Thursday, December 22, 2005

- First and foremost my thoughts and prayers go out to Tony Dungy. For those that don't know, his son James was found dead this morning. Dungy is one of the great people in this business and anyone who has ever had the fortune of meeting him would agree. No parent should ever have to bury their child, especially at this time of year. He's a heck of a coach and an even better person, here's hoping the best for he and his family during this difficult time.

- I know the crowd probably won't be too big Saturday, but it would be nice to see a decent turnout. Obviously, this season hasn't gone the way anyone wants, but as Jamie Martin said yesterday, it's still football and it's still something worth supporting. Martin doesn't often worry about things like that, but it was clear he'd like to see some support on Christmas Eve.

- Speaking of Martin, it does appear that he will be the starter, though interim coach Joe Vitt said Wednesday that Fitzpatrick will be evaluated Thursday in practice. If Fitzpatrick does indeed get most of the reps during Thursday's practice then it will be back to square one and we will have to wait further on a decision. My guess for the starter is Martin, though.

- It's no surprise that Marc Bulger was officially placed on injured reserve yesterday. It just doesn't make sense for him to come back and risk further damage to the shoulder. An offseason of rest and a chance to heal should have Bulger ready to be better than ever next season. It's just a shame that he didn't get the chance to continue his improvement this year.

- Chris Claiborne's status is more strange. Nobody knew he was injured and now he needs knee surgery.

- Don't know much about Mike Goolsby and Aaron Walker, though both came from excellent college programs in Notre Dame and Florida. Walker has been in the league for three years and has showed signs of potential when he was with the *****.

- It's hard to disagree with the way the Pro Bowl selections shook out. It's funny that Torry Holt was so pessimistic about his chances as late as Wednesday morning. His reasoning was good, saying he didn't think the fact that the team has struggled, the quarterbacks have been ever-changing and that he missed two games with a knee injury would allow him to make it. I would argue that part of why Holt made the Pro Bowl is BECAUSE of those problems. With all of those things swirling around him, Holt has been one of the best receivers in the league yet again. Orlando Pace is deserving of his bid again. He is still consistently one of the best tackles in the league.

- That's it for now, I'll be back with postgame notes and the Christmas edition later this week. Everyone be sure to get your shopping done in time.