Which five positions battles are going to keep Buccaneers coaches and fans interested the next six weeks? There are key battles that could determine the Bucs’ success this season. What are they? Get expert analysis and predictions from Bucsblitz.com. Just click here to find out who made the list.
FRIDAY, JULY 25
Updated 5 p.m.
TALIB SIGNS: Tampabay.com is reporting that first-round pick Aqib Talib has signed. Click here to read. The blog also reports that fifth-round pick Josh Johnson has signed and that DE Greg White has not reported yet to camp.
SIMMS SHOWS UP: You have to give Chris Simms this — he’s a man of his word. According to TBO.com, Simms showed up for camp on time on Friday. The article also includes news from Gruden’s introductory press conference.
SOMEONE INTERESTED IN SIMMS: It appears at least one NFL team has some level of interest in Chris Simms. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the Bears are keeping an eye on Simms.
GIMME SHELTER: The Bucs have longed for an indoor practice facility to escape the afternoon thunderstorms. Well, this year at Disney’s Wide World of Sports, they’ll at least get a tent.
YOUR DAILY DOSE OF FAVRE: It’s reporting day for the Bucs? Will Brett Favre be with them? Tampa Tribune reporter Roy Cummings investigates.
WHITE MAY BE ABSENT: DE Greg White may not report to camp today. A holdout is his only leverage to get a new contract out of the Bucs, who have offered him chump change, compared to what players like second-round pick Sabby Piscitelli have received in the past.
NOTABLE: KFFL.com has listed Michael Clayton as a fourth-year breakout wide receiver. They obviously haven’t seen a Bucs game since 2004.
THURSDAY, JULY 24
Updated 9:47 a.m.
WORD OUT OF GREEN BAY: Packerreport.com’s Todd Korth is on the case in Green Bay, gauging the Packers’ interest in dealing Brett Favre. He wrote this morning that if Favre is dealt, the Buccaners are a likely destination. This is really starting to get interesting.
COMMISSIONER WATCHING FAVRE: You know things are getting messy when the commissioner gets involved. This Associated Press story quotes a source as saying that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is monitoring Brett Favre’s situation closely. Goodell knows what getting Favre back in the league will do for fan interest, but he also wants this public relations fiasco to go away.
CATCHING UP WITH WARRICK: Most Bucs fans are thrilled to have Warrick Dunn back. The Orlando Sentinel just published this long feature detailing Dunn’s life as his autobiography prepares to hit the streets this fall.
THE CASE FOR FAVRE: Tampa Tribune columnist Joe Henderson make the case for the Bucs to acquire Brett Favre in this recent column.
ZUTTAH CONTRACT SCOOP: Our Scout.com reporter, Adam Caplan, got Bucsblitz.com the scoop on rookie offensive lineman Jeremy Zuttah’s four-year contract. We’ve got base salaries and his rather hefty signing bonus to share with you. Click here to get the info.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 23
Update 6 p.m.
ANOTHER FAVRE OPINION: Former Redskins quarterback and NFL announcer (though I wonder for who lately) Joe Theismann told TBO.com that he believes that Favre will eventually end up in Tampa Bay. He also believes that Jeff Garcia’s absence from the first two days of camp isn’t a coincidence. Click here for more. I’ve always thought Theismann was full of it, but occasionally he’s right. It seems the national media is all but making Favre a Buc right now.
HEY CHRIS, WHAT DO YOU THINK?: Now this is ballsy. According to tampabay.com Bucs GM Bruce Allen asked QB Chris Simms how Brett Favre would fit in with the Bucs. Yes, let’s ask the QB that DOESN’T want to be here if a 38-year old gunslinger has what it takes to be a Buc. I wonder if Simms saw the irony of asking him about a QB that could ultimately put him out of work. Read more about it here. Upon further reflection, Simms must be cheering for this move. It would get him on the waiver wire faster.
GARCIA WILL BE A NO SHOW: Bucs officials have given QB Jeff Garcia — who is a bit miffed about his contract — a free pass for the first weekend of camp. Why? The Tampa Tribune reports that Garcia will attend the reunion of his father’s 1973 Galivan JC national championship reunion. How nice — and a convenient way to deflect public contract talk until next week.
SIMMS WILL BE AT CAMP: In this blog entry at TBO.com, Chris Simms tells the Website that he will be at training camp. This should be one of the more tense post-practice press conferences in the early day of camp, given Simms’ desire to get out of Tampa Bay.
ZUTTAH SIGNED: TBO.com also reported that the contract of third-round pick Jeremy Zuttah is complete. That leaves Aqib Talib, Dexter Jackson and Josh Johnson yet to be signed. It will happen. The Bucs haven’t had a holdout in the Gruden-Allen era.
DEALS ARE COMING: Tampabay.com reports that most of the unsigned draft choices are close to signing deals that will get them in camp on time.
MORE FAVRE-NESS And the Brett Favre rumor mill keeps swirling. The St. Petersburg Times reported that the Bucs have at least “discussed” the idea of acquiring Brett Favre, going so far as to ask Chris Simms how Favre would fit in the offense. We at bucsblitz.com still doubt it will happen, but stay tuned.
POWER UP: ESPN.com released its power rankings today. Find out where the Bucs and the rest of the NFC South are ranked by clicking right here.
Which five Bucs have the most to gain — and the most to lose — at training camp? Bucsblitz.com has the scoop for you in this exclusive analysis Just click here to find out who made the list.