“Nobody Noticed ‘Cause We Sucked”

March 13th, 2015

Where’s your T.J. Fatinikun jersey?

Smile, haters. This is not a negative post about your Buccaneers.

In fact, it’s an uplifting take from a former Buccaneer who breaks down film like no other.

Former Bucs DE Steve White (1996-2001), who spent a chunk of last spring as a Bucs defensive line coaching intern under Lovie Smith, hopped on the Ronnie and TKras show on WDAE-AM 620 this morning to talk all things Bucs.

Of course, chatter moved to the defensive line, and White reminded Bucs fans that the cupboard is not bare in the Bucs’ stable of edge-rush talent, albeit talent still developmental stages.

“You got some young guys who haven’t shown that they can do it quite yet. But I love a guy like Will Gholston,” White said. “I think he has a ton of potential and he just needs to kind of find himself. And this is the year that most defensive linemen find themselves, their third year in the league. So I’m expecting big things from him.”

White went on to praise a favorite of Bucs general manager Jason Licht, midseason pickup T.J. Fatinikun. White said Fatinikun was “playing awesome” at the end of last season.

“Nobody noticed ’cause we sucked,” White said. “But that kid was turning the corner so much, half the time I thought he was Jacquies Smith. And, of course, we have Jacquies Smith.

“We have some untapped potential there, but we do need to add at least one more [edge rusher], whether it be the draft or later on in the second wave of free agency, where a team picks up a couple of defensive ends and finds out one of the guys on their own roster is expendable now.”

Keep in mind White loudly banged the drum for Michael Bennett very early in his Bucs career, before he was even playing very much. And White does not sugarcoat his commentary, especially when it comes defensive ends.

Joe also is a big fan of Gholston. The Bucs’ 2013 fifth-round pick puts in the work, and he’s still just 23 years old. Fatinikun, Smith (6.5 sacks) and Goldson have plenty to prove and room to grow, but, thankfully, none of those guys is the next sackless Kyle Moore.

19 Responses to ““Nobody Noticed ‘Cause We Sucked””

  1. Ray Rice Says:

    Yes. I also noticed flashes from him late in the season. He looked like a hungry up and comer. I will leave his jersey in the closet for now.

  2. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    “Nobody noticed ’cause we sucked,”

    Yep Joe admitting we sucked is hardly sugar coating it. I’m with you on this post. I think White is spot on and I suspect there are some gems still hidden on the offensive side as well.

    Great players make everybody around them look better…remember how Alvin Harper got exposed when he no longer had Irvin on the other side.

    I think this is especially true on the OL. Mankins could and should have looked a lot better with the Pats..same for EDS and the Pack…they were surrounded by decent to good players.

    Alas conversely I believe that awful players make good players look bad.
    Garrett Gilkey? Probably a really nice guy but he was far from an NFL quality player last year. Who could look good playing next to him and some of the other jokes we lined up between..EDS..Mankins and Dotson. The O line WILL be better simply because there is nowhere else left to go but up.

  3. Pickgrin Says:

    Glad to hear Steve White is high on the potential of Gholston and Fatinikun.

    We all saw the effort and results and progress of Jacquies Smith the 2nd half of last year. His #s projected to starting all year would have been 12-13 sacks.

    Steve’s analysis in general is awesome and I trust his eye as much as any one’s – so this is good news and perhaps we are in better shape than we think at DE. We still have to draft or sign another one of course though.

  4. bucs4lyfe Says:

    guess it has to be true…..jacquies smith came on this year and this was his 3rd year in the league. the guy had zero stats before coming to tampa

  5. WS99 Says:

    I’ve been tooting ghoslton’s horn since day 1 but I thought he’d been regulated to backup or moved inside. I love him in rotation just not sure if he’s an every down starter yet but is surely developing into one. Same w ja smith absolutely loved the production and have him as 1 of our top defenders. LVD BANKS Lasanna ja smith. As for fatinikum I remember him getting in on a couple of plays but can’t say that he forced the issue, more like he cleaned up the mess. I could be wrong about fati, my memory isn’t great and I erased all the games I had recorded (I got a new dvr lost all my recordings).

    So as of right now our starters are ghoslton n fati? Ja smith plays on the same side as gholston right?

  6. Lord Cornelius Says:

    That’s some good news I’ve always liked this guys takeaways on the Bucs.

    I love that we are moving resources form the secondary towards the front 7; because that typically seems to be the best way to build a defense. You can scheme around your coverage ability (zone / man) but you can’t make up for a bad front 7 even if you have 2 darrel revises.

    Lineman typically take longer to develop than other positions. I’m still hopeful on Pamphile/Edwards. It sounds like between Smith/Goldson/Fanikin/ we likely are going to have 1 solid DE breakout as a great starter for us; at least based on this dudes assessment of their play. Hell it’d be great if all 3 of these guys became special. Still would like to add a guy or 2 but I am feeling pretty good about the defense next year.

    The defense was ranked 25th on the year; but closer to 16th looking at how they played in the 2nd half. Besides having the #1 pick; this is what gives me the most hope.

  7. bucs4lyfe Says:

    GMC was a top 5 pick so he was automatically “the guy” when he got drafted and same for Adrian clayborn. im ready to see someone step up and definitively claim the starting spot for the next 5 years atleast, one of these guys has to develop into a Michael Bennett type of guy in terms of dependability. we need solid starters because there are too many guys in the fold, maybe this or maybe that, who is gonna stand out in training camp for once

  8. Pickgrin Says:

    WS99 – you sure lose a lot of credibility leaving GMC out of your “top defenders” list.

    Jacquies Smith is one of our starters for sure. The other is probably not on the team yet.

  9. ddneast Says:

    Good to here and I do value Smith’s densities knowledge and acumen.
    I hope Goldson does blast out this year cause I fear he might go the way of his brother, a former No. 1 bust with the Jets.

  10. ddneast Says:

    Whenever I hear the anti Lovie crowd out here saying he and Licht are terrible talent evaluators, I think of Jacques Smith, Clinton McDonald, Verner,Bradley McDougal and hopefully soon it will be T.J. Fatinikun.
    The last player we pulled off a developmental squad who ever performed was Donald Penn who ate himself out of job. Even them it was Doug Williams who did that and he is long gone.

  11. Eric Says:

    Excellent point Mr. ddneast.

    I saw a team that was coming together.

    More pieces surely, but they were just a play or two away in a lot of games they lost, and it was mostly their own costly mistakes that were their undoing.

    Thus, I am hopeful.

  12. Babaloo Says:

    The defense was way better in the latter part of the year because they were finally getting it. In this defense you take your lumps for a while until that happens

  13. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    What Eric just said!!!

  14. ddneast Says:

    Games in the NFL usually are determined by one teams stupidity.
    Although much of the ineptitude of McClown and the offense can be attributed to Mark Arroyo, he was often his and this teams worst enemy.
    I saw the same thing. This team didn’t quit the entire season unlike the year before.

  15. Zam Says:

    IIRC the Bucs didn’t have a great defensive end before Simeon Rice, and they still had a dominating defense. So it’s not the end of the world if the Bucs have to go with blue chippers for another season. The rest of the defense should be playing at a higher level with a year under their belts.

  16. iamkingsu Says:

    I live in VA and that’s all I tell use to tell people about Josh Mccown last year. The national media was so irresponsible last year they were to busy trying to figure out what movie Geno Smith went to see in San Diego.

    For the life of me I couldn’t figure out why Josh Mccown wasn’t on their radar with the shenanigans he pulled weeks 1 and 2. I know for a fact that no one nationally watches our games and that hurt us because lovie got away with playing him

  17. Espo Says:

    The fact that he said “we” made it acceptable.

  18. JoeBucsFan.com » Blog Archive » “Every Once In A While He Looks Hesitant Or Confused” - Tampa Bay Bucs Blog, Buccaneers News Says:

    […] already brought you the insightful, fresh take of former Bucs defensive end Steve White about the Buccaneers’ pass […]

  19. JoeBucsFan.com » Blog Archive » Greg Hardy Tour Books Seattle - Tampa Bay Bucs Blog, Buccaneers News Says:

    […] Fatinikun was a very nice midseason pickup last year, but he’s not the answer to what ails the Bucs’ […]