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yuccaneers

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: October 16, 2009, 03:34:45 AM

It’s well documented that the Bucs have been woeful when it comes to drafting, but since 1996 – 2008, encompassing thirteen drafts with Rich McKay as general manager for eight and five under Bruce Allen, the Bucs have managed to only draft five Pro-bowlers Mike Alstott, Warrick Dunn, Ronde Barber, Martin Gramatica and Davin Joseph. Yet only one of them was drafted within the last five years in Joseph.

In an article scribed by Ira Kaufman, of the Tampa Tribune in which Kaufman enlist the help of Brian Billick and Pittsburgh Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert to profoundly point out the ineptitude of the teams drafting over the last decade.

To listen to ex-Baltimore Ravens head coach, now Fox Sports analyst Brian Billick who coached the Ravens through a rebuilding process tell it, the Buccaneers are truly starting over, but not only as far as drafting is concerned – the entire organization.

“We rebuilt a team in Baltimore – they’re rebuilding an entire organization in Tampa,” Billick said. “It’s a total repudiation of what has gone on there before with the draft and the front office. In essence, they’re saying, ‘We’re starting over.”

The Bucs lack of quality, when it comes to drafting is nothing new to fans who have bared witness to the giant cluster fudge that has been the teams practice when it comes to the evaluation of college prospects.

The more puzzling fact, still remains, while the team has changed head coaches and general mangers twice during that span, the scouting department has largely been intact. With Dennis Hickey, holding the title of Director of College Scouting for the past five years, the same time period in which the team has only managed to draft one Pro-bowler.

According to his bio on the teams official website Hickey’s responsible for the coordination and direction of a team of regional and area scouts and the compilation of information on college players.

Based on his claim to fame, which list the drafting of Davin Joseph as his cudagra. When will the team finally realize that the biggest obstacle that is holding them back is its inept scouting department.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or a parade of former head coaches or front office types from other organizations to figure out the reason the team is in it’s current state of flux is largely due to the teams failure to identify and develop college prospects.

Back in April, Hickey spoke with member’s of the media to deflect or defend blame for the lack of drafting and developing talent. During the spin fest, Hickey ventimately disagreed when asked why there hasn’t been more elite talent drafted by telling those in attendance.

“That is where I would disagree with you. Maybe they are not voted to the Pro Bowl, but we do feel like we have some elite players on this team that we’ve drafted in recent years. That we are very excited about.”

I’m sure fans would love to know which players he feels are elite. But the bottom line is that based on production, the team doesn’t have an elite player on the roster, sure there may be some slightly above average to good players, but there damn sure isn’t an All-Pro caliber player on the roster from what I have seen over the last few seasons of play.

It’s time for a shake up, but more importantly it’s time to dump Hickey and bring in someone who has a track record and eye for talent.

Source:Bucscentral.com

In Football, RESPECT is never given freely by your opponent. It must be TAKEN from them...VIOLENTLY

Great players cost a lot of money but help win games. High-priced players - a byproduct of poorly run front offices with bad scouting departments - only cost a lot of money.
"Our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."
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JavaBuc

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#1 : October 16, 2009, 04:01:00 AM

I don't think the last 4 or 5 years have been that bad.   Decent drafts, not great, but decent.   The problem with the team right now is the head coach and owners.

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#2 : October 16, 2009, 06:12:10 AM

I have to agree with the article. Gruden himself almost never got the players he wanted from the draft...and those players (such as Westbrook) went to have great success...

NotDeadYet

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#3 : October 16, 2009, 07:32:56 AM

     From what I've read over the last few years, the scouting dept's recommendations weren't always taken. Gruden's "wants" weren't always taken either. Trying to pin the blame on 1 individual or 1 dept. is futile... As an organization the Bucs in recent years have failed to develop much top NFL-level talent. I don't doubt there are many reasons.
     The jury will be out for some time on Raheem/Dominick as our younger players finally are getting a chance to play; don't think there's an instant gratification solution.

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#4 : October 16, 2009, 07:43:23 AM

I don't think the last 4 or 5 years have been that bad.   Decent drafts, not great, but decent.   The problem with the team right now is the head coach and owners.

I agree with this post, though Westbrook was a guy that Gruden wanted and missed recruiting (as mentioned). Clayton was a bust, but that kind of thing happens. The real mistake was keeping Clayton and paying him so much. Yet ditching all those older guys in one fell swoop may have been a drastic error, too.



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#5 : October 16, 2009, 07:47:11 AM

The 2007-08-09 drafts cannot yet be evaluated.  Takes a good 3 seasons to totally evaluate IMO.

watson

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#6 : October 16, 2009, 08:51:43 AM

Wasn't there an artcile posted earlier this year about the poor drafts that the Patriots have had over the last 4 or 5 years?  I was sure I read that somewhere, but can't find it.  Anyone remember that?

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2.  For some it would be better if they remained silent and be thought a fool than to speak and erase all doubt.

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#7 : October 16, 2009, 10:30:08 AM

Here is the article that was posted earlier about the Patriots and their drafts:

By Simon Clancy

Bill Belichick. Genius. Cheat. Hall of Famer in New England. Disaster in Cleveland. Media darling. Media nightmare.

You'd think that given the two sided resume, Belichick would, whilst continuing to be rightfully revered for taking a New England Patriots team and winning three Superbowls with a 6th round QB, also be looked at with a modicum of disdain when it comes to his career. Given the fact that he was found guilty of stealing, fined half a million dollars and had a first round pick taken away, you'd think that someone in the media might just take a little shine from his halo. Hell, they might even enjoy it! After all, this is a mainstream media that Belichick despises and treats with utter indredulity.

And yet they continue to love him.

Evidence of this is rife in any transaction the Patriots seem to make. Only recently they jettisoned a QB they picked in the 3rd round a year ago, then cut a former starter in Andrew Walter, leaving free agent pick up Brian Hoyer, a pretty uninspiring rookie from Michigan State as the only back up to Tom Brady, himself fresh off a knee reconstruction and a sore shoulder. And yet, when Hoyer completed 18 of 25 against the Giants in the pre-season finale, it led one respected NFL watcher to say to me: "I don't want to say it was like watching a young Tom Brady, but it was like watching a young Tom Brady. Another masterstroke from Coach Belichick."

Where I see water, others see wine.

Take for example the trade of Richard Seymour. Always known as a slightly cantankerous character, the five time Pro Bowler went from being the leader of the Patriots defense, the heart and soul of the unit, an All Pro performer, coming off an 8 sack season, to being washed up, ageing, over the hill and finished in the time it took to announce his trade from the Patriots (good) to the Raiders (evil).

As one friend said to me, 'I have no doubt that if the Pats had acquired Seymour from the Raiders for a 2011 1st rd pick it would have been hailed as a master stroke by New England'.Of all the hyperbole that has surrounded the trade, you'd think the Patriots had shipped Rick Mirer to the Bears for a #1.

Tony Sparano's reaction - a little fist pump in case you missed it - was most telling. Which do you think coach Sparano is more bothered about? The Patriots picking up a 1st rounder in two drafts time or whether we have to game plan for a 5 time Pro Bowler at least twice this season? Especially on a defense that has lost Harrison, Seau, Bruschi, Vrabel and now big number 93. You think Sparano cares one iota about anything other than how the Seymour trade weakens a Patriot team that will now rely on two rookies to fill that hole?

Me neither.

And it's not just over the Seymour trade where the media wears its rose tinted glasses. Take the case of Alex Smith, the former Bucs tight end who was seen as another 'shrewd trade' by Belichick, who 'stole him' for a 5th rounder, only to cut him on September 5th, when he lost out to the former 1st rounder Ben Watson, who was almost cut himself. Remember Watson? He's the 4.4 running machine from Georgia who was going to revolutionise the tight end position in the NFL.

We're still waiting. Perhaps we should file him away in the drawer marked 'Laurence Maroney'.

And the lack of national press over the Patriots cutting of Greg Lewis was fascinating. Remember, this was a player who New England got for a 5th round pick from Philadelphia, and who, if you'd read a few media outlets at the time, would have thought this was something akin to the Herschel Walker trade. A player Belichick had coveted for years back to when Lewis was at Illinois and who would be guaranteed to catch 50 passes in that offense, who was another Wes Welker but with special teams talent. Cue media fanfare, bunting and numerous lists of Top 10 Great Trades That New England (good) Have Made And Others (evil) Haven't.

And yet where was the fanfare and the bunting when Lewis was cut at the end of training camp? Released, thrown away, unwanted after 3 pre-season grabs, beaten out by two free agent rookies. You missed it you say? No wonder. The mainstream sports media only likes good New England stories. You should know this by now.

It's not consigned to free agency or trades either. Look at the drafting of Jerod Mayo. A player who the Patriots picked 10th overall in 2008, but who some dared to call a reach at that point. Now, after 128 tackles and 16 starts, as well as the AP Defensive Player of the Year award, he's now yet another per**CENSORED**acious New England selection. Why wouldn't he be?

And it's the drafting of players where things really do get interesting with regards Bill Belichick. If you're a fan of conformity, then might I suggest you look away now? If you like your Monday morning hyperbole and your 24 hour Sports News excess then this might not be the paragraph for you.

New England's draft history isn't nearly as glamourous as people have led you to believe.
There. I said it. I am the anti-ESPN. Yes, there's been some good picks along the way. Yes, there's been some great picks. But thre's been a lot of dross as well. Not everyone can hang their video camera around the neck of a 6th round quarterback that will be a first ballot Hall of Famer at some stage in the next decade. But as Scott Pioli rightfully said, if New England were so smart, why did they pass on Brady five times?

In that famous 2000 draft which delivered Tom Brady are the names of such NFL stalwarts as Adrian Klemm (R2), JR Redmond (R3) and Jeff Marriott (R5). The Patriots even had Dave Stachelski with his one career catch for five yards rated higher than Brady. 2004 was a washout save for Vince Wilfork, whilst they hit on Logan Mankins in 2005 but dealt Ellis Hobbs for a low round pick, have had inclement play from Nick Kaczur and James Sanders and struck it lucky with Matt Cassell, missing on the rest. 2006 should go down in the annals given the wasted picks on Maroney, Chad Jackson (R2), David Thomas (R3), Garrett Mills (R4), Ryan O'Callaghan, (R5), Jeremy Mincey (R6), Dan Stevenson (R6) and LeKevin Smith (R6).

If this had been a Miami Dolphin draft then Lord alone knows the field day that the press would have had. I doubt the front office would have ever worked again. And I don't just mean in football!

It's a little early to conclude on the 2007 draft, but Clint Oldenburg? THE Clint Oldenburg? Please.

Sure, Bill has earned his right to a few misses every once in a while. But over and over and over again? Do the Patriots get a pass because they wheel and deal for so many picks that it doesn't matter who they end up picking? Ever heard the term quality over quantity? Or do they get a free pass because people are scared to criticise, scared they'll miss out if Belichick ever does converse like a grown up with the media? Whichever it is, the rather two faced nature of reporting what happens in New England wouldn't wash if it concerned any other coach in football. Not Wade Phillips, not Mike Tomlin, not Ken Whisenhunt and not Tony Sparano.

Looks like the Bucs aren't the only ones that miss on their picks.

Truths:
1.  Never have an argument with an idiot.  They will drag you down to their level and then beat you with their experience.
2.  For some it would be better if they remained silent and be thought a fool than to speak and erase all doubt.

Booker Reese

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#8 : October 16, 2009, 10:46:08 AM

Watson, when you have great veteran players on the roster (and know how to plug in relatively cheap free agents into your system), you can survive more than a few weak ones.  The Pats had guys like Brady, Asante Samuel, Rodney Harrison, Seymour, etc.

The fact that guys like Ronde, Brooks, Quarles, Kelly, etc. were on the team  kept us alive longer than our drafting alone probably should have.

I'm not sure what to think about Hickey and Co.  Several of the scouts are relatively new, and it's not entirely clear to me how many of the final decisions were his over the years.  He's been around a long time, but under different regimes and with different bosses all with various amounts of input.

I suppose it's fair to give him most of the credit or blame for 2009, with perhaps Freeman being an exception as it seems like that particular choice had lots of involvement.  I'm sure he's also more likely to be responsible for picks since Webster left.

It's early as Prefer notes, but I'm more comfortable with some of the recent drafts than I've been in some time.  There are only two picks that really jump out at me, to an extent at the time, but especially now, and that's Gaines and Dexter. Personally, I agreed with the Gaines Adams pick at the time - because of combination of need, importance of the position, and quality of the player. At the same time, I also thought that Adrian Peterson had a pretty good claim to be the best player in that draft.

As for Dizzy, it was pretty obviously a reaction to the WRs dropping like flies in the draft. Even though I thought he had some potential, I did think it was a bit early.

I've also not been a fan of how inactive this team has been on draft day in terms of trades (the Davin Joseph pick for example - couldn't we have traded down a little?)  - I think the draft is part skill, but it also involves a fair amount of luck. And to the extent it involves luck, I think you want to maximize the number of picks you get.  But it's unclear how much the trades up and down depend on the director of college scouting - I suspect little, unless his teams' board is so screwed up that they have an idiosyncratic view of the draft.

Right now the only option is to cross ones fingers, because I'd be surprised if change came before the end of 2010.

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#9 : October 16, 2009, 10:53:19 AM

The Patriots recent draft have been sup bar which is why no one really considers them a great drafting team.  With that said they know how to stock pile those picks and increase their chance for success.  Right now they are looking at the possibility of having a pick in the top five of the draft meanwhile they are still in the hunt for their division title.


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#10 : October 16, 2009, 10:55:28 AM

True is not all that.  He is big, he is mean, but he is serviceable.

Joseph looked like a reach at the time, but it was a solid pick as of now.

Tanard is good.

Discussion still in progress concerning Sabby...

Geno Hayes is looking like a major steal.

Smith was not drafted, which makes it even better that he was picked up and made the Pro Bowl.

Ruud is solid.

JJ looks to be a verty solid backup at least (which is valuable).

Sears was good.  WAS.





watson

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#11 : October 16, 2009, 10:56:05 AM

Watson, when you have great veteran players on the roster (and know how to plug in relatively cheap free agents into your system), you can survive more than a few weak ones.  The Pats had guys like Brady, Asante Samuel, Rodney Harrison, Seymour, etc.

The fact that guys like Ronde, Brooks, Quarles, Kelly, etc. were on the team  kept us alive longer than our drafting alone probably should have.

I'm not sure what to think about Hickey and Co.  Several of the scouts are relatively new, and it's not entirely clear to me how many of the final decisions were his over the years.  He's been around a long time, but under different regimes and with different bosses all with various amounts of input.

I suppose it's fair to give him most of the credit or blame for 2009, with perhaps Freeman being an exception as it seems like that particular choice had lots of involvement.  I'm sure he's also more likely to be responsible for picks since Webster left.

It's early as Prefer notes, but I'm more comfortable with some of the recent drafts than I've been in some time.  There are only two picks that really jump out at me, to an extent at the time, but especially now, and that's Gaines and Dexter. Personally, I agreed with the Gaines Adams pick at the time - because of combination of need, importance of the position, and quality of the player. At the same time, I also thought that Adrian Peterson had a pretty good claim to be the best player in that draft.

As for Dizzy, it was pretty obviously a reaction to the WRs dropping like flies in the draft. Even though I thought he had some potential, I did think it was a bit early.

I've also not been a fan of how inactive this team has been on draft day in terms of trades (the Davin Joseph pick for example - couldn't we have traded down a little?) - I think the draft is part skill, but it also involves a fair amount of luck. And to the extent it involves luck, I think you want to maximize the number of picks you get. But it's unclear how much the trades up and down depend on the director of college scouting - I suspect little, unless his teams' board is so screwed up that they have an idiosyncratic view of the draft.

Right now the only option is to cross ones fingers, because I'd be surprised if change came before the end of 2010.
BR,
I don't disagree with you in regards to the recent drafts.  My point is the article about the Bucs and their drafting is not unique.  When you look at how good the Pats have been you would think they are doing awesome at drafting.  Then you see an article like this one that peels back their drafts over the last few years and it just shows that even the best organizations have some of the same problems that the Bucs have experienced.  

I heard an interesting discussion with Chris Landry last Sunday regarding the league MVP for this season.  He said he thought it was Peyton Manning.  His reasoning was that the Colts would be a 4 to 6 win team if they didn't have Manning.  He said that the NFL was a pass first league...due to the current rules....and that PM was the best.  He said getting that franchise QB was paramount to success now.   To me, that was the biggest sin that BA made while he was the GM....he didn't get one.  Or maybe he did in JJ.   It would be good to have a young talented starter to build around.

Truths:
1.  Never have an argument with an idiot.  They will drag you down to their level and then beat you with their experience.
2.  For some it would be better if they remained silent and be thought a fool than to speak and erase all doubt.

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#12 : October 16, 2009, 10:57:56 AM

The Patriots can forge forward because they have still made some hits with the draft, and have made trades that have worked out for them (Welker, Moss).  They are able to do that because they stockpile picks.

Do the Bucs have a Wilfork they drafted on the team?  What about Mayo? 

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#13 : October 16, 2009, 11:21:48 AM


Back in April, Hickey spoke with member’s of the media to deflect or defend blame for the lack of drafting and developing talent. During the spin fest, Hickey ventimately disagreed when asked why there hasn’t been more elite talent drafted by telling those in attendance.

“That is where I would disagree with you. Maybe they are not voted to the Pro Bowl, but we do feel like we have some elite players on this team that we’ve drafted in recent years. That we are very excited about.”

I remember when I asked Dennis that question. Throughout the interview he was staying calm and being evasive to some straightforward tough questions from the media. I pointed out to Dennis that he has drafted one pro bowler and zero all-pros. I asked what has caused the team not to be able to draft more elite talent. After that question he got very animated, his voice raised, and he leaned across the table towards me to answer the question.

It is hard to pin-point how much or how little influence Dennis had under Bruce Allen and Jon Gruden. We keep asking sources, and the answers aren't clear. We do know that he has a huge voice in the player selection under Mark Dominik. Dominik makes the final call. Raheem Morris and Dennis Hickey have the biggest voices that Dominik leans on. Dennis will have at least one more draft, and then maybe Dominik would bring in someone with an eye for talent to help with the drafting. But I'd be surprised if Dominik ever demotes Dennis or fires him. They are best friends.

watson

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#14 : October 16, 2009, 12:54:10 PM

The Patriots can forge forward because they have still made some hits with the draft, and have made trades that have worked out for them (Welker, Moss). They are able to do that because they stockpile picks.

Do the Bucs have a Wilfork they drafted on the team? What about Mayo?


It could be argued that Joseph, Ruud, T Jax and Talib are pretty close if not as good.  But everyone will have their own views about them.

Truths:
1.  Never have an argument with an idiot.  They will drag you down to their level and then beat you with their experience.
2.  For some it would be better if they remained silent and be thought a fool than to speak and erase all doubt.
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