This was a season of highs and lows for the Bucs. They would have their best win of the season on the road against Carolina, only to suffer their worst loss the next week against New England. The Bucs lost ugly to the Panthers at home, but the next week brought an exciting win over the Redskins. And yesterday's game was no exception.

On the bright side, Monte Kiffin's defense shut down Joe Gibb's offense. The 'Skins could not move the chains on offense and, as a result, set a record for offensive futility by a playoff team.

But the 'Skins defense played well also, and won the game for Washington.

In the end the Bucs shot themselves in the foot with those two odd turnovers in the first quarter which resulted in 14 points for the 'Skins. You can't blame Simms for the first interception since the ball was tipped at the line of scrimmage. And the fumble by Cadillac was down right unlucky, considering Marcus Washington should have been ruled down, and then that he was able to fumble the ball forward to Sean "Hock-a-Loogie" Taylor.

But the Bucs benefitted from some good luck just to make the playoffs, so it's only fair that karma balanced out the universe in the end.

Going into the offseason the Bucs have a good deal of decisions they have to make, but that is not necessarily a bad thing this time around. At the quarterback position, the Bucs have to decide between Griese and Simms. Right now Griese is more mature and a better quarterback. Simms, on the other hand, has more upside although he makes immature decisions. I don't think this is as clear cut decision as most people do, since Gruden was forced to simplify the offense for Simms this season, which handicapped the offense.

Additionally, the Bucs have to decide what to do with Simeon Rice and his expensive contract (most likely cut him if he does not restructure), although Rice is a key player on this defense and extremely difficult to replace. And the Bucs have to decide which position to draft in the next couple of months. Do they go with an offensive tackle, cornerback or another position?

With Round One of the playoffs finished and the Bucs out, who are you rooting for? Lovie Smith and Chicago or NFC South opponent Carolina? John Lynch and Denver or Tony Dungy and Indy?


Wes Norris, CSCS said...

huge Bucs fan, living in New England, so rooting for Pats

Cutthroat Pirates said...

Ski, my friend I need to correct you on one thing, Simms is a much better QB then Griese. According to Jon Gruden on his Monday night talk Show, he has opened up the play book under Simms, where it was not completely open for Griese due to his mobility. If you recall Griese could only complete a short 3 yard dump pass to Galloway and no other receiver ever got the ball. Gruden advised the play calling was not Simms fault but Clayton's injuries this year. Griese has never been a great QB and Gruden and Bruce Allen tried to get Tim Rattay during this off-season to compete with Griese. But don’t you worry because I have been told that N.Y. Jets are planning on offering Simms crazy money and the Bucs may not be able to pay him and we will be stuck with Griese and his $7.083 million dollar contract sounds great right? NOT. Plus he gets a $2.6 million roster bonus on March 3, 2006. So I ask you is Griese worth $9 million? Most of us Buccaneer fans here in Tampa say no way, cut Griese now and find the money for Simms. Plus NFL Network reports that many teams are interested in Simms.

As for Simon Rice, Gruden and Rice do not get along and he was paid $10 million this year and next year he gets $9 million, Rice is gone. If you recall, last year at the draft, the Bucs offered Rice to San Diego for Phillip Rivers. It almost happened. I was at Raymond James Stadium for last years draft. The 1st Annual Buccaneers Draft Party. We were told then that Rice would no longer be a Buccaneer, but San Diego backed out of the deal.

You must also recall that the Buccaneers are not afraid to part ways with key veterans and the Pewter Report (the official Buccaneer Magazine) has said don’t be surprised if Derrick Brooks is gone next year with his $10 million dollar contract, which for two years now he has refused to restructure. I hope Derrick remains a Buc for ever, but I am scared he may not.

As I reported on my blog, the Bucs need to find and create money for: Juran Bolden, Matt Bryant, Jamel Cook, Ike Hillard, Dexter Jackson, Chris Hovan, Dave Moore, Todd Steussie, Kenyatta Walker, Torrie Cox, Sean Mahan, Chris Simms, Anthony Davis, Earnest Graham, Edell Shepherd and Jeb Terry. So can you say we are in trouble. I know we will not keep all these guys, but we need money for free agents or draft picks. Any way next year is tough. I will be posting a huge article about the salary cap and cap casualities in 06 from my inside source at One Buc Place.

Any way I think I am pulling for INDY and Tony Dungy.

Ski said...

damn cutthroat, you've only been around for a few months and you have inside sources already, impressive.

I ain't saying that griese is better than simms, just suggesting that simms benefitted from many simple 3 receiver sets this year. it's common knowledge that gruden used two and three tightend sets in max protection to keep the pass rush off of simms. it remains to be seen if simms can make the jump to the complicated five receiver sets gruden prefers to run.

and i'm also rooting for the colts now (although i rooted for the bucs and bengals yesterday so i've prob jinxed the colts)

Cutthroat Pirates said...

I have only been around here on a blog for a few months. I have been a Buccaneer fan since 1979 had season tickets in the old sombrero.

Plus my inside source? I have had inside source for a few years now. Lets just say for seven years I have had great security details in uniform on the field. I also have worked cases with Gruden's body guard a TPD Detective who I am good friend with. You see him on TV all the time.

So I have a few friends in the office who respect blue.

John F. said...

Lynch has his ring, Lovie Smith shouldn't get his yet -- yet. Tony Dungy is so f'n due it's not funny.