I know, I know, it’s another Bucs post, but I figure if I talk about Chris Simms going out and Bruce Gradkowski replacing him, I should at least mention something on how the rook did.
As it turns out, he did just fine. Statistically, he had an excellent day, going 20/31 for 225 yards and 2 TDs. He did have one major bad play, a fumble that the Saints would convert into a touchdown of their own. Still, for a 6th-round draft pick making his first career start in his rookie year, and on the road to boot, that’s excellent. He even showed some mobility that caught the Saints by surprise a little bit, though it won’t take long for defensive coordinators to see it and catch on.
“There is a lot of promise in that young guy. He played his brains out,” Gruden said. “I like everything about him.”
“It’s a tough one to swallow,” Gradkowski said. “There’s a lot of good that came out of this game. Guys made great plays, the receivers, tight ends, offensive linemen were blocking their butts off … running the ball well.”
The Cadillac finally got back on track, and Gradkowski made some plays, but a Reggie Bush punt return ended up winning the Saints the game. The AP writeup for the game, which is where the above quotes come from, spent most of it fawning over Bush, and that’s fine because most of the coverage of the game did. Lost in all of that though was a rookie quarterback who made a very impressive debut and, if he can keep it up, looks to have a very long career in the NFL.