Shaun King says it takes a little while to get comfortable in a new offense
Just over a year after being drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Shaun King is already a hometown hero. The former St. Petersburg prep star who realized a dream when he was selected by his favorite team in the '99 draft, King exploded onto the scene last December when he took over the Bucs' starting quarterback job as a rookie.
Outgoing, talented and, most of all, successful, King has quickly become a fan favorite. That is not, however, why he recently was the top choice of hundreds of Buccaneers.com users.
In May, Buccaneers fans who visited this site were asked to choose the player they would most like to see featured on the site's popular 'Your Turn' interview series. To that point, 'Your Turn' had concentrated on the top level of the Buccaneers brass, using fan questions to grill such representatives as General Manager Rich McKay, Head Coach Tony Dungy and Director of Player Personnel Jerry Angelo. With the entire roster due to hit town for the team's voluntary summer workouts at the end of May and the beginning of June, it was time to turn the spotlight on the players, and King was the choice to go before the fans first.
Judging from fan responses, King was selected because his play in the 2000 season is considered a key element in the team's quest to reach Super Bowl XXXV. There were numerous votes for WR Keyshawn Johnson and S John Lynch as well, but King was most on the fans' minds as he enters his first training camp as the designated starter.
And what did they want to know from one of only two rookie QBs in the past 30 NFL seasons to win a playoff game? Well, for instance…
…how the additions of Les Steckel and Keyshawn Johnson will affect the offense?
King: "I think it's going to help us. I think Les brings a knowledge of the passing game that is going to help us and I think Keyshawn Johnson gives us an added weapon. He's a big target, he makes a lot of catches and is able to consistently perform year in and year out."
…will he scramble more in 2000?
King: "I think Les just wants me to go out and do my job…not turn the ball over and make plays when I have the opportunity."
…and much more.
King sat down for 20 questions selected from the over 700 submitted by fans using Buccaneers.com. You can watch the first half of that interview by clicking here, or read a full written transcript of the give-and-take by clicking here. Next week, Buccaneers.com will post the conclusion of King's interview, during which he touched on such subjects as the origin of his uncommon poise on the field and his occasional difficulty with losing his grip on the ball in 1999.