“It’s More Like A Who’s That?

June 10th, 2021

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The Buc secondary must be livin’ right.

Christmas came early for Carlton Davis, Sean Murphy-Bunting, Jamel Dean, Antoine Winfield Jr., Jordan Whitehead and Mike Edwards, bearing gifts any NFL corner or safety would savor.

Start with the division. Look around and you see ghosts. Drew Brees has traded in a Saints uniform for an NBC blazer, preparing for life as a broadcaster. Julio Jones just ran a fly pattern clear out of the NFC South.  You can bet the Bucs sent him a nice parting gift.

Ira Kaufman is fist-bumping like Carlton Davis (right) and Antoine Winfield, Jr.

If that isn’t enough to be thankful for in 2021, check out the rather pedestrian group of quarterbacks Todd Bowles hopes to unnerve this fall.

Bowles has already proven he can make life miserable for elite passers like Pat Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers. Now he gets the opportunity to frustrate a motley crew.

Have you checked out the quarterbacks challenging the Buc defense?

For every Matt Ryan, there’s a Sam Darnold. For every Dak Prescott, there’s Daniel Jones. This isn’t a who’s who … it’s more like a who’s that?

Let’s start by identifying the league’s Top 15 performers under center. There’s plenty of room for discussion, but it’s safe to assume Mahomes, Rodgers, Tom Brady, Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson are among the initial group. Josh Allen, Justin Herbert, Prescott, Ben Roethlisberger and Lamar Jackson also belong in the upper tier.

Here’s where it gets dicey. Matt Ryan, Matt Stafford, Ryan Tannehill, Kyler Murray, Kirk Cousins, Derek Carr and Baker Mayfield all have legitimate claims on the next level.

Last season, the Bucs faced Mahomes, Rodgers, Brees (twice), Herbert, Carr, Cousins and Ryan (twice) during the regular season. Stafford played only one series against the Bucs in Week 16 before being sidelined by an ankle injury.

Heading into 2021, Brees has retired while Mahomes, Rodgers, Herbert, Carr and Cousins are all off the schedule.

Instead, here’s what Bowles and company are facing:

Game 1: Prescott.
Game 2: Ryan
Game 3: Stafford (Year 1 with Rams)
Game 4: Cam Newton or rookie Mac Jones
Game 5: Tua Tagovailoa
Game 6: Jalen Hurts or Joe Flacco
Game 7: Andy Dalton or Justin Fields
Game 8: Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill
Game 9: Ryan Fitzpatrick or Taylor Heinicke
Game 10: Daniel Jones
Game 11: Carson Wentz
Game 12: Ryan
Game 13: Josh Allen
Game 14: Winston or Hill
Game 15: Sam Darnold
Game 16: Rookie Zach Wilson
Game 17: Darnold

Among the “ordinary,” Ira explains.

By the annual quirks of the NFL schedule, the 2021 Bucs won’t see many elite quarterbacks this fall. That could change if Tampa Bay advances to the NFC postseason, where a Rodgers or a Wilson may be waiting to topple a defending champion.

Brees ended his Hall of Fame career with a 20-10 record against the Bucs. Julio Jones, also ticketed for Canton, has averaged 115 yards in 16 career games vs. Tampa Bay.

The 2021 Bucs won’t see Jones this season unless Tampa Bay and Tennessee are squaring off for the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Those are significant divisional departures from a Buc perspective.

Factor in the rather ordinary group of quarterbacks dotting the Buc schedule and you have the ingredients for a dominating Bowles defense — especially if Vita Vea remains healthy.

Remember when nondescript quarterbacks used to routinely torch this franchise?

Ira with his good friend Sean Sullivan, GM of Bill Currie Ford, Tampa’s first family of ford. Sean will help you personally. Just ask!!! Bill Currie Ford is 1 mile north of Raymond James Stadium. Shop at BillCurrieFord.com. Ask Sean for The Ira Kaufman discount!

10 Responses to ““It’s More Like A Who’s That?”

  1. Swampbuc Says:

    Taylor Heinicke looked like the best of Joe Montana and Steve Young combined against our boys, so let’s leave the anointing oil in the cupboard and wait to count our chickens.

  2. SlyPirate Says:

    It’s not just Who but

    When …
    Prescott in his 1st game from injury.
    Ryan in his 2nd game without Julio.
    Stafford in his 3rd game as a Ram.

    Where …
    Allen in Tampa in December (not Buffalo).

  3. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    Daniel Jones and Tyler Heineke come to mind just last season. Plus a rookie by the name of Justin Herbert torched us as well. No names still burn this defense like 3 guys running after Kamara while Winston throws a wide open td on a trick play! Don’t get such a high horse so early.

  4. Swampbuc Says:

    It’s the Bucs, 350 yards a game passing given up and There will be lots of head scratching.

  5. Medicated Pete Says:

    I’m actually excited to see the rookies: Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, Mac Jones. And Sam Darnold will be seeing ghosts again by the time Bucs play him twice at end of season..Matt Ryan’s last year IMO b/c his arm is going to quit by Thanksgiving. Bucs better play Zone D vs Winston bcuz it confuses him & that’s when he makes all the mistakes

  6. Bucsfanman Says:

    I never get into “who” we’re playing and when. You have to beat the team in front of you and I’m sure that will be the mindset.

    The Pats will want a piece of Brady.
    If Winston starts, he’ll want revenge.
    Fitzy is a gamer and will be up for it, if he starts.
    Is Tua legit?
    Darnold languished in NY. Does a change of scenery re-invigorate?
    Wentz has had his ups and downs but is still a threat.
    The Falcons still have Ridley to throw to.

    So, while not stacked with “elite QBs”, we still have to treat each team as a serious threat. I like our chances!

  7. Says:

    You heard it here first: Fitzpatrick, AKA the Amish Rifle, deals the Bucs an L. Breaks my heart.

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    Iron sharpens iron.

    The 2019 Ravens had an incredible 2019 regular season, going 14-2 as they piled up 531 points (33.2 PPG) and only gave up 282 points (17.6 PPG). They rolled against most of their competition that season, then got whomped in the FIRST game in the playoffs 28-12 by the Tennessee Titans (who had just beaten Brady & the Patriots in their Wildcard game the week prior).

    The Ravens were heavy favorites in that game, and most everyone ASSUMED they’d roll over the Titans. Kinda like everyone ASSUMED last year that the Bucs would roll over Washington because they had an untested QB & their offense was struggling? And yet, that unknown 3rd string QB put up more points against us than did Brees or Mahomes, and nearly as many as Rodgers. So much for ASSUMPTIONS.

  9. Dlavid Says:

    Adding in the statement “ especially if Vita Vea is healthy “ says it all Ira . Big boy brought the big push/collapse of the pocketconsistantly ! And was sorely missed during the middle of season .

  10. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    Thanks for much to consider, Sage. I’m going to give it a day or so and then re-read this one, including all of the comments, again.