Senior NFL Reporter Charles Robinson is joined by Jori Epstein and Charles McDonald, the newest additions to the Yahoo Sports’ NFL family. Our NFL trio discusses Tampa Bay’s weird but effective 2-0 start to the season. Tom Brady is obviously going through a stressful time off the field. The Bucs offense is done numerous pass catchers and offensive lineman. However, the defense is making up for the offensive struggles, and crushing their opponents. Can Tampa still become a Super Bowl contender? Hear the full conversation on the You Pod to Win the Game podcast. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen.
CHARLES ROBINSON: The Buccaneers are 2 and 0. I don't know what to think about this team. This is one of the weirdest-- I don't think when Tom Brady decided to come back, I never imagined how much of the season would start to be processed through his marriage. And I hate to bring it up. But oddly enough, even Tom is kind of-- he had that moment where he said, hey, I'm 45. There's a lot of [BLEEP] going on, which was such an unbelievable moment of realism from a guy who never really feels that real.
And I think he said on his "Let's Go" podcast just recently where he was talking about the Saints game and his own emotion, and he said something along the lines of-- I'm paraphrasing here, but I think I'm being fair-- he needs to get in a good emotional place so he can be in a good emotional place for his teammates. I'm like, man, that sounds like some life stuff that's going on right now. Not necessarily just game stuff or whatever.
They add Cole Beasley, obviously, because Mike Evans had Tom Brady's back and paid the price for it. The middle of the offensive line is what it is. I don't know what to think about the Bucs right now. Charles, are you looking at them and saying, hey, I believe they can get this all together? Maybe Gronk comes into the fold later on in the season. They get Godwin back.
Maybe Cole Beasley can be the short little white guy receiver that Tom always seems to love. He spent years with short little white guy receivers that end up playing maybe above their talent level. Can they get there to where we really believe the Buccaneers are Super Bowl contenders?
CHARLES MCDONALD: Yes, but I do think it's going to be harder for them because the offensive line is a big problem for them, too, right now.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Yeah.
CHARLES MCDONALD: Offensive line is not great. Brady's 45. He was never a spry lad at really any point in his career. So I know that that's going to be a little bit tough for them. But to their credit, the defense has been great over the first two weeks of the season. I mean, they absolutely destroyed Dak Prescott week one. They did the same thing to Jameis last week. So at least that operation of Todd Bowles second stint of being a head coach is running smoothly.
And I don't know. I tend to believe that with Tom Brady, and when Mike Evans is not trying to kill his arch nemesis on the field, you get Chris Godwin back--
CHARLES ROBINSON: One of the greatest-- one of the greatest running shows in football--
CHARLES MCDONALD: It's great.
CHARLES ROBINSON: --Mike Evans and Marshon Lattimore.
CHARLES MCDONALD: More please. More please. I love to play each other twice a year. It's a guaranteed boxing match. But I think just when you look at-- we talked about it with the Bills earlier, but this is another one of those teams where these guys have spent a lot of time together. And to their credit, they've figured out how to get to 2 and 0 without the offense really giving them much of anything, or at least what they've been accustomed to over the past couple of years.
So Tom Brady-- Mike Evans is going to come back. Chris Godwin should be back at some point. Julio will probably be back at some point. I think that those guys can kind of figure it out and right the ship. And if they can keep winning and beating up on the crappy NFC South along the way, then they should be fun.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Jori, are you buying it? I don't know. I still don't know if I'm buying it. [LAUGHS]
JORI EPSTEIN: Yeah. I mean, I think for me, I totally agree this is the stingiest defense in the league right now. And I think that that helps them finally slay that dragon that had been the New Orleans Saints. I mean, what was it, four straight regular season losses to the Saints, despite the fact that the Saints weren't necessarily better teams? So I think that that's something.
But, yeah, I feel like it's a classic Brady thing to do is there be all these questions during the regular season. We almost forget it happened in the past seasons. No, no, no, he's had this ridiculous career, gone to all these Super Bowls, made it deep in the playoffs. And then by the end of the year, all these guys have learned something because they got to go on this journey with Tom. And lo and behold, they're back being a threat in the playoffs again.