The Intimate Embrace

November 3rd, 2015

Perched in a comfortable press box seat at the Georgia Dome, Joe spent a lot of time Sunday watching the action on the Buccaneers’ sidelines.

It was there Joe saw a class and telling moment from a forgotten man.

Jameis Winston, America’s Quarterback, had just run a four-yard scramble in for a touchdown to give the Bucs a 19-3 lead. Jameis, as usual, stayed on the sidelines near where the extra point team will kick. Why? Because Jameis wants to be the first to congratulate them.

After dishing out props following the extra point, Jameis was approached from behind while still on the field. The man had no helmet — and no more attitude.

It was benched Bucs center Evan Smith. The veteran stepped in front of Jameis and gently held the rookie’s head in his left hand. Smith spoke long enough to let you know it was more than just a one-liner of praise or encouragement. Smith finished and an embrace was next. That, too, was held just enough to imply a deep meaning.

Smith broke the hug and walked back to the bench.

There is no question in Joe’s mind that Jameis is the pulse and leader of the Bucs. Vincent Jackson admitted it. Jason Licht said it. Yesterday, Lovie Smith told media that Jameis already is serving a captain role while not officially being a captain.

Hopefully, Gerald McCoy will come around soon.

37 Responses to “The Intimate Embrace”

  1. Wombat Says:

    The difference is McCoy is not a leader of men. He has his faith and that is great. He needs to treat football like a Holy war! Stop helping the other team during the game. Shakes hands and smile after the game. Where was the compassion for his fellow team mate. I am sure he spoke to Kwon, but he should have showed us some emotion on the field. At one stage there were 13 players on the defense with a stat, but no 93… If he is injured, be a man and sit out, that’s the hardest decision he has to make.
    As for Jameis, his actions are all you need to tell that he is a leader. He is a leader when we are up or when we are down.
    Go Bucs!!

  2. Tom Edrington Says:

    Jameis showing his potential……a really great thing for a fan base that needs something positive.

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    What an impact the bench makes!!!

  4. Buc Neckid Says:

    Lovie Smith is a True Head Coach Actually Building a TEAM
    Does anybody remember Ken Wisenhut and his Titans humiliating not just beating the BUCS Game One?
    Everybody was enamored by his “Out Coaching” Lovie in that game.
    Wisenhut was fired today.

  5. Sick of Lovie Says:

    Jameis Winston is the best thing to happen to this team in a decade. Gerald McCoy, LVD, Vincent Jackson, all great players but the Q. Has to be the one that has everybodys back. And when you see a QB, rookie or not, throwing some nasty blocks in the run game you gotta get pumped up. Jameis has these guys believing he wont give up on them, and that may inspire them to give just a little bit more when it counts. I could care about the national attention we are getting, I care more about what is going on on the sidelines and in the locker room. These guys are becoming a family. The Bucs have never had an offensive leader like this.
    Evan Smith lost his starting gig and from what he is showing, hes being a man about it. Glad to see he is on board and hope he is staying mentally prepared in case he has to come in.

  6. stvcl Says:

    Dare we say that one four letter word? Hope. We finally are seeing the team with a real leader. I finally feel hope.

  7. Mo_Downs Says:

    I think that Evan Smith had leadership aspirations when he came to the Bucs from Green Bay. He was miffed that Jameis, a mere “rookie”, would throw shade on his personal plans for a post game TV show.

    His “hazing” of Jameis, “a mere rookie”, was a very bad move. He caught the attention of both the OC and the HC who wanted a different approach for Jameis’ learning curve that didn’t involve the distractions Smith had in mind.

    Smith evoked some blather about his “right” to lead the “traditional” hazing of rookies and even seemed to rally GMC to his side. That bit of selfish immaturity was the last straw. Dividing the team was not an option to either Lovie or Koetter. There were more important goals to achieve than MAKING Jameis, a national champion and Heisman winner, humble himself before the almighty “2-14” veterans.

    I suspect that Smith was still pouting when Lovie via Koetter told him to STFU and and focus on playing inspired football. His first few games of botched snaps and penalties were very telling with regard to his level of distraction affecting his relationship with Jameis. A center and QB have to be on the same page to be successful.

    I suspect that Joe Howley is now starting because he came in with a clean slate, performed when called upon and has done the job well. Is he a better player than Smith? I suspect that he’s not, but his attitude makes up the difference in pure talent vs Smith.

    All the oars have to be in sync and rowing in the same direction for any team to be successful. While Smith is being granted a “cooling off” period from the bench, I suspect that he may not be on the team next year. It is very telling that another more sacred NFL tradition “not losing your starting job due to injury” is being ignored in Smith’s case. YIKES…!!!

    Wall, meet handwriting…!!!

  8. tmaxcon Says:

    Buc Neckid

    Lovie is a horrible head coach and has never been a consistent winner in this league. Lovie should be fired at the end of this season. The bucs will go nowhere with lovie. He is building nothing… Koetters offense has shown progress and hope but defense is an embarrassment to football. All of Lovies free agents were busts. He cost this team 42 plus million in bad contracts and poor decisions. Atl was a nice win but Lovie is hardly building anything… That defense Sunday was embarrassing. Lovie has yet to string back to back wins against average teams much less good opponents. Loive has turned LVD into a mediocre player… Lovie has done nothing during his tenure but embarrass himself, the city of Tampa and the bucs organization.

  9. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    I love how you don’t even hesitate to tell an NFL player how he should he should act and react at a football game. You are too hilarious for words. It’s truly amazing to me that a grown man could seriously take the time to say something so ridiculous, and not allow common sense to stop you before hitting “Submit Comment”.

    If you are on this team, then you can talk. If you are a coach, you can talk. Hell, if you are the water boy you can talk. I’d even let you talk if you were a reporter on the sidelines. Did he not make the game winning play? You stat and fantasy geeks never cease to amaze with your obsession with stats. I re-watched the game last night. While it certainly wasn’t McCoy’s finest game, he did make some plays. On the second play of the game, he literally threw the guard right into Matt Ryan on a bull rush, causing him to throw an incompletion. I watched McCoy on every snap, and he was double teamed on every single play that wasn’t a three step drop or a run to the opposite side. I challenge all those who say otherwise to watch the game and disagree. He still has to beat those double teams, but just because he didn’t have a stat (he did have a couple tackles that I guess didn’t show up in the stats. I don’t know because I could give 2 sh!ts about meaningless stats) doesn’t mean he didn’t have an impact. But you and all your idiot friends can keep believing he’s not a good player. He’s got the accolades, as well as the ultimate respect of all his teammates, coaches, and opponents. He was voted captain by his teammates, so I’ll go ahead and take their word that he’s a leader over you. But that’s just me. I apologize, but your opinion is pretty worthless compared to theirs.

  10. Buc Neckid Says:

    How was Sunday’s show of support for a Teammate an embarrassment to Tampa?3-4 is Progress.
    Long Season to go yet but the “Character” of this team is Special
    and that Starts at the top with Lovie Smith.
    Ultimately I agree it is about the “W’s”
    but Being the Head Coach is also about Building Your Young Team into Men to stand up to the challenges of a long grueling season. Staying together wins games, Division among them does not.
    You had me until you said “Sacred Traditions”…
    Rolling the ball back to the QB in Shotgun formation will get you benched

  11. tmaxcon Says:

    Buc Neckid

    I can’t give Lovie credit for the team bonding and coming together as family. I give credit to Mankins, VJAX, Winston and some of the other vets who are in the locker room with their peers. Yes, Lovie is a positive role model and sets the tone that being said it’s the men in that locker room who are bonding. This team is coming together because they have been through some of the most embarrassing losses in league history under lovie smith.

    Character is important but the ability to manage talented players that might not be choirboys is also important and the bucs as an organization has failed at this. The choirboy experiment failed in tampa under shciano and lovie. They have let too many talented players leave or mismanaged players instead of providing support and systems to ensure their success. The world is imperfect and getting rid of talented players based on character concerns alone is wrong. Other organizations have systems and teams in place to help these young men over come some of the short comings. Could you imagine Talib and Revis in our secondarily together. Talib has been brilliant since leaving tampa. I don’t want to hear about salary cap either lovie has blown more money than raheem was allowed for his entire roster.

    I am tired of people accepting mediocrity because someone is a nice guy or well at least he does not get in trouble bs… Lovie gets a free pass because he is a nice guy same with GMC… The world is not perfect nor are the players in it. a winning organization knows how to manage talent.

  12. DB55 Says:

    The savior forgives all his followers. For he is the light.

  13. Dave Says:

    Need to get off of McCoy. He’s not a big vocal leader. Neither is David.
    Neither was #55

    Doesn’t matter. Those two lead by example.

    JW is a different dude and a special type of personality on a team.

  14. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    Thank you for helping bring common sense to the board! How quickly people forget, and how quickly they give Lavonte a pass. I don’t think Lavonte should be criticized either, but if I’m picking between him and McCoy, it’s a no-brainer who gets the most criticism. People’s expectations of McCoy are incredibly unrealistic. Everyone kept dismissing his sacks because they didn’t happen late in the fourth. Then he goes out and has 2 sacks on the last drive against Jax, then the game winning play against Atlanta. However, the criticism is now they don’t like the fact that he doesn’t get mean and angry and stomp on people. I just don’t get it, and I’m actually really happy I don’t.

  15. Buc1987 Says:

    Jameis is a future Pro Bowler.

    Fire Lovie!

  16. OneLove Says:

    Thank you Buc Neckid, Dave, and HawaiianBuc! It’s nice to see some people with common sense!

    “It’s as simple as that” – Lovie Smith

    “Changing coaches about halfway through a rebuilding effort is a recipe for perpetual failure.” – Johnny “America’s Commenter” Dejay

    “If Lovie don’t no how to coach so be it… Hard to believe he would get a job offer and you wouldn’t…. Wonder why??? Your idiots that’s why…” – JAB83

    “So my advice would be, yes, it’s okay to throw things at your TV when your team has a monumental collapse like the Bucs did on Sunday in Washington. But take a deep breath and understand that it is only going to get worse if you continue to jump from one coach to the next.” – Peter King

  17. passthebuc Says:

    Jamis is coming along faster than i anticipated. probably good that his baptism has not been against NE/GB etc.
    Still, wish he had a faster delivery and faster afoot.
    It will be interesting to see the kind of future performance he gives when he must come back early from 2 scores down.

  18. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    I get why you don’t like Lovie, but come on man! We just beat Atlanta in their house with 3 of our top 4 weapons out (and Evans in and out). Lovie has done nothing but draft offense since he got here (minus the home run pick of Kwon Alexander). It really shouldn’t be too much of a surprise our defense is awful. I don’t like it either, but if you really think about it it’s to be expected. We are a 3-4 team, which is better than most of us thought we would be. Talking of firing him is ridiculous right now, if for nothing else than by the fact that we just won and it’s not going to happen.

  19. Bobby Says:

    @Hawaiian…… Everybody wants McCoy to be Sapp and, since he’s not, just being very good will make people think he’s overpaid and should be traded. I’ve said it for years….fans are absolutely clueless for the most part and are emotionally on par with a teenage girl during her menstrual cycle. How many of us actually stuck with Winston and called it ridiculous to judge he or Mariotta after one or two games? How many of us actually appreciate the way McCoy plays and realize that we are one good edge rusher away from showing just how good McCoy is. Once we get someone on the edge who requires double teams then some of the pressure will be off of McCoy and that front line will start to apply the kind of pressure they should. Everybody expects McCoy to beat double teams but they’re fine with the other players on the line not being able to win a one on one match-up. If McCoy is being double teamed someone has to win their match-up. We need to draft a DE who will be able to apply pressure on a consistent basis.

  20. Buccfan37 Says:

    That win over Atlanta is HUGE!!

  21. Wombat Says:

    @Hawaiian Buc aka Mrs McCoy
    Sorry I got your apron strings in a twist. The point of my rant is that your boy is obviously injured, and the hardest decision he must make is to sit out. He is playing with one arm. If you can sit there and say that he is the same guy that made 3 pro bowl appearances, you are watching a different game.

  22. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    FIRE LOVIE….get rid of GMC and Jameis is a future star


    my prediction was 5-6 wins because of Jameis and being a rookie, lovie sucks as an HC…what did he do to help the bucs win against the Falcons on Sunday…have his defense let the falcons march up and down the field on the bucs?

  23. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    Nice try. So your only point was he should sit out? LMAO! And I quote, “Stop helping the other team during the game. Shakes hands and smile after the game. Where was the compassion for his fellow team mate. I am sure he spoke to Kwon, but he should have showed us some emotion on the field.” Any other lies you want to tell today?

    And for the record, a hurt McCoy is better than anyone else we have on this roster. Does any other 3 technique on this team going to draw a double team? Please, please, please tell me he wasn’t getting doubled all game. Please, I beg of you!!!! Have you seen what has happened to us the games McCoy has missed? As soon as he sits out a game, you and every other ignorant, b!tchy little hater on this site will call him soft and say he’s got no heart. Either way you are going to hate on the guy, and my only hope is that should you ever run into him at Publix, you would go up to his face and tell him exactly how you feel. I’d be willing to bet you’ll be a little b!tch and shake his hand and tell him how great he is.

  24. DB55 Says:

    The way I see it is that we’re 3 strikes away from winning 10 games.


  25. DB55 Says:

    HA! I guess that would be 2 strikes away!

  26. godzilla13 Says:

    The real story here is that there never was a story. All that stuff about Evan Smith being so anti Jameis Winston and anti rookie, was overblown. I have had Evan Smith’s back throughout the ignoring of Winstons name. When you take a look at Smith from his years with Green Bay to his years here in Tampa, he was getting a bad rap and not getting any recognition for the job he has done playing Center, like giving up the least amount of sacks during the 2014 season. It is always interesting to hear what happens on the sidelines when the camera’s are not rolling. When the veteran stepped in front of Jameis and gently held the rookie’s head in his left hand and spoke to him, it was probably not the first time these two had an exchange together like that. Yes, Even Smith has been replaced by “Brawley” Hawley but he is taking it like a man. Because that’s the player he always was.

  27. Mr. D Says:

    I don’t understand why no one wants Lovie to finish rebuilding the team. Keep in mind the defense sucks because we have hot garbage to work with. It takes more than twenty minutes to build a team for cryin’ out loud! Just keep in mind L&L are responsible for having Donovan Smith, Ali Marpet, Kwon Alexander, and Jameis Winston on the team. Let’s not forget Charles Sims and Mike Evans. We have the makings of an offense that can keep us in the game! Let’s not forget that we gambled on a kicker with a big leg, and instead of keeping him we had a slice of humble pie and brought back the right guy to kick our FGs and XPs. We are improving as a team. We bring in the right personnel on defense like we did on offense and the sky’s the limit. Don’t fire the cook before the roast is done cooking.

  28. Bucs fan 76 Says:

    Winston is the leader of our team just like Bree’s is the leader of the Saints. The Glazers have their franchise QB they always wanted. Enjoy the ride Super Bowls are in our future.

  29. loggedontosay Says:

    An offensive line that was not expected to protect Jameis Winston is getting better every week along with Jameis Winston. That is leadership. GMC is getting paid a lot of money for all the invisible things he does, but has never produced a game like Kwon Alexander. Kwon Alexander is the leader of the the defense. Howard Jones will follow. But it is good to see you coming around Joe. You can’t keep defending the devil.

  30. Dooley Says:

    How bout this, instead of trying to paint a leader out of our first round pick, can we get some analysis from somebody who knows what they’re looking at when watching a football game? This site is like Imaginationland for us Bucs fans, where’s the substance Joe? Did you leave it at the bar or in the champagne room?

  31. loggedontosay Says:

    @Hawaiian Buc I can appreciate your long thought out and thoughtful response. The issue is not about whether McCoy is a good player. The issue is whether McCoy is an exceptional player. Week after week the question is no. Was he drafted higher than J.J. Watts? I think so (I do not want to fact). Does he make more money than J.J. Watts? J.J. Watts makes a little over $500,000.00 more. Does he produce more than J.J. Watts? My opinion is no. I think salary is a legitimate measure of what expectations should be, and one play game is just not measuring for McCoy. As far as that captain thing. That would have been down right embarrassing if the had not selected him captain. I think he will be selected as a captain again; not because of his leadership, but because no one will want to deal with the embarrassment. By the way I am in Hawaii. Watch the games at Tropics.

  32. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    If you want to use salary as a measuring stick (which I don’t like to do, but I will anyway), then why only compare him to JJ Watt? Why not compare him to a player that plays the same position as him? JJ Watt is a 3-4 DE. Not the same at all. A 3-4 end gets a lot more 1 on 1 blocking. How about we compare McCoy to Suh. Would you rather have Suh? If so, you’re crazy. Suh was allowed to walk ,McCoy wasn’t. That says a lot. How Most people don’t realize this, but McCoy has been much more productive (taking away Suh’s monster rookie year).

    As for the captain thing, I 100% disagree. They voted him captain because he’s the hardest worker on the defense, and the best player. He’s the one running sprints the day his twins were born. Listen to literally any interview by any Bucs player and they will always mention McCoy and his work ethic and leadership. If you go to a training camp practice, you will see McCoy coaching up the younger players. It is a daily occurrence. So no, he wasn’t gifted the captain role. He earned it.

  33. JAB83 Says:

    I’m with OneBuc on this one….

    Refreshing is it not!!!, the Fans of Inspiration will show up….

    Thank you all for starting to see reality here…. OUR BOSS of a coach is like Slick Willy…. Just when you think you know… You look again and what do you know…. What YOU have been hoping for is staring you in the face!!!!

    Trolls and Fans of Depression that insist on blabbing on about this and that with your sofa king we taught it comments… You may of not realized it before… But like that bucs87 guy or whatever his Trolling Depressed handle is… You will come to realize no one ever really cared for your opinions of stupidity…. They only tolerated it because you took advantage of the situation to pile onto a bad situation with your poop…

  34. Fsuking Says:

    I think Gerald McCoy has gotten a bit too cocky. Hopefully the bad play and loss of McDonald will help him realize that he needs to stop thinking and start playing. He is a much better player than what he has been putting on the field.

  35. Fsuking Says:

    If he has another bad game someone needs to take his red hair patch away from him.

  36. Wombat Says:

    @Hawaiian Buc
    You sound like a parrot with the double team, maybe you may have been double teamed as a youngster??
    I watched the replay, and yes you are delusional. He wasn’t double teamed every play. Because two people stand in front of you from the other team, that isn’t necessarily a double team. You are aware of that aren’t you? Just as a side note, I think Gerald is our best defensive player, his history proves that with 3 Pro Bowls. This is all about him as a leader. I think he is a follower who was thrown into leadership because of his play on the field. I think Vjax is the same. Both are great human beings, but not leaders of men. They are worthy Captains, but not leaders…. that’s what this article is about. Jameis is a Leader, born to do that job! He can’t help but be infectious with his enthusiasm. That’s a refreshing thing to see here as a season ticket holder!!

  37. Wombat Says:

    @Hawaiian Buc
    By the way, while you were dissecting the film in your “war room”, did you ever think that “Game Winning Play” you called by McCoy could have gone as “roughing the Passer” with a tackle around his knees? No not ever…. really? Never crossed your perfectly logical cruet? I am sure there were better choices to use in your game analysis….