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By JOHN ROMANO, Times Columnist
Published January 7, 2008
Talk of the town
Five topics suitable for inane debate on talk radio.
1. This is how you lose: If you thought the Bucs would win, it was probably because you had faith in A) Jeff Garcia, B) the defense and C) the coaching staff. As it turned out, Garcia was outplayed by Eli Manning, the defense was shoddy and New York's coaches made the better in-game adjustments.
2. Sobbing down memory lane: By Tampa Bay standards, this was a complete defensive collapse. In its previous five postseason games at home - dating to 1979, orange jerseys and Tampa Stadium - the Bucs defense had given up a combined two touchdowns. On Sunday, it gave up three.
3. This just in: Jon Gruden suggests the Glazers rest a week before deciding his job status.
4. Ready, aim ... fire? Personally, I believe Gruden has done enough to warrant an encore in 2008, but it is not unreasonable to debate his job security. In the last three seasons, Gruden is 24-24 with an 0-2 record in the playoffs. In his last three seasons, Tony Dungy was 30-18 with a 1-3 playoff record.
5. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. run-and-hide: When it comes to difficult feats, this one is high on the list. The Bucs were probably better than anyone thought for much of the season but were worse than you expected by the end.
A list of five
Five excuses for losing.
5.Um, too hot?
4. Misplaced Earnest Graham in the second quarter.
3. The Ron Paul halftime speech was a bad idea.
2. Won a playoff game five years ago - how much more do you want?
1. Needed more rest.
Five offseason chores
1. Draft a receiver: Wait a few minutes, then draft another. Tampa Bay's top two receivers will be 36 and 32 next season. One can't go deep. The other won't go over the middle. The Bucs rejuvenated the defense with draft picks in 2007, and they need to do the same with the receiving corps in '08.
2. Throw money at Monte Kiffin: The job he did remaking the defense with five new starters and three new assistant coaches was nothing short of remarkable. His contract will expire soon, and that should not be allowed to happen.
3. Go linemen shopping: The Bucs have some young talent on both lines, but it would help to supplement with the right veterans. Luke Petitgout and Kevin Carter helped in '07, but the Bucs could use a couple more free agents in '08.
4. Borrow a stopwatch: The Bucs simply do not have enough speed on offense. Whether it is receivers, tight ends or running backs, they need to be quicker.
5. Visit with Dr. Phil: Learn that communication counts. From the Glazers on down, the Bucs are a secretive, paranoid organization, and it may be impacting the bottom line. In a season when the Bucs started 8-4 and won a division title, there were plenty of no-shows at Raymond James, and fans took their time buying tickets for a rare postseason home game. Maybe it is other factors, or maybe the team is harder to love.
Five super picks
Checking out the best bets for Super Bowl XLII in Glendale.
1. Patriots: New England may be a team for the ages, but the Jaguars look a little like a team of destiny.
2. Cowboys: If T.O. cannot G-O, Dallas may be in trouble.
3. Packers: Mike Holmgren gets another chance to haunt Green Bay.
4. Colts: Norv Turner vs. Dungy. Hardly seems fair.
12. Bucs: Locked in at No. 20 in the draft. Which, technically, means they were the worst of the 12 playoff teams.
Final five words
Has anyone seen Joey Galloway?
[Last modified January 6, 2008, 22:33:41]