July 19th, 2014
Lovie Smith not only brings stability to the Bucs, but much optimism.

Lovie Smith not only brings stability but much optimism.

Good morning, Bucs fans. We are now six days from the start of training camp. Joe will be out there at One Buc Palace sweating and Twittering for your dining and dancing pleasure. It will give Bucs fans a reason to goof off from work.

With the opening practice nearly within touching distance, there is reason for Bucs fans to be both bursting with anticipation and wringing their hands with doubt.

The offense has enough questions to fill a segment of “Jeopardy.” The defense? Joe firmly believes will be just fine.

It is the defense, along with the leadership of Bucs coach Lovie Smith, that led Vince Verhei of BSPN to tag the Bucs as one of the NFL’s rising teams.

For the first time in five years, the Bucs have a legitimate NFL coach in Lovie Smith. Josh McCown could be a big upgrade at quarterback if he plays like he did in 2013, when he tossed 13 touchdowns against one interception for the Chicago Bears. The team also added veteran talent on the offensive line, picking up free agents Anthony Collins and Evan Dietrich-Smith, and two likely starters in the draft in first round wideout Mike Evans and second round TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins.

Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David give the Bucs two of the best defenders in the league in their front seven. After playing the toughest schedule in the league last season and going 2-5 in one-score contests, the Bucs should have some better luck in close games. Expect them to jump from 4-12 to .500 or better.

In case Joe needs to remind anyone what a rancid season it was last year, any team that can double its wins from a previous season is doing a helluva job. If the Bucs accomplish that feat, they will only be 8-8. That’s how rotten 2013 was.

Sometimes, Joe is surprised that despite all the questions about the offense, just the mere fact Lovie is leading the Bucs has brought so much optimism across the board.

13 Responses to “Risers”

  1. Tom Edrington Says:

    Optimism? Yes, everyone likes to be optimistic, life’s too short not to be…..but as with a lot of teams, depth tells the tale.

    The Bucs simply cannot afford any key injuries……and hopefully none of these hamstring pulls out of nowhere…..

    Joe, please don’t run too fast out there, we don’t want you poppin any hammies!

  2. Patrick in VA Says:

    The first sentence in the quoted paragraph answers your question. The mere fact that we have professional level leadership is enough to get people excited. Add to that the fact that he was available because he was fired for leading a team to only a 10-6 record and you’ve got yourself a coach that rational Bucs fans are salivating over. I lay awake at night and have impure thoughts about a Bucs 10-6 record.

  3. biggun Says:

    I’m in Asia on vacation so only 5 days for me 🙂 seriously I think we have a situation that is perfect for us this year. Unknown offense, a head coach that other coaches can’t take lightly and a pretty good roster. With that said some parts unervous the radar and other parts in your face daring our opponents. Frigging excited about this season.

  4. Joseph Mamma Says:

    Yeah he was fired after going 10-6, but it was 10-6 and not making the playoffs. Very similar to Gruden here being fired after going 9-7. Either one sounds great after Schiano and Raheem I admit.

  5. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    And so the question I have for Bucs fans. If Lovie posts 3 consecutive 10 win seasons and makes the playoffs two of those three years but no NFC title or division titles will we be clamoring for his head?

    I think it’s going to depend a lot on Tedford. Both Lovie and Dungy were fired as much for their boring offensive teams, especially Father Dungy who really produced some incredibly boring but winning teams.

    Al Davis may have said “Just win baby” but the reality is that sports is still entertainment. How you win can sometimes dictate whether you get to keep your job.

    I believe that after seeing what happened to his mentor here in Tampa and to himself in Chicago, Lovie gets it. I expect this offense to be exciting!

  6. fininishers Says:

    Go bucs!!

  7. Buccfan37 Says:

    Another season to look forward to and optimism reigns supreme. It’s time to earn greater respect around the league and show opposing teams that the Bucs are not to be taken lightly. Who knows the final outcome, the Bucs effort could shock the fans one way or the other. I’m feeling some wins as underdogs.

  8. BucsFan47 Says:


    I live in Miami and been a Bucs fan since 1997. After watching us have 2 bad head coaches in the last 5 years, feels great to finally have someone that knows what he’s doing.

    Going to the Bucs vs Ravens game and Bucs vs Packers game, cant wait to see the defense tear them up!!!

    GO BUCS!

  9. TheShaz Says:

    Some people are calling this Dungy 2.0

    Lovie was a successful Head Coach, but was released because of playoff or lack of playoff performance. Heck here in Tampa We might party in the street for a 8-8 season, let alone a winning one or more.

    Now, I would like to think Lovie learned allot from his time in Chicago. I would like to think he learned a lesson about Offense, you need some. A great defense might get you 8 wins and a outstanding special teams might win you one or two more. But to go deep into post season you need a Offense that can put points on the board when needed.

    I am optimistic. The whole league is tied 0-0. Reality will reveal itself in the next 5 months.

  10. SAMCRO Says:

    Considering the ineptitude we have endured in the past 10 years, Lovie is a great reason for the optimism. He’s a proven commodity that has shown his willingness to evolve in the complexities of today’s game, and appears ready to take the next step offensively himself. This really is exciting, and I for one, am thrilled to see the Bucs unveil what appears to be a new and innovative offense the Bucs have lacked since Grudens days. We might actually see a offense that can elevate it’s play equal to our defense for a change. Although I’m giddy, we have a reinvigorated proven head coach, but reality is, this camp and preseason should confirm if we have taken a step forward, or are we still a work in progress that may need this season to grow.

  11. bigpoppabuc Says:

    My current optimism makes me ashamed of the optimism I felt this time last season. I was one who believed Schiano could learn from his mistakes and get the most out of what I saw as a good roster. Of course I immediately regretted getting my hopes up, after that Jets game I saw the light.

  12. louden Says:

    Joe is writting some wiered stuff here – he himself wrote about why Lovie and his stuff and the whole Lovie-Era should be way better:

    Shiano offensive system + Sullivans playcalling weren´t exactly very good.

    Any coach will tell you: stop doing things that don´t work – and do the things that work 😉 (and dont fix it, if it aint broke)

    what did shiano do? he run stunts over and over again, which hurted us..
    He stopped what was working on offense (no huddle plays agains Seattle)…

    on purpose.. yet some say he is a good coach??
    1) he is sooo freaking stupid, it is just soooo mind-boggling how this guy amazed an .500 record in college – yet landing an NFL gig (okay Dom hired him)
    or 2) NFL is rigged

  13. Kevin Says:

    I would be less optimistic if this team had not lost so many close games last season. If you watched every single bucs game…they lost games that they were in position to win left and right. It was the coaching that lost the majority of those games. And on top of that this kicker which I can’t even remember his name that we had last season….holy crap he lost a handful of games with his misses. Just about everything that could have went wrong went wrong. This team is not far away….It’s all going to fall on Tedford and McCown.