Archive for June 2012
June 18, 2012 at 12:17pm by Scott • No Comments »
With Vincent Jackson on board and holding a $55.5-million contract, it’s a given that he will be the #1 receiver. And while Mike Williams has been taking starters reps in OTAs and minicamp, Pro Football Weekly is guessing who will get a shot to be the starter opposite Jackson.
The Bucs are promoting a competition for the “Z” position and Mike Williams and Arrelious Benn will enter training camp, when the battle really could intensify, on a fairly even playing field.
The author must not have been watching too much Buccaneer practice because Benn took a bunch of snaps with the third team. I think he’ll make the team in September, but to say he is on an even field with Williams ignores everything we’ve seen so far.
We also hear that Dezmon Briscoe, Preston Parker — who typically plays in the slot — and even Tiquan Underwood, who has only 11 career catches, also could get looks with the first-team offense at the “Z” position in camp.
Briscoe was said to be disappointing so far this offseason, but we’ve all seen him come through in games and I think he’s a legitimate big play threat. Both Parker and Underwood earned raves during minicamp, Josh Freeman making sure to single out Parker specifically in an interview. The team will likely keep five receivers, so if all these guys make it, we’re still left with Sammie Stroughter out in the cold and the Ed Gant fan club sorely disappointed. It seems like this year there isn’t going to be as much competition at WR as other years. There were always at least two or three guys on the bubble that you could argue pretty easily for. I don’t see that so much right now.
June 18, 2012 at 10:05am by Scott • 8 Comments »
I know I said I was done talking about Kellen Winslow, but since he’s not done talking himself, I thought we’d take a quick look at what he was saying late last week about his former employer.
“Real sh-t? Real sh-t?” Winslow said. ”Greg Schiano came over there [and said], ‘Toes on the line! Toes on the line!’ Blowing the whistle. You can’t laugh. You can’t joke around. So I decided not to go to OTAs.”
Winslow should have just kept his mouth shut. I, and most people I discussed this with, assumed Winslow was just staying away because it’s what he aways does and that Schiano didn’t like it so he made an example of him. I didn’t know Winslow showed up, didn’t care for how his new boss was making him do things the right way and then stormed off like a child. The team needed him to help rebuild and he turned his back on them because he can’t handle being forced to pay attention to details. Good player, shitty teammate.
“They got my man [Raheem Morris] up out of there,” Winslow said. ”I was loyal to him. I’d take a bullet for that dude. So I had to roll, man.”
Oh yeah, Raheem was a great dude to work for as long as you don’t mind losing for three months in a row. So I guess he had the magic touch to get the most out of Winslow, but without Raheem, Winslow is just a diva with glass knees.
Winslow said Morris wasn’t a “company coach,” but a player’s coach. ”They fired the wrong dude up there,” Winslow said.
Any coach who doesn’t let his players run wild is apparently a “company coach” and doesn’t need to be listened to. Got it. Someone tell Bill Belichick he needs to be more of a pussy and cater to his players more. All that bullshit he does where he’s a hard-ass is obviously a waste of time. Winslow doesn’t say who should have been fired instead of Morris but I assume it’s Mark Dominik because who else would it be? But it wasn’t Dominik’s job to coach those players on how to stop the run or make a tackle. Fuck that guy, man. I’m done defending Winslow.
June 15, 2012 at 12:11pm by Scott • 1 Comment »
Minicamp wrapped up yesterday and apparently not a hell of a lot happened on the field except Donald Penn catching a punt from the JUGGS machine to end practice early, because that’s all anyone was talking about. Including Penn.
“I was joking around with coach [Schiano] about what a great athlete I am and he threw that up there and I did a good job,” Penn said. “I know I can catch and you guys [the media] know I can catch. If I had dropped it we would have had to continue practicing. So since I caught it we ended practice early, which is great. We have been working hard, real hard, and put in a lot of work. And for him to do that today just shows how much work we put in and [that we're] doing a good job for coach to give us that day off.
That actually does say a lot about how well Schiano thinks the player are doing. He doesn’t seem like the kind of coach who would end practice early if he was even the least bit dissatisfied in the team’s efforts. Penn also had a couple interesting comments about practice as a whole.
Penn went on to talk about the difference in this season’s OTAs and mini-camps versus years past.
“To tell you the truth, the intensity. Coach asked for it to be here and it stayed there all three days,” Penn said. “And it didn’t drop, really. That’s the one big thing you have to take into the next few weeks off and take into camp.”
One word rarely use to describe Raheem Morris‘s camps was “intense”. Morris said he liked to bring “juice” to camp, but I think he meant actual juice because everyone seemed very hydrated but not terribly motivated. All that changes this year.
Penn also notes that he’s getting married in July. Congratulations to Donald! And I say that with absolutely no sarcasm.
Lots of interviews were printed yesterday, including one from LeGarrette Blount who has encouraging things to say about what he’s working on this offseason.
“I’ve been working on pass protection and picking up the blitzes this offseason,” Blount said. “That’s the thing I’ve been working on the most. I can say that’s what I’ve improved on the most.”
You know defenses are going to target Blount when he’s on the field because of his reputation for not being able to handle those responsibilities. If he can jam his helmet into a rushing linebackers chest and put him on the ground to protect Josh Freeman, that will go a long way to proving he can be the every-down back that
most people some people I think he can be. It’s a good interview that also covers his progress on catching passes and securing the ball.
June 13, 2012 at 11:54pm by Scott • 2 Comments »
Today was the second day of mandatory minicamp and the same two players that were out yesterday, Brian Price and Amobi Okoye, were also out today. And to save me the trouble of typing it later, they’ll be out tomorrow too.
E.J. Biggers is still starting at cornerback even though Eric Wright is on the field. Greg Schiano seems pleased with Wright’s progress and hopes the thing that Schiano says is a health problem but Wright says is a personal problem is behind him. I don’t think we have any particular right to know the truth here, but it would just be nice to know what the deal is so I know what to bitch about if he doesn’t perform in the regular season. Preston Parker beat Wright in 7-on-7s today.
Josh Freeman had an off day today, overthrowing his share of receivers in the same way Dan Orlovsky did yesterday.
Tiquan Underwood got a lot of attention today and had a strong outing. Freeman overthrew him big time on one particular play, and Underwood had beaten his coverage and was wide open.
Vincent Jackson, Arrelious Benn, Luke Stocker and Sammie Stroughter all dropped catchable balls today. Dallas Clark, on the other hand, was grabbing balls like John Travolta in a massage parlor.
Mark Barron had a sweet interception early in practice. Barron plays smart and aggressive.
Mossis Madu has to find a way on the team. The backfield is pretty well stocked, but maybe there’s a special teams slot he can slide into. He’s just too fast to let go.
Interesting situational drill at the end of practice today. The offense faced first and goal on the 9-yard line with seven seconds on the clock and a touchdown needed. The defense held for the two plays the offense ran in that time. It’s a nod to the Bill Belichick school of football where situations are everything.
Last day of minicamp is tomorrow. I’ll be posting about it later in the evening so take the morning off and sleep in. Make up your own mom joke, I’m going to bed.
June 13, 2012 at 04:00pm by Scott • 2 Comments »
Been a little slack today, but there’s a lot of shit going on at home right now but it should all be settled down in a couple weeks. Without getting into too much detail, let’s just say it involves your mom.
The Bucs had their first day of “mandatory” minicamp yesterday. I put mandatory in quotes because both Brian Price and Amobi Okoye were out, but were both excused. Price is being allowed to rehab in California and Okoye just had surgery on his knee, but should be ready to go for training camp. Everybody else was there, including Eric Wright who had missed most of the voluntary OTAs because of an illness no one is talking about. In the real world that generally means herpes, but Wright spent a lot of time in Detroit over the last few years and probably just inhaled too much smoke from tire fires.
The team went through individual drills before working as a team. Josh Freeman looked sharp, but Dan Orlovsky overthrew a couple wide open receivers. Dallas Clark doesn’t look any different than he did in Indianapolis — very crisp routes and excellent hands. Speaking of good hands, LeGarrette Blount is impressing with his increased involvement in the passing game.
With the arrival of Vincent Jackson, someone had to be pushed down to the second-string, and that appears to be Arrelious Benn. Mike Williams is still running with the starters. Sammie Stroughter may not make it to the final roster. He seems to have been marginalized by some of the up-and-comers like Dezmon Briscoe and Preston Parker. Freeman loves what Parker brings to the table.
Lavonte David intercepted a pass intended for Blount. His anticipation for breaking on the ball and intercepting is said to be the best of all the linebackers. He is still the starting WLB.
Greg Schiano compared Derrick Roberson to Jim Marshall after he scooped the ball on a fumble drill and ran the wrong way.
There was another day of minicamp today. I’ll try to get a more detailed rundown of it up tonight because there probably won’t be a post tomorrow. Your mom really does keep me busy.
June 12, 2012 at 10:48am by Scott • 1 Comment »
Over Memorial Day weekend, two separate youth football teams in the Tampa Bay area had their equipment stolen right out from user them. Because as we all know, the black market for tiny little shoulder pads is HUGE. Here’s the story about the burglaries with a rundown of what was stolen. Can you really fence youth football equipment? What could the burglars really expect to get for that stuff? It takes the worst kind of scumbag to steal from kids.
Anyway, the Glazer boys heard about it, put on their red and pewter cape and came to the rescue with checks to each organization to replace the stolen items.
“Put it this way, if the Bucs hadn’t stepped up, we would’ve had a hard time playing this fall,” Carrollwood Cardinals athletic director Eddie Polk said. “I was thinking, ‘What are we going to do?’ Then we heard from the Bucs. We can’t thank them enough.”
The Bucs donated $7,500 to the Cardinals, who play in the Tampa Bay Youth Football League. Meanwhile, a $3,500 donation was presented to the Highland Pines Cougars, part of the Unity Youth Football League playing at the Jackson Heights Youth Education Town Center.
This is an awesome move by the Bucs for any number of reasons: It builds their reputation in the community, it promotes the sport to young people who will spend money on and/or play football later in life, it’s great press. But mostly it helps kids who just wanted to play and did nothing to deserve getting ripped off. A similar incident happened three years ago and, though Kellen Winslow stepped up to bring 30 of the kids to his youth camp at no cost, what those kids really needed was replacements for their stolen equipment. I’m not sure what happened to the Plant City kids, but I’m very glad the Bucs stepped up in these cases to help out. It’s not a lot of money to them, but it means everything to those programs and children. Great job.
June 11, 2012 at 11:19am by Scott • 3 Comments »
DLINE WOES: With all the optimism over the new regime and the focus on discipline and details, there’s always someone who wants to piss on your Corn Flakes and tell you something about the season that’s going to suck. Today, Roy Cummings is your pisser and the defensive line is what’s bringing us down.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik still dreams of fielding a defensive line consisting of ends Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers and tackles Gerald McCoy and Brian Price.
Dream is about all he can do.
While the article is mostly about Price, Bowers is the only real issue here. He thinks he’ll be back for part of the season, but we’ll go ahead and scratch him off until 2013 and if he does happen to come back early, fine. But Michael Bennett is no slouch and George Johnson is supposed to be an up-and-comer, so I don’t think the left DE spot is going to suffer terribly. Price is in California training and expects to come back stronger than ever, but you’d never know that from this article.
If Price is not ready for this week’s three-day mandatory minicamp, Schiano said he hoped Price would be ready for training camp in late July.
Those are hardly encouraging words, especially about a player who admittedly played at about 60 percent last season while recovering from surgeries to reattach his hamstrings to his pelvis.
The fact that Price played at all last year is pretty amazing, let alone that he did well. He’ll be in Tampa for training camp because it’s a new coaching staff and new system and he needs to learn it. If they take it easy on him and don’t make him practice as much as everyone else, it’s not the worst thing in the world as long as he’s in shape for the season. And he seems dedicated to that goal. How about we wait until at least July before we start casting doom and gloom on the season.
SAPP SCHOOL: When Gerald McCoy was first drafted, Warren Sapp spent some time with him and Brian Price to try to get them to adopt an attitude of dedication. Maybe it worked, but it didn’t translate into much effectiveness. So now it’s time for Sapp to actually share defensive tackle techniques that could help in, you know, a game. But only a couple.
“When I come back from L.A. this time, me and him are going to get on the field together. I just want to see what he’s thinking, get his mind right, maybe just a couple little tips here and there. This ain’t rocket science. I’m not going to give him the formula to become the next tyrant on the field. But I promise you, you’ll see a much more improved and a much more complete player on the field this year.”
Why wouldn’t he give him the formula to become a tyrant on the field? Sapp wants the Bucs to win, right? He wants McCoy to be the best he can possibly be, right? THEN TELL HIM EVERYTHING! Give him every possible tool he could need to be successful and then let him synthesize them into his own style. I understand the merits of figuring things out on your own, but it’s not like McCoy is going to turn into a Sapp clone as soon as Sapp bestows these secrets on him. McCoy will still have to work and practice and watch film in order to be successful at it. What’s the purpose of holding back, unless Sapp thinks McCoy will overshadow his legacy if he tells him everything he knows. That would be pretty shitty, even for Sapp.
UNACCEPTABLE: Josh Freeman took a break from his football camp at Wesley Chapel to talk to the media about Greg Schiano‘s running game. It’s an interesting article and you should read it to get excited about the possibilities in the backfield, but that’s not what this entry is about.
Do you see the banner pic? Do you see that fucking hair? That, my friends, is a frohawk. And it is decidedly non-championship. True fact: No Super Bowl winning quarterback has ever sported a frohawk. Do you think Joe Montana could have won with that? No fucking way. Hell, even superdouche Ben Roethlisberger never went that far. If Johnny Unitas were alive, he would take a flight to Tampa just to smack Freeman in the mouth. You have less than three months before you start playing games that count, Josh. Abandon that failed boy band look and grow your shit out NOW. Remember this guy?
That’s a winner. That’s championship hair. Anything less than that and you’re just not trying.
June 08, 2012 at 11:02am by Scott • 5 Comments »
There’s a good interview with Carl Nicks in FS Florida. Nothing earth shattering or anything, but some decent quotes, including what he thinks of rookies.
“I don’t want to get too close and then they leave or go to another team, so I just pretty much stay away from the rookies and let them do their thing.”
Kind of like the guy who works at the animal shelter who doesn’t want to name that new collie that just came in. But he does think the rookies are putting pressure on the veterans, specifically Doug Martin and LeGarrette Blount.
He works like he’s a free-agent guy, and that’s a good thing. He had Blount stepping his game up, and that’s good.”
Nicks likes the potential of the running game and, apparently, the size of the offensive line.
“We have the personnel, we’ve got the beef and we’ve got the running backs for sure.”
Nicks realizes that everything has been without pads so far, but he likes the potential of the offensive line on paper. He’ll get a chance to test that potential in pads next week when everyone comes together for a mandatory minicamp. Honestly, I think the offensive line is probably the best complete unit on the team at this point.
June 07, 2012 at 12:23pm by Scott • 2 Comments »
When I posted the defensive depth chart yesterday, a couple readers asked about Brian Price and why he wasn’t at the OTAs. Stephen Holder anticipated your question and gave an explanation.
As it turns out, we’ve learned Price isn’t actually hurt. Instead, he’s working out and rehabbing with a California-based trainer in an effort to get himself into optimum health and playing condition, something he hasn’t enjoyed since before he was drafted in 2010.
The first thing most people noticed when Price got on the field last season was, holy shit, he’s huge. And he still made some pretty great plays at that weight. But apparently Price (or, more likely, Greg Schiano) feels that he will be even more effective if he doesn’t look like he was overinflated. The training is going well enough that Price may even be excused from the mandatory minicamp next week. So that’s all good news. I’m just wondering how Price convinced Schiano to let him train away from the facility without getting traded.
June 06, 2012 at 12:43pm by Scott • 3 Comments »
Here is how the defensive depth chart looked at the OTAs yesterday. A couple surprises, including Cody Grimm and Rennie Curran being in the third-string. One non-surprise is Lavonte David moving into the starters. These may not mean much right now, so take them for what they’re worth, but I think they give us an indication of how things are going up to this point. Keep in mind Eric Wright was not in attendance (and hasn’t been) so he isn’t listed in the secondary.
DL:Michael Bennett, Gerald McCoy, Roy Miller, Adrian Clayborn
LB:Quincy Black, Mason Foster, Lavonte David
DB:Aqib Talib, E.J. Biggers, Ronde Barber, Mark Barron
DL:George Johnson, Amobi Okoye, Gary Gibson, Daniel Te’o Neisham
LB:Dekoda Watson, Jacob Cutrera, Najee Goode
DB:Myron Lewis, Anthony Gaitor, Ahmad Black, Larry Asante
DL:Quintin Anderson, Frank Okam, Jordan Nix, E.J. Wilson
LB:Antonio Leak, Adam Hayward, Rennie Curran
DB:Derrick Roberson, Leonard Johnson, Tramain Thomas, Cody Grimm