Yesterday, Today And TomorrowDecember 30th, 2013
Joe is typing this under duress so he apologizes up front; this weekly regular-season feature is a bit short to end the 2013 campaign (Joe is so ready for 2014 that he has caught himself several times typing that year).
The next few days will be anything but dull around these parts. That’s because what is being discussed in the inner sanctum of One Buc Palace is anything but boring.
At worst, there will be staff changes on the Bucs College of Coaches. Will those changes include Bucs commander Greg Schiano? The second-year Bucs coach did a lot of damage control when his team started 0-8 and winning does help. Then, the Bucs crashed and burned entering the home stretch. Schiano’s guy, rookie quarterback Mike Glennon, after a hot start, has looked – with brief flashes of talent – every bit the rookie third round draft pick he is.
Joe has seen enough of Glennon to know that, without much seasoning and coaching up, Glennon really is nothing more than a talented backup. Let’s put it this way: Would you trade a first round pick for Glennon? Short of dropping ‘shrooms, no you would not.
That sums it up right there.
Frankly, Joe does not envy Team Glazer right now. There is no move they can make that will not be painful. Oh, sure, launching Schiano is the easiest move. Look past that move, though. What are the consequences? This team, stocked with veterans, was built to win now.
Would veterans be around when a new coaching staff and a new philosophy kicks in, say, in 2015? A new coaching staff will want their players, not leftovers from the previous staff.
You think Darrelle Revis and Dashon Goldson and Vincent Jackson signed up for a rebuild? Under a potential new staff, will those three begin lobbying to get traded? And then you are right back to where you started two years ago, stinking out loud and – altogether now – losing.
There is a reason why teams such as the Raiders and Browns are rotten to the core. Replacing coaching staffs (if not front offices) every two years isn’t exactly the way to build a team.
On the other hand, is anyone confident Schiano can win next year? How much would a new offensive coordinator help? A new defensive coordinator? And who exactly would currently give up job security to come work for a lame duck coach? Let’s be honest, if Schiano survives the coming days (hours?), if he doesn’t win in 2014, he is gone. Simple as that.
Joe simply is not convinced Glennon can win. So then you go quarterback shopping. There isn’t anything out there, short of turnover machine Matt Cassel and coach killer bratty Jay Cutler, who at this point in his career is hurt as often as he is healthy.
Sure, Joe would love to see the Bucs draft Johnny Football, but Joe knows of no sober person who expects Johnny to lift the Bucs to the playoffs in his rookie year. That’s way, way, way too much to ask a rookie.
The Bucs are in a bad pinch. Painted into the corner. They are built to win now, but don’t have a quarterback. If they rebuild and unload veterans for draft picks, it’s back to square one and more losing is all but assured.
Perhaps the best medicine is to throw in the towel, admit your mistakes, gut the roster and staff, load up on draft picks, and pray five years from now the Bucs are not the laughing stock of the league like Oakland and Cleveland.
There is no easy out for Team Glazer. None.
Stinking Panthers: The Dixie Chicks gave the Stinking Panthers a scare, but the Panthers prevailed and are headed to the playoffs with a No. 2 seed. Does anyone really think the Stinking Panthers would have made the playoffs if Jerry Richardson caved to public demand and axed Ron Rivera last season?
Bengals: All hail Andy Dalton. He upsets the defending Super Bowl champion Crows for his third playoff appearance in as many years. Joe wonders where Josh Freeman is Twittering topless selfies right now?
Colts: No surprise the Colts are AFC South champs. Did anyone really believe the Jags would win? Joe doesn’t think the Colts will last very long. Outside of Andrew Luck, the Colts’ better players are hurt or inconsistent.
Jets: Joe just couldn’t believe the Jets were going to fire Capt. Lou Albano, who may have done his best job of coaching yet. And what a choke job by the Dolphins. Win and they were in. Splat.
Vikings: Kinda hard to believe the Vikings will keep Leslie Frazier, and a bit difficult to believe the Vikings will keep their three quarterbacks, Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel and Josh Freeman, Joe would pick either Crown Royal or Samantha Steele. What a miserable lot that is.
Giants: Maybe the fault of the Giants isn’t just Eli Manning. Maybe that mumblemouth of a general manager in New York might want to get Manning some weapons. You know, like maybe a receiver, maybe a running back, maybe an offensive line? Not too much to ask, is there?
Steelers: What a freaking job Mike Tomlin did this year. The Steelers lost their first four games and came within a missed Kansas City field goal yesterday of making the playoffs. The Steelers offensive line was in shambles, yet the Steelers recast the line and in the final eight games, Ben Roethlisberger was sacked just eight times. If Bucs commander Greg Schiano is fired, then he only need look at how the Steelers were in such disarray but coaching found solutions and completely turned the season around. Strong coach of the year candidate.
Titans: People actually paid to watch the Titans and the Texans? Whew. That’s dedication. Here are two teams that are a total mess. The Bucs have more in common with the Texans than the Titans.
49ers: What a week for the 49ers, pulling out of their hat two wins to make the playoffs. Michael Crabtree means so much to Colin Kaepernick it isn’t funny.
Packers: Here is another team, like the Steelers, that overcame adversity with good coaching. The Packers lose their best defensive player (Shane Matthews) to injury, twice; lose arguably the NFL’s best quarterback for nearly two months, and the team, through strong coaching, found a way to overcome. They’re in the playoffs after beating their arch rival on the road to get there. Please look at the Packers as well, Mr. Schiano.
Patriots: No, Joe is not going to go revisionist history on pouting LeGarrette Blount. He didn’t want to be here; he was not a team player; he was a cancer. There is a reason why the Bucs could only get a seventh-round pick for him. Running back wasn’t the problem for the Bucs this season.
Broncos: So, who do you have in the pool to beat regular season icon Peyton Manning this January?
Chargers: Shame on you, San Diego. You nearly let Missouri Western University beat you with all the players the Chiefs were sitting. And still you needed overtime and a botched field goal to win. Shameful.
Seahawks: Joe doesn’t see anyone beating the Seahawks in that chamber of doom they play in this January. A Super Bowl for the Seahawks and their ugly jerseys will come.
Eagles: Joe went to be early last night as he was (and is) ravaged by a virus, and not only didn’t watch the Dallass-Philadelphia game last night, never planned to. It says a lot about Tony Romo when he is hurt yet he is such a profoundly good player (to hear Jerry Jones talk) that his backup Kyle Orton is more clutch in December than Romo.
1) Joe just cannot get into college basketball. Yet. As long as bowl games are being played, Joe nearly has to force himself to watch basketball. Just can’t do it. Yet. When conference play begins in a week and after the BCS title game, then Joe will slowly start working into a basketball routine.
2) Man, did Teddy Bridgewater put on a show Saturday night. Dude has it all. A gun, wheels when he needs them, can throw soft, can throw hard. Hope you enjoy Houston, Teddy.
3) One of the most outrageous and hilarious rumors Joe has heard is that Bridgewater, who still has a year of eligibility left, and has already obtained his bachelor’s degree, can use the NCAA loophole (aka Russell Wilson) and go play for Texas next year. Joe laughed for about 10 minutes when he heard that.
4) Alabama may get the short end of the stick when people mock the good residents of the state for being football-obsessed yahoos, but the only difference between Alabama citizens nuts for football and those in Texas is that Texas residents are sophisticated, oil-moneyed football yahoos.
5) Joe still believes FSUfan should be very worried about Texas. Very worried.
6) Why is Kevin Sumlin’s name keep popping up in NFL coaching rumors? There may not be a more overblown coach than Sumlin. Please explain to Joe what Sumlin has done other than ride the coattails of one of the greatest college quarterbacks to snap on a chin strap – a guy Sumlin tried to run off by the way? If Sumlin was worth half his image, couldn’t he at least come up with a defense that can stop a stiff fart? Joe’s not saying Sumlin is a bad coach, but George O’Leary coaches rings around this guy.
7) Speaking of rotten defenses, did anyone watch Michigan Saturday night? If Joe was a hardcore Michigan fan, he’d be squatted in a corner somewhere right now, with an empty bottle of Bacardi in hand, mumbling the Gettysburg Address to no one in particular.
8) UFC: Joe doesn’t get it. To Joe, this is human cockfighting with sweaty dudes rolling around on the floor in a lover’s clasp.
9) Joe was stuck at the Nashville airport Friday returning from the frozen Midwest when his flight to Tampa was delayed some two hours. The only bar within sight was Extortion USA, charging (robbing?) captive innocents $10 a beer. $10 a beer! Talk about a clipjoint! Who was running this place, the Teamsters?
10) A friend of Joe’s was in the finals of his survivor pool yesterday and many were telling him to pick Philly since it seemed a lock to beat Dallass yesterday. He kept repeating only “I don’t like it. I don’t like it.” Instead, he chose the Steelers. You imagine how much this guy’s testicles would have been sweating had he did pick Philly?
11) Joe hopes you liked this regular season Monday morning feature. Joe doubts he will continue it through the offseason, but if there is enough public demand, let Joe know and he will reconsider. Thanks for reading.