A Different Hill To Climb

August 14th, 2014
Is Josh McCown the answer?

Is Josh McCown the answer?

Yesterday, when Joe was in the studio with his good friend “The Big Dog,” Steve Duemig of WDAE-AM 620, a caller from the Flat Earth Society bemoaned the loss of a Mike Alstott-like fullback and again parroted the nonsense that a team can with without a quarterback.

SMH, when will people learn?

If any fanbase should know better than this gibberish it should be Bucs fans.

How many great defenses did the Bucs have in the history of this franchise without a quarterback? How many Super Bowls did those same defenses get to?

The one year the Bucs had a Pro Bowl quarterback, by golly, the Bucs won a Super Bowl. Guess these same folks still wake up in the morning looking under their drool-stained pillow looking for change from the tooth fairy.

Bucs coach Lovie Smith is a disciple of Father Dungy, the very man who pushed this notion a team doesn’t need a quarterback to win, only to be proven wrong by Chucky the very first year he was gone from the franchise.

Though Lovie believes in scoring — he even mentioned this earlier this week — Lovie is a defense-first kind of guy. Pat Yasinskas of ESPN thinks this worked well for Lovie in the NFC Central, when he only had to worry about Brett Favre/Aaron Rodgers. It may not work so well now that Lovie has to worry about Drew Brees, Matty Ice and Cam Newton.

Smith’s philosophy is to play great defense and be efficient on offense. That worked well enough to get Smith to a Super Bowl with the Chicago Bears. But that philosophy might be antiquated. The league has become quarterback-driven. The Bucs are in the same division as New Orleans’ Drew Brees, Carolina’s Cam Newton and Atlanta’s Matt Ryan. McCown and this offense might not have enough firepower to stay competitive in the division.

Joe totally understands where Yasinskas is coming from here. If you don’t score, you don’t win. That’s as elementary as it gets. That stated, the Bucs are not far behind their three division foes.

The Bucs were a play away from beating the Saints at home. They did beat the Dixie Chicks at home. The Stinking Panthers curb-stomped the Bucs twice last season, but that team’s offense is a shell of what it was.

By just about any standard, the Bucs should be better this year. Can Josh McCown get enough points to get over the hump? As Joe has always said, if you have the worst quarterback in your division, then that’s a helluva hill to climb. Not impossible, but damn difficult.

41 Responses to “A Different Hill To Climb”

  1. billy buckaroo Says:

    If the bucs plug the “holes” in the offensive line over the next few weeks they could be dangerous offensively. They have some firepower if they get a chance to use it.
    This is the time where the coach and GM show what they got or not.

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We have our QBs for this year…..nothing will change that…..We can begin this argument again at a more appropriate time…..(after at least a few games and hopefully when we know what we really have at QB)…..I suspect that if McCown doesn’t perform well then we will start Glennon and if that’s not until next year, then we have another year or two to wait.
    So….what I’m saying is you can complain, debate, speculate, commiserate, whine, cry, scream, holler….vomit or have a $hit conniption….but it won’t change anything!!!

  3. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    What if you are old, and you climbed the small hill. and now its all downhill for old man mcCown???

  4. unbelievable Says:

    It’s been beaten to death 1000 times over, our offensive abilities will come down to the o-line. Plain and simple. Football games are won and lost in the trenches.

    We have the weapons and playmakers. McCown or Glennon can easily get the ball to theses guys, IF they have enough time…

  5. Mac Says:

    Hahaha…. some total idiot just tried to tell me that Josh McCown is known as a” mobile” QB… What?

    Someone’s taking stupid pills… Fix the line or our QB is dead…

  6. Tom Edrington Says:

    Said it once but once is not enough:

    Preseason jury still has much more evidence to review that will be presented in the next two contests.

    Calm down, relax, and see what transpires, only after the entire body of preseason work is presented can we even begin to guess what things might look like once it really counts.

  7. joe$ucfan Says:

    Joe, you are absolutly right. A team cannot win with a mediocore QB that is carried by the defense. Case in point, Shaun (All pro buffet line) King.

  8. BUC4LIFE79 Says:

    The 2 Joe’s at odds with themselves over this issue over this issue and on the Big Dog yesterday…Look Joe’s, you guy’s repeated the everything that needed to be said on the issue yesterday, but for whatever reason, won’t stick to THE most logical and honest train of thought. Licht and Lovie, both said, fans should expect more this year, to not settle for a “rebuilding year” banner over the season. Lovie and Licht gave our established O line starters their walking papers, Lovie and Licht “evaluated” their starters last Friday night based on camp performance, LOVIE has a PROVEN HORRIBLE RECORD of developing an O-line while Licht has self admitted he’s here to “serve the coach”. Lovie and Licht stated, they’re here to “win now,” Lovie stated how he doesn’t believe in not spending to the cap limit to help make his team better.” Having not game planned friday night amounts to exactly WHAT when our 2 starting turn stalls could barely get their hands on an opposing O-Linemen???? We’re all in agreement here that it’s a TRAGEDY that our decade of Defensive dominace never was able to garner more than one title because of a literally non existent offense. We all see PLAIN AS DAY what’s brewing in our defense again with Lovie at the helm directing such beasts as GMC and LVD, and REAL FANS WANT THE MANAGEMENT THAT TOLD US TO EXPECT MORE TO ACT LIKE IT WHEN SUCH A GLARING AND DIRE NEED AT GUARD HAS BEEN EXPOSED FOR ALL THE WORLD TO SEE!! It might be different, IF EVERY TALKING HEAD from here to Canada hadn’t been saying all along, ONEIL COUSINS, R U !@#$#ING KIDDING!?!? But imagine that, Cousins was who he’s been HIS ENTIRE CAREER and we’re NOT supposed to be in an uproar?? What REAL fanbase would want their next top 10 Defense’s season to be a pityful reminder of what every season was for that Decade of DOMINANT DEFENSE with 2002 being the lone exception. What was EVERY SEASON for them except 2002? A FAILURE, despite their noble and tireless efforts that kept us all salivating while watching them work, we all hung our heads when the offense that was supposed to support them in SOME WAY took the field. I for one was raised to hold people accountable for their actions, ESPECIALLY when they have put themselves on the record publicly telling me to expect different. To judge them based on their actions and comments, and unfortunately when it comes to the O-line, Lovie has a LONG and BROKEN RECORD. “Give the man time to develop his line” Joe’s??? WHY?? HE SHOULD KNOW BETTER BY NOW. YES, I like many others, revealed in Lovie’s hiring like the second coming of Tom Landry, because HE said he spent an entire year evaluating his own coaching style, and record..YOU WOULD THINK THAT HIS BIGGEST ACHILLES HEAL WOULD HAVE BENN THE FIRST THING HE SET OUT TO CORRECT.

  9. DallasBuc Says:

    Mediocre QB. Mediocre oline. We are going to the playoffs!!!

  10. Nick2 Says:

    Exactly why we should have taken Johnny football or one of the possible franchise qb’s instead of Evans. Its a division full of franchsie qbs and we have none.

  11. Theodore Says:

    Rams 11 Bucs 6, enough said about the need to score

  12. Lou. Says:

    Joe’s post does not accurately recount the debate over the style of offense.

    Since the days of Jim Hart, pundits have been predicting that the “old school” approach of stout defense/running game is obsolete. The Steel Curtain didn’t listen. Neither did the Dolphins, Bears, the Giants, the Redskins, the Ravens, the Bucs — even last year’s Seahawks. Indeed, Elway was a shell of himself in the two Super Bowl wins.

    You mention that the Bucs could have been more successful with a better quarterback. Self-evident and true. Would a trade-off at, say, 3-technique have done the trick? Would you have taken away Sapp to upgrade at passer?

    A dominant running game often disguises the strength of an offense. And it keeps the other team’s offense off the field. Indeed, it is hard for a Manning-led team to dominate on defense: the quick-strike capability can wear down and work against the defense, especially if the line is stuffed with larger/less athletic players.

    Of course, a quarterback has to be competent, and attention gets focused on the passing plays a quarterback just has to make. And the style of running attacks has changed over the years. But the defense-and-running approach has been declared dead over and over — while still being the one strategy proven most effective over the years.

  13. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Theodore

    Yea….that was Shaun King!!!

    “Shaun King, one of two Buc Quarterbacks that lost a NFC Championship Game when his defense gave up 11 or fewer points.”

    The other was Doug Williams…..1979…..we lost to LA 9-0….I was there!!!

    Doug Williams later became Superbowl MVP for the Redskins…..so, even having an elite QB & a great defense doesn’t guarantee a trip to the SB…..but it does help!!!

  14. JGW1981 Says:

    Johnny football is going to SUCK in the NFL. Evans is a #1 receiver. Not sure how picking a non-franchise caliber qb would have helped us.

  15. Zam Says:

    You know that was Greg Schiano texting in, just to mess with ya!

  16. Joe Says:

    The Steel Curtain didn’t listen.


    Terry Bradshaw, Hall of Fame quarterback. What, two-time Super Bowl MVP? Steelers lose three Super Bowls without him.

    Nah, the Steelers never had a quarterback.

  17. joe$ucfan Says:

    WOW! I would hate to be in a foxhole with most of your participants. Everybody says how terrible things are but no one offers specific answers that are realistic. Everyone acts like we can just bring in an all pro offensive line at will. What other QB could have been brought in. A rookie QB is no guarranty that he would be a franchise QB. Just to throw out actions L&L should take shows the limited strategic thinking of most wannabes on these pages. This roster is alot more prepared to compete than any we have had in quite a while. Lets run L&L out of town after a meaningless evaluation game in which i am sure they learned quite a bit about what they have. I am glad they are telling us they want to compete now and not trying to hide behind rebuilding.

  18. Cobraboy Says:

    Dan Marino is wondering where his SB ring is…

  19. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ joe$ucfan

    Joe take every opportunity to throw the “quarterback raw meat” out to his readers….and many take the bait…..
    I simply choose to sit back and watch what unfolds….hoping we get “Luck-y” like some other teams….after all we have had a nuimber one “francaise QB pick” and that was Vinny…..didn’t work out.
    Some just get lucky like the Rams with Kurt Warner (arena league)….others win with a third round pick Seahawks/Wilson….we have a third round pick….maybe we win with him!!!
    We had other QBs that went on to win SBs with other teams…..Doug Williams, Steve Young & Trent Dilfer…..so, it’s really not just the QB….its the whole team, timing and the opponents….and it sometimes just comes down to the game and a couple of plays…..we lost NFC Championships by 9-0 & 11-6…..not exactly blowouts…
    I hope we get a francaise QB during my lifetime (time running out)…..

  20. Buchead407 Says:

    I truly believe that if we can get our oline just to be average this year,(big if) that McCown is good enough to get us to the playoffs. You might just have a chance at winning the division or wild card spot if you have the best defense and worst qb in the division. The only team that really scares me is the saints. We do have a shot

  21. Buchead407 Says:

    Not the best shot. But a shot

  22. Jeagan1999 Says:

    Joe’s got his knickers in a wad over this whole QB thing! It has been PROVEN that you DON’T need a top 5-10 QB to win a championship! Just look back less than a year at the Seahawks….Russell Wilson was 16th in the league in passing yds (3,300), 9th in TD’s and 13th in COMP% (63%). I won’t even mention Joe Flacco, Brad Johnson, and Trent Dilfer who had similar numbers when they won the Superbowl. I’m not saying it wouldn’t be great to have Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning or Tom Brady (who have also won Superbowls) on our team. All I’m saying is that a strong defense, a solid running game and an accurate QB who doesn’t make mistakes and manages the game properly shows that you can win championships WITHOUT a 4,500yd/35TD signal caller. That gives me hope that the Bucs can be contenders this year…because let’s face it, NONE of our QB’s has shown themselves to be the type of player that can pass for 5,000yds or 35TD’s…Glennon has promise, but he’s only in his 2nd year and McCown seems like a great leader, but he’s 35, has never played an entire season, and has NEVER been that kind of prolific 4,000+ yd passer anywhere before in his 13-14 year career. Here’s to hoping that our strong “D” and an opportunistic offense can win us some games! Of course, if we don’t solidify the O-line…it will be a very long season!!!

  23. gatrbuc17 Says:

    UM That same philosophy worked just fine for Seattle last yr. AND the Niners have that same philosophy and I would say they win some with it too

  24. robert9 Says:

    please don’t use these kiddie acronyms…..SMH. I don’t heven know what that means.

  25. Jeagan9991 Says:

    Russell Wilson …3rd round draft choice….16th in passing yds….9th in TD’s….13th in COMP%….SUPERBOWL CHAMPION!!

    Peyton Manning….1st overall selection in draft….1st in passing yds….1st in TD’s….2nd in COMP%….beaten like a Salvation Army drum!

    Just sayin’……

  26. Buchead407 Says:

    Gotta agree with Robert9 joe. Smh? Come on man

  27. Jeagan1999 Says:

    Joe…am I banned from class for disagreeing with teacher? Kind of childish, don’t you think?

  28. Buccfan37 Says:

    I’m just happy the season is near upon us. All those past distant 2, 3 or 4 win seasons are over. The overall losses over wins record is dismal. I just want to get to .500 overall. That means winning more than losing. That’s what I expect to happen. It’s going to happen before I croak.

  29. Joe Says:

    Joe’s got his knickers in a wad over this whole QB thing! It has been PROVEN that you DON’T need a top 5-10 QB to win a championship! Just look back less than a year at the Seahawks

    When did suddenly Russell Wilson become JaMarcus Russell? Wilson is a damn fine quarterback. The Seahawks don’t make the Super Bowl without him.

  30. gatrbuc17 Says:

    Yes Joe. RW is a damn fine QB. But he is not Elite by any means. Seattle won it this past yr WITH the old Bucs philosophy.

  31. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    18th ranked offense, and #1 Defense. I don’t know if we agree with you Joe.

    to go a little further, they had the 4th ranked rushing attack and were 26th ranked in passing.

  32. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    Or were you judging by the same scale you do with old man mcCown?? the one were ” he just walks in the room like a leader”. whatever that means.

  33. Jeagan1999 Says:

    Joe…I think our disagreement on this issue has more to do with offensive system and semantics. Of course Wilson is a fine young QB! Jamarcus Russell he is not! Just like Brad Johnson was not Peyton Manning either. The Denver Broncos offensive philosophy is to throw the ball a lot, make big plays and score a lot of points….that’s what they did best! The Seahawks played a smothering “D”, ran the ball effectively with Lynch and made safe and opportune passing plays with Wilson…that’s what they did best! It ‘s safe to say that BOTH ways can work…if you have the right personnel. No one wants to see a “slug” at QB (Jamarcus Russell, Blaine Gabbert, Ryan Leaf, etc…) but I think the evidence shows that you don’t necessarily have to have a top 10 passer either. With the Bucs D and run game, we could probably win with a guy like Alex Smith, or Romo, or Andy Dalton, or Carson Palmer, or even Tannehill…. all of which are pretty good, but none of which are really considered to be the “elite” level QB’s….i.e. Manning, Brady, Rivers, Cutler, Brees, Ryan, Luck, etc.. My hope is that McCown/Glennon can duplicate the kind of success Russell Wilson had by being safe, smart and opportunistic…and letting our “D” keep the other team close with a lot of low scoring games. It worked for the Bucs 10 plus years ago, I know we BOTH hope it will manifest itself again. In the meantime we can take a little more time to see if MG8 is worth being our QB of the future!

  34. Buchead407 Says:

    Think you guys are underestimating McCown

  35. Buchead407 Says:

    Or I’m too optimistic He might not be great but I just have a gut feeling he will do enough to win games

  36. Phillip Says:

    Having a really good to great QB like the Seahawks combined with a dominant D leads to them having a low Offensive rank if that wasn’t painfully obvious to the stoneage crew commenting on this blog… I love our history but I honestly think it makes about 50% percent of our fan base oblivious to how the NFL has changed.. I’d say most are apart of the MGM as well lol

    BTW I’m not so sure the Panthers are actually any worse offensively than they were last year… Is Steve Smith really gonna be that much better than Benjamin (sorry but Smith was TERRIBLE last year)? He might have trusted Smith more but Benjamin gives them another dimension as a big receiver that’s a much bigger threat in the endzone… Is Lafell (who can’t catch a cold) better than Cotchery or Avant(over the middle receiver like Smith with great hands)? Nah sorry I think Carolina might be in the same exact spot if not a little better.

  37. Buc the Haters Says:

    A strong defense and ‘efficient’ offense would be a perfect combination. IMO, efficiency on offense would be consistently moving the ball, converting 3rd downs, and then converting drives into touchdowns. What more could anyone want from an offense?!?? If we can figure out our stupid OLine situation and actually have an ‘efficient’ offense, we’re winning the SB.

  38. Touch_Down_Tampa_Bay Says:

    Bring in the real Guards and we have Pineapple McCown ready to display Tedford’s offense.

    Joe knows Pineapple McCown will get us to the promise land!

  39. The_Buc_Realist Says:


    Is the promise land a top 10 draft pick???

  40. Chef Paul Says:

    Flat Earth Society? You’ve used that alot lately. Getting your zingers form Obama now?

  41. louden Says:

    @Buc4Life: Thats it. Lovie admitted himself that its more about offense now.
    Lovie felt “in love” with Sims. Jason distances himself a little bit from it declaring he is just serving. Chudzinski is just an assistant to the HC right now and actually made good moves while with the Browns.

    @Jeagan: i think you are pretty right. But i think of Russel Wilson as an elite QB.
    Again its about overall talent and Wilson, like Kaepernick are great threats.
    Its always good to keep a defense on its heels, wether its playaction, pass setting up the run or vice versa doesn´t realy matter, while having good maulers as o-liner is always good as you wear the defense out and you are always able to simply run it inside the 5 yard line.

    in terms to QB´s its the overall talent meaning: wether you are great passer, or great creating sth. through runs and youre good at decission making plus you can throw an accurate one and you have a real cannon… then you are an elite QB in my eyes too.

    its just about: can you ball? and how good can you ball. Russel Wilson is damn good ballin, as is Kaep.

    Manziel was simply to dangerous in terms of off-field issues – ey, that guy is probably doing coke!