John Romano of the St. Pete Times isn't exactly saying the Bucs are making the same mistakes in Free Agency as in year's past, but he's basically suggesting it could turn out that way. His basic argument is the correlation between the ages/downside-of-career of Derrick Deese, Charlie Garner, and Todd Steussie to the ages/downside-of-career of Jeff Garcia, Kevin Carter, and Luke Petitgout.
Romano (as do most Buc fans) agrees with the signing of Jeff Garcia and gives his age and performances in Detroit and Cleveland as reasons to question his potential success. No offense to the Lions and Browns, but he played for the Lions and Browns, heh. My only question would be: We had a veteran QB in Tim Rattay last season, why didn't Gruden use him? Garcia is old, but so are most Veteran Back-ups, only in this case our veteran back-up will have every opportunity to start.
To me, I guess we can compare Deese to Carter in terms of years of service. They both spent roughly 12 years in the NFL before coming to the Bucs. Deese was clearly on the downside of his career, 12 consecutive years of playing left tackle (116 starts in 132 games) and rarely missing a game adds alot of wear and tear to that body. Bruce Allen even described the signing of Deese as "Derrick is a proven leader who has played at an exceptional level over the last decade." Did you catch the reference to the past in that statement?
I was totally against the signing of Kevin Carter do to his age and the type of decrease in output I saw from him while playing for the Titans, but here's a synopsis from our Dolphins Blog The Phinsider on the loss of Kevin Carter:
"As a Dolphin fan, I was disappointed when I heard that the Dolphins and Carter couldn't reach an agreement on a restructured contract, forcing his release. And I think that his release wasn't so much a reflection on his play, but more on his $6.3 million cap number for 2007. So what will the Bucs be getting in Kevin Carter? First and foremost, he is a true leader and great locker room guy. He works VERY hard and, for a player entering his 13th season, is in excellent shape. In fact, in his 12 year career, Carter has not missed a single game!! That shows how hard he works at staying in shape. He is also a tremendous teacher for the young guys. In Miami, he worked closely with young DE Matt Roth. As far as his play, he's a guy that won't get around the edge often, but will go through the opposing offensive line. He picked up 11.5 sacks in the two seasons he spent in Miami, and that was in the 3-4 hybrid defense that Nick Saban ran. In a 4 down lineman set, I think he'll be even more effective at getting to the QB. As far as run support goes, he was very good at taking on 2 blockers, much like a DT will, freeing up the linebackers to make plays. He also very rarely ever got ran over at the line of scrimmage. All in all, I think that you guys picked up a player who, despite being up there in age, is still very effective on the field and is a great presence off the field. And I'm sure that I echo a lot of Dolphin fans when I say that I wish him the best in Tampa!"
I know alot of fans get criticized for turning a blind eye to their own team's players inefficiencies, but I tend to believe fans know way more about their home town player, because they follow the team so closely as can be seen in my man's thoughts on Kevin Carter.
In terms of a Todd Steussie-Luke Petitgout debate. Todd had 10 years under his belt when he arrived in Tampa, Luke is coming into his 9th season, which is more like his 8th since he had limited play last season due to injury. Mr. Romano speaks of injuries diminishing Petitgout's standing. I see it more as a bout of bad luck. It was a broken leg, not a ruptured back. Also Petitgout has played the majority of his career on the field, not on the bench with nagging injuries.
All in All, I can see where John is going with this, but Deese was clearly on the backside of his career, Charlie Garner was far removed from his best playing days when he arrived and although Todd Steussie is still playing, he was taken down by a rash of injuries that were unpredictable by looking at his body of work.