Does “Familiarity” Cure Slow Starts?

November 3rd, 2011

The subject that won’t go away, the Bucs’ painfully slow starts to games, was thrown at Raheem Morris a couple of different ways today at his news conference.

Raheem emphatically said the Bucs’ struggles in that area have nothing to with coaches’ ability to motivate or the team’s competitive fire; it’s more the team trusting its coaching and executing.

But Raheem did offer one theory that seems to bear out a bit. Asked why the Bucs started well against New Orleans 2 1/2 weeks ago, Raheem said, “You know, maybe everbody just a little bit more comfortable because of their famaliarity with New Orleans, but we gotta get that every week, in a week of preparation with the whole football team. And we can. And we will.”

Looking back at the Bucs’ performances during this era, they have started better in games against division opponents compared to teams outside the division, including games against the Falcons and Saints this year.

Joe suspects the relative consistency against familiar foes isn’t a coincidence.

26 Responses to “Does “Familiarity” Cure Slow Starts?”

  1. tdog23767 Says:

    “Raheem emphatically said the Bucs’ struggles in that area have nothing to with coaches’ ability to motivate or the team’s competitive fire; it’s more the team trusting its coaching and executing.” it’s the coaching…

  2. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    Always an excuse other than accepting responsibility for preparing his players inadequately. I am just waiting for the next assistant coach to get scapegoated to cover for the real problem.

    If rah is good at anything it is blaming others and fooling people into thinking that others have responsibility for the team’s shortcoming when he is the HEAD coach.

    This is normal however when fans beg for a winning coach to be fired and the replacement fails to succeed in the first few years. At some point, all of the assistants will be gone and the team will still be starting slow, missing the playoffs, finishing third or worse in the division and being highly penalized. If you like your team to play this way, you have the perfect head coach.

  3. K2theSoldier Says:

    I’ve been saying this for awhile now; our game planning against teams outside the division (teams that we aren’t as familiar with) is really bad. We get spanked and totally outplayed by the Lions, 49ers and Bears, then play the lowly winless Colts to a close game and nearly lose to the terrible Vikings with Mcnabb. Yet when we play the Falcons and Saints we totally out play them and win. This is definitely a problem, but we’ll fix it.

    Anyone with a mind (not Thomas) realizes Raheem is a good motivator and his players have his back 100%. Every Buc is ready to jump off a bridge if Raheem tells them it’ll get them a win, which is something a lot of coaches around the league wish they had.
    Thomas has already been proven wrong about Gerald Mccoy, I can’t wait till he’s proven wrong about Raheem.

  4. thomas 2.2 Says:

    K2, good points in paragraph 1. You got speed wobbles and then flipped your wagon in paragraph 2. Rah is good at being excited and spewing cliches. So are you.

  5. ClayBURN94 Says:

    Hey thomas, answer this question. Will you be happy or mad if the bucs win a superbowl under raheem? Dont come with a typical ignorant answer saying they never will just yes or no.

  6. thomas 2.2 Says:

    Yes K2, GMC’s 4 career sacks and 30 tackles in a season and a half have really been impressive. Meanwhile Suh has more than 3 times the productivity in the same period of time.

    I know you sheep have tried to redefine productivity based on subjective rather than objective criteria, but you are not fooling anyone.

    The real proof will be Sunday when they rest a healthy Softy bc they know that they have a better roster with him in street clothes.

  7. SteveK Says:

    I wish our Defensive Lineman had to meet with the commisioner on “playing nicer”.

    With that said, McCoy is still very young and he will hopefully continue to develop into a monster. He will never be “Suh”, but who is/was… Reggie White?

    Hopefully McCoy can master the art of staying healthy, that would be a big upgrade to have that guy in there.

    I am all about Brian Price, that guy is a MONSTER!

  8. thomas 2.2 Says:

    As a frame of reference: In 2005 every real buc fan had realized that Booger McFarland was not going to materialize. He was shipped out in 2006.

    Booger played 23 games in 2004 -05 and missed 9 others due to injury (very similar to Softy through this point), Booger had 38 tackles and 5 sacks – stats worthy of being shipped out of town. Softy has 38 and 4.0 right now.

    Brad Culpepper even averaged 6+ sacks per season while playing the nose. He had years of 8.5, 9.5 and 6 sacks during his tenure. The point: both league and historically within this organization Softy has not produced.

  9. thomas 2.2 Says:

    In addition he is penalty and injury prone.

  10. thomas 2.2 Says:

    SteveK : I agree with you on Price – he is nasty.

  11. K2theSoldier Says:

    First of all Thomas, thank you for responding to me. Second of all, Mccoy isn’t penalty prone. Nice try though. It’s too soon to say he’s injury prone, so we’ll throw that one out the window till it happens again.
    You didn’t even try to debate my saying that Rah has the entire locker room believing in the direction that he’s setting forward. I’m guessing you didn’t debate that because it’s fact and can’t be argued.

    Funny how you compare Mccoy to Suh, who’s one of the best in the league, to make Mccoy look bad. Here’s a spoiler, Mccoy will NEVER be Suh, and we all know that. He’s a different player.
    Brady has better numbers than Freeman, so is Freeman a bad player?
    Peterson has better numbers than Blount, so is Blount a bad player?
    See where I’m going with that? Your argument against Mccoy is painfully weak, Steve White would laugh in your face if you told him Mccoy was a bad player. White was a pretty good player for the Bucs and knows the position better than the both of us. Mccoy has had a good year when he’s played, and missing him showed up big time against the 49ers and Bears.

  12. K2theSoldier Says:

    Thomas, you also conveniently left out the years in which Brad put up those sack numbers. Brad had 4 sacks in his first 2 seasons, and didn’t start putting up big sack totals until his 5th season in the league. Gerald is in his 2nd. Your arguments leave out so many things it’s ridiculous. But keep trying.

  13. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    K2: How bad was Softy missed against the Saints? Twice.

    The point about Culpepper, he was a 10th round draft pick released by the Vikings. Booger was a mid first rounder. If Culpepper was a 3rd overall and paid 50 million, I would allow Softy the same length of time for growth.

    I have listened many times to White speak about Softy. He defended him against King’s criticism but conceded that Softy has not been productive in the passing game. White thought that he had improved in his run game – I have watched Softy closely and I disagree on Softy. Occasionally, he gets penetration but frequently he is trapped. When doubled, he is worthless. Softy is easy to scheme out, double him, trap him, draw him and run to his inside gap bc he prefers the easier outside route when playing on the guards outside shoulder.

    I will bet that they sit Softy again this week but will not announce it until Sunday. They will say that he isn’t ready when in fact he will not be one of the best 52 v. New Orleans.

  14. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    First time back to the site in two weeks for me, and I now remember why I left. Same old idiotic hatred for Raheem from Thomas. I don’t mind someone having a negative opinion, but repeating the same inaccurate statements over and over again is too much. He ruins every single post. He is either a troll or he most negative person in the world.

  15. SteveK Says:

    McCoy has underimpressed in his tenure, so far.

    It is way too early to pass judgement on him. Sure it is easy when you count the fact that a class of his position player went 1 pick prior, but IMO, good for the Lions. They missed on enough first round picks recently, and they deserve megatron and Suh.

    McCoy, just as Freeman, is still continuing to develop. He is as anxious as you and I are to start putting up sick numbers. Fact of the matter is that he is disruptive and our D is better than not with him in there.

    I hope he and Freeman have a roaring 2nd half to the season with the possibility of future “pineapple” in their diet.

  16. K2theSoldier Says:

    @Hawaiian, I used to think he was a troll, but I’ve never seen a troll defend himself so much in my life.

    @Thomas, If you haven’t listened to White since he defended him from King, then it’s been awhile. He’s talked about how good a player Mccoy is on a lot of occasions. I’m wondering how often you watch football teams other than the Bucs, and more specifically how often you watch defensive tackles other than Gerald. My guess is not very often.
    You disagree on his stance on Mccoy against the run? I’ve seen Mccoy fight through double teams on quite a few occasions, frankly because offensive coordinators recognize him as our best defensive lineman and double him a lot.
    You want to talk about an incomplete defensive tackle, look at your very own boy Suh. Suh has been ranked near the last in terms of run defense efficiency, and is vastly over rated. There are actually people who think he’s the best tackle in the league, which is pretty laughable.
    Your obsession with bashing Mccoy and Raheem is really really bizarre.

  17. K2theSoldier Says:

    If you’re looking for sick stats from Gerald then you’re going to be dissapointed. You need to watch him play to see him be disruptive and change running backs direction in the back field. Watch the Falcons game, he did it constantly.

  18. macabee Says:

    The cure for slow starts is gaining the confidence, experience, and arrogance to go into a game believing that you can win, you are going to win, and it’s just a matter of doing your job for the next 60 game minutes, winning, then taking a few days off and getting ready for the next win. It’s called veteran arrogance and it comes with time and success – we’re not there yet! We are intimidated by our opponents and not sure if we can win or even ought to win (especially against noted opponents) at the beginning of games and as the games goes on our confidence grows and so does our play – and in some cases we even win. All attributes to be expected of a team that is esentially made up of rookies (many of whom a year or two ago idolized the very people they are expected to beat) – this will change as they acquire veteran arrogance and slow starts will become a vague memory of the past!

  19. patrickbucs Says:

    The defensive picks sure helped the fast start against the Saints as well.

  20. Architek Says:

    Great point Macabee. Age and veteran help the stinch of slow starts.

  21. Brad Says:

    The only cure to fast starts is for Olsen to coach better. The dude just sucks this year. To know how well this offense played last year I was optimistic this team would take the next step. Slow starts is the result of your OC not getting your guys prepared. Whether its penalties, play calling, adjustments, or overall coaching, this guy looks lost many times and don’t know how to use the talent he has. And to think after last year people were worried about losing him for a head coaching job. He looks like the coach that inherited a job vs earned it.

  22. OAR Says:

    Please don’t tell me you really left Joebucsfan cause of Thomass? I respect you more than allowing that to take place.

  23. Freeman4President Says:

    Thomas is really, suh using a pen name…very sneaky suh, very sneaky.

  24. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    I’ll read the articles, but I’m done with him ruining all the comments.

  25. OAR Says:

    Well that sucks, cause I always appreciated, respected, and understood your posts.

  26. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Thanks Oar, I feel the same about you. I’ll be here, I just couldn’t take two weeks of reading his BS over and over again, without a game (more specifically, a win) to shut him up. Hopefully, after Sunday, he will be gone.