Best backing of Jon Gruden
Fox pregame analyst Terry Bradshaw had Jon Gruden's back before the game, agreeing with his decision to yank Jeff Garcia and bring Brian Griese in from the bullpen. "Absolutely,'' Bradshaw, above, said. "Don't forget the guy behind Garcia in 2005 had them at 5-1. I think Brian Griese is the perfect call for Gruden." Just curious, but if that is true (and I'm not sure it is), then why was Garcia starting last week instead of Griese? Best comeback
What a week for Aqib Talib. Makes his NFL debut last Sunday and gets embarrassingly burned for a touchdown against the Saints. Then he rebounds nicely with the first of what the Bucs hope is many interceptions on the Falcons' first drive. In between, he could be seen cheering his old college team — Kansas — Friday night at Ray Jay against USF.One could hardly blame him for rooting on his Jayhawks. But still, if you're a Tampa Bay person, that had to rub you the wrong way just a little, didn't it? Best celebrity sighting
The best player on the Bucs sideline? Derrick Brooks? Jeff Garcia? Nope, Tiger Woods. Best John Lynch imitation
Tell me that Sabby Piscitelli doesn't look like John Lynch — picking off passes, recovering fumbles, even making bonehead decisions such as pitching the ball. When we see Aqib Talib and Piscitelli making plays, you wonder if 10 years from now we will look at those two the way we used to look at Lynch and Ronde Barber. Question of the day
Is Brian Griese that good and Jon Gruden that smart? Or are the Falcons that bad and Jon Gruden that lucky? Number from the Bucs of ol'
4.9 Yards Warrick Dunn averaged every time he touch the ball in the first half, including a thrilling 17-yard touchdown run. So why did he touch the ball only seven times in the first half? By the way, that touchdown run was so vintage Dunn, circa 2000, that I half expected to see Mike Alstott and Randall McDaniel throwing blocks. Worst cliche
Noooo! Please tell me that Fox didn't actually go with the old here's-a-thermometer-to-show-you-how-hot-it-is routine. Yeah, it's Florida. It's September. It's hot. We get it. What, 90-some degrees in Florida is unusual or something? And in another sideline report from Nischelle Turner, she said: "We have some information on (Atlanta's) Sam Baker. … He was shaken up on that play. … His return is questionable.'' Not to pick on her too much, but did she really say anything we didn't already know? Most ordinary analysis
Midway through Sunday's game, I got an e-mail from Garth Kroitzsch, a reader in Clearwater, who wrote, "Fox has some great announcing teams. Ron Pitts and Tony Boselli are not one of them.'' The reader is right. Both seem like sharp guys, but they talk and talk and really don't say much. An example Sunday: The two spent loads of time discussing the Bucs quarterback switch without saying anything. The closest Boselli came was when he said, "(Jon Gruden) took a lot of heat around here. The media thought he was crazy.'' Well, we want to know what Boselli thought. He's a member of the media. He's a so-called "expert.'' Yet he never weighed in on whether he agreed with the decision. That's what viewers want: opinions — expert opinions, strong opinions. That's what separates the top analysts — Troy Aikman, Phil Simms, John Madden — from those who are simply filling air time. Boselli only weighed in with the obvious late in the game by saying (Hold your shorts!): "I think the jury is still out.''
Okay, we are picking on Fox announcer Ron Pitts with this one. He seemed stunned that the Falcons kept throwing the ball with a comment about Falcons offense coordinator Mike Mularkey. "He's not pulling the reins,'' Pitts said with a laugh, mentioning how quarterback Matt Ryan is a rookie. "They're going to keep on throwing.'' He said this in the waning minutes of the third quarter and the Falcons down 17-3. They didn't exactly have time to put together a 16-play drive that chews up 10 minutes. Why wouldn't they be throwing? Final thought
If you are a Bucs fan, it's hard to tell whether you should be happy or worried about Sunday's result. And whether Brian Griese or Jeff Garcia should start at quarterback next week.