On Tuesday, October 18, 2005 just before the NFL trade deadline of 4 p.m. Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sent a 6th round draft pick in 2006 to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for sixth-year veteran quarterback Tim Rattay. The Bucs needed another quarterback with the injury to starter Brian Griese, who was placed on IR for the remainder of the year with a knee injury. Is the writing on the wall for Chris Simms? The Buccaneers are 5-1, and there is a lot of talk that Simms might not have what it takes to be an NFL quarterback. The key is an NFL quarterback in Jon Gruden’s system. I feel that Coach Gruden has never really trusted Simms as the starter. When Brad Johnson fell victim to the system, Gruden tried to get several veterans such as Jeff Garcia, Rich Gannon, and we ended up with Brian Griese. I will say that Griese was the best option that we had at quarterback for this year (2005). I found myself growing tired of his 3 yard passes and numerous interceptions. I will say that he had developed a nice relationship with wide receiver Joey Galloway, but this is not enough. If not for our number 1 rated defense, he would have lost us several games this year with his poor reads and costly interceptions. I did not want him to get hurt, but a change at quarterback was needed. Maybe this is why Coach Gruden ran Cadillac Williams into the dirt the first 3 games. The jury is still out for Chris Simms, I hope he does do well. He does have a very strong arm and has great genes, but is that enough?
Here is what Coach Gruden said about Tim Rattay:
“We didn’t bring [Rattay] in here to hold a clipboard forever,” said Gruden “We try not to draft players or sign players who we don’t think can eventually play for us.”
“However, given what did occur, Rattay said he couldn’t have asked for a better turn of events than Tuesday’s
surprise trade. He felt even better about it when he was informed that the Bucs had previously tried to deal for him before the season.” (www.buccaneers.com)
I must admit that at first I was like Tim Rattay. I did not know much about him, but that he was on a sorry 49ers team. After I researched what he has done, and why he really lost his starting job: which was to an overpaid 1st round draft pick rookie, Alex Smith.
- Tim Rattay had record-setting numbers at Louisiana Tech.
- He started 33 games during his collegiate career at Louisiana Tech.
- He finished second in NCAA history with 12,746 passing yards.
- He was only the third player in NCAA history to throw more than 100 career touchdown passes.
- Rattay was a seventh-round draft pick in 2000: due to the fact that he stands “just” six feet tall.
- He has been given the starting job at some point in each of the past three seasons with the 49ers.
- Injuries cost him a good part of 2004, when he started nine times.
- Rattay has appeared in 32 NFL games with 16 starts.
- His career statistics include 356 completions in 586 attempts for 3,941 yards, 24 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.
- He has an excellent career completion percentage of 60.8% and a career passer rating of 81.6.
What does all this mean, I believe Rattay will be the starter for the Bucs sometime this year. It was reported that the Bucs were after Tim Rattay during this off-season, WHY? No faith in Griese, I don’t think so. I think they did not feel that if and when Griese went down that Simms was the man.
It has also been reported on sports radio that the Bucs were interested in trading Chris Simms and their 1st round draft pick of the 2006 draft to San Diego for Philip Rivers. This was before they received Tim Rattay. The Bucs can not afford Philip Rivers and this is why the deal did not go through. The Bucs still have salary cap issues (Another story for another post later). They also offered Simms to the New York Jets for a 1st round draft pick after Chad Pennington went down. Call me crazy, but I think number 13, Tim Rattay is Coach Gruden’s new toy (besides Cadillac of course). This is just my take on the Bucs quarterback situation, but I could be wrong.