Bucs vs. Bucs: Everyone Loses

The Bucs' first series of last week's loss against the Jets was an unmitigated disaster. When QB Josh Freeman's headset stopped working, he was forced to take a time out. Back on the field, the headset continued to malfunction amidst the crowd noise, and the Bucs were slapped with two delay of game penalties in a row. After a sack and a false start penalty, this series mercifully ended in a punt. It seemed clear from the sloppy mess on the field that this would be a long season for Buc fans. Another long season. But that was just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. On the field, the Bucs ended up losing the game when one of the most promising young players, second year linebacker … [Read more...]

Reasons to Be Thankful After a Buc Loss

This past Sunday, the 6-4 Buccaneers faced the 9-1 Falcons. For the Bucs, it was the opportunity to prove themselves as legitimate playoff contenders after a string of wins against less impressive foes. However, and no need for a spoiler alert here, the Bucs lost 24-23. Going in, I'd figured that a close game would be something of a moral victory. That the progress made to nearly defeat the best in league just a year removed from a 4-12 season would be enough. Turns out, it's not true. The Bucs played like a team that was equal to the Falcons.  And though they competed until the very last second against a top-tier team, and though last year's Bucs would never have been in this position, … [Read more...]

Why is the Bucs Offense So Boring?

I was in the stadium when Josh Freeman made his first NFL start. It was way back in November of 2009. The Bucs, in their throwback finest, won for the first time that season under Freeman's leadership, defeating a strong Green Bay Packers team. I remember thinking then that while the team might not always win, with this new quarterback they would at least always be fun to watch. I mean, Freeman was huge, tough, confident. He made plays with his arm like a Buc quarterback hadn't done since, well, before I started watching the team. He made plays with his legs--his enormous, trunk-like legs--rumbling down the field and taking defenders with him. As long as Freeman was in town, it … [Read more...]

Bucs vs. Giants: The Kneel, and Oh Yeah, 3.99 Quarters of Play

Ok, let's just get this out of the way. In the final seconds of the final quarter of the Bucs/Giants game, the Giants had the ball and a 41-34 lead. Eli Manning fielded the snap and took a knee. The Bucs, instead of admitting defeat in the traditional way, pushed forward, attempting to knock the ball loose and tie the game (or win, I suppose) in miraculous fashion. The Bucs did not force a fumble. The Giants won 41-34. End of game, yes, but not end of story. Giants' coach Tom Coughlin saw this play as an instance in which players could be hurt unnecessarily; he saw it as an affront to one of the few gentleman's rules present in the game. Bucs' coach Greg Schiano, on the other … [Read more...]

Bucs vs. Panthers: Forgive Me, Chicks, For I Have Grinned

Forgive me, chicks. Forgive me for dwelling on the past. For bringing up the 2011-12 season once again. For dragging Raheem's name back into the conversation, and back through the mud. Forgive me this one time, in this one column, for recalling a season dead and gone. Because, chicks, I don't think I'm going to have to talk about last season ever again. Now, before you think I'm overconfident, let me explain. I don't believe that the Bucs are headed straight for the Super Bowl. I understand that the team will struggle to have a winning season, and that the Panthers were not mighty foes compared to the ones the Bucs are set to face the rest of the season--next week's game against … [Read more...]