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Old 03-12-2007, 04:40 PM    (permalink
BlindSite
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The Panthers went 5-1 in the divison and had a top 10 defense despite injuries to linebacker, and all of our defensive backs at one time or another... The team also had two new starters at defensive tackle and 3 new starters at linebacker. That's 5 players in the front 7 and a mess of injuries. We still didn't fall out of the top ten for defense.

The offenses biggest problem was run blocking, Mike Wahle struggled with illness and injury and we lost both our starting centre and left tackle for the year in the first game of the season. Three key cogs to a very good line missing.

To cap things off Jake Delhomme missed some winnable games against Pittsburgh, and New York that Weinke stunk up leading to big losses. Because of his crappy play we missed the playoffs.

Panthers were 31st in starters missing games last year.

The team's healthy and is returning its true starters to the lineup with the exception of one very poor safety. We've got enough in cap space to fill that hole and enough draft picks to take our depth and get some luxury picks under our belt. We've got a very good new offensive coordinator and a coach who historically has hit the playoffs every year after a down year.

You think we'll have an 8-8 season you're in for a rude shock... 7th Ranked defense will get back an offense a year removed from 3 probowlers and a very good running back and receiving tandem.

Panthers 10-6
Saints 10-6
Falcons 8-8
Buccs - 6-10
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Old 03-12-2007, 04:44 PM    (permalink
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Many of you have forgotten how easy schedules can contribute to the first-last factor, and I expect that to be the case with the Bucs again this year like in 05. Also, Chris Simms will be our opening-day starter, not Garcia. In his 3rd year in the league he led us to the playoffs and posted a 10-7 TD ratio, so I expect him to improve at the very least.
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Old 03-12-2007, 04:46 PM    (permalink
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I cant predict records, but i got panthers and saints fighting for the top. Falcons in third. Bucs last.
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Old 03-12-2007, 04:49 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by etk View Post
Also, Chris Simms will be our opening-day starter, not Garcia. In his 3rd year in the league he led us to the playoffs and posted a 10-7 TD ratio, so I expect him to improve at the very least.

I would be stunned if that happens, very happy too. I don't believe that for one moment. Trusting him last year was a disastrous affair for the team. Jeff Garcia is the perfect fit for Gruden's offense. I never saw what Bucs fans ever saw in Simms, let alone after the year he had last year, prior to his injury.
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Old 03-12-2007, 05:04 PM    (permalink
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I would be stunned if that happens, very happy too. I don't believe that for one moment. Trusting him last year was a disastrous affair for the team. Jeff Garcia is the perfect fit for Gruden's offense. I never saw what Bucs fans ever saw in Simms, let alone after the year he had last year, prior to his injury.
You never saw him lead us to late victory over your team, twice???
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Old 03-12-2007, 05:19 PM    (permalink
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I really like Simms, but I don't think he and Gruden will ever be on the same page. It would be nice if we could get some trade consideration for him as he has a very reasonable contract. I wouldn't mind going to camp with Garcia, McCown and Grads and "Round Mound" Eugene as the camp body/extra arm.
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Old 03-12-2007, 05:20 PM    (permalink
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By "lead" you mean Cadillac dominating our defense, Roddy White and Warrick Dunn bumbling the games away? Then yes, Simms was crucial to the outcomes of both games. In reality, he didn't do jack in the first game. In the second one he did pretty good, but only after DeAngelo Hall got hurt. Fact of the matter is, we couldn't stop your rushing attack, Roddy White dropped a game clinching 40 yard TD, Warrick Dunn's helmet gave the Bucs game winning FG field position by colliding with the ball in Michael Vick's hand.
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Old 03-12-2007, 05:20 PM    (permalink
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I would not like to have McCown or Gradkowski as the backup to an undersized aging QB......
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Old 03-12-2007, 05:22 PM    (permalink
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I like Gradkowski more than I like Simms. Gradkowksi did admirably with pretty poor supporting cast help, he did much more than Simms did in his playing time.
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Old 03-12-2007, 05:23 PM    (permalink
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I would not like to have McCown or Gradkowski as the backup to an undersized aging QB......
Gruden really likes McCown and the buzz last year before his injury was that he had a great chance to beat out Simms and start
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Old 03-12-2007, 05:29 PM    (permalink
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1. Saints 11-5
2. Panthers 9-7
3. Falcons 9-7
4. Bucs 7-9
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Old 03-12-2007, 05:32 PM    (permalink
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Gruden really likes McCown and the buzz last year before his injury was that he had a great chance to beat out Simms and start
The buzz last year was that Gradkowski was the saviour.......
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Old 03-12-2007, 10:57 PM    (permalink
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I like Gradkowski more than I like Simms. Gradkowksi did admirably with pretty poor supporting cast help, he did much more than Simms did in his playing time.
You can't honestly believe that...

Gradkowski doesn't have as strong an arm and he's never going to be a starter in the league. His mental processes while decent aren't up to the level of Simms. Look at what simms did against carolina before he got a busted spleen. He played out of his skin. Simms is a promising young QB, he just hasn't had the support from his offensive line and the bounce of the ball as far as luck goes with injuries. Simms is going to be a viable starter for years to come, next year will be the first of many, I bet the house on it.
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Old 03-12-2007, 11:20 PM    (permalink
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If you gave Bruce 5 tries to hit a wide open Galloway deep down the field, he would miss all 5. That is why he cannot be our starting QB again.
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Old 03-12-2007, 11:25 PM    (permalink
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Panthers 11-5
Saints 10-6
Falcons 7-9
Bucs 6-10
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Old 03-12-2007, 11:27 PM    (permalink
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You can't honestly believe that...

Gradkowski doesn't have as strong an arm and he's never going to be a starter in the league. His mental processes while decent aren't up to the level of Simms. Look at what simms did against carolina before he got a busted spleen. He played out of his skin. Simms is a promising young QB, he just hasn't had the support from his offensive line and the bounce of the ball as far as luck goes with injuries. Simms is going to be a viable starter for years to come, next year will be the first of many, I bet the house on it.
I misrepresented my feelings, shoddy phrasing on my part. What I was attempting to get across was that Gradkowski clearly outplayed Simms in '06. I don't think you or Bucs fans are acknowledging just how poor Simms played last year. He was dreadful. He played alright in '05, nothing worth raving about, but solid. I doubt Simms sees the field unless Garcia gets hurt. If Simms were to actually beat out Garcia I would be stunned.
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Old 03-12-2007, 11:33 PM    (permalink
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I misrepresented my feelings, shoddy phrasing on my part. What I was attempting to get across was that Gradkowski clearly outplayed Simms in '06. I don't think you or Bucs fans are acknowledging just how poor Simms played last year. He was dreadful. He played alright in '05, nothing worth raving about, but solid. I doubt Simms sees the field unless Garcia gets hurt. If Simms were to actually beat out Garcia I would be stunned.
As long as the competition between Simms and Garcia is a fair competition, I don't care who starts. As long as the best man wins.
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Old 03-12-2007, 11:38 PM    (permalink
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I misrepresented my feelings, shoddy phrasing on my part. What I was attempting to get across was that Gradkowski clearly outplayed Simms in '06. I don't think you or Bucs fans are acknowledging just how poor Simms played last year. He was dreadful. He played alright in '05, nothing worth raving about, but solid. I doubt Simms sees the field unless Garcia gets hurt. If Simms were to actually beat out Garcia I would be stunned.
Tim Rattay outperformed all of them, but you are right, Simms was dreadful last year, but I think he will come back to form this year. Like BlindSite, I'll bet the house on it. I really respect Simms more than ever after last season, because he showed his warrior toughness against the Panthers when he had an injured spleen and kept playing even though he could hardly put together a sentence in the huddle. He proceeded to drive us down the field and throw a TD pass, the same day he got his spleen removed!! Other than that, he had 2 very bad games behind a woeful offensive line, especially because Kenyatta Walker was still the starter at RT back then. If Kenyatta was blocking Mike Vick's backside, he would have some awful games too, and he would feel the pressure pretty bad.
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Old 03-12-2007, 11:38 PM    (permalink
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As long as the competition between Simms and Garcia is a fair competition, I don't care who starts. As long as the best man wins.
Well said, but I hope it's Simms because he's younger.
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Old 03-13-2007, 12:33 AM    (permalink
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I misrepresented my feelings, shoddy phrasing on my part. What I was attempting to get across was that Gradkowski clearly outplayed Simms in '06. I don't think you or Bucs fans are acknowledging just how poor Simms played last year. He was dreadful. He played alright in '05, nothing worth raving about, but solid. I doubt Simms sees the field unless Garcia gets hurt. If Simms were to actually beat out Garcia I would be stunned.
Against baltimore and atlanta yes he was pretty average, but that's two very good pass rushes coming his way. Against Carolina he was playing well, the stats don't show what he did on the field.
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Old 03-13-2007, 12:55 AM    (permalink
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I guess if Simms can beat out Garcia, that will prove something to me. I doubt it will happen, but stranger things have.
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Old 03-13-2007, 12:35 PM    (permalink
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Simms will be back to his 05 form
Unfortunately, expressing it as certainty doesn't make it true.

Frankly, I'd put all the teams around level right now, maybe with the Bucs a little behind. All the teams have some great players, but also significant holes. I also think that a lot of the Saints players were playing above their ability last year, and that they may be exposed in 2007. The Panthers still have a great nucleus of players, but a few questions marks. The Falcons also have a huge amount of quality on paper, and could succeed if Petrino's new staff creates a condusive environment. The Bucs finally have a decent O-line, but their defence is falling apart.

I could see any of the four teams coming first, and any of the teams coming last. It should be an exciting year.
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