Buccaneers Letter to Santa
Dear Santa,

We've been really good this year and only want a few things for Christmas...

A 100 YARD RUSHING GAME
Since Earnest Graham got banged up and went on IR for the season the Bucs have not had a 100 yard rushing game. Despite impressive performances, and hard yards, from Warrick Dunn, in addition to promising signs of the Cadillac Williams returning to form, the Bucs have failed to hit that landmark. If we don't see another 100 yard rushing performance this season it is hard to see the Bucs making the play offs, or even if they do not staying in them for very long.

BARRETT RUUD TO GO TO THE PRO BOWL
What does the poor guy have to do? He leads the team in tackles by more than 50 and is the stand out defensive playmaker for one of the best defensive units in the NFL. Despite this Barrett Ruud still gets ignored by Pro Bowl voters. Maybe it is the lack of prime time TV that the Bucs get, maybe as Ruud says it is the lack of any hightlight standard celebrations after each tackle? But when you look at the interception that he punched free and then caught earlier this year you see the big play capabilities of the quiet Wisconsin lad.

MORE THAN ONE GOOD RECEIVER AT ANY ONE TIME
Antonio Bryant this season, Joey Galloway last season, Joey again in 2006 and 2005, and Michael Clayton back when he was good in 2004. At no time in recent memory have the Bucs had the "Boldin-Fitzgerald", "Welker-Moss" or "Johnson-Houshmandzadeh" type partnership with two excellent receivers. Antonio Bryant is our offense, like Steve Smith has been Carolina's offense for the past 5 years! If only Joey and Antonio Bryant played different positions...

JEFF GARCIA TO VISIT THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
Without Jeff Garcia at the helm the Buccaneers pirate ship looks rudder-less. As I said in my article recently about who will replace Jeff in the long run, he can't go on forever. So the ideal solution seems to be to make Jeff 10 years younger!

MONTE KIFFIN TO CHANGE HIS MIND
For 13 years Monte Kiffin has sculpted a defense that has dominated the NFL. Without Monte at the helm it is an unknown quantity as how to the Bucs D will perform. It could be the end of an era for the Bucs without Kiffin and with several standout defensive players on the verge of retirement. I wish Monte all the luck in the World and can appeciate that he wants to spend his last few years in the game with his son. Goodbye Monte, but please don't go!

AN INJURY CRISIS IN CAROLINA
If Jake Delhomme, Steve Smith, Muhsin Mohammed, DeAngelo Williams, Jonathon Stewart and Julius Peppers all have season ending injuries in training today then we might still have a chance to win the NFC South. Actually probably not...

A ROAD WIN...OR 3!
IF we do make the play offs we're probably going to have to "Do a Giants" and win three straight road games. Since we look about as effective away from Ray Jay as a chocolate fireguard it doesn't look promising. As we'll probably have to beat Minnesota, Dallas and the Giants to get to the Superbowl all on the road we need to find our feet. Please Santa little help?!?

A SUPER BOWL AT HOME THIS YEAR
Wouldn't this be amazing? No team has ever played in a Super Bowl at their own stadium. Alright the Bucs look unlikely to break that streak but we can dream can't we?

If you could get this lot in your sleigh, Santa then we'd really appreciate it.

Thanks

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Alex Howells, TBO.com, 19 December 2008