Not Really A LossMarch 22nd, 2014
Unless you’ve been lounging on a private island off the coast of Belize with zero access to the Interwebs or a TV (that would drive Joe to drown himself after a couple of days), you know the Bucs were really active in free agency.
Some may suggest the Bucs “won” the free agency period, though that usually is a double-edged sword, right Jerry, right Danny?
But it wasn’t as if the Bucs won at every turn during free agency as ESPN’s Pat Yasinskas points out.
Most significant loss: The beauty of this free-agency period is the Bucs didn’t really have any significant free agents of their own. They did lose Dekoda Watson (Jacksonville) and Adam Hayward (Washington). Those losses took away some of their depth at linebacker. More significantly, Watson and Hayward were regulars on special teams, and the Bucs have to find players to fill their roles.
If Adam Hayward is referred to as a loss, there is no way Joe could qualify that as “significant.” Heyward was fine on special teams, but those players are a dime a dozen. The biggest play Joe can think of that Hayward made as a Bucs linebacker was the time he got all handsy with his position coach, Bryan Cox, on the sideline.
Quick, name another play Hayward made. If you have to think or you have to access Game Rewind to answer, then that’s not how Joe defines a “significant loss.”
In 2011, when the Bucs had unquestionably the worst linebacker unit in the NFL, Hayward couldn’t beat out fan favorite Quincy Black or even Geno Hayes for playing time. Says it all.
Now with Watson, he was one of Joe’s favorites, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be missed. Watson, who personified “Buccaneer Man,” had multiple chances (and years) to win a starting job and at best he split snaps at strongside linebacker. Joe’s thinking that Watson may have been better off as a 3-4 outside linebacker.
Watson made some big-time splash plays on special teams, and in that regard, he’ll be missed.