Postscripts — Aug. 13 blog

This is "Postscripts," my personal blog. Here, each day, I'll write on random topics, both Bucs related and non-Bucs related. This blog also includes links to the top Bucs stories on the Web. Why? Because, well, I can never write enough, and sometimes the things I learn on this beat can't be fit into a story. So, until the carpal tunnel sets in, I'll keep typing.

Monday, Aug. 13

Clothes make the men

Watch a good portion of the Chargers-Seahawks preseason game on Sunday night, and I really like what the Chargers have done with the new uniforms. They were able to blend a new number design, make the jerseys sharper looking without sacrificing the traditional look of their jerseys. They still have the powder blues (a personal favorite) and the white helmet is a full-time thing now. So many teams want to go out and re-invent the wheel to jazz up their uniforms. The Chargers are proof that sometimes a facelift will suffice.

The Chargers' new practice unis. (SD Bolt

I don't make it a point to watch a lot of preseason, but I was watching with my buddy, Chuck, while we were breaking down our fantasy league's draft from Saturday. Yes, we broke down each draft and graded it. Yes, we're that sad. You'll see a lot of LSFL entries in here during football season, as the LSFL is the one fantasy football league that I really care about winning. I've been in it for 15 years and have never won it.

Bucs stories around the Web

We've been using the "Bucs Buzz" to keep you up to date on the best Buccaneers stories on the web (usually stories in other publications, such as the Tampa Tribune and the St. Petersburg Times). Well, to save me — and you, for that matter — a little time, I'm going to enter those links into "Postscripts" each day. These are some of the best Buccaneer stories that I've seen on the Web the past 24 hours.

At the Tampa Tribune (where their new Bucs Web design is confusing the mess out of me), Ira Kaufman wrote a short, but informative feature on cornerback Phillip Buchanon, who is becoming a bigger part of this defense every day.

Also at the Trib, Roy Cummings, one of the best-connected guys I know in the business, clearly illuminated running back Kenneth Darby's situation in this recent article.

Over at the St. Petersburg times, lead writer Rick Stroud spoke to veteran Michael Pittman, who said he's ready for anything after Mike Alstott's move to the IR — including a role as a fullback. Pittman is a player you have to like, as he has a penchant for doing whatever the coaching staff needs or wants him to do, and he usually does it well, to boot.

And Times writer Stephen A. Holder writes that the Bucs are looking for several players that can fill multiple roles to give them maximum roster flexibility on game day — and that includes a possible role for receiver/returner Mark Jones. I still think, however, that Chad Owens is a viable candidate for that role, too. But the Bucs defense is actually going to have to allow some points for us to see that for sure.

And at the Bradenton Herald, staff writer Roger Mooney writes that the Bucs — specifically head coach Jon Gruden — aren't concerned about Jeff Garcia's slow start during Friday's game. I don't think Bucs fans should be that concerned, either. I think Garcia will play much better on Saturday against Jacksonville. He'll play longer, too.

The Johnson debacle

It sounds like Larry Johnson and Kansas City general manager Carl Peterson are digging in for a long holdout.

Johnson went No. 2 overall in my fantasy draft on Saturday, but his stock is slipping fast. It's not just his holdout. It's the fact that he's lost two offensive linemen so far this offseason. Plus, factor in the Trent Green trade. The Chiefs are going to be terrible this year. I mean, flat out terrible. Here's the latest Johnson update from our Chiefs writer, Nick Athan.

Larry Johnson. (Getty images)
I think Johnson is one of the NFL's most powerful backs and that he's capable of 20 touchdowns a year (combined). But the losses up front, plus his refusal to show up for camp, are not only a distraction to a team that needs his presence, but also a P.R. nightmare for an organization that just dealt its best quarterback so they could start Brodie Croyle.

So, what exactly is Peterson thinking? Who knows.

I am with Peterson, however, on Johnson. Let him hold out. Johnson has a contract. He signed it. He has to live with it. If the team and the player can agree on a new deal before training camp, more power to them. But if they can't, then it's the player's obligation to show up at training camp on time and play out said contract (Or as Rob Tidwell's wife said in "Jerry Maguire," play out said crappy contract).

Johnson was a first-round pick, so the money's not that bad. I think Johnson is confusing pride with obligation.

If he doesn't show up, the Chiefs are in trouble. I don't believe Priest Holmes will be a factor. He hasn't played since that spine injury. I don't think he's going to be the same back. If you risk the pick on Johnson, I don't know who you handcuff him to.

Or, just avoid the situation altogether and pick Shaun Alexander or Frank Gore.

Are we there yet?

Jon Gruden said during his Monday morning press conference that Jovan Haye was on lap "478" of the Daytona 500.


You can read the entire Monday morning quote sheet by linking here: I post it every day for premium subscribers. Reading Gruden's words from his own lips is well worth the monthly subscription if you're a die-hard Bucs fan.

Jon Gruden. (AP)
Gruden's been using the auto racing analogy all training camp to describe Haye's progress at under tackle. Every time Gruden talks about the guy, he mentions where he is, lap-wise.

It's humorous for two reasons. First, at the rate Haye is progressing, he'll make the roster in about 2011. Second, if memory serves, it only takes 200 laps to win at Daytona, not 500 (it's 500 miles).

Now, I'm NASCAR illiterate, so I could be wrong about that. But if this guy's making so much progress, shouldn't he be a lot farther along in the analogy? Or am I just splitting hairs?

That's all for now. Check for any new entries today, or I'll see ya on Tuesday. MP

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