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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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By JOANNE KORTH
Published November 21, 2004
Cause no one says it quite like Bucs defensive end Simeon Rice.
"It's one of those gut-wrenching situations that you really don't want, but it's an opportunity, so you definitely don't want to let it get past you." - on the Bucs' playoffs possibilities
GOT A MINUTE?: Dexter Jackson
Jackson was the MVP of Super Bowl XXXVII for the Bucs, then signed as a free agent with Arizona. He returned to Tampa Bay last week after missing the first 10 weeks of the season with a back injury.
Does the Super Bowl seem like a long time ago?
JACKSON: If you have that taste in your mouth and you're hungry, yes, it seems like a long time ago. And I'm hungry. I want to get back there. Hopefully we can hit a win streak here, make the playoffs and be a very dangerous team in the playoffs.
Does this team still seem hungry?
JACKSON: I think the team is still hungry. You take away a couple of plays and it's easily a different season, a 6-3 season. I'm just here to try to help this team win. I'm not going to start. There are guys ahead of me, John Howell and Dwight Smith, who are playing great ball and I believe in these guys.
With your back injury, did you worry your career might be over?
JACKSON: No, never. I had a bulging disc in my back and it took months to rehab. A back takes time to heal and that was the main issue, getting healed first. Once I got healed there were a lot of teams that wanted me. Right now, I need to put film on tape so people can see I'm back.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS
With 48 catches for 685 yards and three touchdowns in nine games, Michael Clayton is on pace to become the most productive rookie pass-catcher in Bucs history:
1. FB Mike Alstott, 1996 65*
2. WR Lawrence Dawsey, 1991 55
3. WR Michael Clayton, 2004 48
Rookie receiving yards
1. WR Lawrence Dawsey, 1991 818*
2. WR Michael Clayton, 2004 685
Rookie touchdown receptions
1. WR Kevin House, 1980 5*
2. WR Reidel Anthony, 1997 4*
2. WR Horace Copeland, 1993 4
4. WR Michael Clayton, 2004 3
* Led the team that season
Bucs coach Jon Gruden's first NFL job was with the 49ers in 1990. Gruden was an offensive assistant under George Seiffert and worked closely with offensive coordinator Mike Holmgren and backup quarterback Steve Young. San Francisco was 14-2 and lost in the NFC Championship Game.
OUCH, THAT HURTS
This season, the true measure of a Bucs fan isn't knowledge of the active roster, but an ability to bemoan the long list of injuries. Tampa Bay has placed 12 players on injured reserve and several other key players have missed games. So, match the Buc to the boo-boo.
DT Ellis Wyms pectoral
DT Anthony McFarland thumb
RB Charlie Garner MCL
C John Wade groin
TE Rickey Dudley shoulder
WR Joe Jurevicius triceps
G Matt O'Dwyer patellar tendon
WR Joey Galloway dislocated knee
FB Mike Alstott back
NO, YOU TAKE IT
The Bucs defense, which has at least one turnover in 64 of the past 66 games, can expect to add to that total today. The 49ers are among the league's worst in turnover margin at minus-15, including 12 interceptions and 11 fumbles.