Driven By The Trenches

September 19th, 2023

Anyone who suffered through the miserable Panthers-Saints game last night can relate to this Bucs take from a former Pro Bowler and three-time Super Bowl winner.

Joe is referring to Daryl “Moose” Johnston, the color analyst on the No. 2 FOX game broadcast crew. He was on the call for the Bucs-Bears game Sunday.

After the game, Johnston was asked if the Bucs are the favorites in the NFC South. They sure are, Johnston explained.

“No. 1, they’re very good on the offensive and defensive line,” Johnston said, horrifying the legions of Bucs offensive line doubters.

“And to me, that’s where everything starts. It allows your running game to be successful, your passing game to be successful. They’re great at pressuring the quarterback, just with their down guys, but then with Todd Bowles’ system adding pressure from the linebacker level and the secondary level.

“I still think they have probably the 1-2 or 1a-1b wide receiver combo in the NFL. And one of the great lines this week was Todd Bowles saying , ‘Listen, I’m not asking Baker Mayfield to build the engine, I just want him to drive the car.’ Well, he’s doing a little bit more than just driving the car. He might be working on the carburetor.”

Joe will emphasize that Johnston is not a hot-take guy. He doubles as president of the USFL. He watches plenty of game film and is not the easiest dude to impress.

Before declaring the Bucs NFC South favorites, Joe wants a little more confirmation that should come while watching the Falcons at the Lions on Sunday afternoon.

Falcons QB Desmond Ridder passed a good test with a fourth-quarter comeback against Green Bay, but Joe needs to see more to think the Falcons are better than the Bucs.

24 Responses to “Driven By The Trenches”

  1. Buddha Says:

    The falcons are good. Well coached. Solid or better running game. Improved secondary. Spent a lot of money in free agency.

  2. Buc4evr Says:

    IDK, think our O-line still needs lots of work on the running game. Although after watching the Saints O-Line last night, I think ours is actually better. The D line can be really special this year, the big test will be Philly. Hope Kancey can play Monday night.

  3. adam from ny Says:

    moose johnston is a good announcer but he’s a bit of a negative nancy when it comes to the bucs…he’s not a buc hater like a few others out there, but he leans a little bit to the negative side, when i listen keenly to his commentary…he’s no chris berman or the guys on good morning football…

    and oh by the way, must i reiterate…..baker’s cookin’ in the pot

  4. Infomeplease Says:

    During MNF the Buc’s need their trenches to put forth their maximum performance! If they do, they can compete. They should be pumped for this game. On any given day! On any given day!

  5. D-Rok Says:

    Our D-line is as advertised and as expected.

    Our O-line had a ton of question marks, which I readily admit I am pleasantly surprised so far. Admittedly, they still have some work to do especially in the run game – but they are better than I expected, and hopefully they continue to improve.

    So far, so good! Fans (or at least this fan) have reason for optimism. Let’s see how the next 2-3 games play out so we know what this team might be.

  6. Oddball Says:

    Eagles game is the litmus test.

  7. Craig Says:

    The Falcons might be our biggest competitor this season. Their run game is currently way better than ours, but they gelled a bit last season and ours has too many shiny new pieces.

    The Saints and the Panthers might have two of the best defenses in football, but both have weak offenses, so far. That might change when the Saints get Alvin back.

    We do have a secret weapon, though, our shiny new OC has so far looked like a very real deal.

    Moose is a realist and doesn’t do hyperbole, he is refreshing to listen to because of it.

  8. BucU Says:

    This team is playing Philly at the perfect time. They have sky high confidence and they believe they can and will win Monday night.
    I say shock the world!

  9. Sauron's eye Says:

    The Saints looked like ass last night, as did the Panthers. The problem is the Saints are always pumped up to beat us and have had our number for the last few years.

  10. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Three of four NFC South teams are undefeated. Far too soon to judge.

  11. J Ghotier Says:

    O-Line has been a pleasant surprise thus far, as my expectations weren’t high to start the season and thought would take a lot of gel-time and work in progress. Still a work in progress of course, but have been a pleasant surprise and exceeded low-to-average (especially so after the Jensen news) expectations.

    We are playing pretty well in the trenches right now. Let’s keep it up boys!

  12. Baking with Canales Says:

    Even if we loose the next two, I still think we have a good chance to win this division. 2-2. By the bye week will not change my mind. I truly love the Canales hire. This team is fun to watch.
    The hardest test for Canales in this first 3 weeks is the Eagles. Let’s see how well he play calls. I’m really looking forward to that.
    We know the defense will be ready. We have so many rookies I don’t think we see the usual letdown by the Bucs in national TV. We seem to hungry and discipline at the moment.

  13. Buckeyebuckchuck Says:

    Tristan Wirfs is Mayfield’s best friend. He’s always had escapability on inside rushes but when the defender blows past your tackle there’s nowhere to run

  14. Baking with Canales Says:


  15. Ultra ClodHopper Says:

    Moose knows a thing or two about blocking

  16. ocala Says:

    Anybody notice Tristen Wirfs?

    Me either, the guy is doing an incredible job at LT.

  17. SlyPirate Says:

    If the Bucs beat Philly, we’ll be talking about more than NFCS.

  18. Defense Rules Says:

    Baking with Canales … ‘The hardest test for Canales in this first 3 weeks is the Eagles.’

    Since we already have 2 games behind us, I agree with you. The hardest game of the season IMO is always the next one. One game at a time.

  19. BucU Says:

    F the Saints. We swept them last year and I wouldn’t be shocked if we do it again this season.

  20. stpetebucfan Says:

    Baking W Canalas

    “This team is fun to watch.”

    AMEN brother!!! Obviously everybody want to win but I also like to be entertained and like you I’ve had fun watching these guys.

    This team has an exciting blend of players who are season vets like ME/CG/LVD and others as well as guys just hitting their prime like DW and Vita and then mix that with the JOY of the young dudes who are still figuring it all out.

    YEP a fun team to watch.

  21. Fred McNeil Says:

    The Aints and the Stinkin’ Panthers both looked like crap.
    The Eagles look like a real challenge. It’s in our crib on a Monday night. True they’ve had five extra days off, but we get one extra day ourselves. That excessive extra time off might actually do them more harm than good.

  22. Voice of Truth Says:

    Have been in the six wins camp all off season

    After 2 weeks, we look better. Better prepared, better energy, better in game adjustments- all the things we have been missing

    Derek Carr is horrible over a 15 yard throw

    The Panthers O is horrible period

    The Falcons are going to be competitive in most every game

    The road to the postseason at 2-0:

    4-2 division record – split the Aints and Birdies, sweep the cats

    4-5 rest of the schedule- Texans, Colts, Lions, and just pick one more

    10-7 looks very, very doable after two weeks

    But it did last year too and we went 6-10

    Get the popcorn ready!!!!

  23. BillyBucco Says:

    I have been a proponent of Canales since the hire and he is a smart dude.
    That being said, I feel there are already some “Tells” that we have to clean up.
    Misdirection on that 4th and 1 run to White is what I’m talking about.
    Running after every penalty is NOT. I have already seen lots of teams do pitch back throws etc.
    Where is the Cade Otton run?
    We hardly threw any RB screens against the Bears.
    I like that he said they had some really cool 3rd down plays and it showed in game.
    Hopefully there are some plays they are “Saving”.
    This is the game we need to play towards their aggressive style of defense.
    Awesome test for the O Line. If we don’t give up 3 sack’s I’ll be amazed.
    Through 2 weeks there has been 1 guy really on each team that was considered a great rusher. Philly has like 4 or 5.
    If we win this game and aren’t in the top 10 rankings EVERYWHERE, people have a true ignorance I can’t look past.
    Why are the Saints in the Top 10?
    Biased much?

  24. garro Says:

    DL as a whole has been better than I thought. Not that I thought we were a bad unit. But if our guys like JTS, Vea, Shaq, and Nelson can keep it going we are gonna be a tough out. The bonus is we got Kancey and Diaby who it looks like are gonna help a bunch. Hall got into the mix with Gaines Gholston and Greene and all is well.

    Go Bucs