No Surprise Bucs Have Many Doubters

May 14th, 2013

There are plenty of experts on the record already calling the 2013 Bucs at least a 10-win team.

But it should be no surprise that the money gurus in Las Vegas and other NFL analysts doubt the Bucs will win more than seven games this season. Tampa Bay Times columnist Gary Shelton explored the heavy-hitter doubters in his column today.

And on and on it goes. Brian Billick, the ex-Ravens coach, has the Bucs 20th in his post-draft power rankings on ESPN has them at No. 19. And Bovada, the betting site, has them at 50-1 to reach the Super Bowl. It has 19 teams as a better bet. had them at 20th before the Revis trade.

Here’s where Joe stands. Joe believes the Bucs have a very legitimate win-now offense, meaning the necessary talent is there to be a playoff-caliber unit. Plus, the overall production was there last year, and the offense should advance in its second season in the regime. On defense, the Bucs have three Pro Bowlers in their prime, assuming Darrelle Revis is healthy, and some excellent young players. Overall, the special teams are above average.

This should be an improved Bucs team in the win column.

However, the Bucs coaching staff has a lot to prove. Nobody can tell Joe that Greg Schiano and his coordinators are proven game coaches, and especially when compared to Mike Smith and Sean Peyton and their NFC South staffs. That’s a huge Bucs question mark.

The Bucs also have massive depth concerns on defense and they’re gambling they won’t be tested.

Again, as of today, Joe believes the Bucs should be an improved team in 2013, but Joe surely wouldn’t wager on them having a better record.

Ten out of 16 NFC teams had better records than the Bucs did last year. Joe’s not sure how many of them the Bucs leapfrogged this offseason.

29 Responses to “No Surprise Bucs Have Many Doubters”

  1. Couch Fan Says:

    I can almost bet you anything most of the people who dont think we’ll get to 7 wins arent believers in Freeman…. Can’t say I blame them.

  2. J 2.0 Says:

    I’m glad the “Clown-car Calvalcade of NFL Analysts” or so-called “experts” doubt the Bucs. The Bucs are always at their best when they are the underdogs.

    13-3!!! Mark it!

  3. tye Says:

    The Defense may or may not have improved… No one can be for sure until late in the season… The Eagles went through a simular scenario a few years back when they aquired Nnamdi Asomugha and yet he did not fit their system so they struggled that season and NA was not coming off of a serious injury.

    As for the offense, all I can say is a team can have 4 of the greatest WR ever to play the game BUT if the QB is constantly over throwing and under throwing them then what good are they… Unless that position is upgraded, I can see how the doubters are justified!

    Since it is regarded as the most crucial position by most, going by JF’s past I will say that 7 wins is possable but 10 may be a stretch…. Jf having 63 ints and 24 fumbles in 4 years doesn’t really produce confidence for the Bucs to be great!

  4. Erick Says:

    The Bucs are clearly better than they were last year. The problem is, 15 of the 16 teams in NFC have a legitimate chance at making playoffs (excluded Cards). They better focus on winning the division because its going to be a battle for those wild card spots, and I’d hate to lose out on a tie-breaker.

  5. 4everBucsFan Says:

    Plus the fact they don’t have the easiest of schedules, I predict 9-7 .. 10-6 is about right.

  6. flmike Says:

    There’s a reason the so called experts always have the tag line of EX-“fill in the NFL job”, like I tell my wife, the stuff on the “Clearance Rack”is there for a reason, no one else wants it…

  7. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    The problem is the prognosticators almost always rank teams almost identically to where they left off at the end of the previous season. They don’t take any “risks” in their analysis or predictions. So the rankings and predictions will look almost exactly like the draft order in reverse. It doesn’t take a genius to realize these guys are just playing it safe and going with what they already know about teams.

    Last year Vegas and the “experts” ranked teams the same way, as usual, and the teams who had big win/loss changes from 2011-2012 surprised them as they always do. The Colts (+6), Seahawks (+4), Falcons (+4), Redskins (+4), Vikings (+4), Broncos (+3) and Bengals (+3) all surprised with their win totals and the Eagles (-6), Chiefs (-6), Lions (-5) and Saints (-3) all surprised with their losses.

    In other words, there were at least 11 teams who surprised the “experts” and bookies by winning or losing 3 or more games than predicted. That’s over 1/3 of the entire NFL ending up substantially outside the predictions.

    Bottom line: the local analysts and knowledgeable fans are in a far better position to predict win/loss records than the national media and Vegas bookies. For example PR predicted a 7-9 record for last season and they nailed it. Most fans seemed to agree that the Bucs would go 7-9 or 8-8 last year whereas the national media and “experts” mostly had them at 5 or 6 wins. My personal guess is that Joe, PR and other locals will likely end up predicting a 10-win season plus or minus a game this year and they’ll probably be right on.

  8. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Oh, and the early line on the Bucs for 2013 is 6.5 wins. I’ll take the over on that all day every day and twice on Sunday. Easy money.

  9. Bucnjim Says:

    Vegas follows stats & trends not rosters. The line makers are looking at history not what might be with the addition of Revis. If the line starts @ 6.5 I’d put some nice money down on the over since we have the luxury of knowing the team and some of it’s improvements.

  10. Dan Says:

    J20, LOL, LOL,,1303? WTF are you smoking kid

  11. Dan Says:

    J 2.0 Says:
    May 14th, 2013 at 12:13 pm
    I’m glad the “Clown-car Calvalcade of NFL Analysts” or so-called “experts” doubt the Bucs. The Bucs are always at their best when they are the underdogs.

    13-3!!! Mark it!


  12. Buddha Says:

    Freeman will likely always be controversial. Still, I’m one of those old fashioned guys who believe this is a team sport. A lot of so-called franchise quarterbacks were home for the holidays last year and the Super Bowl was contended between a rookie and a guy still trying to prove himself. Terry Bradshaw finished his career with more interceptions than touchdowns. When the Steelers’ defense came into its own, so did he with an offense that pounded the ball and went up top, sound familiar?

    Freeman is without question the best quarterback this franchise has ever developed and next to Johnson the best quarterback period. Whether he will last, well that depends on how this season turns out. As for me, I’m rooting for him to succeed, because if he does so do the Buccaneers and if he doesn’t likelywe’ll be starting from scratch next year with a new coach and GM.

    Freeman’s Buccaneers franchise records

    Highest quarterback rating in a single season – 95.9 (2010) (in 16 starts)[8]
    Most 4th quarter comeback wins in a single season- 5 (2010) (tied with Doug Williams)[9]
    Most game winning drives in a single season- 5 (2010) (tied with Brad Johnson)[10]
    Most touchdown passes thrown in consecutive games (2010)[11]
    Fewest interceptions in a single season: 6 (2010) (in 16 starts)[12]
    Longest pass completion: 95 (vs New Orleans Saints) (2012)[13]
    Most passing yards in a single season – 4065 (2012)[14]
    Most passing touchdowns in a single season – 27 (2012)[15]
    Most passing touchdowns in a career – 78* (2009-)[16]

  13. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    I’m not surprised.

    The Bucs are a 7-9 team. Adding players doesn’t make them any more “proven”. If the Bucs want respect they have to go and get it with wins. Unfortunately, they can’t earn any respect until the regular season starts. Until then, there will be plenty doubters (even among fans) and rightly so. Adding a bonafide star at CB doesn’t make the QB any more accurate. Adding a stud FS doesn’t make the TE or slot WR any better at catching or running routes. These guys still have to execute.

    On paper, this team is a legitimate contender in every phase: offense, defense, and even special teams. There is more than enough talent to get it done. This season will come down to how healthy this team can be down the stretch, consistency in the players from game to game, and the quality of the coaching. This season will say a lot about Schiano. If he can keep his guys motivated and playing hard all game, every game, then this season should, at the very least, have us at ten wins. (Barring catastrophic injuries to key players.)

    I have faith in Schiano and believe that 10-6 is a reasonable expectation for this team.

  14. lightningbuc Says:

    “I’d put some nice money down on the over since we have the luxury of knowing the team and some of it’s improvements.”


    You are delusional if you think, because you follow the Bucs closely, that you know more than Vegas oddsmakers.

  15. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    ^He does know more than the Vegas oddsmakers, at least about the Bucs. So do I. Apparently you don’t.

    I’m putting down a nice chunk on the over on that 6.5 win line. Good luck putting your faith in a bunch of greasy bookies.

  16. bucbucbuc Says:

    If the team was able to carry itself to a 7-9 record despite blowing leads, having one of the worst pass defenses in nfl history, some crucial injuries to both lines, and a couple of disastrous games from freeman, they can definitely shoot for 9 to 10 wins this year. The over is a no brainer. As smart as Vegas oddsmakers are, people underestimate the Bucs because they often overestimate the rest of the division.

  17. James Buc 22 Says:

    Over/Under 6.5: Take the over for 2013.

    My Over/Under for this year is 9.5

    In hindsight, I can see 10 wins this season.

  18. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    “Again, as of today, Joe believes the Bucs should be an improved team in 2013, but Joe surely wouldn’t wager on them having a better record.” – Joe

    That statement just confuses me. They’ll be better, but their record won’t reflect it?

    tye Says:
    “The Defense may or may not have improved…”

    The defense is most def improved, there is zero doubt about that. However, Roy Millers old spot is going to be the one to watch. Whoever gets the start there will determine the success of our pass rush and run defense. And once Freeman knows he can trust the defense…that’s when sparks will really fly.

  19. Adam Says:

    I’m going to Vegas next week. I’m thinking I’m going to bet the “over” on the Buccaneers wins if it’s 6 1/2.

  20. jarrett Says:

    In the afc we are a 12 win team, in the nfc we are a 9 win team fighting for playoffs. The afc sucks

  21. Pete 422 Says:

    Well said FlMike

  22. J 2.0 Says:

    I stand by my prediction. And no, I am not a kid.

    Also no crack.

  23. buildthrudraft Says:

    If we can get to 7 wins despite freeman, despite losing clayborn, nicks, joseph, quincy black, bowers hurt in offseason, awful slot reciever and below average tight end play AND the worst pass defense of 2012…Someone explain to me again how were will lose more games with all those players back plus revis and banks and gholston. hmmm weird all these so called experts talk about small market teams and only prove they know absolutely nothing about them spitting out useless stats

  24. buildthrudraft Says:

    Your not expert of the bucs if you sit and watch the games on sunday like that average fan. They all admit our weakness last year is a strength this year but were going to win less games, we were ranked higher at one point in the season last year than their ranking us now…..Mark it down so we can keep an accurate count of the bandwagon jumpers

  25. holymoly Says:

    Personally , I love it when the pundits pick against the Bucs . Those idiots always change their minds midseason anyway . It’s like kiper and mcshay , none of themhave a friggin’ clue . Wish they would pick the Bucs dead last then they would show the football world how stupid they truly are . I believe Tampa is gonna surprise alot of teams this year .

  26. grif4foozball Says:

    Id rather have Jeff Garcia in his prime run the offense than pu$$y-ass Freeman.

  27. WisconsinBucsFan Says:

    At least 11 wins if we stay fairly healthy!

  28. Says:

    I read the complete article over lunch and the bookie made some real valid points. We only have one Revis and Freeman is our qb. Also, as the op above noted; Vegas handicapers know what they are talking about. Season cant get here soon enough.

  29. Ian Says:

    If Revis is healthy and Freeman is consistent I see the bucs going 11-5 and a wild card berth. Worst Case: Revis gets injured and Freeman regresses 5-11