Despite the fact that Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden as all but handed the starting QB job to offseason signed free agent Jeff Garcia, one has to wonder how much faith Gruden really has in Garcia. If Gruden is that happy with Garcia, then why was the first day of mandatory Bucs mini-camp spent talking about former Bronco and technically now Buccaneers quarterback Jake Plummer? The former Cardinal and Bronco thrower was nowhere to be found on the first day of Bucs camp, but that is likely due to the fact that he has stated he has retired. The one point about that is that Plummer has not filed the appropriate papers with the league office to officially retire.
This brings us back to Gruden and the Bucs, who sit with Garcia currently as the starter, and fragile Chris Simms as the backup. Gruden must not have a ton of love for either, since he is keeping a roster spot open for Plummer. “We’ll reserve a spot for the ‘Snake’ for a little while longer,” Gruden said in Wednesday’s Tampa Tribune. “”If it was Jake Jones or Jake Johnson or Jake Gruden, we’d probably bypass the holding pattern that we’re in right now. This is one heck of a football player that has accomplished a great deal. At this point, he’s retired and hopefully at some point he changes his mind or reconsiders.”
Plummer was traded from the Broncos to the Bucs for a 2008 draft selection. This was done despite the fact that Plummer was on the verge of walking away, and made that fact known to Tampa Bay before he was traded to them. Plummer not turning in the paper work to officially be retired could just be a timing issue, or possibly he does have his eyes on coming back, but maybe just not with Tampa Bay.
For Gruden, he may be thinking that he does not want a repeat of last season, when the Bucs were one of the worst offensive teams in the league, and the QB play had a large part in helping them be one of the worst offenses in football. He could simply be almost wanting to stockpile QB’s, in hopes of not having the injury issues at the position like last season. Or maybe he really isn’t all that happy with what he has seen from Garica and Simms, and wants to keep the door open for Plummer. Whatever the case may be, Gruden and the Bucs wouldn’t mind one bit if the ‘Snake’ decided to slither into Bucs camp.