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Matt Millen: analysis

By ERNEST HOOPER

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 10, 2000


Here's the thing about this game: the Bucs could completely stuff the Bears and still get beat 17-14 or 21-17.

The one thing that's changed with the Bears is they've got big plays in them. The Bucs may stuff them, give up two big plays or three big plays and lose the game. The Bears may get none, but they have the potential to get some.

As far as the Bucs offense, well Keyshawn Johnson is going to help the offense automatically just by his presence.

People have to realize you can't change everything about the offense. If critics say it looks like the same thing they did last year, that's a compliment to Les Steckel. He has to learn the old scheme and integrate it with his scheme. As the season goes on, you do what you do. He'll add some twists here and some new things there and change some things.

The whole key is that the Bucs are still dependant on a second year quarterback, and Shaun King is not going to turn into John Elway overnight. As much as they have changed the offense and have it come along, they're still at the mercy of what a quarterback can do. Eight games from now, they will do a lot more because he'll be more comfortable with the system, and the coordinator will be more comfortable with him.

Overall, I don't believe Chicago will be able to methodically march on the Bucs. If the Bucs play their game and take big plays away from Chicago, they win the game. If they give up a couple of big plays they could have a problem.

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