Proof Is In The Red Zone

September 15th, 2014

The numbers are clear; trust in Josh McCown was lacking.

Last week, Josh McCown was making junior varsity quarterback decisions against the Panthers and the Bucs paid dearly.

Yesterday, he made another one, perhaps the worst QB blunder of the season on 1st-and-goal. And guess what happened next?

The Bucs had eight more non-fourth-down snaps in the red zone during the final 2 1/2 quarters of the game. Not one was a pass.

Stats can be misleading, but not always, and certainly not in this case.

Whoever was in charge of the offense yesterday — Lovie Smith, Marcus Arroyo? — wanted no part of McCown’s decision making skills in the red zone.

That’s fine if you win, but remember what Lovie said when the Bucs offensive line failed miserably early in preseason? Lovie told media and, subsequently, fans, “Don’t overreact.”

Yesterday at his postgame news conference, McCown said all the run plays called on key third downs were “a little surprising.”

So Joe asks today, did Lovie “overreact” to McCown’s screwup yesterday, by neutering his hand-picked, veteran quarterback. It sure seems that way. And if Lovie is already making panic moves, then Joe has to think the Mike Glennon Mob might be celebrating soon if McCown can’t fix himself this month.

56 Responses to “Proof Is In The Red Zone”

  1. meh Says:

    The problem is not McCown, it’s Lovie.

    I really don’t care which backup QB you want to put in. Really. I just care that you didn’t bother to get a starter.

  2. DallasBuc Says:

    Joe- Lovie can do absolutely no wrong. Don’t be ridiculous. In Lovie we trust, remember?

  3. Warthog Says:

    Why not? If you don’t trust McCown you might as well put Glennon in. Hey Lovie, if you refuse to throw it in the red zone, just have Rainey in there taking direct snaps. Stupid decisions.

  4. Bill T Says:

    Right on point Joe. Terrible way of coaching. If he has no confidence in your player, then pull him.

    What great coaches do is once any athlete who makes a bad mistake gets in the same situation, have them make the play…immediately! 8 plays without a pass is really incredible when you think about it

  5. Theodore Says:

    Lovie does not want to score a touchdown when a FG is all that is needed. Lovie does not want the offense to put up unnecessary points. I keep writing that because it sounds ridiculous, but yet that is what Lovie wants.

  6. Kevin K Says:

    Hey Joe the Bucs are timid and soft… Not going for TDs, not playing thru pain, and 1st round picks costing us games by laying on the ground instead of sucking it up for 3seconds.

  7. Architek Says:

    Why are we talking about this team – they’re horrible and don’t deserve our focus.

    They’re not a factor and pathetically coached.

  8. Robbie_G Says:

    Why bother having VJax and Evans if you are NOT throwing back shoulders in the red zone? This was supposed to be just like the Bears right? McCown killed it with the twin towers right?

  9. Steve Says:

    Absolutely agree. I have been waiting to see the long ball….and still waiting. Two rushing tds by McCown is nice but it shows the lack of confidence in his arm. Let the chains loose lovie!!

  10. lightningbuc Says:

    Lovie and McCown – Chicago Bears Junior Varsity

  11. Joseph Mamma Says:

    Lovie has officially made this team irrelevant and we are only in week two, come on. But we saw all this play not to lose crap with the last coach.

  12. Patrick in VA Says:

    Too early to talk about the #1 pick next year? May is right around the corner. I’m all in for a QB. Can we draft the Texas A&M coach?

  13. flmike Says:

    I keep saying it, Lovie was fired after a 10 win season for a reason…
    Also, the Bears personnel issues didn’t start until he took over personnel decisions.
    He’s f’ing clueless when it comes to talent evaluation…when he was with the Bucs his LBs were picked for him, when he was with the Rams, his defense was picked for him and until after his SB appearance the Bears team was picked for him…all his success came when other people were doing the talent and personnel evaluations….

  14. Joseph Mamma Says:

    One more thing: if you really thought that we were going to magically be the Buc’s from the Dungy era because we got Lovie, and the owner’s told us so…..your terribly gullible. It’s a completely different league now.

  15. Skyline Crew Says:

    I blame Lovie and Co. for this loss. The play calling was on a Jr. High level. We have to open up the offensive play book.

  16. Buccfan37 Says:

    This will be a hard game to forget the ineptness of the Bucs overall. Lovie will continue sticking with McCown, his prized starter, like he knows anything about offense. Yes Ryan will have a field day against the Bucs, and so will Big Ben etc.

  17. flmike Says:

    Oh, and after Atlanta finishes us off, there is a 10 day break, I expect to see Glennon starting that next game…

  18. Uncle Albert Says:

    His overly conservative offense and 1990’s style defense are outdated and bland. This team is going nowhere and it’s a shame we diehard Buc’s fans have to be subjected to another year of failure. #firelovie.

  19. Richmondbucsfan Says:

    You Can’t blame lovie for not trusting mcown he’s terrible in the red zone. However, I will blame lovie for not pulling HIS guy when he is clearly not getting the job done. Swallow your pride and put in MG8!!

  20. ruggyup Says:

    Behind closed doors in a sound proof room Lovie may be mumbling about his decision to come to Tampa believing he could buck the Buc trend line.

  21. Harry Says:

    Having coached before, I feel you have to trust your players to some degree whether you want to or not. Yes, McCown has made some terrible decisions, but if you handcuff him like that, you are hurting the entire team. As a coach, if you feel that strongly about his inability to make good decisions, then you need to replace him.

    What happened to lobbing it up there to the Dunkaneers? Isn’t this the reason for having tall WRs and TEs in the end zone? I think this is more Lovie’s conservative inclination than McCown’s poor decision making

  22. Young buc Says:

    Lovie and schiano coach not to lose

  23. Patrick in VA Says:

    @Richmondbucsfan – I don’t blame him for not trusting him. I blame him for 1) bringing him in and 2) sticking with him when it’s clear he’s not good

  24. CC Says:

    The next time McCown calls an audible at the line will be the first.

  25. billy buckaroo Says:

    Play calling is a little more than suspect but in reality they coaching staff has no clue what plays are comfortable to whatever qb they put in or the line or anybody else. Everyone is trying to figure it out “on the fly”.
    Trestman knows what plays Cutler can handle in the red zone
    Belichk knows what plays Brady can handle in the red zone
    This team is learning as they go because of all the new players coaches substitutions, plays etc.
    Unprepared in the time frame given them to get ready by the head coach and GM. They had many holes to plug, in players and coaches because of the mess they inherited. Pretty overwhelming job all things considered but L&L also were too slow in addressing it all and now it shows on the field.
    The system in place has good direction but not currently at a totally WIN level.
    Close but no cigar!
    Aside from L&L dallying in their player selections, injuries and the unfortunate Tedford situation have only delayed the process further.
    It is going to likely be a few more weeks and that is only if the coaching staff can figure out what plays match up to the players they have.
    As in Trestman-Belichk, etc.

  26. IamTheOne Says:

    Can’t I have a season where I am not sad?

    When can I wake up from this groundhog day nightmare?

  27. Patrick in VA Says:

    I was sold on the notion that Lovie demanded a certain level of play and if you don’t meet expectations then he got someone who could. It seems like McCown hasn’t met expectations but he’s just being allowed to dangle in the wind and hold the team back. What’s the harm in going with Glennon at this point? Are we going to lose worse? Doubtful. These games have been close because the teams limped their way in to RayJ to begin with. Next week is going to be shockingly bad.

  28. CC Says:

    You can not win with a try not to lose mentality. Exactly what Schiano did last year. Lovie needs to look at the calender and see that it is now 2014 and start taking advantage of the rules that are advantageous to the passing game.

  29. Doc Says:

    This team need a quarterback, plain and simple. Good teams follow the play of the quarterback. If i was a coach i would not trust him to make the right decision any where on the field. I would have replaced him in the second half.

  30. robert9 Says:

    they never benched him either when every other player that screws up hits the bench fairly quickly.

    tells me 2 things:

    lovie doesn’t want to admit his mistake in bringing him in

    lovie would rather play for a field goal than seven points

    and lovie sucks

  31. Theodore Says:

    This is exactly why we signed VJAx and drafted Mike Evans. So we can have our rookie kicker on the field.

  32. Patrickbucs Says:

    I thought he learned after being fired that you have to have a good offense to be successful in the league now. Apparently he didn’t learn anything sitting on the couch this past year.

    I watch a lot of college football. This offense looks nothing like Tedford’s Cal’s teams in the past. This has Lovie all over it.

  33. Soggy Says:

    I remember bears fans warning us during the offseason, some of them warnings were right here I think.. Someone said yesterday that lovies year in the basement must have been at his moms.. Funny

  34. Buc1987 Says:

    And Schiano’s Bucs would still beat Lovie’s Bucs.

    My unofficial scorecard

    Schiano – 2

    Lovie – 0

  35. Dan Says:

    I had a flashback yesterday as to why Dungy was run out of here…

    At this rate, we will be points leaders in the “Winston” Cup….

  36. Aubpierce Says:

    As I mentioned yesterday, Lovie must have slept in his basement last year!
    However, I didnt tell you Lovie must have been dreaming about cover two.
    Cover two hasnt work in over ten years and wont work today. Lovie must open up the offense and score 31 points a game to be successful.

  37. Buc'n Enough Says:

    I can see it now….

    “This just in…Bucs trade next years #1 for Brian Hoyer”….UGH!

  38. Bill Gootee Says:

    My patience with the Bucs has all but gone. I will not watch a team that is so woefully inept. I’ve had enough already and when you add the fact that they call plays based on fear, well, f**k them. I’d rather see a pick in the red zone than an ultra-conservative run.

  39. Penaltyontheplay Says:

    OK, so here’s the pedigree of the coaches who are going to turnaround the Bucs:

    HC- fired by the Bears.

    OC- fired by Cal.

    DC- fired by the Vikings.

    If I were a cynical sort I’d probably think there’s a pattern here!

  40. PRBucFan Says:

    Tedfords offense is heavy run he had success running all day, makes sense to do whats working right?

    And again this loss was not on him lol.

  41. Buc1987 Says:

    3rd and 7 in the redzone and they run when they have to giants on for WR’s. No there’s a problem there.

  42. Buc1987 Says:

    “to giants on”

    2 giants on either side for WR’s

  43. Westsidebucsfan Says:

    I went to the chargers/Seahawks game yesterday. Talk about a couple of teams that have their $hit together… And all I can do is watch tape of the poor BUCS trying to move the ball and score fg’s. I say every year and I’ll say it again, it’s tough being a BUCS fan

  44. bucrightoff Says:

    This is Lovieball. We were promised it by Bear fans, and we’ve gotten it. The Lovieball Bears down 17-0 last night lose 31-10. The Trestman Bears last night win 28-20. Bear fans are thrilled they got rid of Lovie, and hopefully we too will get an offensive minded guy in here rather than Lovie’s experiment to try 1999 football philosophies in 2014.

  45. ak427er Says:

    the way I see it the other teams have decided that if you get after our qb he will make panicked stupid decisions. McCown has proved them correct. we do not have the o-line to protect him and they are being succesful at getting after him. I don’t think he will quit making panicked stupid decisions. this is who josh mccown is. it is who he has been for all of his career accept 5 games with Chicago last year. I believe Glennon will not make panicked stupid decisions.

    i said it last week. i would have told mccown in no uncertain terms if you do high school crap you will be put on the bench and if glennon outplays you the job is his. glennon should get his chance. mccown sucks.

  46. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    ” They had many holes to plug, in players and coaches because of the mess they inherited.”


    Every time I read a poster saying this I ask myself just what mess was left for Lovie? They had the best shutdown CB in the NFL and let him walk. They had a serviceable to good C/OG in Zuttah and let him walk, and they inherited a team that had a decent amount of young talent. Schiano had already done the hard work and cleaned up the garbage from Rah’s tenure, so at least the players Lovie inherited loved football more than weed, spinning tunes as a DJ, or some other undisclosed and never to be revealed by the NFLPA investigation issues from a franchise pretending QB who can’t even get his tires kicked by a NFL team anymore. So I ask again, what mess did Lovie and Licht have to clean up?

  47. pick6 Says:

    10 days between games after thursday. it’s like a mini-bye week. just sayin…

  48. pick6 Says:

    @Toes on the line

    i agree 100%. they can’t cry about the cupboard being bare when they cleared it out. they decided we were a better football team minus some guys who started and have been successful in the league because “the bucs were a 4 win team”. the team we have seen is a direct consequence of the guys the shipped out and the guys they put a priority on getting in. how many changes would a 4 win season with L&L’s hand picked squad force the bucs to make next year? i hope we don’t have to find out.

  49. james west Says:

    did not like the hire to begin with, did not like his choice for defensive coordinator, did not like his draft, did not like his choice of QB did not like his free agent signings, this B.S is not going to work!! I say get rid of stone face and promote tedford to H.C. sit MCclown – play glennon if he is our future then give him his shot. if anyone thinks this team is capable of turning this season around is not thinking clearly or being honest . we just got beat by 2 back up QB’s games we should have won, AT HOME!!!! well just wait we only got 14 more weeks of this futility. I am sorry mr brooks and greatly respect you as a player, and loved me some tampa D back in the day. but I can not be patient any longer watching this back to the future dungy clone ruin my sundays

  50. tiny tim Says:

    Anybody that blames McCown for the loss really does not know football. Yes he made a bad decision in the 1ST QUARTER, but he was very efficient with the ball the rest of the game. I believe he completed 16-20 passes for 180 yards. What do all the players around the league say when they have a negative/bad play? They say put that play behind you and move on because one bad play will not lose you the football game. Mistakes/bad plays happen (ala blocked punts and fg). What we can not do is continue to coach not to lose instead of coaching to win. Thats the biggest problem and takeaway from this game.

  51. buctebow Says:

    0-2 leaves about a 10% chance of making the playoffs……and 0% chance of me taking that bet.

  52. MIKE Says:


  53. the realist Says:

    reading the comments, im amazed by what im reading. it sounds like nobody even watched the games. were holding conservative play calling on offense accountable, saying that the talent is not there, saying the coaching is not there. but what i have seen in the past two games is a quarterback make a few bad decisions under pressure, from TWO VERY GOOD DEFENSES. minus those bad decisions, they’ve done pretty well counting in the matchups they’ve seen. i would put it more on the defense. theres no pressure on opposing quarterbacks, even with our starters in. granted they stop the run pretty well, but what does that matter when they convert on 3rd and long through the air EVERY SINGLE TIME. i hold the secondary and defensive line accountable. the only players we have that will make a play on the ball, wont even get a pass thrown their way(alteraun verner). the rest of them look lost. how can expect to cover nfl WR’s when you cant even make a play on the ball when it comes straight to you…. im amazed that nobody commenting has even come close to holding our defense accountable. i like lovie, i agree with conservative play calling, but it only works when your defense can stop the pass. the secondary is out of position every play, and not a single one of our defensive lineman can collapse the pocket consistently. 0-16 simply because our defense cannot get off the feild on 3rd and long.

  54. bob in valrico Says:

    scoring touchdowns keeps tired, injury riddled defense on field less.Mccown made one very bad play. he completed 76% of his passes for8.5 yard average.
    absolutey no reason to think defense would stop rams and protect 1 point lead.
    coaching decisions much more of a problem. been following bucs from start.
    hard to watch last two coaches handing victories to opponent with bonehead conservative playcalling.

  55. Bucfan47 Says:

    Where is this Offense they were keeping under wraps that they were gonna shock us with once they “Unveiled” it?

  56. Rroller Says:

    Showme your Td’s, Me Lovie longtime.
    Show me no Td’s, you no happy ending.