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.
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.