Posts Tagged ‘Tampa Bay Buccaneers’

Are Greg Schiano’s Days Numbered in Tampa Bay?

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

by Devin McMillan

Dev Blog






(Image via

(Image via

The 0-5 start of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is taking a real toll on its fans.  Frustration is mounting game after game and the target for most of their angst is head coach Greg Schiano.  Before we even get to his issues as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, one must wonder how he was hired there in the first place, considering his only previous head coaching job was at Rutgers University, in an 11-year tenure that only saw ONE top 25 finish and NO Big East titles.

Raymond James Stadium on Sunday (Image via War Room Sports)

Raymond James Stadium on Sunday
(Image via War Room Sports)

Fast forward to the current day, 0-5 Buccaneers.  This team features a talented roster which includes quite a stout defensive unit and core pieces on offense that any competent organization could build around.  Prior to Sunday’s 31 point “eruption” by Chip Kelly’s Philadelphia Eagles, the Bucs defense was yielding an average of 17.5 points per game (amongst the best in the league) and had only given up 5 touchdowns all season before giving up 4 against the Eagles.  The offense features talented skill players such as wide receivers Vincent Jackson & Mike Williams, and running back Doug Martin.  One of the top issues Tampa fans have with the coach surrounds who is leading that offense.  It’s not that they have anything against rookie signal caller Mike Glennon; but Schiano spent significant time in the offseason convincing fans that Josh Freeman was his guy.  Since that time, not only has Greg Schiano benched Josh Freeman, but he has released him and the NFLPA believes that Schiano is indeed the party that leaked information about Josh Freeman being in the NFL’s Substance-Abuse Program; information that should have never made it to the public.

Another sensitive issue for Bucs fans is the manner in which the team has used newly acquired all-world cornerback Darrelle Revis.  One fan at Sunday’s game told me, “they go out and get the best man-to-man cornerback in the world and then put him in a bunch of zone coverages”.  This was evident on Sunday as DeSean Jackson beat Revis on two touchdown passes, both of which apparently were supposed to feature safety help that never came.  When asked after the game, Revis refused to complain about the coverages called, and said only that “the players have to execute no matter what is called by the coaches”.

Tensions are boiling over in Bucs Nation, as the stands on Sunday were sparsely peppered with creative signs calling for Schiano’s job and the boos and jeers he received during the game only got nastier as he exited the field through the tunnel at game’s end.  This is one of those classic cases that always make us wonder how much management/ownership listens to the team personnel complaints of their fans.  Several callers into the Tampa sports radio stations directly address the Glazers in their Greg Schiano rants.  The fans have had enough.  There are rumors that many on the football team have also had enough.  Has Buccaneers management had enough?  Most importantly, has Malcolm Glazer had enough?  That apparently is the $15 million question.


Devin McMillan of The War Room, for War Room Sports


Strange week comes to a conclusion as Philadelphia Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers face off

Sunday, October 13th, 2013

by Brandyn Campbell

Brandyn Blog






Nick Foles, the likely quarterback in Sunday’s game, will face Mike Glennon rather than Josh Freeman in his second consecutive year of facing the team.

Nick Foles, the likely quarterback in Sunday’s game, will face Mike Glennon rather than Josh Freeman in his second consecutive year of facing the team.


It’s been a strange week leading up to the Philadelphia Eagles’ game with Tampa Bay.

Mike Vick, still sporting a hamstring injury from the Week 5 matchup against the Giants, was limited in practice during the week. When asked if he would get the start against the Bucs, his answer was that he would play this Sunday if he “had to.”

Though Chip Kelly said he wouldn’t reveal whether Vick or Nick Foles would get the start in Tampa Bay, Vick’s answer said everything we need to know.

Expect to see Foles get the start.

Amid the nuttiness of non-answers to the questions of the extent of Vick’s injury and if he or Foles would be leading the team’s offense in Week 6, an issue completely out of left field: Issues with the drug-resistant infection MRSA at the Bucs’ facility. Despite two cleaning treatments from an outside company after two Tampa Bay players came down with the infection, a third was diagnosed with the infection. After a day of uncertainty, the NFLPA determined that there was no risk to other players and the game would continue as scheduled on Sunday.

The MRSA incident isn’t all that’s been odd in Tampa Bay. Josh Freeman was demoted from being a starter after subpar performance and, apparently, being late to a team picture. Then, he was made inactive the week of his demotion until, finally, he was cut from the team. Accordingly, the Eagles will face rookie Mike Glennon, who will be making only his second start in the NFL.  Does that mean that Philadelphia has the clear advantage?

Not so fast. The Eagles should and I believe will win this game, but it’s not going to be the cake walk some anticipate against the winless Buccaneers.  Tampa Bay is a team desperate for a win and coming off of their Bye. They have a stout pass defense. And I’m sure the team execs would like to hand Chip Kelly a loss after he denied their overtures last year.

Philadelphia’s still struggling defense should be able to rattle the rookie and Tampa’s awful offense. But the Eagles’ offense will see its star receiver, DeSean Jackson, face Darrelle Revis. Jackson said earlier in the week that he wasn’t ‘fraid of no Revis Island, but it’s going to be a stiff competition for both men. Foles will need to be on his game in order to combat a surprisingly effective defense that has only given up five TD passes this season. Thankfully, he has experience leading the Birds to victory over the Bucs, as he did it last year.

A strange lead-up will result in two teams desperate for wins. The Eagles seek to even up their record and further increase their confidence before heading into back-to-back division games, and the Buccaneers need to get just one “W” under their belts to get truly begin the Glennon era. Despite this being a matchup of two teams with losing records it will be a close game.

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Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports


No Love Lost from the Philadelphia Eagles Linebackers Over the Departure of the Wide-9

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

by Brandyn Campbell




It was no illusion.  The Philadelphia Eagles defense played better than they had in weeks in Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  It couldn’t have all been because the death knell had been blown to the Wide 9 with the firing of Jim Washburn, could it?

Not all, but it certainly didn’t hurt.  The linebackers  felt that new d-line coach Tommy Brasher’s more traditional approach made their work on the field easier.  Some were open in speaking about it to Tim McManus at Birds 24/7 on Tuesday.

Said Jamar Chaney,

“It’s better for the linebackers.  If you ask any linebacker what scheme or how they would want to do it, they would want the linemen to hold up the blocks and they go make the plays.”

With the change, the d-line is keeping offensive lineman busy for longer periods of time, which frees up the linebackers to make plays.  Things may have gotten harder for the defensive lineman but their efforts have helped their linebacker brethren.

“There is no read [before].  With this right now, they read the blocks.  It’s probably harder for the d-line but it’s easier for the linebackers.  It’s harder for them because they have been playing the Wide-9 and they have to make the adjustment, but it’s probably easier for the linebackers because everything will get more clear.  Not saying that linemen aren’t going to get up on us, but they probably aren’t going to get up on us as fast.  It just clears out everything.”

The elimination of the controversial formation wasn’t the only change that seemed to have an impact on Sunday.  With Mychal Kendricks’ switch to the WILL linebacker position, which he played in college, he was freed up to more effectively utilize his speed to make plays.  And there was marked improvement with the secondary.  Colt Anderson did a good job replacing the injured Kurt Coleman at safety and noted that no Wide 9 meant that safeties felt some of the same relief as the linebackers in defending pass plays.  As he told McManus, in those situations they experienced “a little less stress.”

While seeing any improvement on the Eagles defense was long overdue, seeing the near-immediate positive impact of Washburn’s firing makes you wonder what could have been if the move had happened when there was some hope of saving the season.

Want more Philly Sports Muse? You can find me on Twitter at @sports_muse and on Facebook.


Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

Nick Foles and the Return of Hope to the Philadelphia Eagles

Monday, December 10th, 2012

by Brandyn Campbell





(Image via NESN /

It’s a sad state of affairs when simply getting a win becomes the goal of a football team.  Not multiple.  Just one.  But that’s where the Philadelphia Eagles found themselves on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Tampa to face the Buccaneers.

Just stop the bleeding of over two months of not winning a single game.  After eight straight losses, the feeling of winning had nearly been forgotten.  But how quickly and gleefully it returned, with rookie quarterback Nick Foles leading two successful drives to bring victory to the Birds.

With a two seconds left on the clock, Foles connected with Jeremy Maclin in the endzone to win the game 23-21.  But wait!  It gets better.  Not only did Foles make that successful final drive, he made the decision to go with the winning play.

All that after enduring six sacks during the game.  But Foles kept getting up and in those final moments showed that poise and precision that wowed us in the preseason.  It was back, and when it was needed most.  That’s the leadership and decision-making you want to see out of the quarterback who looks more and more like he can be the future of your team.

It was a game that in terms of implications for the season meant nothing, as the Eagles were officially eliminated from the playoffs with the Cowboys’ win over the Bengals.  But to a franchise wrestling with an uncertain future, it meant everything.

Foles had shown improvement in his performance in Dallas last week.  That was an important step.  However, after being handed the starting quarterback reigns of the Philadelphia Eagles, it was time for Foles to do more.  Time to show that he could make the big plays under pressure.  And that he did.

The rookie quarterback’s numbers for the day were 32/51 for 381 yards and 2 touchdowns, setting a franchise rookie passing record.  But young Nicholas’ show wasn’t just in the air on Sunday.  He also showed that he can move when needed, also notching a rushing touchdown in the second quarter.

The day certainly didn’t look like one that would end in hope, with tight end Brent Celek exiting the game with a concussion on the first play of the game.  But several members of the Birds’ offense stepped up to have big games.  Jason Avant had 133 yards on the day on 7 receptions, including an incredible one-handed grab (above) that is sure to make “best play” highlights all week, if not make top plays of the year.  Maclin, having an eerily quiet season, made some noise with 104 yards on 9 catches, including the winning TD.

Thank goodness for the success of the passing game, as the Bucs and their run defense held Bryce Brown to next to nothing after two huge games for the rookie.  Brown finished the game with a paltry 6 yards on 12 carries.

The Eagles offense wasn’t the only story this game.  There was also the almost instantaneous improvement of not just the defensive line following the firing of Jim Washburn, but of the D as a whole.  The line brought pressure to Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman, with both Fletcher Cox and Cullen Jenkins getting a sack a piece.  While Colt Anderson stood in for the injured Kurt Coleman, the Birds’ secondary wasn’t great, but looked much better than it has in weeks.

Philadelphia got a much needed lift to its step just in time for a quick turnaround — the team will face the Cincinnati Bengals at the Linc on Thursday night.  They’ll do so with a brand new confidences in themselves and their new quarterback.

You know you want to watch Avant’s amazing one-handed play again and again.  You can do so here.

Want more Philly Sports Muse? You can find me on Twitter at @sports_muse and on Facebook.


Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

Philadelphia Eagles vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 3 Things to Watch

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

by Brandyn Campbell





Though the past two weeks have again resulted in losses for the Philadelphia Eagles, the team has finally found some spark.  With an offense decimated by injuries, the rookies have stood up and put in a fight.  It seems that it took the youngest members of the team to take the field to finally display the heart we’d been yearning to see since the team’s downward skid began in October.  The team is still losing, but they’re finally in games.

Today the 3-9 Eagles face the 6-6 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  With playoff hopes for Philadelphia long gone, what matters now is draft position.  And the Birds would have the fourth pick in the NFL Draft if it were to happen today.  Philadelphia’s season will end on December 30th but there are plenty of reasons to tune in to this game.  Here are three things to watch:

  1. The progression of Nick Foles.  We haven’t been wowed by Nick Foles, but at Cowboys Stadium he showed marked improvement over his previous starts.  He was allowed to do more with the ball than he had in earlier games, completing 22 of 35 passes for 251 yards and one touchdown.  We have yet to see him do much with downfield passes and this may be the game he finds some comfort going for the big plays.  2. Struggling with or without Wash?  The woes of the defensive line have been of the most perplexing aspects of Philadelphia’s disappointing season.  D-line coach Jim Washburn was abruptly dismissed early Monday morning and the team brought former coach Tommy Brasher back to the position.  The line struggled mightily under Washburn.  With little time to learn a new scheme will we see much difference in the line’s performance?  3. running game.  On Philadelphia’s offense, Bryce Brown has been a beast, accruing 347 yards on 43 carries in two games, averaging a stunning 8.1 yards.  But, he also has had trouble hanging on to the ball, fumbling three times.  Will he have an opportunity to rack up on yards against the Bucs defense, which has held opponents to 3.5 yards per carry?  The Eagles defense will face breakout star Doug Martin, who has the third-most rushing yards in the league with 1,106.  It’s no secret that Philadelphia’s defense has struggled to stop anything.  After coming off of two disappointing outings where he averaged only 2.7 yards per carry, is he poised to break out once again?

Tune in for the excitement at 1 pm on FOX.

Want more Philly Sports Muse? You can find me on Twitter at @sports_muse and on Facebook. 


Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

The Rumor Mill Churns: Jon Gruden to Replace Andy Reid in Philadelphia?

Friday, November 9th, 2012

by Brandyn Campbell






Will Jon Gruden put on a coaching headset again for the Philadelphia Eagles?


The fact that Andy Reid is in the midst of his last season as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles seems to be a foregone conclusion.  With a 3-5 record and a team in disarray, Reid has shown no ability to remedy the problems plaguing the squad or light the needed spark within his players.

For all intents and purposes, Reid is a lame duck coach.

He’ll keep talking but, like his team, we’ve stopped paying attention.


A true indication of the fact that Philadelphia fans and media are already thinking ahead to life after Reid are the reports about possible contenders to fill the expected-to-be-vacant coaching slot.  FOX29′s Howard Eskin kicked it all of on Thursday by saying that Jon Gruden is interested in a return to coaching.

More from Eskin, via Sports Illustrated,

“He enjoys working Monday Night Football in the ESPN Monday Night booth, but he is a coach and has the itch.  I’m told he wants to go to a team that can win and the key has a quarterback.”

So, Eskin said that puts two teams in the mix, the San Diego Chargers, where Gruden is tight with general manager A.J. Smith, and they have a good quarterback with Phillip Rivers.

“And the Eagles are also a good fit for the Gruden requirements,” Eskin said.  “He loves Philadelphia, thinks the Eagles will be a good team next year, and the keys here: He likes the backup quarterback, Nick Foles, who he has already worked out while working for ESPN.”

How much is Gruden liking Foles?  In a conversation about the performance of rookie quarterbacks this season, after talking Luck and Wilson and RGIII, the conversation turned to Foles (via Birds 24/7):

“I had Nick Foles in the preseason against New England.  Michael Vick got hurt on the fifth or sixth play, and Foles went the distance, on the road in Foxborough.  If you like prototype pocket passers with some functional mobility and a tremendous amount of toughness, Foles is interesting.”

“What really impressed me in the preseason was they weren’t running generic formations.  They ran about 30 different formations out of about eight different personnel groupings in successive plays.  So I see him recognizing coverages.  I see him getting to second and third receivers, just like you’d want a quarterback to do in that system, and I love his NFL size.  He reminds me a lot of Brad Johnson, from his football character to his ability to decipher a lot quickly, and we won a championship with Brad.”

Birds 24/7 co-author Tim McManus gave this caution about Gruden’s remarks:

“These quotes suggest he is high on Foles, though as anyone who has listened to his Monday Night Football broadcast can attest, he sounds high on everyone at one point or another.”

So very true…

Gruden last served as head coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he was fired in January of 2009 after spending seven seasons with the team.

Could Jon Gruden be the next head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles?  It certainly sounds like a reasonable possibility. But does anything ever go as predicted with the Birds?  It’s just going to get more interesting from here.

Want more Philly Sports Muse? You can find me on Twitter at @sports_muse and on Facebook.


Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

A Modest Proposal: Checking in on a Philadelphia Eagles Preseason Prediction

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

by Brandyn Campbell






It’s not yet midseason but the bye week provides an opportunity to take a look at the Eagles season thus far and consider what the next ten games may feature.

While the Eagles are at exactly .500 at 3-3, there is ominous feeling surrounding the team and the rest of the season.  Why?  Because no one is convinced that the many issues on offense that have plagued the Birds — that o-line, the fumbles, the play calling — have been corrected.  While head coach Andy Reid chose to take a stand by firing defensive coordinator Juan Castillo, he has taken no action on the offensive side of the ball.

We desperately want to believe that the problems on Philadelphia’s offense will magically work themselves out.  Magic may well be the only solution, as we’ve seen no evidence of any ability on the coaching staff to adequately address the errors that have afflicted the team thus far.  Which is precisely why Reid seemingly has decided to stay the course.

What’s that, that they say about the definition of insanity?  Doing the same thing repeatedly yet expecting different results.  It’s a quote that is often applied to the Philadelphia Eagles and especially Andy Reid for reasons precisely like this.

In early September I made a prediction for the Eagles 2012 season.  Nothing outrageous, but an achievable goal: A 10-6 record for the season.

At 3-3, that means the Eagles need to go 7-3 for the remainder of the season in order to reach a record of 10-6.  Can they do it?

The next test is the undefeated Atlanta Falcons at home.  If the Birds don’t come out swinging this game they never will.  The jobs of their coach and starting quarterback are on the line, and Reid’s perfect record out of the bye won’t hurt.

Philadelphia then takes to the national stage and heads to New Orleans to face the Saints on Monday Night Football.  The Super Dome is a notoriously difficult place to play and after a very poor start, the Saints have some momentum and are heartened by the moral victory of having Jonathan Vilma back with the team.

Then we get into the thick of the NFC East battles.  If the present is any indication of the remainder of the season, this may not be a year where a poor record can win the division, with the Giants currently standing strong with a 5-2 record.  Dallas will come to town in Week 10, then the Eagles will head down the road in Week 11 to face an RGIII-led Redskins team for the first time.

Monday Night calls again in Week 12 as the Birds play Cam Newton in what so far has been a disappointing and frustrating season for the Panthers.  In Week 13 Philadelphia gets even more prime time action as the Eagles faceoff with the Cowboys in the den of evil—Dallas– on Sunday Night Football.

With the end of the season in sight, the Eagles will face the Bucs in Tampa Bay in Week 14; back-to-back home games against the Bengals and Redskins, and in Week 17 finish it all off against the Giants.

To finish at 10-6, the Eagles can lose only three of their remaining games.  If they can lose even fewer, fabulous.  The good news is that, aside from the Falcons, none of the remaining Eagles opponents seem formidable.  And the fact that Atlanta will play at the Linc lessens the worry.

The season will come down to the division games.  I’m hoping that the Giants will do the opposite of what they did last year — start off strong and then trail off come the end of the season.  But the Redskins are a surging team and are going to be more and more of a challenge for Philadelphia as RG3III gains more experience in the league.  Dallas is an organization with a lot on the line if they have another disappointing year so expect a lot of fight from the Cowboys.

Whatever the record, we know that this year it’s about the postseason.  Making it there and going deep.  But first thing’s first: the Birds need the record and the standing to put them in a position to make a run.

As is said far too frequently when the Philadelphia Eagles are involved, there is an incredible level of talent on this roster.  It’s all about how it’s put together.  Time to see that “FIGHT-FIGHT-FIGHT” we know this team has to battle through and show what they’re truly made of.

Want more Philly Sports Muse? You can find me on Twitter at @sports_muse and on Facebook.


Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports