Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

The Bucs game yesterday against the Dolphins was actually a pretty good performance in my opinion.  I know we didn't win but we had several opportunities at the end to either tie it or win the game.  Besides wins and losses aren't always what's most important in the preseason but instead the production of the players who figure to play once the regular season starts as well as the performance of a few guys at the bottom who may make a  push for the active roster.

Well I took another look at the TV copy again today so lets look at who did well, who didn't, and who looked awful.

The Good

-Josh Freeman: Freeman was literally perfect connecting on all 4 of his pass attempts and tossing one touchdown to Sammie Stroughter. The conditions were much less than perfect but he looked like the real deal with his arm and his legs last night. Hopefully he can continue that momentum the rest of the preseason and on into the regular season. I was definitely impressed.

-Cadillac Williams:  Caddy averaged over 5 yards a carry in limited action displaying his signature hardnosed between the tackles running style. It just gets me juiced watching a guy his size running through arm tackles and looking for contact.

-Mike Williams:  Williams only caught one pass but it added to his reputation as a big play receiver going for 30 yards on a go route down the sideline. Not bad for a rookie starting in his very first NFL action. He is looking like one of the steals of the draft so far.

-Kareem Huggins:  Huggins ran for 55 yards and caught 2 passes for 15 more. I don't see how the guy doesn't make the roster this year one way or another. He is just too damn explosive not to.

-E.J. Biggers:  After being somewhat of a forgotten man because he was injured last year, Biggers was all over the field last night trying to get back on everyone's radar. He made several impressive stops in the running game including being in on a tackle for loss and one solo right near the goal line. He also had a crucial fumble recovery when the Dolphins were deep in our territory. He is making a strong push for that nickleback position.

-Michael Bennett:  Bennett had one sack, almost had another and was the best pass rusher displaying superior get off we had last night. Might be time to look for ways to up his playing time if he keeps that up.

-Starting Offensive Line:  Trueblood, Joseph, Faine, Zuttah and Penn all played well, doing a great job of opening holes in the running game and protecting Freeman

-James Lee:  If you're like me you might be saying "who?". I actually had to look up who Lee was after watching tape because I hadn't heard much about him since camp started. But the guy looked good, REALLY good, at left tackle. Its just one game but he looks like the real deal. And that's what we need from our back up offensive linemen.

The Bad

-Josh Johnson:  JJ had some really good plays last night both with his feet and with his arm but he also threw a pick and fumbled the ball twice, losing it once. You just can't be that bad with ball security and expect to be successful. It seemed, at least to me, that he wasn't taking what the defense was giving him. Instead it seemed like he was intent on hitting the big play at all times. If he works on getting the ball out of his hands quickly to the open guy I think he will cut down on a lot of his problems.

-Mark Dile: It appeared that several times Dile blocked the wrong guy and got the running back blown up. When he knew who to block he was ok but those kind of mental errors can lead to turnovers.

-Johnathan Compas: Long day at the office for Compas. He looks to be a smaller guy and the Miami defensive line was rag dolling him. He was trying to fight but it was a losing proposition.

-Sabby's penalty:  Sabby played a good game and then ruined everything by getting the dumbest penalty I have seen in a long time. Not only was it stupid, it also led to the point difference in the game by allowing Miami to get in field goal range instead of playing the next play which was about to be a third and long. Any more foolishness like that and Coach Morris is going to have to give him the Singletary speech.

-Jeron Mastraud:  Yeah, somebody needs a LOT of extra work on the blocking sled. A LOT!!!

The Ugly

-Derek Ward:  To be fair I know Coach Morris said Ward and Huggins ran behind the same line but in fact they didn't. Ward had Jeremy Zuttah for his center while Huggins had Raiola which made a big difference. Of course Zuttah had to block Soliai who is 355 pounds while Donovan Raiola didn't, which probably made a bit of a difference (understatement alert). Either way Ward had a lot less daylight to look at when he was in. Still the problem to me was that it didn't look like Ward was even trying all that hard. The one thing about Caddy and Huggins is that they were both decisive and came down hill hitting the hole full speed. Ward on the other hand looked hesitant and kept going laterally instead of down hill. I don't know what his problem was aside from the blocking in front of him but I don't think he wants to put many more performances like that on film.

-Jeremy Zuttah at center:  Yeah, rough day at the office for Zuttah trying to block Soliai. He kept getting pushed back into the backfield and he gave up several tackles for a loss. Zuttah might be athletic enough to play center but when the Bucs are facing a 3-4 with a big powerful nose tackle its gonna be trouble if he has to play there. He's just not strong or heavy enough.

-Carlton Powell:  All I can say is I wonder if Powell wants some syrup to go with the pancakes the Dolphins put on him. Whew man, that was hard to watch!


  1. Good analysis, Steve. Derrick Ward indeed didn't have the same O-line and even if he did, they weren't opening up the same holes they were for Huggins. But there still were some holes he just completely missed.

    What'd you think of Dotson?

    Also, that Singletary vid is great, but this one's better:

  2. I think Ward is used to starting off slow then picking a gap and going whereas our blocking scheme is more plow to the hole and cut back if its there. I just don't think his style matches up with the blocking much. But hopefully they find something that he is good at doing because we are stuck with him for awhile and he does have some talent.

    Dotson played well but he got bowled over a couple of time. I say mostly because of that ridiculous baseball infield but not sure yet. Hopefully he keeps it going this week. Lee on the other hand was pretty outstanding. Couldn't believe nobody has been talking about him.

  3. Didnt see the game - who did Bennett get his sack against? Long (i can only hope)?

    Also, is Raheem right to be pleased with McCoy's performance - was that praise deserved?

  4. @Bif

    Bennett actually played on the left side and I believe his sack was against a backup. Still it was a nice move and he almost got another on a bootleg showing really good athleticism.

    McCoy did decent. He wasn't a world beater but who is in their first game as a rookie? The field conditions also made it harder to judge him. This week should be a much better gauge of where he is at, especially if it doesn't rain.

  5. Neglected to mention this earlier - unvarnished, brutally honest and the freshest of reads, as always. Thanks Steve.