Yesterday, Today And TomorrowNovember 18th, 2013
One element Team Glazer almost surely will factor in when weighing whether to award Bucs coach Greg Schiano a mulligan and bring him back for the 2014 season is player performance.
Akeem Spence demonstrated a positive example yesterday. On a screen pass from Matty Ice to Steven Jackson over the middle, Jackson gained 12 yards and a first down. What stood out was that Spence, a defensive tackle, was engaged with a blocker when Jackson got the ball. Spence shook his block and ran down Jackson from behind.
Is that the sign of a quitting team? Quitting players would have just turned around and watched someone else try to make a play. Spence, instead, got off a block and busted his tail to catch Jackson.
Plays like that will get the attention of Team Glazer. And plays like that cannot help but bolster Schiano’s standing with Team Glazer.
Getting to the Quarterback
It sort of started a week ago when the Bucs pass rush manhandled Ryan Tannehill in the final defensive stand of a win against the Dolphins. It continued to a lesser degree yesterday when Bucs coaches decided to take a break from playing Ring-Around-the-Rosie and stop the stunts long enough to get to the passer.
Gerald McCoy had three sacks of Matty Ice, tying a franchise record for defensive tackles (with Warren Sapp and Brad Culpepper). In previous weeks, GMC was double- if not triple-teamed and when he did get penetration, quarterbacks, with no pressure from the edge, only stepped to the side to buy time and avoid GMC.
That didn’t happen yesterday. On two of GMC’s sacks, defensive ends William Gholston and Adrian Clayborn totally collapsed the pocket, trapping Matty Ice like a rat and GMC was only happy to pounce on his prey.
Without pressure from the edge, there is only so much GMC can do. Where are the GMC haters this fine morning? What do you have to say for yourselves now? Speak!
Whither a Franchise Quarterback?
Joe isn’t quite sold on Mike Glennon as the franchise quarterback. Yet. Yes, he had a good game yesterday and he did put up Jameis Winston-like numbers. Difference is, Winston (yes, Joe understands he’s a college freshman) has gaudy completion numbers while throwing the ball downfield. Glennon is largely throwing safe, short or intermediate passes, which is no problem.
That written, when Glennon faces good defenses, those passes will be taken away from him (hello, Alex Smith) and he will have to improve his downfield proficiency. Can Teddy Bridgewater or Johnny Football do just as well on the NFL level? Time will tell.
The thing is, the Bucs could still draft a quarterback in the first round next year and if the guy flames out, there is always Glennon as insurance. Even better: let the rookie sit and learn the game at his own pace and force him to beat out Glennon, while also possibly forcing Glennon to raise his game. Schiano is a competition kind of guy, isn’t he?
When Bucs commander Greg Schiano left the field after the win over the Dixie Chicks, he wore the biggest smile on his face Joe may have ever seen. Few fans were heckling him, either. Ah, the joys of victory.
Match-up of Greatsen
Who is geeked for Sundaoy (already) when Darrelle Revis will try to lock down Calvin Johnson? If Revis is healthy enough to do this, and the Bucs bring their defense like they did yesterday and hassle Matthew Stafford, it should be an interesting game.
Around the NFL
Colts: Andrew Luck is running out of weapons. His wide receivers are getting hurt and that lummox the Colts threw a first round draft pick away on isn’t any better than the Great Lumpkin. This is going to catch up to them.
Bills: Talk about two Jekyll and Hyde teams. One week the Jets look like a playoff team, the next they are horrible. And the Bills aren’t that much better. And people wonder why Bill Belicheat has owned that AFC East division for so long.
Bears: Because of inclement weather, the game was delayed and fans were ordered to the concourses, packed like sardines. Then Bears officials ordered the halt to beer sales because they were selling too much beer. Too much beer?! Yes, stopping beer sales when you have everyone jammed into a concourse is a really nice way to ignite a riot.
Bengals: Yep. Keep mocking Andy Dalton. He just wins games and gets his team to the playoffs. What is wrong with that?
Raiders: Remember how horrible Matt McGloin was with Penn State? He threw for three touchdowns to beat Houston. Wow.
Cardinals: This team just may hang around for a wild card berth. Talk about a team who will be in the hunt for a quarterback next spring. Carson Palmer is playing on life support, but playing well in his last three games.
Eagles: Right now, if you were the Redskins, you’d trade RGIII for Nick Foles straight up, be honest!
Steelers: The woebegone Steelers spanking the Lions in the second half. See what a quarterback like Big Ben Roethlisberger can do for you?
Dolphins: Wow, talk about putting a dagger in the heart of the Chargers’ playoff hopes. That is a killer. The Dolphins messy defense (remember last Monday night?) held the Chargers without a touchdown in the final three quarters. Damn.
Saints: Fun game Joe missed much of as he was banging away on his keyboard. The Niners may have gotten jobbed when Ahmad Brooks got flagged for a weird we-have-to-coddle-quarterbacks call that would have forced a fumble with the 49ers recovered, until the ref got involved and gave the Saints a first down and the Saints scored. Of note, both Colin Kaepernick and Drew Brees made huge mental errors late in that game. It’s a tough game, even for veteran QBs.
Giants: Yeah, they beat the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers. Whoop-tee-do. No injury has buried a team worse than what Rodgers’ has done to the Pack.
Seattle: The Seahawks manhandled the Vikings. Joe still says they are the best team in the NFC.
Broncos: This was a lot closer than the score indicated. Joe can’t count how many Chiefs first downs and drives were killed by holding penalties. Geez.
Top 10 Non-NFL Thoughts
1) So Jameis Winston is now embroiled in a sexual assault case? We think? Hard to tell from the 11-month old police report with names heavily redacted. Joe smells shakedown here. A charge of such a felony is no laughing matter and not to be trivialized; it just seems really odd. The report is 11 months old and only when it seems TMZ and the Tampa Bay Times started sniffing around did the Tallahassee police send the report to the State’s Attorney?
For some reason this reminds Joe of LeGarrette Blount. Remember when Blount was in a fender-bender with an old lady and nothing happened… until she realized months later that Blount was an NFL player and only until then did she get the long arm of the law involved? That’s what this reminds Joe of.
Winston, last December, was a nobody redshirt. Now, if he stays healthy, he is surely the first pick in the 2015 draft, with tens of millions of dollars floating his way, he’s a marked man of sorts. Something smells here and no, Joe can’t put the pieces of the puzzle together where Urban Meyer is somehow behinds this, as some Noles fans would have you believe.
No matter the outcome, this turns Joe’s stomach.
2) Memo to Tray Matthews: Stand the f’ down when your teammate is about to make an interception! Thanks to Matthews trying to ballhog an Auburn pass for his own glory, he runs into his teammate, Josh Harvey-Clemons, who had his mitts on the ball to begin with. The collision forced the ball to pop in the air and Auburn, like manna from heaven, catches a Hail Mary pass to beat Georgia. Great game, wild finish, and because a guy got greedy, he cost his team a major win.
3) If Joe was selecting the top three BCS teams, Baylor is clearly ahead of Ohio State. The Buckeyes had two years under Meyer to beef up their non-conference schedule and instead, true to Meyer’s history, he found a patsy like Cal to try to pad his record instead of playing someone halfway decent. Baylor is playing fantastic ball and seems to be better than Ohio State. And the Big Ten is so far down this year, it is sickening. The MAC may very well be a better conference this year.
4) Chris Dufresne of the Los Angeles Times is having a conniption on Twitter about how bad the ACC is. While he has a point, the dude is drunk if he thinks the ACC is worse than the Big Ten.
5) How bad is the Big Ten? If you are heading anywhere around the Midwest triangle of Chicago, St. Louis and Indianapolis and want to catch a college football game this coming weekend, you can get tickets to the Illinois at Purdue tug-of-war for 39 cents.
6) Memo to Pat Haden at USC: Just give the job to Ed Orgeron and be done with it. If you are stupid enough to hire Jack Del Rio, then you should be dragged through the streets of Los Angeles; East L.A. in fact.
7) How soon before Jimbo Fisher’s agent Jimmy Sexton starts working for a handsome raise for his client by planting rumors of USC and Texas going after Fisher?
8) For a minute there, it appeared Oregon would face Clemson in the Orange Bowl. Damnit you eggheads, Stanford!
9) You want to see a Chinese fire drill? Watch this game-ending, tying field goal by Michigan. No timeouts and the clock was near zero. The field goal team was in such a hurry, the holder slid onto the field as if he was sliding into second base.
10) Does Auburn have a prayer of beating Alabama? Joe isn’t so sure.
11) How long (and fun) was that Texas Tech-Baylor game? It started an hour before Stanford and USC kickoff and ended after the Stanford-USC game. I guy can get awfully hammered in that span of time (ahem).