The Tampa Tribune, published 22 November 2004

Mike Alstott ran off the field Sunday and into the tunnel, but not before he looked up and pointed to his family sitting in its luxury suite. His wife, Nicole, gave him a thumbs up. It was the second time this season the six-time Pro Bowl fullback's family had witnessed his comeback - first from last year's season-ending neck surgery and Sunday from a monthlong layoff with a slightly torn MCL. ``I am feeling good,'' said Alstott, who had not played since Oct. 24 against Chicago when he injured his knee. ``My body is a little bit sore from being off for a month, but I felt comfortable out there, and I am starting to get in the groove of things again.''

Alstott finished with seven carries for 21 yards and had a touchdown nullified in the first quarter by an illegal procedure penalty on G Matt Stinchcomb. ``He's juice,'' RT Kenyatta Walker said. ``He always give us juice, energy. He's a good guy for him to come back this quick. Anytime he's in the game, just expect anything.''

Entering Sunday's game, Brian Griese was second to Minnesota's Daunte Culpepper as the toughest quarterback to pick off in the NFC. In five games, Griese had thrown just two interceptions for a 1.4 interception percentage. He equaled his season total against San Francisco. ``I didn't see the guy,'' Griese said of his interceptions, both snagged by San Francisco SS Tony Parrish. ``I didn't see Tony, and people will say I'm trying to send him to the Pro Bowl with all those interceptions, but I really didn't see him.''

On both turnovers, Griese was trying to hit Joey Galloway, who had his most productive day as a Buccaneer. Galloway, sidelined for most of the season with a torn groin, finished with three receptions for 33 yards, including a long of 22 yards. ``He told me before the game he felt as good as he's felt up to this point,'' Griese said. ``I'm excited about not only having Joe Jurevicius back, but Joey Galloway coming back and getting some more reps and confidence in this offense.''

With his two rushing touchdowns Sunday, RB Michael Pittman set a new career high with six this season. Pittman also went over the 100-yard mark for the third time in the past four games with his 21 carries for 106 yards. In the past, Pittman shared rushing duties with Alstott and former Bucs Aaron Stecker and Thomas Jones. In Pittman's role as the featured back since he returned from a three- game suspension, he has bettered his career-best rushing average of 4.0 yards per carry to 4.6. ``I think maybe we misjudged how good he was,'' Jon Gruden said. ``Maybe we should have given him the ball more. He's obviously the primary guy. I think he clearly is the go-to guy now. He's proven that maybe we should have found that out a long time ago.''