THE OPTIMIST: Upon Further Review, Not So Bad

September 15th, 2011

You’ve all read THE PESSIMIST, who spews his Bucs-related anger like no other. But Joe brings you 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.

The haters are out in full force. The memory of a seven-game turnaround and a 10-6 season is a long forgotten memory in their minds. But Bucs fans do have a few things left in life to continue living.

After watching the game the second time, I saw an offensive line that did not perform all that bad. Detroit’s main weapon is their defensive line. All world Ndamukong Suh had two tackles and no sacks. Josh Freeman threw over 40 passes yet was sacked twice. Suh was basically shut down, although the O-line could have run blocked better. It’s not like the Bucs have a short-yardage or game-changing flash back either.

The Bucs defense made the adjustments early stopping Detroit on their first two drives from scoring two TDs and instead forcing them into two field goals. But when you consider three of the Bucs defenders are rookies, playing their first game, you can see there are brighter days ahead.

Detroit did not gash the Bucs run defense like they did last year.

And it wasn’t just the Bucs, almost every poor performing team in the preseason fell on Sunday; Atlanta, Kansas City, and Cleveland for example. Yet as bad as the Bucs played, they were only a good minute away from tying the game. Wasn’t that the recipe for last season to being with?

Last year Barrett Ruud led the team in tackles, but he just wasn’t physical enough. His replacement is physical, but is young and green and will make mistakes. Later on in the year, just like Gerald McCoy started to come on around mid-season, Foster and Clayborn and Bowers will get it.

Then again, you can always bail on your team, but if you’re like me, you”ll stick around and watch the young talent develop.

Remember; take away a Ronde Barber interception and runback, the Bucs probably get blown out by Cleveland last year in the opener. Week 2 the Bucs looked great on the road.

Lets tune in, after all it will be on TV! And we should enjoy that, because the blackout will be back faster than Mathew Stafford can release the ball.

14 Responses to “THE OPTIMIST: Upon Further Review, Not So Bad”

  1. Chace Says:

    Im even tired of hitting the panic button myself, week 2 here we come!

  2. Capt.Tim Says:

    Nick, I don’t think the fans are bailing on the team, or have lost their optimism. What I think you are seeing is irritation that some obvious, huge holes weren’t addressed. From what I’ve been reading, and for me personally, I know that’s the case for a lot of us! I am still very excited about this young team! What I’m not happy about, is that we let two vets go, with no back up plan. That actually made the team worse, not better! We already knew( and if we didn’t, every scouting report/ magazine would have told us) that our O-line and LBers aren’t NFL starting Caliber. But management did nothing to improve these areas. Plenty of opportunity , plenty of Money, plenty of talented players to chose from- we did nothing. It’s apparent we have no talent behind Blount. It’s apparent that we have no talent behind Winslow. We couldn’t afford John Gilmore?? Now we have to Rookies( one whom can’t catch) behind Kellen.

    These aren’t the decisions and choices a team On the rise makes. Not at all. These are decisions made to save money! Other than the draft class- which every team has!!- what did we do to get better?? What did they do to help Josh get to the Playoffs??? Nothing. Nothing at all. Are we a better team, after losing 6 vets and not replacing them?? No, we aren’t.

    That’s why the frustration. And although I usually agree with you, I totally disagree on your take on the o- line. There were absolutely no holes for a back to run thru, and Josh lOoked like he had been drug behind a car. This line couldn’t block last year- and they cant block this year. I’ve said it too many times, but with that lineup , our backs averaged 2.3 yds a carry. Once we replaced Faine, Joseph, and Trueblood, it jumped to 5.5 yards a carry. Those three are terrible, and shouldnt be starting. All three are hard workers, nice guys, and try their best. But they have NEVER been a good unit. Time to move on!

  3. Denu Says:

    Nice article, the one thing I will say is Foster wasn’t in on enough plays to make the mistakes you say he made. He was pretty good on run defense, which is basically all he did. I think you might be mistaking him for Geno Hayes or Quincy Black, who at several times made mistakes. I really hope Quincy was just not used to being the nickel Mike, we’ll see how they both play this coming week. I think the defensive line will improve and our secondary is rock solid (Jones needs to stop making mistakes though). Geno has never showed a lick of consistency though, and it continued on Sunday. That is probably my biggest worry. Here’s to hoping he proves me wrong!

  4. Matt Says:

    The ‘huge holes’ in this team are inexperience. Those holes will get smaller as the season goes along, just like last year.

    Anyone expecting the team to come out firing this year wasn’t paying attention.

  5. tony2cents Says:

    I’m excited about our young guys developing too, but I’m afraid that this coaching staff (with the exception of Millard) can only take them so far.

    Who are we kidding, Rah is just a poor man’s (or cheap owner’s) Mike Tomlin. Olsen is just a poor man’s Jon Gruden.

    Until he can prepare a team for opening day, until he can learn to call the right plays and schemes on defense, until he can get his team hyped up to start at a high tempo, he has no business being an NFL Head Coach.

  6. IMHO... Says:

    me and Capt. Tim finally have an agreement. Faine, Trueblood and Joseph gotta go. They’ve been here long enuff 2 prove their worth and it’s either inconsistency, injuries, lack of talent or all tha above. It’s time 2 draft their replacements b4 Freeman ends up injured like Stafford has been in tha past.

  7. flmike Says:

    Freeman dropped back 43 times & only got sacked 3 times, Suh had none btw. The Oline, Joseph in particular was doing its job in pass blocking, their run blocking sucked, also Detroit improved their LB corps greatly since last season, Tulloch was making plays all over the field.

  8. Mauha Deeb Says:

    Nick Houllis: Master of Bucs Optimism. A great Bucs website too!

  9. Capt.Tim Says:

    Yeah, I’m a big fan of Nick’s work. Even on the rare occasions I might disagree, it is always with great respect for his opinion. I try to do that with everyone. For a coupla of you knuckleheads, its not easy! Lol

  10. Bobby Says:

    All i can say is the guy is smoking something and he needs to share. If it would not have been for an interception that was tipped and a long return, dude your looking at a 24-3 halftime score, Buccaneers did not score in the second half until a minute left in the game, so whatever images of some superior offense explosion is insane. Yeah Detroit may have not have had a pile of sacks, but they shut your offense down to look like a college team, maybe he thought he was watching a k-state game. You know i used to go to some of the media sources in this town for coverage of this team, that was legit, if they sucked they told you so and that gave them credability now it seems that most of the media has there head shoved up RHeem and the superstars backside they can see anymore.

  11. Niko (The Optimist) Says:

    Bobby, it would seem you didn’t watch any games from last year. A key interception or big play saved the Bucs probably 7 of the 10 games they won. Thats their recipe while they are young.

    Davin Joseph is the guy who was responsible for keep Suh down to 0 sacks and 2 tackles, and he is no good? I guess posters on know more than Mark Dominik and Raheem Morris.

    As for the holes in the team, lots of teams have holes, only a few don’t. The Bucs simply filled them with rookies, who will grow into the roles. But they will be there for ten years. If you fill them with a 27 year old Free Agent, they will only be there for 4 years, and will have to be replaced again.

    We have to be patient. Who are the stars on this team? Josh Freeman, LeGarrette Blount, Mike Williams, Arrelious Benn, will all be on this team until probably 2021. Same on defense (except Barber of course). This is a work in progress, and this team with its young playmakers will win on a consistent level for years to come.

    And for my grand finale, anyone who has anything bad to say about Raheem Morris simply can’t get over their race card. The guy coached a 7 game turn around, with basically the same players. Did he get out coached? Yes. Jimmy Johnson, Bill Walsh, Mike Ditka, have all admitted to the same at some point. BEFORE they won Super Bowls. Just give it time, and enjoy the ride.

  12. Bobby Says:

    All i will say is that if you live by the sword you will die by the sword, and please dont pull the race card and say people like myself, are being racist, has nothing to do with race. I just want people to call a spade a spade, and actually admit that the bucs got hammered last week and that they looked like a team that was not ready to play, and unless you can prove to me otherwise that is due to coaching, you want to blame Greg Olsen for bad play calling, grappy game plan, i dont care but call it what it was, a poor showing for a team that should be past the baby steps.

  13. Bobby Says:

    And just for the record, i had detroit by ten last week, and after watching that mess it should have been more, only an act of god keep the bucs in the game. I am picking them to win this week in a close one 17-16. So call me what you will, but i prefer to be called a realist.

  14. tony2cents Says:

    Playing the race card Niko? Come on, really? SMH