Josh Freeman

How To Make It A 60 Minute Game

September 19, 2011 at 11:39am by Scott   •  13 Comments »

Vikings 1

I sat here for a few minutes trying to think of some different angle to take on this article besides focusing on the slow start the Bucs are becoming famous for. But I just don’t see a way around it. It’s like a chick with a unibrow. It’s so obvious and ugly that it has to be addressed.

Maybe it would be better for everyone if the Bucs just spotted the opposing team 14 points coming off the bus. If the NFL doesn’t allow that, just don’t let the defense take the field for two snaps. Let the other team grab two touchdowns against air and then start the game. Maybe then we’d get a full 60 minutes (or at least 59) of good football out of them. Some people just have to have their backs up against a wall in order to perform. That report has to be due tomorrow even though you had all semester to work on it or you have to wait until December 24th to do your Christmas shopping. That’s fine, I accept that we root for a team with a whole roster of those types of guys. But there’s no reason for us as fans to have to watch all the bullshit that leads to the crisis. That seems unnecessarily mean. Anyway, onto my random observations.

Is there any doubt now that you just keep handing LeGarrette Blount the football regardless of how it goes early on? Very few running backs are like Adrian Peterson, who are spectacular from the beginning of the game until the end. Most take a little while to get going. Blount may be one of those guys, but he has proven time and again that he has it in him to break a big one at any point in the game. His 27-yard touchdown is exactly the kind of play that pumps a team up for the rest of the game. And he finished with 5.5 YPC. Good job by Greg Olson to not panic like last week.

Speaking of good calls by coaches, the onside kick was a great move by Raheem Morris. Even if it hadn’t succeeded, I would applaud it. He’s making decisions to win the game. Go big or go home.

And good work by Michael Koenen for executing the onside kick. I wondered why the Bucs paid so much money for a punter when the old punter was getting the job done, but I guess this is why. I’ll shut my mouth about it now.

You have to think Josh Freeman benefitted from the threat of the run in the second half and that’s why he was passing at a 75% completion rate at that point. He passed for 52 yards in the first half, 191 in the second.

Mike Williams had one catch for -4 yards. That touchdown that was negated because of an illegal shift penalty was awesome and it’s a shame it won’t be shown in highlight reels. But that was really his only play. He seemed to have trouble getting open yesterday.

There have been some comments on this site about not knowing what was so special about Preston Parker. He may not be the most talented receiver on the team, but he leads all receivers now with 142 yards in two games. Maybe it’s because no one is paying attention to him because they don’t know who he is, but he’s getting open and making plays.

Jeremy Zuttah replaced Ted Larsen at left guard and didn’t do anything to lose the job for next week. He made a sweet block on Blount’s second touchdown. I’ve always been kind of down on Zuttah, but if his presence helps the running game, leave him in.

Quincy Black played like dog shit. My understanding is that he was hurt and that’s why he was replaced in the second half, but why was he on the field as long as he was in the first place? He missed a ton of tackles and couldn’t get off blocks. Dekoda Watson replaced him and was an instant improvement.

I thought Mason Foster had a decent game despite his pass interference call, but is he an improvement over Barrett Ruud? The complaint everyone had about Ruud — that he made tackles while being dragged around — seemed to be the case for Foster yesterday. It’s hard to blame him, though, when he’s playing Adrian Peterson. Holy shit, that guy is good.

Speaking of being dragged around, the announcers twice described Cody Grimm as “hanging on for dear life” while trying to tackle Peterson. That’s never good.

I don’t have a lot to say about the defensive line right now. I need to go back and watch them specifically. I do know that the Bucs had two sacks, but neither of them were from linemen (and was one of those where McNabb fell down? Because no one should get credit for that.) I also saw Adrian Clayborn slam a dude to the ground after chasing down the play from behind and also knock down a pass. I also saw Clayborn bite hard on bootlegs and get caught out of position.

Overall, you can’t bitch too much about a win, so I won’t. I guess we’re just going to have to get used to the fact that most weeks are going to involve getting down early and coming from behind. At least you know you can show up late and not miss anything. Your thoughts in the comments.

13 Comments to “How To Make It A 60 Minute Game”


manbearpig (September 19, 2011 at 12:12pm:

Great win but can’t they just control a game from start to finish once in a while. That first half was hard to watch. I was on the verge of turning it off and doing something productive with my day. D-line was hit and miss. Gerald was in the backfield a few times but missed Donovan everytime. He’s showing explosiveness he just needs to finish. When can Tanard file to be reinstated? I appreciate what Grimm did last year but I think he was playing beyond his talent level. Sean jones has looked good so far and putting Jackson back there with him would be a vast improvement in my opinion.


Darren47 (September 19, 2011 at 12:33pm:

Their inability to start strong has been well documented, so I won’t add anything there. Quincy Black is not a very good football player and shouldn’t be starting (despite getting paid a ton of cash this off-season). He’s a physical specimen and a favorite of Rah’s, but he’s been largely ineffective in his tenure as a starting LB. As for Mason Foster, I think he actually played very well considering he’s a rookie LB going up against the league’s best RB (hell, he even got a sack). Tanard is a phenomenal talent and the Bucs would clearly be improved if he can return to form, though we have to remember that guy isn’t reliable (FOUR DRUG VIOLATIONS, THAT’S INSANE). Bottom line, fantastic win for the team and a great precursor to next week’s game with those degenerates from Atlanta.


FireThemCannons (September 19, 2011 at 01:12pm:

Here’s hoping that the Atown boys have a little hangover from beating the Eagles. I think the number one thing said is that we did not forget about Blount, and going forward we can’t afford too. Josh Freeman is not the kind of QB to come out in the shotgun in the first quarter and just dominate the game like Tom Brady. But he is good enough to run the PA after its been set up by Blount. I’m going to take this week as a blip in an otherwise excellent career thus far from Mike Williams. It was fantastic to see Rejus get that TD hopin he can maybe clear Mike up a little bit. I’m nervously awaiting this game next week, this week can’t get over fast enough.


campyone (September 19, 2011 at 01:50pm:

The Bucs have been on the field for 8 quarters of football this year, they’ve actually played football for three of those quarters and taken a nap the other five. My suggestion is to give them 3/8ths of their pay this week and every week thereafter until they understand that they’re being paid to play all the time, not just when they feel like playing.


Bricen (September 19, 2011 at 02:04pm:

I half expected the clicky to be a chick with a unibrow.


toolman (September 19, 2011 at 02:10pm:

The Bucs need to bench Olsen until he can get the idea a game is 60 minutes. As far as TJack is concerned…if you pay him, play him. I’d consider using Okam on offense to clear a hole for Blount and also on the goal line on both offense and defense. Grimm looks hesitant to put too much force on that leg when the runner shifts direction. Wish I could’ve see the whole game on TV.

Mark S

Mark S (September 19, 2011 at 03:11pm:

The Bucs only play for a half. Its a good half, but only a half. Here are the changes I recommend out of fairness to Fans and owners. 1. Tickets are half price.
2. Player only get paid for half of the game.
:) I think that will wake em up.


TheBrainStem (September 19, 2011 at 03:21pm:

One added note for Koenen is that the Bucs had a penalty that was enforced on the kickoff and he still knocked it 8yds deep in to the endzone. Lets also not forget that even though he’s old we did go up against McNabb who has seen this defense plenty of times and still has a little mobility to make defending him somewhat difficult. This game was a definetly a tale of two halves. I think our coaches make excellent adjustment at the half. A.P. was pretty silent the 2nd half. Credit to Rah and the defense for that. Same thing with the Offense. After Michael Bennett went down and before he came back I saw Bowers on the field and get burnt around the edges. His knee does not look 100%.

It was a tough game to watch. It tugged the string of my heart all game long. But it was a win, a win that has made my Monday just that much nicer.


Louie (September 19, 2011 at 05:58pm:

A win is a win and 1-1 is a lot better than 0-2. But, damn – play the whole game already!!! The Bucs can get away with it with the crappy teams, but its not going to work with the good teams.

I agree with the comments on Koenen – especially after seeing Atlanta’s kicker make a 18 yard punt! Now, if we had just signed Sproles!

Let’s just hope Blount doesn’t get injured. I don’t want to think about what happens if he goes down for any length of time.


Louie (September 19, 2011 at 06:54pm:

…one other positive that came from the game, is the Bucs came back from a big deficit. They found that magic they had last season and hopefully will be able to build on it.


bassoon75 (September 19, 2011 at 07:20pm:

Here we go:

1) No words about the slow start. Just find a way to fix it. I don’t care how, just fix it.

2) This time the team did not panic and stayed with the game plan. Blount needs to be on the field for every single play. Even if the doesn’t rush the ball he can still be a decoy, blocker, and catch a pass on a check-down. Graham did a good job when he Blount needed a break and always picked up positive yards.

3) I’m not sure what happened to the receiving core yesterday. My best guess is that they did not win the one-on-one, and as a result, Parker had a big day. KW2 still got his as usual, and Stocker did a great job both blocking and with the gymnastic catch. All of them will need to be ready to go all out next week.

4) I agree with the Quincy Black and Cody Grimm assessments. If Black was injured, fine, he gets a pass. If not Watson needs to be starting. If Dakota is as valuable as Rah and everyone else (even the media) believes, he needs to be on the field more anyways. Cody simply does not have the speed, athleticism or physical strength to match up well against anyone. We need to upgrade now. Ready to play Tanard?

5) We have spent two 1st and 2nd round picks, as well as picking up other players to improve the defensive line. I am fed up with it. We can not get to the quarterback or stop the run. Where is all of the progress that they should have made by now, especially under not one but two of supposedly the best teachers at the position?

6) Good call on the onside kick. Koenen is proving to be worth every penny. Between the average punt of 50 yards and the number of touch-backs, he is literally saving games for us. He might have been the only FA we signed, but there is no disputing the results.

Bring on the Falcons!


SGBuc (September 20, 2011 at 12:07am:

I know it will never happen, but I think Koenen might earn himself an MVP title one of these games. In my mind, he was in MVP in our win over the vikings hahah.

Mark S

Mark S (September 20, 2011 at 09:01am:

The defensive line will take time. Rookie Defensive Ends do not often have impact games their first year. What has killed us is the bad angles and missed tackles of the LBs and DBs.

Why do adjustments have to wait until halftime?

Go no huddle from the start. It seems to energize Freeman and the offense. You can run everything out of the no huddle, and if you are scripting the first 15 plays there should be no need for a huddle anyways.

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