“You Know It When You See It”

November 1st, 2019

Ira’s award-winning column pops three times a week. Click through here to shop now at BillCurrieFord.com.


It’s one of those things in life that is hard to describe — like a rainbow, a baby’s laugh or a good Cuban sandwich.

But you know it when you see it.

On Sunday, Buc fans will get to view a rare sight and they will turn away from their TV sets collectively wondering, “why don’t we have one of those?”

A true franchise quarterback will be on full display at Seattle, where the Seahawks are 6-2, despite a defense that ranks 20th in points allowed and 24th in total yards.

The great equalizer is Russell Wilson, the eighth-year quarterback who turns 31 later this month and has never won fewer than nine games in a season.

Classic shot of Russell Wilson and Jameis from the legendary JoeBucsFan photographer at the 2016 Pro Bowl in Hawaii

The Legion of Boom is long gone, yet the Seahawks remain an NFC power.

Michael Bennett, Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor are nothing more than fond memories in the Pacific Northwest.

Wilson refused to let himself be defined by that ill-fated pass against New England in the Super Bowl that robbed Seattle of a second consecutive Vince Lombardi Trophy. Instead, he has raised his game to a new level, taking his thankful teammates along for a giddy joyride.

“That’s one of the things that I really admired about him is that when you’re already ripping it at an early age, how do you keep from plateauing?” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said before losing to Seattle last week. “OK, you need a really good player and taking the next step into the great stuff. That’s what you’re seeing Russ do. I would say it’s the accuracy, having real awareness for all of the things, whether it’s blitz looks, pressure looks, situational football where he’s just so on it in those spaces. I’d say all those things.”

What do franchise quarterbacks do? Let us count the ways.

They imbue everyone else with confidence that the game is never lost, despite the deficit. They are at their best in crunch time. They make pedestrian targets productive.

No Arsenal Like Tampa Bay’s

Guys like Wilson, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are not blessed with elite receivers.

Tyler Lockett is solid, but Wilson’s other targets are rookie D.K. Metcalf, Jaron Brown and tight end Will Dissly. Do you see Mike Evans or Chris Godwin in that group?

Wilson’s best receiver, Doug Baldwin, retired in May at the age of 30 after failing a physical. For each of the previous three seasons, he had been named one of the NFL’s Top 100 players.

“Wilson’s fantastic,” says Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. “He’s obviously an elite quarterback that can win a game and he can beat you by himself. Not many quarterbacks can do that.”

Say hello to another one.

Brady’s Patriots lead the NFL in scoring with an array of targets that has included Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, Phillip Dorsett and Ryan Izzo. Brady has found a way to turn running back James White into the

NFL’s premier third-down threat coming out of the backfield.

Ira Kaufman notes great quarterbacks have thrived without top weapons

Remember Chris Hogan? He looked like a polished clutch receiver when Brady was throwing him the ball, so Carolina signed him in free agency this spring. He caught three passes in four games before Carolina placed him on injured reserve.

Edelman is a superb route runner, blessed with very good hands, but nobody would look at him twice if he was playing for Jacksonville.

Rodgers has thrown 16 TD passes and only two picks this season, despite playing the past four games without Davante Adams. Instead, he’s throwing to Geronimo Allison, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and 33-year-old Jimmy Graham.

The 2009 Saints won the Super Bowl and led the league in scoring without an 800-yard rusher and a receiving group that featured Marques Colston, Devery Henderson and Robert Meachum. How? They had Drew Brees. Next question.

The Bucs hoped they had finally found THAT guy when they drafted Jameis Winston No. 1 overall in 2015. They’re still looking, joined in that quest by the vast majority of NFL franchises. So sit back Sunday and marvel as Wilson repeatedly turns busted plays into big plays.

This guy’s the real deal. He’s what the Bucs are looking for under center. He’s the franchise.

You know it when you see it.

Click through to shop online at Bill Currie Ford. Remember their new $5,000 Best Price Guarantee and nationwide lifetime warranty.

Ira Kaufman launched his professional NFL coverage in 1979, back when Earl Campbell was the toast of the NFL and Lee Roy Selmon was defensive player of the year. After a lifetime at the Tampa Tribune, “The Sage of Tampa Bay Sports” joined JoeBucsFan.com in July of 2016. His twice-weekly podcast and three columns per week appear here year-round and are presented by Bill Currie Ford. Tampa Bay’s only Hall of Fame voter is a regular on SiriusXM Mad Dog Radio and a part of the FOX-13 Tailgate Sunday show, in addition to his other appearances. You can hang out with Ira during every Bucs road games at Buffalo Wild Wings. His schedule is linked here.

46 Responses to ““You Know It When You See It””

  1. Ricky Says:

    Standing Ovation!!!!! Good job Sage.

  2. bucsfaninchina Says:

    oof, this one hurts.

  3. Troy Says:

    Ira – This is the best article you’ve written so far. Why? Because it hits directly at what I’ve been saying for 3 years. Winston is not in the same league as Wilson, Brady, Rodgers, & Brees. He cannot win this franchise a Superbowl. I get that the standard is hard to achieve, this level of competence is hard to find, but striving for anything less is failure.

  4. 813bucboi Says:

    we certainly dont have 1 of those…..lol….

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  5. 813bucboi Says:

    in the photo above the convo went like this:

    russ: winston, you trash bro…lol…

    jameis: really?….but i went to FSU…

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  6. LordCornelius Says:

    IMO Tampa ruined whatever Jameis Winston could have been. Not as bad as Derek Carr was ruined by Houston and their non existent O-line, but same idea.

    His rookie #’s were basically right on par with Andrew Luck. He was setting franchise records early and his #’s were improving, but he’s been on a franchise with a bottom 5-10 offensive line/ defense / run game / special teams his entire career.

    If you look at his first few seasons, he was always super clutch in close games in the 4th quarter. The only game he didn’t win that he had a chance to win was at home against the Rams when he flopped in the red zone when we had a chance, and time ran out.

    But our offensive line has NEVER been a strength or top unit in the NFL. The only things we’ve lead the NFL in have been passing yards / WR & TE fantasy points. Our defense has been consistently been a joke. Hell a kicker has cost us a game already this year too lol.

    He was set up to fail, and now that he’s been part of being a failure for 4 + years it’s obvious he doesn’t have the same confidence in the pocket anymore. Instead of throwing aggressive INT’s like he did early on he’s throwing dumb one’s or one’s where he looks scared. He’s holding onto the ball a ton out of a fear of making mistakes IMO. At FSU he had some of – if not the best – pocket awareness / confidence of any QB I’d seen in a while. Not anymore. Not the same.

    In general the #1 problem with this team is we don’t know how to build a freaking team.

    You don’t build teams using premium picks on skill players, kickers, and short slow corners.

    You build a team that will win in the trenches more often than not, and sure as hell not get pushed around.

    You build an offensive line that makes life easier for QB/RB/WR/TE.

    You build a front 7 that consistently pressures the QB so even if you have the worst secondary players in the world, you can still put out a functional defense.

    Eagles/Pats/Steelers/Saints/etc all follow this motto. All spend a lot of resources on trench and front 7 players before they go spending on the secondary and skill players. You fit those pieces in last. You don’t build freaking teams around WR/TE/ILB/CB/K

  7. DB55 Says:

    Yet Winston is 1-0 vs Wilson.

    I love the fact that Winston is repeatedly compared to SB/HOF QBs.

    Fun fact: Seattle has scored 30 points in only 2 games this season.

    In 7 games the Bucs have needed at least 30 points to compete. Not counting the 2 games that TOs led to 14 points. Just the other 5 games.

    Prior to last night Jimmy G had 10 TDs and 10 TOs yet was undefeated

    And Brady in all his glory not only gets to compete against the AFC east he also has the #1 def in the league

    Every division leaders has a strong running game and a strong def. I don’t even think the Chiefs miss Mahomes but wtfdik

  8. Pelbuc61 Says:

    Wilson is also and foremost a good, mature person. JW’s off the field issues (before and after being drafted by Licht) have demonstrated his immaturity to say the least. When has JW made any the the players around him better?

  9. D-Rome Says:

    Jay-Miss has 11 interceptions already this year and the most interceptions Russell Wilson has thrown in a season is 11. The two seasons where he threw 11 INTs in a season are during the years where he had a horrible offensive line.

    Want to know why we can’t have a QB like Russell Wilson? It’s because this franchise has lacked accountability. In his rookie year the Seahawks signed a guy to be their starter (don’t remember who, it doesn’t matter) but Pete Carroll gave Russell Wilson every opportunity to beat him out for the job, and he did.

    Meanwhile in Buc land, competition doesn’t exist for all 53 positions on the active roster evidenced by the fact that the Bucs brought in Blaine Gabbert specifically to backup Winston, not to compete for the position.

  10. Lamarcus Says:

    Seattle can draft ummmmm pretty damn good too.

  11. JJV Says:

    Ira, this article of yours was a classic. Not only was it filled with truth but hit home with impact. There is nothing more we can say to embelish it. It was powerful statement. Well done.

  12. Iamabuc Says:

    @lordcornelius…I’m with you on that one…this Tampa Bay team has screwed up Winston3, just like it has screwed so many other players..yes, I still remember when JW3 got here…he was playing better, there were signs if improvement…now a days he’s like a shell of what he once was and what he could’ve been…here’s hoping it’s not too late for him….smh

  13. Petty Officer Buc Says:

    D-Rome you’re thinking of Matt Flynn he was Aaron Rodgers longtime backup in Green Bay and the previous year he started a game and threw for over 400 yards I think so the media hyped him up.

    This was the year the Seahawks moved on from Matt Hasselbeck. But like you said the coaching staff gave the QBs a fair and equal chance to prove themselves in training camp and it paid off. Russell Wilson is the real deal. I just wish Ryan Griffin would get a fair shake A.K.A the ONLY Buccaneers QB signed to a second contract.

  14. DB55 Says:


    Just a reminder that the last time The TB media worked this hard to run somebody off was Gruden and we haven’t seen a playoff game since or a 10 win season and only 1 winning record. Ijs. Be careful what you ask for….

  15. sincethebeginning Says:

    Fantastic column, Ira! Drop that mic!!!

  16. Jimmy Says:

    Ira, did you write this column wearing your Devin White jersey?

  17. Jimmy Says:

    Ira, aren’t you the same guy who always complained Charles Sims wasn’t getting the ball enough?

  18. Buc believer Says:

    Jameis is the victim of the infamous Buc curse…. He who dares sign with the Bucs are doomed to suck!

  19. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    DB55 – That is an accurate statement. It is like all these fans don’t remember all the scrub QBs this franchise has endured over the years. Winston needs to improve no doubt, but it’s not like finding franchise QBs is easy. The Bucs had one in Doug Williams. After that it was 30 years of scrubs outside of Steve Young who was lucky enough to get the hell out of here. Barring a miracle, I think just from a PR stance the Glazers are going to have to run Winston out of here. Fans can’t wait to get another Glennon in here so we can lose 31 to 10 rather than 38-34. Bring in Nick Foles or Case Keenum and they will be missing JW soon enough. If I was Jameis I would try to get out now. The fans here hate him and this franchise if run horribly with a GM who screws up everything he touches.

  20. Petty Officer Buc Says:

    Seahawks just signed Josh Gordon. I don’t think he can play this weekend however.

  21. LordCornelius Says:


    Jameis still gets some blame imo. I mean the turnovers are insane and in his own league compared to anyone else – including QB’s on not so great teams.

    But I am 100% with you that Jameis is not the problem or reason this franchise is in the state it’s in.

    The problem with this franchise is Mark Domnik basically drafted 2 decent players in 5 freaking years and one of them was a top 3 pick (McCoy/David).

    The problem with this franchise is Jason Licht tried to rebuild a core of a team with premium picks on WR, TE, CB, K, & S instead of LT/OG/DT/Edge like the winners do.

    The problem with this franchise is they have hired multiple coaches who were past their prime and had antiquated football minds.

    This front office has no direction or cohesiveness to it or any sort of philosophy on building a team that is consistent with winning formulas. Until they fix that mess of an organization we are going to continue wallowing in Buc hell.

  22. DB55 Says:

    Does anyone remember just last summer when certain fans were obsessed with Baker Mayfield?

    Fun fact: Baker currently has more commercials than touchdowns but hey wtfdik


  23. DB55 Says:


    Yea but we’re not nfl hof voters so wtfdwk. Nothing, nothing at all. Lol

  24. Son of Kobe Faker Says:

    “JW3 trade straightup with MVP Cam Newton “

  25. LordCornelius Says:

    And let’s be real – Tom Brady is considered the greatest QB of all time lol. What a comparison.

    Russel Wilson and Seattle have basically had winning records and top elite defenses since the day he started.

    And even Brady has had top 5 defenses the vast majority of his career. This year the Patriots defense has scored more TDs than they have given up for CHrist’s sake. He is dumping passes off on screens and check downs within 1.2 seconds and leaning on the run game. Put him in this offense that Leftwhich calls on a team that gives up 24-30 PPG and see how he does lol.

    & Aaron Rodgers / Drew Brees have had losing seasons when their teams sucked.

    Greenbay’s defense and run game are why they are 7-1 right now. Not Aaron Rodgers pulling magic out of his 4ss while the rest of his team sucks.

    The Saints have been perennial contendors lately because of their defense and run game. Teddy B proves that. It’s not Drew Brees pulling magic out of his 4ss. The years he had to try and do that they went 7-9 3 straight seasons despite him throwing like 5000 yards per season.



    end of rant lol

  26. BucsBandit Says:


  27. Dapostman Says:

    The 2009 Saints won the Super Bowl because they had Drew Brees.

    In 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2016 they won 7 games each year. Why Ira? They had Drew Brees all those years too.

    I’ll tell you Ira. Because QB is one position that is dependent on other positions to be successful. That’s why Drew Brees didn’t win in 2012, 2014,2015, and 2016. His team wasn’t good.

  28. Dapostman Says:

    Josh Gordon picked by Seattle with the 28th waiver claim. Bucs passed at #8. I guess Featherstone Perriman and Little Scotty Miller have more talent.


  29. Mike Johnson Says:

    Great article here Ira. Yep..You know It When You see It. And its Not..Jameis.
    God knows we all wanted him to be..The man. But he’s 50/50 and that won’t cut it as elite in this NFl. Wilson works wonders with his offense..every year. Year after Year. Kinda hurts sayin this but..It might be time to sentence Jameis to his future backup role elsewhere.

  30. Defense Rules Says:

    Lord C … Great analyses. What I think is your bottom line says it all … “In general the #1 problem with this team is we don’t know how to build a freaking team.”

    Several others have implied that this team, and especially the OLine/running game/ defense ‘ruined Jameis’. I disagree. Jameis is who he is, and that really hasn’t changed very much at all since he was drafted in 2015. Bucs (aka Jason Lichtweight) CHOSE to put their money into (1) receivers and (2) HALF an OLine for Jameis. Jameis had a receiving corps to throw to that any of those franchise QBs (Brady, Brees, Wilson, Rodgers) would’ve died for. HOWEVER, when you put your salary Cap $$$ there, you no longer have the $$$ to afford other ‘luxuries’ … like a decent OLine, a quality defense & competent RBs.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that Jameis is a middle-of-the-pack QB. Nothing more, nothing less. With the right TEAM around him AND with the right coaches, he could get the job done I believe. But so could 2/3 of the QBs starting in the NFL right now. Too much inconsistency to be elite unfortunately. But hey, THAT’S who Jameis is.

  31. DB55 Says:

    Wilson is also and foremost a good, mature person
    He also dated a “Instagram model” #pornstar and married a trap King’s baby mama. Some of you won’t know what this means but rest assured you’d have major problems with it.

    Not to mention the beef in the locker room between him and the entire championship team including but not limited to Lynch, cam, Sherman, Bruce and Thomas. But hey he has a nice smile so he must be a “good guy”.

    So now the legion of boom is gone and the Seahawks haven’t made it past the wildcard division after going to two consecutive Super Bowls when the defense was intact. But hey 17-1 TD/int ratio is impressive!


  32. SB Says:

    No Offense at all Ira. I love your articles. However this is the Most On Point article I have read from you since you joined JBF. ABSOLUTELY SPOT ON!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Jameis is STILL who he was when he joined the Bucs……… A turnover proned, poor decision making QB who shows you just enough spurts of brilliance to make you cling to hope.
    Hope is gone for me anyways.

  33. SB Says:

    If they were on the same team. Winston would be the back up and NONE OF YOU can deny that.

  34. Destinjohnny Says:

    Imagine Wilson with our wideouts…

  35. Figures Says:


    Lmao hilarious. Your love for Winston is so strong you just wrote a whole paragraph talking crap about Wilson lmao. What a mo ron lol.

    Sorry but no matter how “deep” your love goes it will never elevate your boy above Wilson.

    Wilson is what Winston wishes he was.

    Just stop talking. My God you just look more and more du mb.

  36. TampaTown Says:

    Great job Ira! So profound in your simplicity. You know it when you see it. A truism for all life.

  37. SB Says:

    I told a buddy of mine to watch out for RW when he was drafted. I said Flynn may never see the field. LoL

  38. kyle Says:

    of course you did sb^^

  39. gotbbucs Says:

    It was a great read….., but damn is it depressing to think about.

    Why can’t we just slop into something good at a position that matters for once?

  40. gotbbucs Says:

    Seattle is also committed to running the ball. So that helps the QB immensely.

  41. SB Says:

    kyle Says:
    November 1st, 2019 at 8:46 pm
    of course you did sb^^

    Oh Believe me! I Totally did. When RW was at NC State I was watching him because I am a College Baseball dude. I Totally was all in on him but I thought he would go Baseball. When he chose Football I believed him.
    It’s ok that you don’t believe it though. Not many saw it.

  42. DB55 Says:


    On the 2019 Bucs or hawks? Or on the 2013-2015 hawks?

    If Wilson was on the Bucs he still wouldn’t win bc he can’t score enough points. If Jameis was on the 2013-2015 hawks he’d prob be undefeated and a top 5 QB.

    I’m just thinking you have to consider how that hawks defense of old AND Lynch changes the entire scenario. It would be like FSU all over again.

    Consider this the Seahawks 5 wins come against 5 teams with a combined 14 wins. Bengals 0, Steelers 3, cardinals, falcons, browns, rams.

  43. ElioT Says:

    Yeah the Bucs have really screwed Winston.

    No weapons around him right?

    Nothing but a revolving door of defensive-minded coaches right?

    If they could just support Jameis with an all pro offensive line, all world RBs, and a top 5 defense. Think of the possibilities.

    Then he’d be great.

    I’m not trying to bash Winston but holy hell, those of you who spends hours upon hours finding every excuse in the book need to wake up.

    Winston has proven without a doubt, that he is not an elite QB. Not saying he doesn’t have the potential, but he hasn’t done it.

    He’s one of the best QBs this franchise has ever had, and the dude wants to win, but that only gets you so far.

  44. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Brady. 13 Td’s 4 Int. 2019 Since 2007, only 4 yrs of 10 or more Int
    Wilson 17 Td’s 1 Int. 2019 Only 3 yrs of 10 or more Int career
    Rodgers 16 Td’s 2 Int.2019 Only 2 yrs of 10 or more Int. career

    Jameis. 14 Td’s 12 Int. 2019. Every yr 10 or more Int

  45. 2020 What is the bucs future plan? Says:

    Well said IRA, This front office has no direction or cohesiveness to it or any sort of philosophy on building a team that is consistent with winning formulas. iTS NOT THAT COMPILICATED THE GAME IS WON IN THE TRENCHES…..time to clean house ….

  46. NPRSageBoy Says:

    As usual Sage, ‘ nuff said.

    Well done.

    Peace, out