Nothing groundbreaking, but a good overview of the Bucs current situation.
Link isnt working, so here is the article:
Inside Slant | Notes and Quotes | Strategy and Personnel
The Bucs are on the ropes and Jon Gruden is right there with them.
Tampa Bay is the lowest-scoring team in the league and ranked 30th in the NFL in total offense.
Rookie quarterback Bruce Gradkowski has struggled, having watched his completion percentage drop in each of the past three games.
At 2-5, the Bucs face a must-win game Sunday against the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium.
After an 0-4 start, Gruden is selling his team on an opportunity to finish the second quarter 3-1. Presumably, if the Bucs accomplished that feat for each of the final three quarters, they would finish 9-6 with an outside chance of earning a wildcard playoff spot.
The larger question is which direction is the franchise headed?
Gruden has come under fire this week for his decision to attempt 48 passes in a 17-3 loss to the New York Giants in a game played with 40 miles per hour wind gusts.
Meanwhile, running back Cadillac Williams had just 20 yards on eight carries, including a 16-yard run, which was the longest play of the game.
"We have seen some excellent football teams from Baltimore to Philadelphia to Carolina, teams that are pretty darn good against the run also," Gruden said. "We have been behind, which has a lot to do with the stat sheet. You just can't compare numbers. You have to compare what happened in games. Last year we won our first four games and clearly the clock was the enemy and we were running the ball repeatedly in the fourth quarter, but right now when we are playing behind, hard to do that."
Gradkowski has been victimized by dropped passes by receivers Joey Galloway and Michael Clayton.
Since passing for 225 yards and two touchdowns in his splashy debut against the Saints, Gradkowski has faced an array of blitzes and has struggled.
If Williams is an elite running back -- and remember he was Rookie of the Year -- the Bucs would be wise to build their game plan around him.
Gruden always has been quick to abandon the run, and with two rookie offensive linemen, pass protection has not been the Bucs' strong suit.
Gruden believes the running game won't work until they are able to make more plays in the passing game and force defenses to back off on all the blitz looks. But Gradkowski has had trouble hooking up with Galloway.
"The film keeps me optimistic about everything," Gruden said. "Our defense played hard, they rallied, they threw their bodies around, and they played for the most part a very good defensive football game. As I say, I feel like we have some very dynamic skill people here that can make plays. And they got to make some plays (Sunday against the Giants) in that film to help us get back into that game and ultimately win it. I'm going to second guess myself, beat myself up as much as anybody. But, when you get guys wide open down a football field three or four times, that'll end the blitzing right away if you make those plays, we all know that. Until we answer the bell and respond better, we're going to continue to see some exotic looks, and some exotic fronts, and coverages and blitzes and they're going to make it tough on us."'
SERIES HISTORY: 30th meeting. Saints lead the series 18-11. Tampa Bay has won four of the past six meetings. The Saints won the last meeting 24-21 in New Orleans on Reggie Bush's 65-yard punt return for a touchdown.