Thousands of people watched the Tampa Bay Buccaneers open their 2009 campaign last night, and each one of us came away with different opinions about every possible angle there is to look at. So what have we all been able to summarize from the first effort?
- Never say Die: The team does not quit. They will provide us with 60 full minutes of effort and will on Sunday afternoons.
- Ryan Purvis will make this team. He may be on the practice squad all season, but those hands earned him a paycheck on the two point conversion on the Bucs last touchdown.
- The Defense is stout, and fast. Quincy Black and Sabby Piscitelli rewarded Coach Raheem Morris for his confidence in them last night, and it may be the first sign that we may hear the words "Derrick Who?" at some point this year.
- Stylez G White will resume where he left off after the 2007 season, not 2008.
- We now see how this defense works. Defensive tackles recorded zero tackles last night. No biggie! Because they clogged up the middle and forced runners to the outside where Safetys, Linebackers and Corners can get them for little yardage. Nice system Bates; its different, but after the last four games of last year, its nice. The biggest weakness of the Tampa Two was allowing a run up the gut. Now we have to deal with bombs against us. heres hoping Sabby and Tanard are fast!
- While he may not be as reliable from long distance as Gramatica was, Mike Nugent at least shows there is a 50/50 shot at making a long FG from 50+ yards out or more.
- You may need to get the nameplate ready. Kareem Huggins is looking like the new Mr. August.
- Management is going to have a tough decision to make regarding QB Josh Johnson, who smoked everyone running around the Titans Defense for a 43 yard Touchdown QB sneaker!
- Earnest Graham's fumble in the first quarter is not going to help his bid to have a majority of carries away from Derrick Ward.
- Donte Nicholson was not even within 20 yards of Kenny Britt when he scored that TD. If that truly was Tampa Two coverage like the announcing team mentioned, Monte Kiffin is jumping OFF of rocky-top about now.
- Josh Freeman is not ready to start, however he shows great potential when he blows off a pick 6 and completes a couple of nice throws to navigate the team quickly into FG range.
CONNECTIONS BETWEEN THE TWO TEAMS LAST NIGHT....
- Buccaneers Defensive Coordinator Jim Bates played for the University of Tennessee
from 1964-67 and then was the linebackers coach in 1989.
- Bucs Defensive Line coach Robert Nunn was the Defensive Ends coach at the
University of Tennessee from 1989-1990.
- Titans Offensive Coordinator Mike Heimerdinger coached as the Wide Receivers
coach at the University of Florida from 1983-87. Heimerdinger coached FB B.J.
Askew and K Mike Nugent when he served as Offensive Coordinator of the New
York Jets in 2005. Bucs DC Bates and Titans OC Heimerdinger served together on the
Denver Broncos coaching staff in 2007.
- Bucs Offensive Coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski was the Tight Ends coach in 2004 for
the Atlanta Falcons where he coached Titans TE Alge Crumpler.
- Titans Special Teams coach Alan Lowry coached with the Buccaneers in 1991 and
served as the Special Teams/Tight Ends coach.
- Titans WR Mark Jones played in six total games for the Buccaneers in 2007.
- Bucs Pro Scout and former LB Shelton Quarles started all four years at Vanderbilt.
Quarles calls Nashville his hometown.
- Former Bucs DT Jovan Haye signed as a free agent with Tennessee this past
offseason after spending three seasons in Tampa Bay.
- Titans DE Larry Birdine and Bucs S Donte Nicholson spent two years together at
the University of Oklahoma.
- Bucs RB Earnest Graham and Titans CB Reynaldo Hill played together at the
University of Florida.
- Bucs rookie G Ryan Schmidt originally entered the league with the Titans as an
undrafted free agent in 2009.
- Bucs rookie DT Roy Miller played with Titans QB Vince Young in 2005 for the Texas
Longhorns and won the BCS National title.
- Bucs rookie DE/DT Kyle Moore played with Titans RB LenDale White for one
season at USC.
- Bucs DE Louis Homes was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee.