Eric Mangini Speaks Of “Deeper” Issues With Bucs

October 25th, 2022

Head coach Todd Bowles.

Regular listeners of the “Ira Kaufman Podcast” may have heard Joe reference how a couple of star players seem different in Joe’s interactions with them this season.

The two star players, one on offense, one on defense, awesome guys each, just came across this season as changed men. Joe doesn’t want to use the word “standoffish” because that has a negative connotation.

It’s almost like these two guys look like they had to be at One Buc Palace. They didn’t seem to have the same energy or having the same fun. It almost appeared their passion was no longer on full boil.

Their vibe was like they were at a job. Their body language said, “Let’s get this over with.”

Joe could be reading something incorrectly because prior to the start of the season, the last time Joe was allowed in the locker room (because of NFL virus protocols) the team was led by Mr. Entertainment, America’s Quarterback, Jameis Winston.

A lot of things changed since, including the Bucs going from a joke to the NFL’s elite. The last two weeks, the Bucs have played like a team that even Jameis’ Bucs would stomp.

Is their demeanor reflective of the locker room as a whole?

Joe brings this up because of the comments of former NFL coach and Bill Belicheat assistant Eric Mangini on Mangini senses something mysterious happening in Tampa.

“It goes a lot deeper than that right now,” Mangini said discussing the Bucs’ pathetic play the past two weeks. “Nothing is in sync at any level. It’s going to be interesting to see how they respond to it.”

Initially, the interactions Joe has had with these two players this summer and fall had Joe dismissing these perceptions. Maybe Joe caught them on bad days or perhaps there were distracted in their personal lives.

But in light of what has transpired the past couple of weeks, the way the team just went through the motions against the Steelers and the Stinking Panthers, the Bucs played very much like the way these two players have been carrying themselves off the field: Lethargic.

Former Bucs quarterback Shaun King recently said the Bucs look to him like guys who got paid and were content. Rondé Barber later had similar observations.

Those comments fit what Joe has seen from the two aforementioned players.

Are the Bucs still stung from last year’s loss to the Rams in the playoffs? More than once Joe heard how hard that loss was on the Bucs.

Sometimes it almost is like the Bucs have the vibe that they feel Bucco Bruce Arians abandoned them right when the team was on the cusp of reaching greatness.

Do the Bucs miss the spark from foot-rubbing tight end Rob Gronkowski? He was very popular and respected in the Bucs locker room. Same for Jason Pierre-Paul.

Ndamukong Suh brought a demand for excellence and he was tight with some young Bucs.

A team can replace talent. A team can find cheaper players. A team can replace veterans with youth. But a soul cannot be replaced.

And Bucs have played soulless football the past two weeks.

64 Responses to “Eric Mangini Speaks Of “Deeper” Issues With Bucs”

  1. Costa Rica John Says:

    They have no heart. That’s what’s missing right now.

  2. Bucfan Says:

    Its all about leadership from the vets & COACHING STAFF!

  3. teacherman777 Says:

    Pierre-Paul has hit the ground running in his Ravens career and is already making his contract look like a steal for the organization,” Ebony Bird’s Justin Fried wrote. “The Ravens officially signed Pierre-Paul to a one-year contract with a base salary of just $1.35 million. With incentives, Pierre-Paul could earn over $5 million this season, but his cap hit won’t climb above $1.15 million. That’s quite the bargain for a player who might already be the team’s most efficient edge rusher.”

    JPP was our leader.

    Instead we paid Rudolph and Gage!

    JTS? Should not be starting. He is a 3rd down specialist.

    JPP was a Bucs legend. And we let him go.

  4. Richard Dickson Says:

    What’s the main difference between the last two seasons and this season? He’s currently driving his kangol hat around in a golf cart. Based on what we’re seeing, I’d have to say Arians ran a much tighter, more respected ship than Bowles is.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    The team is more different than we thought no respectable vets and Arians left.

  6. LVMYBUCS Says:

    They are playing “follow the leader” game and since the coach has no fire they dont either.

  7. DBS Says:

    Something is up if you are winning a couple weeks and all of a sudden I don’t give a Sh!t attitude appears.. Beasley came in and all of a sudden surprise he retires. Strange smell from this team right now. I have a feeling it’s from the top starting it.

  8. Upstate NY BUC Says:

    Sad, Millionaires with no desire for the sport they grew up with and gifted them with security for the rest of their lives… pretty embarrassing!!! Go Bucs…

  9. Joe Says:

    I have a feeling it’s from the top starting it.

    Something spooked Beasley. Hard to believe, if family time was an issue, he would have even signed in the first place. He claimed he hounded Tom Brady to help him get on the roster. Then two weeks later he bails?

  10. Buccaboo Says:

    My guess on those players would be Traitor Tom and Vita Vea

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    You force us to speculate on the two players……

    My guess is Mike Evans & LVD…..

    All of these articles on what’s wrong with the Bucs can be summed up with one answer……COACHING!!!

  12. Davenport Says:

    LVMYBUCS Says:
    October 25th, 2022 at 9:52 am
    They are playing “follow the leader” game and since the coach has no fire they dont either.

    Exactly. If they aren’t called out, if their pride isn’t questioned, then this nonsense sets in

  13. ClwJB Says:

    Been saying it for weeks, no passion In their play at all and that is ALL on the coaches

  14. Dooley Says:

    2 weeks? More like the whole season, it’s just these last two games the problems have been more glaring than anything positive this team has done in the same timeframe. Offense can’t score, defense can’t get off the field, and our kicker is our leading scorer.

  15. Winny Testaverde Says:

    The Buc season…like their head coach…is now pear shaped. No bueno.

  16. MarkV Says:

    Great article with interesting perspective Joe. Lots of big roster decisions, without much cap flexibility had to happen. But the loss of the “passion and soul” of Suh and JPP resonate loudly after watching our lifeless Bucs take the field these past few weeks. Makes you wonder where we’d be if those Julio Jones and Russell Gage dollars would’ve been spent differently. Lord knows they haven’t done much yet…

  17. gotbbucs Says:

    They’re going through a culture shock. Arians and Bowles seem like polar opposites from the outside looking in.

    They went from a coach that never shuts up to a coach that doesn’t speak.

    When the ish hit the fan on gameday Arians was animated, when it happens now Bowles clams up and shows zero emotion.

    Bowles needed Arians to be the Yin to his Yang, and visa versa. Leftwich is just a confused slug standing there, so he brings nothing to the table.

    Arians hanging around in the shadows of the building and slipping out to practice here and there was always going to be a bad idea. It meant Bowles had someone looking over his shoulder and it meant the players might get a mixed messages.

    Bowles never really stood a chance this season with the way the organization let this whole thing unfold. Arians/Brady dropped a bomb and you’re seeing the effects now. Gabbert or Trask could have done this poor of a job with the offense without the signing of Leonard Fournette, Julio Jones, and Russell Gage. Now instead of being a year into a rebuild, this season will set us back two more years worth of bad contracts and no closer to knowing what the QB position will be next year.

    This season is done for, lose out and get the highest draft pick possible.

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

    In losing BA, Suh, & JPP, this team has lost its Heart & Soul.

    And dare I say, it’s Ingenuity.

  19. Cobraboy Says:

    No heart.

    No head.

    No leadership.

    All on full non- display.

    This is a sad, uninspired bunch.

    And I suspect we’ve seen their best already this season.

    How far the mighty have fallen…

  20. Chesapeake Bucs Fan Says:

    Solution to scoring more: let TB12 run the hurry up, minimize run plays, get receivers to fight hard for the ball, and put Brady under center on short yardage so he doesn’t have to go back 5 yards to hand off….thus, quick opener….or short drop and quick slant.

  21. Ultra ClodHopper Says:

    They need Jensen to piss them off to put some fire under them
    They need Suh’s stoicism to keep them in line like an alpha wolf.
    They need JPP to stop them from dreaming about white chicks all the time
    They need Giselle to fall off a bridge.

  22. Tampa2ATL Says:

    Nailed it, Joe.

  23. HC Grover Says:

    The Ho Hum Game Plan

  24. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘it almost is like the Bucs have the vibe that they feel Bucco Bruce Arians abandoned them right when the team was on the cusp of reaching greatness.’

    Fascinating observation Joe, and I think you might’ve nailed it. In a very short timeframe, Bucs lost BA, Suh, JPP, Whitehead … their leadership. Followed shortly thereafter by losing Jensen to injury and Brady to the Bahamas & divorce. JL proceeded to backfill with a bunch of new faces who really hadn’t won anything. And through it all … new HC, new players … the Super Bowl expectations remained sky-high.

    MAYBE the players you’re talking about knew something that the rest of us didn’t.

  25. Morgus the Magnificent Says:

    If Thursday night goes as most of us expect, I expect Bowles to be let go on Friday. Lamar Jackson will get 40+ fantasy points.

  26. Mark Says:

    I suspect the roots of the disease are much deeper…think about the roller coaster the 2021 season was, even with all the now-departed leaders present. To be sure, 13-4 was great, but some really bad moments…the savage beating by the Saints, the Antonio Brown mess, the loss to the Rams in the Divisional round.

    Then the off-season drama with Brady.

    And now this crap…all kinds of alarm bells…Brady’s obvious unhappiness, the Cole Beasley arrival/departure, brain dead, lackluster play.

    Yes the coaching is beyond terrible, but there is much more at work here…the stench of “old Bucs culture” is back, like when the team quit on on Raheem, or on Schiano, or Lovie…

  27. NashvilleBuc Says:

    Bowles low-energy, disinterested, glum, soft-spoken demeanor is definitely part of the problem. It’s contagious. He may not have given up, but it looks like he has. What does that telegraph to the team?

  28. JimmyfromNY Says:

    Another clueless Bucs fan. What relationship does Tom Brady have with Shaun king , none, the guys been in the league for 22 years why would he ever say anything negative to a guy he barely knows. It’s either Mike Evans or someone else that the guy played with. Did Brady seem indifferent when he was screaming at his OK last week. Mike Evans quit on the team after that embarrassing drop last week. He basically told you that his post game press conference that he quit. And I’m sure that carried over with his conversations with former players this week. Doesn’t take a brain surgeon to see that

  29. Beej Says:

    Something to be said for Suh/JPP–I remember in 1976 The Reds traded away perpetual 90 rbi man and team leader Tony Perez in order to put young Dan Driessan into the first base slot.. Driessan did well the next year, but the Reds were never the same, finished distant second

  30. Craig Says:

    Bowles needed to put his stamp on this team, regretfully he had to dig a hole to do it.

    Now he has to stay the course, because going backwards would say that BA still has his fingers in it.

    This was always a transition team from BA to Bowles, but I thought Brady would have a stronger impact on a”defensive” coach.

    I was wrong and from here it looks like Bowles’ twisted ego is also wrong.

  31. beano Says:

    I said it when we started losing players in the offseason. This should have been a developmental year. But most of you were still hung over from the 2020 avocado tequila and didn’t listen. It’s time to listen now. Brady and Gabbert will be nowhere near Tampa next season. Play Trask and see what we have.

  32. Anonymous Says:

    Teacherman777, exactly right on JPP. And wasn’t it on this site that we heard JPP was washed up? He didn’t have it anymore? And how no one had signed him? Until they did. It will be the same with Suh.

  33. Anonymous Says:

    Guessing these 2 players could be 45 76

  34. BucU Says:

    Jason Licht has made a plethera of mistakes last 2 yrs. Darden is an unequivocal bust.
    Signing Julio Rudolph and Gage went belly up.
    And we are a brittle injury prone team with no direction whatsoever. It’s a complete organizational failure.

  35. Frank Pillow Says:

    Everything points to the man in charge. Everything. This is very Lovie like.

  36. August 1976 Buc Says:

    What takes the heart out of someone?

    It is different things for different people.

    1 Thing is when someone that everyones respects suddenly loses respect and turns people off.

    Could it be Brady?

    Or has Bowles just been wacked behind the scenes?

    But for players to play this dishearted, they are offended somehow with the team in someway.

    Whatever it is, the team is lifeless, which mirrors Bowles sideline demeanor.

    GO BUCS!!!!

  37. beano Says:

    “August 1976 Buc Says: What takes the heart out of someone? Thing is when someone that everyones respects suddenly loses respect and turns people off. Could it be Brady?”

    Absolutely. Talking to the Dolphins, skipping from the team during training camp and preseason games, skipping Saturday walk-throughs, etc. The players have caught up with who he really is. He is all about Tom.

    Start Trask and watch the offense get fired up. Backups from other teams have rejuvenated their offenses. But not the Bucs. They’re still stuck in Brady worship.

  38. Pewter Power Says:

    Young and stupid if they feel like they are content after getting paid. It can’t be true though. Did they not witness how Winston went from trying to get 30 million to playing for league minimum? Dude made 20 million the last year of his rookie contract

  39. CChead Says:

    It’s obvious that they lack leadership and accountability. That starts with the head coach. Having players out of position and looking confused on defense and running the same BS on offense is all coaching. They have lost the team.Season Over!

  40. matthew a veal Says:

    its the middle of the season. not the time for a pity party. no one gets it perfect.

  41. Bosch Says:

    I think there is something to the Bucco Bruce abandonment theory and the sting of the Rams loss. The two are intertwined. Players know that Bowel Movement should not have even been retained as DC, much less promoted to HC. Salt has been rubbed in the wound. Morale is at a Raheem Morris level.

  42. Eric b Says:

    Fire the coaches now!!!!

  43. macajubav Says:

    Eric Mangini ???? Really , another total failure as a HC. Is he curious to see how the Bucs may fix themselves because he ran two teams into the ground and could not fix his teams.
    How is this guy even getting paid as a commentator ?
    As for Joe, don’t tell me we have to listen to Ira’s boring podcast to learn the names of these bucs, share ??

  44. macajubav Says:

    a bunch of swaggy bakers huh ? like that dooooosh Charles Woodson, on Fox Sunday at 11am. Wearing a green suit because he “feels like money!”. Some cornerbacks you can take out of the ghetto but you cant take the ghetto out of the cornerback, similar to Aquib Talib, people still getting shot around that dude.

  45. Hodad Says:

    You wouldn’t be calling a team soft, or bored if Ray Lewis was the MLB, and leader. We drafted Devin White with the 5th overall pick in the draft to be the next Ray Lewis. Since 2020 White has looked more like Jerry Lewis. Where he was picked, and how he’s been playing call him what he really is a bust. We have to many over rated players like White collecting checks, and looking bored.

  46. Your Mom Says:

    Sounds to me like no confidence in the leader (head coach). Let’s not forget it was his stinky playcalling that lost the playoff game. That was an embarrassment to the team, and Bowles was to blame. Players sting from that and they know where to point the finger, even if they don’t say it aloud.

    And then you hear that very guy is going to be the new head coach. If you came to this team or re-signed with it for love of Arians, how would you feel knowing now you got the bait and switch and are stuck with the guy who blew the Rams game?

    Glazers should call Brady and tell him they are firing Bowles and Leftwich, whom does he want. The team is built around him, the urgency is all because he is here.

  47. Rod Munch Says:

    Bowles is a low energy guy, but generally respected, I believe – but the team seems like it could be missing that kick in the a– that Arians brought.

    As for Leftwich, everyone on the team knows he’s clueless. Just think back to the idea, the rumor, that Jacksonville offered Leftwich the head coaching job there, and Leftwich turned them down because he wouldn’t let the team determine who his GM would be. If true, that means Leftwich is so delusional that he thinks he can just walk away from head coaching jobs, that there would be a better one the next year (and keep in mind, this is when Brady was retired, so Leftwich though he’d have big success with a new QB). Leftwich was forced on Bowles as part of his head coaching gig, there’s no word on if Bowles even wanted Leftwich.

    Going back to Bowles – he’s responsible for the defense, which has played well enough for this team to be 6-1. But as head coach, you need to be willing to fix problems, and Leftwich is a huge problem.

  48. THOMAS PFALZ Says:

    I just want to know why they are not going after Suh & keep Hicks. Ifhis salary is not guaranteed cut him loose. If its guaranteed put him on IR. Either way sign Suh. Then replace Bowles with BA if he feels up to it. Replace Lefty with Clyde.

  49. Stanglassman Says:

    That’s a good point buccaboo. Tom Brady was trying his hardest to leave this team to go play for SF or Miami. Players around him all read about it. The entire offseason was tumultuous. It’s got to be difficult to listen to someone who only came back because he had to. I don’t know if this is a major factor but it’s definitely a factor.

  50. Rod Munch Says:

    Stanglassman Says:
    October 25th, 2022 at 1:18 pm
    That’s a good point buccaboo. Tom Brady was trying his hardest to leave this team to go play for SF or Miami.


    Literally fake news. The Miami stuff was all related to the 2019 season, not last year or the offseason. The SF stuff was from the 2020 offseason before he signed with Tampa.

    WOW, people are just dumb. They don’t read anything but the headlines, then build a narrative around it, when they got it completely wrong.

  51. Jack dos Santos Says:

    I love TB12 but I still have to call a spade a spade. When Tom was given special privileges to miss training camp, I believe many on the team were subconsciously disheartened by this. Yes I understand his wife is divorcing but the younger players probably cant relate.

  52. Joe Says:

    Literally fake news. The Miami stuff was all related to the 2019 season

    Literally incorrect.

    Before you accuse folks of not reading, you may want to read for yourself.

    The league also found that the team had contact with former Saints coach Sean Payton’s agent, Don Yee, in January 2022 and did not seek permission from New Orleans. …

    Miami also had “impermissible communications with both Mr. Brady and his agent during and after the 2021 season.” While the quarterback for the Buccaneers, conversations that began no later than early December ’21 focused on Brady becoming a “limited partner in the Dolphins and possibly serving as a football executive,” the league said. These conversations, which included Beal and Ross, at times also focused on the 15-time Pro Bowler possibly playing for Miami.

  53. Joe Says:

    I expect Bowles to be let go on Friday.

    That would be shocking on so many levels. Besides, Glazers have never fired a coach in-season, nor have they fired a coach before he finished at least two seasons.

    Raheem was on an 0-10 streak and the Glazers waited until the season was over.

    The Glazers decided to move on in October 2013 from Schiano and waited until after the season.

    Koetter was also doomed the last few weeks of the season and the Glazers waited.

  54. adam from ny Says:

    yes joe, zombies are living breathing creatures slowly moving forward without any heart & soul…

    enter “zombieland” aka ray jay stadium…

    formerly know as the den of depression and the licht house…

    one buc place — where zombies roam freely

  55. Mike Johnson Says:

    If you was about to lose over half of your income to an ex-wife, you would not play well either. Thats the big problem. Nobody wants to talk about all the over and under throws Brady is making. He can’t even hut his safety valves yet..its the coaches fault. And his O line is on and off again. His Defensive line is getting gashed. And he has no healthy secondary. All the coaches fault>? You guys are nuts. Welcome to the losers lament.

  56. Yucs2Bucs Says:

    @joe I think Tom retiring and then un retiring after the NFL laid the hammer down left a bad taste in players minds. It’s like picking the girl you dumped for someone else and then going back to her because it’s your only option. You and everyone else who has watched this ( team ) <“hard to say” has way deeper issues and it’s so obvious when they step on the field. That breakdown of the defensive tape was borderline scary and we paid Vea and LVD a huge bag to come back. They all look lost and also the attitude by the players look like they don’t care? I still can’t believe they beat the Chiefs with almost the same guys and won rings, but after this year it’s time to release and rebuild. If they give White a huge contract I will be absolutely shocked and his play over the past couple of years is so up and down, but truly believe the locker room is divided and with no leadership it’s going to have to get worse before it’s gets better.

  57. Roc Says:


    But when you replace a SUPERBOWL Coach with Losing Record Coach this is what happens.

    This team has no drive BECAUSE the COACH has no drive.

  58. Roc Says:

    Hey Good thing though

    Tixs will be cheap to see this dull circus

  59. Mark Reese Says:

    Let us all remember that once is an event, twice is a coincidence, three or more times is a pattern. I would suggest not getting alarmed until it shows that it has become a pattern.

  60. ChiBuc Says:

    Great article Joe… it certainly must be soul sucking to have the man who orchestrated that colossal fail vs the Rams become the leader of your club.

    Now, sprinkle on Tommy’s personal drama getting all of the recognition in the clubhouse while the man responsible shows little commitment to the team and finish it off with every excuse in the world how Tommy’s teammates are letting him down and playing poorly.

    And a lot of them are rookies with nobody in the room to lead them. I’m sure the team is emotionally and mentally exhausted from this circus of a season… I am and I just watch and rant

  61. BucFanforLife Says:

    We’re just setting up the league before we tear off 10 straight wins. I have faith in our Bucs. We’re gonna shock the world! By December, we’ll all be fist pumping, giving high fives, drinking pints in song, and preparing for the playoffs!

    Lol I know I know I’m just kidding.. we suck this year.. okay fine. But we gotta keep our humor in all of this because if not what else do we got in life 😏

  62. Thadeus Says:

    3 more losses ( one this Thursday) there will be no wildcard.

  63. Billy Says:

    These days all the younger folks want to “get paid” and work from home. Remote football.

  64. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Does anyone really think we will win our next 2 games ? We play the Rams first, then the Seahawks. No way we are beating either of those two teams, so where is the wild card coming from ?
    I hate to break the bad news, but we are not winning our division this year, nor are we getting into the playoffs as a wild card team.
    Honestly, we will be lucky to not finish LAST in the NFC South this year.