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Can Bucs go from worst to first?; Terrell Suggs wants Ravens’ QB Joe Flacco to be more vocal

Posted Jul 24, 2014

ClevelandBrowns.com takes you around the NFL with the Daily Kickoff.

Joe Flacco, Lovie Smith, Alex Smith

Never mind that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were 4-12 last season. Never mind that they have a new coach in Lovie Smith. Never mind that they have a first-year general manager in Jason Licht.

As far as that new GM is concerned, the Buccaneers are poised to go from the bottom to the top of the NFC South.

“It’s crazy,” Licht told reporters covering the Buccaneers. “We’ll look back at what we’ve added and … I’m legitimately excited and feel like we have a chance to compete for the division title. I really do.

“You would think, with a first-year head coach and a first-year general manager … we would both have a pass if we wanted to say, you know, I think we need some more time to turn this thing around. But that’s not what we think. We think we can make a run at this thing this year. We feel we’ve got some major pieces in place to do that.”

Licht is convinced that a key piece the Bucs have is quarterback Josh McCown, who threw for 13 touchdowns and had only one interception in five starts for the Chicago Bears last season. But at 35 years old, McCown isn’t exactly at the point of his career where breakthroughs often happen.

“He’s one of the more confident – but not cocky – guys I’ve ever been around, and you just believe in him,” Licht said. “He thinks he’s 25 and that he’s one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL. His confidence bleeds into everybody. These offensive linemen love him, and you know how big that is. They will fight for him.”

TERRELL SUGGS WANTS RAVENS QB JOE FLACCO TO BE MORE VOCAL

Wanting your quarterback who isn’t named Peyton Manning or Tom Brady to be like two of the faces on the Mt. Rushmore of NFL Quarterbacks would be fairly obvious for most anyone associated with or rooting for the other teams in the league.

In the case of Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs, his wish for his quarterback, Joe Flacco, goes beyond the standard of excellence that Manning and Brady have established for the position.

Suggs wants Flacco to be, well, more surly and salty, especially when his teammates make mistakes. He wants Flacco to show much more of the in-your-face demeanor that Manning and Brady never hesitate to display when they feel it’s necessary.

“Joe is just ‘Cool Joe,’” Suggs was quoted as saying on the Ravens’ official website. “Most of the time he’s not the most vocal. But sometimes we may need that. He may have to cuss somebody out. He may have to cuss me out. It’s good to hear your quarterback get after somebody sometimes. I think it will be a good thing.

“He has cussed me out before, but Joe knows how to do his little subliminal slick shots. We’re looking for a little bit more direct. …I’ve said it from the jump: We have a lot of leaders on this team. I’m really looking forward to seeing Joe Flacco come into his own. Be one of those premier, elite quarterbacks and talk to his team. We’re definitely going to stand behind Joe, stand behind (nose tackle) Haloti (Ngata) and hopefully they all stand behind me.”

Wanting your quarterback who isn’t named Peyton Manning or Tom Brady to be like two of the faces on the Mt. Rushmore of NFL Quarterbacks would be fairly obvious for most anyone associated with or rooting for the other teams in the league.

In the case of Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs, his wish for his quarterback, Joe Flacco, goes beyond the standard of excellence that Manning and Brady have established for the position.

Suggs wants Flacco to be, well, more surly and salty, especially when his teammates make mistakes. He wants Flacco to show much more of the in-your-face demeanor that Manning and Brady never hesitate to display when they feel it’s necessary.

“Joe is just ‘Cool Joe,’” Suggs was quoted as saying on the Ravens’ official website. “Most of the time he’s not the most vocal. But sometimes we may need that. He may have to cuss somebody out. He may have to cuss me out. It’s good to hear your quarterback get after somebody sometimes. I think it will be a good thing.

“He has cussed me out before, but Joe knows how to do his little subliminal slick shots. We’re looking for a little bit more direct. …I’ve said it from the jump: We have a lot of leaders on this team. I’m really looking forward to seeing Joe Flacco come into his own. Be one of those premier, elite quarterbacks and talk to his team. We’re definitely going to stand behind Joe, stand behind (nose tackle) Haloti (Ngata) and hopefully they all stand behind me.”

ALEX SMITH LOOKS FOR CHIEFS’ OFFENSE TO PICK UP WHERE IT LEFT OFF

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith is looking for the team’s offense to pick up where it left off last season.

On the way to throwing for a career-best 3,313 yards and 23 touchdowns in 2013, Smith did some of his best work during a five-game span from mid-November to mid-December when he threw 14 touchdowns and only two interceptions. His best showing came against Oakland Raiders, against whom he threw five touchdowns and had a perfect passer rating of 158.3.

“I felt at the end of last season we were doing some good things offensively,” Smith – who set a playoff-game franchise records with 46 attempts, 30 completions, 378 yards and four touchdowns in the Chiefs’ first-round playoff loss to Indianapolis last January – told reporters covering the Chiefs. “We were really on a roll those last six weeks … moving the ball, scoring some points and protecting the football. We had a great off-season and want to get back into it.”

COWBOYS OWNER JERRY JONES: NOT A ‘MAKE OR BREAK’ YEAR FOR JASON GARRETT

Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones says coach Jason Garrett does not need to worry about his job security.

“I know first-hand that we’ve got a relationship, that I have a relationship – there’s nobody that has a better feel for me than Jason in terms of a relationship,” Jones told reporters covering the Cowboys. “In terms of the record of this team, this is not a make-or-break situation for Jason and members of this staff.”

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