Let's hear it for the back-up QB
There is one person on every NFL team who is more popular than the rest - he's the one man who can salvage any team's season and do all kinds of miracles. He is the back-up quarterback.

To hear people on our own message board as well as people on the Ron & Ian show on 620 Sports Animal, you would think that the only reason the Bucs lost to San Francisco and Carolina. Crap - it was primarily the offensive line but the Carolina game was also a case of playing one of the top teams in the NFL.

But these people seem to think that all we have to do is replace Chris Simms with Tim Rattay and everything will be hunky-dory in Buc land. Even more crap. Right now Chris is the best QB the Bucs have - was Tim Rattay the second-coming of Joe Montana in San Francisco?

The No.2 or even No.3 quarterback has one wonderful thing going for them - they don't make any mistakes. Holding a clipboard, wearing your cap back to front and getting on camera during time outs. The three job roles of a back-up QB. But if you can do that, then sure as hell then every outspoken fan is going to want to see them replace the starter the first time anything goes wrong.

Remember 1999? Everyone, including me wanted Trent Dilfer out as QB. He was the weak link of that offense and it was only due to Eric Zeier's injury that he got his job back before he too got hurt and Shaun King came in. And everyone loved Shaun until the novelty wore off and people wanted him out instead.

Back further in Buc history, Chris Chandler for Vinny Testaverde was the call throughout 1990 and early 1991. And when Chris came in and stunk up the joint even more, the same fans starting calling for Vinny. And before that, Steve Young for Steve DeBerg, Jerry Golsteyn for Jack Thompson, even Mike Rae for Doug Williams. Everyone loves the back-up.

To change quarterbacks is a serious move at NFL terms and it doesn't happen that often outside of injuries. Brad Johnson was replaced by Chris Simms in October last year simply because he had played badly over the first four games and the team was 0-4. Simms then got hurt and Brian Griese played so well, that a change back could not be considered. Now that you've seen the Carolina game, do you honestly think another quarterback on the Bucs' roster could have played better than Simms? Yes he made one big mistake to Chris Gamble for the interception TD, but what more could he have done over the 60 minutes?

So the Bucs are welded to Simms for the time being. And I would give it at least another three to four games before I made a definitive opinion on his future. I have never been a Chris Simms fan dating back to his days for Texas, but right now, he is the best we have. The offensive line needs to get back to its form of the first three games to juice up the whole unit. Then Cadillac can find room to run and no longer the entire pressure of moving the ball will be on the Buc QB.

So let's just lay off the starter for once eh?