Here we are, in peak NFL offseason form. With the draft having come and gone and the Bucs’ OTAs and mini-camp behind us, it’s almost time for training camp and the preseason to get started.

In the meantime the focus has shifted to analyzing the rosters that are beginning to find their formation heading into this final stretch before the season kicks off. With that in mind, Brad Gagnon of Bleacher Report ranked all 32 teams by their backup quarterback situation on Sunday, with the Bucs landing near the middle of the pack at 15.

Bucs QB Blaine Gabbert - Photo by: Getty Images
Bucs QB Blaine Gabbert – Photo by: Getty Images

While last year was a rotating door for the Bucs at quarterback, following a suspension of Jameis Winston, a stretch of poor decision making and periods of stellar play from Ryan Fitzpatrick, this year is looking significantly different with Bruce Arians at the helm. Winston enters his fifth-year option with no off-the-field issue or health issues on the horizon, and with no one breathing down Winston’s neck for a chance at the starting spot, he can enter training camp with a full focus on learning a new system and being quarterback that the franchise always hoped he could become when drafting him first overall in 2015.

Although there is no more FitzMagic in the quarterback room, Gagnon still believes that Tampa Bay is in a comfortable position should Winston be forced to miss any time this year with veteran quarterback Blaine Gabbert, long-time backup Ryan Griffin and rookie Nick Fitzgerald all in the mix for a shot at the backup role.

Read Bleacher Report’s full rankings here.

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28 COMMENTS

  1. Does Pewter Report want to comment on Chris Simms ranking he’s got Jameis 27th out of 32 starting quarterbacks.

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  2. Blane Gabbert is serviceable – but he is no answer as a starter. The Bucs are all in on Winston this year. Either he shows he can do it or he is let go as a free agent for someone else to try to resurrect his career. Hopefully the former and not the latter, but he has to stop the bone-headed interceptions. It will help if they have a running attack and a good defense of course, but if they don’t have either, all bets are off.

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  3. As a backup over the past 3 seasons, Gabbert has a .380 winning percentage, which doesn’t seem great, but the starters of those three teams have a combined .333 winning percentage over the same period. Statistically, Blaine has given his team a better chance of winning each season as a backup to Kaepernick, Palmer, and Mariota. I think Arians has as much faith in Gabbert as he has in Winston, so Jameis better not stumble out of the gate.

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  4. …sorry that’s over 4 seasons. 3 teams, 3 different starting QBs, although he was more of a co-starter with Kaepernick in SF in 2015 and 2016.

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  5. The ranking was Winston 27 of 40 QBs and not 32 starters suck-ass-slob. As usual trying be be a dipshit troll and not even factually correct. Who cares what Chris Simms thinks was he a pro bowler or the authority on QB’s?

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  6. Bucs fans for some reason..Hate hearing the truth. Well, as long as the PR does not ban me, I’m gonna always give it to you..Raw. And yes, I’ve been a Bucs fans since our teams inception. Thats before many of you here were even a..twinkle in your moms and dads eyes. Simms has Winston rated 27. Winston’s not that bad. But he is and has played for a perennial Loser. And to be rated high on a losing team guys, you gotta ball your A** off like Mike Evans. Winston is somewheres bewtween 19 and 22 in the rankings. Solution is quite simple..Start Winning Bucs!

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    • I agree with you that Bucs fans hate hearing the truth for some reason. Well, I take that back because the truth can simply be rooted in opinion. I would say Bucs fans for some reason hate hearing the facts. I think it’s because if the facts don’t agree with their opinion they must not be facts.

      One fact that I will point out is that Winston and Evans are not playing for a perennial loser…they are perennial losers. It’s a team sport that has a team record and they both have career losing records as Buccaneers. It’s not state of mind or a matter of perspective or opinion. The definition of a loser is “one who loses”…period. The definition of a winner is “one who wins”…period. It doesn’t stop there though. We as fans of the Bucs and the local media who cover the Bucs and the owners of the Bucs and the front office of the Bucs are all losers in our respective roles to the Buccaneers. We might be winners at our jobs, softball or basketball games, marriages or churches but until the Bucs start winning we are losers in our roles to the team.

      We all have to do a better job in our roles for this team to win, and ignoring facts makes us lousy fans that strongly influence the team to make poor personnel decisions (e.g. supporting Licht which helps the owners to support Licht). Those personnel decisions directly affect the product on the field.

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      • Maybe Pinkstop you are too deep for me.
        However, I think your 2nd paragraph is just bullshit.
        I can agree with the 1st premise that since Evans and Winston play on a team that is a perennial loser than they are perennial losers as members of that team.

        It just got stupid after that in saying that any fan that roots for a team that is a loser is also a loser. Please give support for that with any published works since your 1st paragraph implies you utilize facts.

        In fact one definition suggests that losers are created when they see nothing positive and become overly negative. Not sure if you are heading that way.

        I love MacAbee as he can be realistic but looks for positive spins for the Buc’s.

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        • The source is dictionary.com, which states “A loser is a person or thing that loses or has lost something, especially a game or contest”. In terms of the fan the definition is based on whether the fan identifies as being part of the team or not. I do which is why I wear their jersey every game and draft day. When a fan wears their teams jersey they receive feedback based on how their team has performed, again as if they are part of the team.

          It’s the same when you wear a company shirt outside of the company. If you’re at a happy hour and have a company shirt on and someone that has a few drinks and has a strong opinion about that company you’re going to hear about it because you are seen as part of that company/team.

          Aside from that definition and example I don’t know how else to describe it. As for the positive spin I used to do that on PR but I stopped doing it around the time Greg Schiano was fired. After seeing that much losing I decided to try something else because blowing smoke up people’s butts when the Bucs were losing and making such poor decisions afterwards I found only created a culture among fans to accept mediocrity as long as someone gave them something to look forward to. Only after all hope was lost and the Bucs were the worst in the league would they call for a GM or coach to be fired. This led to the Bucs losing for more years than was necessary and more years than I was willing to casually post about.

          The Bucs still suck, but at least we’re not all in one accord in our response to it. I’m more at peace with seeing that about half the posters are as pissed as I am and willing to post about what ALL the problems are in hopes of seeing them resolved.

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  7. Interestingly Winston’s winning rate as a starter is identical to Gabbert’s as a backup over the past four seasons. I don’t think there’s much of a difference between the two in terms of winning and losing for the team. Jameis might have more gaudy stats, but I think the team would have the same chance to win whoever was the QB. Blaine has shown that in the past against the likes of Garrard, Kaepernick, Palmer, and Mariota.

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  8. As frustrating as Winston has been – there is no way it’s a coin toss between him (career Rating 87.8) and Blaine Gabbert (career Rating 71.7). Nope. Blaine Gabbert is awful. If he is in the game, our season is over…plain and simple. If Winston is in the game, there’s a legitimate chance to win (all else equal – which it hasn’t been for many years of course with our brutal defense) on average.

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  9. Let me put it in a different way there’s 26 teams with a higher-rated quarterback according to Simms.
    Never mind the NFC South has three quarterbacks in the top 10 not playing for Tampa.
    Bucs management wants to base a team around a franchise quarterback who’s won six games in the last 2 years other teams wouldn’t keep a quarterback that only won 6 games in one year. And they bring in a 66 year old coach who’s going to blow his gasket around midseason I actually feel sorry for him.

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  10. If Winston goes down I want Griffin to start Period! Imo

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  11. Well, it’s not a huge sample size for Gabbert, he’s made 21 starts as a backup over the past four seasons, but for three different teams he’s had a win rate equal to or better than the starter he replaced. Obviously they’re going with Winston until proven otherwise, but to say that “if Gabbert is in the game the season is over” is way out of line. Matter of fact, in three cities Blaine was pulled as a starter after the “season was over” for his team. In Jacksonville in 2013 he was injured going into the season and hurt worse early on, so Chad Henne took over. By the time Gabbert was ready to come back the Jags were 0-8 or something, so they went into the tank with Henne to draft Bortles the following season. In San Fran, the team started 1-4 with a ton of injuries, so Chip Kelly brought Kaepernick back to tank for Watson or Mahomes in the following draft. It was working (Kap went 1-10) but Chip got fired before he could complete the plan. In Arizona, Gabbert replaced Drew Stanton after a couple bad losses, then guided the team for five games until they were eliminated from playoff contention, at which point Arians threw his loyal buddy Stanton back in for a couple thoughts to redeem his free agent value. Which worked for Drew who was able to catch on with the Browns the following season.

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  12. I’ll bet you Griffin is not on the team to start the season unless one of the other three QBs are injured.

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  13. Robert Ethan…Sadly, I think you are Correcto Mundo. And thats sad. Because I’ve always thought Griffin
    never got a fair shot.

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  14. Backup QB’s are actually a bright spot in my opinion. Gabbert, Grif, and tryout utility QB Fitz make a decent room, but my guess is Gabbert and Fitz are retained. This season is all about Winston, but if he gets hurt, he’s done as a Bucs QB.

    WIth Chris Simms comparison in mind…At this stage, Winston is better known by reputation – A bad reputation. Erica Kinsman’s rape accusation and the subsequent court settlement, loving free crab legs, crazy eyed “eating a W” pre game speeches, and a league suspension from Uber groping allegations are the comments that still come up when people discuss Winston.

    He needs to win and stay humble at all times. He is as close to a bust as a QB gets and it isn’t because of his talent on Sundays or his work ethic.

    To survive and maybe even thrive, this coaching staff has to do exactly what Todd Christianson is talking about: Limit his turnovers by increasing his accuracy and getting rid of the ball. That will lead to “W”s. That will lead to playoffs. That will help put his previous incidents in the rearview mirror. Hopefully one day he will be considered a great QB like Ben Rothlis-Raper, a super bowl winning QB with one awful mistake in his background.

    Winston only has football ON THE FIELD remaining. If he has a “Butt Fumble” moment or something just as laughable, he will be done.

    I’m rooting for the kid. He needs some serious PR damage control and that has to start with winning and saying the right thing when the mic’s are hot.

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  15. Sadly there are folks on this forum who want Winston to fail so they can thump their chests and wag a finger at those of us who cheer for whoever is behind center wearing the team colors. They no doubt are the same “fans” who cheered when Gary Huff writhed in pain just so the backup QB (I think Tom Blanchard) could get his big chance.

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  16. No some of us would like see a new direction instead of using a QB with 4 year history of low rating, do not believe in hope for change for the 5th year.
    It is wasting years.

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  17. How good can anyone expect any combination of our backfield to be. Our O line is trash. Looks like a place for injuries to happen due to lack of talent & age on the o line. Hand cuffed offense.

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  18. Ass-Bob do you notice the down votes? You are probably the most negative poster on this site.

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  19. a little off topic but …. does anyone know if that shirt Ryan has on in the picture up top is/was for sale anywhere or was it a exclusive sideline team shirt? I checked all the usually online stores and couldn’t find it.

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  20. Skipper
    Everytime I’m in Publix I asked others their opinion this site is not in line with the general public. Overwhelmingly I get Negative responses about Jameis Winston

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  21. bill- kir imho it;s a Nike shirt if that helps.

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  22. It seems to me that Gabbert was the designated backup the moment they signed him. He’s been working on the “first field” the whole time in OTAs, and most of the interceptions seem to be coming off of Winston. Blaine’s history as a backup shows that the teams he played with were at least as successful when he started as they were otherwise. Griffin is the same age as Blaine and hasn’t thrown a serious pass in the league yet. Nick Fitzgerald had a better win/loss record and college passer rating than Griffin, at a higher level of competition. That doesn’t take into account the significant advantages he has in terms of age, athleticism, and position versatility. As I said, I can’t see R.G. on the roster except in case of injury to another QB.

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  23. I can just imagine Buc Ass Bob doing his impromptu survey as he’s bagging at Publix. Instead of “paper or plastic?” it’s “Winston or no Winston?” as he’s crushing someone’s bread.

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  24. inspecto – thanks for the help. I did find what looks like the new version of this shirt for 2019. has a smaller logo/stripe on the front and seems to be a darker shade of grey. oh well, i’ll just have to keep checking eBay

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  25. Scubog – you are confused as usual.

    You say some people here in these threads want Winston to fail … but you fail (ha ha!) to recognize that the people who do not want Winston as quarterback, or Jason Licht as GM, or the Baby Glazers as owners believe he, and they, have already failed repeatedly, which is why we don’t want them to be part of the Bucs.

    I am pretty sure that everyone who bothers to read this blog wants the Bucs to succeed, and therefore are “fans” of the team.

    But we are divided into two groups of “fans”:

    Group 1 – Pollyanna Fans, the majority here at PR, obviously – believe that being a “fan” means to rah rah and support the team no matter how badly it is mismanaged, no matter how badly it is staffed in coaching and the front office, and no matter how bad the players as a group really are. We believe that a player, or a coach, or a GM, or an owner is what he produces on the field.

    If he produces a mediocre (or worse) result, it is because he is mediocre as a player/coach/GM/owner.

    The Pollyannas – like you – believe incorrectly that they are the “real Bucs fans”, and that rah rah Pollyanna Fanmanship means never criticizing the team, only expecting Super Bowl trophies every season, and that those who do not think just like them are simply not fans, period.

    Group 2 – the Realists, a minority, obviously – think that being a fan means speaking up when the team is doing the wrong thing, in hopes that the team will recognize its failures and get better .. or at least that the mass of fans will demand improvement, instead of continuing to support the team no matter how much the team always sucks.

    We “Realists” believe that the “Pollyannas” are still fans, but you are ineffective fans … because you all are also enablers of Bad Teams because you accept Badness every single damned year. Like battered spouses who make repeated excuses for their batterers, and stupidly think that the battering is somehow deserved, or that their batterers will someday magically stop battering them.

    Sometimes wishing for immediate pain is the only way through to ultimately getting better. Like getting a tooth pulled to end a toothache.

    Wishing for the mediocre Bucs franchise to somehow magically attain greater success after doing the same old same old wrong things over and over and over and over again every season is a recipe for continued failure, at least so in the mind of us Realists.

    And while we Realists do not deny that you Pollyannas are fans, we do know that you are ineffective fans, who enable Bad Owners like the Baby Glazers to keep battering us Bucs fans year in and year out, with no motivation to ever stop because .. hey, you guys keep cheering them on!

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