The Morning After

September 20th, 2021

Safety Mike Edwards with his first pick. (Photo courtesy of

Joe is trying to shake off the fog of many celebratory Big Storm Brewing beers from last night as we all bask in the glory of Victory Monday. So let’s attack today like Ndamukong Suh attacks quarterbacks.

Historic Bucs offense.

We live in rare times.

Up until a few years ago, the Bucs were synonomous with a tough defense and horrid offense for much of the franchise’s history. Even in some of the darkest days of Bucs history, the Bucs had a decent if not good defense.

That began to change about six years ago when the Bucs became pretty much all offense and no defense, even if the Bucs couldn’t score.

(Anyone find it ironic or get a chuckle when FOX play-by-play man Kevin Burkhardt said yesterday the Dixie Chicks struggled last year in the red zone?)

So Joe finds it wildly cool that a franchise once known for defense and a putrid offense is now setting NFL records on offense with a guy six years shy of AARP eligibility.

By beating the Dixie Chicks 48-25 yesterday, the Bucs became the first NFL team to score 30 or more points in nine straight games.

At times yesterday the Bucs seemed to score at will. On the first possession of the second half, the Bucs scored in four plays ending with a one-yard pass to Mike Evans. What stuck out to Joe was that the Bucs scored so friggin’ easily yet didn’t even target half of their weapons.

It was like Atlanta didn’t know who to cover and if they did cover what they thought was the right guy, Tom Brady would make them pay by hitting the second or third or fourth options.

It was positively sick offense. And it’s the Bucs! The same team that tried to shove Trent Dilfer and Stewart McClown and Brian Griese and Bruce Gradkowski down our throats as quality NFL quarterbacks.

And the Bucs historic offense is guided by a 44-year old.

Folks, we very likely will never see a more loaded Bucs offense. And we certainly will never see a historic scoring Bucs offense like this led by a 44-year old.

Enjoy it while you can. What a time to be alive!


Bucs Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians referred to him as a “ballhawk.” And the player said he’s always been known as a ballhawk. Now, that ballhawk is tied for a franchise record.

Mike Edwards killed it yesterday. While the Dixie Chicks were fighting to stay in the game, him jumping a route and pulling off a pick-six — and later in the same quarter pulling off another pick-six when he pulled in a ball tipped by Carlton Davis — slammed the door shut on Atlanta.

Joe noticed Edwards ballhawking last year in training camp. In fact, he got in so much work with the first team defense, Joe thought he was going to start. Instead, defensive coordinator Todd Bowles gave the starting gig to Antoine Winfield.

Edwards in the playoffs played exceptionally when they needed him the most. He was on the field pretty much the entire second half in the NFC title game when the Bucs were without their starters due to injuries.

Edwards was also ballhawking in the Super Bowl.

With Sean Murphy-Bunting out for who knows how long and Carlton Davis nicked up, Joe is sort of intrigued to see how Bowles can use Edwards. In college at Kentucky, he lined up all over the place and excelled.

Can Edwards do that in the NFL? Can Bowles come up with some junk defense where he uses three safeties including Edwards?

Wither Richard Sherman?

It was very interesting to Joe to read the report from Tom Pelissero of yesterday about the Bucs reaching out to Richard Sherman.

The former All-Pro corner is unemployed, largely because it sure looked like last year he was washed. Consider John Lynch and the 49ers, who are desperate for a corner, let him walk. That should tell you all you need to know.

Of course, another factor in Sherman not being employed currently is his alarming offseason hassle with cops and his in-laws. Perhaps some teams are waiting for NFL strongman Roger Goodell to suspend him?

Granted the Bucs faced two very good quarterbacks the past two weeks, but if there is any weakness on this team, it’s the corners, largely because of injuries.

Joe saw on Twitter folks complaining about Ross Cockrell, who really was badly worked for a touchdown. Well, he’s a backup for a reason. When you are forced to play backups, these things will happen.

Could Sherman do better than Cockrell? Well, Sherman is a smart player. So Joe is guessing he would know how to put himself in a position to cover better. And he clearly knows quarterbacks and receivers in the league like the back of his hand.

Can that compensate for eroded skills?

Veteran NFL reporter Ed Werder Twittered that Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht was going to wait until after yesterday’s game to determine if he thinks the Bucs can get by with Jamel Dean and Davis or if he needs to escalate talks with Sherman.

Joe isn’t sure if yesterday was enough evidence that the Bucs need to sign a washed-up corner or not. As badly as various NFL teams need corners, including Sherman’s most recent team, if he was still able to lock up receivers, Joe’s guessing Sherman would already be on someone’s roster.

(Names don’t cover the NFL’s top receivers, skills do.)

So basically the question is, can old man Sherman cover as well as Cockrell? As badly as Cockrell looked yesterday, you wonder.

Licht might be better off hunting for a somewhat inexpensive and serviceable part-time starter on the final year of his contract. Sort of like the Bucs did in trading for defensive tackle Steve McLendon last season when Vita Vea went down with an injury.

(No, Licht is not trading for Stephen Gilmore unless he takes an unreasonable if not embarrassingly massive paycut. The Bucs don’t have the scratch to afford him.)

Play of the Game

Let’s be real: Until Edwards blew up, the Bucs were teetering with a potential loss, leading only by a field goal when of all people Rakeem Nuñez-Roches made what may have been the play of the game.

It certainly was a huge momentum killer.

The Bucs’ defense was struggling big time trying to stop Matty Ice. And the Bucs’ offense suddenly hit a speed bump. After a punt that pinned Atlanta down deep in their real estate, on third-and-one, “Nacho” blew through a hold and dropped Cordarrelle Patterson for a three-yard loss.

What happened on the Bucs’ next possession? Brady hit Chris Godwin for a 12-yard touchdown and the Dixie Chicks never got closer.

If Nacho doesn’t make that stop, who knows if Joe is writing this morning about a loss or not?

What is wrong with Kevin Burkhardt?

For those who do not follow baseball, FOX play-by-play man Kevin Burkhardt, who worked the Bucs game yesterday, also calls Rays games.

Maybe it was just Joe but the California resident and native of New Jersey seemed bewildered that it gets hot in Florida in September.

FYI, Burkhardt, it’s still summer for one more day.

Joe doesn’t know how many times Burkhardt whined about the heat and humidity and inferred players were getting cramps because they weren’t used to the heat.

It’s a pet peeve of Joe’s when people whine about the Florida weather, probably because Joe dreads cool temperatures or anything below 80 in the day, which is why Joe lives in Florida. But the way Burkhardt kept whining about how the heat was melting players, he apparently is under the impression that both the Dixie Chicks and the Bucs train and practice in Anchorage.

The weather yesterday was cooler than training camp. And this just inm Kevin: Not only does Atlanta train outside in the summer, but it also gets hot in the summer in Georgia as well.

Why heat and humidity in September in Florida seemed to so shock Burkhardt, a guy who calls Rays games, Joe cannot understand. But dude, it’s not like the Bucs play in Duluth. Why were you so blown away how hot it is? Don’t you know simple geography? Were you unaware virtually all of Florida is in the subtropics?

(There used to be this old bat Sharon Taylor who about 15 or 20 years ago worked weekday mornings on WFLA-AM with Jack Harris and Tedd Webb. She constantly whined about the weather. Joe didn’t have the stones to call the show and get on the air and tell her, “Hey honey, where did you think you are living, Bismark? If you want cold weather so bad, Joe’s got a four-letter word for you: Ohio.” Why do people live or work in Florida if they hate the sun and warmth so much?)

Kevin, if calling a football game in humidity is so oppressive, Joe is confident FOX can find a capable replacement for you. It’s not like there aren’t, oh, 6,000 other guys who dream of calling NFL games.

Just a tip, Burkhardt, it will be hot and humid in Florida until Halloween. It may not get humid in California or New Jersey but most of the south gets very hot and humid for roughly eight months a year — every year since the beginning of time.

Good to know a Rays broadcaster is paying such close attention. Makes Joe wonder if Burkhardt is calling Rays games from his California home and that’s why he was so shocked with the Florida weather?

Good thing this dude wasn’t at training camp. Now that was hot! Even by Joe’s standards.

33 Responses to “The Morning After”

  1. westernbuc Says:

    I’d rather give Darrell Revis another shot instead of Richard Sherman

  2. Christopher Schiefen Says:

    Joe, bad reporting. The 9ers are desperate for a corner after Jason Verrett went down, and they’re the Bucs’ main competition for his services.

  3. Joe Says:

    The 9ers are desperate for a corner after Jason Verrett went down, and they’re the Bucs’ main competition for his services.

    They were desperate before Sunday.

  4. Christopher Schiefen Says:

    Two more things…Sherman doesn’t have to play, so he’s being picky about his situation right now (& as you said, is going to therapy). But also he was one of the stalwart anti-union deal people. I’ve noticed the other players who raised hackles about the last contract vote are also not playing (Russell Okung, for example). Unless those guys were premiere, teams have frozen them out, so Sherman being unemployed isn’t strictly about his coverage skills. And on no planet is Cockrell better than Sherman (I’m still pissed we let MJ Stewart leave).

  5. Christopher Schiefen Says:


  6. Christopher Schiefen Says:

    Ok, I guess I’ve got problems with your column today Joe 😉: of course Burkhardt is gonna comment on the heat, it was affecting the players in the game. All the cramps were happening in a vacuum? Also, teams practice for two hours in the early morning in the summer, that does not recreate stifling heat in a real game for close to 4 hours mid-day, especially with so few padded practices. The Bucs were having a real problem Thursday night at 8 two weeks ago, I guess Joe Buck shouldn’t mention the heat! Lastly, since when does covering the Rays in a dome prepare an announcer for swamp-like conditions in a football game?

  7. Christopher Schiefen Says:

    Joe, with the 9ers, theyre reported to also be after Sherman, which directly contradicts your argument as to why he’s unsigned.

  8. Medicated Pete Says:

    Is Pete popping pills or does it seem like good timing for the Bucs to go on a road trip for the next 2 weeks?

  9. lambchop Says:

    We need to give Vita Vea some love too, another bull rush that led to him tipping Ryan’s pass into Shaq Barrett’s hands.

    Vita gonna be Vita. He wrecks havoc and allows the players around him to get the glory.

  10. lambchop Says:

    Richard Sherman doesn’t have the speed to keep up with elite WRs any more. Let’s be real, his play has deteriorated since his injuries and age. I remember him getting burned, at a key moment, in the SF-KC Super Bowl. He’s been burned a hand full of other time since that game too.

    If he’s going to be a rotational player in cover-2, then that could work. But, he’s not replacing SMBs production. I would be interested in how he could coach up the other DBs, cuz at this point, his experience is more valuable than his every down play. They could use a veteran guy in that unit.

  11. Drunkinybor Says:

    What a whiner about the heat! How in the world does someone who broadcasts NFL games not know to expect the heat and humidity in FLORIDA is beyond me. I was raised in this weather so I don’t truly understand what a outsider feels regarding the the heat. However it is the Sun Shine state dur..dur…dur..

  12. Defense Rules Says:

    “If Nacho doesn’t make that stop, who knows if Joe is writing this morning about a loss or not?”

    Yesterday’s game obviously wasn’t 2 defensive giants battling it out for 60 minutes; BOTH defenses left a LOT to be desired. Agree withy you totally on that one Joe: Nacho’s stop was a critical play in that game.

    Personally I don’t care if we won 100-25, yesterday’s defensive performance was unacceptable. Matty Ice did the same thing to us that Dak Prescott did … and we let him. Last week Prescott hit on over 72% of his passes; yesterday Ryan hit on over 76% of his throws. Bucs had ONE sack against Dallas; we had ONE sack against Atlanta. BOTH QBs threw for more than 300 yards. In BOTH games Bucs were penalized far too often in critical series.

    Sad thing is that it’s not like Matty Ice was threading the needle on every pass; his receivers were running wide open on most of those passes. And most weren’t great catches; it was more like pitch & catch. Yes Ryan was getting the ball out fast, just like Dak did. Revelation: every QB will do the same thing until we find a way to stop them. Improving our coverage schemes over the middle would be a good place to start IMO.

  13. Jbeachbuc Says:

    What is up with that BS taunting flag on Edwards 2nd TD??

  14. Doctor Stroud Says:

    If the Bucs can muse about bringing in Sherman when the team’s salary cap is at the max, they can also start working on Chris Godwin’s extension. Get it done!

  15. Youngbucs Says:

    Hey DR I missed you’re expert analysis on that other game yesterday. Welcome back down dude.

  16. Cobraboy Says:

    I agree with DR: for two games, the Bucs defense has been unacceptable. The pass rush stinks, the DBacks allow huge separation and the run D is not that stout.

    Something has to change because a good offense—like the Rams—could light them up, and a solid D—like the Rams—can stop this offense.

    I’m happy to be 2-0 because in prior years that could be 0-2. But IMO it’s a weak 2-0 against one mediocre and one sub-par team.

  17. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Suh’s tackle on Ryan from behind was another huge play that should be mentioned. It almost seems like this Def gets bored unless they’re backs are to the wall. Sherman is a one trick pony plays one side and that’s it, doesn’t adjust to offenses. Mind you a great player but this could be the AARP candidate Bucs don’t want. Not sure I am getting the whole Gio thing. He is the invisible man, I am hoping Bucs are holding this wild card close to the vest for the Rams knowing Rams are coming hard for TB12. Who by the way dodged a bullet yesterday when Wentz went down. Back to Gio, not sure if anyone watched Pat’s game yesterday, if you did James White is sick, Bucs passed on him and would of paid less. I guess Licth didn’t want to look that much like Patriots. Bucs coaching his horrible, that needs to be cleaned up.

  18. Tullymon Says:

    So funny that the joes feel compelled to write a whole story on this, if you watched the broadcast the first time they cut to them talking Olsen was drenched in sweat. He mentioned it so many times throughout the game to try and make Greg feel more comfortable

  19. Tampa2ATL Says:

    Duluth, GA?

  20. Armybucfan Says:

    I know we won at the last minute in spectacular fashion and I am grateful but, I’m still pissed off about the call against Shaq. It was a perfectly timed release by shaq as the ball was being hiked that would have counted as a strip sack and defensive touchdown.

  21. Hodad Says:

    It’s a shame with today’s tech bad calls like Shaq offsides can’t be quickly corrected. It took a second for the network to show the replay that Shaq timed his rush perfectly. I don’t want to see challenges for penalties, but I thought they had N.Y. watching these games so they could correct glaring mistakes. I guess they don’t want the public to know how much the refs really screw up every game. Someone should be able to correct bad roughing the passer calls, penalties like Shaq’s, and especially pass interference calls.

  22. BucsMinisiterFuller Says:

    Hey Joe,
    The reason Burkhardt kept mentioning the heat is because Greg Olsen was sweating through his shirt in the first quarter of the game. Pretty sure they were teasing each other about it, that’s why.

  23. Razor Ramone Says:

    Sharon (the body) Taylor. Ha! She used to do the news on Bob Lassiter’s show too.

  24. ClodHopper Says:

    I’d love to see a close up video of that interception Joe has pictured. I just think seeing him reach in and bat that ball would be so satisfying.

  25. PSK Bucs Fan Says:

    For a September 4pm game the temperature really wasn’t bad. I’ve felt worse at many…… just wait for the 1pm Miami game!

  26. ClodHopper Says:

    Speaking of heat and Duluth, Duluth Trading Company’s “Dry on the Fly” pants would make Burkhardt 20 degrees cooler and instead of complaining about the heat all game he’d talk non stop about how amazingly cool and comfortable he is.

  27. Joe Says:

    For a September 4pm game the temperature really wasn’t bad.

    No, it wasn’t.

  28. orlbucfan Says:

    I’ll take FL sauna weather, rain and all, over CA drought and wildfires. What a crybaby wuss. He wants heat?? How about broadcasting a Bucs game here at the start of the season. We didn’t call them hell bowls for nothin’! Thank god, I was listening to Bucs Radio with the tube volume off.

  29. OrlandoBucFan Says:

    I was at yesterday’s game and it was not the temperature that was the problem. It was the humidity. For some reason, it was oppressively humid. I am 54 and have lived in Florida pretty much my whole life. It was uncomfortable for me and I sit in the shade in section 218. I felt bad for those poor souls on the East side of the stadium. Thankfully it was overcast late in the game.

  30. 813bucboi Says:

    Yeah…I think we need to sign to sign 2DBs…a CB and a nickel


  31. unbelievable Says:

    Edwards has always been a ballhawk when he’s had playing time. He just doesn’t hit as hard as our other safeties (especially Whitehead)

    I’m curious to see if Bowles and use him and/or Winfield as the nickel, so basically 3 safeties and 2 CBs since we are so thin at cornerback right now.

    Sherman still has the knowledge, but I think his physical ability is gone.

  32. Rob In Land O Lakes Says:

    Sharon Taylor = Old Bat lol

    “Sharon (the body) Taylor. Ha! She used to do the news on Bob Lassiter’s show too.”

    The late, great Bob Lassiter… great reference, Razor!

  33. tickrdr Says:

    Should be whither not wither, Joe.