Josh Freeman

Posts Tagged ‘tim crowder’

Happy Happy Joy Joy

August 16, 2010 at 08:11pm by Scott   •  1 Comment »

Freeman to Stroughter for six -- be prepared to hear that a lot.
After re-reading the last few entries, I really come across as bitterly negative on the Bucs. That’s not the case; I’m actually cautiously optimistic on this team. They definitely have their share of players that should be shot into the sun, but they’ve also got some that I think are reasons to be hopeful for the future. Josh Freeman, Donald Penn, Davin Joseph, Jeff Faine, Cadillac Williams, Kareem Huggins, Mike Williams, Kellen Winsow, Sammie Stroughter, Tim Crowder, Geno Hayes, Quincy Black, Tanard Jackson, Aqib Talib. I’m holding back praise for Gerald McCoy just yet because I haven’t seen him really perform yet, but he was double-teamed a good bit on Saturday and couldn’t show much penetration. The trade-off was that Michael Bennett was freed up to make several plays, though. And although he really winds up blaming the field conditions in this article, Derrick Ward did say “You can’t make excuses” and guaranteed a better performance against the Chiefs.

“I’ve been in this league for awhile and I know what it takes to win. I know what it takes to get back on track. That was just a fluke game. But I guarantee you this weekend, I’ll have a great game.”

So, you know… that’s something. Also, consider that Mark Dominik has had a couple very good drafts and pulled off some trades that really worked out in the Bucs’ favor. All in all, if we’re patient, I think we’ll be rewarded. That doesn’t mean I have to be happy about the present if the team looks like shit, and I’ll be the first to say so (over and over and over), but I should try to keep optimistic about it. We all should. Otherwise we’re just fair weather fans, and fuck those guys.

Preseason Game 1: Dolphins

August 15, 2010 at 03:29pm by Scott   •  8 Comments »

Preseason 1

Thanks to everyone who hung out in the chat for the game last night We probably had about 20 different people in and out for the duration. It was a good time and think we can all agree on one thing: Derrick Ward should be waiting tables. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Quarterback play was exactly where you might expect it to be. Josh Freeman looked pretty awesome. He was 4 for 4 on the first drive and had that sweet pass to Mike Williams on the second, a spectacular play by both guys. Josh Johnson looked like dog shit. He threw high and behind all night, fumbled, and caught his own batted pass which almost never works. The only thing he does well is runs. Rudy Carpenter looked like slightly less dog shit, but with a much weaker arm. Even when he makes the right decision, the ball takes so long to get to the receiver that the defender has time to close. We had a discussion about depth on the chat toward the end of the game and quarterback is undeniably in a terrible depth position.

Cadillac Williams looked strong and had no problem cutting on those knees. Derrick Ward was fucking awful and no one would miss him if he was abducted by aliens. Kareem Huggins has all the speed that has been advertised and, based on this preseason game, needs to be the #2 running back. Somehow, holes that Ward just couldn’t find were right there for Huggins.

Earnest Graham looked great as a lead blocker.

Mike Williams is as advertised. Fast, good feet, good hands. I didn’t see that elusiveness that Arrelious Benn is supposed to have, at least not on the end-around. I’m guessing Mike Nolan is a regular reader of this site and knew that the Bucs were going to use Benn in that way. Micheal Spurlock is likely in the lead for the first non-lock receiver position, ahead of Terrence Nunn or Chris Brooks or any of those other guys. Preston Parker showed up okay, but the best he can hope for is the practice squad.

Jeremy Zuttah looked outmatched on all but a couple plays he was in. When he was in at center, he never looked comfortable after the snap and Keydrick Vincent was better than him at left guard. Jonathan Compas looked like hell at guard, but all right at center. Maybe the o-line backups aren’t as versatile as we think. Everyone else on the starting offensive line looked pretty good after the first series. The third-string offensive line looked better than the second-stringers, especially in the running game. It could be that Huggins was making them look better than they were, but there were definitely holes being opened. Lots of penalties: holding, false start… that shit has to stop. James Lee was good as Donald Penn‘s backup. Xavier Fulton better watch out.

Meet the new defensive line — same as the old defensive line. It was only the first preseason game, but the starters were having trouble stopping the runs up the middle and were doing fine shutting them down to the outside. I remember one good play by Gerald McCoy, but otherwise I wasn’t impressed. To be fair, he was being double-teamed a good deal. Michael Bennett looked very good as a backup — constantly in the backfield. Tim Crowder also had a good game. As the game went on, the defensive line got pushed back pretty bad. There was one series in particular where it looked like Tyler Thigpen was moving the offense at will against them.

Barrett Ruud was in on some stops, but also missed a tackle or two. If the defensive line is the same as they were last year, Ruud isn’t going to look much better than he did, either. Geno Hayes showed up big in the first quarter and looks like he has great instincts. And I really like Dekoda Watson. These FSU linebackers might amount to something.

I had all but written off E.J. Biggers, but he was the star of the secondary last night and made a hell of a case to be considered for the nickel spot last night. He had some key tackles on Ricky Williams and a fumble recovery. He held up in coverage last night against Brandon Marshall, but it’s hard to tell if that was because of Biggers or Marshall. But compared to Elbert Mack last night, Biggers is in the prime spot for the nickel job.

Cody Grimm has been the star at camp, but Corey Lynch did his thing in special teams again last night. He also had some nice stops in the secondary. I just don’t know how you keep this kid off your team, even if it’s just on special teams. Sabby Piscitelli was, again hot and cold. Great stops on a couple plays and also a HUGE personal foul at a critical time. Sean Jones was more consistent. Solid but nothing spectacular last night.

Great punting from Brent Bowden (hears “Crazy Train” in the background) and a good kickoff from Connor Barth. Hunter Lawrence missed his only field goal, but that couldn’t possibly matter any less.

Okay, anyone who watched the game last night, let’s hear what you think.

Roster Breakdown: Defensive Line

August 11, 2010 at 02:47pm by Scott   •  4 Comments »

So, you want to see my bonus check?
Kyle Moore: Lock. Moore is lighter, faster and a ton better than he was last year. It seems like the Bucs are just handing him the starting left end job without any real competition, and that’s a shame because Tim Crowder could really push him. There will be a lot of rotation, so the “starter” tag doesn’t matter so much, but you’d still like to have him earn it outright.

Gerald McCoy: Lock. Having a very good camp. Strong and fast, but not unbeatable. He has been stonewalled by Davin Joseph on some occasions and even Jeremy Zuttah once or twice. Just room to grow, that’s all.

Roy Miller: Lock. Kind of the same analysis as McCoy. An excellent camp with room to improve. Jeff Faine can consistently beat Miller, but he gets his wins from time to time. Also practicing some at fullback.

Greg White: Lock. Has also lost some weight. Has no problem getting by second-stringers to sack the quarterback. He and Donald Penn have epic battles, though. Penn usually comes out on top, sometimes literally.

Brian Price: Lock. was an unblockable monster for the first couple days of camp. He has since come up lame off and on with a hamstring for the last several practices. Lesson: Save some of it for the season.

Erik Lorig: Almost lock. Lorig has impressed everyone this camp and I may have to go back and re-evaluate all that shit I was talking when he was drafted. He still talks like a douche, though.

Tim Crowder: Probably. Crowder really is the second-best defensive end on the team right now. He can seamlessly switch to the rush linebacker in a 3-4, can chase down runners from behind and can swat down passes. He is easily beating the backups he goes against like Xavier Fulton and James Lee. Should be going against Jeremy Trueblood. Thing is, this is Crowder’s fourth year. Will the Bucs showcase him in the preseason and try to trade him for a draft pick? I’m not even kidding.

Ryan Sims: Probably not. Sims is old and fat and a good space-eater, but that’s not what the team needs right now. He regularly beats Zuttah, but Keydrick Vincent is too much for him a lot of the time. Still makes plays against the backups, but the trimming has to start somewhere.

Dre Moore: 50/50. Moore is a tough one. He has improved significantly over previous years, but there’s an awful lot of depth at defensive tackle now and Moore may be a casualty of the numbers. He would make excellent trade bait: still young and hasn’t reached his potential yet. But if the Bucs can’t move him, it would be between him and Michael Bennett, and Bennett is a swing guy, but Moore is great on special teams. This is a tough one.

Michael Bennett: 50/50. Swing guy who can play both tackle and end. He wouldn’t get nearly the trade value that Dre Moore would and is more versatile but may not have as high a ceiling, either. I’m really stuck on these two guys as to who would be better to keep.

James Ruffin: Probably. One of the no-names has to stick, and I’m betting on Ruffin now that the team cut George Johnson. Ruffin seems to be very good against the run and the coaches are consistently praising him.

Brandon Gilbeaux: Probably not. This is Ruffin’s main competition. They are both of similar height and weight and both have been getting good marks from coaches, but Gilbeaux has a French name so I’m betting against him. He’ll give up eventually… they always do.

Carlton Powell: Meat. Mostly in with third-stringers, and does a good job against him, but there are too many choices that are better.

Training Camp Summary: August 07

August 09, 2010 at 11:06am by Scott   •  2 Comments »

Camp 1

Several players were held out of the morning practice, presumably because the team wanted everybody to suit up for the evening practice at the stadium. Cody Grimm was off to see his Hog dad Russ Grimm enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

Grimm has impressed everyone this camp and has almost made Corey Lynch an afterthought. Lynch took advantage of Grimm’s absence and made a couple nice plays in the morning, one of them being a diving pass deflection against Kellen Winslow.

Chris Pressley also got some good work in the morning. He even carried the ball on a fullback dive, something he hasn’t done a lot of.

If Micheal Spurlock doesn’t make the team, it won’t be for lack of effort. The guy stretches out for every play.

Darrell Pasco got beat out of his jock by Reggie Brown. I remember bitching about the Bucs giving up a sixth-rounder to get Brown, but it is looking like a better and better investment every day.

Ryan Purvis is miles ahead of where he was last year. Miles. In a very real way, Puris and Spurlock are competing against each other. There’s no way the Bucs keep six receivers and four tight ends, not with Winslow acting like another receiver. So which position they overload may depend on who performs better at their job and not necessarily on need.

Winslow, John Gilmore, Myron Lewis and Grimm were absent from the evening practice.

Roy Miller was back in at fullback. Josh Freeman even tossed a pass to him, but he couldn’t handle it. I guess that’s why he’s a defensive tackle. Oh, that and because he’s 310 pounds.

Derrick Ward showed some great balance on a run through Geno Hayes and Tanard Jackson for a touchdown.

At one point, when the stadium announced that the next play was the starting offense against the starting defense, the defensive line consisted of Carlton Powell, Ryan Sims, Brian Price, Dre Moore and Tim Crowder. This was a goal line play, so that explains the five-man line, but no Gerald McCoy? And who the fuck is Carlton Powell? Wasn’t he on Gilligan’s Island? I can understand if they want their beefiest guys on a goal line stand, but then where is Miller in all this? I have to assume the stadium announcer was mistaken on this one.

Josh Johnson had a great evening practice. Nice, deep, accurate pass to Brown that hit him in stride over the shoulder. And another strike to Terrence Nunn on the next play — shorter pass, but just as accurate.

Elbert Mack picked off a fade pass intended for Mario Urrutia. This doesn’t seem like such a big deal except that Urrutia is 6-6 and Mack is 5-10 and it was a fade — a pass designed specifically to take advantage of height advantages. Mack has had a quiet camp but this was a huge play during a drill that completely favored the offense.

Do you know what an Oklahoma drill is? Running back + blocker tries to get by one defender. Totally favors the offense. Sabby Piscitelli totally threw off Rendrick Taylor to make the tackle on Ward. Didn’t see that one coming.

The evening ended with Freeman and Johnson embarrassing themselves during a skills competition that wouldn’t end. Neither of them could hit the moving golf carts to break their miserable tie. Finally after several tries, and one attempt by Raheem Morris to call the whole fucking thing a draw so they could get to the fireworks, Johnson finally hit a target. I hope Morris made them both clean the stadium restrooms as punishment when the whole thing was over. He should have made them scrub that shithole from top to bottom until it was so sanitary and squared-away that the Virgin Mary herself would be proud to go in and take a dump. Sorry… Full Metal Jacket kind of sticks with you for a few days.

No practice on Sunday and one on Monday.

Most Competitions Aren’t “Key”

July 29, 2010 at 09:40am by Scott   •  No Comments »

In the category of 'Most Popular Gay Icon on the Buccaneers', Sabby wins hands down.
Every year about this time, you start hearing about all the training camp competitions going on and how everyone is battling for their spot. Coaches like to say that every position is open to competition, but you and I both know that’s bullshit. Almost every starting job is locked in, with a couple notable exceptions. Ira Kaufman called these “key camp battles“, but the fact is they are the only camp battles, and he even got a couple of those wrong.

SAFETY Sabby Piscitelli vs. Sean Jones

This is a true battle, one of the only ones. I really think Jones has the edge here. Piscitelli isn’t in any danger of getting cut and the coaching staff likes him, but his play last year was so flagrantly bad that even the average fan who is only watching the ball noticed Piscitelli flying past tackles. It was undeniable and if Jones is even halfway competent, Raheem Morris would look like he’s coddling Piscitelli if he let him start.

LEFT GUARD Jeremy Zuttah vs. Keydrick Vincent

This is technically a competition, and a good one to watch, but Vincent was not brought in just to motivate Zuttah. The Bucs take their youth movement very seriously and they’re only going to go against it in a dire circumstance. Left guard is that dire. I fully expect Vincent to start on opening day.

WIDE RECEIVER Reggie Brown vs. Michael Clayton and rookies Mike Williams and Arrelious Benn

This one reads a little weird. Is Kaufman saying it’s Brown versus everyone else, or are there two battles going on here? Brown vs. Clayton is no contest. I fully expect Michael Clayton to be off the team in September and Brown is almost a lock. And the two rookies aren’t fighting for a roster spot, and who “starts” at wide receiver isn’t all that important because both of them will get plenty of playing time. The real competition at wide receiver is for the very last slot, if there is even one available. Guys like Maurice Stovall and Micheal Spurlock and Mario Urrutia will be crushing sleeping pills into each other’s Wheaties to get an edge here. Special teams is going to make the difference here. Stovall is a great gunner and tackler, but Spurlock scores touchdowns.

NICKELBACK Rookie Myron Lewis vs. Elbert Mack and E.J. Biggers

Unless Lewis is truly injured, this is no contest. Biggers sat out last year with an injury and Mack gets burned. They didn’t take Lewis in the third to sit behind one of these guys. I’ve heard the coaches are excited about Biggers’s potential, but if they were so damn excited about it they would have waited until much later in the draft to grab some depth. The fourth corner between Mack and Biggers is a better competition, I suppose, but not a very interesting one.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE Roy Miller vs. rookie Brian Price

Kind of the same as wide receiver. Both of these guys will play plenty, so it doesn’t really matter so much who starts. It will be interesting to see who performs better, but I don’t consider this a true competition.

So Piscitelli/Jones and Zuttah/Vincent are really the only “key” competitions here. I also think Kaufman left off a big one at left defensive end. Tim Crowder and Kyle Moore should both get their share of playing time with different packages, but Michael Bennett and George Johnson are both making some noise, and for some reason people keep bringing up Erik Lorig‘s name. I’m leaving left tackle off this list because it isn’t so much a competition between all those guys as it is just finding out if any of them can play. If one of them stands out, fine, plug him in there. But if not, then the competition to watch will be between Mark Dominik and Donald Penn‘s agent.

Roy Gets It Half Right, Still Gets Full Paycheck

July 26, 2010 at 11:42am by Scott   •  1 Comment »

The turk on the Bengals has not been heard from since cutting Pressley last year.
Roy Cummings did a piece on which five Buccaneers could be pleasant surprises. It’s a safe article to write because there is no commitment. If he’s wrong, hey, no one expected them to do well anyway. And if he’s right, he looks like a prophet. Do enough of these and you slowly start to build credibility when some of those “predictions” actually hit. Then your job writing for a real newspaper is secure… and then you… umm… huh.

/just now realizes where career path went wrong, drinks liter of wood alcohol

1. DL Tim Crowder

It will not be a surprise if Crowder does well. He did better in spot duty than some starters did last year and the Bucs didn’t do shit to address the defensive end position. Crowder is actually expected to do good things this year.

2. FB Chris Pressley

This would, indeed, be a surprise. Not because Pressley isn’t good, but because Earnest Graham seems entrenched as the starting fullback and the Bucs seem like they want to also keep Kareen Huggins. The numbers don’t stack up well for Pressley, but that’s where the surprise part comes in. If he can pick up his receiving game, Raheem Morris may determine that it makes more sense to have a backup fullback than a fourth halfback.

3. LT Xavier Fulton

Fulton has a shot to make an impression because Donald Penn is still unsigned. From what I understand, he’s still not completely 100%, which is why Demar Dotson is getting all the reps at left tackle now. If Fulton can even stand upright, though, he’ll get a chance to compete in case Penn stays out for an extended period. The Bucs are in serious need of some depth on the offensive line and they had high hopes for Fulton. I don’t see him as being a sleeper LT or anything, though.

4. CB E.J. Biggers

This seems crazy in light of the drafting of Myron Lewis in April. Morris was high on Biggers when he was drafted, but his injury last year set him behind and Biggers being on the team for a year longer than Lewis really isn’t an advantage since the “system” they used last year isn’t the same as the one they’re using this year. Biggers could stick as the fourth corner, but that wouldn’t really be a pleasant surprise. There just isn’t anyone else who sticks out.

5. WR Preston Parker

Parker is kind of in the same situation as Pressley. If he doesn’t make the team, it likely won’t be because of talent, it will be because of roster space. The Bucs would almost definitely need to keep six receivers in order for Parker to have a shot, and there’s only about a 50/50 chance of that. Then he has to go up against Mario Urrutia and Micheal Spurlock, two guys who have played in NFL games before (and Spurlock had an excellent offseason). Parker would be an ideal practice squad candidate, and it would indeed be a pleasant surprise if he did any more than that this year.

That was kind of a sneak preview of what I’m planning for my roster rundown in a couple weeks. It’s kind of like Roy’s article, except Roy got paid for his and I’m going to heat this can of beans I stole over this rat I lit on fire for heat. I don’t know why selling out gets such a bad wrap. It really pays well.

Another Article On The Run Defense

July 06, 2010 at 10:26am by Scott   •  No Comments »

Raheem's secret weapon: The Ass Up Defense. The defensive line has to line up backwards for it to work properly.
The ESPN NFC South blog is running a series on what they think each team’s weakness is for the coming year. For both Carolina and New Orleans they picked defensive tackle, for Atlanta they went with defensive end and then for Tampa Bay they just said the whole run defense was the team’s weakness. I guess I can see the reasoning behind all of those, although in Carolina they have Matt Moore at quarterback with Jimmy Clausen backing him up, and I can’t see how that doesn’t even get a mention.

With Tampa Bay they really could have picked about anything, but the entire run defense is just as good as anything else. Of course they start out mentioning the rookie defensive tackles, which is fine. But here’s the part that puzzles me:

Price also is impressively physically, but is more suited for the one-technique role. He has more girth and should be able to handle the interior run a little better.

Coming out of college, no one thought Price was more suited for the nose. Price played the three-technique at UCLA and was very good at it. Hey, he sacked the wily Jonathon Crompton; how much more does he have to prove? And if the Bucs had drafted someone else with their first rounder besides Gerald McCoy, no one would be saying to use Price at the nose. But they just so happened to take who many considered the best three-technique in the draft, so now people are talking about Price’s “girth”. Hey, girth isn’t everything people! Price is 6-1, 300, which is right about where Warren Sapp played.

Tampa Bay also used a third-round pick in the 2009 draft on Roy Miller. Miller better fits the Price mold than the McCoy mold, but he found out last season that transitioning to the NFL isn’t a walk in the park.

What a weird way to write this. Miller “better fits the Price mold”? Roy Miller is 6-2, 310, so he’s between Price and McCoy in height and heavier than both of them. He’s a nose tackle, and he was considered a nose tackle when the Bucs drafted him. Why is the author pushing this Price thing?

Dre Moore is yet another talented, young defensive tackle. He too has yet to excel since entering the league, but he could be primed to at least take a step forward. These four youngsters should give Bucs fans an awful lot of hope at defensive tackle, but the production just hasn’t been there as of yet.

“Has yet to excel” is being kind since Moore spent his entire rookie season on the practice squad and didn’t get into a game until week ten last year. But from what I’m hearing, spending that year on the bubble was a wake up call for Moore and his work habits have improved tremendously since. But if the Bucs are only going to keep four defensive tackles, it’s going to be a battle between Moore and Ryan Sims. Sims hasn’t done anything to stand out, but he has the game experience. The good news for Moore is that experience pretty much doesn’t mean shit to the Bucs these days, so whoever dominates in camp should get the nod.

And, I’m sorry, but I have to do this. “As of yet” is fucking stupid. It’s either “as yet” or “as of now”. And you didn’t need either of those in your case. “but the production just hasn’t been there yet” would have been just fine. YOU WRITE FOR A LIVING!

This brings us to the combination of Tim Crowder and Kyle Moore. Like the tackles on the roster, these two have some upside and could improve, but overall, they are good-sized base ends who just do not have enough dynamic playmaking ability to make much of a difference. Although this is especially true from a pass-rushing standpoint, their run-stopping prowess is far from overwhelming either.

Crowder had 37 unassisted tackles last season, the most of any defensive lineman. That’s not too fucking shabby for a part-time player. Moore had significantly less, but he was only active for eight games and was carrying around about an extra 30 pounds or so from the all-Crisco diet that Jim Bates had him on. Don’t write these guys off yet. One of them will be starting opposite Greg White on opening day.

Tampa Bay’s run defense should be better in 2010. It almost has to be. And obviously the franchise dedicated serious resources to its improvement. But until I see it, run defense has to be considered a weakness, and I worry that massive improvement will not come overnight.

And, typically, we end with a statement that can be taken either way depending on how well the Bucs’ run defense does this year. I really don’t think too many offensive lines are going to overpower the Bucs’ d-line. The issue will be at linebacker. If Quincy Black and Geno Hayes come along in their roles, the run defense should be just fine. This is assuming Sabby Piscitelli is relegated to backup and special teams. If he starts and is back to tackling air again, all bets are off.

Kyle Moore Is The Starting LDE For Now

June 02, 2010 at 10:13am by Scott   •  2 Comments »

In a hurry. Make your own joke here.
Depth charts during May OTAs don’t mean a hell of a lot, especially on the defensive line where rotations are used so frequently, but if the Bucs had to play a game tomorrow, Kyle Moore would be the starter at left defensive end.

Moore is more like his old self now. He has lost those 22 pounds, and it shows on the field, where he has replaced the departed Jimmy Wilkerson as the Bucs’ starting left defensive end.

His main competition right now looks like it should be Tim Crowder and Michael Bennett with Maurice Evans and James Ruffin as dark horses most likely to be fighting for backup spots at either end. Ruffin in particular seems to have developed a fan following among Bucs fans, although I’m not completely sure why. He is an undrafted rookie out of Northern Iowa, 4.85 40, 33″ vertical, 26 reps on the bench. In four years at Northern Iowa, he produced 25 sacks, 43 tackles for loss and 5 forced fumbles. Pretty productive, but it was as part of the GFC (or whatever it’s called now… the Missouri Valley Football Conference, I think?) and the competition wasn’t spectacular. But guys keep calling him the next Greg White, so look for James to change his name to something ridiculous soon. Although in his case, it may not be such a bad idea. “Ruffin” is a little too close to “Roofie” for me and I wouldn’t want to give chicks a heads up on the evening’s plans. That’s almost as bad as being named “Carl O’Form”.

REAR ENTRIES: Still Playing Out The Week

May 27, 2010 at 09:55am by Scott   •  15 Comments »

Rear Entry 3

TO THOSE WITH JOBS: For Buccaneer “fans” who don’t keep up with the team except when the games are played and have little interest in offseason moves or the draft or OTAs and minicamps and training camp, fuck you for having a life. What, you think you’re better than me? Ahhh, I’m just messing with you. Here’s a USA Today piece just for you where you can catch up with everything that’s happened over the last five months in about three minutes. Wow, that kind of puts things in perspective, doesn’t it? One good quote from the article that I hadn’t read before comes from Cadillac Williams:

“I know I can show a lot more than what I already have. Straight up, I mean, I just feel my best years are ahead.”

That’s pretty bold talk from a guy with twist ties for knee tendons. But if he seriously has a lot more in the tank than he’s already shown, that’s all kinds of awesome.

NO REAL CHANGE IN DEFENSIVE ENDS: Stephen Holder wrote an article about how the Bucs didn’t make any significant moves at defensive end this offseason, so the ones that are still around need to perform better, and they’re hoping that more pressure up the middle from the new defensive tackles will help them out.

Put simply, they’re banking on the likes of Stylez White, Tim Crowder, Kyle Moore and Michael Bennett improving markedly as a result of the attention the new tackles will command.

The only addition the Bucs made to defensive end is seventh-rounder Erik Lorig, and I don’t think anyone is expecting him to surf his way into the regular rotation this season. So the coaches saw enough in the existing guys (except for, apparently, Jimmy Wilkerson) to stand pat and hope that beefing up the middle will help everyone on defense, which I guess it should. All those guys have demonstrated some skills in the past, but the Bucs are really banking a lot on their ability to uncover those undiscovered talents. If it goes bad, it will be a blow for both the coaching and the scouting departments.

SITE STUFF: A commenter (Wordy?) asked about subscribing to the comments. I added that feature a while ago and have been waiting to test it before turning it on. But it’s too much a pain in the ass for me to create the fake accounts and actually do it, so I’m going to go ahead and turn it on anyway and you guys let me know how it’s working. The best part is that when you comment in this entry about how it’s working, you’re actually testing it further. Consider yourselves unpaid interns. Go ahead and put it on your resume and everything. “Performed quality control for the content management and subscription systems of a multinational web site.” That guy that joins the chats from Belgium makes me multinational, right?

“Building Through The Draft” Is Getting Ridiculous

April 09, 2010 at 11:38am by Scott   •  3 Comments »

How many rookie free agents can we cram on a roster?

According to Jason La Canfora, Jimmy Wilkerson will meet with the Saints next week. And then he says this:

Tampa has been working to re-sign him.

Are those tough negotiations, Mark Dominik? Are you having to put on a full-court press for a player who even the Rams don’t want? You’ve had six weeks to sign him to a contract that surely isn’t going to amount to a hell of a lot more than, what? $2-million a year? And now you’re fucked because the Saints came calling.

You remember the Saints, right? The guys who Alex Brown went to visit before Tampa and then never left? And now the Saints have the player that was going to replace Wilkerson, and maybe soon they’ll have Wilkerson, too. Fuck, man. YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE TO PLAY HIM! But suppose Tim Crowder or Michael Bennett tear up a knee or injure their neck or Aqib Talib crushes one of their orbital sockets while swinging a helmet during a tantrum. I’m looking at your defensive end roster and your depth fucking reeks. Kyle Moore is looking good, and then what else have you got? Who the hell is Maurice Evans? Unless you have sewn force field generators into the uniforms this year, someone is going to get hurt and then you are screwed.

Wilkerson is a decent player, he’s only 29, he knows the system, he would be cheap and there is no salary cap. I understand the “build through the draft” thing, but you’re taking this shit too far. You need to do something in free agency to add a little depth and experience. This aversion to free agents has gone from a strategy to a neurosis. Check your head, motherfucker, or you’re in for a long damn season.