BSPN: Weak Quarterbacks = Weak Roster

June 30th, 2023

Stat dudes not hip to Bucs QB.

The Numbers Guys hate your Bucs quarterbacks.

As a result, the Numbers Guys are down on the Bucs’ roster, big time.

Over at BSPN, Mike Clay, a spreadsheeter, and Seth Walder, a man who never met a number he didn’t like, are appalled at what the Bucs are trotting out this season to play quarterback: Kyler Traskfield.

As a result, the Numbers Guys think the Bucs have the fifth-worst roster in the NFL for 2023. Their rationale? If the most important position on your team is stocked by guys who shouldn’t be on your team, how good can you be, types Clay?

Mayfield’s career has been quite the roller coaster, and while he flashed a bit in Los Angeles last season, his 24.5 QBR was dead last among 31 qualified QBs. Trask was effective during his time at Florida but has attempted nine NFL passes and remains an unknown.

Remember, these guys only do numbers, they don’t do football. Everything from these guys is based on GD numbers. Nothing about matchups or athletic ability or schemes.

Even this Joe admits that, barring Mayfield blowing up this fall, the wisest move the Bucs could make this year is to angle for a good quarterback in the draft next spring (brittle Michael Penix?).

Problem is, Bucs coach Todd Bowles isn’t and cannot be concerned with 2024 or beyond. If the Bucs stink this year, he is unlikely to ever be a head coach in the NFL again.

Back to the roster: If the Bucs can get just average quarterback play, they have enough talent to possibly win the rotten NFC South.

Yes, of course, quarterbacks are vital. At least for 2023, the Bucs ought to be able to tread water despite Kyler Traskfield.

The question is, should that be a goal and is that too nearsighted?

50 Responses to “BSPN: Weak Quarterbacks = Weak Roster”

  1. Beej Says:

    There’s no reason to think Mayfield won’t be at least average, which I reckon to mean 8-9 wins

  2. shankasorous Says:

    ESPN: “Trask was effective during his time at Florida but has attempted nine NFL passes and REMAINS AN UNKNOWN.”

    I agree Trask is an “unKNOWn”. So how can anyone “KNOW” how he will do? Tom Brady was an “unknown” 6th-rounder until Drew Bledsoe went down. Brett Favre was an “unknown” 2nd-rounder until Don “Magic” Majkowski went down. Rookie 262nd-pick Brock Purdy of the 49ers was an “unknown” last season until he wasn’t. And yet the Trask haters here at JoeLovesBaker.Com “know” what Trask will do, just like they “knew” what Johnny Manziel and Jameis Winston would do. Oh … wait … 😛

  3. Allen Lofton Says:

    Mayfield has played for trash teams with the exception of the Ram. Let it play out and see what happens. The Bucs still have talent on both sides of the ball.

  4. buccanstopit Says:

    Mayfield has played for trash teams

    The Browns had everything but a QB, top D and Chubb. Kinda like Winston led Bucs, new QB and how did that turn out?

  5. HC Grover Says:

    Play a game plan with a reduced role for the QB. I would like to see 2 backs in the game not 1.

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Our season will rest on our Defense coupled wit at least average Quarterback play.
    We have a good secondary & Dline & LBs….allwill depend on Shaq returning to form.

  7. Hodad Says:

    The Bucs are actually trotting out a former #1 pick, and a 2nd round pick at QB. At least Baker has a playoff win, what other QB in our division does? The Ravens had Dilfer at QB, but still won because the rest of the roster was rock solid. So even if your QB isn’t the most talented that doesn’t mean he makes the team less talented. Ask doughboy Shaun King how a bad second round pick can get to the NFC title game. My guess is Trask is a better QB than King ever was, and he doesn’t come close to Baker’s talent.

  8. Alanbucsfan Says:

    The reworked OLine will be the key to Bucs success this year. If Bucs have close to a 2000 yard rushing season and minimize turnovers- they’ll be a playoff team.



  10. Dwayne Cone Says:

    All QB’s are Unknown until they are thrown into the Mix and tested. Think Belichick was comfortable putting Brady in for Bledsoe?

    To set your sights on another unknown QB at USC before finding out what you have already is stupid. If not stupid then trying to avoid paying for your mistake for a Pick that you made.

    Jets have paid for picking Darnold, although they might have gotten Mayfield instead, and would still have ended up paying.

    Of the top 10 Rookies in 2022 only 1 QB made the list at 10 and that was Brock Purdy. He got in because of bad luck and had a great system around him not to mention a great run game and receiving corp.

    Second and Third Year QB’s don’t fare much better. Not like a Brady or perhaps a Mahommes that would come in and go 11-3 and win you a Super Bowl. 2001 Patriots team was pretty good and got some Luck along the way.

    There have always some pretty good Veteran QB’s and the Team’s Roster is still Weak. So you really can’t put it all on QB.

    If History of Past Performance holds true Trask will get tested this year and then Tampa will know what they have or don’t have.

    Any QB on a roster with Brady is not going to look good. By putting him next to a Mayfield they can get a much better Idea of what they have.

    Who knows he might not be like Brady but a Marino instead. Perhaps Trask evolves into more like a Winston.

    Regardless there is no escaping paying for a mistake.

  11. HC Grover Says:

    Bucs will have to run more than pass.

  12. Mr. Editor Says:

    Baker Mayfield should get every opportunity to start for the Bucs. He arrived in Los Angeles mid-season and had to learn a new playbook on the fly, an impressive feat. I suppose this is what The Numbers Guys mean by “flashed”, but in his five games, the Rams went 2-3 and beat teams on a downward trajectory (Raiders and Broncos). Mayfield had 4 TDs and 2 INTs. He and the team did well at home and when his completion % was above 60%. The only big win was the blowout against the Broncos, a team that was clearly in trouble by the time that they faced the Rams at that point in the season. The Chargers blew them out the following week. If the Bucs can play mistake-free football and the defense can hold teams below 21 points (along with a “hair on fire” special teams), they can be respectable in the NFC South. If the Bucs are out of the playoff picture by game 12, then start Kyle Trask.

  13. CrackWise Says:

    This just all feels like a set up for something crazy dumb to happen. I wonder if Baker will do topless jumping jacks off the field at some point.

    He will have fun in Tampa alright, at the beaches and strip clubs.

  14. Defense Rules Says:

    OK Joe, I’ll say it: ‘I can’t understand WHY you keep doing this to us’? Just the title … ‘Weak QB = Weak Roster’ … is ludicrous, and there’s TONS of NFL examples to prove it as you well know.

    Just in THIS century look at some examples of the SB-winning QBs.

    o 2000 – Trent Dilfer (59.3% in 2000; 56.9% career)
    o 2002 – Brad Johnson (62.3% in 2002; 61.7% career)
    o 2007 – Eli Manning (56.1% in 2007; 60.3% career)
    o 2012 – Joe Flacco (59.7% in 2012; 61.6% career)

    Only point being that some very average QBs have gotten their team to the Super Bowl over the years. To say that ‘Weak QB = Weak Roster’ is demeaning to the other 52 players on each NFL team.

  15. HC Grover Says:

    W/O the GOAT it will be the team and scheme not the QB. The problem lies right on Bowles head.

  16. Jeebs the Honey Bear Says:

    Classifying Mayfield as a “journeyman” is pretty ridiculous. He spent 4 of 5 seasons with the Browns, dragged that sorry franchise to the playoffs in his 3rd year, and then after suffering a torn labrum early in his 4th season tried to tough it out and then got dumped for his efforts. He spent part of one season on a terrible Panthers team (that still somehow beat the Bucs, good Lord…), and then landed on a decimated Rams team and somehow willed them to an unlikely win in his first week. Is he going to be a top 10 QB? Pretty unlikely. But if he stays healthy, I could easily see him being in the QB 10-15 range with the Canales system and the gruesome twosome at receiver. If Baker ends up with a different team next year, then we can officially call him a journeyman.

  17. Greg Says:

    The media especially this site is trying SOOOOO hard to make Mayfield a better QB than he is. Then they keep slamming Trask for being an unknown. Arent all Athletes coming out of college an unknown? Was he supposed to beat out Tom Brady? I have no interest in a year with Mayfield. Even if we are the best of the worst division in the NFL well just get killed in the wild card round and get a mediocre draft pick. Thats the BEST case scenario with Mayfield. With Trask he either gets better and becomes our starter or we end up with an early draft pick.

  18. Buc4evr Says:

    Need to bring Wentz in just in case. Things can go bad fast if Baker reverts to his old form and I don’t blame Clay or Walder for thinking that the Bucs are going to tank. The QB position looks incredibly weak….

  19. HC Grover Says:

    Our RG will be key I do not even know if they have decided on one. Will he be able to cross blocks, pull, Straight up? Dunno. Time is getting short and Bowles seems disorganized as usual.

  20. Defense Rules Says:

    HC Grover … ‘Time is getting short and Bowles seems disorganized as usual.’

    Bucs have just as much time to get ready for Game 1 as every other team does. And oh ya, the PREseason hasn’t even started yet.

    And oh BTW, would love for you to unpack your ‘Bowles seems disorganized as usual’ criticism of our HC. Appears that you’ve already concluded that he’s disorganized right now, so how about some current FACTUAL examples to ‘prove’ your contention.

  21. SOEbuc Says:


    Know Kyle Trask is not good enough to beat out the Bucs media vote for Baker to start, at least week one.

  22. HC Grover Says:

    DR He is in charge of practices. This team should be 4 a day. Fundamentals, conditioning Cohesion. All I saw so far is players wandering around in their underwear and some sort of debate about the QB.. We do not even know who our QB is. We do not have a power back. Right side of OL is a question mark. What is his goal here to start the camps and so forth. It is all up in the air. I am not trying to prove anything just saying what it appears to me. Others can draw their own opinions but who can ‘prove’ them? The only one who has to prove anything is Bowles and his ‘system’. I think he is biting more than he can chew by wanting to be HC/DC. I do not even know what his system is except for a record of failure and blunders. No proof just opinion.

  23. Larrd Says:

    Baker will be good.

  24. Joe in Michigan Says:

    HC Grover Says:
    June 30th, 2023 at 11:31 am
    DR He is in charge of practices. This team should be 4 a day. Fundamentals, conditioning Cohesion. All I saw so far is players wandering around in their underwear and some sort of debate about the QB…
    1) The NFL CBA says how many practices a team can have. So you’re talking nonsense.

    2) All you saw so far? Are you allowed at Bucs practices? You’re making stuff up again.

  25. Defense Rules Says:

    HC Grover … ‘I think he is biting more than he can chew by wanting to be HC/DC. I do not even know what his system is except for a record of failure and blunders. No proof just opinion.’

    Three interesting ‘opinions’, the first of which I happen to agree with (I don’t like HCs being dual-hatted because it dilutes 1 position or he other, or both).

    I think Joe’s written quite a bit about how Todd Bowles wants (or HOPES?) to operate this year. I look at HCs like Bowles the same way I look at other HCs like Belicheck. First few years can be ‘less than sterling(?)’ if they accept a position with a mediocre team (happened to both Belicheck AND Bowles IMO). Both had crappy records for their first 4-5 years then things started clicking for various reasons. I’m HOPING that’s what we see with Bowles this season, but only time will tell.

    After many years of being in leadership positions, I can say from experience that leaders (even those at the top of organizations) are only as good as those who work for them, especially those in key positions, as well as the talent that their organization is stocked with. I’m HOPING that this coaching staff really clicks this year, and that a lot of our new guys really stand out. (The key word thee is HOPING).

  26. HC Grover Says:

    DR The ‘proof will be in the Bowles Pudding when the real season starts. I am just having fun with it all. TX for your interesting comments. You speak with more football savvy than I. I am just an observer from the very first Buc Game to now. JBF has made the offseason interesting to me and I thank all except the trolls. I remember being at the first win at the Old Sombrero when the fans tore down the N Goal Post.

  27. HC Grover Says:

    DR what do ya think about Ko as Fullback?

  28. NCBucfan Says:

    I am no Trask fanboy, and that’s for sure, so just want to be clear. But the only person that will lose if we start Trask, and plays bad, is Bowels. Baker has had his chances, I mean dude had a golden opportunity to beat the Chiefs in the divisional round a few years back, with Mahomes out the game most of the 2nd half, and he couldn’t do it. Bowles is not head coach material, he had 4 years with the jets and did nothing. Those loses against the Steelers and browns last year are 2 of the worst loses in franchise history, given the circumstances,if you ask me. Bowels just coaches scarred, and that’s not a good receipe if you ask me. I would love Baker to ball out, but his 5 year sample size just doesn’t give me hope. Give Trask a shot darnit!

  29. Craig Says:

    I am for whichever QB can put some life into our offense. If he doesn’t pan out under real game pressure I want to see him pulled before the team drops down to zombie level play.

    Baker has the edge so far, but he has let every team he played for down. I don’t think even the most inventive scheme can help him get past his previous games. He seems to be afraid to hold the pocket and allow plays to develop.

    That fear might be rightly placed because of his shoulder, but if he tries to turn the play into a sandlot style, he should be holding the IPad.

    Trask has a higher upside anyway, all he needs is some game time.

  30. Jeff’s grandpa Says:

    Gator bois are really sensitive

  31. ModHairKen Says:

    30 more days of inanity by people paid for words but who do not follow the Bucs. I think a lot more about what the Joes think. Even when they strike me down with impunity.

    That said, it is good to know what is being written by others.

    If the Defense is better than last year, this will be a better team. The Offense cannot be worse. More speed. More youthful up front but with a nice mix of vet DBs.

  32. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Honestly, I would have rather had Jameis than Mayfield. Both throw a ton of interceptions, but Jameis has more firepower, IMHO.
    Of course, I also want to see what we have or do not have in Trask.

    People must try to remember that Bowles has a 5 year contract, courtesy of Jason Licht.
    This means that even if Bowles is let go after this year, we are still on the hook for the rest of his contract!

  33. Bucsfan13 Says:

    Yes, let’s compare Trask’s situation to Tom Brady who is the absolute outlier in any discussion. Real big brain thinking by some of you.

  34. Mike S Says:

    LOL JoeLovesBaker.Com quick someone buy that domain and fill it with Joe Quotes.

  35. Marine Buc Says:

    The Chicago Bears made it to the Super Bowl with Rex Grossman at QB and Lovie Freaking Smith as head coach – the Bucs can do the same with Baker Mayfield at QB and Todd Bowles as a head coach…

    Never say never.

    The Bucs have a very weak schedule with the exception of three games (Bills, Eagles, 49ers).

    Of course it is a long shot. But with a little luck and good fortune avoiding the injury bug this team could shock the world…

  36. Fansince76 Says:

    They can win with a great defense and average QB play.
    They should have a much improved defense with all the draft pics
    and signings.
    question will be if Bucs can get average QB play out of either?

  37. Defense Rules Says:

    NCBucFan … ‘Bowels just coaches scarred’.

    You mean the same Todd Bowles who threw he kitchen sink at Stafford on that next-to-last play in the 2021 playoffs and got burned because half the team obviously didn’t have the play call? THAT Bowles?

    You can’t have it all ways. Defensively, coaches who blitz as much as he did in 2019-2021 aren’t coaching ‘scared’. Offensively, last year Bucs went for it on 4th down 27 times … 8th most in the NFL. That’s not ‘coaching scared’ in my book either. Did he make some bad decisions during games? He11 yes. All coaches do. But before chastising someone for ‘coaching scared’, I think it’s appropriate to evaluate their whole body of work (or decision-making), not just cherry-pick a few instances that might or might not support your contention.

  38. Defense Rules Says:

    HC Grover … ‘I am just an observer from the very first Buc Game to now’. I’m envious. I didn’t start following the Bucs until 1982 when I moved here in the military to be part of what was then The Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force (became Central Command in 1983). As a result I only got 3 years with John McKay as our HC, one of my all-time favorite coaches.

    And BTW, I’ve love to see Ko used more as a fullback. I know it’s old school, but I still remember the hurting that Lorenzo Neal used to put on folks and open holes for Dunn & Alstott back in 1998. Played 16 years as the prototype FB and ended up with 800 yards total total the rock (like 50 yards per YEAR). But man could he block. Ko seems to be of the same mindset.

  39. HC Grover Says:

    DR it was quite a fun day. We used to park on a side street free off of times and cook BBQ then walk over where everyone was having tailgate. We always got our tix from fans selling in the parking lot. I was in the NW stands and the place went crazy. I think it may have been the Cards. Old School may be the antidote, Football is just football. I remember the fans got the FG net and started netting security like Mullet! LOL

  40. stpetebucfan Says:

    MarineBuc Semper Fi bro I couldn’t agree more!!!

    How far “above average” did Trent Dilfer play to win a SB?

    I totally admire Brad Johnson, any guy who can play D1 Basketball, starting 11 games his freshman year and D1 Football at a school the level of FSU is obviously a great athlete. I always thought he never got the credit he deserved for his/Bucs SB win..yeah the D was awesome but Brad played very well.

    And so my point is that you do not need the very best QB in the league to win the SB…makes it easier obviously but it is NOT a requisite.

    Now I don’t believe even the most optimistic (me) believe the SB is really in the Bucs sights this year. However reaching the playoffs, having a winning record is VERY DOABLE. The real success would come if the Bucs make it past the 1st round.

    And so if the playoffs are the reality and not the SB I ask again a little differently. How far above average does a QB have to play to simply reach the playoffs? How much has the OL improved? (IMHO a LOT) Can the D rebound to play really well? Verdict still out too many youngsters on the DL to really know.

    Baker Mayfield carried the SORRY Cleveland Browns to the playoffs and a road win in the first round against their biggest rivals. He HAS done it in the past.

    For a variety of reasons he hasn’t done it since. IF somebody does something once they CAN POSSIBLY do it again. Statistically in fact Mayfield has done it for 20% of his career so perhaps we could at least hope with a 1 in 5 chance Mayfield and the TEAM around him can do it again!

  41. NCBucfan Says:

    DR, Bowles was the DC in 2021, I’m sure Bucco Bruce approved that blitz. Bowles is a great DC, it just remains to be seen if he can be the same at HC. I’m rooting for him for sure.

  42. Marine Buc Says:

    @ StPeteBucsFan

    Semper Fi brother…

    Trent Dilfer is another great example. If you have a top 5 defense, great special teams and a strong running game you can win games in the NFL.

    We will know a lot about this team after our first two games. Minninsota (away) and Chicago (home). If we are 0-2 after these games then we might be on a sinking ship.

    If the Bucs are 2-0 and are facing the Eagles at home – that will be a very interesting scenario because I believe the Eagles at home is a winnable game.

  43. HC Grover Says:

    It ain’t the QB. This is the meat. Why everybody so focused on 2 run of mill QB? We need a QB friendly team w/o so much QB noise. The QB is not going to make the diff this year I thinks. Plug and play.

  44. Beej Says:

    The better the line play, the less greatness you need in your qb

  45. Defense Rules Says:

    Beej … ‘The better the line play, the less greatness you need in your qb’.

    BINGO Beej. We’ve all seen very average QBs pick us apart IF their OLine gave them time to read the field & find someone open. Being a scrambler helps some buy that time, but there’s no substitute IMO for having a beastly OLine.

    And NCBucFan, I doubt that BA approved that blitz. There was ‘something’ VERY screwed up about that play from the git-go, and it looked to me like a major communications breakdown (appeared that some got the play, but some didn’t). It’s already been hashed & rehashed, so I won’t go down that road again, but all during the 2019-2021 years, it looked to me like BA had given Todd Bowles TOTAL authority to call the defense. I can’t even remember the 2 of them conversing with each other during games.

  46. Defense Rules Says:

    HC Grover … I’m sure Bucs fans did go nuts after that 1st win (going 0-26 kinda set the stage?). Went to many games at the Old Sombrero in the 1982-1985 time period, and yes, always bought our tickets at the game (sometimes even got them for free).

    When I came back to Tampa for good in 1995, got season tickets when RayJay was built. Still a huge fan of Tony Dungy & what he did for this team. Was at the Oct 6th, 2003 game when Tony was coaching the Colts & they came back to beat us 38-35 in OT. I can still remember leading 28-7 to start the 4th qtr (everyone was leaving but we stayed), then 35-14 with only 5 minutes left to play. I didn’t think it was possible to score THREE TDs in under 5 minutes, but the Colts did it to tie the game then win with a FG in OT. Most incredible 5 minutes of football I can ever remember seeing. I was in shock. (And awe).

  47. RustyRhinos Says:

    Hey JOE, with all the sacking going on at BSPN, how are you ever going to be able to find stuff like this post?
    I hope it doesn’t effect you too much. LOL! I bet it is a very quiet place there this week and the next.

  48. Bojim Says:

    Let em play then give an opinion. Easy.

  49. Beej Says:

    “HC Grover Says:
    June 30th, 2023 at 12:33 pm
    DR The ‘proof will be in the Bowles Pudding when the real season starts. I am just having fun with it all. TX for your interesting comments. You speak with more football savvy than I. I am just an observer from the very first Buc Game to now. JBF has made the offseason interesting to me and I thank all except the trolls. I remember being at the first win at the Old Sombrero when the fans tore down the N Goal Post.

    I was working in the garden shop at the K-Mart on Waters and Florida. They announced it on the PA in between blue light specials

  50. garro Says:

    “the Bucs have the fifth-worst roster in the NFL for 2023.”

    Makes no sense. Please explain what stat makes us the 5th worst roster.

    Way out in left field.
    I get it that you want the Bucs to tank for the QB Draft Crapshoot but come on man.

    Go Bucs!