The Bucs And The Playoffs

June 19th, 2013

The Bucs are counting on big things and many sacks from Da’Quan Bowers

Joe knows Bucs fans have an edge about them this time of the year as the 2013 training camp dates are soon to be released. It is not a bad edge, but an edge of excitement for what lies ahead.

With two strong receivers, a solid offensive line, a Pro Bowl running back and a newly beefed up secondary, many Bucs fans have playoff thoughts dancing in their heads.

But Darren Sharper of the NFL Network thinks Bucs fans should, as Deion Sanders would say, slow their roll. Sharper doesn’t believe the Bucs will be playing in the postseason, so he explained during the “32 for 32” segment Monday. Co-analyst LaDainian Tomlinson agreed.

Andrew Siciliano: Do the Bucs make the postseason?

Darren Sharper: I don’t see that happening, either. This is a team in a division that is probably the toughest division in the NFL. They have to face the Saints, they have to face the Falcons, they have to face the Carolina Panthers who is going to be a tough team. I think that there just isn’t enough there now. There are a lot of pieces in place, it will be interesting to see how they gel but I don’t see them making it to the playoffs.

LaDainian Tomlinson: They are still a little ways away but they are getting close. They are not there yet. The area of need I am still looking for them to improve is pass rush. Andrew, you have to have a pass rusher in this league to compete. I would have loved to see them have gone out and got an Osi Umenyiora. That would have been a great fit on this defense. They did not and they have a lot of guys who are unproven. So in the end of the season, that hurts them.

Sharper: I could never cover anybody when we didn’t have a pass rush, Andrew. Never. How are you going to cover somebody when you don’t have anybody getting to the quarterback?

Joe thinks the Bucs will make a push to the playoffs this winter, but making the playoffs is a different matter. Yes, Joe strongly believes the Bucs are better off this year, but the NFC is as top-heavy as Joe has seen it since Bill Walsh, Joe Gibbs, Bill Parcells and Mike Ditka prowled the sidelines.

There will be damned good teams watching the playoffs on TV.

Now people think that Josh Freeman has a lot of pressure on him, and in many ways, he does. Well, how about Da’Quan Bowers? Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik is putting a whole lot of eggs into Bowers’ basket hoping that Bowers not just stays healthy, but can rack up double-digit sacks.

We will know by Christmas if the gamble pays off.

29 Responses to “The Bucs And The Playoffs”

  1. BucFanForever Says:

    Since the winner is the team that puts the most points on the board by the end of the game, I don’t see how a team that is going to go 14-2, including a sweep of the NFC South doesn’t make the playoffs.

    If they don’t, that means 5 more repeats of the Lions/Bucs 2010 fiasco to drop to 9-6 and that would be an embarrassment to the league.

    Freeman, as long as he has his stuff mostly together, the Bucs don’t really even need a defense, yet the Bucs seemingly have a decent one of paper, so Tomlinson/Sharper are a bit off.

  2. Buc'n Junkie Says:

    I predict 50 total sacks compared to last years 37 total sacks. Like some have mentioned, and I want to reiterate that our pass rush many time almost got there. All they needed was a nano second from the secondary and they would have gotten those sacks. We didn’t have all-pro pass rushers last year either. This year I believe the secondary will give us those nano seconds needed.

  3. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Again, Sharper is biased.

    Although pass rush is a concern for me as well, we won’t know if it is there until the games start.

  4. Snook Says:


    What have they done to improve their team? Their WR corp is nothing other than Smith and their defense is nothing special. Yet they’re better than the Bucs, Sharper?

    Good one.

  5. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Owner, Athletic Gaines-(Hollywood,Ca)

    Speaking on the Importance of offseason conditioning for NFL players just said that-

    -DONALD PENN-Wants to be an All-Pro
    *Has lost 30 pounds-And that he has hired a private chef. And that he wants to show back up in Tampa at 325 pounds. Sounds like a man driven

  6. Lev Says:

    To the media the bucs will never be good enough

  7. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    IMO we go *11-5

  8. stevek Says:

    Pass rush can be there this year, but we need Freeman to be there.

    The pieces are in place, the time is now.

    Last place in the NFC South for the 3rd year in a row? NOT HAPPENING! Heavan forbid, we will be QB shopping if that happens.

  9. JonBuc Says:

    I can’t remember the NFC ever being this stacked. Every division has great teams…including the now powerful NFC West. Finishing 8-8/9-7 would be commendable yet unsatisfying. Joe is properly setting the season’s expectations.

  10. BucsfaninChina Says:

    Uhhh what have the Bucs proven? Have they given the analysts any reason to think that we are a winning squad this year? Bucs have been historically bad franchise so it’s easy for them to say we’ll chalk up another losing season, and even after siging two studs (one we dont know if he can even play yet) the analysts will be calling the Bucs losers til they can show they can live up to the talent on their roster. Let the talking heads talk.

  11. Macabee Says:

    TV analysts are going to express their opinions as they are paid to do. I don’t question their credibility any more than they are likely to change my mind from what they said.

    I do agree that the pass rush is important. As Sharper said, we are in a pass happy division with accomplished QBs as opponents. But I think the secondary is equally if not more important because of its dreadful performance last year and the Bucs all out emphasis to improve it.

    There is almost a total remake with superior talent that must come together and gel to meet or exceed expectations. The secondary has a symbiotic relationship with the D-Line and will make the D-Line better if it plays well and vice-versa.

    The blitz heavy defense that we ran last year became predictable and OCs game-planned for it in mid-season and we didn’t seem to adjust in-game very well. Then there is the play-calling and clock management that is also squarely on Schiano’s plate that wasn’t stellar last year either. And as much as this drum has been beaten, as the QB goes, so goes the team. Enough has been said already, so I won’t elaborate!

    So will the Bucs make the playoffs this year? I honestly don’t know in June. An awful lot of questions need to be answered notwithstanding the proverbial injury bug and the always concern for depth. This feels like the year, but I’m going to hedge my bets until the end of training camp. Hope is never a bad thing and I hope this is our time!

  12. MARK Says:

    IMHO we go 10-6

  13. Walter Says:

    @Jets – Win
    Vs. New Orleans – Win
    @Patriots – Loss
    Vs. Arizona – Win
    Vs. Philadelphia – Win
    @Atlanta – Loss
    Vs. Carolina – Win
    @Seattle- Loss
    Vs. Miami – Win
    Vs. Atlanta – Win
    @Detroit – Win
    @Carolina – Win
    Vs. Buffalo – Win
    Vs. San Fran – Loss
    @St. Louis – Win
    @New Orleans – Win

    Honestly, I could see us going 11-5 or 12-4 easily, I don’t know why everyone is acting like our schedule is so tough, we play some weak opponents, with a couple dominant teams sprinkled in, which I like, so we can measure ourselves up to them. If we don’t get into the playoffs but win 11 games, I’ll be so pissed lol

  14. tonytwocents Says:

    This is the NFL. Half the teams that were good last year, will fall off this year. So when these analysts say things like the 7-9 Panthers and the 7-9 Saints will be tough teams, but the 7-9 Bucs are just not that good. Whatever. We all tied for 2nd in the NFC South last year. And WE did it with the worst pass D of all time!

    Anyways, Weathermen have better track records than NFL analysts.

  15. Couch Fan Says:

    Right now we are tied for the division lead. With all the acquisitions, on paper we are as good as any team in our division. But to get the respect The Bucs will have to put on there big boy pants and earn it on Sundays. Nobody is gonna respect a team that has been finishing last in there division for close to 5 years now. To get to the playoffs the easiest route will be winning our division. That should be there goal. Screw taking a chance on 1 of the wild card spots.

  16. Illuminati Says:

    The Panthers will flat out stink this year. They have coaching problems across the board, one of the worst secondaries in the league, a QB who can’t get his head of of his ass, and — wait for it — Mike Shula is their OC.

    The Saints will not be good either. Sean Payton will push too hard to redeem himself and fail, and their Rob Ryan-led 3-4 defensive switch will not go smoothly.

    The window is closing on the Falcons, too. But, they have enough overall talent that they should still be the top team in this division. They also have some pretty good coaches.

    The Bucs have assembled a damn fine coaching staff. We also have one of the league’s best O-lines if everybody is healthy, and one of the most dangerous dual-threat running backs in the NFL. We have one of the league’s better one-two receiver combos, but we have no receivers beyond those two, and no tight ends that will scare anybody. We have a rebuilt secondary that looks good on paper, and a couple of good young linebackers.

    Bottom line: If our defensive front four is healthy and steps up, and if Freeman can avoid any multiple-game cold streaks, we will be in the playoffs. And if we make the playoffs, we will be the team that nobody wants to play against.

    If you actually analyze every team’s roster, the NFC isn’t really as “top-heavy” as the Joe’s might lead you to believe. We have a very strong chance of getting to the playoffs. And once we’re playing in the second season, we will be a force to be reckoned with. Bank.

  17. Capt. Tim Says:


    Listen, I’m a huge fan of both Bowers and Clayborn. I think both will become great DEs.

    But it’s madness to expect both of them, to do something neither of them have done before! Especially when both are rehabbing from pretty serious injuries.

    Neither has lead this team in sacks. Neither has had a season of double digit sacks. It typically takes most D-linemen a couple years to mature into great linemen.

    Just seems like we are expecting alot of these young men- a little to soon.

  18. Illuminati Says:

    out of his ass

  19. Illuminati Says:

    @Capt Tim

    Sorry, my post immediately after yours was meant to correct my own typo, and not as a critique of your post.

  20. Biff Barker Says:

    The pass rush is going to surprise some “experts” this season.
    As long as Landri and Spence give us the inside push things will come together.
    Bowers was flashing last year and the guy is a massive upgrade over Bennett. A healthy Clayborn makes GMC so much better too.

  21. Tye Says:

    A team is like a car… Many working parts working together to get to a destination… Now a car can not go on it’s own, it needs a driver {QB} and a driver needs instructions to get where he has never been (a guidance system; a map or GPS) {HC}….

    Though The Bucs seem to be coming together like a nice ride, the driver {QB} has often times shown he has great difficulty carrying out the proper instructions to get to the planned destination {playoff, SB}…

    Whether it be a Yugo or a Mercedes, As long as a bad driver is driving it, car crashes and serious damage to the car are always evident… The Bucs desperately need a new driver!

  22. Nick2 Says:

    So every year we put our hopes on rookies and unproven veterans to get us a pass rush but every year we fail. We finally have the secondary so why dont’ we bring in one proven rusher. I think Abraham can be had for alot less than when free agency started as the Falcons have failed to re sign him and other teams have passed. Name me the last year we had a dominant pass rusher (Simeon Rice) and I will name you the last year we made the playoffs.

  23. Andrew 1 Says:

    @ Capt. Tim

    “Neither has lead this team in sacks.”

    that statement right there is completely false. Clayborn led our team in sacks back in 2011 with 7.5.

  24. Bobby Says:

    I can’t tell you how many times McCoy or Bennett or Bowers was a millisecond away from a sack but the QB just dumped the ball off to an open receiver. We just made it way to easy for the QB to find an open receiver. That millisecond will not be there for the QB this year. I believe in coverage sacks and I think it works both ways..yes, the DB’s need the D line to generate a pass rush but on the other hand it’s hard to get to the QB when the DB’s don’t give them time to get there. Sharp acts like there is no O-line trying to prevent a sack. The DB’s have to at least provide SOME coverage. Ours provided none last year.

  25. Pete 422 Says:

    Week 1 @ the Jets is the focus…one play at a time.

    The talking heads are entertaining but once the season starts what they say during the off season means nothing. But like my dad used to say, “They have to say something…”

  26. Nick2 Says:

    Andrew 1 I think they meant lead their team in sacks with a respectable sack total. Double digits is respectable, leading your team in sacks with 7.5 is pathetic but what we are used to. I remember Stylz White getting 6 or 7 each year and leading the team in sacks which is pathetic as well. Then they let him walk. If Clayborn and Bowers get us the same totals they will end up being let go as well.

  27. Eric Says:

    The other teams are just too tough. Can’t expect playoffs five years into a rebuild.

  28. kh Says:

    The Bucs will make the playoffs this year. The rest of the NFC South can suck it, we will own their candy asses this year. Book it.

  29. Capt. Tim Says:

    Eric- lol!