Josh Freeman

Posts Tagged ‘adrian clayborn’

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.

Defensive Line Will Look Different In 2013

March 01, 2013 at 01:21am by Scott   •  5 Comments »

This is how Michael Bennett flies away from Tampa.
So here’s the situation with the defensive line. The Bucs and Roy Miller have stopped negotiating and Miller will head into free agency.

“Roy is excited to see what’s out there for him in free agency,” said his agent, Mike McCartney. “He has a lot to offer after an excellent season, helping a team that was last against the run (in 2011) go to No. 1 against the run last season.”

And the Bucs will not be using the franchise tag on Michael Bennett (or anyone for that matter) and there has been no word of progress on an extension for him. So, the Bucs could be without two of their four starting defensive linemen this season because, hey, when you’ve got the #1 rushing defense in the league, the only way to get better is to switch everything around. Or something.

Miller had a good season and I thought he was getting better, but his departure isn’t going to make me too upset. They need a big, strong guy in the middle to clog everything up and give the linebackers room to work, but they can probably find another one of those at a reasonable price. But Bennett is the team’s leading sacker over the last two years, is still improving and is still young. There may be some good guys that get cut, but that’s a hell of a chance to take. Who is better that has an expiring contract? Michael Johnson? He’s probably a better athlete but I wouldn’t go so far as to say he’s a better player. Osi Umenyiora? The Bucs would be stupid to replace Bennett with a player over 30. The only explanation I’ve got is that they really like Da’Quan Bowers (pending gun charges and all) and they already know Adrian Clayborn is going to be on the right side, so there’s not really room for Bennett. And hey, quality depth on the defensive line is overrated anyway. When have the Bucs ever really been short of good players on the line? I don’t think it has ever happened.

D-Line Stars Haven’t Played Together

January 29, 2013 at 12:40am by Scott   •  5 Comments »

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At first I thought this fun fact was an interesting tidbit that maybe shed some light on why the pass rush just wasn’t getting there.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik has a dream. In it, he sees defensive linemen Michael Bennett, Gerald McCoy, DaQuan Bowers and Adrian Clayborn all getting after the passer on the same third down.

“We never had those four players playing together at the same time – ever,” he said. “And whether that’s us being snakebit or whatever, it’s still an important thing that just didn’t happen.”

But that’s three defensive ends, right? Bennett swings to tackle sometimes, but it seems like you’d want a bigger guy on the field (you know, like a nose tackle) when McCoy is playing his standard 3-technique. I guess offensive alignments might dictate that you’d want four lean, fast guys on the field some time, but that would be a rare thing. Now if all four of those guys have never been healthy at the same time, that’s a different complaint. But Dominik’s take almost seems like saying that they’ve never had Doug Martin and LeGarrette Blount on the field at the same time. Which I’d actually like to see once. I know Erik Lorig is a good fullback, but one time I’d like to see Blount grating the road for Martin. There would be pieces of linebacker marking the path for Martin to follow.

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 »

rearentry146

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!

Bucs Beat AFC Champs!*

August 27, 2012 at 03:47pm by Scott   •  2 Comments »

patspreseason

* may not mean as much now as it would have in February.

NFL Network finally broadcasted the Bucs/Pats game Sunday afternoon after airing a couple other games twice (#BuccaneerConspiracy) so I got around to watching it last night. I came away much more impressed with many aspects of the team, obviously concerned about some others, and disgusted at the amount of cheering Pats fans there were in the stands.

Losing Davin Joseph for the year is huge. Like, super huge. It may be the biggest loss the team could have, and I’m including Josh Freeman. There was so much hinging on the run game this season and Joseph and Carl Nicks were going to be those bookend guards to give Doug Martin the cracks he needed to break his big runs. I assumed Ted Larsen would be the starter in Joseph’s place, and that would have been a big step down. Larsen is good, but he’s not at Joseph’s level. But now Greg Schiano is saying that they’re going to try a few different things out. No one else on the roster is any better than Larsen, so that probably means he’s going to see who gets cut this week and bring in a couple guards to compete with Larsen to start.

You may object to me saying that Joseph is a bigger loss than Freeman would have been, but have you seen anything from Freeman this preseason so far that makes him stand out? Several passes off-target, a seemingly rebellious refusal to run when there are yards and yards of green in front of him, just doesn’t look sharp. He had a couple good passes Friday, but just not sucking isn’t enough. Not for a fourth year franchise quarterback. Dan Orlovsky has been more precise with his throws and more productive. I’m not advocating for Orlovsky to be the starter and I recognize that Freeman is generally playing against better competition than Orlovsky, but Freeman should be clearly better than him at this stage, and he’s not.

Doug Martin has Emmitt Smith-type balance. You see it in just about every run. No defender is going to bring him down with an arm tackle or by throwing themselves at his feet. He can spin and twist and stumble but his knee never touches until he gets hit squarely. He’s a living weeble.

It was good to see Vincent Jackson catch some balls and be a big part of that first drive. He is as advertised and that’s good because he’s going to need that big radius to catch some awkward balls if the offensive line isn’t going to give the quarterback the time he needs to step up.

Speaking of which, is it just me or did Donald Penn look sluggish? Seems like he got pushed around some on Friday. He definitely let Chandler Jones get inside him on the play where Joseph as injured. Not that it’s Penn’s fault or anything, but Penn allowing that kind of pressure is unusual.

Though I wasn’t keeping an exact count, I do remember a lot of bullshit penalties, too. False start, delay of game, illegal formation… all useless penalties. It may be a useless statistics, but it can’t be helping.

I don’t know what happened to Preston Parker during the offseason to make him not be able to hang onto a punt, but he should not be allowed to field punts ever again. If the Bucs keep six receivers and ditch Arrelious Benn, he will probably stick. But guys on the back half of the roster need to be able to do something on special teams and his value is declining quickly if he can’t field punts.

Someone said something during the broadcast about Dallas Clark not being able to block. I saw him block a couple times and he was fine at it. No pancakes or anything, but the guy he was blocking got moved away from the flow of the ball. That’s all they need him to do.

Both Gerald McCoy and Adrian Clayborn got tweaked during the game and left early. Still, the defensive line showed some life with Michael Bennett and Roy Miller. Beyond that, despite the numbers, the depth on the line gets pretty thin. The Bucs will be scouting for this position as well this week, and if they don’t find anyone they like, guys like Wallace Gilberry and E.J. Wilson will be getting roster spots, which seemed incomprehensible last year.

The Patriots ran for 168 yards with an average of 5.4 YPC. That’s a lot — in fact, it’s more than Freeman’s yards per attempt. It didn’t actually seem that way during the game since Adam Hayward and Lavonte David were always around the ball, Hayward especially making some big plays. And Mason Foster, the starting MLB, wasn’t playing. Jeff Demps did his share to boost their average with a 29-yard run and that was against backups, so maybe it isn’t as the stats. But I’ve got a real feeling that teams are going to test the Bucs’ run game early in the season. They’ve got a reputation of giving up a lot of running yards, and until they prove everyone else wrong in a regular season game, that’s going to be the assumption around the league.

One factor other teams will have to consider now is Mark Barron. He can flat-out hit. He’s been equally impressive in run support and pass coverage and has shown so far that he was worthy of the #7 overall pick. If the Bucs can have a true intimidator patrolling the secondary like they did when John Lynch was around, they’ll get part of that nasty edge back that they had all those years ago. Barron might be that guy.

The last preseason game is Wednesday night. My DirecTV schedule says it will be broadcast live on Comcast SportsNet, channel 642. We’ll see if that actually happens, but hopefully I’ll be able to review the game less than a week after it happens this time.

Bucs Win First Game Since Last October

August 13, 2012 at 11:56am by Scott   •  4 Comments »

preseason20121

I finally got a chance to see the Miami preseason game last night since NFL Network insisted on waiting until yesterday morning at 7:00AM to air it for the first time. Add to that the fact that every single write-up about this game focused on the Dolphins with barely any analysis of Tampa Bay and my theory that there is an anti-Buccaneer conspiracy within the NFL starts to make sense. Someone call Jesse Ventura and tell him to get on this.

* Josh Freeman looked pretty sharp, but Dan Orlovsky was on fire. Every pass was on target and his 100% completion rate showed it. He’s really one of the only guys I have to make fun of this season, so if he keeps doing well this preseason, it’s going to really screw me over.

* Greg Schiano and Mike Sullivan were making a point with his play calling. This is a running team and they run when they feel like it. The Bucs ran the ball 34 times and passed it 24. They only got 2.5 yards per carry, but a lot of that had to do with the poor run blocking in the second half. Michael Smith had nowhere to go. But when the starters were in (sans Donald Penn), LeGarrette Blount looked great. One time he was even split out at receiver. Some backups came in and Doug Martin also looked good with a sweet ten yard run showing off his balance.

* Speaking of Michael Smith, his kickoff return for 74 yards was a great display of vision and body control, but I thought he was supposed to be the fastest guy on the field. He got chased down from behind. Here’s a tip: If your greatest asset is your speed, you are not allowed to get chased down from behind.

* Luke Stocker‘s one catch was super sweet and was a great example of the kind of play he can make when they need him to. Between two defenders and behind him, Stocker still snagged it. Go Vols.

* Tiquan Underwood caught all three passes thrown his way, including one that never should have been thrown. The Miami safety should have had that pick, but Underwood kept his eyes on the ball and came down with it when everything shook out. Awesome concentration and hands.

* In the middle of my typing this review, the Bucs defense was called for another offsides penalty. Schiano isn’t going to stand for penalties, especially bullshit ones that are totally avoidable like offsides. Some dudes are going to be running gassers today so they can remember to wait until the ball is snapped.

* Another avoidable penalty: Preston Parker‘s personal foul. It was a scrap with a Dolphins player and might have been overlooked if he hadn’t muffed that punt. Stars can get into fights and get flagged and get away with it. Guys who drop footballs can’t.

* I think the Bucs had more big plays during this game than they did in the last ten games last season.

* Lavonte David is fast. Did you see him make that tackle on punt coverage? He got down there before the ball did.

* Adrian Clayborn is so fast off the ball. He didn’t post any stats in the game, but he’s going to be tough to block this season.

* Myron Lewis started the game but looked hesitant and lost. I’ve heard good things about him in camp, but he was invisible during the game. I’m guessing this is his last chance with the Bucs and he may not survive the cut to 53. But at least he’ll have one more chance with the Redskins when Raheem Morris convinces them to pick him up.

* But Anthony Gaitor looked great. Passes broken up, solid tackling, tight coverage. It’s not even a contest right now if the decision is between Lewis and Gaitor.

* Mason Foster had three tackles and played for less than a quarter. There is a new dedication to stopping the run and it looks like Foster is going to be leading that charge.

I thought it was an impressive showing and a great indication of the direction the Bucs are headed. Your impressions in the comments.

King Goes To Bucs Camp (Nom Nom)

August 10, 2012 at 12:22am by Scott   •  8 Comments »

king2
Peter King is making his way around the country this offseason, visiting various team camps, and eating things.

In the Bucs’ cafeteria, the PR staff put Team SI (We’re on the SI-EvoShield Training Camp Trip, with a party of five) in a side room so we could grill Josh Freeman. And grill a turkey burger. I had the grilled turkey burger on a wheat roll with raw onion, lettuce and tomato (B-plus), along with a mixed salad with balsamic (C; the lettuce was a tad on the other side of ripe), and a bottle of fruit punch G2. Grade: B. Freeman rather enjoyed his healthy meal, led by turkey, lettuce and tomato on whole-wheat bread, with red beans and rice.

Of course King’s biggest complaint is about the only green item on his plate. He’s just pissed because he couldn’t drown in it a quart of ranch dressing since the menus at NFL training camps are healthy and scone-free. And this comes after bitching about the oatmeal a couple years ago. Someone give him a flask for Christmas so he can keep some drawn butter in it and leave these team chefs the fuck alone.

Oh, and King had a couple opinions about Bucs football, too.

3. I’m not too optimistic about Da’Quan Bowers playing football after his May Achilles tear. He’s on the PUP list, and the Bucs say they’re cautiously confident he can play sometime this year. But really — how likely, or smart, is it that a speed-rush player would be ready to play football six or seven months after Achilles surgery? Looks like Adrian Clayborn will get more attention than the Bucs had hoped from offensive protections, because there’s no other pass rusher in-house who will scare foes.

Keep an eye on Michael Bennett. He’s going to start at left end and he’s going to make some offensive coordinators take notice.

The pass rush and secondary will be vital to keeping the Bucs in games this year, because I don’t know how many shootouts they’re going to win.

Remember that, folks. Eight of the eleven players on the defense will be vital this year. You can’t get analysis like that just anywhere.

Self-Scouting

February 02, 2012 at 03:44pm by Scott   •  7 Comments »

They couldn't even find a picture of Adrian in white pants?
Part of Mark Dominik‘s interview process while searching for a head coach involved some self-scouting. He asked the candidates what they thought of the current team, where they thought the team’s strengths and weaknesses are, how they thought the drafts went, etc. I don’t know why they spent all that money flying around and interviewing these coaches when literally thousands of Bucs fans would have been happy to give them this information for free. After the first few, they’d probably do them from behind plexiglass, but still free is free.

Anyway, Dominik didn’t reveal everything they told him. But he did share what some of those guys thought of the defensive line.

“I think a lot of people, including ourselves, (wonder),” Dominik said. “Let’s be candid and honest: Gerald McCoy hasn’t played a lot of football in the past two years. Da’Quan Bowers played at the end of the year. (Adrian) Clayborn’s played one year and (Brian) Price has been off and on. There’s a nucleus of defensive linemen that we’re still trying to figure out, myself included. But as we talked to people about the defensive front four and the quarterback and the pieces around them, they were intriguing for coaches.”

We were all pretty sure that the quarterback and defensive line were the strengths of this team, but at least now we have Mike Sherman‘s validation, which is worth exactly as much as it sounds. And I don’t think Dominik would have told us that coaches reamed him over draft picks and told him that his linebackers suck platypus dong, so who knows to what extent they gave their criticisms of the team. But it’s nice to hear something besides “follow the plan” or “stay the course” or whatever else they were saying that made it sound like they thought everything was A-OK.

Truly A Throwback Game

December 06, 2011 at 09:55am by Scott   •  10 Comments »

Panther Abortion 1

Sitting back and watching Josh Johnson, I don’t think he played any worse than Josh Freeman has been. He scrambled more and took a couple extra shots downfield, which I think is an improvement. But a lot of the time he also looked uncomfortable in the pocket even when the protection was good. The low point had to be the interception he threw when he got the snap early. He’s got enough years behind hi now that he should know better. His highlight is probably the 42-yard pass to Mike Williams, which was perfect. But honestly, it’s kind of a wash.

LeGarrette Blount only got 11 carries on Sunday, but he never touched the ball after 6:21 left in third quarter. At that point the score was 31-12. Three scores down, but with 21 minutes left, I still wouldn’t have quit on the run game. Even when the Panthers were stacking the box, Blount got a couple six-yard runs in there. Mossis Madu looked like an upgrade over Kregg Lumpkin, but I’m not sure why feeding Madu the ball instead of Blount is a good idea. To be fair, Madu did gain more yards than Blount on fewer carries, but I’ve never seen Madu break six tackles on the way to the endzone, either.

And why, right after Blount gets six yards on back to back carries, is that the time to run a reverse on third and 2? That reverse to Arrelious Benn hardly ever works. I don’t know if the formation gives it away or the players aren’t selling it good enough, but it is rarely ever this big breakaway play that they want it to be. A first down would have put them at the Carolina 15. Instead, Benn lost 12 yards on the play and forced a field goal.

Jeremy Trueblood got handled by Charles Johnson. Johnson had a sack, three TFLs and a pass defensed. Bad day at the office for Trueblood. I didn’t notice anything else awful about the offensive line, but I’m not sure if that bad snap was Jeff Faine‘s fault or Josh Johnson’s.

Defensively, Da’Quan Bowers established himself as a real contender to start. Bowers was a machine all day long — 1.5 sacks, 8 tackles, 5 TFLs. With him on one side and Adrian Clayborn on the other, the Bucs may have found a pair of defensive ends to grow with them.

I don’t know what Brian Price did, but every indication is that the decision to send him home was an overreaction by Raheem Morris. If it isn’t bad enough for the officials to eject him from the game, it shouldn’t be bad enough for Raheem to do it. I think Raheem was just waiting for someone to make a stupid mistake and make an example of him. Too bad it was Price because he’s one of the best defensive players they have right now and from everything I’ve ever read or heard from him is a kind-hearted kid. For as many scraps as Aqib Talib has gotten into on the field, for Price to be the one sent home for that kind of infraction is seriously messed up. It’s a power move, and a coach with full control of the locker room doesn’t have to make them in that fashion. If it works, maybe Raheem gets everyone’s attention. But if it doesn’t and he loses control of his team, he’s finished. It’s a huge risk he took doing it.

I’m not sure the team even has linebackers anymore. I see Mason Foster making plays, but he can’t do it by himself. If any group needs to be blown up and started over from scratch, it’s this one. And please, when you do it, move Foster back to WLB where he played in college.

The secondary could have been a lot worse without Talib, but overall it wasn’t terrible. E.J. Biggers gave up a big one to Steve Smith, but I was actually impressed it was only one. Smith only caught two passes all day.

And we all know that Ronde Barber wasn’t supposed to tackle Cam Newton on that option play, right? If Barber had released his man and went after Newton, Newton would have just flipped the ball to the guy Barber just left and he would have been the one to make the big gain. I’ve seen people complain that Barber should have just “made the play”, but he was exactly where he was supposed to be.

What happened to Tanard Jackson? Dude seems to be getting plowed more than I remember.

Connor Barth, Bucstats salutes you for being the most consistent player on the team. Maybe it was you who had the championship hair all along.

Baby, I love your way.

That’s about all I can fake my way through right now. Sorry it wasn’t funny or anything. It’s just so hard to care about this game. The good news is that the Jaguars look even shittier. The Chargers hadn’t won since forever and they destroyed the Jags last night. Blaine Gabbert looks awful and no one seems to give a shit in Jacksonville, either. We can call next week’s game the Apathy Bowl, sponsored by Valium!