“It Feels Like A Cluster—k”

December 19th, 2018

Frightening future.

There is a reason why the Bucs are on pace for a top-five pick in the draft.

Yeah, you can put the blame a lot on coaching from Dirk Koetter to Mike Smith and sprinkle some elsewhere. But a team, even with bad coaching, doesn’t have a top-five draft pick (if they lose out) unless it has many holes in the roster.

Matt Miller, a draft media type who works for Bleacher Report, decided to talk to front office sources to find out why the bad NFL teams are bad. One of Miller’s AFC contacts was blunt in his Bucs assessment.

“I don’t envy them,” Miller’s unnamed AFC front office man said. “Gotta figure out if Jameis [Winston] is worth keeping around and then try to fix all the other problems. Plus you’re probably starting over at head coach and general manager. It feels like a clusterf–k.”

It has a bad, bad feel to it, that’s for sure.

So Miller gave readers a peek at what the Bucs should do come draft time.

Deciding what to do at general manager, head coach and quarterback is the holy trinity of offseason question marks. The Buccaneers have no identity, with the top three people in the organization all uncertain to return in 2019. Up first is a decision on general manager Jason Licht, then head coach Dirk Koetter, and finally on Winston.

If all three are gone, the Bucs will be favorites to select a quarterback in Round 1. That means Justin Herbert or Dwayne Haskins. If Winston is back, fixing the offensive line (Jonah Williams or Yodny Cajuste) or adding a pass-rusher (Clelin Ferrell, Jachai Polite) would be the top needs. With one of the worst defenses in the NFL, no matter what happens at quarterback, the Buccaneers must fix the pass rush and the secondary.

The way Joe sees it, you absolutely bring Jameis back, draft defensive end in Round 1 and then hope you get lucky with a guard later the draft.

Joe also agrees with Miller. The Bucs have burned a lot of draft picks on cornerback and have virtually nothing to show for it. Brent Grimes will be gone. M.J. Stewart isn’t there yet. Carlton Davis is OK but still developing. Vernon Hargreaves has missed quite a bit of time the past two years with injuries and honestly, Joe doesn’t know if you can bank on him next year.

But instead of spending more draft picks on corners, Joe would go buy some in free agency. Time to quit farting around with rookie corners hoping they develop. Go get a proven veteran with a track record.

The way the NFL has gone pass happy, the best defense is getting pressure on the quarterback and hopefully forcing the quarterback to fumble or throw a pick. So Joe certainly would draft a defensive end in Round 1.

But geez. Offensive line. Running back. Corner. Linebacker. Defensive end. What don’t the Bucs need?

(Wide receiver and quarterback.)

63 Responses to ““It Feels Like A Cluster—k””

  1. Casey Morgan Says:

    Bucs need a QB. Winston is not the answer. Draft Drew Lock…

  2. Asdf Says:

    Keep Jameis. Still draft a QB in round 1.

  3. Tony LA Says:

    Keep Jameis
    Fix the offensive line

  4. Waterboy Says:

    RB’s are a dime a dozen and can easily be addressed in free agency but they have chosen not to do that the past couple of years. There aren’t any QB’s worth drafting this year and unless your drafting a guy that’s elite there’s no need to make a change this season. Winston is a mid-tier QB in the Matt Stafford/Flacco/Dalton range at age 24 so the he’s good enough to win with if they put the right pieces around him like a decent running game and average defense. Bucs aren’t as far off as their record indicates. The right coach and possibly GM can get 2-3 more wins out of this team.

  5. Francisco Menendez Says:

    I say we sign or trade for A PROVEN kicker. I’ve seen this song an dance Cairo is doing, getting you comfortable with a few no miss games, before gutting your whole next season.

  6. AlteredEgo Says:

    As Adf says…
    Jameis is UNPROVEN after 4 years

  7. Etzel Says:

    Greedy or Deionte Thompson

  8. Robert Says:

    If it’s this many years in and you still have to figure out if he’s the one, you already have your answer

    it’s just fear of yanking off the band aid at this point.

    tear it down, but it’s gotta start with crabman if you want to attract any coaches

  9. VdubVW Says:

    Hey Bucs fans!!! Another 5 years of rebuilding!!!!
    Yaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyy!!! Can’t hardly wait

  10. 813bucboi Says:

    round 1- ed oliver….quentin williams…jachi polite

    round 2- G or T

    round 3- DL or OL

    bring back licht and winston….get coaches in here that can develop players…..


  11. Time to Move On Again Says:

    Well since we fired Dungy for not winning in the playoffs and have not been back since Gruden maybe it’s time to invest in what is right here. Make Tony President of Football Operations and go get David Shaw – played in the NFL, has coaching pedigree from Walsh, Harbaugh and Dennis Green and has developed a pro style QB in Luck.

  12. SB Says:

    Jacai Polite or Christian Wilkins!

  13. Defense Rules Says:

    Those quotes by Matt Miller were awesome Joe … HE NAILED IT. When I look at what the Bucs are facing this off-season, it looks DAUNTING. GM – gone. HC – gone. More holes in our lineup than a piece of Swiss cheese. And worse of all, we’re depending on the Glazer Boyz to FIX IT … the same ones who’ve allowed this mess to continue for over 10 years now.

    I totally agree with keeping Jameis for another year, but not with using a precious high pick to draft a QB like some have suggested (2020 looks to be a better year for QBs anyway, and IF Jameis fizzles in 2019, we’d have another high pick in 2020 to pick a QB with). The question is though … Do we go DLine or OLine with our first pick this coming draft? I favor OLine, specifically a LT who could start right away. Donovan isn’t the answer at LT, and he MAY choose to move on anyways (he is a FA after all). But I think he’d make a very good LG (and move Marpet back to RG). Draft a LT and find a starting RT in FA. Also find a starting RB in FA, and use our #2 pick on a DLine pick (supposed to be a good year for DLinemen in the draft I think).

    Agree with you about grabbing at least 2 CBs in free agency (actually there were several very good ones there this year that Jason passed on as I remember). We can’t fix it all in one year, but our offense is closer to a finished product than our defense is. Fix the OLine, add a RB, re-sign Hump, dump DJax, and hope that Godwin is the real deal (despite his recent ‘issues’).

  14. miken Says:

    Joe is right about the cb postion… just go buy 2 corners and stop burning picks. It will be expensive, but do it. Same with saftey upgrades.

  15. tickrdr Says:

    Congrats to the Joes on Jameis Winston! He is like the “Jelly of the Month” club from Christmas vacation. The gift that keeps on giving.
    He was drafted with the hope of being the franchise QB who could unite and excite the fanbase, but instead has completely divided the fanbase as evidenced on these very comment sections, and there seem to be thousands of others like me who gave up their season tickets, because it’s not worth the cost or the “hassle”.


  16. miken Says:

    #1 pick in the draft and just the fact that you arent offering him a multi year deal says everything about him you need to know. Remember when there was talk of chargers offering Rivers, their pick (melvin Gordon) and another pick and fans were like no way, Jameis is a future HOF…lol

  17. BucEmUp Says:

    The GM stays he did not bring in Lovie Smith Lovie Smith and brought in Jason Jason did not handpick the current head coach that was pretty much decided automatically as good as the offense was running with him calling the shots. How many of Jason lights draft picks have been influenced by both of those head coaches and also how many of those quote bust pics on quote not busts at all just being poorly coached and developed? I would love to see Jason light stay bringing somebody like Derrick Brooks as head of operations to work with him and somehow lure somebody like Bruce Arians to come out of retirement either that or some young up-and-comer offensive genius I just don’t want some NFL retread Jason stays Jameis Winston stays dirt cutter has to go offensive line coach has to go special teams coach has to go

  18. Kobe Faker Says:

    “I believe in Jameis Winston

    I can shut down the Saints offense and Drew Brees

    I am a 2 time NFL Heach Coach winner in 2013 and 2015

    I took my team to the Superbowl few years ago”

    Ron Mexico Rivera

  19. joestang Says:

    If Licht is still here he will screw up this draft pick. 1st order of business is firing Licht and naming Derrick Brooks GM. Brooks will add some respect to the Bucs which is sorely missing

  20. Clodhopper Says:

    I swear, Joe could just go from season to season and reuse all the headlines from the previous season at the same time of year. And for coaches, reuse the same headlines every 2-3 years.

    Not saying you do, Joe, but saying you could and it would still be just as relevant as the original. They all seem so familiar

  21. SOEbuc Says:

    -Hell no on a QB in the first round.

    -Sign good vet CB

    -First round Top 10: DT Quennin Williams, DT Ed Oliver, LT Jwaan Taylor, LB Devin White

    -No problem trading back out of top 10 unless Williams and Oliver are available. First round stacked with DL. Second round stacked with OL.

  22. Loyaltotheend Says:

    If you keep Jameis and he doesn’t play well under a new coach then the excuse will be

    It’s his first year in a new system
    The new coach needs time to bring in his guys
    You can’t fix everything in one off season

    Then the losing continues on and on

  23. Robert Says:


    post of the day!

  24. Loyaltotheend Says:

    Brooks as GM??? Ha ha ha ha ha

    Because, he did so great in the arena league? Or cus he’s a NAME you recognize and can bring back the Tampa 2 defense that doesn’t work anymore?

  25. Not there yet Says:

    Replace aging Geraldine and o line. You can’t spend draft picks on a quarterback because of the draft pick they lost for JPP. O line, end, and d tackle. Any other players will have to come in free agency. I really hope they replace Donovan Smith

  26. Phil Says:

    Sign Kareem Hunt.

  27. Anonymous Says:

    People Jason is and has been in the words of nick saban….rat poison
    This guy has zero clue on how to build a team

  28. Destinjohnny Says:

    Jason is and has been rat poison to this team
    He has no concept on how to build a roster

  29. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I agree with drafting a QB and keeping Jameis for another year.
    I don’t agree that a DE should be a high pick. We need to go with Oline….probably 2nd & 3rd round.
    Get a CB & RB in FA……

    I am becoming more and more convinced that Jason Licht must be fired. He has missed on way too many players.

  30. Season Is Over Says:

    Remember when everyone said the last six games wouldn’t be normal games to judge Winston because players would be lazy. I love how the yellow journalism is changing the narrative. Now, we need a new coach to see what we have in Winston. Too many players hurt, Koetter trying to save job. Lmao! What is the next BS excuse? Who didn’t see this coming a mile away?

  31. DBS Says:

    No. it will be the usual excuse. It’s the coaches fault.

  32. ben Says:

    trade Winston and per Ira’s podcast keep Fitz who has better stats !

  33. tmaxcon Says:

    brooks for gm people are insane…. gm of a small low volume wendy’s maybe but a nfl franchise that is pretty damn hilarious… hung on way-way too long and his 5 career playoff wins are pathetic. he does not know how to win consistently anymore than cancer93 or dotson. hell bring in beckels.. Talk about a bum keeping a career alive in an area he is not even from… no one works harder to remain relevant… plus my money is on beckels against 55 in JR Jeporady every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

  34. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    trade Winston and keep Fitz
    yea ben,, THAT’S the answer.

  35. WyldKat Says:

    It’s not ALL the coaches’ fault. And hey, Manchester United has experienced a drop off too. Totally not a coincidence.

  36. tnew Says:

    This is why Koetter should’ve been fired last year or at least mid season. Trying to separate evaluation of Koetter and Winston is pointless. Last season there were more than a few indicators the relationship wasn’t working. This year, is what I expected. At mid-season I would have made a decision to fire Koetter or not play Winston another down unless Fitz was hurt. The Bucs probably only win 3-4 games at the most for the season but at least there would be clear consensus on Koetter. The QB/Coach relationship is the most important relationship in football. They don’t have to be buddies, but there must be respect and trust. It appears Koetter and Winston are playing the year out trying be buddies but neither respects or trusts the other. If Koetter comes back, fine but release or trade Winston. If Winston comes back fine, get a new head coach. Keeping both is a mistake. Firing both might be a bigger mistake.

  37. Eric Says:

    like we never lost before Winston got here.

    2-14 the year prior to his arrival…….

  38. GhostofSchiano Says:

    Behind a good O-line Peyton Barber would be lethal.

  39. Bucko40 Says:

    The only viable FA QB is Teddy Bridgewater. I highly doubt the Saints let him hit the open market as they have Brees heir apparent. So unless a veteran QB is jettisoned the Bucs will probably keep Winston for one more season. Now if the Bucs resign Fitzpatrick and cut Winston loose the Drafting a QB in round 1 or 2 could be a real possibility. Personally I’d cut bait and dump Licht, Koetter and Winston. Go after Mike McCarthy, Urban Meyer(if healthy) or a Defensive Mind like George Edwards. GM is anyone’s guess at this point. Use your 1st round top 10 selection on defensive end or CB. Then move up into late 1st for Drew Lock or Daniel Jones. I think Jones is going to be the best QB to come out of this class. Jones hasn’t played against top talent at Duke but his film shows really good pocket awareness and he’s accurate on his throws I don’t see Herbert declaring but we will see. Lock throws to many Interceptions IMO. Anyway it’s going to be a long but interesting off season

  40. jmarkbuc Says:


    “bring back the Tampa 2 defense that doesn’t work anymore?”

    How is it that even now, EVERY week during games you hear references to the Tampa 2?

    After twenty years, EVERY SINGLE WEEK someone is “playing Tampa2” there must be something to it.

  41. jmarkbuc Says:

    Hard NO on any thoughts of Urban Meyer.

    Hard to believe but he’s a bigger egomaniac than Gruden….

  42. Calbucsfan Says:

    I’m just as frustrated as any Bucs fan by this year’s record, but they are not that far away from being a winning team. The difference between winning and losing is often just one or two plays per game, sprinkled with a little old fashioned luck. The Steelers, Falcons, Bengals and Giants games were all winnable games and, if they were, the record would be 9-5 instead of 5-9. Even the Joes would have to feign support for the other 2 heads of the “holy trinity”.

    This team is closer than frustration allows most to see. Are there areas that need improvement? Of course, absolutely! But changing a culture doesn’t happen overnight, and the losing culture has very deep roots in Tampa. History in Tampa shows that the “ let’s torch and scorch the earth and start over approach” doesn’t work, so why think it will now? Besides, Koetter hasn’t lost the locker room, only the “expert” audience.

    I say:
    1) Keep the “holy trinity” together
    2) in order of priority, draft (or sign free agents) at DL, DBs, OL and RB players
    3) bring in the best former head coach/defensive coordinator on the market that gets fired this season (Rivera?). That way Koetter knows that his replacement is already in-house if they fall short again next year.

    Blowing it all up at this stage is just taking way too many steps backwards. This team isn’t getting blown out, they just need to learn how to win. And in many aspects of life, that’s the hardest lesson to learn.

  43. DBS Says:

    The Saints just beat the Bucs using a lot of the Tampa2.

  44. Cobraboy Says:

    No to QB in the first.

    OL & LB are critical needs, as is RB.

    Sign Humphries.

  45. SKBucsFan Says:

    This exact issue is happening with the owners’ other professional football (soccer) team; Manchester United. MU is in total disarray and has been since Malcom Glazer died and left the operations to his kids. Both the Bucs and United are floundering and there is a common denominator…the Glazers. It’s time for them to either sell both teams or leave the entire operation to professionals, open up their wallets and just watch from the owners’ box with no interference or say. The problem is they are all about the money and could care less about winning. Fans of both clubs need to stay away in droves to affect change.

  46. aceinthehole Says:

    I don’t know what team some of you are watching. QB is not the problem. Winston doesn’t run block, or pass block, or cover receivers, or rush the passer. Those are the obvious problems on this team. This team cannot win at the line of scrimmage, and that is why they lose-period. Maybe it is scheme, maybe it is talent- either way it has to be fixed for this team to be improved. Some of you hate Winston so much you cannot see that he is a competent QB. He is not a top ten QB, He may never be. But you can win games without a top 10 QB. You cannot win games without controlling the line of scrimmage.

  47. jmarkbuc Says:


    “Some of you hate Winston so much you cannot see that he is a competent QB. He is not a top ten QB”

    At this point competence is in question…

    Not sure you’re supposed to drafta QB #1 overall, to not even be top 10

  48. jmarkbuc Says:

    “bring in the best former head coach/defensive coordinator on the market that gets fired this season”

    Bring them in as what? So we wanna take someone who got fired from their job, presumably for not doing it well?

    Losers beget Losers…..

  49. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    Hey, I am on the record as being a JW fan, and still believe he has great days ahead of him…

    … but if these numbers don’t concern you… they probably should.

  50. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    ^^ Sorry, posted in the wrong article — I am referring to JW’s road W-L record

  51. cmurda Says:

    Something tells me that Licht will survive. I think the Glzaers really like him. I’m lukewarm at best on him. His draft picks are mediocre at best. He missed on guys like Kamara and Melvin Ingram etc but he has also hit on some, most notably Marpet and Kwon. His free agency moves have been horrendous. I can;t think of any that were all that great off hand. The trade for JPP is his lone non-draft celebration. The coaching on this team has been a disgrace and it is obvious that at least a partial housecleaning is in order. With that said, I also feel the talent, particularly as it relates to depth is extremely subpar and that’s on Licht. Peronally, I would like to see Lichrt shown the door along with Dirk. I’ve always felt that both of those men are tied at the hip with Jameis and there is serious doubt for all 3 of them returning next year. Dirk has to be gone. It would be an epic fail if the Glazers keep Dirk another year but Licht’s fate may depend on the next Head Coach. If it’s a big name with a big ego such as Jim Harbaugh, he may fill the role as GM too and it will also matter how the new coach feels about Licht. It sucks right about now being a Bucs fan but it is what it is. Hopefully, we will finally make some good front office decisions. We deserve it.

  52. tnew Says:

    SK hit the nail on the head.. This is why most of us want a president of football operations. I know Joe just sees this as an additional layer but right now, there is a shortage of good long term thinking from the Glazers in regards to their sport franchises. Malcom pushed the correct buttons and built the Glazer fortune. He made good decisions his entire life that led to success.

  53. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Without a high quality President of Football Operations to make all decisions , it really does not frigging matter. The Glazers are the decision makers and the fish always stinks from the head down. Remove the Glazers from all decision making by bringing back Tony Dungy to run and rebuild this hot mess. Until the Glazers step out of the picture , nothing will change.

  54. pelbuc Says:

    JBF, all of the problems you mentioned above are attributable to Licht so he is the first to go. Hire NOW a football operations guy to help with the GM and HC search. After 4 mediocre years, we all know what JW brings to this franchise which isn’t much. Get rid of these 3 losers and draft a QB in round 1 or 2 and we’ll have to depend on Ryan Griffin as our No. 2. Draft oline and dbs in rounds 2,3 and 4. Oh I forgot, Licht traded away our no. 3. Need to trade GMC for anything.

  55. desanova Says:

    The defense needs: A productive DE to go with Pierre-Paul and Nassib and 2 new backups, or perhaps Curry could be 1 of them. Gholston and Spence are probably gone. I’d love to see what we can get for 93 but we can’t elevate Allen and have Allen and Vea as the core at DT. No way. So maybe no changes there (can’t change everything). Can’t count on Beckwith coming back strong so need to draft a SLB, maybe 3rd round. Feel better about Kwon coming back of course. Taylor back to top backup. I’d love to be asking who is starting opposite Grimes (now not 2019!), but must say he’ll probably be gone. Our 2 starting CBs for 2019 are not here (or it’s a hole again). Smith and Harris could be backup and Elliot is workable, actually good, in slot – which is its own position btw. Davis and Stewart seemed to alternate weeks hurt. I can see 1 of them, probably Stewart, back as backup. Safety should be ok with Evans and Whitehead, with Adams and Johnson solid backups.

    In short, a TON of need on defense to get to playoff caliber football: multiple CB, DE, SLB.

  56. Bobby M. Says:

    We have a question mark at QB and kicker….need to fix the offensive line, rb, LB, secondary? Didn’t we invest nearly all our draft capital in those positions?

  57. desanova Says:

    The offense is in better shape. Def resign Humphrey. Godwin elevates to solid #1, Jackson gone. Hopefully Godwin is the Godwin of the first half of the season, not the last few games. If it were me, I’d move Smith to RG and let Pamphile be swing interior backup. And get a new LT. If Dotson can squeak out another year, great but might opportunistically replace there as well. Cappa spends the offseason in the weight room and can be top interior swing backup. Wester backup OT or maybe challenges at RT. No need to fiddle with starting RB. Barber is good. Don’t even think about Bell. Need backup RB. Maybe Jones will develop. Rogers gets competition too.

    So that’s 1-2 OTs and backup RBs. LT might be top priority over CB. What’s available?

  58. Bucs Guy Says:

    1. Get a new GM – This will make the coach hunting more attractive and he getsbhis guy.
    2. Get a new coach. Focus on development of players. Preferable def coord background. Maybe keep some coaches Monken?
    3. Don’t pick up Jameis option, but resign him for $15M on a one year prove it deal. This gives you $5M cash for FA and buys your GM time.
    4. Trade Gerald McCoy for a 2nd rd pick. Frees up $13M for FA.
    5. Determine what to do with DJAX.
    6. Trade or release players on the down swing with no dead money in performance for FA cash. – Gholston, Anger
    7. Determine if you want to trade or release players not performing with dead money – Ronald Jones, Noah Spence, Ryan Smith
    8. Determine what to do with your own FAs – D. Smith, Kwon
    9.FAs to chase.
    10. Draft
    Sounds like some big decisions in the coming weeks before you even get to free agency.

  59. down in the dirt Doug Says:

    We have many great weapons on the offense.We can not fill all holes via the draft.We should be able to pick up a back,, a runner and an offensive lineman .in free agency.So we must use some of our players as trade bait.

  60. unbelievable Says:

    I agree with you Joe.

    Keep Jameis at least in 2019
    Fix the o-line
    Beef up the d-line and backfield through FA and draft picks.

  61. John Says:

    Putting pressure on the qb has always been key to a good defense, not just now a days. O-line and D-line are the most important parts of any football team. Always.

  62. Pitt of misery Says:

    running back is a big need

  63. James Walker Says:

    Yeah, just ditch the franchise leading QB of all time. That would be a typical Bucs move.