The Locker Room Factor

May 23rd, 2019

“Spout off.”

Joe is so fried from all the “leaders” chatter.

This guy is a leader. That guy isn’t a leader. Is this guy a leader? Is that guy a leader?

Who the hell cares? Just get on the field and produce! Do your damn job!

The great Jack Ham, a four-time Super Bowl-winning linebacker for the Steelers who is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, has famously referred to leader talk as “rhetoric.” Joe fully agrees.

Take the Bucs. You can’t talk about great players on this team and haven’t been able to for some time. A few good ones, yes. None great. And you can’t talk about playoff runs or postseason wins. So to fill time, folks talk about “leaders.” It’s annoying.

Joe thinks sometimes this “leaders” term may be confused with a locker room sheriff. Was that lacking on the Bucs in recent years? Hell yes!

Kwon Alexander tried to be but his timing was awful. Alexander decided to throw his weight around with offsides-jumping, Lightning-trolling, belly-shirt-wearing, practice-hating, kicker-heckling, tree-grinding , non-contact-football-loving, chicken-wings-grilling, playing-time-squawking, TV-cooking-star, half-sack Swaggy Baker, but waited until Week 16 of the 2017 season. Should have happened in August.

Now former Bucs quarterback Chris Simms of NBC Sports was recently asked on his podcast, “Unbuttoned,” if the Bucs were better off with former stud defensive tackle Gerald McCoy or play-when-I-want-to, arm-stomping, nut-kicking Ndamukong Suh. Simms had an interesting answer.

Given that damn near every NFL analyst believes Suh takes off plays, no way any team would want to hoist that guy in front of young players and point to Suh as a standard to reach. However, Simms said, in the locker room, Suh may “spout off” and could call out those who need to be called out and not remain quiet with issues on the squad. He could point fingers.

That, friends, if true, might be what the Bucs need. Dudes were not held accountable by coaches last year, or among themselves. No wonder the team had a horrible record.

Perhaps that is what the Bucs lack, a guy who will call a spade a spade in the locker room?

You can watch a clip of Simms’ pod below.

42 Responses to “The Locker Room Factor”

  1. isrBuc Says:

    Agree. Also true for expecting rookies and FA to change ‘culture’ or players to call out each other and hold other players ‘accountable’.
    You got a head coach, you got a GM. if JL wants someone to be yelled at, why wont he do it himself? he is the boss after all.

  2. Magadude Says:

    Article says: “So to fill time, folks talk about “leaders.” It’s annoying.”

    Total BS statement! There is no such thing as a good team without leaders, and anyone who thinks talking about leadership is just time filler doesn’t get it. Teams also need good followers and that includes those who fulfill different roles, who have one of more attributes of a leader. Leaders set the example, demonstrate work ethic, character, motivation, build synergy by making the team as a whole better than the inviduals. They inspire. They teach and coach. They reprimand and but also nurture and console. And they do all in a way garners true respect. And those who are not leaders still bring the key elements to the team–a leader complements and integrates their contributions–they make the team whole.

    The Bucs problem is they have had guys who aren’t good leaders, who are incomplete, filling leadership roles. The two most glaring examples are GMC and Jameis Winston. Going through the motions, not walking the talk, doesn’t work. It often directly leads to team failure. THAT has been one of MANY problems with the Bucs.

  3. AKickInTheBucNuts Says:


    Have you not learned from Bo Jackson, Parcells, and Chip Kelley?

    Why is no one concerned this is taking too long after the “leak” of “close to signing”?

    It is not a done deal yet.

    We all should be getting worried about this.

  4. Todd Says:

    I hate this time of year. Can’t wait until there’s real in-season football to discuss.

    Otherwise, we get articles like this. Not judging the quality of the article…it’s thought-provoking for sure. It’s just not “the beef” (Wendy’s reference).

    Bring on pre-season, please.

  5. teacherman777 Says:

    Vea plus Suh equals one of the most dominant interior duos in the league.


    They are going to clog up the middle beautifully.

    Too bad JPP had to go and ruin everything.

    Suh, Vea, and JPP as our 3 down lineman?

    Damn. That wouldve been KILLER!!

  6. Sport Says:

    All you GMC Haters, if I follow your logic, you must have the same disdain for David. He has been the longest tenured ‘Leader’ on this historically bad defense.
    He did admit one play changed the course of an entire season. How’s that for leadership?

    BA is the leader and will anoint the new player leadership through accountability and results.

    In BA I Trust!

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    Todd … I agree that this article is ‘thought-provoking’, but in a bad way. Joe started off so strong IMO … “Joe thinks sometimes this “leaders” term may be confused with a locker room sheriff”. But then the downhill slide began … “Perhaps that is what the Bucs lack, a guy who will call a spade a spade in the locker room?”

    So apparently what we’ve been missing is a locker room sheriff? Are we bringing Suh on-board to beat the he11 out of our competition or beat the crap out of our own guys? Not a very effective leadership model to say the least.

    TEAM LEADERS are essential in any profession, but LEADERSHIP BY INTIMIDATION doesn’t work. We’ve all seen that tried in our own professions, and know how ineffective it is. Bucs have some young guys on defense who’ll pick up the leadership mantle in time. Sounds from a previous article that Devin White’s already moving in that direction, which is great. What we’ve lacked on defense is a FIELD GENERAL, one who shines with his own play but who can also communicate well with others (all the greats, like MLB Luke Kuechly is IMO, make everyone else around them better because of how they anticipate AND communicate). THAT’s where I EXPECT Devin White to excel … in time.

  8. ATrain Says:

    I think the Leadership Bantering is used differently

    I believe GMC was pushed out as a Face if the Team he was lsi a Veteran on the team



    Dancing on sideline
    Making statements such had Oh Well we were Flat today

    A FAN should not be more pissed or disappointed in a Loss than GMC

    GMC doesn’t have to be a Sapp or a Suh
    BUT HE NEEDS TO SHOW SOME PASSION and I don’t mean picking g up a WB off the ground

  9. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Miami took 2 years of big Cap hits, to cut this guy. That’s how badly they wanted him off their team, and honestly, that concerns me.

  10. Buc4evr Says:

    So with all this talk about what Suh is or isn’t, have the Bucs even signed him to a deal yet?

  11. Doctor Stroud Says:

    Suh will “spout off” but more about bad investments, mainly because his new best friend is Warren Buffett. Suh in the huddle: “WHAT?! You invested your Glazer loot in a car wash?!!! No, no, no, no, no, look, you know that mutual funds will provide larger dividends and growth for the future! I am bullish on the market but bearish on this team. Break!”

  12. THETRUTH Says:

    Interesting how can you hold people accountable when yourself takes plays off and gives half effort. That so called leadership still won’t last.

  13. #1bucsfan Says:

    So if suh takes plays off then yells at another player for doing the same thing how do you think they will respond ? I do believe this team needs a attitude change but isn’t that why they brought in Jensen? How’s that working out so far

  14. EvolvingBucsFan Says:

    It will either work out or it will blow up in our faces. He might like Bowles system and can put him in multiple positions but will he take the hard coaching and accountability? History doesn’t work in his favor, McCoy rarely committed a penalty to put us in bad situations, Suh might get us in bad situations with his careless penalties. Their production was similar but not sure if he is a team guy that BA/Bowels can preach too.

    I agree you don’t have to have a bunch of “leaders” but you are either part of the locker room or you divide the locker room, see Saggy Baker and Mesean Jackson.

    I just hope it works out with Suh.

  15. Buc believer Says:

    @#1Bucsfan…. it didn’t work out because McCoy was still on the team. Let’s play this year and then revisit this.

  16. Bucsneedhelp Says:

    BA or BS 6-10.

  17. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I would have preferred a younger player than Suh…..but I suspect none was available….
    I have no idea (and neither does anyone else) how Suh will be in the Bucs’ locker room. There are so many variables….his past says he could be a problem…..but I’d rather have Suh than Swaggy… is also possible that Arians & Bowles along with White, Nassib & others could impact Suh.

  18. DBS Says:

    Like I said. He was unemployed for a reason and going from team to team before. Now they still have not signed yet. What. does he not want to show up until training camp?

  19. Loyaltotheend Section 312 Says:

    When your 5-11 back to back years you are leaderless


    Time for some of these young over paid players to step up

  20. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Great teams have leaders and then are successful like Tom Brady, Manning, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers…then like A Rodgers or Big Ben are any great leaders and their teams have been struggling. The bucs have ZERO leaders, Jamies is seen too much of as a clown but I think Devin White will be the guy to lead the bucs as a whole team

  21. Bucsneedhelp Says:

    The bucs are not reloading they are rebuilding no matter what stale biscuit says. I guess you could argue that point with the offense but not the defense. Hopefully Devin will take over the defense, and Jameis and Ryan Jensen can fight over the offense.

  22. Todd Says:


    You are SO right. That trio would have been astonishing. As much as it pains me to write the following, we need to part with JPP and bring in another beast replacement. In TB I trust. I remember this week BA referred to our current defense that the final make-up of the roster…”not even close.” That’s encouraging as hell.


    Per usual, your take on both the article and the state of true leadership is spot on. We now have TRUE leaders running the show. Sit back and enjoy…and learn. Moreover, BA and TB have demonstrated their strategic approach to NOT leadership development, but leadership IDENTIFICATION. Each “room” will
    house a leader who has stepped up to take on that role.

    1+1+1 = 111, not 3 (within the BA/TB system).

    Add to all this the fact that BA/TB strategically drafted PROVEN leaders at the collegiate level. That’s wisdom playing out.

    I, for one, could NOT be more excited about this season.

  23. Snook Says:

    If you don’t know McCoy takes plays off, you don’t watch any film. Neither do these “analysts”.

    McCoy has done it since Oklahoma. Difference is that he buys movie tickets for kids so he’s a “role model” and the general media doesn’t criticize him for his play on the field.

  24. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    That Chris Simms is a freaking football genius. I wonder if he still owns a house in Tampa?

  25. Todd Says:


    “The bucs have ZERO leaders…”

    Yes, of course. You would know because of your inside access to the Bucs training camp thus far. I need to put a yellow sticky note on my mirror reminding me of that fact.

    I apologize for not giving you nearly the credit and respect you deserve.

  26. DB55 Says:

    Do your damn job!

  27. Sarasota Garey Says:

    Still no official word on the signing?

  28. Defense Rules Says:

    Todd … “1+1+1 = 111, not 3 (within the BA/TB system)”. Now THAT’S my type of math. And like you, I couldn’t be more excited to see this all play out.

  29. JP_09 Says:

    @akickinthebucsnuts, There’s reports that Suh is currently in France on vacation (which isn’t a big deal) and that could be the reason hasn’t signed yet. No reason to worry

  30. Todd Says:


    As Suh’s favorite Instagram dog (ZammyPup), I have full Power of Attorney. I’ll paw-print his contract after my morning dump. We got this.

  31. BringBucsBack Says:

    If my team is 4-8, I, and everyone on my team, should be pissed, pointing fingers and “spouting-off”. If you’re not mad about losing, why are you there?

    This is an unintended criticism of McCoy and others.

  32. tnew Says:

    The Jack Ham rhetoric… you know this gets me every time (and it is often) that the Joe makes it.

    Jack Ham was part of a defense full of leaders. Jack Lambert, “Mean” Joe Greene, L.C. Greenwood and Mel Blount all were leaders, very professional and all played with an edge (borderline dirty). Plus they had one of the top 4 coaches of all time in Chuck Noll. That team was FULL of leadership. For Ham to say leadership was not important to the Steelers is saying water isn’t important to the ocean. It might not seem like it is because of the abundance, but take it away and the identity is gone.

    I don’t expect Suh to become a leader any more than I expected that of Simeon Rice, but I do expect Suh to produce.

  33. Eric Says:

    McCoy is a “stud”.
    Suh is a “play when I want arm stomping nut kicker”

    Pretty clear to see where Joe is at on this one.

    I think its pretty much a wash but the bucs did what they had to do given the cap circumstances. Truth is neither of these two players are as good as they once were. Father time wins every battle.

    The season depends on how these rookies play on defense and JW, just like before any of this happened.

  34. Curtis Buckley Says:

    Beginning of article: Leadership talk is overrated.

    End of Article: Bucs need someone to hold each other accountable.

    King of hot takes confused himself.

  35. Eric y Says:

    Joe there has to be a leader on a team otherwise you get garbage in a locker room like the bucs have had the past decade and a half

  36. 813bucboi Says:


    i agree….

    wouldve been nasty…..

    we’ll see what happens…

    GO BUCS!!!!

  37. Buccernutter Says:

    I think a lot of you are overthinking suh’s personality. You do realize tb and ba know a lot more than we do? I get the concerns but I’m confident they’ll handle it. This isn’t Dirk who will promote him to captain after he cusses him out and destroys property like djax did.

    I get why a lot of you are nervous as you’re conditioned to be let down but Bruce may be the best thing that has ever happened to this team. Just relax guys. It’s going to be a very fun season. Finally.

  38. Cobraboy Says:

    Good Lord.

    So much hysteria. So little understanding of what “leadership” is.

    Leadership does NOT come from the mouth, It comes from setting a tone with performance.

    Hardy Nickerson, Warren Sapp, Mr. Derrick Brooks and John Lynch were all leaders because they set an example with excellent discipline and performance, not with theor mouth. They WANT to show others the right way to do things. They WANT to lead and not follow. And others followed.

    This is the basic nature of Alphas. People in an organization gravitate toward a high-performing Alpha, and management endorses it. Betas are followers and not leaders. Nobody really follows a Beta but maybe other Betas.

    Kwon Alexander was not a leader because his play did not match his mouth. He *wanted* to be a leader but failed at many levels. Getting pi$$ed off at Baker in Game 16 is a sign of frustration, not leadership.

    Gerald McCoy never wanted to be a leader. McCoy is a talented beta male. Trusting a Beta to an Alpha role is destined to fail.

    Winston has leadership potential but has personal flaws that everyone sees. He could still be a true leader, but it may take a season or two more. His performance isn’t there yet, and his off-season shenanigans are contrary to both a leader and an Alpha.

    David is not a leader, but a talented player. He is more of a mentor than leader. Some can do both, but not all.

    Fact is “leadership” comes from the top and is set by example. I wanted Koetter to succeed, but it was clear in his second year that he was not setting a strong example. IMO, D Jackson demonstrated how weak a leader Koetter was, and Mike Smith never demonstrated those skills with his actions, just words. And their teams reflected it.

    I would not be at all surprised if some leaders come forward under BA and Bowles. Both are Alphas. Both command respect with their actions more than words.

  39. Cobraboy Says:

    I don’t expect Suh to be a leader. I just hope his hard edge catches on. The Bucs are in dire need of a nasty edge.

  40. BucsBall80 Says:

    Players holding playera accountable. My boss does this at work to get the most out of each guy daily. Theres going to be some players butting heads. Players egos and prides clashing. 12 -4. In Bruce we trust.

  41. mark2001 Says:

    Suh wasn’t brought in for “leadership”…look at this last draft…it screams “leadership”. What we need is a hard edged guy with an edge…something to prove. He has to prove he is a better player than Gerald…his pride and reputation is at stake. This is supposedly a one year “prove it” contract. And I expect him to perform. Time for nice guys that wouldn’t confront someone if their careers depended on it to find another team…guys that want to slack to find another team. And time for the coaching staff to back up guys playing their hearts with the refs and during the game, and let the guys know he is their guy. It is a new day in Tampa Bay.

  42. Chip Chipperson Says:

    One man’s leadership set the tone for the best defense for a decade. His name is Hardy “Hardware” Nickerson. I’m guessing Jack “Splat” Lambert would disagree with Hammy. Also….you’re a history guy. You think Patton’s leadership had an effect on his men?