Changing The Culture

January 9th, 2019

Man, Joe hears so much talk about culture in relation to the Bucs, Joe wonders if he needs to go to the opera or waste time in that dumb Dali Museum in St. Petersburg.

(Column intermission: Once upon a time Joe had a job in downtown St. Petersburg with an office on the waterfront right by Al Lang Stadium. It was there the Rays wanted to build a new park. And the locals went completely apesh!t. The biggest gripe Joe heard in his office was that a ballpark would ruin the waterfront environment. Joe pointed out the window and yelped, “There’s already a ballpark there! How exactly is the environment ruined? How many dolphins are washing up on the beach because of that stadium?” The ballpark project failed, of course. Instead, a museum was built there. Did you hear one person complain about how building that dumb Dali Museum would hurt one bird or one fish or one gecko or destroy downtown St. Petersburg? Neither did Joe. But they sure as hell can have car races there each year with racket so loud you have to cover your ears in Port Richey. And birds don’t drop dead out of the sky and pelicans don’t gore pedestrians on the sidewalk, and snook aren’t driven to jump on boats tied up at the South Yacht Basin. But God forbid a 30,000-seat ballpark be built there.)

For once Joe would love to hear exactly what is meant by “culture.” To Joe, that’s a lazy broad brush stroke.

To read the words of Conor Orr of, the losing ways of the Bucs are about to change and if that means Bucco Bruce Arians has to drag guys out of the locker room to accomplish this, so be it.

Tampa Bay has been cultureless since the days of Tony Dungy and Jon Gruden. It has been years since the arrival of their team into your stadium meant something. From a bird’s eye view, they are the picture of the league’s typical cycle of mediocrity: Lose, draft a few transcendent players, marginally improve, panic-sign a ton of free agents to overcompensate, lose with those expensive free agents, and return to phase one again with a new head coach. The opposite could be said of Arizona from 2013-2017, despite some of their struggles to replenish the talent pool through the draft.

Arians can change that in Tampa. He’ll likely bring some loyal assistants with him (former Jets head coach Todd Bowles is available, as is his former offensive coordinator, Harold Goodwin, and quarterbacks coach Byron Leftwich). And he’ll continue what he started doing in Arizona better than any other head coach in the NFL: Empower and rapidly develop coaching talent in his pipeline. These are good coaches who can exist in the league and take over long after Arians has decided to retire again.

Leftwich took over a broken offense and salvaged part of the Cardinals’ latter season in 2018. Goodwin interviewed for head coaching jobs before the Arians regime broke down in 2017, when Arians announced his retirement. Both of them could be future head coaches in the NFL. Arians also promoted James Bettcher, who was very close to succeeding him in Arizona, and remains an interesting name in head coaching circles despite the Giants’ lack of success in 2018.

Joe has a sense many changes are coming to One Buc Palace. Arians doesn’t have time to screw around. For all we know he only has three years left in him (he signed a contract for four seasons).

Joe is sure the next few years will be anything but boring.

40 Responses to “Changing The Culture”

  1. Pugs&Bucs Says:

    Environmentalism is only a reason when it’s convenient. It’s one of those vague catch-all liberal excuses that you can throw into a conversation when you really have nothing else. Case in point: Florida is attracting businesses. Wages are rising. Unemployment is low. People are fleeing liberal states to come here…. but all you heard from Andrew Gillum supporters was “red tide.”

  2. gbobucsfan Says:

    Just read that Buckner won’t be retained. Kind of surprised.

  3. Not there yet Says:

    Players have no choice but to rise up to Arians level or sit the bench but I bet these players are more excited than fans are to work with him at least the players we have that are tired of losing

  4. Wausa Says:

    Culture is what needs to be changed.

    Dirk Koetter did not demand excellence and respect from the players or his assistant coaches.

    Bruce Arians clearly does demand excellence and respect.

    Also, my guess is he would not have taken the Bucs job if thought the team was devoid of talent.

    Very exciting hire by the Bucs.

  5. glen k mattingly Says:

    A toxic environment is not liberal or conservative. Having toxic people in the work place is dangerous and unproductive. Allowing someone to constantly undercut coaches or managers for that matter, sets a precedent for young players not mature enough to make decisions for themselves. Maybe Coach Arians will dump those toxic players and hire productive players willing to buy into the system, rather than work against it.
    Pugs&Bucs….What the heck does your case in point have to do with a effing football team? Red tide has been a environmental disaster for Florida and made a huge impact financially. Wages are rising, so is the cost of living rising faster than wages. What liberal states are people leaving?

  6. Clodhopper Says:

    Culture is about the morale. Quitting is caused from bad culture. Not caring is caused by bad culture. When your leader is smiling ear to ear with the other teams qb after getting smoked in the Capital Collapse it causes bad culture. When one Lavonte David penalty on week one against the Jets ruins the entire season, is bad culture. Losing your motivation after reading your positive press clippings after week one ruins the rest of your season is bad culture. Always blowing a lead is bad culture. Never having a comeback victory is bad culture. Bad culture causes quitting and a loss of mettle.

  7. 813bucboi Says:

    lets see if he’s up to the challenge….


  8. Anonymous Says:

    The only thing I disagree with the whole clean sweep of the staff was Brenton Buckner.

  9. Larry Says:

    Culture(mindset) IS important. It’s called, “Thinking like a winner”! It’s the old, “Winners find a way, losers find an excuse”. Look at the Patriots. They never go into a game thinking they are going to lose. they just find a way to win. The Bucs need that. tony Dungy built that in the Bucs. that left when he left. Arians will bring that back. “Refuse to lose”. It will take a a little time. It may not happen in 2019, but it will happen. Playoffs by 2020!!!

  10. TB22 Says:

    This will turn out to be an excellent hire for Tampa…even if it is for only 2-3 years.

    Arians can coach. He has a proven tack record.
    His old team just hired a guy that failed upwards. Good luck with that hire Arizona!

    The guys in the Bucs locker room will know that they had either lead,follow,or get the f out of the way.

    Guys like Grimes and Jackson won’t pull any similar BS with this Arians.

    Arians is boss and the players know that.
    I don’t think the same can be said for Koetter.

    The Bucs made out like bandits with this hire!

  11. tmaxcon Says:

    Only way to change the losing culture is to eradicate the leader and his stoogies cancer93, lvd and the worst rt in nfl Dotson must go. They simply don’t know how to win and accept losing entirely too easy. All easily ipgraded.

  12. TB22 Says:

    Arians is an excellent hire for Tampa ,even if it ends up being only for 2-3 years.

    He has an excellent track record. Meanwhile, his old team just hired a guy who failed upwards. Good luck with that hire Arizona!

    Guys like Grimes and Jackson won’t be pulling that BS anymore with Arians.
    It will be either lead,follow,or get the f out of the way. never had a sense that Koetter had control of the locker room.

    The Bucs made out like Bandits with Arians!

  13. james west Says:

    well as the old adage goes what have we won with the old regime, survey says, nothing, i say a clean sweep is needed, bring in the new staff, get rid of all the malcontents and saboteurs, any lollygagging lazy feet, unengaged loafing money snatchers too, i like the direction this ship is sailing now

  14. KnoxvilleBuc Says:

    Like the Bruce hire. Can’t stand the hire of Jet coaches!

  15. stpetebucsfan Says:

    @glenn k

    Agree with your post 100%. The vast majority of us try to avoid bringing politics to JBF. Sometimes we fail.

    I no longer mind because generally speaking many of these people are simply revealing their ignorance and not making a single point as your last post clearly illustrated. Your post was spot on!!!!

    A small warning guys. MOST folks here don’t want politics on this Buc’s blog. In addition most of the guys who violate that custom end up looking really really uneducated and ignorant.

  16. 813bucboi Says:


    if bruce only ends up coaching for 2-3 years and we dont come close to a SB then its a failed hire….we’ll be doing this all over again….


  17. KnoxvilleBuc Says:

    Like the Bruce hire. Can’t say the same for the defense coaching hires

  18. Kobe Faker Says:

    “Did Kobe just hear someone say Culture Club?

    Time for Kobe to go full Boy George…

    Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma chameleon
    You come and go, you come and go
    Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma chameleon
    You come and go, you come and go”

    Kobe Faker

  19. Pete I Says:

    Joe do you know the quote from Hanns Johst (8 July 1890 – 23 November 1978) who was a German poet and playwright, “When I hear the word culture, I reach for my gun”?

  20. Dapostman Says:

    Bruce Arians was not my first choice but I will support the hire until the coaches give me reason not to.

    Good Luck Coach Arians!

    Playoffs 2019.
    Super Bowl 2020.

    Want to see the Bucs in the Ray Jay 2021 Super Bowl!!

  21. Joe Says:

    “When I hear the word culture, I reach for my gun”?


  22. Bucs fan #7423 Says:

    Culture is the way how we do everything, our attitude when things go wrong and when things go right, our expectations and effort for winning, accountability by punishments for mistakes and rewards for success

    Right now our culture is soft and feminine, big fat softie Gerald McCoy is smiling and laughing while playing on being a losing team, Brent the paycheck collector Grimes doesn’t want to cover the best receivers all game, Jamies can’t keep his D in his pants and keeps turning the ball over, and djax is emotional because Jamies plays like an idiot

    I blame all this on coaching because the coaches are supposed set the culture, standards, and expectations for the Bucs, hold them accountable and keep them in line

    Arians will come in and change the culture

  23. cspann Says:

    for those that are worried about the Jets coaches. I say dont worry, the Def just needs to be average for this team to turn into a winner. I think the offense will be fine it is the Def that needs to be whipped in to shape.

  24. Jean Lafitte Says:

    The exact same thing Schiano tried to do but was roasted for being seemingly overbearing for. Let’s see if Bucco likes to control the temp settings?

  25. Destinjohnny Says:

    Needs to take the draft culture

  26. Pick6 Says:

    Culture is important in any enterprise, including a football team. A clear culture makes it obvious whether you are in or out of the mindset needed to compete as one. Absent a clearly defined standard, players will gravitate towards the standard that suits them. Eat, and it is usually it the highest standard they can hold themselves to. This has been the poison infecting the defense for years. Certain guys hold themselves to a high standard but even they get discouraged when they see how rampant not giving a crap is among their teammates.

  27. Pick6 Says:

    *”towards the standard that suits them best”. Typo

  28. Buddy Says:

    FINALLY Joe!!! A column about the culture and dysfunction of the locker room under KLUEKESSKOETTER!!! The equipment managers and trainers are the peopebesudes the coaches who have the most interaction with the players. Koetter hired one of his best friends as equipment manager to snitch on the players in the locker room with his staff. Players simply don’t trust them. Until they hire a new equipment and training staff nothing will change. Get out the ping pong table, basketball hoop and other nonsense happening in that locker room and get a true professional in that role then see a “change in culture” happen.

  29. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    Outstanding writing on this piece, JOE.
    Props, cheers & Go Bucs

  30. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    glen k mattingly Says:
    “A toxic environment is not liberal or conservative. Having toxic people in the work place is dangerous and unproductive.”


    Very well said, Glen.
    Antonio Brown, anyone?

  31. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “The opposite could be said of Arizona from 2013-2017, despite some of their struggles to replenish the talent pool through the draft.”

    So…Arians is not good at the draft. So long as he is good with free agents, Jason Licht can help him in the draft department. They should make a great team.

    As to ‘changing the culture’, it has been improving for years now. It’s just not fully changed…yet.

    Back when Lovie and Raheem coached, the culture was about accepting losing (except the one year when Raheem had the benefit of a very easy schedule).

    When Schiano was coach, he was a super disciplinarian who forced the players to play hard…even if there were tons of distractions and such.

    But Koetter DID start turning the culture around. The players mostly played hard as a team on most Sundays, and this was a change from previous years. They had almost no quit in them, unlike with Morris, Schiano and Smith. For that, we owe Koetter our thanks.

    Arians needs to take them through the next step of that culture change…keep playing hard and REFUSE TO LOSE.


  32. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    And yes…I did just create a new slogan…the Bucs need to use Refuse to Lose instead of Siege the Day.

  33. ChanEpic Says:

    So what does one have to do to get a comment to show up on this site? I didn’t vote for the Trump-tard I don’t use terms like “triggered” and I mostly only talk about Bucs football, and yet I see a bunch of right wing doooshery on this comment section regularly. Its almost like the Joe(s) are censoring based on politics but they wouldn’t be that blatantly Trumpy would they? pfffttt!!!

  34. Jean Lafitte Says:

    Why do handsomely paid professional athletes need motivation? If they need a cheerleader to ignite their pro juices then we have some weak minded athletes on this team. They need reps, maybe Bucco will be able to use his time better with the new soft CBA training schedule to get them ready. I think shortening training practices have lead to more injuries. This is why it’s imperative to not only draft for talent but for smarter players too. No matter how gifted physically they may be a dummy takes too long to learn. Today you need brawn and brain. I think this is where ROJO fell short.

  35. Jean Lafitte Says:


    Maybe because of snarky idiotic political statements like that. you think?

  36. unbelievable Says:

    How dare they build an art museum!

    God forbid Florida had some culture…


    I like Arians and really hope he can finally create a new culture in One Buc, but I’ll be honest I’m also a little skeptical that he’s basically putting back together his entire staff from Arizona. I like coaches that adapt, change, and grow with the times.

    Maybe I’m just worrying for no reason, or maybe it’s just years of losing that has beaten me down. But I’m at the point where I don’t want to hear any rah rah stuff anymore, just show me. (And obviously it’s many months before that can happen).

  37. unbelievable Says:

    @ChanEpic – it’s been that way for a long time around here, unfortunately. That right wing BS is always tolerated…

  38. ChanEpic Says:

    @Jean Lafitte – Don’t start it, there won’t be any. But thanks for responding to me without any right wing dooshery.

  39. TOM Says:

    I don’t care what coaches he brings in as long as we win.

  40. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Believe it or not, Joe, the Dali Museum is part of the Tampa Bay tourism attractions package. Nobody visits Tampa Bay for the Rays – Fans come for spring training games. The Rays, unfortunately, don’t have the history and traditions of other teams. They could have possibly built something with the great teams of 10 years ago, but that opportunity has been lost.
    Same with Marlins – Rays will probably be gone within 5 years and , really, most Bay area residents won’t care. Rays fans will care and sports media will care, but Florida’s baseball history is pretty much Spring Training.