Punching Bag Pressure

May 24th, 2019


Danger, danger.

Struggling NFL franchises always had the Browns to look down upon. The Bucs could go year after year without a postseason berth and their supporters could still feel superior to Cleveland fans.

It feels like that’s about to change.

Vegas oddsmakers have pegged the over-under win total for Tampa Bay at 6.5. The Browns, two years removed from an 0-16 slate, are projected for 9 wins.

I like the over.

A series of outstanding drafts has the Browns poised to win the AFC North. A franchise that hasn’t made the playoffs since the 2002 season looks ready to rumble — and Gerald McCoy just might be another brick in the wall.

Meanwhile, the Bucs are saddled with the NFC’s longest playoff drought at 11 years. If the Browns play up to expectations and the Bucs falter again, Tampa Bay will sink to the bottom of the postseason table.

From the executive suite of One Buc Place to the practice fields and the locker room, that’s pressure.

Bruce Arians knows challenge

While the 2002 Bucs chased down the Vince Lombardi Trophy, Butch Davis coached the 9-7 Browns to the playoffs with Tim Couch under center.

That’s no easy feat.

Cleveland’s staff that season included Bruce Arians and Todd Bowles. Roaming the field at safety was Devin Bush Sr., whose son was just drafted by the Steelers with the 10th overall pick.

Yes, that’s a long time ago. You think Buc fans have been tested?

Buc Luck

The Browns have reeled off 11 consecutive losing seasons, posting a 45-130-1 mark in that span. If you’re mathematically challenged, let me help you. That’s an average of 4 wins per year.

Even after bringing in some serious talent in the offseason, the Browns have enough cap space to sign McCoy. Cleveland already boasts an impressive defensive line with Myles Garrett, Olivier Vernon, Sheldon Richardson and Larry Ogunjobi, a third-round pick in 2017 who just registered 5.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss and 15 QB hits as an interior lineman.

Wouldn’t it be Buc luck for McCoy to join the Browns and help them end the league’s longest playoff drought?

Rule 1 for NFL franchises is simple: you can’t overcome bad drafts and a series of misguided free-agent acquisitions. I can see 11,000 Bucs fans shaking their heads in unison.

Cleveland’s turnaround is based on a serious influx of talent, led by Baker Mayfield, the beautiful reward for that 0-16 finish.

“Mayfield has the “it” factor,” says former ESPN analyst Darren Woodson. “He’s a leader of men. That’s what the Cleveland Browns have been missing for so long … it’s the culture.”

New offensive coordinator Todd Monken will now be designing plays to spring Odell Beckham open while Nick Chubb supplies balance on the ground. Kareem Hunt could be available for a late playoff push.

Nobody should be surprised if Garrett, the top overall pick in 2017, leads the NFL in sacks this fall. He’s that good.

I thought the Browns reached a bit for cornerback Denzel Ward at No. 4 last year, but he proved me wrong by making the Pro Bowl as a rookie.

GM John Dorsey seems to have the magic touch and the NFL even named Cleveland as the site of the 2021 draft.

Things could go awry, of course. Mayfield could go down for an extended period. We saw what happened to the 49ers, a chic pick as a 2018 team on the rise, when Jimmy Garoppolo tore his ACL in Week 3.

The Browns are certainly getting a lot of attention in the offseason. It seems like they have McCoy’s attention, too, at the moment.

The Bucs know what it’s like to be the league’s punching bag. They started out 0-26 as a franchise and later went 14 years without making the playoffs.

This organization is in the midst of another lost decade, but the Cleveland Browns have always been around to share the ineptitude.

Not anymore.

51 Responses to “Punching Bag Pressure”

  1. MadMax Says:

    We’re making the playoffs b*tches!!!

    You think all this change was for NOTHING?!?!? B*tches please…. 🙂

    I know, been here, done that, same ole same ole…..take that over if you like to gamble….

    Just wait for it…..and ya’ll know WE DESERVE IT!!!!!!!!!


  2. MadMax Says:

    Doubters….only happy with the lies you tell yourself…


  3. Snook Says:

    The Browns had 2 more wins than the Bucs last year. And winning the off season almost always results in disaster. I figured Ira would know that by now.

    Browns are in for a rude awakening. DCs have had an entire off-season to watch tape on Mayfield. 9 wins for the Browns is LAUGHABLE.

    The reason the Bucs and Browns are perennial losers because ownership. Did either of these teams sell and I missed it?

  4. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Whats the difference between your bathtub and the Browns? Your bathtub has a ring.

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    If we are concerned with the Browns, we are focused on the wrong team……How about let’s rise above Atlanta, New Orleans and Carolina?

    The best way to not be the worst team in the NFL is not to be the worst team in our division.

  6. DB55 Says:


    Dude they’re so stuck on McIceCream they wrote a whole article about a whole nother team just Bc McIceCream might visit them. WOW!!!

  7. Buccernutter Says:

    I don’t mean to be offensive but this article sucks.

    “Hey guys, we don’t have an optimistic future according to many but look, the browns could make us the worst team in the league soon!”

    Smh really, Ira?

    Honestly Baker is solid but count me as one of the people that think they are going to be dissapointed. They are literally banking everything on a second year player with a new head coach. Not this guy.

  8. DB55 Says:

    I wanna know how the dog pound will react to McIceCream apologizing to Big Ben for hitting him. That should go over real well. 🙄

  9. DB55 Says:

    I’m not sure there are enough cameras in Cleveland for Baker, Juice, OBJ and McIceCream.

    Obj and McIceCream showing up to camp in dresses or skirts might start a cat fight idk.

    Did you see what obj wore to the met gala? Dude wore a skirt. McIceCream and OBJ going to come out the tunnel to “Dude looks like a lady”

  10. NOSBOS Says:

    Just browsing the Bucs app,came across something about tweets concerning Suh joining the Bucs. The first one shows a pic of Suh in a Rams uni,the guy says “as a rival fan of y’all team I’m now scared to play you guys”. Trust me people the whole division on notice.

  11. stpetebucsfan Says:

    My son is a Browns fan so I have a soft spot. He’s suffered enough already. LOL So have we!!!

    One reason besides all those Ira listed I believe the Browns are poised…their division is not as tough as it usually is. The Steelers are a big question mark. Same for the Ravens and Bengals. The Browns are competing in a winnable division.

    How about us? Do we think NO…Atlanta…or Carolina are impossible to beat? Not me. All three…as well as us..have questions at QB. Brees is still great but he is getting older. Cam still has talent but it seems to me at least his body is now having difficulty holding up. And the Falcons also have an aging question mark at QB.

    If JW finally plays to his potential this year…we will no longer have the 4th best QB in the Division and depending on how much Brees has left in the tank we may jump all the way to the top of the QB list. IMHO I still gotta go with Brees for this season but JW will push him this year and pass him next. I think Cam and Matty Ice are morphing into JAGS.

  12. Mike Johnson Says:

    Buc still know what its like to be the punching bag Ira. Watching our Defense last yr was disgraceful. Even my 9 yr nephew kept sayin, Uncle Mike are we ever gonna stop any offense? So here come Arians and Co. with a different feel. I’m not sold yet. I refuse to be. I’ve seen this preseason Hoopla on repeat cycle for several yrs. So much so, I’ll believe it when I see it. Hope..is a terrible thing to have when it ends in utter disappointment. Lets see this final product. I’ll not let out one rebel Buc yell until I see…some consistent winning

  13. Race to 10 Says:

    It’s so weird people keep putting the browns in the playoffs.

  14. Kobe Faker Says:

    “What’s so hard to understand and to see what has happened the last 2 years?

    John Dorsey over Jason Gump

    1 has a plan to build and is acquiring core talent on the roster and the other 1 is not

    Gump is tweaking a 5-11 team 1 player (Dwhite) per year…your going nowhere

    We have a bloated roster/ no money to spend and a bad player evaluator in charge…

    other than that we are good”

    Kobe Faker

  15. Defense Rules Says:

    Thanks again TBBF for re-focusing everyone on what’s REALLY important. No, not whether the Browns have 9 wins or 2 wins. The focus needs to be on the Bucs, and what our TEAM can do right the ship. Anyone who spends even a second of their day saying “Well at least we weren’t as bad as the Browns” is really into wasting time.

    And BTW Joe, Bucs and Browns have EXACTLY the same record at this present moment: 0-0. Jacksonville in these last 2 years is a classic case study in POTENTIAL versus RESULTS. They added Calais Campbell in 2017 (plus several other key FAs), drafted Leonard Fournette & Cam Robinson and they won the division with a 10-6 record … #2 ranked defense & #5 ranked offense. Went on to win 2 playoff games then lost a close one to the Pats in the Conference Championships.

    But a funny thing happened on the way to the forum in 2018. They added even more FA & draft pieces, kept the same coaching staff, but instead of getting better in 2018 they got worse (falling to a 5-11 record … same as us). Defense stayed almost the same (ranked #4) but the offense fell off a cliff (all the way to #31 in POINTS SCORED). Same coaching staff, supposedly more talented roster, about the same games lost to injuries, BUT … MUCH worse results. So please, tell us again how we should ordain Cleveland as the new Super Bowl champs because of all the new talent they’ve added.

  16. Destinjohnny Says:

    Teams go nowhere without a competent gm

  17. NOSBOS Says:

    Cleveland is about to be Desean and Swaggy brushing off klueless Times 10. Obj already brushing off ota’s,which is when you install your system.

  18. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    This season will probably come down to how well our Defense performs…..not much mention but I think our ST unit will be really good.
    Even if Jameis & the offense don’t improve much (I think they will)….we can significantly improve our record.

    Can we please, please, please have one small shred of optimism….even cautious optimism….that is certainly what we expect out of our coaches & players….let’s join them.

  19. El Buco Realisto Says:


    OK!!!!! I will start!!!!! I am very “optimistic” that the Bucs will be drafting in the Top 5!!!!!!! This will proof “positive” that this franchise will be in full rebuild mode!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2019 will reveal answers to the sheep, that the “real” fans already know!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Gettinthebucs Says:

    Another nice piece from The Sage! I personally think the bucs will shock some people this year. I see some surprise contributors this year especially on defense.

  21. Bucnjim Says:

    There comes a time when you have to start looking at ownership when problems persist for over a decade. Players are not only performing for coaches but also for the people writing the paychecks. FOUR COMPLETE coaching changes with the same results as well as two different GMs. The Dad seemed to have both the knowledge and charisma to run an NFL team but the sons have struggled mightily. Their concerns over money and soccer instead of running a winning NFL organization have hurt.

  22. Ndog Says:

    Didn’t we beat the Browns last year despite having the horrible Jameis Winston and them having the great Baker Mayfield?

  23. Bucnjim Says:

    When the Buccaneer organization came up for sale after Culverhouse’s death I was excited someone like the Glaziers stepped up built the new stadium and took us to the Super Bowl. The downfall came when the issue was more about money than wins. Hindsight of course but do you think that would have been as big an issue with Eddie Debartolo or the Outback Group?

  24. SteveK Says:


    Didn’t Winston have an OT INT against Cle? I know he did good in that game, but at the end he shat all over the field. $30 million dollar salaries go to guys that play in the top 5 of QBs. We need QB play that matches Ryan, Brees and Newton- consistency, wins, a SB appearance, and an MVP award. I know that’s lofty, it all guys have that ok their resume.

  25. NOSBOS Says:

    Prophet,Biggie caught 2Pac back stage one time years ago during the media driven East coast/West coast beef during mid 90s. Biggie was said to have stated “what the H3ll is wrong wit you” upon seeing 2Pac. 2Pac is said to have responded with “man I’m selling records”. See,Ira knows if you want them clicks like the Joes you gotta bait’em wit dumb s&@“.

  26. Ndog Says:

    Actually SteveK Jameis had two game winning drives in that game it’s just on one the kicker missed. Plus I thought all that mattered to you was wins as stats don’t matter remember? 😉

  27. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder & The Blind Boys from Alabama could see that Jameis is not the problem. Look where our defense was ranked…..we had zero running game a bad kicker with a sorry special teams unit. Our coaches were ineffective.

    And, yes….Ray Charles is departed but he still can see that Jameis isn’t the problem.

    Can he improve, yes.

  28. SteveK Says:


    I stand corrected. Thanks.

    I just remember the awful pick. Never should have been there, but it happened.

    I hope Jameis puts it all together this year. If he can take care of the ball then we are golden.

  29. SteveK Says:


    I cherish winning above all else, you are right on!

    However, I’m also a realist and want to look through the least biased lens possible. If Jameis balls out, and has a better than 2:1 TD:Turnover ratio, then we are in great shape.

    I want to see wins. I want to see smart decisions and execution.

    I am objective enough to consider stastistical data as a PART of the determined outcome.

  30. NOSBOS Says:

    Why do people feel cam newton and matt ryan are sure fire future HOFrs??? I don’t. They’ve both had MVP season’s but losing in the super bowl won’t help their cause. matt ryan in my opinion is pretty good. cam to me he’s trash and always has been trash as pure pocket passer. cam also isn’t throwing right now,his body is begining to reject his playing style. We punk atl and carolina this season. If we split it will be with the one team that does have a sure fire future HOFr. The aints because of Drew Brees.

  31. NOSBOS Says:

    Fill you skeptics in on something. Under BA’s Tom Moores tutelage the next MVP out this division will be your very own Jameis Winston.

  32. Defense Rules Says:

    Ndog … OK, since we’re NOW actually talking about the Bucs (instead of Cleveland) and about Jameis, I’ve got an easy question for you: Why do some folks get so hung up on YESTERDAY when it comes to Jameis? Yesterday’s gone, and this is a whole new opportunity for Jameis. Effectively the slate was wiped clean when BA signed on. Jameis has a 1-year opportunity to prove himself to this new coaching group … and to the Glazers (THEY really do have the last say in all of these personnel matters).

    We’ve all seen Good Jameis and Bad Jameis in action. Sometimes he’s brilliant; sometimes he pees all over himself. Sometimes his OLine has screwed him by not protecting him well enough, but sometimes it’s been exceptional. Sometimes the running game has pooped all over the bed, but other times it’s more than held it’s own. Sometimes our defense has let Jameis down (not holding leads?), but other times he’s been the one who’s let them down (turnovers? 3-and-outs?). Same thing with Special Teams; same thing with coaching.

    Bottom line is easy: What makes football so great is that it’s the ultimate TEAM sport. The best TEAMS fire on all 11 cylinders when they’re on the field. And they play COMPLEMENTARY FOOTBALL … and they do it CONSISTENTLY. THAT’S what I’m hoping to see out of Jameis and out of ALL this Bucs’ TEAM this year. IF we get that, this team will have set the foundation for some very good things ahead. IF not, there’ll be no need for BA to use the term ‘reloading’ any more.

  33. Youngbucs Says:

    Still no contract for Batman AKA Geraldweenie after meeting with da Brownies maybe he’s at least holding on to an aspiration of a championship with the Pats he does that and refuses a bigger payout then I’ll lend more credibility to him being for real …Yeah Right.

  34. NOSBOS Says:

    Couldn’t have been said any better Defense.

  35. Buc Bobby Says:

    Count on JoeBucsFan to be a wealth of
    Positive Energy

  36. Buc4evr Says:

    If the Bucs can get the defense to the middle of the pack this year, and quit giving up leads in the 4th quarter, they have a chance to go to the playoffs. I trust that Bowles and Arian have a plan to do that and would not be surprised if they bring in another DE to replace JPP when playing 4-3. This season is going to be exciting and I expect our defense to finally be like the Bucs of old. We are going to shock a lot of people.

  37. Todd Says:


    You just made the list. Thank you for your optimism.

  38. WhatdaBUCisthis Says:

    damn… damn I skipped over the entire article, seemed to be focused on Cleveland too much. C’mon Ira. BUCS fan is in the name. No disrespect. But not here. Not now. Damn
    Go BUCS

  39. BucsBall80 Says:

    Att 214. Comp.136. Yds1612. Td 11. Int3. Wnstons last six games. 2018

    Those are decent numbers. And Winston new the coach didnt believe in him. I dont think they tried to help him when he was doing bad. You could see hes footwork was off. And his accuracy paid for it. Winston even said no coaches where helping him get better. So he got better the last 6 games by his self? Looking forward to seeing Winston this year.

  40. NOSBOS Says:

    Just made it inn from work. Didn’t have time today to browse the Polian thread. Just did so. So let me get this str8,the Chicago bears can go 5 and 11 in 2017 under John Fox come back in 2018 add an elite defender in Mack change coaches and scheme along with a talented drafted MIDDLE linebacker and finish 12 and 4. But it is beyond the realm of possible for the Bucs to the same next season??? Wow. This site truly does breed loser.

  41. NOSBOS Says:

    Hmm,funny because we’ve changed schemes,we’ve added a HC with a winning resume,we’ve added an elite defender “King Suh” what they call him and drafted a stud inside LB. I would expect similar results next season. As far as those bets go my number on here call me I’m wit it.

  42. NOSBOS Says:

    (407) 692-5077. I ain’t sending Ish to jbf,but we can talk an set up the particulars.

  43. Lamarcus Says:


    I agree with most of your work but I disagree. I’m taking over 6.5 with the Bucs and under Browns

    I’m very high on this team this year. Playoff bound.

  44. NOSBOS Says:

    Look,if you don’t feel comfortable calling a stranger simply text me.

  45. NOSBOS Says:

    And I don’t know if Blake still on here but he can vouch I pay off my debts.

  46. NOSBOS Says:

    Tom S. Dusthty what up??? Le do this. 500 let’s go.

  47. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Just because it hurt, that doesn’t mean this was a bad article.

  48. NOSBOS Says:

    Didn’t hurt me at all Bonzai,all the Bucs prior shortcomings have absolutely nothing to do with Bruce Arians. Y’all might wanna this episode of An NFl life Lyle Alzado. Arrived in 81 and Oakland won the Super Bowl. Screw these loser mentals on here for those that can see what’s coming keep Raising your expectations man. We going Miami and we gone win that b$&@:;.

  49. tnew Says:

    Lets just go back and look at this from the Tribune immediately after the game…

    “Jameis was trying to throw to Chris Godwin, who had beaten his man by about five yards and the guy who was running the wrong route took his man right into the throw,” Koetter said. “So that’s one of those ones where the quarterback gets the blame for it because he’s throwing the pass, but there’s usually other things at work there and there was on that play.”

    So in that game, the kicker missed an extra point and a 40yd game winner. Adam Humphries lost track of where he was on the field and didn’t fair catch a punt that ended up being downed inside the 1 foot line, Brate had a costly fumble, Howard and Humpries had critical drops late, the special teams allowed a huge return inside the 20 yd line in the 4th quarter, the Bucs can’t convert on the ground so Winston drops back 60+ times vs the 28th worst rushing defense and Winston led the team in rushing. But it was his fault the Bucs almost lost.

    This was written as a “bad” win many times on this site, but this was a QB overcoming a ton of bad play around him and still figuring out a way to give his team an opportunity to win, twice.

  50. FortMyersDave Says:

    Under on the Browns. Too many egos and a coaching staff that does not have the experience or respect to control the prima donnas. Throw in injuries and they probably battle the Bungles for 4th….

  51. BucIt1881 Says:

    Well, we beat the Browns…