Josh Freeman

Posts Tagged ‘eagles’

No Vick, No Jackson, No McCoy, No Problem

December 11, 2012 at 01:46am by Scott   •  7 Comments »


[The banner pic is there because it was the best part of the game yesterday. I really miss that team.]

For the last few weeks, I’ve been trying to give a positive spin on the Bucs’ losses, knowing that none of us really expected them to do all that much this season and they’ve probably already exceeded what we could have hoped for. They’ve been beating the teams they should be beating and losing to the better teams in the league. But the excuses stopped making sense on Sunday when the Bucs lost to an obviously inferior Philadelphia team. And the fault lies squarely on Josh Freeman and the Bucs’ secondary.

Freeman was 14 for 34 on the day and his passes were as ugly as his stats. The incompletions weren’t dropped passes or good plays by the Philadelphia defense. They were just shitty passes. Some of it may have been bad receiver routes, I don’t know. Freeman certainly threw enough fits on the field to try and make us all think he was throwing to the exact right location (it started to get embarrassing with the number of times he bitched at his receivers) but if the quarterback and the receiver aren’t on the same page, guess whose fault that is. In case you didn’t get my meaning just then, it’s the quarterback’s fault. Freeman is generally pretty good at the beginning of the game, has a lull in the middle and finishes off well. This time, he started off as complete shit (5 for 16), came back and did awesome, and ended up pretty bad. If he connects on even a couple more of those passes and ends the day at 50%, they probably win.

And Freeman got lucky, too. At least two of his passes should have been picked and up to four had that opportunity. Bad day for Freeman. Let’s hope it’s out of his system.

The rest of the offense had a pretty good day. Doug Martin had a very solid 128 yards, Vincent Jackson had 131 yards and the offensive line was okay (although the run-blocking was better than the pass-blocking and the penalties came at the absolute worst times possible).

It was the same kind of story for the defense. There was one unit that had a spectacularly bad day and the rest were good. The secondary was, for the most part, awful. Nick Foles found open receiver after open receiver on Sunday. I’m not sure if it was breakdowns in coverage, bad technique or just worse athleticism than the Eagles had, but even without DeSean Jackson, they got scorched. After a three-picks-in-three-weeks stretch, Leonard Johnson is showing his greenness now and giving up some big plays, including the game winner yesterday. And Danny Gorrer could have won the game with an interception that he just flat dropped. Mark Barron continues to struggle in coverage. Anthony Gaitor actually looked pretty good for his first game, so there’s some potential there, but this unit lacks a playmaker and Ronde Barber can’t do it all himself (nine tackles yesterday, though, is a good try).

The defensive line did their part, sacking Foles five times and keeping him under pressure the whole day. Gerald McCoy and Michael Bennett had two sacks each and three and four tackles for loss respectively. It was a great performance by a group that has been hot and cold this season. The only issue — and I put this on the coaches — is when Daniel Te’o Nesheim was flagged as the twelfth man on an obvious spike play. Who cares who’s on the field for a spike (unless you think it will be a fake spike, which is rare)?

The linebackers also had a great day, absolutely eliminating the running game from the Eagles’ playbook. I guess that’s what’s so frustrating. The Bucs sold out to stop the run, making Foles beat them. And he did.

If either Freeman or the defensive backfield had picked up their game just a little bit, this would be a win. As it is, the Bucs are essentially out of the playoffs now. And that doesn’t break my heart. I didn’t expect them to be there. But this game was a step in the wrong direction, most obviously Freeman. I don’t need the playoffs this year, but I do need the team to look better at the end of it than they did in the beginning.

UPDATED: Gruden Isn’t Going To Philly

February 07, 2011 at 09:14am by Scott   •  No Comments »

Jon Gruden airs out his balls.
There’s been a rumor floating around for a day or so that Andy Reid is being forced to step down as head coach of the Eagles and that Jon Gruden was going to take his place. This is mostly a Twitter rumor with the main source being some dude whose tweets are protected but has the reputation of knowing things from time to time. Anyway, Adam Schefter is an actual source who knows real people in football and those people are saying no way.

RT @brickboy_4: Did you hear Eagles to name Gruden HC Tues? … Was told last night by 3 separate people, “ridiculous”, “impossible”, “no.”

Gruden has been steadfast in his commitment to ESPN, passing up several NFL opportunities over the last couple years. Also note that none of the major outlets have said anything about this. Granted, Jeff Fisher left pretty abruptly, but you could see the reason for that happening. It made sense. Reid being dismissed doesn’t. He and his mustache are safe for another season. I would go ahead and chalk this one up as complete bullshit.

UPDATE: Jason La Canfora ends the rumor.

Eagles statement on rumors of Gruden replacing Reid as coach: “There is no basis to it at all. It is simply not true.”

Bucs Trade (Yes, Trade) For Reggie Brown

March 09, 2010 at 09:35am by Scott   •  6 Comments »

Yeah, Freddie Mitchell also made a couple nice catches in his career. You want him, too?
Well, the wait is over. We were all on pins and needles in anticipation of the Buccaneers’ first move in the 2010 offseason, and finally we have something. The Bucs sent a 2011 sixth-round draft pick to Philadelphia in exchange for — is the suspense killing you? — wide receiver Reggie Brown. Ta da!

He has battled injuries over the past couple seasons, and caught just nine passes for 155 yards (17.2 avg.) last year. Brown’s best season in the NFL came in 2007 when he had a career-high 61 receptions for 780 yards and four touchdowns. His personal best in terms of yardage came the previous year in 2006 when he had 816 yards and eight TDs on 46 catches.

Brown is a halfway decent receiver who will provide some depth at the position and is in not extraordinary in any way. He did have a nice season in 2006 when he was averaging 17.7 YPC, but that was five years ago. He has a history of injuries, a reputation of complaining to the media now and then, and diminishing production for the last three years. I’m not sure why, of any wide receiver that was possibly available for trade, Brown was targeted. When I think of him, I don’t think of some spectacular catch he made in a clutch situation or being some missing piece to the Bucs’ receiving corps. I think of this:

So now, NOW that Anquan Boldin has already been dealt to the Ravens — NOW is when the Bucs make a trade for a former second-round wide receiver? Granted, a sixth-round pick next year isn’t a huge price tag, but you can’t tell me that Brown wouldn’t have been released outright pretty soon. He was the fifth wide receiver on the Eagles’ depth chart and Andy Reid hasn’t been pleased with him for years. It’s just frustrating to see the Bucs spend picks and make moves for lesser players when a little more effort could be used to land a real difference maker.

What’s really clear to me now, though, is that this really is about money. Antonio Bryant was let go because he had an injury last year and he mouthed off to the media a little bit. Reggie Brown has the same problems, but with less talent. Maybe this had to do with the youth movement? No, Brown and Bryant are both 29. Or there was talk earlier that Bryant would freelance routes and that’s another reason why he was allowed to leave. I don’t know much about Brown’s development as a route-runner, but I know Andy Reid really likes precise wide receivers and he was content to ship Brown to Tampa. What I do know is that Bryant would have cost several million more than Brown.

Same thing with Boldin. Now, granted, a third and fourth-round pick is different than a sixth-rounder next year, but you can’t use Boldin’s age or injuries as a reason why they didn’t pull the trigger on that trade anymore. So it was either Boldin’s trade compensation or the salary. Who wants to guess which one it was?

What we have is pretty much another Michael Clayton. He’ll make some catches once in a while, he’ll drop more than his share of balls, and he will frustrate you. But he’s not costing the team a lot, so they’ll make do. This is depth, this is not an enhancement.

Bucs Drop To 0-5. Get It? “Drop”.

October 12, 2009 at 10:59am by Scott   •  5 Comments »

Maclin was right there for the taking at #17.
I have started this entry three times now. It’s hard to know where to begin, partly because I don’t want to keep repeating the same damn things over and over each week, and also because there’s just so much wrong that finding the starting point is like looking for the loose end in a tangle of wires. Why don’t we start with something positive? Let’s be the only site that starts on a good note.

Josh Johnson looked like a man who had learned some lessons over the last week. That game against Washington provided some excellent experience and going over the game tape must have really helped in his development because he made some huge strides. Johnson was more decisive, less apt to pull the ball down and take off, and stood firm in the face of some exotic Philadelphia blitzes. Obviously there were mistakes. Two of the interceptions were completely his fault and he seemed to get the ball deflected quite a bit (this is known as “Chris Simms Syndrome”). I’m still not sure who is to blame for the fumbled exchange that became a turnover, but I’ll assume it was Sean Mahan. And he missed a couple wide open guys and chose to pass to receivers that were covered. His completion percentage should have been better if not for all the drops, although a couple catches were made where the throws were off-target. But if you’re looking for improvement at the quarterback position, I think it’s safe to say that you saw some. I’m looking forward to seeing how Johnson does against Carolina. The Panthers aren’t a high-blitz team and he may find their defense easier to deal with than the Eagles.

All right, we might as well get to the big topic that everyone is talking about. The drops were ridiculous and could have been the difference between the blowout and maybe keeping the game closer. But the one that really chaps me is the first one. The first play of the game where Johnson took the shot that everyone was telling him to take. And the throw was a little too long for sure, but Michael Clayton‘s lackadaisical extension of one hand to try and bring it is was embarrassing. There’s no way Antonio Bryant tries to one-hand that one. He lays out for it. Even Sammie Stroughter would have sacrificed his body for that catch. God, that would have been a huge catch. It would have set the tone for the whole game, gotten the Philadelphia defense to back off their blitzes a little and set the Bucs up for a quick score. But instead, it was just the first in a series of let-downs by Clayton. Bryant also had a couple drops, but at least it looked like it mattered to him that he dropped them. And then Bryant went out and was able to make up for them a little by finishing the game with five catches for 62 yards, including a sweet 31-yarder. Kellen Winslow was the most consistent receiver on the team, caught the only two scores of the game, and was HELPING OUT HIS QUARTERBACK by making huge effort on throws that weren’t always between the numbers.

When Byron Leftwich wasn’t getting the job done, he got demoted to third string. When Mike Nugent wasn’t getting the job done, they just cut his ass. Raheem Morris may be sucking huge ass as a coach, but he’s not afraid to replace a player who is fucking up. Clayton has to be the next example of a player who is either made inactive or outright cut. Are his excellent downfield blocking skills worth being let down by him on receptions? No. Now we see why Jon Gruden was lining him up as a tight end in some practices. Now we see why Clayton was in Gruden’s doghouse all the time. You don’t get a site dedicated to your failures like without it being blatantly obvious that you suck. The very least that should be done is he should be in street clothes for a couple weeks. If Mark Dominik thinks he can get anything for Clayton in trade before the deadline, he should be hitting the phones. Admit re-signing him was a mistake and move on.

For a tight end whose main job isn’t to block, Jerramy Stevens seems to be ending up with a lot of holding penalties.

I would write something about the running game here, but the running game was pretty much just Josh Johnson scrambling for 40 yards and one awesome 28 yard run by Derrick Ward where he was dragging defenders with him down the field. There just wasn’t a lot of room to run. The Eagles had committed to blitzing and stopping the run and trying to make Johnson beat them on deep passes against their corners. And it worked. Sean Mahan kept allowing penetration, Jeremy Zuttah had maybe the worst game of his career so far, and Davin Joseph and Donald Penn both allowed sacks. To be fair to Penn, it was his first of the year. And I would like to congratulate Jeremy Trueblood for not getting penalized all game. Hey, you gotta take ‘em where you can get ‘em.

On the defensive line, there was Jimmy Wilkerson and then there was everybody else. Wilkerson had three sacks and two more quarterback hits, six tackles, one pass batted down and a forced fumble. Everyone else on the defensive line only barely got on the stat sheet. Chris Hovan, Tim Crowder, Roy Miller, Ryan Sims, and Greg White all had exactly one tackle each. Gaines Adams didn’t tackle anyone, but he batted one pass down, so fucking good for him. Was last week all we get from Adams? One week of great plays and then he can go back to treating the quarterback like he’s made of knives?

Barrett Ruud led the team in tackles again, but he got completely turned around by Brian Westbrook in the third quarter when Westbrook was going out for a pass. Ruud never saw it coming. And then to add to the insult, Westbrook bulldozed Ruud on his way to the endzone for a touchdown.

The secondary got burned yet again in this game. This week, the goats are Elbert Mack and Will Allen, both of whom allowed deep touchdowns to Jeremy Maclin. Maclin finished the game with 142 yards and two touchdowns. By the way, Maclin was selected #19 in this year’s draft, two spots behind Josh Freeman.

I think Raheem Morris was trying to make a point that he was playing to win when he kept going for those fourth downs instead of kicking field goals. I’m fine with that later on in the game, but he should have shown a little more faith in Shane Andrus to kick field goals and at least reward the offense a little for moving the ball down the field and getting three points. 7-6 looks a lot better than 7-0. And congratulations to Andrus for that nice onside kickoff.

I’m happy about Johnson’s progress and think that Greg Olson needs to stay on this path for his development. It’s not going to help the Bucs win any more game this season if the secondary keeps giving up huge touchdowns, but at least we’ll have something to look forward to next season.

REAR ENTRIES: The Commercial Made For This Feature

October 08, 2009 at 11:22am by Scott   •  2 Comments »

CADILLAC FEATURE BACK: Greg Olson (whose name I am now spelling correctly) admitted that Clifton Smith was the team’s two-minute back because of his pass-catching and blocking ability.

“Clifton has been our guy because he’s a threat as a wide receiver and often times in those situations, a back gets out and gets involved in that. He’s been our guy going back to last year.”

But after Smith’s fumble and the simultaneous groans of hundreds of thousands of Buccaneer fans worldwide, Olson is deciding that maybe Cadillac Williams is pretty good after all.

“We went into the season kind of with the mentality of let’s work Cadillac in. Maybe we can rotate him with the other backs. But as good as he’s looked here early on in the season, I think it’s time we become more committed to Cadillac Williams as a full-time guy.”

I think that’s wonderful, but as a commenter pointed out yesterday, maybe there was another reason why Cadillac was only a part-time guy. Like, say, because his knees are made out of those Styrofoam balls that kids use to make models of the solar system? Giving Williams the carries that Smith was fumbling is a great idea. But Derrick Ward is certainly capable of racking up some good yards and Olson shouldn’t be shy about using him to spell Williams often.

INJURY AND ROSTER STUFF: Torrie Cox, Earnest Graham and Kyle Moore all missed practice yesterday. Jeff Faine is already ruled out for Sunday. The Bucs signed Maurice Evans again to provide some DE depth while Moore heals. Meanwhile, Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook both returned to full practice participation yesterday. The Eagles’ injury report is now clear except for one backup guard who hasn’t played yet this year and couldn’t possibly matter less.

IN THE CAN: I got nothing else, but thought I needed a third entry here. If you haven’t seen this video yet, congratulations, you have a life outside of the internet. It’s pretty amusing and basically shares the same target audience with this web site. The joke gets old after about 45 seconds, which is fortunate because that’s how long the commercial is.

Evil Eagles Trying Hard To Sound Less Evil

October 07, 2009 at 01:38pm by Scott   •  7 Comments »

Did you know that at their calendar unveiling ceremony that the cheerleaders appear there in their swimsuits?  Why are the Bucs not hosting cheerleader bikini parties?!?
I really fucking hate the Philadelphia Eagles. I hate them so much, that’s not the first entry I’ve started with that sentence. The Eagles occupy the same hate realm for me that the Gators do, except the Eagles don’t have any championships to back up all their yapping. And it’s not even the Eagles players or coaches I detest. They just get the reflected hate that is intended for their fans. But if the players do well, the Philadelphia fans are happy, and nothing is more damaging to us as a country and as a species than happy Philadelphia Eagles fans. I would rather be locked in a San Diego Cutlery World with Raiders fans than anywhere downwind of an Eagles fan. The fact that they get to enjoy a cheerleading squad that is consistently one of the hottest in the league only goes to prove that life isn’t fair and that Satan can take many forms.

The last time the Bucs and the Eagles played each other, it was in Tampa in 2006 and was settled on the right foot of Matt Bryant who booted in a 62-yarder at the end of the game to earn the team a win and himself his very own day in Tampa. Today’s Eagles players are using that loss as the foundation of their weak platitudes towards the Bucs and how they’re not taking any team for granted.

Strong safety Quintin Mikell said the circumstances surrounding this game aren’t the same, despite the similarities.

“What happened in that game [in 2006], it was really crazy,” he said. “We kind of melted. We weren’t used to the heat. It kind of got to us. But there’s no guarantee that can’t happen this time, so we’ve got to be ready to go out and play.”

Was Mikell at the same game he’s talking about? Because it was his team that did all its scoring in the third and fourth quarters. The Bucs choked away a 17-0 lead off of two Ronde Barber pick-sixes. The Eagles actually got better as the game went on, not worse.

“Every team in the NFL is good. Everyone has players. So you need to approach every game as a challenge. You can’t take a team lightly,” Justice said.

Blah blah blah. What a sad situation it is when we’re getting talked down to by Winston Justice. One of the most interesting matchups of this Sunday will be when Gaines Adams lines up on the left against Justice. Two big draft hypes that haven’t lived up to their potential yet going against each other. Justice’s big flaw was always against the speed rush, and that’s the only thing Adams has in his toolbox. Keep an eye out for #90 lined up as LDE.

Bruce Gradkowski, a sixth-round pick out of Toledo making his third career start, outdueled five-time Pro Bowler Donovan McNabb.

The author should know that past game records don’t evaporate after the season ends. It’s all right here. Gradkowski completed half his passes for just over 100 yards and a 60.4 passer rating. McNabb threw for over 300 yards and three TDs, though his three interceptions lowered his rating to 83.3. I don’t think you can legally use the words “Gradkowski” and “outdueled” in conjunction.

“To have a big game like that against the Eagles, who were playing well at the time … the way and the fashion we won that game was a big one,” said Eagles tight end Alex Smith, who played for the Bucs in 2006.

Aww man, Alex Smith is an Eagle? I missed that somehow. I knew New England cut him after they traded for him earlier in the offseason, but I don’t think I saw where he signed with Philadelphia. Great, now I guess I have to root for him to lose an eye, too. Sorry Alex, it’s not personal.

Second-year pro Josh Johnson is this year’s Gradkowski. Drafted by the Chargers last season in the sixth round, Johnson will makes his second career start at Lincoln Financial Field.

Jesus, does this guy do any research or does he just guess at shit and then print it? At least he got the name of his home stadium correct.

In his starting debut last Sunday, Johnson was 13 of 22 for 106 yards passing in Tampa’s 16-13 loss to the Redskins. He threw one touchdown, one interception and was sacked thrice.

“Thrice”. Die.

That’s all I can read of this right now. Just keep in mind, the Bucs are on a three game winning streak against the Eagles. The 2002 conference championship, the 2003 opening game where the Bucs christened Lincoln Financial Field with an Eagle shutout, and the 2006 field goal game. If you run into Eagles fans on message boards this week, remind them of that.

A Thousand Words (And Tears)

January 20, 2009 at 02:05pm by Scott   •  5 Comments »

An Eagles loss is like a bike on Christmas.  Nothing could ever be this... perfect.

A Christmas Wish For Tony Romo

December 25, 2008 at 12:50am by Scott   •  No Comments »

Fa la la la, la la la la
Well, praying to Jesus didn’t help for the Falcons game. So on Christmas Eve, I’m taking a different approach. Santa, I’ve been good this year. Really good. If you’ve been keeping an eye on me through your crystal snow globe or whatever it is you have up there, you know it hasn’t always been easy. There are so many fun and slippery ways to be bad, and yet I avoided most of them (and we’re not counting the unpleasantness involving that paraplegic stripper and the stairwell.) And there’s only one thing I’m asking for this Christmas. So, please Santa, deliver to Tony Romo a big, man-sized stocking full of cholera. We’re off to a good start.

Romo showed up to work, then was sent home with some medicine to help deal with his flu-like symptoms.

But just flu-like symptoms isn’t enough. He’ll cough and sniffle out there on the field and look all pathetic but still tough it out. And then his teammates rally around that “woe is me” attitude and all of a sudden they put up 35 points. Fuck that. Romo needs to be glued to a toilet for the next week praying for death. He needs to be completely dehydrated and twenty pounds underweight come Sunday. After that, he is free to make a miraculous recovery. Or to die. Either way, I really don’t care. I guess his death would mean we would see less of Jessica Simpson throughout the season, so I suppose a recovery would be fine. But Brad Johnson or Brooks Bollinger against the Eagles defense is a no-brainer and that’s what’s important. It’s bad enough that I am in a position where I have to wish good things on Philadelphia, if only for three hours on Sunday. I don’t think it’s too much to ask that Romo nearly shit himself to death for a few days.

And, of course, mentioning Jessica Simpson and not posting a picture of her would not be very Christmasy of me. Deck the halls with lots of boobies.