Thursday, January 1, 2015

My post mortem on the Bucanneer's season

greg schiano miss me yet

So the Bucs finished the 2014 season 2-14. What went wrong? What didn't?

After bringing in Greg Schiano to bring discipline and structure to the Bucs, the team went 7-9 his first season. The second should have been at least 8-8 but the team lost four games on flukey, literally last minute plays or penalties that left them a dismal 4-12. Schiano was fired, unjustly in my opinion, and Lovie Smith was hired. Schiano has admitted in interviews that he brought a bit too much of his college discipline to the pros and is looking to change his approach, spending this year visiting various pro and college coaches to modify his way of doing things. Sadly, too late for us Buc fans.

Smith hired Jim Tedford as his offensive coordinator in the off season and theoretically spend hours working up some high octane run and gun offense similar to what Philly is doing. Tedford went down with a heart condition requiring surgery and Smith promoted the qb coach Marcus Arroyo, who was epically not up to the task.

According to Tedford, he was ready to return to the team months ago, but the Bucs didn't seem interested. According to the team, Tedford never said he was ready to return. He eventually asked to be released as is now the head coach of the BC Lions in Canada. As we used to say in the old days:

something rotten in denmark

Another head scratcher was Smith's decision to bring in 35 year old Josh McCown as quarterback. Smith brought his former qb in and simply annointed him the starter over Mike Glennon. Glennon was Schiano's choice to lead this team and for some reason Smith just kicked the guy to the curb. McCown is a career back-up qb with a losing record as a starter and he performed as such during the season. Supposedly noted for his mistake free performances, McCown was a turnover machine during the season. And despite his courage in taking a beating in the pocket, more on that later, he never gave the team a chance to win with him under center.

One of the things that gave me hope in the pre-season was Smith calling the Bucs o-line overrated and ineffective. Something I've said for years. Problem was Smith dumped all the guys on the line and brought in players who were worse. I'm sure these guys were playing hard and were doing their best, but they couldn't stop a group of pre-schoolers from getting to their juice boxes at lunch time. As such, the team couldn't run and they couldn't throw the ball. Arroyo never seemed to consider rolling McCown out or moving the pocket or calling for screen passes to slow down opponent's pass rush, ideas that have been around since the invention of the forward pass. A couple of weeks ago, McCown took a brutal beating in the pocket and despite the fact that the team had Mike Glennon available, Smith just kept sending McCown out there to get beaten up. Go figure.

The team had an opportunity to bring in All Pro lineman Richie Incognito during the season, but because Incognito was a meanie mean pants who made one of his teammate's eyes leak tears, he was passed over for Logan Mankins who immediately went on IR and did the olé thing once he finally got on the field.

Noted for his prowess as a defensive coach, Smith decided he didn't need the league's best defensive back and traded away Daryl Reavis. I'm not sure I remember who they got in return, but that was a one-sided deal that would make President Obama think twice. And we've seen his track record on one-sided deals these days.

By totally not throwing the last game of the season *snicker* the Bucs have the first pick in the draft. Two of the best quarterbacks in years are available -- Jameis Winston of FSU and Marcus Mariota of Oregon. Former Bucs coach Tony Dungy is already on record as begging Smith not to take Winston because of his previous troubles. Both players are underclassmen and could theoretically refuse to come out if they think the Bucs will draft them. We've seen that in the past with players like Bo Jackson and Peyton Manning, both of whom refused to play for teams they thought might draft them.

And there's no guarantee Smith will draft either player. I wouldn't be surprised if he packages the number one pick with something else for an o-lineman or something. Smith has noted that his former offensive coordinator, Marc Trestman, is available now and has pointed out that McCown had his best years playing under Trestman in Chicago. So I wouldn't be surprised if Smith kept the team in McCown's slippery hands for another season and stupidly passes on a franchise quarterback.

Problem is Smith simply doesn't seem interested in coaching to me. He's in the papers talking about how the Bucs are headed in the right direction and so on. I don't know what he's doing and I'm not sure he does either. He was let go by the Bears for a reason after six years. I don't see any passion or fire in the guy. He just seems to be collecting a paycheck here. As such this current year sucked and I'm not hopeful that next year will be better.

I hope I'm wrong and we'll see what the draft brings. The NFC South is ripe for the taking with everyone pretty much sucking. But other teams are making moves to improve. Are the Bucs? I hope so.

Aww goddammit!! It's something's rotten in Denmark! Sonofab*tch! It's gonna be a real pain in my booty to fix that graphic. Heck of a way to start the new year! Sh*t!!

Update 2:
Fixed   :-)
And just by sheer coincidence, Marc Trestman was spotted at the beach down here over the holiday. Hmmmm . . .

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