Stephen A. Smith On Bucs: “I Don’t Know If It’s You Taking Your Foot Off The Gas Or People Figuring You Out?”

December 16th, 2021

“Concerned” with Bucs.

The Bucs have the best record in the NFL nine days before Christmas. And one noted talking head is beginning to wonder if that record is a mirage.

Screamin’ Stephen A. Smith of BSPN took to the airwaves of the four-letter on SAS’s show, “Worst Take,” and wondered aloud if the Bucs are fraudulent.

He saw the Bucs absolutely dominate the Bills in the first half last Sunday. Then he saw the Bucs fully collapse before pulling themselves off the mat in the second half.

Unless that second half was a complete fluke, SAS said, the Bucs are going to get quickly bounced from the playoffs.

“I’m concerned,” SAS began. “Everybody is raving. Look, [Tom] Brady looked fantastic — in the first half. And he ultimately closed the deal.

“It was less than impressive in the second half. Let’s just call it what it is. You’ve got Mike Evans out there. You’ve got Chris Godwin catching 10 passes for [110] yards. Mike Evans looks like he’s tinkering with the Hall of Fame because he’s got some mad skills and he’s bringing it to the table. You’ve got Gronk out there. I know Antonio Brown wasn’t out there but you look at the bevy of weapons the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have at their disposal.

“Although you understand Buffalo is a good team, they have been struggling. They don’t like physicality. You have Leonard Fournette running the ball effectively and then you let them come back and tie this game and ultimately force overtime?

“I don’t know if it’s you taking your foot off the gas or people figuring you out? In the end, what you saw from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the second half ain’t going to cut it.”

Well, for Joe, this all stemmed from (once again) a starting corner went out of the game and then the defense collapsed.

Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles has to figure out a way that his defense doesn’t fold like a Samsung phone the second a starting corner leaves the game. For that to happen time and again, that is like telling Joe the most valuable defensive player for the Bucs is Carlton Davis or Sean Murphy-Bunting or Dean.

Are they good players? Darn right! But not having one of these guys on the field shouldn’t suddenly put the Bucs back into a time machine with Mike Smith running the defense and Tyrod Taylor marching 75-yards on three plays for a touchdown.

One corner leaving shouldn’t turn the defense into a total sieve like it has too often this season. The Bucs simply have too many good defensive players for that to happen.

38 Responses to “Stephen A. Smith On Bucs: “I Don’t Know If It’s You Taking Your Foot Off The Gas Or People Figuring You Out?””

  1. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Stephen needs to earn his bread. It’s his schtick!

    FACT CHECK: Bucs 10 Wins! Bucs First place! What else really counts?

  2. ModHairKen Says:

    What an idiot

  3. Medicated Pete Says:

    Bucs just wanna get to the playoffs & healthy

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    Smith … ‘beginning to wonder if that record is a mirage.’

    Last I looked, 10-3 is 10-3. No mirage there SAS. And in that 10-3 record are THREE 4th quarter comebacks against 3 pretty good teams (Pats, Indy & Buffalo).

    Admittedly the Bucs do seem to have a problem with CONSISTENCY (as in playing a FULL 60 minute game). But that’s not unique to the Bucs, and we had the same problem last season until crunch time. Then we got our act together & played some very consistent football … on offense AND defense. The final act hasn’t been written yet on 2021.

  5. Marine Buc Says:

    I figured Steven A. Smith out – He is a race baiting moron…

  6. BuucccNASTY Says:

    Pete. I’m with you, get there and as heathy.. A teams IR (or lack there for of) is just as important cone playoffs as the active roster come January.

  7. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Scoring just 3 points in 3rd and 4th quarters doesn’t cut it.
    The Bucs did not have the same energy level as Bills in 2nd half- they were out hustled and then Allen got hot.
    Fortunately, Brady got hot again during overtime – the GOAT!

  8. Richard Dickson Says:

    The Bucs are like those LeBron Heat teams who’d know they were in the playoffs and got bored during the regular season.

  9. Colin in Canada Says:

    “I don’t know…” – SAS.

  10. LVMYBUCS Says:

    I believe it was Devin White who said in the press conference that they took the foot off the gas when they had the Bills 21 points on D. Cant do that with a good team or any team for that matter.

  11. Francisco Guzman Says:

    He’s a packers homer. Nobody is gonna wanna play us when the playoffs begin.

  12. Armybucfan Says:

    As much as I hate to admit SAS has a point. We dominated the first half leading 24-3. Then in the second half we switched from man coverage to zone (that’s when the bills came
    Back) and did not run the ball as much to help us run down the clock and maintain time of possession. We have one of the best RB tandems if used properly but we don’t. I get Brady wants to pass but we need to mix up the run pass options to open up the play action passes that Brady is so great at. We saw none of that. Why because the opposing defense knew Brady was just going to pass and we stepped away from the run game.

  13. John Collins Says:

    Look how close so many games have been in NFL this year. Every team has professional play makers but Al Davis words still ring true-just win baby

  14. stone crab sam Says:

    i have one response. 10-3.

  15. Listnfrmafar Says:

    C’mon guys, he’s a dip shat but not far off. Bill’s went into half-time made adjustments and came out and kicked arse. Bucs came out complacent and conservative and got away from what got them the lead. So Dean goes out and the defense comes to a halt? Wasn’t he out early first half? I am beating a dead horse when I say, if the coaches work part-time then the team will. I can see a game or maybe two but when you talk consistent, the only consistent thing they do is NOT play a 60 minute game. They are 10-3 on talent and talent alone and I hope that’s enough to get them to the promised land.

  16. PSL Bob Says:

    Sorry, but I have to agree with SAS a little here. He’s absolutely right. If the Bucs keep letting teams back into the game, they will eventually get busted. Last year the problem was not starting fast. This year they start off great and then start coasting. Yes the defense started sputtering after they lost a DB to “illness”, but that’s not what made the game close It was the offense that let up, for whatever reason. The Bills didn’t miraculously figure us out. The Bucs offense just stopped making plays. We could have put the dagger in the Bills after we stopped that fake punt early in the second half, but we ended up empty handed. The O has to play a complete game in the playoffs.

  17. Buc4evr Says:

    Kind of scary, it’s like the defense can’t adjust when a key secondary player goes down during the game. Hope they can put a full 60 minute game on both sides of the ball against the Saints. Hope Brady has started sending text messages to all the players at 1:00am in the morning. This is crunch time!

  18. ModHairKen Says:

    All you Chicken Littles who keep talking about second-half let downs and fear about defensive backs not being replaced, look at the record. They are 10–3. First time ever in franchise history. Stop acting like every single moment has to be perfect. No one wins 48-6. The other teams are good, too.

    Calm down.

  19. Doctor Stroud Says:

    The Bills lost to the Jags, and he’s picking on the Bucs?! That’s what “ain’t going to cut it”. Come on, man!

  20. Since76 Says:

    When you see or hear this guy yelling just turn the channel. Problem solved.

  21. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Modhair, there are 3 teams 10-3 and a few more 9-4. What’s your point?

  22. Doctor Stroud Says:

    What “adjustments” did the Bills make?

  23. Bobby M. Says:

    I don’t think any team in position for the playoffs is truly superior to the others. Any Sunday, any given team can knock off the other if execution is poor. I think Brady’s approach is to keep scoring, never let up and that has obviously worked well for him but in the last game it didn’t due to poor execution. Brady missed some throws, Allen started running, the defense started to get tired, Dean went down and we switched to a zone….that’s how quickly things unravel. IMO…we should have hammered them with Fournette and Rojo to burn clock and try to keep our defense fresh. Hindsight is 20/20….we got the win but I do believe we can be beat on any Sunday, but that goes for all the teams. Remember the Jaguars beat the Bills….

  24. SB Says:

    So missing a corner is why the Offense went 3 and out after 3 and out and could only muster 3 points in the second half huh?
    Wow……….JUST WOW Joe.

  25. Jerry Says:

    He’s right that the Bucs have struggled to put together a full 60 mins, especially on defense. But even on offense they have gone stretches in games where they just go cold suddenly. When the Bucs do this it allows the opponent back into the game, and suddenly we have to reply on a game saving tackle or Brady on a game winning drive.

    The odds are this will be what causes us a playoff exit. You can’t let good teams like the Bills to mount comebacks like they did.

  26. SufferingSince76 Says:

    There is no excuse for taking your foot off the gas unless you are in fear of running up the score. The fact that White said that is bothersome.

  27. PassingThru Says:

    As much as I disklike Screamin’ (who knows next to nothing about football), he is pointing out something for the coaching staff. The Bucs have had two recent games where they took the foot off the gas in the second half, making the game unnecessarily close. I get the strategy: Trying running more and bleed the clock whenever you’re up multiple scores in the second half. The problem is that this defense isn’t as reliable as the coaching staff believes.

    There’s a balance between using the clock and using aggression. This coaching staff hasn’t found it yet. That INT with seconds remaining before half-time during the ATL game is Exhibit A, and the second half of the Buffalo game is Exhibit B.

  28. Bird Says:

    They got 4 games to get healthy and hopefully figure a few things out
    Cause we clearly arent there. We did go turtle last game. Nothing wrong with saying that. And We got two huge TOs and did nothing.
    We have to play 60 against the saints. I think beating saints will give us a tad more confidence. And then we get 3 teams we should spank to fix those last few issues. And maybe rest some guys some plays while we are at it

  29. John Olmstead Says:

    There does seem to be a loss of focus and concentration on the offense this year. TB12 inexplicably misses some easy throws in the second half. Perhaps the leads come too easily in the first half. With a healthy AB and secondary, I don’t see anybody beating the bucs but the bucs themselves.

  30. zzbuc Says:

    SAS is one of some that ruined Sports Journalism, with all this fake deabtes, and acting as he is pissed……We should call him Google, he knows everything about every single sport played in the globe…Just unwatchable…..

  31. Listnfrmafar Says:

    SB and those that blame offense for D being gassed. 3rd qtr Bill’s get KO drive ends at 12:28, Bucs take over 4 and out yes 4 downs, Bill’s take over at 11:09 & score Bucs drive starts at 7:27 drive ends at 4:53, Bill’s next drive ends at 2:11 in the 3rd. Bucs control ball into the 4th until 11:20 and kick FG. Bill’s next drive score. Bucs take over at 9:07 backed up from holding call first play Lenny 1 yd run. The first Bucs 3 & out in the second half
    Bill’s get ball back at 8:08. You all know the rest. So after O scoring 24 points in the first 1/2 D was on the field just under 9 min 3rd qtr and rested 6 min before getting on the field in the 4th, this does not account for TV timeouts. They shouldn’t of been gassed.

  32. Mike Johnson Says:

    Never cared for Mr. Smith. He is on to much. I turn the sports channel when he is on it..which is quite often. He over dramatizes everything Please…Less Smith and more sports info.

  33. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    Great questions raised about the collapse of our defense when one of our CBs goes out. This has been a persistent pattern all season and it is Bowles job to be prepared and have a good Plan B ready for the rest of the game.

    I certainly hope we are in the process of ramping up and getting on a roll. But this is not guaranteed. Play-offs always mean one loss and you are out. DefenseRules hit the nail on the head.

  34. Bucsfanman Says:

    DR stated it above and it bears repeating. We are inconsistent. It was almost exactly the same last year until we got into the playoffs, and even then we had problems with WFT.
    The only time that I can remember playing a complete 60 minute game of complementary football was the SB. It’s been fits and starts all season.

  35. Tony Says:

    Really didn’t think they’d be dealing with things like consistency & things like that with players like Brady & Gronkowski on the team. They’ve got plenty of experience & you’d think it would be to where they’d be constantly on them.

  36. Jmarkbuc Says:


    One loss in the playoffs= done.

  37. cmurda Says:

    I’m a fan of SAS and disagree with him about half the time but I respect him taking his stance and defending it. He’s off the mark here regarding Lenny. He wasn’t running all over them. He had a really nice run for a TD but it was a lot of clouds of dust after that. That’s part of the problem that we encountered. If we can run and smash some hard nosed first downs that clock would have been worked. We could not though. I like Lenny and he’s so reliable but we are missing ROJO’s burst. We were flat out more effective when it was more of a time share.

  38. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    ModHairKen, we were 11-3 in 2002