Tampa BayWatch – My Thoughts on the Bucs

Archive for August 2007

Bucs News Round Up

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A few thoughts on some of the news stories of the past weeks.

Bucs looking at LB depth

The Bucs have had Al Singleton and Jeremiah Trotter in for workouts this week. Trotter was released last week by the Eagles and was in Tampa on Thursday. The Eagles decided to cut the 4 time Pro Bowler in favour of Omar Gaither who they feel is the future of the MLB spot in Philly. The Bucs are in need of some depth at the MLB position after Antoine Cash was placed on IR last week. However the Bucs traded an undisclosed draft pick to the Jets for Jerry Mackey so what is the interest in Trotter and Singleton ?

In Barrett Ruud they have a MLB who has played understudy to Shelton Quarles since he was drafted in 2005. Ruud seems to fit the Tampa linebacker mould and has impressed me in his limited playing time. I’m sure if Trotter is brought in would be looking for serious playing time at MLB and where does that put Barrett Ruud ? Certainly Trotter could be a force against the run but I’m not sure if he has the skills and pace to drop back in coverage, something the Tampa defensive schemes require the MLB to do. In Singleton they have an ex Buccaneer who would fit in quickly and most likely act as backup to Ruud. If Trotter is signed then who would be the #1 guy in the middle ? Also in trying out such a high profile player what does it say about the Bucs confidence in Ruud ? Are they looking for help or is it just a sign to Ruud that he needs to solidify himself as the #1 ?

Aaron Sears

Sears had to be helped from the field on Tuesday after what initially looked like a worrying injury. However the signs out of Tampa seem positive and although Sears will miss the game against the Dolphins he should be fit for the season opener. Sears, a versatile lineman out of Tennessee was one of the Bucs 2nd round picks and he has won the starting LG position in camp, relegating Antony Davis and Dan Beunning to backups. Sears seems to be another key piece in the revamp of the Bucs offensive line. He’s a big guy and should help in opening some lanes for the run game.

Tanard Jackson

One of the few positives to come out of the Jacksonville game was the play of Jackson. The rookie got glowing praise for his performances and could be looking to unseat Will Allen for the Free Safety role. Jackson a 3rd round pick from Syracuse played CB his entire college career and the Bucs asked him to try out at S during the Senior Bowl. This insight clearly affected the thinking of the Bucs and they went and got their man. The safety play was poor last season and if Jackson continues to impress I’m hoping he can get that starting job.


Written by UK Bucs Fan

August 25, 2007 at 2:53 pm

Chris Simms’ future

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There has been a lot of media speculation concerning Chris Simms’ future in Tampa. This time last season Simms was the undoubted #1 QB but he know finds himself at 4th on the depth chart and the future doesn’t look great. Simms hasn’t thrown a pass in preseason and is hoping to see some action in the next preseason game against the Dolphins. However, it’s unlikely that he’ll get any playing time. It has been reported that Simms has looked nowhere near ready to play in a competitive game so I doubt that he will see the field.

Chris Simms

If he is cut, it would be a tough call on Simms. I have never felt that he has had the full backing of Jon Gruden and his performances have reflected that. He started to get things going in 2005 season but started last season dreadfully and was in danger of being benched before being injured in the game against the Panthers. Gruden has always preferred veteran leadership at the QB position and you always get the feeling that Gruden was sticking with Simms as he had no alternative. As soon as he was able to bring in a veteran he did so and Jeff Garcia will be the starting day QB.

The Bucs have a tough decision to make, do they cut Simms or go into the season with 4 QB’s on the active roster ? Jon Gruden has been at pains to say that they cannot place Simms on IR as he isn’t injured, and will they cut him after he signed a $2.1 million 1 year contract extension in late 2006 ?

If they do keep him on it’s with an eye to the future. Neither McCown or Gradkowski look like they’ll be starting QB’s any time soon and how many seasons does Jeff Garcia have in him ? Looking to a future without Simms, there are a number of QB’s that are being touted as day 1 picks in the ’08 draft. Brian Brohm of Louisville, Chad Henne of Michigan and Andre Woodson of Kentucky are generating a lot of interest and Brohm is already slated as a top 5 pick on many sites.

Brian Brohm

Things may be looking up for Simms however, rumours are already circulating that the Falcons are monitoring Simms after they lost their third string QB DJ Shockley to a torn ACL. Shockley has been placed on IR and the Falcons will need some cover.

As much as I hate to see him go, I think Simms will be cut at the end of the preseason games. The Bucs have to cut the squad to 53 players and I can’t see them using a roster spot on a player who can’t contribute. It’s certainly tough on Simms but in with the “next man up” approach of the NFL his time in Tampa may be numbered.

Written by UK Bucs Fan

August 21, 2007 at 8:45 pm

NFC South Season Preview part 4

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The final post in this series focuses on the Carolina Panthers. This time last season many pundits were heralding the Panthers as the the likely NFC representatives in the Superbowl. There were predictions of results ranging from 9-7 to even 14-2, however the Panthers couldn’t seem to string wins together and finished second in the division with an 8-8 record. Injuries hampered the team all year, Dan Morgan was lost for the season in the first game and there was a steady stream of players joining the IR list.

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August 21, 2007 at 10:41 am

NFC South Season Preview part 3

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Next post in this series and this time I’m looking at the Atlanta Falcons. There has been wall to wall coverage of the Michael Vick case, however I’m going to try leave that well alone and focus on the onfield issues. In late October the Falcons were 5-3 and looking good. However the team fell away in the second half of the season going 2-6, a slump that ultimately cost Jim Mora Jr his coaching position. Bobby Petrino (ex Louisville Head Coach) has been brought in to try and turn the fortunes of the franchise around.

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August 19, 2007 at 3:29 pm

NFC South Season Preview part 2

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Next post in this series and this time I’m looking at the New Orleans Saints. I think it’s fair to say that nobody expected the Saints to be as good as they were last season. A 10-6 season, a trip to the NFC Conference Championship game and the emergence of a star. That star however wasn’t the Saints top draft pick out of USC Reggie Bush. Marques Colston from Division 1-AA Hofstra, the 252nd pick of the draft lit up the league with over 1000 yards receiving and 8 TD’s and formed a formidable partnership with QB Drew Brees.

Marques Colston

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August 16, 2007 at 11:39 am

NFC South Season Preview part 1

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I’m going to give my thoughts on the upcoming season for each of the NFC South teams. This post it’s the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The division has always been a tough one to predict as is indicated by the last 4 winners, the previous season they were the bottom team. (Maybe that’s an omen for Tampa Bay). With what looks like a clear favourite in New Orleans and a lot of questions hanging over the other three it seems that the division is there for New Orleans. The Bucs have questions on both sides of the ball, the Falcons will have to gel quickly under Joey Harrington and can the Panthers sort out whose going to be QB and rebound from what was a disappointing season for them.


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Written by UK Bucs Fan

August 15, 2007 at 8:51 am

Mike Alstott placed on IR

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On Thursday at an emotional press conference the Buccaneers and Mike Alstott announced that he would be placed on Injured Reserve for the 07 season.

Alstott had noticed that the usual training camp soreness was not receding from his neck. An examination by the surgeon that worked on Alstott’s first neck injury in 2003 has shown unacceptable levels of stress in the neck above the area that was damaged and subsequently fused. The surgeons have decided that the best approach is to keep Alstott off the field, as they can’t be sure what would happen if further stress was to occur in the neck.

“There are always situations where it could be worsened by playing,” said Alstott. “That’s why we have IR and that’s why you don’t play for the rest of the year. It is a severe injury and it’s a situation you don’t mess with. That’s why we’re in front of you right now.” – Mike Alstott

Mike Alstott

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Written by UK Bucs Fan

August 11, 2007 at 4:46 pm

Posted in IR, NFL, Players, Season Review