As is our weekly custom, we turned to this week's opposing SB Nation blog for questions. This week, it's Sander Philipse at Bucs Nation bringing the answers and/or thunder. Thank him for his time.
Dave Choate: What's the plan at quarterback for the Buccaneers? Is Glennon riding out the season, do you see McCown re-claiming the job or is this just going to see-saw until the team drafts a QB in 2015?
Sander Philipse: Well, that question got answered before I had a chance to respond: the Bucs are moving back to Josh McCown as the starter. Mike Glennon might win it back later this year if McCown goes back to sucking, but I think it's fairly obvious that Glennon isn't the guy they see as the franchise going forward -- and that probably means they take a quarterback in the draft next year, if they can.
Dave Choate: Why is this team so bad? I see young receiving talent, a capable enough defense and scattered useful pieces all over the roster, so I'm having a hard time getting a handle on the level of performance thus far.
It's a combination of lots and lots of different things. For one, the offensive line is terrible and the Bucs can't run the ball -- which kind of undermines any offense with a quarterback who can't take the team on his back. Which is where Glennon's and McCown's less-than-stellar play comes in.
Sander Philipse: To make matters worse, it took the defensive players ages to understand execute the system. They were making simple schematic mistakes over and over and over again. That's been reduced significantly the past two
games, and the defense has played better, but there are talent issues on defense, too. Mason Foster has been a real problem in coverage at middle linebacker, while Michael Johnson has been largely useless as a pass
rusher. Oh, and the safety play has been blurgh. Also the cornerbacks haven't been good.
Yeah, it's a bit of a mess.
Dave Choate: To piggyback off that last question, who are the building blocks for this football team going forward? I fully expect the Bucs to be contenders sooner than later, so I'm wondering which guys will be part of the next winning team.
Sander Philipse: Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David say hi. Mike Evans is one, of course, and Vincent Jackson will stick around for a few more years. Beyond that...who knows? No one else on this roster is irreplaceable or even an important player right now.
Wow, that sounds really bad now that I typed it out. (Editor's Note: Yes, it does)
Dave Choate: Based on Lovie Smith's track record with the Bears and his first eight games thus far, how are Bucs fans feeling about him as the head coach?
Sander Philipse: Any time a coach starts 1-7, you're not going to get a lot of happy responses, but I think most fans are willing to give him a little longer. Still, it's certainly been very disappointing and some fans are less patient than others, as is always the case. The shuffling of quarterbacks and the poor defensive performance so far aren't helping, either.
Dave Choate: Do you think the Buccaneers can/will win this game, and if so, how will they manage it?
Sander Philipse: I think they can, I'm less sure they will. The Bucs have been really close to winning games a lot of times this season, only to mess it up in the fourth quarter. Their defense has improved leaps and bounds over the past couple of weeks, but then they haven't faced a quarterback of Matt Ryan's caliber. Their offense is still a hot mess, although Mike Evans had a breakout game last Sunday. Will Josh McCown fix that? Probably not. Will Charles Sims and Bobby Rainey fix their running game? Eh, probably not.
There are lots and lots of "probably not"s in there, but this is the NFL and any given Sunday and all that stuff. So yes, if the defense we've seen over the past two weeks shows up, particularly the increased defensive line pressure, if the running game continues to work and last week wasn't just a fluke and if Josh McCown isn't what we think he is, then the Bucs can win.
But probably not.