Josh Freeman

Posts Tagged ‘mark barron’

Bucs Beat AFC Champs!*

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

patspreseason

* 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.

Safety Dance

August 22, 2012 at 12:18am by Scott   •  4 Comments »

Ahmad Black's interception was so impressive that the team didn't feel they had to do anything else in the game.
Stephen Holder wrote a good article about the Bucs’ situation at safety and how it looks like one of the deeper positions on the team right now. He makes a few good points, all of which I will repeat here and claim as my own, mostly because I thought the same things anyway; he just wrote them before I did.

Ronde Barber and Mark Barron are the starters. This much is a given. After that we have Cody Grimm, Larry Asante, Ahmad Black, Tramain Thomas, Sean Baker and Keith Tandy. Grimm has experience on his side, although if the team was truly happy with him they wouldn’t have drafted Barron or moved Barber to safety. I think he’s on the bubble. Asante has had a good camp and makes plays in preseason, but also misses some plays and some tackles. The potential is there but not the consistency. Black has been amazing and is probably a lock to make the team unless he kidnaps a hooker sometime in the next two weeks (he’s a Gator, so this isn’t as ridiculous as it sounds, especially if the hooker has some good weed (I am not accusing Black of smoking weed, just making a generalization about Gators (Sept 15, baby))). Thomas and Baker are pocketing their per diems because they know they won’t be employed much longer. And Tandy has the distinction of being listed as a “DB” rather than a safety, meaning be can play both which is always nice.

The Bucs could keep five safeties, but probably won’t. They have depth issues on the defensive line that they’ll probably address with that extra body. If I had to guess now, they’ll keep Black and Grimm and try to sneak Tandy onto the practice squad. If called upon in a game, I’d trust Grimm’s experience over Tandy’s potential at this point.

Looking Good At Safety

August 01, 2012 at 09:09am by Scott   •  1 Comment »

barronbarber1

With two new starters at safety, there’s a lot of learning going on in the defensive backfield. But Mark Barron is glad to have a guy an elder statesman (read: old man) like Ronde Barber back there to lean on.

“Sometimes I just sit back and watch Ronde to pick up some of the things he knows,” said Barron, who couldn’t wait to strap on the pads two days into camp. “There isn’t too much in this league Ronde Barber hasn’t seen. When I ask him for help, he usually has a good answer for me.”

And Ronde is just happy to be doing something different after all these years.

“I want to play and I want to win,” Barber said. “It’s not often you get to find new challenges in your 16th year, new opportunities to prove yourself.”

Watching Ronde plug a gap and flatten a runner is one of things I’m most looking forward to seeing this season. He’s always been a good hitter and with his age and, let’s face it, slightly diminished coverage skills, it’s a good fit.

Speaking of diminished coverage skills, when everyone was looking for a knock on Barron, they picked on his coverage skills even though as a sophomore he picked off seven passes. People were just looking for some flaw in his game that they could talk about since he was so awesome. But Bill Sheridan doesn’t have any issues with Barron in coverage and has seen some good plays in practice already.

“The other day we had a deep ball thrown down one of the sides of the field and Barron sure covered a lot of ground in a hurry,” Sheridan said. “The kid’s got great range. He’s going to have his hands on a lot of balls.”

Bill Sheridan would like rephrase his optimism.

Hey, Look What Happened

July 23, 2012 at 12:36pm by Scott   •  1 Comment »

Barron Contract 2

Right on time, Mark Barron signed his contract, is now officially employed and can hire someone to smack Brian Price back for him if he wants.

The deal for the safety from Alabama includes a signing bonus of $8.961 million and base salaries of $390,000 in 2012, $1.047 million in 2013, $1.705 million in 2014, and $2.362 million in 2015, Profootballtalk.com reported.

Here’s something I didn’t know (or maybe forgot): Contracts for the first 16 picks of the draft are all fully guaranteed. So when I was advocating the Bucs go ahead and fully guarantee the contract, they had to do it anyway. Last year when Adrian Clayborn was the 20th pick, the Bucs didn’t have to fully guarantee it but they did anyway.

Barron’s contract did not contain any offset language, so if the Bucs decide to cut him before the contract is up, they’re on the hook for the guarantee whether or not he gets a job somewhere else. The legal term for this is “Woohoo!”, although it’s not likely to be an issue with Barron. If he gets into enough trouble off the field to justify getting cut, no other team will want that kind of mess (with the possible exception of the Raiders). And if he gets hurt and can’t play for a season, the Bucs will ride it out with him a la Cadillac Williams.

As for what Barron was missing on the rookies’ first two days at One Buc Place, coach Greg Schiano said Thursday, “He’s missed some repetitions, especially (important) for a rookie we’re counting on.”

But only with other rookies, so it’s probably not a big deal. Once the veterans get there, it all kicks in in earnest and then every rep is important. I know because I’ve seen Hard Knocks twice and can tell you everything that happens in training camp.

Bold Prediction: Barron Will Sign Soon

July 19, 2012 at 02:04pm by Scott   •  2 Comments »

Barron Contract 2

PFT is predicting that Mark Barron could be the next first round pick to sign a contract because of ironclad “rumblings” they’re hearing. And I’ve also heard “whispers” that none of this matters much because rookies have little reason to hold out anymore. Predicting Barron will sign soon is like predicting it will rain in Tampa this week. It’s probably a safe bet even if you’re not a meteorologist.

Last year, the Bucs were willing to overdo things at bit at No. 20, fully guaranteeing defensive end Adrian Clayborn’s deal even though the slot ultimately didn’t justify it.

A full guarantee of a high draft pick at the reasonable cost of the new rookie scale seems fine to me. After all the time and money a team pours into making its decision for a first round pick, if the player turns out to be a bust and they want to cut him before the four year contract is up, they kind of deserve to eat that. Especially a pick as high as Barron, #7. If the Bucs don’t have his first grade attendance record and colonic map on file, they’re not doing their jobs. So make the guarantee and let’s get this shit started already.

Mark Barron Hasn’t Reported Yet

July 18, 2012 at 11:25am by Scott   •  1 Comment »

Behind that smile is the mind of an investment banker.
Even though camp doesn’t begin until July 26, the rookies have to report today to make sure their shoulders are strong enough to carry all the veteran pads and that they are educated on all the best places to buy the veterans breakfast. But at this point with his contract still not finalized, Mark Barron will not be attending just yet.

The good news: that could change soon. With this morning’s news that Redskins quarterback Robert Griffith III signed his four-year deal, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a flurry of signings for the picks that remain unsigned. Most of the unsigned players are the top picks; Griffith is the first player in top eight selections to sign his deal.

My understanding is that the top players aren’t signing because they want their guaranteed money to be guaranteed even if they get cut and get another job, effectively getting two salaries for that period. And to that I say, fuck no. If one of the top eight rookies is bad enough to get cut inside of four years and someone else is dumb enough to sign him, he’s their problem. Why should he receive a double salary? What incentive does a player with that kind of contract have to perform well? Hell, he’ll want to get cut as long as his agent can get him another job somewhere. Standing up for how much you think you should be worth is fine, and if you think you’re worth twice the going rate for your position, then take that number to your team and try to get it from them straight up. But don’t try to job the system like this. It’s already guaranteed. Now you’re just being greedy.

Weekend Links for your Reading Pleasure

July 13, 2012 at 03:11pm by cubsandbucsfan   •  1 Comment »

I have no idea when Scott will return or if he is even alive at this point.  So in the meantime I will continue posting until he either gets back or permanently revokes my posting ability.  I actually have nothing of worth to say, so I figured I would just provide an aggregate listing of Buc related web stories that you could read at your own leisure.

Friday the 13th and Buccaneer News

Eric Wright, whom Scott poignantly referred to as our ‘rumored free agent acquisition’ , will in fact NOT face charges stemming from his DUI arrest earlier this month.  I don’t really care or have an opinion one way or another (I do however reject the idea that having a chemical in your bloodstream while driving automatically makes you a criminal), but I am curious if Da Commissar will reprimand him.

Staying in the Defensive Backfield, Mark Barron is still not signed.  I was under the impression the CBA was designed to eliminate this kind of drama, but what do I know?

Eric LeGrand received an ESPY this week.  I don’t want to come off as an a-hole, but they are really milking this story.

Drew Breese is getting paid.  Nice guy, wrong team, I am thrilled for him, bummed for the Bucs.

For those interested in the history of Friday the 13th, here is what ‘the W’ has to offer by way of background.

REAR ENTRIES: Just Get It Done

June 29, 2012 at 10:13am by Scott   •  4 Comments »

Rear Entry 133

TRAINING CAMP: I guess I never posted the Bucs training camp schedule. Here are the dates that are open to the public. The non-public dates are when it turns into a fight club.

MARK BARRON STILL UNSIGNED: The Bucs still haven’t agreed to terms with Mark Barron, but no one thinks it’s a big deal and none of the top eight picks have signed yet. Stephen Holder seems to think the issue is how guaranteed money is paid if the player gets cut or traded within four years. Way to believe in yourselves, boys. “If I suck, I want to make sure I get fully compensated for sucking, and then I want to have the ability to get paid by another team for sucking for them during the same season.” Somewhere at the bottom of an aquarium of purple drank, JaMarcus Russell is smiling.

ERIC LEGRAND: Here’s a happy way to end the week. Eric LeGrand has his own rookie football card! And he’s also set to release his biography in September (with a separate version for kids). And he is preparing to host a weekly radio show in the Fall in addition to some television work. And he’s about to graduate with this degree in labor studies. Oh, and he is in practically constant physical therapy and can now sit up on his own. What have you done today?

Brian Price Punched Mark Barron

June 20, 2012 at 11:16am by Scott   •  3 Comments »

Mark Barron evidently didn't even throw a punch. Was he being classy toward a hurting teammate or was he just getting the shit beaten out of him?
This is old news by now since it happened months ago and got reported on a couple days ago, but it’s worth covering since big dudes are punching each other and that’s always entertaining. At the beginning of an OTA day, the team was gathering in a meeting room for a meeting. Mark Barron was apparently in the seat that Brian Price wanted. Price told Barron to get up and Barron refused. And then, SNAP!

In short order, Barron was getting pummeled by Price. The third-year tackle was said to have gotten in a good number of punches before teammates pulled him off Barron. Both players were removed from the meeting as Barron’s face was said to be bloodied.

And now the mystery of why Price was staying away from minicamp is solved.

A couple points here. First, I don’t think anyone is going to blame Price for losing his shit at anything. The guy has been through more trauma and tragedy in the last few years than most of us will face in a lifetime. The fact that he hasn’t gone Falling Down on the city of Tampa is, frankly, a blessing. But this kind of action cannot be condoned regardless of the excusability of the cause. You can’t have a loose cannon walking around a meeting room with everybody averting their eyes so as to not get a mouthful of his fist. It’s good he’s got a chance to get away and compose himself, but if this kind of thing happens again, he has to be suspended. It has to be team first or the whole system is screwed.

Second, I know rookies are supposed to be the plebeians of the football world and they’re expected to carry pads and buy breakfast and shit, but this isn’t Hell Week and Barron isn’t rushing the Buccaneers. He’s already part of the team and a grown man and doesn’t need to move because a veteran tells him he’s in his seat. That’s what bullies do on the school bus and as we all know you have to stand up to bullies. I like the fact that Barron isn’t intimidated and won’t get pushed around. I’ll bet that shows up on the football field, too.

Secondary Coming Together

June 04, 2012 at 11:34am by Scott   •  1 Comment »

Every time a Gator gets a banner pic, an angel's wings rot and fall off.
And just like that, an interesting article with good information. Pewter Report published a piece on the safety position, specifically Ahmad Black‘s role in it, and PFT did a good job of condensing it down if you don’t feel like reading the whole thing. And now I’ll condense it down even further.

Barber is now the starting free safety, while Barron is running with the first-team defense at strong safety. According to PewterReport.com, Ahmad Black has emerged as Barber’s primary backup, with Grimm working behind Barron.

There are three other safeties in the mix besides those four: Larry Asante, Sean Baker and Tramain Thomas. From what we know, Devin Holland has moved from safety to corner. Teams generally keep four or five safeties, so Asante looks to be on the bubble while the others will serve as meat for the next couple months. The previous regime was high on Asante, but I haven’t heard anything one way or the other as to what Schiano and the new coaches think of him.

One fundamental change that could hurt Black’s opportunity for playing time is that the safety positions are no longer interchangeable as they were in the Bucs defense under Kiffin and Morris. Black hasn’t been learning the strong safety spot at all.

Safety was a huge need coming out of the 2011 season and now it looks like a strength. And with the acquisition of Eric Wright, hopefully the Bucs have found someone to take Ronde’s vacated spot at corner. The defensive backfield seems to be shaping up. Now if the defensive line can get a pass-rush going so the secondary isn’t covering for ten seconds at a time, we’ll be all set.