Posted in General News

Bucs Cut 26, Place Economos On PUP & Sign Diles

by Roland Johnson on September 4, 2011

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made the following moves to get in compliance with the NFL mandatory 53-man roster limits set by the league. On Saturday afternoon the team cut their rosters down by releasing the following players and placing LS Andrew Economos on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

There were not many surprises, except for the release of MLB Tyrone McKenzie. McKenzie whom was instrumental in helping gather the team during the lockout- for player’s only workouts, was believed to be the front runner to replace ex-Buc Barrett Ruud.  But eventually voiced his displeasure with what he perceived as a lack of true competition with rookie Mason Foster for the right to replace Ruud.

RB Armando Allen
RC Matt Allen
T Will Barker
S Ahmad Black
T Cory Brandon
QB Rudy Carptenter
G Thomas Claiborne
QB Jonathan Crompton
G Marc Dile
WR Ed Gant
TE Daniel Hardy
S Dominique Harris
LB Brandon Heath
LB Simoni Lawrence
RB Mossis Madu
DE Alex Magee
LB Tyrone McKenzie
DE Kyle Moore
TE Nathan Overbay
WR Maurice Price
TE Ryan Purvis
LB/FB Nick Reveiz
K Jacob Rogers
LB Derrell Smith
DT Al Woods
DT John McCargo

Placed on physically unable to perform list:
LS Andrew Economos

Bucs add veteran depth at LB

In Other News
With the team thin at linebacker with only five listed on the 53-man roster the team signed LB Zac Diles according to his agent via twitter on Sunday. The 26-year-old 6-foot-2, 245-pound free agent, and former starter, for the Houston Texans was released by the St. Louis Rams on Saturday. Diles who played for head coach and defensive coordinator Raheem Morris while Morris was defensive coordinator for Kansas State in 2006, was a logical choice to add depth with his familiarity with the Bucs defensive scheme.

It’s unclear, who the team released to make room for Diles, but with the team keeping 12 defensive backs, odds are one of the 12 were released to make room for Diles.

Posted in Good Bad & The Ugly

The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly

by Blake Hasenzahl on September 3, 2011

It’s the last game of the preseason: the edge of the void between offseason and opening day; the 60-minute audition for the bottom third of the roster.  It’s Jonathan Crompton’s job interview. Mossis Madu’s center stage.  It’s the last desperate chance for the backups to the backups—the men buried beneath the depth chart—before the final round of cuts relegates them to inactive rosters and practice squads.  The men on the bubble gave their best shots, but the Redskins felled the Bucs 29-24.

The bright side?  It doesn’t mean a thing.  For fans, it’s the most meaningless game of the season.

So here we go:
The Good
Ed Gant anyone? Good God.  The man is a supercharger.  He caught a 96-yard touchdown—short pass; long run—near the end of the third quarter.  Watching the pass live, I assumed it was going to be a typical Greg Olson slant that fell short of the first down line.  While I won’t praise the pass into triple-coverage, I will praise the result.  Not only did Ed Gant single-handedly demolish two Redskin defenders (showing surprising physicality), but he burnt the entire Washington defense down the field.  It’s been four seasons since we had elite speed on offense, and Gant’s physical talents may have landed him a spot on the roster.

Ed Gant escapes two Redskin defenders (AP).

The Bad
48 penalties for 410 yards.  That’s 12 penalties per game this preseason.  Every week, Raheem Morris vows to clean up the penalties, but they’ve grown progressively worse every game.  If that type of play continues into the regular season, Tampa Bay is going to seriously underachieve.

The Ugly
Lee Roy Selmon had a stroke last night.  His chances of recovery, reportedly, aren’t good, but the ugly here is the local media outlets jumping the gun without confirming their news.  The St. Petersburg Times, the Lakeland Ledger, Pewter Report, Channel 10 News, and several other credible sources all prematurely reported that Lee Roy Selmon had died, despite Dewey Selmon’s insistence that his brother was alive.  Prayers go out to Selmon and his family, and we wish him a complete and healthy recovery.

Posted in Game Reviews

Game Preview: Pre-Season Week 4 Bucs @ Redskins

by Roland Johnson on September 1, 2011

The Bucs and Redskins have met ten times in the preseason and all but one of those encounters was in Tampa. The series is tied, 5-5, and the two teams split their last two matchups. In 1999, the Bucs secured a 16-13 win at then-Redskins Stadium to cap their first unbeaten preseason in 16 years. The first preseason contest between the two teams was on August 4, 1979, a 9-7 Redskins win. Tampa Bay exacted some revenge a year later with an 11-6 home triumph. The Bucs also picked up wins in 1982 and 1987. Tampa Bay has met the Redskins in the preseason in six of their ten playoff seasons.

GAME INFORMATION
Date: Thursday, September 1, 2011
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Site: FedExField (85,000)
2010 Records: Tampa Bay 10-6, Washington 6-10
Buccaneers Television: WTSP-TV
Play-By-Play: Chris Myers, Color: John Lynch, Sideline: Dave Wirth
Bucs Radio: US 103.5, flagship station (103.5 FM, 620 AM)
Play-by-Play: Gene Deckerhoff, Color: Dave Moore, Sideline: T.J. Rives
Up Next: Tampa Bay vs. Detroit (9/11), Washington vs. N.Y. Giants (9/11)

2011 PRESEASON LEADERS
Passing Yards: 272, QB Josh Johnson
Passing Touchdowns: 1, QB Rudy Carpenter, QB Josh Johnson
Rushing Yards: 93, QB Josh Johnson
Receiving Yards: 67, WR Dezmon Briscoe
Receptions: 6, WR Mike Williams
Tackles: 17, LB Quincy Black
Sacks: 3.0, DE George Johnson

UPCOMING NFL DATES
Roster cutdown to maximum of 53 players September 3
Clubs may establish practice squad of eight players September 4

AROUND THE CORNER
After missing his entire rookie season in 2009 due to a shoulder injury, CB E.J. Biggers boasted one of the strongest success rates by NFL cornerbacks in 2010 based on a unique statistic calculated by Football Outsiders.

The Cornerback Success Rate statistic, as defined by the Football Outsiders, is “the percentage of passes that don’t manage to get at least 45 percent of needed yards on first down, 60 percent of needed yards on second down, or 100 percent of needed yards on third down.”

Among all cornerbacks with at least 40 charted pass attempts their way, Biggers ranked seventh in the league with a 63% Success Rate, seven percent behind top-ranked Darrelle Revis of the New York Jets. Biggers defended 65 charted targets in 2010 and limited his targets to only 5.7 yards per pass, the 12th lowest in the league. Buccaneer teammate CB Ronde Barber also faired strongly in the yards per pass category, holding his targets to the NFL’s eighth-lowest rate of 5.5 yards per pass.

Biggers’ targets averaged 2.9 yards after contact on an average pass distance of 13.3 yards. The seventh-round selection out of Western Michigan played in all 16 games for the Buccaneers last year, starting in six, as he recorded 53 tackles and collected his first career interception in his first career start.

INJURY REPORT
Official Injury Report begins with regular season games

ENEMY COACHES
Redskins Head Coach: Mike Shanahan
Redskins Offensive Coordinator: Kyle Shanahan
Redskins Defensive Coordinator: Jim Haslett
Redskins Special Teams Coach: Danny Smith

STATISTICAL RANKINGS: (2011 Pre-Season)
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS OFFENSE
Overall: 15th (321 ypg)
Rushing: 23rd (100.7 ypg)
Passing: 13th (220.3 ypg)
Sacks Allowed: na (6)
Points Scored: 17th (18.7 ppg)
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS DEFENSE
Overall: 3rd (255.7 ypg)
Rushing: 13th (102.7 ypg)
Passing: 2nd (153 ypg)
Sacks: na (13)
Points Allowed: 6th (14.7 ppg)

WASHINGTON REDSKINS OFFENSE
Overall: 4th (402.7 ypg)
Rushing: 1st (152.7 ypg)
Passing: 8th (250 ypg)
Sacks Allowed: na (6)
Points Scored: 13th (21 ppg)
WASHINGTON REDSKINS DEFENSE
Overall: 4th (262.7 ypg)
Rushing: 6th (92 ypg)
Passing: 5th (170.7 ypg)
Sacks: na (10)
Points Allowed: 6th (14.7 ppg)

Buc Central’s Prognostication:
As always we are not advocating gambling based on our views of the game, especially considering we typically are inclined to make such educated guesses using are heart rather the any rational thought applied to picking. We are merely giving an opinion of who we think has the best chance at securing a victory.

BUCCANEERS 17
REDSKINS 23

Posted in General News

Foster Embracing Challenge

by Roland Johnson on August 31, 2011

Foster still learning - embracing challenge

Rookie Mason Foster, who was thrown into the fray at middle linebacker. Is embracing the challenge of replacing ex-Buc and current Tennessee Titan Barrett Ruud, who set the defense for the Bucs the last five seasons before leaving as a free agent this off-season.

Foster who was penciled in as the starter – midway through training camp, after out dueling incumbent Tyrone McKenzie won’t be charged with aligning the defense, just yet. Those duties will be shouldered by strong-side linebacker Quincy Black. Foster who didn’t have a normal off-season, nor the luxury of being an understudy to prepare for such a pivotal role. On a youngry defense, isn’t expected to be given total control until he fully acclimates to the pro’s.

“I just have to keep working every day and get more familiar with everything, keep talking to Quincy and Geno,” the third-round draft pick out of the University of Washington told FoxSportsFlorida.com. “Sooner or later, I’ll be there. But until then, I’m just working on what I need to work on. And I’m feeling good.”

Starting weakside linebacker Geno Hayes, who knows a thing or two about replacing a revered player and the pressure associated with living up to loafty exceptions, started in place of future Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks in 2009, shortly after the Bucs cut Brooks shared some fatherly advice with Foster, as he continues to hone his skills and get comfortable calling plays in the huddle.

“It’s a big thing but what I tell him is don’t let anybody try to compare you to anybody else,” Hayes said. “At the end of the day, you’re you. You can’t be Barrett Ruud. Just be Mason Foster and what you bring to the table. All the other stuff will die out. And he’s got that mentality already. I don’t think he’s even feeling that pressure.”

Posted in General News

Pass Rush Continues Upward Ascension

by Roland Johnson on August 30, 2011

Bowers and company firing on all cylinders

For most, the pass rush was a huge issue of contention last season with the Bucs producing 26 sacks. Through three pre-season games this year the Bucs already have 13 sacks, half of what they produced as a team through 16-games in 2010.

The inevitable turnaround can be directly attributed to the hiring of Keith Millard and Grady Stretz, of course the additions of Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers has helped. But the majority of the credit can be summed up with three words: NFL caliber coaching.

To a man just about every defensive lineman has had rave reviews for Millard and Stretz while stopping just short of throwing former line coach Todd Wash under the bus for his antiquated teachings.

Illustrating just how effective they have been so far we can look at last year’s pressure percentage for the team and compare it to this pre-season.

In 2010 the team had 26 sacks, 38 quarterback hits and 88 pressures for a total of 152, they faced a total of 547 pass attempts (521 passes plus 26 sacks) for a pressure percentage of 28% meaning they were able to pressure the opposing quarterback 28% of the time they attempted a pass or once every 3.6 times they dropped back to pass.

Through three exhibition games this pre-season the team has 13 sacks, 13 quarterback hits and 25 pressures for a total of 51 total pressures. They have faced a total of 95 pass attempts (82 passes plus 13 sacks) and have managed to get pressure 54% of the time the opposition has tried to pass or once every 1.86 times the opposition has dropped back to pass.

The defense has increased the regularity in which they are getting pressure by 26% and decreased the number of attempts the opposition can drop back before pressure is applied by half over what they produced in the 2010 regular season.

Posted in General News

Bucs Release 2011 Media Guide

by Roland Johnson on August 29, 2011

If you’re like us,  you can never get enough football news or information on the Bucs. Well we’ve got great news for those fanatics out there, that are like us. The team has released its 2011 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Media Guide this evening. It’s the club’s annual guide to the entire organization. Produced by the Public Relations department, the guide includes ownership, front office, coaching staff and player bios, information on the Glazer Family Foundation, statistics, historical information and much more.

Click the link, and it will take you to the official website of the Bucs, to which you can download the entire media guide, for your reading enjoyment.

 

Posted in General News

Bucs Trim Roster, Cut 10 Players

by Roland Johnson on August 29, 2011

With all 32 teams required to get their preseason rosters down to 80 players by August 30. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced today, that they have cut the following 10 players. The team will need to make another 27 cuts after the final round of preseason games this week, to hit the regular-season limit of 53.

  1. WR Aundrae Allison
  2. CB Vince Anderson
  3. G Brandon Carter (waived/injured)
  4. TE Collin Franklin
  5. DE Brandon Gilbeaux
  6. WR Detron Lewis
  7. P Robert Malone
  8. WR Jock Sanders
  9. FB Rendrick Taylor
  10. CB Ashton Youboty

Posted in General News

King: No Credible Evidence Against Talib

by Roland Johnson on August 29, 2011

No credible evidence

For those who’ve seen the reports that CB Aqib Talib would not be suspended, that surfaced shortly before kickoff against the Dolphins. Peter King has got an inkling, as to why NFL commissioner Roger Goodell did not suspend Talib f or even the minimum of four games that had previously been mentioned by Jason Cole, of Yahoo! Sports.com via an anonymous source.

Tampa Bay cornerback Aqib Talib won’t be suspended, according to Bucs GM Mark Dominik, after his offseason incident in Texas in which someone shot at his sister’s boyfriend. I think the reason he wasn’t suspended is because no credible evidence has been produced that he fired the shots or did anything to encourage the shots to be fired. Now, if he’s found guilty when the case goes to trial in the spring, he’ll certainly be disciplined. But not now.

We here at Bucs Central have contended all along, that if Talib had indeed pulled the trigger and squeezed off a few rounds, at his sisters would be abusive boyfriend, that there would have been no way for Texas prosecutors to table his case till 2012. Especially with all of the supposed evidence that they claim they have from eye witness accounts on the evening in question.

Talib’s lawyers have strongly contended that the case should be dismissed and if and when the case went to trial, Talib will be exonerated of the charges. Talib whom met with Goodell, last Tuesday has been mum on the specifics of the meeting, however did state his representatives did a good job of presenting all the facts to Goodell.

Sure seems that the absence of a lengthy suspension by the NFL commissioner, suggest that just maybe Talib did nothing wrong other then respond to a family member in distress.

Posted in General News

Dominik: “The Governor is Off” Bowers

by Roland Johnson on August 29, 2011

Bowers will be full throttle from here on out

Renowned national sports scribe Peter King, of SportsIllustrated.com in his Monday Morning Quarterback column has got an answer to what many Buccaneer fans have been pondering, about rookie defensive end Da’Quan Bowers. That $64 thousand dollar question is when will the governor be taken off Bowers?

Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik, eluded to the fact that Bowers, who missed only one training camp practice due to precautionary reasons will no longer be idling in the slow lane, as his governor has been lifted, and its full throttle from here on out.

So far this summer, Bowers has missed one practice and complained of no pain in the knee, his left. “He’s like any other player now,” GM Mark Dominik. “The governor is off.” The big issue for him could well be beating out the surprise of camp for the starting left end job — defensive end Michael Bennett, a waiver pickup from Seattle two years ago. They each had a sack Saturday night against Miami; Bennett added two more tackles for loss. Each will play at lot at left end, and Bennett’s strong play will let Tampa Bay coach Raheem Morris ease Bowers into the games early if that’s how he chooses to play him.

Bowers, 21, stated shortly after he was drafted that he’ll make teams remember that they passed on him, has since softened his stance as he told King “I have 100 percent belief I’ll play without any problems, unless something tragic happens, I don’t see anything happening to stop me. I’m not playing to prove anyone in the league wrong. That’s not me. I’m just playing to help my team win.”

Keith Millard, the Bucs pass rush coach extraordinaire wants Bowers who entered camp at 277-pounds, down to 267-pounds so he can run all day and thinks there’s no reason, that two rookie defensive ends can’t rush the passer.

Posted in Good Bad & The Ugly

Good, Bad & The Ugly: Dolphins

by Roland Johnson on August 27, 2011

Bucs stymie Dolphins behind play of Bennett

Even though the Bucs beat the Dolphins, one of their in-state rivals 13-17 the dress rehearsal left more questions then answers. Third-year pro Josh Freeman, who looked razor sharp in training camp has had an inauspicious pre-season completing just 56.5% of his attempts (26 of 46) for 255-yards a far cry from how he finished the 2010 season.

To compound matters has been the inability of the offensive line to protect Freeman and open holes in the running game and give LaGerrette Blount any room to operate.

But what’s even more perplexing is the amount of penalties the line has been flagged for. With a veteran group starting, with the exception of LG Ted Larsen they have got to do a better job with minimizing mental mistakes.

Good
Frank Okam – The manbeast was a one man wrecking crew – consistently forcing the action and totally squashed the run game of the Dolphins. While he didn’t have gaudy stats he was the key cog as the Bucs defense stymied the Dolphins ground game in the first half, allowing 2-yards on 9 carries and for the game allowed 22-yards on 17 carries for a 1.3 yards per carry average.

George Johnson – The former Rutgers standout has been one of the more consistent performers on defense this pre-season. With a sack in each of the Bucs pre-season games he’s clearly sending a message, that’s he wants a spot on the 53-man roster.

Michael Bennett – Bennett had a monster of a game. Recording 1 sack, 3 tackles, 3 tackles for loss and 1 quarterback hit. He showed good get off, closing burst and recognition skills as he repeatedly was playing in the backfield.

Pass Rush / Run Defense – The Bucs young front four continues to show improvement in both phases. After being torched on the ground last week for 200-yards, with coaching they corrected a few things and stood tall this week.

Bad
Offensive line – Not sure how many times one can continue to beat a dead horse before it becomes a broken record, but if there’s one unit that needs to get it together, it’s the offensive line. From the starters to the backups, this pre-season they have left a lot to be desired. There’s no doubt that their inability to perform at a high level will hold the offense back.

The Ugly
Penalties – Most of the penalties thus far have been the mental kind, from false starts, holding, and illegal formations to the coaching staffs blunder of trying to challenge a scoring play which is automatically reviewed this season and cost the Bucs a 15-yards.

Posted in Game Previews

Game Preview: Pre-Season Week 3 Bucs vs Dolphins

by Roland Johnson on August 27, 2011

Tampa Bay hosts the Dolphins, marking the 18th time in the last 19 seasons that the two teams square off in the preseason. The Bucs and Dolphins are meeting for the 26th time in the preseason, the most meetings for either team in the preseason. Miami leads the series 16-9, but Tampa Bay has won five of the last nine meetings. The first preseason contest between the two teams was on August 21, 1976, a 28-21 Miami win in Tampa.

The Bucs have claimed wins in 1984, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2008. During the regular season, Miami leads the all-time series 5-4, with Tampa Bay winning three of the last four meetings. The Buccaneers won 27-13 in 2005 in Tampa, 16-13 in 2000 at Miami and 31-21 in 1997 in Tampa. The Buccaneers also won, 23-17, in 1982 in Tampa.

The first meeting between the two clubs was in the Bucs’ first season in 1976, a 23-20 Miami win in Tampa. The Dolphins also captured wins in 1985 (41-38 in Miami), 1988 (17-14 in Tampa), in 1991 (33-14 in Miami) and 2009 (25-23 in Miami).

GAME INFORMATION
Date: Saturday, August 27, 2011
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Site: Raymond James Stadium (65,908)
2010 Records: Tampa Bay 10-6, Miami 7-9
Buccaneers Television: WTSP-TV
Play-By-Play: Chris Myers, Color: John Lynch, Sideline: Dave Wirth
Bucs Radio: US 103.5, flagship station (103.5 FM, 620 AM)
Play-by-Play: Gene Deckerhoff, Color: Dave Moore, Sideline: T.J. Rives
Up Next: Tampa Bay at Washington (9/1), Miami vs. Dallas (9/1)

2011 PRESEASON LEADERS
Passing Yards: 213, QB Josh Johnson
Passing Touchdowns: 1, QB Josh Johnson
Rushing Yards: 81, QB Josh Johnson
Receiving Yards: 67, WR Dezmon Briscoe
Receptions: 5, WR Dezmon Briscoe
Tackles: 11, LB Dekoda Watson
Sacks: 2.0, DE George Johnson, DE Kyle Moore

UPCOMING NFL DATES
Roster cutdown to maximum of 80 players August 30
Roster cutdown to maximum of 53 players September 3
Clubs may establish practice squad of eight players September 4

HOMEGROWN TALENT
The Buccaneers starting lineup currently contains 19 players that began their playing careers with the team. That is to say, of the 22 players listed as first string on the Buccaneers depth chart, only three players debuted in a regular-season game with a different team (C Jeff Faine, TE Kellen Winslow, S Sean Jones). In fact, of those 19 players to first appear with the Buccaneers in a regular-season game, 15 were originally drafted or signed by Tampa Bay and have appeared exclusively on the Buccaneers roster during their careers.

In all, the Buccaneers have 51 players on the current 90-man roster that were either drafted or originally signed by Tampa Bay and have only appeared on Tampa Bay’s roster. Though free agency grabs the headlines, a few organizations have proven that drafting and developing talent, followed by re-signing that talent, is the best way to have sustained success. As a prime example, in 2010, three of the traditionally most successful teams in the league – including the season’s Super Bowl XLV Champion Green Bay Packers – featured 18 or more usual starters who had spent their entire career with the team.

COLTS’, PACKERS’ AND STEELERS’ 22 STARTERS FROM 2010

Players To Watch
Run Defense
After allowing 200-yards last week against the Patriots on the ground. The run defense needs to show marked improvement. Whether it is by scheme, individual players or a combination of both, it’s been two years and counting that the defense has leaked like a sieve. Run defense is a mentality, which has to be forced at times. It’s about playing assignment sound fundamental football. Quality defensive teams stop the run first, by staying in their gaps and controlling the line-of-scrimmage.

Offensive line
After underwhelming last week against a ferocious assault by the Pats defense, look for the line to get some redemption. From penalties to blown assignments this unit needs to pick up the intensity level and begin to give Freeman a clean pocket to throw out of while opening some holes in the running game.

Back-up CB Myron Lewis & EJ Biggers
With reports surfacing that Aqib Talib will be suspended for a minimum of at least four games. Either Lewis or Biggers needs to come up big to fill the potential void that will be left in the early part of the season. Biggers is the odds on favorite at this point, after subbing for Talib for six games last years. But the team is high on Lewis, who’s been battling injury issues thus far in game, but will see his first action of this pre-season tonight.

INJURY REPORT
Official Injury Report begins with regular season games

ENEMY COACHES
Dolphins Head Coach: Tony Sparano
Dolphins Offensive Coordinator: Brian Daboll
Dolphins Defensive Coordinator: Mike Nolan
Dolphins Special Teams Coach: Darren Rizzi

STATISTICAL RANKINGS: (2011 Pre-Season)
MIAMI DOLPHINS OFFENSE
Overall: 9th (339 ypg)
Rushing: 15th (113.5 ypg)
Passing: 8th (225.5 ypg)
Sacks Allowed: na (3)
Points Scored: 5th (24 ppg)
MIAMI DOLPHINS DEFENSE
Overall: 8th (266.5 ypg)
Rushing: 5th (86 ypg)
Passing: 12th (180.5ypg)
Sacks: na (4)
Points Allowed: 15th (16.5 ppg)

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS OFFENSE
Overall: 21st (298.5 ypg)
Rushing: 24th (101.5 ypg)
Passing: 16th (197 ypg)
Sacks Allowed: na (6)
Points Scored: 14th (19.5 ppg)
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS DEFENSE
Overall: 5th (260 ypg)
Rushing: 26th (143 ypg)
Passing: 1st (117 ypg)
Sacks: na (8)
Points Allowed: 12th (15.5 ppg)

Buc Central’s Prognostication:
As always we are not advocating gambling based on our views of the game, especially considering we typically are inclined to make such educated guesses using are heart rather the any rational thought applied to picking. We are merely giving an opinion of who we think has the best chance at securing a victory.

DOLPHINS 20
BUCCANEERS 23

Posted in General News

Morris Defends Price From Chastising Fans

by Roland Johnson on August 26, 2011

Price to see his first live action in nearly a year

Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris vehemently defends second year defensive tackle Brian Price from fans who’ve taken to local sport talk radio airwaves and internet message boards to reprimand a player that suffered an unheard of, yet troublesome and painful injury where both of his hamstrings were ripped from the bone, causing his pelvis to fracture.

“It’s been hard for me to bash him knowing what I know,” Morris said. “To knock him for gaining weight and to say he eats cheeseburgers and all that, calling him (former Bucs running back) Derrick Ward, that’s ridiculous. Derrick Ward didn’t have hamstring issues. Derrick Ward had lazy issues.”

Price underwent surgery in October and didn’t resume light running until midsummer. He tried many creative ways of staying in shape, including zumba dance classes (because it was not a physically stressful workout). But there were always limitations.

One thing Price could do was lift weights.

“The guy came back and he was the strongest guy on the football team,” Morris said. “I know he looked 330 (pounds), and he was. But the stuff that he could do — the bench press, the (weight-lifting) machines — he definitely did.”

Logically any astute football fan would guess it takes time to heal from an injury never seen before in football, yet some question the mental makeup and character of a player who’s fought his whole life just to get to this point.

The fact he’s been able to take part in training camp and did not land on the physically unable to perform list should say enough about his drive and determination that the one thing he is not, is lazy.

Yet, some fans continue to ridicule a player who’s fought through excruciating pain just to be able to suit up and play in his first action since week five of his rookie season. I for one, say shame on you. To those fans who continue to make a mockery of Price’s situation.

In other News
We all know why the Bucs released former running back Derrick Ward, now. It’s because he had lazy issues according to Morris.

Talib to receive four-game suspension, possibly more...

Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports.com is reporting that Aqib Talib, whom met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, on Tuesday, will receive at a minimum, a four game suspension, but it could be more per an unnamed league source with knowledge of the situation.

“There’s probably enough doubt in this case that he won’t go more than four games, but it could be more,” an unnamed source told Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports.com. “It’s like he says to guys, ‘I don’t want to see you back here.”

Goodell who kept the power to punish players who run afoul of the law under the conduct detrimental to the league policy wanted eight names off the top who he deemed as repeat offenders, reports Cole’s colleague at Yahoo! Sports, Michael Silver, in a column sighting another unnamed source familiar with the CBA negotiations.

before resolving the issue of whether personal conduct violators during the lockout could be disciplined, “wanted eight names off the top who would definitely get punished, and apparently he got his way.”

Silver went on to emphatically reiterate that it was confirmed by a high-level union source.

Who said that in return for Goodell agreeing not to discipline approximately two dozen players for conduct during the lockout, he retained the right to hand down punishment to eight players he regards as repeat offenders.

If true, and as we all know, Talib is in fact a repeat offender. It’s highly unlikely that it will be just a four game suspension that the commissioner hands down.

Even if there is enough circumstantial evidence that Talib could be exonerated of the charges. Talib served a one-game suspension to start the season last year and defied logic and the league by purchasing a game sweet and watching from the stadium as a fan which is against league policy, for players who’ve been suspended.

Posted in General News

Look For Starters to Play into the Third Quarter

by Roland Johnson on August 26, 2011

Bucs eager to make amends for a poor performance

The third pre-season game is usually a dress rehearsal for the regular season. With the Bucs hosting one of their in-state rivals, the Miami Dolphins the starters are eager to make amends for a poor performance in a lopsided loss to New England. Look for head coach Raheem Morris to take an extended look at his starters this Saturday night, especially after that debacle last week, in which the team felt it was unnecessary to game plan for.

This week however, it is important for the Bucs to execute on both sides of the football and come out of the game feeling like they’ve accomplished their objectives. There will no doubt be a sense of urgency to show more against the Dolphins. With such a young team there confidence might have been shaken after a defeat of that magnitude, but the team’s still as confident as ever.

“Last week was good for us, showed we’re not as unstoppable as we thought we were,” second-year receiver Mike Williams told Fred Goodall of the Associated Press “We’ve got to play better overall as a team. It’s going to be a test with us playing the whole first half and some of the third quarter. We’re going to really see where we are.”

Fantasy football has become a religion. Not the kind where people go to a place of worship just on the holidays, but an every-week commitment. Rather than studying bible verses, we study cheat sheets, expert mock drafts, and player projections. We make friends with leaders in the league in hopes they will be late-season trade partners. To succeed, there needs to be daily mental dedication put into it. And when victorious, we are given the reward of trash talking champion, office prodigy, or family fantasy football guru.

If you are a committed fantasy footballer like me, you’ve likely flipped through a football magazine, participated in some mock drafts, or listened to at least one fantasy football radio show. Using 10 years of experience, I’ve found that studying before a draft is usually more beneficial than skimming over rankings the night before. Some players are hyped more than others, but more often than not, leagues are won with late-round draft picks and waiver-wire adds – just ask any Michael Vick or Arian Foster owner last year.

Connor Barth looks to improve on a solid 2010.

A common mistake people make is taking their favorite players higher than players from the Saints, Falcons, Eagles, and Panthers – every team they want the Bucs to destroy. But, that isn’t the right mindset in fantasy. It’s okay to have beloved players, but it’s important to stay smart. Between Aaron Rodgers and Josh Freeman, I’m taking Rodgers every time. Between Roddy White and Mike Williams, I’d rather swallow my hate for the Falcons than lose a chance to snag a top-3 wide receiver.

One question still lingers: When should I draft Bucs players?

Josh Freeman: Even if this is your first time playing fantasy, you should know Freeman enjoyed a breakout season in 2010. Now for the scary part: he has the capability to be even better. He finished second to Vick in quarterback rushing yards, but never found the end zone. That sounds like bad luck to me. I don’t foresee him reaching double-digits scores, but I would be shocked if he didn’t find the end zone at least once or twice. Among fantasy quarterbacks, I rank him 7th, just ahead of Tony Romo and Matt Schaub. In standard scoring leagues, feel confident taking him as early as round 3 or 4.

LeGarrette Blount: Too bad running backs don’t get bonus points for leaping over defenders, because Blount would’ve led the league. Still, his 1,007 yards rushing ranked 17th among NFL backs, despite starting just 10 games. With the departure of Cadillac Williams, there is no question Blount is the go-to-guy. If he can figure out his short-yardage struggles, he will likely add to his six rushing touchdowns in 2010. Depending on the league, he may fall in drafts because of his lack of catches – only 5 all of last year – but that shouldn’t sway owners from taking him between rounds 2 and 4. LoPresti Lock: Blount will have at least 1,080 yards rushing, 10 touchdowns; 15 catches, 127 yards, 1 touchdown.

Mike Williams: This Syracuse product appears to be the real deal. Despite a young cast around him, Williams sparkled in his first year in pewter, catching 11 touchdowns for nearly 1,000 yards. He also led the team in red-zone targets with 15. With Kellen Winslow looking great in camp, Arrelious Benn almost recovered from a knee injury, and Dezmon Briscoe making an impact this preseason, Williams seems primed for another solid year. Pick him with confidence as one of the top-15 wide outs this season.

Kellen Winslow: Reports out of training camp say that Winslow is looking spectacular in practice. His oft-injury knee is holding up, his route-running has been crisp, and he has been catching every ball thrown his way. He’s led the Bucs in receptions two years running and appears to be Freeman’s safety net. LoPresti Lock: Count on a 70-catch, 700-yard, 6 touchdown season.

Draft-day steal: Experts say kickers are a dime-a-dozen, but Connor Barth is extremely undervalued in mock drafts I’ve participate in. According to ESPN’s fantasy projections, Barth ranks last out of projected starting kickers. The same guy who made 23-28 field goals on a sub-par offensive team is ranked behind Shaun Suisham, Mike Nugent, and Shayne Graham – who is currently the back-up kicker on a bad Redskins team. Don’t draft a kicker till the last round of the draft, but don’t be afraid to take a flier on Barth.