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sammy8887

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: November 06, 2007, 11:42:36 AM

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers embark on their badly needed bye week bruised and battered, but also as a better team, one with an improving offensive line.

In defeating the Arizona Cardinals 17-10 Sunday at Raymond James Stadium, the Bucs improved to 5-4 heading into their week off.

The Bucs also produced 162 yards rushing, including a career-high 124 yards on 34 carries by starting tailback Earnest Graham, a 1998 Mariner High School graduate.

During his weekly Monday news conference, Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden credited offensive line coach Bill Muir and assistant Aaron Kromer for developing one of football’s youngest offensive lines.

“We have two rookies basically on the left side, and we had two rookies on the right side last year,” Gruden said. “So that’s four guys with a combined NFL experience of two years.

“We’re picking up a lot of blitzes. We’re handling a lot of offensive football quite well. We’re really excited about the development, the progress and the future of those guys.”

First-year starting tackle Donald Penn and rookie guard Arron Sears man the left side, with second-year tackle Jeremy Trueblood and guard Davin Joseph on the right. Veteran John Wade starts at center.

“John Wade has really done a great job as the veteran of the bunch, making the calls and delivering the ball and putting our people in position to execute,” Gruden said.

On Sunday, the line helped pave the way for running back Graham’s big day.

Gruden gushed with praise of Graham, who took the top spot on the running back depth chart after injuries to Cadillac Williams and Michael Pittman.

“He makes good reads,” Gruden said of Graham. “He’s a north and south guy. He’s a good traffic runner. He protects the ball.

“He had a great touchdown run, honestly, inside the 3-yard line. He carried the ball 33, 34 times. I think 31 of those plays, he had positive yardage.”

Graham and the offensive line’s performance impressed Bucs safety Jermaine Phillips, who contributed with a fourth-quarter interception.

“The offense was definitely our best defensive player,” Phillips said, noting the Bucs had possession for about 43 minutes to just 17 for the Cardinals. “We stayed off the field, stayed fresh, while Arizona’s defense was tired and worn down.

“We thank our offense for the ball control and helping the defense.”

This weekend, the Bucs will have time to rest and heal. Doing so after a victory instead of a three-game losing streak could make a big difference, Gruden said.

“On Wednesdays, we haven’t had a practice the last two weeks,” Gruden said. “We have had more of a walk-through, because of the injuries. They have mounted at certain positions.

“But what we want to do is get back to a normal schedule if we can, following this bye week.”



http://www.news-press.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=200771106007

OpTiOnMaStA

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#1 : November 06, 2007, 11:46:17 AM

The line, with the exception of Wade and Davin Joseph has been pretty impressive. Joseph needs to get his head out of his butt and stop making stupid penalties. Wade needs to retire because he makes the calls but he can't block in this league at this point in time.

sammy8887

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#2 : November 06, 2007, 11:48:34 AM

Yeah, it's an interesting configuration there...something like the talent on the sides and the coach in the middle. ;)

But I don't think you can criticize anybody for Sunday's performance.

OpTiOnMaStA

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#3 : November 06, 2007, 12:01:58 PM

I don't think Muir is developing the players to the best of their abilities, either. I'd be more inclined to say that Kromer is better than Muir.

ANGRY PIRATE

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#4 : November 06, 2007, 01:31:40 PM

is it just me or is Wade's snaps on shotgun formations ridicuously low?

cheveliar

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#5 : November 06, 2007, 01:33:25 PM

Callahan might be availible in a few weeks!!!! ;D :o

Without Carl Nix it feels like our running game just took a death blow to the face!


Uncle Stan

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#6 : November 06, 2007, 01:33:45 PM

Don't know who is doing what, but somebody is doing a good job with Sears and Penn.

Can't remember seeing any TE backing up Penn. And we didn't hear anything from Berry all day.


Learn to disagree without being disagreeable-Ronald Reagan circa 1981

RedAlert

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#7 : November 06, 2007, 01:40:35 PM

Aside from penalties, it's difficult to single out any one player's performance on a unit that has to function as such. Without Wade's veteran leadership, who knows how this line would work. I know he's no HOF'r, but he's doing something right with these kids around him. Matter of fact, the only negative statements I've read about him are on these boards..



Biggs3535

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#8 : November 06, 2007, 01:45:02 PM

You don't expect the players or coaches to call him out do you?



bradentonian

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#9 : November 06, 2007, 01:57:37 PM

Callahan might be availible in a few weeks!!!! ;D :o

I brought this up a while back; I think he'd make a great addition


bradentonian

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#10 : November 06, 2007, 01:59:10 PM

The line, with the exception of Wade and Davin Joseph has been pretty impressive. Joseph needs to get his head out of his butt and stop making stupid penalties. Wade needs to retire because he makes the calls but he can't block in this league at this point in time.

I'm very pleased with Penn.  Luke might be gone or a backup next year.  Hopefully Buenning can be the guy at OC next year.


RedAlert

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#11 : November 06, 2007, 02:15:43 PM

You don't expect the players or coaches to call him out do you?


I would if he was as bad as some are claiming..

Biggs3535

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#12 : November 06, 2007, 02:17:59 PM

How bad was Gradkowski playing last year?  Did you ever hear any players or coaches call him out publicly?



RedAlert

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#13 : November 06, 2007, 02:21:54 PM

They didn't have to to, a bad performance at QB is pretty much obvious.

Do you see Grads starting anymore?

Biggs3535

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#14 : November 06, 2007, 02:29:13 PM

So is a bad performance at Center, to most people...and you won't see Wade starting next year, either. 

But that wasn't your argument.  You said that you weren't hearing or reading any negative statements about Wade, so, by your conclusion, he must be playing well.  I give you another case of the same point and you disregard it by saying "Do you see Grads starting anymore?"  I'm pretty sure if Buenning was healthy, he would be playing Center right now.  Or they might upgrade in FA like they did with Garcia over Grads.


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