The Sloth In The Room

October 18th, 2017


The time is now.

Somebody has to step up in the Buc locker room behind closed doors and tell 52 other guys that this nonsense won’t be tolerated.

Somebody has to put his reputation on the line and assume a leadership position. That’s not a natural role for a lot of Tampa Bay players, and that’s alright.

Calling people out requires cojones and self-confidence. Getting up on a soapbox doesn’t fit everyone, even high-end players like Brent Grimes and Lavonte David.

But somebody has to shake this team out of its lethargy and it has to happen this week. If the Bucs lose in Buffalo and fall to 2-4, their postseason aspirations will be on life support.

They would likely have to close with eight wins in the final 10 weeks to have a credible shot at the playoffs. This franchise hasn’t gone on an 8-2 run since 2008, Jon Gruden’s final year on the sidelines.

For those of you who argue that speeches don’t matter, I invite you to turn your attention to the midpoint of last season, when the Bucs headed into the bye week at 3-5. They had just been embarrassed at home by the Falcons on John Lynch Ring of Honor night.

Robert Ayers, whose glare alone belongs in the next Stephen King movie, offered up a withering rebuke of the first eight games. He said the Bucs were better than what they had showed … a lot better.

He told them to find some pride, get mad and get even. Then they went out and won five consecutive games, giving them control of their playoff destiny at 8-5.

Simple Request

It didn’t work out, but the Bucs played meaningful games in December.

Who’s it going to be this time around?

There’s a problem within the walls of One Buc Place that has nothing to do with talent. Dirk Koetter suggested as much this week.

Whether you’re a Koetter supporter or a critic, you have to respect the man’s candor. His reaction to a question from ESPN’s Jenna Laine was quite illuminating. Koetter was asked whether he sensed any lack of focus once the team arrived in Arizona on Friday.

“Possibly,” he answered. “That’s a possibility, but that’s a gut thing. When that happens, I let them know about it. I don’t hold that in. Those guys know how I felt.”

It may have been only one or two players, but someone got Koetter’s attention — and not in a good way. This was a business trip, pure and simple, and these players are well-paid professionals.

Maintaining a sense of urgency shouldn’t be too much to ask, and that brings us back to the need for some honest talk. It can’t come from the coaches, it can’t come from the executive suite and it can’t come from the owners.

Who’s it going to be?

Ayers is probably ready and willing to lead once again, but my vote goes to Clinton McDonald. In case you haven’t noticed, McDonald has played well this season, adding to his credibility.

And don’t forget about the Super Bowl ring McDonald earned as a member of the 2013 Seahawks. Again, credibility.

Seattle still plays with a swagger and these Bucs simply do not.

Can’t Be Koetter

Tampa Bay was pushed around on both sides of the ball and the Bucs did not match Arizona’s physicality from the jump. Did you see how aggressively Cardinal defensive backs used their hands to hinder Tampa Bay receivers?

The officials kept saying play on, so Patrick Peterson and company kept clutching, grabbing and bumping the Bucs downfield.

Whatever works.

Something has to give this week at One Buc Place — someone has to lay down the law. Koetter is tired of talking about focus. He’s got other issues, like figuring out how to jump-start a listless offense.

I don’t care if it’s Ayers, McDonald or Bryan Anger, somebody has to loudly address the sloth in the room.

Before it’s too late.

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. You can also see Ira every football Sunday at 10:30 a.m. on FOX-13, Scott Smith’s Tailgate Sunday.

53 Responses to “The Sloth In The Room”

  1. Mr Ed Says:

    Well said.

    The power of Kwon will hopefully help, and he’s been watching the horror show from the sideline. Time for him to be the vocal locker room guy Ira mentions. Or a players only meeting. Maybe Hargreaves comes out ofmit with a swollen lip. That’d be good.

  2. C eh N eh D eh Says:

    Kwon…and get him back on the field…

  3. Buccaroo Says:

    Does anyone think that not having Kwon playing has something to do with us coming out flat? He is the leader/heart/soul of the defense. Brings the fire on every play. Remember the last 4 games of his rookie year when he was suspended ? Without him the defense was a totally different monster

  4. DB55 Says:

    Lol, what a joke! You need “someone” to step up! Lmao, you are have got to be kidding.

    It took me days to process what happened on Sunday. I thought Jameis got benched and he may have.

    But Gerald McCoy and VH3 are a complete fckn joke. We told you vh3 sucks that’s why Apple went before him and Apple sucks. Gerald McCoy is so overrated it’s not even funny. AP as all other teams do ran right at him as he’s getting tossed around like a piñata by 1 guard NOT 18 guards like you fckn fanboys want to claim.

    If you really need “someone” to lead then it’s best to trade Gmc for a bologna sandwich or better yet an ice cream sandwich cuz that all he is pure sweet delicious chocolate ice cream. Actually he might be the swirl, if you know what I mean.

    What a fckn joke! Jameis can’t do it alone! No run game, no offensive line, can’t nobody block, coach refuses to use OJ in the end zone so why fckn draft him?

    The owners don’t care cuz if they did they would walk into the locker room and cuss these mf out. Trust me when I tell you Ayers, McDonald, Spence and Gholston all know they got puccy leading the line and puccy ain’t got no business in the nfl. I don’t care how many 1st qrt sacks you’ve gotten in your career.

    Before you start crying just check out the Bucs rewind tape for last week. In the pregame you have coach Hayes breaking down the D-Line while Mr. Ice cream is in the back completely ignoring everything and everybody. He don’t give a chit, he don’t want to win, he’s just like Revis a pre-Madonna worried about his cash and pro-bowls but never a ring.

    Jokes the whole lot! If he was a joke Ira would be saying GMC needs to cuss people out but he’s a beach nothing more nothing less.

  5. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    They work 16 weeks a year and get paid well to do it, there is no reason to come out flat unless you do not care about the outcome, I am guessing TJ Ward and Kwon are going to tell the ice cream man to cool it and let some ppl who care about the Ws and Ls lead the defense

  6. Tackleblockwin Says:

    I agree, It’s KWOOOOOON TIME!

  7. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    DB 55 right on and it comes down from the mismanagement from the owners to jason licht, this defense is swiss cheese and vernon was never and up and coming player last year nor at UF, where he was toasted on a game by game basis by the laquon treadwell’s the coopers, both USC and bama coopers, and calvin ridley who was afreshman…bad pick which is overwhelmingly being the MO of licht horrible FAs and a 30% draft rate

  8. K the Chef Says:

    I think Kwon coming back and the🎆 he brings will ignite the Bucs defense. They definitely missed his 🔥 and leadership, but most importantly his ability to create turnover s with David and Grimes. I think they will come out with a chip on their shoulders after last week

    GO BUCS!

  9. bculaw Says:

    Hopefully Kwon can have a big influence going forward (assuming he’s returning this week). That said, I’d add that I’d love to see TJ Ward exert some leadership. He’s new to the team (like Ayers last year), but comes from a championship pedigree and has a history of recent success in the league. The Bucs have had a losing culture for years, but the Broncos have not. He just joined us from a winner, and proved to be a winner, himself. Maybe Ward can be “that guy!”

  10. RustyRhinos Says:

    Buccaroo there are 11 men on the field on each and every play. No one player coming back will improve morale. I think we have no hunger to Beat the opponent whoever that opponent is on every single play. Play after Play, Game after Game. Why? Now that is the question I keep having. Is it the coaches, the owners, the GM or does it come down to the simple fact we get beat man on man nearly every single Play after Play, Game after Game. Due to our players not doing exactly what the other team does to us. Beat Beat Beat Beat, just watch the game. Over and over our CBs are 10 yards off at the snap, a quick throw to any one of them results in 7-8 yard gain. Do we force our CB’s to change that tactic? No. Quick slant again and again and again, do we change up how we approach the quick slant? Not yet not even a coaching and defensive philosophy change has stopped that, same with our inabilities to stop the runs up the middle, that one goes back to before the Gruden era. Yeah, we have gotten better against the run but we still can not stop the runs up the middle of the defense. WHY?
    We are at the point in this coaching regime that either they make the tough calls and right the ship or they get axed after the season is over. It is a tough call being a Buccaneer fan, we get players every season who we think will help our shortfalls, to watch them not help but look more and more like we missed wide right again.
    I totally agree with Ira. Someone in the locker room needs to be raising the roof of our newly built indoor training facility and the One Buc place every single day, day after day after day. Who will that man be?
    Please, whoever you are, do it and be loud and proud of doing it. We the fans will support you.

    Go Bucs!

  11. Kobe Faker Says:

    Kobe Faker + Jenna Laine = next generation little kobies posting at JBF

  12. K the Chef Says:

    They are playing against a team that averages 14 in defensive scoring some minimizing our turnovers and winning that battle can be the difference Sunday. Our offense needs to start fast and rely on Defense to start strong and play like 4th quarter last weeks

    LET’S GO

  13. T in Orlando Says:

    That would be awesome if Anger stood up and said something, he’s the most consistent performer they have il on the team, so why not.

  14. Lamarcus Says:

    Our should start by cutting or trading djx immediately. Jw has no chemistry and leading to force feeding. Making everyone look dumb. It’s been an off season preseason and now 5 games djx is just not a fit.

  15. Capt.Tim Says:

    This is the NFL.
    Anyone ,or everyone ,in that lockerroom can jump up and down and scream til doomsday.

    Unless Screaming manufactures a DE, or Gets the Coaches/GM to cut Their first round pick VH3- then it wont do any good.
    If their attitude is bad, its because they know they dont have the weapons to compete.

    How motivated would you be- if you watch the team you’re playing complete pass after pass. Completing passes at will.
    And you know that player getting burned wont be benched- because hes a first round pick, and the coach/ GM dont wanna look bad!

    Yeah, thats what I though.

    Holler about that

  16. EA Says:

    I think not having Kwon on the field has been proven to have an effect on the defense, just look back at the year he was suspended.

  17. tmaxcon Says:

    mccoy is the biggest cancer in that locker room not DJAX — you choirboy nuthuggers are laughable

    get rid of the smiling locker room cancer and total fraud in cancer93 and problem will be solved simple as that

  18. tmaxcon Says:

    i love you mccoy defenders who defend him by wanting a young 3rd round pick in kwon to lead the defense why not hold the highest paid team captain and career loser accountable for his failures instead of making excuse after excuse for his pathetic disappearing arse…

  19. Broy34 Says:

    Hey db55 a absolute Neanderthal revis did get a ring. Shows your knowledge plain and simple

  20. tmaxcon Says:

    the difference in djax and mccoy is one is a winner and the other is a career loser who has no drive and no determination. mccoy and vh3 should team up and do clown shows and kids birthday parties and maybe promotional appearances for Glennon, Murphy and Bell insurance. Those clowns are damn sure are not winners or part of the solution moving forward..

  21. tmaxcon Says:


    don’t stay out of your safespace too long reality sucks sir!!!! the reality is DB55 is 100% accurate… GMC is nothing more than a good player who has destroyed the locker room and franchise with his love of losing… bad character locker room cancer with a smile that you fools have falling hook line and sinker over yet the results prove he is absolutely USELESS!!!!! Nobody captains a blowout like the career loser GMC!!!!!!

  22. tmaxcon Says:

    addition by subtraction will fix the bucs. get rid of the lazy proven unreliable holdovers in martin, gmc, lvd and dotson. lvd has not played consistently well since schiano so stop with he had a good game last week in a blowout… no one has a good game in a blowout. get the career losers out of the locker room and the mindset and results will change instantly.

    how many coaches does the mentally weak gmc get to blame his lack of production and winning on….

  23. DB55 Says:


    So did Tim Wright and Jon Casillas what’s your point? They played for the Patriots. I think my blind 3-legged dog named Lucky can win a ring with the patriots. What did he do on the Jets or Bucs, he got burnt and exposed in the nfc south bc he had to cover dudes not named Eric Decker. #Joke

  24. BucFanFromOH Says:


    “the reality is DB55 is 100% accurate”

    This just proves you are an idiot who spouts off at the mouth without any actual knowledge to back up your arguments. DB55 is in fact NOT 100% accurate as Revis DID get a ring with the Pats.

  25. DB55 Says:

    So did Tim Wright and Jon Casillas what’s your point?

  26. BucFanFromOH Says:

    Use your brain and figure it out. My point is simple, it’s that you are incorrect. Make all the claims you want against GMC but when you try to back it up with 100% FALSE accusations it just makes you looks stupid.

  27. Bucsfanman Says:

    So, to recap:

    Bad play-calling=trade GMC
    Offensive woes=trade GMC
    Corner that can’t cover=trade GMC
    Bad Safety play=trade GMC
    No kicker=trade GMC
    3 other d-line players that can’t get to the QB=trade GMC
    Bad LB play=trade GMC
    Unmotivated millionaire professional players=trade GMC

    Okay, I get it. We’re basically one player short of a Super Bowl! Got it!
    Wow! SMH!

  28. The Buc Realist Says:

    Word on the street was that GMC93 was not going to get a “C” but some were worried that he would have gone into a worse tail spin when he was no longer ” the face of the franchise” !!!!! I do like GMC93 pass rush, but there are holes in his game, and he is not a leader of men!!!!!!

    Let us hear what the Greatest Poster in JBF history had to say many many years ago!!!!! It is the 7 time life banned Thomas 2.2!!!!!!!!!! Long live the king!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    thomas 2.2 Says:
    November 6th, 2011 at 9:30 am
    It is not just sacks, tackles, TFL’s and pressures on non-trap / screen plays that Softy is not producing.

    Last year Softy had 28 total tackles (including assists) to Suh’s 66.

    The fatal flaw in this new “disruption” stat is that it is purely subjective. Those with an agenda will disagree with the objective about what constitutes disruption. That is why we grade performance on objective criteria. Before Softy was drafted, the measuring stick was always the same. Now you have player who stinks by objective criteria so the sheep must change the criteria to have any argument at all.
    Most of you sheep have no clue what a trap, screen draw or play designed to allow the tackle an outside release to “pop” the tight end or slot “z” receiver through the D tackles vacated gap. That is what the Pats were doing with Welker and I was hearing idiots bragging about Softy’s penetration on those plays – foolish.

    Get this through your heads: Mccoy is a gap jumper, offensive coordinators design plays, both pass and runs, to take advantage of this – you allow penetration by pushing him the direction he wants to go and hit the play, trap screen, draw or pop pass, right through the vacated area. It is basic playcalling that you will see today.

  29. DB55 Says:

    Funny thing is if you go back and watch the highlights of sb xlix Revis was hardly on the field and when he was he got burnt for a TD.

    But yea he got a ring in NE as I’m sure gmc would too and strawberry shortcake would to but wtf do I know?

  30. DB55 Says:

    He’s a BEACH!!!!!!

  31. Jeffrey Wiley Says:

    Whats up Joe was going to DM you this but didnt kno how to get you to follow me. I weet at you often @ is Jwile5 i play football at Villanova and asked my team trainers today for some insight on Jameis AC sprain. They said they can tend to be sore for weeks but if he has no weakness in shoulder hell be fine to play because he will get pain shot and throwing motion will remain the same. They then said though if its a higher grade and he has shoulder weakness even with a pain shot its common for QBs that play through it with a pain shot adjust their throwing motion without even realizing it cuz of the weakness. Though this was an interesting tid bit to share, keep up the good work.

  32. BucFanFromOH Says:


    “Funny thing is if you go back and watch the highlights of sb xlix Revis was hardly on the field and when he was he got burnt for a TD.”

    Thanks for proving your ignorance! Not only was Revis on the field for EVERY defensive play (53 snaps), he got a sack and only allowed 1 completion, a 3 yard catch. Yes that 3 yard catch was a TD, which is why it’s the only play you seem to remember. Guess that’s what you get from trying to grade players off “highlight” film, SMH.

    Just in case you don’t believe me 😉

  33. Bobby M. Says:

    Injuries, free agent signings and young players developing seem to be keeping this team from developing any chemistry. Frankly the offense looked better last year with Evans, Brate, Humphries and Martin. The addition of Jackson seems to be forcing Winston to do something he’s not good at. Kind of like when the avg golf hack gets a shiny new driver in the bag….They want to hit that long ball but for the sake of their score/consistency, probably best just to stick with their 3-wood or iron. Then you have Marpet at C, Sweezy on the line…..I swear Marpet botches a snap at least 2x per game. Thats an obvious error we catch….imagine how many are occurring on the line that we really dont know who was supposed to do what?

    On defense you have Hargreaves who has looked awful but i have to wonder if he has any faith in the safety behind him….That position has been influx with Evans and Ward brought in along with the Conte and Tandy…..Its the same through the DL as well. Constant rotation of guys due to injuries or acquisitions…it just seems nobody trust anyone to the point their missing assignments trying to make some type of play… the NFL level, it only takes one guy to make a defense that bends into one that breaks. We simply are breaking far to often for it to be playcalling in my opinion.

  34. Defense Rules Says:

    @IRA … “There’s a problem within the walls of One Buc Place that has nothing to do with talent. Dirk Koetter suggested as much this week.” Seriously Ira? “Nothing to do with talent?” It has EVERYTHING to do with talent. Compare our DEs & CBs with those on other teams and we’d rank in the bottom third. Our OLine as a group is at best middle of the pack, which is just about where our QB & RBs are performing (at best). The Bucs are solid in several groupings (WRs, TEs & LBs especially), but beyond that we’re nothing special. You are what your record says you are, and right now we’re 2-3 and the future ain’t lookin’ that bright.

  35. DB55 Says:

    DB55 Says:
    October 18th, 2017 at 12:48 pm
    Funny thing is if you go back and watch the highlights of sb xlix Revis was hardly on the field.
    I was wrong. He played the whole game.

  36. Jim Says:

    Leadership? Thought that was Jameis…

  37. Bucsfanman Says:

    GMC is who he is. He’s an above-average to good DT. I don’t know why we have to keep having these conversations. There are a lot of 1st round draft picks that didn’t even survive their first contract. Here, we have a guy that does produce, but isn’t Warren Sapp, and isn’t a leader, but in order for the franchise to turn around, we MUST get rid of him?!

  38. 813bucboi Says:

    I agree with @db55…

    you’ve got to be kidding me!!!!….if a coach can sense his team isn’t focus why doesn’t he wait until after an embarrassing lost to identify and correct the problem(s)?….why didn’t he do something to get them back on track….longer more intense walk thru….longer meetings….make them run gassers….something beside letting them embarrassing him, themselves and the fans….dirk is clueless!!!…GO BUCS!!!!

  39. BoJim Says:

    Kwon ‘s a leader on the field but not so much in the locker room. I’d like to see McDonald and T.J. Ward tell the team how to get to the SB. If anyone disagrees, sit their ass down and it’s next man up.

  40. sorryitriggeredyou Says:

    A lot of MEs on that team and not enough WEs. Need a coach with nads to shake out the loafers. Koetter isn’t that coach. He created the culture that fostered the sloth.

  41. grafikdetail Says:

    don’t care how much talking they do it won’t mean squat if the Koetter & Smith don’t make some adjustments and stop being predictable doing the same things over & over

  42. Steven007 Says:

    DB55, aside from our mutual fandom for the Bucs I agree with you about very little. But when a man admits he’s wrong he gains my respect. Well done sir.

  43. DB55 Says:


    Imma dic but I’m a reasonable dic. If I’m wrong I’ll admit it. Lol thanks.

  44. unbelievable Says:

    @bucsfanman you nailed it!

    The DT is responsible for every single thing wrong at every position on both sides of the ball. Duh!

  45. Steven007 Says:

    unbelievable, funny. I’ve never understood the myopic disdain for McCoy. He resides forever in a Sapp vacuum. He is literally 1/11th of the defense and contrary to what is often said here, typically one of the best of that 11.. Does he overrun plays sometimes? Sure. Well, if that’s the case than ¾ of the remaining DL should clean up that predictable and disruptive mess shouldn’t they (not to mention the LB’s)? But no, it’s GMC’s sole responsibility apparently. Like them or not PFF provides some interesting tidbits. Post Sunday’s game they had this to say:

    “DT Gerald McCoy still impressed and kept up his pass rushing prowess on the season. He recorded two QB hurries and a sack on Palmer, keeping him in the top 3 in terms of most total pressures amongst DT’s so far this season. He now has 21, behind only DeForest Buckner (29) and Geno Atkins (24) among DT’s in 2017.”

    People can have their own opinions but they can’t have their own facts.

  46. Bucsfanman Says:

    @unbelievable- You get me. Just get rid of him and we can write our ticket to the Bowl!

    @grafik- Well said!

  47. orlbucfan Says:

    The usual bloviating gasbags are on here. The problem last Sunday was coaching. Koetter has got to get his head on straight about being a HC. Smith….whatever. The players and fans deserve better than this. BTW, this team should be 4-1. Hopefully, they will be coached right next Sunday!

  48. DB55 Says:

    What you guys don’t get is that the only two constants on this team have been the owners and gmc. It’s his weak mentality. He’s super talented but he’s a beach and you can’t have a beach on the D-Line.

    The Bucs will never win as long as the mentally weak cancer93 is on the team. Lololol.

  49. Brad Isherwood Says:

    @ The Buc Realist Says

    Posted a tube on Conrad Dobler – Morning Joe podcast thread.
    Some readers may have watched the tube…
    Dobler struggled and overcame to become a Signature player that brought Towering Character into view.
    His ability to get into the others guys head and own him is Legacy of greatness.

    The Bucs looked Physically and mentally weak from pre season till last Sunday.
    They just got owned.
    Even though the Bucs won games and had fight….it was catch up….because of wanting focus and strength.
    New players with desire to play Trump players not producing and wasting the year schedule to resolve their problems.
    A few players need to go….bring in the eager to try.
    There’s gotta be a few Def Rush ends out there who are quick and healthy…and will fit the team.
    Bucs gotta run the ball…even if its Alstott downhill….run.
    Martin’s not getting it done.
    Bring in a downhill running Fridge

  50. Steven007 Says:

    How a guy who came back from two season ending injuries to start his career before beginning a 4 year run where he had 31.5 sacks from the 3t/DT spot is considered mentally weak is beyond me. This is a guy who dominated at the HS, college and pro level. Then had to wait 3 years to start a run where he’s missed only 5 games in 5 seasons. According to this mindless blather Aaron Donald is a career loser too isn’t he? Unable to wrest the Rams (or Pitt) from the depths and single handedly bring them to glorious heights. Guess what? Donald will soon be making a whole lot more money than GMC to do his version of the same damn thing. Speaking of career losers what about JJ Watt? What’s he won at the pro level? I’ll save you the effort – the same as McCoy, Suh and Atkins: nothing. But Malcolm Brown of the Pats? Now that beast single handedly won the Pats a SB!

  51. Lamarcus Says:

    Gmc is trashed. He needs to go

  52. Bob Higginbotham Says:

    Ira, you have many admirers judging from the number of responses on this post. Just wanted you to know that I treasure your input and don’t tell you that enough! Keep up the excellent work!

  53. DoNUTS Says:

    Is GMC as bad as some of you say? NO! Is he a great player or HOF? NO! The truth is a bit more in the middle. NONE of US knows what goes on in the locker room so I think its ignorant to comment on locker room leadership. He was the face of the franchise too early (not his fault) and as a result he carries the baggage related to a lot of losing that occurred. The thing WE need to remember is he was one of 11 men on the field. Is one person solely accountable for the play of the other 10? I do not think that is fair but it is his reality. I have been critical of GMC too but he is a good to very good (when healthy) player and this D would be worse without him. That is a fact.

    Ira is right in that this team needs a voice. I am thinking that a new voice may need to emerge as the message from #93 and #3 is becoming repetitive and maybe being tuned out. Who will be that new voice? McDonald is a good guess but maybe LVD finally speaks up a little since we know how much losing bothers him.
    We will see Sunday who and whether this team has any PRIDE left.