Matthew Postins: The weekly Bucsblitz.com chat is now underway. We're talking about the season opener against Seattle this week, or whatever you want to talk about.
aarghmeister: How is Jeff Garcia going to do against Seattle Sunday? He's on my fantasy football team.
MP: I don't think you should start Garcia this week, but he bears watching. I think the Bucs are going to throw the ball a lot this year and Garcia could be a good bye week selection.
aarghmeister: What do you predict for the Bucs this Sunday?
MP: I think it's going to be a tough game for them. The starting defense played seven possessions with each other in the preseason and I'm not sure they're any better than last year. The offensive line has plenty of question marks, too. I think they're going to lose.
aarghmeister: Question marks? How so? And will that affect Garcia's performance? I mean, will the o-line prevent Garcia from having the type of season he had in San Francisco?
MP: Four-fifths of the offensive line wasn't in the starting lineup last opening day, and three of them have one year's experience or less. It could take them a while to gel and it could affect Garcia's performance beyond this week. He's mobile, but he needs adequate protection.
ThePewterPirate: I don't know how well the o-line will play at first, personally
MP: Talked to Sears today. He referred questions about his knee to the trainer. Not sure what that's about. But he should start. He's not on the injury report.
ThePewterPirate: It's not a good sign, whatever it is.
MP: That and the two knee braces he wears. I think Sears will end up being a solid NFL guard. The think is the two weeks he lost in the preseason really affected his development.
ThePewterPirate: I hate questionable 2nd round picks
aarghmeister: If the o-line tanks, what will that do to Cadillac?
ThePewterPirate: Shut him down again.
aarghmeister: I figured as much.
MP: As for Cadillac, if the O-Line doesn't come together he'll have another sub-par year. More than most backs, he's almost entirely reliant on his O-Line. He's not the best at creating space for himself.
ThePewterPirate: I still can't get around releasing (Kenneth) Darby and (Lionel) Gates both.
ThePewterPirate: And signing Trotter.
MP: The good thing about keeping Darby on the practice squad is they can sign him to the active roster anytime, if there's a depth issue. The Bucs liked him, but he may have been caught in the crunch of keeping four quarterbacks.
ThePewterPirate: Is he on the PS? I thought he was outright released.
MP: Bucs released Darby, then signed him the next day to the PS. Did that with several players, including Dennis Roland and Keith Heinrich. Trotter gives the coaching staff peace of mind that they have a player that's gotten the job done in the NFL. Talked to him today and he looks healthy. Bad thing is any NFL team can sign any of those (practice squad) players away to their active roster at any time.
aarghmeister: So, Matthew, what about Chris Simms? Was it wise to hang on to him?
MP: I haven't spoken to Simms since the roster was set. He's been inconspicuous lately, hasn't been in the locker room. He was throwing passes to Stovall after practice today. Wise to keep him? Yes, simply because he has more experience than McCown and
aarghmeister: How far was he able to throw?
MP: Simms was throwing about 20-25 yards downfield accurately. But there was no defense.
ThePewterPirate: Have we released Allen and Philips yet? I've been working a lot, I've missed the newswire.
MP: Nope, Phillips and Allen are still there. I expect them to both start on Sunday. I've been given no reason to believe they won't start.
ThePewterPirate: That's a shame. I liked Sab(by Piscitelli) and TJ (Tanard Jackson) all preseason long.
MP: Tanard Jackson will play some. I think he's further along than Sabby.
ThePewterPirate: I was kinda hoping that we'd start them sometime this year.
MP: There's still potential for that, especially if Phillips and Allen don't improve on their play from last year early this season. I think they're on a short leash.
aarghmeister: Will Gaines Adams start Sunday?
MP: Probably on Adams. Gruden's being noncommittal. It's about 75-25 Adams. (Kevin) Carter could possibly start, simply because Seattle LT Walter Jones is a load for any DE to handle.
ThePewterPirate: I forget the score the last time we played Seattle.
MP: 23-7 Seahawks, last year.
ThePewterPirate: I know it was ugly though ... I wanna avoid humiliation for our season opener,. I'd be ok with a tough lost game, but I'd prefer to win.
MP: The Bucs have never won in Seattle, if memory serves. In fact the Bucs are terrible on the West Coast. No more than five victories in almost 30 tries. Don't have the exact number in front of me, but I was writing that earlier today.
aarghmeister: So what about the rumors that if the team doesn't have a good season, Gruden will be gone?
MP: I think that's accurate. The team has been wildly inconsistent since the Super Bowl and 10 games under .500. The Glazers value winning teams and consistency. Right now they have neither. The Bucs went after veterans during free agency for that very reason
aarghmeister: How long has he been here?
ThePewterPirate: 5-6 years?
MP: This is Gruden's sixth year. That's long enough for it not to be Dungy's team anymore and for Gruden to set his own path and roster. Unfortunately that path and roster has only produced one division title since the Super Bowl.
ThePewterPirate: And heartache
MP: I'll be posting my prediction for the season on Friday. It won't be flattering. Too many questions on this team to feel comfortable they'll reach .500, much less the playoffs.
ThePewterPirate: I don't think the competition form our division will be as tough as people think it will be. The Panthers are in trouble and the Falcons want (Louisville QB Brian) Brohm next draft.
MP: No. Except for the Saints, the rest of the division will be average, at best. But I don't think the Bucs will get the breaks they need to sweep either Atlanta or Carolina. And not if the Bucs get to Brohm first.
ThePewterPirate: We never selected the QB we need.
MP: Not since Doug Williams.
ThePewterPirate: We will pick up (Daunte Culpepper) in FA or something.
MP: (Josh) McCown was named the starter in Oakland today. Culpepper may have the job by midseason.
ThePewterPirate: It's a good thing that (Trent) Green went on the market as late as he did, or else we'd have had him here throwing passes for Gruden
MP: Indeed. I'm going to have to wrap it up now. Thanks for joining me guys. We'll talk on Sunday.
ThePewterPirate: Yeah, I don't get that move. The Raiders are hindered by (Owner Al) Davis ... How did Gruden and him ever get that team to the playoffs???
MP: Two words. Rich. Gannon.