Former Dolphins and Jets QB Jay Fiedler (right) attended Bucs practice on Thursday and spoke with Head Coach Jon Gruden . Could Fiedler be the back-up quarterback that the Bucs are looking for after Luke McCown went down with a knee injury.
“It’s just a feeling-out process right now, coming in here,” said Fiedler.Fiedler did say that the Buccaneer possibility intrigued him, in no small part because of the presence of Gruden. The two were together for several seasons in Philadelphia, with Gruden as the offensive coordinator and Fiedler as an inactive third quarterback in 1995 and a training camp participant in 1996. Fiedler also worked with current Bucs’ offensive coordinator Bill Muir in 2004 after signing with the Eagles as an undrafted free agent from Dartmouth.
“Obviously, with what happened with Luke [McCown] last week, there looking for
another guy to come in and compete a little bit. My situation, I’m rehabbing
right now and hoping to be ready to go once training camp gets started. So we’re
just feeling each other out and hopefully we can come together on some terms and
see where it goes.”
“I would love to get back together with [Gruden] again and
work with him,” said Fiedler. “He does a great job coaching the quarterback
position and making it easy on the quarterback to be successful. Right now, I’m
just looking at this situation as well as a few others and trying to determine
where the best spot for me is going to be.”
Gruden had this to say about Fiedler:
“He’s won a lot of games,” said Gruden. “If you look at his
won-lost record in Miami, it was pretty solid. He’s a smart, quick study and
he’s a good guy and right now he’s looking for a team to help out. We’re looking
into his situation and everything else is just speculation at this
It seems almost every quarterback would love to play for Coach Gruden, how many time have we heard an offensive player, specially a quarterback say they were interested in Tampa because of Coach Gruden. The man is that DAMN good.
My thoughts: I have said it before and I'll say it again, I like Tim Rattay. Remember this is what Gruden said about Rattay back in October of 2005:
“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
“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.” (http://www.buccaneers.com/)
Rattay is also the same guy that the Bucs were after in the 2005 offseason, before Griese went down. I also would not forget that Gruden is falling in love with rookie quarterback Bruce Gradkowski.
"I've got a lot of confidence he's going to be a player," Gruden said.
"We've just got to temper our enthusiasm and bring him along, but he really shows
a quick, accurate arm. He's got really good mobility. And he's got a
charisma about him that quarterbacks I think have to have.
No matter what happens, I like the Jay Fiedler thing. I think Rattay and Gradkowski are going to be very good NFL quarterbacks. I think both server nicely as Simms back-up. Rattay questionably could be the starter, so if Fiedler does sign, he knows Gruden, and sure he is coming of a shoulder injury. Having Rattay and Gradkowski on the team gives Fiedler time he might need to heal. Don't forget we still have Jared Allen also on the team. We will keep you posted on the back-up quarterback position as the Bucs continue to interview.