“Find A Love Of The Game”

November 12th, 2018


Here we are again on Buccaneer Boulevard, talking about finishing out a lost season with pride.

We’re all too familiar with this scenario as Buc fans head toward Thanksgiving with one eye on the cranberry sauce and another on the next NFL draft.

Brent Grimes talks to Ira

It’s painful to look at the standings and even more painful to remember that this team was once the talk of the league.

When the Tampa Bay locker room opened Sunday, I risked a pulled hamstring by running after Brent Grimes. The veteran corner hadn’t talked publicly for awhile and he was booking toward the exit door when I blocked his path.

He smiled and said fire away, so I asked Grimes how the Bucs should approach these final seven games.

“We’re pros, you have to do your job,” he said. “Nobody wants to lose all the time, you don’t want it to be like that, but that’s what it is. But even when things aren’t going well and you’re not feeling too great, you’ve got to do the job to the best of your ability. That’s what we’ve got to fall back on. Find a love of the game and just play like that.

“That’s what it’s all about, trying to make it fun. That’s the key to winning. I wish I could give you an answer. We had a lot of good things going at the start. I’m lost for words right now.”

I’m not.

This season will go down in Buc lore as the year of missed opportunities. Whether Todd Monken or Dirk Koetter calls the plays, this offense is both prolific and baffling. And sloppy.

As for the defense, allow Mr. Grimes to interject.

“This is a takeaway drought, it’s crazy,” he said. “I’ve never really been a part of something like this — one interception in nine games. In years before, we were getting a lot of turnovers. There’s just a lot of stuff that doesn’t have any explanation.”

You got that right, Brent.

Steep Fall; No Answers

Two months ago, the Bucs were sitting on top of the world. Now, they’re crouching in the division basement.

“Bad luck, it always happens to us,” said Mike Evans. “We’re too good to be stopping in the red zone. I think about that (2-0 getaway) all the time. We had a fast start and then we slowed down.”

What happened?

“I am shocked,” said Demar Dotson. “This is the same team that beat the Saints and Philly. It’s the same old stuff: we don’t have a problem moving the ball on anybody until we reach the red zone. We’re a better team than what we’re putting out on the field, but at the end of the day, we’re not getting it done.”

Is there a chance this club could fold like the 2011 Bucs, who dropped their final 10 games after a 4-2 start?

“You never know what’s deep down in a person,” Dotson said. “There are guys that talk, but you can’t look at the heart. We’ve got people that seem like they’ve got the want-to.”

It doesn’t seem like too much to ask well-paid professional players to give full effort.

“This is a tight group, we enjoy playing with each other, but this is a major test,” Grimes said. “You’ve got to try to have fun. That’s the only way you can play this game effectively.”


63 Responses to ““Find A Love Of The Game””

  1. johnny Says:

    Tony Dungy for Tampa Bay Buccaneers team president.

  2. LakeLand Says:

    They know how to move the ball up and down the field

    But they don’t know how to finish the deal (score points)
    They don’t know how to win football games

    They are a ‘Boxscore’ team
    A team that can’t get out of it own way
    A team that always shoot themselves in the foot

  3. Blogtalkfootball.com Says:

    Mike Evans # 13 talking about bad luck? Change your number then…lol

    Preparation is the best defense against bad luck… proper execution. Repeat all the fundamentals until you can do them in your sleep and practice them some more.

  4. Chuckstutz Says:

    I have never seen worse talent evaluators as coaches. Just sad.

    Poor coaching all over the place and mgt afraid to make any moves I.e. Firings.

    Clean house. Good luck to new ones.

    Damn I’m disgusted. Redskins line off the street our multi million dollar line has no answer.

    We could use those o line. Christ.

    I’m done. Over n out.

  5. adam from ny Says:

    dirk and smitty seen a pubix in aisle 9 on dale mabry…

    dirk was overheard telling smitty:

    “you’re lucky my brotha…you’re out with a paycheck, i’m stuck in this mess and those glazers boys keep me hanging on by a thread”

  6. adam from ny Says:

    smitty said:

    “haha sucker!…let’s go get some chicken tenders”

  7. LakeLand Says:

    Stats are for losers

    This team is full of stats

  8. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Winners win, losers lose. Mike Evans dropping a pass in the end zone is not bad luck. The kicker missing FG’s is not bad luck.

  9. Bucs Fan #7423 Says:

    Dirk you g# d## idiot, start Jamies

  10. Mike Johnson Says:

    Hire Father Dungy as Yeam Prez or GM. Get us a Defensive minded HC. Isn’t it ironic our best Buc teams all started with great Defense? Like I preach, You can throw beautiful spirals and score 40 a game. But can you stop the opposition from scoring 41? No..we cannot!

  11. Waterboy Says:

    Dungy is too conservative to be a GM. I loved him as a coach but wouldn’t want him making personnel decisions.

  12. LakeLand Says:

    Everyone keep bragging about the talent on this team
    It’s all an mirage

    They are talented on paper
    And garbage on the football field

  13. 813bucboi Says:

    im at a lost for words right now…..

    bad luck…..

    you never know whats deep down in a person…..

    you’ve got to try to have fun…..

    those are all loser quotes my friends!!!!!!!!!!!!

    dirk has lost the locker room…..players dont want to play for him…….when a team is losing and the only thing they can say is we’re just trying to have fun, that means they have given up and are just trying to avoid injury……

    send dirk and licht packing so players have to bust their ass and put something good on film for the next GM & HC…..


  14. bucsfaninchina Says:

    Enough of Dungy having anything to do with this team. Let’s stop living in the past with organizational changes (Lovie Smith anyone?) and start looking to the future, hopefully one without the softies which plague the Bucs roster.

  15. JabooBuc Says:

    This might be unpopular but this is less about coaching and more about the players. Dirk and the coaches did not lose this game Sunday. It was a complete and utter breakdown by the players. Both sides of the line of scrimmage are an embarrassment. Playing on the OL or DL is more about desire and less about schemes. Our lines lack want to.

    Our schemes worked well enough to put us in position to score but the players choked. As I have said before, INT’s, fumbles, dropped passes and missed FG’s are not on coaches. These are professionals. You should have to coach them to secure the ball or to not commit penalties.

  16. Clarence Says:

    Well mr grimes, I can tell you who definitely isn’t having fun: Bucs fans

  17. Waterboy Says:

    Thinking back Sapp, Lynch and Brooks were in Tampa before Dungy was hired. Also Dungy was the guy that talked the Glazers into going after Chip Kelly but fortunately he turned down the job. Dungy is a good guy and was a historic coach for the organization but not someone that I’d want to see hired as the next GM.

  18. LakeLand Says:

    Talented players don’t drop TD passes in the end zone
    Miss key blocks in the red zone
    Commit dumb penalties in crunch time
    Miss tackles on nearly every play
    Get one INT in 9 games as a unit
    Commit 25 turnovers in 9 games

    I guess this is Buc talent

  19. Dom is gone...Licht Says:

    Other than wr / te there is no talent on this roster…. players are average at best that’s on the GM. 15 years of poor personal Decisions. We suck

  20. Buc You Says:

    “Bad luck, it always happens to us,” said Mike Evans.

    I think Evans leads the NFL in dropped balls.

  21. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Koetter’s scheme’s have consistently sucked in the red zone and consistently put up yardage. It absolutely aligns with his history of calling offenses.

    On average we’re like top 5-10 in moving the ball under him the last 4 years but literally just average in scoring or worse. Hell his first year we were 5th in yardage and that was with a run game; yet we were 20th in scoring. He is super consistent at creating this phenomenon.

  22. Sb Says:

    Luck is a good QB on another team. “Luck” in Tampa means a total change in culture…again. start with the $hitty jerseys, dungy as team prez, new eval people in college scouting, keep monken and make every position all out open war for time and contracts. I promise there are 53 mem who want to play football for a living.

  23. Knoxville Buc Fan Says:

    in my opinion no NFL team needs a team President. That’s what a Gm is for. I’m all for bringing the very best thing to ever happen to the Bucs in its history back,and that is Mr.Tony Dungy. He’s got a great thing going now,and why would he wanna leave that to come deal with this mess? It’s gonna take someone like Dungy to turn this debacle around

  24. BigMacAttack Says:

    Why would Tony Dungy want to take over this mess? He’s much smarter than that. So is Derrick Brooks, willing to lend a hand and give guidance but that’s about it.

  25. Lord Cornelius Says:

    We need new minds. The NFL has changed. If we get an experienced coach he better have shown recent adaptation and success IMO.

  26. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Dom is gone…Licht Says
    “Other than wr / te there is no talent on this roster…. players are average at best that’s on the GM.”

    You are a complete idiot if you think Licht has not added some great talent to this roster.

    WR, TE, DE, DT, CB (once developed), OG, OT, Safety.

    He’s improved nearly all position groups. But you have to give this year’s crop time to develop.


  27. BigMacAttack Says:

    There are some good GM candidates out there. Scott Pioli, Nick Caserio, Joe Douglas, Chris Polian and my choice Jeff Ireland with the Saints.

  28. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Waterboy, your take is spot on, and to add it was Nickerson who set the tone in the locker room. That Hardy signing was bigger than people realize.

  29. BigMacAttack Says:

    Brian Xzanders is another GM candidate with a good pedigree. Jason Licht has petered out as a GM. Sad thing is Jon Robinson was probably the guy to keep and let Licht go. Licht was bad enough but without Robinson he’s almost useless.

  30. JabooBuc Says:

    We throw the “scheme” word around here like it means a lot. I have never played pro football but I did play college b-ball and played a lot of different sports growing up including football. I think most athletes will tell you that the scheme you play is pretty far down the list in terms of importance.

    Sure, it provides a foundation from which plays are called but like anything else what is most important is the talent in the scheme and the execution of those plays when called. In basketball, most that are experienced Know what a 2-3 zone defense scheme is. However, the success of that scheme is completely dependent on the players and execution of each assignment within that defense.

    You could make the case that the players are not being coached well enough to understand how to execute the plays within a scheme properly. However, that does not appear to be what’s happening with the Bucs. The plays within the scheme are getting players open and producing yards as evidenced by the ranking of the offense. But a -19 turnover margin has nothing to do with scheme or plays. That is completely an execution problem and that is usually the fault of the talent.

  31. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The word is CHOKE!!!

  32. JabooBuc Says:

    ^^^. This

  33. adam from ny Says:

    has anyone watched this noah spence guy rush the quarterback???

    it’s like some kind of joke or something…he has no moves left…he just runs right at the offensive lineman and gets pushed wide – that’s it…the guy is like a shell of his former self…he has no repertoire of moves – what the hell happened???

  34. adam from ny Says:

    bucs resigned donald iguibuike 🙂

  35. LakeLand Says:

    adam from ny

    And Noah Spence is the guy they drafted over Michael Thomas
    What a reach

  36. PSLBob Says:

    Lord Cornelius, couldn’t agree more. No recycled NFL head coaches. We need a good, young offensive or defensive coordinator that understands the evolution of the game. New schemes and players suited to those schemes. I still think this team has a lot of talent. We just need better coaching and a pattern of winning to turn this around. Anyone think if we let Mike Evans walk, he wouldn’t be sought by every team in the NFL?

  37. Troy Says:

    This team doesn’t play fundamental football, and that is completely on the coaches. I’d be doing basic drills the entire practice. Until we stop fumbling, dropping passes, and losing receivers in coverage, a lot of learning through repetitive tasks seems appropriate.

  38. Doctor Stroud Says:

    At this point, I care less about the offense being #1 in the NFL and more about being #1 in the NFC South.

  39. Doctor Stroud Says:

    Scratch that: the #1 ranked team in terms of wins in the NFC South!

  40. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Call it whatever you want (scheme / how he calls plays in the red zone / how disciplined his players are in the red zone execution); look at Koetter’s last 7 seasons now running an offense and the disparity between Yards per Game and Points per Game:

    2018 3rd / 12th
    2017 9th / 18th
    2016 Bucs 18th / 18th
    2015 Bucs 5th / 20th
    2014 Falcons 8th / 12th
    2013 Falcons 14th / 20th
    2012 falcons 8th / 7th

    5 of the 7 years his teams have scored dramatically lower than what one would expect given the yardage rankings. In the other 2 years the scoring ranking barely matched the yardage basically. In no year did he produce a highly efficient scoring team relative to yardage.

    That’s 7 years with multiple QBs and personnel. That’s with teams that had success running, passing, or both.

    That’s not good. That’s a coaching issue IMO. Not sure what other constant variable there is in all of that. This was the issue in 2017 and it carried over this year. We hit on a lot of deep ball scores early in the year. Without those his offense reverts to true horrible-at-scoring-because-we-suck-in-the-red-zone form.

  41. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    Lord Corn

    Funny that Koetter’s worst offense with the Bucs also happened to be his best season record-wise. And I know the defense had a big hand in that as well but just kinda funny to see how football works

  42. Mikiebucsfan76 Says:

    I personally think the Glazers need to do a better job at choosing a HC. just take a look at the last 4 HCs. also their GM or whoever’s doing the talent evaluating need to do a bit better we’ve had a lot of misses with drafting talent. either that or they are not developing the talent. nonetheless, I think its time the Glazers step up with their choices in HCs and GMs

  43. BigMacAttack Says:

    In the Bucs’ case funny to see how football doesn’t work. Funny not funny. Just sucks 😂

  44. JabooBuc Says:

    LC: I would actually argue that red zone offense is even more dependent on talent and execution. The windows become smaller placing a premium on accuracy. In addition, you OL becomes eleven more important as it becomes harder to run the ball with the LBs and Safety’s closer to the line of scrimmage.

    This team is not equipped with the most accurate QB’s in the league which I think we could all agree with and our OL is horrible in the running game. These are talent deficiencies causing poor performance in the place we need it most.

  45. JJV Says:

    It’s important for us all to remain calm and take a prayerful and watchful stance. And above all do not panic.

  46. BigMacAttack Says:

    The Glazers need some help selecting the right GM and HC. I’d like to see a good Defensive Head Coach. Not much out there other than college really. John Harbaugh maybe or Jim Schwartz who was terrible with Detroit. The Washington Huskies have a good coach. The problem if you don’t hire the best DC to be a head coach, you won’t get one because they all have good DC jobs already. Cincinnati’s DC will probably take Lewis’s job, but he’s pretty good. They could offer Robert Kraft their first round picks for the next 10 yrs to trade for Belichick but he’d say no. We’re so screwed.

  47. Mikiebucsfan76 Says:

    quick question do any buc fans think Father Dungy was a good talent evaluator

  48. Defense Rules Says:

    Lord C, Koetter’s ‘disparity’ between YARDAGE PER GAME and POINTS PER GAME is very telling. He consistently ranks slightly below average (15-20) in terms of POINTS SCORED, yet in the Top-10 in terms of YARDAGE. Sad fact is that in all those 7 years, Dirk never had a truly great rushing attack, except maybe for 2015 here (sure would’ve helped Red Zone scoring). Dirk keeps trying to run it, but more times than not it ends up being a wasted play in the Red Zone.

    Our bigger problem in the Red Zone IMO is our OLine. We just don’t have the beasts to make things happen. Everyone picks on Benenoch & Dotson, but after those first 2 games Jensen, Marpet & D Smith haven’t been any better. It’s like they all just ‘lost it’ simultaneously. When I focus on them blocking AS A UNIT during games, it’s horrific. Donovan’s always been inconsistent IMO, but now it looks like Marpet & Jensen have joined him in that. Something’s definitely not right there and I have no idea why. Neither do the coaches apparently.

  49. Dooshlarue Says:

    Big Mac
    I think Cincinnati’s DC just got canned.

  50. Jonathan Lipnicki Says:

    The Bucs twisted Grimes arm ( and topped off his wallet ) into playing another year. It was one year too many…great teams ( Pats ) prefer moving on a year “too early”. I understand the desperation on the Bucs part…probably not how Grimes wants to go out either.

  51. JJV Says:

    If only owners could match the longtime passion, dedication, commitment, perseverance, enthusiasm, and diligence we diehard fans give to our team. The bottom line is our desire of a winner to be proud of. We understand that it is a business but believe to be a success it takes an attitude that does not accept failure. We reject poor business decisions which lead to losing. Losing is unacceptable. There is no compromise- winning is the only thing that matters. Our code is built on making the impossible possible. We never waiver in our conviction that when the going gets tough the tough get going. We repel excuses as well as poor effort. Until our owners totally share our vision, we will remain the beacon of hope for a better tomorrow.

  52. joestang Says:

    You cant even look forward to the draft because we will screw that up. Tired of these guys being shocked that they lose. It has become commonplace with these guys. Losing is a tradition with this team, it is their nature. I am looking forward to Licht getting his ass kicked out of town.

  53. PSLBob Says:

    JJV, you’re correct – no time to panic. that began 3 weeks ago.

  54. jmarkbuc Says:


    While Tony wasn’t totally responsible for all the players acquired while he was coach, he certainly had input with Mckay. He certainly was able to get the most out of his players, and knew what to do with the players he inherited as well as the ones he helped to bring in.

    More importantly, most importantly, he knew who not to keep. If you were a bad character guy or didn’t give the effort necessary, you weren’t here any longer. You can’t underestimate the value in that.

    Lastly, players wanted to achieve for him. I’m sure you’ve heard the players from those teams say that Tony wasn’t a fire breathing monster, he was a great coach that they gave their all for because they didn’t want to let him down. They respected him that much.

    So yes I think he was a good talent evaluator but more than that he got the absolute best out of the players he had. They may not all have had superior talent, but you got their best. On and off the field.

    Having him in your building absolutely can not be a bad thing, no matter what his position. And He LOVES Defense. And I love that.

    At the end of the day, he won’t come here… It’s too big a mess for him to lend his name to it.

    Just my two cents.

  55. jmarkbuc Says:

    What he was REALLY great at was putting a great coaching staff together, especially defensively. Look at his coaching tree.

    Offensively, he could have done better, sure. But what Buc fan wouldn’t take now, what we had then. Tmax is a beotch excluded, obviously.

  56. jmarkbuc Says:

    Big Mac,

    Cincinatti’s DC ran the only defense worse than ours…..

  57. TampaTown Says:

    It was nice of BG to talk to you Ira and I feel bad for him. He deserves to finish up better than this. We’re going to get the real story behind the story soon enough when Brent takes the muzzle off Miko (her words). And for all of you who think she wears the pants in the family I’ve got news for you. There’s no such thing as a strong woman who likes a weak man. A strong woman wants a man stronger than herself because that’s the only thing she can respect. Yes BG has a gentle nature but still waters run deep. I’m going to miss them both.

  58. Jsmalls Says:

    James Bettcher

  59. Jsmalls Says:

    Janes Bettcher

  60. ElioT Says:

    Can everyone please STOP the bull crap of wanting to bring in ex-Buc legends to set this franchise up for success?

    Dungy? Really? You think his mentality is going to fix this team? He was fired because he couldn’t maximize the defensive talent he had with even a semi-competent offense.

    The NFL (Not For Long) is changing and the Glaziers need to stop the madness and adapt with the trends.

    I would consider bringing Brooks on as a President of Football Ops to hire the next GM and HC.

    Stop with the Dungy crap, please.

  61. jmarkbuc Says:

    “He was fired because he couldn’t maximize the defensive talent he had with even a semi-competent offense”

    He was fired, because the Glazers had a lack of patience…

    Look at what we were before Dungy, and what we’ve been since.

    Oh and Dungy’s offenses averaged as many points as the offensive genius Gruden, give or take a half a point.

    I love DBrooks, but there is no way he has the ties and connections that Dungy has.

    And yes, Tony’s mentality could fix this or any other team’s.. Play fierce defense, run the ball and have a QB who doesn’t get you beat. That formula works, and always has.

    You think a team that respects it’s coach and balls out for him isn’t better than this cry baby, soft serve ice cream, check cashing clown show we’ve got now? I would take my chances

  62. jmarkbuc Says:


    “Can everyone please STOP the bull crap of wanting to bring in ex-Buc legends to set this franchise up for success?”

    “I would consider bringing Brooks on as a President of Football Ops to hire the next GM and HC.”

    Contradict yourself much?

  63. Say it ain't so Says:

    Why do we keep saying we have too much talent to be this bad? When it’s obvious we suck year in and year out. I love football, my son is 19, he’s too young to remember the playoff years, he hates football, because of the Bucs. Maybe if I have grandchildren they will see a good Bucs team.