Sullivan Unveils Core Beliefs

February 15th, 2012

So what will a Mike Sullivan offense look like?

Well, the new offensive coordinator didn’t offer much detail today about that at One Buc Palace. (What offense doesn’t want explosive plays and a tough running game?)

But that’s ok. Sullivan admitted the writing of the Bucs’ new playbook is in its early stages, and he’s working hard so he can descend from the offices of One Buc Palace and present it to his team.

However, the new man has core beliefs for the offense in place: “Tough, physical, disciplined, smart and explosive.” That’s the goal, Sullivan explained.

As for what attracted Sullivan to the Bucs, he referenced the “special talent” of Josh Freeman as the major lure. But Sullivan also referenced the “veteran offensive line” and “some hard running backs.” No verbal bone was thrown to the receiving corps.

As Joe wrote earlier, Sullivan stressed preparation repeatedly, and even went so far to say that he wants to see Josh Freeman have an “obsession” with preparation.

78 Responses to “Sullivan Unveils Core Beliefs”

  1. chargedcbh Says:

    I think Free & Sull will get along just fine!!! Joe, how long is his contract?

  2. RastaMon Says:

    Sounds like football ……to me

  3. stimpy Says:

    Ill wait for game day…

  4. eric Says:

    twirlmania baby

  5. jimmy Says:

    Hey Sully, quick licking your chops. Did anyone see the press conference? Dude was licking his lips the entire time. The Bucs must have been playing the Kate Upton dancing in a bikini video running in the background.

  6. Vince Says:

    If he can do 1/2 as much for Free as he did for Eli, I’d be REALLY pleased.

  7. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    I know it’s early and all this talk means nothing, but I’m really starting to like this guy.

  8. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    How does Mel Kiper Jr. still have a job after all these years of BS reporting???? His new mock draft has us drafting Trent Richardson even though Morris Claiborne is still available. He has Claiborne going #6 to Washington. WTF!!!!!!!!!!! Why would we draft a RB when CB is our clear #1 hole????? NonSense I tell you!!! The best pure CB to come out in years and our biggest need in years, and he has us taking a RB at pick #5?????

    UMMMMMM…….HELLLLLLLL NOOOOOO!!!!!!! We can get someone like LaMichael James or Ronnie Hillman in round 2 or 3. Can’t pass on pure shutdown corners. Especially if thats your number 1 need. And for a RB??? Another power RB at that. What a joke. IF we don’t draft Claiborne we better be getting someone like Courntey Upshaw or Quinton Coples. NOT A RB!!!!!!

  9. Thomas 2.2.. Says:

    Not a single adjective that starts with Y.

  10. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    We need to address our D way more so than our offense. And if the Ravens don’t franchise tag Ray Rice. There is a great chance he would be wearing a Bucs uniform next season. He loves our coach and made that perfectly clear the day we signed him. Lets hope they don’t franchise him. Can you imagine Ray Rice as a Buc??? We could get rid of Blount if that were to happen. Blount can’t pass protect well enough to be our 3rd Down RB. So, if we can get the right pick or player for him. Do work Dom!!!!

  11. Meh Says:

    This guy is my favorite hire at this point, and it ain’t close.

  12. Meh Says:

    They’re franchising Ray Rice. Book it.

  13. TheProsUseAdvoCare Says:

    “Tough, physical, disciplined, smart and explosive”

    I wonder if people will call this guy “cliche” as well.

  14. gotbbucs Says:

    Lets see funkymonkey, Ray Rice is a stud and Ricky Williams just retired, you really think they’re letting Ray Rice walk?
    Mel Kiper’s mock will change ten times between now and the draft. He’ll end up having Richardson going closer to 10-15 before it’s all said and done.

  15. BucFan025 Says:

    How can anyone not like this guy? He appears to fit the mold of Shiano… the Giants ran an offense that is right in line with Shiano’s philosophy; physical, power running game and takes shots down the field.

    As far as the posts regarding the draft, we draft the DB stud from LSU… hands down!

  16. kh Says:

    I bet Joe wants Sully to hand over a playbook so he can get some more hits on the blog 🙂 relax Joe for gosh sakes, its february.

  17. Patrick Says:

    Yeah he’ll need to have a great offense next year cause we’re gonna end up with a sh!tty defensive coordinator now that it’s mid February.

  18. bucfanjeff Says:

    We have no depth at RB and our starter is average. If there isn’t a FA pickup to help, I expect we take Richardson. Obviously a case can be made for Clairborne or Blackmon too. I don’t think we can go wrong with either of the 3.

  19. chris bell Says:

    hey can we at least wait until FA to have a fair debate on who we are going to draft what if we sign to corners why would we need Claiborne, what if we sign Vincent Jackson why draft blackmon, Trent Richardson is the best player in the draft besides luck hes a home run type player please kill these running back theories you draft who will help you win games. mo Claiborne will not catch any tds or run any tds we avg 10pts in the 1st half that’s ridiculous. we need players on offense that can produce pts

  20. Brandon Says:

    It seems neither Schiano nor Sullivan are stupid. They already have their Jacobs (Blount) and now they need a Bradshaw, and they know Bradshaw wasn’t drafted until round 7 and they won’t need to spend a #1 on Richardson when they can get RBs just as or nearly as good (Doug Martin, Lamar Miller, David Wilson, Isaiah Pead) in the 2nd round and beyond.

  21. RastaMon Says:

    “nattering nabobs of negativity”

  22. SensibleBuc Says:

    Trent Richardson = Elite player who’ll get 25 touches a game in an offensive league

    Mo Claiborne = Very good player can only cover one player per play

  23. SensibleBuc Says:

    We need elite impact players.

  24. gotbbucs Says:

    Good offensive lines and schemes make RB’s who they are. Good teams in todays NFL do not put a high priority/value on that position, but go ahead and pretend that it’s still a bell cow RB league. This is such a stupid discusion.

  25. jfgobucs Says:

    Can’t we get these Guys in some BUC gear for a photo ??

  26. Architek Says:

    I like the focus already because he is addressing the Bucs primary coaching problems and lack of discipline was from Raheem personal behavior. It all makes sense now…

  27. SensibleBuc Says:

    @ gotbbucs

    “Good offensive lines and schemes make RB’s who they are. ”

    You can make that argument for any offensive skill guy. Football is a team game. If Tom Brady’s offensive line gets dominated (like both Super Bowls) he gets shut down.

    Good NFL teams put a high priority on acquiring ELITE talents and building their systems around them e.g. the Patriots picking up Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski. Trent can assist us in more aspects of the game than Claiborne can: running, catching the ball (out of the backfield or flanking out as a receiver), pass blocking, and the kick return game. The NFL is an offense-first league and the more weapons we have on offense, the better off we’ll be.

  28. Pete Dutcher Says:

    There is a very outside chance that Calvin Johnson will become available. He’s owed around $20 Million and if he refuses to do a new contract, the lions will be forced to cut him. Imagine that.

    And his cap hit next year is even higher.

    Saw an article saying that reworking his contract would get him some cash now…but if I had a choice, I’d be patient for the $20 mil. Most he’ll get in a rework is $10-15 mill right now. And the Lions need the cap room.

  29. Pete Dutcher Says:


    It won’t be Trent. I suspect the RB position will be addressed in free agency.

  30. SensibleBuc Says:

    @ Pete

    Here’s a quick list of free agent RBs that are not likely to be franchised. Tell me which one is a weapon that will strike fear in the hearts of defenses:

    Cedric Benson, Ryan Grant, Michael Bush, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Tim Hightower, LaDainian Tomlinson, Jason Snelling, Jackie Battle, Peyton Hillis

    I rest my case.

  31. Big Picture Guy Says:

    Pete, there is a very outside chance that Joe might get laid by Rachel Watson this weekend and that I might hit the Powerball lottery too. What a laugh.

    SensibleBuc, I guess you wouldn’t draft a Revis, Asomugha, or Patrick Peterson with the 5th overall pick either then huh?

    To definitively say that the bucs will do “this” or “that” is naive at this stage of the game at best. FA will determine our biggest need going into the draft, and the Vikings and Rams play a major role in who will be available when we pick at #5.

    Armchair Mel Kiper’s need to make like John Tortarella and “SHUT YER YAP!!”

  32. Mr Lucky Says:

    “Tough, physical, disciplined, smart and explosive.” That’s the goal, Sullivan explained.

    Oh crap that means Jeff Faine is gone (tough), Trueblood is gone (disciplined) and Benn is toast (smart).

    Hey come to think of it maybe Faine, Trueblood and Benn could star in a remake of the Wizard of Bucs instead of the lion, tin man and scarecrow – the only question is who would play the role of Dorothy?

  33. Big Picture Guy Says:

    Mr Lucky, How about Talib off to see the wizard of Garland Texas!?

  34. Mr Lucky Says:


    Are you serious man? Running backs in the NFL are like second-rate citizens. There are NO MORE FRANCHISE running backs anymore – PERIOD.

    It’s RB by committee. Besides all these back get hurt too much and to ‘waste’ a #5 pick on a RB is seriously dumb. Address the RB in the 3 or 4th round. Shore up that porous defense first.

    Of course if RGIII is available I’d take HIM and give Freeman some competition. Yes I’m serious because I’m NOT sold on Freeman being a WINNING Franchise QB.

  35. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Mr. Lucky, are you seriously saying Benn should be cut, or am I misunderstanding you?

  36. Mr Lucky Says:

    @Big Picture

    I can actually invision Talib being the Wizard of Texas, shouting and yelling only to run scared when you look behind the screen – until his mommy comes out shooting that is.

  37. SensibleBuc Says:

    @Big Picture

    “SensibleBuc, I guess you wouldn’t draft a Revis, Asomugha, or Patrick Peterson with the 5th overall pick either then huh?”

    LOL! What would make you say that? All 3 guys are elite talents I would love to have.

    My evaluation looks at all factors: what kind of value are we getting at #5, the grade each draftee has, current needs, who’s (arguably) going to be available in free agency, etc. My arguments for Trent over Mo Claiborne are:

    1) Trent is elite and Mo is very very good.
    2 Multiple elite offensive weapons are more important than elite defensive weapons because we’re in an offense-first league.
    3) Cornerbacks can only shut down one person. Running backs can affect the offense or special teams in multiple ways.
    4) There are more (possible) good attainable free agents at cornerback than running back (see above).

    If it’s Trent vs. the CBs you mention then I’d change my analysis because those guys are proven vets.

    Lastly, yes you are correct in that we don’t know what’s going to happen in the draft or in free agency but you mean to tell me that this isn’t the forum to discuss it? Should I just wait until the day of the draft to have an opinion?

    If you don’t want to talk about it then ignore it bro lol.

  38. SensibleBuc Says:

    @ Mr Lucky

    1) It’s not about being a “franchise back”, it’s about adding the most elite weapons available to your offense in an offensive league and getting value out of your selections. Use both Blount and Richardson like the Panthers use D Will and J Stew or the Texans use Tate and Foster and really embrace the run game. Belichick showed that you pick the best talent available (Gronk & Hernandez) and you patch the rest of the holes the best you can.

    2) First round picks have been devalued by the new CBA. No more GMCs making $35 million guaranteed (Richardson would probably get around $15-18 mil guaranteed) so it’s not a “waste” if we have one of the best tandems of running backs in the league for the next 5-10 years as part of this “tough, physical and take shots down the field” offense.

  39. Mr Lucky Says:

    @Pete – With regard to my comment about Benn – my implication is that Benn BETTER be worried because it took that kid 1/2 season to understand Olsen’s playbook and now a new OC is coming to town. I just don’t think that Benn is the sharpest tool in the shed. Heck I’ll even say the same thing about Blount and his ability to understand blitzing defensive players – that’s why the Bucs didn’t trust Benn to be in there on 3rd down.

  40. Mr Lucky Says:

    @Sensible. I hear what you’re saying but I’m not buying it. Belichek has a HOF QB in Brady so he got some more offensive weapons in Gronk and Hernandez. But look at the RB’s that NE has – no 1st round picks there.

    The value of a RB in todays NFL isn’t what it used to be, especially when QB are tossing for 4000+ yards.

    While you’re correct that the Bucs #5 pick won’t be getting the sweet contract that GMC got the life of a RB is a lot shorter than a #5 CB player.

  41. TheProsUseAdvoCare Says:

    IF it is an “offense first league”, then a strong defense is all that more important.

  42. SensibleBuc Says:

    @ Mr. Lucky

    The Pats drafted Stevan Ridley in the 1st round and Shane Vereen in the 2nd round last year but that’s beside the point…

    1) We don’t have a HOF QB. Freeman is more Matt Ryan/Joe Flacco right now than Aaron Rodgers/Matt Stafford. I’m not sure he’ll ever be able to carry an offense…but with the proper weapons, he could be Eli (a very very good QB).

    2) With that in mind, we need to be able to possess the ball by going on long drives to be able to compete in our division. The less possessions our rebuilding defense has against Brees, Cam Newton & Matt Ryan the better off we’ll be.

    “The value of a RB in todays NFL isn’t what it used to be, especially when QB are tossing for 4000+ yards.”

    I disagree. Is it as important as a QB? No, of course not, but a running back like Richardson who can help in the run AND the passing game is a quarterback’s best friend. Look at the 2010 Bucs vs. the 2011 Bucs: When Blount was successful and we had all these 3rd & shorts, we had a top 10 offense. This year Blount got found out for not being able to do anything in the passing game, he came out and Lumpkin came in and the entire offense struggled. You need a weapon out of the backfield that can’t be keyed on by the defense.

  43. SensibleBuc Says:

    @ TheProsUseAdvoCare

    That’s not what the playoffs told me:

    Packers, Patriots, Giants, Saints, Lions were all ranked 23rd or lower on defense (in that order) but top 8 in offense and made the show. I’d rather have an elite offense and a “just good enough” defense over a middle of the road offense and defense or a crappy offense and an elite defense. If we add a few more pieces offensively we can be elite.

  44. Mr Lucky Says:


    I’ll drink the kool-aid with regards to the NFL turning into an offense dominated league but the thing you are avoiding is that of the teams you mentioned, Packers, Pats, Giants, Saints and Lions NONE had a good running game and all have elite QB’s.

    1. The Bucs do not have an elite QB – Freeman is run of the mill at best
    2. If you are really convinced that the Bucs need to be offensive dominated then I’d rather see the Bucs get a WR rather than Trent – I just can’t be convinced that the Bucs need a RB with the #5 overall pick.

    Furthermore other teams that made the playoffs that WERE defense dominated: Texans, 49ers and Ravens.

    I’m not convinced that Freeman can rise to the point where the Bucs are an offensive team therefore I’m tilting towards defense first. Then again I enjoyed Dungy-ball and 17-14 games.

  45. Big Marlon B Says:

    @ Lucky

    It doesn’t matter how long u think they will be around, since there is no guarantee they will stick around past the 1st contract anyway. Besides, if they think Richardson can give them more of an impact for 7-8 years than Claiborne can in 10-12, the decision is easy. When picking so high, its important to seek an impact player. If a player gives u a more significant impact over a slightly shorter period of time, you have to go for it.

    Trends are made for people to go against the grain. I understand its a copycat league, but its ridiculous to suggest every GM looks at everything the same way, values everything the same exact way.

  46. gotbbucs Says:

    Vereen was a 2nd rounder and Ridley was a 3rd rounder.

    I used to feel the same way you do about RB’s, but the league has changed. It is out of the question to used a top 10 pick on one when every team basically needs to carry three of them on their roster. They are one contract players for the most part and usually by the time they get their second contract they are already in decline, especially if they are getting the amount of touches they should be to justify a top 5-10 pick.

  47. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    LOL, the Giants offense is based on a power running game. Tampa always fancied itself as a power running team, but that was mental masturbation.
    Real power running teams have tight ends who can BLOCK.
    Do not be surprised if we draft a good tight end, who can both block, and catch.

  48. TheProsUseAdvoCare Says:

    49ers, Texans, and Ravens were graded the top three defenses overall. Atlanta and Patriots were top ten. Giants were 13th. Defense wins championships is still the key. QBs get you there but defense wins. As was the case in the recent Super Bowl.

  49. TheProsUseAdvoCare Says:

    Runningbacks are not a deciding factor.

  50. SensibleBuc Says:

    @ Mr. Lucky

    1) I used those teams to illustrate my overall point: The NFL is an offense-first league: If you have an elite offense and an ok defense you can make the playoffs. Do defense first teams make it? Of course they do. But if you look at the past 3 pairs Super Bowl contestants they have been elite offensive teams and it’s not like defenses are going to get stronger with Goodell running the show.

    2) The Saints are one model that I’ve been eyeing. Why? Because they were 1st in passing and 6th in rushing. Who did they add in the offseason? An explosive back out of the backfield to go with a bunch of B- receivers and an A+ tight end.

    3) Freeman is not an elite QB right now but you can’t say he didn’t have flashes of greatness when the offense was cooking last year. For the first time in our history we have a potential franchise QB and you DON’T want to give him any weapons to see if he can become elite? That doesn’t make any sense.

    4) If AJ Green was out there at #5 I would agree with you but the only elite/explosive/immediate impact offensive skill guy there is Trent Richardson. Plus, WRs (like DTs) take time to develop. Give ours time to develop and I think they’ll surprise you.

  51. SensibleBuc Says:

    @ gotbbucs

    You’re correct. I misread the Pats website lol.

    Big Marlon B stole my thunder. Winning in the NFL requires acquiring impact players crafting your system around those players. There are only so many of those elite impact players available in any given draft so grab them when you can. Are you going to complain that Trent Richardson isn’t playing in 2022 after we’ve gone to the playoffs multiple times and had multiple opportunities at the Super Bowl?

  52. SensibleBuc Says:

    @ TheProsUseAdvoCare

    Correction: “Just enough” defense gets you championships. Who are elite players in the Giants back 7? Where did the Patriots defense rank in yardage given up during the regular season?

    If we get elite offensive players and combine them with an aggressive defensive scheme w/our talented (but underachieving) d-line and an average to good back 7 we can win championships.

  53. BUCFAT Says:



  54. BamBamBuc Says:

    Great, we drive the length of the field in 8 minutes and kick a field goal, then give up a TD in under a minute…. We need defense to slow down the opposing offenses and give our offense a chance to score. We can hand it to Blount 40 times a game and we still won’t keep up scoring with other teams. Richardson could be an elite RB, but if we can’t stop our opponents a few times we have no chance.

    Claiborne would help in more than “taking away one WR”. By taking away that WR, he frees a Safety to help against the run, or double that TE. We can double the secondary WR, or force the QB to go to his 2nd or 3rd option giving our DL a chance to get there. Taking away one major threat allows other players to focus more on everything else. Run support or pass rush. We can blitz a guy because we don’t need him in coverage as much. There are so many more options when you take away the opponents greatest threat with one guy rather than two.

    I can’t remember where, but I saw a report that there were 5 “Elite” players in this draft. Richardson was one, but Claiborne was another (I can’t remember the other 3). These were all listed as players that should make HUGE impacts for whatever team they go to. Can’t miss-type players. It’s very rare to find a “can’t miss” CB, while many teams stumble upon huge impact RBs all the time. If I were to choose which position I’d rather “risk” taking the chance on a late round find, it’d be running back and O-line. Elite DBs are 1st round guys, you can find serviceable, yet unspectacular ones in the mid rounds. At RB, you can find guys like Arian Foster or Legarrette Blount go completely missed in the draft. I haven’t looked too in depth, but I’m sure the list of RBs in late rounds or undrafted that have had some success in the NFL FAR outweighs the number of CBs from late rounds or undrafted.

  55. BamBamBuc Says:

    Who are the elite players in the Giants back 7? Really? Basically they are ALL first or second round selections. Antrell Rolle 1st rnd, Kenny Phillips 1st rnd, Aaron Ross 1st rnd, Corey Webster 2nd rnd, Mathias Kiwanuka 1st rnd, even Deon Grant 2nd rnd. Only Michael Boley was a 5th round pick. I didn’t mention Chase Blackburn (undrafted), but he didn’t start much. I also left out Prince Amukamara 1st rnd. That seems like a boat load of high round picks on the back 7 (mostly the back 4, but the Giants use a lot of 5 DB sets with 3 S, 2 CB or 2 S, 3 CB). Combine that group with the front four including Osi (2nd rnd), Tuck (3rd rnd), and Pierre Paul (1st rnd) and you’ve got a defense that has typically been pretty darned good and gets the Giants to the playoffs even when the offense doesn’t get rolling until the last couple weeks of the season.

  56. BamBamBuc Says:

    Bucfat – first off….. STOP YELLING!!!

    Second, if you can’t stand reading half the stuff written, you have a choice. Keep reading for the half you can stand, or quit reading. You will find the fan base runs the gamut of “Madden football sign every top FA out there” types to “We’ll never sign a single top tier FA due to our cheap owners” types to the middle of the road “It’d be nice to get this guy and that, but unrealistic to get all 10”. Many people are talking about 10 or more FAs because there are many possibilities. If one is gone, it’s nice to know about the others as well. I personally like Brandon Carr at CB, but many like Grimes or Finnegan, so you’ll hear 3 names talked about at CB. Doesn’t mean we’re gonna try to sign all 3.

    So, chill out and relax. Join the discussion or sit back and watch others. Jump in and criticize others without sharing your own football opinion…. not cool.

  57. SensibleBuc Says:

    @ Bam Bam

    “Great, we drive the length of the field in 8 minutes and kick a field goal, then give up a TD in under a minute…. ”

    Because and offense w/ Freeman, Blount, T-Rich, Mike Will, Rejus, Briscoe, K2 and Stocker wouldn’t be able to score points in the red zone. Riiiiight.

  58. SensibleBuc Says:

    For the sake of argument, I’ll say that both Claiborne and T-Rich are elite:

    1) The free agent & draft pool for corners is deep. Brandon Carr, Carlos Rogers, Cortland Finnegan, Brent Grimes, & Richard Marshall are all in their primes and are relatively attainable. By my count there are 5-7 1st round-level talented corners including Claiborne, Kirkpatrick, J. Jenkins, Minnefield, Trufant (Washington), and my boy Gilmore from my alma matter.

    2) The free agent & draft running back pool is weak in terms of attainable players & depth respectively. Rice, Lynch, Foster, & Forte are all going back to their respective teams leaving us with Mike Tolbert/Mike Bush as the top guys. I’ll pass on an older FA because the older backs get, the more likely they are to breakdown/be not be as productive. There’s a huge drop-off in talented do-it-all backs after Trent Richardson in the draft.

    What’s the better value when they are drafted?

    1st Rd – Trent Richardson
    2nd Rd. – Minnifield/Gilmore (1st Rd talents) or Lavonte David


    1st Rd – Morris Claiborne
    2nd Rd – Doug Martin

  59. SensibleBuc Says:

    Antrel Rolle – 1x All-Pro 2x Pro Bowl Selections
    Kenny Phillips – 0x All-Pro/Pro Bowl Selections
    Corey Webster – 0x All-Pro/Pro Bowl Selections
    Aaron Ross – 0x All-Pro/Pro Bowl Selections
    Mike Boley – 0x All-Pro/Pro Bowl Selections
    Chase Blackburn – 0x All-Pro/Pro Bowl Selections
    Mathias Kiwanuka – 0x All-Pro/Pro Bowl Selections

    Only Rolle is arguably elite. All of these guys are C+ to B- players and the fact of the matter is they were ranked 24th on defense and Perry Fewell was all but gone until they went on their run. My point remains the same: If you have an explosive offense and a pass rush you can win games. Does that mean we don’t address our substantial needs on defense? No. Absolutely not. But while we’re in this unique position I think we should get an elite playmaker for our offense in and offensive league and fill in our defensive holes w/the rest of the picks and via free agency.

  60. SensibleBuc Says:

    * Because “an” offense

    * “an” offensive league


  61. Bangkok Buc Says:


    I think you are bang on and either of the two choices will vastly improve our team. The value of these positions will greatly depend upon the free agency period and who we pick-up.

    You never know, maybe we trade down a few slots and still get a shot at Richardson with an additional 2nd rounder to get another value pick.

  62. SensibleBuc Says:

    @ Bangkok Buc

    I agree that either one of these would be a great asset to our team. If we get Mo Claiborne, I’ll be ecstatic! He’s an excellent corner and he fills a need.

    I’m interested to see if the new rookie salary structure will facilitate more trades in the 1st round since they’re not “technically” as as valuable as they used to be. Andrew Luck is probably going to get $23 million and whoever we pick will get around 19 million guaranteed deal (based on what Cam & Pat Peterson got last year) so I wonder if somebody want to trade us for the right to pay 19 million for Coples or Claiborne or Richardson…

    …If we trade down I dunno if we can still get an elite player where we have a need…

  63. Bobby Says:

    @Sensible….Claiborne should be the pick.
    1. Running backs have a short life span in the NFL while CB’s last much longer.
    2. Good defense will shut down a good offense. When the Bucs won our superbowl it wasn’t because of offense.
    3. It’s far easier to find a compliment back to Blount in the mid rounds than it is to find a shut down corner.
    4. We didn’t rank 30th in offense but we did in defense.
    5. Defense has way more holes to fill than offense.
    6. If we did get Richardson…..I wouldn’t cry.

  64. TheProsUseAdvoCare Says:

    @SensibleBuc Not being very sensible. Yards do not win games. Patriots allowed yards through the air but did not allow points nearly as much.

    Giants have an Elite line, few safeties played better than Kenny Phillips, few linebackers played the run better than Kiwanuka, Michael Boley played very well, Webster had a solid year as well. Giants have talent up and down that defensive roster With a top safety and the best line in the league. If they had a shut down CB they would be tops. Which is why they will select a CB in the draft.

    What else do they have? Runningback by committee. Neither Bradshaw or Jacobs “strikes fear…” as you put it. The QB does and their D does.

  65. TheProsUseAdvoCare Says:

    What makes a good running back? A good run blocking OL. Unless that running back is having to break tackle after tackle.

  66. TheProsUseAdvoCare Says: has a thing up called “football freakonomics” which showed the average draft position of the top 5 RB this year….. Draft spot #115 with no being drafted before #53.

  67. SensibleBuc Says:

    @ Bobby

    1) T-Rich should be the pick
    2) T-Rich will make an offense with very good talent, an offense w/ elite talent with multiple ways to attack defenses
    3) Look at the last 3 pairs of Super Bowl contestants. Explosive offenses for 5 out of the 6. The defense-heavy Ravens and 49ers were sitting at home this year.
    4) We’ll get better value out of our 1st rounder and 2nd rounder by picking up T-Rich and then a corner like Minnefield or Steph Gilmore than drafting Mo Claiborne and Doug Martin.
    5) We are closer to having an offense that can carry our defense than having a defense that can win us games. I would rather win games now offensively and build up the D over time.
    6) The FA cornerback class is far deeper than the RB FA class. We can fill in our holes via FA if all else fails.
    7) Claiborne is a great player and I’d love to have him but I value T-Rich at that specific pick in the draft.

  68. SensibleBuc Says:

    @ TheProsUseAdvoCare

    1) The Pats ranked 15th in points given up, 31st in yardage, and 30th on Football Outsiders. The Giants were 25th in points given up, 27th in yardage and 22nd on FBO…and they still made the show. Why? Elite offense.

    2) If you want to argue that the Giants Back 7 is talented see my post above. They just won a Super Bowl w/out a “shutdown corner”.

    3) The Giants have two guys that keep defenses honest and can explode on people out of the backfield coupled with multiple weapons on the outside and an elite pass rush. We can have that exact same thing here in Tampa.

    “What makes a good running back? A good run blocking OL. Unless that running back is having to break tackle after tackle.”

    1) We already have a good run blocking OL so I don’t understand what that has to do w/anything
    2) T-Rich, like MJD, breaks tackles. T-Rich also, unlike Blount, can catch the ball out of the backfield and in the slot and can pass protect.

  69. TheProsUseAdvoCare Says:

    ProfootballFocus. I do not bother with DVOA or individual stats as the measure of a football squad or player. Looking at a yards or scoring stat individually is worthless.

    Of course you don’t need a shutdown corner. See my post about a team with out an “elite” running back.

    We have an awful running blocking OL between Trueblood, Joseph and Faine. None of them did well in that facet of the game this or last year. Giants did far better run blocking. Blount broke more tackles than both of them and had a higher elusive rating.

    Back to what I said: QB and defense. That is it. In this “offensive league”, the QB is what has gained in importance. The RB has dwindled. Since the QB is more important, the CB is more important because those are the guys he is fighting against.

    Blount dropped one pass. He can clearly catch.

  70. TheProsUseAdvoCare Says:

    BTW Bradshaw was a 7th round draft pick and Jacobs was a 4th round draft pick. If you stood back for a second you would see that you are only strengthening the arguments against you the further you go on.

  71. MrGone Says:

    So, to be clear SensibleBuc, after 18 posts on this thread, who do YOU think we should pick in the 1st?

  72. SensibleBuc Says:

    @ TheProsUseAdvoCare

    “ProfootballFocus. I do not bother with DVOA or individual stats as the measure of a football squad or player. Looking at a yards or scoring stat individually is worthless.”

    LOL! Ok well my point still remains the Pats were 15th and the Giants 25th. Hardly elite defensively.

    “BTW Bradshaw was a 7th round draft pick and Jacobs was a 4th round draft pick.”

    Who cares about where they were drafted? They’re talented players that keep defenses honest. Kyle Arrington led the league in interceptions. Does that mean
    we should shy away from drafting Claiborne at #5?

  73. SensibleBuc Says:

    @ MrGone

    I enjoy the arguments and seeing the way other people look at football. Different people are giving different opinions and it really is a blast for me 🙂

  74. BamBamBuc Says:

    Beat me to it, ProsUse. Two running backs selected in the 4th round or later striking fear into opponents shows that you don’t have to have a Richardson to get the job done.

    Sensible – They may not have had a shut down corner or a “top” defense in the league (based on yards or points). But the Giants were tied for 6th most INTs in the league (all by the back 7, no DL ints), 7th most fumble recoveries, and 5th in turnovers overall. They win on turnovers, not pounding the ball down the opponents throat. To make this blatantly clear to you, the Giants had the absolute worst in the NFL yardage total running the ball in 2011. Yep, they were 32nd in the league with only 1427 yards total on the ground. Their 3.5 yards per attempt was also the worst in the league. Yet they scored the 6th most TDs on the ground… why? Because the defense got turnovers, the offense threw the ball down the field, and they punched it in on the ground.

    Now, after all this pissing back and forth, I’m not opposed to Richardson, I’m just more in favor of Claiborne. If Claiborne is gone, I could see Richardson or Blackmon or Kalil or maybe even a trade down and get Keuchly and some more draft picks. But if Claiborne is there, you take him.

  75. Joe Says:

    Beat me to it, ProsUse. Two running backs selected in the 4th round or later striking fear into opponents shows that you don’t have to have a Richardson to get the job done.

    Joe will need CPR if the Bucs draft Richardson at No. 5. That’s about as close to throwing away a high draft pick as you can get short of drafting a kicker at No. 5.

    If the Bucs only needed a running back, OK. This just in: The Bucs not only need many, many more players than a running back, the Bucs already have a running back whose clueless former offensive coordinator had no concept of how to use him.

    Throw in the fact running backs have the shortest shelf lives of NFL players, Richardson at No. 5 for this team is simply irresponsible.

  76. SensibleBuc Says:

    @ BamBamBuc

    Obviously I disagree. In a vacuum, I would agree 100% that we draft Claiborne over T-Rich because they’re both talented but Claiborne fills a need.

    However, if you look at it in the real world, the argument of taking Claiborne over T-Rich is based, in part, on the premise that a) we can find another RB later who’s can be our 3rd down RB/pass catcher out of the backfield or b) we can’t find a shut down corner outside of Mo Claiborne and c) Blount can handle the load of this offense by himself. This is simply not true. We can still fill all of our needs while adding an elite offensive player at the top of the draft.

    1) The CB draft class is talented AND deep (ESPN has 7 corners that graded out 80 or above and 13 at 70 or above). The free agent class of CBs is talented with Brent Grimes, Brandon Carr, Stanford Routt, Cortland Finnegan, Tracy Porter, etc.

    2) The RB draft class is not as talented at the top and not nearly as deep (3 graded at 80 or above and only 9 at 70 or above). The RB free agent class is abysmal because most of the talent will be franchised. Plus, we all know that running backs don’t exactly get better the older they get.

    3) Blount is one-dimensional. He runs the ball, breaks tackles, hurdles people very well but he can’t pass protect and he’s not a weapon in either facet of the passing game (blocking & catching passes). Case in point: Even with Rah & Olson’s jobs on the line, they refused to give him the rock consistently or keep him in on 3rd downs. I’m sorry but that is a damning indictment on his skill set in the passing game. For this “physical offense that takes shots down the field” to work we need a multi-dimensional back e.g. Ray Rice at Rutgers.

    So I’ll ask again, what’s the better value for where they are picked?

    1st Rd: T-Rich
    2nd Rd: Alfonzo Dennard/Trumaine Johnson/Dwight Bentley/Brandon Boykin

    1st Rd: Mo Claiborne
    2nd Rd: Doug Martin/LaMichael James/Isaiah Pead

  77. BamBamBuc Says:

    Sensible, you keep putting us drafting a RB in the 2nd round if we don’t get one in the first. I think the better value is to draft Claiborne (elite talent, fills a HUGE void, especially if Ronde and Talib aren’t around) and draft a LB in the 2nd round (another HUGE need to upgrade and enough talent in the class to be available in the 2nd round… also not a great FA class).

    I’d rather see where a Zach Brown, Vontaze Burfict, or Dont’a Hightower end up. Get one in the 2nd if available. If not look at a good RT or LG there.

    We can look at RB in the 3rd or 5th round. Maybe someone like LMJ would be around in the 3rd (I’ve seen many mocks projecting this), or Isaiah Pead in the 5th. Ronnie Hillman or Bobby Rainey. These guys can do what Blount isn’t as good at. They run routes, catch passes, faster scat-back types. Are they Richardson? No, but Jacobs isn’t Bradshaw and Bradshaw isn’t Jacobs. Plenty of “complimentary” type backs in the mid to late rounds, some may turn out pretty good. If we’re looking to replace Blount with a NEW RB, then Richardson is the way to go, but we’d still lack depth.

    Why bring in Richardson if Blount is still in on first or second down? He’s obviously not a 3rd down back (Blount), so he’d have to come out then. If’ they’re both to get playing time, that’d force Richardson to the third down role. 5th pick overall is too high for a part time, situational player. And Blount can’t be that situational guy because he’s not good in that situation.

    A top CB though is not a situational guy. That’s an every snap defensive player that can individually take one player out of the game. It means we play 11 on 11 instead of 10 (+1 for double team) on 11. 11 on 11 means one guy is free to get to the QB. 11 on 11 means we can rush 4 and drop the extra guy in coverage or spy the RB or QB.

    So, would I rather have Claiborne, Zach Brown and Pead over Richardson, Dennard, and Bobby Wagner? Yeah, I’d take Claiborne. Better value, combined with bigger need, and more holes filled. We take the RB first and end up with Bigger and Lewis at CB because the good ones got drafted ahead of us and Ronde retires, Talib is in jail, and for some reason no decent FA wants to play for a team that was bad last year….

    Why worry about the top FA RBs that aren’t going to be there? We have a 1st and 2nd down guy already. Why not look deeper into FA and find a guy like Kalil Bell. He can catch, does well with blocking assignments, and is ok running the ball. He’d be a nice compliment to Blount. What about Jason Snelling or even getting Cadillac Williams back? They’re both decent complimentary backs.

    Trent Richardson isn’t going to take a team to the Super Bowl on his own. He’ll need a team around him. Even the great Barry Sanders couldn’t do it alone, and Richardson isn’t even close to a Barry Sanders. Fill the gaps on defense, upgrade the O-line (helps both pass and run), and maybe find a speed guy at WR or RB (or both) in FA or the late rounds of the draft.

  78. SensibleBuc Says:

    “Sensible, you keep putting us drafting a RB in the 2nd round if we don’t get one in the first.”

    The crux of the entire issue is: We need two explosive physical backs if we’re going to be a “physical offense that takes shots down the field”. It’s just that simple.

    The depth of the running backs in FA & the draft is suspect. After Doug Martin the guys that are the left are either little bitty gadget guys or Blount-lite. Those guys aren’t good enough to effectuate that scheme and the problem that plagued us last year doesn’t get fixed: we’re too predictable w/Blount in/out of the game. Make T-Rich the lead dog & bring Blount in to spell him, institute two RB sets, put Trent in the slot, allow Trent to return kicks, etc. are all ways to make this work and to get all your elite talent on the field at once.

    Like cornerbacks, if you want linebackers we can wait and still get some good ones because the class is talented at the top AND deep. ESPN gave 6 LBs an 80 grade or above and 11 with a 70 or above.

    We could go:

    1st Rd: T-Rich
    2nd Rd: Burfict/Hightower/Ronnell Lewis/Zach Brown
    3rd Rd: Josh Norman/Steph Gilmore/Chase Minnefield


    1st Rd: T-Rich
    2nd Rd: Dennard/Johnson/Bentley/Boykin
    3rd Rd: Lavonte David/Bob Wagner/Keenan Robinson

    As I mentioned earlier, the FA class of CBs is strong and the RBs class is weak. The linebackers class looks ok so I’d probably go with Option #1 but I read that Panthers LB Dan Connor wants to go somewhere where he can start and DQwell Jackson/Stephen Tulloch wouldn’t look too bad either.