Hey Bucs, Read This Week’s Press Clippings

September 19th, 2016



Come off the ledge, Buc Nation, and take Sunday’s loss for what it is — a somewhat predictable outcome.

It was predictable in retrospect because a young football team just let one win against a mediocre opponent interfere with the focus necessary to succeed in the NFL.

While the Bucs were full of themselves after the national media fawned on them for a few days, the Cardinals were driven.

Arizona is a better football team — deeper, more talented, more seasoned — and the Cardinals were not about to go 0-2 at home. It’s no surprise that two-time Coach of the Year Bruce Arians had his team ready.

The same can’t be said for Dirk Koetter.

“Any situation, regardless of what you do, if you don’t prepare to win and you don’t prepare the right way, you lose,” said Bucs defensive tackle Clinton McDonald. “You lose if your mind isn’t mentally focused. If you’re not sharp on your keys and what you need to do, which we were not, then you lose.”

Consider the source.

McDonald is a respected team leader who knows what it takes to win a championship. He has a Super Bowl ring from the 2013 Seahawks and he knows Tampa Bay players just learned a painful lesson.

So did Mr. Koetter.

The Only Good News

Koetter had a bad day at the office … and his work week wasn’t particularly sharp, either. He allowed the team’s concentration to drift after a Week 1 victory as the Bucs failed to match Arizona’s intensity.

“All of the games against the NFL you can’t get too excited after a big win,” said Arizona defensive tackle Calais Campbell. “You have to take it for what it’s worth, it’s one win, you know?”

The Bucs didn’t play with nearly enough passion in the desert, where the lack of humidity must have gone to Koetter’s head. How else can you explain the misguided decision to keep Jameis Winston under center for the full 60 minutes, even when the outcome was well out of reach?

Doesn’t Mike Glennon, who didn’t take a single snap in 2015, need some work in game-time conditions?

Of course, Winston wanted to stay in the game– but he doesn’t get a vote. This isn’t a democracy and Koetter should have pulled Winston to avoid the possibility of a late-game injury against backup defensive linemen who were trying to make a name for themselves by slamming Winston to the turf.

The only good news to emerge from the game was that Winston didn’t need help getting on the team charter.

While others on this invaluable website have decided to defend Koetter’s decision, he should own up to a mistake and pull Winston the next time a matchup gets out of hand.

It was a miserable game, but it was only one game. That’s the biggest takeaway of all as Jeff Fisher’s Rams prepare for Tampa Bay’s home opener.

The early stage of the NFL season is already littered with erratic performances — just look at the Rams, the Falcons and the Bucs.

“It’s the NFL, that is why last week I said don’t make a big deal out of just one win,” said Gerald McCoy. “Anything can happen. We are 1-1. It is what it is. We didn’t play well and they played better.”

Campbell said good teams don’t lose back-to-back games. The Rams certainly haven’t lit up the scoreboard through two weeks with Case Keenum under center.

But don’t sleep on the defense that is heading into Tampa this weekend. Aaron Donald is a beast and Los Angeles is allowing only 4.5 yards per snap. Only the Seahawks and Broncos are more stingy in that regard, and Denver comes to town after the Rams, so Koetter’s offense is about to be tested.

The good news is the Rams rank last in total offense and have converted only 6-of-27 on third down. The Cardinals boasted the league’s No. 1 attack in 2015, so the challenge facing Mike Smith’s defense isn’t nearly as formidable.

With games against the Broncos and Panthers in Weeks 4 and 5, Sunday’s home opener takes on added importance.

The Bucs are slight favorites, and they should be. They have a decided edge at quarterback and better weapons, even if Doug Martin sits this one out with a tender hamstring.

This is a week that the Bucs SHOULD read the press clippings, if only to jolt them back into reality. They’re a much better club than they showed in Glendale and the Bucs need to restore faith among a shaken fan base still recovering from Sunday’s debacle.

“We have to get out stuff together,” McDonald said. “It’s a humbling league, so from now on we need to go to work with our heads down.”

Heads up, gentlemen, it’s gut-check time.

26 Responses to “Hey Bucs, Read This Week’s Press Clippings”

  1. JB Says:

    Big time gut check! Excellent as always, Ira.

  2. BucFan20 Says:

    Sorry Ira. But on this team. “What Jameis Wants Jameis Gets”.

  3. Patrick in VA Says:

    This is the Rams team we slept on last year and they mopped the floor with us, even with their garbage qb. Aaron Donald put us in a dress and took us to prom with him. Hopefully we’ve learned about the importance of preparation this week.

  4. tmaxcon Says:

    Ira you are wrong the bucs embarrassed themselves enough yesterday last thing they needed to is put Glennon in and make it worse. Keep 8 off the field as much as possible the less the other teams see of him the more money he is likely to make next season thus the possibility of a 6 or 7th rd comp pick.

  5. Doctor Stroud Says:

    I am hopeful that the Bucs can move on from this debacle. Beating the Rams will cure everything (and I know a thing or two about cures) at least for a week. I can’t imagine what Licht said to the Glazers in their weekly meeting. Still, it seemed that Koetter and JW were at least saying the rights things before they played the Cardinals. “When you’re a team like us that’s trying to become relevant again, you can’t worry about what happened last week,” Koetter said to Alex Marvez and Tim Brown of Sirius XM NFL Radio. “Every week has to be a playoff-type game for us. This will be the first time that we’ve faced it. I’ve got to admit, I am a little bit nervous about that. I think there’s a chance that we would be a little bit too much looking in the rear-view mirror and that’s something we can’t do. We’ve got to learn to get back after it and put our best foot forward this week.”

    And, JW apparently “got the message”: “A lot of people looked down on us, but … it’s just one game,” Winston said, via ESPN.com. “The same people that are praising us right now, if we lose by one point they’re going to be saying how bad we [stunk], so we’ve just got to keep getting better and we’ve got to keep improving, because that’s NFL football.”

  6. Buccfan37 Says:

    tmaxcon… Or Glennon could have came in and not embarrassed himself and the team, though I admit the Cardinals were pumped and Glennon would likely have met the same miserable results. He couldn’t have made the game any worse. The line has the Bucs a 5 point favorite over the Rams early, that will probably go down. This game coming next is as close to a must win by the Bucs as it can get. I’m picking the Bucs to beat the Rams already.

  7. The Buc Realist Says:


    Were was all this outrage when JW3 was in at the end of last year blowouts????

    Just admit that the media did not like the way Head Coach Koetter answered the question and perceived his answer as a challenge and now the local media is all up in arms!!!!!!!

  8. Destro44 Says:

    While watching the game again, a couple of things to note. Believe it or not there were a couple bright spots for me. The o line did a reasonable job against a very good defense bringing lots of blitzes. They also managed to open a couple good holes n the running game early while the score was competitive. My game ball if you can give one is this game goes to Alteran Verner, from my view he made a couple nice played early and the Cards went after Grimes the rest of the game. I didn’t see his man get one catch. Maybe he can beer rehabilitated after all.

  9. DB55 Says:

    Thanks realist.

    Out of respect for the joes that’s all I’m gonna say.

  10. LargoBuc Says:

    Koetter has a more talented team than Fisher. It’s time to get your team ready to play. This game CAN NOT be a loss.

  11. ElioT Says:

    Good stuff.

    This team has a long way to go and they need to collectively move on from this a**-whopping, learn from it a don’t let it happen again.

    Big game this Sunday against the Rams. I’m concerned with the defensive line’s depth and ability to get pressure. If the Rams establish Gurley this could be a long day.

    The offense must generate some long drives, win the ToP and put TDs on the board.

    It will be a bad situation to end up 1-2 and facing Denver followed by Carolina.

    Let’s see what this team is made of.

    Go Bucs!!

  12. d-roca Says:

    Well said Ira. Its a mistake he will not repeat. Go bucs….for all you people jumpin on n off the wagon guess what? Yes the bucs are still in first place! Go bucs

  13. Eric Says:

    We just couldn’t handle a one game winning streak.

    Not buying that.

    Deep problems remain, mostly on defense.

  14. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    Okay Ira..I’m loving you a lot more each article. The voice of reason and great analysis..today I saw something on Instagram from ATV. He had posted something about how they will get up and work as a team and it seemed that all the Bucs responded..from Jude to Pamphile..I have never seen that closeness with the team..all responded before 9 a.m.

    They became one heart, one team..I don’t care if anyone thinks otherwise..they had a very bad loss, but it was the Cards..Come on..

  15. SB with Jameis Says:

    ANyone who didn’t see an A$$ Whooping coming needs glasses. I didn’t pick us in ANy of my leagues and only started ME in one league. I however did NOT see This kind of A$$whooping. I saw 21 pts at most. Getting old and drinking too much kook-aid I guess.

  16. Pickgrin Says:

    I’m betting the team and HC learn from this ugly showing. Hope so – at least to salvage something out of that wasted week. Apparently they weren’t practicing well last week and we all saw what happened Sunday. That chit was downright EMBARRASSING!!!

    Well its time for all 48 active players to man up – look themselves in the mirror and take personal responsibility for their part in what I just decided will be dubbed the “Atrocity in Arizona”.

    And then MOVE ON mentally. Vow that will never happen again and then work your a$$ off this week like the playoffs are on the line if we lose – because realistically – the playoffs ARE on the line this week. No way this team makes a legit playoff run if they start 1-4.

    As Jameis goes – so goes the team. Jameis played a terrible game Sunday and the result was we got whipped.

    I’m willing to bet we see a very different looking (vastly improved) QB vs the Rams. We better! Because if this season is obviously over before Halloween again – I’m not sure how badly the fan base will react and I don’t think anyone wants to find out.

    We’ve got too much talent to get horse whipped like that and I hope every single player on the team had their pride badly wounded and that every one of them including coaches is ANGRY they played so badly and will carry that energy into RayJay this Sunday and take out their frustration on the Rams like the Cardinals just did to us.

    Back to work men. We can and should beat this team coming up. We have to really. The season is on the line right now and I hope every body recognizes that with the Broncos and Panthers immediately following.

  17. SB with Jameis Says:

    Oh, and as far as I am concerned the Rams are coming into almost the same hornet’s nest that we ran into. Bucs 2 and 1!

  18. SB with Jameis Says:

    Hey Pick, your fingers are doing a better job at expressing my thoughts! Go Bucs.

  19. Pickgrin Says:

    SB – what was up with your boy NOSBOS today?? Dude was trippin or somethin…

  20. SB with Jameis Says:

    Well, full disclaimer: He is my boy. He just got a bit overhyped by Preseason in All Teams. NFL and College. He is just feeling a bit Snakebit as many of us are. He is All Good though and will be always

  21. SB with Jameis Says:

    How goes things with you?

  22. Brent bull/buc Says:

    It’s a work in progress and we have to hope licht and dk can get it done. Newsflash – no playoffs this year. Also we gotta hope jw gets better this year. We gotta see less of these freakshow/elephant man performances. 4 picks? He’s not good enough to sling the ball around 50 times. I’d say 25-30 with a balanced running game. Hear that Koetter??

  23. SB with Jameis Says:

    10:30 here. Gotta crash now. Not as hard as my team did but almost. Peace Out fellas. Wish we could chat more Pick.
    GO BUCS!!!!

  24. Mike Johnson Says:

    Koettr should have taken jameis out of the game in the 4th. Jameis took several unnecessary beatdowns in the last 8 minutes. The game was way out of reach. Most fans don’t like what he did. However this loss may serve the Bucs well. You usually learn from an Arsk Whippin like we got. Bucs are now back down to earth. Look for Jameis to have a great game come Sunday. As well as our Defense. I think we barely beat the Rams..even without martin.
    This is our home opener and I’m sure its being impressed upon the Bucs this game is a MUST WIN game.

  25. SB with Jameis Says:

    Look for Jameis to have a great game come Sunday. As well as our Defense. I think we barely beat the Rams..even without martin.
    This is our home opener and I’m sure its being impressed upon the Bucs this game is a MUST WIN game.
    This Surely never happened in Lovie’s first year.

  26. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    AGAIN I agree completely. I’ve done this all this season! At first I kind of surprised myself. But then I realized that virtually all of my disagreements with you had been last year over Lovie. And of course I’ve already conceded you were right and I was wrong. I had to eat an entire crow dinner over that one.