I know I have been here before (The Bucs started 4-2 last year before dropping 10 straight games to end the season). But today wouldn’t be OverReactionMonday if I didn’t overreact to what happened on the field yesterday.
So I will take my moment and enjoy it.
Let me start with the good. The Buccaneers defense (although lacking depth) is not lacking in young talent. I am 29 years old. Therefore, 10 years ago, the last time the Buccaneers were any good, I was an impressionable 19-year-old kid. Just like the music that you listen to at 16, 17 and 18 is the music you will love forever, The Buccaneers teams when I was a teenager are the ones that I will always look upon with rose colored glasses.
In my heart and mind, Mike Alstott, Warrick Dunn, Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks, John Lynch and Ronde Barber… wait, Barber is still playing, will always be the greatest Buccaneers ever. What I loved about those teams was the style of defense they played. They were fast and they knocked the shit out of people.
I don’t know what this season will hold for the Buccaneers but what I do know is that the new core of young Buccaneers defenders are very reminiscent of my Bucs from yester-year. It is intellectually lazy to say that Gerald McCoy is the New Sapp, LaVonte David is the new Brooks and Mark Barron is the new Lynch. Having said that, these guys can play. Gerald McCoy basically set up shop in the Carolina backfield and was a major reason why the Panthers were held to a franchise-low 10 yards rushing. LaVonte David looked like the Derrick Brooks clone that he was purported to be in the lead up to the draft. David was all over the field. And finally, Mark Barron looks to be more than the player John Lynch was, because Lynch was limited to basically being a small-ish linebacker that played SS. Mark Barron made GM Mark Dominik and company look very smart for taking him with the #6 overall pick last April.
As you can see here, Mark Barron can lay some effing lumber:
Steve Smith may have jumped right up and wagged his finger like he was alright after this hit, but I certainly noticed Mr. Smith was not on the field for the following play. After 10 years of playing football, I know what a guy looks like when he is pretending like he knows where he is.
Mark Barron is officially my new favorite Buccaneer defender. I want to love Gerald McCoy. But until he can stay healthy for a whole season, I have to reserve my affections.
On the offensive side of the ball, I think that Bucs Nation has seen the last of LaGarrett Blount in any significant role. The Muscle Hamster, Doug Martin literally took the starting gig and ran with it yesterday.
I still have concerns about Josh Freeman over the long haul. His decision making at times is infuriating. I will give him credit though, unlike Cam “Superman” Newton, who couldn’t decide which team to throw the ball to yesterday, Freeman, who led the NFL in INTs last year did not turn the ball over yesterday. He had one big pass to Vincent Jackson that was called back due to a hold, and Jackson also dropped one or two other catch-able balls. The line wasn’t pretty for Freeman, but he did enough to win the game and completed some big third down passes.
I don’t think this is a playoff team, yet. But I am very encouraged by what I saw yesterday.
At least I’m not a Bills fan.