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How Big IS the Loss of Caddy?


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I don't understand why it should matter with what pick Caddy was taken. You see this from a lot of the mediocre teams that they feel they have to justify a pick so they keep playing him. Once the guy is on your team it does not matter how he got there. A coach should be starting his best guys regardless of personal feelings or where said player was taken in the draft.

 

Now if you want to bitch and moan about opportunity cost be my guest. Sure we could have had Demarcus Ware or Shawn Merriman even though they poorly fit our scheme, but if you look back, instead of Caddy, we might have grabbed: Pacman Jones, Troy Williamson, Antrel Rolle, Mike Williams (whom Gruden took out to dinner the night before the draft), Aaron Rogers, Carlos Rogers, Matt Jones or Rowdy Roddy White. All first round picks who have had little to no impact on their teams.

 

Can we at least enjoy Caddy for what he has accomplished in his short career. 05 gave hope to a franchise that needed a boost. That should have been a rebuilding year, but with a weak-ass schedule and a fast start we made the playoffs only to be cheated by poor officiating. Now we can look to him as a martyr. His torn up knee is something to play for besides a paycheck, fame, or shiny pieces of metal. Thank you for what you have done Caddy, and good luck with the knee as we will need you on that sideline next year. But we need to stop thinking that, because a high draft pick was used on a guy, the weight of the franchise is carried on that picks shoulders. Just be happy we don't have the other Alex Smith making Peyton money to wear a sling.

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My feelings exactly. The Bucs will miss him a great deal. Teams game planned for Caddy. If he were in the game, the box would be stuffed. When he wasn't, other teams figured the Bucs would pass, hence greater success when Pitt or Graham would run. Once it became obvious on Sunday that the Bucs would abandon the pass, neither Pitt or Graham got squat.

 

So, I hope the west coast passing game works, cause without Caddy, I am afraid we're not going to threaten anyone on the ground.

 

The posters who call him soft are out of line and just plain wrong. Injury prone? Yes. Soft? Go tell him to his face you think he's soft.

 

I called him soft, and it was just a bad usage of words.. He is injury prone and that isn't a new thing with this particular player. If he cannot make it through a college career while sharing carries, without being hurt what made us believe he could make it through and NFL season? Potential is one thing, and results are another. He had all the potential in the world and had almost none of the results. I expected just like everyone that he would be our feature back for 7 plus seasons, until last season. He was hurt way too much for someone so new to the league, IMHO. Sunday's injury was freakish for sure but I am beginning to think that if it had not been that hit, it would've been something else. What do I base that on? His whole career, college and pro. While he isn't "soft" in a mental sense, his body obviously is.

 

Oh and your comment on telling Carnell that he is soft to his face, is absurd, as most NFL players have to endure much worse criticism when playing on the road, so if Carnell were to take offense at someone calling him soft, he would actually prove them correct.

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Unfortunately, a lot of people have unrealistic views on this situation. The fact is, losing any player that is in your top two tiers for a position (starter or primary backup) is a big loss. Not only because of the individual player, but because it screws up your experienced depth in the position. Even if the Bucs bring in the best available outside player as a replacement, that player is a whole training camp, pre-season and 4 game weeks of practice/game time behind the curve of the rest of the team as far as knowing the playbook, play timing and personnel that will surround them. Trotter has not touched the field since he arrived in part because he is not up to speed with the rest of the D that has been playing together. Any RB brought in, aside from a Tomlinson type that we could never get anyway, is going to take weeks to get the playbook down and get used to our current schemes to be effective. So the loss of Caddy is big, both from the aspect of his individual talent (especially when he appeared to be turning the corner for the season) and the damage it does to the overall experienced depth for the RB position.

 

This is also true for the Pettigout loss as well.

 

One good thing is it appears the Bucs are now tripping over themselves with QB, DB and LB depth.

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I got tired of seeing him snuffed up the middle. When we finally went to Pittman or Graham *boom* whaddya know.

 

I've been hearing people say Adrian Peterson is a phenomenon but he runs so upright that he is inviting injury. I think the same applies to Caddy, when you watch his highlights--even on the injury that ended his season, he was running so upright that a solid hit from the defender doubled him backwards and blew his knee out.

 

The only RB I can think of that ran so upright and lasted a long time was Roger Craig, and he had that highstepping style to compensate for it.

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Unfortunately, a lot of people have unrealistic views on this situation. The fact is, losing any player that is in your top two tiers for a position (starter or primary backup) is a big loss. Not only because of the individual player, but because it screws up your experienced depth in the position. Even if the Bucs bring in the best available outside player as a replacement, that player is a whole training camp, pre-season and 4 game weeks of practice/game time behind the curve of the rest of the team as far as knowing the playbook, play timing and personnel that will surround them. Trotter has not touched the field since he arrived in part because he is not up to speed with the rest of the D that has been playing together. Any RB brought in, aside from a Tomlinson type that we could never get anyway, is going to take weeks to get the playbook down and get used to our current schemes to be effective. So the loss of Caddy is big, both from the aspect of his individual talent (especially when he appeared to be turning the corner for the season) and the damage it does to the overall experienced depth for the RB position.

 

Bingo.

 

In Darby's case, at least he has had a whole training camp, pre-season and 4 weeks of practice with the team. So, he shouldn't need much time with the playbook before being able to contribute on the field. But, a running back by committee approach with Pittman, Graham, and Darby won't be as strong to begin with as it was with Williams, Pittman and Graham.

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I've been hearing people say Adrian Peterson is a phenomenon but he runs so upright that he is inviting injury. I think the same applies to Caddy, when you watch his highlights--even on the injury that ended his season, he was running so upright that a solid hit from the defender doubled him backwards and blew his knee out.

 

The only RB I can think of that ran so upright and lasted a long time was Roger Craig, and he had that highstepping style to compensate for it.

 

Eric Dickerson

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....

The only RB I can think of that ran so upright and lasted a long time was Roger Craig, and he had that highstepping style to compensate for it.

 

Eric Dickerson

 

Beat me to it Unc. One of my all-time favorites. Guy glided down the field.

 

Now on to more pressing issues...

 

I haven't had time to write a rebuttal for the arguments taking place here. I started to write a rebuttal thread last night, but didn't have time for that either. I've long been a Caddy apologist so maybe I'll write more on the topic when I have time, but I just wanted to hit a few highlights that I think have been missed here.

 

First of all, Caddy's "injury history" at Auburn is a bit overhyped. He broke his collarbone in '01 and fractured the lower part of his fibula in '02. He spent his last two seasons injury free, and it was actually Ronnie Brown who missed most of '03 with a pulled hamstring. Still those broken bones resonate considering he's had an arch/ankle injury, several musculo-skeletal injuries last season, and bruised ribs this season prior to the patellar tendon tear.

 

The idea that this kid shies away from contact is complete hogwash, and is largely responsible for his injury history as an NFLer. If you think this kid shunned contact, you were obviously watching a different Cadillac Williams than I was for the last three seasons. Last season and the beginning of this season are evidence enough. The kid could hardly avoid contact when he was running into a D-Lineman in his own backfield every time he touched the ball. He made some fantastic runs just to get back to the line of scrimmage or scratch out meager gains, always fell forward despite his size, and often had to be riden down instead of just getting blown up.

 

The other big secret for his lack of durability may be bone structure. When he was coming into the draft he was widely thought to be the best pure runner in his RB class, but the idea that he lacked "ideal size" has followed him ever since. While his weight is not all that dissimilar from that of Emmitt Smith or Barry Sanders, his bone structure is. Barry and Emmitt both had enormous thighs and wrists, Cadillac has a somewhat slight frame. Ergo, bone injuries and a lack of durability. Ergo, the need for this kid to get down like Emmitt and Barry before being crunched by guys who outweigh him.

 

Finally, there's the question of how this changes the offense. I submit that there will be dramatic changes to what this offense does. Last season, the number of guys in the box when Caddy was on the field was dramatically different than when Pitt lined up in the backfield. That has a lot to do with the sets we employ with him and down and distance, but illuminates Caddy's one significant weakness, not being able to catch the ball out of the backfield, which I can neither defend, nor excuse. What goes away when the safeties play off a bit more is the downfield threat that single-handedly won the Saints game for us. You can bet that the safeties will be deeper from this point forward. Our passing game will rely on nickel and diming defenses to death and run the risk of the offense's own mistakes stalling drives.

 

Second, we lose the quick slant to Galloway. Not the pass itself, because it'll still be there (in fact it'll be a staple), but when the defense can play Cover 2 vice Cover 1 like Galloway enjoyed in the Saints game when Clayton crushed the lone Saint safety still playing safety, there are more guys downfield to account for and less potential for the big play.

 

Finally, we lose the safety response to the play action that we enjoyed in the Rams game. If there's no "home-run" threat in the backfield, the play action isn't as likely to stop the safety or corner's feet from moving and yield the cushion that we've enjoyed in past weeks.

 

Our best hope is for Graham and Pitt to break off some big runs and force defenses to commit to stopping the run just like they have in the past 3 weeks. They've been able to do that thanks to improved offensive line play giving them the corner and large leads allowing the OLine to lean on weary and undermanned DLinemen and Linebackers.

 

Expect to see more spread sets out of the Bucs in coming weeks, especially against Indy to exploit the midfield softspot in the Cover 2 and their ailing backers. This offense will get more exotic to try to compensate for the cushion that the WRs were receiving because of Caddy being in the game. Let's hope it works and the OLine can give Garcia the time for those more exotic sets and routes to develop underneath the coverage because it's not going to develop as readily over the coverage.

 

Lastly, this kid has been a warrior for us. I'm not going to quote any fancy stats or feed you a bunch of football-ease to prove it. You can see it on his face every time he gets out there, and especially when he fails. I'll grant you that he can't catch the flu, but he's turned himself into a damn fine blocker (another knock on him coming out of Auburn), as well. He plays with grit and determination, and I think it's lousy to bad-mouth him for playing hard, especially considering the heinous nature of this injury.

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I agree--losing Caddy is terrible but I hope Gruden retains his confidence in the running game and gives Pittman and Graham plenty of totes.

 

I really don't want to see the return of the three-step drop/two-yard rink-a-dink passing game as a Bucs staple.

 

You are correct. The big question is how do we regard ourselves and how do defenses regard us. Are we a good running team, or has it all been smoke and mirrors the last two weeks?

 

My biggest fear is that Pitt or EG get the idea that they have to shoulder too much personal responsibility for the team. If they do, standby for fumbles and reduced effectiveness from either. Pitt had a bit of a fumbling episode the year before Caddy came in here, but recently he's locked it away quite well. I hope that continues.

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Today's loss of a truly versatile double threat offensive weapon like Pittman for a couple of weeks hurts us a hell of a lot more than losing a one dimensional back like Pontiac Williams for the season and possibly his entire career ever will.

 

I agree. Being down to your 3rd string back and a 7th round practice squader, is truly devastating.

 

But, those like yourself who thought we were better off without Caddy are on crack. What'd we have about 17 yards today? Pittman ran for, what was it, -1 on 5 carries in the first half? That's not versatility, it's futility.

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LOL...We'll just have to agree to disagree on this one, but this O looked very pedestrian today, just like I said it would.

 

The running game was non-factor on Sunday without Caddy. Just like it was when Williams had to leave the Seattle game early in the second half with sore ribs (from Tatupu's helmet).

 

I'm amazed by those who thought the loss of Caddy would have little impact.

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I agree. Being down to your 3rd string back and a 7th round practice squader, is truly devastating.

 

But, those like yourself who thought we were better off without Caddy are on crack. What'd we have about 17 yards today? Pittman ran for, what was it, -1 on 5 carries in the first half? That's not versatility, it's futility.

 

You made a leap that if Caddy had been healthy and playing that the Buccaneers would have gotten more yards rushing... the fact is that the previous two weeks the other two backs got their yards just fine. Don't forget the loss of the left tackle may have had an impact regardless of who was given the rock.

 

Personally I think the loss hurts us, but it is not the same as losing LT or another all-around premiere back.

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