Monday afternoon I joined Charlie Bernstein on Sports Talk 1040 to recap the Bucs’ disappointing 23-3 loss to the New England Patriots and how they move forward in preparing for the Arizona Cardinals.
Charlie and I discussed the Bucs’ fast start on offense while the defense forced the Patriots to punt on their first three possessions. But then things turned south. Vincent Jackson left with a rib injury and Mike Williams was hobbling around with a leg injury.
Then Josh Freeman threw the pick to Aqib Talib just before halftime.
Jackson’s absence made for a rough day for Freeman, but one point I made with Charlie is that Tom Brady didn’t have any of his top receivers, and was able to make stars out of two rookies in Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins. The mark of a franchise quarterback is being able to put a team on your back in adverse situations and carry the weight, when necessary.
Of course you can’t pin the loss all on Freeman, especially with so many drops from receivers, including Jackson and tight end Tim Wright. Schiano alluded to that too in his press conference today when asked about Freeman’s performance.
“He’s done some good things and he’s done some things that he’d like to change and we’d like to. But it’s the whole offensive unit – we need to be more precise. We need to coach more precisely; it’s everybody involved.”
Schiano also reiterated that Freeman remains the starter.
Charlie and I then talked about how Freeman needs to improve, and if he doesn’t, at what point, if any, do the Bucs throw in Mike Glennon to see what he can do? I told Charlie I felt that if the Bucs do throw him in, they’re essentially deeming 2013 a loss.
In my opinion, and Charlie seemed to agree on this — Glennon isn’t ready. But if things get any uglier and Schiano fears for his job (we both don’t see him getting fired after two seasons), putting Glennon in would lower fans’ expectations and essentially lessen the blow of fan backlash.
Charlie and I also talked about the Bucs’ new addition in Jeff Demps, who was activated to the 53-man roster today. We talked about how he can contribute to the team and when we can expect to see him play, which will hopefully be soon, since this offense would welcome any sort of spark right now.
You can listen to it all right here: