“On The Rise”

September 9th, 2016
Bucs DC Mike Smith lauded but much work needs to be done.

Bucs DC Mike Smith lauded but much work needs to be done.

A lot of folks locally and nationally think this may be the year the Bucs finally turn things around and record not just a winning season, but play meaningful games in January.

One prominent voice isn’t ready to jump aboard.

The “Custodian of Canton,” eye-RAH! Kaufman, prized columnist for Joe, began yet another football season of weekly visits to the one and only Chris “Mad Dog” Russo of SiriusXM Radio fame — on the channel that bears his name, Mad Dog Radio.

There, Russo wanted to know Ira’s outlook on the Bucs and Ira spelled it out.

In short, Ira really likes the hire of Mike Smith as Dirk Koetter’s defensive mastermind, but the defense as a whole was so miserable it won’t be a quick fix. Until then, the Bucs will watch the playoffs from their couches once again come January.

Chris “Mad Dog” Russo: Winston, he had a good – a very good rookie year. They got [Dirk] Koetter in there who is a good offensive coach. I thought it was the right move with Lovie. I know it was surprising but I thought it was the right move. The division is not impossible. They do start on the road. Let’s just ask in a generic manner, if you were a betting man, would you take the over or the under at 7.5 with Tampa?

eye-RAH! Kaufman: I got them 7-9, Chris. As usual, Vegas is right on the mark. Seven wins, eight wins, we will see what happens. It is a quarterback-rich division as you know. Drew Brees just re-upped. You have Matt Ryan and Cam Newton and here comes Winston. Chris, I don’t think he is going to have a sophomore slump, like a lot of people do. [Cam] Newton [had one]. His passion for football, I have never seen anything like it. He is genuine. You can’t fake it. He is doing all the right things and a lot of people didn’t want him to be drafted.

Ultimately, Chris, I think he the Bucs are a year away, a year away. They need one more draft. Defense will be a lot better with Mike Smith, who almost got the Giants job. He wants to get back into [coaching] and he knows the only way that will happen is if the defense improves markedly, which I think it will. … You have to remember, Chris, this defense in 2015 was absolutely deplorable which was stunning because Lovie Smith took over the defense. They couldn’t stop anybody, Chris! They have a long way to go on that side of the ball. They have to get towards the middle of the pack on defense and I am not sure they will get there. I think the arrow is on the way up. I think they are a team on the rise.

Joe can’t quibble. Joe projected the Bucs to finish 8-8. However, Joe does not believe the losses will be the fault of the defense specifically. The Bucs should be much better on defense.

Then again, they have nowhere to go but up.

16 Responses to ““On The Rise””

  1. Phil Says:

    I think the Bucs can win 10 games this year but Jameis will have to will them to win which he can do.

  2. Jeff Says:

    Lovie’s system was so bad I don’t think you can even compare whet they did last year vs. what they will do this year. Last year, the coaching on the defensive side of the ball was not compotent. This year, with the addition of proven defensive coaches, it will be very different. Watch out Matt Ryan, the Bucs are going to lay the wood on Sunday.

  3. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Lol “compotent”

  4. Jerry G Says:

    Joe,totally off topic here but just touching base on last nights ponies Kittens game. Should we be worried about Jameis after the way Newton was battered last night? Or do you think we will get more penalties in favor of us since Winston has been able to get the ball out quicker and those hits would be resulting and roughing the passer or late hits? Also do you think any players will step up for Winston to defend him in case of such an event happens and where they are purposely trying to batter him around?

  5. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    our bucs is a .500 team

  6. Compa Gera Says:

    So far the Panteras are down 1!we can lose a step Tampa if we want to win this division! We seen Newton can’t take a rush! Now let’s show him what we did to Goff a few weeks ago leaving him with fractured ribs!Benjamin showed up last night but let’s see if he can’t handle VH3 or Grimes on him!

  7. Pete Mitchell Says:

    One of the most frustrating aspects of Lovie’s tenure was his inability to develop any of the guys in the secondary, made worse by the drastic decline from Banks and Verner. I think Mike Smith will be judged on whether or not he is able to develop any of the secondary guys into a top flight safety.

  8. Alabamabucsman Says:

    I think that last nights game wasn’t really a showing of what may happen to. Jameis I see it as that denvers d. Just really despised. Scam Newton like all of us do 😈

  9. buddha Says:

    Completely false that Vegas always gets it right. Carolina last year at 7. Dallas at 9, Washington at 5, etc. Now if you put a plus or minus 3, you’re closer to reality. If Vegas says 7, then there’s about an 85 % change they will finish between 4 wins and 10 wins. That’s the most confident prediction you can make.

  10. ShutTheBucUp Says:

    I have tempered expectations. You have to as a Bucs fan. We’ll see what happens Sunday when the lights are on for real.

  11. Solinor Says:

    It will be a disappointment if the bucs finish anywhere below 9-7.. No way we are an “average” team anymore.

  12. DemBoyzFromDaBay727 Says:

    @compa gera it was actually Carson Wentz who got his ribs cracked.

    Like alot of ppl it’s hard to be optimistic anymore after looking like a fool after the season but I’m sticking with 8 to 9 wins. Who knows maybe they shock the world and get to 10 if this team can stay healthy and the D line can wreak havoc along with the offense doing its thing u never know. That’s why I can’t wait for the season to start so we can finally see all our new toys and all new team really from the coaches down. #I like my bird roasted and extra crispy. #get em Bucs, make us proud sunday.

  13. Dreambig Says:

    Joe – did you remove my post or did the internet swallow it?

    Is criticizing Ira’s past predictions/Buc loyalty out of bounds?

  14. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    Thanks for pointing out Ira’s mistake! As Vegas usually gets right? BWAAHAAAA

    I know Joe has always had a bromance with IRA and I realize he’s a HOF voter so I give him that respect.

    But I’m not a fan and never have been. Not a hater either. I just see enough stuff from IRA to come down with a big MEH

  15. Dreambig Says:

    Thanks St Pete.

    My missing post was along those same lines. In the past I have seen Ira predict against the Bucs until they had enough of a winning record he had to stop. I like my sports journalist with a little more homerism.

  16. tmaxcon Says:

    Ira presented an undeserving head coach with a career losing record in playoffs for the hall of fame when more deserving candidates were available. Tom Flores especially. Clearly ira doesn’t always get it right. Great addition to jbf but not always right.