© St. Petersburg Times,
published August 18, 2001
Super Bowl contenders? I'd say Stupor Bowl contenders is more likely. What were these guys doing during all those practice sessions? Trying on their tutus? I had better blockage in my left ventricle than the offensive line provided Brad Johnson (against Miami Monday). When he signed, did he realize most of that $8-million would go toward medical expenses?
Things never change. Looks like Shaun King still becomes a Red Zone Zombie when he gets there. Must be something about stepping across the 20-yard line that causes his brain cells to disconnect. My only consolation is they have to get better -- they can't get any worse.
-- Tom Douglas, Inverness
There is only one way the Bucs are going to win, and that is if Shaun King starts at quarterback and calls his plays. He is a winner and he has winning in his heart, just like John Elway. To let him start and not call his plays would be to stifle a natural talent, something the Bucs' management has always been good at.
-- Nick Glover, Odessa
Tony Dungy said after Monday's game, "If we don't play better around (Brad Johnson), we're going to make it tough on him." I believe Tony was speaking of protecting the quarterback, something the Bucs have not been doing for several seasons. Look at the game tapes and see our opponents, no matter who, protect their quarterbacks better than we do. It doesn't matter who our quarterback is -- Johnson, King, Leaf or Hamilton -- he doesn't get the protection he needs to do his job.
-- Fred Nassif, Clearwater
Do we have anyone on the roster who knows how to block? It'll be very difficult to evaluate the four quarterbacks if they're on their back every play. I certainly hope as the season moves closer, our quarterbacks will be allowed to get to the backfield before the opponent's defensive linemen. As for Eric Vance, I believe my Pop Warner coach once told me, "Knock it down."
I'm looking forward to the season and am sure that (Monday) night's debacle can be attributed to rust, not incompetence.
-- Geoff Moore, via e-mail
All of those critical of Derrick Brooks' holdout should look at this from a different perspective. When it comes to baseball, basketball and hockey I would agree with the "you signed the contract so you play it out no matter how unfair you may think it is" argument. Those contracts are guaranteed and the owners are as bound to the terms of those deals as are the players.
The NFL is different. I can understand a player holding out for a better deal, especially if one was promised. The owners are not bound by the contract terms so why should players be held to a different standard? I didn't see the howls of protest from fans when the Bucs didn't live up to the terms of Chidi Ahanotu's contract.
Eric Luallen, Tallahassee