I don't know if it is in the Bible or something, but someone once coined the phrase, "The Lord helps those who help themselves."
If that is the case, don't expect any divine intervention on behalf of the Almighty when it comes to the Bucs.
Last weekend's game against the Broncos was a real eye-opener. Everyone who was calling for Brian Griese to get benched despite his record got their wish when Coach Jon Gruden's hand was forced and Jeff Garcia entered the game after Griese was knocked out of the game by cornerback Champ Bailey.
On a side note, how shameful. A corner levels the hit that takes you out of the line-up? That's about as shameful as being tackled by the kicker on a kickoff.
But after seeing Garcia and Griese helm the "Death by 1,000 Papercuts" offense, is it possible to come to any conclusion other than it's not going to matter who the quarterback is?
I take no pleasure in being correct about Griese being a more than capable starter, but the Broncos basically stared at the Emperor and announced he's naked. Essentially, it's not going to matter if Jeff Garcia or Jerry Garcia is behind the center, the secret's out on how to stop the Bucs.
The Broncos basically ran a 4-3 and kept their linebackers and corners in an "umbrella" formation which essentially kept all the short passes, flares, and swing passes in front of them . They could run this defense because there's no one to stretch the defense. Basically, every play was in front of the Broncos' D and they can close on the ball carrier.
With no deep threat, the Broncos didn't have to worry about anyone getting behind them.
And this is where the Bucs faulted in the off-season. They made no effort to pick-up a wide receiver prior to the start of the season. Antonio Bryant has been serviceable, but he's a big guy and not someone who scares people with his speed. The Bucs were basically playing with fire by having one speedy receiver in Joey Galloway. The plan would have been fine, barring injury.
Well, Galloway lasted three quarters despite being put on a shelf like a China bowl for the pre-season. So much for erring on the side of caution.
Oh sure. The Bucs will tell you they addressed their wide receiver shortage in the draft, but Dexter Jackson and I are tied for plays lined up at wide out for the Bucs. He's been a kick and punt returner for the entire season, but he's not even very good at that.
At the very least, let Jackson line up as a wide out as a DECOY. Let him run down the field to drag a corner or safety out of the box, if for no other reason than to open up the underneath passing that Gruden seems so committed to.
With the trade deadline rapidly approaching, Gruden went on the record saying that no one made trades anymore. Well, he better buck the trend pretty darn quick. Sure, they may rent a player for a year, but it's apparent that Maurice Stovall and Michael Clayton are not the answer despite the fawning over their apparent abilities.
Without Galloway, we can get used to 3 completions and punting on 4th and 6. Eleven defenders are swarming the line of scrimmage. The QB can't wait for a Bryant or a Clayton to stagger downfield or else they will suffer the same fate as Griese.
The Bucs need to pull the trigger and get a trade done. I don't even need to name names. ANYONE. It is apparent that the current crop of receivers isn't getting it done (and WON'T get it done). GM Bruce Allen should have seen the problems with this team when Ike Hilliard and Galloway (who should be nicknamed "Tiffany" because he's made of crystal) were knocked out of the playoff game versus the Giants last year. He should have thrown out some offers to Javon Walker or Mushin Muhammad in the summer.
It's time for the Bucs to help themselves... then maybe we can start talking to God again.