Make us your home page
Instagram

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 | Today's electronic conversation between John Romano and Gary Shelton

The Point After: An electronic conversation on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers between John Romano and Gary Shelton

JR: Gary, did Raheem Morris get himself pardoned last week, or does a victory against Seattle qualify for only a temporary reprieve?

GS: It's a piece of evidence, at least. Any 2-12 coach can use all he can get. But, no, the questions are not all answered.

JR: That's why I think today's game is the most important of December. It gives the Bucs a chance to show how much they've grown since facing the Saints a month ago. They don't need to win, but they can't soil the bed like they did in November. Do they have a shot at some minuscule version of redemption?

GS: No, not redemption. Not with a dozen losses. But a competitive game would allow an argument that this team is getting better.

JR: So what will it take to be competitive? Cadillac Williams going over 100 yards? Drew Brees getting sacked three times? Raheem selling his soul?

GS: Five sacks. Four turnovers. And one bad ankle for Brees.

JR: Not four calling birds or three French hens?

GS: I don't know about the readers, but I always shop at Romano's for my after-Christmas puns. Half off these days?

JR: For you, they're free. It's the least I can do. The absolute least.

GS: Here's what strikes me about today's game. The Bucs are underdogs like the guy who was in Braveheart, like the Spartans in 300, like Davy Crockett at the Alamo. Except all those guys lost.

JR: Yes, but they still made movies about those losers. Why? Because Mel Gibson didn't miss open-field tackles. And Davy Crockett didn't give the flag away every time they got into Mexico's red zone. From where the Bucs stand, victory isn't as important as fighting the good fight.

GS: I disagree. I can't tell you how many of Leeman Bennett's teams played close but lost. I can tell you all about 2-14, though.

JR: In a perfect world, yes, it's better if they play well and win. But they're far from perfect, and so realistically I think signs of improvement are what you hope to see. If going 3-13 was so much more important than 2-14, the Bucs would have been better off with Jeff Garcia instead of a rookie at quarterback.

GS: This team would have been an empty bottle with Garcia, too. But close losses don't earn anything, or people would still be celebrating the Miami and Atlanta games. Close only helps if your standards are low.

JR: And when did you get the impression standards were high around One Buc Place in 2009?

GS: When I saw the ticket prices.

JR: Has anyone ever told you that you look just like Gen. George S. Patton when you get all philosophical and principled? Either Patton or Wilford Brimley. I can't decide.

GS: Weren't George and Wilford the original coordinators this year?

The Point After: An electronic conversation on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers between John Romano and Gary Shelton 12/26/09 [Last modified: Saturday, December 26, 2009 7:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays morning after: Wilson Ramos showing glimpses of what's possible in 2018

    Blogs

    The real payoff for the Rays signing C Wilson Ramos last off-season will come in 2018, when he can play a full season fully recovered from right knee surgery.

    And Ramos is giving the Rays a pretty good glimpse of what that can be like.

    In Friday's 8-3 win over the Orioles, he hit a grand slam - …

  2. Buccaneers-Vikings Scouting Report: Watching Kyle Rudolph, Adam Thielen and Everson Griffen

    Bucs

    No matter how much film we study, no matter how much data we parse, we just don't know how an NFL season will unfold.

  3. Ryan Callahan encouraged by his return

    Blogs

    Captain Steven Stamkos wasn't the only key Lightning player to make a triumphant return Friday night against Nashville.

  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Friday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb hates to hear how he "battled through" or "grinded out" a start rather than just dominated, but that's kind of what he did Friday, allowing nine hits and a walk and being charged with two wild pitches but only three runs in earning his 12th win.

  5. Lightning's Steven Stamkos looks close to top form in first game since November

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — The wait felt like forever for Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, having gone 10 months without playing in a game.

    A scramble in front of the Lightning goal has Matthew Peca, far left, and Erik Cernak, middle, helping out goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy during the third period of a 3-1 win against the Predators. Vasilevskiy, who made 29 saves, was “exceptional,” coach Jon Cooper says.