Teetering Between Good And Bad

November 7th, 2011

The Bucs are stuck in the middle. Really.

After watching the depressing loss to the Saints yesterday, the Bucs are teetering between a good team and a bad team, but not enough in either direction, so writes the Tampa Bay voice of reason, Joe Henderson of the Tampa Tribune.

The Bucs are not quite good enough to make the playoffs and not quite bad enough to get in a decent draft position.

In other words, the Bucs are stuck.

Coach Raheem Morris seems to understand the problems that helped put his team in this precarious position, which is good. His solutions, however, have failed to provide a remedy, so that’s bad.

If this keeps up, the Bucs could hang around on the fringes of the wild-card race, but raise your hand if you believe they’re good enough to actually crash the postseason party.

They hang their hat on being physical, yet the Saints out-hit them Sunday. They pride themselves on defense, but the Saints controlled the ball. They are young, which can mean exuberant. But they can’t control that exuberance, which leads to an absurdly large number of penalties. They had nine more for 80 yards against the Saints.

To have a realistic prayer of making the playoffs, the Bucs must win six of their next eight games. Even if the Bucs win 10 games, as we found out last year, that may not be enough. The Bucs still have to play the Packers, still have to play Houston, still have to play the Dixie Chicks again and two games against a dangerous Panthers team.

The way the Bucs have played the past couple of weeks, with issues such as penalties and impotent starting showing zero signs of evaporating, it may be too big of a hill for the Bucs to climb.

33 Responses to “Teetering Between Good And Bad”

  1. Jon in Tampa Says:

    Just a thought, but does anyone who criticize Shawn King as ‘a hack trying to make his name in sports journalism’ want to reconsider his 8-8 call?

  2. Joe Says:


    Shaun predicted 7-9.

  3. Big Marlon B Says:

    The Bucs can’t win 6 of their next 10, seeing as there’s only 8 more games left. Bucs are 4-4, and unless it was switched to an 18 game season, we are at the halfway point Joe.

  4. frige bob Says:

    What Big Marlon said.

    Win 6 of their next 8? Not this year.

  5. Joe Says:

    Big Marlon B:

    Hey, Joe’s a writer, not a mathematician. 🙂

  6. Patrick Says:

    Doesn’t look like it’s possible now. Just look at our schedule. We can’t beat good teams. I see us beating Jacksonville, Tennessee, and the Panthers once. All the others are likely to be losses. Sadly, that’s my prediction. 7-9 and it will be FOUR STRAIGHT years of no playoffs

    But I’m still rooting for the Bucs all the way. They need to get it together! Just stopping the penalties alone would help a bunch

  7. Buzzsaw Says:

    Look, I’d love to see the Bucs go 9-7 or 10-6 but, realistically, it’s now a race to 8 and probably 3rd place in the Division. And 7-9 is a distinct possibility. The offensive and defensive problems continue to fester and are not really improving. I don’t know if the root problem lies with the personnel or with the coaching. I suspect it has a lot to do with both. In the final analysis, we can’t keep blaming the problems on youth. Remember, the 2nd youngest team in the league are the Packers who won the Super Bowl last year and are currently 8-0 on the season. The Packers represent a combination of good personnel and good coaching. (And, of course, they have the best QB on the planet.)

  8. Patrick Says:

    I mean seriously, we struggled to even beat the winless Colts a month ago. A team that everyone has been blowing out. That alone shows that this team has problems.

  9. Louie Says:

    Ummmmm, wasn’t Gruden fired for being “average”?

    Just when is that “lasting contender” stuff suppose to kick in?

  10. Patrick Says:

    It better start soon or we’ll be seeing a bunch of “Fire Raheem’s” on all the Bucs message boards

  11. d clark Says:

    How do you guys not think we can beat good teams we have already beaten the atl and the saints once. Why can we not beat a good team again that makes no sense.

  12. Eric Says:

    Listening to Rah’s lovefest show with TJ Rives he made an interesting observation. He seemed to imply McCoy got hurt because her was using poor technique and arm tackling, rather than lowering his shoulder. he even referred to pop warner players learn how to tackle properly.

    Did I hear that right?

    If thats so, I wonder if same thing happened last year with his other bicep?

    And if thats true, someone should teach him how to tackle?

    Maybe thats why were mediocre at best and teetering like the above elephant? and why people run through us like a paper bag?

  13. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    TJ Rives should turn in his journalism degree and man card at he same time. I know that he is paid by the Bucs (I hope it’s a lot) but to ask the horribly weak and simple questions acting like things are hunky dory when the team just got embarrassed for the 3rd time in 4 games is embarrassing.

    I would find a new line of work before doing something so humiliating. The Bucs are more likely to finish 0-8 than 6-2.

  14. leroy Buttermilk Says:

    No one is beating this team but itself penalty’s and execution of plays seems to be the issue at hand .Mostly terrible tackling technique and gap integrity on defense. out of the four games they lost they could well have been won without mistakes and improper execution of plays.Only one team wins the superbowl every year and this year it won’t be the Buccaneers or the Saints or Atlanta or New England. This team is in desperate need of a pass rush from the inside out McCoy is not going to be a person who can be depended on two torn Bi’s arm tackling not a common injury in the NFL come on man. They need a rotation of aggressive d lineman that constantly stop the run and someone who can come around the corners and get to the quaterback. St Louis got to brees plenty the blueprint for the saints was handed over.

  15. 941-Bucs Says:

    And that’s why i brought up the new CBA rules. You combine Youth, No Off Season and only allowed 1 padded practice a week. Well here is the result. Crappy play by lineman and poor tackling. When 85% of your starters consist of people in there 1st and 2nd year. What else do you expect?

  16. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    You are spot on Leroy, and we had 2 weeks to prepare for them Saints !
    Raheem admits McCoy tackles badly, yet we waste our number one pick on him.
    Where was the film study on McCoy, how The Hell could we have missed this ?

    Hate to say it, but it looks like Shaun King and Ian Beckles are right ?
    This whole Raheem/Dominick thing aint looking good.
    What a comedy of errors. Raheem hires 2 coordinators (Bates and Jagodzinski), and fires them before the season starts! WHERE was his research ?
    Then, we fire the O and D Line coaches from a 10 and 6 team!

    We Draft McCoy, then have our head coach tell us all he is prone to Injury because he tackles wrong.

    Sorry guys, but a number one draft pick must be close to perfection in tackling, or he is NOT a number one draft pick.

    Tampa will be lucky to finish third in the NFC South this year.
    Jeff Fisher is available, and is looking better and better.
    A PROVEN NFL Talent Evaluator would be a nice addition as well, before we waste another draft.

    LOL, if Drew Brees ran all over us, just Imagine what Cam Newton is going to do when we face the Panthers.

    Realistically, our season is over. The “race” is for us to stay out of last place in the division.

    Why not make the changes NOW or soon, so the new people have the chance to see what they have to work with, so we can draft accordingly.

  17. simeon Says:

    in the middle? This team stinks, raheem has lost control of this team, there is no discipline. The penalties are ridiculous, the coaches can’t game plan, every loss is the same; terrible start, end the half with a decent drive, too far behind to catch up in 2nd half, basically get dominated the entire game but the score looks close because we score some points late. the difference this yaer from last year? Starting to really think it’s the NFC west/nfc north thing.

  18. CC Says:

    Teetering between good and bad? There is not a lot of good going on with this team but there is a whole lot of bad. Henderson must not be watching the same Bucs team as me.

  19. BamBamBuc Says:

    Yep, this team stinks alright (sarcasm)…. does anyone even realize that the 4 teams we lost to have a combined record of 24-9 (or 23-10 if the Bears lose to the Eagles on MNF). Yeah, those are pretty impressive opponents. Don’t discount our opponents here. The 49’ers are 7-1, and the one loss was an OT loss to the Cowboys or they’d be 8-0 along with the Packers. The Lions are 6-2 with their only losses to the 49ers and Falcons (both with winning records).

    Maybe expectations were a bit high leading into this season. With no OTAs, no training camp to speak of, limited padded practices to teach fundamentals like tackling and a schedule against some of this year’s (yeah, not last years, but THIS year’s) best teams. Maybe we should realize that the team isn’t meeting our expectations because we raised them a bit too high after last year, and didn’t take into consideration all the other factors.

    Also, they’ve been in most every game (other than the 49ers game). We’ve had our chances in each. We’ve also made our mistakes in each. Stupid penalties to kill drives. Poor play calling in key situations. Poor decisions by the players on the field. The Buccaneers haven’t even played the best football they can play yet this year and we’re still 4-4. Should be better, because they should be just as professional as every other team out there and play their best football as a team from week 1. But then again, the Eagles didn’t fire out of the gates as the “Dream Team” with all their high dollar FAs. The Steelers have struggled.

    This has been a strange year all told. With no offl-season, Cam Newton is looking like he’s had a full off-season of workouts with NFL coaches, Dalton and Green in Cincy as well. Yet veteran teams like the Patriots and Steelers are looking vulnerable and like they needed the OTAs more than the younger teams. The Packers haven’t lost a step. The 49ers have a new coach and no off-season to implement his system? Who could tell? Everything is backwards this year. Teams that should have regressed (due to youth or new coaches or both) haven’t. Veteran teams that should have taken advantage of that situation haven’t. Nothing is as expected, and our expectations are therefore useless.

    I hope to see improvement from this team as the season goes on. I hope to see the team playing as a team, not a bunch of individuals, as the season goes on. What happens next? I have no idea, but I know I’m gonna be there watching each and every week. These guys are my team, and I’m not losing faith so easily.

  20. Plbuc Says:

    The Glazer boys are not going to spend any money until they are forced by the minimum cap that starts in 2013. We are clearly seeing that building through the draft is not creating the intended result. Sprinkle in some free agents next year and cut your losses with K2,Taliban, QBlack and Miller. You send the players a message and work on depth. Something needs to be done soon, if not, Tampa is becoming the NFL “Siberia” it was in the 80s through mid 90s. Translation, fire the entire coaching staff and hire a no nonsense disciplinarian. If not, so long Bucs. The fans won’t miss this brand of football.

  21. BamBamBuc Says:

    Yep, the draft and sprinkle in FAs is working oh so well for the Eagles, isn’t it? Draft Lesean McCoy, Desean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, etc. Sign FAs Asomugha, Jenkins, Vick, etc.

    It’s not about how many free agents you sign or don’t sign. It’s about playing as a team, with one mind. All on the same page. In unison. These guys aren’t doing that, but that’s not saying they can’t. And it’s not all the coaches fault either. I don’t see Olsen on the sidelines yelling at Freeman to throw the check down pass poorly when he’s got 15 yards of open field in front of him. It’s like the only player any of these guys trust is their own self. It’s not a team, but 11 individuals on the field at a time (well, sometimes 12, but that’s a penalty and probably because someone was selfish enough to put himself in the game even when he wasn’t supposed to be)…

  22. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    BamBamBuc said “These guys are my team, and I’m not losing faith so easily.”
    They are my Team too, I have lost faith, but they will always be my team, no matter what.

  23. Steve Says:

    A decade of subpar performances and people are asking for us to stay the course. The course to what? To where?

    It’s been a decade since the Bucs have made noise.

    This team is mediocre at best.

    I’m becoming real concerned that ownership doesn’t care about this team and thus does not care about my loyalty. They have force fed us a crappy product for the past decade.

    My opportunity cost can be spent in a better way than watching a team that ownership doesn’t care for. If they don’t care why should I.

    I’m boycotting this team while the Glazers are the owners. Why put your money into faulty product. You wouldn’t do it while making other purchases.

    Venting frustrated fan

  24. MikeNice Says:

    I love how all of the supposed Bucs fans who loved what they saw of Raheem, Freeman and Mark Dominik last season because we played well and won games. Now we lose a few games and everyone is calling for a mutiny. We are a good team with potential to be great..but becoming great is a process ask anyone who had reached greatness. That being said. Stop bashing the players and coaches to the point where I question whether you are even fan of this team! Have some faith in your team and root your a** of week in and week out, win or loss, season after season. Till death. Go Bucs! Sorry just really tired of all the Buc-bashing when this time last year Raheem and Freeman were the best thing since sliced bread. The lockout really hurt us..get over it. That’s what next season is for.

  25. Patrick Says:

    Look, maybe it sounds crazy that everyone is ready to jump ship, but this team DOES stink right now. It’s a fact. They could be so much better right now. The offense is boring as hell to watch, no explosive plays, no passes over 5 yards, bad defense, and slow starts EVERY game. Oh but, we manage to wake up during the 4th qtr. LOL and we’ve learned the last 2 weeks against the Bears and Saints that Freeman can’t bail us out every time.

    Those of you who are using the youth and the lockout as an excuse, why are the Lions 6-2 and among the leagues best teams right now? The Bills and Bengals were horrible teams last year, much worse than us. And look where they are right now. Complete turnaround. It took one offseason and they’re already better than us. Apparently the lockout and youth didn’t affect them. It’s all about the leadership and the coaching.

  26. Fear The Glo Says:

    Florio has been calling the Bucs mediocre since the Saints loss and I can’t really find a better one word (or any) description for this team than that…

    They are mediocre in their offensive play calling.

    They are mediocre running the ball.

    They are worse than mediocre stopping the run.

    They are mediocre passing the ball.

    They are mediocre stopping the pass.

    …and they are mediocre in their special teams play.

    Can anyone really dispute this?

    What part of a football game is this team elite at?

    Hell, what part of a football game is this team even good at?!?

    The most disturbing thing is that most of these problems have been around for a few years and nothing has been done (successfully) to correct them.

  27. Patrick Says:

    Exactly. But we have the youth and the lockout as an excuse. lmao

  28. Blubber Price Says:

    We are teetering between barely acceptable and horrible.

  29. thomas 2.2 Says:

    Listen you idiots: every team had the lockout to deal with!

    It is purely soeculative to say that any if this bad football relates to that. Well coached team respond fine. Green Bay .05 years older than the bucs and are 8-0. Age abd lockout are excuses for s-itty coaching. Period.

  30. shortybuc Says:

    We need leaders plain and simple..sometimes they can be found in free agency..but since we drafted all these former captains..youd think one would step up by now

  31. Bucnjim Says:

    I would say special teams have been very good for the Bucs. They’ve kept us in most games this year. It’s crazy to compare the Bucs to the Packers simply because of Aaron Rogers. Not to mention the Packers have two or three pro bowl calibre LB’s. A pro bowl QB and stud LB’s will give you a chance to win most games.

  32. BamBamBuc Says:

    Thomas…. one of the idiots here. That’s what I was saying. The lockout has affected all sorts of teams differently. The Lions, 49ers and Bengals (all varying ages) have done well with the lockout. The Packers phenomenal. Yet the Steelers, Bucs, and a few others may have regressed some. The Dolphins are pitiful and haven’t made any progress. The Patriots aren’t as unbeatable as in years past. It’s affected each team differently. Some for better, some for worse. So, at 4-4 with a wicked schedule against THIS year’s opponents isn’t nearly as bad as it could be.

  33. Mitsurugi Says:

    Green Bay is 8-0 because they have the best quarterback in the league. But other than that, I agree with you Thomas