Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bucs Bits

There are two bits of Bucs news that I wanted to comment on. The first one is about Jermaine Phillips going back to safety.

TAMPA - The Jermaine Phillips experiment is over – for now.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris said Tuesday the plan to shift Phillips from safety to outside linebacker has been shelved while free safety Tanard Jackson serves a 4-game suspension to start the season.

Geno Hayes will get first shot at the weakside linebacker spot while Phillips returns to the secondary, joining Will Allen and Sabby Piscitelli at safety.

"You've got to have three safeties and I'm not confident at that spot past Will and Sabby,'' Morris said. "I was starting to see something special out of Jermaine. He's been unbelievable … you talk about unselfish. But he'll be a safety at that point (September). It will be Sabby, Will and Flip (Phillips). That means Geno has to step up, Adam Hayward. One has to step up and become that guy.''

This was a move that I was never sold on to begin with. Its a different world when a guy moves from Safety to Linebacker. But there is a really really easy fix. Somebody ought to have already called Derrick Brooks and begged him to come back for one more year. The guy is in shape, he recently had work outs with the Saints and the Raiders. And if there was ever someone who could keep this team together with the turmoil they are about to face with a new Head Coach, a new starting QB and a new cast of characters on Defense its Brooks. It never made sense to me why they cut him especially when the only rationale that would have made sense, that they wanted to get bigger at Linebacker, was proven false when they moved Phillips up to his old position.

I think this would solve quite a few problems for the Bucs right now and to me it should be a no brainer. And trust me on this, Brooks is a guy who wouldn't hold a grudge and would probably jump at the chance to come back.

The other bit of news is about Cadillac Williams getting a start this week.

Running back Cadillac Williams, mounting a second straight comeback from serious knee surgery, will start at running back for the Bucs in their preseason game against the Dolphins Thursday night.

In announcing that news, coach Raheem Morris also revealed how he intends to use his running back rotation throughout the season. As will be the case on Thursday, Morris said the starter will get two series, followed by another back playing the next two series and a third getting a single series.

Asked if that would remain the case throughout the season, Morris replied, "if it works, that's what I'd like to do. I want to go into it with that thought." Morris left open the possibility that the rotation could be altered based on a particular back having a hot hand.

Coach Morris' statements aside, I think this is the strongest indication so far that Caddy will not be on the team this year. The only reason they could possibly have for wanting him to start in the third preseason game when its obvious that at best he would be the 3rd team Tailback is so that they can show case his skills for another team in hopes of either trading him or being able to waive him and have another team pick him up. I was kind of wavering on whether or not they would end up jettisoning him after Kareem Hudgins got injured in the Jacksonville game but my guess is they got good news on Hudgins coming back in time for the regular season to start. I know that most people will look at Caddy getting a start as a good thing but in the NFL everything isn't always what it seems.

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