Good “Complicated”

September 18th, 2017

Ira Kaufman is the most beloved, revered and esteemed Buccaneers columnist in town. He has hung his hat at world headquarters since July 2016. Tampa Bay’s only Pro Football Hall of Fame voter, Ira busts out columns here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and his award winning podcasts fire Tuesdays and Thursdays.


If we just saw the Bucs looking rusty, the rest of the NFL is in a lot of trouble.

I’ll be the first to admit Tampa Bay’s long layoff loomed as a major concern heading into Sunday’s matchup against the Bears. While Chicago played a competitive game last week, Buc players received six days off.

But instead of feeling their way early on, the Bucs were feeling it from the start, especially Mike Smith’s cantankerous crew.

“Wow, they were unbelievable today,” Cameron Brate said of a defense that scored a touchdown and kept setting Jameis Winston up in favorable field position. “We always talk about winning the turnover battle, and four takeaways gives you a chance to win every time.”

The Bears may be saddled with the most anonymous group of receivers in the league, so Mike Glennon will continue to struggle. The Bucs made Glennon’s job even tougher because Jordan Howard and rookie Tarik Cohen were singing the Motown blues — nowhere to run to, baby, nowhere to hide.

“They got 20 yards rushing,” said Evan Smith, gazing in admiration at the post-game stat sheet. “That’s a team that prides itself on rushing, but we shut ’em down.”

If Tampa Bay’s speedy linebacker corps stays healthy, it’s going to be difficult to run wide on the Bucs this season. Kwon Alexander, Lavonte David and rookie Kendell Beckwith close very quickly on toss plays and the defense registered six tackles for loss on Sunday.

It’s Complicated

Next week’s primary challenge is containing rookie Dalvin Cook, who has rushed for 191 yards through Minnesota’s first two games, averaging 5.6 yards per carry.

You should have seen Mike Smith after the game, lamenting the late Chicago score that prevented a shutout. Smith has experienced the highs and lows of coaching in the pro ranks and the Bucs are fortunate to have a coordinator of his caliber.

“Our defense played their butts off today,” said Ali Marpet. “We see it every day in practice. They have speed and they throw a lot at you. It’s a complicated defense.”

What’s not complicated is Tampa Bay’s approach this week:.focus on the opponent, not the press clippings.

You should never read too much into Week 1, good or bad. Ask the Jaguars, who didn’t show up at home Sunday after a stellar season opener. Ask the Titans, who rebounded from a poor effort at home to rout Jacksonville.

And if the Bucs need any further reminding, look no further than 2016, when Tampa Bay followed a dramatic win at Atlanta with an embarrassing effort at Arizona.

“We’re confident, but we’re not cocky,” said Clinton McDonald. “We go into every game thinking we’re going to win. Nothing wrong with that, but we respect every opponent.”

Proving It

Dirk Koetter wasn’t thrilled with a second half that generated only three points, but the Bucs posted their fifth consecutive home victory. The next home game, against the Giants Oct. 1, is expected to be a sellout and a 2-0 start would create quite a buzz from Ybor City to Riverview.

On a roster teeming with talent, Mike Evans once again flashed as Tampa Bay’s best player.

The difference in maturity between the Evans of 2015 and the Evans of 2017 is astonishing and the DeSean Jackson effect is already on display as the Bears primarily utilized single coverage on No. 13.

Good luck with that.

So what do we make of the home team after Chapter One? The Bucs just beat a team they should beat, and they did so convincingly. That has rarely been the case in this town for the past decade.

“I think we showed that the layoff was irrelevant,” Marpet said. “We were ready to play.”

32 Responses to “Good “Complicated””

  1. shouldhavedraftedeifert Says:

    Settle down ya’ll if those turns overs dont happen it’s a much closer game. When Glennon got protection he was moving the ball very well and they got no pass rush on him all game. Next week we’ll get a good idea of where they are at.

  2. TheShaz Says:

    1) Turnovers – sealed the game
    2) Bucs defense stuffed the run daring Glennon to pass
    3)Glennon to his credit passed pretty well, in the 2nd half his no name receivers dropped everything in sight
    4) Bucs Red Zone offense needs to improve
    5)Not complaining, a “W” is a “W”
    6)So happy to see the coaching gripe about letting a goose egg on the scoreboard slip thru.

    Irv is correct. The Bucs have a long sordid history of playing down to opponents levels. Even in the hey day they would lay turds on the field when they should be stepping on their throats.

    Its the ATTITUDE and it starts with the Head Coach, with mad props to Smitty, I am so happy we kept him as DC, those guys were flying around.

    And finally a thumbs up to GM Jason, TJ Ward, good signing, Beckwith nice find!

    Offense was rusty, no getting around that. But they didn’t crawl into a shell and play conservative. There were deep ball attempts that they should get. If by the time the Giants play at home and the Red Zone and big play offense stays quiet, then I might be alarmed.

    But today I am all smiles……W #1 is in the books!

  3. Ben the Ga Buc Says:

    shouldhavedraftedeifert Says:
    September 18th, 2017 at 12:23 pm
    if those turns overs dont happen it’s a much closer game.

    Yeah, but you know what? They DID happen. If I was a movie star and a lot more handsome, I could bang Margot Robbie.

    I effing hate “if, then” statements like that. They’re pointless. The Bucs forced their will on the Bears offense and won. You can say anything you want when you bring “if, then” into it.

    It was a great first game for the Bucs – not a perfect one, but they played a really good game. Certainly it gets tougher from here on out, but I imagine the Bucs will too.

  4. Tnew Says:

    If the wind was blowing the other way Winston completes three long TD’s. Can play that game over everything. All of you guys that are trying to look smart and insightful about the negatives in that game,,, you just aren’t. Did the Bucs play perfect? No, but given the fact that Ward played 0 snaps in the system, Grimes has been out since week 2 of hard knocks… the needle is straight up. The linebackers were so impactful. Everyone of them. From LVD to Lynch.

    I can sit here and nitpick a bunch of things but last week the team had a crazy schedule, a hurricane was ravaging the state and Chicago was coming in with a ton of confidence. Perspective.

  5. nmbucsfan Says:

    Ben beat me to it.

    @shouldhavedraftedeifert if you’re gonna say “if those turnovers didn’t happen” then why not say, if those 29 points didn’t happen we would have lost. Or if an alien spaceship landed and kidnapped Winston we’d have lost, or if the bears had scored a 100 points we’d have lost.

    The turnovers happened, so did all the points. The bucs D played awesome and we won. End of story

  6. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Ben and Tnew for the win…slam dunk on the nattering nabob of negativity.

    Settle down ya’ll if those turns overs dont happen it’s a much closer game.

    That’s posted as a fact when it’s nothing more than SPECULATION from a negative nellie.

    You play the game as it unfolds as DK loves to point out!!! Every game is different and you adjust. If Chicago hadn’t presented all those gifts perhaps #3 goes deep more often to DJAX…and he had Sims wide open on one throw.

    Again…the bullfrog loves to say…if I had wings I wouldn’t scrape my arse on the big rocks when I jump.

    Woulda coulda shoulda is never a good game but it’s disgusting when it’s speculating something totally negative and totally unprovable. They got a bunch of points off of turnovers! DUH…that’s what they’re supposed to do.
    If they weren’t gifted all those turnovers we simply would have worked harder on offense.

  7. Jameisbucsfan Says:

    Bucs win! That’s what matters, of course we have a lot to improve on, it’s week 1… Save your negative takes for he who shall not be named at 3pm.

  8. biff barker Says:

    Tnew, I commented on the same in another JBF article.

    The Bucs were not perfect, but wildly exceeded the expectations of most all. We just have to endure the morons picking the flyspit out of the pepper.

    Go Bucs!

  9. Lord Cornelius Says:

    1. Eifert is a troll or a really sad person.
    2. What a dumb name.
    3. Don’t feed the troll.

    No other way to explain this person’s online existence. We just held a top rushing team from last year to 20 yards rushing.

    The Bears got all their yards in garbage mode for the most part in the 2nd half when the game was over. It still took 45 freaking passes to hit 300 yards (6.6 YPA). The league average YPA was 6.8 last year.

    Objectively the pass defense was fine. Objectively giving up 320 total yards is pretty f*cking good -would be top 6 based on averages given up in the NFL last year.

    Yet here comes Eifert and the other trolls after a blowout win where we almost shut a team out. Historically one of the best opener wins the team has ever had. I even saw some guy on Bucsnation saying we gave up WAY too many yards. Top 6 in the NFL is apparently terrible now lol.

  10. mark2001 Says:

    Big game against Minnesota….if we can nail them, and Green Bay, our chances of making the playoffs improve dramatically. Those two teams will likely scrap it out for the NFC North Championship, and if we take them down it not only lays a loss on them, and gives us head to head and likely conference record advantages.

  11. Buc1987 Says:

    Go Bucs!!!

  12. Buc1987 Says:

    One thing I’ve noticed on this site is more defense of JW. Lot’s pf peeps are ready to take out any poster that attacks him. Not the usual suspects either.

    I like it, but it IS year 3 and I’m a Bucs fan first, Noles fan second. Jameis is great isn’t he? Has the team all fired up. He needs to start connecting with these weapons. I know it was only one game…against the big bad Bears D. But….

    Year 3. Fix it. Fast. You we’re at home at Ray Jay and out of sync. Fix it.

  13. The Buc Realist Says:

    Strange,no one has mentioned NS57 splash play?? He was the only D-lineman to get a sac!!!!!!

    But seriously, the defense won that game!!!! I have not anyone get manhandled like that since bighoghaynes asked for his bicycle back!!!!!!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Buc1987 Says:

    There HE is!

    Nice to se ya Realist.

    Ha ha ha they’ve been talkin up Spence already.

  15. Rod Munch Says:

    I’d say lets hope Bradford is out next week, then you think back to last year and realize Case Keenum put up like 450 yards on the Bucs with much worse WRs than he had with the Rams.

    Glennon’s claim to any fame (if he has any) is that he is a game manager QB that doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, and for whatever reason he made them yesterday. The pass rush wasn’t all that great for most of the day (although McCoy was blowing up everything early on) and Glennon got wayyyy too many 3rd down conversions. That is the bad side, the good side being that they stopped a good running game before it ever got going and did produce all those turnovers.

    Yesterday’s game got out of hand so early I’m not sure what you can take away from it on either side of the ball. The Jags went to Houston last week and dominated the Texans – then this week they got soundly beat by Mariota. It’s hard to make much out of early season play, in particular week 1 play.

  16. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    I’m assuming that every one that read shouldvedraftedeifert’s post basically thought the same thing – what a dumb a$$!. In addition to all the retorts above I would add one more – do you think Koetter’s game plan would have changed quite a bit if the game was in fact tighter. The Bucs went into half time with a 26-0 lead. You know what any sane coach does when that happens. They play ball control and clock management. There is no need to get overly creative when you have a dominating lead like that.

  17. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Strip sack/fumbles are like the best plays a DE can make; so to see Spence getting one in week 1 is really encouraging.

    I saw some graphic / stat that showed our D-line was getting close to Glennon before he threw on average much better than the NFL average. I would have liked more sacks but he was having to get the ball out fast to avoid them because we were bringing some pressure even when just rushing 4

  18. shouldhavedraftedeifert Says:

    Ya’ll triggered BWAHAHA All I’m saying is let’s calm down a touch and wait till they play a better team, i.e. the Vikings. Not trolling just being real.

    @Lord Cornelius – I think Lord Cornhole everytime I see you post.

  19. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Pointing out objective idiocy an inaccuracy = being triggered nowadays.

    Objectively the defense played very well even if you take away the turnovers. 320 total yards = top 6 in NFL. Run D was dominant. Pass D gave up 6.6 YPA – good enough for top 1/3 in the league last year.

    Objectively it doesn’t make sense to just say “well without all the turnovers” as part of some game analysis. Turnovers are part of the game. This is akin to saying “well without us moving the ball and scoring at all we would have lost”. No sh1t Sherlock.

    Objectively we effected the QB 22 times according to PFF. Objectively we had pressure on the QB throughout the game.

    Basically online in today’s world you can just say a bunch of dumb sh1t; and when you are called out and proven to be wrong – Objectively – you can simply call the other person “triggered” and act like you are still making some sort of coherent point; when in reality you have made no point at all; other than show the world you are a negative jack4ss.

    Human communication is f*cked if this is the future.

  20. Lord Cornelius Says:

    and inaccuracy*

  21. Cannon Says:

    The flip side of the “what if we didn’t get any turnovers” argument are the two touchdown passes that our receivers missed. Mike Evans and Deshean Jackson both dropped would-be touchdown passes.

    The score could have easily been well 40+ to 7.

  22. Big Stinky Says:

    I have read quite a few posts on JBF since the game yesterday and people are all over the place with their comments. Bashing Glennon (of course), saying the game could have been closer (yes it could have), etc. All that really happened was we beat a team we should have beaten, that’s all. James looked a little rusty but the defense made up for it with takeaways and scoring their selves. Glad the fans that went to the game got a W and we are starting out 1-0 (like last year). Let’s see where we are at after week 5 or 6, shall we. They almost failed to score a TD in the 1st quarter AGAIN! Lucky for the bonehead move on the rookies return on our first punt. Hope James gets more accurate this year, not a promising start. We would be unstoppable if he could score TD’S once we get inside the 10 yard line. There is plenty to work on for the offense and the defense needs more pressure on the QB. Other than that, good game. It was fun to watch, and wish I was at the game. Big expectations, Go BUCS!

  23. darin Says:

    Good job! Saved me some typing. They did happen. Had they not barth would have bad a cpl more fgs. Big deal. Some teams create turnovers. I didnt see any turnovers that werent forced. That strip on the punt pickup by ryan smith was a thing of beauty. Great job and it got it rolling. If the vikes dont turn it over itll have to be won a different way, thats all. Teams actually lose that dont turn it over shouldnthavespoken. Go Bucs

  24. shouldhavedraftedeifert Says:

    Dang dood @Lord Cornhole you went all Unabomber manifesto there buddy…

    Bucs beat up a one armed circus clown of a team. Before Glennon went all Glennon (who still threw for 300 yards and 68% completion percentage and was sacked only once), Bucs weren’t getting any pass rush (1 Spence strip sack) and they were getting drove on, handily. Now imagine even a mediocre offense with WRs that can stretch the field (Min has 2 very good ones at the moment), along with a QB that’s half way decent (Bradford) and forcing those LBs to drop even deeper, you MUST be able to get pressure with just 4 and bucs haven’t done that at all this pre-season and now into game one. That’s not a good sign. That Dline better be very worried right now, they need to be. Someone needs to step up and soon.

  25. 813bucboi Says:

    @realist….your right…..spence and ryan smith(OR WAS THAT J.EVANS) made the 2 plays of the game that swung “big mo” to our side and kept him their….GO BUCS!!!!

  26. Batman Wood Says:

    This linebacker crew looks deep, hungry and ready to feast. Beckwith steps in and we don’t miss a beat. Very impressive in his first NFL action. There is no dropoff when Glanton comes in and eventually Bond brings his pass rushing skills to the table. We’re going to be tough to run on, just need another pass rusher to step up and we could be dominant.

  27. NOSBOS Says:

    D@$! Ben,now that’s what I’m talking bout right there. Buc nation stand up. Make it difficult for these lames to come in here and spew dumb s@$#. Salute.

  28. NOSBOS Says:

    I swear I love that s&*×%.

  29. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Let’s see where we are at after week 5 or 6,

    And exactly what will you know then BigStinky?

    Remember next week’s opponent the Vikings opened last year 5-0..they were league darlings and they had the vaunted bye coming up.

    After the bye they lost a bunch in a row and ended up finishing 3-8 for a disappointing 8-8 record.

    If you need to wait to get excited then might as well wait until the playoff seeds come out and see if we made it!!!!

  30. Nole4JabooANDdBucs Says:

    Loving that most here is standing UP and shutting down a lot of the unrational, negative word salad😁
    Go Bucs☠

  31. Big Stinky Says:


    All you just did was make my point for me. We just beat a cupcake team and that’s all. And we should beat the Vikings too, big deal. That’s what they get paid to do. Let’s see if we can hang with the Giants, Pat’s, or Cards this year. The offense would have been lucky to score 16 points if not for the turnovers (maybe 9). We looked better (on offense) after the first game last year and look what happened, off to another slow start. I want to see this offense run like it was in the 2-minute drill for an entire game, and that was just to get 3 points.

    This site is great! I love how the people who think they know it all attack you for the smallest thing you post to try to make you look stupid. One thing I will know after week 6 (or so) is if they can score a TD (on their own) in the 1st quarter. Another thing I will know (maybe) is if the offense can score more than 12 points in a game without the defenses help this year. I am expecting 10 or 11 wins this year with the talent around James, and you should too. He still looked inaccurate (at times) and STILL lacks touch. All I saw yesterday was 2 average QB”s and one had a bad day. You Winston Fan’s make me expect more out of him.

    Why am I even defending myself to you? No one really cares what either of us think, just how the BUCS do this year. And, it should be a good year. No excuses! Anything less than making it to the Playoffs is a wasted year with their talent on the team. Good QB”s take their teams to the Playoffs ALMOST every year, NO MATTER WHAT! Hopefully Winston will keep the INT”s down this year and give us a chance to win 10 or 12 games. This should be his year. Go BUCS!

  32. NCBuc Says:

    Not attacking you Big Stinky, but you just lost all credibility when saying “let’s see if we can hang with the Giants”. I have to watch their games as my wife is a Giants fan. That team isn’t that good at all. So maybe pick your teams to go against a wee bit better to get your point across