The Buccaneers’ Most Recent
The Bucs are essentially out of playoff contention now, and it is pretty much down to playing for pride and seeing what kind of team will be there in the future. In terms of the defense, I was fairly pleased with Bowers’ first career start and extended playing time, but he did look like a rookie. Fosterdoes not appear as involved as he was early in the year, when he was playing at a very high level. It makes me think that his ankle injury is still bothering him. The secondary is too busy making tackles, and thus their play against the pass is effected. Injuries have played a role along the defensive line and there is no need to rush players back at this point.
The offense has been the big disappointment this year, but they have looked better at times in the last two games. Blount ran well this week and looked like the player I expected to see this year. The receivers continue to drop balls and this is the issue I would like to see them focus on and improve this particular aspect the rest of this season. Freeman is all over the map this year and has just not grown into the role of the franchise quarterback which he was anointed last year. If the offense can provide some more balance over the course of the year, there is some promise for next year. In any case, the offense needs to step up and show some improvement the rest of the year, or a shake up will need to occur.
I don’t think there should be any talk of Raheem Morris being on the hot seat, as he has just had some tough luck and bad games this year. If he rallies the troops and still gets three to four wins this year, he should be secure. If he doesn’t win another game, then I say we do look directly at the coach for that, and then we can begin hot seat discussion. I do think that a defensive coordinator may be a nice addition, and I can’t say I would be too broken up if there is a shakeup at offensive coordinator.
Injury Updates and Commentary
Brian Price was reported to have “tweaked” his ankle during the game against the Titans. Luckily, this was the only major injury from the game. Unfortunately, it is once again involving one of the defensive tackles and it continues to hurt the interior run defense. Ankle sprains are tough to predict, but lineman often can come back a week or two sooner than the skill position players.
I have held off writing about this for the past couple of weeks, but the game on Thanksgiving finally put me over the edge. Ndamukong Suh continues to be a dirty player and his head smash/stomp just supports that he doesn’t get it and that he hurts his team through his actions. This is not his first offense and he leads the league in personal fouls in the last year and a half or so. This does not help his team if he is drawing penalties and getting suspended. Gerald McCoy has been a disappointment due to injuries, but I am not completely sure I would want Suh instead. He has been by far the better player, but he is starting to negatively effect the team.
Before the season began many of the talking heads on TV had discussions about Suh and the Hall of Fame. After one whole season, they had already inducted him in. This went to Suh’s head, and I am now convinced that he thinks he is above the league because of this. How else do you explain these latest actions right after he has a meeting with Goodell? His postgame comments just continue to solidify that he just does not get it. He needs to take responsibility for his actions. I would have liked it if he would have just taken the suspension like a man and not appealed it. He is not having a good year, and he may be hurting his team as much as helping it. He even has good teammates on the defensive line this year.
For people who love numbers, take in account 22, 3, and 0 versus 24, 5, and 1. One is Suh’s numbers this season (tackles, sacks, and forced fumbles), the other is Adrian Clayborn’s. Yet Clayborn won’t be considered for the Pro Bowl and people will tell you Suh is a shoe-in. I know they play different positions, but his production has taken a nose dive this year.
In case you haven’t noticed, Mike Williams is fantasy relevant again with touchdown catches in each of the last couple of games. After having one touchdown in all the previous games, it is nice to see him getting the knack for the end-zone again. I think the Bucs will continue to look for him in the goal to go situations and away from Kellen Winslow as he has not come through. Now, if he can just fix the dropped ball problems.
At The End of the Day
We are starting to get into the time of year when Holiday parties are occurring for work and friends. Have all the fun you want, but be careful and use your head when you need to get home from the parties. Every year I treat people who are involved in accidents where alcohol or drugs are a major factor and it is just not worth it. Call a cab. Many places offer discount or free rides for people who are drunk and everyone should take advantage of these services, rather than risk it. Be safe this holiday season.
Until next week, there is always next year.