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JDouble

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: December 12, 2012, 04:29:35 PM

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000110310/article/stick-a-fork-in-them-2012-tampa-bay-buccaneers?campaign=Twitter_atl




Stick a fork in them: 2012 Tampa Bay Buccaneers



By Marc Sessler
Around the League Writer
Published: Dec. 12, 2012 at 03:00 p.m.



It pains me to do this. I take no pleasure in lifting the fork and sinking it deep into heart of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Greg Schiano's team is young, still learning, with a bright future ahead. There's no fun in this task, but it must be done.

Around the League will stick a fork in teams believed to have no chance to make the playoffs. If we're wrong, we'll give a sizable check to charity and be publicly shamed. A vast majority of the teams we've forked are riddled with issues, wandering lost and plagued by questions of what comes next. The Bucs don't fall into that realm. Had a handful of plays gone differently -- bitter moments reversed -- Tampa would be the talk of the league. There's talent here, but the fork is a mysterious entity. Cruel and unloving -- and here to take away the Bucs.


What went wrong


Tampa Bay's 2011 campaign ended with 10 straight losses, including seven defeats in which the Bucs allowed 30 or more points. Last year's defense imploded entirely. The 2012 version was a feistier beast, but Tampa's pass defense cost this team victories. The Bucs rank dead last against the pass and opposing quarterbacks sport a 92.4 passer rating against this defense. The Bucs have allowed an NFL-worst 4,051 yards through the air. No other team is close. Losing cornerback Eric Wright to injury and a four-game suspension served as the knockout punch for a secondary already paper thin following the trade of Aqib Talib. Mystery men like E.J. Biggers and Leonard Johnson were asked to step in and slow down the likes of Matt Ryan and Peyton Manning. They had enough trouble as it is against Nick Foles on Sunday. Schiano's decision to ship Talib to the New England Patriots was a bold move that sent a message to his players, but removing a potential top-five cornerback off the roster was a loss the Bucs never recovered from. Tampa has allowed almost 26 points per game since November. The defense shows no ability (or desire) to play press coverage, even in situations screaming for more aggressive scheming. The talented young offense can't keep up.

Sunday's painful loss to the Philadelphia Eagles was telling. Tampa was in a fight for their playoff lives, but the secondary crumbled against a rookie quarterback. Foles torched the Bucs for 381 yards and two touchdowns. Tampa had an 11-point lead with a little over seven minutes on the clock and couldn't hold down the fort. Fixing this secondary is top priority.



What went right


Now to the happy part.

Tampa's offense was a joy to witness. The concerns about Josh Freeman after last year's down campaign have diminished. The young passer bloomed this season into a more decisive and instinctive quarterback.

The rebuilding of this offense started long before the season with the free-agent additions of receiver Vincent Jackson and Pro Bowl guard Carl Nicks. Jackson flipped the switch on the passing game, giving Freeman confidence to wing the ball deep -- and it worked. Freeman has been held to under 200 yards just three times all season and only once since Week 3. His 25 touchdowns to eight interceptions don't even begin to tell the tale of how explosive Freeman was compared to a season ago. He had seven games this year where he didn't turn the ball over through the air.

On the ground, Nicks brought veteran presence to an offensive line composed of mainly undrafted free agents. That's no knock on the bunch, because Tampa's line has been sensational at stretches and helped give birth to the wonder of Doug Martin. The rookie back was a revelation. Tampa opened the season with questions of how Martin would jive with LeGarrette Blount. Chatter of a committee backfield gave way to the truth: Martin is not only a foundation back in this offense, he shows the potential to become a very special player. His downhill, bruising style masks his speed -- and he's valuable in the passing game, too. Schiano has found his man.

Let's give a head nod to Ronde Barber. We can't stand Tampa's secondary, but the 37-year-old defensive back continues to play with fire from within. Meanwhile, rookie safety Mark Barron shows great promise.Tampa's ugly pass defense obscured a run defense that went from 32nd in the league in 2011 to No. 1 in 2012. That has a lot to do with coaching and a young front seven that continues to jell.



What still matters

Brass tacks: The Bucs can still finish 9-7 (and make pure fools of the fork committee), but remaining games against the New Orleans Saints, St. Louis Rams and Atlanta Falcons pose problems for a team that can't stop the pass. Tampa can be proud of what has been accomplished under Schiano in Year One, but we're calling Sunday's loss to the Eagles the end of the road.


What changes are coming

Schiano has just begun tweaking this roster. He inherited a broken team; undisciplined and unprepared for NFL competition. Many wondered if Schiano could adjust to the pro game, but he's done an excellent job. We expect a heavy push to upgrade the secondary and fortify the offensive line, which ultimately suffered too many injuries this season, but the sweeping changes are over. That was last year. These young Bucs will work to shore up weaknesses and weed out the players Schiano doesn't believe in. There's accountability now in Tampa -- and a light up ahead.


BucBalla85

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#1 : December 12, 2012, 04:31:16 PM

They will be back. Just need a couple of things to get the team into the playoffs. Gotta have another strong offseason.

JDouble

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#2 : December 12, 2012, 04:34:52 PM

I thought this was a pretty solid write up. Pretty much sums up my feelings on the season.....except that part about Talib possibly being a top 5 CB....that part is horse sh!t.  :P


Morgan

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#3 : December 12, 2012, 04:43:20 PM


Stick a fork in them: 2012 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

There's still a lot to play for - a lot of the players are playing for their jobs, coaches are coaching for their jobs, the organization is still trying to attract fans to the fanbase, the head coach is still a rookie HC and learning from week to week....the idea that a season is over (put a fork in 'em)  or is a failure because there's no playoff is really stuipid, imo.  This season, hopefully is a stepping stone to future successes like Tony Dungy's rookie season was a stepping stone for a decade of competitive teams and success for the Buccaneer organization.

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#4 : December 12, 2012, 04:45:48 PM


Stick a fork in them: 2012 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

There's still a lot to play for - a lot of the players are playing for their jobs, coaches are coaching for their jobs, the organization is still trying to attract fans to the fanbase, the head coach is still a rookie HC and learning from week to week....the idea that a season is over (put a fork in 'em)  or is a failure because there's no playoff is really stuipid, imo.  This season, hopefully is a stepping stone to future successes like Tony Dungy's rookie season was a stepping stone for a decade of competitive teams and success for the Buccaneer organization.

I dont think there is anybody in the team building that thinks the season is over. Its ok for the fans to say it but when the team says it, you got a problem. Pretty sure thats why the last two coaches were fired. I dont see this team quitting.

JDouble

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#5 : December 12, 2012, 04:46:45 PM

Morgan, Nobody claimed that there is nothing to play for or that they will not play hard for the remaining three games. I'm not sure how you read this article and came away with that. The metaphoric fork is being stuck in the Bucs post season chances. That is all.


First sentence of the second paragraph....


"Around the League will stick a fork in teams believed to have no chance to make the playoffs."




You just read the title and then posted.....huh? Quick! Delete your post!
: December 12, 2012, 04:49:44 PM JDouble


Morgan

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#6 : December 12, 2012, 04:49:31 PM


Stick a fork in them: 2012 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

There's still a lot to play for - a lot of the players are playing for their jobs, coaches are coaching for their jobs, the organization is still trying to attract fans to the fanbase, the head coach is still a rookie HC and learning from week to week....the idea that a season is over (put a fork in 'em)  or is a failure because there's no playoff is really stuipid, imo.  This season, hopefully is a stepping stone to future successes like Tony Dungy's rookie season was a stepping stone for a decade of competitive teams and success for the Buccaneer organization.

I dont think there is anybody in the team building that thinks the season is over. Its ok for the fans to say it but when the team says it, you got a problem. Pretty sure thats why the last two coaches were fired. I dont see this team quitting.

Many think if there's no playoffs, the season was a failure. This was far from a failure. I would hate to see them finish w/ a 7 game losing streak though. Hopefully this can at least take 2 or the last three.

JDouble

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#7 : December 12, 2012, 04:50:45 PM

Again....the article says this season was far from a failure.....did you read any of it?


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#8 : December 12, 2012, 04:55:29 PM


Stick a fork in them: 2012 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

There's still a lot to play for - a lot of the players are playing for their jobs, coaches are coaching for their jobs, the organization is still trying to attract fans to the fanbase, the head coach is still a rookie HC and learning from week to week....the idea that a season is over (put a fork in 'em)  or is a failure because there's no playoff is really stuipid, imo.  This season, hopefully is a stepping stone to future successes like Tony Dungy's rookie season was a stepping stone for a decade of competitive teams and success for the Buccaneer organization.

I dont think there is anybody in the team building that thinks the season is over. Its ok for the fans to say it but when the team says it, you got a problem. Pretty sure thats why the last two coaches were fired. I dont see this team quitting.

Many think if there's no playoffs, the season was a failure. This was far from a failure. I would hate to see them finish w/ a 7 game losing streak though. Hopefully this can at least take 2 or the last three.

Well people can look at this season in any way they choose to. If it was a failure to them then this season really sucked for them huh? If you thought it was a fun but a work in progress then your probably not as pissed off. I know for me my expectations were right around where the record is, maybe a little worse after what we saw last year. For me, Ive enjoyed watching pretty much every game this year. Season could be MORE succesful of course but I was content with the entertainment they provided. I think it only gets better from here out for a little while. But hey things change easily in this league. I'll stay tuned.

Morgan

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#9 : December 12, 2012, 04:55:35 PM

When one title's an article "Stick a fork in the Bucs' season" - that means the season is over and there's nothing to play for.  There's no sticking a fork in this team until the final seconds tick off the clock on 30 December against the Falcons.

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#10 : December 12, 2012, 05:15:15 PM

I know I'm not through watching and Schiano is just getting started coaching this team. I haven't seen the players quit yet, and I don't expect I ever will. They have earned some respect for that. They will fight to keep it.They will be ready for the playoffs next year. This is an exciting team and fun to watch.

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#11 : December 12, 2012, 05:21:06 PM

I thought this was a pretty solid write up. Pretty much sums up my feelings on the season.....except that part about Talib possibly being a top 5 CB....that part is horse sh!t.  :P

As is this..

"Meanwhile, rookie safety Mark Barron shows great promise."


Until preseason, you stay classy Red Board.

Morgan

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#12 : December 12, 2012, 05:29:34 PM

I thought this was a pretty solid write up. Pretty much sums up my feelings on the season.....except that part about Talib possibly being a top 5 CB....that part is horse sh!t.  :P

As is this..

"Meanwhile, rookie safety Mark Barron shows great promise."


so all of that plus a piss poor headline, it was well written

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#13 : December 12, 2012, 05:39:57 PM

Honestly, if we're #1 in pass protection instead of run, wouldn't Tampa be in playoffs? Seems like our DC/schiano have it backwards.

Naismith was right about Revis. Everyone else is a dummy.

The Anti-Java

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#14 : December 12, 2012, 07:53:32 PM

Honestly, if we're #1 in pass protection instead of run, wouldn't Tampa be in playoffs? Seems like our DC/schiano have it backwards.





IDK man, getting run over every play is just as painful IMO.   We need some balance.


sig pic by chace1986

PewterReportMC....
\\\\\\\"Java, do you understand this a perfect example of why people beg me to suspend or ban you on a daily basis? Are you actually trying to make a point? Seriously what is the reason for even commenting. In fact why do you even bother coming to the boards? What happened to the intelligent poster from years ago?  A real shame. Like the Bucs yesterday, a wasted effort.\\\\\\\"
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