QBs learn system in classroom
By RICK STROUD, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 16, 2003
TAMPA -- Zebra Trojan, far west, right slot, X short, 200 jet smoke, X choice.
If you are a quarterback in the Bucs offense, you would understand the above sentence represents a simple crossing route.
In fact, the play resulted in a 23-yard completion from Brad Johnson to Joe Jurevicius that led to the tying field goal in the first quarter of the Bucs' 48-21 win over the Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII.
Jon Gruden's offense is brilliant. Nobody said it was easy.
That's why Gruden will huddle in a dark classroom with the hum of a video machine and drill the quarterbacks on every facet of the position for weeks beginning Monday.
"We spend a lot of time together going over every aspect of our system and trying to get friendly and get a full understanding of what's going on in the NFL on defense," Gruden said. "It's a lot of time. It's just a lot of work. It's individual private work, it's classroom work, it's on the field. It's over and over repetition. It involves a true commitment by the player. You've got to really love football, I think, to thrive in our system."
Three quarterbacks will attend quarterback orientation: starter Brad Johnson, Shane Matthews (who agreed to a one-year deal Friday) and undrafted free agent Greg Zolman.
The Bucs plan to add at least one more veteran quarterback this offseason, most likely Shaun King, and possibly draft one. Players such as Texas quarterback Ryan Simms and Louisville's Dave Ragone could be enticing if available with the 64th overall pick, the Bucs' first choice in the draft.
NEVER PROMISED A ROSE GARDEN: Super Bowl champions traditionally enjoy a reception with the president at the White House. But with a possible war against Iraq looming, the Bucs' trip to Washington, planned for March 7, has been postponed indefinitely.
White House officials are in contact with the Bucs and have told them to be prepared for a hastily arranged visit when an opportunity arrives. Players return for offseason workouts this month, making it easier to make arrangements.
CELEBRATION: A long-awaited agreement between the Bucs and Disney's Wide World of Sports to return training camp to Lake Buena Vista in July should come this week. The world champions will return to the Celebration Hotel.
Back to the Bucs
BucsKing plans to return as Buc backup
QBs learn system in classroom
RaysMom's extravagance paid off in full
Piniella wants losing to sting
LaMar is eager to deal
LightningPlayoffs get nearer after rally
Extra fun on return home
Gary Shelton: You're invited
Hubert Mizell: Underachievers should note Bob Knight's gesture
NFL Europe copes with possible war
Jags defense gets a lift with Douglas
Rant...BaseballA's prepared to let Tejada walkPals try to cheer McGraw
The Florida fourNHL Slapshots: Think before you speakHull into top five; Wings win
College basketballCentral Florida loses in Atlantic Sun finalBig East: Third time isthe charm for PittsburghPAC-10: Ducks win first championshipC-USA: MVP Whitehead carries LouisvilleSEC: Wildcats give Tigersbad case of the bluesSEC: Mississippi State douses LSU's fireBig 12: Missouri's motivation outlasts KUBig Ten: Freshman's lone point lifts OSUACC: Wolfpack performance clearly not HodgepodgeACC: Duke makes easy work of Tar Heels
Empire Maker stakes claim as Derby factorKentucky's a long way off for Tampa Bay contender
Construction delays hurt Pan-Am GamesStormOrlando's backup QB brings title experienceNBAMcGrady's 34 helpstop hot HornetsMotorsportsExperimental car has green powerKalitta gets third straight top spotEx-NBA player a big man on trackTeam Joest wins Sebring
Love takes Honda Classic leadPrepsA few runs will do for LionsA leader, teacher, championCougar's desire overcomes all
Daily fishing reportUrban fishing ponds face budget cutbacks