© St. Petersburg Times, published September 24, 2000
Fans to Keyshawn: "Shut up and play' Coach Tony Dungy needs to take the Steve Spurrier approach with Keyshawn Johnson. Shut him up! For someone who wasn't going to make the "Keyshawn vs. Jets" thing an issue, he certainly has. The more he speaks, the more I see why the Jets let him go. I just hope he can walk the walk, unlike Alex Brown against Tennessee. Shut up and play.
-- Rob Harris, Palmetto
I willingly eat my words and retract my previous statements. A few weeks ago I was convinced that the loss of Brad Culpepper would decimate the Buccaneers defense. Brad was the glue that kept the NFL's best D together.
Shows what I know about defensive adhesion.
Booger McFarland is better. Tyoka Jackson and Steve White are solid and strong. And Ronde Barber has hit his stride.
Just goes to show you that the day-to-day business of the NFL is being kept well in hand by Rich McKay, Tony Dungy and supporting cast. And there is indeed new glue on offense. Both passing and running are in this arsenal. Sticky fingers all around. You can see the improvement week by week.
No. 19 proves that this glue could well be "Super" by January.
-- John Greenwell, Largo
Enough with the Keyshawn nonsense. He's another good pro athlete whose big mouth gets headlines. He is a piece of the Bucs puzzle, nothing more. If you listen to Keyshawn, the Jets should be winless. Instead they are 3-0, a record they never achieved when Johnson was there.
The Bucs are a better team, so they should win (today). The offense is obviously improved because of Les Steckel, and the headlines will glorify Johnson, King and Alstott. The reality, though, is that if the Bucs win the Super Bowl this year, it will be because of a great defense and not Keyshawn -- no matter how big his mouth and ego are.
-- Dave Favero, St. Petersburg
I'd like to echo the question posed by Frank Chatraw Jr. last Sunday (BucsChat). I too am surprised by the apparent failure of the Buccaneers to recognize this as their 25th season. Their 1976 expansion brothers, the Seattle Seahawks, at least have commemorated their silver anniversary season with a uniform patch.
What gives, Bucs? Why not at least a patch? I know history has not been kind -- I've been a loyal fan since 1977, at age 11 -- but surely a nod to the past would make this year's success that much sweeter.
-- Jeffrey T. Spoeri, DeLand
Okay, guys. The season is well upon us and it's time for your first reality check of 2000. Each day the first thing that you should do is repeat this simple phrase: "It's only a game. It's only a game. It's only a game." You should keep this up until you are willing to admit that Bobby Bowden is not God, Little Stevie Spurrier is not J.C. (or Satan), Tony Dungy is not Moses, Shaun King is not the reincarnation of Joe Montana, and should a sinkhole appear in the middle of every football field in Florida, the world will not come to an end.
-- John W. Lee, Inverness
I'll be honest. When Keyshawn Johnson was with the Jets, I hated him. I thought he was an egotistical player who was only out for his own statistics. My opinion has now changed. All Keyshawn wants to do is win. And what's wrong with that? Absolutely nothing.
Regarding the Bucs game with the Jets today, I would like to see Andre Hastings get into the game plan more. I'm not sure that he has even had one reception this year. Andre is a proven veteran who can still pose a threat to defenses.
Also. I'd like to see more screen passes to Warrick Dunn. That play was a fixture in the FSU offense for four years while Warrick was there and he shredded opposing defenses. All Warrick needs is two quality blocks and he can at least make one other player miss for a large gain.
-- Craig P. Cochran, Belleair