Accountability Returns

October 15th, 2018

Vacation earned

Well done, Dirk Koetter! Let Mike Smith have an early paid vacation, one that he earned like no one before him.

Joe wrote this morning that there was still time to make the right move and fire Smith, leader of the worst defense in the NFL in 2017, and then again in 2018. See the pattern there?

Two weeks ago, Koetter said there was no point to firing Smith because Smith was just one piece to the failing puzzle. Koetter also said to those calling for Smith’s head, ‘Then what?”

Well, this afternoon Koetter made it clear that he ordered the hit on Smith. Was Koetter ordered to order the hit? We’ll likely never know.

Regardless of the motivation, this should be one hell of a wakeup call for the roster and it should give the defense a shot in the arm. Typically, a midseason firing on any team does just that — and then the team or unit reverts back to the form it had under the previous leader. Because of the talent in place on the Bucs’ defense, and the experience of interim coordinator Mark Duffner, Joe thinks the Bucs could avoid ever returning to the incompetence under Smith.

As Joe wrote many times this offseason, if the Bucs defense could somehow rise to just below average, the team would be in excellent shape.

Step 1 toward that happened today. Joe hopes Smith enjoys his new golf time; it’s just the right to get laid off in Florida when it comes to that.

66 Responses to “Accountability Returns”

  1. buddy Says:

    Oh perfect then time for #KLUELESSKOETTER to go now too. Cause how’s his record looking?? He simply hasn’t gotten it done. Time to go back Idaho and never surface again in this city.

  2. LakeLand Says:

    lol, this is a joke

    I guess Koetter and Licht don’t count
    Those are the first two
    Who should have been shown the door

  3. LakeLand Says:

    Jason Licht record as Bucs GM


    But he’s the best GM in Bucs history

  4. Mike10 Says:

    I understand that’s it’s hard for our defense to get any worse, but I’ll ask the same question Dirk did, in “now what”. Are we really going to install a different scheme? Doesn’t that take weeks, if not months, to learn? Watching the defense, I see issues getting to the QB, linebackers not being able to cover behind them, and rookies flailing in the secondary. Is that going to get fixed with a new/no- defensive coordinator?

    I get the ‘shot in the arm’, God knows they need it. But is this more of a impulsive, accountability move?

  5. LakeLand Says:

    21 games under .500
    But he still have a job

  6. Resurrection of Fitz Says:

    Buddy…..maybe Smith had something to do with that record huh?

    Can you pass me a cold one? Buddy!

  7. Steve in Mad Beach Says:

    It’s pretty bad when on a Sunday, I’m screaming at my TV, pointing out where the ball is going to go before it’s even been snapped, and being right 90% of the time in the 1st half!

    Needless to say, I’m not an NFL quarterback or offensive coordinator!

    This had to be done! Should’ve been done 2 weeks ago, but better late than never!

  8. Doctor_berto Says:

    Hopefully licht is gone at the end of the season as well. Way too many misses in the draft and in FA.

  9. LakeLand Says:

    Lol, this dysfunctional franchise is the laughing stock of the NFL

  10. ClwJB Says:

    It takes exactly 1 meeting to fix this Defense – play the tape of the first series of the 2nd half, where we played an attacking style and forced three and out

    2 series later we are back to the soft zone and give up two scoring drives and the win

  11. LakeLand Says:

    Another season

    Another year at home in January

    I guarantee it

  12. Joel Says:

    4-12. Embrace it. Until the new Koolaid is served next July.

  13. Bird Says:

    I called it

    Guys were healthy and 2 weeks to prepare. He ran out of excuses

    Nice guy but bye bye. It was embarrassing

  14. D-Rome Says:

    Well, this afternoon Koetter made it clear that he ordered the hit on Smith.

    I don’t believe him. It doesn’t matter, the right move was made.

  15. Dapostman Says:

    Mike Smith is to defense what Jeff Fisher was to offense. I’m pretty sure no one will ever hire Jeff Fisher again after seeing what the Rams are with basically the same roster in 2016 & 2017.

  16. LakeLand Says:

    Who will be the new scapegoat?

  17. Dougie Hooser Says:

    Damn, it’s about time to cut this boring guy loose. I sure hope Duffner knows something about man coverage and blitzing. Either Kwon or Lavonte should be blitzing on every other play.

  18. Robert Says:

    @ lakeland

    they still have licht and koetter to blame

    anyone but the 100 mill turnover machine.

  19. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    I have to think that Licht slept with LakeLand’s wife. Dude is obsessed. Joe, not sure what you are watching. While firing Smith was a necessity, I don’t think a coaching change is going to make much of a difference. The d-line doesn’t get pressure, the LBs are struggling, and the rookies in the secondary are atrocious so far. The experience they are gaining may pay off in the future, but there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel for this season.

  20. WyldKat Says:

    He did trade up for that kicker.

  21. LakeLand Says:

    Jason Licht record as Bucs GM


    What there is to like

    He’s another Matt Millen

  22. SKBucsfan Says:

    @ Lakeland

    It has to be Licht. He won’t be a scapegoat, but an actual contributor to the problem. He created this mess. A lot of his draft picks have not lived up to the hype and he made the decision to keep Koetter and Smith.

    I hope this is a wake up call to all the players and coaches. Even a minor improvement in defense could mean that we win a few more games.

  23. BringBucsBack Says:

    Perfect timing! Oh, I was thinking this was October 2017; my bad.

    How much longer does he collect a check from the Glazer’s? Not a bad gig if you can get it; be the worst at your job, get paid millions and be paid another year, just to stay away. That is quite a severance! ‘Merica!

  24. LakeLand Says:

    How’s VH3, Noah Spence, ASJ, Roberto Aguayo, Charles Sims, Michael Johnson, Anthony Collins, Bruce Carter, Chris Baker etc

  25. Ronteco Says:

    What “experience” are you referring to for Duffner Joe? Unless I’m missing something the guy called plays for one year almost 16 years ago. Is that the experience you are referring to? Or is it the experience of only being able to be a position coach and never earning the DC job for over a decade? I don’t disagree that Smith has to go but sitting here telling Bucs fan that Duffner is going to make a difference is on the verge of MSM propaganda. Licht needs to go next since he likes to squander second round picks every draft. Why don’t you mention that? Or mention how the Glazers have consistently put the wrong coaching staff and front office for over a decade now. Let’s see you call out the Glazers much more. I think they are ultimately responsible for this team being a laughing stock for as long as I can remember. (Joey Glazer that is…daddy Glazer did fine obviously)

  26. Bucsfanman Says:

    TDTB- I disagree about not making a difference. Players get misused all the time when playing schemed football. Our DBs, for example. Strip it all down and play sound, fundamental football. These guys are pros, the small stuff will work itself out. Just keep it simple. The “scheme” wasn’t working.
    I hope that this is all it takes. We’ll see!

  27. Ronteco Says:

    And don’t give us a hyperlink to an article. Just saying it’s not called out enough.

  28. Pryda...sec 147 Says:

    Koetter doesn’t deserve to be fired geez he has done so much when has our team ever had an offense as potent in the history of the franchise since he came through the doors spare me. Coaches grow and learn like the players Dirk has grown tremendously since day 1 here can’t wait to see him in playoff games for that matter can’t wait to see Jameis in that style of game. Dirk gave up play calling duties to Monk!!!! That’s HUGE imo he got rid of m. Smith today he deserves another year.

  29. Miguel Grande Says:

    I would like to thank Julio Jones and Matt Ryan for for the coup de grace. It was quick and painless.

    Now about that last play, that was painful.

    Now release the dogs of hell and wreak havoc, defense!!

  30. Defense Rules Says:

    Let me see if I’ve got this right Joe.

    Raheem was hired in 2009, eventually fired his DC and then he was fired after the 2011 season.

    Greg Schiano was hired in 2012, kept Bill Sheridan as his DC for 2 years, and they were both fired after the 2013 season.

    Lovie Smith was hired in 2015, fired his DC (and friend) Leslie Frazier, and then he was fired after the 2015 season.

    Dirk Koetter was hired in 2016, fired his DC (and friend) Mike Smith, and then he was fired after the 2018 season.

    Oh wait, that ending hasn’t been written … YET.

    As an aside Joe, there seems to be somewhat of a trend here, developing over a mere TEN years, 4 HCs and 4 DCs. But hey, let’s continue to overlook the obvious.

  31. unbelievable Says:

    Please show me a GM that hits on every single draft pick and every single FA every single year.

    Please, I’ll wait….

  32. Defense Rules Says:

    I REALLY hope that Duffner can turn this defense around, but actually I think it’s already turned around enough. Got that idea when they ran into the stadium backwards on Sunday. Oh wait, it just seemed that way.

  33. LakeLand Says:

    You show me a GM with a record

    21 games under .500 and still have a job

    Please I’ll wait

  34. BigBucs_GA Says:

    @Defense Rules

    Lovie Smith was hired in 2014. He didn’t fire Leslie Frazier. Lovie took over the play calling on defense. They all were let go at the end of the 2015 season.

  35. LakeLand Says:

    Defense Rules

    Mark Duffner can’t even coach the Linebackers

    The Bucs Linebackers are the WORST in the NFL

    Just watch the games

  36. i like gunslingers Says:

    hey ya’ll what matters now, is if the players are buying into what duff draws up, because they certainly were not buying in or understanding the scheme or language that was being spoken to them by smith, i am asking, do any of ya’ll think, that the squad had basically laid down on mike smith? 3 seasons of crushing defeats and you could lose someones ear in a minute, maybe they did not care for the scheme, or the calls, or the passiveness of his defense, wouldn’t take much for one of the so called leaders that have been there, to persuade rookies and such to follow along

  37. Lord Cornelius Says:

    “pointing out where the ball is going to go before it’s even been snapped, and being right 90% of the time in the 1st half!”

    Lmao +1. You could visibly see the holes that would exist in coverage before it happened.

    The CBs / S were WAY too deep a lot of the time – even the f*cking announcers were calling it out as it happened. Not only that – they were running AWAY from the WRs keeping like 5 yard cushions as if there was an invisible force field pushing them away even when the WR was stopping on their route. They were all playing scared / reactionary / etc.

  38. Ed Says:

    I like the Bucs playing at home in the sun 1PM, Cleveland will feel the heat just like Eagles did. Monday night vs Pittsburgh not as hot. Bucs need the heat to heal their wounds. Jameis better start seeing the field better and getting his timing down with DJax, guy is a phenom when he has the ball, can’t stand seeing those deep passes being intercepted or overthrown. Jameis has been bailed out by the big guys Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans but look at the impact all of the speed guys in the league are making, JuJu on the Steelers, Ty Hill on KC, Edelman on New England. Bucs have a stud in DJax, they just need to figure out how to get him matched up one on one, no one can cover him.

  39. Architek Says:

    That seat got a little hotter after that L – curious to see how the coaching staff and team rallies behind Duffner.

  40. Jerry Jones Says:

    If Koetter had to be told to fire Smith then he should go to.

  41. unbelievable Says:

    Might wanna check that math, it’s actually 10 games under .500 so far.

    And that’s not good enough, of course. No disagreement there.

    But I am inclined to exclude 2014 since he was hired after Lovie, didn’t have roster control, and didn’t even have his own staff in place and was using the leftovers from the Dom regime (scouts, etc.)

    So, do you have that list of GMs who hit on every pick and every FA every single year yet?

  42. El_Buc941 Says:

    Joe in the opinion Smith should’ve been fired 2weeks ago. That way the defense would of had time to practice the new scheme.

  43. Rod Munch Says:

    Has anyone bothered to look up the numbers on Mark Duffner?

    I just did…

    In 2001 the Cinny defense finished #14 in scoring defense.
    In 2002 they finished #32 in scoring defense.

    Now, sure, they only gave up 28.4 points per game, but wow, this is the guy you have run things? It was a long time ago so perhaps it means nothing, but those numbers don’t give me any real confidence in the guy.

  44. Rod Munch Says:

    *scoring defense = meaning points allowed.

  45. unbelievable Says:

    @Rod I don’t think they were gonna bring in someone new.

    This move was about sending a message, and hoping to light a little bit of a fire under the players’ a$$es.

    Will it have any big effect? Honestly I doubt it, it’s not our linebackers have been playing well.

    But who knows? maybe Duff can communicate the scheme better than Smith was able to. Maybe (hopefully) he’ll call more aggressive coverages. I mean it can’t get any worse than dead last, so….

  46. Rod Munch Says:

    In yardage the Bengals dropped from from #9 to #17 under Duffner.

    The Bucs meanwhile in 2002 gave up just 12.2 points per game, or 16.2 less points per game, which means the Bucs could give up their normal points, plus all the points you’d expect a Mike Shula offense to put out, add them together and still have less points than the Bengals under Duffner gave up.

  47. unbelievable Says:

    * it’s not like our linebackers have been playing well either.

  48. Rod Munch Says:

    unbelievable – Yeah I know, not really complaining, just more of a comment. As I said it was a long time ago so perhaps it means nothing, also I believe those are the Akili Smith years, so the defense might have dealt with a ton of short fields.

  49. pick6 Says:

    for the “now what” crowd, just look at the offense. new guy using the same pieces and it looks like the playmakers are out there making the best of their talents and playing with a ton of confidence. Plenty of reason to think a fresh set of eyes could make a difference. It’s not about a whole new scheme it’s about leaning on different concepts already in the playbook. I’m sure Duffner and Buckner have had at least one conversation over beers about what they’d do differently than their boss if given the chance

  50. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    Very well said, pick6

  51. Noles Says:

    Licht has to go as well, clean house. Think he was hungover during the 2016 draft and besides Mike Evans looks like 2014 wasn’t much better. There are many questions regarding the 2018 draft although too early to call for sure it’s also too early to be having so many questions. Doesn’t look good, could be worse we could have hired Gruden. Talk about bad personnel moves, we all remember those. What coaches & GM’s would everyone recommend we interview when time comes because it’s coming.

  52. Miguel Grande Says:

    They chose Duffner because he is here in Tampa, knows the verbage and knows the personnel.

    They should have left Smitty in Chicago and used the bye week to their advantage.

    Smitty was obviously stubborn, pigheaded or senile. He wasted the bye week and cost the Bucs a division loss.


  53. gambelero Says:

    To the fire Koetter now crowd: The offense is operating way beyond expectations, nearly a record for yards per play. If you fire Koetter now, you could make Monken the coach and probably not see much change. Still, Monken would have to deal with all the hoopla of being a head coach instead of figuring out an offensive plan for this week’s game.

    To the Duffner wasn’t great in Cincy crowd: Cincy has been a minimum expenditure team for like forever. We’re in an 89% minimum era now and you’ll see more up is down and down is up, but in the early 2000s there were no minimums and there were huge differences in payroll.

    To those that think a new coach can’t make improvements: Whether it’s through stubbornness or clinging to old memories of a model that worked a few times really well 20 years ago, the Mike Smith’s of the coaching world looked at everything through the “my system” lens. All problems are because so and so didn’t execute things the way “I wanted.” That “my system” of soft coverage and easily discernible pre-snap looks had been decoded and exposed by some pretty mediocre coaches and quarterbacks just didn’t compute. To Mike Smith, it had to be an execution problem, a player “not doing what he was supposed to” problem.

    Also, players weren’t coached up. Joe, to his credit, has been pointing out for several years that our young DBs didn’t learn under Smith. Only pre-taught players like Grimes could play his style.

    You can blame the rush, but it’s hard to get sacks when guys are wide open on easy pitch and catch throws. You saw Buckner getting right in his best player’s face when he blew his gap contain on that one play. To channel Shakespeare, we have the dogs, let’s let em loose.

    Let’s play some press-man and make them beat us over the top on third down. Let’s see if we can dial up some stuff to confuse someone. Let’s get aggressive and get some stops. If we have Vea and Allen back to clog the run, maybe we should play a safety at SAM to cover the flats and stop the wheel and drag routes that have killed us. Let’s have JPP counter-chip the in-line tight end the way New England did Kelce last night.

    Let’s plan each week specifically for each opponent. Joe (I know it’s plural, but I like the Joe concept) and Ira were at the game, so they probably didn’t hear the one tidbit Spielman dropped. “Smith doesn’t game plan.” Watch the Ravens Titans game on all-22. Brilliant game planning by Harbaugh and Martindale. Mariota has regressed to his spread college days. If his first read isn’t open, he looks to bail. The 11 sacks were almost all on him. The linebackers double covered the slants because slants (and bubble screens) are all Mariota is really comfortable throwing. Meanwhile, the ends didn’t gamble, but maintained contain. Then whichever linebacker didn’t have to cover a running back in the flats spied Mariota and took him down when he bailed up the middle–often from a perfectly clean pocket.

  54. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Maybe some of the players on defense knew Smith was a lame duck coach and laid down to get rid of him…

  55. Ryan McGregor Says:

    Hopefully this wasn’t one game too late. 8 more wins. No excuses.

  56. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Joe – how do you figure accountability returns when they keep running the same garbage players out on the field- smith can’t play db, Benenoch stinks, Taylor stinks “it’s not just one guy”- BS- it is one guy- you, Koetter, because you enable poor execution every week with no consequences.

  57. unbelievable Says:

    good stuff gambelero

  58. joestang Says:

    you could talk about stats all day long, this team plays terrible and looks terrible. no consistency, too many penalties, turnovers at crucial times and there is no accountability at all. SAy what you want but I believe FITZ wins that game. Winston runs around like his hair is on fire aand then makes some of the worst throws you ever see. 2 pics in the red zone is unacceptable. good qb’s don’t turn the ball over in these situations. When Humphries got stopped at the 2 yard line who else thought the bucs would not score a td? so predictable.

  59. Mike Says:

    It will be fun watching this thing unravel

  60. Mike Says:

    Might as well hire gambelero for DC
    Thanks so much for the enlightenment buddy

  61. German Buc Says:

    There is no guarantee things getting better when you change something. But you have to change something to have chance things getting better.

  62. Brad Says:

    Change to a guy who finished dead last in POG when he was last a DC!! Brilliant!!! The gold standard of accountability

  63. Brad Says:


  64. Jmarkbuc Says:


    So stay with a guy who is fielding THE WORST DEFENSE IN NFL HISTORY?

    Seriously it literally cannot get any worse. Besides, there isn’t a Defensive Coordinator store, where you can just run down and pick one up on your way home from work.

  65. Red86 Says:

    Jason Licht is the least of the problem. He provided the good roster just to have it wasted by bad coaching. This team was a complete mess with Mark Dominic. Now he’s incompetent. (Mark)

  66. Ken Says:

    Jason Licht owes Lovie Smith an apology for firing him. The coaching has not improved under Koetter and he needs to go. If you ask me, it’s time for Jason Licht to be axed. For your next head coach, bring in either Jim Schwartz, Chuck Pagano, or Don “Wink” Martindale.