The late Tom McEwen, sports editor of The Tampa Times from 1958-62 before being named sports editor of The Tampa Tribune in 1962, graced the Tribune sports section with his award-winning column, The Morning After, and his Breakfast Bonus notes columns were a signature offering from the 19-time Florida Sports Writer of the Year. McEwen died in June, 2011 at the age of 88. His wife, Linda, occasionally contributes past columns and exerpts to this blog.
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Bucs on track for the home stretch?
Posted Nov 22, 2010 by Tom McEwen
Updated Nov 22, 2010 at 03:00 AM
San Francisco 49ers fans marched into their proud home named Candlestick Park Sunday, ready to put more fear into the hides of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, so often a fall ritual there, but not yesterday, not this time around. Those fans trooped in to their football citadel prepared to march in cadence out after another bloodletting of the Bucs, but instead slumped out, shoulders slack, heads down this time, the victims themselves this time.
Buccaneers visits in the past have too often resulted in beatings by this proud West Coast franchise of the National Football League. These Buccaneers, new by 49er history, have so often on other Sundays left Candlestick in defeat, often a season spoiled.
Bet here is most 49er patrons could foresee a key win over the Bucs Sunday as part of the Niners turnaround onto a new championship run. It was not to be. These are not the Buccaneers of so many matches at Candlestick. The usual patrons of this proud old edifice had to slump out because of the solid victory of these 2010 Bucs.
The Buccaneers surely have turned the corner on a new road to successes and unless there are some disasters down the road, such as critical player injuries, these Bucs are not on the road to anything but more victories and the accolades they will accrue. Young, successful, confident but not overconfident, Head Coach Raheem Morris said as much after the game in San Francisco when he acknowledged what Buc fans saw is what he hopes to put on the field for the rest of the season. This team, this youngest in the NFL, took giant steps at San Francisco.
The Buccaneers beat the thunderation, the tar, the hex out of a decent 49er team, winning 21-0 and it could have been a whole lot worse. It should have been at least 24-0 but for another makeable field goal miss by Connor Barth. The Buccaneers on this Sunday in California were better offensively, defensively, on all manner of special teams, though a little too careless with possessions at times. They can fix this; count on Coach Morris getting it done before the week’s out and another game time arrives, this one at Baltimore.
Know of no areas, or positions, or of football efforts in which San Francisco outplayed the Bucs on Sunday. Starting quarterback Josh Freeman, and his associate, Josh Johnson, outplayed their Niner counterparts — as a matter of fact, I am hard-pressed to think of specialty areas or individual athletic talents in which San Francisco’s players outperformed those in the uniforms of the Buccaneers.
I can’t help but repeat here that it looks to me here that Coach Morris and his staff have these Buccaneers on the brink of all the right successes for the home stretch, into which these Morris men are about to make the final turn. It is a little bit sooner than any of us optimists about the Buccaneers could have expected, but I’ll be doggone if I don’t believe that Coach Morris and his staff have his players in the box for that final sprint. Honestly, this is one fine team and, I repeat, the youngest in the NFL.