The Morning After

September 18th, 2017

Photo courtesy of Tampa Bay Buccaneers

A handful of Bucs observations while Joe pushes through this Monday morning with an extra cup of java.

1. Man, holding a team under 20 yards rushing. If Joe would have written the Bucs would accomplish that, every reader of would wonder why Joe was inhaling a bottle of Maker’s Mark.

To do this against one of the better running teams in the NFL is simply mind-numbing, but that’s what the Bucs did yesterday. Joe will wager that if a team holds an opponent to 20 yards rushing, that defense and its team has a helluva winning percentage.

Just to give readers an idea how spectacular the Bucs’ rush defense was, Joe looked at the Vikings of last season. Minnesota averaged a disgusting 75.3 yards per game on the ground. Yet the worst game the Vikings had last season was for 30 yards against the Packers.

Just out of curiosity, Joe looked at what the Super Bowl champion Bucs did in 2002. Only once did those Bucs hold a team under 55-yards rushing — the Raiders in the Super Bowl. They ran for just 19 yards. In 1999, the Bucs had a helluva defense. They actually held the Packers to 12 yards rushing in a game.

If the Bucs can keep this up this run defense, the defense could be scary good.

2. No, Swaggy Baker didn’t do anything that showed on the stat sheet other than a quarterback hit. No tackles. No assists. No nothing but a quarterback hit.

Let’s not rag on him too much. Joe was talking to T.J. Ward after the game and he said the play of the defensive line was a huge reason the Bears couldn’t run the ball. Ward talked about how the line clogged running lanes for the Bears allowing the linebackers to swoop in like hawks after a mouse.

Ward didn’t mention Swaggy by name, but Swaggy apparently was doing something right because the Bears simply couldn’t run up the middle… or anywhere for that matter. Joe’s not going to crucify the guy after one game, but it sure seemed as though Swaggy’s allergy to practices caught up with him in the second half.

3. Yeah, Joe’s not trying to fall into the trap of overreaction to Week 1 (it was opening week for the Bucs), but man, when is the last time the Bucs had this kind of talent at linebacker? Maybe in the mid-1990s, when Hardy Nickerson and Derrick Brooks were a dynamic duo. But outside of that period, the Bucs may never have had the talent they currently boast on the roster at linebacker.

Look, you have Pro Bowler Lavonte David, a tackling machine who should have made the Pro Bowl in Kwon Alexander, and a rookie who looks more like a three-year vet than a rookie in Kendell Beckwith. That guy is sick, man. During “Hard Knocks,” we heard winning Bucs coach Dirk Koetter refer to linebacker as the deepest position on the team along with tight end. Boy, he sure wasn’t lying.

4. The Bucs almost to a man suggested there was no rust on offense (there sure wasn’t on defense) but Joe had to wonder if that was so. In training camp, America’s Quarterback, Jameis Winston, rarely overthrew DeSean Jackson. In fact, Joe can only remember him doing it once all of training camp. Yesterday? Happened a couple of times. Granted, one bomb was just a hair off and one could suggest Jackson may have taken a wrong step to miss the pass just as much as someone wanting to blame Jameis for the overthrow. In two weeks, Joe has to believe those bombs are touchdowns instead.

5. No, Joe isn’t brimming with confidence that the Bucs’ run game blows up when Doug Martin returns. Simply put, as much as Joe likes Martin from a professional level, Joe just doesn’t trust him on the field. Besides, does anyone really believe Martin would mirror the outlier of his career and be a Pro Bowl running back against the Belicheats right off the bat?

Jacquizz Rodgers ran OK. Just OK. Chuck Sims on 3rd-and-1 up the middle? Did Koetter suddenly have heat stroke? Prized columnist Ira Kaufman always busts Joe’s chops about Sims and always brings up how Sims had a fantastic play at Atlanta last season, which he did.

This just in: Joe likes his running backs to, you know, be able to run the ball? So Sims makes a play or two a year that grabs your attention. Whoop-tee-do. What about the rest of the year when his number is called? Yeah, Sims can catch. So move him to receiver! This is like former Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik crowing how Michael Clayton could block. Great, move him to fullback. He was a receiver and his main job is, you know, to catch the ball? That’s like bragging you have a tackle who can catch a football but can’t stop a cool breeze on the line of scrimmage. What’s the point?

Next week at Minnesota Joe hopes to see in person Peyton Barber (who started his own charity to help local victims of Hurricane Irma) run at least 12 times. Barber had 4.7 yards a carry yesterday. Feed this man.

Pillaging: Joe is still buzzing how Koetter didn’t go turtle at the end of the first half yesterday. He could sense the Bears were hanging by a thread and, even with a 23-0 lead, wanted to put the final nail in the coffin when he could. Props to Koetter there, the anti-Lovie. … About coaches, Joe thought perhaps the best personnel move in the offseason might have been for Team Glazer to sweeten the pot and extend defensive coordinator Mike Smith with a handsome new contract. After watching the run defense yesterday, hard to argue the importance of keeping Smith on board. … Joe will have more on this later today, but right tackle Demar Dotson said the team as a whole expects the Bucs defense to produce turnovers. Why? Well, they practice against the guys each day. Who would know better? … Yes, it is only Week 1. Again, Joe is trying not to overreact, but Joe found it comforting to see Noah Spence continually bringing heat on statuesque Mike Glennon. Sign of things to come? One can only hope. … T.J. Ward may have a ways to go before he can be a full-time player, but wow, did he give Bucs fans a taste of things to come. The way he leveled Tarik Cohen yesterday reminded Joe of the heat-seeking missile that John Lynch was. This guy ought to be fun. … Quick, name a wide receiver, any wide receiver, who has better footwork than Mike Evans. …

And lastly, Joe can’t take credit for this, but if Cris Collinsworth were still playing in the NFL, what kind of grade would the PFF tribe give him? Hat tip: @Mexismooth.

42 Responses to “The Morning After”

  1. Dooshlarue Says:

    No mention of Donovan Smith looking like garbage or the sad fact that Glennon pretty much picked us apart and could have had close to 400 yards if his receivers didn’t drop so many balls?
    And yeah he threw the picks and fumbled, but still…….
    I mean as long as you’re being honest Joe.

  2. D-Rome Says:

    In regards to Swaggy the way I see it the entire defense played well and Swaggy played the majority of snaps at the other DT position. I thought he played well. As we all know with GMC a DT can impact the game in a positive way without necessarily showing up on the stat sheet.

  3. NOSBOS Says:

    Look at summers eve salty we spoiled your parade wit a dominating win. Memo @$$hole,that was lightwork yesterday. I don’t wanna be peaking until December.

  4. NOSBOS Says:

    It’s the nfl dumb@$$,when you shut down one facet of a teams game they’ll still get yards in other ways. No one holds teams 100 total yards stupid.

  5. Dreambig Says:

    Hey Dooshbag, What was the score of the game? If Glennon played so well, why is all of Chicago calling for his replacement? Oh and how many yards did the bears have on the ground? Your a troll. Go somewhere else and troll.

  6. NOSBOS Says:

    Championship roster is what we have. It ain’t about the start it’s about the finish. I was pleased by Joe mentioning Koetter looked pist after the game. I was excited by Fameis saying in the locker room “we headed to Minnesota this week get familiar wit it because we’ll be going back there later in the season”. See y’all can come here taking bout hopefully making the playoffs,glad to see my soldiers thinking BIGGER.

  7. Jeebs the Honey Bear Says:

    On several throws, the Bears DBs’ physicality disrupted the timing on routes, and they were flagged for holding on a couple of them. This will be the biggest adjustment for Jameis now that he is facing real live game action. If I’m an opponent, I am going to make sure my DBs are jamming receivers and being physical.

    I thought Donovan Smith overall played a decent game, but had lapses of concentration. He whiffed badly on a DE on one play and Winston got sacked almost immediately. His game will improve exponentially if he stays focused on every down, and moves his feet a little more quickly. He is capable, and I think he will improve as the season goes on.

    What I really liked about the Bucs gameplan is that they used the pass to open up the run. I said all last year that is what they needed to do, but lack of weapons did not allow it. Now with #weaponsforjameis, Koetter did this beautifully. The use of different personnel and shifts were also beautiful. Defenses will have a very difficult time gameplanning for us. I’m excited!

  8. BucsFanInChina Says:

    Donovan Smith gave up a couple rushes to the QB but he had a solid day, let’s not overreact too much @doosh

  9. NOSBOS Says:

    Last week the Headline said “Moss like”. ME is similar in regards to snatching balls with his catchers mits and his footwork near sidelines and the backs of endzones. Like a ballerina.

  10. Q Says:

    Ok Joe, I am gonna ask this one last time…is it the den of happiness now that we have won 5 straight at home?????

  11. Joe Says:

    Ok Joe, I am gonna ask this one last time…is it the den of happiness now that we have won 5 straight at home?????

    Gotta win five games at home… in the same season. Joe will drop the moniker then and only then.

  12. Defense Rules Says:

    Love the ‘Pillaging’ section Joe. That play by T.J. Ward where he made the tackle in the Bears’ backfield was incredible … Lavonte’s fast when it comes to making plays like that, but TJ looked even faster. Favorite play of the game.

  13. Bucamania Says:

    Running the tip toeing Sims on 3rd and 1 was ridiculous. Can’t complain other than that! Bucs looked outstanding and Swaggy must’ve been doing something right to clog up those running lanes.

  14. FortMyersDave Says:

    If yesterday was an example of the Bucs being a tad “rusty” then I can’t wait to see them running on all cylinders. A sign of a good team is when the trolls come on board like this Doosh cat…. Anyhow, Mike Smith has a couple of things to harp on his D about, namely 7-14 on 3rd down conversions and losing the shutout and Koetter likewise can take the O to task for only putting up 3 in the second half but again, that is the Bucs in week 1. Lets see what they do in Minnesota and I hope they get a crack at Keenum (the same puke who schooled Lovie’s D in 2015 for the Lambs and benefited from Aguoyo’s misses in the Lambs’ 37-32 upset at Ray Jay a year ago)…. Sunday’s display by Tampa was an obliteration of a bad bears team with just enough mistakes for the coaches to ride the team a bit this week. No real fan can complain about yesterday’s performance by our Buccos!

  15. Mike Johnson Says:

    The TEAM..looked good yesterday. Special teqams and the secondary played with a lot of enthusiasm and hustle. I do want our pass rush to improve a lot though. Watching ATL last night and their pass rush is back with intensity. We need more pass rush against the good teams.

  16. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The defense & ST played so well the offense could be average and rack up 29 points.

    I hate to but let’s look at the negative….

    Playcalling…IMO, left a lot on the table…….2nd & 2, 2nd and 1 running without success…..let’s let Jameis use his weapons on these plays……the 3rd & 1 with Sims was awful…..we rarely used Hump…..where were the screens and passes to backs….and the overthrows downfield.

    A positive…..minimal penalties……I think only 2 on offense… false starts…..1 holding….very good.

  17. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Great win but as mentioned above Donovan Smith was absolutely horrible and flat out whiffed several times on a basic pass set, he couldn’t contain leonard floyd and hopefully gets that straight before the vikings DL because he will get jameis killed

  18. Dooshlarue Says:

    We had a lot of luck with timely penalties and mistakes by the Bears and struggled again in the red zone.
    Am I happy we won?…… of course, but some of you need to open your eyes.
    Do you think coach K thinks we’re great?
    I doubt it.
    But you homers keep thinking that we’re world beaters now.
    I’ll stay happily skeptical until we put it all together.

    Go Bucs!

  19. Joe Says:

    Great win but as mentioned above Donovan Smith was absolutely horrible and flat out whiffed several times on a basic pass set, he couldn’t contain leonard floyd

    Yeah, Leonard Floyd was unstoppable. Dude had two assists and two quarterback hits. That’s it. That’s one more quarterback hit than Swaggy Baker. Sure. Donovan Smith was a total incompetent.

    If Floyd was playing for the Bucs, fans would be screaming for him to get run out of town for being damn near invisible with those numbers.

  20. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    By the time Martin returns, the offensive line will be top-notch. Heck, for the passing game they were yesterday. They just need to get better at run blocking.

  21. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Dooshlarue Says
    “We had a lot of luck with timely penalties”

    It wasn’t luck.

  22. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Joe Says
    “Gotta win five games at home… in the same season. Joe will drop the moniker then and only then.”

    It’s coming, Joe!

  23. BartButtPlug Says:

    Get rid of the disgusting uniforms.

  24. RayJameisStadium Says:

    2002 all over again.

    I don’t care how we win….Just Win Baby!

    Next week we get to make tangible and practice our ultimate vision:

    Arriving at Super Bowl LII in Minnesota next February

    #theseAreNotYourOldBucs #ExpectDifferentFolks

  25. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Sims can catch. So move him to receiver!

    BINGO!!! You might just be snarking Joe but it IS the move to make. He should be a wild card lined up all over the field but not for running between the tackles..

    Again you young dudes…google Lennie Moore one of the great Baltimore Colts who teamed up with Johnny Unitas to explode as a WR after coming out as RB in college.

    The pass that #3 just missed with DJAX was a solid effort because he had to move in the pocket at the last minute…amazing he even got that one off.

    But the overthow to Sims was more disturbing for me. It looked like rust for sure…it’s almost as if #3 has become so used to throwing the deep ball to DJAX that Sims simply wasn’t as fast as #3 believed him to be.

    When you realize how very close we were on at least two TD bombs…some more practice and game time will only makes us better!!!

  26. Dooshlarue Says:

    St. Pete
    I would argue that Jameis is a little too used to throwing the less accurate jump ball to Evans for the last 2 years and because of that his accuracy has not progressed as much as hoped.

  27. NewTampaChris Says:

    When a crappy team comes to town, you beat them by three touchdowns. Exactly what the Bucs did yesterday. Definitely have some things to work on but I’m thrilled. Great win, a fun watch and a good start to the season.

  28. Broy34 Says:

    Dooshlarue if you aren’t smart enough to know the gameplan was shut down the run and when up big give the short routes or to take in perspective they didn’t play last week you should find a new sport

  29. Pickgrin Says:

    Pretty hard to complain about anything regarding our 2017 opener. Defense starting off very strong, offense moving the ball and scoring TDs off the turnovers, Special Teams making plays. Complementary football. Hope we see a LOT of that this year.

    The Bears are a bad team so the beatdown should have been expected – there were some mistakes to examine and address.

    All in all – I’d say this rocketship has achieved a very satisfactory “liftoff” and is very much “on course” to win at least 13 or 14 of its next 18 straight games before getting its first “break” of the year after the Bucs win the NFC Championship.

    We’re on to Minnesota…….

  30. biff barker Says:

    Game ball to Mike Smith. We were ready.

    Agree on the pass rush lacking but I also see it as a function of enforcing the no run zone.

    Can’t always rack up 5 sacks and hold them to 20 yards too.

    Beckwith, Ward, Gholston were very nice surprises.

    Excellent opening effort. Let’s not nit pick too much.

  31. tnew Says:

    Ok… Just watched the game for the third time, Game Pass is awesome, at any case. I’m always amazed at how much I think I see the first time then when I go back and look closely, at least 70% of the time I was wrong. First off, other than running Sims on 3rd and 1, or for that matter, running Sims at all, the play calling was spot on. Jameis was a little rusty but not like everyone is wanting to say. There was evidence that he hadn’t played with his receivers for a month. The pass to Sims, not sure what happened on that play. Plenty of air underneath it, just a miss.

    Godwin, who I am a HUGE fan of, ran two awful routes in the red zone, both of which could’ve been scores. One he broke off, Jameis read it as a go, I’m going to side with Jameis on that one, and the other he got tangled up with the DB, for really no reason. He had position to the inside, all he had to do was break sharp to the post instead of engaging the DB. Those were two very possible scores. Godwin did look very good in his run blocking assignments, especially in the second half.

    OJ Howard is a stud. I would love to watch this game from an all 22 perspective with him. He is like having another Tackle on the field. I nearly choked on my coffee when Joe mentioned Stocker being a better blocker leading up to the game. Stocker is very good, but Howard is elite. He might be the best blocking tight end in the game now, probably not but it is coming. The only thing I worry about is getting so in love with his blocking, Dirk forgets about just how good he is as a pass catcher. The first play of the game was going to him and would’ve been a big play had it not been batted down. Brate was solid in the passing game drawing two holding penalties as well as markedly improved as a blocker.

    Jameis only had one O S..t throw the entire game, the very first throw was batted but that wasn’t the one. The out to Humphries on the end of the second half drive. Not bad. The two deep balls to DJax, they were very, very close.

    Sims needs to earn all the praise that Koetter heaps on him. He was tentative every time his number was called. This will not work. His very best play was a picked up blitz on pass pro.

    Barber, need to see more of him.

    Beckwith, wow. He was flashing all over the field. To think many called him a “wasted pick”. He might be really special. It is hard when you iso on him not to get too over excited after just one game, but wow!

    Speaking of which, Justin Evans made a very nice open field tackle on special teams.. lets look for the positives.

    Baker might not have shown on the stat sheet but he had a nice game. If he plays every game like that, I’ve got no issues with him. He must be occupied, this gives GMC more freedom. GMC needs to dominate.

    Sorry for all of you fantasy guys that are p….d that Jameis didn’t put up more stats, or Dirk didn’t call enough plays for Evans, or DJax or whoever but this was a nice game.

    Grimes played solid, tho very rusty for him. He was just a step behind on his breaks. That will be better.

    Ward.. I’m high on him.

    Conte and VHIII both missed on INT’s but they can pick up a few next week.

    The Oline, looked solid, and best of all they appear healthy after the game.

  32. Pickgrin Says:

    Coming out of this game with no starters injured is perhaps the best news of all aside from picking up the W as was expected.

  33. Buc1987 Says:

    Doosh…I think they looked like shyte. I think the Bears looked even worse. Therefore the less crappier team won. That’s my take.

    The Bears wpn the game for the Bucs.

    Sure I’m happy we won too….not so sure if Koetter is happy today. He certainly can’t be too happy outside of the win.

  34. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Gholston & Beckwith were beast Vs. the run.

    If only we could trade for an edge rusher.
    Wonder what would it take – to pry Michael Bennett away from Seattle.

  35. 813bucboi Says:

    GREAT TEAM WIN!!!!….there only 2 things to harp about:

    the run needs to improve….
    jameis putting up TD’s(especially since I have him in

    GO BUCS!!!!

  36. DB55 Says:

    You guys crack me up bc it takes you two years to finally catch up to what I be posting. Yet during those two years you insult me. It’s all good got nothing but love for JBF.

    Yes Sims is a slot WR not a RB. Hump is overrated and GMC is a magician (bc he disappears).

    The linebackers are like WHOA! Kwon is disgusting, beckwith is nasty and LVD is the best defender on the team, period!

    The oline held up to my surprise and Marpet is def a pro-bowler if not a potential HOF. Okay so might be getting a head of myself.

    Ryan smith is great on ST and not aweful at CB. But if still play Elliot over McClain.

  37. RayJay J Says:

    Joe, the whole Charles Simms-Clayton comparison is pretty ridiculous. (Unless you have a top 3 RB like a Bell or David Johnson who can do it all) There is a place on every team in the league for a pass catching running back, and almost every offense has a good one:

    Green Bay- Montgomery
    Atlanta- Coleman
    New England – White
    New York Giants- Vareen
    Phily- (#5 in yards through 2 games)- Sproles
    Detroit- Riddick
    Washington- Thompson

    And the list goes on…

    Is he the guy for a 3rd and 1 power run? No he isnt, but that does not mean he cant be a very valuable RUNNING BACK in our offence or in any other one. Stop with this terrible comparison that you have made on several occasions.

    Go Bucs!

  38. SOEbuc Says:

    Did Super Spawn get a sack yesterday? I think I remember him getting one. Someone remind me.

  39. SOEbuc Says:

    Just looked it up and he did. Was the one that forced the fumble also. On the way to double digits!

  40. Dooshlarue Says:


    Ah…..a voice of reason.

  41. Cobraboy Says:

    As an old football coach used to preach: “Nothing is as good or as bad as it seems.”

    The Bucs beat a bad football team with injuries.

    The Bucs gave up a ton of yards to an average QB who had passes dropped all over the field.

    The Falcons looked like a Super Bowl team last night.

    Nice win but don’t get too over-the-top.

  42. Joe Says:

    Is he the guy for a 3rd and 1 power run? No he isnt, but that does not mean he cant be a very valuable RUNNING BACK in our offence or in any other one. Stop with this terrible comparison that you have made on several occasions.

    Joe doesn’t think it is ridiculous at all.

    Is Charles Sims a running back? Yes, by name only. He is a terrible runner. Sure, he can catch. One-trick pony.

    Call Joe a knob if you wish, but a running back should be able to, you know, be relied upon to run the ball when he takes a handoff.

    A running back who can only catch the ball is not a running back. That’s a misplaced receiver.

    Feel free to name any GM who would draft a receiver because he can block. Hey, it’s a nice secondary trait. But a receiver’s job is to catch the ball, No. 1. Would you draft an offensive guard because he can throw a football? Of course not. Would a guard get a job on the final-53 because he can throw a football? Of course not.

    Sims, in Joe’s eyes, was beyond a reach at as third round draft pick. Dude is the No. 3 running back on a team where the running back unit is the worst on the squad.