Josh Freeman

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.

Schiano: Nothing To See Here

May 31, 2013 at 11:43am by Scott   •  3 Comments »

Greg Schiano is adept at making bird calls.
Greg Schiano and the Bucs were “accused” of running their practices too hard and violating NFL rules on contact during practices (which will be how the actual game is played in ten years, I’m sure). I can’t find the original story on it, so I don’t know if the NFL actually investigated it or if it was some news report that just casually threw it out there. Either way, it doesn’t look like there will be any consequences to it and Schiano is pretty much dismissing the whole thing.

“We had one that got kind of fanfare or whatever you want to call it in a young guy mixed up with Jeremy Zuttah, and Jeremy educated him, maybe not the right way, like you don’t do that. But we spent a lot of time about keeping your headgear, keeping your shoulders out of it.”

“I feel confident that we’re doing it the right way,” he said.

I like the “Jeremy educated him” line. NFL.com has a video of Schiano basically saying the same thing.

A phrase coaches have been saying since the beginning of football is “You play like you practice”. Guys shouldn’t be forced to go full speed and completely spend run themselves to death during practices, but most players say they get more out of practices when they’re a little rough. I’m telling you, the player that Zuttah manhandled learned a lot from that encounter. Football is not for the meek. The NFL (and the reporters who get off on spotting rules violations and reporting them (I’m looking at you Florio)) need to learn this or the game that they make a living on will abandon them.

Steve Smtih Retires

May 30, 2013 at 11:44am by Scott   •  2 Comments »

The whole 'The Other One' jokes have gotten old too.
Steve Smith, who had been signed by the Bucs to add some depth and competition at the bottom end of the wide receivers corps, retired yesterday due to knee injuries.

“I’ve been blessed to play the game that I love at the highest level for the past six years,” Smith said in a release issued by the Buccaneers. “I will always cherish my time with the New York Giants and our Super Bowl victory in 2007. I also want to thank the Philadelphia Eagles, St. Louis Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers organizations for the opportunities they gave me. This was not an easy decision, but it’s the right decision for me at this time.”

Smith’s retirement leaves the Bucs with 11 receivers on the roster, but only a couple of which you’ve heard of. Kevin Ogletree, Tiquan Underwood and Chris Owusu seem to have the best shot at winning the #3 role, but don’t overlook Tim Wright. He’s from Rutgers.

(And yes, I know Underwood is, too. Let me have my Rutgers jokes. I’ll only get them for another year or two.)

Grimm Arrested For Drinking Again

May 29, 2013 at 09:38am by Scott   •  No Comments »

Booze goes here.
Cody Grimm was arrested (again) for public intoxication (again) last Sunday in Virginia where he was attending a wedding.

While the public intoxication charge is a misdemeanor, Grimm could face more severe penalties due to a previous arrest on public intoxication in Christianburg, Va., on March 10. The Post reported that Grimm was given a ‘deferred disposition,’ in that case which would allow prosecutors to drop the charge if the former Virginia Tech star had fulfilled certain promises and remained out of trouble.

Which he didn’t. They’re still not going to send him to Leavenworth, but they are going to do something to him and the Bucs and/or the NFL will likely impose their own discipline too. There are seven safeties on the Bucs’ roster right now. With Grimm solidly a backup, he is fighting Sean Baker, Ahmad Black and Keith Tandy for roster spots (I am assuming Nick Saenz, who is also on the roster, is just a made up name and not a real person). This won’t help Grimm’s chances.

Donald Penn Not Fat, Just Pissed

May 29, 2013 at 09:21am by Scott   •  2 Comments »

He's fine with his weight clauses, but no reason to show the gut, either.
Pewter Report published an article the other day (which has since been updated) regarding players who are on the “hot seat” and Donald Penn was one of them because he is not watching his weight and not meeting weight conditions in his contract.

“Penn loves playing for the Buccaneers and is one of those locker room guys that coaches love to have, but also has an occasional lazy streak and has failed to meet most of the weight clauses in his most recent contract”

Of course Penn heard about this and peeled off some tweets (which have since been deleted — doesn’t anyone stand by their words anymore>?) which the Times was considerate enough to capture in a single article.

“330 right now in the best shape I been in a long time stop reporting bull(expletive) I made all my weigh in last yr n this yr,” Penn tweeted.

Turns out the update Pewter Report posted was to clarify that even though they didn’t really specify a time period that Penn had actually met his weight clauses so far this year and last year, just like Penn said.

PewterReport.com has learned on Monday that Penn did in fact meet his weight clauses for the 2012 season, although prior to 2012 Penn failed to meet some of the stipulations of weight in his contract, costing him of bonus money

“Has learned” is a funny way to put it. Another Penn tweet:

Upon learning the item orginated from Cook’s blog on Pewter Report, Penn tweeted, “Keep reporting bull (expletive) on me n see the next time I do a interview wit u yo (expletive) is lies get the facts 1st Cook b4 u say (expletive).”

What Pewter Report said wasn’t technically a lie since they framed it in the context of Penn’s contract, which he signed in 2010. And since Penn did have weight issues in 2011, they were factually correct. But the implication was that Penn continues to have weight issues that will affect his status with the team (putting him in the “hot seat” this season) and that’s not true. 2011 is a thousand years ago in football time and what happened then has almost no relevance to today.

Penn is still an excellent left tackle and I think the “hot seat” is too strong for him. Everyone was basically put on notice when Greg Schiano got to town — shape up or get the hell off the team. And the number of players left from the Raheem Morris regime just keeps on shrinking. So Penn needs to keep his shit together, but so does everyone else. And at least according to his weigh-ins for the past couple years, he has been.

Banks Signs

May 25, 2013 at 01:03am by Scott   •  No Comments »

banks1

The Bucs’ top draft pick, the easy-to-pronounce-but-silly-to-spell Johnthan Banks, signed his rookie deal yesterday, leaving only third-round quarterback Mike Glennon still unsigned. It’s a little unusual to have your last unsigned draft pick be a third-rounder, but Glennon’s agent may think he deserves more because he’s a quarterback, which I think is adorable. In the end, he will get whatever Mark Dominik decides to give him. If he’s lucky, Glennon won’t have a clause in his contract that compels him to bow whenever he passes Dominik in the hall. He’s done it before.

As far as Banks, it looks like the worst he’ll end up with is the nickel corner position to start the season. Depending on how training camp goes for Eric Wright and whether Darrelle Revis‘s knee, you know, starts working or not, he could be a starter. The Wright/Banks competition should be one of the more interesting battles this August.