Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thrown Under The Bus

I had to just kind of shake my head when I saw this on joebucsfan yesterday.

“We’re just not made right now to knock people back. That’s not how we’re cut,” Raheem The Dream said. “We don’t have big intimidating linebackers or big intimidating linemen. We gotta hit you. We gotta be perfect. …We don’t have the big people, the big personnel that you need to knock out runs. The physical person up front who just absolutely dominates the block and gets a tackle for a loss for a 3rd and 13. Which we’ll get there. We’ll find them guys. We’ll go out there and get them.

“Right now, we have to play with the guys we have. They gotta to continue to play like they did yesterday as far as having five series three-and-out, having two series four-and-out, and having two big turnovers. …We gotta get the big guys in there and let them play a little bit. …We’ve got to make decisions at the end of the season once we get there. Right now. That’s who we have. That’s the guys.

Let's set aside for just a moment whether anything Coach Morris said was true or not. Is this REALLY the right time for him to come out with this? The guys who he basically says aren't good enough are the same guys who are fighting their asses off every single Sunday trying to make sure he doesn't get fired. And lets be honest here, no matter what there won't be any new defensive linemen or linebackers walking through the doors over at One Buc Palace for the last 7 games.

But its not just that he called out the guys out front, notice the guys he DOESN'T call out. You know, the guys he used to coach in the secondary. Funny thing is the secondary, primarily the safeties, primarily Sabby Piscitelli has missed more tackles on this team allowing more yards after contact than any other group by far. But you don't see Coach Morris saying we just don't have the right kind of safeties or we are going to have to go out and find some secondary guys who can tackle after this season is over.

Nope, to hear him tell it the problem is ALLLLLL up front.

Ironic because the longest run of the day on Sunday was on a play when Sabby got his ankles broke by Ronnie Brown and totally whiffed when all of the guys up front did their job and funneled the ball carrier right to him, the unblocked defender. As a matter of fact though Sabby might be a great guy and all he has had the worst season of anybody on the defense in my opinion. But have you heard a lot of fire headed his way?

Of course not.

But the really ironic thing here is that the scheme sucks so bad that it won't matter WHO they bring in here next year. Look around the league at other 4-3 defenses that have really big defensive tackles. Look at the Vikings, look at the Patriots, look at the Eagles. Did you notice that ALL those other teams put their nose tackles over the center most of the time? Did you see ANY of those teams run a scheme similar to ours up front?


The truth is they can bring in Vince Wilfork AND draft Rolondo McClain, if we run the same scheme it won't make a damned bit of difference. And you know what else? Arguments about needing the right guys in a defense ring hollow to me.

I would assume that the Bucs knew what kind of guys Jim Bates wanted for his defense in the offseason before the draft. Yet we drafted Roy Miller who definitely doesn't fit into what they SAY they need now and we drafted Kyle Moore who is a tweener guy. Not only that but they didn't even attempt to go out and find the kind of guy they SAY they need in free agency. Hell how about that attempt to move Jermaine Phillips to weakside linebacker from safety? Was he supposed to be big enough to play in this defense? There are so many obvious contradictions here that I can't do anything but laugh at it all. And the fact that Coach Morris decided to say that it is a personnel issue focusing on everybody except "his" guys strikes me as very disappointing and very disingenuous.

Now I know there are some people who will claim this was some kind of motivational ploy. To those people I call bullshit. You see if the guys up front were being given the opportunity to make plays and just were consistently not making them then that's one thing. But when your scheme makes it harder instead of easier for guys to make plays and then you blame THEM for the failures what you are really doing is just throwing them under the bus. I don't see anything good coming of this.

Nothing good at all...


  1. You're a braver man than me Steve. I wouldn't go on record as "assuming that the Bucs knew what kind of guys Jim Bates wanted for his defense in the offseason before the draft". Not in the wake of the total lack of examination done before hiring one ex-offensive coordinator, who shall remain nameless. Many, many rookie mistakes between Morris and Dominik this year, I'm just hoping they realize the one they made in bringing in Bates and have the stones to remedy it after this season. I have a BAD feeling though that they'll refuse to admit to blowing both the OC & DC hires in the same season and they'll give Bates one more year so they can bring in "His Guys". LOL

  2. OK, the scheme doesn't fit the players we have. Let's assume that the FO realizes that they screwed up on both sides of the ball with their coordinator picks and dumps Bates. You say the players we have are fighting for their jobs despite the scheme so the question that I have is this: who out there, NFL or College, could take our guys and make a viable defense out of them? What coach can we bring in that will pull it all together?

  3. I would hope that the FO would look at Charlie Strong (Fl.), Jim Heacock (Ohio St.), or Will Muschamp (Texas). If Wade Phillips were to be let go, I think you'd have to look at him based on his DC success in the past as well. Bates just doesn't seem to have the ability/desire to change his scheme to fit the players, nor make adjustments during the games themselves to counter what the opposing offenses are trying to do.