With the high-powered New Orleans Saints offense up next on the Bucs schedule, Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier knows his defense has their work cut out for them this week. On Thursday, Frazier talked about some of the encouraging things from last week’s win at Pittsburgh that he hopes that can carry over this week in New Orleans.
“There were a lot of positives from that game,” Frazier said. “Just the way we played run defense against a team against a team that was averaging 163 yards and come off a 264-yard game against a good Carolina front. To hold those guys to 85 yards and 3.1 yards per carry. Five sacks by our defensive line, a strip fumble… you could see the difference the having a Michael Johnson and a Gerald McCoy on the field, although they aren’t 100 percent, but just their presence helped us make progress on the field and that is encouraging. There were some things we could build on from that game.”
While the ability to limit the Steelers ground game was nice to see, Frazier said the Bucs defense must get better at getting teams off the field in third-and-long situations.
“Without question that is an area we will have to improve on,” Frazier said. “We talked about it. We talked about it today; this is our third down day, a point of emphasis. To get a team in as many third down and longs as on Sunday is rare on our league, and not to be more successful was very disappointing. So it is something we want to improve on and help our third down percentage. It is every team’s goal to get teams in third-and-13, third-and-11, and think you are going to get off the field when that happens, but we didn’t execute a few times and extended some drives.”
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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