Josh Freeman

Jets Game Notes

September 12, 2013 at 01:54am by Scott   •  46 Comments »

Vincent Jackson
* We’ve seen this version of Josh Freeman before. He starts off cold but gets better in the middle of the game. Then it’s unpredictable. He can either pull some amazing victories out at the last second or implode into a huge heap of suck. Sunday he was looking pretty decent at the end of the game, so that’s a plus. But they started off completely out of synch and poorly managed, and that’s on him. Sorry the speaker in your helmet wasn’t working, you should have a play ready just in case that happens. Just from this one game, I have a hard time trusting him for a whole season. And I’m not the only one; the fact that he wasn’t voted team captain is significant.

* But the safety wasn’t his fault.

* Wasn’t Kevin Ogletree the Cowboy who caught all those clutch passes when Dez Bryant and Miles Austin were covered? What the hell happened to this guy?

* Nice to know the Bucs have a kicker that can drill a potential game winner under pressure. The carousel-o-kickers had be a little nervous in the offseason.

* Darrelle Revis looks good. I’m not ready to say the trade was worth it yet, but I like the way he’s coming back from the injury. And let’s face it, no rookie would have gotten Treasure Island to change their name for a day. And know this: If Revis gets hurt again, some team will throw 4-digits against the Bucs.

* Lavonte David’s penalty to completely screw the game was mostly bullshit. Geno Smith’s foot hadn’t even landed out of bounds yet when David pushed him. Yes, that’s where he was headed and it would have taken a freakish feat of athleticism to avoid it. But it happens. When defenders give up on plays, runners have a way of making them look dumb. I have a vivid memory of a defensive lineman having a quarterback in the grasp but not taking him down because he didn’t want to get fined. So he let up, but the whistle hadn’t blown, so the quarterback just ran away. I’ve been looking for this clip for a little while now and can’t find it, but it’s a great example of what happens when you don’t play through (If someone wants to tell me who the defender and/or quarterback was, that would be just swell. I keep thinking it was Vince young, but I don’t think Young ever did anything memorable.) My point is that David need to be more aware, but his actions were understandable and he certainly should not shoulder all the blame for this loss.

* Vincent Jackson had an awesome day, but he should get some shit in the locker room for getting caught from behind by a linebacker.

* Two sacks by Mason Foster? Very cool, but is his thing going to be blitzing?

* Doug Martin didn’t appear to have any room to run, and that’s mostly the line’s fault. Carl Nicks needs to come back because Gabe Carimi isn’t getting it done and Donald Penn had a terrible game.

This was a bad Jets team with a rookie starting quarterback and the Bucs still lost. They’ll get better during the season, but so far I think the same thing I thought during the preseason: This team will be frustrating to watch.

And The Preseason Bashing Starts

August 16, 2013 at 01:44am by Scott   •  30 Comments »

Go ahead and call these fans disinterested to their faces.
According to TheStreet.com, the Bucs should move out of Tampa. Where to? The author, Jason Notte, doesn’t say because he’s just getting his word count up at this point in the article and it’s much easier to just bash Tampa than offer anything useful.

The team blacked out six out of eight home games last season and 25 out of the past 29 overall. Management accepted the new blackout threshold and tweaked ticket prices.

This is true, but a two year sales slump does not justify picking up the team and moving. The games don’t sell out because the team has been losing. It really is that simple. When the Bucs start winning consistently, the fans will show up again.

Never mind that the team’s $69.72 average ticket price is still the costliest in Florida despite being $10 below the league average, according to Team Marketing Report’s Fan Cost Index.

First, if you’re going to start out a sentence with “never mind”, you shouldn’t bother putting numbers in it. But since he took the time, he says the Bucs’ average ticket is the costliest in Florida. But according to Team Marketing Report’s Fan Cost Index (the same publication he cited), The Dolphins have a ticket price of $71.14, which, if I remember my Diff Eq class, is more than the Bucs. But he’s right about the Bucs being $10 below the NFL average ticket price. In fact, they’re in the bottom 25% of the league. Any NFL game is an expensive date, but if you’re going to go, the Bucs are a relative bargain. The Glazers can’t make the tickets much cheaper — the team just has to start winnning.

By comparison, Seattle Seahawks fans in a far more economically stable city paid $2 less to see their team play each Sunday last year.

Why he picks Seattle I have no idea. He doesn’t bother to explain. I’ll pick the Jets, who have a $118 average ticket price and a joke of a team, to compare the Bucs to. What a deal!

Seriously, I stared at the article for five minutes wondering what made Seattle special enough to single out. I’d gladly pay a $2 premium to be able to see a team in a city where I don’t constantly want to cut myself.

The Seahawks made the playoffs, while the Bucs didn’t even make their local affiliate’s broadcast most of the time.

Eat me.

So where would the Bucs go? Ask the Glazer family of owners, who punted Bucs home games to London in 2009 and 2011 because they were more profitable than playing them in Tampa. The Glazers are a bit preoccupied by England, what with owning one of its more storied Premier League franchises in Manchester United, so the NFL to them is a bit like their “football” is to the average Bucs fan — an afterthought at best.

And his backup for this assessment is… squat! No quotes, no stories of homes being built in London or the Glazers never showing up in Tampa and being absentee owners. Because none of that stuff is true. If the Glazers want to own a dozen sports teams, let them. It’s their money. All I care about is if the Bucs are being managed properly and I believe from an ownership standpoint they are. And they’ve got a solid GM in charge to take care of the football decisions, so I’m not sure what else they can do. I’m still reserving judgment on the coach, but that’s a discussion for a different day.

You have an ownership too rich and preoccupied with international wins to care and you have a local fan base too rattled by the recession and put off by years of mediocrity to make an investment.

The recession hit Tampa pretty hard, but things are starting to trend upward. Is there some magic city in the country where the populous is so flush with cash that they need an NFL to take some of it off their hands? Google doesn’t have city-by-city stats, but going by state, Florida is doing better than California in unemployment rate. And let’s face it, Los Angeles is the only city any NFL team would consider moving to at this point. I’m still looking for the logic as to why he thinks Tampa is so bad.

And the crack about the Glazers being too preoccupied with international wins is just a restatement of his previous point, which is just as wrong now as it was then.

The result is a halfhearted attempt to field a competitive NFL team and a half-interested fan base almost hoping this week’s Bucs game doesn’t sell out so Fox can show the far superior NFC game of the week instead.

He’s painting Tampa as disinterested in the Bucs, which is simply untrue. Has he ever been to Tampa? The fans are actually hoping the game does sell out so they don’t have to shell out the money to see the team in person because they are afraid they’re going to pay to see the team lose. For the last time, WINNING CURES ALL.

NFL owners don’t usually put up with this kind of brazen apathy, but the Glazers would have to stay in Tampa long enough to notice. If the Glazers are trying to create enough institutional disinterest to move the team to London without generating so much as a belabored sigh, they’re doing a brilliant job.

Oh this guy sucks. Like, a lot. Of course, he’s the same guy who tried to talk you into drinking chocolate beer on Valentine’s Day, so please measure your respect accordingly.

Larry Brown Is Getting All Nostalgic

August 13, 2013 at 12:22am by Scott   •  4 Comments »

The green shirt means he can't throw.

I finally watched the Ravens game and I do have a couple comments about it that I’ll post tomorrow, but I just have to ask this one question now: What contest did Adam Weber win in order to get a chance to play in a professional preseason football game and how many cereal box tops did he need to send in? If I had known about it, I would have entered too. Even Neil O’Donnell thinks that was a ridiculous interception.

Camp Stuff

August 09, 2013 at 01:32am by Scott   •  11 Comments »

Here’s a couple things happening in camp over the last couple days:

* There is a kicking competition taking place now that Connor Barth is done for the year. The Bucs brought Lawrence Tynes in, which looked like a slam dunk, but Tynes has a tow injury now and is leaving the door open for Derek Dimke, who was an undrafted free agent last year and has never been on an active NFL roster. And Greg Schiano is making it very clear that no one has an edge.

“When we started this competition, Tynes was in front because he was the veteran,” Schiano said. “But I’ve never coached either one of them. This isn’t a book about what’s happened in the past, this is about the Bucs in 2013, and where are we today? That’s what we’ve got to look at. The competition is good, the injury has definitely set Lawrence back, so we’ve got to get him feeling well before we can make a fair judgment.”

In case you want to buy your Dimke jersey now, he is wearing #3 in camp.

* Luke Stocker has been activated from the PUP list and has had limited participation in practice. It would be really cool if he could, you know, do something this year. Or ever. I like the guy, but he is apparently made of paper. And not that thick construction paper kids need extra-sharp scissors to cut through. We’re talking tissue paper, single ply.

* Adrian Clayborn is on the practice field but riding a bike for now.

* Darrelle Revis is slowly progressing in what he’s doing for practice. Now he’s playing against a QB/WR combo and reacting to what he sees. Next they’ll put him in a 7-on-7 drill. It sounds like he’s coming along pretty well and my bet is he will be ready for the first game. Which, for $16-million this season, would be just dandy.

Okay, I’ve been trying to add a photo to this entry for 15 minutes now and it’s just not happening. It’s probably because it’s a photo of a kicker and WordPress knows kickers shouldn’t be any larger than 300px, but I’m not going to scale it down right now.

Oh Hey There

August 05, 2013 at 12:19am by Scott   •  27 Comments »

So, what would you say you do here?
So, it’s been a little while, eh? I don’t know how much sense I’m going to make in this post where I try to explain why entries have been so sparse and, frankly, boring. I’m mostly typing this off the cuff, so if you’re not into free form meandering and gibberish, feel free not to click the MORE button. Something Buccaneer-related will be coming soon enough.

Read the rest of this entry »

Eric Wright Is (Adder)All Gone

July 22, 2013 at 12:35am by Scott   •  11 Comments »

You know what would go good in this belly? A bunch of beer. Let's drive around and drink some!
A couple weeks ago, Eric Wright was arrested in Los Angeles for DUI. And this past week he was told he can just stay out West since Mark Dominik traded him to the 49ers for a conditional draft pick in 2014. The draft pick is actually a bonus since Dominik was perfectly fine with releasing Wright outright. He should have used the same cannon he shot Tanard Jackson off to Washington with.

“I can assure you the decisions we make as an organization are in the best interest of the team, and therefore we decided to trade Eric Wight, and we’re looking forward to the start of training camp and the players we have here,” Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik said.

I really wasn’t counting on Wright anyway, so this doesn’t disappoint me in the least. Johnthan Banks won’t have any safety net in camp — he’s the guy now. Assuming Darrelle Revis is ready to go, that’s a good cornerback tandem. And the starting safeties are both proven playmakers. I’m feeling pretty good about the starters. Now if any of them tear, rip, break or smoke anything, we have a problem.

The Bucs also have cornerbacks Leonard Johnson, Danny Gorrer, Anthony Gaitor and Michael Adams, a free agent who played six seasons in Arizona.

Adams has the most experience, but even though he has played in a bunch of games in six years, he only started seven. He has three total picks and looks like a career nickel. Which isn’t a bad thing to have on the roster — but does it qualify as quality depth?

General manager Mark Dominik essentially turned up his nose at one of the largest free agent cornerback classes in recent years. Every team evaluates players differently. But none of those players were cost prohibitive and many took one-year deals: the Dolphins’ Sean Smith (three years, $16.5 million with Chiefs); the Falcons’ Brent Grimes (one year, $5.5 million with Dolphins); the Jags’ Derek Cox (four years, $20 million with Chargers); the Eagles’ Nnamdi Asomugha (one year, up to $3 million with 49ers); the Eagles’ Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (one year, $5 million with Broncos); the Falcons’ Dunta Robinson (three years with Chiefs), to name a few.

We talked about this during the beginning of free agency and one of them is looking pretty good as real competition for Banks right about now. The pickins are pretty slim out there now. Anyone want Elbert Mack back? I’m not seeing anyone out there any better than what the Bucs have on the roster now, so I don’t think they’re going to dip back into free agency for a corner unless someone gets hurt in camp. But cornerbacks are known to stay pretty healthy, right?

Barth Out For A Long Tynes

July 20, 2013 at 11:05am by Scott   •  4 Comments »

This wouldn't have happened if he had kept his whitey fro.

The guy who honestly could have been the team MVP for a couple different seasons will be spending 2013 in the tub. Connor Barth tore his Achille’s at a charity basketball game in North Carolina, and since it is my understanding that the Achille’s tendon is important for keeping your foot attached to the rest of you, he probably shouldn’t be kicking for a while.

Barth was entering the second year of a four-year, $13.2 million contract he signed shortly after being designated the Bucs’ franchise player in 2012. Because Barth was injured in a non-football-related activity, the Bucs could decide not to pay his $2.3 million base salary for 2013.

If Barth had pulled a Terrell Suggs and was just playing in some pickup game with his buddies, I could see this being a possibility. But this was a police benefit, and not paying him sends the message to the rest of the team to not participate in any charitable causes that require movement of any kind. “Sorry, I can’t sit at your table and sign autographs since I might injure my tailbone on your chair.” So I’m sure Barth will get paid.

To replace him, the Bucs signed Lawrence Tynes, the Giants kicker who posed for this picture:

I thought there was nothing anyone could do to make me not like Christmas.

Oh, kickers.

But you remember him because he made a couple clutch kicks for the Giants. He was also the goat a couple times, but we’ll pretend we don’t remember those. Actually, Tynes was statistically about the same kicker as Barth last year. He was tied with him at #17 in the league in field goal accuracy (85%) with a long of 50 yards. Barth is much better from long distances, but Tynes doesn’t seem to miss as many shorter ones. I’m comfortable with him as a replacement. He’s not afraid of a big stage and knows how to make pressure kicks. He’s a good get and I’m surprised he was actually still out there.

“We had other things sitting there that we wanted to act on and could’ve,” [agent] Harris said. “I kept saying, ‘The right situation will come up,’ and it did. I agree they were lucky from the standpoint that (Tynes) was available, but it was really a matter of us waiting for the right thing to open up.”

I’m not buying that for a second. Free agent kickers are like workers hanging around Home Depot. There are a lot of them and if one of them gets an offer, he generally doesn’t wait around for a better one. It makes me think there is a reason he was available, but he’s clean off the field and seems to be a good guy. He had a knee problem in 2008, but that’s ancient history. So if there was something keeping other teams away, it’s not important enough for us to care about.

Here’s to a quick recovery for Connor.

Training Camp Schedule Announced

June 26, 2013 at 09:43pm by Scott   •  15 Comments »

The Oklahoma drill is the last true test of manhood.
The Bucs announced their training camp schedule today and what will be open to the public. Here are the practices you can attend if you are so inclined:

July 25: 8:45 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
July 26: 8:45 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
July 27: 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. (Raymond James Stadium)
July 29: 8:45 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
July 31: 8:45 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Aug. 1: 8:45 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Aug. 2: 8:45 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Aug. 3: 8:45 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Aug. 6: 8:45 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Aug. 10: 8:45 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

If you’ve never been to a training camp practice, you should drag yourself out of bed one day and do it. There are opportunities to get stuff signed by players or cheerleaders, giveaways, and sometimes special guests. And the night practice is cool because they really play to the crowd. Plus concessions are cheap. And admission is free. What else could you ask for? Well, let me rephrase that… what else could you ask for that you have any possibility of getting at an event like this?

Bucs Trade for Carimi

June 16, 2013 at 10:31am by Scott   •  2 Comments »

Carimi's new teammates are much softer than his former ones.
The Bucs traded for former Chicago OT Gabe Carimi, what, a month ago? Yeah, it’s been a while. Sorry. Anyway, he’s a former first-rounder who wasn’t able to stay healthy and was considered a bust for the Bears.

“I think it just set me back last year,” said Carimi, who partially dislocated his right kneecap against the Saints and had multiple surgeries. “I wasn’t at full strength. I’m just looking forward to this year. I was just trying to get my knee right, trying to be the best I could be. It feels good.”

The Bucs only gave up a sixth-rounder for him, so I’m fine with this. He has as much of a chance of sticking as any sixth-round pick, and a bigger upside if he gets healthy and can hang out for a couple years. The right tackle spot is still wide open and the player I remember seeing coming out of Wisconsin would be a good fit there. Demar Dotson is still the starter for now, but this could get interesting in August.

Another Darrelle Revis Update

June 06, 2013 at 01:00am by Scott   •  1 Comment »

Even in a practice jersey, he's still better than Danny Gorrer.
I’ve been holding back posting a Darrelle Revis update mostly because there isn’t a lot to tell. He’s progressing and is able to cut now, but he’s still not practicing and probably won’t for quite a while.

“That’s the goal is to be out there Week 1 and play,” Revis said. “If there’s anything other than that, we’ll have to see when the time comes. But yeah, we’ve got to have the goal set and coach has the same goals, too, for me to be out there from Day One.”

So the mandatory minicamps are almost definitely out and training camp doesn’t sound too promising. I’d like to see Revis out there for a preseason game or two just so his first playing time as a Buccaneer doesn’t come in the regular season. And at the Jets. Oh man, you think Jets fans suck just as a matter of course, wait until a former player gets injured on their field. They’ll be cheering like they just found a cabbie that speaks English. But at least they won’t be throwing batteries at him. I mean, it’s not Philly.