Niners line must contain Bucs

The Niners offensive line must stop the Buccaneers from pummeling Jeff Garcia.

Updated: October 17, 2003, 2:58 PM ET
By By Darrell Trimble | NFL Insider
QB Jeff Garcia has been getting hit harder than a hanging curveball this season because the Niners offensive line has suffered from a lack of cohesion due to injuries. The problem could be remedied with healthy bodies returning to the offensive front, but that's not going to happen this week.

Jeff Garcia
Jeff Garcia might not fit into Dennis Erickson's plans.
LT Derrick Deese and LG Eric Heitmann are listed as doubtful for Sunday's matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, meaning rookie T Kwame Harris and second-year G Kyle Kosier will be responsible for keeping Garcia safe from the backside rush. Harris, who has struggled, will be going against NFL sack-leader Simeon Rice, who is one of the premier defensive ends in the league.

The Niners have two viable options to deal with this problem. They can perform a clandestine voodoo ritual to limit Rice's effectiveness (a tactic that failed when used by many baseball fans in Chicago and Boston over the past few weeks), or they could move Garcia to create a pocket of safety instead of one that collapses.