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Posts Tagged ‘buccaneer history’

Doug Williams Getting Some Love

February 12, 2013 at 01:22am by Scott   •  1 Comment »

If Williams is the black Joe Namath, then Namath is the white Jason Campbell.

Did you know there was a timeline of Doug Williams‘s career on NFL.com? I’m going to go ahead and say it’s for Black History Month and not because Williams died and I missed it. That would be kind of embarrassing.

Each slide comes with extra videos or photos, some of which already existed and only tangentially have anything to do with Williams. But some are really good and the best is the Doug Williams Scrapbook, which is a fascinating tour through his time at Grambling. A couple different articles refer to Williams as the “Black Joe Namath”, which I would find insulting if I were Williams. Not because of the racial thing, but just because Williams was better than Namath. Better arm, better accuracy and better mobility. By which I mean ANY mobility at all. The only thing holding Namath’s knees together was venereal disease.

I don’t know if his name ever comes up in the discussions, but it seems like Williams would be a good candidate for a Hall of Fame induction. Not necessarily because of his stats on the field. I don’t think he has near what he would need to get in on that basis. But for historic reasons, they might want to consider it. Can you tell the story of the NFL without Doug Williams? Fritz Pollard is in as a player, but not because he was a particularly exceptional player, but because of his historical significance. Williams getting drafted in the first round was a big deal. Starting and winning a Super Bowl was an even bigger deal. Just because we are almost 100 years removed from the founding of the league doesn’t mean that we’ve stopped reaching milestones that deserve some recognition. I’m not saying I’m 100% on board with him getting into Canton just yet, just that it’s probably time to have the discussion.

Sapp One Step Closer

January 14, 2013 at 12:22am by Scott   •  4 Comments »

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The 15 finalists for this year’s Hall of Fame class were published on Friday. Warren Sapp made it as a first-year eligible while John Lynch will have to wait. And that’s probably the way it should be.

Lynch was excellent at his job; one of the best while he was playing. He should probably get in one day. But Sapp really did fundamentally change the way people think about the three-technique defensive tackle. He defined the position and was the whole reason the Tampa 2 could work the way it did for the Bucs in the 90s and 2000s. I honestly can’t think of a good reason to keep him out of the Hall for his first year of eligibility.

Here is everyone else:

Jonathan Ogden (first year eligible)
Larry Allen (first year eligible)
Michael Strahan (first year eligible)
Jerome Bettis
Cris Carter
Tim Brown
Andre Reed
Will Shields
Charles Haley
Kevin Greene
Aeneas Williams
Eddie DeBartalo
Art Modell
Bill Parcells

A maximum of five can go in each year. Allen has make the cut. Has to. He is the Jerry Rice of guards. If Allen doesn’t get in on his first year, the whole process is fucked and I have no use for the Hall of Fame. It’s probably time for Haley to go in as well. He’s the only man with five Super Bowl rings. Carter has waited long enough, too. He was better than Reed or Brown. And I’d also like to see Parcells get in, but just because I love the guy. And I understand the arguments against him. He won two Super Bowls, but so did Tom Flores and no one is nominating him. But can you tell the story of the NFL without mentioning Parcells?

So those are my five: Allen, Sapp, Haley, Carter, Parcells. Next year, Ogden and I suppose Strahan should get in (although I’ve always thought Strahan was just a little overrated). I’m not sure about the two owners. Just because you’re an owner doesn’t instantly mean you should get into the Hall. DeBartalo turned around a franchise and I could see him making it. Modell was loved then hated then loved then hated then loved, but what did he… do? He didn’t preside over the Browns when they were dominating the AAFC. He drafted Jim Brown. Is that enough to get in?

REAR ENTRIES: Christmas Leftovers

December 27, 2012 at 11:43pm by Scott   •  3 Comments »

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MCCOY TO PRO BOWL: Gerald McCoy was the only Buccaneer selected to the Pro Bowl this season, a nice reward for a quality season. I thought he had been a little inconsistent, having had a couple bad games here and there. But the Bucs were a bad team for a good chunk of the season and it’s not like McCoy is going to win any popularity contests with any group of voters, so he must have been elected for his performance. Either that or they think the intensity with which the Bucs have rush the passer over the last couple games would be a perfect fit for the Pro Bowl.

Vincent Jackson and Doug Martin were selected as first alternates. And it’s a damn crime that Victor Cruz got in and Jackson didn’t. Jackson’s numbers are superior to Cruz’s in every category except “Number of Touchdown Celebrations That Got Old After About Six Games”.

HISTORICALLY BAD: Ira Kaufman posted a fun little factoid today that puts the Bucs’ defense in perspective.

If the Falcons throw for 252 yards or more Sunday, the 2012 Bucs will have surrendered the most passing yards in the NFL’s 93-year history

That stat doesn’t mean as much as Kaufman is implying since teams didn’t really start passing the ball so much until Don Coryell made it fashionable. But still, that’s a lot of years and a lot of yards. You can lay the blame on a lot of people, but Ron Cooper has to be at the front of the line. This may be what that player meant when he was talking about coaches going back to college.

FUCK YOU LOMAS BROWN: Lomas Brown was briefly a Buccaneer, so there is a Tampa Bay tie-in, but I honestly would have written about this anyway. Last week, Brown admitted that he one time intentionally whiffed on a block in 1994 so Scott Mitchell would get knocked out of the game because he was performing badly.

“We were playing Green Bay in Milwaukee,” Brown said. “We were getting beat, 24-3, at that time and he just stunk up the place. He’s throwing interceptions, just everything. So I looked at Kevin Glover, our All-Pro center and I said, ‘Glove, that is it.’ I said, ‘I’m getting him out the game.’ . . . So I got the gator arms on the guy at the last minute, he got around me, he hit Scott Mitchell, he did something to his finger . . . and he came out the game. [Lions backup quarterback] Dave Krieg came in the game.”

Very few things make me stare at the computer screen with my mouth agape, but this did it. I was completely floored not only that this happened, but that Brown is proud enough of it to recall it on the radio and not be apologetic or regretful about it at all. Oh, he kind of said something about regret a week later, but it was weak and hollow and I’m sure only said because the wrath of everybody who cares at all about football poured down on him after his admission. It’s one of the worst things I can think of that can happen on the football field — to intentionally betray the honor code of the game for the purpose of getting a teammate hurt. “Despicable” doesn’t begin to cover it. His name should be immediately removed from any Hall of Fame consideration and Scott Mitchell should be able to break Brown’s finger.

Wait, no. That’s not good enough. Mitchell needed that finger to do his job. Brown doesn’t need his finger to be an analyst except to jam it in his ass during commercial breaks. So Mitchell should be able to punch (lefty, natch) Brown in the throat so he has to sit out of his job for a few weeks and let someone else come in and replace him and do a better job. And even that wouldn’t be enough, but at least it would partially satisfy my need for vengeance. And I think we can agree that I’m the real victim here.

Now It’s A Party

December 06, 2012 at 12:54am by Scott   •  7 Comments »

I swear I got this image from a collection called the '50 Most Punchable Faces in Sports'.
Two more names have been added to the attendee list of the 2002 Super Bowl reunion: Monte Kiffin and Keyshawn Johnson. And these additions really beg the question, what the hell is Ken Dilger doing that’s so important?

Kiffin suddenly has a lot of free time since he “resigned” from the University of Southern California. Apparently they figured out the Tampa 2 in the PAC-12 and rather than wait around for his own son to fire him, he bailed to “pursue NFL opportunities”. Now, I haven’t heard anyone clamoring for Monte this season, but there will be a couple top-down housecleanings in the NFL, so it’s not unreasonable that he gets some play as a DC or even a position coach in the offseason. But let’s not pretend this is a career move at 72. ANYWAY, he’s coming to Tampa for the reunion and I would pay to see if he and Warren Sapp ever get within 15 feet of each other after Sapp buried Kiffin in his book. If you’re attending the game this Sunday, PLEASE pay attention to those two and post something here about how it went down.

Speaking of people that Sapp hung out to dry in his book, Keyshawn was finally able to finagle some time in his busy busy schedule to make the trip.

Johnson, a wide receiver who now works for ESPN, was not on the original list of alumni but was later able to arrange with his bosses to make the trip.

Oh no! What will ESPN do without Keyshawn’s keen takes on the NFL like when he said Peyton Manning was a dome quarterback and couldn’t play outside or when he blamed the Bengals for when Chad Johnson got arrested this year? Yes, I’m sure the ESPN bosses were really torn on this decision. Jon Gruden is the host of Monday Night Football (for ESPN no less) and has a game to call the next day and he was still the first one to RSVP that he’d be in Tampa for the anniversary, so don’t tell me Keyshawn had some major scheduling conflict with the Monday Night Countdown bosses. I’m pretty sure Steve Young just runs Keyshawn’s mouth by remote with an iPad anyway.

Johnson > Williams

November 16, 2012 at 12:30am by Scott   •  8 Comments »

An article on Brad Johnson = Boring week
There’s nothing going on with the Bucs today that qualifies as news or even interesting, so here’s a mostly historical piece from Pat Yasinskas that compares what’s going on with the offense now with the offenses of the past. And as you might guess, it compares very favorably.

What’s happened in the past five games has vaulted the Bucs into the league lead in average yards per play (6.21). They’re averaging 28.9 points per game, which ranks them behind only New England (see Brady, Tom) and Denver (see Manning, Peyton). Speaking of Peyton Manning, he’s second in the league with an average of 8.20 yards per pass attempt. Freeman is No. 1 at 8.27.

There are some interesting nuggets in the piece and it’s worth a read, but I had to take issue with one part.

Even back during the first rise to prominence (1979), Tampa Bay was much more defined by Lee Roy Selmon and the defense than it was by the offense and Doug Williams.

Speaking of Williams, he was the best quarterback in franchise history — until Freeman’s emergence.

That’s just not true. Williams is fondly remembered because he was tough and gritty and brought the Bucs from worst to first and won a Super Bowl for the Redskins. But as a quarterback for the Bucs, Brad Johnson win hands down. Williams had a Buccaneer passer rating of 66.2, Johnson had 83.2. Williams’s completion percentage was 47.4, Johnson’s was 61.8. Williams threw 73 TDs and 73 INTs in five years while in four years Johnson threw 64 TDs and 41 INTs. And Johnson has a Super Bowl ring with a Bucs logo on it. After Freeman gets his fourth season behind him, we can compare him with the others and see if Freeman makes the jump to the top of the heap. But before him, you have to go with The Bull.

REAR ENTRIES: Secrets And Lies

October 19, 2012 at 11:27am by Scott   •  4 Comments »

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HI MOM!: Mike Williams talks about how his mother helped teach him how to go up and grab balls that seemed too high to catch.

Mary Rosenthal had the best of intentions, but throwing a football with accuracy just wasn’t among her strengths.

So years ago, when she insisted on playing catch with her young son, current Bucs receiver Mike Williams, she routinely overthrew him. It forced Williams to reach for the sky to come down with the wayward passes.

“Before I even knew how to run a route, I knew how to go up and get the ball,” Williams said.

An article about moms and grabbing balls? It’s days like this I really miss Joe. And his mom.

SPILL IT, NICKS: Carl Nicks, who came from the Saints this offseason, has decided not to share any of his former team’s secrets or weaknesses the week before his current team plays them.

“I’m a firm believer in playing fair and being honest and the code,” Nicks said Wednesday.

“It’s cheating, and I’m not about that. I know they’re not about that. I want to be able to sit there and say, ‘We beat you guys fair and square.’ “

I’m a firm believer in playing fair, too, but is that really cheating? I kind of assumed that when a player plays his former team, he gives his current team any information they want. You think Elbert Mack is keeping his mouth shut now that he’s in New Orleans? Granted, the Bucs have all new schemes now and Mack wouldn’t be able to help much, but he knows a lot of the players and what they’re good at and can probably tell them something. With free agency, someone is always playing their former team. It’s up to coaches to protect themselves against being too predictable and using the same old terminology and signals. Sorry, Carl, you need to give up the secrets. March right into Greg Schiano‘s office and tell him Drew Brees‘s real name so the Bucs can say it during the game and make him go away.

CHARGES AGAINST STEVENS DROPPED: Have you thought about Jerramy Stevens even once since he was cut? Me neither, but he still lives in Tampa and is still having fun with the law. This time, though, charges were dropped against him for an alleged 2011 face-punching. You know your life hasn’t gone as planned when the “Legal Troubles” section of your Wiki page is longer than the “Professional Career” section.

Sapp Should Be A First-Ballot HOFer

September 28, 2012 at 10:27am by Scott   •  4 Comments »

Rich Gannon had to get PTSD counseling after this game.
The first round of nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame 2013 induction came out yesterday and has some very notable first-time names on it:

DT Sam Adams
G Larry Allen
K Morten Andersen
RB Priest Holmes
S John Lynch
WR Keenan McCardell
QB Steve McNair
C Tom Nalen
T Jonathan Ogden
DT Warren Sapp
DE Michael Strahan
DT Ted Washington
DT Bryant Young

The Hall can induct no more than seven players per season and there’s a large backlog of worthy players waiting to get in, so first-year nominees have to really be something special. And although there are several players on that list who should eventually get in (sorry, Keenan, you’re not one of them), there are two who absolutely have to go in right away. And one of them is our very own Warren Sapp.

I’ve been hard on Sapp for the last year or so, but none of that had anything to do with the way he played football. Sapp was the gear that made the entire Tampa 2 defense go. It requires a fast, strong and smart defensive tackle getting quick penetration up the middle, and Sapp was the prototype. With a lesser DT in that position, the whole scheme falls apart. Go back and watch old games of Sapp in his prime. It’s a thing of beauty. A nice, clean pocket never forms for the quarterback; it’s always this mess of bodies jabbing and holding and trying desperately to get back in position. You know those insurance commercials about mayhem? That was Sapp. Mayhem embodied. Just like Lawrence Taylor in the 1980s, coaches had to come up with new schemes to combat Sapp. He changed the way the game is played. He may very well be the best defensive tackle ever. I’m sure you’d get a couple arguments from some Cowboy fans over Bob Lilly or Randy White and maybe there’s an argument to be made for John Randle or Mean Joe Greene, but Sapp is, at the very least, a major player in that conversation. And he deserves to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. If he doesn’t go in this time, it would only be because he made enemies in the press and they’re making him wait out of spite. And that would be bullshit.

The other guy on that list who deserves to go in his first year is Larry Allen. And there is a really, really strong case to be made for Allen being the best guard in NFL history. I can’t imagine him not getting a unanimous pass to the Class of 2013.

If the Hall puts more than two first-ballot guys in (and it probably shouldn’t with the backlog they have), you’d have to say either Strahan or Ogden makes the cut. And I think there’s a spot for Lynch in Canton at some point, but he’s going to have to wait a while. He may even go in after Derrick Brooks, who should also be a first-ballot guy.

Mark Dominik Is Clairvoyant

August 31, 2012 at 04:58pm by Scott   •  3 Comments »

I didn't get the pick because I got high.
At some point we’re going to have to accept the possibility that Mark Dominik can see into the future. It’s the easiest explanation for his uncanny ability to know exactly when to let a player go. Latest example: Tanard Jackson.

Tough loss for the Redskins, safety Tanard Jackson has been informed he’s been suspended indefinitely with a review in a year for violation of NFL Drug Policy. He’s still trying to appeal

A lot of people thought Jackson deserved another chance based on his talent. Dominik knew it was time to move on, and he did. Dominik may not get every draft pick exactly right, but no one does since everyone goes into the draft with a lot of unknowns about how a player will do in the NFL. But once a player is part of the team, Dominik keeps his eyes and ears open and knows when a player is going to be too much of a pain in the ass to hold onto. Which is why I’m done second-guessing the Amobi Okoye release. If Dominik is done with him, so am I. Let’s keep track of how many games Okoye plays in the rest of his career, and how many of them he was effective in. I’ll bet it’s really small.

And still, good luck to Jackson. I really hope he finds the help he needs to beat this.

REAR ENTRIES: White Guys On The Move

August 21, 2012 at 12:10am by Scott   •  11 Comments »

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BUCS CLAIM SHIPLEY: The Bucs responded to the complete dearth of wide receiver receptions in the Titans game by claiming Jordan Shipley off waivers on Monday. Shipley is a receiver I thought would be a good addition as a rookie since he had attended the University of Texas for about 14 years and had a great track record there. Comparisons to Wes Welker were being thrown around mostly because he is white, but also because he’s really white.

Two seasons ago, Shipley had 52 receptions for 600 yards and three touchdowns with a long of 64 (two times). He spent most of last season on IR after tearing his ACL. If he can make a full recovery from that, he has the potential to be better than Sammie Stroughter or Preston Parker. The bad news is that he doesn’t play a lot of special teams, something both Stroughter and Parker do. Something else Shipley doesn’t do is fumble. Parker put the ball on the ground eight times last year. Shipley has a real chance to make the team but should have started growing his hair in 2004 if he wanted a chance to overtake Tiquan Underwood on the depth chart.

SAINTS TRADE FOR RUUD: Tonight the Saints traded an undisclosed draft pick to the Seahawks for Barrett Ruud. With Jonathan Vilma suspended for the season and Curtis Lofton out with an ankle injury, Ruud has a chance of getting some playing time early in the regular season. But the Bucs don’t play the Saints until October 21 and Lofton will be back by then, which is a shame because the Bucs’ running game really could have used the boost.

GRUDEN ON HBO: Jon Gruden will appear on Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on HBO tomorrow night. Below is the preview for the episode. I really want to see it, but I don’t get HBO so I’m going to have to wait until about 30 minutes after it has aired to pull it off of a torrent site. What a pain in the ass. I mean, they’re charging us to watch Bryant Gumbel? Hell, a $2.00 credit should appear on your bill every time they air his voice. A $2.00 credit and a sincere apology. Fuck that guy.

Mark Barron Can Sit Anywhere Now

July 26, 2012 at 05:48pm by Scott   •  10 Comments »

Nothing snarky this time. Good luck, Brian.
On the first day of training camp, the Bucs traded Brian Price to Chicago for a low-round 2013 pick. In case any players thought Greg Schiano wasn’t serious, they should take those doubts, shoot them in the face and bury them in the back yard.

My guess is that Price showed up to camp out of shape, but that seems like something that could be overcome. He certainly wouldn’t have been the first. It seems extra-harsh with all the tragedy Price has gone through, most recently (as in a few months ago) the loss of his sister which affected him so profoundly that he had to be hospitalized. But the team and Price may have come to an agreement that we don’t know about and there may not be any hard feelings. Whatever the reason is, that’s another second round pick gone. Da’Quan Bowers, hurt; Brian Price, traded; Kellen Winslow, traded; Dexter Jackson, waste of space; Arron Sears, tragically vegetative. The second round is the money round. That’s where some of the biggest bargains are, and the Bucs have whiffed on it for years. Jeremy Trueblood is arguably the most successful Buccaneer second-round pick of the millenium. Maybe I should be nicer to him.

The good news is that Amobi Okoye will come off the PUP list tomorrow, so he will be able to fill in right away assuming he takes Price’s spot. Price was playing nose for most of his career, and that seems like a mismatch for Okoye, but who knows what Schiano and his defensive staff have in mind. I like the idea of two fast and athletic first-rounders anchoring the middle of the line. Also, Adam Hayward will come of the PUP list tomorrow.

While they were at it, the Bucs released Dezmon Briscoe. The Bucs had a shitload of wide receivers, but Briscoe was one that I was pretty sure would stick. He was said to be somewhat sloppy in OTAs, but we all knew what he could do on gameday. The rub there is that Schiano doesn’t give a shit what you did on gameday in any other season; he wants to see what you’re bringing to the table today. Briscoe didn’t bring enough, and now he’s on the market. Remember when Mark Dominik overpaid him a practice squad salary just to get him on the team? Yeah, Schiano doesn’t care about that, either. Somewhere in a training camp dorm, Sammie Stroughter is thanking Jesus and rubbing a lucky charm bracelet.