I am going out on a limb. No one has been harder on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the past few weeks, but I believe a change may be in the air. I think the Bucs may have found something that can work.
There is no doubt that I thought Byron Leftwich was a capable, if uninspiring, quaterback option for the team. When Leftwich was benched, he was 6th in the league in passing yards. In retrospect, he’s faired better than many quarterbacks who are still getting snaps. One such QB is on his way to town this week: Jake Delhomme.
So, what’s new in Tampa?
Somehow, the Buccaneers have figured out a way to sustain drives. Consider this:
- Against the Eagles, the Bucs had drives of 16 plays, 9 plays, 10 plays and 11 plays. Those are incredible statistics for a team playing on the road with a rookie QB.
- Two of those extended drives ended in touchdown passes to tight end Kellen Winslow.
- The Buccaneers led the Eagles in time of possession. Bucs (34:33) – Eagles (25:27)
The Buccaneers have a lot of new pieces in place — the coach, the QB, the tight end, the backup running back, the offensive coordinator, the defensive coordinator. The rookie QB threw 3 interceptions against the blitzing Eagles (Who doesn’t??) So, there is plenty of room for growth. Few teams blitz as often and as well as Philadelphia.
If the Buccaneers can continue this trend and get some actual ground yardage (a solid prospect against Carolina’s pourous run defense), they can turn the tide on Sunday.
ADDENDUM — OCTOBER 21, 2009
If only I had known this before writing this post:
TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Bay Buccaneers fullback B.J. Askew will miss the remainder of the season because of injuries suffered in a car accident.
The Bucs placed the seventh-year pro on the non-football injury list Tuesday. The team also signed cornerback Marcus McCauley and released cornerback Derrick Roberson before re-signing him to the practice squad.
Askew started two of five games he played in this season, carrying the ball once for no gain. He sat out Sunday’s 28-21 loss to the Carolina Panthers because of neck and back pain.
Last week, Bucs coach Raheem Morris said Askew had been injured in a “fender bender” accident.
McCauley was released by the Detroit Lions on Sept. 28. He entered the NFL as a third-round draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings in 2007.