I can't hammer this home enough, this is nothing more than speculation on a few points. I'm not sure where else they fit in, but felt they were worth passing on.
We've all heard that Legarrette Blount left the game on Sunday against the Panthers with some mystery ailment. The Bucs have now announced that he was not held out due to injury, but rather a coach's decision. He was in full uniform on the sidelines, but was never brought back in. He also left the stadium before the media was fully assembled. Given D.J. Ware coming on board, Doug Martin being the obvious first stringer and Michael Smith still somewhere in the mix, this is either a message being sent to Blount (for what reason I don't know) or a precursor to a quick divorce. I was 100% sure Blount would not be traded prior to the season. Now, I'm not so sure. The new regime seems to regard him as an ancillary piece of the team. I don't believe they should trade him (barring a ridiculous return) but can now see it becoming reality. Again, nothing more than my speculating on this, but it seems odd to quickly lose his starting job, and then get held out for non-injury reasons when the running game was a HUGE part of the game on Sunday. I'd be interested to hear thoughts on this. (Edit: Saw this posted after I wrote)
In NFC South news, it's unfortunate from a personal standpoint but fortunate from a football standpoint; Brent Grimes of the Atlanta Falcons is out for the year. We certainly wish him well, but can breathe a bit easier knowing he won't be on the field. We don't ever wish injuries upon other teams, but this will impact the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this year, both in head-to-head games and in the NFC South race.
As I mentioned in the Game Day Thread, it sure was an ugly win. And I think all of us would take that kind of win 10-12 more times this year. It's amazing what preparation, fundamentals and attention to detail can do. We made some key plays and didn't give the game away. Carolina was careless with the ball, seemed to have no gameplan and ultimately lost the game.
I'm a little nervous about Ronde's praise on how it felt like old times. It was a good defensive effort, but don't know that I'm ready to crown the defense back to late 90's early 00's status. But we shouldn't overlook the performance either.
Great to start out with a W. Three NFC East games coming up, with two straight on the road (at NYG, at DAL) then home vs. WAS. How do you think we finish up the first four games and head into the bye week?