Josh Freeman

Posts Tagged ‘dre moore’

Here’s The Roster

September 04, 2010 at 06:02pm by Scott   •  6 Comments »

Per Pewter Report. I’ll comment on it in a few minutes. Talk about it in the comments.

Okay, I’m back. Clifton Smith weathered the cuts, which means that a Pro Bowl goes further than I thought it did. I thought the fumbles would do him in.

The team kept five backs, including Chris Pressley. Having that backup fullback is a good idea and negates the need for a fourth tight end, which I thought they would keep.

Ryan Purvis didn’t make the cut and John Gilmore kept his spot. The youth movement evidently has its limitations.

Seven total receivers is a lot, but the team must have thought Preston Parker wouldn’t clear waivers. I can’t imagine he’ll dress for many games, but the team sees something there worth developing.

I guess Jeremy Zuttah is a better backup center than Jonathan Compas, which means Compas must have been completely incompetent because Zuttah looked like ass at center.

No Demar Dotson! Now we know why the Bucs finally caved to Donald Penn. Also, the team cut Xavier Fulton, a fifth-rounder from last year. That is the first draft pick of the Morris era to get the boot.

[Okay, it turns out Dotson is on injured reserve, so either the team didn't think they could get by with cutting him outright without an injury settlement or they see enough in him to keep his rights for a year.]

Ryan Sims instead of Dre Moore? Moore lost a shitload of weight and apparently gave it to Sims and Moore still couldn’t outplay him? Yeah, I guess it’s time to give up on him.

Five corners and five safeties, at least for a week. Someone has to go after the Cleveland game. But at least Lynch has a reprieve for a week.

Sorry, Rico.

QUARTERBACK (3)
Josh Freeman
Josh Johnson
Rudy Carpenter

RUNNING BACK (3)
Carnell ‘Cadillac’ Williams
Kareem Huggins
Clifton Smith

FULLBACK (2)
Earnest Graham
Chris Pressley

WIDE RECEIVER (7)
Mike Williams
Sammie Stroughter
Maurice Stovall
Reggie Brown
Arrelious Benn
Micheal Spurlock
Preston Parker

TIGHT ENDS (3)
Kellen Winslow
Jerramy Stevens
John Gilmore

CENTER (1)
Jeff Faine

GUARDS (3)
Davin Joseph
Keydrick Vincent
Jeremy Zuttah

TACKLES (4)
Donald Penn
Jeremy Trueblood
James Lee
Derek Hardman

DEFENSIVE ENDS (5)
Stylez G. White
Kyle Moore
Tim Crowder
Michael Bennett
Erik Lorig

DEFENSIVE TACKLES (4)
Gerald McCoy
Roy Miller
Brian Price
Ryan Sims

LINEBACKERS (6)
Barrett Ruud
Geno Hayes
Quincy Black
Adam Hayward
Niko Koutouvides
Dekoda Watson

CORNERBACKS (5)
Aqib Talib
Ronde Barber
E.J. Biggers
Myron Lewis
Elbert Mack

SAFETIES (5)
Tanard Jackson
Sean Jones
Sabby Piscitelli
Cody Grimm
Corey Lynch

SPECIALISTS (3)
Kicker Connor Barth
Punter Brent Bowden
Long-snapper Andrew Economos

Roster Breakdown: Defensive Line

August 11, 2010 at 02:47pm by Scott   •  4 Comments »

So, you want to see my bonus check?
Kyle Moore: Lock. Moore is lighter, faster and a ton better than he was last year. It seems like the Bucs are just handing him the starting left end job without any real competition, and that’s a shame because Tim Crowder could really push him. There will be a lot of rotation, so the “starter” tag doesn’t matter so much, but you’d still like to have him earn it outright.

Gerald McCoy: Lock. Having a very good camp. Strong and fast, but not unbeatable. He has been stonewalled by Davin Joseph on some occasions and even Jeremy Zuttah once or twice. Just room to grow, that’s all.

Roy Miller: Lock. Kind of the same analysis as McCoy. An excellent camp with room to improve. Jeff Faine can consistently beat Miller, but he gets his wins from time to time. Also practicing some at fullback.

Greg White: Lock. Has also lost some weight. Has no problem getting by second-stringers to sack the quarterback. He and Donald Penn have epic battles, though. Penn usually comes out on top, sometimes literally.

Brian Price: Lock. was an unblockable monster for the first couple days of camp. He has since come up lame off and on with a hamstring for the last several practices. Lesson: Save some of it for the season.

Erik Lorig: Almost lock. Lorig has impressed everyone this camp and I may have to go back and re-evaluate all that shit I was talking when he was drafted. He still talks like a douche, though.

Tim Crowder: Probably. Crowder really is the second-best defensive end on the team right now. He can seamlessly switch to the rush linebacker in a 3-4, can chase down runners from behind and can swat down passes. He is easily beating the backups he goes against like Xavier Fulton and James Lee. Should be going against Jeremy Trueblood. Thing is, this is Crowder’s fourth year. Will the Bucs showcase him in the preseason and try to trade him for a draft pick? I’m not even kidding.

Ryan Sims: Probably not. Sims is old and fat and a good space-eater, but that’s not what the team needs right now. He regularly beats Zuttah, but Keydrick Vincent is too much for him a lot of the time. Still makes plays against the backups, but the trimming has to start somewhere.

Dre Moore: 50/50. Moore is a tough one. He has improved significantly over previous years, but there’s an awful lot of depth at defensive tackle now and Moore may be a casualty of the numbers. He would make excellent trade bait: still young and hasn’t reached his potential yet. But if the Bucs can’t move him, it would be between him and Michael Bennett, and Bennett is a swing guy, but Moore is great on special teams. This is a tough one.

Michael Bennett: 50/50. Swing guy who can play both tackle and end. He wouldn’t get nearly the trade value that Dre Moore would and is more versatile but may not have as high a ceiling, either. I’m really stuck on these two guys as to who would be better to keep.

James Ruffin: Probably. One of the no-names has to stick, and I’m betting on Ruffin now that the team cut George Johnson. Ruffin seems to be very good against the run and the coaches are consistently praising him.

Brandon Gilbeaux: Probably not. This is Ruffin’s main competition. They are both of similar height and weight and both have been getting good marks from coaches, but Gilbeaux has a French name so I’m betting against him. He’ll give up eventually… they always do.

Carlton Powell: Meat. Mostly in with third-stringers, and does a good job against him, but there are too many choices that are better.

Training Camp Summary: August 07

August 09, 2010 at 11:06am by Scott   •  2 Comments »

Camp 1

Several players were held out of the morning practice, presumably because the team wanted everybody to suit up for the evening practice at the stadium. Cody Grimm was off to see his Hog dad Russ Grimm enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

Grimm has impressed everyone this camp and has almost made Corey Lynch an afterthought. Lynch took advantage of Grimm’s absence and made a couple nice plays in the morning, one of them being a diving pass deflection against Kellen Winslow.

Chris Pressley also got some good work in the morning. He even carried the ball on a fullback dive, something he hasn’t done a lot of.

If Micheal Spurlock doesn’t make the team, it won’t be for lack of effort. The guy stretches out for every play.

Darrell Pasco got beat out of his jock by Reggie Brown. I remember bitching about the Bucs giving up a sixth-rounder to get Brown, but it is looking like a better and better investment every day.

Ryan Purvis is miles ahead of where he was last year. Miles. In a very real way, Puris and Spurlock are competing against each other. There’s no way the Bucs keep six receivers and four tight ends, not with Winslow acting like another receiver. So which position they overload may depend on who performs better at their job and not necessarily on need.

Winslow, John Gilmore, Myron Lewis and Grimm were absent from the evening practice.

Roy Miller was back in at fullback. Josh Freeman even tossed a pass to him, but he couldn’t handle it. I guess that’s why he’s a defensive tackle. Oh, that and because he’s 310 pounds.

Derrick Ward showed some great balance on a run through Geno Hayes and Tanard Jackson for a touchdown.

At one point, when the stadium announced that the next play was the starting offense against the starting defense, the defensive line consisted of Carlton Powell, Ryan Sims, Brian Price, Dre Moore and Tim Crowder. This was a goal line play, so that explains the five-man line, but no Gerald McCoy? And who the fuck is Carlton Powell? Wasn’t he on Gilligan’s Island? I can understand if they want their beefiest guys on a goal line stand, but then where is Miller in all this? I have to assume the stadium announcer was mistaken on this one.

Josh Johnson had a great evening practice. Nice, deep, accurate pass to Brown that hit him in stride over the shoulder. And another strike to Terrence Nunn on the next play — shorter pass, but just as accurate.

Elbert Mack picked off a fade pass intended for Mario Urrutia. This doesn’t seem like such a big deal except that Urrutia is 6-6 and Mack is 5-10 and it was a fade — a pass designed specifically to take advantage of height advantages. Mack has had a quiet camp but this was a huge play during a drill that completely favored the offense.

Do you know what an Oklahoma drill is? Running back + blocker tries to get by one defender. Totally favors the offense. Sabby Piscitelli totally threw off Rendrick Taylor to make the tackle on Ward. Didn’t see that one coming.

The evening ended with Freeman and Johnson embarrassing themselves during a skills competition that wouldn’t end. Neither of them could hit the moving golf carts to break their miserable tie. Finally after several tries, and one attempt by Raheem Morris to call the whole fucking thing a draw so they could get to the fireworks, Johnson finally hit a target. I hope Morris made them both clean the stadium restrooms as punishment when the whole thing was over. He should have made them scrub that shithole from top to bottom until it was so sanitary and squared-away that the Virgin Mary herself would be proud to go in and take a dump. Sorry… Full Metal Jacket kind of sticks with you for a few days.

No practice on Sunday and one on Monday.

Training Camp Summary: August 01

August 01, 2010 at 10:24pm by Scott   •  3 Comments »

Training Camp 1
Josh Freeman was much sharper today. Good touch on the ball. Michael Clayton caught a nice one from Freeman. Still, Freeman wasn’t perfect. When he was off, he was throwing late more often than not.

Arrelious Benn ran a reverse. It was a good attempt to get the ball in Benn’s hands to take advantage of his skills, but it didn’t go for many yards.

Kind of surprising to see Rudy Carpenter throwing to Reggie Brown. Brown is contending to start and Carpenter will be wearing a headset so much it will fuse to the side of his head. But I guess he has to throw to someone.

Mike Williams is taking starting snaps. Williams gets open almost all the time and has beaten Aqib Talib several times. He hasn’t had a ton of catches, though, because a lot of the balls are off target. But don’t be surprised to see an opening day starting combo of Williams and Brown.

Rendrick Taylor blocking for Kareem Huggins looks like an excellent combination. Both guys are fighting for a roster spot, but they seem to have a great rapport and Taylor is a devastating blocker.

Demar Dotson is now practicing at right tackle. He spent most of his time going against Michael Bennett and seemed to do a good job against him. No one could recall a snap that Bennett beat Dotson.

Keydrick Vincent vs. Ryan Sims: A tie. Those guys are huge.

DE George Johnson continues to impress. He beat James Lee on both of their one-on-one reps. I have heard that Johnson is a dark horse for a spot on the bottom of the roster. I don’t see how considering the numbers, but if he keeps up his good work, the coaches may try to squeeze him on.

I’ve read some questions on here about the safeties. Sabby Piscitelli msotly ran with the second team today and both he and Sean Jones are playing special teams drills. Tanard Jackson is knocking down a lot of passes, but hasn’t had an interception yet. Cody Grimm had an interception while covering Terrence Nunn today, but it was one of Freeman’s poor passes. However, I’m hearing that Grimm is doing pretty well overall.

Barrett Ruud is apparently not letting his contract disappointment affect his on-field performance. He has been making plays on both blitz assignments and coverage. He dropped an interception today and dropped and did five pushups as a self-inflicted punishment.

Elbert Mack is getting beat. Like, a lot. Sometimes by receivers who have no shot at making the team.

You know who has looked good for the last two days? Dre Moore. I made a joke last week that I kind forgot he was on the team, but he has lost weight and improved his first step off the line without losing any power. I would suspect that Moore’s improvement is bad news for Ryan Sims. Sims still looks like he’s playing the Jim Bates system and he’s not exactly part of the youth movement.

Today’s clicky is by request of Joe. These camp summaries take a while, so I’m not going to do them every time, but I’ll throw them in now and then.

Supplemental Draft Will Be Non-News For The Bucs

July 12, 2010 at 08:54am by Scott   •  2 Comments »

Unga better hope he gets drafted so he can settle his inevitable lawsuit from Gene Simmons.
I’m not going to blame Roy Cummings for writing an article about the supplemental draft at this point in the season. There’s nothing else to write about and Roy doesn’t have the advantage of clickys to keep the people coming back. But to pretend the Bucs are going to spend a future draft pick on a BYU running back is really stretching it.

The biggest prize available this year is Brigham Young career rushing leader Harvey Unga, a 6-foot-1, 245-pound power back who ran for 3,455 yards at BYU.

Unga doesn’t have a lot of burst or speed, but he has some pass-catching skill and isn’t afraid to mix it up between the tackles, so many scouts project him as a fullback, which is something the Bucs could use.

It’s actually kind of impressive that Unga could rack up 3,455 yards at BYU, a school notorious for running backs who don’t run and chicks who don’t fuck. But the Bucs have Chris Pressley and Rendrick Taylor as guys who could eventually be starting fullbacks, and from what I hear, the coaches love Taylor’s athleticism and versatility. I wouldn’t say it’s impossible that the Bucs give up a pick for Unga — one time they gave up a fifth-round pick just to get a better parking space — but I’d say it’s highly unlikely.

The Bucs also could find a use for the player rated second-best in this year’s supplemental draft, University of Illinois run-plugging defensive tackle Josh Price-Brent.

Oh, that’s dumb. Another defensive tackle? They have the two new guys plus Dre Moore and Roy Miller, all of whom they invested recent draft picks in from the first to the fifth rounds. And let’s not forget Kyle Moore and Michael Bennett are swing guys who will play at both tackle and end. It’s not a position of need anymore, and unless there was something really special about this guy, there will be plenty of others in next year’s draft that we will all know more about after another college season.

At least if they take a shot on a guy like this during the actual draft, they know what slot they’re giving up. When you select in the supplemental draft, you’re giving up your pick in a round without knowing how valuable that pick is. If the Bucs wind up with another year of high picks, they could overpay for a supplemental draft selection now. I really don’t think the Bucs will be active in this supplemental draft outside of throwing out a token low round offer with the hope they can steal a bargain if no other teams submit. After all, when you take a guy in the draft, you have to pay them draft money and give them a contract that has a longer lifespan than your average gallon of milk. And that’s just not how the Glazers roll.

NY Times Gets It Right

July 09, 2010 at 11:20am by Scott   •  4 Comments »

Josh Freeman: The Great Mocha Hope
The New York Times published their 2010 season preview of the Buccaneers [HT reader "Bryan"] yesterday for people who don’t keep up with the Buccaneers all year long. And I’ve got to say, it’s really good; definitely better than a lot of the other national shit that’s being released. We should do a scavenger hunt for phrases similar to “The Bucs will be better, but they’re still young.” I don’t know what the prize would be. Maybe I could arrange to have Joe’s mom take out her teeth and blow you or something. You haven’t lived until you’ve gotten head from a chick with a dip-induced lip tumor.

It’s awfully convenient that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers chose to rebuild – or, as they’re calling it, undergo a “youth movement” – right around the time that the Glazer family’s debt soared sky high.

I love that this is the first sentence in the article. And if it was only the young guys who weren’t getting paid, you could let it slide, but the Glazers are pulling out all the stops to keep from having to spend on anyone. Cut highly paid vets, start a youth movement, don’t get involved in free agency, invoke technicalities to keep from paying RFAs — it’s adding up to something, right?

Morris and Dominik drafted big receivers for Freeman to build his future with: Arrelious Benn in Round 2 and Mike Williams in Round 4. That future starts now, by the way, as both rookies have been inserted into the starting lineup.

Well, that’s not true. Maurice Stovall and Michael Clayton were the starters at minicamp and no depth chart has been released. The assumption is that Williams will eventually start, but that may not even be in week one.

This youth movement will undoubtedly carry growing pains in 2010. The question is, will these youngsters be learning how to be pros together, or is there so much youth in so many key areas that everyone will actually be learning how to lose together?

Excellent point, and one that isn’t often elaborated on. You always hear that the team needs leaders, but it’s kind of left at that without ever exploring the role that leaders play in the locker room and what the consequences are of not having them. Without an inspirational leader like Warren Sapp or Ray Lewis or Peyton Manning — guys who drag their teammates kicking and screaming to greatness — a team could fall into a pattern of losing that soon evolves into a culture, just like the Bucs were in the 80s. The big leaders in those days like Lee Roy Selmon and Richard Wood left the team by 1985 and the Bucs entered a long stretch of chronic losing until 1993 when Hardy Nickerson came along and just kicked everyone’s ass. And even then they kept losing until Sapp and Derrick Brooks added their support. That’s how hard it is to change a culture once it’s contaminated with failure. That’s why leadership is important.

Defensively, there’s a frightening lack of pass-rushing prowess on the outside, and the linebacking corps is substandard.

The pass-rushing I’ll give him, even though I think Greg White is sadly underrated. But “substandard” is pretty harsh. Barrett Ruud is excellent and Quincy Black and Geno Hayes have shown enough improvement to be tagged as starters. They’re mostly unknowns, but that doesn’t make them substandard.

The safeties might be even worse.

Tanard Jackson would like a word with you.

Normally, this is where you turn to the head coach. Morris is energetic and unafraid to make bold decisions. But his bosses are the same way. Last December, Bucs management contacted Bill Cowher to gauge the Super Bowl champion’s interest in Morris’s job.

THIS NEVER HAPPENED. If you’re going to say shit like that, you have to make sure it’s true. You just said a few paragraphs ago how coincidental it was that the Bucs had this youth movement going at the same time the Glazers were strapped. You think they want to pay for Cowher?!?

The callow, unstable roster is being guided by a callow, unstable coach. So how can they make it work?

Okay, I know callow technically means inexperienced, but it has an implication of being immature as well, and that’s not right. Josh Freeman has shown maturity beyond his years this offseason. And with guys like Jeff Faine, Davin Joseph and Earnest Graham there to lend their support, I’d say they’re pretty mature. The stability of the coach can be debated, I guess, but I think unless Raheem totally shits the bed with a three win or less season, they’re going to give him some time to build this thing up.

All five Buc starters return in what is a solid run-blocking offensive line…

Strength is an issue for the Bucs in run-blocking. Their offensive line has a tendency to get overpowered in short-yardage situations.

Normally this would be the kind of thing I’d point out and make fun of since it appears the author is contradicting himself right in the same article. But in this case, I think both things are true. The offensive line is solid, but they do get blown up from time to time. And we still don’t know about Donald Penn returning, so the part about “all five” starters coming back is a bit premature.

Left guard Jeremy Zuttah has the combination of agility and brawn needed to get to the second level.

We were clearly not watching the same games.

Physically speaking, Penn is one of the roundest human beings you’ll see.

Now if Dominik had put it that way when answering fan questions, there wouldn’t have been a problem. “I’m not saying he’s fat; he’s just… round. Very, very round.”

Second-year defensive tackle Roy Miller has good size and could also compete for playing time, though he may have to pass Dre’ Moore on the depth chart.

He has this backwards. Moore still has something to prove. Miller came on strong at the end of last year and will compete with Brian Price for starting nose.

People don’t realize how mediocre Barrett Ruud is. Yes, Ruud is a productive tackler. But many of his stops come too far downfield. And when the Bucs need a thumper who can blow up a lead-block and make a tone-setting play, Ruud is often nowhere to be found.

This is the common complaint about Ruud, but it’s hard to place all the blame on him when he had very little help up front, the other linebackers last year were still learning on the job, and Sabby Piscitelli was constantly overshooting his assignments. Ruud practically had the entire weight of the defense on his shoulders, and he still had 142 tackles last year. Some of them came too far downfield, yes. Fine. But with these new defensive tackles, an additional year of experience for Black and Hayes and Sean Jones in at SS, I think Ruud will look a lot better this year.

Jesus, am I already at over 1,000 words? I’ll skip the rest and go right to the wrap-up.

No one expects the Bucs to win more than six or seven games in 2010. This season is about determining the future as much as anything. Will Josh Freeman prove he’s the guy to build around? Will Raheem Morris prove he’s the guy to do the building? An affirmative answer to these questions will make 2010 a success.

I disagree with some of what he said, but the author, Andy Benoit, gave probably one of the best preseason assessments I’ve read. It’s thoughtful, filled with details that usually only locals are aware of, and tells harsh truths without being mean just for the sake of meanness. Plus it avoid the sad cliches that usually fill national publications. Give the whole thing a read when you get the chance. Not at the expense of this site, of course.

Another Article On The Run Defense

July 06, 2010 at 10:26am by Scott   •  No Comments »

Raheem's secret weapon: The Ass Up Defense. The defensive line has to line up backwards for it to work properly.
The ESPN NFC South blog is running a series on what they think each team’s weakness is for the coming year. For both Carolina and New Orleans they picked defensive tackle, for Atlanta they went with defensive end and then for Tampa Bay they just said the whole run defense was the team’s weakness. I guess I can see the reasoning behind all of those, although in Carolina they have Matt Moore at quarterback with Jimmy Clausen backing him up, and I can’t see how that doesn’t even get a mention.

With Tampa Bay they really could have picked about anything, but the entire run defense is just as good as anything else. Of course they start out mentioning the rookie defensive tackles, which is fine. But here’s the part that puzzles me:

Price also is impressively physically, but is more suited for the one-technique role. He has more girth and should be able to handle the interior run a little better.

Coming out of college, no one thought Price was more suited for the nose. Price played the three-technique at UCLA and was very good at it. Hey, he sacked the wily Jonathon Crompton; how much more does he have to prove? And if the Bucs had drafted someone else with their first rounder besides Gerald McCoy, no one would be saying to use Price at the nose. But they just so happened to take who many considered the best three-technique in the draft, so now people are talking about Price’s “girth”. Hey, girth isn’t everything people! Price is 6-1, 300, which is right about where Warren Sapp played.

Tampa Bay also used a third-round pick in the 2009 draft on Roy Miller. Miller better fits the Price mold than the McCoy mold, but he found out last season that transitioning to the NFL isn’t a walk in the park.

What a weird way to write this. Miller “better fits the Price mold”? Roy Miller is 6-2, 310, so he’s between Price and McCoy in height and heavier than both of them. He’s a nose tackle, and he was considered a nose tackle when the Bucs drafted him. Why is the author pushing this Price thing?

Dre Moore is yet another talented, young defensive tackle. He too has yet to excel since entering the league, but he could be primed to at least take a step forward. These four youngsters should give Bucs fans an awful lot of hope at defensive tackle, but the production just hasn’t been there as of yet.

“Has yet to excel” is being kind since Moore spent his entire rookie season on the practice squad and didn’t get into a game until week ten last year. But from what I’m hearing, spending that year on the bubble was a wake up call for Moore and his work habits have improved tremendously since. But if the Bucs are only going to keep four defensive tackles, it’s going to be a battle between Moore and Ryan Sims. Sims hasn’t done anything to stand out, but he has the game experience. The good news for Moore is that experience pretty much doesn’t mean shit to the Bucs these days, so whoever dominates in camp should get the nod.

And, I’m sorry, but I have to do this. “As of yet” is fucking stupid. It’s either “as yet” or “as of now”. And you didn’t need either of those in your case. “but the production just hasn’t been there yet” would have been just fine. YOU WRITE FOR A LIVING!

This brings us to the combination of Tim Crowder and Kyle Moore. Like the tackles on the roster, these two have some upside and could improve, but overall, they are good-sized base ends who just do not have enough dynamic playmaking ability to make much of a difference. Although this is especially true from a pass-rushing standpoint, their run-stopping prowess is far from overwhelming either.

Crowder had 37 unassisted tackles last season, the most of any defensive lineman. That’s not too fucking shabby for a part-time player. Moore had significantly less, but he was only active for eight games and was carrying around about an extra 30 pounds or so from the all-Crisco diet that Jim Bates had him on. Don’t write these guys off yet. One of them will be starting opposite Greg White on opening day.

Tampa Bay’s run defense should be better in 2010. It almost has to be. And obviously the franchise dedicated serious resources to its improvement. But until I see it, run defense has to be considered a weakness, and I worry that massive improvement will not come overnight.

And, typically, we end with a statement that can be taken either way depending on how well the Bucs’ run defense does this year. I really don’t think too many offensive lines are going to overpower the Bucs’ d-line. The issue will be at linebacker. If Quincy Black and Geno Hayes come along in their roles, the run defense should be just fine. This is assuming Sabby Piscitelli is relegated to backup and special teams. If he starts and is back to tackling air again, all bets are off.

“And All Of Our Defensive Tackles”

April 24, 2010 at 11:52am by Scott   •  14 Comments »

Dre meet bench.
Mark Dominik is saying quite a bit these last couple days and Pewter Report has a nice Q&A of his press conference yesterday. Read this bit about how he decided he wanted to take two defensive tackles back to back and see if you notice anything.

On the decision to take two defensive tackles early in the draft.
“People have been named quarterback collectors; I guess I am a defensive tackle collector. We brought him in as one of our 30 player visits, and we spoke to him about being a nose tackle, a three technique, and rushing the passer. We’re very excited about Roy Miller, Brian Price, and all of our defensive tackles. We play in Florida in the heat. We have not had a good pass rusher on this team. When you look at Brian Price’s statistics and production and the way he played in college, you a very powerful, explosive young guy. In this system we believe he can play the three techniques, and you can take him outside to play some end in certain situations. The idea is to take advantage of being a better pass rushing football team. You try to stay to stay true to the board. Brian Price was very high on our board. It made sense and that’s why we were trying to be proactive in terms of bringing him in.”

On the type of defensive tackles they look for.
We want tough physical pass rushers. We know that Roy Miller is that, and we are confident that Brian Price can do be the same.

Dominik made it a point to mention Roy Miller by name twice but glazed over everyone else with a weak “… and all of our defensive tackles.” You expect that with Chris Hovan and Ryan Sims because they are 11 and 9-year veterans respectively and therefore deserving of being taken out back behind the barn and shot. That’s what the Bucs do with the veterans they cut, right? Shoot them? Because I don’t see them on rosters anywhere else. But someone who isn’t old that Dominik apparently isn’t excited enough about to mention by name is Dre Moore. Moore has been slow to come along and has famously weak practices, although some people call him a gamer and say that he shows up when it counts. But that may not be good enough anymore. It sounds like Moore will be battling for a backup spot this time around. And as for who he’ll be competing with for that backup spot, well, the Bucs still have a few picks in this draft to spend on defensive tackles.

How It Is: Defensive Line

March 04, 2010 at 03:45pm by Scott   •  5 Comments »

And that's when the Kansas quarterback lost control of his bladder.

CURRENT ROSTER: Tim Crowder, Greg White, Jimmy Wilkerson, Maurice Evans, Kyle Moore, Michael Bennett, Ryan Sims, Chris Hovan, Roy Miller, Dre Moore

Probably the best thing Jim Bates did while he was in Tampa was bring Crowder into the defensive line. He got 3.5 sacks in backup duty and 43 tackles, the most of all defensive linemen. He’s got a great motor and is probably reasonably cheap, although I don’t have any details on his contract. The only thing working against him is that the Bucs have a lot of guys who will be competing for that LDE spot (Kyle Moore, Bennett, possibly Wilkerson). I’d say he’s second in line behind Kyle Moore, who is going to get preferential treatment as a draft pick.

White is likely the most versatile and best all-around defensive lineman on the team right now. He had 6.5 sacks in 2009, which led the team, and seemed to be around the quarterback more than most other linemen. White is reasonably cheap to keep this year at $1.375-million, and since it’s a contract year, he may have more incentive to ramp it up this year. No reason to mess with him.

I have Wilkerson on the list because he is still technically on the roster, but he becomes a free agent at midnight tonight and the Bucs have made no moves, at least that we’ve heard of, to re-sign him. He is coming off an ACL tear, which may be why the Bucs are hesitant to sign him, but the guy has so few miles on him from his time in Kansas City that I can’t believe he won’t come back from it 100%. He got six sacks in 2009 and played a good chunk of time at DT. But it really seems like the Bucs want to shoehorn him in at LDE, and with Crowder and Kyle Moore as younger and healthier options, they’ll probably let Wilkerson walk. Maybe they bring him back for a low contract after he’s tested the market, but I don’t see him on the team in 2010.

I don’t know jack shit about Evans. He was signed then waived then signed again and put on the practice squad and eventually on injured reserve. The Bucs love him so much that his team photo is still in Giants colors. Maybe if six or seven other d-linemen contract leprosy or something he has a shot. But it would have to be serious cases, not your 24-hour leprosy.

Kyle Moore has been coming along nicely, but not nice enough to force himself into a starting spot. When Wilkerson got hurt before the last Atlanta game, Crowder started in his place, although Moore did replace Wilkerson when he was hurt during the Saints game the previous week. Moore isn’t in any danger of going anywhere, but he could be marginalized in a LDE rotation if he doesn’t do anything to stand out. But the coaching staff really wants Moore to succeed and will give him every opportunity to do so. The Bucs have lot of ego invested in Miller and Moore as their defensive line draft picks of 2009 and will favor them if it the competition is close.

Bennett is yet another left defensive end who had some spotty playing time but still had some production in it. The Bucs are pretty proud of themselves for having stolen Bennett off waivers from Seattle and they will likely take him into camp. But with the anticipated addition of another defensive end in the draft and everyone else fighting for that left end spot, I don’t hold out a lot of hope that he’s going to make it to the final roster.

I don’t know what to make of Sims. He’s signed through 2012 and is only making $1-million this year, so it’s not like he’s too expensive. But he has underperformed (33 tackles in 2009) and there’s going to be considerable competition for nose tackle this year with Miller and Dre Moore. Everyone I’ve talked to that knows anything “inside” thinks the Bucs will cut Sims.

Hovan is the closest thing to a team leader the Bucs have right now. He is vocal, he is loyal, he gives 100% on every play and he loves football. But we all know the Bucs are going to draft a defensive tackle high this year, and with Miller coming on as well, I think Hovan’s days as a starter are over. He has gotten slower these past couple years and his production last year was his lowest ever (although, to be fair, he was crippled by Jim Bates‘s system.) It would take some pretty big balls to cut him outright, but that’s what I said about Derrick Brooks. If he has a spot on the team anymore, it is in a limited, backup and mentor role.

When you think about it, Miller was probably the most impressive rookie for the Bucs last year, even though he kind of wore down as the year went on. As a third-round pick, Miller is in no danger of going anywhere. And his above average performance last year will warrant a real crack as the starting nose tackle, pushing Hovan out of the way.

Dre Moore was slow to come along in college and he looks the same way in the pros. He will compete for the nose tackle spot, but Moore’s notoriously weak practices and Miller’s progress during his rookie season will probably relegate Moore to another year of being a backup and occasionally inactive. People who “know”, though, say not to discount Moore altogether. They call him a “gamer” who shows up for actual games even though he practices poorly.

The free agent I hear the most about is Aaron Kampman. I’m surprised Green Bay didn’t hold onto him what with all the praise they were heaping on him early in the season. Kampman has 54 sacks in his career and would likely be relieved to be back in a 4-3 scheme. Kampman is coming off a knee injury that put him on injured reserve, and that combined with him being 30 years old may make his price tag reasonable for someone with his production. He’ll still require a good payday, just not an elite one.

For a defensive tackle, I’m just going to throw this out there and see if someone throws it back. Tank Johnson? He is more of a situational guy, but he has been productive in the past. He can get in the backfield and doesn’t have a lot of wear on him him. Aww, hell, who am I kidding? I don’t really want this guy. There’s just so few free agent 3-technique defensive tackles this year. We’ll have to go to the draft.

Do I have to spend any time going over the top defensive tackles in the draft, or have we already beaten those horses to death? Ndamukong Suh (Nebraska) is the better choice over Gerald McCoy (Oklahoma) by quite a bit. And after watching some more film on McCoy (free online videos, not coach’s film or anything), I have to be perfectly honest with you when I say that I think Eric Berry (Tennessee) is a better choice with the third slot than McCoy. Mike Mayock is free to disagree, but if the Bucs can’t get Suh, they should wait until the second round for their defensive tackle. McCoy is said to be the faster player, and that may be true and I just don’t see it, but McCoy didn’t play faster than Suh and his 40 time was almost identical to Suh’s. In fact, Suh had an overall better combine than McCoy and had better college production — in a two gap scheme! If Suh falls in the Bucs’ lap at #3, that’s great and they should take him. But if not, there are other defensive tackles (and ends) to be found in the draft.

Dan Williams (Tennessee) will be gone before the Bucs pick in the second round, and so will the next couple DTs on anyone’s list. How about Geno Atkins (Georgia) at the top of the third round? He’s smart, fast, and a good penetrator. He has some trouble against the run and there are rumors that he kind of coasted in his senior year. His sophomore numbers were fantastic and he’s got great potential as a 3-technique.

Another potential 3-technique is Tyson Alualu (Cal). Alualu spent his college career as a 3-4 defensive end, but most scouts project him as a DT in a 3-4 4-3. He has lots of great experience and racked up 7.5 sacks despite playing in a position that doesn’t usually get to the quarterback. He is strong and has quick hands and lots of great college experience. People have knocked his durability because of his weight, but he didn’t miss a start in college and I think it’s a bogus concern. Most boards have him above Atkins, but to me they’re both third-rounders.

The Bucs should not draft Jason Pierre-Paul (South Florida) with their first pick. I’ve already explained why. If you disagree, you are wrong.

I’d rather see them take Derrick Morgan (Georgia Tech). Most mock drafts have Morgan going somewhere between 8 and 15 and I doubt the Bucs reach for him here. But 12.5 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss in his 2009 season at Tech don’t lie. He’s not the freakish athlete that JPP is, but he’s very intelligent and I think his potential as a starting NFL player is so much better. But he’s going to grade out just below where the Bucs would risk pulling the trigger on him at #3. They’d be too harshly criticized for reaching that far for him.

I love Brandon Graham (Michigan) and if he was there at the top of the second round, I’d step over my mother getting to the podium with the draft card. I don’t care about his “lack of height” at 6-1, this guy could be Dwight Freeney version 2.0. He’s got the leadership skills you want and what is said to be an outstanding work ethic. He’s projected to go in the bottom half of the first round, but things shift around and you never know if he may slip a little.

George Selvie (South Florida) would be a much more likely candidate for the Bucs to draft. He’s got second-round potential but will probably still be hanging around in the late-third or early-fourth. He’ll probably last that long because of his size (6-4, 245) but he was superproductive even lighter than that in his sophomore year. He was the victim of double-teams after that year and his production fell off, but I don’t think it was for lack of effort. His frame may be maxed out, though, and he needs to work on his overall strength. The Tampa fans love him and he’d instantly sell jerseys.

Camp Reports: Tuesday August 18

August 19, 2009 at 09:54am by Scott   •  No Comments »

I saw this particular rep on video and Black absolutely destroyed Ward. Smith is the better pass-protector by far.
Aqib Talib was back after missing a day and Kelly Campbell was back after missing a couple weeks. Same group of guys were out, along with Demar Dotson, who has a knee injury, and Jeff Faine, who no one knows why he was held out.

Lots of 1-on-1 work between linemen and RB/LB. Clifton Smith can pass protect. He beat Jermaine Phillips who was rushing as a linebacker (I guess we have to say these things now).

Sean Mahan is no Jeff Faine. Both Dre Moore and Roy Miller pushed him around in 1-on-1s.

The defensive line ripped up the offensive line in 9-on-9s. Roy Miller, Kyle Moore and Ryan Sims looked especially good.

Both quarterbacks were betrayed by dropped passes today. They both looked pretty decent and put their receivers in good spots. If Raheem Morris had to decide today, though, Byron Leftwich would be the starter. The position of “his job to lose” has pretty much officially switched over to him.

Maurice Stovall had a couple nice catches where he had to stretch himself out, something he didn’t seem willing to do in the Tennessee game.

Mario Urrutia had a hot and cold day. A couple very nice catches (one with a toe drag to stay in bounds) and a couple silly drops.

I haven’t talked much about Niko Koutouvides mostly because he’s been in the background of the linebacker competitions. But he really turned it on today. He’s still an excellent special teams guy, but I just don’t know if there’s enough room for him. It may be too late for him to make a splash at this point.

Sabby Piscitelli continued his outstanding offseason with a couple sweet pass breakups.

That’s it for camp reports. Wednesday is supposed to be a walk-thru which will be uninformative from a progress standpoint and then that’s the end of camp.