Sept. 24), and split against the Bears and Saints.

There are no excuses, not with a team as talented as Tampa Bay.

Joe’s not rooting against Koetter. On the contrary, Joe is praying the Bucs come out firing against a beatable Saints team, just like they beat the snot out of Atlanta on the road to start the 2016 season. Joe yearns and aches for a good season, but that’s only realistic if the Bucs don’t dig themselves another 3-5 or 2-6 hole again.

It’s simply not too much to ask — not matter who is on the schedule.

You can see the full schedule here.

57 Responses to “It’s Survival September For Dirk Koetter”

  1. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    No where to run, no where to hide.

    I’ll refrain from making any predictions, but there’s no doubt, the opening 5 game stretch (minus the bears) will be brutally tough.

  2. herbiebuc Says:

    Hopefully jameis and godwin finish what they left this season opener! the first play should be a shot to the endzone lol show the leauge we wasn’t done last year #playoffbound #easyschedulw

  3. EA Says:

    0-3 is very likely, I’m not getting amped up this year, if the they start the season 2-2 i’d call it a win.

  4. Dewey Selmon Says:

    People will be calling for Buckner to replace Smitty during the bye week.

  5. Jjones Says:

    At a minimum we really need to be 2-2 going into the bye week. I like the week 5 bye because those 1st 4 games will be a real test. Dirk has got to be hitting on all cylinders now that he knows who we’re facing before the bye. I’m hoping he’s adjusting training camp knowing what’s ahead.

  6. K2 Says:

    A good schedule, because will find out quickly if Bucs are better.

  7. K2 Says:

    They beat the Saints to close out the season. It would be a great way to start the season.

  8. Pelbuc Says:

    6-10 and another turnover filled year for JW who won’t mature.

  9. The Buc Realist Says:

    Not a bad final 8 games for a run though!!!!!!!! Just hope the stick carriers and other so-called fans can hang in until then!!!!!!!!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    I LOVE playing N.O. on the road to open. I hate to use the ‘C’ word but the Buc collars seem to tighten at Ray Jay and especially in a home opener with high expectations….can you say the Tennessee game.

    The Bucs will be expected to lose in N.O. I like that.

    And I’m glad we play Philly to open our home schedule. I fear if we play well at N.O. as I expect…the fans expectations would be off the charts…playing the defending SB champs will help temper that.

    I just have a “feeling” an inner knowing that Jameis is going to light it up this year. If we get Barkley we have a running game…if we get Nelson and Guice we have a running game…One more OL…pick up a couple of DB’s….we’re locked and loaded boys.

  11. Simeon Says:

    Def not buying Sunday ticket until October.

  12. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    BTW a prediction. See if you guys agree.

    Our home opener will be a sellout and tickets will actually have value. Sadly the Stadium may be more green than red. Philly fan is pumped after an SB win and they’ll be ready to visit sunny Florida. They’ll have a far easier time getting good seats at a reasonable priced down here than back home in Philly. We’ve seen this story before.

  13. Sydney Says:

    0-3. Book it.

    BTW: The Beckwith injury/surgery is bigger than people think.

  14. P’cola Buc Says:

    Wow, another difficult schedule. 4th most difficult schedule in the entire league.
    Looks like a 1-3 start most likely. They are really gonna need to step up to the plate, develop and be determined to reach their goal. Do they have it in them?

  15. Jay corr Says:

    Been a die hard bud fan as long as I can remember. And every year I start over believing in our team. I read everyone’s comments every day and can’t believe half of you can call yourself but fans!! It’s ok to have your opinion but dam it’s already “we are going 0-3” blah blah. “Eagle fans are gonna fill ray jay” Why not get behind this team and maybe a positive outlook can help. I can’t give you a guess on what our record will be because we don’t even have our team yet. Let’s let this play out first. If we get Barkley do you still think we start out 0-3??

  16. Capt.Tim Says:

    The team is only moderaely improved.
    The Oline is probably better- after last years stupidity. But Sweezy and Dotsons healthy still leaves Oline as a weak spot.

    JPP gives us a legitimate pass rusher!!
    But only one.
    JPP pulls a groin- and we are once again without a pass rush.
    Still unforgivabilly a weak spot.

    Safety and CB? Living on a prayer .

    Still time to address these issues? Meybe

    Otherwise- its gonna be a long first 4 weeks

  17. BillyBucsFan Says:

    Sobering how tough out first 3 games are. 0-3 teams almost guarantee no playoffs. Which means GM and head coach jobs on the line quickly. To my judgement, no Barkley, no wins… I say move up in the draft, get some wins, I’m so sick of losing this sucks

  18. mike10 Says:

    Love that week 5 bye (sarcasm)

    On the bright side, at least we get a bye this year

  19. Kobe Faker Says:

    The problem is Koetter coaches not to lose

    He plays field position in the first quarter

    All 3 years, its about trying to stay close for the whole game to be decided in the last half of the 4th quarter

    This isnt winning NFL HC mentality

    “I am the anti – Doug Pederson”

    Klueless Koetter

  20. BetterBuccinBelieveIt Says:

    No Thursday night games is actually a plus in my opinion. But getting effed with 1pm games from week 6-17 SURE SAYS EVERYTHING. Doesn’t get any worse than those. And what happens…to the NFL front office and scheduler if the Bucs do trade, and/or obtain Saquon…then where will they’re scheduling BE?!?! You think the NFL is okay with Saquon not on national broadcasts??! Think about it.

    If we end up best case 2-2 at the Bye, that would be a huge win. 1-3 seems likely, without SAQUON.

    Go Bucs!

  21. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe… “There are no excuses, not with a team as talented as Tampa Bay.”

    @Capt Tim … “The team is only moderately improved.”

    Hmmm, who to believe? We’ve improved the DLine (we now have 2 DTs & 2 DEs with question marks over the rest). OLine is hurting at this point (down 2 starters & minimal depth). Our lead-dog RB was a UFA 2 yrs ago & has a 4.0 YPC average based on a total of 163 carries. Secondary’s hurting & 1 of our starting LBs just fractured his ankle. Coming off a bad 5-11 record last year & facing the toughest schedule we’ve had in years this season that starts off with THREE division winners .

    But on the bright side … nah, never mind.

  22. Chrisco4Bucs Says:

    Why don’t we have a Thursday night game????

  23. NFLRealist Says:

    Bucs are DUE to start a season hot. Maybe they’ll shock some people.

    Our improved pass rush should definitely help the Defense. If we can get some secondary help in the draft, and add a playmaker RB (and hopefully another OL) we might surprise some people.

  24. herbiebuc Says:

    What happen to Thursday night games

  25. feelthepewterpower Says:

    We get Philly at a good time….hot and humid, plus Wentz (if he is ready week two?) will still be rusty…and might not run as much.

  26. WutdaBucisthis Says:

    Vea with the 1st pick
    Landry with the 2nd
    Screw the offense…make due I say. Our D needs the help

  27. ARGH_M8E Says:

    Who cares about Thursday night football, we’ve been embarrassed every Thursday night game we’ve had expect for years ago against Minnesota. Look back for yourself. This schedule is brutal, better bring the heart or it’s gonna get ugly fast!

  28. ManzielMadness Says:

    Schedule starts out tough… Let’s hope Jameis doesn’t get suspended (don’t think he will) or we could be 2-4 before he ever takes the friggin field.

  29. ManzielMadness Says:

    Oh and not as worried about the Eagles as some. Jameis gets pretty hyped playing against them. Worked out pretty well last time.

  30. Rod Munch Says:

    My September preview, if you disagree with me it’s because you’re wrong.

    Week 1 – Winston has played really well in NO, but man, that defense will almost certainly give up at least 35-points, so the question is will Dirk do more than just run up the middle on every first down until they’re down by 21 points? Bucs 0-1.

    The home game versus the Eagles… I hate this is in week 2, absolutely hate it. I had the Bucs winning this game in my pre-schedule picks since the Bucs simply have the Eagles number since Jan 2003. But man, a week 2 game, that’s tough. Again the Bucs defense will get shredded, probably giving up at least 30 points, so can the Bucs pull this out? I still say yes, which would put them at 1-1.

    Next up a home MNF game against the Steelers. Outside of Mike Glennon nearly single handedly beating the Steelers, I can’t think of when the Bucs have actually beat them. Plus in night games Dirk has been terrible. Bucs… 1-2.

    Then Chicago on the road… the Bucs do not beat the Bears on the road, that’s just the way it is. When is the last victory in Chicago, the end of the 2002 season maybe, and that wasn’t at Soldier Field. It doesn’t matter who the better team is, it’s like when GB plays in Tampa, the Bucs win – if the Bucs play in Chicago, Chicago wins. Bucs 1-3…

    That schedule is a killer seeing it week by week, this isn’t the AFC South where beating one playoff teams gets 2 teams into the playoffs.

  31. gman Says:

    Always excuses and whining from this fan base…wahhhh we have to play tough teams…waaaa….we have 1pm games….waaa SF in on primetime more than we are….waaaa…face it….this team won’t be any good so who they play hardly matters. Get over it.

  32. gman Says:

    oh, I forgot….waaaaaaaaaaa we have an early bye week….waaaaaaaaaaa

  33. Bird Says:

    Is this the NFL office version of early punishment for Jameis alleged incident?

    Nfl did us no favors. Just don’t think this team has the “it” factor to make it they this gauntlet of punishing good teams. If they start 0 and whatever , I am afraid some guys might throw in the towel and koetter would be the target

    Hope I am wrong. Again the scheduler hates Tampa bay

  34. Bird Says:

    Hope vinny curry and beau Allen give us some ideas on how to beat down the eagles defense

    And some tendencies of their offense Wentz may not be back

  35. Rod Munch Says:

    Those early bye weeks… it’s just terrible, and it seemingly happens every year.

    Also the Bucs have one game in September to take advantage of the weather, the home 1pm game against the Eagles. They don’t play another home game at 1pm until late October. Good thing they built that enclosure out there, if you’re not going to have any home advantage you might as well use it.

  36. LargoBuc Says:

    Rod the last victory in Chicago was 2008. Just sayin.

  37. Pryda ...sec147 Says:

    I think our guys come to OTAs and camp with a intensity not seen here for a long long time I think this year they bring it cause it’s not gonna be good if we go 0-4 1-3 🙁

  38. Not there yet Says:

    Bucs haven’t earned the spotlight

    This town is full of cup cakes led by the Joe’s. Why are you causing panic? Honestly not scared of eagles, the Steelers have a new offensive coordinator and a defense no one fears. We beat the saints last time we played them and beat the bears the last two years.

    A tough schedule prepares your team for the postseason more than having weak opponents. It also means koetter will have to prepare differently for training camp. This is a huge plus because we’ll know exactly what kind of team we have three games in

  39. Arealbucsfan Says:

    This is a tough schedule, but I like it. This how a team really proves itself

  40. Greecosuave Says:

    If your not playing to win, then why are you playing?” I don’t know who in the hell said that but all these teams are tough, but not unbeatable.

    1) It started with a momentum win at the end of the season.
    2) Licht did real good in FA
    3) JW & D-Jax are putting in mad off-season work
    4) Draft is coming
    5) and We “Walk softly and carry a Big MF’n Stick”


  41. Rod Munch Says:

    LargoBuc – oh yeah, I forgot about that, an OT win! So I guess there is hope.

    So I went back and looked at the Bucs history versus Chicago since 1987, which is the first full season I clearly remember watching, and the Bucs are 4-14 in Chicago in that time (not giving them the win not in Chicago but on the road).

    It was a quick count so perhaps I missed something, but that seems about right. The Bucs historically play very poorly in Chicago – hopefully they’ll go there and win since they’re clearly the better team, but as I said, when GB comes to Tampa, even if they’re the much better team they almost always lose. Some match-ups just work out that way.

  42. Rod Munch Says:

    Not there yet – The Titans and Jags played the 32nd and 31st most difficult schedules last year, beating the same number of playoff teams the Bucs did… 1.

    I’ll take a cupcake schedule and a playoff berth and then take my chances in one game playoffs. Look at the Titans, they never should have beaten the Chiefs, but Alex Smith turned in an Alex Smith like performance and choked the game away while Mariota was throwing into triple coverage and having the ball batted into his hands for a TD. When you get to the playoffs anything can happen.

  43. Eric Says:


  44. Rod Munch Says:

    New Orleans gets a lot more hurricanes than Tampa does. For those that think getting a bye week in week 1 means your season is doomed, well… opening in New Orleans, at the peak of the hurricane season…

    Anyways I think having a week 4 bye is worse than a week 1 bye – calling it now.

  45. German Buc Says:

    BREAKING NEWS: We had to play these teams anyway. I don’t see any advantages playing the Steelers or Eagles in December. OK, bye week is early – as it was two years ago, where we blossomed after it.

    So keep calm, speak softly and carry a big…

  46. mog2010 Says:

    Bring it on….dont care who, when, what we play

  47. BucEmUp Says:

    I continue to believe this team has no chance at winning against good teams like our first three until Mike Smith is gone. Doesn’t matter 0 and 3 unless he changes his things up

  48. Motley CrueHead Says:

    3-0 Start every team has changed

  49. Oneilbucs Says:

    Titans has the 31st hardest schedule. It seems like they are trying to make it easy for maroito and hard for Winston. Let’s go Winston you can do it. Defense he doesn’t need another 32 rank defense. If so then Winston need to just leave n play baseball I will.

  50. Evolvingbucfan Says:


  51. 813bucboi Says:

    The Buc Realist Says:
    April 19th, 2018 at 8:48 pm
    Not a bad final 8 games for a run though!!!!!!!! Just hope the stick carriers and other so-called fans can hang in until then!!!!!!!!!!!

    what about the first 8 games?……..what excuse do they have to lose those games?…..

    you want dirk to have an easy schedule?……lets see what he’s made of…..

    #NOEXCUSESIN2018!!!!!…GO BUCS!!!!!

  52. Frank Pillow Says:

    The Bruce Arians watch begins by week 5

  53. 813bucboi Says:

    There are no excuses, not with a team as talented as Tampa Bay.


    THATS RIGHT!!!!!!!

    #NOEXCUSESIN2018!!!!!….GO BUCS!!!!!!

  54. Reality_43 Says:

    We are gonna be 4-0 going into the Bye.

    Nick Chubb is gonna have his cleats sent to Canton after the 1st 4 games and then win rookie of the year on Offense, maybe MVP!!

    Jamies Winston is gonna have 15 TDs with no interceptions and the Defense is gonna have scored at least 3 times.

    Final record 13-3 and win the Division.

    Then I’m gonna buy the Playboy mansion and run for President!!

  55. Jolly Bucs Fan Says:

    Im gonna hop on this #NOEXCUSESIN2018!!!! train

    Sucks to see a tough schedule out the gate like that, but good teams win games.

    You go 0-4 than you deserve to be 0-4. Is what it is.

  56. Brandon Says:

    The early schedule is brutal but after a three game tough stretch the rest of it really isn’t that bad. That being said, given the current roster, Licht will still need to hit it out of the park during the draft for us to have a chance to contend.

  57. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Doesn’t matter if we play Plant High school or USF in the opener or any other time if DK runs another candy ass training camp and Smitty ” let’s corners decide where they are comfortable playing……”

    Buckner is gonna be in for a culture shock…..