aarghmeister: So are the Bucs better than we thought or is New Orleans just that terrible?
ThePewterPirate: The Bucs showed up today, and New Orleans has a few problems. But still, it is a team with an ok defense and a pretty explosive offense.
Matthew Postins I'm still skeptical, being a journalist. Today's performance was certainly encouraging, but the next step for this group (Tampa Bay) is to put it together on a consistent basis. That's the goal next week. Still, this was about as close to perfect as this team has been at some time. New Orleans has a LOT of problems.
TPP: They needed this win. (Joey) Galloway and (Jeff) Garcia looked in sync today.
MP: They really did. They hadn't put together a game like this since probably the 2005 season when they won the division.
TPP: I was really pleased with how we were able to move the ball when we needed to. Most of New Orleans' passing yards were cheap ones late in the 4th quarter.
MP: I think you saw the past six months of work in practice finally pay off. And they way they did it was encouraging. It wasn't always going deep downfield. One TD pass was a pass and catch, the other a cross in the end zone. We figured it up. The Saints had most of their total yards after the Bucs took a 28-0 lead. The drives weren't long, but they were consistent in getting first downs and moving the football.
TPP: That and New Orleans' defense kept biting on our PA (play action) plays....I told them that this would happen after getting burned like they did with Indy.
TPP: We finished with less than a 50 percent 3rd down completion rate, but we won.
MP: That Saints secondary is almost brand new and they've been poor. The Bucs said afterward they didn't look a great deal at the Indy game, but that's just wrong. They dissected that film because the Colts gave everyone a formula to beat the Saints. You'll notice the Saints never got downfield all day, and that's a big part of their game.
TPP: It's fair. Everyone did that to the Indy/Bucs game after they came back on us (on Monday Night Football in 2003), from there on out we've been rebuilding.
MP: This was a quality win today, something for the Bucs to build on.
TPP: I was/am happy with it.
MP: The only nagging thing is the fact that it's all Galloway and a little (Ike) Hilliard in the passing game. But (Michael) Clayton and (Maurice) Stovall are non-existent right now, and if that keeps up this team could be in a bind if teams find a way to stop Galloway. And someone will.
TPP: Clayton's biggest contribution came on the pick up (block) he gave Galloway.
MP: That's what I mean. Great block. But no catches. That's not what the Bucs pay him to do. If I were a fan, I'd be sick of hearing how good a blocker Clayton is and start asking how good a receiver he is.
TPP: I know what you mean, but when his blocks earn a TD for someone else, I think he's a team player....when he blocks and ends up holding, then I doubt his worth. I am biased....
MP: I don't doubt Clayton's team-first attitude. But he needs to catch some balls if this offense is to continue to progress.
TPP: I didn't see many other receivers get open, and that one TE (Anthony Becht) dropped the ball. There was only what? Ten passes (completions)? Four to Joey Galloway, one or two (two) to Ike Hilliard.
MP: Imagine a week in which Galloway is finally covered well, or God forbid hurt. Would you have confidence in Clayton or Stovall, at this time, to pick up the slack?
TPP: Not a bit
MP: Yes, there weren't that many passes thrown today, but there will be weeks when Garcia throws 30-40 and then it becomes an issue.
TPP: I am beginning to think that (Paris) Warren was our second best WR.
MP: I thought about that on the drive home. I'm wondering how much this team might miss Warren as the year goes on.
iDRIVEaCADDY: Great game.
TPP: If Galloway is first in Garcia's progression, that might explain why most of the balls went his way.
MP: Yes, it was (a great game). Not much to quibble with.
TPP: When he (Galloway) gets open he gets thrown at.
MP: I would say Galloway is first in every progression these days.
TPP: What's up Caddy?
IDAC: Bruised ribs.. but I'll be alright.
MP: Sounds like someone we all know.
TPP: Ha ha.
TPP: Yeah, but unless he's (Galloway) covered, I don't think I'd pass on him and go to the second and third receiver. New Orleans also had a few dropped passes early in the game. Kinda set the mood for how it was gonna go for them.
MP: I don't think Garcia would (throw to someone else) either. But here's the thing: Will Garcia have the confidence in them when that (Galloway is covered) happens? I just wonder if they're already too reliant on Galloway, if Garcia is, perhaps, too locked in. It's great to keep hitting him deep, but it won't be there every week. Garcia admitted that today.
TPP: Both Garcia and Galloway seem to feel very comfortable in each other's abilities. Galloway said that Garcia just makes him look good
aarghmeister: What did you think of the secondary w/o Brian Kelly.
MP: Today they played very well. Phillip Buchanon made two great plays early in the game, and Sammy Davis did a solid job as the third cornerback. This team usually slumps without Kelly, but today this unit really showed up without him.
IDAC: I think (Barrett) Ruud really won us that game just by the physically he brought. It seemed to really get the defense going.
MP: The fumble he forced early in the game set the tone for the entire contest. The Bucs turned it into a score and the Saints must have thought, 'Oh, No not again!"
TPP: He was everywhere the ball was coming out at.
MP: 11 tackles today for Ruud.
TPP: He is getting it done.
MP: He's made management look real good for giving him the job.
TPP: I've liked Ruud for a long time.
IDAC: He might become our best pick in the 2005 draft which would have been a shocker
TPP: That's why I was complaining about signing Trotter.
MP: I wouldn't complain about signing Trotter. He's valuable depth if anything happens to Ruud.
IDAC: How much did we sign Trotter for?
TPP: Yeah, but there was speculation that Ruud wasn't able to do anything for our run defense.
MP: Less than $1 million.
IDAC: You know who looked real good also?
MP: I never heard that speculation.
IDAC: (Jermaine) Phillips.
IDAC: He made some plays.
TPP: (Sammy) Davis was ok also.
MP: I didn't notice him (Phillips) as much as I did some other players, but since I never noticed that he blew a tackle, that's probably a good sign that he had a good game.
IDAC: I guess having a rookie pressing him for the job is just what he needed.
MP: Davis played fine. He started because the Bucs started in a nickel formation.
TPP: I was kinda hoping for more than a batted ball from our first-round pick (Gaines Adams) ...eh?
IDAC: He (Phillips) made some good hits early and set the tone.
MP: You may be right, iDrive.
IDAC: He might have slacked in coverage but on the TV you couldn't tell.
IDAC: He made that one hit on Deuce (McAllister) and stopped him in his tracks.
TPP: Phillips came up and played the run very well.
MP: A lot of guys were hitting Deuce today.
IDAC: The announcers started yakking about how he looked like (John) Lynch.
TPP: Did you guys see him knock Deuce over? Ka-Pow!
IDAC: Check that play out later though, it is one to rewatch.
MP: The Lynch comparisons are probably a little premature.
IDAC: it was a nice hit though. And he got bush on that leaping play.
TPP: Yeah, I think these guys did a great job, but not Lynch-like today.
IDAC: I think he might have defensed a ball too.
MP: That hit wasn't as hard as the TV made it look. But Phillips was in good position.
TPP: Davis broke up a few plays for us also.
IDAC: Tanard (Jackson) looked solid ...not great but solid.
MP: I think the Bucs would take solid out of their safeties after last year.
TPP: He played like you'd expect a good rookie to. Nothing bad happened to him. I was most impressed with Kelly's replacements.
IDAC: I wasn't all that much.
TPP: Not something you see everyday from our S's and backup CB's.
MP: (Phillip) Buchanon broke up two passes early that really set the tone for how the secondary was going to defend the Saints.
IDAC: New Orleans really didn't have a pass attack. I think Devery (Henderson) is given way too much credit most of the time
MP: They weren't able to get downfield and that's a big part of how they move the football. Without it they can't sustain drives.
TPP: It wasn't from us not trying though. … When they did throw the ball we were there.
IDAC: (Drew) Brees looked awful.
TPP: He was looking mad.
IDAC: He had some really bad passes. I thought that one was going to be picked off.
TPP: How much of that do you think was from the heat today?
MP: I'm not sure what's wrong with Brees. A lot of guys on that team were frustrated. Reggie Bush ended up with that unsportsmanlike when he shoved Cato down. That was pure frustration.
IDAC: And I will eat my words and say (Cato) June looked good.
MP: I think the heat really killed the Saints. The Bucs did a great job of rotating players and keeping people fresh. June made more plays today, certainly. He made a nice tackle in addition to the INT.
TPP: Anytime you are outscored 72-24 in your first two games there's gonna be some anger issues.
IDAC: That bush call was iffy.
TPP: June had his knee into his side when he was trying to get up.
MP: I think the Saints will eventually bounce back, but starting the season the way they did is, in my experience, not an aberration. They'll have a difficult time reaching. 500
IDAC: I mean you can't let it go but it was kinda dirty on Cato's part ... watch that play closely.
TPP: Just a little "who's your daddy" stuff that got outta hand?
MP: I thought I saw that, but it was hard with the replay angle. It didn't seem like that much, but Reggie definitely took offense.
TPP: I wouldn't have flagged him for it.
MP: You have to in that situation. You can't let something that blatant go.
TPP: Yeah, I understand that ... but its hot, it's a divisional game, and players are frustrated. I can see where he was coming from. It wasn't like he ran three extra yards to lay Garcia out.
MP: Any player will tell you that you have to be smarter than that in that situation.
TPP: Oh yeah.
TPP: I'm sure that Sean Payton (Saints head coach) was annoyed with that.
MP: He seemed annoyed with a lot of things today.
TPP: (Monte) Kiffin looked happy with the D(efense) today.
MP: Yes, he was. After last week he wanted improvement and he got it.
TPP: And (Jon) Gruden seemed like he might be able to keep his current address net year. They definitely played better.
MP: Well, let's not get ahead of ourselves. Let's see if they can carry this momentum into next week and do it again. Consistency is the key if this team is going to get better.
TPP: St. Louis could be hard.
IDAC: (The) Rams need to come out firing. They're 0-2 also.