-For what can only be Nelson Muntz reasons (laughing in Gruden's face) all the major sports news sites ran the "Bucs Looking at ANOTHER quarterback" AP story on their front pages. On the face of it Gruden giving Daunte Culpepper a tryout appears as foolish as asking Paris Hilton if she wants another drink before she drives home. The Bucs already have four starters on their roster (Garcia, Plummer, Simms and Gradkowski), why should the add another? But how's the saying go, when you appear to have a lot of quarterbacks you really have none?
First, Gruden and company have a history of trying out once accomplished players and even signing them a la David Boston. The risk on these players is often minimal and the reward can be great if they pan out, as Chris Hovan did. Additionally, if the quarterbacks are hit by the injury bug, which seems to happen often in Tampa, Gruden will have the option of signing a potential free agent in Daunte Culpepper without having to take the time during the season to try him out. If preperation is truly 9/1oths of success, Gruden will be one step ahead of the game.
Second, trying out Culpepper hints at one of the larger weaknesses during Gruden's tenure, his inability to develop a franchise quarterback. This has been mentioned on other sites but I will attempt to offer an explanation for it. With the exception of a third round pick in Simms, Gruden has not invested in a potential franchise quarterback. Gruden seemed to think he had that potential franchise quarterback in Plummer, before the Snake retired to whatever it is that Snakes like to do. Considering Garcia's age it is likely Gruden again spends a high draft pick (first day) on a quarterback if Plummer does not come out of retirement.
-Sergio is again sporting some unusual colors which may be familiar to long time Buc fans. Perhaps these are not exactly creamsicle, but they are close enough to allow me proclaim that if Sergio wins the British then I will take it as a sign the Bucs creamsicle unis are bound to return. (And props to the well written Sobel blog for the heads up on this.)
-With training camp set to begin in less that a week (Friday) it's time to start salivating over the Bucs chances. Most reports I've seen have them at six or less wins, and Vegas has their line at 7 1/2 wins. Before the Vick scandal I would have pegged the Bucs for seven wins but the thought of Joey Harrington under center for the Falcons has me feeling better about the Bucs. If the Bucs eeked out four wins with instability at quarterback they should be able to at least double that total with an easier schedule and Garcia's steady hand. A lot will depend on if the defense, which slipped below the top ten defenses in the NFL last season for the first time in eight seasons.