“Peak Performance”

November 19th, 2015
Joe asks Lovie about the importance he places on November football

Joe asks Lovie about the importance he places on November football

Last year, Lovie Smith earned a lot of chuckles and took a lot of grief for his now notorious statement: “Football doesn’t really begin until November.”

This week, Lovie was talking about November football again on the Buccaneers Radio Network.

He explained that right now is the time of year for “peak performance” for NFL teams. That’s what Lovie expects and that’s how he’s trained players, to get shine now.

Joe asked Lovie yesterday to dive deeper into his November philosophy. And the head coach obliged.

“Normally, November is at the halfway point in your season. Just like in a game, it matters an awful lot what you do the first half, but that push to the finish kind of starts the second half of the season and November ball,” Lovie said. “As a general rule, as you look back, teams that do well later on –playoffs, all that –  they’re playing their best football at the end of the season.

“I think very seldom you see a team that ends up winning it all or having a great year that starts out real strong and plays really bad at the end that can win something at the end. I think that’s what history has shown a little bit. For us, just going through a young football team, having to be in a lot of situations, learning from them, tough learning situations. We do want to play our best ball right now. We are 1-0 in the third quarter of our season and we need to get that second win.”

Joe gets Lovie’s point. Lovie has guided a team to the Super Bowl, and he’s also led a team that collapsed mightily. His 2012 Bears were 7-1 before collapsing in November and December to finish 10-6. Lovie was sent packing after that season.

What’s important here is Lovie acknowledging that his Bucs have been groomed for November success. So far, they’re 2-1 this month. Certainly, they’re good enough to win one of their last two November games, in Philadelphia on Sunday and on the 29th in Indianapolis — against two backup quarterbacks.

16 Responses to ““Peak Performance””

  1. CreamsicleBananaHammock Says:

    “We’re going 7-0 on these B’s”

    -America’s Quarterback

  2. Newbucsfan2 Says:

    Amen brother :)!!!

  3. The Buc Realist Says:

    Unfortunately, we are starting to learn that lovie “peaked” a long time ago!!!

  4. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Defense ranked 15th right now through 9 games by football outsiders’ advanced metrics. Suck on that “Realist” and others who spent the offseason laughing at me for thinking the defense can / should be a top 16 type defense which is a big improvement over any of the last few years.

    3 bad performances (Titans / Redskins / Jags)
    4 average performances
    2 very good performances ( Saints imo and Cowboys)

    Still 26th in points given up which is pretty bad but also scewed by 42 points to Titans in being completely caught off guard by their gameplan and 37 to Carolina which was pretty much all on the offensive turnovers and fluke fumble freak score. In general the offense has given a lot of points up directly via pick 6s / turnovers / fumble 6 at enf vs Giants which scews that number a lot. And yes we have had many more gifted turnovers for scores than an average NFL team.

    Take out the Titans / Panther freak shows and we are giving up 22 a game / good for 15th on the other 7 games

    7th in yards. Not anything close to elite defense but not nearly as bad as the haters thought it’d be. I predicted a mediocre top 16ish unit. Hoping they can finish stronger than that

  5. The Buc Realist Says:

    @Lord Cornelius

    At least you are consistent!!!

    For the sheep with short attention spans, let me summarize LC comments!! ” If you take out the beatdowns, they are not so bad!!!!”

  6. MIke Johnson Says:

    I do think this team is close. How close is yet to be determined. Both Hawley and Mankins have sensed it. If we can get just a little bit more Defensive pressure……I want to see if we can get 2 wins in a row. Important game this Sunday. I do believe we can beat Philly. Why there is even a rumor..Hot tub ASJ might play.
    GO BUCS!

  7. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Reading comprehension and context bro.

    Carolina game was not a beatdown of our defense if you are assessing things from a Realist perspective. 5 turnovers most in our own territory. A lot of those turnovers were still held to field goals.

    14 points alone off a pick 6 and a fumble 6 that was insanely lucky for Carolina.

    3 bad performances; 4 average performances; 2 great performances

    The problem with you is you only look at singular overly simplified statistics that back up your argument while ignoring other data / context / etc. You literally are the polar opposite of someone with a true “realist” philosophy

  8. Lord Cornelius Says:

    The defense literally gave up 1 traditional scoring drive the entire Carolina game. All other points off turnovers by offense

    But keep keeping it “real” man you do such a great job being objective

  9. Lord Cornelius Says:

    And that 15th ranking by pro football focus includes all 9 games

    Keepin it “real” man!

  10. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Same site ranks your beloved Dan Quinn Falcon defense as 22nd. It ranks second year coach look at how great I was in year 1 bill o briens D as basically tied with Tampa and both these teams have invested much more draft capital and have more talent on the defensive side of the ball.

    Miami’s Dan Cambell don’t put up with sh1t coach is ranked 25th. Also have invested more on that side in talent than tampa.

    Todd Bowles is only new head coach with high defensive ranking and their D is as stacked as any team if not one of the most talent-rich defenses.

    John Fox has Chicago at 27th in his first year. Jack Del Rio has Oakland at 24th. Both have spent more draft picks on D than the Bucs last 2 years.

  11. Bo Says:

    Defense is a process… And even a fool can see the Bucs are moving in the right direction on D. What? they only used 1 draft pick on defense? Great pick too.

  12. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    You keep on rockin it bro. I couldn’t have said it better.

    It’s the NFL which again the late Chris Thomas taught us stands for No Freaking Logic. Teams are too evenly matched.

    Imagine what it’s like to be a Packer fan right now. And they are doing some serious gripping. I do not go to other team’s fan sites so I don’t really know.

    But I’m guessing there aren’t too many there calling for Aaron Rodger or Mike McCarthy’s heads even though they just lost to the awful Lions on their home turf at Lambeau. Lambeau may be one of the best home field advantages in the league!

    BTW I think McCarthy is a good coach but again he had Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers two HOF QB’s. Let’s see how far Lovie can ride #3 before we throw in the towel.

  13. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Thanks St Pete. I just get annoyed by arrogant a5sholes talking down to others as “sheep” despite people holding reasonable positions that are substantiated by evidence. I’m not saying this is a great defense. Just average which is good for us and what someone with realistic expectations would expect. For some reason he argued all off season as if this was a bottom 3-5 defense. We are f$cking 7th overall in yards given up lol. We’re not a too 10 D tho. But we sure as hell aren’t one of the worst.

    I believe this team has already won as many games as Realist predicted in 1/2 a season. I doubt he eats any crow on that though or if we finish 7-9 or better. Hell just ignore how bad his prediction was and cite the 2 year record vs Schianos since that’s all he will have left.

  14. Dave Says:


    You are correct. Ignore realist and his hate.
    Anyone with a brain and a clue about football can see this team is getting better and better in all phases, just need some healthy targets on offense for JW.
    As for defense, I was saying that a couple weeks ago. Basically stating that they are middle of the road, biggest downfall is red zone defense. Fans tend to watch the Bucs and think it is horrible on defense when the reality is of they watched the rest of the nfl they would realize this team very well could be a top ten defense. A couple forced incompletions and a TD turned into a FG is all they need.
    Can’t wait to see what they do next year with a pass rush.

  15. Lamdog Says:

    People losing perspective. Team was 2-14 last season, at this writing tied for the 8th playoff spot. Enjoy the ride. It will be a team effort. To date all phases Special team, Defense and Offense have cost the team games. All three phases will be required for the playoff run.

  16. drdneast Says:

    Dave and Lord Cornelius, BucRealist has spouted Anti Buc and Lovie hate for years. He is pathological.