Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Bucs Films Review: Washington Redskins Week 4

I am going to change up the format a little today. Let's go with The Good, The Bad and The Ugly...

The Good

I thought Josh Johnson had helluva first game as the starting quarterback of the Bucs. He threw the ball well for the most part and he made things happen with his legs. He also was a good in game manager, taking timeouts when players seemed confused before the snap. He did have that one interception and that was definitely a bad read, but one of the most impressive things, I thought, was that he didn't try to force the ball other than that throw. The truth is he put us in position to win the game several times and the touchdown pass he threw to Antonio Bryant was a thing of beauty. If I had one complaint its that at times he seemed conflicted about whether to take off running or not. I think at this stage of the game with the team not having much to lose I would much rather see him use his legs than not even if he might not hit a guy 10 yards down field or so. He is electrifying when he gets in the open field and he has me excited about the rest of the year.

Gaines Adams had a great game after being virtually nonexistent the first 3 weeks. He started the game being a part of the first three stops on defense and he continued to play well through out. He had a sack as well as a fumble recover and he knocked down a pass on 3rd down. He also made some really nice plays in the run game, in particular a tackle for a loss he had on Clinton Portis after he beat the tight end blocking with with a quick hands move inside. Having said all that I still wish they would keep the guy on the right side. On a day when he actually had his pass rush working he never got to face the guy he got a sack on, Chris Samuels, on any third and long. That to me is just nonesensical and hopefully at some point the Bucs figure that out. I would say why not put Greg White inside like he was as a pass rusher his first year with the Bucs when he first made a splash. Then you allow Jimmy Wilkerson to keep working his guy on the outside as well.

Aqib Talib finally lived up to the hype he built up over the last year. His three interceptions should have been enough for us to win that game hands down. He did get beat on a double move by Santana Moss but hell that happens to all corners. What matters is that he put our offense in great field position but unfortunately they weren't always able to capitalize on it.

Sean Mahan actually played a lot better than I expected. I was worried all week that Albert Haynesworth would end up exploiting him and live in our backfield. But the truth is for the most part Mahan handled Haynesworth and at the least stayed between him and the ball. His pass protection was also a lot better this game than I have ever seen him do on a Bucs uniform.

Geno Hayes showed up big time. He was coming down hill most of the game and had several tackles for a loss and really good open field tackles. At times he still looks a little hesitant but it appears the light is finally going off for the guy. If he keeps that up it should put a lot of pressure on teams to have to convert on third and long rather than third and short. He still needs some work in pass coverage though which was apparent on the touchdown toss to Chris Cooley.

The Bad

Jerramy Stevens is just awful as a blocker and I think its time that he gets pushed out of that role. Kellen Winslow Jr is our starter and our pass catching tight end anyway so why not use John Gilmore (who decleated rookie Brian Arakpo on a crack back block) as the blocking tight end and just use Stevens as a second pass catching tight end. At the moment it appears that Stevens is getting playing time off his reputation and unfortunately a reputation doesn't open holes for our running backs.

Jeremy Trueblood has to fix his penalty problem and fast. We do not have enough talent on this team to over come 1st and 15 several times a game. This is a problem he has had since he came into the league but it appears its about to get to an epidemic level. The coaches have to get this corrected in practice before it ends up costing us a game.

There were some coaching decisions that were real head scratchers to me. First on two big third downs in the second half Jim Bates decided to go with a three man defensive line. This after the line gave the Redskins fits in the first half and harrassed Jason Campbell into several bad throws. The result was that on a 3rd and 11 Jason Campbell scrambled for a first down. And on the other play Clinton Portis barely fell down a yard short of the first down. This seemed to be an obvious example of "guruism" at its worse. Bates decided that it was important to show that he had more calls in his playbook and he put he defense at a disadvantage. Most of the time its best to go with what got you there and hopefully he realizes that going forward.

Raheem Morris made two decisions that I will never understand. From the 4 yard line with the offense moving the ball well he decided to kick a field goal on the road and down 7 points late in the fourth quarter. Mind you our kicker had been atrocious for most of the game but we also have several good red zone options including Jerramy Stevens on a jump ball and Michael Clayton working the back of the endzone. By kicking a field goal in that situation Morris sent a message to the team of being too careful in my opinion.

The other decision was putting Clifton Smith in for the most important drive of the game. Its not just that Smith fumbled away the game, although that for damn sure didn't help. Its also that we have an underused Earnest Graham on the team who would be perfect for that role. He is a great receiver out of the backfield, a great blocker in blitz pickup, and on that last play he would have gotten the first down with ease and probably kept the ball in his hands. I know Coach Morris said its Smith's role to be the two minute back, but

A) That doesn't seem to be entirely true since Graham started off the two minute drill drive right before the half. And..

B) Whoever made that decision about having Smith be the two minute drill back should probably change that rotation IMMEDIATELY!

To this day I can't understand why Graham isn't being used more in the offense anyway. I understand why they moved him down the depth chart so as not to make one of the other backs have to run down on kickoffs and punts. But the guy is a weapon and for the most part we are just leaving him on the sideline.

The Ugly

I know the Bucs have already cut kicker Mike Nugent but it all goes back to karma. We had a perfectly good kicker here in Matt Bryant but the Bucs had to engage in a pissing contest. The guy was hurt during the preseason and instead of affording him the respect he had earned over his years here, they decided to make an example out of him because he didn't kick in a preaseason game. A PRESEASON GAME! I don't even know who it is they picked up but I would imagine the kicking game will continue to suffer this year precisely because of the bad karma that decision has wrought.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more. I was dumbfounded they cut him while he was injured. He was our MVP. The Bucs have baffled me with many team decisions. Gruden & his GM looks like they had some direction and it was derailed. I bet he is happy he was fired now. Morris and staff look like their practicing a Chinese fire drill. In many ways all of this fall on the "Glaciers" cold hard refusal to open the wallet. the old saying goes, "it not so much the X's and 0's, as it is the Larry's and the Joe's." So, in short, we need more quality Larry's & Joe's.