Josh Freeman

Posts Tagged ‘ted larsen’

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.

Changing Of The (Left) Guard

September 16, 2011 at 02:27pm by Scott   •  1 Comment »

Seriously, I need you to stop farting on the line.
According to Raheem Morris via Stephen Holder‘s Twitter, Jeremy Zuttah will get the start on Sunday instead of Ted Larsen.

Jeremy Zuttah taking over at LG for Jeremy Zuttah. Basically a performance-based move

Duh… Taking over for Ted Larsen. It’s Friday. I’m fried

There’s a reason Larsen started so much last season: Zuttah wasn’t good at left guard. He seems better at center, but I remember several times where he was playing left guard and getting pushed around. So either he has dramatically improved or the bottom dropped out of Larsen. Run-blocking was shit last week, but pass protection was decent. I don’t recall Larsen standing out one way or the other. Jesus, offensive linemen are boring.

Things I Saw During The Chiefs Game

August 15, 2011 at 10:24am by Scott   •  4 Comments »

Your leading rusher Friday night.
No one looked really good rushing, except Josh Johnson who led the team. LeGarrette Blount ran tough but didn’t have any breakaways and Allen Bradford looked like shit, although he didn’t benefit from a first-team blocking unit. Out of the running backs, Kregg Lumpkin looked the most consistent and even Armando Allen had a 16-yard run. Blount is the kind of runner that gets better as the game rolls on, so I’m not too worried about it, but the Bucs may be leaning on Earnest Graham as the backup halfback if no one else really steps up.

The entire starting offensive line looked excellent. Davin Joseph was particularly aggressive for a preseason game. Ted Larsen has nothing to worry about; he’s locked in as the starting left guard again. The backup lines, though, look rough. Two penalties each on Demar Dotson and James Lee have to be discouraging for the coaches, and Brandon Carter allowed a sack on Johnson by pretty much standing there and looking confused. Carter can’t beat out Jeremy Zuttah and it isn’t looking good for him against Derek Hardman, either.

Speaking of Johnson, I said something on Twitter that he was looking inconsistent. I took it back a couple plays later when he started slinging bullets exactly where they needed to be, and he looked awesome the rest of his time behind center. But I wanted to say it here for good measure: Josh Johnson was really sharp.

Dezmon Briscoe could start for any team in the league, and he’s the Bucs’ #3. Everyone should feel really good about their depth at receiver. If Arrelious Benn hurts anything else, Briscoe is stepping in and not giving the position back. Seriously, Benn better watch out.

If you’re a relative of Devin Holland and you still haven’t gone to the Bucs’ web site to see his name on the official roster, you better do it soon. Holland arrived a full second into Zeke Markshausen before the ball did. That’s the same kind of shot that almost killed Clifton Smith a couple years ago, but even that asshole (I forget his name now) only arrived a fraction of a second too soon. Maybe one of the dumbest special teams mistakes I’ve ever seen.

Not bad play from the backup tight ends. Kellen Winslow obviously has nothing to worry about, but Luke Stocker‘s injury may push him to third string if he can’t get on the field soon. And that would be tragic for all of us. TRAGIC, I SAY.

Jock Sanders had punt returns of 21 and 13 yards. Preston Parker‘s longest was 10.

Speaking of special teams, the Chiefs had three punt returns for a total of -1 yard and two fair catches. Now that’s a punt return unit.

Kyle Moore is currently the third-string left defensive end, but he was able to get two sacks on Kansas City while Da’Quan Bowers didn’t get any. Now that I think about it, Bowers didn’t make the stat sheet. Starter Michael Bennett got credit for a half-sack that he shared with Dekoda Watson for a safety. Bowers has looked impressive in camp, but the coaches obviously didn’t think he was ready for the starting job and it looks like they were proven right, at least for one game.

Was Anthony Gaitor all over the place, or was I just imagining it? He had a sack and a pass defensed and a tackle for loss. Oh, and that hit by Ronde Barber to start the game? Sweeeeet.

Corey Lynch came so close to blocking another punt. This kid has a gift for it.

Mason Foster didn’t show up much on the stat sheet, but that kid can fly. Even though he wasn’t the one making the tackles, I saw him pressure the quarterback and rerouting runners into other guys. He looked really fast.

I tried to get the chat going but I wasn’t having much luck doing it on my phone, so I mostly used Twitter during the game. I don’t have a TV where the computer is, don’t have a working laptop and still haven’t invested in an iPad yet (the donate button is on the left, by the way), so for now you can follow me on Twitter during the games or poke your head out the window for my super-secret smoke signals.

Pat Predicts Cuts

July 19, 2011 at 09:19am by Scott   •  2 Comments »

Faine is excited to share with Graham what he plans to do to Pat's house tonight.
Pat Yasinskas has posted a list of Buccaneers that he thinks could be cap casualties when the lockout is lifted. And leave it to Pat to write something and then immediately tell us why it’s bullshit.

This first scenario might be a long shot because the Bucs don’t really need to free up cap space, and Jeff Faine is viewed as a reliable veteran center. But Faine is 30 and has missed parts of the past two seasons with injuries. He’s scheduled to count $4.575 against the salary cap and the Bucs wouldn’t have to absorb a dime if they cut him because Faine’s contract was structured in a way that his $12 million in bonus money was absorbed in the first two years of his deal.

But who would replace him? Ted Larsen is listed as a center but he played left guard last year and as far as I know is still the starting left guard. John Malecki is also listed as a center, and if you know who he is, congratulations, you’re more qualified to write this blog than I am. The only real threat to Faine’s position is Jeremy Zuttah. Zuttah was much better at center than he was at guard, but that doesn’t make him better than Faine.

If the Bucs are desperate to get rid of Faine (and I don’t think they are, I’m just entertaining Pat’s premise because I have nothing better to do), they’ll at least run everyone through camp and see if anyone has a chance to unseat him. Suggesting they’ll drop him as soon as the league year starts is crazy. The Bucs have tons of cap room and will be coming off a lockout where they’re going to need their veterans who are experienced in their position. I really don’t see him going anywhere this year at all.

The other players he thinks the Bucs could cut as soon as the doors open are Aqib Talib (no), Earnest Graham (possibly), and Andrew Economos (probably — injury settlement). And now I’ve saved you a trip to ESPN. Think of me when you’re doing something more worth your time.

Offensive Line Can’t Pass Block

June 14, 2011 at 06:35pm by bens   •  4 Comments »

The people over at ProFootballFocus have developed a system for measuring the pass blocking efficiency of offensive lineman. The formula is simple:

((Sacks + (0.75 * Hits) + (0.75 * Hurries)) / Pass Pro Snaps) * 100

The results were not good for the Buccaneers’ interior lineman, especially Jeff Faine who was ranked the worst pass blocking center in the NFL. Guards Davin Joseph and Ted Larsen, ranked 4th worst and 6th worst respectively.

The tackles were just as bad: Jeremy Trueblood was the 5th worst and Donald Penn the 7th worst.

Penn’s number was surprising. Yesterday, ESPN named him the 8th best tackle in the league.

Raheem Morris insists stats are for losers (bad news for this site) but these numbers may be pretty convincing when it comes to resigning Joseph, Trueblood, or Faine.

The only bright spot on the line was Jeremy Zuttah, who ranked as the 7th best center in the league. Zuttah’s salary is significantly lower than Faine’s, plus he’s younger and healthier.

While finding the picture for this post, I discovered this gem from February, 2011. In the interview, Faine sounds pretty negative about the future:

“You’re not going to see Josh Freeman and our receiving corps down at the University of Tampa soccer field …,” Faine said. “They might go out there and run some routes and throw. But you’re talking about getting an entire receiving corps together being able to work against an entire defensive backs corps. It’s just not going to happen.”

Actually, that’s exactly what happened…

The O line will be serviceable next year but don’t be surprised if Mark Dominik doubles up on offensive lineman in the early rounds of the 2012 draft.

Palm Harbor Represent! What What!

April 28, 2011 at 10:27am by Scott   •  2 Comments »

I realize I'm not doing Ted any favors with this photo, but it's too funny to pass up.
Ted Larsen has had quite a year. He started last spring as a sixth-round pick by the Patriots, he was signed to a four-year, $1.9-million contract by the Patriots, he learned the meaning of “non-guaranteed” when he was waived a few months later, the Bucs plucked him off of waivers, and he rose up to being the starting left guard. And now, to top off his year of unlikely shit happening to him, he SAVED THREE LIVES yesterday.

Ted Larsen, 23, who played college football at North Carolina State, said he and his girlfriend were fishing on his 24-foot boat when he heard the Coast Guard signal at 3 p.m. that a boater was in distress.

Plus he has a girlfriend who likes to go fishing with him? Larsen is nearing Jake Plummer-levels of greatness. If you land a chick who likes to do fun outdoor stuff with you, hang the fuck on to her.

After checking the coordinates, he realized it was nearby.

When he neared Honeymoon Island, he saw two people in the water holding on to their kayak, another still in another kayak.

Larsen pulled up the teens and their kayaks and shuttled them to near Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard. The grateful kayakers didn’t recognize him or talk very much after they touched dry land.

What? They didn’t recognize a sixth-round left guard? Throw ‘em back in.

“They were just glad to have their parent’s kayaks back and not sunk,” he joked.

I guess that’s one of those universal things. Your own safety doesn’t mean anything compared to your parents’ property. I know a dude that got carjacked a long time ago. Window down, stereo on, sitting at a poorly-lit stoplight, some dude walks up with a gun and buries the muzzle in the driver’s left cheek and says “GET THE FUCK OUT!” He gets out, carjacker gets in and drives away. The victim runs to the nearest payphone and calls his dad and all he can do is apologize for losing the car. The dad didn’t give a shit about the car, but the kid was still worried a week later that he was going to get in trouble for getting carjacked.

Come to think of it, that also happened in Palm Harbor. So I guess you take the good with the bad. The point is that Ted Larsen is fucking awesome and he needs to get his face on a cereal box or something so people can recognize him.

REAR ENTRIES: Up And Coming

March 28, 2011 at 10:59am by Scott   •  No Comments »

Rear Entry 69
E.J. BIGGERS WAS GOOD IN 2010: I thought I had covered this a couple weeks ago but I guess I never got to it, and who can blame with what with all the hustle and bustle of free agency to cover. Pat Yasinskas reminded me of this Football Outsiders article on various cornerback stats and who came out on top. Tampa Bay’s own E.J. Biggers came in at #7 in the league in “success rate”, which means this:

Success Rate, to remind everyone, is the percentage of passes that don’t manage to get at least 45 percent of needed yards on first down, 60 percent of needed yards on second down, or 100 percent of needed yards on third down.

Darrelle Revis, Tramon Williams and Antonio Cromartie are also on the list, so that should give you a good idea of the company E.J. is keeping right now. That’s better than the kind of company Cromartie is keeping, which is the kind that sues you for child support every few months.

LARSEN BETTER THAN EXPECTED: Ira Kaufman revisited Ted Larsen‘s story yet again (did you know he went to school in Palm Harbor?!?) but did manage to squeeze one new bit into an otherwise completely recycled story.

One member of the Bucs staff said Larsen graded out even better than anticipated when the coaches broke down film of the 2010 season.

That doesn’t sound too hard since the guy was picked at the bottom of the sixth round last year, but a compliment is a compliment. Larsen will be the starter going into camp, but has he reached his peak or can he still get better? Does a third or fourth round rookie have more potential than Larsen with a year of experience under his belt?

HOW’S IT GOIN’, EH?: Speaking of Pat Yasinskas, he is also hearing some promising things about Tyrone McKenzie‘s future with the Bucs.

His message was that the coaching staff is very high on McKenzie, who appeared in three games as a backup linebacker and special-teams player last season.

I have also heard myself that the coaches really like McKenzie. If Quincy Black isn’t on the team in 2011, McKenzie will be in the mix to replace him as the starter. It’s one of the reasons I don’t think the Bucs take a linebacker in the first round. I’ll be personally rooting for McKenzie, if only to fill this site with countless SCTV jokes.

Donald Penn Wants Things

December 18, 2010 at 02:36pm by bens   •  4 Comments »

Hey Guys, my name is Ben Saucier and I’ll be blogging here for a bit while Scott recovers from his exotic disease.  Just like the real Bucs, at Bucstats when a starter goes down a scrub from the practice squad steps up.  I was born in Sarasota and have been rooting for the Bucs since I could talk.  Give me your feedback in the comments and wish Scott a speedy recovery!

Today Jim Rome’s “correspondent” segment featured Donald Penn. Rome introduced him as the left tackle for the surprising Buccaneers who are right in the middle of the NFC playoff hunt.  Good to see ESPN giving us some love.

Penn’s segment was really good.  He seems like a genuinely funny, happy, dude with a killer beard. Although, I’d be in a good mood if I got the  fat contract he did this offseason.  Pun intended.  Here are some highlights:

He asked LaGarrette Blount why he always jumps over people.  Blount said it is because he is a big 250 pound back and he can do it all.  Not really an answer.  Why does everyone, including Blount, have to mention his weight every time they talk about him?

He called Ronde Barber a ‘for sure’ first ballot hall of famer and only member of the 40/20 club.  Take that Pat Y.   Ronde quickly pointed out that it’s the 40/25 club.  Penn said he asked Ronde for an autographed jersey 3 years ago and hasn’t got it yet.  He asked for a jersey again.  Ronde smiled.

He caught Mike Williams playing pool and called him the rookie phenomenon.  He pointed out Mike Williams Jordan sneakers which he called J’s.  He asked for a pair.  He made the cameraman look at his J’s and then asked Williams when he was getting his shoes.

Penn said he’s been asking all season for Josh Freeman to run over someone.  Last Sunday he ran over 2 people on the 2 point conversion.  Jim rolled the tape. He asked Josh what kind of car he drove to work.  Josh said the Range Rover.  Glad it isn’t a motorcycle or something stupid that could get him hurt like Ben Rothesliberger.  Penn then asked Josh what he was getting him for Christmas.

He found guard Ted Larsen who plays next to him.  Penn said he put Ted through the worst of the worst.  I’m not here to judge.  Ted has been getting him things all year: wet whips, toothpaste, soaps, peanuts, etc.  Penn said he doesn’t even like peanuts.  Have you no shame!  Rookie hazing on the offensive line.  Ted Larsen is bigger than I expected.

He interrupted Jeremy Zuttah who was giving an interview.  He made him shout out the Jim Rome show.  Zuttah seemed slightly annoyed.  Penn goes “how do you like it when Donald Penn makes a call on the field and it’s the wrong call?”  Zuttah goes “You don’t make any calls, I do.”  Penn goes they don’t know that and then called Zuttah the starting center.  Jeremy looks 16.  With the emergence of Larzen at Guard and Zuttah at Center maybe Faine is gone in the offseason.  He is ancient by this team’s standards.

Penn sat down next to Coach Morris and talked about how Raheem got mad at him during the Atlanta game.  Can’t remember if Penn gave up a sack that game.   Morris said he “used some choice words” when Penn was on the sideline.  Morris said last week Penn “fixed it” and is “a leader of men.”  Rah said Penn should have a grass skirt on.  I guess that means he should be in the Pro Bowl or moonlighting at Mons Venus.

He signed off by saying this is Donald Penn is Burning, the same reason Scott isn’t blogging today.  Rome agreed with Morris saying Penn was defiantly a leader of men. He ended the show by saying that Penn did a great job and that was exactly how to be a correspondent.  Cool to see Jim not be a dick.

Watch the whole thing here.

Still Losing To Good Teams

November 29, 2010 at 10:45am by Scott   •  8 Comments »

And the worst part is, you're in Baltimore. That place sucks.
Aaaaand I’m back. I intended to post some more during the holiday, but it didn’t work out quite like I wanted it to. There’s some weirdness going on around the homestead that required my (ultimately fruitless) attention, but that shit is depressing and doesn’t need to interfere with the business of Buccaneer football.

Although we were all hopeful that the Bucs could pull this one off, I don’t think anyone is surprised that they lost. The good news is that they made it a close game at the end and it’s the second time in a row they’ve played a playoff-caliber team where it came down to one score. That’s a hell of a lot better than the blowouts to Pittsburgh and New Orleans earlier in the season. But it’s evident that the Bucs need Josh Freeman to play well against good teams in order for them to win. The defense can’t bail them out just yet, even though the defense played relatively well. In the future, each of them will be able to lean on the other if they’re struggling. But right now, everyone — especially the quarterback — have to bring their best game in order to beat the good teams.

Freeman was off most of the day, and the blame should be shared between himself and the offensive line, who played pretty poorly. Freeman was never sacked, but that’s only because he was able to break tackles and throw the ball away. Freeman took five quarterback “hits”, and it looked like he was on the run most of the day. And when he did have a clean shot, he was overthrowing open receivers. And when he finally did get a great pass off, Micheal Spurlock drops it in the endzone. How many of you broke your remotes when that happened? Freeman looked his best when they went to the hurry-up, but that may have also been because the Ravens were nursing a 14 point lead and were content to give up some short stuff. Still, they scored on that drive and Greg Olson should consider working the hurry-up earlier into the games.

Running back numbers aren’t spectacular, but I thought they did pretty well. Cadillac Williams was the team’s leading receiver with five catches and LeGarrette Blount had a really sweet run where he dragged Dawan Landry behind him like Aunt Edna’s dog Dinky. He probably kept up for a mile or so. The running backs did what they could with what they had, but there just weren’t a lot of holes to run through, and when you’re down 14 points in the fourth quarter, you kind of forget about running the ball. The Ravens defense is known for shutting down the run, and against the Bucs’ offensive line, they really didn’t have a problem.

From what I saw, the Ravens’ defensive line consistently won against the Bucs’ offensive line. Freeman was under pressure all day and the run game never really got going. After Davin Joseph got hurt and Jeremy Zuttah came in for him, I didn’t notice any real change in how the line was performing, which I guess is good that Zuttah didn’t have any real screw-ups, but he didn’t elevate the line play, either. Both Ted Larsen and James Lee allowed pressure on Freeman more than once and Jeff Faine had a bad snap. At least there were no penalties on them, though. Think positive, people!

The most improved group over the last few weeks has to be the defensive line, and Gerald McCoy is the leader in that group. With two sacks for the day, he’ll likely be nominated for Rookie of the Week and will not win because Buccaneers never do. The Bucs got a total of four sacks on Joe Flacco, three of them by the defensive line, as it should be. Ray Rice ran for 85 yards, and a lot of that can be put on the line, but consider how many yards the running backs got in the Bucs’ other losses. Rashard Mendenhall, Chris Ivory and Michael Turner all broke 100 yards, and runners also got big yards in Buc wins — Cedric Benson and Steven Jackson in particular. This defensive line is coming along well. Is it a coincidence that the line improvement began in earnest when Kyle Moore was replaced by Tim Crowder? The answer, of course, is no it isn’t. Moore has no sacks in his career, and he’s been given every opportunity as a starter. Crowder has three sacks just this season in backup and spot duty. Whenever Moore gets healthy, he should be the backup and let Crowder continue to improve and produce in the system.

It would be easy to blame the defensive backs for the long touchdown to Todd Heap, but the tight end is generally the responsibility of the linebackers, and it sure looked like Quincy Black was supposed to be covering Heap. Black disengaged off Heap and took a step forward, maybe looking for a swing pass or screen, and Barrett Ruud couldn’t close in time to make up for that mistake.

Cody Grimm broke his ankle after he got rolled up on a tackle and, although the team hasn’t made the announcement, will almost definitely go on injured reserve. Aqib Talib had a sweet interception that he trapped between his calves to keep it from hitting the ground and still got 25 yards in return yardage before getting tackled. Ronde Barber almost had an interception but the ball bounced right out of his hands. It looked like Barber played one of his most aggressive games of the season yesterday even though he only had three tackles. Sean Jones got beaten by Derrick Mason for a touchdown but did get a sack. Flacco racked up almost 300 yards passing, so while the secondary did have its moments, it wasn’t a good day for them.

So everyone who said that the Bucs weren’t that good because they hadn’t beaten a winning team yet, congratulations, you know how to read a game book and regurgitate stats. Feel good about yourself? It’s not that we the fans didn’t know this, we just chose not to define the Bucs by this. This game was written off by most people as a loss, and still the Bucs brought it to within one touchdown with three minutes to play and two timeouts. One catch by Spurlock, one less overthrow by Freeman, one very shady pass interference not called and this could be a different story. The Bucs may not be beating these teams yet, but they’re getting close. They were close in Atlanta and they were close in Baltimore. So enjoy all your naysaying and negativity while you can. It won’t last forever.

Trueblood “Earning Back His Stripes”

November 27, 2010 at 09:37am by Scott   •  No Comments »

If he's earning back his stripes, that probably makes him a Transformer.  Bumblebee to be specific.
According to Stephen Holder, Raheem Morris is leaning toward continuing to start James Lee in place of Jeremy Trueblood, and not just because Lee is healthier.

“Right now, we’re playing James and Trueblood’s earning back his stripes through practice and throughout the week,” Morris said. “He did a better job this week, so we look forward to getting him back as soon as we can. … James started this whole week (in practice), so there’s a good chance you’ll see James. But that’s not ruling (out) that you’ll see Trueblood within the game.”

Trueblood got hurt, so Morris saying he’s “earning back his stripes” seems to indicate that there is more at play here than health. Like millions and millions of penalties, for example. That’s just one guess. Morris also talks about rotating some at guard.

At left guard, the situation became a bit muddled last week when coaches inserted Jeremy Zuttah early against the 49ers and kept him in despite intentions to rotate him with Ted Larsen. Morris maintained Larsen will start again Sunday, but there could be more rotating in store.

I have always thought that it’s better to keep your offensive line as stable as possible, with the idea being that these guys develop a method of working together in unison. You hear that about all the best offensive lines. “These guys have been together for years.” Rotating seems to work against that unless this Buccaneer line is some super line where the parts are interchangeable and still come together to form one giant behemoth. Like Voltron. Ooh, is the Buccaneer offensive line Voltron? Wait, I already compared Josh Freeman to Voltron. How about Freeman is the truck Voltron and the offensive line is the one made out of cars, because there are so many moving pieces? Remember them?

Yes, all my analogies are constructed around cartoons from the 80s. But the one that is most like my life? Fritz the Cat, baby. Rowr!