Morning After (Holiday Edition)

December 26th, 2016
(Photo courtesy of

(Photo courtesy of

A day late due to the Christmas holiday, and a shortened version, but it is here nonetheless. Time to get started.

Most Goals Gone

Sure, there is a chance the Bucs could make the playoffs. Just like there was a chance Joe could have found Rachel Watson in her naughty Santa outfit bringing Joe a very special gift Saturday night.

In other words, don’t bank on it.

The Bucs could finish the season with a win, which would be only the second time the Bucs had a winning record since Chucky was jettisoned. That’s saying something.

And with a win, the Bucs would be 50 percent improved from the 6-10 record in Lovie’s last year. Not too shabby.

So there is a lot to play for, even the slimmest of hopes the Bucs make the playoffs.

Not Yet Ready For Primetime

No one defends and appreciates America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, more than Joe. Yet again Saturday when the Bucs needed him the most, Jameis couldn’t rise to the occasion. He didn’t have a terrible game but he had an OK game. His two picks were costly.

When facing Drew Brees in his house, Jameis needed to be better, especially with the team’s playoff hopes largely on his shoulders.

Fair? maybe not. But when you are the No. 1 overall draft pick, you are supposed to be putting the team on your back and carrying them. Sure, Jameis has slop for receivers after Mike Evans, the first-down machine. Notice, one of Jameis’ two picks Saturday were not thrown to those scrub receivers.

When the glare of the spotlight was shined on Jameis this season, he often didn’t rise to the occasion. That, obviously, has to change and Joe is confident it will.

Again, no one is in Jameis’ corner more than Joe, but that doesn’t mean Jameis is a deity and can do no wrong.

Doug Martin Drama

Sunday will be very interesting. As we all know, Doug Martin was a spectator Saturday night. Call it a smart move, a rash move, a panic move or a gutsy move by Dirk Koetter, but he sure did rattle the cages of Bucs fans by benching Martin, who has the worst yards-per-carry percentage (2.9) in the NFL for running backs with at least 100 carries.

Joe doesn’t believe the Bucs would release Martin, who has one more guaranteed season left on his contract. With the Bucs having so much cap space for next year, and with the likelihood Alterraun Verner won’t be back ($6.5 million) that’s even more cap space. Perhaps Evan Smith ($4.5 million) might be a cap causality, as well, which would mean still more cap space.

So if the Bucs did release Martin, it wouldn’t cripple the salary cap like it could. Joe isn’t saying this will happen, but it is something to keep in the back of your head.

In other words, if the Bucs were to be able to eat $7 million, it would be in the 2017 season.

Huff And Puff

Joe doesn’t ever want to see Josh Huff back as a Bucs kick returner again. Ever. Never.

One reason the Bucs signed this Eagles reject is because he can return kicks. He’s brutal. He damned near lost one game two weeks ago because of his antics, and he may have set up the loss Saturday playing hot potato with another kick return. Finally, Koetter went back to the invisible Ryan Smith.

Hell, Afroblunder Kenny Bell got benched for botching a kick return — in preseason! Why was/is Huff so special?

Yes, the Bucs need receivers in free agency and/or the draft in the worst way. Hopefully, one of those guys has speed and can be a return man. The Bucs return game is as nonexistent as any in the NFL. If the best thing you can say about Rudy Humphries as a punt returner is that he is safe, then what’s the point? Just have no return man and put another gunner on the line to block punts.

The Will Gholston Void

Will Gholston, the Bucs versatile defensive lineman, may be the most underrated lineman on the roster. He can play tackle really well and is OK at defensive end, more of a run-stopper than sacker, but he flashes periodically as a pass rusher.

The Bucs were awfully soft against the run against the Saints. Joe wonders how much Gholston, who missed the game due to dislocated elbow, would have made a difference had he played?

Joe assumes it could have been the difference.

For example, on the Saints last possession of the game on third-and-one with the Bucs needing a stop for any chance of a comeback win, Mark Ingram broke what seemed like five tackles for a 10-yard game to seal the win.

Joe isn’t sure that would have happened if Gholston was playing.


None. No one consistently stood out and the team may have choked away a playoff berth.

Tidbits: Joe will have more on this later this week, but from the words of pouty Cam Newton, it seems the Stinking Panthers have packed it in. U-Hauls backed up and tickets already booked for early January vacations to Costa Rica. … This should be a fun offseason for the Bucs. In roughly two months is the NFL Scouting Combine and just two weeks after that the free agency dinner bell rings. The Bucs terribly need help for Mike Evans at receiver and some speed to both stretch the field and return kicks. It sure would be nice to add another pass rusher. With all the cap space the Bucs will have, and two or three big-moneyed players who may be in danger of being cut, plus Vincent Jackson’s $10 million coming off the books, offseason shopping should be exciting. … Was it just Joe or were the Bucs linebackers playing somewhat deep off the line against the Saints? If that is the case, that can’t help the run defense much. Joe’s guessing the Bucs would rather get burned by the Saints running backs than by Drew Brees. … Let’s just say there are tons of worse places to be on Christmas Weekend than New Orleans. Man, you really have to try to find a bad meal in this town. Joe is now fully addicted to barbecue shrimp served with cheese grits. These Cajuns really know how to work a stove. … Joe hopes everyone had a nice Christmas yesterday. Thanks as always for your support.

33 Responses to “Morning After (Holiday Edition)”

  1. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    Hope all Bucs fans didn’t let our losses spoil their holidays…..

    We knew that this year we’d be better……but there’s still alota work to be done.

    The Bucs will keep on getting better……



  2. DB55 Says:

    when you are the No. 1 overall draft pick, you are supposed to be putting the team on your back and carrying them.
    A third overall pick, perrenial All-Pro, $100mil ghost has no responsibility here whatsoever? On third and 1 we need a fourth round pick with a broken elbow to save the day? I’m so confused help me understand. If we can’t count on McCoy on 3&1 to make a play with the season on the line what’s the point in having him as a captain and paying him 800k per week? Help me Lort Jeezus. Help me understand!!!

  3. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    ….the problem is…… can’t count on MCCOY. ….PERIOD!!!!!


  4. lightningbuc Says:

    Who will Koetter’s scapegoat be this week for his team’s circling the drain when the lights have shone brightest?

  5. Kobe Faker Says:

    PLAYMAKERS (lack of)

    we dont get any rac quick receivers who beat defenders,…we will have the same stagnet offense year after year

    dunketeers! lol bring in more slow basketball players! clueless front office


    im a big Quizz fan and his vision and cutback running is superior than fat dougie BUT…

    DEACTIVATE right before the game?

    the biggest must win game and you kill the momentum fire, emotion of the team. WTF! dougie last played sunday vs dallas. you practiced all week with martin with the starters. everyone thought martin was going to start right before gameday. koetter didnt know martin wasnt playing well then? you dont do that at that time!

    koetter is clueless and doesnt know how to be a headcoach and run the team.

    this last game vs carolina is crucial for koetter and licht. the lockerroom is is chaos

  6. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    @ Kobe Faker

    Sounds like you got a personal problem against coach Koetter?????

  7. LargoBuc Says:

    Yea my arrogant Steeler fan family were laughing at me/The Bucs as it was the only game on. When I tried to change the subject to out five game win streak, my family just blsnkly stared and said “what five game winning streak”? Hell some of the ones that still live in Pittsburgh didn’t even know we won a super bowl. It’s always a struggle. Never ends.

  8. Jeagan1999 Says:

    We need offensive line help, and another reliable WR on offense…..Safety and Dline help on defense. Much as I hate this say it, it might be time to end the Doug Martin experiment…keep Jacquizz, Simms and draft another young RB.

    I think next season we will be able to challenge for the division title.

    My guess for this season…..the trophy comes back to the NFC South, just not in Tampa – Atlanta over New England in the Super Bowl.

  9. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    @ LargoBuc

    It’s all good……brutha be strong and carry on!!!!!


    Pitt has been so good for so long that they’re fans that have blinders

    Tampa has a bright future ahead of them

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    ‘Locker room in chaos’ Kobe? Not hardly. This coaching staff is head and shoulders over what we’ve had at least since Chucky was ousted. If anything, this team had overachieved based on its talent level … and that’s a very good thing. And that’s regardless of whether we finish 9-7 or 8-8.

    For those into Jameis-bashing, our 22-year old QB has had a better year than last year, despite a few more INTs, fewer weapons to work with, and an OLine that definitely needs work … Higher % completions, more TDs (already), etc. His INTs seem to come in clusters for whatever reason, but with more passing attempts in 2016 (already) probably should be expected. Still a work-in-progress folks.

    Will Gholston is a critical factor in our DLine, and the Bucs need to get him under contract without screwing around. GMC is a critical piece of our DLine also by the way, but we still need another big DT to complement him. Looking forward to an interesting off-season.

  11. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    You McCoy bashers are so annoying and come off as so ignorant. Please watch the game again and pay close attention to 93 this time. He was a man amongst boys. Very disruptive but he is only one player of 11 on defense.

    I agree with you on our needs this offseason but you seem to refuse to admit what one of our most glaring needs is. Man do I wish they had taken Tunsil last year. We need offensive line help in a big way. I would love to see them get A Jeffreys in free agancy along with a safety and use that number one pick on a stud offensive tackle. A big part of Jameis struggles this year have been lack of pass protection and no holes for the running back to set up the play action. To ignore the offensive line is basically the same as ignoring Winston.

  12. Tampa Tony Says:

    Again, no one is in Jameis’ corner more than Joe, but that doesn’t mean Jameis is a deity and can do no wrong.

    Couldn’t have said it better Joe. Something some fans just can’t grasp. Year 3 needs to show a lot of improvement for #3

  13. d-roca Says:

    Shrimp n grits, u lucky dog.

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

    I don’t know about any of you folks but from where I sit we are in fantastic shape goung forward. Cap # will be great again more than enough to find the best RT and along wit Alshon Jefferies. Move up a spot or two I don’t care package deal and draft Dalvin Cook and just like that we win next season’s superbowl. For those of you who don’t know about Cook think healthy Jamal Charles.

  15. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    Dream on about Dalvin Cook……..I don’t see it happening here….

    I think our GM is content with our backs now

    I see us going hard for a tackle, safety, and WR (in no particular order)

  16. Bob in valrico Says:

    I agree that the Oline needs to be fixed and we need more weapons,be it
    running back or wide receiver.
    It will still be necessary for Jameis to avoid unnecessary sacks and turnovers next year.Now if Jameis needs to improve one thing, Iwould say it would be
    accuracy on the deep passes primarily outside the hashmarks.Jameis is pretty accurate in the middle of the field,but I can’t remember if he has completed a pass over 30 yards down the sideline this year.An elite QB has to make this pass.Like to see Jameis work on this area in the offseason, much like Evans
    worked on his game last year.

  17. Gilhealy Says:

    Sure Jameis isn’t a finished product yet, but what QB in his first two years was?

    Peyton Manning first two yrs- 52 td’s, 43 int’s, 7800 yds, 81 rating
    Drew Brees year two and three{27gms}-28 td’s, 31 int’s, 5400yds, 72 rating
    John Elway year two and three-40 td’s, 38 int’s, 6489 yds, 73 rating
    Ben Roethisberger yrs two and three-35 td’s, 31 int’s, 5900 yds, 87 rating

    Jameis first two so far- 49 td’s, 32 int’s, 7930 yds, 85.6 rating

    These guys ended up pretty good. Jameis is ahead of all of them on a team that needs a lot of help. I wonder if the local media and fan base bashed these guys as much as ya’ll do Jameis. I hope for his sake you get some perspective and support the kid. He’s the best thing to happen to Tampa since the franchise began.

  18. Gilhealy Says:

    And after two seasons, he’ll still be the youngest QB in the league.

  19. Bob in valrico Says:

    I see no reason to content with our running backs.I’ve been a Martin supporter,but this is the third non productive season.Rogers has played better but he was also injured during season.Don’t see him as a bellcow back.Jameis
    has to have a better running attack to make the play action work.

  20. Kobe Faker Says:

    people here should stop dreaming about a running back

    we cant pick a 1st round runningback because our GM chained us with dougie with his fat 7 milly contract

    what did kobe say was the 2nd most important position at 1 buc place to bring a super bowl in tampa

    jameis and a competent GM

    after the 2016 draft we need in 2017 a cornerback, defensive end pass rusher, kicker and a saftey

    we have a very competitive and trending up division

    atl is set for 5 years of matt ryans prime

    carolina has cam, luke and hogs on both sides

    saints are loaded with talent and missing few players for 2 years of brees superbowl run

    the odds of car,atl and saints making the 2017 playoffs is highly probable

  21. Bob in valrico Says:

    We should also explore whether Sims can convert to a WR to get him on the field in pass catching role.

  22. Ray Rice Says:

    Can someone please tell me who’s this McCoy guy you all talk about? I don’t know who he is. Thanks!

    Signed… #perrennial pro bowler…SMH

  23. Bculaw Says:

    Well said, Gilhealy. I agree with Joe that JW13 is no deity and deserves criticism. But, any objective fan would admit that the kid is a rising star in his formative years as a professional QB. He is also a young QB being asked to do more than most at this stage of his career, and doing it with average to below average protection and average to below average weapons aside from ME and Brate. Still, criticism is fair. The vitriol many of the fans send his way is not. Way too much hate for this young man within his own fan base.

  24. Bculaw Says:


  25. orlbucfan Says:

    One reason to come on here is to laugh at the regular bozos who frequent it. Bucs will win against the Panthers. Man, 15-1 last year to……………fizzzzzzz…last place in the division? This 8-8 fan will gladly take 9-7. 🙂 Off-season will be very interesting and fun to follow. You mean NO MUSICAL HC CHAIRS??????????!!! Thank Gawd!!!! Bucs need to draft a young V-Jax to play opposite ME13. It also wouldn’t hurt to get a FB, definitely OL/DL and secondary help. MG8 is as good as gone so backup QB for wild man FameisJ? I’m still not quite sold on Mike Smith, but hope I am proven wrong. Anywho, hope all members of Tampa Bay Bucs Nation are enjoying a healthy (within reason) and Happy Holiday Season. Hey Bucs, how about a home win Sunday? You guys owe us!!

  26. teacherman777 Says:

    Jason Pierre Paul back home to Tampa.

    Chandler Jones at DE.

    Eric Berry on a fully guaranteed 3 year deal.

    Barkeviovs Mingo at SLB/DE.

    Terrell Pryor as our #2 receiver. He trains with Mike Evans and Randy Moss in the offseason.

    Boom- Super Bowl Contenders.


  27. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Last season we were 6-6 in the thick of the playoff hunt with 3 CREAM PUFF teams left ( Saints,Bears,Rams) and we lost all 3 games. Jameis threw 5 TDS, and turned the ball over 5 times during our last 4 games ( which we lost ). Everyone kept blaming the Head Coach and the defense, this season we were 8-5 with 3 to play, same thing all over again. The Falcons had a similar meltdown in Atlanta, what did they do during the offseason? They drafted 2 speedy Linebackers, FS, TE, signed undrafted CB Brian Poole from Florida. And all 4 of these picks have started and performed well. Matt Ryan needed help on offense, they get rid of Old Roddy White. They signed C Alex Mack, WR Aldrick Robinson, WR Muhammad Sanu and they claimed WR Taylor Gabriel off waivers from the Browns. What did our INCOMPETENT GM ? He held on to Old Vincent Jackson and his 10 million dollar salary, he brought back Louis Murphy, Dontea Dye, signed JR Sweezy and Doug Martin for another 17 million per season, he passed on Taylor Gabriel and his 4.27 speed, so the Falcons grab him and he’s shining. while Buc fans are crying about the lack of speed at WR. This is why the Falcons are the 2016 NFC South champions and the other teams are looking up to them. We had the chance to draft Laremy Tunsil ( who is a straight mauler for the playoff bound Dolphins), We passed on Michael Thomas ( who leads all rookies in receptions) we traded a 3rd and 4th for a BUM kicker. While we could have taken DT Javon Hargrave and WR Malcolm Mitchell. But we have an excellent GM!! Don’t make me laugh, make me smile by winning the NFC South.

  28. LakeLandBuc Says:

    * Doug and Sweezy are making a combined 14 million per season*

  29. Nole4JabooANDdBucs Says:

    Gilhealy thank you for the facts…but it is a waste on some of these… dilusional fans!

    I have no doubt Jameis is good, will get better and still won’t get any props. Why? Some expect perfection and ignore the imperfections of the other 31 QBs. Some have an unrealistic expectation for Jameis…go figure. Some just enjoy inciting discord for other obvious reasons.

    Whether JW3 stay with the BUCS are get run off…if he remains healthy and go to another team I will stay in his corner because regardless of some perception I believe he is headed for greatness, which takes time. Meanwhile the fans here want him to miraculous get it all done…NOW!!!

  30. Poor Glennon Says:

    Winston couldn’t lead the probowl squad to the superbowl. So until he’s gone……who really cares.

  31. Poor Glennon Says:

    By week 6 we will relizing that the guy hold a clip board. The whole 2016 season. Is better than Winston and we’d probably have made the playoffs. If we were not still riding the Winston hype 🚆. If this guy goes 25TD and 20 INTS. He and the GM will be gone. Dirk will stay because everyone knows he was a Mariota guy.

  32. Bob in valrico Says:

    comparing other QB’s on other teams is like comparing apples to oranges.
    Jameis does a lot of good things,but that’s not to say he can’t do better.
    here is a very good analysis on Jameis after 2015 on his accuracy that another poster found. believe it was feel the power.The point is the accuracy is still an issue.

  33. Poor Glennon Says:

    Wow that’s a great article. Can’t wait to read the 2016 assessment of Freeman……oops i mean Winston.