Sunday, October 12, 2008

Weekly Bucs Post: That's More Like It...

Whew... I needed that. After the debacle in Denver last week, I don't think my heart was ready for a down-to-the-wire close game against a team I hate the way I hate the Panthers. It was so nice to see the Bucs just have a fun, care-free romp of a game against a loathed division rival who has historically given them all kinds of trouble at home. Special teams (other than stupid Dexter Jackson) looked great. Not many better ways to start a game than with a blocked punt returned for a touchdown after the opponent's first posession... The defense this year is a thing of beauty (even if Ronde Barber is looking a bit like age is catching up to him...). The young guys keep stepping up, and Derrick Brooks doesn't seem to realize he's too old to play as well has he does... The offense is still having some issues with penalties, but otherwise looked really solid behind Garcia. Aside from the penalties, the O-line seems to be coming together this year. The running game was hurt a bit by not having a fullback in the game, but when Earnest Graham gave up his own carries to step in at fullback it got things back on track.
There's no question this team runs better with Garcia at the helm. Even though he was dead to me a few weeks ago, I'm willing to let bygones be bygones and throw my support back his way for the rest of the season. Gruden already announced Garcia as the starter for next week's game against Seattle, but also said it was just because Griese isn't 100% healthy. Let's hope that's just Gruden being Gruden with the media. I can't see him benching Garcia after such a strong game. This game was good, too, because it demonstrated that Garcia really wasn't right in Week 1. He was playing hurt and it impacted his ability to play at a high level. I'm still irritated by this whole QB controversy Gruden created out of thin air, but I'm also starting to think that maybe Garcia needed a few weeks off to recover from preseason injuries in order to play as well as he can. Garcia didn't finish out the year last season due to injuries, and I think it's smart to rest him early rather than when we're heading into the playoffs (like we did last year). Maybe that's what Gruden was thinking, and then I don't have to lose any respect for him over this fiasco.

The Bucs play so well at home, which is part of why I'm looking forward to their playing in the Super Bowl this year. Playing a home game for the Super Bowl is a huge advantage, and there's no way they'd come up short against whoever the AFC sends. I'm looking forward to Brooks and Barber each getting one more ring before they walk off into the sunset...

No comments: