Well If It’s A Splash You Wanted Then This Wasn’t It ………

 

 

 

Well  If   It’s A Splash  You  Wanted  To  Make  Then  This Wasn’t It  ………

 

 

Fans  have  long labored  under the  belief  that  at  times the  fresh  influx of  talent   be  it on  the  field  or  in   management   can  really    turn  things  around  for   a franchise  that has been  perceived to  have fallen  on  hard times.    Well   nowhere is this  becoming   more   apparent than  with  the  Tampa  Bay  Buccaneers.

 

 

Raheem Morris   of the  Tampa Bay Buccaneers seen  here  with  Bucs' executive  Joel Glazer.
Newly appointed coach Raheem Morris is seen here with Bucs' executive Joel Glazer. The Glazer family own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as well as English Premier League soccer club Manchester United. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Matthew McFadden .............

 

 

 

Well  with   the firing   of  Jon Gruden  and  that of  General  Manager  Bruce Allen  in  the  offseason and   the  promotion of   Raheem  Morris  to the position of  head coach. It can  be   said  the  change  direction  sought was  about   as  expedient  and  drastic  as  one  would  expect.   The explanation   coming   from   ownership  can’t  be  viewed  as   enthusiastic   for   the  most  fervent   of  Buccaneers’ fans.  But  then   again   throughout  much   the  Glazers’  ownership,   their  custodianship of  the franchise  has  been  executed  clandestinely.    Though  the   firings   of  Gruden and Allen   came    out   of the  blue.  It can  be  said  from  a  PR perspective  the way it was    handled  left  an  unsavory   taste  in  one’s  mouth. 

 

 

 

 

Added  to  that  fact  was   the  release   of   several long  established  players.  None  more  so  than   veteran  stalwart  and  defensive  player  Derrick  Brooks.  He  may well  be  viewed  as  the   face   of  the  franchise .  And  in  terms  of   his  loyalty   to the  franchise  it was  unquestioned.   He was the  epitome , heart  and   soul   of what  it  meant  to be   a  Buccaneers’  player.     And  to  say  that many  a  Bucs’  fans   weren’t     aggrieved  at   his  release  would  be  understatement.  Nevertheless   life  must  go  on  and   so does the  business  of  making  this   franchise  competitive.

 

 

Bucs' GM Mark Dominink  seen  here with  members  of  the  local  press in the Tampa  Bay  area .
Buccaneers' GM Mark Dominik seen here with members of the locally convened press from the Tampa Bay area. picture appears courtesy of pewterreport.com

 

 

 

Coming  off  a  disappointing   season  with  a  9-7  finish  within the  NFC  South   division. Where  the  team  were viewed  as a   favorite to  repeat   as  champions.  Their  season  fell  apart  literally   down  the  closing    stretch  of the  season.  As  they   succumbed to  four  consecutive  defeats.   So  close  but  yet  so  far.  One  can  attribute  these  losses   on  a  number  of  things.  But   the  ownership   obviously   felt  that   Gruden  bore   a  great  deal  of  responsibility   for the   team’s   failings  on the    field. But a  lot  of  that   responsibility can  be  also  attributed to  the  total   naiveté  on the path  of the   Buccaneers’  players  who  must’ve   felt  that   they’d   romping  off  into  the  playoffs before  the   season  was  over,  without   getting  the  job  done   on the field  first.    A  lack  of  professional   approach  on  the   field   and  perhaps  an  even  bigger  lack  of  professionalism   by  the coaching  staff ?

 

 

 

 

Well   now the  franchise   under the  auspices  of  Morris  along  with   Mark Dominik  as the   team’s  general manager   have  been   entrusted  in   giving  the   team  a  new  sense  of  purpose  and  identity.    A  task  that  has  been  made  even   tougher   given  the  fact that  both  men  are   viewed as   novices  in their   fledgling    positions.  And  with  the  upheaval  within  the  team’s   roster .  It’s  hard  now  to  view  this  team  as  being  anything  more  than  an  afterthought  at this  juncture.   

 

 

 

 

 

At  the   heart   of  this  is  all  is  the  fact   that   on  paper  this   is  now a  very   young   team. And  with  it  comes   no   veteran  leadership  which   every   good   team  needs.  One  might  point  to   Ronde Barber   as  one  of the  last  vestiges  of    the   Buccaneers  from  their  halcyon   days  as  Superbowl  champions.   But even  he  isn’t  the  player  that  he  once  was.   Suffice  to   say   this   team   may   well  struggle  to  acquit  themselves this   upcoming  season  even with  the   presence  of  players  such as  Chris  Hovan,  Jeff Faine  , Antonio Bryant , Derrick Ward , Kellen Winslow Jr and  Luke  McCown.    And   even  with   the  acquisition  of  Derrick  Ward  a  proven  commodity   at   the  running   back  position.   The Buccaneers’  deficiencies  on   offense  at  times   bordered   on  sheer   ineptitude.  Their    struggles  to  find   the   end  zone  when  in  the   red  zone   territory  was   comedic  at   best  and   some  times   tragic.   When   your  over  reliance   is  placed  on  your  kicker   to  garner   the   points  needed  . Then  there  has  to  be  cause   for  concern.    That  being   said that   wasn’t   only  the  major   cause  for  concern  on this   team.   The defense    that  was   once   lauded  around  the  league  as being  one  of  the  best  in the league.   It seemed  as  if   overnight    many  of  the  players  had  forgotten   how  to execute   a  tackle   much   less  cover  an   offensive player.

 

 

 

 

Morris  and   Dominik    have let  it  be   known that  they’re   satisfied   with  the  direction  that the  team is  going  in.  As  to  how   they  view  their    present   roster, it can be  said  that they’re  enthusiastic.  But  nonetheless  they   know  that   if  they’re   to  succeed  then  they’ll  have  to  pursue   some of   the  team’s  needs     through   the  draft  and   quite  possibly   through   free  agency.

 

 

Kellen  Winslow  Jr  then  of  the  Cleveland Browns.  The  player  now  a  player with  the  Tampa  Bay Buccaneers  has  just signed  a six year contract extension with  the  Buccaners   for  $36.1m  not  including  incentives.
Kellwn Winslow Jr formerly of the Cleveland Browns. The player now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has signed a 6 year contract extension with the team for $36.1m. The contract also allows for a further $6.5m in incentives that can be earned. The contract also enriches the player with a $20.1m signing bonus. The contract itself will make Winslow the highest paid tight-end in the NFL. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Tony Dejak ....................

 

 

 

 

The   crux  of  this  piece  however is   to  seek an  explanation  as  to  why the   franchise  would  seek to  offer  an  six  year  contract extension  to   Kellen  Winslow.  Given  the  fact  that  the  player  though    talented.  He’s  certainly  not  viewed  as  a  prodigious  talent  at the  tight-end   position.  Mercurial   at  times ,  often  outspoken    and  perhaps  if  anything  his   health  has  to come  into   question.    Coming  off  knee  surgery  and   an  anemic   season  with  the  Cleveland  Browns   before   his  trade  to the  Buccaneers.  This   may  well  prove to  be   a  gamble  that  the  franchise could  well  do  without. Capricious  if  anything  is  what   one   could  best   describe  the  motives  behind  this  particular  decision.   It  will  make   Winslow  the   highest   paid  player  at  the  position  in the  league.   A  six  year   $36.1m  contract with  an   additional   $6.5m  in  incentives hardly something  to  sneeze  at.      But the   question  I would  ask  now    is  what  is  it that  Morris and   Dominik   see   in the  player  ?    Outsiders   looking   in  most  certainly   question  the  thought   process  behind  the   decision  making .  Especially   given  the  player’s   perceived  lack  of   endurance  with  regards  to  his    health.      

 

 

Raheem Morris  seen  here  on the  sidelines   with  Buccaneers' player Jermaine  Phillips.
Raheem Morris seen here on the sidelines with Buccaneers' player Jermaine Phillips. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Chris Sontag .................

 

 

 

 A  decision  such   as   the   one  made  here  by  the  Bucs   can  has  its   attractions. But  more often  than   not  it   tends   to  be  more  of   an  illusion  that   giving  a  player  such  an  incentive   will  make  him  a  productive  weapon.  And   given  the  fact  that  as  a  player   Winslow   has yet to   prove  himself.    I’ve got to  believe that  this  was  nothing  more   than  an  exercise  to  persuade the   fans  that  as  a  franchise  they’re  seeking   to prove to the   fans  that  they  mean   business.  When  they state  that  they’re  heading   in a  new  direction  and  with  a  new  resolve  towards success.                  

 

 

 

 

Given   the  evidence   of  what  we’ve seen   from  Winslow, the  Buccaneers   might  as well  have   taken  the   money and   lit   a  fire  to  it  themselves.  But  then  again   can  I  be  persuaded  otherwise  ?  I   very  much    doubt  it  given  what  we’ve  all  witnessed   so  far in the  player’s   short  and    none   eventful  career  on the  field.    The   events  off  it  however  play  into  the  fact  that  the  attitude  possessed  as a  player  at the   University of  Miami  is  still  there.   He  may  well  have   been  perceived as   a   player with  a  winning  attitude  there.  But   it   has    yet   to be  translated  over  into  the  professional   ranks  of  the  NFL .    I   wonder  why  ?                                                                                

Author: tophatal ...........

An avid sports' fans that's all !!!!!

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