|Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden has decided to hold quarterback Jeff Garcia (ankle) out of Sunday's game against Atlanta, and veteran Brian Griese will start in Garcia's place. There's a lot that's fishy about this turn of events, as detailed in op-ed pieces in both the St. Petersburg Times and Tampa Tribune on Thursday.
First of all, no details at all have been released about Garcia's reported ankle injury, including some real basic facts like when he was hurt during the Bucs' Week 1 loss, or even which ankle is injured. If an organization won't provide info like that, then you've got to start using terms like "supposed injury" or "an injury of undisclosed severity," because we have no idea if Garcia is really hurt. Secondly, we can't really evaluate this situation at all without remembering the backstory from training camp, when Garcia was left twisting in the wind as the Bucs pursued Brett Favre; Garcia certainly has reason to feel the Bucs may not be fully committed to him as the starter (despite his role in possibly saving Gruden's job last season when he led the Bucs to the playoffs).
More importantly, as Gary Shelton points out in his Times column, if a team's first-string quarterback is really "questionable" for Sunday's game on Wednesday, usually a team will move heaven and earth to try to get their number one ready for Sunday, and may not settle on a starter until game time. What's scary is that Gruden may be doing just that ... for his new first-string quarterback, Griese. And, Garcia may alerady be yesterday's news as far as the Bucs' front office is concerned.
Posted by Gus Papadopoulos at 9/11/2008 7:23:00 AM
|For anyone hoping the postseason Eli Manning from last year would show up for 2008, that doesn’t appear to be the case. Inconsistent is his middle name…If Brandon Jacobs somehow stays healthy, he’ll easily finish as a top-10 fantasy back. Maybe top-5. His hands are a joke, though…Jason Campbell is not the answer at quarterback in Washington…A healthy Plaxico Burress who can actually practice this season is a scary thought. I wish I invested more in him during drafts this summer.
Carson Palmer wasn’t sacked over his last 89 pass attempts last year. He was sacked on his first two attempts during Week 1…He can’t be counted on to stay healthy, but I still like Chris Perry. Feel free to see if an owner is panicking after a poor game against a tough Baltimore D…If Ray Rice can only muster 2.9 YPC at home against Cincinnati while playing with a lead, his upside is far lower than I expected. I’d never heard of Le’Ron McClain before Sunday.
After round 1, I’d sure rather have Ronnie Brown than I would Ricky Williams. Go buy Brown while his value is still low…It appears Brett Favre’s still got it. What a great fourth down touchdown heave. New York actually benefited from Mike Nugent’s injury…Of all the random tight end explosions this week (Dante Rosario, Randy McMichael, Robert Royal), I like Anthony Fasano the most moving forward. With Tom Brady going down, the New York Bretts may just win this division after all.
Matt Cassell, whom my friend once repeatedly beat while foot racing on the streets of USC in the middle of the night back in our college days, is now the starting quarterback for a team that’s won 20 consecutive regular season games. Brady going down for the season 20 minutes into the year is pretty crazy…If you own Wes Welker and can get Lee Evans for him, do it…Brodie Croyle’s injury makes the Chiefs slightly better…Laurence Maroney owners have to be killing themselves right now. New England may have to run more with Brady out of the lineup, but it appears Sammy Morris is going to be a big part of that once again, including at the goal line. Ugh.
Steve Slaton is clearly the runner to own in Houston’s backfield…You can’t really be more efficient than Ben Roethlisberger was Sunday…Santonio Holmes will be fine…The best news regarding Willie Parker’s big day and future fantasy prospects? Rashard Mendenhall hasn’t impressed at all…Despite Week 1’s ugly performance, I still believe in the Texans having a good football team this year. Mario Williams is unblockable.
This Titans team is physical. Hopefully the concussed Albert Haynesworth won’t have to miss any time…I’m not sure how Kerry Collins will play as the starter, but it’s tough imagining him not being an upgrade over Vince Young. He’s a sneaky fantasy play Week 2 against the Bengals…Having drafted Chris Johnson in numerous leagues, I’m able to sleep much better at night. He looks like a top-20 fantasy back at minimum.
I can guarantee Matt Ryan won’t have a better game the rest of the year than he did during his first ever start, but he does look like a keeper…Maybe the same jersey and number clouds my judgment, but Kevin Smith reminds me a lot of Kevin Jones in his prime, and I mean that as a compliment…This Falcons O-line sure did improve in a hurry. Of course, playing Detroit will make a lot of teams look good…If Calvin Johnson isn’t a consensus second round pick in fantasy leagues next year, it’s because he’ll be going in round one…It wasn’t San Diego – Michael Turner is the real deal. What a combination of size, cutting ability and speed. He should be viewed as a top-10 fantasy back.
The fake field goal the Bills ran Sunday was the coolest play of the day. Hands down…Nate Burleson dropped a wide open pass in the end zone that I would have caught 10 times out of 10. The very next play he makes a diving catch for a score with a defender all over him – one I wouldn’t be able to make if given 100 tries. Too bad he’s now done for the year. Getting targeted so often in that offense, he was going to put up big numbers. Might as well pick up Courtney Taylor…With Maurice Morris hurt and nice upcoming matchups, if I own Julius Jones, I’m shopping him like crazy with those selling points. Dude’s a terrible running back…This year, Lee Evans might just be what I thought he’d be last year.
I’m as big a fan of “Seinfeld” as anyone, but these new Microsoft ads featuring Jerry and Bill Gates simply have to go.
Drew Brees easily looks like the No. 1 fantasy QB to own…Nice to see Pierre Thomas so heavily involved right out of the gate. Anyone who drafted Deuce McAllister was crazy…Reggie Bush can be a force in the passing game, and it’s possible Sean Payton utilizes him more effectively this year, but he still can’t run (3.6 YPC). Just make him a situational back and get it over with…Remember Marques Colston owners, he got off to a slow start last season too…If Jon Gruden continues to give Warrick Dunn similar touches to Earnest Graham, my TB last place prediction will look positively prophetic.
DeSean Jackson is awfully exciting, but see if someone is willing to treat him like a true WR2 right now…Be afraid Torry Holt owners. Be very afraid…Fun fact: The Eagles have the heaviest offensive line in the NFL…The angle the safety took while attempting to tackle Hank Baskett during his 90-yard TD catch was an embarrassment.
This Dallas team looks pretty unbeatable. Expect some through the roof point spreads to follow…Chalk Braylon Edwards down has someone who does need some preseason action, apparently…What exactly, was Romeo Crennel thinking kicking a field goal down 21 points with 10 minutes left playing an offense like Dallas? The answer? He wasn’t…If Jason Witten remains healthy, he’s going to be a monster. He’s definitely the No. 1 fantasy tight end…My boy Marion Barber proved both me right (he should be considered at minimum the No. 2 fantasy player overall) and his naysayers right (his physical style could lead to injuries). Still, like the Barbarian isn’t going to play through a little cartilage damage to the ribs? Please. Dude could score 30 touchdowns this season.
Chris Chambers’ Week 1 was his career personified – catching just one of his six targets yet being productive with it (44-yard TD)…DeAngelo Williams and the Panthers’ offensive line sure do look improved this season…My favorite part of Dante Rosario’s huge Week 1? When Fox listed him as “Rosario Dawson” on their UPS Leaderboard…Sell LaDainian Tomlinson before it’s too late.
Over the second half of Sunday’s game, the Cardinals ran 45 plays compared to 15 by the 49ers. San Francisco completed just one pass in Arizona territory during that time. They committed five turnovers to the Cardinals’ zero. Ladies and gentlemen, the Mike Martz era!...Actually, the Cardinals were painstakingly conservative. It makes sense trying to limit Kurt Warner’s turnovers, but I didn’t appreciate it much as a Larry Fitzgerald holder…There’s a legitimate chance Frank Gore leads SF in receptions this year…As for JTO, he actually gave reason for optimism, completing 70 percent of his passes for a 9.8 YPA. Good thing the team picked Alex Smith over Aaron Rodgers.
You know when in “Fight Club” they choose whom they’d most want to fight in the world? Well, for me that would be Bruce Bochy (Sabean, you’re next). Even though I’d kick Bochy’s ass, it’d still be less harmful than what he’s doing to Tim Lincecum’s arm.
With a rusty Peyton Manning and no Jeff Saturday, the Colts sure looked sluggish. Still, I wouldn’t hit the panic button just yet. I’d rather be in Indy’s situation than I would New England’s…Over his last two games, Marvin Harrison has been responsible for two touchdowns – by Indy’s opponents…Looks like Matt Forte can play. I’d still consider Chicago an excellent matchup for opposing defenses, however…Joseph Addai left the game “banged up?” You’re kidding me. Next thing you’ll tell me is that water is wet and the sun will rise tomorrow. I would be crass and call him some form of a woman, but that would be a horrible insult to females everywhere.
Tarvaris Jackson can look good on some plays, and he’s the fastest QB in the league, but this passing game is worrisome. If it doesn’t improve, the team will once again be left out of the playoffs, let alone any lofty Super Bowl aspirations…My one complaint about the Packers/Vikings game was that the refs didn’t call enough penalties…Mark Brad Childress down as yet another head coach who is clueless as when (not) to go for the two-point conversion…Adrian Peterson is an absolute freak. Would love to see his numbers if he could somehow stay healthy all year.
Jay Cutler is officially rivaling Tim Lincecum as my main man-crush. Like I said before the season, there isn’t a player in football I’d rather own if starting a franchise right now. Glad I drafted him in so many leagues this year, because I refuse to take a QB before round 5. He’ll be a second/third round pick next year…R.I.P. Javon Walker…JaMarcus Russell was actually pretty solid, but it’s safe to say DeAngelo Hall can’t hold Nnamdi Asomugha’s jock…It’s also safe to say ESPN hit a new low with their announcing crew Monday, who made the old three stooges (Mike Patrick, Joe Theismann, Paul Maguire) broadcast team look competent, something I never thought I’d say. Mike Ditka: “It doesn’t matter where he was drafted. Look at this Chris Johnson kid. He was taken in the fourth round.” Truly atrocious.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 9/9/2008 7:13:00 PM
|There's not a cloud in the sky of my crystal ball, and what I see is ugly. Very ugly. Not only is Seattle without its top four receivers, but the wide receivers who finished Sunday's game entered the day with a grand total of ... *five* career catches between them. Backup QB Seneca Wallace has nearly that many career receptions by himself.
Well, you say, Deion Branch and Bobby Engram won't be out forever. The Seahawks just have to weather the storm for a few weeks. Oh yeah? Consider: if -- best-case scenario -- Branch returns to practice this week, he'll still need likely two weeks before he can play. *At least* two weeks. With Seattle's bye in Week 4, it's likely Branch is held out another week, until Oct. 5. That's also the best-case scenario return of Engram.
But neither is likely to be sharp out of the gate. More likely, they'll both take a week or two of game action to get acclimated. But Seattle's post-bye schedule goes like this:
vs. Green Bay
at Tampa Bay
at San Fran
0-5 would not shock. Let's say the Seahawks win their next two games at home against division foes 49ers and Rams. That means heading into Week 10, they could be 2-6 with Thanksgiving at Dallas, New England, the Jets and a road game at St. Louis still on the schedule. Oh my. The Seahawks better hope their defense and special teams get much much better because an offense that can't run or pass won't win many games.
Posted by Jason Thornbury at 9/8/2008 1:47:00 AM