Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

The Point After

Tampa Bay Buccaneers best in NFC? Let's see what happens in the desert

This week's electronic conversation between Sports columnists Gary Shelton and John Romano:

GS: Now that the Bucs have established themselves as the best team in the NFC, as well as parts of Europe, it is time for the next question. Are they better than the Cardinals?

JR: You know, Gary, I understand what Raheem Morris is doing when he makes these bold statements. He's trying to convince a young team that it is capable of winning every game. And there's nothing wrong with that concept. The problem is that you can't go overboard. You want to push, but you don't want to push too far. Otherwise, you begin to lose credibility if the performance does not match the boast. It's a fine line, and I worry that Raheem is dancing all over it.

GS: In this league, coaches are remembered not only by what they did but what they said. You remember how Sam Wyche once was flogged by a similar statement. That's the danger, that people are going to judge the Bucs not by their improvement but by whether they measured up to the swagger. It's like Amy Winehouse declaring herself Miss Universe. You want to say "Which universe?"

JR: You're right. He has put himself in a position where 7-9 will feel like a letdown when it should come with streamers and party hats. And get off Amy Winehouse's case. She's just taking heroin chic to a whole 'nother level.

GS: That's why she looks like Keith Richards in lipstick? I did not know that.

JR: So what is realistic for the Bucs? They have a little more talent and a lot more spunk than I thought, but does that mean the Falcons and Saints should be shaking in their cleats?

GS: The Bucs have more proving to do before the citizens run screaming from the streets. But, yeah, they're better, and they have some marvelous toys in Josh Freeman, Mike Williams and LeGarrette Blount. The thing is, they have a lot of games that are going to be tight, starting with today's at Arizona. The Lions are better. The Seahawks are better. And strange things happen to the Bucs in San Francisco. But I really do think a .500 record is possible. Does that sound silly?

JR: Not silly, just strange. We had conditioned ourselves to expect much worse. Sort of like when I get on the scale every morning.

GS: Do you get the "exploding mine reaction," too? I almost hit the cat with a stray spring the other morning. Getting back to the game, what do you expect to happen today? Aside from beating the Saints, the Cardinals haven't been very good this year. All of the offense is packed away somewhere in Kurt Warner's closet. First, is this winnable, and second, would you bet on it happening?

JR: Winnable? Absolutely. Would I bet on it? Not even with your credit card. There's something about a team living on the edge that makes me think of crash landings.

GS: To be fair, living on the edge beats dying in the desert. The Cardinals have been doing that all year. For instance, quarterback Max Hall is going to be able to play this week, but I'm not sure that's a good thing for Arizona. Two games in and he hasn't thrown a touchdown pass.

JR: I don't even know who Max Hall is. Ten minutes ago I would have guessed it was a new Dodge pickup.

GS: Hall is one of those plucky underachievers a coach falls in love with when his other quarterbacks are Derek Anderson and the dearly departed Matt Leinart. You probably know him by his former name: "Bruce Gradkowski."

JR: I'm not as optimistic. I'm also not as intelligent, but that's another conversation. I think the Bucs get it right in the cactus this week.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers best in NFC? Let's see what happens in the desert 10/30/10 [Last modified: Sunday, October 31, 2010 12:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Scotty Bowman says 'it's about time' Andreychuk got HOF call


    For Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman, Dave Andreychuk finally being part of a Hall of Fame class is especially gratifying.

    Scotty Bowman drafted Dave Andreychuk in the first round (16th overall) in 1982 and coached him the first five seasons of his career.
  2. Dave Andreychuk going into Hall of Fame (w/photo gallery)


    Dave Andreychuk said Monday began "business as usual."

    Dave Andreychuk battles Calgary's Andrew Ference during Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final.
  3. UPDATE: Rays finalizing deal to get SS Hechavarria for 2 minor-leaguers


    UPDATE, 4:27: In making the deal, the Rays add an elite-level defender to an infield that could use the help. But it also raises a number of questions, such as will they now move Tim Beckham to 2B? Does this mean Matt Duffy is not coming back this season? Is Daniel Robertson or Taylor Featherston going to …

    Adeiny Hechavarria is a two-time Gold Glove finalist who could help settle the Rays sometimes leaky infield defense.
  4. Timmy Claus is coming to town


    The circus is coming to town.

    Well, close enough.

    Timmy the Tebow is coming to Tampa Bay.

    It’s true. At least it could be. St. Timothy has been promoted by the New York Mets to high Class-A Port St. Lucie. If he stays promoted, Tebow should be in Tampa Bay for eight games beginning August 10 …

    Coming soon: Tim Tebow will hit Tampa Bay in August.
  5. Ranking Malik Zaire among 2017's top transfer quarterbacks


    The Florida Gators' Malik Zaire is among many transfers who could become starters at their new school. Here's how he stacks up in our rankings of top transfer quarterbacks: