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

The Point After: Another vaunted backup QB stands in way of victory for Tampa Bay Buccaneers

GS: John, tell me again how the NFL is a quarterback's league. After playing against Chad Henne, Chris Redman and Matt Moore, the Bucs go against Kellen Clemens this week. It sounds just like the Four Horsemen, if only the Four Horsemen had been a boy band.

JR: Just be thankful they haven't run across that Bruce Gradkowski fella.

GS: Oh, the Bucs have suffered plenty in the name of Gradkowski. The point is that in 20 years, a lot of bad quarterbacks are going to be showing game films of these Bucs to their families to show they played in the NFL. Do you think Clemens will be one of them?

JR: I think his child's first piano recital gets erased to make sure there's enough space on the DVD. Clemens isn't all that scary, but the Jets run the ball well enough that the quarterback just needs to stay out of the way.

GS: When you think about it, it's amazing the Jets are only .500 when they're second in the NFL in defense and first in running the ball. That usually means a team is printing playoff tickets. Is this New York team the biggest underachiever in the NFL? Or is that the other New York team?

JR: I thought the Giants were Super Bowl-bound after watching them play the Bucs in September. But that probably says more about how bad the Bucs were that day. I assume the problem with the Jets is a 23-year-old quarterback with 17 interceptions. I think too many people got fooled by Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Ryan in recent seasons.

GS: The thing is that Mark Sanchez, unlike Josh Freeman or Matt Stafford, had enough weapons around him to be successful. Does that make Sanchez the most disappointing of the three so far?

JR: His list of excuses is certainly shorter. I'm not sure I'd call him a disappointment just yet, but I'd be willing to boo him if I were a Jets fan. Where do you think the three QBs rank?

GS: Honestly, I think they're in the same ballpark. They've shown enough for you to understand why their teams liked them. I don't think any of them will be Ryan Leaf, but if I had to vote, I'd go Sanchez then Freeman then Stafford. Tomorrow, I might feel different.

JR: Because Freeman might play well against the Jets? Or because you lose a few more brain cells every time you watch the Bucs play?

GS: Both. And, frankly, I've only got about six cells left, and four of those are used to remember rock lyrics from the '60s. Since you're the smart guy here, Einstein, riddle me this. How many of their final four games do the Bucs win? And, if it means losing their shot at Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, should they bother?

JR: I'd say the over/under on additional victories is 1. And they had better bother or Raheem Morris might be trading resume tips with Jeff Jagodzinski and Jim Bates.

GS: Okay, if I trust you on the one victory, when does it arrive? Today? In Seattle? In New Orleans? Or, assuming you're done laughing, in the finale against Atlanta?

JR: If I knew that, I'd be living in Las Vegas and wearing white loafers. I think they have a shot against the Jets, Seahawks and Falcons. In those three opportunities, they should get one victory. Maybe two if the stars align. Where are you putting your money?

GS: With the refrigerator salesman. And toward my kid's braces. And to the nice man who sells me bacon. But, no, I don't bet on football teams. I especially don't bet on bad football teams. Still, if the Bucs are going to win just one, I'd say it would be the finale, just to mess up their draft position.

JR: You do realize the refrigerator salesman is betting on the Bucs?

GS: From what he's charging, he's giving points.

JR: Could be worse. It could have been the orthodontist.

The Point After: Another vaunted backup QB stands in way of victory for Tampa Bay Buccaneers 12/12/09 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 5:46pm]
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