A Major Mentality Red Flag

October 18th, 2023

This sent Joe on a power walk to calm down.

Is it possible the chip-on-our-shoulders Buccaneers lost to the Lions because they were too high on their two weeks old win against the Saints? A Bucs assistant sure seems to think that was a big part of the loss.

Cerebral quarterbacks coach Thad Lewis joined the Buccaneers Radio Network last night and said he didn’t like the “bye week excuse” for the Bucs’ poor play on Sunday, and he noted the Bucs weren’t far off from the Lions. “A couple of missed throws here and there, a couple of missed blocks here and there,” he said.

But Lewis then went down the road of noting the Bucs’ effort was off and the team mentality was riding too high after beating the Saints on Oct. 1.

“I don’t think we came out and played with the same fight that we played with against the Saints,” Lewis said. “Obviously, that’s a different game for us. But I feel we should approach every game like that. If we can approach every game like we approach the Saints game, then that would be good. I don’t think we did.”

“… I think some of the guys probably needed that [loss to the Lions] because we were high coming off that Saints game. So they know it’s real, that you can get beat (laughs).”

Joe is not laughing.

How does a Bucs team that should have been as rested, focused and healthy as any in the NFL on Sunday come out flat? Players and coaches had two weeks to prepare. Hell, this was a big game in a national time slot against a key conference opponent — at home!

Joe sees the Lewis comment as a major red flag. The Bucs have too many seasoned veterans — players and coaches — to have allowed that to happen. Obviously, nearly all the weakness was on offense.

Baker Mayfield said after the game that the offense needs to “get pissed off.” Please do. And forget about beating the slimy Saints.

46 Responses to “A Major Mentality Red Flag”

  1. gp Says:

    Sounds like a serious lack of preparation to me… Coaches.

  2. Saskbucs Says:

    Agreed Joe. I was tricked! I thought this Bucs team was different going into the Lions game. Same old roller coaster. Fired up and bringing their A game one week, completely losing it the next. They looked pretty consistent the first 4 weeks. I hope the bye does turn out to be the excuse and they find a high level of complimentary ball again that is consistent each Sunday.

    Canales was biggest disappointment out of the bye. Maybe Detroit was fired up and threw things at him he didn’t expect but I thought he would dig into the bag of tricks over the bye and show us something new. Every time I wrote something like that I finish by thinking, man it must be much tougher to scheme with no run game.

  3. NJbucs23 Says:

    Same old nonsense every year. This franchise sucks with any prime time games or alternate jersey. No more.

  4. HC grover Says:

    And now Caleb Williams is demanding part ownership to sign with a team.

  5. Dave Pear Says:

    What’s wrong with Mike Evans? Was he worried about his hammy? He was awful. And I love Mike.

  6. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Question for the Bucs’ coaches:
    On Goff’s td pass to Williams, it was 3rd and 10. – Why were Vea and Kancey on the bench? Goff had all day to throw it.

  7. K2 Says:

    We saw the Bucs do this when Brady was on the team as well. All the Players should know they have to play well every week in order to win. Even the Panthers will slap them down if they aren’t ready to play.

  8. Richard Dickson Says:

    I’ve watched us rise in the various power rankings and saw that glowing ESPN piece on Baker and worried we’d start getting full of ourselves and that seems to be exactly what happened.

  9. Cobraboy Says:

    This team has a horrendous post-bye record, and played exactly as I thought they would, very little fire.

    The entire “they are rested and prepared” is crap.

    This is a Bowles=led team, and for some reason casuals think Bowles is a different coach who has “seen the light.” Baloney.

    I like this team but do not appreciate the coaching. Bowles is Bowles. Nothing new there.

    Canales is a deep disappointment. Yeah, he’s digging through caca, optimistically looking for that pony and spouting motivating bromides on X (“Every day I wake up, it’s first and ten.”). Problem he never finds that pony. Or the end zone. Or a 100yd RB.

    I suspect we have witnessed the best this team can be. They are not terrible, just middle-of-the-road poorly coached.

    Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.

    -Dean Vernon Wormer

  10. Faspro Says:

    Only losers have that mentality…

  11. Tye Says:

    AND they probably were distracted coming out the tunnel thinking:
    ‘these god awful unis make us look like losers!’

  12. TOMMY MORDUE Says:


  13. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Where’s that feistiness and toughness that Mayfield was supposed to bring? I didn’t see it. It starts at the top and Mayfield has been the face of the franchise this season. He needs to get serious again and lead again.

  14. Cobraboy Says:

    Secondary issue: no real team leaders. There are some good players, but NO ONE who will grab a guy by the facemask and tell them to get their head into the game.

    Nor David. Not White. Not Stiff Arm. Not Evans, Godwin. Nobody.

  15. TOMMY MORDUE Says:


  16. Popcorn Mike Says:

    We can sit and analyze the Bucs over and over after each game but, the bottom line is, the Bucs don’t need but must get better play from the QB and RB or replace both. If there is a mentality problem with the team, isn’t that on Bowles and his coaches Joe and Bucs fans enlightened me PLEASE

  17. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    Will everyone please chill the buc out. It’s a long season, with many ebbs and flows just Like the tide. There are 12 more games in the regular season; which is an eternity. Significant injuries are the biggest factor, and I really wish the team would at least talk to playoff Lenny, but in reality that ain’t gonna happen. It’s to bad really, cause he can block, catch, and run with the rock As we’ve seen.

  18. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    Before you know it, we’ll be eating W’s again!

  19. BucU Says:

    That’s par for the course with this team. They win a game or two and they think they’re the king of the hill. Pisses me off.

  20. T. McGee Says:

    If you went to work and were given that uniform, you’d mail it too. Burn the creamsicles.

  21. bucsfan951 Says:

    when you are lead by a weak leader like todd bowles, that is bound to happen.

  22. Lombardi Lenny Says:

    This makes me sick to read.

    All I think of is mic’d up Devin White on our sideline talking smack saying the division runs through us during that Saints game. They were way to cocky.

    Bucs coaches and players were getting high on their own supply

  23. DJB Says:

    I would like to see the Bucs come up with a combination of the creamsicle and the existing uniforms for the next throwback game. Market it as something like past to present. I am sure they would sell.

  24. Locked In Says:

    “this was a big game in a national time slot against a key conference opponent — at home!” >>> all recipes for a clunker sadly

  25. BillyBucco Says:

    Bowles 0-5 after the bye week in Tampa.
    Someone tell me if it was the same at the Jets.
    Then you have your very easy answer.

  26. D Cone Says:

    There are only so many Reps available in practice. If a team is trying to improve the ‘Run Game’ and 30-40 percent more are going towards the run that leaves that much less time to stay sharp on the pass plays and their timing.

    It’s a damned if you do and the same if you don’t situation. Once the linemen get used to getting their block and getting to the second level things will improve. Might even break a big one.

    Jets are second in rushing at over 5 yards a carry. Take away an 83 yard Touchdown and they are at around 4.5 and closer to the middle of the pack.
    One 80 yarder for the Bucs in their pile of yards and they are at 3.6. Not good but not the bottom either. RoJo averaged 5 in 2020 behind a pretty good front line but without the 98 yard TD he was at about 4 and a half.

    Barry Sanders would have No Yards or a Loss all game and then break one for 80. Highlight material and the only way it really helped the Lions was that it was always a threat and Defenses had to defend that first.

    If Bucs can get to the point where the run gets them 3 to 6 yards on most with a few losers mixed in they will be fine.

    Answer isn’t going out and getting a feature back. Some may disagree.

    Only way Bucs will get to the spot that they want to be is to work at it and experience growing pains in game play.

    Could always shoot for a 2020 O Line reunion if you can pay Kappa and get Andy Reed to let go of Donovan.

  27. Why Not Says:

    The truth is we are just not as good as the Lions or the Eagles. The same is true of the 49ers and Bills. We have talent, particularly on defense, so we should be competitive in most games and have a chance to win against low caliber opponents. This whole thing about the Bucs possibly still riding a high from the New Orleans victory is bulls!t. The Lions are just a better team. They have been building their team for a few years now and the results are starting to show. The Bucs may not be rebuilding, but they certainly have to do some serious restocking. When our running game improves and we have a true franchise quarterback (not a placeholder), then we’ll be able to hang with the big dogs.

  28. Arn platz Says:

    Looks to me like a lack of MOTIVATION. That’s Todd Bowles responsibility

  29. Bucfan37 Says:

    Agree the uniforms were a visual distraction. Almost hard to watch. Who made that decision to clown up the game? The Lions got a good laugh and a win out of it all.

  30. Bojim Says:

    Bucs seem to have a history of overconfidence.

  31. BucU Says:

    Excellent thread of posts from you guys. Virtually every post on this article I’m in lock step with. You all nailed it.

  32. Duane in Sanford Says:

    When you lose to a good physical team, it looks bad and leaves a bad taste, so much so that you have to go back and analyze every miscue. I dont think we are seeing a mentality issue. I think it is frustration. The run game and rbs we have flat out stink. Detroit activates a rb from the practice squad who makes a key block leading to a score, followed by a big run that I think leads to a score. We get tap dancing at the point of attack. Sky isnt falling, but failing to improve on a glaring weakness doesnt help anyone.

  33. David Says:

    There is something seriously wrong because ever since they lost in the NFC championship game we have heard a lot… A LOT… Of talk about a winning mentality and changing the culture and stuff like that.

    Allegedly everything changed when Brady got here and they won the Super Bowl but then suddenly it’s all gone and they think they don’t have to show up week in and week out and they need a culture change?

  34. Pelsbuc61 Says:

    The answer is simple…Bowles! How many times do we have to see this flatline coach and the team assume his personality?! And if you don’t think it’s the coach, look what Campbell has done with the Lions.

  35. WyomingJoe Says:

    Love how many are you “fans” are beating up on Baker again. After we win 11 or 12 games are you finally going to shut up or simply move on to another player? Stop your bitching already. We’re only 5 games into the season and we’re leading the division. Stop being so weak!

  36. stpetebucfan Says:


    I gave you credit in an earlier post for giving us a warning about byes before the game even started. So you have a right to say I told you so if you wish. You were right.

    However in an attempt to talk Joe down from the ledge and save some wear and tear on his shoes I offer this gem.

    The Bucs last SB team fared even worse in the same situation…almost..the only difference is that the SB Bucs went to N.O. before their bye and got their butts kicked. After the bye they had a chance to get right against the powerful Washington Football team *snark font off* and lost again even after the week’s rest and additional prep time.

    But after that loss those Bucs only lost one more game on their way to the SB.
    That game btw was again versus the stinkin Saints!

    Not saying this team is headed to the SB!!! Am saying they have a winning record and I think they still win 10-12 games. They’ve played 2 of the top 4 teams in the NFL since midseason last year, they have one more left..the Niners out in SF…there a loss…but outside of that they should be competitive against every other team on the schedule. The Jags are probably the best of the lot.

    Having said that I don’t think N.O. sucks nor the Falcons, those are not certain W’s nor are the rapidly improving Texans in their own crib.

  37. Pewter Power Says:

    I don’t understand why professional athletes that for the most part played since they were kids. How is they they need motivation to play that same game when the only difference is you get paid for it

    Can’t Blame the laid back style of the sunshine state and all its distractions Because the dolphins aren’t having issues with motivation.

  38. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    We had Arains and Tom Brady and a solid D – and got stomped at Home by the Aints 38-3 I believe. Sky is not falling. We got beat by a better team. No surprise. Lots of ball to play yet.

  39. 1#bucsfan Says:

    JOE I think you wrote a article or maybe someone commented and said something about the Bucs swag and I remember thinking before the lions game that I really hope the Bucs arnt high on the horse and think this game is in the bag cause we won a few games and a good one against a rival in their house the aints. Sure nuff seemed that way sunday against the lions almost like last season when we had Brady and the team thought oh we got Brady he will win the game for us. Deff SHOUKD NOT have happened. Like you said joe to many vets on this team. Seriously the a few big plays on offensive and we take the lions. They have a top 3 offense and our D handles them. If the offense hits the deep balls and the battle ball doesn’t turn into a pick this game goes down to the wire. Deff wasn’t like the eagles game when we got blown out. Get it together tampa. Get a darn RB please too

  40. EricTheViking Says:

    Brady never would have allowed such apathy to fester. We are doomed with a throw away QB and an imbecile HC. Sub 500 real soon. That’s what Bowels does.

  41. Since76 Says:

    I think we have a great defense. The defensive coaches are bringing a good game plan every week. The offense has had two good quarters of football in 5 games. So I blame the HC and the OC. The QB is not playing well except for 2 quarters. No run game. The head coach is responsible for this offense and the OC. His offense is not scoring points.

  42. Confido75 Says:

    Bowles allowed his players to slack off during the bye. BM was taking the O-line to the Bahamas and interviewing with the media. He should of put the work in. For a guy trying to revive his career it was a bone head move. This is his last chance and he squandered an opportunity to improve.

  43. optimisticbucsfan Says:

    Mike Evans will not be here next year

  44. garro Says:

    I saw plaenty of intensity Joe.
    Take a long look at last years team and the lack of said intensity. The diference is dramatic.

    Go Bucs!

  45. Chip Krenn Says:

    We have the tools to have a winning season, there is a serious lack of leadership and motivation. Sorry but every time the camera turns to Bowles, I see no passion and that spills over the the rest of the staff and players. The only time I see a crack in that man’s face is when he thinks a bad call was made or someone has a bad play. Never see him get excited about a good play… I for one would have a hard time staying motivated working under that…

  46. Bucs13 Says:

    Yes, this team got to arrogant