Evidence Of The Rebuilding Mindset

April 14th, 2009
Defensive coordinator Jim Bates says he is unsure the Bucs will know his scheme thoroughly by opening day

Defensive coordinator Jim Bates says he is unsure the Bucs will know his scheme thoroughly by opening day

That painful R word — rebuilding — is something no fan wants to hear about his beloved team. It’s kind of like when a hot girl tells you she wants to be friends first; There are no guarantees and letting the process play out can drive a man crazy.

And that brings us to the Bucs.

Joe won’t accept it and Raheem The Dream and Mark Dominik won’t admit it, but Joe knows the Bucs are rebuilding the club. Simultaneously, they’re praying they catch Lightning in a bottle in 2009 with Luke McCown, as well as hoping the team can quickly adjust to two new coordinators, new schemes and a new head coach. 

Joe’s pulling for a miracle, too, but he is stocking up on Tums, cherry Rolaids and Kleenex.  

For fans still seeking evidence of the Bucs’ rebuilding mindset, Joe directs you to a feature story by FOX Sports NFL writer Alex Marvez. Mr. Marvez spent time with the Bucs recently and got Jim Bates to admit his defense may not be ready on opening day.

All of these changes make the offseason especially important for Bates to install fundamentals. Asked when he expects players to know his system well enough to react instinctively, Bates said, “Before the start of the season, hopefully.”

“It takes every bit (of time) in the classroom and on the field,” he said. “You can’t ever put a timetable on when the athleticism is going to take over and the thinking is limited. Some guys will pick it up quicker than others.”

Joe had a few heart palpitations after reading that. Barring some true draft-day wizardry, the Bucs will have holes and depth issues all over their defense. And now they’ll be short on talent and unlikely to perform instinctively on the field.

Joe can’t help but remember Raheem The Dream saying the Bucs would “Stay The Course” back on his first day on the job. Ha. Now The Dream seems resigned to a total overhaul of the defense and turning it over completely to Jim Bates.

Perhaps The Dream feels he owes Bates that respect after Bates tried to get him a new job, Marvez reports.

Jim Bates said he unsuccessfully tried adding Morris to his 2005 staff in Green Bay wen the latter was Tampa Bay’s assistant secondary coach.

Morris is a Mike Tomlin disciple and leans heavily on Pittsburgh’s head coach for advice. Morris points to the fact Tomlin — who was steeped in the Tampa-Two as a former Bucs assistant — didn’t force Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau to change his renowned zone-blitz scheme. Morris said he was going to treat Bates the same way.

“Our mindset was, ‘Let’s not change what Jim does well,'” Bucs first-year general manager Mark Dominik said last Wednesday between Bucs practices. “Let’s see if we can adopt some philosophies of both systems, but mainly stay within Jim’s system because it has worked.”

That, however, presents a new set of challenges: Dominik admits personnel changes may be needed to make the system click.

Joe is wishing he could just hibernate and awaken for the Bucs first preseason game in August. The anxiety of what 2009 might mean for the once proud Bucs defense is too much to endure every day.

2 Responses to “Evidence Of The Rebuilding Mindset”

  1. MTM Says:

    It has been obvious that the Buc’s are in some mode. But I wouldn’t call it rebuilding. To me rebuilding is adding new additions. To replace ones that are gone or cut (Brooks, June, Dunn etc..).

    This looks more like someone buying a company. That is losing money and then liquidating its assets.

    Dominik/Dream cannot draft enough players .To help fill the many holes that the Buc’s have. Hell the Rays have nothing to spend and they are blowing away the Buc’s brain trust(HA!). When it comes to rebuilding.

  2. casey Says:

    Thanks for the downer Joe. I preferred yesterdays cheerleaders. More bad news would be opening at home against the Giants and then heading to Atlanta and New Orleans in weeks 2 and 3