Yesterday, Today And Tomorrow

November 23rd, 2015
Bucs WRs Russell Shepard (89) and Adam Humphries sky in celebration of Shepard's touchdown yesterday. (Photo courtesy of

Wide receivers Russell Shepard and Adam Humphries sky in celebration of Shepard’s touchdown yesterday. (Photo courtesy of

Welcome to Victory Monday, Bucs fans!

Welcome to a playoff chase. Yes, really!

And you know how this all started? It started with the drafting of America’s Quarterback, Bucs signal-caller Jameis Winston.

Folks, yesterday, it gave Joe the chills watching a Bucs quarterback slice up an NFL defense like that. What makes it more fun is that this was coming from a friggin’ rookie!

Rookies are supposed to struggle. They are supposed to be quiet. They are supposed to listen and not talk. They are supposed to follow. Jameis is blowing up all of these preconceived notions.

Granted, Jameis is not a one-man show. He’s the most important man, however. But not to be overlooked is probably the most important coaching hire since Team Glazer traded for Chucky. And that would be offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter.

Think about it: Yesterday, so many players after the game, including Jameis, raved about the gameplan Koetter put together.

Joe has heard from higher-ups at One Buc Palace that Koetter is much more than just a playcaller. He understands blocking schemes and techniques that not all offensive coordinators understand.

Let’s just say, Koetter is no Marcus Arroyo.

Lovie Smith has made plenty of mistakes in his short tenure leading the Bucs, but his biggest smart move was hiring Koetter. So far, the marriage of Koetter and Jameis seems a marriage made in football heaven.

Here Comes GMC!

The Haters are going to hate this. The critics who make a living behind radio microphones may try to dismiss this. But Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy not only had a decent game, but he also had a sack and a half.

GMC is ranks third in sacks by a defensive tackle with six. Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Bengals star Geno Atkins each have just one more with seven.

What an outright rotten bum this GMC is! Cut him!

(Please note the sarcasm.)

The Return Of Lavonte David

Just how good did it feel to see Lavonte David dominate a game like he used to do? Joe’s heart grew warm watching it.

David had two picks of Mark Sanchize, the last iced the win with a pick-six. It was a wonderful game by David.

Earlier this week, Bucs defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier did not deny that earlier in the season, David may be been worrying about rookie middle linebacker Kwon Alexander too much, thus, David was taking himself out of plays by being out of position.

Well, that certainly wasn’t the case yesterday. If the Bucs do lose Alexander for four games for his failed PED test, then the Bucs will really need for both GMC and David to play at their highest levels.

On The Playoff Bubble

Per, if the season ended today, the Bucs would be the last team left out of the playoffs, and the Dixie Chicks (6-4) would get in. Currently, Atlanta has one more win than the Bucs.

Remember, the Bucs already have a win over the Dixie Chicks. If the Bucs can beat the Dixie Chicks at home (and Atlanta is circling the drain of late), they will own the tiebreaker over Atlanta.

Just a quick look at the remainder of the Bucs’ schedule:

* At the Andrew Luck-less Colts. Winnable.

* Falcons at home. Winnable.

* Saints at home. Winnable.

* At the Rams (in what could be the very last NFL game in St. Louis i.e. major distraction) with the immortal Case Keenum at quarterback. Winnable.

* Bears at home. Bears are a little better than their 4-6 record only because bratty Jay Cutler is having a good season. Winnable, but should be a tough matchup.

* At the Stinking Panthers, who may very well be resting starters with home field advantage for the playoffs wrapped up. If the starters, including Cam Newton, are benched, then it is a winnable game.

Only two teams on the remaining schedule have a winning record: Atlanta and Carolina.

Right now, there are two potential playoff-dream killers that the Bucs have no control over, Seattle (5-5) and Green Bay/Minnesota (7-4), which which are tied for the NFC North lead.

Seattle has a tough remaining schedule. Among the potential speed bumps the Seahawks will face are the Steelers, Vikings, Rams and Cardinals.

Terrible Oversight

Joe is likely going to catch hell for the following but it needs to be brought up. Joe really likes all the people involved, but that doesn’t factor in to what Joe should and should not report.

The biggest story maybe since the start of the season broke early Sunday morning, when it was learned rookie stud middle linebacker Kwon Alexander (who led the Bucs with eight tackles yesterday) was popped for using a banned substance. We later found out (from Alexander) the culprit may be an energy drink (the NFL does not comment on the results of PED tests, per the terms of its labor agreement).

The Bucs did not confirm the report before kickoff, at least not publicly, when the following took place.

In the live pregame show on the Buccaneers Radio Network shortly before kickoff, Gene Deckerhoff did his usual weekly interview with Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht.

Deckerhoff asked Licht about all sorts of fluff but totally and completely ignored the report(s) about Alexander. WHAT!? WHY?!

Now, first off, Joe understands the Buccaneers Radio Network is an in-house production. Fans don’t – or at least shouldn’t – expect a Bill O’Reilly/Sam Donaldson-type grilling of any Bucs employee. That’s pretty clear. But this was huge, huge news that very well may keep the Bucs out of the playoffs if an appeal is denied.

If Jameis Winston or Gerald McCoy tripped stepping off the team bus and deemed unable to play with a sprained ankle, Deckerhoff surely would have asked Licht about the mishap. So why not ask about Alexander?

Again, Joe understands some subjects may be off limits. Licht (or a Bucs representative) may have instructed Deckerhoff not to ask about Alexander. Fine. Then Deckerhoff should have told the listening audience – virtually all of which are either ticket-buying or gear-buying fans – that some subjects will not be touched. You know, a disclaimer. That’s fair (though years ago, a Bucs executive swore to Joe there are no restrictions on what can or cannot be asked in interviews on Buccaneers Radio Network broadcasts).

To completely ignore Alexander’s potential suspension when talking to Licht is, at best, disrespectful to fans and, at worst, deceitful. This isn’t the first time interviewers hired by the Bucs have totally ignored an uncomfortable elephant in the room.

To be fair, Joe did not listen to the radio broadcast of the game, so Joe doesn’t know if Deckerhoff discussed Alexander’s issue during the game.

Again, Joe greatly likes all the folks involved in the broadcast, but that is weak sauce to sweep a major story under the rug as if it never existed. If anything, the Bucs missed a golden opportunity to – as public relations experts would say – get ahead of the message.

One More Thing…

Wouldn’t it be hilarious if the geeks over at Pro Football Focus come out with their weekly player grades and suggest that, well, despite what your eyes told you, Jameis didn’t have that good of a game?

Hell, Joe is almost expecting that.

NFL Thoughts:

Jags: No, Joe does not need a score a minute to watch a football game. And good defensive struggles are fun to watch as well. But let’s not confuse the Titans or Jags as the old Bucs or Ravens. These teams are brutal, and Joe bailed on the game late in the first half it was so damned boring. Joe wanted to turn it back on late, and apparently the ending was somewhat exciting. But man that first half would have put Dick Vitale in a slumber.

Colts: Wow, what an ugly loss by the Falcons. Leading 21-14 with 10 minutes in the game, Matty Ice threw a pick-six from his own end zone to former Seminole High product D’Qwell Jackson to tie the game, which the Colts later won 24-21. Ouch.

Crows: Baltimore won but they lost. A field goal in overtime sealed a win over the Rams but Joe Flacco was lost for the season with a blown out knee.

Stinking Panthers: Just rolled the Redskins. Cam Newton threw five touchdown passes.

Broncos: Even without Peyton Manning, the Broncos are strong. Backup quarterback Brock Osweiler threw for 250 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Peyton who?

Lions: Matt Stafford’s touchdown run late in the game was the difference. All of a sudden the Lions are playing good ball.

Texans: All of a sudden, the Jets have their heads shoved in an oven. Understandable when T.J. Yates throws for a pair of touchdowns.

Cowboys: Tony Romo wasn’t real sharp in his first game back from injury, with a pair of touchdown passes and a pair of picks, but good enough to overcome the up-and-down Dolphins.

Chiefs: Man, since the bye week, Andy Reid’s Chiefs have been on a roll. The immortal Spencer Ware scored a pair of rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter to put away a 30-point win over the Chargers.

Packers: So much for too much sex with Olivia Munn, Aaron Rodgers. The Packers quarterback threw a 27-yard pass to James Jones for a touchdown to snap a three-game losing streak against the Vikings.

Seahawks: So the Seahawks plant stories that Russell Wilson is dropping the hammer on this Ciara too much and is why he is slumping? Wilson wrapped up that nonsense by throwing three touchdown passes yesterday. San Francisco was no match.

Cardinals: What an incredible game last night! Carson Palmer may be old as the hills, but he can still sling it and the Cardinals are a fun team to watch. By the way, the Bengals, under puking Andy Dalton, have a miserable record in primetime games. The Bengals are so bad playing at night, it’s almost to the point of not watching because you know the outcome. Anyway, that was still a fun game to watch.

Non-NFL Thoughts

* Joe has no problem with what Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott said after the Buckeyes lost to Sparty, and neither do NFL types. The kid was hardly on a rant. He was asked questions and gave measured, honest, heartfelt-answers. Joe applauds him for his candor. If Elliott wanted to rip Urbie, he had far more ammunition to use than what he said.

* How about Sparty? They are down arguably the best quarterback in the nation, go on the road to play the No. 3 team in the land, and punked them, punched them right in the mouth. With apologies to Nick Saban, one could argue there is no better coach than Mark Dantonio. Before he got to East Lansing, Sparty was just an above-average program. He has built them into a power, which is a lot more than what Saban did when he was at Michigan State. If Georgia does let Mark Richt go, they would be smart to offer Dantonio a vault-full of cash.

* If Iowa wins out, they should be in the playoff over Notre Dame. Simple as that.

* Bob Stoops is probably still sweating over how his Sooners nearly choked away a win. Oklahoma’s offense was putrid in the second half (Baker Mayfield for Heisman), when Mayfield was out in the second half due to a nasty targeting hit to the noggin. Linebacker Steven Parker made the play of the year for the Sooners, batting down what would have been a two-point conversion for a TCU win. Helluva game.

* Notre Dame in the playoff? Not without a buncha upsets.

* Are these rumors about Les Miles getting canned serious? The guy has one off year — off year meaning he may only win eight games. Be careful what you wish for Tigers fans.

* Joe loves the NFL but it is sure hard to beat vegging on the recliner all day long soaking up college football on a lazy Saturday afternoon. Joe had ABC on all day and night and never had to turn the channel. Didn’t regret it at all. Three fantastic games in a row. Well, the Michigan-Penn State game was OK, but still entertaining.

* So to Joe’s knowledge, there are five teams who control their destiny: Alabama, Clemson, Iowa, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Even if Sparty runs the table, Joe isn’t sure they will get into the playoff. That Nebraska robbery looms large.

* Joe thinks it is beyond weak for the guys who get paid to go to games whining on Twitter virtually every Saturday that not enough people pay to go to games in Miami. Joe has one question for these hypocrites: Would you pay to watch that crap? Of course you wouldn’t, so why should you expect others?

* What got into South Florida? All of a sudden they are world beaters.

18 Responses to “Yesterday, Today And Tomorrow”

  1. Tom Edrington Says:

    Huge credit needs to go to the O-line…….great blocking for run game and giving JW time to throw is day and night from first 4 games… all starts up front.

  2. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Fav Koetter call was the 3rd and 1 fake dive flip it out to dougie, great call, again Lovie switching up to a more agrressive attacking man to man, blitz more philosophy is kind of taking on jameis attitude and aggressiveness so jameis is very infectious to the fans, the joe bucs, lovie and his teammates

  3. DavidbigBucsFan Says:

    Did you see how LVD diagnosed the screen pass BEFORE it was set up??? He started to run to the spot he knew it was going BEFORE Sanchesca even threw the ball! A beautiful thing watching great instincts happen like that!

  4. JbeachbucHas anyone Says:

    Has anyone seen the Realist? I’ve been looking for him , cant find him anywhere….. he is usually the first One to post negative ( played out ) comments .. I mean like ,where is he?

  5. Danthebucfan Says:

    Bring on the stinking Panthers, cam and all

  6. Pickgrin Says:

    Victory Monday for the 2nd week in a row feels SO GOOD. And it seems to do a good job of keeping the Lovie hating likes of tmax, “Realist”, Dallas et all from posting which makes JBF a much more pleasant environment.

    We need 5 more victory Mondays to get into the SB tournament.

    Is that likely? Probably not.

    Is it possible? Absolutely!!!

    With a QB like JW3 behind center playing well and very un-rookie like – anything is possible.

    Go Bucs!!!!

  7. Clodhopper Says:

    I’ve been hard on Doug Martin the last few years. I’ve ranted that running backs are a dime a dozen. But this year Martin is not a dime a dozen running back. The dude is breaking multiple tackles before he even gets to the line of scrimmage multiple times a game. Juking. High Stepping. Spinning. He’s been a beast!! You can see it when they put Sims in, that he’s just not as good. Don’t get me wrong, Sims has his place and is very talented in his own skill sets, but Martin really is a special back. I never thought I’s say this a year ago but PAY THE MAN!!

  8. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    The Realist along with me and many others were sick of lovie and his stubborn ways of not adapting to things or keep trying to plug a square peg in a round hole, well Lovie changed his entire philosphy on defense to an up tempo attacking aggressive defense no longer sitting back and allowing the offense to dictate what is going to happen, he has been bringing pressure all over and its really eefective and very confusing to the past 2 offensives and add the growing of Lovie and its a great mix. Hats off to Lovie for changing otherwise the bucs go 4-12 and he loses his job

  9. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    *growing of jameis added to lovie changing is something awesome to witness

  10. ATrain Says:

    Thank you Lovie for letting Kritter do his thing.

    Defense looked better..

    Like I said Team has talent..Up to leadership

    ASJ. aka As Soft as Jelly needs to go..Brate doing the job..

    Throw to Humphries more…

  11. The Other Side of the Coin Says:

    Realist is busy thinking up his new screen name.

  12. Jbeachbuc Says:

    Maybe “the Buc miserablist”

  13. Joehelldeloxley Says:

    I look at the schedule this morning and I have the same result.

    We will have a very interesting end of season starting next sunday.

    A victory agaisnt the Colts can really lanches a wonderful end of season rush.

    Who said “football starts in November” ? 😉

  14. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    As for “in house” interviews they’re never real journalism. I think the Bucs must have issued TJ Rives kneepads before putting him to work.

    Having said that I’m tossing stones from a glass house. One year I did radio pbp and TV weekly shows with Les Robinson who was then coaching ETSU before jumping to his alma mater…NC State.

    When you work so closely with these men if they have great personalities…as Les did…it’s hard to not simply become friends. I tossed nothing but softballs the entire year. Not my finest journalistic effort.

    I suspect Todd Licht could charm a cobra…he’s smart, experienced, and knows how to work the media!

    I used to love Joe’s theory about the Carolina game and resting their starters.
    Still not out of the question EXCEPT…if Carolina keeps running the table and they head into that final game against us undefeated…chalk it up as a loss for us unless we pull off a miracle. They will not only play their starters they’ll be beyond amped up to score and undefeated season!!!

    We all have to hope that Carolina loses a game before they host us at the end.

  15. Buccfan37 Says:

    Terrible Oversight: Free Quan Alexander!

  16. Buccfan37 Says:

    I think the Bucs are not far off from being as good as Arizona or Cincinnati. Potential good matchup right now.

  17. Buccfan37 Says:

    The Bulls had a good year, a possible better bowl opponent opportunity awaits. Somehow this time I doubt the Bulls will get smashed like in the past Sun Bowl by Oregon years back. I hope they face a tough opponent.

  18. RustyRhinos Says:


    ETSU they are Buccaneers! I was blessed to have lived in the TN/NC/VA area and listened to games on the radio. Drove by the Dome going to Knoxville several times. A beautiful area. Thanks for bring those memories back to my attention.