“Same Team”

October 31st, 2017

2016 Buc weighs in

Joe caught up to Panthers wide receiver/kick returner/new favorite son Russell Shepard after Sunday’s soul-sucking Bucs loss to Carolina.

Who better to have insight into the struggling Bucs than one of their captains last season?

Some of Joe’s chat with Shepard was off the record, but the overall gist of everything Shepard said about the Bucs is that he sees the same team that closed out 2016 strong.

Shepard isn’t seeing a football club in trouble, he says, admitting that he’s spent his share of time tracking what’s happening with Tampa Bay.

“Same team,” Shepard said. “There are a lot of young players, and guys who are young when it comes to certain experiences in the NFL. Coach Koetter is very detail-oriented and it’s just little things going wrong, things that can be fixed and I’m confident they will.”

Maybe this will provide fans some hope that the Bucs can salvage a winning record through their final nine games and recoup respectability. Shepard, a straight-shooter, was very sincere.

Regarding Shepard, Joe eyes popped when Shepard had a 33-yard kick return Sunday against a strong Bucs kick coverage unit. It reminded Joe of LeGarrette Blount buried on Greg Schiano’s bench in 2012, while the Bucs struggled to find a kick returner using eight guys in that role.

Blount was then traded to New England and Bill Belicheat let him return kicks the following season (2013), and Blount was one of the best returners in the NFL.

The Bucs were the worst kick return team in the league last year by far, yet Shepard didn’t get one shot at returning kicks.

38 Responses to ““Same Team””

  1. Dewey Selmon Says:

    No doubt in my mind that Licht, Dirk and Smitty get another year. 2018 will be the last year on Winston’s contract. I can understand blowing everything up next year, but you have to give a 3rd year just to make sure.

  2. JonBuc Says:

    Nah…Kit Koetter & Locht’s Out

  3. I'm tired and 87 is right Says:

    If we get rid of Winston at his contract year I will never follow this team again. Simple as that. You dumb people who think he is the big issue are blind. Run him out of town and we will pay greatly for it. How many QBs do you see having a great year with no run game and no pass rush? Yes he is not the most accurate but he has the true heart of a leader and can win games for us. We just can’t keep putting him in a situation where he has to force his play. If it doesn’t work out I would like to have another coach come here and give Winston a shot. Go Bucs!

  4. cmurda Says:

    We typically give every coach 2 years and then get a new coach. How has that worked out in the last 15 years? We need to at minimum give Koetter the rest of this year and next year to see if it becomes necessary to get a new Coach, Defensive Coordinator etc. It becomes much easier and better for the organization for Koetter to work out.

  5. LakeLand Says:

    I can’t see why they didn’t re-sign Shep, Bradley McDougald, Akeem Spence. I think those guys played well for the Bucs.

  6. Ed Schwartz Says:

    Shepard being very politically correct. Most Buc fans, including the TB media see the Bucs as getting much worse with many of the same issues, that Shepard says “are the little things that can be corrected”, no way:

    Touching opposing quarterbacks is not allowed

    Getting touchdowns in first and second quarters is prohibited

    Throwing the ball downfield to receivers in stride isn’t tolerated

    Playing football as a non contact sport is encouraged

    Whenever you are on opponents 40 yard line, always punt on 4th and 2, no matter how well your defense or offense is doing

    You have to run on first down, its mandatory in the scripted plays

    Pump faking, looking off defensive backs, misdirection runs, flea flickers or any type of trickery is against team rules

    I could go on and on.

  7. DallasBuc Says:

    cmurda- so which of these fired coaches would you have preferred we kept? My guess is none of them. It just feels better to complain about change than accept it’s logical necessity. I don’t care how many coaches and GMs are fired because they have all sucked and let’s face it, Morris did the most with the least. Of all the coaches since Gruden he probably should have gotten more time and a better commitment to winning from ownership than he got. The Glazers have given every HC since the financial commitment that Morris was never afforded. Screw the mediocrity and don’t rest until we start winning football games. And for the love please get rid of crafty Dim Licht.

  8. Broy34WantsGruden Says:

    Yes we usually give coaches two years and they deserve to be shown the door every time. None more so than koetter. Hasn’t developed jameis as much as we’d like. Doesn’t adjust. Game plan is the same every time except the Carolina game last year and it almost got us beat. Koetter has more talent than every coach except Gruden in 02,03. It’s time to go. He’s having players bitch. And for the love of god can baker be released. Laziest cancer I’ve ever seen

  9. Dewey Selmon Says:

    As much as people can blame the coach you have to lay blame on the qb. The next 9 games are an audition for a fifth year option. if Jameis doesn’t improve do you force him into a prove it year during 2018?

  10. BushidoEvans Says:

    @Broy dude says “none more than Koetter” really? Not even gonna entertain that. Really?

  11. Bradinator Says:

    I miss Shep. We’re ok without him but he was a solid guy and a hard worker. Our current punt coverage really good because of that guy instilling pride in the unit.

  12. Defense Rules Says:

    Agree wholeheartedly cmurda. We can’t keep starting over every 2 years like we have been. I’m convinced that Dirk Koetter will be fine as a HC IF he just focuses on being a HC & lets Todd Monken be OC. Trying to be BOTH HC & OC simply isn’t working. Also convinced that Smitty & his assistant coaches can turn this defense into a Top-10 unit IF Licht & company provide him with some reasonable talent (as in ‘add at least 1 DT, 2 DEs, 2 CBs this next year plus 1 DT, 1 DE, 1 CB & 1 Safety the following year’). This show is really getting old though.

  13. Not there yet Says:

    They are doomed. They can’t develop anyone and they keep cutting players with potential

  14. Grt2 Says:

    I think we’re OK we just got up get better upfront . D- line and O-line are a must in the draft and free agency

  15. Phil Says:

    I just heard Daniel Te’o-Nesheim is dead at age 30.

  16. motorboater Says:

    As a fan, I have no idea what the answers are. I just want the team that I support with my time and money to be competitive every week. But if something isn’t working after year two, what makes you think year three or four will be better?? So the Bucs remain a garbage team just because it looks bad to keep firing coaching staffs?

  17. wewantgruden Says:

    He was just trying to be politically correct and say the right things. Dont forget that he stated at the beginning of the season that he wanted to play with Cam Newton because he was a more explosive QB.

  18. JonBuc Says:

    He was too fiery and motivated for the Buc Bunch.

  19. Stanglassman Says:

    Guess the panthers like what they seen. Just traded k. Benjamin to Buffalo.

  20. cmurda Says:

    Well, I always felt we pulled the plug too quickly on Schiano. LVD has never been more productive than with Schiano and we needed Offensive coordinator help more than firing Schiano. With that said, he did seem over his head at times. I believe Koetter can right the ship. Only time will tell. Our D Line hasn’t been able to breathe on the QB all year. It’s tough to be successful defensively when you have no pressure on opposing QB’s. Our offensive struggles, particularly against Carolina are an indictment on Dirk and I realize that but I’m sick of the coaching carousel. It hasn’t worked for us. Who do you have in mind to replace Dirk? I’d rather Dirk gets this team right. The mistake that was made was hiring Mike Smith instead of Jim Schwartz. Anyway, I digress.

  21. DB55 Says:



    Consider this, Bill O’Brien struggled for his first 2-3 years then his best player gets hurt and bomb they start dominating. Yes it takes time and you can win without your best player.

    Schiano comes from the same tree or close enough.

    If we want to make an immediate improvement fire George Warhop and sign Pat Morris. Nuff said.

  22. DB55 Says:


    It’s not rocket science, amarite?

  23. GhostofSchiano Says:

    I believe Shepherd is right. Let’s go Bucs, turn this thing around and go on a win streak.

  24. 813bucboi Says:

    nawl….yall got it twisted….dirk and smitty need to meet lovie and schiano at the pier…..its time for them to GO!!!!…..

    at least all the other coaches had legitimate excuses….poor talent…no cap space…no franchise qb….dirk has all of that and some….

    yall dumba$$ want to see another year of us constantly getting blown out…”coming out flat”….poor clock management….no adjustments….faulty game planning….unbalanced offense…..I mean damn I could go on and on…..

    yall want to waste another prime year of Winston, evans, LVD, kwon, marpet, brate…..you want to stick with a staff who cant develop players and force them to play a scheme that puts them in position to fail…..


    we play the saints sunday…..brees and payton have won 5 straight….they are the sharks in our division and the smell fresh blood….if you think sean is going to allow them to come up “flat” like dirk you got another thing coming…..if you think sean is going to have his team unprepared like dirk you got another thing coming…..

    unless dirk gets us to the playoffs, he’s toast…simple as that!!!….GO BUCS!!!

  25. BucEmUp Says:

    Koetter needs five years

  26. 813bucboi Says:

    be honest joe….off the record, shep said, ” they sorry as h3ll”….LOL…GO BUCS!!!!

  27. 941bucsfan Says:

    All you guys saying Dirk needs to go are idiots. We have no Running Back on this team what so ever, we also have no Defensive end. I dont care what coach you hire, if you have no Running Back and No Defensive ends that can rush the passer, you aint winning a damn thing in this league. Doesnt matter who the coach is. You guys want to score 40pts per game, Just so our defense can give up 44 points per game. Ok Fire smitty and bring in another D coordinator, first thing he is gonna look for is some damn pass rushers. NO defense works in the NFL without Pressure! Doesnt matter who the coach is. Ok, you want to blitz more??? But you ran Bill sheridan and Schiano out of town. Ok, you dont want stunts and you want just a straight up pass rush, but you ran Lovie Smith out of town. Now you want to run Smitty out of town because he is doing a combination of both. I dont know what games you guys watch, but our blitzes dont hit home, and they dont hit home not because they are the “wrong type of blitzes” its because our guys are not blitzers, they cant beat one ones. And as far as Doug Martin, if he doesnt have a wide open lane, he aint getting any yards. Doug Martin is a used car that can only get you to A & B, but cant take you on a road trip to Disney World. Want the Bucs to make the playoffs?? Knock on Lichts door and tell him to get you a real Pass Rusher and a Real Running Back, The same thing the Titans did for Mariota, the same thing the eagles did for wentz, the same thing the saints did for Drew, the same thing the chiefs did for alex smith, the same thing the damn Jaguars did for Blake Bortles. Go get a running back and someone that can rush the passer, Leave Dirk Alone.

  28. DB55 Says:

    ^^^^paragraphs brother paragraphs^^^^^^^

  29. Dirty Bucs Says:

    As far as I’m concerned, you can’t just say it’s all Koetter’s fault. Have you stopped to think that perhaps the lack of development of Winston has something to do with Winston reaching his ceiling already? This could be the case, folks.

  30. 941bucsfan Says:

    One big case is you can say what you want, but Jameis is being asked to be more careful. We need to accept the fact that if we want Jameis to throw 35Tds a season we have to live with 15-18ints per season. You cant have both, he is not that type of QB. I watch Jameis and on 3rd and 13 he is throwing the ball to Humph or brate at 6 yards instead of throwing a strike over the LB and Under the safety to Mike Evans for 15 yards. He is playing scared, Let him be the QB that he has been most of his life, and thats a risk taking QB. This Jameis will get you 21tds and 10ints. The real Jameis will get you 35tds and 17ints. Let Jameis be free again.

  31. BigMacAttack Says:

    Shep’s a Good man. He was a serious baller and made plays. Unfortunately he had some key drops in clutch situations and those don’t go away. He is the reason why the Bucs let him go.

  32. Pelbuc Says:

    GM Litch should have been shipped to Cleveland. Bucs will never win as long as he’s GM. I could find better pass rushers for a lot less $$$$. And the dudes he gets infect the team with their laziness i.e Baker. Terrible talent and personality evaluator and his Aguayo pick ( and the picks he gave up to move up) really screwed the roster. Jason, here’s a nugget, every team knows u will be desperate to draft Dlineman and CB next draft. Great draft strategy!

  33. unbelievable Says:

    lol DB paragraphs indeed!

    You guys all saying Dirk needs to go, need to understand that good coaches don’t want to come to an organization that shows it has no patience and changes their HC every 2 years.

    We were on Hard Knocks, unfortunately there’s a reason people say it’s a curse…

  34. cmurda Says:

    Agreed DB55

  35. Pawel Says:

    I agree with 941 on both of his long paragraphs. Jamesis playing scared, last year yeah he threw INt’s but damn we marched down the field fast.

  36. Jeffbuc Says:

    I’m tired and 87 is right
    A pass rush is the reason jameis isn’t good. His rookie year doug Martin was second in the league in rushing. Having a pass rush or run game doesn’t make you overthrow/underthrow 10-15 passes a game. He has plenty of time and still just flat out misses guys. If this was USF then yeah that would be ok. But this is the nfl you can’t just keep using the excuse he is young. This is his third year in his job. Funny how other non bias sites keep saying the same thing his accuracy and turnover issues he needs to fix and every year you guys come up with another excuse. It’s because of his personality you want to root for him. He looks like a guy you would want to run through a brick wall for. But year after year when he keeps losing games and missing wide open receivers pretty soon everyone is going to get sick of his rah rah personality. You all have been to games watching it live is even worse because you see the guys running wide open that he doesn’t see only to force a ball in a tight window. I don’t get it with him he can’t hit a wide open reciever to save his life. Just look at the two oj Howard wide open balls if there was a guy within 10 yards of him they would have made a play on the ball he had to stop and wait on the ball. Can’t you see that those 2-3 deep ball touchdowns he misses EVERY game are part of the reason we are losing. Do you know what a 60 yard touchdown does for the whole team. But when you miss them it just does the opposite inflates the whole team. You run the play to perfection get the guy wide open and the qb consistently misses him. 31 other qbs make that throw. That is the problem.

  37. DallasBuc Says:

    We should still have any of the other staffs if getting blown out twice in four weeks is acceptable. My guess is that was not acceptable in the past with Morris, Schiano and Incompetent Lovie Smith. It is not suddenly acceptable

  38. Tom Says:

    IMO, they gave up on Schiano to fast. The media pretty much ran him out of town. I think on defense Mike Smith is only part of the problem. Don’t forget Hayes is the defensive line coach. I also think Koetter needs to end up at least 8-8 to save his job.