Spelling A .500 Team

October 24th, 2011

Last season Joe raised red flags on the Bucs slow starts that eventually led to Josh Freeman’s stellar fourth quarter comebacks.

Well, that pattern has continued this year and unlike last year, Freeman doesn’t have the same magic to make people forget those slow starts.

So it’s interesting to Joe that the MSM is starting to pick up on this. First it was Ryan Nece yesterday. Now it’s Martin Fennelly.

The Tampa Tribune humorist doesn’t see much changing the rest of the year, hence he doesn’t believe the Bucs may get much better.

Do we get a coaching staff that has its team ready, that helps it start fast, that knows what do when things go wrong, like Graham’s injury, or all those other injuries, or from stupid penalties and knows how to keep its players from curling up into a ball – or do we get Morris and his staff as uneven as their team?

Which Bucs do we get?

Probably both of them, and that spells .500 football.

Joe once again believes it would be wise of the Bucs to hire an outside consultant to offer any fresh insight from a new pair of eyes that could help correct this nasty habit of not waking up until the second half. Someone like Bill Cowher or Brian Billick, to throw out a couple of names.

The Bucs played yesterday like they were the ones with jet lag, not the Bears.

This, again, is not a knock on Raheem Morris. The guy has a ton on his plate. He’s both defensive coordinator and head coach, that’s a lot of responsibility. As Joe asked last year, maybe he needs some help?

Just the fact that Morris is able to correct things on the fly and adjust mid-game is a great thing. But the time has come to end sweeping the slow starts malady under the rug. Address it sooner rather than later.

That is, if a playoff berth really is a goal this winter.

20 Responses to “Spelling A .500 Team”

  1. Bucnjim Says:

    This is a little different spin on the slow start, but it reminds me of my own younger employees. This young generation seems to have a complete lack of urgency. They are usually able to get the job done at the end (which shocks me), but they wait until the last possible second to light the fire and finish strong. Like I said; in the end the job does get done and surprisingly in turns out very well, but getting them motivated early is a job in itself. The Bucs are so young; I’m wondering if this could be something the coaching staff is facing. If so good luck!

  2. Brad Says:

    Time for a coaching change at offensive coordinator. A team that is the youngest in the nfl, has the youngest coach, the youngest gm, position coaches with no previous experience, it’s actually shocking we look as good as we do at times. I have to put this on the Glazers. It looks like moves that make them look extremely cheap. I used to not think that. After the biggest free agency period in the nfl and we are non existent has to raise a red flag. I can’t believe Dominic is that stupid or has an ego that big that he would ignore a way to add depth and experience to the roster. The Glazers must be driving the train. Plus I’ve seen enough of Olsen to know he has no clue how to use the talent he has. Combine that with slow starts every game since last year, I would fire him now and bring in someone over the bye week,

  3. flmike Says:

    This digging a hole in the first half has to stop. Freeman is still second year QB doing 2nd year QB things, the lack of any OTAs and an off season has hurt him the most. He is a year behind in his progression because he didn’t have a full offseason with Van Pelt and Olsen. The loss of Graham hurts, obviously Lumpkin is NOT the answer, hopefully Spann is able to get ready in two weeks, as we are going to need someone to step in if LGB cannot go and evern if he can, he’s going to need a backup and Lumpkin still ain’t it. This bye came at just the right time for us, Foster needs to get fully healthy, GMC, LGB. I love seeing Watson & Hayward at W&S, they fly all over the place, it might be time to sit Black and Hayes and let those two start with Mason in the middle. Bad game for Trueblood, 3 penalties, not a good game blocking either, his worst this season. The line did play much better when Larsen moved to his natural position at center and Hardeman came in at LG, maybe thats the line combo we need to be playing. But what this came down to was a young team with absolutely no running game what so ever nearly came back from 16 down to win, they have the heart and the fight, they just need to start showing both a whole helluva a lot sooner than the 4th QTR.

  4. jb Says:

    OUTSIDE CONSULTANT???? Why not a REAL Head Coach?

  5. Capt.Tim Says:

    Young players is the biggest factor.

    ” and that spells .500 football.” -?? When did we play .500 football? Last year, we went 10-6. This year, we are 4-3. The fact that this extremely young team can win while it learns is astounding! Everyone here over reacts after a loss, as if we usually go undefeated, lol.

    The big problem this year, was that our young Guys( Freeman, Williams, Benn, etc) didn’t get to study and grow this offseason. Everyone I talk to says the lockout hurt the Bucs the most, because that first Offseason is so critical to preparing for the adjustments you’ll see the next year. I don’t we can fix it until we have another offseason they can spend with their coaches.

    I think everyone can agree, we still have some gaping holes on defense. The d is really starting to look good, but we still have to adress CBs and OLbs. One more great draft, and we’re set

  6. justin Says:

    Greg olsen is still using jon gruden playbook he even admitted it why else do you think we had 23 passes yesterday that went for 5 yards of less

  7. Don Says:


  8. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    @Don — Appreciate your passion, but Raheem hardly deserves to be fired, and Joe doesn’t kiss Raheem’s behind, nor does he engage in “bowing at pressers.” Joe reserves his bowing for cheerleader encounters.

  9. macabee Says:

    The Bucs are a victim of it’s own success. It is called the law of diminishing returns. You can have success with a rookie coach and a veteran team (Steelers) and you can have success with a rookie team and a veteran coaching staff (Packers), but the odds are against a literally all-rookie team and essentially a rookie coach and GM. And if next year we religiously adhere to the exclusively build through the draft strategy, we will add even more rookies to be coached up by a coach, who I personally like, that is trying to do two jobs, with little more experience than the players he is trying to coach. No, they will not hire consultants. That is tantamount to admitting that you do not know what you are doing. But changes must be made short of changing the coach or GM or we are destined to be left with potentially a .500 team and cliches like youngry or next man up!

  10. Freeman4President Says:

    I have to laugh at everyone calling for Rah’s job, Rah didn’t throw 4 inexcusable interceptions…Josh should know how to read and throw against the cover 2 zone and he throws not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 bad picks…he isn’t showing me alot in terms of reading coverage at all this whole season, I never thought I would say this about a qb, but tuck and run when everyone is covered josh!!!!

  11. mikeck Says:

    I dont kmow…I think we are down playing injuries here too. (I know slow starts are an ongoing problem) but by the end of the first quarter (some before the game) , we were missing Our starting RB, our backup RB, Starting FB, Starting MB, Starting, DT, starting S, and 3 starting O-lineman.

    Cant expect an offense to get into a groove when in 5 minutes it no longer has a backfield except a string RB.. Puts everything on the QB where you get INTs. We will be fine, we will win 9-10 games, we wont go far in the playoffs and we wil be right where we should be in the world of team growth..

  12. Joke Says:

    Joe, you’re complaints are ridiculous. Everyone complaining about slow starts just isn’t paying attention.

    It’s only been three times this season where the Bucs “lost” the first half (were outscored in H1) but “won” the second half (outscored opp in H2).
    How many times have we done the reverse (“won” 1st half but “lost” 2nd half)? Two times. That’s right, we’ve flipped from a bad 1st half to a good 2nd half 3 times this year, while our opponents have done the same thing to us 2 times.

    [In the other 2 games, we lost both halves once (SF) and lost the first but tied the 2nd (Det)].

    The problem isn’t slow starts. It’s that we’re basically an average team, playing average football. Sagarin’s computer ranks us 16th in the league. We’re very lucky to be 4-3, despite a minus-38 point differential.

    This team just flat needs to get better — in BOTH halves. The penalties are a huge problem. Freeman’s inaccuracy is a huge problem. Drops by the WRs are a big problem.
    Fortunately, those are areas where we CAN improve. And if we do, we’ll make the playoffs.

  13. Joke Says:


  14. bucfanjeff Says:

    In the Bucs effort to get over there early and get acclimated, they seem to forget the seriousness of practice with all the camera face time. I know it’s part of the job, but it’s not the Superbowl. Less cameras, more attention to the task at hand. As far as starting fast, I’ve got to believe that’s coaching. You want to get the juices flowing early? Come out with a spread formation slinging the ball around. (ps-I like olsen, but the play calling and adjustments are a little suspect thus far this year)

  15. bucfanjeff Says:

    @Freeman4President, one of those picks was Williams fault. I’ve said it in other posts, Williams effort just isn’t there, neither is his hands.

  16. stimpy Says:

    I have to admit i saw NO chance of us coming back from that game. If it wasnt for the D we would have had no chance, so thanks to them!

    Given our injuries and the lack of run game i thought the offense finally clicked in the 4th. Im really sick of it though as there has been no spark in the early parts of the games.

    We are dropping passes and im not seeing the WO’s getting open enough for Free to throw. Im wondering if this is whats leading to the INT’s.

    How can our receivers just disappear this year?

  17. Capt.Tim Says:

    “a real head coach”- are you out of your mind?? Really?
    We won 10 games last year, with the youngest team in NFL history!
    We are currently undefeated in our division, and 1/2 game outta first.
    We have the most motivated playerus in the league. we have a defense that is staring to look dominant- in year 2!! And all this with a team that was left totally devoid of talented older three years ago by Chucky”the locust” Gruden

    What this team needs, it won’t get. At least not til the offseason. A training camp with coaches Will help this young grow and get their rythme back

  18. toolman Says:

    It’s all about TIMING. During the bye week the QB’s need to throw, throw, throw. The receivers need to catch, catch, catch. The QB’S and 0-line need to work on counts. And during practice, the DB’s need to knock down every Freeman pass they can until he won’t telegraph his throws. I have heard sometime in the past that our DB’s give Freeman a nightmare messing with his throws. Well ? Come on guys…back to basics.

  19. Meh Says:

    You don’t fire a coach of a young team off a 10-6 season when the team, despite its serious flaws, is a game over .500. Especially after a game where injuries killed them the week after beating the biggest division rival.

    That doesn’t mean we don’t have a coaching problem. I think a lot of these problems (penalties, no discipline, slow starts, poor playcalling) are the fault of coaching. It just means it is way too early to be making kneejerk moves.

  20. Bobby Says:

    Fire Raheem?? After every loss ‘stupidity’ rears it’s ugly head to post coments….