Soft Training Camps

January 11th, 2018

Were Bucs doomed in August?

A couple of scenes from “Hard Knocks” will live in Bucs lore.

People throughout the NFL smirked at Doug Marrone who, with the full pat on the back from new Jags team president Tom Coughlin, went old school in training camp with a bruising, balls-busting August that reminded folks of the now-banned two-a-days.

Offsides-jumping, belly shirt-wearing, practice-hating, kicker-heckling, tree-grinding , non-contact-football-loving, chicken-wings-grilling, playing-time-squawking, TV-cooking-star, half-sack Swaggy Baker mocked the Jags and boasted to Jags fans, when the Bucs had joint workouts with Jacksonville in August, that the Jags would be a joke of a team in 2017.

Then, Swaggy went and did a palm tree.

The rest is history.

With the Jags traveling to Pittsburgh this weekend in the AFC divisional round playoffs, who is laughing now?

While the Jags had a rough training camp, under the strict orders of Bucs coach Dirk Koetter, the Bucs did not. Koetter didn’t want his players drained. Koetter had his eyes set on December and beyond and noted he learned from his friend Jack Del Rio to keep guys fresh. And there is something to that.

Playoff teams this year had far less guys on injured reserve (on average) than teams that did not make the playoffs

However, did Koetter go too far in making sure the Bucs were well-rested through August? Remember how Koetter often grumbled how bad practices were each day?

The reason Joe brings this up is because, yes, we all know Chucky is now coaching the Raiders. In a recent podcast on “The Ringer,” former Raider executive Michael Lombardi, who was on staff with the Raiders in Chucky’s first hitch with the team, noted a reason the Raiders went from a playoff team in 2016 to the bottom of the AFC West in 2017 was that the team was “not in shape.”

Who coached the Raiders in 2017? Del Rio.

You see where Joe is going here?

Notice how the Bucs got alley-beaten in Minnesota in the second game in 2017? As in got the living hell kicked out of them physically?

How many games did the Bucs’ defense vomit away in the fourth quarter this year?

Now Joe doesn’t know if there is a correlation here but it is giving Joe something to think about this morning.

You can watch Lombardi’s take on Chucky below.

35 Responses to “Soft Training Camps”

  1. dexterOHMAN Says:

    [Sorry, not hijacking the comments for this story. Try to play along. — Joe]

  2. dexterOHMAN Says:


  3. Joe Says:

    Not sure what either has to do with the focus of this story.

  4. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    Oh God,

    Are going to have to suffer all year long to raiders and chucky comparisons??

    Physical conditioning that is hard and rentlesss actually bonds teams closer and makes them more focused….and I know this from personal experience.

    NFL coaches know this too….but the NFL limits this and that’s why so many players are getting hurt more often.

    I personally don’t think Koetter will change his ways and you’re seeing this already by Koetter keeping his same staff.

    ….and Koetter is doing because he:

    A. Trying to get fired this season


    B. Trying to prove that his methods and ways do work

    All fans care about are results and if the buc were winning. Then Noone would dare question his methods, right?

  5. Stav Says:

    Schiano = Training camp too tough
    Koetter = Training camp too soft

    What do both have in common? A losing record as Bucs coach.

    The notion that Jacksonville is in the playoffs because they did up-downs during training camp is nonsense. They are in the playoffs because they can rush the passer (Calais Campbell signing), they can run the football (drafted a stud running back), and tied with Tennessee for having the easiest schedule in the NFL (.434 SOS compared to the Bucs’ .555).

  6. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    @ Stav

    You make a great point……

    You really meant to say “the jags have more talented players at the right positions the help them succeed more”

    …..which is 100% true

    But I’m a firm believer in grinding camps that make grown men wanna vomit on the field.

  7. dexterOHMAN Says:

    Yea I did feel the bucs weren’t physical enough to win games, but I’m not sure if that’s cause of training camps being too soft

  8. Bucsfan951 Says:

    Defense puked away forth quarter leads as bad as the Bucs offense puking the first 3 quarters!

  9. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    This coming season, we have an indoor facility..they can’t blame the heat or rain for soft practices.

    We need to bring in a Navy Seal Team trainer and just let Koetter serve Gatorade when done.

  10. Lamarcus Says:

    Didn’t Sapp and Skip Bayless something about the soft training camp approach?

    And that Baker not practicing was a strength than a weakness? Dm first game back after suspension was gassed and never the same?

    Some signs were there

  11. WeAreLost Says:

    Why sensor?

  12. DalvinCookRules Says:

    “It was a couple of scenes…” sorry man, I couldn’t read beyond that. It’s one thing for the average American Joe to have failed at grammar, but you are writing for thousands of readers. Common, Joe.

  13. Buc believer Says:

    Soft training camp weak minded coach a defense that gives in like a drunken prom date and a GM that is about as smart as forest gump and owners that care about winning about as much as Hugh Culverhouse all point to the garbage that is now the Bucs.

  14. darin Says:

    It all started in patty cake camp guys. Each team has alot of new guys. He had them going thru the motions like they had been in tbe same system 10 years. Also had the starters sitting alot, which is why the 2nd and 3rds outplayed the starters all year. You wana be good at tackle football…you practice tackle football. Since they are bringing back all the terrible coaches I wonder if the bad players get a pass too. No mas tree humping por favor

  15. Defense Rules Says:

    Seems like Bucs’ media & fans spend forever trying to figure out why we have losing records. Ultimately most seem to want to point to one factor & blame it. As if fixing 1 thing will turn it all around & we’ll win the Super Bowl.

    Make training camp so hard that everyone pukes at least once every 5 minutes & we’re on our way to the playoffs.
    No wait, surely it’s the defense … fire Scapegoat Smitty, bring in ( ____ insert name here) & everything will be fixed.
    No, it’s just the pass rush … dump GMC then grab a half dozen replacements & surely that’ll do it.
    Oh no, forgot about Jameis’ turnovers, surely that’s it … a little Gorilla Glue on the ball & we’re on our way to a 15-1 season.

    A runner, we need a runner … 1st pick in the draft baby. We’re good to go.
    And a DE, we need a new one … 1st pick in the draft baby. Now we’re there.
    A cornerback, yup, we need a CB … 1st pick in the draft baby. Yup, we’re set.
    A Guard? No, make that a OT. OK, add one … nah, make that two.
    A DT? Ya, add one to the shopping list … better double-up there also.
    A new safety? Why not. Add him in …

    No question, fixing this is getting way too complicated. All we have to do is fire Scapegoat Smitty & keep praising GM Licht for the wonderful job he’s done building this team and we’re good to go.

  16. tnew Says:

    This was widely reported by several media sources. I saw this referred to as “the softest camp I’ve ever been around” many times. I applaud Joe for bringing back to the surface. The loose camp made Hard Knocks entertaining for sure, however, it did not translate to sucess. I understand the desire to not overload players in training camp but there is a level of grind that is necessary to mentally prepare for such a long and taxing season.

    The problem is, hard nose coaches can come in and lessen their intensity a bit as time passes and be effective. Player’s coaches have a hard time turning up the intensity once a baseline has been established. If Koetter now decides things have to be tougher, this will be a tough sell. Not impossible, but tough.

  17. AceofAerospace Says:

    I hated hard knocks because of the yuk it up, grab ass approach to training camp the bucs demonstrated.

  18. Buc4life Says:

    I went to more practices this year than in the past and like former players attending these practices, I thought the practices were too glazed or easy. Plus changing practices to the morning to escape the heat!! The heat is our advantage against cold weather teams if we are use to it. I hope Dirk change his practices because if not the looses will continue. Remember the old saying “you practice like you play”.

  19. Richbucsfan Says:

    I think that saying is you play like you practice. Anyway I agree with you. Next season will be the test of Koetter. Hopefully he won’t be head coach stubborn. Maybe he’ll show some flexibility. He better do something to get this team winning.

  20. Bob in Valrico Says:

    If you think about it Koetter’s experience with Del Rio came in the of the longer more grueling training camps. Not sure we need that with training camps in this current CBA era with non mandatory OTA’s and padless practices.

  21. Architek Says:

    I can’t do the Gruden – Koetter thing this year.

  22. Phil Says:

    Well good news Koetter wish came true. None of his players are drained. They’re sitting at home while the playoffs are going on.

  23. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    You know…I don’t feel Hard Knocks hurt the team at all. At worst, it let us know how big a screw up Baker would be.

    And I’m grateful we were finally on it. Got ever episode backed up on a hard drive so I can enjoy it for years to come. I love the inside look at things, even if some of it was misleading.

    Regardless of how people felt about it, it is in the past and a new dawn begins. We won’t even be considered for the show for a long time now.

    I’m excited about this team. I know there is a lot of negativity out there, but I know this team is a few steps from greatness. Things are not so bad as people think. Fix the pass rush, get a good running back and let the oline keep developing. (maybe replace Dotson).

    The rest of the offense will improve. I’m not ready to give up on VHIII, and I think Grimes will be back. And Evans is improving immensely. We are not so far off.

    In FA if we get a good DE and a good RB, we can get another DE in the draft, Spence will return and we are set.

  24. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Soft camp didn’t seem to affect LVD. Maybe it’s the players…..

  25. GhostofSchiano Says:

    JOE said – “Notice how the Bucs got alley-beaten in Minnesota in the second game in 2017? As in got the living hell kicked out of them physically?”

    I remember watching that game thinking in the fourth quarter I wish Koetter could throw in the towel / wave the white flag before we start losing guys for the season. The Vikes came to not only play that day but to DOMINATE, and they did.

  26. Bucnjim Says:

    There are two words to describe this team (since 2009) Finesse and drama. Neither should be associated with an NFL team. Let’s go back to 2009 when Gruden was fired and Raheem took over. Also let go were Brooks & Dunn. The new leaders were Barrett Ruud, Talib, Josh Freeman. Did not improve the next few years with the drafting of Clayborn and bowers the picking up Albert Haynsworth the drama and bad attitude only got worse! McCoy already had an early start on IR which has been an issue throughout his career. After screwing up several drafts in a row we had new additions to the finesse club Mike Glennon and Johnathan Banks. Then there was Revis drama McCoy back on IR and the Seferian Jenkins additional drama. Looking at all these rosters this team has been a poor version of the Bad news Bears and a turnstile of players who never made it in the NFL.

  27. feelthepewterpower Says:

    I’d like the Buccs to actually violate the CBA to send a message that were not going to be soft anymore! The injuries are all too apparent from the soft camps. Buccs have been in the upper echelon in terms of injuries the last five years.

  28. feelthepewterpower Says:

    JOE said – “Notice how the Bucs got alley-beaten in Minnesota in the second game in 2017? As in got the living hell kicked out of them physically?”

    I remember watching that game thinking in the fourth quarter I wish Koetter could throw in the towel / wave the white flag before we start losing guys for the season. The Vikes came to not only play that day but to DOMINATE, and they did.
    Ok, in fairness, the Buccaneers were without a lot of starters in the Vikings game; nearly the entire starting defense. You also have to factor in that it was their first road game, against a good team, and it was only the second game of the year (it was the Vikings third game).

  29. BoJim Says:

    Koetter might want to kick some ass this season.

  30. The Buc Realist Says:

    Who has time for training camp when you are filming a reality tv show!!!!!!!!

    But there were no distractions!!!!!! LOL!!!!!!!

    Hopefully now everyone can focus on football!!!!!!

    GO Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. Rod Munch Says:

    Not only a cupcake training cap, but also he didn’t play guys in the preseason much. I get not wanting guys injured, but you can take it too far. The weather was also an issue with people panicking over the hurricane and fleeing the state (along with other dopes, including ones going to Walmart, buying up all the water they could find, filling up all their cars with gas and gas cans with gas, etc, then fleeing the state taking all the water and supplies with them – morons). The early season with all disruptions and lack of effort in practices, the missed time, etc – all caught on film, it was a mess.

  32. sj_bucsfan Says:

    Soft camp Soft Results Nuff said

  33. Mike Johnson Says:

    Bucs just need a hard hittin Defense and a pass rush. We did have that..once upon a time. Look no further than them J-Ville JAG-WARS baby!!

  34. Bucsfanman Says:

    NICE RANT Defense Rules!!!!
    Definitely NOT an easy fix!

  35. chickster Says:

    Our head coach is a pu**y the players like him but wont go to war with him