Tuesday, Oct. 2
The fallout from Caddy and Petitgout
Sorry for the failure to blog yesterday. Things got busy, as I'm sure you noticed.
Later today I'll be publishing an article on what we could possibly expect from a Bucs team without Carnell Williams and Luke Petitgout. But in the interest of teasing you so you'll read the premium piece, I actually don't think the situation is quite as dire as one might expect.
I will say this — I think the injury to Petitgout could be more damaging to the Bucs than the injury to Williams. Petitgout, like Jeff Garcia, had proved to be a stabilizing force on this offense. The line looked to Petitgout for advice. Jeremy Trueblood told me on Monday that Petitgout has every pass rusher's moves memorized. The Bucs will miss that knowledge on the field, though he'll be able to impart it in the locker room and meeting room.
And as we've seen the past two weeks the Bucs racked up 182 and 183 rushing yards with Williams, Michael Pittman and Earnest Graham back there, so it had more to do with the guys up front than the guys behind Garcia.
One rumor to report. The Bucs reportedly (via ESPN) contacted former Patriots back Corey Dillon even before Sunday's game ended, but Dillon's agent told them he wasn't interested. Also, Ricky Williams applied for reinstatement today. Given how the David Boston situation blew up in their faces, I can't see general manager Bruce Allen taking another chance on a guy like Williams, who has four violations of the NFL's substance abuse policy under his belt. It would cost a draft pick, since Williams is still under contract with the Dolphins, and that's something the Bucs have in short supply for 2008.
Big week ahead
This is a weird convergence of news this week, beginning with the injuries to Williams and Petitgout. But you also have the Colts and former Bucs coach Tony Dungy on the brain this week — Gruden's already bracing for all the questions about the 2003 game and Dungy. It'll be one of those weird weeks where Gruden has little to say about just about everything. There is also the return of cornerback Torrie Cox from his four-game suspension from his violation of the league's substance abuse policy. I saw him in the locker room on Monday. And, naturally, there are going to be rumors about the Bucs trying to acquire a veteran back to bolster that unit.
It's going to be one weird week.
The best in Bucs news
Over at the Tampa Tribune, they report on the Bucs' new defensive ranking — No. 5 in the NFL. Jon Gruden hates stats, by the way. And columnist Martin Fennelly writes that, indeed, the losses of Carnell Williams and Luke Petitgout could serve to derail this surprising season.
Over at the St. Petersburg Times, Rick Stroud writes that Gruden is determined to not let the major injuries derail this team.
Stop by later today for our "First Look" at the Colts and my "Film Session" article breaking down the Panthers game. We're also working on features on Donald Penn and Cato June this week, as the latter prepares to face his former team. If something breaks, check back here for more info. MP