“This Team’s Too Good, Too Talented”

October 30th, 2017

Ira Kaufman goes inside the locker room for today’s column.

Ira Kaufman is the most beloved, revered and esteemed Buccaneers columnist in town. He has hung his hat at JoeBucsFan.com 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.


Demar Dotson knows a thing or two about the Buccaneers because he’s seen a thing or two.

The longest-tenured Buc turned 32 earlier this month and he’s made more money than he ever dreamed since signing an NFL contract in 2009 as an undrafted free agent out of Southern Miss.

Dotson has the cash, but he doesn’t have the ring. He thought this would be the year Tampa Bay made a deep playoff run, but there the Bucs are, chasing the rats in the NFC South cellar.

After Sunday’s 17-3 setback against Carolina, a particularly drab affair that produced a mass exodus of Buc fans by the fourth quarter, I walked up to Dotson and asked for his perspective.

He was sitting alone at his locker, head down, lost in his private thoughts. When I asked him to go public, here’s what he said to me and me alone.

“We’ve got a talented football team and we’re not winning games. We’re not putting it all together. The defense plays good today and our offense doesn’t put points on the board. When one unit plays good, the others don’t step up.

“Our season is slipping away. It is. That’s the reality. We can say what we want to say, but we’re a 2-5 football team. One or two more losses and your season’s over with. We’re in a hole. We’re not completely covered yet, but we’ve got to look at the reality. If we don’t pick it up and pick it up now, we won’t get out of it.”

“Too Talented”

Dotson has been a Buccaneer for almost the entirety of Tampa Bay’s nine-year playoff drought. Even when the Bucs won 10 games in 2010 with Josh Freeman pulling games out of his butt, Dotson missed the entire season with a knee injury.

Last year’s 9-7 finish gave him hope that he would be playing well into January this season. Now, grim reality is setting in.

“This team’s too good, too talented,” Dotson said. “They spent money on players and we’re not winning. I’ve been here long enough to see four head coaches. When you’re not winning, everybody starts calling for changes, even though I think we’ve got a good coaching staff.

“It’s the players not stepping up to the plate, but it (changes) always starts from the top down. Today, we kept shooting ourselves in the foot. We’d drive and get a holding call. We’d drive and get a false start. We’d turn the ball over.”

No Rah-Rah

Dotson spoke matter-of-factly, aware his comments would likely be dissected by teammates, coaches and perhaps even owners. He said the onus is on the players to lift this franchise out of its shocking funk, a view shared by veteran defensive tackle Clinton McDonald.

“Our fans are upset, and they have every right to be,” McDonald said. “We’ve got to give them a show. Every man on this team has to look in the mirror and ask himself whether or not he’s doing his job. Adversity is part of the NFL. It’s not time to separate and it’s not time for rah-rah. It’s time for a laser-beam focus from every man in the building.”

Yes, change is in the air at One Buc Place, and I’m not talking about the cold fronts that are finally pushing through the southeast.

41 Responses to ““This Team’s Too Good, Too Talented””

  1. C eh N eh D eh Says:

    I thought yesterday was the end, a must win game, but a win in New Orleans, then winnables over Jets at home and at Miami and things would look much better for a late season push…starts with a W in Saintland!

  2. Greg Says:

    PLEASE STOP THE INSANITY!!! This teams not talented! Not where it counts. We have had one good D lineman in the last 10 years! Our O-line sucks, our best lineman is from DIV 3! We haven’t used a 1st round pick on a D- lineman since Adrian Clayborne. Theres a reason we have no pass rush. Theres a reason we cant stop the run. I like our linebackers and receivers and tight ends. Hate both lines…. thats the problem.

  3. LakeLand Says:

    A TALENTED 2-5 team..OK

  4. BucJ Says:

    Time to wash the house. Get a new head coach, GM, DC, (who the hell hires a HC only to use him as a DC? that makes no sense) and get rid of a few players. I’m not advocating hiring Jon Gruden because why leave a AC room announcing football games when you could go back to the team that canned you?

  5. Bucsfanman Says:

    “You ARE what your record SAYS you are!”

  6. Jim Says:

    Gotta quit with the 2 good stuff…thats BS…

  7. bucster Says:

    RBs are below average.
    Dline is below average.
    DBs are below average.
    Oline is Ok.
    Qb play is Meh.

    Quit with the the “too talented” nonsense. THIS TEAM SUCKS!

  8. Kenny Says:

    I’m still waiting for draft coverage guys…

  9. Lamarcus Says:

    Too many goodie to shoes guys man. They need a rah rah guy that demanding to his team

  10. GhostofSchiano Says:

    ON PAPER this team looks good. On the field this team looks like what cattle leave behind after a fully digested meal.

  11. ElioT Says:


    That’s 14/22 Bucs’ starters who would or could start on most teams in the NFL.

    They also have some decent 2nd line guys, depth and role players as evidenced by: Godwin, Hump, Martin, D. Smith, Beckwith, Hargreaves, Conte, J.Evans, McDonald, Gholston, etc…

    This team has enough “talent” to win, and they damn sure have enough “talent” to look better than they have in the five loses!

    What this team DOESN’T have is a clear cut LEADERS on both sides of the ball. Leaders need to talk the talk and walk the walk, period!

    Something is very wrong with this team right now and heads will likely roll, if it’s not fixed in a hurry!

    Go Sucs!

  12. Phil Says:

    On a positive note we are sitting with the number 5 draft position.

  13. GhostofSchiano Says:

    Lamarcus Says: Too many goodie to shoes guys man. They need a rah rah guy that demanding to his team


    That was Gruden, maybe a little Ray Perkinsish too. Dungy,Morris, Schiano,Smith, Koetter. Too nice. Need someone players respect and if they do not respect him then fear him. Bill Cowher mold.

  14. CitruscountyBUC Says:

    We can not under any circumstances get rid of Dirk. Any franchise worth a crap doesn’t fire a head coach every 2 years. 4 head coaches with the same results and the answer is to get rid of the coach? How does that give you any hope that the next guy will make a difference. Stick with Koetter and trust the process.

  15. Lamarcus Says:

    Dirk needs to stay

  16. Not there yet Says:

    We’ve drafted what one defensive end since licht has been here? There’s Spence who’s a stand up linebacker in a 3-4 being asked to put his hands in the dirt and will gholston who was awarded a second contact despite the fact that he hasn’t developed one single pass rush move since he entered the league. The problem is they aren’t asking him to so why would he if he’s getting paid to stop the run? If this wasn’t obvious to light that the d like needed to be upgraded he doesn’t deserve a new contract. I thought he was our guy but he had no vision

  17. derrickbrooksforGM Says:

    can Dirk don’t get in anyone’s a$$ if they f$%k up. Players in the NFL aren’t motivated by fans cheering or cow towing coaches they are motivated by the potentially to make a lot of money or the potential to lose a lot of money.

    Barber once said he overheard Tom Brady saying if a certain OL held again, he’d have him cut and broke. You’d never hear Koetter, Smitty, JW or GMC saying something like that. But who’s won more super bowls?

  18. derrickbrooksforGM Says:

    @ElioT FTW. Great post.

  19. derrickbrooksforGM Says:

    If they keep Koetter I really hope they don’t pick up JW’s option and draft that Dungey kid MadMax is always raving about. But can’t trust Licht to draft well. I think the whole coaching and GM need to go. Licht doesn’t know the football team. Derrick Brooks would 🙂

  20. LakeLand Says:

    Dirk will stay, Jason Licht will stay and the Bucs again will be BOTTOM FEEDERS in 2018.

    It’s the Buc way

  21. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    I have been a fan since I was 6 years old and the Bucs were an expansion team. As a kid I didn’t realize Culverhouse was cheap and with him as an owner there was no hope. I stuck by him that entire time but now I am finally done. I paid good money yesterday and was treated to an awful performance by the team that was basically the equivalent to watching paint dry. I have attended 9 games the last 3 seasons and left at half time in two of them and the after the 3rd quarter yesterday. I thought my patience would be rewarded this year and they would turn the corner. Instead we have a team that looks like Lovie 2.0. I have finally hit my boiling point. I am done. No more stressful Sundays watch this pathetic excuse for a football team. It isnt worth the aggravation and this team looks like it’s still years away from being decent. I am out except for checking the final scores each week. I certainly wont be spending more of my hard earned money on these losers.

  22. NoFlyZone27 Says:

    There is definitely talent on this team. No question about that!

    Unfortunately, this team lacks an accountability leader who leads on the practice field, on the field, in the locker room, and in the midst of confusion. This team lacks a player who is able to call out mentality weak players and those who are not doing their job. For example, could you imagine Baker on the Dominant Bucs Defense with Brooks, Sapp, Lynch & the crew??? His 2nd rate effort would have him eaten alive.

    No offense to the rah-rah and pre-game hype, this team doesn’t need that. They need a leader who will tell the coaches “this is not working”, and identify potential solutions for improvement. Like you would expect from a Captain maybe?! The coaches have a job but when you receive feedback from those doing the work, that demonstrates investment and pride in what they do.

    Also, as a fan of the work being done in the front offense, there is no excuse for not trading for or bringing in a defensive end who can make a difference. GMC cannot have an impact when he is double and triple teamed and no one else can win a one-on-one consistently! No excuse!

  23. Big Stinky Says:

    This team will probably win about 3 or 4 more games this season. Just enough to wind up with the 9th or 10th pick in the draft, not good enough to get an elite player. Hate to say that but it’s true. I would hate to see Dirk lose his job after ONLY 2 seasons to turn things around but he is a better OC than HC. Who can we get that is better though? I am tired of watching this crap EVERY year and wouldn’t even be watching if it wasn’t for wanting to see if Winston gets ANY better. It’s like watching a train wreck though, you can’t look away. Hard Knocks was the first clue that this team is NOT that good. They didn’t practice well during training camp & couldn’t score more than 12 points in ANY preseason game. Dirk is NOT getting the most out of this team though, or Jameis for that matter. Maybe it’s time to move on again. This team may NEVER make the playoffs with him as head coach, too many mistakes. How much more time should we give him before we figure that out though? He is the best OC we have had since Les Steckel was here. Too bad we can’t bring HIM back, that guy was awesome! What a playbook he had. Dungy would have won a SB here if Les had stayed, no doubt.

  24. GhostofSchiano Says:

    TouchDownTampaBay Says: I certainly wont be spending more of my hard earned money on these losers.


    I feel much the same way except I spent a lot of money for 2 tickets to the Monday night game against Atlanta. I have them on stub hub to sell. Just can’t see working all day to drive in traffic I-4 west to pay $20 to park 2 country miles from the stadium. Pay Disney prices for less than Disney quality food / drink. Just to watch the team I love lay down on the national stage that is Monday Night Football. It breaks my heart.

  25. 813bucboi Says:

    This team’s too good, too talented,” Dotson said. “They spent money on players and we’re not winning.

    bingo!!!!….the coaches cant coach a flea to bite a rats @ss…..GO BUCS!!!!

  26. JimmyJack Says:

    Finally a chilli day and a chance to show off my best clothes…….My first choice has always been my Bucs stuff but I refused.

    After yesterday’s game I have chosen to be a closet Bucs fan. The team is embarrassing enough and I don’t need the added embarrassment of engaging a Pats or Philly fan.

    I’m not going to my one game per year(still haven’t seen a win in 8 years and counting) unless I run into a free ticket or the team finds some magic. If I do get a ticket given to me I will be breaking out my brown paper bag.

  27. Crazy Cossack Says:

    The fat lady is singing.

  28. jb Says:

    A Team IS what its Record Says it is. No such thing as a GOOD 2-5. They lose Sunday against the Saints and the season is over.

  29. DallasBuc Says:

    All problems emminate from two very lines on offense and defense. That is a Licht problem because the talent assembled is both lousy and overrated, especially Donovan Smith. The lines are hot, soft dog squeeze. We are winning sht with these lines and delusional optimism about them. Licht is not good and he needs to be the first to go.

  30. DallasBuc Says:

    ^^^ two very *poor* lines

  31. JimmyJack Says:

    jb good teams have started out 2-5 before and found a way to turn it around. Rare of course, but it is possible.

    I’ve somehow managed to dust myself off and am ready for the Bucs to kick me in the teeth again on Sunday. I think we can hang with New Orleans. The problem I got is how unprepared this team has looked all season……. Actually I’m going to set myself straight up for ridicule and say that I know we can beat the Saint………My problem is that I have no faith we can match their intensity. This is why I blame coaching more then anything.

    Watching our team this year feels just one way for me. It feels like the only way we have a shot at winning is if we face a team that’s less prepared then we are. When I watch us play it feels like the best chance we have at succsess is if the other team beats themselves more then we beat ourselves.

    But I’ll forgive and forget and hope that our unaccomplished head coach figures it out this week and we finally show up as a mentality strong team. We are Bucs fans we always have our hope, right?

  32. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Clinton McDonald may be my favorite Buc.

    “It’s not time to separate and it’s not time for rah-rah. It’s time for a laser-beam focus from every man in the building.”

    BINGO!!! No phony rah rah and no splitting up. Suck it up and give it your best shot every Sunday.

    There are dozens of reasons this team is losing right now…some obvious some more nuanced but of course fans want to pick out two or three areas and positions and everybody wants to fire the coaches. Just genius.

    So a man gets his reputation as a Defensive coach….is a solid DC…and eventually gets promoted to HC. When that job is over while waiting on perhaps another HC opportunity he goes back to being a DC and someone here rags on our team for having an HC out of position. You just can’t make this stuff up.

    Again…with logic…can someone explain to me how a coach can work for more than a decade…produce a good record and secure a good reputation…and yet in six short months these two coaches…DK and Smitty have forgotten everything that got them this far. That just does not make sense. Just another panic move for the Bucs…hey by all means fire the coaches!!!

    What’s the old saying…you can’t fire the players so you fire the coaches?

    We have enough stars and core pieces…our complementary players are awful and you need more than just stars to make a TEAM!

  33. Jon Says:

    wow, so many couch coaches. Ya’ll need to stop being babies when the team deals with some adversity. I think ya’ll aren’t real fans, just a bunch of band-wagoners, hating so much on the team. If ya’ll are so good at coaching football, then go coach. You have no idea, and then when the Bucs start winning, you’ll be there praising them, but you don’t deserve to.

  34. Jon Says:

    also, it’s funny how a guy named Big Stinky know how the draft is going to play out already haha

  35. Jon Says:

    man, no wonder the Bucs can’t get going. Listen to all the whiny fans on this website? Must be the worst “fans” in existence. Even calling out Dungy and Gruden, like they did a bad job!? That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. If I were a Bucs player and saw these comments, I could care less about trying hard for “the fans”. How about showing some support for your home team?

  36. IStillBleedOrange Says:

    Back in the day we had some talent on this team too, but wound up with multiple 2 win seasons. Heck one year we played the Houston Oilers here at the Ol’ Sombrero, we were both so bad, they called the game the “Repus Bowl”, Super being spelled backwards. We won that game and you would have thought we had won the real Super Bowl the way the crowd was cheering lol. But the thing that held us back so much back in the day was subpar coaching and terrible front office personnel. Yeah, Culverhouse was a cheapskate, but it was what it was.

    Enter Team Glazer and new front office and coaching staff. We know the story, the team of McKay and Dungy put together a damn fine team that we still cling to the memory of to validate our fandom. Then the Gruden move that won us the coveted title of Super Bowl champion. We know that once Rich McKay left us, it went downhill after that and over a decade later, we’re still trying to recover from that.

    The thing is, we can point at the players and coaching staff all we want, but let’s be very honest here. Who is the one responsible for putting the talent together? Why is it that we see so many other teams have winning seasons after being terrible, but yet we can’t seem to get out of our own way, not for the lack of trying? Look to the one who wasted a pick on a subpar kicker. Look to the one who chose Winston over Mariota. (Didn’t Dirk say he preferred Mariota?) The buck stops at the desk of the man in charge of putting this team together, and perhaps a change is needed there most of all.

  37. Defense Rules Says:

    Jon, I don’t know how long you’ve been a Bucs’ fan, but many of the ‘band-wagoners’ here who are in your words ‘the worst fans in existence’ have been supporting this team for decades now. Bucs have had 13 winning seasons in our 41 years of existence. That’s all … 13 winning seasons since 1976 when our nation celebrated the bicentennial. Every year hopes get raised, and for 28 seasons now those hopes have gotten dashed. Kinda gets old after that many seasons. Clinton McDonald (one of my favorite players too StPete) understands the fans frustrations better than you apparently do … “Our fans are upset, and they have every right to be,” McDonald said.

  38. JimmyJack Says:

    Dude learn what bandwagon means before you blindly thrown it into your posts.

    Get your head out of the clouds dude. I’m sorry if you are one of the few fans that can enjoy those 3 points from yesterday but don’t point fingers at us because your abnormal.

    When I go to buy my morning coffee and it’s burnt I stop buying that same coffee. That’s my decision and if you happened to love the taste of burnt coffee don’t try to point a finger at me when the establishment that sold me the coffee let me down………….Thats the same exact reason why the seats stared emptying before the game was over yesterday and why fans were giving sarcastic cheers.

    Whether or not you agree with the facts is not going to make anybody enjoy those three points any more. Your adding nothing to the comments except a cause of more frustration…………You honestly need to get off your high horse and I’ve got half a mind to tell you that your not needed as a fan in this town……..Something tells me you are the type that doesn’t like noise when our defence is on the field. Those are the type of fan that just don’t get it. Never will either.

  39. PistolPete Says:

    All I took away is that Dotson is the only constant in our playoff drought.
    Dude has to go, drought solved.

  40. Pelbuc Says:

    What no one is stating is that there are individual talented players but they do not know how to play as a team. Also no pride or will to win. Coaching is suspect as well. In just 7 games this year Bucs have had special teams, offense and defensive debacles. They are not even competitive and know they are out of it so don’t expect a miracle. They frankly never showed up this year. GM needs to be fired NOW!

  41. Buc1987 Says:

    Jon…wrong time …wrong site. Wrong all the way around.