Talent Challenged?

May 28th, 2017

GM Jason Licht might be shaking his head right now

Forget about the Buccaneers’ difficult early schedule or the stud, non-Jameis quarterbacks in their division.

Will Tampa Bay be forced to play way above its talent level in order to make the playoffs?

The most talented team doesn’t always win, and health is always a massive X-factor across the NFL. But one wise old personnel man believes the Bucs’ roster doesn’t have comparable juice to the Falcons’ and Panthers’ talent-rich squads.

That’s the word from Gil Brandt, the architect of the Cowboys dynasty of the 1970s. He still grinds away writing for NFL.com and hosting on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

In a piece for NFL.com ranking and describing the league’s most talented rosters, Brandt placed the Falcons at No. 3 overall and the Panthers at No. 9. In fact, Brandt has the Seahawks, Packers, Giants, Cowboys and Redskins ahead of the Bucs. That means, per Brandt, seven NFC teams are more talented than Tampa Bay! Only six NFC teams make the playoffs.

Is Brandt accurate?

Well, this is all highly subjective and part of what makes the NFL fun. But the Redskins? Really?

Joe will say this. Of course, the Falcons are loaded. The Panthers seem absolutely primed for a bounce back season if Cam Newton is ready for opening day after shoulder surgery — he’s due back for training camp — and electric rookies Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel aren’t busts.

Joe hates that the Panthers open at San Francisco, followed by the Bills and Saints at home. That’s a great opportunity for the Stinkin’ Panthers to build early confidence.

And before you label Brandt a Bucs-hater and completely clueless on the team, keep in mind Dirk Koetter used to work for Brandt many, many years ago, and the Bucs head coach joined Brandt throughout last season on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

60 Responses to “Talent Challenged?”

  1. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    Sounds to me like someone had a senior moment.

  2. Kevin V. Says:

    He may be right. I hope everyone under estimates the team though.

  3. K2 Says:

    Most people see our O-line and D-line as weak. I think they might be a bit surprised this year…only games matter (not opinions).

  4. BuccaneerByBirth Says:

    I do not care about the opinions of anybody out there. The Bucs have been basement dwelling for years. We have not earned the hype people are giving us. I WANT people to count us out the same way they did that faithful night in Philly. You want to rank the decimated redskins ahead of us? The flopping panthers? The Seahawks with zero offensive line? Be my damn guest. We have a young team about to take the next step and I WANT them to feel disrespected instead of praised.

  5. DBS Says:

    The rosters are not even set yet. Yes most of the starters are. But some of the backup battles have yet to be settled. So the depth charts are not set in stone. Or pickups from cuts. And it only takes one game to wreck a teams season.

  6. Pickgrin Says:

    We are better than the Redskins, Giants and Panthers. And we beat Seattle last year….

  7. BucEmUp Says:

    Redskins are going to take a step back. Mccaffrey is going to make the panthers offense scary, Giants are a team I see the Bucs being on level with. Bottom line is its going to boil down to whay our defense does. If they play soft coverage and dont get waaaay more aggresive in certain situations its goingto leave the offemse hanging out to dry. The talent on defense.is there its the coaching…..Mike Smiyh I feel will cost us the big games

  8. Supersam Says:

    Redskins? Really? This old man needs to step away from the prune juice

  9. JimmyJack Says:

    Dang you guys are sensitive about preseason rankings. I could care less if some guru ranks us #1 or #32. The Bucs have to go out there and proove it. If they are as good as you guys say they are we should start 3-0. Then we get the GIANTS and Patriots which should show us how good our Bucs really are

  10. OneBuC55 Says:

    The difference for us will be Jamies…
    He already proved what he can do with a few weapons…good luck stopping him now that he has multiple weapons at his disposal…Don’t count us out Mr. Brandt…9-7 my be this teams floor but 13-3 is the ceiling for this squad…I fully expect a top 5 Offense…

  11. MadMax Says:

    Its all good, I know whats up this year…..playoffs, and then again next year…sit back, relax and enjoy.

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

    When healthy we waltzed into atl and handled them week one last season. And we were clueless on defense.

  13. Rrsrq Says:

    I really do love our weapons, but what makes our weapons better than the Giants, OBJ, Brandon Marshall, Engram, Sterling Shepard, Manning. No I am not a Giants fan, just think their team is comparable to Bucs on offense

  14. Rrsrq Says:

    As for as the ATL, since Jameis, Bucs are 3-1

  15. mark2001 Says:

    Actually I could see a 9-7 record. I frankly, doubt we will do as well with our division record next year. I could easily see a split with all division teams. Then the question comes regarding our record outside the division. We could split with the AFC east, but I’m hoping for 3-1 against that division….likely a 2-2 against the NFC central, but 3-1 might be instrumental for a playoff birth. Split with the Giants and Cardinals. Where is any of this overly negative thinking? I could see a couple more wins, but I’m looking more at

  16. mark2001 Says:

    9-7 to 11-5.

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

    Rsr that act like they are unaware.

  18. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Every team in the NFC South has talent. Gil Brandt thinks that the Falcons and the Panthers has more. It’s hard to argue against this, these two teams won the NFC Championship in 2015 and 2016. You have to ask yourself, what have we won?

  19. JameisDungy Says:

    It all depends on the Oline. If the Oline is solid we win 10 to 12 games this year.

  20. johnnybuc Says:

    no way redskins and panthers have a better roster than us

  21. JimmyJack Says:

    Rsq…….Between Giants and Bucs it will come down to blocking up front. That will dictate which has the better offense IMO

  22. johnnybuc Says:

    robert ayers forced more pressure at the end of the season than anyone at his position that’s telling since that when he was finally healthy…

  23. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    All of the disastrous Dominick years left us with very little talent…..Dominick was unarguably an absolute failure.

    We are building our way back with Licht……I’m encouraged that a couple more years will have us loaded with talent.

  24. Jim Says:

    The Redskins are NOT more talented than the Bucs!

  25. JimmyJack Says:

    I was so happy when we swept the Panthers last year. Was that the first time we accomplished the feat? They have dominated us since the NFC South formed.

    Aside from playoffs that was my number one goal last year. Same this year, even bigger then a winning record in Ray Jay

  26. rayjay1122 Says:

    I could care less was he thinks. And it also does not matter to me if division opponents have an easy start to the season. We are at Miami, Home versus Bears and at Minnesota. That is not exactly killers row. I believe we will be 3-0 when the Giants come to Tampa. We have the talent to beat the Giants on our home turf. 4-0 going into the Thursday night battle with the Patriots. Also if our schedule is tough then maybe that will be a benefit if we have to go through a tie breaker again for a playoff spot since strength of schedule is what did us in last season allowing Detroit to get the final wildcard.

  27. JimmyJack Says:

    Hahahaha, you guys are jealous of the Skins. Tampa fans can be so pathetic sometimes

  28. Bucballbaby84 Says:

    Anyone else notice that Ali Marpet lost some weight and added more muscle and is chizzling himself out. Dude is a tank! Going to be an amazing center!

  29. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    There are very few facts tossed around this year. There are no games so opinions rule the day.

    So we not only are dealing with “opinions”…it’s opinions of teams on paper which haven’t played a single down of football yet.

    I’m just as guilty as everyone here including Brandt and pundits. It’s fun to render opinions on “paper” teams and then seeing how the “real” teams actually play.

    Yeah it’s fun speculating but at the end of the day…..it’s why we play the games.

  30. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    Should have said….”this time of the year”. We need to wait until Sept to get some real facts.

  31. JimmyJack Says:

    So sick of hearing the same tired excuses every year about our schedule. It’s an excuse for fanbases of bad teams. If y’all think we are a contender there should be no problems with the schedule. If you don’t think we can hang with good teams then just man up and admitted the Bucs ain’t that good. Good teams don’t fall victim to this schedule mumbo-jumbo​. That’s cause they are good. Crying about the schedule is just pathetic.

  32. Defense Rules Says:

    I can tell that you’re really having a ball stirring the pot this morning Joe (first Roberto, then DJax, and now … Gil Brandt?). It’s like StPete said. All of us are guilty when it comes to speculating at this time of year (it is, after all, great sport). Fortunately all of us die-hard Bucs fans do a MUCH better job of speculating than any of these national media types.

    BTW, I thought the red flag behind Jason’s picture was a nice touch. Sure to get the bulls riled up.

  33. SB Says:

    I think we will be 4 and 1 come week 5 and we beat the Pats on thursday night. Not sure which loss we take. There I can throw out a prediction too Mr. Brandt

  34. rayjay1122 Says:

    Speaking of schedules, The Saints have to play in week 4 the Dolphins in England which is always a rough then they get a bye after that which is an early bye meaning no breaks the rest of the season. They also have to play the Patriots in week 2 and @ Carolina in week 3, so they have a rough start.

    Carolina has 3 winnable games to start but then have to travel to NE to play the Patriots before facing the lions and Eagles. That could be easily a 3-3 start for the stinking Panthers.

    Atlanta I can see being 3-1 then they also have an early season bye during week 5. Then they have a tough slate of games without a break including @ the Patriots week 7, then weeks 9-11 they play at the Panthers, Cowboys and @ Seattle and finish the season with 4 divisional games.

    Our Bucs have a week 6 bye after facing the Patriots in Tampa. I think @ New Orleans in week 10 and @ Green Bay week 13 will be a tall order for a win. Then we end our regular season with 3 divisional games 2 of the 3 at home.

    No team in our division has it easy and I think we have a very favorable schedule. the last 4 weeks are going to be crucial as we have 3 divisional games and Atlanta has 4 to finish the regular season. It is going to come down to the wire and I think we are all in for a very exciting season.

    Go Bucs!!!

  35. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    I think everyone is blowing this whole situation way out of proportion. Monken basically said come here and earn your paycheck. Not sure what the problem is here.

  36. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    ^ lol when you comment on the wrong post

  37. SB Says:

    ^^ 🙂 ^^
    Been there.

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

    Thanks for that info Johnny. I knew hee try had b.mode in him.

  39. Erik w/ Clean Athletics 'The Kwon Alexander of Bucs fans' Says:

    BuccaneerByBirth & NoSBoS hit the nail on the head…

    I want us to have that Us vs. The World mentality.

    And we could handle ATL with our talent level last year and now I think we can all agree that we’ve upgraded our talent this offseason more than ATL has…

  40. BringBucsBack Says:

    Giving up picks to trade up in the talent-rich 2017 draft doesn’t help to build depth. Blowing a 2nd round pick annually for 3-4 consecutive years, also doesn’t help.

    Most of us, myself included, are geeked about the Bucs this year but that doesn’t mean that Mr. Brandt is off by much, if at all.

  41. Pickgrin Says:

    BringBucsBack Says:
    May 28th, 2017 at 2:42 pm
    Giving up picks to trade up in the talent-rich 2017 draft doesn’t help to build depth.
    The move up we made to get Beckwith from our 4th rd pick to the last comp pick in the 3rd round was worth 33 value points. The 6th rd pick we gave up to do it was worth 9.6 value points. The Bucs feel Beckwith is a legit starter talent at LBer and his injury will not hamper him having a good career.

    Licht is good at this chit and to complain about the picks he makes that don’t work out is like complaining that your lead off hitter is batting .644

  42. JimmyJack Says:

    Complaining about the Aguyero pick is warranted though the future is still in front of him. Complaining about the Beckwidth pick is completely unwarranted and premature. The picks or rounds don’t matter all that matters is the impact the players make.

    I don’t hear anybody. Complaining about trading up for Marpet. If either Agyueoro or Beckwitch have the same impact Marpet has had there’s no reason to call it giving up picks

  43. JimmyJack Says:

    And don’t try to act like 2nd round picks are can t miss prospects. I don’t care how good you are 2nd round picks are going to flop at a good percent. If they didn’t nobody would be willing to trade one. I think some fans have dillusions about the realisic expectation of any 2nd round player.

    Our GM has had plenty of draft success and even some undrafted player success. If you think missing on a few higher picks doesn’t come along with the gig then you need to learn some draft history.

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

    I’m wit you on that schedule chatter Jack.. Its lame to be talkin bout a schedule is hard. All these dudes lift a ton of weights and run fast. Snap ya chin strap and ball. To h3ll wit this none sense about a hard schedule.

  45. Buc4Lyfe79 Says:

    You say Koetter “worked for the man” like that’s supposed to really mean something. How many people have you “worked for” that you actually liked or whop respected you. Even in the NFL, you can like what someone does for you or their skill set, or what you bring to what they already have going, doesn’t mean they like or respect you. Or in this case, actually know any legitimate info on your roster of players. The Bucs are under the mainstream radar. Always have been always will be, real Bucs fans know this and like it that way. For !@#’s sake, we couldn’t even get the respect we deserved when we won the SB. Mainstream line was what again…? It was a “FLUKE”.

  46. Tnew Says:

    Call me crazy but as good as the panthers are offensively I see them taking a big stepback defensively. Most experts think they are going to be solid defensively because they are the panthers they must be automatically good defensivelY. They have too many defensive players that “might” have a season in them Redskins,… not at all. Cowboys, had to play near flawless ball to beat us. Seahawks, gonna be tough. Packers are the team the NFC really should look out for. they are due for a season injuries don’t kill them Bucs are primed for conference semis.

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

    Tnew the hawks have major in house issues with Shernan,that team about to imolode. I’m not sure why foljs thinks the cats are about to be all that seeing is how cam sucks with passes 20 yards or more. It’ll take more than the gadget man to make them better on offense. Not to mention they are old on they’re D line. I’ll sum it up by saying I don’t see any team in the south.

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

    Let me reiterate Rsr Fameis 3 and 1 against the birds.

  49. Fred E. Bucs Says:

    First, Gil Brandt is a proven football genious who, at 127 years old, has forgotten more than any of us will ever know. HOWEVER, he HAS apparently forgotten that nothing usually goes as totally expected. And ONE deviation throws the whole thing off. BTW, didn’t he say not long ago the Bucs wold in the playoffs?

    I actually like the idea of the Panthers going to the West Coast at Week 1. And rival Saints going to Carolina with Drew Brees and a retooled/yet-to-prove Panthers secondary…and AP early the season? Yeah, bring it on–please.

    Bills…meh. Good chance Panthers are 2-1 or worse though–upset in Pelosi land? Those VeganDogs in Frisco make the team and fans rabid. I hope.

  50. SB Says:

    What NOS said at 3:53

  51. Brian Says:

    Brandt is almost impossible to listen to anymore. I understand his years and years of knowledge but he’s a terribly listen anymore. Kind of similar to trying to listen to another old guy with a podcast around here as opposed to Sirius.

  52. jb Says:

    Isn’t Brandt being treated for Dementia? He’s what…….104?
    Not anyone I’d give credence to. He was once a superb talent evaluator.
    Today…….not so much.

  53. jb Says:

    Everyone seems to LOVE the Falcons talent now. What they ALL, including Brandt fail to mention is the Falcons had their ENTIRE OFFENSIVE LINE PLAY ALL 16 GAMES last season!
    I’m not sure if that’s ever happened since the league went to a 16 game regular season. That accounts for a majority of their success. I can’t remember when an offensive line was so lucky. The Falcons are possibly the most overrated team in the NFC South.

  54. Buccfan37 Says:

    Three teams could make the playoffs from the NFC South with both wildcards from the division. Bucs at GB, I like the Bucs in that game.

  55. USFBUC Says:

    The Redskins are no way more talented than the Bucs and I think the Seahawks just need some questionable plays and they will spend the season fighting amongst themselves. One thing is for sure the NFC South is the toughest division in all of football and I think one of our teams will be in the SB again.

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

    USF all the excerts I’m reading is that that seahawk lockerroom is in dire-straits(I think that’s right). I believe you are correct,a few questionable calls early and they will begin feeding on themselves.

  57. godzilla13 Says:

    The Bucs have more talent than most, if not all of those teams. They can beat any team in the NFL on any given Sunday. The key is if Doug Martin can be the runner he was in 2015? I know he can. The offense is loaded and I look for the offensive line to really shine this year. From QB to TE to WR there is the best talent the NFL has to offer. The Bucs defensive line can match up with anyone and I cant wait to see the secondary perform. Let them say all those clubs have more talent, we know better.

  58. USFBUC Says:

    NosBos – thank you for the confirmation and yes you are right (no need for the – though). One of the other posters pointed out the fact that the Falcons were very lucky last year regarding injuries so they could also see some troubles this year.

  59. Fsuking Says:

    Brandt must be part of the insane sect of people who don’t think Doug Martin will be on our team come week 4!

  60. Eric Says:

    Skins are imploding. Watch how much cousins regresses without djax and garcon. Their front office is a joke too. That made me LOL

    Dak will regress as well. Does anyone realize how terrible the defensive backs there are? He will have to pass a lot more this season and zeke will not be able to control the tempo. I see moderate success at 9-7 considering the defense is trash again.

    Panthers DL is waning. I think kalil at LT is going to backfire on them. CM should be an excellent addition and I see him tearing up defenses but I think the dude in the second is highly overrated. Don’t forget they have shepard starting at receiver and fat Kelvin Benjamin. They may beginning the process of rebuild mode with Madea at Qb who is more concerned about her outfit than diving on a football.

    Falcons are legit. I expect them to be good again. I don’t think the hangover has too much of an effect cuz I think Quinn gets the defense rolling. Their offense will certainly regress though. But it will pick up again later in the year. They are our biggest enemy really.

    Saints could make a run if ad is back. I think he has one more monster season, they put up record points and yards, but give up record points and yards resulting in 8-8 and the firing of peyton and the rebuild process.

    Hawks are extremely overrated. Their defense is solid but they went all safety when they should have gone ol. I don’t wish injury on anyone but their OL is a liability on russel. They’re going to really fall apart. I say 6-10. I could see Arizona rebounding and taking that division in likely fitz’s last year.

    Packers will still be pretty good. AR is all they need but a better roster?!?! LMAO!!!!! HELL NO! Their defense is a joke, and on offense it’s jordy, Rodgers, cobb, adams are a great wr core but who’s toting the rock? isn’t their ol bad? Defense? NOPE!

    Giants are legit. I could see them being very very good. until the playoffs when Odell decides to go a dinner date with cam newton the night before a playoff game where they spend all night dressing each other in lingerie which effects his performance and bumps the giants out.

    This year the contenders are: KC, Pitt, Atl, TB, NE, GB(Rodgers but wont win), OAK, Ari, and I think Detroit. The other wild cards and low seeds have no shot.