Josh Freeman

Posts Tagged ‘arrelious benn’

A Week Into Free Agency

March 19, 2013 at 01:08am by Scott   •  7 Comments »

I don't need no fancy foods like beans with ketchup!
A few more personnel moves happened over the last couple days, most of which fall under the category of, “Well, they had to do something.” Like signing Tom Crabtree away from the Packers. He has been a good blocking tight end and is a can be an outlet receiver in a pinch (he caught eight passes last year), but no one thinks he’s the missing piece to the Super Bowl puzzle for the Bucs. I don’t even think he rules out the team using a high draft pick on a tight end next month. But he has more experience than Luke Stocker and, while Stocker got better as the season went on, probably isn’t the starter in Greg Schiano‘s run-first offense.

Speaking of the running game, apparently LeGarrette Blount is still on the trading block even though they re-signed him a couple weeks ago. The Bucs weren’t willing to let him go just for nothing, so they gave him a deal that was fair while still being palatable to another team who might need a running back. Blount’s contract contains no guaranteed money, so the team can still cut him without being out any cash or cap. I still think it’s a good move to hold onto him. If Doug Martin rips a knee apart, they’ll be glad Blount is still around.

One player that is no longer on the trading block, mostly because they actually traded him, is Arrelious Benn. The Bucs moved Benn to the Patriots Eagles for a sixth round pick this year and a conditional pick next year (no one knows what round it’s in, but it’s got to be really low), but the Bucs also had to give up a seventh this year. It’s probably all they could get for him, but it’s yet another second-round disaster for the Bucs and a total washout of the 2010 second round for Mark Dominik. The deal doesn’t make me feel any differently about Dominik — I still think he’s an excellent GM and a good talent evaluator — but letting Benn go for practically nothing has to sting. Especially considering Rob Gronkowski was taken three slots later.

Oh, and Roy Miller signed with the Jaguars. And Michael Bennett signed with Seattle (I think I covered that last time). It will be interesting to see who the Bucs want to replace Miller, who I thought was one of the better nose tackles out there.

So, to sum up the last week:

IN: Dashon Goldson, Tom Crabtree, Kevin Ogletree, Jonathan Casillas
OUT: Michael Bennett, Quincy Black, Jeremy Trueblood, Roy Miller, Arrelious Benn
STILL DON’T KNOW: Ronde Barber, Dallas Clark, LeGarrette Blount, E.J. Biggers, Andrew Economos, Brandon McDonald

Did they really not pay Economos yet? They’re not planning on arguing over a few dollars for a really reliable long snapper, are they?

Now that I look at that summary, it’s not the most glamorous free agency, is it? I’m sure they have a plan, but it would be nice if it involved them actually getting more than one really good player.

First Day Of Free Agency Is Not Interesting

March 13, 2013 at 02:05am by Scott   •  11 Comments »

I like a safety who just punches the receiver.
The first day of free agency came and went for the Bucs and it was a lot like last year, except instead of three big name free agents they got zero. But that doesn’t mean they’re not looking around. In fact, Dashon Goldson is making Tampa his first free agent visit.

On Tuesday, the 49ers All-Pro boarded a private jet charted by the Buccaneers and flew across the country to Tampa Bay where he could become among the highest-paid safeties in the NFL today.

And somewhere Ronde Barber is regretting playing so aloof with his retirement talk. If the Bucs sign Goldson, the only way Barber comes back is as a backup safety/nickel corner and he’s not the kind of guy to take on that kind of role.

And the Darrelle Revis to Tampa talk is still getting traction in the media.

The Jets are believed to be seeking a first-round pick. Even if the teams agree on draft compensation, the Bucs would have to reach a contract extension with Revis, who wants $15 million to $16 million per year despite playing in only two games last season because of a torn ACL in his left knee.

And we all know Mark Dominik is smart enough to not cash in the #13 pick for a player who is going to cost so much coin and still won’t be happy with it next year. Then again

Devious pranksters with too much time of their hands appear to have conducted an interesting (and probably illegal) experiment that put Bucs general manager Mark Dominik on Front Street.

On Friday, just before the start of the NFL’s three-day free-agent negotiating period, the pranksters, after making a call to Bills general manager Buddy Nix posing as Dominik, somehow got access to the eventual callback from Nix to Dominik.

They surreptitiously recorded the 5-minute call and shared the clip with Deadspin.com. In it, Dominik laments the uselessness of the negotiating period and discusses his efforts to trade running back LeGarrette Blount and receiver Arrelious Benn (he claimed there’s some interest in both).

Just kidding, Mark. This isn’t your fault. And “probably” illegal is bullshit. It’s definitely illegal. Florida’s wiretapping law is very clear about both parties needing to give consent to record a call. Reading the article, Dominik didn’t say anything out of line or even anything very surprising. He wanted to trade Blount? The hell you say! And I actually didn’t remember Benn was on the team until I read this article, so if he can get anything at all for him, he wins Trade of the Year honors.

The only thing that was a little revealing is that he is looking to move Jamon Meredith, which may tip his hand that he is looking to take a right tackle early in the draft, which I think is great because the draft is deep at tackle. D.J. Fluker (Alabama) and Lane Johnson (Oklahoma) will both still be there and should even be available lower than #13 if the Bucs can trade down. Fluker is a monster and paired up with Davin Joseph on the right side will provide running lanes on the right all day long. Fluker has slow feet, though, and needs to work to be more nimble if he is going to be an elite tackle. Johnson is the opposite — quick feet and an excellent pass protector, but only an average run blocker. That’s because he doesn’t have the same size as Fluker (he is a former junior college quarterback) but he’s got all the smarts and skills to keep Josh Freeman clean on the right.

So yeah, kind of a waste of a prank and a wiretap. Next maybe they’ll catch Dominik reading a grocery list to his wife. And then they can try to make something interesting out of that. “Dominik, in a stunning revelation, said he prefers RC to Coke or Pepsi. We always knew the Bucs were cheap!”

REAR ENTRIES: Toe Job

September 14, 2012 at 11:58am by Scott   •  13 Comments »

rearentry143

OH HELL NO: The Bucs’ offensive line is starting to have injury concerns, but I guess that’s understandable after one game.

Bucs RT Jeremy Trueblood did not practice Thursday after injuring his ankle during Wednesday’s practice, and it’s unclear if he will play Sunday against the Giants.

This one doesn’t bother me so much because Demar Dotson will be fine in his place. Here’s the real bitch:

Schiano also hopes RG Carl Nicks (big toe) will play even though the two-time Pro Bowl pick was limited for the second straight day.

Yes, I fucking hope so too. Because if Nicks is down, their backup is Cody Wallace. And unless he’s a direct descendant of William Wallace and comes out in blue facepaint and armed with 12-foot spears, they’re fucked. Could their offensive line on Sunday really be Penn-Wallace-Zuttah-Larsen-Dotson? I don’t know who the world’s best toe doctor is, but he better be in Tampa right now with 16 tons of healing equipment strapped to Nicks’s foot.

BENN MAY BE BACK: In better news, Arrelious Benn expects to play Sunday.

“I think (my role) will develop over time,” he said. “They know what I can do. I’m sure they’ll use me the right way, the way they’re supposed to use me. I believe in my coaches.”

Awesome attitude from him. I hope he gets a few touches on Sunday. Without any camp or preseason, that may be asking a bit much, but I think he’ll still be a good contributor this season.

FLORIDA WEEK: I’ve been so good keeping a lid on my homerism all week long, but now that it’s Friday, fuck it. Do any Florida fans out there want to make a wager for the game tomorrow? No money. We could go with reverse bragging rights, where the loser has to lavish praise and affection on the winner. Or something else if you have a good idea. In the comments. (I’m assuming at least one Gator out there knows how to read and can relay this post to the rest of his friends.)

Depth Chart Released

August 07, 2012 at 03:07pm by Scott   •  1 Comment »

Blount will be fine as long as he has someone to jump over.
The Bucs released their first depth chart today, and it’s pretty much what everyone thought it would be, with a couple exceptions.

LeGarrette Blount is listed ahead of Doug Martin at tailback despite all the reports that Martin is the presumed starter for the season. Blount has reportedly been performing well this camp and has had an excellent work ethic, but Martin is also impressing and has a wider skill set. I’d still expect Martin to take the first snap of the first regular season game, but maybe the reps will be split more evenly than originally thought.

Tiquan Underwood is still listed behind Arrelious Benn even though Underwood has been the surprise of camp so far.

Amobi Okoye is listed as a backup to Gerald McCoy and not at nose tackle, which is incredibly smart. Okoye isn’t a nose. I didn’t Brian Price was a nose, either, and that’s why I was worried the Bucs would try to shove him in there where he doesn’t fit. Kind of like when I was in Bangkok and… you know what? I’ve said too much already.

REAR ENTRIES: Camp Is Dangerous

July 28, 2012 at 01:08pm by Scott   •  6 Comments »

rearentry136

BENN HURT: According to PFT, Arrelious Benn strained an MCL and is expected to miss four weeks, meaning all of training camp and possibly all of preseason. I’d say run out and grab Dezmon Briscoe again, but the Redskins picked him up on waivers, so I guess he and Tanard Jackson and Raheem Morris can all get together after practice and talk about how the Bucs don’t know what they’re doing by letting them go. Jackson should have plenty of time to chat since he’s on the PUP list.

Anyway, Benn’s role in the offense has been reduced with the arrival of Vincent Jackson, but I imagine he will still be missed. The curse of the second-round continues. Someone wrap Lavonte David in bubble wrap.

DOMINIK EXPLAINS TRADE: Speaking of the second-round curse, Mark Dominik explained that Brian Price‘s trade to Chicago was not a spur of the moment decision.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik said Friday the trade of beleaguered defensive tackle Brian Price and release of wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe were moves the team had been “planning” for at least a couple weeks and that neither player should have been surprised by the move.

But then he said the least politically correct thing he could say about a player who has been through as much as Price has. And he’s absolutely 100% correct.

“But at some point we have to go out there and win some football games, and part of the plan for us was to be involved in free agency this offseason and go out and find guys like Amobi Okoye and Wallace Gilberry, who can help out, so his was a position that we have focused on, knowing this day could come.”

Dominik didn’t rest on “We’re going in a different direction,” which everyone else would have done. By saying “at some point we have to go out there and win some football games,” he said that despite all of Price’s personal issues, the Buccaneers are not a charity and can’t afford to have someone on the roster who cannot contribute to wins. It seems harsh but it has to be said. I’m glad Dominik said it.

BIGGERS DOWN TOO: Hey look at that. While I was looking for a third story, the Bucs released a statement that E.J. Biggers also suffered a foot injury yesterday, apparently in the same play that injured Benn when they collided.

“It’s part of the game, unfortunately, in no-pads,” said Schiano. “It’s just an unfortunate thing, but we’ve got to keep pressing on. Those two guys will get back. They’re going to keep preparing and working. My philosophy when a guy gets injured is, certainly there are things you can’t do with skill development, but there’s a lot of things you can do. In the weight room, rehab – that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to work at the things you can control.”

Anthony Gaitor and Myron Lewis will likely be filling in while Biggers is down. I had high hopes for Lewis a while ago, but this may be his last real opportunity to shine.

Receiver Battles

June 18, 2012 at 12:17pm by Scott   •  No Comments »

Gee, can Mike Williams beat Leonard Johnson?
With Vincent Jackson on board and holding a $55.5-million contract, it’s a given that he will be the #1 receiver. And while Mike Williams has been taking starters reps in OTAs and minicamp, Pro Football Weekly is guessing who will get a shot to be the starter opposite Jackson.

The Bucs are promoting a competition for the “Z” position and Mike Williams and Arrelious Benn will enter training camp, when the battle really could intensify, on a fairly even playing field.

The author must not have been watching too much Buccaneer practice because Benn took a bunch of snaps with the third team. I think he’ll make the team in September, but to say he is on an even field with Williams ignores everything we’ve seen so far.

We also hear that Dezmon Briscoe, Preston Parker — who typically plays in the slot — and even Tiquan Underwood, who has only 11 career catches, also could get looks with the first-team offense at the “Z” position in camp.

Briscoe was said to be disappointing so far this offseason, but we’ve all seen him come through in games and I think he’s a legitimate big play threat. Both Parker and Underwood earned raves during minicamp, Josh Freeman making sure to single out Parker specifically in an interview. The team will likely keep five receivers, so if all these guys make it, we’re still left with Sammie Stroughter out in the cold and the Ed Gant fan club sorely disappointed. It seems like this year there isn’t going to be as much competition at WR as other years. There were always at least two or three guys on the bubble that you could argue pretty easily for. I don’t see that so much right now.

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!

Not Good Enough But Better Than Expected

November 21, 2011 at 12:29pm by Scott   •  7 Comments »

Packers 1

So, yesterday’s game wasn’t a wretched piece of shit that makes you embarrassed for yourself and your community, and that’s a definite step forward. In fact, it was actually a pretty good game by the Bucs and if they had played it against just about any other team, they probably would have won. But they played the Packers and they’re made of pixie dust this year and Aaron Rodgers is the perfect combination of EVERYTHING so here the Bucs sit at 4-6. At least my Volunteers beat Aaron’s brother, Jordan, who plays for Vanderbilt. But even that was too close for comfort. If the Vols had lost that one, I would have had to add the Rodgers family to my list of families to kill. But first, the Baldwins. Except Alec. I still loves me some 30 Rock.

Josh Freeman calmed down and had a relatively decent day. I’d still like to see him pull the ball down an run a little more when the opportunity is there (like on his interception to Tramon Williams when he had Arrelious Benn in front of him to block), but overall he wasn’t bad. He wasn’t betrayed nearly as much by his wide receivers as he has been in the past either, making for a 78% completion percentage.

Mike Williams looked like his old self. Maybe he called Fred Biletnikoff and bought some of his super-secret invisible Stickum. I didn’t notice any drops, so whatever works. Beautiful touchdown slant, too.

All the other receivers — Benn, Dezmon Briscoe, Preston Parker — came through in clutch situations. I’m guessing Eric Yarber changed the punishment for dropping a pass from carrying a football around in your arms all week to carrying it around in your ass like Christopher Walken did with Butch’s watch. Sometimes you just need the right motivation.

I’d like to point out that Connor Barth is kicking at over 90% right now. I’m not kidding when I say he should be considered for MVP of the team so far.

Hey, LeGarrette Blount had 18 carries and broke a long one for a touchdown. Who’da thunk it? Oh wait, ALL OF US THUNK IT. I don’t care if you give Blount the ball ten times and he gains nothing. There’s a very good chance that on the eleventh one, he’s going for 60 yards. He ran for 107 with a 5.9 YPC average and one of the mod spectacular runs you’ll ever see. That run is up there with the best of Mike Alstott‘s.

Adrian Clayborn and Brian Price were twins yesterday, both getting a nice sack and a tackle for loss. I still can’t help but wonder how dominant Price would be if he were allowed to play 3-technique. Albert Haynesworth is playing it and didn’t have a great game.

Rodgers tested Aqib Talib because he’s been on the skids lately, but Talib really stepped up with three passes defensed.

E.J. Biggers: Still awful. And then Myron Lewis replaced him and he was no better. Is Elbert Mack really their best option as a third corner right now? It may be time to bend the rules of the new regime and pick up a good veteran cornerback in free agency next offseason. Lewis is a third-rounder and isn’t quite panning out.

Raheem Morris chewed Quincy Black a new asshole after he gave up that touchdown. I really hope it gets through to him. Black has all the physical tools to be awesome, but somehow he keeps missing plays. I thought this linebacker corps was going to be the strongest unit in the defense and maybe one of the better ones in the league, but it’s really been disappointing. Yesterday wasn’t terrible and the Packers’ running game was held to under 100 yards, but then again the Packers aren’t really a running team.

Morris’s decision to go for two early in the fourth quarter was fucking stupid and someone needs to tell him. I’m sure it seems real tough and gritty to go for two and it says that you have confidence in your offense, but you can’t leave any points on the table against a team like the Packers. If they had just kicked the PAT, they would have actually been in the game at the end. You only go for two when time dictates no other option. The onside kicks didn’t bother me, although someone needs to work with Michael Koenen on getting the ball ten yards down the field. Successful onside kicks can really flip momentum and steals a possession from a hot offense like Green Bay’s. So yeah, go for them. But take your points where you can.

What a shame about that early punt that never happened. Punters are so well protected by the rules that Jacob Cutrera wasn’t going to just tackle him like he could have. So I don’t blame the Bucs for that one — it was just a freak play. I can’t believe I actually used Cutrera’s name in a write-up.

If the Bucs can keep up this level of play, they can win between 4-6 of their next games. At this point, I’m not seeing playoffs in the future, but I can see them ending the season on a positive note. I just hope that a good ending doesn’t make them forget the shit they went through in the first ten games and that they remember the deficiencies and holes in their team when the offseason kicks in.

Time To Put Benn On The Field More

October 27, 2011 at 03:04pm by Scott   •  4 Comments »

He FLIES for gods sake. Maybe it's time to throw him some more balls.
This article by Stephen Holder does an excellent job of looking at why Arrelious Benn didn’t hardly get on the field last week. I was guessing he had some kind of undisclosed injury. Turns out I was wrong — FIRST TIME EVER.

“When Earnest (Graham) went down, we only had one back,” he said. “Then (fullback Erik) Lorig got hurt. So, then our base personnel was kind of out of the question. We had to go with our three-wide receiver set. Briscoe is the starting Z (that’s the flanker) in that (lineup). You put the best guys on the field and try to come away with the win. We left a couple of plays out there on the field. But we have to regroup and take this bye week to take a rest and start all over again.”

Does Benn somehow lose his abilities if they have three wide receivers in the field? Benn is the best run after catch player on the team; why would you ever take him off unless he had a fumbling problem or something like that? Holder seems to think the idea is to get Briscoe more playing time.

And to explain the rationale further, Briscoe is installed as the flanker in three-wide sets because the Bucs are looking for opportunities to get him on the field. That’s a worthy endeavor because Briscoe clearly has talent and is an asset to the offense. The Bucs also want to promote competition, also a healthy thing.

I always thought you had to wait for the guy in front of you to get hurt in order to step into his spot and get playing time. Regular season games (unless you’re either ahead or behind by 50 points and the game is already decided) don’t seem like the time to put in third and fourth string players in order to get them on the field. Also, Mike Williams is playing poorly. Wouldn’t it seem smarter to pull him and leave the guy who has the longest play from scrimmage so far this season on the field? And please don’t say “But one guy plays X and the other plays Z” because I didn’t buy that when Jon Gruden said it and I’m not buying it now. It’s not like they’re doctors and one is a cardiologist and the other is a podiatrist. They’re both fucking receivers. Run route, catch ball. Am I oversimplifying it? Maybe. But then again, I’m not a cardiologist.

All this highlights a season-long question: Should Benn get more touches? As Bucs coaches spend this bye week evaluating the first half of the season, one of the things I think they’ll discover is that he’s, perhaps, underutilized.

Perhaps? Yes, I’d say so. Kellen Winslow has been so reliable on the past that you couldn’t blame Freeman from going to him all the time. But he’s getting covered now and forcing the ball to him is resulting in tons of interceptions. Time to look to other guys for a while. Guys like Benn.

At Least They Got A Vacation Out Of It

October 25, 2011 at 10:29am by Scott   •  9 Comments »

London 1

So much for that thing about getting to London early and getting all settled in. The Bears barely arrived before kickoff and they looked fresh as fucking daisies. The Bucs just don’t travel all that well. Last season looked good with wins in San Fran, Arizona and Seattle, but last year all those teams really sucked. With the level of competition knocked up a notch this year, the travelling thing becomes an issue again.

Are we allowed to say that Josh Freeman has regressed? Is that allowed or are the Bucs too invested in him to let even the slightest doubt creep into the public discourse? I understand that since there was no running game, the Bears could key in on Freeman and play the pass. But Freeman is FORCING the ball several times per game. I’m dumb as shit and even I can see it. Ten passes defensed in addition to four interceptions is a lot. He’s staring guys down and making bad decisions. All this can be corrected, but if he doesn’t have an effective running game to take some pressure off of him, there aren’t going to be a lot of good decisions out there to make.

And even when Freeman makes a good decision and gets the ball to the right guy, his receivers are dropping more balls than normal. Are they that surprised that the ball touches their hands? And is it just me, or did a lot of receivers seem to hit the ground awfully fast after they made a catch? That may have just been my imagination, but it really seemed like guys would catch the ball and then just kind of sit on the ground.

Kregg Lumpkin is not the answer at running back. I know it’s a controversial statement, but I’m making it. He’s not good at anything. If you follow the SEC, you’re not shocked by this. I know the mentality these days is that you can just grab a running back from a D-III school and plug him into your system and he’ll be fine, but that’s not turning out to be true. The position isn’t as plug and play as the draft analysts would have you think. There’s a reason why players like Matt Forte can still excel even with a shit offensive line. They’re actually good. Some kind of real depth will have to be acquired in the offseason. In the meantime, the Bucs need a reliable stopgap since Earnest Graham is out for the season. You know who would be good? Cadillac Williams. Oh wait.

I just got an email that mentioned Tiki Barber as a possibility. I’m deleting that person from my address book. Tiki may remember enough to get in a rushing linebacker’s way and be a decent pass-protector, but I wouldn’t count on him rushing for any significant yardage, and that’s what the Bucs need. A real running game will solve a lot of problems. When does LeGarrette Blount come back again?

Did Arrelious Benn dress for the game? He’s on the starting roster, but Freeman looked to him exactly once. With Mike Williams sucking ass this season and admitting as much publicly, it seems like to would be smart to look to other guys. Benn is the best YAC player on the team. Put the ball in his hands and let him do good stuff with it.

Dezmon Briscoe played a lot instead of Benn. Maybe Benn was hurting? Briscoe looked good, but even he dropped his first pass. Nice touchdown, though.

Aqib Talib‘s fourth quarter personal foul may be the dumbest penalty I’ve ever seen. Holy shit, that was stupid. Talib needs to take the entire defense out to dinner for holding the Bears for three more downs. It didn’t get back the time that was wasted, but at least they had a shot.

And Ronde Barber owes Talib a kick in the balls for making that sack irrelevant on the first third down. Barber almost took the snap from center, that’s how fast he came off the ball. It was an incredible play that was completely overshadowed by Talib’s loose cannon. That was Ronde’s 27th career sack. He’s a cornerback. That’s insane.

Oh, and Ronde got the first safety of his career on Sunday, too. It was a big day for him. The Bucs did a write-up on it here.

How many tackles did Quincy Black miss? A thousand? Start Dekoda Watson. He has the physical specimen thing down and he is a more sure tackler.

Adam Hayward is mad at the world for some reason and he’s taking it out on opponents, which is awesome. He laid a couple dudes out on Sunday.

Adrian Clayborn owned his blocker. Some players have regressed since the preseason, but Clayborn is one of the few that has gotten steadily better. I wasn’t sold on him during the draft, but I’m becoming a believer.

This game seemed pretty typical of the Bucs this season. Start out slow and count on Freeman to pull out a miracle at the last second. I think we’ve all said that they can’t keep that up forever, and it looks like we’re right. It’s not a recipe for long-term success and that’s the mantra this team has been chanting for three years now. Building from the ground up so they can have a consistent winner. But winning consistently comes with playing consistently and scoring consistently, not sucking for three quarters and then magically scoring four touchdowns.

Okay, I’ve waited long enough to post this. Your thoughts in the comments.