Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hot Off The Presses: Week 17

Winners for the final week of the season.

Colts

Jaguars

Bears

49ers

Steelers

Vikings

Buccaneers

Saints

Patriots

Cowboys

Cardinals

Chargers

Titans

Ravens

Broncos

Bengals

Update: I am officially changing my Broncos pick to the Chiefs. After Josh McDaniel's childish display I will be rooting for the Chiefs to kick his ass out of the playoff hunt.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Worst. Coverage. Ever.


Look, I think Ndamukong Suh is a really good college player and should be a very good NFL player. Hell he may even end up being great. But ESPN's coverage of the Holiday Bowl or should I say coverage of Suh, was pretty embarrassing. The guy had all of 2 tackles tonight.

That's right, 2 tackles.

But you would have thought he not only made every play on defense but also scored every touchdown on offense as well. Its not just that they were over selling the guy, it is also, and maybe more importantly, that they greatly undersold his teammates. Nebraska's quarterback had a helluva game tonight and didn't even resemble the guy who looked rattled most of the Big 12 Championship game. That was him moving their offense up and down the field against an Arizona defense that had been ranked pretty high all year. But the announcers barely noticed because they were so busy stroking off Suh.

The defensive backfield for Nebraska had such excellent coverage downfield play after play that Arizona's quarterback who normally had an above 60% completion percentage, couldn't even complete simple curl routes. But by the end of the game you hadn't even heard most of those guys names except when the starting lineups were announced at the beginning of the game.

I can appreciate that Suh is the hot story and that he will likely be the number 1 pick in the draft, but that is no reason for them to just drop their responsibilities of announcing the game in favor of acting as a stand in for his PR people.

I know some people watching the game probably think I am off base because people have said time and time again that Suh is the next Reggie White and therefore he deserves to be covered extensively but I have to believe that even some Suh supporters had to be disgusted by the announcers by the end of the game. It got so bad that they actually showed a replay of him obviously getting blocked one on one when one of his teammates got a sack and instead of talking about the teammate who actually made the play they instead just made up some shit and gave Suh credit saying that him getting double teamed is what opened it up for his teammate. I mean a blind man could have watched that play and discerned that he wasn't double teamed. But it was more important to promote Suh than it was to give credit to his teammate.

I certainly hope that the guy lives up to the hype because right about now they have made him up into King Kong, and we all know how that movie ended...

Attention ESPN Announcers For The Holiday Bowl

Please remove your lips from Ndamankong Suh's ass. He is good enough as a player that he doesn't need your shameless over hyping of him. I half expect one of yall to claim he shoots lightning out his ass and chews on railroad ties. I think I will be using the mute button in the second half.


Thanks

Mgmnt

Total Lack Of Self Awareness

Texas Tech has evidently fired Mike Leach according to what I am seeing in my twitter stream, but I still wanted to post this video of his lawyer giving a member of the media an "exclusive" look at the two places they had Craig James' son stay for hours while practice went on. I would like for you to watch the video all the way through then read my comments underneath.



Now I am as old school as they come when it comes to football. I have seen with my own two eyes the way some players are coddled nowadays and it turns my stomach at times. But this kid was diagnosed as having a concussion by a doctor and you simply can not screw around with that.

Now I want to point out a few things about this video. While they showed both places the kid had to stay what they didn't point out that in both instances he wasn't allowed to leave and in the instance of the shed or the garage or whatever the hell you want to call it, he was shut in and all the lights were out. Mind you HE HAS A CONCUSSION! I have had a few concussions in my time and one thing I have never heard is staying on your feet was good for you in that instance. The guards or trainers or whatever euphemism Leach and his attorney want to call them were not in there with him so had he fainted or lost his balance and fallen and busted his head open, and believe me when you have a concussion something like standing for an extended period of time is hard to do, the only thing they could have done is cleaned up the aftermath.

The second thing is that the lawyer freely admits that Leach has done this to other players in the past. That ladies and friends shows a pattern of punishing players for being hurt. That crap about having him close to the team is just that, crap. There ain't a damn thing Adam James would gain from being close to his team practicing in a damn windowless structure. Bigger than that why even have a training room if you are going to pull this kind of shit? Isn't that where injured players are supposed to go?

Let me put it to you differently, if a parent had done this to their kid they would be locked up for child abuse. So why exactly does Leach or his attorney think its suitable to do to one of his players?

Now there have been rumors that the kid was disgruntled. That Craig James was always calling to complain about playing time. You know what, all of that might be true and what Leach did is still wrong. And I can tell you this, had this been my son that it happened to the story wouldn't be about Leach getting fired. The story would be about me beating the dog shit out of him within an inch of his life until he understood not to ever treat another one of his players that way.

I have seen some crazy shit in my time but punishing this kid for having a concussion by having him stand up for hours inside a shed/garage or a closet/media room is absolutely some bullshit.

It is what it is.

Taking To The Airwaves


I have been invited to be a guest today on 620 WDAE with Rock Riley who is filling in for the vacationing Steve "The Big Dawg" Duemig". You can check me out around 4:15 or so and even call in if you so desire. Just as on this blog I will definitely be speaking my mind whether it fits the going narratives or not. Feel free to compliment or criticize my performance ;)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bull Rush

My latest edition of Bull Rush is up over at joebucsfan. Check it out and leave a comment!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Mike Leach Should Be Fired For Stupidity If Nothing Else


I would find Texas Tech coach Mike Leach's alleged behavior of having one of his players who had a mild concussion basically locked into a small dark room grounds for dismissal in and of itself. But finding out that said player was Craig James' son, the same Craig James that was a legend at SMU and has been an ESPN personality for years, makes me feel like not only should he be fired but publicly shamed. What kind of dumbass picks on a THAT kid?

I am not saying that celebrities' kids should be treated better or protected more (although we all know they are) but I am saying that if a coach is dumb enough to abuse a celebrity's kid then they are probably too dumb to lead their team to championships. Now I don't normally call for a guy to get fired, but in this case he needs to pay the stupid tax!

That's real talk.

How Committed Were/Are The Glazers To Coach Morris?


With the news breaking yesterday that the Glazers had sat down with Bill Cowher already to "gauge his interest" in coaching the Bucs, it made me want to revisit some thoughts I had almost from the moment that Raheem Morris was hired as head coach. You can take it or leave it but it was my impression from the get go that the Glazers weren't especially committed to Coach Morris and that they weren't looking at him as a long term answer. Of course if he came in and set the world on fire then that's one thing, but if he were just average I think they would have been looking to replace him in a few years. That this season has been a disaster my well have moved up that timeline but its still in the back of my head that maybe this was all preordained anyway. Now I know some folks might scoff at that so I will walk you through my thinking on this.

Lets start with the process of firing Jon Gruden and hiring Coach Morris. I said to more than a few of my friends and ex teammates over the last few years that Coach Gruden and GM Bruce Allen were a package deal. Allen owed Gruden his job as Gruden was the one who basically hired Allen to be his boss after Rich McKay left to go to Atlanta. Now don't get me wrong, winning a Superbowl generally grants a head coach some leeway too. But it was my opinion that Bruce Allen wasn't going to fire Jon Gruden no matter what. And therefore in order for Gruden to be fired the Glazers would also have to fire Allen as well. I for one didn't see that ever happening because the Glazers aren't really "football people". When they bought the Bucs they had the luxury of having one of the most respected GMs in McKay already in place to conduct their search for a head coach. But with no GM in place the Glazers would have had to find both and that just isn't their strong suit.

So lets think back to last January shall we. How did the Glazers get around this problem?

They hired a new GM from within in Mark Dominik who in turn hired a head coach from within in Coach Morris. Pretty neat trick if you ask me. Don't get me wrong, I like Dominik a lot and he has definitely put in the time over there at One Buc working his way all the way up the ladder to get where he is today. But ask yourself a question, when was the last time a first time GM hired a first time head coach for an NFL franchise? And the next question is how many times has that happened within a week of the former head coach and GM being fired?

I'm going to go with never. And lets also keep in mind that the firing of Coach Gruden happened well after most of the other head coaches had been let go. That meant that even with hiring both Dominick and Morris, essentially without looking anywhere else, almost immediately they were still behind on all of the offseason work.

Then there is the matter of the contract that Coach Morris signed. I remembered reading this about his contract and being very concerned.



Morris signed a four-year contract, a pretty big commitment to someone who has never been a head coach at any level. In fact, his only experience as a defensive coordinator came during one season at Kansas State in 2006. The Bucs named him defensive coordinator on Christmas Day, but that was before they fired coach Jon Gruden Friday.

However, there could be some language in the contract that gives the Bucs the ability to terminate or extend the deal after three seasons.


Why exactly in the hell would the Glazers put language into Coach Morris' contract whereby they could terminate it a year early? I could also say why in the hell would Coach Morris sign a contract with such language but I know the answer. He wanted to be a head coach like most coaches want to and he was probably willing to accept something like that in order to be able to show what he can do.

I hate to speculate but you have to wonder if the Bucs inserted that language into the contract because three years out would be one year removed from Gruden's contract coming off the books if he continues to do broadcasting rather than coaching. The Bucs would then would be free to fire Coach Morris if they so chose without worrying about having to pay him. At that point Dominik would have had 3 years worth of seasoning and they would have a clear picture about whether they should keep him on board or find an established head coach who would bring their own GM with them. That is my opinion but you have to admit the pieces fit.

So we have established that hiring Coach Morris and Mark Dominik were probably acts of convenience as much as anything else but what about some of the other moves in the offseason which either blew up or appeared to show a lack of commitment to Coach Morris?

The Coordinators

I realize that lately there has been a lot of speculation about who picked Jeff Jagodzinski and Jim Bates to be the Bucs' offensive and defensive coordinators respectively, and I really don't have any kind of insider information on that. But there are a few things I think should be revisited about the hiring of these two men.

First I think its important that we revisit the offensive coordinator search. Check out this excerpt from a TBO article about one of the early candidates for offensive coordinator, Scott Linehan, and other likely candidates.



MOBILE, Ala. - Former Rams coach Scott Linehan didn't turn down a job with the 49ers just to join the Bucs' staff.

"I just wasn't ready to make a decision at that point," said Linehan, one of the top candidates for the Bucs' offensive coordinator job.

Linehan said personal considerations played a part in his decision. It's unsure whether those considerations will prevent him from taking a job with the Bucs.

"There's a lot that's still up in the air," Linehan said. "I'm just sitting back right now and weighing all my options."

The Bucs are doing the same. They plan to interview several offensive coordinator candidates, including quarterbacks coach Greg Olson.

Other possibilities are Chiefs offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, Browns offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski and Eagles quarterbacks coach Pat Shurmur.


Notice that you didn't see Jagodzinski's name mentioned anywhere in there? It's worth remembering that he wasn't Coach Morris' first choice and it appears that at least initially he wasn't even in the top 5. Now how he came to be hired in the end I have no idea about. For that matter I don't know that Linehan or any of the other candidates would have come in and had our offense firing on all cylinders. But I don't think any of the initial candidates would have ended up fired just before the season started.

With Jim Bates you could say many of the same things about him not being on the short list initially, but at least he had plenty of NFL experience to point to as a reason to hire him. I know some people keep pointing to some times that Coach Morris has with Bates' family but I am not really buying heavily into that. But I once again want to remind you of how it was explained that Bates came to be the defensive coordinator and what his scheme would look like from the mouth of GM Mark Dominick.



Dominik said the Bucs will maintain a 4-3 base with Bates, but likely will work more blitzes into the one-gap and Tampa 2 packages Morris has been schooled in.


To recap we didn't blitz more, we blitzed less while Bates was still coordinating the defense, and instead of sticking with the one gap scheme that had been so successful here over the years he decided to start two gapping with the interior defensive linemen. Basically Bates did the exact opposite of what Dominik said he would do. I don't pretend to know if Bates misled the Bucs about his intention or if Dominick was just confused about what the plan for the scheme was, but its very obvious that some how some way there was some miscommunication there that led to a catastrophic start to the season for our defense.

At this point both of those guys are out of a job and the defense is playing better and in the last two weeks at least so is our offense. It would appear that firing both guys was the right move at least in the short term, but you have to continue to ask why they were hired to begin with and more to the point why coaches who were higher on the list of candidates decided against coming to Tampa. Did they know something that we didn't back then? I mean Scott Linehan ended up in Detroit for goodness sake.

Player Turnover

Lets look at a list of starters or major contributers from last year who were released or weren't resigned in the offseason.

Derrick Brooks

Cato June

Phillip Buchannan

Jovan Haye

Kevin Carter

Jeff Garcia

Warrick Dunn

Alex Smith

Ike Hilliard

Joey Galloway

Matt Bryant

Luke McCown


That's a total of 12 guys who either started or were big time contributors to the team last year. And how many guys did we bring in via free agency or a trade? A grand total of 3, Byron Leftwich, Derrick Ward, and Kellen Winslow Jr. Does that math add up to anyone else?

They lost 5 starters, including Buchannan who was at least the starter in nickel, on defense. Who did they bring in? NOBODY!

They jettisoned to of their most consistent wide receivers, who did they bring in? NOBODY!

They cut one of the most consistent kickers in team history for a guy who made more money and sucked.

And they even cut Luke McCown who may not be a world beater but at least was athletic enough to make plays with his feet and familiar enough with Gruden's playbook that he could have run it once offensive coordinator Greg Olsen took over for Jagodzinski. Instead we went with Byron Leftwich who while he might be a great teammate, and he does have a strong arm, couldn't avoid a pass rush to save his life.

Are those the kinds of moves that you would say owners would make when they are committed to their head coach?

Having said all that I fully admit that there are moves that Coach Morris made this year that I didn't agree with and didn't think were right. I am not absolving him of any and all responsibility. Being 3-12 is a record that he has to wear because he has earned it. But I grow tired of the talk of him being in over his head. I don't hear that kind of talk when you mention Steve Spagnulo who had the defensive coordinator experience that folks keep pointing out Coach Morris doesn't have and is still getting his ass handed to him on a daily basis as head coach of the Rams. Likewise I don't hear that kind of talk about former long time Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz even as his Detroit Lions get the hell beaten out of them every week. So why does Coach Morris get painted with that brush?

I am sure some of you will say that the Bucs aren't the Rams or the Lions as far as talent level, but have you checked our roster lately? The Bucs have exactly one guy who has made the Pro Bowl on defense, Ronde Barber. We have exactly two guys on offense who have made the Pro Bowl in Davin Joseph and Kellen Winslow. On paper at least are we really that much better than the Rams or the Lions? I don't think so. Yet Coach Morris is "over his head" because he doesn't have the experience that those other two coaches have whose teams have worse records than the Bucs?

The truth is, I shouldn't have to be the one pointing that out. Mark Dominik or the Glazers should have been out there make a statement early this morning affirming their support of Coach Morris in light of the big win and in light of the rumors about Bill Cowher, and making the same point that I did. But instead you get nothing but quiet and an off the record denial. This isn't meant to be a justification of Coach Morris keeping his job, after all it IS the Glazer's team and they can do with it what the please. But this is meant to connect some dots that some people may have missed or forgotten.

Its up to you now to decide whether you think the Glazers were ever committed to Coach Morris or if they were using him as a hold over from the start. I already know my thoughts on the matter and I think I have made them very apparent.

What say you?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

This Will Never Get Old

Bucs Win Bucs Win Bucs Win!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah I called it but like I told yall I am still a fan at heart. I was up in here doing my touchdown celebration when that FG went in just like I am sure some of you were. I don't give a damn about what happened the rest of this season or what they will do with Coach Morris after next week, but got dammit this win made me proud. Talk about Buc ball baby. I will put something else up after I calm down a little but this is the best I can do right now.

I can't wait to hear how people will try to explain away THIS win away!!!


YESSIRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

Live Blogging The Bucs Vs Saints #2 Week 16

This Seems Awfully Familiar

Two games left in an awful Bucs season and all of a sudden here comes news that the Glazers have already sat down with Bill Cowher to gauge interest in coaching the Bucs next year. Sounds eerily like the reports with two games to go that the Glazers were already in talks to bring in Bill Parcells to coach the team when Tony Dungy was still here trying to get us into the playoffs. A lot of people don't realize that the Glazers really had talked to Parcells who was all set to come but screwed up when he talked to some of his former assistants who were employed by other teams without asking those teams permission. It was all pretty much swept under the rug but there were fines handed down behind it and it was pretty much the only reason Parcells didn't end up in Tampa. So you can probably bet your house that Bill Cowher will be the Bucs head coach next year if he wants the job and doesn't screw up.

Now at the moment I won't go into whether it would be a good move or a bad move or how Bill Cowher coaching the team would affect the organization, but I will talk about how sleazy it is in my opinion for the Glazers to pull this kind of bullshit yet again during the season with just 2 games left. Its not so much that they talked to Cowher, most folks are pretty sure they have talked to several head coaching candidates by now. But allowing the information to get out now, when they still have a head coach who finally has the team moving in some what of a positive direction is not the way owners should do business. And make no mistake about it, this information was leaked on purpose. It didn't just pop up out of thin air.

If they want to fire Raheem Morris after the season, fine that is their prerogative. And he certainly has had a terrible season thus far. But you don't have to try to humiliate the guy with two games left just to try to make it look like you are making a splash move. Just imagine what is going on with the players who I am sure will hear about this before the game today. Imagine what the assistant coaches are thinking heading into a game in New Orleans against one of the best teams in the NFL. And then think about the questions Coach Morris will have to answer about Cowher after the game and for a full week next week. Its bullshit. There is no other way to say it than that. There is a right way and a wrong way to do business, and this is decidedly the wrong way. I would have hoped that they would have learned after the debacle with Coach Dungy but evidently I was wrong. It will be interesting to see what happens though should Cowher turn them down.

It is what it is.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Urban Meyer Stepping Down At Florida. Who Will Replace Him?

University of Florida head coach Urban Meyer will be resigning after the bowl game. He referenced his health in his comments released to the media and now I have seen from several different sources that he had chest pains, nausea and sickness that hospitalized him recently. The question I have is who should and or will be the next coach at Florida. I want my commenters to give their choice of who they want to see at UF or who they think will be at UF next season.

I am an official Gator Hater as yall know so I won't act like this is exciting for me or anything. But I will say that if I were in charge of the search I would definitely at least interview the head coach at Boise State. Their offense is explosive and somewhat similar to what Florida ran with Meyer and the Chris Pederson has worked miracles with lesser facilities and some would say lesser talent. And you could bet that he would come in hungry and with a chip on his shoulder after all those years of being snubbed out of the BCS bowl games and the BCS championship.

But I want to know who you guys have high on your lists. So have at it!

More Questions Than Answers In The McNair Murder Case

But police hesitated to say at first whether Kazemi's single gunshot wound to the head was self-inflicted. Medical examiners said that once they knew Kazemi had purchased the gun and had trace signs of gunshot residue on one of her hands, they were ready to rule her death a suicide and close the book on the case.

But questions soon arose about where the 20-year-old waitress at Dave & Buster's restaurant got the pistol that was found at the crime scene, under her head. Federal agents traced it back through two sellers to Gilliam, an out-of-work car salesman with a serious felony on his record.

Gilliam, father of a toddler, cooperated with police and told them he sold the gun. With his fiancee present, Gilliam told police he didn't remember the girl's name who bought the gun for $100. But he later admitted he had met her downtown at a club, and had been exchanging phone calls and texts with her. He said he didn't know she was dating McNair at the time. He called her after a fight with his fiancee, and he didn't want to admit the potential relationship in front of the fiancee, he later told police.

He told police that he didn't know why Kazemi wanted the gun, and that he was with a friend all night when the deaths happened. His alibi didn't check out, according to the police file, when his friend, a bonding agent, told police Gilliam hadn't been with him.

Still, Postiglione said information about Gilliam's interest in Kazemi and lying about his alibi never made him a suspect. Phone records show he was in the Smyrna and La Vergne area all night, Postiglione said, and his lying about that doesn't mean he was involved in the deaths.


The Tennesseean

So just to recap, medical examiners weren't sure it was a suicide until a convicted felon who lied to the police about how he knew Sahel Kazemi and lied about where he was the night of the murder, told them that he sold her the gun. That's the confirmation they needed to conclude she killed Steve McNair and then killed herself?! Seriously?!

I am not saying this is some kind of conspiracy, but I am saying that someone else should be allowed to reopen the investigation and take a fresh look at all the evidence. Something just isn't right about all of this, especially when the police are saying the guy who said he sold the gun, Adrian Gilliam, was never a suspect in the crime. How in the fuck is that even possible considering the lies he told initially? And especially since if he doesn't tell them that he sold her the gun and didn't know why she wanted it, then they still by there own admission aren't even sure that Kazemi killed McNair and herself.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Have a very Merry Christmas, from my family to all of yours

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Hot Off The Presses: Week 16

Its Christmas Eve and I am lazy as hell so once again I will just be providing my winners for the week. On a side note I wanted to let you know that so far I have picked 145 winners to 77 losers on the season. Not bad, if I do say so myself.

Titans

Falcons

Bengals

Browns

Packers

Ravens

Dolphins

Patriots

Buccaneers (Yeah, I said it)

Giants

Cardinals

49ers

Eagles

Jets

Cowboys

Vikings

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

James Wilder Jr.

Talk about following in your Dad's footsteps!




That's what you call a healthy dose of awesome sauce right there!

What Chris Hovan Said


"The old defense is out-dated and didn't work,'' Hovan said. "This defense is what it is, it's true. It's physical. It's violent, it's fast. It's Tampa 2. It's what this city has been raised on.

"You could just tell the swagger is coming back to this defense, the way we approach the game, the way we study, the way we take the field. There's a different swagger and it comes into play...We're not running the old defense against these guys, we're running the Tampa 2. We're about to find out how good we are. When we played them in the past and played this defense against them, we've been successful. Not to say that we're going to be successful, but we have a lot of confidence when we run this defense.''


Those are the words of Bucs starting defensive tackle Chris Hovan. And judging by the paraphrasing in the title "Hovan: The old (Jim Bates) defense is "outdated and didn't work.'" I am pretty sure that it will be played up as a shot at defrocked defensive coordinator Jim Bates. And who knows, maybe it was. But I am here to tell you that there is plenty of truth in what he said.

At the beginning of this season I started off with several complaints about this defense in general and in the defensive line set up in particular. Everyone on our defensive line started the year with their outside hand down. This was, in my opinion, crazy. Slowly but surely this changed as the season wore on. Another complaint that I had was that we never lined up our weak tackle over the center which made it easier to run in the A gaps. This never changed until Coach Morris took over calling the defense. I also complained that we never ran any under defense which would take advantage of Quincy Black's skills more. Again, this never changed until Coach Morris took over pay calling duties. And last but not least we were running so much bump man coverage in early downs that we were routinely getting bombed on almost every single game. And yet again, this did not change until Coach Morris took over.

Nothing Hovan said was factually wrong, and if you recall I was one of the few who was excited right off the bat when they announced before the Atlanta game that we were going back to our "Tampa 2" scheme (which incidentally is a lot more than just playing Tampa 2 every play). What I hope is that nobody takes what he says and tries to twist it and use it against him. I have seen and heard a bunch of clowns taking shots at Hovan over, of all the silly shit in the world, him painting his face with eyeblack recently. Something he has been doing practically his whole career. I mean here is a guy who has performed well since he has been here, has been a model citizen, never said or done anything remotely controversial since his arrival, and people are taking shots at him now over bullshit. And that is why it concerns me that this will get blown out of proportion in one way or another. All Hovan did was speak the truth and something that most Bucs fans themselves probably said a time or two this season. Maybe he shouldn't have come out and said it right now considering their record and how the season has gone, but I personally don't find anything wrong with it. Aren't fans always saying they want people to tell them the truth anyway?

It is what it is.

How Should We Feel About The Seahawks Win?



I have heard several people on talk radio say and read several articles and posts online profess that Bucs fans shouldn't really be all that excited about them beating the Seahawks on Sunday. The reasoning runs the gamut from people upset that we might not get the first pick in the draft to some folks saying the Seahawks are just a horrible team and so who cares that the Bucs beat them.




Now make no mistake, the Bucs have had a shitty year and the Seahawks aren't anybody's world beaters. However I just don't get the logic of saying it wasn't a good win. In my world having the top pick in the draft is not something to be proud of. Hell look back at the list of teams who have earned that top pick. How many of them are now contending for anything? Anything at all? Besides that while the Seahawks have only won 5 games, 4 of those wins came at home. In point of fact they have had won 4 out of their 6 games at home before this past Sunday and two of those wins were a blowout of the Jacksonville Jaguars and a win over the San Francisco 49ers who were recently seen blowing out NFC West division leader Arizona. Furthermore the 7 pts they scored on Sunday was their second worst point output of the season.




Now its ok to keep things in perspective, a Superbowl win this was not. But for people to try to down play the win like it didn't mean anything is a farce. The Seahawks were better on paper, especially at home, and just about none of the same people who are now saying it wasn't a good win actually picked the Bucs to win on Sunday. So you will just have to excuse me when I call bullshit. We got our running game going again on Sunday, and our defense forced at least 4 turnovers even if you count the Matt Hassleback fumble as a gimmie. And lets not forget the good day that Sammie Stroughter had on returns. Does that mean that we will dominate against the Saints? Of course not. But it for damn sure gives me more hope than if we had went out there and laid an egg like most people thought we would.




Winning is a habit just like losing is a habit. Me personally I would much rather see this team learning good habits headed into the offseason no matter who its against. Somehow I bet most real Bucs fans feel the same way.

Bucs Films Review: Seattle Seahawks Week 15

After reviewing the Bucs' win on Sunday over the Seahawks, it doesn't really lend itself to my normal The Good, The Bad, The Ugly breakdown. So instead I will just toss out some random thoughts.



1. If you have read this blog for any length of time you know how hard I ride Geno Hayes. Now make no mistake about it, Geno was the defensive MVP on Sunday. Talk about filling up a stat sheet, the guy had a sack, an interception, several big tackles and generally he was all over the field. Hell some of his best plays wouldn't even show up in the stat sheet, for instance when he ran through a running back's block and almost got to Seahawks quarterback Matt Hassleback on a blitz. But still, having said all that, I still have to wonder what in hell he was doing on one running play where we got gashed.



We were in an over defense with the safety rolled down to the tight end. The Seahawks ran a basic fullback lead play strong where by the fullback leads up on our middle linebacker, Barrett Ruud after running through the strong side A gap and then the running back cuts off that block. Now because we had our safety rolled down to that side what should have happened is that Ruud takes on the fullback and the safety covers the outside cut of the running back, while Geno hangs back in the weakside B gap which is the only place left for the running back to go. But inexplicably Geno runs strongside to get in the same gap where Ruud and in this case Sabby Piscetelli already are and there is nobody at all in the B gap.



Guess where the running back ran.



You guessed it, the B gap.



Its funny because I happened to be listening to 620 AM WDAE last night and they had Ronde Barber on for their "Total Access" show and he was talking about Geno Hayes and he said, paraphrasing, that as many splash plays as he makes, he still makes some quote "boneheaded" plays as well. And this was another example of it. Now obviously it didn't cost us the game or anything, but this is what I mean when I say he has to get in his playbook more. When he is able to make the normal easy plays AS WELL as the big splash plays on a consistent basis, the sky will be the limit for that guy.



2. Jerammy Stevens showed up to play on Sunday. I don't know if it was because he was playing his old team, or if he was tired of getting called out, but Stevens actually blocked his ass off on Sunday. He was actually a big reason as to why we were able to run the ball so well, especially in the second half. But here is the thing about that, once you show on film that you are capable of having that type of game, then that is something you had better do EVERY week. See for me, it was never about whether or not he could block. Hell I have seen him block well his first couple of years here. Its about whether he was getting the job done this year, and he decidedly was not and the running game suffered for it. So whatever it was that motivated him to go out there and bust his ass on Sunday had better motivate him these last two games as well. Otherwise he is a prime candidate to be seeking other employment after the season ends.



3. The Demar Dotson experiment at tight end had some mixed results. Dotson blocked his ass off and at times drove his guy 5 yards or more down the field. However he had a penalty for not reporting and several times for whatever reason they ran the ball away from him instead of behind him and the results were not great. They didn't actually use him a lot in the second half and we were still able to run the ball pretty well, however I hope they continue to get him involved because the guy was an asset on Sunday. If we can nail down the little things like getting him to report on every play and actually calling running plays in his direction when he is in then he will make a difference these next two games when we run the ball.



4. It was really nice to see Josh Freeman bounce back from his early interception. One reason why in my estimation is that they kept him under center for just about every early down and only used the shotgun on 3rd down plays. To me this accomplished a few things. For one it kept the defense honest because the threat of the down hill running game is still there. For two throwing out of the shotgun requires that a quarterback take his eyes off of what is going on down field for a half a second in order to catch the ball. By dropping back from center he is able to see what the opposing secondary is doing as he is taking his drop steps and can deliver the ball quicker when he sees a guy who is open. The fact that we committed to the run so heavily also helped him tremendously in my opinion.



5. It was good to see the Moore boys, Kyle and Dre, get some more playing times against the Seahawks. You can see them getting more comfortable with the scheme with the additional playing time and both guys made some pretty good plays. My only question is where in the world is Michael Bennett? I know he was injured for a time but if the guy is healthy I really liked his potential rushing from the defensive end position.



6. You have to wonder what kind of year Tanard Jackson would be having had he not been suspended the first four games. He got his 4th interception of the year on Sunday and he has been a ball hawk all year. He has also been pretty physical in the running game (when he isn't missing tackles) and he looks to be one of the great young safties again in the NFL. I think the future is bright for that guy.



7. Some guys on our team are so steady that they don't get recognized as much as they should. Ronde Barber is one of those guys and he had a hell of a game on Sunday. He didn't make the pretty splash plays like some others did, but he was great in pass coverage and in run support. I really think he has been the glue that has held our defense together at times this year, and I just wanted to take the time out to acknowledge that.



8. Over the last week or so the local sports media has settled on a narrative that losing left guard Aaron Spears because of his mystery absence this year was the major factor in our offensive line "under achieving". I reject that narrative for several reasons. First of all while I like Sears and he has played well as a starter, its not like he was a world beater playing at a Pro Bowl level. Also even though Jeremy Zuttah has had some issues in pass protection in certain games, the guy hasn't been a bum. He has played well most of the year and might have had his best game on Sunday. For three I will point out again that for most of this season our tight ends have been the big failure in the running game, not our offensive line. Now you won't find me defending Jeremy Trueblood's boneheaded penalties but as far as his play he hasn't been any worse, or better for that matter than he has been in previous seasons. He is who he is, and so if people were expecting better, they must not have been paying attention. I also feel the need to point out that our left tackle, Donald Penn, has been playing at a definite Pro Bowl year all year, and right guard Davin Joseph has at least played at his same level this year has he did last year when he actually did make it in as a Pro Bowler. Maybe the one position that has had some problems was the center position, and that was only because Jeff Faine was hurt early in the season. For whatever reason managment decided to bring in a swinging gate to replace him in Sean Mahan and the results were pretty disasterous. But aside from those handful of games early in the season, our center position hasn't been a liability. People looking at the stats of our quarterbacks getting sacked have to realize how much teams have been blitzing us on 3rd downs, how much our young quarterbacks have just held on to the ball too long and how the play calling has put the offensive line at a disadvantage because of how rarely we keep a tight end to block or use a running back to help chip on edge rushers. Aside from Trueblood, our offensive line hasn't been the problem this year. Take it however you want to.



9. On Sunday a milestone was reached in a dissappointing year of football in Tampa Bay. Kellen Winslow Jr passed Jackie Harris on the single season reception list for tight ends for the Bucs. That Winslow could pull that off in a season where he had to play with 3 different quarterbacks and where we only generated 2 wins so far speaks well of both his abilities and his efforts. For as many moves as the Bucs front office will be pilloried for, and rightly so, from this year, bringing in Winslow has to be something that people acknowledge was a great deal. And I know some folks will have short memories, but I vividly recall that not a lot of people were sold on the move at least initially. Me personally I am sitting here thinking, if that guy can put up those kinds of numbers in such a chaotic season, what kind of damage might he do next year if and when we get this train back on the right track? Such thoughts definitely bring a smile to my face as a former Buccanneer and now an avid Bucs fan.



10. Sunday saw the return of one of our "attitude" plays in the running game on offense. After a year that saw our offense try to shift to a zone blocking scheme that never really fit our offensive linemen, we went back to the old trusty fullback isolation play or "Iso" for short. Anybody that has played here over the last decade or more knows was an "Iso" play is. Its when you allow a couple of double teams up front and you send your fullback straight up into the line to block a linebacker and you have your running back come down hill and make a cut and get all he can get. There isn't a lot of lateral movement and there aren't any disguises. Its a right up the gut, here we come now stop us kind of play. We were hitting the Seahawks for 4 or 5 yards almost every time we ran that play and I hope we dial it up even more this week at the Saints. Its one of those plays that is generally going to get you positive yards when you have a big physical offensive line and a big physical fullback. Earnest Graham has been doing an excellent job at fullback since taking over in the early part of the year, but I have to say that Chris Pressly brings a little bit more physicality in the run game and he was dominating on those plays. I for one think its time we saw a backfield with Pressly at fullback and Graham at tailback, especially down near the goalline. I think this will help us punch the ball in the endzone with a great deal of regularity, much like when we had Lorenzo Neal and Mike Alstott in the backfield back in the day. But I digress. Here is a diagram of the "Iso" play we ran on Sunday:








Well that's all for this week. Hopefully I will have a bunch of other good things to talk about next week after we shock the world and beat the Saints in New Orleans!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bull Rush

My latest Bull Rush post is up over at joebucsfan talking about the things the defensive line needs to fine tune in order to compete against the Saints. Go check it out and leave a comment.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Live Blogging The Bucs Vs Seahawks Week 15

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Hot Off The Presses: Week 15

A little under the weather today so I will just give my winners for the week.

Jaguars

Saints

Patriots

Cardinals

Titans

Chiefs

Texans

Jets

Eagles

Ravens

Chargers

Broncos

Packers

Bucs

Vikings

Giants

RIP Chris Henry

My heartfelt condolences go out to his family and friends. So tragic.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I Am Sure This Is Just A Coincidence...

Title of the latest Bucs Beat blog post at the St Petersburg Times is entitled:

"OL Demar Dotson getting reps at tight end"


Now I don't take any credit for that because I mean John Gilmore is banged up so it might just be out of necessity. But I will say that this from Offensive Coordinator Greg Olsen sounds awfully familiar:

"We’ve had some issues in protection, really with the tight end position," Olson said. "And we're gonna again this week with John Gilmore being out still trying to find a way there to aid us in protection. We’ve now moved Dotson in some at tight end to help us in that area, help us with our run game and with our protection issues. We're trying to find solutions."



It is what it is...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bucs Vs Jets Vlog: Tight Ends Killed Us In The Running Game

I said last week that I might do a vlog for this game and so here it is. I am going to tell you what other people won't or can't say, our tight ends are killing us in the running game. That is a personel problem, and a coaching problem. Check out the video and let me know what you think...

Bull Rush

My latest Bull Rush post is up over at joebucsfan. Check it out and leave a comment.

Monday, December 14, 2009

History Lessons

There are two quick items I want to highlight that I have heard the last two days. The first thing is now that Randy Moss had a bad game yesterday and an opposing defensive back for the Panthers called him out for "shutting it down", all of a sudden I hear the "I play when I want to play" quote thrown around again. I didn't see the game, I don't know if he "shut it down", I saw a few highlights when he dropped a couple of balls but that was about it. But aside from whether he did or didn't shut it down yesterday, its worth revisting what he actually said in 2001.

He stirred up even more controversy in November of that year, when, asked by Sid Hartman for the Minneapolis Star Tribune (November 23, 2001) if he felt motivated on the field by Cris Carter, he replied: "I play when I want to play. Do I play up to my top performance, my ability every time? Maybe not. . . . When I make my mind up, I am going out there to tear somebody's head off. When I go out there and play football, man it's not anybody telling me to play or how I should play."


Now his quote was taken out of context almost immediately as if he just turned to Sid Hartman and said "I ONLY play when I want to play", when instead it was a response to Hartman trying to imply that all of Moss's motivation came from Cris Carter. This was a very irritatinng situation for Moss because it was Carter himself who had been pushing this line of thinking, as if all of Moss' success was due to Carter's mentoring. Also left out of the quote by mainstream media types looking to bash Moss was that Carter himself was quoted by Hartman right before Moss' quote as saying there wasn't a receiver in the league who went 100% on every play. Unsurprisingly though nobody hit Carter for his quote.

Again this isn't a commentary on whether Moss shut it down yesterday or not, but its just pointing out the context of a quote that you are likely to hear all week since people are trying to ressurrect the "Bad Randy" story. I will point out though that until last week, the "Bad Randy" was leading the league in receiving yards and second in the league in TD receptions with 9.

The second item on the agenda is this new line that the Bucs shouldn't have fired Jon Gruden because he would never ever ever have this bad of a season. Well the people saying that evidently have very short memories. I, however don't. I remember the 2006 season when the Bucs went 4-12 with a helluva lot more talent than they have this season. First they jumped out to 0-3 with Chris Simms at the helm and then after he was injured and we had to go with the rookie, Bruce Gradkowski, they finished off beating the likes of Cleveland, Cincinatti, Washington, and the Philly in their next 11 games. As a matter of fact Gruden made some of the same mistakes that year that you are seeing this year on offense in that instead of featuring the running game with his young quarterbacks, he chunked the ball around the field and put our defense in very precarious positions. That we won 4 games was a testament to Monte Kiffin, thats for damn sure.

Now just like with the Moss quote, this isn't an argument that goes beyond the point I am making. That being that Jon Gruden also had a shitty season as Buccaneers coach. That doesn't excuse what we are seeing every week from Coach Morris and his staff. And that isn't to say that they Glazer's should have hired Coach Morris in the first place. I am not taking a position on that. What I am saying is that its not like Gruden was some hall of fame coach that never had any stumbles. He did, and it was just a short 3 years ago when he too had a season to forget. People should remember that when they try to elevate him as some kind of savior who should never have been fired in the first place.

That is all.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Quick Note On The Bucs Game Today

You have one team with a rookie quarterback that just threw 5 interceptions last week. You have another team with a young quarterback who has been the backup all year. One team decides to run the ball no matter what. Another team decides to line up in shotgun and throw the ball around.

Which team do you think was the Bucs?

The Jets ran the ball 42 times. Let that sink in for a minute.

FORTY TWO MUTHAFUCKIN TIMES

Out of those 42 times they had 2 big runs totally 58 yards. You take those two runs away and they ran the ball 40 times for 117 yards for a 2.9 average. They weren't ripping the our defense with the run. In point of fact for most of the day our defense kicked their ass on the run. And the Jets are ranked number one in rushing offense in the whole NFL. But they didn't give a damn. They knew that it was hot and that their quarterback isn't that good. So they decided they would run the ball, not turn it over, and keep our defense on the field for as much of the game as they could.

The Bucs on the other hand evidently thought they had the second coming of Joe Montana as they decided to start off the game in shotgun and throw the ball with Josh Freeman. The interception to start off the game deep in our own territory evidently did nothing to dissuade them from chunking it all over the field. And that's how they end up throwing the ball 33 times, having Freeman scramble 4 other times and get him sacked 3 other times. Add it all up and their offensive coordinator, Greg Olsen, called at least 40 passes with a rookie quarterback who just threw 5 picks last week and facing the number one pass defense in all of the NFL.

Oh and we ran the ball all of 20 times. I believe I pointed out last week that we passed it twice as much as we ran it that game too.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is not rocket science. If it were there would be a lot fewer coaches in the NFL. When you have a young quarterback and your defense is playing well and ESPECIALLY if you are playing in warm weather, weather that the Jets were unaccustomed to, YOU RUN THE MUTHAFUCKING BALL. And I don't mean run it on first down and then maybe throw it if you don't get much. I mean you commit to running the ball on first and second down and hell maybe even if its 3rd and medium you run it then too. That is what football is all about.

What its not about is selling out your defense and keeping them on the field all got damn day just so you can showcase your new toy to the detriment of the team overall. I don't know how anybody on the offensive staff can even look any of the defensive coaches or players in the face after this game.

Now ultimately this falls on the head coach though. Raheem Morris may not call the offensive plays but he for damn sure hears them in his head phones. Well its time to start vetoing a bunch of this bullshit. I remember when the know nothing assholes in this town on the radio and elsewhere used to knock Coach Dungy because we ran the ball so much and we were "boring" on offense. Well you go back and look at our record in December, especially our home record. We beat teams into submission with our running game in this Florida heat and they didn't want to come down here and see us. I saw defenders for other teams literally quit after trying to tackle Mike Alstott and Warrick Dunn for 3 quarters.

That's what wins ball games. All this Mickey Mouse throwing just for the sake of throwing bullshit is how you get beat.

Now maybe nobody on the offensive staff really gives a damn anymore. Maybe for them the games are just glorified practices where they can experiment and wait to get the first pick in the draft. I don't really believe that, but for the people who do I can understand why. What I do know is that they owe the defense a big ass apology for the product they put on the field today. I am sick and tired of watching bad football and what we are doing on offense with our game plan is fucking offensive.

I will say this much, watch the game today wouldn't make me feel any sense of comfort that anybody on the offensive staff has a fucking clue of what they are doing. And that's AFTER the debacle last week. Take that how you will.

Live Blogging The Bucs Vs Jets Week 14

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Congratulations Mark Ingram, The 2009 Heisman Award Winner

Being the best player on the best team in the country should mean something, and tonight it did as Alabama sophomore running back, Mark Ingram, was awarded the Heisman Trophy. I know the other 4 candidates all had compelling stories but Ingram doing what he did, in the SEC, leading his team to an undefeated season, for me was the very definition of a Heisman trophy winner. I believe the honor was well deserved and I also think he has a great chance of repeating next year.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Congratulations To Charlie Strong!

I am a little late on this one but I wanted to take a moment to congratulate former Florida defensive coordinator, Charlie Strong, on being named the new Head Coach at the Unversity of Louisville. Considering the things he has done with that defense at Florida, this was a long time coming for him and very deserved.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hot Off The Presses: Week 14

Thursday

Steelers at Browns: Steelers.

Sunday

Saints at Falcons: Saints.

Packers at Bears: Bears.

Broncos at Colts: Colts

Bills at Chiefs: Chiefs.

Jets at Bucs: Jets.

Dolphins at Jaguars: Dolphins.

Lions at Ravens: Ravens.

Seahawks at Texans: Texans.

Bengals at Vikings: Vikings.

Panthers at Patriots: Patriots.

Rams at Titans: Titans.

Redskins at Raiders: Raiders.

Chargers at Cowboys: Cowboys.

Eagles at Giants: Eagles.

Monday

Cardinals at 49ers: Cardinals.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bucs Films Review: Carolina Panthers #2 Week 13

After a two week hiatus we are back this week with The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

The Good

Antonio Bryant: This guy made all kinds of circus catches all day and you just had to wonder what the season might have been like had he not hurt his knee in training camp. I have no illusions that we would be in the playoff hunt right now, but THAT guy is a game changer without question. He would have made a difference.

The Offensive Line minus Jeremy Trueblood: For the most part these guys really played well on Sunday. They gave up 2 sacks but kept Freeman clean for the better part of the game. They really physically took it to the Panthers on the run game also. Now if only we called more runs....

Maurice Stovall: You would have to be blind not to see that Stovall has been an upgrade over Michael Clayton. I never want guys to get hurt, but I sincerely hope that Stovall has shown the coaches enough now so that whenever Clayton gets back Stovall continues to start. A wide receiver is paid to make catches and Stovall does that better than Clayton, hands down, end of argument.

Cadillac Williams: In one of his best performances of the year Caddy had 92 yards on just 17 carries and was a physical presence all day long. Again, if only he had more carries...

Chris Pressley: That young guy can really block. I think its time to see a backfield with him and Earnest Graham in it, especially close to the goalline.

* I would like to recognize a defensive player as having a good game, especially since as a unit they played relatively well. But I just couldn't find anybody on defense who did enough to be recognized as having a good game. They all did some things good and they all did some things bad. It is what it is.

The Bad

Greg Olsen: I was lightweight considering putting Offensive Coordinator Olsen in the Ugly category but I showed some mercy this time. But his play calling for much of the day was suspect at best. Any time you have both of your running backs running well and your team ends up with whopping 5.4 yard average from the running back position but you decide to only run the ball 22 times, something is fucking wrong. Especially fucking wrong when you end up throwing the ball twice as many times, on the road and only down at most 10 points. I had a feeling this kind of bullshit would happen though once Josh Freeman was named the starter. Because the perception is that the coaching staff will rise and fall with Freeman's performance the pressure is there to showcase him so to speak. The problem of course is that he is still a rookie and he is still going to be prone to making mistakes.

It's precisely for that reason that you run the ball, particularly in the redzone, to take pressure off the guy. What you DON'T do is line up in shotgun on first down at the 20 or closer and try to chunk the ball around. For anybody reading this that ever wants to go into coaching, pay close attention to what I am about to say. If you want your redzone percentage to be close to 100% RUN THE GOT DAMN BALL IN THE REDZONE! And it wasn't just that we didn't run the ball, it was also that our power 0/counter play to our right with Jeremy Zuttah pulling play side was friggin killing the Panthers all day. Hell I am not sure that we got less than 3 yards on that play all day. Yet we get close to the endzone and instead of running the play that evidently the Panthers just can't stop, we keep running slants and having Freeman throw into traffic where he tends to have problems as any rookie quarterback would.

One final note. We have two guys who catch the ball on offense who are 6 ft 5 or better. You mean to tell me that out of all our trips in the redzone we can't throw a fade to Stovall or Jerramy Stevens even once? Hell if we aren't throwing Stevens the ball on fade routes close to the endzone, I am not sure at all why we even have his non blocking ass on the team. Real Talk.

Chris Hovan: My critique is here.

Connor Barth: Doesn't take long for a kicker to go from looking like a savior to looking like a goat. I am not the world's biggest fan of kickers any damn way and Barth HAS to make those two he missed on Sunday. They weren't chip shots but they weren't long shots either. That bad karma we have from cutting Matt Bryant seems to be lingering for the whole season. I really hope it doesn't bite us in the ass big time when we play the team he just signed with, Atlanta, in a couple of weeks.

The Ugly

Jeremy Trueblood: The guy is a LOSER!

Josh Freeman: Yeah I could make a lot of excuses for the kids but I am not going to. Five interceptions is unacceptable on any level of football. Four interceptions in the redzone basically kills your team. Its funny because as I was replaying the game again I heard avowed Freeman Fluffer and otherwise great guy, John Lynch, say after the first interception that basically it was no big deal because Freeman would bounce back and it wouldn't affect him the rest of the game. I don't know if he jinxed the guy or what but Lynch for damn sure ended up with egg on his face by the end of the game. To be sure it wasn't all bad. A few of those passes to Antonio Bryant were just sick and he made a couple more really good runs off scrambles. But it seems that he gets locked in on the guy he wants to throw the ball to presnap and really doesn't deviate from that much even when other reads are open. Again, that's what rookies do. But that is something he is going to have to get better with if we stand any shot of winning any of these last few games.

Well that's it for now. I do have a bonus for you this week though. I am playing around using my white board and I decided to diagram a counter play the Panthers ran on our defense several times on Sunday to illustrate where Geno Hayes SHOULD have been to make the play.




On this play we are in an under defense and its in the 2nd quarter. If you need a reference point, its right before Geno gets his interception. The Sam linebacker (Quincy Black) is up on the line in front of the guy on the line in the bunch set as he should be. The defensive end (Tim Crowder) was in a 5 technique, outside shoulder of the offensive tackle. The tackle to that side (Chris Hovan) is lined up on the outside shade of the center. The tackle backside (Ryan Sims) is in a 3 technique outside shade of the guard and the backside end (Jimmy Wilkerson) in a wide 5 technique outside of the offensive tackle. The middle linebacker (Barrett Ruud) is lined up in the B gap strong and the Will linebacker (Geno Hayes) is lined up in the A gap weak. Now it appears that the strong safety (Sabby Piscitelli) is supposed to be in the box but I personally would have liked to see him with a wider alignment against that bunch set and about a yard or two closer to the line of scrimmage.

As you look at the blocking scheme here is what should happen on this play. The Sam LB should spill the offensive guard's block, meaning go inside of it to make the running back have to bounce outside. The defensive end to that side should fight the double. The defensive tackle to that side should play back into the playside guard and maintain his gap in case the ball cuts back. The backside defensive tackle should play the center's block and stay in the gap for cutback. The backside defensive end should get upfield to check bootleg then run to the ball.

The Mike linebacker should spill the tight ends's block coming out of the bunch. And the Strong Safety should play over the top of the wide receivers block trying to keep his outside arm free. And then we come to Hayes, the Will linebacker.

Once he sees the guard to his side pull he has to know that he has to get over the top to the other side of the formation. He basically has to pull just like the guard once he reads run because the guard is effectively creating another hole to the other side. The thing of it is, its not necessarily that Hayes would end up making the tackle, however if he gets over the top one of two things SHOULD happen. Either he should make the tackle, or he should take up that wide receiver's block leaving Sabby unblocked to make the tackle. Either way, if he gets over the top, Johnathan Stewart doesn't get 28 yards. If you look on the diagram the green line is where he should have gone and the red line is where he actually went, trying to shoot the gap and make the play in the backfield. That's what I mean when I say he plays too much on instinct and not enough of his playbook.

Now I know most people focused on the fact that Ronde Barber whiffed on the tackle attempt, and truly that was not a good look. You would definitely like to see Ronde make that tackle, but even though he didn't he still made the smart play. Ronde is one of those guys who always knows where his help is. And for that reason he took his shot at Stewart's outside leg, knowing that if he cut back that there should be help there to make the tackle. Because Hayes never got over the top, that help never came and Stewart was out of the gate.

I hope you like this chalk talk segment, if people give me positive feedback I will try to do more of this in these final few games.

Update: I found this link to the highlights (or in this case lowlights) of the game. The running play in question is the third one in the series.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bull Rush

My latest offering us up over at joebucsfan. As usual I appreciate all the support and I welcome all comments and questions.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Jeremy Trueblood Is A Loser


Hell yeah I said it.
Lets take a trip down memory lane. Last year interim San Francisco 49ers Head Coach Mike Singletary benched his talented but idiotic tight end Vernon Davis after the latest of his ridiculous penalties that hurt his team. At first it appeared that he had just pulled Davis for a series or two but the cameras caught him going to Davis and telling him to take it in to the showers because he was done for the day. After the game here is how Singletary explained his decision.





Now does Vernon Davis sound like somebody on our team? Somebody who REPEATEDLY gets penalties that hurt us? Somebody who NEVER shows one iota of remorse?

Jeremy Trueblood is killing us on offense and I'll say this much about him, he didn't just start this week or this year. He has been pulling this kind of bullshit since the day he started at right tackle and enough is e fucking nough!

I rarely if ever care about Offensive linemen getting holding penalties. To me that usually just shows they're trying to block somebody, it happens. But when you get penalties for jumping damn near every game. When you get a personal foul at crucial times like every other game. When you do this over and over through out your career to the point where its your calling card, then yeah I have a HUGE problem with that.

I applaud Coach Morris for pulling his ass out of the game immediately today when he got that personal foul, but I have to say I was VERY dissappointed to see him back in on the next series. That guy will not learn his lesson by missing a couple of plays, and honestly, at this point, I would rather lose with his backup than win with him. Because unless and until he realizes that what he is doing is counter productive to what the TEAM is trying to do, he won't stop doing it.

Now I know there are some misguided souls who think that kind of bullshit shows "toughness" or "aggressiveness". Well let me ask the handful of you a question. How many times do you see offensive linemen for teams that are winning teams year in and year out get those kinds of penalties? How many times do you see the Steelers, the Colts, the Patriots, the Giants or teams of that caliber have their offensive linement kill drives week after week with stupid penalties? Ever wonder why that is?

Its called discipline and you can't win consistently without it. Its what separates winners from losers and Jeremy Trueblood doesn't have any. This season is beyond lost at this point, Coach Morris' job security is definitely in question. If I were him I would go out there these last few games and win or lose on my own terms.
They say they want to see the young players, well I say start with Trueblood's back up Demar Dotson. I don't know if he is as good an athlete as Trueblood but at least so far I know he isn't getting stupid penalties on a regular basis. And maybe, just maybe, Trueblood can use his time on the pine to do some of the soul searching he should have been doing up to this point. Hell the Vernon Davis story actually turns out pretty good. After an offseason with Singletary he cleans up a lot of that extracurricular foolishness and is eventually named a captain. Who knows, maybe Trueblood could have a similar transformation.

But here is what I do know, with our offense as anemic as it has been we simply can not afford to be a charity. And as far as Jeremy Trueblood goes as for right now we "can not play with him, can not win with him, can not coach with him, can't do it".

Live Blogging The Bucs Vs Panthers #2 Week 13

Saturday, December 5, 2009

SEC Championship Game

I have been waiting for this Alabama/Florida rematch all year. I think these are the two best teams in the nation and this game should really be the National Championship game. I feel confident in saying either team will beat the brakes off Texas in the Championship game and it won't be close.

My pick for the winner of this game is....

Alabama

I think this will be a defensive struggle and to me that favors Alabama. They have the perfect personnel to play Florida's offense. Their interior D Line is massive which means those inside dive plays won't have a lot of room for Florida's backs. And their Linebackers are big enough to take Tim Tebow to the turf one on one in space. That is something you can't say for most college football teams. In particular I think the game within a game I am most looking forward to is Alabama's all world linebacker, Rolando McClain, against Florida's all everything QB, Tim Tebow, one on one in the open field. That in and of itself will be worth the price of admission for me.

Their secondary is also underrated and I think people are going to be surprised how few opportunities there are tonight for Florida's receivers to get behind them. Javier Arenas might end up being the player of the game today as he shows off his cover corner skills and his physicality making tackles versus Florida's option game.

As for Florida's defense, they are great against the pass but suspect against the run in my opinion. Both LSU and Tennessee had success running down hill right at them and I would suspect that will be Bama's game plan. I think the triumvirate of Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson, and Roy Upchurch are going to pound Florida all game and in the 3rd and 4th quarter you will begin to see them break some tackles and get to the second level.

Now the X factor in this game is the offensive game plan of the Crimson Tide. If they stick to the run and only throw occasionally they will be fine. But if they try to put the game in the hands of Greg McElroy in an effort to get the ball to their excellent receiver Julio Jones, they are gonna be in trouble. The Gators are built to play the pass. They have fast guys up front and at linebacker to harass the quarterback and their secondary is full of ball hawks. If Bama throws more than they run then the Gators will pick off McElroy at least twice and they will lose.

But I think Saban realizes this and will adjust his offensive gameplan accordingly. Ball control and ball security will be the buzz words for this game.

Final score: Alabama 24 Florida 21.

What say you?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

On Tiger Woods

I don't agree with sports columnist Jason Whitlock a lot of the time but his column on Tiger Woods, or more specifically the hypocrisy of the sports pundits who are taking pot shots at Tiger, is truly a must read.

Hot Off The Presses: Week 13

I think I am going to stick with just giving the picks for the rest of the year. If you have questions on any game just hit me up in comments and I will explain my thinking on it.

Thursday

Jets at Bills: Bills.

Sunday

Eagles at Falcons: Eagles.

Rams at Bears: Bears.

Lions at Bengals: Bengals.

Titans at Colts: Colts.

Broncos at Chiefs: Broncos.

Saints at Redskins: Saints.

Bucs at Panthers: Bucs.

Texans at Jaguars: Jaguars.

Raiders at Steelers: Steelers.

Patriots at Dolphins: Patriots.

Chargers at Browns: Chargers.

49ers at Seahawks: 49ers.

Cowboys at Giants: Cowboys.

Vikings at Cardinals: Vikings.

Monday

Ravens at Packers: Packers.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Xs And Os

You asked for it, you got it. Several readers over at joebucsfan asked for another post with more of the Xs and Os aspects of the Falcons game so I decided to give them what they wanted. Here is the new post and I hope everyone enjoys it!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Bull Rush

My latest edition of Bull Rush is up over at joebucsfan. Go check it out and let me know what you think!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Live Blogging The Bucs Vs Falcons Week 12

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Kerry Rhodes Channels Latrell Sprewell


I don't think any real sports fan has ever forgotten Latrell Sprewell's quote in 2004 when he turned down a 3 year $21 million dollar contract extension from the Minnesota Timberwolves:



"I have a family to feed"

Yeah, $21 million, who could possibly eat off that?

Well we now have a new contender for Sprewell's throne for most financially out of touch pro player.

The guy's name is Kerry Rhodes and he fancies himself a model and an actor while his day job is formerly starting safety for the New York Jets.

I say formerly because he has just been demoted by first year head coach Rex Ryan. The same Rex Ryan who had been the defensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens. The same Rex Ryan who had favorably compared Rhodes to his all world safety in Baltimore, Ed Reed, prior to the season starting.

Having watched Rhodes play all year I was only surprised that it took this long to bench him. The guy had become a liability on defense and he didn't look very brave on some of his tackling opportunities.

Now I am not saying that his modeling or acting had anything to do with his fall off in play, but I will say this. I never was a fan of guys doing too much during the season. There is plenty of time in the off season to pursue other interests, ball to you fall, go back to school, whatever a guy might want to do. But when the season is going on I liked to know that guys were singularly focused on winning games. And I just don't know how you can give that kind of commitment if every Tuesday you are chasing other dreams.

But I digress.

This article on Rhodes' benching is pretty much predictable right until you get to his quote at the end justifying his modeling and acting pursuits.




"If I can't have a living and do what I want to do besides football, maybe they should pay my bills," said Rhodes, who will make close to $10 million this season. "I have to think of my career outside football. Football is not forever."


Yeah Kerry Rhodes, with unemployment over 10% in this country and people losing their homes everyday, I am sure all of those Jets fans are gonna be REALLY sympathetic to you needing more than the almost $10 million dollars you are making in this year alone so you can "pay your bills".

To call that a dumbass statement would be an insult to dumbass statements.

If that really is Kerry Rhodes' mentality then some how I doubt he will ever be the player that some folks thought he might become. He certainly has taken several steps back this season.

But who knows, maybe he will be the next Denzel.

And perhaps then he will never again have to worry about covering that pesky light bill.

It is what it is.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Yes I'm still a big kid lol.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hot Off The Presses: Week 12

No explanations this week, hell everybody deserves a holiday right? So buckle your seat because here we go.

Thursday

Happy Thanksgiving!

Packers at Lions: Packers.

Raiders at Cowboys: Cowboys.

Giants at Broncos: Broncos.

Sunday

Bucs at Falcons: Falcons.

Dolphins at Bills: Dolphins.

Browns at Bengals: Bengals.

Seahawks at Rams: Rams.

Panthers at Jets: Jets.

Redskins at Eagles: Eagles.

Colts at Texans: Colts.

Chiefs at Chargers: Chargers.

Jaguars at 49ers: 49ers.

Cardinals at Titans: Cardinals.

Bears at Vikings: Vikings.

Steelers at Ravens: Ravens.

Monday

Patriots at Saints: Saints.