The Morning After

December 12th, 2016
Winning! (Photo courtesy of

Winning! (Photo courtesy of

Happy Victory Monday!

Damn, what a cool weekly habit this is becoming. Let’s not waste any time:

Hail the Punt Coverage Team

Joe rarely – meaning, rarely – could ever suggest a punter won a game. And this may not be the time to suggest that. But the punt team yes? You could make an argument. (Joe has only seen one game worthy of saying a punter won it. That was a high school game years ago, Seminole at Tarpon Springs). The Bucs’ punt team, led by Bryan Anger, the punter, pinned the Saints deep within inches of their goal line twice. Both times were critical. Drew Brees is as dangerous as they come but 98-yard drives are rarities, even with a guy like Brees at quarterback. Props to the coverage team for getting Anger’s punts downed so close to the goal line.

Who To Start At Safety?

Bucs fans just can’t let go. They just cannot let go of the Chris Conte hate. Joe got bombarded on Twitter about how Keith Tandy should start over Chris Conte. Let’s calm down. Yes, Tandy (drafted by former Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik) has made impact plays over the past two weeks and deservedly got a game ball last night. He also got roasted badly by Brandin Cooks and had Drew Brees not overthrown him, it likely would have been the difference in the game. Joe is glad Tandy is playing well but Joe also remembers the Rams game where Tandy played terribly. Remember: Conte was making plays when he got hurt, including a critical pick and run back to midfield that likely won the game over the Chiefs.

No Receiver Depth Showing

Dirk Koetter quickly denied scraping the bottom of the barrel for the likes of Freddie Martino and his Band of Renown and Josh Huff is hurting the Bucs, but you could have fooled Joe.

Hawley the Enforcer

Early in the game, Mike Evans was getting harassed by Saints defenders over the middle, maybe cheap-shotted. Bucs center Joe Hawley took offense and started to give those same Saints defenders a piece of his mind. Joe loved that. Hawley – a really nice guy off the field – has a mean streak on the field that Joe believes is a helluva real asset.

Alexander Can Cover Real Estate

The tipped pass by Kwon Alexander that Vernon Hargreaves hauled in for a pick, his first in the NFL? How far back was Alexander playing? Dude was covering serious ground.


* Third down = Bucs down: The Saints converted just 4 of 13 third downs. Four! And that’s with Drew Brees at quarterback!

* Acceptable amount of penalties. The Bucs had seven penalties. Getting that down to four would be nice but seven wasn’t terrible.

* Twice the Saints had a first-and-goal (again, with Brees at quarterback) and both times the Saints were denied the end zone. Nice!

* Something to keep an eye out for : During the Bucs’ opening possession, Russell Shepard skied for a pass from America’s Quarterback, Bucs signal-caller Jameis Winston. He came down with the ball but was hammered in the air from behind and was slow to get up. It was his lone catch. Shepard was only targeted two other times. As thin as the Bucs are at receiver, Joe sure hopes Shepard can bounce back for Dallas. The Bucs need him terribly.

* Don’t look now but Roberto Aguayo is on a nice roll since the bye week.

* After grabbing three interceptions Sunday, the Bucs are tied with Kansas City and San Diego for the most takeaways in the NFL (25). Of the top nine teams in takeaways, one third have losing records.

* Mr. Beasting Robert Ayers had four hits on Brees as well as a sack. Helluva game.

* Lost in his tipped pass and later a pick, Tandy led the Bucs with nine tackles. Generally for a defense, that’s not a good stat for a safety, but something must have been right if the Bucs shut down Brees and the Saints.


Keith Tandy: Game-winning pick, a tipped pass on Brent Grimes’ pick, and led team in tackles.

Punt team: Best game a Bucs punt team has had that Joe can remember.

Robert Ayers: Mr. Beasting was in Brees’ face a whole lot.


“For the second consecutive week, that was not the prettiest of games. Very proud of our guys for finding a way. It starts with our defense. Who says they don’t play defense in Tampa Bay? They do.” — Dirk Koetter.

“We’re getting it rocking, we’re getting it rocking. But we’re in the red zone, fans, we’ve got to tone it down (laughs). It’s our time to score. Other than that, it was amazing. It’s the family thing. People want to come to these games and see the Bucs play now. That’s fun. That’s fun as a team to know that we’re coming into a building and everyone is here for us, not the other team. That’s great.’’ — Jameis Winston on fan support during win streak.

“That’s huge, especially when you look at the game, we won by five. That’s huge. It’s something we emphasis throughout the week, not letting people in the endzone. It came through today, and that’s a mentality and a mindset and something we emphasis throughout every week. It’s good to see we stood up when we needed to.” — Robert Ayers on red zone defense.

“Staying calm. Our two-minute, we always go over two-minute before the game and at practice, before the situation comes up. Coach did a great job of putting us in scenarios. We knew the situation, they had the two-minute warning and they had one timeout, they needed to score a touchdown to win. We’ve been in those situations plenty of times and [safety] Keith Tandy came down and made a great football play to help us close out the game.” — Lavonte David on the mindset of the defense as it took the field one last time after the two-minute warning.

“That’s big, but that’s the game, we won, it’s over. Now we’re onto the Cowboys and like I said, we’ve got a long season ahead. We are not anywhere close to where we need to be. So, we’re going to focus on the Cowboys and see what we can do.” — Vernon Hargreaves on holding Drew Brees without a touchdown pass.

“I don’t care, we’re winning. I don’t care what they say, we’re winning. We’re winning because we’re playing together, not turning the ball over and we’re taking the ball away. We’re winning because we’re playing as a team.” — Gerald McCoy on if the NFL is overlooking the Bucs defense.

“I would say they got after us in the pass rush early on.” — Drew Brees on what the Bucs defense did best against his offense.


A change in the locker room for the Bucs at the Den of Depression (five home wins in that crib in a season and Joe drops the name). America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, normally had his locker next to the wide receivers near the entrance. It was the traditional spot for Bucs starting quarterbacks. However, Joe noticed Jameis’ stadium locker was moved to the very back in the corner. Odd. So Joe asked Jameis what the deal was. Jameis, with a huge smile on his face, pointed to the locker and proudly boasted, “That’s Derrick Brooks’ old locker!” Then Jameis began to brag to anyone who would listen he gets to use Brooks’ locker. Jameis acted as if Brooks’ old locker was a sacred shrine. He’s really not wrong. … A couple of weeks ago, Warren Sapp told Joe how impressed he was that the Bucs choked out Russell Wilson. Joe mentioned that to Brent Grimes and that his teammates just “choked out” Brees. Grimes had not heard that phrase used like that and he absolutely loved it! … Joe again tried to get players to use that p-word. They wouldn’t. Even when Joe asked Jameis about playoffs, he wouldn’t use the word and tried to suggest it’s not a priority but the next game is. … OK, Joe got a lot of feedback about the following so he will detail the fight witnessed last Monday night in a bar in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter party district. Joe shows up just after kickoff (5:30 p.m. San Diego time, which is just weird). Joe was going to sit at the bar right in front of a TV and noticed someone had their stuff on the bar in front of an empty chair. The bartender told Joe, “You don’t want to sit there.” Joe found out why a bit later. The dude that was sitting there was either outside smoking or at the head. And when he came back he was completely trashed and sloppily staggered back to his seat. Not long after that, the dude passed out at the bar. This is before 6 p.m.! On a Monday no less. So the owner of the bar goes up to him and tries to tell him, “Hey, buddy. You’ve had enough. Time to go.” Well, the drunk didn’t like being awakened. He snaps at the owner, who is a pretty big dude, “Shut up!” Hey, the guy just wanted to sleep and drink. That response didn’t go over well and the owner was having little luck getting the guy to walk out. Pretty soon, the drunk dropped a few f-bombs on the owner and it was on! Words were exchanged, or in the case of the drunk, slurred, and after a few minutes, the drunk claimed the owner tried to steal his credit card. The owner, slowly, got the drunk to the threshold of the entrance and then the drunk tried some jiu-jitsu move on the owner but being as trashed as he was, missed. In a split second, the owner turned, grabbed a high table wooden chair, and in one swift move, went all WWE on the drunk and clubbed him with the chair, knocking him backwards and out the door — but still on his feet. The drunk then tried to rush the owner and the owner just used the chair like a lion trainer uses a chair in the circus. H3 kept jabbing the drunk with the legs of the chair every time he tried to charge. After getting jabbed in the ribs with the legs of the chair four or five times the drunk sort of gave up as the owner yelled for him to get out before he called the cops. So for about the next 10 minutes the drunk paced back and forth in front of the door trying to figure out a way to get back in — and the owner just stood there with the wooden chair daring the drunk to try. The drunk wasn’t with any women so Joe can only assume he really liked drinking at that bar, even when there were so many others just steps away. The best part of the story? The owner bought everyone in the bar a shot for putting up with the disturbance. Trust Joe, the incident was a helluva lot more entertaining than watching the Jets.

20 Responses to “The Morning After”

  1. lightningbuc Says:

    In the 4th quarter, the Bucs could have tried a 52 yard FG to go up 8, but punted. Wondered if Koetter had anyone other than Aguayo if he would have attempted it? Would have been dicey though, cuz if missed, gives Brees the ball on the 42 and only down 5. Worked out, but Koetter still isn’t sold on him.

  2. Jeagan1999 Says:

    Getting Dotson and Humphries back for Dallas will be huge. Dotson seems to bring some stability to the line play, and Humphries…along with Brate and Evans…gives Jameis 3 reliable targets. Nice to see Rodgers and Sims in there too! We are a team that is peaking at just the right time!

    Bring on the Cowboys!

  3. JonBuc Says:

    I was thinking the same thing, LightningBuc…and admittedly…I was fearful of a potential miss for that same reason. The offense put a ton of pressure on the defense…and they delivered. How many times have we seen twitchy Drew Brees move the ball at will in a similar situation? Another demon exercised…on to Dallas and the suddenly beatable Cowboys.

  4. meh Says:

    Aguayo’s season long is 43 yards and they wouldn’t even let him try from the 35 when we needed the points to make it a one td game.

  5. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Add another bar to the bucket list and check out an old fashioned western bar brawl in bougey SAHNN DIEGO which as joe probably already knows is German for a whale’s…well…go bucs

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

    Man Tandy be brining that wood..

  7. feelthepewterpower Says:

    They call Bryan Anger “Banger” for a reason, and it’s not just his name, Joe 😉

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    es, Tandy (drafted by former Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik) has made impact

    Wow, really stretching to give Dominick some credit (he really needs help)….but if you’ll remember Tandy & Najee Goode were hand-picked by Schiano.

  9. Bucamania Says:

    Tandy needs to stay in there, obviously. The Tandyman can!

  10. Bucamania Says:

    Tandy was really a Schiano pick along with Najee Goode.

  11. MadMax Says:

    Noah Spence’s bat! That was also a highlight for me!

    Im loving this $hit! What a turnaround the guys have made! Cowboys are beatable, but we better get our O in gear. I dont know what happened to the play calling there but fix that jit Coach K.

  12. Pit Says:

    Joe I remember you saying that if we finish the season with 4 wins at home you would have removed the name “Den of Depression” not that anybody cares what you call it but just saying.

    Nice story but you already told that on the podcast. we can’t have enough BuCS news so stop wasting space with old stuff.

  13. BringBucsBack Says:

    The punt out of bounds, after the safety was bruuuutal and should never happen. Aside from that yes, the punt team was fantastic!

    If Shiano hadn’t been so familiar with Tandy from their Rutgers vs. WV matchups, I highly doubt Dumbanic drafts Tandy. I’d much rather credit the coach for that pick. Noting that Tandy had gotten “burned” by Cooks, on one play, is a little hyper critical, no? Cooks can and does run by everyone. Actually, I was impressed that Tandy picked up Cooks in the middle of the field, in a full sprint, and finished the play as closly as he was to Cooks.

  14. R.O. Says:

    Joe you were just whining about RB last week. Now you are praising him that he’s on a streak since the Bye? How about some consistency?

  15. Bucsfanman Says:

    Yeah, the WR depth is really showing. The offense just stalls once teams key in on what we’re doing. That play by Huff had me real nervous. Rust?
    Keith Tandy has played some really good games of late. Make no mistake though, Conte is the better safety. The way I look at it is, this is a good “problem” to have; 2 players playing well.

  16. Doctor Stroud Says:

    If the defense can contain/shut down Brees, Wilson, and Rivers, then they can do it again against Prescott, a rookie. Spielman pointed out how Brees was confused by the various coverages that the Bucs D was employing and credit goes to the defensive coaching staff for that. Next week, I worry more about the Cowgirls run offense. The Bucs run D will need to be stout!

  17. celly Says:

    lightningbuc Says:
    December 12th, 2016 at 7:07 am

    In the 4th quarter, the Bucs could have tried a 52 yard FG to go up 8, but punted. Wondered if Koetter had anyone other than Aguayo if he would have attempted it? Would have been dicey though, cuz if missed, gives Brees the ball on the 42 and only down 5. Worked out, but Koetter still isn’t sold on him.

    I beg to differ.

    Considering how well our punt unit and defense had been playing, the smart move was punting away and playing defense. In that type of game, the last thing you want to do is give Brees a short field.

  18. MadMax Says:

    @Doc Stroud, Exactly. The disguise packages are working and we need to keep it up, but focus on the ground game. That zeke is hell to deal with. If we can keep him in check, we’ll win.

  19. 813bucboi Says:

    regarding tandy I disagree with @joe….b.cooks would’ve had a step or 2 on conte down the sideline as well….yeah tandy didn’t have a great game vs the rams but who on defense did?….we gave up 37 to the rams….

    I think you have to ride the hot hand sort to speak….tandy brings a certain type of attitude and nastiness to the safety position…back to back weeks with game winning int’s is no fluke…tandy has earned it….GO BUCS!!!!

  20. Pickgrin Says:

    If the Bucs beat Carolina at home on Jan 1st and it catapults them into the playoffs – then surely Joe will not stick with Den of Depression stadium nickname after that…. Right? C’mon – that would be silly. Stadium has been rocking of late.