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Posts Tagged ‘vincent jackson’

Vincent Jackson Is Nice To Buc Fans

January 25, 2013 at 12:47am by Scott   •  2 Comments »

When his kid gets a little older, I'll make it a clicky.

Reader “David” is in Hawaii (where he lives because he is jealous of our freezing rain and clothing not made out of grass) taking in the sights and sounds of the Pro Bowl. And by “taking in the sights and sounds” I mean “hopped a fence near the back of the property” (his words). But it worked because a few minutes after he explained to his son that trespassing is only a misdemeanor, Vincent Jackson came around, walked by them and posed for pictures with him and his family. From his email:

We asked him to take a picture with us and he was really cool in person.

When Jackson was with the Chargers, I always considered him a prick because of the holdout and suspension. Holdouts especially never endear a player to the fans, so with his team being on the west coast and me really not caring, that was my impression of him until he got to Tampa. But everything I read and hear about Jackson as a Buccaneer is positive. He’s a hard worker and good at practice, he’s good with the young receivers and is (obviously) good to the fans. Jackson was on his own time and could have just brushed off David and his family to go partake in the hot tubs full of 19-year old hula girls and the best pineapple in the world (or so I hear). But according to a Bucstats reader (who we know are THE MOST RELIABLE SOURCES OF BUCCANEER INFORMATION ANYWHERE), he’s a good guy who took the time. So I take it all back. Vincent Jackson: not a prick.

Hey, don’t take it lightly. Do you know how many athletes and celebrities you can’t say that about? If David had encountered, say, Warren Sapp instead, I’m sure there’d still be a Super Bowl ring imprint on the side of David’s face and he’d still be groggy from the contact high.

Two More Buccaneer Pro Bowlers

January 21, 2013 at 01:31am by Scott   •  2 Comments »

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We knew either Vincent Jackson or Doug Martin was going to get in the Pro Bowl because of the way the NFC title game lined up. But as luck would have it, Calvin Johnson opted out of the Pro Bowl (because, as you know, Detroit has had too much for too long) which pushed Jackson in. And San Francisco just won the NFC Championship Game, meaning Frank Gore can’t fulfill his undeserved Pro Bowl duties and Martin gets in. So three Buccaneers will be in the Pro Bowl, which sounds about right. Not to take anything away from Gerald McCoy, but seemed weird that a member of the defensive line that generated only 27 sacks for the season made it but the record-setting offense had no representatives. This is good, though. Lavonte David would be better, but this is good.

Speaking of Jackson, he has been talking up the Bucs to anyone who will listen, hoping to lure some more quality free agents to Tampa to help get them over the playoff hump.

“I would tell [free agents] it’s a top-notch organization; it’s a top-notch structure,” Jackson said. “We have a great coaching staff here. They’ve built a system and a feeling of family and continuity, not only with the team itself, but I think they’ve done a great job in the community as well.”

Of course, this is a Florio article, so he has to have some negative bullshit in there as well.

As losses mounted late in the year, there was grumbling about “college coaches,” an understandable reaction when considering that not every player will react well to change — especially when change leads eventually to a prolonged losing streak.

An unnamed player said something negative about the team during a losing streak a month ago, so we better bring it up again to make sure everyone knows we hate the Bucs. Why oh why hasn’t Florio fallen into an abandoned West Virginia coal mine shaft yet?

Anyway, it’s good to see Jackson carrying the Buccaneer flag and being a positive representative for the team. You can argue that it’s because he got paid what he wanted, but the word around the team is that Jackson is a selfless leader who really enjoys coming to work. As we know from recent examples (Albert Haynesworth), just because you get paid a shitload of money doesn’t mean you’re going to represent your team well.

Congratulations to Jackson and Martin. Enjoy Hawaii. I hear it’s pretty cool. And for the love of God, at least LOOK like you’re putting in effort during the game.

One More Buccaneer To The Pro Bowl

January 15, 2013 at 09:51am by Scott   •  No Comments »

Did I mention that the Bucs swept the Panthers?
With both Julio Jones and Frank Gore being in the NFC Championship Game, one of them will necessarily have to drop out of the Pro Bowl when they advance to the Super Bowl. This will put one more Buccaneer in the Pro Bowl — either Doug Martin or Vincent Jackson. And it really should be Martin since Gore shouldn’t have made it in in the first place because Alfred Morris outperformed both of them as a sixth-round rookie. But Martin was still the third-best running back in the NFC and his presence in Hawaii would be a good reward for him and a nice token Buccaneer from an offense that made a lot of progress in 2012.

Not to take anything away from Jackson, who had an awesome season and the highest per-catch average of any receiver who caught more than 11 balls. Jackson should have definitely gotten in over Victor Cruz, who is probably just getting a consolation prize for being underpaid. Jackson should take his newly advanced roster bonus and go to Hawaii on his own and buy out everything Cruz wants to do. It would be fun to listen to a concierge explain it to him. “I’m sorry, Mr. Cruz, you can’t swim here. Mr. Jackson has rented every pool on the island for the day. And every night club. And every zip line. He left a note suggesting you salsa your way to Jason Pierre-Paul‘s room and see if you can hang out there.”

REAR ENTRIES: Christmas Leftovers

December 27, 2012 at 11:43pm by Scott   •  3 Comments »

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MCCOY TO PRO BOWL: Gerald McCoy was the only Buccaneer selected to the Pro Bowl this season, a nice reward for a quality season. I thought he had been a little inconsistent, having had a couple bad games here and there. But the Bucs were a bad team for a good chunk of the season and it’s not like McCoy is going to win any popularity contests with any group of voters, so he must have been elected for his performance. Either that or they think the intensity with which the Bucs have rush the passer over the last couple games would be a perfect fit for the Pro Bowl.

Vincent Jackson and Doug Martin were selected as first alternates. And it’s a damn crime that Victor Cruz got in and Jackson didn’t. Jackson’s numbers are superior to Cruz’s in every category except “Number of Touchdown Celebrations That Got Old After About Six Games”.

HISTORICALLY BAD: Ira Kaufman posted a fun little factoid today that puts the Bucs’ defense in perspective.

If the Falcons throw for 252 yards or more Sunday, the 2012 Bucs will have surrendered the most passing yards in the NFL’s 93-year history

That stat doesn’t mean as much as Kaufman is implying since teams didn’t really start passing the ball so much until Don Coryell made it fashionable. But still, that’s a lot of years and a lot of yards. You can lay the blame on a lot of people, but Ron Cooper has to be at the front of the line. This may be what that player meant when he was talking about coaches going back to college.

FUCK YOU LOMAS BROWN: Lomas Brown was briefly a Buccaneer, so there is a Tampa Bay tie-in, but I honestly would have written about this anyway. Last week, Brown admitted that he one time intentionally whiffed on a block in 1994 so Scott Mitchell would get knocked out of the game because he was performing badly.

“We were playing Green Bay in Milwaukee,” Brown said. “We were getting beat, 24-3, at that time and he just stunk up the place. He’s throwing interceptions, just everything. So I looked at Kevin Glover, our All-Pro center and I said, ‘Glove, that is it.’ I said, ‘I’m getting him out the game.’ . . . So I got the gator arms on the guy at the last minute, he got around me, he hit Scott Mitchell, he did something to his finger . . . and he came out the game. [Lions backup quarterback] Dave Krieg came in the game.”

Very few things make me stare at the computer screen with my mouth agape, but this did it. I was completely floored not only that this happened, but that Brown is proud enough of it to recall it on the radio and not be apologetic or regretful about it at all. Oh, he kind of said something about regret a week later, but it was weak and hollow and I’m sure only said because the wrath of everybody who cares at all about football poured down on him after his admission. It’s one of the worst things I can think of that can happen on the football field — to intentionally betray the honor code of the game for the purpose of getting a teammate hurt. “Despicable” doesn’t begin to cover it. His name should be immediately removed from any Hall of Fame consideration and Scott Mitchell should be able to break Brown’s finger.

Wait, no. That’s not good enough. Mitchell needed that finger to do his job. Brown doesn’t need his finger to be an analyst except to jam it in his ass during commercial breaks. So Mitchell should be able to punch (lefty, natch) Brown in the throat so he has to sit out of his job for a few weeks and let someone else come in and replace him and do a better job. And even that wouldn’t be enough, but at least it would partially satisfy my need for vengeance. And I think we can agree that I’m the real victim here.

Bucs Beat AFC Champs!*

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

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* 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.

Mike Williams Getting Extra Attention

August 02, 2012 at 09:37am by Scott   •  1 Comment »

The back corner touchdown Schiano called an 'NFL play'.
Since he has gotten to Tampa, Vincent Jackson has been a model receiver, doing everything right from both a physical and mental perspective. I haven’t heard a single negative word about Jackson. And that’s probably why Greg Schiano has ordered Mike Williams to stick to Jackson like he was made of Velcro.

For example, all of the others can sit wherever they choose, but Williams has an assigned seat. It’s the one right next to two-time Pro Bowl veteran Vincent Jackson.

Williams also has been given license to do something that is usually frowned upon in classroom settings: He can cheat off Jackson’s paper. In fact, Fleck encourages the practice.

“That’s why I want them sitting right next to each other,” Fleck said. “I want Mike to look at Vincent’s notes because Vincent is so meticulous. He’s a great guy to learn from.”

Some people might run with this in a negative direction and say that Williams is being treated like he got there on the short bus because he needs more help than everyone else. Apparently no other receiver was given a chaperone. But I choose to look at it like Williams is the most important receiver behind Jackson and it’s extra-important that he have all the little details down. Jackson missed 11 games in 2010 with an injury. If he gets knocked out again, Williams moves up to #1 and needs to be ready to fill those shoes right away. It’s a smart move by Schiano to make sure his wide receiver depth is deep not just in bodies but also in knowledge.

REAR ENTRIES: Back In Pads

July 30, 2012 at 10:45am by Scott   •  4 Comments »

rearentry137

MARTIN IN THE LEAD: According to the Times, who had more hedges in their statement than field at Sanford Stadium, Doug Martin is in the lead for the role of starting running back. Martin is taking starting reps in practice and gets more of them than LeGarrette Blount. All of this should surprise absolutely no one. When you trade up into the first round for a new toy, you want to play with it right away.

FUMBLE!: Sunday was the team’s first day practicing in pads, so there was going to be some hitting going on. During one of the team drills, Mossis Madu fumbled the ball. And if it’s one thing Greg Schiano won’t tolerate, it’s fumbling. And everything else he doesn’t like.

“We certainly have a ton of stuff we have to work on. It was sloppy. But I think every time you add a different variable to the equation, you’re going to get a little bit of that. So we add the pads, we add contact, you start thinking about some of those contact related things and you start messing up your assignments or you jump off-sides.

“Penalties, missed assignments. We had one ball come out, which that just can’t happen. A ball carrier can not put the ball on the ground, period.”

Madu’s head has been stuffed and mounted in the team cafeteria as a reminder to the rest of the players to hold on to the football.

JACKSON GETTING HIGH MARKS: The guys at Pewter Report are good at spotting the little details at camp that most of the other publications miss. In one of their camp articles, they gave the most effusive praise to Vincent Jackson that I’ve seen in a long time.

There’s nothing Jackson does not do well. From route running to catching to blocking – Jackson is heads and shoulders above the rest of the receiving corps.

His work ethic is just as impressive as his playing ability.

In blocking drills, Jackson was impeccable;

Not bad. But Jackson is going to have a lot of attention on him this season, so the other receivers really have to figure out how to get separation and take and take advantage of all the coverage flowing to Jackson. PR says Mike Williams isn’t looking so hot yet and, of course, Arrelious Benn is out for a while. But, as everyone has been doing this offseason, they give high marks to Tiquan Underwood. If things continue this way, do not be surprised to see Underwood overtake Williams for the #2 receiver slot. Schaino will not hesitate to reward consistency with playing time. Being from Rutgers doesn’t hurt Underwood’s chances, either.

REAR ENTRIES: Pre-Camp

July 24, 2012 at 10:21am by Scott   •  2 Comments »

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NO MORE IPADS: Just a year after introducing the iPad at One Buc Place to replace paper playbooks, new coach Greg Schiano has backed away from them and gone back old school. Earnest Graham addressed the issue, which is weird because he’s not on the team at the moment.

“I thought the idea was great but it was definitely more negatives than positives with a young team. I enjoyed being able to access the opposing teams’ cut-ups and video of that day’s practice, but in my opinion most guys did not use them. If you keep it simple and do your installations using your [paper] playbooks, you don’t have to guess whether a guy is on Facebook or not. Based on that experience I would never use them if I went into coaching.”

I can see it both ways, but with a really young team, they are probably too much of a distraction. Too much temptation to goof off and not pay attention to what you should be. I imagine there is a way to lock the iPad down so it can only be used for football purposes, but if you have to do that, maybe you shouldn’t have them in the first place.

PRACTICING WITH PATRIOTS: This is old news by now, but it just recently became official. The Bucs and Patriots will have joint practices on August 22 and 23 before their August 24 preseason game. Which gives me about a month to find pictures of Gisele worth clicking on.

PAT KIRWAN DOESN’T THINK MUCH OF BUCS: I don’t pay much attention to preseason predictions, but this one by Pat Kirwan is pretty shitty and deserves to be mentioned, if only to get us pissed off before the season starts.

4. Tampa Bay (3-13): Greg Schiano will eventually turn this franchise around, but it will take time. The Bucs defense gave up over 37 points a game in the second half of last season. Tampa Bay might want to be a running team, but what will they do in game when they’re trailing in the second half?

Oh hell, I don’t know. Maybe throw it to Vincent Jackson. Or maybe Mike Williams, who will likely be getting the same single coverage he was getting as a rookie since everyone will be paying attention Jackson now. Or maybe they’ll keep running the ball since you don’t abandon your game plan just because you’re a couple points behind in the second half. The Bucs will be worse than they were last season? That’s pretty bold talk coming from a guy with a Tom Selleck mustache in 2012.

Receiver Battles

June 18, 2012 at 12:17pm by Scott   •  No Comments »

Gee, can Mike Williams beat Leonard Johnson?
With Vincent Jackson on board and holding a $55.5-million contract, it’s a given that he will be the #1 receiver. And while Mike Williams has been taking starters reps in OTAs and minicamp, Pro Football Weekly is guessing who will get a shot to be the starter opposite Jackson.

The Bucs are promoting a competition for the “Z” position and Mike Williams and Arrelious Benn will enter training camp, when the battle really could intensify, on a fairly even playing field.

The author must not have been watching too much Buccaneer practice because Benn took a bunch of snaps with the third team. I think he’ll make the team in September, but to say he is on an even field with Williams ignores everything we’ve seen so far.

We also hear that Dezmon Briscoe, Preston Parker — who typically plays in the slot — and even Tiquan Underwood, who has only 11 career catches, also could get looks with the first-team offense at the “Z” position in camp.

Briscoe was said to be disappointing so far this offseason, but we’ve all seen him come through in games and I think he’s a legitimate big play threat. Both Parker and Underwood earned raves during minicamp, Josh Freeman making sure to single out Parker specifically in an interview. The team will likely keep five receivers, so if all these guys make it, we’re still left with Sammie Stroughter out in the cold and the Ed Gant fan club sorely disappointed. It seems like this year there isn’t going to be as much competition at WR as other years. There were always at least two or three guys on the bubble that you could argue pretty easily for. I don’t see that so much right now.

2012 Minicamp Wrap-Up

June 15, 2012 at 12:11pm by Scott   •  1 Comment »

Great, now Mossis Madu has even more competition.
Minicamp wrapped up yesterday and apparently not a hell of a lot happened on the field except Donald Penn catching a punt from the JUGGS machine to end practice early, because that’s all anyone was talking about. Including Penn.

“I was joking around with coach [Schiano] about what a great athlete I am and he threw that up there and I did a good job,” Penn said. “I know I can catch and you guys [the media] know I can catch. If I had dropped it we would have had to continue practicing. So since I caught it we ended practice early, which is great. We have been working hard, real hard, and put in a lot of work. And for him to do that today just shows how much work we put in and [that we're] doing a good job for coach to give us that day off.

That actually does say a lot about how well Schiano thinks the player are doing. He doesn’t seem like the kind of coach who would end practice early if he was even the least bit dissatisfied in the team’s efforts. Penn also had a couple interesting comments about practice as a whole.

Penn went on to talk about the difference in this season’s OTAs and mini-camps versus years past.

“To tell you the truth, the intensity. Coach asked for it to be here and it stayed there all three days,” Penn said. “And it didn’t drop, really. That’s the one big thing you have to take into the next few weeks off and take into camp.”

One word rarely use to describe Raheem Morris‘s camps was “intense”. Morris said he liked to bring “juice” to camp, but I think he meant actual juice because everyone seemed very hydrated but not terribly motivated. All that changes this year.

Penn also notes that he’s getting married in July. Congratulations to Donald! And I say that with absolutely no sarcasm.

Lots of interviews were printed yesterday, including one from LeGarrette Blount who has encouraging things to say about what he’s working on this offseason.

“I’ve been working on pass protection and picking up the blitzes this offseason,” Blount said. “That’s the thing I’ve been working on the most. I can say that’s what I’ve improved on the most.”

You know defenses are going to target Blount when he’s on the field because of his reputation for not being able to handle those responsibilities. If he can jam his helmet into a rushing linebackers chest and put him on the ground to protect Josh Freeman, that will go a long way to proving he can be the every-down back that most people some people I think he can be. It’s a good interview that also covers his progress on catching passes and securing the ball.

There are also good stories about Mason Foster, Vincent Jackson and Greg Schiano’s hopes for Aqib Talib. More to come.