“We Have To Judge Our Team Based On The Progress We’ve Made”

December 21st, 2015

Lovie is adamant

So what is a fair grading system for the 2015 Buccaneers?

Lovie Smith shared ideas on his radio show tonight.

The head coach made it very clear that the team collectively should be evaluated by how it compares to the mess of 2014.

“We have to judge our team based on the progress we’ve made,” Lovie told the Buccaneers Radio Network.

Lovie expounded to say the Bucs are clearly headed in the right direction and anyone paying attention can see they are a significantly better product than what was on the field in 2014.

Joe agrees the Bucs are markedly better, but “progress” is a fuzzy term with a hell of a lot of gray area.

For example, how would the Bucs be “headed in the right direction” if they lose their next two games and close the season on a four game losing streak and losers of five out of six? That would mean the Bucs regressed mightily in the final third of the season.

Then there’s defining “progress” for Lovie’s defense. Right now, opposing quarterbacks are completing 69.2 percent of passes against the Bucs. That’s the worst mark in the NFL. Last year, the Bucs allowed a league-worst 68.7 percent of passes to be completed against them. That’s not progress.

On the flip side, the Bucs’ offensive line has progressed so much from last year that it’s almost unbelievable.

Joe absolutely is not judging the Bucs today. There are two games to play, and those two games will say a lot about the team. Those games will reflect the heart of the club and how it’s responding to the head coach.

46 Responses to ““We Have To Judge Our Team Based On The Progress We’ve Made””

  1. Couch Fan Says:

    2 now meaningless games are suppose to show the heart of the team? I disagree. I think the last 3 games with playoff implications showed more than the next 2 will.

  2. Ray Rice Says:


  3. BucFan20 Says:

    Be kind of like the alarm going off after the intruder leaves and takes everything with them.

  4. buc4life1979 Says:

    The heart of this years team is #3, Right there is your heart Joe, what you should have said was we’ll see who in the next 2 games has enuff heart to hang in there with #3, I don’t care who their name is, if they can’t suck it up and leave it out on the field with the team leader, GET THE !@#@ OUTTA TAMPA

  5. mike10 Says:

    Yup, what Couch said. What happened to, “Tampa fans are over patience, they deserve a winner now.”

    I do think we’re starting to shake that LOSING culture, but I’m still seeing a mentally WEAK team. Maybe the step after losing is learning how to win – because that’s where we are.

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Sure, we’ve made some progress….but not much….we P words I am left with are prospects & promise……we need some players….and I suspect we will make some changes…..and with Jameis…we have promise…..I feel much better at this time t

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I feel better at this time this year than last year…..all we had last year were questions about who and where we would be picking…..sure we are thinking about that somewhat now….but not near as intense.

  8. Fowlball Says:

    On the surface, it appears that the team has improved over last year’s edition.

    The problem is that the truth is seldom found on the surface: you have to dig deeper to find it.

    Is the defense better? Nope, not even close, and that is a direct reflection on Lovie’s coaching ability.

    Have the mountain of game-losingpenalties been “cleaned up?” Nope, but I guess Lovie will get around to it sometime. We’re waiting.

    Is the offense better? Heck yes. Last year we didn’t even have an OC, and this year we have an excellent one.

    Is the run game better? By a mile, but the improvement has nothing to do with Lovie.

    Is QB play better? The question doesn’t even require an answer. But all that Lovie did was pull the trigger on #3 along with JL and the concurrence of team owners.

    Future performance is best predicted by past performance, and Lovie’s performance over the last two seasons is not acceptable.

  9. Buc1987 Says:

    Can Lovie match Schiano’s 2 season total of 11 wins? We’ll see, and I doubt it.

  10. Buc1987 Says:

    Being that the Panthers could rest all their starters and the Bucs will still lose to Caroilna. smh

  11. Buc1987 Says:

    Okay I did the math …duh. Only 2 games left. So Lovie won’t even match Schiano the Great’s 11 win total eh?

    This is the same Lovie Smith that when he was hired ran around for about a month telling the press “but we were a 4-12 team”.

    Golly gee..Wally.

  12. Espo Says:

    @ 87

    That ship has sailed. He wasn’t aboard.

  13. BucTrooper Says:

    This is the New America. We don’t grade you against your peers. It’s you against yourself.

    You want to accurately grade the team? Look at how they played when they were 6-6 and the season was on the line.

    THEY S••• THE BED.

    THAT’S where your paycheck is earned.

  14. Buc1987 Says:

    Espo..correct, but he was very critical of that 4-12 team only to produce 2-14 and now 6 and prolly 10.

    He gutted nearly the entire roster last season. This IS Lovie’s baby and it’s been his for a long while now. He owns this product, and not only owns it, but he’s the manufacturer as well.

  15. Mike10 Says:

    Buctrooper yup. Who knows what the “sacko” is? That’s the trophy you get for moral victories in the NFL.

    Yay Bucs

  16. OneLove Says:

    Let’s all calm the F!% down and be honest with ourselves! STOP lying to yourself! It doesn’t matter what you want to tell yourself to help you sleep better at night! Lovie is NOT going anywhere!!

    5-11, 6-10, 7-9 were REALISTIC pre-season expectations for this season given our talent and how YOUNG we are!(rookie QB and MLB). We are right where we thought we’d be!! The difference between Schiano and Lovie(other than WANG size and poor dental work) is Schiano’s team REGRESSED and he lost the locker room! Lovie’s team has progressed (tripling its win total from last year) and the drafting of Jameis has brought an EXCITEMENT that I haven’t felt since I last put my WANG in Realist’s mouth!!

    Long story short. Regardless of how this season ends, there is SURE A HELL OF A LOT to look forward to next season!!


  17. T in Orlando Says:

    The offense has progressed, the defense has not. All the coaches and all the former players said “give it two years”, well we’re two years in, and the defense is no better than it was when Lovie took over, and in some ways, it’s worse. This is Lovie’s D and fans and ownership should no longer be surprised with the results.

    The not drafting on that side of the ball is not an excuse he can use, since Lovie played a very large role in the draft process. It’s not like he came in and the team was strapped for draft picks due to trades to mortgage the future. The previous regime traded one future pick, which turned out to be a 4th rounder, in the Revis acquistion.

    Net-net, unless Lovie has a time machine in that basement of his, and can go to 1999 and bring back Sapp, Brooks, Lynch, Barber and Rice, this defense will improve no further than what we’ve seen so far as long as he is the head coach, and people would be insane to expect otherwise.


  18. T in Orlando Says:


    The offense has improved markedly, but how can one say that overall this team has progressed in two years under Lovie, compared to two years under Schiano? The ONLY thing going for Lovie in these two years versus Schiano’s is the QB situation, and the only that’s the case is because how god awful the team was last year, it is not like Lovie plucked a qb from the 3rd round or later.

    There should be noticable improvement from game 1 of 2014 to game 15 of 2015, on the defensive side of the ball when that is the head coach’s background, and it just is not there. Are we supposed to excuse this futility because the Bucs were the worst team last year and were in position to draft Winston?

    I get he’s not likely to go anywhere this off season, and i am excited to see how Winston progresses in year two, however i expect nothing more from this defense, other than next year it keeping us out of the playoffs. Maybe the two or three times we get to play back up qbs next year, they’ll only look like Dan Fouts, instead of Dan Marino.


  19. BrianBucs Says:

    It’s silly to talk “progress” when you have just lost to two bad teams with losing records. The Bucs played a schedule this year full of terrible teams, losing to most, and looking very undiciplined and poorly coached. They have drafted a few very good prospects the last couple of years, but they have not turned their talent into wins. They have lots of holes to fill to be successful winners and I for one am not sure that Lovie Smith has the coaching ability to do it

  20. BucscsQcCity Says:

    I can see improvment everywhere, except for coaching and game management.. I’m ok to let Lovie another year but I think it’s a waste of time

  21. HIRE JIMBO Says:

    FIRE LOVIE trade GMC and MG8 for a first and a 3rd. Hire Carolina defensive coordinator as hc make koetter assistant HC and keep licht. Bring in free agent wr,cb,de. Draft de. But u first have to FIRE LOVIE

  22. Sick of Lovie Says:

    I grade them not on the losses, but the way they lost. I wouldn’t be suprised if we start hearing rumblings of Lovie losing the locker room. Even though Lovie is as patient as they come, you can’t expect the players to be so patient and cool when being gutted and embarrassed like they have been. Getting eaten alive by a nobody like Keenum should never happen to an NFL team, and the worst part is, its not the first time a scrub has looked like future HOF while putting us to bed. It has to be hard on Winston and the offense too, but I give them all major props for not throwing the defense under the bus.
    Say what you want about Schiano, and I have, I didn’t like him at all. But, I don’t recall too many losses under him like we have had with Lovie. All I’m sayin is, I thought we brought Lovie in as an upgrade.

  23. tickrdr Says:

    As I have posted previously and as recently re-emphasized by The Buc Realist, the Bucs have played a historically WEAK schedule. Please look at the NFL standings. Every division has at least two teams with a winning record, often 9-5 or better, except for the AFC South, and the NFC East, as well as the NFC South! These are the teams on our schedule this year.

    We have gone 6-8, and likely 6-10, against the WEAKEST schedule in the league. Only this week did two of our opponents return to 0.500 ball, because they themselves played against terrible competition, including the Bucs. How would our team and defense have fared against teams like the Cardinals or the Packers, let alone against the Steelers or the Patriots.

    Even against that level of competition, Lovie et al cannot even match the record of Schiano et al. SMDH (“But we were 4-12”)


  24. T in Orlando Says:

    @ hireJimbo

    Very difficult to hire someone as head coach and tell him who his assistant coaches/coordinators will be. Not too many candidates would/should agree to that (granted the Bucs have an example of just that in our history with exceptional results, but our offense now is no where near the level of the defense of 2001/2002).

    I fully agree with the your first step, but if one of the primary concerns is the continued develop of Winston with his current coaches, the only way to assure that is to promote Koetter to HC, and hire a good DC candidate who is a 4-3 guy but NOT a Tampa 2 guy.


  25. Martinii Says:

    I admitt that I am by no standard as qualified as many posters above to evaluate this team or compare it to the team Schiano put on the field. As I recall many called for and got him fired. In comes Lovie and once again he appears on the block. My humble question is are we ever going to give a coach the latitude to build a team. I am more optimistic. We have a franchise QB. We have the makings of a good offensive line, we have some banged up but good receivers, we have a good defensive interior line, we have good line backers, we have a good running game and while our record won’t take us to the playoffs, we have a shot at .500 and have improved over last year. The cups half full, give it another offseason to mature and fill some glaring needs. Let’s wait before we tear it down and try to rebuild it again. Maybe I have learned to be more optimistic in my old age and try to raise above all the negativism. One thing I know, most of you will call me a fool.

  26. Bob in Valrico Says:

    the defense has fallen because lovie has constantly tinkering with corners for two years.Jonathan banks had 5 interceptions last year.Dont believe Jenkins,jude or any of plug in corners have that all together in two years.Kwan provided some spark with Macdonald out and McCoy hurt.Lovie also has not done well putting a decent DE on field from free agency,an area where he has
    final say.I think his player personnel moves are holding the team back.With large cap space available,Glazers should not allow lovie to go shopping for more Johnsons.

  27. Danati74 Says:

    No doubt we are headed in the right direction. Last year was horrible. Also we had the FA busts and no QB. So far our GM and J. Rbinson are finding some great prospects on practice squads and in the draft. This year I’m sure we will go mostly defense. Jamis is 21 and M. Evans is 22. We got the best RB duo in the NFL. Both guys were injured last year and another year in the system will do them good. Sucks we didn’t make the playoffs,..but next year you feel better…then the past.

  28. CC Says:

    No progress with the defense. Same sh*t different season.
    Discipline, ie penalties. Ah nope.
    O line. Yes there is progress. Only reason is because Lovie got rid of the previous Oline that was our stregth and threw away Millions of dollars in the process on FA’s.
    QB. Yes progress.
    Special teams. Average at best. It’s a wash.
    Nice job Lovie. You are building a dynasty.

  29. McBuc Says:

    @martinii. You are no fool. You are correct. The games were more fun to watch. This year. Even the great BB was mediocre before Tom Bradey came off the bench and never lost the starting gig. The QB can change everything, let’s watch this thing progress.

  30. godzilla13 Says:

    This team is a far cry from the 2-14 product that was rolled out in 2014. When I think of this years team I remember back to the Eagles game and the first half of the Washington game. Those were the times that this team showed signs of truly being the team I envisioned them to be. There are pieces in place now to build from. The greatest improvement is with our QB, OL and running back tandem. What I can not get my head around is why the defense is so much worse than last years? At the end of 14′ the defense was playing well and the only change in personnel from the last game to this year was the additions of Kwon Alexander, Chris Conte and George Johnson. It has probably been more about the disappearance of GMC and LVD. Not sticking with Johnthan Banks and Alturraun Verner at CB may be our biggest regret. There is hope for this team with the rookie class this year. The number one concern is with amount of injuries that has affected so many players this year. Players who get injured, at some point you have to move on or expect more of the same. GMC, ASJ, Vincent Jackson, George Johnson, Jacquies Smith, Clinton McDonald and Bruce Carter to name a few.

  31. bucrightoff Says:

    Thing is Lovie, progress is relative. Of course 6 wins would have been progress before the season. And then they got a slate of QBs that included a rookie, a cokehead, a guy who was on his way to the bench, a 40 year old. Also played one of the worst secondaries of all-time…

    …and didn’t win any of those games. I mean, every NFL season is unique, you aren’t getting those types of breaks every year. You have to take advantage of them. As they did in 2010.

    Lovie’s coming back, but he’s now put a ton of heat on himself. They could improve on field and have a worse record just because of the schedule, which looks very tough next year. He should have banked a 9 win season at least. Instead he may be at 8 wins in 2 years. Simply not good enough.

  32. bucrightoff Says:

    And I forgot the legend of Case Keenum too. 158 QB rating and all. Those 5 losses are unforgivable for a coach with 160 games of NFL head coaching experience. Just shocking anyone wants to give him a pass on this team.

  33. LargoBuc Says:

    Well if we lose to Chicago and Carolina, I will be skeptical of where this regime is headed. You cant play like spit in December even if you played well in November.

  34. Buxster Says:

    i judge them on the progress they didn’t make.

  35. Mike10 Says:

    Straight LOSER mentality!

  36. 813bucboi Says:

    @martinii…you nailed it…lol…so I guess 6 wins after 2-14 isn’t progress…this isn’t college football..this is the nfl…style points don’t count…either you win or you lose…I cant wait for the draft and offseason…many of you who doubt(hate) lovie will see that its the lack of talent and quality depth that has held this team back…GO BUCS!!!

  37. bucrightoff Says:

    813bucboi Says:
    December 22nd, 2015 at 1:52 pm
    @martinii…you nailed it…lol…so I guess 6 wins after 2-14 isn’t progress…this isn’t college football..this is the nfl…style points don’t count…either you win or you lose…I cant wait for the draft and offseason…many of you who doubt(hate) lovie will see that its the lack of talent and quality depth that has held this team back…GO BUCS!!!

    813bucboi 1 year from today….

    “Lovie deserves another season! I mean we won fewer games this year than last, but the schedule was sooo much harder! Context guys!”

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

    Is it fair to count the 2014 win total against Lovie? The organization clearly made the decision to put the season in the tank for Winston, so I think the 2-14 at least needs an asterisk.

    I agree that the performances during the last 3 games when the Bucs were in playoff contention are very troubling. The defense only has 3 legitimate NFL players (McCoy, LVD, and Kwon) and then it’s a bunch of scrubs that probably couldn’t play on any other NFL team.

    Regardless of if Lovie is back in 2016, something drastic has to happen to improve the talent level on defense. They need to trade Mike Glennon for a draft pick and then invest the entire draft on defense. It wouldn’t hurt to spend the lion’s share of that $50M free agency war chest on defensive players either.

  39. bucrightoff Says:

    Johnny “America’s Commenter” Dejay Says:
    December 22nd, 2015 at 2:38 pm
    Is it fair to count the 2014 win total against Lovie? The organization clearly made the decision to put the season in the tank for Winston, so I think the 2-14 at least needs an asterisk.

    Ahh yes, the old “They tanked” excuse. Remember without Jameis they’re likely 2-14 again this year. It wasn’t tanking. It was Lovie is not a good coach. I’d be careful though, if you keep reaching this hard you’re going to hurt your back.

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

    @bucrightoff I’m not saying the entire season was tanked, but I think the organization made the decision to tank the last half of the season once it was clear that neither McCown or Glennon were franchise QBs. Did you watch the Bucs/Saints game to close out the 2014 season? The tanking was so obvious that it spurred the local media to call them out on it.

  41. bucrightoff Says:

    That was one game. Not the whole season. They lost two weeks earlier by 2 points. Where they tanking then too? It’s just a bad excuse to try and act like last year was some accident as opposed to maybe they were just really, really, ridiculously bad. This is fans like me and the Realist and Couch get hated, because we’re not going to play mental gymnastics to try and trick our minds into believing the opposite of what we see.

  42. 813bucboi Says:

    @bucrightoff…lovie has progressed in the 2 years he’s been here…that’s a fact that you realist and couch cant debate…6 wins is more than 2 fact…this year was better than last year fact…you continue to blame lovie for everything without putting any accountability on the players…drop balls, missed kicks, penalties are all lovie fault right?..GTFOH…players know the have to catch the ball…players know they have to make their kicks and players know they cant hurt their team with stupid penalties…if you think this team is currently littered with talent that couldn’t win with than your either blind stupid or a combination of both…which I think you are…but im not stressing it because I know lovie has this team headed in the right direction…next year I will be saying,”where’s realist couchfan and bucrightoff at now?”…GO BUCS!!!!

  43. 813bucboi Says:

    @johnny..”The defense only has 3 legitimate NFL players (McCoy, LVD, and Kwon) and then it’s a bunch of scrubs that probably couldn’t play on any other NFL team.”…I agree…I would also throw in sterling moore but that’s it for the defense…realist couch and bucrightoff seem to think that players on our defense can start or be a backup on any other team…they wouldn’t even play ST…most of them would either be unsigned or practice squad players….GO BUCS!!!!

  44. 813bucboi Says:

    imo…even without jameis we would’ve still won more than 2 games…last year the biggest problem was the oline…everything isn’t all peachy with jameis…he has cost us 3-4 games himself(titans,panthers,colts,rams)….GO BUCS!!!

  45. bucrightoff Says:

    813bucboi Says:
    December 22nd, 2015 at 4:47 pm
    if you think this team is currently littered with talent that couldn’t win with than your either blind stupid or a combination of both…which I think

    Actually all I’ve said is an average coach, even with the exact same roster, would have this team at 9-7 at the end of this year. But you and the rest of the Lovie defenders believe no coach ever could have this team above 6 wins, so by that logic Lovie is doing an amazing job. A good coach maximizes his players…there isn’t a single player Lovie can claim to have maximized their talent or ability. And multiple guys have unquestionably gotten worse. But for, you and others say “Not enough talent”. Christ Almighty, does this guy need tons of draft picks and top players in order to be judged? That’s a mighty poor standard.

    Do you really think we were that much worse off than the Vikings, Redskins and Texans last year? Not a chance in hell. Yet they’re all going to the playoffs within two years, and we’re probably 2 more years away. We have a below average coach, he will always hinder this team from its true potential. Me and Couch and Realist simple don’t have our heads buried in Lovie’s and the Glazer’s laps. We’re free people who think for ourselves. And a lot of Buc fans don’t like it and would rather be subservient losers. Well, enjoy being a subservient loser.

  46. OneLove Says:

    “Realist simple don’t have our heads buried in Lovie’s and the Glazer’s laps. We’re free people who think for ourselves.”

    Translation: I’m an idiot!