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October 20, 2013 @ 6:40 pm
Current rating: 4.00 Stars/1 Votes

Most Impressive and Disappointing List From Atlanta

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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Tampa Bay dropped their sixth game of the season on Sunday in Atlanta and now face the uphill task of trying to keep their team from splintering apart. WhO had a solid game on Sunday? Which ones need to step it up before Sunday night's matchup with the Panthers?
Linebacker Lavonte David
If every single Buccaneers player could match the intensity of Lavonte David this Buccaneers team would not be slipping deeper into the quicksand of a six-game losing streak.

David isn’t perfect, but he is pretty close.

With 10 tackles on Sunday against the Falcons, and probably even more that weren’t credited to him, David wowed Bucs fans, coaches and even the television commentators. From the first play of the game, a tackle for loss, David played like a man possessed and one who wants to do a hula dance after the season.

As mentioned, David wasn’t perfect on the afternoon giving up a touchdown pass to Jaquizz Rodgers in the first half, but it took a bit of a rub route and perfect throw to score the touchdown. While in the grand scheme of things it may not matter to many, Tampa Bay’s poor record is overshadowing some impressive individual accomplishments that most likely will have an effect on postseason honors.

For the game David finished with 10 tackles, with three for loss and a pass breakup.

Quarterback Mike Glennon
Count me as a fan of quarterback Mike Glennon. No he isn’t Robert Griffin III or Andrew Luck, but for a rookie thrown into an offensive disaster and behind a make-shift line, for two weeks in a row Glennon gave the Buccaneers a chance to win a football game. Of course former quarterback Josh Freeman also did enough to allow his team to  be in position to win games at times, but rarely took a game over and willed his team to a win. Glennon still isn’t ready to do that either. But his command of the game plan and mental capacity to decipher things in a split second is impressive.

Glennon still struggles with certain aspects of the game, and nearly threw two interceptions trying to force the ball on sideline routes, but overall had his best performance of his young career going 26-of-44 for 256 yards and two touchdowns and a QB rating of 90.7.

Wide Receiver Vincent Jackson
Despite a 100-yard receiving afternoon, his second in a row, arguably Jackson could have made the disappointing list also, with at least to key drops that may have made a difference in the game. Jackson was also flagged for a 15-yard penalty in the fourth quarter that could be chalked up to frustration. But as a leader, and knowing how important of a situation it was, the veteran team captain has to keep his cool. And those early drops could potentially have changed the course of the game. Who knows, the Glennon fumble may not happen if Jackson can make the readjustment and haul in Glennon’s first pass of the game. The bottom line is, and Jackson will be the first to tell you, he has to come down with the ball if he can get his hands on it.

For the game Jackson targeted a whopping 22 times and ended with 10 catches for 138 yards and two touchdowns.

Running Back Mike James
Coming in for an injured Doug Martin backup running back Mike James played well for the Buccaneers, and while he may not have Martin’s burst or extra gear, James possesses Martin’s field awareness and evidenced by his blitz pickup that led to a 59-yard TD pass to Vincent Jackson.

James gives the offensive coaching staff a bit of relief that in situations like Sunday, with Martin hurt, that the offense can still function.

For the game James ran the ball 14 times for 45 yards, including converting a fourth-and-1 inside the Falcons 10-yard line that led to points, and also nabbed three receptions for eight yards.

Cornerback Darrelle Revis
Revis stat line read just one tackle assist. That is it. No pass breakups, forced fumbles or interceptions. Not a lot of production for $16 million right? But when looking at the overall situation, it is quite impressive. The Falcons barely even looked Revis’ way the entire game. And not just the Falcons, but most opposing offenses all season have stayed away from his side of the field.

Of course much can be debated about how Revis is used. Actually there is no debate. When the only receiver on the field with any type of career numbers, Harry Douglas, torches you for 140 yards – in the first half – the question should be raised why is your $16-million star cornerback not covering him? In his press conference a few weeks ago I was the first to mention to defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan that Bucs fans have been “chirping” about the use of Revis. After Sunday’s scheme the “chirping” will turn into full on squawking.

Talking to Revis a couple times a week in open locker room, it appears he is biting his tongue and saying all the right things in order not to create distractions, but watching a third-string wide receiver light up the Bucs secondary, we could soon see Revis start “chirping,” and who could blame him.

Coaching Staff
Often readers ask why the coaching staff isn’t on our most disappointing list, but the feature is meant to focus on the players themselves. But after Sunday’s loss it is nearly impossible not to add the staff – at the least the defensive coaches.

While personally I have been giving defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan a bit of a free pass on his coverage schemes, the fact that the Falcons have only one healthy wide receiver that even hard core football fans would recognize the name of, and the Bucs failure to stop him speaks volumes about the issues the staff has in recognizing and identifying players to target with Revis. To allow Harry Douglas 140 yards in the first half is inexcusable. Sure the Buccaneers staff did a good job of stopping the run, but that wasn’t an issue in 2012, however the secondary was and after addressing it with free agent Dashon Goldson and adding Revis in a trade, why would your $16 million cornerback be covering practice squad receivers?

Defensive End Trevor Scott
Trevor Scot burst onto the scene in the preseason and collected three sacks after being picked up as an unrestricted free agent. His preseason dominance earned him a roster spot, but little playing time this season. On Sunday, with Da’Quan Bowers nursing a sore foot, Scott was active for the game and on the field for a handful of plays.

Unfortunately for Scott, and the Bucs, the one play that stood out wasn’t a sack of Ryan, but instead a 15-yard roughing-the-passer penalty that negated a third down stop and the Falcons went onto score.

For a player looking to earn more snaps, mental mistakes aren’t a very good way to endear yourself to the staff.

Cornerbacks Leonard Johnson and Johnthan Banks
Everyone knew when Darrelle Revis starting wearing the red and pewter that the other cornerbacks on the roster were going to start seeing a lot of footballs thrown their way. And through six games that is exactly what is happening. Tampa Bay’s young corners did a solid job for the most part through the first four games, but last week Banks surrendered a long TD completion over his head, and on Sunday against the Falcons once again saw another TD pass caught with a defender getting behind him.

Johnson also struggled in coverage and also committed one of the Bucs 11 penalties on the afternoon. It is a baptism by fire as some would say, but the Buccaneers need their other cornerbacks on the roster to perform much better than they did in Atlanta if they plan on getting in the win column this year.

Offensive Line
After re-watching the game it is very difficult to pick out one specific offensive lineman to head up the disappointing list. Everyone took turns making errors and mistakes that contributed to Tampa Bays 31-23 loss to the Falcons on Sunday.

Tackle Donald Penn was guilty of a late fourth quarter holding penalty and also was beaten in the run game on a few plays. Jeremy Zuttah and Ted Larsen allowed way too much penetration in the “A” gap and got little push, and guard Davin Joseph had an uncharacteristic 15-yard person foul penalty in the fourth quarter, stalling yet another drive.

No one is questioning the efforts of the offensive line, as Donald Penn told me last week, the players are busting their rears out there. And going on a 19-play fourth quarter drive and passing blocking most of the plays can’t be easy ,and certainly lends itself to committing penalties. But while the effort is there, the execution is not, and until it improves the Bucs will find it difficult to pick up a win.

Defensive End Adrian Clayborn
Last Friday Schiano was asked about the play of defensive end Adrian Clayborn and Schiano summed it up well. The Bucs head coach said he likes the effort and hustle but the precision and technique are still lacking. On Sunday Clayborn got little pressure on Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and that was even after being matched with former Bucs tackle Jeremy Trueblood who was pulled off the scrap heap by the Falcons and is the starting right tackle. The Falcons were also with a starter in Sam Baker, yet Tampa Bay failed to record a sack on the afternoon, even with a number blitzes. Tampa Bay has just two sacks in their last three games.

Da’Quan Bowers, Daniel Te’o-Nesheim, Trevor Scott, Akeem Spence and Gary Gibson didn’t fare any better. While the secondary made its’ share of mistakes, the lack of pass rush from the front four as of late has not helped things at all.

Clayborn finished with just one tackle and one assist and wasn’t credited with a QB pressure.

Last modified on Tuesday, 22 October 2013 01:01

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  • avatar

    @Scubog: your statement is "most impressive AND dissapointing". But guess what, maybe it´s just because your frustration stagnates (?is that right, i want to say, that it remains static; because it cant get worse anymore..). Hoping for overhaul by Glazers in offseason. A good Football mind (like Greg Roman) and a real weapon like Mariota (next Kaepernick) and this team could be relevant again by next season..
  • avatar

    I believe that if the coaches weren't allowed to game plan or attend the game and you brought in a high school coach to manage the game, letting the players go out there on their own and run their own plays and defenses, that the result would be better than what we are experiencing now.
  • avatar

    A funny thing happened after the Falcons game. I wasn't disappointed like I have been for 38 years after a loss. I wasn't angry like I have been after 38 years after we were robbed by officials or a bonehead play. Nope, after this loss I really didn't care. Sadly, I don't think I'm alone.
  • avatar

    wow... guess I wasn't the only one.....
  • avatar

    Defensive can win if it's 3 points P.S. Stanup Man
  • avatar

    I'd rather have Gruden back as the Head Coach and Lovie as DC, ideal scenario but if not I will be ok with Lovie as HC as well. Glennon will be a backup next year so a rookie or Rivers will be our QB next year and we will see the playoffs. I refuse to let the village idiots we have as coaches change my view of the team bc we have talent. Once we get the interns out of the coaches office we will see what these boys are made of. I hope we at least put on an entertaining game before we lose, I cant deal with another Giants/Vikings type game. My prediction...Banks will cover Steve Smith in man, Revis will sit in zones, McCoy will have several pressures(maybe even sneak in a sack) beating double teams while the rest of the DLine does nothing...Vincent will have 8 catches on 20 targets...Glennon will have about 200 yds and do enough to stay out the way...we will commit at min 10 penalties at over 100 yards and Bucs lose 27-17. Postgame interview "We keep beating ourselves, but we will keep working and get this thing fixed." Its like Groundhog Day with this team every game day, the only problem is we lose the game lol. Go Bucs 0-7 is only days away!
  • avatar

    @stlbucsfan...Bill Murray would be a better coach....
  • avatar

    In my opinion the quickest fix is to fire Schiano like 3 weeks ago and sign Lovie Smith as the interim Coach. Give Lovie the power to tell Sheridan to change your scheme or take a walk. It appears that Sully has gotten the message and he has changed some plays to help Glennon. Dominik needs to keep looking for practice squad players and hope we find a winner with one or two. One last thing; squawk, squawk!
  • avatar

    I too am nervous about giving the Luke McCown look alike any praise and support, he has backup potential written all over him while he is tall and rangy with a strong arm on certain route tree throws his deep ball sucks. Sometimes you will have to put the team on the qb's shoulders and let him carry you to a win and I don't see that in Glennon, to me he is a guy who won't do anything spectacular to talk about in the office the next day, I actually think he is the best Luke McCown impersonator I have seen. Lets take a look around the league to other rookie qb's who played similar to Glennon Case Keenum, Thad Lewis, are these guys the future and franchise qb's of the future? NO! We will have a top 3 pick in the upcoming draft with a top heavy class at qb we MUST not screw this up and draft a DE, when you have a chance at drafting a "Franchise" qb YOU DO IT!
  • avatar

    Yes you have to draft a franchise QB, no doubt about it.
  • avatar

    First real sign that Schiano is panicked. With Orlovsky still on the roster, the Bucs have worked out former Cardinal QB bust John Skelton. Seems as though McNulty is whispering in his ear. Sounds like a last ditch effort or they anticipate the 2nd and 3rd best defenses in the league (Seahawks and Panthers) are drawing a bullseye on Glennon.
  • avatar

    Bring back Jeff Garcia!
  • avatar

    Thnaks MC - I have a few takes of my own: 1) It SCARES me like no tomorrow when I hear people praising Glennon because that's what's going to land us with a mediocre QB for the next 5 years instead of drafting a superstar (in round 1 or 2 - or trade back in to the end of 1 again - next year)...please keep the Beaker praise in check. 2) If you want evidence that Glennon was so-so at best, he stared down VJax 22 times and somehow only completed 10 passes to him (that's Freeman-esque in his 12 misses)....3) that's on VJax too, which makes me wonder why he gets praise for the game - also tripping over the 20 yard line should automatically disqualify him....nice catch though on the TD so I wouldn't have put him on the disappointing list, just neutral. 3) it's clear that we have 3 stars on defense (David, McCoy and Revis)...they need some help - Mr. Clowney anyone? 4) LJ should not be playing in the NFL - that must be clear by now. 5) 2009 draft = zero; 2010 draft = can't miss 3rd overall McCoy and nice pick in Mike Will; 2011 = looking like zero sadly as both DEs show severe 2-year regression (maybe Foster is fine); 2012 = David star, Martin very good, Barron average; 2013 = looking close to zero again (maybe Spence has the best chance of sticking around and maybe Banks will improve to adequate)...anyone still think Dom is competent in the draft? You can miss on 1st or 2nd rounder now and then, but not 7 times in 5 drafts. 6) how sad is it when we praise a RB for 3.2 yards per carry. 7) Our OL looks old, slow, weak and overmatched every game. 8) our coaches do not belong in the NFL - they can belittle fans, they can claim to be working long hours, but the proof is in the pudding - you nailed it MC with the Revis-not Douglas call...fans may be chirpping morons Sheridan but what does that make you when even a chirpping moron could figure out who Revis should be covering?????? CHIRP!
  • avatar

    I think it evident that the players are trying very hard. It is possible that they are trying to hard. That everyone is pressing to make a play. That in itself can lead to mistakes. The cure is to establish a more relaxed atmosphere but ironically, that is often achieved by winning. The coaches have to substitute for that confidence by finding a way to get the players to relax. That ironically is often provided by faith in the system, usually called buying in. In this case it may not be available because the players recognize the system is not NFL ready. If Schiano wants to save his job, his best course is to swallow his pride and work with the veterans to modify game plans to what they can have faith in. If he does that and we get on a win streak many issues will disappear.
  • avatar

    Banks not only couldn't cover, but he had an exceptionally bad day tackling air.
  • avatar

    @DrT...I don't know, I thought he did quite well at tackling the air...I hear air is out 2-3 weeks after Banks's devasting blow....
  • avatar

    OL and DL struggles seem most likely due to talent level. Tread appears to be off Penn's spare tire, Nicks signing appears a bust, there was a time when we all feared Zuttah getting snaps in a relief role yet somehow we've accepted him as a starter, Joseph may improve as he continues to recover but while perhaps better than avg his best days are likely past. Perhaps we have a solution at RT or perhaps Dotson is the best house in a bad neighborhood. Regardless we need a massive OL facelift in the offseason. ------ Good teams don't let true OL talent walk so that requires draft picks, which is why I still think the move is to play Glennon in '14, trade our high 1st round pick and draft 3 OL in the first 3-4 rounds. LT-C-LG. Let them come into the league at the same time and grow together. Keep Joseph and Dotson on the right side, use Zuttah as a swing backup where he belongs and keep looking for another person or two to develop for depth. ---- The DL needs work too, but we've sunk (and sunk is the right word) too many picks there the last few yrs. Just one of the reasons DOM MUST GO.
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