More quarterback chatter
As you might imagine, the hot topic of the day Tuesday when the team resumed offseason workouts was ... drum roll, please ... quarterbacks. On Friday, coach Jon Gruden proclaimed free-agent veteran Jeff Garcia has a "big lead" over fifth-year pro Chris Simms for the starting job. Garcia won't talk to reporters until Thursday, but Simms took a turn in front of the microphones Tuesday when the team wrapped practice. No, he's not worried about anything that happens in June. Yes, he is still recovering from September surgery to remove his spleen. No, he is not conceding anything. Yes, he will be ready by the start of training camp July 26.
Here's what we learned: Simms said he has developed some bad habits in his throwing mechanics as a result of favoring his midsection. He'll work through them in time, but there's really nothing he can do to speed up the process. He hasn't practiced since September, and it's unrealistic to think he could just walk back on the field and pick up where he left off.
Here's what else we learned: According to quarterbacks coach Paul Hackett, Garcia's mobility was obvious the first time he stepped on the practice field and a quarterback who can move suits Gruden's playbook. Keep in mind, Gruden's playbook took shape while he was coaching in Oakland with quarterback Rich Gannon. And just about every quarterback he has worked with in Tampa has been like putting a square peg into a round hole, from Brad Johnson to Shaun King to Brian Griese to Simms to Tim Rattay. Hackett didn't say it, but we all know Simms is not the most mobile guy in the league. In fact, he's the least mobile guy on the Bucs roster.
Stay tuned. We'll hear from Garcia on Thursday.