Bucs-Jags Recap

I seriously think Gruden got fed up with everyone asking about Carnell Williams, so he just went ahead and ran William for a total of six yards on the first three plays of the game. Not exactly smart strategy, but at least it should shut up the fourth estate for awhile.

In a game featuring two of the better defenses in the NFL it should come as no surprise that the first half was a low scoring affair. What did surprise me was how bad Chris Simms looked as the number two quarterback. Going 6 for 10 for 51 yards, Simms continued his streak of poor play from the first exhibition game.

On the other hand, Luke McCown looked like he earned the second string job after going 10 for 16 for 131 yards with one touchdown and one interception. One of those completions was a 45 yard strike to Paris Warren for a touchdown. While I have little faith in our quarterbacks beyond Brian Griese, McCown deserves the backup job over Simms at this point. Some other things I noticed . . .
  • Paris Warren looked impressive. Even though he only had one catch he made it count by putting on the afterburners to get into the end zone. He's still only a rookie, but it looks like he has earned his spot on the roster as the fourth or fifth receiver.
  • Ryan Nece looked impressive playing special teams. He was constantly near the ball making plays, he had a fumble recovery off a Bucs punt which set up a field goal. On the ensuing kickoff after the field goal, Nece tackled the kick returner at the 21 yard line.
  • The kicking battle got even more interesting. Todd France made his only kick for 49 yards. Matt Bryant made his first two kick from 38 and 26 yards, but he missed a long field goal from 53 yards that would have tied the game. I get the feeling that Gruden had been leaning towards Bryant, but after making a 49 yarder France is back in the competition. As I've said before this is the only true position battle to watch because whoever finishes second gets the pink slip.

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