Midweek Gameplan 9-14-11


The Buccaneers’ Most Recent

I have to really agree with Joey’s article about the defense not looking near as bad as the offense last Sunday.  Going into this year, the offense was supposed to be more explosive and carry the team while the defense grew up and the d-line developed.  On Sunday, the defense spent the entire time on the incredibly hot field, got tired and gave up points in the late second quarter and second half.

Joseph held his own against Suh in the opening game of the season.
Joseph held his own against Suh in the opening game of the season. /

When your first drive starts at the opponent’s 20 yard line and you essentially don’t gain a yard, that is not a good omen for the rest of the game.  Since they could not sustain a drive, the running game was abandoned and a hurry-up spread offence proved to be effective at the end of the game.  While I like the production of the Bucs hurry-up offense, keep in mind it was the end of the game and the Lions were just trying to not give up the big play.

I don’t want to see the offense in the hurry up mode through the entire game, as that is not what they are built to do for 60 minutes.  I think they can learn from what the Lions did to them and throw some quick slants, screens and draws to delay the pass rush and use the pass to set up the run early in the game.  This would then set up Blount for big runs in the second half when the defense starts to get worn and tired from running all over the field trying to get to those short passess.

By the way, not everyone is talking about it, but Davin Joseph should be commended for his work on Ndamukong Suh as he really wasn’t much of a factor in the game. Suh did get into the backfield at times, but he made most offensive guards look silly last year.  Joseph had a down year last year and there was some grumbling about rewarding him with a new contract, but he played up to it on Sunday.

Injury Updates and Commentary

Brian Price went out with a hamstring injury which is reported to be minor and I am thinking about dedicating a new heading just after this one titled “Brian Price Injury Update”.  Hopefully, this doesn’t linger as he looked pretty good on review of the game broadcast.

In addition, Sammie Stroughter was reported to need surgery on his left foot this week.  Raheem Morris called the injury minor and that Stroughter will only miss a couple of weeks.  Unfortunately, foot surgery rarely works out this way.  After surgery feet swell and become stiff even after minor surgeries.  I think he will be lucky if he returns in 3-4 weeks and will likely not be bakup to full speed for about 4-6 weeks.  Minor change, I know, but this is how foot surgery usually works.

NFL Matters

If the NFL is serious about decreasing injuries on the field and keeping head injuries to a minimum, then they should start to do something about improperly fitting helmets.  After watching football all day on Sunday, I was amazed at the amount of players who had their helmet come off after seemingly minor contact to the helmet.  If a helmet fits properly, it should only come off with quite a bit of force and one’s ears and forehead should be sore after wards.

Many players think it doesn’t look cool to have a tight helmet and don’t have one that fits properly.  They also think they are tough when their helmet comes off and they continue to play.  The NFL should look into a players helmet if is coming off after minor contact or coming off repeatedly.  It just shouldn’t happen this much.

Fantasy Focus

Bucs player to watch:  Arrelius Benn.  He had a horrendous game, but was targeted many times and should have had a much better game this week.  Mike Williams continues to be the undisputed #1 receiver, but Josh Freeman will spread it around in the upcoming games.  I will be watching to see if Benn rebounds next week as I have some faith in him that he will have some fantasy value this year.

NFL players to watch:  There were some great performances by tight ends this last weekend who essentially came out of nowhere.  Scott Chandler (Bills), Jeff King (Cardinals), Ed Dickson (Ravens), Fred Davis (Redskins), and Evan Moore (Browns) all had career games.  Of that list, I am keeping a close eye on Chandler and Moore as having the biggest role in their respective offenses and potential waiver wire pickups in the coming weeks.

At The End of the Day

I could absolutely care less about Morris calling a couple of players during the lockout.  I am pretty sure this rule was broken somehow by about every team and Morris was just man enough to admit it.  The NFL should just slap his wrist and move on, as this isn’t even comparable to other infractions like tampering with free agents and videotaping another teams practice.  It is this kind of non-news that becomes “news” topics thanks to sites like Profootballtalk.com making it their headline and stirring up controversy that just isn’t there.

Until next week, despite what is reported on the web, Terry Bradshaw is alive.