Bucs Report – Special to Sports Talk Florida
The 2023 NFC South is one of the worst divisions of football in a long time in terms of competitiveness. And it’s not for lack of talent. With the exception of the Panthers, each team in the NFC South has a roster with talent. The Buccaneers have a pro-bowl WR and the best LT in the game as well as a solid defense. Saints are similar, and the Falcons have a ton of first rounders on offense. Even the Panthers defense has some quality players.
And yet, every team is underperforming. Panthers’ head coach Frank Reich was just canned after going 1-10 in his first season. Every team in the NFC South is below .500, and I don’t think that will change. To quote the famous detective, “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, is the truth”. Yes, there are definitely players not living up to expectations on all these teams, but it comes down to coaching.
Easily the most mocked example is Falcons’ head coach Arthur Smith and his crusade against all fantasy football owners. People smarter than me have said this, but it is not for fantasy football reasons to want talented players to get the ball.
Defense has seemed solid enough, but that is not the area of the team that Smith controls. He is in charge of the offense, and it has not performed. For whatever reasons, he seems to be married at the hip to Desmond Ridder. I don’t know why though considering he has 9 turnovers on his own. And the fact that he doesn’t seem to like using Bijan Robinson. I get that just because a player is a first round pick does not guarantee them a high snap count. But still. But there is a reason that they were worth that first round pick. Robinson is a very talented back, and yet Smith is treating that like a revelation.
There are other puzzling roster decisions, but the point is he hasn’t done well and like every other coach here, he has a losing record. This is probably the least likely firing to happen, but I still think it’s possible.
Then we get to Dennis Allen. Oh boy. This is not so much directly his fault as it is the fact that he can’t let go of Pete Carmichael, similar to Arthur Smith. Carmichael’s offense has been the stuff of nightmares for Saints fans. The worst thing about it though is the fact that it is boring. As much as I may hate him, Sean Payton’s offense was so much more fun to watch.
Taysom Hill is one of the most boring gadget players to watch that I can remember. I know that Derek Carr has a gypsy curse on him when he reaches the red zone, but dear lord the playcalling is not helping him at all. And like Todd Bowles, Allen has made some questionable clock decisions. Just basic stuff that a head coach should know how to handle.
I think even if the Saints win the NFC South, he will be canned. At the very least, Carmichael does not survive. Carr was supposed to be the solution, and Carmichael has fucked him over royally.
We all know how I feel about Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles. He seems like a nice guy, but he does not deserve to be a head coach. At no point has he proven able to do any of the minor things someone with his experience should know and do. My post after the Colts game summarizes my thoughts on his ability perfectly. I don’t need to rehash everything here.
I would not be writing this if there was a first time coach, but every person here is an experienced HC. Well, experienced enough to not be making the mistakes they are making. Though I would rather my opponents be weaker, I think in a perfect world, they’re all gone. None of them have proven they can do anything at this level head coaching wise. There are only 32 NFL HCs, it’s a coveted position. And they’re basically squandering it. Bowles and Allen are talented DCs. Arthur is a good OC. So far they’ve proven they can’t be head coaches.
Make sure you check out Devin’s blog at cannoncrunch.wordpress.com.