Use Your Head!

August 10th, 2020

Playoff mentality?

Joe wrote countless stories through The Lost Decade about the mentality of the Bucs’ roster.

One thing seems to always come up: this team just doesn’t seem mentally strong.

Dumb plays/penalties late in close games and silly penalties on offense that killed drives seem to be mental errors the Bucs habitually committed.

It pains Joe to write this, but those are two hallmarks of losing organizations.

That started to change last year Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians said last week. And in so many words, Arians said the Bucs must play without their heads up their rear ends in order to be among the NFL’s best teams.

“I think we set a culture last year,” Arians said. “I don’t know if I’ve ever been around a bunch of guys that worked any harder than our guys did last year.

“We need to work smarter and play smarter. I think the additions that we have are veteran, smart players who can help young guys, especially on and off the field.”

Joe thinks Arians is onto something. Let’s look at the players added since he came on board.

* Ndamukong Suh had playoff experience with the Lions and Dolphins, and played in a Super Bowl with the Rams.

* Shaq Barrett won a Super Bowl with Denver.

* Rob Gronkowski played on several Super Bowl-winning teams and knows how to play through pain and how to prepare when his body isn’t ready.

* Tom Brady has six rings. ‘Nuff said.

* LeSean McCoy has playoff experience with the Eagles, Bills and played on a Super Bowl champion team with the Chiefs.

Already on the roster prior to last year were Jason Pierre-Paul, a pro’s pro with a Super Bowl ring, and Ryan Jensen, who also has playoff experience.

Arians noted that these veterans will be able to show the young guys how to prepare, how to take care of their bodies, how to nurse their bodies back to playing condition.

Joe had never deeply thought about that angle before, but it just may be the edge the Bucs need to finally end this playoff drought.

14 Responses to “Use Your Head!”

  1. adam from new york Says:

    plain and simple i think they’re past the loser mentality already…

    TB’s arrival solidified the culture change that was in the works…

    i believe it already quietly happened

  2. adam from new york Says:

    unless “yung covidity” unravels the season…

    i’m sticking to my guns…

    this is not a superbowl team…


    it’ll need an extra year of gelling…

    i still got ’em at 11-5…and playoff bound…


    in 2021, we will go 13-4 or 14-3…and win the superbowl…

    as TB walks off into the sunset

    (supposedly the 2021 season should tentatively have a 17 game season – who knows)

  3. Bucsfanman Says:

    Step #1 in turning this team around was changing the culture. I think we have seen more of that in the short time Arians has been here than in the last decade.
    Next step: Stop beating ourselves with dumb penalties.
    We cannot “gift” teams victories. Make them earn it.
    Love the way this team is looking these days!

  4. Clean House Says:

    We had the most in the NFL with 133. By the way 127 of those were not committed by America’s Scapegoat JW.

    Also who could forget when Coach BS called back to back time outs in Carolina only to be saved from an eventual 6-10 record at the goal line by VH3, who he ran from the team. Maybe VH3 let him know about it? I’m not suggesting VH3 was worth keeping….just an interesting idea.

    And then of course that other Beauty- his NYG delay of game to “purposely move the kicker back.”

    On a positive note…

    Our team penalty leader Dotsan(10) is gone. His penalties were maddening.

    Now Shaq Barrett also had 10 but I think it was mostly trying to get a good jump on the snap, and he more than made up for it.

    Carlton Davis had 9- hope he can sort this out.

    JW had 6, I imagine Brady can do much better

    Dean, OJ, D. Smith, JPP and Suh all had 5.

    The rest 4 or less.

  5. Clean House Says:

    By the way, SORRY but if you still led the whole league in penalties (133) and had a losing season, missing the playoffs, and having mostly empty stands-you have yet to change the culture.

    On a positive- The Bucs will definitely have the easiest transition in the NFL in terms of attendance drop due to “The Sickness.”

  6. Roy T. Buford Says:

    Good take, and a no brainer really. The history with Jameis Winston should be the standard, industry wide case study taught to all coaches and players for all of sports, not just football, to demonstrate why working hard does not translate to success when you don’t use your head…common sense…on and off the field.

    Especially with Brady and Gronk, who earned, and command respect, added to guys like Suh and JPP…oh yeah, lots of experience is not being totally stupid. The big difference this year is guys leading the team have actually walked the talk…didn’t just disgrace the team, eat Ws, and give the ball away. It’s not just talking about it this year.

  7. Dapostman Says:

    Is Arians talking about the time he called two timeouts in a row?


  8. Ndog Says:

    Yes Roy it is easy to walk the walk when all you have to do is your job cause you know the defense is going to show up, you know that if you give your kicker a chance he is going to make it, you know the coach is not going to blow the game for you with a stupid penalty, or decision or challenge, or you can count on the refs or teammates bailing you out almost EVERY TIME.

  9. Chris l Says:

    The classic “ we work hard”
    But never any results. You said it joe, you can’t coach stupid and the way jameis turned the ball over, I think it is fair to say he didn’t play smart nor his off field decisions . Let’s hope this team is smarter especially with penalties. Arians screwed up a bunch last year too though

  10. Joe Says:

    I think it is fair to say he didn’t play smart

    Perhaps but who told Jameis to “keep firing?” Then he himself got fired for doing just that. 🤷‍♂️

  11. Show me the TDs Says:

    JW had six penalties? What were they, horse collar tackles?

  12. chris L Says:

    joe – that is a fair point and again goes to that arians himself needs to smarten up because overall the team underperformed last year and a lot of that was mental mentakes.

  13. unbelievable Says:

    I’ll agree about the mentality starting to change last year, but the dumb plays clearly did not.

    If they had, then the Bucs would not have been the MOST penalized team in league last year…

  14. Oneilbucs Says:

    Good one Joe he did tell Jamies to keep slanging it down field . Maybe that’s why Jamies had so many interceptions some of that had to be Bruce Arians fault .