Josh Freeman

Posts Tagged ‘can you believe someone got paid to write this shit?’

And The Preseason Bashing Starts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eat me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Because The Bowers Story Is All That’s Going On

February 20, 2013 at 11:43pm by Scott   •  2 Comments »

And what's with this food on the airline? Who do you need to shoot to get a decent chicken piccata?
Martin Fennelly wrote a piece about the Da’Quan Bowers incident. And although he pretty much has the same opinion of the thing that I do, I can’t help but still hate him. Mostly for lines like this:

By the way, it’s just as well they threw him in the hoosegow before he got to the security check point. Word is that Bowers was also carrying more than 3.4 ounces of shampoo, and not in a 1 quart/liter zip-top bag.

Because airport security jokes about liquids are timeless.

You know, maybe he didn’t even realize at first it was a gun he packed.

Let me see … socks, yes, underwear, three pairs, shirts, pants, shaving kit, hair dryer, hair dryer ammunition …”

“Hair dryer ammunition” actually made me laugh. You know, maybe there’s some kernel of something funny in his pieces that I just keep missing.

And then there’s Bowers’ playing career. He was a second-round pick in 2011, overcame a knee injury, and then an Achilles tendon injury. He managed three sacks in 2012. The Bucs are waiting on this defensive end’s breakout.

They just didn’t know it was going to have to be out of C Block.

Never mind.

Fennelly also conveys a story about accidentally leaving a knife in a backpack and trying to get it through security. TSA catches him, chastises him and then sends him on his way. I kind of dozed in and out while I was reading it, but the moral I took from it is that Fennelly is a terrorist and must be stopped.

Bowers’ arrest is news the Bucs didn’t need. Schiano had cleared the decks of gun slinger Aqib Talib. Bowers is no Talib, by any stretch, but this is still a mess.

No it isn’t. It’s going to be fine. Bowers probably won’t get any more than a stern talking-to. I know nothing else is going on in Bucland, but we don’t have to make shit up. Just do like I do and leave your site vacant and unchanged for days on end.

Stop Picking On Mark Dominik

January 10, 2013 at 11:21pm by Scott   •  5 Comments »

Mark Domink conducts his annual hand-shaking seminar.
Now that the Bucs have cycled through a roster and also a coaching staff, Tom Jones thinks that the next head to roll if the team doesn’t improve soon is Mark Dominik‘s.

Dominik took over as GM in January 2009, and the Bucs haven’t made the playoffs in his four seasons. Granted, he took over a team that was in rough shape. He was forced to take on a coach (Raheem Morris) who was nowhere near ready to be a head coach. He hasn’t always been given enough money by the Glazers to stock his roster with talent.

Still, no playoffs since he was in put in charge.

Hey, the Bucs also haven’t won a playoff game since they moved to their new headquarters. Maybe it’s the building’s fault! You can only blame Dominik for the players he acquires or lets go. If the Bucs were to fire Dominik, they would be saying that someone else can bring in better players. And I can’t think of anyone better right now that would be available. Who would Jones want? Mike Lombardi? I like his analysis on NFL Network, but his big resumé items, Cleveland and Oakland, all went through terrible losing spells before he was finally fired. Charlie Casserly? Casserly is certifiably senile. And if anybody says Scott Pioli, please go stick your dick in a beehive. Pioli should have had a bench warrant issued on him for what he did to Kansas City. Dominik looks like the love child of Don Shula and Bill Belichick next to those guys.

Enjoy that visual.

Give Dominik some credit. He has done a decent job with the draft. He picked Freeman, Gerald McCoy, Roy Miller, Mike Williams and Mason Foster, among others. His 2012 draft, which includes Mark Barron, Doug Martin and Lavonte David, is off to a spectacular start.

All good picks, but it doesn’t take a lot of skill to pick a good first rounder. Dominik’s real talent is finding the hidden gems like Erik Lorig in the seventh round and turning him into a fullback. Or E.J. Biggers in the seventh. Or stealing Da’Quan Bowers for a second. Not to mention his undrafted pickups like LeGarrette Blount or Ted Larsen. None of these guys will have their busts in Canton, but they’ve all contributed a lot, especially when it looked like the depth chart was bare.

Given some cash to play with, Dominik was able to make a splash in free agency by signing Vincent Jackson and Carl Nicks.

Soooooo, Dominik is on the hot seat, why?

Yet, the playoffs remain out of reach. This is a fact: The Bucs are 24-40 since Dominik has been GM. Scott Pioli was fired by Kansas City on Friday after the Chiefs went 23-41 during his tenure as GM.

Pioli’s drafts were shit except for 2010 and he left them with no quarterback. That’s the ultimate sin right there — no QB = no hope. The teams have similar records, but Tampa Bay’s woes can be laid squarely on the coaching from 2009-2011. Josh Freeman may be under some scrutiny right now, but at least they have someone that resembles a franchise quarterback. Kansas City is starting pretty much from scratch.

Unless the Bucs completely fall apart next season and win only two or three games, Schiano’s job is safe beyond next season. Freeman’s play next season will determine if he returns after 2013.

However, you get the feeling that next season is more crucial for Dominik than anyone else.

If Dominik made a mistake this season, it was in the secondary where the starters really should have been on practice squads. But Mark Barron gives them an anchor at safety. And with a high pick this draft at corner (you ARE going to pick a corner high this year, right, Mark?) he should have a nice anchor there. If he fills in the pieces with free agents and hard-working scrubs, we should see an improvement in 2013. I mean, it can’t possibly get worse, right?

It won’t be his fault if key stars get hurt. It won’t be his fault if defensive backs get caught popping Adderall. It won’t be his fault if Freeman turns into Mark Sanchez.

Why am I writing this entry? You’re making my point for me.

But, who will be blamed if the Bucs miss the playoffs for a sixth straight season? Dominik’s name likely will be first on the list.

Not really, no. And there is no public outcry to fire Dominik because the fans see the talent on the team. If Greg Schiano turns out to be shitty, things will get ugly for Dominik then because he would have hired two bad head coaches. But until then, you have to go by the quality of the players. Hell, the trade up for Martin by itself should buy him a couple years. This team needs three things: a quality quarterbacks coach, an elite cornerback, and healthy linemen. Everything else is looking pretty good and Dominik was a big part of it. Just because he’s the last one standing after a large turnover doesn’t mean he’s the next in line. But can newspapers work that way? Because that would be awesome.

Enjoy Your Moment

December 13, 2012 at 01:07am by Scott   •  1 Comment »

Ladies, listen to me. You always look worse with short hair. Every single time.
It sucks when the Bucs have a bad game because the analysts who get off on being constantly negative about the team finally have solid points to make. It’s like the old saying that even broken clocks are right twice a day. Except instead of clocks, it’s bastards.

But Tom Jones and Martin Fennelly both wrote pieces on Sunday’s Eagles game that were fair. Jones’s article was the better one, if only because he didn’t seem to take as much glee in the loss this time.

No question that Bucs QB Josh Freeman had his worst performance since his 10-completion game in a Week 3 loss to the Cowboys. He was 14-of-34 for 189 yards, and 40 of those came on one throw. He didn’t throw an interception, but that was because many of his throws weren’t close to ANYONE.

Pretty much, yeah. He goes on to point out that Freeman has been inconsistent for a few games now, making his article on how the Bucs should sign Freeman to an extension NOW seem somewhat premature. I thought he was right, but I’m always premature. Ask any girl I’ve ever dated.

But Fennelly’s article is almost jubilant in calling out Greg Schiano for his third-and-eight call to run the ball.

They ran on third and eight.

Ran.

Then they stood or kneeled and they waited near the end zone for the replay to be reviewed. It should never have come to that. They had to know what was coming next: what they deserved. They’d blown it.

It’s not like no coach has ever said, “We’re going to punt and put the game in our defense’s hands” before. Granted, this particular defense is trying to defend the pass by yelling really mean things in the football’s direction. And this particular defense has defensive backs on it that would otherwise be on the practice squad if it wasn’t for trades and injuries and just run of the mill shittiness involving other players. But it’s Nick Foles. Surely Schiano must have thought they could fend off Nick Foles for a couple minutes. Nothing good has ever come out of Arizona. Why would Foles be the first?

“There were two ways to play it,” Schiano said.

Yes, there were.

“You could try to throw the ball,” Schiano said. “We decided to run the ball and make sure they use their timeout or let it tick.”

You have to go for it there, you have to take a shot, bad as Josh Freeman is right now, try a pass play to, say, Vincent Jackson (131 yards, one TD).

Just a crazy idea there, I guess.

And if Freeman had thrown a pick-six, Fennelly would have been down Schiano’s throat for putting the game in his hands when he was having such a bad day. Doug Martin had just run for 128 yards on the day. Yes, it was a conservative call. Yes, it was Martyball. Yes, it was playing not to lose. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t. But a whole article on it? I would have passed on that down, so I guess I ultimately agree with him. But the fact that it’s Fennelly makes me want to disagree so much. He could be filmed with a pink ribbon on his shirt and I would try to find a reason why breast cancer isn’t so bad.

Everything Good You Feel Is A Lie

November 21, 2012 at 10:58am by Scott   •  15 Comments »

Doug Martin, you have accomplished nothing with your 1,000 yards rushing so far.
Everybody feeling good about the win on Sunday? Everybody in a good mood heading into Thanksgiving? Well, Tom Jones hates you and wants to ruin all that. Prepare to have your turkey stuffed with handfuls of negativity and bile. And raisins!

Don’t be fooled by what you’re watching. Don’t get too carried away with the 6-4 record. Hold off on those postseason dreams just for a moment.

We’ve seen this before.

Remember 2010? The Bucs went 10-6 and we all swallowed the bait, thinking it was the start of something great in Tampa Bay.

So you should know that anything good you’re feeling is wrong and should be snuffed out immediately.

Look, I’m not trying to rain on the parade here, but, at the very least, let this be a cautionary tale.

Yes you are. That’s the entire intent of this article. Except we’re not throwing a parade. We all know what happened in 2010 and are well aware that this is a team in transition. But can’t we just enjoy the wins? Does everything have to be a fucking lesson?

Think about it. Whom has this team beaten to make you think it is that good? I want to believe this team has moved into the upper echelon of the NFL and I want to point to a big victory as proof. But that victory just isn’t there.

What the Bucs should do is just insist on playing the Patriots every week.

One victory came against the Chiefs, who have won once and might be the worst team in professional football. Another came in a wild shootout against the 3-7 Raiders and another came against the 4-6 Chargers. There are two victories against the two-win Panthers, each by six points.

The Bucs are winning the games they’re supposed to win. They weren’t doing that last year. I call it positive progress. I assume when Jones’s kid brings home an ‘A’ on an algebra test, he tells him he hasn’t gotten to the REAL math and chastises him for not having conquered calculus yet.

Oh, speaking of beating Carolina on Sunday: Should we be gushing about the Bucs winning a game in which they blew a 10-point lead then needed a late field goal, followed by a defensive stop, a perfect throw-and-catch touchdown, a two-point conversion, a coin flip and an overtime touchdown to beat a team that can’t seem to get through a week without firing someone?

This. This right here. This is the perfect illustration of his perspective. The Bucs didn’t overcome a 10-point deficit to rally for an exciting overtime win where Josh Freeman played perfectly at the time his team needed him most. No, the Panthers blew a 10-point lead and needed everything to line up just right to keep from blowing the game. Same exact story, but how he tells it lets me know where he stands on the Bucs. He hates them and always has.

The best victory? Probably that Thursday night win at Minnesota on three days’ rest. The Vikings are 6-4, but you watch, by season’s end, the Vikings will not have a winning record.

Because regardless of your record, you’re only a good team if you’re on Tom’s special list of acceptable teams to win against. “You are what your record says you are” only applies if you don’t play the Bucs.

The quarterbacks the Bucs have beaten aren’t exactly a murderers’ row of signal callers. More like a murmurs’ row: a sophomore-slumping Cam Newton, Christian Ponder, Brady Quinn, Carson Palmer and Philip Rivers, who has been just awful this season. These five quarterbacks have thrown a combined 46 interceptions.

All first-round picks. Newton was just Rookie of the Year and the Bucs beat him twice. Now, you want a list of terrible quarterbacks? Try Chris Redman, Randy Fasani, Henry Burris, Akili Smith and Mike McMahon on for size. Yeah, those 2002 Buccaneers were real poseurs and didn’t beat anyone good. THEY NEVER PROVED ANYTHING!

Meantime, the Bucs’ four losses have come against teams with a combined record of 20-20. They lost to a pair of 5-5 teams (Saints and Cowboys) who are better than their records. They’ve played four teams with a .500 record or better and beaten only one. They’ve played four really good quarterbacks — Eli Manning, Tony Romo, Drew Brees and Robert Griffin III — and lost to all of them.

Heavens to betsy! You’re telling me that the Bucs are winning against bad teams and losing to good teams? Whoever heard of such a thing? What he’s describing is a halfway decent team. A halfway decent team in its first year under a rookie head coach with entirely new offensive and defensive schemes. And, they haven’t lost a game by more than 7 points but have won by margins of 28 and 19. No credit at all for the good things from Tom. It’s either Super Bowl or go fuck yourselves.

The 2012 Bucs are more talented, better coached and would flat-out hammer the 2010 Bucs. But the comparison shouldn’t be between the 2012 and 2010 Bucs.

Did you not read the article you just wrote? You’re the one who made the comparison!

What matters is how the 2012 Bucs stack up against the rest of the NFL, and we’ll have a better indication starting this week.

They play the Falcons, a team that might not be as good as its 9-1 record but is certainly the best team the Bucs have faced this season.

He’s already taking something away from it. The Bucs could beat a 9-1 Falcons team on Sunday and he has already said they are not as good as their record, so really it wasn’t as big a win as you would think. The game hasn’t even been played and he’s already got the negative spin going.

Then comes a trip to Denver in what appears to be the most difficult game on the schedule. After that, they still have road games left against both the Saints and the Falcons.

These are the games that will tell us just how far the Bucs have come. Beat Atlanta. Beat Denver. Beat New Orleans. Heck, beat one or two of them. Then maybe you have something.

“Then maybe you have something.” I know the Bucs think they’ve won games, but they haven’t. All those weeks of preparation and practicing, all the sweating and hitting and film study… it was all bullshit. They have accomplished nothing and have nothing to be proud of. They might as well have played high school teams.

I can’t believe people think like this. Seriously.

It’s not the Bucs’ fault that they’ve beaten a bunch of lousy teams. They don’t pick the schedule. And winning any game in the NFL is tough stuff no matter whom you play. This isn’t fishing. In the NFL, you don’t throw wins back, no matter the opponent or performance. In the end, the NFL doesn’t count how, it counts how many.

He just spent the entire article saying the opposite. And now he’s softening it up because it isn’t a smart move to tell a bunch of 200-400 pound athletes wearing armor that they haven’t accomplished anything.

But here’s the point in all of this:

OH THANK YOU JESUS.

We really don’t know yet how good this team is. We won’t until it beats a decent team. Until then, don’t get sucked into the hype like we all did in 2010.

Who is getting sucked into hype? We’re just fucking happy. It’s what happens after a win, but you wouldn’t know that because you hate the team and don’t give a shit if they win or lose and write your petty negative bullshit because it gets more pageviews than anything positive you could write. NO ONE THINKS THIS IS A SUPER BOWL TEAM! JUST LET US BE HAPPY!

Back in 2010, the Bucs went 10-6. But here’s the rub: they were 9-1 against teams below .500 and 1-5 against teams above .500. The organization either grossly overestimated its talent or became too cocky. The result was that it was completely fooled by 2010 and completely unprepared for 2011. It made no significant offseason moves, and it ended up going 4-12.

This is the only paragraph I agree with. That’s exactly what happened. The message to management is to keep improving regardless of how good you think your team is because if you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse. Thank God we have a prophet like Tom Jones to tell us these words of wisdom that no one has ever uttered before ever.

Those in charge over at One Buc Place need to closely evaluate how this team plays against the big boys such as the Falcons, Broncos and Saints over the next few weeks. That way, even if the Bucs lose, recent bad history will not repeat itself.

Do you hear that, Mark Dominik? You need to closely evaluate this team. I know normally you do the groundskeeping work and check the hemlines on the cheerleader skirts, but could you do us all a favor and watch the upcoming games and make decisions based on what you see? Tom Jones seems to think it’s a good idea, so you better take it seriously.

Enjoy the game this week, people. Enjoy it even though Tom doesn’t want you to. Root for the Bucs extra hard because you know if they lose, Tom will get than smug smile on his face that says “told you so”. And even though we already know the Bucs are a brand new team that has already exceeded our expectations and a loss wouldn’t devastate us like he thinks it would, I want him to have to write something good. Even though, you know, it’s just the 9-1 Falcons.

See Why I Don’t Read Stuff Anymore?

November 10, 2012 at 12:30am by Scott   •  8 Comments »

When Martin finds Fennelly, he's gonna beat his ass.
I was going to post a follow-up to the Doug Martin stuff from yesterday regarding his nickname based on this article by Martin Fennelly. So I started reading.

“I call him Dougie Fresh,” Freeman said.

There’s Dougie Fresh and then there’s Joshy Loose.

And then I stopped.

Schiano Already On Jones’s Hot Seat

September 25, 2012 at 03:39pm by Scott   •  8 Comments »

Hey look, a pass. Maybe Jones didn't see this one.
And so it has started. It took three games (two losses) for the second-guessing to start in earnest. Tom Jones wrote a piece today that takes aim straight at Greg Schiano for, well, everything wrong with the offense.

Point a finger at offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan, if you want, or quarterback Josh Freeman. You’ll find plenty of support on both counts. But the real culprit? How about the guy in charge? How about head coach Greg Schiano?

He’s the boss. He sets the agenda. Everyone reports to him.

True enough, but he’s really more of a defensive guy. He doesn’t call offensive plays, Sullivan does. You could also blame Mark Dominik for hiring Schiano or the Glazers for hiring Dominik and be technical right about who has ultimate blame, but neither of them directly affect the offense. Schiano does, but from what I know, not to a great degree.

But the more interesting question isn’t who is to blame but why is Schiano seemingly obsessed with playing so conservatively?

Oh, I can’t wait to hear your theories!

Schiano doesn’t trust Josh Freeman

From the start of the second half Sunday against the Cowboys until the two-minute warning, the Bucs trailed, yet they ran the ball on eight of nine first-down plays. Trailing by nine points with less than three minutes left, the Bucs called for a running play on first down.

That second part you can’t argue with. They had to pass from both a yardage and time-management perspective, but they didn’t. That was dumb, but not necessarily because Schiano (who doesn’t call the plays) doesn’t trust Freeman. As for running on first down when down in the second half, why would you abandon your game plan just because you’re down by three points at the half? We’ve known since April that this was going to be a team that runs first. It’s why Carl Nicks was brought in and Doug Martin was drafted. So, they continue running. When it works, we say the team is hard-nosed and blue-collar and tough. When it doesn’t work, the coach has lost faith in the quarterback? I call bullshit.

If you don’t allow your quarterback to throw on first and 10, what makes you think he’s going to be successful on third and 8?

Look, if I was calling plays, I probably would have thrown more on first down than they did. But this isn’t an offense molded like the Saints or the Packers. They’ve trained to run more than they pass. Everybody gets all misty-eyed when the Steelers run but somehow it’s a crime when the Bucs do it.

Schiano has turned Freeman into a robot, a caretaker instead of a playmaker, a quarterback too scared to make a mistake to make a play. Freeman seems to be handing off more than the ball when Schiano asks for one running play after another. He is handing off his swagger, his confidence, that something special that had many of us believing he was going to be a franchise quarterback.

Oh fuck you, dude. Number one, I don’t think it is that way. Freeman isn’t scared to do anything. I think they just want to be a hard-running team. And number two, even if it actually was that way, I wouldn’t blame Schiano. When Freeman throws, he throws off-target a lot of the time and he looks indecisive. I don’t know the ins and outs of it, so maybe it has to do with receivers running bad routes or playcalling or something else. But do you know who does know the ins and outs of it? Greg fucking Schiano. He has put in the time and should know by now what Freeman is capable of and how much he can trust him.

I love it when writers not only criticize what a coach or player does but also takes the extra time to figure out their motivations and tell us what is REALLY going on inside their heads because, as we all know, newspapers require that their sports writers have their Masters degrees in psychology before they’re given a beat.

And check this out: Schiano said Monday that Freeman usually has the freedom to audible but that the Bucs also have no-change plays. Can you imagine Peyton Manning or Drew Brees or any QB worth his weight walking up to the line, seeing a play that has no chance of working and not being able to audible out of it?

Can you imagine a coach taking the time throughout the week to establish a very precise game plan only to have it shot to shit when the quarterback goes rogue and runs a play that the coaches were saving for the fourth quarter after some very specific set-ups throughout the rest of the game?

Sorry, Freeman has not earned what Manning and Brees have earned. Those guys are practically coaches themselves. Making that comparison is nuts.

Schiano thinks he is still at Rutgers

As a college coach at Rutgers, Schiano, like many old-school college coaches, was a big believer in pounding the ball, winning the time of possession, imposing his team’s will on opponents. … That might work against Pitt or Louisville. That doesn’t work in the NFL. When an NFL team lines up to stop the run — as the Cowboys did Sunday — you know what happens? You can’t run, and you end up losing a bunch of 16-10 games.

Because nothing makes an offensive coach happier than doing what the defense dictates to them. That’s sure to earn respect around the league. Jones would be much happier covering the Arena League or a 7-man league where they don’t even have running plays.

Schiano is a micromanager

There are times you wonder if Schiano is more interested in the time of possession than the score. It seems as if he is more interested in (his) style points than actual points. It seems as if he is more interested in doing things his way just to show that his formula for winning proves he’s the smartest guy in the room. So far in his rookie NFL season it has proven only that he might be the most stubborn guy in the room.

Yeah, Schiano doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy who needs to be the smartest one in the room. That’s more guys like Mike Martz and Brian Billick, both of them considered offensive geniuses and world-class cockbags. And they love to pass the ball and come up with offensive plays that require a rosetta stone. Schiano doesn’t give a shit what anyone thinks of him.

That said, I understand he is a micromanager. And that would be unheard of in the coaching ranks of the NFL. From everything I’ve seen, NFL head coaches are totally lose and easy-going and just let life happen to them. “Foot technique isn’t all that important. Just go out there and wing it, man,” said exactly no one ever.

Schiano said if the Bucs had won Sunday, many would be saying: “Man, this is Bucs football: great defense, time of possession, winning the kicking game and you win. As it turns out, when you lose, it’s too conservative.”

Yeah, if it wasn’t for that pesky way the league determines results based on which team scores more points, the Bucs would be all set.

So every time you lose, throw your strategy and philosophy out the window and start fresh the next week. If you have a good scheme that Tom Jones approves of, YOU WILL NEVER EVER LOSE A GAME.

Final thought

You know what the offense’s problem is? It’s all these things. Schiano has yet to fully commit to Freeman. He still has a college mind-set. He is a micromanager. He’s stubborn.

You know what Tom’s problem is? He doesn’t like Schiano. At some point this summer, Tom Jones asked Schiano a question and got a snippy response that he wasn’t happy with, so now he’s going to bash him for every loss and ignore every win. It’s the same reason the press turned against Jon Gruden and Bruce Allen — they weren’t press-friendly. Schiano isn’t he warmest and fuzziest coach in the league, and for that he must PAY.

It takes a lot of balls to not only think you know what’s going on inside a guy’s head but then also criticize him on that assumption and then have the gall to make alternative recommendations. You know what those guys are called in regular life? Pricks. Schiano has coached three fucking games in the NFL. And his defense — the unit that he has the biggest hand in shaping — looked pretty damn good on Sunday. Yes, the offense sucked on Sunday. Yes, Schiano needs to take responsibility for the whole team. But it’s just a little bit early to not only tell him what he’s thinking but that his coaching philosophy is wrong and that a sportswriter is the one with all the answers.

REAR ENTRIES: Pregamin’

August 24, 2012 at 02:20pm by Scott   •  6 Comments »

rearentry140

SHIPLEY ON PUNT RETURNS AFTER ALL: If there was any doubt that Greg Schiano reads this blog and then takes time out of his day to personally mock me, it was erased yesterday. First I said last week that all the penalties the Bucs are committing are going to infuriate Schiano, then he declares that penalties aren’t so bad and he wants to have at least a few. Now, after my comment that Jordan Shipley doesn’t do special teams, we have this:

Look for Shipley to also field some punts, Schiano saying he has been a “natural under the ball in punt returns.” That’s where he might be able to help the team, which would not mind pushing Preston Parker because of his tendency to mishandle kicks.

Shipley said he would relish the chance to return punts.

Am I implying that just because I see this pattern that it’s all about me? No, I’m saying it outright. It’s all about me.

RETURNING FROM INJURY: Some of the players who were held out of or injured in previous games/practices should see some playing time tonight. LeGarrette Blount went down against the Titans and it looked bad for a minute, but it was just a strain on his groin and he’s okay now. Eric Wright left Tuesday’s practice with an unspecified injury (this guy’s medical file is guarded by the NSA), but he’s back. And Luke Stocker sat out most of this week’s practices with an acute case of awesomeness. He will also play tonight.

COUNTDOWN TO STUPIDITY: Greg Schiano installed a clock in the Bucs’ locker room that is counting down the time until the regular season kicks off — by tenths of a second. Which is fine. It’s better than toting around a rock or an ax or a ceramic orange dog (come on, Dooley…). But Tom Jones used it as a jumping off point to start predicting doom and gloom before Schiano has coached even one regular season snap.

The clock also underscores how much information, conditioning and personality Schiano is trying to cram into his team in such a short period of time. You can’t help but wonder if it’s all too much. You can’t help but wonder if at some point, the team might start stuttering, sputtering and smoking and suffer some sort of system overload.

Because God knows last year worked out so well with the coach acting more like a senior RA and enforcing those grueling none-a-days. With the new CBA, it’s virtually impossible to overwork football players. I think the team gets fined now if they don’t have an open bar on the field. But without any real evidence, Jones just asks a series of ominous questions designed to scare us and provide evidence later on that he is a visionary because he predicted a rookie head coach wouldn’t win the Super Bowl.

The clock is ticking. Many questions remain unanswered, including the scariest of all:

What if it doesn’t work?

I dunno, maybe the Bucs fire Schiano and hire someone else, the same thing six or seven teams do every single year? Sounds about right. And then we all go on with our lives? Schiano isn’t fighting Satan’s Apocalyptic Army of the Damned or the Legion of Doom. No one’s going to die if his methods fail.

I also like how the article basically puts Schiano on the hot seat in his rookie year. It didn’t take long for the hate to kick into high gear this season.

Last Word On Winslow

May 25, 2012 at 02:18pm by Scott   •  6 Comments »

Huh, even the black one was still kind of light.
This is going to be the last entry about Kellen Winslow because he’s not with the Bucs anymore and who really gives this much of a shit anyway. But Martin Fennelly‘s most recent sharticle basically takes Winslow’s Buccaneers career and reduces it to “meh, not so great” and that’s bullshit.

Kellen Winslow caught 218 footballs for the Bucs, 12 for touchdowns. The team’s glorious 2011 Season in Review (Did these guys really go 4-12?) raves about K2′s many deeds, and there are some.

But mostly his stay here was remarkably unmemorable.

He led the team in receptions for three years in a row. That seems memorable.

How many Winslow moments really stood out? I mean, his drops were bigger than most of his grabs. It reminded me, all of it, of the season Keyshawn caught like 700 balls – and one TD. Much ado …

Why is it such a negative thing for a guy to catch a bunch of balls but not a bunch of touchdowns? I’ve never understood that. Maybe it means he’s not fast enough to outrun tacklers or he works better when he has more room to work with to get more separation. Turning catches into touchdowns is definitely an asset, but don’t make it sound like guys who are reception rich but touchdown poor are bad players. Winslow caught 218 balls. That’s 72 per season — and he’s a tight end. That’s huge.

Winslow was overrated here, never elite, never the force he was supposed to be, never that game-changer. Bucs GM Mark Dominik paid for elite with that nutty contract, which at the time made Winslow the highest-paid tight end in world history.

What difference did he make? 218 catches and it’s as if he was never here.

I saw Winslow make some spectacular catches, be fearless in traffic and provide a solid third down option for Josh Freeman when he needed him. He did drop his share and the penalties started to suck, but to say it was as if he was “never here” is just fucking ridiculous. You know what? If that’s the case, it’s like none of the players were ever here. Because really, what did any of them do for the last few years? No playoffs, terrible defense, an erratic quarterback… I can say the same thing Fennelly said about Winslow for any player on the roster. And they all made their money. The Bucs lost as a team, but if you had to pin the losses on a single player, Winslow would be way down the list.

And “highest-paid tight end in world history”, while true, is unnecessarily dramatic.

I give him high marks, given past injuries, for the way he got himself ready to play on game day, but Winslow was a 28-year-old man playing on surgically repaired knees.

And you never would have known that on game day. He was always there. You can’t use injuries against a guy if he continues to play as though he’s uninjured.

K2 was never the truly disruptive locker room force some feared, though I’m sure he whispered in Josh Freeman’s ear about being open every play (though he wasn’t).

You know who else is open on every play? EVERY SINGLE RECEIVER IN THE NFL. They’re all open, all the time. It’s why receivers are some of the biggest douches in the universe. That’s just the attitude. This is not exclusive to Winslow. Oh, and congratulations on knowing the private conversations between Freeman and Winslow. I’m sure they love you guessing things you think they said and then reporting on it.

Hey, I never had a problem with the man.

Really? Because this whole article says otherwise.

Just the same, we used to laugh inside, hard, when Dominik or former coach Raheem Morris talked about Winslow being a senior leader.

That was never going to happen.

I would want my rookies to see a guy who has terrible knees never use them as an excuse for not playing. I would love my younger players to have a winning attitude and be publicly supportive of a rookie coach like Winslow was. Maybe he wasn’t a rah-rah kind of guy, but neither is Ronde Barber and he is universally respected.

True, if this is the acid test for Freeman, he just lost the man who has been his favorite target. But now there is Vincent Jackson, and draft pick Doug Martin, and surely there will be other tight ends.

Just like Winslow, Jackson was seen as a talented malcontent by his former team. They’re practically the same player.

This clearly is a Greg Schiano’s Bucs kind of move. He doesn’t see a future for Winslow in the offense, or in anything. I bet everyone nodded when Schiano ran it by them, if he ran it at all.

Oh shit, are we really starting the “Mark Dominik is Greg Schiano’s puppet” rumors already? Man, you really miss being able to dog Jon Gruden and Bruce Allen, don’t you? Dominik has been with the Bucs since Pearl Jam was relevant. He’s not taking orders from a rookie head coach.

By the way, last week during voluntary practices, in one of his new roles, Dominik politely told media the proper pronunciation of Schiano’s last name. It’s Shee-Ann-O We had been getting it wrong. It’s hard on the ‘A’ – remember that.

You know, it says something about the new-look Bucs bunker that it took months, months, for the coach to care enough to have anyone tell anyone the right way to say his name. Or maybe he doesn’t care. He’s way too busy.

I’m certain Greg Schiano gives no shits how sweaty keyboard jockeys pronounce his name. It is quite possible that it’s literally the last thing on his mind.

There’s a new king of the mountain – and it ain’t K2.

So he shoehorned a K2/mountain reference in there, but was this really supposed to be comparing the head coach to a tight end in terms of who runs the team? Winslow never pretended to run the team. He showed up and did his job. And now he’s gone, and that’s fine too. I’m looking forward to Dallas Clark. But it’s completely unnecessary to try to diminish Winslow’s accomplishments with the Bucs or make him out to be some kind of cancer that they should be glad to be rid of. It was a business decision that was handled professionally by the Bucs. It’s a shame Fennelly couldn’t do the same.

This Interview Process Isn’t Entertaining Enough!

January 24, 2012 at 12:21pm by Scott   •  4 Comments »

The Glazers are smiling because they instructed the chef to taint Fennelly's nachos.
Now that Chip Kelly has decided to stay in Nikeville, several articles have come out characterizing the Glazers as spurned and jilted, as though they have something to be embarrassed about. The dumbest and most insulting, of course, comes from Martin Fennelly.

Now they have egg on their face – Duck egg, no less.

Oregon’s Chip Kelly will not be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ head coach and we’re beginning to wonder if anyone will. It’s jilted at the altar, hold the Tuna.

Did anyone say that Jeff Fisher left the Dolphins at the alter? No. He considered his options and picked one. We don’t know how far along negotiations were. Kelly could have said he wanted $10-million and when the Glazers told him no, he backed out. But somehow this is an embarrassment for the Bucs and now no one wants to be the head coach. Right.

It’s face saving time.

If the Bucs are interested in a coach and that coach decides to use the team for leverage with his current team, that’s not something the Bucs can do much about. They didn’t come to Oregon groveling on their hands and knees begging for Chip Kelly to come and rescue their franchise. It was a fucking job interview.

Kelly will be an NFL coach one day soon, so this had to be more than smelling the Oregon tall firs. Could it be that Kelly sniffed the Bucs and said not there, not now? Has the Tampa Bay brand fallen that badly?

This is one possibility, but it’s the one that everyone seems to be grabbing for. Could it be that Kelly heard something at the interview that gave him a bad vibe about the Bucs? Sure. I’m not sure what that would be, but I’m thinking Dominik and the Glazers didn’t open the interview with “Well, we’re not going to spend any money on players, so suck on that.” Everyone puts on their best face for the first impression. More likely, if we’re assuming he heard something he didn’t like, it was from someone else he knows in the business that also knows the Bucs and maybe gave him some dirt. But I still think he never really intended to leave Oregon unless he got a Godfather-type deal.

I mean, getting dumped by Parcells is one thing, actually. Actually, it’s two things, since he dumped the Bucs twice.

But … Chip Kelly ?

“Dumped”. Yes, that’s exactly what happened (can you hear my eyes rolling through your monitor?). And if anyone should know dumps, it’s the guy who squats and leaves a fresh one in the sports section every morning.

I mentioned Kelly as a possibility a month ago in the name of offense, offense, offense. I dropped the idea when Kelly’s name didn’t surface on many NFL search or interview lists. Give the Glazers and Bucs general manager Mark Dominik high marks for stealth – and low marks for finishing.

“Yes, only I know the secret plans of the Glazers! I, and no one else, came up with the revolutionary idea of interviewing a college head coach who had recently been to the National Championship game. It was a stretch, much like getting my arms high enough to pat myself on the back without hyperventilating.”

How do you like your eggs, scrambled, fried or over easy?

Wow, a food reference. Who would have guessed?

Who, Glazers included, is excited about any of the men who’ve already been interviewed?

Marty Schottenheimer?

He might be the best face-saver handy, a fall back, a stabilizer, a caretaker.

Excited?

Hey, there’s Mike Sherman?

Excited?

I like Rob Chudzinski, but he’s a little green, and who would he bring to work the defense?

Chip Kelly would have been exciting, at least until the losses start to add up. But he isn’t coming. And if there are no more candidates that Fennelly considers exciting enough, then this section has no purpose than to rub the Bucs’ faces in the fact that they didn’t get him. Classy.

If all this talk seems slightly scattershot, how is it any different than the Glazers? They have been all over the place with this search, by age, by experience, by any measure.

Yeah, who needs to bring in a wide range of diverse coaches to choose from? They should have just cloned Chip Kelly five times and interviewed all of them. Much more consistent.

And everyone they’ve interviewed has been a coordinator or head coach in the NFL, except his buddy Chip. And the extremes of age have been Chud at 43 and Schott at 68, both within reason. Raheem Morris wasn’t within reason, so they’ve learned that lesson.

At least Chip Kelly wouldn’t have been boring. It might have been fun.

What’s fun now?

The interview process is never fun. It’s not supposed to be. You know what is fun? Winning football games. It NEVER GETS OLD. So how about we let them pick someone they think is a winner and then we can start the criticism?