Time For The Long Play, Not The Wrong Play

February 6th, 2023

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Two years removed from the mountaintop, the Glazers find themselves standing at the NFL crossroads.

The path ahead is dangerous, fraught with potholes in the shape of draft busts and free-agent gaffes, yet this organization’s steps should be clear.

Don’t look back.

Don’t look at that 29-10 record in the first two years of the Tom Brady regime and be fooled into thinking this is still a championship roster with some tweaking. Those glory days are gone and this roster is old and slow.

There are very good young pieces like Tristan Wirfs and Antoine Winfield Jr., but not enough to seriously challenge for the Vince Lombardi Trophy. It’s time for the long play, not the wrong play.

Todd Bowles doesn’t want to take a step back. Why should he? He wants another veteran quarterback as Brady’s successor so the Bucs can enter next season as the favorites to capture a third consecutive division title.

Guess what? It’s not Bowles’ call to make.

Jason Licht might be a little conflicted.

A 5-12 record wouldn’t look good on Licht’s résumé, but suppose Kyle Trask surprises everyone and gets the job done. That would look very good on Licht’s resume.

Guess what? This call is above Licht’s pay grade. Only the Glazers can chart the course for this franchise — and they will.

Acquiring Derek Carr isn’t going to fill Raymond James Stadium this fall or garner the Bucs an additional prime-time game.

By the way, Carr turns 32 in March and the next postseason game he wins will be his first. In nine years with the Raiders, he averaged seven wins and made the playoffs once.


Can the Bucs win the NFC South with Carr, whose best asset is his durability? They probably can, but the Glazers are supposedly in this venture to rake in money and championships.

Don’t let good be the enemy of great. This team needs a young quarterback to build around. If it’s not Trask, tell Licht to find somebody else. He took his shot with Jameis Winston in 2015 and it didn’t work out.

That’s a big miss, but one that many rival general managers would also have made with that first overall pick in that particular year.

Swimming Lessons

Treading water is the wrong way to go for ownership. Eventually, you drown. Listen to Jimmy Johnson, who knows a thing or two about building a championship NFL franchise.

“Do you want to be safe and good, or do you want to take a chance to be great?” Johnson asks.

Carr is safe and good, but he’s far from great. Brady’s retirement announcement provides the Bucs with some clarity. They need to take advantage and craft the proper vision, one that will lead to sustained success.

Hard pass, says Ira Kaufman.

Since their inaugural 1976 season, the Bucs have never had the same guy under center for more than five years. Of the seven quarterbacks with more than 15 career victories in Tampa, only Brad Johnson (29-24) and Brady (37-20) boast winning records as a Buccaneer.

That has to change — and it has to change soon.

The 2024 draft looks like a quarterback-rich environment, led by Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams. Sean Payton terms Williams “a generational talent,” a player so coveted he could trigger the NFL to adopt a draft lottery in an effort to dissuade tanking.

In the interim, the Bucs need to shed salary and give younger players more snaps. An 8-10 record with Brady playing every game was a loud wake-up call to the Glazers that glory days have passed them by.

It’s time for brutally honest organizational meetings. When you find yourself at the crossroads, taking a step back just might get you where you want to go.

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

37 Responses to “Time For The Long Play, Not The Wrong Play”

  1. Casual Observer Says:

    The Bucs won their first game at Dallas, 19-3. They lost their last game at home to Dallas, 31-14. Clearly, one team got better as the season went on and one team got worse. The Bucs D gave up no touchdowns in game one and 5 in the last one; 4 passing TDs. The difference in this stultifying season trend had to be the coaching. Yet our head coach remains in charge. Have the Glazers just lost interest? Seem to be the case.

  2. Mike Says:

    Amen! Preach it brother! Give Trask a year and if he doesn’t pan out, we have serious QB options in the 2024 draft. Let’s get younger, faster and cheaper this year.

  3. YucsBall Says:


  4. gbobucsfan Says:

    who will be our OC?

  5. BucsfanFred Says:

    I feel the same way.

    First, Carr would command a crazy investment in cap room and draft capitol for another mediocre result. Treading water.

    We don’t need to collapse for Caleb and doing so would be a big rip-off for our fans and the rest of the NFL. I’ve always felt that a NBA style lottery would be wise for non-playoff teams at least for the first round. Yeah, I know we wanked for Winston in that Atlanta game. It makes tanking a little less attractive.

  6. John Sinclear Says:

    If I were doing jury selection I would not select anyone from this blog. Everybody has decided Trask is guilty without ever seeing any evidence. Whatever happened to the concept of innocent until proven guilty?

  7. Beej Says:

    Mebbe bring in a competent guy like Brisset who was a backup last season, let him, Gabbert and Trask battle it out. To my knowledge, Trask has NEVER gotten practice snaps with the first team offense? Anyhow it gets them thru to the promising ’24 draft

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Ira, you couldn’t be more correct……..It is quite obvious that we are more than a QB away from a championship team.

    It’s time to give Trask a shot…..who knows, he may surprise….

    Let’s get younger……address our cap issues (don’t make them worse)

    Take our medicine and live to win another day.

  9. BucsMinisiterFuller Says:

    Go back and watch Super Bowl LV as much hype as TB12 got for what he did that defense held Mahomes and the Chiefs to 3 field goals.
    If we could put together another defense like that we could win with Trask or another better than half decent QB.

  10. HC Grover Says:

    Sorry Ira i doubt they will take the good advice. They will try to cobble together a mediocre expensive team to try to win the division and fail, thus digging the hole deeper.

  11. TampaBayBucsFanSince1976 Says:

    One more horrible draft like last year out of Jason Licht and Bucs will be kaput for years.

  12. BrianBucs Says:

    For once I totally agree with Ira.
    It’s time to build for the future and not do the band-aid year by year thing.
    For those of you paying attention you know that’s what mode the Falcons and Panthers have shifted into, just getting a head start on the Bucs.
    If the Bucs do start building for the future the biggest question mark I see is would anybody really want to go into a rebuild or development stage with Bowles as head coach?

  13. BucsFanSince1996 Says:

    I’m grateful that TB12 came to Tampa which resulted in a boat parade in his first year. Licht created some salary cap issues by keeping the team together the following year in an attempt to repeat, but it was absolutely worth the gamble. For the Buc’s front office to pull that off was an incredible feat.

    Ira, what you wrote makes a LOT of sense. Good IS the enemy of great. The Glazers should set their team on the path to building a great team, one that can go deep into the playoffs and compete for a championship. Winning the NFC South Division and then getting blown out in the first playoff game isn’t very satisfying.

  14. Richard Says:

    Totally agree with Ira with one major exception…..by retaining the head coach they have sentenced themselves to much more than one tear of rebuilding, mediocrity or worse and scorn like we haven’t seen here in the past 3 years. To achieve the best result the head coach needs to be ousted!!! Why no OC after a month long search? Why no other action either? Why can’t we hear from BUD Lyght about the plan and progress being made? Finally, is anyone and I mean anyone comfortable with turning over a rebuilt team to Todd Bowles???? You can’t rid the disease without removing all the causes…..the decision to keep this coach is a mistake of major proportions!!!

  15. ElioT Says:

    Well said Ira.

  16. Buddha Says:

    I agree that Carr is not the answer. From Day 1 when Jensen went down this was not a championship roster. I think you and Joe are as responsible as anyone for over-hyping this team, especially when you knew the loss of Gronkowski and then Jensen took out two of the biggest chess pieces the Buccaneers possessed. Both of you promoted the view that as long as you had Brady, the Buccaneers could be in the hunt. Brady, Brady, Brady. I love him but he’s human and his skills were deteriorating, not markedly but enough to matter especially with no center and no tight end. Let’s be honest, Brady did not want to go out injured and he played scared. That’s just the truth. It doesn’t diminish what he did over the course off his career or in his previous two years here. But the narrative you two, you and Joe were pushing was that with Brady anything was possible and you lacked in depth analysis of the roster. Godwin was not the same player until late in the season. Barrett was lost for most of the season. So the Buccaneers were largely down four Pro Bowl players with no place to hide. Now the new narrative is the coach stinks and the roster is inadequate. But how many teams can send out an Evans and Godwin, line up a Wirfs and Jensen on the offensive line, and put out Barrett (if he recovers), Vea, Winfield and Camarda (one of the best young punters in the league. And Davis, Dean, and White are quality young players. No, they aren’t Philadelphia or Buffalo, but they aren’t the Buccaneers of 2005-6 either. A quarterback is essential as is a creative play-caller, but this not a team that needs to be torn apart.

  17. beano Says:

    IRA SAYS: “This team needs a young quarterback to build around. If it’s not Trask, tell Licht to find somebody else.”

    The problem, Ira, is that it can take time to develop a young quarterback, and the Bucs and their fans may not have the patience to do so. Let’s look at how the Eagles built around Jalen Hurts over 3 SEASONS, and tell me the Bucs and their fans would have the patience to do the same. I don’t buy it for one second.

    1. The Eagles drafted Jalen Hurts in 2020 in the second round with pick #53 (sound familiar?).

    2. Hurst had a poor rookie season in 2020, playing in 15 games and finishing with 6 TDs to 4 INTs and a lowly QBR rating of 33.8 (ahem, playing with the starters).

    3. Then, in the Eagles’ 2021 training camp, Hurts’ struggles continued. Headlines appeared such as “JALEN HURTS HAS WORST DAY OF PRACTICE AT EAGLES TRAINING CAMP” (sound familiar?).


    5. Hurts improved in his second season, 2021, finishing with 16 TDs to 9 INTs.

    6. Hurts improved again in his third season, 2022, finishing with 22 TDs to 6 INTs – an almost 4:1 ratio – and he and the Eagles are going to the Super Bowl and the Bucs are not.

    Now, compare how the Eagles patiently handled Hurts over 3 SEASONS to the incessant vitriol on this website directed to a similar draft pick by the Bucs – Kyle Trask – who has not had anywhere near the opportunities Hurts had with the Eagles.

    It’s not a mystery why the Bucs have never developed a young quarterback.

  18. Mark Says:

    I agree with Ira, however, there are two additional questions the owners need to be asking themselves:

    1) Do we distinguish ourselves with the quality of our drafting (in a good way)? The strategy Ira proposes depends on being exceptionally good at identifying the hidden gems in the draft. The best teams do this: KC, Philly, SF. Are we superior in this area, and if not, what do we need to invest to get there?

    2) Does our coaching give us an advantage on the practice field and on game day? To succeed the Bucs must develop the talent they draft and put those players in a position to succeed. Do we have the confidence that our coaching staff gives us an advantage over the competition? If not, why are they working for us?

    If you cannot definitively answer “yes” to both questions, you are not built to succeed year in and year out.

  19. GuyManDude Says:

    Jason “Bud” Lite should have at least made attempts to sign a couple offensive linemen when Jensen and Stinnie went down. There was no effort and complete stubbornness to stick his 2nd round pick in there with no NFL or Guard position experience whatsoever. Look at Mahomes when we beat them for our 2020 Superbowl. Their offensive line was down and he didn’t even score a touchdown. The difference with the Chiefs and the Bucs is the Chiefs actually addressed the offensive line the next year and now look at them back in another Super Bowl just 2 years later. I’ve given Jason “Bud” Lite a pass until now. He and Toilet Bowles need to go…

  20. beano Says:

    1. Start Trask.

    2. Keep Gabbert as backup to assist Trask like he assisted Brady.

  21. Mike Johnson Says:

    You drafted this kid Trask in the 2nd rd for a reason. So what is he now our new protected favorite son like Randolph or Sweeny?? All of you are nuts. We have won our superbowl for the decade. Another one will not come our way for a few years. Lets see if Trask has the mustard to cut it. If not, Cut him or make him a backup.Bring in a guy for cheap like Brissett at QB. He will win us a few games. He won’t break the bank either.

  22. Dick LeBeau Jr. Says:

    Sorry. Not on this train of this team’s glory days are behind us nonsense. I expect better Ira. Every season anyone can win with a crappy oline, average young dline, and sometimes even a lesser QB. So no, it’s not all doom and gloom. Yes, the team is older, but at the same time, it’s not. You have a young RB as a base, you have a WR who just made it to his second contract, and Gage needs a shot to see what he is without the injury plagued season. You have a young TE.

    On the dline, yes, you have to fix that, but Vea just got his second contract and Hall as to improve, but still, you have a base to start with. LBs, David and Shaq were the elders, but you have White as a base player with JTS. Regardless of how you want to frame them, stop expecting 10 sacks from everyone and the need for a player to be great at everything to be good. That’s unrealistic.

    The DBs you still have youth back there. Every position basically has your base to build off of. Add younger FAs and stop targeting old vets who are on their way out. And hope for a draft of a solid 3 to 4 immediate contributors. I’m not including the oline because those guys tend to play for a long time and still be effective. If you can field an average team that plays at least average to above average throughout the season, we all know what can happen.

    Enough with the doom and gloom.

  23. Alanbucsfan Says:

    The long play is to fix the Defensive Line. You can spend $35-$40 million per year on Davis, Dean and Winfield Jr, but if you have no pass rush, it won’t matter.
    JTS and Hall are backups at best. Doubtful that Barrett will be the same. Eagles are in the SB because they have beasts who pressure the QB- and that was the same formula Bucs used when they beat Mahomes and the Chiefs in SB.

  24. BucsfanFred Says:

    Guymandude, Licht didn’t really have any free agents worth signing. Everybody here wanted Tretter, but no team thought he was worth picking up. The others were JAGs. We already had our own JAGs under contract. We were quite broke also. Imagine how much further in salary cap hell we’d be if we reworked a few more contracts to sign guys no better than what we already had, but didn’t know our system or playbook.

  25. BucsfanFred Says:

    Alanbucsfan, I think JTS will develop. He looks out of control and acts a little like a chicken with it’s head cut off, but he shows good effort and athleticism. If I remember correctly we’re getting a new Dline coach this year.
    Hall showed a little less potential, but if he adds another 20 or 30 pounds he might be at least ok.

  26. Bucamania Says:

    Could not agree more.

  27. Buddha Says:

    So Hall is a bust now. Check Warren Sapp’s stats his rookie season. That’s just plain nonsense.

  28. NYbucsfan Says:

    I agree with Ira!

  29. vadertime Says:

    Kyle Trask is best as a backup and not as a starter. He is incapable of leading Tampa back to the promised land. Derek Carr is like buying a used car with really high mileage, which will get you from point A to point B, but it’ll never excel or be exciting enough to fill RJF stadium. Aaron Rodgers is unafordable. Jimmy Garopolo is a good option if he can stay healthy. How about we bring down Baker Mayfield on a 1 year contract. If he works out, great. If not, we have the 2024 draft to look forward to. Go bucks.

  30. Hodad Says:

    Ira, you’re preaching to the choir. Preach brother, preach!

  31. rsjcheapseats Says:

    The problem with the idea that good is the enemy of great is that bad is an even greater enemy because you have to create a new culture within the organization.

    How many tear downs work. Ask the Jets. Ask the Panthers.

    Answer – very few. The Chiefs were good before Mahomes. The Pats were good before Brady. There was a lot of talent on the Bucs before we got Brady.

    Tanking sounds smart. But it really seldom works.

  32. Davenport Says:

    Start Trask & sign a low-cost vet (Brissett) to back him up. See what Trask has before the 2024 draft. If Trask can’t cut it, then you know what to do

  33. mark2001 Says:

    Ira is 100% on the money. I think Carr might help for a year or two. But at 32? And the cost? Forget it. Maybe a lower cost young retread that might respond to another chance, and Trask. Roll with it baby. And if necessary , just bite your lip this season.

  34. mark2001 Says:

    So Ira…read where Jenna is talking about Sam Darnold as Brady’s possible replacement. What does Ira think?

  35. The Anomaly Says:

    @ rjs – the team isn’t good enough to compete next year. Barrett will be even more useless than before. IS Todd suddenly going to be a good coach? No.

    You people need to stop dreaming

  36. stpetebucfan Says:

    The draft is QB rich? Haven’t we heard all of this before. Remember when TWO QBs Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota were such can’t miss “franchise” QB’s the only question was who to take first.

    I’m not a huge Gruden fan but I understand why he didn’t want any raw meat rookie at QB.

  37. steele Says:

    Bigtime kudos to Ira for this one.

    I agree. No more halfway/ all the way mediocrity. Time for youth movement and major rebuild. The sooner the action, if done well, the sooner the pain ends, and good things can start to happen. Look at the Bungles. Look at the Seahawks, who managed to blow everything up, go young, lower expectations and overperform even during what should have been the first year of suck.

    Bucs can do this.