Shaun King had his time in the sun at quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when Trent Dilfer was injured midway through the 1999 season.
King took over as the Buccaneers signal-caller and the team, then coached by Tony Dungy, won the NFC Central title, beat the Redskins in a divisional playoff game then lost the NFC title game 11-6 to St. Louis in a low-scoring nail-biter.
Fast forward to today. King, a favorite son of St. Petersburg, works for NBC Sports and the Fox network as an analyst.
King knows pretty much what Schiano knows, and that's the fact that the Buccaneers need to run the football.
"Early on in the season, they need to establish the run, throw off play action. I'm still not convinced that we're good enough at wide receiver to just line up and throw the football around the field," King said.
King pointed out the difficulty of the opening half dozen games for the Bucs that goes Carolina, New York Giants, Dallas for starters. "Our first six is as tough as anybody in football. We could be 1-5," he observed.
He's right about that; the Bucs came up in a tough NFL shuffle when this year's schedule dealt them the NFC East and the AFC West for their non-conference opponents.
King's also on board with most of us regarding the Buccaneers' main weakness.
"That's gonna be our weak spot. We're undersized and not overly athletic," he said, regarding the front seven. No surprise there.
Take a tough schedule, a defense without depth and what does it all add up to as far as King is concerned?
"I have 'em at 5-11," King predicted.
"I don't think we're there yet."
No argument here. We went for 7-9 and things will have to go fairly well to get there, starting with a win on Sunday. Otherwise, King's 1-5 start number could definitely be in play.
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