Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bucs Films Review: Philadelphia Eagles Week 5

The Good The Bad and The Ugly

The Good:

-Jimmy Wilkerson. If the Bucs had won this game Wilkerson would be the NFC if not the NFL defensive player of the week hands down. The guy had three sacks, a pass knocked down and numerous tackles for a stat sheet stuffing day at the office. Unfortunately he didn't get much help.

-Kellen Winslow Jr. The guy is becoming the weapon we all envisioned when the Bucs signed him and he and Josh Johnson seem to be building a rapport together. If we have any chance of getting on the winning track we will need him to continue his strong play.

-Josh Johnson. Yes that Josh Johnson who threw 4 picks. The guy got sold out so many times it wasn't funny on Sunday. He was standing in the pocket staring down untouched blitzing linebackers and still delivering the ball to his receivers only to see them drop it. But again we saw the glimpses of what he can be. He had an electrifying run that was called back for holding and he showed all kind of poise for a guy making only his second start and in his second season in the league. I know some folks are clamoring for first round pick Josh Freeman but I for one would much rather see where this Josh can take us for now.

The Bad

-4th down decisions. I realize that a lot of people will say that Coach Raheem Morris was justified in going for it on 4th down instead of kicking field goals because the team was 0-4 with "nothing to lose" but I disagree. Now don't get me wrong, I am generally in favor of coaches making agressive decisions at crucial times in the game. But here is what I am looking at, we were on the road with a quarterback making his second start, an offensive line that couldn't hold up against the Eagles' blitzes and a defense that wasn't exactly setting the world on fire. In a situation like that there really is a need for "moral victories" inside the game and I think getting points would have done a lot for the team's psychology heading into half time.

Does that mean it would have changed the outcome of the game? Probably not. But at the least it would have given a bit more hope that we could come back eventually if we finally started converting on 3rd down. I am not even tripping off going for it on 4th down the first time. But after that we should be trying to get points on the board as much as we can to help give our offense some confidence about what they are doing.

-Geno Hayes. After some way way premature talk by some sports pundits bout Hayes' potential for Pro Bowl type play after his performance in Washington, he came back down to earth this week. Those splash plays in the backfield didn't really materialize for him and he got caught flat footed in pass coverage several times. Doesn't mean I am down on Hayes, but it just shows that he has a long way to go in his development.

-The running game. On a week when Greg Olsen stated that he wanted to start featuring Cadillac Williams in the running game to get it going a little bit neither happened. Derrick Ward was still in on what seemed to be the same substitution pattern (and he had the better day rushing) and the running game never really got off the ground. I realize the Eagles jumped on us pretty quickly in the first half but we can't win if our offense becomes one dimensional no matter what the score. We should have run the ball more to control the clock and possess the ball but instead we pretty much threw Josh Johnson out to the wolves.

The Ugly

-Defense giving up the big play. At some point somebody at One Buc Palace is going to have to acknowlede that the defensive scheme being used by Jim Bates does not match up with the talent we have. The fact that we are giving up big plays week after week is not just some kind of damned coincidence. And its not like we don't have talent on our defense either. But when you have corners and safeties more suited to playing zone and you keep putting them in press coverage and essentially one on one coverage this is what you can expect to keep happening. We also don't have the kind of defensive line that will get to quarterback on a regular basis fast enough to hide any weak links in that kind of scheme. I am pretty sure there is a lot of tape over there of years and years of that defense playing tampa 2 coverage and I highly suggest somebody take the time out to to watch it, study it, and get it implemented before we get embarrassed again this Sunday.

-Offensive Line vs Philly blitzes. I believe, but can't prove, that Sean Mahan was the primary culprit but one thing is for sure, somebody was screwing up the protections big time against the Eagles. You can't keep having a situation over and over where a blocker is coming in untouched on your quarterback right up the middle I don't give a damn who you have back there pulling the trigger. Josh Johnson was basically set up for failure on Sunday and to be honest the success he did have was remarkable. Philly is good at blitzing sure but they weren't even hiding it much last Sunday. So for them to keep coming free in the A gap over and over was totally unacceptable. Thanks God Jeff Faine is coming back this week and we should finally get to see what Johnson can do if given enough time to actually see the whole field.

-Dropped Balls. I personally felt like the performance of our wide receivers on Sunday warranted some kind of wake up call. Whether it was cutting someone, or benching someone that a message needed to be sent that dropping the ball when its right in your hands is totally unacceptable. And specifically Michael Clayton who started the season off strong, should be ashamed of how he played. In a week where the guy called out the team for not giving him opportunities he got plenty of them on Sunday and pissed right down his leg. To make things worse he made it seem as if it was no big deal and that he was going to get paid regardless.

I am not quite sure who is advising this cat or who the hell he learned this philosophy about playing wide receiver from but I am about damned tired of hearing him say that he is going to stay positive. There is a time and a place to actually get pissed off at yourself and he is about 3 years late on that one as it is. When you are supposed to be a top notch wideout, dropped passes should upset you. You think Jerry Rice or Michael Irvin didn't get mad at themselves when they dropped a pass they should have caught? Mind you those guys were so damned focused that you would be hard pressed to find an instance of them dropping the kinds of balls that Clayton drops on the regular. And yet this cat keeps coming with that weaksauce excuse that he just needs more opportunities?


What he needs is to watch the game from the damn sidelines and let other guys get their chance. If a linebacker kept missing tackles would he get to keep playing? If a left tackle kept giving up sacks would he keep his job? Then why in the hell is Clayton still on the field? If we need great blocking we have plenty of tight ends.

Receivers get paid to catch the ball, its about time we put somebody on the field who knows how to do that!

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