“At A High-Degree Of Difficulty”

February 6th, 2015


Out in Phoenix during Super Bowl week, Joe chatted with a renowned former wide receiver about one of the great surprises of Tampa Bay’s 2014 season.

No, Mike Evans playing well was not shocking, but for the bumbling Bucs to have two 1,000-yard receivers, Evans and Vincent Jackson, was stunning.

One of the best players never to make a Pro Bowl, ex-Giants WR Amani Toomer, had five consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and caught 668 balls. He knows a thing or two about the position after 13 years and earning a Super Bowl ring.

Toomer said Evans’ and Jackson’s accomplishment was special.

“It tells you that they did it at a high-degree of difficulty because of the quarterbacks situation,” Toomer said. “Usually, there’s guys that get all these opportunities, or they have the top-flight quarterbacks. But to get that amount of production, it says something. … But it also means maybe their quarterback situation is not as bad as people think.”

That last QB comment sent chills down Joe’s spine. Joe hopes Lovie Smith isn’t going there.

Toomer went on to say that as much as the Bucs need a QB, the worst thing the team could do would be to reach for a QB with”reach” thing annoys Joe. If your coaching and scouting staff believes a college QB can be a winning NFL starter rather quickly, and your team needs a quarterback, it’s not a reach to draft him.

53 Responses to ““At A High-Degree Of Difficulty””

  1. Mr. Patrick Says:

    When you have 2 recievers with over 1000 yards it means somebody was throwing them the ball. Bucs can use that logic right there to skip drafting a QB

  2. 87ForJameisNOMariota Says:

    Patrick…yes they can also bury their hand in the sand and pretend that what we all saw from the QB position was actually pretty good. I guess you saw something different from that position than MOST of the fans. Screw it all let’s roll with McClown again..

    Ha ha ha ha whatever.


    Please draft get here soon so all this silly talk will end. It will become more clear to you in a about 2 months who they are taking. Then MAYBE, and that’s a big maybe all this trade down, draft a DL stuff will end. We will ALL know who they are taking in LESS than 2 months. That’s my prediction in the less than TWO months.

  3. CreamsicleBananaHammock Says:

    I think it’s pretty obvious that the Bucs will be taking a QB in this draft. The Glazers have always wanted a young franchise QB (fired the best coach in TB history bc of his refusal to go young at that position) and you do not throw the last game of the season to draft a DE or to trade down.

    I don’t think the Glazers will tell the front office WHO to draft, but there is no doubt in my mind they have told them WHAT to draft with that first pick.

  4. bucrightoff Says:

    When Lovie drafts Leonard Williams, the fanbase will be mostly united again…sure it’ll be in hatred, but united it will be. Lovie’s gonna (correctly) deduct Williams adds more wins than sitting a rookie QB, and Lovie needs wins or he’s fired. 2-14, 5-11 is fired even if he drafts a QB at #1. To have as many wins in two years as Schiano did in 1, and 3 less than Raheem’s best season… It’s not particularly hard to figure out, 2-14 doomed drafting a QB at #1. No instant starters in this draft, both QBs are flawed and need work. Lovie can’t wait. And he won’t either.

  5. Luther Says:

    If Lovie drafts anything other than a QB, the fans will be calling for his head. Sure there are a few fans wanting a lineman but I’m quite sure the overwhelming majarity of fans want a QB. I want Winston but I could get behind Mariota for a year or two until he flops.

  6. Mr. Patrick Says:

    Guys, it’s not only smokescreen season, but it’s also float stupid rumor season.
    A friend of mine that lives in Georgetown told me earlier that on their local sports radio station this morning an “insider” called in and said they had heard that the Skins were working on a deal with the Bucs that would send Mike Glennon and Vincent Jackson to the Skins for RG3 and a 2nd or 3rd round pick. If the folks up there beleive that I have some swampland that I would like to unload

  7. 87ForJameisNOMariota Says:

    Luther fans will revolt for sure. Nobody believes a damn thing Lovie says anymore. Perhaps the gullible might. Remember the words…..”WE DON’T EXPECT OUR FANS TO BE PATIENT”. That was last off season.

    I certainly don’t believe a damn thing that man says.

    That last part was for you “TheKevin”. Cause the haters gonna hate hate hate hate….

  8. bucrightoff Says:

    The overwhelming majority of fans want a winner, not a QB. You can argue a QB helps makes you a winner, but a QB unto itself accomplishes nothing. Fans will be pissed a year from now if they draft a QB and go 4-12. It won’t buy Lovie any time.

    The biggest reason why Lovie won’t draft a QB was on display last year: He literally thought he could win 10 games with Josh McCown. I mean literally, no joke, not “Haha that’s hilarious Lovie”…he was serious. He thinks he can go to the playoff on defense alone. He needs pass rush help. It just makes too much sense even if everyone will hate it.

  9. 87ForJameisNOMariota Says:

    “TheKevin” just needs to shake it off.

  10. 87ForJameisNOMariota Says:

    bucrightoff…and if they draft Williams and then go 4-12…then what?

  11. Mr. Patrick Says:

    It doesn’t matter if Winston, Mariota, Montana, Marino or Favre were the Buc’s QB was this past year, they would still not have been any better than 2-14. Just too much really bad play everywhere, no OC and the league’s worst O-Line.
    Buc’s have a lot of positions to upgrade and lots of work to do

  12. bucrightoff Says:

    4-12 is fired no matter what. Would you seriously give a guy, who was a 9 year NFL vet before becoming Bucs coach, a third year after winning 6 games in 2 years? His previous low for an entire season was 5. I mean there aren’t many coaches period who get a third year off that, but a long-time NFL coach doing it? No chance.

    So drafting a QB buys him no time is my point. No one’s gonna think “Yeah we’ve won 6 games in two years, but he drafted a QB #1 so lets give him a chance to hit double digit wins in year 3”. There is no year 3.

  13. Luther Says:

    @bucrightoff winning starts behind center. As an original MGM I feel we need to develop our own QB. You can’t just run the ball and play good defense. You need a QB and the only way you get a chance at one is through the draft. Do you tend to over-value them? Absolutely but you have to draft one.

    Look…The Colts drafted a QB when they had a terrible season even though they has a HOFer on their team. When you are terrible, it’s what you do to get out of it. Even injured, Manning had more to give that the turd we have in McCown.

    Evans could be a HOFer himself if we do this right. We OBJ had a great rookie season but I think Evans could have run aways with rookie of the year if he had a decent QB. Are people so willing to forget the disaster McCown was?

    Bottomline, draft Winston and enjoy the ride.

  14. knucknbuc Says:

    @bucrightoff so how many wins does Leonard Williams get us for next year in ur scenario? Lol yea that’s what I thought ur logic doesn’t equal more wins either. With picking a qb not only does lovie get a year he hopefully fixes the most important position in football for years to come.

    Lovie not only is going to take a qb but he has to take a qb.

  15. bucrightoff Says:

    A QB sitting on the bench does nothing at all…literally. Leonard Williams improves the pash rush, and since the Lovie defenders love pointing out how many 1 score losses there were, does an improved pass rush not equal at least a few more wins? Most likely.

    Besides, Lovie is one of the worst QB evaluators in league history. Do people even want him picking the QB? I really don’t, he knows nothing about QBs. My stool knows more about QBs. If he was fired and we had an actual offensive coach, drafting a QB makes sense. Worst QB evaluator in the league making the choice? Doesn’t sound like it’ll end well does it?

  16. crazy Says:

    Toomer’s point is valid. The NFL record books are full of great QB’s whose teams flamed out year after year – Marino, Manning, Favre, Vick come to mind. Even though they won a lot of games with their teams they never won enough of the big games. Whether you call it reaching or you call it over-paying it leads to nothing but hard feelings and disappointment. Whoever is taken at #1 needs to be worth it or you might as well trade it.

  17. Luther Says:

    I don’t want an extra 2 or 3 wins. If you don’t have a QB, you have no shot at a championship. Ask the Cardinals or the Rams who they would pick if given the choice. I bet they would take Winston without blinking an eye.

  18. Buctebow Says:

    I’ll be shocked if we don’t get a QB and also shocked if that QB isn’t Mariota.
    Mariota can do what they want with the short quick passing game, has good escape-ability and he is the type of person they want both in character and work ethic. All of the rumors and inside information that we will continue to hear is unfounded speculation, or a smokescreen. Think about who Lovie is and what he stands for. Think of the Glazers and who they want to be the face of the franchise. I have even heard that Mariota is more marketable. Logically, it will be Mariota, to suggest otherwise is ludicrous. Personally, I don’t care as long as things change positively.

  19. bucsfan4lyf Says:




  20. Luther Says:

    One thing about Marino…the guy would have multiple rings if he played today. Different time…different game. Manning and Favre both have a ring and Vick is a running QB and even he had a great impact early in his career. We have noe of the above.

  21. Mr. Patrick Says:

    @ Luther
    Winning is a group effort. Some say it starts under center, some say it starts up front and some say it starts with just defense. However, no team wins with a major weak link. Manning is a great QB but looked horrible in last year’s Superbowl because his O-Line got dominated. Falcons havs been horrible because with all that talent on offense, they have a poor defense. Jets have a good defense but no offense. Matthew Stafford has led the league in pass attempts a couple of years but they have trouble making the playoffs
    My point is the Bucs have so many weak links right now that it would be great if they could turn their pick into more picks and start to build a solid winning roster, not just use it on one player that they will still not win with
    A lot of people say “draft your QB and build around him” Ask Vinnie and Trent how that philosophy worked for them

  22. bucrightoff Says:

    The Cardinals and Rams have, generously, triple the talent level we do. So yeah of course they’d take a QB, that’s all they need. The Bucs have so many holes it’s not even funny

  23. gatrbuc17 Says:

    Been sayin it Forever…………….A Good OL makes average QBs look great. A bad OL can make great QBs look bad.
    Bring Scherff AND Peat to town and see how much better the OL will be.
    FIND a way to get it done L&L

  24. gatrbuc17 Says:

    Winning starts behind Center……………………………………ROTFLMMFAO
    Still can’t stop laughing.

  25. lurker Says:

    there are more ways to fix the trenches than qb. you are rarely going to sign a great qb as a free agent nor trade for one. you definitely can for the olines and dlines. hell we signed/traded for 2 probowl olinemen.

    we have already spent more money and picks on the lines than at qb. we got a backup as a starter at qb and a qb chosen third in a qb- poor draft class. this is the biggest hole. time to spend the #1 on a qb, preferably winston.

  26. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Your recievers can get 1000 each when you have no running game….

    For all of you who think we are not drafting a QB…..answer this question…..

    Why would we sit Mike Glennon after it was crystal clear that McCown couldn’t get the job done…..???

    If we had any thoughts of not drafting a QB…..we would have given him the opportunity to get as much experience as possible.

  27. Mr. Patrick Says:

    @ Luther
    All good points. However the Bucs tried to fix the trenches in free agency last year and it blew up in their face

  28. pick6 Says:

    QB play and coaching was obviously a factor in those statistical milestones, and not necessarily in a good way. it tells me that we were not capable of getting more players involved in our offense. especially once glennon went back to the bench, we were mostly a 2-target passing game

  29. gatrbuc17 Says:

    1.5 seconds to throw the ball is still 1.5 seconds no matter who is throwing.
    The “Elite” QBs all get around 4 seconds. Hmmmmmmmm I wonder if there is a correlation?

  30. CreamsicleBananaHammock Says:


    and then what do we do at QB? Sign Hoyer? Go w Glennon? Wait until next year and pray we’re in position to draft a franchise QB again?

    It’s asinine to do anything other than take a QB when you hvae the chance to

  31. Hawk Says:

    CreamsicleBananaHammock Said:

    “The Glazers have always wanted a young franchise QB (fired the best coach in TB history bc of his refusal to go young at that position)”

    I have NEVER read/heard the Glazers say one word about the QB position. I believe you are making quite a leap. I would also like to see a QUOTE (from the Glazers) that says Gruden was fired because he “refused to go young at that position”. There has been lots of speculation, but I have yet to read/hear ANYTHING from the Glazers putting Gruden and the QB position together. I am not saying that it is NOT the reason he was fired. I AM saying that I don’t know, because I have no PROOF to work from. If you have a link to a Glazer quote, I would be VERY happy to read it.

    “…you do not throw the last game of the season to draft a DE or to trade down.”

    Sure you do! The very first pick, of the draft, is THE most valuable commodity during the entire off season. You have the option to do ANYTHING.

    “I don’t think the Glazers will tell the front office WHO to draft, but there is no doubt in my mind they have told them WHAT to draft with that first pick.”

    Exactly what is it, in the Glazers past, that leads you to this conclusion? I have yet to read/hear ONE instance where ANY of the Glazers have EVER gotten involved with player decisions. In fact, I remember ‘Papa’ Glazer saying that their expertise is not in football, so they will hire ‘football’ people to do the ‘football’ things. I have yet to see ANY indication that the sons are doing things differently. For that reason, *I* do not believe the Glazers are any more likely to be involved now than before. The only caveat, is *IF* the Glazers are concerned about Winston’s background enough to say, “No”. But I doubt even that will happen. The Glazers have always been willing to let their GM/HC ‘sink or swim’ on their own.

  32. gatrbuc17 Says:

    In No way is it asinine when neither are a Slam Dunk Cream!
    I dont care if Aaron Rodgers was our QB this yr we wouldnt have won 6 or 7 games and he would probably be injured. Anyone who has ever played football knows that the “war” is won in the trenches. “Elite” qbs are only “Elite” because of their OL. Look what happened with Peyton. Pressure will bust a pipe every time. Sorry I just think that we are SO FAR away that unless Andrew Luck is there I would rather get 4 to 6 picks for that one.

  33. Patrick Says:

    With all the quarterback busts this franchise has drafted over it’s history, you’d think we’d get lucky at least ONE time and get the right one.

  34. Luther Says:

    @Patrick I certainly think the Bucs need to draft lineman. We can both agree on that for sure. I just think the first pick has to be QB.

    Those that laugh at the “Winning starts behind center” can look at the last 11 of 12 Superbowl Champs. They all had decent QB’s that they themselves drafted. Brees was the only free-agent and he was available because he was injured.

  35. lurker Says:

    “I AM saying that I don’t know, because I have no PROOF to work from.”


    rarely does “proof” get posted here. people attribute things incorrectly all the time here.

  36. 87ForJameisNOMariota Says:

    Winston to Vjax and Evans all day looooong.

    Oh man I think I just had an orgasm.

  37. lurker Says:


    where do you get your times from? the 1.5 and 4 seconds?

    and…we added plenty to our oline last year, including 2 probowlers from great teams with great qb’s. so these 2 suddenly forgot how to play?

    it is well past time to pay attention to our biggest hole and weakest link…qb (and coaching?)

  38. bucrightoff Says:

    As I keep saying, the 87 meltdown when they don’t draft Jameis is gonna be incredible. Looking forward to it big time.

  39. Couch Fan Says:

    Every year its the same, “Trade down, get QB next year”. You can’t do that every year. At some point you got to take your guy and this is the best opportunity we will have. I’m not a guy that wants a QB every year either. But reality is this is going to be our best shot without having to trade up to get him.

  40. Kalind Says:

    Bucrightoff. Dude, your ignoring history. Name the last rookie DE to play well. Not 10+ sacks, just well enough to be like “this guys special”. I think Reggie White maybe? I’m a little too young to remember his rookie year though, see I’m only 28.

    Rookie DEs suck their first year too. Williams isn’t improving out pass rush. Not his first year. In which case, according to you, Lovie is gone anyway.

  41. Couch Fan Says:

    Williams isn’t improving out pass rush.


    Williams might inprove our pass rush but unless he scores tons of TDs to, he wont help our win/loss column because we wont be putting enough many points on the board with McCown to win.

  42. bucrightoff Says:

    Aaron Donald had 9 sacks last year despite only starting the 2nd half of the year. The consensus is Williams is better than Donald. You’re welcome Kalind

  43. Barry Says:

    Evans would be the ROY if they would have started and stayed with Mike Glennon. #BadDecisionsSmithLicht

  44. Iknowmorethanlovie Says:

    Two great talents mad 2 bad QBs look decent. Imagine how good they are with a good QB…

  45. lurker Says:

    no he wouldn’t. wr was deep last year and there is nothing to say evans is the best. wasn’t beckham, jr injured?

    “Despite playing only 12 games, due to the hamstring injury that kept him out until October, he still finished with 91 catches, 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns.”

    “Beckham, who got 42 of a possible 50 votes, was the obvious choice over the other two finalists — Cowboys guard Zack Martin (seven votes) and Bucs WR Mike Evans (1 vote).”

  46. lurker Says:


  47. bucrightoff Says:

    Yeah ODB you could argue was legit in the top 5 WRs in the ENTIRE league by the end of the year. Evans will be great for sure but ODB has special talent. His route running skills are already exceptional.

  48. IStillbleedOrange Says:

    You are spot on about Reggie White. He had 23.5 sacks in his first two seasons as a professional. He was a special talent, seen maybe once in a generation.

    If Williams is that type of player, then by all means get him. To see a player like that on the field with GMC…how frightening would that be to an opposing QB?

    But, if he’s not that guy, take the QB to build this team around. Or else fix the nonsense that is our Offensive line, because it doesn’t matter who the QB is if our line doesn’t change for the better.

  49. Hawk Says:

    lurker Said:


    “rarely does “proof” get posted here. people attribute things incorrectly all the time here.”

    LOL. You are right. We are in ‘The Land of Opinions’. And I am kind of partial to mine. ;^)
    Ultimately, none of it (our ‘opinions’) matters.

  50. BoJim Says:

    87ForJameisNOMariota Says:

    Oh man I think I just had an orgasm.

    Again? Bet your pants can stand up by themselves. 😉

    Draft Winston. Let him sit behind Glennon.

    Then go oline.

  51. FortMyersDave Says:

    Iknowmorethanlovie Says:

    “Two great talents mad 2 bad QBs look decent. Imagine how good they are with a good QB…”:

    Concise and to the point! Throw in simply an average OL to give that decent qb time and these guys could have really been churning up the yards and TDs. Evans and V-Jack also make each other look good as the opposing D’s marquee CB can only cover one of them. And this is a big if; but IF ASJ and Sims actually can perform to 70% of what people thought they were capable of before the injuries then ASJ could be a lurking threat and Sims can be a great dump off outlet via the screen that would give the opposing D a lot more to worry about than V-Jack and Evans as they did in 2014’s vanilla but first off they need to be healthy enough to stay on the field to catch the ball…..

  52. Hawk Says:

    With an ‘average’ O-line, the Bucs would have had more success at running and therefore thrown fewer passes. Evans and Jackson had a great season because there was no alternative if the offense wished to move the ball.

  53. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Ask the Cardinals or the Rams who they would pick if given the choice.

    AGAIN. The Rams used the top pick in the draft on a QB just few years back.

    How come they need a QB.

    The Cardinals used the 10th pick in the draft six years ago on a QB!!!

    How come they need a QB.

    So to recap. Please stop using the Rams and the Cardinals to make a point about the NEED to draft a QB in the 1st round. They do not MAKE your point…they DESTROY IT!!

    BTW The Rams used the #1 pick in the draft, the Cards the #10 pick and both selections were HEISMAN TROPHY WINNERS!

    Jameis or Marcus MAY be the real deal. NEITHER of them is a slam dunk if history is any indication!!