“Really, What Did They Add?”

May 12th, 2015

lovie and lichtTampa Bay Times beat writer Rick Stroud must not be a true football fan.

Joe writes that because Lovie Smith, referencing the Buccaneers, said in December that “true football fans can see that we are on the verge.” Yesterday on his WDAE-AM 620 morning show, Stroud talked about the Bucs as a team on the verge of a rough season.

“Listen, they have Jameis [Winston], and then they have a rookie left tackle, ok, in Donovan Smith, a rookie guard who’s never played above the Division III level in Ali Marpet. And two receivers. Kenny Bell, really? I mean, I don’t know what he’s going to be. And then Kaelin Clay, who, you know, is just a return guy. So really, what did they add? You got guys learning on the fly with Jameis,” Stroud said.

“It is going to take time. Listen, [Jameis] does some things that organically are great, like throw a deep ball like I’ve never seen a guy do at this age. But the first thing you realize, all these football players, they’re very young.

“These are young guys in a man’s league. They’re going to have huge growing pains this year, in my opinion.”

Stroud didn’t blink when his co-host, Tom Jones, suggested the Bucs could go 4-12 this season but that wouldn’t be Jameis’ fault.

Joe’s not in such a negative camp. The Bucs look like a 6-10 team on paper, and Joe’s eager to change that prediction, if it’s warranted after seeing the team in training camp and preseason action.

Joe is confident the Bucs are good enough to win at home on opening day against Tennessee, a win that could significantly change the direction of the team, and no doubt turn the Den of Depression into the happiest place on earth.

Hear all of Stroud’s take via the 620wdae.com audio player below.

51 Responses to ““Really, What Did They Add?””

  1. Bucs54 Says:

    how come none of these “professional” analysts mention the fact that we didn’t have an offensive coordinator last year and that just by adding adding Dirk Koetter, we’re already a better football team?

  2. Tampa Tony Says:

    Truth hurts. Lovie inherited a 4 win team and made it worse and now hasn’t added much to a 2 win team. Unless Jameis is Andrew Luck this team will be in last place again. This team still has the same issues every year.

    Bad coaching and gm hires have killed this franchise

  3. Patrick in VA Says:

    @bucs54 – i keep reminding people on here about that but it always seems to be discounted from everyone’s arguments about what was ailing the team last year. I don’t think most people understand how huge that was

  4. P'cola Buc Says:

    Listen, last year several analysts picked the Buccaneers to go from last to first in the NFC south. We ended up having one of the worst seasons in Bucs history. Those making the predictions have learned from that mistake last year. With Jameis, Koetter and a second year under Lovie’s defensive system they probably can go 6-10 this year. Tripling your wins, some oline improvement and Winston showing both flashes and the “it” factor would make me happy for this year.

  5. tval Says:

    Oh, no he didnt!!! 🙂 challenge accepted..”throw a deep ball”..yeah, thats it.. The easiest throw to make is what ill admit he does well. Lmao!!

  6. Rrsrq Says:

    This team will be a very young team, esp. on offense, Mankins, Dotson and V-jax are likely the only guys with 4+ years experience, so I expect a lot still learning how to win, defense will have to carry their weight, offense will be up and down, but I’m hopeful. Last I checked though, hope wasn’t a strategy for wins, Go Bucs

  7. Bill Says:

    Koetter won’t matter at all, play calling is over-rated. When was the last time play calling decided a Super Bowl? Exactly.

  8. Rrsrq Says:

    Pats v. Seahawks, play calling yes likely decided the winner

  9. tval Says:

    There are no flashes of the it factor with jameis. He is the it factor. He’ll have his struggles which will serve him greatly. No one takes a bad play and turns it into 90 yd td drives like jameis..he & mike alone is crazy to think of the next 10 years, but vincent too?? Wow!! .It may not even be fair!

  10. P'cola Buc Says:


    When exactly did ever a QB’s coach masquerading as an Offensive Coordinator ever win a Super Bowl?

  11. tval Says:

    Jameis & mike will make tony & dez look like bobby hoying and irving fryar (not your fault dez:)..lmao!! Dead serious though..

  12. Bill Byrne Says:

    Why are we all up so early?

  13. Bill Says:

    I’m not sure how to spread the sarcasm thicker…

  14. Phil Says:

    I honestly think the Bucs have the foundations of a good team but the thing that really continues to worry me is George warhop. Just don’t see him being able to coach Smith and Marpet, and the rest of the OL to a level where they can protect Jamies.

  15. bucs4lyfe Says:

    moron…..kaelin who? lol yea because the only stars in the nfl are coming from big colleges and they all had big names before they came here…I remember them saying mike evans was young and to temper expectations last year just like this. just because you have an opinion in the media doesn’t mean you actually know what your talking about. don’t think anyone expected the draft picks of warren sapp and derrick brooks to turnaround our franchise the way it did. they’ll prove it on the field but rick stroud and tom jones are vets and still haven’t proven they are good sports show hosts

  16. Tom Edrington Says:

    Beat writers are supposed to be impartial observers. You owe that to those who read and want accurate information and INFORMED opinion.

    Been there and the fact is, as a beat writer, you want the team to do well, it’s easy to cover a winner, difficult at times, most of the time with a loser.

    Spent too much time in a lot of Buc locker rooms in the early years when the only guy who would give you a decent quote was Lee Roy Selmon and he was speaking after literally looking like he was in a street fight, he faced double and triple teams every Sunday.

    Football fans? I would say writers enjoy the game, like the game but you have to have a different mindset from a “fan.”

    Can’t go around like some on this site predicting 10-win seasons with a team that would totally overachieve to win 7 games.

  17. Destinjohnny Says:


  18. Buccfan37 Says:

    Hey Hey Hey we’re the Yuccaneers! America’s team of futility.

  19. Bill Says:

    Tom Edrington,

    Based on your last post I’m confident you’ve never been paid to write any text. Are you serious?

  20. Winston for the Win Says:

    Tons of rookies and 4 positions on defense with no legitimate starters on the roster. This team is going to be bad for at least another season. An O-coordinator can’t help the lack of talent on defense. You can’t go two years without drafting a defensive player other than a back up linebacker and expect to be good. On top of that we have released two first rounders (we gave up a 1st for Revis and Claiborne) as well as a second rounder (Bowers). On top of all those misses they did a horrible job in free agency last year. I love the Bucs but there is a reason the experts are saying its between TN and Tampa for the 1st pick in 2016. Personally I think it’s a 3 way race with Jax.

  21. ChessMaster Says:

    What they added was an OC….something they did not have last year.

  22. JFF Says:

    Huh? I agree with Lovie & Stroud. The team is on the verge but the breakthrough won’t happen this year. This team is building a foundation for 2016 and I’m all for it.

    “On the verge” means “we’re getting there”, not “we’re contending this year”.

  23. gotbbucs Says:

    Im fine with losing some close games this year and only winning 6 if I can see that the foundation nucleus of young guys is doing well.

  24. WalkdaPlank Says:

    Tired of “on the verge” nonsense. Last season we saw one of the worst Bucs teams ever fielded, by Mr. Lovie Smith and Jason Licht. Some people seem to try and forget that, and that we are automatically good now because we drafted Jameis Christ our lord and savior, America’s Quarterback and our liberator, a God among simpleton men like us.

    Lovie could ruin Winston’s career before it happens. I sincerely hope that doesn’t happen, but I’m just not willing to be as optimistic after a playoff win drought of over a decade, and 4 straight finishes at the bottom of the division with 4 different HC’s in the past 6 seasons.

  25. JoeJoes Fungi Nails Says:

    Perhaps Rick Stroud should have a long car ride with WS99 & 87……..

  26. Tom Edrington Says:

    @Bill says:

    Hate to bust your “confidence” spent 10 years at Mother Trib, was FSU beat writer when Bobby was hired and part of the Bucs coverage team……knew a lot of the early Bucs better than any of the writers, spent time away from the facility with a few who remained in touch for years after their playing days…..

    And Bill, we were laid back enough to NOT take ourselves too seriously, that’s why the other sections of the newspaper often referred to us as the “Toy Department”

  27. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I do think the absense of the OC hurt us badly last year…..many close games that probably shouldn’t have been close..

    Lets see….lets give us 2 more games for having an OC and 2 games for winston….that puts us at 6-10…..that would be the minimum I would expect.

    Not good…but something to build on.

  28. Bucman0620 Says:

    Call me an optimist or an idiot…. whichever you prefer. This is how I see it. I don’t think we can be as bad as we were last year (esp. at home) so I see us finishing no less than 8-8. Breakdown, I am giving us one win versus all of our divisional opponents (didn’t win one last year at all, but several were close with exception to the ATL game). Wins at home versus TN and JAX ( I think ). Following suit with last year I think we go into WSH and get the W. Then two games that we should have won last year that will fall our way is one at St. Louis, and the one at home against the Bears. Considering, The rest of our games 1 to each of our Div. opponents and then HOU, NYG, DAL, PHI, IND… I think if we can steal two of these games we will win our division.


  29. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Apparently, Ian Beckles read from the exact same script yesterday.

  30. Stanglassman Says:

    Welcome to Tampa Bill. I grew up reading Tom’s articles. Actually learned to read with them. My teacher use to ask us to bring in something we read every day and I would cut out his and other Buc articles in from the newspaper and bring them to class.

  31. JoeJoes Fungi Nails Says:

    Rookie QB…OL you know that story….D back on the field after short bench time….its going to be a tough year with glimpes…..glimpes….of hope….
    Thoughts ?……and no Buc 87 & WS 99….we know your “thoughts”

  32. Bucman0620 Says:

    See Fungi, I feel like we are going to be a top ten Def…. I know it doesn’t seem like we have added much (other than the Lovie guys) but that could bode well for us…. No team has all superstars. Usually it is just a couple with other “ROLE” players. I don’t think the team is expecting Melton or Conte to come in hear and be pro bowlers however they are expecting them to be “GOOD” role players. Know their assignments and do that. Now if I am correct in having a top ten D, then 1 we should be able to shorten our field for the offense and get some points on the board. We were not able to do this last year. Yes our Offense was the reason we spent so much time with the Defense on the field, but our defense didn’t help early enough in most games and was to tired at the end. I understand the QB and OL worries but do not share the same concerns to the same extent I suppose.

  33. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Bucs54 Says
    “how come none of these “professional” analysts mention the fact that we didn’t have an offensive coordinator last year and that just by adding adding Dirk Koetter, we’re already a better football team?”

    I was the first one here to suggest Dirk Koetter as OC, before the Falcons HC was even fired. So I knew he could make a huge difference with the players.

    But you have to be realistic.

    It is unlikely adding two rookie OL guys will turn things around this year. Honestly, it would be smart to sit Jameis through the first few games at least. Let Mike Glennon take the pounding until the OL is better.

    But you can bet we’ll have a top ten pick next year. Too soon to predict ANY win totals though. Things can change.

    Don’t forget, we’re still stuck with EDS at center…a man who cost us 2-3 games all by himself last year. Our RT is very questionable, and our LG has experience at being good, but is already past 32 years old.

    Even IF they play better (which is likely), one injury along that line is all it will take to break things down, and Mankins and EDS are in the injury prime years.

    And, so far as the free agent signings…ALL of them signed before the draft had injury issues except the two punters signed on for tryouts. You are kidding yourself if you don’t think that is a recipe for disaster.

    We failed to address properly any defensive positions. We drafted one linebacker who is a huge question mark.

    Be real, guys. Expect little. Be pleased if we do better. Otherwise you are heading for another stressful season.

  34. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Bucman0620 Says
    I feel like we are going to be a top ten Def

    (shakes head)

    That is a pipe dream.

    Here’s the problem. You are expecting the impossible like so many others. And when it doesn’t happen, people will start screaming “Fire Lovie! Fire Licht! Cut Winston!”

    We have a good nucleus on defense…and nothing more. We NEED some younger, healthier players with talent added, and then we need depth.

    On offense, I think Winston will be good eventually, but if he plays behind the offensive line as it is right now, he may get injured.

  35. mike Says:

    I see strouds point, BUT our D won’t need 6 games to figure out the new system and having a OC is worth 2 to 4 games, so theres big improvment right there.

  36. Bucman0620 Says:

    Bonzai, how is it a pipe dream? We had a top ten D over the last ten games of the season. I don’t think it is a matter of what we needed to add more so than the group understanding the system a little more. I can understand a person who is unfamiliar with the scheme having trouble to see a top ten D. But Buccaneer fans have seen this system at its best and how it works when played correctly. You can’t sit here and tell me we were loaded with top tier talent in those days. The one thing we need is for someone to step up at the DE position and put constant pressure on the QB. If that happens I don’t see why we can’t be in the top five. Now, I will be the first to admit. That in and of itself is asking for probably too much this year but don’t think it can’t happen.

  37. Bill Says:

    @Tom Edrington,

    I’ll stand by my statement. You display the grammar of a 6th grader. I’ll hope it’s because you’re delusional, or I’ll entertain the possibility that some moron hijacked your name.

  38. Howard Cosell Says:

    It’s me Tom….back from the dead!

  39. BuccaneerBonzai Says:


    Yes, but we released defensive players who helped us achieve that, and we signed players who have potential to be better, but who have severe injury issues.

  40. ThunderBuc81 Says:

    I agree the team could have done more in FA but lets be real here. The problem last year wasn’t the defense even though it could have been better. The problem was the horrible offense and I do believe a lot of the falls on the fact of no OC and the horrific excuse of a QB last year. You don’t go from last to first in this league. I believe the team will need this year and another offseason to fully turn things around but they have made a lot of changes to make us feel optimistic about this year.

  41. Tom Edrington Says:


    Sorry you consider me a moron, but no one has hijacked my name, can’t figure out why anyone would want to….

    Not here to win your grammar contest, simply making a statement here and there, my grammar was good enough to win two national writing awards back in the day.

    Besides, I didn’t know that comments here were for consideration only if there is perfect grammar….

  42. FortMyersDave Says:

    Stroud predicting a rough season for the Bucs would not be a first for a local beat writer. Tom McEwan often was blatantly honest with his assessment of Buc futility back in the Creamsicle days and how many of you remember that Pat yasinkas predicted that the Bucs would go 0-16 in 2002, citing that the Bucs had a tough schedule and the worst O-line in the NFl??? Of course Pat just relocated from Tampa to Charlotte, thus he was not a “local” writer anymore and was probably cultivating some good vibes from the Carolina people; none the less he looked rather foolish when the Bucs won it all and to his credit he has been pretty straight forward and unbiased covering the Bucs for BSPN, unlike others in the national media who seemed thrilled when the Bucs fail and probably are pulling against Winston as we speak as these media “trolls” thrive off of train wrecks like Manziel, Crying Leif, Geno smith, Mark Sanchez, etc….. Tom Jones suggesting 4-12 does not surprise me as he seems like a “glass empty” type of guy when you listen to him talk Buc ball on WDAE and he could be right but so could someone who predicts an 8 win season…… Who the heck knows this early in 2015? Myself; I think Joe is spot on with a 6-10 mark talent wise and with a little luck like rah’s 2010 squad had they could steal a few mopre wins and be relevant, one can only hope…..

  43. Tom Edrington Says:


    Thanks for mentioning my late boss, Tom McEwen, who back in 1972 hired a young kid who had been writing for the Nothern Virginia Sun after he got out of East Carolina University. McEwen was a character, a superb print story teller and a great champion of sports in Tampa, second to none.

  44. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Rrsrq Says:
    May 12th, 2015 at 6:08 am
    Pats v. Seahawks, play calling yes likely decided the winner

    Indeed! If the Seahawks roll Wilson to the right and have a receiver open in the corner of the end zone Wilson either does one of three things…waltzes in untouched for the game winner, get the defender to take him and lobs it over the head to open receiver, or NE plays perfect defense and Wilson simply throws it away. THEN they could go to beast mode on 4th down.

    Koetter will be enormously better than Arroyo. A lot will depend on the health of the Bucs. If their draft picks can start and stay healthy, if Sims and ASJ can return to health…

    No doubt there are a lot of IFS on the team….but many of those IFS go both ways. I can easily see the Bucs as a 6-10 team, but I can just as easily see them going 10-6 depending on the IFS. I would say that is true for all but perhaps a half dozen teams in the league that we know are going to be good.
    BTW Not one of those half dozen teams plays in our division!!!

  45. FortMyersDave Says:

    @Tom Edrington: I do miss the “Hey Tom” articles in the Trib; they were classics for the most part covering all aspects of Florida sports and the occasional history lesson as well as a brief description of what Tom had for breakfast…. For awhile his widow was reposting them on the TBO.com website but not for the past couple of years…. McEwan was instrumental in bringing the Bucs to Tampa by bringing the NFL exhibition games to Tampa in the early ’70s when football in Tampa was Earl Bruce and the U Tampa Spartans who at the time has John Matuszak and Fast Freddie Solomans and showing the world that Tampa could support a pro franchise! Without Tom McEwan I really doubt if the Tampa and Hugh Culverhouse could have nailed down a franchise in ’76….

  46. LargoBuc Says:

    Well when you look at why we went 2-14 last year, the two biggeat holes were at quarterback and o.coordinator. That said we upgraded those posistions, albeit with a rookie. But still an upgrade none the less. So to say we didnt add anything is kind of lazy. We added at two spots that were needed the most. Sure Jameis is a rookie but he is still an upgrade over Mccown.
    A big topic for Bucs downers is our o.line. Look, what free agent linemen were we going to overpay to make a difference? Orlando Franklin would have been nice but we would have likely had to pay more than SD did and they paid like 7.5 mill. Look, a good quarterback with legit receivers and someone who can call plays with knowledge and competence, all that will help your o.line than any big money free agent you could overpay. And we got that! Koetter and Jameis will do so much for our offense and our linemrn are no exception! I love the fact that we are developing two linemen! Two rookies to three vets is a good ratio. As long as a certain center can put up and shut up!
    So our offense will improve over last year. It wont be perfect but it will be better. So will our defense. Our defense made huge strides last season! Without a outside edge rush mind you. We added depth and Bruce Carter should be an upgrade at mike over anyone to play mike for us last year. Although we should definitely draft a mike next spring as Carter is likely a quick fix, unless he really excells this year. I like our defense I really do. I just wish Leslie would mix it up a little and give opposing offense some different looks to confuse them.
    Overall, for Stroud to say we didnt add anything is lazy and not true. I find his show unbareable and boring. Lazy analysis like this really dosent help. I wont attempt to accurately predict the Bucs season until after the fourth of July. But I doubt 4-12 will be on the horizon.

  47. Buc1987 Says:

    8-8 or 9-7 with a few lucky bounces along the way.

  48. LJ'sDaddy Says:

    8-8…beat the stinky Saints once. I would be so happy.

  49. Curse of Gruden Says:

    Are we now required to provide our resumes with our posts?

  50. Capt.Tim Says:

    Stroud is saying that it will take young guys time to adjust?
    Spot on.2-4 game improvement is all I expect. Last year, this team was better that it played( Jameis! Jameis)
    but they are not a winning team. This year will bring hope. Next Draft brings a DE, Safety, and CB
    2016 is the year the next Buc run begins

  51. The True Buc Fan Says:

    I think the Bucs are a 7 to 11 win team. This defense could be top 5 next year, and with a top defense, we have seen great rookie qb’s win, when the offensive talent is around them. AKA, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, and Cam Newton. Who says that can’t be the Bucs?