After living in Tampa Bay for 28 years, I have finally come to the conclusion that my goal in life is to become the back-up quarterback for the Bucs. Seriously, is there NOT a better job in Tampa Bay? Screw that, is there not a better job in the world?
You become the toast of Tampa Bay. Women want you. Men want you. Everyone wants you. Why? Because you are the answer.
I was here through the lean years. I remember the hope that was generated when the Bucs drafted Vinny Testeverde and the hope that came when he was on the bench. I remember when the Bucs drafted Trent Dilfer who was considered a steal when he fell to the Bucs and the incessant clamoring for him to get reps ahead of Craig Erickson. Sadly, I remember pushing my high school girlfriend off of me while we were babysitting two sleeping children so I could watch Dilfer take snaps in the preseason.
Sweet Mary, was I that pathetic? Yes.
But those guys had something in common. In the spirit of an election year, how do I say this diplomatically?
Oh yeah... those Buc teams sucked donkey balls. Eat your heart out, Obama. THAT'S how you address your constituents.
So here we, Bucs fans, sitting fat and sloppy at 3-1, tied for the division lead. And there's a quarterback controversy.
I should have ended that sentence with a question mark, not a period.
Why in the name of Hugh Culverhouse are Bucs fans calling for a quarterback change?
Brian Griese has engineered three consecutive wins despite six interceptions in two games. He almost breaks the NFL records for pass attempts versus the Bears. And he almost gave away the Packers game with a couple of off-target throws, but he's winning.
Testeverde never won. Dilfer won on occasion, but not consistently. Erickson, King, Spurrier, Thompson... they never won. And Bucs fans called for their heads.
Now Griese is winning... and he supposed to get the hook?
Maybe it's because of the interception numbers (and the AMOUNT alone, even though a few of them were tips and horrid attempts at catches). I will submit that anyone calling for Griese to be benched is a simpleton who only looks at the box score.
These are the same people who didn't think there was a problem with the Bucs' defense because they are ranked in the Top 10 despite the fact that they couldn't force a pick from Quinn Gray.
There's a lot more to this game than numbers. There are QBs with less INTs, more yards, and more TDs than Griese, but this is a QB who has been turned one-dimentional in almost every game and he was able to reverse-engineer victories. He also has performed WITHOUT a legitimate wide receiver who can stretch the field. That means, he's throwing timing routes and check-downs into heavy traffic because he has NO ONE to stretch the field and get a safety away from "the box." Is it any wonder why his INTs are up? There's foreign jerseys all over his throwing lanes.
There's a lot more to this game than just being ranked high. If you like high rankings and what it will get you, fall in love with the BCS and get lost. Griese is WINNING. There are quarterbacks with worse number who have won Super Bowls. Dilfer threw 12 TDs and 11 INTs in 2000 for the Ravens.
Is it possible that this team is not built around the quarterback?
Here's a little something for all you "ranking hounds." This Bucs team, is 9th in rushing and passing in the NFL through 4 games.
THEY LEAD THE NFL IN PICKS WITH 7. THEY ARE 3-1.
And for every fan calling for Griese's head, there are 5 more calling for Gruden's job. This is the same coach who had the run taken from him and won a game with the pass. He had the pass taken from him and he won the game on the ground. How do you stop a team who can be successful running AND/OR passing? It's pick your poison right now.
They're obviously doing something right.
So park your requests for Garcia to come back. Throughout the pre-season Griese looked sharp. He knows this offense inside and out. Do you realize that if Bruce Allen decided to keep Griese over Simms, this would be his 4th year in the offense? This kind of stability has NEVER been part of the Bucs' history (and technically it still isn't, but at least Griese didn't have to "re-learn" everything). Griese's job is to ration out a steady diet of 3-4 yard runs and 5-7 yard passes. This "Death by 1000 Paper Cuts" offense will just (tick) off defenses when they get 5 yards on 3rd and 4 and 9 yards on 3rd and 8.
Griese is doing just fine. Gruden won a Super Bowl with Brad Johnson and came a "tuck rule" from getting to another with Rich Gannon.
If you want Griese benched, you might be seeing Bucs football, but you aren't watching.