Some people are fans of the Tampa Bay Bucs. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Tampa Bay Bucs. This 2018 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.
Your team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers. You thinking sex now?!
Your 2017 record: 5-11. FUN FACT: The Bucs have been outscored every season since 2010. And yet, I was definitely one of those people who, prior to last season, figured the Bucs were poised to explode. They brought in DeSean Jackson. They drafted O.J. Howard. I assumed they were gonna rocket straight to the top of the NFC. I was ready to welcome our new Florida trash overlords. I cannot begin to tell you how delighted I am that this did NOT end up being the case. Instead, everyone on defense contracted measles and the Bucs fell off the face of the fucking Earth, which is where they belong forever and ever and ever.
Your coach: Dirk Koetter. I honestly don’t get the Bucs. They’ll fire Lovie Smith for leaving a floater in the toilet but both Dirk Koetter and coordinator Mike Smith (whose defense ranked DFL at the end of last season) get to hang on for an extra year even though they visibly lost control of this team somewhere around October. Remember the bro-down Koetter had with Sean Payton?
That was terrific. Nothing like seeing grown men stage a chesty competition at midfield to see who is the Least Mad. The Bucs also extended the contract of general manager Jason Licht, which is insane given that Licht is the man who drafted Roberto Aguayo and then replaced him with the only man alive who had a worse case of the yips. More important, Licht was responsible for bringing in this moron…
Somehow that video gets more uncomfortable upon each successive viewing. Look how baffled Jameis Winston’s teammates are. They’re so uncomfortable they don’t even want to huddle close to him. It’s so fucking weird. Then Jameis is like HOW MANY PEOPLE WANNA EAT A W TONIGHT? and three guys are like “I guess so?” I’ve sat in on video conferences with more enthusiasm. Joe Flacco’s peak moment of real leadership was making fun of Jameis’ peak moment of fake leadership. And yet, the W-eating thing was somehow the least embarrassing thing Jameis Winston did last season.
The only people on earth who think Jameis Winston is worth the trouble all work in the Bucs front office. By now you know that Winston is gonna sit out the first three games of this season after the league suspended him for groping an Uber driver. He also tried to discredit the driver by having friend Ronald Darby lie about being in the car with him and then used that lie to paint Kate, the Uber driver, as “confused.” And it’s both completely unsurprising and incredibly depressing that, instead of cutting Jamies loose, the Bucs have basically doubled down and chosen to stand by this turnover-prone dumbfuck. Here’s Lavonte David:
“It was a silly mistake.”
Here’s Mike Evans:
“That’s my boy, one of my best friends. Obviously, I’m hurt by it. But we’ve been going to war together for three years, four years now.”
And here’s the adorably named Ali Marpet:
“We all support him. We’re one family.”
As for Jameis himself, he farted out some bullshit about having a son and “learning” from his mistakes, as if rampaging through South Florida and grabbing at every nearby woman and crustacean is some kind of long-term class in personal betterment. Oh, but he has a kid now. Fathers NEVER get dangerously horny, no sir. That’s science.
Again, the Bucs could have easily drafted Marcus Mariota instead of Jameis and gotten roughly the same production without any of the tangential assholery. Everyone knew this man was scum. Everyone knew he was a fucking phony. All you had to do was watch any episode of Hard Knocks from last season, where he made his own proprietary version of the Cosby mug every six seconds, to know it in your heart.
But for reasons that will forever escape me, the Bucs did damage control on Winston’s behalf before they even selected him, and they’re still at it four years later. They’ve got the same shitbag QB and they’ve surrounded him with the same shitbag enablers like Licht. At some point, this stops being mere incompetence. The Bucs are owned by a Trump-supporting James Lipton impersonator and they possess objectively the most conservative fanbase in the NFL. Making a certified pussygrabber the face of the team is just sound business, as far as these idiots are concerned. A feature not a bug, etc.
Anyway, your temp QB for the first three weeks of the season is Ryan Fitzpatrick who, as we ALL know, went to Tulane. And I know there are already a few takes floating around about how Jameis might not necessarily get his job back, but come on. No one is buying that. The Bucs have the hardest three-game opening schedule in league history (Saints, Steelers, Eagles), and that’s not even counting the inevitable hurricane that will strike. Even if Fitzcountryclub here puts up one of his occasional 300-yard games with three TDs and two picks, they’re handing the ball back to that predatory fraud the second he’s eligible again. You could staff an entire Amazon headquarters with the people who have apologized for Jameis Winston.
And you know what the worst part is? Jameis isn’t even GOOD. He fucking sucks. On any given play, he’s liable to sprint 30 yards backward and the fumble the ball up his own ass. The only thing consistent about Jameis is his ability to remain under investigation for sexually assaulting or harassing women. But hey, at least some of the fans who would have run Jameis out of town for being black 30 years ago now embrace him for being a sexual predator. So I guess that’s progress for you. DURRRRR IF YOU CAN’T GRAB A GIRL BY HER LADYPARTS THERE’D BE NO BABIES MADE DURRRRRRR…
What’s new that sucks: They traded for JPP!
Damn, looks like a hot dog that dad left on the grill too long. Honestly though, I’d eat it. Lotta good meat in that hand.
Anyway, after blowing his own hand up in Florida, the Bucs were like, “Let’s bring Jason Pierre-Paul back to our state and see if he’ll blow up the OTHER hand!” I bet he swallows an M-80 after Jameis dares him to. JPP joins Gerald McCoy and mountainous draftee Vita Vea to form what would be, on paper, one of the most promising defensive lines in football. What will happen instead is that the MSRA time-capsules Greg Schiano planted in the ceiling tiles will go off and everyone on defense will die again. Vea already got carted off from practice with a calf injury. Imagine owning a house on stilts, and then one of the stilts gets termites. That’s Vea’s calf.
They also gave $18 million in guarantees to their second-string tight end and they gave Mike Evans enough money to keep him in Tampa dropping long balls and cheap-shotting opponents for five more years. As I’ve said before, I’m grateful for this team’s commit to toiling in mediocrity. It helps ensure that, forevermore, their sole historic contribution to football will be the mobile strip club.
What has always sucked: Now that our beloved former video editor Tim Burke is gone, I can freely say that Tampa sucks and that people from Tampa are all fucking losers. Tampa is little more than a haven of homeless boat captains and deeply uninteresting old people. Tampa and St. Pete people will yell at you if you lump them into the same city or if you refer to them as “Tampa Bay” and they never seem to grasp that no one else cares. The Bucs are a nothing team cheered on by a rapidly dwindling number of nothing people.
Also, I’ll never forgive you people for enabling Jon Gruden. That’s on you.
What might not suck: I love any draftee that walks up onto the stage wearing a lei, and Vita Vea is no different. I love my big wide Pac-12 son. They should make the entire league out of jolly run-stuffers. He’s the only Buc I don’t want to see hurt.
Let’s remember a guy who sucked: Never forget that this team drafted Reidel Anthony and Jacquez Green in back-to-back years. Steve Spurrier wideouts had all the staying power of a truck stop orgasm.
HEAR IT FROM BUCS FANS!
I always like to remind people that Warren Sapp is banned from all Best Buys in Tampa due to sexual harassment.
Every home game has at least 60%-70% away fans who are vacationing in Tampa or Orlando. Raymond James Stadium is the Airbnb of the NFL.
If they went 12-4 every year going forward it would take them 19 seasons (2037!) just to get back to .500 overall.
Hopefully Uber signs Ryan Fitzpatrick to an endorsement deal.
We’ve been a playoff surprise pick for over a decade. We suck.
I sold my Jameis jerseys (yes, I bought two of them; yes, I’m aware of his past and how we’ve never signed a QB to a contract extension in our franchise history; yes, I’m an idiot for thinking he’d “change”) on eBay for $50 total. We’re either stuck with this moron if he wins, or get to blow everything up AGAIN if we end up sucking this year, which is all but guaranteed. Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.
Everyone talks about the Browns and their list of quarterbacks, but our pussy-grabbing crab thief almost has every Bucs passing record after just three years.
Despite being in a division where the other three QBs have three NFC championships, two MVP awards, and a Super Bowl title between them, our idiot fans are perpetually aggrieved that Jameis Winston is somehow viewed as the worst QB in the division.
Speaking of Winston, an otherwise respectable team blog keeps trying to force the cringetacular nickname “America’s Quarterback” on our local signal caller. Although now that I think about it, a famous pussy grabbing idiot who hasn’t actually accomplished anything and can do no wrong in the eyes of his supporters despite overwhelming evidence that he may in fact be a terrible person might very well be the epitome of America in 2018.
I spent two years in New York at the beginning of this decade. When I moved there, I naively Googled the location of the Buccaneers bar in the city. It was just down the street from my apartment - what luck! I headed down to said bar just before kickoff in week 1, walk in and... no Bucs fans. One of the line cooks had a throwback Bucs hat on, which must have been the reason for its inclusion in the list. I had to ask to get one TV switched to the game. As far as I know Tampa is the only team that doesn’t have enough fans in the largest city in the country to warrant even an informal meeting place. We are utterly irrelevant, other than the fact that our current quarterback is the dumbest asshole in the league.
The franchise QB has WAY more sexual abuse allegations than important late-season/playoff wins.
The head coach is coming off a 5-win season, somehow didn’t get fired and is named ‘Dirk’. He loves punting anytime the offense is outside the 25-yard line and if you told me he was watching football for the first time I would believe it.
Gerald McCoy, an undoubtedly great player, has been a part of 47 wins in 8 years.
This area is beautiful seven months out of the year but at least once a day I see some white guy with a mullet and a Joe Dirt mustache drive by me in an old pickup truck with a giant confederate flag flying out of the back.
Every Bucs game looks like the crowd at a Trump rally, only with less people.
Gave up my season tickets 10 years ago and haven’t regretted it. The franchise serves up professional football to west central Florida with all the skill, professionalism and enthusiasm of Lunch Lady Doris serving beef hearts. I know few people who are interested in the Bucs anymore and of those, none have any expectations that this season will be anything but a disaster. No one thinks Koetter will save his job and the playoffs are a far-off dreamland like they were in the 80's.
The Bucs amateurish attempts at gaslighting Winston’s past gives me new appreciation of Trump’s skill at reinventing history. This is now a team that you have to apologize for being a fan of, like the Cowboys, only without their multiple Super Bowl wins and past glories.
I’m haunted by the image of a supposedly-grown man jamming his own W-shaped fingers into his mouth like chicken tenders.
The Mariota-Winston draft debate has long been over but at this point the winner is clearly the team that didn’t pick up the crab-thieving hick. I’m dying for preseason to start so I can tune out this season as fast as possible.
Me in this column last year coming off the Bucs’ 9-7 record in 2016:
“But since this is the Bucs, that was probably our ‘window’ and it’s back to 5-11 now.”
I was just being a dick, I didn’t think it would actually happen!
Not one of his teammates can find the balls necessary to refute what he did to get suspended.
I wanted to try and be funny in this e-mail, but I’m just so tired Drew. So tired.
I am wondering if I will even watch a full game this year. I bet by November I have the best looking lawn on the street.
In 10 years time, you can spot him the C, T, and E and Chris Conte won’t be able to spell his last name.
Gerald McCoy is the Joe Thomas of Tampa, but much more fragile. He is the long suffering, second most Fameis person on the team since he’s been drafted, and has to answer the same obvious questions during press interviews about how blatantly terrible the team is.
Tampa is an armpit slum surrounded by slightly tanner white supremacists that exists because Disney employees with a day off will drive any direction available away from Daytona Beach.
Alcohol is my only solace in a state stuffed with people from Ohio. Skyline Chili has locations in Tampa Bay, Ft. Myers and West Palm Beach. Five minutes in each area easily explains why scales aren’t sold in Publix anymore.
The Bucs are the bandwagon favorite to turn it around every Spring and early Summer. Each new coach every two years is just what the Bucs need. Raheem “Rah” Morris was the up and comer with a fresh edge so we can compete in the future. Greg “toes on the line” Schiano was gonna bring discipline back because that was just what we needed. Lovie “very disappointed” Smith was going to bring back the Tampa 2 defense, and that was going to take us back to the glory days. Dirk Cutter is the Jamies whisperer and they will be the greatest offense ever.
However, we are the Bucs. Something always gets us.
All playoffs, you see Tampa Bay Lightning banners hanging from all the skyscrapers, parking garages, every large building in Tampa. I have never seen a Bucs banner hanging from anything that wasn’t actually an ad for Budweiser. Nobody is proud to be associated with the Buccaneers.
Back in 2015 the draft debate was clearly OH GOD WE NEED A QB. I’d like to say the fanbase was evenly split between Winston/Mariota, but there are a lot of vocal Seminoles fans here and oh man they drowned out the rest of us.
This year we fucking drafted Maui from Moana.
The faux leadership skills of Jameis never seem to amaze me. He reminds me of A-Rod in how hard he tries to be a leader and how spectacularly he fails.
No one gives a shit about this team.
I thought of creating a burner email account so you would have five responses instead of four for the Bucs WYTS this year.
If they had a sports movie where the Bucs were one of the teams most people would probably just assume the team is fictional.
If you have a past accusations of sexual assault....and you are currently being accused of sexual assault.....and your alleged alibi is somebody who is currently serving time in prison for sexual assault.....you probably need better life choices and friends. Please pass this important message to all people in the world with names that rhyme with Wameis Jinston.
Eleven Roombas with googly eyes taped to the top would put up 31 points against this defense. Our secondary has the structural integrity of Lindsey Lohan’s nasal cavity, and for some reason the front office decided it was impossible to upgrade from Chris Conte at safety. I’m looking forward to watching opposing offenses run the same 10-yard slant against this defense up and down the field for 16 straight weeks. Should be fun.
They won’t put the “face of the franchise” on the stadium murals because he’s so busy groping Uber drivers. If only there had been some warning signs before they drafted him. In fairness to Jameis though, it can be tough for the millionaire starting QB to find a woman to go home with him. This team is such a disaster that no one is even talking about using a 2nd round pick on a kicker that we cut in training camp a year later.
It’s not like we didn’t know. Everyone knew. Every fan of the team, from the moment they drafted Jameis, said to themselves, “Welp, I guess I have to root for this chud for the next ten years.” And sure enough, here we are, watching a man-child continue not to learn from his mistakes.
What’s worse, you just know Tampa is going to extend that contract too. Why try to do the right thing when you can double down on doing the wrong thing for the wrong reasons?
2002 was a fluke that ruined fandom for a generation. I live in Wisconsin. The Packers are RIGHT THERE. And yet. And yet.
What really sucks is that there are still people out there supporting the guy blindly (“Why did the league only suspend him three games, when the minimum suspension is six? There’s obviously not enough evidence!”) or who “can’t believe people think the team should write him off for one mistake.” Look, I remember the lead up to the 2015 Draft and I can tell you that a sizable amount of this fan base has both “actually read the FSU Investigation details carefully” and “really looked into the details of what happened at Benghazi.”
This team is owned by the Gulf Coast Maloof brothers, who host Trump fund raisers and can barely be bothered to fire a coach/GM every 4 years before fucking back off to play with Manchester United again.
The coach, Dirk Koetter, a man fired from coordinator spots at perennial powerhouses Jacksonville and Atlanta, hired as some sort of Jameis-whisperer because our aforementioned owners were too coked up to bother with a proper coaching search. I cannot wait for the inevitable Mike Shula hire once they finally put this horse to pasture after the season.
The GM, Jason Licht, who TRADED UP TO DRAFT A KICKER IN THE SECOND ROUND, signed deep threat for a QB who can’t throw deep balls, drafted a TE with their first pick, then gave a $40 million contract to his backup.
That Jameis is merely slightly below average represents such an improvement at QB that many fans are still carrying water for him, because they have seen enough Mike Glennon and Chris Simms’s to know that this man represents an upgrade overall.
The apathetic fans are preferable to “Buccaneer Joe from Plant City” that calls into sports radio, flummoxed why the Bucs don’t trade Winston to the Eagles for Carson Wentz and Derek Barnett. The most vocal portion of our fanbase mostly consists of FSU homers that never attended the school and are now shady building contractors, who still somehow defend the Winston and Aguayo picks, and are IRATE that the Bucs haven’t taken FSU players in the first rounds of the last two drafts.
Tampa itself consists of mostly Guy Fieri and Bret Michaels wannabes, who drive monster trucks despite there being no hill over six feet in the state, wear cargo shorts and Crocs to everything (including their own weddings), and consider fist bumps a form of verbal contract.
Somehow we have the best strip clubs in the United States, most of which are within walking distance of Raymond James Stadium. Go us?
Not sure if you heard but there was a serial killer on the loose in Tampa for about a month. He killed four people and was finally caught by his manager at McDonalds when he handed her a bag with the (later confirmed) murder weapon.
That guy is still a smarter and better person than Jameis Winston.
Submissions for the 2018 Deadspin NFL previews are now closed. Next up: Chicago Bears.