The Buccaneers have become quite the road warriors this year. They’ve won three of their four road games so far for a .750 road winning percentage that ranks second best in the NFL.
Now comes the hard part: a three game stretch of games at Raymond James Stadium, where the Bucs haven’t produced a winning record since 2008, when they went 6-2 there under then coach Jon Gruden.
The Bucs are just 17-41 at home since Gruden left, and if you’re judging by all the rival team jerseys you see in the stands there on Sunday afternoons, you could argue most Bucs fans left with him.
If it’s not at least half empty on games days, Raymond James is usually at least half full of fans rooting for the Bucs opponent and current Bucs coach Dirk Koetter has taken notice of that trend.
Koetter wrapped up his post-game press conference after the Bucs 34-17 road win over the 49ers at Levi’s Stadium last Sunday all but pleading for Bucs fans to lend his team some support when it takes on the Raiders at RJS this week.
“We’ve got to learn to win some games at home,’’ Koetter acknowledged. “We need to. But let’s keep those Raiders jerseys out of the lower bowl. Let’s get some Bucs jerseys in there and let’s rock that place next week.’’
Koetter didn’t stop there. He took up the cause again during his Monday weekly radio show on the Buccaneers Radio Network, where he continued to acknowledge the need for his team to lure the fans back with winning football.
“Look, we as team have to do our part (to) make RayJay a place that opposing teams don’t want to play in,” Koetter said. “But we need the crowd’s help on that.
“Yes, we need to play better at home. But the other thing is we’ve got to keep the opposing fans out of the lower bowl. I mean, let’s keep those Raiders jerseys out.
“I keep beating that drum and I know I’m going to get criticized and (have people saying) ‘Hey Dirk, your job is to coach the team.’ Well, yeah, it is. And I promise I’m going to do my part to the best of my ability.
“But it’s just not a good sign for us to have that many opposing jerseys in the lower bowl so hey, all you fans out there, tell your neighbors selling (their) tickets to the Raiders fans to give ’em away as Christmas gifts to somebody who’s a Bucs fan instead.”
That’s not a bad idea, really. Of course, Christmas is still a ways away. Halloween is the next holiday on the schedule and truth be known, there may not be a giveaway that defines trick or treat better than a ticket to a Bucs game.