How Much Did The Bucs Upgrade?

July 17th, 2023

Bucs coach Todd Bowles.

The Bucs, in the mind of an NFL columnist/gambler, can be looked at as two half-glasses of water.

The glass-half-full crowd will say the Bucs have Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Tristan Wirfs, Vita Vea, Lavonte David, Carlton Davis, Antoine Winfield and Jamel Dean. Who wouldn’t want that core?

The glass-half-empty crowd will nod their heads and say, “Yeah, and they still had a losing record — with Tom Brady!”

So Frank Schwab of Yahoo! is torn. His head, which revolves around financial value, believes the Bucs cannot remotely make up for Brady with the quarterbacks they have on the roster, thus, are the 27th-best team in the NFL and might be worse.

Their 8-9 record belied how bad they were at times.

They were an inept team kept afloat by a few ridiculously close wins and one of the worst divisions in NFL history. The Buccaneers started 2-0 and didn’t have a win of more than six points the rest of the season. It ended with the Buccaneers looking overmatched in a blowout wild-card playoff loss to the Dallas Cowboys. A few days later, the staff was purged of nine coaches including offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich.

And now the Buccaneers go from Brady, with the best resume an NFL quarterback has ever put together, to Baker Mayfield or maybe Kyle Trask.

Were the Bucs ugly on offense last year? Oh, gosh yes. That is, compared to the previous two Tom Brady seasons. Compared to the lousy Lovie Smith/Stewart McClown-led Bucs of 2014, last year’s Bucs looked like the 1984 49ers.

One reason for the ugliness was one of the worst offenses in recent history. The man (we think) who was responsible for that is gone.

That’s a moral victory right there. And Dave Canales gives Bucs fans hope that Schwab’s glass-half-full view is the real Bucs.

27 Responses to “How Much Did The Bucs Upgrade?”

  1. gotbbucs Says:

    Last year is done and means nothing.

    I love how all of these talking heads talk about losing Brady as a massive hole on the roster. I would argue that Brady’s play last year was almost as big a reason for the offenses demise as was the simpleton on the other side of his head set. Whoever that was at QB, that was not prime Tom Brady. That was a shriveled up old QB that should have stayed retired and saved his home life.

    That two year ride was fun, but I’m glad all the mercenaries from that squad are now off the roster and these guys can settle back into reality.

  2. Boss Says:

    you can point directly to bowles for several of those losses.

    it funny people think we can move on from the goat to backup qbs with a consistently losing coach an expect to be better.

    see you in the funny papers

  3. Bojim Says:

    Will be an interesting watch.

  4. Casual Observer Says:

    By just comparing the first and last games (both with the Cowboys), it seems that one team got much better and one team got much worse during the season. Why is that?



  6. Buc4evr Says:

    Think the team has good talent this year. My only real concern is the pass rush and of course the QB position. I think the O line and running game will be better. While Brady had a bad season for a number of reasons, he is still light years better than Traskfield. Not looking forward to seeing Mayfield get happy feet or taking sacks because he can’t read defenses.

  7. Jeff Says:

    Light did a decent job with the o-line.

    Bucs will struggle due to Baker’s accuracy issues and zero pass rush from the defense.

  8. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Bowles has an awful record as a Head Coach, and Baker Mayfield has a poor QB Rating, so is it any wonder why the National Media is beating up on us ?
    I worry that we are going to be winless going into New Orleans because I have little faith that Bowles will be able to turn us around.
    I sure hope I am wrong!

  9. SlyPirate Says:

    Interesting Mayfield Stat

    Mayfield is 18-10 at home. That’s 6 wins next year.
    Mayfield’s record on the road isn’t good at all. This is where the run game will be critical.

  10. Mike Johnson Says:

    I’m blind guys. Somebody please tell me where the upgrade or at least status quo is at QB? Guess Jason forgot about that one huh? Its the most important on the team.

  11. Who Says Says Can't Say Says:

    Brady played afraid. Bailed too quickly on most plays. Missed important throws. He was far from the level of even the 2020 SB.

    And it would be hard for any NFL team in history to have a running game much worse than last year, so with a better running game, probably a much better team.

  12. crasey Says:

    Makes more sense to look at this as adding a Brad Johnson or Jeff Garcia type journeyman. We’ll see if Canales can turn this in to a winning offense.

  13. Voice of Truth Says:

    9 assistant coaches – the majority of which won a SB trophy with BA but looked like absolute dog crap with Todd in charge

    How is changing coaches that win prior to him gonna help? Cuz he picked them? Like the last 4 OC he fired after one season?

    This whole situation is a joke

    He better turn it around real quick or he is dead man walking by Halloween

  14. Mostly Peaceful Trask Fan Says:

    This is the reality until proven otherwise

  15. Caleb M Says:

    Bucky Beooks lists Donovan Smith and Jawan Taylor of the Chiefs as the 3rd best offensive tackle combo in the NFL.


  16. Mostly Peaceful Trask Fan Says:

    Who Says Can’t Say yeah no.

    Brady threw for 4700 yards with a busted O line and no running game. That in itself was miraculous.

    The o line got no push last year – and Gronk was on a beach somewhere so he couldn’t help. They couldn’t run block to save their lives and Brady had no time to throw. So yeah he wasn’t going to tee himself up to take shots. He got the ball out super quick. What other options did he have?

    People need to realize how much Brady bailed them out. They would have been a top 3 pick without him and now he’s gone.

    So yeah this could be a really bad football team.

  17. Mostly Peaceful Trask Fan Says:

    Bucky Brooks is smoking crack.

  18. HC Grover Says:

    The downgrade of losing Brady can not be overcome. Brady Bashers make no sense to me.

  19. RGA Says:

    The O’line let Brady and the Bucs Down. If you want to beat Brady, have no running game and pressure him.

  20. Glass Half Full Guy Says:

    The Brady bashers make no sense to me either. The “he played scared” crap is just that. Crap. NO quarterback wants to get hit on nearly every drop-back. His quick release covered up a lot and probably saved a dozen or more sacks.

    Then you have the receivers. A constant revolving door due to injuries (and a not too great OC). Quick release throws rely on timing and it’s hard to have that timing and chemistry with constantly changing receivers. Gage, Julio hurt and CG working back from injury, etc.

    One could say (and I believe one Joe has) that Bowles likely cost us the Cleveland game with the punt call.

    BL blew a chance to take advantage of a poor Pittsburgh secondary (and the D wasn’t great that day either).

    Being a better team this year isn’t going to be about a drop off in QB play as much as it will be about better play in the trenches on both sides of the ball. Better run blocking and pass pro (can’t be worse than last year) and better run stuffing and QB pressure on defense. And of course better play calling from Canales.

    I think either Mayfield or Trask can be up to the task as long as they protect the ball and have time. AND not be afraid to throw the ball away rather than risk a sack or pick by trying to be a hero.

  21. Defense Rules Says:

    Boss … ‘you can point directly to Bowles for several of those losses.’

    Stop following the herd Boss and please do exactly that … Outline all the LOSSES that Bowles was DIRECTLY responsible for. And while you’re at it, please outline all the WINS that he was DIRECTLY responsible for also.

    The vast majority of games are won or lost on the field, not on the sidelines. Our 14-12 loss to the Packers last year is a good example of that I think. Brady threw a TD pass to Russell Gage with 14 seconds left to make it 14-12, and attempted a 2-point conversion to try to tie it up. But before they did that, they got hit with a 5-yard penalty for delay of game. Brady threw again to Gage and the pass was incomplete, so we lost 14-12.

    Bucs defense gave up 2 relatively quick TDs to the Pack, and they were ahead 14-3 by just about the start of the 2nd quarter. The defense then shut them down the rest of the way by holding them to 7 punts & taking the ball away TWICE. Defense (and Todd Bowles the DC) did their job that game: held Aaron Rodgers & the Packers to only 14 points.

    Bucs offense REALLY sucked for over 59 minutes that game. They gave the ball away TWICE (2 fumbles … 1 by Perriman well into Packer territory & another by Gage at midfield). They also punted 6 times.

    So how many offensive calls did Bowles make in that game? (I’m thinking none). Was he responsible for the 2 fumbles that killed drives & potentially cost us either 6 or 14 points? (Nah, that was on the players). Was Bowles responsible for the delay of game at the end? (doubt it). Was he responsible for the incomplete pass that would’ve tied it at the end? (not hardly).

    Point being Boss … offense had chances to win it since the defense limited the Pack to 14 points and forced 2 turnovers, but they didn’t capitalize. And before you point the finger at Brady, he went 31-of-42 (73.8%) that game for 271 passing yards with no INTs. Our running game was abysmal (14 runs for 34 yards … 2.4 YPC). Bucs were 2-for-11 on 3rd downs.

  22. Thisisouryear!! Says:

    I think our defense is going to be solid again. I like the moves on the defensive line. Our OLBs and Devin White seem like our biggest worries to me.

    I’m anything but a Brady basher. Absolutely love the man but last season wasn’t his best. I think this all depends on Canales. Can he bring Pete Carrols offense here. If he can, I think we are going to be better on offense than last season.

    At the beginning of last year how many people would have rated Mayfield better than Geno Smith or Drew Lock. I think almost everyone. They were in a dead heat for starter last season. Smith ends up a 30 million qb. Russell Wilson looked awful. I like the personnel. To me everything depends on Canales. If he is a good coach, we are good to surprise a lot of peeps. If not, we’ll be looking at Caleb next season.

  23. Mostly Peaceful Trask Fan Says:

    Defense that was a microcosm of last season. What more could Brady do?

    I’ll add this – it’s Bowles job to get his team ready and step in when he feels it appropriate. It’s not micromanaging if you have to analyze why your team can only rush for 35 total yards in a game. Doing nothing about those issues is a failure in itself.

    A good manager leader recognizes the problem and says how do we fix this? HC just doesn’t throw the offense over the fence and hope and pray for the best. The buck always stops there. If not that’s a limitation – and one that cost the Bucs.

  24. Lakeland Steve Says:

    I think the quality of the O-line this year depends on the health of Jensen. If he can play the entire year the offense should play well also. If they are successful in running Canales offense this team has a decent shot of winning the division. If not look at a top ten pick in next years draft.

  25. Fred McNeil Says:

    We have several players playing for a phat money contract next year. We gave several other loyal Bucs who refuse to lose after a snifter of success. We will win our division this year or we will surely disband and actually rebuild. Do these guys want to remain Buccaneers? Win! Do they love Bowles? Win!
    Otherwise…go play elsewhere….or for someone else. It’s that simple. Camp starts next week. Like Jethro Tull said: I’ve got a pipe and I’ve come to play. (The Whistler 1970’s. It’s worth a listen on YouTube. Perfectly safe.)

  26. garro Says:

    No doubt that Leftnut was a big part of the problem Joe. But I for one am convinced due to statements made by Bowles that the HC had a hand in it as well.

    Also evidenced by the fact that late in games when they finally let Tom go. We saw what the offense could have been doing. Not to mention the question about how long he waited to let Tom go away from the initial game plan. I don’t think that was entirely on Leftnut either.

    Go Bucs

  27. garro Says:

    Columnest and Gambler
    Those are two words that should never go together.

    Go Bucs!