Talkin’ Bout the Bucs

Posted: October 11th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 49 Comments »

The Eagles head down to Tampa to play the Bucs on Sunday.

Or do they? Tampa is dealing with a bizarre health issue. They had to bring in a specialist to check out the MRSA situation they’re dealing with. 3 players now have it. The Bucs are working with the NFL, the NFLPA and medical people on how to deal with the situation. There was speculation that Sunday’s game might be postponed. Geoff Mosher reports that the league is planning for the game to be played as scheduled.

The Eagles don’t leave for Tampa until Saturday morning so the events haven’t affected the team to this point. This is a very odd situation. Hopefully it won’t impact the game or the Eagles.

* * * * *

Let’s talk about the Bucs in a general way.

They are 0-4, but 3 of the losses were tight games.

NYJ 18 , TB 17

NO 16 , TB 14

ARZ 13 , TB 10

The Bucs did lose 23-3 to the Pats.

They are 31st in the NFL in yards and points. They haven’t scored more than 17 points in a game.

The defense is good. They’re 8th in scoring D and 13th in yards allowed.

Anyone having flashbacks to the 1991 Eagles?

You can’t call the Bucs a good team. The 4 losses are close, but still losses. But focusing purely on results can give you a false result. Tampa had late leads in all 3 of the close games. They are a handful of plays from being 3-1.

Watching the tape leaves you scratching your head. There are some moments when you are really impressed. There are other times when they do look like an 0-4 team. There is something building in Tampa, but they don’t seem to have the right coach or QB. And the NFL is all about the coach and the QB.

The Bucs want to be a tough, physical team that runs the ball. And not in some fancy-pants spread look. They want to run the ball like teams did it 5, 10 or 20 years ago. Doug Martin is the very definition of a workhorse RB. He has 100 carries. There are 3 backup RBs. They each have a single carry. 100 carries for the starter. 3 for the backups. Even Andy Reid didn’t let things get that out of whack.

Martin was great last year. He’s averaging 3.4 yds per carry this year. He has one carry of 20 or more yards. They literally move the chains a few yards at a time. The offense is flat-out boring. I love a good run game, but the Bucs show no creativity and they don’t have the players to simply dominate the guys across from them.

The passing game isn’t much better. They have 12 plays of 20 yards or more. Zach Ertz and Brent Celek have combined for 9 by themselves. DeSean Jackson has 11 all on his own. You just can’t score points by methodically moving up and down the field. We’re mad at the Eagles for struggling in the Red Zone. The Bucs would love to have that problem. They struggle to get to the Red Zone. The Bucs have 4 offensive TDs this year. 4!!! Peyton Manning can fart and he’s got 2 TD passes.

Mike Glennon is the rookie QB who has taken over for Josh Freeman. Glennon has good size. He throws the ball well and has a strong arm. He made a couple of impressive throws in his debut. He is a classic pocket passer. He needs good protection. That is complicated by the fact he’s a rookie and it takes him longer to make his reads and get the ball out. He was 24-43-193 in his first start. There were a lot of short passes. I really wish he wasn’t coming off the bye. One week isn’t going to make a significant difference with him, but it should help. He’s had time to study tape and get more mentally prepared for the challenge of being a starting QB.

There is one pass catcher to fear, Vincent Jackson. He’s 17-292 for the season. Jackson is huge and talented. Mike Williams has been more of a possession guy this year, but does lead the team with 2 TD catches. They don’t use the TE much in the passing game.

The OL was hard for me to judge. I watched the Cardinals game. Arizona has a great run defense this year and they dominated the LOS. The Bucs got very little push. The Cards sold out to stop the run so that wasn’t a favorable situation. The Bucs weren’t great in pass pro, but Glennon generally had time to throw.

Tampa’s defense is interesting. They cock the NT so that he’s on the shoulder of the C and can fire upfield at the snap. That used to be common, but isn’t anymore. The Bucs do a ton of stunting and looping. They confuse the heck out of blockers with all that movement. However, it leaves them vulnerable. If they guess run, you can burn them.

DT Gerald McCoy is really good. He’s exceptionally quick and very disruptive. Sometimes all the movement neutralizes his ability since he’s moving laterally and not exploding upfield. I don’t think the Bucs are maximizing his ability at all. The DL plays the run well, but struggles to get pass rush. Tampa has 13 sacks this year, which sounds great. But 7 of the sacks are from LBs/DBs. Their DL does not get regular pressure with a 4-man rush. They must blitz.

The good news for them is that they have talented LBs who can make plays. Lavonte David leads the team with 3 sacks and 3 TFLs. MLB Mason Foster has 2 sacks. LB Dekoda Watson also has a sack. All 3 guys have INTs this year. They can cover and they can play the ball well. David is the star of this unit.

Last year Tampa had an awful pass defense. They traded for CB Darrelle Revis, drafted CB Johnthan Banks and signed S Dashon Goldson. That is a lot of firepower to add and it is paying off. The Bucs were 27th in opposing passer rating last year. They are 8th this season. You can no longer throw at will on them.

Fran Duffy, a must-follow on Twitter, wrote a great piece for PE.com on the Bucs defense and some of the different things they do schematically. You must check this out. Lots of good All-22 looks at how they use their DBs and LBs. The piece opens with some stuff from last week’s game, but I’m assuming reading about the Eagles beating the Giants is something you can suffer through one last time.

Jimmy Bama, who is a must un-follow on Twitter, wrote about QB Mike Glennon and how he struggled with the blitz in the Arizona game.

I’ll write a preview for Saturday, with some X’s and O’s thoughts.

Tampa’s stats

Depth chart

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  • SteveH

    I’m sure that Nick Foles will love that his time to shine is against a strong, disruptive front four with playmaking linebackers and stud defensive backs.

    • TommyLawlor

      This is going to be a challenge for him.

      • Jamie Parker

        So we’re really going to see how good he is. This is also a good test for Chip Kelly’s offense and how good he at adapting to his personnel.

      • SteveH

        I just hope he doesn’t decide to test the plausibility of the existence of Revis island. Let’s just go ahead and throw elsewhere.

      • P_P_K

        Good. It will be a good test for the young man and give his coaches a sense of his development.

      • GEagle

        I just wish the kid would get the continuity of one proper week against Dallas. Not because I m convinced that he gives us a better chance then Vick does against the cowboys, because I’m not sure how anyone could say that with no intel at the moment…but because from an Intel stand point, you get to see FOles with some continuity, in two drastically different stylistic games..
        ..
        we would get to see:
        1) FOles lead our offense to a claw and scratch grind out a win type of game, playing against a defense that will probably take our run game out of ether equation and force FOles to beat them in a low scoring dog fight

        And then he would face the polar opposite:
        2) We would get to see how Chip Kelly’s offense with FOles can keep up with a team in a shoot out. unlike the Bucs game we would get to see how FOles offense looks in a game where Shady is most effective, because Dallas can’t just take him out of the game the way the Buc can…

        I have No clue today, which of our QBs give us a chance to beat Dallas! but from an intel stand point it would be awesome to see FOles get some continuity and face such drastically different challenges.

        • Dominik

          Why always “FOles”? Did I miss something?

  • Jamie Parker

    Speaking of the ’91 Eagles, remember the Tampa game from that year? I sure do, in a torrential down pour. I remember being up 13-0 in the 4th and then the ball slipped out of Jeff Feagles hands when trying to punt from our end zone. Then Brad Goebel throwing an INT that pretty much lost the game right after. Good Times. Good Times.

  • CTAZPA

    Two comments: It’s encouraging to see how a couple moves so radically changed a terrible young defense into a strong one.

    “Must un-follow Jimmy Bama” … They’ve made all sorts of acronyms for how hard this made me laugh.

  • Phils Goodman

    Just watched the ARZ-TB game from a couple weeks ago. Glennon is definitely capable of carving up this secondary if the defense doesn’t get in his face. He can throw lasers to the deep middle. The problem with the Bucs offense was a paleolithic gameplan that had them force-feed the ball to an ineffective Doug Martin for 27 carries (45 yards, 1.7 YPC). Glennon did some very rookie-ish things in the final 5:00 deep in his own territory when the pressure was on, but their main inefficiency was 15+ wasted downs on poor Martin runs. He was TFL 8 times, stuffed for no gain 3 times, gained 1 yard 2 times, long gain of 12, plus a fumble.

    If the Bucs are determined to stick with Martin, commit to taking him away by all means, but I think TB’s best path to victory revolves around Glennon getting time in the pocket and pushing the ball downfield.

    • D3FB

      The scouting report on Glennon coming out was that he could pick you apart if given time, however he also led the nation in INT’s. If you get in his face and cause him to move in the pocket, good things happen for the defense. I expect the Eagles to load the box up to stop the run and blitz extensively to cause Glennon to feel the pressure.

      • GEagle

        Yup…try to take Martin completely out the game! and show all kinds of different looks! line up in ways be haven’t yet on film??and try to feed him a heavy dose of pressure and disguise…
        ..
        This game gets complicated if we let Martin run wild

  • jshort

    Never like the idea of having to play a team after there bye week, or a rookie QB. When things look this good they usually aren’t, just hope we come out of this with a win. Notice how Glennon and Foles kind of look alike. Being the same size should help our D in there preparation, may be. How do this kid and Foles match up athletically?

    • Phils Goodman

      Glennon has a much better arm (especially evident on stick throws), Foles is more completion-conscious and has better movement skills behind the line.

  • ICDogg

    Some MRSA strains are much worse than others. Two of my family (cousin and uncle) died from MRSA infections, but that is relatively unusual as I understand it.

    • jshort

      Have a doc friend. We were talking the one day, he was saying that better than half of the people working in hospitals and nursing homes have some type of it. That it’s dormant in there bodies. Don’t know how true that is, might be from Oregon a quacker.

      • ICDogg

        The statement, from what I have read, is accurate. But MRSA is a nonspecific term for infections from any strain of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and most but not all of those strains can be successfully treated with some less common antibiotics.

      • OregonDucker

        Well, I’m from Oregon AND a quacker. My wife, who is a nurse at a Eugene hospital, says that many folks have a dormant version of MRSA in their sinuses. When its active, which they see in homeless sometimes, sores appear below the nostrils.
        MRSA is very hard to eliminate from hospitals. Sulfa antibiotics work on it. ER rooms, who treat homeless patients daily, are always in disinfection mode.

    • D3FB

      Most football players are fairly aware of the risks of MRSA. Sometime around 6/7 years ago it started to become a major problem and even at the high school level posters and overall awareness went up dramatically. I remember my senior year of high school there were a few games in the area that were cancelled due to only one player from the opposing team having MRSA.

  • Kristopher Cebula

    The real question about Glennon is “how is he on short to intermediate crossing routes?” We just seem to get burned on them every week. the missed tackles do not help.

    • BlindChow

      And slants. We’re clueless against slants.

      • GEagle

        What we have learned, and I hope Cary and Brad have learned, is that when a team is running a slant against you on a crucial 3rd Down and you have Nate Allen on your side, you have to assume that he is not there and you are playing on an Island with that WR…NO help is coming, it’s up to you to shut that slant down…Every team has watched us get shredded short on film..and then last week Nate blows the tackle and we give up the short route TD…..our corners have to play them slants like no help is coming and the world depends on them keeping Big WR from making a play…
        …..
        I don’t like Nate as a HELP safety! I find him useless both double Teaming a WR over the top as well as stopping a run after the catch on slants and intermediate routes…he is pretty worthless in most help roles…
        ….
        But I do find him to be decent shadowing players man to man? he has flashed good enough man coverage to make a QB look elsewhere..so devise a gameplan that has him glued to shadowing a Buc average TE, and use Wolff and Chung in help roles

  • Kristopher Cebula

    Being that we’re playing in Tampa this week, who remembers the 62 yard field goal? I was at that game. Probably the most disappointing game I’ve ever attended. Couple that with the fact that it was 113 degrees and it was a terrible time. I remember Brian Westbrook took a short pass to the house late in the game. we were celebrating and talking a bunch of smack to TB fans. then that stupid field goal just crushed all of us. pretty sure I drank heavily later that evening.

    • Jamie Parker

      I remember that crapastic game. McNabb threw 2 TD’s to Rhonde Barber. I think he was McNabb’s favorite receiver. McDougle had a 15 yard roughing penalty and then tacked another 15 yards onto it by throwing the ref’s flag to set up Matt Bryant’s 44 yard FG, his first FG of over 40 yards that season. The Westy scored with like 20 secs left and then the 62 yard FG to beat us. I live in NY and had to watch that game in a bar and every one was laughing at me. I can’t believe that was 7 years ago (It was also an Oct game).

    • Gary

      I remember that all too well. I remember after we got the go-ahead TD we gave up a long kickoff return – to the 35 or something – and I immediately thought “shit, they’re gonna get a long field goal.” I did not, however, expect it to be 62 yards. Such a heartbreaker.

    • P_P_K

      I was hoping to forget that disaster.

      • A Roy

        I had, until reminded of it.

    • TommyLawlor

      Only the Philadelphia Eagles could lose a game on a 62-yd FG.

  • ICDogg

    Oregon-Washington seems like a good game to watch, especially the 2 Qbs.

    • Anders

      Other players too watch:

      Kesan Williams – WR from Washington, built really well at 6-2, 212 pounds, he plenty fast and tough

      Austin Seferian Jenkins – Perfect size for a TE ad 6-6 272 pounds. He is best as a pass catcher and lack something in the run game despite his size.

      Ifo – Very physical CB even tho he is only 5-10 and 190 pounds, but he will force fumbles, ints and is one of the leading tacklers for Oregon.

      Taylor Hart – A steady DE with perfect size at 6-6 292 lbs. Mid round depth target.

      • GEagle

        Austin Jenkins is viewed as a Gronk, Jimmy Graham type of next superstar TE….who knows if he becomes that good! but I think it’s safe to say that he can ATleast become a Jared Cook,Martellous Bennett type! and that’s not a bad floor to have for prospect..

        i had this game circled on my calendar for Lyeria vs. Jenkins …. SIGH!!!

        • Anders

          yea Austin could be that Gronk type of TE (not Graham, Graham is more athletic).

          Problem for him is that he hasnt been as good this year and Gronk is a very good run blocker something Austin is not

        • OregonDucker

          Instead of Lyeria, look for John Mundt, 83, 6-4 and 232. A freshman who has played very well.

          • Anders

            Mundt is very nice. He is more of a WR out their right now, but great athlete as well.

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  • Media Mike

    Doug Martin, much like Jerome Bettis, is proof that VOLUME does not equal quality. Martin is a plodding guy who lacks the talent of Temple’s and Ardmore’s own Bernard Pierce. Martin might have a decent game vs. our poorer run D, but the guy is garbage compared to guys like Shady McCoy.

  • GEagle

    This is a HUGE test for Davis and the front 7 in that their play basically dictates how tough of a day it’s going to be for FOles..given time, I don’t care who the QB is Vjax and Mwilliams will make an explosive play or two against our secondary….and if Schiano puts those two in a position to catch some short passes with Nate being the guy to beat in the run after the catch then they will probably move the chains here and there….
    ..
    The Front 7 must have a good outing against the muscle hamster while also getting pressure on the rookie and take these big explosive WR from killing us. Intermediate routes that require Nate making a play in the run after catch are Kryptonite for us.

    people are worried about judging FOles this week and that’s absurd. How much intel do you plan on getting out of 1 game, early in a sophomore season learning a new offense, getting no continuity against a defense that Shut out Drew Bree’s and held Brady to 23?….I’m worried about clawing! scratching and finding a way to win what will be an ugly dogfight.

    Shady is going to have to have a big day as a receiver this week, and our defense has to provide Folesy with a short field or two.
    ..
    it’s all about the front 7. They dictate how difficult of a day It will be for FOles and the secondary…Big Day from Billy Davis pressure package, and a front 7 that doesn’t allow Martin to run wild for a 130yards and two TDs and we can win this game….but if the defense is going to get killed by their run game, then we will need them to give FOles a short field or two to win this game.

    hard fought, grind them out game. We aren’t playing a good team by any stretch of the immagination, but we are playing a team that matches up with us really well at some key positions which makes this game more dangerous then your typical zero win opponent….

    front 7 is the key…Do they let Martin run all over them? The Bucs are going to force FOles to try and beat them…Is our Front 7 up to the task of Taking Martin out of the he game and forcing a rookie to beat us? forcing them to pass, means more chances for Curry to get his disruptive ass on the field and make something happen..

    Tom is SOOO right about wishing we weren’t playing the kid off of a bye week. Schaino also let the kid throw close to 45 times, which basically sacrificed that game but gave the kid a chance to really get the jitters out. letting him throw the ball so much, and the bye week should make him more prepared..

    a lot of people seem to think the multiple TEs are coming out to play this week, but I’m not so sure it’s the ideal time when playing against such good cover backers

    • A_T_G

      You found a solution to your autocorrect problem, just refer to FOles as Folesy.

      • GEagle

        Lol..smart man you are

  • ojdiddoit

    Easy game if the birds defense can stay focused against a rookie

    • GEagle

      Tough calling a game Easy on the road against a team that shut down Drew Bree’s…It becomes much easier if we can take Martin out the game and force the rookie to beat us while getting good pressure on him

      • BlindChow

        Heh, “Bree’s”. I think you should just go get a new phone and start from scratch.

  • A_T_G

    If they postpone the game, maybe they will play on Tuesday. There is no way an underdog with an unknown at QB could beat us in a Tuesday game.

    • TommyLawlor

      You are an evil, evil genius.

    • RIP Worms

      If Vick can’t go, we need to sign Joe Webb. To start. He owns every major NFL passing (and rushing?) record for Tuesday Night Football.

      • A_T_G

        He is a wide receiver now… So we should definitely get him.

        I know of one fan that would be very happy.

  • Anders

    For a supposedly a reserved guy, Chip sure is doing a lot of stuff for PE.com

    This is just great

    http://www.philadelphiaeagles.com/multimedia/videos/Game_Plan_Kelly_Breaks_Down_Big_Plays/4f642dc2-15e8-4ccd-8dd8-54dd481de282

    • A_T_G

      Maybe he isn’t reserved, maybe he just didn’t like Oregoners(?)… Oregonians(?)… Oregons(?)… folks from the northwest?

      (Just kidding, Ducker)

      • Anders

        I think his real problems was boosters. He just wanted to coach.

        Also a segment like that is 100% on Kelly. He wouldnt do it unless he 100% wanted it.