Cautiously Optimistic

July 12th, 2013

Doug Martin could lead the Bucs to double-digit wins. A division title? Time will tell.

On paper the Bucs look to have a very strong team sans two positions, perhaps three at the most. Joe fully expects the Bucs to be better. Playoffs? Joe can’t go there yet.

It’s not the first time Joe has written that. And for the same reason, Woody Cummings of The Tampa Tribune isn’t ready to anoint the Bucs a playoff team.Cummings appeared recently with “The Fabulous Sports Babe” on WHFS-FM 98.7 to talk about the Bucs’ chances this season.

“I am excited for this football team, too. I think this team has a real opportunity to win nine or 10 games and get into the tournament and make some noise there,” Cummings said. “The concern I have, it is just a damned, difficult division that they are in.

“Nobody else in the NFL has to go up against the Saints and Drew Brees twice and the Falcons and Matt Ryan twice and even Carolina and what they provide. There are two big obstacles in front of them in winning this division. They could win 10 games and not get to the playoffs just like happened a couple of years ago. It can happen again. They could have a tremendous season and not get a payoff.

“That to me is the real downer, but the big thing is, I expect this team to be much improved again. They almost doubled their victories [from the previous season] last year. I don’t think they will double them this year but if they win four or five more and get to 10 or 11 wins, they have a shot at the playoffs and we all know anything can happen. That has to be the objective.”

Joe totally agrees with Cummings. The NFC, not just the NFC South, is simply friggin’ loaded. The Bears won 10 games last year and missed the playoffs. There is no weak team in the NFC North. The NFC West has two of the game’s best teams, San Francisco and Seattle. For this reason and this reason alone, the only way Joe can see the Bucs making the playoffs is by winning the division, and Joe isn’t ready to crown the Bucs division champs quite yet.

The Bucs should be an improved team. Not sure winning the division is in the cards.

60 Responses to “Cautiously Optimistic”

  1. tonytwocents Says:

    what. are we supposed to be scared of Drew Breese or Matt Ryan?? Are we supposed to believe that Cam Newton is Superman?? I’m seriously tired of our scared and neutered fanbase. Makes me wanna go Tony Montana on some of you: F* Drew Breese! and F* the f**kin Atlanta Falcons! F* em all! We’re gunna bury those Cacaroaches!

    woah…coffees kickin in. but seriously, F* em all!

  2. Architek Says:

    The key is winning close games and taking care of business at home. Do those things and Tampa can scare some people if they qualify for the tournament. (Barring a Freeman meltdown)

  3. Buc'n Junkie Says:

    Being all flatbush tough like tonytwocents is not reality. Sure we can all say F’ Brees, and F’ Ryan and F’ Newton and live in a glasshouse but that’s not reality is it. It’s going to be tough to win our division outright. We can do it but the responsible clear thinking people know, that it won’t be a cakewalk, and the odds are not in our favor. I am cautiously optimistic.

  4. Meh Says:

    Playoffs or bust. I expect the playoffs this year or Dom is on the hotseat next year. How long are we going to rebuild?

  5. Macabee Says:

    Get used to fierce competition. There was a nuclear arms race in the NFC-West this year. Every division in especially the NFC is extremely competitive. The Bucs have gotten the message. If you’re going to win in today’s NFL, you’re going to need weapons. And every team is in pursuit of them so much so that an unnamed team paid 16 mil a year for a CB!

    This is no happen stance. The NFL, by virtue of the CBA and other rules have intentionally designed parity into the system. Unlike years ago, the word dynasty is all but forgotten. It is hard to repeat as a Super Bowl winner today and that’s the way the NFL wants it.

    Winning 10 games is no assurance that you will make the playoffs now or even that you will get to keep your job. Ask Lovie Smith!

  6. tonytwocents Says:


    we just about had the worst pass defense in NFL history, but still managed to tie for 2nd in our division. your “cautiously optimistic” talk is for scared, fence riding fans. it took Chucky, and his brass balls, to get on national TV and basically tell the media he didnt give two sh*ts about Philly, or the weather.

    all Im saying is Tampa needs to grow a pair. You can play armchair analyzer all you want, but this is football. we need balls. teams thrive on their fans balls.

  7. Macabee Says:

    just watched NFL AM and Eric Davis is convinced that the Bucs can win the division and is a playoff “sleeper” team. As usual the Falcon-loving Jamie Dukes thinks otherwise. But even he concedes that the roster is loaded and that it’s entirely possible.

  8. flmike Says:

    Why would anyone be scared of a team who looks at Rob Ryan as their defensive savior, really? And until the Panthers fire Ron Rivera they’ll remain a sub 500 team, the Falcons are looking at the wrong side of the window, they’re looking back at one that is closing not one that is opening on their SB dreams. The Bucs will be the dominate team in the NFC South, maybe not this season, but likely next and beyond.

  9. tonytwocents Says:

    you know junk, the more I think about your smug reaction to my original post, what the hell is a “buc’n junkie”? was that your sly attempt to say f**kin junkie? don’t be a hypocrite, or I’ll call you out all day long. and for the record, flatbush is pretty much hipsterville these days. so I dont get the comparison.

  10. robert Says:

    @ 22

    I was just thinking the same thing!!! F em all

    Brees is old and the Saint are not the team they were 4 years ago. he’s getting sloppy and playing like favre at his end. anyone say INT’s?
    gonzalez and Jackson in ATL need to be put out to pasture. we just can’t get rod graded by them. have to be able to bend but not break
    we’ve had the whole vick/cam newton QB thing figured out for year. our speed matches up against them. steve smith is OG and their RB’s aren’t the dynamic duo the once were.

    F em all. Our team is stacked more than any of them. no more excuses!

  11. Buc'n Junkie Says:


    Don’t question my patriotism to the Bucs? I have held season tickets since 1991 and go to every single game. You see, I live in a real world and understand the complexities of how difficult it’s going to be. Do I want us to succeed? of course. Do I demand that we win them all. No. hope! ..yes, What am I going to do if I demand and they don’t? Quit being a fan? That’s absurd.

  12. Buc'n Junkie Says:


    Wow, attacking my screen name. That is friggin childish. Grow-up!

  13. BamBamBuc Says:

    There are only 3 teams in the NFC that have shown the consistency to get there almost every year. That’s the Packers, Saints, and Falcons. Yeah, 2 in the NFC South. That’s gonna make it tough, but not impossible. The rest of the North is inconsistent with the potential to contend. The West is overrated. Just a few years ago the division winner didn’t even have a winning record. Both the Seahawks and 49ers have QBs that have one year as a starter or less, so we don’t know what they’ll do in year 2. The East is a shambles with the Giants being the most consistent there.

    The Bucs have been competitive with the Saints and Falcons in our own division for a couple years now. It’s not given that we will lose to them. Sure, we need to move towards a winning record in the division, but going 3-3 in the South leaves open plenty of opportunity to make the playoffs.

  14. tonytwocents Says:

    junk said,

    “Don’t question my patriotism to the Bucs?”

    Im sorry. was that a question?? hey, if you say youre a fan, youre a fan. Im just saying I just about had it with people saying how tough its gonna be to win the whatever the f***. instead, with our new acquisitions, with our healthy o-line, and Freemans toys, we should be saying how much tougher its gonna be for breese. for Matty. for Cameron. I honestly believe those guys are losing 5-10 more minutes of sleep each night, because they need that time to go over Revis’ and Goldsons film. the Bucs are going to the playoffs. and theyre gonna go in hard. chips are all in. balls are turnin into brass.

  15. tonytwocents Says:

    dude, junk. you wanna make a big deal about me callin them the F*n Saints, Falcons, Panthers. what I didn’t do was call myself tony f*n twocents. so yeah, youre a hypocrite.

  16. tonytwocents Says:

    junk said,

    “Don’t question my patriotism to the Bucs?”

    Im sorry. was that a question?? hey, if you say youre a fan, youre a fan. Im just saying I just about had it with people saying how tough its gonna be to win the whatever the f***. instead, with our new acquisitions, with our healthy o-line, and Freemans toys, we should be saying how much tougher its gonna be for breese. for Matty. for Cameron.

  17. SteveK Says:

    Josh Freeman. 2013 Playoffs for the Bucs. No playoffs= QB layoff.

    We will be in the playoffs this year, or else we will find a new QB.

  18. John Says:

    NFC South Division record for all 4 teams was 3 wins, 3 lost.
    So with a little help, anyone of the 4 could improve and walk away with the division.
    Until they play it’s speculation 101 only. I’m sure all 4 teams feel they can do it.
    But only one will.
    The best thing we can do as fans is,” go to the games to support the teams”

  19. robert Says:

    if yall wanna go all off topic why don’t we do it right!

    how about that jasmine from the hooters calendar joe put up this morning!!!

    now there’s some quality family entertainment. She’s smokin!!!!!!!!! had to google her.

    yum, yum

  20. Buc'n Junkie Says:

    ^^^^^ I don’t agree.

    If Freeman has a great season and we don’t make the playoffs for other reasons not connected to Freeman’s performance, Josh will be offered a new contract. He may decide to leave if he doesn’t like the numbers but if they do make the playoffs Josh will be writing his own check then.

  21. Buc'n Junkie Says:

    ^^^ for stevek

  22. robert Says:

    selling it to junkie for jus tree-fitty!

    it’s jfro 6 packs authentic!

  23. Buc'n Junkie Says:


    You can have this for free

  24. tonytwocents Says:

    oh, we’re doin links now??

    well heres a link referencing my first comment that got junks panties in a bunch.

  25. robert Says:

    for junkie

  26. Buc'n Junkie Says:

    I’m too old to play your immature games.

    I’m here to discuss Buc football. nothing more nothing less

    So grow-up!

  27. SteveK Says:

    LOL Junkie!

    Can I start calling you “Linkzilla”? You are getting bombarded.

    I don’t see the team around Freeman folding. I agree with 2 cents, this team is built to whip @ss, no excuses.

    It is playoffs or bust.

  28. tonytwocents Says:


    this is getting old. now you’re telling people to grow up, because youre here to talk about football…….its f**kin football! you want me to be proper and polite while discussing football?? lighten up! youre not a GM! you’re not a Glazer. youre a grown man getting agitated about guys having fun talkin about football! jiminy christmas!

  29. Bobby Says:

    I don’t see any team in the NFC South as strong as we are this year. Defensively we are better than any of them and offensively I think we match up very well. This is OUR time.

  30. Pewter_Power Says:

    Freeman will have a 2010 like season, Martin, Jackson and Williams will continue to dominate, the secondary will also dominate, the pass rush will improve because of a healthy Clayborn and Bowers and a dominate secondary and the Bucs will win the division with a record of 12-4 earning the #2 seed in the NFC Playoffs.

  31. Buc1987 Says:

    @tony….you do have a point. Can’t tell you how many times I go to games and just see fans sitting there like their at a movie or reading a book in a library. Like shhhh the games on. It royally pisses me off actually. The team feeds off of the energy the fans can create. Especially the D. In Seattle the fans friggin have a nickname the 12th man. While our fans are like ho hum, ho hum. Where’s the passion? We can barely get anyone to go to the games to begin with. About 70% of them that do, are quiet. So I actually did come up with an idea about a month ago to try and remedy this problem. I might get in trouble with this, but I’m gonna try it. Before each game I’m going to be handing out business cards randomly to Buc fans and telling them to pass it on. On the card it will have only 2 words on it. Be Loud. I’m going to bring about a 1,000 per game. Can’t say as I’m going to get rid of them all, but I’m going to try.

  32. Buc'n Junkie Says:

    Usually the ones that end up being quiet during the games are the ones who were so pumped up and had high hopes at the beginning only to be let down. This team needs to win. Then people will start coming to the games again.

  33. Buc1987 Says:

    Wow Buc fans fighting back and forth. Where is the love? I get both 2 cents and Buc’n Junkie’s points. 2 cents is just trying to tell us to stop being so timid. Buc’n Junkie is trying to tell us he lives in realityville and while it’s good to be like 2 cents we don’t have to set our expectations so high only to be let down. Atleast that’s my take on the battle. I think all of us are just a little riled up to see this team on the field. Antsy would be a good word.

    Antsy : Agitated, impatient, or restless.

  34. Buc1987 Says:

    Oh and do me a favor if you get one of my cards. Please do pass it on.

  35. Buc1987 Says:

    …and another thing if you go to a Bucs game and come out of it still having your voice. Your a shi**y fan.

  36. simeon 97 Says:

    Outside of D line, which COULD be good, our team is stacked. We had the best Run D last year and the worst pass D. Now we arguably have the most talented secondary in the league.

    If this team doesn’t WIN a playoff game this year its a disappointment.

  37. Couch Fan Says:

    I agree with 2 cents on this argument. We were very competitive with the teams in our division last year. We should of swept Atl AND Carolina. There is no reason to think we can’t win this division with a much improved secondary, defense and team in general…. My opinion is this division is ours for the taking but not with the attitude “I think we can”.

    F*ck em all!

  38. Buc1987 Says:

    Hopefully Schiano turns into a Tony Montana. Hell Tony Montana would give a great pre-game speech if he was an actual person.

  39. Buc'n Junkie Says:

    @Couch Fan

    Not according to your constant mantra. According to you we won’t win as long as Freeman is QB. Ye of many faces. You have been making excuses why we won’t.

  40. Dylan Says:

    @joe your stupid lol. You sound like a washed up bucs fan. If Greg schiano doesn’t make the playoffs with this roster he has, he sucks. Bucs have a top 5 O line, a top 5 RB, top 5 WR core, top 5 secondary. One of the best 3 technique D tackles In the game. Rock solid LBs. only “questions” are DE, and QB. Most teams have way more question marks then that. And I’m not questioning Adrian or Daquan there healthy. No need to. Every team gets injuries so idk if your assuming people are getting hurt when you say you don’t think the bucs can win the division. But if they don’t with this roster that’s pathetic. And Idk how any bucs fans doubt playoffs right now. When’s the last time the bucs lost to the falcons by more then a TD? Please tell me so. Adding revis and goldson? Lmfao did you not watch the jets with revis? (2 AFC championship appearances) and without revis? Arguably the laughing stock of the nfl. I’m expecting nothing less then 10 wins and a playoff appearance or this season is a complete fail. And I’ll bet any money that’s how the bucs are thinking too. But hey joe! Keep doubting I bet your bored and need something stupid to say. @joe

  41. Couch Fan Says:

    @Buc ‘n Junkie

    Show me where I’ve said that we WONT win this year… go head ill wait.

    What I have said is that we HAVENT won… In the past tense. I am very much looking forward to a winning season. As well as hoping and praying for one because another 7-9 season could throw us into another rebuild.

    now go head and tell me again, what I have said that isnt true?

  42. Buc'n Junkie Says:

    Everyday when you insinuate that Freeman will suck because of his past performances, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to extrapolate what you mean. You are essentially insinuating that the Bucs will lose again and it will be all Freeman’s fault. You cannot deny that. That doesn’t sound like a fan that is truly confident to me.

  43. Buc'n Junkie Says:


    Man, that was insulting, Now, you’re questioning Joe’s patriotism. Of all the absurd things to say. To question the patriotism of the founder of a well known, public forum, a web page solely dedicated to all that is Buccaneer. Some people have no scruples what so ever. Joe has to be somewhat objective, and realistic to get at least some credibility. If Joe acted like a complete homer, it would turn some people off. including me. I don’t agree with every thought that Joe has but I will never call Joe a washed up Buc fan. That’s ridiculous.

  44. Joe Says:


    How much cash did you put on the Bucs to win the division in Vegas? If it is such a done deal, if you are so confident, then putting, say, $10,000 on the Bucs is nothing, right? It’s money in the bank, right?

    Joe doesn’t think the Bucs will win the division; Joe didn’t say they wouldn’t. There’s a difference. Hell, if Matty Ice blows a knee, the Dixie Chicks are screwed. You have money on that happening in Vegas, too?

  45. Couch Fan Says:

    Everyday when you insinuate that Freeman will suck because of his past performances, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to extrapolate what you mean. You are essentially insinuating that the Bucs will lose again and it will be all Freeman’s fault. You cannot deny that. That doesn’t sound like a fan that is truly confident to me.


    I think you are getting your panties in a bunch over nothing. Freeman has sucked. The team has sucked for the last 5 years. You cant deny this. So stop crying about it. But now the team is built up around them and I’m hoping for a much better Freeman and team.

    Am I completely confident that we will have a good team? no? Why should I be? Until they get on the field they are still that 7-9 team from last year.

    Only blind homers would be fully confident after that last 5 years. But that doesn’t mean I am any less of a fan than you.

  46. Buc'n Junkie Says:

    Then to say you agreed with @tony was just your way of piling on me because philosophically you argument does not agree with @tony at all. He’s gung ho and doesn’t see any problems that will stop us where you already question our QB play. You are exactly the people he was referring to when he said no more excuses.

  47. Couch Fan Says:

    Once again your wrong.

    Just because I dont believe in Freeman, doesn’t mean the team can’t have success. Nor does it mean I don’t hope for success.

    This team has no excuses. Freeman has all the skills and the players around him to get it done. Thats a fact. Whether I believe he can or not has no bearing on this argument.

    Why exactly are you trying to turn this into some kind of personal vendetta? Lol.

    I’m just gonna say it like this and hope you can somehow take the blinders off and understand that I am a Bucs fan first and foremost. I dont hate Freeman. I just dont believe he has what it takes to be the QB we need.

    You say he is talking about me with the excuses? I think he’s more talking about you and the other blind homers who are the ones giving excuse after excuse for Freemans eratic play.

    I have no made excuses for anyone… Anything else you would like to wrongly accuse me of?

  48. Couch Fan Says:

    I have made no excuses for anyone*

  49. Gus Says:

    @buc1987 he did do a halftime speech and it was one of the greatest of all time. :-p

  50. Buc1987 Says:

    Well he certainly was’nt talking about blind homers Couch Fan. I’m not defending anyone here. Tony was talking about the exact opposite. In fact Buc’n Junkie was basically labeling tony as a blind homer for being so optimistic to think f them all were gonna beat everyone. AND by you agreeing with him, that puts you in the category as an all of a sudden blind homer as well. When your past statements, state otherwise. I think he was just pointing out that it appeared you had a change of heart or mind, or maybe that you go with which way the wind blows. Which to me was the way it appeared as well. Again I’m not a defense lawyer here. Just sayin’.

  51. Dylan Says:

    Funny you say that. I did actually put 3K on there over under for the season.

  52. Buc1987 Says:

    @Gus…somehow I knew someone was going to post the link to that

  53. Gus Says:

    Listening to that speech again makes me sad that there isn’t a football game this Sunday.

  54. Bojacksonsucks Says:

    Playoffs or bust. No excuses.

    Bucs with the worst secondary were in every game but 2. I expect with a improved defense to win 10 games.

  55. Buc'n Junkie Says:

    Pacino’s speech reminds of this famous speech.

    Patton essentially talks about how it’s all teamwork.

  56. Buc1987 Says:

    I get the cautiously optimistic p.o.v. as that was me during Super Bowl week. Even though I knew the Bucs were going to thrash the Raiders, I was not going to jinx it. I had soooo many people wanting to bet with me on the SB. I still refused to out of fear of the jinx.

  57. Buc1987 Says:

    @Buc’n Junkie…I always loved that speech. I wish americans were still that tough. Our country is slowly turning into a bunch of wussies. With all the hyper-sensitive liberals running around. You say one little thing and your instantly labeled something by them. I know this because my mother-in-law is a bleeding heart. Makes me sick sometimes.

  58. tonytwocents Says:

    cautiously optimistic… I remember watching the SB in silence with a bunch of buddies. and even at the end of the 3rd quarter when we had the game in the bag, I was just praying that we wouldnt turn it over, screw it up, etc. But thats not how you watch football. so Ive lived through the highs, and I lived through Raheem. life is too short to be cautiously optimistic.

    @1987, I’ve lost my voice plenty of times!

    @junk, regarding me: “He’s gung ho and doesn’t see any problems that will stop us”…….don’t speak for me. you have know idea what I know. I’ve been a quiet, butt puckered fan like you for way too long. I was forced to watch Dilfer, and King….. new mentality after living thru the Rah experiment. “F**k em All!” I see too many positives, that even the “QB situation”, (Freeman’s gonna be just fine, his 2nd year with Sully, VJ and Martin), even the concern over DE depth, o-line depth, I’m too jacked for that drama to kill my vibe.

  59. Buc1987 Says:

    ^^^^ good stuff

  60. Fritz50 Says:

    I guess, that , for me, ‘cautious optimism’ is appropriate. For all you young whippersnappers crying about Raheem, I have to come back with Williamson, Leamann Bennett, Run-Run Ray Perkins, & Wyche ! There’s a run of futility that will never again be matched by the Bucs ( gawd, I hope & pray ) !!! I get
    that people are frustrated with Free, my reply is people were frustrated with Flacco & Eli Manning before they ‘got it’ & came into their own. Will Free get it?
    Who the heck knows. Anyone who reports they “know” , in either direction is just blowing smoke. I’d love to see him get it, & like Joe , I think they’ve given him the tools he needs to get it done, but ONLY time will tell. So, cautiously optimistic. 2000 times burned, & still a fan, wonder what that says about how stupid I am. Still, I have that shining moment when we hoisted the Lombardi to fall back on. Guess I’ll watch that 2002 season DVD again…maybe even burn it , so I can put it on the iPad….yeah that’s the plan.