The Alvin Harper Effect

December 30th, 2011

Are the Bucs a band of talented players that just isn’t connecting with its coaching and system?

Joe sure thinks so, and it seems that former Bucs tight end Dave Moore, now on the Bucs’ payroll as a radio analyst, does as well.

In a passionate chat on The Ron and Ian Show this week, the candid Moore told co-host and former Bucs guard Ian Beckles that he can’t agree with anyone that questions the Bucs’ talent. Moore used examples of former Bucs receivers Alvin Harper and Bert Emmanuel as guys who were excellent players in other systems outside Tampa Bay. The point was that they didn’t lose their talent when they got to Tampa, and players that flourished on the Bucs in 2010 and in past years haven’t lost their’s either.

“A lot of it has to do with feeling good about what they’re asking you to do and understanding how the system works to be able to be successful in it. And that’s where I think these guys are kind of lost,” Moore said. “Either they don’t know it well enough or they’re not disciplined enough to put in the time to really understand what their responsibilities are. And I think it’s hard to evaluate how good they are as a player just because they seem really disorganized at times on defense.”

Moore went on to say that “it looks like some of the guys haven’t put in the time.” Moore said he has no explanation for the lack of discipline but suggested that some players may have been resting on their success of last year.

Joe has no explanations, either, especially on the offensive side of the ball. (And as a beer-swilling young man in his Clearwater apartment when Alvin Harper was signed, Joe’s not sure what happened to that guy either.)

But pull a tape of the Bucs late in the 2010 season, and the current offense is way off the mark with a nearly identical cast. It’s plain as day. Something has gone awry, and you can’t fire the team.

29 Responses to “The Alvin Harper Effect”

  1. jvato24 Says:

    I actually have the full 2010 season taped with directv shortcuts … I put on the Panthers game from last year for the Hell of it .. COmpletely Different team …
    They were faster … smoother … enjoying themselves … confident .. ***Improvising when a play broke down and finding a way to make a play

    Its hard to believe in even a few hundred days this could possibly be the same team.

    ANother thing i noticed … Freeman was playing much like this year (Without the forces to Winslow) last season until LGB took off and Cadillac then became effective too.

    Who has the fewest rushes in the NFL ?? Oh yeah .. The Bucs

  2. bucfanjeff Says:

    I think we’ll have a good idea of the direction of the team within 10 days or so.
    I still think Raheem stays, but I can’t blame a firing either.
    What I really want is a new OC, an aggressive pass happy OC. We are not a run first team.

  3. Eric Says:

    The one year blip happens all the time. Does not mean that team if going to maintain that high water mark or that they are “talented”.

    Chiefs and rams are good examples. Rams played about as well as bucs last year, only with a miracle by Free did we beat them. Fell apart this year. Few years back Marinelli had the lions looking good for one year. went 0-16 the next.

    79 bucs too. Everybody thought we had a great young core and all………..but that magic never returned.

    Get on a roll, catch some teams with back up QB’s playing, and some key turnovers, and u can look good for one season. But in this league your weaknesses get exposed. Happened to Gru’s 08 team who was flying high at 9-3.

    The determining factor is whether the team stands the test of time. Flaws get exposed. opponents look at the film, find something that beats ya. Confidence erodes.

    A good GM understands this, and the measure is a “lasting contender”, just like these guys claimed they were building. Like Mckay/Dungy did.

    Obviously, they havent. Sorry, but we arent talented. You dont lose ten straight and get repeatedly savaged in year three of a rebuild if you are.

    Were miles, miles, miles behind the Saints and Atlanta, and Carolina just zoomed by.

  4. Macabee Says:

    I respect Dave Moore, but there are opinions that disagree about the talent level on the Bucs team. A competing website is reporting that an informal poll of a couple of NFL coaches and general managers from veteran teams revealed that the Buccaneers only had eight or nine players on their roster – not including Connor Barth or Koenen – that would even make the rosters of those other clubs. Out of the four league sources polled, only right guard Davin Joseph, who was honored with his second Pro Bowl selection, and defensive end Adrian Clayborn, the Bucs’ 2011 first-round pick, were viewed as potential starters.

    One coach said that not one Bucs wide receiver would make his team. One G.M. pointed out how Tampa Bay leads the league in the number of undrafted free agents in the NFL with 20 (four of whom are on injured reserve), and questioned why the Bucs would brag about that as the team does in its media guide.

    Since there are so many differing opinions, I’m going to just have to believe my eyes. I think this team has a talent problem!

  5. Eric Says:

    Also, a talented group doesnt set the buccaneer record for most points given up in a single season.

    Does not compute.

  6. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    So…what is the competing website?

  7. Garv Says:

    No, you can’t fire the team. But a lot of players have got to go, letting those who stay know it is not, has never been or ever will be acceptable to quit on their HC, the team. the fans and themselves.

    HOW can there be an excuse for that? For not wanting to block and tackle?

    Oh well……

    Happy New Year!!!

  8. 2goodbucs Says:

    What the Bucs need is a new OC and DC. I think Raheem stays for one more year but Olson has to go since his playcalling is pop warner league.

  9. Bucnjim Says:

    I wouldn’t say talented; I’d say average. The defense really needs some players to improve, but the offense should be a lot better than it is. Turnovers are the number one reason this team has failed so badly this year. When you’re forced to throw as much as Freeman has this year; only bad things can happen. Now Raheem is in charge of the defense and I’ve never seen such an undisciplined bunch of players. I do like the potential some of these young players have, but it takes a disciplinarian to motivate these guys.

  10. Bucnjim Says:

    Wait…Wait…This Defense is way worse than the Offense and who’s in charge of the D? Morris! The Offense at least gets P!ssed off when they do bad. The Defense is like the head coach; when something goes wrong they’re like oh well maybe next time.

  11. TheProsUseAdvoCare Says:

    Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Matt Stafford, Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Eli Manning, and Phillip Rivers have all dropped back more than Freeman. Throwing that much isn’t the problem. Not running the ball and always playing against your own defense is.

  12. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    @Eric – You speak of “a blip,” but the question is what direction is the blip and why. Was last year the blip or was 2011 the blip?

    You really can’t toss out either year as luck or schedule or whatever, which is why you have to come back to coaching. And that’s why Joe thinks so much will be fixed with the right coaches in here.

    Again, put on the tape of the Bucs late last season and you see a confident, fluid offense with tempo. THis year it’s the opposite with the same cast minus Cadillac. On the D-line, the Bucs were much more talented this year and the secondary is the same. Management let them down at linebacker in a huge way, while the coaching coudn’t adapt.

    @Macabee — It’s fun to read anonymous quotes about talent on the Bucs, but informal polls of guys unlikely to be watching tape of the Bucs is ludicrous to Joe. We’re supposed to buy that these guys, during their own seasons, can have a legitimate opinion on Luke Stocker, or assess the interest Jeremy Zuttah will command in unrestricted free agency next season? That’s just bananas. …. Mike Williams was voted by his peers as a top 100 overall player in the NFL last year. (#80). He’s likely to finish with 68 or 70 catches in an off year. He’s a starter on any team in the league. Penn is a legitimate top-10 left tackle. Joseph is self-explanatory. Plenty of teams would jump at the chance for Freeman or BLount. Zuttah has elite versatility. You can do worse at tight end than Winslow. … Again, Joe just isn’t buying that the Bucs have a bare cupboard.

  13. Macabee Says:

    Scotty, since you are in San Antonio, you may not be familiar with websites in the Tampa Bay area. Proper website protocol suggest that one doesn’t direct traffic to another website. With a little surfing, it should be easy to find!

  14. Rob in Orlando Says:

    Remember Jaquez Green. Talk was that he partied all the time and his play suffered because of it. Having the youngest team in the NFL may be hurting the Bucs because maybe they are just glad to be here and are partying like rockstars instead of being professionals and studying game film and practicing, gameplanning and working out. Many Buc players surely spend more time playing themselves on Madden 2012 on xbox or Modern Warfare than preparing to win an NFL game. Just saying! Go Bucs

  15. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    @Macabee – The mysterious protocol (at least the one around here) only applies to links or blatant promotional attempts. Feel free to divulge the website. Joe would like to assess this story as well.

  16. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Great Post Eric, I see some of our friends here are still clinging to that Paper Tiger mentality. No, we are not good, really talented teams do not lose 10 in a row, and get blown out in the process.
    If this is year 3 of rebuilding, God help us in year 4.

  17. Eric Says:

    Ill go with the cupboard isnt completely bare.

    Theres a handful of guys who can play.

    But just about every team does. Be hard to have a team in the NFL comprised of players absolutely nobody else wants. Bucs in the 80’s-90’s had a smattering of good players too. One guy typically made the pro bowl.

    Kinda like what we got now.

  18. Bucnjim Says:


    Does that mean the 49er’s and Lions just magically appeared and the Colts just dissappeared. This offense could be (should be) at least good. You are right though; really talented teams do not get blown out. Undisciplined and unmotivated teams get blown out when not giving 100% effort. There are plenty of less talented teams in the league that are not getting blown out by 3 touchdowns.

  19. Bucnjim Says:

    It really cracks me up when fan’s post that we should keep Raheem and get new Offensive and Defensive Coordinators. Didn’t we already fire both of them once. Fool me once shame on you; fool me twice shame on me. Having a team motivated and ready to play falls directly on the head coach. The coordinators are responsible for the play calling! This team screams lack of effort and that is all Raheem.

  20. Jake Says:

    Its not that this team does not have some talented players, the problem is the talent on our team consistently does not equal or exceed the talent level of the majority of the 31 other teams in the league. The team lacks fast, explosive, elite level players. They need to figure out a way to get these types of players on the roster, whether it be by the draft and/or free agency. No question this team needs major upgrades on both sides of the ball.

  21. Macabee Says:

    The website is Pewter Report’s 2011 December Issue. Article is SR’s FAB 5. Read FAB 1.

  22. eric Says:

    over estimating young talent is the real “fools gold”.

    and the fools are readily apparent.

  23. Bucnjim Says:

    Get a real coach in here and Freeman will make fools out of everyone!

  24. Garv Says:

    It’s all Jon Gruden’s fault. Ask Joe, Joe says so. Again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again.

    New “story” from Ian Beckles or the great Shaun King about how much better a HC Raheem Morris is than the awful mean Jon Gruden up any minute to bore us!

    Happy New Year!!!

  25. Adam Says:

    A TRUE fan has an 82 Harper jersey on at Bucs games. 🙂

  26. Macabee Says:

    Come on guy’s, we’re playing word games. Of course there is talent on this team, but how much? Of course the cupboard isn’t bare, but are there enough players that even with coaching you could win the NFC-South or even place for a possible wild card spot?

    The Freemans, Blounts and Josephs are obviously talented. And I’ll give you the D-Line assuming McCoy returns healthy and Price gets in shape and returns 100% healthy. Take Foster away, maybe Watson – what LB gets your vote? The secondary is a disaster – Morris is gone, Barber is gone. The State of Texas has first right of refusal on Talib! What gold are you panning from this group?

    On the O-Line – Penn is slipping and Faine and Trueblood are done. We have no true starter at LG and Zuttah and Larsen might be a center. Who is your every down back? Who is your 3rd down back? You want to put our fate on the backs of Lumpkin and Madu? Is Lorig a FB, A TE or a DE? He’s tried his hand at all! Or are you waiting the 31yr old Graham to come back and take his place again on IR as he does every year.

    Ok, I’ll take Williams as a possession WR or maybe Briscoe will continue to improve. But which one consistently gets separation or can stretch the field or has a 40 time better than 4.5? Winslow is dependable, but for how much longer? And will he pass the sanity test next year. If we can get Luke Stocker out of the tub and onto the field, he might be a keeper, but I’m not convinced yet.

    If it sounds like I’m ragging on this team, you’re right. If we’re going to make meaningful changes to this team, we need to Buc up and be honest with where to start.

  27. crazy Says:

    They don’t believe. They weren’t as good as last year’s record and they’re not as bad as this year’s record. They’ve lost confidence in the defense generating a timely stop so the offense can generate a winning drive. There are moments in every game when they look like they might until somebody blows it with a boneheaded play or an drive-killing penalty. The coaches don’t stick to the plan any more than the players execute it. Is that because the GM’s on the headset “guiding” the HC’s decisions? Don’t know. Whatever’s behind it they play like a team that believes in themselves and that kind of team never succeeds.

  28. BamBamBuc Says:

    Macabee, that was dead on!!!

  29. BamBamBuc Says:

    Joe, I think 3/5 of our starting O-line was on IR at the end of last year. We had backups in playing as well or better than our starters. That’s one difference on offense right there. Black and Talib were also on IR, and their backups were playing pretty decent at the time also. So, there’s a change on defense. Could be that our starters are backup quality, which is why we’re not winning many games this year. We need to replace some of our “starters” with real starters. Trueblood comes to mind. Faine hasn’t played near his salary level since he’s been here. LG is a revolving door. O-line can change the way the WHOLE offense looks.