The Table Is Set?

May 5th, 2015

A big Marcus Mariota backer and a former Super Bowl winning coach isn’t sure the Bucs hit the jackpot with Jameis Winston, but he believes young Jameis won NFL’s version of a winning scratch-off ticket.

Brian Billick, who has called several Bucs games for FOX over the years, hopped on CBS Radio yesterday and talked about how Mariota might become the next David Carr because he has so little talent around him in Tennessee.

On the other hand, Billick thinks the Bucs have a full deck with Vincent Jackson, Mike Evans, Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Doug Martin.

“He comes into a great situation,” said Billick, who liked the Bucs’ offensive line fortification in the draft.

Educated Bucs fans know Lovie Smith believes the Bucs were “on the verge” of great things in December. And now Lovie has all kinds of new toys. Jason Licht is confident, too.

Joe must be missing something. Joe’s not in the camp that thinks the Bucs are primed for a worst-to-first turnaround in 2015. But the NFC South is a mess, so there’s plenty of hope flowing at world headquarters.

32 Responses to “The Table Is Set?”

  1. Buc1987 Says:

    8 wins and nothing less.

  2. bucs4lyfe Says:

    don’t have to be worst to first but atleast if they are fighting for a wildcard with a rookie qb i’ll consider it a successful season but having a rookie is no excuse for losing in this day and age because this years draft picks are surrounded by nfl veterans theres just no more excuses lovie has to and should win this year

  3. kaput Says:

    I don’t care about wins next season, I care about watching the product improve as the season plays out.

    2016 is the money season for me.

  4. Bucs fan in Chicago Says:

    it always seems so positive and hopeful this time of year….

  5. bucco brice Says:

    if the O-Line and pass rush improve, can’t see why we wouldn’t contend…

  6. Jolly Bucs Fan Says:

    I agree with kaput.

    2016 is the season it all comes together,

    Playoff bound, fire the cannons baby!

  7. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    Alfonso Dennard, Patriots CB, late of Cornhusker Fame, is going to be cut today. Are the Bucs going to be takers. This is the guy who punched out the Lincoln cop the week of the draft a few years back.

  8. HawaiianBuc Says:

    Sounds like the seeds are being planted for some excuses for Mariota not having success (just kidding Mariota mob members, Billick is probably right). I’m probably in the minority because I think Mariota is going to do very well in the beginning. The offense will most likely be very simplified, and he won’t have to take many chances. The NFL is going to have to catch up to his speed, just like they had to with Kaepernick and RG3. Problem is, they WILL catch up to him, and he’s going to have to learn to play from the pocket, which he’s never done. Winston, on the other hand, I think will show flashes of brilliance and flashes of McCown early on. But I think he will keep improving with every game, and I’m hoping for at least some meaningful games in November and December. Seems like forever since that happened.

  9. drdneast Says:

    Let me ask a question and maybe this will answer why Lovie is so confident about this year.
    How many games do you think the Bucs would have won with a competent OC, let alone one who is as good as Dirk Koetter.
    Also, how many games do you think the Bucs would have won without the bumbling inept play of McCown tossing up INT’s and fumbles in crucial situations.
    Take away the Ravens and Falcon games and the team played very close games throughout the year.
    If Koetter can keep Winston from throwing a god awful amount of INT’s, which I believe he will, then there is reason for such optimism.

  10. TheShaz Says:

    Worst to middle of the pack – and I will be happy.

    Even if Jameis tears it up on offense like he did in 2013 – The Bucs defense IMHO need help.

    And as good as I hope Winston will be, he will still be a rookie, behind a young rookie filled O-line.

  11. ColoradoBuc Says:

    it always seems so positive and hopeful this time of year….

    Yes, and if you are not improving, you are falling behind.

  12. drdneast Says:

    HawaiinBuc, the NFL has already caught up with how to defend spread offense QB’s.
    Notice how the play of Kapernick, RG III and Cam Newton have all regressed over the last couple of years when it should be improving.
    The teams are using the same concepts the Bucs used when they played Michael Vick. Mush rushes and spies with zone coverage drives them nuts. Collapse the tackles and keep the QB contained and force him to throw the ball from the pocket.

  13. Jim Says:

    Just score 24 points a game and we will be in the playoffs.

  14. cspann Says:


    I agreee. I think finally having a real OC and a talented QB will push this team like never before.

  15. NCMike Says:

    On balance, Marcus Mariota should have a bit more help than Winston. Tennessee’s offensive line looks better than Tampa’s depressing unit from a year ago. The receiving options are comparable. While Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans are an awesome starting duo, Mariota is not hurting for targets with Kendall Wright, Justin Hunter, Dorial Green-Beckham, Delanie Walker, Harry Douglas and Hakeem Nicks.
    Doesn’t look like Marcus is hurting for weapons IMO

  16. HawaiianBuc Says:


    Yes I agree, but I still think he’s going to have success early on. Now early on might be 6 games, but out of the gate, I think he’ll be pretty good. Probably the biggest reason is the simplified play book. They will run what he is comfortable to run, and won’t have him do anything he’s not used to doing. He’ll throw a bunch of short passes (out of the shotgun of course), and I’m sure they will push the tempo. He’s not going to have to go through 3 reads. It will be one or two reads, then off to the races. He’s faster than these defenses will realize, which will lead to bad angles and big plays. Once they grasp his style and speed, it will be a different story.

  17. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    The Bucs have no starting level talent at defensive end or the two safety positions. As we have all heard numerous times, a pass rush is necessary for the Tampa 2 to be effective. The defense is going to struggle because of this. I don’t have high expectations for this season. There are just too many holes for the team to contend for anything. I think we will be lucky to win 6 games. My primary hope is for JW to play well next year. I think they will have a top 10 pick in 2016 and they need to get a stud DE and safeties. If they do that they could contend for a wild card spot in 2016.

  18. Snook Says:

    Bill Parcells said something similar about Winston on The Herd yesterday…

  19. P'cola Buc Says:

    If Jameis has some extra interceptions in his first year he would be in good company. In their first 16 game seasons can you guess who had a 19-24 and a 26-28 touchdown-interception ratios? That was Brett Farve and Peyton Manning respectively. Yes sir good company indeed. Go Bucs!

  20. Lord Cornelius Says:

    He won a NC as a freshman why not superbowl lol. I’m all in !

  21. Eric Says:

    I expect Marcus to do very well. He could change a game with that speed. A couple of Russell Wilson type back breaking runs per game. And hes smart and can throw.

    One would think with our new OC and the draft toys we should be vastly improved.

    Especially Mr. Winston.

  22. LargoBuc Says:

    The Bucs play a very lax schedule. Other than Dallas qnd Indy there is not one team that is that much better than them. There is absolutely zero excuse for us not to start off 1-0. Lovie has to have this team ready to hit hard. We have playmakers that offensive coaches drool over.

  23. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Scrw waiting until 2016!!! Let’s roll next year. Let’s get our feet wet in the playoffs like the LIghtning did last year so that we’ll be ready to actually make a run in 2016.

    We play in a horrible division. We have a soft schedule. We should win 10 games and be one and done in the playoffs.

    IF the top three draft picks simply live up their expectations our offense should rock. Then add the missing speed with Bell and a healthy Sims.

    Everyone of the FA’s was a defensive player with experience in Lovie’s defense. No big need to turn them around. We should head out of camp next year with all cylinders firing on both offense and defense!!!

  24. Buc1987 Says:

    StPeteBucsFan…glad to see we’re on the same page…finally.

  25. MadMax Says:

    Dont forget about Mariota being injury prone. And as a running QB in the NFL, thats a knock against him.

  26. MadMax Says:

    Alright, making my first prediction since the draft. 6-8 wins….assuming our picks arent missing games with injuries, Jameis in particular. It should be more with our weak schedule, but everyone needs some time to get gelling.

  27. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    We went 2-14 guys. Everybody needs to calm down. We are still far from being a complete team. Look at the roster on defense and you should be a little scared. We have 4 guys at key positions that are back ups at best but actually closer to practice squad guys. Our offense has an over the hill guard, a sub par center and two rookies.

    Our secondary is going to get killed this year with a lack of a pass rush and no real safeties out there. I really wish they would have kept Clayborne and Goldsten around. They were at least better than what we have now.

  28. Buc1987 Says:

    “I really wish they would have kept Clayborne and Goldsten around. They were at least better than what we have now.”

    That remains to be seen and you can’t be any worse.

  29. BoJim Says:

    I remember our expectations for last year. 8 wins, 9 wins, playoffs. Think I’ll keep my mouth shut this time. At least till we get a few wins under our belt. 😉

  30. greg63 Says:

    No free crableggs in Tampa. Joe will visit His favorite 5/3 in Darrel Strawbury’s house of horror before end of first year.

  31. JFF Says:

    Team is still a year away. I really hope it’s not a 7-9 win season as the 2016 draft is LOADED!

    And to those idiot fans who care more about winning meaningless games than looking ahead to the draft…umm Jason Licht himself admitted that he looks at future drafts to plan for the present & future. That’s what got us Joe’s loverboy Winston and I’m convinced the expectations in the building are still relatively low with a young OL, young QB, young receivers, and incomplete defense that’s missing the most important piece – an edge rusher.

    Joey Bosa 2016 here we come!!!

  32. JFF Says:

    And yeah every year Bucs bloggers & fans convince themselves “the team won’t be that bad” when all the media & betting public knows better. Just because you think the team improved on paper doesn’t mean they will win close games, nor does it preclude the fact that other teams can improve more.

    I expect 4-6 wins.