“It Was Us”

February 4th, 2018

Pointed question to GMC.

Joe appreciates when folks cut to the chase.

Take popular TV and radio sports personality Adam Schein. When the SiriusXM and CBS Sports Network host gets a guest on his show, he doesn’t stay chained to softball questions.

So last week when Bucs stud defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was making his rounds around the Mall of America food court radio row at the Super Bowl LII media center, GMC stopped to chat with Schein. And just like many Bucs fans, Schein wondered how, just a few months ago with seemingly everyone expecting big things from the Bucs, the 2017 season went into the tank.

Adam Schein: I was one of those guys. I thought you guys were making the playoffs this year. Forget “Hard Knocks.” I was all in based on the offseason. The roster, I loved the direction. What the hell happened?

Gerald McCoy: You know what, it was us. We couldn’t make enough plays when it counted. You have all these guys on the roster, a very talented offense. I don’t speak about the offense much but I will say they had all the pieces and a lot of talent on offense. We have a very good core, nucleus guys like myself, Lavonte David, Kwon Alexander, who just made his first Pro Bowl, Brent Grimes, Vernon Hargreaves, we had a great nucleus of guys and guys who have won like Clinton McDonald, Robert Ayers who have been to Super Bowls, Clinton McDonald has won one. We brought in Chris Baker – it looks good on paper, but I always tell people potential means nothing. You have to produce. And we did not do that enough. But one thing that is a positive I will say is at the end of the season, we put our division on notice, which I believe is the best division in football. It is the division of the quarterback. Two years ago you had Carolina in the Super Bowl, last year you had Atlanta and the Saints were one play away from the conference championship. So that would have been three years in a row and an NFC South team was fighting to go to the Super Bowl. At the end of the year we played Atlanta until the last play – you know, we missed a field goal. Carolina, we had the game won on a fourth-and-three and we jumped offsides and gave the game away and then they fumbled into the end zone. And then we actually beat the Saints in the last home game so I think we put them on notice that we are not going anywhere. We just have to make a couple of more plays, move some pieces around and change some things.

And Joe thinks GMC may be onto something here.

To be fair, the Bucs likely played their best ball in the month of December — not surprisingly when America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, had a healthy shoulder.

In the three NFC South games the Bucs played in December, it wasn’t like the Saints, Dixie Chicks and Stinking Panthers all threw in the towel. Each one of those teams was in the thick of a playoff chase (and all three made it). So all three were playing for something when they faced the Bucs.

The road to turning around a team begins with winning division games. Perhaps the Bucs, going 1-2 against the NFC South in December, all close games, showed they could be on the cusp of reversing fortunes in 2018?

52 Responses to ““It Was Us””

  1. Mike Evans GOAT Says:

    Really won’t matter till we get some real coaching

  2. JimmyJack Says:

    At the time I just didn’t care about those final games. They showed aggression in those games but they were flat when it mattered.

    In retrospect, that’s the only hope I have for next season. The question is; Did they learn what it takes to win in this league? Are they going to be able to bring that same play for a full 16 games? Were those performances a team mentality thing? If not how do they expect to repeat it?

    After all those question there are still a ton of questions left for the coaching staff to answer. We are unprepared and undisciplined in many areas of the game.

    At the end of the day it just seems very bleak to be clinging to the prosime they showed in only a quater of the season. Especially when the record was
    1-3…….reality is they have earned no credit

  3. LargoBuc Says:

    Sorry but we didnt put anyone on notice. We went 1-5 against the division. The Bucs are at the bottom. It sucks but we have everything to prove, not the other three teams.

  4. Ed Kerber Says:

    I believe the ball is in Jason Licht’s court. Jason needs set the tone early and needs to cut the following immediately at the beginning of the league year:

    Chris Baker DT 30
    Doug Martin RB 29

    He also needs through free agency and the draft to get the following (by Combination of Draft and Free Agents):

    3 DE
    2 DT
    2 RB
    1 KR
    4 CB
    1 C
    2 OG
    1 OT
    1 S
    1 QB (Back-up)

    if possible he should Re-sign the following (or find a younger FREE AGENT upgrade for) , any resign from this list lessens the need of the above :

    Brent Grimes CB 34
    Keith Tandy FS 28
    Robert McClain CB 29
    Will Clarke DE 26
    Charles Sims RB 27
    Kevin Pamphile G 27
    Ryan Fitzpatrick QB 35
    Clinton McDonald DT 31

    Allow to Move On:
    T.J. Ward SS 31
    Evan Smith C 31
    Nick Folk K 33
    Sealver Siliga DT 28
    Garrison Sanborn LS 32
    Justin Trattou DE 29
    Adam Gettis G 29

    Upgrade then cut/Trade before season starts:
    J.R.Sweezy G 28
    Joe Hawley C 28

    In the Draft Be active in increasing picks (especially in later rounds), Trading down when possible

  5. Ndog Says:

    Not bad Ed but let Simms go and keep Hawley. Other t h an that I can’t disagree. Also I would probaby keep Sweezy to see if he gets his flexabilty back. At the very least he could be a decent backup.

  6. Ed Kerber Says:

    I am not for or against keeping either Sims or Hawley. So if an upgrade is found, they are on the chopping block. Sims is a Free Agent, so if he isn’t resigned, that increases the need for a RB. If I were GM Hawley or Sweezy wouldn’t be cut until I knew I had acquired someone better. Whereas Martin and Baker would be cut just to send a message. Undrafted Free Agents have more value and cost less than those two,

  7. Rod Munch Says:

    The Bucs played the hardest schedule in football and went 4-1 versus teams under .500, but they only played 5 teams that were under .500 – and the only game they lost in that group was to the 7-9 Packers who they lost to in OT after the defense (once again) had a major collapse.

    They also lost games because of kicking (Pats, Falcons, Carolina).

    It’s not unreasonable to assume if they simply played an easier schedule and got more out of the kicking game and defense that there could be a turnaround. Considering that teams rarely have the hardest schedule back to back and rarely have the worst defense in consecutive years, it’s fair to think the Bucs will be improved. What that means however is hard to say, an early look at the 2018 opponents puts them 7-9 in my opinion.

  8. Rod Munch Says:

    Ed Kerber – You keep Sims as he’s one of the best 3rd down backs in the game and is an excellent receiver. If someone drives up his cost or if the Bucs get a clear upgrade then I guess that can change things, but Sims shouldn’t be expensive to keep. Towards the end of the year Dirk finally remembered how to use Sims, so I think he sticks around, probably at a little less than $3m/year I’d guess.

    Hawley is only making $2.6m and, if healthy, is a quality backup. Sweezy is a $2m cap hit but clears $4m – I’m not nearly as down on him as others and at $4m, which is what you’d free, I’d keep him for one more year, but make other plans. The Bucs have a lot of cap space yet again so the only reason you cut Sweezy is if there is a clear upgrade AND you get a quality development guy and need the roster spot.

    I like Tandy but might finally let him go. Personally I hate to do it but it’s clear the Bucs just aren’t going to play him so he should be set free.

    McClain was pretty awful last year, he shouldn’t be more than #5 on the depth chart and unless the Bucs are going to cut Ryan Smith, Smith should be #5 on the depth chart. McClain isn’t worth keeping, he’s not good.

    As for Chris Baker I’m not sure I’d cut him mainly because if I was running the team I’d switch to a 3-4 as there aren’t any real options out there at DE. If you switch to a 3-4 then Baker is a good fit as a NT – and I’d bring him into camp with him knowing he’s gonna get cut if he doesn’t perform. Everyone, and I mean everyone, said the Bucs got an amazing deal in Baker when they signed him – before the ‘lazy’ rumors started a week or so after the signing – so if there is no cap hit, keep him and see what happens, maybe if he realizes he’s fired if he doesn’t perform, maybe he shows up to play.

  9. NFLNut Says:


    Rod Munch,

    If I had to bet on a season prediction, I’d go 7-9 as well with us going 3-3 in division and winning home games against the Browns, 49’ers and Redskins as well as a road game against the Bears or Giants … and losing road games against the Ravens, Bengals, Bears or Giants and Cowboys as well as home games against the Eagles and Steelers.

    However, I also wouldn’t be shocked to see us beat both the Bears and Giants on the road and split the road games against the Ravens and Bengals as well as steal one of the two games against the Steelers and Eagles … which would give us a 10-6 record.

    So … I’d predict 7-9 and Koetter getting fired but a 10-6 record and Koetter retaining his job for at least another year wouldn’t surprise me all that much either.


  10. aussieBucfan Says:

    Noise noise noise noise, rah rah rah, we won 5 games 2 with Fitz behind centre but also won a meaningless game against the saints to move 1500 trade draft points away from the best DE in the draft……… Blah..

  11. NFLNut Says:

    ^ Losing to the Saints would NOT have helped us land Chubb … he’ll be gone by #3 imho and had we lost we’d be sitting at #5 and there is NO REASON the Colts would have traded with us as they want Chubb imo … so … RELAX

  12. SOEbuc Says:

    If we get Nelson: LG Nelson, Best FA Center, Ali RG

    That’s a kick ass inside Oline for the next 10 years (depending on C age). And a good RB is something they will move on in the next couple years and I’ve always thought Barber was a good runner.

    Keep Hawley. Get rid of Sweezy and Pamphile. Drop Simms and keep Quiz. And of course drop fat and lazy. Drop Ayers, keep Gholston (but he could also turn into a nice trade). Keep Fitzpatrick. Keep Conte as a back up. Keep Patrick Murray. Grimes will not be returning to the Bucs.

    Draft/FA come to camp:

    4 DE (R. 1/2, R. 3-5, one FA-bridge vet, one UDFA)
    4 CB (R. 2/3, two FA-one top tier, R. 6) (Could be Minkah in the first)
    1 C (pro bowl FA)
    2 S (R. 2-4, UDFA)
    3 OG (two FA-back up, UDFA) (Could be Nelson in the first)
    4 RB (R. 3-5, one FA-back up, two UDFA)
    3 DT (R. 4, one FA-bridge vet, one UDFA)
    2 OT (one FA-back up, UDFA)
    2 K (2 UDFA)
    1 QB (UDFA)
    1 TE (UDFA)

    Possible Large FA Signings:
    DE, C, CB, OG, DT

    But trades can always change anything.

    Boom! GO BUCS!!!

  13. Defense Rules Says:

    Wow, you guys think great in the middle of the night. Ed, that’s a very well thought out lineup. Personally I’d keep Evan Smith (G/C flexibility) & cut Sweezy then let Marpet slide back to RG & let Hawley start at C, but hopefully we can find a FA upgrade for C. We also have to either sign a FA RG or draft one (high) who can start.

    And Rod, I’d cut Baker in a second. Even if we went to a 3-4 full time, he’s not that good of a NT. Our run defense sucked this year & I’m convinced he was a big reason why (Akeem Spence impressed me more than he did & was a lot cheaper). Regardless of which defense we use, Bucs MUST improve the interior DLine. Re-signing McDonald is important IMO, but we still need 1 monster DT to anchor this thing (Baker replacement) & wouldn’t be opposed to adding 2 DTs (not sold on Stevie T or Siliga). The need for DEs is obvious. Ya Gerald, we’re REAL CLOSE. Not.

  14. Rick Says:

    I don’t now or never will have an ego driven mentality so this idea is just meant as a “what if” discussion amongst us here on JBF. I still feel the Chubster is gone at #3 too Indy or #4 for Cleveland’s 2nd pick (lucky bastards lol) I think many of you feel the same as I in saying Davenport and Key just aren’t the answer. With our extensive mess along the entire Dline and in the backfeld, we’re only somewhat stable at Linebacker (I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt because I feel they had so much to do to try and make up for the deficiencies in front and in back of themselves?) With that said I’m not opposed to just loading up on offense in this draft. I know it doesn’t guarantee us getting to the playoffs or anything (nothing we do in one off season will, sadly) but at least we will become watchable again, and truly get closer to having at least one side of the ball be dominant, and not just marginally better on just defense or a little of both. Nelson’s there at #7 grab him and help protect JW, and make a huge impact on our running game. 2nd round best RB available, would love S. Michel if he’s there. If not, roll with Guice or R Jones who I think could become special 6ft 200lbs 4.55 speed with a nice blend of power and cut ability. 3rd grab Ragnow at center, Ali back to Guard, Paired with Evans, Godwin, Howard, a serious commitment by JW to improve his ball security and turnover ratio (and keeping his dang fingers out of his mouth 😲) a needed change of Koetter to relinquish the play calling (he regressed markedly when having head coaching responsibilities added) yes I realize we’ll not be able to stop anybody on defense AGAIN, but at least the offense should be fun to watch, last year was brutal to witness in so many ways. Next year the (AND NEEDED) NEW staff can concentrate on fixing the Defense. When your close to being competitive for the playoffs you have the luxury of going for balance OR going all out for a major upgrade at a key position in the draft or free agency. The bucs are only close to the cellar and MAYBE their best plan is to go all in on being a dominant offense. Thoughts please?

  15. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Agree Defense ,on baker
    Mentioned this before but the Bucs quickly found out Baker was getting blown up
    by doubleteams,
    and even lined up McCoy at the 0 technique in a 3-4 alignment.
    After the game Sapp started bitching about how they used McCoy and I believe McCoy even made it in Mike Smith’s office . This is a pretty good analysis on our needs and the way Smith tried to use McCoy in various
    ways due to personnel shortcomings.


  16. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Also agree with Rod on Sims. He is the only back we have had in years capable of hauling in wheel route. That said As long you bring Sims in on third down a
    screen to flat, is one of our most predictable plays. Its puzzles me that don’t throw the type screens thrown to Martin so often over the middle. Its how McCaffrey is used and it seems like a good use for Sims me. Mix it up!

  17. MadMax Says:

    And this right here is how ALL of the coaches kept their jobs.

    “we were so close”

    Just disregard…
    * the poor clock management
    * the timeouts left on the field
    * hardly any game adjustments at half time
    * sign the smallest rb out there and hope that running him into the pack of bodies in that loaded box, that somehow he finds a hole small enough to squeeze through
    * DC Smith leaving CB Ryan alone to cover Julio Jones

    and thats just from the topof my head that i can recall quickly from coaching….im sure theres more im not mentioning right now (sorry, hungover)

    and yes, the players did some stupid things too. Thankfully some of them will be replaced. BUT WE KEEP THE ENTIRE COACHING STAFF? Boggles my mind!!!

    We’ll be picking top ten again in next years draft imho. I hope like hellll im wrong, i’ll be rooting for us to win but i just dont have a good feeling. Thats why I say draft Vita for our NT and then get ready for DT Ed Oliver (next years draft) as GMC’s replacement. We’ll get the DE’s too, dont worry.

  18. Defense Rules Says:

    Bob … Great observation on McCaffrey; I’d never noticed that but it explains a lot (he was targeted 113 times last season & caught 80 for over 650 yds … impressive that a RB was targeted even more than Funchess, their big WR). And like you, I’d keep Charles Sims, but not at some extravagant price (maybe a 2-yr contract at say $4 mil). Convinced that Koetter likes him a lot & that he can be very effective, but just hasn’t figured out yet how to REALLY use him.

    Feel same as you about Baker (I’m convinced he was a huge weakness on our DLine in more than 1 way). Several BIG AND GOOD DTs in this draft (especially Vea & Payne IMO) who would be worth a #7 pick IF DE Chubb & a couple of others were gone.

  19. MadMax Says:

    Yes…reVITAlize that D line!

  20. SteveK Says:

    If Doug Martin and Swaggy are retained, I’m going to One Buc place and giving our GM and his minions a whiz quiz. No shot in hell we can win allocating salary cap towards sub par talent.

  21. C eh N eh D eh Says:

    Soft ice cream….

  22. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Thanks defense,
    Vea potential and play was highlighted with with tape on page two of above link. Trevor Sikkama arcticles are about the only ones I read anymore from that

  23. Gman Says:

    Next year will suck again. At this point, there is no reason to expect otherwise. There is little reason to expect free agency to be handled properly and we will most likely turn the draft into another unmitigated abortion. There is no teason to think that our overhyped quarterback will become accurate or play with any discipline. Those of us that are season ticket holders should take our thousands of dollars and give them to the charity of our choice.

  24. Steven Craig Wentworth Says:

    Blah blah blah…. Look what Colias Campbell did in Jacksonville, look at what Aaton Donald does, look at what Sapp does defensive tackles can single handedly win games and make others better. This mofo sucks talks too much and is softer than a feather pillow. Bye Felicia!!!

  25. Bob in Valrico Says:

    You can back up my random thoughts with facts anytime or correct them as need be.
    Here is another one:
    In the free agency department,someone is needed to break down tape and analyze free agents for potential strengths and weaknesses before they are signed. Sometimes it seems like we are spinning our wheels when signing someone like Baker or Ward,who in all likelyhood will be replaced this year.

  26. Off the Cuff Says:

    Vita Vea would make the entire defensive line look great, wheras a defensive end’s success is dependent on several other things.

  27. Andrew Says:

    If that’s good football from Jameis we need a new QB. 6 turnovers in 3 games with a 1-2 record. That won’t get us anywhere.

  28. SteveK Says:

    NFL NUT,

    Jameis is not the answer if we keep losing, or go 7-9 next year as you predict.

    Hoe was Fitzpatrick 2-1? Answer: deep ball acumen.

  29. SteveK Says:

    NFL NUT:

    Will Jameis justify the argument that he is clearly a franchise QB in 2018? Or, we will be stuck with a disappointing team and spinning QB stats to feel better about life?

    Win ballgames this year, or you’re overrated.

  30. Mike Johnson Says:

    I got us 8-8 next year. And I have not even seen the changes. Bucs gotta reevaluate their organization. From Scouting to GM and definitely the coaches. I see a Plethera of teams..plugging in 4th thru 7th rounders on their lines, in their O and D trenches. And they win. WE..are chock full of 1st thru 3rd rounders and can’t..Bust a grape! Hell, Bellacheat often trades his 1st rounders away before the draft. 2nd rounders too!

  31. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    While I largely agree with most of your takes here is a request.
    You seem to have mastered the archives. You generally use them for an infamous “realist repost” lmao. That kind of makes you like our dear leader who never fails to blow his own horn…even using lies at times.

    Here’s what I request. I’m growing weary of the negativity here. I get that folks all have their own opinions and they are entitled to them. But they frequently get so hyperbolic in their negativity that they lose their way.

    So…if we win ten next year I’m depending on you to work the archives with not a “realist repost” but a compilation of the negative nellies.

  32. SteveK Says:

    St Pete!

    Great posts today, as usual.

    I agree. My negativity stems from a lack of fulfillment with our teams results. Tired of excuses.

  33. Tony from Los Angeles Says:

    “It was us?”

    Who the hell else would it have been?
    Every losing team has to admit, “It was us”

    Weird point being made here. Irrelevant.

  34. John meeks Says:

    For those of you wanting vita,watch the Penn state game on his highlights video on YouTube, he is getting handled one on one,looks slow,and zero pass rush.i would take Michigan defensive tackle before this chump.vita will die in the Tampa heat!!!!

  35. John meeks Says:

    Just stop with vita nonsense,watch the film.this guy can’t rush the passer!when you watch his Penn state game,they run right up the middle!so stop acting like this guy is a great player and watch the film and see him getting handled one on one and tell us how great he is!

  36. Not there yet Says:

    Dork won’t learn his lesson he’ll ask licht to draft him a reliable kicker again. As we saw last year this guy will never take chances even in a losing season he prefers field goals to touchdowns

  37. MadMax Says:

    @meeks, yeah, nice try, one on one my a$$

    he’s constantly doubled and tripled when he’s at nose…..and the few times he was lined up as 3 tech, yeah not much pass rush from him because the ball was handed off very quickly up the middle since he wasnt there…….he doesnt run a 4.6 / 40 …. even their coach was praising him!


    Only chump here is you lol. But go ahead and keep acting stupid.

  38. MadMax Says:

    Any other games Mr. Meeks? Is that the only one?

  39. John meeks Says:

    On the cuff,you better go watch some more film on vita vea,and this guy would die in the Tampa heat.you want a real defensive tackle who can actually pass rush and play the run?go check out the dt from michigan!

  40. John meeks Says:

    Madmax,the film doesn’t lie.now,like I said go watch the Penn state game and see for yourself him getting handled one on one,zero pass rush,and Barkley running right up the middle.go watch it!I’m not trying to be mean but the guy is getting handled one on one,please go see it for yourself.film don’t lie!

  41. MadMax Says:

    HA! like i said, constantly doubled and still penetrating that line…


  42. John meeks Says:

    Madmax,go look at his stats year by year.not exactly a Jerome Brown or Cortez kennedy!the guy will die in this heat in tampa!

  43. John meeks Says:

    He wasn’t getting doubled team much in the Penn state game,go watch the film!

  44. John meeks Says:

    Nine plays in the first minute and 45 seconds where he was one on one and got handled!this is the film you sent me madmax!I stopped watching after the min 45.the guy isn’t that good.he can clog the middle but nothing else.not worth the seventh pick in the draft!

  45. denjoe Says:

    Didn’t I already read an article, on here, where he said the same stuff word for word?

  46. I Bleed Pewter and Red Says:

    Last year I let my guard down and got all giddy that the Bucs would probably go 8-8 or 9-7. This year that crap ain’t happening again. Back to 4-12 expectations. I should have known better. Fool me once

  47. I Bleed Pewter and Red Says:

    Ogbonnia Okoronkwo
    Marcus Davenport
    Maurice Hurst
    Vita Vea
    Taven Bryan
    Da’Ron Payne
    Arden Key

    My first 4 picks if available would come out of this pool of dlineman. Specifically in this order if I could. I might even consider Davenport over Okoronkwo

  48. MadMax Says:

    @meeks, then label me as the blind leading the blind LOL. You’re funny, stupid, but funny (you stopped watching after the 1:45?) ok. Again, nice try chump.

  49. SOEbuc Says:

    I also am a non-believer that Chubb is gonna be there at #7. Is Vita Vea gonna be around at #21 or #22 if we were to trade down with Buffalo?? If so:

    Rd 1- DT Vea + DE Sam Hubbard- Ohio State
    Rd 2- CB- (Donte Jackson- LSU/ Mike Hughes- UCF)
    Rd 3- S- (Terrell Edmunds- VT/ Jessie Bates- Wake Forest/ Kyzir White- West Virginia)
    Rd 4- DE (Jason’s Pick)
    Rd 5- RB (Nyheim Hines- NC State)
    Rd 6- OG/CB/DE/DT (BPA)
    Rd 6- RB (BPA)

    Never know who’s gonna drop to where in the draft (O.J. Howard #20). Just what I would like.

    FA: CB and C (starters). OG, DT, CB (back-ups)

  50. Rod Munch Says:

    Defense – It just depends on how the cap hit works with Baker in my opinion. Personally I’d put the guy on notice, make it known to him directly if he doesn’t perform, he’s getting cut, and he’ll get cut in preseason when he’s not going to get the money he’s making now. Again, just depends on how the cap hit goes. The guy was a very good player with the Redskins, everyone said that, all the national people, all the people in DC, I’ve already seen posts from the local papers up there where they’re excited that the Bucs will cut him so they can resign him. You don’t just throw away good players without first trying everything you can, but I’d also be quick to cut him after giving him that last chance, and I’d cut him in a way that would devalue him as much as possible to the rest of the league.

  51. mark2001 Says:

    “Division on Notice”…I’m laughing at that one. One last big pass missed and we would have been zero for division last year. Just barely won. And we put the division “on notice”. I’ve never said a bad word about Gerald…but “on notice”? Get real.

  52. Snookman Says:

    R E L A X………………..R E L A X…………

    Some of you guys are complete idiots. You Panic and get overly emotionally. This team doesn’t suck like the browns or Jets.

    Go back and watch the games. 5 games with stupid but correctable mistakes and we are talking about a 10-6 playoff team.

    We have a solid core and if we get the right FA’s and Draft well we should be complete.

    Jameis is a Franchise QB who is going to grow up hes already shown signs of that.


    Philadelphia just won the superbowl with a back up QB. They were 6-10 last year. Jax was 3-13 and almost made the SB.

    RELAX we are going to be good it just takes some time.