“It’s Almost Impossible To Change A Culture”

May 9th, 2019

Tall task.

It’s pretty safe to suggest the Bucs have a losing culture.

Need Joe point out all the evidence in the post-Chucky era?

And just when it appeared the Bucs were crawling away from a losing culture, a couple of jackasses from Washington came in and totally blew up the place. It’s hard to connect the dots to where and how this culture will be cleansed very soon.

Even Mike Smith, the shamed former Bucs defensive coordinator spoke about this after he saved himself the embarrassment of not landing another NFL job and retired.

“Culture is very, very important and it’s such a fine line, guys, to what’s the right culture … and what’s going to lead to failure,” Smith said. “Obviously, the culture has not been what it needs to be to have a sustained winning program in Tampa Bay.”

That’s something former Bucs coach Dirk Koetter had touched upon from time to time.

“There’s something in our culture — and it’s my job to fix it, along with the coaches — of letting games like this get away,” Koetter said after a debacle of a loss to the lowly Rams in Koetter’s first season, a game that would cost the Bucs a wild card berth. “I wish I could grab it. I’ve been on teams that have had it, and you don’t want to let go of it. But when you don’t have it, it’s hard to figure out what it is.”

Well, Koetter did grab it. He turned around the team with an impressive five-game winning streak late in the 2016 season including two solid road wins at Kansas City and San Diego.

But then, the culture collapsed.

Joe is convinced introducing a pair of jerks into the locker room from Washington destroyed whatever Koetter had worked hard to steer the team away from. Koetter, in 2017 after a four-game skid, spoke about the Bucs’ losing culture again on his radio show.

“And I thought, I thought that we kicked it last year, you know,” Koetter began. “I thought we were over that. We had an excellent offseason. We’ve got really good leadership from our players. So here we are. Here we are on this losing streak. And, you know, I don’t want to believe it’s culture; I really don’t. And I’m around these guys every day. But at the same time we have lost four in a row; you can’t hide from that. I want to believe that’s not what the reason is because we’ve worked very hard to overcome that. But until you overcome it consistently, and I’m a part of that, so I’m not trying to point a finger at anybody else. I’m a part of that, all the coaches are and the players are as well.

“I hope that’s not what it is, but I don’t have a steadfast answer as to what it is right now other than the one thing that definitely shows up on tape is we’re just not playing consistent enough across the board.”

Why is Joe bringing this up? Well, Joe was reading an article typed by Jared Diamond from no less an authority than the Wall Street Journal. The story is about culture in a sports workplace.

Diamond highlighted the guy behind the success of the Houston Astros, Jeff Luhnow, a former corporate executive turned baseball man.

Luhnow turned around a moribund franchise into the class of the American League. So successful are the Astros under Luhnow that other teams have been poaching both executives who work under him, as well as coaches, hoping some Astros magic rubs off on their new teams.

A quote from Luhnow that hit Joe in the head like a trickshot artist in golf.

Ultimately, though, the Astros know they can’t hide everything, especially as teams snatch up their most valuable assets. They only hope they have created a foundation that can withstand the losses.

“There’s a difference between knowing how a successful organization operates and getting a different organization to operate that way,” Luhnow said. “And it’s almost impossible to change a culture.”

So that was the uphill climb Koetter faced when he took over the Bucs. Something Luhnow says is near impossible to master. Koetter seemed to be getting there but not quite over the hump, sort of like the little engine that could.

And here comes Bucco Bruce Arians. Does he have the smarts, the moxie and the swag big enough to tame this monster of a losing culture that has infected One Buc Palace so badly?

55 Responses to ““It’s Almost Impossible To Change A Culture””

  1. The Buc Realist Says:

    What a mess!!!!!!! What a disaster this is!!!!!!!!!! I knew this year would be a train wreck!!!!!!! But still amazed that it turned into the circus that it is just 4 short months after hiring retired coach stale biscuit!!!!!!!!!!!!! Really makes wonder just how much the last coaching staff was the dam that held back the circus and buffoonery from licht weight and all his poor choices and incompetent loser lovie leftovers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The answers to fix this mess will not be pretty!!!!!!! And it needs to start now!!!!!!!!! The only good that can come from this disaster, is that it will be undeniable of the rebuild that needs to happen!!!!!!!!!!!! The answer is full rebuild!!!!!!! With no less of two full losing seasons with the only goal is acquiring draft picks!!!!! No free-agent signings!!!!!! let anyone over pay for the poor talent leaving for any comp pick!!!!!!! trade any over 26 years old for any draft picks!!!!!!! Have a GM and coaches for the full 4 year plan rebuild!!!!!!!!!! This is the only way out of the hole of mismanagement that has been longer than a decade at One Buc!!!!!! Its time to pay the piper and the owner need to see the truth and tell the fans the plan of a full multi year rebuild!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. OldManBA Says:

    this team is a joke and the laughing stock on the NFL, The only thing more funny is the losers who post nonstop on this sight, clearly they have no job or career or friends or family and strictly reply on this site as their life and only source of entertainment

  3. Pete I Says:

    Joe says “Does he have the smarts, the moxie and the swag big enough to tame this monster of a losing culture that has infected One Buc Palace so badly?”

    Perhaps but does he have the players and the time. Rome wasn’t built in a day and Carthage never rose from the ashes again. Both great players and time are needed and both may be in short supply around these parts.

  4. Pryda...Sec147 Says:

    Um I think it’s a new year forget the past we control our destiny this season.

  5. Jeffbuc Says:

    When you have a coach that lets you get away with doing whatever you want. And then rewards your bad toxic behavior by making you a captain. That’s where the problem is. And then think that the player by being named captain is suddenly going to be a team player. He couldn’t deal with anyone with a diva personality. Not many coaches can as you see the trades of desean,Odell,and Brown this offseason. But are new coach I think is just what the doctor ordered. He is going to cal players out and hold them accountable in front of the whole team. No one wants to be the guy getting called out every day. Or they will start being called out. It’s like my high school basketball days. My varsity coach was big into conditioning. We were undermanned so he knew we would have to be the most in shape team to win. Every practice if everyone didn’t finish the 17 in a minute or a suicide in a certain amount we would all have to run again. The same players kept not finishing in time. And we eventually started getting ticked off at those players. But they quickly got sick of getting called out. And worked even harder and started finishing there sprints. So they wouldn’t get called out anymore. That’s the coach Arians will be. Where as koetter would have said oh well everyone didn’t finish in time practice is still over. And it would have started with 2 guys not finishing there sprints and by mid season it would have been 5-6 not finishing. Why would we all bust are buts when a couple don’t have to. And then guess what we would have lost some more games down the stretch for not being in shape. So accountability and coaching is huge in sports.

  6. Nick2 Says:

    Ask Tony Dungy how impossible it is and if he was alive John McKay might have a word or two on it. They both did it here and I think Bucco Bruce will be the third. The key is omce you taste success not getting too confident in your ways as ownership and alter what got you there. Rich McKay and Gruden didnt see eye to eye but how did we let them both go????????? Ownership decisions and there you go. Ive never said the Glazers were cheap because money has not been the key factor but bad and knee jerk personnel decisions have created the losing culture here. Also trying to find the next great head coach on the cheap has been another blunder. As far as coaches you get what you pay for and finally the Glazers have gone for a proven leader of men thats why Arians will succeed.

  7. SCBucsFan Says:

    Going to 8-8 will change the culture. Staying at 4&5 doesn’t move the needle.

  8. Alanbucsfan Says:

    So after reading Koetter’s mealy- mouth whining and clueless rambling- it’s obvious he did nothing to fix whatever the problem was.
    If certain players were a problem, then they should have been traded immediately or cut- Jimmy Johnson comes to mind on how he handled locker room cancers.

  9. DooshLaRue Says:

    Although the jerks from Washington were the cherry on top of this turd sundae….. you forgot to mention the soft ice cream base that’s been the main support of this losing structure for nearly a decade.

    Ol’ Softie93

    ….:….. don’t make me laugh Gummie.

  10. Ryan Cannon Says:

    Bruce is bringing a huge staff of personnel. Hopefully this pay’s dividends.

  11. Scott813 Says:

    This article is a little misleading the astros were bad for so long they tanked year after year adding high draft picks to the team kinda like the golden state warriors or the 76ers or the browns for that matter.

  12. Bruce Blahak Says:

    Cut the soft ice cream man would be a start…the common denominator with losing….

  13. Todd Says:


    You’ve created a site that compares to a “losing culture.”

    You don’t even TRY to turn it into a winning one.

    Most contributors have already written off this coming season. It’s disgusting. A bunch of losers bitching about our losing culture.

    Taste the irony.

    And WHY are you so afraid of my posts? Why do you permanently have me in “requires moderation” mode? Are you afraid I might swim upstream against the flow of losing mentalities?

    Why does enthusiasm, encouragement and a positive mindset scare you so much?

    10-6 & Playoffs

  14. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Getting rid of the entire lovie mistake which would mean removing jason licht from the building and getting a real GM would do wonders for the culture and future

  15. Bucnjim Says:

    Culture change begins with being as strong mentally as you are physically. The Bucs have picked players both through the draft and in free agency that have proven to be weak and fragile mentally. I like to call them finesse players just to be nice. They cruise right along when things are going great but fold like a tent when they are not. Hence the blowout losses over the last decade! Mentally strong players might lose the games but they don’t go crawl in a corner and let their opponent beat them by 40! This has been my biggest criticism of this organization.

  16. Guinness8 Says:

    Sounds like your the bitter Old Man. The get off my lawn guy.
    ummm, you just posted here too. U are calling yourself a loser.

  17. gotbbucs Says:

    Here’s the thing, you’ve got one veteran defensive “team leader” making $13 million a year yelling at his phone’s camera about people questioning his love for the game and posting it on social media, you’ve got another veteran defensive “team leader” making $13 million a year running around at 2:30 in the morning and wrecking his Ferrari and breaking his neck and likely costing himself the season and possibly his career.

    I wonder why this team has a losing culture? You’ve got a big happy loser that loves to run his offseason mouth in overdrive and you’ve got an overgrown kid that cant get out of his own way as he’s blowing up his hand and wrecking his sports car. Neither of which wanted to show up for voluntary workouts with the team.

    Cut bait and move on. NY let JPP go because they didnt think he could play in a 3-4 and McCoy has openly said he has no desire to play in a 3-4. Goodbye.

  18. Todd Says:


    But @OldManBA has such great grammar!

  19. DBS Says:

    OldManBA. So you must have no life. Here you are posting. And what was your name before?

  20. Nick2 Says:

    So you just called yourself a loser OldmanBA??????? HAHAHAHA

  21. chopshopp Says:

    Culture can change. Look at the Browns. It takes smart personnel, staff, coaches, and a GM with some football IQ. The Glazers just write the checks, they don’t make any decisions on a day-to-day basis unless it’s a coaching or GM change. Yea, they have made some bad choices with GM/coaches. But, think their bigger mistake was with GM. Greg Schiano tried to change our culture and you’re always going to have some bad apples who don’t agree with the culture change. We didn’t give Schiano a chance. Maybe he came on too strong right away for the players, but he had an unenviable job of fixing the mess given to him. You just gotta move on from players if you’re a coach/GM with the backing of ownership ala Dave Gettleman trading OBJ away. It takes balls to have culture change. Koetter didn’t have that. And Jason Licht is a below average GM.

  22. BucitList Says:

    I think they need to take control of their team’s fate now (even through that should have happened long ago) and make the necessary cuts (GM and JPP), take the best of what’s left on the free agent market (already missed out on Ziiggy by waiting), plug the hole in RB, DT (however) and lick our wounds until next season when we can get a new GM. We have the worst salary cap AND one of the worst teams. How does that happen? What are we trying to do by grasping onto GM when that ship has sailed and no one wants to trade. Do the best with the team we know we will have and work on the culture (which doesn’t[t cost money) so we can get this train back on track.

  23. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I find it interesting that we look for high character in the draft and hit on most…(except ASJ)……but end up bringing in terrible FAs like Baker & Djax…..

  24. Buccernutter Says:


    Na you’re right. Look how defensive everyone got. Lmao. You clearly pointed out the people that spend all their time posting. Not just once in a while and members of the dumbest fan base in sports had to defend themselves.

    Reminds me of when I comment how dumb this fan base is and people say well you’re a bucs fan too, so you’re calling yourself dumb?

    These people don’t get it and ironically are a contributing factor to this horrible culture.

    Season’s not over guys. Stfu. Let Bruce work.

  25. Totally Exonerated Says:

    You cant just say the culture is changed and let go. Belicheat works on culture and mindset every single day, even with the culture the Pats have. Koetter did great with the culture then got complacent right away. He didnt hold on to it like he said he needed to.

    To change the culture and mindset of 53 alphas, you have to be smart, stubborn, consistent and strong for a long time.

  26. Buccernutter Says:

    Culture can change. The Carolina hurricanes did it in 5 months.

    Let’s go Canes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. Sport Says:

    Joe, ‘that hit Joe in the head like a trickshot artist in golf’. Lmao! Good one.

    And damn good article. Facts, quotes, homework = Journalism

  28. Jonathan Limpchimpi Says:

    Dusthty Rhothdes Says:
    May 9th, 2019 at 9:37 am
    Getting rid of the entire lovie mistake which would mean removing jason licht from the building and getting a real GM would do wonders for the culture and future

    Very good point, D.R.
    Rather stunning in real word terms that Jason Licht is still around. But these are the Bucs. Delivering on hiring his buddy B.A. must have been what saved him. You have to wonder if B.A. is having second and third thoughts about taking this gig. He was right to have preferred the Browns job with a proven GM.

  29. SenileSenior Says:

    @Joes, it’s funny you brought up the subject of culture change.

    Malcolm Glazer, Tony Dungy and Rich McKay created the culture change that brought the Super Bowl trophy to Tampa.

    The Glazer family, Bruce Arians and Jason Licht apparently are working to restore that kind of environment at One Buc Place.

    Our latest draft when scrutinized shows that speed plus leadership plus character were the emphasis. These factors guided the decisions made.

    This combination of tangibles and intangibles could represent the hallmarks for our next run at a championship .
    Culture Change, Team=>Fans
    Go Bucs!!!!! Win Now!

  30. 813bucboi Says:

    BA will change the culture…


    GO BUCS!!!!

  31. T REX Says:

    We were never going to fix this culture by bringing in Arians. He’s supposed to be a win now guy. How can he win now when we have a culture of losing. I’m sure the eternal optimists and the folks that don’t have a freaking clue thought by just hiring a name it instantly changed the team.


  32. D-Rome Says:

    Well, Koetter did grab it. He turned around the team with an impressive five-game winning streak late in the 2016 season including two solid road wins at Kansas City and San Diego.

    I don’t agree. It was a five game fluke. It was the same team that was rotten in the first part of the year being led by an inept coach with questionable decision making.

  33. Cobraboy Says:

    Winning is required for the culture to change.

    Culture change does not necessarily create winning.

    With the advent of BA & Co. arriving, I have not felt this confident of a culture change since the Dungy team started winning, beginning with the ’97 home opener against the 49ers.

    Culture in *any* organization doesn’t just happen. It’s not voodoo or a curse, and it’s not majik rainbow unicorns pooping Gummi Bears.

    Culture is *created*. By management and people.

    I think the Bucs culture started to tank with the abysmal decision to fire McKay, and the nail in the culture of failure coffin with the firing of Gruden and Allen, and hiring on Coach Youngry. And it’s never recovered.

  34. joshbucsfan Says:

    The Buc Realist, holy exclamation points, stop taking so many uppers, and your grammar confuses me, “I knew this year would be a train wreck” lol we haven’t even had mini camp yet and your acting like we already went 4-12..i think you are a bit too high this morning come back down to reality with us

  35. Destinjohnny Says:

    It’s as simple as we just need to draft better

  36. 813bucboi Says:

    The Buc Realist Says:
    June 21st, 2018 at 6:48 pm
    Huge pass to the coaching staff issued by the “real” Buc fans!!!!!!!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!!!!!!

    SAY NO MORE!!!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!

  37. Stonedbuc Says:

    OldmanBa sounds like GMC made an account

  38. Jmarkbuc Says:

    T Dungy turned around the culture of the worst franchise in sports..He and McKay did that in basically one season…

    Granted Wyche drafted and brought in some great players, but the GM and the coach built on that and turned around the idea that we couldn’t win…

    Takes the right coach, and it damn sure takes the right GM.

  39. Mike Johnson Says:

    Like the article here Joe. LOSING CULTURE. Great topic. Arians and Boeles might have what it takes to start turning this thing around. I’m still convinced though, it was our Defense all along or..the neglect of it for so many years. But I always look to the patriots. No matter what, they seem to Win..yr after yr. This JPP injury may be a downer. But I’m convinced there is another Nassir out there for us. Put your heads together and find him Jason Licht! We are tired of being celler dwellers.

  40. Jmarkbuc Says:


    “and the nail in the culture of failure coffin with the firing of Gruden and Allen,”

    I agree with you on McKay.. But weren’t Gruden and Allen the carpenters that built the failure coffin?

  41. Dan Says:

    Roster is worse. Unproven OC who was one of the worst qb in Bucs history and a below ever age draft. And let’s not forget America’s turnover machine at qb. 3-13 anyone ???

  42. SenileSenior Says:

    Buccernutter Says:
    May 9th, 2019 at 10:20 am

    Cobraboy Says:
    May 9th, 2019 at 11:25 am

    Good points. Pros, cons or other alternative viewpoints CAN be expressed without rancor.
    Culture Change, Team=>Fans
    Go Bucs!!!!! Win Now!

  43. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    What I liked about Koetter is that he wasn’t much of a talker…he preferred just doing the work. Personally, I think he was the best coach since Chucky. It was the staff he was surrounded with and is unwillingness to fire the ones not working out that did him in.

    That and the few free agent quitters on the team.

  44. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Cobraboy Says:
    “I think the Bucs culture started to tank with the abysmal decision to fire McKay”

    McKay wasn’t fired. He chose to leave because he wasn’t getting along with Gruden…and because he had pushed back a lot of cap numbers and they were all coming do, putting us in cap hell…so he was faced with having to clean up his own mess. Wasn’t up to it.

    That’s the real reason the Glazers appeared cheap at the time…that and planning for the looming walkout.

  45. jmarkbuc Says:

    McKay’s power and authority had been undermined by Gruden, who has taken control of the organization behind the scenes with the tacit approval of the Glazers.

    McKay no longer wanted to work with Gruden, whose sniping of his general manager began last offseason. They repeatedly clashed at every turn since Gruden was hired 22 months ago. McKay nixed Gruden’s efforts to sign free agents Emmitt Smith, Kyle Turley and Darrell Russell

  46. jmarkbuc Says:

    And lastly…

    McKay was the architect of Tampa Bay’s rise into an NFL power since taking over in 1995, after serving for three years as the team’s vice president of football administration. His nine-year tenure was highlighted by five playoff appearances, including the last four years, and the team’s first Super Bowl championship last year

    Would sure take that over Gump’s philosophy

  47. D1 Says:


    Great post. I’d add 2 points . The mess McKay left is glossed over by some and unknown by others. Theres still a segment of Gruden haters who refuse to credit him for the superbowl win preferring to give Dungy credit then they place all the blame on him after the first season.

    I ask those same people what would theyou have thought if Parcells was hired instead of chunky. Bonzai, the answer is always the same , they love it and believe the team wouldn’t have declined in the years following the bowl win. Enthusiastic is under selling it, at some point when there’s an opening amongst their chatter , break in with the facts that the team had Parcells but once Parcells finally learned of McKay and his monumental incompetence running the business side He said Hell no its a one year window to win it all then it’s a disaster.

    So the reason we got chunky and not Parcells is mckay. McKay steered the ship across the ocean and towards that massive iceberg then at the last second jumps ship for a life boat
    As he watches the bucs ship crash into the iceberg I bet he’s thinking….They’ll blame it all on chunky and allen….those idiots..hahaha..

    Second thing, Gruden never drafted a franchise qb. Never heard anyone say that about McKay. Strictly gruden.

    But , if he was a great gm. ..explain why a business genuis like the falcons owner removed McKay as gm within a year.

  48. jmarkbuc Says:


    Clearly the Bucs have been better run and at least as successful, since McKay “jumped ship for a life boat”

  49. Isaac haggins Says:

    Sign ziggy, sign Suh, McCoys trade value goes up , cut Paul May not be able gamble with him now, put a fourth rd pick out there for another vet at guard , tackle or d end !!! This sht ain’t hard you just have to try , you have to try , most GM s really sit on their arss waiting for the early March FA and draft picks to lift there team !!! No No and No now is when the winners get value and lots of it , whether it’s one player , two players or resignings !!! This isn’t follow the f ing leader it’s build a winning team and it just isn’t all that hard !!

  50. Defense Rules Says:

    The culture is almost impossible to change? What a bunch of horsepuckey. You change the losing culture by WINNING. And you WIN by doing what winners do … selecting better players, developing them better, coaching them better, etc, etc. For crying out loud, it’s not rocket science. Play harder, play smarter. Unleash the beasts. Show some danged ‘want to’ and stop crying about some mythical ‘losing culture’.

    Jameis won the Heisman & a National Championship. Was that a ‘losing culture’? OJ won a National Championship. So I guess he comes from another ‘losing culture’? Most of these players come from winning programs. If there’s any ‘losing culture’ around here, it’s been in the ownership & management & coaching of this team. Bruce Arians & his crew WILL create a winning culture here in Tampa Bay. Maybe not this year, but only because ownership & management dug such a deep hole that digging our way out in 1 year is a huge task. But that day IS coming. Just need some of the supposed Bucs’ fans to stop their danged whining. OK, rant’s over.

  51. Isaac haggins Says:

    Btw I suggested David , Alexander and brate all be traded last year !! Not Necessarily all but offer all and work it , work it but Licht has no vision and Btw D Smith is a nice Guy but he is a loosing culture guy also , another babied entitled totally tilted athlete outlook !!! Donavan Shut your pie hole , put on your hard hat and go haul block in July or roof for a month or work steel on a high rise , shut your entitled pie hole you don’t have a clue what a real 40-50 work week is !!! Please understand what people hear when you speak , it’s not what you think they hear !!!!!!!!! You sound like a spoiled child , you don’t have a clue big boy but please go out and kick some ass or even get KK ( rays ) trainer and you will make the pro bowl !!! Oh I really think that may be to much for you !!!

    BTW there are thousands of everyday workers in Tampa Bay that run circles around and would laugh at you workouts !!! I seriously doubt you could do a tuff muddier or hang at a lot of CrossFit gyms and those people are not Paid to be in shape !!! You couldn’t make it through many many wrestling or mma workouts , ask Marcus Jones , big D just play your ass off on Sun and quit saying people don’t understand , you have never won and people spend 500.00 to 3000.00 to watchh you lose !! You Clearly Don’t Understand !!! Be humble , be real , be appreciative, don’t tell people your better than them especially when you make 8 figures !!! Your type of leadership kills teams and fires coaches !!! Grab your lunch pale and go work a couple 50 hr weeks and until then please just do your job to the Best of your ability !!!

  52. Isaac haggins Says:

    Btw 500.00 to 3 k is every home weekend not a yr and that peeps making 30 k annually and up !!!

  53. pick6 Says:

    a winning season is not evidence of a winning culture. especially a season of being a game or two over .500 sandwiched between 2 seasons of being embarrasingly overmatched.

    more likely it is a bad team that’s gotten a soft schedule (Rah’s 10-6) or that went on a brief hot\lucky streak (Dirk’s 9-7)

  54. Snook Says:

    #93 is a huge part of the embedded losing culture in Tampa. That’s what some of you dimwits don’t understand. Losing is accepted. Losing is ok. Losing is tolerated.

    Once he’s gone, you’ll see real change.

  55. DalvinCookRules Says:

    Culture starts with the Head Coach. If there are “bad apples”, it is up to the HC to identify them, reform them, and/or quarantine/cut them from the team.

    Players come and go in the NFL, but the successful teams are that way because of the HC. Period. You think Belichick wouldn’t be winning Superbowls if Brady wasn’t the QB? Maybe not as many, but he’d still have his team consistently in the playoffs, at the minimum.

    That said, the culture of the organization and management CAN greatly get in the way of what the HC tries to do. THAT is the fundamental problem with the Bucs. The GM and Ownership are bush league, and that will always weigh down on any coaching staff.