“The Modern Game”

April 24th, 2023

Throwing, not running, matters.

Let Joe rant here for a moment about an empty phrase Joe has heard and read too often about the draft and is now related to the Bucs.

It’s the term “modern game.” What a bunch of bunk.

Joe always hears this when it comes to mobile quarterbacks, like the NFL has turned into a game where Thomas Lott and J.C. Watts and Joe Hamilton can survive and thrive.

(Look them up, boys and girls. Google is your friend.)

As Greg Cosell of NFL Films writes and says time and again, the NFL is about throwing the ball, not runaround quarterbacks. If said quarterback cannot read defenses, cannot be accurate, cannot complete passes, he cannot and will not succeed.

Jordan Reid of BSPN disagrees. And this is why he thinks the Bucs should ignore banana-peel-eating Will Levis’ throwing shortcomings.

We’re talking about a big, strong-armed passer who fits the modern-day game. And as a competitive runner at 229 pounds, Levis can also be an extension of the run game, something the Buccaneers haven’t had at quarterback for a while. He just needs to improve the decision-making and ball placement to cut down on the turnovers. Levis battled injuries last season en route to 19 TD throws and 10 interceptions.

Well, if Levis is to be the springboard of the Bucs’ running game, then this team is certainly in the running for a top draft pick next spring.

Reid is one of many learned folks who profess the NFL is turning into a league that requires a mobile quarterback. Let’s look at recent history. Here are the quarterbacks in the last five Super Bowls.

LVII: Pat Mahomes and Jalen Hurts.
LVI: Matt Stafford and Joe Burrow.
LV: Tom Brady and Pat Mahomes.
LIV: Pat Mahomes and Jimmy GQ.
LIII: Tom Brady and Jared Goff.

Does that look like teams must have mobile quarterbacks to win?

Pat Mahomes is mobile, sure. And it helps him a lot. The guy is successful because he can throw the ball like few who have ever played.

Jalen Hurts, yes, is a mobile quarterback. He can throw the ball as well. Tom Brady, Matt Stafford and Joe Burrow have to wipe the pigeon sh!t off their shoulder pads during games because they are so immobile.

Jared Goff and Jimmy GQ? Joe guesses you can label them mobile (Jimmy GQ is surely brittle) but how many games have they won with their legs?

The crowd who screams that teams must have a guy like Michael Vick because it is “the modern game” is nothing more than dudes who want to see the NFL run spread-option offenses like college ball.

The NFL is a passing league. If you can’t throw, you will fail. If a quarterback can run as well as he throws, like Mahomes or Hurts, awesome. That’s icing on the cake.

Someone spouting “the modern game” is using a cheap excuse to try to cover for guys who struggle reading defenses and throwing with accuracy and timing consistently.

43 Responses to ““The Modern Game””

  1. Leopold Stotch Says:

    I don’t get the idea of why everyone is hellbent on us drafting Levis. Remember the last qb we had who had bad decision making? Yeah he’s backing up Derek Carr in Nola now.

  2. Rand Says:

    Hear❗ Hear❗

  3. Go Bucs Go Says:

    Spot on, Joe.

    Modern QB or Mobile QB argument is often summoned when immobile QBs are sacked in rather pathetic fashion… out of frustration that is…
    Kinda knee jerk reactionary…

    Go Bucs.

  4. Goatfarmer Says:

    This Jordan Reid is not going to have his job much longer, unless he’s an outstanding barista and can fetch a mean brew for the grownups. What a tard.

  5. JA Says:

    In 2022 Joe Burrow had 257 yards rushing. Mahomes had a hundred more, and the running Hurts had only 400 more than Mahomes. I agree; if you think running QB’s are entertaining you should be watching football on Saturday.
    That said, the ability to run for a much needed first down has become a modern game necessity, especially when keeping a drive alive in any stage of a game.
    As we watch the likes of Mahomes and Burrow (when not washing pigeon crap off his pads), make the necessary run to victory, we viewed in disappointment as Brady threw another third down pass at someone’s ankles before another three and out.
    Oh yeah, Tom Brady’s rushing totals for 2022 … -1 yard.

    Brady was the best. He even won a few battles with Father Time. In the end, however, Time always wins.

  6. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    To be fair, Joe Burrow was extremely mobile before his knee injury. I don’t know what he’s like now but the guy was very fast in college. But I think he tore his ACL running. So that still backs up your point.

  7. Cho Says:

    Take Darnell Wright and don’t look back. If he’s not there, trade back and grab the best OT available. An elite O-line for 7 years+, along with our weapons and good game planning will make any QB look good if he can read and make simple throws. It’s as easy as that. Look at Brock Purdy. He outplayed his draft position, but I believe 80% of his success came from SF’s elite pass pro, run game and play calling.

    The lines are the single most important part of football and it shows year in year out.

  8. Cho Says:

    But if the Bucs take Willis I’ll accept it. The only thing I definitely don’t want to happen is for JL to take a RB in the first two days. Plenty to be had in rounds 4-7. And what good is an elite RB behind a bad OL and with no pass game to take the pressure off the run?

    If the Bucs take B. Robinson the only benefit will be jersey-selling, and even that probably won’t hold up 4 years from now.

  9. Cho Says:

    Maybe, just like when we drafted Wirfs, teams get enamored with potential/athleticism/nastiness of other prospects and let Paris Johnson, the best tackle in the class, fall to us.

  10. Fansince76 Says:

    Bucs wont take Levis, they need wins and wouldn’t get them anytime soon with a rookie QB with questions about decision making yikes.

  11. garro Says:

    All QB’s can run. Even the GOAT…albeit ugly.

    Most head coaches would rather they didn’t. All head coaches Want a QB who will win with his arm. Mahomes is a very very (did I say very) rare Athlete who can run but is a guy who will beat you with his arm. Good luck finding another one in the next ten years.

    But some would rather beat they’re head against that rock professing that this guy or that is the next Mahomes.

    BTW folks Vick was not anywhere near Mahomes caliber and was on his way out before he killed any dogs.

  12. Pancake block Says:

    Taysom hill 2.0

  13. Jon Grudin Says:

    Then why were a lot of people here (not me) clamoring for Lamar Jackson?

  14. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I think mobile QBs look exciting during highlights, and they can occasionally look like superstars when a play breaks down and they run for their lives.

    Winston wasn’t considered mobile, but there were plenty of instances when OL played awful and he had to run for his life…only to connect with a receiver in the last moment.

    Those were moments that happened often early on…and they made him look like a miracle worker.

    Once Licht built a good OL, his turnovers were revealed though.

    Brady became the best because of his pass protection, timing and accuracy. And that is what we need to create.

    That starts with offensive line. The suggestion of drafting Paris Johnson for example. If he really that good, we should trade up for him.

    It’s always best to have an established OL in place when you draft a QB. Focus on building it first, then next year draft a QB…unless a hard-fire QB falls to us.

  15. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


  16. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Will Levis= Jamarcus Russell 2.0. Strong arm but sucks and has character issues.

  17. SufferingSince76 Says:

    We had a runaround QB for 5 years. Where did that get us?

  18. TampaBayBucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Bucs will not draft QB unless it is round 5. OT and Edge and TE have to be the priority-Period.

  19. Beej Says:

    2:1 intercept ratio in COLLEGE… not like that’s gonna improve in the pros

  20. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    If Levis falls in our lap at 19……maybe.

  21. ModHairKen Says:

    Levis is afraid of milk.

    End of story.

    You want to kill the fan base? Draft the Milkophobic.

  22. TiredBucsFan Says:

    Running quarterbacks are just that, they run, usually because they aren’t good passers.imo

  23. Duane Says:

    Agree with Joe totally on this one.

    “Mobility” is an easily abused term, to many meaning the ability to do quarterback designed runs as a regular part of the offense. But that is not what the term means.

    Mobility means the ability to escape the pocket when it inevitably breaks down from time to time, and then either find an open receiver, or if there is a lane to run in, run it. or to just chuck it away.

    Mobility for a quarterback also means the ability to throw on the run on designed bootleg and play action passes.

    As Joe says, the NFL is a passing league. There is generally only one person – if that – on a team who can reliably pass the football. Turning him into a running back, and leading the team in rushing yards year after year, is a horrible waste of a quarterback and also is going to get him a short career.

  24. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Levis scares me! He quit Penn State when he realized he would not be the starter.
    I sincerely hope we pass on him!

  25. Bojim Says:

    Why are a lit of the pundits wanting us to grab Levi’s. I really don’t see him lasting very long in the league. If he’s there in the later rounds sure. Take a chance. Otherwise OT. I sure ain’t no expert by any stretch.

  26. Allbuccedup Says:

    I can’t believe Wil Levis is considered a first round pick !

  27. SB~LV Says:

    I finally got into researching Levis over the weekend and it only reconfirmed my suspicions!
    Accuracy big problem
    Decision making big problem
    Instinct to run big problem
    Big problem for the team that thinks they can correct those
    Under NO Circumstances add this guy to the roster

  28. Tbbucs3 Says:

    “We had a runaround QB for 5 years

    I’ve never heard anything refer to Jameis Winston as a “runaround” QB….you should probably stick to soccer.

  29. Dooley Says:

    This isn’t 1997 Joe, spread & option concepts/principles have been integrated into NFL playbooks all around the league for the better part of the last decade. Why else would Andy Reid hire a college coach like Chris Ault to be an “offensive consultant” when he took the job in KC a few years ago if concepts made popular in college didn’t translate successfully to the NFL? Maybe not as many designed QB runs, but the willingness, the sell, and the tell are all apart of the misdirection game at the pro level. Tom Brady running RPOs without being a threat to do the “R” part is a perfect example.

    That aside, Will Levis is like a compact Blake Bortles imo. I think he can find success in the right situation with a team allowing Levis the time to get the “between the ears” part of the NFL game down pat, but what scares me most is that his personality-type seems like one Jason Licht would fall in love with.

  30. Joe Says:

    Why are a lit of the pundits wanting us to grab Levi’s.

    Don’t think most national reporters “want” the Bucs to draft Levis. Don’t think they actually care. They just believe he’s the smarter pick. (Joe leans to not selecting him and instead drafting Hendon Hooker.)

  31. gotbbucs Says:

    Josh Allen’s career numbers in college.
    5000 yards, 56% completion, 44 TD, 21 INT’s

    Those numbers have nothing to do with Will Levis, but you’d all give your left nut to have Josh Allen QBing the Bucs right now.

    It’s all situational. Great college QB’s go to bad NFL situations and fail. Decent college QB’s go to good NFL situations and succeed. There’s no exact science. It’s a major reason why so often the QB’s picked in the top five picks crash and burn and the QB’s chosen a little bit later seem to work out more often in recent history.

    Also, there’s a huge difference between a running QB and a mobile QB.

  32. R.O. Says:

    Not much diff between Will Levis and Josh Allen coming out. Except Levis played more game threw more passes and had a higher comp%. Just like any good college player being drafted. He will either sink or swim. You just dont know.

  33. Bucsfanman Says:

    Being able to move in the pocket adds a dimension to QB play. “Mobile” QBs can create mismatches but it makes a team become too reliant on one player.

    It’s the ability to dissect defenses and get the ball to your WRs that’s most important, IMO.

  34. Infomeplease Says:

    Those so called modern game qb’s can be exciting when they are on the field. There lies the problem… availability! They take too many hits from the linebackers and safeties and then they sit out a couple of games trying to heal their wrecked bodies! More often then not. Or their career winds down quickly! They can be fun to watch but the season now has 17 games then the playoffs… few make it that far.

  35. gofortheface30 Says:

    Uh, Joe Burrow is an excellent runner. No he doesn’t run a 4.5 but he is terrific at creating plays on his own and in no way should be compared to Brady or Stafford in that regard. Ya, being a proficient thrower of the football should be priority #1, 2 and 3 for a QB but the added dimension of rolling a guy out and/or being able to pick up 15 yards on a broken play is helpful. Burrow does that. Often.

  36. Goatfarmer Says:

    No QB in the first round. But if they do, it should be Hooker. Although Penix is coming at him from behind.

  37. Who Says Says Can't Say Says:

    Agree. There is always a counter move, and the game adapts.

    If you see a rash of mobile quarterbacks with questionable throwing skills, you’ll see teams load up on super fast linebackers a la Derrick Brooks punishing Mike Vick.

  38. OrlandoBucFan Says:

    I think the use of “modern NFL” is probably accurate for describing the current state of the NFL relative to the past. I am not sure the QB position serves as the benchmark for comparing eras. Rule changes (in my opinion) are what set the current NFL apart from the past. I would love to have seen Fran Tarkenton in today’s NFL. Would Walter Payton have been as valued today as he was in the 1970’s? Mobility has always been important, but accuracy is more important than having a strong arm (to some degree), as well as having the ability to read defenses and make smart decisions.

  39. Redeemer Says:

    Bologna. The tall, slightly unathletic qb will never go away. Give me a guy with a good arm, and can read defenses every day. The demise of the pocket passer has been predicted for a decade plus now. Go look up the last 15 superbowl winning QBs. Modern NFL my butt

  40. westernbuc Says:

    You need to be mobile enough to do a bootleg and maybe grab a first down. Our offense fell apart when Ali retired and Jensen/Smith got hurt because Brady needs the protection to compensate. Fortunately we have a mobile-enough QB and a Pete Carroll acolyte who will get a creative run game going

  41. NEfan Says:

    JA, and the remaining haters, Joe let’s take it one step further, from those last make it 6 SB’s # 6 was Foles & Brady. Mahomes is the only mobile QB that won. Look at Allen, hasn’t won shat, neither has Jackson.

  42. Vlad The Impaler Says:

    This is why Brady will join a team in June (probably Dolphins)

  43. Goatfarmer Says:

    Mahomes is always looking to throw, though. Different from the running QBs. He ran for 500 yards behind the LOS in Super Bowl 55. That guy is an absolute freak of nature . He is now the best in the league. Easily.