Offensive Player of the Game*: Cornerback Aaron Glenn. Yeah, I'm completely shortchanging a lot of fantastic offensive players. Fred Taylor's 67 yards (only 68 more till he cracks 10,000), Maurice Jones-Drew's excellent play despite a knee injury, our Offensive Line in even attempting to stop the 8 and 9 man fronts that Tampa was throwing their way. All of them are worthy recipients. Even our Wide Receivers made plays.
Nobody made more a more clutch play than Aaron Glenn though, especially when you consider his situation. He was cut from the Cowboys at the start of the season, he had yet to appear in a game, and he was called upon to replace Brian Williams mid week after he strained his hamstring. Then, to top it all off, he makes a great play on the ball after reading Garcia like a cheap novel.
The Pick Six gave the Jaguars a little bit of momentum, even though the Bucs would proceed to march down the field and score. Aaron did a great job in coverage during the rest of the game, filling in for an expensive free agent acquisition and doing his job. I can't say enough for his performance. In fact, I'll let his words do the talking.
Even though he's on the Defense, I'm making him my Offensive Player of the Game!
Defensive Player of the Game!: Free Safety Reggie Nelson. There's something to be said about our secondary. I've had problems in the past with their play, and to be honest I still do. There were at least two sure thing touchdowns that were only avoided because Jeff Garcia overthrew them. Now, I don't know if that was a result of pressure or not, but there were some problems.
That said, Reggie Nelson had a great game. Sure, he might have been a little too deep on some of his coverage's, and yeah, his end of game interception didn't really effect the outcome, but his effort energized the defense. He knocked the hell out of Jeff Garcia, to the point of making himself a little woozy. He damn near killed Joey Galloway on on of his receptions. His stat line isn't huge, 5 tackles, one interception, and one pass defended. But his play as a rookie is improving. I have all sorts of questions that I just can't find out about his leadership on the field and his ability to read defenses, but what I'm not seeing is an effort to target him. In fact, it seems like teams are choosing to target the older safety in Sammy Knight (who had one hell of a game himself) rather than the rookie.
He's starting to show a higher level of comfort in the secondary that is paying off on the field. He's not perfect but he is improving with each and every game and living up to his nickname: "The Eraser". Here's to you Reggie, I think that today's game is the start of a dominating career!
Special Teams Player of the Game!: Adam Podlesh. Adam's not been super busy lately. Because of our weirdness with out kicking situation we're going for it on 4th down more than usual, especially when we're inside our opponents 50 yard line. With David out of the picture and our running game having some troubles, Adam was called up on to carry the game on his foot. Seriously. Between kicking out of the end zone and getting hit hard on a deflection and booting the ball 76 yards when we needed it most, Adam's leg is 90% of why we kept the lead at the end of the game. Seriously. He punted 8 times, an average of 45.5 yards, with a booming 76 yard punt as his longest. That punt was the 2nd longest in Jaguars history.
I think it might be his 44 yard punt at the end of the 4th quarter that was most important. He kicked from deep in Jaguars territory and got it just far enough away to make the Bucs have to struggle to get toward their field goal range. He did everything a veteran punter should do in a desperate situation. Except he's a rookie that hasn't seen a situation like that before.
While it wasn't in this game, let's not forget how Podlesh did kickoffs during the game when Scobee got hurt. I was upset when we drafted him in the 4th round because I had my eye on a defenisve end Jay Moore, who's spent the season on the 49ers Injured Reserve.
So Adam, I'm sorry for doubting you at draft time. And I'm glad you're here. Just keep on doing what you're doing.
So there you go, your quick hit rapid fire who I think did the best. I'm saying this based on my gut, not careful film study, so if you disagree, that's my cop out. I'm done posting for the night, but we've clearly got plenty to talk about as the week goes on. I've also got a surprise poster coming up, so stay tuned!