What the heck happened?
Ever been around some people when a fight breaks out, or a good argument that gets out of control? Or your standing around somewhere and two cars get into an accident? All hell breaks loose, but then when everything calms down, you always say to yourself... “WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED?”
The 2011 Tampa Bay Buccaneers season is no exception, in fact, it was worse than any car wreck, although I wouldn’t be surprised to find out a fight was involved somewhere too!
After finishing watching the brilliant DVD of the Bucs in the UK, one can’t help but wonder that exact question: What happened to the Bucs this year? From 4-2 to 4-12? That’s not a collapse, that’s unfathomable. How did it happen? Let’s dismiss what did NOT cause the collapse:
The Bucs just weren’t that good, the 10-6 season was a mirage- That is just plain stupid- THE PRESS and THE MEDIA talk about weak schedules. Whenever you hear someone from FOOTBALL talk, they say “A win is a win is a win. “
There are no easy wins in the NFL. I will take the word over NFL people over media who never played the game. Ok, maybe the record was a little skewed, maybe with 4 plays the Bucs are 6-10 rather than 10-6, or if half those plays happen, more likely, they are 8-8.
But the Bucs played the same way in 2011 as they did in 2010 while they were 4-2, it wasn’t until afterwards they did not even resemble a football team. The tail end of 2011, these Bucs couldn’t beat a great college team, and I honestly believe that.
Josh Freeman - All of a sudden Josh Freeman is not a franchise QB and the Bucs should use their top draft choice and get a QB, never mind all the holes all over the place. Anyone read Chidi Ahanatu's article about this? Anyone not require oxygen from laughing so hard?
Find me one responsible media member who covers the NFL for a legit media outlet who feels the same way, and I'll listen to the opinion for a few seconds. Otherwise, think about this...if the Bucs let go of Josh Freeman, how many teams would jump all over of him?
Greg Olsen, Offensive Coordinator- The Chicago Bears didn’t wait two weeks to look at Olsen, and he wont be out of a job this year. Olsen did some irritating things, and it’s best that he is gone, but Greg Olsen didn’t cause 10 losses in a row.
Bad drafting- No Free Agents- Last year we were calling Mark Dominik a rock star GM, so he’s not a different person now. The Bucs young players DO have talent, but they are also very young. But if you listen to Jeff Faine talking to the team, (and we’ve only heard about his last speech, I’m sure there were more) you can't tell me there was no veteran leadership on the team at all.
Mind you, the problem was there wasn’t a leader in every meeting room like there has been, most notably linebacker (coincidence it’s the worst functioning group on the team?). But there is talent here, something prevented them from showing it October on.
Raheem Morris- Rediculous: Morris had his shortcomings, but they were mostly just experience. You cant tell me his closeness to his players from October on was any different than it was in 2010.
Or was it?
Something happened, and it doesn’t take a gumshoe to figure out when. Some moment between the UK trip and the week after the Houston Game, something happened.
I’m sure whatever happened wasn’t the start of it. Reports are coming out that the team bus the Bucs were on in San Francisco REEKED of alcohol. If it smelled so bad, more than one Buc player was guilty; and they played like it. Raheem Morris couldn’t tell?
Now we’re hearing how many players were constantly late to meetings. Bucs UK, you were at One Buc with me, remember the “Fine Board”? How many Bucs were on there, and how big the fines were? Remember “LeGarrette Blount” name scribbled on the Poker table?
It now seems there was a lack of discipline on the team, and when Morris tried to instill it, sending Brian Price, a guy who never commits penalties, who worked so hard while injured to play, Morris made the wrong move, and he did so too late.
Something already happened. Steve Duemig, the top rated Bay Area radio show on at 3PM on WDAE, has mentioned an incident that occurred while in the UK involving an assistant coach. He refused to comment. It’s no doubt something occurred that was either not corrected, not addressed, or not cared about, that started the free fall that was the 2011 season.
Of course, we always find things out later, usually a year or years later, we always find out the truth, and I’m sure the story of the Bucs will come out for all to find out. But to me it was not secret the Bucs knew what happened, which is why they completely cleaned house of all coaches, and refuse to consider any of them to come back, even though they were high on some of them like DL coach Keith Millard.
And that’s probably why the Bucs are searching in the exact opposite direction from Raheem Morris in the current search: To make sure what happened, never happens again.