Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter - Photo by Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs fans and SR’s Fab 5 readers offered plenty of opinions on Colin Kaepernick’s stance over the National Anthem and how Dirk Koetter has energized Tampa Bay. What does PewterReport.com publisher and Bucs beat writer Scott Reynolds have to say? Find out right here.
Welcome to another installment of SR’s Fab 5 Reaction where every Tuesday I take the time to answer your questions and respond to your comments from the previous week’s SR’s Fab 5 column. Due to time constraints from my responsibilities as publisher, I am unable to respond to every reader comment each week, but I do read every one of them.
Comments have only been edited for clarity and grammar. Now on to your comments.
The topics in this week’s SR’s Fab 5 column include: Koetter Has Energized The Buccaneers; With Handcuffs Off, Bucs Haver Momentum Heading Into 2016; Bucs Want To Win In Week 1 For Smitty; Kaepernick Should Be Fined For Disrespectful Stance
Look Scott, I’ll give you credit where it is due because I remember your Washington article where you called for Lovie Smith to be fired, and I was very critical of it. I was because I didn’t see the “Dirk Koetter to replace him” part of it, just the “fire another coach” part, which seemed ridiculous to me. We needed stability.
Koetter told everyone he didn’t want a head coach position, and I repeated that many times to people who brought up Koetter as an alternative to Smith. Had I known Koetter wanted to coach, anyone could see he was a great candidate. I still would have given Lovie last year.
But I cannot agree with the idea of “coaching energy.” Smith was like Tony Dungy, a guy just put in the Hall of Fame for his coaching technique. He was as low energy as one of those spiral light bulbs! So was Tom Landry. I can name others.
It wasn’t energy. Lovie Smith simply wasn’t a good head coach because his in-game decisions were predicable and weak. Dungy faked punts. Dungy went for field goals and touchdowns on fourth down.
So yeah, Scott, you called it last year, and you were the first and only major outlet to do so. And I was wrong to want to keep Smith. But I wanted to keep Raheem Morris, too. Let’s hope this defense really does turn it around.
Oh, and regarding the Fab 4. It is not just a political issue, it happens to be tied into football, so it does have a place in this blog. Keyword – this is a blog. It is not the Tampa Bay Times. You visit this site to get 1. Bucs news 2. Scott Reynolds’ opinions on all matters he wishes to discuss.
You do not have to visit, and just like I may not fully agree with Fab 1 because Dungy was as quiet and stoic like Lovie, you don’t have to agree with Fab 4. It is what it is, and a blog by all means is absolutely the place for opinions. – niko521
Thank you, niko521. A blog is often defined as “a regularly updated website or web page, typically one or run by an individual or a small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.” I happen to view us as a media website rather than a blog. That’s how the Bucs view us, but what I think you are saying is that I am entitled to write whatever I want, and that’s true. The SR’s Fab 5 columns offer fact-based analysis along with my opinions on the Bucs and the NFL.
While the vast majority of content and commentary in my SR’s Fab 5 column pertain to the Buccaneers, I also offer analysis of what is going on in the NFL from time to time and begin each and every column with this disclaimer: “SR’s Fab 5 is a collection of inside scoop, analysis and insight from yours truly, PewterReport.com publisher and Bucs beat writer Scott Reynolds. Here are a few things that caught my attention this week at One Buc Place and around the NFL.”
Does Kaepernick play in the NFL? Yes, he does. Was it Kaepernick who brought the discussion of politics and societal issues into the realm of the NFL? Yes, it was. And that’s why nearly every newspaper, sports news channel, and sports website across the country – and yes, even this website – has shared its opinion on this issue. I know a good deal of you want me to stick to Bucs football, and I think we’re probably at or close to 99 percent Bucs coverage on a yearly basis, so that’s what you’re getting at PewterReport.com.
Now back to the Buccaneers. I hear what you’re saying about low energy and the personality similarities between Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith. I do think that Dungy proved himself early in Tampa Bay after a 1-6 start and that credibility led the players to buy into what he saying – whether it was in a high-energy or low-energy manner. I think players in today’s NFL respond better to high-energy coaches initially. Not just any high-energy coach, but coaches that prove themselves.
Lovie Smith came to Tampa Bay with a good reputation from Chicago, but never proved himself, evidenced by a 2-14 start in 2014. Not all of the players bought in as a result. The main point of Fab 1 was declaring that the players had bought in already to Dirk Koetter based on what he did during the offseason and how the offense performed last year. – SR
Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Great SR’s Fab 5, Scott. This is truly the best weekly article written on the Bucs anywhere. Probably by year’s end Dirk Koetter will be my favorite Bucs coach. I love him so far, and still have just a little reservation left, but I am very excited to see the 2016 season unfold. Go Bucs!
I am so tired of hearing the Colin Kaepernick stuff already, but I read what you wrote anyway and I couldn’t agree more with every single word you said.
Kind of like what some PR fans were saying a while ago. I don’t want politics, religion or personal social causes getting mixed in with my sports. What I and most of us sports fans use to get away from this crazy world we live in today is sports, so I hope this doesn’t start becoming a habit of sports players trying to use their (paid time by a sports team) time on TV to bring attention there latest social cause of the day.
It’s so exciting to see the players so excited about our coaching staff and buying in. This will be a special season for Bucs fans. I believe, and it’s been so long since any Bucs season was special in Tampa Bay. Bring on the Falcons! Go Bucs! – WinstonMVP
I appreciate that very much, WinstonMVP. I feel better about the start of the Dirk Koetter era than I did about the Raheem Morris, Greg Schiano or Lovie Smith eras, and not just because he’s the guy I told the Bucs to hire last October.
You’ll notice that I picked comments for this edition of SR’s Fab 5 Reaction with very little comments about Colin Kaepernick’s stance or my reply to his actions, which comprised Fab 4. I stated my views in my SR’s Fab 5 and there were plenty of comments – for and against – what I had to say and we will leave it there.
What I admired and appreciated was the civil dialogue exchange among the PewterReport.com readers, who respected each other’s viewpoints despite disagreeing. I enjoyed reading every comment, and I’m proud to say that I didn’t have to delete a single one. – SR
Scott, I enjoyed the other football aspects of your article as well and have no problem with you interjecting a little political debate into your column. Keeps the blood flowing and enjoy reading the counterpoints to everyone’s opinions.
I remember well the column you referred to when you called for the firing of Lovie Smith. Up until then I had been a supporter of Smith’s, but you made so many valid points and backed them up with clear, concise facts, you changed my mind.
I used to get my Bucs info and stories from yours and another site, but possibly more than anything else, that column was so well written, thought-out and presented in such a professional manner I rarely use any other site for Bucs information now. I also understood it took a lot of guts to write such an opinion since you are in constant contact with the Bucs coaching staff and have to deal with them daily.
In the same vein, I hope you’re right about Dirk Koetter. Of all the coaches we have had in the last few years I do believe he has the most balanced demeanor of all the coaches.
Probably the worst was Raheem Morris. I remember in a game against the Dolphins when we scored a touchdown with 1:40 left in the game, Morris was off on the sidelines whooping it up with the players and doing back bumps while I was yelling at the TV, “You idiot! There is 1:40 left in the game and you need to keep your head in it!” Sure enough, the Dolphins marched down the field to score a winning TD. – drdneast
Thank you, drdneast. I appreciate the kind words. I don’t know if it took guts to write what I did. Calling for Lovie Smith to get fired was necessary based on the overwhelming facts. But yes, I did think long and hard about how writing that would affect my relationship with Smith at One Buccaneer Place. He wasn’t too happy to see me in his press conferences for the rest of the 2015 season, and justifiably so. Having to deal with him in 2016 wouldn’t have been easy, but I knew that was going to be the case when I wrote it in October and doubled-down on his firing in December.
Time will tell about Dirk Koetter. He’s got everybody genuinely excited at One Buccaneer Place, and I do mean genuine. That’s the difference I’ve seen thus far. Mike Smith as defensive coordinator was a huge addition by Koetter. – SR
Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
I’m glad that the Bucs made it out of the preseason without any major injuries. With Jameis Winston going into his second year and a much more responsive defense, I would think that the Bucs could be pushing for a wild card spot by the end of the season.
I was figuring that Minnesota and either the Arizona-Seattle winner would be occupying the wild card spots. But, with that really unfortunate injury to Teddy Bridgewater, I think that there is a legitimate shot for the Bucs to go to the Super Bowl this year. – e
If the Buccaneers can stay healthy I think a wild card spot is a real possibility this year. I’m not ready to say they are a Super Bowl contender just yet, but I wouldn’t rule anything out with Jameis Winston at the helm. – SR
Another thing about Dirk Koetter last year was he put up those numbers with a rookie QB, with three undrafted rookie free agents at wide receiver and tight end playing major snaps, an offensive line with two rookies that was considered one of the NFL’s worst coming into the season, and being handcuffed by Lovie Smith’s philosophies on offense. Not a bad job at all! – grafikdetail
What Dirk Koetter did last year with such a young offense is truly remarkable. During a play against Jacksonville last year Koetter had four rookies in the game with left tackle Donovan Smith, right guard Ali Marpet, quarterback Jameis Winston, and wide receiver Donteea Dye, in addition to four second-year players in tight end Cameron Brate, running back Charles Sims, left guard Kevin Pamphile and wide receiver Mike Evans. That’s eight first- or second-year players out of 11 on the field together at the same time – and the offense put up 31 points that game, too. – SR
Great SR’s Fab 5 as always.
Fab 1. I have hope that Dirk Koetter is the real deal. I believe the key to his success will be his assistant coaches. He provides the vision but his assistant coaches must implement the vision.
Fab 2. I like the “take the handcuffs off” direction. Players need to be loose within the scheme. Hopefully, this carries over to the real season. I actually believe Cleveland will be a much-improved team this year.
3. Let’s win this one for Smitty!
Fab 4. I believe you’re giving way to much attention to Colin Kaepernick, which is just what he wants. Don’t mention his name, don’t show his picture, and don’t give him a larger audience.
Fab 5. I loved the insight into Clinton McDonald. – Oberlon
Thank you, Oberlon. I think Dirk Koetter has greatly upgraded Tampa Bay’s coaching staff and that will make a big difference this year, especially with such a young team. The fact that he preached to “take the handcuffs off” really resonated with the players against Cleveland. Let’s hope his pre-game speeches continue to be up to par. – SR
Dirk Koetter is obviously loved and respected by his staff and his players. The same could not be said for Jon Gruden. There were trust issues and Gruden had an abrasive personality. His success was built on players taught and trained by other coaches.
Koetter is an upgrade in every sense of the word. Gruden was a great offensive coordinator, but Koetter is better, and will prove to be far superior as a head coach because he inspires trust and loyalty in everyone around him. The foundation for a dynasty is being built in Tampa. – 1sparkybuc
There were some players that absolutely loved Jon Gruden, but there were some that were rubbed the wrong way. I think you are right on the money about the players already trusting Dirk Koetter, 1sparkybuc. And I already like Koetter’s idea of having five permanent captains and one weekly captain that will rotate depending on who the opponent is. Good stuff. – SR
Can you feel it? Can You Feel It? CAN YOU FEEL IT?!
Superb quote of the week from Scott Reynolds regarding Lovie Smith’s defense – “a vanilla path of despair.” Lol! Makes you feel for the folks in Illinois. I think you’ve hit on a new nickname for coach Dirk “Goldilocks” Koetter. He’s not too hot, not too cold – just right.
I’m glad the players are having fun, and I’m glad the coaches are having fun. And I will be glad to be having fun myself this year, which will be the result of us winning! Too many years of “vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate despair.” I want to be back on top after more than a decade of dread. Go Bucs! Yes, I can feel it! – EastEndBoy
Thank you, EastEndBoy. While I like your Dirk Koetter “Golidlocks” analogy, I’m not sure about using that as a nickname. I don’t think Koetter would be too fond of it, either, but I get what you are saying. – SR
Bucs HC Dirk Koetter and DC Mike Smith – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Dirk Koetter replacing the listless and monotoned Lovie Smith was obviously the single best move of the offseason. Bringing in Mike Smith to be the defensive coordinator is icing on the cake – a wonderful bit of fortune on the part of the Buccaneers.
This is an energy and optimism on both sides of the ball that we have not seen here in years. Of course a tremendous part of it started with the drafting of Jameis Winston before last season.
Cannot wait to get this thing going! Starting strong in Atlanta will go a long way to make believers out of those who cling to the past and the “same old Bucs” thought.
Scott, a positive and well thought out SR’s Fab Five was just what we needed to get to September 11. Thanks and a hat tip! – GARV
Thank you, GARV. I must admit that I can’t remember the Bucs fan base with more anticipation at the start of a season in quite some time. Last year there was some excitement over the arrival of Jameis Winston, but it was more out of curiosity than expectations of making the playoffs. This year is quite different due to Winston’s great rookie season, the promotion of Dirk Koetter and the arrival of Mike Smith. Will PewterReport.com pick the Bucs to (finally) achieve a winning season and make the playoffs? Stay tuned to the website this week to find out in our Pewter Predictions. – SR
Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
All coaching attributes aside, just listening to Koetter talk, after 7 years of clowns at the podium, is a HUGE breath of fresh air.
While Lovie and Dungy gave the appearance of having an even keel on the outside, that is where the similarities end. Talk to Brooks or Sapp about Dungy and they will tell you how passionate and intense he was. He gave his players clear expectations and then he held them accountable to those expectations. Dungy had a plan and stuck with it and got his players to buy into it. Lovie was dispassionate and his plan changed from week to week. The players didn’t know what to expect and they felt lost. Nowhere was that more obvious than in the secondary with its revolving door and players that looked lost.
Good to see you cherry picked out of 90+ comments only the favorable responses regarding Kaepernick, though it seems a bit condescending toward your readers to simply ignore the topic of most heated discussion. Then again, I hope you bury it along with the rest of your political beliefs from here out.
To sum up your reaction, 99% of the time we can expect from Pewterreport.com simply the best Bucs coverage, but with an occasional smidge of self-righteous and sanctimonious Scott Reynolds opinion to boot. Got it.
No surprise that I agree with BKNY. This article is Scott’s version of Fox’s ‘fair and balanced’ view of the world. And he has the gall to gloat about the fact he doesn’t delete posts that disagree with his political and religious world view! Oh thank you divine leader!! Please share more of your sanctimonious wisdom on those of us who need to be shown the light. Arrogance Beyond Imagination.
So if Dirk wins the Super Bowl, or goes to the NFC Championship this year, with Sparky claim he did it with Lovie’s players?
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