Josh Freeman

Posts Tagged ‘kellen winslow’

Mark Barron Can Sit Anywhere Now

July 26, 2012 at 05:48pm by Scott   •  10 Comments »

Nothing snarky this time. Good luck, Brian.
On the first day of training camp, the Bucs traded Brian Price to Chicago for a low-round 2013 pick. In case any players thought Greg Schiano wasn’t serious, they should take those doubts, shoot them in the face and bury them in the back yard.

My guess is that Price showed up to camp out of shape, but that seems like something that could be overcome. He certainly wouldn’t have been the first. It seems extra-harsh with all the tragedy Price has gone through, most recently (as in a few months ago) the loss of his sister which affected him so profoundly that he had to be hospitalized. But the team and Price may have come to an agreement that we don’t know about and there may not be any hard feelings. Whatever the reason is, that’s another second round pick gone. Da’Quan Bowers, hurt; Brian Price, traded; Kellen Winslow, traded; Dexter Jackson, waste of space; Arron Sears, tragically vegetative. The second round is the money round. That’s where some of the biggest bargains are, and the Bucs have whiffed on it for years. Jeremy Trueblood is arguably the most successful Buccaneer second-round pick of the millenium. Maybe I should be nicer to him.

The good news is that Amobi Okoye will come off the PUP list tomorrow, so he will be able to fill in right away assuming he takes Price’s spot. Price was playing nose for most of his career, and that seems like a mismatch for Okoye, but who knows what Schiano and his defensive staff have in mind. I like the idea of two fast and athletic first-rounders anchoring the middle of the line. Also, Adam Hayward will come of the PUP list tomorrow.

While they were at it, the Bucs released Dezmon Briscoe. The Bucs had a shitload of wide receivers, but Briscoe was one that I was pretty sure would stick. He was said to be somewhat sloppy in OTAs, but we all knew what he could do on gameday. The rub there is that Schiano doesn’t give a shit what you did on gameday in any other season; he wants to see what you’re bringing to the table today. Briscoe didn’t bring enough, and now he’s on the market. Remember when Mark Dominik overpaid him a practice squad salary just to get him on the team? Yeah, Schiano doesn’t care about that, either. Somewhere in a training camp dorm, Sammie Stroughter is thanking Jesus and rubbing a lucky charm bracelet.

Winslow Had Us All Fooled

June 18, 2012 at 10:05am by Scott   •  8 Comments »

Winslow Douche

I know I said I was done talking about Kellen Winslow, but since he’s not done talking himself, I thought we’d take a quick look at what he was saying late last week about his former employer.

“Real sh-t? Real sh-t?” Winslow said. ”Greg Schiano came over there [and said], ‘Toes on the line! Toes on the line!’ Blowing the whistle. You can’t laugh. You can’t joke around. So I decided not to go to OTAs.”

Winslow should have just kept his mouth shut. I, and most people I discussed this with, assumed Winslow was just staying away because it’s what he aways does and that Schiano didn’t like it so he made an example of him. I didn’t know Winslow showed up, didn’t care for how his new boss was making him do things the right way and then stormed off like a child. The team needed him to help rebuild and he turned his back on them because he can’t handle being forced to pay attention to details. Good player, shitty teammate.

“They got my man [Raheem Morris] up out of there,” Winslow said. ”I was loyal to him. I’d take a bullet for that dude. So I had to roll, man.”

Oh yeah, Raheem was a great dude to work for as long as you don’t mind losing for three months in a row. So I guess he had the magic touch to get the most out of Winslow, but without Raheem, Winslow is just a diva with glass knees.

Winslow said Morris wasn’t a “company coach,” but a player’s coach. ”They fired the wrong dude up there,” Winslow said.

Any coach who doesn’t let his players run wild is apparently a “company coach” and doesn’t need to be listened to. Got it. Someone tell Bill Belichick he needs to be more of a pussy and cater to his players more. All that bullshit he does where he’s a hard-ass is obviously a waste of time. Winslow doesn’t say who should have been fired instead of Morris but I assume it’s Mark Dominik because who else would it be? But it wasn’t Dominik’s job to coach those players on how to stop the run or make a tackle. Fuck that guy, man. I’m done defending Winslow.

Last Word On Winslow

May 25, 2012 at 02:18pm by Scott   •  6 Comments »

Huh, even the black one was still kind of light.
This is going to be the last entry about Kellen Winslow because he’s not with the Bucs anymore and who really gives this much of a shit anyway. But Martin Fennelly‘s most recent sharticle basically takes Winslow’s Buccaneers career and reduces it to “meh, not so great” and that’s bullshit.

Kellen Winslow caught 218 footballs for the Bucs, 12 for touchdowns. The team’s glorious 2011 Season in Review (Did these guys really go 4-12?) raves about K2’s many deeds, and there are some.

But mostly his stay here was remarkably unmemorable.

He led the team in receptions for three years in a row. That seems memorable.

How many Winslow moments really stood out? I mean, his drops were bigger than most of his grabs. It reminded me, all of it, of the season Keyshawn caught like 700 balls – and one TD. Much ado …

Why is it such a negative thing for a guy to catch a bunch of balls but not a bunch of touchdowns? I’ve never understood that. Maybe it means he’s not fast enough to outrun tacklers or he works better when he has more room to work with to get more separation. Turning catches into touchdowns is definitely an asset, but don’t make it sound like guys who are reception rich but touchdown poor are bad players. Winslow caught 218 balls. That’s 72 per season — and he’s a tight end. That’s huge.

Winslow was overrated here, never elite, never the force he was supposed to be, never that game-changer. Bucs GM Mark Dominik paid for elite with that nutty contract, which at the time made Winslow the highest-paid tight end in world history.

What difference did he make? 218 catches and it’s as if he was never here.

I saw Winslow make some spectacular catches, be fearless in traffic and provide a solid third down option for Josh Freeman when he needed him. He did drop his share and the penalties started to suck, but to say it was as if he was “never here” is just fucking ridiculous. You know what? If that’s the case, it’s like none of the players were ever here. Because really, what did any of them do for the last few years? No playoffs, terrible defense, an erratic quarterback… I can say the same thing Fennelly said about Winslow for any player on the roster. And they all made their money. The Bucs lost as a team, but if you had to pin the losses on a single player, Winslow would be way down the list.

And “highest-paid tight end in world history”, while true, is unnecessarily dramatic.

I give him high marks, given past injuries, for the way he got himself ready to play on game day, but Winslow was a 28-year-old man playing on surgically repaired knees.

And you never would have known that on game day. He was always there. You can’t use injuries against a guy if he continues to play as though he’s uninjured.

K2 was never the truly disruptive locker room force some feared, though I’m sure he whispered in Josh Freeman’s ear about being open every play (though he wasn’t).

You know who else is open on every play? EVERY SINGLE RECEIVER IN THE NFL. They’re all open, all the time. It’s why receivers are some of the biggest douches in the universe. That’s just the attitude. This is not exclusive to Winslow. Oh, and congratulations on knowing the private conversations between Freeman and Winslow. I’m sure they love you guessing things you think they said and then reporting on it.

Hey, I never had a problem with the man.

Really? Because this whole article says otherwise.

Just the same, we used to laugh inside, hard, when Dominik or former coach Raheem Morris talked about Winslow being a senior leader.

That was never going to happen.

I would want my rookies to see a guy who has terrible knees never use them as an excuse for not playing. I would love my younger players to have a winning attitude and be publicly supportive of a rookie coach like Winslow was. Maybe he wasn’t a rah-rah kind of guy, but neither is Ronde Barber and he is universally respected.

True, if this is the acid test for Freeman, he just lost the man who has been his favorite target. But now there is Vincent Jackson, and draft pick Doug Martin, and surely there will be other tight ends.

Just like Winslow, Jackson was seen as a talented malcontent by his former team. They’re practically the same player.

This clearly is a Greg Schiano’s Bucs kind of move. He doesn’t see a future for Winslow in the offense, or in anything. I bet everyone nodded when Schiano ran it by them, if he ran it at all.

Oh shit, are we really starting the “Mark Dominik is Greg Schiano’s puppet” rumors already? Man, you really miss being able to dog Jon Gruden and Bruce Allen, don’t you? Dominik has been with the Bucs since Pearl Jam was relevant. He’s not taking orders from a rookie head coach.

By the way, last week during voluntary practices, in one of his new roles, Dominik politely told media the proper pronunciation of Schiano’s last name. It’s Shee-Ann-O We had been getting it wrong. It’s hard on the ‘A’ – remember that.

You know, it says something about the new-look Bucs bunker that it took months, months, for the coach to care enough to have anyone tell anyone the right way to say his name. Or maybe he doesn’t care. He’s way too busy.

I’m certain Greg Schiano gives no shits how sweaty keyboard jockeys pronounce his name. It is quite possible that it’s literally the last thing on his mind.

There’s a new king of the mountain – and it ain’t K2.

So he shoehorned a K2/mountain reference in there, but was this really supposed to be comparing the head coach to a tight end in terms of who runs the team? Winslow never pretended to run the team. He showed up and did his job. And now he’s gone, and that’s fine too. I’m looking forward to Dallas Clark. But it’s completely unnecessary to try to diminish Winslow’s accomplishments with the Bucs or make him out to be some kind of cancer that they should be glad to be rid of. It was a business decision that was handled professionally by the Bucs. It’s a shame Fennelly couldn’t do the same.

Winslow Traded To Seattle

May 22, 2012 at 09:16am by Scott   •  13 Comments »

At least he won't have as far to fly anymore to miss OTAs.
Well, at least we know now where they got the roster spot for Dallas Clark. The Bucs traded Kellen Winslow to Seattle. The pick was officially undisclosed, but there were reports that it was a conditional seventh-rounder that could move up to a sixth. If you remember, the Bucs got Winslow from Cleveland for two second-rounders a second and a fifth three (productive) years ago. It’s definitely a buyer’s market out there.

According to Winslow’s interview yesterday that broke all this, he thinks not showing up to OTAs is what prompted Greg Schiano to want to get rid of him.

“(Schiano) was kind of upset that I wasn’t (in Tampa) working out with the team in the offseason,” Winslow said. “But look, I’ve been there the last three years and I’ve had a successful career so far. You just don’t get rid of one of your best players because of that.”

Schiano is trying to create a new culture in Tampa, one of discipline and accountability. And he must think Winslow’s decision to not be with the team when OTAs started runs counter to that, so he’s not going to tolerate it. Which makes the OTAs sound something less than voluntary. Now in this case, the Bucs traded Winslow, so he isn’t actually losing any money and he would have a hard time showing any kind of damage from this. If the Bucs hadn’t been able to find a trade partner and had to release Winslow outright, he might have been able to argue that he was fired for not attending voluntary OTAs, a violation of the CBA. He has been dependable and productive on the field and has not been a problem off of it, so at the very least his dismissal would have raised some questions. Still, Winslow isn’t holding a grudge.

“I have nothing bad to say about Coach Schiano. It was just a disagreement on why I’m not there yet,” Winslow said. “I was training in San Diego and I was going to start (practicing Monday).”

Despite all my comments here, I’m actually fine with the whole move. I didn’t seem reasonable that Winslow could continue his streak of continuous games indefinitely and the smart money was on him missing some time this year. Clark will be a fine addition and will be a good soldier (see what I did there?) when it comes to offseason training. I just object to a coach using a player’s absence from voluntary OTAs as a reason to ditch them. I’m all for 100% attendance. I think it builds team chemistry and can do nothing but help, especially since they’re all no-contact. And if training camp starts and it turns out that the player who missed the voluntary days is behind other players who did attend, then you can start talking about replacing him. But this seems too early. Being a disciplinarian is fine. This team needed one. But it has to be within the rules.

Winslow Will Not Be A Buccaneer In 2012

May 21, 2012 at 11:05am by Scott   •  8 Comments »

Man, the Bucs are going to have a lot of white tight ends when this is all over.
Apparently, the Bucs think they are a better team without Kellen Winslow than with him because according to Winslow, they are shopping him.

Winslow, who has played tight end for the Buccaneers for the last three seasons, said today on Sirius XM NFL Radio that the Bucs have told him they don’t want him and will help him find the right team to trade him to.

If the Bucs can’t find a trading partner, they’ll likely release him.

Winslow has been more than a solid contributor, leading the Bucs in receptions for the last three seasons. The guy’s knees are shot to hell, but somehow he has played every game as a Buccaneer and I’ve never heard him publicly bitch about one thing in Tampa. The only thing you can say about him is that he doesn’t come to many of the voluntary OTAs, which shouldn’t precipitate his dismissal. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Luke Stocker, but he’s no Winslow.

The only thing I can figure is that Winslow was such a Raheem Morris guy that he couldn’t stomach the regime change. Greg Schiano is going to be much more of a disciplinarian and much less buddy buddy with the players. Winslow sounded like he was on board when Schiano was hired, but maybe Schiano’s style isn’t going to work for him. That sucks because the product on the field seemed to be working. Besides, you know, losing a shitload of games.

According to Adam Schefter, who is almost always right about these things, the Bucs are going to try to snag Dallas Clark to replace Winslow. That’s all well and good, but Clark hasn’t had anyone but Peyton Manning throwing him the ball until last year, and last year Clark only had 352 receiving yards. Josh Freeman is great, but he’s not Peyton Manning. At least with Winslow, we knew he could catch a ball from anyone since he came from Cleveland where they changed quarterbacks like diapers. It’s going to be interesting to see how successful Clark is with a new quarterback and on a slower grass field.

And as I’m typing this, I just read a new story that the Bucs have told Winslow to stay away from OTAs so he doesn’t tear something and force them to pay his salary. I wonder if something ugly happened that we haven’t heard about. I thought he had been a productive player and a model citizen, so it’s hard to believe the Bucs don’t think they can use him.

REAR ENTRIES: Everybody’s Talkin’ At Me

January 27, 2012 at 10:14am by Scott   •  12 Comments »

Rear Entry 112

REACTIONS TO SCHIANO: The Times mad some calls and spoke with some people who had a background with Greg Schiano to get their reactions to his hiring by the Bucs. Here’s a sampling of what they had to say:

“I think with the attention to detail and doing things the right way, players know he’s tough. But you know he cares, too.”

“Guys are going to love playing for him. He’ll be hard on you. But you’re going to love him for it because he does it for the right reasons.”

“He’ll have command when he stands in front of that team. He’ll have instant respect from those guys. And I know he’ll have a plan and he’ll stick to that plan. He’s not going to deviate.”

Go back and read comments about Raheem Morris. They’re very similar — the whole “tough but caring” vibe is Raheem’s stock in trade. Players really did love him. But the difference here is that Schiano also has 11 years of experience head coaching a football team. So if you can add experience to the ability to make players play hard for you, you might have a winning combination. Or you might still have a disaster. What am I, psychic?

Also, I forgot Jeremy Zuttah went to Rutgers and played his entire college career under Schiano. There are some quotes from him in the article above, and he also did a radio interview about his new coach here (link via JBF).

CHAMPIONSHIP PROMISES: I wouldn’t have mentioned this if it hadn’t come up a few different times, but while I was reading different quotes about Schiano, I came across multiple references to Schiano promising to take Rutgers to a championship and reminders that he never did.

The first real paragraph of the article that announced Schiano’s departure:

Greg Schiano, who returned Rutgers to respectability but never delivered the championships he repeatedly promised during his 11 years on the job, has abruptly left the school — at the height of recruiting — to become the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers…

That part about recruiting is not insignificant. National Signing Day is next Wednesday. You can bet the vultures are going to come out and try to pull Rutgers commits to different schools now that Schiano left. It’s kind of a shitty time to leave, not that Schiano could have done much about it since the Glazers took so long.

From the Rutgers AD, Tim Pernetti:

“Those championships (Schiano promised) are down the road.”

That’s in the middle of a paragraph of praise for Schiano, so I don’t want it to come across as Pernetti dogging Schiano. But it would have been easier to not mention the promised championships. He did, and probably to emphasize that Schiano didn’t deliver. Just a little dig, but there’s still some bitterness there.

I’m sure when Schiano promised those championships, he meant Big East championships, which seems like a reasonable goal given how much he improved the Rutgers program and how shitty the Big East is overall. But still, leaving and never having delivered makes him look like college football’s Rex Ryan, minus the foot thing. Jon Gruden came in a promised nothing more than “a lot of hard work and effort”, kept expectations relatively low and produced a championship that year. We’ll see how much Schiano promises in Tampa and how loud the bravado gets.

KELLEN WANTED CHUD: Kellen Winslow was one of the most vocal supporters of Raheem Morris, going so far as to say that he didn’t want to play for anyone else. But no one asked Winslow his opinion before the Bucs canned Raheem, so unless he retires, he’s playing for someone else. He doesn’t mind Schiano, but he really wanted Rob Chudzinski.

“I was really hoping for Coach Chudzinski who I was with at Miami and Cleveland,” Winslow said. “But, you know, we got another guy in Greg Schiano who I know and heard he’s one of the best coaches people have been around. And he’s got a lot of enthusiasm and [is] real energetic so I’m excited, man.”

No, he’s not excited. When asked what Chud would have brought to the table:

“Just a guy that could come in and take over and get this offense going,” Winslow said. “And, you know, I mean, he’s been top of the league past seasons, Chud I’m talking about. You got Cam Newton going over there and their offense rolling over there and they’re a much better team for it. Just past connections and I know what offense he runs and love his offense obviously.”

Kellen wanted an offensive guy, which is no surprise. And we’ll see what kind of OC Schiano brings in. It will be interesting to see how Winslow reacts if it isn’t someone he really likes or gives him a lot of touches. Was Winslow’s maturity and work ethic his own doing, or was it because he respected Raheem so much and didn’t want to let him down?

Oh, and congratulations to PFT for bringing up the soldier comment again. Very relevant. Say, how’s Terry Bradshaw doing these days?

Remember When Things Didn’t Suck?

December 24, 2011 at 10:47am by Scott   •  13 Comments »

Years 1

Roy Cummings thought it would be a swell idea for Christmas to remind all Bucs fans just how far the team has fallen in a year. Because nothing makes the holidays more festive than the crippling realization that your team has nothing left to play for, but yet football will continue into February.

“No, our guys just have not been able to bounce back this year,” head coach Raheem Morris said. “They go out there and they want to fight and they prepare well, but for some reason we just haven’t been able to execute down the stretch.”

Again, Raheem uses the word “execute”.

A year ago, the Bucs allowed just 63 fourth-quarter points. With two games still to play this season, they have allowed 94 fourth-quarter points, 14 more than they have scored.

They’re not just getting beaten early in games and can’t come back, but they’re getting the shit pounded out of them for a solid 60 minutes. That’s consistency!

In 2010, Tampa Bay never lost more than two games in a row. Of course, it kept games closer then. This season, the Bucs have lost by margins of 28, 27 19, 16 and 11 points.

I’m not sure if he’s being kind or if he’s talking about only games lost in a row, but they also lost to San Francisco by 45 points.

“That’s really what it comes down to,” said tight end Kellen Winslow, part of a receiving corps that leads the league in dropped passes. “It’s a lack of execution across the board. It’s not coaching, it’s our execution. We’re just not making enough plays.”

If I had told you five years ago that Winslow would be the biggest company man on his team, you never would have believed me. He’s loyal to his commanders to the last, but I’m not convinced it’s completely the players’ fault.

“The big thing really is the turnovers,” Morris said. “You turn the ball over as much as we have and you can look at all the stats you want – losers. The only one that matters is the turnovers.”

Is that his way of slipping in there that stats are still for losers? Oh, you’re so sly, Raheem.

“The thing is, and we’ve been saying this all year, it’s not like it’s one guy who continually messes up or continually does this or that,” right tackle Jeremy Trueblood said.

I don’t have to say it, do I? Everyone is thinking it, right?

The article goes on like that for a while, but I think you get the point. Things were great last year, they’re not this year. Everybody we thought was awesome last year sucks this year, and so on. Merry Christmas from Roy Cummings — you get the gift of reality being thrown in your face.

REAR ENTRIES: Getting Away With It

December 15, 2011 at 10:42am by Scott   •  1 Comment »

Rear Entry 109

PERMISSIVE RAHEEM: Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports (isn’t it about time to drop the exclamation point? No one has cared about them for so long that it’s almost self-mocking now) did a piece on how the Bucs are “out of control” and that Raheem Morris‘s permissive attitude could cost him his job. And when you talk about being overly-permissive, you have to mention Aqib Talib.

After getting arrested for the gun incident, Tampa Bay management was ready to cut ties with Talib once and for all, according to a team source. General manager Mark Dominik didn’t care about Talib’s supreme talent, the distractions were no longer worth the drama, the source said. Talib had been in at least four altercations with teammates and coaches before the gun incident and was arrested for assaulting a taxi driver in 2009.

Because of the lockout, the Bucs couldn’t follow through right away, giving Morris time to talk Dominik away from the proverbial ledge. In the process, Morris sent a message to his young team that talent trumps character.

The “team source” could be anybody, so you really have no idea how accurate this story is. But I get the impression that Morris would go to bat for Talib if he thought Dominik was getting ready to cut him. And “talent trumps character” is a shitty message to send. Really? You can’t have both? Guys don’t have to be saints. Not everyone has to go on mission trips to the Philippines and do free circumcisions. How about we start with not beating the shit out of people or shooting guns in a neighborhood. Can we at least say that a player can’t do those things? Is it so hard to find talented players that don’t get arrested for those things?

And whether it happened the way Cole is saying it happened, some players think it happened this way.

“Wrong message,” a Bucs player said this week. “Raheem believes he can get through to anybody and he can, to an extent. Guys do listen to him. But sometimes they have to see that you’re going to back it up … [Talib] is a huge talent, but you have to know there are certain guys who are impossible to get through to.”

The anonymous backbiting is a bad sign. Chances are good that whoever this player is, he’s not alone.

THIS IS WRONG: The title of this story is “Coach Raheem Morris says Tampa Bay Buccaneers brass were all on board with keeping Aqib Talib“, which is definitely not what he said in his press conference yesterday.

REPORTER: Speaking of stories, did you happen to see Jason Cole’s?
MORRIS: You know, I try not to listen to any of that stuff, man. I just try to look at the Cowboys, you know. Try to focus on our football team, so… it is what it is.
REPORTER: So let me ask you this question: Did you have to sell this organization or your general manager on whether Aqib Talib should come back?
MORRIS: Generally, you never talk about, you know, sources all that type of stuff. Sources usually end up fired. But what we want to do is basically talk about the Cowboys. All decisions will be made between myself, Mark Dominik, and I messed this up the other day, your last name begins with a G. That’s usually the process that we take. There’s always going to be a common ground between all of us.

I read “common ground” as “compromise”, because it’s unrealistic to think that all those people are always going to agree all the time. So sometimes Raheem will get his way and get to keep a player, sometimes he won’t. But nowhere in that conference did Raheem say everyone was on board. That’s not even an exaggeration, it’s just a flat out lie.

KELLEN BACKS MORRIS: As Cole said above, sometimes Raheem does get through to players. Kellen Winslow is one of those players with a checkered past who has been both productive on the field and clean off the field since coming to Tampa. Winslow loves playing for Raheem and thinks it would be a mistake to fire him.

“We can’t have anything happen to him,’’ Winslow said Wednesday. “We just can’t. It will just ruin the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If something were to happen to him we would be devastated and hearts would be broken. We play for him.”

Then Kellen followed his knees, which left ten minutes earlier, for treatment.

AQIB PRACTICING: As long as we’re talking about Talib in this entry, I might as well add that Talib went through a “full battery of practice” yesterday after being inactive for the Jags game, which I guess means that he went through all the drills. If he were playing in Philadelphia, it would mean that he practiced while having batteries thrown at him.

Freeman And Winslow Are Still Buds

October 28, 2011 at 10:42am by Scott   •  1 Comment »

You think the guy who is always carrying the flag doesn't want a little attention?

Calm down, everyone. It turns out that Josh Freeman and Kellen Winslow aren’t really mad at each other. What, you hadn’t heard?

Here’s a rule to live by: Just because you hear something over and over, don’t assume it’s true.

In this case, I’m referring to the notion that there’s something going on between Bucs tight end Kellen Winslow and quarterback Josh Freeman.

I’m not hearing it over and over. Are you? I’m hearing that Freeman targets Winslow too often and tries to force the ball to him. I hear that Winslow isn’t supporting his teammates’ success like he should. But I don’t hear that there’s some kind of rift developing between the two.

So, let’s put an end to this here and now: It’s unequivocally false.

Oh thank God. That thing I wasn’t hearing turns out to not be true.

All this stems from an intense discussion between Winslow and Freeman during a win over the Saints two weeks ago. Winslow made reference to it after that game, saying things got “heated.” But the Bucs won the game and no one seemed happier about that than Winslow, a guy who loves winning more than his numbers — despite what anyone else suggests.

Winslow is obviously a competitor and loves to win. But it’s going to be hard to convince me he isn’t disappointed when he doesn’t score. I’m not the only one who sees it. Steve White tweeted this after the Bears game [compiled over three separate, consecutive tweets]:

Ok another topic, K2 is starting to annoy the shit out of me. I think je is a talented TE but when I never See him celebrate a teammates big play or go lck down field after someone else makes a catch I start yelling at my TV. Look it doesnt have To be a love fest out there but being a teammate should mean SOMETHING.

Typos aside, I think we get the point. Winslow’s body language on the field says something, right?

So, no, Winslow hasn’t gone Keyshawn, author of Just Give Me the Damn Ball! One thing I’ve learned from interacting with Winslow in the past two-plus years is that he’s not who you think he is. He wants to win. He works hard, playing through constant knee pain. He’s a good teammate. And he adores Morris – and Freeman, for that matter.

Winslow isn’t who I thought he was when he was first traded to the Bucs. I’ve paid close attention to his interviews and it was obvious that he was excited about being on this team and getting coached by Raheem and working with Freeman. No one is arguing any of this. Who are these people saying Winslow isn’t a competitor?

The only thing that I’m seeing is that Winslow’s attitude on the field has changed. He doesn’t seem to be as much into the team thing as he used to be and it doesn’t look like he’s having fun out there. And no one says he has to. It’s a job and maybe, like everyone else in the country, sometimes he’d rather not be at his job or around his coworkers. Everyone is allowed. Or maybe he’s disappointed in his own numbers and would just like to score more. I can see a change in Winslow, but no one is saying it’s causing friction between him and Freeman. So the next time you are in the grocery store and you overhear a couple guys talking about how Winslow and Freeman are fighting (it’s bound to happen in the next day or two), you can correct them and hopefully everyone will stop talking about it and move on with their lives.

So The Lions Are Better Than The Bucs Now

September 12, 2011 at 11:49am by Scott   •  14 Comments »

Can't let the post go by without a little patriotism.
This entry is a little late in coming, partly because I’m having a hard time sorting out all the things that went wrong with this game. There’s just SO much that sucked. You know how you’ll see something that sucks, and you’ll go “Holy shit, that really sucks!” But then it gets worse and you don’t think it can possibly suck anymore? But then it does and you just stare at it with your mouth agape wondering if you’ve reached the maximum allowable suckitude in the physical universe? But then it continues to suck even more and you consider writing your Master’s thesis on how you just witnessed the breaking of the Universal Suck Limit? Yeah, that was yesterday.

You know what the Bucs missed most of all about this offseason? Live tackling. Did they conduct even one practice this year with live tackling? I don’t think so. And they still didn’t do much of it yesterday. Tackling was sloppy as shit and every time I looked up, the Lions were breaking tackles and juking Bucs out of their jocks. The stat line says the Lions only rushed for 3.6 YPC, which I find unbelievable. I must be thinking of yards after a reception because it seemed like they would have double that the way they were bouncing off tacklers.

Still, the Lions ran the ball 35 times for 126 which is still getting the job done. The Bucs gave LeGarrette Blount the ball five total times. Earnest Graham, their third-down back, got six carries. Three of those came on third or fourth down with one yard to go and Graham missed all three, fumbling one of them away. A lot of that has to do with the blocking of the offensive line, which couldn’t open up any holes for the backs. Still, one yard. A good running back can’t pick and pound his way for one yard without fumbling? Everyone knew the Detroit defensive line was going to be tough, and it seems like the Bucs went in unprepared for what they saw. Pass-protection wasn’t bad but those pockets seemed to get smaller and smaller.

Calvin Johnson is a fucking monster and the match-up between him and Aqib Talib was one-sided. Talib got his pick six off of Will Heller, a guy he has no problem guarding. But against Johnson, forget about it — at least for now. Johnson had six catches for 88 yards and 2 TDs. He was such a no brainer on draft day that even Matt Millen took him.

The Bucs spent the last two drafts on defensive linemen. Yesterday, the Bucs got zero sacks and zero quarterback hurries. Chew on that for a couple minutes.

On a happy note, did it seem like Sean Jones kind of came out of nowhere yesterday? I saw more of him in the Lions game than I remember seeing all last season. He led the team with eight tackles and one of them looked like he almost killed the dude. He did miss on that long TD by Johnson, though. He was supposed to provide help over the top but was out of position.

I suppose we have to get to him eventually. Josh Freeman did not look sharp. He was constantly scrambling when it didn’t seem necessary, he was off target on several throws (including an overthrow to Luke Stocker which would have been a touchdown) and looked more like a rookie than he has in a long time. He looked like he found his groove in the last two minutes of the first half, but the Lions were giving up a lot of those passes up the middle to keep the clock running. So Freeman found a rhythm against a Cover 2 shell — everything else seemed to give him a hard time. I thought maybe he had shaved his head again, but evidently not.

Freeman's wildcard fro.

It’s not to championship length, but it’s adequately funky enough to beat the Lions. I’d say it’s wildcard hair right now.

Highlights: Kellen Winslow, Sammie Stroughter, Mike Williams‘s ridiculous touchdown, Quincy Black in the first half. There was some good stuff to take from the game, but overall it was a poor first showing and does not make me optimistic for the rest of the season. The good news is that the rest of the NFC South lost, so we’re still tied for first!