Tomorrow the Buccaneers will get a chance to show the world that they can beat any team out there. Or to show the world that they're not ready to hang with the big boys yet. Whatever happens tomorrow, it's an important game for the Bucs. Unfortunately, it'll take 24 hours for the game to start. To help you pass the time, I have some Bucs stories for you guys from the past week.
The Bucs seem to be getting some respect around the league. Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated wrote about the Bucs' success and their youth. He focuses on the blueprint that Raheem Morris laid out for the team, and what he learned in his short coaching career so far. Vic Carucci of NFL.com wrote a similar piece, highlighting the Bucs youth and talking about how the team is being built. And then Michael Silver of Yahoo! highlighted the Bucs in his weekly power rankings, and ranks them 11th in the league.
With that kind of respect comes more exposure. Which may be reflected in the fact that ESPN will air a piece about Mike Williams and his relationship with his mother tomorrow. It will be shown during NFL Sunday Countdown, somewhere between 11AM and 1PM. The exact time hasn't been set yet.
Mike Williams isn't the only Bucs rookie getting some attention, though. The Ravens have picked up on Legarrette Blount's physical running style, and they're worried about how they're going to stop him. More rookie love comes from Greg Gabriel of the National Football Post, evaluating the play of Legarrette Blount, Mike Williams and Gerald McCoy in the wn over San Francisco.
Of course, the local writers are always writing about the team. Rick Stroud spoke to Ronde Barber, who says he's been rejuvenated by this young team. According to Tom Balog, the team is really happy with Donald Penn's play this season - even saying that he has outplayed his contract. Of course, a lineman who seems to have lost his starting spot on the offensive line is Jeremy Trueblood, who may be done with the Bucs after this season - or so writes Balog, at least. Roy Cummings sees the team's low payroll, and instead of writing about the Bucs lack of spending as a sign of being cheap, he looks at the effectiveness of trying to buy wins in the NFL. And finally, Roy Cummings sees Gerald McCoy turn it up a notch and find his comfort zone
And then there's your weekly Bucs analysis by Steve White. His columns on the Bucs-49ers game and the Defensive Line performance in that game are must-reads, as usual. And there's another interesting piece this week: Pro Football Reference looks at Josh Freeman, Matt Stafford, Mark Sanchez and Sam Bradford and compares their performance to the historical performance of a number of highly succesful quarterbacks. The biggest thing to take away from that is that is that Freeman is doing well for his experience level, and very well for his age.