THE OPTIMIST: Plenty To Believe In For 2010

August 11th, 2010
Kyle Moore is lean and mean, and one of the legitimate reason to be hopeful for the 2010, so says THE OPTIMIST.

Kyle Moore is lean and mean, and one of the legitimate reasons to be hopeful for the 2010 season, so says THE OPTIMIST. photo by Kyra Hallett.

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.

It’s so close now you can smell it; or perhaps that’s the $1 hot dogs the Glazers grilled at Raymond James Stadium on Saturday.

Forget the half-empty stadium at the Falcons-Bucs season finale last year; hope springs anew here in August. But in order for hope to really be believed in, there must be tangible evidence for us to grab hold of. So I present to you some things to sink your claws into for 2010 that should get you not only excited for what could happen, but what eventually will happen this season and beyond.

The defense is not undergoing wholesale changes this year like it was last season. And players are not being asked to do something they were not built/prepared for, instead simply learning some new wrinkles to an old familiar friend; The Tampa-2.

At the heart of this defense is the engine that drives it all, the defensive line. Rookie Gerald McCoy is the key man in the operation, shooting and slicing his way into opposing backfields from his 3-technique stance the way Warren Sapp used to, and old No.99 has been in McCoy’s ear as of late, as well as Brian Price, the fellow rookie who can also provide a speed rush from the right DT position. But Price will man the left DT spot along with second-year man Roy Miller. This, Bucs fans, gives us the most hope we have had in a long time.

Gone are old vets and pinning hope on the recycled careers of Kevin Carter and Ryan Sims, guys who you knew what you were getting because they had given it before.

Now we have guys whose better playing days are in front of them rather than behind, and we get to watch the transition from one to the other on our TV sets (or radios if need be). Kyle Moore has lost the weight he gained from last year’s Jim Bates experiment (debacle) and can operate the left defensive end position, while old timer Stylez White will try to hold kids off the right DE job he has sunk his teeth into since the end of ’09.

These linebackers are no longer part of an experiment, either. Geno Hayes made enough splash plays last year to get another look at the Will linebacker spot, with Double Nickel giving him tips. Quincy Black is as solid at the Sam linebacker spot as Ryan Nece or Cato June has been for the last several years. And Barrett Ruud will get maybe his last full-season opportunity to prive he can be a major impact player as a defensive quarterback in the middle and deserving of the big, long term contract he so covets.

As for the strong secondary, safety Sabby Piscitelli will either put up or shut up at with free agent Sean Jones go head-to-head with him for his job. Some say Jones is already penned in on a depth chart on a desk somewhere, but that remains to be seen.

It is no secret which side of the ball drives this team, no matter what year it is. In 2005, the transition from Brian Griese to Chris Simms was a rocky one, but the No.1 ranked defense gave them time to fix their problems.

It didn’t matter how much productivity you had from the offense in 2006, because losing too many defensive coaches resulted in poor safety play and a poor pass rush.

2010 is no different; this team may sound like its relying on Josh Freeman or Cadillac Williams, or even Kellen Winslow Jr. It is NOT.

It is relying on Raheem Morris to coordinate that defense to keep the games close into the fourth quarter like it did against Seattle and New Orleans on the road last year. How well the rookies play on the defensive line may have the biggest say in how well the Bucs chase or catch the 10-win goal Morris has set for his team.

6 Responses to “THE OPTIMIST: Plenty To Believe In For 2010”

  1. Matt Says:

    Well said. Maybe a LITTLE too optimistic for me, but I generally agree with your defensive assessment 😉

  2. Gary Says:

    Great post. I agree improved DL play will be the most significant factor in our success this year. That combined with even a small improvement in WR play and QB decision making – we can make huge leaps forward.

  3. Capt.Tim Says:

    I think meybe he’s underestimating the offense’s contribution! I realize after years and years of 45 year old guys limping around, you sorta just forget that side of the team- especially when the scheme they were “trying” to run was flawed and ineffective to begin with! But it’s a new era in Tampa! We actually have some young guys! They can run, catch, block- all the things our offense couldn’t do for years! Just the fact that we have ANY scheme is better than the one we were using- the ole” pre snap motion- constantly-until one of us jumps off sides” pathetic mess we were running! So now I think the offense might actually HELP the team win, instead of being the anchor the defense had ta drag around!

  4. oar Says:

    CaptTim, You are starting to annoy! What a shame.

  5. eric Says:

    Basically, play some Dungy Ball!

    Good idea, but will require a heaping lot more discipline than we saw last year.

  6. topdoggie Says:

    Great story we may have a bad year but right now I expect to win. Thats why I watch the game.