As only he can do SportsIllustrated.com’s, senior NFL writer Peter King sums up the development of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers young improving nucleolus of talent as “stunning” in his latest rendition of Monday Morning Quarterback. But whats even more news worthy is in surprising turn over events King has Josh Freeman on his MVP Watch list. It’s a must read for any self respecting Bucs fan as there are boundless nuggets on the 3-1 Bucs.
Starting from the Cincinnati 34 with 14 seconds left after Palmer’s third pick of the day, the Bucs had a four-receiver set in the game. “It was an ‘all-go,’ ” Spurlock told me last night. The receivers would fly downfield, then read the coverage and either keep going into the end zone or cut off their routes, depending on how the defensive backs were playing them.
“They were playing a strict Cover-2,” Spurlock said. And so he knew he would be very unlikely to catch anything behind corner Johnathan Joseph. He cut his route to the sideline, and Freeman thought he had just enough space to get him the ball. “As a receiver, you just want to catch the ball and let your body go limp,’ Spurlock said. “Getting your feet in becomes second nature. I knew they were in.” But did he hang onto the ball? It looked like the ball moved in his hands as he fell earthward, and the Bengals called time to allow for the virtual certainty of a booth review. After reviewing the play, though, the officials let the call stand. And Barth’s field goal won it.
Tampa being 3-1 is even more surprising than Kansas City being 3-1. The Bucs went young everywhere on the roster, and the quick development at quarterback, receiver, the defensive line and secondary is — in a word — stunning.
“Maybe it’s surprising to everyone else,” said Spurlock, “but not to us. We think we should be 4-0.”
New Orleans visits the Pirate Ship Sunday. All of a sudden, the Saints have a dangerous game to try to right their own ship.
Probably the must descriptive recount of what the actual play was and what the toe tapping Spurlock saw before pulling his route short and putting the Bucs in position to win the game, as the final seconds ticked off the clock. But like his colleague Don Banks, King questions the validity of Spurlock’s catch.
5. Josh Freeman, QB, Tampa Bay. Forget the stats. Watch the Bucs. They’re a gallant team, and Freeman makes more mistakes than he should. But he’s the on-field keystone to an intriguing team that’s not going away.
Hard to argue with King on Freeman’s measure and worth to a young team Bucs team, looking for leaders. The moxie and poise Freeman shows even in the darkest moments of despair has many self respecting Buccaneer faithful wearing shades cause the futures so bright.
e. Cody Grimm. Victimized in his first NFL starts against the Steelers in Week 3, he suckered Carson Palmer into an interception at the Bengal 11, stepping in front of Terrell Owens and waltzing in for the touchdown.
As written in the Good, Bad & The Ugly Grimm had one hell of a turn around game for just his second start as a pro.