What happenedâ€¦ Oh Captain.. my Captain?…
If there has been one consistent spot on the Bucs dwindling offense it’s been none other than “replacements-esque” Quarterback Jeff Garcia. But during last Sunday’s game against Detroit, Garcia’s normal efficiency was overshadowed by his two blunders deep in Bucs territory. One fumble is forgivable, two.. makes you wonder who crisco’ed the football.
And it didn’t help matters that Detroit did something totally uncharacteristic of Mike Martz style offense: They ran the ball. No, I didn’t stutter. The Lions’ offensive coordinator not only opened the game with four Kevin Jones running plays, but he continued to run the ball all day. Head coach Marinelli’s squad not only ran the ball effectively, but threw it well also. Top that off with three made field goals, and you’ve got yourself a win over a NFC team with a winning record, not to mentionâ€¦ your old QB.
So what does one make of last week’s debacle in Motor City?.. Just call it a case of bad luck. The Bucs seem to have had plenty of it since the season began, eliminating many of the playmakers on offense. But while the Bucs may be down, they certainly aren’t out. Granted, one of their losses was to their ex-coach Tony Dungyâ€”who’s kinda like that hot girlfriend you let get away because you’d rather spend time playing Halo with the fellas. But who HASN’T lost to the Colts???.. Exactly.
This week, Tampa Bay is at home, where they’ll face off the kids from North Floridaâ€”The Jacksonville Jaguars. After the brutal @$$-kicking the Jags received from Peyton and the boys, they will be without their starting Quarterback David Garrard. FAMU alumni Quinn Gray will get his first NFL start in front of a packed house at Raymond James. This is the third Quarterback Jacksonville has seen this year, as the Jag’s ended the Byron Leftwich era during preseason. Though he really hasn’t seen playing time the Jags are still hopeful that Quinn can fill Garrard’s cleats quickly.
“He hasn’t been in this situation before. We’re dealing with some unknowns. We don’t want him to carry the team. We want him to be a good distributor and play his role.” -Del Rio, Assoc. Press.
Not to mention Maurice Jones Drew’s fate is still in question for Sunday.
And while most would think the Bucs would be smooth sailing this Sundayâ€”think again. Tampa Bay is in the market for a few good receivers, with Michael Clayton out on ankle injury. His status for Sunday is still undetermined.
So once again, the burden of the weight lies on the shoulders of NFL veteran Garcia. He’s done his part in integrating seamlessly into Gruden’s West Coast offense, even despite the personnel shortages and injuries. But a Captain can only keep a ship afloat for so long without a crew to help him man it. Let’s just hope for Tampa’s sake that ship hasn’t set sail just quite yet.