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Posts Tagged ‘legarrette blount’

A Week Into Free Agency

March 19, 2013 at 01:08am by Scott   •  7 Comments »

I don't need no fancy foods like beans with ketchup!
A few more personnel moves happened over the last couple days, most of which fall under the category of, “Well, they had to do something.” Like signing Tom Crabtree away from the Packers. He has been a good blocking tight end and is a can be an outlet receiver in a pinch (he caught eight passes last year), but no one thinks he’s the missing piece to the Super Bowl puzzle for the Bucs. I don’t even think he rules out the team using a high draft pick on a tight end next month. But he has more experience than Luke Stocker and, while Stocker got better as the season went on, probably isn’t the starter in Greg Schiano‘s run-first offense.

Speaking of the running game, apparently LeGarrette Blount is still on the trading block even though they re-signed him a couple weeks ago. The Bucs weren’t willing to let him go just for nothing, so they gave him a deal that was fair while still being palatable to another team who might need a running back. Blount’s contract contains no guaranteed money, so the team can still cut him without being out any cash or cap. I still think it’s a good move to hold onto him. If Doug Martin rips a knee apart, they’ll be glad Blount is still around.

One player that is no longer on the trading block, mostly because they actually traded him, is Arrelious Benn. The Bucs moved Benn to the Patriots Eagles for a sixth round pick this year and a conditional pick next year (no one knows what round it’s in, but it’s got to be really low), but the Bucs also had to give up a seventh this year. It’s probably all they could get for him, but it’s yet another second-round disaster for the Bucs and a total washout of the 2010 second round for Mark Dominik. The deal doesn’t make me feel any differently about Dominik — I still think he’s an excellent GM and a good talent evaluator — but letting Benn go for practically nothing has to sting. Especially considering Rob Gronkowski was taken three slots later.

Oh, and Roy Miller signed with the Jaguars. And Michael Bennett signed with Seattle (I think I covered that last time). It will be interesting to see who the Bucs want to replace Miller, who I thought was one of the better nose tackles out there.

So, to sum up the last week:

IN: Dashon Goldson, Tom Crabtree, Kevin Ogletree, Jonathan Casillas
OUT: Michael Bennett, Quincy Black, Jeremy Trueblood, Roy Miller, Arrelious Benn
STILL DON’T KNOW: Ronde Barber, Dallas Clark, LeGarrette Blount, E.J. Biggers, Andrew Economos, Brandon McDonald

Did they really not pay Economos yet? They’re not planning on arguing over a few dollars for a really reliable long snapper, are they?

Now that I look at that summary, it’s not the most glamorous free agency, is it? I’m sure they have a plan, but it would be nice if it involved them actually getting more than one really good player.

First Day Of Free Agency Is Not Interesting

March 13, 2013 at 02:05am by Scott   •  11 Comments »

I like a safety who just punches the receiver.
The first day of free agency came and went for the Bucs and it was a lot like last year, except instead of three big name free agents they got zero. But that doesn’t mean they’re not looking around. In fact, Dashon Goldson is making Tampa his first free agent visit.

On Tuesday, the 49ers All-Pro boarded a private jet charted by the Buccaneers and flew across the country to Tampa Bay where he could become among the highest-paid safeties in the NFL today.

And somewhere Ronde Barber is regretting playing so aloof with his retirement talk. If the Bucs sign Goldson, the only way Barber comes back is as a backup safety/nickel corner and he’s not the kind of guy to take on that kind of role.

And the Darrelle Revis to Tampa talk is still getting traction in the media.

The Jets are believed to be seeking a first-round pick. Even if the teams agree on draft compensation, the Bucs would have to reach a contract extension with Revis, who wants $15 million to $16 million per year despite playing in only two games last season because of a torn ACL in his left knee.

And we all know Mark Dominik is smart enough to not cash in the #13 pick for a player who is going to cost so much coin and still won’t be happy with it next year. Then again

Devious pranksters with too much time of their hands appear to have conducted an interesting (and probably illegal) experiment that put Bucs general manager Mark Dominik on Front Street.

On Friday, just before the start of the NFL’s three-day free-agent negotiating period, the pranksters, after making a call to Bills general manager Buddy Nix posing as Dominik, somehow got access to the eventual callback from Nix to Dominik.

They surreptitiously recorded the 5-minute call and shared the clip with Deadspin.com. In it, Dominik laments the uselessness of the negotiating period and discusses his efforts to trade running back LeGarrette Blount and receiver Arrelious Benn (he claimed there’s some interest in both).

Just kidding, Mark. This isn’t your fault. And “probably” illegal is bullshit. It’s definitely illegal. Florida’s wiretapping law is very clear about both parties needing to give consent to record a call. Reading the article, Dominik didn’t say anything out of line or even anything very surprising. He wanted to trade Blount? The hell you say! And I actually didn’t remember Benn was on the team until I read this article, so if he can get anything at all for him, he wins Trade of the Year honors.

The only thing that was a little revealing is that he is looking to move Jamon Meredith, which may tip his hand that he is looking to take a right tackle early in the draft, which I think is great because the draft is deep at tackle. D.J. Fluker (Alabama) and Lane Johnson (Oklahoma) will both still be there and should even be available lower than #13 if the Bucs can trade down. Fluker is a monster and paired up with Davin Joseph on the right side will provide running lanes on the right all day long. Fluker has slow feet, though, and needs to work to be more nimble if he is going to be an elite tackle. Johnson is the opposite — quick feet and an excellent pass protector, but only an average run blocker. That’s because he doesn’t have the same size as Fluker (he is a former junior college quarterback) but he’s got all the smarts and skills to keep Josh Freeman clean on the right.

So yeah, kind of a waste of a prank and a wiretap. Next maybe they’ll catch Dominik reading a grocery list to his wife. And then they can try to make something interesting out of that. “Dominik, in a stunning revelation, said he prefers RC to Coke or Pepsi. We always knew the Bucs were cheap!”

Catching Up With Actual Bucs News

March 10, 2013 at 11:59pm by Scott   •  7 Comments »

And if that doesn't scare you, wait until you see all the tattoos on his head.
Several things have been going on with the Bucs over the last few days, so just like a typical blogger, I’m going to give you the news several days after it all happened and with the added benefit of being unfunny and completely uninsightful. And apparently not smart, either, since my spellcheck just said “uninsightful” isn’t a word. But it also doesn’t like “Bucs”, so maybe it’s not completely my fault.

The Bucs re-signed LeGarrette Blount without having to use a restricted tag on him, which is great since they actually paid him less than a second-round tender would have gotten him. Blount has shown he can be an effective back when he is used the right way. And by “the right way”, I mean lowering his head and destroying smaller linebackers. Free agent running backs and hit and miss (anyone remember Derrick Ward?) but they know what they have in Blount and it was worth $1.75-million on a one-year deal to them to hold on to him. Good move.

Despite reports that the Bucs weren’t sure if they wanted to bring Ronde Barber back, the Bucs have said they want to bring him back. Which is why anonymous “reports” almost always suck. Barber spends time hemming and hawing (no spell check there? Seriously?) every year and always comes back, and there’s no reason to think he won’t come back again. Until his level of play drops to where you see him on the field and just know he’s going to be out of position (this is known as “The Sabby Syndrome”), he’s better than most options out there. It may seem counterintuitive to think that the league’s worst pass defense should keep anyone from last year, but I don’t think Ronde was the problem. Like everyone else, he missed some plays, but he was generally effective and it just seems wrong to cut him before he’s totally worthless.

Michael Bennett won’t be returning to the Bucs. The team plans to start Da’Quan Bowers and Adrian Clayborn as their defensive ends and that doesn’t leave any room for another starting-caliber player. At least not one who wants to play. Seems pretty dangerous to me to put all their eggs in the baskets of players who have missed significant time due to injury. Bowers may have a higher ceiling than Bennett, but Bennett is always on the field and led the Bucs in sacks last season. It’s a numbers game and the Bucs are making their choice, but they better invest significantly in depth at defensive end this offseason.

One of the players they may invest in is John Abraham. There’s apparently no report about actual interest; just Florio speculating. Abraham will be 35 when the season starts but still put up ten sacks last season and has been really consistent throughout his career. He hasn’t missed any significant time since 2006, so maybe he’s the depth the Bucs are looking for. When Clayborn or Bowers gets hurt (and one of them will), Abraham can step in and be effective. He’ll have other options, but this wouldn’t be a bad pickup. He won’t command an elite price, but he’ll be somewhat expensive. The Bucs may have to convince him that being a backup isn’t so bad, and one way to do that is to pay him almost-starter money.

So there you go. I cleared out the inbox that had been piling up and actually got an entry posted. And if you’re wondering about the clickys, sorry, I haven’t really been in a clicky mood this week. And look, you survived. Hey, some anticipation builds character. I’ll see what next week brings.

First-Round Tender For Blount?

March 06, 2013 at 01:00am by Scott   •  2 Comments »

This jump alone is worth a second-round pick.
According to Roy Cummings, the Bucs are considering putting a first-round tender on LeGarrette Blount.

The Bucs are considering placing a first-round tender on Blount, in part because Dominik says he never wants to leave himself short at the running back position the way he did in 2010, especially now that the Bucs offense is a run-first attack.

A first-round tender would not only prevent other teams from signing Blount, they’d be scared to even say his name publicly. It might be overkill, but it doesn’t bother me like it apparently does others who commented on the story. The Bucs would have to pay Blount $2.9-million for 2013, but they can easily absorb that with their cap room so I’m not sure why fans care. It’s not their money. Except, of course, the money Tampa residents pay for the stadium which indirectly goes back to the Bucs to help them pay players. They can complain a little. And they do.

Blount had 151 yards and 2 touchdowns last year and those numbers could be easily replaced. But you have to be careful who you pick. Anyone remember Kregg Lumpkin or Mossis Madu or Derrick Ward? At least we know Blount can run for 1,000 yards if he really wants to. Everyone thinks you can just grab any old running back and plug him in since the game is all passing these days. They point to Arian Foster as an undrafted free agent as an example but somehow forget that for every Foster there’s a couple dozen scrubs who would otherwise be selling insurance if running backs weren’t snapping knees like twigs. You need someone at least reliable and Blount can be that guy. I say it’s a good move if they do it.

D-Line Stars Haven’t Played Together

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

dline2

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.

MRI Says AOK

September 13, 2012 at 10:28am by Scott   •  4 Comments »

If he could access it, that skull space would be a great place for Homer to store his weed when he goes on an airplane.
[note: I do not think LeGarrette Blount has a small brain. I just find the picture funny. Go be hypersensitive somewhere else.]

LeGarrette Blount‘s leg/head/neck/whatever issue has apparently resolved itself since he got an MRI yesterday and everything looked normal. Or whatever “normal” is for a guy who has been in collisions all his life.

While speculation suggesting Blount might have been sulking over his new role as the backup to rookie starter Doug Martin grew, the specialist determined Blount actually suffered from a pinched nerve.

“That’s part of the reason why you saw him (shaking his arms as he came off the field), because he lost some strength,” Bucs general manager Mark Dominik said. “He felt a stinger and it made us nervous. But it turns out he’s fine.”

Some commenters here were also saying they thought Blount might be dogging it since he became the backup, but that didn’t make sense to me. That would have been a weird time to pull something like that. He’d have been better off faking an injury during warm-ups or something. If you put a performance like that on tape during a regular season game and then get cut, that’s going to follow you. When you get hit at different angles, the potential is always there to hit a nerve or something that makes you lose control and shake like an epileptic for a couple seconds. I guess it was like hitting a funny bone. In his neck. Anyway, he’s not mad.

“I had my best season as a backup,” Blount said, referring to his 2010 rookie season when he started just seven games but ran 201 times for 1,007 yards. “I’d much rather play throughout the game, but who wouldn’t? I’m fine with my role.”

Unfortunately, I don’t think his production will match 2010. He wasn’t always a backup that year; he started almost half the season. Blount seems like the kind of back that needs a lot of touches in order to break one loose like he does. If he doesn’t get those, he may not be able to get into a groove. D.J. Ware looked like he could get out of the gate and be productive right away and that may limit Blount’s carries even further. And as long as he keeps up this pace, I’d ride Doug Martin all day long. Wait, that came out wrong.

REAR ENTRIES: The Old Man And The NFC

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

rearentry142

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.

LeGarrette Blount Something Something Injury

September 11, 2012 at 10:10am by Scott   •  7 Comments »

Does anybody read these anymore?
When LeGarrette Blount went down with an injury on Sunday, it looked a little weird. He kind of stumbled and then grabbed his leg, but not like someone who had just hurt his leg. More like a drunk who was trying to hide the fact that he tripped because of his drunkenness by pretending it was his leg. We never saw Blount again and Greg Schiano later said that he was not injured. And now he’s backtracking on that a little.

“LeGarrette could have gone back in the game,” Schiano said. “So let me make that clear. I don’t know if we’re all certain on what’s ailing LeGarrette. He came out of the game and we thought it was his leg. We’re not sure. So we’re just keeping a close eye on him to make sure there’s nothing more serious. I think he’s okay.”

If I had to guess, I’d say Blount lied to everyone and said it was his leg when it was really a concussion or something similar. The only thing that makes me doubt that is when you get concussed, you generally aren’t in your right head enough to lie about it right at that moment. So maybe it wasn’t a real concussion and he just hit his head slightly but was still coherent enough to fake a leg injury. Or not.

Luckily, I don’t have to guess and I honestly don’t give a shit. If it was really serious, I’m pretty sure we would know by now. And if Schiano wants to lie to me about what it really is, that’s fine too. Really. Lie away. If it means next week’s opponent is that much less prepared, I’m perfectly okay reporting false information and stonewalling. I never thought coaches owed the fans detailed explanations of their players’ health in the first place. It always seemed counterproductive. I know it’s supposed to be for the gambling aspect, but it doesn’t really matter. If I have enough riding on the game, I’ll find him and break his legs myself.

Labor Day Shake-Ups

September 04, 2012 at 10:36am by Scott   •  2 Comments »

roster2

I guess the Bucs didn’t get the message that this was Labor Day weekend and that it was perfectly acceptable — nay, expected — that we lay in bed all day scratching ourselves and then go to some public park where they’re having a barbecue and blend in with the crowd and mooch food. But no, they decided to use the weekend to get better, which is fine in the long run but makes me look like a slacker.

There was some shuffling around (including Wallace Gilberry getting cut and re-signed along with other guys you’ve never heard of getting signed and then cut again), but basically it nets out to them bringing in C/G Cody Wallace, DT Corvey Irvin and RB D.J. Ware while losing T Bradley Sowell and CB Brandon McDonald (remember, they had 52 to start). Irvin is a third year player out of Georgia who spent time at Carolina and Jacksonville and Wallace is a fourth year player out of Texas A&M. Neither of them have as much experience as their years would indicate since they’ve barely ever been on an active roster. But they’re both positions of need so you just have to bring them on and hope you never have to find out what they can actually do.

Ware is an interesting case because it’s not like the Bucs needed another running back. But Ware was part of a winning program in New York and Mike Sullivan is familiar with his work. I know Ware from his time at Georgia and remember him as a guy who is capable of breaking big runs from time to time, but is more of a grinder. Maybe a third and short back. He may have been brought in to keep LeGarrette Blount from getting complacent. Seems like that roster spot could have been used more wisely, but he must bring something to the team that doesn’t appear in his stats.

The Bucs also built a practice squad out of Drake Dunsmore, Jacob Cutrera and Sowell along with two WRs, two more LBs and a QB.

That’s how it stands right now. I like the starters and I like the depth on the back seven of the defense. But as we all know, games are won and lost in the trenches and the depth there is still suspect. I did finally watch that fourth preseason game and I saw how the backups performed. They made Jonathan Crompton look good and gave Brett Ratliff PTSD. But the Bucs have undoubtedly scoured the waiver wire and this is who they think are the best fits to serve their needs, so there you go.

(D.J. Ware is a better fit than Tiquan Underwood on a team with only five wide receivers? How does that work?)

REAR ENTRIES: Redskins And Running Backs

August 29, 2012 at 11:06am by Scott   •  4 Comments »

rearentry141

BUCS FACING RAHEEM TONIGHT: This entry was going to be about how Raheem Morris will be facing his old Buccaneers for the first time and how his current Redskins should enjoy that charisma and amped up feeling while it lasts because getting slapped on the back and told inappropriate jokes by your boss gets old fast, but then I read the intro paragraph.

DULLES, Va. — A flat screen television at a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant just outside the nation’s capital was tuned into the Republican National Convention in Tampa, where Mitt Romney had just been pushed over the top with enough delegates to earn his party’s nomination for president.

And then the next paragraph does not provide any segue or context to that statement. It just kind of hangs there like a pants leg stuck outside the drawer. Is Rick Stroud a Republican who wanted to work Romney’s name into an article? Is he a Democrat who wanted to associate Romney’s name with something pointless? Or is this article an homage to Raheem and his ADD-style of public speaking? If I thought that was really what it was, I’d send Stroud a congratulatory greeting card because that would make it the most awesome thing ever. Sadly, I think it’s just bad. Hell, even Florio has transitions in his paragraphs, as tortured and meandering as they may be. And given the choice between him or this thing in the Raheem article…

Nah, I’d still rather have this. Florio is unforgivable.

MOST VALUABLE BUCS: Tom Jones took a break from lounge singing and wrote an article about the five Buccaneers that the team can least afford to lose. It’s not a surprising list, but I really don’t have any issue with it except maybe Vincent Jackson, who we haven’t seen play in a regular season game yet and can’t really determine how valuable he is. Instead of Jackson, I might even put Connor Barth on there. No one is predicting the Bucs to blow anyone away this year, so field goals are probably going to be the difference between winning and losing in several games. The Bucs need a reliable kicker to salvage some points out of stalled drives, and as we’ve seen, you can’t just pull someone off the street to do it. Unless the guy you pull of the street is Connor Barth, who no one had heard of until Mark Dominik found him in Kansas City’s scrap heap and signed him just to get people to stop talking about Mike Nugent.

BLOUNT GETS BUMPED: It shouldn’t come as any surprise that Doug Martin finally passed LeGarrette Blount on the depth chart. Greg Schiano practically told us to expect it months ago. But Schiano says the chart isn’t written in stone.

“It doesn’t mean that that’s it,” he said. “As I’ve told them, ‘It could go the other way if you outperform (Martin).’ We don’t hand out jobs and sign them over. It’s always competition around here, continually. I think Doug’s done a great job and that’s why he’s got the No. 1 seat. But he’s got to work to keep it.”

Looking at the preseason games objectively, Martin did better than Blount. And while he may not be the starter, but Blount will get his carries. Blount may have his drawbacks, but he has experience and he can break big runs and it seems like the era of the workhorse back is dead so you need two starting-caliber backs to play these days. Even if he never starts a game this season, there will be a highlight reel play from Blount this season. Count on it.

One more thing, if you live in the Atlanta area, throw a quick comment up on this entry and let me know. Just trying to get a feel for how many of us there are. Thanks.