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michael89156

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: September 21, 2013, 03:11:33 AM


Tampa Bay Bucs' Offense Mostly Absent

 By Rick Brown

 Ledger Media Group

Published: Friday, September 20, 2013 at 4:25 a.m.




TAMPA

The offense of the Tampa Bay Bucs was explosive in 2012 but has not yet been able to light the fuse this season.

For a unit that was supposed to be even better this season, the offense has often struggled to get out of its own way.

Tampa Bay is 29th in the league in total offense (261.5 yards). The club is even worse in passing offense, with an average of just 149 passing yards per game, which is next to last (31st) in the NFL.

No one quite has the reaason why.

"It's hard to put a finger on any one particular scheme or concept or player or anything or coach," said offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan. "There's a multitude of little issues here or there that have occurred and often times at the most inopportune times of the ballgame.

"I think that as we have taken a hard look at where some of the breakdowns have been," Sullivan said, "some of the things that we can control, we certainly have addressed that."

That's a stark contrast to 2012. Tampa Bay finished the year ninth in total offense, averaging 363.8 yards per game; and placing 10th in passing, averaging 248.9 yards per game. The Bucs had a franchise-record four straight games of 400 yards or more, including two games of more than 500 yards last year.

This year has been a struggle as Tampa Bay has yet to have more than 250 yards of total offense in either of its first two games.

Quarterback Josh Freeman has taken more than his fair share of criticism. Freeman has completed 24 of 53 passes (45.3 percent) for 335 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He has missed some passes but he hasn't been the only problem.

Pro Bowlers Doug Martin (3) and Vincent Jackson (1) as well as Kevin Ogletree all have drops this season. When Freeman has completed a pass, such as a 73-yard touchdown pass to Jackson, it has been called back because of penalty.

Those miscues are highlighted more considering the Bucs are the first team in NFL history to lose the first two games of the season by last-second field goals.

The Bucs believe the offense is close to clicking.

Martin notched his first 100-yard game of the season in Sunday's 16-14 loss to the New Orleans Saints. It took Martin seven games to do that last year, and then he ran off a streak of three 100-yard performances in four games.

"I think we're real close," said Ogletree, who has one catch for 5 yards and a touchdown. "Our approach stays the same. If we come out and work we know it will get clicking. We have some talent on both sides of the ball.

Freeman, who has had to deal with rumors of him wanting to ask for a trade and him not getting along with coach Greg Schiano, admits he is a little frustrated, but not because of the rumors.

"I think the frustration of knowing we're not that far away; of knowing this offense is capable of scoring a lot more than seven points a game," Freeman said. "We just have to find a way to stop hurting ourselves, get better on third down and we'll be just fine."

While Schiano agrees with Freeman, he said it's just talk until the Bucs get going.

"Yeah, but I saw those signs before," Schiano said of the offense's development. "We need to do it during the week and then we need to carry it to the game field on Sunday and I'm confident we will. I believe that our guys will do that, but until we do it it's just a belief."

Notes

    Linebacker Mason Foster (toe) and defensive end Adrian Clayborn (hip) both fully practiced Thursday. Limited were guard Carl Nicks (foot), cornerback Rashaan Melvin (hamstring) and tight ends Tom Crabtree (ankle) and Luke Stocker (hip). Cornerback Michael Adams (knee), lineman Gabe Carimi (sick) and defensive tackle Derek Landri (knee) did not practice.

Because of the fines Dashon Goldson, Lavonte David and now Ahmad Black have had, the Bucs will have to pay the league $50,000 per the CBA on club remittance policy concerning player safety. That total may go up to $75,000 depending on the outcome if Black appeals his $21,000 fine, which he said he is going to do. The rule is if a team reaches $105,000 in fines, that team will have to pay $50,000. If a team reaches $157,500 in fines, the club has to pay an additional $25,000 and the club now must match any fine or suspension amounts for the remainder of the season. The fines of Goldson ($130,000), Black and David ($7,585) without appeal would put the Bucs over the $157,500 threshold

 NFL.com s Chris Wesseling calls Tampa Bay's Lavonte David the premier 4-3 outside linebacker.

Bucman

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#1 : September 21, 2013, 03:15:40 AM

If our offense got it together we could be 2-0 right now.


Benchwarmer#1

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#2 : September 21, 2013, 03:42:54 AM

Man, the glazers might be ticked at schiano now.

Coaching players to hit hard might hit them in the one place they don't like being touched. Their wallets.

I know it's not a lot for them, but still, pointless waste of money.

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