Talk of the town
Five topics suitable for inane debate on talk radio.
1. Should he stay or should he go: If history is any guide, the Glazers will not decide Raheem Morris' fate based solely on his 3-13 record. Tony Dungy was not fired after his only losing season, and Jon Gruden was not fired after any of his three losing seasons. The Glazers look at direction and progress when assessing head coaches. Raheem just better hope they don't look at empty seats, too.
2. Greatest disappointment: The defense was replacing five starters from 2008, so those growing pains were expected. The offense is another story. Most of the starters were returning, and Kellen Winslow and Derrick Ward were added. Yet the Bucs gained fewer yards and scored a lot fewer points. And you can't blame the rookie QB because the offense got better when Josh Freeman took over.
3. Rumor mill: Manchester United has its worst FA Cup loss in Sir Alex Ferguson's 20-plus seasons. Bill Cowher declines comment when asked if he is a candidate for the job.
4. Got it (eventually) right: Mike Nugent was brought in at kicker because the Bucs wanted more consistency from 40 yards and beyond. Nugent didn't work (neither did Shane Andrus), but the Bucs finally found what they were looking for in Connor Barth. He was 8-of-11 from 40 yards and beyond, making him one of the NFL's best on longer field goals.
5. So Suh me: The difference between 1-15 and 3-13 cost the Bucs only one spot in the draft. The highest the Bucs could have picked was No. 2 (if they were 1-15) and they ended up at No. 3 (where they also would have been at 2-14). Now the question is, what are you willing to pay to move up for Ndamukong Suh? If it only costs the Bears' second-round pick, I say do it.
A list of five
Five things we'd like to see in 2010.
5. Spare coordinators.
4. Jim Leavitt slap Aqib Talib.
3. A microphone and a Glazer. Preferably in the same room.
2. Derrick Brooks in the Ring of Honor.
Five team awards
1. Most Valuable Player Award: Kind of an oxymoron on a 3-13 team. The better title might be Most Talented Player. And if that's the criteria, I will go with Aqib Talib. Kellen Winslow was good, but Talib is the one player I would have argued for the Pro Bowl.
2. Thanks for the Memories Award: Chris Hovan did more than anyone could have expected in Tampa Bay after being cut loose by Minnesota more than five years ago. But this team has to stop the run, and that starts in the middle of the defensive line.
3. Get Out Your Checkbook Award: Barrett Ruud wants money. A lot of money. Maybe more money than his performance warrants. But the Bucs cannot afford to let a talented player get away, particularly when their economic commitment is in doubt.
4. Most Improved Award: He wasn't a starter when the season began, but Geno Hayes was looking like a potential star by the end.
5. Most Inspirational Award: Cadillac Williams, by a mile.
Five super picks
Checking out the best bets for Super Bowl XLIV in Miami.
1. Colts: In a wide-open field, you go with the best QB.
2. Vikings: See above.
3. Chargers: Sentimental choice because Norv Turner is a good guy.
4. Ravens: Ray Lewis back in Miami. Guard the running backs and nightclubs.
5. Cowboys: Jon Gruden may have to put his Dallas plans on hold.
Final five words
Safe to open your eyes.