We can see Brad Johnson throwing to Joe Jurevicius over here. We can see Michael Pittman heading to the hole over there. We can, in fact, see any number of Glazers grinning from ear to there.
So I ask you, was it enough?
Knowing how the story ends, are you satisfied with the details along the way? Knowing that Tampa Bay's offense eventually would be sufficient, are you willing to change your early review?
Knowing that you will have it all, would you still want more?
Yup, I thought so.
Such is the plight of NFL offenses. Given just enough, we want more than enough. Given tolerable, we want terrific. We want the offense to enter on a red carpet and exit from the back of the end zone.
Does it matter that the Bucs offense moved farther as the season grew longer? Or that the offense's understated style was the perfect complement to the defense's outlandish successes?
Perhaps yesterday, but not today.
And definitely not tomorrow.
It's unfair, of course. It's downright greedy, if you want to know the truth. The Bucs have a defense for the ages, a championship forever and a lot of people wondering whether the offense will ever catch up. What's the sense in being tall and dark if you're not handsome, too, right?
This condition of selfishness is not unique to Tampa Bay, although it may be more acute. You see, we've never actually had a gorgeous offense. We've barely had cute and occasionally cuddly. In Tampa Bay, an explosive attack has much in common with a yeti. We've heard of it, we've even seen grainy footage of it, but we have yet to see that sucker up close.
You know how many years the Bucs have been playing? Twenty-seven. You know how many times they've had an offense rank in the top 10? Once. That was in 1984 when Tampa Bay's offense reached its zenith at No. 10.
Since then the Bucs have yet to finish in the top half of the league in total offense. That would be 18 years, six head coaches, five playoff appearances and one Super Bowl title.
Statistics such as these tend to make Jon Gruden's eyebrows head south. A year ago, he inherited a pitiful excuse of an offense and he took it to the Super Bowl and beyond. Is it possible we're being a wee bit demanding?
"Ten or 12 or 14 years ago I never remember Mike Holmgren or Bill Walsh talking about quarterback ratings or where we rank in the run or the pass," Gruden said. "Some teams, quite honestly, make a lot of yards when the game is over. Is that what you're after? Getting behind and throwing the ball? Statistics can be so misleading."
Misleading in what way? Perhaps like Kansas City having the No. 4 offense in the NFL last season and going 8-8? Or Denver coming in at No. 3 and missing the playoffs? Or Minnesota, with the No. 2 offense in the entire NFL, and finishing with more losses than victories?
The fact is, by season's end the Bucs had an offense that was a perfect fit for this franchise. Effective, if not overwhelming. Smart, if not garish. When Brad Johnson was at quarterback, the Bucs were an efficient, low-risk unit that rarely put its defensive mates in awkward spots.
"We were really good at not turning the ball over, which is the No. 1 stat in football," Johnson said. "And what we were really, really good at was taking advantage of a short field. If we got the ball at the 50, or wherever, we scored. The year before, we struggled just getting into field-goal range in those situations. Last year, when we got the ball there, we scored.
"What's unfortunate is that so many people measure offenses by rankings because we're not playing for rankings. We're going to sit on the ball when we have a lead. And we're going to go for the end zone when we have a chance. That's the whole point of the game."
The offense that arrived at Disney's Wide World of Sports last year bore little resemblance to the one that walked off the field in January in San Diego. The team had grown comfortable with Gruden's system and Gruden had a better understanding of how to capitalize on each player's talent.
With that in mind, the offense should evolve even further this season. The offensive line has been upgraded, the playbook has been adjusted and the opportunity for familiarity has grown.
Even so, do not expect this offense to wheel or deal. Receivers are not going to streak past too many cornerbacks and ballcarriers are not going to turn a lot of corners. Cannons will only occasionally thunder and these Bucs will rarely plunder.
So I ask you, will it be enough?
Can you live with a touch of razzle and a schmear of dazzle? Will you be satisfied with scores that come in low and victories stacked high?
Do you want flashy or do you want effective?
Because, in hindsight, the answer eventually will be clear.