| About us | Privacy Policy | Contact us | Sitemap
Home News Forum Blog Standings Roster Players Schedule Depth Chart Stats Photos Videos
eagles-vs--falcons Eagles vs. Falcons...
All the latest Philadelphia Eagles Photos Store photographs. Football NFL.
the-boys-are-coming The Boys are Coming...
All the latest Philadelphia Eagles Photos Store photographs. Football NFL.
texas-stadium-panorama Texas Stadium Panorama...
All the latest Philadelphia Eagles Photos Store photographs. Football NFL.

Philadelphia Eagles News

News » Bucs move on without landing Favre

Bucs move on without landing Favre

Bucs move on without landing Favre
Every football fan knows the story. Bucs coach Jon Gruden loves to collect quarterbacks. Had the price been right, he probably would have traded for Brett Favre even though he already has a 38-year-old starter in Jeff Garcia. In the end, the Packers weren't interested in Tampa Bay, and once the Jets became very aggressive, Bucs GM Bruce Allen elected to take a pass on a trade, never making a competitive offer.

"I never understood what the deal was," veteran cornerback Ronde Barber said. "We already have a Pro Bowl quarterback in Jeff. I think we're okay there. Brett wasn't going to happen. I don't know why everyone wanted to talk about it."

"The line is an exciting group on our team," Garcia said. "They are close-knit bunch. I wish we could have kept (former center) John Wade, but I understand the business. Besides, Jeff has been a starter since he came into the league."

Everybody wants to point out Tampa Bay's aging stars like Garcia, Galloway, Derrick Brooks, Kevin Carter and Barber, but the average age of the starting offensive line is 24.6 years old. The youth on defense is led by end Gaines Adams, linebacker Barrett Ruud and safety Tanard Jackson. Basically, the Bucs aren't as ancient as you think they are.

"If you subtract me and Brooks from the defense, we have a bunch of youth on my side of the ball," Barber said. "They've done a really good job rebuilding this team while still giving us a very good chance to win."

Basically, that's the thought process with the Bucs. Everyone in the NFC South is cognizant of the wacky worst-to-first stat. Since the NFL realigned for the 2002 season, the team that finishes in the NFC South cellar recovers to become the division champion the next season.

This five-year streak figures to end this season. Nobody really believes Atlanta with a rookie head coach and quarterback will win the division after finishing 4-12 last season. The Saints, who opened 0-4 before finally winning seven games, are the presumed favorites. But the Bucs, the defending champions, have different ideas. They want to be the first team to repeat as division champions.

"I think we are flying under the radar again," Barber said. "Everybody's picking the Saints because they got Jeremy Shockey and everybody loves Sean Payton and Drew Brees. But they still have to play better defense."

Tampa Bay swept the Saints last season and then coasted into the playoffs with 13 players on injured-reserve. Then against the Giants in the playoffs, they lost deep threat Joey Galloway and two more starters in the first half and basically didn't have enough talented bodies to win at home.

Since his huge seasons in San Francisco, Garcia has had a few stops in the NFL before landing in Tampa.

"Our locker room reminds me of when I was with the Eagles," Garcia said. "They had great veteran leaders with a lot of younger players, too. There's no better leader than Brian Dawkins. We have that here, too. Ronde and Derrick Brooks are like that. We have high character guys and that's so important in this league."

Despite the Bucs and their players believing in Garcia, the bottom line is the guy doesn't seem capable of playing a full season. Even with his quality play last year, he still missed four starts. He suffered a calf strain that put him down for a week in training camp. On the flip side, Favre has started 275 consecutive games, possibly the most impressive record in football.

Favre, with Gruden's help, could have done some special things, but I'm not convinced even with Favre, that the Bucs have enough overall talent to reach the NFC championship game. It would have been fun to watch them try, but Tampa Bay needed to retain their high draft picks instead of spending them on a one-year starter.

I don't know any team that wouldn't surrender a first-round pick if it meant playing in the Super Bowl. But the Bucs aren't that close.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: August 8, 2008

A.J. Feeley Name: A.J. Feeley
Position: QB
Age: 31
Experience: 8 years
College: Oregon
Copyright © Eagleswire.com, Inc. All rights reserved 2018.