So What Is Going Wrong?

October 10th, 2018

Lot to work on.

Joe came across something last night that is very interesting, even though it was written for a Bucs-Bears pregame audience.

Cranky Greg Gabriel is a former Bears scouting director who has been out of the league for a few years but makes a living writing for various publications and doing sports radio appearances.

Even though he now works in the media, he is fond of taking potshots at a number of irritants. His biggest target/thorn-in-the-side is the creator, curator and overall guru of Pro Football Talk, the great Mike Florio.

Anyway, one of Gabriel’s gigs is writing scouting reports of Bears’ opponents. Joe came across Gabriel’s report on the Bucs just last night. In his report were several interesting nuggets Joe will highlight below.

* The Bucs don’t blitz that often, but when they see on tape that Trubisky can have trouble reading blitzes and getting the ball out of his hand, don’t be surprised when defensive coordinator Mike Smith sends early pressure to see how Trubisky responds. Joe’s note: Here is a guy who has decades in the NFL who could see this, but Mike Smith couldn’t (or wouldn’t) blitz much. And Gabriel raves about the talent the Bucs have on defense. Yet what does head coach Dirk Koetter, general manager Jason Licht, and more importantly Team Glazer who is shelling out tens of millions of dollars have to show for all this talent? The worst friggin’ defense in the NFL, that’s what!

* The offense has put up averages of 34 points and 473 yards during a 2-1 start. That is easily the most productive offense the Bears have faced so far this young season. Joe’s note: Yet the Bears looked like the 1985 Bears the way they shut down the Bucs.

* The biggest problem the Bears must contend with is Tampa’s WR corps. … The problem the Bears will have in trying to defend this group is that their secondary is banged up. Joe’s note: Yet the Bucs didn’t do squat against this unit.

* [Jason Pierre-Paul and Vinny Curry] give the Bucs far more edge pass-rush skills than they have had in the past. Joe’s note: Take away JPP and Curry, and the Bucs have a grand total of 1.5 sacks from the defensive line through four games.

* Inside, they are led by Gerald McCoy, who is perhaps the best 3-tech in the NFL right now. Joe’s note: When it comes to Bucs fans, there may not be a bigger disconnect between NFL people and Bucs fans than on McCoy. Many Bucs fans have been convinced for years GMC is vastly overrated or just an average player. But good luck finding anyone in the NFL (meaning someone who either coaches or works in player personnel) to say GMC is average or worse. Joe has spoken to several head coaches, offensive coordinators and general managers and to a man, they rave about GMC. And almost as consistent is their reaction when Joe mentions to them how unpopular GMC is in Tampa. They look at Joe as if Joe has three eyes. Given how many Pro Bowls GMC has made, this backs up the NFL people. But so many Bucs fans are beyond confident a player making a fraction of GMC’s salary can have as much production if not more. It is very odd.

* The group is not only very good, it goes seven deep The backup DEs (Noah Spence, William Gholston) are both talented former starters. … This is easily the most talented D-line the Bears have faced yet and should give Chicago’s O-line all it can handle. Joe’s note: Yet such a talented line is very average aside from its defensive ends.

* The Bucs’ linebackers are also talented. While no one in the group is very big, all have great speed and overall athleticism. That means if the Bears try to get matchups against Kwon Alexander, Lavonte David or Adarius Taylor, it won’t be the mismatch they think it might be. This group can stay with backs and tight ends in coverage. Joe’s note: So much for that belief. But tuck away in your memory banks how talented Gabriel believes the Bucs defense is.

* [Due to injuries, the Bucs’] secondary is in trouble. Joe’s note: That’s true.

If Team Glazer’s portfolio was doing this poorly for such an investment, they would have already dragged their wealth funds managers into court for embezzlement!

49 Responses to “So What Is Going Wrong?”

  1. Bucnjim Says:

    Yet McCoy can’t break the top 100 players in the NFL voted on by the most knowledgeable group of all…..his peers! This even though he is extremely popular with players of opposing teams so leave out the popularity contest crap. Good guy good player but telling me how great he would be with help? Now that he has help its the secondary’s fault?

  2. Bucnjim Says:

    He had a chance to prove me wrong in the Steelers game with over two minutes left. Third down had Big Ben for a sack but let him get away for a first down and sealed the game for THEIR team not ours.

  3. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    Just curious. Has ANY other NFL team even SNIFFED around with the Bucs GM on trading for The Great Geraldini? I have NEVER heard ANYONE speak on this, not even before he was signed to his $100M contract. Isn’t this the last year of his contract?

    When is the trade deadline? Within the next few weeks right?

  4. Ndog Says:

    “Inside, they are led by Gerald McCoy, who is perhaps the best 3-tech in the NFL right now”

    With the quote above he lost all creditability. Hello has he seen Aaron Donald, Geno Atkins or Fletcher Cox actually play? There is zero comparison to their impact on a game compared to McCoy. This is what I hate how in the world can he actually say that? Watch the game and quit looking at names. Same with our linebackers how can he watch them play and say they are good? They suck in coverage, take horrible angles and just overall don’t do many things well, other than get roasted one on one EVERY SINGLE GAME.

  5. BucEmUp Says:

    With no changes to this staff I have zero confidence in this team making it anywhere again!!! Watching other teams playing during this bye week, it’s was really annoying to watch how creative all these other teams get on both sides of the ball to try and throw the opponent off.

    Gee Golly I sure can’t wait to watch the same not adjusting boring vanilla coaching staff lose another game and lie to us about how it’s all the players fault AGAIN this week

  6. ATLBuc Says:

    Joe, I’m not sure that GMC is unpopular in Tampa or if there’s a few people on your blog that don’t like him. I don’t think that your blog represents Bucs fans. In fact, on this blog is the only place I hear negative talk about GMC. I would be surprised if 1% of Bucs fans even knows this blog exists. So don’t go telling people GMC is unpopular in Tampa based on a few people who spout negativity who obviously are not real Bucs fans.

  7. AlabamaBucsFans Says:

    At this point, the fault squarely falls on the coaches not the players.

    The same excuse every year (communication, execution and injuries). At what point, do the owners say enough. Either Koetter has the balls to fire Mike Smith and Hoke or the owners clean house.

  8. Bird Says:


    Hope you are implying vanilla defense coaching.

    The first 3 games for the start of the offense were the most exciting in bucs history. Throwing for 50 yard tds (at will ) may never happen again.

  9. Jason Says:

    NDog – good point… I hear all this talk of our LB’S Specifically Kwon and how good he is, looks like he gets beat consistently & is frequently out of position. He hasn’t really played well since his rookie year. I also hear he is looking for 11-12 mil in a contract, he is SO NOT WORTH IT! Let him walk and hopefully Beckwith heals bc it looked like he played a better MLB with better instincts than Kwon. I do think Whitehead & Evans will be good so we just need to add some corners, RG & RT for next season not like those are easy task w cap but they seem to be the positions w the least depth & starting caliber talent.

  10. Casual Observer Says:

    Good analysis, Joe. I am beginning to agree with what Bucemup said. Bucs are not very smart or creative on defense. It doesn’t change.

  11. DB55 Says:


    Short in Car or Jarret in Atl. McCoy not even the best 3 tech in the division. Gimme a break PLEASE!!!!

  12. ATrain Says:

    Joe did you forget about the explayers who have called him out

    Next time ask those coaches if they would Pay 100 Million for him

    Mack is paid less. Way more of a game changer

    GMC is Good player not elite he doesn’t make the game changing play IE Pittsburgh

    Also asked those coaches how many picks they would give

  13. Doctor Stroud Says:

    There are times when GMC disappears from games, and one wonders what he is doing out there. Yet, you can also see on game film that opposing teams game plan just for GMC. Offensive coordinators know about his ‘get off’ and they just instruct the linemen to let him go by while the play is designed away from him. The problem is that neutralizing GMC means that you pretty much shut down the entire D-line. Other players need to step up! The more time GMC stays out on the field, the more tired he gets. For the GMC haters, we won’t have him on the team much longer. He’s on the wrong side of 30 and his salary is on the wrong side of $1 million. #PaidFloridaVacation

  14. Bucnjim Says:


    It’s not a matter of dislike and it’s not personal. If the organization is going to paint him as the face of the franchise and he accepted that role long ago then he should be held to a high standard especially taking up $100 million in cap space. As Monte Kiffin used to say the tape doesn’t lie. This week will be game 5 and he now has the help of JPP and Curry. Can you name one game changing play this year? I named the one he missed in my first post!

  15. Darin Says:

    Unlike the bucs chicago did a scouting report. Thats what they went into max protect quite a bit. 7 blocking 4 since smitty didnt blitz once the first half. Mack is paid alot more. Gmc is paid based on his production and value. Watch him play sometimes n not the qb. Youll see alot of one guy against 2. Not easy.

  16. Bob in Valrico Says:

    one of the hurdles for the coaching staff is Licht’s tinkering with the roster.
    Joe mentioned yesterday that Koetter wanted to keep Tandy for instance and
    Licht overruled him.Licht also wanted the failed move to center for Marpet.
    Given Licht’s poor track record in free agency, the head coach needs to have control of roster,not Jason Licht. Forcing player like Baker,Sweezy, and T J ward
    on coaches should never happen.

  17. AtlBuc Says:

    Perhaps, I should not have said “Are Obviously not Bucs fans” because just because you don’t like GMC don’t mean you are not fans. My main point was that I don’t think that there are enough Bucs fans with that viewpoint for Joe to characterize GMC as being unpopular in Tampa. Has there been a poll? If there were a poll on this site, what percentage of the fanbase would it represent. Everyone certainly are entitled to their opinion. But this is the only forum where I have seen that sentiment expressed. Oh, and Ian Beckles.

  18. Defense Rules Says:

    @Darin … “7 blocking 4 since smitty didnt blitz once the first half.” Effective blitzing Darin requires LBs have a somewhat decent path to get to the QB very quickly. All I saw in Chicago was 7 blockers clogging the middle (and side approaches) so that Trubisky could’ve taken a nap back there. IOW there were no holes for the LBs to penetrate through (we’ll see that tactic again from other teams me thinks UNTIL the Bucs DLine demonstrates it can attack successfully & still defend the run).

    @Bob in Valrico … “the head coach needs to have control of roster, not Jason Licht.” Couldn’t agree more Bob. Licht seems to have this track record now of filling way too many FA slots with injury-plagued players, and then Koetter & Smitty end up having to eat them. Beau Allen? Unrein? Grimes? Worthy? That’s just this year. Add in some of the first-contract players who have histories of injuries (Spence? Beckwith? VHIII? and several others) and it become a prescription for losing. I love the Bucs, but danged this is a poorly constructed team, particularly on defense.

  19. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe, I’m not getting it. Why are so many of my comments being sent to the cooler? If you don’t want comments, just say so.

  20. Not there yet Says:

    Many Bucs fans have been convinced for years GMC is vastly overrated or just an average player

    Ok fine McCoy is one of the best 3 techniques of this generation because I’m tired of the debate. No more agree to disagree I give up but I will say that this ain’t based on stats, no idea what it’s based on because dude has like 1 sack in 4 games and he is being called the best. Jpp had zero stats in the first game so he’s done it all in a 3 game span. Dude has done nothing this year so guess it’s based on his average stats from previous years. Dude isn’t even worth double teaming anymore so I wonder what the excuse will be at the end of this year

  21. DB55 Says:

    You have to be violent and have a mentality that no one can block you – Buckner

    If you watch the tape you’ll see gmc consistently playing patty-cake with the guard. The second he gets doubled he stops rushing. But again 3techs aren’t supposed to make tackles and they’re not supposed to beat double teams either.

    Bc most importantly wtfdik.

    Joe ask your nfl connects who’d they rather sign Jarrett, Short or McIceCream? 8 out of 10 will say Short, 1 will say Jarrett and Ira will say McIceCream

  22. DB55 Says:

    On a more positive note this kid Damoun Patterson looks like a burner. I’m guessing Bobo is gone? Smh

  23. DB55 Says:

    *Ok fine McCoy is one of the NICEST 3 techniques of this generation

  24. Conte Piscatelli Says:

    I think the issue with GMC is that he has the talent to be a hall of fame player, but his willingness to brush off losses and what appears like a lackadaisical attitude towards football have relegated him as only the best “3 technique” in football when we should be talking about the best d-lineman. Fans can accept a player that gives everything and exceeds his talent level, but will always loathe the guy with unreal ability that seems to just coast.

  25. Joe Says:

    Yet, you can also see on game film that opposing teams game plan just for GMC.

    This is true. Had several offensive coordinators and former offensive coordinators tell Joe this. One of those is Dirk Koetter when he was with the Dixie Chicks.

  26. Joe Says:

    Conte Piscatelli:

    You pretty much nailed it. The issue is GMC’s personality, not his play.

    The guy busts his balls. Plays through a lot of pain sometimes. But fans want the cartoonish character like Warren Sapp, the fire-breathing dragon. Instead, they have GMC. Good player, nice guy.

    Fans don’t want a nice guy playing no matter how well he may play. Many fans cannot get past the nice guy image. That clouds his play.

    Joe is convinced fans would rather have the tough-talking, bully-acting player who may not be that good as opposed to someone like GMC who is a nice guy but plays better.

  27. 813bucboi Says:

    so in conclusion, smitty has talent but cant maximize it….ok got it….


  28. 813bucboi Says:

    Joe is convinced fans would rather have the tough-talking, bully-acting player who may not be that good as opposed to someone like GMC who is a nice guy but plays better.

    yeah because that type of attitude is infection… start off with 1bully on defense and by the 2nd quarter you have 7 bullies….by the end of the game you have 11 bullies….plus GMC has never made a player along the dline better and that’s what a player of GMC’s caliber is suppose to do….make those around him better…..I watched akeem spence in DET sunday and he didn’t even look like the same player he was in TB….he was playing with attitude….with hunger…..and that was without ziggy in the line up…..


  29. Bucsfanman Says:

    There’s no point in trying to argue. What I will do is throw out a scenario for those who compare GMC to Donald: Would Donald have the same impact playing for the Buc’s defense? You’re kidding yourself if you think he does.
    Oh, and sacking Big Ben? How many HUNDREDS of potential sacks has that guy slipped?
    This defense is too easy to gameplan against to allow a DT to make a difference. Quick throws into a sorry a$$ secondary will negate a pass-rush. Again though, GMC stinks so forget about the secondary, right?!
    Again, pointless, but as DB55 loves to say, “WTFDIK?”

  30. BigMacAttack Says:

    Mack is great and compared to him GMC is below average when it comes to results. He can’t deliver the goods and has been a huge waste of money. Trade him now.

  31. Lamarcus Says:

    Gmc is our downfall.

  32. Lamarcus Says:

    Besides we have guys that mean a damn to sign. Cut his salary loose and let him play for a division rivals so we can blow then out sometimes

  33. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Nothing like a lot of negativity to start my day!!!!

  34. Bucsfanman Says:

    Lamarcus- GMC will be replaced soon enough. We need someone to replace him with, though. Despite your opinion, his production isn’t as easily replaceable as you think.
    And I disagree completely that GMC is our downfall. Look at that secondary and tell me that GMC is the worst defender on the field.

  35. lambchop Says:

    Why doesn’t anyone talk about the coaching that GMC has had? I don’t blame him entirely for being “soft”. Under the right coaching, he may well thrive, nice guy and all. Not to mention that when you’re consistently double-teamed and game planned around, it’s gotta wear on you mentally more than physically sometimes.

    But, let’s not forget how bad it looks when a mauling DT apologizes to the QB mid-hit. Even Booger didn’t understand that. It sends the wrong impression. People aren’t so willing to give the benefit of the doubt to a player when they see that.

    I would rather have a player who brings swagger and average play because he just might ignite the next guy to swag and ball out. It’s about bringing the level of your teammates up.

    GMC is a conundrum because we don’t see the tangible benefits. If he is that great, I would rather, at this point in his career, get value for him now in a trade for a starting 3-down RB. GMCs stats can be replicated.

  36. Rob Says:

    Late to this party, but as I’m reading, I’m impressed with what BucnJim said about GMC missing the tackle/sack on Big Ben. Surprised to see no one else talking about it. I’ve never been a GMC hater, but Come on Man!!!

  37. Buc1987 Says:

    “they are led by Gerald McCoy”

    @Joe…you find us haters (new McCoy hater here) hating on him odd.

    Do you find Gabriel’s quote odd?

    Cause the first thing I thought odd in the quote was the word “led”.

    That’s the problem Joes. NFL people may love the guy……cause that’s all they see when you say the name Bucs. He the best player on a crappy team the past 10 years. He’s all they have to rave….about.

    For the record the Bears game is WHAT did me in with McCoy. He DOES disappear like many have been saying for years. Put him up on the market and see how many teams jump at that contract he’s toting around vs production they’ll get on the field.

    I know you guys have to cover the whole team….but put a spy on GMC like D’s do on certain players. Perhaps you’ll understand…wait one of you watches film. Watch just GMC……?

  38. Buc1987 Says:

    lambchop Says:

    “GMC is a conundrum because we don’t see the tangible benefits. If he is that great, I would rather, at this point in his career, get value for him now in a trade for a starting 3-down RB. GMCs stats can be replicated.”

    That’s what I’m talking about…..float his name out there for trade and see how little they get offered in return. We won’t know what gets offered though unless the Bucs accept.

    The regard of greatness that you say NFL peeps have for the guy would surely render a high draft pick.

    Question for GMC haters and non-haters : If GMC were to be traded what do you think the Bucs can get for him?

    I don’t have an answer myself….that’s why I’m asking! lol

  39. Jmarkbuc Says:

    GMC and a two would prolly yield Leveon Bell

  40. TOM Says:

    GMC to Oakland for a #1 draft pick. I believe they have two & Gruden would love to have McCoy,

  41. Buc1987 Says:

    Gruden might give up a first for him….there’s one that might give up a first.

    Jmark…it’d have to be straight up and not with a 2. Just talking about Bell trade with the wifey(Bucs fan).

  42. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Bell brings a whole lot of his own problems. That and who is to say he would be productive behind our O Line? And could we pay his salary demands…

  43. GhostofSchiano Says:

    ATLBuc Says: ………based on a few people who spout negativity who obviously are not real Bucs fans.

    I was a huge GMC fan, I defended him against a host of people on this site.

    But that all changed after the Steeelrs game. GMC was mic’d up for this game. On one play where he hit “BIG” (6’5 240 pound) Ben Rothlisberger , knocking him to the soft Raymond James turf, he apologized like a star crossed little girl. It was sickening. I am surprised he didn’t pull out a cell phone and ask him for a selfie. He apologizes over and over to quarterback built like a linebacker. Look it up, it’s there.

    GMC might be a good football player in some situations, but when it comes to leadership, inspiring his teammates, making a play when it’s needed most….He is LACKING!

    I support this team and all of it’s players but he disappoints me.

  44. DB55 Says:


    A case of Gatorade is too steep maybe a 99 cent frosty might be a fair trade.

    All jokes aside if you were to trade with Gruden you better get his 3rd string RB who is currently hurt, his name is Chris Warren and he’s a mini Marshawn

  45. Bucsfanman Says:

    If you get a #1 or #2 for GMC you HAVE to consider it, IMO ’87. He’s nearing the end of his career age-wise. Outside of that, he’s better than most 3-7 round picks for sure. You don’t trade him unless it’s a high pick and, he’s not going to fetch a 1st or 2nd IMO.

  46. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Agree with 55

    GMC straight up for Warren would work for me…

    But hasn’t Gruden already made some comment about GMC being soft? Don’t know that he would want him, despite his fondness of over the hill veterans.

  47. Jmarkbuc Says:


    “Joe is convinced fans would rather have the tough-talking, bully-acting player who may not be that good as opposed to someone like GMC who is a nice guy but plays better”

    IDK, I think what we want is both the bully and the great player”

    Warren was both. Granted he may be a once in a lifetime player, but I have to believe that somewhere out there is another Sapp or Donald type.

  48. Joe Says:

    Warren was both. Granted he may be a once in a lifetime player, but I have to believe that somewhere out there is another Sapp or Donald type.

    If you know who that person is, you may want to call the Bucs. You could retire on what you make with this information.

    As far as Donald, are you referring to the same person who admitted on national TV he watches tape of GMC to better himself?

  49. DB55 Says:

    I jump into a foxhole with you anytime. Your loyalty is unparalleled regardless of the facts you will fight for your boys all day all night 365. That’s admirable my friend.
    No clue what you’re talking about. Joe has no “boys” and isn’t fighting for anyone. –Joe