2008 Bucs' Schedule: PNG

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Why Simms Stays

Well, the Trib's put out two articles basically stating that the Glazers made Gruden keep Simms. I alluded to the money as being an aspect of it, however, after really sitting back and looking at the Bucs' current situation at QB, I came to realize why, in my opinion, the Bucs kept Simms on the roster. Shall we...

Let's be frank. Bruce Gradkowski has 3 wins in 11 games played. His deep ball continues to be a major problem. In this league, you MUST be able to hit the 30-40 yard passes on a regular basis or teams will simply tighten up and take away your running game and short passing routes. It's what they did to him last year. Force him to beat them, which he couldn't. Until he gets those passes down, I don't think he'll ever be an effective QB in this league. Luke, on the other hand, appears to have all the tools to be a very good West Coast QB. But he has exactly ZERO wins in this league. None. Nada. Zippo. He's what we like to call "UNPROVEN".

Now Simms, like or hate him, has 7 wins out of the last 14 games he's started or been the primary QB (against Miami, Griese went down early in the first half). It should have been 8 wins if not for the defense folding against the Panthers on 4th and long, allowing Delhomme to run for the first down and set up the winning FG. Simms is, quite frankly, the only proven QB in this offense that's on the roster. Garcia is proven if you count West Coast offenses in general. If Garcia goes down, the Bucs' options are an unproven McCown, and a QB that can't stretch defenses to open up the WC short and intermediate routes (Bruce). With Simms on the roster, if he can continue to improve at the rate he has during the last month, he may be serviceable by the time October rolls around. That would keep the Bucs from being in a situation like last year when Simms went down and the Bucs really didn't have a proven guy to come in (Rattay looked horrible in practice, and there was no reason to believe it would be much better on game day).

For Gruden, this year is very important for him to show that the team is heading in the right direction. If the direction of this team looks bleak, he'll likely be out of a job. If the team appears to be headed in the right direction, he'll get extended and at least another year to coach here. He needs to win at least 7 games, and Simms could get him there if Garcia goes down. Gradkowski probably couldn't and Luke is a question mark. So the Bucs keep Simms at the expense of someone like Darby, who they reacquired on their practice squad. It's an insurance policy. And, who knows, maybe Simms comes back and learns how to not get passes batted down and how to scramble some. If he did that, he might actually turn into the long term solution. I think McCown is looking like the best possibility to take over the team after Garcia is gone (assuming Plummer never plays here), but you just never know.

So that's my reasoning. Feel free to comment.


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