Sunday, December 13, 2009

Jets beat Bucs 26-3

My halftime post reflected poor recollection on my part.

The Bucs offense was completely pathetic against the New York Giants earlier this season.  I thought the particularly dismal performance had come against the Bills.  The Bucs produced that type of pathetic offensive performance against the Jets today.  But at least it wasn't a shutout like the Giants game.

I think Raheem Morris may have the raw materials to turn into a great coach.  But signs of ineptitude have plagued the Bucs since the firings of Jon Gruden and Bruce Allen.

The Bucs did, after all, get rid of the two key hires after Morris and new GM Mark Dominic.  Offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski was fired in preseason, and defensive coordinator Jim Bates was relieved of defensive play calling duties a few weeks ago.  In both cases, the new coordinator entirely scrapped the existing terminology in favor of a new system.  Whether that made a big difference for the offense, I do not know.  But the defense has performed much better since Raheem Morris took over defensive playcalling and went more to last year's style of play.

Morris is the hope for this team.  If he is the type of emerging star coach the front office believed he was, then the team can recover from its 2009 stumbles.  But the failed hires of Jagodzinski and Bates count at least partly against Morris.  He is the guy in charge.

As I have noted previously, Morris also has his wagon attached to Josh Freeman's career.  Freeman won me over with his first three starts.  I believed he was the real deal.

But the past two games have refreshed my doubts.


One note about the television coverage:  The announcers seemingly could not praise Darrelle Revis enough.  And Revis played a decent game, tackling and covering well while picking off a pass.  But come on, announcers.  On that first throw that Revis broke up, WR Antonio Bryant had a step on Revis, but Freeman just threw a bad ball.  Good coverage, yes.  But it could have been a big play for Bryant with a good throw.  The announcers were similarly giddy when Freeman threw a bad ball to WR Bryan Clark.  Likewise, the interception was a good catch by Revis, but the pass would not have been complete to Clark even if Revis had vanished from the field of play at the moment Freeman released the pass.

I suppose that praising one of a team's top players is expected of a broadcast team.  They went overboard on the pass coverage aspect with regard to Revis.  But I give the Jets highest marks for their team tackling.  The announcers were not just correct to highlight that aspect of the game.  It would have been criminal to ignore it.

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