“I Think They Have Lost Their Edge”

October 21st, 2017

Focuses on Bucs issues.

Joe has written in the past couple of weeks that there is something about this Bucs team he can’t quite put a finger on. But there is something lacking. Something missing. Something awry.

Former NFL front office suit Michael Lombardi has noticed it too. And he thinks he has whatever ails the Bucs pinpointed.

It’s lack of desire, Lombardi believes.

And Lombardi, schooled in the NFL by Al Davis and Bill Belicheat, is of the mind it is not just the players, so he stated on his podcast with “The Ringer.”

“Alright, last year they were one of the best teams on third down,” Lombardi explained. “They got off the field on defense. So they say to themselves, ‘Well, we will just keep doing what we are doing on defense.’ No, people study them. That is what the offsesaon is all about. People study their defense. They found out what they were doing and modified how they attacked [the Bucs defense]. They kind of rested on their laurels.

“I don’t see the team with the same appetite. First of all, when you pay for a lot of your star players you bring in, there is a sense of contentment. If you don’t have that drive in the locker room, if you don’t have people pushing them, this is where I think having a defensive head coach really makes you a better team because offensive coaches tend to be a little bit more — I don’t want to say ‘passive,’ but, ‘Well, we’ll get it worked out.’ Where defensive coaches in my experience are always, ‘No, we have to keep hammering them.’

“I think they have lost their edge in terms of mental toughness. I really do. I think this is really a problem for them this week [playing at Buffalo].”

Joe thinks Lombardi is onto something, but Joe is not pointing a finger at winning Bucs coach Dirk Koetter at all. Koetter can be a hardarse when needed. We have all seen that from “Hard Knocks.”

Joe has to go back to training camp and almost daily, Koetter would grumble about practices being less than ideal. Initially, Joe thought perhaps Koetter was using the pen and mic club to get a point across to his players in an effort to further motivate them, and he probably was. It’s hardly unique.

However, Koetter may have just been brutally honest in retrospect. The Bucs were having lousy practices and from listening to Gerald McCoy talk about how the team wasn’t ready to play against the Cardinals, that positively blows Joe’s mind. Koetter was likely speaking the brutal truth in August and this has carried over into the regular season.

This Bucs team just appears to be going through the motions. Content to be getting paid and living the life of an NFL player.

How else does one explain how the Bucs let the Cardinals run up and down the field on them last week as if they were the 1984 49ers? Bucs defense coordinator Mike Smith railed against his defense for p!ss-poor tackling. Well, if you want to tackle, you first have to want to stick your nose into a barreling locomotive.

Hat tip: @Chrisbell323.

66 Responses to ““I Think They Have Lost Their Edge””

  1. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    I’ll tell you what we have been missing. Kwon.

  2. Lamarcus Says:

    There is a philosophy and we are a proven to it

    When u trying to re build a winning culture , you have to gut the team of players/millionaires who experienced too much losing. We are living with everyday. This has to be rough on the players like jw cuz they came from winning programs. I think these losing culture kings are rubbing off of them and not good.

    Hopefully someone will recognize this GLARING issue…..

  3. Bird Says:

    Must win game

  4. darin Says:

    The same practices dirk went out of his way to make easier for the players. Never when its too hot, cutting out early. At the time i thought it was because they were a team who was prepared and improved from last year. Obviously now it appears dirk overestimated his team. Throw in the horrible game day coaching n this thing has gone south in a hurry. If somehow they arent ready tomorrow somethings gota give. Too much talent for these garbage performances. Go Bucs

  5. Capt.Tim Says:

    The Offense is struggling, because they are trying too hard to integrate all the new components, instead of letting them gradually work their way into the flow of the offense.

    The defense is demoralized. How many times have they had teams at 3rd and 10 yards plus, and the offense has forever to throw, and completes the pass to a wide open WR.
    What was it against the Cards, 3rd and 17?
    They tripled McCoy. Palmer had no pressure- and completed the pass to Hargreaves man. Hargreaves had to run up, to get in the screen, after the Catch.
    And Hargreaves had help. Conte had the Inside, yet VH3 was so far away, the the Wr turned outside, and was all alone.

    Nothing Demoralizes a Defense more than an easy completion on 3rd and long.

    This is nothing new. Just no one is doing anything to fix it.
    And we will lose, until someone does.

  6. pabucsfan Says:

    One thing I will say is that we never seem to switch up the game plan based on opponent. Its the same thing each week no matter who we are playing.

  7. Jim Says:

    Time to make an example…..

  8. Lamarcus Says:

    And this advice goes for any up coming manager who is trying to turn around a workplace culture. Any workplace. Cut out the apples immediately. Complacent at best. It’s a human thing that ppl don’t like change. Koetter spoke this issue last year and didn’t address it. We actually brought 2 clowns in from WAS. Anyway, U have to do it. U have to gut the team and no one falls short of the sword. No matter what. Jw was a winner. Mike evans won games….. These past transgressions are haunting us.

  9. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    Pabucsfan, I was thinking the same thing. Bellichick is the master at playing to the other teams weaknesses. We have the talent to do it, Dirks got to think outside of his scheme.

  10. Mike Johnson Says:

    Again, there was a reason Falcons owner Arthur Blanks kicked caoch Smith,,and his sidekick Koetter out of the door. They are not good at in-game adjustments at all. Bills in Buffalo. NY. At least they do not have to contend with the snow yet. We will know after the 1st qtr how our Bucs will fare. I do think we play much better. Cannot say that alone will equate to a win though. With our Bucs? We just have to..cross our fingers and see.

  11. Tony from Los Angeles Says:

    Not saying all these experts that Joe quotes are wrong – but none of them ever mention all the injuries, the lack of playing time together, or that fact that one of their two best defenders and the play caller for the defense – Kwon – is still out. To me, that’s just lazy analysis by these national sound byte guys.

  12. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    You know, the constant negative articles this week are waring thin.

    The Bucs had a bad couple weeks. Big. Freaking. Deal.

    We don’t need constant reminding of it. We need reasons to be excited. Clearly, Joe is NOT behaving like a stick carrier.

  13. Joe Says:

    Not saying all these experts that Joe quotes are wrong – but none of them ever mention all the injuries, the lack of playing time together, or that fact that one of their two best defenders and the play caller for the defense – Kwon – is still out. To me, that’s just lazy analysis by these national sound byte guys.

    Not saying this is inaccurate, but what injuries were the Bucs suffering from last Sunday playing a team with a losing record? One, Kwon. And his replacement, Kendell Beckwith, has been blowing up, actually putting up better numbers than Kwon did his rookie year.

    Again, not wrong analysis but perhaps a stretch?

    Game sure seemed over by the time Jameis got hurt.

  14. Kobe Faker Says:

    I agree, I think we will play much better

    buffalo is 1 dimentional and we matchup well with buff lack of recievers

    the key to the game is jordan mathews. If he plays a complete game….

    we lose

  15. Buc believer Says:

    Let’s see if Batman comes out of the Batcave to actually play Sunday. If not the apologists for this overpaid over respected fraud may start to bail. Then he would start to actually feel some heat. I hope Joe would be one of them…doubt it though. Joe is a protector to the end.

  16. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Day before a game and FIVE negative articles on the home page. Sheesh. If I didn’t bleed red and sweat pewter, I’d wonder why I should even watch tomorrow’s game!

  17. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Not entirely true Mike J. ,Thomas dimitrov was a horrible GM who that made it necessary for Atlanta to hire 2 GM ‘S to straighten out the mess he made.If you let the quality players walk and don’t replace them with better players.bad things happen.

  18. Kobe Faker Says:

    Koetters only Chance…

    to take this team to the playoffs even right now at 2-3 is 1 thing

    very easy. very simple…and Kobe Faker guarantees it

    Target OJ Stocker minimum 6 times per game…

    thats it. very simple

    slants/little crossing patterns/drag

    it will change how defense defends our passing and running game

    it will give Jameis easy targets and will get him in rhythm and consistent through out the game and into his deeper throws

    it will create yac yards which only OJ Stocker can do

    very simple

    “Hey Koetter the clown. I know you read my posts! DO IT!”

    Kobe simpleton Faker

  19. Joe Says:

    I hope Joe would be one of them…doubt it though. Joe is a protector to the end.

    For a team that is struggling, you are going to have to come up with one helluva compelling reason to get rid of one of the better players in the NFL. Only Lovie Smith is dumb enough to do that.

    Yeah, the Bucs have mostly lost with GMC. How about holding Doug Martin accountable? Bucs have lost far more with him than GMC and Martin isn’t even in the top 15 players at his position.

    But, yeah, GMC is the reason the Bucs lose. Funny, never heard Browns fans scream to get rid of Joe Thomas, or Rams fans to get rid of Aaron Donald. They lose with those two guys all the time.

  20. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Former suit,
    yeah I think we been there ,done that.

  21. Joe Says:

    You know, the constant negative articles this week are waring thin.

    The Bucs had a bad couple weeks. Big. Freaking. Deal.

    We don’t need constant reminding of it. We need reasons to be excited. Clearly, Joe is NOT behaving like a stick carrier.

    Haven’t listened to Justin’s podcast today, eh?

    Yeah, big deal. Bucs are on the cusp of playing their way out of the playoffs. Big deal. The draft is only seven months away.

    Nor is Joe a propagandist. Joe calls it like he sees it. Always has, always will.

    This (right now) is a terribly underperforming team and fans should be PO’ed.

  22. Buc believer Says:

    I can come up with 100 million reasons Joe.

  23. Rayjay1122 Says:

    Leeman Bennett flash backs. Club med.

  24. NFLNut Says:

    This is not a must-win game as we still haven’t played a single conference game … but it’s a very important game as if we lose I don’t see us winning more than 9 games at best …

  25. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    On the topic of Gerald McCoy, I feel he is one of, if not our best player.

    That said, I’m wondering if it is even possible to build around him on the line now. He’s aging rapidly. He has trade value. To the right team, we could get some very good picks for him.

    Worth considering.

  26. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I don’t listen to Justin’s podcast. Loved him on the radio, but I can’t get past the language thing. Tried multiple times, couldn’t last for more than 5 minutes each time.

  27. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    The irony is that we are last in our division because we haven’t played in our division yet.

    Question: If we have a better division record than the falcons, panthers and saints, do we make the playoffs, even if we have worse overall record?

  28. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    Kobe… Your analysis is not wrong, but jesus dude I wish you would stop calling the kid O.J. Stocker. You’re jinxing the guy.

  29. JonBuc Says:

    Overall record trumps all for a divsion title. Having said that, I’d be surprised if the Bucs don’t go 0-6 or 1-5 within the NFC South.

  30. DB55 Says:


    Doug Martin nor joe Thomas play defense. Not sure how they can stop a team form scoring 31 points in 34 mins, lmao. But wtf do I know?

    Or jumping offsides on 3&2 or never ever stopping a team on the goal line or getting to the q.b on 3&17. The list goes on and on.

    All coach Koetter said this week was RUN-FIT, RUN-FIT, RUN-FIT. but that has nothing to do with Mr. McCoy now does it.

  31. Dave Says:

    Disagree completely

    JW and Kwon are not letting people “rest on their laurels “

    I think the d line needs more talent and the offense needs another lineman with attitude.

  32. Defense Rules Says:

    @Buccaneer Bonzai … “I don’t listen to Justin’s podcast. Loved him on the radio, but I can’t get past the language thing. Tried multiple times, couldn’t last for more than 5 minutes each time.” Thank you Bonzai … that’s the exact same reason I don’t listen to him.

  33. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Bonz, they go by total record. we can go 6-0 in the div and 0-10 outside. Also can go 0-6 in div and 10-0 outside for a 10-6 record and a div title or wildcard.

  34. Kobe Faker Says:

    sorry Blake

    until OJ gets 6 targets per game…Kobes work is not done

    the coaches make millions to figure out how to use their players effectively..not much to ask

    if Koetter can’t figure it out the next regime will…again not so hard

    “what did you do to NosBos?”

    Kobe Faker

  35. Defense Rules Says:

    Kobe … I’d also love to see them start targeting OJ more (only 8 targets in 5 games). And the RBs more (only 27 targets in 5 games among 4 RBs). And yes, especially Charles Sims & Peyton Barber. And Godwin more (only 8 targets in 5 games) Jameis has been totally focused on on only 4 receivers: ME13 (48 targets), DJax (35 targets), Humphries (30 targets) & Brate (30 targets) … 74% of the his (and Fitz’s) 196 passes thrown. The rest of the team? (51 targets out of 196 passes thrown … a mere 26% … thrown to 9 other potential receivers). Something’s wrong with Jameis’ progressions, and Bucs’ offensive coaches need to figure it out fast.

  36. cmurda Says:

    If we can get our swagger back, especially on offense and beat the Bills, it won’t be the end of the world. 3-3 is not a deathwish. The Bills D is stingy and JW is going to have to start elevating his game to the next level. Martin needs to get a workhorse load and hopefully is in shape for it. Quiz should not be run unless it is to spell Dougie. Get this W and stop having the media talk about how terrible we are. Then, if you can string a few W’s together, all of a sudden it gets interesting. There is no excuse for our Defense to be unable to stop the Bills. Focus on McCoy and for the love of football, rush the passer.

  37. Chris Says:

    Hard for Kwon to hold accountable when he’s not playing. This team, if it lays an egg tomorrow in Bufffalo is done. I am with Joe, you people should be pissed. The franchise qb has not improved, the defense is soft, they’ve been in a funk since preseason. They are front runners, with complacent attitudes. It’s only when they’re getting embarrassed do they decide to show up. You guys are in love eith some of these players and they’ve given you horse spit play for 10 years now. Stop settling for this mediocrity. We have too much talent to be chain whipped every other week.

  38. Lamarcus Says:

    I have a bunch of confidence the bucs will win tomorrow. Although I don’t follow other teams I know the bills were thought to tank this year. It doesn’t look like it now. The bucs are far and away better talented than the bills. I cannot lose my mind this week again. But this match up is what we needed it in a way

  39. Kobe Faker Says:

    I’m not sure if people following goff/rams development this year

    simple short passing qb friendly scheme

    peeps here know that conn and giants changed OC and now there offense has taken off…again with the short passing game to put the qb in rhythm

  40. DB55 Says:

    If it makes you guys feel better this line does well against mobile qbs. Remember what they did to Rus Wilson. I know that prob a skewed observation but I’m fishing for positives.

  41. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Go look at the video of AP’s runs last week-
    Beckwith was either confused or out of position- not putting it all on him, but when your middle lb gets 5 tackles the whole game- you’re not stopping the run- not to mention the probable lack of communication on defense as well-Beckwith has potential, but he’s not ready
    David , other than the strip, wasn’t making too many plays either- linebackers were terrible this game- when the secondary is making all the tackles- that’s a complete breakdown by the linebackers- there’s no mystery- the linebackers sucked

  42. Broy34isTiredofComplainers Says:

    Bonzai I totally agree. The Joe’s feed off of negativity. Yes they call it as they see it. How about ONE article about a matchup that benefits us. Just keep posting comments about morons who don’t pay attention to the team. Mix it up. It’s getting old. It’s Saturday evening and all I have read all week is pure negativity. Yes it was awful last Sunday. Ironically like the first half of last season where the posts were all negative only to look stupid as they went on a tear down the stretch. If they play like last Sunday tomorrow then fine. But we all can see how the EXACT SAME TEN POSTERS are the first to comment on every article acting like there’s no hope. Gimme a break. The raiders were 2-3 and went and beat Kansas City. I’ll be the first one going crazy if they waste another Sunday tomorrow. But some positivity would be great

  43. dirkdiggler Says:

    great point. that team has so much talent but they are lazy. no hunger. they dont work. the coaching staff is clueless even worse they throw their players under the bus. im just waiting for the in fighting to start. seems every 2 years we deal with this crap. getting tired of it.

  44. dirkdiggler Says:

    Im excited to see how they respond tomorrow. A win against a very good defense or at least be competative could build some momentum.

  45. Kobe Faker Says:


    when you can’t stop neither the pass or the run…most defenses suck

    don’t want to make excuses for the linebackers, but the cards online was mauling the def line and they were in the linebackers face fast …cards were running downhill
    and then when we started playing the run, BA started passing behind the linebackers

    BA knows how to destroy our defense every time anywhere anyhow

  46. Eric Says:

    Not blaming the head coach at all?

    Fielding a team not ready to play?


  47. Alanbucsfan Says:


    I agree, lack of pass rush and pass coverage are issues, but stopping the run is priority for any defense and linebackers have to execute- stopping the run allows more pressure on qb in passing situations and tighter coverage in secondary- if lb’s don’t make plays against run- everything is wide open for offense.

  48. westernbuc Says:

    I tried listening to that podcast once. Justin was wasted and everyone was swearing for the sake of swearing. If that’s where I have to go for some positive analysis of this team, then I’m out

  49. Kalind Says:

    What they hell is Lombardi talking about? “Pay for a lot of your stars”. ??? Like who? Grimes? ……and? Jackson. Who else? I don’t consider Fatboy McLazy a star. I don’t think Ayers is a star. Who else, Mike? You dipsh!t.

    All we have are homegrown stars. Jameis, Kwon, Lavonte, GMC, Evans, Marpet, Smith, Martin I guess? All drafted. Do some research before you shoot your mouth off, Lombardi.

  50. Kobe Faker Says:


    your right. it’s a big statement game for Mike Smith and our run defense against shady McCoy. they are going to run run run…going to be interesting when Taylor attacks the edge…

    think it’s going to be a 4th quarter last possession game…

    strange feeling we will see similar jameis 5 td Philly game part 2

  51. ob Says:

    (Long time reader/Die hard fan)
    If there is one team in the NFL that has the talent to win any game any Sunday, it is this team. Noise is noise, but any given game this team can win. The coaches are there. The offense has more talent than 80 percent of the other teams. The defense has been carrying this team for too long, but the too best LBs have been hurt the last few weeks. Grimes was out as well. The media feeds on last weeks story lines. Even last week, they had a chance with Fitz. The season has just begun. This team is good.

  52. jamesmack Says:

    I thought Jameis’s speeches worked magic? I thought he was a great leader–the greatest Jason Licht has ever seen, bar anyone. That’s what he said on HK. Might want to rethink that storyline. All his screaming is turning out to be hot air. The same hot air that was blown up his butt.

  53. LakeLand Says:

    The Bucs are a 7-9 football team, regardless of tomorrow outcome.

  54. JAB83 Says:

    To all you pathetic sorry trash eating wanna be’s TRUE FANS OF DEPRESSION. You know who you are.

    VH3 wants you to kiss his moon after his pick 6 this week.
    GMC wants you to lick his ice cream cone.
    JW wants you to RELAX after his 400yards and 3 TDs

  55. Cometowin2 Says:

    I am really discouraged with the progress of this team. Last weekend during the first half, I got so angry that for a few plays, I actually start yelling encouragement for the Cardinals. Haven’t done that since Lovie. We have the talent, but seem unable to motivate them or play to the player’s strengths. Jameis obviously plays best rolling out or in hurry up. We continue to throw deep down field when that is his biggest weakness. We don’t use the no-huddle until it’s too late. I thought Koetter was the answer but he seems to be losing the locker room and his time management and play calling is regressing. In his own way he is every bit as stubborn as Lovie.

    I hurts thinking that I care more about the Bucs than many of the players and coaches. I wouldn’t be playing ping pong. I would be out on the practice field or weight room trying to get better. If we lose this game I will no longer care this year if they win as I will be thinking about the draft and getting a better draft pick and dreaming of a coaching staff that can get the best out of them.

    Licht has brought in the talent despite draft and FA misses. The Glazer’s have spent the money on players, locker room renovations and the indoor facility. This season falls squarely on the players and coaching staff.

    Color me disgusted.

  56. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    It’s a Bucs life:l

  57. Mr. E Nigma Says:

    Welcome to weeks ago. I guess the fans were not so “reactionary” after all.

  58. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Planned rollouts have not been that successful lately Actually .I often see a defensive player tackling the QB just after they leave the pocket. There may be some kind of tell because the defense seems to know the play. Now I have seen Brate back in the formation as an h back, since Brate isn’t known for his blocking this might be the tell.
    As far as escaping the pocket this is one of Jameis’s strengths.

  59. Bob in Valrico Says:

    I am for Hump, Djax and possibly Godwin working the slants over the middle.
    Use the biguns to go out 15 yards ,turn and present a target for Jameis.
    Limit the sideline passes deep until the chemistry improves.Godwin can go either way since he is more than 6 foot 2 inches, and he fights for the ball.

  60. TampaTown Says:

    We’re going to know how the game is going to go after the first series, offense and defense, just like last week.

  61. Aaron May Says:

    Just don’t think we have enough guys that hate…really hate to lose.

    Buffalo is a tough place to play…I don’t think buffalo can take advantage of our secondary….plus there are some gambling trends in our favor…after watching the giants best the Broncos…who knows what will happen

  62. Jimmy T Says:

    So i guess what u r saying how is the season is over? Going through the motions? So great, of that is the case they need to fire the entire freaking staff and start over. Since they r going through the motions I guess u don’t have to analyze this team anymore since they r just going through the motions. So Joe, since they are just going through the motions who is the next HC gonna be? That’s is the only article u need to write since the team is just going through the motions and all they care about is getting paid. The Bucs website has pics of the Bucs going to the airport & I have never seen a group of guys look so stupid, posing w their Gucci bags and ugly suits. It sure didn’t look like a team going on a business trip. So I guess you r right joe. No need to analyze the team anymore. It’s now who is the next coach and who is the first round draft pick, since like u said they don’t care anymore

  63. Dreambig Says:

    You can’t win when the defense plays as bad as it did last week. Mike Smith needs to figure this out quickly. Hargraves is looking to join his place in the long line of huge busts in Buccaneers history. On 3rd down, Koetter continues to bring in the worst player on offense and expects him to move the sticks. I have to resist throwing my beer through the TV everytime Simms comes on the field. The dude slips and falls or does something stupid almost every time he has the ball. The game tape does not lie on this point and the fact that Koetter isn’t paying attention to how bad Simms plays is very troubling.

  64. Wewantgruden Says:

    Face it folks: the Bucs are not a very good football team and will never be under DK. He is soft and dose not demand respect. He is a QB coach at best. I have been a Bucs fan for nearly 40 years and me embarrassed to say that Lovey Smith was a better leader than Dirk. Let’s make a real move and bring back Gruden.

  65. Wewantgruden Says:

    Buffalo 27, Bucs 10

  66. Cobraboy Says:

    Possibly the biggest game of the year.

    There is no margin of error.

    Bucs win and they stay in the race.

    But, Bucs lose and the wheels come off.

    I hate this crap. I expected much more effort, emotion, juice and mental toughness. This team is weak.

    Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser.