Random thoughts on the Bucs and the NFL

1. You know, it’s kind of funny. Everybody predicted the Bucs would lose to the Seattle Seahawks. Pewter Report writers Scott Reynolds and Jim Flynn did, all of the local wraps and talking heads did, and most of the national media did, too (Heck, even I did, which proves the old adage that a blind squirrel finds an acorn every once in a while). That brings me to one question: If everyone expected the Bucs to lose, why is there such gnashing of teeth about the team and its prospects for the 2007 season?

2. I had to laugh listening to some of the talking heads this week on Tampa morning radio. One head was desperately trying to make the case that defensive end Gaines Adams was the next coming of Keith McCants or Eric Curry (take your pick), and when a caller had the temerity to suggest that Adams had made some plays in pre-season such as batting down a couple of balls, the head had the gall to lecture him that you cannot possibly be moving forward toward the quarterback and bat a ball down. That would be physically impossible! First, I have no idea why that would have any bearing on Adams’ prospects as a player whatsoever. Second, and I am a novice, but I think batting a ball down can be considered a positive play.Lastly, if Mr. Blowhard had been watching the Bucs – Jags preseason game where Adams batted down his first pass, he would have seen that Adams, (gasp) was rushing toward the quarterback! I am guessing this head has problems doing two things at once, like walking and chewing gum.

3. Now, I have no idea if Gaines Adams will eventually be Simeon Rice or Rice-a-Roni, but I do know that nobody else does either, and spouting off about the young man after one game is kind of like criticizing the meal before the chef has even gone into the kitchen.

4. So, Scott Reynolds is right fellow fans. The biggest game of the season is this week vs the Saints. If the Bucs win and go 1-1, the dogs will be called off for a little while. If the Bucs lose and fall to 0-2, the chum will be thick in the water and you can cue the John Williams’ score.

5. And make no mistake, though the Saints will have had 10 days to prepare, they can be had. It’s a shame Cadiillac Williams might be in the shop, because the way to get at these Saints is to run it at them. When the Colts finally figured that out in the second half last week, the floodgates opened in the passing game. Run the ball, Jon.

6. I know people get tired of hearing about it, but does it astound anybody else that in this entire Michael Vick episode the name “Rich McKay” has barely been mentioned? Has anybody heard his name? You’d think Arthur Blank was the GM of the Atlanta Falcons. Honestly, this guy has more lives than Felix the Cat! He is brewing another cap disaster special, signed Vick to the $130 million contract that was ingeniously constructed so that the Falcons will have a rough time getting any meaningful cash back, is going to preside over one of the worst teams in the league (and check the roster, that moniker will be on the Birds for the foreseeable future), and yet, there isn’t a single criticism. He isn’t even criticized for being irrelevant! I mean, is this guy “Deep Throat” for every scribe and talking head following the NFL? He’s the Teflon source!

7. Why I keep my day job: I feel a bit nauseated putting faith in the Jaguars during my preseason predictions last week. They gave up 282 yards rushing? Up the middle? To Tennessee? Either Marcus Stroud and John Henderson switched jerseys with Flynn and Reynolds last weekend or they are very hurt. Or, it just could be that Jack Del Rio is as bad of a coach as I feared. Tennessee is not a good team. Tennessee was not a good team last year. And yet, Tennessee beat Jacksonville. In Jacksonville. Again.

8. The Patriots are cheaters? I wonder how many more points they’d have scored if the camera guy hadn’t been nabbed in the first quarter last week? San Diego must be licking their chops. Forget it. I don't care if the Pats are reduced to drawing up the Padres’ defensive signals with crayon Sunday night at Razor Field, L.T. is going home unhappy.

9. What’s the best thing you saw in the Bucs’ game last week? I mean besides the team winning the coin toss? For me it was the energy and playmaking of Jeff Garcia. Sure he made some mistakes, but even bleary-eyed and bell-rung in the fourth quarter he led the Bucs down the field inside the Seahawks’ 10-yard line before Earnest Graham coughed up the pumpkin. The guy was in max protect with just one wideout and somehow kept finding Michael Pittman out of the backfield. It was an impressive display by both players. Watch the drive again the next time some wrap suggests the Bucs quit.

10. The worst thing about the game? While everyone has their pet peeve in a loss, and there are plenty of peeves to dissect in last Sunday’s game, I was most disappointed by the play of both lines. They did compete, but ultimately the Bucs lost the battle of the trenches on both sides, and that is dangerous.
11. Yes, things can definitely look half-empty with no touchdowns, DUI convictions, human growth hormone charges, a Caddy in the shop, a dazed quarterback, an offensive line in need of cohesion and a defense looking for the right pieces and a seamless fit into a scheme. Still, the Bucs are 0-1 with two home games coming up. Let’s not throw in the towel just yet, okay?

12. Look on the bright side. We could be Cleveland fans.

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