Bruce Springsteen, Donald Penn And The Bucs

September 19th, 2009 analyst Steve Campbell is in a Bruce Springsteen kind of mood since last weekend. Today, he branches out a little to give his observation not just on the offensive line, but the team in general.

By Steve Campbell analyst

I had the opportunity to go down to South Florida this past weekend to attend the Bruce Springsteen concert on Sunday night at the Bank Atlantic Center in Sunrise. We arrived Sunday right at 1 p.m., so we were able to watch the Bucs game at Bokamper’s Sports Grill in Plantation.

It’s one of the nicer sports bars I’ve seen. It’s not often that you get a DJ in the middle of the bar to spin records during the commercials. The Dallas game went about like I thought it would. The Bucs defense was actually a little worse than I thought it would be, and the offense was a little better than I expected. So keeping with the Bruce Springsteen theme, here are my observations of the game…

Prove It All Night: Donald Penn has a lot to prove in the 2009 season. When the Bucs or any other team refused to offer Penn a long term contract after the 2008 season, the writing was on the wall for Donald. Penn answered the challenge in the opener by shutting out NFL sack king, DeMarcus Ware. Penn had some chipping help on certain pass plays, but he handled Ware all by himself when he had to. Penn also was impressive in the run game, getting to the second level.

 Hopefully, Penn won’t add weight all season like he did in the 2008 season. He looked a lot lighter on his feet than he did last season

Cadillac Ranch: Can’t say enough that hasn’t already been said about Cadillac Williams’ performance. The guy obviously has a lot of heart to come back from two devastating knee injuries the way he has. Going into the season, I thought Cadillac was the third best option at tailback for the Bucs, and I still think Derrick Ward and Earnest Graham have more well-rounded games than Williams, but if he runs like he did against Dallas, I’m not going to complain.

Blinded By The Light: That was a rather dreadful debut for new Bucs kicker Mike Nugent. I’m not sure the block was his fault, but the miss before halftime was a killer, and had he made it, could have provided some much needed spark going into the locker room. Nugent missed some very makeable field goals in the preseason, so the Bucs better hope this isn’t a season long trend.

Born To Run: The Bucs running game was impressive — 163 yards on the ground between the four running backs is a heck of a way to set the bar for the 2009 season. The zone blocking system usually takes time to pick up, so that should be good news for Bucs fans that the run game started out so strong.

Lost In The Flood: To say the Bucs missed suspended free safety Tanard Jackson is an understatement. Quite frankly, Sabby Piscitelli looks lost playing the safety position. Bad angles, biting on pump fakes, missed tackles… Piscitelli was guilty of all of it. Bucs fans need to hope that Sabby miraculously gets it together against the Bills because Buffalo is better and deeper at wide receiver than Dallas.

Reason to Believe: I was more than impressed with quarterback Byron Leftwich’s performance. Yeah, he missed some throws, but the overall result was about all you could ask for. When you complete 61 percent of your passes for 276 yards and don’t throw a pick or get dropped for a sack, you’ve done pretty well. Look, all quarterbacks are going to miss throws. Romo missed some too the other day. And Leftwich did this in the face of a fierce Cowboys pass rush. I really shudder to think how many times Luke McCown would have been sacked. We all know Byron is just a band aid until Josh Freeman takes over, but this game gave Bucs fans reason to believe that the Bucs will be competitive on offense this season.

3 Responses to “Bruce Springsteen, Donald Penn And The Bucs”

  1. bucsfanlostiniowa Says:

    just a band aid until freeman takes over are you for real or was that a bad joke?!

  2. JoeBucsFanSteve Says:

    Iowa-You don’t think Leftwich is just a temporary starter? What am I missing here?

    Freeman will start in 2010.

  3. bucsfanlostiniowa Says:

    yeah it would be great if he lives up to the fans expectations but he will never be an nfl starter you can tell by looking at him