Archive for the ‘Tampa Bay BuccaneerS’ Category

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He was a sophomore at UCLA. Playing in off-man coverage against a stacked twin set, he backpedaled on the balls of his feet, squared his hips, and drove on the throw to the receiver running a quick out. He intercepted California’s quarterback, Nathan Longshore, and took it 76 yards to the house. That was the one of the first times in college that Alterraun Verner’s feet took him to the ball for an interception. They never stopped after that.

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Mike Glennon’s snap count can be heard clearly. “EIGHTY!” His voice is so loud that it drains out the cheering crowd, putting it into the distant background. He’s under center and is set to take a crucial 2nd-and-6 snap. But he’s backed up at his 11-yard line, which only intensifies the pressure of making a big play and avoiding an even bigger turnover. He’s also a rookie, making this much harder, especially with Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson to his left.

Peterson is lined up in press man coverage on No. 1 target Vincent Jackson. He’s a yard inside the 10-yard line and a yard off the line of scrimmage. It’s about as close as he can get to Jackson without committing a sinful penalty. After checking with the referee if his alignment is legal, Peterson folds at his waist, sticks his rear end out and locks his elbows. This is the first fundamental of football, aligning the body properly so it’s ready to take action. It’s similar to how receivers line up, that is receivers not named Vincent Jackson. Jackson has his arms lose to the side, making it more difficult to gear up at the start of the play. But loose and lazy arms are common with receivers. No one knows why.

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Don’t tell Greg Schiano it’s too early to make a change. On Wednesday, three days after a 23-3 loss to the New England Patriots that sunk his Buccaneers to 0-3 and to the bottom of the NFC South, Schiano benched longtime quarterback Josh Freeman in favor of rookie Mike Glennon. The decision was met with criticism, ranging from the usual “it’s too early to make a change” to “HE’S LOST THE TEAM!” to ‘”Mike Glennon, really?”

The most important of those questions is about Glennon. Who is he and what does he offer to the sputtering offense that Freeman didn’t?

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Photo by Alen Dumonjic

Editor’s note: Below is the story of a man who visited the Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp. His name is Alen, and he did it on Saturday.

I’m visiting a Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp practice for the first time today. Held at the practice fields a few hundred feet from Raymond James Stadium, it’s set to begin at 8:45 a.m., just about the time I park my car on a grassy and wet “parking lot”. I’m parked in the visitors area opposed to media because despite having been issued credentials by a Bucs PR coordinator, I want to experience the camp as a fan.

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There’s a whole lot of talent to discuss with the Bucs, and a whole lot of potential for booming fantasy numbers. Then there’s Josh Freeman.

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Going into the 2013 offseason, the Buccaneers had to upgrade one of the league’s worst secondaries. It was thrown on the second most last season, an incessant 627 times, and it gave up the second most net yards per attempt at 7.3, per Pro Football Reference. To prevent that from happening again, general manager Mark Dominik made a splash by acquiring Darrelle Revis from the New York Jets, a game-changer at cornerback and one of the league’s best players. He also made another move, luring free agent free safety Dashon Goldson away from the San Francisco 49ers.

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If a Darrelle Revis trade isn’t a thing that happens, what’s next?

A Darrelle Revis trade might be a real transaction soon, since the Bucs may or may not already be working on a contract with the soon-to-be(?) former Jets cornerback. No, that’s not tampering at all.

Eric Wright wasn’t released and he instead restructured his contract to stay for one more year. That was at least a minor surprise, but one which shouldn’t impact a Revis trade at all, even a little bit. If anything, Wright functions as mere insurance in the event a trade falls through.

But as the clock continues to tick towards draft day, a fallback plan to reinforce the league’s worst secondary in 2012 (297.4 passing yards allowed per game, and 7.9 per pass) is needed. The addition of Dashon Goldson is swell, but it’s still just a first step.

So if not Revis, then who? Thankfully, Leo Howell from Pewter Plank has an answer to that little query, because unanswered questions are the worst.

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