Bucs' Garcia eager to begin showing Gruden made wise choice Print
Written by Admin   
Thursday, 09 August 2007 12:45
NFL Headline News

 TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -He's 37 and entering his ninth NFL season, yet in some ways Jeff Garcia feels like he's starting all over.
That's why the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback, who also played five seasons in the Canadian Football League, is excited about making his debut for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Friday's preseason opener against the New England Patriots.
``You want to perform well, especially since I'm the new guy in here,'' said Garcia, who probably won't play long.
The Bucs likely won't see much of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, either. And, they won't face receiver Randy Moss at all because New England's biggest addition on offense has been slowed during training camp by a sore hamstring.
Starters typically play less than a quarter, and in many instances only a series or two, in the first three preseason games, giving coaches plenty of time to evaluate young, mostly unproven talent.
``We have a lot of people to get ready for a lot of different situations,'' Patriots coach Bill Belichick said.
``We're just trying to get everybody an opportunity to show us what they can do. We've had a lot of teaching. We've had a lot of practice, seen a lot of blue and white jerseys. We'll see a different color on Friday, and we'll see how it goes out there.''
Doesn't sound exciting, but that's preseason football.
Belichick and Bucs coach Jon Gruden approach it much the same way, providing very little information about their plans for using specific players.
Gruden was criticized a year ago when the Bucs began the season with four straight losses after using his starters, including young quarterback Chris Simms, sparingly during the preseason. The Bucs finished 4-12, their worst record since 1996.
``I've had people ask why we don't play some of the regulars longer. It's because we need to see some of the younger players more,'' Gruden said. ``We've had our share of injuries. We've gone to our third quarterback three out of the last four years, so you better make sure the guy has some experience.''
Gruden has a point. The No. 1 quarterbacks coming out of training camp have started only 13 games for Tampa Bay over the past three seasons.
Simms, last year's starter after leading the Bucs to the playoffs in 2005, lasted three games.
Fourth-year pro Luke McCown, who missed all of last season with a knee injury, will follow Garcia against the Patriots, taking his first snap in a game since the 2005 preseason. Bruce Gradkowski could see action, too, but it's not clear if Simms - still trying to regain his form after having his spleen removed 11 months ago - will play.
``A lot of people have been counting my quarterbacks,'' said Gruden, who this offseason also traded for the retired Jake Plummer and met with Daunte Culpepper before the former Minnesota and Miami star signed with Oakland.
``I'm going to make myself perfectly clear: I'm looking for one quarterback that we can live with for ... years. Until we find that guy, we'll keep looking.''
Garcia signed as a free agent in March after filling in for the injured Donovan McNabb and winning five of six starts to help Philadelphia make the playoffs. But he hasn't played a full season since 2002, so having a solid backup is imperative.
``We love Garcia and what he's doing for our team,'' Gruden said. ``We're hoping one of the young guys can step up and be a guy that challenges.''
Camp injuries, including the sore hamstring that's sidelined Moss, has given several Patriots additional opportunities to make an impression in practice. Belichick is eager now to see how they can apply what they've learned against another team.
``I'm sure there will be some things that will come up in the game that we really haven't spent a lot of time on that will be kind of new game-type of situations and we'll have to teach and coach off of those,'' Belichick said.
``I would imagine that we probably wouldn't do those things as well, but I'd like to think that the things that we've practiced, we would be able to go out and execute it at a competitive level in this game. But we'll see.''
 

NFL Team Pages

Top NFL Public Bets

#1 453 Dallas Cowboys 87%
#2 460 New Orleans Saints 83%
#3 467 Indianapolis Colts 83%
#4 471 San Francisco 49ers 79%
#5 462 Cincinnati Bengals 73%
#6 479 Chicago Bears 73%
#7 463 Baltimore Ravens 71%
#8 465 Green Bay Packers 66%
#9 470 New England Patriots 66%
#10 478 Carolina Panthers 66%
View All: NFL |  NBA |  NCAAF |  NCAAB |  MLB |  NHL

NFL Futures

NFL TEAM CONFERENCE ODDS CURRENT
DENVER BRONCOS 8/5
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 12/5
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 4/1
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 11/2
GREEN BAY PACKERS 7/1
CINCINNATI BENGALS 7/1
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 8/1
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 9/1
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 10/1
CAROLINA PANTHERS 12/1
View All

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Contact Us | Advertising | 888-99-SPREAD

THIS IS NOT A GAMBLING SITE – If you think you have a gambling problem click here.

Disclaimer: This site is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Individual users are responsible for the laws regarding accessing gambling information from their jurisdictions. Many countries around the world prohibit gambling, please check the laws in your location. Any use of this information that may violate any federal, state, local or international law is strictly prohibited.

Copyright: The information contained on TheSpread.com website is protected by international copyright and may not be reproduced, or redistributed in any way without expressed written consent.

About: TheSpread.com is the largest sports betting news site in the United States. We provide point spread news, odds, statistics and information to over 199 countries around the world each year. Our coverage includes all North American College and Professional Sports as well as entertainment, political and proposition wagering news.

©1999-2013 TheSpread.com