The Stinking Panthers And The BucsJuly 15th, 2014
Training camp is — what now? — 10 days away. And before you know it, the
exhibition season preseason begins. And just when you are getting over your massive hangover from the three-day Labor Day weekend (Joe warned you about the Guinness), the NFL is back!
From Tampa to Fort Myers to Orlando to Tallahassee and beyond, Bucs fans will be giddy when the Stinking Panthers take the field to open the season at the Stadium on Dale Mabry Highway.
In many ways, types ESPN’s Bucs blogger Pat Yasinskas, the Bucs are being constructed just like the Stinking Panthers. And it doesn’t seem to sit right with him.
Anyway, I look at that Carolina team and then I look at the plan coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht have in place for this year’s Buccaneers. It’s the same thing, right? Yes, in many ways it’s the exact same strategy. A defense led by defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and linebacker Lavonte David is going to keep the Bucs close in most of their games. In some of those games, a running game featuring Doug Martin with a little bit of passing from Josh McCown will do the trick.
But is that enough to get the Bucs anywhere close to the Super Bowl? I’m not so sure. There’s no question that formula worked quite nicely for Hurney and coach John Fox back in the day, and it could do wonders for a Tampa Bay team that was 4-12 last season.
Could the Bucs turn things around and make a Super Bowl run? Amid all the optimism that came with Smith’s hiring — and I think that was a great move — I’m more than a little skeptical.
Joe understands what Yasinskas is getting at, and he later touches upon what Joe will type right now: There is one major difference right off the bat in the way the Panthers constructed their playoff team and the way L&L are building things over at One Buc Palace; the Stinking Panthers drafted a quarterback in the first round, No. 1 overall even.
The Bucs decided to go out and get a 35-year old backup and pray he can rekindle his five-game magic from last season.
As Joe has stated previously, and it drives Bucs fans nuts despite it being the unvarnished truth, if you have the fourth-best quarterback in your division, then that’s one helluva steep hill to climb to get to a Super Bowl.
As much as Joe wants to see Josh McCown succeed, until proven otherwise, he is the fourth-best quarterback in the NFC South.