Time for a shopping trip?
Wow. Well that was a reality slap. After an impressive road win in Cinci shutting up Batman and Robin (Ocho and TO) along with all the fans in "In the Jungle" the Bucs were riding high and looking good. Josh Freeman continues to get massive plaudits from everyone from within the game and Mike Williams was up for his third "Pepsi Rookie of the Week" prize in four games.
Even the Defense came to play in Cinci picking off Carson Palmer at will, and scoring points in the process. Things in Tampa were looking very positive, and even after a wake up call from Saints last Sunday things continue to look good for the future.
However the Buccaneers have had the same problems through the first six weeks of the season. A lack of pass rush from the Bucs new look D-Line is accompanied by a staggering inability to stop the run, something that has plauged the Bucs since the departure of Monte Kiffin was announced back in 2009. The defense continues to have mulitple takeaways and make plays in the secondary but at the same time we are still giving up, on average, one big passing play a game.
On the offense Josh Freeman and Mike Williams continues to light up the league and lead all rookies in TDs and receptions. The O-Line is doing a decent job of protecting Freeman and are making decent lanes for the running backs, even if they are not making quite the highway sized gaps we saw the Saints making on Sunday.
The main hinderance on the O is the running game. No production from the backfield is forcing #5 to win the game on his own. He's doing a great job but imagine how good we could be with run game taking some of the load and opening up the play action passes?
With such a young unit these problems are to be expected but is there any benefit on looking for help before today's Trade Deadline?
The obvious trade targets looming for teams around the league are Albert Haynesworth of Washington and Vincent Jackson of San Diego. Neither would be welcome in Tampa from my perspective as both have attitude issues and would cost the Bucs a lot in draft picks and contracts.
Neither would be worthwhile in my opinion. More realistically if the Buccaneers do decide to trade for anyone it will be someone to help with one of their two big problems.
Defensive end is a position the Bucs are currently seeing no impact from. We were all spoiled with the play of Simeon Rice and to a lesser extent Greg Spires for years but since then we have little to no pass rush off the edge. If there is a veteran DE available for a reasonable price then I would seriously consider pulling the trigger.
Not that this type of player becomes available very often but someone in the mould (at least in style of play) of John Abrahams in Atlanta is what we are missing. A big, physical and quick presence that can force the play into the McCoy/Miller/Price area with help from Barrett Ruud behind them.
That is the way to help us stop the run, without any edge rush teams are bouncing runs to the outside for big gains on a regular basis immediately taking McCoy and Co out of the play.
On the offense its the same situation. If there was a veteran back to take up some of the slack from Caddy, if the Front Office aren't prepared to use Earnest Graham or LeGarrette Blount then again if a back in the mould of Julius Jones (who we saw can still run for the Saints on Sunday) became available for the right price then I would seriously consider it.
As English football pundit Alan Hansen famously said "You'll never win anything with kids" and I do think that the addition of a veteran or two could help the development of all young roster.
There will be "fans" who will say that if we don't sign Haynesworth and Jackson for our entire draft pick listing for 2011 and $430 million then the Glazers are the devil in carnate but we don't need/want that type of character at One Bucs Place.
Chances the Bucs will not have the chequebook out come deadline time but hopefully they are looking around, seeing whats available and seriously considering tickering with their youth first policy if the right oppurtunity presents itself.