September 27, 2023

Bucs Life

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Be Prepared, Season 48 Could Be A Long One

4 min read
Todd Bowles at practice via

The team says they will be a player in the NFC South in 2023

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made it known early on following the 2022 season that the team was not going into a rebuilding situation in 2023. They believe that they will be a player in a weak NFC South Division. Meaning the playoffs are a good possibility in 2023 in their summation. The Last season the Bucs were a very good team was 2021 (They should have another Lombardi in the showcase besides the 2020 and the 2002 trophies). On defense, the Bucs still retain 8 of the 11 starters from the 21 season. On offense, the number is only 4. It’s safe to say that the defense will be the better of the two units and is expected to help the offense again as much as possible. I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that the defense has a hard time stopping teams when they have to. The “big play” always seems to be just around the corner. Carlton Davis getting toasted is high on the list of possibilities, in my opinion. If the team is going to end up over .500, the defense must be better than it was last season and lead the team by example. I summarize all that by saying the stars on this defense are going to have to play up to their abilities/potential; consistently.

Speaking offensively

On offense, it’s just not that simple. Tom Brady’s departure at quarterback has left the team with a virtual black hole — at the position. Baker Mayfield was brought in on the cheap, more for what he hasn’t done (potential) than what he has done (reality). He is in competition with third-year rookie Kyle Trask for the keys to the ship. If Mayfield doesn’t win the competition; then he was a complete waste of reasonable payroll. My feeling is that Mr. Mayfield will win the job. He does have at least 3 to 4 seasons as a starter under his belt — and that’s a huge advantage when competing. He will start the season out pretty hot and then start throwing interceptions. His play will be inconsistent at best. Ineffective play and or injury will, at some point, give Kyle Trask a realistic shot at making his mark. Either player behind center should give one a moment of pause at the least. With Trask, you at least have room to grow and improve. With Mayfield, you should get more of the same that we have all seen before. Being that the offense generally goes the way the quarterback takes it, it’s hard to imagine the Bucs smacking people around on offense very often. Turning the ball over excessively is unacceptable and will cause the losses to stack up like outgoing child support payments at Nick Cannon’s house. The offensive line should be fine with Jensen’s return and the moving of Tristan Wirfs from right to left tackle. Rachaad White should now be able to blossom as the lead horse in the stable. We should also see more this season from Ke’Shawn Vaughn. If those two can stay healthy, they should offer a nice one-two punch.




Could it all come together as One Buc imagines?

Certainly, there is the chance that Mayfield could rise above and not hinder but boost the offense into one that can — at will — take advantage of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Russell Gage at the receivers positions. Rookie wide receiver Trey Palmer out of LSU/Nebraska is one to watch for sure; he could be exciting. Surely it would not be impossible for Mayfield to do this. So it’s possible the offense could be pretty good. How likely is it, though — I ask you? I have felt all along that the Bucs should have just declared the team was still in a rebuild and thrown Trask in as the starter. I mean, if the team is going to struggle to reach .500, it seems it would have been the perfect time to throw Trask in for a season and decide his future on how well he plays — maybe then, draft a quarterback in 2024 if need be.

Realistic outcomes

I love my Buccaneers. I hope and wish nothing but the best for this 48th edition of my favorite team. I’ve become much more realistic in my older age. But, try as I may, I cannot fathom my beloved team finishing better than 9-8 in 2023. We need more talent to be very good again. Anything less to me is rebuilding back to that place where we were in 2020/2021. Until we get there again — and we will, at some point — prepare yourselves for some tough seasons. Starting with this one, it could be a long one. Go Bucs!!