Bucs An NFL Test Case?

April 19th, 2014

lovie smith 0113Yes, Joe wrote earlier about how next week’s practices could alter the draft plans of the Bucs. Joe is sure Bucs coach Lovie Smith and his staff are more eager to see the players on the practice fields at One Buc Palace than the players are to get there. And the players are excited, from the half-dozen or so players Joe had a chance to speak with the past two weeks.

Now Joe has harped on the odds of a turnaround after a free agent spending spree often leads to less-than desired results. It’s just the history of the NFL.

But Judy Battista of NFL.com believes the Bucs might just buck the ugly trend of free agency spending. She believes what happens to the Bucs this season could be a harbinger of the future.

Massive free agency overhauls often don’t work, but the Bucs’ offseason could provide a case study in how a team with a lot of leftover talent (Jackson, Gerald McCoy, Lavonte David) integrates a new regime and a flood of new players to try to make a quick strike.

This is why Joe thinks the mid-season mark will be important. The Bucs, as Joe types this, have 19 new players. That’s a lot, more than any other NFL team.

Often, as Gerald McCoy alluded to this week, it takes a while to become familiar with each other, or as the football vernacular goes, “time to gel.” There is also learning the defense and the Jeff Tedford offense.

So if the Bucs don’t start out like a house on fire, don’t panic. How the team plays as the season unfolds will be telling.

59 Responses to “Bucs An NFL Test Case?”

  1. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    How is it different from what the Eagles tried to do a few years ago? They were in a very similar situation, went out and got a bunch of free agents and still sucked. They had no franchise QB either.

  2. Macabee Says:

    All of the players below (except Kafka) were on the 53 man roster at the end of last season. I don’t think anyone of them will see September. I predict the Bucs will cut or otherwise replace in excess of 32 players from last year’s roster or upwards of 60% turnover. This is not a re-build. It is a total re-make. It will probably be worse than what I’ve said – we now have 11 cornerbacks. You do the math!

    Potential Buc cuts:

    Michael Koenen…………3,250,000
    Luke Stocker………………..763,172
    Michael Smith……………….586,287
    Chris Owusu…………………570,000
    Scott Solomon……………..570,000
    Danny Lansanah…………..570,000
    Mike Kafka…………………….570,000
    Matthew Masifilo…………..495,000
    Bradley McDougald………495,000
    Patrick Murray……………..420,000
    Marvin Booker……………..420,000 (cut 4/7)
    Jacob Schum………………..420,000
    Bobby Felder………………..420,000
    Patrick Scales……………….420,000 (cut 4/9)

  3. Buc1987 Says:

    Bonzai…it’s a just a shade different, because Philly loaded up on all-stars and the Bucs were going for “value.” Other than that it’s not much different.
    You and I are both on the same page as far as this season goes though I believe. It’s going to be a rough season.

  4. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Given what happened in Kansas City and Arizona, and given that our new GM was part of the management team that was in charge for the Arizona turnaround, I remain cautiously optimistic.

    Lovie Smith got to the Super Bowl with Rex Grossman at Q.B. He can coach defense! We have some very good defensive players.

    If Tedford is even competent the Bucs couid make some noise next year.

  5. owlykat Says:

    Look at how the Kansas City Chiefs turned around in a New York Minute, even with a new offense and defense to learn when they picked up finally a Veteran NFL Coach who knew how to win and he brought in an experienced NFL QB, who I don’t think either one are better than Lovie and Josh. That is what I expect to see this season with the Bucs. We jettisoned the worst Coach in Buc’s history and all his poor coaches and we should see a big plus from the changeover. I am not worried that Licht will fail to get what we need in the draft and next free agency period.

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    You just never know what’s under a horse’s tail until you lift it up!!!

  7. Brandon Says:

    Here’s why what the Bucs did was great… they had big needs and they filled it with young and talented players with economically sound contracts. They didn’t make a big free agent splash and overpay for some has beens. They went out, identified their needs, and addressed them quickly with players who have the needle pointing up on their careers, not down.

    This year might be rough, but this will be a much more enjoyable team to watch. Schiano’s Bucs lost a ton of close games to start the year last season, 5 of their first 8 games were decided by 8 points or less, all but one of those was by a FG or less. Just better coaching and better schemes will make this team better in those close games. With real NFL coaching, the Bucs aren’t any worse than 9-7 last year.

  8. Brandon Says:

    I remember once upon a time, a team getting a new head coach, new offensive system, new players, and won the Super Bowl. This team might not be Super Bowl contenders but they will be competent and competitive every week.

  9. Buc1987 Says:

    Brandon … once upon a time a team got a new head coach and they went to the SB. Of course that team was in the playoffs year in and year out before that coach arrived, but I guess you don’t take that into consideration.

  10. Eric Says:

    Give Lovie Smith guys like Gerald, David, Johnson, Verner etc. and you got yourself 10 wins.

    Four legit pro bowl quality defensive players right there. Young pro bowlers.

    People point out how much the Bucs spent but they got rid of a lot of salary too.

    We’re gonna surprise a lot of folks. Worst to first.

  11. Buc1987 Says:

    Damn Eric I hope you’re right.

  12. Harry Says:

    I agree with most of the optimistic comments, but it seems to me everyone is looking at what Lovie can do to the D side of the ball. The O side has gaping holes in it. Yes, some can be filled thru the draft. But WR usually take time to develop. And our O-line has so many question marks something has just got to go wrong. And last but not least, we have a OC and QB coach that have ZERO NFL experience.

    I’m all in on L&L, but lets keep it in perspective. I was so fired up at the beginning of this year, that the slap of reality was hard and painful. Just want to keep it real

  13. Phillip Says:

    We will win 6-8 games this year tops… Atlanta is going to bounce back and NO isn’t going anywhere… I’m not sure what Carolina was thinking this off-season… I know they had cap issues but… You know what nevermind I hope they suck…

    NFC North – Packers
    NFC East – Eagles or Giants(JF5 leading them to the playoffs! 😉 )
    NFC West – Seahawks
    NFC South – Saints
    Wildcard – 49ers/Cardinals/Rams/Falcons/Bears(Most likely the first 2)

  14. Couch Fan Says:

    And if we dont, Eric will be the first in here to advocate the firing of Lovie

  15. Phillip Says:

    That doesn’t include the Lions possibly bouncing back and the Panthers… Ugh and people wonder why we NEED a FRANCHISE QB that can win games for us… The Defense can’t win every game for you nor hold another team to 13-17 points a game..

  16. Kevin Says:

    @ Bonzai the year the eagles constructed the “dream team” was the same season that there was no offseason program from the lockout.

  17. Kevin Says:

    I think this years draft will be offense heavy this year.

  18. Eric Says:

    Franchise QB just a few days away…….

    I don’t get Bucs fans.

    Run Chucky out of town, love horrific hires like Morris and Schiano, then a solid coach like Lovie is hired and still not happy.

    I’ll never understand it.

    Coaching makes a huge difference. That will be proven again this year.

  19. Buc1987 Says:

    @Phillip…the Panthers won the division with the 26th ranked offense.

  20. Buc1987 Says:

    “Coaching makes a huge difference. That will be proven again this year.”

    Dungy proved that to me a looooong time ago Eric.

  21. Newbucsfan!!! Says:

    i don’t care what the bucs do in the first three rounds, just as long as they pick up logan thomas/ 6″6 coleman and another linebacker in the later rounds. I don’t think a tight end or qb is necessary in this draft except fore the a fore mentioned logan thomas.

    If they could trade down and go cb, O-line, DE (from stanford preferably) in the first three rounds I would be cool with that. As a new fan I can say that I am not sold on your starting runningback and would trade him, glennon, and vincent jackson for future high draft picks along with picks this year. let the team learn the systems and build a solid foundation and next years class will just fall in line with the seasoned group. NO window is closed, ATL will be a joke (bad o-line and no defense/running game), and carolina will have fired their coach cut their runningbacks leaving tampa bay to own the division for 3 to 4 years.

  22. HolyBuc Says:

    Bringing in a ton of free agents is easier when you have a new regime coming in…think about it. Everyone is learning a new system together a team can bond quickly that way.

    Much different from when a desperate Andy Reid try to buy title by bringing 5-6 notable veteran players to a team already established. Think about a handful of guys trying to learn what the majority of the team already knows. Rookies can do it easier cause they check their egos at the door for the first year, veterans not so much.

    Everyone here is in the same boat trying to learn a new system gives Gerald McCoy and Clinton McDonald something in common.

  23. BucsFan007 Says:

    That’s what I been thinkin too ….

    Also, there’ll be more opportunities to get Offensive help other than just the draft. Can’t help thinking that Lovie may not be able to pass up a defensive Stud @ #7 & I wouldn’t blame him.

  24. Buc1987 Says:

    “Everyone is learning a new system together a team can bond quickly that way.”

    For this you believe they will gel (bond) quickly? smdh

  25. buchead407 Says:

    They r paid to play football and gel quickly not built a rocket…I’m expecting 7-8 wins minimum or this year is a failure

  26. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Most, if not all, of the free agents we got are in the prime of their careers. We aren’t the Raiders and going after a bunch of washed up old guys. Second, we have brought in guys that clearly fit our system, versus the last few years when we tried to force players to fit our system when they clearly didn’t. Defensively, we have the most important pieces already in place, and they will absolutely thrive in this defense. The new guys are just going to add to it and make us even better. I have absolutely no worries about our defense being a force next year. Offensively, if we get good QB play (big if), we are going to be much improved, assuming we don’t run a Schiano and Sullivan offense (no creativity, no adjustments, no disguising, etc.). I highly doubt an offensive coach like Tedford is going to roll like that.

    Even before the draft this team is considerably better than the team we had last year. Add to that we have a real professional coach! We will fill some holes in the draft, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we pick up a couple late salary cap casualties from other teams. I generally go into every season with a good feeling, but this year it isn’t manufactured. We are going to be a team that no one wants to play. We may not be a contender yet, but we’re going to be much much better than what we’ve been for the last 5 years. Mark that down.

  27. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Bringing in new talent didn’t seem to hurt KC last year. They seemed to gel just fine to me.

  28. Eric Says:

    Not like we’ve been a gel machine lately.

  29. Buc1987 Says:

    After looking at KC’s 10-6 record and division crown in 2010 then there record of 7-9 in 2011 they dipped all the way to 2-14 in 2012. A few analysts did not discredit Reid for the turnaround, but they also said that the team was a lot better than the 2-14 to begin with.

    The Bucs lost a few close games last season. (Should of beat the Jets and the Saints.) Whereas I suggested more than once during the season that this team is a lot better than their record shows. Who knows, maybe it will turnaround in one year. Hell they went 7-9 in 2012. Then again most of that team is gone now.

    Was that optimistic enough for you people that say I’m always negative?

  30. Fritz50 Says:

    “We jettisoned the worst Coach in Buc’s history”
    I’m sure someone wil correct me, if I’m wrong, but didn’t Richard Williamson go 2&14 for both his years coaching the Bucs? I purposely leave out the 2 & 26 start to the franchise, since I feel they had the deck stacked against them. Schiano was bad, but hardly the worst.

  31. Buc1987 Says:

    Fritz50…When Perkins was fired late in the 1990 season, Williamson was named interim head coach, leading the team to a 1-2 record. Named head coach in 1991, Williamson went 3-13 before being fired at the end of the season.

    So Richard Williamson holds trophy for the worst coach in TB history.

  32. Macabee Says:

    Last year Andy Reid started his Chiefs regime with 30+ new bodies. Didn’t seem to have any problems getting people to gel. Making the playoffs with that much change is an accomplishment. No reason it can’t be done again!

  33. Eric Says:

    Leeman Bennett back to back 2-14…….

    And drafted Bo Jackson.

    And blew having Steve Young.

  34. Mr Lucky Says:

    Eric, as usual you and I seem to be on the right side which is in the minority around here. Funny to see how pessimistic the pro-Rah fans are now. This is the first season in 5 years that I’m actually looking forward to a winning team instead of being mr Reality like I have been. Even luck couldn’t have helped Rah Rah or Josh the bust QB

  35. RastaMon Says:


  36. Alvinmc Says:

    Leeman Bennett had consecutive 2-14 seasons (4-28, 12.5%) so Williamson’s total 4-15 (21%) was not bad in comparison.

  37. PRBucFan Says:

    The chiefs already did this last year lol

    We won’t be the model.

    I’d like to see that crystal ball that’s showing that oh so “rough season” some of you are predicting. How bout you let the season play out before you become a miserable Bucs fan.

    If you could have faith in Josh Freeman than you’d look foolish not having faith in Lovie.

  38. Destinjohnny Says:


  39. RastaMon Says:


    The world knows beauty as beauty,
    So there is then ugliness.

    The world knows good as good,

    So there is then the bad.

    As is and is-not create each other,

    The hard and easy define each other,

    The long and short delimit each other,

    The high and low depend on each other,

    Voice and music harmonise with each other,

    Last and next follow each other.

    So the wise adhere to action through non-action,

    And communicate the teaching without words.

    From the Way come the myriad creatures
    Yet it imposes no authority.

    It gives them life without possession.

    It benefits them but asks no thanks.

    It does its work but claims no merit.

    Because it claims no merit

    Merit is never lacking in it.

  40. Rex Says:

    I feel like some people that comment on this are not even fans

  41. Eric Says:

    Hey the Rays scored two touchdowns tonight.

    All things are possible.

  42. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    You can’t compare Schiano to the coaches of the “Yucs”. Culverhouse may have been the worst owner in the history of sports. The Glazers are wonderful compared to him. Schiano couldn’t figure out what to do with 8 Pro bowlers under 30! I don’t think we had 8 pro bowlers combined for the entire 1980s. No, Schiano really was that bad.

  43. Buc1987 Says:

    PRB…gee I wonder who you’re talking about? I’m slowly coming around buddy. Let’s just say I’ll remain cautiously pessimistic for the time being. There is no misery in me. I’m just not expecting much this season. Lovie year 2 and 3 is when I think things are going to start to click. I have faith in Lovie 100%. Just not this season…yet.

  44. Buc1987 Says:

    Hawaiian Buc…where are those pro bowlers now?

  45. Buc1987 Says:

    Yah Rex…maybe they have nothing better to do so they come here to impersonate Buc fans. See at the home opener buddy!

  46. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    Most are still here. GMC, V-Jax, Martin, Goldson, Nicks (kind of), and eventually David didn’t go anywhere (yet at least). Aside from #24, I don’t think we lost anyone that we didn’t replace with someone better, and usually for a better price. Nobody was madder about losing Revis than me, and I still haven’t quite gotten over it, even though I understand it. He was making a sh!t ton of money for a team that had a lot of holes to fill, and has the scheme (and coaching) to hide not having a true shut down corner. In the end, I think it will work out for both parties (Revis is going to be a hero in Foxboro, while I think Verner will be a great fit here).

  47. Buc1987 Says:

    Hawaiian Buc…oh so you were referring to current(this past season) and past pro bowlers. Since they made the pro bowl from different seasons. I guess that works for ya.

  48. Buc1987 Says:

    Hawaiian Buc…but wait a second. Didn’t Martin and VJax make the Pro Bowl under a Schiano coached team? Same for GMC? Or are you trying to say they made the pro bowl despite having Schiano as their coach?lol

  49. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    Yes, that’s what I was referring to. Point is, there was a lot more talent that what the Bucs had during the Culverhouse years. Arguing that point is beyond ridiculous. It’s just arguing just to argue. I love to argue, but there’s no way I’m debating you that Schiano’s teams were considerably more talented than the teams the other guys had. There’s simply no logical debate. So yes, that does work for me, because it’s the truth.

    Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. They made the Pro bowl DESPITE Schiano. No doubt about it. Gerald McCoy will make the Pro Bowl if you or I were coaching him. Doug Martin probably did benefit from Schiano, since he gave him the ball like 400 times in a season. V-Jax was a Pro Bowler before he came to Tampa. The overwhelming majority of the team regressed under Schiano. Again, not debatable. There are a few exceptions of course, but overall most got worse. Probably cost a few guys their job who can still play. The players didn’t like him, didn’t respect him, and were happy to see him go. I wish him well at his next job. I’m sure there’s a high school team that can’t wait to put their toes on the line.

  50. PRBucFan Says:

    Our defensive studs will flourish even more so under Lovie.

  51. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    “Lovie Smith got to the Super Bowl with Rex Grossman at Q.B.”

    I hate hearing this. First, Lovie got lucky that year. Second, he had a playoff calibre defence that did the work. Third, it was before all these stupid rule changes. And the refs now have the power to decidee who wins games.

    No one can convince me that the Seahawks didn’t get away with plays that were penalties for other teams. The Bucs, for example, were called on a ton of peenalties, and as we watched the Seahawks play throughout the year, they got away with the same things.

    Even the media and the Seahawkss players saw this. “We don’t care. We just keep doing it and the refs get tired of calling penalties.”

    The Bucs would never get away ith that. Heck, the one player that tried it faced suspension.

    Anyway, the point is that it was a different time. And frankly, if we have a QB who can get us to one Superbowl through pure luck, I’m not happy with that. I want us to actually compete to get there every year.

    I want teams to fear playing the Bucs. Like they fear the Pats. The Packers. The Saints. The Colts.

    The teams that consistently win year in and year out, where losing is an abnormality.

  52. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Hawaiian Buc,

    I don’t feel we got better with every signing. Yes, DE. Probably at TE. CB was not an improvement. That isn’t even a lateral move. But then there is only one way to go from the best in the game.

    And our new CB is still pretty good.

    Of all the rest of the players, 16 other signings? I think they were lateral moves if we’re lucky.

    I fully expect injuries to play a major role this year. That’s what you get with free agents. At least in Tampa.

    Maybe I’ll feel different after the draft. If they get a first or second round QB, address WR and Oline…maybe I’ll be optimistic. But right now, everything feelike bandaides being slapped on the wounds.

    Really, the only signings I likt are DE and CB.

  53. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    And I hate our GM so far.

  54. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    It can be argued those moves aren’t lateral, but improvements. Totally agree about Revis not being lateral. However, we have a coach that is a million times more capable of leading a NFL team to victories. He will get the most out of his players. Coaching alone will attribute to more wins, even if the talent is the same or less.

  55. PRBucFan Says:

    So when he succeeds he gets lucky?

    Lol Now that’s the lamest denial ever.

    “Bonzai’s Logic”

    “Good point =’s luck”

  56. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    I didn’t even catch that until you brought it up. He got lucky???? Really? That team was a juggernaut the entire season. How exactly did they get lucky? If you actually remember, that team scored a sh!t ton of points, and Grossman put up some pretty damn good numbers. They scored over 30 points in 8 games, and over 40 in 3 games. That doesn’t sound to me like a team that only had a good defense. But oh how people love to revise history to fit their agendas. So yes in fact they did get to the Super Bowl with Rex Grossman. Regardless, I’d rather be lucky and make it to the Super Bowl than be 4-12 like we were last year. You can make up whatever excuses you want, but the rest of us know the truth. Nice try though.

  57. PRBucFan Says:

    And IMO Licht has done one hell of a job this offseason.

    Where could he have done better?

    I forget how great of a GM some of you are, running your own successful NFL rosters..

    Oh wait my bad, that’s fantasy football lol

  58. PRBucFan Says:

    “Third, it was before all these stupid rule changes. And the refs now have the power to decidee who wins games.”

    What the hell? lolololololol

  59. SteveK Says:


    What guy did we cut that got paid the SAME Dominicl was willing to pay?

    No one.