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The Bucs can learn from the Falcons


SWIFT HITTER
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One of the most tumultuous offseasons in Bucs history will come to a close this week. What's coming next could prove to be one of the most tumultuous regular seasons in Bucs history.

The Bucs have a new general manager, a new coach, a new offense and a new defense. They can deny all they want they're rebuilding, but there's no denying they are a team in transition.

The last time a Bucs team went through a transition this large was in 1996, Tony Dungy's first year as coach. Those Bucs went 6-10.

Raheem Morris' team could perform similarly, which wouldn't be bad when you consider this franchise's history. After Dungy's 6-10, the best record posted by a Bucs coach in his first year was 5-11 under Sam Wyche in 1992.

Yet, compared to what other franchises making coaching changes the past couple years have done, 6-10 doesn't look so good. Though their ability to maintain momentum is about to be tested, it seems NFL teams are doing a much better job selecting new coaches these days.

In 2007, for example, seven teams made coaching changes. Three of them won at least 10 games and made the playoffs and one - Arizona, which played in February's Super Bowl in Tampa - finished 8-8.

Last year the results for teams making coaching changes were even better. Of the four teams that changed coaches prior to the 2008 kickoff, three finished 11-5 and made the playoffs.

One of those teams was Atlanta, which finished second to Carolina in the NFC South Division and is arguably the best team for comparison.

Like Morris' Bucs, the Falcons had a rookie head coach in Mike Smith and a rookie general manager in Thomas Dimitroff. They also started the year with rookie quarterback Matt Ryan.

The Bucs could do the same, of course. Even if they don't start first-round pick Josh Freeman at quarterback, they might want to emulate the Falcons' approach. After all, the 2008 Falcons and 2009 Bucs may have one other very important similarity.

The Falcons fielded one of the league's weakest defenses last year. The Bucs don't figure to be weak, but with Jim Bates trying to squeeze a lot of square pegs into his round-hole scheme, they may not be stellar either.

The way to combat that is to run the ball, which not only takes pressure off the quarterback, rookie or otherwise, but also helps limit the time the defense is on the field.

If you doubt the strategy works, just look at the Falcons. They ranked second in the league in rushing, which limited the number of big plays Ryan had to make and eased the burden on the defense.

If the Bucs can do the same - and with their offensive line and running backs there's no reason to believe they can't - they could wind up making a very smooth and successful transition into the Morris era.

Guess who's coming to camp

A lot of teams are left to wonder this time of year whether certain players will actually show up for the start of camp and the Bucs are among those playing the guessing game this season.

Among the Bucs players who could fail to show come Friday's reporting day are MLB Barrett Ruud (contract), WR Antonio Bryant (contract), QB Josh Freeman (contract) and LG Arron Sears (personal reasons).

The likelihood that Ruud, Bryant or Freeman will be missing is slim, because Freeman's deal will almost certainly get done and Ruud and Bryant realize they'll simply have to wait a little longer for their new contracts.

Sears' case is a little more uncertain, however, as he continues to deal with a "private matter" no one close to Sears wants to divulge or talk about.

Morris is uncertain whether Sears will report.

"I hope so," Morris said. "Hopefully we'll see him. But I can't say for sure that he'll be here, and I can't say for sure he won't. We just don't know."

Sears, who started 31 games the past two seasons, attended a voluntary minicamp in April, but has not participated in team activities since, including mandatory minicamp in June.

Team officials elected to excuse Sears' absence rather than fine him.

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One of the most tumultuous offseasons in Bucs history will come to a close this week. What's coming next could prove to be one of the most tumultuous regular seasons in Bucs history.

Eliminate the impossible

and thats impossible

in the Modern era of the NFL

their first few years will remain the worst ever by an NFL Franchise, in this era of free agency No Team will ever be that bad again... yes the lions were 0-16 and have had some very bad yrs of late... but old scool bucs fans know that Detroit Team would beat those bucs 9 outa 10 games...

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uhhh... the worse losing streak, will always be worse than anything in history.

Nice point, personally something that happened 30 years ago doesn't really bother me; even though, in this modern era the falcons still haven't put up back to back winning season simply blows my mind away with pure enjoyment... :)

And I know "this is the year" right? as its been echoed the past 40 sumthin years. :D

Ya know, statistically your gonna be right one of these days.

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An 0-26 run will stand the test of time!

O-26 IS A POWERFUL TESTIMONY TO INEPTNESS.

THERE'S NO WAY THAT THE BUCS ARE NOT ASHAMED

OF THIS MARK. I FILL FOR THEM MYSELF, EVEN IF IT

WAS 30 YEARS AGO. BUT LIKE BUCMAN SAID, "THEY

AIN'T LIKE THAT NO MORE." :rolleyes:

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Like Warren Sapp said.

"You take a third world country and turn it into the Taj Mahal."

I'm proud of our losing streak. It is a testament to our progress as an organization. We've been the worst, and we've been the best. It made the Super Bowl that much more satisfying.

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Guest jb aka johnnybuc
I'm proud of our losing streak. It is a testament to our progress as an organization. We've been the worst, and we've been the best. It made the Super Bowl that much more satisfying.

I hear that! Being there for our first win ever, then being there for our super bowl win were by far two of the most satisfying times in my time as a BUC fan!

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I hear that! Being there for our first win ever, then being there for our super bowl win were by far two of the most satisfying times in my time as a BUC fan!

HOW ABOUT WHEN YOU BROKE THE LOSING STREAK ....... AND ESPECIALLY WHO YOU BROKE IT ON. :D

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