Hall Presentation Order Revealed; No On Poe; Jameis Vs. The Class & The Latest Bucs Victory

January 16th, 2017



For your Monday perusal, here’s an assortment of goodies that includes your weekly update on John Lynch.

If this column had to be listed on Jeopardy, it would go under the “Potpourri” category, a grab bag of offseason items that ultimately reflect back on the Buccaneers.

Here we go:

Late Lynch

I received an e-mail from the Pro Football Hall of Fame last week listing the order of presentations to be made on the day before the Super Bowl in Houston.

There are 18 names on the ballot — 15 modern-day candidates, one senior nominee (safety Kenny Easley) and two contributors (Jerry Jones and Paul Tagliabue).

Of the 15 modern-day nominees, a maximum of five can enter the Hall in the Class of 2017.

The order of presentation is chosen at random and Lynch will be the 14th candidate discussed. Two other defensive backs, Brian Dawkins and Ty Law, will be talked about in the moments before Lynch comes up before a panel of 48 selectors — which now includes Hall of Fame players Dan Fouts and James Lofton.

The final modern-day candidate to be discussed Feb. 4 is Terrell Owens, who didn’t receive enough support in 2016, his first year of eligibility.

In my breakfast with Tony Dungy last week, the Hall of Fame coach said Lynch had the most responsibility of any player in that iconic Tampa 2 defense, including Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks.

Lynch’s role shifted with the alignment chosen for a particular play.

At times, Lynch had to offer strong run support against a Barry Sanders or a Jerome Bettis. He also had to shadow a tight end like Tony Gonzalez or split deep downfield coverage with another safety. Only a player with keen football intelligence and athleticism can fill those versatile roles with the distinction Lynch showed for both Tampa Bay and Denver.

This is Lynch’s fourth year as a finalist and it’s his time. Of the 17 names discussed for the Class of 2014, 15 already have Hall of Fame busts.

The only two holdouts? John Lynch and Morten Andersen.

No On Poe

Some Buc fans are excited about the prospect of landing Dontari Poe in the upcoming free-agent market.

I’m not.

Even if the Chiefs don’t re-sign their 26-year-old nose tackle, I’m not convinced Poe would be a significant upgrade for Tampa Bay playing next to Gerald McCoy. I watched Poe closely during Sunday’s 18-16 playoff loss to Pittsburgh and he failed to hold his ground while Le’Veon Bell ran wild.

Poe was pushed around all night, finishing with four assists and zero solo tackles. He is no factor on the pass rush and Kansas City’s rushing defense wasn’t any better than Tampa Bay’s during the regular season.

That’s supposed to be Poe’s specialty.

Jameis Needs Work

It’s no secret that the Bucs need to add a speedy target for a more dynamic passing game, but let’s also acknowledge that Jameis Winston also has to improve his mechanics in the offseason.

Look at the four quarterbacks remaining — Brady, Rodgers, Ryan and Roethlisberger. With all due respect to Drew Brees and Russell Wilson, those are arguably the top four men under center in the entire league.

Winston certainly isn’t in that class. Not yet.

Winston just turned 23, so he has plenty of time to grow into an elite quarterback who can transform the Bucs into a perennial NFL power. His work ethic suggests Winston wants to be great, and that’s half the battle.

Teams Lose, Bucs Gain

Finally, a word on Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith, who is returning to Dirk Koetter’s staff after failing to land a head coaching job.

What are these teams thinking?

Passed over

Inexplicably passed over

The Jaguars went with Doug Marrone, which tells you all you need to know about that forlorn franchise. Marrone was 15-17 in two seasons with the Bills, but he gets another shot while Smith is bypassed … despite a far better resume.

Have these owners forgotten that Smith went 56-24 in his first five years with the Falcons before a series of bad drafts sunk him?

The Rams took Sean McVay and the Chargers are putting their faith in Anthony Lynn.

Mike Smith can’t get a second chance?

That’s good news for the NFL’s stingiest third-down defense, but disappointing news for a good man who now has to wonder whether his head coaching days have passed.

Welcome back, Smitty.

Tampa Bay’s only Hall of Fame voter pens columns for JoeBucsFan.com Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and he churns out his popular podcasts here Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can also listen to the podcasts on iTunes or Podbean.

18 Responses to “Hall Presentation Order Revealed; No On Poe; Jameis Vs. The Class & The Latest Bucs Victory”

  1. JJBucFan Says:

    Poe was double and triple teamed all night, they constantly showed replays and showed how the tackle, guard or guard and center or the guard, center and FB were collapsing down on Poe. Can’t do that when we have GMC, they have to single block one of them.

  2. Pickgrin Says:

    I also watched Poe pretty closely last night – knowing he may well be a free agent that the Bucs could potentially target. I wasn’t that impressed. Also noted in the opening starter’s intros that PFF has Poe ranked 66th best out of 113 DTs for this year. Is that any higher than Clinton McDonald who is under contract with the Buccaneers for $2M this season? I doubt it. Pass…. Better to re-sign Akeem Spence and draft a developmental DT talent in the 4th-5th round than pay Poe $10M+ a year.

  3. Fred E. Buc Says:

    How long are the presentations for each player? Going at #14 for 15-30 minutes each candidate would mean the panel has to be all listened out by the time 14 is called. But #14 for 5-10 minute pitches probably bode well for John. Here is the thing I worry about: If the NFL is now so PC that they’d shy away from a nasty-hard hitter like Lynch playing his tape…who did it all legally when he played. Ira’s gotta pitch that John was a man’s man on the field, and took every play to the max physical, dangerous limit he was allowed to for his team, but he was never nailed as being a dirty player–and he beat the best. That’s why he’s there. But Ira knows how to do this–John is in good hands. A push from Dungy and Sapp and Brooks would be great.

    As for Smitty, I’m sure he’s not done with the look at HC by himself or others, but this has to be bitter sweet for him. He doesn’t have to go to LA/San Diego and back and forth, and he doesn’t have to go clean up a mess in Jax or Cali. He’s probably in it for 3-4 more years max–if he wants to retire by 60. Who could be upset with all that? And then he can just go talk smack on TV about all the other couches like our boy Gruden. Too easy.

  4. Buccfan37 Says:

    It’s confusing to me how Smith was visiting a couple of teams yet still under contract with the Bucs? Is that right? Why not reveal that if true before the speculation was rampant about where he may coach next.

  5. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    It’s confusing to me how Smith was visiting a couple of teams yet still under contract with the Bucs?

    He probably had it in his original contract. An HC offer would supercede the Bucs contract and DK and TL were probably happy to sign the deal.

    Great organizations do not whizz on people who get better offers to improve their position.

    In fact some CBA whiz can probably tell us but I thought that NFL teams always let their guys interview if it’s not a lateral move. IE Smitty could not have interviewed for a DC position anywhere no matter the $$$ without Buc approval but he could have interviewed for the HC position.

    In addition I “think” that goes down the pecking order. IE…Jay Hayes cannot interview for another DL position without our permission but he could bolt for a DC spot which is an upgrade.

    Any of you wonks out there to verify or deny that CBA stuff. I could easily be mistaken.

  6. Buccfan37 Says:

    Tagliabue and Jones as contributors. Uh, no thanks. Players only, good luck with that.

  7. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    @Buccfan37 Coordinators can end their contracts early if it’s for a promotion to head coach. The contract is only so they can’t be poached away by another team to be a coordinator.

  8. Tampa Tony Says:

    Watch out Ira, if you point out the flaws of Jameis certain groups of fans label you a “hater” and automatically think you want Jameis off the team. I 1,000% agree with you this team only goes as far as Jameis improves

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    Agree with you Pickgrin. I initially thought Poe would be a great addition because of his size, but wasn’t that impressed with his performance the other night. I’d also like to see us re-sign Akeem Spence, but I’m not sure Bucs are all that high on him (didn’t get to rotate in nearly as much this season as in past years). Somehow, someway we need to beef up our DLine. Old Bucs teams were always great against the run, but this past year … not so much.

  10. pick6 Says:

    definitely 4 of the best currently doing it at QB are competing in the championship round. the bit of optimism for Bucs fans? I believe the youngest of that bunch is 9 years older than Jameis and the oldest (Brady) is 15 years older. Jameis has time to reach his peak, and probably many many seasons of not competing under the shadow of these 4 guys

    fun fact: on their 23rd birthdays, Rodgers and Brady were still warming benches and matt ryan had just been drafted by the falcons. So much football ahead for Jameis

  11. Pickgrin Says:

    SPBF says:
    ” I “think” that goes down the pecking order. IE…Jay Hayes cannot interview for another DL position without our permission but he could bolt for a DC spot which is an upgrade.”

    Incorrect – Coaches under contract must ask permission from the team they are under contract with to interview for any position that is not a HC job. In the case of Hayes for instance – If a team wanted to interview him for a DC job right now – the Bucs have the option of denying that request or allowing it. And of course they would likely deny it. If a team wanted to interview Hayes for a HC position – then the Bucs would have no say in the matter.

  12. Dlavid Says:

    Ira , keep it coming brother ! You make Joe Buc Fan ” THE” required reading ! Your podcast are entertaining as well as superbly informing !

  13. Rod Munch Says:

    To me the story of Lynch is what makes him a HOF. This is a guy, drafted in the 3rd round by the Bucs, who wasn’t very good early on – he didn’t really look all that special, he just sort of looked like another guy. Barry Sanders juking him out of his shoes is obviously a play we’ve seen over and over again as Bucs fans.

    BUT, in my mind, a huge part of the Lynch story is what he did about that – that without any special physical abilities (he wasn’t fast, had OK but not good size) he just worked his tail off to maximize his abilities. He became the QB of the defense, an all-time great defense. He worked his tail off to become one of the best tacklers in the NFL. He used the physical attributes he did have to make himself a punisher when it came to hitting people.

    The story of Lynch going from a 2nd round pick of the Marlins, being the first player in their history to throw a pitch, to being a 3rd round pick of the Bucs and looking OK but like nothing special, to getting embarrassed by Barry Sanders, to becoming a player who Barry Sanders feared later in his career, to having neck injury and a coach (Gruden) give up on him only to have an entire new chapter of his career where he played a different style but was a Pro Bowl player year in and year out – it’s an amazing story, something the NFL should sell everyone on. In my knowledge very very few HOF players have the story that Lynch has – someone that was taken where he was taken, didn’t struggle early but didn’t look like anything impressive, didn’t have any special physical attributes, but through pure work turned himself into the best in the game at his position – it’s an amazing story, and it’s one I hope we see at the HOF introduction.

  14. Pickgrin Says:

    Nice post Rod.

  15. SB Says:

    a team wanted to interview Hayes for a HC position – then the Bucs would have no say in the matter.
    False. A team cannot block a coach an interview for HC.

  16. Pickgrin Says:

    Thats exactly what I said SB. Bucs can deny a request for any coach under contract to interview with another team. But they cannot deny a coordinator or position coach an interview if it is for a head coaching job.

    I stated that clearly.

  17. SB Says:

    Then you were correct Sir. I just got home from work and did my nightly click on JBF and perused the comments and was taken aback a bit by the confusion. As many Coaches as we have gone through I thought it would be common knowledge. Teams can’t steal coaches Unless it is for a HC spot. Simple.

  18. JonBuc Says:

    No on Poe….but Berry would make me merry! The guy is a stud and would be a great addition to the back end of the defense.