Don't tell mom, folks, but it's midseason and time for a player by player report card. It's all subjective, so have fun.
Josh Freeman: B+ - Freeman has been stellar. Whether it was his offseason work, Van Pelt's coaching, the addition of new receivers or a combination of all of the above isn't clear but the improvement has been tremendous. I would give him an A only if it weren't for a rough game against Arizona and a couple of picks against a solid Atlanta defense. He's very good, not quite elite, but he is in his 2nd year.
Carnell Williams: D - What keep Williams from getting an F is his outstanding blitz pick up execution and some decent production out of the backfield. He hasn't been able to get yards, even though a lot of that goes on the OL. It's hard to take the emotion out of it with Williams. He's a great guy, hard worker and has suffered some serious setbacks to his career. Tampa should be proud to call him a Buc, but his best days are behind him.
LaGarett Blount: B - Blount came out of nowhere to be an incredibly exciting piece to this offense. Is he the future? Probably not as a premier back, but he can make an impact for a long time. Physical as can be and has been able to find holes nobody else has.
Donald Penn: B- - Penn is an elite pass-blocker but has struggled mightly against the run. Regardless, he is probably 1 of 2 offensive lineman that suits up for us on Sunday that would play on over 20 NFL teams.
Ted Larsen - C - To Larsen's credit nobody would expect him to see signficant playing time this year, let alone start. The good news is he is better than Keydrick Vincent. The bad news is, not by much. He's a rookie, so we'll shed him some grace, but he has a lot of room to improve his footwork and reads. He's got some skill to make an impact for the future though.
Jeremy Zuttah - C - Zuttah is playing out of position. Though Faine may be on the decline, he is a more reliable option than Zuttah. Zuttah has been hated on by a lot of media, but hasn't been awful at C. Just not great. I don't think you can expect someone playing their 2nd position and number two on the depth chart to play at a starter level though.
Davin Joesph - D - D for Disappointing, to say the least. He was considered a top RG and a staple of this unit. He's regressed and I'm not sure why. It could be the running game, it could be the help from C he is getting or just that he's overmatched. I'm willing to stick with him for another year and see if this is a fluke year, but if an upgrade is available, I'm not against it.
Jeremy Trueblood - C - Average. Extraordinarily average. The fact that I'm saying this though is a testament to his improvement. He has matured and learned something from previous seasons. The holds aren't there. The facemasks, illegal hands to the face and personal fouls have vanished. He's been good at run blocking and average at pass blocking. Is this the real Trueblood?
Kellen Winslow - B - 33 receptions, 0 scores. Right on pace for a decent season, but not great. A lot of this can be attributed to WR's giving Freeman an option in the red-zone. I thought his production would increase a little bit with the departure of Stevens, but it hasn't. Nothing spectacular, though he has made a couple of spectacular catches.
Mike Williams - A+ - The guys has done everything asked of him. I have heard a lot of people mentioned for the OROY award. Sam Bradford, Maurkice Pouncey, CJ Spiller. I have heard very little mention of Mike Williams. I have typically given up on the sports media. They largely just push the biggest name that will get the biggest money on the most popular teams. Mike Williams though is an elite receiver in the league, not just amongst rookies. He is one of the key reasons for success for this Bucs offense and Olsen keeping his job. There has been few players as electric in all of the NFL in the first half of the season. I will raise all hell if he does not get it.
Arrelious Benn - C - About where I expected him to be this season. A 3rd or 4th WR that contributes at times, but flies under the radar for most of the season. He hasn't exceeded expectations, but hasn't failed to live up to them. I think Olsen likes him and believes that he will contribute much more in future season. Freeman also seems to have some rapport with him.
Michael Spurlock - B - Spurlock has come on as a #2 WR. Because the Bucs like to go 3 wide, Spurlock is often of the field. In the preseason he made the team by showing he can be an asset to not only special teams but also the offense, something Clifton Smith could not do. Spurlock has been one of the nice surprises of the year.
Sammie Stroughter - B-/C+ - Meh. I don't really know what to make of Stroughter's first half of the season. His production has been fine, but that's the best I can say. He isn't getting open like he did last year, has dropped a couple of passes and isn't surprising defenses. Is he bad? Far from it, maybe just not what I had hoped.
Greg Olsen - C - Somewhat predictable and un-creative. He has done a good job of using Freeman's and M.Williams talent though and has decided to go with LGB more often. All good things. The run game needs some sprucing up and the play-calling that ruined the game against Atlanta needs to be reviewed. Regardless, the Bucs are a top 10 team in 3rd down % (GREATLY improved from last year) and are the most consistent offense from week to week according to FootballOutsiders. A C is testament to his improvement. I would have given him an F last year.
Incompletes - Earnest Graham, James Lee, Kregg Lumpkin, Maurice Stovall, Preston Parker, Ryan Purvis, Derek Hardman, John Gilmore, Josh Johnson, Rudy Carpenter and Jeff Faine. Due to either injuries or lack of measurable playing time.
So, what do you think?