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Posts Tagged ‘gerald mccoy’

D-Line Stars Haven’t Played Together

January 29, 2013 at 12:40am by Scott   •  5 Comments »

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At first I thought this fun fact was an interesting tidbit that maybe shed some light on why the pass rush just wasn’t getting there.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik has a dream. In it, he sees defensive linemen Michael Bennett, Gerald McCoy, DaQuan Bowers and Adrian Clayborn all getting after the passer on the same third down.

“We never had those four players playing together at the same time – ever,” he said. “And whether that’s us being snakebit or whatever, it’s still an important thing that just didn’t happen.”

But that’s three defensive ends, right? Bennett swings to tackle sometimes, but it seems like you’d want a bigger guy on the field (you know, like a nose tackle) when McCoy is playing his standard 3-technique. I guess offensive alignments might dictate that you’d want four lean, fast guys on the field some time, but that would be a rare thing. Now if all four of those guys have never been healthy at the same time, that’s a different complaint. But Dominik’s take almost seems like saying that they’ve never had Doug Martin and LeGarrette Blount on the field at the same time. Which I’d actually like to see once. I know Erik Lorig is a good fullback, but one time I’d like to see Blount grating the road for Martin. There would be pieces of linebacker marking the path for Martin to follow.

REAR ENTRIES: Christmas Leftovers

December 27, 2012 at 11:43pm by Scott   •  3 Comments »

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MCCOY TO PRO BOWL: Gerald McCoy was the only Buccaneer selected to the Pro Bowl this season, a nice reward for a quality season. I thought he had been a little inconsistent, having had a couple bad games here and there. But the Bucs were a bad team for a good chunk of the season and it’s not like McCoy is going to win any popularity contests with any group of voters, so he must have been elected for his performance. Either that or they think the intensity with which the Bucs have rush the passer over the last couple games would be a perfect fit for the Pro Bowl.

Vincent Jackson and Doug Martin were selected as first alternates. And it’s a damn crime that Victor Cruz got in and Jackson didn’t. Jackson’s numbers are superior to Cruz’s in every category except “Number of Touchdown Celebrations That Got Old After About Six Games”.

HISTORICALLY BAD: Ira Kaufman posted a fun little factoid today that puts the Bucs’ defense in perspective.

If the Falcons throw for 252 yards or more Sunday, the 2012 Bucs will have surrendered the most passing yards in the NFL’s 93-year history

That stat doesn’t mean as much as Kaufman is implying since teams didn’t really start passing the ball so much until Don Coryell made it fashionable. But still, that’s a lot of years and a lot of yards. You can lay the blame on a lot of people, but Ron Cooper has to be at the front of the line. This may be what that player meant when he was talking about coaches going back to college.

FUCK YOU LOMAS BROWN: Lomas Brown was briefly a Buccaneer, so there is a Tampa Bay tie-in, but I honestly would have written about this anyway. Last week, Brown admitted that he one time intentionally whiffed on a block in 1994 so Scott Mitchell would get knocked out of the game because he was performing badly.

“We were playing Green Bay in Milwaukee,” Brown said. “We were getting beat, 24-3, at that time and he just stunk up the place. He’s throwing interceptions, just everything. So I looked at Kevin Glover, our All-Pro center and I said, ‘Glove, that is it.’ I said, ‘I’m getting him out the game.’ . . . So I got the gator arms on the guy at the last minute, he got around me, he hit Scott Mitchell, he did something to his finger . . . and he came out the game. [Lions backup quarterback] Dave Krieg came in the game.”

Very few things make me stare at the computer screen with my mouth agape, but this did it. I was completely floored not only that this happened, but that Brown is proud enough of it to recall it on the radio and not be apologetic or regretful about it at all. Oh, he kind of said something about regret a week later, but it was weak and hollow and I’m sure only said because the wrath of everybody who cares at all about football poured down on him after his admission. It’s one of the worst things I can think of that can happen on the football field — to intentionally betray the honor code of the game for the purpose of getting a teammate hurt. “Despicable” doesn’t begin to cover it. His name should be immediately removed from any Hall of Fame consideration and Scott Mitchell should be able to break Brown’s finger.

Wait, no. That’s not good enough. Mitchell needed that finger to do his job. Brown doesn’t need his finger to be an analyst except to jam it in his ass during commercial breaks. So Mitchell should be able to punch (lefty, natch) Brown in the throat so he has to sit out of his job for a few weeks and let someone else come in and replace him and do a better job. And even that wouldn’t be enough, but at least it would partially satisfy my need for vengeance. And I think we can agree that I’m the real victim here.

REAR ENTRIES: R-E-S-P-E-C-T

November 29, 2012 at 01:23am by Scott   •  3 Comments »

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MCCOY KISSES THE RING: Gerald McCoy went up to the podium at One Buc today and paid his respects to Peyton Manning, who he will be going against this Sunday. And by “paid his respects”, I mean verbally blew him. Like a really slow, deep verbal blowing. I’d cut and paste a quote from it, but you really have to read it all. And McCoy was really excited to let everyone know how much he loved Manning. He interrupted his own press conference to extoll Manning’s greatness. Pay attention to the SoundFX episode from this week and you’re going to hear McCoy ask for Manning’s autograph on the field.

ROSTER SPOTS FILLED: The Bucs filled out the roster spots left by the two players put on injured reserve with guard Derek Hardman and David Gilbreath, a wide receiver/returner who was recently waived by Pittsburgh. Hardman is more versatile than Jeremy Trueblood and the Bucs are one offensive line injury away from the Arena League, so it was a good move. And the Bucs’ return game has netted only slightly more than squat, so if Gilbreath can keep the Bucs from starting drives in their own endzone, fine. I said the same thing about Roscoe Parrish, though, so it’s apparently harder than it looks to find decent return men. Or a decent burger. Can you tell I’m hungry?

I also have to note that a safety was put on IR and a cornerback was suspended, yet neither of the two replacement players were in the secondary. So congratulations LeQuan Lewis and Danny Gorrer. I wonder if Peyton is intimidated.

I SHOULD PAY MORE ATTENTION: I pulled up the Bucs roster to make sure I knew Gorrer’s first name and started scrolling through it a little more carefully. Holy shit, there are a lot of unknown dudes on there. Here are some names for you. Without looking them up, have you ever heard of them or know what position they play? Aaron Morgan, Matthew Masifilo, David Douglas. Okay, I guess that’s only three, so I do know most of the roster. But still… I don’t even recognize those names from college. And who’s this guy LeGarrette Blount?

REAR ENTRIES: One Out, One In

September 25, 2012 at 11:48pm by Scott   •  4 Comments »

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I’ll probably be busy most of tomorrow, so here’s as much stuff as I can cram into this entry before I pass out while huffing this ether.

CLAYBORN ON IR: It’s old news now, but Adrian Clayborn is on injured reserve now with a knee injury. Defensive linemen drafted by the Bucs in the future should just go ahead and buy their crutches before getting to the rookie minicamp. They’ll need them sooner or later.

“Certainly it’s unfortunate for him and the team,” Schiano said. “I don’t know exactly what (the injury) is. It’s one of those three-letter deals.”

Yeah, Schiano is very concerned about looking like the smartest guy in the room.

BOWERS ON THE MEND: The good news on the defensive line is that Da’Quan Bowers is on the mend and is eligible to come off the PUP after week six. Bowers said himself that he has about four weeks to go before he’s ready to play after his Achille’s injury, so that should sync up well with his eligibility. In the meantime, to compensate for Clayborn, the Bucs may use more three-man fronts with rushing linebackers, which have always worked so well in the past. Now THAT’S sarcasm.

Have the Bucs thought about just putting any guy in there at defensive end and letting him stab his blocker? Like, with a knife or an icepick? That’ll slow down these d-line injuries. Plus these replacement officials have shown they’ll let anything slide. If the guy does it right, he might even draw a holding call.

SHIPLEY SHIPPED OUT: Jordan Shipley said he feels terrible about his muffed punt on Sunday.

“I just didn’t follow it all the way in,” Shipley said Monday. “It’s something I’ve ever really had a problem with, so I feel terrible about it. There’s nothing I can really do about it but learn from it and move on.”

And move on he did, because the Bucs waived him today. If no team picks him up, he’ll be an unrestricted free agent. But who wouldn’t want that kind of performance on their team? It’s not everyone that can almost catch a football with their thighs.

PARRISH SIGNED: To replace Shipley, the Bucs signed Roscoe Parrish (whose name I will never be able to say without thinking Roscoe P. Coltrane), a player who, unlike Shipley, has extensive punt returning experience.

Parrish has played seven NFL seasons, all for the Bills, and has big-play ability as a return man. Parrish’s average of 12.0 yards per punt return ranks him seventh in NFL history among players with at least 75 returns.

He can also play receiver, but that’s probably not going to come up much.

JUST LET THEM PLAY: Evidently, the coaches tried to change up the successful plan the defensive line used against Carolina for the game at New York and started using a lot of stunting and twisting. That didn’t work out so well since Eli Manning had enough time to finish his novel while he was sitting in the pocket. So Gerald McCoy went to Bill Sheridan and respectfully requested that they go back to the old plan of doing the thing that works.

“We’re allowed to go up there and make requests or talk to them about things,” McCoy said of the coaches. “And me, being a captain and defensive lineman, I just went to Coach and made a few requests, sat down and talked about a few things. We discussed what we discussed, and he set up a game plan, and it worked for us.”

Of course, if a guy who is twice your weight and size and whose job it is to become as strong as humanly possible comes into your office and makes a request, it’s probably a good idea to grant it. “Coach, we’d like to go back to the old way of rushing. And we want our jersey numbers bedazzled with diamonds.” Done and done!

Figuring Out D-Line Play

September 20, 2012 at 10:59am by Scott   •  3 Comments »

I know still pictures are deceiving, but doesn't it look like there is absolutely nobody in their way?
Warren Sapp visited One Buc Place yesterday and went over tape with Gerald McCoy on his way to a book signing. You knew Sapp wasn’t there to fight McCoy like he said last week because Eli Manning was never in any real danger of getting sacked much less able to escape one. Anyway, Sapp was Sapp.

“The purple unicorn I call (Newton). This kid can fly. It ain’t even funny.”

Someone tell me, besides having wings, why Cam Newton resembles a unicorn. And why it would be a purple one. The “Purple People Eaters” made sense, even if it was fucking stupid, because the Vikings actually wear purple. And unicorns are for lonely teenage girls or old women with a lot of cats. I’m sure Newton appreciates the compliment. “Mike Vick can run fast, so I’ll call him the greyhound. What? What’d I say?”

“He didn’t have a bad second week. When the defense asks you to do that, you’ve got to do it.

“I told Gerald, the orders come from the sideline, but the general on the field has to be able to direct that stuff. Sometimes you do like this here: “Nah, I’m not doing it,’ Sapp said shaking his head.

I’m blaming Rick Stroud for this piece here because it has no context. It would be very interesting to know what order Sapp would refuse and under what circumstances. I’m assuming it has to do with not rushing the passer and playing the run instead, but I really don’t know.

Sapp on Bucs defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan attacking the Giants offense with stunts and games on the defensive line, which failed to register a sack. The Bucs gave up 510 passing yards to Manning.

“You can’t put me in that double bind and tell me we’re playing run when he’s in the gun,” Sapp said. “I’m going to pin these ears back and I’m gone. You figure this out after 51 passes and 510 yards, I’m going to figure it out while it’s going on. I’ll be damned, he’s not running the ball. I saw two runs out of the shotgun. I want your quarterback.”

This one has context, and it’s what makes me think the other one was about playing the run, too. It sounds like the defensive coaches called off the dogs when Manning was in shotgun? That doesn’t make a lot of sense, and maybe that’s what Sapp is saying. Whatever they were doing, it didn’t work. Eli may not have had to take a shower after that game.

“That’s what you get when you worked against that offensive coordinator for so many years. You think you can play a chess game. Damn the chess game, let the pieces do the damn work. Every time I looked up at the screen, it was stunt, hail, I’m like damn.”

So Sheridan was trying to outguess Kevin Gilbride because they had worked together for so long. In this case, I agree with Sapp. You can’t play those kinds of games. You wind up second- and third-guessing yourself. “Well, he usually runs in this case. But he knows I know that, so he may pass. But he knows I know he knows I know that, so he may just run anyway. Maybe he’ll quick kick.” Defenses love to say that they don’t let the offense dictate their scheme. The defense wants to be the one dictating what the offense does, and they do that by being aggressive and attacking. Just play the scheme you’ve practiced and make your adjustments as necessary.

And that makes four uses of “damn” from Sapp in seven sentences. He must really mean it!

“I said, “Gerald, walk in the man’s office and tell him we’ve got this. You can mess around on first and second down, but third down has got to be mine. Me and Kiffin used to fight about this. I’d say put it in my hands and if I can’t do it, I’ll give it back to you.’ Because I showed you last week I can get it done. Don’t bail on me now.”

I would love for someone to tell me in English if the scheme was completely different against the Giants than it was against the Panthers. Because the whole Panthers thing seemed to work out pretty well, and the purple unicorn is a much bigger threat to run than the polka-dot turtle (it makes just as much sense), so being aggressive in a pass rush sounds like a great idea for the Giants. We need Steve White to come around and explain the d-line play and tell us that it was all coaching decisions and not simple incompetence that kept Manning on his feet all day. Because from a fan perspective, it looks like they just didn’t get the job done last week.

REAR ENTRIES: The Old Man And The NFC

September 12, 2012 at 03:22pm by Scott   •  8 Comments »

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BARBER GETS HONORED: In his 200th consecutive start and for the tenth time in his career, Ronde Barber has been named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week. Barber had two tackles for loss, a sack, two passes defensed and an interception off a tipped ball. On the pick, Barber jumped out of his wheelchair, snagged the ball, took a big huff from his oxygen tank and shuffled down the field for an additional 24 yards.

IT’S NOT A CONCUSSION: (say that headline in Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s voice like he did in Kindergarten Cop) According to Mark Dominik, LeGarrette Blount absolutely positively does not have a concussion.

I can categorically confirm it has nothing to do with concussions whatsoever. So, there’s nothing there. In order to make sure the information is correct and that we’re getting out the right information, there’s nothing concussion-related with LeGarrette Blount.

So we know what it isn’t. What it is is a different story.

“However, we’re going to do our due diligence on our players to make sure player safety is No. 1, the most important thing. He obviously had the hit, he went down, our trainers, doctors went out, evaluated him and cleared him to play. He did not play just because of circumstances, not because of injury.”

Blount is getting an MRI on his back and neck, but Dominik is making it sound precautionary. And let him take all the times he needs. I’m a Blount fan, but if Doug Martin keeps performing like he did last week and D.J. Ware can play spot duty, Blount will quickly become an afterthought, like condoms are with me.

SAPP FLAPS HIS MOUTH AGAIN: I’m sure you’ve heard that Warren Sapp called Gerald McCoy up after the game, not to congratulate him on what was probably the best game of his career, but to criticize the ones that got away.

“Sapp called me last night and said, ‘Look, if you’ve ever got a quarterback in your grasp like that and you let him out, me and you are going to fight,’ ” McCoy said.

We remember how McCoy tore his triceps over the last couple years, right? Arm tackling. He had Cam Newton in an awkward grasp and if McCoy felt even a twinge in his arm while Newton was squirming around, I’m glad he let him go. The absolute last thing the Bucs need is to put McCoy on the IR list yet again.

And look, I’m not going to fight Sapp, first because he’d beat my ass and second because I’m a huge HUGE pussy. But I’m pretty sure McCoy would pound Sapp in a straight-up fistfight. Sapp’s getting old and the amount of weed he’s smoked in his lifetime would need to be weighed on a truck scale. That shit slows you down.

Bucs Beat AFC Champs!*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Depth Chart Released

August 07, 2012 at 03:07pm by Scott   •  1 Comment »

Blount will be fine as long as he has someone to jump over.
The Bucs released their first depth chart today, and it’s pretty much what everyone thought it would be, with a couple exceptions.

LeGarrette Blount is listed ahead of Doug Martin at tailback despite all the reports that Martin is the presumed starter for the season. Blount has reportedly been performing well this camp and has had an excellent work ethic, but Martin is also impressing and has a wider skill set. I’d still expect Martin to take the first snap of the first regular season game, but maybe the reps will be split more evenly than originally thought.

Tiquan Underwood is still listed behind Arrelious Benn even though Underwood has been the surprise of camp so far.

Amobi Okoye is listed as a backup to Gerald McCoy and not at nose tackle, which is incredibly smart. Okoye isn’t a nose. I didn’t Brian Price was a nose, either, and that’s why I was worried the Bucs would try to shove him in there where he doesn’t fit. Kind of like when I was in Bangkok and… you know what? I’ve said too much already.

PUPs And DTs

July 25, 2012 at 09:48am by Scott   •  No Comments »

Taking shots at the quarterback? That's unfair!
The Times is reporting that three Buccaneers will begin training camp on the PUP list: Da’Quan Bowers, Amobi Okoye and Adam Hayward. Those guys can come off the PUP anytime in the preseason, but if they’re still on the list when the regular season starts, they have to sit for at least six games (and then the team has another three weeks to evaluate them after that).

Bowers tore his Achilles in May and may not be right for the whole season. He may be 75% or so by the PUP deadline, but why risk it? If he’s the future of the left DE spot, just let him sit for the season and get him totally right. Hayward is still dealing with his gimpy foot and will probably be good to go before the regular season starts. Okoye had knee surgery in June and was expected to be ready for camp, and now he’s not. He’s the one that worries me right now because Gerald McCoy and Brian Price are both still recovering from their injuries from last year. Everyone is talking about Roy Miller like he’s already got one foot out the door. Gary Gibson is getting some positive reviews, but some of that may just be his seven years of experience compared to the newer guys and some of that may be Rutgers favoritism. I liked Frank Okam, but evidently I’m missing something because he can’t seem to stick. How are the Bucs still thin at defensive tackle after all the draft picks and free agent signings? I feel like they could have spent an entire draft class on defensive tackle and somehow still have to scrounge for players. Some of them would have been injured, some would have sucked, some would have been abducted by aliens. Hey, it happens.

Gerald McCoy Is Being Paid Too Much

July 02, 2012 at 12:25pm by Scott   •  9 Comments »

Enough goofy bullshit. Sack a quarterback already
According to Jason La Canfora (who I guess isn’t working for NFL Network anymore?), Gerald McCoy has one of the worst contracts from a team perspective this season.

Gerald McCoy, Bucs, DT, $6.85M: McCoy has yet to find his way in the NFL, with injuries derailing the 2009 first-round pick. The quick emergence of Ndamukong Suh didn’t help much, either, and this given that McCoy is set to make roughly $20M in salary between 2013-2014, and his $11M average per year makes him the fourth-highest paid DT in the NFL, it’s fair to say the Bucs need much more out of him.

And this is why a rookie pay scale is necessary. McCoy was paid under the old system and hasn’t produced anything near what he needs to in order to justify that salary. He has a lot of potential and doesn’t have any more biceps to tear, so maybe this is his year. But if McCoy can’t get it together and Brian Price doesn’t live up to his expectations, Mark Dominik is going to have a hard time justifying his own salary.