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October 11, 2010 @ 11:26 am
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What We Learned: Bucs at Bengals

Written by Scott
Scott Reynolds


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In a new PewterReport.com feature, Scott Reynolds reviews the Buccaneers' dramatic win over the Bengals and offers some insight about this young, 3-1 Tampa Bay team that keeps finding ways to win.
Pewter Report's Scott Reynolds offers up some analysis and observations from Tampa Bay's 24-21 comeback victory in Cincinnati as the Bucs are now 3-1 and preparing to host the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints, which are 3-2 following a 30-20 loss at Arizona on Sunday.

• We learned that Josh Franchise is becoming the quarterback Bucs fans have dreamed of. That’s right. Josh Freeman has become Josh Franchise this year. Not only has Freeman won five of his last seven starts dating back to last year, four of those wins have been come-from-behind efforts.

With only 13 starts under his belt, Freeman has shown a great blend of poise, calmness and playmaking ability under fire. All of those traits were on display on Sunday in Cincinnati as Freeman helped rally the Bucs for 10 points in the last minute and a half. He had three signature throws on two drives – a 15-yard out to Mike Williams, a 20-yard fade pass to Williams and a 21-yard out to Micheal Spurlock to get Tampa Bay in field goal range for the game-winner.

What’s helping Freeman is the rapid development of Williams, who a career-high seven catches for 99 yards and scored his third touchdown of the year on Sunday. Williams and tight end Kellen Winslow, who had six catches for 75 yards, are becoming a nice, reliable one-two punch for Freeman to throw the ball to.

Bucs fans have seen only fleeting moments of greatness in Doug Williams, Vinny Testaverde, Trent Dilfer and Brad Johnson, and have seen the team’s most talented quarterback, Steve Young, leave to become a Hall of Famer in San Francisco. If Freeman, who has completed 59.5 percent of his passes with five touchdowns and three interceptions this year, keeps progresses he could be the Pro Bowl-caliber franchise quarterback this franchise has waited decades for.

• We learned that it’s time to consider replacing Cadillac Williams as the starting running back. Williams opened the game with an 8-yard carry at Cincinnati, but the next eight carries would net just one yard. He finished the first half with nine carries for 10 yards and didn’t get much help from the offensive line. Only runs of 14 and nine yards in the third quarter prevented Williams from having a disastrous performance.

Still, rushing for 33 yards on 11 carries and averaging three yards per carry is nothing to get excited about. It appears Williams does not have the power necessary to break tackles or the speed and elusiveness to make defenders miss. With the offensive line doing a poor job of run blocking, it’s time for the Bucs to rotate in rookie LeGarrette Blount and second-year pro Kareem Huggins more often. Blount didn’t get a carry in the first half and was held to three yards on four carries. Still, he has power that Williams doesn’t and should be worked into the offense more than he was in Cincinnati.

Huggins only had one carry for four yards in the game and did a great job of picking up blitzing middle linebacker Rey Maualuga in an A-gap blitz despite being out-weighed by 57 pounds. He too deserves more carries, especially after rushing for a 5.5-yard average in the preseason.

In addition to having six of Williams’ 11 runs against the Bengals go for no more than one yard or lose yardage, the 28-year old rusher dropped all three passes thrown his way on Sunday, including a screen pass that hit him right in the hands.

In 66 carries this season, Williams has averaged only 2.6 yards per carry and only has two carries longer than 10 yards and none longer than 20. It would be hard to imagine the speedy Huggins or the powerful Blount only producing two runs of more than 10 yards if given 66 carries.

• We learned that the fullback dive is alive and well in the NFL. Pewter Report has been telling our subscribers since the OTAs (organized team activities) that offensive coordinator Greg Olson and fullback Earnest Graham were going to bring back the fullback dive – a one-time NFL staple run – this year. In the second quarter, Graham ripped off a 61-yard gain when Tampa Bay was backed up on its own 1-yard line.

Some fans groaned when Graham was moved to fullback this offseason, but Olson pledged to make him an integral part of the offense and not just a lead blocker. Graham’s first career touchdown catch came at Carolina in Week 2 from the fullback position, and his 61-yard run on Sunday was the longest run by a Buccaneer since his 68-yard touchdown against Atlanta in 2008.

The 61-yard jaunt on Sunday was a great call by Olson and great execution by Graham and the offensive line as Cincinnati’s defense was keyed on Cadillac Williams. Graham also picked up a 3-yard gain on third-and-1 in the third quarter on the fullback dive and then scored a touchdown from the halfback position later in the third after he hurdled left guard Keydrick Vincent and Bengals defensive tackle Tank Johnson in the backfield.

• We learned that the Bucs need Jeff Faine at center. Jeremy Zuttah is a backup for reason. When Jeff Faine injured his quadriceps muscle midway through the second quarter on Josh Freeman’s interception, Zuttah came in the game and the running game began to unravel.

While Faine was in the game, the Bucs rushed for 69 yards on six carries, including Earnest Graham’s statistic-skewing 61-yard run. But without Faine, the Bucs rushed for six yards on the last five carries in the first half.

Williams did break off a 14-yard run and had a 9-yard carry after halftime and Zuttah did have two nice blocks on those runs, but Blount rushed for only three yards on four carries in the third quarter. That’s only 32 yards rushing on 11 carries, an average of 2.9 yards with Faine out and Zuttah in at center.

Zuttah also contributed to a costly delay of game penalty inside the Bengals red zone by not snapping the ball quick enough to Freeman in the shotgun late in the second quarter. Mike Williams fumbled on the next play at the Cincinnati 4-yard line after picking up 15 yards. It’s not as if Zuttah played particularly poorly, it’s just that the experienced Faine gives the Bucs the best chance to win. The Bucs hope that Faine’s quad injury isn’t severe because Tampa Bay’s offensive line isn’t playing top-notch football as it is.

• We learned that Tampa Bay has a big, big, big problem stopping the run. Somehow the Bucs have managed to go 3-1 while not doing a good job of stopping the run, especially up the middle. Tampa Bay’s linebackers played awful with Quincy Black, Geno Hayes and Barrett Ruud all struggling to get off blocks and make tackles. According to the post-game stats, Ruud finished with five tackles and Black and Hayes finished with three each.

Tampa Bay’s defensive tackles also did a poor job of shedding blocks and making tackles. Roy Miller finished with two tackles, while rookies Gerald McCoy and Brian Price finished without a stop, according to the post-game stats. That’s unacceptable. Outside of Kyle Moore’s five tackles, the defensive ends weren’t much help in stopping the run as Stylez White, Tim Crowder and Michael Bennett all combined for two tackles.

Cincinnati’s offensive line did a great job of opening up big running lanes for Cedric Benson, who rushed for 144 yards on 23 carries (6.3 avg.). If not for the play of safeties Cody Grimm (nine tackles) and Sabby Piscitelli (seven solo tackles), who did a great job in run support, Benson could have had a 200-yard day. Five of his dashes went for 10 yards or more as he picked up automatic first downs with runs of 11, 22, 18, 11 and 13 yards.

Benson’s 144-yard day comes on the heels of surrendering 143 yards to Pittsburgh’s Rashard Mendenhall. Granted, the Bucs held the Bengals to 52 less rushing yards than the 201 yards the Steelers amassed on the ground, but giving up 149 yards is still ridiculous.

Head coach and defensive coordinator Raheem Morris can say “stats are for losers” all he wants, but in some ways it’s miraculous that the Bucs are 3-1 while continuing to be in the bottom five in run defense for a second straight year.

• We learned that Todd Wash can save his breath. Tampa Bay’s defensive line went through a heated and sometimes painful film study during the bye week with Wash, Tampa Bay’s D-line coach, putting together some clips of every one-on-one matchup his players have had. The results weren’t pretty as most of the time the Bucs defensive linemen get one-on-one matchups they have not been winning those battles and getting to the quarterback.

The same was true on Sunday in Cincinnati as Tampa Bay only got a few hits on Carson Palmer, and for the third time in four games, the Bucs failed to generate a sack. Wash even activated defensive end Bennett, who sat out the first three games of the season after leading the Bucs in sacks during the preseason, but to no avail.

Tampa Bay did show some modest improvement in getting some pressure against Cincinnati as the defensive line didn’t even record a hit on Pittsburgh quarterback Charlie Batch, but the results weren’t nearly good enough. The Bucs’ three interceptions were largely due to great individual efforts in the secondary, not because Palmer was under duress.

The Bucs’ inability to get to the quarterback with not only a four-man rush, but by blitzing is a glaring weakness. The secondary bailed out the defensive line today, but Tampa Bay, which ranks last in the NFL in sacks with four in four games, will be hard-pressed to keep winning games without more pressure on opposing quarterbacks. It’s unfortunate, but Wash’s bye week pep talk didn’t produce the desired result he and Morris were looking for.

• We learned that Cody Grimm is a football player. His interception for a touchdown on his first career pick is the headline-grabber, but Grimm was everywhere on the field on Sunday against the Bengals. Not only did he record nine tackles and play well against the run and the pass, but he also excelled on special teams. Grimm covered the ensuing kickoff after his touchdown and made the tackle, finishing the game with two special teams stops.

What is impressive about Grimm is that he is almost always seems to be in the right position, takes good angles when making tackles and does a nice job of wrapping up instead of going for kill shots on ballcarriers. Grimm showed a knack for quickly and instinctively sniffing out running plays and coming down in the box in a hurry to make the stop.

Grimm was a bit of a one-man gang at Cincinnati and showed a tremendous amount of improvement from the Pittsburgh game to Sunday’s contest.

• We learned that it’s the little things that count sometimes. On third-and-11 with 8:59 left in the second quarter, Black came free against Palmer and nearly had an interception as the pass was thrown right to him. But because Black was at point blank range, Palmer’s pass bounced off his hands. Had he been able to hang on to the ball, Black likely would have scored a touchdown or at worst, given the Tampa Bay offense the ball back inside the Cincinnati 20.

On third-and-9 from the Tampa Bay 28, fullback Brian Leonard caught a short pass and eluded tackle attempts by Hayes and E.J. Biggers to pick up 11 yards. If either Hayes or Biggers make that tackle, the Bucs fall behind 16-14 rather than 21-14 early in the fourth quarter. That’s huge.

On the Bengals’ two-point conversion, Cedric Benson ran right into the lap of defensive tackle Gerald McCoy at the 2-yard line, but bowled him over and stretched for the end zone. That’s the difference between Cincinnati being up 21-14 instead of 19-14, and that is a play the 295-pound McCoy simply has to make.

Yes, the Bucs defense – especially the secondary – was opportunistic with three timely interceptions, but Tampa Bay could have easily lost this game due to not making several little plays on defense like the ones listed above, especially if it can't consistently stop the run or rush the passer.

• We learned that kicker Connor Barth is a machine. Barth, who was picked up off the NFL discard pile last year after the Bucs cut Matt Bryant and Mike Nugent during the first month of the season, is a perfect 6-of-6 in field goal attempts this year. Dating back to 2009 when Barth made seven of his last eight field goals to end the year, he is converting a whopping 92.8 percent (13-of-14) of his kicks, which is outstanding.

• We learned that punter Chris Bryan is maddeningly inconsistent. Bryan, who had a dreadful game against Pittsburgh, averaging a woeful 31 yards per punt with a 29.4-yard net, didn’t fare much better against Cincinnati. Bryan’s first punt was a solid 44-yarder down to the Cincinnati 14 that was aided by a half the distance penalty that forced the Bengals to start from their own 7-yard line. His second punt was a 41-yarder down to the Bengals 18-yard line and was returned by Adam Jones for a gain of 28 yards.

Bryan’s third punt was a 34-yarder downed at the Cincinnati 6. Two plays later, Cody Grimm’s interception was returned 11 yards for a touchdown, which was huge for Tampa Bay.

His fourth attempt, a directional punt, was Bryan’s worst of the day, traveling just 15 yards to the Cincinnati 26. Bryan rebounded with a 34-yard effort downed at the Cincinnati 6 in the fourth quarter, but then disappointed with a 35-yard effort that only made it to the Cincinnati 41-yard line with 3:17 left in the fourth quarter.

Through four games, Bryan has 23 punts for 860 yards, which is a 37.4-yard average, and the Australian has a 34.2-yard net. Neither average is stellar.

Bryan’s one saving grace is the fact that through four games he has downed five punts inside the 20 and still has no touchbacks. Yet that may not keep the Bucs from bringing in punters on Tuesday for tryouts, and Brent Bowden, the team’s sixth-round pick, is still available.

• We learned that Micheal Spurlock is not a one-trick pony. Spurlock was tentative in fielding his four kickoffs and had a costly fumble on his final attempt that set up a Bengals touchdown, was able to compartmentalize the special teams element of his game. He rebounded from his lackluster kick return performance and caught three big passes for 35 yards, but perhaps none more important than his 21-yarder down to the Cincinnati 13-yard line to set up Barth’s 31-yard game-winning field goal. Spurlock, who is developing into one heck of a receiver, shrugged off the fumble on special teams and redeemed himself with a big play on offense.

• We learned that Raheem Morris knows more about football than we do. Kudos to the head coach for having the confidence to stick with the rookie free safety after starting Grimm against Pittsburgh raised plenty of eyebrows, including yours truly. Grimm vindicated Morris’ decision by not only recording a pick six in the first quarter, but also making a ton of sure tackles and finishing the day with nine stops on defense.

It certainly looked like Grimm had more than nine tackles. When the coaches go back and look at the game film and record the stops (tackles are an unofficial statistic kept by the team, not the NFL), don’t be surprised if Grimm winds up with 12-15 tackles against the Bengals. That tackle total would be legit too, as Grimm had a fantastic game.

Grimm is one of those young, ascending players that are part of the Morris mantra in every press conference. The roster is chock full of them and they all believe in Morris, check their egos at the door and are playing an incredible brand of team-first football.

• We learned that a villain can be a hero. There hasn’t been a single Buccaneer that has been under as much scrutiny from the fans and the media than Piscitelli. The fourth-year safety was vilified and crucified for bad play in 2009, which was his first full season as a starter. Piscitelli missed an NFL-high 19 tackles and blew his share of coverages last year, and even though there were plenty of culpable culprits in 2009’s disastrous 3-13 record, the strong safety was branded as the scapegoat on talk radio and on PewterReport.com’s message boards.

Piscitelli played every snap after Sean Jones suffered an injury on the first play of the game and showed vast improvement from a year ago. He finished the game with seven tackles and made up for getting over to tight end Jermaine Gresham late on his 1-yard touchdown catch with a key 31-yard interception return with less than a minute left in regulation to set up Tampa Bay’s game-winning field goal.

Piscitelli, who had to endure losing his starting job to Jones amid all of the criticism he has faced, was mobbed with congratulations by his teammates on the sideline. Redemption can be a beautiful thing.

• We learned that the Bucs have a very real shot at the playoffs. Don’t laugh. The Bucs are 3-1 and have several winnable games left on their schedule, including games against St. Louis (2-3), Carolina (0-5), San Francisco (0-5), Detroit (1-4), Seattle (2-2), Arizona (3-2) and Washington (3-2). Victories in all of these contests and the Bucs win the race to 10. That’s not including two games against New Orleans (3-2), Atlanta (4-1) or Baltimore (4-1).

Of course the Bucs, who have already equaled last year’s win total, will have to show dramatic improvement in establishing the running game, stopping the run and rushing the passer to continue their winning ways otherwise the 3-1 start will begin to look like its been produced with smoke and mirrors.
Last modified on Saturday, 16 October 2010 10:07

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  • avatar

    People...we're 3-1. I don't care if Gerald McCoy never gets a tackle as long as we keep winning games. He IS a presence and if you think he's not then you're watching different games than I've been watching. Winning is the name of this game..not racking up stats. We'll improve and YES...we need to get better but as long as we find a way to win I'm not going to *censored*.
  • avatar

    You want to get a running game. Just put Ernie Graham at RB. He may not be pretty and he may not be Barry Sanders, but he his great field vision and he knows how to set up and follow his blockers. Graham has always been able to gain yards consistently running because he always makes yards after contact. He is tough as nails and always gives max effort. He is one guy that I love to see do well because in my mind he deserves it. The year he started at RB was the closest the Bucs have been to having a reliable running game. Caddy is an incredible story, but he is just not the same player he once was. With his physical problems I wish he would retire while he can still walk. With Graham to stabilize the RB position then Huggins and Blount can be mixed in more successfully. GO BUCS !!!!!
  • avatar

    Thank you..i have been saying this about our linebackers for so long..these guys are the blame for not stopping the run.Please somebody keep an eye on Geno Hayes..he is always blocked and always three steps behind the play.Black is over rated and Rudd..well thats another show.
  • avatar

    a few observations based on the games thus far: - not bringing in a free agent DE and cross-training at tackle will stunt McCoy's growth. There's no reason for teams NOT to double team him. Who else is a threat? nobody. - I think our linebacking corps still bears the largest responsibility for not stopping the run. They aren't meeting the opponents running back in the gap. Seems like more often it's at the 2nd level. - still feel like Freeman's holding on to the ball too long. With all the blitzing that the Bengals did there were no hot routes or Freeman didn't trust to throw a 3 step drop. He's still our best player right now, but would love to see him progress there as the season goes.
  • avatar

    Thank you..i have been this about our linebackers for so long..these are are the blame for not stopping the run.Please somebody keep an eye on Geno Hayes..he is always blocked and always three steps behind the play.Black is over rated and Rudd..well thats another show.
  • avatar

    jeffauer You said it best. These guys believe they are in every game. Every since Josh Freeman took over the reigns this team has played with a swagger I haven't seen since 2002. He is the centerpiece to this offense. The guys believe in him. Now all he needs is an offensive line that isn't so offensive! Eventually not having a viable running game is going to get him hurt. Why they kept Zuttah after how he played last year into this still amazes me. I don't care if he is versatile. His weakness carries over to both positions he plays so what good is he? I understand being loyal to your players but eventually Raheem is gonna have to jump off that and sit guys who aren't getting it done. If they had went out and got a better quality player they wouldn't be forced to start Zuttah at center. I'm not ready to bounce on Caddy yet because outside of Grahams 61 yarder the other two backs couldn't do much either. Atleast Caddy had some more productive runs but if you get met at the line by 2-3 defenders how much can you make them all miss? Still it seems like his games are getting worse especially in the catching dept. The one thing I will take from this game is Talib isn't this great superstar CB that everybody wants to anoit him as. That Owens td made no sense. He plays behind receivers instead of ahead of them thinking he has the speed and skill to catch up. How did he let Owens blow right by him? Against the Steelers if he had ran full bore that td pass would have been an int! his problem is he belives the hype about him and is full of himself. Our LBs are soft beginning with Ruud and our run defense will not get better until we get a bigger, stronger and fearless MLB to replace him. Why is everybody surprised at McCoy? It was said he needed to strengthen up and its obvious up he didn't. I think we need a new D Line, O Line and strength and conditioning coach. Both these lines are soft and weak.
  • avatar

    its great to see rah was right about freeman, looking so far hell be the best Q B weve ever had
  • avatar

    film buc you are exactly right, caddy my not be fastest,biggest, or even the top rb.but he is one of the best football players on the team.excellent blitz pickups again this week by the caddy.the kids are young and hungry and are getting better daily.it took sapp and company seven/eight years for two championship games and one bowl game.this team has promise,lets keeping getting better weekly
  • avatar

    Sabby had one nice play that set up the win, kudos, but give me Jones. Grimm did play better, kudos. Raheem is sticking to Caddy like he stuck with Clayton last year. Raheem, give Huggins the ball. Speed kills. Caddy can't run the stretch or toss plays to the outside. We have to stop the ball. We've been getting b!tch slapped on the DL because the DE aren't getting pressure so they double the DT's.
  • avatar

    All of you saying how bad the DTs have been need to take a better look at the line during the games. McCoy is getting double-teamed on almost every snap, and Price and Miller were getting double-teamed on many as well. Until the DEs can beat their one-on-one matchups and get some pressure on the QBs, the DTs will be double-teamed all the time, creating running lanes up the middle. Not to mention, we have 2 rookies and a 2nd-year guy in there at those two positions. Give them some time to adjust and they'll be better, then once we can get some DEs in the draft or FA next year, you'll really see how good they are.
  • avatar

    Great article SR. Not sure why you went out of your way to praise Sabby though...his late game pick was HUGE, but otherwise he was the same old guy. When they brought him down in the box, he looked timid and did his usual "jump on the pile" after the runner was down OR he would get drug for 3 yards after making initial contact with the ball carrier. I'm not suggesting that Jones is THE answer at SS either, but Sabby is what he is; an average player who's better suited for special teams, with occassional spot duty on defense.
  • avatar

    The Bucs and Morris have a lot of problems to fix, the lack of a running game and inability to stop the run. However, this teams resiliency and relentless is undoubtedly from Morris. They believe in themselves and that they can be in any game. Players are free to make great plays instead of fearful of mistakes. The greatest development this year obviously is of both Morris and Freeman. The future looks bright especially with Morris and Dominik continue to draft well.
  • avatar

    I learned that we can't stop the bigger backs or rush even the immobile QB's. I have to say that McCoy is rather invisible. I know even the great "QB Killa" rarely got off the bench as a rookie, but I'm still waiting for any of our defensive linemen to stand out. I expect that the three youngsters at DT will improve in time but Gregory just isn't getting it done as the leader of the group. McCoy is just thinking too much and needs to just play football. Many teams employ a mountain of a man at DT to clog the lanes while we have relative light-weights. The linebackers are an athletic group but none bring the thump to stop the bigger backs as they step aside and try to arm tackle. I'll bet the rest of the teams on our schedule learned that too.
  • avatar

    I am going to say it again. I don't understand why we consistently try to run right. In the preseason we ran left and made yardage. No one can run right in our present alignment, not Caddy, Blount or Huggins. The dive play went left.
  • avatar

    @buclover, no 1 is demanding that Mc Coy dominate every game all people are saying is that being drafted that high in the draft you can a least make a tackle. I dont care if your 22 or 32, not getting a tackle in 2 games is cause for concern. We can sit here and say that we won the game but we all know that wont continue to happen if he and the d-line plays soft.i hope he does become an elite player but he has no fire or mean streak. Brooks was also a very nice guy off the field but on it other teams knew brooks would be out for blood. WE lack passion on both o-line and d-line and that cant be coach you have it or you dont.If we lose a couple of game folks will start to take a closer look. Im not suprise that we are doing better this year, everyone wanted morris fired after 1 yr. We have some great young talent and once we put it all together we will be unstoppable
  • avatar

    Ok. Lets make this perfectly clear bc i am so tired of hearing it...MCCOY is a 22 ROOKIE defensive tackle that is ADJUSTING to NFL lineman. get off him. im tired of you "experts" coming on here saying hes a bust and hes "not getting it done", would you rather have sims in there??? or how about we bring back chris hovan. would you like that? or hell, lets starte dre moore. mccoy will be just fine, hes gonna be an elite player in this league and if your judging mccoy and calling him a bust when hes only played 4 games into his nfl career, then your just being ignorant. seat26, this team is heading in the right direction. we are 3-1 and getting better. obv we have things we need to fix, but thats to be expected from the 2nd youngest team in the league. stop looking at stats ppl, stats are for losers. our win loss column is 3-1, thats all that matters.
  • avatar

    Definitally agree with sparky, this O line is in bad need of a serious upgrade. Can you imagine how good Freeman would be if he wasnt running for his life the whole game? Or how good he would be if they could open up some holes and get the running game going and free up some recievers downfeild. Could be deadly.
  • avatar

    I just don't get some of the criticism. After 4 games a bunch of rookies that nobody gave half a chance to are 3-1, 2nd in the division, and ahead of the Super Bowl champs. What I learned is that Morris shouldn't take any advice from fans or media personell on how to run his team. This team is far better than anybody except Morris thought. He seems to have been serious when he said, "A race to 10." When is the last time anybody remembers this type of team football being played? Look at the Panthers, even better look at the 49ers. Experienced coaching with 0 wins. When players have a chance to succeed they will get thier shot--Morris said it and he's proven it. He started Williams, he has Benn up, and he started Grimm against a wave of objection. Enjoy the journey and some of you---Simmer down now.
  • avatar

    We learned that our two top picks seem like flops so far. Yes they are getting pressure, but no sacks after 4 games ? No tackles in two games ? Cmon, get with it, we are expecting more.
  • avatar

    Rayehnie, Gotta call you out man. Have the Defensive Coordinator call the offensive plays???? Come on, man. Be serious! Have Freeman run the ball every play and end up like Michael Vick???? Come on man, be serious. Playing scared!!!! Did you watch the game??? Did you watch the go route from the twenty yard line resulting in a TD pass to Williams to tie the game 21-21. Even the commentators pointed out what a gutsy / dangerous call that was. Did you see the pass to Spurlock to set up the winning field goal. The Bucs had zero timeouts!! Yet they went spread and fired the ball down field. That is the VERY definition of guts. Why didn't Blount and Huggins play more??? Uhh... Because the Bengals blitzed the hell out of Freeman and I guarantee you Huggins wouldn't be able to handle blitz pickups and Blount doesn't have a complete grasp of his assignments yet. One missed assignment and Freeman could be done for the year. I understand people like you are always gonna gripe, but at least pretend to have a clue. Go Bucs! 3-1 start is unbelievable!
  • avatar

    Olsen's play calling and not playing Huggins and Blount was very detrimental. Saying one thing and doing another is not impressive to say the least. I still think Morris should take over the Offensive Play Calling immediately. The Quarterback should start to have more flexibility along those lines also. Please let him run at his discretion. When he has a place to run tell him it is always an option. When a fast and strong player weighing 250+ has to turn around and hand the ball off to some little guy to make one yard for a 1st down, we have a boop making the play calls. Pretty simple logic. Playing scared is what it looks like to me. There are a lot of players out there that don't deserve having their Coaches play SCARED!!!! Why didn't Huggins get in the game more? Why was Bount handicapped by having "no where to run"? Open the damn game up . Need running plays for Freeman and Josh Johnson. Use them every game. While your at it add a pass rush and stop the run. That is it. See you Sunday.
  • avatar

    As horrible as the oline is blocking (it seems the defense just pours through), you would think that the Bucs could kill them with a variety of screen plays, draws and delayed hand offs? Come on Olson get creative and use what you have. You aren't going to turn this line into something it's not.
  • avatar

    Articles like this are the reason I'm such a die hard PR fan. Great info and great insight. It was even refreshing to see that you admitted you were premature in your critcism of the decision to continue to start Grimm over Sabby and Lynch. Most reporters have too much of an ego to do that.--------However, I couldn't disagree more with your statement that Sabby somehow redeemed himself with that INT at the end of the game. He looked just as bad in this game as the ones he played in last year. He made those 7 tackles but he made them very late and in embarrassing fashion. Every tackle he makes looks like he is trying not to make a mistake instead of doing something he's done most of his life like the other defenders. To me, his performance yesterday re-affirmed why S. Jones should be starting in place of him at SS.
  • avatar

    Totally agree. Super that he got a pick and I'm happy he got an ego boost, but don't start him.
  • avatar

    What i learned is that Coach is afraid to sit caddy. You cant put in blount or huggins and expect them to produce with not getting a feel for the game. Blount didnt get in until the 2nd half even though caddy only produce 10 yds on 9 carries. I also learned that maybe just maybe it was something to what ward was saying about the O-Line. They are terrible.We gave up 3 sacks to the worst netx to us in getting sacks. Just imagine if Freeman actually had time to look over the field and use our receivers, and a running game with huggins and Blount. Morris loyal to caddy cause what type of coach he is, but at some point he has to do whats best for the team and not be afraid of hurting his feelings. Wait until Briscoe is in the line up, we are going to feared, Williams- Briscoe- Benn- Strroughter- Spurlock (lol) cant wait. Lastly i know management wish that Suh was available at the draft, Mc Coy is just not getting it done, he has no fire like Sapp
  • avatar

    It would be a mistake to leave Parker off that list of receivers. He has been dynamic on STs and will be on offense if he ever gets a shot at it. Also, I'm convinced Graham should be the starter at RB, with Blount, Huggins, and Lumpkin in situational relief. Graham is superior to Cadillac if you can just disregard their draft status. Caddy needs a pro-bowl OL in front of him to be any use at all. He can't even be considered dependable as a receiver. He and Stovall are wasted roster spots IMO. They should be released/traded to make room for Briscoe and George Johnson. Johnson was a disruptive force before his injury. Top priority has to be OL. Most of our starters would be backups on any other team in the league. DE might be next, but I want to see Crowder, Johnson, etc. before making that decision. There is talent on this roster. They're just not seeing any action to speak of.
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