How About an NFC South thread?

Discussion in 'NFL' started by Tarantism, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. TMC

    TMC Administrator Staff Member

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    It's a matter of respecting your old fanbase.

    It's different if you're a role player. Russell Shepard did the same, but it's not like he had any more options on the market, so I get it. It's not revenge, simply signing the best offer to continue your career. That's fine. I never said anything about Russell because I'd do the same in his situation. Totally understandable and, in fact, it was the only rational move.

    But it's not the same with GMC.

    Gerald had THREE more offers. Browns, Ravens (similar deal to Carolina's, and he was going to sign there, according to... well, himself!), Carolina (not in the picture until the Bucs unveiled Suh's number) and another team that hasn't been made public that had a significantly better offer than any other (although not a contender... that and that the amount was significantly bigger is the only thing that has leaked).

    So it's no the same as Shepard's situation, not at all. And, what makes things worse, he texted two Bucs beat writes about getting revenge as soon as he signed with Carolina, to later deny it as soon as they went public.

    So he's not a bad guy (I'm certain, he's always been one of the nicest guys in the locker room, maybe even too much), but he's acting like a spoiled child. Now deal with the hate coming from Tampa. It's only natural.
     
  2. TMC

    TMC Administrator Staff Member

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    I haven't posted here in a while, so let's talk some Bucs news about how the team has looked and how it heads into the season. Let's do it unit by unit:

    - Offense: Plenty of talent at skill positions, which is something we already knew. But several glaring holes and question marks that, if anything, are now bigger than ever. The passing game looks good, which should be a surprise with guys like Mike Evans, Godwin, Perriman and a good crop of young, hungry WRs. The TEs are also playing well, with Tanner Hudson having a particularly brilliant preseason, and he might unseat Antony Auclair for the #3 TE job. He's been really, really great.

    Jameis looked good the few drives he played the first two games. The last game vs the Browns didn't play much, and spent much of his game time on the ground, being sacked five times. We'll talk about that later... still, seems like he's trying to not force plays that much, but we haven't seen much. Nobody knows what Jameis we're gonna have once the season starts. As for the backups, Gabbert was the backup, but he's injured his shoulder in the last game and now that job belongs to Ryan Griffin, who had a pretty solid preseason as well, although I don't think he's ready to face any real NFL defense. He's played really well, but mostly against fringe defensive players trying to make a NFL roster. Our 3rd QB, for now at least, is Vinnie Testaverde's son, which is a nice touch, because Vinnie is one of the top QBs in Bucs history (yeah, our QB history is a sad one, I know...).

    Running game looked decent. Barber and Ronald Jones look like they can hold their own. RoJo in particular looks much better this year (he was a disaster his rookie season, so it's not like it was hard to improve on that). Probably won't set the league on fire, but they should be decent enough to not consider our running game a liability. And then we have a roster bubble fight between Andre Ellington, a guy that Arians signed because he played for him in Arizona, and Dare Ogumbowale, who has outplayed him in each and every single game (and also in practice). Really, really hope Dare makes the team and Ellington doesn't get his spot out of loyalty, because he looks done as a NFL player.

    And here comes the big issue... the o-line, that rates from average (did a decent job the first two games, with mistakes and some guys being overpowered at times, but other times being able to held their own) to simply awful (seven sacks conceded to Cleveland, five by the starters). Ali Marpet is as good as ever and should be a Pro Bowl lineman, but the rest of the line sucks. Dotson is old, Smith is a brain fart away from giving up a sack in any play, Ryan Jensen is adequate but very overpayed... and Alex Cappa, the guy that inherited the RG spot, is simply awful. Benenoch was awful last season and Cappa might be even worse. Better technique, but easily, very easily overpowered... Bad, bad signs coming from the o-line, and that's not how you build a winning team.

    - Defense: Well, the defense looks much better than expected, the most improved unit on the team, and Bowles says he ain't running much of what we're going to see during the regular season. We'll see, but it's encouraging for a team that had one oft he worst NFL defenses 5 out of the last 6 seasons.

    Vita Vea is out, and that's a problem. Might be back for the first regular season game but, realistically, he might miss a couple games, and he's gotta get up to speed once he comes back. Suh is cruising during the preseason, but that's no biggie. Everybody expected that. But the guy they signed to replace Vea, Rakeem Nunez-Roches, has been playing lights out, getting to the opposing QB seemingly without problem (all while playing vs other team's starters) and being stout anywhere else. He was signed as depth, but he doesn't look out of place running with the first team defense. And that's good.

    As for the DEs, Nassib looks good, very solid. But he's gonna need help with JPP out. So far, that help is coming from inside the line and from the LBs, but somebody needs to step up and take over the other DE spot.

    The LBs look better than expected. David hasn't done much in the preseason, but he rarely does. Lavonte starts playing well when games matter. Devin White has looked good, a true defensive QB. And several guys have done well, too. Minter, Buccanon, Jack Cichy, Shaquil Barrett... all of them have made plays when needed. So far, it looks like the unit has more depth than expected. That's good.

    And the secondary looks like the most improved unit of the defense. Carlton Davis and VH III are starting, and VH III has been hit and miss (played very well most of the games, but we burned a couple of times, too) but Davis was solid last year and is looking to build upon that performance and become our #1 CB. Sean Murphy-Bunting, our second-round CB this year, looked amazing during training camp, but so far that's not translating into real games. But Jamel Dean (our third-round CB this year) has performed better and MJ Stewart has played really well too the last two games. So it looks like our CB situation has depth and talent and a better scheme than the last few years.

    The secondary is getting Justin Evans back for the last game, finally out of the PUP list. And Jordan Whitehead has played really well this preseason. Seems like they will be the starters if Evans is ready to go in week 1. The rookie Mike Edwards has played really well, too, but he's out injured and doesn't look like he'll be back for week 1. Kentrell Brice was solid, not making many mistakes, but failing to make any big play. Looks good for depth. And the team has signed vet Darian Stewart, cut by the Broncos, and so far he's played really well in the snaps he had. At this point, I'd say he probably makes the team, with Brice spot not so guaranteed any longer.

    - Special teams: Spencer Schnell and Scotty Miller are fighting for the returning duties. I haven't been particularly impressed with any of them. Actually, Schnell played really well at the start of preseason at WR, but both have been... uninspiring in special teams.

    As for the kickers, we've got a real competition. Cairo Santos has been solid, converting most of his chances. But it's true Matt Gay, the rookie we took with a fifth rounder, has also made most of his field goals (missed just one) and seems to have a better leg. Maybe Santos is a bit more accurate, but Gay can make longer field goals, or so it seems. It's nice to have a competent kicker in place, at last. Let's h0pe it's not a mirage. If Gay wins the spot, as I expect, and Santos gets cut, he's gonna be a big help for other teams in need of a kicker. A team like Chicago should probably take a long look at him, signing him as soon as he gets cut.

    Finally, the team cut Brian Anger, our punter, after last year, and Anger has been one of the most solid punters in the entire NFL for years, but was making a lot for a punter and the team needed that money. His replacement, Bradley Pinion, hasn't fared too well so far. In the game vs Cleveland he was downright bad. Looked a bit better (not great, but adequate) in previous games.

    So, considering the state of the Bucs, I think it's going to be a fun season. Nobody should expect the Bucs to compete for the playoffs in Arians' first season, but nobody can deny this team is going to be coached harder and better than in recent years, probably since the Gruden days. We've got more talent on defense, we've got talent at skill positions and a glaring hole (or two, or three...) we need to fix in the offensive line. And there's Jameis as well...

    So a very intriguing season for the Bucs, one that should decide their future, because it's Jameis final year and the team has to decide on an extension. That alone makes this a key season for the Bucs franchise. Should be a fun year, anyway.
     
  3. TMC

    TMC Administrator Staff Member

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    F*ck. Mike Evans, Demone Harris and now Devin White have missed practice time this week with some kind of ailment, loosely defined by Arians as "a bug". Harris seems to be alright, but Evans and White (two key players) are questionable for the game.

    F*ck. F*ck . F*ck.
     
  4. TMC

    TMC Administrator Staff Member

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    Well, well, well... here comes the first win of the Arians' tenure. So happy that it came against the Panthers, too!!!

    Ok, some quick notes:

    - First and foremost, I can't say enough good things about Todd Bowles. He has totally changed the defense, and they're missing one of their top guys in JPP. That says a lot about coaching, because most of the guys on the unit were already here last season, or even longer. So far, the Bucs defense has allowed just one TD in two games and is playing really, really well against the run. In this game, they kept McCaffrey to 53 total yards, and that's hard to do.

    - Two players we have to talk about in the defense, VH III, who is a completely different player in this scheme, playing the best football of his career, and Shaq Barrett, who had one sack vs the Niners and three sacks and 6 QB pressures vs Carolina. He really can rush the QB. Also, Kevin Minter had to replace White again (a knee sprain, Arians says it shouldn't be serious) and did well. Minter has been really good in Tampa since he signed last year.

    - On offense, it was a solid, albeit unspectacular game. Chris Godwin is quickly fulfilling his enormous potential and becoming one of the top WRs in the game (and let's remember Mike Evans is also on this team). Payton Barber has become a really good, reliable RB (even tho I think he could have avoided the safety, but he was really solid the rest of the way). I would have liked to see RoJo get a few more carries, because he's a totally different kind of back, more explosive, and got only 4 for 23 of Barber. But the running game looked really good. It's also clear that Arians doesn't like going to his TEs as much as Koetter did, not sure if that's wise considering we have Brate and OJ Howard on the roster, but hey... I never really liked the Bresahd Perriman signing, and this game is a reason why. He can get separation, but can't catch a ball if his life was on the line.

    - Let's focus on the man itself, Jameis... we won because he didn't make so many mistakes and was more aware of the risks involved. He may a couple of big throws, all of them to Godwin, and played "conservative" football (at least for Jameis standards). That helped, but he had a couple of brain farts (not that much, coming from a guy that usually has 6 to 8 per game) that, luckily, didn't end up in TOs. So good for him, a team can win with this Jameis. I don't think it's sustainable, tho, because he always comes back to old Jameis. Always. But he was better this time, finding ways to manage the game. Also, if he had been a bit more accurate, we would have had a couple more TDs and the game would have been over by the start of the 4th quarter. So accuracy remains a problem, too. If it seems I'm done with Jameis, it's because I'm done with Jameis. I don't trust him. I think he's gonna screw up the game for us at some point, and even when he doesn't, I still don't trust him. I'd be really wary if the team decides to extend him after the season. In fact, I think it'd be a disaster. Even good Jameis is unreliable, and I hope the team can see it with games like this one.

    In short, Bucs' football of old wins in Carolina, and that feels really good. I don't think this team is ready to compete for the playoffs yet, but all signs are that they're very much improved from last year's team, and the defense looks like it can be really good again. It's early, but the signs are promising.
     
  5. TMC

    TMC Administrator Staff Member

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    F*ck. This team kills me every single time... Most depressing loss in quite a while, really.

    Ok, let's make this quick. We came from a very good win on the road at Carolina. The Giants came into Tampa as one of the worst teams in the NFL, both on offense and defense. So they decide to (at last!!) seat Eli. Daniel Jones starting. Should be winnable.

    First half went great. Nobody could cover Mike Evans, Jameis went deep often and accurately (that's usually a recipe for disaster... and it was), RoJo was playing well, being a dual-threat running the ball and catching passes, the defense gave up a couple of big plays (a Jones TD that was very avoidable), but mostly was able to contain the Giants. Barret made big play after big play, and finished the game with one forced fumble and 4 more sacks, for a grand total of 8 in 3 games. So yeah, amazing... excuse if I'm not all that excited after losing another f*cking game, and being embarrassed on the way.

    Second half, or when the Bucs imploded, in every single way conceivable. First, the defense kept playing aggressive, too aggressive, and with a cushion of 18 points it might not be the best option, because that led to several coverages fumbled that left Giants players completely open. One of them led to an Engram TD. Several others to big gains. And let's not talk about the missed tackles. It was awful.

    The second Daniel Jones' TD was similar, nobody was focusing on him, so he just run, through the middle. Unopposed. Not one single Buc player was even close.

    Coaching was awful as well. Up 18 points, it might be time to abandon the gunslinger Jameis offense. Because the Giants adapted, Jameis wasn't as accurate and we weren't getting those easy yards anymore. Run the f*cking ball, try a pass under 15 yards, I don't know, manage the f*cking game!!! And Arians and Leftwich knew what was happening, because there were drives in the second half in which we didn't throw a single pass. Just running plays... but, you know, you can throw passes under 15 yards and mix it up. If you always run or throw deep, the defense f*cking realizes what's gonna come!!!

    Jameis had another retarded INT, as always, but it wasn't that play that cost us the game, because the defense recovered the ball shortly after. But it happened, again, and it often leads to scores.

    So, between botching assignments and/or tackles on defense and the offense hell-bent on advancing on plays that no less than 20 yards (and not doing it), the Giants keep scoring. And with 1:17 on the clock they finally go up in the scoreboard 32-31. We need a FG to win the game. Jameis throws another bomb and, this time, Mike Evans is there to catch it. Always Mike Evans. He's become my favorite Buc ever, along with Mr. Derrick Brooks. A shame he's wasting his best years on this f*cking team. I would understand if he ever pulls a Calvin Johnson and suddenly retires.

    But we're back having to make a 34 yards FG to win the game. In comes our rookie Kicker, Matt Gay, who won the job over Cairo Santos (a bit more accurate, but Gay won the job because he has a stronger leg and is a 5th round pick). Gay had made 4 FGs before in the game and had missed just one in the previous two games. He missed two extra points in the game, one of them his fault, the other wasn't (Alex Cappa was the reason, because Alex Cappa can't block for sh*t). So a 34 yards FG would win the game for us.

    Then, he missed. Of course he missed. Because he's a Buc, and a Bucs kicker has to miss every FG with the game on the line. You get fired if you make it. So he did his part and missed the fucking FG.

    At this point, we should cut him. And do not sign another kicker. Just ignore you can make field goals and extra points. You open another roster spot and can go for it every single time. Who would care? In fact, who the fuck cares about the Bucs?

    Another monster game by Mike Evans, another monster game by Shaq Barrett. Wasted. It's the Bucs way.

    PS: Just one more thing to add... as it always happens whenever the Giants or Steelers play in Tampa, it was a home game for them. Those two teams put more fans on the stands of the RayJay than the f*cking Bucs. Every-single-time. What a shame.
     
  6. bada

    bada Administrator Staff Member

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    I feel for you TMC. But what in the living fuck was Arians doing by taking a delay of game on purpose to make the FG longer. That is the most asinine thing I have heard of. There is ZERO reason to do this. Just simple physics/angles tell you that the shorter the FG, the greater chance to make. If he kicked the same exact kick but 5 yards shorter, it sneaks inside the upright.
     
  7. TMC

    TMC Administrator Staff Member

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    He thought a 34 yards FG would be easier to make than a 29 yards one because the angle would be better for Gay. He f*cked up, and he admitted it (at least it's nice to hear that). Total brain fart.

    There's a reason I don't really want to focus on that decision, tho. It's only one play, and we would have won with those three points, but the whole second half was terrible in terms of coaching. Brain fart after brain fart, not adapting at all, not on offense nor defense, nothing. Worst coached half (not game, the first half was pretty great) I've seen in years. Extremely weird game. Very Bucs game that ended in a very Bucs loss.
     
  8. bada

    bada Administrator Staff Member

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    not only did they take a delay of game but then on the next snap they took a 2 yard loss to get the preferred angle. They were on the 9 yard line but kicked from the 16. In what world is a 34 yarder easier than a 26 yarder. That one will forever baffle me. Math class might be a good idea for Arians.
     
  9. Rob

    Rob NBA All-Star Staff Member

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    Had that kicker been significantly off to one side? that's the only thing that could make sense, but then you're allowing some recency bias to affect your decision making.
     
  10. TMC

    TMC Administrator Staff Member

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    And let's not forget he had missed two extra points already in that same game from a similar distance... really, it was a brain fart, no matter how you look at it.
     
  11. xbay

    xbay NBA 1st Team All Pro Staff Member

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    Go Bucs!
     
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  12. TMC

    TMC Administrator Staff Member

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    Ha! Can't say much about the game, as I've only seen the highlights. I decided to skip this one because I didn't want to watch another defeat, not after losing to the Giants, and look... best win for the Bucs in the last decade.

    Maybe we just have to play all our games on the road... o_O
     
  13. TMC

    TMC Administrator Staff Member

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    And the f*cking Bucs did it again (and by that, I mean they crapped the bed again).

    Let's start with the excuses first: the officiating was awful, taking the Saints side in any case they had a doubt. Carlton Davis ejection was ludicrous (flag and fine, yes... but ejection is a ridiculous call), the fumble that wasn't also was a one-sided call, and all the officiating in general went the Saints way unless it was crystal clear. Absolutely awful and disheartening. This group of refs should be suspended for what remains of the season. It was THAT bad because it wasn't just a play. It was the whole-f*cking-game.

    And... that's about it in terms of excuses. The rest of the game was the Bucs fault. I wasn't impressed at all with the Saints (other than Michael Thomas, who is a f*cking monster, except he never gets a call when he pushes a defender, and their defense played well enough, not great). Our defense is not good if we can't pressure the QB, and that only happened in a couple of plays. Meanwhile, they got to six sacks, mainly in plays in which our o-lineman missed and assignment or where easily beaten (I wouldn't have been surprised if he had been sacked 12 times... it was that bad). Our tackles, for various reasons, can't be reliable, and we basically play with a stop-gap RG. This line can't protect Jameis well enough, and that's a huge problem (they've been better than expected in run plays, tho... let's be honest here). Problem is, when the line can't protect him, Jameis goes back to forcing throws. Gotta admit he's much better this year, but it keeps happening, particularly when the o-line plays poorly. In today's game, Jameis got one TO in a fumble, but he was bailed out of 4 more. His numbers weren't bad, but it could have been a disaster, so stats don't really tell yesterday's game story.

    Also, the pressure... other than Shaq Barrett, whom the Saints focused on, nobody is able to put pressure on the QB. And when the Bucs can't put pressure on the QB, our secondary woes show up. And it shows that our secondary lacks talent and experience. Plenty of young guys (Vernon Hargraves is the vet in the unit, for god's sake!) and not a single CB that can play man-to-man other and Davis (maybe Dean, but he's been out the whole season). We've got some good young talent (Whitehead is playing great this season, and I like Davis and, to a point, Edwards... Hargreaves can play well in the slot, and I think that's it so far), but we've invested six high picks in recent years in this joke of a secondary.

    In short, we need more big plays from our defense. And we need better protection for Jameis. If that happens, there's enough talent in skill positions for this team to be a playoff team. But I'm afraid our lack of pass rushers, our swiss cheese secondary and our porous o-line will prevent it. At least this year.

    Also, where was Devin White? Still recovering, I guess, but why made him take the trip to NO when he wasn't ready to play?

    Also, what happened with Mike Evans? Just three targets for zero catches? WTF???

    Also, and one thing I don't like about Arians, why doesn't he use the TEs more? A team with OJ Howard and Brate can't have just three targets between both of them. And it's not the first game.

    As for positives, last year's team would have lost this one by 3 scores at least. This team is competitive, just can't do it consistently. And Gay looks like a really good kicker, 11 of 11 since the stinker against the Giants. It was about time.
     
  14. xbay

    xbay NBA 1st Team All Pro Staff Member

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    Hey TMC, who were your top candidates prior to Arians filling the vacancy?
     
  15. TMC

    TMC Administrator Staff Member

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    For the Bucs opening? It was always Arians as the #1 choice, due to his strong relation with Litch since they were together in Arizona.

    But they Bucs interviewed and/or considered several more: Kris Richard, from the Cowboys, Eric Bienemy, from the Chiefs, Harbough before he signed his extension with the Ravens, George Edwards from the Vikings, Notre Dame's Brian Kelly, Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma, Dabo Swinney from Clemson...

    Some of those names never were really available (Riley or Swinney were pipe dreams in particular), and in case they had been, they had enough openings that signing with the Bucs wasn't likely (I love Jon Harbaugh, and Lincoln Riley is a really intriguing name, but half the openings would have been available to him... I couldn't see him signing with the Bucs).

    One thing seems clear and that's that the Bucs owners wanted a big name. They even tried to sign Jon Gruden a couple of seasons ago, and he would have replaced Koetter if the Raiders hadn't signed him to that crazy 10-year deal. And as Harbaugh was never available, I think Arians was the best choice available.

    From the rest of the names, Bienemy would have been intriguing, but I think he lacks a bit of experience yet.
     
  16. TMC

    TMC Administrator Staff Member

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    Winston "Winstoning" on the big stage. And the Bucs losing another must-win game because of that.

    Of course, the o-line plays like shit and that never helps.

    Of course, former Bucs are having the game of their lives vs the Bucs (also, we had to cut GMC because of money, but cutting Javien Elliott was stupid. We have worse CBs on the current roster, and it wasn't because of money).

    Also, not really impressed by Carolina. They have a decent defense, but the offense is totally predictable. McCaffrey is great, but he's their only weapon. And getting Cam back is not gonna change that. There's a strong chance Riverboat Ron is coaching his final season with the Panthers.

    Ultimately, tho, Winston is costing us another must-win game. That's the Bucs life.
     
  17. TMC

    TMC Administrator Staff Member

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    Oh, and in case it wasn't clear in my previous post, f*ck Winston. That guy has been able to take away the joy of watching football for me. Every play is a nightmare waiting to happen, wondering how is he going to have another turnover again.
     
  18. TMC

    TMC Administrator Staff Member

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    Wtf was that last play of the first half? I've never seen anything like that in all my years watching football. A kick off that it's actually a kicking play without blocking? WTF?!?!?!

    Even the commentators were saying they had only watch that a couple of times in college football. Of course it had to happen to the Bucs... it's actually unexpected Carolina's kicker didn't get the 3 points.
     
  19. Chum

    Chum NBA 1st Team All Pro

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    I have never seen that before either. Came here to ask wtf?
     
  20. Chum

    Chum NBA 1st Team All Pro

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    The Bucs need a new QB.
     
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