Michael Lombardi Still Not Impressed With Bucs

January 4th, 2023

“Easy throws.”

A former NFL suit whose son is on the coaching staff of the Stinking Panthers openly scoffed at how the Bucs beat Carolina on Sunday.

Michael Lombardi, a former coffee fetcher for Bill Walsh, Al Davis and Bill Belicheat, seemed to point at Carolina quarterback Sam Darnold’s fumble on an Anthony Nelson strip-sack as what beat the Stinking Panthers, not so much Mike Evans (though Lombardi chastised Carolina’s secondary for getting torched).

“I don’t have any more confidence in the Bucs than I did before the game,” Lombardi said on his podcast “GM Shuffle.” “They won the game because they got the ball over [Carolina’s secondary’s] heads.”

Lombardi pointed to the Bucs’ third-down percentage as a tell that the Bucs have not turned the corner. The Bucs converted just 4 of 15 third downs.

Joe isn’t sure what impressed Lombardi less, the Bucs’ offense or the Bucs’ defense.

Carolina was “moving the ball,” Lombardi said. “If you are a Bucs fan and Darnold is throwing for 341 against you, what are you going to do against a team that can actually throw the football?”

Lombardi then pointed out that without a run game, a Darnold-led offense averaged 6.6 yards a play on the Tampa Bay defense.

To be fair, Joe heard Lombardi give the Bucs some props. Punter Jake Camarda got major credit for saving the Bucs’ season and was genuinely wowed for pulling that scramble/punt off after a bad snap.

“I thought Brady was great,” Lombardi said. “But there were some easy throws. [Evans] is wide-@ss open.

“They are not an elite team. They are not.”

44 Responses to “Michael Lombardi Still Not Impressed With Bucs”

  1. Buddha Says:

    Bucs were without their best cornerback, 24 and game plan was to stop the run and make Darnold beat them. It worked. He is right, though, we are not an elite team. But the competition has serious flaws as well.

  2. sasquatch Says:

    Does anybody disagree with Lombardi on this? This is a sh!t team who just struggled to beat a very average (at best) CAR team.

    We are one-and-done in the playoffs, barring a miracle of some kind.

  3. CrackWise Says:

    Hmmmm, sounds like an easy hot take to sway the betting.

    Wonder if he is gonna put his money where his mouth it.

  4. SOEbuc Says:

    Totally agree. Wow, squeezed out another close game against a sh!tty team. When they show up with playoff teams, end up looking like 35-0 SF at halftime. But I’ll always keep the faith with them and Brady. LFG BUCS!!!

  5. Pelsbuc61 Says:

    Brady overcame the horrid coaching to get the Bucs into the playoffs, however this team does not deserve to be there and will get spanked at home. Been a fan since day 1 but Bowles, Leftwich and the ST coach will destroy any chances of winning.

  6. Dew Says:

    Love love love the doubters. Motivates all the team and especially Tom.

  7. Goatfarmer Says:

    There are plenty of doubts about these Todd Blowes coached Bucs. Many of us here voice them constantly. But Lombardi sounds like a little biotch whose cookie just got stolen from her or something.

    The FG/PAT unit alone cost us 7 points and Godwin’s fumble cost us another 3, at least. There’s a 40-burger.

    Bucs put up almost 500 yards of offense. Dismissing the long ball because “oh you just threw it over their heads” is like dismissing Aaron Judge as a hitter because he just hits it over the wall.

    The Bucs do suck, but not for the reasons Lombardog says.

  8. Coburn Says:

    Sadly I missed it, but from the highlights I saw darnold actually made some pretty impressive throws in that game. They definitely didn’t go down without a. Fight

  9. Crickett Baker Says:

    Nyah, Nyah..we are a terrible team..but gee, we sure seem to be better than all the other ones in our division. Um..it also seems to me that we beat a few teams in other divisions. Maybe we are just lucky? Hmmm..doesn’t seem to compute, Lombardi.

  10. 1sparkybuc Says:

    Fire the coaches. Build around whatever core of players we can retain, and move on. We are not going to win the SB with these coaches. Focus on building an OL for Lenny, White, and whoever plays QB next season. Injuries didn’t help, but it was HS level coaching that cost us at least three games this season.

  11. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Our Defense and the best QB in the history of the NFL throwing the ball to Mike Evans and Chris Godwin in the playoffs???
    I’ll take that all day sucksquash

  12. Rod Munch Says:

    They’re 8-8, so by definition they are not elite.

    But at the same time, there’s not really a lot of elite teams in the NFL this year, so they have a chance to do some damage in the playoffs. Then again they could lose by 40 in the playoffs, you just don’t know.

  13. steele Says:

    What realistic, objective observer of this team, this season, would be “impressed”? Consistent inconsistency, consistent underperformance.

    The one consistency: impressively bad coaching.

    That said, this butt ugly half-alive zombie team has a flailer’s chance. Imagine winning p-p-playoffs looking bad, dragging the opponents into listless, boring scraping, all saved by a few more Brady miracles. That’s probably what’s inspiring him now: “I did it despite everything.”

  14. FortMyersDave Says:

    Bucs are handicapped by their coaching staff big time. Guys cannot stay on the field consistently due to injuries (Vea-Hicks, secondary, OL, etc). However, the opposition coming to RayJay for the wildcard game is not going to be a well oiled machine. If Lombardi thinks the Bucs looked bad against Carolina, who were playing well, what does he think of the Cowboys struggling against a TN Titan team that was playing 3rd stringers. Dak served up 3 turnovers in a row and the Titans kept it close. The Eagles look bad without Jalen Hurts. They got beat up by a Saints team the Bucs swept. Yeah Tampa probably will grab their ankles in the first round but the NFC East may be a bit like the Vikings, a lot of smoke and mirrors. If the Bucs played the Niners again, I suspect they will get boat raced again but against Dallas or a Hurts-less Philly they could have a fighter’s chance if Bowels and company let TB 12 do his thing and Vea/Hicks can actually stay on the field.

  15. OBVIOUS Says:

    The Panthers did indeed look pretty good. We were able to stop their run game. I’m not so sure all of the so called “elite teams” can do that. I’ll say this though my lying eyes saw Darnold slinging that ball quite well. That wasn’t a fluke. The man was throwing with an accurate gun. Beautiful throws. The Panthers in no way shape or form layer down. They played as well as any team…. We beat them simply because We Wanted it More and we also upped our game. If we continue to play Buc ball we sure as hell can beat ANY team out there! And THAT’S A FACT. The question is Will We? I don’t give a tinkers darn what the usually wrong pundits say. I remember quite vividly the 2020 Super Bowl run. There wasn’t a game Until the Super Bowl that at least 80% said we would lose and that we were a joke. Then only 70% said we had no chance. I will say 2 things about it. Number 1, I’m rooting for my Bucs NO MATTER WHAT! Number 2, I’m afraid we don’t have the same caliber of guys as we did that year. (A) We are missing 2 MAJOR components and it’s thin at best. We don’t really have a pass rush to speak of. Now THAT worries me…. and (B) I’m not sold on our O line either. If, IF Jenson can return and play to a similance (sp) of his self in which ever position they put him in then maybe. MAYBE. Also, by now they must have put together some chemistry so MAYBE the showing against the Panthers D was legit. God help us I hope so.. So I feel like a 50/50 punchers chance sounds about right under these conditions. The TRENCHES ARE THE KEY TO HOW FAR WE GO. And that’s, that. We need a TON of Luck to go with that and just maybe….

    GO BUCS!

  16. adam from ny Says:

    you’ve gotta step back and be realistic for a moment…

    the bucs are an average team at 8-8…average…

    now carolina…they freakin’ suck…they are 6-10…that’s a horrible record – any team that loses 10 is a really bad football team…

    sure they hit their stride to win a few and screw up their draft…but let’s not be fooled…a 6-10 team is a team that on the whole, simple sucks…

    one rung below are the 3-13 and 4-12 group…so they suck…
    we are 8-8…so we are average…average joes

  17. adam from ny Says:

    but heck yeahhhh…

    that was a hell of a game last sunday…

    and a solid victory…

    that early on dud turned quite dramatic, making for a fun 4th quarter…

    2 things i knew going in…
    – carolina would choke under the pressure…
    – and the bucs were going to put up some points…some real points for once this season

  18. Defense Rules Says:

    Adam from NY … ‘the bucs are an average team at 8-8 … average. now carolina…they freakin’ suck…they are 6-10.’

    The only real difference between the Bucs’ record and Carolina’s record … Tom Brady. Switch QBs and we’d be the 6-10 team and Panthers would be going to the playoffs.

  19. Beej Says:


  20. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Carolina did exactly what we did to lose some of our games…..turned it over…..

    While I tend to agree with Lombardi that this wasn’t a breakout game for us (the 3rd down & red zone failures continue)

    We did miss 2 FG & an extra point….and that’s uncharacteristic.

  21. Glenn Krebs Says:

    F him!

  22. Defense Rules Says:

    There’s a fantastic NextGen breakdown of Mike Evans’ 3 TDs on the Bucs site.

  23. Jerseybuc Says:

    Def. Not sold soon as you think they turn it on one game it’s back to bad play. They balled out Sunday did exactly what they had 2 do. No more bulls$&t offense time to sling it.

  24. NYbucsfan Says:

    That’s because Bowles sucks!!! I am not sure why Joe won’t say it. The only reason to keep him is to get the first overall pick in 2024.

  25. Jmarkbuc Says:

    I’ve never been impressed with Michael Lombardi. Ever.

  26. Lenny Says:

    I said EXACTLY the same thing as Lombardi and the cheerleaders laughed at me. He is 100% right. The bucs have a bad OF and a bad QB. 1 quarter (or 3 drives) does not make up for 15 weeks of crappy play.

  27. alton green Says:

    Hey Lombardi wanna be. Can’t you say the same thing about 80-90% of football games? ” well they won because blah blah blah. Well, they lost because of blah blah blah. Isn’t that just football? what would you say if a team won and the score
    was3-0? In your case you say he team won because the offense got within FG range or the defense allowed them to get within range?? Let me give you some wisdon from a 6 decade fan. “THAT’S FOOTBALL? and BTW how would you explain how the Bills lost 4 straight SB’s?

  28. Jmarkbuc Says:


    Lombardi’s opinion is a leading contrarian indicator.

    He’s wrong 92% of the time, he’s a hack. That’s a net positive for the Bucs.

  29. Defense Rules Says:

    JerseyBuc … Admittedly I’m not sold either. I’m convinced that this defense (if key guys healthy) can play ‘good enough’ to win. Not sure I’d say the same about the offense at this point. The only way I can see for this offense to put up a reasonable amount of points is for the OLine to give Brady time AND for the receivers to ball out. That’s asking a LOT against some of the top defenses like we’ll be seeing in the playoffs.

  30. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Has anyone traded off their last name more than this fella? I do enjoy Joe’s descriptor of “coffee fetcher”. He is a “flight attendant of football”.

    The beauty is once the playoffs start…every team is 0-0…anything can and will happen. Bucs are ascending on Brady magic…other teams like Philthy & Dallas have shown signs of struggling.

    The Bucs are full of warts and survived a very difficult season…untimely retirements, major injuries & coaching blunders…yet will host a home game in the playoffs.

  31. NEfan Says:

    DR, I disagree, this D has only played well against bad teams and an early Dallas team pre TY Hilton. Allowing 24 points to a team where the D shut down their strength is NOT good. The D rating is inflated because they shut down who? Rams, GB(early), AZ, Saints? Not exactly the league elite offenses. They casued the Baltimore loss. Almost gave away Seattle, Atlanta & Carolina not to mention their stella effort against KC, SF & Cincy and couldn’t get off the field in Pittsburgh giving up 20 to a 1-5 team. Yes the O is as much to blame but this D ain’t any teams savior no matter what stats you put up.

  32. alton green Says:

    tampabaybucfan; you nailed it. This is the 1st time i’ve heard or read this. Just add that 7 points and we would have had almost 40 pts. Don’t tell Byron. He will say we don’ need to play Atlanta. we already have 20 points. Run up the middle? A ticket to lose

  33. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    No, we are not an Elite Team, but we are a playoff team. We beat the Cowboys once, and I feel we can do it again.
    The Playoffs are a whole new season, where past records are meaningless.
    It should be remembered that we were a wild card team when we won our Super Bowl, so anything can happen, in the playoffs.
    We will get the Cowboys at home here in Tampa!

  34. SlyPirate Says:


    Who is the clear cut favorite?

    Eagles – Fading.
    Cowboys – No
    Vikings – No
    Giants – No
    Packers – No
    Bucs – Only team that is a proven playoff winner

  35. Cobraboy Says:

    I agree with Lombardi.

  36. AmauryGuzman Says:

    I don’t care for Lombardi. All you wanna do is get into the playoffs. Anyway if this does anything it needs the defense to step up with timely offense.

  37. AmauryGuzman Says:

    SlyPirate you missed the 49ers. They have been impressive i just hope they peaked a little too early. Nobody has figured out purdy yet.

  38. Defense Rules Says:

    NEfan … Not saying this Bucs’ defense is elite or anything, but I’ll stand by my contention that if our key defensive players stay healthy, they can play ‘good enough’ to keep us in the game.

    On looking at this year’s schedule, Bucs are 1-4 against teams with a winning record (beat Cowboys, but lost to Bengals, Ravens, Chiefs & 49ers). We’re 1-2 against teams with a break-even record (beat Seahawks, but lost to Steelers & Packers). That makes us 2-6 against teams with break-even record or better. But we’re 6-2 against teams with losing records (beat Rams, Cards, Saints twice, Panthers & Falcons, but lost to Browns & Panthers).

    Not really a good sign. The only team in the playoffs we’ll have beaten is the Cowboys (Seahawks might make it also). The good news is that BOTH of them are in the NFC (we’ve lost to 3 AFC teams & 1 other NFC team who’ll be in the playoffs, maybe 2 if Green Bay sneaks in). Still, the only NFC team I definitely don’t want to play is the 49ers (we don’t match up well against them; hopefully someone will knock them off early). And no matter who we play for the Super Bowl championship, we’ll almost certainly be the underdog & not match up well. But hey, let’s worry about that bridge when we come to it.

  39. Buc1987 Says:

    One and done.

  40. Craig Says:

    Unless the Bucs have been sandbagging it all season, they are a bad team.

    That does not mean the players are bad, it means the coaches have not used them in any good ways, and the team has fallen from being a team. They are a collection of individuals that have not put forth their best efforts, probably because the coaches aren’t pointing them in a direction, any direction.

  41. NEfan Says:

    DR agreed. The offenses in the AFC are too high scoring.

  42. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    WE do not match up well with either the Eagles, or the 49ers. IMHO, either one of those 2 teams will send us home.
    But, we have beaten the Cowboys before, and have the chance to do it again here in Tampa.

  43. Sal Says:

    Bucs are a bad team #!! 1 and done #!!

  44. Homies Says:

    Well every tean win and loses no excuses panthers lose except it
    Lets just wait and see the result,result is the fact comments just came from us whos not even a player or coaches…sit and watch its our job …