Not A Lock, But Loaded

September 4th, 2020

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It’s on the coaches now.

It’s on Bruce Arians, Byron Leftwich, Clyde Christensen, Joe Gilbert and the rest of Tampa Bay’s offensive staff to make this happen. If they can’t, blow this thing up and let’s start over.

Arians said it himself this week, repeating a refrain we’ve heard since the end of a 7-9 season: If the Bucs don’t beat themselves, they will flourish. If the Bucs don’t self-destruct, watch out NFL.

The numbers back him up.

The 2019 Bucs easily led the league in giveaways. That’s reason No. 1 why Jameis Winston is sucking down crawfish in New Orleans instead of downing Cuban sandwiches in Ybor City.

Tampa Bay turned the ball over 41 times, six more than Carolina at No. 2. If there’s anyone still out there wondering why NFL coaches keep dwelling on ball security, chew on this tasty nugget: none of the league’s Top 10 giveaway teams made the playoffs.

Zilch. Nada.

The Big 4 & The Unknown

When Arians looks at all of the firepower at his command, he sees an embarrassment of riches. And it sure would be an embarrassment if this Buccaneer offense fails to deliver.

Ira talks to Cris Collinsworth

But will it?

“I don’t know, but I can’t wait to watch,” NBC’s Cris Collinsworth told me. “This is going to be a team, an offense, that we don’t even know what it’s going to be. The difference between Bruce Arians’ offense and Tom Brady’s offense is so stark that we just don’t know what it’s going to be.

“Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are two receiving threats that Tom Brady simply did not have anybody even close to that last year as far as a down the field threat. And three tight ends who can really play.”

In just the past six months, this franchise has added a Hall of Fame quarterback, a Hall of Fame tight end, a shifty veteran who has averaged 1,000 rushing yards during an 11-year career and another back who just finished sixth in the league in total yards from scrimmage.

Quite a makeover.

People like to say defenses win championships, but only six teams yielded more yards than the Chiefs in 2019. The days of winning 17-14 in this league are long gone. Buc ball is history.

New School

The Ravens just went 14-2, leading the NFL by averaging 33 points per game. Shouldn’t the 2020 Bucs do the same? Of the Top 10 scoring teams, only the Bucs and Cowboys failed to qualify for the postseason.

Go time

“You’ve got great receivers,” says NBC’s AL Michaels, “and as far as I can tell, Brady hasn’t fallen off any cliff. I’ve got great respect for the coach and the staff down there. This is going to be fascinating to watch.”

Could it be a train wreck? There’s always that chance.

Brady could suffer a significant injury, leaving a high-octane attack running on fumes with Blaine Gabbert. The offensive line may not be up to the task of protecting Brady, who is less mobile than Winston. It could take six weeks for all these new parts to come together.

Buc fans can’t wait to get started. Neither can the Glazers, who signed off on these big-name additions in a desperate effort to end 12 years of drudgery. This might be a player’s league, but Buc coaches are the ones on the clock.

“It’s just like the start of the college football season,” Collinsworth says, “only you don’t get to start with some team you’re gonna beat by 50. There are so many unknowns that it’s unbelievable.”

We know one thing already — if this isn’t the most prolific offense in Buc history, shame, shame, shame.

Bill Currie Ford
5815 N. Dale Mabry Hwy.
Tampa, FL 33614

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10 Responses to “Not A Lock, But Loaded”

  1. D-Rome Says:

    Anything less than 11 wins would be a failure because I do not think 10 wins is enough to make the playoffs in the NFC.

  2. topdoggie Says:

    I think we could still have a 9 or squeak in a 10 win season with Gabbert. He played on some crappy teams. Also never in the same system. He is more mature and has a good grasp of the system. But I hope we never have to find out. Keep Brady UPRIGHT>

  3. Cannon Says:

    A lot of this comes down to health. Injuries or illness can completely derail this effort. Naturally, this applies to all teams, but the Bucs are clearly in “win now” mode, so health is of particular importance to us, this season.

  4. Barbosa Says:

    Ira it is such a strange year, I have no idea what to think. I do feel good about having such an experienced champion under center, but so do the saints. Exciting !

  5. Darin Says:

    If if if. One game at a time Ira. I know that doesn’t get clicks but you know that’s it. Go Bucs.

  6. Mike Johnson Says:

    In my opinion, with all the hype, if the Bucs don’t win at least 10 games? they should be tied to the whipping post. No hiding. You are what your record says you are in this league. Thats the beauty of this NFL. All the talk subsides to the field of play.

  7. danr Says:

    DRome i dont think that will be possible, I do not think it is possible to have that many 10 win teams in the nfc (7) without having several 0-16 teams and the AFC just sucking.

    remember there are 7 playoff spots in the NFC this year.

  8. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    To your point, Darin, year in and year out, it always comes to the bottom line reality.

    “That’s why they play the games!”. 😆 I have never become weary of that old “clliche”. It says it all.

  9. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    I will just say that I am so supremely confident that I have 1/3 of my fantasy team made up of Buccaneers. My nephews in the same league think I’m nuts. The bullspit spitout by the league says I drafted the 10th best team out of 10 and I’m gonna go 1-13. I’ve never come in last in a league in my 25 years of playing fantasy football. Time will tell. LFG!!!

  10. Jack Says:

    To say “anything less than 11 wins is a failure” a stupid statement. Injuries, schedule and improvement of teams that you expected to be doormats cn spoil those plans. I hope the Bucs find a way to make the playoffs. Next, if they make the playoffs, I hope they win their division and get a home game. If they are good enough and lucky enough, I hope they will geta first round bye. I feel optimistic, but not crazy.