Discipline & Rookies

January 7th, 2020

An interesting stat out there involves the five-win, officially tanked Dolphins and the seven-win Bucs, a team that tried to win at all costs.

The Bucs led the NFL in penalties with 133. It was a stunning display of poor discipline.

Perhaps the Bucs didn’t have enough coaches? Or maybe they need to hire a team consultant devoted to officiating?

(Sarcasm, folks.)

The Dolphins managed to have only 92 penalties the fourth-fewest in the NFL. Yes, the Miami organization collectively decided to tank the season, but only when it came to personnel. First-year head coach Brian Flores took on the season with a bunch of rookies and a lot of second-rate talent that gave everything they had.

Per ESPN, the Dolphins led the NFL with 6,551 snaps taken by rookies. The Bucs had 4,077 snaps from rookies. That’s about 55 percent more rookie snaps on the Dolphins yet the Bucs had 45 percent more penalties.

Let those numbers sink in.

Low penalty totals don’t equal wins, but the Bucs were ridiculously sloppy this season, and it’s pure spin to blame it all on youth.

Bucco Bruce Arians promised fans the team will stop beating itself in 2020. Part of that will be shaving off at least two penalties per game. And with the way Arians has expressed so much love for his roster, minus Jameis, achieving that probably will require a change in approach from the head coach.

42 Responses to “Discipline & Rookies”

  1. TDTB Says:

    Great observation and very telling. Fewer penalties won’t necessarily win a game, but more definitely help you lose.

  2. Mr. Reality Says:

    The coaching approach is a joke. Leftwich seems to treat Winston as a peer, and Arians has made every ridiculous excuse for Winston he could throughout the season. No, don’t tell me Arians has been hard on him at times. Not so. Everyone, owners, coaches, players, fans…see Arians riding his fat lazy self around in a golf cart at practice and mouthing off to the ref during games and making bonehead decisions in-game.Winston should have/could have benched at least twice this season IF Arians truly wanted to demonstrate Winston’s INTs and poor decisionmaking is not to be tolerated–and he should have made an example of Winston. But Arians himself is a poor example. Add to that, the players can see Winston’s reckless play and gather it’s just fine to be sloppy.

    Winston and discipline: He’s hever had any unless he believed somehow it would benefit him. And this goes back to FSU during suspensions and applies to both on and off the field behavior since. Take food, grab a woman, show up in uniform when suspended, the list is long. Winston does what he wants, and other players see that. Why should they control themselves?

    Did anyone think we’d have anything other than another losing season? Very telling the difference between a team tanking and trying is a measely two wins, while each team have dismal seasons. At least the Dolphins have been to the playoffs in recent memory.

  3. ModHairKen Says:

    2 losses directly resulting from missed FGs. NYG and Atlanta. So, 7 wins were 9 wins.

    Let’s keep the autopsy of 2019 in perspective.

  4. Mr. Reality Says:

    Oh, well ModHairKen…SF, CAR2, NO2, TEN, HOU and ATL were just from INTs, so considering Gay shares the ATL loss with Winston, that is 12 wins. Yippeee! The Bucs made the playoffs! I hope your rationale is not a example of how far this fan base has fallen.

  5. Conte Piscateli Says:

    Question? How many penalties did we have last year, or the year before? I recall that number being high for the last few years. Rookies make mistakes and take penalties, but I would argue the Bucs have many much more habitual offenders that have been around for a while now

  6. Bucsfanman Says:

    It’s those pre-snap penalties that drive me crazy. It needs to be cleaned up.

  7. Says:

    Wow what could have been. Dolphins gave their Leadership award AND MVP award to the Bucs’ most successful QB of 2018. Ran him out the door for no good reason. Long live fitzy. That team would take a bullet for that guy. The young guys stepped up for him.

  8. AlteredEgo Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    The Bucs are a and have been a teaching prop for the refs in the offseason…before Jerry Markbreit and since…

  9. Matt Says:

    Most penalties are a sign of a tight team. We have top tier talent on all levels and we know we are a playoff caliber team. We (Jameis mainly) have to almost meditate to get better spatial awareness and see the forest and not just the leaf. Nobody and I mean nobody wants to win more than Jameis if he could just feel and sense things better than try to force or will it, we will be the team that no one wants to play. The penalties come from a collective tightness of wanting to will our team to a big play and Victory. We absolutely put it all on the line for each other and our coach. There was never a lack of effort by anyone. Dotson must be replaced this off season and that will be a major step in the right direction to reduce penalties.

    I’m not worried at all about our defense even if we lose a few pieces. I think Barrett will not break the bank and JPP has unfinished business here. We need to calm down a bit on our pass rushers jumping offsides. We had many this season that preceded big plays. Otherwise we will be fine.

    Great analysis Joe!!

  10. SteveK Says:

    Turnovers are the worst, and penalties are not far behind. Penalties cripple a drive, turnovers killed this team.

  11. Sports Guru Says:

    Bring back the QB who is familiar with the system, has lots of talent, and is fun to watch. Why would the Bucs go any other way? For right now, at least Jamies Winston is the guy. See what happens next year as far as mastering the system and decision making. But you don’t yank a guy by the balls after one year under Bruce Arians. It takes 2 maybe 3 years to soak up that kind of knowledge. Let’s give the guy another year in the prolific offense and see if we can make stew or doo doo Go Bucs!!!

  12. Mister Negative Nancy Says:

    Coaching in the NFL barely even matters, except for their input on personnel.

    Pro players have already had near 20 years of coaching, how much more can they learn?

    Clearly Licht and maybe BA don’t value penalty-free play when picking players.

    That and when a player is outmatched, they’ll make more penalties to compensate. Again not coaching, just not lower quality personnel forced to play.

  13. mark2001 Says:

    Funny,.. many of the same guys defending the play of Jameis, Demar Dotson among them, had a huge share of the penalties. See anything in common?

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Yes….we are a very undisciplined team……the penalty stat proves it…..Shaq & JPP offsides…..Dotson false starts….holding…….Davis PIs…….and untimely personal fouls from just about everyone….
    Yes….we need to clean it up…..one way to do that is to bench players….call them out….

    I will say this….this is the first year that our offense was strong enough to overcome many penalties….that’s good.

    The defense gave up too many 3rd down penalties that kept opponent drives alive.

  15. westernbuc Says:

    I’m starting to think Bruce had him throw all those deep passes to cheapen his value

  16. SteveK Says:

    Lol^ Bruce asked his QB to suck!?


    #1 overall pick in year five needs to show better ball security.

    We can start anew at QB next year, and have hope for playoffs. I only see a lot of turnovers, yards, points for both teams (bc of turnovers from Jameis), and enough losses to keep us from the playoffs for a 13Th straight season and 6th under Jameis.

    Cut bait, please! Fans want to see a new process to obtain victories. The turnovers and lack of accountability to fix them after five years is demoralizing.

  17. Tnew Says:

    I find it interesting how the super young Dolphins (average age 25.2 and youngest in the NFL) were “officially tanking” vs the Grizzled Bucs (average age 25.4,2nd youngest team) are built to win “at all cost”.

  18. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Taysom Hill can lead this team to the playoffs for years , but is the GM Licht Brain smart enough to sign him to an offer sheet???? Doubt it.

  19. Steven007 Says:

    Taysom Hill would suck out loud if he were a starter here. New Orleans is the perfect place for him to come off the bench occasionally and do a few things here and there. That long pass he made over the weekend? That should have been an easy walk in touchdown but he underthrew it. He had terrible stats in college. He’s a gimmick player who has value but he is definitely not a starter in this league.

  20. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Titans All-Pro RT Jack Conklin is a UFA that will be able to be signed for about 12 – 14 million per year for a 5 year deal. Shoring up the RT and replacing Dotson is crucial , remember that Derrick Henry led the NFL @ 5.1 per carry and that was with teams stacking the box. Conklin is a must sign in free agency.

  21. Joe Says:

    Jerry Markbreit

    Ugh! Markbreit was awful! His crew, you just looked at a receiver and they threw a flag for interference.

    There goes Joe’s Tuesday. 🙁

  22. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    RPO QB’s are the future of the NFL-period. Teams that lead the legue in rushing are the best teams-Ravens #1 in rushing and #1 seed. 49ers #2 in rushing & #1 seed.
    Taysom Hill averaged being sacked almost 3 times a game at BYU , so his Oline sucked out loud . Look at his passing numbers from this preseason with a decent Oline and his numbers are very good.
    Apparently Steven you did not watch the Saints game very closely or you might have noticed the raw power and effort Hill displayed on his runs , where he left a trail of run over Vikings in his wake. Not to mention he is the 2nd fastest QB in the league and the strongest. Hill can throw it well Steven , but keep showing us what you don’t know.

  23. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    If I am not mistaken Joe-Markbreit was the bum that called the Bert Emmanuel no catch against the Rams in the playoffs that resulted in a rule change the following season. Ask Tom Korun what Markbreit said to him in the elevator after the game-you would not believe it.

  24. Steven007 Says:

    76, trust me, no GM out there is looking at Hill to be their starting quarterback. I acknowledged the obvious and he’s a great athlete. But he’s a gimmick quarterback and he differs from the RPO guys that actually have better arm talent. Put him under center for an entire game and you will eliminate the element of surprise that he thrives on in the saints offense. No reason for insults, we can disagree without being childish.

  25. Steven007 Says:

    And while you’re right about the rushing thing, the only team that is accomplished that predominantly with their quarterback are the Ravens.

  26. FortMyersDave Says:

    @ BucsFanSince1976: Tom Korun! Now that is a name I have not heard in awhile! Dude was on WFLA way back in my college days in the 80’s and then had a rather entertaining talk show on the old 820 The Team when they did sports the first time around about the time of the Bucs rise with Dungy and the first years of Rays baseball along with Weingarten and Scot Brantley, Nancy the Fabulous Sports Babe, T J Rives, Hubert Mizell for a time among others. Back then talk radio was relevant and cutting edge while the Trib and Times still had guys like Mizell and Tom McEwan putting out great content. Thankfully we have JBF now to fill the void that those platforms left concerning Bucs ball (as well as the Lightning via the boys from Tallahassee).

  27. Steven007 Says:

    Final comment about the Hill business. The saints know him better than anyone. And even with an above average o-line when Btees went down who did they go with? Bridgewater…

  28. ancientasbuc Says:

    Mr. Reality is struggling with reality. Penalties are never one issue. I think the ore-snap penalties are the ones to really reflect on for this staff and mainly correctable. This hasn’t been a banner year for officials either much less teams trying to react to inconsistent calls. The Dolphins were better pre-snap most likely and maybe because of a a very vanilla approach to things.

  29. Robert Says:

    IT’s the penalties fault!!!!!

    sign a FA QB please.

  30. Danny Says:

    I was weirdly fine with the Shaq and JPP offsides penalties (trying to jump a snap) because it worked pretty frequently. The rest of the penalties were super irritating.

  31. Chesapeake Bay Bucco Says:

    Mrs. Unreality, why do you attack the HCs appearance, golf cart and work ethic. Irrelevant, and very telling on the kind of person you are! Take your self inulgent, all knowing poison somewhere else already!

  32. Brandon Says:

    Keep seeing this. Dump the QB and it’s playoffs for sure. I’m sure a great vet QB that’s well rehearsed in the BA offense is just sitting there available. We don’t have time for the typical first year growing pains that ALL BA QBs have in their first season so he has to be ready. I wonder what Packer fans were saying when Favre tossed 29 INTs to lead the NFL for the 2nd time. Or Jets fans when he led for the 3rd time. Or the year after when he had an MVP-type season.

    Truth be told, we don’t go to playoffs with another QB. Winston improving in year 2 in this offense is my far the best chance we have.

  33. 813bucboi Says:


    taysom hill would do wonders in an offense like the 9ers, ravens, titans…..

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  34. Brandon Says:


    BucsFanSince1976 Says:
    January 7th, 2020 at 7:31 am
    Taysom Hill can lead this team to the playoffs for years , but is the GM Licht Brain smart enough to sign him to an offer sheet???? Doubt


    Tampa’s biggest moron since 76 is more like it.

    Hill has never started an NFL game in his career. Your comment shows so much ignorance that it shocks me to see that you’ve been alive more than 12 years. This is stupid stuff a kid would say. Hill is a gadget player. He is good at what he does but he is not a starting QB in the NFL. He’s 29 and was never even a consideration to start when Brees was out. And your proof is preseason???? Jon Kitna was a freaking preseason AllPro… Paris Warren, Tanner Hudson, Steven Schnell… all preseason studs, not exactly contributing players. Just plain asinine!

  35. Steven007 Says:

    Brandon, harsh, but true. The final nugget of truth is he’s a special teams player (and a decent one). What coach in his right might trots out a starting caliber QB on special teams? I’ll save you the time 76: no one. Nada. Zilch. Zero. As 813 said he’s a nice utility guy in a few select offenses (namely with strong o-lines), but nothing more. Smug face himself doesn’t even use him as the primary backup. That tells you all you need to know.

  36. Mr. Reality Says:

    Chessy says “why do you attack the HCs appearance, golf cart and work ethic. Irrelevant.” Does 7-9, sloppy habits, poor excuses, sloppy penalties, undisciplined team, poor lead by example already not make it clear? Setting the example, including work ethic and behavior is not relevant you say? Are you and ModHairKen living together, or do you just think alike? Defeatist approach…of BA…and you share it.

  37. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Forgotten more about football than Steven and Brandon will ever know. Entitled to my opinion and you are both entitled to be wrong , and frequently I am sure. Time will tell all as it always does and Taysom Hill will start in the NFL , marked and remembered 1/7/2020.

  38. El Buco Realisto Says:

    It’s a poor and sloppy coaching to have the penalties that high, unless if the team has massive injuries with backup playing!!!!!!!!!!

  39. Steven007 Says:

    76, you’re a funny one. And to your enduring credit, the first half of your first sentence is right ending with the word “football”. Now cheers and relax. This is a football blog. We’re all entitled to our opinions. You stated yours, I stated mine, Brandon stated his. Two out of three ain’t bad.

  40. Alanbucsfan Says:

    The Bucs had 23 false start penalties and 23 offensive holding penalties-

    I’d be willing to bet most of those came on passing plays.

    Invest in OLine and RB and RUN the ball! A running QB wouldn’t hurt either.

  41. Stanglassman Says:

    Remember BA wanted a Taysom Hill type backup Qb but he blew his knee out playing beach Volleyball right before training camp. I wouldn’t be surprised if he tries to get one again.

  42. Formerly Tampa 2 Says: is right, Fitzpatrick was certainly more entertaining than Winston, and he worked well with all of our receivers. A decent veteran QB would certainly be an improvement over what we have had for the last 5 years. One that could help train a decent rookie. AlanBucs got it right too. Invest in the OL and RB to develop a decent run game. And keep our current defense together.