Bucsblitz.com's Dime Package

This week, Bucsblitz.com contributor Matthew Postins cuts to the chase on the issues concerning the Bucs, including the QB race, Carnell Williams' first start, Jermaine Phillips' new digs and tonight's preseason game prediction.

Rumor has it the Bucs are shopping QBs. Head coach Raheem Morris says it's just part of the game and everyone does it.

Shopping Byron Leftwich, Luke McCown or Josh Johnson makes more sense that last week's report that the Bucs might release McCown if he doesn't win the starting job.

Question is, what's the market for these three guys? I've noticed that there aren't any major QB injuries yet this preseason, which is what usually triggers trades of this type.

None of these guys are what I would consider hot prospects. Heck, the starter hasn't even been named yet. This sounds more like someone within the organization drumming up some interest to make their job easier. Just pick a QB already.

By the way, if you doubt the fact that the Bucs want McCown to be their starter against Dallas, consider the fact that Morris postponed the selection of a starting QB to after the Miami game. McCown will be the starter on Opening Day. That's been my contention since Day 1 of camp.

I'm extremely curious to see Carnell Williams on Thursday night. I'll be honest. After two serious knee injuries, surgeries and rehabilitations, I'm amazed the guy is still upright. He'll start against the Dolphins and expect the Bucs to give him a steady diet of handoff, perhaps as many as 15 carries. It's time to find out if Caddy still has any wheels.

But I'll be perfectly honest with you. I don't know what to expect. He's spent the past three years dogged by injuries. This is most certainly his last chance to remain with the Bucs.

The Bucs shouldn't be entertaining offers for their QBs. They should be trying to deal one of them to Denver in a package for WR Brandon Marshall. Kyle Orton and former Bucs QB Chris Simms haven't exactly set the world on fire. Believe me, I watched that Broncos-Seahawks game on NFL Net last weekend. Orton is nothing special. A QB and two picks for Marshall should do it.

The Bucs just aren't that bold, though. I have this feeling Marshall will end up in the Big Apple with the Jets, who are desperately searching for a receiver that can help Jerricho Cotchery.

Third-round pick Roy Miller seems in line for some playing time this regular season. It shouldn't be that surprising that he's getting a long look. At his size (310 pounds), he's the perfect frame to play inside in defensive coordinator Jim Bates' attacking 4-3 defense. He loves large defensive tackles, and Miller has a few Krispy Kremes in him.

The Jermaine Phillips experiment at weak side linebacker is on hold until at least October, when Tanard Jackson returns from a suspension. This was the only logical thing to do, and I applaud the coaching staff for getting this done now, instead of waiting until just before the regular season to see if someone emerged as a third safety. The Bucs stand a better chance of Geno Hayes being a serviceable replacement at WLB than finding that third safety.

This whole experiment makes me wonder why a team hasn't tried to do the same thing with All-Pro safety Roy Williams, who is one of the NFL's hardest hitters, but has dubious coverage skills. Phillips has a similar rep.

The Angelo Crowell injury is no big loss. Did anyone think that he was going to be out Quincy Black at SLB? Didn't think so.

Remember when the Saints drafted Marques Colston in the seventh round a couple of years ago? I'm not saying that seventh-round pick Sammie Stroughter reminds me of Colston, but the fact that they were both small-school selections and that they came out of nowhere to make waves during the preseason is something to consider as the Bucs make their final cuts in a couple of weeks. Stroughter's skills as a WR and KR make him a great addition to the roster – and could make WR Dexter Jackson, last year's second-round pick, an afterthought.

Sorry, Derrick Ward. I'm still not convinced.

What about tonight's game? Well, I think McCown does enough to win the starting job, I think Caddy runs well enough to give some fans hope and I think that CB Ronde Barber shows that we shouldn't count him out just yet. It'll be a close one, though, but the Bucs should pull one out at home. 23-20.

Matthew Postins, a member of the Pro Football Writers Association, is a Bucsblitz.com contributor. He has covered the Bucs since 2004.


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