Reading a Bruce Allen press conference is like reading Sanskrit — almost impossible.
The only thing I could glean from his words Thursday were that the Bucs
really never got to the "interest" level when it came to Brett Favre, who
was traded on Wednesday night to the New York Jets.
So, half of the well-respected NFL media corps was wrong when they said
the Bucs had offered a third-round pick and a player for Favre? Not bloody
It's more apropos to believe that Allen was in damage control mode. He
knows as well as anyone the damage the speculation of the past two weeks has
wrought on his starter, Jeff Garcia.
Why else would Garcia tell the Tampa media he was a "dead man walking"
on Wednesday as he left the practice field? Joking or not, that's probably
what he felt like.
Yes, Garcia heard everything, I'm sure, including his franchise's
silence every time a reporter asked Jon Gruden if Garcia was his guy.
Allen said Garcia's teammates respected him and supported him. I don't
doubt that. Garcia's a great teammate and led them to a division title.
But Allen and Gruden? I have to wonder.
They could have ended all of this days ago by telling the media that the
Bucs were fine with their FIVE quarterbacks, including their own 38-year-old
starter. But they never quite did that, not outright anyway. A reporter told
me that when he asked Gruden that very question last week, Gruden's reaction
was "that wouldn't be fair to Brett Favre."
Huh!? And when Allen was asked why the Bucs didn't come right out and
say Garcia was their unquestioned starter and had no interest in Favre — and
Allen now says the Bucs had little interest — he dodged the question.
"I'm not going to get into specifics," Allen said.
And, oh yeah, apparently Favre and his agent have both said the Bucs
were involved in a possible deal.
Allen, at times, can make it difficult to believe what he says. You
usually just get his version of the truth — and he admirably sticks to it.
He's always on message.
But a suggestion. Allen and Gruden should re-introduce themselves to the
guy that saved their jobs last season, to the guy that could lead them to
the playoffs for a second straight year and to the guy who actually WANTS to
be with the Buccaneers.
That's Garcia. You remember him, right guys? It's time to start mending
fences, whether you believe you need to or not. Because if this season goes
south, you could point to this whole episode as the reason.
Or, you could just go out and sign Chad Pennington. He's available now.
Matthew Postins is the editor and publisher of bucsblitz.com.