Galloway Has Breakout Game Against Falcons
Joey Galloway thought about an elaborate celebration in the end zone, then thought better of it. Act like you've been there before. He has been, but not as a Buccaneer - until Sunday. ``I wanted to lay down in the end zone and just stay there for awhile,'' Galloway said of his 36-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter. ``When you have a play like that, and the ball is kind of hanging in the air and you're sitting there by yourself, you're like, come on ball, get here.''

Galloway has been waiting all season for a game like Sunday. He tied with tight end Ken Dilger for a team-leading four receptions and led all receivers with 63 yards. It was the type of game the Bucs expected from Galloway when they acquired him in an offseason trade from Dallas for Keyshawn Johnson. But a torn groin sustained in the regular-season opener against Washington stalled the plans Tampa Bay had for Galloway. He returned Nov. 7 against Kansas City after missing six games.

Early in his recovery, Galloway accepted the fact he would play in pain this season and that he never would be 100 percent healthy. ``Each week I get more excited as I learn to deal with the pain and not being able to do exactly what I want to do at all times,'' said Galloway, who was limited in practice this week with an ankle sprain. ``I've learned to deal with it. Everyone has injuries at this point in the year. We all have to deal with it and go out and play.''

Galloway had three receptions for 27 yards heading into the third quarter when the touchdown play was called. ``When the play is coming and it's called in the huddle, you immediately smile, like here's my chance, here's an opportunity,'' Galloway said. ``Brian [Griese] put the ball in a terrific place, let me get under the safety and into the end zone. I wanted to lay down in the end zone and stay there for awhile and just really enjoy it.''

Griese and Galloway nearly connected on another deep pass on third-and-1 later in the third quarter, but the ball was overthrown. ``We really wanted to open up our offense and give him some shots,'' Griese said. ``He's an explosive player and I nearly had another one to him.''

On the overthrown pass, Galloway said, ``The whole way I was hoping maybe the wind [would slow it] or that it would hit a bird or something.''

Sunday was the first time Galloway had scored since Nov. 23, 2003, when he caught a 24-yard touchdown pass from Quincy Carter in Dallas' 24-20 victory against Carolina. He kept Sunday's touchdown ball to go along with his other ``firsts.'' ``I'll put it right next to the first one I scored in Seattle and the first one in Dallas,'' he said. ``The first one means something.''

Katherine Smith The Tampa Tribune 6 December 2004