It really is amazing how even I get caught up in the whole thing. You just know the team is going to lose, that you dont really want the team to win 4 in a row and end up 5-11 and miss out on the SUHweepstakes. But they play with our emotions these Buccaneers. Lets start with Conman Barth. He gives us an NFL record tying 3 kicks of 50+ yards against Miami, and steals our hearts against the Panthers with a pinball wizard kick (hit off left flipper) from 39 yards out, and a push don't pull from 49. Still, Matt Bryant missed 2 in a 14-3 loss to the Falcons in 2006, and 29 yarder wide right against Chicago in 2005 that would have sent the game in overtime. Unlike Nugent, Gramatica, and any other headcase with a number 10 and down, Barth misses less than 50% of his kicks, and they hit the bars or miss by a foot or two. Will he be the kicker were looking for? He is sure to have his shot next year in camp, but in the court of public opinion, we called him money on his two connections today, so lets let cool heads prevail.
Josh Freeman...we called the Man of Poise. Five interceptions later, how long until someone points out Bruce Gradkowski won his game today by powering the lowly Raiders over the Steelers. It was only a matter of time, because no matter what words we use to describe him, the ones always included in the sentence are...'Rookie'. It wouldn't be far fetched to hear someone say " Why couldn't he just manage the game, and not be a gun slinger" . But havn't we had enough Shawn Kings or Craig Ericksons?
Or Trent Dilfers?
Then there is the play calling, which is sure to come under fire as the run to pass ration is no where near where we as fans want it to be. But when we run it on 3rd and goal and say "WHY DIDNT WE PASS IT" then the next series after an interception on 3rd and goal we say " WHY DIDNT WE RUN IT", well, does that need to be pointed out?
The best play call is one that is run successfully. Still, it does seem that we will run the ball three times in a row and then throw it 3 times as many. Is the play calling pass heavy to speed up the maturation of Freeman? One thing is for certain, Greg Olsen explained why he was re-signed as OC of the Bucs, to the tune of 469 yards of offense.
Then there are the finally dwindling calls that Raheem Morris cant coach. Seems to me a 1-10 team made the half time adjustments, took almost 30 rushing yards off the Panthers totals with stops in the backfield all second half, and has his team playing hard right up until the end of the game each week. And a team that is getting more experience with Josh Freeman who just wont quit- who didn't get too high, or too low, and who is finding Antonio Bryant and has resurrected the career of Maurice Stovall.
This is a team that will have probably two more defensive linemen to add to Roy Miller and Tim Crowder. This is a team that will have Aaron Sears back to help the rushing game, and two real fullbacks back on the team. It'ss a team that will have Josh Freeman locked in as the #1 Quarterback with his Offensive Coordinator working all offseason together. ....and an offensive coordinator that will have HIS OWN playbook to work on all off-season.
So go ahead and let loose with your criticism, most of it is probably deserved...just wait till the head is cool!
Then let her rip!