Hey, Monken, It’s Not “Human Nature”

August 23rd, 2018

Man, Joe is baffled by the some of the mentalities on this Bucs football team, and now add candid offensive coordinator Todd Monken to the list after he delivered Joe a sleepless night following a take yesterday.

What the darn heck is going on around here?

Monken essentially claimed that the 2017 Bucs, coming off a 9-7 season that saw them go from 8-5 to 8-7 and cough up a playoff berth in the process, were so high on themselves the following summer that they were acting like fat cats and didn’t put in the proper work.

OK, Joe is not arguing that take, but Monken took it a step further and said that reaction from the players is “human nature.” And for that, Joe throws a personal foul for baloney with side of nonsense.

“I just know that we had a nice year two years ago and all of a sudden it’s human nature: ‘You know, hey, here we go Bucs. You know, here it is. We’ve arrived and we drink the Kool-Aid. Hard Knocks comes rolling in and we add some pieces and all of a sudden we think you’re just going to take the field against grown men, the best in the world and just think it’s going to happen,” Monken said. “We all saw. That’s not how it works. It works by the work you put in and the attention to detail that you do every single day. And you don’t accept laziness, mediocrity, balls on the ground, turnovers, false starts, bad football.”

There is no way in the world anyone is going to sell Joe on the notion that it’s human nature to have a tiny shred of success in your chosen field (aka 9-7) and then put your feet up and coast.

It may be for some people, but certainly not for the masses and certainly not for professional athletes who have reached the pinnacle of their professions.

It’s almost scary that a coach would think that way.

Would it be the same “human nature” to apply Monken’s faulty logic to Buccaneers coaches for their performances last season? Man, Joe is confident Monken, Dirk Koetter and Mike Smith wouldn’t buy into that for one second if that human nature take was turned on them.

Players mature, coaches mature, and teams mature. Joe gets that. But part of that natural process is not collectively turning off the proper effort for long stretches of time and resting on flimsy laurels.

Wasn’t getting too high a lesson the Bucs learned — or should have learned — after Week 2 of the 2016 season? And why wasn’t there more accountability delivered by the coaching staff last year if Monken’s take is on the mark. Man, Joe keeps thinking about what Jon Gruden told Ira Kaufman about Bucs practice under Koetter, albeit a small sample size.

Joe is begging the football gods to make sure the Bucs find a way to a 2-2 record at the bye week. Anything less than that and Joe wouldn’t bet on this team having the mental toughness to recover.

49 Responses to “Hey, Monken, It’s Not “Human Nature””

  1. Sweeptheleg Says:

    Direct result of poor coaching.


  2. Godeep66 Says:

    Good take Joe but as I have said before: Koetter is an overrated QB coach that got lucky to have Matt Ryan fall into his lap and Monken is the equivalent of a water boy.

  3. El Buco Realisto Says:

    Seems like yet another that admits of the distraction that hard knocks brought in !!!!!!!!!!! Its a shame to hear all about setting the tone, and the hard work mentality that coaches are trying to instill and the owners make a play for advertising by bringing an a reality TV show!!!!!!!

    Its just such a shame that team Glazer signed up the team for that!!!!!!!!!

    word on the street was that a high ranking Bucs official was asked if they would every consider Hard Knocks again and it was quickly answered with a “Hell No”!!!!!!

    #trust the coaches!!!!!!!! Fix the “real” problem, the roster!!!!!!!!!!
    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Cobraboy Says:

    Look at the turnover on this Bucs team, the guys no longer on the roster.

    Maybe there is a reason some are gone beyond the typical money and talent issues.

    Maybe some of the reasons were attitude.

    Look at a mental softie like Baker. No amount of coaching will make that guy a hard-nosed lover of the game with only winning in mind. And perhaps the problem was spread to others.

    I spend a good portion of my yout’ as a turnaround specialist for a big corporation. And one thing I learned was that some folks take up space even with good management…and need to be carved out like a tumor.

    The Bucs of last season were a very young team with few exceptions. So I can fully understand how distractions like a Baker and Hard Knocks can take a toll on that fine edge between excellence and failure.

    It IS human nature for some to rest on their laurels after a little success. I’m sure we all know people like that in our lives. Football is no different.

  5. Bucsfanman Says:

    One word: LEADERSHIP!
    There’s nothing more to dissect! Leadership. We lack leadership.

    El Buco Realisto- If you are going to change your name Realist(o), you should try a different punctuation. Try putting question marks instead of Exclamation points. This way we’ll just think you’re really inquisitive?????????????

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “It’s almost scary that a coach would think that way.” Maybe (?) comments like that Joe are why coaches are so reluctant to be really open & honest with the media. Joe has heard forms of that take previously, even from media telling Joe, ‘Hey, the way you guys write it ruins it for all of us because it makes players and coaches not want to talk.’ To which Joe replies, ‘Stop losing sight of the fact football is entertainment for fans and is not designed to be a politically-correct-like give and take between media and players and coaches.’ Joe didn’t wake up yesterday expecting this take from Monken or trying to make any kind of point, as you referenced below. Joe has a load of respect for Monken and believes he’s been an excellent coach the past two seasons developing his position group and helping with the offensive game plans. –Joe

    Maybe (?) Monken was using that approach in much the same way diet programs tell us “Hey, it’s NOT your fault that you’re fat. It’s all that sugar the government forces you to eat.” (Ya right, we’ll go with that).

    Back in my previous profession I was always wary of talking to the media. Reporters all too often had a way of selectively focusing on things that I or others said so that they could make the point that they wanted to make. IOW, they seemed to lose sight of the ‘big picture’ far too easily. I tend to think that Monken was simply saying that the 2017 Bucs allowed distractions to, uhh, distract them. They lost focus on the ‘big picture’ & it bit them in the ass. I don’t totally agree BTW, because I don’t think that the 2017 Bucs were nearly as talented as Monken says they were (too many weaknesses to be exploited by our opponents & too little depth to compensate for injuries). Still, I like his approach with the TEAM … I think all he’s doing is trying to motivate them to put in the hard work that’s necessary to be a consistent winner.

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    Cobraboy … Excellent perspective. Well said.

  8. Bucnjim Says:

    Sometimes rosters like the Bucs are filled with players that are in it for the love of money. If you don’t love what you do you will NEVER be great at it! Why do you think most of these guys do little before their contract year then play like super stars? I do think the players we have been drafting the past few years have a passion for the game itself.

  9. Bobby M. Says:

    For a young team, i think assuming the success will continue by showing up is pretty much the norm. The Bucs did the same thing when Freeman went 10-6 that one year…..You hear vets try to tell the young guys that coming into the league and seeing instant success like the playoffs and/or the super bowl is not be assumed as the norm. Some vets (McCoy) have never sniffed the playoffs and barely know what a winning season looks like. These young guys tend to come from programs where success was somewhat given….then they get to the league and think its just as easy. The team is young but turning the corner with their own experience and vets being brought in….

  10. Not there yet Says:

    I believe him saying they thought it would be easy knowing the leaders we had on the team last year, being on hard knocks, hearing all the hype, big mouth Baker in teaming camp then reality came crashing down when the season started

    I believe it because even the head coach decided they needed a light training camp

  11. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    A coach who is a disciplinarian would never allow such attitudes to exist on their team , they would pull them out like weeds making sure they got the roots. Unfortunately Koetter will never be a discipline oriented coach. Look at the stupid 5 yard penalty on LT when in the red zone last week. Camera shows Koetter on sidelines 5 seconds after freaking laughing. Really coach , something funny about your team continuing to commit lack of focus penalties in the most important situations? Gruden would have put Smith in the doghouse , had a chance to pay up for a great coach and we were too cheap to pull the trigger.

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Haven’t you heard of the SuperBowl curse or hangover? Teams after winning the Superbowl often struggle for success the following year….hell our Bucs have struggled for 15.
    I do think it is entirely possible for proverbial losers from a losing culture to have a brief taste of victory and then get the “big head”.

    Joe, I think you need to cut coach Monken some slack….I believe he was very honest in his assessment and may have been right on.

  13. Dooshlarue Says:


    So you’re saying that these “professional athletes” that constantly need to be motivated and lead are incapable of not giving it their all?
    Yeah right.
    Young kids with big money in the bank, yeah, they all give 100% all the time.
    Joe wrote no such thing. –Joe

  14. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    Winning 3 games ……….

    The defense must carry this team

    Cause lord knows the offense can’t

  15. Doctor Stroud Says:

    Agreed, Joe! The Joe(s) are not the stenographers for the Bucs’ coaching staff.

  16. Godeep66 Says:

    @joe: regarding your input to Defense Rules…you could have stopped at Joe replies, ‘Stop losing

  17. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Am I the only one here that understands Monken meant it was in certain player’s nature? It is not like he can name those players. The other players know who he was talking about and agree, but if he targets a particular player, the rest will become defensive and he would lose the team.

    Kind of a ‘I can beat up my little brother, but no one else can’ mentality.

    By saying ‘we’, he sends the message to the entire team. It is not acceptable.

  18. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Godeep66 Say
    ‘Koetter is an overrated QB coach that got lucky to have Matt Ryan fall into his lap’

    A completely opinionated and biased claim. Know how I know that?

    Because Winston is almost exactly equal to Ryan in terms of production averages. Right down to turnovers.

  19. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    El Buco Realisto Says
    “Seems like yet another that admits of the distraction that hard knocks brought in !!!!!!!!”

    Such a distraction that the Bucs now have their own version of it called The Current?


  20. rrsrq Says:

    These coaches -DK and MS, there is no way I can think that they thought it would be easy, but wait, maybe it’s the trend of these two, surely, ATL was pretty talented when they coached, but the rumor around the ATL was a soft team (not well coached), which is interesting for MS because when he was in Jax and in Baltimore, those defenses were not soft (so it must be the CBA rules on practicing and he has not adapted.

  21. rrsrq Says:

    ^^^^Or maybe they over-adapted ^^^^^

  22. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    El Buco Realisto Says
    “Seems like yet another that admits of the distraction that hard knocks brought in !!!!!!!!”

    Such a distraction that the Bucs now have their own version of it called The Current?

  23. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    El Buco Realisto, you do know the Glazers were not given the option to refuse Hard Knocks, right? The NFL chooses the team out of the ones who meet the conditions?

    Besides, if it was a distraction, then why does the bucs website have The Current, a show that is exactly like Hard Knocks?

  24. Godeep66 Says:

    @bucbonzai: I bet Matt Ryan will never get suspended for groping an Uber driver. He will also forget more about playing QB than the short yellow bus driver JW. You see, JW is ignorant on and off the field. This is why Gruden decided to move his entire family to crappy Oakland.

  25. LargoBuc Says:

    Realist I want the team, coaches included, to succeed. But why do you have this unwavering trust in the staff? What have they done to earn that?

  26. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Godeep66, nice try. Winston was suspended without proof. And if you actually had a sliver of knowledge, you would know that he has studied football most of his life, works with kids in schools, contributes to multiple charities, and two years have passed since the incident took place. Two years with no problems, and two years in which the supposed victim could have filed a lawsuit and did not. Two years in which the authorities could have gathered evidence and filed charges…and have not.

    You cannot take suspension as proof because the league is more concerned with public image than truth.

  27. Buc1987 Says:

    The coaches seem to be hinting this summer that….”it’s on the players now”.

    Hmmm I wonder why. (sarcasm)

  28. Buc1987 Says:

    Godeep…I’m glad JW’s on your brain EVERY day.

    I suppose he’ll win that battle too.

    I can see he already wins every day.

    Go Jameis!

  29. BucNole Says:

    It’s a corporate culture – and in this case the lack thereof.
    I hav a suspicion that losing culture permeates every area of this team.
    Leadership and Accountability do not exist here.
    One poster commented in a nother thread about how L Blount was acting when he came here – oversleeping, late to mtgs and what did the team do – they hired him a driver.
    You think he pulled any of that $hit when he got to New England – I guessing no – and you wanna know why??
    Because they hav Pride Tradition and a Winning Corporate Culture that will not allow that kinda stuff. It breeds a totally different mentality in every area of the team.

  30. Says:

    his quote sounded like he was admonishing the “human nature” notion, not defending it. I think everyone is on the same page here right?

  31. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    LargoBuc Says
    “Realist I want the team, coaches included, to succeed. But why do you have this unwavering trust in the staff? What have they done to earn that?”

    You weren’t asking me, but I’d like to address that question for myself.

    I trust them until they prove they are not trustworthy.

    Now, you might point to last year’s record of 5-11 and say they lost trust. I would point to that, but also to the year before when they went 9-7 for the first winning season in years.

    I would also mention how went 7-9 and then 5-11 before going 11-5 and winning the division.

    I would also point to the team players, who have completely bought in.

    Or the fact the the offense is the best in franchise history.

    Or the fact that Mike Smith has had nothing to work with until this year.

    Or the fact that Jason Licht hits on 3-6 players i n the draft most years.

    Stick with the plan and it will work. The goal is not to be one and done. The goal is to become a consistent contender. I had thought it would take until 2019 to reach that point, but I am convinced this year starts a trend of winning.

  32. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “I would also mention how went 7-9 and then 5-11 before going 11-5 and winning the division.”

    Meant to say

    I would also mention how JON GRUDEN went 7-9 and then 5-11 before going 11-5 and winning the division.

  33. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Please excuse the typos. This website is not tablet friendly.

  34. 1sparkybuc Says:

    Adversity builds character and bonds players with each other and their coaches. The suspension and injuries will likely cost the Bucs a few games through the first half of the season. I expect the Bucs will be much more dangerous in November and December and no team would want to face them in January if they make it that far. Every team has holes, but this team fewer holes than any team in franchise history. I believe the 2002 squad had something in the neighborhood of 19 new guys on it. The O-line, dbs, and maybe another rb might be the focus of the 2019 draft. Licht and Koetter have laid a pretty solid foundation for 2019 and beyond. Winning builds confidence.

  35. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I think we are getting deep into the weeds of semantics here.

    NONE of this stuff concerns me at all. What does concern me?

    The health and depth or lack of it on our OL.

    We are 2 dash zero. I realize it’s just preseason but it’s the only game we’re playing right now. Can’t we just enjoy being tied for first in our Division?

    Jameis is playing well and has kept his head down and lowered his profile. That’s great!

    Our defensive backfield at least shows some potential for the first time in awhile.

    Barber has matured into a very serviceable NFL RB.

    Chicken Littles the sky is not falling! It may of course but could we at least wait until it does before gripping like this?

  36. 813bucboi Says:

    813bucboi Says:
    August 22nd, 2018 at 4:57 pm
    last year monken said, “we choose to suck”…..ok so if he saw the players and or his coaches choosing to suck, why didn’t he do anything about it?…..
    why didn’t he step up and take action instead of sitting on his hands…..
    because he aint no leader himself….he talks BIG but carries a twig….

    THANK YOU JOE!!!!!!

    I mentioned this same thing yesterday…..these coaches are too full of themselves and they haven’t won anything…..

    BRAVO!!!! for calling out these coaches and holding them accountable……

    seems like the biggest distraction was the record itself….9-7……the 9-7 record as monken stated caused players and coaches to feel like “fat cats”……

    again, that only illuminates the lack of leadership from the coaches and how mentally weak they are…..and those 2 traits trickle down to the players…..


  37. 813bucboi Says:


    problem with that is, the NFL is a “what have you done for me lately league” and lately we went 5-11 with a lousy defense and a lousy red zone offense heading into this staffs 3rd year……

    and the fact that jon gruden is a far better coach than dirk who is currently coaching the raiders…..

    why brag on a coach that isn’t yours……that really shows your confidence or “trust” in this staff…..


  38. Eric Says:

    Ive heard of a super bowl hangover.

    Only the bucs can have a 9-7 hangover.

  39. 813bucboi Says:


    JOE dropped the mic on yo soft a$$!!!!!!!!….lol…..lol…


  40. 813bucboi Says:

    Eric Says:
    August 23rd, 2018 at 10:26 am
    Ive heard of a super bowl hangover.
    Only the bucs can have a 9-7 hangover



  41. Lamarcus Says:

    I bet I can find 10 posters on jbf including myself that can do a better job than THIS coaching staff. Point blank

  42. Brandon Says:

    It is human nature…. after the Bucs went 10-6 and looked like a team on the rise in 1997, they slumped to 8-8 despite being an overwhelming favorite to have more and continued success the following year. Then after winning the Super Bowl in 2002, the team turned around the following year and went 7-9. The first/last winning season in recent history was in 2010 at 10-6, and the following year we went 4-2… wait 4-12 after starting 4-2. A slump or losing isn’t necessarily tied to effort and mindset. Can’t lump those together.–Joe
    It may not be human nature, but it is the nature of the Tampa franchise. 9-7 followed by 5-11? Par for the course…. now usually, usually the team bounces back the following year (NFC Championship in 1999, terrible record in 2004, Schiano almost had the team primed for playoffs in 2012 but went 7-9, and then now).

  43. WillieG Says:

    It IS human nature. People DO put forth less effort when they think they’ve “arrived”. Joe’s not going to tolerate your insults that were deleted here. There’s no reason for Joe to take such nonsense. –Joe

  44. Bucsfanman Says:

    Brandon- Maybe for the Bucs! How do you explain a decade of ten win seasons by the Patriots?!

    Winning needs to become part of our DNA, plain and simple. And, it starts at the top.

  45. Joe Says:

    Also,the podcast used to be available in the morning, if I’m not mistaken.

    Ira’s pods are available each Wednesday and Friday morning if you must only listen in the morning.

    Since you are irked by editing issues, you would go nuts if Joe uploaded the raw audio. Sadly, editing audio is time consuming.

  46. WillieG Says:

    It wasn’t an attack Joe. It was constructive criticism from someone who’s read every word of every column for the last few (several?) years. This is the only site I come to for my Bucs news and I’m being honest (maybe too honest) in my assessment.

    You can agree to disagree, but don’t assign motives to me. Don’t assume that I’m just a troll, or an occasional reader.
    Nobody assumed anything. –Joe

  47. WillieG Says:

    Sigh. You’ve missed the entire point. Joe didn’t miss any point. Joe’s not going to tolerate the kind of blasts you leveled in this space.–Joe
    I’m not irked by anything. I’ve just noticed some things. I pointed those things out. Maybe they’ve been here and on the podcast all along and I never noticed? Or maybe my theory was correct? I don’t know.

    It isn’t just me. My father and I spoke about it a couple of weeks ago. He, like me, was an avid reader. I just pointed it out, that’s all. I won’t critique anymore. I’ll just do as my Dad had done, and go away.

  48. 1sparkybuc Says:

    I consider Jon Gruden to be a great OC but a lousy HC. Gruden was a showboat and a hothead whose word could not be trusted. Take Monte Kiffin out of the equation and Gruden is just another in a long list of failures as the Buccaneer HC. Tony Dungy set Gruden up for success. Gruden got them over the hump, but couldn’t maintain it. I firmly believe Dirk Koetter will prove to be far more successful in the long run. The players trust and respect him. He unites these guys, and he’s building something here. Gruden could never do that back then. There’s no reason to believe he could do it now.

  49. Tampaspicer Says:

    I think WillieG took his ball and went home. LOL