THE OPTIMIST: Finished Product Is Coming

October 30th, 2014

In these unsettled times of devastating Bucs losses, constant change and growing pains, Joe thought it would be wise to bring back THE OPTIMIST.

THE OPTIMIST is Nick Houllis, a Bucs fan and an accomplished writer whose steadfast allegiance to the Buccaneers goes back to the 1970s. Houllis is the founder, creator and guru of, a place Joe goes to get lost in time via Houllis’ stunning video collection.

THE OPTIMIST will shine that positive light in your eyes. Some will love it. Some won’t. … Of course, THE OPTIMIST’s opinions are his alone and are not influenced by Joe.

The Bucs defense held Minnesota to 13 points in regulation and, even though that was a team led by a rookie, they were supposed to hold them to less than 17 points.

It was a successful showing.

It helps that the starters were all back for the most part. As we know, this team has little depth from the constant changing of coaches: three now in six years, with each new one clearing the roster of the former.

You don’t build depth via free agency, it’s going to take three years for the Bucs to establish depth to where they are competitive at a high level. Right now, there is simply no one starters ready to play in the NFL behind 80 percent of the starters.

We already know the offensive woes from the disastrous loss of offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford. You can’t expect an offense to play worth anything when the guy crafting it and leading it doesn’t make it out of preseason.

Bad Bruce Arians analogy

I’ve heard from fans who compare the Bucs to Chuck Pagano and how the Indianapolis Colts were fine when interim coach Bruce Arians stepped in.


Bruce Arians had more experience coaching (35 years) than Marcus Arroyo has been alive (34)!!! It’s not the same thing.

Of course, we also know free agents have yet to pan out this year. That doesn’t necessarily mean Lovie and Licht are in over their head; it happens. No one criticized the Bucs’ free agents in April, (Yes, I know Joe was skeptical of Anthony Collins and Michael Johnson) national media was praising the Bucs for being so aggressive.

It reminds me of when the Bucs spent a ton in free agency back in 2004 to make one last Super Bowl push.

Calling Charlie Garner

They picked up players like tackle Todd Steussie, Derrick Deese, Tim Brown and running back Charlie Garner.

Those weren’t considered bad moves before September of that year, but they didn’t work out. The Bucs did the same exact thing in 2002, when same four positions picked turned out to be great choices.

The 2002 players worked out, the 2004 pickups didn’t; It happens.

So far, drafting has looked positive. But Bucs fans need to understand that when Tony Dungy took over the Bucs, in his first year, Eric Curry, Charles Dimry, Melvin Johnson and Todd Scott were playing where Ronde Barber, Simeon Rice, John Lynch and Dexter Jackson later would.

What you see on the field in 2014 is NOT a finished product by any means.

Lovie isn’t a relic

This roster is depleted, and it’s going to take time to build it back up.

Bucs fans need to give it time.

Lovie Smith didn’t forget how to coach in two years. Case in point, remember how Bucs fans wanted to destroy Lovie and the Bucs for cutting Connor Barth? “Just to save a million dollars, these guys don’t know what they’re doing”? Not too many people are talking about Barth now, are they? Patrick Murray is Patrick Money!!

Be patient, Bucs fans. It will happen.

44 Responses to “THE OPTIMIST: Finished Product Is Coming”

  1. RastaMon Says:

    The product is FINISHED……

  2. Buccfan37 Says:

    Patience is the best virtue, yeah right. My stinking patience has worn micron thin. Most other teams don’t have to wait this long to put a competitive team on the field. I’ll just wait some more. The life of a Bucs fan better be a long one.

  3. ddneast Says:

    Hope you are right Nick as all of the things you say are true.
    Still, it would be more comforting if the Bucs had gone out and gotten an experienced OC when Tedford went out. Arroyo is simply in over his head.
    I will be much more confident if the Bucs can repeat last weeks defensive performance against the Browns this week.
    Hoyer is a good QB but no Drew Bree’s. These guys on defense need to learn how to become playmakers. Can anyone imagine Rinde Barber dropping that INT chance late in the game against the Vikings like Edwards did.
    That is how you beat talented rookies, by making them pay for rookie mistakes.
    All of these problems could be resolved if both lines would play to their salary level. As it is, most of them are playing like free agents, but of the first year type, fresh out of college ball.

  4. ddneast Says:

    Tell me Bucfan37 are you a season ticket holder? From many of your posts I doubt it.

  5. DB55 Says:

    Zimmer Vikings 3-5
    Wisenhunt Titans. 2-6
    Caldwell Lions 6-2
    Gruden Redskins. 3-5
    O’Brien Texans 4-4
    Pettine Browns 4-3
    Smith Bucs 1-5

  6. lightningbuc Says:

    Change his moniker from The Optimist to The Comedian cuz his column is a joke.

  7. bucrightoff Says:

    Lovie dug his own grave with his over the top proclamations that fans shouldn’t be patient and he expects to win quickly. Well now there’s no doubt if next seasons starts 0-3 or so Lovie is done. He only has himself to blame but then again his contract, unlike the players, is fully guaranteed if he gets fired. $20 million no matter what he does. So of course he can be rah rah about winning right away and not being patient, because if he gets fired he still gets it all.

    If Lovie had come in and laid expectations low, saying this was a bad team years away from being a playoff team, things would be different right now. Instead he went the other way. Worst part is now he can’t rebuild because he’s committed himself to winning now. Things could get even worse here before they get better. Its depressing to think about.

  8. Newbucsfan!!! Says:

    I see where you are goin DB55 and I agree

  9. jo_mama Says:

    “Be patient, Bucs fans. It will happen.” – NO

  10. DB55 Says:


    You see that? All first year regimes. “It takes time”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. mike h Says:

    @DB55 that’s 1-6 pal

  12. RastaMon Says:

    WE should have hired Herm Edwards….;-) …only Herm can see the finished product….count down to Super Bowl

  13. Buc1987 Says:

    DB55…that’s brilliant!

    You should save that and post it every time someone says it takes time.

  14. mike h Says:

    would like to see jim harbaugh in tampa.

  15. mike h Says:

    not cuz he is not African American! but cuz he is offensive type coach with a lot of fire. this team could use some fire ! a nice jump start.

  16. mike h Says:

    but lets see what lovie can do the rest of year who knows!

  17. mike h Says:

    lets face it if we were winning some games we wouldn’t even be talking about it.

  18. DB55 Says:

    Mike H

    Lmao – even better. Hahahaha

    It takes time you stupid moronic fair weather fans. (Sarcasm)

  19. lightningbuc Says:

    mike h Says:
    October 30th, 2014 at 11:52 am
    not cuz he is not African American!


    Glad you added that disclaimer or risk being labeled a racist by ddneast!

  20. mike h Says:

    lol ya just 5 years and 25 mil will do it!

  21. mike h Says:

    that’s it mr glazer. I promise! hahahaha

  22. billy buckaroo Says:

    I wonder how much “time” they think it will take?
    I guess eventually even a blind squirrel finds a nut

  23. DB55 Says:

    Billy B

    To quote Lovie at his post-game PC on Sunday. “Eventually” that’s how much time he needs.

  24. mike h Says:

    holy! s..t! that long DB.hahaha

  25. mike h Says:

    @lighting. I know pal wtf. some peeps u know!

  26. mike h Says:

    @lightning by the way the bolts. they are going along way this year. awesome!!!!!

  27. Buccfan37 Says:

    ddneast… No, I am not a season ticket holder, never have been. I’ve been to dozens of games, none at RJS. That has nothing to do with my opinions or Buc fan standing. I’ve been here from the beginning cheering for my home team.

  28. BoJim Says:

    Thanks for bringing in The Optimist Joe. He put things in a different perspective which we all need to be reminded of.

  29. Buc1987 Says:

    Buccfan37 Says:
    October 30th, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    “ddneast… No, I am not a season ticket holder, never have been.”

    How come you didn’t buy them this season? Surely you must not like black coaches.(sarcasm for those not in the loop) That HAS to be it.

  30. Brent Says:

    So what does this guy mean? Lovie, who is a defensive coach, has taking our defense from 15th to last thusfar. What does optimist say? Again, nobody is saying Lovie can’t have success in tampa or that he should def be fired after year 1. Most people seem to be saying he should get 2 years. That said, every game he coaches is scrutinized and should be. He doesn’t get a write off for year 1. That is irresponsible. If the team takes a step back year 1 (as it has so far). Then that is Part of the evaluation. Not and end but a start of and end. First year coaches are taking over losing teams and turning the teams around year 1: Andy Reid, Bruce Arians, bill o brien, mike pettiness, Doug Marrine. Nobody gets a free pass year 1. This is irresponsible. His job is being evaluated every game in a cumulative way.

  31. sho-nuff Says:

    .. bless you optimist…this world needs more pie in the sky dreamers shedding light down on us that toil in REALITY…

  32. Brent Says:

    Bucs have talent on defense and every analyst I saw or read thought so. In fact, most publications had bucs as a top 10-15 defense this year. To say there is no talent is foolish. You’re dreaming!! No nfl personnel guy would agree with you. Lvd and gmc were rated by pro football as top 50 players!!! What are you talking about?? Are you serious!!! Verner and golston are former pro bowlers in their 20s. All these guys are proven. It’s not up for debate. Glazers went out and added Mj and McDonald in free agency. Again, these are guys in their prime. Like any biz it’s on management to get these guys to produce. That’s what management gets paid for!! No excuses. Just win and quit with the horse shit articles. Get it done enough talk..

  33. Tye Says:

    Lovie didn’t forget how to coach the last 2 years – NO, He is just without the OCs and DCs that made him look better than he truly is…. All the other new HC are doing much better and are FAR MORE believable to put faith in… Lovie’s 9 years is his downfall…. He hasn’t changed and the Bucs record shows it.

  34. Buccfan37 Says:

    1984+3… What does color of skin have to do with anything NFL related? It’s 95% black for crying out loud. A racist would put that hate above all else I would think, including being a NFL fan. If you are equating my criticism of Winston as racist then you are delusional.

  35. Tom Edrington Says:


    Put on your Ruby Slippers, click your heels three times and keep repeating:

    “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home……”

  36. ddneast Says:

    Thanks for your honesty Buc37 although it is either the most confusing or silliest thing I have ever read. You say you have been to dozens of games but none at RJS. Do you attend away games at other stadiums or are you saying you used to attend the ones at the Big Sombrero.
    Whatever the case I still had you figured right, like most of the people who post out here.
    Bus1987, go to the head of the reading comprehension class. I was speaking solely about the remarks about Lovie being “mostly” thinly veiled racist remarks because he is a black coach. No player criticism was mentioned.
    BTW, the NFL is composed, I believe, of 70 percent black players. At least that was the number last year.
    For the record, I have two season tickets and recently concergie an email telling him that I doubt if I would return this year unless the Bucs hired an NFL qualified OC. I drive up from Sarasota. Also noted I would cut my purchase down to one next year if things didn’t start to improve.
    If I talk the talk, I walk the walk.

  37. Buc44 Says:

    I am having trouble seeing any sense in “each new one clearing the roster of the former”. Why would a coach get rid of quality players just because they were brought in by the previous administration?

  38. Buc44 Says:

    Thank you DB55. If you don’t mind, I would like to extend your post even further by adding the 2013 record in parentheses

    Zimmer Vikings 3-5 (5-10-1)
    Wisenhunt Titans. 2-6 (7-9)
    Caldwell Lions 6-2 (7-9)
    Gruden Redskins. 3-5 (3-13)
    O’Brien Texans 4-4 (2-14)
    Pettine Browns 4-3 (4-12)
    Smith Bucs 1-6 (4-12)

  39. Buccfan37 Says:

    ddneast… your last comment is completely confusing to me. I said I was here from the beginning, in other words born and lived here my entire life. All the games I attended were at Tampa Stadium, can’t afford them anymore. What talk are you talking about that you walk to make your opinion more worthy of notice? Great, you go to the games, that does’nt make your opinion more worthy than a Bucs fan who has never attended even one game, imo. Sorry, I don’t meet your Bucs fan criteria and I don’t want to. I had you figured right also from past posts.

  40. Tye Says:

    Adding to Buc44 post, those other BC are doing better than lovie and they didn’t gut the team…. They are coaching upntje players like good coaches do…. Which Lovie is apparently NOT!

  41. Tye Says:

    That should be HC…..

  42. BuccDeez Says:

    Hey Db55 & Tye
    All those teams have a better O line / OC / Qb that could probably start Tampa asap. ( we suck again ) there is No Such thing as a Quick Fix. C’mon y’all this is NFL.

  43. 1bucfan88 Says:

    60 percent of this roster is already made up of Lovie Smith guys……

  44. Nick Says:

    Brent, you proved my point u mentioned like 5 people