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News » Pressure is on Bucs' brain trust

Pressure is on Bucs' brain trust

Pressure is on Bucs' brain trust
Martin Fennelly


TAMPA - Raheem Morris and Mark Dominik, you're on the clock.

I don't know how fast that clock is ticking. I mean the Glazers' clock.

We don't know a thing. Bucs coach Morris and GM Dominik have been as secretive as the men they replaced, Jon Gruden and Bruce Allen, though Morris and Dominik don't revel in it as much.

But time's almost up.

Is there time enough to draft a quarterback?

Or are there too many needs right now, today - yesterday?

I'm thinking the latter.

Any way you cut it, it's Morris' first crack as Bucs head coach.

First time around, John McKay did OK: Lee Roy Selmon. Leeman Bennett did not so OK: Ron Holmes. Ray Perkins picked Vinny Testaverde. Richard Williamson? Charles McRae.

Sam Wyche had a second-round pick for openers. His choice: Courtney Hawkins. Tony Dungy's first second-rounder? Mike Alstott. Jon Gruden waited all draft day 2002 before the third round and the first brick he laid at the altar of offensive genius: Marquise Walker.

Now comes the Morris-Dominik Era.

Will it start with an error?

The only thing we know is today's ESPN draft coverage begins with a five-hour pre-draft special. Talk about the need to outlaw torture. At least President Obama didn't do a mock draft.

I'm not saying I don't like watching, because draft surprises are as old as time itself. Did you know that the Egyptians didn't even have Moses on their board?

Picking 19th, I can't see how Morris and Dominik will mess this up - unless, of course, they do.

I don't think they have the time to build a new quarterback, even if Morris helped birth Kansas State's Josh Freeman or whatever it was. Freeman was like the sixth-best QB in a conference that didn't play any defense. Maybe the Bucs think they'll catch Matt Ryan in a bottle.

Put a cork in that.

There are holes, serious holes, in the Bucs defense. Me? I like putting pressure on quarterbacks or receivers. The defensive ends and tackles in this draft look like a strong group, as do the cornerbacks. And if you don't believe in Jermaine Phillips at linebacker (or Sabby Piscatelli at safety) then linebackers look good, too.

The Bucs shouldn't reach for a wide receiver in the first round, even though they still need to go vertical, even if red-flag special, but crowd pleasing Percy Harvin is out there. The Bucs should pass, and not just because the only person who scored lower than Harvin on the Wonderlic was that 340-pound offensive lineman who ate the test. Just remember the last receiver the Bucs took in the first round was Michael Clayton., and the last receiver of any kind they took was Dexter Jackson.

Yes, the Bucs have so many needs this time around, especially on defense, that they can't really miss - unless, of course, they do.

Late tonight, in ESPN's eighth or ninth hour of coverage, about the time Mel Kiper's hair asks Erin Andrews' hair if it would like to have a drink later, we'll have our answer.

Actually, we'll have it a year or so from now.

These things take time.

Morris and Dominik are still on the clock.

By the way, the president just phoned. He has the Bucs taking a USC linebacker. I'm good with that.

Photo: Raheem Morris, with 2008 first-round pick Aqib Talib, has a lot of spots to fill during his first draft as coach of the Buccaneers.

Photo: Raheem Morris

New coach gets his first crack at the draft today

Photo: Mark Dominik

New GM will look to fill a lot of holes on roster

Copyright ? 2009, The Tampa Tribune and may not be republished without permission. E-mail library@tampatrib.com

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 28, 2009

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