Five Things

October 9th, 2020

Just an ugly night in Chicago. Let’s get this over with so we can focus on happier things today, like buying beers at Big Storm Brewing.

Bucs quit on RoJo

Now look, Joe roots for every player who wears a Bucs uniform. Play Hall of Fame level, if possible. Everyone.

And Joe’s main motto is “Production, production, production.” Joe doesn’t give a damn where you were drafted; doesn’t care where you went to school; doesn’t care who you vote for; doesn’t care about your personal bedroom proclivities; doesn’t care if you never work hard or work your fingers to the bone.

Just produce. That’s all Joe wants (and expects!) a player to do and all Joe cares about. Get enough players who can produce, especially at key positions, and wins are easier to come by.

On the field, produce or step aside. Joe is no more complex than that in goals and standards for Bucs players.

So for reasons Joe isn’t sure of, many Bucs fans want to slit Joe’s throat and break his kneecaps because Joe didn’t get on his knees and slurp Ronald Jones solely because he wore a Bucs uniform. Joe was not impressed with Jones in the least bit through his first 34 games (34!) because — wait for it — he didn’t produce. That’s all there was too it.

Against the Chargers, Joe was impressed by how Jones ran up the gut, a trait Joe never thought the guy had.

Even then, when Joe tried to give this RoJo a legitimate compliment, saying the way he ran up the middle he looked like a good fullback, Joe’s haters went after Joe on social media as if Joe advocated for RoJo to be jailed.

Last night, Joe (for the time being) has come around on RoJo (so long as RoJo has come around). He was excellent again, particularly running inside and twice making stud Bears linebacker Roquan Smith look the fool.

So with Donovan Smith and Ali Marpet and Ryan Jensen blowing holes wide open on the left side to run through, someone on the Bucs’ sidelines pulled the plug on RoJo.


Despite RoJo getting loose, the Bucs never got more than two field goals after taking a 13-0 lead midway through the second quarter.

“RoJo has had a good season and he will continue to get better,” Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians said after the game.

On first down at the Bucs-37 with 10:28 left in the game and the Bucs down by one, RoJo ran twice in a row gaining 10 and 4 yards.

He only ran the ball two more times (for no gain) the rest of the game.

You always hear coaches talk about other players need to “step it up” when others go down with injuries, right? The Bucs, it seems, have nothing but injured receivers. So when a guy actually does “step it up,” why would the Bucs pull the rug from underneath him?

Here you have a guy in RoJo getting chunks of yards; he was big-time heating up in the second half. And instead of feeding the guy the ball the Bucs starting having park-violating, home-invading, NFLPA-ignoring Bucs quarterback Tom Brady largely throwing to guys who were either hurt (Mike Evans) or never-beens (Jaydon Mickens).

Why? That makes no sense to Joe.

Joe is a big believer in feeding the hot hand. And in Joe’s eyes, RoJo not only was having his best game as an NFL running back, he was red hot.

Joe understands Bucs fans want to blame the refs for the game. Perhaps. Joe can understand the aggravation over yellow flags.

To Joe, a big red flag was when the Bucs quit feeding their best offensive player of the night the ball when they needed just a field goal.


A few years ago the Bucs trotted out their annual marketing slogan. Joe has no idea why teams do this because these slogans more often than not are silly and don’t make sense. Joe has yet to meet fans who claim they bought season tickets because the annual marketing phrase was so cute or clever.

But teams (nearly every in professional sports) seem to take it real seriously and apparently invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in research to try to find the most attention-catching phrase.

Yes, really.

So in the depths of the Lost Decade, the Bucs came up with “It’s a Bucs Life!” Joe guesses this was to highlight how fans live, eat and breathe the Bucs.

Someone must have overlooked the tiny truths that the Bucs were a laughing stock at the time, season ticket sales were plummeting and more and more Bucs fans turned to binge drinking to numb themselves from all the pain of watching the Bucs constantly step on a rake each and every Sunday.

Joe once used that phrase sarcastically in an article explaining how “It’s a Bucs Life” is a losing life, etc., etc… Boy, did that hack off the wrong people at One Buc Palace. Joe heard about that — on a summer Sunday afternoon no less! It was one of the more pointed attempted slapdowns Joe ever got from a team suit.

Well, soon after that marketing phrase became a hashtag for fans, sort of like #BlameJameis became. For every key fumble, pick, bonehead play, blown PED test, holding call, you name it, fans took to social media, almost like in an audible group sigh, and used the hashtag “#ItsABucsLife.”

That hashtag came to mind last night when Joe saw a pass targeting Cam Brate over the middle land incomplete for the final play and Brady, standing on the field with a look on his face of total bewilderment, held up four fingers as if to say, “It’s fourth down, right?”

No, sorry Tommy. Your pass to Brate was fourth down.


Now after the game, Arians said Brady knew what down it was but damn near everyone watching sure got the impression Brady didn’t. On national television.

Joe didn’t really expect Arians to say Brady couldn’t count. But man, it was like old times watching that unfold on a national broadcast.


Vea Watch

Right now Joe’s attention is on Vita Vea’s right ankle in what looked like an ugly injury.

Arians is expected to hold his day-after presser this morning (via Zoom) at 11 a.m. Maybe he will have an update on Vea.

The Bucs might be able to get away with missing Vea for a couple of weeks but not for the season.

If the Bucs can get Vea back in a month, that would be gold. Starting Nov. 23, the Bucs host the Rams and Chiefs, get a bye and then welcome the Vikings at home. So Vea will very much be needed for those games.

Let’s put it this way: If the Bucs lose Vea for the season, the run defense everyone likes to brag about isn’t so strong any longer.

Selective aggression

So the Bucs decided to go for it on 4th-and-1 from their own 19 but then drag @ss late in the first half when maybe they could have hustled for a field goal to end the first half? They had two timeouts and 36 seconds.

Boy, that really came back to bite them.

Joe thought, in a perverse way, it was cool that Arians showed a pair of brass ones going for it on fourth down from your own-19. Had the Bucs not made the first down — it was close! — Arians would be getting skinned from coast-to-coast on every two-bit Chuckle Hut sports radio show.

Joe remembers when Bill Belicheat went for it on fourth down from his own-38 (Brady at quarterback oddly enough) and the Belicheats didn’t get the first down. Maybe the greatest coach in the history of the NFL, Belicheat was pounded for it.

Arians is a damn good coach but he ain’t Belicheat.

Why would a team be borderline reckless on from the 19 and then with two timeouts in their back pocket not trying to score at the end of the first half?

Doesn’t add up for Joe.

Shaq got hosed

Joe isn’t one to holler about refs. Unless there is a zebra who pulls a Don Denkinger or a Rams-Saints pass interference. Joe isn’t a guy who grouses about referees. It’s part of the game.

You could drive yourself nuts whining about referees (but Joe does agree with Belicheat that every play should be reviewable) because every game has questionable calls. Besides, more often than not, teams and players have it within their own power to do something on the next play to wipe away the memory of a bad call.

Adapt, adjust and overcome. Joe’s a huge believer in that. If the refs are flag-happy and calling things tight, then you as a player better watch yourself and adjust.

In some circles, this is called “discipline.”

Joe must admit the timing was really odd in that people were lauding the NFL for cutting down on penalties this year, and then officials went nuts on the Bucs last night.

So all of a sudden referees decided that TV viewers tune in to watch them? Did they suddenly get a directive from league offices to warm up their right arms for Thursday Night Football?

Either you believe in conspiracy theories or the Bucs were just downright dumb and sloppy. Having typed that, NFL sack king Shaq Barrett got hosed last night. Twice.

The first one saw Shaq whistled for offsides when a Bears offensive lineman clearly jumped. Second was when Shaq hit Nick Foles and he was flagged for a late hit giving the Bears a key first down.

The first call kept the Bucs defense on the field following a third down, and the Bucs lost key field position.

The second call was just completely bogus. Shaq hit Foles a hair after Foles released the ball. If that’s a late hit, you might as well put a circle around quarterbacks and disallow defenders from entering that circle.

But you know what? Losing teams sit back and cry about flags. Winners find a way to win.

Last night, the Bucs found ways to lose.

It’s a tradition in these here parts.

27 Responses to “Five Things”

  1. mike Says:

    Vea done for year. Im just sick. This takes us from Superbowl to making a wild card game as our ceiling

  2. 813bucboi Says:

    bowles let another QB light up the defense from start to finish….

    BL shouldve stuck with rojo in the 4th….

    penalties killed drives….

    jensen was selfish…d.smith is lousy….

    BA embarrassed us last night….we shouldve went for it on 4th down instead of kicking the FG….we went for it in our territory….that made no sense….

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    The D looked confused d white has been a ghost I clearly saw pre snap lvd push white to his position hope he get his nose in the playbook, I saw SMB lost pre snap and had to run to his assignment.

  4. Youngbucs Says:

    Wht ever joe tht call on shaq flip the field with little time left. I don’t care what you say.

  5. Coburn Says:

    Drove me nuts they stopped running. You could argue it was because of penalties .. but I’d also argue they would have helped their penalty situation by running. They were holding and getting frustrated because Mack was killing them with the pass rush. Even announcers said his runs would slow it down

  6. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    Oline sucked last night. If there was a single reason for us losing, it is Smith, Jensen and Wirf’s game last night. I can give Wirf a pass, as it was his first game looking like a rookie

    Is it too late to let Donavon “swinging door” smith OPT OUT?!

    Is Gronk freelancing or is BL a really bad play designer? A couple of times last night, Gronk and ME were so close together they could have held hands. Even the play-by-play guy said he thought Gronk stole a pass intended for ME – and it looked like it.

    Two really bad calls on Shaq did not loose the the game – Oline owns that one. But they were really bad. However, we had ample opportunity if not for some horrible BL play calling and, did I mention the Oline play?!

    Losing VV is going to hurt really, really bad.

    Thank you TB for FINALLY calling out the Oline for their crap

  7. WhoCares Says:

    We just got another flag. Apparently its a delay of game call even though the game is ove. I think the refs still wanting attention

  8. Pablo Says:

    Cry baby Brady didn’t want to shake Foles hand after the game . Pablo really misses America’s QB Winston

  9. Im tired and 87 is right Says:

    We lost Vea without I don’t see how this ends well for the Bucs. I guess we have to look to next year now. It’s a Bucs life. 🙁

  10. Darin Says:

    Think they got shaq for helmet to helmet. Still bogus but not as much. The false start that happened to be offsides somehow was the play of the game for the Bears. Oh well they didnt play well enough to win cant blame the refs. Arians is right the coaching sucked

  11. D-Rome Says:

    Five things in response:

    1. RoJo, for the first time in his career, is playing like a man about to lose his job. I’m not sold yet on RoJo (he’s had 30+ opportunities to show this) but it’s great to see.

    2. #ThisLifeSucks

    3. Vea and Lavonte David are my favorite players on the team. I hated seeing Vea go down like that. Without him the Bucs don’t have a chance at being a good defensive unit. I don’t want to hear “next man up” nonsense. You can’t replace Vea.

    4. Bad call to go for it on your own 20. They convert so Arians looks like a genius. If they didn’t convert he’d be crucified by everyone across the country and rightfully so.

    5. Referees are the equivalent of moderators in a Presidential debate. The Bucs, in similar fashion to the President, were competing against the Bears and the referees.

  12. idiaznet Says:

    Joe those refs were calling everything the Bears way unless it was too obvious. Even that touchdown by Graham was a clear push off by him. As well as PI on Robinson multiple times. The Bears were also holding plenty of times and not called. It was sickening to watch!! There was some real home cooking going on last night.

    I agree that refs normally don’t lose the game for teams, but last night was just too obvious. The holding call by Cappa was BS as well. If you call that then the RT for the Bears should have been called for holding on the roughing call the way he was holding SHAQ. Just ridiculous.

  13. D-Rome Says:

    By the way, what did I tell you Joe about Tyler Johnson? You said you would not put Tyler Johson in your daily fantasy lineup. I did, and it paid off! 😀

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Yes….a player needs to show production…..but how can you do that when you don’t get the ball…

    My problem with the disparagement of Rojo last year is that he didn’t have the opportunity but was still blamed for it…..again….I need to say that if Rojo had been given 15 carries per game he would have achieved 1008 yards.

    So, rather than get on Rojo….how about the coaches for not feeding him the ball more often last year.

  15. Sesteprenelicus Says:

    I thought it was a personal foul/roughing the passer, because of the helmet contact. i.e. not a late hit… but i don’t remember exactly.

  16. Kalind Says:

    Normally, I’d agree Joe.

    But last night was simple egregious. They couldn’t win. Can’t beat 2 opponents

  17. NDog is an idiot Says:

    Joe, saying getting on your knees and slurping RoJo… come on Man.. that’s a little disgusting to say such a thing ya think?

  18. El Buco Realisto Is a Dicko and NDogTurd is a Crybaby and TheBucsAnus and LovesJameisTighties are Trolls Says:

    Hey D-Rome, one additional thing: Keep your political BS to yourself.

  19. NDog is an idiot Says:

    Agreed! BUT D-Rome is right on if you think about it!

  20. rrsrq Says:

    Talk about field position, missed face mask on the punt return, he was tackled by the face mask

  21. rrsrq Says:

    ROjO should’ve been getting 20+ touches last year, he showed more promise than PB25 and likely this would’ve cut down on JW INTs. For instance the game against the Birds at the end of the season, what did he have 11-12 carries with 100+ yards, but the first play of OT is a pass. ROjO should’ve had over 100 yards against the G-men, but let’s let PB25 try to run turtle to close the game. Speaking of that game, when we went for the FG instead of trying one more shot at the end zone, looked like last night, should’ve been able to get one yard and try to put more points on the board when the Bears were moving the ball pretty easily between the 20s

  22. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Joe goes on about production, but then DSmith gets a pass because of “availability”
    D Smith sucked last night and was a big reason Bucs lost.

  23. Joe Says:

    Joe goes on about production, but then DSmith gets a pass because of “availability”

    Never gave him a “pass” due to availability. NFL coaches and suits value that far more than fans do. If Smith was a complete turnstile, availability doesn’t mean squad. For a player who is inconsistent, availability tilts the scales and sort of cancels out the inconsistency — so long as it is not too bad.

    The inconsistency is getting bad, for Smith’s salary (another key factor).

    Want to know why J.R. Sweezy is no longer here? It wasn’t his blocking it was his inability to stay on the field.

  24. Alanbucsfan Says:

    And why Bucs wouldn’t double team Mack on a pass play from Bears’ 16 yard line in 4th quarter on 1st down is beyond me. Brady had no chance because D Smith had no chance vs Mack.

  25. anthony Says:

    Selective Aggression – uhhh the bucs were trying to move down the field hoping to score to close out the half. It led to the fumble that turned the game around. Bucs should have used better selective aggression here, ran out the clock and go into half 13-7

  26. Nick Says:

    813BUCBOL….ease up LOL “let another QB light us up”. Foles LIT US UP for 243 yards 1TD LOL. Other than Robinsons 90 yards, no other rec. got more than 38. no one LIT UP our defense except Herbert in the last 10 games. Bears ran 13 for 36 yards. The run defense is more than just one guy, its not just Vita Vea..its a 3-4 defense that is really a 5-2 defense, you’ll find our Run D will still be fine. The Offense needs to smooth itself out, which it will when healthy.

  27. 813bucboi Says:


    foles LIT up the defense with the wheel route every time they needed a 1st down….

    GO BUCS!!!!