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Gameday Thread: Tampa Bay Bucs AT Houston Texans

Where: New ORLEANS
Who: Bucs and Saints
When: 4:15PM Est Time

DOUBTFUL for the Bucs:
RB Michael Pittman (ankle)

QUESTIONABLE for the Bucs:
RB B.J. Askew (ankle), WR Joey Galloway (toe), QB Jeff Garcia (back), WR Ike Hilliard (knee), LB Ryan Nece (groin), DE Greg Spires (calf)

DE Kevin Carter (shoulder)


OUT for the Texans:
RB Ahman Green (knee), QB Matt Schaub (left shoulder)

QUESTIONABLE for the Texans:
LB Danny Clark (groin)

PROBABLE for the Texans:
TE Mark Bruener (shoulder), RB Ron Dayne (ankle), G Chester Pitts (knee), T Ephraim Salaam (hand), P Matt Turk (back)

Believe it or not Bucs Fans, we DO have a Game upon us today. No the Playoff run doesnt start today.... However, with a win today, you can go ahead and jot down Tampa Bay Bucs Playoff Tickets on your Christmas Wish-List. If the Bucs lose and the Saints lose, well, I think we get in any way, don't hold that to me though. Any way... In the event that you probably know as little about the Houston Texans as I do, I'd like to take this moment and present you with a little Texan knowledge from the fellas at Battle Red Blog, our Houston Texans Bloggers:

Let me go ahead and get this monkey off my back: When you see a Falcons fan these days, do you feel inclined to apologize for taking their back-up Quarterback, who, as it turns out, would have been their saving grace? I mean, they are left to pick up the pieces with Joey Harrington .....Way to go Houston!

We apologize for nothing. Texans fans were subjected to five (5) years of below-average QB play from David Carr. At various times throughout his time here, Carr's inability to go through his progressions and/or willingness to curl up into the fetal position at the first sight of a defender within ten (10) yards of him drove us to drink. Not alcohol. Bleach. That's how bad it was.

Now we have The Schaub, and we're giddy. Though he hasn't taken a regular season snap yet, the vast majority of Houston fans believe he's going to get the job done. Basically, he's everything that his predecessor was not, and the offense seems primed to transform from punchless to explosive. Sorry, Atlanta...Matt Schaub is ours now.

You have GOT to be sick of this question by now, but ..... Strictly on a competition level, are you pissed your organization decided to pass on Freak-of-Nature aka Baby Matrix aka RB Reggie Bush? Do you feel Mario Williams will in time, prove to be the better draftee?

Sure, we're sick of the question, but it's never going away. We get that. When you pass on ESPN's golden boy (not to mention a certain hometown hero that guided the state's flagship institution to the national championship), you're going to fade some heat. I can only speak for the writers of BRB on this issue, but neither Scott nor I was enraged at passing on Reggie Bush. Though his career may prove us wrong, we think he's closer to Eric Metcalf than Jesus.

Despite having a complete void of talent and leadership at QB last season, no downfield passing attack, and a RB triumvirate of Ron Dayne, Wali Lundy and Samkon Gado, Houston's rushing offense finished in the middle of the pack in the NFL. With a true QB, a dangerous WR to complement Andre Johnson (Jacoby Jones, anyone?) and the addition of Ahman Green, the afterthoughts of what might have been with Bush will be somewhat alleviated, as proof will materialize that the Texans' offense is just fine.

That said, Super Mario is going to have to average ten (10) sacks a year for ten (10) years for the average fan to refrain from ripping the Texans for not picking Reggie Bush. We understand, and it's okay. It's taken a whole lot of therapy to be able to say that. But speaking of Mario--watch out. He's not the bust everyone says he is, and we fully expect a big year from him now that he's healthy. People don't remember that he played the second half of last season on one leg due to plantar fascitis and STILL drew double teams more often than not. Hold off on condemning him until we see how he plays for another season or three.

Its fair to say I was jealous to see that your club drafted Louisville Standout DT Amobi Okoye ..... To my chagrin there's been talk of that pick already looking like a bust, SAY WHAT!?!? Tell me that's a bunch of smoke ...... The guy is so young!

Funny you mention the "Amobi Okoye is a bust" talk; we just talked about it last week. The kid hasn't even played a regular season snap, and people are already calling him a mistake. It's a joke in every sense of the word. But w hen you've (a) drafted David Carr #1 overall; (b) passed on Vince Young and Reggie Bush to draft an unproven Mario Williams; (c) traded three (3) draft picks for Jason Babin; (d) traded two first-day picks for Philip Buchanon; and (e) used a first-round pick on Travis Johnson, you're going to develop a reputation as bust-ready.

Okoye is a rookie. He's going to look like a rookie at times, but the fact remains that he was the highest-rated defensive player on Houston's draft board in April, and we got him at No. 10. He's already laid claim to a starting position at DT; if he was a bust, wouldn't it stand to reason that he'd be second-string? He's no bust. Okoye will be an anchor of the defense for years to come.

Sorry I'm a Florida State Fan so I know how unrelevant this question will seem, but how has Travis Johnson turned out for you guys? I actually stood in line with him at a local EB Games to buy Madden for the PS2. The guy is huge .....

How can we put this? We are not, uhhhhhh, the biggest Travis Johnson fans in the world. For a smattering of our opinion on him, see here and here. If there's a "bust" candidate on the D-line in Houston, it's absolutely Travis Johnson. To date he's been a complete non-factor. Surrounded by Mario, Anthony Weaver, ND Kalu, Amobi and veteran Jeff Zgonina, there is no reason that Tr. Johnson should not emerge as a quality defensive tackle this season, and the coaches say he's looked MUCH better this preseason. But make no mistake--this is his make-or-break year with the Texans.

Is there anything traveling Bucs Fans should be aware of when entering enemy territory? Is there any must EAT Venues or anything like that inside the Stadium or en route to the Stadium ...... Thanks fellas

Houston is such a sprawling city that there's great places to eat everywhere you look. Near Reliant, we'd recommend Pappasito's for Tex-Mex. In our humble opinion, you can find better Mexican food at several places around town, but Pappasito's is definitely the most convenient for pre-game and/or post-game dining. Inside Reliant, the best food is probably on the club level, but there's above-average stadium food at every level.

Thanks be to the fellas from Battle Red Blog

Back to the Madness that is a Bucs Regular-Season Game:

QB Jeff Garcia is NOT expected to play today. He will be active (suited up), but expect Gruden to hold him out this week.

Look for DE Greg White to wreak havoc on the Texans, who cut him years ago?

Can McCown duplicate his play from last week? Let's hope so..

Buchanon vowed to get better, let's see if he takes a step in the right direction

It's weird that Gaines Adams faces the Houston Texans at this point in his career who also have a Highly touted DE who struggled mightily in his Rookie Season in Mario Williams. Who is having a nice year with 8.5 sacks thus far.

Cross your fingers that the Bucs can once again take care of business.

Should be a fun game to watch Today...