No Time to Panic

Simms will have to be patient as Tampa Bay faces Saints on Sunday

Jon Gruden isn't hitting the panic button. While the Bucs have three straight games remaining which basically amount to playoff games just to MAKE the playoffs, Gruden is staying the line. Brian Griese had a big game in Sunday's loss to the Chargers, but also threw three interceptions – one on a desperation pass at the end of the first half – and fumbled once, but Gruden said he is staying with Griese as long as the Bucs still have playoff hopes. Griese took over when Chris Simms was injured during his first start during the fourth week of the season. He's performed admirably, but the questions still remain as to whom the Bucs will look in 2005. "(Griese) is tough,'' Gruden said. "He gets up off the ground. He throws the ball extremely accurate. He is managing a lot of football and moving the ball up and down the field at times on the road against a team that, if you watch the tape, has been very, very good. I am encouraged by him.'' Simms is likely the future of the franchise, but Gruden is asking him to be patient. "Brian Griese is throwing for 70 percent,'' Gruden said. "That is a feat that has only been accomplished a handful of times in the history of this game. Chris Simms will get an opportunity again at some point and when opportunity knocks, he has to be ready. If Brian keeps going like this, I don't foresee him coming out of the lineup anytime soon.'' The Bucs host the New Orleans Saints on Sunday at 4:05 p.m.

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