The Who Dat Boys …… Can They Make A Quick Turnaround ?

The Who Dat Boys …… Can They Make A Quick Turnaround ?

One year removed from having won the Superbowl the New Orleans Saints had the inauspicious privilege of being hoisted on their own petards during the wildcard round of last season’s NFL playoffs by the Seattle Seahawks . That untimely exit left many wondering whether or not the New Orleans Saints had in fact become complacent in light of their triumph . The loss in of-itself was simply one where what you see is what you get as complacency simply had set in with this organization .

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Heroes in the wake of the post ‘Hurricane Katrina’ disaster the Saints set out to bring pride back to the Crescent City and its residents . The 2010 regular season for the team showed that while they still possessed that offensive prowess there was something lacking in Sean Payton’s team. It was never properly addressed by the coach and his assistants in spite of the belief that this organization was looking to be once again a part of the postseason. Team owner Tom Benson loved being the center of attention after the years of ridicule being portrayed as disinterested NFL franchisee . But the tide turned after the team was able to secure the trade that would bring Drew Brees from the San Diego Chargers to join the New Orleans Saints . And the rest as they say is history as things gradually progressed to the point were the quarterback would simply bring about changes in the fortunes of the organization.

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New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landriew , second from right, speaks during a tour and dedication of the newly renovated Louisiana Superdome, home of the New Orleans Saints NFL football team, in New Orleans, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011. The $85 million in state-funded upgrades were a key part of the state’s agreement with the New Orleans Saints to ensure the team remains in New Orleans through 2025. From left are Saints owner Tom Benson, Superdome Management Group senior vice president Doug Thornton , Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Saints owner and executive vice president Rita Benson LeBlanc. AP Photo/Gerald Herbert …..

This season however , with changes made by the front office led my general manager Mickey Loomis the loss of Reggie Bush notwithstanding the organization sought to make the necessary moves through the draft and via free agency make this team considerably better and a serious challenger within the NFC South , the conference as a whole and a legitimate contender for the Superbowl once again.

With the former Heisman Trophy winner now making his home with the Miami Dolphins like a former Saints’ predecessor , Ricky Williams ___ it has to be said that Bush’s undistinguished career with the Saints was simply one of ups and downs. Never truly acclimatizing or living up to the hype the player will now try to prove himself worthy of Dolphins’ trust in him. Dolphins’ owner Stephen Ross , general manager Jeff Ireland and coach Tony Sparano may well be going out on a limb in acquiring the player but given Dolphins’ woes of last season within the AFC East of this organization leads me to believe that not only is this an act of desperation but Sparano’s very future will rely upon Reggie Bush leading this team with some authority on the field of play.

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Darren Sproles (43) of the New Orleans Saints works out during practice at the New Orleans Saints training facility on August 5, 2011 in Metairie, Louisiana. Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) ………

The New Orleans Saints at this point through attrition and the moves made via free agency and the draft should be considerably better. The team added Alex Barron , Aubrayo Franklin , Olin Kreutz , Will Herring , Darren Sproles , Fabian Washington and Shaun Rogers . Players one would still deem that they have something to offer the organization and will ultimately be of benefit to the team. The defense needed to be shored up and it should now bode well for the Saints over the course of the regular season. The Saints having drafted Mark Ingram to complement a receiving corp that might just one of the most potent weaponry of any team within the NFC and league as a whole .

As I alluded to earlier the season could very well give a great insight into how the New Orleans may well acquit themselves . And given the competitiveness within the NFC South , a trio teams in the Atlanta Falcons , Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers ___ each of whom will be looking to prove their dominance within the division. From my own perspective I believe that the Carolina Panthers will have their struggles as Cam Newton looks to acquaint himself to the rigors of the NFL as rookie coach Ron Rivera also has his own baptism of fire within the league.

The Falcons with their Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Ryan and Mike Smith the team’s coach will also be looking to gauge their own competitiveness within the NFL this upcoming season . I can’t say that the Atlanta Falcons are not a team to be feared but given the inconsistency shown by the team they may well struggle to prove themselves truly worthy consideration as a Superbowl contender .

For what is now a resurgent Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ organization led by coach Raheem Morris and general manager Mark Dominik . This will be a team looking to make even further strides than beyond what was achieved last season . The Tampa Bay Buccaneers narrowly missed the postseason by failing to notch an eleventh win which would have secured them a berth in playoffs. That lone misstep pretty much summed up a lost opportunity for the team which was gallantly led by their quarterback Josh Freeman .

Coming off a stellar season Josh Freeman will be out to prove to his doubters that he’s quite capable of taking this current roster to the next level. Certainly those who have witnessed the play of the young quarterback will know that he has a great deal of poise about him and that his maturity level is way beyond what many believed capable of a the third year starter. Raheem Morris, his coaching staff have a great deal of faith in the player and under the tutelage of quarterbacks’ coach Alex Van Pelt one can see the strides taken to improve Freeman’s play.

Ever resourceful , this organization will be looking to usurp the perceived supremacy of both the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints as their season unfolds. Their first task will be gauge themselves during their first outing of the preseason against the Kansas City Chiefs . Rookies and some starters will play a number of series as Raheem Morris and the coaching staff get the chance to assess the players under a game scenario , albeit that is merely a preseason game. It will be interesting to see how the fans will view the chances of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the course of the season and whether or not they are in fact credible contenders within the NFL. The disappointment of last season may well still linger but if this team can put that behind them , then there’s no reason not to believe why they cannot have a chance to prove themselves worthy opponents over of this NFL calendar .

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris, center, takes a break from practice to sign autographs for fans during NFL football training camp on Friday, July 29, 2011, in Tampa, Fla. AP Photo/Brian Blanco ….

The NFC South is not often considered one of the glamor divisions of the NFL . But when one considers that a sole loss was all that deprived the Buccaneers of finishing with a 11-5 mark and making the postseason as a wildcard entrant leads me to believe that this team won’t be making the same sort of mistake again. They have learned their lesson and most certainly that seems to be now showing during which we are now seeing Freeman taking much more of a leadership role on this team alongside seasoned veterans Kellen Winslow Jr and Ronde Barber .

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What thoughts if any do you have concerning the New Orleans Saints and in your opinion are they viable contenders within their division and perhaps the Superbowl ? Or do you in fact see either the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or Atlanta Falcons proving to be a better team this upcoming season ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts .

Alan aka tophatal ……. https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Contact tophatal ………. rapptu@gmail.com

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Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landriew , second from right, speaks during a tour and dedication of the newly renovated Louisiana Superdome, home of the New Orleans Saints NFL football team, in New Orleans, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011. The $85 million in state-funded upgrades were a key part of the state’s agreement with the New Orleans Saints to ensure the team remains in New Orleans through 2025. From left are Saints owner Tom Benson, Superdome Management Group senior vice president Doug Thornton , Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Saints owner and executive vice president Rita Benson LeBlanc . AP Photo/Gerald Herbert ….

(2) Head coach Sean Payton talks with Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams of the New Orleans Saints during practice at the New Orleans Saints training facility on August 5, 2011 in Metairie, Louisiana. Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images …..

(3) Quarterback Drew Brees (9) talks with center Olin Kreutz (50) of the New Orleans Saints during practice at the New Orleans Saints training facility on August 5, 2011 in Metairie, Louisiana. Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images ……

(4) METAIRIE, LA – AUGUST 05: Mark Ingram (28) of the New Orleans Saints works out during practice at the New Orleans Saints training facility on August 5, 2011 in Metairie, Louisiana. Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images …..

(5) Darren Sproles (43) of the New Orleans Saints works out during practice at the New Orleans Saints training facility on August 5, 2011 in Metairie, Louisiana. Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images ………

(6) TAMPA, FL – JULY 29: Quarterback Josh Freeman (5) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signs an autograph during the team’s first pre-season training camp practice July 29, 2011 at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images …

(7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris, center, takes a break from practice to sign autographs for fans during NFL football training camp on Friday, July 29, 2011, in Tampa, Fla. AP Photo/Brian Blanco ………

(8) TAMPA, FL – JULY 29: Tight end Kellen Winslow (82) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers runs up-field with a pass during the team’s first pre-season training camp practice July 29, 2011 at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Florida. Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images ….
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New Orleans Saints preseason schedule 2011

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New Orleans Saints’ draft history ……… Saints’ draft history

NFC South Standings 2010

A Tale of Two Teams ……….

A Tale of Two Teams

As with the Dickens’ novel ‘ A Tale of Two Cities’ , here we have two teams in the Seattle Seahawks and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who seemingly are going in opposite directions. But we are talking about quite possibly two of the worst teams in all of the NFC and the entire league.

Bucs'  fans  in the  hope  of an  early  Christmas  wish  and gift  in the  team's  game  against the  Seattle Seahawks  on   Sunday  afternoon  played  at  QWest  Field  in Seattle , Washington,.    picture appears courtesy of  ap/photo/ Ted S.  Warren  ............
Bucs' fans in the hope of an early Christmas wish and gift in the team's game against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday afternoon played at QWest Field in Seattle , Washington,. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Ted S. Warren ............

On the one side, you have the inexperience of Raheem Morris as the first year coach of the Buccaneers and the more experienced but less consistent coach, in Jim Mora Jr. of the Seahawks. Both teams this season have definitely had their problems. Much of it has been self inflicted, in terms of both teams’ level of play and their inconsistency. But beyond that, it is now their immediate future that may well be the guide that will indicate the ultimate direction that both organizations are said to be heading in. Seattle is now without a general manager, as Tim Ruskell has now left the organization. And from what we’ve been led to believe,overtures were made to former coach, Mike Holmgren to return to ‘the fold’ and become the President of Operations for the Seattle Seahawks. Holmgren refused the offer and is now set to take a similar position with the Cleveland Browns.

Seattle -December 20th ,2009. Running back Carnell Williams (#24) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rushes for a touchdown in the third quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington. The Buccaneers defeated the Seahawks 24-7. picture  appears  courtesy of  Getty Images/  Otto Greule Jr,. ........
Seattle -December 20th ,2009. Running back Carnell Williams (#24) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rushes for a touchdown in the third quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington. The Buccaneers defeated the Seahawks 24-7. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Otto Greule Jr,. ........

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers played their best football of the season in defeating the Seahawks 24-7, in a thoroughly lopsided display and victory. The Seahawks are a team lacking in confidence and ability. The play of the team’s quarterback, Matt Hasselbeck is showing his age, as he now looks more like an octogenarian in need of multi-vitamins, instead of a player who at his peak was one of the better and more reliable players at the position. But if you think that this was the only problem that Jim Mora and his team faces, then you’d be sadly mistaken. They’ve now seen a resurgent San Francisco 49ers within the division (NFC West), without having to see the triumvirate of Boldin , Fitzgerald and Warner, of the Arizona Cardinals now start to lay waste to the division with an alarming amount of ease. For Mora and the Seahawks this is a time for contemplation and regrouping. But one seriously doubts if Mora and his coaches actually know what it is they’re striving for. My own thoughts are that Holmgren wasn’t the person to be making the decision as to who his successor ought to have been. There were far more noteworthy candidates who could’ve assumed the vacancy. No ’Rooney Rule’ was followed here. Only the fact that the organization somehow acquiesced to Holmgren’s demands.

Place holder Jon Ryan #9 of the Seattle Seahawks fumbles the snap on a field goal attempt against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on December 20, 2009 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington. The Buccaneers defeated the Seahawks 24-7. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/  Otto Greule Jr .........
Place holder Jon Ryan #9 of the Seattle Seahawks fumbles the snap on a field goal attempt against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on December 20, 2009 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington. The Buccaneers defeated the Seahawks 24-7. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Otto Greule Jr .........

Courtesy of News Chief

Buccaneers prey on struggling Seattle for second win of the year

Seattle-Washington ,. Josh Freeman walked over to Tampa Bay’s sideline after his ninth interception in just over two games. The 21-year-old rookie looked first-year coach Raheem Morris in the eye and calmly said: “I got it.”

Morris’ reply: “Go get it.”

He did.

Freeman threw two touchdown passes in the second half, Tampa Bay’s battered defense forced five turnovers from Seattle’s reckless Matt Hasselbeck, and the Buccaneers rallied to a 24-7 win over the Seahawks on Sunday.

Tampa Bay (2-12) won for just the second time in 17 games, and won on the West Coast for the first time since beating Oakland in the Super Bowl on Jan. 26, 2003, in San Diego.

With maybe 500 angry Seattle fans watching by the end, the young Bucs smiled triumphantly pointed to the sky after the team’s first win away from Tampa in 10 tries, since Nov. 23, 2008, at Detroit.

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Quarterback Josh Freeman (#5) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks downfield as he scrambles against the Seattle Seahawks.  The  young  rookie quarterback  would  lead  his team with  authority  on their  way to a rather lopsided 24-7 victory  over the  Seattle  Seahawks  in an  NFC match up  between the  two teams.   picture  appears   courtesy of  Getty Images/  Otto Greule Jr  ..................
Quarterback Josh Freeman (#5) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks downfield as he scrambles against the Seattle Seahawks. The young rookie quarterback would lead his team with authority on their way to a rather lopsided 24-7 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in an NFC match up between the two teams. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Otto Greule Jr ..................

With this win, the Buccaneers had finally stemmed the tide of losses, albeit that this was a game that was won away from home, away from their long suffering fans. For Raheem Morris and his Bucs’ team this was the best that they’ve played this season. Josh Freeman, the team’s starting quarterback showed a great deal of poise and he led this team with authority. Also following suit by example, was the play of Cadillac Williams and Derrick Ward who ran with a great deal of gusto. Something that we’ve not often from Williams over the course of his career, so far. But most surprising of all ,may well have been the play of the Buccaneers’ defense as they stifled anything that the Seahawks tried to achieve during the game. Having attained just their second win of the season, this may well be something that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can build upon over the remainder of the season and show their fans that the tides may well be changing for the better. Certainly, it’s a great deal better than many of their woes that we’ve witnessed over the course of this season.

 Linebacker Geno Hayes (#54) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers makes an interception against the Seattle Seahawks on December 20, 2009 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington.   picture appears  courtesy  of  Getty Images/  Otto  Greule Jr ................
Linebacker Geno Hayes (#54) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers makes an interception against the Seattle Seahawks on December 20, 2009 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Otto Greule Jr ................

This will be something that they (Buccaneers) can build upon and take into the off-season and into the next. With the upcoming draft in April, we’ll have to see the decisions that’ll be made by team GM, Mark Dominik, as to their needs. And mark my words their needs are many. On both sides of the ball the Buccaneers are in need of a playmaker and on appearance alone this roster is lacking a player in the assumed role. It certainly hasn’t come from either Kellen Winslow, Antonio Bryant or Michael Clayton. But from the start of his reign as the coach of this team, Raheem Morris has let it be known that he was happy with the players he had at his disposal. But at the halfway point of the season it became increasingly clear that not only had he misjudged the talent on the roster but also the players’ resolve to play as a cohesive and competitive unit. However, what was even more asinine was his outspokenness as to the merits of the team. Shamelessly making an ass of himself, he continued with the mantra that the team was merely lacking in the opportunities. What was that ‘lacking the opportunities’ ? No, in the NFL you aren’t afforded opportunities , you play to the best of your abilities. And if anything the Buccaneers’ record (2-12) reflects that. So whatever it is that Morris presumed it was that he saw in the team wasn’t forthcoming until late into the season.

Seattle Seahawks fans wear bags over their heads to  show their disgust  at the  team's  effort in the final minutes of Seattle's 24-7 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 20, 2009, in Seattle.  picture  appears  courtesy  of  AP/photo/ John Froschauer .........
Seattle Seahawks fans wear bags over their heads to show their disgust at the team's effort in the final minutes of Seattle's 24-7 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 20, 2009, in Seattle. picture appears courtesy of AP/photo/ John Froschauer .........

The 2010-11 NFL season will bring a great deal of turmoil to the league, if the game’s hierarchy and the players’ union (NFLPA) can’t come to some agreement as to the collective bargaining agreement. In all likelihood, if both sides can’t come to some sort of resolve in sorting out their issues, then the turmoil of an uncapped season awaits the league. Certainly not something that the vast majority of the teams would even contemplate, given the present economic climate. And though the NFL salary cap, at $112 million is at its highest it has ever been. The thought that next season could become all askew without the salary cap keeping everyone’s budget in ’check’. We will end up seeing the likes of the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins spending money like drunken sailors on a weekend furlough.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris waves to fans as he walks off the field after the Buccaneers beat the Seattle Seahawks 24-7 in an NFL football game.  picture  appears  courtesy  of  AP/photo/  Ted  S Warren  ....................
Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris waves to fans as he walks off the field after the Buccaneers beat the Seattle Seahawks 24-7 in an NFL football game. picture appears courtesy of AP/photo/ Ted S Warren ....................

And now comes the hard part for everyone to think about. What happens next ? As to the fortunes of both the Buccaneers and Seahawks and the paths that they’re now said to be on. Well this has all been about the tale of two teams and their travels. Where do you see the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Seattle Seahawks, as to their impending future ?

It’s Not About The Way You Start But How You Finish ……….

Well, we’re almost three quarters of the way through the NFL season and it’s pretty much safe to say that even the most ardent NFL fans have something to be pleased about. While others mightn’t be feeling all that happy about their team or teams as the case maybe. Suffice to say, that if you’re team isn’t in the midst of things with of aspirations of making a playoff push. Then you might as well call it a day.

The delectable  Taryn Manning  who  in Craig Brewer's  critically and commercially  acclaimed film  'Hustle & Flow' played the  hooker  with  a  'heart of gold'  .   She co-starred alongside  Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson, Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges  and  Anthony  Anderson .  For which  Howard  received  an  Oscar  nomination  nod  and went  on to 'leading man status'  after the role.  Given the Giants'  fortunes of as of late , this'd  be   the  Manning that  I'd prefer to  see  instead  of  their  quarterback , Eli  Manning.   picture appears courtesy  of  FHM / Chris Howard ............
The delectable Taryn Manning who in Craig Brewer's critically and commercially acclaimed film 'Hustle & Flow' played the hooker with a 'heart of gold' . She co-starred alongside Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson, Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges and Anthony Anderson . For which Howard received an Oscar nomination nod and went on to 'leading man status' after the role. Given the Giants' fortunes of as of late , this'd be the Manning that I'd prefer to see instead of their quarterback , Eli Manning. picture appears courtesy of FHM / Chris Howard ............

Suffice to say that while sitting with my notebook computer in my lap, watching ESPN’s Monday night broadcast of the game between the New England Patriots and the New Orleans Saints. I’ve come to a new found admiration for the undoubted talents of Saints’ quarterback, Drew Brees. To my mind, with his play as of late and as a matter of fact over the last three or four years. He has in essence, become one of the ‘elite quarterbacks’ in the league. And that is of course with due respect to Manning Brady and Favre. He ranks up there alongside that noted triumvirate. And just in case you’re wondering which of the Mannings, I’m talking about , it’s not Eli or that rather ‘fine actress’, Taryn Manning but Peyton Manning. Eli is just proving once again what I’ve always thought about him. He can’t string together, back to back, to back, a set of consistent performances in this league. In many ways it’s liking watching an Alcoholics Anonymous participant repeatedly fall off the wagon. $100 million certainly doesn’t buy much in the league nowadays, does it ? Albert Haynesworth, you need to call your accountant as Daniel Snyder is about to come a calling, asking for his money back, in order for him to actually reinvest that money into something that’d resemble a team ! Because at the moment, what you’ve actually brought to Washington Redskins bears nothing that of a player, who was said to be ‘one of the most feared defensive players’ in the entire NFL. There’s more ferocity shown by a bunch of pre-op male trans-sexuals, than you’ve shown on an NFL field this season !

New Orleans-November 30th ,2009. David Thomas (85) of the New Orleans Saints runs for yards after the catch the New England Patriots at Louisana Superdome on November 30, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints won 38-17. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Scott Halleran ........
New Orleans-November 30th ,2009. David Thomas (85) of the New Orleans Saints runs for yards after the catch the New England Patriots at Louisana Superdome on November 30, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints won 38-17. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Scott Halleran ........

Monday night’s game itself, proved if anything that the Saints , Indianapolis Colts and the Minnesota Vikings are ‘the cream of the crop’ and ‘the class of the NFL’ this season. With both the Colts and Saints being (11-0) and the Vikings at (10-1). One can start to feel why their fans are chomping at the bit to see their teams in the post-season. If nothing else they’re looking to make it their rallying call to bare arms and support their team.

Randy Moss (81) of the New England Patriots is tackled after he made a reception in the second half by Darren Sharper (42) of the New Orleans Saints at Louisana Superdome on November 30, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Scott Halleran .........
Randy Moss (81) of the New England Patriots is tackled after he made a reception in the second half by Darren Sharper (42) of the New Orleans Saints at Louisana Superdome on November 30, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Scott Halleran .........

Inasmuch, as I continue to support the Patriots and bearing mind, I felt that if Tom Brady could in some way hold his own against Drew Brees. I felt that the team was in with a very good shot to derail the Saints’ effort in going unbeaten on the night. Boy was I wrong in a very big way ! The Saints harassed and hurried Brady into making several mistakes and errant plays that you wouldn’t normally associate with the normally cool, calm and collected quarterback. And it certainly didn’t that the team’s pass defense was about as noticeable as the ‘Invisible Man’. Brees was allowed to shred the team with all too accurate passing , on an offense that on their might just be the very best in the NFL. So good were they on the night, that the end result of the Saints’ 38-17 victory could’ve been of a wider margin, by far. To say I wasn’t disappointed at the end result , would be an understatement. The Patriots may well have went down fighting . But by no means was it a gallant effort by Bill Belichick’s team. Belichick and his coaching staff have a great deal of work to do , if this team is indeed to make the playoffs. And no, I’m not of the opinion that Charlie Weis should be brought by back to the team , to reassume the defensive coordinator’s responsibilities.It has been bad enough with Weis, having literally singled handedly destroyed whatever remnants there was left of Notre Dame football, as we know it. And what’d make anyone think tha Belichick would want him back to begin with ? His (Belichick’s) demeanor at times has been less than complimentary towards many of his former coaches that have left his employ. And with Weis it’d be no different !

The once remarkable Jim Mora Sr and his singularly most famous sound byte ever. ‘Playoffs’ ? ‘ What playoffs’ ? Need one say anymore ?

With the meat of the season now out of the way. Teams are now jockeying for positions in terms of a playoff berth. It looks pretty safe to say that the divisional leaders have their fates in their own hands. However those seeking a wildcard berth , most definitely still have something to play for. And who’d have thought that the now improbable , Vince Young led, Tennessee Titans (5-6) could still be in with a shot of making the playoffs ? Where’s Jim Mora Sr., when you need him ?

Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young (10) passes from his own end zone as Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell (93) rushes him in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009, in Nashville, Tenn. Young led the Titans on a 99-yard drive to score the winning touchdown in the Titans' 20-17 win. picture appears courtesy of  AP/photo/ Mark  Goodwin   ...........
Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young (10) passes from his own end zone as Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell (93) rushes him in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009, in Nashville, Tenn. Young led the Titans on a 99-yard drive to score the winning touchdown in the Titans' 20-17 win. picture appears courtesy of AP/photo/ Mark Goodwin ...........

Now I’m not about to waste my time denigrating teams that’ve played some less than inspiring football this season and who are languishing in the depths of ineptitude. As those teams and their fans know who they are and how god-damn awful they’ve now become. Suffice to say, that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-10), Oakland Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs, St Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks and Cleveland Browns really do need to show some pride ,not wallow in self pity and most of all not have their coaches come and give the public and the fans some asinine excuse as to the inherent problems of their respective teams. At the end of the day it doesn’t amount to a ‘hill of beans’ and it makes them on appearance look like a complete buffoon and a clown to top it all of !

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris yells instructions to his team during the fourth quarter of their NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009. picture appears courtesy of AP/Photo/ Dave Martin  .......................
Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris yells instructions to his team during the fourth quarter of their NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009. picture appears courtesy of AP/Photo/ Dave Martin .......................

A word of advice for the inexperienced Bucs’ coach, Raheem Morris. All the sound bytes and excuses in the world can’t hide the fact that this is ‘your team’ . It’s the one that you and general manager, Mark Dominik, hitched your wagons to. So get over it , shut the f_ck up and do your god-damn job ! You’re now sounding like a damn child with each additional interview that you give to the media. And for god’s sake be man enough and stand up and be held accountable for the choices you made. You and those blithering idiots from the Pewter Report,instead of clogging up the local radio airwaves in the local Tampa market with your inane drivel, in trying make lemonade out of rat’s urine. At least have the temerity to admit that ‘the team’, just isn’t that good, at all . It does a complete disservice to the public and the NFL fans in general. They’re not all children and by the way ‘fairy tales’ went out a long time ago. Unless you hadn’t noticed ? So stop hitching your wagons to one !

Atlanta-November 29th, 2009. Roddy White (84) of the Atlanta Falcons celebrates his game-winning touchdown in the final seconds against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with Eric Weems (14) and quarterback, Chris Redman (8 )at the Georgia Dome in in Atlanta, Georgia.  picture  appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Kevin C. Cox .......
Atlanta-November 29th, 2009. Roddy White (84) of the Atlanta Falcons celebrates his game-winning touchdown in the final seconds against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with Eric Weems (14) and quarterback, Chris Redman (8 )at the Georgia Dome in in Atlanta, Georgia. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Kevin C. Cox .......

So as of now,for the teams of the NFL, it’s not actually how you start but how you indeed finish that’ll dictate and create the mindset of how determined you’re going to be. A reminder to you all, and that includes the fans of the NFL , as well.

NB: NFL Week 13 Schedule- Dec 3rd to the 7th …… Click the link provided to review in full.

Thu, Dec 03 Stadium Time (ET) Tickets Network DIRECTV SIRIUS Westwood One
NYJ @ BUF Rogers Centre 8:20 PM Tickets NFLN 212 126 (NYJ) 125 (BUF) Radio
Sun, Dec 06 Stadium Time (ET) Tickets Network DIRECTV SIRIUS Westwood One
STL @ CHI Soldier Field 1:00 PM Tickets FOX 710 151 (STL) 127 (CHI)
DEN @ KC Arrowhead Stadium 1:00 PM Tickets CBS 706 121 (DEN) 154 (KC)
TEN @ IND Lucas Oil Stadium 1:00 PM Tickets CBS 704 123 (IND)
PHI @ ATL Georgia Dome 1:00 PM Tickets FOX 708 129 (PHI) 126 (ATL)
NE @ MIA Land Shark Stadium 1:00 PM Tickets CBS 126 (NE) 127 (MIA)
NO @ WAS FedEx Field 1:00 PM Tickets FOX 712 123 (NO) 152 (WAS)
OAK @ PIT Heinz Field 1:00 PM Tickets CBS 707 157 (OAK) 122 (PIT)
TB @ CAR Bank of America Stadium 1:00 PM Tickets FOX 709 158 (TB) 130 (CAR)
HOU @ JAC Jacksonville Municipal Stadium 1:00 PM Tickets CBS 705 125 (HOU) 153 (JAC)
DET @ CIN Paul Brown Stadium 1:00 PM Tickets FOX 711 155 (DET) 91 (CIN)
SD @ CLE Cleveland Browns Stadium 4:05 PM Tickets CBS 713 121 (SD) 91 (CLE)
DAL @ NYG Giants Stadium 4:15 PM Tickets FOX 715 123 (DAL) 125 (NYG)
SF @ SEA Qwest Field 4:15 PM Tickets FOX 716 126 (SF) 130 (SEA)
MIN @ ARI University of Phoenix Stadium 8:20 PM Tickets NBC 714 122 (MIN) 127 (ARI) Radio
Mon, Dec 07 Stadium Time (ET) Tickets Network DIRECTV SIRIUS Westwood One
BAL @ GB Lambeau Field 8:30 PM Tickets ESPN 206 126 (BAL) 125 (GB) Radio
Byes: None

Round Up Of The NFL Sports Weekend & Other Pieces Of Triviality

Well, the NFL weekend is all but through, with the exception of Monday night’s scheduled game between the Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2) and Denver Broncos (6-1) from Invesco Field , Denver , Colorado.

Buccaneers quarterback  Josh   Freeman  hands the ball  off  during the   game  played  against  the  Green Bay  Packers at  Raymond  James Stadium  in  Tampa Florida .  The  Buccaneers   would   go  on to  defeat  Green  Bay  38-28  and  being  ensured    of  their   first  win  of the  season.   picture  apears  courtesy  of  getty  images/ J Meric .............

Buccaneers’ quarterback Josh Freeman hands the ball off during the game played against the Green Bay Packers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The Buccaneers would go on to defeat Green Bay 38-28 , being ensured of their first win of the NFL season. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ J.Meric ..
….

And as evidenced from Sunday’s slate of games for Week 9 , we now know more than ever, that the NFL is still in something of a diabolical state when it comes to several teams. There’s the good, the bad and the downright ugly ! Based on what took place between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-7) and the Green Bay Packers (4-4) at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa , Florida. It was hard to extrapolate which was indeed the winless team and which team was indeed the one with ambitions of quite possibly making the postseason. Suffice to say that the game was filled with a litany of errors from either side. And the quarterback play of both teams left a great deal to be desired.

Buccaners'  defensive players  Torrie  Cox (27)  , Geno Hayes (54) and  Tanard Jackson (36)  set  about   tackling  Packers'  wide  receiver  James  Jones (89)   during  the  game .    picture  appears  courtesy  of  getty  images/  J  Meric ..........

Buccaneers’ defensive players Torrie Cox (27), Geno Hayes (54) and Tanard Jackson (36) set about tackling Packers’ wide receiver James Jones (89) during the game.
picture appears courtesy of getty images/ J Meric ….

Buccaneers’ rookie quarterback, Josh Freeman did just enough to garner his first professional win in an NFL uniform. Which was much to the delight of the home fans there in Tampa. As to what this may well mean down the lines for the Buccaneers and their coach , Raheem Morris. Well, for now let’s just say with that first win of the season in defeating the Packers 38-28 . It leaves the Buccaneers with something to smile about. As to what this means for the Mike McCarthy coached Packers’ team ? Suffice to say , it’s back to the drawing board for McCarthy and his coaching staff. Their offensive line couldn’t protect quarterback, Aaron Rogers from the Buccaneers’ defensive play , much less from the H1N1 strain of the swine flu. That’s how awful the Packers’ offensive line were on Sunday !

Eagles' head  coach  Andy  Reid  and  his  opposing   number   Wade Phillips of  the   Dallas Cowboys   meet  centerfield  after  the  game to  congratulate one another .

Andy Reid ,coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and his opposite number Wade Phillips of the Dallas Cowboys meet centerfield at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia after the game. The Cowboys had just defeated the Eagles in an NFC East divisional match up 20-16, to sit atop of the division with a one game lead over their rival. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Craig Gentry ……

Image is everything , hype means nothing ! If that were really true then how can one explain the seemingly endless media frenzy concerning the Dallas Cowboys (6-2) and everything that this team is said to represent ? Unlike any other team in the NFL the attention paid to this team in the print format as well as on television and radio borders on the insane. Granted , that $1.5 billion monstrosity built in Arlington, creates the desired facade that this is an NFL franchise that has a great deal going for it both on and off the field. Truth be known, the Cowboys are simply nothing more than a well ran cash cow. Making money for the organization is the sole existence for Jerry Jones. And anything beyond that is considered to be a bye product of it all. The franchise seeks to get back to winning ways in terms of a postseason berth with the ultimate goal of landing a sixth Superbowl title. But that would be predicated upon them placing a winning team on the field of play. Something of which they’ve failed to do in almost a decade.

Cowboys'  wide  receiver  Miles  Austin (19)  takes  it to  the  house  with a  49 yd  touchdown  reception  run  against the  Philadelphia  Eagles  in  the  fourth quarter  of the   game.  Eagles' defensive  player   Quintin  Mikell (27)  missed  his   coverage  assignment   of the  receiver  in  allowing  the  score  .   picture  appears courtesy  of  getty images/ Al Bello  ............

Cowboys’ wide receiver Miles Austin (19) takes it to the house , with a 49 yd touchdown reception run against the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth quarter of the game played at Lincoln Financial Field , Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Eagles’ defensive player Quintin Mikell (27) missed his coverage assignment of Austin in allowing the score. picture appears courtesy of getty images/Al Bello ……..

Today the Cowboys faced their arch rivals the Philadelphia Eagles (5-3) in an NFC East divisional match up, that sought supremacy within the division. And while there’s no doubt that the winner of the division has an outside shot to garner one of the top two seeds in the NFC pecking order ,come the postseason. Whether or not that team from the division can acquit themselves well enough in the playoffs, is clearly open to a great deal of speculation. Of late ,these two teams have played some great football but at the same there’s been a great deal of inconsistency to their play. Hence the reason for the statement made concerning their post-season ambitions.

Whenever the Eagles and Cowboys tend to meet. It is either under the best or worse of circumstances as to the scenario placed within that specific environment. For both coaches it has come to be the norm for gauging their teams and the coaches , themselves. At the start of the season the speculation had already began as to whether or Wade Phillips would still be in a job, were the Cowboys to have an unsuccessful season. From week to week , even during the preseason that talk was being fomented in all avenues of the press. And for the Eagles’ coach , Andy Reid , the talk there was whether or not he and veteran quarterback , Donovan McNabb were still an asset to the team and the franchise in general. Well , considering their legacy with the franchise and the success that they’ve brought during their tenure. Those who were trying to make a claim that both ought to be released clearly don’t remember the years when this team was in the doldrums.

Sunday’s game between these two stalwarts reminded us why it is that the NFC East is considered to be the best division with the NFL. The Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles provided us with an allout air assault with a passing game that was replete with some spectacular plays by both sets of receivers on either team. And if anything Cowboys’ quarterback, Tony Romo may well have now overcome the loss of Terrell Owens. Not that anyone is now the slightest bit concerned that he was once a former Cowboy. Now the thought is , when is the proverbial meltdown going to place in his new place of residence ? As of yet, there hasn’t been a seismic shift to indicate that Owens is about explode and unleash a tirade against the Buffalo Bills‘ organization and his Bills’ teammates. But rest assured, if the downward slide in Buffalo continues. Then you’ll definitely be hearing it , loud and clear. It’s just the way TO is !

The Dallas Cowboys managed to get their sixth win of the season in defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 20-16 , outscoring their rivals in the fourth quarter (10-3) of a relatively hard fought game. And Romo had his best game of the season so far. He was able to find 7 different receivers on the way to the team’s victory over the Eagles. And they now hold a one game lead over their closest rival , as they sit atop of the NFC East. For both the New York Giants (5-4) and the pitiful Washington Redskins (2-6). Well, things at present aren’t looking too good for either team. The Redskins are in deep turmoil and the Tom Coughlan coached Giants , now can’t even obtain a win, even if they were spotted 7 point advantage.

As we’ve now reached the midway point of the season. We’ll begin to see a push, where the legitimate contenders for the postseason will try to separate themselves from the pretenders. And the also rans , well they’re now essentially out of it. Though they could very well play ‘spoilers’ for a number of teams who still feel that they’re in with a shot of making the postseason.

Titans'  running  back   Chris Johnson  (28) is  tackled  by the  San  Francisco  49ers'  defensive  player  Patrick   Willis  (52)   during  the   game  played   at   Candlestick  Park  ,  San  Francisco  ,  California.

Titans’ running back Chris Johnson (28) is tackled by the San Francisco 49ers’ defensive player Patric Willis (52) during the game played at Candlestick Park , San Francisco , California. The Titans would go on to defeat the 49ers 34-27, to win their second consecutive game of the season , pushing their record in the NFL to 2-6 . picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Ezra Shaw …….

And for the claims being made by Titans’ running back Chris Johnson , that his team is quite capable of reeling off 10 straight wins to place the team amongst the thick of things. Well, it’d be a whole lot easier Chris , had you made those predictions earlier . Rather than after the Tennessee Titans (2-6) hadn’t gotten off to an 0-6 start to the season. Now you’re setting yourself and your teammates up for an even greater fall in the event of another loss. And that my friend is no laughing matter.

Whatever happens throughout the ensuing run to the end of the regular season. We will probably all remark as to the ups and downs for many of the teams in the NFL . But even more so , I think that the conversation will be about how bland and bad so many of the teams were. Parity is now being used as a misnomer for the inadequacies that’d been sought within the league. One of the problems is however, the lack of on-field talent but what’s even becoming more so, is the lack of depth in talent amongst the coaching ranks in the NFL at present. Take a look around and scrutinize the rosters of the teams with regard to the coaches and their staffs. Non too impressive to begin with , now is it ?

Click here to see the the NFL divisional standings …………………

Week 9 Results ……..

Washington Redskins 17 Atlanta Falcons 31

Arizona Cardinals 41 Chicago Bears 21

Baltimore Ravens 7 Cincinnati Bengals 17

Houston Texans 17 Indianapolis Colts 20

Kansas City Chiefs 21 Jacksonville Jaguars 24

Carolina Panthers 20 New Orleans Saints 30

Detroit Lions 20 Seattle Seahawks 32

San Diego Chargers 21 New York Giants 20

Tennessee Titans 34 San Francisco 49ers 27

How Many QB’s Does It Take Indeed And Need To Change A Light Bulb ….?

 
 

How  Many  QB’s  Does It   Take   Indeed  And  Need To   Change  A  Light  Bulb  ? 

 

 

 

Well  the  NFL   Draft  has  come  and  gone.  And   no  doubt  many  of  the  fans  who  prognosticated  the  decisions  that  were  made  by  their    respective  teams  may  well  have   been  heartened   or   disgusted with   those   choices. 

 

 

Josh Freeman  seen  here  alongside NFL  Commissioner   Roger  Goodell  on  Draft  Day.   The venue  for the  draft  was the  Radio  City  Music  Hall  in  New York  City , New York.
Josh Freeman seen here alongside NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Draft Day. Freeman was taken as the seventeenth pick overall in the first round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Stuart Burroughs .........

 

 

 

Well  the  butt  of  jokes  here   in  the  Tampa  Bay   area   is  alluded  to  in   the  title  of  this   piece.  How  Many  QB’s   Does It  Take   Indeed ,  And   Need  To  Change   A  Light  Bulb  ?  If   you  can   answer   that   question  ,  then  I  for  one   am  not  prepared  to  question   your    intelligence. 

 

 

Freeman   poses with  family  and  friends  at  the  Radio City  Music  Hall  in New York  City.
Josh Freeman seen here with family and friends at the Radio City Music Hall, New York City. Venue for the 2009 NFL Draft. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Stuart Rice ...........

 

 

  

 

Suffice  to  say  with   the  decision  made   by  the  Tampa  Bay   Buccaneers  hierarchy.  One   has to  be  now   questioning  the   direction  of  this  franchise  and  the   intent   of both   the  coach  Raheem  Morris  and  that  of  the  GM  Mark  Dominik.    

 

 

 

 

In  making    Josh  Freeman  the  quarterback  from   Kansas  State the   seventeenth  overall  pick  in  the  first  round  of  the  draft. I  can  only  surmise  that    Morris   might’ve  been  pressured   into  this  decision .  Or   primarily   from   his   knowledge   of  a  player  whom   he   knew   from   his  days  with  the  university  as a  defensive   coordinator.   His   love  of  the   player  can’t   have  gone   unnoticed   to  those of  us  in  the  locale.  It  quite    literally  bordered   on  unadulterated    lust.  And  that  if  anything   should   really  have  been   cause  for  concern.

 

 

The  Buccaneers   with  their  first  round draft pick  Josh  Freeman
Josh Freeman (center) is seen here alongside Buccaneers' coach Raheem Morris (left) and the franchise's GM Mark Dominik (right). The player was introduced to locally convened press at a conference held at the team's headquarters. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Brian Scovell ................

 

 

 

 

That being   said   with   there   being   so  many   deficiencies   on this   Buccaneers’  team  on  both  sides  of  the  ball.  I  for   one  feel   that both   Dominik  , Morris  and  the  Bucs’   coaching   staff  neglected  their   duties  in   getting   real   value  with  that   number   one  pick.   They  could’ve   chosen  to  have   traded   down  or   go  out  and   obtained  a  defensive   tackle  or   offensive   lineman.   But instead  they  chose  to  go  with   a  player who  shall  we   say   can   be   described   having  a  strong  arm   but   prone  to  making   mistakes.  And   whose   accuracy   is   less  than  can  be  desired.

 

 

 

 

Josh  Freeman
Bucs' first round draft pick Josh Freeman takes questions from the locally convened press after his arrival at the team's headquarters for a press conference inTampa. pictures appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Rod Gilliam .............

 

  

Whatever    Morris  sees  in the   player  isn’t  apparent  to   us  all.  I’d  dare   say  that  it’s   not   completely   apparent  to  even   the   most   ardent   of  Bucs’  fans   at  this  juncture.   Many   of  them   summarily   booed  the   choice   when  it   was   announced  to   those  in  attendance     at the    franchise’s    annual      draft   day  turnout.   Suffice   to  say   they   felt   that  the   pick   could’ve   been  made  better   use  of  with   another  choice  completely.  Some   might   agree   while   others   will   disagree.     Though   not  a Bucs’  fan   ,  I   do   live  within  the  community  where  the   coverage   of the  team  is  almost  incessant  day  in  day  out   when  it comes to  the  local  sports’   talk   radio shows.   And  it’s  not  lost  on  the  local    tv  media  either.  As  everyone  wants  to  have  a   say   in the  fortunes of   the  team.

 

 

 

Continue reading “How Many QB’s Does It Take Indeed And Need To Change A Light Bulb ….?”

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.

 

 

  Continue reading “Well If It’s A Splash You Wanted Then This Wasn’t It ………”

Into Someone’s Life A Drop of Rain Must Fall ……………………

Well  havoc  was  wreaked within  One  Buc  Place  as  the  Glazer family  saw  fit  to  fire  their  coach  Jon Gruden and  General Manager  Bruce  Allen.  The  abruptness  of  the  firing  and  the  expediency  of  it  was  not  lost on  some.   In  some  areas  it  was  completely  unexpected.  And for   some  it  was  a welcoming   wish  for   what  they  believe  was  Gruden’s   comeuppance. If  nothing  else  it  was  felt  he  was  deserving  of  the  fate.  

 

 

 

 

Much  was  expected  of  the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as  they  headed  down  the  final  stretch  of the  season in the  month  of  December.  Leading  the  NFC  South  with a 9-3  record  the  team  all  but  laid down  and  succumbed  to  the  unthinkable  losing  their  final  four  games,  failing  to  make  the  playoffs.  If that  wasn’t  enough  Gruden’s demeanor  if nothing else  was  that  of  a man  who  felt  he  wasn’t  at  fault. If  there’s   anything   that  perhaps  personifies  what this  team  has  been about. It  has  been the inconsistency  of  the  team  under  Gruden’s  tenure  since  their  Superbowl  win .   There  has  been   just  as  many  peaks  and   troughs  with  the  team   as  there  has  been  in  the  stock  market.  And  if anything   for  the   Glazer  family  that’s  certainly  not  what  they’d   envisaged   from the  coach  when  they  lured  him  away from the  Oakland  Raiders  for  a  slew  of draft picks  and  $8m in compensation  that  benefited  the  Raiders.    A  king’s  ransom  was  paid  and  though  it has  paid dividends.  After  time  the allure of  the  transaction definitely  lost its  luster.

 

 

 

 

 

Mark Dominik far  left   along  with  Raheem Morris  the  new  coach of the  Tampa Bay Buccaneers    second from  right  ..............................

 

 

Mark Dominik(left) the  Buccaneers’  new general manager  is  seen  here  alongside  Bucs’  ownership executive  vice  presidents Edward and Bryan Glazer (center) new coach  Raheem Morris (second from the right) and  far  right  Joel  Glazer. picture  appears   courtesy of  getty  images/   Paul   Mason ………………….. 

 

 

 

 

 

For  vice-president  Joel  Glazer  and  his  father  Malcolm  the abruptness of  this  all came  about  with  a  seismic quake  that  took  the  NFL completely  by  surprise.  So  Gruden  now  becomes one  of   four  coaches  that’ve  won  the  Superbowl   and  have   either  retired  or  been  fired  this  season.  He  joins  Mike  Shanahan ,  Tony  Dungy and   Mike Holmgren   who all  have  one  thing  in common.  They’ve  seen  the  highs  and  lows  that   the  game  brings.  And  Dungy  if  one  remembers   was  the  person   replaced   by  Gruden.  Somewhat  ironic  one  might  think  that  Dungy  leaves  the  Indianapolis  Colts   under  his  own  steam   whilst   Gruden  is shown  the  door.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Though  there’d been speculation  as  to  who’d  take  over   from Gruden. The  likely  candidate  has come  from within, in-house.   The   Tampa Bay  Buccaneers  made  it  official  in the  naming  of  defensive  coordinator  Raheem  Morris  to  the  take  over from  Jon Gruden.    And  the  vacancy  of  the  general manager’s  position  would  also  be  filled   from  in-house by Mark Dominik.  Morris at  32  years  of  age  is  highly thought  of   within the  Bucs’ organization  and  learnt  his  craft under  the  watchful eye  of Monte   Kiffin.    Kiffin  departed  to  join  his  son  Laine  in  a similar  position  with  the  University  of Tennessee.   One  can assume  that  either   there was  a tumult   erupting   within  the  organization.  Or  in fact that  changes  had  to  be   made   from  within   because of the   failures  within   the  franchise  not   just  on  the  field   but  managerially  also.

 

 

 

Raheem Morris  introduced  to  the  convened  press  as  the  Buccaneers'  new  head  coach  ...................

 

 

Raheem  Morris  having  been  introduced as the  Buccaneers’  new  head  coach  takes   questions   from  the  convened  press.   picture  appears  courtesy  of  ap/photo/  Matthew  Gould  ………………… 

 

 

 

 

 

Recruitment  wise  the  team  has had  some  hits  and  misses   but  there’ve  been  more  misses  than  hits.   And  it did  not  augur well   when  there  was  a  great  deal  of  discontent  between  the  coach  and  his  Pro-Bowl  quarterback  Jeff  Garcia.  The  ongoing  saga  and the   denials   by  Gruden  as  to  whether  or  not  the  franchise  was  in  pursuit of  Brett  Favre  only   added  to  much  of the  confusion.   And  if  there’s  been  one  thing  indicative  of  the  franchise  it  has  been  the  failure  to  develop  a  quarterback  for  the  future.  Year  in  year   out   it  has  either  been  a   recycling  project  by  the coach.  Or  he’s  looked  from  within  to  see what’s  available.  And   one  states  that  the  cupboard   was  bare.   It  wasn’t  an  understatement  !  Not  only  was  it  bare   but  talent wise  it  lacked   credibility.    The  names  of  Luke  McCown, and Brian  Griese  aren’t  exactly  what  one   consider  to  be  world  beaters  let  alone  put fear  into the  hearts  of   opposing  teams.   But  that’s  what   Gruden  felt   would  save  the  day   for  the  franchise.  It  has  been  ever   dependent   over the  years   on  its   defense   to  keep  it  in  games.    But  on the  offensive  side  of  the  ball  where   Gruden  was viewed  as  somewhat  of  a  genius.    Rarely   had  we  seen  anything   that  placate   the   situation  in  terms  of  the  ineptitude shown  at   times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The  complete  lack  of   a  running   game though  it  can  be   said  that   injuries  to  Carnell  Williams  and   Earnest  Graham played its  part.   We  also  saw very  little  from  the  likes  of   Michael  Clayton  of  whom  it  can  be  said  if  he wasn’t  catching  the  ball.  He  could  be  relied  upon  for  a  timely   block.  But  the  body  of  his  work  has  been  negligible   since   his  entry  into  the  NFL.   What  has  been  even  more  glaring  has  been  the   team’s   failure  to   convert  on   third   downs.  Statistically  the   team  was  in the  lower  half  of  the  league.   And   its  most  potent   offensive  weapon  for  much  of  the  season  has  been  the  play  of  wide   receiver  Antonio  Bryant   and kicker  Matt  Bryant.  And  though  some  will  throw  in  the  name  of  Clifton  Smith. If  we’re   to  believe  that  Gruden  is  such  a  genius   then  why  is  it   that  he  wasn’t able  to  work  with  the   tools  in  his  tool  bag ?    After  all  isn’t  a  master  craftsman  able  to  work  with  whatever  he  has  at  hand ?   This  may  well  be  one  the   reasons  why   the  Joel Glazer  sought  the  path  he  did  in  making  the  decision  to   relinquish  Gruden  of  his  position as   the  coach.    As  to Bruce  Allen  once the  decision  was  made  to  let  the   coach  go.  It   seemed   only   plausible  that  the  ownership  would  seek  to send  the  general manager  packing  as  well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As  to what  the  future  will   hold  for   Gruden  it  is  open  to  conjecture  and  speculation.  He  will in  all  probability  get another  coaching  position within  the  NFL.  But  we’ll   just  have  to wait  and  see  where  his  ultimate  destination   may  be.  Fans of  the  franchise  may  well  see  this  as  a sad  loss  for  the  organization as  voiced  by  the  Glazer family.  But  Gruden’s   time   at  the helm  was  enough  for  all  of   us  to  see  that  the  franchise   was  heading  nowhere.  The  inconsistency   was  one  thing   but  Gruden himself  in  no  way  sought  to  alleviate  the  problem  and take  accountability  for  his  faults  and  that  of  his  coaching  staff.  Rather  he’d  prefer  to  lay  the  blame  elsewhere.