Gene Deckerhoff Talks To Joe

September 11th, 2016
Gene Deckerhoff

Gene Deckerhoff

During training camp, Joe got a chance to talk Bucs football with the longtime radio voice of the Bucs, Gene Deckerhoff, now entering his 28th season. Joe decided to save the interview for opening day. Enjoy.

JoeBucsFan: What kind of vibes are you getting from this team?

Gene Deckerhoff: Vibes for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are very positive vibes. In fact, the Kool Aid is as red as the jerseys.

Joe: It just seems like there is a breath of fresh air around here with Mike Smith on board as the defensive coordinator and the place is energized.

Deckerhoff: Well, that begins with Dirk Koetter, the new head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, bringing that offense back for another year. There won’t be any change; in fact. there will be improvement. We need more touchdowns. We need to be better in the red zone. Dirk Koetter in his second year, you will see vast improvements in all aspects of the offense. Now last year we had a lot of yards rushing. Matter of fact, we were in the top-10 in most offensive categories but we just couldn’t punch the ball in the end zone. We need to get more than three touchdowns out of Mike Evans, I believe. We need a healthy Vincent Jackson. Doug Martin needs to keep doing what he is doing – by the way, Doug Martin looks great. He has the big contract. He even looks better now that he has the big money. I can’t wait to see him get going running the football.

Then of course, Jameis Winston. It revolves around your quarterback; He is going to take it to the next level. Twenty-two touchdowns passes and ran six touchdowns, which is a Buccaneer record for a quarterback. So he will take it to the next level because what I have learned about Jameis in his career, in college at Florida State and I think I will see it here with the Buccaneers, is that he will get better and better game to game to game. He is driven to be the very best at his position and you know, there have been some pretty good football players who have played in the National Football League. Jameis is a student of football. He knows to get to the level he wants someday, he has to work hard every day. I think you are seeing that; He is always in the film room. He gets to the meeting rooms early. When he has assignments to go out into the community, he is always early. He stays [at One Buc Palace] late. He is just driven. He is wired for the movement one of his coaches said of him at Florida State and I believe him. I think you will see improvement at quarterback. You see, 36 touchdowns passes led the league and that was Tom Brady. Blake Bortles of Jacksonville and Carson Palmer at Arizona threw 35. So 22 [touchdowns] to 35? That would be a nice jump.

Joe: When you said Jameis gets better from game to game, he did that last year. If you looked at him the first month and looked at him the last month, it was like two different quarterbacks.

Deckerhoff: Right. When you get into the month of December, last year wasn’t the first time this franchise has fallen off the map in the month of December. Remember with Coach Jon Gruden, we had a chance to make the playoffs and we lost four in a row in the month of December. It was his last season as a matter of fact. Last year, we lost four in a row in December and it was Lovie’s last season. What happens in the NFL, it is a game of attrition. You start losing players to injury, you start losing players to suspension, all of a sudden, you are not the same team in December. Offense was still producing points and getting yards and winning time of possession. The defense – we lose Kwon Alexander for the last four games. We were not the same defense the last four games. If you are looking for rainbows and getting one of those wishes, you know, like winning the Powerball, if everybody can stay healthy and no one gets suspended, the Buccaneers are going to be a contender in the month of December. I am convinced of that.

Joe: You know that is an interesting point. Alterraun Verner had said in OTAs that the best thing that could happen to the secondary is that the defensive line stay healthy because they were all dinged up. It’s an interesting view.

Deckerhoff: You know how they say the games are won in the trenches? Most of the battles that go on in the trenches – I remember Warren Sapp when we walked down the hall from the team plane and I am a gregarious sort of guy, and I went to shake hands with him and he would pull his hand away and say some things you can’t say on the radio and he’d say, “Don’t touch those hands! Those things are hurting from Day 1 until the last day of the season.” He said those are his weapons, those are his tools. “Don’t hurt my tools.” I will never forget that. The guys who do the pounding in the trenches, that is where you lose players. What I have noticed, and what folks like yourself have noticed who follow the Buccaneers, Jason Licht is upgrading the depth on this football team.

Joe: Yes, very needed.

Deckerhoff: And you look around the league. Why do the Pittsburgh Steelers win 10 or 11 game every year? New England Patriots win 10 or 12 games every year? They are football programs that have been around a while. They have an excellent front office that keeps filling guys in there. So when they get guys hurt, they are not dropping off a whole lot. That’s what Jason is doing as general manager. It’s not just the first-22 that is going to get you to the playoffs, it is the next 30 on that 53-man roster. I just think the quality of depth on this team is probably as good as it has ever been…

Joe: For a while…

Deckerhoff: We drafted well and Jason works that waiver wire. I mean, we do a show called “Building the Bucs” every single Sunday [with Licht] before the game and it is good radio, I enjoy doing it. Every week, I say, “Jason, you are working non-stop, 24/7. “ Every week there are changes. My depth chart by Sunday is missing a few players because of the work he does on Friday and Saturday. But that is just the way – so you get the depth, you get your quarterback in his second year, you have a great running back tandem in Doug Martin and Charles Sims, you get that offensive line those two rookies in their second year I like a whole lot, Ali Marpet and Donovan Smith, we are blessed. I am anxious to see J.R. Sweezy. I know he is on the PUP list. They are not going to hurry him along because they know what he can do. [Add Joe Hawley, Evan Smith] and Gosder Cherlius and Demar Dotson, I am telling you the truth: not many teams can have that many good offensive linemen.

Joe: Well, as you said, that is important because those guys in the trenches will get dinged up too.

Deckerhoff: Offensive line, I tell you, I counted 18 dressed at the Florida State spring practice. There were three not dressed. And then there were five incoming freshman [not dressed] so that makes 26. So I asked Jimbo Fisher, ‘Do you always have that many?’ And he said ‘Gene, the only way your football team can get better is with quality depth on your offensive line.’ Because you don’t know if your second team defense is any good if they are just going to go against scrubs. They look like world-beaters. If they go up against the Florida Gators of Alabama Crimson Tide, they will get blown away. So Jimbo said, ‘the only way you can really develop a team is to have quality depth and experience on the offensive line.’ You don’t know how good your defense is until they go up against a quality offensive line. Anyway, we have quality depth. We’ve had some outstanding drafts. I don’t think Jason Licht ever sleeps. The only time he doesn’t look at that waiver wire is when he jumps into that pool in his suit after a Buccaneers win.

25 Responses to “Gene Deckerhoff Talks To Joe”

  1. Bucwylde Says:

    I love Gene and this was a great article Joe’s thanks for carrying us through the off season with all your hard work.

  2. FartinMartin Says:

    Good stuff.

  3. DB55 Says:

    REJOICE for today is the day that the lawrt has made.

  4. LargoBuc Says:

    We made it guys! I finally get to sit around and watch football all Sunday!

  5. Joe Says:

    Thanks guys and you are welcome.

  6. Jeagan1999 Says:

    Time for some Buccaneer Football! My wife and I will be leaving for the Georgia Dome in a couple of hours, and I’m excited to see this talented team up close! I only wish their were cannons to fire in Atlanta!

    Since today is the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks of 2001, I have decided to forgo wearing my normal “Alstott, Brooks, Lynch or Barber” jerseys that I usually don when attending a Bucs game, in favor of my red, white and blue “Team USA” Olympics jersey instead! I’m sure that there will be some touching tributes at NFL stadiums before each game.

    “Never Forget!”

  7. Buc1987 Says:


    Thanks for the memories Gene. I still wouldn’t trade you for any radio play by play guy and I grew up listening to Bob Cousy calling the Celtics.

    Go Bucs baby and may I NOT have to bring another THIS SUCKS sign to RJS anytime soon.

    Here’s me in 2013 again :

  8. Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    Thank you Joe(s). As always, GREAT JOB!! You have got us thru to Opening Day!!

  9. 911bucs Says:

    Great article, so amped for today. I just hope all the players decide to stand for the national anthem, especially today on 9/11.Go Bucs!!

  10. PleadingBuc Says:

    Great article Joe, we are fortunate to have had a pro like Gene calling out games for so long. It’s finally here! #GoBucs

  11. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Great write up👍. And you right 87 Mr. D’s voice is perfect for radio, just sounds like a Buccaneer issuing out commands over the open seas. As for the work of the Great Jason Licht, well let’s just say one of those tailor mades will be getting good and saturated later this evening. Time to go HUNTING y’all. Quayle on the menu.

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I think Gene feels the same thing most of us feel…..a nervous, anxious but positive outlook about where this team is headed.
    I am usually nervous at the start of every season and every game….this year is no different.

  13. Ryan Says:

    I know I’m not the only one who read that in Gene’s voice. Great interview. Everybody wake up and get your chores done, there’s football to be watched today.

  14. Buc1987 Says:

    TBBF…yep I’m nervous too. Been up since 4:30 if that tells you anything.

  15. Rod Munch Says:

    Gene is my hero, he inspired me to do my own podcast. If you don’t mind a cheap plug I’d like to list it – but I understand it if gets removed. It was my first take while on ambien of doing the Bucs and Falcons preview, let me know how it goes?

  16. orlbucfan Says:

    Hey Joe(s), 🙂

    Got your note in a comment before I turned off the cybertube last night. Thank you (!) so much for this terrific interview!! Gene Deckerhoff is a brilliant radio broadcaster. He is also a very nice person, and a true gentleman. I met him years ago at the old (and missed) Orlando Arena. He did the live broadcasts for the AFL Orlando Predators. He actually gave me an autograph, and brought me a gift of Bucs lapel pins. He also complimented me by calling me an “educated” fan. More than made my day. 🙂

    I might be a weirdo, but I like listening to the games. I turn on the tube for replays. Radio announcers have to know what they’re talking about cos they’re describing stuff to folks who can’t see it. Boob tube people don’t have that concern. It shows, too; and it gets real annoying. 🙁

    I love the countdown clock! Any way you guys can make it part of the masthead on game days? Anywho, here we go…first regular season game. Hope no one on both teams gets bit by Buc Luck. 🙂

    —Mr. Gene Deckerhoff 🙂
    –Me 🙂

  17. Rod Munch Says:

    If I talked with Deckerhoff I’d only ask about working with Jesse Ventura.

  18. stvcl Says:

    Wish there was still simulcast so I could turn off the tv announcers and listen to Gene in real time. Greatest sports radio announcer ever and I grew up listening to Marty Brennaman and Joe Nuxall on the Reds network. Fire those cannons!

  19. Joe Says:

    Thanks for the compliments guys. Gene is a really good dude. Glad you guys liked the interview.

  20. Pete422 Says:

    “CAAUGHT….no dropped”

  21. tmaxcon Says:

    Special interview for a special day… tks joe

  22. Matts17 Says:

    Bucs desperately need a new radio play by play team. Sorry FSU fans. Gene is no longer cutting it. The decades of missed calls and botched names is really getting worse.

  23. Warren Says:

    Mean Gene is a goddamn national treasure. Love that guy

  24. Buccfan37 Says:

    Read like you could hardly get a word in edgewise with the motor mouth.

  25. Mike Johson Says:

    Love ya there Gene. Sometimes I turn the TV volume off and just listen to Gene play by play. He’s much better.