|Griese sparks Buccaneers offense|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 22 September 2008 21:56|
It worked during Sunday's 27-24, overtime victory over the Chicago Bears, but don't expect it to become a regular routine for Brian Griese, who helped the Bucs overcome a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit by passing nearly every play on two long scoring drives.
That doesn't mean coach Jon Gruden won't continue to take advantage of his quarterback's ability to move the ball in the no-huddle offense. Griese was 17-of-29 and threw for half his career-high 407 yards during three hurry-up drives that produced Tampa Bay's last 13 points.
It was first time the Bucs (2-1) rallied from a deficit of 10 points or more to win since Dec. 12, 1999, when they beat the Detroit Lions 23-16 after falling behind 10-0.
Griese was 38-of-67, setting a franchise record for pass attempts in a game, He also shrugged off three interceptions to improve to 2-0 since replacing Jeff Garcia's as Tampa Bay's starter.
hard to duplicate that. It's hard beat what he did the last 25 or 30 minutes of the game,'' Gruden said Monday.
``Other than a couple of balls he threw to the other team ... I thought he played an outstanding game against a heck of a defense. It was loud, and we weren't able to run the ball, obviously, very effectively. We put a lot on him and he responded for us.''
Teammates were impressed, too.
``He's just an awesome guy, man. Under pressure, nothing gets to him,'' receiver Michael Clayton said.
Center Jeff Faine added: ``He believes in himself the whole way and believes in us to make plays. It actually felt good after all of the backward steps he took, he's still stepping forward and making plays.''
Griese's 38 completions was the second-most in team history and his yardage total, including 203 on the last three scoring drives, was the third-best on the Bucs' all-time list behind Doug Williams' 486 at Minnesota in 1980 and Vinny Testaverde's 469 at Indianapolis in 1988.
``I had no idea how many passes I threw until after the game. ... It was a necessity for the style of defense that the Bears have. In the NFL today, you have to be able to adapt and find ways to win, and that's what we did,'' Griese said.
The Bucs were so successful in the no-huddle that Gruden will consider expanding its role in the offense.
... We also did it a little in overtime,'' Griese said. ``It tired out the Bears, kept them off-guard and limited their blitzes.''
Griese also benefited from excellent protection from a young offensive line that didn't allow any sacks.
``I think it had a lot to do with our ability to come back and win,'' Gruden said. ``Any time your quarterback has a chance to see and go through his reads, have vision in the pocket, certainly it helps.''
The coach was encouraged by the performance of Clayton (five receptions, 54 yards) and Antonio Bryant (10 catches, 138 yards), who stepped up in the absence of top receiver Joey Galloway, who missed the game with a foot injury.
``Winning is contagious,'' Gruden said, adding the entire team's confidence should be bolstered. ``Good vibes are certainly nice.''