Five Things

December 12th, 2022

Such an ugly day yesterday. Such an ugly morning so far today. Let’s get this over with.

Panic Move Wreaked Of Desperation

Joe had a hunch it was going to go downhill from here.

You ever watch a football or a basketball game at just about any level, where in crunch time a team tries to force a play doing something wild, unorthodox? Trying to do more than their bodies can do? And the results are a disaster?

Like launching half-court shots off the backboard hoping to draw a foul at the same time?

That’s what Joe was reminded of on the very first series yesterday.

The Bucs’ offense bogged down — No!? — and the Bucs tried to kick a field goal. From 55-yards out! On the first possession!

Even better/worse, Ryan Succop had never made a 55-yard-or-longer attempt in his 14-year career. On top of that, it was breezy at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara deep in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Joe didn’t get a chance to ask Bucs coach Todd Bowles what was up with that move, but dang. What made anyone think Succop, who is known not to have a strong leg, can hit a 55-yarder?

Again, to Joe, it seemed a move of absolute desperation. And panic. Naturally, the kick was way short.

Todd Bowles May Have A Tough Decision

Last week Donovan Smith said he might not be playing his best football because he is dealing with a personal issue. He refused to elaborate. Sunday may have been one of Smith’s worst games.

His holding penalty wiped a Mike Evans 68-yard touchdown catch off the scoreboard. Who knows what would have happened if that counted?

Joe understands the Bucs are already down a tackle with All-Pro Tristan Wirfs trying to come back from a high ankle sprain. But if Smith’s off-field issue is affecting him that badly, how can Bowles justify keeping him on the field?

If Smith cannot be locked in mentally to the game, either get him help to deal with this mysterious issue or give him a leave of absence. Joe isn’t trying to be cruel or insensitive. Joe’s looking out for the team.

If a guy sprained his ankle and demanded to play, but his teams started to take advantage of his gimpy wheel, coaches would pull the guy off the field, right? Joe doesn’t see any difference in that and what Smith is going through.

Yesterday, Smith hinted this has been an ongoing issue for months. When he was asked if he might need to step away from football, Smith said no because it’s been going on all season long.

If this keeps up, Bowles might have to order Smith to step aside, something Joe understands Bowles doesn’t want to do. But at some point you have to look out for the whole team.

Put Flags On Them

Joe has typed this before and is quite serious.

Yesterday when Keanu Neal blitzed on the very first play of the game and floored San Francisco quarterback Brock Purdy with a perfect tackle for a sack, and Joe saw the flag come out almost immediately, Joe nearly fell out of his chair.

The instant Neal sacked Purdy Joe thought, “That was too good. That was too hard of a hit… ” and then the yellow hanky came out.

It has reached the point that quarterbacks ought to have flags on them.

Joe spoke with Neal after the game and he was really confused what and how he is supposed to hit the quarterback. He thought he went in with his head up.

The reason Joe believes teams ought to put flags on quarterbacks is at least then, defenders will know what a sack is and what exactly they need to do for a sack without drawing a flag.

Neal is hardly the only player complaining about the definition of a sack. Flags would be definitive. No gray area. Yeah, it has come to that for Joe. You know, Roger Goodell football.

It is very, very, very, very frustrating as a hardcore football fan to see good football penalized for reasons that don’t compute.

Break out the flags (for the quarterbacks only). Enough is enough.

Carl Nassib Needs More Snaps

Last week Bucs outside linebacker Carl Nassib had a key sack and a batted down pass late in the game to help the Bucs rally from a two-touchdown deficit to win. At the time, Joe thought and wrote how Nassib needs more snaps because for whatever reason, Joe Tryon-Shoyinka isn’t getting the job done.

So yesterday after the end of the third quarter, Joe had to visit the little boys’ room to take care of business. There, the 49ers radio broadcast was piped in.

Longtime listeners of “Movin the Chains” remember the original co-host who for years teamed up with Pat Kirwan. And that was former Bears defensive tackle Tim Ryan. It was such good football radio.

Well, Ryan has gone on to bigger and better things and one of those is being the color analyst for 49ers radio. Joe heard him go on and on about how underrated Nassib is after Nassib got a two-yard tackle for loss on San Francisco running back Jordan Mason.

So Joe has to ask again: If Nassib continues to make plays and JTS continues to look as if he’s swimming upstream, isn’t it about time to put Nassib on the field more? Isn’t it crunch time for the Bucs to try to win a game or two to win the division?

Nassib yesterday had three tackles, two tackles for loss, a quarterback hit and a pass defended.

That, as a backup, is a better gameline than JTS has had in weeks.

Hey, Russell Gage Lives

Joe has to give Bucs receiver Russell Gage a lot of credit. For him to catch that deflected pass intended for Chris Godwin and still have the smarts to get over the goal line for the Bucs’ lone touchdown was impressive.

And it also underscores how he has been such a bust with the Bucs.

Gage has been hurt since almost the time he stepped on a Bucs practice field. He blew out a hamstring in OTAs and aside from his 12 catches and a touchdown in Week 3 against the Packers, you never knew Gage was on the field.

Joe is still trying to figure out where the Gage went that couldn’t be covered in training camp. Daily, Gage was lighting up the Bucs defense. He and Tom Brady looked like they had played with each other for years.

At one point, Bowles said of Gage, “We can’t stop him.”

Then he blew out his hamstring (again) and since has damn near been a ghost. A rumor.

Joe was happy for Gage that he made such a heads-up play. But the Bucs need a lot more from him than a fluke play once a season.

40 Responses to “Five Things”

  1. Bucsfan13 Says:

    Joe nails it! We desperately need Tommy to talk to his old pal Jeff Darlington to find out what the heck is going on internally in that building. I see a bunch of apathetic players on the team just looking to cash a check.

  2. steele Says:

    Joe, these things are relatively minor items from the massive list of greater horrors that this team is facing right now. The fact that you are pumping Nassib as some kind of savior—Nassib—only underscores how bad JTS is.

    Pound for pound, judged objectively based on the quality of play on the field, this is bad team, regardless of veteran status and big names.

  3. steele Says:

    The way it looks now, SF will run the table. I don’t see any team good enough to expose Brock the C ock, who is no Nick Mullens. He may in fact be good enough to send Jimmy G packing, and foil any thoughts of needing Tom Brady to come to SF. (Which was a long shot anyway.)

    Meanwhile, the Bengals will be a problem. Not as bad as SF, but they will do their best to inflict a similar kind of defensive beatdown on the miserable Bucs.

  4. Onetrickpony Says:

    These are the good times believe it or not. If Brady walks this year ,can you imagine what it will be like with these two ,TB and BL with Gabbert as qb?
    We are screwed.

  5. Pruritus Ani Says:

    Ugly indeed. Sure do miss waking up to good news and dissecting wins. How good we had it… albeit briefly. What a downer.. Whole week ruined!!!

  6. Hail2dabucs Says:

    For real , when you have fake leaders & inept coaching , plus gronk , AB , marpet , Jensen , suh , jpp & others gone along with Bruce and Brady being 45 and no real direction that’s a recipe for exactly what we have here…one giant chit show ! …thanks for our newest SB 2 years ago , time to clean house…

  7. FrontFour Says:

    On Smith, we’ve got nobody else.
    On FG, never had a chance, especially with the wind.
    On Neal’s hit, thought it was perfect.
    On Nassib, start him.
    On Gage, bust

  8. Richard Dickson Says:

    There was an even worse roughing call in the Dolphins/Chargers game. If they league can’t instruct the refs as to what actually constitutes this penalty, at least make it challengeable so the teams have some kind of recourse.

  9. Ed b Says:

    I concentrated on joe tyron you-stinka yesterday..he IS a bust in my opinion.. can’t shed blockers at all

  10. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Why would anyone spend their hard earned money on going to a game? You can be embarrassed and unimpressed in the comfort of your own home. And the beer is colder and cheaper.

    Make the Glazers pay at the box office. That’s all they understand or care about.

  11. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Five things:

    1) The positive: Thompkins looked good as a return man. Why did it take the Bucs so long to replace a scared Darden?

    2) Why didn’t Devin White push Samuels out of bounds on the first TD? Did he have money on the Niners, or is he just too dumb to know where he is on the field? Either way, not good.

    3) JTS is not an NFL player.

    4) Witfs needs to be moved to Left Tackle in 2023, with Smith getting cut. If you think it “ain’t broke”, you haven’t been watching the games.

    5) The field goal attempt defined the whole game: An embarrassment.

  12. beano Says:

    Good thing Trask hasn’t played this season and allowed us to see what he has. It’s more important to be a loser and be 28th in points scored per game!

  13. BucsFanSince76 Says:

    Bad offensive line and bad defensive line-end of story. Thank you very little Jason Licht.

  14. Defense Rules Says:

    Bucs not being able to effectively run the ball played right into SF’s hands. Brady was 34-of-55 on the day (61.8%) for 253 yards (4.6 yards/attempt average), but the majority gained relatively little (take away the 3 completions of 15 yards or over & we only averaged 3.6 yards/attempt on the remaining 52 passing attempts). We can’t sustain drives like that, and without a running attack & few explosive pass plays we keep getting bogged down & not scoring. Same thing game after game: rinse & repeat.

    Bucs were 10-for-20 passing on 1st down (we made 3 first downs on first down & 1 was intercepted). We were 4-for-6 on 1st down throws in 1st half (made 2 first downs), and 6-for-14 on 1st down throws in 2nd half (made 1 first down).

    Bucs were 14-for-18 passing on 2nd down (made a total of 4 first downs). We were 4-for-6 on 2nd down in the 1st half (only 1 resulted in a 1st down) and 10-for-12 times in the 2nd half (only 3 resulted in a 1st down). Turns out that 2nd down was our money down.

    Bucs were 7-for-12 passing on 3rd down (made 3 first downs and 1 was intercepted). We were only 1-for-5 though on passes thrown on 3rd down in the 1st half (that 1 completion made the 1st down), but 6-for-7 in the 2nd half (only 2 completions made the 1st down however). IOW, throwing on 3rd down 12 times only led to 3 first downs.

    For a passing team, we’re meh on 1st down passing and just as bad on 3rd down passing. In all fairness though, a lot of our 3rd down problems came because we were 3rd-and-long. Kinda sorta tells the defense what’s coming.

    As much as anything, the story on the day was Bucs’ penalties & turnovers. We had 8 penalties for 62 yards (4 of those were on the offense for 30 yards & all but 1 of them hurt us killing drives). Our 3 giveaways (2 INTs & 1 fumble) obviously killed 3 drives & led to 1 SF TD (short field).

    Without the defense keeping opponents’ scoring low, looks to me like this is what we can expect for the rest of the year.

  15. Beej Says:

    Vast majority of the playbook has been thrown out the window because Brady doesn’t have enough time for those plays to develop. Makes it worse when the other side knows that too

  16. alton green Says:

    five things:
    Todd, Todd, Todd, Todd and Leftwich
    You guys can complain about anything but it’s our coaching staff PERIOD!!
    Tom and BA got the Bucs a SB the first year
    Tom and BA got the Bucs to the NFC champ game. We lost to LA. good job Todd.
    NOW here is where the wheels REALLY fall off the wagon. Todd Bowles is named head coach. BAM!!!!!!!!!!!! This team obviously doesn’t want to play for these 2 clowns. Such a total waste of talent

  17. beano Says:

    If Trask had been our quarterback this season and we were in the exact same position with the exact same stats, would you all be blaming the coaches or Trask?

  18. Cobraboy Says:

    Fire Leftwich & Bowles, bring back BA for the season, promote Christiansen (& Tom Brady) OC’s, make Foote & Rodgers co-DC’s.

    IMO, Bowles has lost this team. You can see it in their faces on the sidelines. Next comes yelling at each other during games.

  19. Mike C Says:

    Off a Monday night game, heading out to the west trip, 9ers have the #1 defense, knew the Bucs were not winning that game.

  20. D-Rome Says:

    Donovan Smith is talking and playing like someone he knows is battling cancer or something.

  21. ClwJB Says:

    Really only need one thing, we suck bad.

  22. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Joe in Michigan says:

    4) Witfs needs to be moved to Left Tackle in 2023, with Smith getting cut. If you think it “ain’t broke”, you haven’t been watching the games

    Wow, quite the turnaround.
    I could have sworn you told me many times that I was mistaken about Durable Donnie’s lack of ability the past couple of seasons.
    You were quite adamant about it too.

    News flash: the only thing that’s changed is that he’s finally getting called for his bad play. He’s always held. That and back peddling patty cakes are his two signature moves.
    Oh, and standing around while the QB gets sacked.

    Sorry you were fooled.
    I wasn’t.

    He sucks.

  23. Manny Says:

    Five things

    1. Leftwich- fire the man
    2. Leftwich- fire the man
    3.Leftwich- fire the man
    4. Leftwich and a side of bowles- fire both men
    5. Leftwich- fire the idiot

    Make arians OC if u have to. Let him sit in the coaches box if he has to if he cant be on the field due to health. He can call plays from up there

  24. Ultra ClodHopper Says:

    I agree about the QB flags Joe. I would rather the QB have flags than these penalties. I get they want qbs healthy for ratings and all but these roughing the passer penalties ruin the flow of the game and kill the energy of the defenders.

  25. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Our defense got torched in all phases…..we didn’t have any sacks on the rookie QB…..very little pressure….gave up over 200 yards on the ground and left their WRs wide open…

    Devin Thompkins looks a lot less fearless than Darden….but he makes me nervous…..I think he’s going to get his head knocked off and lose the ball…..but his debut was good.

    Bowles calling for the 55 yard FG was a shock….I actually thought it was going to be a fack FG.

  26. Defense Rules Says:

    Cobraboy … ‘Fire Leftwich & Bowles, bring back BA for the season, promote Christiansen (& Tom Brady) OC’s, make Foote & Rodgers co-DC’s’.

    You’re much more knowledgable about NFL football than I am Cobra, but even IF BA agreed to take over as HC for the rest of the year, how does that solve our problems?

    Does Donnie Smith suddenly stop holding & getting penalty after penalty? Does Leverett suddenly start playing like Ali Marpet? Or Hainsey start playing like Ryan Jensen? Or Wells start playing like Tristan Wirfs? Or Otton start playing like the 2nd coming of Gronk? Or Godwin, Evans & Gage suddenly get all healed up & start playing like they did last year? Will Fournette get back to averaging 5 YPC instead of his measly 3.3 YPC? Or Tom Brady suddenly get a year younger & start playing like the The GOAT that he’s justifiably been anointed based on his past accomplishments?

    Not a doubt in my mind that BA wants no part of this sh1tshow. He’s a smart, well-seasoned coach. Have a gut feeling that he knew this was a very real possibility due to all the personnel losses in the off-season & probably felt that he couldn’t handle it given his age & health, so he passed the baton to his younger proteges Bowles AND to Leftwich. It was doomed from Day One.

  27. Alanbucsfan Says:

    It’s not the same team as last year or the year before- you can’t take all the Bucs great players of the last 2 years off the field because of injuries or free agency or retirement and expect Brady to work miracles every game.
    The Bucs backups are bad- and that’s why they lose with them.
    The 3 bright spots of new players this year are Rachaad White, Cade Otton and Akiem Hicks, maybe add Ko Kieft.
    Those 2 new safeties stink as far as I’m concerned and JTS is a bust.

  28. orlbucfan Says:

    How about benching Brady, let Trask play with what’s left of the first team offense, and see what happens. I didn’t have high hopes yesterday, but I’m sick of a past-his-prime player humiliating my team. What’s the worse thing Trask can do? He may fire up a lot of demoralized players. And what’s all this hot air about Brady changing calls? True or not?

  29. D-Rok Says:

    Wow. Virtually everything that could’ve went wrong this year, has went wrong. We still have a chance to do something positive with our remaining games, but does anyone really think we can improve? I’m not sure we can, at this point. No signs point to improvement.

  30. Freddy the popper Says:

    Aint no doubt that Nassib is down for getting sacks

  31. Bucamania Says:

    Bowles is the only person in teh world who thought Succop could make that kick.

    Nassib is playing well. JTS is not an NFL player, it’s almost comical watching him play.

    Gage is making $10M this year lol. Nice job Licht.

  32. matthew a veal Says:

    i was sure sf would put up 40 and that we wouldnt score. like when we lost to gruden 44-0 in oakland or whatever. our record in the west coast is really bad.

  33. Bucsfan13 Says:

    Trask firing up players? Please remove these Gators fans from the board. Trask doesn’t even dress most games. No players will rally around him. Brady shouldn’t been benched, but Gabbert has way more respect in that locker room than Trask. As a life long Bucs fans, do some of you realize that this team has the worst winning percentage in NFL history?! Brady brought relevance back to our franchise. It’s the sense of entitlement that’s annoying right now.

  34. Daniel Says:

    Please stop with the officiating thing. That is NOT a legal hit. You cannot hit the QB in the head. Full stop, period. Neal does have his head up, and then proceeds to use it to hit the QB in the head!

    Although the coaching on this team is atrocious, that’s not on the coaches (nor is Smith playing like the worst LT in the league nor the QB playing terrible).

  35. Infomeplease Says:

    Joe, your points about Nassib and Donnie seem reasonable! This is another example of why Bowles should be gone. Simple player decisions, Bowles can’t or won’t make them. Bowles catches heat for not going with TB12 on 4th down so he goes with Succup to try a 55yd er. Clearly out if his range!! Last season I don’t believe BA let him try anything over 49! Sad!!!

    I know it’s a small sample size but Tompkins looked good!!! Only took 13 games to find that out!!

    I think Bowles’ biggest issue is lack of the ability to motivate his players!!! He has no ability and/or never even tries to rally the troops. IMO!!

    Clearly not head coach material!!!!!!!!!!!

    I may be wrong, but his record speaks volumes!!!

  36. Kenny Says:

    Neal clearly hit Brody with the crown of his helmet, right to the head of Brody.

    This was clearly a penalty. This wasnt some borderline call… It was a very stupid tackle by Neal, who had all the time in the world to tackle Brody because Brody didnt even see him.

    Watch the play again.

  37. Infomeplease Says:

    Daniel, you are mistaken about the hit. Yes his head was up but it never, or any other part of Neil, hits their qbs head!! Where as TB12 got b**ch slapped up side his head with no call!

  38. Infomeplease Says:

    Kenny, they showed different angles of that play and one of them showed Neil’s helmet above their qbs shoulder not into his head. Fact!

  39. Hunter's Crack Pipe Says:

    Richard Dickson Says:
    “There was an even worse roughing call in the Dolphins/Chargers game. If they league can’t instruct the refs as to what actually constitutes this penalty, at least make it challengeable so the teams have some kind of recourse.”

    I’ve got no confidence that the league will ever police itself properly, or even wants to. Remember when they pretended to allow reviews on pass interference? They made it clear that they will never relinquish their ability and to control outcomes via subjective penalty calls.

  40. Hunter's Crack Pipe Says:

    My observations:

    Still nobody fooled by our obvious WR screens.

    Why waste the timeout before the 55yd FG attempt?

    Deebo Samuel injury: there was a reason why he made points about not wanting to play the running back role. His fears just became reality.

    DS76 killed yet one more touchdown.

    On his second interception, it looked like Brady short-armed the throw in the face of pressure up the middle. His hand must be smarting.

    I bet Bosa doesn’t cry like a little girl about chip shot Rachaad White laid on him.

    Holding call on CG14 was BS.

    Only 2 passes defensed, and they didn’t come from defensive backs.