Telling Absences

January 18th, 2016
Beware of double standards.

Beware of double standards.

When the Bucs introduced new coach Dirk Koetter, Joe noticed something rare and, at least, telling.

Usually, when the Bucs use their auditorium for big announcements, it’s like a party. All sorts of big names show up, ex-players (and sometimes, coaches, too) help fill the seats to watch a new coach named, or a former player get to the Ring of Honor, or some other major announcement.

Thursday, someone remarked to Joe that the crowd was “sparse,” and it was. There were good seats available. And, outside of Koetter’s immediate family, it was all media and Bucs employees.

What was missing? Ex-players. Joe didn’t see one ex-player in attendance. Not one. Well, Shelton Quarles was there, but Quarles works for the Bucs and is a confidante of AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht.

Already, the firing of Lovie Smith did not sit well with Lovie’s apologists and sycophants. You know the ones: The ones who cried how Lovie needed time, more than two years even, despite that there is ample evidence throughout Bucs and NFL history, including the present, that in two years teams can be turned around.

For example: Father Dungy didn’t need three years. In his second year, he had the Bucs in the playoffs. Even Raheem Morris flipped the Bucs in two years from a joke to a rotten call away from a playoff berth.

Let Joe be clear (again): Joe thought Lovie would return based on how perfectly he handled America’s Quarterback, Jameis Winston, and his transition to the NFL. That doesn’t mean Joe ignored Lovie’s dreadful, basement-watching player evaluation, his atrocious pass defense and second-worst, two-year record in Bucs history.

Joe already has seen ex-Bucs say they won’t cut Koetter much slack, if any, slack, expecting improvement immediately.

If Lovie apologists and sycophants who bellyached for him to get more time are suggesting Koetter should be run if the Bucs start slowly, that’s suggests a clear agenda: They are more pro-Lovie than pro-Bucs.

63 Responses to “Telling Absences”

  1. Defense Rules Says:

    Personally would’ve been surprised if ex-players showed up at the press conference. Almost all of them have ties to either Tony Dungy or Lovie Smith, but none to Dirk Koetter. They’ll come around once the Bucs start winning again.

  2. Walter Says:

    Koetter definitely has a lot of added pressure on him, it’s playoffs or bust now, which strikes me as unfair because this defense is in shambles

  3. thunderchunkyPA Says:

    It’s time to move on, Koetter is the man now. If ex-players can’t get passed the fact Lovie was not good for this team, so be it. Lovie dug his own ditch with bad personnel moves, bad schemes, and terrible game day management. Lovie was out coached more often then not, simple as that.

  4. darin Says:

    Yeah they got paid to play. Most aren’t buc fans. Who cares if they show up. Let them jump on the bandwagon later, or dont. They can always visit lovie in his basement if they so wish. Go bucs

  5. Kevin Says:

    I dont understand how anyone can defend what lovie gave us.

    Joe go ask jonathan banks what he thinks of the lovie firing, id lime to know if his face lights ul with glee. He may not say it publicly but he knows that defemse was going nowhere. How ironic now that the bucs actually have a guy runninh things that has what it takes that so kany are against him right off the bat.

  6. Tampa Tony Says:

    What ex players have ties to Koetter? Seems like a reach of a article. Did any ex players show up to Schiano’s presser?

  7. Danati74 Says:

    I’m sure Koetter would welcome them,…unlike Shiano who didn’t care to have them around. More than the ex players, it’s the fans that need to show up. Again this goes back to 3 wins at the home stadium. I think we’re headed in the right direction. When ever I watched Koetter during his pressers, I thought this guy should be leading our team. Fast forward today. The man is. I’m excited the direction we’re headed. I can say when Lovie was hired I was all for it, but after year one I raised an eyebrow. After year two…I turned the TV off.

  8. tdtb2015 Says:

    If Koetter’s agent was thinking of a way to get the Glazers a little nerves by getting Koetter some interviews, I can see the Glazer’s decision to move forward by hiring Koetter. December doomed Lovie. I see nothing wrong with the route the Glazers took. I love the coaching staff Koetter put together. The special teams coach has me baffle some what. I wish to know why we went that route.


    o.k. Joe let me help you out. We are excited about our NEW coach. Here are some new topics:

    How’s the negotiation going with Martin?

    Have you talked to Mike Smith about acquisitions through free agency or the draft?

    Where does Mike Smith will look to add players in free agency? Mario Williams?

    How agresive are Mike Smith defenses? Do they blitz a lot? Would he dare show the Bucs fan a cover 2 during the game?

    Will the Glazers fine Mike Smith if they see a cover 2 defense on the games…specially at home? lol

    Any news on the new special teams coach? Why was he chosen?

    Is an OC coming to the Bucs? If so who might be the top candidates?

  9. martinii Says:

    When They first brought Lovie on board I was elated. The Dungy era was revitalized and it seemed at the time that this was what the Buc’s needed. But as time passed and the losses began to mount it was obvious the Lovie was outdated and the Dungy era philosophy was antiquated. With the drafting of Jameis and the Hiring of Koetter an offense first mentality began to materialize, while simultaneously Lovies hand picked (cover 2-Bears-Marinelli) defensive scheme failed. It’s time to clean out the Defense first obsession, Let Jameis and the offense under Koetter grow and new blood under a Mike Smith defense change the direction of this team.

  10. Ocala Says:

    If the Bucs can have an average defense they most likely will be playoff bound next year.

    The defensive rankings are very misleading.
    They do not include penalties(Bucs finished fifth worst of all time).
    If you take that into account the Bucs were one of the five worst defenses this season.

    I’m a big believer in Coach Koetter and if he and Coach Smith can get the defense to average I’ll be shocked if the Bucs are not in the playoffs next year.

  11. tdtb2015 Says:

    The following was written at a Jaguar’s fan website in 2008 when Mike Smith left them to go coach Atlanta:

    Mike’s biggest talent is in his ability to call defensive plays that compensate for the faults of his defense. Let’s not forget the injury riddled Jaguars teams he’s coached to greatness. He’s got a way of making the loss of important players seem insignificant, and more importantly, if it comes down to guessing run or pass, nobody guesses better than Mike Smith.

    Unfortunately for the Jaguars, this means we’ve lost a rock at Defensive Coordinator.

    Go Bucs!!!

  12. The Buc Realist Says:


    Thank you, for writing this!!! ( though i fear the ramifications for you) good thing you qualify your self with the ” Joe thought Lovie would return based” line!!

    Let me be clear, The Tampa2 Mafia is real!!! They yelled the loudest that the roster was full of talent when Coach Schaino was here!! They made excuses when lovie did what he did when he was coach!!!

    They are made, and when the first thing does not look right they are going to scream how amatuer this team is and how everything is the coach’s fault!!!

    Funny thing, Yesterday at the end of the Carolina and Seahawks, the rushed the kneel-down!!! Were was the outrage??? Where was the comments that it was “bush league”!!! or was the coach at the time no running a Cover2 defense that was the issue???

  13. The Buc Realist Says:

    And all those missing ex-players, The ones in the media, with all the contacts in the media, The ex-players who other media go to for information, because they are supposed to be “plugged in” in Tampa!!

    Connect the dots Buc Fans!!

  14. Phil Says:

    I am so happy Lovie is gone. His defense sucks. Not a Mike Smith fan either but I hope he can fix the defense.

  15. NonyaDamnBucsiness Says:


    Not only did Pete Carroll rush the kneel down, he did it 3 times. Each with more effort than the previous play.

    I looked at me wife and reminded her Schiano go lambasted for that but no one will say boo to Pete about it.

    “You play to win the game”

  16. Patrick in VA Says:

    Wait a minute Joe. Are you suggesting that people would put their flag waiving for a player or coach that supports their narrative over the success of the team? I think you may have misjudged the level of character we have in the Tampa Bay fan base and media. That doesn’t sound like our people at all.

  17. Ufcguy32 Says:

    Bye !!!! Seriously all of them can gtfo. Im tired of losing and the apologies. I think we’ve got the right hire and he isnt going to see us come out flat on defense again. This team had no emotional stability. Its all about to change. You will alsi see winston lead much more vocally.

  18. Rrsrq Says:

    Those players that showed up for Lovie, were ex-players for Lovie, so of course they are going to show their support, Koetter doesn’t have a history with these players, but you could see the support from his former players on social media and I haven’t heard or seen much of the former players in support of Lovie, more of a wait and see with the new guy

  19. Dreambig Says:

    Not so surprising. From all indications Lovie is a good man whose players liked him, why would ex-players with a personal relationship with Lovie show up to celebrate his firing if they do not have any obligation to do so. Doesn’t mean they don’t support the Bucs, but maybe not showing up is a sign of respect for Lovie. From a fan’s perspective, I am glad he’s gone, but lets move on and not continue to bash the man.

  20. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Koetter has our support…..I love some of our ex players…and they will eventually come around….they love and support Lovie & Hardy so its understandable….not a big deal. I think it is a good thing we’ve moved on.

    Koetter has a lot of pressure to prove the Glazers

  21. Dean Says:

    You keep saying how “perfectly Lovie handled Jameis Winston”. The truth be told, he almost completely turned Jameis over to Dirk and, other than some supportive words, did NOTHING.

    If he had hired a great DC and did the exact same thing, Lovie probably would still be here.

  22. Doc Says:

    Who want to be in a room with a back stabber.

  23. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Koetter has a lot of pressure to prove the Glazers & Licht right…’s ironic that he will actually be given a longer leash than Lovie….there is absolutely no way they can fire him in two years like the previous 3 coaches….Koetter gets 3 no matter what

  24. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    Joe….. way to go on “stirring the pot”

    ………but there is truth to what you said.

    It doesn’t to the Glazers THIS YEAR if the Bucs don’t make the playoffs because Dirk will get a pass for just taking over

    BUT….in 2018…it will be different.

  25. VeeJay24 Says:

    Joe, you are doing too much! Lovie was well liked by former players and coaches alike; it’s natural for them to take this hard. Give them a break. You’re starting to sound like you didn’t like Lovie. The former players will come around; just lay off

  26. Patrick in VA Says:

    @Dean – So, you’re saying that if he had removed himself from the equation completely then he would have been better off? Sounds to me like the Glazers did his job for him then.

  27. Brandon Says:

    No, Koetter was hired because the team believes they should be winning now. They must show improvement, plain and simple. They’ve got the QB and young offensice taelnt,now they have a DC that is very mediocre,,,so now they must win. Mike Smith was a terrible hire.

  28. Eric Says:

    Lovie didn’t produce a well coached football team and letting him go was understandable.

    But let’s not pretend that the sorry state of the bucs is all on Lovie Smith.

    That took years of incompetence from many including the rock star. Especially the rock star who was given five years.

    The double standard applies to a lot of folks in this town. Readily apparent right here.

  29. BucMania Says:

    Racism at it’s finest… But being politically correct no one will say it…

  30. Elle Says:

    Joe, in my opinion this love fest for Lovie Smith has become disgusting. The man has been in the NFL for a long time. He obviously made connections, he has plenty of friends in the league or that were in the league at some point. I have nothing against the man, I just didn’t like him as a football coach. The bashing of the Bucs I’ve witnessed everywhere, except here, has been painful. I applaud you for your candid opinion on the matter and I hope Koetter will prove these naysayers wrong. Firing Lovie was the right thing to do, period.

  31. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Those are the close minded ex players who are anti Koetter for no reason other than Lovie was black, ex. Shaun King.

  32. daveman Says:

    I’m starting to wonder, sadly, if Tbbucs3 is right. Is this a racial thing? Objectively, Lovie was much worse than even the dreaded Schiano and nobody mourned his passing so to speak.

  33. Architek Says:

    Thank you Joe. That’s exactly what I’ve been saying stated on other Bucs sites.

    Ex-players are so fickle and I lost so much respect for them except 55. Mr Brooks really stated the whole situation in a great way and confirmed his loyalty to the Bucs not just Lovie.

    I won’t say their names but it was MULTIPLE ex players that acted like angry ex-girlfriends.

    Sick of them and then they go on the radio and act out. Also I got to shout out Anthony Becht for nailing it too and said the Glazers simply wanted change. No one is bigger than the brand.

  34. biff barker Says:

    The Glazers may be the most color blind owners in the NFL yet the persons given the most, and best, opportunities show little gratitude.

  35. Patrick in VA Says:

    If this is a racial thing among former players then it would be a racial thing among the media who are banging the same drum, and a lot of the media folks waiving that flag aren’t on Lovie’s side of the racial divide that you folks are suggesting. Lovie has just done a great job of forming alliances. This initial transition is going to go this way because Lovie’s banner men are coming to his aide. That’s fine. That’s the way it should be. Once the wins start coming in those folks will be on Koetter’s side. Let’s mix it up a little and let actual wins and losses dictate our perception of a coach.

  36. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    I think this story is being overblown. I understand why Joe put it up and do not question that…just our reaction to it.

    Lovie is a great human being widely loved and respected throughout the league but especially among his former buds and associates.

    Lovie is not a great coach and I think the former players realize that. But it would be very unseemly, almost like dancing on his grave, for his former friends and players to show up “celebrating” his replacement.

    I’m not surprised nor do I hold this against the players. They were just supporting their friend.

    By training camp this will be all behind us just like #3’s “off field” issues dissappeared (or would if people here would stop bringing it up!) once the games began so will this.

  37. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Walter Says
    “Koetter definitely has a lot of added pressure on him, it’s playoffs or bust now, which strikes me as unfair because this defense is in shambles.”

    And why is the defense in shambles?

    If Jason Licht had control of the draft, as is claimed by nearly everyone here, why did he not build a better defense?

    If Lovie was not given the ability to build the defense, and it was up to Licht, who had control of the draft, then whose fault is it really?


    And he is still here.

  38. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    BucMania Says
    “Racism at it’s finest… But being politically correct no one will say it…”

    No one will say it because it isn’t true. You are talking about the first team to hired a black coach. 3 of the last 6 coaches were black.

    Lovie got a raw deal, but it had nothing to do with Race.

  39. The Buc Realist Says:

    BuccaneerBonzai Says:
    “You are talking about the first team to hired a black coach.”

    Art Shell might disagree with you!!! Unless you think he is Jamaican!!!

  40. gotbbucs Says:

    Most winning franchises look beyond the coaching tree of their previous fired coaches. In a sense, the Bucs have been inbreeding for the last decade, and the team has been taking on a “Deliverance” type persona as a result.
    It was time to finally usher out the old and bring in some new blood.

  41. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    THAT was an interesting take!!! Never looked at the “inbreeding” but I suspect you have a point.

    I also suspect if this was the 90’s NFL and Lovie inherited 2 HOFers and a couple more borderline candidates who may yet make it…he would have fielded a better defense.

  42. Trubucfan22 Says:

    I havent looked at the schedule yet. But the team is already way better than it was last year. Lovie is gone. His defense was one of the worst in the NFL. I have full faith that Mike Smith can get a better defense than Lovie did. And that’s with the players we already have here. This defense isn’t that far off. Lovie’s defense made them look worse than they are. With Banks and Verner likely to return as the CBs we will see more production from them. Expect to see more from Mccoy who was hurt since week 2. Expect kwon to be better in year 2 of his career. And expect the defense to play as a whole better when they are put into a defense that will be designed around them, And not trying to design players around the system. I think we have a good amount of talent on this defense. Enough for a good foundation. Add some free agents and a couple of draft picks. And we will be immediately better on defense. It shouldn’t be hard. It’s not like lovie set the bar high.

  43. Doc Says:

    Ex-player’s do not have a problem with the new coach, we have a problem with Jason Licht. Why didn’t he get fired, it’s was because he was smiling in coach Smith, face and stabbing him at the same time,only to keep his job. The player’s knew this and refused to play for this GM. The player’s knew coach Smith would be ok. Asked yourself how many times,did this GM talk about player’s, only jumping into his pool with his family on CBS or ESPN .Free agents will not come to this team because of this GM. Asked him who signed off on the free agents that came to this team .Jason Licht, is a snake,and a ESPN seeker, when thing are going good. Jason Licht, record was also 8 and whatever. Steven Smith,was correct,just asked the ex-players that showed up to support this GM.

  44. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Bonzai. Licht didnt have full control of the draft. lovie had the power to do whatever he wanted. He trusted Licht to do what was best for the team. The defense had a bunch of pieces already on it. And before the draft, lovie addressed his defense. Signing DEs, DTs, LBs, CBs, safeties. That was before the draft.

    Don’t sit here and act like Lovie had no say in the draft. lovie and licht worked closely together in game planning the strategy for the draft. Lovie decided he wanted experienced players for his defense. And he signed a lot of players to fill in his defense. What did Lovie do for the offense in free agency? How many wrs did lovie bring in to help out the offense? How many OTs did lovie sign in free agency to help out his terrible o line? Oh, he cut the one OT he did sign the year before? And didnt replace him in free agency? So what should licht have done? Just let winston go into the season with no LT? THE DEFENSE HAD TALENT. The defense sucked because lovie is a terrible coach. The defense will thrive under Mike Smith.

  45. Renobucsfan Says:

    Sing hallelujah!!!! Nailed it .

  46. White Tiger Says:

    No, if the morons start bloviating and screaming for Koetter to be fired if he struggles next year…then they are the “fans” of yours that you have created and nurtured.

    …live by the sword, die by the sword.

  47. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    Just curious are you one of Smith’s sons?

  48. Tiny Tim Says:

    Racism? So then why didn’t the ex white player show for Koetter’s press conference? By your logic, wouldn’t the ex-white players be okay with the firing and therefore should have been in attendance for press conference? Some of you idiots are just that idiots!!! BTW……..there were plenty of white people saying Lovie got a raw deal as well. Stop being idiots!!!

  49. The Buc Realist Says:

    Its not racism!!!! Its real Buc fans vs those that still wear the Bucs 90’s jersey fans!!

  50. Nano107 Says:

    Ex BUCS cutting no slack??
    Like they matter, Glazers got tired of losing!!
    Fans got tired too!!! You can’t justify the last 4 games performance
    I hope Koetter tells these ex BUCS to jump off the Bridge!!!
    You kidding me not a popularity contest.

  51. Buccfan37 Says:

    I’m still celebrating that clueless loser Lovie is out the door. Those that can’t accept his firing should follow him. A dark cloud has been lifted. Nobody can be that bad and survive.

  52. The Buc Realist Says:


    That is exactly what Coach Schaino did!!!! Dexter Jackson showed up unannounced to a closed practice and was asked to leave, so he tells every media outlet how he was treated badly and thrown out!!! They tried to destroy Coach Schaino in the media in every way possible!!! and watch the Tampa2 mafia will try to do the same to Coach Keotter!!!!!!!!!!!

  53. Couch Fan Says:

    Funny thing, Yesterday at the end of the Carolina and Seahawks, the rushed the kneel-down!!! Were was the outrage??

    That was my 1st thought to. Not 1 single mention of it but Schiano somehow became the anti-christ for it.

  54. ToesOnTheLine! Says:

    Amen Realist…the media really does try (and often succeed) in swaying the popular opinion on many matters…we’ll stick to football though. Belichick rushed the kneel down victory formation vs. Cincy two or three seasons ago…not a peep, same for Carrol. Schiano got piled on. I sincerely hope Koetter isn’t given the same treatment as as Schiano got. Give the man a couple years and let his results determine his fate.

  55. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Schiano guys….give it up. He’s where he should be…and not a bad position..perhaps heir apparent to Urban at OSU…a great gig that he is qualifed for…he’s just wasn’t ready for the NFL.

    If your point is that Lovie was more popular than Schiano…true dat…and he was a classy man..never forget what he did for Eric LeGrand…but the fact that Lovie didn’t do a good job here doesn’t mean Schiano did. They both got two years…what each of them deserved for various reasons.

  56. The Buc Realist Says:


    we are just pointing out the double standard when judging coaches!!! And don’t think that the Tampa2 mafia did not have anything to do with it as well!! And watch what happens on the first offsides that happens during Coach Keotter’s tenure. How the Tampa2 mafia will yell that this team is undisciplined!! And how it was not Lovie’s fault!!!
    Just watch!!!

  57. Pick6 Says:

    the past was glorious, but it’s time to stop trying to re-enact it. this is the first time since tony dungy walked in the door that the organization has zero presence from the dungy “tree”. after he left, kiffin kept the torch burning, then dominick became GM, then we summoned tony’s former assistant lovie to save us. time to try something new….how about a team led by its QB and its offense, with defensive coaches and players free to craft their own identity instead of measuring up to the unreasonable standard of guys from a different era.

  58. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    Hear! Hear! I’m with you!

  59. Tampa2Bucs Says:

    Coaches coach, players play. Bad defense (players sucked) bottom line. If I were the new coach, I would keep a Professor job on the side. Remember the NFL stands for NOT, FOR, LONG.

  60. Oahubuc Says:

    Who cares. They’re babied through school, and can barely utter a coherent sentence. We give them way too much weight.

  61. Newbucsfan2 Says:

    It’s time for all to move on…it’s done. All a board! Go Bucs!

  62. Mark Says:

    I think Koetter is a great choice, but I do believe Lovie had them going in the right direction and two years is not enough time. I also think Schiano was going in the right direction and would have had a winner. Obviously the Glaziers are not doing something right because this team has been a loser most if the time. Everybody loves a winner, so let’s hope it happens. I think Dungy and Gruden would have won also. The only firing that was justified was Raheem Morris because the team quit on him and got stomped the last half of the season.

  63. iamabuc Says:

    The players weren’t there because they know how bad they played and realized there will be a clean-up coming. They are scared, period. Don’t have anything to do with being supportive or not of Koetter.