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Tom Jones' Bucs Two Cents

Best compliment/worst insult

Denver's offense went into the game with more points (133) than any other team in the NFL. Tampa Bay's offense was averaging a respectable 25.2. So what was the deal with 6-6 at halftime? "You can understand Monte Kiffin's defense doing it to Denver's offense,'' Fox studio analyst Jimmy Johnson said. "But I don't know how the Denver defense is stopping Tampa Bay's offense.'' I'm not sure if that was meant as a compliment to Denver's defense or an insult of Tampa Bay's offense. I'm guessing the latter. Best use of second-guessing

Fox analyst Tim Ryan said what everyone was thinking when he questioned why the Bucs didn't take a shot at a touchdown near the end of the first half. Instead, the Bucs ran the ball with 18 seconds left, called timeout and then kicked a field goal to tie the score at 6. "That's an interesting call,'' Ryan said. "I think you can see the lack of confidence in the passing game. You can see they're worried about turning the ball over and are taking the sure field goal.'' Chris Myers, Fox's play-by-play man, said, "With a veteran quarterback, shouldn't you be over that fear?'' Ryan said, "A veteran quarterback (Brian Griese) who has served it up six times (six interceptions) the past two weeks." Biggest missed point

Talking about the interception problems of Bucs QB Brian Griese, Fox analyst Tim Ryan said, "I know the media has said … ", trailed off, then picked up with, "Look, the team has won three in a row.'' First, the media have said what? Finish the thought. Second, it's always like a splinter under the fingernail to me when a television analyst says something like "the media have said …'' or "the media have written …'' News flash: You analysts on Fox and CBS and ESPN and so forth — you're media, too. Maybe you used to play. Maybe you like to think you're different. But guess what? You are part of the media now. Best local reference

Good line from Fox announcer Chris Myers on Bucs coach Jon Gruden's comment "I-84 has been shut down,'' which referred to No. 84 Joey Galloway being out of the lineup. "Yeah,'' Myers said, "that's a Malfunction Junction for Tampa Bay fans.'' Most obvious line

Dexter Jackson has not had a good year returning the football for the Bucs.'' — Fox analyst Tim Ryan

Best hustle

With Bucs running back Earnest Graham using the stiff-arm about as well as any back in the league, Fox did a nice job putting together a package of highlights with running backs (some involved Graham, some didn't) using stiff-arms to show how effective they can be.

Best background

Chris Myers, left, called the game for Fox, and if you remember, he also calls Bucs preseason games. Because of that, he was able to reach into his satchel of Bucs stories and relay how coach Jon Gruden, through conversations and highlight packages, showed Antonio Bryant how to be like Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice. "Well, he is their most talented guy without Joey Galloway in the lineup,'' Fox analyst Tim Ryan said. Can't live with him, can't live without him

More from Chris Myers: "Here comes Jeff Garcia. It was Garcia who said, 'Jon Gruden likes to date quarterbacks, not marry them.' Let's see if the honeymoon is still over.'' Cute line.

Final thought

You know it's going to be a long day when your football team scores as many touchdowns as your struggling hockey team scores goals. And those numbers combined are less than the number of runs scored by your baseball team, which had a rough day at the plate.

Tom Jones' Bucs Two Cents 10/05/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 7, 2008 10:25am]

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