Bucs Fans Not “Optimistic?”

May 6th, 2018

Questions remain.

Was the Bucs draft last month a plus or a minus or just meh?

We likely won’t find out for three seasons.

However, ESPN is trying to gauge how excited each team’s fans should be. Should they be confident, hopeful or should they be lukewarm and begin stockpiling liquor for the coming season like a squirrel does nuts for the winter?

Jenna Laine isn’t fully feeling the Bucs’ draft. She believes fans should be hopeful.

Tampa Bay finished 5-11 last year, but after trading for Jason Pierre-Paul, signing three other defensive linemen in free agency and then drafting Vita Vea, three defensive backs and Ronald Jones II, the Bucs feel like they were able to address every need this offseason. They also point to the fact that seven of their losses last year came in one-score games, with five decided by three points or fewer or in overtime. They don’t believe there’s much separating them from the better teams in the league.

Newsflash: There is a lot separating the Bucs from the NFL’s elite. First is that horrid defense. Second is the running game.

Yeah, Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht “addressed” the needs but will those players be utilized?

How many Ben Franklins are you willing to slap down on the table that the three defensive backs will be properly developed? Will Dirk Koetter, who has an uneven history with rookie running backs, turn Jones loose or will Koetter fret about his pass blocking skills and keep Jones on the sidelines?

Joe doesn’t think he is being unfair at all asking these two questions, which could mean the difference in a winning season or a losing season.

63 Responses to “Bucs Fans Not “Optimistic?””

  1. Dooshlarue Says:

    Every off season brings optimism, but I’m really looking forward to the upcoming season.
    It just has a different feel to me.

    Go Bucs!

  2. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    If we fail to reach the playoffs this year, or at least get close, it will probably be the end for these coaches. If that happens, I think we keep Jason Licht.

  3. Alanbucsfan Says:

    3 new starters on DL
    1-2 new starters in secondary
    More depth on DL and secondary
    This will not be the same defense
    OL upgrade and Jones as rb practically guarantees improvement
    in running game. USC running backs who produce in college almost Always produce in NFL
    Maybe Joe prefers free agent has beens, but the draft is the way to go forward

  4. darin Says:

    I thought same thing when I saw her article. I dont give them the benefit of the doubt on the DBs. I’m hoping the pass rush is improved enough to improve the DBs by less time to cover. The fact they lost so many one score games is an indictment on Dirk Imo. Most games in the league are one score. The coaching and turnovers decide them all. Will Dirk improve enough in time/game and player management this year? I’m not counting on it but am hopeful, only because theyre the Bucs.

  5. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    The way I see it, we could have had 8 picks in the 1st round, and I would still not have any hype or expectations. The entire coaching staff (not just the DB coaches…) have to prove to me that they can actually field a winning team.

    Don’t believe the hype. Show me don’t tell me.

  6. TampaTown Says:

    I’m not optimistic. I bought into all the hype last year and got punched in the throat. I’ll believe it when it I see it. Or when we don’t get totally in game 2 for once.

  7. TampaTown Says:

    *totally annihilated.

  8. Almighty Buc Says:

    Yeah but Winston’s looming suspension…. Vegas thinks so

  9. Casual Observer Says:

    We all guess and my guess is that the D will be surprisingly better.

  10. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Predictions mean nothing…
    Last year Eagles had 1 pct chance of reaching SB


  11. SCBucsFan Says:

    Not unfair asking Joe but some of your articles and tone feed the negative vibes in this fan website. You find something negative and continue to hammer it home, but as t is your website you are free to post what you like. Not that you needed my permission lol.

  12. passthebuc Says:

    Probably not reflected on this site by posters is the anguish regarding kneeling at the playing of the national anthem. It is still a topic of conversation at parties and other gatherings. Many to whom I have spoken have really cooled regarding the NFL. Only time will tell if is is a trend that will increase. It is very difficult to change direction of a moving train.

  13. Architek Says:

    Those are fair and realistic questions…

  14. Elita Vita Says:

    The game is played on the field, not in the fan’s mind. The rest of the league objectively can look at the Buccaneers team and say “Well they are a 5-11 team, therefore they are not very good”. Until otherwise noted, proven on the field, we are who our record says we are. It’s now up to the coaches and players to prove themselves with proper preparation and execution on the field. Go Bucs!

  15. Bnomo Says:

    Books down to coaching.

  16. Trench War Says:

    Can we get some positive vibes going? All these negative articles makes me want to puke. I’m not asking for all feel good but some balance would be nice.

  17. Dewey Selmon Says:

    We’ve sang this song before. The kool- aid is sour.

  18. Roy T. Buford Says:

    This team is significantly better than last year…at least on paper…with proven talent and new talent, with a key positions addressed in both pass rush and pass coverage. The offense looks to be anchored by a good center and proven talent, with a hopeful RB, and superb WR and TE options. I haven’t felt this happy about a roster OVER ALL since the Gruden years. It is the best I’ve felt about the D line since Simeon Rice and Warren Sapp.

    I have one concern this season that will taint my hopes for a legit playoff run. To sum it up in a string of four words:

    Jameis Winton Uber Suspension

  19. mark2001 Says:

    “Winning or losing season” translates to me about 8-8. And that seems about right to reasonably optimistic.

  20. Licht’s Out Says:

    Fifteen years of futility tends to lead to pessimism. Last chance for Licht and one and only chance as a NFL head coach. Rooting for ya but my expectations remain low.

  21. Larry Says:

    Mark2001 “Winning or losing season” translates to me about 8-8. And that seems about right to reasonably optimistic.
    This is just about what I was thinking. I guess I’m done hoping for 12 wins – I’d just like t hit at least .500!

  22. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “We likely won’t find out for three seasons.” – Joe

    Bucs fans will make up their minds before the first official game. Just watch, lol.

  23. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I figure we’ll be lucky if 50% of the picks pan out. Vita and Jones will likely be two of them.

    So who are the other two? Let’s hope a CB and OL. Safety would be nice, but in a pinch it can survive a bad pick for anther year.

  24. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    With the way this offense and defense is stacked now…we’d better win at least 9 games. Or ten.

    I mean…both sides have been stacked heavy. Not just from the draft. For once, Licht actually seems to have done well in Free Agency and trades.

  25. Buccfan37 Says:

    After all the losing seasons stacked up into a sorry overall winning percentage your great grandchildren will likely still be looking at a sub .500 Bucs when flying cars become a reality. But remember way back when the Bucs won the Super Bowl grandpappy says.

  26. Bob in Valrico Says:

    I’m optimistic Licht has addressed holes on both side of the ball. Up to players and coaches to keep the ball rolling.
    The way Jameis plays in the beginning of the season is as important as good starts in the first half. Two of his best games were against Philly and Atlanta when he got off to good start and we built on that lead. Step on the throat
    early and often.
    Only a couple of QB’s average 2 comebacks a season so we to build our winning record with solid play from both sides of the ball before fourth
    quarter starts.

  27. Brooklynborn Says:

    Joe , I don’t think the GM,s mother had Ac/DC loving on his birth cert. your boring continued use, it a pain in the rear!

  28. I Bleed Pewter and Red Says:

    “But remember way back when the Bucs won the Super Bowl grandpappy says.”

    What do you mea…. Oh wait I am a grandpappy that has developed very thick skin …lol

  29. Destinjohnny Says:


  30. Destinjohnny Says:

    Coach practices to soft
    New db’s
    Below average Saftey play
    O line is pedestrian
    Running game?

  31. Not there yet Says:

    They are silly questions because outside of a couple teams every team changes. This team upgraded after winning 9 games and lost more. Year to year the team changes so stop trying to tell us how bad the defensive line was last year. Aside from McCoy the entire starting line has changed. Party of their problem last year is they were gassed at the end of games, that won’t be the case this year

  32. AlteredEgo Says:

    I am realistically optimistic….I think….assuming Jameis does not write another chapter of controversy….the Bucs can snatch double digit victories with ups and downs..my vision will come true during the 2nd half of 2019 when the Bucs finally arrive !

  33. Hodad Says:

    I don’t know why the NFL just doesn’t let the players hit the field after the anthem is played like they use to. Problem solved.

  34. Defense Rules Says:

    @SCBucsFan …”Not unfair asking Joe but some of your articles and tone feed the negative vibes in this fan website. You find something negative and continue to hammer it home.”

    I couldn’t agree more SCBucsFan. For instance:

    @Joe … “Newsflash: There is a lot separating the Bucs from the NFL’s elite. First is that horrid defense. Second is the running game.”

    Not a single word in there about our offense starting off game after game behind the 8-ball (slow starts). Not a word about our offensive turnovers (we tied for SIXTH MOST giveaways last year with 27). And many of those giveaways set up our opponents in excellent field position, screwing the Bucs defense. Instead it’s pick on the Bucs ‘horrid defense’ … same defense BTW Joe that tied for SEVENTH MOST takeaways in the league last year with 26. And many of those takeaways set up the Bucs’ offense on a short field to score from. Thus quite a few of the Bucs’ paltry 335 points scored are directly attributable to the performance of our horrible defense. And many of the 382 points the Bucs gave up last year are directly attributable to the wonderful play of our offense.

  35. mark2001 Says:

    I think some of the over optimism comes in acting like our team this coming year will be playing everyone else’s team from last year. And most of them upgraded about as well as we did, or better. And when you consider it as a totality, I think Joe is right…”Joe doesn’t think he is being unfair at all asking these two questions, which could mean the difference in a winning season or a losing season.” Which in my world translates to around 8-8, give or take two or three games.

  36. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Hope springs eternal for Bucs fans after every draft and many are just way too optimistic. A couple of years ago Kenny Bell was going to be an all pro and that Dan Vitale guy was going to light it up in the NFL. Last year many fans thought the 7th round lineman out of USC was a great pickup. Once you get past the third round most of the guys are basically a shot in the dark. Would be nice if this safety out of Pitt and the offensive guard work out well but who really knows at this point. Vea and R Jones are enough though to keep me optimistic that at least some of this draft will work out well.

  37. Kobe Faker Says:

    Every team is somewhat the personality and temperment of the Head coach

    Klueless Koetter doesnt express confidence and passion

    ** Kobe remembers Sean Payton screaming his headoff when Meme Evans blindside speared Lattimore….Klueless?

    Klueless stated st the podium he was looking at his playsheet backwards and didnt see it and was wondering what the commotion was all about

  38. Trench War Says:

    Is it two a days yet? People need some respective. Last season was last season. So since this is a brand new season, and we have watched Licht bring in serious depth, then it’s perfectly legit to feel optimistic. Yes, we do have a history of starting off slow but I refuse to let the past dictate my optimism in the now. If, and when our season starts to slip away will I bring out my torch, and pitchfork.

  39. NFLNut Says:


    If we were in ____ division, we would finish in ___ place:

    NFC East: 2nd
    NFC North: 3rd
    NFC West: 2nd

    AFC East: 2nd
    AFC North: 2nd
    AFC South: 2nd
    AFC West: 2nd

    ….. however … we are in the best division in football and could finish LAST again.

    However, as I said yesterday, it wouldn’t shock me if we went 3-13 or 13-3 … but if this team doesn’t win at least 9 games, coaches’ heads should roll, period!


  40. Pickgrin Says:

    Last year’s kick in the nuts 5-11 results on top of bad drafting, perpetual losing and no playoffs the previous decade is enough to leave even the most optimistic fans in a “show me” type mode/mood.

    I firmly believe this franchise is on the upswing and that 10-6 or better is very possible for the 2018 Buccaneers.

    But I’m certainly not flying to Vegas with a wad of cash to bet on it….

  41. BucTrooper Says:

    I have been a Bucs fan since 1980 when I moved here.

    I’ve been a season ticket holder since 2005.

    I am a huge Jameis fan and believe in him.

    I am not optimistic.

  42. ATrain Says:


    How many games did the Bucs lose by 7 or less?

    So the upgrade on the DLine
    Adding a 4.4 WR

    Two CBs

    And a possible Beast at LB.




  43. Blake_Bucsfan Says:


    That entire “we lost (X) close games last year by 7 points or less” argument, is about as tired, lazy and meaningless an argument as there is.

    09/07/2014 vs CAR L 14-20
    09/14/2014 vs STL L 17-19
    10/05/2014 @ NO L 31-37
    10/26/2014 vs MIN L 13-19
    11/02/2014 @ CLE L 17-22
    11/30/2014 vs CIN L 13-14
    12/14/2014 @ CAR L 17-19
    12/28/2014 vs NO L 20-23

    In 2014, the year Loser Lovie went 2-14 and got us Jameis Winston, we lost 8 games by 7 points or less. And where did it land us the following season? 6-10.
    Licht should know that this is a stupid argument to make, which is why I was really miffed when he pulled it out of his rear end while trying to convince us that “we were close.”

    Granted we weren’t down 56-0 in any games during 2017, the Minnesota and Arizona beat downs were just about as ugly. The one thing we have going for us in 2018, is that our roster is objectively more talented than it ever hoped of being in 2014.

    Will the Koetter and Smith be able to break away from their painfully predictable tendencies that opposing Coaches exploited in 2017? Will they be able to utilize the talent to it’s utmost potential? I’m not so sure.

  44. BucHead5588 Says:

    I think Dirk will play Jones An Barber a lot on running downs an I think jones sims an quizz will all get there turn on 3rd downs irs a make or break year for dirk I don’t think he can afford to keep a playmaker like jones on the sideline

  45. Perimeter Blocker Says:

    Been to the alter too many times. Prove it!

  46. MadMax Says:

    Lol, a healthy JW3 and good kicking and we start 4-0…yep, i said it. Because of what we did on the d line and better kicking!

  47. SOEbuc Says:

    What’s wrong with the Bucs stock piling liquor Joe? Sitting at the bar at Press Box with Jason. “Free shots for everyone every time we score!!!” “Yeaaaaah!!!” The crowd goes wild.

  48. Joeypoppems Says:

    There is no reason to be optimistic after last season. Maybe I will get optimistic if we don’t start 3-5 for the first half of the year

  49. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Here’s some optimism:
    Rookies have impacted Super Bowl Teams significantly in past-



  50. ATrain Says:

    FAN = Optimistic

    At beginning of year

    If they prove otherwise as the season goes on and then call them out

  51. JB Says:

    Dollars to Doughnuts Koetter has Barber starting in Our opener in New Orleans! I hope to hell I’m wrong, but considering how he screwed up, continually trotting Martin out there week after week last season, We shouldn’t be holding out much hope of him letting Jones loose right away.

  52. Blake_Bucsfan Says:


    Lol wtf are you talking about. Being a fan doesn’t mean being a blind cheerleader. Obviously I want the Bucs to win the Super Bowl every year, that doesn’t mean I expect them too.

    I bought into off-season hype like never before last year, and on paper it all made sense, but it ended in misery. So I vowed never to buy into that hype ever again. If Koetter and Smith turn in their best year yet and get us to the post season, awesome. But if they fail and have another meager season, I won’t be the least bit surprised.

    Show me don’t tell me.

  53. Mike Johnson Says:

    its not that many of us are not Optimistic. Its just after that display of gamesmanship last season? We are just not yet sold on what kind of product will hit the field come Sept. On paper, the hype is there.But a lot of us have zero confidence in Pressbox Smitty and we need to see Koetters game decisions improve. We know, these are the BUCS. Simply put, they are going to have to win this season to really get a lot of us fans truly hyped. We are waiting…………..

  54. Nirobe Says:

    tell that to browns fans!

  55. ATrain Says:

    Blake why not start with the support first

    Most people who don’t support until a team wins are called BANDWAGON FANS

    I couldn’t be a Browns Fan But they have TRUE FANS

  56. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    I will be rooting for them to win every week until whatever week the end of the season happens to be. But I’m not going to go around pretending that we have the best coaches in the league. It’s up to them to prove me wrong, just like they proved me wrong last season, when I believed in them with all of my heart and soul.

    Last season was a crushing and eye-opening disappointment. I think Licht had a pretty damn good off-season too don’t get me wrong. But it’s on the coaching staff to put them in position to win. Which is where my doubt lies. I’m not sure they are capable.

    And I disagree with your assessment of what a bandwagon fan is. In my mind, a bandwagoner is some who doesn’t root for or pay any attention at all to a team until they are winning. I follow the Bucs with a passion, and always hope for them to succeed.

  57. Richbucsfan Says:

    Re: Article title…jaded is more like it

  58. AnotherBucsGMNJ Says:

    If we come out week 1 and get blown out, Dirk Koetter should be fired immediately after that game, no waiting the whole season!

  59. BoJim Says:

    No matter how bad the previous season, I always look forward to the next. I always hope. (shiver) Pro football is about all I follow now days and the Bucs have been my team since 76′. I need one more SB.

  60. firethecannons Says:

    VV will be good
    Ronald Jones good
    one of th CB at least good
    Cappa fair–needs to bulk up and spend solid time in weight room
    Watson–next year
    Cichy-will make team, get good with time

  61. Jason Mclaurin Says:

    Our Buccaneers will not be over .500 this season. They just don’t have the running game and there are too many holes on the offensive line. They have no right guard and as of right now. The Vea pick will be costly. Not because they didn’t draft James but because they didn’t even look at a guy like I. Wynn to lock down the offensive line. I really like the way this defense is set up for the future though. They gained a lot of quality depth as well in the secondary but they could’ve saved the Vea pick and went DT in later rounds as well instead of getting another receiver or linebacker. They drafted the best players available for the third year instead of best players per team need. Only time they went with best player per need was when they made the second round trades three out of Licht four years or so. They are loaded with talent but are not a good team because these guys are not being brought in for a purpose but just to compete and are treated as camp meat time they arrive in Tampa. Oj Howard, Vita Vea are great first round picks, but they are part of a position overload imo. Out of all the RB drafted over the past two years the Bucs and Jason Licht immaturely drafted BPA instead of BPN. I mean they could’ve made another trade and got more picks and drafted a running and loaded the rest of the draft with that secondary depth or depth in the trenches along the offensive and defensive lines and took a premium RB in the first. When this season is over by week 6 Licht will hugely regret not taking a RB. Another GM and coach will come in draft a RB and win trust me that’s why Ronald Jones is our most over hyped pick. Jones is just simply a third down back to me or a shotgun back and the Bucs don’t need that with holes at guard and tackle. They need a power running back to make up for gaps like that along the offensive line not an interchangeable spread offense.

  62. denjoe Says:

    What Joe said!

  63. ufour20 Says:

    Our defense wasn’t as terrible as some people, including the Joe’s, suggest. If you look at this statement, “They also point to the fact that seven of their losses last year came in one-score games, with five decided by three points or fewer or in overtime”, that would tell me aren’t as bad as perceived.

    Our Defensive ranking is tallied by total yards given up. But if you look at points (the only stat that should matter), 4 teams in the top 20 gave up more point per game than the Bucs in 2017. We gave up the same number of total points and points per game as Denver, the number 3 defense in the league.

    Rushing, we only had 389 total attempts, only 2 teams in the top 20 had less. Our yards-per was terrible, but in 2017, we rushed 138 less times than Jacksonville, the number one rushing team with 527 attempts. We didnt run the ball because we always played from behind (defense that cant stop anyone and an offense that doesn’t score points, but also likes to give away points).

    Many of the games end the way they do because the defense cant close the game, and the offense starts the game in turtle mode. The combination of a slow starting QB, a QB that turns the ball over excessively, the inability to score points, and never ending drive-killing penalties, means were always playing from behind and the D never plays with a lead.

    The fact the D cant get off the field on 3rd down also means players get tired and can’t stop the winning drive. Its a bad combination that the coaches AND players need to fix this year.