“We Didn’t Have The Same Effort”

June 2nd, 2018

Separating coachspeak from reality isn’t always easy.

For example, consider a common take from Dirk Koetter and Bucs officials.

The head coach said he liked the fight in his players and was quick to praise the effort on the field last season. Ownership, coaches and executives even weighed in to commend the Bucs on their battling hard through the very last play of the season.

But Joe has heard Bucs players question the consistency of their effort. And then there was this take below from new defensive line coach Brentson Buckner, who was asked about the demise of the Tampa Bay defense.

Remember, Buckner was hired several weeks after the end of last season, after the Bucs renewed the contract of former defensive line coach Jay Hayes and then fired him. So Buckner first met his players after they had a chance to review the failures of 2017 without him.

Buckner noted that in 2016, “the [defense] was in the top-10 in [some categories]” before falling to the basement of the league.

“Being a coach and a player in this league, it’s a fine line between good and bad. And sometimes you’ve got to look yourself in the mirror and see where did I go wrong in that,” Buckner said. “And I think what they did even before I got here, those guys sat back and they observed themselves, and were like, ‘Wow. We didn’t have the same effort. We made some mental mistakes that helped us to end up that way.’ So now they’ve come back working with an attitude, trying to correct those things.”

Judging effort is such a gray area, often even for the guy being judged. But to hear Buckner talk about Bucs defensive players reviewing film and realizing their effort was substandard is worth noting.

Joe was never in the rah-rah camp doing smiley jumping jacks because the Bucs lost seven one-score games and competed against playoff teams late in the year. Sure, it was better than the alternative, but none of that stuff comes close to making a team good, and it certainly doesn’t help predict anything.

The Bucs are banking on Buckner and five new defensive linemen to raise the intensity and the games of the entire defense. Joe agrees and liked the strategy.

But still, someone has to change the defensive culture and get these guys competing and playing with their hair on fire from the moment training camp starts. Without that, not enough will change to put the team in the playoffs.

29 Responses to ““We Didn’t Have The Same Effort””

  1. AlteredEgo Says:

    “”But Joe has heard Bucs players question the consistency of their effort”…please don’t conjure up those suppressed memories

  2. Jeremy in Cali Says:

    Is it too early for Buckner For Defensive Coordinator? Haha

  3. WutdaBucisthis Says:

    Hey Joe….love this site man. Always feeding the monster inside us for Bucs ball. Any JPP sightings?

  4. Dooshlarue Says:

    Change the culture indeed.
    Bye-bye 93!

  5. Pat Says:

    I have never once said this or necessarily agreed with it but number 93 is consistent and common denominator with this defense. It almost seems like getting rid of him or trading him would be worth it just to change it up. To be sure, I think he is a very good player and I’m happy to have him on the team but it just seems like the change alone would benefit the teamAt this point

  6. Anonymous Says:

    First thing to go: the finger wag on an overthrow in the direction of 28

  7. Mike10 Says:

    First thing to go: the finger wag on an overthrow in the direction of #28

  8. Joe Says:

    please don’t conjure up those suppressed memories

    Cam Brate had some interesting comments when he did Ira’s pod earlier this spring.

  9. Eric Says:

    Way to half ass it last year bucs.

    I guess that no playoffs 9-7 was just too great to maintain the intensity.

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Well, if this doesn’t work…..lets just fire everybody and start all over again…..oh wait….we tried that three times….didn’t work.

    If the solution is get rid of GMC….we may as well get rid of LVD also…..same logic.

  11. Ndog Says:

    TBbucfan big difference between LVD and GMC is one plays hard every play and the other takes random plays off while playing patty cake with an oline man.

  12. Destinjohnny Says:

    Starts at the top
    Team takes the lead from its coaches and let’s face it Dirk is soft.
    I love our d line coach… He ain’t soft

  13. Louis Says:

    Joe the emproved d line from the players to the coach is encouraging. We never hear anything about Mitch Unrine from the bears. How is he doing?

  14. Not there yet Says:

    The bucs didn’t bring in free agents who have to learn how to compete. They are all veterans that being experience to the table and the only learning curve is the playbook and teammates.

    Fans and media have no choice but to compare previous seasons for the sake of having something to talk about but only question in in my mind is how much production will they give not how much effort

  15. Joe Says:


    What there to say? He has OK footwork in underwear football? He wears a mean pair of shorts?

    Will likely see something on Unrein when the pads come on.

  16. Mike Johnson Says:

    Destinjohnny..you are spot on there sir!! The teams takes its lead from its coaches. I mean when you got a Defensive Coordinator sitting way up top..on his perch..in an air conditioned pressbox..every single GD game..while his troops are looking for on the field leadership.. what kind of lead is that? Well I can do just as I please. My coach is eatin snacks up in the pressbox getting a..better view of the game while we..are gettin our A”s handed to us. Its a..BucLife baby!

  17. Defense Rules Says:

    Mike Johnson … There have been lots of articles written about whether it’s better for a DC or OC to be “sitting way up top” or to be down on the sidelines. From what I can glean, the answer is ‘It depends’. (as in ‘it depends on the personalities involved’, ‘it depends on the results they get’, etc). Good article (dating back to 2016) at https://www.sbnation.com/2016/11/23/13730592/2016-nfl-season-falcons-chargers-eagles-coaches-kyle-shanahan entitled “Are NFL play callers better in the booth or on the sideline? That depends.” Some pretty big names pop up (who were successful calling from upstairs). Personally I’d prefer to be down on the field, but can understand how others might prefer the opposite.

  18. Couch Fan Says:

    Stop trying to defend GMC. Everything we’ve heard so far including this article and the last describes everything us “haters” have been saying about GMC for years. Soft, not enough fire, nont consistant enough. But the fan boys continue to point fingers at everything else and come up with asinine comparisons. LMAO. I’ll be waiting for GMC to prove me wrong.

  19. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Pat may have just won the award for most moronic post of all time. You agree that he is a great player but want to get rid of him to change the culture. God we have such a dumb fan base.

    FWIW, JPP not attending the last week is very concerning. Certainly looks like he is looking for some more paychecks more than winning games.

  20. BucTrooper Says:

    As a season ticket holder it kills me tonread that maybe the players weren’t trying that hard.

    Thanks fellas.

  21. BigHogHaynes Says:

    GMC is a GOD!!

  22. Trench War Says:

    ..and let’s not lose sight of the fact we made the offense stronger too. With the additions of the leagues highest paid center. A bonafide stable of RB’s ..and drafted “SLASH” G/RT Cappa. With 3 really special WR’s and 2 quality TE’s

    ..if the defense is average we should be in the upper echelons of scoring.

  23. BucNole Says:

    Well of course the coaching staff is gonna say they gave effort. . . they are trying to save their jobs.
    As for Smitty being in the booth – he does not appear to be one of those fired up in your face type of coaches – so not sure that it means much for him to be in the booth or not.
    OTOH – as a player I would much rather see my DC on the field during games – to hear from him directly about what his plan is as the game progresses.

  24. BucEmUp Says:

    I’m not a football player, but I would think that even good players, after being put into positing to fail time after time after time that eventually, the will to try and give it your all is just gone. When you know in the back of your.mind that the other team knows what you are going to do every play and are ready to counter it, and that your team is making zero adjustments, it will eventually break you down.

    I wish for once I could watch a Bucs game without knowing without a doubt the defense would fail and run the same looks for four quarters. I don’t blame the players on this . If players don’t try because they don’t feel like it that’s one thing. If they quit trying because the other the coaches have failed them that’s another

  25. BucTooth Says:

    As much as i love my Bucs i have to be honest in a real world, but wish i was proven wrong when i say i prefer the defensive cordinator on the side line with the players face to face instilling in them to never give up. With that all said and done i see the Bucs 7 wins and 9 loss’s and a changing of the guard in 2019.

  26. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    “We didn’t have the same effort.”

    You think? — Wow, that damn well better change.

  27. John5 Says:

    This is what I’ve been preaching all year. We would absolutely crush the run one game, and the next game we start giving up and let Lesean McCoy beat us up. Then after that, we make old AP look like an absolute stud. The media was hyping up AP so much after that game and I knew it wasn’t real. It was the Bucs defense. We had absolutely no consistency and constantly gave up. If guys can’t finish they need to get off the field.

    We need to find that identify and that backbone. And it has to be the team as a whole. We can’t keep relying on only certain players to finish for us. When you have too many Swaggy’s, that are thinking about going home for wings and humping trees before the 4th quarter has even begun, it brings the whole team down. It falls apart. I’m hoping we find that identity this year, including that fire to be a nasty and feared defense. Who wants to finish and win!

  28. Anonymous Says:


    could not possibly agree with you MORE.
    would REALLY prefer that Def Coordinator to be down on the field with his guys.

  29. Tampa Bay Demon Says:


    I could not possibly agree MORE with you. — I really prefer a Defensive Co-ordinator to be down on the field with his guys.