Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

The Good

- Josh Freeman: So at this point aren't we talking Pro Bowl? Yes I'm dead serious. This kid has impressed me more than any young quarterback in a very very long time.

- Gerald McCoy: Very good day for the rookie and you can read all about it in my Bull Rush post.

- Offensive Line: They kept Free clean for most of the day and opened up some huge holes in the running game. If they can play consistently like that I'm sure the wins will keep coming.

- Sean Jones: I thought it was Jones' most productive day since joining the Bucs. I had him with 3 tackles, 5 assists, a fumble recovery and a pressure. It appears the Bucs are getting him more involved in the game plan and blitzing him more and he is taking advantage of it.

- Kellen Winslow: What a sick touchdown catch! And as usual K2 helped the team keep moving the chains on several key drives. For as much as Mike Williams and Arrelious Benn have been praised this year, and rightfully so, I don't know where this team would be without Winslow's clutch catches. He is still a matchup problem for any defense.

- Geno Hayes: A tackle for loss, 6 other tackles and 2 assists, and a pressure made for a very good day from Hayes. But the real reason he's on the list is because it appears from the TV copy that he was the person primarily responsible for stopping the Panthers on the two quarterback sneaks at the end of the game.

- Cadillac Williams; They way Caddy picked up blitzing linebackers against the Panthers he should be an honorary lineman. Of course linemen don't run for 65 yards and a touchdown on only 6 carries. There was also the big time first down he made on the screen pass. He may not be the starter for the rest of the year but he continues to play a vital role on the team doing the little things to help them win.

- Barrett Ruud: 6 tackles and 4 assists plus a sack and a pressure, Ruud showed up big time against the Panthers. And that's a team that normally has his number.

- John Gilmore: His numbers weren't earth shattering but for Gilmore catching 3 balls for 52 yards is HUGE. Maybe the only reason Jerramy Stevens lasted on the roster so long for the Bucs is that they didn't believe they had another receiving option after Kellen Winslow. Now Gilmore is showing that he has the total package and teams can't just assume the Bucs are running because he is in the game.

The Bad

- 3-3-5: I don't really get what the Bucs are supposed to be getting out of this alignment but statistically it appears to be pretty hit or miss. I really wish they would tear it out of the playbook and throw it in the incinerator but it appears I will just have to get used to seeing it.

- Penalties: I can deal with aggressive penalties like a holding penalty or a facemask penalty, something that just happens while a guy is trying to make a play. But on Sunday there were too many illegal procedure penalties from the offense. They are clicking on all cylinders now but penalties can end up derailing even the most potent of offenses. Hopefully that gets cleaned up quick as its generally only a lack of concentration that's the culprit.

- Special Teams returns: Michael Spurlock is really starting to make a name for himself as a receiver for the Bucs. But the guy looks like a catastrophy waiting to happen on kickoff return this year. I don't know who can replace him but he makes me nervous every time I see him. Not only were the returns unproductive on Sunday, there was also a turnover due to the ball hitting one of the Bucs blockers. I really blame Spurlock for that because he wasn't forcefully telling guys to get away from the ball when he saw it would fall short.

Can't have that.

The Ugly

- Fox videography: I damn near pulled my hair out having to watch the replay with these clowns doing close ups on different players, mostly the quarterback, and then missing the wide shot of the play starting. Its enough to give you vertigo trying to figure out what is going on after they flash from a close up on Jimmy Clausen to a running play already in progress. I ask again, who in the HELL thinks that's a good way to shoot the game???


-After what I thought was a pretty disappointing game against the Falcons, James Lee bounced back well against the Panthers. He was really impressive and thing you have noticed over the last three games is that the running game has picked up and the pressure after Freeman has cooled off. I don't know how much longer Lee will be allowed to start for Trueblood but I really don't see a need to switch back.

- Another player Bucs fans should be voting in to the Pro Bowl is kicker Connor Barth. Every weekend a team loses a game they should win because of their kicker missing a chip shot. Barth is money and I don't know of a kicker in the NFC that I would take over him right now.

- Al Woods appears to be fitting in very well so far to our defensive line. You can read about my positive first impressions of him over on my Bull Rush post.

- I thought Adam Heyward and Dekoda Watson filled in well for Quincy Black. Neither guy had a monster game per se but neither were a liability either as far as I could tell.

- I know players don't normally lose their position due to injury but I would think the Bucs are at least considering continuing to let Tim Crowder start or giving Michael Bennett a shot. Make no mistake, the left end position was better yesterday with Moore out. The question at this point is if the Bucs are willing to admit it.

- Even though I put the offensive line in the good category I do have to point out that if there is one offensive lineman who has been getting beaten this year pretty regularly its Davin Joseph. He gave up a sack on Sunday and it wasn't pretty at all. But for most of the day he was ok. It's just kind of odd to me that even though he has a couple of plays a game, every game, where he gets abused badly that nobody in the local media is saying anything about it. I mean hell I like Davin and I think he has been and hopefully will continue to be an important part of the team. But there is no doubt in my mind that he hasn't looked like the same guy this year. Whether that's because of injury or something else, it is what it is.

- I can't be the only one that's really curious as to why Elbert Mack continues to be active while Myron Lewis is deactivated. I mean is he THAT much better than Lewis on special teams? Jeeeeeeeeez

- One of my pet peeves last year about the defense was that in short yardage and goalline situations they used a five man line with a guy over the center rather than a six man line with the A and B gaps filled. This preseason however the Bucs showed that they had gone back to a six man line and to me it was a major reason why they didn't give up that touchdown right at the end of the game. At that point it likely wouldn't have mattered anyway with so little time on the clock but still a goal line stand on the one inch line for two plays is damned impressive.

Alright, that's it for this week. See ya in the comments!


  1. Great read, Steve. Thanks.

    I've been screaming about Davin Joseph getting beat all year, and agree that it's rare to hear anything about it from any source.

    Honestly, I can't argue with anything you've said here. Keep up the good work.

  2. Steve, do you think that Blount should be replaced as our short yardage back? He is a rare power back who is not a good short yardage guy imho. He got tackled for a loss 4/19 times, pretty unusual for a guy with his running style.

    I'm not sure what the problem is... but either he needs to improve quickly or Caddy (can't believe I'm saying this) needs to replace him in those situations.

  3. I would like to give some love to Ted Larsen for the block that sprung Cadi for that 45 yd TD run. Gilmore & Parker too, but Larsen stood his man up and off to the races for Cadi. When was the last time Cadi got a block like that? Nothing but Daylight...for days.

  4. Great read as always Steve. I agree with you 100% about Mack. Every time he plays a game for us I worry constantly. I feel just fine with Biggers playing though.

    Honestly if Lewis is really supposed to be the heir apparent to Ronde, why not just throw him in there, like they did with Grimm. I find it funny that I have almost all but forgot about Tanard since Grimm has been playing. Don't get me wrong, I still think Tanard is a step about Grimm as of right now, but since the first game that he has played it almost seems that if he is in the vicinity of the receiver or RB, that player is going down.

  5. Also, when I say throw lewis in there, I do not mean for him to take Ronde's place, but to take all of Mack's snaps.

  6. I was actually looking for where Mack was on the field and saying "I bet they throw it there"... and sure enough, that's where it went... First Down. Sheesh, get Mack off the field. Lewis is much better in the extremely limited action he's seen.

  7. Your ability to analyze the games is amazing Steve. The fact that you do this purely because you love the Bucs is awesome. I don't know how somebody hasn't scooped you up yet? You should be getting paid for this Steve. Your articles are more in depth than the "experts" at the National Football Post. Matt Bowen has written some pretty amazing articles about all of the different types of defenses and offenses but he can't break it down like you can Steve. Amazing post. (again)

  8. Steve,

    Do you see Al Woods being a better 3 technique or nose tackle? Just curious.

  9. Maybe the use of the 3-3-5 and the 5 D-lineman on goal line is directly correlated to the fact that we basically have a terrible D-line group.

    Isn't it generally considered a good idea to put your best players on the field? Aside from a few exceptions, that group is lacking in that category.

  10. @Austin I honestly have no idea what you are talking about. Blount ran really well all day against the Panthers. If you are referring to the run at the end of the game against Atlanta Id just advise you to let it go. It was one play.

    @BigMacAttack That was a trap which the Bucs ran really well all day and is one of their most effective running plays. Unfortunately for most of the season it hasn't been their featured running play. I'll also point out that James Lee and Davin Joseph made the whole so big by literally clearing out the defensive linemen to that side. It was a dominant performance by several people on that play.

    @Trox Its too early to say right now. I see him getting more pt at nosetackle right now because McCoy rarely comes out of the game but he has looked decent at either spot. Not dominant but decent.

    @Fish I think you're kinda contradicting yourself there. You say we are using a 3-3-5 because our D Line sucks but then you inadvertantly point out that we no longer use a 5 man line on the goal line and instead use a 6 man line and the result was stopping Carolina twice from the inch line. So that COULDN'T prove that the D Line sucks could it? If anything logic would follow that using more defensive linemen on the goal line means the D Line doesn't suck.

    Flawed logic aside, we do have a lot of talent on our defensive line. I can understand why you might think we don't since a lot of local pundits seem to echo, literally, those sentiments. But hey I have an idea, how about a new blog post!

    Hope you don't mind me using your question as the jumping off point.