Max Starks: Bucs Were Not “Ideal” Job For Todd Bowles

March 30th, 2023

Bucs coach Todd Bowles.

Seems as if a couple of media members are making the case for Bucs coach Todd Bowles to be given rope if things go south this season.

Speaking about the Bucs and Bowles, Alex Marvez and Max Starks, co-hosts of “Late Hits” heard exclusively on SiriusXM NFL Radio, explained the uphill climb Bowles had — and has — as coach of the Bucs.

Today is Bowles’ one-year anniversary of being named Bucs head coach. Because Bowles was thrust into the job unexpectedly when Bucco Bruce Arians retired, assistant coaches Bowles likely wanted to hire were already locked into jobs.

So Bowles took over a team, Marvez detailed, that had someone else’s offensive staff and likely wasn’t capable of running an offense Bowles preferred, and it was led by an aging iconic quarterback who some believed wasn’t mentally locked in.

Then when Tom Brady retired, the Bucs found themselves in salary cap hell, handcuffed and unable to freely rebuild the roster.

Starks, a two-time Super Bowl-winner with the Steelers and former Gators offensive tackle, sympathized with Bowles.

“This is not the ideal situation for Todd Bowles to walk into for his next head coaching job,” Starks said of Bowles and the Bucs. “Knowing that you had all of these parameters working against you.

“When you come in as a head coach, you are not usually thrust into a win-now mode team. It was already an unusual [timing for Bowles’ hiring]. That usually happens in January. Then it was late-March when it happened.

“So if you are Todd Bowles, you are trying to pick up the pieces. It’s pouring rain and you are walking around with a punch bowl trying to catch as much [rain] as you can. But you are missing a lot of it along the way.”

Starks added if Team Glazer has a clear, open mind, they will give Bowles “two-to-three years” to get on his feet and be able to build the Bucs the way he plans to.

Marvez and Starks made good points. Still, hovering over Bowles’ head is the fact he chose not to fire/replace failed offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich at midseason when it was clear the guy was so over his head he should have been nicknamed “SpongeBob.”

Also, Bowles had a losing season despite having the greatest quarterback of all time. Joe doesn’t know what to say about that.

To his credit, Bowles did win the NFC South.

Look, Joe gets everything that Marvez and Starks said. It was not the best of situations for Bowles, or any coach in Bowles’ shoes. You could almost argue when he was handed the keys, the timing and circumstances were set up for him to fail in the long run.

At the end of the day, Bowles is the head coach. He’s responsible for the whole team, not just the defense. The fact he or his coaches could not adjust the offense or make necessary changes is, in the end, Bowles’ responsibility.

Let’s see what Bowles can do with Baker Mayfield competing quarterbacks. If Bowles and the Bucs are able to make a playoff run, things should even improve in 2024 when the Bucs have more Team Glazer loot to play with.

68 Responses to “Max Starks: Bucs Were Not “Ideal” Job For Todd Bowles”

  1. Goatfarmer Says:

    Excuses are for losers. The red hair tufts are sprouting. Bloweszo has now overseen four consecutive losing seasons, soon to be a fifth. No way Jason keeps him around to make it 7 in a row, or even 6.

    Give the Bucs 2022 roster to even an average head coach and Bucs go 11-6, even with Leftwurst calling the offense like Daffy Duck.

  2. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    Lol…apparently the Jets weren’t the ideal situation for him either and he was there 4 years to figure it out

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Bowles had things set up on a silver platter………Tom Brady and a host of weapons along with his hand-picked defense……and, he screwed it up.BA handed a winning team to Bowles and he turned it into a winner.

    If he wanted to change the offense, he was a fool and that proved to be true.

    I’ll root for Bowles because he is our Buc coach….but I have little to no confidence he can get the job done.

    The only wild card with that is Baker Mayfield…..

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    turned it into a loser.

  5. Voice of Truth Says:

    Not ideal is the sleepwalking team we witnessed way too many times last year

    We better see a 180 in effort and attitude across the board for him to have any chance

    We all know we will be a bit short handed this year, how does the team respond to him is the question I am dying to know

  6. Dooley Says:

    Cheese, grapes, and biscuits for the habitual whiners lol

  7. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Little Confidence.

  8. ocala Says:

    Crazy that he is already getting excuses for being a poor head coach.
    This isn’t high school football. He needs to perform well as a head coach and so far he has done a terrible job with the Jets and Bucs.

  9. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Here are the hiring dates for the past head coaches of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    1. John McKay – January 22, 1976
    2. Ray Perkins – January 7, 1987
    3. Leeman Bennett – January 28, 1985
    4. Richard Williamson – January 16, 1990
    5. Sam Wyche – February 14, 1992
    6. Tony Dungy – January 22, 1996
    7. Jon Gruden – February 20, 2002
    8. Raheem Morris – January 17, 2009
    9. Greg Schiano – January 26, 2012
    10. Lovie Smith – January 6, 2014
    11. Dirk Koetter – January 15, 2016
    12. Bruce Arians – January 8, 2019
    13. Todd Bowles – March 30, 2022 <—

    Question: List the NFL coaches that were hired in Late March or After?

  10. LUVMYBUCS Says:


  11. Defense Rules Says:

    I’m wondering Joe if that line about ‘competing quarterbacks’ (with Baker Mayfield’s name lined through of course) is supposed to tell us anything about how THIS JOE REALLY FEELS about the chances of this being a FAIR COMPETITION. (Pretty sure I already know the answer to that question).

    Personally I think it will be a fair competition because of Dave Canales. Last year’s preseason competition in Seattle between Smith & Lock could’ve gone either way from what I’ve read (it was close?), but they obviously made a good choice in Geno Smith (although Seattle struggled going 3-5 starting with the whooping we gave them in Germany).

    Trask & Mayfield are very different QBs IMO, and the outcome will probably largely depend on how the rest of the team responds to their various talents & leadership skills. Even though Canales is new at calling plays, I think he’s got a good background for making the best choice here.

  12. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Here are the hiring dates for the past head coaches of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    1. John McKay – January 22, 1976
    2. Ray Perkins – January 7, 1987
    3. Leeman Bennett – January 28, 1985
    4. Richard Williamson – January 16, 1990
    5. Sam Wyche – February 14, 1992
    6. Tony Dungy – January 22, 1996
    7. Jon Gruden – February 20, 2002
    8. Raheem Morris – January 17, 2009
    9. Greg Schiano – January 26, 2012
    10. Lovie Smith – January 6, 2014
    11. Dirk Koetter – January 15, 2016
    12. Bruce Arians – January 8, 2019
    13. Todd Bowles – March 30, 2022

    Question: List the NFL coaches that were hired in Late March or After?

  13. Jon Grudin Says:

    My issue with Todd Bowls is more on the defense.

    Modern-day football is very complicated and I think you can either be a head coach and do a good job with that or a defensive coordinator and do a good job with that, but not both at the same time.

    Last year, bulls focused on the defense which was hit by quite a few injuries but didn’t step up to make the hard decisions when the offense was sputtering.

    This year I’d like for Todd bowls to either be all in as the head coach, and turn the defense over to some of his capable assistance (with him still having significant input in key game situations) OR stick to the defense BUT have Bruce Arians or someone else step in when the offense begins to sputter under Dave Canales.

    I felt that Bruce Arians should have stepped in early last year when it was clear that the offense was floundering. But he did not. I don’t know why. No one but Bruce and Jason like are clear on what his real duties are in this new position. But if Bruce isn’t going to provide guidance for first time play caller Dave Canales when he runs into trouble, then Tom Moore or some other coach with a lot of experience needs to be on board to help out and act as a sounding board for our new offensive coordinator.

  14. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Goatfarmer Says:
    March 30th, 2023 at 8:26 am
    Excuses are for losers. The red hair tufts are sprouting. Bloweszo has now overseen four consecutive losing seasons, soon to be a fifth. No way Jason keeps him around to make it 7 in a row, or even 6.

    Give the Bucs 2022 roster to even an average head coach and Bucs go 11-6, even with Leftwurst calling the offense like Daffy Duck.
    Another day, another Goatwhiner b!tch session. I’ll wait and see how the season goes, Nostadumba$$.

  15. Jon Grudin Says:

    Do you miss me yet?

  16. Joe in Michigan Says:


  17. Duane Says:

    It is weird that JBF keeps claiming that the Bucs quarterback competition is fakes.

    This is not either players team to lose, neither has ever started a game for the Bucs, and Mayfield has never so much as participated in a single Bucs practice or even team meeting. The Bucs signed Mayfield on a very low cost prove it 1-year contract, and will have no dead cap money on him if he doesn’t work out. The Bucs also owe Trask very little if he does not succeed as starter. Plus we have a new OC who is not personally invested in either player.

    Boy, if this is not a textbook case of an open quarterback position, then none has ever existed in the NFL.

    Give it up Joe, you are just embarrassing yourself with your stubborn drivel.

  18. Tim Says:

    Being hired into a “win now mode” is somewhat unusual for most new head coaches. Combine that with what the misc. Glazer said about him not having a full off-season to hire his own coaches, and that tells me that unless he goes 3-14 this year, he’ll get a third year even with a losing record IMHO.

  19. Bucsfanman Says:

    LUV- I’m guessing that there weren’t too many. The point is not lost on me. Even with him “in-house” as DC, being elevated to HC is a whole other level of responsibility.
    However, at the end of the day, it starts at the top. He should’ve, if he had any say, removed Leftwich once it was established he wasn’t getting the job done (day 1, apparently!!!).
    I will maintain my stance in that this team had no business being as bad as it was on offense. It makes no sense!
    I’m rooting for him and will continue to maintain my guarded optimism.

  20. Ateonetree Says:

    Joe for Christ sakes Bowles didn’t win the south!! , Tom Brady did it with no offensive coordinator

  21. Goatfarmer Says:

    Tim, that might happen, but not if they play flaccid like they did for most of the 2022 season. With Raheem, it wasn’t the record as much as it was how they just quit on him.

  22. Steven007 Says:

    Boy, this Joe does Love his strike throughs doesn’t he? Every time I stumble upon one all I can think is… Clever! Haha.

    Being reminded that today is the day that our coach got his job last year shows you just how late in the year it actually was. More of an understandable sober reality when you’re 1 year removed. And clearly with hindsight not the best situation at all. That said, he still needs to win. To me this will be one of the more interesting transitional years in quite some time.

  23. miken Says:

    Go watch the last 47 seconds of divisional playoff game 2021 with Bowls calling the D… or the whole game… he shouldn’t have much rope!

  24. Steven007 Says:

    With a lot of other posters, and at least one of the Joe’s, I maintain that the opportunity to move on from leftwich was after the Pittsburgh game last year. I remember going into that game salivating, assuming we would be throwing more deep passes than usual given the fact that their entire secondary was decimated. Then the OC got cute and tried to have a more balanced attack and even ran it more than typical against a team that still had a good rush defense. I remember not believing my eyes as the game progressed. Terrible terrible game plan. That for me was the turning point and I believe it should have been for the head coach. But in hindsight I believe it was early enough in the season still where he didn’t feel comfortable making that move. That wasn’t helped by the fact that he didn’t get the coaching job until it was practically April. Just bad timing all around.

  25. Jerseybuc Says:

    We’ll see. I personally don’t like him as HC. Think he’s way to conservative. Hate his in game decisions

  26. Joe Says:

    I will maintain my stance in that this team had no business being as bad as it was on offense. It makes no sense!

    Exactly. He (Bowles) chose not to make a move. That’s on him. He’s the head coach.

  27. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Significant dates that impacted the offense in 2022

    DECEMBER 19, 2021 – (WR) Chris Godwin tore his ACL.
    JANUARY 2, 2022 – (WR) Antonio Brown is kicked off the team.
    FEBRUARY 1, 2022 – (QB) Tom Brady, 44, announced his retirement.
    FEBRUARY 27, 2022 – (LG) Ali Marpet announced his retirement.
    MARCH 13, 2022 – (QB) Tom Brady, 44, announced he’s back.
    JUNE 21, 2022 – (TE) Rob Gronkowski announce retirement.
    JULY 19, 2022 – (RB) Leonard Fournette reports to camp 30 pounds overweight.
    JULY 28, 2022 – (C) Ryan Jensen tore his MCL, my ACL and PCL
    AUGUST 10, 2022 (WR) Russell Gage Hamstring Strain Grade 2
    AUGUST 11, 2022 – (QB) Tom Brady takes a leave of absence for personal reasons.
    SEPTEMBER 11, 2022 – (WR) Julio Jones PCL Tear Grade 3

  28. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    JULY 28, 2022 – (C) Ryan Jensen tore his MCL, ACL and PCL

  29. Tim Says:

    @LUVMYBUCS Best researcher on this site, near as I can tell.

  30. Buc4evr Says:

    Didn’t matter when Bowles was hired, he took a winning team and turned it into a losing proposition based on his decisions and non activity to make changes during the season. He could have fired Leftwich at any time during the season. He could have demanded changes to the offense and personnel. Sorry just another excuse for a loser with the inability to think outside the box and make adjustments. The guy is not HC material.

  31. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Todd Bowles’ unwavering loyalty to his former college coach and friend is evident, although it remains uncertain whether he approached Bruce Arians regarding the mid-season firing of Byron. However, it’s worth noting that Arians had been praising Byron as the next great head coach for some time.

  32. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    @ Tim

    Appreciate you

  33. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    @ Bucsfanman

    I agree either way he’s our coach and he has our support

    Go Bucs!

  34. Dooley Says:


    I’d Add

    8/20/22- Aaron Stinne is carted off in the Titans preseason game with a torn ACL & PCL, which drastically altered the competition at LG after Stinnie is place on IR

    8/27/22- Nick Leverett injures his AC joint in the preseason game against the Colts and is sidelined, while effectively making Luke Goedeke the opening day starting LG by default.

    9/18/22- The Marshawn Lattimore fight, we missed Mike Evans dearly for that GB game and perhaps would’ve scored more than 12 points in that contest had he been available.

    100% agree with the listing and the impact it had on the offense.

  35. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    @ Dooley

    Thank you for presenting additional facts on the matter.

  36. Pewter Power Says:

    Not ideal? How many coaches inherit a playoff roster? I didn’t realize he had that many options. Judging by late he was hired, who wide wanted to hire him?

    He knows the personnel and from office how is this not an I deal job inheriting Tom Brady that’s just a stops take

  37. SlyPirate Says:

    I’M SORRY, “WTF?”

    A Super Bowl winner, NFCS Champ, and a team you’ve been part of (and know everyone and every scheme) for 3 years is 1,000,000% IDEAL!!!!!!

  38. Show Me the TDs Says:

    After all of the pontificating and multiple articles, is he a good coach or not? The Bucs and Bowles need to be more aggressive in their play calling, clock management, and on the field. Bowles was too timid last year.

  39. Infomeplease Says:

    Duane, go easy on Joe. Joe like 94% of the fans on here don’t see much competition coming from KT. He only suited up once last year. That tells you what the coaches believe! Then we have a #1 draft pick who started for several teams and has playoff experience. You know…an experienced starting qb!! No competition or very little at best!!
    KT may very well start for the Bucs someday! He now has to learn a new system, advantage BM, the experienced starter. Come September BM will be the starting qb until he’s not. Anyone with any football sense can see that.

  40. Hammerhead Says:

    I think you’ve got to put a lot of last years results and blame on Arians. Why did he wait so long to announce his retirement and put Bowles in a very difficult situation? Not cool.

  41. sasquatch Says:

    till, hovering over Bowles’ head is the fact he chose not to fire/replace failed offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich at midseason when it was clear the guy was so over his head he should have been nicknamed “SpongeBob.”

    Replace with who? Would Clyde have done better? Maybe… but replacing a coordinator midseason isn’t necessarily going to fix anything. It could make things worse… So, it was a judgment Todd made and I can’t really blame him for it, under the circumstances.

  42. DoooshLaRue Says:

    March 30th, 2023 at 8:56 am
    Here are the hiring dates for the past head coaches of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    1. John McKay – January 22, 1976
    2. Ray Perkins – January 7, 1987

    Who was the HC in 1985 and 1986?
    I thought McKay retired after the 1984 season?

  43. Infomeplease Says:

    Sly Pirate, I agree and BA had the same thought. But it’s only ideal if you just fine tune things. Trying to totally change the offense mentality from “no risk it no biscuit” to a “run first -short pass ball control ” type was not a good idea and frankly makes no sense to me.

  44. Dooley Says:


    “I really began thinking about my personal transition plan earlier this offseason. I wanted to ensure when I walked away that Todd Bowles would have the best opportunity to succeed. So many head coaches come into situations where they are set up for failure, and I didn’t want that for Todd.

    Tom [Brady’s] decision to come back, along with Jason and his staff doing another great job of keeping the core of this team intact during free agency, confirmed for me that it was the right time to pass the torch to Todd.”

    -Bruce Arians

  45. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    @ Dooley

    John McKay – January 22, 1976
    Leeman Bennett – January 23, 1985
    Ray Perkins – January 7, 1987

    In a rush my bad. Thank you for the correction

  46. sasquatch Says:

    DoooshLaRue Says:
    March 30th, 2023 at 11:02 am
    March 30th, 2023 at 8:56 am

    Who was the HC in 1985 and 1986?
    I thought McKay retired after the 1984 season?

    The answer is: Leeman Bennett

  47. Goatfarmer Says:

    BA’ statement includes more reasons why Bloweszo has gotten all the slack he’s going to get. Going into 2023, offensively, think 9 points, maybe 12. Defense is regressing, as Redeemer and others have noted, when the Bucs played anyone with half an offense in 2022, Bloweszo’s defense got smoked for 31ppg.

  48. Roc Says:

    Oh Excellent
    So this Year Bowles will show us how good of a Coach he is

    Or will we use the salary cap as Another excuse for the Lame Coach

  49. garro Says:

    It’s a shame!
    Late hits has turned into the same circus act as the rest of the so called media. Used to really love their takes.

  50. Brazen Zebra Says:

    Is Bruce Arians available? Would he be willing? I think Bruce would do a great job coaching Baker and the Bucs in a second go round. I’d love to see it! I hope it gets done.

  51. adam from ny Says:

    think 10-7 this year…

    it just —- maybe can happen…

    things change drastically fast for teams in the nfl nowadays, but looking at the division today, and only today, not tomorrow, only today, 10-7 can logically win it…

    so just thing 10-7…

    because, heck, we ain’t winning 11 🙂

  52. Duane Says:

    Infomeplease – wow, you must be reading comments on another website as at least a majority of commenters here at JBF are fully supportive of Kyle Trask as starting quarterback as long as he out competes Mayfield for the job … your 94% comment is just plain weird.

  53. adam from ny Says:

    with the hot seat already in place, you go with the vet…because at least he has the experience and a chance to revive his career…

    also “baker” is one of a couple handfuls of pro athletes with one name, and the entire public sports world recognizes it nationally – he sells, if successful…he has a “tude”, especially if he gets hot…and it’s easy to build a hype machine behind him…

    now if said veteran fails, then in comes trask…and at that point pressure is sort of off the young man…as the team is like 2-6 at that point…

    so with no pressure, there’s an even better chance he plays well…or at least decent…

    this actually primes him for 2024 as potentially that new cheap starting qb…

    and also bides time for bowles…meaning another season as coach for 2024…even though the seat remains hot at that point, he stays in place…

    as he can say: “we experimented with mayfield, knowing it was a gamble, while being cap stressed, and it didn’t pan out, but we found stability with trask and we think we can build from that standpoint”

    ^^^ (it almost sounds like a real bowles podium type quote, lol)

    and this way it guarantees building with trask…so they can actually delay building with trask for one more year, since baker is here – keep everything pretty much status quo in the front office – then blow it up after 2024 if trask bombs out…

    just a couple thoughts…

    then again i could be all wrong

  54. adam from ny Says:

    now if baker throws for 3700 yards 31 tds and 14 ints and we go 10-7 and win the division, we throw the above comment i made directly into the trash can

  55. LakelandSteve Says:

    I’m not getting excited. This is the same genius that marched out Succup to kick a 54 yard field goal in an important game that Everyone knew he wasn’t going to make except Bowles. His decisions suck.

  56. Rod Munch Says:

    Yeah, it’s not ideal to be handed a loaded team with the best QB to ever play the game … no one wants that. LOL!

    Arians handed the team to Bowles because he was setting him up for success, literally a can’t lose situation … and Bowles went 8-10.

  57. Defense Rules Says:

    Jon Grudin … ‘Do you miss me yet?’

    Miss you why? One of the most overrated coaches ever to win a Super Bowl. That year (2002) Bucs scored 346 points for a #18 ranking in Points Scored. Bucs went 12-4 with Brad Johnson in his 2nd year as our starting QB. Our defense only allowed 196 points for a #1 ranking. Duh.

    Go back 1 year to 2001. With OC Clyde Christiansen at the helm, Bucs offense scored 324 points for a #15 ranking. Bucs went 9-7 with Brad Johnson as our starting QN (his 1st year with us). Bucs defense allowed 280 points for a #8 ranking.

    Go back 2 years to 2000. With OC Les Steckel at the helm, Bucs offense scored 388 points for a #7 ranking. Bucs went 10-6 with Shaun King as our starting QB. Bucs defense allowed 264 points for a #4 ranking. Bucs defense allowed 269 points for a #7 ranking.

    So sure, give Jon Gruden the credit for putting us over the top with his #18 offense. If it wasn’t for having the #1 defense that scored FIVE TDs on their own (35 points), Chucky wouldn’t have even done as well as Clyde did the year before.

    BTW, just as a freebie, the 2002 Bucs converted on only 35.6% of their 3rd down opportunities. The 2022 Bucs with Leftwich as our coordinator converted on 37.4% of their 3rd down opportunities … and he got fired.

  58. adam from ny Says:

    rod, you’re making me want to throw out my thoughts of going 10-7 real fast with your last comment…


  59. Buddha Says:

    Joe, I agree that they should not have been (quite) as bad as they were on offense. But I don’t think you’ve ever examined the question of what made them so bad. Certainly Lefty was a major reason. But you look at the teams that were in the Super Bowl and in the playoffs, None had the problems the Buccaneers had with continuity in the offensive line. When the left guard retired WHICH WAS A HUGE LOSS and the center was lost for the season and Gronkowski retired that meant 3/5 of our offensive line was gone. Then Lenny reports to camp as a blimp and Godwin simply was not the same player until Thanksgiving that he had been. Now you can say excuses, excuses, excuses. But these things matter. The salary cap does not allow a team to simply throw in subs to play for pro bowl caliber lineman. The Buccaneers were expected to win 11 games according to the preseason season win totals posted in Las Vegas. Same as the Packers, which was another team that greatly underperformed expectations. Why were the Packers so bad. Because they lost the best receiver in football and had no real running game. Still, Packer fans didn’t whine about the performance of their coach. I am not defending Bowles as much as I am saying he shouldn’t be judged so harshly. Yes, some of his in-game decisions were questionable bu there is no evidence that the team didn’t play hard for him, don’t like him, or have no confidence in him. He does have good pedigree. So let’s wait and see. The expectations will be decidedly lower this year. The Division will be better. Also, I think you’ve gone out of your way to defend Tm Brady and lay all the blame for underperformance on the coaching. Brady was a shell of himself down the stretch and his red zone play in particular was bad. Missing training camp was a total blunder and showed he was not “all in.” That sure seemed it to me. I admire his family-ethic but he needed to accept some of the responsibility that’s been assigned to the rest of the team and coaches.

  60. Dooley Says:


    “W” comment

  61. Rod Munch Says:

    Defense Rules – The Bucs, in 2002, were just ready to win. They were angry that they lost again to the Eagles, they were angry that Dungy got fired, and it literally didn’t matter who the head coach was. If the Bucs had brought in Steve Spurrier, he’d have won a SB. The offense didn’t matter, all it had to do was not lose the games.

    I’ve pointed this out many times, but in the playoffs, that all-time great defense gave up a net of 3 points, in 3 games, all to top 8 offenses. So all Gruden had to do was average 2-points a game on offense to win a SB.

    Also, if Simeon Rice doesn’t slap some guy in the head while Ronde is returning a TD in the SF game, then the Bucs defense would have actually outscored their opponents in the playoffs. That stupid play by Rice happened on the other side of the field from the return, after the turnover, and had zero impact on the play. I wish that moron wouldn’t have done that, but then the defense could literally say they could have won without the offense even showing up – which of course is what happened in the SB were the defense outscored the Raiders offense 21-15 (and we all know the Porter TD was complete BS as he clearly didn’t get his feet down, I’m still angry over that).

  62. Rod Munch Says:

    adam from ny – I’m actually not as down on this team as I was before, they might get 6 wins after all, but I’d rather them have just gone into full rebuild mode unless they have some trick hidden up their sleeve that gets them a legit QB option.

    The more I see and watch Hooker, the more I’m starting to agree with Joe that he might be the guy the Bucs target in the 1st round, if he actually makes it that far. He’s an old QB by rookie standards, but seems to be NFL ready, seems able to make all the plays. If he came into camp and won the job, at that point I’d have some real excitement.

    Also there is always the chance that Mayfield was held back the last two years by bad teams and suddenly looks like the former #1 pick again. Watching his tape from the last two years, I don’t think that’s very likely, but if you want to be extremely optimistic, that’s what you’d hope for. From watching his tape, he’s fine so long as he has all day to throw the ball and it doesn’t get batted down – but things fall apart the second he has to move. Also, visually, he looks like a guy who has a hard time seeing over the offensive line – no idea if that’s true (he’s the same size as Steve Young), but he does look very small back there and you wonder if getting him some lifts might help out.

  63. Pickgrin Says:

    DR – Good job as usual backing up your take with some stats.

    But stats don’t always tell the whole story as you well know.

    Much like the 2020 team, the 2002 Buccaneers struggled offensively the first half or more of the season. Gruden’s complex offense was new to everyone, the OLine was makeshift at best with overdrafted Kenyatta in his 2nd year switching tackle positions and not one notable talent up front. Pittman our starting RB was terrible pretty much all year (204 carries 718 yds – 1 TD).

    Our QB (Brad Johnson in his 2nd year here) got hurt twice and missed 3 games.

    In other words – and this partly makes your point – the historically good Defense (that started 5 HOFers if you count Rice who should have a gold jacket) very much carried the 2002 Buccaneers team through most of the season and to a 12-4 record – best in team history despite the opening day loss that we suffered at the hands of the ‘Aints.

    When the playoffs started though – the Buccaneers offense with the Bull back under center came to life and the Bucs were suddenly playing “complementary football” (your favorite football term) when it counted the most.

    The Bucs became like a threshing machine for the next 3 historic postseason games – chewing up and spitting out whatever team got in their way….

    They destroyed the 49ers 31-6 in the divisional round.

    They snuffed out nemesis Eagles 27-10 in the NFC Championship and shut down their stadium for good with Ronde Barber putting the final nail in their coffin to get to the SB.

    Then with Jon Gruden playing scout QB all week in practice/preparation and teaching his defense all the nuances of the #1 ranked Raiders offense and its terminology – The Buccaneers absolutely dominated Chucky’s former team. Leading 34-3 at one point in the late 3rd Quarter – both offense and defense were making play after play extending to that lead. The 48-21 final score almost makes the game sound closer than it was.

    The Bucs had their first Super Bowl experience and WIN.

    And the point of this lovely little walk down wonderful memory lane is that Jon Gruden was VERY responsible for the success of that team in 2002. Not just the offense which struggled for much of the season (thus the pedestrian stats cited) but came alive when it counted most… Every member of that historically good defense will tell you that Jon Gruden was motivating the chit out of “Monti’s” side of the ball the whole season.

    Gruden came in that year with the “juice” that lit a fire under his players in a way that none of them had ever experienced. Jon knew he had a very very good defense to work with and he challenged them in multiple ways to be GREAT. To be HISTORIC. He demanded NINE defensive TDs on the year before the season even started – and his defense ultimately achieved that Mt Everest like goal.

    The Buccaneers would have never won a Super Bowl in 2002-2003 without Jon Gruden being the head coach. Of that I am sure.

    The following 6 years of Chucky’s tenure had more downs than ups – but Gruden’s stamp on that 2002 Super Bowl winning team is undeniable.

    Just Sayin…..

  64. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    @ Pickgrin

    100% Agree

  65. Defense Rules Says:

    Pickgrin … I fully admit that I’m not a fan of Jon Gruden. He’s widely thought of as an offensive guru, yet his teams never demonstrated that. As an example, the very next year (2003), our world champion Bucs went 7-9 scoring a whopping 301 points (less than 19 PPG average) and ranked the same #18 with the very same Brad Johnson under center. Just a small example, but there were many more. Overall, Chucky was hardly worth the King’s Ransom that we gave up to get him.

  66. 80forBrady Says:

    Tony Dungy – win or lose you see no difference in his demeanor

    Toad Bowles – win or lose you see no difference in his demeanor

    Jon Grudin – chewed out players and lit a fire under them on the way to a SB

    Bruce Arians – chewed out players and lit a fire under them on the way to a SB

    what the Bucs need is someone not afraid to call out players who underachieve like Devon White and (occasionally, Tom Brady)..Last year when Evans and Brady were clearly not on the same page after a few games – BA would have gotten on both players and they being professionals would have worked hard to fix it immediately. Under Toad Bowles and Lefty, nothing changed for weeks and weeks until Evans/Brady had a 3 TD hookup game at the end of the year.

  67. BigMacAttack Says:

    Jason Licht bears responsibility as well. Was it Bruce Arians who wanted Trask. He may end up being a good QB at some point, but what a wasted 2’nd round pick. They could have had an impact player with that pick. Licht has thrown away too too many high round picks. Trask is another for the simple fact that he’s done nothing and now they get Mayfield. Bad planning here. As for Bowles, the NFC Championship loss to the Rams falls squarely at his feet as the DC who’s defense collapsed while he sat there and did nothing; watched it happen.

  68. BucU Says:

    After starting 2-0 then going 6-10 the rest of the way was a disaster.
    It would be one thing if this team played their hearts out and were simply overmatched.
    It’s another thing when your team comes out week after week with no passion. No Fire.
    No sense of urgency. That’s why I can’t stand Bowles. He never had his team ready to play and that is a fireable offense. And he should of been fired for that alone.