It’s Players; Bucs Need Players

February 5th, 2019

Can he do it?

It’s nice to think Bucco Bruce Arians could get the Bucs into a playoff game come January 2020. Might not be likely, but it is possible.

But one savvy NFL reporter is of the mind the Bucs need a whole lot of players before they can even think about making a deep run into the postseason.

And that man is jet-flyin’, kiss–stealin‘, data-analyzin’, Bucs-film-studyin’, limousine-ridin’, why-man Thomas Bassinger of the Tampa Bay Times.

After watching the Super Bowl Sunday night, Bassinger is as convinced as ever it is not coaches that make a team successful, it’s players.

It turns out that Belichick vs. McVay was one of the most overhyped storylines of this Super Bowl. In this sequence, the most pivotal of the game, neither was a factor. Nothing revolutionary happened. No jet sweeps, reverses or flea flickers. Just the same play three times in a row.

Arians might very well be a good coach. Maybe he squeezes a win or two more out of this team that Dirk Koetter couldn’t. What Super Bowl LIII reinforced, however, is that players rule the NFL. Preparation matters from Monday to Saturday, but come Sunday, it’s all about execution. The good players not only do their jobs but they do them consistently.

That may be true but that’s also ignoring evidence in front of one’s nose.

The Rams were pretty much the same lousy team they were under Jeff Fisher as far as talent. All of a sudden the Rams being in a bright offensive mind like Sean McVay and — poof! — instant success. Remember, before McVay, it was the Rams who had the longest postseason drought in the NFC. That dubious honor is now held by the Bucs.

Joe gets what Bassinger is typing here. A team of good players can get you to the playoffs. A good coach could get a team with mediocre talent in a playoff chase. Coaching alone may not.

But add good coaching to a good roster, and that coach can take a team to the next level.

56 Responses to “It’s Players; Bucs Need Players”

  1. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    It is 80% players 220% coacjes

  2. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:

    Thomas Bassinger obviously won’t be hired as an NFL executive any time soon.

    “Just the same play three times in a row.”

    Yeah… that’s because the actual wizzard of football coachery had a plan to do that all night, and he won because he had more talent and want-to on his offensive line than the opposing defensive Line. He won even though the other team was arguably more talented at skill positions than his, by keeping the ball out of their hands. Bill B is a smarter coach than Thomas B is an analyst.

    Belicheat wasn’t trying to make the game fun for Bassinger to watch.

  3. Bucnjim Says:

    I think most teams in the NFL would love to have our offensive weapons at WR and TE. Even our Current RB corp is better than some teams. Definitely good enough to be 8-8 even without defense. Continue building the Trenches and success may happen sooner than you think.

  4. Destinjohnny Says:

    It’s 95% players
    Funny how teams that draft well always win
    Same in college saban and Dabo

  5. ben Says:

    different coaches …same losing story …but keep hope alive because just maybe:>))

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I actually think it’s all three……Players, Coaches & Refs

  7. The Buc Realist Says:

    So joe is saying that massive turnover needs to happen to the roster!!!!! Finally maybe the sheep will start to get it as well!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2019 will reveal answers to the sheep that the “real” fans already know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    GO Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. doolnutts Says:

    McVay gets a lot of credit and rightfully so but the Rams have made great offseason moves in regards to the roster. At first glance, these moves don’t look all that impressive until you fast forward 2 years later to the super bowl. All of these players have developed into important pieces of the rams super bowl run. In my opinion Licht drafts decently but his real issues are FA. He seems to miss on every obvious FA out there and bring in lackluster folks at a premium. The list is long so I won’t bother we all know how these FA’s have looked in his tenure. Way more misses than hits. It could be all Licht or it could be constant coaching changes with different philosophies the jury is still out but at the end of the day we need to do better.

    Free Agents:
    Robert Woods WR
    Andrew Whitworth LT
    John Sullivan C

    Cooper Cupp WR
    Josh Johnson S
    Josh Reynolds WR

  9. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:

    And another thing–after watching that game last night, I like that left tackle that’ll probably be on the market soon. Big and lanky, yet always under control. He handled his position against good rushers, and never looked tired.

    But alas… there’s that dang salary cap that Lichtweight blew up last year.

  10. Frank Pillow Says:

    Hmmm, I’m not sure the issue is as simple as what Bassinger is making it out to be. For one, the Patriots have a well-documented history of drafting guys to fit their mold and/or otherwise signing mid-tier FAs and indoctrinating them into the Patriot way. I think it’s more about setting a standard, laying out an approach, being clear about expectations and holding everyone in the organization accountable for meeting the mark= winning the SB. If you can’t, won’t or don’t execute according to plan, then you don’t play, you’re on a bus out of town, and it’s next man up. No player is bigger than the objective. That’s all to say, Grumpy Bill has managed to wins a half-dozen SBs with less physical talent than his opponents.

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “But add good coaching to a good roster, and that coach can take a team to the next level.” GRRREAT BOTTOM LINE Joe.

    Personally think that it’s a 50-50 proposition: you need BOTH or you have nothing. Although EVERY game is important, coaching gets MORE IMPORTANT as the season rolls along (and by the playoffs, it’s WAY UP THERE). A good example of that was this year’s SB winner, the Patriots. They started off the year as meh I thought, but got progressively better & better. There’s a fantastic article by Bill Barnwell, ESPM Staff Writer, at that IMO perfectly demonstrates the difference coaching can make by the time a team gets to the playoffs. It’s a must-read IMO for anyone who loves great defense.

  12. D-Rome Says:

    I think Thomas Bassinger does great work but I think he is undervaluing the coach. That Rams team almost top to bottom was far more talented than the Patriots. Seriously, just play the “Who would you rather have” game for every position and I’d bet you there would be far more Rams players than Patriots players.

    I heard Jim Rome make this point about Kyle Van Noy yesterday that he was traded to the Patriots for a 6th round pick. You have to wonder what the Patriots saw in Van Noy that he Lions didn’t see. Kwon Alexander has better “stats” than Van Noy, but I saw a fantastic football player on Sunday and he’s been a key player for the Patriots for the past few years.

    The Bucs problem is first and foremost getting the wrong players. That falls at the feet of Backstabbin’ Jason Licht. There is more involved in building a team than acquiring “talent”. It has to be the right players. They don’t need to sign the best players. They have to sign the right players. Only then can a coach be successful.

  13. Robert Says:

    What I saw was only 2 players. Brady and Edelman all day long.

    A smart qb is what is needed.

    Just look at the D BRady had comin at him and the patience displayed. The game was booooring. It was who made the least mistakes and Brady making more with less.

    Butnooooooo we need more players

  14. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    The obvious:
    bad coaching + good players = losing season
    good coaching + bad players = losing season
    good coaching + good players = winning season

    Not so obvious:
    mediocre coaching + good players = losing season
    good coaching + mediocre players = winning season (The Bucs as of now)
    good coaching + good players = playoffs

  15. stpetebucsfan Says:

    The SB MVP was a 32 year old 7th round pick…one spot above an UDFA…and he weighs less than 200 LBS!!!

    Hump is a UFDA but he’s only 25 and he’s exactly the same size as Edelman. He’s never been the #1 target on a team with ME, DJAX, Godwin and two talented TE’s who both can catch the ball.

    Yet he has developed a great chemistry with #3 much as Edelman has with Brady. He’s tough…like Edelman…there is NO reason to not believe he contribute at the same level as Edelman. He is a security blanket for JW just like Edelman is for Brady.

    We simply MUST re-sign him!!!

    Speaking of favorite play in what was really a boring game was one of Edelman’s catches covered by Talib…Edelman simply turned and trucked bad guy Talib and put him on his butt. Geez turns out Edelman is tougher than a cabbie. LMAO

  16. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Yeah, Tom Bassinger. The Patriots would’ve won the Super Bowl this year with Lovie Smith as their coach. Would’ve killed them with Koetter. This is rediculous, especially considering the LA Rams have more talent (on paper) and 60 to 65% of people picked the Rams to win. Yes, talent is important. Coaching is important, too.

  17. Lordcornelius Says:

    The Pats were no where near as talented on either o line / d line / secondary / skill positions or LBs

    Not sure how this was his conclusive takeaway when the much less talented team won it all vs the paper champ.

  18. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Exactly, Lord. The Patriots offensive line, talent-wise, is about the same as the Bucs O-Line with great coaching.

  19. 813bucboi Says:

    i agree with joe….

    The Rams were pretty much the same lousy team they were under Jeff Fisher as far as talent. All of a sudden the Rams being in a bright offensive mind like Sean McVay and — poof! — instant success.

    that means coaching was the difference…..the same can be said about the bears…..

    bucs beat them 2 years in a row….they were 5-11 last year before nagy turned them around….

    on the flip side look at the 49ers….they had good coaching and talent under harbaugh and reached the playoffs 3 out of 4years….jim tomsula replaced him and they went 5-11 with pretty much the same talent….

    like @d-rome said…TB does great work but he’s undervaluing coaching in this regard….


  20. 813bucboi Says:



    IRA spoke on this yesterday…..even McVay said the reason why they lost was because they got out coached…..

    rams were more talent across the board….PATS had coaching and experience on their side…..RAMS had talent and youth…..


  21. Coburn Says:

    Pretty sure patriots didn’t win y superbowls by constantly being the most talented team in the league… I think more than amy thing a lot of players likely play better there than on other teams

  22. Coburn Says:


  23. ERIC Says:

    Coaching can make a BIG difference…….. To all the people that say that Belicheat is underrated or can’t have a huge impact is misguided.

    I recall Matt Cassell having a pretty damn good year when Brady was out for the season. I also recall Garopollo doing quite well too
    #coincidence. I think not.

    Imagine if Matt Cassell was our qb. We might have won 1-2 games if we were lucky.

    Tom Brady is definately an all-timer but Bill B is just as important

  24. DooshLaRue Says:

    From Jard Goff:

    All of that conspired to throw the Rams off their game, and McVay willingly assumed the blame, saying at his press conference, “I just never enabled us to get into a rhythm offensively. Credit to them … they did a great job. It was a great game plan, and no other way to say it but I got outcoached tonight.”

  25. Darin Says:

    No! Joe is telling you what this clown said. You are going to find a way to twist it to make your little prediction correct. I hope by now you would know new staffs bring about a 50% turnover. Same salary cap tho. So every teams talent will be equal if spending is. Matters what coaches do with talent. This clown just witnessed the best coaching performance of a sb and calls it on the players. Crazy.

    Baracks crack pipe gets it. Not the actual pipe in case youre not catching on “realfist”. Funny name too Barack.

  26. Lord Cornelius Says:

    @Joe min Michigan / 813

    You could visually see that the Pats had no chance if they had to take a deep drop and allow the play to develop. Their O-line wasn’t even playing great outside of the run game maybe. They negated their bad pass pro O-line with tons of quick passes and quick runs up the gut. The Pats ran the ball a sh1t load in that game. And they baited the Rams on multiple plays to later set them up for bigger gains.

    Their defense isn’t full of all stars. They were just constantly in position and seemed to know all of the Rams route trees / combinations.

    That isn’t normal by the way lol. Usually you do need more talent than the Pats have. But Brady/Bellicheck cancel that out and can win a SB with basically an average or worse NFL roster.

  27. Phil Says:

    The Bucs have some good players but they some holes and the coaching sucked.

  28. rob Says:

    The Rams had the better team at all levels except QB. The Patriots, with a weaker defense shut down the Rams the whole game and it wasn’t Belichick’s coaching? Total hogwash. Eventually Tom Brady made a scoring drive and won the game. The Patriots eventually wore the defense down a bit and figured out how to get Gronk in the game and score. Coaching was So pivotal to Patriots winning. Belichick won that battle by a lot.

  29. Guzzie Says:

    OJ, Godwin ME13, Marpet, minus last year, that’s the only draft picks Licht has that’ll definitely get a 2nd contract with us, Kwon is the only Day 3 find, DSMITH JW will get a 2nd contract with us or someone else, that’s it, of course last year is to early, but it’s not looking rough with MJ, Rojo and Cappa, th as ts 4 top 3 round picks in 5 years, plus what Licht FA has panned out and been above average, ZERO, most are 1 and done, Jansen might be the best and he has to be position league top paid, guess we’ll find out if coaching was the problem or Licht,

  30. Guzzie Says:

    Sorry autocorrect went haywire mid statement, point is Licht has been horrible in both drafting and signing FAs, absolutely horrible

  31. Guzzie Says:

    Brate is overpaid as a backup, Hump is replaceable easily, what slot player wouldn’t be open on a team with OJ Godwin and ME13

  32. Cobraboy Says:

    He watched a different Super Bowl game than I did.

    What I saw were two things: incredible defensive game plans, and disciplined players executing those game plans.

  33. TOM Says:

    Just another idiot form the media who talks alot but says nothing.

  34. Not there yet Says:

    Well said joes. This was not a 5-11 roster, we had 5-11 type coaches. If what this guy said is true why did the team with the better, more veteran roster lose? Who are the corners other than mccourty, who’s the slot guy? Brady probably can’t answer that question. Why couldn’t Bradley mcdougald produce here like he did in Seattle?

  35. 813bucboi Says:



    even mcvay said bill keep him and wade guessing…they couldnt figure out what was coming next…

    having better talent doesnt work against the PATS as long as bill is running the show….i really wasnt that surprised because KC had better talent and a great HC but still came up short….lol…you need some type of inside info along with hitting brady every other play to beat them….lol…


  36. D-Rome Says:

    The Rams were pretty much the same lousy team they were under Jeff Fisher as far as talent.

    I don’t recall seeing Ndamukong Suh, Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib, ect…. on that 2016 team.

  37. ndog Says:

    This just might he dumbest thing anyone has ever written. That game on Sunday was the BEST example of why coaches are so important. When basically no one can name 6-7 players on the NE defense yet they were wonderful tells you it is all about scheme and preparation by the coaching staff. So after this article I can now scratch Bassinger off the list of people who are good to read for some knowledge.

  38. BucsFIRE Says:

    Bassinger’s comments are really odd when saying that the coaching matchup didn’t end up being the main storyline.

    That may have been Belichick’s greatest coaching performance, yet. The D was dominant and confused the Rams. The offense was straight out of the 80’s when the rest of the league is trying to do video game football.

    Bassinger…. again…
    Comments are odd.

  39. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    D-Rome…..hahhaha..exactly this is a totally new team that mcvay has and the GM of the Rams, Les Snead is top 5 GM compared to Licht a bottom 5. Bucs needed an edge rusher and the jags were giving one away, snead gets fowler and talib and peters and drafts well. Bucs need a starting RB, the rams didnt but they pick up CJ Anderson, who contributres to super bowl run….jason licht is a bad gm who built a 5-11 roster

  40. Rod Munch Says:

    The Rams really weren’t a lousy team, talent wise, under Fisher, it’s why he was fired, because going 7-9 and 8-8 with what appeared, on paper, to be a pretty good team was unacceptable. The real question was at QB where Goff looked completely clueless and like a bust under Fisher – that’s where coaching made all the difference in the world. Well that and a really good offensive line and a Gurley at RB.

    However it will be interesting to see what happens to the Rams next season. Now that teams know from Belichick how to shutdown that offense, will the Rams be able to make changes or will Goff be that guy from Sunday going forward? It’s not like the Pats have a great, or even good, defense, the Rams just got outschemed and outcoached.

    Also, if you have that offensive line and Gurley at RB, run the F-ing ball you millennial idiot.

  41. 813bucboi Says:


    kupp was drafted 2017..woods arrived 2017….

    suh, talib, and peters arrived 2018….

    mcvay made the playoffs before suh, talib and peters arrived….

    one could argue he had less talent prior to those players arrival in 2018 and still made the playoffs….which goes back to good coaching + mediocre players=at least 10wins(11-5 in 2017)….


  42. Jmarkbuc Says:

    “Also, if you have that offensive line and Gurley at RB, run the F-ing ball you millennial idiot”

    Gurley hasn’t been right since the first play of the KC shootout.

  43. Defense Rules Says:

    @ndog … “When basically no one can name 6-7 players on the NE defense yet they were wonderful tells you it is all about scheme and preparation by the coaching staff.”

    I think a lot of folks ndog (me included) too often confuse where a player is drafted with how talented they are. Scheme & play design/play calling is all well & good, but it takes talented AND disciplined players to execute it to perfection like I saw Sunday night. I was in awe of how disciplined the LBs, CBs & Safeties were in coverage AND also how well they tackled. They played as a single UNIT … as a T-E-A-M … with everyone knowing their responsibilities & being disciplined enough to do what they were asked to do.

    It’s interesting (to me at least) that that SAME DEFENSE gave up 5,746 yards … #20 in the league this past year. Not a single defensive player had 100 combined tackles, and the whole team only had 30 sacks (most any 1 player had was 7.5 sacks). And yet they only gave up 325 total points (tad more than 20 PPG) … and 60 of those points came in 2 of the Pats 5 losses to Belicheck’s disciples (Patricia’s Lions won 26-10 and Vrabel’s Titans won 34-10). But TOGETHER they excelled as a UNIT. It helped even more this past year that the Pats consistently played some outstanding COMPLIMENTARY FOOTBALL. Hopefully ndog that’s where our Bucs are headed.

  44. Captain Dan Lawrence Says:

    I beg to differ! The story of the Super Bowl this year Was Coaching! What game was that guy watching anyway???

  45. WillieG Says:

    Belichick throwing things at McVay that he had never seen before was THE key to the game, according to McVay. I’m thinking he knows a bit more about it than Bassinger.

  46. Bucsfanman Says:

    Lots of good stuff to chew on here. Championship caliber teams are built by hiring the best leaders to coach the best talent. They draft not according to the number, but according to the player.
    What makes a Pats team different is that they adapt as the year wears on. They get better every time they play, they learn something new.

    Lastly, I’d like everybody to take a deep breath and say it with me: DEFENSE wins championships.
    With that, I drop the mic!

  47. Rod Munch Says:

    Jmarkbuc – Goff was awful and Anderson nearly fumbled the game away. You got to this point by running Gurley into the ground, so you go back to what got you there. It would be like the Bucs in the SB abandoning the Tampa 2 and taking Derrick Brooks out of the game because they wanted to trick the Raiders by playing a dime defense and running a zone blitz. No, you don’t overthink it, you run Gurley until his legs literally fall off. McVay was overthinking it, trying to be one step ahead, and Belichick knew exactly what he was doing because McVay, on the big stage, and known as a young genius would try to prove how smart he was by being unpredictable, which in turn made him completely predictable. Sometimes the best thing to do is to go out there and pound the ball down someone’s throat, in particular when you got a young QB who was clearly off his game and your built your team to be able to pound the ball.

  48. D-Rome Says:


    I was responding to the inaccurate assessment by Joe that the Rams are basically the same lousy team they were under Jeff Fisher as far as talent. It’s not true at all.

  49. 813bucboi Says:


    i think what joe means is that mcvay made the playoffs first year with basically the same fisher had the year prior….

    but we know joe has been inaccurate before…lol…its not the first time it wont be the last….lol…


  50. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Coaching or talent? Which came first the chicken or the egg.
    Which is more important the quality of the food or the chef preparing it? How about chicks? Beauty or brains?

    I’m greedy. I want it ALL!!!

  51. stpetebucsfan Says:

    It’s more than just talent…it’s building a team and knowing when to cut bait and move on.

    Belichek is a genius when it comes to finding other teams castoffs but not falling in love with them. He moves on quickly when it’s called for…see Talib and Blount…two examples Buc’s fans are very familiar.

    Because of the salary cap it’s now critical to know when to unload high paid veterans and replace them with a rookie or cheaper FA.

    That is a major challenge facing the Bucs this year. I’m like D.R. in that I hope Arian’s and his staff’s fingerprints are all over our talent moves this off season…from decisions on whether to keep DJAX and GMC and others to FA’s and draft picks. I gotta believe BA would not have come here if he didn’t know he had total control.

    BA’s ego perhaps is not as big as Lovie and Licht is his friend so he didn’t need to boast about his power….hard to believe he doesn’t have it behind the scenes though since Licht had no leverage after this past season and BA had a ton.

  52. Cobraboy Says:

    So McVay won with Fisher’s team?


    Where have I heard that before?

  53. unbelievable Says:

    Lol Bassinger.

    That’s one of the dumbest takes I’ve heard in a while. And I still watch BSPN several times a week.

  54. Tvan1011 Says:

    To the guy that said Humphries is replaceable, ha good luck with that. Dont quit your day job. Hump has miles more heart than anyone on this team. He is not replaceable.

  55. Rod Munch Says:

    Tvan1011 – Yeah, go fill up the stadium with nice guys with “heart” as watch as they 1-15 in front of 12,000 people. Anywho, yes, the teams’ #4 WR is replaceable. I hope they can keep him for a fair deal for both sides, but you people with your Hump blinders on, thinking because Edelman is white and Hump is white they’re the same guy, LOL! Hump can’t get open versus starting corners and safeties (well unless Ryan Smith is starting, then I think everyone on this message board can get open, even guys without legs), fumbles games away and can’t return kicks worth anything in the regular season, but yeah, he’s not replaceable. I don’t even dislike Hump, but you guys are ridiculous.

  56. jmarkbuc Says:


    “No, you don’t overthink it, you run Gurley until his legs literally fall off.”

    He wasn’t capable….was hurt on first play of KC game and was never the same….