Tuesday, Sept. 25
I'm watching the Atlanta-Carolina game right now, so if my attention wanders, I should be excused. I'm working on the "First Look" and "Film Session" articles for later today.
Well, I went 0-2 this week (probably 0-3; I haven't checked my ESPN team yet). My LSFL and Dereliction teams both lost, and my buddy and I caused a firestorm with a pair of trades in our big-money league that no one agreed with, apparently. Don't you just love how everyone has an opinion?
I'm not worried about either team — yet — because I have a lot of talent on both. But I could use another running back on my LSFL team and at least one more receiver on my Dereliction team. I may look to swing deals if we lose again this week.
Big week ahead
Sure to make the rounds this week will be the rivalry between Carolina and Tampa Bay, which is one of the better ones in the NFC South, if not the NFL. These two teams have a real distaste for each other, and two players in particular — Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith and defensive end Julius Peppers — seem to always have great games against the Buccaneers. They'll be two of the big focal points entering this week.
Smith may be a bit hobbled thanks to the injury he suffered on Sunday vs. Atlanta, but he'll be ready. As for Peppers, well, I'm not sure he's quite himself. I'll explore that more this week.
The best in Bucs news
Over at the Tampa Tribune, columnist Martin Fennelly writes that the chants of "Ruuuuudddd!" are music to linebacker Barrett Ruud's ears, and proof that the new starter has struck a cord with the fan base.
Over at the St. Petersburg Times, columnist John Romano writes about running back Earnest Graham, whose journey to the best day of his NFL career on Sunday was much more difficult that you could imagine.
During his radio show on Monday, Jon Gruden gave a six-to-eight week timetable for Sabby Piscitelli's fractured foot, which would mean the rookie wouldn't be available until late November or early December, at the earliest. This injury might end his season, if the Bucs don't believe he can be healthy in time to help them down the stretch.
That means Will Allen — who was inactive last Sunday — will likely be active on Sunday in Carolina.
Working on my Film Session and First Look articles for today. If anything breaks, I'll keep you informed. MP.