Now It’s Time To Root For Mike Smith

October 3rd, 2018

Mike Smith reminds Joe an awful lot of Doug Martin about now.

Martin failed and failed as a Bucs running back in 2016, yet there he was again in 2017, tasked with doing what he couldn’t do the year before. Martin failed again consistently but was given chance after chance when other options existed.

Sound familiar?

As much as Joe railed against putting Martin on the 2017 roster after he was benched and then suspended in 2016 (and Joe begged after 2015 for Jason Licht to franchise tag Martin), Joe never stopped rooting for Martin on game day. Why? Because that’s what fans do. They cheer for their team when the whistle blows.

Joe’s typing this to avoid confusion. Joe called Sunday for Mike Smith to be fired. And Joe heartily disagreed Monday with Dirk Koetter’s thoughts on why it’s a bad idea to fire Smith. But you can bet your ass Joe is pulling 100 percent for Smith to turn this defensive mess around.

Joe would love to be wrong about Smith and Koetter’s assessment of his handpicked defensive guru. Nothing would be sweeter. Break the status woe on defense.

Joe hopes Bucs fans from Clearwater Beach to Winter Haven and beyond feel the same way.

56 Responses to “Now It’s Time To Root For Mike Smith”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Exactly, Absolutely, Positively right……

    Root for all Bucs player and coaches to be successful…..that is what a real fan does….you never root against someone in order to achieve anything….

    This is JoeBucsFan and to do otherwise would be totally contradictory.

    Now, while rooting for him, we must demand accountability….and expect that improvement be made. But, its not up to us as fans to make personnel decisions.

  2. stvcl Says:

    Sorry Mike…I’m a member of the ” failed at your outdated, unimaginative defensive scheme…walk frigging the plank” gang.

  3. Jason Elliott Says:

    Two questions.
    1. Can Jason Licht fire Mike Smith, or order him fired?
    2. Wasn’t part of the reason Dungy was fired because he wouldn’t fire some of his assistant coaches? Or am I missremembering that?

  4. james west Says:

    promote duffner, get rid of this ineffective coach, imho he has lost the locker room his scheme and coaching are falling on deaf ears, they (players) are not buying in, it simply is time, if keotter won’t or cannot make the change then licht, should let smith save face and ask for his resignation, they could frame it any way they want to, as long as it gets done, then duff can simplify the communication with the rookies, and fine tune the vets, tweek it, bend it to fit the players strengths not weaknesses, all this offense needs is help, we do not need the second coming of the superbowl winning defense of the bucs( although it would be great) just a solid middle of the pack unit, and this team would be playoff competitive, if they do not commit to this, and lose 3-4 more games straight, it’s over for jason,dirk,and smith, not counting the players they start shopping for the next regime

  5. james west Says:

    make it so jason before it’s to late

  6. Alphabucfan Says:

    Great article joe keep up the good work an let’s go Bucs

  7. Joel Says:

    Absolutely. I’ll root for him. But I’m also not one of these idiot fans who watches every week and thinks anything will change. 4-12. Get ready.

  8. TonyC Says:

    We could all wish for the success of the defense but this organization was completed myopic during the off season to assume they had the dogs in the backfield to execute this “supposed” scheme. Last year they got rid of MacDougal (who seemed to be coming around), they got rid of Tandy (who did fairly well during the five game winning streak) and seemed to get it even though he didn’t fit the “physicality” of the players they wanted. They didn’t sign a veteran corner and depended on what they had. A lot of this is on Smith but man Licht hasn’t really helped the situation. You really expect three rookies to “get this” complicated system? I guess my bigger question is can anyone “grasp it’ and is it really worth grasping? That’s why you hear successful coordinators talking about how simple their defense is.

  9. BucThis Says:

    You are out your got dayum mind if you think any true bucs fan will root for this guy. Dude is a bum is worse than Lovie Smith. Now I side with you joes 90% of the time but this article seems a bit hypocritical considering the past articles of Doug Martin and Lovie Smith. Let’s do a confidence poll on Smitty. I bet 99% of us have 0 trust in him. There was petition started the moment after the bears game to have him fired and had 1000 signatures. I appalled your optimism but Smitty is sh!tty and deserves no pity.

  10. Buc believer Says:

    What is the definition of insanity again???? Someone??? Anyone???

  11. Waco Says:

    I just wish they would make the change and shake things up before we watch another season go down the drain. I love our team, but cheering for the “Browns of the NFC” ever year is hard on the fans.

  12. Ed Kerber Says:

    This is punishment for those who wanted Dungy and Gruden fired. We lost great coaches and now we can’t get rid of the not so great coaches.

  13. AtlBuc Says:

    Let’s face it. This defense will not change. I like Koetter but he is choosing loyalty to his friend over the welfare of the team. We should start talking about who the next head coach will be. This defense has been the same, except for a 5 game stretch, since Smith arrived. I actually think Mike Smith is very talented. His talent is finding a way to play horribly despite having talent. Horribleness, like we have seen for the past few years, is so consistent, its hard to believe its not planned. I stick with my statement that MS is still on Authur Blank’s payroll.

  14. TonyC Says:

    Ok get rid of Smith but do you really think that suddenly everything’s going to be fluid and wonderful. Not a chance. Licht and Koetter realize they have as much to do with this “mess” as Smith. This is a personnel issue as well. Granted they’ve had untimely injuries but man something is purely dysfunctional with this team. The culture hasn’t changed. How many years in a row has this happened where the players were wholly unprepared to play football (on both sides of the ball)?

  15. VaTom Says:

    Hell yeah I’m rooting for them. But in my gut I’ve got that same feeling from the last 39 yrs sans the golden decade.

  16. AtlBuc Says:

    @Tony C Like I’ve said before, it’s not the rookie, its the scheme. Last year, New Orleans started a rookie and a 1-year man at the corners. And either their coaching or scheme helped them to succeed. From what I’ve seen of our rookies, they have the talent to succeed but they are not being out in a position to do so. It seems like the Bucs’ Defense is an inside joke among NFL offensive coordinators. “Hey, we play the Bucs this week, we don’t even have to watch game film, we know what they’re going to do. They haven’t changed in 3 years”.

  17. AtlBuc Says:

    Tony C. Yes I think one primary thing would change: Predictability!

  18. Wausa Says:

    OF Course Bucs fans want him to succeed, but he does not appear to be capable.

  19. Not there yet Says:

    Doug and Mike Smith are nothing alike because at least doug had 2 great seasons, Mike Smith team has had like 10 good games in 3 years.

    Again we have someone telling us smutty and dork will fix something in a bye week that they couldn’t fix in 3 years or something they couldn’t fix this off-season and actually something they tried to fix this off-season but actually made worse with better players. You wanna be a fool and believe some miracle will happen in the bye week go ahead but when the bucs make real changes and stop blaming players for their failures as teachers I’ll get interested but not really worth as a fan to wait all week to see this play and they look like that. I’ll wait for the next regime, everyone should have been fired last year but here we are.

  20. Joe Says:

    1. Depends on Koetter’s contract. He may have in his contract he has final say on coaches. .

    2. Yes.

  21. Nick2 Says:

    It blows my mind that Koetter is going to anchor his success to the sinking ship that is Mike Smith. Smith is or was getting paid more than any other DC in the league only to produce garbage year after year. How the Glazers don’t make a move this by week also begs an answer. They let Tony Dungy go. I repeat they let Tony Dungy go. Tony Dungy except when first taking over the Bucs never had a defense this bad year after year. Mike Smith keeps getting a pass????? Something is rotten in Denmark. This is beyond reason.

  22. ColonelAngus Says:

    Someone asked for the definition of insanity:

    in·san·i·ty | \ in-ˈsa-nə-tē \
    plural insanities
    Definition of insanity
    1 dated : a severely disordered state of the mind usually occurring as a specific disorder
    2 law : unsoundness of mind or lack of the ability to understand that prevents one from having the mental capacity required by law to enter into a particular relationship, status, or transaction or that releases one from criminal or civil responsibility
    3a : extreme folly or unreasonableness
    the insanity of violence
    His comments were pure insanity.
    b : something utterly foolish or unreasonable
    the insanities of modern life

  23. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    With you 100%, Joe. Very well said.

  24. Nick2 Says:

    To TonyC I have no illusion that everything will magicaly fall into place but Smith is stubborn enough to not do things like blitz Trebiski when you have nothing to lose. How you give that guy all the time in the world is not smart football. So bonehead moves should be less without Mike Smith.

  25. Tackleblockwin Says:

    Our team is our team…it’s as simple as that in my book.

  26. 813bucboi Says:

    BucThis Says:
    October 3rd, 2018 at 8:23 am
    You are out your got dayum mind if you think any true bucs fan will root for this guy. Dude is a bum is worse than Lovie Smith. Now I side with you joes 90% of the time but this article seems a bit hypocritical considering the past articles of Doug Martin and Lovie Smith.

    Wausa Says:
    October 3rd, 2018 at 8:45 am
    OF Course Bucs fans want him to succeed, but he does not appear to be capable.

    100% agree with both of these comments…..

    @joe, did you get a slap on the wrist and told to cool it with the “fire smitty” articles?…..

    your tune has changed rather quickly….lol…..

    screw smitty…..if he doesn’t want to be bashed, produce a respectable defense!!!!!!!…simple as that!!!!!


  27. ndog Says:

    I guess my questions are as follows:

    1.) Do they really not know what they are doing wrong so they cant fix it.
    2.) Are they really so stubborn that they will not get with the times of the current game and change to what works.

    Finally a statement, I cant believe anyone would be so stubborn as to not fix what is clearly broken to the point that they would lose their job over it. That is unbelievable to me, I just cant wrap my mind around it.

  28. Hodad Says:

    I want a toilet made out of solid gold, but it’s just not in the cards baby yeah! Austin Powers.

  29. Darin Says:

    Couldnt imagine a true Bucs fan wanting the team to lose a game. So hope we are all rooting for Smitty to succeed IF he is till here next game. He has had long enough. 4 games too many actually. Lets go, someone fire him. Need an aggressive defensive playcaller before the draft talk creeps up. If he survives I’ll be rooting for him tho. That’s what us real fans do Dirk, even tho we dont care as much as you!! Sarcasm

  30. 813bucboi Says:

    I rooted for smitty all last year and he let us down…..I rooted for him the year before that and he let me down…..

    fool me once, shame on you…..fool me twice, shame on me…..I wont be fooled again fools!!!!!!


  31. Nprbuc Says:

    Of course I am going to root for my team. Why would a fan have to be told that? I will also root for Smith to be gone.Everyone is locked in on Koetter not wanting to fire him because of loyalty. Where is Smiths loyalty? Can we assume that Smith thinks he is doing a great job and deserves to stay? If HE had any loyalty to Koetter he would meet with the coach, thank him for keeping him in football after Atlanta and tender his resignation. That is what an honorable man would do when he has become a laughingstock of the NFL and knows he is hurting his boss and team. Step up Smitty and do the right thing. Now is the time.

  32. Doctor Stroud Says:

    Mike Smith=Clyde Christensen

  33. Loyaltotheend Says:

    This is what happens when you hire a guy based on friendship and who hasn’t coordinated a d in 8 years prior to coming here

  34. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “But you can bet your ass Joe is pulling 100 percent for Smith to turn this defensive mess around.” I can’t understand how any TRUE Bucs fan could want anything other than that Joe. Heck I even rooted for Jason Licht this past spring, knowing in my heart he doesn’t have a clue how to really build a competitive TEAM.

    And BTW, Doug Martin unquestionably didn’t produce on this team, but with Oakland (another sucky team) he’s almost averaging 4.0 YPC. Our top dog (Barber) almost averaging 3.0 YPC. Hmmm, I wonder if the OLine has anything to do with a RB’s average? Nah, nothing wrong with OUR OLine. (But just in case, ‘Run Jameis Run’).

  35. Jimmym Says:

    If smith is not fired when ALL the fans are calling for , NFL analysts, press that follows the team, BUT yet the HEADCOACH does not understand why his defense is so bad, Koetter is the problem not smith. He’s the one responsible. I am sorry Dirk I like you, and I am impressed by the offense you have built receiving wise. BUt when my coach says he doesn’t even consider helping out on the other side is mind blowing

  36. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I really respect Joe for saying this. Too many fans want the team to fail just to have guys replaced. It’s better that the team does well.

    If Mike Smith turns this defense around, we reap the benefits…and guess what? He would probably get job offers, after turning this mess around.

    So count me in the camp of those rooting for success, as all Bucs fans should be in the camp of.

  37. Pierce Says:

    I guarantee Mike Smith is more sickened by the problems with this defense than we are. He’s fighting for his career. I hope he can turn things around. Go Bucs!!!

  38. BucFanSince76 Says:

    Mike Smith needs to resign.

  39. Mike Johnson Says:

    Smith is fighting for his career? The mans career was done after he was fired in Atlanta by owner Arthur Blanks. His road-dog Koetter brought him along as a favor. I suspect one more blow-out and he’s done. I hope it happens..sooner than later…ending our seasons pain with the guy. Moreover I’m kinda wishing after the season the Glazers just do a..trio Firing (licht/K/Smith). Lets start fresh. It cannot do us anymore harm than now. Lovie ans Schiano already have fishing poles reserved for these guys. Why prolong the agony of defeat. Everybody here knows for a fact..these Bucs are gonna finsh no better than 7-9.

  40. TOM Says:

    Firing Smith now is the right thing to do considering we are in a bye week. Also the Bucs might want to consider firing the db coach. Maybe Ronde as new db coach & Duffner as DC.

  41. Nick2 Says:

    Nobody wants Smith to fail but if its going to happen let it happen soon so we canmove on. It just seems he is out of touch with the new passing frenzy that is todays NFL. We have the worst defense and our offense finally if we can get a running game could be a juggernaut. Ten years ago I would have taken that but with a defense that is pathetic its hard to swallow.

  42. Pierce Says:

    @Mike Johnson – Lol so if you know for a fact that we’ll finish 7-9 then place your bet in Las Vegas. Let it ride brother!
    And as far as firing the trio, who do you think we’re going to get that’ll turn this around? We don’t have a good enough reputation around this league to get the best of the best.
    And I’m not sure why you want to fire Licht. I think he’s been pretty solid. I mean look at all the weapons that we have. Yes he’s made bad choices, but every team does. Even super bowl winning teams.
    I feel your frustration MJ. And if it were up to me Mike Smith would be gone too, but since he’s not so I’m gonna root for him to figure this out. He’s got a lot more riding on this than you or I do.

  43. jmarkbuc Says:


    I assume since Smitty is under contract he gets, lose or draw or fired…

    Not much to lose.

  44. unbelievable Says:

    Hey Joe is Doug Martin the reason our running backs as a whole are averaging a whopping 2.6 ypc this season (2018)?

    It must be Doug’s fault, right?

    (Meanwhile he is averaging 3.9 ypc in Oakland. Hmmmm)

  45. SkBucs Fan Says:

    I will keep cheering and hoping for a miracle. It’s all we have! We certainly do not have a defensive coordinator.

    It’s time for the Buc’s coaches and players to prove us wrong.

  46. Ruggyup Says:

    An ancient tea leaf reader says Joe’s article should have been titled “Backing and Filling”.

  47. Mveal2006 Says:

    The bucs are designed for different offenses than what they face. Then they prepare for different plays rgen what is called.
    Not only shod they switch to a spread offense…which they should have years Ago btw…they need to go to an anti spread defensive scheme…a 4 2 5 concept. Just watch the Gators d.

  48. Armand Says:

    Mike Smith is playing violin on the Titanic and you want me to stand around a clap?

  49. PSLBob Says:

    You root for him, because you’re rooting for the Bucs. But let’s be real. You can’t continue living in a fantasy world forever. This isn’t working, and it’s hard to continue rooting for something that everyone knows isn’t working.

  50. Rod Munch Says:

    Is Smith being ran up the middle against stacked defenses on every 1st down in the first half when ever knows it’s coming? Because that’s what happened to Martin, he was ruined by Dirk’s ineptness, which we see on display again this year when there is no running game.

  51. SOEbuc Says:

    I’m rooting for the team. I will never turn off a game even if we’re down by 5 td’s at halftime. But fans should be given the opportunity to root harder and be happy about the team and have a city come to life with everyone wearing a fake beard within the first two games of the year. Now two weeks later, we’re all in disgust at Koetter and his stubborness about firing Smith by burning him on a cross.

    I’m a true Bucs fan and I will never not root, but a good team makes me root much harder and makes me so much happier when I am rooting.

  52. SOEbuc Says:

    Talking about rooting this just came to me…Is there a Joe Patriots Fan??? What would those ppl have to talk and b!tch about?

    “Tom Brady’s awesome!”

  53. Bucsfan77 Says:

    Hell I would be ok to trade Wilson for a good defensive coordinator and play Paxton as a QB

  54. Jason H Says:

    Can’t have it both ways. Playing both sides of the fence just to save face Joe?

  55. Joe Says:

    Hell I would be ok to trade Wilson for a good defensive coordinator and play Paxton as a QB

    The weekend started early in the Bucsfan77 household, eh?

  56. horse liver Says:

    Fire the Lovie Smith clone yesterday and let Buckner have the defense.