1) Imagine you're Jimmie Giles. You're getting honored at this throwback uniform game for all the great work you've done as a 4-time Pro Bowler for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The current Bucs roster goes out on the field and lays an incredible stinker of a loss to a heated rival in the Carolina Panthers. As the team wanders like a wounded duck back to the locker rooms, you turn to your fellow retired Bucs players and say "A six-game losing streak? Pfft. Amateurs."
2) Thank God Sander was finding us all these wonderful pictures of cheerleaders during the rout. Those smiles were the one thing that kept us going...
Well, that and the pom-poms...
Finally, figured out how to insert pictures into my FanPosts!
3) Player of the Game: Yes, as a matter of fact, some players did show up in an attempt to, you know, actually win a game for once. For example, a fellow by the name of Da'Quan Bowers earned himself 1.5 sacks and made 9 tackles, five of them for loss of yards. Loss of yards! Uh, for those of you who forgot, that's when you tackle a guy behind their line of scrimmage...
3b) Also, the cheerleaders:
That's about it. Everybody else on the Bucs: Really. Bad. Day.
4) I can leave it to the experts and better-informed columnists to explain just what the hell has gone wrong with a team that showed a ton of promise back in September. The best observations I can make points most of the blame to poor coaching. Our offensive coaching does not seem to draw up schemes that matches the players we have and vice versa: just look at Denver, which took the talent they have (A QB with questionable throwing arm) and worked out an offense that matched his (THE TEBOW) talents.
4a) On-field discipline: Nine penalties called on the Bucs today, adding numbers to one of the biggest penalties stats in this league's season. Youth of the players could be cited, but that's where coaching is supposed to develop the talent they have to maintain the discipline needed to win games.
4b) When one player can't tackle well, that's a problem with that player. When 5-6 players seem to whiff on a regular basis, then that's a problem with the coaching. Worse yet, the defensive scheme - some mutation of man-to-man with Cover d-line pressure - isn't working at all. Opposing teams are finding gaps in the passing game: they are finding holes in the running game. The Bucs never really had a good reputation for stopping the run, but it was never this bad for so long. Considering how the team - and how Bucs' fans - prided ourselves on our defensive history, this is inexcusable.
5) The one good thing about sucking: the Bucs are working their way toward a Top-10 Draft pick in April 2012.
5a) The bad thing about that: the team's ownership and GM are gonna use that as an excuse to think that all they need to do is draft more talented rookies and ignore (yet AGAIN) the Free Agency period as they've done the last 3 years.
I know that our previous regime - the Chucky years - relied pretty heavily on Free Agency to bring in (aging) talent, while at the same time failing to draft well and keep our drafted players for long-term development. But this is now going the other way on the team-building spectrum. The most effective means of building a winning franchise for the long-term is to draft smart at core positions, keep patience in developing that talent to build up their experience at the pro level, and then plug in a few key spots - say, a decent QB here, a savvy WR there, a powerful DE elsewhere - to lead you to Super Bowl Heaven. Our current management seems to want to build entirely through the draft, which takes a bit too long and never allows for enough patience to let it all jell.
6) In other NFL news: THE TEBOW cannot be denied.
6a) Green Bay still unbeaten. Mercury Morris still miffed.
7) In college football news, the USF Bulls ended their dismal season at 5-7. And still may have had a better season than the Bucs.
7a) If we get an all-SEC championship game with LSU and Alabama, I would very much like to see the Big 12 (11-1 Oklahoma St), and Boise State (11-1) sue for damages.
For God's sake, Alabama didn't play a title game like other teams - Oregon, Virginia Tech, Houston - and yet they're gonna get a second shot against a team that already BEAT THEM?
And this is because the pollsters are voting Alabama into consideration. THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HOW TEAMS ACTUALLY PLAYED THEIR GAMES.
F-CK THE BCS. I want playoffs.
7b) In Big East news, the conference sent an invitation to Miskatonic University, hoping to see if the Shoggoths can add some oomph to their BCS standings...
8) Next week: I think the Bucs travel to Jacksonville next. Hmm. A game that's probably going to be blacked out across the whole nation.
9) Final thoughts:
Any chance she got a twin sister who's single and likes librarians?