[034] Ralph and Molly discuss Vinny Curry’s release, Donovan Smith’s uncertain future and the Colin Kaepernick settlement

Does Donovan stay or go? Who knows! But we’ll talk about it for 20 minutes, because what is the offseason for if not baseless speculation? Plus, we discuss why we want Colin Kaepernick to get a job in the NFL. Also, Bruce Arians may have hinted (again) at the fate of the Bucs defensive scheme. 4-3 or 3-4? We’ll tell you!

=======================
Leave a comment
Join us on Twitter
Visit our website
Send Molly an email at [email protected]
Email Ralph at [email protected]

GO BUCS!
========================

Posted in Podcasts | Leave a comment

[033] Know Your Enemy free agency edition: Atlanta Falcons

Let’s get down and dirty with the dirty bird’s free agency and coach changes. We also go over Bucs news with Matt Bryant, Kareem Hunt, and other rumors.

=======================
Leave a comment
Join us on Twitter
Visit our website
Send Molly an email at [email protected]
Email Ralph at [email protected]

GO BUCS!
========================

Posted in Podcasts | Leave a comment

A look at Bruce Arians’ coaching staff: Defense & Special Teams (Part 2 of 2)

In our last piece, we went through the resumes of all Bruce Arians’ offensive coaching staff. This piece will focus on the defense and special teams. While the defense is Todd Bowles’ defense, Bruce ensured the defensive and special teams staff were filled with coaches he knows and trusts. Like with the offense, you will find the hires almost all have history with Bruce (and each other).

Defense

Embed from Getty Images

Defensive Coordinator: Todd Bowles

As soon as Arians’ name was announced as the Buccaneers new head coach, we knew it was only a matter of time before Todd Bowles was brought in. Most NFL fans are familiar with Bowles the coach: first as Arians’ defensive coordinator at Arizona, then as the Jets Head Coach. But Bowles’ career (and his history with Arians) goes back further than that: he played for Arians at Temple when Bruce was head coach. After college, Bowles then went on to have an eight-year career in the NFL as a safety, winning a Super Bowl with the Washington Redskins.


Embed from Getty Images

Defensive Line Coach: Kacy Rodgers

Kacy Rodgers served on Todd Bowles’ staff at the Jets as defensive coordinator from 2015-2018. Prior to that, he was with Miami for six years and the Cowboys before that. Rodgers is one of the few hires that doesn’t have a connection to Arians.


Embed from Getty Images

Outside Linebackers Coach: Larry Foote

Larry Foote is another alum from the Bruce Arians School for Coaches. Arians gave Foote his first crack at coaching in 2015 when he hired Foote as inside linebackers coach. Foote stayed with the organization through 2018.

Before that, Foote played under Head Coach Arians at the Cardinals in 2014, and was on the Steelers’ squad 2004-2008 and 2010-2011 while Bruce was integral in the offense.


Embed from Getty Images

Inside Linebackers Coach: Mike Caldwell

While Mike Caldwell worked under Arians, we should probably consider him more of Todd Bowles’ guy. Caldwell coached linebackers at Arizona from 2013-2014, but left with Bowles in 2015 to serve as assistant head coach/inside linebackers coach at the Jets, where he remained until Bowles was let go in 2018.

Prior to his run with Arians and Co., he began his time in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles where he started as an intern and advanced to quality control coach.

Caldwell is another former NFL player, who played from 1993-2003. His rookie season began at the Cleveland Browns under none other than Bill Belichik and Nick Saban.


Embed from Getty Images

Cornerbacks Coach: Kevin Ross

Another Cardinals alum, Kevin Ross spent his five years at the organization coaching Patrick Peterson. The Cardinals’ pass defense held opponents to a 61.0 completion percentage, the ninth lowest in the league, and an 83.2 percent passer rating, the sixth lowest in the league. Of particular interest to Bucs’ fans will be the Cardinals interceptions during that time: 86 total interceptions (ranking third in the league during that five year span) and 14 interceptions returned for touchdowns (tied for first in the league).

Prior to his time in Arizona, Ross coached safeties at Oakland, San Diego and Minnesota.

Ross entered into the league as a player in Kansas City in 1984 and ultimately had a career that secured him a spot in the Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame. During his career with the team, which lasted from 1984-1993, Ross had 30 interceptions and scored 5 touchdowns. He is one of only three players in franchise history to score at least four different ways (two interceptions, two blocked field goal returns, one fumble recovery and one blocked punt).


rapone

Safeties Coach: Nick Rapone

Nick Rapone has known Bruce Arians since they were both wee lads–they played together in college at Virginia Tech. Arians was a senior when Rapone was a freshman. After Arians graduated, he was a graduate assistant and running back coach when Rapone played.

Arians brought Rapone onto his staff at Temple, where Rapone remained to coach the secondary for Bruce’s entire tenure as head coach. Rapone stayed at the college level for over 30 years until Arians took the head coaching job at Arizona. Rapone rejoined him to coach the defensive backs (including Tyrann Mathieu).


timatkins

Quality Control Coach: Tim Atkins

Another Bowles’ guy, Tim Atkins served as the Jets’ defensive quality control coach during Todd Bowles regime. Before that, he worked for the Browns for two seasons, and the Bills prior to that.


Embed from Getty Images

Defense/special teams assistant: Cody Grimm

Cody Grimm is probably one of my favorite hires this season. Grimm was drafted by the Buccaneers in 2010 when I first became a fan and played for three seasons. He showed flashes during his playing time as a safety, but his career was littered with injuries. After he retired from the NFL, he returned to his alma mater Virginia Tech where he coached on defense.

Even more interesting about this hire, Cody’s father, Russ Grimm is a Hall of Famer, having earned his spot as an offensive lineman with the Washington Redskins. He played on the Super Bowl-winning Redskins team with Todd Bowles. After retiring as a player, Russ was on the coaching staff at Pittsburgh at the same time as Arians.


Special Teams

Embed from Getty Images

Special Teams Coordinator: Keith Armstrong

Keith Armstrong has spent the last ten years serving as the Atlanta Falcons Special Teams Coordinator (with our beloved Matt Bryant). The organization let him go this season in favor of some new blood. But he quickly landed a job with an old chum: He played under Arians at Temple, and after graduating joined Arians’ coaching staff.

Armstrong’s NFL coaching career began in 1994, where he started as the Falcons’ safeties coach. He also coached at Chicago and Miami.


Embed from Getty Images

Specialists Coach: Chris Boniol

Chris Boniol is a former NFL kicker, having been signed by the Dallas Cowboys in 1994. He helped the franchise win a Super Bowl during his time there, becoming the first Cowboy to have three consecutive 100-point seasons. He also held the team record for the longest streak of consecutive field goals with 26 in 1995. He retired a Chicago Bear in 1999.

The Dallas Cowboys re-hired him as a coach in 2010, where he coached Mr. Reliable Dan Bailey. Bailey went on to break his coach’s streak of franchise most consecutive field goals. Boniol left the Cowboys to join the Raiders for one season in 2014 before joining the Louisiana College football program as the special teams coach.


Embed from Getty Images

Assistant Special Teams Coach: Amos Jones

To say former University of Alabama Head Coach Bear Bryant is Bruce Arians’ idol is a yuge understatement. Arians has modeled his entire coaching philosophy after Bryant’s “coach ‘em hard, hug ‘em later” mentality. So it comes as no surprise that Arians would hire a coach that comes from the same background. Amos Jones played under Bear Bryant at Alabama, and then joined the coaching staff during the last year of Bryant’s regime.

Jones has followed the Buccaneers’ head coach to each major stop along Arians’ journey. First to Temple, where he served as the defensive line coach. He stayed at the collegiate level until he was hired on at Pittsburgh in 2007 as an assistant, eventually moving up to special teams coordinator in 2012. When Arians landed the head coaching job at Arizona, Jones followed him to serve as special teams coordinator.

In 2018, Jones was the special teams coordinator at Cleveland.


chiurco

Assistant to the Head Coach: Mike Chiurco

Mike Chiurco served in the same role at Arizona during Bruce’s tenure, but his career has mostly been spent coaching at the high school level, with one exception: he was a college scout at Indianapolis from 1999-2003. Bruce was the quarterbacks coach for the franchise 1998-2000.


The hiring of Bruce Arians has given the franchise a new lease on life. Arians has stated we are in win-now mode. Hopefully this is the staff to do it.

Posted in Coach Analysis | Leave a comment

[032] Ralph and Molly talk about our roster, free agency, and the Big Game Sunday

In this episode, Molly goes over all of the free agents on our roster and we decide who we should keep. We also discuss some of the available free agents that are going to be on the market that would fit well with the team. The Big Game between the Patriots and the Rams is also covered.

=======================
Leave a comment
Join us on Twitter
Visit our website
Send Molly an email at [email protected]
Email Ralph at [email protected]

GO BUCS!
========================

Posted in Podcasts | Leave a comment

A look at Bruce Arians’ coaching staff: Offense (Part 1 of 2)

January is here, and without a playoff berth, Buccaneers fans are left wanting for any information related to the team. I think most of us might settle for a piece detailing each players’ breakfast at this point. With a new coach hiring, the state of the franchise is a huge question mark. What we do know is Bruce Arians has completely filled out his coaching staff. Here’s part one of two of a detailed look at the 2019 Buccaneers coaches.

Offense

Embed from Getty Images

Offensive Coordinator: Byron Leftwich

This hire is a little nostalgic for me because Byron started at quarterback for the Buccaneers the first year I was a fan in 2009. His starting career didn’t last long, but nevertheless I’m happy to see him a Buccaneer. His coaching career started in 2016 when he interned under Bruce Arians at Arizona. He was promoted in 2017 to quarterbacks coach, then took over as interim offensive coordinator after Mike McCoy was fired in 2018.

Despite Leftwich’s short coaching career, Arians has nothing but confidence in his young coordinator. “I’ve been training guys for this job,” Arians said in his first press conference as Buccaneers head coach. “I always said I would never give it up and look over anybody’s shoulder until I found one I knew could do it. Harold Goodwin did it for me for a little while, but Byron [Leftwich] I think is rising star in this business. What he did with the interim title out there [in Arizona in 2018] – it wasn’t even his offense, it was Mike McCoy’s offense – and he did a heck of a job with some rookies. He’s more than ready. I think this coaching staff is going to be outstanding.”


Embed from Getty Images

Run-Game Coordinator: Harold Goodwin

Goodwin has history with Arians, serving as his offensive line coach and quality control coordinator at Pittsburgh while Arians was offensive coordinator from 2007-2011, as the Colts’ offensive line coach in 2012 under offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, and as Head Coach Bruce Arians’ offensive coordinator at Arizona from 2013-2017.

Under Goodwin’s leadership, second-year running back David Johnson set franchise records and led the NFL in scrimmage yards and touchdowns, earning a Pro Bowl appearance.

Goodwin also has a history with the Buccaneers, having interviewed for the head coaching job in 2016 when ultimately Dirk Koetter was hired.


Embed from Getty Images

Quarterbacks Coach: Clyde Christensen

Buccaneer fans who have been around a while will remember this name: Clyde Christensen served on Dungy’s staff from 1996-2001, first as tight ends coach, then as quarterbacks coach, then had a one-year stint as offensive coordinator.

For the past 14 seasons, he’s been at the Colts, winning a Super Bowl with the team in 2006. He served as the Colts’ offensive coordinator from 2010-2011, and was then demoted to quarterbacks coach when Bruce Arians was brought in as offensive coordinator.

In 2018, Christensen was the Director of Football/Player Development at Miami.

Christensen and Arians go back further than Arians’ brief stint with the Colts: Christensen was on Arians’ staff at Temple from 1983-1985.


Embed from Getty Images

Offensive Line Coach: Joe Gilbert

Joe Gilbert spent last season at the University of Arizona, but before that was a member of the Colts from 2012-2017, including when Arians was offensive coordinator. Prior to joining the Colts, Gilbert spent his career coaching at the collegiate level.


rickchristophel1

Tight Ends Coach: Rick Christophel

Rick Christophel and Bruce Arians’ history goes all the way back to 1991, when Christophel was the wide receiver coach and Arians was offensive coordinator at Mississippi State. The two met again in Arizona when Arians brought Christophel on as the team’s tight ends coach.


Embed from Getty Images

Running Backs Coach: Todd McNair

This name will ring a few bells, but it’s not because of an accomplished coaching career. Todd McNair was the collateral damage in the USC scandal involving Reggie Bush. This Sports Illustrated article sums it up pretty well, but in a nutshell, Todd McNair coached Reggie Bush at USC. Bush received gifts from Lloyd Lake, a marketing professional attempting to land a high-profile client. Lake alleged he and McNair discussed the matter in a telephone call in 2006. NCAA officials questioned McNair, but asked him about a date in 2005, causing McNair to deny the fact pattern. The NCAA sanctioned McNair, and he hasn’t coached since 2011. McNair attempted to sue the NCAA for defamation but was unsuccessful.

Prior to USC, McNair coached at the Cleveland Browns and at the high school level. He was a running back in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Oilers. He was one of Arians’ running backs at Temple from 1985-1988.

Bruce Arians is known for giving second chances, and this hiring may be one of those cases. McNair was known for his recruiting capabilities, so may offer an eye for talent. Additionally, a man that has something to fight for is an asset in our eyes. We’re excited to see what Arians can do with this hire.


Kevin Garver

Wide Receivers Coach: Kevin Garver

Another Cardinals alum, Kevin Garver acted as an offensive assistant from 2013-2016 and was promoted to wide receivers coach in 2017. He stayed with the Cardinals through 2018. During his time with the team, he worked with receivers like Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown and Christian Kirk. Prior to Arizona, Garver worked under Nick Saban at Alabama.


Embed from Getty Images

Offensive Assistant: Antwaan Randle El

Bruce Arians likes to play mentor, and Antwaan Randle El is one member of the 2019 Bruce Arians Coaches University class. Many football fans with recognize the name, as he came into the league as a wide receiver in 2002. Arians was Randle El’s wide receivers coach from 2004-2005 at Pittsburgh, then was his offensive coordinator in 2010 when the receiver returned to the team for a brief stint. Randle El won a Super Bowl in Pittsburgh with Arians.


Embed from Getty Images

Offensive Quality Control Coach: John Van Dam

John Van Dam is coming straight from college ball, where he’s been a coach since 2008. There is so little information about him on the interwebs, Google assumes you misspelled “Jean-Claude Van Damme”.


Stay tuned for part two of our in-depth look at the 2019 Buccaneers defensive and special teams staff.

Posted in Coach Analysis | Leave a comment

[031] An in-depth look at Bruce Arians’ coaching staff, the call heard round the world, and more in this post-season podcast with Ralph and Molly

We have the team resumes of all Bucco Bruce’s coaching staff and were surprised at the findings. Also, bad officiating in the NFC Championship game?? You don’t say! We’ve only been saying that all season. Plus, our Super Bowl picks, DeSean Jackson, Greg Schiano and more.

=======================
Leave a comment
Join us on Twitter
Visit our website
Send Molly an email at [email protected]
Email Ralph at [email protected]

GO BUCS!
========================

Posted in Podcasts | Leave a comment

[030] Ralph and Molly recap the Week 17 all-22 and put the 2018 season to rest. We also talk Brent Grimes and, infinitely more importantly, BRUCE ARIANS!!!

Bottom line: The quitters in Week 17 outnumbered the players. Brent Grimes appeared on his wife’s podcast to defend his season. Tl;dr he’s delusional. Finally, we conjecture about what the Bruce Arians’ Buccaneers will look like. Get ready for eight more months of this, folks!

=======================
Leave a comment
Join us on Twitter
Visit our website
Send Molly an email at [email protected]
Email Ralph at [email protected]

GO BUCS!
========================

Posted in Podcasts | Leave a comment

Best and Worst of 2018: A recap

While we’re busy looking ahead and guessing at what the new head coaching hire will bring to the 2019 Buccaneers, we thought this would be a perfect opportunity to take a look back at the 2018 season. The 2018 Buccaneers will perhaps be remembered for their inconsistencies, a record-breaking, high flying offense and the team’s perpetual controversies. The team will be forever changed after this offseason, but the 2018 Buccaneers will be one to remember.

The Highs

1. Record breaking offense

Since the days of the Buccaneers Super Bowl champs, the Buccaneers have been defined as a defensive team. Imagine our surprise when the 2018 Buccaneers fielded the best offense our team has ever seen. Here’s a look at just some of the records broken by the team this year:

  • Mike Evans finished the No. 3 receiver in the league for receiving yards, right behind Julio Jones and Deandre Hopkins. The trio were the only receivers to break 1,500 yards.
  • Four receivers finished with more than 750 yards receiving, only the fifth time in NFL history that has ever happened.
  • The offense led the league in passing yards per game, with 320.3.
  • Mike Evans averaged 17.72 yards per catch – third best in league history for receivers catching 85+ balls. He joins the company of Josh Gordon (18.92 in 2013) and Jerry Rice (18.26 in 1986). Behind him are the likes of Calvin Johnson, Tyreek Hill, Julio Jones, Michael Irvin.
  • Mike Evans broke the Bucs single season receiving yardage record, toppling Mark Carrier, who has held the record since 1989.
  • Mike Evans joined Torry Holt, Randy Moss, AJ Green, Julio Jones and Jerry Rice as the only players in NFL history to top 6,000 yards in their first five seasons. Evans was the youngest player to ever reach that benchmark.
  • Mike Evans led the league this season in first downs with 68. The Bucs had four of the top 11 players in this category: OJ Howard (2nd), Chris Godwin (4th), DeSean Jackson (11th).
  • Mike Evans career first down completions is the highest in NFL history at 79.2%. That tops players like Calvin Johnson, Vincent Jackson, Alson Jeffrey, Julio Jones and Rob Gronkowski.
  • Bucs finished with 5,358 yard and 36 touchdowns, the most in team history for both measures.
  • Jameis threw 88 career touchdown passes before the age of 25, surpassing Peyton Manning’s 85.
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick broke his own career record in the Buccaneers Week 1 victory over the Saints. Fitzpatrick completed 21 of 28 passes for 417 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. He also rushed 12 times, gaining 36 yards and a touchdown.

2. Vita Vea

Ralph can’t talk about this kid enough. He missed most of training camp due to a calf strain sustained in practice, and didn’t hit the field until Week 4 against the Chicago Bears. His debut was less than extraordinary, earning him a nickname of “Velcro Vita” and many pundits and former players labeling him a bust. And then Jason Licht had a talk with him, and it appeared as if the gloves were off for Vita. With nearly 350-pounds of sheer brute force, Vita turned into a monster, splitting double teams, bullrushing through linemen to get to the quarterback and throwing blockers like ragdolls. He finished his first season with 28 tackles and three sacks in 13 games. These stats are identical to Gerald McCoy’s rookie debut. For all Jason Licht’s draft and free agency blunders, this one more than makes up for it.

3. Improved defense

It’s no secret we’re not fans of firing coaches. We were critical of the firing of Defensive Coordinator Mike Smith in Week 6. But after allowing an average of 440 yards per game and 34.6 points per game, Koetter was really left with no choice. Clearly we have to eat some crow on that one. Here’s how the defenses of Mike Smith and Mark Duffner stack up:

SmithvDuffnerdef2

Early in the season, the Buccaneers were decimated by injuries in the secondary. The young guys that took over were often lost in Mike Smith’s defense, allowing opponents to pass at-will. Duffner addressed many of those issues and spared us from being one of the worst defenses in NFL history. The defense finished the season allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete 72.5 percent of their passes, second all-time to the 2016 Detroit Lions. It also allowed a 110.9 passer rating this season, second only to the 2015 New Orleans Saints, who allowed a 116.2 rating.

Despite that, the defense showed flashes of greatness during the year. Safety Andrew Adams had a field day against the Carolina Panthers, picking off Cam Newton three times and tying Ronde Barber and Aquib Talib for the most interceptions in a game. Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul ended the team’s double digit sack drought, ending the season with 12.5. The feat hasn’t been achieved since 2005 when Simeon Rice tallied 14.

So, while it wasn’t the best defense we’ve ever had, it was far from the worst. And for that, we are thankful for Mark Duffner.

The Lows

1. Quarterback Ping-Pong

Now, by no means is this an endorsement of one quarterback over the other, nor is it a critique of the decisions made by management. With Jameis Winston’s three game suspension, the Buccaneers were in a position where they needed a capable backup to take the reins until his return. Journeyman quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was just the guy to do it. We all knew this wasn’t going to be a long term solution, despite the observations fielded by the media (But why isn’t Jameis on the side of the stadium?????). Fitzpatrick, while showing flashes of an elite gunslinger, is nothing if not inconsistent. This season was no different. Thankfully, we have not one, but two inconsistent quarterbacks on our roster, and after Fitzpatrick was benched, Winston took the reins. And continued the meltdown. And then Fitzpatrick got another opportunity! And similarly melted down, allowing Winston to go back in and finish the season as THE quarterback.

I could argue favorably for the Bucs on every count, and I have, but it doesn’t change the fact that the quarterback situation created instability within the organization and probably cost us at least a couple of games.

2. Turnovers

Turnovers were, in Koetter’s own words, the downfall of the season. It’s nearly impossible to be a winning team with a turnover ratio of -18. And it was undoubtedly a team effort. The offense turned the ball over 35 times last season, with our quarterbacks, neither of whom playing a full season, ranking 5th and 9th for interceptions. The defense played its part as well. It ended the season with just nine interceptions and eight fumbles recovered, tying us at 22nd overall with five other teams. Eleven of the defense’s 17 turnovers came in the last six games, but a drought in the middle of the season put us in a hole for the rest of the season.

3. The kicking game

Will Jason Licht ever live Roberto Aguayo down? Not this year! Hey guys, remember when we moved up in the second round to draft a freakin’ kicker?? And it went terribly wrong and we have had kicking issues ever since then?

kickeryearandre

This season, Chandler Catanzaro, known for being a reliable kicker, succumbed to the Aguayo curse. He made 11 of 15 field goal attempts, missing all attempts from 40-49 yards and one from 30-39 yards. He also missed four points after before being released in Week 11. Cairo Santos took his place with a marginally better field goal made percentage than Catanzaro, 75.0 percent to 73.3 percent. All three of Santos’ missed field goals were 40+ yards, the same range where Catanzaro struggled. While it’s not high on the fan base’s radar (we have more pressing needs elsewhere), it may be a position to watch. Santos certainly won’t earn the fanbase’s trust until we’re able to successfully work through our PTSD.

Upward and Onward

As the season has come to a close and the door has shut on the Koetter reign, we look forward to what a new coach will bring. Nevertheless, for posterity’s sake, we reminisce about the ups and the downs of last season, as we will never see this team again.

Posted in Stats, Team Analysis | Leave a comment

[029] Here we go again: Coach Koetter relieved of duties. Plus we talk some actual football with our instant reaction on the Bucs loss to the Atlanta Falcons

Who’s ready for some rebuilding? Not Molly! Hear her thoughts along with Ralph’s indifference to Coach Koetter’s dismissal. Ralph touches on how we lost the 17-0 lead to the Falcons, what it means for our draft prospects, and what we have to look forward to this coming offseason.

=======================
Leave a comment
Join us on Twitter
Visit our website
Send Molly an email at [email protected]
Email Ralph at [email protected]

GO BUCS!
========================

Posted in Podcasts | Leave a comment

[028] MUST LISTEN!! All-22 film review of the Buccaneers @ Cowboys game

Molly and Ralph discuss what they saw in the coaches film of the Buccaneers @ Cowboys game week 16 of the 2018 season. Ralph talks about why we lost the game (hint: We neither got beat nor lost this game ourselves). Ralph also discusses the defensive lineman that we have on our team that is probably the best in the game. We are talking about Warren Sapp level of play. Should Koetter get fired? Listen and find out what Molly and Ralph think and why. We also discuss the upcoming game against the Falcons Sunday.

=======================
Leave a comment
Join us on Twitter
Visit our website
Send Molly an email at [email protected]
Email Ralph at [email protected]

GO BUCS!
========================

Posted in Podcasts | Leave a comment