Just when you thought that Chris Simms had a stranglehold on Tampa Bay's No. 2 quarterback position, Brian Griese made a bold run at the backup spot with a great showing against Houston in the Bucs' 17-9 win over the Texans. Griese's 12-of-16 passing for 110 yards with one touchdown should open head coach Jon Gruden's eyes heading into the regular season, and earned him the PewterReport.com Pewter Player of the Week.
Griese turned in his best showing of the preseason, replacing starter Brad Johnson at the 4:07 mark in the first quarter and leading the Bucs on two scoring drives, including a touchdown drive midway through the second quarter. Griese's first drive, which culminated with a 20-yard field goal from Martin Gramatica, covered 79 yards on 14 plays, and he was 6-of-8 for 59 yards, including a beautiful throw to Bill Schroeder for 26 yards.
After a fumble recovery by nose tackle Oliver Gibson at the Houston 11, Griese found tight end Rickey Dudley open in the back of the end zone on a play-action pass with first-and-goal at the 1-yard line for a touchdown. That score was Tampa Bay's first passing touchdown of the preseason. Griese finished the contest with a game-high 114.1 quarterback rating.
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