A Passionate Plea For Playing Time

August 5th, 2014
ian beckles

A prominent former Buccaneer doesn’t want to see a repeat of last year

The Bucs had a pretty sad and perplexing preseason last year, and the on-field mess carried into the regular season.

Commander Schiano didn’t want to give starters, especially Josh Freeman, a lot of August reps, after limiting Freeman’s first-team reps in practice so Mike Glennon could get plenty of work.

That’s just bad NFL protocol, explained former Bucs guard Ian Beckles (1990-1996), co-host of the Ron and Ian show on WDAE-AM 620.

Beckles made a passionate on-air plea yesterday for Lovie Smith to let his team get significant playing time so it can bond and jell and learn how to play together. The preseason opener is Friday night in Jacksonville.

“I hope the new regime doesn’t have the same mentality of the old regime about anything. One thing that really bothered me was they were too scared to play people last year,” Beckles said. “We never developed anything. Our preseason we were terrible and we continued to be terrible for the whole season. Put your guys out that are gonna play out there a little bit and create something. All the guys that we have that are going to be out on the field Friday, they’ve never played together before. They’re going to need to play some time.”

Beckles went on to say this “new NFL” preseason philosophy held by some coaches stunts the basic role of preseason, to get guys ready for real games.

Joe’s unsure how Lovie Smith will handle the preseason, however, Joe is sure the Bucs offense will take on two very nasty defenses in Weeks 1 and 2. Those two home games (Panthers and Rams) will be critical. The Bucs have to find a way to be ready to win one.

15 Responses to “A Passionate Plea For Playing Time”

  1. Touch_Down_Tampa_Bay Says:

    Pineapple McCown has this mentality. He has been working with the offense since the off-season. While the o-line gets figured out 3 step passing will become second nature to Pineapple McCown and the offense.

    Is it Friday yet???!

  2. Jim Says:

    Totally agree. In the past the Bucs did not want to show anything in the pre-season and ended up showing NOTHING during the season.

  3. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    I hope this “pineapple McCown” doesn’t sour before the season starts.

  4. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    @ TDTB

    You’re cracking me up man, I get that you’re merely trying to get a reaction with the “Pineapple McCown” stuff. Hey I get it I still think we’ll see Glennon at QB before the bye, but if “pineapple McCown” can play up to your expectations than let’s roll with the old guy 🙂

  5. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    Lots of teams limit they’re starting players in preseason, so I’m not sure what the big deal was? Freeman was in his fifth year and his second year with the same OC, so why risk getting someone injured (which I’m sure would have gotten a lot of fans in a tizzy!)? Plus I am reaching here, but Schiano probably saw Josh F enough to have more insight into his “off field issues” than most of us…probably had a feeling Glennon would be needed.

  6. Dooley Says:

    Im with Beckles on this one, I think if any unit on the offense needs the extra PT it’s our OL, but I’m convinced Coach Smith may play it by eye. If the offense comes out and can execute against an Jacksonville’s starters successfully then 1-2 drives may be enough, if we see the starters struggle I’ll be the last in line to complain about an extra series or two

  7. feelthepewterpower Says:

    We lost to the Jets because of lack of prep, and carried over into a losing streak that ultimately cost Schiano his job.

    I agree, play the starters even if it means nothing. Remember the Giants who played their starters and tried to beat an undefeated New England in a meaningless regular season game at the end of the year? It would serve the Giants well going into the playoffs….

  8. Louis Friend Says:


    If they can’t get anything going in preseason against scrubs, makes it hard to believe the light will suddenly switch on against regular season foes. They started very slowly last year. And didn’t do that well the year before really. Cohesion needs to happen before the regular season begins. Practice reps only go so far.

  9. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    I hear ya Louis Friend, I guess my point is the team had a lot of continuity going into last season. There were even Drew Brees camp comparisons from some media outlets (cough cough) for Freeman, so it wasn’t too far fetched to think guys were comfortable in the system. Lesson learned, when your franchise QB has a Cherbobyl meltdown the season can turn ugly very quickly. But it’s a new year and a more experienced coaching staff, so hopefully the team can amass a few more wins.

  10. Louis Friend Says:


    Yeah, it’s a fine balance between showing too much of a scheme and avoiding injuries vs cohesion and chemistry. They just couldn’t get it right under Sullivan and Schiano.

  11. Atlanta Buc Says:

    Not sure about all the hub-ub over preseason games; only games #2 and #3 amount to any quality game action; when the other team’s true potential starters are playing against yours. Even the play calling is all very basic, with blitzes, stunts and specific opponent game planning held to a minimum. I believe there is not much good derived in playing your starters against scrubs in game#4 at all, in the name of team chemistry; especially if your starters end up getting hurt in a meaningless game just prior to the start of the season. It does seem to happen every year, when a coach leaves in a good player for more quality preseason reps and then the player suffers a catastrophic injury because he is going against a younger inexperienced player trying to earn a roster spot, who takes a cheap or ill advised late shot after a whistle to get noticed by his coaches. I have to disagree with Mr. Beckles on the value of playing starters much more in the preseason than most teams are currently doing now, it’s just not worth the risk.

  12. Espo Says:

    When your starting qb is struggling in the preseason, either get him more practice reps or make the switch. Don’t deny him preseason snaps and then start the season with him. You play how you practice.

  13. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    The strange thing was that by many accounts Freeman was looking good in camp. The meltdown must have really started in preseason, because the offense never looked like it had any kind of rhythm with Freeman in it last year from preseason until Freeman got benched.

  14. Mike10 Says:

    Wow, looking at all the additions we made on the offensive side of the ball, I can’t seem so understand why nothing was done to the Offensive line. I feel like Lovie is just going to pretend you can by without one? Fast release or not, we’ve got a veteran QB and statue as his backup. As this stands now, our offensive is going to be really bad with a QB on his back and lineman tripping over each other. I know it’s not the most exciting position, but come one Lovie – wake up.

  15. pick6 Says:

    @Mike10, that might be the first time Lovie Smith has ever been accused of overlooking the defense. i think he gave it a very long look and decided that with some select free agents they could run the scheme they wanted. you’ve got at least on elite or potentially elite player at every level of the defense, while the offense he inherited included very little you could count on other than doug martin coming off an injury, a (great) 31-year old WR. the future of the defense was bright before lovie even showed up