© St. Petersburg Times, published October 21, 2002
There's an old saying: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
I, like many fans, wondered why the Bucs brought in Brad Johnson. We had a young scrambling quarterback, strong arm, heads-up player in Shaun King. His rookie year he did better than most great quarterbacks such as Troy Aikmen, John Elway, Terry Bradshaw, etc. He takes us to within a game of the Super Bowl and the next year we bench him. Did other teams bench their rookies such as Plummer, McNabb, Manning and Culpepper? No, they gave them the chance to develop. We bench a winner and bring in two rejects as starter and backup.
It is painfully obvious the offensive line is not improving. Defensive players are becoming too fast for pocket quarterbacks.
Changing coaches has not improved the offense. I have not seen the Bucs go long or come up with any new plays. Where is the new offense of Jon Gruden? We still depend on the defense to win the game. Sometimes it does, but, as in the past three meetings with the Eagles, sometimes it can't.
I wonder how long it will be before the Bucs owners and coaches see what the rest of us have been seeing for the past two years.
-- Robert C. Gilley, Tampa
The definition of "offensive" in Webster's is "disgusting." The editors must have been watching the Bucs play Philadelphia when compiling this year's updated edition.
-- Linda Flack, Seminole
It's 7-3 Bucs going into the second quarter. Going to walk nine holes because I can't take watching Brad Johnson play QB anymore. With his agility and his talent to throw the ball downfield ... well, he's just too exciting for this old heart to take. I'm taping the game so I can watch the defense and special-team play and mercifully fast forward through the offensive possessions. Whoever came up with the observation that defense wins ballgames must have had a team like the Bucs in mind!
-- George Reale, Beverly Hills