Five Things

January 9th, 2023

Yeah, yesterday was a drag. The Bucs are now responsible for Tom Brady’s first losing season. But you know what, Joe doesn’t have time for that nonsense. It’s the NFL Playoffs! Time to prep for the dreaded Cowboys as the Bucs open at home on “Monday Night Football!”

Playoffs Are A Go!

It’s hard to believe the Bucs are heading to the playoffs after such an underwhelming and disappointing season,

But here we are! And a home game to start he playoffs, too! How ’bout that?

The Bucs, despite finishing 8-9, are division champs. Damn, three straight playoff appearances. It wasn’t long ago that just landing a wild card berth felt as if the Bucs won the Super Bowl!

Joe thinks the Bucs can give the Cowboys a run for their money a week from tonight. The Cowboys aren’t playing well. The Bucs played well two weeks ago against Carolina and yesterday Joe is convinced the Bucs would have won if they kept their starters in the game.

Dallas? They got clobbered by the Commandos and rookie quarterback Sam Howell last night. The Cowboys look vulnerable as hell.

So yeah, the Bucs have a losing record. But it seems the Bucs are entering the playoffs sharper than Dallas.

Let’s hear it for Uncle Mo! Good ol’ momentum.

Quit Whining; Bucs Are In The Playoffs!

When NBC released the schedule for Wild Card Weekend, Joe saw the Bucs were playing on Monday Night Football — Joe was very sure the Bucs would have a primetime game — Joe immediately applauded!

How cool is that?”

Apparently, Joe was in the minority. Almost immediately, Bucs fans came back at Joe. “Hey man, if the Bucs win they have a short week before they play Philly and they have a bye, not cool!”

To which Joe replies, “Calm down!”

The Bucs had a losing season. By all rights, this team shouldn’t even be in the GD playoffs much less hosting a playoff game. It’s a minor miracle with an 8-9 record the Bucs are even here.

Joe is counting the blessings. If in any other year the only way the Bucs would be allowed in the playoffs after a losing season, they had to agree to play the No. 1 seed on short rest (if they won their first game) or else not play in the playoffs, you’d take that offer with a home game in a heartbeat.

Any other year, the Bucs would be packing their bags right now for Tulum. Instead, they are in the playoffs.

Instead of whining about getting screwed by the NFL, fans should be on their knees thanking the football gods for letting the Bucs make it to the playoffs.

Extra Day For Bucs May Be Huge

So yeah, Joe is reading how some fans are outraged that if the Bucs do win, they might have to play the Eagles on a short week while the Eagles will be coming off a bye.

Joe will take that short week. Here’s why:

That extra day (two days?) instead of playing Saturday or Sunday may be the difference between Nick Leverett playing center or Ryan Jensen.

Jensen began practicing two weeks ago after beginning a 21-day window in which the Bucs can activate him off of injured reserve.

This week is the third week.

The Bucs are very tight-lipped about what Jensen is doing. Last week he finally put the pads on. What exactly he did in practice is unclear.

In one respect, the fact the Bucs began the clock ticking on Jensen two weeks ago suggests the team has confidence he could be ready this week. Otherwise, why go through all this? Instead just tell him to chill and be ready for OTAs?

Yesterday, Jensen’s replacement, Robert Hainsey, who has started every game, had a hamstring injury in the first quarter and did not return. Bucs coach Todd Bowles had no update, but hopefully will later today in his day-after presser.

That extra time to prepare for the Cowboys could be all Jensen needs to get back on the field if Hainsey is unable to go.

You don’t normally see hamstrings heal in a few days.

The Rookies

Coaches often say rookies are no longer rookies late in the season. Well, if that is the case, a few Bucs rookies really need to hit the weights, study film and raise their games between now and the start of the 2023 regular season.

The way some of the rookies played, or didn’t play, raises some concern for Joe.

In August, Joe thought this was a helluva rookie crop Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht pulled together. But man, yesterday, sheesh.

Is there an APB out for Logan Hall? He started the season nicely. But man, there must be a book out on him. Hall was getting 30 to almost 40 snaps a game earlier in the year. That fell off big time in recent weeks.

You hardly ever heard his name the past couple of games. For a top rookie defensive lineman drafted high in the second round to just go nearly invisible the last month of the season is not a good sign.

Rookie wall? Hall hasn’t played enough to hit a rookie wall.

Yesterday Luke Goedeke had a nice overall game at right tackle but man did he make one of the most unaware, dumb penalties you will ever see a right tackle make.

Later in the game Joe saw Goedeke getting into it with a Dixie Chicks defender. Goedeke prides himself in not backing down and playing through the whistle. But Joe would rather have a guy play smart than with false bravado.

All the tough-guy stunts aren’t worth a damn if he is costing his team points with dumb play. Goedeke’s holding call on what would have been a first down run ended up costing the Bucs four points as the Bucs had to settle for a field goal.

Zyon McCollum may be one of the nicest guys Joe’s ever dealt with and he is a solid special teams player. At times, he looks overwhelmed on defense.

Joe hopes these three, with an offseason in the weight room and a full spring of meetings and film study, will bump up their play.

The New Blaine Gabbert?

Joe was quite surprised watching backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert play yesterday. He was zinging the ball, man.

Gabbert should have had two touchdowns as he hit Devin Thompkins right in the hands for six, but Thompkins dropped it.

Gabbert later connected with Russell Gage for a score.

Joe had never seen Gabbert throw with such a quick release like he did yesterday. Joe doesn’t know if that’s something he picked up from Tom Brady or if that was something he worked on with coaches or what.

The way Gabbert played, if Brady leaves the Bucs after this year, Gabbert basically submitted his resume to the Bucs to be the starting quarterback for 2023.

Like Brady, Gabbert is also a free agent in two months.

40 Responses to “Five Things”

  1. asdf Says:

    I’m a bit weary of our “win” against a Panthers team that was borderline tanking and where 14 points came off of two bombs to ME13 where there was no safety help. Seems like we are over indexing on two plays that are highly unlikely to re-occur….I’m not convinced on this offense at all.

  2. BucsfanFred Says:

    My biggest ray of hope for next week is how crappy the cowgirls looked.
    At least our starters looked ok

  3. BucsfanFred Says:

    The Panthers weren’t tanking

  4. Mike C Says:

    Mnf……. fml

  5. steele Says:

    I hate that they play on Monday because it is an irritating delay. I want to see if there is a wheezing miracle left for Brady, and if not, get to work fixing this team, bigtime.

    As for pros/cons, it depends. And, if the Bucs manage to win, it depends on what happens in the game. Will anyone else get injured?

    This OL, the achilles heel of the team for the season, remains so. The uncertainty at center is a massive problem. Hainsey is mediocre and soft, but he is a known quantity at least. Putting Leverett at C, with Goedeke or Moulchon at RG, in a playoff game? Dan Quinn and the pass rushers are salivating. The idea that Jensen will swoop in and be 100%, having played not at all, and not with these guys at all (except recently in practice) does not sound like a reality, or one that is fraught with problems. This one factor could decide the game all by itself. Pass pro, run blocking, Brady, timing, everything.

    Joe, please stop with the love for Gabbert. He is exactly who he has always been. Nobody says he can’t throw the occasional good pass. Nobody says he can’t look good for a few series. He is a marginal backup. NOT the guy you want starting for a competitive team.

  6. TDavis Says:

    Don’t sleep on the Vikings losing to the Giants. Not that playing San Francisco is any better though.

  7. steele Says:

    On a side note, I have to add CONGRATULATIONS to the hated Rams for tanking to 5-12. I wanted that playoff loss to them avenged, and for the Rams to go away. I got both wishes, so this season hasn’t been a total loss.

  8. Bojim Says:

    They couldn’t beat the Falcons. And you know they tried.

  9. ‘79 Defense Says:

    That does stink about a losing season for Brady, but for whatever it’s worth, the argument can be made that it’s only because he and others were pulled. Can you imagine that talk today if Brady had twisted an ankle in the 3rd quarter and was out next week?

    I thought with the new 17 game season that we were the first team to win a division being one game under .500, but the Panthers won the South in ‘14 with a 7-8-1 record.

  10. BucU Says:

    This team sucks. This coaching staff sucks.
    You wanna jump up and down about backing into the playoffs with a losing record then knock yourself out.
    After we get blasted by Dallas next week you’ll come back down to earth real quick like.

  11. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Bojim Says:
    January 9th, 2023 at 5:03 am
    They couldn’t beat the Falcons. And you know they tried.
    Dude, they played the backups. The third string QB got in the game.

  12. VATom Says:

    Ive seen good teams lose games they should win in the playoffs. No guarantees. So the Bucs have looked bad this season and have a overwhelmed OC. Maybe the Bucs can put together a run despite themselves. Who knows? I know you dont have hope if you dont make the show. Welcome to the show. See ya on Mon night.

  13. BucU Says:

    Thank you to the NFL for putting the Bucs on Monday night next week so I can’t watch. That’s the best news I heard all wknd. This team is garbage from top to bottom.

  14. Gofortheface30 Says:

    Lol @ people complaining about a short week the following week. Number one, let’s try to actually win a playoff game first, the Bucs are underdogs and rightfully so. We should be happy we even got in. Teams like the lions, packers and even Steelers are more deserving than we are. We’ve done nothing, ZERO to earn the benefit of the doubt – in ANYTHING. You have to earn the right to get all entitled and cnty about scheduling and logistics

  15. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Joe, in your first paragraph, you forgot embarrassing.

  16. TheBucsAnthem Says:


    Blaine Gabbert has always had the Zip on his balls…….go back and look at tape of his time in Jacksonville……it’s just too bad Jacksonville ruined him as they have done to many QBs that have played there.

  17. Darin Says:

    Anyone worried about a second Bucs playoff game should be evaluated. This team is very poorly coached. If they squeak one out it surely won’t matter how much rest they get before the next game. We saw how they did in Cleveland coming off a bye.

  18. #8's Ghost Says:

    Extra day of rest is good.
    Have to win vs Dallas to have a chance to win again, right?
    TB12 needs to get Tompkins a bomb TD next week.
    Hope Hainsey isn’t fooked otherwise Jensen better somehow be ready. Without any run game, Bucs have no chance. Lenny had 100+ in prior game I want to say.

  19. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    …..people shouldn’t take the game yesterday of the Cowboys stinking up FedEx field as any indicator either…..

    The Cowboys have ALWAYS played down to competition……Dak Prescott has always been this way….one game he looks amazing and then another game he looks like an awful Kirk Cousins…….it’s so strange.

  20. Iron-Wombat Says:

    Glad I didn’t buy tickets to the game. I was worried about the Bucs turning it into a preseason game and sure enough it happened.

  21. alton green Says:

    YAWN……….I only read this article half way because it reminded me of the teacher on Charlie Brown wah wah wah. Been a fan of Tommy Boy his entire career and let me tell y’all i’ve NEVER EVER seen him look like he did yesterday. He looked like he came home and caught his ex in bed with Jerry Jones. Now Joe like i said i only read half. why? if there was sound, it would sound just like NBC, CBS, and ABC. You are covering for total incompentence just like these networks cover for the other Joe. That Todd put a bloomer stain on the greatest ever. The GOAT that will not lose unless his coach ties his hands behind his back. In the churh i grew up in, the preacher would say “and the congregation says AMEN”
    Thanks to Todd Bowles”and the GOAT says BYE BYE Tampa” I pray that Tom doesn’t come back. Screw me once shame on you, screw me twice shame on me.

  22. Tucker Says:

    They have their best shot at a win against the cowboys so theres that. A losing record into the playoffs is hard to stomach infact this entire season has been rough. This new love for gabbert from the Joe’s is weird one it was the Atlanta falcons so easy there, he is what he has always been, a backup but I don’t think it’s Trask either back ups or not that guy just doesn’t look good.

  23. Goatfarmer Says:

    There is only one way this team and roster could be 8-9.

    Todd Blowes.

    Brian Flores or Eric Bienemy.

  24. alton green Says:

    I see several comments about how lousy the Cowboys played. My friends, the corners and safties for the Commanders played an outstanding game. I mean they were very aggresive. The corners started playing too soft. GUESS WHAT? their coach immediately made adjustments and kicked the crap out of JJ’s team. TODD would say “I’M THE BOSSand i don’t do it that way”…………. 8-9 and a beaten GOAT Thanks Todd

  25. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Gabbert had to develop a quick release behind our oline or get crushed…

  26. Doc Says:

    The Cowboys are not bottom feeders, that the Buc’s have been beaten up on. The worst thing that could have happen, did in fact happen, the Cowboys look bad Sunday. The Cowboy’s will be focus in pratice and doing the game on Monday night. Better put your track shoes on Buc fans.

  27. Cobraboy Says:

    @Goatfarmer: Bienemy will NEVER be the coaching face of any NFL franchise because of past off-field shenanigans—do a Rage Google. Flores may be blackballed from the league because of his whining (not that he should; he has some good points and IMO got screwed.)

    I want the Titans do fire Vrabel so the Bucs can hire him.

  28. STL-BucsFan Says:

    I think sitting Brady was a terrible idea, but then again when has this staff made the right choice. Brady is a very prideful man and looking at stats he would say “there’s only one stat that matters and that’s WINS” and now his 1st official losing season happens this way. terrible!!!

    I love the Bucs and Love that they got Brady but this season they really dropped the ball with him. And now he will play for another team or retire.

    Any hope of him coming back to Tampa next was also benched yesterday!
    Way to go Bowels. F’N EMBARRASING!!!!

  29. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    @ STL-BucsFan

    HA HA HA HA HA!!!!

    Brady has all the records…….do you really think he cares about another stat?????

    Really bro???????????

    All BRADY cares about is going to the BIG DANCE again……

  30. DJB Says:

    Brady damn sure looked pissed on the sideline, I believe it was because he knew chances for a win were best with him in the game, and he damn sure wanted the win. Would not have wanted to see him play behind the makeshift O Line we had in there though.

    Trask in the regular season game looked a lot like Trask in pre-season games, he does not have the arm strength to make all the necessary throws, and ya can’t coach arm strength.

  31. admin Says:

    I want the Titans do fire Vrabel so the Bucs can hire him.

    Good Lord!!!!!!!! 😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱

  32. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    @ DJB

    Bowles did the right thing yesterday…….

    but the backups looked awful… really bad, like a B League team….that’s very concerning.

  33. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Bowels absolutely did not do the right thing. If he wasn’t going to try to win then Brady, Godwin, Gage and as many other starters as possible should never have been in the game. Blatant stupidity. Either play to win or sit . Half Azz Todd takes a chance on players getting injured for nothing. All risk zero reward. Piss poor.

  34. Rob Says:

    Logan Hall isn’t getting snaps because Akeem Hicks came back.

  35. Buddha Says:

    This is a group think site. Blame everything on Bowles. Don’t consider that this team was way overrated talent wise. Yes, we have two good wide receivers too decent linebackers and an average secondary. We lost our best pass rusher for most of the season. I guess that is all the coaches fault even though he wasn’t given the opportunity to hire any of his own coaches. Majority is out on this coach, but he’s certainly deserves another season with his own coaches selected.

  36. Reach87 Says:

    Buco who is “we?” You are not a fan of this team. Hilarious. Go Bucs!

  37. Buc1987 Says:

    Iron-Wombat…you would have had to travel all the way to ATL too! 🙂

  38. C2asante Says:

    I hope we o not act as if Tm brady is not also responsible for his first losing season. The Bucs did not fumble the ball away or throw multiple interceptions, nor leave camp for two weeks to deal with his marriage or go to a former owners wedding instead of team walk through. He did those things. he faked retirement to manipulate his way on to the Dolphins with Sean Payton and when Arians refused to allow it, he chose to unretire and play here vs not play at all. he is the GOAT, but he is not without fault. This team dealt with poor coaching, injuries, retirements, and just poor play. As the starting QB he shares in that.

  39. Ed Says:

    Does Todd Bowles ever do anything right when it comes to preparing his team and getting 60 minutes of just good ball out of them. They have a quarter or 2 where they are playing well enough to win and then they go into a shell and everything goes wrong.

    I thought it was disgraceful the way the backups played vs the Falcons. This team is put together in pieces, not a full product. Certain really good players but the depth and backups are really bad, especially in the trenches.

    By the way, what is going on with Devin White, does he ever make any meaningful plays any more. His fumble recovery was because the ball slipped out of QB’s hand, not because White even touched him.

    Bucs have to get stouter in the future in the trenches. You can’t just throw screens and checkdowns in the NFL and get any points. There has to be more attempts downfield in these playoff games.

    The Bucs can’t depend on turnovers and defense, you have to score points and be on the attack.

    Players have to play for themselves, they surely can’t be playing for Todd or Byron with their anemic game plans.

  40. mark2001 Says:

    I’ve been as critical of the way this team has looked during most of the year as anyone. But it is now the Playoffs. And we are in. So we fans can sit back, soak it in, and hope for the best. The time for criticism is past. Onward and hopefully upward.