Find That Guy!

January 30th, 2023

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It’s bound to happen one of these years, isn’t it?

At some point, the Buccaneers are going to land an elite quarterback, one worth signing to a second contract. That’s never happened for a franchise that began play in 1976 — when Gerald Ford was in the Oval Office and “Rocky” played on the big screen.

“Mr. Glazer, I’m not saying it’s time. But it could be time. And no, I’m not paying attention to Ira Kaufman.”

Buc fans watching the conference championship games wondered why the Bucs never have one of those guys, referring to Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow and Jalen Hurts, young quarterbacks in their prime or yet to hit their prime. The Chiefs, Bengals and Eagles figure to be good for quite a while, along with the Bills and Josh Allen.

Those teams boast franchise players under center. Those teams kick ass.

The Bucs kick the can down the road.

Whether or not Tom Brady returns to One Buc Place, the problem remains. It’s been a big problem over the years. The Bucs were contenders in the late 1990s and early 2000s because they had a defense led by multiple Hall of Famers. The Bucs were contenders in 2020 and 2021 because Brady raised the performance level of everyone in the building.

Those days are gone.

In the wake of an 8-10 season, the time is now for ownership and management to chart a new direction.

The focus has to be on acquiring a young quarterback to build around.

A new face is required — not a facelift with mugs like Derek Carr or Jimmy Garoppolo.

Find that guy.

It’s not easy, but it’s overdue. Listen to the philosophy of Joe Banner, president of the Eagles from 1995-2012. Philadelphia played in five NFC championship games during that span, with 10 seasons of double-digit wins.

“If you’ve got a good quarterback, then you’ve got to get from good to great,” Banner says. “The decisions you need to make get much narrower and your path to success is much easier. I’m in the school of if you have a chance to get a difference making quarterback, you do whatever it takes to get that person.”

Jason Licht and his scouts are knee-deep in preparation for the 2023 NFL draft. That draft is three months away, but the real salvation for this franchise at the crossroads rests in the quarterback-rich draft of 2024.

Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams of Southern Cal leads the pack, followed closely by North Carolina’s Drake Maye. Quinn Ewers of Texas should be on the radar, along with Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. and Bo Nix of Oregon.

If it takes draft capital to grab one of these guys, so be it. Trade off some veterans and build flexibility.

For Banner, it’s all about positioning yourself for the quarterback you want — and having the guts to pull the trigger.

“I see speculation in Chicago that if they trade the No. 1 pick they might be able to get two ones and two twos, and maybe even a little bit more,” Banner says. “It sounds like a boatload of benefits, but the success rate in the first round is only 50 percent.

“The hit rate, quality starter, in the second round is 40 percent. So two ones and two twos probably gets you two quality starters. If anybody’s willing to trade two quality starters, let’s even say they’re two Pro Bowl players, but they don’t play quarterback for a difference-making quarterback, I don’t know what game they’re watching. That’s just a no-brainer.”

Pass rushers and left tackles are important. The guy under center is far more important.

“They’re not going to impact the game as much as a difference-making quarterback,” Banner says. “If the people I’m working with say there’s a difference-making quarterback and we don’t have one, and there’s a way to get to where we need to be to get that guy, I’m just doing it. I’m not hesitating. It’s not even a tough decision for me. I’m hoping we’re getting the evaluation right, but from a strategic perspective, I’m 100 percent confident in what we’re doing.”

The Bucs crave what some other teams have under center. It’s beyond time to get one of their own.

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

39 Responses to “Find That Guy!”

  1. Joseph C Simmons Says:

    If my memory serves, we:

    Drafted Doug Williams with a first round pick
    Traded for Jack Thompson with another first rounder
    Drafted Trent Dilfer with the sixth overall pick
    Drafted Josh Freeman with a late first rounder

    Not pretty. Doug Williams was arguably the only one worth a second contract, but we all know what Hugh Culverhouse did.

    Anyway, I don’t want to wait until 2024. We need a QB plan now. Maybe play Trask this year and see what we have. He’ll probably play terrible, get let go, and become a Hall of Famer elsewhere. It’s a Buc’s Life.

  2. TampaBayBucsFanSince1976 Says:

    I’ll take the GOAT.

  3. rrsrq Says:

    100% – that is why we need to move on from Brady, be in cap hell next season, we can still be competing in the NFC South with three possibly 4 teams (depending on ATL) for a long term answer at QB. Need a plan if Trask doesn’t work out or if there is no way we will get Williams in next years draft.

  4. TampaBayBucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Bucs don’t sign Williams-Williams wins SB for Redskins.
    Bucs don’t sign Steve Young-Wins SB’s for SanFrancisco
    Bucs don’t sign Trent Dilfer-Wins SB for Baltimore.

  5. Nicholas Carlson Says:

    Joseph, don’t forget Jameis Winston. Another first round bust.

    Me? I’d take a quarterback every year in the top 3 rounds until I had myself a reliable 4,000 yard 25+ TDs <10 INTs guy.

  6. Crickett Baker Says:

    How do we know Kyle isn’t great?

  7. Your Mom Says:

    This is begging the question a bit, because that’s what all the other 26 teams without a top 5 quarterback want too.

    If you were trying to game the system, you’d draft 7 quarterbacks each year, one in each round, until you found that stud. THEN you’d go draft everybody around that player. Because without it, no one wins a Super Bowl any more.

    Everybody would hate you, and you’d doom 5 or 6 of those players to either ruined careers or wasted picks, but from a hacker standpoint, that’s how you’d do it.

  8. Goatfarmer Says:

    The Eagles, over the time span Ira mentioned, didn’t win a Super Bowl. They had Donovan McNabb, Vick, and schlubbs. And if this dude is such a genius, why isn’t he still working?

    I’ll put my faith in Jason Licht.

    JaMiss was almost that guy, but he was also a Lovie Smith guy. Lovie tanked for him, so that cursed the pick right away. Mariota also turns out to be a schlubb.

    Brady was a 6th rounder. Look at Brock Purdy, Mr. Irrelevant. Who knows what happens yesterday if he doesn’t injure his arm.

    Explore the later rounds every year. Instead of drafting kickers and punters, lets draft quarterbacks late, so we can find the next hidden gem. We’ve been down the road of top draft pick quarterbacks who suck. Too mcuh capital, too many expectations.

    Maybe it still is the Doug Williams curse. He had a .500 record as a starter, where the team without Doug is around .250.

  9. SKBucsFan Says:

    Build up the O-line and get younger at WR before taking a QB. Most teams desperate for a QB get their guy too early. He has no protection or targets and gets the snot beat out of him in the first 2 years. Then we all complain he is a bust.

    Don’t get me wrong Jameis was a wasn’t just a bust, he was a wasted pick. Always trade down if you’re the number 1 pick unless an unquestionable generational player is available. Some team is dumb enough to give you what you want.

  10. Kyle Says:

    Tear it down now, tell Tom, thanks but no thanks if he wants to return. Start trading assets for draft picks this year. Most plugged in fans will understand a Kyle Trask season in order to go 2.15 next year. Draft one of these kids next year.

  11. Kyle Says:

    Look how far the jags have come in a few years with a competent head coach, young qb, quality picks on defense.

  12. beano Says:

    IRA SAYS: “why the Bucs never have … a Jalen Hurts?”

    Ira, it’s because you, the Joes, and the Bucs would have run Jalen Hurts out of Tampa.

    Hurts was a late second round pick in 2020 (sound familiar?). Hurts played at a college that’s never produced a great NFL quarterback (sound familiar?). Hurts had a terrible rookie season with a 33.8 quarterback RTG (sound familiar?). And, only now, in his third season, is he going to the Super Bowl.

    Had Hurts been drafted by Tampa, well, the Bucs, you, and the Joes would have NEVER given him three seasons to develop, especially after his disastrous rookie season. How do I know? It’s all familiar. 🙂

  13. BrianBucs Says:

    Like Ira said , the 2024 draft is loaded with high quality QB talent. Ira names a few but there are many more.
    2024 may be the most QB talent rich draft ever.
    Bucs at 19 in the 2023 draft will not be able to draft “That Guy” .
    Sign Brady for another year if you can, see what you have in Trask or bring in an experienced free agent and make arrangements to try to get your future QB in 2024 when there will be a lot to choose from

  14. Goatfarmer Says:

    Kyle — you do realize that the only thing the Bucs suck worse at than developing quarterbacks is executing a rebuild, right??? Post John McKay, 14 years. Post Jon Gruden, 12 years.

    I don’t have that much time.

  15. zzbuc Says:

    TB12, who had a bad year, and is part of the BUCS offensive problem, at his age is better than at least 20 QB in the league…..
    So if there is a chance on keeping him, we should go for it

  16. Mike Says:

    I hate to think about tanking, but it seems like a pretty good idea to me to go with Trask and let him sink or swim, and it he sinks, we are in good position for a QB in the 2024 draft. If he swims, then we no longer have that need.

  17. Joe Swanson Says:

    That should the new offensive coordinator top priority is to develop a young quarterback whether its Trask or someone else. You can’t tell me Arians or Christensen could not tell Licht or Bowles that Trask is not the answer. If the Bucs bring Brady back it should be on there terms not his. You don’t need a washed up QB who has no future in the NFL nurse mating him on the sidelines. Let the young guy sit there and learn. If he don’t like it to bad because the reason he hasn’t made a decision on playing again is more than likely no one wants him except tampa.

  18. BucU Says:

    I’m down with that Mike.

  19. Davenport Says:

    Gut this team & start the rebuild already. Evans, Barrett, David, Brady, Smith, etc. Thank you, but we’re going younger. Trade/cut them ans move on.

    Bowles alone should guarantee us a top 5 pick

  20. WillieG Says:

    I could not disagree more, Sage. I’ve suffered through too many 1st round busts to ever think that is the answer. I think signing a veteran who has proven himself is the way to go. Let another franchise endure the growing pains. Then, when he’s all grown up and damn good, swoop in and take him.

  21. kyle Says:

    goatfarmer.. haha the bucs have pretty much sucked at everything except for about 6 years.. so, what the heck??? haha

  22. kyle Says:

    goatfarmer, im with you brother.. im expecting to be on a walker and shizzing my pants the next time the bucs get a rebuild right..haha

  23. OrlandoBucFan Says:

    I definitely think we need to keep drafting quarterbacks until we strike gold. You don’t have to be selecting at the top of the draft. There are quality quarterbacks to be had in latter rounds. When Hurts was drafted, my son and I really wanted the Bucs to take him. I put Hurts in the same category as Russell Wilson. Like Wilson, Hurts was super successful at this first college (Alabama) and then repeated that success at Oklahoma. Wilson was a graduate transfer, but he still had great success at Wisconsin. As one Joe would say, “I don’t believe in coincidences.” To have repeat success like Hurts and Wilson, it is not a coincidence. My point is, good quarterbacks can be found in latter rounds. For now, let’s see what Trask can do, but if there is a quarterback worth drafting, I wouldn’t miss on the opportunity. Since I am a UCF alum, I would suggest the Bucs take a long look at Dillon Gabriel when he comes out. He was very successful at UCF and he has repeated that success at Oklahoma. That can’t be a coincidence?

  24. Pickgrin Says:

    Correct ZZ – TB12 at age 46 will still be better than 2/3 of the QBs in the league.

    Bring Tom back for 1 more year if he decides to play – shore up the Oline – ditch Gabbert since we will no longer be running Arians offense that Blaine “knew so well” – give Trask a legitimate look next year with lots of practice reps with the 1s and see what he can do after 2+ years in waiting – and make preparations to move up for a QB in the first round in 2024 if necessary.

    The way to get out of these “salary cap” and “old and slow” problems is to draft well. If Licht can find a way to draft 3 or 4 good starters in some specific spots this year – it would go a long ways towards fielding an affordable team.
    That $60M that Licht and Greenburg correctly kicked down the road is starting to come due in 2023 and it will be worse in 2024 if proactive counter measures are not implemented this year.

  25. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    You almost had me until you mentioned Bo Nix. Bo Nix!?! You’re a comedian, Ira.

  26. mark2001 Says:

    Oh no. It doesn’t sound like Ira thinks Trask is the answer. LOL.

    But Ira…if you really want to help make this year one of success and not failure, use all your skills to see Ronde gets into the hall. That would help redeem this year, in my mind.

  27. Goatfarmer Says:

    Hey Kyle, this team has me drinking so heavily I’m already there!

  28. PSL Bob Says:

    “I’m in the school of if you have a chance to get a difference making quarterback, you do whatever it takes to get that person.”

    And, there’s the problem. Who the hell is capable of determining if a college Heisman Trophy winner will be that elite, difference maker in the pros. This organization certainly hasn’t Joseph Simmons laid out some examples, but failed to mention the Bucs epic fail with Jameis Winston. You just don’t know how these college “can’t fails” will work out. And then on the flip side, look at some of the QBs taken late in the draft as development prospects that blew up (in a good way) in the pros. Tom Brady comes to mind. More recently Brock Purdy looks like a keeper. Ira, let’s face it. The search for the Holy Grail is a crap shoot. Sometimes you’re lucky and sometimes you’re not.

  29. kyle Says:

    ha goatfarmer!!

  30. beano Says:

    Pickgrin Says: “Give Trask a legitimate look next year with lots of practice reps with the 1s and see what he can do after 2+ years in waiting.”

    That makes perfect sense. However, it is NOT TO BE ALLOWED, not according to Ira and the Joes, the three “quarterback whisperers” who were bigly on Jameis Winston and, worse, wanted us to draft Johnny Manziel. You can’t make this chit up.

  31. stpetebucfan Says:

    For once I disagree with Ira. Both of the Bucs SB’s were won with QB’s who did not start with the Bucs. Brad Johnson in the 9th round would be an FA under the current system and Brady went in the sixth round.

    The Broncos used retread Peyton Manning to win a SB.

    There is more than one way to get er done! Meanwhile First round QB’s bust at an alarming rate…highest among any position..40%. A mistake can set a franchise back years because of the draft capital and teams tailored to the untested talent. Can you say Fameis Jameis? What a freaking disaster that draft was! What would this team look like if the Bucs had traded out of the overall #1 and loaded up on draft picks?

    How about Trent Dilfer. First rounder for the Bucs who came in with a horrible case of overconfidence…he let his alligator jaws overwhelm his humming bird arse until he got to Baltimore and having learned his lesson let a GREAT defense carry him to a Super Bowl. Perhaps Fameis will learn as well and rebound one day to lead a team to the big game.

    You can build a GREAT TEAM with a competent QB or have a Great QB with just enough talent around him. Rich Gannon did OK for the Raiders.

    Again Baker Mayfield a Heisman Trophy winner and #1 overall pick of the Brownies has some talent. In the Wild Card Round against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Mayfield went 21 of 34 for 263 yards and 3 touchdowns during the 48–37 win, leading the Browns to their first playoff victory since the 1994 season, and the Browns’ first playoff road victory since the 1969 season.

    He’ll never be the GOAT…but he could be the next Brad Johnson or Trent Dilfer.

    As it currently stands I’m with D.R. We have some REAL issues on the D. We better straighten that out or it won’t matter if it’s Brady, Mayfield, Trask or whomever!

  32. View from 132 Says:

    Every year this happens. Whoever wins is the new model franchise. Like the Rams last year. Remember them? The ones with more losses than the Bucs hiring new assistants?

    The only drafted franchise QB to win multiple Super Bowls in recent memory is … Brady in New England. Mahomes could win a second. No telling if he or Jalen or Joe or Tua or Josh Allen or Justin Hebert or Deshaun or Lamar or anyone else will actually win multiple championships.

    That’s why you give Trask a shot. He may suck, but that’s fine. It’s a 1% you build a dynasty anyway, even with a top QB. But he’s cheap, right now… spend heavily on O line and D line.

  33. ATLBuc Says:

    Actually, the Bucs had one a QB that deserved a second contract. Unfortunately, because he was black, the Culverhouses didn’t value him and let him go. He later led Washington to a sb championship and was named MVP of that game. His name is Doug Williams

  34. sasquatch Says:

    I’m hoping they draft one this year instead of waiting until next year. I know next years’s class is supposed to be stocked… but, I’m not collapsing for Caleb — that’s DeKlumper loser talk.

    Get your next OC by dangling a guarantee to draft a QB of his choosing.

  35. mark2001 Says:

    sasquatch. I guess the caveat would be, the best QB on the board after the top 10 to 15 draft picks. I don’t know if we can afford to move much higher than that with the draft capital we have,

  36. BringBucsBack Says:

    Beano, excellent take!!

    Our Bucs wouldn’t recognize the requisite skills, have the patience or develop an offense suited to his abilities ie: “MY system has worked for years, in multiple stops. This is the offense WE run, damned the cards we’ve been dealt!”

  37. SenileSenior Says:

    I sure hope it is not another 20 years before this franchise wins its third Lombardi. This old fan has the odds against him for being around to watch it. Again, it would be wondeful to see our Buccaneers field a contending team for more than three years in a row before I move on from this mortal coil.

  38. TDTB2022 Says:

    Bucs don’t sign Trent Dilfer-Wins SB for Baltimore. Then he got cut before the preseason. It was frustrating to watch him. Dilfer would take sacks rather than throwing the ball away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  39. SlyPirate Says:

    1,000,000% INCORRECT

    How can you watch the playoffs this year and still be stuck in the stale diatribe that the QB is the most important thing?

    Antiquated myopathy.

    SF was on their 3rd and 4th string QB but had the best defense in the league. Philly has Hurts. He’s not great. The defense is great. But what about Mahomes? He’s awesome. He’s also got Andy Reid, a ton of weapons, AND the refs F’d Cincinnati.

    In 2020, the Bucs proved 52 is greater than 1. We were “the most complete team”. The teams in the playoffs this year are proving the same thing. Look at Denver, Green Bay, and the “elite” highest paid QBs. Fails.