Why Folks Think The Bucs Are Low-Key Tanking

August 23rd, 2023

Bucs coach Todd Bowles.

Outside the Tampa Bay area, just about every NFL fan you run into thinks the Bucs are fully involved in the #CollapseForCaleb campaign.

They see the Bucs running backs who did nothing last year and wonder why head coach Todd Bowles wants to ride the worst running attack in the game from a year ago.

They don’t see Tom Brady but do see Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask and think winning teams don’t embrace a guy on the cusp of his career going up in flames or a quarterback who couldn’t beat out Blaine Gabbert.

So people look at what the Bucs have/don’t have at running back and what the Bucs have/don’t have at quarterback and conclude this is a savvy cover for a team looking to grab a walking college football highlight reel.

Former Tampa Bay Times Bucs beat writer and current Philadelphia Inquirer staffer Thomas Bassinger’s reaction to the Bucs’ quarterback competition is an excellent example of how the Bucs are viewed outside the 813 (and 727 and 941 and 352 and 863).

Joe has stated for months the Mayfield signing was like playing the stock market. Buy low/sell high. The Bucs got a former No. 1 overall draft pick who three years ago had the soon-to-be AFC champions on the ropes in their home crib, Mayfield.

If Dave Canales can work his magic on Mayfield as he has on Geno Smith and Trask, the Bucs may have obtained one of the all-time bargains at quarterback.

Yesterday, that effort was officially put into motion.

43 Responses to “Why Folks Think The Bucs Are Low-Key Tanking”

  1. Steelers fan Says:

    ….And im gonna resurrect someone from the dead.

  2. Buc4evr Says:

    The cap bill comes due and the Bucs are rolling the dice this year. If it doesn’t work out, we get a new QB and HC next year. If it does Jason is a genius.

  3. Nicholas Carlson Says:

    The biggest reason is that Todd Bowles is the head coach, and everyone remembers him losing a lot with the Jets.

  4. MadMax Says:

    Look, we cant afford the number 1….but we CAN land Drake Maye (probably a trade up)….put him behind Trask and Baker (if Baker is still around)…fix those weak spots on the O line and we’re cooking baby!

    They know when they listen to me and know when they dont….its all good.

  5. PewterStiffArm Says:

    We all know ever single NFL year produces many scenarios, speculations and examples of wishful thinking. Headlines that develop clear and sometimes not so clear talking points that introduce conversations like these. We don’t know what is going to happen to our beloved Buccaneers. There is one glaring story here that is staring use in the face. Baker Mayfield isn’t going to roll over for anyone. His time as an NFL starting quarterback is on the clock. He knows it and the entire league knows it. There is no tanking with this guy. Especially now that he needs to recoup some of his cash that his family embezzled.

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘If Dave Canales can work his magic on Mayfield as he has on Geno Smith and Trask, the Bucs may have obtained one of the all-time bargains at quarterback.’

    I’m sorry Joe, but that one just jumped out at me. Seattle finished 9-8 last year & Geno Smith was meh starting with the loss mid-way in the season against the Bucs. And poor Kyle Trask? The guy who you say Canales ‘needs to work his magic on’ just beat out Kyle for the starting gig. Our expectations of what ‘magic’ Canales will be able to work is way too high. You gotta have the horses.

    Bassinger missed the boat. Buc4ver got it: ‘The cap bill came due and the Bucs are rolling the dice this year’. It really is as simple as that. A steak dinner at Bern’s sounds awesome, but we’re eating franks & beans for the next couple of years.

  7. K_bassuka Says:

    The real reason is, and Joe doesn’t like to point it out, because the HC lied about a “QB competition” that ended in Maybefield being gifted the job (was going to happen from day 1. Bucs media acted as if Barker was QB1 from day1. Now Bowles and Joe hope that Canales works a borderline miracle and resurrect a bust career as of it is something that happens all the time.

  8. Usfbuc Says:

    If we are tanking I hope JL has the intelligence to not draft a QB with the issues on the lines. Need to trade out of our high pick and collect more picks so we can look at a FA or rookie after the 24 season.

  9. Brandon Says:

    I don’t care what people with extremely limited football knowledge and insight have to say about this team. The defense is better, the offensive weapons are better, the special teams are better, and if our QB is average, we’ll be better there too. Only imbeciles and Brady fanboys can look at Brady during the first three quarters of games last year and see him as anything more than completely ineffective. He was awful for the majority of last season and even average QB play and this team will win 10 games or more.

  10. Beej Says:

    The Bucs have the best team they can afford to have, and haven’t unloaded their best players. I don’t consider that “tanking”

  11. Tom Says:

    What most national media folks miss in bringing up Tom Brady not being here is that Brady was not very good last year. The Brady from 2 years ago will be missed but not the Brady that was distracted, unprepared, inaccurate and afraid to be hit so he threw the ball in 2 seconds. Other than a couple of late game comebacks Brady just didn’t bring it. So if that version of Brady is the comparison for baker then it’s not a high bar to achieve. Unfortunately I think that may be the ceiling for baker too and why a team with 7 to 8 wins is the probable result.

  12. D Cone Says:

    Finally someone else that calls it like he see’s it.
    ‘Cusp of going up in Flames’

    2020 Cleveland Browns
    #1 Offensive Line Ranking at year end. (Bucs #5)
    2300 Rushing Yards Ranked 3rd. (Bucs 1500)
    Total Offense ranked 6th.

    Had Cleveland not had a QB that ranked 18th in passing on a team with the Best O Line the Browns could have easily had the best record in the AFC and Home Field throughout the Playoffs. Might have won it all.
    Browns front office knew what their QB had at his disposal and was surprised they didn’t let him go at the end of that season.

    Needed to sell tickets and their QB was popular especially with a playoff win that they paid a lot of money for.

    Popularity may sell tickets but don’t win a lot of games.

    Folks calling Tank for Caleb brings American Idol Season 13 to mind.
    Caleb Johnson won due to popularity and went on to do absolutely nothing.

    Bucs OLine is far from 2020 Browns but 30 million they will save by not gambling on a popular college kid will do a lot towards getting there.

  13. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Not sold on Caleb Williams at all. He’s got a baseball windup (didn’t work out so well last time). Anyway, I will try to watch him and Maye this year if I can so I will be able to deliver my expert opinion. Don’t wait up.

    If we do draft an early QB, who else after those two is on the radar?

  14. Craig Says:

    Collapse for a real Coach

    I want to hear Canales say that he is all behind Duh Baker as starting QB. Then I will quit bitching and go to stock up the booze cabinet.

    Ugly football is still football if the brain is well lubricated.

  15. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    People who are complaining about Brady last year must be forgetting that, after Evans, he was the least of our problems. And I mean the least. Who on the team really killed it last year that you had no worries about them? Wirfs? Ok, sure. Vea? He only played 60% of the snaps. More of a part-timer. David? Maybe but he has fallen off a little bit too.

  16. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Oh, and what’s going to happen Friday night? Mayfield and most of the starters are in, but for how long? Do we expect to see Trask and Wolford?

  17. NE Fan Says:

    Brandon, a total moron who apparently knows nothing about the game. DR is right, Canales gets credit for Geno? Geno was always a decent QB, just never had the right HC. He’s also just a little above average. Canales has not called a regular season game yet, who knows how he handles the pressure. Your HC wants to run the ball, he wanted to last season and he failed and it appears still failing. If you CANNOT run the ball you CANNOT win in the NFL. You idiots that blame the QB for this are.just that IDIOTS. To think Mayfield and or Trask are better than Brady means your watching the game like you’re watching a professional chess match, in the dark!!! Vegas has Bucs favored in one game this year, I guess you’re smarter than them.

  18. FortMyersDave Says:

    Jack Burton: other QBs ranked a bit below Maye and Caleb: Bo Nix: Oregon, Quinn Ewers: Texas, Mike Penix Washington Huskies. I also like Jordan Travis but I am a FSU homer so I will acknowledge he could go day 2 or 3 next April and is unlikely to be one of the first 3 or 4 QBs chosen but a lot can change over a season. Go Bucs, Go Noles (LSU game is not that far off).

  19. Pewter Power Says:

    I’m sorry was there some big time quarterback free agent class that would have given them confidence we were trying to compete even if we had money which we don’t? It’s just ignorant twittering and there’s just as bad as us only the football world is subject to this stupidity

  20. Alanbucsfan Says:

    The success of the offense will come down to 2 issues:
    Can the Oline and TE’s/receivers execute the blocking schemes and can the RB’s take advantage to generate a running game?
    Will Mayfield make good decisions and avoid turnovers?
    If those 2 things happen, Bucs will have a good year, because, barring injury, this Defense will be pretty good

  21. SB~LV Says:

    Well they are too good talent wise for that, to get the first overall all pick they would have to be winning only 2-3 games and they are going to win more than that with the 2 QB’s on the roster along with the rest of the talent on O&D

  22. Roadsoda Says:

    Don’t forget us over in the 386, btw. Us OGs stay loyal.

  23. Bucs Guy Says:

    If Michael Penix can be consistent, I can easily see him as the #2 or #3 college QB. He also checks off most of the Bill Parcells QB boxes. Started multiple years, team captain, 65% completion rate, > 3 TD:1 turnover ratio, etc. Not sold on Caleb because I believe he relies too much on running and benefitted from some of the best WRs (see Johnny Manzell’s 1st year). Also the USC scheme and poor Pac 12 defense. How many OU QBs from Reilly have lit up the NFL? I want to see accuracy from Williams before I get on board. I will be watching Maye to see if he can do it again because he’s only played one year. What happens in year 2? Also have concerns about his play in the big games (Clemson and ND).

  24. D-Rome Says:

    I’ve always liked Tom Bassinger. Good reporter. Good Twitter feed.

  25. Voice of Truth Says:

    First time OC with a retread QB – 4 starters on OL in new positions – questions at TE/RB with very young players with little experience expected to carry the load for 17 games

    Lack of depth in the secondary- if either S gets hurt it’s gonna get ugly quick – rookie nickel corner with no depth except moving a S that leaves another hole
    Same at DT/DL – paper thin

    See a theme?

    We can all just say Mike, LVD, Chris, Tristan – yes we have talent, the issue is we don’t have nearly enough and it’s pretty obvious to most except the die hard head in the sand types

  26. D-Rome Says:

    The Bucs have the best team they can afford to have, and haven’t unloaded their best players. I don’t consider that “tanking”

    This is spot on! This is a 6-8 win team and that’s largely to do with the Bucs’ salary cap which will resolve itself next year. This is the price we pay for the Super Bowl and I’m fine with it.

  27. Bucfan Says:

    i have supported the Bucs since 1976 and had season tickets for 41 years. I let my tickets go. I just can not get excited about this team with Bowels running the show. At least during the 0-26 stretch there was hope for the future. NOT with Bowels!!!!

  28. WyomingJoe Says:

    Is it too late for the Bucs to draft some real fans? Most of you guys sound like you’re either jerks or quitters. Why don’t you just concentrate on your Florida college teams and leave the rest of us alone on Sundays!

  29. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The Bucs did the best they could do with their Cap situation…..they gave it their all with Brady’s last year and went 8-10.
    If the Bucs tank….it won’t be on purpose….
    If they lose it will be because of Bowles and their Oline…..not their QBs or Defense.

  30. Greg The Truth Says:

    I hate saying it but the Bucs really should be looking at trades around the bye week. Once we are 0-4 or 1-3 its time to start trading away vets for draft capital. We will still have to move up for Caleb.

  31. Mostly Peaceful Trask Fan Says:

    LOL they gave the job to Baker Mayfield that’s why

  32. Who Says Says Can't Say Says:

    that’s such horse garbage… if you are tanking, why bring in Mayfield at all? They’d have made Trask the starter flat out. And LVD wouldn’t have been back. And they’d have traded White.

  33. BucsFan81 Says:

    Bowles is more of an issue than even the QB situation. Guy makes really dumb decisions we all saw it last year. It’s pretty much guaranteed we’re getting a new QB next year and we should be getting a new coaching regime too.

  34. Georgia Redneck Says:

    If you pin your hopes on a proven loser, you will also lose. Very simple calculation.

  35. Sly Pirate Says:

    Are the 2023 Bucs are the 1989 Major League Cleveland Indians?

    Baker – Richy Vaughn (Wild Thing)
    LVD – Jake Taylor
    Rachaad White – Willie Mays Hayes

    “You may run like Hayes but you hit like sh**.”

    They need to play “Wild Thing” when Baker takes the field.

  36. Dwayne Cone Says:

    NE Fan Says:

    Geno was always a decent QB

    Yes he was and still is.

    Watched his 1st NFL start in week 1 of 2013 against the Bucs last night. Trying to prepare for what may be coming in 2023.
    Gino got his 1st TD just before the Half.
    1st Pick by Lavonte David.
    Defense kept them in the game until Lavonte pushed Gino well out of bounds and put Jets in Field Goal Range. Lost at the buzzer 18-17
    Plays that could have changed the game. Bus stripped runner at Jets 5 and scored on the next play. Bucs QB over throws receiver by 8 to 10 yards for a Pick.

  37. Tye Says:

    Todd Bowles as HC is all one needs to see the Bucs aren’t putting out a great effort to be winners!

  38. Defense Rules Says:

    Beej … ‘The Bucs have the best team they can afford to have, and haven’t unloaded their best players. I don’t consider that “tanking”

    Spot on Beej. There are so many fans who keep contending that the salary CAP isn’t real, but they’re mistaken. In the end, it’s the great equalizer. The way many GMs play it though, it can take several years for a team to ‘pay the piper’ because they continually kick the can down the street, but eventually it catches up to you. It caught up to the Eagles several years ago; caught up to the Rams & Falcons last year; and the Bucs & Saints are now paying the price for going for the brass ring.

    Many seem to believe that we’ll be ‘all better’ next year & that salary CAP won’t be a problem. I’m not on that bandwagon; I’m convinced that next year will be just as tight as this year has been; possibly even tighter. And BTW, that’s potentially a good thing IMO. It forces us to stock up on a lot of youngsters and actually DEVELOP THEM into starters for a change.

    Until fairly recently, Bucs did a miserable job of player development, largely because we kept playing musical coaching staffs every 2-3 years. This coaching staff, for the most part, has been with us now going into its’ 5th year, and it’s done a very respectable job of developing players IMO. With all the youngsters that we’re bringing in, the last thing we need is to go back to hopping onto that coaching carousel once again, switching coaching staffs every 2-3 years. THAT’S the recipe for disaster.

  39. Robbie lyon Says:

    Definitely tanking and not hiding it when he signed Mayfield then made hi. The starter

  40. BillyBucco Says:

    All this talk about Bowles and his bad decisions before the season even begins is just stupid. Even Belicheat didn’t look good until his offense got a legit play caller and Brady.
    Bowles has done several genius things this year, like resting after 3 days etc.
    I fully believe there was a QB competition, even though the Trask lovers were always going to call bologna if he didn’t win.
    I do agree Trask has gotten better and will only ascend with live bullets.
    He will play if Baker does horrible, and that is another reason we aren’t tanking.
    No way ME13 and Chris Godwin signed off on tanking. Just unrealistic.
    Let’s watch the Bucs crush Minnesota before you guys start throwing in the towel.

  41. Ben Harvey Says:

    The biggest reason I think the Bucs are tanking isnt because of who is playing QB, it’s because Bowles is the head coach.

  42. Mike shie Says:

    The times Edmonds had touched the ball he’s looked great. How come no one is talking about him?

  43. Mark Reese Says:

    If I remember correctly, jameis Winston did quite well in college and we all know how that turned out. Great college success does not always equate to professional success.