Brandt: Bucs In Playoffs In 2014

May 23rd, 2014
Gil Brandt, here on his SiriusXM NFL Radio show broadcasting from his Dallas home, loves the Bucs' chances of making the playoffs.

Gil Brandt, shown here on his SiriusXM NFL Radio show broadcasting from his Dallas home, loves the Bucs’ chances of making the playoffs.

Joe can sense it from Bucs fans. He reads it on this here corner of the Interwebs. He hears it on sports radio. Bucs fans are in need of Zoloft.

Standards throughout the Tampa Bay area used to be Super Bowl or bust. Why, Team Glazer even jettisoned a popular coach who couldn’t get the Bucs to the Super Bowl despite multiple playoff appearances.

My, how things have changed. Joe is convinced some Bucs fans would be dancing in the streets if the team even got to a .500 record, if you can imagine.

Well, Gil Brandt has good news for this depressed, sullen lot. The longtime pro personnel wizard of the Dallas Cowboys and current media mogul typed a recent column in which he states a belief the Bucs will play meaningful games in January for a change.

After a chaotic 2013 campaign, things are definitely looking up for the Bucs, who have a proven winner at head coach in Lovie Smith and a boatload of good players on the roster.

Tampa Bay had a great draft, highlighted by its first three selections; receiver Mike Evans, tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and running back Charles Sims all should be able to contribute immediately. The Bucs also made solid free-agency additions, including cornerback Alterraun Verner and defensive lineman Michael Johnson, to a roster that already included standouts like Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David. The return of top-notch running back Doug Martin, who missed 10 games in 2013, will be a boon. The biggest question mark is the quarterback position, but veteran Josh McCown should be fine there. In short, this is a good team.

In Smith’s nine years coaching the Bears, Chicago had 310 takeaways — the most in the NFL during that span. That makes him a natural match for a Tampa Bay squad that posted a turnover differential of plus-10 last season, an excellent number augmented by 21 interceptions. In fact, Smith is really walking into an ideal situation, with expectations relatively low and talent levels sky-high. There’s a good chance we’ll see the Bucs competing this postseason, especially if the Carolina Panthers slip back to earth in the NFC South.

Joe buys into one of Brandt’s takes: the Bucs’ defense should be special. About the only thing Joe got right in the draft is when fans kept pestering him on Twitter about what defensive player to draft in the first two days of the draft, Joe responded, “Thinking the defense is about set.”

Of course, the key here is offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford. No one really knows what this offense will be and it has plenty of question marks, from potholes on the line to the quarterback, or how quickly a rookie receiver — four rookie pass catchers in all — can adapt to the NFL.

The fact the Bucs had such a fine turnover ratio last year and still lost 12 games just goes to show what a rotten offense they had. Rarely did they take full advantage of turnovers.

27 Responses to “Brandt: Bucs In Playoffs In 2014”

  1. pablo Says:

    Pablo is very optimistic and would love for us to make the playoffa. But I highly doubt it this season.. Saints will win the division.. Atlanta should bounce back with Julio, and Jake Matthews but I expect them to give up a lot of points and yards on defense. Carolina should decline this year I know Cam is superman but he has absolutely no help on offense, but that D alone should make them .500

    THE NFC is just so tough this year. You need 11 wins to be guaranteed a wild card spot..

    1. SEATTLE
    3. GREEN BAY

    Rams, and Lions should be around the 9-7 win/loss mark also

  2. Kalind Says:

    The Redskins could bounce back too with some better weapons on offense a healthy rg3 and a good head coach. The conference really only has a handful of weak teams. Minnesota, Dallas, NYG, and that’s about it.

  3. ctord Says:

    I though they should have competed for a division title last season and I feel that way this year. wild card will be tough but the south is in flux. Panthers are not that good, Atlanta has issues, and new Orleans is one year older. The bucs are on the come for sure.

  4. Buc the Haters Says:

    I definitely agree more with Gil Brandt’s overall assessment of our team than I do Joe’s. While I do understand Joe’s concerns, I think our o-line holes will be filled through the 2nd wave of free agency or maybe by coaching up who we already have…. Other than that, I think we’re absolutely stacked & I think McCown will thrive here & lead us to the promised land. I mean seriously. How is ANYONE going to stop our offense?!??

  5. pablo Says:

    Wow Pablo totally forgot about RGIII & DJax + an underrated Alfred Morris in the backfield . That defense will have some growing pains. But they might make some noise in a weak NFC East

  6. Bob Digital Says:

    Bob says Pablo don’t know nothin’ about nothin’. Bob also loves triple negatives. Sometime will fall Brees’ knee, murk that ACL. Bucs finish second in the division. Ms Cleo told me!

  7. Bob Digital Says:

    *someone. DAMN AUTO CORRECT!

  8. theDON Says:

    sweet music to my win starved ears

  9. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    I agree with Gil Brandt, and that’s another reason why my Son and I bought club seats season tickets for this year. Tampa is just starved for a winning football team, and I predict sell outs will become more normal than blackouts, as soon as we start winning.
    Our 3 big receivers, and our depth at running back, will assure we score some points, and we all know we can count on our defensive players, especially coached by Lovie and Leslie Frazier.
    I think we are gonna win the NFC South this year, and make the playoffs.

    There are not many secondaries in football that can cover our 3 big receivers for long. Only teams with a furious pass rush will be able to contain us, so our blitz pick up packages will be so very important.

    The new back we just picked up is flat out dangerous, because not only can he catch a short hot read pass, but he has enough speed to really burn a defense as well.

  10. dick2111 Says:

    Glad to hear someone nationally saying positive things about our Bucs. We’ve got a tough schedule with no gimme’s in there, new coaching staff and many new players, but … things are looking up in Tampa Bay. Lovie and company have lots of time to make this thing gel.

  11. brandonbucfan Says:

    don’t always agree with but today I think you hit on a good point. The NFC is absolutely stacked this year and will be very tough for us to break into the playoffs. I DO BELIEVE we will make great strides and am VERY OPTIMISTIC about the future. Realistically see an 8-8 season (higher than VEGAS
    BUTT…strange things happen. It will be soooo tight for that final playoff spot…9-7 with the right wins…WHO KNOWS

  12. RCH Says:

    ” Joe is convinced some Bucs fans would be dancing in the streets if the team even got to a .500 record, if you can imagine.”

    And I won’t be one of them! I am so sick to my stomach with all this losing I have had to in brace starting from the worst collapse in sports history in 2008 IMO.

  13. mark Says:

    The beauty of the NFL is, ” we just don’t know until after the game is played.”
    There is always something that surprises us. Too many variables in the game.
    Sleeper teams, injuries, suspensions, the media stirring the pot, refs that make game changing calls, and a multitude of variables that effect the game and players.
    If we really knew the out come, why watch, it’s like watching a re-run game…..

    The unknown keeps us excited during the game.

  14. Brandon Says:

    You could point to any teams and talk about how strong they will be this season but just like in every season, some teams will disappoint, others will surprise.

    One thing I know for sure, NFC West is perhaps the toughest division ever…right now… but things can and will likely change. I still don’t see any possibility of all 4 teams having winning records.

  15. William Says:

    The biggest turnover for the Bucs in 2013 was ending the Schiano Era and starting the Lovie comeback.

    No matter what we will have a better year in 2014. I’m looking forward to it!

  16. Stu Laake Says:

    I believe Gil Brandt also said several weeks back that some downtrodden team like Oakland will be back in the playoffs next season.

    Consider the source…

  17. Jim Walker Says:

    Lovie needs to address the O-line. I hope there is a plan.

  18. Jim Says:

    It doesn’t hurt to think positive Joe.

  19. Louis Friend Says:

    Talent is secondary to execution. Just ask all the free agency winners over the last 10 years. I truly care about whether the coaches can get the most from what we do have on the field. If they can there’s no limit to what a team in the NFL can do. The talent levels are collectively close from one team to the next. Ready to see what this staff can do with it.

  20. buccanAy Says:

    So Joe got one right, regarding the defense, and he wants us all to know it.. If that isn’t the epitome of the old sayin, “even a blind squirrel finds a nut”, I don’t know what is.

    Our two best players on defense, or even overall, McCoy and David, have very little behind them, as far as depth. Injury to either could be catastrophic, IMO.

  21. Eric Says:

    The Bucs AND the Saints are gonna run the division period.

  22. Owlykat Says:

    We will have a good season just as long as Glennon stays on the bench. Josh is the real deal. Kafka would make a better back up QB. He is very bright and masters playbooks quickly, he has an accurate and strong arm, and is a very hard worker, and he also is a dual threat QB. He was supposed to be the number two QB for Philly in 2011, until he hurt his hand and could not play in the Preseason, and that is the only reason he dropped to number three.

  23. buccanAy Says:

    Seriously dude…lemme take a wild guess…bet you thought Brent Smith was gonna beat out Glennon to. Besides “supposedly” being the 2nd Qb in Philly, what have you seen from Kafka that make you think he can beat out Glennon? Out of curiosity…what is it that makes you think Glennon is so bad?

  24. beeric Says:

    Pablo needs a life.

  25. Dean Says:

    The only fears I have, are those of time. It takes time for a defense to jell. Mistakes happen initially and the smallest mistake can be the difference between winning and losing. Experience and a couple of years working together makes the difference. The same can be said for a new offense, headed up by rookies. It takes 2-3 years for a rookie to really make his mark. There have been exceptions, but very few. Also, both schemes are brand new and it takes time to learn and execute at the high level we are hoping for. Don’t want to be a downer, but I think we need to be realistic. If anyone can bring this off, however, it sure is our new Coach and staff.

  26. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    pablo says
    “2. NEW ORLEANS”

    I think pablo has faulty reasoning. The Saints are good, but they are on the decline (at last). The Panthers are the NFC South team to beat this year.

    Also, I expect the Falcons to improve as well.

    I also think that it is possible that 11 wins will not get us into the playoffs this year.

  27. BoJim Says:

    Owlykat. Remind us again how many games Kafka has played?

    The Cannon is here for a while. Deal with it.