Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

The Point After

The Point After: Maybe it's time for flailing Bucs to get lifeboats ready

This week's electronic conversation between Sports columnists John Romano and Gary Shelton:

JR: Gary, don't you just love the idea of a Bucs throwback day? It's like a bunch of travelers throwing on their pearls and life jackets and celebrating the Titanic.

GS: Or, in this case, the S.S. Minnow, starring Raheem Morris as Gilligan. Either way, the life rafts are all filled by failed placekickers.

JR: Things have gotten so bad around here, the Bucs can take a week off and still manage to look worse. Another placekicker? To replace the one who only attempted one field goal in a month? Who replaced the one who barely made it out of September? Who replaced the one who held all the team records? It's as if they're trying to prove Darwinism by retracing Charles Darwin's steps.

GS: John, I am concerned. You have mentioned the Titanic and Darwin in conjunction with the Bucs. Did someone hit you with a history book? Or, as you used to call it, "that throwback manual."

JR: If it makes you feel better, I was burping and scratching myself at the time.

GS: Ah, multitasking. Seriously, though, you can look at placekicker as a microcosm of this entire offseason. The Bucs get rid of a familiar fan favorite. They make a mistake in bringing in a replacement. They throw that guy overboard and now bring in another guy. And that's the problem. There have been too many mistakes and not enough progress. And there are nine games to go.

JR: Nine games. Sheesh. How long do you suppose before Josh Freeman tries to re-enroll at Kansas State?

GS: K-State? Let's see. When Freeman was there, he had no receivers, a bad defense and shaky coaching. This situation is entirely different. Here, they wear orange instead of purple.

JR: So how are we supposed to grade young Josh? Wins can't be the barometer. And QB rating should not be the determining factor. What would you like to see from the man who would be savior?

GS: I want to see composure. I want to see competitiveness. I want to see flashes of the ability that made the Bucs draft a quarterback when they had other pressing needs. I want him to look like a kid who belongs. Does that sound fair?

JR: Paula Abdul couldn't have said it better. Well, maybe she could, but it would have been all slurred. The real danger is letting the circumstances influence our opinion of Freeman. If the Bucs keep falling behind, and the running game is continually abandoned and the opposing defenses keep … ah, you've seen the first seven games. You know what will happen.

GS: Absolutely. He'll get Vinnied. The problem is, Tampa Bay can't afford to protect him until they're good again, because by that time, he may be 47 and playing against the Sydney Wallabies.

JR: So let's all agree right now. No criticism of Freeman today. Unless, you know, he throws five interceptions. Or holds the ball too long. Or we have nothing else to write. Ah, who am I kidding? Josh is about to become a piñata for our pleasure.

GS: To be fair, Josh has been criticizing you for some time now. And if he hasn't, he should have been.

JR: Tell him to get in line. He can have the spot behind my wife and in front of my boss. So tell me, how are things going to turn out today? Will the week off help? Will the Packers be Favre-ized? Will the characters on Glee ever go to class?

GS: The Packers will have a throwback day of their own. They'll jam the stadium in Tampa, and they'll win. The week off might have helped if the Bucs had spent a little more time practicing. And the characters of Glee will be too busy playing on the Bucs defensive line to bother with class. Here's my question, John. In their own attempt to move back the clock, should Bucs fans wear leisure suits and boogie shoes?

JR: Trying to make your wardrobe relevant again?

GS: Hey, it costs a lot of money to dress like Starsky.

The Point After: Maybe it's time for flailing Bucs to get lifeboats ready 11/07/09 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 5:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Alex Faedo, Florida advance to face LSU in College World Series finals


    OMAHA, Neb. — Alex Faedo pitched three-hit ball for 71/3 innings in a second straight strong performance against TCU, and Florida moved to the College World Series finals with a 3-0 win Saturday night.

    Florida’s Austin Langworthy scores on a single by Mike Rivera in the second inning during a 3-0 victory over TCU.
  2. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect


    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  3. Rays journal: Jumbo Diaz falters after getting within a strike of ending rally

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday's game got away starting with a leadoff walk in the seventh inning by Rays LHP Jose Alvarado, who was brought in exclusively to face Baltimore's lefty-swinging Seth Smith.

    Rays reliever Jumbo Diaz wipes his face as he walks off the mound after the Orioles score four during the seventh inning to give them a 7-3 lead. Diaz was one strike away from working out of the jam before he allowed a two-run double and a two-run homer on back-to-back pitches.
  4. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  5. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It was refreshing to see RHP Jacob Faria take the blame after the loss even though he gave the Rays a chance to win. Too often young pitchers are encouraged by what they did and not necessarily the outcome, but Faria, making just his fourth big-league start, came to the Trop to win, didn't, and pointed the finger …