Monday, September 20, 2010

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

The Good

- Josh Freeman: Freeman continues to show that he is the real deal. Both with his arm and his legs he killed the Panthers yesterday by keeping the yard sticks moving and getting the team in the endzone. His ability to avoid the rush has helped our offensive line tremendously. And his maturation has shown in immense fashion by the plays he doesn't try to make as much as the ones he does. The fact that he was patient and didn't try to force the ball into coverage and yet still took shots down the field shows just how far he has come in a year. Hell even Peter King is now on board, he of the opinion that the Bucs would only win 2 games this year. :-/

- The Linebackers: All three guys, Geno Hayes, Barrett Ruud, and Quincy Black, deserve a mention this week. You are talking about two guys in Ruud and Black having 9 tackles or more. Then Quincy hits the Panthers for a sack, a tackle for loss 6 other tackles and a pass broken up.

You may think I'm crazy but if these guys keep playing up to this level by the end of the year people may see the Bucs as having the best linebacking corps in the NFC. Quick, try to name a better group, I dare you.

- Mike Williams: I have a feeling the kid will be up here a lot this year. Only two catches but one of them was a 35 yard touchdown where his run after the catch was ridiculous. I thought sure they would bring him down just short of the goalline but he ran through those tackles and damn near didn't even break stride. He definitely has to be seen as the steal of the draft so far.

- Tim Crowder and Stylez White: You know what to do

- Kellen Winslow: K2 was HUGE yesterday. Four catches for 83 yards and if I'm not mistaken each catch was for a 3rd down conversion. The forty yard bomb he hauled in from Freeman was just sick. And to think that he was a game day decision as far as whether he would even play. I would hate to think what we would have done without him.

- Connor Barth: No jinx so far, the guy is still perfect with two more FGs yesterday. Again a lot of people don't understand the value of a good kicker until you don't have one. Not me.

- Ronde Barber: Five tackles an assist and his second interception in as many weeks. Its going to be hilarious if Ronde makes the Pro Bowl after all those haters were saying he should retire. I know I'm pulling for him!

The Bad

- Missed tackles: We had too many of them yesterday. I know we were going against some good backs but most of their big runs came when someone had a shot at bringing them down but didn't do it. I love the fact that we are back to swarming to the ball and that helps minimize the damage of those missed tackles, but how about not missing them in the first place?

- Deep balls: For the second week in a row we let guys get behind our backline and for the second week in a row we were bailed out by the other team not making us pay. Well our luck is going to run out sooner or later so we need to get that fixed and quickly. I know everyone was all abuzz about the fact that we only ran Tampa 2 one time in the first game. Well hell if this is the consequence of that, maybe we should run it a lot more than that.

Just a thought.

- Five man defensive line on short yardage: Throw that out of the playbook, please and thank you.

- Busts on blitzes: If we can't run these new Tampa 2.0 blitzes any better then maybe we need to get back to Bark and Frisco or Boston and Fox. You may not know what those words mean but I'll bet Ronde, Coach Morris, and a few others over there do. First off I think we should be going four man rush more on 3rd downs anyway but that's just me. But if we are going to send pressure then we should try to, you know, actually pressure somebody. And failing that at least cover the people we are supposed to.

Otherwise maybe we should stick to what we know.

Again just a thought.

- Davin Joseph: I started to put Davin up last week but I held back because I wasn't 100% that he didn't play well. Well this week I'm 100% sure he didn't play the way we are used to seeing him play. I don't know if his leg is still bothering him or what but you didn't see the power on his run blocking that we are accustomed to seeing and he got beat quite a few times on pass rush. Whatever the problem is I hope he figures it out because we need him and the rest of the offensive line to be playing at a high level if we want to win those close games this year.

The Ugly

- Jerramy Stevens: I really need to know why Stevens is still on our team. I'm serious about this. And it has nothing to do with his past transgressions. It has everything to do with the fact that he's a shitty blocker. Now he isn't the only shitty blocker on the team to be sure. Winslow is probably a hair worse in fact. But the flip side is Winslow had 4 catches for 83 yards. What has Stevens done lately?

I listened all last year when people blamed the offensive line the Bucs problems running the ball. And finally I came out and stated what was obvious to me, that Stevens was the primary culprit. But yet and still another season is here and the guy is still out there getting people killed. I don't know how it is that Cadillac Williams hasn't put his foot in his ass by now but I wouldn't be surprised if it happened soon.

Its a damn shame when one guy can screw it up on a running play were everybody else is blocked up. There was one lead play to the offenses' left where all Stevens has to do is block a corner, A CORNER, and Caddy is out the gate. He should be ashamed that the cornerback not only got of his block like he wasn't even there but ended up making the play. Now sure Jeff Faine got a holding call on the play so it was coming back anyway but Stevens didn't know that at the time. And that play is just indicative of how Stevens perpetually stands in the way between a good run and a great one or a good play and a disaster.

The difference between his blocking and John Gilmore's blocking is unbelievable. And I don't know that Gilmore is a world beater. The point is if we have a tight end on the roster who can't block and isn't catching any balls at some point we need to evaluate why he's there in the first place. I am pretty sure there is somebody on the street right now who is hungry and will knock somebody's block off if given the opportunity and maybe, just maybe, we will get our running game on track.

Anybody who knows me knows I don't like saying people should be fired in general, but this is officially ridiculous now.


- Maurice Stovall should get an honorable mention. In his first work back off of that ankle injury he sustained in the preseason he forced two holding penalties on the Panthers' punt return team. He is still an animal out wide at gunner.

- I wasn't thrilled with our clock management in the fourth quarter. We were already up 20 - 7 with a little over 10 minutes left and then we all of a sudden got pass happy and had to punt the ball. Yes I like being aggressive but when you are so aggressive that you end up costing yourself a game then call that stupid. Thankfully that didn't happen yesterday but hopefully in the future we will run the ball at least once to try to milk it down.

- Earnest Graham's touchdown catch yesterday was the first of his career, who knew?

- The defense as a whole holding the Panthers to 7 points and making them go to the backup rookie quarterback on their home field was pretty damned impressive.

- Having said that, I would love to see us run under defense more. I think its a much better defense against the run than our 3-4 look and when a team is really trying to run it down your throat it makes it harder for them to do that. We ran it about 8 times yesterday but I would think more in the 15 play area would be better. Just my opinion


  1. Quick question, do you think the LB has improved because the D-Line play improved? I saw a few times where Price and McCoy held two blockers each while the LBs ran wild, and one where (McCoy I think) stacked 3 blockers. And that Black sack was SICK, my wife came running cause she heard me yell "GOD DAMN, I THINK HE KILLED HIM"

  2. Steve,

    Really enjoyed the game yesterday. Like you, I am perplexed why Price and McCoy aren't on the field together more on third down. I would think a line of White, Price, McCoy, and Chowder would put some decent pressure on third down.

    The other thing that is perplexing, does this team have the fade pattern in their playbook? We have some really tall and athletic WRs and TEs, yet you never see a fade pattern near the goal line.

  3. "I think he kiiled him" Now that's funny.

    They looked like an elephant march with all those big bodies in on 4'th and goal. I hope they keep learning, tweaking it and getting better. I think someone over at 1 Buc is reading the Bullrush & GBU columns.

  4. Hey Steve,
    I heard you chime in at the end of the King David Show.
    My boys and I are true fans, and we weathered last season like true fans.
    We stuck with the team and continued to cheer.
    This year, so far, it feels so sweet.
    Just an FYI, there are lots of us who never hated on the team, and stuck up for the Bucs when pretty well everyone talked smack and dissed them.
    I'm raising my boys to be the kind of fans any team would be proud to have.
    Love your work, man, so keep it up!
    Go Bucs!

  5. @safety

    Obviously I'm not talking about all fans in this area. For as much as people talked about the blackout that first week one thing most people didn't acknowledge that coming off a 3-13 season and a lot of negativity with the local media we still had about 40k there to cheer the guys on.

    There is a specific genre of fans I'm talking about and mostly they just take personal shots at Coach Morris. There's nothing he will ever do to win them over either and as soon as we lose again you will hear their voices on volume 10 again. But its nice for just a few days not to have to put up with their bullshit.

    I complain about the Bucs but I am ride or die for them. I was never a Gruden fan but I'll be damned if I ever hoped the team lost or didn't perform well. That to me is where the mark between a true fan and a fake one lies. You can complain and point fingers all day long but when that ball is kicked off if you still ride with the Bucs then you are all right with me!