Road Warriors

April 28th, 2014
"The Professor," John Clayton, believes the only thing holding the Bucs back from a playoff berth is QB Josh McCown.

“The Professor,” John Clayton, believes the only thing holding the Bucs back from a playoff berth is QB Josh McCown.

In NFL circles, players, team representatives, coaches, suits, you name it, all talk about how much better it is to play at home.

Conventional NFL thought is that teams player better at home and, if you have a good home record, it will set up your team for a chance of a playoff berth.

Well, this season, it may be different.

“The Professor,” John Clayton of BSPN, believes the opposite may be true for Tampa Bay. Clayton believes the road schedule for the Bucs is cake and, therefore, the Bucs have a good shot of becoming what the Chiefs were last year: woeful to playoffs in one season.

Schedules are opportunities. Look back at the Kansas City Chiefs. Last year, they played a nondivision road schedule of teams that went 32-48 the previous season. I know that previous years’ records aren’t supposed to mean anything, but if you got to the extremes, you can make predictions. Based on the schedule, it was easy to forecast that the Chiefs could be an improved team. They were, going 11-5 and earning a wild-card berth.

Lovie Smith might find himself in a similar situation after taking the Bucs job. The teams on Tampa Bay’s nondivision road schedule went 30-50 in 2013. None [of those five] road games are against teams that had winning records last season (two of them, Pittsburgh and Chicago, finished .500).

Smith’s Bucs signed [19] unrestricted free agents. They revamped an overpaid, underachieving offensive line and added Michael Johnson as a pass-rusher. But the move to sign quarterback Josh McCown to be the starting quarterback tipped off the plan for the Bucs to try to get to .500 a year after going 4-12. At this stage of his career, McCown is considered more of a backup quarterback, but he’s a good backup. Elite quarterbacks can get a franchise to 12 or 13 wins. Good backups might get a team to eight wins.

The trick with what Clayton writes is the Bucs must also clean up their play at home.

It is interesting to read between Clayton’s lines. He doesn’t seem to be a Josh McCown kind of a guy and thinks only having a solid quarterback (aka “good backup”) may hinder the Bucs from having what could be a memorable season.

Time will only tell if McCown can lead the Bucs back to the playoffs or if he will only get the Bucs a meager eight wins.

23 Responses to “Road Warriors”

  1. Bruce Says:

    That’s why they should consider using Glennon. After what Glennon squeezed out of last years dreadful offense it only makes me wonder how well he may do with this revamped offense. Say what you want JOES, but IMO Glennon did admirably with essentially nothing to really work with while under duress, on what seemed like every play. And by the way, there is no franchise QB in the first round.

  2. flmike Says:

    His personal career history has shown that McCown is good for 5 to 6 good games a season, that is it…he’s been a career back-up for a reason.

  3. SSG Mike Says:

    Can’t say I disagree. We shall see.

  4. Joseph Mamma Says:

    Can McCown tap into whatever he had last season, with Marc Trestman, this year with Tedford? That’s the biggest question in my mind. If he can’t then he will eventually be a backup QB again. We probably have two really good backup QB’s right now.

  5. Architek Says:

    I think that there is some validity to this outlook but I would also say that we must also look at the improvement that McCown brings over Freeman and Glennon.

    If we went 4-12 under their watch then McCown should be good for double of what we won with better coaching and better depth players. I’m not saying what we will or won’t do but I will say that we have the best opportunity to improve. It’s impossible to predict what teams will do this early in the season.

    We don’t even have our WRs set and other positions. I stick with my prediction 7-9 wins.

  6. Bucfan#37 Says:

    McCown a “good backup”, well that is an improvement over our other good backup. Right! After last season 8-8 would be a bonanza. I expect some road wins also.

  7. INDYbucsfan Says:

    I’m all for road wins. Me and a couple friends are going to the bears game and half of them love the bears and the other half hate them so the ones that hate them want to wear my old buc jerseys!! But I would love for mcCown to put it to Chicago this year

  8. Bucsfanman Says:

    I’m glad we’re becoming a little more grounded in our optimism about Josh. With all of the woes(it wasn’t just Glennon people!) on offense and all of the turnover, there’s a lot to improve upon. Expecting to go to the playoffs is highly optimistic given these circumstances. Just being real!

  9. biff barker Says:

    Here’s a newsflash, our offense is going to be a lot better than people think, our defense not as good as people think. It’s going to take the defense at least half the season to come together.
    Tedford’s scheme is largely unknown and he’s not going to give McCown too much to do. Keep it interesting enough…. mix things up and go with high percentage plays.

  10. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “They revamped an overpaid, underachieving offensive line…” – Clayton

    No they didn’t. They blew it up and brought in a little help. It still needs players to be a “revamped” oline.

    Joseph Mamma Says
    “Can McCown tap into whatever he had last season, with Marc Trestman, this year with Tedford? That’s the biggest question in my mind.”

    Um…he only won 3 games last year. Although he was widely considered to have 5 good games, really a loss is not a good game, and he lost two of them.

  11. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    biff barker Says
    “Here’s a newsflash, our offense is going to be a lot better than people think, our defense not as good as people think. It’s going to take the defense at least half the season to come together.”

    I disagree. Maybe a game or so to start to gel. You forget that most of the defense has already played together. The CBs job is pretty straight forward so we won’t see much of a drop there.

    Michael Johnson will do well out of the gate, assuming he doesn’t get injured. And I believe Spence may just earn a starting role.

    As is always the case in situations like this, finishing games may be the issue for the defense the first couple weeks…until the coaches fix it.

  12. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Biff- Our offense certainly can’t be worse than last in the league. It can only go up from there! I disagree about the D. We were not terrible to begin with. Yeah there’s a little drop-off from Revis to Verner, but I think they added some good pieces. I’m more optimistic about the defense.

  13. MadMax Says:

    Its not all just on the QB. It matters who his receivers are, how well the O line protects, and of course play calls. And I think our O line and WR positions can be addressed and possibly fixed with the draft as long as we dont waste a 1st rounder on QB….but if we do, Bortles and JF are my top two in this draft.

  14. SeanyMac in SC Says:

    Can someone explain to me why Mike Kafka is on this rooster??? If we cut any QB is should be him.

  15. Couch Fan Says:

    Not sure how anyone can say a QB is holding us back with only 1 good receiver, no established TE threat (no Wright is not a legit threat yet) and a rebuilt O-line that looks to be soft up the middle.

  16. Nick H Says:


  17. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Couch- This is why I just don’t get the Glennon “haters”. If you watched any football last year, there’s no way you could sit there and say, “Yea, all we need is a QB”. B to the S. AND, now that we’ve blown up the entire line and replaced them with journeymen the expectations are playoffs with McCown at the helm?!
    I’m optimistic, but cautiously so.

  18. Couch Fan Says:

    You and me both.

  19. pick6 Says:

    the hype around mccown (not in this article but elsewhere) is sort of laughable. if the organization makes the right moves between now and training camp, mccown will wearing a headset until he retires.

  20. monk Says:

    This year is the start of something very good. Smart quarter back(s) a revamped O line and a kickass defense. Lovie and his staff will have them going after the ball and running down the oppositions’ throats. I’m very optomistic!

  21. teacherman Says:

    QB’s usually burn out

    or get really beat up

    or get nervous because of all the hits

    JOSH MCCOWN has only gotten better over his career.

    Hes playing with a CARPE DIEM attitude.

    He is playing every snap with a fire and focus that is NOT common.

    did you see him dunking a basketball????

    This guy is a stud athlete!

    Hes a student of the game. Hes tall and athletic. Hes DETERMINED.

    And I think he is the perfect mentor for Glennon, who I think can be the game manager our defense needs. He was solid last year with a TERRIBLE O-LINE.

    Glennon was a warrior last year. He got crushed play after play last year. But he kept getting up.

    i like this McCown/ Glennon duo.

    2 years McCown. Glennon learns the offense.

    And then give Glennon his shot again.

    Save money. Get depth on defense.

    And run the ball. we can win a superbowl like the seahawks with this formula!

  22. gulfcoast Says:

    I wouldn’t exactly call our O line “revamped” so he’s discredited off the jump. Meh. Go Bucs!

  23. Cory Says:

    Imo, at this point in his career McCown is ready…I have no problem going into the season with him as the starter (assuming Glennon doesn’t look like Tom Brady 2.0 in training camp)…some guys are just late bloomers…This is a great situation for Josh with Lovie Smith as the HC…McCown will go into every game knowing he’ll be backed by Great Defense and a explosive running game; all he has to do is 4 things…take care of the football, manage the game, move the chains, and of course score TD’s…

    I really believe McCown is gonna surprise a lot of people this year with his athleticism…he’s a pretty good scrambler…