Luke Stocker Talks Bucs 2017 Collapse

August 16th, 2018

“ASJ, man, we’re on playoff teams now. Who would have thought?”

Tampa Bay coaches used to call ex-Bucs tight end Luke Stocker a glue guy on the roster and the type of player who appeared destined for an NFL coaching career.

So of course, Joe tracked down Stocker yesterday in Nashville to talk about the Bucs team that cut him right after Thanksgiving.

A week after he got the boot, Stocker signed with the Titans and made two December starts, and got significant snaps in both of their playoff games.

He had endured seven Bucs seasons without a postseason, so it was an enlightening experience.

“You can’t compare that playoff atmosphere to the regular season on a non-playoff team. That sense of urgency as a player that ramps up, that win-or-go home mentality through the week where everything steps up a level. It was an incredible learning experience for me,” Stocker said.

Yesterday at Bucs-Titans joint practice, Stocker, 30, said after a day of watching and battling the Bucs defense, he feels the impressive upgrades on their defensive line.

Joe asked Stocker if he could identify what went wrong with a promising Bucs team last year. Was it injuries? Was it talent? Was the Uber accusation against Jameis a big distraction?

“No, I don’t think Jameis’ off-field situation affected the locker room. I think you go back and try to pinpoint what went wrong and it’s hard because it wasn’t just one thing or two,” Stocker said of last season. “When I was part of the team, it was always something different wrong with the offense every week. I can only talk about the offense. We were missing something here or there and we never could put a full game together offensively.”

Well, Joe sure can’t blame Stocker for the inconsistency.

And he was right. The Bucs really didn’t put together a complete game on offense except for the season finale against New Orleans, and in September against the Bears and Giants. And whaddya know, those were all victories.

19 Responses to “Luke Stocker Talks Bucs 2017 Collapse”

  1. Stanglassman Says:

    Change expect to except on last paragraph. Delete this post.

  2. D-Rome Says:

    Who was running things for the most talented offense this team has seen in years? Oh yeah, the head coach.

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Didn’t the news on the Uber “hassle” come out on November 17th 2017?…..we were 3-6 before that and 2-5 after……looks like the Uber news wasn’t the problem.

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    @Stocker … “When I was part of the team, it was always something different wrong with the offense every week. We were missing something here or there and we never could put a full game together offensively.” Great observation IMO, and apparently the big difference between a losing team and a winning team.

    It seems likely IMO that leadership, coaching and/or talent (some combination thereof) would be the 3 primary factors explaining why the Bucs seemed unable to consistently put together complete games last year. All 3 of those should be significantly improved this season. Thus … we have HOPE for a winning season, and maybe even an invite to the playoffs. Only time will tell. Go Bucs!

  5. BuccYa Says:

    Any news on Vita?

  6. Dreambig Says:

    Seems last years Bucs were thrown off from the hurricane, lost their bye week and never really recovered. They also had the Hard Knocks distraction and the begining of Jameis grope gate 2 and the shoulder injury. Add that to the fact we played in the best division in football last year and things just did not go well.

  7. AlabamaBucFan Says:

    Always liked Stocker. He was not the best pass catcher but was a great blocker.

  8. Bucsfanman Says:

    Uh-oh! Did a former OFFENSIVE player say that there was something wrong with the OFFENSE?!!!
    But, but, they were 4th overall in passing! LOL!

    Defense Rules- Everywhere you look, the finger points to leadership and coaching on this team. I’m with you in that I hope the improvements are there. We are taking for granted that, for the most part, it’s the same coaching staff.

  9. The Buc Realist Says:

    Luke Stocker is a good dude!! Not worth the two 4th round picks used to select him!!!!! But if you need a backup Full Back on your roster he might be the guy for the vet minimum!!!!!!

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    Bucsfanman … Agreed “it’s the same coaching staff” BUT … it’s all one big learning experience. Oftentimes the best lessons are learned from failure (and the Bucs have certainly had their share of that). I’m a huge believer that switching coaching staffs every 2-3 years is the surest way to NOT improve. Our best years as a franchise were when we had continuity … Tony Dungy (1996-2001) & Jon Gruden (2002-2008). We went downhill rapidly once we started playing musical coaches.

    Thus far in preseason it sounds like Bucs’ leadership on the field (on BOTH sides of the ball) has improved & that players are being held more accountable for their performance. The talent level also appears to be significantly improved. Love it! Convinced that we can go 10-6 (or possibly even better) IF the offense can score an average of 3 more pts/game AND IF the defense can give up 3 less pts/game average. A lot obviously depends on how well our opposition plays (both within the NFC South & outside it) BUT at least that’d put us in the hunt. That’s all I ask … be competitive week in & week out. The results will come if they are.

  11. Alphabucfan Says:

    Defense wins championships. Come on mike smith makes this defense great again. It’s kinda a blessing an a curse when I was old enough to start understanding the game the Bucs had the best defense watching 99, 55, 97, 20 an my favorite player of all time 47 mr Lynch was amazing these last 12 years not so much. I know it’s a lot to ask of mike smith to make this defense great again but come on bring back that defense let’s go Bucs

  12. BigMacAttack Says:

    I’m surprised he didn’t injure himself during this interview. Stocker was a complete bust, borderline useless.

  13. TerryE25 Says:

    I thought JW was going against the game plan to get Mike Evens the 1000 yard record in that game vs the Saints??? Whaddya know… blahhhhh

  14. Bucsfanman Says:

    Defense Rules- I remain optimistic because, what choice do we really have anyway?! We’re fans, short for fanatics! We must be fanatics because we are Buc fans!!!

    I definitely like the vibe this year. Problem is, I said that last year too! But no, really, I can see this team sneaking into the playoffs.

  15. 813bucboi Says:

    Defense Rules Says:
    August 16th, 2018 at 7:55 am
    Bucsfanman … Agreed “it’s the same coaching staff” BUT … it’s all one big learning experience.

    you got excuse after excuse for this lousy coaching staff…..his “learning experience” should’ve been in 2016 his rookie year as a HC….not 2years later….

    @bucfanman is absolutely right….everything points to lack of coaching and lack of leadership by the coaches….its a HUGE indictment on the offensive guru known as dirk that an offensive player admitted that something was always wrong with the offense and that guru couldn’t figure it out…..

    you can sit here and put lip stick & perfume on a pig all you want….the fact remains its still a pig…..


  16. 813bucboi Says:



    I bleed pewter and red…..

    dirks lousy coaching wont change that…..


  17. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    It’s easy to say there were things wrong with the offense, but really, it would have been fine if the defense had been better at preventing opposing teams from scoring. Then the offense would not have played catch up as much.

    And many of the games were one score games. So if the defense had reduced the opponents score by one score, we would have won a bunch more games.

  18. 813bucboi Says:

    excuses excuses….if this happened, if that happened…..browns had a ton of 1 score games too…..

    all 3 phases of this team failed last year and the coaches were a big reason why….bad play calling by dirk….no adjustments by smitty….special teams regressed big time….point blank period….


  19. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    Dirk Digler himself railroaded the season with his play calling, time mismanagement lack of adjustments and simply acting clueless at times. Then you throw in Mike Smith then all the players………. wow! Surprised we won 5 games with that trifecta!