Anyone seen the Buccaneers go deep this season?
Three runs, two goals and a touchdown. Not quite the same ring to it as “Four Weddings and a funeral” and the performance of the Tampa sports teams this weekend certainly was no British comedy starring Hugh Grant.

But the game of musical chairs that is now the Buccaneer quarterback position might as well star the actor as he is probably the only person who has not been considered for the role. Because just when Brian Griese was getting comfirtable in the chair, the music began once again and Jeff Garcia walked off the Denver turf with the job apparently belonging to him.

The score yesterday was 6-7 by the way. As in, Griese six points, and Garcia seven. So who gets to start next Sunday against Carolina? Then again, whilst the offensive game plan is one featuring passes so short that even Bruce “Polish Pop-Gun” Gradkowski would have a chance to execute, does it really matter?

Tim Ryan made multiple references to the three levels of passing zones that quarterbacks look to. If Jay Cutler was living in all three zones, Garcia-Griece were surviving solely in the shallow regions around the line of scrimmage. Normally you cannot even see the free safety on television when the ball is snapped. The Broncos’ deep guy was waving to his mum in Boulder, Colorado each time Jeff Faine let the ball go back.

This lack of a deep passing offense is more than just not having Joey Galloway. Teams are going to squeeze the zones more and more until Air Gruden goes long-haul. How many short-haul airlines have gone bust recently? And if the Buc offense doesn’t open up soon, then there could be another one on the scrap heap.

The schedule for the next three weeks looks a little easier now that Seattle have shown they cannot play on the East Coast. But Carolina and Dallas remain and if the Bucs want to end October at something better than 4-4, then this passing offense needs to be sorted and sorted quickly.

Paul Stewart, 7 October 2008