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November 15, 2004

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Nils

I watched as much of the game as I could on Sunday (I've become a Bucs fan by osmosis, although I refuse to give up hope for my Vikings. But I could only click back and forth between plays in the CFL playoff games. I mean, real football comes first ...).

While I understand the frustration of a kicker who can't be counted on (it was Garo Ypremian who once said "Yeah, everybody wants my job .. until there's four seconds left in a tie game!"), I think you're also right that a lot went wrong before the decision had to be made as to whether to kick a field goal or not.

As a former football coach (ah, the things you learn!), I can tell you that Michael Vick is the kind of opposition player who terrified me. And poor Griese didn't get the kind of time he needed to get the ball downfield. (I know there's still a wait-and-see thing happening with Griese. I think he's going to be just fine - never an MVP, maybe ... but Tampa Bay has done okay with journeymen QBs before).

All in all, I don't think changing the kicker is as high a priority as filling some of the other holes. TB won last year on a fearsome defence ... led by Warren Sapp. While there have been flashes of that this year, I hate to say it: he was pretty damn important to the whole mix.

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