Galloway Coming Up Big

BUcs only deep threat coming up big.

By Jeff Berlinicke

TAMPA – The Bucs' young guns have gotten the headlines ever since pre-season started.

Michael Clayton was supposed to catch another r80 or so passes, Cadillac Williams was going to rush for 1,000 yards, and once Brian Griese was gone for the season with an injury, Chris Simms was going to be the Next Big Thing. Dan Buenning would be the anchor to the offensive line for the next 10 years, and the future was brighter than ever for the franchise that hasn't made the playoffs for two straight seasons after winning the Super Bowl following the 2002 season.

Instead, the offensive MVP has been a veteran, someone thought past his prime even thought he never would admit to it. Joey Galloway, thought washed up when the Bucs got him last season for next to nothing, has emerged as the main ingredient to the Bucs offense. Last season, Clayton and Griese developed a certain chemistry that was successful to a point. Clayton was arguably the league's best rookie wide receiver, and Galloway stayed in the shadows.

He never gave up on himself, however. Galloway still boasts that he believes he is the league's fastest receiver, and he's had several instances this year to back up his case. Where Griese clicked with Clayton, Simms seems to have a special chemistry with Galloway. The pair have connected for several catch-and-run plays this season to results in touchdowns, and combined for the only Bucs touchdown in Sunday's 10-3 win over the New Orleans Saints.

It's Galloway's speed and ability to get open that have made the difference. Clayton and fellow wide receiver Ike Hilliard can get open, but are mostly effective on short routes. Neither is a speed merchant, so it's up to Galloway to run the deep patterns. He and Simms haven't hit on any long passes, but Simms is looking to Galloway for shorter routes and letting Galloway's speed take care of itself.


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