How The Buccaneers Managed To Have Back To Back 5-11 Seasons Part: 2

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Many things have to go wrong for a team to have back to back 5-11 seasons. Season after season, Bucs hoped for an improved record and in 2017 and 2018, the Bucs did not move the needle at all. What happened? How did the Bucs manage to stay mired in losses in back to back years? How is a team that went 5-11 in back too back years stuck in cap hell? What decisions have held the Bucs down?

2018

Contracts

While the Buccaneers resigning CB Brent Grimes was one of the worst moves they have made in recent memory, the Cameron Brate contract may have had a bigger impact on the current situation. After all, resigning Grimes only hurt them in 2018. At the beginning of 2018, the Bucs resigned Cam Brate to a six year extension worth 40.8 million dollars with 18 million guaranteed at signing. At the time it was applauded as a decent deal with an out after 2 years, but looking back, what about O.J Howard? Having two great tight ends is nice, but its more of a luxury than a necessity. The Bucs were happy to snag O.J Howard with the 19th pick, but resigning Brate seems to look a bit more costly now, than before.

Notable Free Agent Signing

This one hurts to type. Ryan Jensen was a very exciting signing at the beginning of 2018. Many had seen the porous offensive line and Jensen was an immediate upgrade at the center position, but it came at a hefty price. Jensen signed a four year deal worth 42 million with 22 million guaranteed. While Jensen brought the nasty attitude to the whole line, he didn’t live up to the contract that made him one of the highest paid centers in the league. He was penalized eight times during the season. I pointed out last season that some of those penalties were just due to the contrast of his attitude versus the rest of the offensive line. He brings the mean streak and the guys next to him didn’t do that. As a result, it provided a skewed view to the officials. A few of Jensen’s penalties weren’t great, but some of those he was simply playing to the whistle. Regardless, Jensen needs to be better headed into 2019. Pro Football Focus gave him a 54.9 rating which puts him in the “below average” category.

The Biggest Mistake

Just like last weeks piece, the biggest flaw in the 2018 team was coaching. Dirk Koetter waffled back and forth with his quarterbacks and didn’t get the best out of either of them in the end. Dirk Koetter’s inadequacies on offense were covered from time to time with Todd Monken calling plays, but even then, Koetter couldn’t give it up for very long. By the end of the season most of us realized that we had been given a false vision of what this coaching staff really was. Between Mike Smith’s old school defense and Dirk Koetter insisting on running plays that did simple did not work, there was much to be disappointed about. Bucs fans thought they were getting two head coaches with a pedigree for winning and a ton of experience. What the Bucs actually got was two coaches with antiquated views of the way football used to be played. The game is constantly changing. The Bucs knew they needed to make a change and in steps Bruce Arians,, Todd Bowles and company. I think as the season progresses it will become more clear just how bad Koetter and Smith were. The grass isn’t always greener, but in this case, the Bucs may have been standing in dirt without knowing it.

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