“Hollowed Out Oak Tree”

December 22nd, 2022

If you were a tree, what would you be?

Joe has read all sorts of descriptions for players over the years but this is a new one.

Joe’s good friend Mike Tanier of Football Outsiders believes Tom Brady, at least based on how he played in the second half of Sunday’s loss to the Bengals, is a shell of his former self.

“A hollowed-out oak tree,” in fact.

Tanier noted that if not for Brady’s magic against two really rotten teams, the Bucs might be looking at a top-five draft pick in April.

But gosh, the Buccaneers stink. They are two unlikely fourth-quarter rallies against awful Saints and Rams teams from being 2-10 since their 2-0 start. And Brady’s going to explode into a cloud of dust and rage when forced to face the 49ers/Cowboys/Eagles defenses. He’s a hollowed-out oak tree.

Joe maintains the Bucs’ defense is playing decently, especially considering so many injuries. Bucs sacks king Shaq Barrett is gone with a bad Achilles and who knows if he can return to anywhere close to his old self. Shaq is now 30 and Achilles injuries and 30-year-olds aren’t a good mix.

(Remember, Bucs running back Earnest Graham was 31 when he tore his Achilles and that did his career in. And we all saw recently how a much younger O.J. Howard couldn’t do squat after he blew his Achilles.)

A 2-10 streak is the kind of drain-circling that gets guys launched and Joe’s isn’t talking players. So Brady may not only have revived the Bucs two years ago and won a Super Bowl, he may have saved coaches’ jobs with his late-game heroics this season.

That still shouldn’t be enough to rescue failing Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich.

Todd Bowles Confidence Poll (Week 16)

Flash poll posted at 4:50 a.m. Last week’s results linked here.


30 Responses to ““Hollowed Out Oak Tree””

  1. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    I don’t think anyone can put this on Brady.
    Consider all the times we’ve seen Tampa’s d go into their favorite ‘lawn chair, cover nobody mode’, or ‘tampa zero’ , it’s striking we’ve come away with six victories really.
    Albeit Brady single handedly won 2-3 three of those games.
    Without the goat we’d be competing Houston for the number one pick in next years draft….already.
    I just hate when tampa goes full lawn chair cover zero on national tv. Have they no shame? Or is it inappropriate to say these things?

  2. Sailing away Says:

    They can’t run the ball. The run game is abysmally putrid. The worst in the NFL by far this year. They can’t depend on the run to burn the clock nor tire the opposing defense. Imagine being a 45 year old quarterback having to throw it 50 times a game just to keep your average at 17 points a game. Surprised Brady isn’t a chopped down oak tree. Look how well Leftwich’s run offense was his last year as OC in Arizona after Arians left. The run game sucks big time!

  3. Buczilla Says:

    Brady is clearly not the same guy that we had the two years prior to this one, but even in his current form he’s far better than any of our previous qb’s. We can win with this version of Brady, but we need a competent coaching staff first.

  4. Gofortheface30 Says:

    Jesus gd Christ some of you are completely blind and delusional. Brady is not beyond reproach. You can still appreciate 2020 and yet still objectively critique Brady’s play this yr without being an anti christ ok. He does not step in to throws any more. He gets rid of the ball too early, he misses throws – in particular deep balls now, and he misses them badly. When he’s about to get sacked he does this thing where he just throws it up in the air which is something not even a rookie QB should do and it’s irresponsible. Coaching is the number one problem, but Brady and his dumb pet side projects, divorce, leaving the team to go to Krafts wedding, and extremely poor play is a bad look. Brady has been given too much power, Bowles has been weak, and people like you are enablers and part of the problem. Hey great culture we’ve established you guys! Good job!

  5. Randy Bowers Says:


  6. PewterStiffArm Says:

    How does a team with this much talent stink so fast after a Superbowl win. I mean, I really do think we could have won it all if our defense would have been placed in a better position against the Rams. Granted we are missing some parts but not that much to cause this debacle. Unless the message from the coaching staff is muffled or completely out of touch with basic football knowledge. Joe, you have talked about the offense being hog tied by this head coach. It’s a two headed monster. With one head relaying messages to the defense and offense and the other not transmitting enough messages to the offense. How quickly can a good football team be destroyed, Example A: The 2022 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

  7. BucU Says:

    Everybody INCLUDING TB12 has a hand in this abysmal season. There’s plenty of blame to go around.

  8. ChiBuc Says:

    @Gofortheface30, you went for it. Thank you from all of us that are gaslight daily and tabbed “Brady haters” for being objective. Just to clarify for you Brady fan boys…Brady is not the ultimate problem, but he doesn’t appear to be the ultimate solution either.

  9. ChiBuc Says:

    “How does a team with this much talent stink so fast after a Superbowl win.”

    Ask the Rams. At least it took 2 seasons to get here and our record is still better than there’s. AND they have an offensive wonder boy HC that most of you would trade in Bowles in a heartbeat for your great unwakening

  10. DungyDance Says:

    Gofortheface30 – really good observations. I don’t share your view in your final 2 sentences, but everything ele is a great synopsis of Brady in 2022.

  11. DungyDance Says:


  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Brady would be the first one to tell you that he isn’t playing up to his standards……he is jumpy and uncomfortable when dropping back….hesitant….throws checkdowns and the ball away quickly without making reads….
    I think he’s hyper-sensitive about being hit….
    Nope, he doesn’t get sacked much…..It’s hard to sack a man that hands the ball off and throws 5 yard passes all game.

  13. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    A qb never completed a pass laying on his back the saying how’s….Playing in front of this o line minus Wirfs, and no gronk, has got to be an exercise in masochism. You’ve got 2 seconds to throw, before you get blasted, and a fan base about as ignorant; and no offense to Billy ray valantine, a fan base that has no understanding of what a good qb needs to be good from his surroundings. Even if you have the quickest release in football.

  14. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    Oh, you’re gonna miss him when he’s gone….
    But just think perhaps in 2 years we’ll have the number one pick again and we may get jamiss, part 2. Oh joy!

  15. Gofortheface30 Says:

    Bring back lawn chairs – get a load of this guy. I’m gnna be more diplomatic here and refrain from calling this guy a clown. (Whoops just did) Anyway – did you know the Bucs pass block win rate is ranked 23rd. Still awful yes, but your argument holds little to no value when you take a look at some of the quarterbacks dealing with worse offensive lines. There is no “yeah buts” or grading on a CURVE as it pertains to the greatest QB of all time. Brady said himself the second he doesn’t play to the standard in which he holds himself to is when he walks. And by his standards, he has been grossly sub standard. Even he would tell you that. What you’re doing is the equivalent of putting your fingers in your ears and going lalalalalalal like a kid that can’t handle the truth. It is time to take a hard HONEST look at every aspect of the team including Quarterback

  16. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    And for all the knuckleheads that think a running qb is the answer. Who was the last running qb to win the big enchilada?
    Let’s just see how far that qb up in buffalo goes with all that runnin he does.

  17. NEfan Says:

    Madden wannabe players placing judgment. The media has been trashing Brady for years about his play. Go back and read the 2020 beats the hack wrote when Bucs were 7-5. It’s all about creating doubt and getting fans to believe it. Same as daily news wants us to believe Biden and Harris are doing right for this country.

    Is KC, Philly, Buffalo, Cincy, Minn, Dallas LAST in rushing??? FAR FROM IT. They use the run to set up the pass. Bucs don’t have that option.

    Wasn’t Bowles goal this season NOT to pass as much and to preserve Brady? How’s that working out. This is a tiring conversation with a bunch of ignorant morons.

  18. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    30, I can handle your naïve insults. I’m old school my man.
    But next time you wanna discuss something, leave out the underhanded insults.

  19. Lamarcus Says:

    High on the priority list: Replacing Brady!!!

  20. alton green Says:

    well let me start with this Mike Teneir. 60 yr fan and career Brady fan let me help you because you definately need help. YES. THOMAS EDWARD PATRICK BRADT Jr is the oak tree but Bowles, (29-45 with jets) is the chain saw. I hear so many of you talk about what a great team the Bucs were the first 2 yrs. Next time you have a brain fart, just remember Bowles wasn’t the head coach. Then they promote Todd and immediately the wheels fall off the electric wagon. Come on people, including Tenier, Bowles is a terrible coach. I had read so many posts that said we just need to win 2 of the first 4. We did that and all of a sudden somebody let Heckle and Jeckle out. I’m telling you friends IF that’s IF we make it to the playoffs the only way we can win is Todd and Lefty stay in the Damn locker room….in San Francisco

  21. Captain Oblivious Says:

    I just watched a rerun of the Jags vs Cowboys game from last weekend. Love how the Jags run misdirection and motion on almost every play. Seems that they scheme to protect their 2nd year QB Lawrence. My point: Leftwich sucks as an OC!!!

  22. teacherman777 Says:

    Brady is hurt.

    We can’t run the ball.

    Jensen, Marpet, Gronk, AB, Whitehead, Suh, JPP, Howard, and Cappa.

    We lost a ton of good to great players.

    Licht didn’t take the past 2 off-seasons and drafts seriously enough.

  23. adam from ny Says:

    the most fun teams to watch rise from the ashes the past month have been:


    these teams are balling

    especially detroit…

    detroit has been balling and playing good ball for like 2 months, and suffered a lot of tough losses to start the season too…people slept on them until about 4-5 weeks ago…

    they are playing like a 12-5 football team right now…coach has them believing and playing like they dgaf,,,fun to watch

  24. gofortheface30 Says:

    Lawnchair guy – I dont care if you’re old school, new school, or special ed – your position isnt even reasonable or honest. You have blinders on, and not even willing to take an objective look at the entire team. So next time you want to use the word naive in its proper context, use it on yourself because you clearly are either incapable or unwilling to get a full scope of everything that is wrong.

    What is even more amazing is even Brady will say he is playing like dogshi – and yet when you have people agreeing with that sentiment, there are clowns in here that are all like “mAdDeN wAnNaBe pLaYeRS” placing judgement wahhhhhhh with even so much as making an attempt at nuance or context

  25. Brazen Zebra Says:

    I have the feeling that team mates no longer respect Tom Brady or Bucs management. It happens all the time in the NFL. Respect and team spirit are such a precious commodities on any team. Bucs players seem to be looking for reasons to play like Randy Moss (at half throttle), or to not to play at all. I put the blame squarely on fading Tom Brady and his personally annointed HC, Bowles. Even Bruce Arians or Rob Gronkowski could not save this creaky old ship.Clean house!

  26. D-Rok Says:

    Usually, a hollowed out tree is a result of lightning. Brady got hit in the Bowles by a lightning bolt, and he hasn’t been the same since.

  27. Purplepirate Says:

    “What is even more amazing is even Brady will say he is playing like dogshi”

    What else is he going to say? “I’m playing fine it’s everybody else who sucks.” Yeah, I don’t think that would go over too well even if it was true.

  28. Purplepirate Says:

    “Brady is clearly not the same guy that we had the two years prior to this one”

    But why not? He was arguably the MVP last year. You don’t go from being the top quarterback in the league to being mediocre in 7 months without a reason.

    Part of that can be attributed to losing some Hall of Fame talent on offense as well as a depleted offensive line. He’s also dealing with a receiving crew that has had a case of the dropsies all season. In addition, the team is one of the most penalized in the league. But I also suspect in the off-season we’re going to find out he’s been dealing with a significant hand and or shoulder injury.

  29. ChiBuc Says:

    “You don’t go from being the top quarterback in the league to being mediocre in 7 months without a reason.”

    Brady has 250 million reasons to not really care waiting at FOX, disillusioned with coaches, pouting that he didn’t get his way AGAIN n didn’t get to go to Miami, uh he’s 46, a divorce, access to kids family, investments, vacations, old friends wedding…..

    Those are a few REASONS. Now, let’s hear your many, many EXCUSES.

    I don’t really need/want a “running” qb, just an accurate one who can take a step or 2 to avoid a rush. Not being terrified of getting hit would be helpful too.

  30. Anthony Says:

    I believe Brady has lost a little but he’s still better then most at his presidio
    I still say they are being to play not to lose. As opposed to playing to win that’s 2 different things. And I do believe Bradys personal life has been an issue. I would like to see him 1 more year in a situation that helps him so he can help the team. 8f it’s the Bucs with a new OC. Fine if LA Raiders or NE. Fine