“It’s Going To Work.”

August 3rd, 2020

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For Ron Jaworski, birthday boy Tom Brady is the gift that keeps on giving.

Jaws called me a few days ago to lobby for Dick Vermeil as a potential Hall of Fame coach. Vermeil turned around franchises in Philadelphia, St. Louis and Kansas City, leading the 1999 Rams to a Super Bowl victory.

After talking up Vermeil as a coach who was all about winning, Jaworski turned his attention to Mr. Brady, the ultimate winning quarterback in the league’s 100-year history.

Jaws talks Brady & Jameis with Ira Kaufman

“Yes, it’s going to work in Tampa,” said Jaworski, who played for the Rams, Eagles, Dolphins and Chiefs in an accomplished 15-year career under center. “The Bucs have a lot of talent and now they have Tom Brady. I did a chalk talk in Miami with Tom and just being with him a half hour before we went on the stage was special.

“At this point in his career and with all he has accomplished, this guy is still pissed off about being the 199th pick in the draft. He has a chip on his shoulder that I’ve never seen from any player. He wants to go down to Tampa and he won’t be happy unless he hoists that Vince Lombardi Trophy at Raymond James Stadium. He’s got weapons in Tampa and I think they’ll have a huge, huge year.”

Weather Change

Jaworski will never have a bust in Canton, but he enjoyed a nice run with the Eagles from 1978-81. He never missed a game during that span, compiling a 42-22 record while helping Philadelphia to four consecutive playoff berths.

He’s got fond memories of Tampa, noting the 1980 Eagles trained at old One Buc Place in the week leading up to their NFC title game matchup against Dallas at Veterans Stadium. A close friend of Jon Gruden, Jaworski has kept a close eye on the Bucs over the years.

“Bruce Arians is a sharp guy,” Jaworski said, “and he’s got the legendary Tom Moore hanging around. That’s respect for the game. Bruce won’t hold Tom Brady back. In fact, I think Tom will end up inputting a lot of the stuff that worked for him in New England.

“I’m excited for the franchise. I’ve been a Brady fan for a long, long time. I think he’s one of those guys who changes the weather. When he’s in the facility, when he’s in a meeting or at practice, it’s different. That guy uplifts everybody just by being around.”

Has Brady’s arm strength diminished at this point?

“Maybe slightly,” Jaworski said. “When you’re 43, you’ve got to lose a little bit of zip, but Tom in the pre-snap phase is as good as it gets. Before the ball is snapped, he knows exactly where he wants to go with the football. And by the time he’s at the top of his drop, that ball’s gonna be out of his hand.

“He will not take sacks, he will throw the ball away. In terms of their ability to identify the coverage, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees are also in that same category — and Tom may be the best of all.”

Rearview Mirror

I couldn’t let Jaworski go without asking him about the future of a former Tampa Bay quarterback.

“I think Jameis Winston will once again be a starting quarterback in the NFL,” he said. “He has starting talent. But to be successful in the NFL long term, you have to play mistake-free football. Jameis just made too many mistakes, too many bad decisions.

“I think he trusted his own ability too much, throwing into coverage and almost pre-determining where he wanted to go with the football. He does things in a game that amaze me with the throws that he makes, but then he negates that with poor decisions and bad throws. Being around Sean Payton and Drew Brees will settle him down and give him a different prism to see the game.”

The Bucs will renew acquaintances with Winston in the season opener at the Superdome. The name on the jersey may be the same, but Winston could sport a new outlook.

“Some of those mistakes he made last year were unconscionable,” Jaworski said. “Some were real head scratchers … just terrible. At this point in his career, you just can’t make those mistakes. Sean will put him in positions to be successful.

“To this day, I still believe Sean Payton is the best designer of offense in the NFL. He has a great ability to set people up for success. Jameis will be able to calm down and look at the game differently. Sometimes, you need a new environment. The pressure on him in that community in Florida, that wears on a guy.  Jameis is a good guy. He wants to do great and New Orleans will be a good change of pace for him.”

Enjoy Mike Alstott’s June interview on the Ira Kaufman Podcast.

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15 Responses to ““It’s Going To Work.””

  1. SB Says:

    Nice article Ira.

  2. Jaymiss Pick6 Again Says:

    1) Mr. Kaufman – I also lobby for Coach Vermeil to get into the HOF. He was too good of a coach to overlook.

    2) I’ve been a Bucs fan since opening day 1976. I have never heard this quote about a Bucs QB., ““He will not take sacks, he will throw the ball away. In terms of their ability to identify the coverage, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees are also in that same category — and Tom may be the best of all.”

    What is a stronger word for refreshing!

  3. SB Says:

    @Jaymiss……..I would use the word invigorating!!

  4. '79Defense Says:

    Good one, Ira. I wish you had him comment on the pounding the ’79 Bucs D (my ”79Defense name for this site being a tribute to them) put on him for that first playoff win

    Love his comment about Brady not going to be happy until he hoists the trophy in Tampa..

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I guess all Jameis needs is better coaching, a change of scenery and staying on the bench to settle down.

  6. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Agree Vermeil belongs in the HOF. I would have guessed he was already in.

    Does the NFL still have all those convoluted rules about 3rd string QB’s? Rules that do not really apply unless the 3rd QB actually enters the game?

    JW will be dressed out I hope. It’ll be fun to see him in a Saints uni.

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I forgot the 96% reduction in pay to settle JW down….

  8. Ivan The Insider Says:

    In before N-Puppy posts in this thread that mentions his hero Jameis and he posts his tired, worn-out, cry-baby exclamation of “Bucs have to win it all this year or the team is doom for a decade!”

    So funny how one dude can spend so much time posting about the NFL yet not know how Free Agency works and how so many of our players (even before Brady) were brought here via Free Agency.

    When the time comes that Tom Brady is done here, we’ll simply write a check and bring in someone else. It’s that simple.

  9. Rod Munch Says:

    Why did the 1980 Eagles workout at One Buc Place during the playoffs? I’m guessing weather, but I’ve never heard of a team doing that during the season (or at least I don’t remember that).

    Also Vermeil didn’t win the 1999 Super Bowl, the refs making up the Bert Emanuel catch rule on the spot won the Rams the SB.

  10. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    I’m pulling for JW. It is really too bad, perhaps it will even become tragic, that the light never came on for him during his first five years here at Tampa Bay. Time will tell.

    Now, I am only truly concerned with how Brady and the Buccaneers will fare this year!

    Go Bucs! In BA I Trust.

  11. DRFEELGOOD Says:

    I’m sure Jaws has not so fond memories of our fourth year Bucs taking the Eagles out in the 1979 playoffs, Man, it sure looked like we were poised for a decade of great football with all of the young talent we had. Can only imagine had we kept Doug Williams and Ricky Bell hadn’t gotten sick. It’s a Bucs life. GO BUCS!!

  12. Big Stinky Says:

    Come on September!!! Going to be a season to remember guys if the secondary can hang. Brady will put up 4800 yards passing with 42 TD’S and 10 INT’S. Lots of scoring!!!!

  13. TheBradyBunch Says:

    Big Stinky, based on what’s happening with baseball I will be pleasantly shocked if they can pull off more than a few games before cancelling this season. My fingers are crossed but it isn’t looking good.

  14. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    “I think he’s one of those guys who changes the weather…”

    AWESOME quote. Thats a keeper

  15. Buczilla Says:

    Good article Ira. Vermeil was a good coach and deserves to be in the HOF since the bar is set pretty low for coaches. Hell, you can get in without ever winning a superbowl! The HOF process is a sham and outside of Ira and a handful of others, needs to be purged of lackeys and incompetent buffoons.