Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Falcons

November 26th, 2017

Ira takes you inside the locker room and more

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.


My only road trip of the season ended in heartache for the visitors and relief for the surging Falcons.

Tampa Bay made it interesting for awhile in the second half, but the Bucs failed to make the plays necessary to extend their winning streak to three games. One look at the face of dejected GM Jason Licht in the locker room and you knew there are no moral victories in the NFL.

Once again, the Bucs weren’t good enough. They made Atlanta fans squirm in their high-priced seats for a few minutes before the defending NFC champions regained control and improved to 7-4.

Reverse that record and you’ve arrived at One Buc Place, with Tampa Bay virtually assured of a last-place finish in the division for the sixth time in the past seven seasons. The hitting was hard and much of the defense was soft as the Bucs ventured into Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the first time. This is how it went down:

* I guess I don’t know anything about football because I want my best cover corner on Julio Jones. In the ultimate team game, Jones beat the Bucs single-handedly, abusing Ryan Smith all afternoon. And during all the carnage, Brent Grimes remained on the left side, no matter where Jones lined up. Mike Smith isn’t being paid handsomely to cater to Grimes — he’s being paid to put his defense in position to win.

* With the game on the line midway through the fourth quarter, the Bucs attempted three consecutive passes on 2nd-and-2 from the Atlanta 19. Two fell incomplete and Adam Humphries was tackled after a one-yard reception. That’s questionable play-calling, particularly on a day the ground game was pretty decent.

* Matt Ryan dropped back to pass 35 times and never got his hair mussed. I saw him after the game and he looked like he had just finished up a spa treatment. He had way too much time to survey the field, even with Smith dialing up quite a few blitzes. A week after terrorizing the Dolphins, Gerald McCoy wasn’t much of a factor.

* On the flip side, Tampa Bay’s offensive line did a nice job in front of Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Falcons have one of the better pass rushes in the league, keyed by ex-Buc Adrian Clayborn, but Fitzpatrick was rarely under duress. More to come on Clayborn in Monday’s column.

* My first impression of this new stadium is that Atlanta owner Arthur Blank tried to compete with Jerry’s World and almost pulled it off. I don’t like the wraparound scoreboard, but the view of downtown Atlanta is stunning and the problems with the retractable roof will be worked out. All in all, I give it a solid B-plus.

* Did Fitzpatrick forget the Bucs are blessed with a couple of talented tight ends? He didn’t aim a single pass in the direction of Cameron Brate or O.J. Howard in the opening half. By the time he got those two involved, Tampa Bay was down 27-6.

* The Bucs averaged 4.1 yards per carry on Sunday in running for 94 yards. That doesn’t sound like cause for celebration, but it is a major step up in efficiency compared to the first 10 games. And how about a shout-out for Peyton Barber, who scored twice while showing toughness near the goal-line?

* Tampa Bay’s defense stole the show at Miami, but the Bucs couldn’t make the key stops in crunch time. The Falcons rolled up 146 yards in the fourth quarter, converting all four third-down situations.

* One of the major themes of the Buc offseason was the need for more big plays. It’s still an issue. On Sunday, the Bucs posted only two plays that gained at least 20 yards. In contrast, the Falcons reeled off 10 snaps that went for at least 20 yards, topped by a 51-yard pass thrown by a wide receiver. Seven of the 12 completions to Jones went for 20 yards or more.

* So where does this setback leave the Bucs? For starters, it leaves them with nine losses in the 14 games since they stood at 8-5 last December. And it leaves Dirk Koetter with a 13-14 mark since replacing Lovie Smith. That’s not what anyone expected, including the head coach.

80 Responses to “Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Falcons”

  1. Season Is Over Says:

    Yes, I was certainly pining for more 1.4 ypc from Barber. I think not running him is why they lost. Who is benefiting from pushing these narratives?

  2. lightningbuc Says:

    13-14…guess winning Dirk Koetter is now losing Dirk Koetter

  3. loggedontosay Says:

    Let’s not get carried away. What Buccaneer fans should do is blame this loss on Jameis Winston!

  4. Vincente Says:

    Pitchers and catchers report in 79 days….

  5. Chrisco4Bucs Says:

    So much for carrying a big mf’ing stick

  6. Waterboy Says:

    This went a lot better than I expected after watching Matt Moore pick this defense apart in the 2nd half last week. The Bucs can’t get any pressure on QB’s without blitzing. It wouldn’t have mattered if Brent Grimes, Ryan Smith or even Aqib Talib was covering Julio Jones today he’ll eventually get open if you give Matt Ryan (or even Sanu) all day to sit back there and survey the field.

    Was it Fitz that forgot about the TE’s or Koetter? I like Koetter but he needs to learn to make quicker adjustments. Why is Humphries still the #3 WR over Godwin? Should Barber have gotten more carries before now?

  7. Bobby M. Says:

    Licht has built a garbage team that can’t compete….I understand coaching has some questionable moments but we have 3 picks in the secondary in Hargreaves, Smith, Evans….Jones made all of them look like garbage which nearly every decent team has done the same. We have ONE pick in the d-line….Ryan sat back all day. Coaches can’t make up for a total lack of talent and no matter what Smith tries it’s an unfavorable mismatch for us….We blitz, the secondary is exposed…We play back, the d-line can’t get pressure….That’s lack of talent…plain and simple.

  8. mark2001 Says:

    Too little, too late.

  9. BucThis Says:

    $100 says the Joe’s still call Dirk “winning” in next weeks columns……….

  10. Waterboy Says:

    Any WR in the league would get open if he has all day to run around and find holes in the defense. I saw Julio run all the way across the field on several passes.

  11. ElioT Says:

    Coaches coach scared and stupid, players follow.

    Every week it’s another f**king record for futility.

    Sick of it!!!

  12. Rrsrq Says:

    Watching dudes that were just made active from the practice squad get sacks, make receptions, return punts for TDs, etc. It’s coaching, we dogged Lovie for not putting his players in the best position to win, Smith, Michael that is, is guilty as well. I don’t mind Ryan Smith taking his lumps as long as he learns from it and not regress like VHIII.
    DK has made weapons of no effect, I’m not saying they should be unstoppable, but good play calling gets your offense mismatches. Dirk needs to watch other teams that know how to use their weapons, didn’t he say you can never have too much talent, Licht put the talent on the offense, sans a RB, but even still, you got big receivers and you throw the ball small.

  13. loggedontosay Says:

    Bobby M. Says:
    November 26th, 2017 at 6:36 pm
    Licht has built a garbage team that can’t compete…

    The team is competing. The team is not winning. Mike Smith is coaching the defense from the perspective that he is the head coach and he is going to build the defense his way. He is not coaching the defense from the perspective of the talent on the team.

  14. Reverse Joe Says:

    Please for the love of all that is holy, fire this ENTIRE COACHING STAFF!!! FAILURE!!!

  15. ben Says:

    Mr. Light has NOT done enough with free agency and his drafts has left a lot of ?’s

  16. Clw JB Says:

    We should clean house – we can’t play the worst teams every week, and when we don’t it shows how outclassed we really are / how the heck do you just let #11 just run free all day – not one time did we jam him or misdirect a route- we just sit back and let him eat us alive

    The play calling is so bush league it disgusting

    The 4th down call, all go routes? Really?

    We have 4 guys over 6’5” and we can’t throw a two yard turn around? Or maybe even run it on third and fourth down?

    I realize it’s a journeyman QB and he missed so many throws, but maybe Jackson and Evans lined up on the same side and singling OJ against a LB opposite side might actually work –

    Maybe quit showing every call with your personnel groupings

    Just sad to watch him I could go on and on but the tears are smudging up all the letters

    Such a waste of talent

  17. orlbucfan Says:

    It started off at the very beginning with stupid runs called up the middle. Koetter has gone totally brain dead with this offense, Smith needs to go bye-bye after this season. Atlanta fired him and we can too. The sooner, the better.

  18. Pelbuc Says:

    Ditto what Reverse Joe just said except I would start by firing Licht. Look what Couglin is doing in Jacksonville. 0-3 in your own division and not even competitive means you blow it up again and start from scratch. Best case scenario is that JW will miss 6 games next year so get someone who knows how to draft.

  19. Ed Says:

    Welcome to the Coach Lovie Smith curse. This entire management will never win
    because of the backstabbing that took place. This six out of seven loosing season have one thing in common the G.M. The next Coach will be successfully,no matter who is because the curse will be lifted.

  20. tmaxcon Says:


    this TEAM IS LOSING… NOTHING MORE… NO moral victories in pro sports. you want to give hugs and trophies to little leaugers that’s your prerogative. this is pro sports and the bucs TEAM has QUIT or showed up uninspired more than half the games this year. they are freaking losers no matter how you try to sugarcoat it.

  21. tmaxcon Says:


    lovie was a POS failure it has nothing to do with lovie this franchise has been an embarrassment long before dungy the clown or lovie the loser every stepped foot in bucs building…

  22. BucThis Says:


  23. mark2001 Says:

    There is good talent on the O side of the team…Fitz’s performance should tell you that. Koetter isn’t getting the most out of them. No excuses. The D has some gaping holes….needs more talent. Worst team in the division again…after last years aberration. And frankly, the Jameis business just adds to draining the hope out of you.

  24. tmaxcon Says:


    why would harbaugh who can have any job he wants in football come to a small market team with a losing history and little endorsement opportunities. Not to mention leaving a prestige program to come to one of the most embarrassing sports franchises in HISTORY of mankind. really,? he can have any job…. tampa is not a desirable job nor location. no state taxes and good weather attracts retirees not football coaches in their prime. there are junior college openings that have more prestige than coaching this joke of franchise.

  25. Ed Says:

    Why do people refer to Coach Lovie Smith, when talking about this defense. Coach Smith, had none of the talent, this team has acquired under this Coach nor did Coach Morris. Hire a new coach and G.M. this team will start to win.

  26. Rayjay1122 Says:

    Oh no……we suck again!

  27. tmaxcon Says:

    you harbaugh fans need to wake up there is absolute no chance that harbaugh would consider tampa much less lower his standards and actually come to tampa. Joe has a better chance of courting Rachel Watson than glazers have of courting harbaugh.

  28. loggedontosay Says:

    tmaxcon Says:
    November 26th, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    this TEAM IS LOSING… NOTHING MORE… NO moral victories in pro sports. you want to give hugs and trophies to little leaugers that’s your prerogative. this is pro sports and the bucs TEAM has QUIT or showed up uninspired more than half the games this year. they are freaking losers no matter how you try to sugarcoat it.

    You think your frustration is greater than mine? I am the only buc fan in the state of Hawaii that I know. I walk around with my Buc gear on and everybody laughs. There are things that we agree on. We do not agree that the Bucs are a talentless team.

  29. 813bucboi Says:

    Harbaugh will come because Urban is kicking his a$$ and Michigan ain’t paying him that much to come in 3rd and 4th in the big ten…. He’ll come because we have a solid foundation of players and our problem is coaching not talent…. Glazer’s make it happen….GO BUCS!!!

  30. tmaxcon Says:


    that logic is severely flawed… first harbaugh is not a quitter like cancer93 and will fight to win. second, he can have any job in football he wants so you think he would consider one of the worst if not the worst job in all of football. think about it sir… this is not a desirable job. Hell harbaugh would probably wear a dress and become a meter maid before he wold accept a position with this joke of a franchise.

  31. Lamarcus Says:

    Yea yall boy gmc looked like a undrafted free agent rookie out there. Oh wait….. it was the turkey itis from Turkey gobble??

    What a turn of events

  32. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    Bucs may be calling the Gruden Hotline real soon…

  33. tmaxcon Says:


    look dude. i’d take harbaugh in a second and love the guy that being said, I am also a realist and realize what a pathetic organization the glazers run and the fact this team will never have a double digit win season again until the glazers sell which is not going to happen.

    not trying to argue with you. I care, I am a very compassionate person and just do not want to see you get your hopes up only to be let down.

  34. 813bucboi Says:

    Never say never…GO BUCS!!!

  35. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Schiano to the Vols.

    Now if the Gators are smart they will back up the Brinks truck in Orlando and get Scott Frost. He could be Florida’s next Steve Spurrier.

    Biggest problem..Frost’s alma mater…the team he QB’d to a national title…Nebraska is calling. Will he go home or take the better job?

  36. Duke Says:


    There’s talk about extending Harbaugh’ s current contract with a lifetime contract.
    That’s job security and if you consider what is a more attractive job, NFL vs College, it’s not too difficult to understand why the Harbaugh talk is a delving into unicorns and yeti territory. But hey, go catch the Harry Potter marathon and wave that wand you got at universal studios and keep saying “expecto Harbaugh” .
    If it works, we have you to thank.

  37. Rrsrq Says:

    St. Pete,
    Gators already hired Dan Mullen from MSU

  38. JimmyJack Says:

    It’s not just that this team is losing we aren’t even competitive……We never made Atlanta uncomfortable that whole game. Same anytime Dirks team gets into big games.

    These guys calling the shots don’t have a clue how to get this team to play like a contender. If they did we wouldn’t be going backwards.

  39. Rayjay1122 Says:

    Never. Never again will I buy into the hype for this psuedo NFL organization. Never again will I have my hopes trampled. Never again will I even care. There is a curse on the teams that play in that stadium. Bucs……Bulls…… Does not matter. Thanks for nothing to Dirk Koetter, Licht, Gomer errr Mike Smith and our most recent wasted #1 overall draft pick Gonna throw Charlie Strong into the mix as well……for screwing up a loaded USF offense.

  40. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I agree, Harbaugh may be persuaded to leave Michigan, especially after this last Ohio State Azz whipping.
    Try as he might, Harbaugh just hasn’t been able to attract the nations top kids. I mean after all, Michigan is a hard sell.
    He may be persuaded to come to Tampa, and what about the UCF Coach Frost ?
    His little team is undefeated!

  41. JimmyJack Says:

    The Oline came out mentality weak today……They weren’t ready to compete with a playoff team. This team is unprepared and I don’t know what’s up with Mike Evans but he ain’t making gamechanging plays for us this year and is unreliable……..This doesn’t happen to other teams star receivers like has happened twice now with Evans…….It’s either lack of leadership from the top or inside the locker room……..there’s no excuse for this guy to be playing less then we all know he’s capable of.

    This team is not ready and unprepared to play at a high level. They will never win like this, they are pathetic.

  42. mark2001 Says:

    Anyone remember what happened in San Fran that led to the Harbaugh firing? Obviously not. Seems he couldn’t get along with the front office. And you guys think Gruden was a flamethrower?

  43. tmaxcon Says:


    york family without Eddie involved is as dysfunctional as the glazer clowns. lynch will fail and be back in the booth 2 years tops

  44. Lamarcus Says:

    As soon as those York boys find out Lynch will get all the credit for success in SF lynch will be fired for that.

  45. JimmyJack Says:

    You guys are talking about bringing in a head coach but this whole Winston saga makes that situation very dicey. It make the entire direction of the franchise look completely unstable and that will absolutely not attract a Gruden or Harbaugh pedigree…… fact the mere thought of it is laughable.

    Given that and the kneejerk firings these owners have made we may be basically be stuck with ole Lichty boy and co.

  46. tmaxcon Says:


    i think you are correct sir. i think licht survives and koetter and smith get walking papers. just hope the glazer clowns do not try another pr stunt by hiring gruden, dungy or brooks to ease the pain. trying to relive the past will set franchise back another decade

  47. Cobraboy Says:

    The Bucs are uninspired and soft, a bad, bad combination.

    Both are a reflection of the coaches.

    IMO, Koetter has gotten worse since he’s arrived. He used to call plays with juice. Now? Predictable.

    Atlanta was never afraid of the Bucs for one second in any phase of the game.

    On the bright side, Patrick Murray.

  48. mark2001 Says:

    Jimmyjack…I don’t think it would scare Gruden off….he has never had a young and promising QB during his Pro coaching tenure. That being said, I think Jameis needs a tough minded coach like a Gruden to bring the best out of him, if he gets past this.

  49. mark2001 Says:

    tmax…I’d take Dungy or Gruden in a heartbeat. Of course, we know what you think of McCoy, so your perspectives seem to be….let’s just say different..

  50. JimmyJack Says:

    Yeah I think they let Licht make one hire for this team.

    Maybe just wishful thinking here but since nobody know for certain I’m just going to pretend that the Glazers wanted to retain Dirk and told Licht to hire him and told him to help Dirk get the players he wanted.

    Dirk was hired for his playbook, what a dumb reason to sign a head coach.

  51. tmaxcon Says:


    it goes much deeper than coaches. ownership does not promote a win or else mentality. they are more trophies and hugs which is for losers.

    it’s a direct reflection of a locker room with NO LEADERSHIP. It’s hard to hold others accountable when the highest paid team captain has no drive nor desire to win. no one and i mean no one leads an unispired flat blow out better than cancer93

  52. JimmyJack Says:

    Mark……Don’t you think if Gruden comes here he will want the Glazers to tell him they are committed to Winston? Do you really think they can tell him that? Or would prove it with a contract……I sure don’t.

  53. tmaxcon Says:


    to each his own… you clearly accept mediocrity and that’s fine. I want trophies not excuses and maybe next time bs

  54. Lamarcus Says:

    Jw will be going nowhere. If the Bucs wanna fix thing fast as possible they need to get Winstons coach and guy Bruce arians. This will fix 90 percent of our pRobles

  55. tmaxcon Says:


    this bs with uber will pass… jameis is an easy target who got caught up in the pc police’s latest agenda driven fad… what is sad is all the real victims getting overshadowed by hollywood skanks and gold diggers. hiring of that specific attorney with a proven sketchy past proves jameis is a victim not the uber liar.

  56. tmaxcon Says:

    jameis is and will be the most important buccaneer moving forward. simple as that. this uber bs will pass

  57. JimmyJack Says:

    Agreed with the leadership thing tmax……..notice our Oline played so much better in 2015 when Mankins was here? And that was with two rookies. That guy was our leader and we have went downhill since he left.

    The idiots calling the shots here need to realize this and bring in the right guy for that role.

    Now we are losing games because we can’t run the ball while they blew their whole wad on DJax which has taken us nowhere.

  58. JimmyJack Says:

    Spent 4 years building the offense and we are one dimensional……fu**ing disgrace.

  59. tmaxcon Says:


    you are giving them far to much credit. may i be so bold to ask what 1 dimension they do well. sorry but I guess I have missed that. I thought the entire team was a zero dementional cluster F**K

  60. MadMax Says:

    So we’re picking around 7-12. DE Chubb is probably gone, so my guess is Arden Key if still there.

  61. JimmyJack Says:

    Two ways to look at the Winston saga tmax……kinda shameful for you to use the phrase “real victims” with no details of the situation at time being.

    Really kinda butch for anybody predetermining guilt or innocence at this point.

  62. tmaxcon Says:


    don’t get too excited plenty of time to earn a top 5 pick

  63. JimmyJack Says:

    Yeah one dimensional is pretty well wrong…….Guess I’m looking at aggregate yards where we do get them in the passing game. Doesn’t mean much when it’s producing 0-6 points each and every first half. MB

  64. JimmyJack Says:

    It’s pretty effing sad when you are worried about how bad Brett Huntley will embarrass you when the games is still seven days away

  65. tmaxcon Says:


    i am sick and tired of constitutional rights in this country being stepped on by the pc police so no I am not ashamed to call it as I see it. that’s the problem today feelings trump fact and that is ridiculous. jameis was railroaded by the cleat chaser that makes him and easy target for this girl who has already made questionable statements. the constitution matters. innocent until proven guilty matters. i am sick of the mentally weak trampling on our rights to protect peoples feelings. screw their feelings. facts are all that matter. when you throw that POS lawyer in the mixture it’s pretty damn hard to take her serious.

  66. tmaxcon Says:

    jimmy jack

    whatever happened to the good old days when you made a move on a girl; if she was not interested you got a knee to the nuts or a back hand…

    now before you go on a date you need to verify her ID and age, give her a 60 page release on what is acceptable and not acceptable then when you make the move you have to get a notarized permission slip from three generations of family members… what a great country.

  67. tmaxcon Says:

    or risk getting sued years later

  68. tmaxcon Says:

    sorry but it’s laugable.. thankfully americans have the attention span of a flea… the pc police will jump on the next fad or agenda soon enough

  69. MadMax Says:

    A top 5 would be even better tmax. Key could be a key to our pass rush….we’ve had some luck with those LSU D guys.

  70. tmaxcon Says:


    i was not trying to be a smart arse this time; I truly have zero faith in this organization moving forward.

  71. MadMax Says:

    Well, until the Glazers make a move, we’re kind of stuck. Even then, its nice to look forward to something (for me anyway), but yeah, I share your sentiments.

  72. JimmyJack Says:

    Dude I don’t know what good ole days you are talking about. And I don’t know who brought you up but it sounds like they taught you some BS.

    I ain’t saying you can’t touch a woman but I ain’t know what “moves” you’re talking about where you meet a perfect stranger while she is working and you just reach over and grab her in the private parts and that’s sopposted to be some way of flirting?

    Dude, I think you got some problems if you think that’s a way of picking up or flirting or making a move or whatever you wanna call it. If you think that’s appropriate I think you need to grow the hell up. You know it is a crime dude? For good reason.

  73. tmaxcon Says:


    you completely missed the point. bottom line is constitution matters… innocent until proven guilty matters… these attorneys hunting down potential victims and enacting revenge takes away from real victims. both cases jameis winstons rights have been trampled on by questionable statements and changing statements by both alleged victims. our legal system is almost as much of a laughing stock as the bucs organization.

  74. JimmyJack Says:

    I haven’t heard anybody break Winston’s constitutional right unless your talking about some of the crap this Goodell pulls with some of these suspensions he likes to hand out. But Winston hasn’t been suspended yet.

  75. not there yet Says:

    Finally you can stop calling him winning dirk koetter, he won’t finish the season above .500

  76. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    If Jameis groped that driver……IF…….or if someone else in the vehicle groped the driver……IF……..that is some really weird stuff……very strange move to me…..doesn’t make a whole lot of sense and is definitely creepy.

  77. Patrick Says:

    Let’s see if Jeff Tedford is still available

  78. jj Says:

    I don’t get all the Glazer hate. They went out and got the best head coach available at the time in Lovie Smith. How could they possibly know he would fail here. Then they hire an up and coming GM (that has done pretty well except for the obvious couple of misses) and get one of the more sought after OCs and DC s in the league. Again they have failed miserably. The good thing is, they have the ability to see it isn’t working and they cut ties quickly. They need to fire these 2 a$$clowns and go get a young innovative mind, not some re-tread!! Scott Frost is going to Nebraska, but an NFL coaching gig could tempt him. No one thought the Rams dude would be any good this year, it took him one off season to produce a winner. College coaches scare the poop out of me but this guy has played QB, transferred to Safety in NFL and had a cup of coffee and has been successful OC at Oregon and now HC at UCF. I hope they win out and blow this BCS thing up. Just my thoughts but I am over Mr Conservative/Predictable and Mr cover 2, soft zone from the early 2000’s (like no one knows how to beat that coverage), UGGGHHHH!!

  79. mark2001 Says:

    Jimmyjack…. I don’t think the Glazers would require Gruden to commit to Jameis… In fact, if his accuracy and decision making doesn’t improve, and the later involves football and his proximity to women like Uber drivers, I don’t know the team will be committed to Jameis beyond a couple more years. Contrary to some peoples belief, I’m not sure he will be America’s QB two years from now.

    Tmax…I’m committed to winning…and that is why I didn’t settle for Lovie, Raheem or Schiano, nor saw any of them being a turn around coach for a once SB winning organization. Admittedly, I thought Koetter deserved a chance, as Jameis seemed to be making great strides and I didn’t want to disturb that. But on that score, I admit it appears I was wrong.

  80. Bucamania Says:

    Seeing Charles Sims in the game and Ryan Smith 1-on-1 with Julio Jones tells you all you need to know about this coaching staff.

    WTH is going on with Mike Evans? Dude looks clueless out there. Catch the ball! Too busy looking for a place to fall after he catches it I guess.

    On a positive note, Beckwith and OJ continue to show they are players. Where has that rollout pass play back to OJ been? They need to run that until someone stops it.