Josh Freeman

Posts Tagged ‘carl nicks’

And Another One Gone

October 31, 2012 at 11:53am by Scott   •  9 Comments »

That's a lot of weight to be putting on a bad toe.

Remember how I said that Doug Martin did most of his running on the left side last week? Well, look for that to change since Carl Nicks has gone on IR because of a toe injury.

Nicks was placed on injured reserve Tuesday with a lingering toe injury requiring surgery. The Bucs said the plantar plate in Nicks’ left foot is torn. The plantar plate, near the ball of the foot, holds the toe joints together and lets toes bend.

“Toe injury” always sounds minor and everyone groans when they hear it. But before you go calling Nicks a pussy (and if you do, I’ll definitely visit you in the hospital), listen to how Ronde Barber described the injury.

“It’s been unbelievable what he’s been able to play through,” Bucs safety Ronde Barber said Tuesday on his weekly radio show on 620-AM. “It’s about the size of two golf balls.”

Which just sounds awful. So you’re not going to hear any disparagement of Nicks from me. But this puts the Bucs in a situation here.

I suppose the logical thing to do is just plug Ted Larsen in at left guard and move on with our lives. Larsen isn’t in the same league as Nicks, but there doesn’t seem to be an alternative. I suppose Larsen can play center and they can move Jeremy Zuttah to left guard, but if you remember, Zuttah isn’t that good at left guard. And if Jeremy Trueblood was going to be any good at it, he’d already be playing right guard. The other alternatives are Cody Wallace and someone named Roger Allen who I had never heard of until just this second. He’s a third-year player out of Western Missouri State, the school known nationwide as Left Guard U! So that’s it. They simply don’t have anyone else. I’m guessing Larsen starts at left guard on Sunday.

This is a huge blow. The Bucs are now without their two Pro Bowl guards. The running game will suffer but hopefully the strides Martin has made in the recent weeks can make up for it some.

REAR ENTRIES: Secrets And Lies

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

rearentry150

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.

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.)

Bucs Beat AFC Champs!*

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

patspreseason

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“We’ve Got The Beef”

June 08, 2012 at 11:02am by Scott   •  5 Comments »

Beef 1

There’s a good interview with Carl Nicks in FS Florida. Nothing earth shattering or anything, but some decent quotes, including what he thinks of rookies.

“I don’t want to get too close and then they leave or go to another team, so I just pretty much stay away from the rookies and let them do their thing.”

Kind of like the guy who works at the animal shelter who doesn’t want to name that new collie that just came in. But he does think the rookies are putting pressure on the veterans, specifically Doug Martin and LeGarrette Blount.

He works like he’s a free-agent guy, and that’s a good thing. He had Blount stepping his game up, and that’s good.”

Nicks likes the potential of the running game and, apparently, the size of the offensive line.

“We have the personnel, we’ve got the beef and we’ve got the running backs for sure.”

Nicks realizes that everything has been without pads so far, but he likes the potential of the offensive line on paper. He’ll get a chance to test that potential in pads next week when everyone comes together for a mandatory minicamp. Honestly, I think the offensive line is probably the best complete unit on the team at this point.

Another Buccaneer In The Top 100

May 09, 2012 at 12:59pm by Scott   •  5 Comments »

Carl Nicks back when he was on the former NFL team known as the Saints.
For the next several weeks, the NFL Network is counting down their top 100 players in the league as voted on by the players themselves. Donald Penn was voted the 97th best player a couple weeks ago and this week they’re supposed to reveal another Buccaneer in the 80-71 range. My guess, though, is that it’s a player who has never taken a snap as a Buccaneer: Carl Nicks. This seems like the right spot for him. Mike Williams and Josh Freeman, who were on the list last year, aren’t going to make it again this year because of the terrible season the Bucs had in 2011. Skill players are punished more for a bad record than most other positions. And this is too low for Vincent Jackson, who will probably pop up somewhere in the twenties or thirties. Am I missing a possibility for this slot?

En Garde!

March 14, 2012 at 09:35am by Scott   •  18 Comments »

343 pounds of fuck you.
And the hits just keep on coming.

More amazing FA news: Bucs & Pro Bowl G Carl Nicks have agreed to a 5-year, $47.5M deal. That’s 3 Pro Bowlers on the Bucs’ O-Line now.

Not just three Pro Bowlers, but three big, stout, road-grating Pro Bowlers. The Bucs’ offensive line is huge now. You wanted the Bucs to spend money, they’re spending money.

Speaking of which, for as long as I can remember, the terms of contracts were never released by the Bucs themselves. The media always had to look them up themselves after they’d been filed with the league. But the above tweet was published on the Bucs’ official Twitter account. My guess is that they realize people find out anyway and this way they get fans excited right away about how much the team is spending. I wonder who the first asshole will be to accuse the Glazers of trying to buy a championship.

Carl Nicks To Meet With Bucs

March 13, 2012 at 09:00pm by Scott   •  2 Comments »

Penn-Nicks-Zuttah-Joseph-Trueblood. Whatcha think?
Stephen Holder is confirming that Carl Nicks has a visit scheduled with Tampa Bay. And despite a report by Jason La Canfora that the Eagles are also pursuing him, they are apparently not. At least not yet. They’re still trying to re-sign Evan Mathis.

But the Bucs landing both Jackson and Nicks in the early days of free agency would be a killer haul. And it’s going to cut pretty deep into their salary cap. If they land Nicks, Jeff Faine may not last too much longer on the roster. They’d probably want to free up the space he’s taking up and with Nicks at left guard, Zuttah would definitely take over at center.