“Precipitous Dropoff”

September 3rd, 2023


Those who see the NFL world in simple terms have a kindred spirit on a popular hollering show.

Joe is a fan of Screamin’ Stephen A. Smith, who is a very cerebral cat when he’s not screaming on the BSPN airwaves.

Smith joined a First Dump panel discussion last week trying to answer the question of what NFL team will see the greatest decline in 2023 from its 2022 production. For Smith, it’s a no-brainer. He says the Bucs are destined to be mauled in their backfield when the whistle blows on the handoff from Tom Brady to Baker Mayfield.

“I mean just stop the presses. I mean we’re just supposed to believe the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have better times on the horizon because Baker Mayfield is succeeding Tom Brady. Are you kidding me? One winning record in five years [for Mayfield]. One!” Smith began.

“Baker Mayfield, I’m not trying to say he’s some scrub; I know he can play. But c’mon, y’all, it’s a precipitous dropoff. Not to mention the fact that they had the worst rushing attack last year in football. Why should I believe it’s going to be any better this year? … I’m not sold on them. I’m not sold on them at all.

“For me, I love Todd Bowles. I respect him profoundly. Elite coordinator still has some things to prove as a head coach. But when you look at Baker Mayfield succeeding Tom Brady, I’m sorry. I think about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and I say, ‘Oh please. You’re not going anywhere.’ Even with Mike Evans as your all-world receiver.”

Joe is annoyed by analysts like Smith and Peter King. These guys think the Bucs will circle the drain this season yet neither will say they think Todd Bowles is a bad head coach, which obviously is a big reason they think a talented Bucs roster is destined for the NFL basement.

Why are they so afraid to point to Bowles?

Joe doesn’t think the Bucs are anywhere near as bad as so many are predicting. Joe is not a Bowles cheerleader, but Bowles may be the best head coach in the NFC South.

As for Smith’s argument that the Bucs will crumble after losing Tom Brady, Joe will counter that the offense was miserable with Brady, and that Tampa Bay’s offensive coordinator change represents a major energy boost if not an upgrade.

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. It’s a 1 o’clock kickoff and Ira will be hanging out starting at 11:45 a.m. 

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


62 Responses to ““Precipitous Dropoff””

  1. John J Barse Says:

    S.A. Smith is a buffoon

  2. stpetebucfan Says:

    For the many reasons stated here almost daily Tom Brady did not play like the GOAT last year. Divorce? Father Time? Team let down? Poor coaching? OL decimated before the start of the season. The reasons are many but they do NOT exclude the FACT that Brady’s decline from GOAT, to merely good, to mediocre at times actually took place. Brady was simply not able to carry the Bucs last year like he would have in so very many of his GOAT years.

    IE…Mayfield is NOT replacing the GOAT. No Stephen nobody can replace the GOAT including Tom Brady himself. He wasn’t the GOAT or even the best QB in the league last year and went 8-9. Mayfield just has to be decent on a good team. Is Mayfield at least decent? Are the Bucs are good team?

  3. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Why be annoyed? This team has everything to prove. An Oline that is not settled by any means. A big mystery at QB. And a Head Coach who has a losing record as a Head Coach. Would most people be surprised if Bowles is looking for a job in Feb 2024? No most think this team is just not ready to be any kind of a winning ball club. After last years 8-10 losing season, the Bucs have everything to prove.
    I hope they can, but, personally, I think they are a new talent cycle and a new head coach away from being a contender again. Time will tell.

    GO BUCS!!

  4. Brandon Says:

    Why are they are afraid to criticize Bowles. We know that answer. It’s the same answer of why he gets so much undue criticism but in reverse.

    What baffles me is how anybody that watched the Bucs play last year can say that Tom Brady wasn’t a liability. Criticize Mayfield all you want.. this offense is still gonna average close to a touchdown more per game this season. Addition by subtraction.

  5. J Says:

    He must have been a loud a$$ kid.

  6. Buc4evr Says:

    Hope the Bucs can prove the talking heads, or in Steven A. Smiths case the screaming head, wrong. The locker room bulletin board must be full of articles about how bad the Bucs are. Being an underdog is the best place to be. Time to wreck some s**t.

  7. PSL Bob Says:

    The last sentence says it all. It seems no one outside of Bucs Nation seems to know how bad an Offensive coordinator Leftwich was. Canales should make a big difference this year. I’m more concerned about the apparent discord on the team – White, Evans, etc.

  8. Tony1775 Says:

    We have a no name unproven OC, Baker is a backup QB, and Todd Bowles is a terrible head coach.

  9. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    Did these buffoons forget we were 8-9 (8-10 including playoffs)?

  10. Smashsquatch Says:

    (Brady + Lefty) 18 ppg

  11. Capt2fish Says:

    Google “Stephen a Smith apology” and it will return a list longer than Slim Pickens IMDB filmography credits. He is an @ssclown who uses tries to use shock and awe toilet lieue of an intelligent take and then invariably has to apologize for being insensitive, racist, xenophobic etc. In other words, I would be me concerned if he said something congruent with my feelings on a subject because it would mean I am probably on the wrong side of the argument.

  12. WyomingJoe Says:

    All of you Baker Haters are going to eat your words in just a matter of days! His back’s against the wall and his NFL future is on the line. BAKER WILL BE BACK!

  13. Beej Says:

    “Why are they so afraid to point to Bowles?”


    Had we signed Jacoby Brissett or Trey Lance we wouldn’t be hearing this crap from him/them

  14. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I think it’s possible Baker will start off with one good game. Then? Everything will start to fall apart.

    He has zero chance to succeed because he isn’t good enough. I don’t hate him though…I just see the reality of the situation.

    Smith is right about Mayfield. Completely. But he is also completely wrong on Bowles.

    My big concern is that Mayfield wins just enough to take us out of a top 3 pick…even if he got us to the playoffs (by some miracle), I do not believe for a second that he can continue to do so year after year.

    And that’s why I want Trask.

    Trask may or may not be the answer…it would be great if he is. But at least by putting him, the search for a good QB is underway.

  15. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


    Smith always gives the Bucs crap. He was a division rival.

  16. Larrd Says:

    Joe won’t say why Stephen A. won’t say why Peter King won’t say?

    You don’t say!

  17. Salary Cap Hell Says:

    I think it’s Coach Canales that will be the surprise, that makes the Bucs competitive. It will be difficult and the naysayers have every right to talk, because we have to earn it with a bunch of new no names.🤔

  18. kgh4life Says:

    The only reason the Bucs will sink or swim this upcoming season, is the head coach. They definitely have the talent.

  19. Crickett Baker Says:

    StPeteBuc, you hit the nail on the head. Tom even made Mike look bad last year. On top of all that, we have already won two more games than we did last year (and yes I am counting quite valuable((to me)) pre-season games). AND to put the cherry on the very top, we have also played 3 more interesting games than we had this time last year. I see no downside yet. Honestly.

  20. Glass Half Full Guy Says:

    As Joe points out, many changes this year. A hopefully better o-line should improve the run game and time in the pocket. A fully healthy Godwin, ME13 and Palmer as #3. A hopefully more dominant D. New OC!

    So what happens if the Bucs are BETTER this year? Will the nitiwts proclaim Baker > Brady? Stephen A’s take is just plain lazy.

    Green Bay was also 8-9 in the regular season last year, but missed the playoffs and lost Aaron Rodgers. I didn’t see any other big changes or upgrades there besides an inexperienced Love replacing Rodgers at QB so I’d expect GB to drop-off more than the Bucs. I think Mr. Big Mouth forgets it’s a team sport.

  21. Divis Says:

    Keep Mike. Johnny Wilson to the Bucs.

  22. David Says:

    One of the most reasons the NFL is down on Bucs:
    1.Back up QB named Baker.
    2. Newly made OL

    NLF is not wishful or dream as Toilet Bowles does a failed unwanted qb, Baker all of sudden wakes up and become a NFL efficient starter
    The stats of Baker has not changed since he was kicked out of town by three other teams. Uh, wait he made two Td’s in two games against 2ed team defenses.

  23. Buddha Says:

    This is a Buccaneers fan site so I understand why the focus is on our team. The presumption, however is that the majority of other teams have no weaknesses. That is false. The salary cap virtually insures that there are few if any teams that would not be crippled by the loss of one of their front line players. Look what happened to Buffalo in the playoffs, to Green Bay when they lost their top receiver to free agency, to the Ravens without their QB, etc. The NFL is a war of attrition. There is a reason that the majority of games are decided by less than a touchdown. When you lose your center, your best pass rusher, and your hall of fame tight end, you are at a major disadvantage. Our roster is certainly good enough to compete. But there are a lot things that can happen to make the wins better worse than expected.

  24. Da Bucs Guy Says:

    Soft tanking, Indeed.

  25. Jugheadfla Says:

    News flash, we sucked last year even with Brady so I don’t think the drop off would be noteworthy

  26. Hodad Says:

    What might be a bigger drop off from Brady to Baker? I’d say Brady from 2021 compared to Brady 2022.

  27. Slacker Says:

    Last season was a total dumpster fire. Easily one if the most disappointing and underachieving seasons. Baker or Trask could easily play better than Brady last year. He was average at best last season

  28. Joe Says:

    Trask may or may not be the answer. It would be great if he is. But at least by putting him in, the search for a good QB is underway.

    Only way that happens is if Mayfield is so miserable he has to be pulled off the field. Or, the impossible happens and Todd Bowles is canned before the regular season is over.

    (The Glazers have *never* fired a coach in midseason. Never. Not Greg Schiano, not Lovie Smith, not Raheem Morris when he had a 10-game losing streak.)

    Joe is typing the following for the 300th time: Todd Bowles needs wins. Unless Kyle Trask played so well he couldn’t be pulled off the field (he did not) there was no way Bowles was going to risk his career on a guy with nine pass attempts.

    Here is another little nugget about Trask: If a new coach with an offensive background comes in to replace Bowles, he’s very likely going to want one of the stud college quarterbacks coming out or he won’t take the job. And the Glazers will likely agree. The Glazers are probably all over Licht right now to get ready to draft a quarterback (in the first round).

  29. Pewter Power Says:

    CAN’T WAIT FOR KICKOFF!!! Please Canales be who we hope you can be even with Baker under center

  30. Pewter Power Says:

    Trask nor Baker will be day 1 starter in 2024 but I still hope we energy and excitement on offense

  31. ModHairKen Says:

    Baker will thrive. Period. End of story. He will finish his career in Tampa. People will say he’s bad as!!

  32. ModHairKen Says:

    Baker will thrive. Period. End of story. He will finish his career in Tampa. People will say he’s bad as!!

  33. Mike Says:

    Brady hurt us last year, we’re better off without him this year.

  34. RGA Says:

    Baker has not been a successful QB in the league or why would he be playing on his 4th team in just over two years, or why a veteran is getting paid a backup’s salary to QB a team. I totally understand the skepticism of Mayfield.
    With that said, there’s a chance he can be the QB that the Browns hoped he would be when they drafted him. I wouldn’t wager on it but you never know.
    I hope he shocks us all.

  35. Bojim Says:

    Our QBs are not trying to replace Brady. Bucs are going to surprise a shtload of people.

  36. Voice of Truth Says:

    Baker and Todd share 1-5 records for winning seasons…that is my largest reason for pessimism towards the season

    That is basically all

    I hope I am proven wrong but when the HC and QB1 have these weak resumes, how can anyone have any real confidence?

    If you think this team is a winner, it’s based on blind faith

    It certainly can’t be the performance record of any leader on this team…

  37. Voice of Truth Says:

    1 out of 5

  38. Bucswin Says:

    This time of media craziness is almost as bad as pre draft season. Nothing to report? Need clicks. Time for some baseless opinion pieces. I’ll check back in on Sunday. GO BUCS!

  39. D Cone Says:

    It seems to be a case of the Woman (Fans) that is emotionally attracted to a no good POS man (5 win team). Everybody outside the relationship knows it (90%+ of bets on the under of games won) but she just won’t admit it to herself. She’ll come up with all kinds of things to rationalize it. You don’t know him like I do.(team now has an elite qb that has finally found the right situation). He’s trying to change.(claim there is going to be a running game with no real certainty) We are working it out ( hiring a new OC that is about as certain as the run game).
    I guess until she gets the crap beat out of her week in and week out will she finally admit that everyone else was right. Then she will leave him and latch on to the next guy that comes along (2024 team) and hope that he’s better.

    Stock up on the frozen peas Ladies.

  40. confido75 Says:

    Every time I hear one of these talking heads I can only think of the Miss Cleo commercials. For $2.99 a minute Miss Cleo will tell you the Bucs future, Call Miss Cleo now!

  41. ATrain Says:

    Bowles isn’t the best HC in his own house

  42. Mike S Says:

    There’s a reason this is a consensus.

    But because Bowles had to get Mayfield in here we all have to drink the Kool-Aid and follow the company line?


  43. Defense Rules Says:

    Some great comments here; looks like we’re finally starting to talk FOOTBALL instead of following various melodramas. Buddha wins my vote for the best though …

    ‘Our roster is certainly good enough to compete. But there are a lot things that can happen to make the wins better worse than expected.’

    Preseason showed me that our Bucs do have enough talent to compete … against 2nd & 3rd stringers… but didn’t give me a clue how well we can do against other teams’ starters. Guess that’s why we play the games starting Sept 10th. Until the bullets start flying, everyone’s just spit-ballin.

  44. Defense Rules Says:

    Stephen A. Smith … “For me, I love Todd Bowles. I respect him profoundly. Elite coordinator still has some things to prove as a head coach. But when you look at Baker Mayfield succeeding Tom Brady, I’m sorry. I think about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and I say, ‘Oh please. You’re not going anywhere.’ Even with Mike Evans as your all-world receiver.”

    That’s actually several great comments by Smith, especially the first part about Bowles & Mayfield. Yes Todd Bowles does have a LOT to prove as a HC. And so does Baker Mayfield as our starting QB. Baker has played for 3 different teams, 3 bad teams. How much of their being bad is on Baker versus on coaching, talent, etc is anyone’s guess (usually BOTH come into play). But all I care about at this point is how well he does HERE in Tampa, starting Sep 10th.

  45. FrontFour Says:

    We need to demonstrate that the “talent” we have in the trenches can actually play football. We’ve got one proven guy on each side of the ball; Wirfs and Vita. Games are won up front. We are incredibly young and inexperienced in the trenches, that’s why the odds of this group winning more than 5-7 games is so low.

    It’s also ludicrous to pin this on Bowles. He inherited the SB Hangover, and yet somehow he’s supposed to get a roster laden with rookies, UDFA’s and guys on prove it deals – starting first and foremost with his QB – to be a playoff team. Throw in the distraction of two of the truly most talented players on the team – Mike and Diva White – threatening to move on because said Hangover has stripped the team of financial resources to pay them. And we’re in salary cap hell through 2025.

    This is Yr 1 of a 2-3 year rebuild, and I’m fine with that. These guys are going to make lots of mistakes. Our rookie OC is going to make mistakes. I’ll be shocked if we start any better than 1-3 in the first quarter. How about everyone just recognize where we are rather than throw stones at out coach, GM, and a bunch of players working their asses off to build a team.

  46. Old School Bucs Says:

    Sorry folks, this season has nothing to do with who is at QB or who is in the back field or all the other nonsense clowns talk about. Two things determine this year as it almost always does for football. 1. The O line. 2. The defense!!!! If the Oline is a mess like last year Mayfield will get destroyed and white will not get 1000 yards. Defense wins games.

  47. Mark hardt Says:

    Stephen A is a screamer and a showman. He is consistently wrong on sports and has no actual back ground such as being a head coach. He is a pot stirrer who makes decisions on his background, city he grew up in, and favoring people not based on the content of their character. Nobody is going to criticize Todd Bowles because they fear the woke cancel culture will attack them. It is hard to find unbiased media persons of any kind these days. Everybody is playing favorites. The best thing to do is to say i have no idea what is going to happen but it will be fun to watch.

  48. Mark hardt Says:

    The other inconsistency to point out is the QB and wins. I think it should be a stat for QB,s because he puts the ball into play for roughly half the game similar to a MLB pitcher. The QB can lose or win a game in a hurry. But fans and pundits dismiss it if it does not fit their pre determined opinion. As for Baker the Bucs did not have a lot of options. They have a salary cap and the Glazers have to use that extra money to spend on Manchester United in a league with no cap and their cross town rivals Manchester City is owned by an oil rich Emerite.

  49. Watch More ALL22 Before Commenting Says:

    Let’s look at the records of teams that Mayfield joined–

    Cleveland (2016-17) 1-31, no playoff wins in 3 decades *snapped losing streak in first game

    Carolina (2021) 5-12 (Rhule was 11-27 all time) *engineered week 1 comeback in first game blown by defense

    LA Rams 3-8 (mid-season 2022, off waivers) *snapped losing streak in first game
    on 48hr.

    Tamp Bay 8-9 (2022) *division champion on a down year

  50. Watch More ALL22 Before Commenting Says:

    Tampa Bay is indisputably the best roster and team Mayfield will have EVER joined.

  51. Watch More ALL22 Before Commenting Says:

    Based on the White and Evan’s drama of late, the distraction of the QB competition, a coach on the hot seat, a new OC a GM clearly looking past THIS season…

    I’d take Mayfield OVER Brady in these ugly circumstances, as he has a track record of getting something done when things are not ideal.

    Brady on the other hand bailed on NE, a team he won SIX superbowls when the roster aged and the defense stopped being elite.

    Mayfield has the rep as someone who only succeeds when everything is perfect, when it’s actually always been Brady. Mayfield has never had a team near as good as Tampa Bay to play with.

  52. Watch More ALL22 Before Commenting Says:

    And before people say CLE was a superbowl squad – Mayfield has never played with a top 15 defense, hasn’t had a probowl receiver since 2019, and if you follow actual injury reports, hasn’t had more than a healthy top flight pass-blocking oline for longer than 6ish game stretch his entire career. Chubb, however, is a top 3 back.

    CLE in 2022 had a healthier oline, Brisset with a full offseason and playing well, both healthy RBs in Chubb and Hunt, added the best receiver they’ve had since 2019 OBJ went down with knee surgery in Amari Cooper, and they still didn’t even sniff the playoffs and their defense still blew game lead after game lead.

  53. Watch More ALL22 Before Commenting Says:

    This team will live or die off of coaching and offensive line. If Brady couldn’t play well under Leftwich and without Jensen, we can’t expect any QB to succeed unless those two variables change.

    Having a mobile QB happy to throw on the run was a smart move by Bowles & Licht, but unless Canales is the real deal its not gonna matter.

  54. D Cone Says:

    Watch More ALL22 Before Commenting Says

    Carolina (2021) 5-12 (Rhule was 11-27 all time) *engineered week 1 comeback in first game blown by defense

    Couldn’t have been.

    3 plays -1 yards Punt
    3 plays -4 yards Punt
    5 plays 3 yards Punt
    5 plays 12 yards Interception
    3 plays 3 yards Punt
    4 plays 3 yards Punt

    Had to be Panther Defense’s fault.

    Might want to practice what you preach and watch the
    All 22 and not just the Highlights

  55. NE Fan Says:

    Joe anyone stating Brady was a liability should not be aloud to post. That means they know absolutely nothing about the game. DR, dude when are you going to stop blowing the Bowles horn. Bowles & Mayfield have one thing in common, they both have only one good season as a starter/HC under them. FYI Cleveland had Beckham before the injury and Landry, both great WR’s and the best running tandem in the league not to mention a decent D. One might say Cleveland didn’t win because if Mayfield. 8-10 was rhe best last seasons team could do with a lame HC & OC and a lazy overrated D. We seem to forget in 2020 & 21 Bucs d backfield was decimated, Gronk went out with a collapsed lung/ribs, no Godwin, the oline was missing Wirf come playoff time, Lenny hammy, Evan’s out, LVD & JPP injuries, not to mention the AB ordeal and a shatty ST unit. Am I missing something? They managed to win. Enough with the Bowles excuses, he’s the problem!!!

  56. NE Fan Says:

    Oh and NO Vita Vea for 3/4 of the season.

  57. Watch More ALL22 Before Commenting Says:

    @DCone. Sigh.

    Having just rewatched that game Mayfield put Carolina up in the fourth quarter once he was allowed to play outside McAdoo’s offense and in the hurry-up.

    Had the Carolina defense been able to stop Jacoby Brisset from marching down the field unopposed, had the Defense not roughed the passer on Brisset on the last series. Had Cade York wouldn’t have needed a 58 yard field goal in his first NFL game to put CLE up over CAR, negating Mayfield’s multiple TD drives in the second half.

    Yeah, that’s on the defense.

    “You do understand what a “comeback” is, right?

    You clearly understand it about as well as you understand quarterbacking and football.

    You need to start watching ENTIRE games and not cherry-picking stats. You need tape and see the blown blocking snaps and drops, so you can understand how a team needs to come back.

    In fact, you need to stop commenting, entirely.

    Enjoy your pointless hating, I’ll keep watching tape so I can remain confident in my assessments.

    P.S. you’ve lost the privilege of future responses.

  58. pmarcello Says:

    Steven A is a racist and a HJYPOCRITE. He trashes the the white guys while at the same time giving the black coach a pass. Woildn’t give spit for his biased doggerel. There will be no precipitous drop off. In fact there will b e a thrilling storyline as Baker and the Bucs shake up the whole league. The simple fact is that the Bucs have reloaded and Baker is a much better QB this year than Marcia [Brady]was last year.It will show right out of the gate. Kurt Couins has always been underated especially by biased teven A. But the truth is many of the big losses which were blamed on Cousin by the slanted racist fake news pundits were directly due to the Viking’s sucko defense. And that is exactly what is going to happen on Sunday.

  59. NE Fan Says:

    pmarcello, your point is valid with Smith but your comments make me believe you’re no better. Again comparing Mayfield to Brady is comparable to Bowles and Andy Reid. NOT EVEN CLOSE, you moron.

  60. Beej Says:

    Canales on Mayfield:

    “Then we had an indoor practice one of the days after that and he launched a 67-yard post route on the money to Mike [Evans] and it was like… Here is the coverage. I could see his wheels turning, he looked, he saw Mike, everything was perfect. He threw the ball way down the field on the money and Mike walked in. It was just like goosebumps. ‘Woah, that was cool.’”

  61. pmarcello Says:

    Ne an. I understand your sentiments. You are rightly proud of your team and it’s accomplishments and I will willingly admitt that Tom pulled off some of the most remarkable dramatic moments in NFL histoiry. But I can’t grant him GOAT status. That is too much contolled cripted fake news media superhype and Goodell,Kraft,and Belichek are way too slick and suspicious for me. You you are an NE fan but I grew up in Pittsburgh.When I was a junior in Highschool the drafted Rocky Blier,when I wa a enior the drafted Joe Greene .When I wa a frehman [at ND they picked Terry Bradshaw and then Hamm and Harris and Swan and Lambert and all the rest. I watched the Pat decades later when it looked they knew Our plays. Iwatched Brady throw deep on third and long in the forth quarter and witnessed those miracle pass interference calls that resulted in 1st and ten on the Pgh 1 yardline. It happened too many time to be legitimate. It was coincidence beyond probability and I don’t buy. To me Bradhaw or Montana have a better claim to being the Goat. Oh yeah as to mister Obvious and his creaming and boasting about thi Caleb kid. Forgetabout it. Can’t wait to ee him cruhed by the Irish in South Bend come October. Mr Obvious sond like teven A. Another Black racist?

  62. LoveMeSomeBucs Says:

    I wouldn’t listen to Smith if he was yelling fire in a theater