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December 12, 2011 @ 10:15 am
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Pewter Report Roundtable - Bucs at Jaguars

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FREE PR ROUNDTABLE: Where does Tampa Bay's 41-14 defeat at Jacksonville rank in terms of losses this year? Will the Buccaneers fire head coach Raheem Morris? The Pewter Report staff shares its thoughts on the Bucs' seventh straight loss and more in this edition of the Pewter Report Roundtable.

In this FREE edition of the Pewter Report Roundtable, the Pewter Reporters sound off on Tampa Bay's 41-14 defeat in Jacksonville, which is the team's seventh straight loss as the Bucs are now 4-9 on the season and are assured of a losing season. If you like this weekly premium Pewter Report column and would like to become a Pewter Report-Pewter Insider subscriber and receive over 200 premium stories per year for just $10, including 10 issues of the Pewter Report digital magazine, please call 1-800-881-BUCS(2827).

Publisher Scott Reynolds
• Forget the fact that the Buccaneers were hammered 48-3 by the San Francisco 49ers. Tampa Bay lost to a playoff-bound 10-win team. Nevermind the fact that the Bucs were destroyed at home by Houston by the score 37-9. Despite losing two starting quarterbacks, the Texans are atop the AFC with a 10-3 record.

Those lopsided losses are forgivable now that we know that Tampa Bay is even more young and inexperienced than we expected, and not nearly as talented as we thought. The Bucs have had three weeks of unforgivable, inexplicable losses to teams that supposedly were on par with the Bucs or perhaps even inferior.

Let’s start with a 23-17 loss at Tennessee that saw Tampa Bay surrender a fourth quarter lead and turn the ball over twice in the final five minutes as the Titans scored the final 13 points in a comeback win over the Bucs. At the time, that was the worst loss of the season for Tampa Bay.

Then came an embarrassing, 38-19 shellacking of a team on the way down – the Buccaneers – by a team on the way up – the Panthers. Despite having a worse record at the time, Carolina out-coached, out-played and out-classed Tampa Bay. That made the loss to the Panthers the worst of the year for the Pewter Pirates.

But Sunday’s 41-14 loss at Jacksonville actually trumped all other eight defeats by Tampa Bay. And the fact that the Bucs are in the downward spiral of each loss becoming worst than the last, I’m afraid that the organization’s goal of showing improvement at the end of the season won’t be achieved. That will likely cost head coach Raheem Morris his job, and any coach that loses 10 straight games at the end of the season – which the Buccaneers will with games against Dallas, Carolina and Atlanta on the horizon – should be fired.

It’s unfortunate that general manager Mark Dominik and the front office overestimated the talent on Tampa Bay’s roster and decided against going the free agent route this offseason because the lack of leadership on this team is evident in the way the Buccaneers cannot respond to adversity, such as seeing a 14-0 lead turn into a 28-14 deficit in the span of 7:32 at the conclusion of the second quarter. The lowly Jaguars scored an unheard of 41 straight unanswered points on the Bucs.

This team is not getting better, it’s getting worse. It went from losing a fourth quarter lead in Tennessee two weeks ago to losing a two-touchdown lead to a supposedly inferior team. Not only do penalties (12 for 97 yards at Jacksonville) remain to be a season-long plague, now the turnover bug has infested Tampa Bay. The Bucs coughed up the ball a season-high seven times on Sunday, and have now had a startling 17 turnovers in the past three games. That is abysmal.

Morris did a very fine job last year, but with quarterback Josh Freeman turning into a turnover machine this year with 18 interceptions and six fumbles, and having the youngest roster in the league for the second straight year with two rookie starters at defensive end in Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers and a rookie starter at middle linebacker in Mason Foster, I’m afraid the 35-year old head coach is in over his head this year.

Morris has not figured out a way to stop the penalties, nor has he found a way to get his defense to tackle better, create more turnovers and hold opponents to field goals rather than touchdowns. He and his staff have not figured out a way to score more points or get off to better starts offensively. It just isn’t happening and Bucs fans are becoming more disenchanted by the minute as they see their team moving in the wrong direction.

I like Morris and would like to see him stay on for next year and actually have the chance to coach a more veteran team – and a more talented team – in 2012. But given the disastrous end to the season and the public pressure for a coaching change, I think the Glazers will cave in, abandon their plan of building a young team around a young head coach and make a coaching change at the end of the season to appease the fan base and sell more tickets. If they do, I cannot disagree with that decision.

• If the Glazers are going to fire Morris, conventional wisdom suggests that they probably should do it sooner rather than later to get a jump on the coaching search against other competing teams. Jacksonville has already fired their head coach and is actively looking for Jack Del Rio’s replacement, and there will likely be regime changes coming in Miami, Indianapolis and other NFL cities, too.

But the Glazers have secretly conducted a coaching search in the past. When ownership was contemplating firing head coach Tony Dungy after the 2001 season if the Bucs couldn’t get out of the first round of the playoffs, which they didn’t with another loss at Philadelphia, the Glazers had supposedly lined up Bill Parcells as Dungy’s replacement.

The problem was that the Glazers thought they reached an agreement with Parcells, only to have him back out in the 11th hour due to the fact that the Buccaneers were facing salary cap hell as early as 2003, and the window for winning a Super Bowl was deemed to be too narrow and ready to close.

Sources tell Pewter Report that Bill Cowher would likely not be coming to Tampa Bay for multiple reasons. The first of which is that he would like to step into a situation with a veteran team that is ready to win now. The Bucs clearly don’t fit the criteria. Sources have told Pewter Report that Cowher, whose ego is much bigger than you might think, would prefer to take over one of the New York teams – possibly the Giants – or a larger market team than Tampa Bay.

The second reason is that Cowher believes in the 3-4 defense, and Tampa Bay doesn’t have the personnel to play that scheme. The fact that the Glazers have doled out millions and are scheduled to fork over tens of millions of dollars to a pair of first-round picks in Gerald McCoy and Adrian Clayborn and second-round picks Brian Price and Da’Quan Bowers – all of whom were drafted for a 4-3 defense – makes it unlikely that the Glazers would even want to pursue Cowher.

If Morris were to be fired before season’s end, which I believe is highly unlikely, who would replace him? Offensive coordinator Greg Olson, who has his hands full with an underachieving offense, or defensive backs coach Jimmy Lake?

Lake would probably have to take over as Tampa Bay’s defensive coordinator, too, because Morris handles that role in addition to the duties of being head coach. That would be a mighty difficult feat for Lake.

Expect Morris to survive the last three weeks of the 2011 season, but that might be it as Tampa Bay is staring at a 4-12 record that will almost assuredly feature 10 straight losses to end the year. That would be more consecutive losses than either Leeman Bennett, Ray Perkins or Sam Wyche ever encountered.

• With at least a half sack in the last four games, defensive end Adrian Clayborn has become a reliable pass rusher as a rookie. Clayborn recorded another sack on Sunday in a third down situation and now leads the team with 6.5 QB captures.

You can see that Clayborn has really improved this season and the fact that he looks like a real quality NFL player this early in his career bodes well for the franchise. In a disappointing season, Clayborn has been one of the few bright spots.

It was also good to see middle linebacker Mason Foster come up with a splash play. It’s been awhile since the rookie come up with a turnover, but his clutch interception in the end zone in the third quarter denied Jacksonville the chance for points as he collected his first career pick.

Foster now has an interception, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and two sacks on the season. While it would be great to see him cause more turnovers, it should be noted that he is still learning how to play middle linebacker and understand all the nuances of the position and expectations that comes with it.

• Tampa Bay’s roster lacks proven talent. It has tons of potential in players like linebacker Mason Foster, defensive ends Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers, and wide receivers Mike Williams, Arrelious Benn and others. But I define proven talent is someone that has played at a high level for several years, such as cornerback Ronde Barber or right guard Davin Joseph.

Let’s face it. The only players playing at a Pro Bowl-caliber level are kicker Connor Barth, who is hitting 92.3 percent of his field goals this year, Joseph, who actually have up a sack in Jacksonville, and perhaps Barber, who recorded his team-leading third interception of the year against the Jaguars.

After a hot start, free safety Tanard Jackson doesn’t look like the T-Jack of old in the run game and he’s not making many plays in the passing game, either. Strong safety Sean Jones gave up a 62-yard pass play to tight end Marcedes Lewis and should not be re-signed. He’s not a starting caliber player, and neither is linebacker Geno Hayes, who is way too inconsistent and doesn’t make enough splash plays.

Jacksonville cornerback Ashton Youboty, who was actually signed and cut by the Bucs earlier this year, appears to be better than E.J. Biggers, who gives up too many plays to receivers and doesn’t make enough plays on the ball. Youboty had eight tackles and returned a fumble 38 yards for a touchdown last week at Houston. Then had two pass breakups and an interception against Tampa Bay. Biggers has just one pick on the year and only two in his three-year NFL career.

On offense, there are a ton of number two and number three receivers, but not a true number one receiver, and no real reliable playmakers outside of running back LeGarrette Blount, who has trouble holding on to the ball lately. There is a lack of speed and explosiveness missing from all three the skill positions – running back, wide receiver and tight end.

I don’t think the Buccaneers are necessarily underachieving this year from a talent standpoint. I think they overachieved last year and that this season is actually a more true representation of the talent level. The Bucs need their players that have promise to step up and fulfill that promise, and the players that are mediocre – and there are quite a few of them – to be replaced with more talented veterans and draft picks.

At the start of the 2011 season, I thought the Bucs could become a consistent playoff contender as early as 2012. But I now think the team is two years away from becoming that caliber of a team, and it will take an influx of free agent help to achieve that feat by 2013.

Beat writer Mark Cook
• The unimaginable took place Sunday as the Buccaneers not only lost but were thoroughly embarrassed by a bad Jacksonville football team. And when I say bad, I mean terrible.

No disrespect to the Jaguars organization but this team was ranked dead last in total offense coming into Sunday’s game averaging a paltry 260.1 yards per game. Bucs fans are losing their minds with the Tampa offense which was ranked 18th in the league with a 331 yard per game average. But Sunday rankings and stats meant nothing as the Buccaneers, after racing out to a 14-0 lead, completely imploded giving up an unanswered 41 points.

The wheels began to fall off in the second quarter when after already fumbling one punt, Preston Parker fumbled another that was returned for a touchdown by Jacksonville and the momentum of the game was never recovered.

Just when you think the Buccaneers have reached a new low (Houston, Tennessee, Carolina games) they dig deeper and find an even more crushing defeat. But this one may not be surpassed.

A team that fired head coach Jack Del Rio a couple weeks ago, a football team that is in the midst of an ownership change with whispers of relocation, a team that was starting a rookie quarterback completing less that 50 percent of his passes and a team that scans the waiver wire weekly for starters due to the fact that a league-most 25 players are on injured reserve had no business beating Tampa Bay on Sunday.

This loss at Jacksonville may go down as one of the worst of Morris’ tenure and one of the worst in franchise history.

• What started as a great story about a young man who overcame many self-inflicted wounds to achieving his dream of playing in the NFL, the Preston Parker story is becoming one that may have an unhappy ending.

Parker came to the Buccaneers as unsigned free agent in 2010 and against huge odds battled his way onto the roster. His story of being dismissed by Bobby Bowden for several violations of team rules while in Tallahassee is well documented. Parker has been a model citizen since signing with the Buccaneers, but again faced an uphill battle coming into training camp this season.

With a good camp and decent preseason, and a willingness to return kicks, earned another spot on this year’s team. Surprisingly, Parker emerged as a key third-down receiver early in the season and continues to be one of the leagues’ best on third down. His three touchdowns is tied for the lead this year in Tampa Bay.

But with two critical fumbles on punt returns, one that was returned for a touchdown, Parker made the mistake that gets a player benched quicker than anything.

But looking back over the season you could almost see this coming. The former Seminole/North Alabama star has had trouble holding onto the ball this season but has been fortunate to only have one of his fumbles lost this season before Sunday’s game.

Sunday at Jacksonville the bad habit reared its ugly head again and it may cost Parker a seat on the bench. Parker leads the Buccaneers in fumbles with eight (three lost) after Sunday and chances are we will see Micheal Spurlock as the primary punt returner for the remainder of the season.

Fortunately for Parker he has stepped up in the passing game and if this coaching staff stays intact Parker will have a good chance to keep a roster spot in 2012. But if a coaching change does happen you can bet every fumble this season will be taken into account.

• While everyone is piling on Raheem Morris for the struggles of this football team blame must be shared throughout the organization. The directive to field the youngest football team for the third season in a row came from above, and I would venture to guess if Morris would of had full control we would have seen an entirely different roster.

Morris like most coaches, has an ego to the point where he feels he can coach anybody up, but this roster of young players would be a challenge even to a fantasy coaching staff of Vince Lombardi, Don Shula and Tom Landry.

The biggest downfall to a young roster is a lack of leadership and I think the last three weeks – heck, even the entire season – Tampa Bay has been hurt most by the inability to overcome adversity. That is where veteran football players come in. Sunday when things started going south in the second quarter you could almost feel the panic and the “here we go again” theme echoing on the Buccaneers sideline. Do you think that happens if Hardy Nickerson, Derrick Brooks or even a John Lynch would have been on the football field in Jacksonville?

But who does this Buccaneers team have that can take on that role? Exactly. No one. And remember that veteran cornerback Ronde Barber is not a vocal leader and has never wanted to be one. It’s not in his nature.

I’m not sure you can blame the head coach for that. It’s not like veterans were cut at the end of training camp. The fact was there just weren’t any on the roster to be cut – or kept – for that matter.

Morris has certainly made his share of errors, which in the end may end up costing him his job, but having the youngest team in the NFL is something he shouldn’t take the heat for. That falls squarely on the shoulders of the Glazers and general manager Mark Dominik for not doing enough to help their head coach in free agency.

Beat writer Eric Horchy
• To put it bluntly, this Buccaneers team has not responded well to adversity.

It’s too assumptive to say that players gave up or quit trying on Sunday, especially considering that that’s one of the more damning things athletes can be accused of doing. But this certainly wasn’t the first time the Bucs’ have been put up against the ropes and it definitely wasn’t the first time they failed to get back in the fight.

At this point, though, I'm not quite sure which scenario would be worse: That youth and immaturity allow the team to give up and lie down, or that its full-on effort is just nowhere near good enough to win NFL football games on a consistent basis.

That game was far from over at halftime with Jacksonville leading 28-14. But as the third quarter wore on it just started feeling as though the harder the Bucs pushed, the deeper they got themselves into it. It was like a quicksand analogy playing out right there to watch in real time.

It’s unfortunate that running back LeGarrette Blount ultimately gets lumped into the turnover discussion because he looked to be running as though he was trying to singlehandedly carry this team on his back. That 23-yard third-quarter run was pure strength and determination and Blount played like that all day, but in the end it was just another turnover.

For a team desperate to grab a victory, the offense’s collective production over the final two quarters could probably be put up there with the worst moments of a disappointing season. Two-score deficits aren’t shrinking when three possessions are given away and only one – one – play is snapped in enemy territory.

• One Buccaneer that probably won’t be requesting game-tape duplicates for video scrapbooking purposes is left tackle Donald Penn.

Sunday was far from a shining moment for the offensive line’s anchor and the trouble started right away when he was flagged for a false start that nearly derailed Tampa Bay’s first first-quarter touchdown drive of the season. The penalty turned a third-and-6 from Jacksonville’s 41 into a third-and-11 from the Jaguars 46.

Similar to the Bucs as a whole, Penn’s second quarter got a whole lot worse and the unflattering moments happened on back-to-back series.

The first was the flattening that came on another third down. All 335 pounds of Penn was bulled straight over and thrown back to the turf by fourth-year defensive end Jeremy Mincey. Pancake stats are for O-linemen, but Mincey basically recorded one with that. Freeman didn’t get sacked, but he was flagged for intentional grounding on the play and the Bucs were forced to punt.

Apparently Mincey wasn’t done with Penn, because he worked him over again just two Tampa Bay snaps later and Michael Koenen couldn’t punt the Bucs out of this mishap. Mincey put the initial pressure and blindside hit on Freeman at the Tampa Bay 1-yard line and linebacker Darryl Smith shot in to record the sack and forced fumble that Jacksonville recovered for the eventual game-winning touchdown.

Everyone has bad days and one game doesn’t change the fact that Penn is an integral ingredient to a unit that’s been mostly steady and reliable. But that was not a pretty day for big No. 70.

• Even head coach Raheem Morris, the man who repeats one phrase so often his future biography should be titled “Stats Are For Losers,” has broken character at times to say turnover differential is an influential number.

Sunday was an exaggerated example of why that is. The Bucs defense created two Blaine Gabbert interceptions. That’s a nice plus. The offense and special teams combined for seven fumbles or interceptions. That’s a huge minus.

What really makes the mistakes hard to swallow in hindsight is how the Tampa Bay defense held up against Maurice Jones-Drew and the Jaguars running attack. During the Bucs’ six-game skid leading up to Sunday, the defense had been allowing an average of 168.8 yards.

Limiting the NFL’s leading rusher to 3.1 yards per carry and 85 total was a successful execution of a defensive priority. That should have helped place more of the offensive onus on Gabbert’s rookie shoulders. But instead of pressuring Gabbert into feeling like it’s all on him and one mistake may ruin the game, Tampa Bay’s offense continually let him know that he has plenty of wiggle room.

Turnovers allowed Gabbert to gain and then retain confidence by starting four drives in Tampa Bay territory because he wasn’t particularly sharp in the early going. Through Jacksonville’s first five drives spanning into the second quarter, Gabbert was only 2-of-7 for nine yards and an interception and he was sacked once. He looked like the inconsistent, low-completion-percentage passer he’s been all year and he was losing 14-0.

Return man Preston Parker and the offense then did the Tampa Bay defense no favors from there on out. Gabbert was allowed to start settling in and finished the half by completing nine of his next 11 passes for 124 yards and a touchdown. He ended up going 19-for-33 overall with 217 yards, two scores, two picks and a respectable 72.4 passer rating.

Last modified on Monday, 12 December 2011 11:21

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  • avatar

    Ehinote: You are absolutely correct that it was Wyche, not Dungy who drafted Lynch, Sapp and Brooks. And yes, I agree that the team was in a better position to win when Sam was fired than people realized. He did start off 1995 with that famous 5 dash 2 record. But with the aforementioned players, finished with the 2 dash 7 record that led to his dismissal. What Dungy brought was a steady hand to guide the teetering ship. Dungy had little credibility when he was hired but quickly gained the confidence of the players and fans by the team showing competitiveness and improvement that had not been present previously. If Raheem is ultimately fired, I don't know of any coach who would have the instant credibility with fans and probably the youngsters that Dungy has. That said, I concur that he was dealt a pretty good hand in 1996 and was able to stand on the sidelines with his arms folded and watch Peyton Manning run the Colts team. Heck, some even think he deserves all of the credit for our championship team. But Dungy didn't win with Dungy's team. If the Glazers fire Raheem it is critical that they hire someone for whom the fans and players respect. Does Raheem get another year if he brings in a legitimate Defensive Coordinator?
  • avatar

    One thing that really bugs me to hear is when people make the excuse, Freeman is a play-action passer and we haven't run the ball very well this year. Since when have we ever called ANY great QB a "play-action passer?" That's like something we've made up for Freeman. Play action is for a given play not to categorize a QB. Hell, can you ever see Mel Kiper and Jon Gruden at a draft drooling over a "play-action passer." I can see it, Gruden saying, "This guy is incredible when his team is average 5 yards a carry on the ground." Or Kiper stating, "If this guy throws 20 or less times in a game, he'll win a game for you." Give me a gun slinger. No great QB has been described as a QB that can only succeed with a good running game. Yes, it helps, especially a young QB, but to say that really says what we're all seeing. A gunslinger he is NOT.
  • avatar

    Ok, so I'll play contrarian, sitting here sipping the Kool Aid. Everyone has hit on the obvious holes, but let's look at this another way. It starts with Glazers and if they are not serious, than all bets are off, but throwing a bomb in this is not the answer. It's about leadership and that starts with Raheem, Free on offense and TBD on defense. For now I keep Raheem, rework Free's head and find someone for D - maybe a MLB with Hardy Nickerson profile. On offence, Free - last year he was fearless, played aggressively, elevated his teammates. I'll put my chips in and say he will get that back with a full offseason. The O-line has been solid in both run game and pass protection. Blount is the real deal and needs speed back help. It might be Madu. Lorig has contributed to the run game. WR's are average. TE is an emerging weakness. The key in my view is speed at running back to go along with Blount and a #1 WR. To pull it together, a new O.C. is crucial. Olsen has been consistently out coached, has been slow to bring Madu into the backfield and rotates WR's that are mediocre. How is Free to develop chemistry with a revolving door at WR? And where is Spurlock? The guy can stretch the field and catch the ball. On offense, we are a couple of speed players and a new O.C. away - and a revitalized Freeman. Defense is tougher - many holes. The key again is leadership, especially on the field in key situations and when momentum swings. The team put money into Q. Black and he took his payday and packed it in. The line is a C right now, but has glimmers of hope, including Hanesworth. LB's are a D-, with Foster getting a pass as a rookie, CB's are a D, with Rhonde keeping them from a failing grade, and safeties are an F. The answers in my view will start with an infusion of veterans and coaches. I like the line coaches and Jimmy Lake, LB has to go. On D line, add more veteran depth, give McCOy one last shot, let Miller go. At LB, move Foster outside, bring in veteran MLB, cut Geno, Q. Black. At CB, add new #1 and #2 through draft and free agency, Biggers and Gator to nickel and dime; move on from Talib, cut Lewis and Mack; Safety is tough - T. Jack has had a few moments in between mostly mediocre play, but he gets a pass and an offseason to get back to strength, cut Jones - TODAY - and see if Black and some of the other kids can play, but this is veteran and draft need. For now I stick with Raheem, give him the off season and some talent to get this on track. The answer I think is we went to lean on veterans and trying to stretch borderline talent guys. The Glazers have to commit to winning and that means spending money on upgrading coaches and talent. I'm not renewing my season tickets until I see actions that tell me that is where they are headed.
  • avatar

    I believe the plan was to build through the draft till year four,then add free agents,so by year five we'd have a young proven core,some good vet free agents, and compete for titles. Problem is year four might look alot like year one,which brings us back to what's the plan moving forward? We've been drafting good,not great, so the young core will be there with more high picks this year. Problem seems to be coaching,or lack there of. The 49ers showed what a differance the right coach can make, so that's where I'd start if my last name began with G,excuse me ended with G, oops I've been Morrised.
  • avatar

    Write this down. Bill Cower is not coming here to resurrect the once mighty Bucs; and I'm not sure I'd want him after sitting in a cushy TV booth having his ego stroked. Jeff Fisher? He didn't do much in Tennessee to warrant our thinking he's a sure fire remedy. The only person who would move the team forward and not put it into reverse is Tony Dungy and he probably won't come here either. Then again, he does like to work with prisoners like Talib. Soon, the Glazers and all other teams are obligated to spend virtually the same amount of money due to the CBA. Next question, To whom do you want them to write a huge check? Don't simply say "The cheap Glazers need to spend money." Which of our Pro Bowl players should get the big extension? Oh, we don't have any. What free agent to you want to pursue? Fact is, no one, including me, really has a plan...we just make bold statements.
  • avatar

    We've really got to stop with the Dungy thing. He's a great man, but come on... he's not going to resurrect this team. When he came in to Tampa in '96 it was a perfect storm. The character players were already here, Brooks, Sapp, Lynch, and the defense was ready to burst out from the seams. He didn't bring in the hall of famers... Wyche did. What worked the best was bringing in a steady man like Dungy to a franchise who needed faith they could be winners. He is a great man and someone we can all look up to, but with the talent he had here and in Indy there is no reason that he only came away with one super bowl.
  • avatar

    Anybody who says morris should stay wake up and smell the coffee!We look worse then a high school team !we don't tackle correct ,to many penalties that's coaching we just lost to a team who hasn't scored more then 20 points in a game all year we gave up double that.The turnovers holy cow are you serious?Don't give me this crap he's doing the best he can with what we have. Because jacksonville has 25 guys hurt and they kicked our butts .Morris gets paid for results come on! we had enough bad years we changed our uniforms that was suppose to be a new era. I don't expect to always win but we look really bad i expect more than this.Like jim mora said "playoffs"" i just want to win a game" not only are we losing we are losing badly to bad teams as nfl countdown says "come on man"
  • avatar

    We upgraded the talent on the team from last year....10-6 season last year. Stop making excuses.
  • avatar

    When the Bucs give up 41 unanswered points to a bottom feeder team like the Jags, it is a disgrace to the Bucs tradition of top ten defenses, and this team has regressed to the Tampa Bay Yuks of old. I know the Dallas game is sold out but the Yuks fans who cannot scalp their tickets should turn up with bags on their heads. Rom is the defensive coach and needs to be held accountable for this disaster. The only coach I know of who could come in and teach these undisciplined and unproductive mistake prone youngries the discipline and professional preparation necessary to become champions in the future is the same coach who turned the Yuks into a winning team before, and that is Dungy, whose home will always be in Tampa. However, the Glazers disrespected him by the shabby way they fired him; so the best way to get Dungy back is for the Glazers to sell the team to an owner willing to put out the money for good free agent leadership to help Dungy take it to the top and the new owner then go court him and give him a contract to compensate him for the shabby way he was forced to leave the team he built into a winner. He can work with and admires the picks Dom has made. Let the Mizers ruin their Soccer team.
  • avatar

    owlykat, not going to happen even if we wanted it so because the Bucs are a "cash cow" for the Glazer's. It's the best investment they ever made. They got it below value because of the Culverhouse Estate wanting to sell; got a sweet deal from Tampa Sports Authority; and got the Tampa Bay area and the State to build them a stadium without most of it being their money. Sweets deals like this are tough to come by in the business world.
  • avatar

    Dev, the only way you get a new D.C.,O.C.,is by firing the H.C..
  • avatar

    Well, the "automatic payment reminder" email for the season tix for 2012 came out on Wednesday, 12/7 and the "written cancellation required" was turned in, in person, today. I was NOT alone. There was a stream of folks rolling in and out of One Buc Place and everyone there knew what was going on (they just asked for the letter and asked folks to add specific details as to WHY if it wasn't already on/in the letter - mine were already there). They have their time frame and strategy and I have mine (and the two no longer align). I can't justify the expense given the product at this point. The guy I passed coming out as I was going in simply said "next man up!". Indeed. Sad and depressing, but it is what it is. Go Bucs?
  • avatar

    mjohnson062, it's the only way to get the Glazer's attention.
  • avatar

    hope i dont get ridiculed for this but....i still believe in raheem morris as the head coach. greg olsen no. raheem morris DC no. but head coach of this football team...yea. i know everyone on here is clamoring for him to be fired, believe me the thought crossed my head while watching these "games", but i just dont agree with it. this is just a season of bad momentum, bad luck, and just sloppiness in the execution of simple plays. ive felt since he took over as DC the defense really didnt improve and thought he shouldve brought in another more proven guy...now with less leadership on the defense(no barrett ruud all star defensive QB) his lack of experience calling defenses is amplified. greg olsens play calling has been questionable at best dating back to last season and since most of the offensive skill postions are going into a traditionally down year for their careers (aka sophmore slump) his faults are also amplified. i think give raheem one more FULL offseason, with a proper defensive coordinator and a better offensive play caller and i think this team improves to what it shouldve been this year...a 9-7 team on the cusp of making playoffs again with a very bright future. im not going to argue how cheap ownership is and how terrible they are, or how stupid raheem and dominick are. im just saying from my experience playing sports growing up...losing can sometimes just be contagious and everything you do to fix the problems just backfires on you. it sucks but thats the world of sports and i think that is our true source of problems this year. if we fans can just stick it out i think raheem will right this ship i really do. also you need to ask yourselves all the progress we did make these past couple years....do you really wanna start from scratch and be even further behind in a rebuilding phase that could possibly take even longer after blowing up the whole staff/roster just to fit a new coach and his scheme? i hope i made valid points to support my side of the arguement and please dont bash me cause i still support raheem....im just not ready to give up on something weve all seen can be good
  • avatar

    Thanks horse. I can't imagine Raheem wanted a rookie who wasn't even a full time MLB in college to be the qb of his defense. I heard Dominick say they put the coaches in a tough position by starting rookie dends on pregame. I don't know what should happen, but ownership and management are way more at fault for this seasons failures. Dom forced foster on Morris. That would be so wrong to fire a coach who is dutifully using what he's given and trying to make the best of it. Joe maddon said he believes that the lack of discipline and fundamentals are a direct result of no offseason and compared some rays teams to this bucs team I think we can all agree it's a good thing madden didn't get fired!
  • avatar

    The picture of Talib in this article is priceless.Talib looks like he's offering coaching advice to Morris. Hey there's an idea, since Talib will probably pack it in for the season, why not fire Morris and name Talib interm coach. He probably knows as much about coaching as Morris did when he was hired!!
  • avatar

    The plan has to change. Before all of the cba rule changes you could hold more padded practices and thus get the job done with young players who could learn on the job, now the practice rules favor veteran players. There was no way the bucs could know the effects of the cba before this season so the proceeded with young players. Besides the strength of schedule how else can this team be so much worse than last years? I agree that the glazers need to take all of the blame here until they come forward with some costly offseason moves. Show us the money don't just siphon off tv money to feed that stupid soccer team
  • avatar

    buc1932, you made some good points.
  • avatar

    Come on Glazer's the natives are getting restless. Don't make us wait till Feb like ground hog day when you come out of your hole to talk about the team. The way this season is going you should be trying to talk us fans off the ledge from jumping. Give us some hope,at least let us know you feel our pain,come on fess up, we want answers.
  • avatar

    The problems can be attributed to many things. Owners, GM, coaching staff and players all play their part. The biggest problem is finding a solution to the problem. I believe it starts at the top. The Glazers have to be accountable to the fans. I'm not saying they overspend in free agency or scrap the current plan and start over. They should at least be more accessible than the usual 2 or 3 statements they release each year. The fans deserve more.
  • avatar

    bucsnews, I hear you but to put it bluntly? We don't deserve anything. The special additional sales tax and bonds that were fronted by citizens deserve better. Most of us are upset with the Glazers because they appear to be just as greedy as the Banks, Insurance Companies, and the Stock Market. There's always one solution to all of this? Don't invest in the product that is presently being displayed. I'm not buying any tickets until I see a better product being presented.
  • avatar

    really good story by macabee. I think he's right on. Raheem Morris was part of the plan, anf firing him would be part of the plan too. Beware Bucs fans, we have Raheem now, and I'm with you, thinking that he's way over his head (at least when he's doing HC and defensive coordinator). But if he's fired, we just don't know who will replace him. If it means Raheem II ... It will be part of the plan. I agree with Pinkstob too on his babies and waterbath. I think there are multiple reasons for this terrible season. I think the lockout is part of it. Raheem being too players friendly too. I think firing Mark Dominick will be an error. He's just doing what he can do with the Glazers Master Plan. But, the Glazers are in the crossing road now. They hope that putting on the field a young and cheap team will be enough to make money and get some win. Obviously, it doesn't work that way, and with all the current ticket holders that think to resign (just read the post on pewter report !), they have to do something. What does it mean ? Firing Raheem ? May be, but beware of the new coach will get ... I'm a really sad fan who bleed pewter and red, and unfortunately, CRY pewter and red too this time ...
  • avatar

    suferdude, The CBA is a sham. It sounded great to hear that there is a spending floor in the agreement, except when you read the fine print it is an aggregate and it's the league that pays if they are over the limit. With the Snyders and Jones' of the league that won't happen. The Glazers will continue to be the cheapskates that they are and be at the bottom of the league in spending.
  • avatar

    I think PR owes it to their subscribers to ask the tough questions of Dominick and the Glazers about their true plans for the future instead of all of us speculating. PR is late in admitting the problem , now you are admitting; but since we have no access to either we look to PR to find out the answers.
  • avatar

    gobucsgo, I think PR has asked those questions and continue to ask those question including the rest of the media. There is no answer because the Owners won't acknowledge any of it because it is all about the money.
  • avatar

    The Glazers generally make themselves available twice a year and Dom doesn't normally take requests during the season. But even if we had availability they wouldn't tell us anything until it is official. So speculation is all we can do. While many assume Morris is on his way out remember it was the Glazers who chose this path of hiring a young coach and building through the draft and we have not received any indication a change is imminent. But rest assured if that happens PR will be on the forefront. We provide a great forum for Bucs fans to speculate and debate these topics and we certainly have our opinions in which we share when we can verify them as truth, not just rumor. But SR demands we are accurate in our reporting and we will never throw things on a wall hoping they stick. There are plenty of other media outlets for that type of journalism. We understand everyone's frustration. We are frustrated as well, our job is tougher and tougher with each loss. Hang in there guys, the answers will come sooner rather than later. And as soon as we can confirm anything the readers will be the first to know.
  • avatar

    Thank you for the information.
  • avatar

    morris must go! please this is so upsetting but please for the love of bucs fans if you can't get or don't want cowher please get a great coach please give us something to be hopeful for.
  • avatar

    Good comments all around, I think the die hards here are in relative consensus that the biggest issue is at the top with the Glazers. They have setup the entire organization to fail the community, the fans, the coaches, and even the players so that they could line their pockets year after year. There are alot of issues but where do you start? And why will it be any different next year if these same a$$ clowns are still owning the team? Tampa Bay has checked out and we are on the cusp of re-visiting the yuckry days of the 80's and being the laughingstock of the league again. Too many people have lifted us from the ashes to have the brothers Glazer ruin it again. Their job is to put people in a position to succeed, sometimes they will, sometimes they wont. But at least they will have a chance and it will be fun to watch. What is happening right now is downright criminal and no one should be subjected to futility at that level. Any other business that were run this poorly it would have shut down already. Pathetic.
  • avatar

    I live outside the great state of Florida and my Directv bill & 1 or 2 games a year is a lot cheaper than what most of you dish out every season. I try to respect that. What's being put on the field right now shouldn't even be called football. However, this team is being looked at through florescent lighting and YMCA locker room mirrors. I disagree with SR only on the point that the team is really this bad. They aren't as good as 2010 but they aren't as bad as 2011. Big changes do need to be made, but I have concerns with the "baby with the bathwater" reaction pinkstob mentioned. I don't have the answers, and I don't fear the solutions but I do want decisiveness. Don't wander into the combine without a direction.
  • avatar

    OK, I agree, Morris will be fired and all will be right again in Buccaneer kingdom. Wrong! For those of us who think that just getting a new HC and or new supporting cast is going to finally change our fortunes, you are being played like a finely-tuned Stradivarius. You think Morris is a mistake? Morris is the Plan! The Glazers are billionaires and plan to stay that way! They didn’t wake up one morning and on an impulse put this “rolling ball of butcher knives “ into effect. This was a well thought out plan and Mark Dominik is Keeper of the Flame. We can’t have it both ways – to accuse Morris of not being able to find his a$$ if you tied both hands behind his back and in the same breath accuse him of being the brains behind his appointment and the Glazer Austerity Program that Dominik so dutifully adheres to. No. Somebody above his pay grade is responsible for this fiasco! Morris is going to be fired because he has served his purpose. Failure was never the issue – it was assumed. And no, we are not going to get a Cowher or a Fisher, we’re going to get another Morris clone that will make us feel better about losing all over again because that’s the Plan. Gruden wasn’t fired because he was incompetent. He was as accomplished as Cowher, more accomplished than Fisher and smarter than both. He was fired because he was expensive and had expensive tastes for FAs and had too much control over the football operations budget thru his front man, Bruce Allen. This had to change and change it did when Morris came along at the exorbitant rate of 900K. The other NFL owners who spend to win were aware of owners who used their teams as cash cows and used the 2013 CBA rule for minimum floor limits to curb that behavior and ensure a half-way decent product made it to the field. Some of us will feel that firing Morris is a premature event, while others of us will dance in the street and hold hands with each other as you skip down to the nearest ticket window and souvenir shop with wallets open to support the Plan all over again. One day we will wake up and look back and realize that Morris was just one part of the Plan, we’re the other part! We can’t do much about the Glazers, but if Dominik is without sin, let him throw the first stone!
  • avatar

    Macabee, so what is the fan plan? I'm not buying tickets until I see an experience coach in here and some changes made. The Owners have the right to spend or not spend and we have the right to be fans and also ticket holders if we choose too.
  • avatar

    Todd Haley was just fired by K.C.. The Glazer's should do the same with Rah now,so we can get a good coach, before they're all gone like when we waited forever to fire Gruden. I hear the talk about how cheap the Glazer's are, but according to the new CBA they will have to spend that cap money. Maybe they've been wise all this time not signing free agents waiting to see what this staff could do with little more then draft picks. I'll ask the question, if you owned this team would you have trusted Morris,and Dom right away with your check book to sign free agents, and do you trust them now moving forward? I don't either. Morris will be gone, my guess J Fisher will be hired, and have player say over Dom who will remain as G.M.. In Fisher you have an experianced coach with a defensive petigree, something we sorely need. His teams have always been tough as nails, and he had great success with a big moble Q.B.( McNair), and a power back ( E George).
  • avatar

    suferdudes if it was only that easy. The money that the Glazers are under the cap goes into there pocket. It dose not roll over to nest year. If they were smart they could of spent some of the money on some quality FA and gave the contracts with a lot of money in the first year and they would have pleanty of cap space next year.
  • avatar

    I agree with PR. It's such a shame. There are a lot of babies at One Buc that are going to be thrown out with the bathwater. The babies being Morris, and the O-line and D-line coaches. The bathwater being LB coach Baker, Olsen, Hayes, Black, Jones, Lewis and Biggers.
  • avatar

    7 straight and no end in sight. The Bucs are in the conversation of worst team in the league. I can’t even see them beating the Colts again right now. Every week, it’s a blowout – not just a loss, but we’re done by halftime. The players are not prepared mentally to play. They play like the big play is one step away and don’t protect the football. Yesterday, that football was wet – and very unprotected. The judgments this team makes are bad. This team is way down the slippery slope and needs rebuilding and hence a new coaching staff. Is there a player on the team that is top 10 at their position? Yes, both kickers. Anyone else? The only reason many players, other than our kickers, should stay around is that beggars can’t be choosers and we have so many priorities, we can’t address them all at once. We’ll probably not get someone behind Free that could actually start because we won’t be contenders because we have too many holes. We have way too many “ifs” out there. Free is way into his head now. I don’t think anyone can explain his poor throws. He’s probably bought goodwill for 2012 from last year, but he’s a huge “if” right now. I liked the ONE run we saw out of Madu. I haven’t seen that shake-and-bake out of a Bucs running back since Warrick Dunn. I think that was his only touch. Why? Lumpkin is not the answer at third-down back. Don’t say it’s due to blocking because his blocking is poor. And I hate to say it, because I’m a big K2 fan and he’s one of the best TEs in the game with great hands, but he clearly hates the losing and has gone sour on Free. He may be giving up so he may be tradeable. Our offensive linemen are passable. I can’t pick out one that needs removed, but it could use an upgrade somewhere. Be opportunistic here and also hope Penn doesn’t continue to add weight. Mike Williams would make a great second receiver – great hands (showed them off last year), smooth routes, etc. but like all the WRs, doesn’t get enough separation. That’s a lack of short-space quickness and judgment… and coaching. It would be great to get a solid #1 receiver, but with the other priorities, we have to hope a coaching change helps this unit. Also sadly we’re probably going to lose Bennett and the only non-kicking strength we have – 3 decent DEs. Our 2 rookies have some really strong potential. We should build around them. And Price in the middle. We need depth there. I can only surmise that McCoy was decent because the run defense tanked when he left, but I did not see that in his play. Now, to our big weakness – linebacker. Foster has bought goodwill for another year and Watson and Hayward seem good, but it’s always the backups that look good. Are they really? We could really, really use a dominant, agressive outside linebacker. If there’s one thing we need, it’s that. And I don’t mean a rookie. We’re going to need a #1 corner as well (ouch – so many needs). A plug here for EJ Biggers as nickle - he has played well, but poor safety play has put him in bad 1-1s too much. He actually does quite well percentage-wise. It’s easy to remember the lost 1-1 battles, but maybe the plays weren’t drawn up that way. Barber plays only slot/TE or 2nd WR with safety help. Let’s be honest – he won’t be back. Talib – who knows – put that in the “ifs”. Safeties are awful. John Lynch wasn’t the fastest, but he protected the deep ball as his first responsibility. Our safeties bite early and often. I don’t know if Cody Grimm will be the same when he comes back. We need (there it is again) a smart safety. And I’d like to think Jackson is the best of the bunch now. We’re also getting killed in man-to-man. I appreciate the change-up, but when you’re outmanned and can’t gain advantage from blitzing, can we try more zone? Finally, everyone on defense needs a focus on tackling. Basic tackling has left the building. The best case scenario doesn’t look like playoffs in 2012. Anyone see the Falcons, Panthers or Saints falling below the Bucs? It looks like rebuilding and if the “ifs” get answered favorably – all many of us would like to see right now – 4 quarters of competitive play and improvement.
  • avatar

    desanova, well put and much to think about.
  • avatar

    Very good article Pewter Report. I think most of us like Raheem Morris, but that doesn't mean he should stay as Head Coach or Defensive Coordinator. So far, all I have seen is that he was a good Defensive Backs Coach and that's it. Nope, I think it is necessary to announce that Mark Dominik will be the temporary Head Coach for the next three games and Morris and Olsen should focus on their Coordinator jobs. After the season is over all coaches should be let go and let the new experienced coach decide who stays and goes. I would still keep Dominik because he is following the marching orders of the Glazers as to how much money he can spend. If that's wrong then the Glazers should say that it is not; then fire Dominik too. Go Bucs! Start over now!
  • avatar

    What's sad is that it took you (PR) the Jax game to figure this out. Like to hear you admit that Freeman is not a franchise quarterback. Also is there anyone at PR who have enough stones to cry out for new ownership?
  • avatar

    In a normal team in a normal city, Morris would be packing up his belongings right now. This team is imploding and is undisciplined. It is getting worse instead of showing progress. But the fact is that we live in Tampa and the owners of the Bucs are the Glazers who are the cheapest owners in the NFL. They have systematically stripped this team of veteran leadership and called it a plan. No, they won't fire Morris because any coach that comes in here will want a new staff and better players. The Glazers won't do that. They will tell us that this team suffered from an offseason without the care of their coaching staff and that they were bound to suffer a setback. Heck even Howie Long chimed in on that one and it is true. The problem is we would buy that if the team had struggled early and then come on later in the year. The opposite has happened. They eked out some wins despite playing poorly early in the year and now are not only losing, but they are devolving and playing worse each passing week. That is coaching and lack of leadership. Bringing in more rookies through the draft next year won't improve that. Expecting that the current players on the team will suddenly develop into leaders just because they will have one more year of experience is insanity. There are a few good players on this team, but there is a lack of depth and there is mediocrity all through this roster. We will get platitudes during the offseason but no real change. To be fair, this team is so bad, where do you start to address their needs? If you follow the blueprint from the past you start with defense. You bring in a Hardy Nickerson and then you build from there. There is no building block on defense at this point. The best and most consistent player on defense is a cornerback on the verge of retirement. We need some building blocks but the Glazers are too cheap to bring one in. This looks like the mid-80s all over again.
  • avatar

    Scott - Where are the comments for Freeman that you had about JJ last week? You killed JJ and I think he played better last week than how Freeman played yesterday. And no posters... JJ shouldn't be our starter. Just don't understand why we don't hear enough criticism of Freeman on this site? I don't know what to say about his future. He proved last year he has some talents, but he has proved this year that he has some major deficiencies. The next few years could be very dark times for our Bucs. Our franchise is invested in Freeman. He is a great young man, but he is not a very good NFL QB. Very inaccurate and inconsistent QB.
  • avatar

    "Morris like most coaches, has an ego to the point where he feels he can coach anybody up, but this roster of young players would be a challenge even to a fantasy coaching staff of Vince Lombardi, Don Shula and Tom Landry."

    That gave me a chuckle.
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