Playoffs Or Pro Bowl?

July 3rd, 2015
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Could “America’s Quarterback” reach lofty goals this season? Photo courtesy of

Yes, the Bucs drafted “America’s Quarterback,” Bucs signal-caller Jameis Winston first overall. That generally signals the man has rare ability.

And just in his short time in college, Jameis did rare things on the field.

But Joe still knows Jameis is a 21-year old rookie. He’ll have a learning curve. Thus, Joe really doesn’t see the Bucs doing much this year and thinks a six-win season is solid progress, tripling the total from 2014.

But there are Bucs fans living under no such tempered expectations. They believe Jameis should be leading the Bucs in a playoff chase, and ought to be eating pineapple in January.

Take the question lobbed to multimedia maven Scott Smith in a recent Bucs Mailbag. Smith was asked which is more likely for Jameis, a playoff berth of a Pro Bowl?

Still, I think the playoffs are a more likely outcome, given that he probably needs that to happen first before the Pro Bowl-as-a rookie thing follows. I’m sure that expressing optimism over the Bucs going from 2-14 to the playoffs in one year will sound like homerism, but let’s not forget that a 7-9 record won the NFC South last year. The Bucs had a number of things to fix from 2014 to 2015, but wasn’t the biggest difference between them and their three division competitors the situation at quarterback? Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Cam Newton…sure seems like I just saw all their names (repeatedly) while looking back through the last handful of Pro Bowls. Closing the gap on that position could also quickly close the gap on the difference between the 7-8-1 Panthers, 7-9 Falcons, 6-10 Saints and the (hopefully) up-and-coming Buccaneers.

Here’s the other part of me saying yes to “…take us to our first playoff since 2007:” He’s presumably going to have a lot of help. As for making the Pro Bowl, that’s largely on him, though Vincent Jackson, Mike Evans and ASJ could help quite a bit. If the Bucs make the playoffs, there’s a VERY good chance that the defense will have as much to do with it as Jameis Winston.

Joe isn’t going to go either place. Thinking Jameis will make the Pro Bowl is rank cheerleading. That means he would have to be no worse than the third-best quarterback in the conference, unless six or eight quarterbacks bail on the Pro Bowl. Joe cannot reasonably expect that from a rookie.

A playoff berth is more likely, yet still damned remote. Look, the Bucs were a 2-14 team for a reason. All kinds of holes remain in a roster with limited depth.

Would Joe love for the Bucs to make the playoffs? Damn, right. But Joe can’t say that will happen with a straight face.

23 Responses to “Playoffs Or Pro Bowl?”

  1. lovinthecrablegs Says:

    i think it is possible for the bucs to make the playoffs this year, and even win their division!!! possible but maybe not probable, keep the faith joe.

  2. Tom Edrington Says:

    Yes, absolutely, didn’t you see those pigs flying in formation over One Buc Place??????

  3. The Real Malloy Says:

    This is the beauty of the new season being so close…Nothing wrong with having a little hope. Plus, we have a shiny new QB….

    Is it probable? No. Its it possible? Absolutely….and Ill take that.

  4. Casual Observer Says:

    Joe – Why don’t you stage a “contest”? Have readers predict the number of Buc wins in the regular season. Something we can all refer to after the season is completed. I think your very reasonable six wins prediction will be on the low side of the curve.

  5. Fsuking Says:

    The playoffs are not as far off as you think Joe. As an FSU fan, I understand what Jameis can do having never missed a pass he has thrown. I know the NFL is a different level but Jameis doesn’t care, kids a winner!

  6. JayOutlawz24 Says:

    I agree neither are likely, but if I was asked the same question I’d say playoffs as well. You hinted to it. In a conference with Rodgers, Wilson, Brees, Ryan, Newton, Romo, etc….I’d say playoffs although unlikely is the most reasonable

  7. Buccfan37 Says:

    I think it will take better than a 7-8-1 record to win this division.

  8. bucsbedabest Says:

    We lost so many close games last year. Eight games by 6 points or less. Six of those games the Buccaneers had the lead in the 4th Qtr. How many games last year were decided on a late INT, late fumble, fumble in OT, fumble on the final drive, blocked FG, blocked punt, 12 men on the field, no injury time out, ran out of time.

    Week 1 – Panthers – 20-14. Close game, with an inept QB and no offensive coordinator, and we still almost won.

    Week 2 – Rams – 19-17. Another close game. A no call personal foul (that hit on Evans was helmet to helmet, no flag, time ran out as Evans lay injured on field).

    Week 5 – Saints – 37-31. Blew 11 point lead in 4th Qrt

    Week 8 – Vikings – 19-13. Lost in OT. ASJ fumble. Anthony Barr recovered and scored. Another blown lead in 4th.

    Week 9 – Browns – 22-17. Another late loss and a strange offensive pass interference call.

    Week 12 – Bears – 21-13. Blew a 13-0 lead with 3 turnovers in 3rd quarter. McClown was so bad it was pathetic.

    Week 13 – Bengals – 14-13. All I can say is 12 men on the field!!!!

    Week 15 – Panthers – 19-17. Another close loss

    Week 17 – Saints 23-20. Lovie gave this one away to secure the first pick.

    That is 9 games that could have gone either way. Now with America’s Quarterback, worlds greatest OC Dirk Koetter, new bbq grill offensive line that can block and another year of experience in the Tampa 2 defense. Just look at our Division…New Orleans – They’re on their way down, letting your All Pro TE leave???? Atlanta – their Defense still SUCKS even with Dan Quinn as HC, it’ll take a couple years to get the Seattle D in ATL. Carolina – they got Cam and that’s it…. I know this team will win 10 games this season. Bet on it.

  9. Bucnjim Says:

    Start by winning some VERY winnable division games especially at home then you never know! We deserve a few bounces and a little luck since we haven’t had any in a long time.

  10. Mo_Downs Says:

    I watched a few FSU games, again, over the course of a few weeks. I have come to temper my expectations regarding the instant NFL success of Jameis Winston. While I’m a huge fan of Winston’s, I cannot dismiss his penchant for turnovers. Perhaps with a better group of skill players his mistakes won’t be as noticeable. But, a bit of caution is in order. I don’t expect him to be any better than the players that surround him.

  11. SSG Mike Says:

    I’m expecting MARKED improvement only. What that means to me is 6 to 7 or more wins and being IN most games lost. No stupid blow outs. I expect Winston to show continual improvement and be relatively SOLID (especially in comparison to McCown) throughout the year with mistakes early on while he adjust to the pro game by the end of the season we will see if he was worth a #1 pick. Certainly I do not expect Playoffs or Pro bowl out of a young QB just justification for that #1 pick. Go Bucs! Ready for Football to start, already have the NFL ticket for the 70 inch.

  12. The Buc Realist Says:

    Some of you “fans” are out there!!! It was not even close last year! It was a last place Nfl team and the Bucs looked like it!!!

    If you can count all these “close” games, then why don’t you just say that Coach Schiano was 13-3 in 2012!!

    I wonder how teams actually prepared for the Bucs, I saw many teams calling off the dogs during the 3rd quarter!! It was one of the worst coaching jobs I have ever seen!!!

    And yes the NFC South division is down, But the Bucs were swept and at the bottom. It does not matter if it is a mountain or a hill, If you are at the bottom you have to climb to get to the top!! And the Bucs need to start Climbing!!!!

    year 7 and the rebuild continues!!!

  13. LakelandBuc Says:

    Tampa Bay Bucs 10-6 this season, the start of something special.

  14. Casual Observer Says:

    BDBest – A very good summary! I agree. No genuine OC last year was a real killer. Keep the new (and real) one healthy and we’ll surprise a bunch.

  15. Jody Says:

    The Yucs will be lucky to win any games this year. Winston IS going to suck and suck bad. The def wont get to the QB. Running game will be nonexistent again with no OL. Then we get to the outdated coaching scheme and the fact they try not to lose once they get a lead instead of finishing the opponant off! Then I’m sure they still cant count will blow a game with 12 on the field again. Can only look forward to fire lovie billboards.

  16. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    Amen brother! And some of the ways we lost! Can’t count to eleven. Can’t hang on to a game sealing int…it got pretty ridiculous last year.

    But it was worst of all at QB and OL. What a nightmare combo!!

    And so NO Jameis…Fameis as he is…America’s QB and all that…will be an all pro this year. I’m not saying he won’t have an all pro season…I AM saying nobody’s going to give him all pro props until he pays some dues and gets to the playoffs.

    But playoffs…ABSOLUTELY. We do not need “all pro” play from the QB this year to reach the playoffs. We simply need a competent NFL QB who won’t repeatedly choke away the games.

    Fameis doesn’t have to be perfect or all pro…just decent.

  17. Strider #FamousJameis Says:

    I’m scared of the hype being created about Winston I’m so exticeD but let’s be real Jameis is going to have up and downs. Hopefully he has more positive plays than negative ones this season.

  18. 98bucsfan Says:

    To everyone worried about the INTs, relax, matt Ryan in his last college year threw 19 INTs. No one ever bashed him for it because he didn’t have any turmoil on his rep. Jameis did even though it wasn’t bad, but that affected the way people looked at him on the field as well. Let’s remember, Jameis has one of the best OCs that has had a lot of success with rookie development. So let’s just be positive and cheer on the team we love! Go Bucs!

  19. Idontwannahearitanymore Says:

    While I’m a huge fan of Winston’s, I cannot dismiss his penchant for turnovers.

    You know I’ve heard this crap quite a few times and I still don’t understand it. He didn’t have a “penchant” for turnovers in 2013 and many current highly regarded quarterbacks had more interceptions in their collegiate careers than Winston had last year. Waaaayy tooooo much focus on the 18 interceptions when he was carrying his team last year.

  20. White Tiger Says:

    ..again with the moron joe?

    This is starting to sound like that SNL skit where 5 Bearss fans sit around talking about ‘Mike Dikka’, like he’s Chuck Norris…

    Somebody wake me when moron joe discovers it’s a different game when the other teams won’t care what size kid fameis ring finger is… and they WON’T be asking for his autograph instead of doing their jobs…

    Until his inexperienced line proves they can protect kid fameis – you might want to temper your enthusi-asms…

  21. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Temper my enthusiasm my arse. WINSton is not the typical rookie number 1,if Dallas can go from giving up the most yards in NFL history to respectable in the same 2scheme how much more should I expect from our troops in year two of the same scheme with the talent level on our defense,I’ll tell you a lot more. Add in a QB developing aggressive OC leads me to believe many of you have low expectations in life. This team on the launch pad,take off happens here shortly in 2015.

  22. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    And Nole on Sat when it happens I’ll be there with you saying…”Houston we have liftoff”. By December this team will be the darling of the league. Not the best team, not nearly the best team, but an improving young team on their way, just like the Lightning were last year when they got swept from the playoffs.

  23. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Oh yea StPete,oh yea.