Where Art Thou No. 3 Receiver?October 11th, 2013
Yes, Joe is a fan of Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik. That doesn’t mean Dominik is a deity and is perfect.
For months Joe banged his fist on bars, careful to not spill any beer, over the fact Dominik (unless the move was directed by the hands of Bucs commander Greg Schiano) let Michael Bennett go. Yes, yes, yes. Bennett was damaged goods. But as — of all people — Raheem Morris once said, “I will tolerate you until I can replace you.” Bennett and his team-leading sacks as a defensive end have not been replaced.
If the Bucs had kept Bennett and he was unable to make a go of it physically, then you either cut him or make a medical settlement. It’s not like the Bucs were in salary cap hell. Expecting Da’Quan Bowers — who can’t even crack the starting lineup — to replace Bennett was a swing and a miss worse than a Karlos Pena at-bat.
Another whiff was at No. 3 receiver. Kevin Ogletree was simply a bad, bad, bad mistake. He was terrible. Joe had learned that on the morning he was released, Ogletree needed a driver to whisk him away from One Buc Palace because Ogletree kept dropping his keys.
Not having a No. 3 receiver really seems to be hurting the Bucs offense, types Woody Cummings of the Tampa Tribune.
In an effort to spark the deep passing game that was a signature element of the 2012 offense that ranked ninth in the league, the Bucs are also considering using Eric Page, Russell Shephard and Jeff Demps as receiving options.
In other words, the third receiver’s job is wide open.
“We need all our guys to bring their ‘A’ game so that we can add something to Vincent and Mike,” coach Greg Schiano said. “We just have to figure out who and what package gives us the best chance to move the ball.”
Needing a No. 3 receiver, a reliable one, has been a deep void this season, partially because the Bucs currently have no tight end to speak of. The Bucs still believe Tom Crabtree was a gem of a find. He may be, but he hasn’t played yet because of injury.
Joe knows in the Bucs offense, a tight end is not a valuable commodity. Joe understands this simply drives fans up a wall but unless offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan is replaced, that’s the way it is going to be, good, bad or indifferent.
Without a tight end, even as a last option (don’t get Joe started on Luke Stocker), that makes the No. 3 receiver position even more critical.
With no viable tight end until Crabtree returns to the lineup, and without a solid No. 3 wide receiver, this really limits Mike Glennon’s options and also allows opposing defenses the ability to lock up Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams.