One That Got Away

January 4th, 2015
Ravens starting cornerback Rashaan Melvin

Ravens starting cornerback Rashaan Melvin

Playoff football is a beautiful yet depressing thing to watch.

Joe really enjoyed the games yesterday, but they illustrate how far the Buccaneers, 30-70 in their last 100 outings, are from playing in January.

Yes, Lovie Smith says true football fans know the Bucs “are on the verge.” But heck, Steelers backup and former Bucs starter Bruce Gradkowski looked far better than any quarterback on the current Tampa Bay roster.

One guy playing a prominent playoff role on the Ravens’ top-eight defense yesterday was starting cornerback Rashaan Melvin. He had six tackles, third best on the team.

Undrafted in 2013, Melvin was a guy former Bucs rockstar general manager Mark Dominik and Greg Schiano thought was a star before he ever got on a professional field. Joe remembers getting an earful from the Bucs’ higher-ups raving about how good Melvin could be. But Melvin pulled a hamstring in an early preseason game that year and was put on injured reserve.

Lovie Smith raved about Melvin, who played with the Bucs’ second team through much of the 2014 preseason, and he made Lovie’s 53-man roster. But the Bucs cut Melvin a couple of weeks into the season with a minor injury. The Dolphins put him on their practice squad, and the Ravens scooped him up.

Melvin has been such a standout in Baltimore, the Baltimore Sun has been writing features on him. Here’s one.

A long, lean superior athlete, and a very team-first kind of guy, 25-year-old Melvin seems to have found a home.

Joe’s happy for the young man, one that unfortunately got away in the lost season of 2014.

35 Responses to “One That Got Away”

  1. lurker Says:

    yeppers, lovie is a very poor talent evaluator. he has screwed up too many personnel decisions, from coaches to players.

    in lovie we suck

  2. Newbucsfan!!! Says:

    Yes every Bucs player that has a good game with another team is yet another example of L&L not knowing talent. Ridiculous

    You know Joe, a little perspective is in order for your fans and maybe yourself. Melvin was a backup and I don’t think that the other players let go by Lovie are all pro bowlers save maybe two and whose to say they would have had good seasons with the Bucs this year. Maybe its a case of a change of scenery being good for a player and maybe he’ll make the most out of his opportunity.

    Joe hasn’t lost any perspective. And Melvin has had more than just one good game. Melvin was a good talent that the Bucs gave up on after a couple of rounds of injuries. Joe wishes the kid well. The Bucs could have re-signed him in November or December if they wanted to.–Joe

  3. P'cola Buc Says:

    Yes, as an example one of Bill Belichick’s talents is seemingly knowing when to let go of players and recognizing they are declining. The perfect time to trade them. He actually can evaluate player’s talents on other teams and exercise a profitable trade to acquire them. Every player has a time when his talents begin to wain. A time to “hang it up ” and face reality. Questioning here if this can happen to coaches. Is the Tampa 2 out dated and has become ineffective? Is Lovie’s evaluation of talent so poor that it’s becoming a true negative to the team. Are both Lovie and Licht in over their heads? I love the Buccaneers and was happy they hired Lovie……. I’m just saying…….

  4. Brandon Says:

    I saw his name flash up during the starting lineups and immediately texted my friend… I didn’t know he was released from IR. I always liked his frame and potential. He’s now played in 4 games for the Ravens, that has pretty much been the same length of time he could play for us before getting hurt (preseason). I hope he does well. As soon as I saw him with another team, I regretted we released him, kind of like with Al Harris 16 years ago.

  5. BigMacAttack Says:

    I think Lovie tries to hire Coaches that are smarter than he is, but the problem is that everyone is smarter than he is. But hey, he looks the part and has good composure on the sidelines. He so often references being a fan that maybe he should just stay home on Sundays and watch TV. I don’t see us climbing out of this rut with this coach. My confidence meter with Lovie is about 7.34% even with Mariota as his new QB.

  6. Stanglassman Says:

    Where do people get this notion that the Tampa two is outdated? Almost every team in the NFL use it. The Ravans used it effectively last night to beat the Steelers. Once again just because you say something over and over doesn’t make it true.

  7. BigMacAttack Says:

    And his number one line of crap “We were in all but 3 games until the final minute”
    Dude, you lost repeatedly, you have the NUMBER 1 Pick, the WORST team in the NFL.
    No, you are not close, you are delusional.

  8. Rob Says:

    How many guys did Dominik bring in that Schiano didnt keep that have gone to contribute with other teams. While his drafting was awful, Dominik sure knew hot to scout guys off the street.

  9. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    What about the players we got from other teams?…..How about Rainey, McDougald, Lansanah

    It works both ways!!!

  10. SAMCRO Says:

    Gradkowski was 2/3 for 22 yards, so what. Clearly, Melvin was picked off the wire because of his newly acquired familiarity with the 4-3 Under with Tampa 2 coverage he learned while with the Bucs.

  11. Supersam Says:

    Eh I didn’t see nothing great from him, his tackles are high because they were throwing on him all night lol

  12. DallasBuc Says:

    I brought this Melvin sht to light last night in the Frazier thread. Where’s the attribution?

  13. DallasBuc Says:

    But seriously though, it is a damn shame Lovie and lapdog can’t get their sht together. Make Dom/Schiano look like the greatest tandem in franchise history!

  14. port richey george Says:

    Melvin probably didn’t fit the cover 2. why else would they have gotten rid of him.

  15. bucrightoff Says:

    Lovie can only succeed coaching talent found by others. His actual talent evaluation skills are the worst in football, bar none. See Olsen, Greg. This is why he needs to be fired ASAP, because the longer he’s here the worse we’re gonna be when he inevitably gets fired.

  16. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Newsflash. Every head coach in the NFL let’s players go that end up doing well on other teams. Who cares? Once they are gone, it no longer matters.

    When he was cut here, he was injured. He was expendable. And just because he’s having a few good games it doesn’t mean it was a mistake to cut him.

    Hind sight is ALWAYS 20-20.

    Foresight is the challenging talent.

  17. Lefty Says:

    100% agree with bucrightoff – the hole will just continue to deepen.

  18. Coburn Says:

    This starting to become more common lately. Reminds me of Kyle Arrington. Then there is Michael Bennett who produced on the field and proved himself

  19. Dr T Says:

    Is anyone surprised?
    Throw in Zutah’s play which appeared to be better than EDS’s for the Bucs.
    You could write a book of how extremely poor evaluation of players’ talent (Mark Barron instead of Luke Kuechly, etc) has led the Bucs back to the Yucs!

  20. louden Says:

    nothing to add what wasn´t already said.
    Can´t believe Lovie wasn´t fired on black monday.

    No one can forecast the future, but history is told and Lovie plain sucks as HC.

    just like McCown: great intangibles – but no skills
    no need for getting season tickets

  21. louden Says:

    awaiting moderation… Your alleged right to comment doesn’t trump Joe’s right to be treated respectfully on his own website — one where Joe is responsible for every last word. This is America, friend. –Joe

  22. bucs4lyfe Says:

    damn you people are pathetic, worse herd of sheep ever and half of you cant think for yourselves unless joe writes it. I thought this guy was an absolute stud and i thought he was going to be even better than jonathan banks with more and more experience….the damn dude spent his entire buc career hurt and was never available, who keeps an undrafted player on their roster that can’t stay healthy? if your scouring the waiver wire then your desperate at a position. none of you can even remember a meaning regular season game he played for us but your coming here to pile on and it’s pathetic, lovie survived black monday and is prepping for the offseason so deal with it sheep and follow because what else can you do

  23. Eric Says:

    Lovie is an excellent coach well respected throughout the league.

    He will turn this around.

    Not that far away. Nine losses by six points or less.

    Go Lovie.

  24. Tbfanman Says:

    I’m glad you did a piece on rashaan melvin. When I saw the name melvin on the back of the jersey last night I thought no way it could be rashaan. I thought he was still a part of our team He looked really good in training camp until he was hit with injuries. He could have been a pretty good back up to banks.

  25. louden Says:

    That’s all great, except Joe has no time to babysit comments that are malicious in nature to the host. You think some of Joe’s comments are fishy and think they are part of some sort of agenda Bucs corporate conspiracy? That’s fantastic, but Joe’s not about to invite and welcome wacky shots at Joe’s credibility. Joe has a hair under 20,000 posts archived here, none played more prominently than another. To suggest Joe has any agenda other than to write about what interests and entertains Joe, is just silly talk. –Joe

  26. Architek Says:

    Good story – more of the same in Tampa/Third World.

  27. lurker Says:

    lovie has no foresight in personnel matters! hindsight has shown us that. it is more than just melvin. he got rid of many good players who are doing well with others teams and brought in turds. even ex-coaching turds are coaching for us. can’t wait to see what castoff is oc.

  28. Dcommand Says:

    Lovie tanked the season. There is a quarterback they believe to be a franchise guy. They did what the colts did for Andrew luck. This is the reason I believe tedford didn’t return he didn’t want to lose or was not interested in the quarterback.

  29. Mike10 Says:

    Another knock on the player assessment of L+L. I also enjoyed watching Zuttah starting at Center for a playoff team – a position of need for us. Worried this franchise is going to continue to move backwards under the current regime.

    We will be watching Foster or Bowers starting if not excelling for a playoff team this time next year!

  30. Mike10 Says:

    @ Eric, stop

  31. ddneast Says:

    Sometimes it’s not a change of scenery that causes players to perform better, it’s the stark cold realization they have been fired and if they don’t shape up fast, they will soon be stocking shelves at Winn Dixie for $11 an hour.
    Of course no other team ever has ever let players like this go. Morons.
    Maybe we should have kept Baron For another year even though his replacement is already playing better than him.

  32. StayTheCourse Says:

    Dems da breaks…good for him, sorry it wasn’t here.

  33. PRBucFan Says:

    No Melvin had plenty of chances and each time they loved what he brought but each time he ended up on IR. You can’t do anything with a player whose always hurt. And if you didn’t notice what happen tonight? He got hurt again. They had to release him.

  34. PRBucFan Says:

    or rather last night

  35. ddneast Says:

    Yes and I just saw Dakota Watson rough the kicker in the Dallas game, should we lament about him being given his walking papers as well. This happens all over the league to every team.
    Blah, blah, blah.
    As I said weeks earlier, this team is a good offensive coordinator and QB away from a 9-7 record. I don’t even think the O line or McCown would have played as bad this year if we had a qualified OC.
    And despite what Joe thinks, we had to play against the better QB of the Panthers twice.
    Newton was back to normal last night and played horribly. If the Cards had Mike Glennon they would have won that game.