THE OPTIMIST: The Better Bucs Team Returns

July 26th, 2010

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

THE OPTIMIST is Nick Houllis, a Bucs fan and an accomplished writer whose steadfast allegiance to the team goes back to the 1970s. Houllis is the founder, creator and guru of, 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.

Now writing on a variety of websites, I find a common comment I get to my articles a little annoying. No matter what it is I’m saying about the Bucs, there will always be someone somewhere who feels the need to remind me that last year the Bucs won only three games.

“Anyway you look at it, this is a 3-13 team,” or something like that.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all against taking splits and counting them as is. I would never call the 2008 team an 0-4 team, nor would I call it a 9-3 team. They were 9-7; Jeff Garcia pretty much started each game, and you can’t really feel the team played that much different when Brian Griese started in his place.

Even though Luke McCown started a few games in 2007, it wasn’t that different of a team from Garcia’s to change the record of the ’07 Bucs; they were 9-7, too.

Well, let me tell you something, last year’s Bucs team had two different records because it was two different teams.

And NO, I don’t mean the team’s were split by their starting quarterbacks. You have the First team, which  was Byron Leftwich/Josh Johnson/Josh Freeman playing with Jim Bates’ defense, and then the Second team with Freeman and Raheem Morris as defensive coordinator.

You cannot even think about the 2010 Bucs’ chances against the Cleveland Browns and start thinking about the Josh Johnson-led Buccaneers playing against the Philadelphia Eagles. It’s just not the same team folks, and that is something a lot of people are going to have a hard time understanding; the difference.

The 1986 Bucs were a 2-14 team; they played the same way in the beginning and end of the season, and there was no mistaking the way they approached the game.

Last year, the Bucs teams that played the Saints and Seahawks would have easily handled the Redskins, Cowboys, and Panthers (at home), and probably would have fared a lot better against Buffalo, too.

Of course, you just can’t do that, this is the National Football League, and what you see is what you get.

There is going to be a Morris-led, Tampa-2 style defense taking the field in September that won’t be wondering ‘how do we play this new system?’ Instead, it will approach the gameplan like a defense that has been to war together before, and it should be better prepared than a 2009 Jim Bates defense to take over a Browns team that will look more similar to the ‘09 Bucs than anything else — a little green and a little like a team that only won a few games last year.

19 Responses to “THE OPTIMIST: The Better Bucs Team Returns”

  1. Matt Says:

    Completely agree.

  2. JimBuc Says:

    Oh my. Time to duck and cover because there is an entire army of “haters” that will go nouts when they read this article. 🙂

  3. JimBuc Says:

    LOL. I was so scared my tpying was off — “nuts” not “nouts”

  4. ZeroExpectations Says:

    JimBuc, you sure seem to know a lot about nuts! 🙂

  5. JimBuc Says:

    Way to add something to the conversation Zero. You must be proud to have come up with that one all on your own.

  6. Gary Says:

    Nice read optimist, but get ready for a bunch of those comments you hate.

  7. Not A Rocket Surgeon Says:

    The real bottom line:

    “…It’s just not the same team folks, and that is something a lot of people are going to have a hard time understanding; the difference…”

    So, the [b]realistic version[/b] (neither pessimistic nor optimistic) for the defense is summarized quite clearly in the last paragraph…

    “..There is going to be a Morris-led, Tampa-2 style defense taking the field in September that won’t be wondering ‘how do we play this new system?’ Instead, it will approach the gameplan like a defense that has been to war together before…”

    The offense is the question mark, and still – one that will not be answered until sometime around mid-season.

  8. big007hed Says:

    I agree that this is a very interesting article. I am anxious to see how this whole team plays out, very excited for training camp to start to see which guys stand out and then of course the season starts!!!

  9. eric Says:

    “Morris-led” is the unrelenting flaw in the post.

    Also, didn’t that “second team” get humilated by the Jets and run over by the Falcons ?

    But, the Brownies will be here soon enough. Surely that second team can beat those guys.

  10. ZeroExpectations Says:

    Eric, perhaps you shouldn’t partake in this optimist circle jerk, for JimBuc already has hoarded all the nuts he can handle, in his mouth. Badda bing! 🙂

  11. Not A Rocket Surgeon ;P Says:

    oh, but don’t forget the entire quote “Morris-Led Defense”… I’m cool with that…

    Still to be seen about the Olson-Led Offense and Morris led team…


  12. JimBuc Says:

    Zero — once again you seem to have a fascination with my nuts? Man, you are apparently a freaking wack job. Can we keep it to football or can you at least stop focusing on my nuts?

    Sorry Joe, but some comments just cross the line. Not sure why this guy is stalking me or talking about my nuts. Trying to keep it just football.

  13. eric Says:

    Not since the Constitutional Convention of 1786 have such great minds gathered to discuss the signifcant issues of the day.

  14. Capt.Tim Says:

    Eric- lol, we do produce some impressive moments, don’t we!

  15. Not a Rocket Surgeon Says:

    Some of these comments are out of line, sure… but they carry a lot of weight in middle school.

    Ignoring some of the personal attacks will do wonders – seriously.

  16. Capt.Tim Says:

    I think the optimist is a full blown genius! I agree with everything he said, and printed this article out, so I can re-read it frequently! 🙂 great to see a positive spin on the upcoming season. The Bucs aren’t as bad as they played last year, and I believe Josh “Neo” Freeman is the real deal! I actually do believe this team can make a big turn around! If it does, that Chevy sized omelet I spoke of is gonna leave lot if Egg on the faces of the “Slow Squad”! You fellas might wanna have a few napkins lying around for game one with the Brownies!

  17. tampa2 Says:

    If Morris was such a genius why did it take him 10 games to realize that our defensive players might just play the defense they were “trained to play under Kiffin” their entire careers better than the new defensive scheme they couldn’t play? Morris led, what a crock!

  18. Not A Rocket Surgeon :P Says:

    I’m pretty sure no one is calling Morris a genius. But, suffice to say he did see writing on the wall, and had the sack to change things.

    2010 is the year of judgement. No excuses.

  19. mr. bob Says:

    i love this site————i am with “the optimist” —-there is good in anything if you look at the glass half full———-

    almost as good is reading the pessimists as they chime in with their negative trash———no room on the band wagon for you—-