December 31st, 2020

Elite play.

When Joe thinks of the word “gunslinger” for an NFL quarterback, the Bucs had one last year.

Ol’ Mr. Entertainment, America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston was just that. “Keep firing,” Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians told Jameis, and he sure as hell did.

Jameis fired and rifled and used that cannon arm to wing the football around the yard like few quarterbacks Joe has ever seen. Damn, it was fun! And the stats bore out what our eyes told us — over 5,000-yards passing, which is extraordinary.

Jameis was certainly must-see TV.

But Joe never, ever thought park-violating, home-invading, NFLPA-ignoring, down-forgetting, handshake-stiffing, jet-ski-losing, biscuit-baking Bucs quarterback Tom Brady was a gunslinger. But that’s exactly what Vincent Verhei of Football Outsiders referred to Brady as in his first year with Arians.

How did that happen? Verhei tells the ways.

One year ago at this time, Brady was dinking-and-dunking for an anemic offense that was carried by a dominant defense to a postseason berth, where they were promptly upset at home. At age 42, Brady and his arm looked washed up. Well … funny story. It turns out that if you take Brady away from Julian Edelman, Phillip Dorsett, and Mohamed Sanu and give him Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Rob Gronkowski instead, he plays a whole hell of a lot differently. Brady has seen major boosts in both yards per pass (from 6.8 to 7.8) and touchdown rate (3.9% to 6.3% — the latter would be his best since 2016) and cut back on sacks (3.4%, down from 4.2%). His interception rate has climbed from 1.3% to 1.9%, but the Bucs have been more than happy to live with that. Brady was the top Game Manager in the league last year, but he has been more of a Gunslinger this season. Really, though, it’s his ability to avoid sacks that has been, and remains, his greatest asset.

And right now nothing about Brady looks like he’s 43. Unless he gets badly hurt, he’ll be back next year.

A couple of other interesting items Verhei discovered upon a statistical deep-dive on:

* Against the Lions, Brady was lethal passing down the middle. He completed 9-of-11 down the middle and all nine went for first downs.

* Inside the Lions-40, Brady was masterful. He connected on 9-of-10 for 133 yards and four touchdowns.

Brady being washed up last year? He found the fountain of youth in that pond behind the Glazer Shed at the Bucs complex.

31 Responses to ““Gunslinger””

  1. CleanHouse Says:

    You Trying to Jinx the guy?…. avoiding sacks is his greatest asset, unless he gets badly hurt…

  2. ModHairKen Says:

    Clearly, Brady is less mobile than Jameis. Clearly, Jameis was better at shaking off defenders and avoiding sacks.

    What, then, is the difference? Brady makes better decisions, and faster, throws the ball away when necessary, and has greater accuracy.

    Talent matched with valuable experience. Some guys have it. Some do not.

    Jameis had his chance. He failed.

    Yeah, some Jameis apologist will say it is all Wirfs and RoJo. Whatever makes you feel better about the W eater.

  3. BradyBucs Says:

    It’s concrete proof that Winston isn’t elite. Brady is putting up similar numbers, yet being pulled from games and not racking up those garbage time yards, is leading the team to a possible 11 win season and playoff berth, yet has done so with great efficiency. If you took away that one really and 3-int anomaly game, Brady would have a ridiculous TD-to-INT ratio.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    You didn’t mention BEAM ME UP SCOTTY, that is where BRADY got that big boost in yards per pass…GUNSLINGER l beg to differ!!

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Don’t worry yourself ^^^he will have one again, it’s playoff time, better teams are aheaded this way!!

  6. Jean Lafitte Says:

    Damn!!!! How bout them Bucs!! Insanely exited Man ..Go Bucs!!

  7. Pete I Says:

    Brady has been a breath of fresh air. Jameis”meaningless stats” Winston was entertaining his first two years then he was frustrating in the final 3. By year 4, I couldn’t see what anyone saw in him…he had failed to mature or get better and everyday we had him under center the Bucs were simply spinning their wheels. On the wrong track and not going anywhere.

  8. DavidBigBucFan99 Says:

    All the more proof he was tired of Bellyache and his authority. You can see Brady loves to sling the ball down field, and looks for the deeper routes first before looking closer. I’ve even seen him when he gets to that alarm in his head telling him to dump it off start looking for deeper routes again. I was so impressed by his arm strength in the last 4 quarters of play, and when you look at the stats for them it’s even more impressive. Anybody not on board with him as our qb makes me believe in a little bit of selective censorship. He’s the main reason we’ll be playing in our own stadium in February if we make it there.

  9. Sport Says:

    Has anyone else noticed how Jamie’s keeps trying to be in the mix and his teammates aren’t feeling it? After Kamara broke the record, he went to him on the sidelines, JW went to congratulate him and he gave him a ‘who are you, yeah whatever vibe’. The childish W eating whe Brees was being interviewed. Sad….

    All the Bucs have to do is play to their ability (not hope they overachievelime years past) and we will be awake dangerous as any team to win it all.

    Go Bucs

    In BA I Trust!

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    @Verhei … “Really, though, it’s his ability to avoid sacks that has been, and remains, his greatest asset.”

    That’s one of the most bewildering assessments of Tom Brady that I’ve ever read Joe. Could easily go along with his greatest asset being his ability to read defenses. Or his ability to avoid INTs by putting the ball where only his receiver can catch it. Or any number of others. But ‘avoiding sacks’? For a 43-year-old immobile QB? Thank the OLine.

    Oh and Joe, that “pond behind the Glazer Shed at the Bucs complex” is for field irrigation, not drinking. So you might want to stick with craft beers instead of sipping from that to find your own fountain of youth. Could end up glowing in the dark if you tangle with that stuff.

  11. Clean House Says:

    I wasn’t going to comment on this but since you all feel inclined to trash Winston, I’ll chime in. Brady has been great but don’t try to rewrite history, JW got 5109 yds with less talent around him, playing injured, and with missing his receivers toward the end. Kicking and coaching blunders galore. Penalties out the wazoo. Is he better than Brady- No. Is he total trash no. He’s reigning NFL passing leader. Check yo sheet!

    I know, let the comments role in- he’s 3rd string-
    Bet Old Belichick wishes he took a flyer on him now.
    League of followers. Fickle Talking heads pile on cause that’s what they do. Jameis seems to lack game awareness and is immature but you can’t deny his talent. I hope he puts it together as a starter.

  12. Clean House Says:

    And Mahomes might not even surpass that number this year. He’s at 4740

  13. Defense Rules Says:

    Sport … Interesting observation about Jameis with Kamara & Brees. I saw both & thought that Jameis is still Jameis. His biggest issue wasn’t physical talent; it was maturity. As in ‘he’s immature’ & that’s a deadly attribute for an NFL QB.

    Read an interesting article yesterday about Miami’s QB, Tua. Author claimed that Tua didn’t have the ‘it-factor’ and that he wouldn’t last. Kinda got me wondering what the ‘it-factor’ is & which QBs demonstrate it. I’d say Tom Brady does for sure, and so does Brees & Mahomes & a number of others because their team would literally follow them anywhere & depend on them to create a winning edge. Jameis? Not so much.

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    OK Joe, you’ve devoted an entire article about Brady being a “gunslinger”……that qualifies “gunslinger” to being added to Brady’s monikers.

    Don’t you love the sound of it….and it reads well too….Tom Brady, gunslinger.

  15. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Brady studied Manning in his final years on how to avoid the big hits and it’s paying off. Can we please stop comparing a 6 time superbowl champ, 4 time SB MBP, 14 time pro bowler, league MVP etc with a o e & done Winston? It’s obvious Brady doesn’t win with his legs since over that 20 years he recently broke 1000 yds rushing, hence his longevity. I agree this is by the best FULL set of receivers he’s ever had but I will say this I would take a healthy Edleman over any of them going into the PO’s, that man is a machine and would ball with blood coming out of both ears.

  16. alton green Says:

    When I hear anyone talk about JW’s 5000, it reminds me of when I took my son deer hunting when he was a teenager. There was 6-9 of us in the hunting cabin. Every evening each of us would say how many deer we saw. Here are a few answers; “I didn’t see anything, I saw 2 does, I saw 1 doe, I saw a 4 point but couldn’t get a shot” Every evening my son would say; “I saw 17, I saw 15!!!” I only went about 150-200 yards from the cabin and killed an 11 point buck. My friends went miles from the cabin. I was the only one to kill a deer that day. I had that 11 pt laying on my tail gate that evening for all to see. I told my son, “it’s not how many you see, it how many you kill. SO, JW could have thrown 10K yds and you still didn’t get a Lombardi trophy. as a matter of fact you didn’t even get a participation trophy hahaha

  17. Bird Says:

    I think i understand joe a little more

    He is a sadomasochistic

    “Jameis was must see tv”

    Another hobby of joe is going to the beach to watch fish get caught on the shore in high tide. When changes to low tide , They get stuck on dry land and flop around helpless until they die. Thats a fun saturday for joe

  18. Wayne PEREZ Says:

    Brady is the best thing to happen for us since the super bowl

  19. Oneilbucs Says:

    Well I’m happy about going to the playoffs but we have to beat good teams . Brady has 10 touchdowns and 9 interceptions against good teams . And he has 26 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions against bad teams and that’s not good enough to win in the playoffs . The bucs are 1 and 5 against playoffs teams and 9 and 0 against bad teams . So I think we should pump the breaks a second because we have to win the superbowl with this kind of roster . It’s superbowl or bust no excuses !!!

  20. Youngbucs Says:

    Hey oneilbucs know do jameis td-ints against teams. I don’t even have to check I’m pretty sure he didn’t discriminate who he was tossing ints to. The Bucs offense is up this year in almost all categories. I mean seriously if they score just 11 points Sunday it’s a Bucs record. Brady is an upgrade and clearly out playing winston it’s not even a debate it fact. The Bucs have the best turn around on turnover differential since 1991. Thts because of Brady it’s that simple it’s the biggest reason where in the playoffs. You can say run gm defense anything you want Brady is the difference. The run gm is actually not to much better than last year go figure.

  21. Bird Says:


    Was waiting for you to come out of hiding
    Give it a break man.
    First of all, these free agents would not be here if jameis here
    Next, jpp and others would be gone. They were tired of jameis song and dance And eating Ws

    Keep telling yourself super bowl or bust
    Jameis won 4 out of 10 games. He was average
    Let it go. He wasnt even close to playoffs
    Now that we are in playoffs , you have to have super bowl

    And these people saying jameis will haunt us for the next decade on another team
    Ill make that bet right now. Who wants that action ? 10 , 100 , 500?
    He threw for yards in garbage time.
    His td record already smashed and still counting
    30 ints and 5 fumbles lost for jameis
    11ints and no fumbles that i can think of for brady

  22. Youngbucs Says:

    I love when winston stans the kings and queens of excuses. Tell other people no excuses it’s hilarious. They use super bowl or bust as a rallying cry since Brady got here. If the Bucs don’t win a super bowl this is their vindication. I got news for oneilbucs and all the cult followers even if we don’t win a super bowl Brady was most definitely the right choice!!!!!!!! Brady actually gives the Bucs a realistic chance buc fans deserve that buc players who’ve been here for the long haul deserve that!!!! Winston not bigger than the team F y’all stans.

  23. Youngbucs Says:

    And clean House Mahomes been tossed 5000yds and 50tds how many ints he have???????? Have any of the QBs who’ve done it tossed so many ints to achieve it child please.

  24. Oneilbucs Says:

    Why do yall get mad when someone brings up the truth ?? Jamies is not on the team anymore so yall got what yall wanted . I’m talking about Brady playing good against good teams and yall crying about Jamies . I’m not a blind bucs fan this is not the same offense from last year are players . They gave Brady 4 runningbacks and a first round right tackle plus AB and Gronk . I don’t care how you blind Brady or bucs fan feel . Facts are Facts tell me where I’m worng at about my last post and please don’t bring up Jamies because we are talking about Brady !!!

  25. Oneilbucs Says:

    Bird when did I bring up Jamies lol 😆😅😅 ?? Why are obsessed with Jamies . Every time you bring up Brady and his bad play yall bring up Jamies . I want a superbowl this year Brady is not a building peace for the team . When you have a player like Brady at his age and with all these weapons you have to win the superbowl . So yall can have low expectations all yall want but I’m giving high expectations . Superbowl or bust just like yall great coach just said !!!

  26. Youngbucs Says:

    Oh it’s not the same offense why Brady leading the league in air yards??????? Why Brady leading the league in 20 yds completions????

  27. Youngbucs Says:

    Oneil the saints have lost to every good team they played. The only team they beat with a winning record is the Bucs you think they fans care about that????? You’re a clown should we let more teams they’re are plenty go check instead of talking out your a$$

  28. Oneilbucs Says:

    Youngbucs cookie they beat every team we lost to accept the Chiefs . You don’t even have faith in the team because of those games we lost and the ones we should have lost . But that’s you I think we should beat those teams that’s why I believe in superbowl or bust .

  29. Youngbucs Says:

    No they didn’t look again

  30. Bird Says:


    Cause you had these criticisms for jameis. ?!!Pull out the archives
    I will eat crow if you find a comment other then when he turned it over 5 times
    Nah. Its just brady cause he is not the almighty jameis

    That is my point and why i bring up jameis
    If jameis had those numbers and 11 picks he would still be here

  31. Oneilbucs Says:

    Bird Let me ask you this how many yards does RoJO have for the season it’s like 900 right and he will get to a 1,000 if they run him . He would be at a 1,000 yards right now if wasn’t for the injury. Again Jamies only had a 1,000 yards rusher one year . And I know what you are going to say he turned over the bal so that’s why we didn’t run the ball . What happened doing the Gaints game last year we were winning at the half . The Seahawks game we were up 21 to 3 and we still didn’t run the ball . It’s a lot of games we never gave RoJO a chance to run it . Now that Brady is here we run more now . And again all those yards Brady has is up against bad teams and most of the 11 interceptions is against good teams and yall want hold him accountable for it . He needs to play better against good teams because he is not a building peace for the future . It’s superbowl or bust no excuses Jamies ain’t here anymore so there is no more scapegoats !!