January 01, 2006



Could today be the last regular season game for Tampa Bay Buccaneers fullback Mike Alstott? All signs seem to be pointing in that direction.

This despite Alstott's increased touchdown production in goal-line situations. And his improved blocking for Carnell Williams. And his effectiveness in punching through for tough first-downs.

Unfortunately, what makes him expendable is not Williams but Michael Pittman, whom coach Jon Gruden still seems to love for some reason. Used sparingly this season, Pittman has gobbled up huge gains in key situations. He's still easily his own best tackler - I've never seen a guy in the NFL so easily toppled by his own feet - but he's done a decent job in the limited carries he's had this season.

That doesn't mean the Bucs don't still need a battering ram like Alstott. But under what terms? One more year? Maybe. Two? Unlikely. The Bucs have righted the ship enough that they could draft a young pile driver and have him in shape and flowing within Gruden's offensive system (such that it is) within a season or two. Holding on to Alstott would appear to be a only sentimental move, and the Bucs - especially Gruden and general manager Bruce Allen - aren't sentimental guys.

If Alstott goes out this season, he won't go out on a stretcher or on a weak season. I wouldn't hazard a guess about his chances for the Pro Football Hall of Fame - I don't think he has the numbers or the prestige - but his place in Buccaneer history is more than secure.

In moderately related news, you can see more photos of Alstott and the rest of the team that I took at last week's overtime victory over the Atlanta Falcons, by clicking here.

Posted by Jeff at January 1, 2006 11:49 AM

Well, I tried to comment but evidently your blog took issue with that. It said my comment had "objectionable content." You can see my comment on my blog, if you want. I'm amazed.

Posted by: april at January 2, 2006 09:13 AM

Looking for Alan's Latkafest write-up

Posted by: Harriet Snel at January 2, 2006 09:32 AM
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