The Morning After Hill: Who Let Raheem Morris Back on the Sidelines?

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Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE

Every morning after the Bucs play, editor Josh Hill gives you a dose of analysis with the gift of hindsight, breaking down the good, the bad and the horribly ugly from yesterday’s game. Grab a warm glass of milk and get ready to take your shot of The Morning After Hill.

There’s nothing more familiar to me in my 20 young years than the psychic pain of watching the Buccaneers knowing there is literally nothing that I can do but roll my eyes or feel fire in my belly as they shoot themselves in the foot. From Trent Dilfer, to Shaun King and the days of Jeff Garcia and even Chris Simms, I haven’t yet experienced a game where the Buccaneers have had a balance of offense and defense, nine times out of ten it’s the offense to blame.

That’s what happened in Dallas on Sunday, Josh Freeman looked awful and channeled his inner Bruce Gradskowski. However, I’m appalled by the scores of Bucs fans setting fire to the Freeman ship this early in the season and this early in the era of the new regime. But the reason Freeman looked so atrocious wasn’t entirely his fault, as he’s just a cog in an otherwise broken, yet fixable, wheel.

 

Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

The Good: Gerald McCoy and the Defense

Obviously, the thing that’s keeping Bucs fans off bridges on Monday is the play of the defense. Gerald McCoy is continuing to prove how damn good he can be when he’s healthy and that he can anchor the defensive line. Last week some called out McCoy for a disappointing performance, but it’s hard to blame him for being stifled by a stout and Pro Bowl offensive line. As demonstrated by the quick reaction and judgement of Freeman, some experts and fans aren’t big on rationality and ignore the fact that McCoy was constantly disrupting things on the line, even if he wasn’t sacking Eli Manning.

Same tune, different story against the Cowboys.

McCoy was credited with two sacks on the day and it seemed whenever Tony Romo dropped back, either McCoy or Michael Bennett were getting their names called. Bennet also walked away with two sacks and the defense disrupted Romo enough to force two fumbles — both recovered by the Bucs.

This run defense for the Bucs is outstanding by the way, as they allowed under 40 yards rushing to DeMarco Murray. Every time Murray got the ball he ran into a brick wall and went nowhere. Just like last week, disruption was key and consistency was the cure.

I’d hate on the secondary like I did last week, but they weren’t anywhere near as terrible. Sure they got picked on and gave up a few big plays, but overall for the majority of the game the Bucs secondary couldn’t have looked more unlike the team that gave up a million yards to Eli.

Romo walked away with under 300 yards passing and was held without a touchdown which, in case you missed last week, is a huge step forward for this Bucs secondary. They did allow over 100 yards to a single receiver (Miles Austin) and over 50 yards a piece to two others (Dez Bryant and Ken Ogletree) meaning the Big 3 in Dallas combined for over 200 yards but that hardly matters.

No touchdowns, that’s all you need to remember.

There’s still work that needs to be done on the defense, and losing Adrian Clayborn is devastating, but like the good old days in Tampa the defense kept the team in it the whole way through. 

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