Take Care Of The Ball!June 27th, 2012
Trying to remember the Bucs’ 2011 season, including the grotesque 10-game losing streak, it reminds Joe of the fateful night he experimented with peppermint schnapps.
So Joe can understand how new Bucs coach Greg Schiano’s stomach has turned several times over, especially watching so many turnovers.
With this in mind, Joe and other members of the pen and mic club at One Buc Palace over the past several weeks were witness to how taking care of the ball has been a paramount focus of the New Schiano Order.
It has been such a focus that eye-RAH! Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune explained how ball security is so important to right the Bucs ship.
“For everyone who touches the ball, we give specific coaching points about ball security being paramount,’’ said new running backs coach Earnest Byner. “It is consistently emphasized and coached. The bottom line is we can’t score if we don’t have the football.’‘
The three teams with the fewest turnovers—San Francisco, Green Bay and New England—went a combined 41-7 last season. The clubs with the most giveaways—Tampa Bay, Philadelphia and Washington—were a collective 17-31.
“More games are lost than won in this league,’’ Byner said. “That’s because people are giving away opportunities, shooting themselves in the foot.’‘
This can be easily corrected, Joe believes.
First, Josh Freeman had an unthinkable 22-interception season. Say, cutting that in half — not unlikely — would be a big boost right there.
And to see all of the Bucs running backs biting the football in preseason practice, Joe wouldn’t be shocked if the Bucs force more turnovers this season than times they cough up the ball.