Mind-Numbing Decision Highlights Past Disarray

May 24th, 2021

Wild rookie story.

Recently Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht said losing was so frustrating during The Lost Decade because he knew the Bucs had the talent to win.

Joe had said that all along. Once Team Glazer hired a good coach instead of reaching for the future or reaching into the past, the Bucs would begin to turn things around.

Lavonte David recently did a sitdown with good guy Doug Farrar of Touchdown Wire to review film of plays in the Super Bowl. During the interview, Farrar asked the Bucs’ stud linebacker about calling plays as a rookie and David dropped an incredible bomb.

Through 2012 training camp and preseason and the week leading up to the season opener against the Stinking Panthers, middle linebacker Mason Foster had called all the defensive plays. But then-defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan had a brainstorm.

Let’s let Lavonte call the defensive plays!

Yeah, from my rookie season. We had a veteran [linebacker] in there — Mason Foster, he was calling the plays. And then, the night before the [first] game, the Saturday night meeting, [Sheridan] came to me and said, ‘Lavonte, you’re going to be calling the plays.’ I’m like, ‘What? I ain’t called the plays all camp! And you’re going to throw me in the fire on a 1:00 Sunday afternoon?’ This was the first time they were going to hear me talk and communicate.

(Sheridan is the same jackarse who told Bucs fans to show up to One Buc Palace to watch film with him, and when fans took him up on his offer, he rolled his window down, grinned at them and waved goodbye as his rig rolled into the complex with the same fans standing like a-holes on the wrong side of the gated fence.)

Joe just cannot believe an NFL defensive staff would hand off these significant duties to a rookie with zero experience just hours before kickoff of the season opener. Who does that? That’s crazy!

Joe has always been a bit of a defender of former Bucs commander Greg Schiano. Joe thought the guy got a little bit of a bad rap. Especially when you look at who replaced him.

(And no, Schiano didn’t ruin Josh Freeman. It was Freeman who ruined Freeman, that’s all there is to it.)

That season-opener was a 16-10 win over the Stinking Panthers at home. So it wasn’t like the defense was lousy. But handing a rookie who had never called defensive plays before the task of calling them just before kickoff is borderline insane to Joe. Good thing pouty Cam Newton was only in his second season. The Bucs defense finished 2012 ranked 29th in the NFL.

Joe doesn’t know what is worse, that, or a few years later the defensive staff giving another linebacker the job of calling plays even though the rest of the defense couldn’t understand him in the huddle, forcing dudes to freelance. When Mike Smith always said the issue with his lousy defense was “communication,” he wasn’t exactly lying.

Joe’s a big coaches guy. That’s both good and bad. But Joe thinks it’s obvious that a huge reason why the Bucs stunk in The Lost Decade was the coaching staffs tasked with running the team and developing talent were holding the team back.

37 Responses to “Mind-Numbing Decision Highlights Past Disarray”

  1. adam from ny Says:

    you’d think that would also have to be okayed by the head coach too…

    when things get messy in tampa, they get real real messy…

    one would think with the way the “brady effect” has kicked in on the organization, there’s hopefully no going back to days when things were all mucked up…

    hopefully we’ve taken a giant leap forward and there’s no going back to a little lord fauntleroy bowl cut 🙂

  2. Medicated Pete Says:

    After reading this, I beat the table in front of me & flipped furniture then stuck my hand thru an electric fan

  3. AtlBuc Says:

    Joe! Who is it the linebacker who the other players could not understand in the huddle?

  4. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Schiano did have a hand in this, he hired Sheridan after he’d already proven to be one of the worst DC’s in football with the NY Giants. Schiano could’ve overruled Sheridan’s decision, but maybe it helped the Bucs in the long run, David developed into a top Bucs player.
    Really, this was just a drop in the bucket in showing the Bucs coaching ineptitude for several years. Remember the OC that Raheem hired that couldn’t call plays? Remember Jim Bates and how he tried to run a 3-4 without the personnel? Remember when Lovie cut All Pro Revis because he “didn’t fit his system”?

  5. BucEmUp Says:

    Didnt Cam.Newton miss that game? That was one of the worst coaching staffs on the planet

  6. Buczilla Says:

    Makes sense to me. Look how the team has done when we’ve had good coaching throughout the years. Too bad it’s been more bad than good, but we are in a great place now man.

  7. Hodad Says:

    Lovie, Schiano, Raheem, there’s been some winners that’s for sure.

  8. #1bucsfan Says:

    Exactly joe. They couldn’t develop any players. Players knew that so no one bought into those systems. Very happy with our coaching staff. Bruce arians knows what he is doing and the best part is he is great at it.

  9. lambeau Says:

    This is a strong staff which seems to command both respect and affection.

  10. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Had to be Kwon I think.

  11. Buccaneers Life Says:

    Joe do you think BA is a Hall of famer

  12. Curse of Gruden Says:

    AtlBuc Says:
    May 24th, 2021 at 6:29 am
    Joe! Who is it the linebacker who the other players could not understand in the huddle?

    Joe, who was the mumbling(?) linebacker? This is new to me.

  13. PSL Bob Says:

    Can’t believe Joe didn’t mention the departure of Michael Bennet, presumably another bonehead coaching move.

  14. Joe Says:

    Joe do you think BA is a Hall of famer

    If he wins another Super Bowl.

  15. PSL Bob Says:

    AtlBuc – I’m guessing it was Mason Foster.

  16. Joe Says:

    Can’t believe Joe didn’t mention the departure of Michael Bennet, presumably another bonehead coaching move.

    Joe’s intel from someone who was in the same room when the decision was made to move on from Michael Bennett was that it wasn’t Schiano’s call, hence why Joe didn’t mention Bennett.

  17. Joe Says:

    AtlBuc – I’m guessing it was Mason Foster.

    Mason Foster was waved goodbye by that noted personnel wizard Lovie Smith.

  18. Medicated Pete Says:

    Kwon Alexander was the LB no one on the defense could understand when he was calling plays

  19. mark2001 Says:

    Coaches at the professional level make no difference. These guys are grown men…they know what to do… to play their positions, how to train, and what they need to do to develop themselves. They don’t need a organizational culture of success and overcoming adversity to win collectively. That collective word is just Socialism. It is a cancel culture plot to eliminate personal player responsibility. They don’t win, they are losers who just don’t want to win enough. Just a drafting mistake. Bottom line, Coaches Make no difference. Coaches are big organization socialism…SMH.

  20. Joe Says:

    Coaches at the professional level make no difference

    If you think Mike Smith could have developed the GraveDiggers or crafted a gameplan to shutdown Pat Mahomes, Joe’s got some Arizona swampland at a fair price for ya.

  21. D-Rome Says:

    Joe has always been a bit of a defender of former Bucs commander Greg Schiano. Joe thought the guy got a little bit of a bad rap.

    In hindsight I agree. Had he been given more time he may have turned around the culture of the team. GMC, Martin, and V-Jax were pro bowlers. Lavonte David lead the team in tackles, Michael Bennett was very good at DE….there were other pieces though I suppose there are pieces every year. That 2012 team played hard.

    I don’t know what to think of Freeman. He showed promise but I’ve also heard so many other stories about him in the Tampa Bay area. If 10% of them are true then Schiano was doomed the say he signed the contract.

  22. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    You all have a short memory. The KING of coaching ineptitude moves was Lovie’s “rebuilding” the Bucs Oline. And with Lovie, there are many coaching decisions that are far worse than that of Sheridan

    I do not have any idea how someone can rise to such a level of incompetence – being paid millions for making such horrific decisions. The only decision that is possibly worse than what Lovie did was made by the U of Illinois in March 2016

  23. Joe Says:

    Señor Harry in Costa Rica:

    Even a gentleman like Harry can see this from afar. 🙂

  24. Cainishere Says:

    Schiavone? What a disaster. What you people smoking this day? I want some too.

  25. mark2001 Says:

    Joe.. It was SMH sarcasm. Remember when all the posters were saying that coaches made no difference regarding the way our team played? I was simply paraphrasing them.

  26. mark2001 Says:

    Joe… then you countered that with Arizona swampland which was simply another twist on reality, about as large as mine. As long as that swampland is as close to the Gulf as we are in Tampa bay, I’ll buy it. Well played.

  27. Joe Says:


    Internet really needs a sarcasm font. 🙂

  28. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    ^^^Gracias Joe. We went to the SB. What an friggin AMAZING experience. Been a JBFer since close to the beginning of the site. You guys do an amazing job. Truly thank you for all the great articles. Especially at a time when other sites are in sleep mode.

  29. Joe Says:

    Thanks for the kind words Harry and long-time support!

    The Super Bowl was weird wasn’t it? It was like a regular Bucs home game with glitz.

  30. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    LOTS & LOTS & LOTS of Glitz!!! Especially the end with all the pretty Bucs color coordinated confetti, lol Could not have scripted the entire game any better than what it was.

  31. SlyPirate Says:

    I just read an old Joe article: The Rise and Fall of Josh Freeman

    The comment section is hilarious. The Winston love affair was in full swing. He was about to become the greatest QB the NFL had ever seen.

  32. Darin Says:

    I’m guessing the coach had a problem with foster and that’s why he did it. Childish. I had a coach do the exact same thing to me in high school. Started all offseason and the month of practice then 15 minutes before the game found out i wasnt even playing. All over beef aith my brother. Some grown men aren’t grown.

  33. BA4President Says:

    I still don’t know who the players that no one understood was. Kwon??

  34. ToesOnTheLine!!! Says:

    Agree with you on Schiano Joe (the screen name should kind of imply that lol), and glad you often set the record straight on the Michael Bennett decision for the fans not in the know. Who knows what could have been with another year (with a different GM and different QB)? Alas all the years of futility led us fans to where we are today (good coaching staff, solid GM (took Licht long enough to go from the kicker debacle to making mostly good decisions)! Lol, and the most successful QB in the modern era of the game)

  35. sasquatch Says:

    Kwon had some problems with enunciation.

  36. Howard Cosell Says:

    Howard gives the Glazers big Brady props……. big time. Possibly a more epic move than the Gruden signing by pops.

    That said, Howard, unlike the media, holds the Glazers fully responsible for the chaos and absurdity and negligence of the lost decade. Bill ****in Sheradin? What were they thinkling? We were really scraping rock bottom.

  37. Ricky Ricardo Says:

    Hmm. Wonder why Keon got traded by San Fran so fast? Curious.