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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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A headline writer chimes in: Dear God, anyone but Tuiasosopo
By GARY SHELTON and JOHN ROMANO
Published October 1, 2006
JR: Luke McCown hurts his knee, Jay Fiedler's shoulder never mended and Chris Simms has the spleen knocked out of him. Tell me, Gary, are the Bucs getting out of the quarterback business? Is that why they haven't picked up a replacement?
GS: No. It just takes time to get Keanu Reeves, Adam Sandler and Jamie Foxx in to work out. And if you're considering movie quarterbacks, how about Charlton Heston? You know how Jon Gruden loves older players.
JR: Actually, that's not a bad idea. Moses may be the only one who could save them.
GS: Of course, if he took a three-step drop, the tablets would be batted back in his face. Seriously, I don't think the Bucs were thrilled with the 103rd, 104th and 105th best quarterback in America. I have a gut feeling - don't say it - that they could be looking at making a minor trade.
JR: That makes sense because we all know how well the Tim Rattay trade turned out last season. Honestly, I hope they're not looking in that direction. Teams do not give up good quarterbacks in October unless you're willing to drastically overpay. This season is already halfway down the drain, so why overpay now? I'd feel better with the 103rd quarterback as an insurance policy, and then reassess the position in the offseason.
GS: It doesn't make a lot of sense to make a trade simply for this year. I would think the Bucs would only do something if they thought it could help them for next year. For instance, there has been talk about the Raiders' Marques Tuiasosopo. If the Bucs think he could be a factor next year, maybe they should be interested. After all, scouts will tell you that, as a quarterback, Tuiasosopo is really, really hard to spell.
JR: But, again, why now? Do you suppose Tuiasosopo's stock is going to go up in February? The guy has been in the NFL for six years and has one TD pass. Although, I must admit, I like the idea of Tuiasosopo and Gradkowski matching vowels in training camp next season.
GS: You consider it now because you need help now. Maybe not for this guy, but for someone. I think you just want to see Ronde Barber play quarterback in an emergency situation.
JR: No, I like watching Ronde at cornerback. I also would like to see Booger McFarland play defensive tackle. Do you suppose he is going to show up sometime this season?
GS: Booger still plays here? Who knew? Seriously, we both know that whatever embarrassment the Bucs can still avoid is up to the defense. Gradkowski will be fun to watch at times, but you can't count on him to win a lot of 35-34 games.
JR: It's unfair to expect the defense to live up to the same standard of excellence year after year after year. But this defense currently ranks 32nd in the league against the run. There is way too much salary being thrown at those 11 guys for that to be acceptable.
GS: I'll debate your unfair and agree with your unacceptable. Let's strike a compromise and call it unwatchable.