THE OPTIMIST: Bucs Preseason Particularly Telling

August 19th, 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.

While everyone says you can’t learn too much from the preseason, when it comes to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, you can get quite a lot from it, if you know where to look.

To be sure, preseason is a glorified practice, and the Bucs are actually an OVER .500 team in preseason (74-70) compared to their regular season totals (204-328-1). In their history, this .383 team that would have to go 10-6 every year until the year 2041 to become break-even, .500 club lifetime!

Yet each year, we are able to take something from preseason that, if we look close enough and carefully, can give us a glimpse into what is in store for Bucs fans in the coming year.

In 1997, Bucs starters were able to outscore their preseason counterparts in the first period of combined games that year, as well as hold them scoreless in three-fourths of them; The result was a Bucs team that went 10-6 and had a very good defense.

In 1999, Bucs starters gave up only two field goals and one TD. They didn’t give up much more during the regular Season, either, on their way to an NFC Championship game appearance.

To be sure, judging preseason performance does not always guarantee similar regular season achievements, but it doesn’t hurt.

In 2008, both the Patriots and Texans combined to outscore the Bucs starters 13-0, the Dolphins game was scoreless, and the Patriots fell behind to the Bucs starters 7-0 on a fumbled snap by Tom Brady’s backup that Sabby Piscitelli took in for a score. We all know what 2008 brought us, and in 2009 more of the same, as the Bucs were outscored 10-6 in the first quarters on their way to a three-win season.

So did we learn anything from Saturday night in Miami? Perhaps. But it definitely will take more than one rehearsal for people to glean an understanding of what could be in store for Bucs fans this year, but we do have this much to go on so far:

1)   Josh Freeman in his two series exhibited the good composure and poise shown at times last year. And he showed us that his offseason of schoolwork has familiarized himself with the offense. Freeman could be seen checking down and going through his progressions, as opposed to the Jets game last year where he stared down his receivers resulting in trouble.

2)   Cadillac Williams shows absolutely NO signs of wear and tear from the two knee surgeries he underwent. He may not break a 65-yard TD this year, but likewise he won’t be tackled for no gain that often either.

3)   The wide receiver position may go from a NEED to satisfactorily stocked overnight. Sammie Stroughter looks to step up from a solid offseason. And rookie Mike Williams who may have Rookie of the Year talent judging by his performance in camp and in Miami.

4)   Gerald McCoy’s name alone is drawing him double teams, and Left DE Kyle Moore made the best of it Saturday.
Again, it’s too early to tell, so we can only make guesses, but for the first time in a while, the guesses have some nice answers to them for a change.

37 Responses to “THE OPTIMIST: Bucs Preseason Particularly Telling”

  1. Gary Says:

    If the same things play out this weekend on normal field conditions I will start getting really excited. For now, its just a very good step 1, but we could still trip on step 2 and fall down. I’m sure they won’t, but lets see what happens.

  2. sensiblefan Says:

    Ahhhh…there’s nothing like the smooth sounds of the Optimist in the middle of my afternoon lunch. Thank you good sir.

    *sipping Pewter and Red-colored Kool-aid*

  3. big007hed Says:

    I am a fan of the Pewter kool-aid LOL
    I liked what I saw on Saturday but it was still a preseason game so I am not all that amped about it, now if the starters play that well all preseason then I will be even more stoked for the season

  4. Rican Says:

    It’s very refreshing. Amps my excitement up tenfold.

  5. eric Says:

    Ill believe it at halftime of the Cleveland game if we aren’t down 17-3.

  6. big007hed Says:

    i wish there was a way to just block posters like eric from showing up when i am on JBF, it is ridiculous reading posts from a internet troll like that

  7. Capt.Tim Says:

    The best reason to be optimistic, is the fact that the team looked organized! None of the confusion or “lost” look the team had last year. The schemes look effective. The players know the schemes, and seem to like them. That’s the biggest reason for optimism, in my humble opinion.

  8. eric Says:

    Sorry, didn’t mean to cause a ripple on the pond of pre-season euphoria.

  9. sensiblefan Says:

    @ eric

    Booooooooo!!!!!!! You’re messing up our high man! *hippie kid voice*

  10. eric Says:

    Ok, I got some private stash i have been holding for awhile. I’m good till the season opener.

    I loooooooooooooove Rahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

  11. McBuc Says:

    Don’t bust too hard on Eric, he does actually post good things when he sees them, and he has shown the ability to admit when he is wrong. Last week it only lasted two days, so if the Bucs have a good showing Eric may be happy all the way to Wed.

  12. Sander Says:

    The use of 2008 as an example of poor preseason => poor regular season is really weird given the fact that the Bucs played well until the very end. Unless you think that preseason games are somehow predictive of the last few games of a season instead of the first games, using that year makes no sense.

    And Steve White has explained how ‘drawing double teams’ isn’t all that special. Remember, Dre Moore drew double teams too this preseason game.

  13. sensiblefan Says:

    LMAO! Nice one Eric.

  14. bucfanjeff Says:

    Cleveland – we know Jake Del-homie, get a little pressure on him and he’ll crack. Name one WR they have that is better than our backups – really.

  15. oar Says:

    Other than old man Bobby Engram, the Cleveland Dawg’s WRs stable looks a lot like ours. Young and a handful of “who knows” rookies.

  16. Javier n Wimauma Says:

    The problem with this optimist is he just generally talks about the Bucs on a positive note. But he doesn’t provide any real substance that makes you believe what he thinks is so hunky dory.

    He said Caddy may not break 100 yd runs but at least won’t have too many zero yard runs?

    He talks about the WRs not being a need anymore, then goes on to say that Mike Williams had a remarkable game? He had one nice catch, I liked it, but it doesn’t mean he had a great game. I mean if one catch is all you need for a great game then Mike Clayton would be in the hall of fame.

    Look, the Buccaneers have had many wins in the pre-season, we lost that one, and they have had guys look like BEASTS over that history. Doesn’t everyone remember Bruce Gradkowski? Josh Johnson? Derrick Watson (i liked that guy too), Earnest Graham (the one fairy tale that came true), and we have had other WRs and QBs that looked great in the pre-season as well.

    One catch doesn’t make you great. But for Williams, I do have high hopes, he sure looks the role of a beast. Stroughter, he sure looks like the second coming of Wes Welker in the slot. And I hope Benn pans out too.

    But, there is a lot more pain before there is reason to be chippy around here.

    My prediction: Raheem will lose us so many games and decisions, that the talented Bucs will have to let him go and get a real coach who can coach in the NFL (Cowher) and make use of this talent.

  17. Dave Says:

    Javier n Wimauma

    You people who constantly jump all over Raheem are getting annoying and pathetic. The guy was stuck in a complete no win situation : a rebuilding team, with no vets, no coordinators and no QBs. He made some mistakes early (with the coordinators) and had the balls to correct it before it went to far. Major progress was made as the season went on. This offseason has been night and day compared to the dysfunctional one last year.
    Yes he deserves some blame, but he deserves some credit for righting the ship, getting things settled and organized, and helping to lay the foundation for another decade. The Glazers are not stupid. They will give him the time needed, which is this year and next. As long as there is not a compelte meltdown and some progress is shown, he will be back next year and this team will be vying for a playoff spot.

    As far as Cowher, I would not have minded him 2 years ago, but not now. The players and the foundation is there and NONE of it on offense and especially defense fits Cowhers mode. IF they brought him in next year it would set the rebuilding process back 2 years.

    Besides, when has Cowher ever had a good offense? I know Tampa is about defense, but they are poised with the young talent that could end up being the best offense we have ever seen in this town. Cowher would come in and set that back too.

  18. eric Says:

    Best Offense we have ever seen in this town!

    Sorry, not even the weed can smooth that out!


    please stop it, I can’t stand it……………………and Morris is better than Cowher too!


    Night and day improvement before we play a down!

  19. Javier n Wimauma Says:

    I know Eric, I know.

  20. Javier n Wimauma Says:

    Hay David

    Bill Cowher has more wins than Tony Dungy.

    He also has more wins than Tony Dungy AND Raheem Morris combined. (Which OBVIOUSLY isn’t saying much).

    He has more wins than Jon Gruden, only the best coach to ever coach the Tamap Bay Buccaneers, more Super Bowls, NFC championships, Division titles and wins than any coach in Tampa’s history.

  21. Mr. Lucky Says:

    Sorry but i couldn’t stomach the first 2 paragraphs of the Optimist without losing my lunch.

    Someone PLEASE tell me what the Bucs Pre-Season record of years past has to to with this current team? Except for Rhonde Barber who is left from the 2007 season? Clayton? That’s reassuring.

    I guess that’s why Joe hates fantasy football because people like the Optimist use numbers for inappropriate things.

    Not Optimist but PollyAnna maybe…..

  22. Mr. Lucky Says:

    Having recovered from the first part of the article I will agree with the Polyanna about points 1 & 2. In fact I’ll almost agree with him about #3 (Mike Williams and Sammy S.) but I’m not breaking out the champagne yet.

    And yes I’m STILL upset that Rah didn’t have the offense try and SMASH the ball into the endzone on 3rd and 4th down with goal to go. I don’t like excuses – I like RESULTS and in the NFL that means a W not an L

    Preseason or not…. 🙁

  23. Mr. Lucky Says:

    To Mr Bighead regarding your comment to/about Eric.

    Don’t you find it INTERESTING that when a person can’t dispute another person’s opinion they just attack the person and call them a troll? Keep that up and you can get a job with the Obama administration in their speech writing department.

  24. Jdouble Says:

    4) Gerald McCoy’s name alone is drawing him double teams, and Left DE Kyle Moore made the best of it Saturday.

    Uhhh..Kyle Moore? Don’t you mean Michael Bennet?

  25. Tye Says:

    It will be interesting to see how optimistic he is, or anyone for that matter, IF the Bucs are 1-7 come mid-season!!! I can only imagine what excuses some people will come up with then to keep this Rah another year.

  26. Capt.Tim Says:

    Eric, javierahdom,mr. licky. Noone here gives a crap about Cowher. You 3 can run blow him kisses if ya want. The rest of us are interested in this year, and the Bucs- not some fantasy land team you guys seem to hallucinate about all the time! In between yer “trips” to magic pony world, where you watch the ” the dream land Bucs”, swing by here! We’ll keep you in touch with life here in reality!

  27. Capt.Tim Says:

    Tye- why don’t you use that brilliant imagination of yours to ” imagine” the Bucs at 7-1! Or can you only “imagine” B.S.? Meybe you can “imagine” me shooting you a bird, there, Spongebob!

  28. Mr. Lucky Says:

    Capt Tina, Who mentioned Cowher?????

    Sure I would have choosen him in a heartbeat but it is what it is….I haven’t written anything anti-Morris in a least ….well…48 hours!!!!

    In my 3 prior posts on this subject where did I write ANYTHING negative?

    I disagreed with the Optimist about using past-performance of Buc teams to predict/project present achievement. What’s wrong with that????

    I agreeded with the Optimist about Freeman, Caddy and Williams as well.

    Am I upset because the Bucs lost when I felt they should have won? Yes. I guess that makes me a ‘bad fan’?

    Once again I challenge you when you disagree with something I post to point out why you feel I’m incorrect and to stop attacking the poster – it really is more productive.

  29. Mr. Lucky Says:

    not to mention more civilized. 😉

  30. Tye Says:

    Capt.Tim- I’m sure your Mommy and Daddy must be really proud of you…. OH, and Maybe is spelled with an A NOT an E…. OK!

    I did say “IF” in my origianl comment. As a man of Faith I struggle to find any faith in the direction this Team is going. It is only an Opinion!

    Just to help you out in the future, using cartoon references and name calling in your post doesn’t do anything to make you seem very intelligent.

  31. Mr. Lucky Says:

    Tye, we shouldn’t be too hard on Cpt Tina – after drinking all that pewter Kool-Aid that sugar high causes them to post a lot of fluff and incoherant ramblings…now he’s crashed and sleeping. Nighty night…. 🙂

  32. Tye Says:

    Mr. Lucky,

    {LOL} you’re probably right!

  33. Javier n Wimauma Says:

    Mr Lucky, can I use the nickname you coined Tina too?

    Yep, I believe Cpt Tina will stick!

    Better find a new handle tina.

  34. tampa2 Says:

    Nah, Thats Tugboat Timmie for sure. He screechs and dumps water on the floor, calls names, and when he’s really mad he throws his little tugboat out ot the tub onto the floor for his Mommy to pick up.
    And if the Glazers ever get the stones to hire a “real” coach like Cowher, I imagine timmie will take his toy tugboat and go home, never to be heard from again.

  35. Capt.Tim Says:

    Mr. Licky- javierahdomtyr and Eric ( two of the poeple I listed) both mentioned Cowher- they ALWAYS mention Cowher, or any other fantasy coach except the real one- travels in fantasy land. What? You only read what you write? I Like the bit about getting a new title! So far, only one person has been pathetic enough to have to change his anonymous title, in order to keep posting – and we all know who that was! Rahdomdajavier! And I’d much rather enjoy my pewter koolaide buzz, than be a disloyal Buc hater like Javier or Thomas. Yeah, Tye and Mr. Lucky ussually aren’t haters! So most of my first post really wasn’t directed to you two

  36. Javier n Wimauma Says:

    Put a cork in it Cpt tina.

  37. Capt.Tim Says:

    Piss off Rahdom