Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Joe Smith and Greg Auman

Quarterback situation won't get settled soon

6

March

One thing we neglected to share from Wednesday's chat with general manager Bruce Allen was his take on the team's quarterback situation.

You know by now the Bucs traded for Brian Griese on Monday, bringing him back to Tampa Bay after two seasons in Chicago. That brought the Bucs' quarterback count to six: Griese, Jeff Garcia, Luke McCown, Chris Simms, Bruce Gradkowski and Jake Plummer, who has stated his intent to retire but is technically on the roster.

I asked Allen how many quarterbacks he expected to take to training camp, and he expressed no objections to taking the five active players to Disney.

"We’ve brought five guys to training camp (in the past)," he said. "Right now, with that group of guys, that’s our plan."

Of course, that's not at all ideal. The most you can expect during training camp is to accommodate three quarterbacks. Maybe four. With more than that, it will be difficult to find practice time for the extra guy or two. It's even harder to find snaps for them during preseason games. So, it remains to be seen what the Bucs can accomplish with five quarterbacks on the roster in August. Of course, with 80-plus players in camp, I suppose you have the roster space.

As for Griese and the reasons for making that deal, Allen predictably said what we all know about the Bucs: they feel you can never have too many quarterbacks, especially experienced ones. Hard to disagree.

"We saw Brian’s availability as something we wanted to take advantage of and bring him back," Allen said. "He did perform well for us. You obviously know when he left here, our cap situation isn’t what it is today. And a couple years ago at this time we had five quarterbacks on our roster also, then Luke went and tore his ACL in the offseason program. So, our goal is to acquire as many players as we can at any position that we think can help this team win this year. To get a veteran quarterback with his skills, we couldn’t pass up that opportunity."

Regarding Plummer, Allen said the team would welcome him if he showed, but it's pretty clear the Bucs aren't holding out any hope of that happening. In fact, they're preparing to move forward with their grievance against him in which they are hoping to recoup about $7-million in bonus money for the portion of his contract he hasn't fulfilled.

The saga continues.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 2:58pm]

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