The first sack was a long time coming
The Tampa Tribune, published 20 September 2004|
Greg Spires' second-quarter sack was the first for the Bucs defense since Spires sacked Houston's Dave Ragone in the fourth quarter in Week 14 last year. The defense went 207 consecutive snaps between sacks. Spires' takedown of Seattle QB Matt Hasselbeck avoided a fourth consecutive game without a sack. The only time that's happened in franchise history was the 1986 season, when the Bucs had a league- low 19 sacks. The Bucs sacked Hasselbeck four times, including DT Anthony McFarland's second career multisack game (two). McFarland collected 2.5 sacks in the 2000 season against Detroit. MLB Shelton Quarles had the other sack. ``They're a really good defense,'' Hasselbeck said. ``They're fast, they're very well coached.''
Sackless streak ends
For 35 consecutive games, LT Derrick Deese never felt the sick feeling in his stomach that offensive linemen get when the quarterback is sacked by their man. Deese felt that Sunday when his streak of not allowing a sack ended in the first quarter when Grant Wistrom beat him around the edge and sacked Brad Johnson for a 10-yard loss. ``There is nothing worse [to see the quarterback on his back],'' Deese said. ``It's the worst thing you can see as an offensive lineman and the worst thing that can probably happen.''
It happened to the Bucs offensive line five times Sunday. Johnson was sacked once, and backup QB Chris Simms was brought down four times. Wistrom, who had two of the Seahawks' five sacks, defended the Bucs offensive line - a unit that gave up four sacks last week against Washington. ``They have a solid offensive line,'' Wistrom said. ``They did a good job picking up some of our blitzes that we had success with last week [against New Orleans].''
Another streak lives on
Sunday marked the fourth consecutive regular- season game the offense failed to score a touchdown in the first quarter. The last time the Bucs offense found the end zone in the first quarter was Week 14 last year against Houston, when former RB Thomas Jones rushed 18 yards for a score. Last season, the Bucs scored touchdowns in the first quarter only three times - against San Francisco and Indianapolis. Sunday, the Bucs got into the red zone twice, settling for field goals. ``We didn't get in the end zone. That's the bottom line,'' Deese said. ``You can't keep putting up three points. The defense holds a team to 16 points and 10 points and we put up nothing but field goals. We can't keep doing that.''
Gruden's QB Move Meets Analysts' Approval
One has to wonder whether Jon Gruden was watching ``Fox NFL Sunday'' pregame while waiting for the Bucs' 4:05 kickoff against the Seahawks. During the show on WTVT, Channel 13, former Cowboys and Dolphins coach Jimmy Johnson said Gruden is responsible for the downward fall of the Bucs since winning a Super Bowl. ``The blame goes to Jon Gruden,'' Johnson said. ``He made the decisions personnel-wise. This team has not added more talent; they have added a bunch of old players.''
Fox analyst Terry Bradshaw added, ``What Gruden needs to do is to start playing some younger players. If Brad Johnson struggles again, he should think about giving Chris Simms a shot at QB.''
Of course, that's exactly what Gruden did. After four uneventful series with Johnson at quarterback, Simms got his first regular-season action of his career. But not everyone felt it was a good decision - at the time. ``For me, it's not the right decision,'' said Fox analyst Tim Green, who called the game on WTVT with Curt Menefee and sideline reporter Chip Carter. ``You have an offense not working and you have a tried and poised Brad Johnson. You not only have a young quarterback but a left-handed quarterback. Now you have to flip everything over for a left- handed quarterback.''
But after Simms went 5-for- 6 on his second series, leading to a field goal, Green backed off a bit. ``I feel a little stupid,'' he said. ``Maybe putting [Simms] in wasn't a bad idea. I'll eat a crow if it's on my plate.''
Although Simms failed to lead the Bucs offense to the end zone, Green thinks Gruden has to go with him again next week. ``By pulling Johnson the way they did, you have to feel Simms will be the starting quarterback next week,'' Green said.
All the NFL pregame shows took a chance to comment on the statements Keyshawn Johnson made earlier in the week about Gruden and the Bucs: ``All he needs to do is keep his mouth under control and look [Cowboys coach Bill Parcells] in the eye every morning when he gets to the field, and he won't have any problems. He respects him fully. This guy is a great player at Dallas.'' - syndicated talk- show host Dr. Phil McGraw on ``The NFL Today,'' on CBS. ``Even though they lost, Keyshawn had nine or 10 catches, so he was very talkative after the game.'' - Jimmy Johnson. ``Keyshawn cares more about the catches than he does about the wins.'' - Bradshaw
Odds and ends
With the Bucs’ help, Derrick Brooks organized a relief effort for his hometown of Pensacola, Florida at today’s game. Pensacola was one of the cities battered by Hurricane Ivan in recent days. The Bucs and Derrick Brooks Charities collected donations from fans at all entrances to Raymond James Stadium. Every fan who made a donations had an opportunity to fill out a form to enter a drawing for merchandise signed by Brooks. In addition, Brooks pledged to donate $1,000 for every tackle he made during the game, which brought another $7,000 to the Pensacola relief effort
Prior to the game, as the stadium prepared to enjoy the national anthem, the Bucs took a moment to recognize former Arizona Cardinals S Pat Tillman. Tillman, whose number was retired today in Arizona, was remembered in stadiums across the NFL, honoring his commitment to the country as a member of the Armed Forces.
Referee Johnny Grier delivered two ‘sideline warnings’ to the Bucs’ side of the field in the first quarter, during Seattle’s field goal drive.
When San Diego C Jason Ball showed up for the Chargers game Sunday, Keenan McCardell became the lone holdout in the league. Ball, who skipped minicamp and training camp by demanding a long-term deal and then a trade, signed a $380,000 contract tender Friday.
Seattle punted on nine consecutive possessions following the lone touchdown of the game in the second quarter.
Sunday was only the second time in franchise history the Bucs have held an opponent to single-digit first downs (nine) and less than 200 total yards (182) and lost. The first was the 1999 opener, when the Giants had four first downs and 107 yards but won 17-13.
The eight inactive players were
QB Brian Griese, CB Torrie Cox, FB Jameel Cook, T Anthony Davis, G Jeb Terry, WR Joey Galloway, TE Will Heller and DE Josh Savage.