Keeping Chairs In Place

February 2nd, 2018

Talking Bucs and the Titanic.

You know what Joe’s biggest issue with Bucs coach Dirk Koetter was after the team finished with a lousy record?

In the days after the season, when playoff-winning teams made significant moves to their coaching staffs searching for ways to improve, Koetter declared his defensive staff, the same one that oversaw the worst defense in the NFL, was perfectly fine.

In short, Joe thinks Koetter painted himself into a corner for the 2018 season. Because if the defense continues to stink out loud, then the cross-hairs of fans’ rage will be squarely planted on Koetter’s forehead.

Joe’s coveted columnist, eye-RAH! Kaufman, currently freezing in Minneapolis as Joe types this, made his last appearance for the 2017 season with the one and only Chris “Mad Dog” Russo of SiriusXM fame yesterday. Ira was on the Sirius XM set that also doubled as a welcoming kiosk to the north entrance of the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn.

There, Kaufman noted apathy reigns in Tampa Bay for the Bucs due in large part to Koetter not holding any defensive coaches accountable in the eyes of the fans.

Ira Kaufman: Chris, there is no buzz in Tampa about the Buccaneers. There’s nothing going on. Zero.

Chris “Mad Dog” Russo: Well, why would they be buzzed now, it’s the middle of February?

Kaufman: Well, they kept the same coaches, same coaching staff.

Russo: Boy, you’ve got a bug up your rear end about this Dirk Koetter.

Kaufman: Well, I don’t have a bug but you’ve got to make a couple of changes when it’s 5-11. If your show went into the tank, you’d make a couple of changes.

Russo: So you wanted him to do something with his coaching staff?

Kaufman: Well, you have to shift the chairs on the deck of the Titanic a little bit, once in a while.

Russo: Which coach you think should have been vulnerable, the defensive coordinator?

Kaufman: When you are thirty-second out of 32 teams, something’s got to give.

Russo: Who is the defensive coordinator?

Kaufman: Mike Smith.

Russo: Oh, really?

And now comes 2018. If the Bucs don’t turn things around in the win column and the defense is as horrid as it was in 2017, then Koetter will face very, very fair, tough, pointed questions that Joe isn’t sure Koetter will be able to answer.

If the Bucs turn things around in 2018 and the defense is stellar, Koetter looks like gold. If the Bucs don’t… uh, oh.

44 Responses to “Keeping Chairs In Place”

  1. LakeLand Says:

    He should have dismissed himself from playcalling duties, like Andy Reid did in Kansas City.

  2. GhostofSchiano Says:

    I think that Dirk’s loyalty to Smitty is keeping him from firing him. When Dirk brought him in I thought it then and think it now, he cannot bring himself to fire him. Even when the problem is staring him right in the face. Hiring your friends (family) is a bad idea in the world of business and the NFL is a business.

    Now the question is in what week of the season will the Bucs (titanic) hit the iceberg?

  3. Lord Cornelius Says:

    For one – the defense wasn’t 32nd it was 22nd in the only thing that matters –
    scoring. The Defense doesn’t need to be “stellar” as much as it needs to be improved to the point that we can rush the passer and close out games. We don’t have enough talent in place to jump to a top 5 type defense next year.

    I want to see this offense scoring 25+ PPG. THat is what I’m putting on Koetter and that is where he failed in 2017 despite having way more talent on that side of the ball than Smith had on defense.

    This defense has been sh1t for the last decade +; and we have not added a bunch of talent to it recently. It makes absolutely no sense to me that any person following the Bucs would think “yep on paper that defense should be a great unit for 2017” and that’s before Noah Spence went down / the other injuries piled up. Expecting a top tier defense would have been unrealistic. I expected average personally but if someone told me Spence was gone for the year / AYers regressed/ Sweezy was worthless then it changes things.

    It was still not coached well / not adjusted to well / etc. But you guys seem to want to fire a coach for the sake of firing him. I never saw any articles by this site or pewter report advocating on who should replace Smith – just articles saying we should fire him – a year after these same sites saying we NEEDED to keep Smith and it was the best move we could make in the offseason. It’s all a little ridiculous to me – almost like people are so bewildered and thrown by how that season played out to the point that all they can think is “fire anybody” period because they duno wtf else to suggest

  4. LakeLand Says:

    Jason Licht and Dirk Koetter spent the offseason trying to build an offense capable of scoring 30 points a game. They failed to score 20 points a game. The defense actually gave up 22 points a game. The Atlanta Falcons defense gave up 25.4 points a game in 2016 and they went to the Super Bowl.

  5. LakeLand Says:

    #WeaponsForWinston# = Weapons of Minimal Destruction

    It should have been # Defensive Weapons# for the Bucs

    The other 3 teams improved their defenses during the offseason

  6. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    “Well, you have to shift the chairs on the deck of the Titanic a little bit, once in a while”


    He couldn’t have said it better..

  7. GhostofSchiano Says:

    Well Jason “Gump” Licht has a draft and free agency to fix the D-line and secondary. If he can do that it will be a miracle. I only hope they do a lot more than just kick the tires and do some serious film study because this team needs help.

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “If the Bucs turn things around in 2018 the defense is stellar, Koetter looks like gold. If the Bucs don’t… uh, oh.” And why wouldn’t you think that same statement would be true for EVERY team that DID make a coaching change this year Joe? If you make a change & it blows up, you get skewered. If you don’t make a change & things stay bad or get worse, you get skewered. Making changes just for the sake of making changes (as Ira suggested BTW) doesn’t guarantee diddly.

    And for those like GhostofSchiano who say that Koetter’s loyalty to Smitty is what’s keeping him from firing Smitty, I call BS. First off, Koetter doesn’t do the hiring & firing, Jason Licht does (management?). If Licht & the Glazer Boys wanted Smitty gone, he’d be gone. Dirk Koetter AND Mike Smith know full well that their collective futures lie in BOTH of them doing well next year. If the Bucs go 5-11 again, BOTH of them are goners.

    And Lakeland, I’d say ‘Preach on’ but at least 75% of JBFers only want a scapegoat, and Smitty will do just fine for them. I too remember the 2nd half of the 2016 season when the Bucs’ defense was rolling. Lots of ‘fans’ were really glad when Smitty didn’t get a HC job so he could coach our D for at least 1 more year. Glazer Boys were obviously happy too, and sweetened the pot to keep him here. Now all of a sudden he’s forgotten how to coach? Maybe time has passed him by, but let’s first give him some decent defensive T-A-L-E-N-T to work with & see what we get. If Licht doesn’t improve the defensive talent the next DC would be in the same exact pickle.

    And BTW, I’ve given up on the POINTS vs YARDAGE argument. Even Ira has pronounced them to be the 32nd ranked defense (based on YARDAGE ALLOWED of course). It’s almost humorous when I see the Pats defense is ranked #29 according to Joe & Ira based on YARDAGE ALLOWED, yet they rank #5 in POINTS ALLOWED … and oh ya, just happen to be playing in this Sunday’s Super Bowl. Yup, YARDAGE is King !!!

  9. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Now people get to see that Continuity can be a good thing. Just watch.

    I expected a few replacements, to be honest, but I also understand why no one was replaced. The offense mostly did well (coaches).

    The defensive coaches did not have the players to work with. Period.

    And before you say that’s a crock, then how would you feel if they kept all the same players too?

    I thought so.

  10. Joe Says:

    First off, Koetter doesn’t do the hiring & firing

    Don’t know of any NFL head coach that doesn’t have input on his staff.

  11. DBS Says:

    We have been shifting chairs for a long time. Ever since Gruden was fried.

  12. Dan Says:

    Same coach same GM same QB same record. 5-11

  13. Arealbucsfan Says:

    @Lord C The defense is the WORST in the league. Idc what category u looked at cuz in every one of them we were the worst or close to the worst. We are the worst

  14. Arealbucsfan Says:

    And yes some coaches should have been fired

  15. LakeLand Says:

    All of this equate to another 5-11 season. Enjoy the 2019 Top 5 draft pick.

  16. darin Says:

    Who cares about yardage vs points is right defense rules. We care about 5-11. And pretty sure the people who want mike smith fired also want dirk koetter fired, myself included. It started off a mess with players doing what they wanted during a patty cake of a camp, then it went to a head coach giving up in the first half of a game to the him going for 2 a bunch in same game that eventually cost them that game that his players almost pulled off in spite of him. Then he went on to make some of the dumbest, most elementary time management mistakes in the history of the game during the season. He decided to rotate offensive linemen and play a running back who was far inferior to another on the team. Had a qb poke another player in the head which caused his wr to cheap shot the guy right in front of him..but he didnt see it. This is all happening during a season the defensive coordinator refuses to throw different packages at teams, allowing them to score at will. A zone defense with no pass rush in todays game is a joke, so be stayed with it. Brilliant. The list goes on n on. Multiple league executives and head coaches have said how the bucs offense and defense is the most predictable in the league. They stuck with it all year. The season was a laughingstock. A circus. From start to finish. Doesnt take a genius to figure out who was running the show. Theyd better make a heck of alot of changes to their tried and true philosophies to resemble a decent team next year.

  17. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    IRA & Joe

    Think you guys are waaaay off base here. Think it all the way through guys.

    Change for the sake of change…finding some scapegoats rarely produces a good result. Continuity OTOH does have some advantages.

    But put yourself in Koetter’s place. He either wins next year or he is fired. PERIOD!Does anybody disagree with that. Making changes would not effect that in any significant way. Win or be gone. If he brought in your favorite DC turned over play calling to Moncken…whatever…if he doesn’t win those changes wouldn’t mean squat to Koetter’s career…he’d still be gone!

    He already has his job for next year so he doesn’t NEED to mindlessly jettison people. The entire team struggled! Coaches, players and the GM. Do we want to dump Jameis as well…what’s his record? NO!!!

    So if your Koetter and you truly believe in Smitty why dump him to satisfy bloodthirsty fans and media.

    This gives me MORE confidence in Koetter. The easiest thing would have been to fire Smitty…it’s much harder to keep him which tells me Koetter truly does believe in Smitty’s ability.

  18. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “Don’t know of any NFL head coach that doesn’t have input on his staff.” Of course he does Joe, but it always comes down to who pulls the trigger. If Licht & the Glazer Boys had wanted Smitty gone, he’d be toast.

  19. Jim Says:

    I’m with Lord C. We had a mediocre defense going into 2O17 and everybody was fine with that because it was all “#weapons4winston”; the idea being our offense would be over-powering. Stupid. Didn’t work. So now maybe we will try to build a balanced team, including plugging some holes on defense.

  20. BucEmUp Says:

    I said it on this here website within hours of Mike Smith being hired…..Mike Smith will be the single largest factor in Dirk Koetter not being successful as a head coach. No other reason. They can sign who they want, they can draft who they want, I don’t give a flying crap who they get on this roster, as long as this soft zone horse crap continues to be coached and played the defense will always be in the bottom five of the league.

    No hope at all at this point. By keeping Mike Smith, Dirk Koetter has just put the nail in 2018’s coffin. Jameis winston will be bashed for turnovers when he is being forced to save the game every week, knowing the defense will always give it away in the end. Dirk loyalty is going to screw everyone. Clean house in 2019 I just hope the HGlaziers strike gold on whoever it is because what could have been with Koetter appears to be desolving pretty quickly.

  21. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    If the Bucs win ten games next year there are going to be a spitpot full of embarrassed folks here.

    And remember Realist has a talent for going through the archives and finding all the negative posts.

    Sadly there will be some Buc “fans” who have already prophesied doom and gloom who will not truly be rooting for our guys to win because it will make them look stoooopid. If they lose then I can look stooopid. If we lose though I don’t really care how I look.

  22. Bnomo Says:

    Calling Monte K.

    He should have been HC when Gruden was cx.

  23. LakeLand Says:

    The Bucs downfall was the absent of that high-scoring, Air Coryell offense that the fan base expected. They were 18th (below average) in scoring…but blame it on the D.

  24. Pickgrin Says:

    Good comments by LC, DR and SPBF.

    This coaching staff will either succeed together or be fired together.

    Kudos to the Glazers for having the guts to give all concerned another year to fix the problems we saw in 2017. This coaching staff has over 100 years combined of (mostly successful) NFL coaching experience and I seriously doubt ANY of them “forgot” how to coach well just because the calendar turned to 2017.

    I for one think it is highly possible that this team will win quite a few more games in 2018 than they did last year. Don’t know if it will be enough to get to double digit wins and thus playoffs or not – but I expect to see a hungry, pissed off and determined effort in every single game next year. Would be very surprised in fact if that is not the case.

  25. Pickgrin Says:

    SPBF says:
    “If the Bucs win ten games next year there are going to be a spitpot full of embarrassed folks here.”

    No there won’t. Most of them will act like they were never talking spit about this team and were always “on the bandwagon”. Then there will be a few who continue to criticize no matter what happens…

  26. Mtbucsfan Says:

    Just wondering anyone see Gurley put Doug Martin in his top 5 rbs?

  27. Kobe Faker'Girl Says:

    If jim schwartz wins the superbowl, do we can klueless right on the spot monday?

    “Sorry Klueless koetter but your out. We need leader of men”

    Darcie Glazer

  28. Ndog Says:

    Guys anyone that is a true fan and is unhappy if we win can just stop commentin forever. I honestly didn’t want to fire everyone but at the same time saw some of the clear dumb moves this staff made, and believe we can find better. Below are flat out coaching decisions that killed this team:
    1. Playing Doug Martin
    2. Playing Chris Baker
    3. Rotating guards
    4. Rotating safeties
    5. Not going more 3-4 when we had no DE’S yet 5 good linebackers
    6. Going for every 2 point conversion in the 2nd quarter of a game.
    7. Not playing Keith Tandy
    8. Not running hurry up enough
    9. Not throwing the ball to Djax short instead of Hump everytime
    10. Kept playing TJ Ward

  29. Ndog Says:


  30. Mike Johnson Says:

    Koetters loyalty to pressbox Smitty will cost him his job. Mark my words.

  31. Clw JB Says:

    Add some young, hungry DL and DB Via the draft, sign some start now players at DE and corner in FA – this D can get better

    But for the love of Buddha draft Nelson at 7 if Chubb or Barkley aren’t there

    The best thing we can do for this D is add a 2000 yard ground attack keeping the D off the field period.

  32. SB Says:

    After 42 years of hearing this kind of negative Drivel from our ‘fan’ base, I sincerely laugh at the ‘post mid 90s’ Bucs fans. You cats have Zero idea about what it was like to have THE worst team in the league! 14 Straight losing seasons and I sat second row for All of them. You flippin’ whiners are amusing to me. If you just come here to bash ‘your’ team then what is your life like. Sharing your opinion in a rational way is one thing, but to blind eye like just bash your team, it’s coaches, it’s best players…………….Jeesh man we are supposed to Support the team.
    We Whoooooped the Patriots in week 5 save for Three missed FGs by Folk Plus a PAT…………….10 points and we lost by 5!
    Lost to the Bills by 3
    Lost to the Lions by 3
    Lost to the Packers in OT stupid no spy on the QB
    Lost to the Falcons by 3
    Lost to the Panthers by 3
    Beat the Saints.

    Yeah………One can find a bunch of holes in our team. But to say they aren’t even close is a bit off to me.

  33. SB Says:

    One score in the red zone in each of those games instead of a FG or Missed FG and we win them All. We definitely have holes but they don’t gape like Jenna Jameison’s as much as you guys think they do.

  34. LakeLand Says:

    The Cleveland Browns are closer to making the playoffs than the Bucs. I said it and I mean every word of it.

    Bookmark It

  35. SB Says:

    ” I sincerely laugh at the ‘post mid 90s’ Bucs fans. ”
    That was supposed to have a ‘some of you’ in there.

  36. SB Says:

    LakeLand Says:
    February 2nd, 2018 at 9:34 pm
    The Cleveland Browns are closer to making the playoffs than the Bucs. I said it and I mean every word of it.

    Bookmark It
    Just did.

  37. The Buc Realist Says:

    No buzz about Tampa Bay? Maybe some guys from JBF have sucked the air out!!!!!!!!!!!!

    If coaching for 2 seasons is not ” Well, you have to shift the chairs on the deck of the Titanic a little bit, once in a while.”

    So Ira what are you doing tomorrow? ” I am going to try to crowbar lynch into the hall of fame for the fifth straight year!!!!!!!!!!”

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

  38. orlbucfan Says:

    SB Says:
    February 2nd, 2018 at 9:09 pm

    After 42 years of hearing this kind of negative Drivel from our ‘fan’ base, I sincerely laugh at the ‘post mid 90s’ Bucs fans. You cats have Zero idea about what it was like to have THE worst team in the league! 14 Straight losing seasons and I sat second row for All of them.
    Only thing different is I’ve been a fan for 39 years. Thanks for speaking up. 🙂

  39. ben Says:

    I have had tkts sincs 76and went to bucs super bowl. With all the weapons this team is close to being the worst ever!!

  40. Joe Says:

    Change for the sake of change

    When things are going badly, and you try to fix them, that’s not “change for the sake of change,” that’s trying to repair a problem.

    Pretty sure 27 out of 32 games is a helluva sample size.

  41. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    StPeteBucsFan, you pretty much nailed it.

    And Realist? He and I used to fued nonstop, but the past couple years we’ve been singing the same tune most of the time.

    If that’s not enough to make Joe believe in miracles, I don’t know what is!

  42. Pryda ...sec147 Says:

    If Dirk goes 0-3 or even 0-4 he is fired.

  43. Charlie c Says:

    The praises everyone was singing when Mike Smith stayed last year all of a sudden turn to howls of rage that he isn’t fired this year. The Bucs simply need more talent on the defensive line. Let’s see a heavy focus on the D line in the draft, fix the DLine you fix the Bucs. Changing coaches every two years has now lead to ten years and zero playoffs, the Cleveland Browns of the NFC.

  44. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    So many people try to say it’s one coach or player but this whole team made and called some bad plays this year. After last years finish everyone expected better but instead we got worse. As the topic is about being close or not sb made the best post. We had a few games we got beat down but most we were in to the end. Coaches make a few more better calls, the offense makes more plays and scores more points and the defense makes some stops that other teams make then this conversation is totally different. We were closer than people think. Contrary to Joe’s popular belief the oline IS a big reason our offense had so many problems, sacks and turnovers. Everybody is already onboard with the dline was lousy. Plain and simple we don’t fix the trenches this team won’t get better and we’ll be having this same conversation same Buc time same Buc channel.