No Changes

With the Bucs preparing for Sunday's season finale against the Arizona Cardinals, a meaningless game for both teams except for deciding their slots in the 2005 draft, Gruden said he's sticking with the same players that got them to this point. Brian Griese will start over Chris Simms.

As far as Tampa Bay Buccaneer coach Jon Gruden is concerned, next season can start next July.

With the Bucs preparing for Sunday's season finale against the Arizona Cardinals, a meaningless game for both teams except for deciding their slots in the 2005 draft, Gruden said he's sticking with the same players that got them to this point.

At 5-10, critics are wondering why Gruden won't give a start to quarterback Chris Simms. Simms has one start this season and looked impressive in a win over New Orleans early in the season, but he was knocked out of the game and didn't see any action until mop-up duty in Sunday's 37-20 loss to the Carolina Panthers.

Brian Griese took over for Simms and has played well, putting up big numbers, but he's been prone to turnovers. He's also coming to the end of his one-year deal in Tampa Bay and pressure is on Gruden to start thinking about 2005.

Still, Gruden said he is sticking with Griese, but don't be surprised if Simms sees some time on Sunday. Ironically, Arizona's backup quarterback is Shawn King, who, like Simms, was a talented backup in Tampa Bay behind Brad Johnson, and never got the chance to start despite fan approval.

Gruden said he is intrigued by Simms, but that's about it.

"I am excited about (Simms),'' Gruden said. "I am intrigued by him as I am about Brian Griese. I look forward to working hard…It's hard to see through the fog right now.''

Griese looks on 2004 as a learning experience, one in which he emerged from clipboard duty to a presence.

"I came into this season as a third-string quarterback, trying to learn the system and contribute to the team in any way I could. Circumstances changed; I was called upon. I was grateful for the opportunity to go out and play with these guys.''

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