Bucs Will Get Better

October 21st, 2023


A few weeks ago, Jeremy Fowler of BSPN was at the Bucs-slimy Saints game in New Orleans. Joe has seen him around the Bucs a time or three since training camp. So when Fowler types about the Bucs, he’s no total stranger shooting from the hip.

Trying to figure out the best team in a bad division, Fowler puts his money on the Bucs — barely. He sees a decent team with room to grow.

The inconsistency throughout the [NFC South] makes this an arduous task. The Buccaneers, Falcons and Saints have looked flat at times, but their highs are high. Give me Bucs. They get a slight edge on overall talent (though it’s close), and the running game still hasn’t come around, which tells me Tampa Bay’s offensive line is still adjusting to the new scheme under offensive coordinator Dave Canales. There’s room for improvement there over the next few months.

For the Bucs to improve, Baker Mayfield can’t nosedive as badly as he did last Sunday against the Lions. Mike Evans has to return to the receiver Joe knows and loves. And for crying out loud, Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canales needs to either figure out how to coach up Bucs running backs to be more productive or squeeze AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht to trade for a back before the end of the month.

(The trade deadline is a week from Tuesday, Halloween.)

Joe still maintains with the Broncos preparing for a firesale, Javonte Williams would be a nice, inexpensive acquisition — even while he gets stronger after a major knee injury.

The running game of the Bucs is so putrid, not trading for a running back would mean the team isn’t serious about winning.

28 Responses to “Bucs Will Get Better”

  1. Rod Munch Says:

    Again, trading for anyone short of Barry Sanders isn’t going to magically fix the running game. If there’s no hole there, there’s no hole. If the Bucs insist on adding someone, then get a change of pace back with some juice, like Ronnie Brown showed in the preseason. But unless the RB you trade for can break 7 tackles before they get to the line of scrimmage, it doesn’t matter who you bring in, the results will be the same.

    With that said, I have a simpler solution.

    Don’t run the ball.

    The Bucs didn’t really run the ball in 2020, 2021, and 2022, and they got 3 playoff appearances and a Super Bowl out of it.

    Now you don’t have to be as dumb as Leftwich last year, and when you do run the ball, you do it in the same situation over and over and over again – and Canales has done a good job of mixing it up, but this team was literally built to pass the ball. So instead of trying to put a square peg in a round whole, how about you adjust the system to the players. Use the screen game, pitch the ball outside, do some sweeps, run behind Wirfs – and if none of that helps, then just don’t run the ball. Getting a short passing game going use the TE and flares to the RBs, all that stuff can replace the run game. But the big thing is don’t just run up the middle to meet some stupid quota that Todd Bowles set for the team. There’s no need to be in 2nd and long all the time, like the Bucs were last year, because Bowles still thinks it’s the 1970s.

  2. Mostly Peaceful Trask Fan Says:

    Bucs need a big time running game to hide Baker’s flaws.

    Worst in the league is a disaster.

    Otton can run routes and catch but he can’t block at all. He’s out there 90% of the plays. Bucs RBs are not good either.

    Defense has been carrying this team. Best case scenario is .500 team.

  3. Nate Says:

    Bucs trade mike Evans for giants barkley!

  4. garro Says:

    Only if we can get him for free Joe. Come on now.

    Go Bucs!

  5. dmatt Says:

    Evans can’t continue dropping balls n getting offensive pass interference. Canales has to realize defenses are planning n prepping defensive lineman to just get their hand up in the air to bat down Mayfield passes. This happened during preseason it seems to work n we’re doing nothing to adjust. Let’s go up tempo offense n pass, pass, pass, then hit them with the big run play. This was the reason BA decided to unretire just to coach Bucs big time passing offense to the Super Bowl.

    Im putting the following players on the hot seat:
    JTS- he’s a fluke. Inconsistent. Miss out on potential sacks due to lack of field awareness. Run around like a chicken with his head cut off. Plays he make just happen to fall in his hand i.e., pure luck.
    JDean-If anyone thinks JDean is worth the contract he received please think again. He’s passive, play confused n out of position.He does the bare minimal to make a play. Inconsistent.
    MEvans-Too much whining, always looking for PI in his favor. He gets away with pushing off but it tends to catch up with him on critical downs.
    RWhite- just need to hit the whole n quit stutter stepping n dancing. Has very reliable hands as receiver.
    RHainsey-Gets pushed around at ease.
    RJarrett-rookie mistake. Need to get tough. Caused DThompkins to lose yards on what should’ve been a big gain.
    COtton-Does not have that killer instinct to block for others. Very timid n passive blocker. Why do we continue to draft tightends who can’t block i.e., OJ Howard, Cam Brate, PDurham, n yes, Otton
    KVaughn-we need to move on from this guy. He brings attitude, lack of responsibility, n bricks for hands.
    RNeal-I was never impressed with him when he was with Seahawks. Inconsistent. L He made one or two all star plays for Seahawks. He’s a fluke.

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    Atlanta is the team that concerns me more than any other for the remainder of our schedule. They actually match up very well against the Bucs IMO. They’re healthy AND they still have their BYE. They’re 3-3 now and, other than the Bucs, they don’t face a team for the rest of their schedule that has a winning record at this point.

    I’m convinced that in the not-too-distant future they’ll move on from Desmond Ridder and turn the reins over to Taylor Heinicke (why they’re sticking with Ridder I have no idea). Heinicke’s a better passer under pressure and he sports a 4.8 YPC rushing average to boot.

  7. D1 Says:


    Surprisingly you didn’t mention the falcons defense! They’re no joke!
    Our offense is going to have to get the details right !

  8. Popcorn Mike Says:

    Nate, the only thing with Barkley is he’s had a lot of injuries

  9. Beej Says:

    Had this argument last season with my buddy (an annoying Eagles fan)

    “I see your problem, you aren’t running the ball enough”

    (me) “but we CAN’T run the ball, CLEARLY”

    “THAT’S because you’re not DOING it enough”

    Bucs could run up the gut 100 times in a row, mebbe get two over 5 yards

  10. K_bassuka Says:

    Like it or not Joe, the main if not only reason why the Bucs are underperforming on Offense is because of Barker. He is a middle of the pac QB at best when everything is perfect around him which means he is NOT a franchise QB.

  11. Pewter Power Says:

    Of course they are serious about winning. That has already been confirmed. You have to win with what you have and who you drafted and this poor cap year. They are paying their backs next to nothing

  12. Since76 Says:

    The Bucs won’t be able to run until Baker shows he can throw. No fear of the pass let’s them focus on the run.

  13. BakerBucs Says:

    how is it that 2 weeks ago everybody around the league was non stop bragging bout baker he had good stats compared to the rest of league. Now u jokers say he sucks middle of the road QB u people say stupid stuff.i saw many good things out of baker last week a bad defense after 1/2 time a bunch of bad stuff from Evans there were 2 touch downs blown by him trey palmer 2 bombs where he pulled up or didn’t excel
    when he shud have on his runs.there r many of u guys with so called so much knowledge u shud b the coach plz u wud not stand a slim chance in he’ll so shut up with u r beer soaked knowledge

  14. ManU fan Says:

    As many film analysts have already pointed out, the issue is the offensive line not the running backs. Also the TEs are not blocking well enough.

  15. Carter Says:

    K_bassuka Says: “he is NOT a franchise QB”

    100% agree. Which raises the question: Why the hell are we playing Mayfield? We’re not going to win the Super Bowl. We’re not going deep in the playoffs. We’re either missing the playoffs or losing in the first round.

    So why play Mayfield when we can play a young properly-sized quarterback who looked at least as good Mayfield in training camp and in preseason games and who could be our future? Even if Trask doesn’t work out it’s a win because we then know what our drafting priorities are in 2024. It makes no sense.

    If the answer to this mystery is Bowles thinks Mayfield will save Bowles’ job, Bucs management needs to step in and do what’s best for the organization. Because this ain’t it.

  16. Bojim Says:

    Barkley wants to stay in NY and gets hurt too much. Sorry. Have no solutions but maybe Sneak can get mire touches tomorrow. He needs to get the ball. Can’t give up on him after a few runs.

  17. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    Agree to an extent Carter – and I believe there is a time limit on this Mayfield experiment. If the Bucs have a losing record and look bad with say 6 games to go, I think leadership pushes for the Trask experiment to see what we actually have vs need.

  18. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    Speaking of experiments, soon it might be time to see what Tucker can do for a full game. College tape shows him sliding through small holes, unlike White who ran wide open.

  19. Carter Says:

    @74 Bucs Fan

    The problem with waiting until we have a losing record and only a few games left before playing Trask is that Bowles will not want Trask to look better than Mayfield and make Bowes’ decision to start Mayfield look bad, and so Bowles will limit the playing time of the offensive starters, thereby likely inhibiting Trask.

    You do realize that to this day – 5 games into his third season – Trask has not taken a single snap with the starting offense in either a regular season OR preseason game? Think about that. It speaks volumes of the dysfunctionality in this organization. Future quarterbacks coming out of college should be wary of going to the Bucs. I wouldn’t be surprised to see one pull a John Elway.

  20. Mike S Says:

    They hate Trask. He’s not going to get his shot with the organization. The current regime would rather tank the season then give him an honest shot.

  21. J Says:

    Ridder will help us win this game. Not worried.

  22. ModHairKen Says:

    You people whining like little baby girls over Mike Evans. Sickening. And the Trask apologists, get a grip.

    Baker Mayfield and Mike Evans are MEN.

  23. Cobraboy Says:

    I agree with DR: anyone looking past the Falcons could be mightily disappointed come 4 pm Sunday.

    If this team expects to win, they need to collectively pack their feces in a tight bag. The Falcons have the ability to exploit the same weakness the Iggles did: a grinding run game with a physical OL.

    Pack the box to stop that, and Ridder can, in fact, throw the ball around well.

    I don’t think the Bucs are as good as Casuals do, nor do I think the Falcons are as bad as Casuals think.

    Bucs lose this one, and the wheels could fall off.

  24. BillyBucco Says:

    Geez we lose a game and everyone starts again on how the sky is falling.
    Tampa is still ranked in the Top 10 in sacks per game.
    The problem is NOT the rush.
    The problem is OFF Coverage.
    We need to play man more. Period.
    With almost this same group we shutdown Brees in a Playoff game by playing MAN.
    We had success dropping into a deep zone in game 1 and Bowles has done it repeatedly this year. Doesn’t work. Even Ridder can check it down and watch Dean or Neal miss a tackle.
    The key to this win is our LBs stopping the run game outside.
    I’m not concerned about runs up the middle.
    We should be glad Ridder is playing and not Heinike. That dude torched us.
    Still think the Bucs might actually destroy the Falcons.
    One more game for Ridder and it will be his last as a starter.

  25. Cobraboy Says:

    @BillyBucco: the problem is not the D. The problem is the O.

    Philly seal-clubbed this team, period, end of story.

    Detroit wore this team out because the O was impotent.

    If the O lays another egg, the Falcons can beat the Bucs.

    The KEY to winning is the O scoring at least 22 points. That’s a tall order from this bunch. We’ve seen O coaches and players flap their gums…but no sound comes out.

  26. Mark hardt Says:

    Denver is as bad as Cleveland with an overpaid under perfoRming QB. Baker did not play that bad against the lions. He got unlucky on the batted pass and Palmer not running ful! Speed on the two over throws.

  27. CrazyBucs Says:

    Red Monch – there are holes and no back to run through them. Saying we didn’t run the ball. The year we won. The Super Bowl is ridiculous. Ronald Jones had 20 yards short of 1000 yard rushing season. One of them was a 98 yard touchdown. And that was while splitting reps with Leonard Fournette. Plus, we had backs that could catch the ball out of the backfield and run like the wind (like the chiefs said in the micd up Super Bowl) we run angry runner multiple times. The only reason Rojo didn’t have 1000 yards is because we had to get Antonio Brown his incentives in the last game, which was such nonsense.

  28. Captain Vic Says:

    Okay 3 things that need to be said and they’re all inter-connected:
    1. Bucs D last week, especially our front 7 + Antoine Winfield,
    looked like they were game ready, and had a really good first half.
    Even kept Detroit out of the end zone on short field. 1 really like
    Winfield as a Blitzer a la Ronde Barber, even w Devon White also,
    set tone early in games. It seems like Coach Bowles starts off like
    a Rocky movie where D has to get beat up/gashed before he
    starts getting aggressive. If Kancey is as advertised, then maybe
    we have the luxury of getting pressure w. just front 4. By 2nd half
    our D was gassed, played almost double snaps as Lions D
    2. The “run” game: Calales seems like a really nice guy, but there’s
    that old expression nice guys finish last. He was supposed to
    bring this innovative “Zone blocking” creativity, but our Run game
    looks way too much like Leftwhich, predictable, boring, run
    straight up the middle. Just like last 2 seasons, not using the skil
    set and speed on our roster. How about some motion, some end
    arounds, some fake end arounds with Devin Tompkins and Trey
    Palmer? Stretch the field sideline to sideline, tire out those big D
    lineman. Plus White seems more like a flanker back/pass catcher
    then a banger running up the middle.
    3: QB: I like Mayfield, and I remember the initial success he had in
    Cleveland, Plus I just happened to catch that game last year where
    he led the Rams to a victory and was really brilliant after only
    being with the team for less than a week. The tipped ball early in
    the first quarter last week would have been a TD to Evans, easy.
    That was just bad luck, and worse an interception to boot. The
    couple times he overthrew Trey Palmer, and Evans my only advice
    to him is put some air under the ball! He was trying to be too
    perfect and hit them right in stride but they were wide open and if
    ne lays the ball out there, those are 2 or 3 more big plays, or TD’s
    Go Bucs! 1st Place!!