Yesterday, Today And Tomorrow

September 15th, 2014
Lambs third-string slug quarterback Austin Davis warms up before he slices up the Bucs Sunday.

Lambs third-string slug quarterback Austin Davis warms up before he slices up the Bucs Sunday.

A long look at the Bucs yesterday, today, and what to expect tomorrow and beyond.

It is some 12 hours after the kick-in-the-groin loss the Bucs dropped to the St. Louis Lambs. A team that is just about as one-dimensional as they get. A team led by a third string quarterback. A team led by a quarterback who was making his first NFL start.

You gotta be s(p)itting me!?

Yes, Joe knows the Tampa Bay defense has been ravaged by injuries. The Bucs are beat up worse than a rented mule and the regular season is but nine days old. Even Dashon Goldson told Joe that it was difficult for the Bucs to find film to work with in preparing for Davis… BECAUSE HE HAD SO FEW SNAPS!

And Davis was 22 of 29. That is flat unacceptable. Sorry.

While the Davis saga is galling enough, Lovie Smith said he didn’t want more points near the end of the first half with the Bucs on their 40 yard line with timeouts available because the “only thing that could happen was something bad.”

Well, it took Chucky years before he said something he wished he could take back (couldn’t find a way to get Joey Galloway and Antonio Bryant on the field at the same time) and it took Greg Schiano nearly two years (stopping a humming no-huddle offense because it wasn’t practiced enough). But it has taken Lovie Smith two games.

WHAT?! If a coach has that little faith, that little confidence, that little trust in his quarterback or other players on the field, maybe those players shouldn’t be on the field?

But guess who picked those same offensive players? That’s right, not former Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik, not Schiano, not Bruce Almighty. No. It was Lovie himself. Seven Bucs offensive starters were picked by Lovie. And he doesn’t trust them to score. Hhhmmm???

Joe doesn’t know where to begin, with the defense which couldn’t stop a third string stiff making his first start, or with coaches growing so conservative, they made Sean Hannity look like a member of the Green Party.

Coaches gone conservative? Nah. More like scared of their own shadows.

Anthony Collins’ Heart

If there is one enduring postgame image of last night, it was irate left tackle Anthony Collins. The former Bengals backup – notice he has gone up against two of the best defensive ends in the NFL to start the season and rendered one invisible and the second was all but neutered – was so freaking upset, that at first he cursed out loud to no one and anyone as he walked off the field.

Once in the locker room, he sat on a crate in the middle of the locker room, with full uniform on, so PO’ed not only could he not talk, not even when he even tried to talk, but tears came to his eyes he was trying to hold his emotions so hard.

While the jury is still out on Josh McCown and Michael Johnson, it seems Clinton McDonald, Alterraun Verner and Anthony Collins are fine signings.

Injuries Mounting

The Bucs played two physical teams to open the season, and have seen four of their front-7 on defense injured. When the game ended yesterday, only Lavonte David, Jonathan Casillas and McDonald were among the starting front-7still standing.

This is not an excuse, no excuse at all. It just goes to show how beat up the Bucs are. Joe can’t remember the last time over half of a defensive front seven were down after the second game.


So let’s see: The Bucs got lit up by a journeyman backup and a third string never-been. In both games the Bucs got torched by tight ends. So someone please tell Joe how the Bucs are supposed to stop – in order – Matty Ice, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees and Joe Flacco in the next four games.

Jeff Tedford Saga Continues

With all due respect, it sure smells like Bucs offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford had a more severe medical issue or procedure than just having stents implanted. Joe ran into Tedford after the game and Tedford confessed to Joe that not only did he not call plays yesterday, he is not back full-time and that there is no firm timetable as to when he can or will resume his full-time duties. Tedford hopes it will be time for Thursday’s Falcons-Bucs game but admitted it is a “step-by-step” process.

Anyone who knows anything about football knows missing an offensive coordinator is a peck of trouble. While Joe certainly wishes Tedford a full recovery in whatever ails him, this is yet another pile of bad news upon bad news for the Bucs.

NFL Thoughts

Crows: What a number they did on the Steelers the other night. First time in a long time those two teams did not play a close game. Looking like a showdown with the Bengals for AFC North supremacy.

Bills: Well, what do you know, that miscreant, blade-in-the-thigh, mattress-in-the-front-yard, team wrecker Mike Williams is contributing to an undefeated team and hasn’t corrupted Sammy Watkins. Who woulda thunk it?

Stinking Panthers: Starting to look like the Stinking Panthers have a helluva defense, even without Greg Hardy. Yeah, that putz Jerry Richardson bawls at a banquet about domestic violence but had no problem with Hardy starting for his team – it was Ron Rivera who decided to sit Hardy.

Bengals: Whooped up on the Dixie Chicks. Man, the Bengals have a helluva team. Picked off Matty Ice three times and put the game away in the third quarter.

Browns: Joe did a double-take like a Looney Tunes cartoon when he saw the score of this game. The Browns beat the Saints 26-24? Really? Brian Hoyer actually threw for over 200 yards. Hey, the Saints are 0-2 like the Bucs. Who woulda thunk it? Yes, Joe realizes the Saints opened with two road games.

Patriots: Did anyone really believe the Patriots would go 0-2? Tom Brady had modest numbers, but a win is a win.

Cardinals: Two good wins, though this win Sunday was over the hapless Giants. Trailing 14-10 after three, the Cardinals and Drew Stanton scored 15 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.

Cowboys: Who said the Cowboys had no defense? Two picks of Jake Locker and keeping the Titans out of the end zone in the fourth quarter did the trick.

Redskins: Is Kirk Cousins that good or are the Jags that bad? Cousins, playing for injured (again) RGIII, threw for 250 yards and two touchdowns in a drubbing of the Jags.

Chargers: Pretty impressive win by the Chargers over the Super Bowl champs, especially when you factor in that the Chargers were playing on a short week. Philip Rivers had three touchdown passes.

Broncos: Yawn. Peyton Manning throws for 242 yards and three touchdowns, all the offense the Broncos would need. Yawn. Over the lowly Chiefs, no less. Yawn.

Packers: The Pack didn’t play that well but when you have Aaron Rodgers, it doesn’t matter. He threw for 346 yards and three scores.

Texans: The Raiders are a mess.

Bears: The Monsters of the Midway figured out Colin Kaepernick, picking him off three times. Bratty Jay Cutler had four touchdowns meanwhile. Why is there a voice in the back of Joe’s head that keeps saying Cutler will be with the Bucs before Lovie Smith’s days are done here?

Non-NFL (Game) Thoughts

1. Joe’s had it with Ray Rice talk. Look, a wrong has been righted. That is great. That woman-puncher should never have gotten only a two-game suspension to begin with. The fact he got a just penance should be the end of the story. Period. But now, it has turned into a witch hunt for Roger Goodell. Stop. Many are calling for Goodell to resign or be fired. This usually brings out a hearty laugh from Joe. Unless someone can prove Goodell (or his henchmen) pulled something illegal under his orders, this is laughable. Why would the owners want to fire a guy who has doubled their revenue in the past six years. We’re not talking Watergate or the Catholic Church or not even the IRS scandals here. Rather than worrying about Goodell, why not put heat on why slimy owners like Jerry Richardson bawl in public about domestic violence yet support convicted woman-beater Greg Hardy being a starter? Or how about that fraud Jed York in San Francisco? Has the balls to suspend an announcer who said things he didn’t like, but he runs to a microphone supporting human debris like Ray McDonald – who beat up his pregnant girlfriend – and that walking DUI Aldon Smith. Again, a wrong has been righted with the Rice case. Let’s not make Goodell some kind of Richard Nixon or crooked bishop or Lois Lerner. The problem lies with owners who tolerate their players beating up women. They can bench players a whole lot easier than Goodell.

2. Saturday looked like a manurefest of college football. It turned out to be damned good. For Joe, it started with West Virginia at Maryland. Of course, West Virginia beat Maryland. Funny thing to Joe is Maryland is trying to be like Oregon, thinking that wearing weird costumes (they are not uniforms) will attract recruits. That is just so bogus. If that were true, why is Maryland such a doormat? How is it that schools (up until this fall) like Alabama, LSU, Florida State, USC, Auburn, Georgia with traditional uniforms have no trouble recruiting and winning? Then Joe notices some folks on Twitter saying the weirdo uniforms are for the recruits and not for the alumni. Ha! Look at what happened to Florida State. Enough heavy hitter boosters complained, and they are making changes back to traditional road uniforms. The boosters (alumni) control the cash flow, not the high school kids. Don’t ever forget that.

3. Damn, Joe loves college football. That Georgia-South Carolina game was really good (and predictable). Never count out the Ol’ Ball Coach.

4. Texas-UCLA was a game way under the radar. May have been the best game of the night. Brett Hundley, erstwhile Heisman Trophy candidate blew out his left elbow and Jerry Neuheisel rescues the Bruins with a late touchdown. Yeah, his dad is that guy. Looks just like his old man, too. What a game. What a save to the season for UCLA.

5. Joe keeps telling folks to watch out for Christian Hackenberg. Dude is clutch. Down two scores leads the Nittany Lions on two late scoring drives, one with seconds left in the game for a win to remain undefeated. Hackenberg, who was one of the top high school quarterbacks a few years ago, looks just like an NFL dropback prospect in an NFL offense. Dude has nobody to throw to and a porous offensive line yet the sophomore is sixth in the NCAA in passing yards. This kid is going to be a stud.

6. Uh, oh. Joe saw Texas A&M quarterback Kenny “Thrill” Hill throw up the Johnny Football money fingers in a rout over Rice.

7. In a 37-31 upset over USC, Boston College’s run defense was sick. The Eagles outgained the Trojans on the ground 452-20. That’s not a typo. USC had but 20 yards rushing the whole game. How can that happen?

8. Virginia – yes, Virginia! – has a damned good defense. They had UCLA on the ropes with Hundley and last week, held Louisville and that chickens(p)it Bobby Petrino to one touchdown through three quarters in a win over the Cardinals.

9. Is Nick Saban going to take it easy on Will Muschamp this week? He might be hiring Muschamp as his defensive coordinator the way things are going.

10. Two weeks to go and the Redbirds have a 3.5 game lead in the National League Central with six games against the Brewers and Reds at home the next week. That should decide the pennant. Amazing what can happen when your best player (Yadi Molina) returns from the disabled list, refreshed and recharged.

46 Responses to “Yesterday, Today And Tomorrow”

  1. NewTampaChris Says:

    I’m so glad I’m getting on a plane and getting out of Tampa through Wednesday. I think I’d cry if I stumbled upon sports talk radio. 0-2 is one thing, the way they’ve gotten there is so depressing.

  2. Jim Walker Says:

    I am so glad I did not buy season tickets.

  3. ryan Says:

    I hope the Cards lose in the playoffs. Never had anything against them until I started reading about them from Joe.

  4. Chef Paul Says:

    The Bucs are the B1G of the NFL. When I watch my Hawkeyes, then a SEC game, it’s just like watching the Bucs then watching almost any other NFL team. Every other team looks faster, stronger, smarter, and has more fire. I dont blame Lovie 100% though. It’s been that way for years.

  5. Tom Edrington Says:

    I think the Bucs should prepare themselves for numerous kicks below the waist this season.

    Mainly, because it’s so easy to do.

  6. jb Says:

    Jim Walker Says:
    September 15th, 2014 at 8:10 am

    I am so glad I did not buy season tickets.
    I’ve bought ’em for 38 seasons now, and boy I feel like a complete idiot! All the Glazers have done is find a different coach to blow even more smoke up our asses, so we’ll continue to buy tickets……

  7. Gus Says:

    Any word in Mike Evans

  8. flmike Says:

    I’m just throwing this out there, but I’m predicting Lovie’s stay in Tampa is a short one…he’s gonna pull a Saban, but go one better, he’s just gonna retire…he’s gonna make it through one horrible season then walk away…remember the Bears didn’t have personnel issues until Lovie took over the personnel decisions.

  9. Greg Says:

    This team will be lucky to win one single game if they don’t fire Lovie now.
    Makes me sick to my stomach to watch my team play with this idiot in charge.
    Lovie = Fail
    Fire him now
    I will not go to another game with this excuse of a coach.

  10. Bucks_Sam Says:

    While Josh sucks, and I’m a Glennon fan, it’s clear this isn’t primarily an Offense issue. Josh has a 91 QBR, while that magical contrite number doesn’t mean much, it can point you in the right direction. He wasn’t awful, the conservative play call was a bigger factor. How many jump balls did Mike or VJack get into? how many corner of the endzone fades was there? QB Draw? End arounds? Play actions?….. Was this the 6th preseason game?

    22 of 29 from who? I don’t even know who this QB’s are that are slicing and dicing us.

    I don’t care what Josh or Mike can do, worst NFL defense from Lovie Smith is the glaring problem here. Isn’t Lovie a Defense man? then why is the D the worst part of the team.

  11. CC Says:

    Whoever called the plays on offense Sunday needs to be replaced. Not one passing play in 8 snaps inside the redzone after the interception. But the great one (Lovie) says he did not loose confidence in McCown.

  12. Patrick in VA Says:

    I can definitely see how bloggers and sports talk people say that teams playing bad football are bad for business. While I’m obviously still coming back now, I can definitely see how a lot of the more casual readers/listeners would rather check out when a team is floundering as badly as the Bucs. Now that we have so many injuries to an already bad team, I wonder if it’s even worth tuning in to for the rest of the year, much less actually going to the game and spending any money at all to see the garbage that they’re trotting out there.

  13. Greg Says:

    I will be watching the rest of the games this season on NFL Redzone so I dont have to watch this coaching staff ruin our team.
    Lovie = fail
    Fire him now

  14. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I like Anthony Collins’ attitude.

  15. lightningbuc Says:

    The piss poor coaching shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone – the Head Coach, the O-Coordinator, and the D-Coordinator were all fired from their last gigs.

  16. Zambonidave Says:

    I heard Atlanta is resting Matt Ryan this week because they feel comfortable playing TJ Yates vs the Bucs. It’s only week two and my liver hurts!

  17. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    BuccaneerBonzai Says:
    “If this team was as bad off as all of you claimed last year, it makes no sense that it will take only one year to fix. Even Dungy did not do that. Which…btw…how was Dungy’s first few games? His first year?

    The similarities are staggering. Sam drafted Dungy’s best guys. Greg drafted Lovie’s best guys.

    Dungy went 7-9 (and lost the first 5 games). Lovie is predicted to go 7-9.

    I’ll ask you all this…if the Bucs become dominant for ten years again (and win a superbowl) will it be worth one more losing season (which is what 7-9 is)?”

  18. 77 bassguitarist Says:

    @ jim walker i hear u brother…. I came close to
    Buying as well. It was my duties at my church
    That stoped me! Being my church takes in at 10 a.m.
    I wouldn’t have had time.

  19. D-Rome Says:

    While the Davis saga is galling enough, Lovie Smith said he didn’t want more points near the end of the first half with the Bucs on their 40 yard line with timeouts available because the “only thing that could happen was something bad.”

    Joe, I was at the game yesterday and I have a real problem with this line of thinking. We can blame certain plays, certain players, certain throws and make a case that those specific plays cost us the game but yesterday’s loss is on the coaching staff IMO.

    With three timeouts and only a minute to go the only thing that could happen is “something bad”? Maybe I play Madden 15 too much but I would have managed the time completely different. Maybe, just M-A-Y-B-E, I let the clock run out in that situation if I know we’re going to receive the ball in the 2nd half. Points aren’t easy to come by in the NFL especially with this offense so why not take advantage of the opportunities when they are there. Why not try to create opportunities?

    I don’t care what anyone says on the radio or otherwise. Anthony Becht doesn’t believe for a second that Lovie lost confidence in McCown but how else should fans interpret “only thing that could happen was something bad”?

  20. sho nuff Says:

    the tampa 2 sucks…bottom line…oh and dungey disciples are overrated as he was….he was stubborn and loyal to hacks that accepted his faith…see clyde Christensen and Dilfer….sorry he won for 1 reason…he was told to keep away from the Manning and the offense…otherwise he would have been milk toast there as well…unfortunately we have his snarky droll lineage running this team now…#beafraidofmirrors

  21. robert9 Says:

    yesterday we still had hope, today we realise there is a snowballs chance in hell, tomorrow we won’t even care to watch. much less comment on here.

    perhaps isn’t such a bad idea anymore. 🙂

  22. sho nuff Says:

    “I’ll ask you all this…if the Bucs become dominant for ten years again (and win a superbowl) will it be worth one more losing season (which is what 7-9 is)?”

    sure if they can scrape an actual identity together…if mcsniffles the oft injured bust is your huckleberry forgetaboutit

  23. ack Says:

    I think a blocked punt, blocked field goal, and interception can be fixed quickly, but I am not sure if a defense letting the other team go on a 12-play, 71-yard drive to win the game is quickly fixable.

  24. Bucks_Sam Says:

    Your article is too long Joe, let me clean it up.

    Yesterday: Alright everyone has a bad start, lets do this.

    Today: WTF…. Seriously, WTF?

    Tomorrow: Atlanta… in Atlanta…. Oh Thursday? Why can’t TNF only be on NFL Network, I don’t want anyone to see this. Ugh.

  25. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    “He might be hiring Muschamp as his defensive coordinator the way things are going.”

    Hope not. First choice would be for him to stick around Gainesville a few seasons longer. Next choice would be Jimbo hiring him as DC in Tallahassee. He’s a great DC.

  26. Greg Says:

    I’ll ask you all this…if the Bucs become dominant for ten years again (and win a superbowl) will it be worth one more losing season (which is what 7-9 is)?”

    Are you kidding me.
    This coaching staff will be lucky to win a single game.

  27. BuccaneerBonzai Says:


    That question should have excluded you, as you have already confessed to jumping off the bandwagon and switching to redzone. 😉

  28. Greg Says:

    I don’t care who the players are as long as you have this coach then this is what we are going to see.
    It is who he is.

  29. BUCTROOPER Says:

    0-6. Put it in the books.

  30. buc4lyfe Says:

    I’m sure what the media is going to do is use injuries as the next excuse just like the players and lovie. They could easily beat that team without McCoy….. I’m glad it’s a short week so I don’t have to hear the excuses

  31. Greg Says:

    @ Buccaneer Bonzai
    I have been a bucs fan for more than 20 years and will continue to be but would like to see some real football.
    Not this Lovie crap.

  32. Soggy Says:

    McCown is lovies man maybe they both are on the pipe = smokin buddies.. oh ya

  33. Paul Says:

    Bucs’ cover 2 has the biggest throwing windows ever.

  34. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    It takes time to make things go right.

  35. Greg Says:

    Anyone that keeps buying the crap that it takes time is living on another planet.
    All we heard all off season was that we are built to win now.
    This coaching staff is a failure.
    Fire them now.

  36. Buc1987 Says:

    Bonazi…I tell you right now this team will not win more than 5 games and that’s if they are lucky. I predict 4.

  37. KeithInTampa Says:

    Geesh…..This is scary……I agree with most everything Joe wrote today.

  38. Brent Says:

    Fire the coach mantra already! Wow. Lovie is considered a solid coach for years. Firing a coach over and over again is bad for team. 2 games and fire coach is ridiculous for a guy inheriting a 4-12 team with no qb. I hope they give this guy a shot at least 3 years. I am concerned about how confused our defense looks. I’m hoping Frazier is as good as his reputation but so far not impressive. This team was a 5-6 win team all along. Some of this frustration comes from wak fans playoff expectations. Playoffs you had to be a sucker to have thought that!! Lol.

  39. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    Sorry Brent, but two seasons to produce a winning record is the Glazer’s way. Lovie should not be given a free pass based on past glories. Either he turns this mess around and earns the full term of his contract or he continues to look outmatched and earns his termination after two years. Same deal Morris (who saved his bacon an extra year with a miraculous 10 win season of smoke) and Schiano got.

  40. OB Says:


    I don’t know who the coaches report to including Lovie, but someone has to give then a kick in the rear and tell them that winning is the idea not defending the status quo or keeping your mistakes in personnel in the game.

    Everybody has a bad day, that is what there is relief pitchers in baseball, when your QB isn’t trusted or keeps making bonehead plays or both, put in a relief QB. This is not brain surgery although it looks like some needs to be done on some folks.

    Even you could fix this mess before Thursday.

  41. crazy Says:

    Tedford may have an irregular heartbeat the docs are trying to settle down. The biggest problem on defense is Lovie’s secondary isn’t getting it done.

  42. Joe Says:


    Make no mistake, the buck stops at Lovie’s desk. They call answer to him.

  43. lurker Says:

    “I’ll ask you all this…if the Bucs become dominant for ten years again (and win a superbowl) will it be worth one more losing season (which is what 7-9 is)?”

    but dungy never said this:
    “Right before the half, I didn’t want to put more points on the board. I didn’t feel like we could, only thing that could happen was something bad then”

    also, if the above holds true, then we get one more coach to take us over the hump to the bowl…

  44. Piratic Says:

    @Joe: Great work using “peck”. Well done, sir.

  45. james west Says:

    i am sick and nauseated by this (LSD) lovie smith debacle. you name me one assistant to dungy that has hoisted the Lombardi trophy, answer none, tony couldn’t get over the hump down here either only when got to Indiana did he succeed with their offense and peyton!! and his stoneface demeanor and lack of emotion from him and leslie make me want to vomit!! this defense i in trouble and the offense will not win with this conservative play call and this joke of a QB. let’s hope for a quick end to this trip because i think i am going to O.D.

  46. KeithInTampa Says:

    Hey James West!

    I am on the same page with you….Dungy was never able to take a Team to the “Big Show” (other than when he had the best Offense in the League, and a pretty stout defense to match) and then Dungy was only able to get to the Dance once….

    None of the coaches from the “Dungy Tree” have done anything to speak of…ie (and Tomlin) being the most successful.

    Having said that, I would be opposed to the Bucs jerking the rug out from underneath Lovie/Licht at this stage. Lovie was not my first pick when we “acquired” him, but I actually have been impressed with the off-season moves, and his comments since arriving back in Tampa. I still think that the potential is there to build on what he’s started here….It’s going to take longer than what the media, and what Licht/Lovie tried to sell the community however. We’re still missing a lot of key pieces personnel wise defensively, and McCown as much as I had hopes for, is not the answer….