Bucs, trades and other gridiron ramblings
Back at the start of this season, I was the only member of the Bucs UK who predicted a losing season for Tampa Bay in 2006 even with a healthy Chris Simms. I just saw too much age on defense and too much reliance on No.2 playing out of his skin for anything else to happen.
Now with Bucko Bruce replacing Chris, there is hope anew for the offense but the holes on this team remain all over the defense. Even with a win over Cincinnati, in which let's face it, we got every break going, this is a 4-12 team now at best.
I spoke this week with a senior member of the Tampa media who commented that he has always respected both myself and BUCPOWER, because we are realistic about the franchise. Unlike some sites and message boards, we don't go overboard with wild expectations. Yes we want the Bucs to win, but you cannot win every game or have a winning record every season.
I did comment in San Diego in January 2003 that I would take 10 straight losing seasons in return for that Super Bowl win and I stand by that. But with this season looking that ending in a Top 5 draft pick, then getting a 2nd round pick for Anthony McFarland is one deal that is a real good one for the Buccaneers.
Even at best, Booger is not going to be the difference between a 4-12 and 6-10 season. But a 2nd round pick, albeit one late in the round thanks to the Colts, is another building block for the work that has to be done on the 2007 Tampa Bay defense. Nice one Bruce Allen (even if you wouldn't give me a shot at QB when we spoke after the Carolina game!)
NFL Prime Time
One of the sad parts of the 2006 NFL season, is that there is no more NFL Priiimmme- Tiiiimmme as Chris Berman would have put it. One of the delights of NASN at the time and then on the Pontel game DVDs, was watching Boomer and Tom Jackson do their thing in a 60 minute highlight reel of the previous day's games. Some of Berman's nicknames and one-liners were simply astounding and the guy belongs in the NFL Hall of Fame simply for the new level that he took sports presenting to.
But this is a level that NFL Network and Rich Eisen simply cannot reach in spite of their music and lights. Eisen seems to be a nice guy even if he does try and get up the arse of every player he interviews, but his highlight film just doesn't cut it. It's actually got the point now where Sky's "Endzone" programme is the best highlight show out there.
Another TV segment that bugs me is one that Denis Crawford commented on recently, and that is ESPN's "Jacked up" section. This is where the likes of Michael Irvin, Steve Young and Tom Jackson take the five biggest hits from the previous day, repeat them ad nauseam and all holler as one "jacked up" when some unfortunate player gets levelled.
I can only hope they didn't do this for some of the hits Chris Simms took in the Carolina game. But when the likes of Young who took a few concussions in his time, and Irvin, once carried off in Philadelphia in a neck brace, are making fun of players getting hammered, then this is too much. Drop it now guys as it is just really in bad taste.
It is just me or does anyone else think that it is ironic the passing game in Jacksonville has a slow black quarterback (Byron Leftwich) throwing to a fast white receiver (Matt Jones)? Isn't that the wrong way round?
Over the next couple of weeks, I will be able to explain some of the work I have been doing with the Buccaneers' front office and what it will mean for this site. Believe me, there is a lot going on behind the scenes right now!
And I couldn't let this editorial finish with a simple message to TO - "p*** off you annoying twat".
You've been great - enjoy Imagination.
Paul Stewart, October 2006.