The Buccaneers’ Most Recent
The honor goes to: #88 Jimmie Giles.
Rick Stroud and Stephen F. Holder of the St. Petersburg Times are reporting that Doug Williams confirmed that Jimmie Giles will be announced today as this year’s inductee into the Buccaneers’ ring of honor. I think this is a great idea, as he was a great tight end in an era when a tight end was expected to block as well as catch passes. I also like the fact that the Bucs are essentially going in a chronological like order for the inductions into the ring of honor with Lee Roy Selmon and John McKay already inducted in the past two years.
I always thought Giles was underappreciated for his contributions for the Bucs. Upon his arrival in 1978, he was a standout player, and finished his career with 41 touchdown receptions. He played 9 seasons in Tampa Bay and had four selections to the Pro-Bowl (including three straight from ‘80-‘82). One of his teammates, Gerald Carter, once alluded that he would be one of the all time great tight ends had used him more as a receiver (Zucco, Tom. “Durability has been name of Carter’s game”. St. Petersburg Times. 28 Jul 1988). He was a great blocker during his time in Tampa and that does not garner the recognition that the pass catching tight-ends get. Especially in today’s NFL, where most of the recently celebrated tight ends are just large pass catchers and are not great blockers.
It is also nice to see that the organization has moved on from some tension with Giles when he held out over a contract dispute and did not see eye to eye with the coaching staff at all times. Finally, it will be nice to see him involved with football again as he has had many problems with his back and has been a longtime advocate for players getting good healthcare after their careers are over.
Injury Updates and Commentary
No new injuries to report from last week, which is a good thing. Once the lockout is lifted, things should progress quickly and some injury news from the team should emerge.
As reported by many sources, the NFL is reported to be aiming at July 21 to have a new collective bargaining agreement in place. This would then likely take about a week to be approved and then the league would be able to undergo signings of free agent rookies and then eventually free agent players as determined by the new CBA. Hopefully, this will come to pass, as it is much better to write about football when they will actually be practicing and playing.
I did have one quick thought about the free agents and teams signing them. It will be impossible to prove anything, but there are likely teams have been in private discussions with agents and players directly about signing them when the free agent period officially begins. If you don’t think this sort of thing happens, notice how quickly free agents have been signed in the past when the free agent period “officially begins”. I think the most glaring example lately was when Albert Haynesworth signed within a few hours of designated opening time in 2009.
Hopefully players take some time and listen to all the offers they can get and make a decision after weighing their options. That way, teams that do play by the rules will not be penalized and will get an equal shot at the free agents. Unfortunately, with the very shortened signing period after the lockout is lifted, players and teams will be pressured to make quick decisions.
Last week I addressed where you should take Josh Freeman in your draft. This week, I will take a similar look at Mike Williams. Williams was a great fantasy surprise last year when he had a fairly consistent season (especially for a rookie) and personally saved me from the fantasy debacle I like to refer to as Randy Moss. Williams is a decent fantasy receiver because he has a high average per catch, so even if he only has one or two catches on the day he can still score 3 points or more in a standard format. In addition, he catches touchdown passes, and that is what separates a good day from an average day in fantasy. He had 11 touchdowns last year, which makes him a viable fantasy option.
He is not quite an elite pass catcher in fantasy just yet, but he has the potential to be a very solid second receiver or bye week replacement. If you are in a deeper league, you have to consider him a starter. Thus, he is likely to go in the middle rounds of a larger league and may be worth taking anywhere between the 7-9th round. If you are in a keeper league, you may be tempted to reach higher for him, but I am not quite that high on him yet.
At The End of the Day
It was a great sports weekend this past weekend, with two memorable moments which stand out. First, Derek Jeter not only hit his 3,000th hit; he did it with a homer. I am not a Yankees fan, but it is good to see someone who has done well for so long and has been a good guy throughout. Second, the US women’s world cup team tied their quarterfinal game against Brazil in the final minutes of an overtime period, and eventually won the game on penalty kicks. If you have played soccer, you understand how difficult it can be to time a long ball in the air, and then redirect it to the goal with your head. Abby Wambach did this with the opposing goalie and a defender both going for the same ball.
Finally, one of the worst days of the year is today. The day after the MLB All-star game is the only day of the year when all four of the major US sports don’t play a game.
Until next week, wear a helmet. We can’t sew brain tissue back together.