© St. Petersburg Times,
published September 9, 2001
Leaf'sdeparture a concern
I'm very sorry to see the Bucs release Ryan Leaf. I'm skeptical about Brad Johnson, although our receivers may help to make him look good. He reminds me too much of Trent. Why did Minnesota and Washington let him go?
I like the attitudes of Shaun King and Joe Hamilton, but even if they are able to see their targets, they still must loft their passes to get the ball over the outstretched arms of giant defensive linemen. The passes are more likely to be tipped, batted or intercepted.
Ryan Leaf will be key to some team's offense in the not-so-distant future. Yes, he has shown rough edges, but the right coach will polish them and find a gem. He's tall, has a strong arm and will learn quickly. I just hope this decision won't come back to bite us in the seat of the pants.
-- Tom Malone, Spring Hill
In a perfect world, Ryan Leaf would be here, grow up (and wise) and be a star for us. It is not that world we want it to be. I believe he could and will be a good QB in the NFL, and I never really liked him.
On the other hand, Joe Hamilton holds several records in a top-notch college conference. I think the Bucs need to give Joe a chance in the real ring of fire (game day) and see what happens. He'll show up. I promise.
-- Chris Fitzpatrick, Clearwater
Great. That's all the Bucs need -- two midget quarterbacks. The Bucs lied to Ryan Leaf to sign him, tried to nickel and dime his salary, and never gave him the chance to really prove himself. His limited play did show he was capable of good things -- notwithstanding all the dropped passes by his receivers. This will be yet another case of a quarterback doing good after leaving Tampa Bay.
I have even less respect for Tony Dungy than the little I had before this happened. Maybe he can uncross his arms and actually start to coach someday soon.
This will be another lost year of overpaid players who read their press clippings about how good they are, but fail on the field. Too many losers on this team.
-- J. Lukas, Safety Harbor
We fans are all aware of the blunders the Bucs have made getting rid of quarterbacks who went on to fame in the NFL. Now they have blundered again with Ryan Leaf who, given the chance, will become one of the game's greatest. Won't they ever learn? Believe me, this will cost them in the future. They never gave him a chance to play with the first team.
-- Ray Raphael, Beverly Hills
The Bucs players boast their talent but take little responsibility for the outcome of their efforts. A championship team has character, not caricatures. A championship team is humble before the game and gracious after the game.
Championship teams don't have to fill the newspapers with quotes about how good they are. They fill the paper with wins.
-- James Gray, St. Petersburg