Griese ‘excited' to get the call

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Brian Griese will start in place of Jeff Garcia this Sunday against Atlanta. For the Buccaneers, it's a blast from the past, as Griese started for the Bucs in 2004-05 and produced one of the team's finer seasons, in terms of quarterback ranking. Plus, get premium analysis on this move and others in our "Top 5" story link.

Each week's Matthew Postins will analyze the top five issues facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that week. In this opening edition, Postins analyzes the decision to start Brian Griese at quarterback, the status of linebacker Derrick Brooks and the rehab of offensive guard Davin Joseph. Get the scoop right here.

Each Week will break down a key drive from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' most recent game. The Drive breaks down every play of a drive, analyzes its importance in the game and why that drive mattered to a Bucs victory or defeat. In this week's debut, Matthew Postins breaks down the drive that sealed Tampa Bay's loss to New Orleans. Get the scoop right here.

The last time Brian Griese played in Raymond James Stadium he tore up his knee.

Then his career with the Buccaneers ended as a cap casualty during the 2006 offseason.

On Sunday Griese will resume that career when he starts for the Bucs against the Atlanta Falcons.

What's changed? Griese says not much.

"I am the same guy, I know my strengths and I know my weaknesses and I am going to try and play to those strengths," Griese said Wednesday. "I am not going to play outside of myself or try to be somebody that I am not because I really don't believe that this offense needs that."

The offense could use a jolt. Opening-day starter Jeff Garcia, who missed most of the preseason with a calf injury, was just 24-of-41 for 221 yards, a touchdown and an interception. The Bucs lost, 24-21, and Garcia hurt himself again, this time his ankle.

So Griese will step in this Sunday and try to get the 0-1 Bucs back on track.

"It's just my opinion, and we've talked about it a lot with our coaches, [that] Jeff right now is not himself," Bucs head coach Jon Gruden said. "We're going to give him a week off and try to get him ready to go."

Griese first came to Tampa Bay as a free agent in 2004 and became the starter six games into the season. Griese finished the year with the best completion percentage in franchise history (69.3 percent) and 2,632 yards passing. He also threw 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

In 2005 Griese led the Bucs to a 5-1 start, completing 64.4 percent of his passes, before he tore up his knee against Miami.

The following offseason, faced with a large roster bonus and the uncertainty of then-tenuous labor negotiations, the Bucs cut Griese. He spent two years with Chicago before the Bucs re-acquired Griese for a conditional draft choice during the offseason.

Griese made it clear that he's happy to be back in Tampa, despite how his first stint ended.

"When I left here in 2005 I really had unfinished business the way I look at it," Griese said. "It really hurt when I was injured and didn't have a chance to come back. I knew we had a good team and that stung. Ever since that point I wanted the opportunity to come back and finish that business and that is how I am going to approach this, as a continuation of what I started and hopefully go out and play the best football that I can play.

"Honestly, I loved being here the first time I was here. Everything from being in this system, to being around the guys, to being around the people in this organization, to being in this town, I really loved every part of that. I am just excited and thankful that I am back in this position because a lot of times you don't get back. Trust me when I say that I wont take that for granted."

Matthew Postins is the editor and publisher of

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