This week's electronic conversation between Sports columnists Gary Shelton and John Romano:
GS: Last week, Josh Johnson didn't produce enough points or enough big plays by NFL standards, and it was still the best job by a quarterback we've seen in three weeks. Will the kid be better today, or will Eagles fans send him home with nightmares?
JR: What's so scary about drunken buffoons with foul mouths? Do you have nightmares after visiting my house? Actually, it didn't bother me too much that Johnson didn't make the highlight reels against Washington. I thought he played a very measured, conservative game, and that's unusual for a young quarterback. Obviously, he has to start stretching the field and taking some more chances, but I'm impressed that he was more concerned with winning the game than trying to make the Pro Bowl in his first start.
GS: If he could do one or the other today, it would be nice. Seriously, the thing I liked best about Josh is that he didn't use his first start as a shield. He knew his shortcomings, and he knew he didn't play well enough.
JR: He's a bright kid, and he knows videotape doesn't lie. He also knows somewhere a clock is ticking backward and when it hits zero, Josh Freeman will be the quarterback. So I would assume Johnson will play with a little more urgency today. The question is, will it matter?
GS: A little more urgency couldn't hurt. I haven't seen nearly enough of it. Still, have you noticed all the Eagles limping toward the field to get a crack at the Bucs? Donovan McNabb is back, and Brian Westbrook is back. Give him a chance and Ron Jaworski would suit up again.
JR: Who wouldn't want to take a shot at the Bucs? Sixty minutes against this team can be worth $6 million in your next contract negotiation.
GS: Yeah, they've produced more stars than Steven Spielberg. That was always true of the old Bucs, too. If you saw a highlight film of Walter Payton or Barry Sanders, by golly, there were going to be Bucs chasing him across the goal line.
JR: You could live with being fall guys for Payton or Sanders. It was Stump Mitchell and Eddie Lee Ivery that really hurt.
GS: Not to mention Jason Campbell and Chris Cooley. If you remember, those are the sizzling offensive threats that saved Jim Zorn's job last week. The Redskins should have put those "I'm Slow But I'm Ahead of You" bumper stickers on their helmets.
JR: Yeah, Raheem Morris kept talking about the improvements made against Washington, but that's kind of like bragging that your kid looks like an athlete when compared to the neighborhood geek.
GS: So what you're saying is that the Bucs would fare better if they could stop playing against the NFC East and start playing more games at Star Trek conventions and comic book auctions?
JR: Exactly. I think Gaines Adams might get around a dungeon or dragon.
GS: A dragon? Until last week, I wasn't sure Gaines could get around a drag queen.
JR: Which reminds me — do you still have my fishnet stockings?
GS: What? Do you expect me to buy my own? Come to think of it, isn't that what the Glazers said about defensive linemen?