Five Things

December 4th, 2023

Mike Evans roasts Stinking Panthers cornerback Jaycee Horn yesterday. (Photo courtesy

Welcome to Victory Monday! It’s been way too damn long. All of a sudden the Bucs have new life. The playoffs don’t seem so crazy. And no, Joe is not going to apologize for being stoked about a win against a garbage team like the Stinking Panthers. Unlike college ball, wins mean something in the NFL. Grab your mug of coffee and let’s dive in!

Hope Is Alive

Yeah, in a way, Joe is looking at the Bucs’ April draft slot as more valuable than the Bucs earning the right to get their tails kicked in by the Cowboys in January. But Joe knows 53 players and perhaps a dozen coaches who don’t give two sh!ts about the draft. They want the playoffs.

Playoffs could mean job stability for most coaches and players. And hey, playoffs sure are a lot more fun to talk about than an outside linebacker from Utah State.

So yes, while many Bucs fans outside of One Buc Palace pine for a good draft slot, no one there outside the player personnel department wants a good pick over a playoff berth.

And yes, as weird as it sounds, with a 5-7 record, the Bucs are very much in the thick of the the NFC playoff chase.

Chris Godwin On Spreading The Ball Around

Chris Godwin is one of the best and most expensive receivers in the game. He was one of Tom Brady’s favorite targets. Brady leaves and now Godwin cannot buy targets. Hhhmmm?

Godwin is tied for 24th in total targets this season. He ranked 10th in the NFL last year.

Joe remembers last week when Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canales spoke and had this to say about the lack of targets for Godwin,

“Again, we’re talking about it again,” Canales said with frustration slightly showing through his usual sunny disposition.

Canales vowed (again) to get Godwin more targets.

Yet week after week, it’s not happening at the rate it should. So that tells Joe either the Bucs can’t find ways to target Godwin, they can’t scheme him open, they don’t know how to scheme him open, or they don’t want him catching so many passes. Nothing else makes sense.

At least publicly, Godwin would take a win over a target, so he suggested after his catchless game last night.

“I think it means that we have a bunch of guys across the team that are able to make plays,” Godwin said of having only three targets against Carolina. “We have to continue to make those in the big moments.

“I think [Sunday] was a testament of what we’re able to do. Again, we just have to do it more consistently, and I think that is where we are trending. Just take it day-by-day.”

Take away Godwin’s game-winning touchdown, what happens? The Bucs lose. It’s OK to get everyone involved and get everyone touches but if they can’t do much with the ball. If they can’t make an impact, if they can’t move the chains, if they can’t score, what’s the point?

At the end of the day, it’s not about who is trying to show they have the biggest sack because they can run between the tackles. It’s not about spreading the wealth like some football commune. It’s about scoring points and getting to ball to guys who have proven they can house it.

Let the big dogs eat!

Baker Mayfield Was Stressed Out

Joe hadn’t considered this until Bucs quarterback Baker Mayfield mentioned it last night after the game.

Mayfield was asked about Mike Evans reaching two separate yet incredible milestones yesterday while Evans racked up 162 yards and a touchdown to carry the Bucs to a needed win over the Stinking Panthers.

Joe never thought Mayfield was under much pressure joining the Bucs. Sure, there was pressure replacing Tom Brady even though Mayfield knew nobody could replace Tom Brady.

But that wasn’t the only source of stress for Mayfield. It seems Evans’ 1,000 receiving yards streak weighed heavily on Mayfield’s mind.

“I’m pretty damn happy that I wasn’t the guy to break that streak, to be honest with you,” Mayfield said.

Dang, Joe never thought of it like that but imagine if Evans didn’t get 1,000 yards this year? That would hang over Mayfield the rest of his career. Or worse, imagine if Pro Football Hall of Fame voters used that against Evans, that he didn’t stretch his record to 10 years and it cost him an induction into the Hall of Fame?

Talk about living with a burden!

Something like this happened to the Bucs last year, but Joe won’t dwell on it.

Backup Linebacker Was Dy-No-Myte!

If the next five weeks of the season are the final five weeks of inside linebacker Devin White’s Bucs days (and they should be unless he wants to work for a very heavily incentive-laden contract) the Bucs may have his replacement already on board. Backup linebacker J.J. Russell was simply dy-no-myte yesterday.

Consider Russell, in his second NFL season, made his very first start against the Stinking Panthers. And White, who was inactive with a foot injury, wasn’t missed one bit.

How did the Memphis product do? Russell was second on the team in tackles with seven, had a tackle for a loss and had his first career sack.

Excellent work.

The way Russell played, Joe doesn’t think the Bucs would miss White all that much. And Russell would be a whole lot cheaper.

Let Deutschland Have “Country Roads?”

OK, this really doesn’t have to do with the Bucs on the field, but it has to do with the Bucs’ stadium atmosphere and experience. It’s getting a lot of traction on Twitter, currently known as X, so Joe wants to address it.

The people, it seems, want Metallica — and they want John Denver to hit the “Country Roads.”

What the hell is Joe talking about? Well, turn the calendar back to Munich last year. The Bucs, from the very top of ownership down to the dudes who load equipment into trucks and planes, loved the Munich experience where the Bucs beat the Seahawks.

Oddly enough, that was one of the Bucs’ last impressive wins. #Sad

What stood out among many things that cold night was out of the blue during the final two-minute warning, the PA system at Allianz Arena broke out John Denver’s lame “Country Roads” song. And the Munich locals all stood up and sang as one, full throat, word-for-word. In English, no less!

It was wild. So much so that the singing continued when play resumed. Social media of Bucs on the sidelines show them looking up into the crowd with their mouths wide open in disbelief.

Joe had never experienced anything like that except for possibly an Alabama game where fans freaked out over “Sweet Home Alabama” or perhaps Florida State fans doing the Warchant.

From what Joe learned from the Munich locals, “Country Roads” is sort of a last-call song at bars across Bavaria, sort of their version of that nauseating Semisonic song “Closing Time.”

(At least in Bavaria, the good people of Germany love to break out in song after three or four of their big liter mugs of lager beer.)

So the Bucs, with marketing rights to Germany and with a return trip coming later this decade, wanted to bring some of that enthusiasm to The Licht House.

It didn’t work. First, the dumb song was played after the third quarter, not at the two-minute warning. And some fans screamed and hollered at the Bucs to knock it off.

Last night, maybe for the first time at home since the Bucs played that game in Munich, fans were not assaulted with John Denver after the third quarter. Instead, the entire crowd appeared to turn their phone flashlights on as the lights of The Licht House dimmed and “Enter Sandman” from Metallica blasted the night sky.

Joe’s not much of a Metallica guy (old Van Halen or AC/DC or Scorpions, please — maybe some UFO) but compared to John Denver, cranking Metallica to Joe is like listening to Eddie Van Halen in concert live.

The crowd went crazy. Joe guesses the Bucs are trying to capture a Virginia Tech vibe. It seemed to work.

Way too often, especially the way the Bucs have played this year, the crowd as The Licht House is terribly passive, way too docile. If Metallica gets people lit, so be it.

Regardless, it was a significant upgrade over John Denver.

32 Responses to “Five Things”

  1. realistic-optimistic Says:

    Godwin’s just being polite. if fans are tired of his lack of use, you know he is.

  2. It's Corn Says:

    If they played exciting football, they wouldn’t need any songs.

    Just one game I’d love them to come out and go no-risk-it, no-biscuit. They’d probably put up 30+ points and win. But no! we have to make sure our little defense doesn’t get all tuckered out!

    Dumbest coaches in the league.

  3. Allbuccedup Says:

    Five things equal five wins the horrible Falcons will put the Bucs two games back with four to go.

  4. Colonel Angus Says:

    Play Doctor Doctor by UFO. If it’s good enough for Maiden, it’s good enough for the Bucs.

  5. Beeej Says:

    They can take the money DW WAS gonna get and give it to the Bucs only offensive threat: ME13

  6. Ed Says:

    I agree with every point Joe makes here regarding the philosophy of having a system that doesn’t fit the players skills. The Bucs offense has been mismanaged and the proof of the overpaid underachiever Devin While was exposed yesterday when a backup played White’s position better than him.

    Having the younger guys playing on defense was actually an improvement as these backup linebackers can actually cover the middle of the field.

    Ryan Neal at linebacker is a lot better than watching him blow coverages in the secondary. Bench White the rest of the year. He doesn’t fit into the future plans of the team. Keep Chris Godwin healty and use him to move up in the draft next year to get the quarterback you need and resign Evans. He hasn’t slowed down and with a decent quarterback would have 1300-1350 yards in receptions this season instead of 1000. Bucs don’t need 2 #1 WR’s if they can’t get Godwin the ball.

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    Yesterday felt like anything but a win. More like the Panthers shot themselves in the foot 1 more time than we did. Starting with 6 minutes left in the 1st qtr, Panthers marched down the field to the Tampa 2-yard line in almost 7 minutes. Had a 2nd-and-goal from that 2-yard line, and ended up frittering away 2 downs on dumb play calls & settled for a FG. Left 4 points on the field & lost the game by 3 points, Duh!

    Bucs have done that very same thing time after time after time this season. Panthers just proved that they’re even better at it than we are I guess.

  8. President Canales Says:

    Know your audience.

  9. SB~LV Says:

    Lol.. last call for Bowles et al
    Hit the country road!

  10. Weebs10 Says:

    What streak was broken last year? I legit can’t remember!

  11. realistic-optimistic Says:

    @Weebs, Brady had his first losing season.

  12. Weebs10 Says:

    Oof. Yeah that’s rough. Thanks for the reminder

  13. Winny Testaverde Says:

    My guess is Brady’s streak of seasons above .500 football.

  14. Joe Says:

    Doctor Doctor by UFO


  15. Conte Piscatelli Says:

    I think you are right that we didn’t miss Devon White, but the defense certainly missed LVD

  16. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Is there a good hometown band that the Bucs could tap into?

  17. Craig Says:

    After watching that game I feel more like Wasting Away Again in Margaritaville. If that is Baker playing at his best, this team is toast.

  18. Bucs13 Says:

    Brady loved Godwin. Godwin was the guy he would look for on those intermediate throws. He also liked to spread the ball around. Mayfield gets way too locked in one receiver. His height also affects his vision and he has trouble seeing the middle of the field. That was a big problem with Russell Wilson. I I love that Mike is balling out, but for Godwin to only have three targets and no catches is egregious.

  19. Jeremy Says:

    The losing streak was broken ta dumbasses

  20. DoooshLaRue Says:

    The way this team is playing, the should have played Gilbert O’Sullivan’s “Alone Again, naturally” and everyone could have had a much needed cry.

  21. optimisticbucsfan Says:

    FSU honks please stop complaining. It’s unbecoming. You had the biggest L of them all – Jordan Travis.

    We barely beat the worst team in teh league at home.

    GTFO Joes. Stop whining about FSUcks.

  22. Georgia Redneck Says:

    Mayfield is a middle of the road QB. The Bucs are not going to draft a QB that can start. The Bucs are stuck with Mayfield. Trade Trask so he can get a real opportunity (he didn’t have a chance here as Bowles was smitten with Baker from previous thinking) and the drafted QB can be a back up.

  23. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    Watch Godwin get targets now that Mayfield helped Evans streak continue. He was so worried about that.

  24. Lakeland Steve Says:

    According to Bowles day after presser Godwin was more hurt than the Bucs let on and subbed for him more this game. Let’s hope he is better for Atlanta.

  25. vadertime Says:

    I watched the whole game and keep this in perspective – we played a garbage team with a rookie QB, albeit the #1 draft pick in 2023. Again, Bonehead Baker through an interception. I am not sure why the Bucs aren’t using Godwin more often and yes, he was one of the GOAT’s favorite targets. Mike Evans is definitely making a case for a large contract, but I don’t think Tampa can afford to give him a huge contract. Maybe an incentive laden contract with a crapload of bonuses for hitting certain metrics. We have too many needs in the offensive line and we need to keep our really good defensive players. BTW, Bowles still needs to go. Baker is not the future of the franchise, but he can be the caretaker while we develop a younger QB through the draft. Bowles will never get us back to the promised land. Maybe we should start a petition on getting Belichick down here. Ha, ha. Go Bucs.

  26. Mark hardt Says:

    Joe, stop creating drama where there is none. He is not getting open. Baker just throws to whomever is open. Somebody,s Dad and a certain ESPN host created drama in Cleveland that resulted in the Deshaun Watson disaster. He got a touchdown against Carolina. Baker is not coming back no matter what. Either he retires and gets into acting or he moves on.

  27. Joe Says:

    Watch Godwin get targets now that Mayfield helped Evans streak continue. He was so worried about that.

    Very interesting.

  28. Capt.Tim Says:

    Hell ya!
    Tampa is a rowdy, party city!
    And while it may not have the smarest fans( see”Trask mob”),
    They definitely can get fired up.
    Amp that place up! Add some speakers!

    Make Tampa a unique experience! Like playing football in a metal concert.

  29. David Says:

    When they turned the lights off for the Metallica song, my girlfriend jumped LOL
    Didn’t know what was happening.
    It was very cool.
    Couldn’t do that a dozen years ago before LED lights because the lights took 10 to 20 minutes to warm up and come back on.

  30. Conner50 Says:

    Five Things
    1. Start Trask
    2. Move Godwin all over the place and force him the football
    3. Throw it to R.White more than running him
    4. Don’t re sign Devin White, use that money to pay David another year
    5. Fire Bowles and call Jim Harbough tell him to name his price

  31. garro Says:

    Dandy Don with “Turn out the lights the party’s over” My all time favorite football tune!

    Funny, but that Country Roads tune is still heard in many of the bars here in Thailand. Oddly… in English here too. Not just at closing time either.

    Go Bucs!

  32. garro Says:

    Good Rule of Thumb for the folks in PR for the Bucs. Know your audience! Geez!

    Numerous boneheaded PR devices used this year. New PR lady at one Buc.

    Not to mention all the PC crap interfering with a game of football. If you want to make your political statements fine but do it on your time, on your dime and stop force feeding me during my Bucs game!

    Go Bucs!