|FOOTBALL Regular Season|
|Sept. 8||At Jets||
|Sept 15||Vs Saints||
|Sept 22||At Patriots||
|Sept 29||Vs Cardinals||
|Oct 13||Vs Eagles||
|Oct 20||At Falcons||
|Oct 24||Vs Panthers||
|Nov 3||At Seahawks||
L 24-27 OT
|Nov 11||Vs Dolphins||
|Nov 17||Vs Falcons||
|Nov 24||At Lions||
|Dec 1||At Panthers||
|Dec 8||Vs Bills||
|Dec 15||Vs 49ers||
|Dec 22||At Rams||
|Dec 29||At Saints||
By Tom Krasniqi
The 3-9 Buccaneers hope to bounce back from last week’s clunker in Carolina when they host the 4-8 Buffalo Bills today from Raymond James Stadium at 1pm (620 WDAE, 95.3FM, 103.5FM). The Bucs are coming off a 27-6 blowout loss to the Panthers last week which snapped their 3-game winning streak. Meanwhile, the Bills dropped a 34-31 overtime decision to the Falcons last week in Toronto.
Tampa Bay’s offense was stifled last week by Carolina’s defense. Rookie quarterback Mike Glennon committed two costly turnovers. Today, Glennon will face a Bills defense that ranks first in the NFL with 43 sacks. Getting rid of the football in a timely manner will be imperative.
“I think it has to be. We’ll have to do different things to slow down that pass rush because they are so good,” Glennon said this week when talking about incorporating the short passing game to nullify Buffalo’s pass rush. “We’ll have to run the ball, we’ll have to work our quick game and we’ll have to take our shots when they’re there, because it’s tough against a pass rush that good that we can’t be holding the ball all day.”
Mario Williams leads the Bills with 12 sacks but he has plenty of help. Defensive tackle Kyle Williams has 7 and defensive end Jerry Hughes has 8 sacks. The Bills have been vulnerable to the run game. Buffalo’s rush defense is 24th in the NFL (allowing 122 yards rushing per game). The Bucs need to get their running game going. Over the last two games, the Bucs have averaged just 44 rushing yards per game but this might be a good spot for Bobby Rainey to get back on track. Rainey ran hard last week but ended up with 63 yards on 17 carries.
The Bucs defense did not tackle well last week and they lost contain on Cam Newton’s 56 yard run. They’ll face rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel, who has the size and running ability to make plays. Manuel has 9 touchdown passes and four INTs in 8 games so far this season. His favorite target is WR Steve Johnson, who has performed well against Bucs CB Darrelle Revis in recent years when Revis played for the Jets. Johnson has scored touchdowns in three of the last five games against Revis. Revis admits to feeling some discomfort in his chest/shoulder area but he will start today.
The Bucs will also have to contend with Buffalo’s RB tandem of Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller, who have combined for nearly 1,300 rushing yards and 9 rushing touchdowns. Spiller is a homerun threat who rushed for 149 yards last week, including a 77 yard scamper. The Bucs must tackle better than they did last week or it could be a long day. DT Gerald McCoy (6 sacks) and LB LaVonte David (107 tackles, 5 sacks & 3 INTs) are playing at a high level and will be leaned on heavily again today to deliver.
The forecast today calls for unseasonable warm conditions with temps in the lows 80s. The Bucs believe the heat will play in their favor at home against a team from frigid Buffalo. Doug Marrone’s team loves to run the no-huddle offense so the Bucs will have to be prepared for their up-tempo style. It will undoubtedly test the conditioning level for both teams.
The Bucs hold the all-time series advantage 6-3. The last time these teams met was back in 2009 up in Buffalo. The Bills won the game 33-20. In that game, Jackson had a field day as he ran for 163 yards on 28 carries against the Bucs.
Prediction: It will be interesting to see if there’s a hangover effect from the Carolina loss. The Bucs were physically dominated in that game and the team is worn down physically. The Bills’ no-huddle offense will give the Bucs some problems and Buffalo’s pass rush will be too much to handle. Bills win 20-17.
by Steve Carney / 620 WDAE
The Bucs opened their locker room after practice Thursday as they prepare for Sunday's matchup against the Buffalo Bills.
Click below to hear the coach's press conferences.
Head Coach Greg Schiano
Defensive Coordinator Bill Sheridan
Click below to hear sound from the players thanks to Bucs beat reporter Tom Krasniqi.
Defensive End Da'Quan Bowers
Linebacker Lavonte David
Cornerback Darrelle Revis
Kicker Rian Lindell
By Tom Krasniqi
The Bucs defensive players see the impact by just turning on the film. The splash plays are there from the Bills offense. And they have speed everywhere.
“Very fast, very fast,” Bucs linebacker LaVonte David said after Thursday’s practice when it comes to evaluating Buffalo’s offense. “They have some great backs that mix it up. Fred Jackson is a downhill runner—a power guy who can also break it outside. C.J. Spiller is a speed guy who could break it anytime he touches the ball.”
The Bills’ running back tandem of Jackson and Spiller have combined for nearly 1,300 yards rushing and nine rushing touchdowns. Spiller averaged nearly 10 yards per carry last week in the overtime loss to the Falcons.
Florida State product E.J. Manuel is back healthy and starting at quarterback. The Bucs know the rookie has the size and athleticism to be a very good signal caller for years to come. In 8 games this season, Manuel has thrown 9 touchdown passes against just four picks in 249 pass attempts.
“He’s mature beyond [his years],” defensive end Da’Quan Bowers said on Thursday. “I think he’ll be a great quarterback in this league. He’s one of those guys that you’ll look at and say—wow—He has the ability to do a lot of special things in this league. He has a strong arm, he’s about 6-6, he’s long, he’s quick. He has the tools to be special.”
At wide receiver, Steve Johnson leads the Bills in receiving with 46 catches for 526 yards and 3 scores. Bucs corner Darrelle Revis knows Johnson very well from Darrelle’s days with the Jets.
“He’s real shifty at the line. His routes are real smooth,” said Revis. “He’s not a burner or a fast guy but he finds a way to get open. That’s why he’s good at what he does.”
The Bills will run a no-huddle offense. The Bucs defense has to be ready for their up-tempo style and Greg Schiano’s club also had a real problem last week with missed tackles. And not to mention the forecast on Sunday will be unseasonably warm.
“As we all know, it’s really heated up here the last couple days and it’s going to be very warm on Sunday,” Schiano said during his Thursday press conference heard on WDAE. “Today, we were simulating the no-huddle with running a couple huddles and running guys in and out. I’m sure we’ll have some IVs flowing in the training room. Real feel out there, it was close to 90 [degrees]. That’ll have an impact I’m sure.”
As far as the Thursday injury report for the Bucs, WR Vincent Jackson (hamstring) was back at practice on a limited basis. RG Davin Joseph (knee) returned to practice on a full-time basis. LG Carl Nicks (foot) did not practice. CB Darrelle Revis (chest/shoulder) and DT Akeem Spence (wrist) practiced fully. WR Chris Owusu (hamstring) and DT Gary Gibson (calf) were both added to the injury report and practiced on a limited basis.
The Bills are relatively healthy heading into this week’s game. After missing Wednesday’s practice, DT Kyle Williams (Achilles) practiced fully on Thursday. WR Marquise Goodwin (calf) and TE Scott Chandler (personal) were added to the injury report. Goodwin was limited and Chandler missed practice because his wife was expecting the birth of their child.
News & Notes:
By Tom Krasniqi
One of the few bright spots in an otherwise disappointing season for the 3-9 Buccaneers has been the play of defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. The fourth year man out of Oklahoma is getting it done on the field and talks a good game off it.
McCoy leads the team in sacks with 6 but like the rest of the team, he’s coming off a bad game in Carolina. McCoy did not register any stats against the Panthers and he’s not happy about it.
“We got to play better,” McCoy said after Wednesday’s practice.
The Bucs were building some momentum before their 27-6 loss at Carolina last Sunday. With four games left in the season, McCoy wants to finish strong and he’s hoping the entire team follows suit.
“Last four weeks—we got to turn it up,” McCoy opined. “We’re not going to the playoffs…that’s a fact. So what? Are we going to lay down or are we going to finish up strong? We have four more weeks to leave our mark on 2013. What are we going to with it? It’s up to us.”
It’s that type of passion that you have to love about McCoy. He is an engaging personality who doesn’t pull any punches off the field. But don’t let his nice guy demeanor fool you. On the field, he’s a fierce competitor who will give everything he has--even though the Bucs are out of playoff contention.
“I truly believe with everything in my heart we can win these last four games,” McCoy stated. “We can go 4-0 in our last four games…..we just have to go do it.”
McCoy is a guy who doesn’t lack in confidence. But before you can win four straight, they need to win one. The 4-8 Bills come to town on Sunday and McCoy will not check out anytime soon.
“Never,” McCoy said defiantly. “I had two season-ending surgeries. I’m never going to check out. I’m going to play as much as I can because I’ve seen two seasons taken from me. It’s happened so I’m never going to quit.”
As far as the Wednesday injury report for the Bucs, WR Vincent Jackson (hamstring), RG Davin Joseph (knee) and LG Carl Nicks (foot) did not practice. CB Darrelle Revis (chest/shoulder) and DT Akeem Spence (wrist) practiced fully. Head coach Greg Schiano stated that Jackson and Joseph were getting rest days.
The Bills are relatively healthy heading into this week’s game. DT Kyle Williams (Achilles) did not practice on Wednesday. He was the only player listed on Buffalo’s injury report.
News & Notes:
BY: John Mamola / 620wdae.com
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers began their first practice of the week beginning to install the game plan for their match up on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. Here is what the Bucs had to say following practice.
Buffalo Bills Head Coach Doug Marrone
Buffalo Bills QB E.J. Manuel