Is “Middle Of The Road” Good Enough?

February 7th, 2023

“Derek, you can win the NFC South since that rat in New Orleans crawled to Denver.”

Is just good enough, good enough?

Time and again Joe hears how the Bucs can win the NFC South again in 2023. That’s because the division is a wasteland. The only thing stopping the Bucs from winning their third division title in a row, a franchise record, is a quarterback, so the NFL sophists believe.

Over at the PFF Tribe, one of their high priests, Sam Monson, buys into this philosophy. Just get a capable quarterback and the Bucs could be back in the playoffs, Monson seems to believe.

This is a team very much in flux in a post-Brady world, so maybe the Bucs are in the market for a middle-of-the-road starter like Derek Carr.

Carr has decent numbers to go along with a career losing record. Ever since his second season (2015) he has thrown for at least 3,900 yards each season but last year he was benched with two games to go with 3,522 passing yards.

Carr has never thrown more than 14 picks in a season.

The Bucs can do worse than Carr but dang, the Bucs better have an improved running game next year because Carr sure ain’t Tom Brady and Brady carried this offense last year.

The Bucs simply must be able to run better if Carr or a lesser quarterbacks comes to town.

Is Carr good enough to win a terrible division?

48 Responses to “Is “Middle Of The Road” Good Enough?”

  1. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘The Bucs simply must be able to run better if Carr or a lesser quarterbacks comes to town.’

    Bucs were last in the league last year by far when it comes to rushing the football, gaining a paltry 1308 rushing yards on 386 attempts for a paltry 3.4 YPC. That’s the LOWEST number of rushing yards we’ve had since 1993 when we had 1290 yards in 402 attempts for a 3.2 YPC average, enroute to a 5-11 record under Sam Wyche. That’s like 30 years ago, back when the NFL played 16 games. IOW … 2022 was historically bad from a rushing perspective. And it showed.

    Oh and for the record, the Right Guard on that 1993 team? Yup, Ian Beckles.

  2. Rand Says:

    Too much investment for an iffy starter. If we were to spend the money I’d rather spend it on a proven winner like Jimmy G

  3. Beej Says:

    I’m dubious that any of the available FA QB’s are much better than Gabbert (who comes at a fraction of the cost)

  4. DungyDance Says:

    Agree Beej.

  5. Guzzie Says:

    So drafting the next superstar RB Bijan Robinson in the 1st round is a bad idea? Licht has proven time and again he’s not capable of finding a good RB later in the draft, imagine where we’d be if he took Dalvin instead of OJ

  6. Lt. Dan Says:

    It amazes me how Playoff Lenny went from being well….playoff Lenny to being meh. Did he suddenly forget how to run the ball or does the problem lie elsewhere. Me guesses the later.

  7. SB~LV Says:

    No longer!
    Sell the team Glazers !

  8. SB~LV Says:

    Why hasn’t Jason Licht been given permission to address the abyss?

  9. Breadwinnerbob Says:

    Gabbert would be dealing with the ones his ball looked good and years with Tom brady has helped so many others become better

  10. Ate One Tree Says:

    Cut the fat this off-season and rebuild the lines .

  11. ModHairKen Says:

    Fournette is gone. Carr is overpriced and overhyped. It’s time to move on from Donovan Smith. Don’t draft a RB in the 1st Round.

    Improve the OL. Improve the pass rush. Find a MLB who can stay in position and not whiff on tackles.

    Treat the cap problem by taking the hit this year for Brady.

    Then fire Bowles after next year’s fall from Grace. Find a better coach.

  12. Mike C Says:

    SB, why the hard on for Jason to give a speech, Tom Brady retired and we got wacked in the playoffs…… you are up to date.

  13. Oddball Says:

    Uh, 40 million or something for this guy right? Anyone else see the problem here?

  14. SB~LV Says:

    Mike C

  15. Allbuccedup Says:

    Carolina is moving fast with head coach and defensive coordinator and in the process of rebuilding their team. Meantime back on the homefront no quarterback, no offensive coordinator and basically no head coach while Licht is doing the Curly shuffle and clicking his ruby slippers together saying theres no quarterback like Brady, theres no quarterback like Brady.

  16. Barbossa Says:

    Before Brady, we suffered more than 10 years of losing football. I will take realistically having a chance to win the south over that no plan ,losing brand ,replace a coach every two years crap again.

  17. Hodad Says:

    Not sure why anyone would think we’re a favorite to win the division? We barely won it this year with Tom Brady at QB, winning it next year isn’t a given. And why would Carr give us a better record then Brady with less of a team? That’s right, 23 FA’s it’s going to be a less talented team this year. This team is not a QB away from competing.

  18. Joseph C Simmons Says:

    Time and again Joe hears how the Bucs can win the NFC South again in 2023. That’s because the division is a wasteland. The only thing stopping the Bucs from winning their third division title in a row, a franchise record, is a quarterback, so the NFL sophists believe.


    It’s like we never learn from the past. Last season has nothing to do with next season. I can almost guarantee one team from the South ends up with double digit wins. Remember two years ago when the NFC East sent a team to the playoffs with a losing record? This season they sent THREE teams to the playoffs and almost a fourth.

    Things change quickly in the NFL.

  19. ClwJB Says:

    The difference in skill set from Carr to Mayfield or Brissette is not worth 30+ mil per year

    No way we should be even glancing in his direction

  20. Beej Says:

    Carolina already HAS a good team, have been merely lacking coaching and a passable QB

  21. Dooley Says:

    Carr vs Trask vs ??? works for me, also not going to go out my way to ignorantly blame Carr for all the Raiders problems considering their still functioning with the same problems they had when they drafted Carr. In fact, Carr even being available just proves the Raiders incompetence & dysfunction as a franchise. Carr is going to have a huge chip in his shoulder wherever he goes, and to me he can be successful in the right situation.

  22. Letsbucinggo Says:

    All signs point to Carr in the NFC south it will be his choice which team so I am sure the Bucs are probably last on his list.

  23. SB~LV Says:

    Please sell the team Glazer Family!

  24. Bosch Says:

    It is moot. Carr will have multiple options that are better than coming to Tampa where the “brass” and the HC are not on the same page not to mention a roster purge is inevitable and cannot attract a quality OC.

  25. Ed Says:

    Only vet QB that has been in playoffs and part of a winning culture is Jimmy G.

    The Bucs have too many holes to fill and they just need a QB that doesn’t make mistakes and can get the ball to their playmakers. Oh yeah, forgot, thats a problem, they don’t have any playmakers that have the speed to make something out of nothing.

    Jimmy G has been in enough SuperBowls to know what a quarterback needs to do to be a winner. What has David Carr ever done to get his teams in the playoffs?

    This site is barking up the wrong tree thinking Carr is better than Garafalo.

  26. HC Grover Says:

    Road Kill

  27. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I do not buy the Poor Division narrative anymore.
    Both Carolina and Atlanta have improved themselves, and the Saints just got gifted several great draft picks for losing Peyton.
    As far as Carr goes, I think we need to find out about Trask, who had an awesome Senior Year at Florida.

  28. Dom Says:

    Adding Derek Carr to this team would mean being in QB purgatory which is the worst place to be. He’s good enough to where you’d hesitate to replace him but not good enough to win you anything meaningful. I’ll pass

  29. Cardiac kidz Says:

    Carr is the best chance of keeping the passing game and talent we have in place. It doesn’t do anything for our Cap issues. That makes Gabbert the next man up, who has reps with the first string, has fair amount of skill, a bit more mobile. Good enough to win the division as we fix the Cap and our offensive play caller.

  30. Gofortheface30 Says:

    Ahhh yes you mean like 8-10 middle of the road? A team that only made the playoffs because of an emphasis of preserving the “sanctity” of divisional rivalries? The Detroit f’ing lions were better than us and for the record far more exciting to watch. Our entire team is “middle of the road.” We are not anywhere near as talented as we desperately want to believe. And our talent is not as productive or as good as they were in 2020. Hi, Devin White.

  31. Alanbucsfan Says:

    I remember Buc fans clamoring for Carr after the Bucs jettisoned Jameis.
    And what did he do for Raiders the last 3 years? Mediocrity, sacks and turnovers in his playoff game, benched.
    If you want more disappointment and continued cap issues- sign Carr.

  32. SB~LV Says:

    Two steps forward
    One step back
    Glazer’s vision

  33. UKBuccaneer Says:

    2023 is likely a wasted year anyway, so throw Trask in there and at least end the argument of whether he’s the answer or not (hint: he’s not).

  34. Simeon97 Says:

    Jimmy g!

  35. SOEbuc Says:

    $40M for middle of the road QB. Try to draft a mobile QB early and a cheaper vet. You wanna go with trask or not, he’s still the only QB on the roster.

  36. Buccos Says:

    Is it just me or does anyone else believe that Tom Brady was NOT very good this year. Yes he had some amazing 4th quarter comebacks that most QB’s wouldn’t have delivered. But with a better QB we wouldn’t have needed to come back in the 4th quarter every game. Brady was out of sync and inaccurate for most of the season. The only outstanding game that he played was the second Carolina game with the 3 long TD passes to Evans. That was it! For most of the season he struggled. Now the case may be made that part of that was Leftwich’s fault. But when I hear people say that Brady carried our offense last year I scratch my head. Carried them to what? 18 points a game

  37. sasquatch Says:

    Is “good enough” worth paying a giant salary for when you can probably get “good enough” out of Baker Mayfield or Jacoby Brissett or maybe even Blaine Gabbert at a much lower salary?

    At this point, this team just can’t pay a QB 30+ million. It’s just not worth it.

  38. NEfan Says:

    Joe, the ONLY thing stopping Bucs from a 3rd division title is a QB??? This team will be lucky if it’s not last in the division. I guess the other NFC South teams are not trying to improve their team. The entire division was like 1 game apart and it showed against Dallas.

  39. Dooley Says:


    Tom Brady was a middle of the road QB in 2022, but a lot of the posters on this site don’t care to humanize their football gawd.

    Also, the $40M figure attached to Carr’s Raiders contract only holds up if he isn’t traded in 8 days or if someone actually gives LV picks and absorbs that deal in exchange for Carr in a trade. If Carr hits free agency, he’s not going to cost that $40M, it’s not that hard to understand that cap # has a deadline that’s up in a week

  40. Bucs56 Says:

    Joe is correct about the south and bucs QB away from being a favorite. Remember Carolina and Atlanta are likely going with rookie QBs next year.

  41. RumDude Says:

    It’s time to cut Playoff Lenny, and draft another RB to compliment White.
    As far as QB, why not bring in a mobile one like Tyler Huntley to try and win the starting role against Trask and whoever else they sign.

  42. Bucsfan13 Says:

    Joe is right to be cynical of Carr. He led the league in picks! Brady posted better numbers than Carr. Carr had the best RB and WR in football and still underachieved. He’s also soft and needs his brother to fight his battles. They bring too much drama. Fans complained about Brady being jittery in the pocket. Brady had an excuse with his age. He’s never been known for that in his career. Carr has also been known to shy away from the rush. It’s been his biggest criticism.

    Joe, do we really want a guy who threw the ball away on fourth down in a playoff game!!

  43. Miller5252 Says:

    If Brad Johnson can win a Super Bowl then Carr can do the same exact thing. Might need a better D, but this offense is way better then the one Johnson had

  44. Rod Munch Says:

    Is Carr good enough to win a terrible division?


    Sure, 5-12 might be good enough to win the NFC South, but who cares? Just stick with Trask and go 4-13, at least then you always have a chance that maybe Trask is a good QB. With Carr, he is what he is, a loser QB who cares first and foremost about his stats.

  45. sasquatch Says:

    @SB~LV lives to complain about things he can’t change more than just about anyone I’ve seen out here.

    1. The Glazers aren’t selling and it makes no difference how many times you put it out there.

    2. Todd Bowles is the head coach for 2023.

    Make the best of it and quit your ph0uecking b!tching.

  46. Fansince76 Says:

    Carr is a good quarterback but overpriced.

  47. steele Says:

    CARR IS A LOSER. A proven loser. Absolutely not worth consideration.

  48. stpetebucfan Says:


    I agree with your observation about sticking with Gabbert this year instead of trying for Carr or Baker.

    AGAIN I invite everybody to wiki Gabbert. He played well in 2015 for SF in relief of Caepernik. His win % matched the horrible Tomsula coached teams %.

    And again I’m surprised nobody has taken the bait. As someone who LOATHED JW for what he did to this franchise I now look at him objectively. Is he healed?
    Has he finally learned a little humility, like Dilfer before hitting the Ravens?

    I don’t even believe I’m typing a sentence that would consider “Famous” but he MIGHT be the solution.