> I don't
think this is a good team. Jon Gruden is on the hot seat; the whole franchise
is in transition. . . . The offensive line is young, and Luke Petitgout is just
an average guy at left tackle. He's not the answer. Jeremy Trueblood is a big
stiff on the other side. . . . Jeff Garcia is a good quarterback, and he'll get
them a couple of wins they wouldn't get otherwise. He's a lot better than Chris
Simms. But Gruden is not an easy coach for anybody to play for under any
circumstances, so it will be interesting to see how that goes. . . . On defense
Derrick Brooks is getting long in the tooth, and he's been way overrated for a
while. Gaines Adams looks like a good player, but he's soft in the run game. .
. . This is a 6-10 team. Maybe 8-8 at best.
THE KING 500
For the first
time in 11 years he's the only NFLer in his family. "Remember, Tiki was
taking hits all these years," Ronde says, "while I've been giving them
out." A physical Cover Two corner who often plays the curl-zone nickelback,
he made his fourth Pro Bowl last year and doesn't appear to be slowing.
"I'll do this as long as I can," says Barber, 32, "but Tiki's
retirement has injected a little reality
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