Don’t Blame Jameis

May 3rd, 2018

Unfair target.

It was just brutal to watch.

If Joe was Team Glazer, Joe would have gone all Bobby Knight and tossed a suite chair onto the field it was so bad.

What is Joe referring to? That gutless defense of the Bucs last year.

Last in way too many categories to count. As Danny Kelly of The Ringer points out, folks throwing arrows at America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, are misguided. Kelly hints that even Tom Brady would have had a losing record with that defense.

Kelly noted not just the obvious categories where the Bucs defense was worst in the NFL but hidden areas where the Bucs were equally putrid. They included how teams ran short routes and made short completions nearly at will because Mike Smith’s charges were giving opposing receivers more cushion than you could find at one of Joe Redner’s cat houses — so Joe is told.

Kelly notes that for folks who still think Jameis cost the Bucs wins, just look at the positions AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht targeted both in the draft and in free agency. They were largely on defense.

It’s a copycat league, and the Bucs seem to be adopting the blueprint the Eagles used in building its Super Bowl roster—taking advantage of the money they’re saving with Winston’s rookie contract to drop resources into a deep defensive line and, hopefully, field a strong pass rush. But the front-seven remake is just part of the equation; Tampa Bay is counting on early returns from its investments in the secondary, too. Last year, Buccaneers cornerbacks couldn’t stop much of anything. In part because of its nonexistent pass rush, the team often played with its cornerbacks well off the line of scrimmage, giving receivers big cushions underneath. This made the team susceptible to the quick passing game, and according to NFL GSIS tracking, Tampa Bay allowed a completion rate of 72.8 percent on passes to the short left (which ranked 26th) and 70.9 percent to the short right (30th). But the Bucs were bad against deep passes, too, surrendering a completion rate of 54.1 percent to the deep left (32nd) and 51.3 percent to the deep right (31st) while giving up 57 passes of 20-plus yards (tied for 28th).

Kelly also notes Licht being so aggressive this offseason suggests Licht knows the hourglass is running out of sand for the Bucs to turn things around.

Banking on a three rookie defensive backs to save the day, well, that’s a helluva gamble. To the best of Joe’s knowledge, the last time that happened was in 1981, when Bill Walsh drafted four defensive backs in his first five picks. One guy was named Ronnie Lott and the 49ers won the Super Bowl that year.

The drafting of running back Ronald Jones gives Joe a great deal of comfort. As Joe argued before the draft, getting a top-shelf running back (and not waiting to pick up the litter and leftovers on the third day of the draft for a change) will enable the Bucs to play keep-away both from opposing defenses and the Bucs’ own defense.

The key here is how will Koetter use Jones? Is he going to keep Jones on the sidelines and wring his hands over Jones’ blocking or will Koetter feed Jones the ball to do what he was drafted to do — run?

Koetter’s history in the NFL is sketchy with rookie running backs, for whatever reason. So how or if Jones will be used is very much an open book.

But thank goodness Licht beefed up the defense.

44 Responses to “Don’t Blame Jameis”

  1. Kalind Says:

    Joe why you change the oline article??? It was great not having to click in!!!! Keep that policy!!! Glad you enjoyed that error. –Joe

  2. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    100% on jameis, the poor OL, the lack of running game, so basically that bullseye goes back to licht and lack of building a solid offense, he can aquire TEs and LBs, but there are 10 other spots on the team….the green bay packers game and the saints game are squarely on jameis, and the end of the day the bucs and their record are on the back of their leader and that is jameis….who will everyone think of in the pats championships or the 49ers or dolphins when they contended, its a QB driven league…look at the latest nfl draft

  3. ShutTheBucUp Says:

    Koetter will be gone by next season. He’s too stubborn to be a head coach, we all know it. Nothing short of a playoff appearance will be him more time.

  4. Easy Says:

    This team isn’t going anywhere till Winston cuts down on the turnovers. Defense wasn’t good at all but it comes down to quarterback play more than anything.

  5. Bucsfanman Says:

    An average defense and we would’ve had 3-4 more wins.
    To be fair, Jameis turnovers put our defense in unenviable positions at times last year. That said, along with everybody else on the team he deserves SOME blame.
    Before I get blasted, the whole team failed (5-11 says so!), therefore, the WHOLE team has a part in the blame, especially coaching.

  6. Waterboy Says:

    Surprisingly the offense averaged 21 pts a game last season that should’ve been enough to win more than 5 games.

  7. Waterboy Says:

    Green Bay, Carolina and Buffalo were all games lost by the defense in the final minutes of the game. They never even showed up for Adrian Peterson in his first game in Arizona.

  8. Joe Says:

    They never even showed up for Adrian Peterson in his first game in Arizona.

    All dome road games the defense may as well had stayed in Tampa.

  9. The Buc Realist Says:

    They said the Bucs are following the eagles, blue print, except for the fact that the eagles have put in 4 years to build that defense!!!!!!!! If some expect that in 1 year with massive turnover is fooling themselves!!!!!! And when the Bucs have put the last 4 years into building the offense, The “real” fans expect more that 20.1 pts per game!!!!!!!!

    The Buc Realist and the “real” fans are not stating a make and break year, and will give full support for the team!!!!!! The potential ceiling is very high for this young team!!!!! We will give no additional pressure as their tough schedule is enough for that!!!!!!!! once the year is over then we will review all performances like usual!!!!!!!! Hopefully Joe, The Sheep, the so-called fans and stick carries will not ride the emotional rollercoaster where the Buc are a playoff team after 1 win or they should fire everyone after 1 loss!!!!!!!!!!

    GO Bucs!!!!!!!!

  10. budbuc Says:

    @ Dusthty, The Dolphins haven’t contended since 85′!!!

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    @Bucsfanman … “the whole team failed (5-11 says so!), therefore, the WHOLE team has a part in the blame, especially coaching.” B-I-N-G-O Bucsfanman!!! Actually I’m surprised Joe could write “Don’t Blame Jameis” with a straight face. Jameis is still young, he’s still learning, but for heaven sake Joe, take the blinders off. Jameis had awesome weapons last year, yet the Bucs offense scored only 314 points (335 less the 21 put up by the “gutless” defense). That’s LESS THAN 20 PPG for what you keep bragging on as the #4 passing offense in the NFL (and #3 in Passing Attempts BTW). Jameis didn’t help much with his 15 fumbles (8 lost) & 11 INTs in less than 13 full games. But hey, let’s blame the defense … “Don’t Blame Jameis”. Where’s Scapegoat Smitty when you need him?

  12. Bucnjim Says:

    The 19 points per game scored at home was a major disappointment since 2016 it was 22. This offense has more weapons than any other Buccaneer team in the history of the organization. You can spin it any way you want blaming it all on the defense, but reality is the entire team (all three phases) played poorly more times then not.

  13. Joe Says:

    he’s still learning, but for heaven sake Joe, take the blinders off.

    Not saying he was perfect. As noted above, the Bucs defense choked away (at least) three wins. That’s an 8-8 record. Minimum.

    Never suggested Jameis was blameless. Yes, he needs to cut down on the fumbles. There was no way he single-handedly dragged down the team last year.

    There is also this thing called a bum shoulder, by most credible accounts, happened at Minnesota. Kind of hampers a quarterback’s ability to throw (yeah, Koetter should have benched him sooner). Imagine trotting a pitcher to the mound with a bum shoulder what the results might be.

    Doug Martin killed the team far more than Jameis. And yeah, that’s on Koetter too for going back to the well time and time again expecting a different result.

  14. Joe Says:


    You are putting a lot of words in Joe’s mouth this morning. Where did Joe write the offense did not need to score more points? (Red zone efficiency.)

    The way you are freaking out about Jameis, it is as if the guy is Bobby Douglass.

    The defense was a total sieve last year. To compare one of the worst defenses in franchise history to Jameis is laughable.

  15. mark2001 Says:

    Love this draft…

    So Vernon…which will it be? Smoke your way into oblivion and drift out of the league? Or step out and play like a first round corner.

    Hope it will be the later. But it is time to see what you have as a corner talent and what you have between your ears.

  16. AlteredEgo Says:

    All that was last year….team should be greatly improved in every area….it’s a beautiful morning !

  17. Alanbucsfan Says:

    So the Joe’s narrative- Koetter too loyal to Martin, O-Line was no problem, doesn’t trust Koetter to use new rb Jones right, Koetter didn’t handle Jameis’ injury right, secondary issues are mostly Hargreaves fault, coaches can’t develop corners- basically get rid of coaching staff and then what…start over again with a new coach who doesn’t like the talent? If that happens, Bucs will become Orlando Magic

  18. miken Says:

    Jameis needs to help the D by moving the chains and getting 7 when we hit the redzone. Lots of yards but points, not so much

  19. 813bucboi Says:

    so smitty’s defense was a lot worse than we thought…..tell us something we don’t know…….

    this is why I didn’t understand smitty not forcing the CB’s to play at the LOS… least try to make the windows smaller by playing man press….this just shows how bad smitty’s scheme is…..we were getting beat short and getting beat deep….folks said we played off to keep everything in front of us but obviously that didn’t work because we were giving up over 50% completions on deep balls…..

    this year smitty has to play man press to make the throwing windows tighter since we have the front7 to do it….


  20. Wausa Says:

    Sheesh we have some idiotic fans.

    Bucs had the worst defense in the NFL by a wide margin last year and their primary starting running back averaged 2.9 yards per carry. Oh and they had a crappy kicking game too.
    The Bucs were 2nd in total 1st downs last year and 4th in passing yards.

    Even the most casual fan could see the problem was an atrocious defense and a terrible running game.

  21. 813bucboi Says:

    think back when Winston won the Heisman and natty……he had an elite defense and elite run game…..that’s all he needs…it aint that hard to figure out…..

    he also had better coaching….


  22. John5 Says:

    I was not fond of retaining Koetter. I think he’s an amazing OC, not HC. I know we needed some consistency at HC for more than two years for once, but Koetter is stubborn as all get out. He stays by his decisions despite every bit of opposition glaring in his face. Last year he made excuses for not addressing our D-line, blaming salary cap. He stuck by Martin game after crushing game. He stuck by the guys not playing up to par in the secondary. He stuck by his decision to make Marpet a center. He made lots of poor game decisions, including clock management, and got mad when pressed about it. Then after that atrocious season where his own job was being questioned, he retains practically the entire coaching staff for this year. But Bucs fans still want to blame Jameis. I don’t even blame Mike Smith. The HC needs to set the team up for success. And that defense was full of holes. Sure we added a lot of talent, but we had a lot of amazing talent last year too. It wasn’t utilized. I sure hope Koetter proves me wrong this year though.

  23. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “The defense was a total sieve last year. To compare one of the worst defenses in franchise history to Jameis is laughable.” I agree with AlteredEgo that “All that was last year” and that our team should be greatly improved this year. Jameis is our franchise QB, but to keep fingering the defense for last year’s lousy record without looking at the whole TEAM performance is unfair. The defense had a LOT of deficiencies last year, as evidenced by the fact that Licht finally focused most of our draft picks this year on the defense.

    But they weren’t a ‘total sieve’ either. Yes they were #32 in Passing Yards Allowed, but where the ‘rubber meets the road’ … POINTS ALLOWED … they ranked #22. And in several other categories they rated quite well: #7 in Turnovers, #12 in Passing TDs Allowed for instance. Where we really sucked was stopping the run (#23 in Rushing Yards Allowed & #30 in Rushing TDs Allowed). No reason we can’t do MUCH BETTER than that this year with the additions of Allen & Vea especially.

    If holding Jameis accountable for his on-field performance … just like you did Doug Martin … is ‘freaking out’ (to use your term) then I’d have to plead guilty. Every single player & every coach needs to be held more accountable than they have been. Maybe then the Bucs will become the winning franchise that we have the talent to become.

  24. miken Says:

    @813… hard to find a qb that wouldn’t be great with an elite D and an elite run game

  25. 813bucboi Says:


    well said…..


  26. Brooklynborn Says:

    Joe, enough already with this ac/DC loving cap already, it’s getting very old…

  27. Brooklynborn Says:

    Joe, enough already with this ac/DC loving cap already, it’s getting very old…please put it to bed already.

  28. Bob in Valrico Says:

    John ,while Koetter may be blamed for stubbornness and some clock management issues Licht brought in Sweezy to replace to replace Marpet at guard. I would also credit Licht for the bad personnel decisions,not Koetter.
    Licht signed Sweezy and lazy Baker, not Koetter. Also the secondary issues,were
    on the talent level of players and licht’s not seeing it and fixing it is also on him.
    Don’t think TJ Ward signing did much for what proved to be the most glaring need at corner ,especially with the bad play of Hargreaves,who the coaching staff removed from his starting role at outside corner. Problem was nobody
    was prepared to step up in part because of licht’s decision to make Ryan Smith a safety his first year.

    Think he did a much better job addressing needs this year in free agency and
    the draft and the team and players for both players and coaches to be successful.

  29. Trench War Says:

    Yes, our defense certainly struggled but if we were being honest we could admit Winston’s incessant turnovers did put our defense in many bad situations.

  30. Trench War Says:

    Winston reminds me of Brett Farve. He can be brilliant in some games or be a turnover machine in others. It’s that never quit the play mentality that gets him in trouble sometimes. Winston gambles a lot, maybe way too much. Sometimes he wins big and sometimes he gets exposed. This a new season with new teammates. So let’s pass judgement at the end of the season because no matter how you slice it, this is crucial season for this staff to make substantial progress.

  31. Not there yet Says:

    The line is completely different and it’s been gutted but we’ll listen to this all off-season still.

    Obviously like you said watching this team play they were weak in the trenches and wanted to get better. Not sure how trying to improve the biggest weakness on the team is being copy cat.

    What was a weakness is now a strength so no we didn’t copy the eagles unless your saying the eagles copied the jaguars.

    We added one interior lineman in the off-season to replace the one we lost so we did need to add more lineman anyway just glad they did it with the first pick. Not sure how improving the worst part of your defense meant you had to copy someone if it all starts up front

  32. Eric Says:

    Sorry but I watched this team and when you average 20 points a game with all those wideouts and 2 top flight Te’s and most of our drafting has been for the offense so no I’m not going to stop blaming Winston
    When the backup played 3 games and won two, you would expect the 1st rounder to have more wins. Fitzpatrick 2-1 and Winston 3-10 explain me how that happened and maybe I will consider changing my position. As you stated yesterday without Jameis on the team you guys would lose a lot of your traffic so of course you guys have been propping this guy up since before he was drafted.

  33. John5 Says:

    @813bucboi thanks m8. Agreed. No excuses.

    @Bob I find it hard to believe Koetter had no say in moving Marpet to center. And you’re making reference to guys not playing up to their talent. Wouldn’t you say that’s a coaching issue? I would. Softgraves went soft in his second year. Swaggy sat on his rear and collected up checks. There was turmoil in the locker room among players. Where’s the accountability? That starts with the coaching. Which Koetter felt was (mostly) fine. And if all these guys we brought in don’t pan out, that’s still all Licht’s fault? Again, I hope I’m wrong and I’m pulling for Koetter.

  34. Bucbob89 Says:

    Some people on here (bucsdefense) don’t know football . Teams run schems on both sides of the ball . Our schems on offense require us to be able to run the ball . We had no one capable of doing it well enough to make teams play the run unless it was obvious we were running . And add a bum oline . J3 is a good qb . We rolled the dice on dm22 and lost . Simple as that . Now with #texastesla additions to oline you put jamies in a prove it contract year . simple as that.

  35. BadHombre Says:

    I find it hard to not blame Jameis, the Defense, the kicker(s), the coaches, etc.

    The reality is that the team looked really bad all year long.

  36. mark2001 Says:

    Winston = Brett Favre? LOL…

    Hopefully some day….but he isn’t close to what Favre was in his prime; a different world.

  37. Mike Johnson Says:

    I’m luvin the fact we supposedly now have..ALL OF THE TOOLS to win. Calling coaches Koetter and Pressbix Smitty? Time for you to show us your coaching skills or hit the local fishin hole next season. You are on the clock coaches. You guys have run out of Excuses. Batter up!!

  38. Steven007 Says:

    Brooklyn, this (AC/DC loving) is part of (primarily one of the Joe’s) their shtick. They also use the groan worthy ‘America’s QB’ as you’re well aware.. And they insist on a paragraphs worth of crapola when uttering Peter King’s name (and Bissinger from the Times). They either think it’s ironic or irreverent or both. I think it’s silly but that’s just me. I otherwise love the site though and wade through the embarrassing things to get to the meat.

  39. Brandon Says:

    Having a decent running game will do wonders to help a struggling defense. Running the ball means fewer punts, taking more time off the clock, and more success on play action pass plays. Look what Ezekiel Elliot and what he did to help a bad Dallas defense from the season before. This is precisely why I expect the Giants to rebound in a big way this season, because Saquon Barkley will keep the defense off the field and make Eli’s job much easier. If Ronald Jones can be anything like the comparisons to Jamal Charles or Eric Dickerson (don’t see that one at all) then we will be in business. I know he’s not as fast as Charles and not nearly as powerful as Dickerson, but as long as he’s somewhat effective, we will be a better offense and it will help the defense tremendously.

  40. Wausa Says:

    Bucs were hurt terribly in scoring, because they had a terrible running game and a poor kicking game.

  41. Bob in Valrico Says:

    john ,Never said players brought in by Licht brought in free agency in
    the last few year had the talent to playup to . I don’t think they were good enough. Since Grimes seems to be the only one still here ,seems logical.
    Sweezy should be gone too, it doesn’t appear like he will ever be mauler
    he was at Seattle. Bucs have already invested 13 mil.+ in this failed experiment.
    Too bad he hurt his back,because his coach at Seattle raved about his run blocking and attitude.
    Hargreaves is a puzzle Bucs have to figure out, as he does. My two cents is he does not possess the speed or physicality to cover a bigger, faster more physical receiver like Julio. coaches told him to give less cushion but he didn’t adapt. That’s on him.


  42. RickinFt.Myers Says:

    Even if Dirk Koetter sits Ronald Jones on third down, because of poor pass blocking skills the Bucs can still wind up in great shape. Couple Peyton Barber’s 3.9 yards per carry average in 2017 with Jones’ 5.9 yards per carry average at USC in 2017 and that leaves the rest of the Bucs just 1.2 yards to gain on the third play of any four play set of downs. I know averages don’t mean much, but even if Koetter sits Jones on third down, he should have gained enough yardage on first and second downs to inevitably leave the Bucs with a makeable third down play whether the choice is a rush by Barber or a pass to Barber, Evans, D-Jax, Godwin, Brate, Howard, or Humphries there are plenty of weapons to pick up short third down play.

  43. Buc4life Says:

    It baffles me that people can’t understand that when you have a nonexistent defense and running game and not to mention a kicker that can’t make a field goal a young QB will force the issue because he has to make every play if the team wants to win.

    Does Winston need to tighten some things up? Sure. But Anyone who puts Winston at the top of the Bucs issues doesn’t understand football.

  44. Fire Lichtt Says:

    Superman jameis has to save the day… best passer in the league with a fixed shoulder. If the Bucs are out of it early, can we please get some Fire Licht articles?