Monday, Sept. 10
My brother's birthday was yesterday and I forgot to call. Damn football!
By the end of Sunday's Tampa Bay game, I felt as if I had traveled back in time to the end of 2006 — lifeless offense, tiring defense and injuries aplenty. Yes, this team started well on Sunday. But it certainly didn't finish the way anyone hoped.
Given all of the changes the Buccaneers made this offseason, more was expected. Maybe not a win, mind you, but certainly a better performance throughout the game, and not just the brilliant first quarter they put together.
Even that should have been an indication that bad things were ahead. The Bucs had two wonderful drives against a bewildered Seattle defense and scored just six points.
Just like last year.
The Bucs returned to Tampa early this morning. Jon Gruden will speak late morning and will likely have updates on Carnell Williams, Jeff Garcia, Brian Kelly and David Boston, all of whom were hurt on Sunday. Check back at Bucsblitz.com for an update, plus a transcript of Gruden's entire Monday press conference.
The best in Bucs news
Financial constraints kept me from traveling to Seattle (being a freelancer stinks sometimes) but the rest of the press corps was there.
Over at the Tampa Tribune, columnist Martin Fennelly writes that while things started out bright for the Buccaneers, that all changed as if someone hit a switch. His colleague, Joe Henderson, writes that the Bucs seemed to show enough to be cautiously optimistic about their performance — until the second half. And Ira Kaufman writes that the offensive line was a perfect example of Tampa Bay's decline against Seattle. The line started by punishing Seattle, but ended by being punished.
Over at the St. Petersburg Times, Rick Stroud wrapped up the game with this game story, including how things fell apart on Sunday. His colleague, Gary Shelton, writes that this defeat exposed all of the flaws of this football team, and that everyone should keep some tissue handy. There's going to be some tears. And Joanne Korth writes about Luke McCown's first regular-season tosses in more than three years when McCown came in to replace Jeff Garcia in the third quarter.