Nah, Bucs Couldn’t Use Michael Bennett

December 3rd, 2013

michael bennett-pngYou saw it. Joe saw it. The football world saw it.

Early in the game last night, which turned out to be a belt-whipping that the Seahawks unleashed on the Saints, Cliff Avril, who many in the offseason thought was running on a dry tank, stripped Drew Brees with Michael Bennett grabbing the loose ball out of the air and rolling 22 yards for a touchdown.

Yes, Michael Bennett. Yes, that Michael Bennett.

You know, the guy not good enough for the Bucs because he was damaged goods (Joe still isn’t buying that line). Yeah, the same Michael Bennett who led the team with sacks last year. Yeah, the same Michael Bennett who the Bucs confidently bragged could be replaced admirably by Da’Quan Bowers.

Yeah, Da’Quan Bowers. Yes, that Da’Quan Bowers, the nice guy and second round pick who can’t start for one of the worst pass-rushing teams in the NFL. Uh, huh. The one and the same Da’Quan Bowers.

Why doesn’t Joe buy that Bennett was let go solely because he was damaged goods (which is not totally false)? Because the Bucs could have signed him cheap; signed him still with loads of cap room; cut him if he couldn’t hack it (remember, NFL contracts are not always 100 percent guaranteed); or in a worst-case scenario from the Bucs’ frame of mind, made an injury settlement.

Now, Joe knows some point the finger at Bucs management for not washing their hands of leaky Rip Van Freeman before the season and starting Mike Glennon as the biggest offsason whiff. Short of Adam Schein, that is some serious revisionist history.

No, Raheem Morris, for all his faults, had a great saying. “I will tolerate you until I can replace you.” If Joe remembers correctly, this was a dart at Stylez White.

Well, the Bucs didn’t replace Bennett’s numbers or his stellar run defense. There’s no telling how much better the Bucs defense would be with Bennett. Now no one will ever confuse him with Deacon Jones. But if one position is a step or two better, it makes players around him better and that makes the team just that much better.

It’s not like the Bucs have sackmeisters growing on trees behind One Buc Palace.

Did the Bucs let Bennett walk (limp?) away without replacing him because he bristled at having to run juvenile stunts all game long?

Teams with losing records — this just in: the Bucs haven’t had a winning record since 2010 — can’t be picky about letting players walk for paltry sums who were statistical leaders on the squad.

Now Bennett is helping the Seahawks the best record in the NFC.

Nah, the Bucs just couldn’t have loused up their roster with a guy like Bennett.

46 Responses to “Nah, Bucs Couldn’t Use Michael Bennett”

  1. GABA Says:

    O I saw it

  2. Chris Says:

    Joe we’ve seen it all year from Bennett. Pop star instead overpaid for a darn safety who can’t cover.

  3. MTM Says:

    Amazing how well Bennett plays with Dominicks knack for talent evaluation. I mean normally he’s spot on with his draft picks and FA signings-not really.

  4. That Guy Says:

    I’m guessing Bennett walked away because, based on his subsequent comments, he thought the coach of the team was a dickish loser.

    And he was spot on.

  5. Bucsd04 Says:

    Ya Joe were is the paragraph or even sentence hanging this on your beloved pop star manager? I believe you give him credit for good signing! So let’s see pop star has had three mostly wasted draft years, signed multiple ineffective and overpaid free agents, and let walk some good players who wanted a raise! If you were watching the game last nit they were talking about the Seahawks gm and how great he was at mining talent. Most of the defense is made up of third day draft picks. Just saying I wish we had a gm who believed in depth at all position

  6. mike norris Says:

    @thatguy… he would have stayed if our offer was higher

  7. flmike, is back... Says:

    Okay, how about some perspective…

    Michael Bennett – Total Tkls – 20, Solo – 10 Assts – 10 Sks – 6.5

    G. McCoy – Total Tkls – 33, Solo – 23 Assts – 10 Sks – 6.0
    A. Clayborn – Total Tkls – 46, Solo – 33 Assts – 13 Sks – 4.0
    A. Spence – Total Tkls – 20, Solo – 13 Assts – 7 Sks – 1.0
    W. Gholston – Total Tkls – 11, Solo – 4 Assts -7 Sks – 0.5
    D. Bowers – Total Tkls – 6, Solo – 2 Assts – 4 Sks – 0.5

    Bennett is playing slightly better than a rookie nose tackle and a project we drafted in the 4th rd. His real value comes from his sacks, but, I doubt he has those sacks here as our d line isn’t as strong as Seattle’s. Please, before you start making inane comments after seeing him make one big play on national tv, check the stats and see where the player really is.

  8. Chris Says:

    ^*^^. This guy hasn’t watched any games at all.

  9. RCH Says:

    Was it just me or did anybody else get a kick out of the Saints getting kicked in the nads last night as the 12th man screamed them right out of the stadium.

  10. Macabee Says:

    This story can be told over and over again. Check out the stats for George Selvie, Wallace Gilberry, and others that have been run from the Bucs. Chris Jones the DT we got from the Texans was kept two weeks, waived and was immediately claimed by Belichick. He is now starting DT for the Pats with 6 sacks.

    But not to worry, we have Ka’lial Glaud from Rutgers stepping up for elite Jon Cassillas. We get what we deserve!

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Heard the term….”Crying over spilt milk”?……I am far more concerned about who we have than who we don’t have….

    How many of you have ex wives that were total bitches with you but are adored by their new husband?

    There are too many variables with players to compare their performances with different teams.

  12. flmike, is back... Says:

    Part of my job is watching all the games, each week.
    Bennett is a good player but must have solid talent around him to excel, he’s become pass rush specialist, hence the 6.5 sacks with just 20 total tackles, which in reality makes him 32nd on the sack list, just 8 spots ahead of GMC, but with just 1/2 a sack more, GMC has 13 more total tackles, 23 of which are solo, meaning GMC has 3 more solo tackles than Bennett has total tackles. But thats comparing a DE to DT, lets look at Bennett vs Clayborn. Clayborn has 46 total tackles to Bennett’s 20, again more than doubling Bennett’s production, Clayborn has 33 solo’s that 13 more than Bennett has total, the only stat Bennett has better numbers is in Sacks, and again it’s only by 2.5 sacks. And that’s with Clayborn coming off ACL surgery. Like I said, check the stats, they may not tell the whole story, but they give you a good idea of who’s being productive on the field.

  13. joseph mamma Says:

    I put the blame squarely on the pop tart too!!!!!

  14. Splengo Says:


    Heard the term….”Wallowing in mediocrity”? Get a clue you shameless Schiano apologist!

  15. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The story I came away with from last night’s game is how well we must have played the Seahawks….because NO looked worse than we did against Carolina.
    Even an elite QB can be completely destroyed once in a while.
    Also…it is likely NO will now have nothing to really play for against us…..similar to Atl last year.

    But…perhaps Joe will raise these points in a later article….

  16. Vic Says:

    @FLMike – Bennett’s production WITHIN the Bucs’ scheme is all you need to look at. He was DOMINANT, third or fourth in the NFL in tackles for loss, and nine sacks. He absolutely thrived here but we ditched him.

    In Seattle, he plays fewer snaps and rushes more inside. The guy is versatile. I think the point is he’s worth the $5 million they paid him for this season.

    Again, he was a proven commodity in this defense and there was no reason to believe (now or then) that he wouldn’t have delivered comparable performance.

  17. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Splengo

    I don’t apologize for Schiano or Dominick….I said, I am more concerned about who we have…and that means who we have that isn’t performing….
    If Bowers had 7 or 8 sacks…then this article wouldn’t have been written… I am not happy with the production from many of our players & that falls on the coaches.

  18. Hector Says:

    @ FlMike, your statement would hold more water if you stated that Bennett is also 2nd on the depth chart, if you watch the games then you would be comparing starters to second team. Yes, the Seahawks rotate their players more than the bucs since their d-line depth is deeper and pretty much their 2nd team DE can come in right away and start for the bucs. With that being said Bennetts stats would not compare favorably to a starters stats.

    DE – Cliff Avril
    DE – Michael Bennett
    DE – Red Bryant
    DE – Chris Clemons
    DE – Beson Mayowa
    DE / OLB – Bruce Irving

  19. Splengo Says:


    Joe laid out a perfectly good rationale why we shouldn’t be walking away from good players and you say it’s water under the bridge.

    We will never win with people like you who make excuses for losing. Stop forgiving bad play, bad coaching, and losing records. You’ re on here everyday with that apologist psycho-babble. It’s old and some of really want to win around here!

  20. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Splengo

    You have no idea how much I want to win. I don’t apologize for anyone….I just don’t get motivated by constant negativity. I’m not suprised that you choose to read part of my posts and ignore the rest….
    I said ” I am not happy with the production from many of our players & that falls on the coaches.”

    What part of that do you disagree with?

  21. Mcbuc Says:

    Maybe he did not want to stay.

  22. flmike, is back... Says:

    What he has become is a journeymen DE, who Seattle actually moved inside because their current DEs are so much better than he is, he has one good season (out of 6) on tape, and his stats this year don’t show any improvement over what he was able to accomplish on bad Tampa teams. There is a Michael Bennett on every team in the league, someone who flashes for a season, maybe two and then returns to their normal level of play. His 20 total tackles so far isn’t worth the 5 mil Seattle payed him.

  23. Splengo Says:


    Was typing my last post and didn’t see your post before I commented. I agree with your last sentiment, but your first post about “spilt milk” hit a nerve.

    We have to stop spilling milk and win games and I don’t mean 6 or 7 a year. We been in a drought and it’s time for it to end. And I do believe you want that too!

  24. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Splengo

    I blame Dominick for our current losing status.

    The Bucs problems in the trenches is due to our failure with the NFL draft… are the last six year’s failures (either no longer playing or playing poorly)…..most are rounds 1-4.
    We should have developed more players through the draft….we, in particular have failed with the D-line & O-line.

    2006 Trueblood, Stovall
    2007 Adams, Sears, Piscitelli
    2008 Talib, Dex Jackson,
    2009 Freeman, Miller, Moore
    2010 Price, Benn, Myron Lewis
    2011 Bowers, Stocker, Black

    I think our draft is better since Schiano got here…
    And who could argue (even if they are from Rutgers) that Stocker is better than Wright….or Benn was better than Underwood?

    What we have here is what I call “draft ego”….an unwillingness to let players go because you have drafted them…If you let them go, you failed…..Myron Lews & Stocker come to mind….and Bowers is soon to be added to that list.

  25. Bobby Says:

    Will you get over Bennett already??? He’s gone. It happens all the time. Last I checked, Bobby Rainey was cut and lit it up for us against Atlanta. Bennett is an average DE and the reason we got rid of him is he broke assignment too many times. For every sack he also had a QB or RB that would get outside. It’s happening this year too but mostly because of stupid stunts and poor scheme. You people act as though Michael Bennett would be the difference maker here. Please…..with Seattle’s D-line and all you have is 6.5 sacks and 20 tackles? Hardly elite.

  26. MikeJ Says:

    Bobby,FWIW, Bennett was one of the best vs. the run in PFF’s season grades in 2012, IIRC.
    What bugs me overall is, when you have a guy & let him go in favor of a new player, it creates constant roster turnover & you never get better; in effect, you’re rebuilding every year.

  27. WalkdaPlank Says:

    Isn’t Bennett the one who said Schiano had “small man syndrome”? Maybe he didn’t WANT to be here? And Joe, who, might you ask, is the one responsible for letting Bennett go without an adequate replacement? Hmmmmm…..clearly the Bucs front office gambled on Bowers and it didn’t pay off. And to think, there were two good veteran FA’s out on the streets for weeks who could’ve given us better play at DE than Bowers, one by the name of John Abraham.

  28. originalfloridamarlin Says:

    Tampabaybucfan nailed it. “Draft ego.” Dominik is the problem. Case closed.

  29. buc4lyfe Says:

    Per source of friend of Bennett he was doomed the day Schiano got here just like Freeman….he was replaced because he couldn’t be controlled like rookies and un-established players, notice all veteran receivers and d tackles are gone for example…you can’t give a grown man worth kids, with more knowledge and nfl Experience that he has a curfew of 7pm in the off-season and expect him to do anything but look at you like your a joke….THAT’S WHY BENNETT IS GONE. We’ve done nothing but pay for free agent talent under Mark dominick and if not for Schiano just coming from the college ranks and knowing the players we’ve drafted, even that would still be going wrong, Schiano and dominick need to go because we talk about a new coach wanting glennon but the truth sounds more like they don’t like the glazers plan or dominick. He’s a capologist not a gm.

  30. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    Guys, guys, guys, we are improving. Come 2016, the 8 year rebuild will be complete.

    As you can see, Bowers is just about to hit his prime.

    And, I’m sure we can find plenty of Joe Staley types off the streets. No one ever drafts offensive lineman, amirite?

  31. MTM Says:

    @ Flaming Mike

    Comparing Bennett stats to any of the Bucs lineman is a waste of time. Seattle’s defense on the field far less than the Bucs defense. Of course the tackles will be higher. This Bucs roster is thin as paper. Most of the Bucs FA’s are overpaid versus their production on the field. Its not about the few good players that were taken in the draft over years. It’s the large amount of drafts that the “Pop Star” has wiffed on.

  32. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    To his defense, Mediocre Mark has been busy, working hard to identify blocking ends who are just waiting to blossom into pass catching ones.

  33. Eric Says:

    The Glazer boys aren’t getting rid of Schiano or Rockstar.

    All we can do is hope by some miracle this thing comes together. Id rather see Glennon remain the starter so, if the thing falls apart again next year, a new coach can come in and draft a QB to his liking.

    Last thing we need is to waste five years on trying to develop a franchise guy that rock selected high in the draft – who we cant get rid of due to the salary.

    Been there, done that. Let Schiano succeed or fail with “his guy”.

  34. Bucfan#37 Says:

    I too enjoyed the Hawks beatdown of the Aints and Brees. I’ll be pulling for the stinking Panthers to beat the Aints both times coming up.

  35. Westsidebucsfan Says:

    Let’s face facts… The BUCS have won a total of 3 games so far. Let’s clean house (GM and coaches) and start over. It can’t get much worse than what we have now. 8 wins aren’t getting us to the playoffs (if Schiano can even get us that many). Give us a coach that will get us 11-12 wins!

  36. GBG Says:

    Michael Bennett has .5 more sacks than Bowers, Teo’Neshiem, & Gholston COMBINED. Funny there was no mention of your boy Mark Dominik in this article, or how NOT resigning Michael Bennett(or his brother) is the free agency fail of 2013. What GM let’s 9 sacks, which Bennett is 2.5 sacks away from this year, walk for the NFL equivalent of a bag of beef jerky? Michael Bennett was the free agent fail of 2013.

  37. ander Says:

    bennett wanted to be here trust me, but schiano and mr dominick didnt think he was good enough and they thought bowers would blossom this year but appereantly he hasnt, and that other guy te,o noisheim is terrible i think i honestly can be better than that guy at de, he flat out sucks. theirfore, the bucs take an L for not keeping bennett or even signing his brother.

  38. PRBucFan Says:

    That falls on Dom.

    Failure to take care of a vital personnel issue.

    I said last offseason that I thought it would be one of Dom’s biggest failures to let Bennett walk and he did.

    smh, especially when he said on numerous occasions he wanted to be back here.

  39. Left_Coast_Bucs_Fan Says:

    The perils (and pearls) of the draft hit every team. Most of the Top 50 picks each year are more than capable of being successful, quality players for most teams.

    And there in lies the problem, the words “most teams” because NFL teams, more than MLB or NBA teams, need players that fit the coaching-style of the team. Change a coach, especially the head coach, and the roster must be turned over to find the players that fit the coaching-style. Historically, it usually takes about 3 years for a new head coach’s system to match-up with the right players, that’s why there are so many former Rutgers players on the Bucs to “fill the gaps” until the right long-term solution can be brought in. In the meantime, Schiano knows those players can fill the short-term need.

    If the Glazers fire Schiano after this season, the 3-year clock to implement a new system and fill out the roster with the right players to match the system goes back to day one. As a Bucs fan since the day they entered the league, I for one do not want to see the clock reset, been there done that too many years….hell, decades.

    P.S. Even Bill Billi-cheat’s record his first 5 years as a HC (all in Cleveland) was 41-55. His record was 5-11 his first season in NE. On his second season there? 11-5, Super Bowl Champs and followed that up with 2 more over the next 3 seasons. Billy-boy cut his teeth in Cleveland and within 2years turned NE in to a perennial contender.

    Schiano is cut of the same cloth, I say leave him alone, let him do it his way and the results will come. The proof is in the players, in spite of how much turmoil has surrounded the team this year, he has not lost the locker room. Please Glazer family, don’t reset the clock.

  40. Eric Says:

    Schiano is coming back next year, but comparing him to Belichick is ridiculous.

    Bill was DC of a Super Bowl champ, not coach of a weak team in the Big East.

  41. PRBucFan Says:

    It’s a valid comparison.

    He’s not comparing their career as a whole but using a legitimate example showing that he didn’t start his career so hot either.

    I hear ya.

  42. Paul Says:

    “the 3-year clock to implement a new system and fill out the roster with the right players to match the system goes back to day one”

    Andy Reid says what!?

  43. Left_Coast_Bucs_Fan Says:

    @ Eric Says: I’m not really comparing Schiano to Belichick, I’m stating what should be the obvious, Schiano’s at the beginning of his NFL-HC career too, just as BB was in Cleveland before they fired him and ran him out of town which is exactly like what many impatient Bucs fans want to do with Schiano.

    Art Model (the Cleveland Browns owner in 1996) when he fired Belicheck was quoted as saying: “We’ve had some success with Bill….However, in order to get to the next level, a change at head coach is necessary.” That happened to be the same off-season that the team moved to Baltimore while changing their name to the Ravens. And yes, they finally did win a Super Bowl (last year) with a different HC, but that was long after Belichick’s 13 years of history in NE, which reads like a HOF plaque:

    Regular Season Record,160-59 (.731)
    10 Division Championships
    7 Conference Championship Games
    5 Super Bowls
    Post Season Record of 17-7 (.708)
    And, most of all? 3 Super Bowl Championships.

    My point is ONLY to say Schiano, just like Belicheck, should be given the time to grow into his role and build-it rather then send him away after getting his HC-education at the expense of the Bucs. We Bucs’ fans should all cut Schiano some slack as he grows in to his role and implements his system rather than creating a mutiny in hopes’ of making him walk-the-plank.

    It takes time to build a perennial contender, even for the best of them. And us so-called Bucs fans “hanging the coaches from the galleys” every 2-3 years will only keep repeating the same depressing process of starting the 3-year clock all over again.

    There’s an old saying, that goes something like this: “Those who learn nothing from their history are bound to repeat it”. And haven’t the Bucs already proven that to be true enough over the last 37 years?

  44. Left_Coast_Bucs_Fan Says:

    @ Paul Says: Ah, that the players on the KC roster fit Reid’s system better than Crennels?

  45. BirdDoggers Says:

    Bottom line, Dominik and Schiano whiffed on their assessment of Bennett and Bowers. They whiffed on the handling of the Freeman situation. They spent big money on a safety that’s a liability in coverage when they already have a similar player in Barron. Is it smart to play essentially two strong safeties in a pass happy league? It doesn’t seem like it to me. These decisions can be the difference between having a good football team and a bad one. The Glazers should be looking at this regime and asking themselves if they’re capable of building a winner.

  46. oldfart44 Says:

    @BirdDoggers: good point about the safeties.

    In most ways they overpaid big time for their FAs.