The Kids Are Alright

September 12th, 2012

The thing that jumped out at Joe in the win over the stinking Panthers was how much impact was made by the Bucs’ top three draft picks from this spring.

Safety Mark Barron put the fear of God in receivers young and old the way he popped people and broke up passes, not to mention the highlight reels he made on national sports shows by nearly beheading Steve Smith.

Muscle Hamster Doug Martin was everything advertised, getting tough yards fighting against the heralded Panthers linebacker unit, then closing the game out with a double-digit run for a first down.

Then there was weakside linebacker Lavonte David, who was playing sideline to sideline and was actually calling the defensive plays. A rookie in his first NFL game no less!

The feats of the three rookies were not lost on veteran sports columnist Gary Shelton, who waxed poetic about the trio in the Tampa Bay Times.

The kids are brand new. That should be pointed out, and re-pointed out. They are one game into their careers, and nothing is promised, and there is a lot of football to be played before any of them have arrived. All of us understand that.

And yet … weren’t all three of them something to see in their debuts?

Furthermore, isn’t it about time the Bucs discovered their next wave of sellable jerseys?

How good were the three Sunday? Martin led both teams in rushing yards, David led the Bucs in tackles and Barron led the Bucs in cracking the other team’s ribs. It was a beautiful thing.

Speaking of which, you just know the headline Joe chose is ample reason to drop a video on Joe’s readers from “The Who” when they were in their prime.

21 Responses to “The Kids Are Alright”

  1. Bucs4life Says:

    I’m ashamed to admit that my NFL addiction has gotten to the point where I can’t even resist reading Easterbrook’s heinous TMQ article each week.

    Anyone catch the article and his the small excerpt admonishing Barron for his hit on Steve Smith? See below…

    Then I was disheartened during the Panthers-Bucs game. Tampa’s first-round draft choice Mark Barron made a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit on Carolina’s Steve Smith at the sideline. “Ooooo, Smith gets rocked, that will look good on highlights … he’s a hard-hitting safety,” Fox announcer Ron Pitts said admiringly.

    “That’s a slobber knocker,” color man Mike Martz said of the hit, also approvingly, using a strange expression that NFL insider types seem to like — check for the Hines Ward picture here. Martz continued in a gushing tone, “This is why they drafted [Barron]: form tackles, form tackles will stop them dead in their tracks.”

    Neither announcer pointed out that leading with the head is the single most dangerous thing a football player can do. Neither explained that “see what you hit” — keep your head up — is now being taught by the NFL, NCAA, National Federation of High Schools and Pop Warner as safe tackling. Neither mentioned that the hit occurred out of bounds. Both announcers held up to young players for admiration a vicious, dirty, dangerous move. Martz even called helmet-to-helmet contact a “form tackle,” an extremely bizarre thing to say.

    Officials did not flag Barron. But Roger Goodell has said that vicious helmet-to-helmet hits not penalized during a game can result in fines and suspensions when the front office reviews film. Commissioner — no one will believe you mean this until there is a suspension, and Barron should be suspended. One vicious play like his, held up for admiration on network television, nullifies a whole year of work by the NFL to promote safety.

    Pitts and Martz owe viewers an apology. They not only exhibited ignorance of football’s “see what you hit” campaign, they expressed admiration for the sort of behavior that leads to broken necks. This was not getting the down-and-distance wrong or mispronouncing a player’s name, this was encouraging young players to imitate an extremely dangerous example. Pitts and Martz’s comments bordered on irresponsible.

    After the game, Bucs coach Greg Schiano singled out Barron for praise. Rutgers player Eric LeGrand was paralyzed making an unsafe head-down tackle for Rutgers in 2010, when Schiano was coach. Schiano has observed for himself the terrible harm that can occur when football players don’t “see what you hit.” Yet he praises a player who made a violent helmet-to-helmet, head-down hit. Perhaps the NFL’s claims to want to promote safer football are just a lot of hot air for PR purposes.

  2. Jarret Says:

    Joe, I’m as happy as you are about the opening weekend win, but dont over do it. Dont wanna jinx it, these rookies still have a lotta learning to do.
    Dont forget how we started last season…not nearly the same situation but still

  3. Mike J Says:

    ”The Who when they were in their prime” were the best rock band in the world, even if a couple of them were borderline insane.
    This is from the LP ”Who’s Next”; give it a listen even if it is dinosaur music.
    Thanks, Joe.

  4. Fatmosh Says:

    “sellable jerseys”

    The single most important reason why we haven’t had sellouts.

    Think about it: how many years have the Bucs had sellouts without sellable jerseys?

    The ONLY time in the history of this franchise when we have had sellouts were:
    (1) When the stadium was brand new
    (2) When the team had star power

    That’s it, ever.

    Sapp, Brooks, Lynch, and Alstott carried us to sellouts for about a decade. When they disappeared, so did the sellouts.

    I’m convinced now, more than ever, that the only way the Bucs are going to get back to regularly selling out RJS is if we have a few Pro Bowlers to entice the casual fans of the bay area to attend games that they otherwise wouldn’t care about.

    Winning will help. Winning might get us to that 85%. But the only way RJS is going to be packed is with high-profile players.

    (Anybody remember how packed RJS at our last home playoff game? Oh, that’s right, it wasn’t.)

  5. Patrick Says:

    Great song Joe.

    My favorite song from the Who is Substitute. Pictures of Lily is a great one too!

  6. The Dutcher Journal (Pete Dutcher) Says:

    I was told no one else noticed the hit was dirty…strange. I thought I was wrong????

    Whatever. I still like Barron and love what he brings. My point in pointing out that hit as a negative was to show a playing issue that needs to be addressed. It bugged me that Bucs fans are so excited over a possible John Lynch replacement that they completely ignore the obvious fault in that one play.

    And yes…I still say Smith took two steps out of bounds before the hit. Ronde pushed him out (and seeing him out stopped chasing him). It may not be the popular thing to point out in this fanbase, but it is accurate. Ronde pushed Smith off-balance causing his left foot to step out first, than his right…than he tried to get back by bringing his left down inbounds but was still off-balance so his right was coming down out of bounds again as the Barron hit came.

    Now, this said…I can understand Barron not seeing this as he played…but not seeing it won’t matter to Goodell. Still, it’s something I think Schiano willxaddress so it doesn’t go down like that again.

    Otherwise, Barron had an “okay” first game. I’m not unhappy with his performance. And the hit, to me, was a good thing as it puts offenses on notice.

  7. Mike J Says:

    Pete, I have mentioned what to me is an illegal hit a couple places; Sander of BcusNation & I are having an email debate. I checked the NFL rules (I am an attorney, FWIW) and found: Hitting a player with any part of the helmet ” to butt, spear or ram an opponent violently or unnecessarily” is a foul. This is irrespective of whether the player is ”defenseless”, which is actually addressed in a different article (section) of the Rules.

  8. gatorinarkansas Says:

    So is the whole point you guys are saying is, Baron is a dirty player and should be fined . Oh boy here we go

  9. stevek Says:

    Baron is a beast.

    Steve Smith needs to recognize that at 5’9” and 180 lbs, he needs to get off the runway when the Red Baron is coming in for a landing.

    What a hit!

  10. Greg Says:

    @ MikeJ and Patrick,

    If you watch the video around the 4:02 mark, you can see where Pete Townsend’s right index fingernail had come off earlier in the song. Thanks Joe!

  11. Mike J Says:

    gatorinarkansas, no, but maybe Mark needs a little lecture on the rules and on technique. Leading with the crown of the helmet is as dangerous for the tackler as it is for the defensive player.
    I am waiting to see if he will be fined.

  12. Mike J Says:

    Greg, wow!! I will re-watch.

  13. Miguel Grande Says:

    Clean hit, in bounds. I was just surprised Ronde did not put a shoulder into him. 89 lowered his helmet after Barron was already committed.

    Impressed with the kids and FatMosh has a valid point.

    The Who were great.

  14. Mike J Says:

    Well, dug around some more & found an addendum, which might help explain things (making me wrong): ”Note: This does not apply to contact against a runner, unless the runner is still considered to be a defenseless
    player, as defined in Rule 12, Section 2, Article 9.” But from the format and vagueness, it is hard to tell if this exception applies only to the last cited specific rule, or to the entire Article 8. Logically it seems to apply only to the final part, regarding ”launching.” The upshot to me is that the rules are internally self-contradictory; no wonder there is so much confusion. (PDF)

  15. BigMacAttack Says:

    This hit nonsense is just that, nonsense. Smith was very low to the ground at the point of impact and his head was at the height of his chest when Barron lowered the SHOULDER on him. Yes the heads probably collided but it was because Smith was low, moving forward like a running back runs and why no penalty or fine should have been assessed. Barron lowered his body to make a clean hit, which he did, and Smith thought he was going to truck Barron. Smith is an arrogant POS and he found out the hard way. It had to hurt and ring his bell, no doubt.

    Not a big Who fan, I liked the Guess Who and Leslie West. The Who was more of bubble gum fad band that didn’t have the chop IMNSHO.

  16. Mike J Says:

    BigMacAttack , I think you are creating an exception that is not in the rules. The onus is on the attacking player.
    I have now said enough, or more than enough, on the subject.

    “….bubble gum fad band …”. Really?

  17. Miguel Grande Says:

    “….bubble gum fad band …”. They sang the Anthem of my young radical life

    “My Generation”

    People try to put us d-down (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)
    Just because we get around (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)
    Things they do look awful c-c-cold (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)
    I hope I die before I get old (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)

    This is my generation
    This is my generation, baby

    Why don’t you all f-fade away (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)
    And don’t try to dig what we all s-s-say (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)
    I’m not trying to cause a big s-s-sensation (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)
    I’m just talkin’ ’bout my g-g-g-generation (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)

    This is my generation
    This is my generation, baby

    Why don’t you all f-fade away (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)
    And don’t try to d-dig what we all s-s-say (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)
    I’m not trying to cause a b-big s-s-sensation (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)
    I’m just talkin’ ’bout my g-g-generation (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)

    This is my generation
    This is my generation, baby

    People try to put us d-down (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)
    Just because we g-g-get around (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)
    Things they do look awful c-c-cold (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)
    Yeah, I hope I die before I get old (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)

    This is my generation
    This is my generation, baby

  18. BigMacAttack Says:

    What can I say, didn’t see them as great musicians. Made a lot of money, but just not my favorites. Sorry if you don’t like my opinion, my kids are all musicians and I’ve played drums since I was 10 yrs old. Maybe that’s why an old guy like me likes more metal bands. Try a little Alestorm, THC, or Ensiferum.

    Pantera more adequately reflects My Degeneration.

    As for the hit again. Steve Smith got Jacked up!

    Relative Question: If a batter takes a stance that lowers his head way down to his chest elevation, does it change the size of the strike zone???

    The answer is No and common sense dictates.

  19. Fritz50 Says:

    Well, no expert here, & I’ve stated my opinion, but wanted to ask when the league asseses fines, isn’t it usually by the end of business Wed ? If so, it woud seen they don’t agree with you dirty hit guys. As for the baseball strike sone comparison, I think Smith’s actions are more like moving your head into the path of the pitch. prolly not his intent, I’m sure, but it’s obvious he was trying to get a big hit, to “finish the play”.
    Just seems like he didn’t quite get the ‘hit’ he was planning on.

  20. Fritz50 Says:

    well, sone was sposed to be zone, of course

  21. Mike J Says:

    I will try this again.
    BigMacAttack , everyone has opinions, though yours in this instance confounds me…. My brother, who has been playing Strat for 50 years, thinks the Grateful Dead is a garage band that got lucky and just sorta fooled people for years. He doesn’t like The Band, either. Chacun a son gout, & all.
    The baseball analogy doesn’t really apply here. But, Barron wasn’t flagged, nor was he fined, so evidently I was incorrect.