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)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: John Romano's Gimme 5

Talk of the town

Five topics suitable for inane debate on talk radio.

1. Who said anything about pressure: The Monday night showdown against Carolina will be the biggest regular-season game Tampa Bay has played in years. If they lose, the Bucs will be one game behind the Panthers with three to play. If they win, because of the tiebreaker, they will essentially have a two-game lead. That makes it a three-game swing in a three-hour window.

2. Flying to the rescue: We have given Jeremy Trueblood grief for being a little too passionate at the end of plays, so it's only fair to point out how his hustle may have saved a game. Jeff Garcia's fumble in the fourth quarter could have been huge if the 320-pound Trueblood did not leap across several bodies to recover the ball at the Bucs 25.

3. Yes, but other than the facts: The NFC South is much improved, but before declaring it the best division in the league you may want to consider South teams are 0-3 against the NFC East.

4. Many happy returns: In their first 32 seasons, the Bucs used 141 kick returners. None was as good as Clifton Smith. In their first 500 regular-season games, the Bucs used 106 punt returners. None was as good as Clifton Smith. In barely a month, the rookie free agent has become the greatest return man in Tampa Bay history. His kickoff (29.4) and punt (17.5) averages are the best the Bucs have ever had for anyone with at least 15 returns.

5. Matt-nificent: While we're passing out greatest-ever titles on special teams, we might as well include Matt Bryant. The Bucs kicker is on his way to the most accurate, and maybe the most prolific, season ever seen in Tampa Bay. Over the past two seasons, he has hit 96.2 percent (51-of-53) of field goals from 45 yards or less.

A list of five

Five signs Monte Kiffin is out of here:

5. Rod Marinelli just faxed his resume to the Glazers.

4. Monte Cristo is half-price at all Knoxville Denny's locations.

3. Al Davis attempting to garnish his wages.

2. Returning his $150,000 clothing allowance at Neiman Marcus.

1. Overheard asking Derrick Brooks if he had eligibility remaining.

Five matchups the Bucs won

1. Drew Brees vs. Jeff Garcia: The Saints quarterback threw for 296 yards, and Garcia had 119, his season low as a starter. So why was Garcia better? Because he didn't force passes. Brees is talented, but needs to learn the difference between aggressive and smart. His three INTs were as many as Garcia has thrown all season.

2. Reggie Bush vs. Carnell Williams: Coming off a knee injury that kept him out a month, Bush dropped two passes, had minus-16 yards on punt returns and three rushes for zero yards. Coming off a knee injury that forced him to miss 14 months, Williams scored on an 8-yard sweep and converted on fourth and 1.

3. Sean Payton vs. Jon Gruden: Both teams pass more than they run, but Gruden was smart enough to adjust his plan for the poor weather. Payton insisted on throwing in rain and wind, and it cost him dearly.

4. The past vs. Aqib Talib: After getting burned by the Saints in his NFL debut three months ago, the Bucs' rookie corner turned in a solid performance.

5. Kim Kardashian vs. good taste: In a landslide.

Five super picks

Checking out the best bets for Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa.

1. Giants: Hmm, usually Plaxico Burress just shoots his mouth off.

2. Steelers: Can they survive next three against Dallas, Baltimore and Tennessee?

3. Titans: Could have shown a little more pilgrim spirit against the Lions.

4. Cowboys: Different team with Tony Romo in the lineup.

6. Bucs: Guarantee first back-to-back winning seasons in Gruden era.

Final five words

They own the fourth quarter.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: John Romano's Gimme 5 11/30/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 2, 2008 7:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Nature Coast puts unbeaten streak on the line vs. IMG White


    BROOKSVILLE — Nature Coast currently rides a 22-game regular-season win streak, but first-year football coach Cory Johns was not around for any of those wins. Neither was most of his coaching staff. This is an entirely new campaign with new obstacles ahead.

    Nature Coast offensive lineman Louis Miele (66) blocks a Sunlake defensive player during the Clash 4 Clayton football scrimmage and fundraiser at Springstead High School Spring Hill, Fla. on Saturday, August 12, 2017.
  2. Crosstown rivals Bloomingdale-Newsome kick off season


    LITHIA — In a week filled with area football rivalries, there is a game on the east side of Hillsborough County — Bloomingdale vs. Newsome — that has matured into a classic crosstown battle, complete with classic cliches.

    Bloomingdale wide receiver Ed Amos charges through a drill a few days before the big rivalry game against Newsome on Friday night.
  3. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Several key players still sidelined


    Greg Auman gives an injury update, with several key players still sidelined from practice three days before the Bucs play the Cleveland Browns in Tampa, and a full recap of your favorite scenes from Tuesday …

    Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans was held out of practice Wednesday at One Buc Place. [CHARLIE KAIJO | Times]
  4. Playoff ambitions evident in opener for Zephyrhills, Wiregrass Ranch


    WESLEY CHAPEL — A new football season in Pasco County begins Friday night, but this one promises to be like none before it — with more math than ever. A new playoff system emphasizes schedule strength, making non-district tilts particularly important.

    Wiregrass Ranch wide receiver Jordan Miner catches a pass in spring practice at Wiregrass Ranch High School in Wesley Chapel on Monday, May 1, 2017.
  5. Dirk Koetter says Bucs used team meeting to discuss social issues


    During a 20-minute team meeting Tuesday, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter decided to turn the discussion to social issues and whether players are expected to stand for the national anthem.

    "The main thing is we have to respect everybody's opinion," Dirk Koetter said, "because everybody is not going to agree." [AP photo]