Anyway guys I'm sure I am one of about a dozen people in the country who actually tuned into ESPN at 5am this morning and watched the Jets go up against the Bucs all the way across the world over in Tokyo Japan.
Concerning the title of the thread...
WHO THE **** IS WR CHARLES LEE!?!?
This guy impressed the HECK out of me in this game, and he didn't even make half the plays he could have. But he's got body, lots of speed (football speed, dont know what his 40 time is), the guy makes great physical catches, and his route running must be pretty good because he was getting open.
I don't know where Keenan McCardell was, but he wasn't playing. Keyshawn came out after the first series, and I don't remember seeing Joe Jurevicious in the game. Those three have solidified their spots as the top three receivers on the Bucs. Karl Williams has been with the Bucs forever, and he has special teams value...so he likely will have a spot. Jacquez Green was signed in the hopes that he can be Jon Gruden's "blue streak" a la James Jett (Gruden said this himself, he wants at least one guy who can stretch the field with blazing speed). Reggie Barlow is also with the Bucs and he also has special teams value.
If the Bucs only keep 5 WRs there's a pretty good chance Charles Lee will not be one of them.
This is why I wish the Bucs and Phins scrimmaged this year, because it would give us the added chance to check out Charles Lee, and if we like what we see then we could try and trade for him just like the Bucs did with OT Cornell Green last season. Far as I can tell Charles Lee is a 4th year WR who was drafted in the 7th round by the Packers.
Why was I impressed? Because with Keenan out, Joe Jurevicious absent (it looked like he was anyway), and with Keyshawn only playing the first series, this guy Charles Lee broke into the game on the first series against the Jets starting defense, and he made an absolute FOOL out of Aaron Beasley by running a great route and using his body and strength to pull in a ball right on Beasley's azzzzz baby. Beasley should have had the INT but Lee ripped that puppy right from the air and managed to plant his feet JUST inside the sidelines (on purpose too!). Then later, when the Bucs first team reached the goal line, Lee had a GREAT touchdown catch falling down but the refs overruled it called it incomplete...however had there been replay this would have been a very controversial call a la the Chambers non-TD against the Jets. Lee continued in the game getting open for sure-fire TDs, but he had Shawn King throwing to him after the first series and of course...he couldn't hit him.
Let me put it to you this way. I've seen our group of youngsters play...Sam Simmons, Kendall Newson, Robert Baker (those two saw them play in Europe too), Chris Jackson, etc...and barring what happens today against the Titans (I mean heck Simmons could look like the 2nd coming of Hines Ward when the cameras roll for all we know)...I would give a roster spot to Charles Lee. I was that impressed.
Other observations from the Jets game.
Know this, the Jets will probably be better than 9-7 this year. Sorry to say it. I know that the Jets suffered losses in the offseason, and those losses WILL hurt. But the Chad Pennington Jets are a completely different team than the Vinny Testeverde Jets. The Vinny Jets started out 1-2, the Pennington Jets finished up 8-5 with two of those losses coming in Pennington's first two games before he had a firm grip on his team.
For those of you who thought Pennington was a faker, a one season wonderkind, think again. He looked very very good against a very very tough Tampa D and yes...on the very first drive of the game with 1st string Jets O vs 1st string Jets D, Pennington drove the Jets 70+ yards for a touchdown.
Lamont Jordan started the game in place of Curtis Martin and he was going nowhere, Sapp wouldn't let him. But Pennington unleashed an aerial assault against the Bucs secondary (who was missing their best player Ronde Barber) and he utilized Curtis Conway to serve notice to the Bucs that they NEED to find themselves a decent safety to replace the departed super bowl MVP Dexter Jackson. On one play, the Bucs actually brought on a nickel corner blitz (seems awefully complicated for the first preseason game, don't ya think?) from the right side of the field where there were 2 receivers stacked up. You might think, ok Chad make a read and toss it to the side of the field where the corner just peeled off. But no, the Bucs rolled a safety up to cut off any of those receivers who decided to break their routes to help Chad. Mistake. Chad had safety Howell lined up on the left side against Curtis Conway one-on-one deeeep down the left sideline. Howell went for the interception and missed, Conway caught it and the play went for like 40 yards.
Curtis Conway is basically what we (or at least I) expected him to be. This was a guy that I originally wanted the Phins to sign over Derrius Thompson. Thankfully, Thompson has proved to be better than I originally thought. But Conway looks to be about as good as I expected. His major weakness, is health. So we'll see if he stays healthy, but with Pennington tossing the ball I expect that they aren't going to miss Laveraneous Coles TOO much so long as Conway is healthy.
I don't expect him to stay healthy though...and he's not going to make a lot of the difference-making plays that Coles did. And the Jets did get ripped in the offseason of quality players (they have Albert Johnson returning kickoffs! lol), so they won't be as good as the Pennington Jets of 2002.
But thats not saying much, it still could mean an 11-5 or 10-6 record.
(by the way the Bucs succeeded in nickel-and-diming the Jets defense to death and Charles Lee made some starting Jet corners look like real dumb@sses...bucs would have scored TD on first drive of game too if it weren't for controversial call on the Lee TD)
Back to the subject of the thread...we do play the Bucs in preseason. I would LOOOOOVE to see the Phins make an offer to the Bucs for Lee...like a 7th or 6th rounder.