As we gear up for what will undoubtedly be another loss for the Vikings this weekend when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers come to town, we reach back into our old bag of tricks and partner with another AMAZING Bloguin blog to do a little Q&A, interview, shit shooting session to get a general feel from the upcoming opponent. This week, we talked with Buc Stop, the DEFINITIVE blog about Tampa Bay. Truthfully, I don’t know of any other blog about the Buccaneers anyway, so I’m at least glad there is one on Bloguin to work with. It is highly recommended for you to head on over to their site this week a well, as I answered a bucket full of questions for them concerning the Vikings, including a titillating haiku at the end.
For us here though, read on as we cover things like whether a mustache counts as maturity for Bucs QB Josh Freeman, who the cooler young, black coach in the league is and just how much Bucs fans hate the bad ass creamsicle uniforms.
Purple Jesus Diaries: How the hell was tubbo Matthew Stafford able to throw for 3 TDs against you guys?
Buc Stop: There is a reason Matthew Stafford was the number one overall pick in the 2009 draft. He has never shown a lack of talent, he just hasn’t been able to stay on the field. Many people have predicted a breakout year for Stafford and week 1 was no fluke. This kid may be the real deal, if he can stay healthy all year.
The Lions also got one first round wide receiver right in Calvin Johnson, as he is virtually impossible to stop. That certainly helped.
PJD: I’m not as familiar with your young team as I would like to be. Who are some young guns on defense the Vikings terrible offense needs to watch out for?
BS: In the last 2 drafts, the Bucs have taken defensive linemen with their first 2 picks each year. Gerald McCoy, Brian Price, Adrian Clayborn, and Da’Quan Bowers all have skills, but Bowers is the guy you really should watch. This guy has speed and moves that would have made him a top 3 draft pick if his knee were healthy. Well, he is 100% healthy now, and he is coming on strong. He made multiple plays in the preseason that had me dropping my jaw. If he can stay healthy, you are looking at the next Simeon Rice.
PJD: How has Josh Freeman developed for you guys? Is he showing veteran poise? Is he not forcing throws? Looking off receivers? Growing a mustache?
BS: Josh Freeman stepped his game up last season to new levels. He was able to read defenses, adjust on the fly, stand up to pressure, and not make the stupid mistakes. He ended 2010 with only 6 interceptions, and none in the last few games. Not only did he step up in 2010, but also he brought the team together over the lockout for workouts, gathering over 50 players for a week in Bradenton, FL. The sky is the limit for Josh Freeman. Well, the sky and maybe facial hair. Having seen him up close a few times, I don’t think he can grow a mustache yet, which is unfortunate for all of us, because I think he would look like a stud with one.
PJD: Have you, or do you have plans to, start a petition to get the team to wear the creamsicle uniforms on a permanent basis?
BS: I actually hate the creamsicle uniforms. To me, they represent a period of losing that has never been seen by any other NFL franchise. The Buccaneers had the worst winning percentage in professional sports for a long period of time. When the new pewter and red uniforms came out in 1997, the Bucs had a whole new element of swagger, and have since been a playoff contender and Super Bowl Champion. I personally have plans to start a petition to permanently ban the creamsicle uniforms, even on throwback day.
PJD: How balanced has your offense been with Blount helping out? Is your offensive line developing to assist in his yardage?
BS: Legarrette Blount was a diamond in the rough, literally, as he came from his well-known rough background to be a 1000 yard rookie rusher. He is a workhorse and nearly impossible to bring down. The Bucs are best when he is running for 100+ in a game using a well-balanced offensive attack. If he is getting the ball 25 times in a game, it means the Bucs are most likely winning. If he touches the ball 5 time (cough, week 1), the Bucs are in a lot of trouble. The Bucs offense must be predicated on being unpredictable, and that starts with a lot of runs from Blount and using the play-action to open up Mike Williams and Regis Benn downfield.
The offensive line is a strength of the team. Donald Penn and Davin Joseph are pro-bowlers, Jeff Faine is one of the best centers in the league, and Jeremy Trueblood is finally coming into his own. They held a revamped Lions defensive line to 2 sacks. However, they need to be better in upcoming weeks to open more holes for Blount and allow the Bucs to stay balanced and control the ball.
PJD: What is your prediction for the game?
BS: My prediction for the game is Buccaneers 23, Vikings 14.
PJD: Finally, cooler young coach: Raheem Morris or Mike Tomlin?
BS: I like Raheem Morris. Yes, Tomlin has the ring. However, Morris has some of the best press conference lines you can think of. “Stats are for losers”, “Our team is young and hungry, they are youngry”. You have to love a coach who can keep the media entertained. An even better question as it relates to the Bucs, Vikings, and coaches: When all is said and done, which former Vikings defensive coordinator will have a better legacy (on the field, as off the field there is no question): Mike Tomlin or Tony Dungy?
Thanks again to Buc Stop, and make sure to head over there to read PJD’s Q&A with them and to talk massive amounts of shit BEFORE we lose the game, otherwise you’ll look stupid doing so after. FACT.