Bucs Should Play For The Future (And Maybe Caleb Williams)

April 3rd, 2023

Bucs coach Todd Bowles.

The horse is out of the barn. But yeah, in theory, this makes sense.

Unless you believe new Bucs quarterback Baker Mayfield (who is competing with Kyle Trask?) will be able to resurrect his career and stay in Tampa for at least the next five years, it’s probably safe to say the Bucs have to find a quarterback soon.

And the very worst position to be in is quarterback purgatory. That’s where the Bucs are in 2023 — too good to tank and too bad to make a Super Bowl run (unless Mayfield flips his career).

So looking at the NFL landscape, Conor Orr of, who is a Mayfield fan and loves how the Bucs scooped him up, insists five teams should tank now for a quarterback. They include Tampa Bay and Orr says the Bucs should  set themselves up for drafting Caleb Williams or Drake Maye next spring.

… It would be totally understandable if the Buccaneers bottom out after Brady left. I am about as bullish on Mayfield as anyone, but I can’t imagine even the most optimistic Bucs fan thinking this team will be anything more than a 9–8 unit that can back into the No. 7 seed, at best. While the timing is not great to recoup assets — Mike Evans’s dead-cap hit is fairly high, and the receiver market in general has lost some of its sense of urgency from a year ago — a quick freefall could protect the Bucs from a division that is quickly growing and fortifying around them.

Todd Bowles has been vocal about wisely picking his next head coaching spot, as it will likely be his last chance, so it would be understandable to see him bristle at what is often a lose-lose (literally) proposition for head coaches.

Previously, he oversaw a somewhat chaotic Jets tenure marred by a horrendous and disconnected personnel department. That said, he has had a good relationship with the front office in Tampa and would be a great head coach for a young rookie quarterback.

Joe doesn’t expect the Bucs to tank for reasons Orr cited, and others. For example, tanking properly would not have included bringing back Lavonte David and Jamel Dean.

And Orr is correct: Unless Team Glazer assures Bowles of job security, no way in hell would he go along with a tank job.

Here is the issue Orr doesn’t explore: Given that Bowles had losing seasons as a head coach after his team drafted quarterbacks in Rounds 1-3 of the draft (would Trask be No. 3?), does Team Glazer trust Bowles to develop Williams or Maye? Or even, say, Quinn Ewers or Michael Penix?

53 Responses to “ Bucs Should Play For The Future (And Maybe Caleb Williams)”

  1. Statistically Insignificant Reader Says:

    How do you expect Bowles to develop a quarter back? He doesn’t even talk to the offensive players.

  2. Caleb Says:

    There is no chance Bowles is here next year if they have in position to get a top qb.

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Tanking is the epitome of a losing culture….I thought we were done with that.

    I like getting our financial house in order…..getting younger…..and, if we need a QB then spend the draft capital necessary and go and get one…..

    But no tanking…..what does that mean anyway? Losing on purpose….what coach or player would sanction that? Only fans or sports writers would do that.

    If we win, we win….if we lose we lose…..but play hard and always play to win.

  4. Da Bucs Guy Says:

    They are tanking whether they know it or not.

  5. BucfaninMi Says:

    Most of this team’s existence has been tanking. Let’s not start that again, because if it doesn’t work out, then you’ll end like the Texans or the Bucs in the 80’s. Get better scouts.

  6. 1sparkybuc Says:

    No tanks.

  7. A Says:

    LOL Tank! – This team can go 4 and 13 while trying to win them all 🙂

    What’s sad, this team may be more fun to watch than last years. (bar is low)

  8. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    That is a looser mentality and the way in which SI has changed over the last 10 years this is not a stretch from that internet fish wrap

  9. John Sinclear Says:

    I love the optimism in this place!

  10. Pewter Power Says:

    It’s funny how media types who have nothing to do with actually ever having worked in the nfl front office tell these teams they should tank. Do they actually wonder why they get ignored

  11. Marine Buc Says:

    If the Bucs wanted to tank they should have kept BL at OC and brought in J. Winston to play QB…

    That would have done the trick.

  12. Ds Says:

    Tanking doesn’t always result in a Super Bowl you may get a long term Qb but that doesn’t always translate to a ring. Question is do you want to contend every year or get a ring every now and then. Gotta have a QB tho

  13. Infomeplease Says:

    If JL gets lucky in this draft, this team could win their division. If not, with Bowles as the HC, they could easily get a top 6 or 7 draft pick next year. This is not a stretch. We’ll see how things go.

  14. Goatfarmer Says:

    Conor Orr is an idiot working for an archaic and obsolete, once proud publication that once had Dewey Selmon on the cover with the caption “Unbeaten, Untied, and Unbelievable! Dewey Selmon Batters the Rams!” And of course the swimsuit editions. Now, you have a guy who doesn;t even know how to spell his own first name applauding the Bucs for getting Mayfield but suggesting they tank anyway even though he also acknowledges Bowels is fighting for his job.

    What an imbecile.

  15. Bobby M. Says:

    We tried tanking when Winston was “the most NFL ready” QB coming out of FSU….we didn’t make the playoffs once. Teams all around the league acquired top tier QBs without tanking….Mahomes, Jackson, Rodgers, Allen, etc. Their teams didn’t tank for the opportunity to draft them. “Tanking” for a QB is nothing more than a glorified marketing campaign implemented by ownership when they want to go cheap, particularly with small market teams like the Bucs. The smart move is to draft QBs constantly similar to the Patriots or 49ers. Mayfield is a starter in the league, not top tier but he’s capable. If we can snag another young QB somewhere in the draft, maybe we find another Brock Purdy, Russell Wilson, Prescott, Brady, etc. Maybe Trask is that guy…

  16. Goatfarmer Says:

    Bobby M has it right. The perennial winning teams don’t “tank,” they reload or whatever you call it. Bucs have tried it twice, the two together took 25 years. The Bucs suck at the rebuild. We never recovered from Culvernose refusing to give Doug a new contract, and then the infamous Dumbernik-Raheehaw-Schiamoron show.

    No thank you.

  17. Hodad Says:

    You really can’t tank in the NFL. To many players involved who have to put out good tape to be employed. Surprised Joe, and the rest of the media push this lie.

  18. zzbucs Says:

    Jesus H Crist, whats happening with some guys around here?????
    NOt sure whats gonna be next season about, but the Bucs still have talent around….Seems Pessimism all over this site, and don´t like the smell of it…..

  19. Craig Says:

    No tanking to start the season, play hard to see if either of the QBs and the OC can make the team get somewhere. If, not try something else, like Stetson Bennett.

    First round QBs are not a lock on Canton, look at Paxton Lynch, who can’t even make it big in the XFL.

  20. Redeemer Says:

    Without the QB, it really doesn’t matter. the days of winning a Superbowl without one are over. The year Denver won it with a noodle armed Peyton Manning, will be the last time. I’ve never been a fan of tanking unless it’s a sure thing. That only happens once in a generation. The colts sucked for luck, look at them now. Don’t forget that ownership will be happy to contend in a crappy division for years to come. Unless we get incredibly lucky, I fear it’s back to Palace depression.

  21. Tye Says:

    ‘the Bucs should set themselves up for drafting Caleb Williams or Drake Maye next spring.’

    Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to stay STUPID!
    {close enough!}

  22. sasquatch Says:

    I think the national media underestimates the talent on this team. Of course, not having a franchise QB is an issue, but blowing the thing up for a QB in 2024 is out of the question. Not happening.

  23. Infomeplease Says:

    Tye, are you talking about the #1 pick JayMiss? Draft pick are always a flip of the coin… no guarantees!

  24. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    • Little Confidence

  25. Letsbucinggo Says:

    Bucs will win just enough to miss out on the top two quarterbacks doesn’t matter they don’t know how to develop one anyway.

  26. Infomeplease Says:

    If I remember correctly Jameis went #1 and Mariotta was #2 and they both looked like winners, at the time, and both are now NFL bench warmers! Then you have Mr. Irrelevant (the very last pick) Brock Purdy! And don’t forget the GOAT, TB12 was the 199th pick in the 6th round! So my conclusion is you can find a qb keeper with any pick, you just have to look hard, do your homework, and really really really get lucky!! No need to purposely tank!

  27. THOMAS PFALZ Says:

    All this talk about tanking is rediculous. Two questions. Do the Bucs keep Bowles if he goes 500 or better & 2nd is why so called fans are writing Trask off before he even throws a pass in a real NFL game?

  28. Joe in Michigan Says:

    I’m pushing all my chips to the center of the table and saying the Bucs will win the NFC South again this year. . You heard it here first.

  29. Stormy Says:

    They tanked for Winston and wasted 5 years on that clown. No thanks.

  30. garro Says:

    And they banned Pete Rose for less than what this sight and Mr Orr propose.
    Either way its throwing games…Period!

  31. johnnymoon Says:

    They Tanked for Winston and Testaverde … great moves …lets do it again .

  32. Just Leave Trask Alone Says:

    Joe bet the under

  33. ocala Says:

    Bad head coach and bad QB. I am fairly confident in what we will see this season despite the Bucs strong core of players on the roster.

  34. Dooley Says:

    Quinn Ewers?! LOL that kid has only played 10 college games and went 6-4 while looking “meh” as a college QB, heck I’d put Sheduer Sanders ahead of Ewers ranking potential QBs in the class of 2024. Penix Jr. would be the favorite, and the hometown pick for the Bucs.

  35. gp Says:

    I’m of the opinion that where a QB is chosen in the draft is a very poor indicator of whether or not they will become a franchise QB.
    Pretty sure that percentages are rather low, as a matter of fact.
    Mostly because the teams that are picking early in the draft are mostly poorly run and coached teams that don’t, for a number of reasons, develop their player personnel to win.
    Any QB good enough to be drafted can be that franchise QB if they find themselves in the right situation.
    The right situation is a coaching staff that can modify their game planning to “fit” the QB’s playing style. Also, a talent acquisition team in the front office that can find the player talent that works well with and even accentuates the QB’s style of play.
    Trying to force a square peg into a round hole tends to frustrate all involved.
    I can’t say that I have confidence in this coaching staff to build a gameplan around a particular QB. This group needs to find a QB that already fits perfectly. That’s harder to do than winning the lottery.

    The Ravens rebuilt their offense around Lamar’s abilities. This makes it very hard to replace him if he goes down.
    The 49er’s, on the other hand, designed an offense that just about any QB could run, as proven last season.
    Obviously, this is only about the offense, the defense has to do it’s job as well but the QB doesn’t run that side of the game.

  36. Mike Johnson Says:

    If this new guy Canales get corral Mayfield’s interceptions? We might finish a little over 500 this year. Just prepare yourselves Buc fans. So when or if it starts getting ugly, you will not be surprised.

  37. sasquatch Says:

    zzbucs Says:
    April 3rd, 2023 at 10:25 am

    NOt sure whats gonna be next season about, but the Bucs still have talent around….Seems Pessimism all over this site, and don´t like the smell of it…..

    Welcome to JBF, where reasonableness goes to die and pessimism (and hate) thrive.

  38. Alanbucsfan Says:

    it’s probably safe to say the Bucs have to find a quarterback soon….
    a borderline presumptuous statement that’s better held off until December based on results.
    Mayfield flamed out at Texas Tech and bumbled his way to a Heisman Trophy at Oklahoma and 1st pick in the NFL draft – I wouldn’t underestimate him any more than I would overestimate him.

  39. FairMinded Says:

    Sure or tank for a couple more years and get Arch Manning. None of the tanking stuff makes sense honestly

  40. gotbbucs Says:

    You don’t have to tank to draft a QB in the 1st round. We were one loss away from having a top 10 pick this year, instead we slopped into the playoffs and now we’re picking at 19, which is a horrible spot in this year’s 1st round in my opinion. Pray that six QB’s go before the 19th pick or there won’t be any top players on the board that match team needs this year.

  41. Duane Says:

    We dont know how the division will go this season. The speculation is just an exercise in how this franchise would deal with outcomes. 9-8 may not be an indictment of the quarterback. This team has built in upside that is a bunch of dead cap money that will be free next season. I dont hold stock in expecting a top pick at quarterback to be the savior. What I do hold stock in is paying dues this season to get back on track next season.

  42. Buc1987 Says:

    No tanking….but they might suck just enough to get a top 5 pick anyways.

    Think 4 win season.

  43. Bucsministerfuller Says:

    This whole “collapse for Caleb” idea makes me sick to my stomach.
    I can’t believe that any Buccaneers fan site would actually endorse such nonsense.
    You should be ashamed of yourselves.

  44. Mike C Says:

    Yeah, I agree, collapse for Caleb (could be the next jaymiss or leaf btw) is just dumb. Stfu with that trash and gtfoh with that Joe. Smh just stop with that garbage it is old already.

  45. HC Grover Says:

    Bowles does not have to go along. Just being Bowles is Auto-Tank. He is a natural born loser who will give up at least 25 a game. I doubt Canales will make over 30 a game. The Bowles Curse.

  46. Defense Rules Says:

    Statistically Insignificant Reader … ‘How do you expect Bowles to develop a quarterback?’

    It’s not the Head Coach’s job to DEVELOP a QB. That job belongs (or SHOULD belong) to the QB coach and to the Offensive Coordinator. Who did BA develop? Tom Brady? Jameis Winston? Carson Palmer? Blaine Gabbert? Drew Stanton? Peyton Manning? Sure, we’ll go with those. Or who did Chucky develop? Brad Johnson? Brian Griese? Chris Simms? Bruce Gradkowski? Jeff Garcia? Luke McCown? Rich Gannon? Ya, they’re all in the HOF today thanks to Chucky.

    I can’t think of a single QB the Bucs drafted AND developed. A couple went on to win Super Bowls (Trent Dilfer, Steve Young, Doug Williams) but it was no thanks to how the Bucs ‘developed them’.

  47. Goatfarmer Says:

    Grover, I fear, is Nostradamus.

  48. Goatfarmer Says:

    I guess I should have used ALL CAPS on some words.

  49. Rand Says:

    You keep saying it’s up to Mayfield to save our season. Wouldn’t it be ironic if it’s Trask who comes in later and has a winning record but came in to late to make a difference.

  50. Rod Munch Says:

    I said that before the offseason began, but obviously the Bucs are going to actually try to win 7 games, which I think is a stretch. I’m not sure why they think winning 7 games is better than winning 3 games and getting the #1 pick, but that’s what the Bucs have done with all of these signings.

  51. Goatfarmer Says:

    It would also be ironic if some no name scrub came off the bench and had a nice run. Lots of things would be ironic. Trask will earn his position or he won’t, those that think he’s getting an UNFAIR DEAL should write Licht a letter explaining the conspiracy with evidence, and demand that Bowels be fired. It would be handy to have all the data from two years of practices and meetings, though.

  52. GumboIsForWinner Says:

    If we don’t tank and get Williams next year you just have to find the next Brock Purdy. While he won’t go in the 7th round, look at Michael Pratt from Tulane next year in round 2 or 3.

  53. sasquatch Says:

    -Herm Edwards