Thursday, August 16, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs-Falcons report card: Tampa Bay puts up a real fight in loss to Atlanta

I’ll tell you what, man … of the hour

It was Jon Gruden’s night every bit as much as Joe Jurevicius was open over the middle that night in Philadelphia. Gruden was inducted into the Bucs Ring of Honor at halftime after a moving introduction by Keyshawn Johnson.

Actually, that did not happen.

Actually, what happened is embattled Bucs coach Dirk Koetter and the Bucs threw down, maybe one last time, and put up a real fight in a 24-21 loss to the Falcons, who needed the win. Without Gerald McCoy. Without Lavonte David. They went all in. Enough to save Koetter’s job? We’ll get back to you.

Play of the night

Grade: A

Brad Johnson handed to Mike Alstott, who ran in for the first Bucs touchdown … in Super Bowl XXXVII — all for Gruden during the halftime ceremony.

Doug Martin he gone pop quiz: name the violation.

Grade: F

In a perfectly fitting moment for a season that never came together, clown running back Doug Martin was inactive because of an unspecified violation of team rules. Martin already had one foot out the door. That door just hit him in the rear end. Peyton Barber might just work out if he gets an offensive line. Oh, and if he doesn’t fumble.

Tough spot

Grade: B

Give Koetter credit. There are easier things than being a 4-9 Bucs coach on Jon Gruden Night. Give Jameis Winston credit, too. He played well. Now, beware Sunday at Carolina.

The future is his

Grade: A

Bucs tight end O.J. Howard is one of the few bright spots this dark season. Howard was at it again Monday, taking a short pass from Winston, racing down the sideline before lunging for the pylon and six points. Officials reviewed the play and awarded the Patriots a touchdown. No, it was Howard. This kid has a great future. That was us, not Gruden. Oh, Howard was injured on the play.

Nice touch

Grade: F

Outgoing Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith has tried to cover Atlanta’s Julio Jones with every coverage known to man, except … 10 men on the field. It worked. A thoroughly confused Jones could only watch helplessly as teammate Justin Hardy caught a touchdown for a 7-0 lead.

Others receiving votes

Grade: B

Possible future Bucs Ring of Honor candidates: Simeon Rice, Brad Johnson, Hardy Nickerson. Brian Kelly, James Wilder, Ricky Bell, Richard "Batman" Wood, Guy who made Gruden’s alarm clock, Guy who reminded Gruden what his home phone number was, Guy who reminded Gruden to remind everyone to "pound the rock," guy who told Gruden which Glazer was which, Guy who told him, ‘No, Jon, that’s Ed, he’s a Glazer, too.’

Sign up for our daily Bucs Red Zone email newsletter here

Comments
Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota meet again. Sort of.

Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota meet again. Sort of.

NASHVILLE — Here at the intersection of Marcus Mariota Place and Jameis Winston Way, the quarterbacks of the Titans and Bucs continued to go in different directions.During the teams' joint workout Wednesday, the quarterbacks never got closer th...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Bucs receivers come out ‘smoking’ hot against Titans

Bucs receivers come out ‘smoking’ hot against Titans

NASHVILLE — DeSean Jackson turned Titans cornerback Malcolm Butler around and hauled in a deep pass from quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick during one-on-one drills. Mike Evans leaped over Logan Ryan, plucking the ball with two hands off the top of t...
Published: 08/15/18
Bucs pleasantly surprised at what a great leader they got in Jason Pierre-Paul

Bucs pleasantly surprised at what a great leader they got in Jason Pierre-Paul

NASHVILLE — The Bucs didn't know what they were getting when they traded for Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. They believed he would be a good pass rusher to help the league's worst defense.But they got so much more.The Bucs have been im...
Published: 08/15/18
This Buc was named to ESPN’s Perfect 53-Man NFL Roster

This Buc was named to ESPN’s Perfect 53-Man NFL Roster

If you were putting together the NFL's Perfect 53-Man Roster, you might overlook the Bucs altogether.If you were inclined to include a player, you might consider defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. Or wide receiver Mike Evans. Linebacker Lavonte Davi...
Published: 08/15/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Tony Dungy’s message to the Bucs

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Tony Dungy’s message to the Bucs

During a news conference Tuesday in Tampa, Tony Dungy spoke about what it means to him to be added to the Bucs Ring of Honor and what he told the current players when he spoke with them.Plus, Rick Stroud is in Tennessee, where the Bucs are getting re...
Published: 08/15/18
Bucs GM Jason Licht pays tribute to a mentor and friend

Bucs GM Jason Licht pays tribute to a mentor and friend

Perhaps nobody in pro football has had a bigger impact on Bucs general manager Jason Licht than Tom Heckert, Jr., who died Aug. 3 at age 51 after a long battle with amyloidosis. Heckert spent four years as the Broncos pro personnel director, helping ...
Published: 08/15/18
Bucs could use another Tony Dungy to spark culture change

Bucs could use another Tony Dungy to spark culture change

TAMPA —  It seems a little odd, but Tony Dungy is just now being installed in the Bucs' Ring of Honor, two years after his bust was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Leave it to his former team.As if it matters to this man. Dungy...
Published: 08/14/18
Updated: 08/15/18
Tony Dungy addresses Bucs and tells them the devil is in the details

Tony Dungy addresses Bucs and tells them the devil is in the details

Tony Dungy's team's were known for being disciplined and not beating themselves with penalties and blown assignments. But the ones that reached the postseason or went deep into the playoffs always played the game the right way.When Dungy addressed Bu...
Published: 08/14/18
Dungy says 2018 Bucs have talent, but need togetherness

Dungy says 2018 Bucs have talent, but need togetherness

Former Bucs coach Tony Dungy, set to be inducted into the team's Ring of Honor next month, talked with the current team for about 20 minutes on Tuesday morning, stressing the importance of them coming together this season."They have to have that toge...
Published: 08/14/18
Tony Dungy on NFL and protests during anthem: Listen to why it matters to players

Tony Dungy on NFL and protests during anthem: Listen to why it matters to players

Tony Dungy says the issue of NFL players protesting during the national anthem has been a divisive topic, but he hopes both sides can come together by listening to why players care enough to choose to protest."We really have to understand what these ...
Published: 08/14/18