“They Can Get Somewhere Close To .500”

August 1st, 2014

gmc 0730Whatever Herm Edwards is inhaling at ESPN headquarters hasn’t been passed on to noted NFL insider “The Professor,” John Clayton.

Clayton likes what Lovie Smith is building but doesn’t believe it’s enough to make Bucs fans smile all around Tampa Bay.

“I certainly think they can get somewhere close to .500,” Clayton said of the Bucs’ 2014 season during an interview on WDAE-AM 620. “Because I think with what they’ve done in getting younger on the offensive line and trying to make the changes and get a little more pass rush on defense, they should be able to make a little bit of a jump closer to the top. But I think New Orleans has such a distinct advantage; there’s a good likelihood that if they do well in division games they could end up with the No. 1 seed. I do think Atlanta is going to bounce back, being more physical on the offensive line and more physical on the defensive line.”

It’s too early for Joe to finalize a prediction for the Bucs’ season. However, Joe agrees with Clayton that the rest of the NFC South is quite strong.

Joe laughs when he hears people down on Carolina. The Panthers had the NFL’s No. 2-ranked defense last year, and their entire front-7 is returning. Yeah, they’re gambling with nobodies in their receiving corps, but a nasty defense and a franchise quarterback in Cam Newton should at least be good enough for a winning season.

18 Responses to ““They Can Get Somewhere Close To .500””

  1. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    When the media starts predicting .500, I figure it will be a better chance at either 10 wins or 6 wins. I’m leaning toward 10, but it depeends on the oline and either QB.

  2. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    One thing that is rarely calculated into these projections is injuries. Everybody has them and so depth is an issue on every team.

    More importantly are how important a single player might be to a franchise. E.G. Do you like the Bucs chances better with Mike Glennon if McCown goes down or New Orleans chances if Brees goes down. Brees has led a charmed life since his early injuries and he’s not getting any younger.

    Where do the Panthers turn is Cam Newton gets busted up on one of his runs?

    Every team needs some luck. I think we are way overdue with what happened to us last year. If it wasn’t for bad luck last year we would have had no luck at all. Yeah Schiano was part of that bad luck but he didn’t cause the MRSA or that stupid penalty that cost the Bucs the first game of the year. He didn’t select the bust at franchise Q.B. that basically killed any chance he had for success. Again this is not to suggest that Schiano would make a good NFL coach, it’s simply to point out what horrid luck we had last season. We could have won 8 games last year with a few breaks.

  3. biff barker Says:

    Meh, I’m going with the Vegas odds. Hard to make money against those guys.

    7-9 +/- 1

  4. Harry Says:

    I’ll stick with what I predicted about CAR. No returning WRs, questionable Oline get you what? That allows the D to stack the line. If Cam is running much (and he does like to tuck the ball and go) he is likely to get hurt (I don’t think Cam is that great anyway). Yeah, the Panthers D is awesome, but I think they will be on the field so much they will get worn out, and that adds to the possibility for injury. CAR will finish last in the NFCS

  5. knucknbuc Says:

    No we could of won 8 games last year with a coach that had a clue and a better staff. I agree with the rest of your post though. We’re long overdue and I honestly font think the falcons are that good. Yea they got Jake Matthews on the oline but who else. Their oline is still worse then ours I have no clue who they have on their defense. Not one player I can name off the top of my head other then weatherspoon (whose hurt) and decoud sp? No Gonzalez they don’t scare me.

    Carolina Greg hardy likely to miss some games. Garbage wrsand whose on their oline again? Yea there d will be good but will they score?

    Clayton is right the saints are still a force lost sproles but got cooks. Lose Jenkins upgrade with Byrd. Never know what injuries may come along and their dline and oline are kind of shallow. Imo it’s between us and them.

  6. Buccfan37 Says:

    I’ll be happy if the Bucs can beat all their division foes at least once. 4 other wins will put them at .500. Some positive breaks could produce a winning season. Go Bucs!

  7. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    Close to .500 means 7-9. that is what Coach Schiano did his first year. If Lovie goes 7-9 and loses his first 2 games the next season, does that mean fans have to yell fire Lovie!!!

    Just trying to keep things consistent around here!

  8. MadMax Says:

    8-10 wins. We lost some close ones last year due to coaching….you’d have to be a blind moron to have not seen or heard it.

    Looks like the injury bug is on us already, but if healthy and with this coaching, we’ll be close to a playoff spot. And next year draft O line first please (unless we’re in play for Winston)

  9. brandonbucfan Says:

    I still feel the whole season will be determined by how we come “out of the gate”. With two home games we need to come out strong. Two wins against teams we “should” beat at home will set us up for a pretty good season. Lose those two and go on the road for three and it could make for a long season. With the schedule still think 8-8 would be a reason for Buc fans to be satisfied. 2015 will be a different story as it will be the second season under this (what I feel) is an excellent coaching staff

  10. KeithInTampa Says:

    Ditto what St.PeteBucsFan said, he nailed my thoughts down to the “T”. I also question Carolina’s ability to repeat as NFC South Division Champ; I’m not a big Ron Rivera fan, or a Cam Newton fan, (Cam can be rattled) but both Atlanta and N’awlins bother me….If we can pull four or five wins from the Division, I think a 9 or 10 win season and a shot at a wild card is quite possible!

  11. OB Says:


    No one seems to want to say that Matty Ice was the QB of the last place team in the division. After the first two real games we will know where we are at and where we are going to go.

    As for close to .500. 4-12 is as close to .500 as is 12-4, I think we do the latter.

  12. BFFL Says:

    Saints are good but come on, they are no Seattle.

  13. Touch_Down_Tampa_Bay Says:

    The defense hard work this training camp will show early. The experience players in this defense will help the cohesiveness to be experience early. Our depth will allow us to continue at a high level in case of injuries. The defense is ready to shine. All the ingredients are here.

    The offense has the possibility to shine early too. The o-line can be helped with quick passes in this up tempo scheme. McCown is good at 3 step drops. If McCown gets hurt “The Cannon” should again do well on 5-7 yard passes like last year. Speed in space should keep the defenses out of balance or at least playing more prevent than aggressive. This will help Glennon specially.

    If Jeff Demps can start to handle the ball better in special teams, this team is going to the PLAYOFFS, Baby!

    History does not guarantee the Future. Forget about Lovie’s Chicago teams or how we played N.O. or Carolina before. This team is brand new. Schemes are also new to this team. I’m just looking at what we have and not comparing apples to oranges.

    When you look at what is in front of you rather than the past which has no power over you then you can see a clear picture of possibilities. Will and preparation are your greatest assets to succeed! IMO

  14. Bucballya Says:

    I think a lot of outsiders are going to be negative in their prediction, and I understand that. But that is why they play the game. The thing that I think the “Pro’s” don’t understand, is how much of a difference the coaching change is going to make. The Bucs had a lot more talent last year than their record implies. I think this year the Bucs have even more talent, superior coaching, and the players are excited about their team. The Bucs will be this years most improved team in the NFL.

  15. snook Says:

    Is he really a “franchise QB” if his offense ranks 29th?

    I’ll pass on Cam.

    He like Vick in his hey day… All fluff.

  16. buc4lyfe Says:

    It doesn’t matter to John Clayton because he never like the bucs EVER. No one has ever heard him come out in favor of bucs but in his defense you can’t have coaches like Greg schiano or raheem Morris and think it’s OK especially when the gm isn’t very good at his job either

  17. Louis Friend Says:

    Sorry to be a naysayer but I’m thinking 6-10, or 7-9 at the very best. Just don’t see them coming out of the gate strong. A 1-4 or even 0-5 start may very well happen before they start turning it around. I do think they’ll finish strong though, possibly 7-4 over their final 11 games. All of that is assuming they stay somewhat healthy at key positions and their guard play is as mediocre as it appear it will be.

    Also, folks are overstating how dominant the new rookies are going to be. It won’t happen with Evans or ASJ (or maybe even Sims) until year 2.

    On the other side – this defense will be good, but don’t expect them to shut anyone down right away. They need time to gel, and breakdowns always occur early in new systems – regardless of how ‘simple’ it is. Gotta stay patient this year, folks.

  18. SAMCRO Says:


    The over zealous media systematically destroyed the Bucs last year. It all started with rushing N.Y’s victory formation and then it metamorphosed into a gang of media thugs (national and copycat local) that seemed to have made it their mission to bring Schiano down. Hell, even the replacement umps got involved. lol …if the media don’t like you, then your name is mud, and they definitely dragged Schiano and our team through it as they daily made disparaging remarks and were able to sway public opinion. I mean c’mon, when a media group runs a billboard ad saying “Fire Schiano” in the middle of Tampa before the season was even over says they were involved and were a major catalyst for our teams lack of focus.

    Think back and remember all the crap that went on and then honestly tell me the media wasn’t to blame? For a while there I was starting to wonder if Lovie could even make it through a whole year after pissing so many of them off for not selecting Manziel. Of course the season hasn’t started yet, and it all remains to be seen.