Josh Freeman

Properly Assigning My Rage

October 23, 2012 at 10:22am by Scott   •  12 Comments »


Okay, now that I’ve had a day to think about it, I know who I’m the maddest at. At first I thought I was mad at the officials for denying Mike Williams the game-tying touchdown on such a stupid rule. But the rule is the rule and they have to enforce them. And then I thought I was mad at Vincent Jackson for somehow making a 95-yard catch-and-run but somehow not getting in the endzone. He honestly looked like he was jogging for part of that run and Malcolm Jenkins isn’t extraordinarily fast. But I forgot Jackson has been nursing a calf injury for a while now, so that may have played a part in it. Then I was mad at LeGarrette Blount for not being able to pound the ball into the endzone after several attempts. And I’m still a little mad about that, but the offensive line messed up on their end, too. New Orleans has one of the worst run defenses in the league and somehow they stonewalled the Bucs on the doorstep of the goal line. And then I got mad at Mike Sullivan for calling all those goal line runs in a row when it was obvious that they weren’t working. But there’s a good chance I would have done the same thing. I’m always saying stupid shit like, “If you can’t gain one yard when you need it, you don’t need to be playing” and I very likely would have continued to feed the ball to Blount behind that line since they have Carl Nicks and Donald Penn and Blount is big and powerful. So I was mad at myself, too.

Then it hit me. All those guys are offensive players. But the offense wasn’t necessarily the problem. It was the defense that allowed Drew Brees to come back after being 14 points down twice. Specifically, it was the defensive line that got NO pressure on Brees. And that’s not some subjective indictment I’m putting on the line. That’s statistical fact. There were no sacks and no quarterback pressures recorded for the game. Do you know how hard that is to do? The closest they came was the batted ball early in the game that Ronde Barber returned to the 13. After that the Bucs stayed away from him like Tennessee stays away from SEC victories (or the Crimson Tide stays away from showers). Any quarterback worth a shit will make a completion if you give him a clear look at his receivers. But Brees being Brees will absolutely eat you alive if you give him that kind of time. He’s too accurate and he knows his receivers too well. And sometimes just to make their point that they didn’t want to disturb Brees’s concentration, the Bucs rushed three. Really. No one was going to get there — their offensive line gets paid, too, you know. If that was an effective strategy, someone would have invented Cover 11 by now where there is absolutely no rush. No one does that. You know why? Because rushing the quarterback makes a difference.

So, yes, I blame the defensive line and whoever is in charge of telling them what to do. The 28 points the Bucs scored should have been enough.

The secondary was pretty much shit, too, except for Ronde’s heads up play. Brandon McDonald and Eric Wright both got burned for big gains or touchdowns. Even Mark Barron wasn’t really sharp, which is a big surprise. I honestly don’t have a single note about the linebackers, which means they didn’t play great but did enough to not get noticed. But it all starts at the line. If Brees has to hurry his throws and can’t get set, the rest of the defense looks a lot better.

The offense looked actually pretty good. Josh Freeman was sharp for most of the game and didn’t throw a pick while racking up a career high in passing yards. Doug Martin had the best game of his short career and is finally starting to break away on some of these runs. The receivers played a great game and the tight ends showed up, with Dallas Clark scoring a touchdown and Luke Stocker making a nice catch. I’ll also mention the tight ends blocking here because Clark doesn’t get enough credit for it. He had a nice block on Martin’s TD run. The offensive line had a nice game pass-blocking but their run-blocking obviously needs something since they couldn’t help Blount score from the 3-yard line on three tries. And Jeremy Zuttah‘s rolling snap came at the worst possible time.

The Bucs’ kick return game looked like hell again and Connor Barth missed another field goal, but Michael Koenen continues to impress with his punts and kickoffs. Maybe it’s time to activate Michael Smith and see what he can do to get the Bucs better starting field position. He didn’t look that hot in preseason, but can he be any worse than what they’re getting now?

It was a heartbreaking loss and it shouldn’t have been that way, but the defensive line has looked really good in other games and I’m willing to chalk this one up to… I dunno, mild food poisoning or something. We knew we’d be having conversations like this this season, so let’s not get all indignant now that it’s actually happening. It’s too early to start calling the season a washout. I think six wins is what I’m expecting. Eight wins and it’s a great season. Let’s continue to be realistic here.

12 Comments to “Properly Assigning My Rage”


BaldBuc4055 (October 23, 2012 at 10:51am:

Scott, thanks for talking me off the ledge. I’m still sticking with my original prediction of 7-9.


campyone (October 23, 2012 at 12:43pm:

If you’re looking at the entire game clearly it’s the D to be mad at. But on just that one play I think it’s Williams. Once he went OB he should have stayed OB – way OB – so he wasn’t a potential target for Freeman.

Mark S

Mark S (October 23, 2012 at 01:14pm:

On Mike Williams out-of-bounds play, I think the rule only applies if you are not forced out of bounds. The situation was interpreted by the Refs that Williams ELECTED to go out of bound and come back in.

I agree with you Scott. After weeks of good defense the defense did not show up. I was worried about this game and I think will be worried about any game against an excellent QB. One thing we can do right away is shelve the 3 man front. It has had even less success than the 3-3-5. Honestly I cannot remember one positive play from this alignment and I have been looking.


Darren47 (October 23, 2012 at 01:56pm:

1. I’m not surprised by the anemic pass rush as we’re missing both of our stud, early round draft pick defensive ends. In addition, rushing 3 on several crucial 3rd downs turned out to be a poor choice by the DC.

2. Josh Freeman is a franchise QB; he’s 24, in a completely new system, and bouncing back from a horrific season in which he lost his entire coaching staff and a close friend in Raheem. Over 1000 yards passing in the past three games? Drastically improving passer rating and TD/INT ratio? He won’t be perfect, but the guy has proven he can play in crunch time which is basically the most important skill set in the NFL. Eli has won two SBs because of his “it factor” aka genetic immunity to all forms of herpes and Freeman seems to have some of “it” as well.

3. Schiano is a promising head coach, but his dictatorial ways seem to be pissing off people around the league and I’m starting to get the sense the team is paying for it. The Bucs were the beneficiary of some iffy calls, but what really tipped me off to the growing disgust with Schiano was the enthusiastic take down offered by Mike Periera while explaining the “disconcerting signals” penalty. Mike wasn’t on the field and had no idea what was said, but he went out of his way to tell the audience that “maybe that stuff flew at Rutgers, but not in the NFL…” Very disturbing to me.

4. We’re going to beat the Vikings and Raiders, handily.


Louie (October 23, 2012 at 02:07pm:

Except for that 2nd quarter, the defense only gave up 14 points. That 21 point 2nd quarter was a killer. Still, they were in position to tie the game at the end. So far, this team hasn’t been able to play well enough for all 4 quarters and that’s why they are losing.

It was a great game statistically for the offense — especially Freeman, V-Jax and Martin. It’s not getting much attention as it should since the Bucs lost the game.

I’m biting my tongue until the mid-way point (2 more games). By then, they should know the system and be able to execute it consistently. If they are still playing like shit after that, then I’ll be in full bitch mode.


jampersands (October 23, 2012 at 02:57pm:

I agree, the D-line has been bad. But honestly, I feel like I can’t really blame them for failing to get pressure or sacks against Brees. The guy gets the ball out of his hand so quickly, half the time it seemed the Bucs couldn’t have sacked him even if the D-line was unblocked. Seriously, he throws it so fast, it’s pretty near impossible to pressure him on most downs.

I think the secondary was much worse. Part of the reason Brees can throw so quickly is because our corners aren’t playing physical at the line of scrimmage. If you hold up Lance Moore at the line for just a few seconds, Brees has to hold on to the ball that much longer and gives your line an opportunity for a sack.

I blame the D, especially the secondary, and maybe the DC for calling too many soft zones against a guy who eats soft zones for breakfast.

Mark S

Mark S (October 23, 2012 at 04:44pm:

By the way, I am wrong that it matters that Williams was forced out of bounds. Also, supposedly once the QB leaves the pocket, contact is allowed. So the force out wasn’t illegal either. I disagree with that. There have been plenty of interference and holding calls against DBs when the QB rolls out. We just got screwed. Schiano better figure out fast that a certain amount of suck-up is required if you want to get a fair call in this league.


jerryeckwood (October 23, 2012 at 07:09pm:

The O is fine, but on D stopping the run is not enough anymore. The pass coverage looks like a panic attack and they have a serious problem with edge rushing–in that it is nonexistent.


JV (October 23, 2012 at 07:54pm:

Defense needs some health and impovement and I Love Hooters……


Meatmaster (October 23, 2012 at 09:52pm:

Fuckin D line and I bet she gets really good tips.


avanderlay (October 24, 2012 at 01:26pm:

I blame John Lynch and/or Fox. Everyone he announces a Bucs game they get embarrassed.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to bitch about the inexplicable decision by the NFL to show Packers-Rams in SWFL, prompting a mad dash to abandon my children and go to lee Roy selmons for the game. We always get to see the Bucs here no matter how shitty or short of a sellout they are, so Sunday was a real blindside. The only thing I can think of as a reason to do that is they were trying to pump up the Rams prior to their London game. Total garbage.

worker b

worker b (October 24, 2012 at 05:47pm:

Agreed, avanderlay! I’m in Fort Myers and had to listen to the game on the radio. Though I figured it might be an attempt to sell more Sunday Ticket packages, as I noticed commercials appeared with a new rest-of-season deal over the weekend as well. F’ers.

The play calling on the two yard line got me. One or two runs is fine, but when you run into a brick wall you’ve got to give Jackson and/or Williams at least one chance at a jump ball. And a field goal wouldn’t have hurt there, either.

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