Five Things

November 30th, 2020

Ugly game and a possibly frightening near future for the Bucs. But let’s dive in and get this Monday rolling.

Not-so-fast starts.

Former Bucs coach Dirk Koetter always talked about fast starts. He always said they were critical.

This season we are finding out the hard way that no matter how much talent on a roster, if you have a lousy gameplan and get boat-raced early, your talent will not always be able to bail you out.

Yesterday was a perfect example.

If the Bucs had a better gameplan to fight the Chiefs, perhaps they would not have been down 17-0 and for all practical reasons out of the game.

If the Bucs had a better gameplan, perhaps they would have trailed by only, say 10-0. That’s not insurmountable.

Just like Bucco Bruce Arians and his staff went to the laboratory and made major changes to how they approached night games, during this bye week, Arians and his biggest and brightest staff have to self-scout their awful and off-target gameplans.

The team makes in-game adjustments just fine. Too often, those are too late. Like yesterday.

Unleashing RoJo.

Yesterday Ronald Jones didn’t have a prayer. The Bucs got behind so damn quick and so deep, the Bucs could not afford to run much.

It seemed RoJo was on his way to a big day but it got sidetracked by the score.

RoJo averaged 7.3 yards a carry, finishing with 66 yards on nine rushes. Joe believes if RoJo could have gotten the ball, say, 20 times, the Bucs would have won.

When the Bucs rush for 100 or more yards this season, they are 4-1. The one loss was by one point on the road to the Bears and, even then, Joe thought the Bucs pulled the ball out of RoJo’s hands too early.

If you can read the Bucs do well when they run for over 100 yards and Joe can read that the Bucs do well when they rush for over 100 yards in a game, why can smart football coaches employed by the Bucs making six- or seven-figures a year notice this?

Mike Evans, touchdown maker.

With four games to go, it seems a safe bet that Mike Evans, who caught two touchdowns yesterday, will reestablish his franchise record for most touchdowns in a season.

Evans owns the record of 12 touchdowns (in 2014 as a rookie and later in 2016). His 11 this season is tied for the NFC led and is one behind, guess who, Tyreek “Cheetah” Hill of the Chiefs.

Tough guys.

Joe has a hunch that the Bucs wouldn’t have had a prayer yesterday if left tackle Donovan Smith and left guard Ali Marpet sat out.

Smith is a tough guy. He takes pride in never missing starts. The Penn State product has missed one start in his six NFL years. That’s what you call durability.

A few years ago Smith happened to have had one of his worst games as a pro in New Orleans. When Smith is bad, he usually has a really bad game. He injured his ankle that day and had to be replaced. Joe remembers seeing him walk out of the locker room in a boot. He said he would be fine.

Sure enough, Smith started the next game. Like clockwork.

So all of last week after Joe reported that Smith was in a boot, Joe remembered that time in New Orleans when Smith was in a boot and he played the next week.

Marpet looked a bit rusty, as he had missed the past three games as he was in the NFL’s concussion protocol. But it sure was good to see Marpet back out on the field.

The bye week has arrived at the proper time. The offensive line is thin with the career-ending injury to A.Q. Shipley. So these guys need to recharge badly for the four-game stretch run.

The Den of Depression.

Joe nicknamed the Tampa Bay stadium on Dale Mabry Highway the “Den of Depression” years ago because of the Bucs’ inability to win there.

Bucs fans and some who work at One Buc Palace just go into orbit whenever they read Joe writing “Den of Depression.” Yet it is fully out of Joe’s hands.

For folks at One Buc Palace, however, it is very much in their power to determine the right players and right schemes and right plays to execute when blocking and tackling on the grass of the Den of Depression.

Joe doesn’t do any blocking, tackling, catching, throwing, kicking or running on that field, or any NFL field. Wins and losses are totally out of Joe’s hands. The Bucs have the worst home record in the post-Chucky era in the NFC.

That’s a fact. And that is pitiful.

Yet some consider Joe the bad guy in this issue.

In some markets, the Bucs would get killed for that awful home record. Hell, in Cleveland, Joe would have to look up the name of their crib because so many in the Cleveland media refer to it as the “Factory of Sadness.”

The Browns have the worst AFC home record in the post-Chucky era (5-1 this year).

Joe vowed years ago that if the Bucs only win five home games in one season, Joe will drop the moniker. Five home wins in one season. Is that really too much to ask?

Yet the Bucs, after yesterday’s loss to the Chiefs, their third consecutive home loss, now need to win both of their final 2020 home games to reach that five-game threshold.

If a team can never, ever have a winning home record, if the odds are greater when you buy tickets you will see a loss than a win, then why would you even want to attend a game in-person and fight the crowds and the traffic and the costs and, of course, the heat?

If you knew there was a better than a 50/50 chance that a movie would be garbage, the popcorn stale and the soda warm when you go to a theater, you wouldn’t go, would you?

And people wonder why the Den of Depression has had so many empty seats.

The Bucs just completed an awful November. So bad that it would not shock Joe one bit if the Bucs only won four home games this fall.

And thus, the handle “Den of Depression” would survive yet another year.

Remember guys, five wins at home in one regular season and that nickname goes bye-bye. That’s not too much to ask.

45 Responses to “Five Things”

  1. Oh Boy! Says:

    The play calling on both sides of the ball are digging too deep of a hole to climb out in the first quarter. Tear up the scripted plays! Consistently going 3 & out to start games is getting old.

  2. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    * Most disappointing team in Bucs history

    * Will not make the playoffs

    * Fire everyone and blow this team up in 2020

  3. Roy T. Buford Says:

    Agree with most. Three things:
    1. I don’t care about the Den of Depression monkier. That’s made up crap anyway, just like the Bucs coaches make up crap. the moniker isn’t what makes the Bucs lose though. The Bucs make the Bucs lose.
    2. Kudos to both Smith and Marpet. All last week I’d said if they both start we have a chance. Well, we had a chance! I never expected a win because of these coaches.
    3. In game adjustments that are late are not “fine.” The right adjustment too late is still the wrong action.

    I want to hear BA’s BS over the next week before I feel good or bad about MIN.
    If they lose that one after the bye week, they don’t deserve to make the playoffs. Keep up with excuses BA…(no, please don’t). Best absolute player roster on paper the Bucs have ever had, and probably will have for decades again. Coaching compares to Lovie and Schiano. Sickening. No one can win in that case. They dumped a QB bust way too late. Now it’s time to dump the clowns who kept propping him up for far too long.

  4. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    Bucci Brucie doomed this team by propping up a wannabe fake OC like Byron Suckwich

    If the GLAZERS have any sense….they’ll fire BA and BL

    …..then keep Todd Bowles and find a offensive play caller to be creative and craft an offensive off of Brady’s strengths…….cause its apparantly clear now that Tom Brady Winston is not comfortable or performing well in this BA offense.

  5. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    What horrible offensive and defensive gameplan going into the game. People who think Bowels and Leftwich are candidiates for HC spots are out of the heads. Look what Andy Reid does that is an HC/OC, he is creative and quses all of his weapons and play action and motions etc. Oh well, 9-7 miss the playoffs and then maybe one more year of this and thenback to the 5-11 duldrums of Tampa

  6. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    This isn’t rocket science folks…..Tom Brady Winston just sucks in Bucco Brucie’s offense.

    Byron Leftsuck has to be the absolute worst OC in the NFL and in Bucs franchise history!!!

  7. Jason Says:

    Joe believes if RoJo could have gotten the ball, say, 20 times, the Bucs would have won.

    YA THINK!!!

    For Rojo’s career, the Bucs are undefeated when He gets at least 20 carries!

  8. Buc fan always Says:

    But But But it is all the fault of Jameis! Who you gonna blame now haters?

  9. TheBucsAnthem Says:


    After yesterday’s game

    I won’t make my Sundays a priority anymore to watch these toilet bowl games

    …….I’d rather go fishing or something better than to see all that wasted talent on the offense.

  10. Allbuccedup Says:

    The sad part about this Joe if the Bucs don’t make the playoffs and make a run at the SuperBowl there is really no point in saying theres always next year. Think about you have a 44 year old quarterback next year with virtually no cap space. You will not be able to keep Godwin and Barrett both. According to Spotrac the Bucs have only 32 mil of cap space but thats only for 30 players under contract. That means you need 21 more players on your roster including your draft picks. The future looks a little bleak if you get my concern.

  11. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    You know after leaving and stopped watch this game in the 3rd quarter

    as I sat in Cracker Barrel and starred at the CBS game tracker….a thought came to me and it was…………………”How is this team any different from any other team post Jon Gruden era????

    ………..and it dawned on me “It’s not”.

    This team is the most disappointing team since I can remember as a long time Bucs fans just based off of talent level alone.

    This just goes to show you how much of a different coaching makes in a Franchise.

    We have bad coaches right now.

  12. ModHairKen Says:

    The team is 7-5. That’s better than last year. They lost the last 2 games to the defending SB champ and the NFC team in the SB two years ago.

    The coaching, game planning, preparation, and game-planning has been poor.

    And, yet, this team is in the mix for the playoffs.

    Rest up. Beat the Vikings.

  13. ben green Says:

    arians has to go. brady washed up talk should be done for the foreseeable. when andy reid put down the cheesecake factory menu, you could see the fear in his eyes via brady. lucky for him arians is even more challenged. i was sure reid would screw up the clock. lucky for him mahomes is on another planet

  14. D-Rome Says:

    I’m sure later on today or in the week you’re going to have some article that references Jameis Winston and Tom Brady in the same story. Just remember that if you decide to go there that Mike Glennon is having a better season statistically than Jameis Winston.

  15. All lives matter Says:

    Those new uni’s look great though

  16. tmaxcon Says:


    Outside of Grurden and mckay EVERY coach failed and was a bad coach especially the post season choke artist dungy the clown.

  17. All lives matter Says:

    Man we are 7 and 5 and people are talking disappointed? Take a hike. This beats being out of contention before we’ve played our 5th game. Get a grip people, I love this team.

  18. tmaxcon Says:

    All lives matter

    Dude bucs were out of contention the day the glazers bought into BA’s BS plan and signed a senior citizen at qb

  19. All lives matter Says:

    Gotta give Hill props this was funny,

  20. richbucsfan Says:

    Expectations were high this season. Reality brings us down to earth…poor coaching from both coordinators, HC, and the multitude of assistants; poor play by the defensive backs; injuries to the O-line; just too much to overcome. KC DC knew exactly what BL was dialing up. The offense is way too predictable and exceptionally vanilla (did you see KC’s first play????); the defense is lost in pass coverage. Either they can’t teach or the DB’s are dumb. Hard to say. But, it’s another failed season. Perhaps next go round, there will fan apathy or at least jaded fans who cannot be stoked by preseason advertising. Who knows? It IS a Bucs life.

  21. tmaxcon Says:

    Tom Brady accusation is just more proof the burden that seniors place on the state of Florida. Whisky is the only thing good old…..

  22. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist - City of St Pete Says:





  23. tmaxcon Says:

    Rojo the most talented RB in league. Lol low standard bucfan never let’s us down with Monday morning jokes….

  24. tmaxcon Says:

    Rojo is average at best and certainly can not be mentioned in the same breath as Henry…. Henry is on a three-year, Hall of Fame like tear. The Bucs don’t need RoJo to be a Hall of Famer. –Joe

  25. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    I truly believe Bruce Arians and Byron Leftwich simply just doesn’t have an answer anymore to try to get this offense going in a fast start.

    They Bucs coaches and Tom Brady bother know that this offensive system isn’t working for Brady’s mindset and talent level.

    Bruce Arians failed trying to Make Tom Brady into something he wasn’t or is trying to be……………and both of them have realized this now.

    The secondary of this defense is once again turning out to be the Achilles heal of this team…………after all these year it’s still a mess and work in progress.

    Time to have fire sale at the end of december 2020 cause this team will not make the playioffs

  26. tmaxcon Says:

    just making the playoffs during a year that the ENTIRE damn league basically get’s in is just what low standard bucfan needs to pound their chests from the mountain tops. why don”t you people get a reality check and accept this is NOT a contender and nothing more than PR stunt gone wrong. you should be used to it by now

  27. Bobby M. Says:

    The defense, particularly the secondary,….is not getting “fixed” at this point but I believe we still make the playoffs.

  28. All lives matter Says:

    I disagree about when we gave up running the ball. We’re down by only 3 points and it’s our first possession when RoJo ran for 9 yards on two carries before 2 incomplete passes and punt.

    Our defense stopped them and they punted back to us and RoJo got one carry (up the middle) for a yard. and then that was it, we started featuring the pass 8 out of of ten plays. At this point we were still down by 3 and we punted back to them.

    So I believe they gave up on the run before the game actually started. They could have committed to it early but chose not to

  29. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    @ Bobby………….hun…………booooooooooooooooo

    this team cannot even put together four solid quarters of consistent gameplay…..

    and you think this team will somehow magically make the playoffs?????

    NO FLIPPING WAY this team makes the playoffs

  30. DoooshLaRue Says:


    Make that 6 things…..

    The 6th being that you forgot Morning Cup of Joe.
    It’s a weekday right?

  31. Conte Piscateli Says:

    So can I start a petition for Tony Romo for next head coach. I swear he knew more about the issues of this team and how to address them than the largest coaching staff in the history of football. He comes with a pretty good coaching pedigree having been drafted by Parcells and played under Payton. But more importantly he understands the modern game. His dissertation about using motion to make defenses declare what the coverage is to simplify reads for the quarterback, and explaining that Brady is handcuffed into having to read everything post snap is exacerbated by a good pass rush. Hello, we’ve seen it first hand, but no one has put it into such simple terms.

  32. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Romo makes 16 million a year as a color analyst.
    How is him being a coach gonna happen?

  33. tmaxcon Says:

    DoooshLaRue Says:
    November 30th, 2020 at 9:58 am

    Romo makes 16 million a year as a color analyst.
    How is him being a coach gonna happen?

    not to mention very few successful players actually make good coaches. backups and special teamers are coaches not highly paid starters.

  34. bojim Says:

    RoJo always gets pulled too soon.

  35. bojim Says:

    Real classy of Hill.

  36. John Sinclear Says:

    Joe, isn’t time now to do away with the “Den of Depression” moniker? It should be re-named the “Arena of Agony”. !!

  37. Conte Piscateli Says:

    Ok yes Romo isn’t a real coaching option, but think about this. He studied maybe a couple days of Bucs tape and knew our team in and out both sides of the ball. Is it any wonder good teams have out coached us. Watch the Rams tape they disguised coverage all day and Brady struggled to read it with the pass rush in his face. The teams know that if you keep two safeties back allow your corners to play tight underneath coverage it gets very hard on this offense. Brady’s strength was always Pre snap reads and getting the ball out quickly. It’s not part of our offense and our early success came from teams game planning for old Brady, not teams know our offense and game plan for this staff stagnant trash.

  38. DavidBigBucFan99 Says:

    Joe, do you ever directly ask the coaches about these things you, we and the analysts point out at the press conferences? Like why pull RoJo out who is clearly our best runner then put UnFourtunette in who plays happy feet behind the line, or why do we play such SOFT zone coverage that EVERYONE exploits, or why have our dbs on the line acting like they’re going to play press but lets him right by without putting a hand on him or even redirecting receivers or why we can barely a pass defensed unless the qb misses the throw??? Or are these questions that can get you black balled?😂

  39. Joe Says:

    Joe, do you ever directly ask the coaches about these things you, we and the analysts point out at the press conferences?

    Sure. So do others.

    For example, Joe went through the play-by-play stats last year and noticed how often Leftwich was calling running plays to nowhere up the middle. So Joe asked Lefty is the Bucs running game was horrible, in part, that he had telegraphed where the Bucs will run (up the middle) and defenses were waiting for it.

    Let’s just say Left didn’t care for Joe’s question.

    There is a certain etiquette to press conferences (at least for rational reporters). Press conferences are not trials or inquisitions (though you may think otherwise watching CNN).

  40. Bucamania Says:

    Bucs D deserved to be clowned by Hill. He OWNED them. Play like a joke and that’s what you get.

  41. gus georgiou Says:

    As everyone has already said, the problems on this team are BA and BL and TB as guys who are leading and coaching this team. Arians wants to take credit when they win and blame people like Brady when they lose. Bowles never knows when put pressure on good QB’s until the score is out of reach. BL doesn’t know how to call a ball control offense to save his life. And Arians is too stupid to try and tell his coaches to try something different until it is too late.
    Jones should be playing most of the plays every game but BL brings in Fournette who drops passes and not make blocks as much as ROJO. They don’t know how to get him the ball in open space like other teams do with their good backs.
    To totally show how incompetent Todd Bowles is watching him constantly keeping 23 out there on defense when he is worse the Hargreaves was before they got rid of him.
    Totally horrible display of coaching all around!

  42. tmaxcon Says:

    Bucamania Says:
    November 30th, 2020 at 11:05 am

    Bucs D deserved to be clowned by Hill. He OWNED them. Play like a joke and that’s what you get.

    very true!!!! If you Don’t like the smart arse STOP HIM!

  43. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Can we not stop the offsides?…..we are suckers for the hard count every game..

    And….you can’t play action with an empty backfield….

    Succop continues to be rock solid…

    We should be generally healthy for the home stretch….

  44. unbelievable Says:

    Bucs record when RoJo rushes 20 times in a game: UNDEFEATED

    Arians & Leftwich braintrust: “I know, let’s give him 9 carries all game!”

    And you wonder why this team went from 6-2 to 7-5



  45. Christopher Schiefen Says:

    RoJo was hot, and basically doesn’t miss inside the 5…yet you let TipToes ButterFingers Fournette decide the game.