Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Giants

October 1st, 2017

Locker room nuggets and sage wisdom. It’s Ira’s famous postgame nuggets and happenings.


As Dirk Koetter trotted toward a jubilant Buc locker room following Sunday’s thriller, he flashed a big smile and uttered a memorable punch line.

“Never in doubt,” he said before joining his players and owners in celebration.

The game began in a rainstorm and ended in a swirling wind of emotions as the Giants trudged off the field at 0-4, their season effectively over before the autumn leaves fall.

For the victors, it was a successful gut-check after a dismal performance at Minnesota raised questions about Tampa Bay’s resolve. There’s little time to revel in a job well done because the suddenly defenseless Patriots are coming to town on a short turnaround.

With Malcolm Glazer set to become the 10th member of the Ring of Honor Thursday night, here are 10 takeaways from a game with zero takeaways:

* Was the Buc season hanging in the balance Sunday? You can make an argument both ways, but there’s no denying the importance of this win, especially for a franchise that traditionally crawls out of the first month of the season on its keister. A 2-2 record at the worst doesn’t sound too dire at the quarter-pole.

* I’ve been waiting for a big play from Robert Ayers and the veteran defensive end obliged midway through the second quarter with the Bucs ahead 13-0. Facing a 3rd-and-1 from the Tampa Bay 12, Shane Vereen went up the middle and was met for no gain by Ayers, who beat his man cleanly. The Giants settled for a field goal and that potential four points lost proved decisive.

* The Bucs were missing their two best linebackers, but the return of Brent Grimes was a welcome sight. When you face a team with an array of weapons led by Odell Beckham Jr., you’d better go in with a healthy secondary. Sure enough, Grimes led all players with three passes defended.

* If you’re the type who doesn’t mind a wager, I’d plunk down some cash that Doug Martin will be back with the Bucs, perhaps playing as soon as Thursday evening. He has served out his suspension and the coaching staff believes Martin can recapture his Pro Bowl form.

* The Bucs are 2-1, but let’s state the obvious … this pass rush isn’t getting it done. Case Keenum didn’t get his hair mussed and Eli Manning wasn’t sacked in 49 pass attempts. In fact, Gerald McCoy and Chris Baker registered the only QB hits. And here comes Mr. Brady.

* The line of the day comes from J.R. Sweezy, who overheard me talking to Demar Dotson in the locker room. I told Dotson that Koetter showed guts putting the game in the hands of a kicker who was having a bad day. “Not guts, Ira,” Sweezy said. “That took balls.”

* Give Tampa Bay credit for a riveting rally, but the Bucs received help along the way.  A 15-yard punt by Brad Wing set the Bucs up near midfield early in the fourth quarter, leading to Cameron Brate’s TD catch.

* Don’t look now, but Koetter is 4-0 as an NFL coach in games decided by three points or less. That’s pretty remarkable when you consider the shaky nature of Buc kickers during that span. By the way, from 2013-2015, Tampa Bay was 4-9 in close games.

* How rare was Sunday’s comeback? Here’s some perspective — the Bucs had been 3-25 since 2014 when trailing after three quarters. It was a big confidence boost for the team in general and Jameis Winston in particular.

* Lovie Smith talked a lot about establishing a home-field advantage, then the 2014 Bucs went out and laid an 0-8 egg at Raymond James Stadium. Sunday’s victory extended Tampa Bay’s home winning streak to six games, so the Buc bandwagon is alive and well. Home cooking is critical this week because after Thursday night, six of the next eight games are on the road.

18 Responses to “Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Giants”

  1. Cometowin2 Says:

    Jameis plays like today and we will win a lot of games.

  2. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Wait…. Ira is now willing to put money down on Martin returning? After listening to months worth of podcasts saying he is halfway out the door, and the only way back would be for an injury to the RBs. Now he wants to put money on it. Better late than never Ira! I’m guessing The Joe’s will wait until Martin is actually activated to admit they were wrong. Won’t have to wait long though. Lol

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    A couple of other notes…

    We have really cleaned up our penalties….I don’t think we had any on offense….

    Brian Anger continues to help us win games….

    It’s not very often we beat a team that only has one penalty and didn’t turn it over……check out that stat geeks….

    My suspicion is that Doug will hit the field Thursday night…

    We need Jack Smith in the game….and having Grimes back really, really helped us win.

  4. Jim Says:

    I think Grimes has proven that he the man. Even when he gets beat he is covering the receivers like a snuggy.

  5. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Trubucfan22 Says
    “Wait…. Ira is now willing to put money down on Martin returning? After listening to months worth of podcasts saying he is halfway out the door…”

    Go back and listen again. It was one of the Joes that said Martin only had a 15% chance of coming back. Ira pretty much said he would since game one.

  6. JonBuc Says:

    Ira thought Martin was at one time considered as good as gone…as did I. Things have changed…namely Licht not bringing in a NFL caliber RB in free agency, the draft or via a trade. It will be interesting to see if they squeeze him for a pay cut. After letting the team down last year..he may well deserve one.

  7. JimBuc2 Says:

    Spot on dude. Good commentary. Lookin’ good at RayJay, GO BUCS!

  8. firethecannons Says:

    we need more snuggies like Brent Grimes, dude gives me confidence in the secondary Jameis and gang played well, overall great win, O line has really cut down on penalties this year Doug Martin back is a plus but they should rework his contract Go Bucs

  9. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    Happy Miko said she had thought Brent was going to retire after this season…But is having second thoughts after seeing our Tweets and the PFF tweet on Grimes’ numbers..

    The man is just a super freak player…

  10. Minato Namikaze Says:

    I don’t comment much but are some of you fans of the Bucs? Im not even talking about comments on this page but other ones. “cancer93” and “I already sold my tickets to avoid going to a game where we lose”, (the top comments in the article about Bucs needing to win cause the saints won) Like, I just don’t get it. I’ll never understand the Gerald hate and never will, but the other dude, Roy T. are you even a fan. Why have tickets if you doint want to see them lose. If that is your attitude towards the team after one loss ( Assume you’re like that cuase if the Vikings game) then never have tickets for a game again. That just shows you’re not a true Bucs fan or a football fan, your whole attitude is disgusting. And Tmaxcon, I’ve been reading your comments for years, and it doesnt even seem like your a Bucs fan either. As far as I am concerned, as a die hard Bucs fan, neither of you are true fans of the team or the sport and arent worthy of talking about either. Despicable.

  11. CautiousOptimism Says:

    …about this kicking situation and dreadful pass rush? When is the media going to stop perpetuating the fairy tale of Licht when we can’t kick extra points, still, and we have zero pass rush, still?
    Winning temporarily soothes but we are winning anything of importance without a kicker and a pass rush.

  12. CautiousOptimism Says:

    ^^^”…we are NOT winning anything of importance…”

  13. tnew Says:

    Bonzai, Tru… Ira said early he felt it was very unlikely to see Martin in a Buccaneer uniform on week 4 but he didn’t lock onto his prediction in lieu of evidence to the contrary.

    I will give Ira a big thumbs up on this issue. His opinion has evolved as new facts surfaced. He accounted for the way Martin looked in preseason. He has accounted for the state of the Bucs running game. Its the Joe’s that have not.

    Ira, you are the man.

  14. BucFamous Says:

    So, I may have missed it but have the Joe’s now retired “den of depression?” I know they said once the Bucs had a certain home win streak they’d be done using it…

  15. Shane Says:

    The fact that we left a bunch of points out on the field and Eli had his way the 2nd half and we STILL won the game speaks volumes about how good this team can be. Giants may be 0-4 but they are a good team and we’re a playoff team last year.

  16. '74 Bucs Fan Says:

    BucFamous – Joes said the Bucs have to win 5 home games in a season to lose the moniker.

  17. Stud Says:

    The funniest thing is the only media outlet who has published the garbage of martin not being here is the Joes, no other outlet has even suggested this. So they deserve to get raked over the coals for this.

    At least Ira put his name on his columns, something the Joes refuse to do, why ya hiding Joes? Put yer name on it!!! Look, nobody’s hiding. The third-person Joe style has been in place here since the inception in 2008. The Joes are out in public, on the podcasts and radio by name, and are credentialed by name by the NFL and the Buccaneers. –Joe

  18. Locked In Says:

    Seemed like still way too many Giants fans in the stadium. Didn’t like seeing our offense asking for quiet before the snaps. How many NE fans in Tampa this Thursday?