Yesterday, Today And Tomorow

October 12th, 2015
Doug Martin (22) and his Bucs teammates celebrate a touchdown yesterday in the win over the Jags. (Photo courtesy of

Doug Martin (22) and his Bucs teammates celebrate a touchdown yesterday in the win over the Jags. (Photo courtesy of

Welcome to Victory Monday, Tampa Bay!

And what a huge victory it was for Lovie Smith, who may have saved his job yesterday. For now.

The embattled Bucs coach (4-17, 1-10 at home) chased away the wolves at his door at the most opportune time.

Not only would Lovie have suffered a(nother) shameful loss to a garbage team, and a(nother) home defeat, but fans would have been fueled with two weeks of rage between now and the next Bucs game after the bye, at Washington.

It doesn’t mean Lovie is a cinch to return next year. It doesn’t mean he is out of the woods. It’s a start.

But a loss yesterday would have been so damning, Joe he isn’t sure how Lovie could have crawled out of that hole.

Lovie has the second-worst start of any coach in Bucs history – which is a mouthful on face value – but has a whole lot of defenders who wouldn’t have dared to defend Leeman Bennett or Richard Williamson or Raheem Morris or even Greg Schiano, despite the fact all had as good (Bennett) or better starts than Lovie, and none had the personnel clout Lovie has. It is very odd to Joe that Lovie has many staunch, vocal defenders.

One reason, the Lovie apologists argue, he’ll return is that Team Glazer doesn’t want to pay a coach who isn’t working.

Well, it’s time to debunk that theory.

This past spring, the NFL distributed to each team some $226 million, its share of national revenue earned in fiscal year 2014. Again, this is national revenue, not including local revenue, which is not public record, and one can only take an uneducated stab in the dark to guess what the Bucs pulled in from local revenue streams.

Per ESPN, Lovie signed a four-year contract in January 2014, with a team option for a fifth year, at a cool $5 million a year. So Lovie’s salary is 2.21 percent of the Bucs’ gross national revenue stream. If you factor in local revenue, that figure surely slips to under 2 percent.

So if Team Glazer is not convinced Lovie is the answer to get the team back to the Super Bowl (and frankly, what evidence is there?), would they let a tiny fraction of their gross revenue tie their hands?

Think again.

Shoot, Team Glazer (on the insistence of Lovie) flushed a whole lot more loot on Ghost Johnson, Josh McClown, Anthony Collins and Alterraun Verner than Lovie’s contract is worth.

So, don’t be gullible when a Lovie defender tries to say Lovie’s contact is too expensive for Team Glazer to eat. It isn’t.

Impressive Running Backs

Doug Martin and Charles Sims had a one-two punch for the Bucs yesterday that may not have been seen in these parts since the days of Warrick Dunn and Mike Alstott. The two accounted for 294 yards of total offense, on the ground and in the air.

If was the perfect elixir for a rookie quarterback: let the running backs take over. Yesterday, Sims showed why the Bucs coveted his versatility. And at this point in the season, you could argue Martin is having his best year of his career. It looks like Martin will cash in with some team in a few months.

Hidden Gems

When it comes to finding pass rushers off the street, Bucs AC/DC-loving general manage Jason Licht sure has an eye for talent.

Last year, he pulled Jacquies Smith off the scrap heap and he is the best edge rusher for the Bucs. Now, Licht finds the immortal Howard Jones (who?), who had two sacks in the first half yesterday. The defensive end/linebacker from Shepherd (Shepherd? Joe hardly knew her.) got two sacks in the first half yesterday, something he told Joe he has never done in his life.

Props to Licht for continuing to mine the waiver wire for dudes who might be able to put heat on quarterbacks.

The Bucs put mobile quarterback Blake Bortles on the ground six times. Impressive.

Settle Down Jameis!

Jameis had an efficient game yesterday. Nothing flashy. No turnovers. Just solid, smart decisions. Except one garish boneheaded mistake where he was rescued by the zebras.

Early in the second quarter, the Bucs had a 2nd-and-8 from the Jags-19. As Roy Miller (remember him?) was pulling Jameis down for a sack, Jameis tried to throw the ball out of bounds. Instead, it was a backwards pass/fumble recovered by the Jags.

Jameis was bailed out when a replay review showed Miller brought Jameis down before he released the ball. For a guy supposed to be so intelligent, a guy who accepted to Stanford on academics, that was sure a dumb@ss play by Jameis.

Look, Joe makes no secrets he’s a big Jameis fan. But after so many turnovers recently, to pull a stunt like that, someone should have read the riot act to Jameis telling him in no uncertain terms if he ever tried that again he would be benched. It was inexcusable. The Bucs were in field goal range, even with the sack, and Connor Barth booted it two plays later.

Joe asked a couple of offensive players if anyone in the huddle pulled Jameis aside and said, in so many words, ‘Hey rookie, you do that again you’re getting taped to the goal post!’ Joe was told, No, scolding is left up to the coaching staff.

Something Special Brewing Up Front

Joe was among the vast majority of Bucs fans who thought, starting two rookies on the offensive line would be a huge, huge issue this season.

And yesterday without left guard Logan Mankins, who is left tackle Donovan Smith’s security blanket, Joe thought a perfect storm was setting up against a good Jags run defense.

But the Bucs’ offensive line, down three original starters up front (center Evan Smith, right tackle Demar Dotson and Mankins) may have had its best game of the season. And the offensive line may be the strongest unit now on the team.

Now just look at the depth: Kevin Pamphile, a tackle, played guard rather well yesterday (first time he played guard since his sophomore year at Purdue). Hardly perfect, but the Bucs hardly missed Mankins. And both Smith and Dotson are scheduled to return from injuries soon. At worst, you now have a solid offensive line with serious depth if injuries pile up (again).

Aside from Lovie’s bad losses, the development of the offensive line is Joe’s story of the season thus far.

NFL Thoughts:

Colts: Joe is happy for Colts fans but that game Thursday night was so dreadful, Joe couldn’t watch. Yes, it is the NFL and it is football, but Joe just can’t watch slop for football just because it is on TV,

Dixie Chicks: You need to be patient with first-year coach Dan Quinn! He needs time to find his players and for those players to buy in so they can start winning.

Browns: So the Browns beat the reeling Crows and Josh McClown put up stats. Whoop-tee-do.

Bengals: All Andy Dalton does is win. Down 17 points to Seattle in the fourth quarter, Dalton put together four scoring drives in which he threw for a touchdown or ran for a touchdown as the Bengals won in overtime.

Packers: The Packers had an awful game. Aaron Rodgers throws two picks at home and they still win easily over the Sybil-like Rams.

Bears: Bratty Jay Cutler threw two fourth-quarter touchdowns in Kansas City. The Bears have now won two straight since the fire sale.

Eagles: Just when it looked like EagleFan was about to have a complete and total meltdown, the Eagles stomp the Saints. Guess Chip Kelly isn’t going to USC. This week.

Bills: So Capt. Lou Albano cut down the Bills’ penalties to a svelte seven yesterday? That is progress. Marcus Mariota couldn’t muster more than 13 points.

Cardinals: The win by The Flock is overshadowed by the fact the Lions benched Matthew Stafford. Joe honestly never saw this coming.

Patriots: Tom Brady yada… yada… yada…

Broncos: Peyton Manning yada… yada… yada…

Giants: Man, the 49ers picked off Eli Manning with seconds to go and Joe turned the game off. Only later did Joe realize it wasn’t a pick and the Giants won. #FacePalm

Non-NFL Thoughts

* Joe just loves the Oklahoma-Texas rivalry. It’s not as intense as it once was, especially with Texas sucking wind this year. But it is so unpredictable. Couple of years ago, Oklahoma throttled Texas when Texas was still considered good. Saturday, it was the Longhorns who did the arse-kicking to an undefeated Sooners squad. Joe just loves how it is a neutral site; half the field Texas, half Oklahoma, with the Texas State Fair in the background in Dallas. May be the coolest off-campus site for such a huge rivalry in the nation. One of these days Joe has to go there. #BucketList

* Joe noticed this a couple of weeks ago at Oklahoma, and then just this past weekend at West Virginia. Props to schools that require (?) fans to wear one of the two dominant school colors depending on the seat location. The crowd shots with perfect solid colors for each section looks cool as hell.

* After seeing what happened to Nick Chubb over the weekend, Joe has no issue whatsoever if LSU running back Leonard Fournette sits out his junior year. No need to eff up your leg and your career and throw away millions of dollars. Likewise Dalvin Cook. If Florida State loses a game (Joe cannot imagine the Seminoles being playoff bound again this year), then Cook should use his gimpy hamstring as an excuse to coast until the end of the season. No position gets beat up like a running back. Those guys have such short shelf lives. If you are just a handful of games away from a lottery ticket and your college team isn’t in the playoffs, then you have to look out for yourself. And less wear and tear on the body now will allow a guy to extend his NFL career even longer, which means more cash.

* Geez, noticed Randy Edsall got all tough guy in his press conference after getting beat by Ohio State. He is now Maryland’s former coach. It’s one thing to play tough guy if you are Bobby Knight or Bill Parcells or Nick Saban. But if you constantly get your head handed to you, pulling the tough-guy stunt makes you look even more like a fool.

* Is Al Golden done at Miami? Hard to see him coming back.

* Saw that the quarterback flavor of the week, Cal’s Jared Goff, threw five picks against Utah. Waiting for Mike Mayock to say at the NFL Scouting Combine this winter that he should have thrown 40.

* After losing to Tennessee, are Bulldogs fans starting to tire of Mark Richt?

* Nebraska has just about hit rock bottom and it reinforces why they fired nutcase Bo Pelini. The guy couldn’t recruit for s(p)it. Pelini might have been a decent coach, but players don’t want to play for a complete mental patient. The fact the Cornhuskers are getting drilled by teams they used to stomp before breaking a sweat is ample evidence the cupboard is bare.

* So Steve Sarkisian was alleged to have been drunk on the sidelines during USC’s win over Arizona State, and players claim to have photos of him passed out after the game? Cool!

* Joe was asked about the Cardinals-Cubs series. Haven’t watched one play. Too friggin’ depressed to. Watched other games but cannot bear to watch the Cardinals now. Injuries finally caught up with them at the worst possible time.

* So now Donald Trump claims that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl should have been executed. This dude Trump is never boring.

24 Responses to “Yesterday, Today And Tomorow”

  1. Christina Says:

    I hope the Winston bash wasn’t to save face from the Big Dawg who obviously hates the fact you support him lol.. I think if he’s gonna make stupid mistakes I want him to get it out of his system now when we’re not really expecting all that much. Go Bucs!

  2. DefenseRules Says:

    Joe, apparently I’m one of those ‘Lovie apologists’ you love to refer to. If your use of the term refers to folks who are sick and tired of the turnstile of Bucs coaches we’ve seen every 2 years since Chucky, then I guess I’m in that group. Lovie (and Licht) have made a lot of mistakes, but HC’s in particular are only as good as the assistant coaches they hire and as good as the players who trot onto the field. We seem to be getting better in both of those areas than we’ve been in recent years, and so I’ll be patient for awhile.

    And yes, Martin and Sims had monster games. But so did Bobby Rainey. A couple of his returns got us re-energized when we needed it most.

    Jameis did in fact have ‘an efficient game’ as you mentioned, and yet Dirk still had him throwing the ball downfield at times. Relatively few drops this week made a huge difference.

    The OLine did look very good, but the rushing success was largely due to both Martin and Sims running with great vision and passion … and patience. Both made a lot of would-be tacklers miss yesterday, and that’s something we haven’t seen a bunch of in these last 2 seasons. Pamphile played well at guard, but for right now I’ll still take Mankins. Not because he blocks better, but because he’s obviously having a great impact on those around him with his heads-up calls.

  3. D-Rome Says:

    Aside from Lovie’s bad losses, the development of the offensive line is Joe’s story of the season thus far.

    Spot on, Joe. I thought Ali Marpet and Donovan Smith were very good yesterday. This year’s O-Line play is one of the reasons why Doug Martin has re-emerged.

  4. D-Rome Says:

    Joe, apparently I’m one of those ‘Lovie apologists’ you love to refer to. If your use of the term refers to folks who are sick and tired of the turnstile of Bucs coaches we’ve seen every 2 years since Chucky, then I guess I’m in that group.

    Same here. The whole “Fire Lovie” talk is stupid talk. It must be good for radio ratings or page clicks but Lovie’s job was never in jeopardy and it won’t be in jeopardy this year. If the Bucs are going to be successful they need consistency.

  5. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Joe, Dalvin Cook and L FOurnette like you said should be allowed to turn pr they are ready, but what about the job Jim Harbaugh is doing, he is THE best football coach pro or college in the past 10 years, UM was terrible and now he has them sniffing a national title

  6. Clodhopper Says:

    The best part is they looked like a pro team. Very few penalties, especially at the most inopportune times like they like to do. I could actually watch other games without getting jealous. Just the opposite in fact. That Giants-49ers game was great. I just kept thinking thank GAWD Keapernick is not our quarterback. What a tool!

  7. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    Joe…..we’re you being serious with that Dixie chicks….the team is 5 – 0 ???????

  8. JWBUCS Says:

    Once again we did see Lovie take his team to the locker room at half time with nearly half a minute on the clock and 2 time outs in his pocket…. Guys, that is serious game time that may have allowed the team to reach feel goal position… A coach in the NFL should not be wasting precious game time…

    Your thoughts Joe?

  9. Bucnjim Says:

    I’ve been very critical of their play so I am back to say nice job! Offensive line, Hard running by the RB’s and great special teams play set the tone for most of the day.

  10. Bucnjim Says:

    No turnovers will be the key to any future wins this season. The D actually turned to momentum back to us with that recovered fumble for a score.

  11. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    Winston played like Trent Dilfer…..a game manager, nothing more…….any QB in the NFL could’ve done what he did yesterday. His yards came off of dunks and dunks and screen passes … the stats are very misleading.

    At this point….after all of his turnovers…I don’t think lovie trust him anymore

    For who’s guy always toted as being a guy with a “high football IQ”…
    – he doesn’t see the open receivers
    – he makes stupid decisions
    – still sloop footwork

    Sorry, but I simply don’t see what all you Winston lovers see in him

  12. Buccfan37 Says:

    College fans having to wear colors matching their seating section sounds like one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard. Talk about herding the sheep to present an irrelevant image. Proof of the dumbing down of America.

  13. denjoe Says:

    We gave up 31 points to the jag’s if lovie can win at least 6 games I’d give him another year maybe we can draft some descent corner backs although I think this scheme doesn’t work anymore without the intimidation factor. We made their receivers look All pro and their QB look HOF.

  14. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    Can someone tell me what defense this team is running most of the time?

    Some T2? What else?

  15. Joe Says:

    Joe, Dalvin Cook and L FOurnette like you said should be allowed to turn pr they are ready

    Joe didn’t write that. But yes, they can turn pro if they wish. There are all sorts of international pro leagues and arena leagues they can play in. Just not the NFL, which has the backing of the Supreme Court. Little thing called “collective bargaining.”

  16. Bucs_Sam Says:

    31 points from one of if not the worst NFL team Jags.

    Glad we were scheduled against Jags yesterday, with that Defense pretty much anyone else would have stolen this one from us.

    We’ve beat the saints and jags now. They have a combined record of 2 – 8.

    Saint average 20 points a game, it was 19 against us.

    The jags average 18 points a game and put 31 on us.

    I’ll take dirty wins, but allowing awful teams to score on us like this…. it’s gonna catch up on us.

    today it’s win joy, tomorrow it should how the **ck did Bortles throw 4 TD’s, 300 yards and have a passer rating of 125?

    Check the stats, Bortles just had his best game ever against us. By a lot.

    That’s a problem.

  17. Tampa Tony Says:

    Yesterday Lovie was too conservative,today he still isabd tomorrow he will be still too conservative to win consistently in this league

  18. bucrightoff Says:

    Doug Martin on the Cowboys next year is gonna suck to watch as a Buc fan, but it’ll be fun to watch as a football fan.

  19. DB55 Says:


    Thank you, you took the exact words right out of my mouth. The bucs def is giving up an avg of 30 points per game this season and everyone we’ve played has a losing record (cept Carolina).

    Not sure how or why you can expect a rookie qb to overcome those odds.

  20. buddha Says:

    Turns out Love was not wrong about McNown. Lack of playmakers, no offensive coordinator, terrible oline. Did him in. For gosh sakes, Joe, how about giving credit where due.

  21. Johnny "America's Commenter" Dejay Says:

    That JAX game was a very Dungy-esque win for the Bucs, so the fan base should be very happy because the clock was turned back to 1997. GMC and Lavonte dominated, the pass rush got to Bortles, the running game finally showed up, and the QB was neutered to a game manger. It was an ugly win, but I’ll take it every time.

  22. D-Rome Says:

    Sorry, but I simply don’t see what all you Winston lovers see in him

    I’m not a “Winston lover” but I want all the Bucs to find success including Winston. Your criticisms of his play make you sound like a hater. At this stage of his career I’ll take him being a game manager. Every top flight QB had to learn how to be a game manager before he became a game changer.

  23. Fester Says:

    Can a reporter with juevos just ask Lovie in front of everyone what he sees exactly with Jennings and Jenkins? That’s why Bortles found success. That and the predictable zones the wr’s were catching the ball in.

  24. Buc1987 Says:

    D-Rome Says:
    October 12th, 2015 at 11:36 am

    “Sorry, but I simply don’t see what all you Winston lovers see in him”

    “I’m not a “Winston lover” but I want all the Bucs to find success including Winston.”

    You’ve got him pegged correctly. He’s been that way since week one. Hater comments left and right for a rookie QB that’s playing for HIS team.