Yesterday, Today And Tomorrow

December 23rd, 2013
Robert Quinn of the Rams tracks down Bucs running back Bobby Rainey. The disgraceful way Rainey was misused likely sealed Mike Sullivan's fate as Bucs offensive coordinator.

Robert Quinn of the Rams tracks down Bobby Rainey. The disgraceful way Rainey was misused likely sealed Mike Sullivan’s fate as Bucs offensive coordinator.

A long look at the Bucs yesterday, today, and what to expect tomorrow and beyond.

Look, Joe likes Mike Sullivan, the person. He is kind, considerate, a really decent man. Joe really respects him. He’s a West Point grad and a former Ranger. Major props!

But whatever that display was yesterday in the Ed Jones dome along the Mississippi River in St. Louis was worse than whatever is flowing down America’s biggest liquid polluted artery.

Joe is pretty sure that Sullivan sealed his fate yesterday as the Bucs offensive coordinator. If he returns (yes, there is a chance), Joe is pretty sure there will be an offensive co-coordinator hired and Sullivan will be relegated to working with only quarterbacks; his strength.

What the Bucs did offensively yesterday was flat embarrasing. Five minutes into the second quarter, it was painfully obvious that Bobby Rainey could not run up the middle on the left side. It was not working. Period. Yet Sullivan continued to pound away. Nevermind Rainey was often mauled by two and three tacklers before he hit the line of scrimmage. It was so bad Jamon Meredith got benched.

When did Sullivan come to believe Rainey was the reincarnation of Larry Csonka or Jim Otis or Jerome Bettis? The best runs Rainey had yesterday was when he bounced to a new hole, or for some odd reason, Sullivan lost his mind and had Rainey run outside. Imagine!

It just blew Joe away how well into the second half, Sullivan would not give up running Rainey up the middle. To Sullivan’s credit, Rainey’s numbers in the second half nearly doubled to a Canton-like 1.9 yards a run.

Joe really believes Sullivan is a good quarterback coach. Seriously.

Offensive coordinator? Well, having the No. 32 offense in the league says it all.

At least Joe rested comfortably last night sure the Bucs practiced running Rainey up the middle last week.

Mike Glennon

As Joe wrote last night, Glennon, outside of spurts throwing the ball downfield, just has not won Joe over as an NFL starting quarterback. At least not a quarterback that can lead a team to the playoffs.
To be fair, Glennon is not a dink-and-dunk guy, but that’s what the Bucs have him doing too often. It’s not who he is.

If Bucs commander Greg Schiano returns, and if he still believes Glennon is a starting quarterback, then the offensive coordinator (whoever is the new coordinator) must craft an offense that thows the ball downfield and not five yards over the middle on 3rd-and-9.

Gerald McCoy

Joe appreciates the candor of the team’s best player, Gerald McCoy. He got his ninth sack of the season despite being double- and triple-teamed each and every play.

GMC confessed his defense got their rear ends kicked in by Zac Stacy, the Rams talented running back. GMC is as frustrated as anyone and he is tired of the excuses and giving people raw emotion and frank insight. It’s hard to argue with a word of what GMC said.

Black Monday

The annual day when NFL coaches are launched is a week away. Joe wasn’t so sure this would affect Schiano but after yesterday’s game, well, Schiano has crept closer to the guillotine.

Joe knows this will rankle Bucs fans, but Joe can see both arguments for and against keeping Schiano. He didn’t infect the Bucs locker room with MRSA. He couldn’t predict leaky, sleepy Rip Van Freeman would completely meltdown and do his best to sabotage the team in order to get out of town. As much as the truth hurts, the Bucs have yet to recover from that.

Schiano was brought in to change the culture and weed out malcontents. He did that. While that is nice, the NFL is all about wins. That hasn’t happened with him.

No matter Schiano’s 2014 fate, Joe would understand Team Glazer’s decision.

Zac Stacy

Both Darrelle Revis and GMC talked about how the Bucs knew the Rams were going to try to bludgeon them with Stacy running the ball. And it happened. The Bucs slowed down Stacy in the second half, but it was not enough.

Here’s the thing: The Rams trotted out the immortal Kellen Clemens and a bunch of nobody receivers (Tavon Austin was inactive) and still the Bucs didn’t bunch people up front to stop Stacy.

You force a clown like Clemens to beat you! If you have to put nine men in the box to stop Stacy, you do that. Make a bunch of scrubs beat you, not a budding superstar running back.

Dashon Goldson

Now has Dashon “Hawk” Goldson learned how to legally hit people? The evidence would suggest, no. That’s why he served a one-game suspension for illegal hits. That is why he is targeted.

The call against Goldson yesterday was pure, unadulterated bullspit. But you know what, Goldson has such a rep as a headhunter, anything close to a bad, illegal hit is going to be flagged.

Either Goldson is going to have to learn how to hit (memo to coaches, perhaps being benched might get the message across if six-figure fines don’t?), or he is going to cost the Bucs 15 yards a game, likely at the worst times.

Is it fair? No. But that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

Donald Penn

Both Joes thought Penn did an admirable job on Rams sackmeister Robert Quinn yesterday. One Joe was at the game, the other watching on TV. The Joe in St. Louis kept his binoculars on the Penn-Quinn matchup and far more often than not, Penn won the battle.

Did Quinn get sacks? Yes. In the first half, Penn whiffed on Quinn twice, one of which resulted in a sack. Quinn’s other two sacks came in garbage time when the game was already decided.

If you still think Penn got manhandled, as some Bucs fans want to believe, then why in desperation did Jeff Fisher start calling linebacker blitzes from the right side late in the first half? Then why did Fisher have Quinn line up far to the right to avoid Penn and force Brian Leonard to try to block him? Because Penn was largely keeping Quinn off Mike Glennon, that’s why. If Quinn was consistently getting heat on Glennon, there would be no reason to blitz, no reason to line him up four yards wide of Penn.

Dumb penalties

If Schiano is indeed shoved out the door and awarded parting gifts next week, it likely will be largely due to players playing dumb. For a disciplined guy like Schiano to have his players make silly penalties, like encroachment (watch the damned ball!), stupid hits, etc., that’s hard to jibe.

Bobby Rainey

The Bucs running back is an absolute class act. He blamed the loss on himself, saying he is the reason the Bucs did not win.

While Joe is really impressed with his taking responsibility, Rainey was hardly the reason the Bucs lost. He wasn’t the one calling the plays where he had to run up against a brick wall time and time again. He wasn’t the one calling typical dink-and-dunk plays that did nothing.

No, Rainey got sold out by his offensive coordinator.

Dink-and-dunk

Joe was galled with roughly three minutes left and the Bucs down two scores; the Bucs were calling plays for Glennon to throw four-yard passes deep in their own territory. WHY??? If you are going to throw the ball, throw the friggin’ ball!

There was no way the Bucs were going to tie the game or take the lead throwing four-yard passes from their 20. There shouldn’t have been one play called where there was even a route run that would result in a four-yard catch!

If every damn person watching the game, whether at the stadium or on TV, could see Rainey wasn’t going to work up the middle, and Glennon can’t throw short passes to succeed, then why couldn’t the 65 Bucs coaches all wearing black shirts on the sidelines?

NFL Thoughts

Steelers: They are still alive for a playoff berth entering the final week of the season. Imagine, the Steelers started the season with four losses, just like the Bucs. But Mike Tomlin has done a wonderful job turning that team around, despite a rash of injuries. The Bucs? Meh.

Colts: Wow, a dome team in the snow and bitter cold rises up and spanks one of the better teams in the AFC, which was still fighting for a division title? That is impressive. It seems just about every former Ravens assistant has been successful to some degree as an NFL head coach.

Bills: How did the Bills whip up on the Dolphins? Guessing the cold had something to do with it. That pitiful defense shut out Miami? Man. As Chris Thomas would say, the no-freaking-logic league.

Bengals: Joe has a hunch Jay Gruden would make a find head coach. Maybe the wits of his older brother with not as much baggage. Many folks hate Andy Dalton, yet Gruden gets good results from him.

Jets: Are the Jets fighting for Captain Lou Albano’s job? Geno Smith actually threw for two touchdowns and over 200 yards. Pretty impressive.

Cowboys: Just take it to the bank: Next week with a playoff berth on the line, Tony Romo will choke. It’s what Romo does in December.

Stinking Panthers: Cam Newton stunk for much of the game. Yet in crunch time, Newton found a way to win for the game-winner. That’s clutch. Joe is impressed. That’s what a top first round pick is supposed to do.

Titans: So the Titans beat the Jags and the only thing Joe can think of is that some poor souls actually paid hard-earned money to watch that slop.

Broncos: Enjoy the fun while you can, Peyton Manning fans. Both you and Joe knows how this is going to end. And it won’t be Denver playing in New York in February.

Giants: This is the final nail in the coffin of Jim Schwartz as Lions coach. Interception machine Eli Manning nearly threw for over 300 yards. Please make sure you pick up your parting gifts as you leave Detroit, Mr. Schwartz.

Cardinals: What a great defensive stand by the Cardinals, bottling up the best team in the NFC to keep their playoff hopes alive. Bruce Arians has done a helluva job and Bucs fans continue to pray for the day they can play meaningful games in December.

Chargers: Joe knows some Bucs fans want Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt as the next Bucs coach. But let’s think about this, unless he had a highly talented, studly quarterback (Big Ben, Kurt Warner, Philip Rivers), his teams struggled. Mike Glennon could be the next Kevin Kolb.

Patriots: Well now, all that thought the Pats being overrated, and here comes a curb-stomping of the Crows. Just to hack off Bucs fans, LeGarrette Blount had a pair of touchdowns.

Eagles: Joe knows Bucs fans wanted to jump into traffic watching what could have been with Chip Kelly’s offense. Oh, and Joe hopes all the Bucs fans pining for bratty Jay Cutler watched that drek last night.

Joe’s Non-NFL Thoughts

1) Partially non-NFL: Joe always thought Lisa Salters of BSPN was a horrible sideline reporter when she worked college games. For reasons not quite clear, Joe caught part of last week’s Monday Night Football pregame show, where Salters, with firm conviction, stated how Joe Flacco told her that if the Crows complete passes downfield (as opposed to passes backwards) and moved the chains and protected the ball, they would be in good shape.

You don’t say? Hey honey, you mean Disney is paying you six-figures a year to dig up those pearls of wisdom? A homeless person could figure that out, and he wouldn’t need to talk to Joe Flacco.

The vast majority of sideline reporters are worthless. This is just a prime example. Joe doesn’t give a damn if a player’s grandmother knits socks for them.

2) Joe always gets irritated when non-college football fans say there are too many bowl games. Why? If you don’t like college football, don’t watch it. That’s like Joe saying the NBA should get rid of the shot clock and start calling traveling. Joe doesn’t watch the non-basketball association.

Any football fan not entertained by Saturday’s bowl games must have been passed out drunk. Joe loves college football. Don’t like it? Don’t watch. Oh, by the way, BSPN makes good cash on these bowl games. That’s why they exist.

3) Speaking of bowl games, there is no bowl game on Christmas. There should be a federal mandate that there be a bowl game on Christmas unless there is an NFL playoff game.

4) What ever happened to the NFL playing games on Saturdays late in the season?

5) Joe is reading where some Bucs fans are starting to get excited about Bill O’Brien as a potential Bucs coach. Hold up! While O’Brien did a wonderful job developing Matt McGloin into a respectable quarterback, please look at the track record of Bill Belicheat disciples coaching in the NFL. It’s awful. Buyer beware.

6) Joe would rather see the Bucs draft Allen Robinson in the second round then hire Bill O’Brien.

7) A cute move by someone in St. Louis. Joe landed there Friday and for those that have never flown Southwest to St. Louis, it has its own terminal there. You have to walk downstairs to the baggage claim. At the foot of the stairs was a chorus singing Christmas carols for the busy travelers. Nice touch.

8) Joe has no idea why the Rams want to rip down the Ed Jones dome. It’s a fine facility. The only hang-up Joe can see is the lack of luxury boxes. Surely they could take seats out and add luxury suites cheaper than holding the good people of east-central Missouri to foot a near-billion dollar project?

9) When Joe landed in St. Louis is was 68 degrees. Couple of hours later, Joe was helping an old friend clean out gutters to earn his keep, as Joe stays at his friend’s parents’ empty house when visiting Illinois. Joe did this work in a downpour in the 40s. Yes, Joe missed Tampa Bay very much at that point.

10) Joe still can’t get worked up for college hoops quite yet. It usually takes Joe a week or two into January to get excited for hoops, usually when conference play begins.

29 Responses to “Yesterday, Today And Tomorrow”

  1. phil Says:

    I don’t know if Schiano stays or goes but I hope he is fired but if we don’t get a quarterback next year will be another wasted season. There is a lot of talent on this team but you have to have a quarterback and right now we don’t have one that you can win with.

  2. mvermulm Says:

    “If Quinn was consistently getting heat on Glennon, there would be no reason to blitz, no reason to line him up four yards wide of Penn.”
    —————————————————————————–

    Simeon Rice used to line up extremely outside of the tackle all the time. Speed rushers do it quite often in order to have some momentum built up before the tackle can get their hands on them. Also, if Quinn is eating up Penn AND the running back, then a blitz to that side is perfect, as there is no one else to block the LB. I was not at all impressed with Penn yesterday, as Quinn was constantly in the backfield all game, whether he was getting sacks or not.

  3. Joe Dunn Says:

    I agree that if Schiano and/or the GM go, I am fine with that. They could stay also and turn it around.

    Cutesy sideline reporters?? Most of them get all their information from http://www.OBVIOUS.com, the head coach interview at any point in the game is pretty much useless and NON-entertaining.

    Actually, so is 90% of ALL pre and post game analysis.

  4. Architek Says:

    This was superior journalism.

  5. That Guy Says:

    Why would the Bucs throw the ball down the field, Joes? They don’t practice that. Duh! And besides, Freeman! MRSA! Raheem! Injuries! The schedule is hard! Lemme see what other excuses I can throw out here for Gregory…hold on…

  6. Bucs4Life Says:

    @Joe

    You LOVE to offer your opinion, so cut your limp wrist pussy footing and take a stance on Schiano. Do YOU think he should stay or go? How about Dominik? No more talking in circles about all the reasons for and against. You’re not a shy boy, Joey. Let your readers know.

    Joe gets this a lot, several times a day. And Joe understands the questions and the desire for Joe to plant a flag and take a firm side. First, Joe’s already expressed his general, yet not overwhelming, support of Dominik. That’s clear to any reader. Dominik has improved significantly as GM, and the Bucs’ scouting department is no joke. Frankly, Joe needs to see more and know more regarding the Schiano situation. Is Greg Schiano a great NFL head coach? No. He hasn’t shown that yet. Would Joe cry if he were let go. No way. But if you want Joe to play Glazer, then Joe would have to be absolutely convinced that he could lock up a great head coach before he dumped Schiano. Few fans like to consider that. There is upside with Schiano, and the great mystery of whether Josh Freeman was forced on him for 2013 is a factor only Team Glazer, Schiano and Dominik can answer. That would be important to Joe. –Joe

  7. That Guy Says:

    “Please look at the track record of Bill Belicheat disciples coaching in the NFL. It’s awful. Buyer beware.”

    Wait, wait, wait, Joes. Remind me, who was it, again, who recommended Gregory to the Glazers? You’re only bringing this up now? I thought you two GET football? BTW, Detroit lost again yesterday (to the Giants, no less), as did Miami (to Buffaflo, no less). Remind me again how those are two good football teams that Gregory’s New Order beat.

    Your stupidity hasn’t subsided in 16 hours. At least you’re consistent.–Joe

  8. lurker Says:

    so where are we now for draft order?

  9. Chef Paul Says:

    Schiano said they would turn the corner and win some games and it would be special. Well they won a few games, and it sure hasn’t been special. They just fell back into their losing ways.

    I still don’t understand how it’s just known that Sully isn’t handcuffed by Schiano. It seems to me it’s Sully’s offense and Schiano’s philosophy. I don’t know or really care whose fault it is. It just FEELS like Schiano is getting a total pass on the offense. I still think all day, all Sully hears is, “Run it up the gut, Sully!” All I care about is if the Glazers know whose fault it is and does something about it.

  10. SteveK Says:

    It would be complete bull spit for the Glazers to do “house cleaning” and retain Dominick.

    We are a joke if we fire Greg and retain the “rock star”. 5 year rebuild, no playoffs,18m I’m cap space and a roster that doesn’t have all the pieces.

  11. Eric Says:

    How did we have so many malcontents with such a great GM in charge?

    You know, the guy who drafted leaky who spoiled the locker room.

  12. mvermulm Says:

    I don’t have a problem if they retain Dom. He seems to be the only person who has learned along the way. He was hired during a two-year stretch where the Glazers weren’t going to spend money, and he was given Raheem as a coach. By all accounts, they picked Freeman together, and had a couple bad draft classes. Dom didn’t get Chip Kelly, so he went with the guy who would clean up the culture so the team could rebuild.
    Over the last couple of years, the drafts have been outstanding (not sure how much of that is Schiano’s influence as well, but GMs are supposed to work WITH their supporting staff, but have final say). Dom’s a master with contracts, even when he’s overpaid a couple of players.
    I feel that his biggest mistake this off-season was his belief that the DE position would sort itself out, but maybe he’s learned that you can’t just trust that a player will step up, so you need a contingency plan.
    I would not have a problem if they got rid of everyone, including Dom, but I would also not be upset if they kept him. My problem is that I don’t see who could be brought in for next year that is a guaranteed success as GM or HC.

  13. Chris Says:

    Dom is gone. I think the freeman situation and lack of ability to get a pass rusher since all busted. Goldson wright and nicks signing. All frauds.

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I just don’t think the Glazers have the stomach to make massive changes….I see them forcing a strong OC (not McNulty) down Schiano’s throat and telling him to let him run the Offense.

    And Joe, there is absolutely no way Sully is retained as OC….he is the scapegoat.

  15. mvermulm Says:

    TBBF, I’d welcome the Glazers giving Schiano a strong OC and telling him to worry about everything else. Gruden used to be the HC who focused on the offense while Kiffin ran the defense, and that worked well. Dungy stayed away from the offense in both Tampa and Indy, and that worked well. I think keeping the HC in place for one more season may be the right way to go for stability purposes if there is a new OC, as I think Schiano is learning a bit on defense.

  16. sho-nuff Says:

    all i care about is our coward GM being shown the door….that dude couldn’t hit enough media outlets when HE thought he did good buying busted old free agents and draft picks…to hide like the thin chested boy he is when Schiano was getting massacred….Nope you belieber lovers deserve the emotional yank along with that machiavellian hamster……

  17. Crags Says:

    Donald Penn:

    So he gives up 3 sacks and Joe manages to conclude that Penn still had a good game against Quinn? Why? If Quinn averaged 3 sacks a game, that would give him 48 sacks in a year, which would obviously blow away the NFL record. And, are we not supposed to count sacks in “garbage time”? Does that mean Penn is allowed to take those plays off and get his QB killed? Well, OK, then Penn must have done a heck of a job with the running game. Oh, wait, we rushed for 59 yards.

    Look at the film. One of those sacks wasn’t on Penn, and when the Bucs ran successfully to open the third quarter, it was behind Penn. Obviously, Penn didn’t shut out Quinn like he did last season in Tampa. But the matchup wasn’t as lopsided as it may have appeared.–Joe

  18. JonBuc Says:

    That ( damn lucky ) win over Detroit will be a costly one..even if it sends tough talking arse Jim Schwartz packing. Several draft slots but more importantly gives us the Greggy & Glennon Goat Show for another season. As mentioned by others here, defenses just have to force Glennon out of the pocket and he panics. I swear all of his personal momentum stopped the moment he went Garo Glennon against the Panthers and flipped the ball on the turf and fell down.

    * Agree about more is better bowl games…always some fantastic finishes ( especially in lesser-named ones ) without any of the Gregory agony of Buc defeats.

  19. Mike Says:

    Well Joe…. This may actually be your best Y,T and T post! Couldn’t agree more with you on all things Bucs! Think my biggest agreement is with Glennon. Am I sold on him? No. Do we use him wrong? Yes! I live in NC, so I know all about Glennon. I don’t think it’s Glennon holding himself back from deep throws IMO. Sully is in the trash now! But, I’d like to know if it’s because of Shiano we run this silly offense? In the same breath….. Sully comes from NY and the offenses do match. They both suck!!!! Was talking with a bud yesterday and he was all hate for Glennon and Schiano. I can’t really argue that and won’t. But as I look at things, all coaches should have 3-4yrs to get a team how they want them built. So on that…. I’m at a loss because if Schiano is letting Sully run the O this way then he should be gone for not stopping the pain

  20. Joe Says:

    Thanks for the kind words Mike!

  21. Joe Dunn Says:

    And, it used to be when you clicked on a Hooters pic, the nice large file appeared.

    Now it is small……….. :- (( why is that?

  22. Joe Says:

    Now it is small……….. :- (( why is that?

    Good question.

    It’s a technical issue. Allowing the option to click on the larger picture actually helped slow the site down for Joe’s many mobile users.

    Joe’s not happy about that either, trust Joe.

  23. stevek Says:

    If Schiano is shown the door, then Dominick is outta here too.

    No way around it, our roster is not that loaded.

    Goldson was a terrible signing, and Dominick still found a way to wast 8m on a useless FA DB for the 2nd year in a row.

    GMC is our lone soldier on the D-Line, and we let Mike Bennett and his 9.5 sacks walk for 4.7m…

    Did Dom plan to save 18m in cap space to resign his first and worst draft pick, Freeboy?

  24. Mike Says:

    stevek…. I disagree with Golson. I might agree on to much money, but he is solid. And any time joe! Love the site! Keep em coming!

  25. Mike Says:

    Goldson*

  26. Chef Paul Says:

    I totally agree. If Schiano is fired, Dom has to go too. As disappointed as I am in Schiano, and his coaching ways, I have little doubt he is the reason for the good drafts lately. It’s possible without Schiano we wouldn’t have Lavonte. Schiano says him and Dom have the best working relationship in the NFL. I don’t think a guy like Schiano would say something like that unless he got everything he wanted. And I just plain don’t trust Dom to draft without him.

    But on the other hand, I approve of Dom with Schiano helping him find players.
    So in other words, Schiano covers for Dom’s biggest weakness

  27. tdog23767 Says:

    FYI, Saturday games went bye bye when the NFL went for Thursday nighters all season. It’s too bad, I liked them too.

  28. Bucfan#37 Says:

    A bad year for the Steelers would be a good year for the Bucs.

  29. Bucfan#37 Says:

    Don’t have to worry about Romo choking the NFC East title game away. He is injured and will miss the game. Damn, we don’t get to see America’s Team and Romo blow another game.

 
 

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