Josh Freeman

Archive for September 2012

An Apology

September 28, 2012 at 03:17pm by Scott   •  33 Comments »

The other day I wrote an entry detailing an article by Tom Jones and basically disagreeing with most of it. Mr. Jones wrote me today and questioned whether I had, in the article, really called him a prick and told him to fuck himself. And, of course, I had. The reason he wanted to verify that is because his son pointed it out to him. And so now I feel like a huge heel.

As much as I disagree with what these guys are writing or how they’re writing it, I should keep my criticisms and swearing to the articles themselves and not call the authors out personally. “This is an awful article” should be fair game whereas “You are an awful person” is probably out of bounds unless there is some really compelling reason to do it (and just being really funny isn’t reason enough). And there was no reason for me to call out Jones in front of his family in a personal manner. So I’d like to offer my sincere apologies to Tom Jones. He seems like he’s okay with being criticized, just not being berated in public, and I get that.

But feel free to berate the shit out of me in the comments. I obviously need it.

Sapp Should Be A First-Ballot HOFer

September 28, 2012 at 10:27am by Scott   •  4 Comments »

Rich Gannon had to get PTSD counseling after this game.
The first round of nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame 2013 induction came out yesterday and has some very notable first-time names on it:

DT Sam Adams
G Larry Allen
K Morten Andersen
RB Priest Holmes
S John Lynch
WR Keenan McCardell
QB Steve McNair
C Tom Nalen
T Jonathan Ogden
DT Warren Sapp
DE Michael Strahan
DT Ted Washington
DT Bryant Young

The Hall can induct no more than seven players per season and there’s a large backlog of worthy players waiting to get in, so first-year nominees have to really be something special. And although there are several players on that list who should eventually get in (sorry, Keenan, you’re not one of them), there are two who absolutely have to go in right away. And one of them is our very own Warren Sapp.

I’ve been hard on Sapp for the last year or so, but none of that had anything to do with the way he played football. Sapp was the gear that made the entire Tampa 2 defense go. It requires a fast, strong and smart defensive tackle getting quick penetration up the middle, and Sapp was the prototype. With a lesser DT in that position, the whole scheme falls apart. Go back and watch old games of Sapp in his prime. It’s a thing of beauty. A nice, clean pocket never forms for the quarterback; it’s always this mess of bodies jabbing and holding and trying desperately to get back in position. You know those insurance commercials about mayhem? That was Sapp. Mayhem embodied. Just like Lawrence Taylor in the 1980s, coaches had to come up with new schemes to combat Sapp. He changed the way the game is played. He may very well be the best defensive tackle ever. I’m sure you’d get a couple arguments from some Cowboy fans over Bob Lilly or Randy White and maybe there’s an argument to be made for John Randle or Mean Joe Greene, but Sapp is, at the very least, a major player in that conversation. And he deserves to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. If he doesn’t go in this time, it would only be because he made enemies in the press and they’re making him wait out of spite. And that would be bullshit.

The other guy on that list who deserves to go in his first year is Larry Allen. And there is a really, really strong case to be made for Allen being the best guard in NFL history. I can’t imagine him not getting a unanimous pass to the Class of 2013.

If the Hall puts more than two first-ballot guys in (and it probably shouldn’t with the backlog they have), you’d have to say either Strahan or Ogden makes the cut. And I think there’s a spot for Lynch in Canton at some point, but he’s going to have to wait a while. He may even go in after Derrick Brooks, who should also be a first-ballot guy.

Looking For A Rush

September 27, 2012 at 02:19pm by Scott   •  No Comments »

With the success of Jared Allen, white defensive ends can be taken seriously again.
To add some depth at DE with Adrian Clayborn‘s move to IR, the Bucs signed Jeff Charleston, a guy who spent the last four years with the Saints. Charleston has eight career sacks in five seasons (with four starts). And for now, Daniel Te’o-Nesheim is listed as the starting right defensive end. He has played in all three games but has not posted any statistics yet. Trent Williams, a #4 overall pick in 2010 (who Roger Goodell agreed to announce as “Silverback” when he got drafted for some reason), is the left tackle that Te’o-Nesheim will be going against. Williams didn’t participate in Redskins practice yesterday, so hopefully he got that envelope of HepC I sent him. Trust me, I have plenty of it laying around.

REAR ENTRIES: One Out, One In

September 25, 2012 at 11:48pm by Scott   •  4 Comments »

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I’ll probably be busy most of tomorrow, so here’s as much stuff as I can cram into this entry before I pass out while huffing this ether.

CLAYBORN ON IR: It’s old news now, but Adrian Clayborn is on injured reserve now with a knee injury. Defensive linemen drafted by the Bucs in the future should just go ahead and buy their crutches before getting to the rookie minicamp. They’ll need them sooner or later.

“Certainly it’s unfortunate for him and the team,” Schiano said. “I don’t know exactly what (the injury) is. It’s one of those three-letter deals.”

Yeah, Schiano is very concerned about looking like the smartest guy in the room.

BOWERS ON THE MEND: The good news on the defensive line is that Da’Quan Bowers is on the mend and is eligible to come off the PUP after week six. Bowers said himself that he has about four weeks to go before he’s ready to play after his Achille’s injury, so that should sync up well with his eligibility. In the meantime, to compensate for Clayborn, the Bucs may use more three-man fronts with rushing linebackers, which have always worked so well in the past. Now THAT’S sarcasm.

Have the Bucs thought about just putting any guy in there at defensive end and letting him stab his blocker? Like, with a knife or an icepick? That’ll slow down these d-line injuries. Plus these replacement officials have shown they’ll let anything slide. If the guy does it right, he might even draw a holding call.

SHIPLEY SHIPPED OUT: Jordan Shipley said he feels terrible about his muffed punt on Sunday.

“I just didn’t follow it all the way in,” Shipley said Monday. “It’s something I’ve ever really had a problem with, so I feel terrible about it. There’s nothing I can really do about it but learn from it and move on.”

And move on he did, because the Bucs waived him today. If no team picks him up, he’ll be an unrestricted free agent. But who wouldn’t want that kind of performance on their team? It’s not everyone that can almost catch a football with their thighs.

PARRISH SIGNED: To replace Shipley, the Bucs signed Roscoe Parrish (whose name I will never be able to say without thinking Roscoe P. Coltrane), a player who, unlike Shipley, has extensive punt returning experience.

Parrish has played seven NFL seasons, all for the Bills, and has big-play ability as a return man. Parrish’s average of 12.0 yards per punt return ranks him seventh in NFL history among players with at least 75 returns.

He can also play receiver, but that’s probably not going to come up much.

JUST LET THEM PLAY: Evidently, the coaches tried to change up the successful plan the defensive line used against Carolina for the game at New York and started using a lot of stunting and twisting. That didn’t work out so well since Eli Manning had enough time to finish his novel while he was sitting in the pocket. So Gerald McCoy went to Bill Sheridan and respectfully requested that they go back to the old plan of doing the thing that works.

“We’re allowed to go up there and make requests or talk to them about things,” McCoy said of the coaches. “And me, being a captain and defensive lineman, I just went to Coach and made a few requests, sat down and talked about a few things. We discussed what we discussed, and he set up a game plan, and it worked for us.”

Of course, if a guy who is twice your weight and size and whose job it is to become as strong as humanly possible comes into your office and makes a request, it’s probably a good idea to grant it. “Coach, we’d like to go back to the old way of rushing. And we want our jersey numbers bedazzled with diamonds.” Done and done!

Schiano Already On Jones’s Hot Seat

September 25, 2012 at 03:39pm by Scott   •  8 Comments »

Hey look, a pass. Maybe Jones didn't see this one.
And so it has started. It took three games (two losses) for the second-guessing to start in earnest. Tom Jones wrote a piece today that takes aim straight at Greg Schiano for, well, everything wrong with the offense.

Point a finger at offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan, if you want, or quarterback Josh Freeman. You’ll find plenty of support on both counts. But the real culprit? How about the guy in charge? How about head coach Greg Schiano?

He’s the boss. He sets the agenda. Everyone reports to him.

True enough, but he’s really more of a defensive guy. He doesn’t call offensive plays, Sullivan does. You could also blame Mark Dominik for hiring Schiano or the Glazers for hiring Dominik and be technical right about who has ultimate blame, but neither of them directly affect the offense. Schiano does, but from what I know, not to a great degree.

But the more interesting question isn’t who is to blame but why is Schiano seemingly obsessed with playing so conservatively?

Oh, I can’t wait to hear your theories!

Schiano doesn’t trust Josh Freeman

From the start of the second half Sunday against the Cowboys until the two-minute warning, the Bucs trailed, yet they ran the ball on eight of nine first-down plays. Trailing by nine points with less than three minutes left, the Bucs called for a running play on first down.

That second part you can’t argue with. They had to pass from both a yardage and time-management perspective, but they didn’t. That was dumb, but not necessarily because Schiano (who doesn’t call the plays) doesn’t trust Freeman. As for running on first down when down in the second half, why would you abandon your game plan just because you’re down by three points at the half? We’ve known since April that this was going to be a team that runs first. It’s why Carl Nicks was brought in and Doug Martin was drafted. So, they continue running. When it works, we say the team is hard-nosed and blue-collar and tough. When it doesn’t work, the coach has lost faith in the quarterback? I call bullshit.

If you don’t allow your quarterback to throw on first and 10, what makes you think he’s going to be successful on third and 8?

Look, if I was calling plays, I probably would have thrown more on first down than they did. But this isn’t an offense molded like the Saints or the Packers. They’ve trained to run more than they pass. Everybody gets all misty-eyed when the Steelers run but somehow it’s a crime when the Bucs do it.

Schiano has turned Freeman into a robot, a caretaker instead of a playmaker, a quarterback too scared to make a mistake to make a play. Freeman seems to be handing off more than the ball when Schiano asks for one running play after another. He is handing off his swagger, his confidence, that something special that had many of us believing he was going to be a franchise quarterback.

Oh fuck you, dude. Number one, I don’t think it is that way. Freeman isn’t scared to do anything. I think they just want to be a hard-running team. And number two, even if it actually was that way, I wouldn’t blame Schiano. When Freeman throws, he throws off-target a lot of the time and he looks indecisive. I don’t know the ins and outs of it, so maybe it has to do with receivers running bad routes or playcalling or something else. But do you know who does know the ins and outs of it? Greg fucking Schiano. He has put in the time and should know by now what Freeman is capable of and how much he can trust him.

I love it when writers not only criticize what a coach or player does but also takes the extra time to figure out their motivations and tell us what is REALLY going on inside their heads because, as we all know, newspapers require that their sports writers have their Masters degrees in psychology before they’re given a beat.

And check this out: Schiano said Monday that Freeman usually has the freedom to audible but that the Bucs also have no-change plays. Can you imagine Peyton Manning or Drew Brees or any QB worth his weight walking up to the line, seeing a play that has no chance of working and not being able to audible out of it?

Can you imagine a coach taking the time throughout the week to establish a very precise game plan only to have it shot to shit when the quarterback goes rogue and runs a play that the coaches were saving for the fourth quarter after some very specific set-ups throughout the rest of the game?

Sorry, Freeman has not earned what Manning and Brees have earned. Those guys are practically coaches themselves. Making that comparison is nuts.

Schiano thinks he is still at Rutgers

As a college coach at Rutgers, Schiano, like many old-school college coaches, was a big believer in pounding the ball, winning the time of possession, imposing his team’s will on opponents. … That might work against Pitt or Louisville. That doesn’t work in the NFL. When an NFL team lines up to stop the run — as the Cowboys did Sunday — you know what happens? You can’t run, and you end up losing a bunch of 16-10 games.

Because nothing makes an offensive coach happier than doing what the defense dictates to them. That’s sure to earn respect around the league. Jones would be much happier covering the Arena League or a 7-man league where they don’t even have running plays.

Schiano is a micromanager

There are times you wonder if Schiano is more interested in the time of possession than the score. It seems as if he is more interested in (his) style points than actual points. It seems as if he is more interested in doing things his way just to show that his formula for winning proves he’s the smartest guy in the room. So far in his rookie NFL season it has proven only that he might be the most stubborn guy in the room.

Yeah, Schiano doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy who needs to be the smartest one in the room. That’s more guys like Mike Martz and Brian Billick, both of them considered offensive geniuses and world-class cockbags. And they love to pass the ball and come up with offensive plays that require a rosetta stone. Schiano doesn’t give a shit what anyone thinks of him.

That said, I understand he is a micromanager. And that would be unheard of in the coaching ranks of the NFL. From everything I’ve seen, NFL head coaches are totally lose and easy-going and just let life happen to them. “Foot technique isn’t all that important. Just go out there and wing it, man,” said exactly no one ever.

Schiano said if the Bucs had won Sunday, many would be saying: “Man, this is Bucs football: great defense, time of possession, winning the kicking game and you win. As it turns out, when you lose, it’s too conservative.”

Yeah, if it wasn’t for that pesky way the league determines results based on which team scores more points, the Bucs would be all set.

So every time you lose, throw your strategy and philosophy out the window and start fresh the next week. If you have a good scheme that Tom Jones approves of, YOU WILL NEVER EVER LOSE A GAME.

Final thought

You know what the offense’s problem is? It’s all these things. Schiano has yet to fully commit to Freeman. He still has a college mind-set. He is a micromanager. He’s stubborn.

You know what Tom’s problem is? He doesn’t like Schiano. At some point this summer, Tom Jones asked Schiano a question and got a snippy response that he wasn’t happy with, so now he’s going to bash him for every loss and ignore every win. It’s the same reason the press turned against Jon Gruden and Bruce Allen — they weren’t press-friendly. Schiano isn’t he warmest and fuzziest coach in the league, and for that he must PAY.

It takes a lot of balls to not only think you know what’s going on inside a guy’s head but then also criticize him on that assumption and then have the gall to make alternative recommendations. You know what those guys are called in regular life? Pricks. Schiano has coached three fucking games in the NFL. And his defense — the unit that he has the biggest hand in shaping — looked pretty damn good on Sunday. Yes, the offense sucked on Sunday. Yes, Schiano needs to take responsibility for the whole team. But it’s just a little bit early to not only tell him what he’s thinking but that his coaching philosophy is wrong and that a sportswriter is the one with all the answers.

Offensive Shitfest

September 24, 2012 at 11:46am by Scott   •  13 Comments »

cowboys2012

Did you see the games yesterday? People who have Sunday Ticket were able to flip around through all of them and see at least four really great games. Even if you didn’t have any emotional stake in any of them, they were just excellent games that had tons of big plays and trick plays and overtime and came down to the last second. I’ve heard it called the best weekend of football in recent memory.

And then there was the Bucs game. I would have rather watched the security camera footage of a veterinary incinerator than that monstrosity. It was shit after shit from the Bucs’ offense up until the last drive when it didn’t really matter. I wavered between blaming the coaches and the players, and now I’ve decided to blame both.

Josh Freeman had as bad a day as I can remember from him. Passes were consistently off target and I think he has just stopped stepping into this throws because he always seems flat-footed or throwing off his back foot when he passes. He wasn’t helped out by his receivers who dropped a few or his offensive line who didn’t get him enough time (Freeman could be seen walking off the field exasperated after one drive, and my assumption was that he was pissed at his offensive line), but he didn’t make any special plays of his own. He didn’t extend plays with his feet, he didn’t find his fourth option in a pinch and flip the ball to him. He looked like a backup. Freeman was 10 for 28 with a passer rating of 45.2. The interception wasn’t his fault; D.J. Ware should have had that one. So technically he could have a higher rating, but he had a miserable day by any measure. I don’t know if this team is still “All about #5″, but if it is, something has to be done. We all know he has the ability. We’ve seen him do it. Is it the way he’s being coached that is leading him to get worse, or were all the good times just luck? I’m not giving up on him, but it’s his fourth year. The light has to come on soon, right?

Everybody else on the offense was pretty much at a similar level of suck yesterday, so I’m not going to go over each of them as much as I normally would. Doug Martin was disappointing and never really got going. LeGarrette Blount looked good when he had the ball, so of course they only gave it to him four times. Wide receivers couldn’t get any separation and gave Freeman such small windows to throw through that it’s no wonder he wasn’t completing any. The tight ends were in the same boat, except Luke Stocker did get his first touchdown as a Buccaneer (and then proceeded to get blown up as a blocker later on in the game). And the line, as stated, gave Freeman very little time and allowed DeMarcus Ware to cause two sack/fumbles while also not opening up any creases for Martin to scoot through.

On the final drive they got something going. Vincent Jackson for 29 yards, Martin for 12 yards, Mike Williams for 23 yards, Tiquan Underwood for 7 yards. Dallas may have been playing softer so as to not give up the home run since they were two scores up, but Freeman looked decisive and the receivers were laying themselves out for balls. They couldn’t punch it in the endzone, but they went from their own 20 into field goal range in 1:16 using only one time out. It can be done. That kind of urgency needs to happen sometime before the two-minute warning, though.

Oh, speaking of the two-minute warning, the Bucs got the ball back at 2:43 down two scores. First play: Martin run up the middle. Second play: Short pass to Martin incomplete. Third play: Martin run to the right for -2 yards. That little bit of playcalling under the circumstances told me that the team quit. Not the players, but the coach calling the plays. That was confirmed to me when, right before the two-minute warning, Michael Koenen was going out on the field to punt. When play resumed, the offense was back out on the field and converted the fourth down, so they thankfully thought better of it. But still, that little string of events really happened. Freeman later took responsibility for the first run, saying that his helmet speakers weren’t working and that he just called something so they wouldn’t have to take a time out or get a delay penalty. But that worries me, too. At 2:47 and down two scores, there is no room for wasted plays. And when a quarterback has an opportunity to call his own play in that situation, wouldn’t you hope he’d call something bold? His favorite pass to his best receiver or some trick play he really liked or a bullet to his reliable tight end down the seam? And what about the other plays or Koenen even being anywhere near the field? It defies football logic. This is Mike Sullivan‘s first year calling plays. He seemed to crank out some good wide receivers with the Giants and Eli Manning has turned out great (although when Sullivan took over as QB coach, Manning threw for career high picks). And I don’t know shit about calling plays, so I’m sure it’s a lot harder than it looks on TV. But what we saw yesterday deserves scrutiny. Someone who knows more than any of us do need to tell us if there’s some good reason why Sullivan would practically throw in the towel for three downs when there was still almost three minutes on the clock.

Okay, on to the good news. The entire defense was great. The defensive line was dominant, with Gerald McCoy forgetting about last week and continuing his performance against Carolina. Michael Bennett should at least get some mention as Defensive Player of the Week with two sacks, two TFLs, a forced fumble and a pass broken up. Roy Miller was fantastic plugging the middle and the Cowboys couldn’t run anywhere. Mason Foster gets better every week and continued that trend yesterday with seven tackle and two for loss. People will soon start the comparisons to Hardy Nickerson with his nose for the ball. Aqib Talib also forgot about last week and started the game off with a sweet interception. The rest of the secondary was decent, although the Cowboys did put together some big plays here and there. Luckily, the Bucs clamped down when they needed to most and held Dallas to field goals after Ware’s deflection for a pick. The defense did everything they could to win the game.

I’ve got more to say about penalties and the officials and holy shit Jordan Shipley and other stuff, but I’ll save it for later. I’m at 1,100+ words and I don’t want to add any more negative ones to this entry. I love my Bucs, but I’ve already lived through 1998 once and don’t care to do it again.

REAR ENTRIES: Working On My Night Posts

September 20, 2012 at 08:11pm by Scott   •  16 Comments »

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STROUGHTER TO IR?: According to Rick Stroud, the Bucs are about to sign a wide receiver named Chris Owusu off of San Diego’s practice squad, which means he’ll have to hit the Bucs’ regular roster, which means they’ll have to remove someone from that roster to make room for him. And Stroud suspects Sammie Stroughter will be moved to IR.

Stroughter, a seventh-round pick from Oregon State in 2009, had served as the Bucs punt returner before injuring his right foot in Sunday’s game against the Giants. In four seasons, he caught 60 passes for 639 yards and one touchdown.

But injuries have plagued Stroughter. He broke the same foot last season in a game against Seattle and appeared in only six contests.

Suddenly, the bottom half of the wide receiver depth chart is looking a lot different than even a week ago. Jackson, Williams and Benn are still in place, but instead of Stroughter and Parker, we have Underwood, Shipley and Owusu (probably). Not that it matters much. Jackson and Williams will still get the majority of the looks. After those two, the next most active pass-catchers are a tight end, fullback and running back. Those last three guys could probably just throw their jerseys on some sex dolls and sit them on the bench and watch the game from a Dallas strip club and no one would know.

PRAISE FROM CARROLL: People are still yacking about the last play of the Giants game. Apparently this was some revolutionary concept — you know, playing the whole game — because Pete Carroll says he would do exactly the same thing in that situation.

“I’m glad it was brought up like this because I think it was a competitor competing and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that,” Carroll said. “That’s exactly what you should do: Try to win the game. And there was a chance to win the game on that play and I thought Greg did exactly the right thing. And I would do exactly the same thing if in the same situation. So I don’t see where there’s any reason to think other than that. It’s about competing to try to make the play to win the football game. That’s it. And protect your quarterback.”

As PFT points out, Carroll could have done the same thing last week. The Seahawks were losing by 4 and the Cardinals took a knee on the last play of the game. And Kevin Kolb was the quarterback, not exactly the definition of a player who doesn’t get rattled. But he didn’t because he didn’t think of it. Our coach did. And if Carroll doesn’t shape up, Schiano’s going to cut him. Don’t think it’s possible? Just try him, buddy.

I LOVE THIS COMMERCIAL: Jon Gruden is doing a bunch of commercials for Corona (and Hooters and some more ESPN stuff and he’s basically a really high-priced whore right now) and they’re all very Gruden, but this one is the Grudeniest of them all. The last two seconds are the fucking best.

Parker Out, Underwood In

September 20, 2012 at 12:33pm by Scott   •  1 Comment »

They should make a special helmet just for him that doesn't crush the hair.
The Bucs just announced that they have re-signed Tiquan Underwood and released Preston Parker.

This is the way I thought it would shake out in week one. Underwood started camp and the preseason off hot but then his performance tapered off down the stretch. Parker did enough to convince Greg Schiano that he was the man to keep at the time, but it seems pretty evident that Underwood has more raw talent. And Parker fumbles. I thought he’d be gone after the muffed punt against the Dolphins in the preseason, but that was forgiven. He has touched the ball exactly once this season on an end-around against the Giants that went for seven yards. And that evidently wasn’t getting it done.

But more than anything, they now have some respectable hair on the team.

Figuring Out D-Line Play

September 20, 2012 at 10:59am by Scott   •  3 Comments »

I know still pictures are deceiving, but doesn't it look like there is absolutely nobody in their way?
Warren Sapp visited One Buc Place yesterday and went over tape with Gerald McCoy on his way to a book signing. You knew Sapp wasn’t there to fight McCoy like he said last week because Eli Manning was never in any real danger of getting sacked much less able to escape one. Anyway, Sapp was Sapp.

“The purple unicorn I call (Newton). This kid can fly. It ain’t even funny.”

Someone tell me, besides having wings, why Cam Newton resembles a unicorn. And why it would be a purple one. The “Purple People Eaters” made sense, even if it was fucking stupid, because the Vikings actually wear purple. And unicorns are for lonely teenage girls or old women with a lot of cats. I’m sure Newton appreciates the compliment. “Mike Vick can run fast, so I’ll call him the greyhound. What? What’d I say?”

“He didn’t have a bad second week. When the defense asks you to do that, you’ve got to do it.

“I told Gerald, the orders come from the sideline, but the general on the field has to be able to direct that stuff. Sometimes you do like this here: “Nah, I’m not doing it,’ Sapp said shaking his head.

I’m blaming Rick Stroud for this piece here because it has no context. It would be very interesting to know what order Sapp would refuse and under what circumstances. I’m assuming it has to do with not rushing the passer and playing the run instead, but I really don’t know.

Sapp on Bucs defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan attacking the Giants offense with stunts and games on the defensive line, which failed to register a sack. The Bucs gave up 510 passing yards to Manning.

“You can’t put me in that double bind and tell me we’re playing run when he’s in the gun,” Sapp said. “I’m going to pin these ears back and I’m gone. You figure this out after 51 passes and 510 yards, I’m going to figure it out while it’s going on. I’ll be damned, he’s not running the ball. I saw two runs out of the shotgun. I want your quarterback.”

This one has context, and it’s what makes me think the other one was about playing the run, too. It sounds like the defensive coaches called off the dogs when Manning was in shotgun? That doesn’t make a lot of sense, and maybe that’s what Sapp is saying. Whatever they were doing, it didn’t work. Eli may not have had to take a shower after that game.

“That’s what you get when you worked against that offensive coordinator for so many years. You think you can play a chess game. Damn the chess game, let the pieces do the damn work. Every time I looked up at the screen, it was stunt, hail, I’m like damn.”

So Sheridan was trying to outguess Kevin Gilbride because they had worked together for so long. In this case, I agree with Sapp. You can’t play those kinds of games. You wind up second- and third-guessing yourself. “Well, he usually runs in this case. But he knows I know that, so he may pass. But he knows I know he knows I know that, so he may just run anyway. Maybe he’ll quick kick.” Defenses love to say that they don’t let the offense dictate their scheme. The defense wants to be the one dictating what the offense does, and they do that by being aggressive and attacking. Just play the scheme you’ve practiced and make your adjustments as necessary.

And that makes four uses of “damn” from Sapp in seven sentences. He must really mean it!

“I said, “Gerald, walk in the man’s office and tell him we’ve got this. You can mess around on first and second down, but third down has got to be mine. Me and Kiffin used to fight about this. I’d say put it in my hands and if I can’t do it, I’ll give it back to you.’ Because I showed you last week I can get it done. Don’t bail on me now.”

I would love for someone to tell me in English if the scheme was completely different against the Giants than it was against the Panthers. Because the whole Panthers thing seemed to work out pretty well, and the purple unicorn is a much bigger threat to run than the polka-dot turtle (it makes just as much sense), so being aggressive in a pass rush sounds like a great idea for the Giants. We need Steve White to come around and explain the d-line play and tell us that it was all coaching decisions and not simple incompetence that kept Manning on his feet all day. Because from a fan perspective, it looks like they just didn’t get the job done last week.

REAR ENTRIES: Play For 60 Minutes

September 18, 2012 at 11:21pm by Scott   •  3 Comments »

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VICTORY AGGRESSION WORKS: According to Greg Schiano, the defensive line playing the victory formation like a regular play and trying to cause a fumble actually has caused a fumble for his teams four times in the last five years (although for some reason, Ian Rapaport says it only worked twice in 11 years, but I’ll take Schiano’s word over someone named Ian). If it’s a blowout, then it’s pointless. But if the losing team is down by a touchdown or less, fuck yeah. The miracle at the Meadowlands wouldn’t have happened if Herm Edwards hadn’t been playing that play for real and scooped and scored. If the replacement officials are going to be absolute shit and drag the game out for five hours, the least they can do is reward the viewers by making the last play worth watching.

SHIPLEY IS BACK: The Bucs have brought Jordan Shipley back to the team, supplementing a position on the team that didn’t seem to need any help, but I guess Preston Parker has a foot injury that necessitated it. Fun fact: Shipley spent so long at Texas that he actually earned a Ph.D. in Being Gritty with a minor in Having a High Motor.

DOTSON IS STARTING: Demar Dotson started at right tackle last week since Jeremy Trueblood was injured. But even if Trueblood is ready to go for this Sunday, Dotson is still starting.

Regardless of Trueblood’s status in Week Three, Dotson won’t have to wait long for his next start. The Buccaneers released an updated depth chart on Tuesday afternoon, and Dotson has moved to the first spot at right tackle.

It’s much harder to get a penalty from the sideline, but not impossible. If you see a size 19 shoe fly in and peg the line judge in the head, you’ll know who it was.