© St. Petersburg Times, published October 1, 2000
First defeat elicits flurry of questions Just when you start believing in the Bucs they find a way to make your heart sink. I guess people should have known their offense would come back down to earth sooner or later. The combined record of the Bucs first three opponents is 3-9. Now we know what the offense is like when matched against a good team. At home in front of a packed house, no less!
Could Mike Alstott please fumble one more time in a critical situation? Could Keyshawn Johnson please shut up? Is Shaun King really the guy who can take us to the Super Bowl?
It seems like the only thing the Bucs leave their fans with every week are questions.
-- Pete Ware, Clearwater
If there is such a thing as a good loss, Sunday's loss to the Jets was it for four reasons:
1. It's early in the season. 2. It was a non-conference game. 3. No one got hurt, and most importantly: 4. Maybe now Keyshawn Johnson will just shut up and play football.
-- Paul Correll Jr., via e-mail
To all of you fly-by-night fans that want a perfect team, wake up. Everybody has a bad day. We're not going to win every game. I can remember sitting in a near-empty stadium. Where were you all then? We've come a long way and now you want to get rid of the people that brought us here. Not to say it wasn't a huge disappointment Sunday, but let's quit crying and back our Bucs.
-- Judy Rambo-Little, St. Petersburg
When is Dungy going to put a muzzle on the Mouths of the South? I watched him in Pittsburgh and can't believe he lets the big mouths continue to take over.
-- Don Gatz, Hernando
Mike Alstott is a good football player, but he's not a great player. Great players don't make big mistakes, especially mistakes that cause a team to lose a game. Here's my idea for a solution: Sit him down for a game. Tell him that fumbling is unacceptable. After sitting him down a week, tell him he can play again, but only until he fumbles. Then he has to sit again for four quarters.
-- Michael Harris, Oldsmar
The letters in the Bucs Extra section Monday made me sick. One loss and they're jumping down off the bandwagon in droves and pointing fingers. Except for the 1972 Dolphins, every team has lost at least one game. The reason champions win is because they don't start pointing fingers after one loss. They learn from it, put it behind them and move on.
At the end of the year, the Jets game probably won't be the important one for the Bucs. Better for this to happen in Week 4 than Week 14. How the Bucs react in Washington (today) will show if they are the real deal. And I think they are.
-- Chris Curry, Clearwater
The bottom line is the Bucs played "not to lose" rather than playing to win. I didn't count one blitz in second half, and the front four was not getting to the Jets quarterback, and the linebackers were backing up and allowing easy catches during the critical touchdown drive that made the score 17-14.
-- George C. Byrnes, Clearwater
If the Bucs are to become real champions, they have a lot of growing up to do. Refusing to give interviews after the loss shows a lack of class. It's easy to talk when you're winning.
Also, a quarterback who can see over the linemen would be nice.
-- Jim Adams, St. Petersburg
Let's quit trying to blame the loss to the Jets on the offense, defense, Alstott and Shaun King. Les Steckel needs to take responsibility, because he has to run his offense 60 minutes and not just 58. Running Alstott up the middle three plays and depending on the defense to bail us out again is not right. We needed a first down, we didn't need to be conservative the last two minutes.
-- Michael C.Johnson, New Port Richey
Unfortunately, Tony Dungy's phlegmatic approach to football seems to be rubbing off on Shaun King. Where's the enthusiasm, Shaun? It's no sin to be emotional. Enthusiasm might even become contagious. In the second half, the Bucs looked exactly like last year's team. In fact, I could swear Shula returned and called the plays.
-- Ed Baul, Brooksville
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From the wire
From the state sports wire
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