The Aaron Rodgers Fantasy

January 11th, 2015

The Bucs would need to make changes if they want Marcus Mariota to go the Aaron Rodgers/Carson Palmer route — and avoid a fan uprising.

Marcus Mariota lovers happily refer to their guy as the next Aaron Rodgers. They talk about how Mariota can be like Rodgers, sit on the bench for at least a season and come in and play savior.

But that reality can’t exist in Tampa.

Joe got into this debate last night, and Joe’s debate partner couldn’t get reality through his skull.

Rodgers was sitting on the bench behind legendary Brett Favre. He deserved to sit because he was the second best quarterback on the Packers, Also, only a very tiny segment of Green Bay fans were calling for Favre to leave town in favor of Rodgers during Rodgers’ early years.

But that kind of scenario would not exist for Mariota in Tampa, at least not the way the Bucs are constructed. News flash: Josh McCown is no Brett Favre, neither is Mike Glennon.

The vast majority of Bucs fans would not stand for Mariota living on the bench while the Bucs are the league poster child for incompetent quarterback play.

And Joe can only imagine the horror of Lovie Smith talking at his daily news conference — again — about how McCown gives the team the best chance to win.

Perhaps, if the Bucs somehow found a way to get a different, competent, veteran quarterback in town, fans could stomach watching Mariota on the bench for a year while they pray Lovie Smith knows how to guide his development.

Carson Palmer was drafted No. 1 overall in 2003, when Palmer sat the entire Bengals season. He had Jon Kitna mentoring him and starting every game. Then 31-year-old Kitna threw 26 touchdowns and 15 picks, and completed 62 percent of his passes. The Bengals went 8-8.

Does anyone in their right mind think McCown could pull that off?

Palmer had a rough second season, his first on the field, before making the Pro Bowl and winning the division the following year.

Mariota could be that kind of guy for Tampa Bay, but Joe’s not confident the Bucs could craft the patient, healthy environment Mariota would need.

61 Responses to “The Aaron Rodgers Fantasy”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    After three miserable years, the Bucs have an experienced OC…..I am not convinced now that Glennon will be traded because of Koetter…I doubt we see McCown unless he takes a huge paycut….and unless we have a trading partner for Glennon.
    We could pick up Hassleback from FA…..IMO the only one worth having.

    As for sitting for a year….I would do that with Mariota…and it might assuage the Buc fans if we use Mariota in the wildcat formation….imagine that?…….Mariota in the wildcat….exciting!!!

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Speaking for Pablo

    “Pablo hates it when TBBF uses big words like “assuage”……Pablo thought it meant doing something to someone’s back-end>>>>Pablo really likes Nevada QB Cody Fajardo…..and hopes Jose/Joe does an article about him……Pablo thinks we could pick him up in the 8th round next year”….

  3. JFat Says:

    McCown could pull it off:) “Do as I say, not as I do”. Still don’t quite get why Winston supporters think he can just go in and start from the jump, he needs work and would benefit from a year on the pine too.

  4. Brent Says:

    If the coach had a pair we could wait. mg is worst case an average nfl qb behind a bad o-line. Bucs have sucked for 6 years and like 27 out of 39 total. this is a loser franchise. this isnt the packers steelers cowboys etc. like 1 more year would matter.

  5. Couch Fan Says:

    This is what I have been saying all along. Lovie simply can’t afford to sit the #1 pick on the bench and go 2-14 again. Who ever we draft, must play immediately. #1 picks dont sit unless they have someone competent in front of them which most teams picking high in the draft dont have. Rodgers was picked late in the draft. Completely different situation and scenario. It doesn’t and wont apply to us. Winston is the only QB that should be picked @ #1 for us. Otherwise go with Williams or Gregory. But this is Lovie… common sense doesn’t usually apply.

  6. drdneast Says:

    Hasselback? He’s getting so old his joints creak like the Tin Man when he throws the ball. I’d sooner start his wife so I can see her get smacked around.
    Seriously, neither McCown. Glennon or the offensive line was as bad as they looked last year.
    What was bad was the combined coaching of the line coach and the offensive coordinator with more emphasis on the OC.
    We have taken care of the OC problem with an extremely competent coach, now we just need to replace the line coach no one likes.
    Still, if anyone wants to sign a new FA QB. they should take a look at Matt Moore who actually fits the type of QB Lovie likes.
    As for Mariotta, if he develops into a Russell Wilson I would be as happy as Joe at Mons Venus after just winning at a black jack table.
    I always had a guarded opinion of Wilson, but the kid has legs and has great football field savvy.
    I still think the only way you can beat him is to keep him bottled up in the pocket, but so far no one has been able to do that.

  7. Couch Fan Says:

    Late in 1st round*

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Couch Fan

    I thought someone with your moniker would be one of the huge supporters of sitting a QB…..

  9. BFFL Says:

    Please stop saying Winston can step right into the pros. Every college QB takes time to become acclimated to the pros. It has more to do with your mental makeup over any type of scheme ran in college. To sit here and act like Winston is ready for the pros is the most ridiculous thing anyone could say after what I witnessed in the Rose Bowl.

  10. ndog Says:

    So will sitting a year make him all of a sudden have touch and be able to throw into tight windows? Cause if not that won’t help much cause he can’t do that now. I am not sure how not playing makes one a better thrower of the football. He might learn the system but he still will not be accurate or be able to anticipate throws they way the elite qbs do.

  11. Couch Fan Says:


    No #1 Picks should be a couch fan, unless your nick is sleepy/leaky

  12. Supersam Says:

    I for one actually think with a decent oline a few more upgrades on offense and finally a player who knows what the hell he’s doing!, think that Theres no reason Josh McCown can’t have a good year. Keep Mariota on the bench and let him learn, McCown will be good enough, not great but good enough to win the NFC with a good defense. I just read that Rod Marinellie is expected to be the new defensive coordinator in Tampa!

  13. Supersam Says:

    Play caller*

  14. IStillbleedOrange Says:

    Take the QB with the first pick, or not. Nothing matters if the O-Line is thinner than Papier-mâché. Unless your QB is Otto Graham or Fran Tarkenton, this poor excuse of an O-Line will not protect any QB properly, and lead to more of the same: poor QB play and fans calling for that QB’s removal.

    How can any Bucs fan stomach the though of Glennon behind center when he won’t make the effort to make a first down by simply reaching out the ball? I know many of you know what play I’m referring to. But putting that one play aside, how many times did Glennon run out of bounds behind the line of scrimmage, instead of throwing the ball away? Far too many times Bucs fans. Way too many for my taste. Any good coach can fix mechanical issues. I’m sorry, but you can’t fix stupid. And I believe Glennon has played that way for so long, that part is beyond repair.

    We have time to evaluate everything completely, from the players, the Free Agents, and even possible trades with willing teams. Nothing is going to happen anytime soon. Everyone take a second and take a breath. No amount of ranting or raving we do here is going to change anything, except maybe our opinions of each other. Haters are gonna hate, regardless of logic, so take everything with a grain of salt. In the meantime, are these playoffs great or what?

  15. Brent Says:

    @couchfan. What a dumb take. You should be demoted to the floor. You’d rather have a d-lineman over mariota? I get Winston argument but a d-lineman. That’s absurd. You would be on an island on that on.

  16. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Keep the positive articles on Mariota coming….

    Mariota might get homesick
    Mariota, good pick if you don’t plan to play him…
    Mariota….Buc fans won’t be patient…..

    As for Rogers sitting behind Favre… ’bout we give Bret a call?

  17. Couch Fan Says:


    Why? Because our D-Line is so good that it couldn’t use a stud next to McCoy?

    Yes I would choose Leonard Williams over Mariota in a heart beat. Williams can and will play immediately and most likely be a stud. I’d be happy with Gregory to. Mariota might be good in a few years.

    And btw, I have no problem being demoted closer to your mama.

  18. Mr. Patrick Says:

    NEWS FLASH – Lovie is not going to start a rookie QB no matter who it is. Not unless it’s late in the season and playoffs are out of the picture. Lovie likes vereten guys and is not going to put a rookie in the most important position on the field

  19. Mr. Patrick Says:

    *veteren* ^^^

  20. john fieser Says:

    Just in Marinelli expected to become DC for bucs

  21. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Prediciton…..Lovie’s cofidence poll numbers rise with the hiring of Koetter & Marinelli!!!

  22. Tampa2Dominates Says:

    Said Joe:
    Mariota could be that kind of guy for Tampa Bay, but Joe’s not confident the Bucs could craft the patient, healthy environment Mariota would need.

    Why? Is it lack of confidence in the front office, or ownership? Or are we talking about the media?

    Because if we are talking about the media, then I don’t want to hear it. Look you don’t build the team the way the fans want, and you certainly don’t build it the way the media wants.

    If you think Mariota is the man, then draft him, bench him, and let him learn, and yes you can learn from a veteran QB that is below average. It is about developing skills and seeing there habits and learning how to be a professional. And say what you want about Josh McCown, he is a pro’s pro. Now if we were talking about Josh Freeman, then you may have a point. But I don’t think Mariota is a follower. I take him as a keen observer of his surrounding. At Oregon Derron Thomas declared for the draft because he knew he couldn’t beat out Mariota for the job.

    Bottomline, ensure Lovie and his staff, along with Light the time to build the team there way. Let them draft Mariota and develop him with Koetter and his QB coach. And don’t listen to me, the fan’s or JOE. We will be there when you are right.

    Green Bay, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, New England, are good year in and year out because of stability. We need stability.

    Oh and by the way, the coach for Carson Palmer his rookie year, 1st year DEFENSIVE HEAD COACH, Marvin Lewis. Defensive head coaches can manage good young QB’s, if give the chance.

  23. Buc-O's 82 Says:

    Let Glennon start and McClown can groom Mariota side by side on the sidelines and in practices. Simple! Plus no one could groom Shameis when he’s in the Orient Street Hotel.

  24. cmurda Says:

    What happened to Leslie Frazier? I love Rod but I didn’t even know we were searching.

  25. BB Says:

    Ridiculous talk about sitting all year so simple get veteran QB that can be a mentor play until bye week or first half of year then let mariota play from there FYI the oline should be improved with the changes made the kid will be ready to get started with this plan in place really isn’t rocket science and yes mccown can start for a last short stint

  26. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Mike Glennon was told he is the future. Start him while Mariota sits. It’s as simple as that. McCown only gets $5m if he starts. Make him a backup, his price drops dramatically.

    Glennon gets his shot. He either thrives and builds value, or he bombs and we move on to Mariota.

    Its as simple as that.

  27. todd Says:

    and where are we going with Winston joe ? to 6-10 ?

  28. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    And the new oline would have time to gel before throwing Mariota out there. For once, Glennon would have to earn his position.

  29. Joe Says:

    and where are we going with Winston joe ? to 6-10 ?

    Tripling your win total in one year with a rookie quarterback is pretty good, no?

    This team is nowhere close to being a playoff team.

  30. cmurda Says:

    Wow. Andrew Luck is ridiculous.

  31. Dick2111 Says:

    With a much better OL, McCown could probably lead us to an 8-8 season. Given our history over the past decade, I’d consider that successful IF we’re building a good young team with good chemistry. If however we continue to be a rotating door for middle-of-the-pack FAs and more off-the-street rookies named “who-the-heck-is-that-playing-defense-for- us-this-week”, we will have wasted another year. Successful teams aren’t built like that.

    Really hope we pick Mariota but that we do show patience in bringing him along. Have become a big fan of up-tempo offenses and think that Marcus is better suited to run that type of offense.

  32. unbelievable Says:

    I’m in agreement with you Bonzai.

    If, after interviewing and working him out, they were comfortable with his ability to anticipate and throw into tight windows. Just bc he isnt asked to do it a lot, doesn’t mean he can’t. I’ll leave that to Koetter and co. to decide.

  33. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I called Marinelli to Tampa after the season ended…and I called it when Frazier was hired last year. I was told, once again, ‘how wrong I was. “Jerry will offer him toroe much money!”

    I was right. Again. When will you people learn? I am the Football Prophet!

    So mark this in your books…the Bucs will draft Mariota.

  34. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Fyi, I believe Dez Bryant is a freieu agent now as well.

  35. Great stuff Says:

    Pro football focus has a great piece comparing mariota and Winston. Metrics project mariota to be better. Very surprising. All this Winston is superior talk can be put to bed using their stats. Joe, can you post the link?

    Plus whos going to allow their daughter to wear a Winston jersey. Not me

  36. Brent Says:

    @couchfan, That type logic is why we are the worst franchise in the nfl history. But your wish will never happen. Qb is the most important position on the field. We have the #1 pick.A d lineman over a qb prospect that gets an ‘a’ grade and the greatest gm in modern times (polian)calls a russell Wilson type player. Did you catch the holiday bowl? Both those boys you like, their d-lines gave up 40 points each. they had no impact on game. I didn’t even hear Gregory’s name called. Some USC lineman must have owned him. Conversly, Mariota, best player in football, controls his team and puts up 60 on fsu.. I could live with Winston that’s it.

  37. chris k Says:

    @BuccaneerBonzai, We all know already that we’re taking Mariota. Only Joe doesn’t know and is in love with Winston. The majority of us are very confident Mariota is our pick no matter how many JameisWatches we must suffer through.

  38. MTM Says:

    How does anybody know that Rodgers couldn’t have played immediately. No one will ever know because he sat the “Junk Texter” while he dangled with retirement every year to skip training camp.
    Mariota is a sharp quick thinker. He will be much better than any of the current scrubs that are on the roster.

  39. Mr. Patrick Says:

    Mike Glennon is the Buc’s QB of the future. Lovie said so

  40. Eric Says:

    Well if they pick a QB at one then Glennon is a goner.

    I could see them playing Josh and sitting either Mariota or Winston. I’m down with that Josh is a great mentor.

    The Glazer’s understand the total train wreck Lovie took over. No QB and five draft choices.

    They have learned their lesson firing proven coaches at the whim of the fan base.

  41. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Eric

    I agree that if we draft QB….Glennon is probably gone…..McCown would have to restructure to say…..he is at $5,250 m……..perhaps a 2 year 6 mil deal would work…..
    My prediction is that Glennon will fetch a 2nd or 3rd rounder….the QB draft is weak and there are many looking of a young cheap backup/eventual starter…

    Bucs, Tenn……….Jets, Bills, Rams, Cardinals, Jets, Texans…..

  42. Couch Fan Says:


    There’s nothing wrong with the logic of prefering a more impactful player rather than a project QB with the #1 pick. This fan base will chew Mariota up and spit him out just like they did with Glennon if he doesn’t go all pro his rookie year. I for one, would feel sorry for the kid.

  43. jfat Says:

    @eric I sure hope the Glazers have that mindset. I’m sick of the head coaching carousel personally.

  44. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Great playoffs! 3 of the 4 teams I was rooting for won! Hopefully Luck can take care of Brady next week.

    And so imagine this. Of course they interviewed the winning QB’s after the game and Wilson again this morning on the pregame of Fox.

    Wilson was so incredibly smooth and articulate. Says all the right things. Makes Seattle fans proud. Luck gets interviewed on the field after the game and is the consummate teammate praising all the other players but doing it not out of a rote sense of saying the right thing but because he’s truly a team guy and believes what he is saying.

    Now imagine Jameis getting interviewed after the game or Marcus? Yeah you gotta win to get interviewed but “face of the franchise” is a heavy burden.
    Mariota only has to improve on the field. Jameis some on the field and a ton off the field. I’m not talking about the trouble I’m talking about the fact that despite all the Jameis supporters assuring us of his manifest intelligence, and indeed he may be a very bright kid, he’s totally inarticulate and embarrassing in interviews. Not a reason to make a decision unless everything else is tied, I get that.

  45. crazy Says:

    #1 QB’s earn their way on to the field. Rodgers had the (mis)fortune of having to beat out a legend who turned out to be pretty indestructible. Nothing like that here, so worry about the O-line that’s gonna get one of these guys killed.

  46. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Every situation is unique yet we look to find a convenient pigeonhole.

    Rodgers had one experience. Russell Wilson had another. Wilson beat out Flynn who was brought to Seattle to be the starter. If Wilson had gone to New England we still wouldn’t know his name. Denver ditto. He was a 3rd rounder and selected presumably to backup Flynn at best. Pete Carroll is a mensch! He’s not the typical NFL coach. He plays the best players even if one of them makes one of his decision look bad..signing Flynn.

    Do we think Lovie would do that? I do not feel Glennon ever got a fair shot at competing with McCown. No I’m not in the MGM. Just saying if Lovie has a QB already in mind and he drafts one of the Heismans he will sit that player even if that player EARNS the right to be the starter.

    All I ask for is a fair competition in training camp,.

  47. The Buc Realist Says:

    We all know deep down, that if Lovie drafts a QB it will be for the next head coach!!!

  48. Brent Says:

    @couchfan. You can’t play to the fan base? They don’t have the expertise. Same reason I don’t agree with this article. If mg best guy next year put rookie on the bench and let mg play. Fans are crazy. I remember people thinking Sean king and Eric zeire were better than dilfer. Those guys were 3rd stringers.

  49. 87ForJameisNoMariota Says:

    The Buc Realist Says:
    January 11th, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    “We all know deep down, that if Lovie drafts a QB it will be for the next head coach!!!”

    Realist my man…I concur. Thus is why I want the criminole.

  50. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    A change in coach usually means a change in quarterback. Unless Lovies replacement is Dirk in a couple years.

  51. port richey george Says:

    a similar scenario was when phillip rivers was drafted near the top of the draft(san diego drafted then traded eli manning to ny during draft). san diego had drew brees at QB. this created quite a pickle. phillip rivers had to sit. questions were raised why they selected a QB.

  52. Erik with Clean Athletics Says:

    Joe, get it through your thick skull. If Cam Newton can start and have success as a rookie, Mariota definitely can. I guarantee that we will draft Mariota and he will start from Day 1. Everyone who would rather have Winston is an idiot.
    Former Buccaneers head coach Tony Dungy is an unabashed fan of Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. Dungy recently told Dan Patrick that Mariota would be a great pro quarterback.

    “Marcus Mariota is a fantastic player,” Dungy said. “He’s going to be a great pro. He can throw from the pocket. I watched him in practice. I watched him in training camp for three years when my son was at Oregon. Not only is he going to be a great quarterback, he’s going to be a great person – face of the franchise for whoever takes him. I think this is Aaron Rodgers in the waiting.”

    Dungy was asked if he would draft the Heisman Trophy winner if he were the general manager of the Buccaneers.

    “I’m taking Marcus Mariota in a heartbeat, and I’m excited to have him,” Dungy said.

  53. OhioBucFan Says:

    Jameis Winston = Fat Albert = JaMarcus Russell = Vince Young = Josh Freeman. Please no Jameis Winston for the Bucs. Bucs should draft Marcus Mariotta. BTW Jameis Winston Russell Wilson.

  54. OhioBucFan Says:

    Jameis Winston = Fat Albert = JaMarcus Russell = Vince Young = Josh Freeman. Please no Jameis Winston for the Bucs. Bucs should draft Marcus Mariotta. BTW Jameis Winston is not Russell Wilson.

  55. Joe Says:

    Joe, get it through your thick skull. If Cam Newton can start and have success as a rookie, Mariota definitely can. I guarantee that we will draft Mariota and he will start from Day 1. Everyone who would rather have Winston is an idiot.

    So, you want your quarterback to get the hell beat out of him like Newton? No one gets beat up more than him – mot even close — but Newton can take to a degree because the dude is built like a truck.

    So, NFL types wanting a pro-style quarterback to play in an NFL offense are all idiots? Imagine. LOL

  56. canadian bucsfan Says:

    I won’t be mad if we draft Jamis but I don’t understand how everyone says Mariota can’t start right away but they also state how smart Mariota is? I believe he can go under center and learn how to be an accurate quick decision making QB. Russle Wilson wasn’t supposed to be a starter his rookie year either but he beat Flynn n Jackson out. Why not start the best QB in camp? I’m sure Mariota would beat out Mccown

  57. Delson Says:

    So, NFL types wanting a pro-style quarterback to play in an NFL offense are all idiots? Imagine. LOL

    They must be idiots cuz so few have come in n dominated the game. A mobile qb could be just as dangerous. Look at what vick did with the falcons. Mcnabb could scramble but he played in the pocket more than he ran. So maybe the conventional qb isn’t what we need. Why rely only on a qbs arm when he could be as effective or more effective running. Just imagine takin away that extra guy on vjax or evans because the defense needs a qb spy. Hmm imagine that. Mariota in a spread offense would make tb games more interesting. Winston throws too many jump balls n many in double coverage. Imagine having a qb that can scramble with a hail mary routes like rg3 did to us his rookie year. He’s tall n skinny but at least he ain’t short n skinny like manziel.

  58. Self-proclaimed GM Says:

    Joe… your more convinced that it’s smarter to take someone who is more “ready now” and not the guy with the higher ceiling???? SCREW THAT!!! Take the better QB. Take the smarter QB. Take the QB that has better feet and a better head on they’re shoulders. Take a QB that doesn’t disrespect his coaches when things heat up. Take a QB that the majority of the fans want. Take a QB that will lead this Franchise out of the dark ages. If this team takes Winston I am done…..The guy is a big headed, cocky kid that is going to get his a$$ kicked in the NFL.

    LOVIE….JASON…..TAKE MARIOTA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Joe never said either guy had a higher ceiling. –Joe

  59. BoJim Says:

    he’s totally inarticulate and embarrassing in interviews. Not a reason to make a decision unless everything else is tied, I get that.

    And still you say it. Hmmmm.

  60. caradoc Says:

    Mariota can be our Russell Wilson. Winston would be our Josh Freeman II.

  61. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    I say it BoJim because I do believe things are close to equal. Jameis is not going to make a great face of the franchise. Nor did Josh Freeman.

    The ONLY skill Jameis has is on the field. Face of the franchise requires sooo much more.

    Don’t believe me? Read Rick Stroud’s interview with Derrick Brooks in yesterday’s Times. Brooks says EXACTLY that same thing and is not yet ready to endorse Jameis as the pick. And this after establishing a relationship with Jameis. That says volumes to me.