The Morning After

December 11th, 2017

For some reason, Joe is sitting here this morning like a mental patient watching a non-stop loop of Matthew Stafford completing passes. Oh, wait — it’s a replay of yesterday’s game.

1. Honest to goodness, the story yesterday wasn’t the Bucs losing or Jameis and his turnovers but the hand grenade Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network rolled into the bunker that there is a mounting rift between America’s Quarterback and Bucs coach Dirk Koetter. It shocked Joe. Why? In recent weeks, Koetter, speaking publicly on various platforms including his regular appearances on SiriusXM NFL Radio, has been over-the-top in his defense of Jameis. That sure doesn’t sound like a guy that has developed an anti-Jameis agenda. Shoot, Friday night on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Koetter all but said as long as he is the coach of the Bucs, Jameis is his quarterback. Koetter had an interesting take when asked about the report Sunday. “I know the truth.” He didn’t go much further. He didn’t need to. Jameis sure got fired up talking about it, as if he was offended that anyone would ask him such a question. Joe heard indirectly, off-the-record from a high-placed suit at One Buc Palace, that Rapoport’s report was 100 percent unadulterated cattle manure. Of course, the family that owns the Buccaneers also knows the truth. But where did this come from and why now? Joe immediately smelled two likely sources. One would be Jameis’ agent. But why the hell would that be planted? It does Jameis no good at all, unless his agent believes the Bucs are such a trainwreck it’s time to start muddying the waters to develop an exit plan in order to save Jameis’ career. Honestly, this seems as far-fetched as Rachel Watson actually wanting to wrestle with Joe between the bedsheets on a chilly winter night. Or, more logical, Chucky is working (again) behind the scenes. And to further speculate and go all fifth column here, what if this was a coordinated effort between Chucky and Jameis’ camp, as if Chucky had been in touch with them saying, “This is what I can do for Jameis… ” And to think Rapoport’s report comes out eight days before Chucky is to be inducted into the Buccaneers Ring of Honor. How ironic that? Potentially, a guy trying to stage a forced abdication is being feted by the same organization on which he’s conducting a hostile takeover. Man, the Bucs have almost as much drama swirling over their heads as former Bucs commander Greg Schiano had when the Bucs hosted the Dolphins in a prime time game that had all the features of a zoo with the animals turned loose. Should be interesting television next week.

2.  You know, Jameis actually didn’t play bad at all yesterday. Yeah, well, except for those three turnovers. Other than that, how was the parade, Mrs. Kennedy? Look, Joe is a defender of Jameis and will continue to be. He’s the best quarterback, talent-wise, this team has ever had. That doesn’t mean Joe is an ostrich. These turnovers are going to get good people fired. All the good plays Jameis makes, all the times he brings the team back (he tied the game in the fourth quarter and – altogether now, WWWWHHHHEEEE!!! – the defense urinates in its pants!) Joe doesn’t give a damn if Caleb Benenoch is a revolving door at right tackle and Evan Smith cannot pass block. Jameis simply has to hang on to the football as if it is Tootsie in a hurricane. It’s one thing to throw a pick here or there. It happens. But to fumble the damn ball each and every game is killing the Bucs. Jameis and the Bucs are not yet good enough to regularly overcome turnovers. On the fumble yesterday, Jameis said he doesn’t have eyes in the back of his head. That’s exactly why he needs to hang onto the ball for dear life. You think Chucky (in theory) wants to tolerate all of these turnovers? If Jameis has one goal this offseason (other than never to use a ride-sharing service again) it is to learn how to hang onto the football. Go hire Mike Alstott as a consultant. He learned how to overcome a bout of fumbleitis. As Thomas Bassinger of the Tampa Bay Times points out, the Bucs are 1-10 when Jameis throws two or more picks. This team, again, simply isn’t good enough for Jameis to overcome his turnovers. Only until the defense is at least half-arse (as opposed to its current state of just plain arse) can the Bucs do that.

3. Speaking of the defense, you hear that laughing? There’s a guy in the middle of the Illinois cornfields that is in a fetal position, howling in laughter so much the dude is bawling like a baby. That would be inept Lovie Smith. Matthew Stafford completed 82 percent of his passes yesterday. Think of that: Completed 82 percent of his passes. That is just unfathomable to Joe. And stop with the whining about no pass rush! Aside from that accident against the Jets, the Bucs haven’t had one this season. How about a novel concept, Mike Smith and company? Coach up one or more of your friggin’ players. You can’t get Will Gholston to man up and find a way to sack Stafford? Or Robert Ayers? Or shy, belly shirt-wearing, practice-hating, kicker-heckling, tree-grinding , non-contact-football-loving, chicken-wings-grilling, playing-time squawking, TV cooking star Swaggy Baker? The fact the Bucs couldn’t get a pass rush on Stafford, any at all, says more about the Bucs coaches than it does about the (lack of?) talent on the roster. Hell, Lovie likely had less to work with yet he found a way in 2014 to squeeze a combined 8.5 sacks out of homesick Ghost Johnsonweed-carrying, kneeling Akeem Spence and gun-totin,’ guitar-plucking Da’Quan Bowers.

4. Joe is pretty sure Koetter doesn’t care about fan wrath and is much more concerned with somehow finding a way to win a game or two. Still, Koetter didn’t do himself any favors in the court of public opinion by starting washed up Doug Martin yesterday instead of Peyton Barber, who the week prior in Green Bay was the first Bucs running back this season to run for 100 yards in a game. Barber may not be Tony Dorsett, but this just in, neither is Martin. Dude is done. Washed up. Finished. What exactly about the last two years, when Martin hasn’t rushed for a 100 yards in a game, suggests he’s going to magically spring to life? Koetter sure didn’t help himself or quell the growing unrest among Bucs fans by making a futile decision to start Martin, who has shown nothing, over a guy that damned near led the Bucs to a win on the road.

5. It is an utter disgrace that since Chucky was fired, only three times have the Bucs not finished in last place, including this season. Throw in the s(p)itty home record in the same time span and that’s Cleveland Browns territory. At least the Bucs aren’t dumb enough to pass on drafting a quality quarterback prospect when given the opportunity like the Browns, but the Bucs are dumb to let a strong defensive end walk away for no good reason, then cry in their stale beers how they can’t play defense because they don’t have a pass rush. Letting Michael Bennett walk away was a stunt only the Brownies would have pulled off with pride. Why, this losing year after year after friggin’ year is such an affront, some high school with the nickname “Buccaneers” should file for a trademark violation the same way the feds tried to jam the Redskins with over their nickname. Joe asks you what is more offensive, this tripe this franchise has thrown together since Chucky was jettisoned or a team nickname? There are a helluva lot of Bucs fans who have ripped doors off hinges over the constant kick-in-the-nuts losing. The only difference between the Browns, Bills and Bucs, the three teams with the longest playoff droughts (assuming the Rams and Jaguars make it this season)? The Browns and Bills had a change in ownership after Chucky was jettisoned. So at least the Browns and Bills can be given somewhat of a pass.

52 Responses to “The Morning After”

  1. lightningbuc Says:

    “Joe heard indirectly, off-the-record from a high-placed suit at One Buc Palace,”

    Yeah, well, my mom’s lawn guy’s pedicurist is on record as saying it’s true. Ok. Follow your logic over the last 24 hours. You believe Rapoport’s source that could be coming from anywhere but you don’t believe Joe’s, yet you are disturbed that Joe didn’t break this story, which isn’t really a story. Fascinating. And for clarity, Joe wrote “indirectly,” so nobody would be confused and think Joe talked Rapoport.-Joe

  2. AlteredEgo Says:

    ” methinks thou dost protest too much. “

  3. darin Says:

    They had a great game plan because they know mike smith will do nothing to adjust in game. Quick passes to riddick and ebron and tate. Simple as that. The bucs played to take away marvin jones down the field. Smith did nothing to fix the issue. Every qb who plays the bucs has it easy, if they remain patient. Ive given up on the bucs ever playing press coverage and man to man. Smith thinks the other team will turn it over if they drive the field. Offense is just as bad. Dirk wont adjust and comes into every game with same game plan. Inexcusable. Hope today is black monday

  4. Bucsfanman Says:

    Don’t sugar-coat it Joe! We ARE the Cleveland Browns South! And, the bad part is that my be a disservice to the Browns at this point!
    Ah, to be a Bucs fan!

  5. Phil Says:

    Koetter is a dead man walking.

  6. Easy Says:

    Lol Joe still defending Jameis. You can’t spell Joke without Joe

  7. thunderchunkyPA Says:

    Look at Goff, he was called a bust until he got the right HC in place. Sorry Dirk, you are the weakest link, goodbye. His decision to start Martin, and not start Barber is unreal. Also, how in the hell can you NOT give Godwin more snaps, the kid catches everything near him, hear that D Jax? The failures on D are part of Licht’s issues too. With all the good draft picks, he has his fair share of big misses and mistakes too. Not addressing the D line ( other then dancing swaggy) is a head scratcher, just like not addressing the RB spot.

  8. JonBuc Says:

    Usually…3 games vs division rivals to close out the season would be exciting. Not with this shat show of a season. At least they continue to move up the draft order ladder…just don’t see a miracle win in the last 3 games. 4-12…possible top 5 pick.

  9. America's Groper Says:

    ALL of us are starving, we have no W’s to eat. No W’s for you sez the soup nazi

  10. brooks55hof Says:

    Well said!! Problem is, there’s entirely too much drama going on here and not enough quality football. Dirk, Jameis, no defense, wasted draft picks, crappy game plans, crappy coaching and last place finishes year after year. Apathy for this franchise is at an all time high, expecting to L every week is just a given – it’s a matter of how long will the BUCS be in the game. This team is beyond repair, we are looking at a three year rebuild. I’m done blowing money on this team as there are just too many things to fix.

  11. AlteredEgo Says:

    Chucky callers….remember players did not have good thing to say about two faced back stabbing Gruden…were part of the parting…players quitting on him

  12. mark2001 Says:

    Alter…I remember Monte left in the later part of the season when the “players quit playing”….and he did what he did here without many top notched draft picks, and we were in “Salary cap hell”, as I remember. Did he tell players they would play and changed his mind? Did he say some things to players to encourage them and tell someone he felt less enthusiastic elsewhere? I’d imagine. But unfortunately we haven’t had a coach worth S since. And seems I’ve heard players publicly thank him for the SB rings they own. So the fact that you say players didn’t have good things to say about him would be only partially true…

  13. mark2001 Says:

    And Alter…let us not forget that the Glazers had purchased Man U and weren’t in the business of throwing money around after Allen got us out from under the Salary Cap. But don’t let those facts side track you from what some media folk told you.

  14. 911bucs Says:

    Joe you forgot, Stafford completed 82% of his passes with a taped up gimpy finger. That ought to make everyone fell better.

  15. Wombat Says:

    Joe, you are delusional. Winston didn’t have a good game yesterday. If you look at his choices this year, he has put a lot of his receivers in harms way. About 1 in 6 balls are thrown where the player receiving the ball isn’t going to get creamed. I am afraid after watching him play yesterday, he is now the Black Dilfer…. As Alvin Harper said back when Trent was playing, “that kid gonna get someone hurt!”
    So many missed throws when Evans and Jackson were open yesterday, sad…

  16. Pepsi Says:

    Joe, what does rapoport’s rumor have to do koetter having an “anti-Jameis” agenda? The report says that winston is unhappy with the predictable offense and unhappy with the coaches attitudes relating to his early injuries. Both those things could be true while having nothing to do with how much koetter likes winston.

  17. brooks55hof Says:

    I can certainly fathom Chucky planting the Dirk-Jameis time bomb. Not sure if the motive is revenge or employment!

  18. mark2001 Says:

    Wombat… And people don’t think Gruden knows exactly what is going on with Jameis on the field? That he doesn’t have an idea how much is play design and on the QB or receivers? People don’t think he can objectively judge what he sees? No amount of gloss or “Americans QB” talk is going to make him think any differently. Will be interesting to see if this is a job he wants.

  19. mark2001 Says:

    brooks…Dirk-Jameis time bomb? The “time bomb” is the play and results of the play of this team on the field. The rest is fluff.

  20. mark2001 Says:

    brooks… the product on the field is the problem..the results…not the speculation about the relationship between Jameis and Koetter. Can you say Jameis played much better yesterday than he did a year ago? Two years ago?

  21. AlteredEgo Says:

    draft Drew Lock

  22. passthebuc Says:

    Winston is terrible on all fronts. He is immature, a crybaby and anything but the leader you project.

  23. FortMyersDave Says:

    Joe said:

    “Man, the Bucs have almost as much drama swirling over their heads as former Bucs commander Greg Schiano had when the Bucs hosted the Dolphins in a prime time game that had all the features of a zoo with the animals turned loose. Should be interesting television next week.”

    If I recall the Buc went into that game 0-8 and did beat the Fins, 22-21 or 22-19, something like that and then beat the ATL and Detroit for a 3 game W streak before coming back to Earth and finishing 4-12 and Schiano getting the axe. No way Bucs win 3 in a row to finish up this time thought may be the only way Koetter saves his job…. Hope I am wrong and perhaps the Bucs show some pride, avoid the turnovers and Mikey Smith does not leave a young CB on an island with Julio Jones this time. Just listened to justin’s podcast and his take on the Coach-Koetter rift is a tad different but someone did place that story at a rather convenient time and this train wreck at One Buc is coming at a very convenient time for One Chuckie Gruden. A lot of coincidences…..

    Man I have been a fan since I was 11 in 1976 and its got to the point where I am not angry anymore over the ineptitude at One Buc, I simply expect the worst and am pleasantly surprised when the Bucs manage to get a W but usually end up disappointed Sunday after Sunday. I feel for the fans who put out good coin and bought season tickets to see this garbage, it truly is as bad as Lovie’s squad, in fact worse if you believe what everyone nationally says about this team’s perceived level of talent. Ughhh! Well at least Tampa and its sports fans have the 10-2 Bulls, the Lightning playing at an elite level and the Rays are basically a 3rd place 80 win franchise in baseball’s toughest division while our Bucs are right now with the exception of Cleveland, the Giants and perhaps the Bears; the most inept franchise in the NFL…. Its rough being a Buc fan.

  24. D-Rome Says:

    Hell, Lovie likely had less to work with yet he found a way in 2014 to squeeze a combined 8.5 sacks out of homesick Ghost Johnson, weed-carrying, kneeling Akeem Spence and gun-totin,’ guitar-plucking Da’Quan Bowers.

    There is no likely about it. This year’s Buccaneers is far and away more talented than anything Lovie Smith had to work with.

  25. FFS Says:

    All we did was show how bad the Lions really are

  26. FFS Says:

    Lets sing it loud and proud ……… 53 turnovers in 42 games.

  27. Mitch Says:

    Any news on GMC tearing his bicep?

  28. Bucsfanman Says:

    Your last paragraph Joe really drives the nail home. In general, we are a pitiful franchise with a long, dubious history of being bad.
    A couple of things come to mind moving forward:
    1. What coach(es) is going to want to come to this mess?
    2. Are we sure that we found our franchise QB?

  29. mark2001 Says:

    If that is true, Mitch…shut him down and anyone else with any injuries this time of year. Get all the young guys out there so the new coach can see who can play, and plan to keep for next year. After all, this season is toast anyway.

  30. Mr. Ed Says:

    Joes — stop with the Chucky conspiracy BS. Please.

    What I think? There was a strong difference of opinion and Jameis is pissed because he hates losing. Normal human emotions, maybe the yelling was loud and someone overheard it. That stuff happens all the time, and I am confident thats all there is to it.

  31. Season Is Over Says:

    Why did Justin say he heard something similar to what Rapoport reported a week and a half ago in his podcast if the report is bs?

  32. The Anomaly Says:

    Dump JW and Dirk. They both stink out loud.

  33. mike n Says:

    the notion chucky planted the story is crap. If he wants the Bucs job, all he has to do is ask. Now if he has already worked out a deal to come back (maybe a 2% chance) then people are planting the story. Not even sure Chucky comes back but if he does, he may prefer the Cowboys, Giants, colts (depending on Lucks injury) ect.

  34. BucThis Says:

    How do we know that he Glazers didn’t release the narrative? I mean everyone is saying they are notoriously impatient? Could it be they are creating a scapegoat to fire Koetter? Maybe to make it seem like they didn’t have a choice since their franchise QB and their HC aren’t seeing eye to eye?

  35. Mike Johnson Says:

    Now everybody truly sees the flaws of our Defense. We cannot… stop teams during last minute drives. If the score is close and our opposition get the ball with at least a minute left on the clock? We are toast. When the Lions got the Ball at games end, My wife shouted out…Watch’em score. And they casually waltzed down the field and did just that.
    Fellow Buc Fans, its time for the Glazers to right this ship or sell the team outright. This now is Beyond ridiculous.its outright Pityful!

  36. mike n Says:

    @bucthis… yep

  37. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Now that GMC is perhaps out……according to Tmax, we should win out…

  38. lightningbuc Says:

    Season Is Over Says:
    December 11th, 2017 at 9:44 am
    Why did Justin say he heard something similar to what Rapoport reported a week and a half ago in his podcast if the report is bs?


    LOL! Guess there is a bit of a disconnect within the walls of

  39. Howard Cosell Says:

    Yeah, This team is run by the Walmart model.

    High level people have no real physical contact w/ the business and just collect huge checks. Day to day operations at the physical locationd asre run by underpaid undertrained yahoos who really don’t give a f*ck. Low quality pervades every nook and cranny and the higher ups say”If you don’t like it go to Publix”

  40. sbucs Says:

    Two weeks until Christmas.
    How many weeks until Black Monday?
    Both can’t get here soon enough.

  41. Getaclue Says:

    Looking forward to Monday’s game solely for Gruden. Only one I care about left in this trainswreck for weeks now.

  42. JMarkBuc Says:

    Joe heard indirectly, off-the-record from a high-placed suit at One Buc Palace,”

    A couple of problems with that statement Joe. So you are either reporting off the record information, or hearsay from ” indirect” sources..Hmm..

    If it’s total Cow manure, why is it off the record?

    But Rappaport shouldn’t be trusted? In any event, JW is not a franchise QB. Most Backups can play as well as he does. As much as I would like to see America’s Groper gone, I think it plays out like this..we get a new HC, at minimum, JW plays his fourth year and if he doesn’t radically improve, the he Bucs don’t pick up the fifth year option. Afraid we are stuck with the turnover making, finger licking Rev. Jameis for one more year

  43. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    While I readily concede Jameis could become an HOF QB….I also fear he could become Jeff George.

    Bottom line is…I like him but I don’t feel comfortable betting the farm on him!

    And so if Koetter’s is gone…and rumors are already rolling about #3 not enjoying DK anymore…we’re rapidly getting to a tension point.

    The relationship between Coach and QB. Who has the power? Clearly #3 has had it here. Tough on the coach. So if Chucky comes in does that change the dynamic? Would Chucky have unequivocal total power over the QB position? Or does #3 still have “franchise” power?

    When #3 does one of his bonehead plays that results in another moronic turnover would Chucky feel free to pull him. Would Chucky feel free to draft a decent developmental QB to perhaps challenge #3? Just askin’?

  44. Maze Says:

    Michael Bennett is a POS

  45. JMarkBuc Says:


    Gruden doesn’t draft and develop QBs. He would bring in Eli, or something of that ilk. Chris Simms nearly gave Gruden a heart attack, and nearly got himself killed in the process.

  46. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    J Mark

    Does that mean you think Chucky would view Jameis as expendable? If he works out great if not Chucky has experienced QB’s like Eli in mind.

    It’s going to be interesting to see how this group of “Chucky Age” QB’s fares in their latter years. Players like Drew Brees and Tom Brady are in such mind boggling shape that they can play a lot longer if they wish.

    I’m not sure how long some guys want to hang on especially if their style included taking a pounding…Ben Roethlesberger comes to mind…I suspect he’ll want to go out as a Steeler and they’ll give him every opportunity to do that.

    Philip Rivers..even Aaron Rodgers are not young guys anymore, The League is blessed right now to have a significant number of QB’s entering their golden years.

  47. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “The fact the Bucs couldn’t get a pass rush on Stafford, any at all, says more about the Bucs coaches than it does about the (lack of?) talent on the roster.” And statements like that by you Joe say more about your lack of objective analysis regarding the Bucs’ play yesterday than it says about anything else. Of course, the rest of that ‘Morning After article’ just contains more of the same. It’s quite apparent that you found your scapegoats & that’s really all you seem to care about.

    Bucs’ defense did a MUCH BETTER job than you give them credit for … considering what they had to work with. And yes, the talent level on that defense is lacking (especially on the DLine & in the secondary). I know you keep saying statistics aren’t your thing (unless they appear to prove your pointI should add), but look at what the Bucs’ defense REALLY did yesterday.

    For starters, they held the Stafford & the Lions to 24 points (2 points less than the Lions average this year), with a badly depleted DLine (no McDonald & very little GMC plus several non-descript DEs). To make matters worse (MUCH WORSE), they had to find a way to counteract FIVE (yes, a full FIVE) turnovers by the Bucs’ offense each of which resulted in very good field position for the Lions … Lions scored 2 TDs off 2 of Jameis’ turnovers (1 INT & 1 fumble), but the Bucs defense forced the Lions offense to punt on 2 other turnovers, and intercepted Stafford after the other Bucs fumble by Martin.

    For their part, the Bucs D forced THREE Lions’ turnovers … 2 INTs & 1 fumble. Points scored by the Bucs’ offense after these gifts? NADA … ZIP, ZERO, ZILCH. Worse yet, rather than the Bucs scoring after Ebron’s fumble, OJ RETURNS THE FAVOR by fumbling the ball back to the Lions 2 plays later. Sad doesn’t begin to describe it.

    Even more interesting (to me, apparently not to you) is what Smitty was able to accomplish with so little to work with. Bucs’ defense was on the field for 68 snaps in the game. McDonald was already out, so our DTs were GMC, Baker & Siliga. GMC got hurt after getting 18 snaps, so he only played about 1 quarter, leaving Baker & Siliga as the only true DTs. Baker got 43 snaps, Siliga got 17 snaps. Ayers (55 snaps) & Gholston (17 snaps) helped out some inside, plus we had 3 other DEs contributing snaps … Russell (32 snaps), Clarke (27 snaps) & O’Connor (4 snaps).

    Strange thing happens when you add up all those defensive snaps … you get 213 snaps total. Since there were 68 defensive plays, that amounts to 3 DTs and/or DEs on the line average (the normal 4-3 defense would’ve had 272 snaps from 4 Dlinemen). In other words, Bucs were in a 3-man front almost all day. The fact that 4 LBs logged a whopping total of 217 defensive snaps pretty much supports that … David (68 snaps), Kwon (68 snaps), Beckwith (61 snaps) & Bond (20 snaps). Smitty was obviously trying everything to compensate for not having a bonafide DLine.

    But hey, it’s obviously much more fun to write stuff like “You know, Jameis actually didn’t play bad at all yesterday” or this gem … “Speaking of the defense, you hear that laughing? There’s a guy in the middle of the Illinois cornfields that is in a fetal position, howling in laughter so much the dude is bawling like a baby. That would be inept Lovie Smith.”

    Saw a LOT of names mentioned in that article, but you know which names weren’t mentioned? The true culprits is this disaster show … LICHT & the GLAZERS.

  48. orlbucfan Says:

    I hate the hire Chucky Gruden noize. Once the SB was won, he did absolutely nothing in terms of an imaginative, gambling west coast offense. The Bucs offense was nothing like Gruden’s highly praised Oakland offense. I’ll have the game on radio but will skip the halftime. Been there, done that, and please Glazers, do NOT bring this ego back!

  49. Lakeland Says:

    The Bucs fiinsih dead-last in the NFC South with Jon Gruden as Head Coach. TWICE



  50. Lakeland Says:


  51. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Defense Rules- Those are ‘inconvenient facts’ you state. Inconvenient in that they support what everyone SAW yesterday but, don’t want to admit.
    That we were even in that game with 5 (FIVE) turnovers is NOT a testament to Jameis, it’s a testament to a defense who played the best they could with what they had.
    Leadership always starts from the top.

  52. bucs_365 Says:

    Hiring Gruden would show, once again, that the Glazers are completely foeking clueless.