“Could End Up Being The Best Team In The NFL”

February 9th, 2011

"Oh, Joe. I love when you share quotes."

It’s only February, but the groundswell of national hype of the Bucs is in full swing.

Now the league’s online mouthpiece, NFL.com, is in the act, putting Josh Freeman on its home page with a column from Steve Wyche that includes mention of the Bucs as the best thing since thong underwear.

The key to making it to the postseason is your quarterback and playmakers, and the Bucs are covered in both areas. Josh Freeman is a rising star, who, like Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers and New Orleans’ Drew Brees, has his entire team believing in him. Wide receivers Mike Williams and Arrelious Benn, along with tight end Kellen Winslow, form a tight nucleus. On defense, Cornerback Aqib Talib could be one of the best in the game if he decides he wants to be. If the Bucs can find some pass rushers and have tailback LeGarrette Blount stay focused and improve, they could end up being the best team in the NFL. Yeah, I said it.

Joe loves all this stuff. Mike Williams guaranteed the playoffs. NFL.com is floating the Bucs as a possible favorite in the NFC. Peter King, while not slurping oatmeal or shoveling popcorn, is blabbering about the Bucs playing in prime time on opening night on the second Thursday in September.

Joe hopes Mark Dominik brings the same energy to free agency.

Someone explain to Joe why re-signing your own free agents is righteous and holy, yet signing others’ is somehow satanic and misguided.

35 Responses to ““Could End Up Being The Best Team In The NFL””

  1. Guest#27 Says:

    “Someone explain to Joe why re-signing your own free agents is righteous and holy, yet signing others’ is somehow satanic and misguided.”

    Joe, I am more concerned about the first part of that sentence. From listening to even the people who comment here, they don’t want to re-sign hardly anybody. Not Ruud, not Black, not Davin or some others… it makes no sense to NOT re-sign your own, even if they eventually become back ups. The reason i say that is, the Bucs have the lowest payroll in the NFL, money is not an excuse to not re-sign their homegrown, developed athletes. So what if they get replaced and become back ups, until that happens, re-sign them.

    Again, I am worried that “…re-signing your own free agents is righteous and holy…” acutually happens in the first place.

  2. jvato24 Says:

    Free Agency can be used for a Vet Young DE , LB or Guard. We dont need much in the way of FA. Just a few more pieces.

    I would only expect more Sean Jones type pickups .. Unless someone at OneBuc thinks Chad Greenway can play MLB.

  3. CreamsiclePasties Says:

    The League would be wise to promote the hell out of Josh Freeman….looks like it’s already starting to happen. For the first time ever Bucs fans are going to have a super star QB. Be very excited Tampa

  4. Dave Says:

    As far as I am concerned they should resign everyone but Trueblood and draft an OT in round 4-5. IF they sign Trueblood back though… great for the depth.

    AS far as Ruud… he needs to be replaced soon, not sure if it happens this year, all depends on money.

    The more I look at Tyrone McKenzie, I think they might have his replacement already….

  5. BamBamBuc Says:

    I think that’s a bit harsh. Other teams free agent players are not satanic or misguided. What they are is an unknown quantity in your system with your players. Signing your own players is at least reasonable since you know first hand what they can and can’t do, how they perform in your system with the players that you will have around them. Bringing in someone else from another team, you don’t know what you’ll get.

    I’ll use Ray Edwards as an example. I’ve heard his name mentioned multiple times as a guy we should look at in free agency. Now, the Vikings use a similar defense to ours, so he should adjust fairly well. However, he did play on a D-line that included the Williams Wall and Jared Allen. Was his success due to his own skill? or was it a by-product of the players around him? Would his performance be equal with a line of GMC, Miller and a rookie DE or would it suffer and drop off? Would a big paycheck give him a big head and make him a nightmare in the locker room if things don’t go well? Would it make him lazy as he’s already guaranteed the big bucks?

    We don’t know the answers to those questions any more than we know if a rookie first round DE will come in and light up the league. So what if a guy has “proven himself” in the NFL. It says nothing about what he’ll do for your team. Did Brandon Marshall come in to Miami and make them the next New England Patriots? No, and that’s not saying Marshall is not a great WR. What it says is that the circumstances in Miami are different from those in Denver and it didn’t work out as well for them. I know, that was a trade, not a free agent pickup, but same principle except Miami not only spent a ton of money but gave up draft picks as well.

    What I will say is even rookies getting big contracts still want to come out and prove themselves to be stars in the NFL, but established veterans that gain big free agent contracts tend to think they’re already stars and don’t have to prove anything anymore. They don’t have the hunger that the rookies do.

    I’m not saying don’t sign free agents. By all means, we should do our due diligence and evaluate the available players and find guys that fit our system that may still have the hunger to prove something and go get them.

  6. Dave Says:

    I will say a small prayer every night that they sign a young DE in FA…
    My preferences:

    Charles Johnson CAR: # 1 Choice – – Unfortunately I do not think they let him sniff the market.

    Mathias Kiwanuka NYG: He is 27 and I think he will be available because the NYG are loaded on D-Line. He is just now entering his prime and could be a double digit sack guy for the next 4 years

    Ray Edwards MIN: Same as Kiwanuka, about to enter prime and should be double digit guy for 4-5 years. A year younger than Kiwanuka.

    Add one of them to a drafted DE (JJ WATT – Clayborne – Jordan) and a couple of new LBs from the draft….

  7. Dave Says:

    Agree 100% BamBam

    All the consistently good teams over the long haul (recently – Pitt, NE, Indy) build from the draft and add a FA here & there, but don’t go crazy on big name guys (Redskins – Cowboys – Raiders)

    I still want them to grab a young DE that is entering his prime to throw into the mix with this young line.

  8. Bucco Bruce Says:

    Joe, there are a few reasons why they keep emphasizing re-signing their own free agents as a priority.

    1) Because of the uncertainty of the CBA, it is difficult to assess which players are going to hit the open market as UFA’s.

    2) If a new deal is reached for a CBA but maintains the status-quo regarding requirements for players to reach free agency, there will be few quality players available at the Buc’s positions of need (DE, MLB, OLB).

  9. Macabee Says:

    I think we should take an If-Then-Else approach to this draft. we should counter-balance the draft with free agency, ie, if we draft a RDE, then we are committing to a FA LDE and vice-versa. I, personally would not like to see two rookie bookend DEs. One or the other should be a FA top ten pro. Example – Price/McCoy in the middle last year, granted that Price was not at full potential. Fortunately, this year the draft will most likely come before the start of FA, which will allow us to do a gap analysis for any shortfall in the draft.

  10. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    “Someone explain to Joe why re-signing your own free agents is righteous and holy, yet signing others’ is somehow satanic and misguided.”


    You should probably ask that question to Ted Thompson, right after he is done polishing his trophy.

  11. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    “Polishing his trophy” C’mon, this is a family website. …. Charles Woodson worked out pretty well from the satanic, big-money free agent category.

  12. Guest#27 Says:

    Bruce said: “Joe, there are a few reasons why they keep emphasizing re-signing their own free agents as a priority.”

    We will see if this is all hot air or not. I am not so sure that even this will happen. It better, otherwise they are lying sacks. They better re-sign their own, and many of them. To let Ruud and Davin and Black walk would be moronic and a bold faced lie to the fanbase because then they wouldn’t be “emphasizing re-signing their own free agents as a priority.”

    Drafted players take time to develop. We don’t have the luxary to not re-sign those starters. Again, if they get replaced through competition, then so be it. We need the depth.

    We should not be considered a rookie farm team again considering we hit the jackpot with the offense and went 10-6. Starting rookies, unless they can play at an NFL level mistake free, should become a thing of the past for this team. The team can’t afford mistakes by rookies if they want to seriously consider winning.

  13. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    “Charles Woodson worked out pretty well from the satanic, big-money free agent category.”


    Okay, that’s one player. We signed Jeff Faine to big money, plus we extended Winslow for big money after we got him from Cleveland. I’m not saying I wouldn’t want any free agents, but the teams that are successful have an extremely high percentage of players they drafted themselves.

  14. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    Hawaiian: I will agree that Green Bay is a team that has fewer FA’s than most that have won super bowls. However, don’t forget that key contributors Woodson, Ryan Pickett, Matt Wilhelm and Donald Lee were all free agent signings that I can think of.

    They had key contributors that were supplemented via free agency. The bucs need to do the same. The only similar between the bucs and pack is that Rodgers is great and Freeman is on his way, both teams have some talent at the skill positions – but they have an excellent D and pass rush – the bucs have no d outside of Talib, Ruud and maybe Grimmand no pass rush whatsoever.

    What Ted Thompson and Green Bay should be proud of is that drafted, groomed and stuck with Rodgers perfectly? That is the main reason why they are champs.

  15. MOBucs Says:

    Off-topic but Dominic just got screwed! NFL gave the GM of the Falcons Executive of the Year award. Wack!

  16. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Thomas, agreed. I would love for us to sign some big time free agents. That doesn’t, however, mean that it is the right way, or only way. Often times that is just a quick fix. I think we can all agree Dominik has had 2 very good drafts. However, I believe it takes at least 3, more like 4 consecutive great drafts to build a consistent winner. We are halfway there.

    As for us, one way or another we are going to sign some free agents (ours or not ours). I would love to get a LB or DE via free agency, because we are not really stunting the growth of the younger players at those positions. I do think Dominik has earned the trust of the fans, since he has built a team from the ground up in 2 years.

  17. eric Says:

    Man when this bubble bursts it is gonna be loud!

  18. Bucbeliever Says:

    MOBucs…just going to post that….yeah did Dom get dissed or what!!!

    No respect for the Bucs…

  19. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    And here’s Eric, back to making his stupid, wise arse comments. Why exactly do you consider yourself a fan? You are such a joke.

  20. Dave Says:

    Just because they might let a guy walk does not make them “bold face liars” as some put it.

    I expect them to sign most there guys back.
    I think trueblood is gone and if the price is too high for Ruud, he is gone….. yeah cloud

  21. Dave Says:


    There will be rookies starting on this team at DE next year.

    That is probably it although as time goes by a LB might take a slot as well

  22. Capt.Tim Says:

    Eric- louder than your gleeful, gruden loving prediction of two wins THIS YEAR? Wow, predictions not your specialty, Eric!. Of course, we can’t list what is your specialty on a family site! Leave predictions to the intelligent, not the heartbroken!

  23. BigMacAttack Says:

    “satanic and misguided.” Now your talking my language. I think I’ll write a song about that.

    BTW, the Falcons were the most disappointing team in the playoffs.

  24. BigMacAttack Says:

    I agree with Dave here.
    Very good research and on point. I think it will be hard for rookie DE’s to come on as strong. 5 year FA vets may be just what the doctor ordered. I’m excited with the new defensive coaches coming in. Now just get a CBA in place and we’re Golden.

  25. gotbbucs Says:

    i’m pretty certain they’ll bring in a fa d-end but i don’t think it will be a big contract guy like everybody wants. i would look for somebody that may have been miscast on another team and underachieved that they can coach up.

  26. thomas 2.2 Says:

    Lets just hope that Dom doesnt dial up another Angelo Crowell, Mike Clayton, Byron Leftwich or Mike Nugent type free agent class. Yes, if Dom is going to commit big money to those types of free agents – maybe he should stick to the draft.

    As far as Dom’s drafting, he obviously hit big with Freeman. Grimm, Benn and Williams look good (the Williams pick still carries considerable risk of him getting in trouble).

    But the, GMC, Price, Roy Miller, Kyle Moore, Myron Lewis, Brent Bowden picks are VERY questionable at this point. Price gets an incomplete grade and GMC stunk overall.

    I don’t think that you can give Dom an A grade overall, I give him a B. Plus the above-named free agents really bring his overall performance grade down.

  27. BigMacAttack Says:

    Well Thomas, I see your back.

    Your impostor did a nice job. Is he coming back anytime soon???

  28. Capt.Tim Says:

    We got what, 3 intelligent post out of him? I didn’t think he could manage That!

  29. jeStEr Says:

    The browns released Shaun Rogers,I know I know to old.He could help GMC,Price tremendously.He still draws a double team often.Him on the nose in our 3 down line,might even make it work (I hate the 3 man front)

  30. gotbbucs Says:

    thomas, i’ll take a b grade out of dominik considering the steaming pile of f that gruden and allen left him to start out with. what has dominik gotten us so far? oh yea, a franchise qb, #1 wr, workhorse rb, and an elite te. man, you are a moron.

  31. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Actually I think a B grade is pretty fair too, can’t really argue with you on that. He has missed on some free agents, but his drafting has been excellent. I find it weird that he also does such a great job picking up players from other teams practice squads,but hasn’t had an excellent free agent signing yet. I have a feeling that may be why we are not pursuing too many free agents. I guess he needs to go to his strengths. But damn, I wish we got Peppers last year!!!

    I am confident GMC is going to be a stud, he’s just not quite the stud like Suh (but who is?). Rookie DT is one of the hardest positions to adjust to (with the exception of QB). I need to see more of Price, but I have a good feeling about him too, judging from what I read about in training camp. I thought Roy Miller started slow, but finished very strong (the opposite of 2009). I think he will be a good (not great) player here for a long time. Didn’t really see enough of Myron Lewis this year due to all the injuries. I did notice he has the skill set, but he has a lot of work to do with his technique. That is the responsibility of the coaches, so we will see. Kyle Moore appears to be a bust, but hell, every team has bad picks every year. Even Babe Ruth struck out every now and then.

    Just curious, Thomas – What would you grade Allen?

  32. BamBamBuc Says:

    Interesting enough, the DraftTek web site just did a 2010 draft re-grade. They looked at each pick in each round again, gave a point value grade based on whether the pick was a starter, backup, cut, etc. The Bucs graded out as the second best draft last year. The Packers were graded as the best.

  33. Capt.Tim Says:

    Wow!”could be the best team in the NFL”. Man, nice to hear that again. It’s been years since anyone believed this could be the best team in the league. If though we got in the playoffs in recent years, everyone knew we weren’t a threat. It’s great to have young, dynamic players all over the field, enthusiastic management. As much as I bitched about this team for several years, it’s amazing how fast they fixed a badly sinking ship.

  34. PWNASAURUS Says:

    Um, you resign your own free agents that are GOOD and worth the new contract and bigger money they would want.

    Ruud? No
    Joseph? No
    Trueblood? No
    Barber? Yes
    Cadillac? Yes at less money
    Gilmore? Yes
    White? No
    Black? Yes if not for big money
    Crowder? No
    Heyward? Yes
    Stovall? No

  35. McBuc Says:

    Thomas…Crowel was worth a gamble, when healthy he is a very good player. They really had little choice in the Clayton signing, they really had no one else at the time and felt the coaching change may have sparked him. Leftwich you may be right on, but he played well for the Steelers the prior year and I am not sure who else was availible. Nugent I am in agreement with you on, but we had to have someone that was willing to kick in preseason to see if they still could. He also redeemed himself with our present kicker. He also has been great at picking up players like Blount. You also need to give him some credit for Jones. Maybe you could try focusing on what went right once in a while, you may find yourself in a happier place.