Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Axe Has Fallen

Tampa Bay Buccanneers Defensive Coordinator Jim Bates has been relieved of his coaching duties.

From Tampabay.com

TAMPA -- Saddled with the worst run defense in the NFL and a 1-9 record, coach Raheem Morris decided Monday night to relieve Jim Bates as defensive coordinator and take over the defensive play-calling duties.

Bates, 63, will remain with the team at least through the end of the season in a consulting role, breaking down film and helping Morris on game day from the coaching box.

Morris is expected to immediately return the Bucs' to their Tampa Two scheme, which will allow their undersized defensive linemen to take advantage of their quickness rather than penalize them for a lack of size.

Morris and general manager Mark Dominik met until late Monday to discuss the organizational shift, one day after the Bucs were routed by the unbeaten New Orleans Saints 38-7, one of the worst home defeats in club history.

Under Bates, Tampa Bay's defense is ranked 26th overall in the NFL and last against the run, allowing 168.9 yards per game. Only the Detroit Lions have given up more points than the 29.4 per game allowed by the Bucs this season.

Believe it or not I am torn about this. You see while I disagreed with a lot Bates had done during this season, I also realize just how big of a deal it is for a coach to get fired. Coaching in the NFL or on the college level is a very nomadic lifestyle. People get hired and fired so much these days after awhile some coaches don't even have their family's fully unpack until a few years into their contract. Bates won't be leaving immediately but obviously he won't be here after the season is over with and that means unless he retires which is doubtful that he and his family will have to move yet again. Its another reason why coaching is so hard on marriages and parenting.

On the other side of the coin our defense just wasn't getting it done and as I have said many times on this blog, it was the scheme that was killing us. Now I wouldn't expect us to come out and play like the 1994 Dallas Cowboys but I would almost guarantee that the defense will perform markedly better this Sunday when they go back to playing the kind of run defense we have played around here for more than a decade prior to this year. I am not sure if Raheem is going to have a declared undertackle but just without thinking it through I personally would love to see him have Hovan go to the strong side every play so he is always in a position to pass rush and have Sims with his big body always on the center and then have Miller spell both of them at times.

Now Stroud in his article takes a few shots at the defense by saying they don't have many play makers. I respectfully disagree. I would look for Hovan, White, Talib, Black, Jackson, and Ruud to look a lot better this Sunday and make the kind of plays fans have been hoping for all year.

Oh and for all of the haters who thought I was talking out of my ass or that I was "trying to get paid" as one message boarder commented, what do you have to say now?


  1. Steve, how would you like to coach in the NFL? You have a players view, and a good handle on the defense. Just don't unpack for a year..

    Love to read your posts,,very insightful, thanks

    A die hard Georgia Buc's fan. Beat the birds

  2. This is going to be an interesting game coming up. It's a shame we couldn't have gotten marinelli back when he was fired from the Lions. He remains one of my favorite coaches along with Lovie Smith and Herm Edwards.

  3. lol steve, don't read the message boards, most of those fans are f*ckin idiots. instead, post your articles on there or something. attempt to enlighten and them and move on with your day. As noted by the comments, people actually like your writings..err... articles.

  4. I feel sorry for the guy on a personal level, but on a football fan level I'm glad he's gone. Our defense has the ability to play much better and getting back to the basics of Buccaneer defense and the Tampa Two is what I think will do that...of course that's the same thing a lot of people are saying, but after years of having a tough, dominating defense it has been brutal watching our defense this season. I'm not looking for a miracle Sunday, but definitely a big improvement. As always Steve thank you for your insight, I love reading your blogs.