NFL Folks: Bucs Won’t Surprise Anyone (Unless It’s Bad)

September 5th, 2023

NFL shot-callers weigh in.

It’s one thing for sportwriters with sticky keyboards to suggest it (yeah, that includes Joe, but Joe regularly cleans his keyboard); it’s another when NFL suits and coaches suggest it.

But when guys paid major money to know the NFL in and out with access to tons more information than anyone else suggest it, this has Joe’s attention.

Outside of the Tampa Bay area, the Bucs are widely believed to be indirectly in pursuit of a quality draft slot next spring because, well, Baker Mayfield is the most hated human being in America among the chattering class in the Fourth Estate this side of 45.

(Someone must have dug up info that Mayfield is a financial contributor to 45’s presidential campaign the way he is reviled nationally by the pen and mic club. How else do you explain how badly the pen and mic club is so anti-Mayfield?)

Fine, what do they know, you may argue? But how about shot-callers with NFL franchises?

Jeff Howe of The Athletic spent the past week interviewing some 21 “decision-makers” for NFL teams, including general managers, team suits, head coaches and assistants.

Asked for teams that would surprise this year, none voted for the Bucs. Asked which teams would surprise in a negative manner, the Bucs got several votes.

Answering the question which three teams “will surprise people in a bad way?” Howe got 18 to respond. The Bucs were tied for second-most votes with four.

Howe did not cite any specific Bucs-related comment. Still, the point was self-explanatory for Joe. Well-plugged-in guys earning significant coin for being informed about every team in the league expect little from the Bucs this fall.

So the dour predictions are not just coming from NFL laymen and wannabes. Maybe Joe shouldn’t be surprised. Mayfield was signed for backup money.

The good news is not everyone working in the NFL is 100 percent competent. That’s why personnel and/or coaching changes happen all the time.

Joe would love for the Bucs to shock the world.

Join Ira Kaufman and Bucs fans on opening day at the Big Storm Brewing Co. taproom in Clearwater, on 49th St. just south of Ulmerton Road. 

Beautiful covered patio with strong sightlines and audio. Indoors, too! Cocktails, Florida’s best craft beer and more.


Huge covered and comfortable outdoor patio at Big Storm Brewing Co. in Clearwater.

Click on through to check out their website.

Fun time ahead.

Indoors too! Joe highly recommends the Nashville Hot Chicken sandwich and fries.

31 Responses to “NFL Folks: Bucs Won’t Surprise Anyone (Unless It’s Bad)”

  1. Lord Cornelius Says:

    IMO it’s an indictment on Bowles’ reputation as much as Mayfield unless they don’t know the national media expectations are already for us to be a bottom 2-3 team.

  2. VATom Says:

    Yeah, the NFC Sputh isnt like most divisions right now. I have hope because I THINK the division is weak. If the Falcons actually have a decent QB, If Carr pulls it together, if the Panther’s Rookie gets momentum the 2nd half ofnthe season then the Bucs may have a surprisingly bad season.

    However, of Bowles makes some improvements in his management and decision making, of Canales can adapt on the fly to his personell’s strengths, of Mayfield protects the ball, if the O Line gels, of the Edge can rush, of Evans and White don’t quit… it could be another 8 or 9 win season.

    I think our worse case scenario is 7-9 wins.

  3. All_da_way Says:

    Bucs have the players to compete. The coaching staff needs to step up to the challenge to change the national narrative. Just win.

  4. KingLDavid54 Says:

    I’d be surprised if any NFL “decision-maker” has much insight into the potential for any team outside of their own (which they oftentimes lack as well). For God’s sake, it’s not like the Bucs voluntarily entered the Lost Decade via the Den of Depression. It took some serious incompetence to do that!

  5. Nicholas Carlson Says:

    You keep pegging this to Mayfield, and that’s probably fair. But…Bowles has a career record of 34-50, and is 24-40 over the past 4 years. It doesn’t take sophisticated analysis to assume that very durable losing trend will hold.

  6. go dawgs Says:

    cautiously optimistic about our 7 wins!!!

  7. go dawgs Says:

    btw.. hahaha gators.. yall suck

  8. Cleanhouse Says:

    The best QB in our division is Jameis Winston. I’d rather have him than Mayfield any day.

  9. Pewter Power Says:

    It’s crazy how people act like Desmond Ridder is better than baker and he is last in this division! Our receiver make any quarterback look good

    Since when did a quarterback have to be accurate to connect with Mike Evans. Mike Glennon, Josh McCown. So keep looking at bakers last two years. I’m not saying we’ll have a winning record but we’ll sneak up on someone big

  10. KingLDavid54 Says:

    Do we know if it is possible that the animosity that clearly existed between Todd Bowles and Tom Brady was due to the fact that TB12 consistently and thoroughly OWNED the Jets at least twice each year from 2015-2018 while Bowles was their HC (it was, after all, a 1-7 record against the Pats)? One would think that level of butt-whooping would hurt the ego…

  11. Buc4evr Says:

    Good, good, let the hate flow…. Hope the Bucs are using this for bulletin board material. “It time to wreck s**t.” Go Bucs!

  12. Cobraboy Says:

    Seems Bowles is just “bowling” them over with his HC acumen.

  13. Joe Says:

    I’d be surprised if any NFL “decision-maker” has much insight into the potential for any team outside of their own (which they oftentimes lack as well).

    You don’t think GMs get regular reports from their pro personnel department whose only job responsibilities are to scout 31 other teams?

  14. Salary Cap Hell Says:

    Yawn…. all this before 1st game is played….

    we will know before half time of the 1st game what we have…..

  15. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    After three years, it’s a good change to be the underdog.

  16. MadMax Says:

    When we beat the iggles, thats when everyone will start paying attention….

    Yeah, you heard it here first!

  17. Dwayne Cone Says:

    If there is a chance Bucs might make the Playoffs it will be with help of the AFC North and West. Those two divisions could break the hearts of potential NFC wild cards. Although if Bucs fail to do well against the NFC North and AFC South it’s not going to make a difference regardless of how they do in their division.

    Glennon is 6’7″ and McCown is 6’4″ and it makes a big difference when the pocket is collapsing and there is no escaping to the outside.

    Usually my stats and comments are backed up by sources from those that are a lot smarter than me but this is just my Humble Opinion on this one.

  18. Defense Rules Says:

    What kind of a stat is that Joe? So 4 suits out of 18 (roughly 22%) believe that the Bucs will be bad this year. Wow, that surely has JL shaking in his boots. Not to mention that the question … ‘which three teams will surprise people in a bad way?’ … is rather nebulous & open-ended (each of the 4 folks answering Bucs may have each had a different view of what ‘bad’ is).

    And Lord C, what those 4 felt might be indictment of Bowles’ reputation, but I’d be willing to bet that any of those 4 were needing to hire a Defensive Coordinator & Todd Bowles was available, they’d definitely give him a call. It’s strange that Bowles & Dennis Allen both became HCs last year of teams who’d been quite successful with legend QBs & offensive HCs (Payton & Arians) AND which both had salary CAP issues. Yet rarely does anyone jump on Dennis Allen for going 7-10 last year. I wonder why.

  19. Dlavid Says:

    Not naming captains … Bowles is a clown !

  20. Beej Says:

    NFL suits thought Trey Lance was worth 3 #1’s and a #3….

  21. KingLDavid54 Says:

    @Joe, you missed the point. There’s a difference between employing scouting personnel and actually ascertaining the future potential of 30 other teams in the NFL. Boy, if your logic held true, those scouts would be better served in Vegas than they would in Tampa

  22. Hodad Says:

    What Beej said.

  23. Joe Says:

    @Joe, you missed the point. There’s a difference between employing scouting personnel and actually ascertaining the future potential of 30 other teams in the NFL. Boy, if your logic held true, those scouts would be better served in Vegas than they would in Tampa

    Yeah, Joe is missing your point. Totally.

    You suggested NFL GMs don’t know anything about other teams. Joe believes the opposite because they get regular reports from their pro personnel people about each and every player and team.

    Are you saying those reports are worthless or that you believe GMs don’t read these reports thus, when they have to sign dudes or make trades, they are just winging it by reading PFF grades?

  24. BUCS4LIFE Says:

    There is absolutely no way to make a informed decision about a team that NOBODY and I mean nobody has seen yet. We will all find out real soon, until then I for one am tired of all the hate n $hit talking. Go Bucs!

  25. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    Poor ol’ Baker. The media gang tackles him, after he’s down.

    A flag should be thrown, for “roughing the passer” lol

  26. Buddha Says:

    If these so cold experts really knew anything, they would be in Las Vegas wagering real money legally. Fact is, most of them don’t.

  27. KingLDavid54 Says:

    @Joe What I’m suggesting is simple… there’s a fundamental difference between thinking you know what the future holds and knowing what the future holds. NFL GMs and scouts are probably awash with data all day, but there’s a massive leap from said information to actual intelligence. You make the Mark Dominik’s of the world sound like Nostradamus.

  28. Rod Munch Says:

    There’s always a team that surprises each year, so who knows.

    But the BM combo, Bowles and Mayfield, is not confidence inducing.

    It’s still ridiculous that you actually saw great progress from Trask, and he’s benched, when everyone should already know what the outcome of BM is going to be. Yes, I know the Trask fanbois are the worst people on earth, so people want to see Trask benched just so they can spit in the face of the UF turds, but for the sake of the team, I’d much rather know if we got the QB of the future or not. Instead we’re going to watch this team go like 3-7 or something before Mayfield is finally benched, and based on history, Godwin and Evans will probably be injured, then finally we’ll see Trask for a few games with no one to throw the ball two, probably behind an injured offensive line with no depth, and while he’ll look good at times, he won’t at others, and we’ll still have no idea if Trask is the QB of the future or not – AND the Bucs won’t be bad enough to get one of the top two QBs next year.

  29. garro Says:

    Lots of uninteligable gibberish in this one Joe. This side of 45?… The Fourth Estate died a very quiet death years ago…Politics Joe…really?

    Stoped reading…

    Go Bucs!

  30. Show Me the TDs Says:

    They hate Mayfield and are rooting for him to fail, because he’s been an arrogant little $h!t since college. Now he’s our arrogant little $h!t and I’m rooting for him to succeed!

  31. Dale Says:

    If only someone would wake bowles up on Sundays at 1:00