Josh Freeman

Posts Tagged ‘dezmon briscoe’

REAR ENTRIES: Camp Is Dangerous

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


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.

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.

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.

REAR ENTRIES: Backtracking

April 19, 2012 at 10:21am by Scott   •  10 Comments »

Rear Entry 121

BLOUNT BACKPEDALLING: A couple weeks ago, LeGarrette Blount took the shocking and revolutionary opinion that no, he would not like the Bucs to draft Trent Richardson. It was honest, straightforward and made sense. Who wants to see the #5 overall pick spent on his own position? But yesterday Blount changed his tune, most likely because he was told his previous comments might make him seem like a bad teammate.

“Like I said, it was just a comment,” Blount said. “There’s nothing for anybody to read too deep into. You know, there’s not nothing I would want to explain. It was just a comment and I left it at that.

“Of course. I’d welcome him as a teammate. I’ve met the guy before. He’s not a bad kid, but at the same time, like I said, I’d welcome anything that helps the team get better. I’d welcome anybody as a teammate, it doesn’t matter who it is.’’

It’s a softer position, but it’s still valid. Blount can not want the team to draft him while, at the same time, realize he has to be a team player. It’s just disappointing that people have to be such robots. I liked Drew Bledsoe‘s position when he was told that Tom Brady would continue starting even though Bledsoe was healthy again. He said, “I look forward to competing for my job.” It’s polite enough for the press but still sends the right message. You can be a team player and still not have to welcome your replacement with a bouquet of roses.

BARBER ON BEING A SAFETY: Ronde Barber spoke yesterday about taking snaps at safety for this minicamp, and although the words look good, there’s something about them that doesn’t sound right.

“I’m fitting where needed currently,” Barber said. “They know I can play corner. They know I can play inside. I’m where there’s a loose spot right now, which I’m all right with right now. It’s good. It’s fun. There’s a lot to learn, but it’s good.”

To me, that makes it sound like he’d prefer to continue to play corner but is (maybe a little reluctantly) filling in at safety because there’s a bigger need there.

“I’ve never been averse to it in the past. It’s not as if I’m completely unprepared for it. But I’m a football player. I’m in Year 16. I’m not demanding anything. I want to play, and I want to win. And I think our coaches have that same feeling about me.”

“If you ask me to do it, I’ll do it. But I really hope you don’t ask me.” Hey, you’re never going to hear a bad word about Ronde from me. And he’s not going to complain out loud about anything. He just doesn’t sound like he’s all that enthusiastic about switching. But with Morris Claiborne very likely to become a Buccaneer next week and a collection of special teams players being passed off as safeties, it’s probably going to happen.

DEZMON BRISCOE’S DRAMA: Dezmon Briscoe has missed the first couple days of the voluntary minicamp and apparently the reason has something to do with basketball wives and baby’s mamas and cheating and holy shit I thought this was football.

Internet rumor sites are having a field day with what can best be described as a Twitter war between Briscoe’s current girlfriend, reality TV star Royce Reed, and Briscoe’s ex-girlfriend, Christina Nero, the mother of his son.

Nero and Reed earlier this week engaged numerous back-and-forth posts, with Nero saying she and Briscoe have been involved in a relationship, unbeknownst to Reed. That began a series of colorful insults and accusations between the two.

Reed and Briscoe have been dating since 2011. She is one of the stars of the Vh-1 hit show Basketball Wives.

Here’s a more colorful and detailed description of what happened and here’s something on Reed and Briscoe getting engaged. And here are the two chicks.

And no, I wouldn't waste a clicky on either.

Get to camp now, Dez and maybe, MAYBE you won’t get taped to a goalpost over this bullshit. Also, I’d like to object to use the of the word “star” in all the articles about Briscoe’s girlfriend/fiancé/whatever. Getting a 2 share on a TV show you only got because you accepted a basketball player’s sperm does not make you a star. Trust me, if it did I would have been hanging out at the courts long ago. Did I say that out loud?

Talking Wide Outs

February 28, 2012 at 11:56am by Scott   •  6 Comments »


There was a report on CBS over the weekend that Mario Manningham would not be re-signed by the Giants and that Tampa Bay could pick him up.

While New York Giants’ general manager Jerry Reese refused to speculate on the future of Super Bowl hero and soon-to-be-free-agent Mario Manningham, sources at this weekend’s NFL scouting combine said there is virtually no chance he is back with the Giants.

Instead, they said, Manningham is expected to follow former Giants assistant Mike Sullivan to Tampa Bay. Sullivan, who was the Giants quarterbacks coach, took a job as Tampa Bay’s offensive coordinator.

While Manningham may not stay in New York, him as a Buccaneer is redundant at best. I had all my reasons lined up all pretty to tell you why I feel that way, but Stephen Holder beat me to it. His reasons are pretty much the same as mine, especially this one:

Another issue here is whether Manningham is the best fit for Tampa Bay. The Bucs already have receivers with similar skill sets in Mike Williams, Dez Briscoe and, to a lesser extent, Arrelious Benn. Most observers, including me, seem to think what they lack is a player whose strength is getting vertical. If the likes of DeSean Jackson or Vincent Jackson become free agents, they seem like more sensible choices for the Bucs. Both are consistent deep threats who will make the Bucs’ remaining receivers more dangerous.

I think Briscoe is more of a threat than people give him credit for, but he’s still not the real burner the Bucs need. Manningham has been mediocre for his entire career until he got both Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz to take attention off of him this season and even still, he’s known for a single (albeit awesome) catch. But no DeSean Jackson, please. I was a fan of his coming out of college but he’s shown himself to be a pain in the ass, and with a new head coach trying to create an atmosphere of discipline in the locker room, he doesn’t need a perpetual malcontent corrupting that from the start. Marques Colston, Robert Meachem or Dwayne Bowe would also be worth considering.

On another note, there are so many free agent wide receivers this season that have had some success at some point in their careers. Eddie Royal, Pierre Garcon, Steve Smith (the other one), Ted Ginn, Early Doucet, Plaxico Burress, Patrick Crayton and a ton more. Now take a look at the current Bucs roster:

Benn, Briscoe, Ed Gant, Sammie Stroughter, Raymond Webber, Williams. Micheal Spurlock is an unrestricted free agent.

How much improvement could the Bucs make on that roster just with the free agents listed above? I’m not advocating any of them specifically; only pointing out that the talent level available in free agency is really high this season and most of them could probably be had at a really good price. Now doesn’t Manningham look a little silly?

Oh, and let’s give Gant a chance to make the roster. One preseason game isn’t enough to make a career, but it should be worth a good look at training camp.

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.

REAR ENTRIES: Three Profiles

November 04, 2011 at 11:34am by Scott   •  2 Comments »

Rear Entry 101

The papers were full of brief profiles and updates on particular players today. Here are a few as an excuse to post a clicky to end the week.

RONDE BARBER: Ronde Barber is getting more press now than he ever has in his career, with the possible exception of the day after the pick against Philly in 2002. Rick Stroud stroked him a little more in this article about Ronde being able to to absolutely everything.

Barber has posted some Hall of Fame numbers in his career, but his worth to the defense has always been greater than the arithmetic. When he made the decision to return for another season, coach Raheem Morris figured he would have to come up with something more challenging to stimulate the five-time Pro Bowl cornerback.

Ronde has lined up just about everywhere this season and he has excelled, so I guess that stimulation is working. I don’t know about the Hall of Fame numbers, though. Perception is a big part of getting into the hall and the perception about Ronde is that he is a system cornerback who would have only been mediocre anywhere else. The hall craves shutdown corners and Ronde really isn’t that. If he does make it in, it will likely be as one of the old guys that was forgotten in his time, like Fritz Pollard who was enshrined a mere 80 years after his final season in the league. That one still amazes me.

ADRIAN CLAYBORN: Adrian Clayborn has steadily improved every single game. Everybody has great things to say about him, including the enemy.

“He’s physical, he’s got a variety of pass rush moves and he loves playing,” New Orleans coach Sean Payton said. “The one thing I would say about Adrian Clayborn is he’s 100 mph for every play – and that is a fantastic trait for any player.”

“But I think I saw him practicing with some extra tape around his ankles, so he needs to be on the injury report. God, I feel bloated. Anyone got some Midol?”

Gerald McCoy, the leader of the defensive line, is impressed by Clayborn’s work ethic and improvement. I don’t want to brag, but when I was around the locker room after the Falcons game, Clayborn walked out on the way to his car and looked over at me. I told him, “Good game!” and I think it really helped his confidence. So every time you see him get a sack this season, you know who was responsible. *points thumbs at self in that “this guy” way that douches do*

DEZMON BRISCOE: The title of the article is “Bucs Briscoe doesn’t hide his swagger“, so I kind of assumed it was about Briscoe being overly confident or mouthy. Maybe that’s just because I’m a bad person, but that’s really not what the article is about at all.

“When I got into the league, my main objectives were to show effort, make plays and play my role,” he said. “Right now my role is to come in on three wide out and if the ball comes my way, make a play. I try to contribute the best that I can.”

He seems humble enough for a guy who has “100% Greatness” tattooed on his chest. I’ve been a Briscoe fan from the beginning, but he really won be over in this article by saying “the best that I can” instead of “as best I can”, which is incorrect and fucking stupid. You hear it all the time now and it’s like a kick to the nuts every time. So thank you, Dezmon. Thank you for taking the extra syllable to sound intelligent. Next time Raheem goes off the deep end in one of his press conferences (and you know it’s going to happen again), I think we know who his stand in could be.

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.

Benn Is Back

August 29, 2011 at 11:41am by Scott   •  3 Comments »

Yes, I picked this photo because Stocker is in it. Sue me.
So all that worry about Arrelious Benn‘s knee in a real game situation? Forget about it.

“I actually forget about my knee until somebody asks me how my knee feels,” he said. “It feels good. I felt like I didn’t even get hurt.”

Benn’s stats only show one rush for 11 yards and one reception for 12 yards, but he ran hard, broke tackles and gave no indication that he’ll be less than 100%.

Benn’s snaps on Saturday came at the expense of the emerging Dezmon Briscoe, who has shined during training camp and the preseason. It’s expected he will have a package of plays as coaches attempt to involve him, but Benn’s unique talents are something the Bucs are intent on taking advantage of, too.

Benn’s unique talents are mostly beating the shit out of tacklers as they try to bring him down. He’s a YAC machine. And even though Briscoe didn’t post any stats and it seemed like even Sammie Stroughter got more time than he did, at some point this season Briscoe will still push Benn for playing time. It’s a battle that will carry over well into the season, but it sure looks like Benn will hold on to his starting job for week one.

An important key for Benn is his current grasp of the offense compared with this time last year. The second-round pick struggled to learn his duties as a rookie, largely because of the volume of information flankers are required to know. Also a factor was the sharp contrast between the Bucs offense and that of the University of Illinois, where he played in college.

Funny how things change. This time last year, everyone was calling Benn too dumb to learn the playbook. Now it was the volume of information. Whatever. At least they’re getting it right now. But it would be nice if everyone would give a guy a chance before they make that kind of assessment.

“I felt totally different than last year,” he said. “Now I understand the game. Last year was just a learning process for me.”

New Guys On The Rise

August 18, 2011 at 12:02pm by Scott   •  2 Comments »

Bucs sweep New Orleans this season. You watch.
Two players who didn’t see the field a lot last season are getting a lot of attention now. Kregg Lumpkin and Dezmon Briscoe both have articles about their journey to the Bucs and how they’ve put themselves in position to see significant playing time.

“I feel like I’ve got some of the same attributes that Cadillac has,” the former University of Georgia back said. “He was a great pass catcher and pass protector, but I’m hoping to add my own twist wherever I can.”

Lumpkin is being kind. Cadillac was a decent pass-catcher and it took him years to get to that level. His first couple years he was notorious for his stone hands. Lumpkin is a much better receiver out of the gate. And he’s a willing pass-blocker who understands the offense better than he is given credit for by most. Earnest Graham‘s presence complicates Lumpkin’s entry into the offense, but he’ll see plenty of time on the field.

What does Briscoe use to help him learn to read defenses? What else… Madden!

“In this day and age, they actually scout the defenses now, and it helps you read and make reads,” Briscoe said. “When I get on the field, I try to visualize things as if I was playing the video game, and it usually slows the (real) game for me.”

This is Rick Stroud‘s piece, so surprise! Here’s something no one else has said because I don’t think it’s actually a fact.

With Benn making a slow recovery from knee surgery, Briscoe has taken control of the starting job opposite Mike Williams. “I had to wait until my opportunity came and make sure I seize it,” Briscoe said.

According to the depth chart, that is not the case. Benn is still the starter. I’ll go ahead and assume that Stroud means tonight’s game and not the regular season, but the statement should have been more clear. “Taken control of the starting job” sounds like a permanent state and unless Stroud has an inside source whose name rhymes with Fraheem Fmorris, he doesn’t know.