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Naismith

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: December 31, 2012, 03:03:32 PM

I just watched the replay of yesterday's game and had a few thoughts and observations.

Freeman looked really good in the first half. Part of the frustrating thing with #5 is how he can be so hot and cold, but he was hot in the first half. His TD pass to Williams is pretty much what Freeman is in an ideal world; a mobile QB that can extend plays and throw a bullet to a WR for a TD. In fact, he was on the mark with all of his passes up to a drop from Underwood early in the third quarter. I don't know if that impacted his mindset or if it was just time to have a bout of inaccuracy, but after that, he looked like a different QB. He was both hurt by his WRs (more than a couple drops) and helped by them (Jackson made a couple of very nice plays).

Martin is just a pleasure to watch, but please get him some help! I think it's funny that people criticized him early in the season for going down easily. He's so hard for defenders to tackle and almost always gets the maximum yardage possible. His balance is unreal. After the Falcons scored after Freeman's interception, the line blocked nicely for Martin and he made the most of it with two long runs, including the touchdown to kill their momentum. Martin runs so hard, he really needs someone to relieve him at times.

Barron made two nice breakups on passes to Gonzalez including the game-clincher and David was typically all over the field, but another rookie played well, IMO. Leonard Johnson looked much improved from early on in the season and the experience from getting so much playing time looks like it's paying off. He seemed to be much more consistent in this game than in previous games. Also, I know everyone loves to hate him, but EJ Biggers made some nice plays on balls.

Related to above, the defensive line did a good job of getting pressure, which undoubtedly helped the secondary. McCoy is just a beast. Bowers, to me, looks like he could become a star. They looked to get held a lot, but didn't get a lot of calls. I'd imagine it always seems that way when you focus on the defensive line play, though.

One of the things that stood out is how much more solid the role players are this season than last year. DTN is very active and has done a good job of getting to the QB. Johnson and Ahmad Black are both playing very well. Gaitor didn't seem overwhelmed. Miller doesn't get much credit, but is very consistent. Another guy that gets a lot of criticism, Luke Stocker, had a good game and hopefully is the start of him turning into a more productive player.

A lot of people have wanted Watson to get a chance to rush the QB and I never really saw it, but he has developed into such an excellent special teams player, he deserves an increased role. Bull rushing the offensive lineman and using him to block the punt will be one of the more memorable plays, for me, this season.

Underwood, I really like the guy, but he's just not a very good WR. At the very least, he's not a very good slot WR. I think he is more suited to being the fourth WR, backing up Jackson and Williams.

Lorig had two holds. I didn't see the second, but the first was the most ridiculously egregious tackle ever. He just angled in towards the line and made a great play, were he still a defensive end.

I didn't focus on the offensive line as much as the defensive line, but they opened up some nice holes in the second half and kept the defense off Freeman all day.

I liked Schiano's reaction after the win. It clearly wasn't a meaningless game to him.

Lastly, I'm pretty sure yesterday was Ronde's last game. I'm not his biggest fan ever, but I appreciate what he was able to do on the football field. Even with his athleticism in decline, he is so smart and knows what the other team is doing so well that he's never out of position. I hope he goes on to have a great life and I'm sure he'll be great in whatever career he pursues after the NFL.

There\'s a very real chance the Bucs waive [Revis] before next season. At the very least, it will be a discussion worth having.

Hayseed

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#1 : December 31, 2012, 04:06:14 PM



Martin is just a pleasure to watch, but please get him some help! I think it's funny that people criticized him early in the season for going down easily. He's so hard for defenders to tackle and almost always gets the maximum yardage possible. His balance is unreal. After the Falcons scored after Freeman's interception, the line blocked nicely for Martin and he made the most of it with two long runs, including the touchdown to kill their momentum. Martin runs so hard, he really needs someone to relieve him at times.



Nicks and Joseph returning next season will definitely help. I say, go all out and sign Steven Jackson. I don't think he will be starting anywhere next season, even if he stays in STL. Jackson would be an absolute beast here and would wear teams down in the 4th quarter.

Naismith

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#2 : December 31, 2012, 04:07:48 PM

I agree with your other threat that he is a pipe dream. I think Jackson would be a good fit, but I think he'll cost too much for a backup RB and I think he'll get a chance to play more on a Super Bowl contender.

There\'s a very real chance the Bucs waive [Revis] before next season. At the very least, it will be a discussion worth having.

Hayseed

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#3 : December 31, 2012, 04:09:36 PM

I agree with your other threat that he is a pipe dream. I think Jackson would be a good fit, but I think he'll cost too much for a backup RB and I think he'll get a chance to play more on a Super Bowl contender.

Make some of the moves I mentioned in the other thread and Tampa Bay could be a Super Bowl contender. I don't think he will cost as much as people think. Based on some of his previous comments, I think he would embrace a back-up roll on a contender and sign a 2-3 year deal.

Naismith

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#4 : December 31, 2012, 04:11:09 PM

To clarify the previous post, I don't doubt whether the Bucs can become a Super Bowl contender, especially in the high-variance current NFL. I meant perceived contenders. I fully expect him to be a Patriot next season.

There\'s a very real chance the Bucs waive [Revis] before next season. At the very least, it will be a discussion worth having.

Hayseed

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#5 : December 31, 2012, 04:13:01 PM

To clarify the previous post, I don't doubt whether the Bucs can become a Super Bowl contender, especially in the high-variance current NFL. I meant perceived contenders. I fully expect him to be a Patriot next season.

I think that is a real possibility. There are definitely backs for him to share the load with there.

Feel Real Good

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#6 : December 31, 2012, 04:16:00 PM

Freeman looked really good in the first half. Part of the frustrating thing with #5 is how he can be so hot and cold, but he was hot in the first half. His TD pass to Williams is pretty much what Freeman is in an ideal world; a mobile QB that can extend plays and throw a bullet to a WR for a TD. In fact, he was on the mark with all of his passes up to a drop from Underwood early in the third quarter. I don't know if that impacted his mindset or if it was just time to have a bout of inaccuracy, but after that, he looked like a different QB. He was both hurt by his WRs (more than a couple drops) and helped by them (Jackson made a couple of very nice plays).
The way I saw it after halftime the coaches just tried to grind out the win playing defense, running the ball, and dinking and dunking. When the Falcons didn't have to defend the whole field against the pass, they had it a lot easier playing against Freeman.

FRG is the most logical poster on this board.  You guys just don\'t like where the logical conclusions take you.

NotDeadYet

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#7 : December 31, 2012, 11:18:22 PM

    Amazing how real coaching helps these young guys develop week to week. The word should be out by now; any young guy who wants to be great in the NFL, is smart enough and willing to work for it can get a legit chance a Buc... Looking forward to next season!!
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