The 3-4

Kiffin is adding an interesting wrinkle to the Bucs defense by introducing a 3-4 defense to be used intermittingly with the base 4-3/Tampa Two. For the details on how the 3-4 would work check out BucStats, which has just been the bees knees lately.

This is the first time, since Kiffin took over a decade ago, that I can remember the Bucs planning on using the 3-4. But considering this is a copy cat league, and the 3-4 has been the soup du jour lately it makes sense to add it. While I doubt the 3-4 will do much to improve the Bucs rushing defense (they lack the over sized linebackers to man the middle), it should help improve their dreadful pass rush. I criticized the Bucs for adding too many linebackers at the expense of not adding enough lineman before, so adding a 3-4 certainly fits the Bucs talent to an extent. In fact I wouldn't be too surprised to see the Bucs use the 3-4 almost exclusively in passing downs to give opposing quarterbacks a different look.

What's more interesting to me is that Kiffin has enough faith in his defense to add an entirely new formation. With a large influx of new players and an entirely new set of defensive coaches it speaks highly of the new guys that Kiffin is willing to introduce something new. Kiffin has never been a guy to shy away from experimentation, but the players typically have to earn his respect before Kiffin will use something different come gameday. It seems like so long ago now, but it was just a few years ago that Kiffin would not shy away from dropping Sapp or Rice into pass coverage and blitz Ronde off the edge.

Additionally, I wonder if Kiffin has been talking to his former protege in Pittsburgh, Mike Tomlin, who is now in the process of merging the Tampa Two and 3-4 defenses? The Bucs don't play the Steelers for another four years (unless they meet in the Super Bowl) so there's little reason why the two would not be willing to help each other. Perhaps the two coaches could devise a defense combining the best elements of the Tampa Two and the 3-4?

Jeff Garcia Would Fucking Anyone

I'm stuck in bed all day with an injured back which means you can expect a proficient period of posting as boredom gets the best of me.

A week after naming Jeff Garcia the starter Gruden has made a very public plea to Jake Plummer to join the team. Understandably Garcia is not happy about this, and has launched the first salvo of smacktalk with this gem, "That's fine. If he wants to come, he can come and sit on the bench with the others."

For reasons unbeknonwst to me Garcia has been savaged by the two most prolific Bucs bloggers, BucStats and Buc 'Em for making the above statement. With all due respect to the well written BucStats (which has been on fire lately), why would you rip the man for showing some emotion? The Bucs Quarterbacks have been a revolving door since Gruden came to town so I have little problem with QB who wants to remain a starter for more than six games.

Of greater concern to me is Garcia's age (37), which all but guarantees he will only be around for a season, maybe two at the most. Which is why Gruden is practically begging the much younger Plummer to join the team. Since he came to Tampa Gruden has been getting cute with his quarterbacks, trying to find values in guys like Griese, Simms and Leaf even though none of these players fit his system. Gruden finally found someone who could be the starter for a few years in Plummer only to be spurned by Jake the Snake. (As an aside, Gruden could have had Carr, also a young mobile quarterback, for nothing. Instead Carr has gone to rival Carolina where he will inevitably end up starting.)

I'm no big fan of Garcia's, he's pretty much washed up. But compared to Simms and Grads, Garcia is Joe Montana.


What Is A Washed Up Has Been?

Call it the Curse of Steve Young. Or maybe the Curse of Dilfer. The Bucs appear to be doomed to be stuck with ineffective quarterbacks for as long as the franchise exists.

Jeff Garcia has been named the starter, and I am supposed to feel what......excitement? Garcia has played for five teams in five years and is the definition of impotent. If Garcia was any more ineffectual he would have been in the last episode of the Sopranos (which should have ended in a blood bath).

Make no mistake, Garcia will excel in the Bucs offense. But not because Garcia is a great quarterback, but instead because Gruden is a great quarterback COACH. Gruden has the ability to turn water into wine, journeymen into MVPs. The Bucs will at least improve their record to 8-8 this season. Bet on it.....I will.

But what happens after next season? How long can the Bucs go with a 37 year old quarterback at the helm? The answer is as simple as it obvious, not long. Garcia can man the helm for at the most one, maybe two more years. But then what? Chris Simms can't win a game to save his spleen, and Gradkowski......is Gradskowski. Garcia is nothing more than spare tire, a temporary fix until the Bucs can find a more permanent solution.


So Long, Farewell Dave Moore

And the short list of current Bucs who once wore creamsicle gets even shorter.

Dave Moore has made his retirement official. Moore is a throwback to when players were actually part of the community they played for, in fact I used to be able to find Moore fishing off my dock late at night. It appears the arrival of Jerremy Stevens signaled the end for Moore. But this won't be the last we hear from Moore in Tampa Bay, he will be moving to the radio booth (I assume to replace Hardy Nickerson). So Moore, all I have left to say is.....