Archive for the ‘THE OPTIMIST’ Category

THE OPTIMIST: Matching The Old Franchise QB

Sunday, November 15th, 2015
America's Quarterback matched a signature Doug Williams moment

America’s Quarterback matched a signature Doug Williams moment

In these unsettled times of devastating Bucs losses, constant change and growing pains, Joe thought it would be wise to bring back THE OPTIMIST.

THE OPTIMIST is Nick Houllis, a Bucs fan and an accomplished writer whose steadfast allegiance to the Buccaneers goes back to the 1970s. Houllis is the founder, creator and guru of BucStop.com, a place Joe goes to get lost in time via Houllis’ stunning video collection.

THE OPTIMIST will shine that positive light in your eyes. Some will love it. Some won’t. … Of course, THE OPTIMIST’s opinions are his alone and are not influenced by Joe. (more…)

THE OPTIMIST: Surging Offense In Place

Sunday, October 11th, 2015
jameis 0921c

THE OPTIMIST lays out the evidence

In these unsettled times of devastating Bucs losses, constant change and growing pains, Joe thought it would be wise to bring back THE OPTIMIST.

THE OPTIMIST is Nick Houllis, a Bucs fan and an accomplished writer whose steadfast allegiance to the Buccaneers goes back to the 1970s. Houllis is the founder, creator and guru of BucStop.com, a place Joe goes to get lost in time via Houllis’ stunning video collection.

THE OPTIMIST will shine that positive light in your eyes. Some will love it. Some won’t. … Of course, THE OPTIMIST’s opinions are his alone and are not influenced by Joe. (more…)

THE OPTIMIST: Success Is Imminent

Sunday, October 4th, 2015
Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter

Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter

In these unsettled times of devastating Bucs losses, constant change and growing pains, Joe thought it would be wise to bring back THE OPTIMIST.

THE OPTIMIST is Nick Houllis, a Bucs fan and an accomplished writer whose steadfast allegiance to the Buccaneers goes back to the 1970s. Houllis is the founder, creator and guru of BucStop.com, a place Joe goes to get lost in time via Houllis’ stunning video collection.

THE OPTIMIST will shine that positive light in your eyes. Some will love it. Some won’t. … Of course, THE OPTIMIST’s opinions are his alone and are not influenced by Joe. (more…)

THE OPTIMIST: Youthful Unpredictability

Sunday, September 27th, 2015
Lavonte David must turn a corner

Lavonte David must turn a corner

In these unsettled times of devastating Bucs losses, constant change and growing pains, Joe thought it would be wise to bring back THE OPTIMIST.

THE OPTIMIST is Nick Houllis, a Bucs fan and an accomplished writer whose steadfast allegiance to the Buccaneers goes back to the 1970s. Houllis is the founder, creator and guru of BucStop.com, a place Joe goes to get lost in time via Houllis’ stunning video collection.

THE OPTIMIST will shine that positive light in your eyes. Some will love it. Some won’t. … Of course, THE OPTIMIST’s opinions are his alone and are not influenced by Joe. (more…)

THE OPTIMIST: Historic Combination Grows

Sunday, September 20th, 2015

jameis 0818In these unsettled times of devastating Bucs losses, constant change and growing pains, Joe thought it would be wise to bring back THE OPTIMIST.

THE OPTIMIST is Nick Houllis, a Bucs fan and an accomplished writer whose steadfast allegiance to the Buccaneers goes back to the 1970s. Houllis is the founder, creator and guru of BucStop.com, a place Joe goes to get lost in time via Houllis’ stunning video collection.

THE OPTIMIST will shine that positive light in your eyes. Some will love it. Some won’t. … Of course, THE OPTIMIST’s opinions are his alone and are not influenced by Joe. (more…)

THE OPTIMIST: Expect Explosive Offense

Sunday, September 13th, 2015
Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter is coming off an amazing season

Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter is coming off an amazing season in Atlanta

In these unsettled times of devastating Bucs losses, constant change and growing pains, Joe thought it would be wise to bring back THE OPTIMIST.

THE OPTIMIST is Nick Houllis, a Bucs fan and an accomplished writer whose steadfast allegiance to the Buccaneers goes back to the 1970s. Houllis is the founder, creator and guru of BucStop.com, a place Joe goes to get lost in time via Houllis’ stunning video collection.

THE OPTIMIST will shine that positive light in your eyes. Some will love it. Some won’t. … Of course, THE OPTIMIST’s opinions are his alone and are not influenced by Joe. (more…)

THE OPTIMIST: Positives Plentiful

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

Jacquies smith 1119In these unsettled times of devastating Bucs losses, constant change and growing pains, Joe thought it would be wise to bring back THE OPTIMIST.

THE OPTIMIST is Nick Houllis, a Bucs fan and an accomplished writer whose steadfast allegiance to the Buccaneers goes back to the 1970s. Houllis is the founder, creator and guru of BucStop.com, a place Joe goes to get lost in time via Houllis’ stunning video collection.

THE OPTIMIST will shine that positive light in your eyes. Some will love it. Some won’t. … Of course, THE OPTIMIST’s opinions are his alone and are not influenced by Joe. (more…)

THE OPTIMIST: McCown Follows November Rule

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

josh mccown 0812In these unsettled times of devastating Bucs losses, constant change and growing pains, Joe thought it would be wise to bring back THE OPTIMIST.

THE OPTIMIST is Nick Houllis, a Bucs fan and an accomplished writer whose steadfast allegiance to the Buccaneers goes back to the 1970s. Houllis is the founder, creator and guru of BucStop.com, a place Joe goes to get lost in time via Houllis’ stunning video collection.

THE OPTIMIST will shine that positive light in your eyes. Some will love it. Some won’t. … Of course, THE OPTIMIST’s opinions are his alone and are not influenced by Joe. (more…)

THE OPTIMIST: Soft Schedule, Draft Dreams And Bucco Bruce

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

In these unsettled times of devastating Bucs losses, constant change and growing pains, Joe thought it would be wise to bring back THE OPTIMIST.

THE OPTIMIST is Nick Houllis, a Bucs fan and an accomplished writer whose steadfast allegiance to the Buccaneers goes back to the 1970s. Houllis is the founder, creator and guru of BucStop.com, a place Joe goes to get lost in time via Houllis’ stunning video collection.

THE OPTIMIST will shine that positive light in your eyes. Some will love it. Some won’t. … Of course, THE OPTIMIST’s opinions are his alone and are not influenced by Joe. (more…)

THE OPTIMIST: Trust The Plan And The Drafting

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

lovie smith 0511In these unsettled times of devastating Bucs losses, constant change and growing pains, Joe thought it would be wise to bring back THE OPTIMIST.

THE OPTIMIST is Nick Houllis, a Bucs fan and an accomplished writer whose steadfast allegiance to the Buccaneers goes back to the 1970s. Houllis is the founder, creator and guru of BucStop.com, a place Joe goes to get lost in time via Houllis’ stunning video collection.

THE OPTIMIST will shine that positive light in your eyes. Some will love it. Some won’t. … Of course, THE OPTIMIST’s opinions are his alone and are not influenced by Joe. (more…)

THE OPTIMIST: Paitence Leads To Pride

Friday, October 10th, 2014

LovieTomlinIn these unsettled times of devastating Bucs losses, constant change and growing pains, Joe thought it would be wise to bring back THE OPTIMIST.

THE OPTIMIST is Nick Houllis, a Bucs fan and an accomplished writer whose steadfast allegiance to the Buccaneers goes back to the 1970s. Houllis is the founder, creator and guru of BucStop.com, a place Joe goes to get lost in time via Houllis’ stunning video collection.

THE OPTIMIST will shine that positive light in your eyes. Some will love it. Some won’t. … Of course, THE OPTIMIST’s opinions are his alone and are not influenced by Joe. (more…)

THE OPTIMIST: Emotions Ruining Objectivity

Saturday, December 24th, 2011

Gut the team but save the coach. That's the refrain from THE OPTIMIST in his latest plea to save Raheem Morris.

You’ve all read THE PESSIMIST, who spews his Bucs-related anger like no other. But Joe also brings you THE OPTIMIST

THE OPTIMIST is Nick Houllis, a Bucs fan and an accomplished writer whose steadfast allegiance to the Buccaneers goes back to the 1970s. Houllis is the founder, creator and guru ofBucStop.com, a place Joe goes to get lost in time via Houllis’ stunning video collection.

THE OPTIMIST will shine that positive light in your eyes. Some will love it. Some won’t. … Of course, THE OPTIMIST’s opinions are his alone and are not influenced by Joe.

Seemingly everyone is hot after Raheem Morris’ job, people were even refreshing their Twitter and Facebook pages this week thinking the Glazers are going to fire Raheem.

I have news for you…the Glazers are the most consistent people on this planet. If they fire Morris — and that’s becoming a bigger “if” each week — they will do on a Friday at 5 p.m. in January. The Glazers won’t be emotion with this decision like the rest of us.

For all we know, the Glazers could be looking at this season with an emotionless outlook, looking at simply the cold hard facts. Changes need to be made, and I’m sure there will be many. I doubt seriously many assistant coaches keep their jobs.

Greg Olson is probably gone, along with the WR coach and RB coach, too, and probably Raheem will lose his D.C. title, and that will be good. But head coach too? Wasn’t it just 8 weeks ago no one was calling for his job? Wasn’t it a year ago we ALL wanted him COACH OF THE YEAR?

Some players have quit on Raheem Morris, and Morris has done one thing honorable, he does not throw players under the bus.

We also know for a fact the lockout affects first- and second-year players the most. It seems like the whole Bucs team falls in this category. You cannot go back on any internet browser using any computer prior to week 6 and find anyone demanding Raheem Morris’ job or Mark Dominik’s. That means you are just using the emotions of this losing streak, and that is quite pathetic to vent on someone, anyone, and the head coach is the easiest target.

I’ll give you a perfect example of how emotions can ruin your objectivity. Take Mark Dominik. All of a sudden, Mark Dominik MUST GO TOO, he is a horrible GM. Really? He was a rock star 8 weeks ago! Everyone wants to bring up Derrick Ward, but you forget about Connor Barth. You bring up Michael Clayton, but Michael Koenen is practically neck and neck with Barth for MVP! Dominik is just following orders, and the Glazers are the ones who need to change the most. How does a rock star GM turn into the worst GM in the world? Losing.

What can a new coach do? You can’t make the players work harder; Morris already has them doing gassers and such, probably the reason the weak-minded players started tuning Morris out. Those players will be gone next year, or not starting. They will then have to PLAY for their jobs, the one mistake this organization really made: giving young kids jobs without earning them.

The BUCS as a whole are guilty of these transgressions:

Gutting the veteran presence that helps young players
Removing experienced leadership from the locker room.
Going way too young with kids that are too ill-tempered
Allowing poor accountability – some players don’t talk to media after a bad day.
Offense gives up the running game too easily
ZERO depth at running back with a feature back that is a one-trick pony.

These are the Glazers problems that THEY created, not just Raheem Morris’ or Mark Dominik’s. Morris is responsible for the lack of accountability, hopefully he sees that and adjusts it accordingly.

LeGarrette Blount should not be the feature back. He doesn’t block or catch the ball. He should be the fourth-quarter closer when the Bucs get a lead, and someone to soften a defense up at the start of a game. Veterans are needed all over the team to provide leadership.

I don’t care about firing Raheem Morris, I’m waiting to see if the Glazers are going to finally spend some money on salaries, because if not, 2012 will bew a campaign against Bucs ownership.

If the Glazers don’t bring in some veterans, if they don’t spend some money and capture some excitement by bringing in one or two TOP-OF-THE-LINE exciting free agents like they did with Keyshawn Johnson, they will have succeeded at becoming the next Hugh Culverhouse, and no one in the Bay area can allow that to happen. But we will wait until next year to see if that happens.

Firing Raheem Morris would bring change, and must be honest, it would be refreshing to see change and to see a positive upswing in everyone’s attitude towards the Bucs.

But I’ve been a Bucs fan through all the losing seasons, when no one liked the Bucs, and I followed them through all of that. Even if next year is a total flop, at least we will know we made the right decision, we’ll have ANOTHER premium draft pick, and a lot of our players will have another year of experience to show what they’ve got.

If you can’t stomach two losing seasons, you can’t call yourself a Bucs fan, because being a Bucs fan has ALWAYS been about following a losing football team. That’s our history. That’s our legacy. It’s called patience.

THE OPTIMIST: Raheem Shouldn’t Take The Fall

Saturday, December 10th, 2011

You’ve all read THE PESSIMIST, who spews his Bucs-related anger like no other. But Joe also brings you THE OPTIMIST

THE OPTIMIST is Nick Houllis, a Bucs fan and an accomplished writer whose steadfast allegiance to the Buccaneers goes back to the 1970s. Houllis is the founder, creator and guru of BucStop.com, a place Joe goes to get lost in time via Houllis’ stunning video collection.

THE OPTIMIST will shine that positive light in your eyes. Some will love it. Some won’t.

We have now seen the Bucs fall and trip over themselves for six straight games. The defense has crumbled to 1985 proportions, and maybe even worse. The Bucs are on pace to give up more points than any Bucs team ever since that era.

The outside linebackers are completely outclassed, and the secondary is shamefully not tackling anyone, other than No. 20.

We can’t complain about the loss of Gerald McCoy because other teams have injuries, look at the Houston Texans. They were down their best D-ineman and wide receiver, and blew us out of the Bay.

This team has only one running back, and the Bucs offensive coordinator doesn’t know how to use him. Not that it’s Greg Olson’s fault that LeGarrette Blount doesn’t know how to pass protect yet, or is it? Maybe our running back coach is to blame.

Speaking of coaches, that’s the first place everyone wants to go. Even the diehard fans are calling for Raheem Morris’s head. Well, before I do that, it’s time to pass some of the blame around. Namely, the Glazers; owners since 1994.

How do you fire the head coach you promoted to the job and told him to be patient and make this team win with a college all-star team? There are three veteran free agent players on this team right now that don’t work on the offensive line.

Kellen Winslow, Ronde Barber, and Michael Koenen. Don’t be surprised the punter is on this list; the two kickers for the Bucs are in a dead heat tie for 2011 Team MVP right now. My money is on Connor Barth by a nose.

The Glazers are the ones most responsible for this poor product. Coaches coach, players play. Right now this young coaching staff probably has some turnover in store for it, but head coach is probably not one of them. It was the Glazers who instituted this plan in the first place. Build a team through the draft, pile up draft picks and field a team so we can see where free agents are needed. Well, we now know where the holes are, so now your going to get rid of the coach?

It doesn’t make any sense, and that is why I’m still behind Raheem Morris keeping his job, because there are too many indications in history of this sort of thing happening. It may not happen to this degree, but then again show me an example of a team of players so bad before.

Bottom line is anyone who is upset is guilty of putting too much stock into the Bucs 10-6 season last year, and the notion there would be guaranteed improvement. Last year the team overachieved, but this year it’s underachieving. But we all built up our expectations too much. Most people predicted the Bucs would be 6-10 or 7-9, and that’s probably where the Bucs are headed, so what’s the problem?

If Raheem Morris is fired, it will be a done deal, and it will probably shock no one. But ask yourself this one question: you knew it was a long-term deal, you were prepared to undertake it. Is one more year so much to ask to make sure you don’t make a mistake and set the franchise back 3-to-5 years?

THE OPTIMIST: Time To See Fresh Faces

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

You’ve all read THE PESSIMIST, who spews his Bucs-related anger like no other. But Joe also brings you THE OPTIMIST

THE OPTIMIST is Nick Houllis, a Bucs fan and an accomplished writer whose steadfast allegiance to the Buccaneers goes back to the 1970s. Houllis is the founder, creator and guru of BucStop.com, a place Joe goes to get lost in time via Houllis’ stunning video collection.

THE OPTIMIST will shine that positive light in your eyes. Some will love it. Some won’t.

The Bucs have gone from 4-2 to an unbelievable 4-7 record, and while the playoffs are not completely out of reach due to the losses of the Bears and Giants in Week 12, the Bucs are three games out of a Wild Card spot.

With only five games remaining, it’s unlikely that’s within reach, but it’s important not to give the team the message “We’re giving up!”

As far as what Bucs take the field, we already know what E.J. Biggers can do (or rather cannot do, as in tackle). We already know about Myron Lewis, though maybe we need to see a little more. But what about the young guys that the future of this secondary depends on? Larry Asante was picked up last year, and we’re to guess that he’s not playing because he is not as good as the rest, but maybe Asante is one of those players who come on when the lights do?

How about Anthony Gaitor, the rookie from Florida International the  Bucs drafted this season? Number 24 has only been seen a few short  times, against New Orleans at home and against the 49ers, where he  recorded one solo tackle in each.

Mossis Madu should be given some time at tailback if he’s capable of  blocking for Josh Freeman on thrid downs, otherwise Blount should be given  more time and Freeman should be told to be alert, so he doesn’t turn into a splat on the ground like Tony Romo last year.

As we saw in typical fashion Sunday, Kregg Lumpkin cannot be counted on as a running back. His failure to pick up a solid foot on 3rd down in the  fourth quarter was just one example of his poor ability to run the ball. We just don’t want to see Freeman get hurt.

Speaking of Freeman, if he keeps locking in to No. 82., then take Kellen Winslow Jr. out and put in Luke Stocker so we can see what he offers. He seems to have good hands, and he’s the future at tight  end, Lets see if this ends up being an improvement or not. Stocker  was taken high in this year’s draft, he is a premium pick, play him,  start him, use Pianalta for two TE sets for blocking, because we all  know K2 cannot block, and when he tries, yellow ensues.

The Bucs don’t have to do all of these things at once. Maybe  implement one or two players each game along the way.

Next season is going to require at least a few free agent acquisitions, and Bucs fans are NOT going to cheer another speech by Mark Dominik on how the Bucs are going to entirely with the draft.

Otherwise the stadium will be empty and frankly, Raheem Morris wouldn’t survive another underachieving season.

THE OPTIMIST: Defending Gerald McCoy

Saturday, November 5th, 2011

You’ve all read THE PESSIMIST, who spews his Bucs-related anger like no other. But Joe also brings you THE OPTIMIST

THE OPTIMIST is Nick Houllis, a Bucs fan and an accomplished writer whose steadfast allegiance to the Buccaneers goes back to the 1970s. Houllis is the founder, creator and guru of BucStop.com, a place Joe goes to get lost in time via Houllis’ stunning video collection.

THE OPTIMIST will shine that positive light in your eyes. Some will love it. Some won’t.

Ask your average Bucs fan what he thinks about Gerald McCoy, and you’ll get every grade in the book.

You’ll hear what a future star he is, and you’ll get the “bust” word, too. He get’s compared to Booger McFarland and, of course  Warren Sapp. The truth is, he is all of those, and none of them.

McCoy only has 18 games to his credit. He started from Day 1 in 2010, but was injured and his season was over after week 13. Some would say McCoy was just starting to come on around week 9 playing Carolina at home. He had his first five-tackle
day, with two passes defended and a fumble. The next week he got his first sack against the 49ers, then two more sacks the next week against Baltimore. After that McCoy went down.

This year McCoy got a sack in week 4 vs. the Colts, part of a six-tackle night. He got hurt the next week at San Francisco and should be back for the Saints game this tomorrow. What is not measured, however, is the penetration that McCoy gets and the 
disruption that makes QBs feel uneasy. It’s exactly what he did in college, and it’s exactly why the Bucs drafted him. It’s also the same reason Bucs fans are calling him a bust.

To understand we have to do a little history lesson; Gerald McCoy’s best year at Oklahoma got him 6.5 sacks, his junior season. He went down to six in his senior year, with a grand total of 14 sacks in all three of his years with the Sooners. The Bucs did
not draft a sack machine; they drafted a defensive tackle that brings an explosive first step, quick penetration, major disruption; everything the Bucs covet from the position.

The problem in all of this is a fella we see on the NFL Network who is headed to Canton one day. Warren Sapp played the 3-technique on the Bucs D-Line just as McCoy does, but as I said, Sapp is headed to the Hall of Fame one day. Sapp is one of a kind,
once in a  lifetime. To expect GMC to be another Sapp would be the same as the 49ers to expect Alex Smith to be another Joe Montana, or Bills running back Fred Jackson to be another Thurman Thomas.

Will Gerald McCoy play better? Truthfully he’s not playing that bad right now.

He is causing disruption, and that’s what the Bucs want. In the future, you’ll hear his name more and more, but it may not be sacks, it may just be pressures, which do a lot of the same thing — create turnovers.

This info. is not lost on the Bucs; they know quite well what kind of player GMC is. And yes, spending a top pick on a DT who can
control the line of scrimmage and do what you want him to do IS worth the pick.

What the Bucs are doing is drafting defensive ends around McCoy who can bull rush to the QB. The sacks won’t come from the defensive tackle positions, but from the ends instead. You can only double team one or two players; someone else is going to get to the QB.

THE OPTIMIST: Defense Improvement Is Clear

Monday, October 31st, 2011

You’ve all read THE PESSIMIST, who spews his Bucs-related anger like no other. But Joe also brings you THE OPTIMIST

THE OPTIMIST is Nick Houllis, a Bucs fan and an accomplished writer whose steadfast allegiance to the Buccaneers goes back to the 1970s. Houllis is the founder, creator and guru of BucStop.com, a place Joe goes to get lost in time via Houllis’ stunning video collection.

THE OPTIMIST will shine that positive light in your eyes. Some will love it. Some won’t.

We’re one game away from the halfway point in the Bucs’ regular season and so far, at least, the team strategy is starting to take form.

The Bucs spent the first two picks of the 2010 NFL Draft on defensive tackles Gerald McCoy and Brian Price. McCoy played last year until his Week 11 injury that cost him his season. Brian Price only got into a couple games last year as he had a freak injury, but he’s back and thriving and should finish up the year alongside McCoy, who is due back from an ankle injury on Sunday.

This year, the Bucs spent their top two picks on defensive ends, and that is paying dividends almost immediately. Second round pick Da’Quan Bowers is coming along nicely, but top selection Adrian Clayborn is leading the team with three sacks.

That ranks him 28th in the NFL, but last season, no one from the Bucs even made the first page. The top sack man in 2010 was Stylez G. White and Clayborn needs only 1.5 sacks the rest of the way to equal that mark. Clayborn has actually come on fire lately, and he could easily break Lee Roy Selmon’s rookie record of five QB takedowns set back in 1976.

But football is a team sport, and stats are for losers, right? Well, our Bucs have improved in D-line play as a team, too.

Statistically, the Bucs are ranked 28th in total yards against, 26th against the pass and 22nd against the run. Out of 32 teams, they are 23rd in sacks. In the running game, they are 18th in allowing 4.5 yards per play.

In 2010, the Bucs were 28th against the run, giving up 132 yards per game. So far this year it’s 123 yards per game. But instead of being 23rd in sacks, last year they were 31st out of 32 teams. Only Denver was worse.

Not only that, but in three of their seven games this season the Bucs have held the opposing offense to under 100 yards combined rushing. In 2010, the Bucs only had four games all year that they didn’t give up over 100 yards rushing. Clearly the defensive line is making a difference.

Middle linebacker is also an improvement this year and responsible for the Bucs slight but still apparent move up the charts.

It may not be earth-shattering, but the dominant Bucs defense of old wasn’t built overnight, either.