Writing a post game report for the Bucs is starting to feel like writing a eulogy. You want to write a lot of good stuff about the subject, but he just didnt live that kind of a life! Jerry Seinfeld once said "Public Speaking is most peoples worst fear. Death was second. That means if you have to choose, you'd rather be in the casket that giving the Eulogy"!
Writing about the 2009 Bucs is a close third Jerry. A very close third! So here are some ways to look at our dearly departed Bucs as they leave the realm known as Washington:
1) What if we just flat out stink? What if that valiant first half was fantastic Morris coaching, and that was just the best we are going to see out of the Bucs because we are just not that good talent wise yet; as we are very young and learning.
2) Maybe this is the sign we were looking for, of the Defense buying into the system. No it wasn't a full game effort. Usualy you win games when you give full game efforts. But it WAS effort, and this team IS fighting 'till the bitter end. I wrote this week how Jim Bates, defensive coordinator, may have mismanaged the Broncos. But look at those defensive ends he drafted over there now. Amazing what two years will do for young players huh? Could we be wrong about Bates, and he just needs time to add some better players via the draft and FA?
3) I can promise you one thing. That game today was not lost on that 4th qtr fumble by Smith. No one single play ever costs a team a ball game. You have two missed FGs for starters. We all knew there was going to be a rotation of Backs, and no one stood up and said "Just dont let our Pro Bowl returner touch the ball". Clifton Smith is the Bucs 2:00 offense Back, and he was supposed to be in there, as he was in the first half. Yes we knew he was fumble prone, and we hoped he was over that. Obviously, he is not. He is still valuable as a returner, but he needs to focus 100% of his efforts as a returner. Morris should take him off of offense, all you have to do is look at Devin Hester. He's not the return man he once was since he started playing positions for the Bears. Notice how Smith has not been the returner he was last year?
4)Should Raheem have gone for it on 4th down? Probably. Remember, that monster 'Hindsight' has perfect 20/20 vision; I've always said a good play call is one that works. I'll give you a brief example:
1990 Superbowl, The New York Giants defensive game plan was to ALLOW Thurman Thomas to get 100 yards rushing. The KEY to winning for the Giants, was to let the Buffalo tailback to get 100 rushing yards. The idea was Buffalo would call more running plays, eat up more clock, and while Giants would run the ball too, valuable time would be taken off the clock keeping Jim Kelly, Andre Reed, Bebe and the powerful Buffalo offense running instead of throwing. We all know what happened. Scott Norwood missed the FG for Buffalo, and the NY Giants won the Superbowl. That defensive gameplan, devised by Giants defensive coordinator Bill Belichick, is now in the Hall of Fame. A gameplan to GIVE the opposing team a 100 yard rusher, is in the Hall of Fame, because Scott Norwood missed that FG. If he makes it, its the stupidest game plan ever heard of.
A good play call is always one that works.
We may look back one day and say "The defense really appreciated that vote of confidence from Raheem". I'm not giving Raheem a pass here. I called a FG in the thread, but looking back I'd probably go for it, and pin the Redskins back on their heels if we fail. Hindsight is a beautiful Monster huh? Bottom line Morris gets a fail on this one. But we also could have called it brilliant had it worked.
5) I was as excited to see Josh Johnson in this game as anyone, but he was clearly over his head. He had everyone wondering why our receivers couldn't get open; but you have to wonder if maybe he just was hesitant to pull the trigger to avoid the turnover bug? Not sure how many more starts J.J. will get, but he is going to have to be more decisive when he's back there, because the guy with the clipboard is taller, bigger, and gets a fatter paycheck.
It doesn't get any easier next week- @ Philadelphia Eagles.
I was going to write this after the Buffalo game, but I never got around to it. As I've seen so many 2-14 Bucs seasons, I wanted to warn everyone what to expect if this is another one of them. This game was one of the warnings..the 'We're going to take an early lead and look good but lose a close one in the end' type of game. We will probably see a few more of them, as well as the one big upset thats going to happen this year, and the very close win we will eek out too. There will probably be the typical blowout loss too, but we may have already had that vs the Giants. Lets hope so, or the Glazers are going to run out of coaches to give severance pay to.
NOTE: As for the photo caption; John McKay, Richard Williamson, Tony Dungy, John Gruden and now Raheem have all started 04 before, with Gruden doing it twice, McKay 3 times and the rest One. Williamson was the one coach that did not take the Bucs to the playoffs. Sam Wyche once made it to 0-3, and Ray Perkins NEVER went more than 0-1.