Saved By The NFC South — With An Asterisk

November 10th, 2023

Bucs coach Todd Bowles.

A former NFL suit thinks the Bucs are one very lucky team.

Former NFL general manager and long-time front office man Michael Lombardi, who fetched coffee for the likes of Bill Walsh, Al Davis and Bill Belicheat, thinks the Bucs are one very fortunate team.

Fortunate to be in the NFC South.

Lombardi, who now works for VSiN and co-hosts the popular podcast “GM Shuffle,” gave a rundown of teams that are playoff-bound, possible playoff teams and teams focused on the draft.

In Week 10, Lombardi noted the only reason the Bucs have a prayer of meaningful games in January is the NFC South is trash. Otherwise, the Bucs would be in full-blown Draft 2024 mode.

Tampa Bay – Being in the NFC South offers hope. Watching their offense offers less hope. Another team making the list solely for their division.

Joe really likes listening to Lombardi’s pod and reading his insight. Lombardi quite often talks about biases in personnel evaluations. He’s not wrong, but Lombardi has a pretty significant bias when it comes to the Bucs offense.

Lombardi has two sons who are NFL assistants. One was an assistant quarterbacks coach for the Stinking Panthers last year. Guess who he coached? Baker Mayfield.

Carolina s(p)itcanned its staff in January.

Last year and through the offseason, Lombardi often said Mayfield was quite possibly the worst quarterback in the NFL. Think Lombardi’s connection to Mayfield might provide just a wee bit of bias?

(Lombardi is also a big Todd Bowles fan. Notice Lombardi comes from the Bill Parcells tree of NFL folks. Guess who else does? Bowles. These Parcells/Belicheat types really, really, really stick together and have each others’ backs.)

Joe is not saying the Bucs offense reminds folks of the 1984 49ers or the 1999 Rams or even the 2020 Bucs. But when Joe hears Lombardi smack around the Bucs offense when you factor in who the Tampa Bay quarterback is, Joe has to interpret Lombardi’s words with a jaundiced eye.

Whenever Lombardi speaks about Mayfield, it really should be slapped with an asterisk.

27 Responses to “Saved By The NFC South — With An Asterisk”

  1. Beeej Says:

    The QB play could be better I suppose, but it’s not why we sit at 3 and 5

  2. Seattle Buc Says:

    “Being in the NFC South offers hope. Watching their offense offers less hope.”


  3. Cchead Says:

    Can Baker play corner?

  4. GP Says:

    His bias for Bowles is more telling than his bias against Mayfield. He obviously hasn’t watched a minute total of Bucs play this season

  5. D-Rok Says:

    “Joe has to interpret Lombardi’s words with a jaundiced eye.”

    You sir, are a wordsmith. Great imagery there.

    First comes the liver,
    Then comes the eye.
    Soon the patient expires,
    With a grieving sigh.

    Just made that up just for you Joes.

    Keep up the great wordsmiffery!!! 😉

  6. David Says:

    Baker even sucked against the bad teams this year let alone beat the good team.

  7. Joe Says:

    Thank you D-Rok!

  8. Couch Fan Says:

    It might be bias, it might also be an informed opinion from someone who worked directly with Baker. My opinionis hes about as average as you can get.

  9. Voice of Truth Says:

    He is right about us being lucky to be in the nfc south

    Not a huge Baker fan but this smells more like Todd than Baker

    Baker doesn’t play D or STC and neither are very good at all – our pass D is bottom of the league, period

    Our record falls squarely in Todd’s lap and no one else’s

  10. TF Says:

    We are UNLUCKY to be in the NFC south. TWO straight years of 8-9 record or worse this year and still make the playoffs where we lose by 30 in the first game and THEN move down the draft board 7 spots because we made the playoffs and lose out on a 1st round pick who makes a difference year 1? Yea it completely sucks for our immediate future if we make the playoffs this year. Sorry but that’s the reality. And yes this rant is not worthy of punctuation or proper grammar.

  11. Dwayne Cone Says:

    Coach Vrabel* Played on some pretty good Defensive teams coached by some of the limbs of that Parcells/ Belechik tree.

    Played for Bill Cowher too who was in the Marty Schottenheimer Tree along with the likes of Tony Dungy, Tony Sporano, Mike McCarthy, and good ole Bruce Arians among others.

    Really don’t like the idea of playing the Titans in what is basically a must win with the 49ers next up. Even with a Rookie QB. Odds are Vrabel has had him watching tape of the 2023 dink and dunk champion all week.

  12. Bradybucs Says:

    Brady fans that are now Bucs fans cant stand Belichick. I root every week against the patriots. Belichick has been exposed

  13. orlbucfan Says:

    Glad to hear it. Bucs won the Stupid Bowl in TAMPA 3 years ago. First NFL team to do it. They won their division the next two years. BTW, it was the best team talent wise the Bucs had in their history. Go look it up. They did not need Tom Brady and all his demands to do it. Antonio Brown? That was an insult to every Bucs fan. The team DIDN’T need him!!

  14. Oz Len Says:

    Anybody watch the game last night? That was some quarterbacking there.

  15. Rod Munch Says:

    Mayfield had a career day, and it was 250 yards and 2 TDs, and most of that came on Mike Evans making an amazing catch on an underthrown ball.

    Oh, and the team lost.

    If you want to be as generous as possible to Mayfield, you can say he’s doing what Bowles wants, he wants a QB whose top priority is not turning it over. Well, great, that has you with the same number of wins as the Bears.

    Mayfield is Mike Glennon, and Mayfield is about to cause yet another entire coaching staff to get fired. When will people realize who the issue is and stop saying Mayfield is the victim of firings, instead of the cause?

  16. Rod Munch Says:

    Oz Len Says:
    November 10th, 2023 at 4:10 pm
    Anybody watch the game last night? That was some quarterbacking there.


    I’m not sure what to make of Young. Obviously it’s easy to point and laugh, and I think that is the most accurate take of the Panthers, but the offense around him is so bad, it’s really difficult to tell if Young is truly a huge, big-time bust, or just doesn’t have anyone getting open and nowhere to put the ball. Hopefully he just goes down as an all-time bust and it means the Panthers stink for another decade.

  17. Fred McNeil Says:

    I watched last night too. I agree it’s kinda hard to peg young just yet. Made lots of the gimmes. Didn’t do anything spectacular. The whole Panthers team stinks.

  18. Mike S Says:

    Joe Mayfield legitimately was the worst QB in football last year.

  19. Oz Len Says:

    Rod Munch Says:

    After seeing Bryce and CJ one week after the other I can’t imagine Panthers don’t secretly wish for a do-over. Bryce seems so tiny on the field. You never know with QB’s though.

    Mike S Says: Thanks Mike S., I can take that off my google list.

  20. WyomingJoe Says:

    Mike S: My hope is that Mayfield wins 7 out of the next 9 games just to make you sick. But I can only dream!

  21. TonySoprano Says:

    Everything I’ve seen of Bryce in the pros screams bust. He’s small, slow, timid, weak arm. He doesn’t elevate the players around him. He doesn’t posses any tangible traits that are even average, and he’s not showing ANY of the intangibles from college. I know it’s early but I’m calling a huge bust.

  22. Joe Says:

    Joe Mayfield legitimately was the worst QB in football last year.

    That’s a fair assessment when he played with the Stinking Panthers (Lombardi’s kid) last year. When he played with Sean McVay, he did OK.

    It serves no purpose for Lombardi to suggest Mayfield played better once he was on the other side of the country away from his son.

    See how this works? 🙂

  23. PanhandleBuc Says:

    Haven’t we learned anything from last year? Winning the division with a sub or record and getting a playoff game by default = worthless!!

  24. PanhandleBuc Says:

    *Sub-par record

  25. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    And there goes Mayfields athletic supporter WyomingJoe. Keep hoping junior. He is not able to win consistently. The only excitement he brings is escaping sacks. He definitely can’t hit anyone on the run accurately

  26. garro Says:

    More Tank talk Joe?

    Lombardi is just anoother media scumbag.

    Go Bucs!

  27. Donna Says:

    Too funny but actually it’s real 🤦🏻‍♀️