NFL Suits: Bucs Are No. 3 In NFC

September 2nd, 2022

NFL executives weigh in.

Bucs fans are so nervous they have begun scouring other teams’ rosters looking for guards and centers that might be on the trading block.

While the Bucs have not (publicly) demonstrated they lack confidence in Robert Hainsey, Luke Goedeke or Nick Leverett, the same cannot be said for many Bucs fans.

“How can I be confident in Robert Hainsey and Luke Goedeke? I’ve never seen them play.”

So Joe understands fear of how the interior line will hold up trying to protect a 45-year old quarterback. And it seems those fears are shared by NFL suits not working for Tampa Bay.

As he is wont to do, Mike Sando of The Athletic surveyed NFL suits to gauge what NFL shot-callers think will be the best teams in each conference. In the NFC, the suits are like some Bucs fans: They think offensive line will doom the team’s Super Bowl hopes.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tom Brady retiring, unretiring and mysteriously missing 11 days of camp raised questions about where his mind might be at age 45. The deterioration of the offensive line’s interior raised questions about how Brady’s body might hold up.

“Losing the center (Ryan Jensen), Ali Marpet retiring and the other guard (Aaron Stinnie) getting hurt, yeah, I think it was a heckuva party for two years, but it might be ending,” the voter who dropped Tampa Bay to eighth said. “(Leonard) Fournette showed up overweight, Mike Evans is a little older, Chris Godwin is coming off the injury, (Ndamukong) Suh is not there anymore, Lavonte David is no kid … I think it was a great two-year run.”

Well, Joe is just going to get this off his chest: The Playoff-Lenny-ate-his-way-into-Ralphie-May trope was the biggest non-story/fake news item seeping out of One Buc Palace in a long time. Playoff Lenny looked borderline dominant in two preseason games. So let’s turn the page there.

If putting on the pounds results in the way Playoff Lenny has looked through training camp and preseason, Team Glazer ought to fly the Bucs to Louisiana for a couple of June weeks and have the the team load up on roast beef po’boys dripping with gravy, crawfish etouffee and heaping sides of red beans and rice, plus bread pudding soaked overnight in bourbon sauce.

Yes, the Bucs’ offensive line is a concern, specifically the depth. But Joe trusts Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht when it comes to the big uglies.

The man turned the worst offensive line in the NFL into the best in five years, despite howling about Donovan Smith from Crystal River to North Port. Licht has the street cred.

The last two years the Bucs had an elite offensive line. Tom Brady was only sacked 23 times last season, easily the lowest total in the league. So if the Bucs now go from the best to above average on the line(?), they can still win with that.

Makes sense to Joe. The Bengals had a joke offensive line last year and they were one play from winning the Super Bowl.

31 Responses to “NFL Suits: Bucs Are No. 3 In NFC”

  1. #8 Says:

    Bucs were one play away from winning the Super Bowl too in my opinion.

  2. Casual Observer Says:

    Number three isn’t bad to start out with. I think number one is down the road. But the Bucs will be there for the big game.

  3. D-Rok Says:



    Have you moved on? LOL.

    So, we’re rated #3 in NFC, so what. That means little until we prove something. The games are in front of us, so let’s see where the Bucs rank after the games are played.

    GO BUCS!!!

  4. Chris Tucker@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I agree about Lenny! He has looked incredible, so feed the Man!

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    None of any of that matters except the Oline depth.

    You’ve got to respect and admire Licht for not just jumping on the first player cut…….there are countless Guards & Centers available and Licht has been patient.
    I still expect him to make a move.

  6. Pewter Warrior 813 Says:

    Meh, 5 years ago we’d be thrilled by just being a playoff team. Now we are mad some random team employee thinks we are the 3rd best team in the conference?

    Every team has questions in the conference as long the team gets to the playoffs and win a game, I’ll be happy.

  7. Mike Says:

    Only one team will be happy at the end of the season. Let’s hope it’s the Bucs!

  8. PHU_BUCS_1992 Says:

    I think Byron and co. understand that the offensive line will take some time to gel, and having two young guys in there together will be a challenge, so I expect them to lean heavily on the Run and quick pass game to start the season. The best thing you can do as an OC with a young line is to pound the ball and let them get some confidence pushing guys down field. Brady is a maestro at getting us in to the right play based on the defense, and you better believe he will be doing a lot of communicating with the O-line himself, so I am not worried.

    Brady’s passing numbers might not be quite what they have been the last two years, but a more balanced attack will benefit this team.

    And Joe is on the money as usual with the assessment of Lenny. The man has all the confidence in the world right now and he has been running like it. He looks like a man amongst boys out there. Look for Rachaad white to have a lot of 3rd down success as well. Lets get behind these young guys up front and show them we believe in them by consistently running the ball.

    Lenny for the year: 1,217 yards and 11 tds rushing/ 68 REC for 624 yards and 3 TDs receiving. GO BUCS!!!

  9. Bucamania Says:

    I think most of us share his concern with two new, unproven starters on the Oline. Other than that this team is stacked.

  10. lambeau Says:

    By playoff time, the O-line will be combat tested.
    Early, against the Saints best defense in football–more worrisome.

  11. gotbbucs Says:

    Good, I’d rather chase than be chased.

    Take care of business in our own division so we don’t have to worry about a wild card and then let the cards fall as they may. Do not freak out over the first couple weeks of the season. Brady’s entire career has been about figuring out the team through the first four weeks of the season. Those old Patriot teams never ever had the same identity from one season to the next let alone from the beginning of the season to the end.

    We had no secondary last year for most of the season, AB and Gronk were both out for extended time. JPP was a shell of a player. Godwin was gone for the playoffs. AB ran away. Wirfs was gone for the NFC championship game. Still we were a few plays from the Super Bowl.

  12. PassingThru Says:


    See? It’s spreading like Covid.

  13. BucBoy Says:

    “Joe understands fear of how the interior line will hold up trying to protect a 45-year old quarterback.”

    Just change Brady’s age to 24 and the line will have no effect on how he plays. 😛

  14. Dooley Says:

    Honestly, with all the doom and gloom over our OL, we’ve still got 2 of the best tackles in the league, a pretty reputable RG in Mason, 2 new players filling out C & LG and a QB that can read a defense in brail. May be some hiccups from the jump, but this OL will stabilize once they get the reps together and the film for our staff to correct said miscues.

  15. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    Great post gotbbucs!

  16. Anonymous Says:

    Our left guard and center cannot withstand the heat they will be seeing. It is a shame to waste Peak Level Tom Brady because Licht is too prideful to admit he doesn’t have the right players .

  17. Superd950 Says:

    Bring Back Suh as our center.

  18. Buczilla Says:

    mickey lame@ss was the exec that probably ranked us number 8 in the nfc. Gosh I hate the saints.

  19. Oxycondoms Says:

    Lot of talk is about offense and injuries but i feel like the under-performers last year was bowles and the defense. Bucs defense never seemed prepared to start the game. By the time adjustments were made it was too late unless you play a team like the jets

  20. A Bucs Fan Says:

    The bucs vs Saints just got a little easier with Chauncey Gardner getting traded and their starting safety Maye getting arrested for aggravated assault and allegedly pointing a firearm at some teenagers in a car.

  21. Craig Says:

    Every team faces the same thing as the season opens. Players get old, get changed, and get added.

    Training camp and the pre-season are no longer enough to get a team to be a team. With Brady we have an up over every other team. He dictates and everyone listens.

    Where I have a problem is the lack of more back-ups on the O-line. Anyone else gets hurt and it might be uglier than the first game, though the Bucs won’t be as ugly as Dallas will be, they are a real mess right now.

  22. Letsbucinggo Says:

    Don’t know about the Cowboys but the Saints and Packers defense will be a big test for the new O-Line.

  23. Dooley Says:


    Micah Parsons & Demarcus Lawrence combined for 20 sacks last year with DLaw only playing about half the season. I’d say bottling them up will be the first real test for Donovan Smith & Tristan Wirfs week 1

  24. Buc king Says:

    Suh at LG let’s go

  25. captivajim Says:

    the saints can’t wait to get to brady ……

  26. T REX Says:

    The o line is important come playoff time.

    We’ll get our reg season wins but come playoff time?


  27. Trask To The Future Says:

    I’d hardly say we’ve had the best O-Line in the NFL. Pass blocking line maybe but certainly not run blocking. There have been much better run blocking lines across the league.

    With as much as Brady throws the ball, you’d think we would have had an easier time rushing when running plays were called, but that hasn’t happened aside from the occasional game.

  28. BigMacAttack Says:

    Please never mention North Port again. Seriously they should build a wall around it. If Florida needed an enema, NP would be the insertion point.

  29. SOEbuc Says:

    Joe where do you find these people that have no clue what they’re talking about?!

    Nothing wrong with Mike’s age.
    Lavonte is no kid, but he continues to be a top tier LB.
    Might have upgraded in the pass rush exchanging Suh for Hicks.
    Godwin will be back 💯 by week three (I hope)

    All I saw with Brady’s starter oline,including Hainsey and Goedeke, was giving him plenty of time to go 6/8 or 7/8 if there wasn’t that Brady overthrown Evans. When Smith, Mason, and Wirfs jump in, it’s a whole new ball game.

  30. Erick Says:

    Holy crap, that was a salty executive that put the Bucs #8 lol. Just goes to show you how some of these guys running these franchises really aren’t that smart.

  31. Letsbucinggo Says:

    Well Dooley I guess the o-line will be tested right out of the gate.