New Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris was quoted this week as saying he is pleased with the strides that some of his young players are making, including possible starting quarterback Luke McCown.
Hmm. Ok. Whatever.
The plain fact is that both the Bucs and the Jacksonville Jaguars have drifted aimlessly through this offseason. Unless these two Florida teams make some major teams come draft time both will be hopelessly mediocre in the coming year.
The most significant change for either team has been the Bucs addition of former Giants running back Derrick Ward. With the release of Warrick Dunn and the constant injuries of Cadillac Williams, it was a smart play to get another decent running back in the mix.
But you can’t win the NFL without a complete offensive team. Even a team like the Pittsburgh Steelers had to rely on Ben Roethlisberger to step up from time to time. And McCown will not be the answer. Please ask the Minnesota Vikings what it means to have one of the best running backs in the league without a decent quarterback. Why do you think the Chicago Bears just traded for Jay Cutler?
Some sports columnists have tried to sugarcoat the situation for Bucs fans and say they shouldn’t cry over losing Cutler. I would agree that maybe the Bears gave up a lot to get Cutler. But the message is clear. You cannot win in the NFL without a quarterback who other teams fear. And that’s not the case right now.
And don’t get me started about Kellen Winslow. He was a terror when he played at the University of Miami but his track record so far has been spotty. He will not suddenly transform McCown into a world-class quarterback.
The situation with the Jaguars is just as bewildering. Right now we have David Garrard at quarterback and who else?
The Jags still haven’t signed running back Maurice Jones-Drew to a long term deal, the team has virtually no wide receivers right now after jettisoning Jerry Porter and Matt Jones, and right now the plan appears to be have Jones-Drew split some time with fullback Greg Jones.
Draft day is right around the corner so there is a chance to make some changes that could help both these franchises. But right now the only Florida team that appears to have a shot of making it to the playoffs in 2009 is the Miami Dolphins.