Double Benching

January 4th, 2016
Lovie inexplicably broke Sterling Moore's streak of eight consecutive starts

Lovie inexplicably broke Sterling Moore’s streak of eight consecutive starts

A funny thing happened yesterday, Lovie Smith benched cornerback Sterling Moore, who had made eight consecutive starts, in favor of Mike Jenkins.

Yeah, that Mike Jenkins, Lovie’s inexplicable bromance partner for the past two seasons.

No, Joe will not rehash the ridiculousness of Jenkins on the field. But Joe will look at the Moore decision closely. Moore might have been the Bucs’ best cornerback this season. During the midseason stretch when the secondary looked ok, Moore was shutting down Dez Bryant, and limiting Odell Beckham, Jr. and Julio Jones. Hell, Moore even had one of only two interceptions by Bucs cornerbacks this season!

Moore, 25, is an unrestricted free agent in a matter of weeks. Would you want to return after getting benched for Jenkins in Week 17?

And not only was Moore benched, he was benched at his second position this season. Moore was initially a nickel back, before Lovie didn’t think he could handle that job.

What adds to the dark comedy that is the Bucs’ defense, Lovie chose all six cornerbacks that he burned through this season. Each and every one was studied and evaluated by Lovie, yet the head coach behaved like none were acceptable — on the heels of Lovie Smith finding Darrelle Revis unacceptable.

37 Responses to “Double Benching”

  1. Joehelldeloxley Says:

    I think than more than the results it is this kind of decision that make people so upset about Lovie Smith.
    We lost Kwon Alexander, who after a difficult, showed how talented he is and it has a HUGE impact on the defense.
    But the Secondary Circus, with CBs picked up by The Head Coach himself, has been too much to tolerate for a lot of fans. GUys starting then being benched then coming back, and so on all season long with 3 Secondary coaches !
    Make your mind, pick up your guys and then go to fight, the field will tell us if your choices are good or bad but don’t change your match every time !

  2. ATrain Says:

    Exactly why LOVIE is not a good coach..

    This player sucks but LOVIE put him in because he LIKES The player..

    Lovie did this with Jennings also…



    I saw the media call out CHUCKY , RAHEEM AND SCHIANO.. BUT NOT LOVIE

  3. Buddhaboy Says:

    such a horrible coach.

  4. bucrightoff Says:

    There isn’t a single defensive player who is playing better with Lovie Smith coaching. That should be the biggest mark against him, he can’t coach up his players, can’t make them better, can’t put them in positions to succeed.

  5. knucknbuc Says:

    This is par the course for lovie. can’t be surprised by his ineptitude anymore

  6. D-Rome Says:

    The Buccaneers did the best they could do with the CB position with the lack of talent (plus injuries) on the defensive line. The only constant on that defensive line from the start of the season was Gerald McCoy. I think even you would agree that losing Clinton MacDonald for the season and Jac Smith for four games was a big deal.

    Even if the Bucs had Darelle Revis he would have found himself hung out to dry too many times due to a lack of a pass rush. Even GMC down the stretch was ineffective. It looks like he’s been playing through an injury.

  7. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Anyone actually know WHY he was benched? (if he actually was)

    I would guess none of you do. So that means you have no clue as to whether there was a good reason or not. For all you know, he could have violated a team policy.

    Frankly, although a victory over the Panthers would have felt really nice, I knew we would lose the game, and I was glad for it. Isn’t the idea to improve the team? As a result of the loss, we will pick sooner in the draft.

    Go watch the Jameis Winston PC.

    How can you not be excited? Watch Lovie’s PC. It’s clear that things will get better after this off season. A strong defensive draft (finally) will right the ship.

    The Bucs can get WRs in free agency. The oline will develop further and get even better.

    I realize many have made up their minds on Lovie, but he’s the right coach here. One more year and he’ll prove it.

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Is it possible that Lovie did with Moore exactly what Joe wanted done with Jameis….bench him to keep him from injury….I doubt it…

    I think the reason should be clear….Moore will be retained and he wanted to get one last full look at Jenkins…..and we think we know the answer to that.

  9. jb Says:

    All we can hope for after listening to Winston’s final press conference, is that we upgrade the talent level during the offseason to the point that we can win DESPITE Lovie. If Licht can do what he did this past draft, and Jameis wrestles the leadership role away from “Girls just wanna have fun” McCoy, we may be able to see some real football here in Tampa Bay during 2016 and on into the future. We may just need to see Lovie stay outta the way.

  10. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    My Off Season Wish List 1.0 – Positions-wise

    2 Defensive Ends
    1 Cornerback
    1 Safety
    1 Kick Returner
    2 Wide Receivers

  11. bucrightoff Says:

    Uhh Moore is a FA, so he won’t be “retained”. If he wants to leave and actually win something next year, he will. Obviously he’s never getting franchised.

  12. BuccaneerBonzai Says:


    That’s a very good point.

  13. BuccaneerBonzai Says:


    Lovie made the draft picks, not Licht.

  14. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    bucrightoff Says
    “Uhh Moore is a FA, so he won’t be “retained”.

    They could offer him another contract if they wish. If they do it quickly, I mean. He’s still technically a free agent, but that doesn’t mean they cannot keep him here.

  15. The Buc Realist Says:


    with all the tape he must have watched on O-line prospects for the draft, no wonder his defense is terrible and sloppy!!!!

  16. AceofAerospace Says:

    And you still think he’ll keep his job because he didn’t screw up “one” player. The Great Gazoo told me, “Not so fast Dumb Dumb. Winston was successful in spite of Lovie, not because of him”. If Lovies not fired, it’s the trust fund babies trying to save face. It’s a simple as that.

  17. bucrightoff Says:

    BuccaneerBonzai Says:
    January 4th, 2016 at 9:33 am

    Lovie made the draft picks, not Licht.

    And Licht made all the bad picks and FA decisions, we know dumbass loser, we know.

    Reminder: Read his posts like a special ed kd wrote them. Makes all the difference.

  18. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I never gave Licht credit for bad picks.

    You can’t seem to accept the truth. Head Coaches make the final choice on draft picks. When they are hired, it is because of their ability to build a vision. That vision is always fulfilled through the draft, which is why they make the picks.

    Of course, that doesn’t suit your HATE agenda. Truth usually doesn’t. And you know it. That’s why you resort to name calling. Maturity is a wonderful thing. Try it.

  19. bucrightoff Says:

    You are literally the dumbest poster on any site I’ve ever read Bonzai. I know you’re trolling and all, but even by troll standards your takes are spectacularly stupid. I tend to think you got dropped on your head one time too many as a kid. So I do feel for you, you probably aren’t stupid by choice but rather by accident.

  20. ATrain Says:

    Licht was very much a part of the Draft picks..

    Lovie was giving the call on players and picking the Free Agents..

    Lovie supports want to make all the excuses they can.. That is why they like him because Lovie is full of excuses and so are the Lovie fans…

    Other teams had bad players and newer coaches but still won games..

    The Redskins took guys off the street who were at home and are in the playoffs.

  21. JollyBucsFan Says:

    Benching Moore for Jenkins is reason alone to fire lovie

  22. Supersam Says:

    This is absolutely why Lovie Smith must go, you bench our best freaking cornerback!?!? WTF!?! Did anybody see how pathetic Johnthan Banks looked out there!?! He got beat every play he was on the feild! The only bromamce going on here is the one Joe has with Banks! Open your eyes Joe he’s garbage and yet you never say a peep about him, it’s that biased journalism that ruins this website. Jenkins played twice as good as Banks, put the beer down and go back and watch the film.

  23. NPR fan Says:

    What do you mean “inexpicable”? It was a routine Lovie decision. He has been doing that for two full years now. Nothing inexplicable about his constant screw ups.lovie knows losing, not winning. How about his insightful break down of the games when he comments ” we are not quite there yet. Some people need to play better” Duh. What the hell are you Making millions for? It is YOUR job to coach up these professional players and put the in a position to win! You have failed. Go back to your basement.

  24. Defense Rules Says:

    Tampabaybucfan … I also believe that Lovie probably wanted to get one last look at Jenkins (why I don’t know) and that Bucs will try to retain Moore (lots of other teams also need experienced CBs).

    BuccaneerBonzai … Agree with your ‘Wish List’ of draftees and FAs, but I think we’ll need more than that to truly improve next year (like 1 additional CB and Safety plus a LB). Also wouldn’t be surprised to see us grab at least 1 OLineman someplace in there.

    Joehelldeloxley … Love the term ‘Secondary Circus’. Most are quick to blame Lovie for the ‘circus’ but I think there’s more to it than that. One issue I think is that the quality of our CBs and Safeties is simply not up to par with what ‘good teams’ are putting on the field. A second issue is that our DLine didn’t get consistent pressure on opposing QBs all season long. But an even bigger issue is the secondary coaches; they’re simply not getting the job done.

    Back in 1996 when Tony Dungy started, Lovie was the LBs coach (not DBs coach … that was Herm Edwards job). By the way, Kevin O’Dea (Bucs special teams coach) was the defensive asst on that team. Right now Bucs have Gill Byrd, Mikal Smith and Larry Marmie doing what Herm did back then. No way that’s going to end well. Bucs today not only have a much bigger coaching staff than they had 20 years ago, but it looks like it’s stacked with coaches with long-standing relationships with Lovie. That’s fine and dandy IF they’re getting the job done … but they’re not. Glazers and Licht need to insist that Lovie correct that quickly.

  25. Lou. Says:

    @Bonsai and @Tckrdr for Bucs team president!

    On the draft, I think we got too cute at the bottom end last year. Clay was chosen to be a returner. Who cares if he was the 17th-rated receiver on our team — that should not have mattered since his real job was ST. We have a dedicated alas, why not recognize reality and designate him a return specialist and keep him? While Clay had a tough camp, it is clear Rainey is not the answer. Score one for Licht.

    The 7th round pick made little sense.

    That said, a draft that hit on the first five rounds is impressive. 2014 I put at Tedford’s feet, as the selections seemed oriented to “speed in space” and a hands-off attitude from the head coach. Still, You can’t get them all right and Pamphile seems like a keeper.

    I am pessimistic about 2016 and optimistic about 2017 and following. Five bad drafts can’t be fixed in three good ones. But Jaboo could surprise. Here’s hoping! (The Bucs’ usual strategy).

  26. Lou. Says:

    S/B dedicated long snapper

  27. pick6 Says:

    when you are 0 for 6 in a position group, including former high draft picks and pro bowlers, maybe it isn’t the players…..let’s not forget how often the predominantly veteran safeties have let the team down either

  28. The Buc Realist Says:

    lovie smith
    2014 – 5 blowouts!!!

    lovie gets more “hands on” with the defense
    2015 – 7 blowouts!!!!!

  29. ElioT Says:

    Lovie Smith is an embarrassment.

    In a court of law with all the evidence against him, the case is a slam dunk and he’s gone.

    Reasons to keep Lovie:
    1.) He Picked Jamies
    – We had the #1 pick, this was the obvious pick. Who wouldn’t?
    2.) He hired Kotter
    – He had to find the best OC available with the disaster from 2014
    3.) Continuity
    – The continuity of a loser. Losing, that’s been the only constant here.

    Reasons to Fire Lovie:
    * Not enough time in the day to list all of them, but the Team’s Loser Mentality and complete lack of discipline and accountability are glaring.

    We’re counting on a class of Rookies in Lovie’s second year to change the culture (WHICH IS WHAT LOVIE WAS BROUGHT HERE FOR) of this team, because the Head Coach is incapable.

    I don’t think the Glaziers will can him this offseason, but the evidence that he can’t get the job done is overwhelming and if you can’t admit that, then you’re not being honest with yourself.

    I hate the revolving door of coaches, but you can’t keep a loser for the sake of continuity.

    He’ll return for 2016 in lame duck status essentially, and my guess is we’l see that same crap we endured in 2015.

    Welcome to Lovie ball!

    Good luck Buccaneers Marketing department in 2016.

    Siege my ****!

    Go Sucs!

    Losers again!

  30. bhsmythe Says:

    According to Greg Auman, Moore was on the injury report this week (ankle). Did not participate Wed, and limited on Thurs. Perhaps his limited play time was injury related?

  31. John Says:

    @Lou. They had ore than five bad drafts, Gruden and Bruce Allen didn’t exactly light the world on fire in the draft room, that is why this team is in the shape it is in. Way more than five bad drafts.

  32. BucTrooper Says:

    I don’t care what Lovie did or did not do with Jameis (quite frankly I think his involvement ended after making him the starter)….

    …Lovie Smith looked at the best cover-corner of the modern era and said, “Eh…. we don’t need that on our team.” Then proceeded to put a defense on the field that gives up 70+ % in completed passes.


  33. Trubucfan22 Says:

    The lack of consistent pass rush will make any CB look bad. Our CBs get hung out to dry on nearly every play. When a qb has a perfect pocket in front of him and room to step into throws with no pressure, it means he can make a perfect throw every time. Winston has had some struggles lately because he has been getting heavy pressure. Pressure leads to early and usually inaccurate pass attempt. When winston has good protection with no one in his face he is far more accurate and effective. The same goes for the QBs we face. We don’t have a good pass rush and QBs can easily pick us apart. Remember that any any Person knowledgable in the tampa 2 has said the most important part of it’s success is a great pass rush.

  34. 813bucboi Says:

    I think lovie gave Jenkins one more chance to show he can play(put his nail in his own coffin) and Jenkins did what we all knew he would do which is fail…s.moore will be on the roster next year with a new contract…banks and verner..not so much…GO BUCS!!!

  35. Tbaybuc Says:

    Feels like I’m watching a confusing bad movie with lovie. It’s not only not good but I don’t understand it either? Maybe I’m the idiot?

  36. godzilla13 Says:

    Sterling Moore was on the injury report last week (ankle). Did not participate Wed, and limited on Thurs. He was injured, simple as that. From PFF – Yet another discouraging season from Johnthan Banks in year three. The former second-round pick had one decent game this season, and his performance Sunday was the worst of his career. Banks allowed 76 yards on six-of-seven targets that included a touchdown, and he also missed two tackles. Banks has never been great against the run but what a disappointment he has been.

    Just an FYI for Joe – It’s nice to see right tackle Demar Dotson come back from injury and have a strong end to the season. With Donovan Smith and Gosder Cherilus combining for the second-lowest pass blocking grade of any starting tackle tandem in the NFL, it definitely would have saved some wear and tear on Winston had Dotson been healthy the whole season. It will be interesting to see if they still move Dotson over to left tackle in the offseason, or let the maligned rookie Smith (-4.1 on Sunday) stay entrenched there.

  37. Mike Says:

    Perhaps Moore was injured, but my guess is they know what he can do, and want to have a final look at Jenkins.

    There are many thing that must be cleared up in the defensive backfield.