Monday, Nov. 12
Gruden can stay, for now, 12:22 p.m.
It's not the most ringing endorsement, but St. Pete Times columnist Gary Shelton writes that Bucs head coach Jon Gruden has done enough to save his job — for now — in this article at Tampabay.com.
Trueblood fallout, 12:21 p.m.
The fallout from Jeremy Trueblood's tirade last Sunday against Arizona — a $15,000 fine, according to Tampabay.com.
Maybe their prayers were answered, 9:53 a.m.
If Jon Gruden and Bruce Allen spent the weekend praying to the football gods for a little help, they certainly got it.
Everything the Bucs could have asked to happen did.
New Orleans lost to St. Louis — the Rams' first win, by the way — halting the Saints' four-game winning streak and preventing them from becoming the first team in NFL history to win five straight games after losing their first four.
Carolina lost to Atlanta. Thanks to that and the New Orleans loss, the Bucs have a one-game cushion in the NFC South with seven games to play.
Detroit lost to Arizona. That's could be a valuable win for the Bucs, in terms of tiebreaking scenarios.
I'll explore this more on Tuesday, but the Bucs are now set up to win this division. They not only have a game on their chief rivals, but they have a division win each over their chief rivals and a two-game lead in terms of division games (the Bucs are 2-0; each of the rest of the teams has at least two division losses). Now they just have to go out and do it.
A busy week in the media, 9:45 a.m.
Just because the Bucs were off didn't mean they weren't a part of the media conversation this past week.
First, the Sporting News leaned on the Bucs heavily in their midseason football issue. TSN wrote that the Bucs are "ready to surge, thanks to a weak second-half schedule, Earnest Graham's inspiring play and Jeff Garcia's steadiness. Also, TSN named linebacker Barrett Ruud to the NFC side of their all-NFL team. They also named defensive end Gaines Adams a "Rookie on the Horizon," writing that "injuries have cleared room for this pass rusher to make an impact." And, finally, rookie safety Tanard Jackson got some love in their "Scouts View" segment, writing that he "brings versatility" to the secondary. I'd say he's a candidate for Defensive ROY at this point.
When I received my ESPN the Magazine on Friday, I found a blurb on Jon Gruden's use of the shotgun this season from footballoutsiders.com. The coach that never used the shotgun before this season is now using it the formation about one every four plays, which is the league average. And it's working. The Bucs are averaging 6.4 yards per play in the shotgun and just 5.5 yards per play when Garcia is under center.
And, this came from Fox Sports' broadcast of the Falcons-Panthers game on Sunday. Before last Sunday's games, Jeff Garcia had been knocked down 49 times in nine games, tied for second-most in the NFL. It may be a miracle that he's still upright.
Getting ready for retirement, 9:44 a.m.
Don't freak out — Joey Galloway is not retiring. But he is preparing for that eventuality, because a guy still has to make money, right? Find out how Galloway is investing locally to prepare for his golden years in this article at TBO.com.