The Buccaneers have finally found some stability in the quarterback position in rookie Bruce Gradkowski. For the second consecutive week, Gradkowski is Pewter Report’s most valuable player.
Gradkowski was relied on the entire game to keep the Buccaneers offense in motion. He responded by completing 25-of-44 passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winning strike to wide receiver Michael Clayton with 35 second remaining in the game. His lone blemish came in the third quarter when he was intercepted trying to fit a ball in to Joey Galloway on a long bomb.
This is the second consecutive week that Gradkowski has put the Buccaneers in a position to win the ball game with last week’s performance at New Orleans coming up just short of victory.
This week, Gradkowski made all the right decisions, completing passes to seven different receivers. With teams sending multiple coverages towards Joey Galloway, Gradkowski was able to recognize defensive patterns and find the open man.
Along with his pin-point accuracy, Gradkowski brings a dimension to the offense that the Buccaneers have lacked during the Gruden era: quarterback mobility. Gradkowski rushed four times for 19 yards and picked up two key first downs on third-and-long plays, including a 6-yard scramble that kept the third quarter scoring drive alive.
Gradkowski has a moxie unmatched by most players on the Buccaneers roster and seems to make the big play when needed most. Over his two-game stretch as the starting quarterback, Gradkowski has thrown for four touchdowns and only one interception while only having one pass batted down at the line of scrimmage.
It seems as though Jon Gruden may have found his ideal suitor for his West Coast offense. Gradkowski has run it to a tee for the second consecutive game, making him the team’s MVP up to this point.