“Go Do Something About It”

September 26th, 2016



The last thing the Bucs have to worry about at this point is losing defensive coordinator Mike Smith after the season.

Smith understandably has his sights on another NFL head coaching job, but that won’t happen unless Tampa Bay’s new defensive coordinator whips an overhauled unit into shape.

Through three weeks, it’s not happening.

The Bucs have allowed a league-high 101 points during their 1-2 start and Sunday’s performance against the Rams was unacceptable. A Los Angeles club that hadn’t scored a touchdown through two weeks crossed the end zone four times on offense behind journeyman Case Keenum.

“They had over 100 yards rushing, so we obviously didn’t do our jobs stopping the run,” said defensive tackle Clinton McDonald. “That bugs me. We also gave up too many big plays. This is not the caliber of defense we want to play. Our pass rush wasn’t where we wanted it to be at all. We let ourselves down as a defense.”

Injuries to Jacquies Smith and Robert Ayers have eroded depth on the defensive line, but every NFL team is dealing with health issues. We’re not talking about J.J. Watt here.

Deep Middle Blues

Through three weeks, Tampa Bay’s issues on pass defense are just as grievous as they were in 2015. A year ago, quarterbacks pecked the Bucs to death, completing an astonishing 70 percent of their attempts against exceedingly soft coverage.

The only thing those Buc defenders did well was keep the ball in front of them, allowing only five completions of 40 or more yards all season.

This group has already allowed six.

Let’s not lay all the blame on an embattled secondary. A pass rush that looked so fierce in the preseason has gone on a three-week siesta.

That doesn’t explain why the deep middle has been open all season. While I’m not giving Tampa Bay’s safeties a pass, five sacks in three games won’t lift the Bucs out of the NFC South basement after a 5-year lease.

Ends William Gholston, Howard Jones and rookie Noah Spence need to exert more heat and Gerald McCoy hasn’t made much of an impact the past two weeks.

Opposing quarterbacks have a better passer rating (106.4) against the Bucs than last year (102.5) and Smith has to figure things out quickly before this season unravels.

Depression reigned supreme among Buc fans Monday, but this is no time to panic. An upset victory against Denver would ensure no worse than a 2-3 record at the bye week, after which the schedule softens considerably.

“You can’t stay down,” McDonald said. “We can come out of the first quarter at 2-2 or we can feel sorry for ourselves. We’ve got to make that determination as a team.”

While the defense struggles to impose its will, Dirk Koetter’s attack lacks any semblance of balance. Tampa Bay is averaging an NFL-high 47 pass attempts per game, partly because the run game doesn’t scare anyone.

Jameis Winston is throwing often, but not very efficiently. The club’s average of 6.5 yards per pass attempt — a key statistic — ranks 29th in a 32-team league.

Living The Scream

Buc fans don’t need to hear about a losing culture from their new head coach — they’ve lived through it since 2009, when Jon Gruden was ushered out the door.

Supporters have endured 78 losses in 115 games since that fateful day, including Sunday’s heartbreaker, when a 70-minute lightning delay added to the misery index.

“I appreciate those fans staying after that long delay,” McDonald said. “Those are real Buc fans. When we returned for that third down, they were cheering us on … it hasn’t been that loud in a while. It was a beautiful thing.”

In the end, it was a frustrating thing.

A season that began with jubilation at the Georgia Dome has given way to an early crossroads game against the defending Super Bowl champs. The Vegas oddsmakers have established the Broncos as slight favorites to remain undefeated against a wounded home team.

Losing culture my butt– go do something about it.

29 Responses to ““Go Do Something About It””

  1. BoJim Says:

    “The last thing the Bucs have to worry about at this point is losing defensive coordinator Mike Smith after the season.”

    Pretty much thought that about the third quarter.

  2. Doc Lemonjello Says:

    “Misery Index” is now part of my vernacular.

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We’ll find out what kind of Head Coach we have if and when Mike Smith needs to be fired….and that may come down from Licht.
    Let’s hope he improves enough to avoid that.

    And for the “miracle worker” Jay Hayes…..not so fast on his promotion either.

  4. Doctor Stroud Says:

    If “doing something” about the defense mean going out and signing DE Greg Hardy (as many fans on this site were begging the team to do), the breaking news out of Dallas is that he has been arrested on drug charges.

  5. Mike Johnson Says:

    An upset victory against the Broncos? What you smoking IRA?!! This bunch of misfits could not upset a..stomach right now. Man, the Rams flew cross country, marched into our Stadium and opened up a can of whip A.. on us!
    UNFORGIVEABLE. Please do not think Denver is going to take a loss from the Bucs. Won’t happen Ira. Sorry. Not the way they are playing. Look, the fans, your local media buddies, esp Scott Reynolds over at Pewter Rpt, called for Lovie Dubbies head last yr. And..he was served up. In Cometh the savior or saviors. They were suppose to be the answers, Hell, Lovie’s defense looked better than those guys last night!! Theres a reason Arthur Blanks is sittin in his palour smoking a stoggie and drinking expensive cognac tonight. He let both those clowns leave ATL for a reason! Bucs are Koetters problem. Like you said, Now go fix it sir!! If not, Let him go to in 2yrs. Hell, why break the pattern.

  6. Bob Ross Says:

    I like how you call the 3-0 Broncos a “slight favorite.” It’s gonna be a huuuge upset. Go Bucs! 🏈🏈🏈

  7. richbucsfan Says:

    Hey, Mike Johnson, the only thing they can upset is our collective stomachs, but that is all…well, maybe upset Alabama if they played them. But, that’s about all. It will be a horrific slaughter next Sunday. It may have to be stopped like a boxing match when one fighter can’t defend himself. Can’t see the Bucs scoring a point next week, nor can I see them stopping Denver’s offense. Perhaps a forfeit for lack of talent and desire…just sayin’

  8. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    I like you thinking Bob!!

    You never know what happens in this league..look at Card and Panthers..both 1-2..

    Go Bucs!!!

  9. DB55 Says:

    Mike Johnson

    Would love for you to post under a different screen name about 2-3 times. Just as a joke. Thanks.

  10. Seminole Bill Says:

    Go back and look at the Bucs record. From 1976 through 1996, 20 seasons, there were 3 winning seasons. Imagine, 3 winning seasons, 17 losing seasons. Now go to 1997 through 2002 – all winning seasons (or 8-8), under Dungy and (one season) under Gruden. Dungy is fired in 2001, and in comes Gruden. Now its 2003 – 2015; 13 seasons – 4 of which were 8-8 or better. See a correlation here. The Glazers fire the coach with the best record in our history and the team goes blah. I will submit to you that the selection of a coach makes more difference than player selection.

  11. Mike Johnson Says:

    Seminole Bill..Great point! But our pattern/history shows we are not patient with coaches. Look at the real Winners in the NFL. All or most have retained coaches for a while. There are a few exceptions. Not many though. In the past its been the coaches fault. A great player once said, any scheme works if you got the right players. I told everybody this yr not to believe the hype. Koetter and Smith were let go from Atlanta for a reason. Arthur Blanks (falcons owner)is smiling right now. We (the Bucs) just never seem to do things right. We give’em 2 yrs, talk dirty bout them and utter in the next 2 yr executions. Dungy was our best coach. Didn’t deserve firing. But after all, WE ARE THE BUCS!

  12. Doctor Stroud Says:

    If by “doing something” means signing DE Greg Hardy (as many fans on this site have suggested), the Bucs are out of luck. He was just arrested.

  13. Landon Says:

    Best stuff yet Ira!

  14. Defense Rules Says:

    Clinton McDonald hit the nail on the head with his comments about Bucs defense yesterday. “… didn’t do our jobs stopping the run … gave up too many big plays … Our pass rush wasn’t where we wanted it to be at all.” McDonald and McCoy were in for 89% of the snaps … far too many. Most of the other DLine snaps went to rookie Lambert (78%) and Gholston (69%), neither of whom is feared for their pass rush. Two rookies Ward (22%) and Noah Spence (18%) didn’t get that many snaps. Neither did Akeem Spence (18%) or Howard Jones (17%). Looking at those stats tells me that (1) Bucs won’t have a pass rush using monster DEs; (2) the big guys actually held up pretty well on such an unbelievably hot day; and (3) our DLine needs a lot more depth for Bucs to be a serious contender.

  15. The Dom is gone... Licht??? Says:

    thought Koetter and his experienced staff was all this team needed!! Talent wins in this league and we have very few talented players on this roster. 2-3 years of good drafts and FA pick ups is what we need …… Licht is the answer! Oops below average kicker in 2nd round we’re doomed for another 5-10 years. Get used to buc fans its been this way for 40 years. 35 years of heart break very few to be proud of.

  16. ElioT Says:

    It’s a long season, hasn’t looked good so far but I’m trying to be optimistic.

    Every year some teams start fast and fade down the stretch while some teams look like they haven’t a clue and then gain momentum.

    I have virtually ZERO evidence behind my optimism but I believe in Dirk and Co. Eventually enough is enough I I’m just hoping we’ve got the coaches and just enough players to put and end to it.

    I just don’t have the energy to throw in the towel again after 3 games.

    Go Sucs!!!

  17. Kevin Schmidt Says:

    I said the day Smith was brought here, he would only look good if we had a really good pass rush. I believed Jay Hayes would get that pass rush going.

    I also believed in the offseason that Mike Smith was going to play so hard nosed, press coverage at least here and there. Jamming the receivers at the line. Haven’t seen our corners even stand close enough to breath on one through three games.

    I believe the only reason Jay Hayes left Cincy after 13 season (besides a pay raise) was because he saw opportunity to grow and become a DC. Whether that be because Smith’s defense looked great and he gets a new gig( not what I think will happen), or because Jason Licht is forced to can Koetters good friend because he sucks.

    Everyone keeps talking about how the safeties struggle. Didn’t Lovie Smith draft a good number of safeties in his last years in chicago because he could never find one that was good enough. Don’t you think maybe he could never find one good enough because the league was beginning to figure out how to beat it?

    I just wish for one game….ONE GAME they would play some aggressive hitting at the line coverage and see what happens. Don’t try and tell me it can be worse, it can’t we are already the worst pass defense in the league. No reason not to try it. I think we have the corners, play some single high safety and send the dogs in. Mix it up.

    All offseason we heard how Smith was creating this mix up, confusing, hard to read aggressive defense. I’M STILL WAITING!!!!!!!

  18. Mo_Downs Says:

    Quantify the individual Bucs players on a scale of 1-10.
    Then do the same for our seasonal opponenants on game day.

    The Bucs don’t have the horses, Hoss..!!!

    At least they have been entertaining in 2/3 of their games, so far.

    My hope is that “Air Koetter” will develop a better defense than their mentor team “Air Coryell”. Not to be redundant but “Defense” wins championships.

  19. Dave Says:

    Three things stand out;
    They need a speedy WR
    They need safeties
    They need a consistent pass rush

    Simple as that. Draft one of each next year

  20. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    I know its only the day after a gut-wrenching loss.
    But after listening to the coach and a few players – this team sounds physically, emotionally and morally defeated. I don’t know how you can reverse that sh!t-in one week. But now its time for the Captains/Leaders of this team too really step up.

    Here’s to us Putting a Whipping on Denver

  21. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    Luv..I think an ass-whooping on the Broncos would do it..can you imagine the Bucs beating the 3-0 Broncos, SB winners????

  22. Mike Johnson Says:

    LifeOfABucFan.. Not with this team..No..I cannot imagine us beating the broncos. Not even in my..Jimi Hendrix..Purple Haze days!

  23. Pickgrin Says:

    A nice read Ira.

    I would not be at all surprised if this team wins one of the next 2 games against a reigning Super Bowl team which puts them at 2-3 heading into the bye week – exactly the record I expected after 5 games.

    The sky is not falling – the coaches don’t suck. This year was destined to be a character building year anyway. Vegas had the Bucs at 6 1/2 wins and they are rarely more than 2-3 games off. The talent on this team IS absolutely improving – a lot of it is still pretty inexperienced. By the end of the year we will have won 7 or 8 games and the defense will have solidified.

    2017 will be the Bucs break out year with 10 or more wins.

  24. Simpleasthat Says:

    Can I hit the panic button now IRA? In the immortal words of Captain ASJ the Bucs are getting ready to take a huge S&$!@.

  25. DB55 Says:

    Gerald McCoy hasn’t made much of an impact the past two weeks
    I guess beggars can’t be choosers. I’ll take it, ty.

    I’d like to point out that Aaron Donald rushed from the outside (DE) in the fourth qrt causing much pressure quite frankly he punked Dotson. Meanwhile our captain “would prefer to play 3tech”. I’m just saying, whatever it takes. For example, right now Winston is working on growing eyes in the back of his head. #uskrongweskrong.

  26. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    I need to take a huge @#$! when I watch this defense play (hat tip to ASJ for the new vernacular).

    As for Mike “Tiny” Johnson, he shows up running his mouth when the Bucs are playing poorly, but when they seem to show something he disappears. Around that same time Nos-Bos shows up again to spout off that he knew it was coming and we should continue to “wait for it”.

    Anyone think Tiny and Nos-Bos are the same guy on different meds?

  27. Rod Munch Says:

    Did you guys see the clueless Brees try to run on 4th and 22 on their final drive? What a dope, why didn’t he just throw the ball with no one open or why didn’t he just make it happen – how is he going to try to run for it on their last play? He’s clueless, his IQ is in the low negative single digits. He’s terrible and should be cut. What QB tries to run to make a play instead of just throwing the ball. No field awareness. He has no place in the NFL.

  28. d-roca Says:

    Any given sunday kids. Now denvers flying cross country and guess what…it might be a little hot outside sunday. Go bucs

  29. Phil Says:

    At this point I’m just hoping to see steady improvement in both defense & offense. I think we all know we are still missing some pieces so hopefully we can start to have some continuity in our coaching staff so the players aren’t having to learn a different system every two years.