If you're a fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' game broadcasts on radio, keep this in mind: The wall-to-wall coverage on the Buccaneers' Radio Network doesn't end on Sunday.
In fact, it doesn't even end on the radio.
Through a comprehensive series of six weekly radio shows, the Network provides a full week's worth of discussion and analysis on your favorite team. From Head Coach Jon Gruden's Monday broadcast to the "Total Access" show that caps the week on Friday, the Buccaneers get their most complete coverage on the Radio Network, the flagship of which is Clear Channel's US 103.5 FM.
And, as if that wasn't good enough, all of those radio broadcasts are also available through Buccaneers.com, in their entirety and with the breaks in the shows edited out.
Think you know all there is to know about what's going on with the Buccaneers? Are you sure? Last week, did you hear Joey Galloway's evaluation of Chris Simms' gritty performance, or Derrick Brooks' analysis of what the Bucs' ultimately unsuccessful comeback really means to the team? If not, you're missing out.
Here's a quick example:
That rousing comeback against Carolina two Sundays ago was built on many key moments, including a pair of Simeon Rice forced fumbles, two key third-down grabs by Michael Clayton and Ike Hilliard and a fourth-down touchdown dive by Chris Simms.
One of the most important moments, though, came right at the beginning of the rally, five minutes into the second quarter. At the time, the home team was down 17-0 and had yet to play a down in Carolina's half of the field. That changed in a flash when the Bucs dipped into their bag of tricks and pulled out a flea-flicker, with Cadillac Williams taking a handoff and then pitching it back to Simms for a throw downfield.
The play, by any measure, was a success. The Bucs gained 22 yards on a completion to tight end Alex Smith, the play got the ball down to Carolina's 37 and the drive eventually produced a touchdown. The flea-flicker did not, however, work…at least not as expected.
Simms found Smith, yes, and successfully got the ball to him just before Chris Gamble arrived. The thing is, his original plan was to heave it deep over the middle to Clayton.
Williams, who ended up improvising a bit on his portion of the play, revealed last week that the final result of the flea-flicker against Carolina was influenced greatly by what the Panthers did and, more importantly, didn't do on defense. Keep in mind that the goal of running the handoff-and-pitch-back portion of the flea-flicker is to make the deep safety believe the play is a run and abandon the middle of the field.
"It was a weird look," said Williams of what he saw as he approached the line of scrimmage after taking the handoff. "It was a look I'd never seen in practice. Once I got the ball, the safety was kind of free. He was kind of on the line of scrimmage. I was like, 'Man, if I pitch it back, he's going to have a shot to kill Chris.' I knew I had to pitch it back quick, and just in time, I got enough to kind of block [the safety].
"I think that was the first time Chris threw to Alex Smith, because in practice we always threw it to Mike because we felt he was going to be wide open. We thought the safety was going to bite. It was a heads up play by Chris. He didn't force it."
What better perspective on that play than the one from Williams, who helped it get started then watched it unfold? The second-year back provided his insight last Friday on "Buc Total Access," an hour-long show on the Network that brings in a different Buccaneer guest each week. That show follows an exciting five-man roster of shows by Gruden, Galloway, Brooks, Ronde Barber and Shelton Quarles.
Gruden and Galloway go back-to-back on Monday afternoons, with the coach at 5:00 p.m. ET and the speedster at 6:00 p.m. ET. The next four nights feature 6:00 p.m. ET shows, with Barber on Tuesday, Brooks on Wednesday, Quarles on Thursday and Total Access on Friday. There are no shows this week, following the Buccaneers' bye, but the player/analysts will return next week after the game in New Orleans, and for the remainder of the season.
And all of those shows will also be available throughout the year as podcasts through Buccaneers.com. Each show will be posted the very next day after it airs on the Radio Network. Fans may listen to the shows using IPodder or by adding the Buccaneers Radio Network to their Google Reader accounts. Directions on how to use either method can be found on this page.
There's a whole world of Buccaneer information waiting for you out there. You never know what you might hear.
Like this nugget from last week's Derrick Brooks Show on the narrow loss to Carolina:
"There's no such thing as a moral victory. We don't want to walk away saying we got a moral victory, because we expected to get our first win of the season. In the same breath, we did enough things to build on and gain some momentum in terms of how we fought back and how we played going into the bye week."
Or this from Brooks on the near-interception by Torrie Cox near the end of the Panthers game:
"No one feels worse than Torrie about that play. He beat himself up for a couple days about that interception. But that's the other element we've got to bring to the table if we're going to take that next step forward. Every week, it's a different team that steps on the field. You've got to reinvent yourself in certain ways. This team showed the characteristics of a fighter, coming back after you're knocked down. Now the other half of it is finishing."
Or this insider assessment of Chris Simms from the Ronde Barber Show:
"He's a tough kid. He'll find a way to get through this. He's a guy who's going to be missed around the locker room. But Chris is a fighter. He'll be fine. He's always been a guy who's accountable for everything he does. He's a stand-up kid, and that's all you can ask for. He'll always be that guy."
Or this rumination on new starter Bruce Gradkowski from the Joey Galloway Show:
"I'll be there for him to sort of keep him loose. I think that a lot of times as a young quarterback you get in there and things start to happen really fast. You get in there and it is moving faster than it does in the preseason. But I feel like if anyone can handle it, I'm confident that Bruce can. He's a laid-back, confident guy and you like that type of guy playing quarterback."
What will you hear? Tune in to the Buccaneers Radio Network all week, or access the online versions and find out for yourself.