Not Improving Receivers Could Be “Nightmare”

March 29th, 2010
Not upgrading the receivers could lead to Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman running for his life and perhaps imploding.

Not upgrading the receivers could lead to Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman running for his life and perhaps imploding.

The Bucs have so many needs, that general manager Mark Dominik could throw a dart at a wall and whatever position it would land on would be an upgrade.

Pete Prisco of breaks down what positions the Bucs need help at and has an interesting twist on the Bucs.

Second-year general manager Mark Dominik has a lot of work in front of him. This is a team filled with holes, but they can fill a big one with the third overall pick. They also have two second-round picks.

The Bucs are the perfect case study in how quickly things can turn around in the NFL. They better hope the flip the other way can happen just as fast as the fall.

Prisco lists the Bucs greatest need as wide receiver, not defensive tackle. This gives Joe a chance to detail an item he’s been holding onto for a few days.

Last week on Sirius NFL Radio while co-hosting “The Blitz” with Adam Schein, former NFL quarterback Rich Gannon was discussing why so many quarterbacks taken early in the draft are busts.

The premise is, that for every Peyton Manning, there are a Ryan Leaf, Akili Smith and Tim Couch. Part of that, Gannon said, is that quarterbacks taken high in the draft are often selected by lousy teams, which stands to reason, otherwise the teams wouldn’t be drafting high up the ladder.

One of the reasons why the teams that draft quarterbacks high are lousy is that the teams lack virtually anything on offense: the line is subpar and there are few if any receivers. This, Gannon said, puts a young quarterback behind the eight ball; that young quarterbacks need what Gannon called “protection” with either a decent offensive line in front of them, or weapons to throw to, or both.

While discussing the plight of young quarterbacks, Gannon invoked the name of Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman and the (current) miserable lot of receivers on the Bucs roster. Gannon suggests that unless the Bucs acquire some receivers to help Freeman out, it will be “a nightmare” and that the Bucs are risking Freeman imploding by not upgrading the wide receiver position.

While Joe understands that Gannon is a Chucky acolyte and listens to what Gannon says about the Bucs with a grain of salt, Joe thinks Gannon is right on target in his analysis.

Joe has given Dominik the benefit of the doubt and understands his philosophy. However, Joe is still perplexed by the release of Bryant and the dumpster diving the Bucs have undertaken in an attempt to upgrade the receivers position.

While the Bucs may have thought Bryant was a bad influence, or freelanced too much or may have been an injury risk, can anyone at One Buc Palace look in the mirror and honestly say the Bucs receivers — and indirectly Freeman  — are currently better off without Bryant?

It would be different if the Bucs also had an All-Pro receiver. They don’t.

47 Responses to “Not Improving Receivers Could Be “Nightmare””

  1. Tommy Boy Says:


    Even if we draft two WRs high in the draft our WR Corp, as a whole, is below average. Rookie’s rarely make a year one impact. For every Percy Harvin there is a Dwayne Jarret or Brian Robiskie. Plus rookie WRs that excel usually have a stud QB throwing to them, and Freeman is no where near a stud yet. Not saying he won’t be a great QB but I can’t honestly say that he is even average QB material yet. Whatever the situation will be, once the season starts I’ll be rooting for him nonetheless.

  2. Louie Says:

    Even if they had kept AB, they still needed to draft a WR in one of the first 2 rounds. Freeman is soooo screwed without a bonafide #1 WR.

  3. Eric Says:

    We are lucky if we have a bonafide #4 receiver.

  4. bucfanjeff Says:

    I’ve been hammering this point since it was a public thought. It’s so baffling it has me thinking Mark will make a play for Marshall come draft day with one of our 2nd round picks. Yes, he’s worth the risk – for what a 2nd this year and a pick or 2 in next years talentless draft? Come on Mark.

  5. bucfanjeff Says:

    And Joe, was that a wedding ring on Rachel’s hand in the Bucs video? My condolences. 🙂

  6. Joe Says:

    And Joe, was that a wedding ring on Rachel’s hand in the Bucs video?

    Really? Joe was staring at other things.

  7. Eric Says:


    I had been thinking the same thing, but lost all hope with some of the recent comments from One Buc Place.

    I hope you are right though, that would add instant credibility and a great receiver for Freeman.

  8. Eric S Says:

    Would be shocked if they went after Marshall. Just don’t see it.

  9. Nick Says:

    Perplexed? Well if you are taking the Glazers word that its all about a youth movement then I guess you would be perplexed but since I know its all about money it makes perfect sense!!! Wide Receivers (especially very good young ones) are not very affordable. Hence we will see very poor quality receivers this year except for our draft picks which the Glazers can’t help but pay. Good luck Josh I wish we had different owners for you but this is going to be a very long season.

  10. Tom Says:

    I will say that I don’t recall Tom Brady having a great receiver to throw to until Randy Moss came along and he seemed to fare OK.

    In fact I distinctly remember Brady throwing to mostly Gator receivers(busts) one year without a bona fide number 1…or arguable number 2 and putting up great numbers in the process.

    I guess Trent Dilfer sucked because he never had anyone to throw to. So instead he threw the ball to Packers’ defensive lineman for touchdowns. Or was it that he just sucked…I think the latter.

    WR is a huge, huge hole. But I tend to think Freeman’s career will be made more with solid fundamentals work, good decision making and a set of WR’s that are capable of getting to their spots on the field moreso than any stud number 1.

    Look at how Daunte Culpepper’s career flamed out after leaving Randy Moss. After all of those years with Moss to help Culpepper “mature” as a QB he turned into a pumpkin when he left Minnesota. In case I get knee comments: 1. He was horrible in the games directly preceding the knee injury. 2. Dan Marino had a wide variety of leg injuries which didn’t seem to kill his career, what is Culpepper’s excuse?

  11. Eric Says:


    I was bout to congratulate you on some of the most convoluted logic I have heard in a long time.

    However, in the Dreams interview on PR he said something very similar to your point. You may have your finger on the pulse of what they think at One Buc Place.

  12. RastaMon Says:

    Obviously Gannon has forgotten we have…..
    Michael Clayton

  13. Radio Mushmouth Says:

    Mark Bradley signed his tender today…Our recieving problems are over !!!

  14. Eric Says:


    And big bad Reggie Brown, meanest man in the whole damn town, meaner than old King Kong, and meaaaaaaaaaner than a junkyard dog.

    Or something like that.

    Might be funny if it werent so damn depressing.

  15. Tom Says:

    I just can’t remember a great or HOF QB ever recording a down year which was blamed directly on the fact that he didn’t have a stud number one. When you are a good/great QB, you are capable of getting everyone involved.

    Obviously the better receivers you have the better numbers you can have. But that by no means makes you a better QB. In fact, if I have Moss on my team, then I’m probably going to lob a jump ball 50 yards down field and make other throws I probably wouldn’t dream of if I had a mediocre receiver. Well, what happens when the guy leaves/retires? Was I a better QB because of that? No, I was just a QB who took advantage of a great player.

    That said, the Bucs will take a WR in Rd 2. I can’t imagine a team in this league hasn’t penciled them in with one at 35 or 42. Concern yourself with a team jumping to 34 or 41 and taking a wideout. Especially given the day to redraw the draft boards.

  16. thomas Says:

    reggie brown, mark bradley and according to radio and dummy – the next jerry rice – sammy stroughter are 3 of the top 5 wrs (with clayton and stovall).

    look out league.

    with that group i would put 10 in the box to stop the run. and according to jeff carlson’s analysis of freeman’s delivery he would have a hard time completing 60% of his passes vs. air due to delivery flaws – are passing game is going to be bad.

  17. Eric Says:

    Maybe we should strive for four Clayton’s. That way none of our receivers could get an ounce of seperation, and be covered like a blanket, and our young QB could learn how to throw into a two inch window.

    Also, after the four Clayton’s drop everything, it will build character and teach him to overcome adversity.

    A good receiver would only ruin the man’s development!

  18. TJ Says:

    @ Tom but Brady also is a more polished QB he is in a system that he and the players understand. Freeman is still young and wait Raheem is changing cordinators right now

  19. Jeff Says:

    Tom you have points, but you’re talking about an established Brady and culpepper was only good because of Moss and Carter. Freeman is a developing QB, so it would help a lot – A LOT – to have solid WR talent to aid in his development. However, without that talent could hurt his development because in short time, it makes you second guess decisions.
    (Back to Brady…Troy Brown and David Patten were very dependable WR’s)

  20. Tom Says:

    Let’s take this logic to other sports.

    A. Have you ever heard of a young PF in basketball, where the team openly laments how that PF might never mature unless he has an All-Star PG feeding him the ball?

    B. Have you ever heard of a young pitcher in baseball, where the team expresses the active desire to go out and get the BEST catcher the league has to offer because if he has a mediocre one he will surely fail and or have arm trouble?

    Do you see where I am going with this?

    And yes, the Bucs need better WR’s. The idiots on this board are the ones that think somehow the point I am making means the Bucs shouldn’t upgrade the corp. But there is a difference between getting players who can play adequately and give the QB what he needs and getting players who can cover up mistakes and make up for a QB’s deficiencies.

  21. Tom Says:

    @Jeff much did it cost and take for the Pats to procure the stud receivers known as David Patten and Troy Brown?

    Clearly the Bucs need to trade out of 3 spot so they can get Brandon Marshall, because Freeman would be doomed without him.

    Players like David Patten, Troy Brown(and Ike Hilliard) don’t come around every day you know 😉

  22. Eric Says:


    Im by no means an expert.

    But I believe in the NFl if you don’t have good receiving it causes more trouble than the other sports you mentioned.

    Without a bona fide number one the opposing defense will stack the box, and blitz young Mr. Freeman. A good fast wideout can clear the way for a lot of other openings in the passing game. I think this occurred with AB last year. Opened up a lot of opportunity for WInslow who also made some terrific catches and made the QB look good.

    So, I think your point might be valid for practice or something, but this kid is going to have his head handed to him in the NFl, which would not happen on a basketball court or baseball diamond. Hard to develop much on your back.

    Joey Harrington, Carr, Couch, are some examples of promising guys who had their confidence shot on a bad offensive team.

    But, I gotta give you credit, most interesting point you raised. Id like to hear Mr. Carlson’s take on it.

    My take is surround the kid with as many great receivers as humany possible, like Aikman/Irwin, Bradshaw/Swan, etc, etc. I think almost all NFl coaches and QB’s would concur.

    But, as I said, im no expert.

  23. BigMacAttack Says:

    If the Bucs go all out on defense(in the draft) the offense will come along. 3 and out on defense equals more time and better field position on offense. Trade down if possible to about 10 or so and draft Rolando McClain. He will be a defensive captain for years to build around. Pick up a safety and DT in the second round, and CB in the 3’rd. Draft until round 7 and then find another Stroughter. I agree Freeman will be fine if the WR’s they have just do their jobs, and catch the ball. If nothing else, sign T.O. for a year. Defense wins Championships

  24. BigMacAttack Says:

    So many options, so many possibilities. Olson can’t call plays anyway. Just build the best defense in the NFL and work on shutting out every opponent every week. Win with a field goal or two. Defense, defense, defense = Buc Ball.

  25. Eric Says:


    Normally I would be in full agreement. But these guys drafted Josh Freeman.

    Why? If they are going to go with the Dungy play defense and run the ball approach? Not that its not a proven formula.

    If they wanted that route, use that number one pic last year on defense also.
    Don’t really need a “franchise” guy with your approach do you?

  26. tnew Says:

    He’s still got more weapons than Dilfer had in K2 and a better offensive line. Wouldn’t it be nice to actually assist the young QB out Dom??? Marshall is still out there and may be had on the draft day.

  27. mpmalloy Says:

    I fully agree about the receivers.

    and then worry about the defense.

    I think that hanging Freeman out to dry with no top-shelf wide-outs
    would be inexcusable and remiss.

  28. Eric Says:

    Well, IMO. despite the protestations and excuses from One Buc, the AB thing was about nothing but money, as is the hanging on to the blocking icon. One isn’t on the team because of what he wanted to get paid, the other is on the team because of the fat guaranteed contract. Plain and simple.

    Somebody, I think, is going to get Marshall on draft day for a number 2. Should the bucs take a pass, then the “money is no object” statement made by a Glazer boy recently, is rank BS.

    Its already an insult to everyone’s intelligence.

  29. Eric S Says:

    It would be nice if the Bucs got more weapons for Freeman. It is all about making it easier for him. I am hoping they get a guy who can catch the ball and stretch the field as well. I still await a Bucs team that has an explosive team. I really am amazed that in their history they have only been in the top 15 in scoring 3 times. 34 years with good weather. Absolutely baffling. And all their playoff teams in their history have been led by their D. I want a great offense here for once!

    The NFL is clearly a passing league now. You need to be able to pass well to win it all. Interesting comparisons with the PG and the catcher. The catcher comparison doesn’t really work. A good pitcher doesn’t necessarily need a good catcher back there. He can get the batters. I can see the PG comparison more. A very good/great PG makes the team way better in basketball. He can set people up for easier baskets. The offense just seems to flow better with a great PG. That’s why people are still upset that Atlanta stupidly passed up Chris Paul even though he wanted to play for the Hawks. One of the dumbest draft moves I can recall. Atlanta might be challenging Cleveland right now if they had Paul in their lineup.

    Just like getting good receivers will make Freeman’s job a heck of a lot easier. Sure good QBs can make any receiver better. But Marino had his best years when the Marks brothers were around. All of them complemented each other. I really don’t know if this group of receivers plus a draft pick or two will cut it for the Bucs. And our moronic OC won’t help matters with his brilliant playcalling and not having the right personnel on the field. Not to worry. Our noble leader will just chest bump everyone and make it all right.

  30. Eric Says:

    @”other Eric”

    only been in the top 15 in scoring 3 times?

    Very telling stat for sure. Do you happen to know which three years?

  31. Clubber Says:

    “Let’s take this logic to other sports.

    A. Have you ever heard of a young PF in basketball, where the team openly laments how that PF might never mature unless he has an All-Star PG feeding him the ball?

    B. Have you ever heard of a young pitcher in baseball, where the team expresses the active desire to go out and get the BEST catcher the league has to offer because if he has a mediocre one he will surely fail and or have arm trouble?

    Do you see where I am going with this?”

    Tom – Yes, there have been many cases of basketball teams needed a point guard who could feed the low post and actively sought such a player.

    And yes, there are many instances where a baseball team sought a veteran catcher to handle a young pitching staff so it would keep its confidence. Even the Rays brought in a cathcer like that last year.

    And the Mets did that specifically with Gary Carter to handle all their great young arms in the 80s

  32. Nick Says:

    Eric S makes a great point about stretching the field. Our wide receiver corp does not have a deep threat now that Antonio Bryant is gone. Our receiving corps was pretty pathetic last year and now our best one was shown the door (great move Dominick). In fact team management has completely screwed this position up by throwing boat loads of cash at Clayton. I say we need at least one legitimate deep threat to take advantage of Freemans ability to throw deep. The guy has a cannon and if he can get ANYBODY who can get open beyond twenty yards besides Kellen Winslow that will prevent other defenses from stacking the line all year long. Dez Bryant would be nice but will be gone but I think the Bucs either need to draft 2 wide receivers fairly high or take one in perhaps the second round and find another by trade whether its Brandon Marshall or some scrapheap reclamation project as we love to do. What scares the hell out of me is Dominick and Raheem making the pics. YIKES!!!

  33. Gruden Sucks Says:

    Freeman needs WR in the WORST way. If we can make a play for Marshall. Excellent!!! If not we can draft some. I feel Gilyard or Shipley in the third would be a great pick. Then in the 7th we can draft Mike Williams out of Syracuse and Freddy Barnes out of Bowling Green. Those 3 guys would be an instant improvement over what we currently have.

    I feel the need in the 2nd round should be DE with 2a and OLB with 2b.

    I also think Freeman has the mental toughness to make it another year without supreme talent in the WR position. The above mentioned WR’s along with Straughter and KW2 sounds pretty exciting to me in a couple of years.

    And Nick, how does Dom and Ra making the picks scare the hell out of you. Last year was their only draft and they also had limited time to prepare. We have a “potential” franchise QB (who needs help at WR), a DT in Roy Miller who has enormous upside, especially matched up with Suh or Aluaha. Straughter, a great slot receiver which is very important in todays football. Kyle Moore has talent, time will tell with him. That is 3 starters out of 6 picks and 2 solid depth players (Moore, Biggers). Sounds like a solid draft to me!!!

  34. Gruden Sucks Says:

    Next years WR include Julio Jones, A.J. Green, and atleast 3 other top level WR. My mind is currently drawing a blank. It is late for sure. The talent is there next year to get a real # 1 WR if we can’t pull something off this year. Brandon Marshall and Dez Bryant are the two most talented WR possibilities but both come with baggage and a large contract. I would much rather have Marshall over Bryant.

  35. Eric S Says:

    The three times they were in the top 15 were 1984-14th (Wilder’s great year and McKay’s last season), 2000-6th (KJ’s first season with Bucs, Dunn had great year and King’s only full season as starter) and 2001-15th (B. Johnson’s first season and KJ’s best season catch wise with TB).

    I remember the ’84 season like it was yesterday. McKay worked Wilder to death. Probably shortened his career by a couple of years. In the last game, McKay had Wilder taking kickoffs so he could try to break the combined yardage record (He didn’t get it).

    I did find it interesting that 2 of the 3 seasons were under Dungy. And the best season scoring wise was when King was QB. The point total was helped by 6 D/ST TDs, but even if you take away half of those they would only drop a spot or two. I personally thought that King did a decent job that year. That was the season when Martin G. missed a huge FG on the last game of the season against GB. If he would have made that, the Bucs would have had the #2 seed and a bye. By missing, the Bucs got the WC and had to go to Philly. I swear that Gramatica missed just as many big kicks as he made. That game and several in 2003 gutted the team. I do blame Dungy some for not getting closer for that FG. He played conservatively which many coaches do and that drives me up the wall. You have to wonder how that one tiny FG changed the fortunes of Dungy’s career here and King’s future as the starting QB.

    I found an old scouting report on Reggie Brown. Thought it was interesting.

    Reggie Brown Grade: 3.78
    Position: WR
    Class: Sr
    School: Georgia
    Conference: SEC
    Ht., Wt.: 6-1.5, 196
    40 Time: 4.55
    Selected by: Philadelphia Eagles
    Round 2, pick 3 (35 overall)
    Grading System

    BIO: Two-year starter who led the team in receiving as a senior, posting career numbers of 51/821/6 after 49/662/3 the prior year.

    POSITIVES: Tough, competitive receiver with good size and athleticism. Quickly gets off the line, runs solid routes and comes back to the ball, extending to pull the pass out of the air. Easily adjusts running full speed to catch the errant throw. Tracks the deep throw, gets vertical and positions himself against defenders to come away with the ball. Good eye/hand coordination, effective running after the reception and keeps the play in bounds to pick up positive yardage. Sharp into breaks and stays low on exit immediately positioning himself to make the catch. Strong blocking down the field.

    NEGATIVES: Not a heavy-duty receiver who can catch the ball and take a pounding over the middle. Does not always display great concentration or show soft hands. Could give better effort blocking.

    ANALYSIS: A solid pass catcher in a variety of ways, Brown projects well as a third wideout in the NFL. Should be effective in third-down situations and as a red-zone target with his ability to get vertical and make the grab.

    PROJECTION: Late Second Round

    So they were saying he was probably a #3 guy. We shouldn’t expect him to be the #1 or even the #2. They really need him to resurrect his career or else the Bucs are screwed. I think the best scenario for Brown is to be the #2. I don’t believe we will have a #1 on the team. Clayton, Stovall and Sammie aren’t equipped to be that. It is expecting too much of the 2nd rounder to be that.

    I am intrigued as far as who the Bucs might target in the 2nd. Are they looking for a guy whose strength is catching the ball? Ability to stretch the field? Decent blocker (oh brother)? Guy who is not afraid to go across the middle? Will he be tall or short with good jumping ability? Endless possibilities.

  36. Greg Says:

    Radio Mushmouth is correct all–Mark Bradley signed his tender, and that guy is the shit!!! Oh wait, this isn’t college—yeah, we’re fucked!!

  37. TJ Says:

    I have been reading they are depending alot on Straughter and Winslow which I think they can be good. But since are great coach likes to practice violent like

  38. TJ Says:

    Been Reading tha they are going to Depend alot on Winslow and Straughter. That is good cause they can be great but I will say this since are coach that wants to be like every ohter team loves to practice violent is he goiong to put are two major targets at Risk ? Cause lets be real The only thing in the NFL Guareenteed is Injuries. Winslow has had 2 major knee injuries ,straughter was hurt all through Collage that is why he was a 7 round pick. So then a major problem is Depth cause we are depending on Two guys who might be on there last leg oops we just singed Bradley and Crowell ??????????? When we could have signed Vasher or even Buchannon or how about Holt have no f@@@ing clue what is going on at one bucs place

  39. Eric Says:

    Ah James Wilder was a beast.

    I remember that 84 game. Against the Jets I think. Didn’t Mckay actually have the team lay down to allow a score so Wilder could try and break the record?

    Lets see 1984, would that have been Steve Deberg at QB?

    I also rememer Wilder single handidly destroying the Vikings once, over 200 rushing yards.

  40. Miami bucsfan Says:

    Joebicsfan is a great site but the new mobile format doesn’t work on iPhone. Please change it back so I can continue to read updates on my beloved Bucs.

  41. Joe Says:

    Miami bucsfan:

    Thanks for tipping Joe off. We’ll get this to our IT people.

    Please let Joe know if you are continuing to have issues.

    Oh, and thanks for reading Joe and of course the nice compliment!

  42. Eric S Says:

    Yeah they did lay down for that last Jets TD. But the Jets did not kick to Wilder. Wilder was always my favorite Bucs RB. Mike Alstott could only dream of being as good as Wilder. Deberg did start most of the season. The Throwin Samoan had a couple of starts as well. I can’t believe the Bucs gave up a #1 for him. Around that time they gave up a #1 for Booker Reese as well. Those were dark days in the draft room. Wilder had that big game in ’83. He must have gotten hurt since he missed the last 5 games shortly after the Minn game.

  43. Eric Says:

    Wow, Booker Reece AND the Throwin Samoan. Wasn’t so long till Bo Jackson either.

    Toxic stuff!

  44. Nick Says:

    Grudensucks, the thing that scares me about Dominick and Raheem is that they have misfired on our free agents big time. Antonio Bryant should have been given the money Clayton got and Clayton should have been shown the door. Our secondary was terrible last year and they cut Phillip Buchannon who although maybe only average was leaps and bounds better than some of the waiver wire guys we threw out there last year. The whole defensive offensive coordinator debacle was embarrassing and I could go on. I will give you that last years draft was decent but it only netted one starter unless you now call Straughter a starter. I am afraid very afraid.

  45. Miami bucsfan Says:

    Thanks Joe. All is working again. I appreciate the reset. Couldn’t go without a day of updates….

  46. Joe Says:

    Miami bucsfan:

    More than welcome. Glad Joe could fix it.

    By all means tell your Bucs friends down in south Florida about Joe!

  47. Gruden Sucks Says:

    Nick. The FA has nothing to do with the draft. This year I’m glad we were one of over half the teams in the league and set back and waited around for the 2nd half of FA. I would’ve like D. Robinson but he even got overpaid. And Bryant didn’t deserve 7m a year for his performance last year. Sorry man but I have to disagree with you. Not trying to argue with you about. We just don’t agree and thats ok.