Reviewing the Fox game broadcast
How Tom Jones of the St.Petersburg Times saw the game unfold from his living room couch.
Favorite Fox team
Seeing as how the Bucs aren't good enough to get Fox's top team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, can we request Sunday's announcers, Sam Rosen, top, and Tim Ryan, every week? Actually, they might be even better than Buck and Aikman and rank third on my list of NFL broadcasting teams behind NBC's Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth and ESPN's Monday night crew of Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski.
Sunday's game could not have been easy to call. It wasn't really competitive, especially after the first half. The major story lines going into the game, Donovan McNabb's injury and Michael Vick, were never a factor. Yet Rosen and Ryan managed to fill the three hours effortlessly.
Most obvious comment
Memo to Bucs receiver Michael Clayton: If you're going to beg to get the ball, the least you can do is catch it when it is thrown to you. Not that he was the only one to drop passes Sunday. At one point, Bucs quarterback Josh Johnson was 14-of-19 and Bucs receivers, according to a Fox graphic, had dropped four balls. "His numbers would look a lot better if his receivers could hold onto the ball,'' Fox analyst Tim Ryan said.
Best use of replay
Outstanding replay work by Fox to show conclusive replays that Bucs quarterback Josh Johnson had possession of the ball with his knees on the ground while being touched by a defensive lineman that overturned an Eagles' fumble recovery for a touchdown with 7:22 left in the second quarter. As far as the Bucs going for it on fourth and inches? Fox analyst Tim Ryan struck the right note: "Why wouldn't you when you're an 0-4 football team?''
Most telling conversation
The Fox studio crew spent part of halftime talking about how much Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb (injured ribs) might play in the second half if things got out of hand. What does it say about the Bucs that at halftime of an NFL game, which rarely "get out of hand,'' analysts already are considering it a possibility?
Best use of replay, part II
More great work by Fox to show Kellen Winslow's touchdown catch with 1:55 left in the first half then another catch by Winslow near the ground just before halftime. The replays were complemented by astute analysis by Fox's Tim Ryan, who called both correctly before they were announced. "If any official gets hurt, you can take over,'' Fox play-by-play announcer Sam Rosen told Ryan.
Little touches make a good television broadcast. For example, who would have thought to pick up a camera and tape Bucs tight end Kellen Winslow pretending to catch passes over his head before the game? Answer: a smart camera operator. After Winslow made three over-the-head catches on a scoring drive in the second quarter, Fox whipped up Winslow's goofy "practice swings.'' Man, that's good stuff.
Tom Jones, The St.Petersburg Times 12 October 2009