Not a Good Hump Day

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

Ok, I might be overblowing this a bit, but today is not a good day to be a Buc fan, what with the news of Brian Griese's departure and John Abraham's arrival in Atlanta. First I'll touch on the Abraham news.

Atlanta's big weakness (besides Vick's arm) has been the defense's inability to stop the run. Abraham , to put it simply, is a beast and will go a long way towards correcting that deficiency. While he has had problems staying healthy, Abraham is still young (27) and just hitting the peak of his career. Finding a good offensive tackle just became a much higher priority for the Bucs.

It appears many Buc fans could care less that Griese left town...those people are idiots. While Brian certainly is not the second coming of Bob Griese (actually, he is but...well, you know what I mean), Brian Griese is familiar with Gruden's complicated offense and, more importantly, has played well in it. Stats don't lie.

Now, Simms deserves to start next season. But Simms could easily get injured or struggle as teams learn how stop Simms (as the 'Skins did in the playoffs). In which case you need a veteran quarterback who knows the offense to step in. Griese is the only guy (besides Brad Johnson) currently in the NFL who fits that bill.


John F. said...

I don't find this as bad as some but that's just me.

You forgot to make mention, Ski, of th potential that McKay is out in Atlanta. I don't mean being fired but the possibility he will be replacing Paul tagliabue as Commish of the NFL... That's certainly got to be a plus, right?

And I think this iwll make you cringe, but what about trying to get Joey Harrington into camp here to compete with Simms? I think that''d be a better move than making a trade for Ramsey from Washington (with no offense towards Patrick -- and no, that isn't a pun)

Scott said...

Brian Griese left at exactly the right time. He starts off hot, then starts making mistakes. It happened in Denver, it happened in 2004 and was going to happen in 2005. I really, really don't think the Bucs would have won 11 games with Griese starting all last season. Maybe 8.

The Bucs have 4 QBs under contract. It's understood Jared Allen is gone before the cut to 53. Rattay is still under his 49er contract terms, so he isn't cheap. But Gruden can't say enough about McCown's athleticism and potential. So, who do you cut to hire a seasoned vet?

You know what I'd do? I'd hire a former player to come in and work with all of them in the off-season. Scott Mitchell, maybe? (I'm trying to think of lefties.) Someone who spent a lot of time in the league who doesn't have aspirations to be a player let alone a starter. Then keep the Simms/Rattay/McCown tandem. Together with Paul Hackett and Gruden constantly watching over them, I'll bet that group of QBs does all right.

Ski said...

Harrington would be a great pickup (although after reading Scott's idea I'm starting to rethink signing another qb) if the Bucs could get him for the vet minimum. Harrington struggled last season, but his receivers' drops were a big reason for his struggles. And if the Bucs could get Joey to change his name to Joe he would be at least 40% more successful.

I still have no faith in Rattay and I don't know enough about McCown, but do you trust either on of those guys to step in and lead the Bucs next season should Simms be unable to play? Long term that would work though.

Scott said...

> do you trust either on of those guys to step in and lead the Bucs next season should Simms be unable to play?

Two words: Kyle Orton. Would you have honestly thought Kyle Orton would the the starter for such a hot Bears team? He did mediocre, which was all that was necessary with their defense. I think the Bucs defense offers that kind of luxury as well.

Cutthroat Pirates said...

Very good Scott, Kyle Orton you are so right. Let me say I am glad Griese is gone. If you listen to the Bucs radio Network, Gruden was close on benching Griese anyway. I listened to his interviews, he was not happy.

Scott well said "I really, really don't think the Bucs would have won 11 games with Griese starting all last season. Maybe 8." Everybody forgets that Griese's first 3 wins out of his 5 that the media like to say he was 5-1 before his injury came from Cadillac not Griese. I was at every game, Griese could not throw a pass longer then 20 yards. Plus he only had eyes for Galloway. He needed to leave. What do you guys think about Aaron Brooks. I think he is an ok QB not great, but in the end, I think he will be playing for a cheap paycheck come this season.

Ski said...

ouch, I've been painted into the unfortunate corner of defending griese.

scott, last year's bears defense was abnormally good, on par with Bucs defense in '99 or the Ravens defense in 2000. when your defense is that good the quarterback doesn't have to do much (as Dilfer demonstrated). I don't think you can expect your defense to play at that level every season.

and c.p., I'm a big fan of Brooks since I saw him play in the '96 Carquest Bowl for Virginia (which in hindsight was a absurdly talented team which included the Barber twins AND Thomas Jones, if UVA's coach knew what the hell he was doing and had started Brooks all season instead of his own son, the Cavaliers could have finished with a better record than 7-5, Brooks would have been drafted higher and Vick might have gone to UVA...but I digress). I don't think Brooks would be a good fit for the offense. He's never finished a season with higher than a 60% completion rate.