Nearly Everything Must Work Right For Bucs Success?

July 5th, 2023

Todd Bowles

Call Dan Pompei the Lavonte David of NFL scribes.

Pompei started covering the Bears in the 1980s and that’s about the time Joe first crossed his path. Pompei is like David, who is perpetually overlooked. Pompei is one the best out there but you rarely hear his name like you do Peter King or Adam Schefter or even Ian Rapoport.

In a Monday piece for The Athletic, Pompei looked at the Bucs and the challenges of cobbling together a winning season without Tom Brady. Tough, tough task, he noted. Pompei isn’t suggesting the Bucs cannot make the playoffs, but he thinks the Bucs are going to have to get solid if not strong production from all over the roster.

The Bucs won’t be able to lean on one element of the team.

(Yeah, feel free to read between the lines and guess that maybe the Bucs leaned on Brady. More than a little.)

How will the offense survive the loss of Tom Brady?

Any other concern is secondary because Brady meant so much to this team. There was no way for the Bucs to find another quarterback who could carry the offense to the degree Brady did, so they chose to give the gifted but unsuccessful Baker Mayfield a chance, and allow room for the development of second-year passer Kyle Trask. But the Bucs will be dependent on much more than whoever is throwing the ball. They will need solid coaching, an improved running game, dependable receivers, and a better defense. It will take many to replace the greatest player in the history of the game.

Well, Joe knows the Bucs have two reliable receivers: Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. And the defense has a chance to be very good, especially if Joe Tryon-Shoyinka snaps out of his four-sack funk. This defense is an edge rusher away from being scary good.

There is no doubt the Bucs have to find a way to run the ball. They sort of painted themselves into a corner by not adding a special running back to the league’s weakest running attack. Surely they cannot expect Kyler Traskfield to launch the ball 40 times a game?

If that happens, Joe has a feeling a new coach will be here come January.

22 Responses to “Nearly Everything Must Work Right For Bucs Success?”

  1. Lt. Dan Says:

    …”a new coach will be here come January.” Or sooner.

  2. Joe Says:

    …”a new coach will be here come January.” Or sooner.

    Nah. Glazers have never canned a coach in-season.

  3. Beej Says:

    There are so many variables in the personnel on this team. We could easily go 12 and 5 as 5 and 12. We live in interesting times

  4. Casual Observer Says:

    Agree with Beej. Harder than ever to predict the Bucs record this year.

  5. Dwayne Cone Says:

    With a Quarterback that is ranked 25th of the 32 Starters (Mainly 1st Time Guys and Colt McCoy) there better be a lot more than ‘Work Right’.

    Only upside I can see with Mayfield is Defense will get experience stopping the Compact QB’s as long as he is getting QB1 reps.

  6. All_da_way Says:

    This team can compete with the talent on the roster. The biggest question mark is the HC.

  7. Buc4evr Says:

    I think the Bucs will be middle of the pack on defense, primarily because of the poor pass rush. Think the secondary will be good, but will be left hanging due to a poor pass rush.

    O line looks good on paper, but how they run block will be a huge question. Think the RBs are adequate. White has got acceleration and speed, just needs an opening.

    I do not understand why Jason never really did anything about the QB position for the last two years. This year if they really wanted to win, he could have signed Ryan, Wentz, or even Gabbert to a one year deal. What do the Bucs see in Baker that no one else sees?

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    All_da_way … ‘This team can compete with the talent on the roster. The biggest question mark is the HC.’

    HCs relationship to winning & losing is vastly overestimated IMO. Relatively few plays are impacted by their game decisions; it’s the OC, DC & S/Ts coaches who call almost all the plays. Obviously HCs like Bowles who are dual-hatted represent an exception, but only because of his DC role, not his impact on the offense.

    How many times last year did you see Todd Bowles in Byron’s face because of plays that went amok? I can’t think of a single one (although I wish he would’ve on occasion). He let BL run the offense with minimal interference on game days far as I could see. Tony Dungy did the same thing with his OCs IMO. So did Sean Payton with Dennis Allen as his DC, Jon Gruden with Monte Kiffen as his DC … and Bruce Allen with Todd Bowles as his DC … plus a host of other dual-hatted HCs.

    I think Bowles has ‘set the vision’ for this 2023 team, and we all pretty much know now what thaat is. His hiring of Dave Canales tells us a lot obviously. Bowles retaining the DC hat but also hiring George Edwards to help on defense should tell us a lot too.

  9. Infomeplease Says:

    IMO, last season, the Bucs had the worst head coach and offensive coordinator in the NFL! They seemed to have fixed the OC! Now it’s up to TB to fix his head coaching! If not, then this team is doomed to mediocrity!

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    Buc4ever … ‘What do the Bucs see in Baker that no one else sees?’

    He came cheap. Does anyone think we would’ve signed him if he’d wanted $15 or $20 mil?

  11. Brandon Says:

    Yes. How can we replace a QB that carried this offense all the way down to one of the worst in the league? It won’t be long before we see that Brady was a huge part of the problem, not the savior.

  12. Fred McNeil Says:

    I was going to say the BUCS did indeed fire a head coach midseason when they canned egomaniac Ray Perkins after week 13. Turns out that was Screwy Hughey, not the Glazers.

  13. Fred McNeil Says:

    DR, you’re right about Baker; he is on a cheap as possible deal but offers a high ceiling. Nobody else who could be had for that price could offer such a possible upside.

  14. Duane Says:

    The offense is a giant X-Factor this season. New QB and Coordinator gives noone insight as to how it is going to work. Its poetic, because Bowles is the defensive guru, plays in a poor division, and still has his quarterback on that side of the ball. Lets see him coach his way out of this one. Its fair to say that his new QB is more dialed in than the one he had last season.

  15. Defense Rules Says:

    Fred … I agree with you that FOR THE PRICE Mayfield ‘offers a high ceiling’. Not sure that’s saying a whole bunch however.

    Jameis was 21-33 in his first 4 years with Tampa Bay. Baker was 29-30 in his 4 years with Cleveland. Each of them had ONE winning season (Jameis 9-7 in 2016 and Baker 11-5 in 2020). BOTH were #1 picks in the draft who went to rather inept teams.

    Since leaving their initial teams, Jameis is 6-4 in 3 years with New Orleans, and Baker is 2-8 in 1 year with Carolina & the Rams. Neither of them impresses me as being a franchise QB, which most expect a #1 pick in the draft to be.

    Could Mayfield have a great year this year? Certainly, IF the TEAM around him kicks butt (same with Jameis IMO by the way). But what then? Baker would be a 28-year old QB looking for a new contract with a resurrection year under his belt, and he (and his agent) will certainly do everything they can to parlay that into a big multi-year contract. (I for one wouldn’t blame him a bit … strike while the iron’s hot).

    Could the Bucs afford to pay him $25-$30 mil next year for say 4 years or so? My answer is NO, we can’t. Too many other mouths to feed (Wirfs, Winfield, White, Gaines, Neal just for starters) and way too little $$$ to feed them with (folks will figure out soon enough that we’re hurting just as bad (or worse) next year on salary CAP as we were this year). Besides, do we REALLY want to take that kind of a chance on a QB coming off a resurrection year? Is that the REAL Baker Mayfield IOW? Pretty much why I’d love to see Kyle Trask win the starting job and keep it this year (and BTW I’d draft a QB in Rnd 1 next year regardless of what kind of a year Kyle has).

  16. SB~LV Says:

    What a headline

  17. Larrd Says:

    Coaching/offensive line.

    Hopefully the line gets better as the season progresses. Can Bowles keep everything together until it does?

  18. HC Grover Says:

    I predict, from my end zone seat. Both HC and OC have too much on their plate. Both are trying to wear 2 hats for some strange reason. Bowles is trying to be Head Coach and Defense Coordinator and Rookie Canales is trying to be Offense Coordinator and Quarterback Coach. To me this foretells a Bowles Blunder of the First Magnitude. No matter the pre season chatter of irrational exuberance this set up will be hard to find even 4 wins. They are already 7 point underdogs to the opening Vikes. After the first 2 straight losses Bowles will be totally discombobulated. it will get worse from there.

  19. Pelsbuc61 Says:

    Just want to see lots of energy and effort from the players. Last year it looked as if they were sleep walking most of the time. No fire, no heart. That’s on the HC. If Bucs start 2-6 they need to ride Trask the rest of season.

  20. stpetebucfan Says:

    D.R. Agree that Jameis has the physical talent but without a brain transplant he’s always going to get mediocre results.

    Baker Mayfield needed to work on his ints. His 1.6% in his 3rd season is “coincidentally” (not) the year he won 11 and a first round playoff game on the road against Pittsburgh. Last season’s int % was 2.4% not outstanding but perhaps survivable. When you consider he had a 2.9% with Carolina but a 1.6% with the Rams he has shown he CAN take care of the ball. The fact that the Rams offensive is the inspiration for Canalas we can still hope.

    JW on the other had that amazing 4.8% mark in year we were supposed to “check yo sheets”. That’s close to an int for every 20 passes.

    This is the year the Bucs need D.R. football…a true TEAM effort. IF Traskfield holds the int % to under 2% the Bucs have a chance. Mahomes had 1.9% last season..two freaking amazing years with 1% but two others just over 2%. Burrows career 2% Josh Allen 2.3%.

    2% seems to be the “Mendoza” line. Mayfield has done it with two different teams…that great year with the Browns and his stint with the Rams playing an offense that is very similar to Canalas.

  21. unbelievable Says:

    Ha, this team is not going 12 – 5.

    But I do agree they could either go 5 – 12 to maybe as good as 10 – 7, if a lot of things fall their way…

  22. garro Says:

    @Defense Rules

    Everything you said.
    We will be drafting a QB next year either way. Unless Trask comes in and blows everyones minds. Then they will take a QB round Two…again.

    Go Bucs!