Is Rattay Already Forgotten Man?

Tim Rattay Hasn't Played Since Coming Over in Trade from San Francisco

By Jeff Berlinicke

Now that Chris Simms has engineered two late scoring drives, leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to late wins as the season approaches its stretch run, where does that leave Tim Rattay?

Rattay was assumed to be the emergency backup once Brian Griese was declared out for the season. Rattay was supposed to learn the Bucs complicated offense and battle Simms for the job next training camp since Griese has almost certainly seen his last play as a Buccaneer.

When Rattay came to the Bucs for a mid-round draft in mid-October, his career was a shambles. The San Francisco 49ers made Alex Smith the No. 1 pick in the 2005 draft and Rattay, who never reminded 49ers fans of Joe Montana, Steve Young or, for that matter, Jeff Garcia, was basically a stand-in for a bad team, babysitting until Smith was ready.

Smith was ready and the Niners had no use for Rattay who was sent to Tampa Bay just before Smith suffered what could be a season-ending injury.

Meanwhile in Tampa, Simms was suffering from a bad offensive line and an offense that stopped scoring points. The worst embarrassment was when Simms was lambasted after a loss at San Francisco when his brain was questioned more than his much-valued arm. With the season on the line, Simms was beaten up by the Carolina Panthers two weeks ago. Moronic radio talk show hosts crucified him, the even more moronic talk show callers dealt out their usual drivel, and calls for Rattay were loud.

Then things got interesting. With the season and a career on the line, Simms stepped up and rallied the Bucs to an intense 36-35 win over the Washington Redskins, then outdueled Michael Vick in a win over South Division rival Atlanta.

Now Rattay, like fellow back-up Luke McCown is the invisible man.

The likely scenario is that Griese will be gone, Simms is the starter, and there will be a new back-up QB. This is Simms' team now, and it appears that Rattay's career as a Buc will be about as well-remembered as another former 49er, Steve Young.

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