Packers-Bucs: Behind Enemy Lines Part II

Our Scout.com experts, Matthew Postins of BucsBlitz.com and Bill Huber of PackerReport.com, go behind Enemy Lines to take a closer look at Sunday's Week 4 matchup between the Buccaneers and Packers. Our three-part series continues with five questions from Bill to Matthew.

Bill Huber: We don't hear much about the Bucs up here, with the talk focusing on Dallas, the Giants and the rival Vikings and Bears. How good are the Bucs, and what's the buzz among the fans?

Matthew Postins: Well, the buzz is a bit strange. Jeff Garcia was benched for Brian Griese, Joey Galloway is hurt and the Bucs are missing right guard Davin Joseph (who's iffy for this week). I think some fans are actually surprised the Bucs are 2-1. There's some bounce in everyone's step after the overtime victory over the Bears, but I don't believe the fans are delusional just yet. Given the state of the NFC South, I think the Bucs might be in the best shape to go the distance. If the Bucs can run the ball effectively, they'll be successful. But they got lucky last week with Griese and they won't get lucky like that many more times. They're a playoff contender, but nowhere close to a Super Bowl contender.

Bill Huber: Jon Gruden brought in, what, 15 quarterbacks to training camp? Not surprisingly, he settled on Garcia. Surprisingly, he's already been replaced by Griese. What gives, and what does Griese bring that Garcia lacks?

Matthew Postins: It seemed like 15, didn't it? The Bucs could be accused of overkill, but with all of their injury woes at the position, I guess you can't blame them. I think the writing was on the wall for Garcia after the Brett Favre flirtation. Then his calf injury allowed Griese more preseason playing time, and that turned Gruden's fancy. Once Garcia sputtered in the opener, Gruden did what he wanted to do all along — make Griese the starter. Gruden loves Griese in his offense, in spite of his interceptions. He's accurate in the short and intermediate passing game, can occasionally stretch things deep and doesn't take too many sacks. Gruden is a flavor-of-the-month coach, and Griese is real tasty right now. But that could change in a month, if Griese falters. In Tampa Bay, it's best to buy a defensive player's jersey. It's a better investment.

Bill Huber: What on earth happened to "Cadillac" Williams and Michael Clayton? They looked like marquee players as rookies.

Matthew Postins: Williams is on the PUP recovering from last year's knee injury. He's eligible to come off after Week 6, but it's unclear if he'll be ready. By all accounts, his rehab is going well. But getting into football shape will be the key to whether Williams plays in 2008 or not. If he doesn't, the Bucs are in good shape with Earnest Graham and Warrick Dunn, so there's no need to rush him. As for Clayton, he had five catches for 54 yards against Chicago, which is his best total of the season, but nowhere near the production of his rookie season. Injuries have sapped his playing time, and I don't think the coaching staff has as much faith in him as they used to. Once this season is over, Clayton will be gone, but as long as Galloway is injured, his numbers will likely take tick up.

Bill Huber: The days of Warren Sapp and Simeon Rice are long gone, but Gaines Adams and Greg White aren't too shabby. What is the calling card of today's Bucs defense?

Matthew Postins: Same as always — pressure with the front four and defend with the back seven. Defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin has done a great job showing flexibility with his game plans. And, I guess you have to give it up to Bucs GM Bruce Allen and his talent evaluation team for finding the right young players to invest in. Adams, White, middle linebacker Barrett Ruud and free safety Tanard Jackson play like the Bucs defenders of old and will keep this defense in the NFL's top 10 for years to come.

Bill Huber: The Bucs were supposed to be the team landing Brett Favre. Is there much lamenting it down there, and how much better would the Bucs be if they had No. 4 instead of Griese/Garcia?

Matthew Postins: You know, I don't think it would matter that much in terms of play on the field. I think Favre would have the same struggles in Tampa Bay that he's having in New York. But the Bucs truly didn't need the distractions Favre brings to the table. This isn't a "look at me" team, and Favre is a "look at me" player. The Bucs are better off with what they have, since Griese and Garcia understand Gruden's system better than Favre ever could, and consistency is key with Gruden.

Bill Huber: What are the better odds: The Buccaneers win the Super Bowl or Warren Sapp wins "Dancing with the Stars"?

Matthew Postins: I'll take Sapp. He's pretty limber. Just ask Mike Sherman.

Bill Huber covers the Packers for PackerReport.com

Matthew Postins covers the Buccaneers for BucsBlitz.com


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