I just got done watching the Bucs beat the Panthers for a second time. A victory on opening day is always wonderful and I see vast improvements in many areas however I still have some of the same old fears along with a few new ones. My keys to the game were as follows: 1) Stop Carolina's run (DING) 2) Freeman has to compete 65% and throw no turnovers (DING) 3) Be able to run the football (DING) 4) Win the special teams battle (DING) 5) Force Cam Newton to make bad throws (DING) The Bucs played more agressive, looked more fundamentaly sound and continued to play with intensity through the entire game. All are good indicators that the "Schiano Way" is working. I am surprised. I thought the Panthers would look better but they looked flat. I thought that Cam Newton would have a big day but he did not. I thought the Panthers would run the football down our throats but they could not. Today I am proud to be a Buc. I still think they will go 6-10. But today I stand PROUD! OLD FEARS 1) Josh Freeman - Freeman played well enough to allow me not to bash him this week. He made some big plays late in the game that help seal the win. No interceptions or fumbles. He completed over 65% of his passes and ended up with a 95 QB rating. 2) Ted Larson - I think Larson did OK. I would still like to see a veteren brought in to compete and provide depth. I saw Larson tweak his knee toward the end of the game. He continued to play but appeared to be effected by the knee. 3) Jeramy Trueblood - Not good. Trueblood wiffed on several pass blocks which caused a sack and problems for Freeman. Run blocking was fine but we all know that is'nt Trueblood's problem. If we don't get Trueblood help against Justin Tuck then Freeman is toast next week. 4) Defensive Line - I must admit these guys were my biggest surprise. Miller played great and was the biggest shock for me. McCoy was a huge disruption all day. Bennett was solid both against the run and in pass rush. Clayborn was no surprise to me as he is always solid. NEW FEARS 1) Vincent Jackson - wow somebudy caught a case of the dropsies... I counted at least two or three dropped passes from our number one stud receiver. Not good. Catch the ball or give back the money. No drops next week or I will have a new drum to beat! 2) Ted Larson's knee - we will find out if this is a serious concern. Lets hope not or things could get even worse for our o-line. 3) Blown assignments on defense - at times it appeared that one of the rookies either Barron or L.David or perhaps one of the vets are blowing coverages. Too many WIDE open receivers. All three passes that Newton completed on thier second scoring drive were WIDE open. Not good. The film is out and we better get this crap fixed ASAP. Well there you go. I thought I would give all you HOMERS a chance to throw rotten tomatoes at me in public rather then hide behind the safety of my keyboard. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday. Love Mike.
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