What’s Going To Change?

January 17th, 2018

“You know what I’d do, Jason?”

Joe is not one of those obsessed Bucs fans who believes Tampa Bay’s 9-7 record in 2016 was a fluke, some sort of version of fake news on Dirk Koetter’s two-year head coach resumé.

And Joe doesn’t think last season’s crap 5-11 finish was just bad luck by a great coaching staff with great talent.

So it is disturbing that Tampa Bay management seems completely ok with the status woe  quo when it comes to the entirety of the coaching staff. It makes no logical sense.

But so it goes.

Now the real question is, after Koetter’s coaching staff was evaluated to be the best money can buy, what changes will Koetter make? What buttons will he push to effect change?

Koetter has taken heat for running soft training camps and spring practices. The primary goal by a wide margin is getting players fresh and ready for opening day, Koetter has said, caring for their bodies, something Koetter says he learned from Jack Del Rio. For those wondering, Del Rio has a career head coaching record of 93-94.

But Koetter’s Bucs teams have scored back-to-back dominant victories on opening day (Atlanta and Chicago). So Koetter is perfect at getting his team ready to perform out of the gate.

However, his teams have collapsed mightily after that, falling to 3-5 in 2016, and then 2-6 in 2017. And then both teams rallied in the second half of those respective seasons to play better football.

It’s an odd pattern, one that can’t continue.

Enter new Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone. Despite never having a quality quarterback, Marrone is 26-24 as an NFL head coach, plus he’s 2-0 in the playoffs.

Marrone is old school, a kid from the Bronx eventually drafted to the NFL as an offensive lineman, a guy who was happy to chat with Joe last March about his time playing for the Dolphins under Don Shula and his old school ways and coaches.

Last night, Joe went back to his trusty recorder and pulled some of the chat with Marrone at the NFL Owners Meetings in Phoenix. Joe asked about the Jaguars’ stockpile of talent and how Marrone would approach changing the losing culture he was part of. (Marrone was on the Jags’ staff during the demise of the brutal Gus Bradley era.)

Marrone’s response: “I have some very clear ideas. We’ll see how they go over.”

It turns out, per an Associated Press story, Marrone was horrified by the ping-pong and dominoes games in the losing Jags locker room of 2016. He quickly outlawed those and changed players lockers to break up cliques and blend select veterans with young players.

“We definitely threw a tantrum,” Pro Bowl defensive tackle Malik Jackson said.

As the story goes, then Marrone turned practices into boot camp — in the extreme north Florida heat.

Now the Jags are the nasty boys of the NFL.

So is this a change Koetter would make? Ride the Bucs tougher in hopes of building a mentally and physically tougher team?

Joe thinks Koetter, if he desired, could pull it off because he’d have the full backing of America’s Quarterback, Jameis Winston, and Kwon Alexander, guys who would embrace the pain and the mentality.

Significant change has to come from somewhere for this Bucs team to thrive. Joe doubts Koetter will go this route, since Koetter likely thinks he’s using a tried and true path to success.

Perhaps avoiding deadbeat, chemistry-infecting free agents, the mere subtraction of Doug Martin, and finding at least one solid defensive end in the draft will be enough.

43 Responses to “What’s Going To Change?”

  1. AlteredEgo Says:

    Jags are nasty boyz…because of the recent years of talent acquired in the DRAFT and accentuated by home runs in FA….it is all about the talent !

  2. Bucsace Says:

    I like Marrone……but Tom Coughlin is the guy behind this turnaround

  3. Chucklehead Says:

    Im not optimistic about next season at all. I have zero faith in our defense. I dont even think a great draft will help.
    If we just saw something from Mike Smith in the way of making adjustments in game, I would feel better. I personally saw our defense in way too mant 3rd and 3 plays with our corners playing 10 yards off the line of scrimmage. You add that to the fact that hes shown no ability to get pressure on the qb and cant even compensate that with blitzes and next season looks like more of the same.

  4. Tom Edrington Says:

    Tom Coughlin would fire Jason Licht…

  5. mike10 Says:

    Not sure if you’ve had the chance to listen to the Ian Beckles podcast this week with Ira, but some interesting point were made about our boy McCoy, that Ira didn’t have a whole lot to counter against.

    Of all those superlatives used to describe the Jax defense (tough & nasty boys of the NFL), I don’t think that describes our defense.. at all! Blow up the whole defensive line! They suck and have sucked the past decade.

  6. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    At the end of the day stats are just stats…and we continually violate a fundamental law of stats….they are only as good as the sample size.

    So looking at the large sample size of the Buc’s history we can clearly say we have been a very bad franchise.

    However that includes decades. Looking at a one or two year record is just not a very reliable sample size…especially in a league that is built on parity and routinely sees “bad” teams become “good” in a single season.

    The reality is with the draft and FA the league is very balanced with just a few exceptions…NE at the top and Cleveland at the bottom.

    ANYTHING can happen next year. So instead of stats let’s go back to our eyeballs for this team and there is a strong consensus.

    Fix the freaking pass rush and get a running game! The majority of posters on JBF see that and so does the Buc’s management.

    NO MORE EXCUSES!!! Draft 7 DL…Do whatever is needed…FIX THIS PROBLEM.

    If building a pass rush is not PRIORITY ONE….we’re still hosed.

  7. Not there yet Says:

    Again we’re forgetting the defense was the reason for the main reason for the 5 game win streak. A lot of teams overcome bad defense but they are teams like the Packers and saints who have real head coaches. Koetter is an ok coach but everyone had to agree that he’s not the type of guy to completely change the fortunes if this team by doing what he did last year and not even changing the worst special teams coach in the NFL. Did losing your special teams Captain to Carolina cause that big of a disruption? These players know who he is so he can’t change and seem genuine. I’m onboard with glazers giving them a one year prove it deal while looking for the coach that will replace them because these coaches suck

  8. darin Says:

    No its not all about the talent. The above story is direct proof. Marone came in and made them toughen up. They only added one free agency period and one draft. Yes they were good adds, but good adds because the coaching staff put them into position to succeed. Bradley got fired because his record wasnt matching up with the talent. Marrone is getting most out of his players. Now I hope dirk somehow does go old school and has a real camp. I just dont see it happening now tho. Maybe he did some real soul searching and realized he messed up. We hope so. This team had enough talent last year to make the playoffs. Dont believe it? Ask your head coach. He said it.

  9. AlteredEgo Says:

    go check Jags drafts the last 4 years and compare their yield with the Bucs drafts !…..of course there are coaching factors and many other complex considerations…KISS man for man Buc vs Jags…draft yield…

  10. Dewey Selmon Says:

    As long as Dirk is not like rest of society and goes full on knee jerk, pendulum swinging too far to the other side boot camp style, players falling out needing IV’s training camp.

  11. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Good Read Joe

    Funny how all this stuff w/Koetter, Mike Smith, Assistants, and Licht.
    Reminds me of a quote I used to sum up Lovie Smith.

    Pride Cometh Before the Fall

    <em-Proverbs 16:18

  12. Lord Cornelius Says:

    As long as he doesn’t go full blown Schiano I’m down lol

  13. Eric Says:

    Dirk is 58 years old. He is who he is.

    I’d be surprised if ping pong and dominoes are the culprit.

    We tried the room temperature guy remember? From watching the playoffs it seemed pretty clear those teams have much better personnel than our bucs. We don’t play anything close to that. Night and day.

  14. The Buc Realist Says:

    Its funny, I remember 2 years ago the Jags were supposed to be the “breakout team” much like the Bucs were last year!!!!!

    2 seasons ago, Coach Smitty defense went on a unprecedented streak when Robert Ayers was healthy and Rookie Noah Spence were productive!!!!! Get the man a “real” DE this offseason and we will all see some “change”!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Another “change” will be this offseason goals!!!!!! From the owners on down!!!!! It will not be about expanding the brand!!!!!!! One goal!!!!!!!! Only one question will be ask for everything!!!!! Does this help the team on the field!!!!!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    BTW there is a nice article in the Times this morning about Jon Cooper’s practice schedule and ideas. It’s largely just like Koetter’s worrying about player health and even their mental fatigue. In case you haven’t noticed the Lightning are the best team in the NHL right now.

    Have any of you seen how Pete Carroll has innovated at Seattle? Concerned that tackling fundamentals have become lost in both College and the Pros the Seahawks developed drills that improve their tackling without actually blowing each other up Marrone style.

    Sample size folks… One year is not enough for me. I’ll believe Jax is the real deal IF they improve on their record next year. That win in the playoffs was pretty meaningless…a 3-3 tie at the half….the most boring game in this year’s playoffs. Also remember the Jags play in the crappiest division in the crappiest conference in the league.

  16. kgh4life Says:

    Getting rid of the ping-pong table in the Bucs locker is a start, seems trivial, however, through out this brutal season, every time reporters are conducting interviews in the locker room one can hear the players in the background playing ping-pong. As a fan of the Bucs it was infuriating, how can the players be so cavalier and play ping pong when almost every week their being embarrassed on the field.
    Next, Koetter has to change his approach when it comes to training camp, can’t have anymore soft training camps. It was obvious this past season the team lacked the mental toughness to close out games. Doesn’t guarantee these changes will work but Koetter can’t keep doing the same things over again and expect a different result.

  17. Tony from Los Angeles Says:

    Was loving the article and then… your last sentence!!!
    This is the epitome of everything that is wrong with the Bucs.

    “We need defensive ends, so lets draft one guy and fix it!”

    It never works for the Bucs.
    I repeat.
    Ok – Selmon worked out.
    That was 40 years ago!!!!!!!!!

    The Bucs need to add at least 8 new faces to both lines to have any chance at finding 2 or 3 REAL contributors. Competition. Camp battles. Deeper depth. These are the only ways for the Bucs to improve at the two most important parts of the team… the trenches.

    Fix the trenches, fix the Bucs!!

  18. Bucsfanman Says:

    The proof is in the pudding. All of this is great TALK. Everyone with eyes knows what our problems are. FIX IT!!!!!


  19. AceofAerospace Says:

    It’ll never work for Koetter. Marrone started this way. So it’s expeted. Dirk is a pushover and the players know it. They won’t take him serious. Come on 2019.

  20. Its_A_Tough_Buc_Life Says:

    Draft Chubb/Key in the first round. Draft Sony Michel or Derrius Guice in round 2, both will be studs. Draft Tarvarus McFadden in the 3rd, he’d instantly start opposite of Grimes and move VH3 to the slot. Draft Maurice Hurst our of Michigan at DT in the 4th.

    Sign Lawrence or Ziggy (more likely) & MB72 in FA. If Mathieu hits that open market, GET HIM. Sign Andrew Norwell and/or Justin Pugh to play G. Resign Grimes, Tandy & McDonald. Cut Ayers, Baker, Conte, Martin, Sweezy and let Ward walk.

    Guice/Michel-Barber-(Enter 3rd back here)

  21. Ptwalk Says:

    When we practiced/ scrimaged the Jags last off season, we held our own and that was talent for talent. In some instances, if I’m not mistaken, we dominated with our d line. Why is it that when the regular season starts and coaching and game planning is involved we look like the inferior team. I remember a D Jackson interview when he said they were only prepared for single high safety and not 2 high. That’s being out coached.

  22. doolnutts Says:

    Already a strange offseason. Glazers are so trigger happy lately that I am shocked that Koetter is staying(although im for it). That being said I think we will see a HUGE roster overhaul if we aren’t blaming the coaches. Talent wise especially on the DL I think we are much worse than people wanted to admit/see/whatever word you’d like to use. Short of McCoy, LVD, Beck, Kwon, Grimes the defense stinks. Baker, Ayers if cut would likely not even get a chance to start anywhere else. Going to be an interesting offseason that is for sure.

  23. SOEbuc Says:

    KOETTER SAID IN EVERY PC THIS YEAR THAT OUR LOSING WAYS HAD A LOT TO DO WITH THE COACHING. AND NOW THEY HAVE BROUGHT EVERY COACH BACK FOR NEXT YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!! Nothing is going to change. Even if we bring in a lot of talent and depth to fix our holes we’ll still be 9-7 at the most with an “in the hunt” or wild card game and not getting past that.

  24. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    The Jags picked at the top of the draft for so long that they have a lot of talent now. And that talent has had time to develop. That’s the real difference.

    Bucs fans get excited after every draft because they always think those players will make a huge difference…but they never account for the time it takes to acclimate and develop…so they end up disappointed.

    So…here’s a scenario…if VHIII shows big this year, what does it mean?

    Supposedly, CBs “don’t have bad sophomore years”. There goes that statement out the window. Eh?

  25. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    SOEbuc Says

    Well of course he did. Do you really think if he would have blamed it on talent things would have gone well? The players would have turned on him. He did what a coach is supposed to do…take the blame so the players don’t have to.

    Surely you get that, right?

  26. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


    Also, your prediction of 9-7? You cannot reasonably make that prediction at this point. We don’t know who is coming through free agency or the draft.

    Say, for example, some really good pass rusher pops up on free agency and Licht lands him…a valid pass rusher who is maybe 29-31, who people think might be in his twilight years, but he proves he still has a few left in him?

    Also, Licht manages to find a great, established running back in Free Agency…a veteran who is not washed up, but his previous team decides to go younger.

    Just those two signings would make a huge difference. Then, suppose, Licht gets a top pass rusher in the draft, a CB and a RT.

    The veteran would be a bridge player. If Spence stays healthy, he could be great. Then you have the new guy. The running back produces. The offensive line gels more because they have a season behind them of working together.

    Any predictions at this point are wasted ones. We won’t know until later. Assuming we’ll be lousy next year is out of line.

  27. SOEbuc Says:

    Very sharp new stadium screens. Very sharp new indoor practice facility. If the Bucs don’t make the playoffs next year, I could really see the Glazers making the move to sell and not try to once again find a coaching staff and GM that doesn’t work out.

  28. 813bucboi Says:

    it aint all talent…..they had talent last year….it comes down to coaching, putting players in position to be successful and accountability….

    fix those things and we might reach .500 next year…..GO BUCS!!!!

  29. Gambelero Says:

    Can we at least get some upgrades in the scouting departments? 15k more per position than what we pay now would get us some pro bowl caliber college scouts. 25k more gets us some stud pro scouts. Wait, that’s clearly wrong—we almost certainly are just as miserly on paying our backbone infrastructure people as we are on everything else. 15k and 25k more than the going rate, respectively, gets us those upgrades. If the Glazers are too tight for that, then why not upgrade the chef, or the nutritionist? If that’s too much why not upgrade the locker room towel girls or hire a few famous adult film stars as physical therapists?

    Management has to change something to give us hope of a happy ending. Please do something. We can’t just stand totally pat.

  30. loggedontosay Says:

    No GM has hit on every draft pick. Coaching is the problem with the Bucs.

  31. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    Do not disagree except the breakout player who was getting all the compliments from players on both teams and Simeon Rice was Noah Spence. That certainly made our DL look better against the Jags.

    We’ll never know how much impact a healthy Noah would have made on our D.
    We could play the what ifs but that’s soooo last year.

    Sadly as much as I love Noah…I’m not sure he’ll ever be the same player with that shoulder.

  32. BucThis Says:

    SOE makes a good point 🤔🤔 could the Glazers be tempting to sell?? Updated Stadium, indoor practice facility, confirmed future super bowl, franchise quarterback and WR? If they were to sell I’d imagine it would be by the end of next season. Get the most $ out it. New ownership hand picks GM and coach? And the Glazers & Co. focus solely on Man U. If you think about it, it kind of makes sense. Glazer & Co. clearly have no idea how to run a football franchise…. AT ALL.

  33. LakeLand Says:

    Smooth Jason Licht will sell you beachfront property in Siberia.

  34. 813bucboi Says:


    McFadden and hurst could go in the 1st….2nd at the lowest…..

    I do think guice and Michel will be there in the 2nd….Ronald jones out of USC can run the rock too….GO BUCS!!!!

  35. Mike Johnson Says:

    Bucs are going stright to..possibly..8-8 next season..at best. Just keep the Nachos/cheese hot for Mike Smith sitting high up in the pressbox!!

  36. Bucnjim Says:

    Can you really teach or instill toughness? Or do you draft with a specific toughnes in mind? Seems to me that Jax has had that mentality for awhile now starting with their offensive line then more recently their defensive line. Even their RB and WR’s have a toughness they brought with them to this team. My argument for the last decade has been that this Bucs team has been a finesse team and toughness CAN NOT be taught!

  37. NFLNut Says:

    All coaches have their own ways … Pete Carrol and Bill Belichick are nothing alike, same for Phil Jackson and Pat Riley, same for Tony LaRussa and Joe Torre, etc., etc., etc.,.

  38. Ed Says:

    This team doesn’t have it in the trenches. 3 of the 4 remaining playoff teams, Eagles, Vikes, Jags all play smashmouth and beat the snot out of their opponents.

    The Pats win because they adjust and no one can stop their offense. They have less talent than most teams but coaching and effort is stellar.

    Bucs have to learn to play harder/faster/stronger. Too many loafers out there. Too many players that don’t want to man up and make plays.

    Getting paid the big money and then not showing up.

  39. chickster Says:

    I agree with st pete buc fan we need a freaking pass rush the should be no excuses . tight end wasn’t a need for this team last year and do not know what the hell they were thinking other than mis judging there talent on Defense

  40. chickster Says:

    Glazers have lost interest in the nfl and I think they are finished playing with there toy daddy gave them .

  41. Dan Says:

    Same coach same GM same QB same record in 2018. Face reality.

  42. Rod Munch Says:

    Dan – so in 2017 since they had the same coach, the same GM and the same QB they should have had the same record again, right?

    Say less boring things, the world will be grateful.

    God bless.

  43. BringBucsBack Says:

    Ping-pong is great for hand / eye coordination.