Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Gruden: happy trails

Who would have anticipated four years ago coach, Tony Dungy, celebrating a Super Bowl win also a best selling novel while his replacement in Tampa begrudgingly awaits a pink slip. When John Gruden hoisted the Vince Lombardi trophy in 2003, Dungy must have been thinking about the scripture that says, "Those who are first now will be last then, and those who are last now will be first then." For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the words are prophetic. Last year, they finish at the bottom of the NFC South, and things aren't looking up this season. On defense, middle linebacker, Derrick Brooks, is at the tail end of a stellar career, unfortunately he's playing like it. Defensive end, Simeon Rice, was unceremoniously released while other aging veterans simmered over their fate. Rice, meanwhile, was let go despite the Bucs registering a paltry 25 sacks. Consider, Carolina's, Julius Peppers, had 13. A new defensive line consisting of Kevin Carter, Patrick Chukuwaruh, and first round draft pick, Gaines Adams hardly inspires fear. Adams, furthermore, has been manhandled in practice by the Bucs' honeycomb offensive line. In the secondary, cornerback, Brian Kelly, returns from an injury also teammate Ronde Barber is savvy but he's also 33-years old and contemplating retirement. Furthermore, defensive coordinator, Monte Kiffen, is believed to be fed up with Gruden blaming the defense for the team's decline. On offense, Gruden signed quarterback, Jeff Garcia, to figure out Gruden's complicated playbook. Unfortunately, Garcia will face the same fate former signal callers Chris Simms also Brad Johnson confronted: no pass protection. The line consist of second year tackle, Jeremy Trueblood, Davin Joseph, John Wade, rookie, Aaron Sears, and Luke Petitgrew. Trueblood lacks quick feet, consequently defenders run around him. Joseph is solid, but Wade is creaky with bad knees; Sears is a rookie who battled weight problems at Tennessee and many feel he's better suited at tackle. What does that tell you? As for Petitgrew, he's battling chronic back problems, so the Bucs probably would have been better off signing someone off the street. If Garcia survives the season behind this bunch, he should say five Hail Marys and take communion. At running back, Cadillac Williams, is in a west coast offense, yet he has trouble catching the ball. Another first round pick flanker, Michael Clayton, is backing up a sixth round choice, Maurice Stovall. Gruden's poor draft choices and mediocre free agent signings have the Buccaneers with little hope for success this season, or the future. Another 4-11 year, and He'll probably be cut loose. By then, Tony Dungy may need an offensive coordinator.

Bucs projected record
6-10

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

way to go mr.dixon. Gruden might as well start practicing his, "Chuckies Back", the killer doll part 5, voice overs right now for his new career in december.$ Dollar Bill Stone

ralphm said...

I believe that the players are sick of Grudens pompous attitude. Problem with Michael Clayton is that he had too much success his rookie year. I lived in Baton Rouge while he was @ LSU and things came too easy for him in HS and College. He walks around training camp like he is a 5 time pro bowler.

Bucs to finish 3rd.