You Are What You Should Have Been

September 11th, 2018

Practice makes near-perfect?

My goodness, the way the Bucs opened the season and throttled the Saints on their own voodoo-stained carpeted crib got Joe’s juices flowing.

You talk about fun. You talk about entertainment. Every time Bucs backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick went back to pass, something happened, whether he completed a big pass or he ran successfully.

Albert Breer, typing for, in so many words, said this is the offense Bucs fans should have been treated to last year. Breer noted neither he nor should Bucs fans be surprised. The pieces have been there to do damage like the Bucs did Sunday.

What’s interesting is that while Sunday’s performance will be tough to duplicate, it’s understandable why the players aren’t totally slack-jawed over it. Mike Evans is a star. DeSean Jackson is a scary downfield weapon. Godwin and fellow 2017 draftee O.J. Howard have high-end potential. Licht has invested high draft picks on the offensive line and imported tough-guy center Ryan Jensen from Baltimore in March.

Add a tough camp (the Bucs were in pads pretty much every day allowable this summer) in the Tampa heat to the equation, and the result is what you saw against New Orleans.

Was yesterday’s result really as simple as offensive coordinator Todd Monken calling plays and allowing head coach Dirk Koetter to spend more time with other areas of the team? Was it really as simple as having harder practices? Maybe.

But maybe the good practices Koetter boasted about carried over into the season this year? Like last year when Koetter griped about bad practices and that inconsistency carried over.

26 Responses to “You Are What You Should Have Been”

  1. VegasBuc Says:

    We not only have the talent but also the ability to keep it goin all season long. GO BUCS!

  2. Rod Munch Says:

    If you’re not ultra predictable, if you’re not running it up the gut on every 1st down in the first half against 11 in the box and putting your team constantly in 2nd and 9 1/2, then good things happen.

    The Bucs aren’t putting up 41 points a game on offense every week, but there is no reason the Bucs can’t put up a ton of points if they stay aggressive. Yesterday was a perfect storm, a career day from a vet QB in perfect conditions, WR’s running wide open all day, great play from the o-line, effective running early in the game – I think the Saints were shocked at how different the Bucs offense was since I don’t think anyone actually believed Dirk would give up control of playcalling.

    It will be interesting to see what happens next week, now that teams have Monken on tape. Me, personally, I’ll be interested to see what play calling traps that Monken falls into. I’ve already seen one, that God awful inside to outside run from shotgun, that play didn’t work in the preseason and didn’t work yesterday either, hopefully they just burn that play and burn Dirk’s sweep from under center, that’s another play that has never worked (Gruden ran it too and it never worked). But if Monken stays aggressive and doesn’t fall into the trap of we have to win by running it up the gut, then this will be a very exciting season.

    I just hope Dirk keeps his nose out of things until he has something to contribute, because yesterday I think it was Dirk who shut everything down with about 8 mins to go as he had his playsheet out and was doing a lot of talking – and that offense then became run it up the middle – and if D-Jax doesn’t bail out the offense with a great play, the game might have turned out differently.

  3. teacherman777 Says:

    Hitting D-Jax deep changed the game.

    Last season, JW missed him deep in the first 6 games.

    Big plays early in the game changes monentum. Chamges the course of the game.

    That early TD to D-Jax was a season changer!

  4. Rod Munch Says:

    teacherman777 – Winston hit D-Jax for a long pass for a TD in Minnesota. Also Winston was injured and didn’t have any arm strength until late in the year and by that point D-Jax was out. Anywho when the Bucs signed him I pointed out historically that guys who are special fast, like guys that are faster than the fastest guys, it always seems to take about 4 weeks to get in sync with a new team – and Winston was injured by that point. Fitz has had a year of working with D-Jax and they got their timing down – not to mention Winston already hitting D-Jax deep in the Titans game, and that was in an outdoors game.

  5. Trench War Says:

    It helped they went into the season with less distraction besides the Winston saga but they seemed to have rallied behind Fitz well. Let’s treat the home crowd with a win over the Super Bowl Champs. Let’s give Jameis an even chance when he gets back..

  6. Miken Says:

    Play calling?? Those same receivers were wide open last year too. Also, it helps when the qb throws the ball where the er can catch it without having to jump or stop ect

  7. gambelero Says:

    Last year’s team didn’t have a single game where the oline played as well as it did yesterday. Add in phenomenal passpro by the running backs and this is what you get.

  8. Rod Munch Says:

    Miken – Dope, you are aware that Fitz played in the game in NO last year, right? Well hint: he didn’t have a career day.

  9. Miken Says:

    Rod… a little different when you come in down in the 2nd half ect. This game he knew for weeks he was starting and practiced ect. Didn’t give a great pregame speech but we did eat the w

  10. Blackmagic00 Says:

    Damn…. we dodged a bullet on the Gruden thing. Anyone else see him talking to Carr during the game? Then at the end again? Wtf? Dude is out of his mind

  11. Anonymous Says:

    Licht invested high draft picks in the offensive line? News to me

  12. unbelievable Says:

    Better play calling
    + improved o-line
    + more experienced players
    + tougher practices

    = it’s a little bit of everything.

    As you noted joe the way we’ve practiced has translated to how we played. This is something to keep an eye on during the season. Any weeks when coach says we had multiple bad / slow practices, watch out on Sunday.

  13. Joe Says:

    Licht invested high draft picks in the offensive line? News to me

    You don’t consider second-round picks high draft picks?

  14. Rod Munch Says:

    Blackmagic00 – I’m no Gruden fan, and my posts prove that, but Carr was awful tonight making moronic throws, no idea how you blame Gruden for that one. The game was close before Carr had his complete and total meltdown, and he’ll be riding the bench soon enough. Maybe Gruden can trade for Jake Plumber again and get him to actually show up this time.

  15. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Never Forget 9-11-2001 🇺🇸

  16. WVBuc Says:

    If only Licht had shown any competency in drafting RBs, the hype would be even more hyper right now. Thank goodness Barber is such a hard working dude with awesome attitude.

  17. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe, if your bottom line here is that Koetter toughened up training camp & we saw the results Sunday, then I agree 100%. If the point was that the pieces “have been there” all along, then I’d agree MOSTLY, but not entirely. Offensively, the OLine has changed big-time with the addition of Jensen & moving Marpet to LG (Barber ran quite effectively to the left side & the pass protection was excellent for the most part). And Fitz put all but one of his passes right on target … even the deep balls. Jameis struggled with that last year, but improved this preseason IMO.

    Defensively the pieces haven’t been there all along, thus the influx of FAs & going heavy in the draft on defense. Although training camp was seemingly tougher, it didn’t seem to help our tackling much (like Derrick Brooks said a couple days ago, tackling early in the season sucks). And our new awesome DLine? Prized rookie DT misses all of training camp & the 1st game. One of the prized DT FAs (Unrein) is on IR already, while another (Allen) plays less than half the game (48% of the snaps) & the 3rd (Worthy) plays less than a quarter of the game (23%). Meanwhile back at the ranch, McCoy is on the field for a whopping 92% of the defensive snaps. Hmmm, I wonder if GMC was tired come the 4th quarter.

    Oh, and our DEs? JPP & Curry both got 75% of the snaps, and even Nassib & Gholston both got around 40% each. But Licht’s prized 2nd round pick? Noah got 4 plays TOTAL in the game. Bucs probably could’ve used some pressure on Brees in the 4th qtr, but instead … nada, zip, zero, zilch. So the revamped DLine performed alot like last year’s fearsome DLine, with similar results. So did the LB corps (I wasn’t impressed with any of them). And with those 2 position groups operating in front of a youthful, inexperienced Secondary against a surgeon like Drew Brees being protected by an outstanding OLine, the defensive result was fairly predictable. Hopefully they’ve now had their ‘baptism by fire’ and will now settle down some & start improving steadily. And hopefully Fitz & the offense will keep racking up a LOT of points.

  18. Says:

    Quick tangential aside: anyone else *not* surprised to see the Lions get dismantled last night? I’m not a betting man, but thought about becoming one to get rich off the bucs and jets lines. Saw that coming a mile away after how lost the Lions looked against us in the preseason. You can hire a Belichick disciple any time you want, but only one team gets Yoda himself.

  19. Godeep66 Says:

    Now all we need to do is not let the cancer of JW back in the locker room. Trade him now. One of our receivers and JW for LeVeon Bell. Do we have the Cap Space Joe?

  20. Pickgrin Says:

    Oline play was the biggest positive difference.

    That and Fitz having a career day.

    Monken’s aggressive play calling kept the Saints Defense off balance and guessing most of the game.

    Bucs receivers were simply better than the CBs trying to cover them.

    Barber at minimum falling forward for positive gains every time he touched the ball.

    Hope to see more of all of the above in 5 days at the venue formerly known as the Den of Depression.

    Yet something tells me we won’t be putting 41 points on the Eagles defense.

  21. Ra'Shad Brown Says:


    You cant be serious.. I hope you are not serious…

  22. Bucsfanman Says:

    “unbelievable Says:
    September 11th, 2018 at 1:57 am

    Better play calling
    + improved o-line
    + more experienced players
    + tougher practices

    = it’s a little bit of everything.”

    SMH, YES!!!

  23. Bucsfanman Says:

    “LUVMYBUCS Says:
    September 11th, 2018 at 3:58 am

    Never Forget 9-11-2001”

    Tip of the hat to my brothers and sisters!

  24. Ludicrous Speed Says:

    We had the tools, we had the talent.

    It’s Miller Time.

  25. ben Says:

    Fritz connected on the long ball with receivers on the run. What a difference a qb makes!

  26. Bucamania Says:

    Re-watched the game. Fitzpatrick did all of the little things that a savvy veteran does. Watch them break the huddle on that bomb to Desean. Fitz is still barking something to Evans as he lines up, like you do in flag football to trick the defense. On the other Desean TD, Fitz looks back at Barber while under center, to sell the playaction. Not to mention all of his key scrambles. Just a masterful game by Fitz.