?Something new. Wideout Lawrence Dawsey didn't catch a pass, ending at 50 his streak of consecutive games with at least one reception. Since Alvin Harper's arrival this season from Dallas, Dawsey, who led Tampa Bay last season with 46 receptions, has slipped to fourth among Buc receivers.
?Something borrowed. Facing a third-and-goal situation from the Atlanta two midway through the third quarter, the Bucs took a page from the Bears' playbook and inserted the 6'2", 281-pound Sapp at fullback. Errict Rhett then ran behind Sapp for his second TD of the day.
?Something blue. Michael Husted, who had kicked game-winning field goals in the Bucs' two previous games, against the Bengals and the Vikings, missed a 39-yarder that would have given the Bucs a 24-21 lead. Afterward, Husted was so disconsolate that he turned his back on the first wave of reporters. After he regained his composure, Husted said, "You've got to make those. I'm sorry. You can't make them all. But for the Bucs to be 5-3, well, you have to look at the positives."
Husted is single. You could say it just wasn't his day.
Awaiting Their Chance
When Sherman Lewis left his job as receivers coach for the 49ers to become the Packers' offensive coordinator in January 1992, he insisted he be allowed to pursue the Michigan State head coaching job if it became available. "That really is the only college job I've ever been interested in," says Lewis, who was an All-America halfback for the Spartans in 1963 and a member of the coaching staff from 1969 to '82.
The job in East Lansing opened after the '94 season when George Perles was fired. Lewis liked his chances because, in addition to his Michigan State background, he had coached on the 49er staff for nine years. Who wouldn't want a coach who had worked with Jerry Rice and Joe Montana? Even so, Lewis wasn't shocked when the position went to Nick Saban. In the football world it's still tough for a black man to get a head coaching job.
"I don't think about [not getting the Michigan State job] much," Lewis says. "If we win here, my opportunities will come. But I was disappointed at the time because I've been loyal to Michigan State, and I felt I was as qualified as anybody being considered."
Tony Dungy knows the feeling.
Dungy, the Vikings' defensive coordinator, goes way back with Lewis, who was his opponent on Sunday in a battle of wits and strategies. In 1972, when Dungy was a high school senior in Jackson, Miss., Lewis, then a Michigan State assistant under Duffy Daugherty, recruited him. "He went to Minnesota, though," Lewis says. "I think he felt he could play right away. They also told him he could play basketball."