Gaining Ground

March 19th, 2022

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A Bucs Life continues to be a charmed life.

While Jason Licht and Tom Brady team up to ace free agency, the hits keep coming for Tampa Bay’s fellow NFC powers. No wonder the Bucs are now favored to represent the conference in the Super Bowl for the second time in three seasons.

Brady’s return to One Buc Place triggered a return to the all-in philosophy Licht has implemented for the past two years. Tampa Bay returned the anchor of its offensive line by keeping Ryan Jensen, then countered the departure of Alex Cappa by trading for Shaq Mason.

Adding Russell Gage gives Brady a legitimate third wideout to target while the addition of Logan Ryan softens the blow from Jordan Whitehead’s exit to the Jets.

General manager Jason Licht is in beast mode.

Soon, Rob Gronkowski is expected to announce his return to the Bucs. For a franchise supposedly crippled by the salary cap, the Bucs have done a remarkable job of reinventing themselves in the past week.

Of course it all started with that missive from Brady, an announcement that shook the walls of 15 other teams in the conference.

While the Bucs have been busy fortifying their roster, primary NFC competitors appear to be taking a step back.

Battered Rams

Von Miller is one of the Rams’ many losses.

Let’s first look at the club that ended Tampa Bay’s season before going on to capture the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Yes, the stars will shine again in Los Angeles this fall as Matt Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey return to the Rams. But free agency has not been kind to the defending champions.

Adding Allen Robinson takes the sting out of losing Odell Beckham Jr., but Von Miller is now roaring off the edge for Buffalo, making it easier to commit extra blockers in Donald’s direction. Sean McVay’s offensive front has been weakened by the retirement of LT Andrew Whitworth and the departure of RG Austin Corbett. CB Darious Williams has moved on to Jacksonville and Johnny Hekker, one of the league’s premier punters for the past decade, signed with Carolina.

All in all, a very bad week for the Rams.

We know what just happened in Green Bay — Aaron Rodgers is back but his go-to receiver has taken his talents to Las Vegas. Hard to believe but the Packers traded All-Pro Davante Adams to the Raiders. Can’t you hear NFC defensive backs applauding in unison?

The impact on Green Bay’s passing game will be immeasurable. Adams was targeted 169 times last season. Second on the list was running back Aaron Jones, with 65 targets.

Adams gained 1,040 more receiving yards than No. 2 Allen Lazard, so Rodgers will have to readjust his sights, particularly on third down.

The Cowboys came on strong last year. The only team to outscore the Bucs on the season, Dallas won the NFC East before being upset by San Francisco in the opening playoff round.

Things have taken a turn for the worse in Jerry’s World as the Cowboys decided to trade Amari Cooper, one of the NFL’s premier route runners. Edge rusher Randy Gregory moved on and Dallas released long-time RT La’el Collins.

Speaking of the 49ers, this offseason hasn’t been particularly kind.

Raheem Mostert, whose only problem is staying healthy, will now take his career rushing average of 5.7 yards to Miami. Two key starters, DT D.J. Jones and LG Laken Tomlinson, left as free agents and Kyle Shanahan’s staff has seen some significant departures, led by offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel, now head coach of the Dolphins.

Tough times for Falcons owner Arthur Blank.

The rest of the NFC South is in quarterback turmoil as Atlanta, Carolina and New Orleans were all spurned by Deshaun Watson.

Meanwhile, the Bucs sleep comfortably, knowing No. 12 will be under center once again.

There are still holes to fill on Tampa Bay’s roster. The defensive line looks perilously thin at this point and Leonard Fournette’s return is hardly guaranteed, but the path to the Super Bowl is now traversing Dale Mabry Highway.

Enjoy the moment. It’s a Bucs Life.

Yes, that warranty includes USED vehicles!
Ira drives a 2020 Ford Escape (cherry red).

34 Responses to “Gaining Ground”

  1. Says:

    Let’s get some competition in the QB room. Bring back the Amish Rifle!

  2. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I think we have gotten better on Offense!
    Our problem is our pass rush. We almost have to blitz to get pressure, and that leaves our cornerbacks one on one way too much.
    Calais Campbell is a free agent, hint hint

  3. DBS Says:

    The Saints could always sign Gabbert. I mean he should be much much better after all the study and working with Brady for 2 years. Then Niles should be at least happy if Trask is the backup to Brady which is what he should be.

  4. MadMax Says:

    OK Im missing something….how are we picking 6th in the 2nd round? I miss a lot, I work a lot, sorry to ask but someone please help me out….Just grateful if its true 🙂

  5. MadMax Says:

    Nvm….picking 60….didnt recognize the font lol

  6. Bird Says:

    Great stuff Ira

    Didnt know about all those losses to rams. 👀

    And the saints in our division always being our kryptonite
    Safety williams is a stud. Glad he went to baltimore. Him gone makes secondary weaker for sure. Is pj williams back?
    Left tackle terron about to leave too with watson gone to Brownies. Oh and we will find out how much payton meant to their offense being good enough with not great talent recently. Kamara may miss some games too with his incident although if watson had no “real” charges will kamara get same sweet treatment . Probably.
    Atlanta – nah
    Carolina – nah

    Karen rodgers apparently knew his top receiver was leaving. He is fine with that cause he got his 50 mil 😂

    Who doesn’t love seeing cowboys get weaker.

    How about cardinals too. Bye bye everyone. And they are about to pay kyler 45 range. 😂

    49ers – good luck with that qb postering

    Brady gonna pay bitcoin out of own pocket 😂 for other players cause he is the reason his teams always had a chance. When your qb just wants half of what every other qb makes so his team can win a championship. Thats why he is the GOAT. But we still have clowns that just think he is ehhh. And our defense won us everything. 😂

  7. Anonymous Says:

    “The impact on Green Bay’s passing game will be immeasurable.”

    Isn’t that exactly what stats are for?

  8. Tim Says:

    Depth issues along the DL are why we should be targeting this along with RB in the draft. Also, even with most of the OL remaining in place with (arguably) an upgrade at RT, Brady is always one hit away from going down. Trask needs to be elevated as I assume he will, to #2 on the depth chart. He needs the reps and to develop the timing and chemistry with the WR’s. At least as much as possible, so if he has to go in at a moments notice, he’ll at least have some sort of shot at success.

  9. DoooshLaRue Says:

    “The impact on Green Bay’s passing game will be immeasurable.”

    Isn’t that the exact reason stats are used?

  10. Craig Says:

    Looks like Jameis will get his 30 mil a year from someone. Saints and Panthers will battle it out and the loser is screwed, maybe the winner too.

    The Rams completely sold out for a Stupor Bowl last season. I don’t think they have any draft picks before the sixth round for three more years.

    Some other team will take up the slack, if could still be a perilous road, but a few good draft picks should build some depth in needed places.

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    It’s hard to believe we won’t be healthier next year….a tougher schedule for sure but we can handle it.
    I like the strategy of shoring up the Offense first…..we will likely draft defensive players early…..I wouldn’t be surprised if we drafted 2 DTs……

    It will be interesting to see what we do with our kickers…..and the backup QB situation

  12. Bird Says:


    So jameis expected deal with saints before everything w watson went down was 7 mil guesstimate
    If he was getting 30 mil why did steelers sign trubiski for literally 2 years 14 mil
    Trubiski is garby. Steelers thought trubiski had more upside ?

    Jameis is better. Just fyi imo. Still very middle of the road

    Why would someone now pay 30 mil. Baker mayfield deal is 18 mil for this year
    He is next desperate move w teams. Carolina has a qb under contract for a ton so a cap hit to pay 30 mil

    Just curious did you believe before the GOAT cAme here that jameis was getting 5 years 150 mil

    Just saying

  13. Bird Says:

    Jameis made 5.5 last year as the starter

    30 mil?


  14. teacherman777 Says:

    If Leonard Fournette had been used properly, we would have beaten the Rams.

    Leonard deserves a 3 year, 30 million deal, fully guaranteed.

    Hes underused and underrated!

  15. Tim Says:

    About the DT’s, check out Demarvin Leal from Texas A&M. He can play DT and DE. I don’t know if he’ll be available at #27, but he’d be a good one. They want speed in the middle, he’s got it.

  16. Winny Testaverde Says:

    What a difference a week makes. It won’t my be easy…but easier thru the NFC me thinks. I want revenge on those Rams. Everything fell their way last year…but they are the defending champs.

  17. Bird Says:

    Teacher man

    Look at the contracts above and below 10 mil and you tell me of your last statement is right?

    Lenny used properly? Bro cmon man
    The dump offs from brady checking down early gave him a lot
    I love lenny. And bucs gave him everything after he was labeled a me guy
    He is legit again on this offense

    And now?

    If he went somewhere else is he getting those numbers

  18. steele Says:

    Bengals signed Hayden Hurst. Which means that Gronk won’t be going there at least.

  19. unbelievable Says:

    Yes, not much has been mentioned about the d-line so far (by the media at least, fans on this site have been bringing it up a bunch, rightfully so).

    Right now we have Shaq and Vea and a bunch of maybes. Definitely have to address that with more than just one new rookie. Can’t be dying by the blitz all year. The 2022 schedule is much tougher than 2021 was.

    Between FA and the draft, the top priorities have to be:
    1. D-line / OLBs
    2. RB (Fournette re-signing would drop this obviously)
    3. CB
    4. TE/OL
    5. ILB

    That’s based on going all in again this year.

  20. unbelievable Says:

    Oh and I guess we might need a punter?

    Pinion looked awful end of the season / playoffs

  21. Mike Johnson Says:

    Where’s the Beef (Paas rush)? Sure we go after protection for Mr Fragile and give him an array of Toys. We cannot stop anybody and our secondary is great in getting to the ball after 25 yr gains by the opposition. Wallow in your brady adoration all you like, You’d better find a pass rush and a lock down corner from somewhere or..the results gonna be the same next year. Just sayin….

  22. steele Says:

    Melvin Gordon/Rashaad Penny/Marlon Mack (if healthy)/Sony Michel (if healthy). Any of them will get you more than Lenny. Some in the draft, same.

    Matt Breida would be great as a speed/change of pace back on a roster that needs that.

  23. Bojim Says:

    Another chance. Take advantage.

  24. Bird Says:


    Punter out of san diego st

    They say nest punter ever. 51 yards a blast
    Cool moving up w two 7’s for that guy
    They say best punter ever. And punting is not like kicks. Fgs are mental. Not as mental.
    Just blast it

  25. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Anyone else thinking the Bucs will need to put up more numbers than last year which is already crazy to begin with. Our defense will need the offense to score 35 pts a game for us to win. Shootout every week. Sorry don’t have a lot of faith in our defense.

  26. Oxycodoms Says:

    Allen robinson and getting robert woods back from injury. Dont think thats much of a drop off from losing beckham

  27. Richard Dickson Says:

    We’re lucky in that a lot of these big moves have been NFC-to-AFC.

  28. Bird Says:


    Robert woods went to Tennessee

  29. DoooshLaRue Says:

    I thought Robert Woods signed with Tennessee?

  30. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Woods was traded to Tennessee. Robinson, Kupp ( of course ), a Tutu, Higbee…they’ll be formidable. They are the hunted now, however. It’s a whole different ballgame defending the crown.

  31. Oxycodoms Says:

    Oh thats a relief

  32. steele Says:

    Draft RBs to target: Kenneth Walker, Breece Hall, Brian Robinson, Zamir White, Dameon Pierce.

  33. cmurda Says:

    Lets just hope the NFL doesn’t do to the Bucs that the NHL is doing to the Bolts right now. That game I just watched with 2 very good teams was a GD travesty not because the game wasn’t entertaining. It was. Very. It’s because the ridiculous refs called 7 penalties against the Bolts. 3 against the Rags. Laughable as anybody watching that game would attest to. They call a phantom high stick that a guy sold with 2 mins left in the game. Unfathomable. I hate watching refs decide games. They decided there was no other way this game was going down before it started. I’ve seen it all too much with my Bucs. I really hope that doesn’t happen.

  34. adam from ny Says:

    yeah let’s see how stafford looks all year defending the crown and being the hunted…

    neither team looked all that good in the superbowl, and the bungles could have very well won that game…

    as i watched the game all i was thinking is:

    “dangus morangus, we can beat both these teams”