Crystal Ball

July 7th, 2019


So will the Bucs be hunting for a quarterback in January or will America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, cement himself as the team’s first franchise quarterback and the first quarterback drafted in team history to receive a second contract?

(That’s not a typo.)

Michael Lombardi thinks he knows.

The former NFL general manager and coffee-fetcher for Bill Walsh, Al Davis and Bill Belicheat, who now types for The Athletic, Lombardi fielded questions about many teams recently. With the Bucs, he picked a popular talking point and offered his reaction.

• Tampa Bay quarterback Jamies Winston throws [fill in the blank] … interceptions and the Bucs finally [fill in the blank] …

LOMBARDI’S TAKE: … Winston throws under 15 picks and the Bucs finally feel Winston has turned his career around.

If Jameis throws under 15 picks, Joe will guess that the Bucs actually toy with a .500 record. Depending on how well players can pick up Todd Bowles’ defense, hey, maybe the Bucs might just have a winning season if Jameis throws that few picks.

A lot is riding on Jameis’ shoulders this year. Not just for himself but for a lot of folks employed at One Buc Palace.

52 Responses to “Crystal Ball”

  1. Bob in Valrico Says:

    I would hope that any evaluation of any player would be much more thorough
    than picking a number. By the way Brees .and Ryan both are under 8.

  2. Magadude Says:

    Who knows, Winston might even be allowed to attend all games this year. But hey, why can’t he turn it around? After all, he’s got world famous Byron Leftwich as his OC, a completely overhauled O line, a strong, proven running game, a brand new scheme sure to work right out of the gate, the pass D is fixed, twice retired multi Super Bowl Champ Bruce Arians as HC, and a vastly improved WR corps with America’s WR, pro-bowler Brashadd Perriman on board ready to haul in those pinpoint-accurate 50 yard strikes from his QB. You betcha, 180 degree turnaround just because Lombardi says it before preseason. Must be the time of year before camp where all the sports writers need to gen up excitement to help pad their mattresses.

    Oh, looking forward to it all as usual, but nah, think I’ll wait and see game by game.

  3. Defense Rules Says:

    Hmmm, I see you’re quoting from yet another ‘Pay & we’ll let you read our opinion’ source Joe. Nah, not gonna happen. Michael Lombardi can keep his opinions if we have to pay to read them.

    Bob hit it on the nose. Signing Jameis to a long-term, high-dollar contract for your most important position will HOPEFULLY be based on his whole body of work this year rather than simply “picking a number”. No question that INTs (and all turnovers) are important, but they are situational & each needs to be assessed in the context if their impact on the game. Hail Mary INTs when you’re losing 40-0 don’t concern me nearly a much as a Pick-6 INT that turns a win into a loss late in the 4th quarter.

    With Magadude on this one … “think I’ll wait and see game by game”.

  4. AlteredEgo Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    Jameis will be compared (results not stats any longer) to the elite QB’s both the young ones and the older established ones that receive the big contracts…if he does not compare (results) he’ll be gone….if somehow he does play like we have never seen him play he’ll get the big payday

  5. Pickgrin Says:

    Tampa Bay quarterback Jamies Winston throws 32 Touchdowns, 13 interceptions and the Bucs finally get their first playoffs WIN in 17 years!

  6. D-Rome Says:

    If Jameis throws under 15 picks, Joe will guess that the Bucs actually toy with a .500 record.

    It sounds like you’re as optimistic about this Bucs season as I am.


  7. Bird Says:

    It should be an exciting season to say the least . Hopefully more highs then lows.

    “No risk it …no biscuit” – let’s see how that mentality plays out.
    Excited to see how accountability and calling guys out works with a team that has been losing for years …

    I’m sure BA is happy to have so many weapons at receiver and tight end
    He knows how to exploit matchups in his favor. Was just hoping he would be calling plays.
    If running game contributes even at middle of the pack , I think that’s a win.
    Oline middle of pack is likely.

    Would love playoffs.
    8-8 likely. 9-7 would be hitting home run.
    Just to many holes /question marks and new system and new coaching and a ton of young guys starting and nfc south division. Don’t forget Carolinas season went in tank when cam couldn’t throw a ball with his meatloaf shoulder.

  8. The Buc Realist Says:

    if jw3 throws under 15 int’s, then that just means he played no more than 13 games due to injury or another suspension!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

  9. Bucsfanman Says:

    Less turnovers lends itself to complementary football. I like our odds with less turnovers.

  10. Ndog Says:

    You guys picking us to win 6 games do realize that we won 5 last year with basically no coaching right?

  11. Destinjohnny Says:

    I predict we draft a qb in the first round in 20

  12. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Just was looking at Jameis’s situational stats. When he had a lead of 9-16 points, his QBR was 15 or more points higher than other point differentials. His attempts also went way down. So if you get an improved running game and 9-16 point
    lead it will take a lot of pressure off Jameis.

  13. The Buc Realist Says:


    wrong, the Bucs won 5 games with a lying, suspended qb, and defensive starters missing significant time, especially in the first quarter of the season!!!!!!!!!!! And the claim is if things go right!!!! They might get to 6 wins with ole stale biscuit and his gang of freshly fired staff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

  14. Bobby M. Says:

    Blake Bortles had ONE decent season, made a push to the AFC championship. He’s now a back up for the Rams. The Jags won despite Bortles….the Bucs can do the same. I believe even a good season still gets the franchise tag for Winston. He will need to play at top tier level…meaning top 12. He needs to be better then 2/3rds of the league. If he’s not producing at that level, you’re handicapped by the cap space he’ll eat up. There’s simply no way to keep all the components needed in place for him to be serviceable.

    That’s the reality with Winston and what I’ve been saying from the beginning. This team should have been stacked with a running game and defense while letting Winston become a polished game manager. If he succeeded, then you can start peeling away components slowly while gauging how much help he needs. Licht built the team backwards, going “all in” on Winston with the “weapons for Winston” campaign and it blew up in his face. People bash Lovie, some of it is deserved, but Lovie has commented multiple times…”they should have stuck to the plan”. The plan was heavy defense and running game. Lovie might not have been the best at executing his own plan but it doesn’t mean he was wrong. Had Lovie got Rod Marinelli to run the defense, he’d likely still be the HC.

  15. Jim Says:

    Don’t know and neither does anyone else. I do know that it will be terrifically entertaining and I will try to catch every game…

  16. Loyaltotheend Section 312 Says:

    Our expectations of a #1 overall pick are so low

    Yes, he made a state college relevant again but to have such low expectations of a high pick is pathetic. If he went to any other college people would be ready to see his film for what it is

  17. volbuc1 Says:

    The life of a Tampa Bay fan! Ridiculous!

  18. gobuxfla Says:

    Let’s just hope it’s under 15 interceptions and go from there. We need a long term solution but with the threat of an upcoming lockout/strike, any idea this team will be set for a decade is a reach. We need Jameis to fulfill his potential but not throw 2 picks + a game or fumble.

  19. Cobraboy Says:

    I agree with Pickgrin, 32-34 TD’s, 13-15 INT’s.

  20. Buc1987 Says:

    Loyaltotheend Section 312….I guess you’ll be enjoying another season of Jameis Winston up in the nose bleeds again.


  21. Buc1987 Says:

    Bird Says

    “Would love playoffs.
    8-8 likely. 9-7 would be hitting home run.”

    Dirk went 9-7 too. He’s gone now.

  22. tmaxcon Says:

    If jameis is lucky he will get the chance to play for a real nfl franchise…. dilfer won a super bowl once he escaped the ignorant one dimensional dungy the clown and the blackhole that is Buccaneers football

  23. D1 Says:


    If the defense can go a couple 3 and outs per game coupled with a reduction in turnovers and things can change quickly. You mentioned the running game improving, thats an area that last year’s team made seem worse. Frankly, I see that aspect of the game as the easiest to improve.

    Cobraboy pointed to how improving on defense, imo, correctly, will also improve the offense. It works both ways. If the offense can cut turnovers and 3 and out series that should help the defense. There’s reason to be optimistic
    I’d be happy with a disciplined team, that doesn’t shoot itself and as a result, the team always has a chance.


  24. Bird Says:



    Last 8 years.
    Like I said. 9-7 would be home run.

    And josh freeman went 10-6 the year before that.

  25. Alanbucsfan Says:

    You negative Nancys out there, including the Joes, underestimate how much good coaching can turn a team around.
    It happens in baseball, basketball , hockey and it happens in football as well.

    Look at St Louis Blues this year
    Billy Martin was wild, but every baseball team he ever managed won.
    Milwaukee Bucks coach Budenholzer made winners out of Atlanta Hawks and Bucks.
    And Arians won with Colts and Cardinals

    True, the roster needs upgrades, but this team will make fans proud of Bucs performances

  26. Buccfan37 Says:

    Hurry up Bucs before alzheimers creeps up the brain.

  27. OneBuc55 Says:

    If we can get 30+ TD’s vs. only 13 lnt’s or less out of Winston we got a legit shot at the playoffs imo…

    However, this is only remotely possible if the defense plays well and the kicking game does it’s part…

    As far as Winston’s contract extension; I don’t foresee the Glazer’s really wanting to “start all over” at the QB position anytime soon…I think they genuinely like Jameis and as long as he shows any kind of improvement and doesn’t absolutely emplode this year I expect him get a new deal…

    That being said, I honestly do believe Winstons FSU “baggage” and his little Uber hiccup has cost him top dollar; even if he does play well moving forward in his career he may always have to accept the “Scratch & Dent” discount at the negotiating table…

    Ultimately, assuming Winston does play well I think the Glazer’s would be happy to accept the discount…

  28. Loyaltotheend Section 312 Says:


    I’ve only enjoyed one of his 4 seasons so far

    I’ll be here longer than he will be

  29. Jameis Almighty! Says:

    I’m thrilled with Jameis’ career so far aside from the BS suspension, constant Jameis Bashing, receivers running bad routes, and the MeJax Fitz saga… Jameis has been a massive success.

  30. Magadude Says:

    @Loyaltotheend….Bingo! If the Glazers would have had a crystal ball and could have foreseen the misery Winston has alone caused them with bottom-half of NFL starting QB results thus far…they’d not have drafted him. He’s got to dig out of all of this year and then some to even hope to be here next year. Yes, we will be here longer than he will be.

  31. Jean Lafitte Says:

    guarded optimism “show me”

  32. Magadude Says:

    6-10 is generous, I’m afraid. If all is good, they will still have growing pains under new coaches/schemes for first several games. It will be a great day if they can start 2-4 given that schedule, and that’s picking them to beat NYG at home and win in England in the “home” game against CAR OR season opener against SF. Tall order.

  33. D1 Says:


    If winston puts those numbers, He will get a top dollar contract. Perhaps not the top, but it will be top tier.

    I have to agree with you that winstons past off the field behavior is going to affect his options. I say options not contract value. Some teams just will not consider him so he has lost market size. But it only takes one team to set the bar with him and he plays the one position where it’s customary to over value or under evaluate or some combination of the two.

    You built your opinion around the premise that the off field stuff is the prohibiting factor in Winston’s ability to sign at top dollar. I’m not disagreeing,
    I’M suggesting that your equation is incomplete. It’s not on field vs off field.
    Because in Winston’s case, those two are complimentary, not opposing, factors.

    If he’s lights out on the field and disciplined. Assuming off the field is quiet, Winston now has a story to sell. One that explains away the concerns about his past and future. The facts will not have disappeared but they can be explained with a great story. And make no mistake. .facts don’t influence or change people’s opinion . A great story on the other hand is , was and will be ,
    more powerful than a list of facts ie..alleged crimes, and on field stat lines.

    Winston has it all in front of him. Hasn’t lost anything yet.. nor is it preordained he will. It’s up to him and how he handles himself on and off the field.

  34. JimmyJack Says:

    These predictions of another losing season are mainly based off of last year’s team. There is no foundation for these predictions because we are entering a new Era.

    Entire coaching staff has been replaced. Brand new system for all 3 phases. Training & develope entire program will be completely different. Leadership on defense run off and replaced. Special Teams rebuilt. Tampa2 defensive playbook burned to ashes after 40 years of use. They even took sledgehammers to the lockeroom & players louge.

    The only thing they didnt change was the core of our offense which is probably a good thing since they are actually legit.

    This team will resemble nothing of the past teams and any predictions based off them are pretty lame.

    It could go one way or the other or right down the middle. I’ll look to the head coach and his past and predict 11-5……..Y’all keep looking at Dirk and Smitty’s teams and use that to predict 6-10……..Don’t worry you can get on the bandwagon whenever you wish. Except you Maga. You are banned.

    GO BUCS!!!!

  35. BA FAN Says:

    Jameis will win several Super Bowls with or without the Bucs. I prefer with the Bucs.

  36. D1 Says:

    Jameis Almighty,

    I will pass on the man love thing….it’s 2019 and ….you know….it’s ok…

    But receivers running bad routes! Fitzpatrick and mesean!
    Wtf are you talking about?

  37. BigHog Says:

    We got Jameis and we have given him receivers to work with, defensive backfield is a work in progress with a new defensive scheme, on the O/line a pure right guard is needed maybe in round 3 of the 2020 draft, then again on second thought we give this staff a chance to develop our young guys ….let the young guys get thru camp with some real coaching! I see some don’t like our new staff, even before the real grinding begins….you had your “ALL-WORLD STAFF AND TRANSFORMING DEFENCE last year and what did it get ya? GO BUCS..GO SUHY..GO BA!!

  38. JimmyJack Says:

    Whoever our QB is in 2020 will be Bruce’s decision. If he thinks Winston can get us over the hump then that’s who we will sign & it won’t matter if fans agree or not. Bruce’s call.

    If Bruce don’t think Winston can play good enough he will bring in somebody else…….which if I had to guess it will be an experienced vet……..Maybe a Derek Carr or Eli Manning. Again it won’t matter if fans agree. Bruce’s call.

  39. D1 Says:

    BA Fan,

    I like your confidence. You willing to put money on it?
    Not a token ..but something somewhere in the range of a decent vacation or mid priced suv.

    If you are..then I’m your huckleberry.

  40. Magadude Says:

    Owner’s call, no one else. Arians gets big input…but the Glazers will not leave a strategic decision up to a HC. And oh yeah, what fans think…those who will go to games and those who buy merchandise in the future…are critical. If all things coalesc on one option, that’s even better.

  41. WestChap Says:

    I just don’t understand those bashing the coaching staff. Bowles is rock solid… certainly he had a bad run as Jets HC but how can you question his chops as a DC? I understand the questioning of Leftwich as a somewhat unproven OC but how can you overlook the active tutelage of Christensen and Arians? Then you have Goodwin and Gilbert on offense and Rodgers and Foote on defense… there is an abundance of proven coaching talent. Join the Joes nitpicking the rookie DBs or launch a voodoo campaign to turn Benenoch into a righteous right guard… but lay off the coaches. IF we have another bad year it will not be because of the coaching. We will thankfully never hear “if we knew what was wrong we’d fix it” out of these guys!

  42. Tye Says:

    18 TDs
    21 ints

    Arians loves the air attack and if JW plays all 16 games it will work against his nature..
    For the Bucs to win with JW they need to run the ball constantly.. oh wait, no running back..

  43. Eric y Says:

    Lol Jameis is going to be Jameis …. he’s a turnover machine always has been always will

  44. Buczilla Says:

    I’m celebrating the 4th twice this year if this prediction comes true.

  45. Eric y Says:

    And westchap… the coaches don’t play… players do… what makes you think they can bring this team to more than 5 wins

  46. Magadude Says:

    It is a mixed bag on head coaches who win their first year…over the past five years or so. Some did “win” their first year as HC: Dirk Koetter, Todd Bowles, and Adam Gase, Mike Mularkey–of course, all fired fairly soon afterward. So it’s possible to win first year (with this team?). I mean, seriously, as with Dirk, just a few more pieces like a FG kicker and a speedy WR and the Bucs were there right? And after M. Smith extended as DC making HC money, the Bucs were going to do great things in 2017. One year later, Smith can’t get a cup of coffee on Dale Mabry, and two years later, Dirk may have felt better taking the midnight train out. Arians last two seasons in ARI were losing, but he left on is own. Would he have been fired? Maybe. For the Bucs, I expect things need to be at a very solid .500 AND looking up for Licht to be allowed to hang around, and for Arians to be tempted to do a season next year. But if this team turns in 8-8 or worse, I don’t expect Arians to be fired but I wouldn’t expect a huge vote of confidence in him or his key players. And he just may decide to bow out (announce toward) end of next year before it comes to that long walk on a Monday morning in December. Many times we’ve heard “Oh, these guys are different.” Giving it more thought, I was wrong to say 6-10. 5-11 seems more about right.

  47. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Just out of curiosity, would all the naysayers be happier if the Bucs had hired Adam Gase? Freddie Kitchens? Kliff Kingsbury? Vic Fangio?
    Matt LaFleur? Zac Taylor?

  48. Barbosa Says:

    I don’t think Winston gets a second contract. I also don’t think he will get let go. I think he plays well and he gets a franchise tag. With a new CBA around the corner, that would be the smart move. Franchise him and let him continue to improve without the big multi year contract.

  49. Magadude Says:

    BA was far and away the best HC candidate out there. I think all know that. But that doesn’t mean he’s good enough to do wonders in less than one year with no cap space, the same GM, and frankly, less of a team (on paper). Nothing wrong with cautious optimism, but if the past is any indicator, guys will get their hopes up for a winning season, and when their men don’t get it done and they don’t want to face reality (didn’t have it in them), the excuses (things that 31 other coaches, GMs, and QBs, etc have to deal with too) roll out. It seems like a lot of people are ready to put BA up in the RoH but he’s not seen one snap. And his record is, well, average.

  50. Alanbucsfan Says:

    I disagree they are less of a team on paper.
    The defense is much more talented than before, just need experience.
    JPP injury hurt, no doubt, but secondary and linebackers will be improved.
    If they put Cappa at RT, the run game improves immediately. Benenoch can play RT as well . Both were excellent tackles in college. I would not be surprised if they sign another guard before season starts and Dotson gets released. Dotson can pass block but his run blocking is a liability.
    The speed they drafted will also improve special teams and if the new kicker is consistent, that’s an improvement as well.
    Don’t overvalue Humphries contribution last year- he is a decent player but not special.
    The key to the season, as Joes have pointed out, is Jameis- he must make good decisions and having a running game will help him.
    I think Arians and staff and new schemes are worth 2 more wins- 2 coach of year awards is above average
    A better defense and special teams are worth 2-3 more wins.

  51. Allbuccedup Says:

    Prediction Jameis throws less than 15 ints through first five games. HAHAHAHA give it up dreamers. Oh by the way Jameis doesn’t like biscuits he prefers crab legs.

  52. Morgus the Magnificent Says: