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September 26, 2012 @ 3:19 pm
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Bucs D-Line Looking For A Repeat Performance Against RG3

Written by Dory
LeBlanc
Dory LeBlanc

Dory
LeBlanc

Beat Writer E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Tampa Bay's defense will have their hands full with the NFL's highest scoring offense, but the Bucs feel Washington needs to worry about the Buccaneer D-Line just as much. Getting to Robert Griffin III will be top priority for a defensive line that produced four sacks and two forced fumbles against Dallas last week. 
This Sunday the Bucs defense will face their toughest challenge so far this season – stopping a rookie QB that runs, passes and leads an offense at the top of the league in scoring.

With all of the success the Washington offense has of pointing points on the scoreboard, the Redskins have struggled winning games, and match the Bucs’ record of 1-2. The Bucs have the opposite problem; the defense can stop teams from scoring, but the offense can’t seem to find any rhythm when it comes to putting the ball in the end zone.

Last week, the Tampa Bay front four did their job getting to Dallas QB Tony Romo, sacking him four times and forcing two fumbles. The Bucs are hoping to have a repeat performance against a Washington offensive line that allowed six sacks last week against Cincinnati.

“They’re making it an emphasis to hit me and get me on the ground,” Griffin said, “but I think that’s every team’s goal every week when it comes to quarterbacks so from that aspect, no I don’t see any difference. Of course teams are going to try to, and not in a bad way when I say this, but try to come after me as a quarterback that can move around a little bit.”

With a skillset that is as natural and versatile as Griffin’s, containing last year’s Heisman Trophy winner is high on the list of any opponent, but Michael Bennett, tied with Gerald McCoy for the team lead in sacks with three a piece, feels that the Redskins need to worry about the Bucs’ defense just as much.

“Robert Griffin, he does what he does,” Bennett said, “and we’re going to have to do what we do. We’re not shying away from their offense, but they’re going to be aware of our defense. We have a great defense, so just like we’re game planning for them, they should be game planning for us too.”

Griffin says that he has noticed teams making adjustments for him, but he views the way he plays his position as fluid without leaning on running the ball as his first option.

“It’s just, each play represents something different.”  Griffin said. “I think a team can go into a game with a mindset of trying to contain the QB, and any time you have a guy that can move a little bit – whether it’s myself, Tony Romo, Aaron Rodgers or whoever it may be – that is the goal so I realize that going in but I try to treat each play as its own and not necessarily focus on getting outside of the pocket all the time.”

In the pocket, Griffin has done very well so far this season. Griffin has completed 60-of-89 passes (67.4 percent) for 747 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. Griffin’s QB rating of 103.5 is sixth-best in the NFL. The Redskins also boast the No. 1 scoring offense in the league, averaging 33 points per game. Griffin knows Washington’s offense has to do more, and the rookie is willing to do whatever it takes to help his team win.

“Yeah, we’re proud of that as a team, but we know we can do better.” Griffin said. “The thing is, we are leading the league in scoring, we feel like there’s so many little things we can do to be so much better. And of course that would help us put up more points, so we’re proud about that, but we’re not satisfied. I know when you’re No. 1 there’s no higher you can go, but we can get a lot better as an offense and as a team scoring points and winning games.

“You find the quarterback that you believe in, and then you manage and mold the system to where it helps him be successful, helps the team be successful. As a team, we’re scoring 30, 40 points a game we’re being pretty successful when it comes to scoring points we just have to be more successful when it comes to winning games.

“For me, whatever they ask me to do, I’m going to go out and do it, because that’s the type of person I am so whether it’s run the ball, throw the ball, kick the ball, punt the ball, whatever it is, I’m going to go out there and run through a wall for this team, because that’s just the kind of person I am, that’s the way I was brought up.”

Just as he did at Baylor, Griffin shows a lot of maturity as a leader and for a first-year NFL player has handled the responsibility that comes from being the second overall draft pick and instant starting quarterback well.

“You just trust your preparation.” Griffin said. “Over the offseason and over your whole career as a football player you build your foundation, so you know who you are, what you are, what you can do, and what you’re going to strive to always do and never say you can’t do something. It’s just about having that strong foundation. We have two straight losses and things aren’t always going our way you still have that foundation and you know, ‘hey, I’m doing the right things, the team is doing the right things, we’re going to be successful and the wins will come.’ You just stay at it and that helps me a lot.

“I know it’s not just me, I don’t have to go out there and take on all of the burden myself, but I do know that I am the catalyst for this offense and I have to show up every game and be ready to play because those guys are looking to me for leadership.”

Griffin will have to be ready for a confident Bucs defensive line that will be without last year’s sack leader, Adrian Clayborn, who was placed on IR after suffering a knee injury against the Cowboys.

Bennett and McCoy know that even more pressure is on the two of them with Clayborn out. Daniel Te’o-Nesheim will replace Clayborn at right end and filled in sufficiently when Clayborn went down last week. Te’o-Nesheim knows he will face a big challenge going against Griffin in his first start.

“He’s super athletic.” Te’o-Nesheim said. “You just have to contain him and just get after him.”

Getting after Griffin wasn’t as easy for Washington’s first two opponents as it was for the Bengals, but if Griffin can turn the throttle, so can the Bucs D-Line and that’s exactly what Tampa Bay plans to do.

“If I get a chance to hit him, of course I’m going to hit him.” Bennett said. “I’m not going to try and hurt him, [I’m] just going to play the game inside the rules.” 
Last modified on Wednesday, 26 September 2012 18:10
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  • avatar

    By the way Bucs 27- Skins 17 yes 27 pts the Bucs rebound with Freeman throwing two td's watch and be impressed with my knowledge of the game, lol
  • avatar

    i don't see the comparisons between Vick and RG3 other than they are both Black and mobile so I guess thats enough to compare the two. Rg3 is a much more refined passer and doesn't pout and hang his head like Vick does when things are tough, I used to love how Arthur Blank would console Vick on the sidelines and put his arm around him like you would do a 7 yr old during a game my son is in pop warner and if my son had Vick's attitude i would kick his butt
  • avatar


    Now that's funny Buc4life79. Now, if those replacement refs all looked like that no one would be clamoring for the "real refs". Ohhhhh, throw the flag Honey so I can watch you pick it up! I love it when she has to pick up that flag. As for RG3; he reminds me of Michael Vick; but with a brain and much less of that "hood" attitude that # 7 had in his "BP" (before prison) years. It's all too apparent to me that RG3 is a pretty boy QB who doesn't like to be hit and doesn't think he should be hit. So here's the plan from the good old days of DBrooks. Hit that RG3 in the belly like #55 used to do to Mike Vick every time we get a chance. Make an RG3 sandwich like our young defense did with Romo. Maybe our DB's can get Rah juiced up at the Blue Martini Saturday night and get him to divulge the defensive game plan. That is if he actually has one.
  • avatar


    I hate RG III. I don't know why; I just do. I have a good feeling the Bucs are going to win this game and Freeman will be a big part of why we win.
  • avatar


    I say the way to go is what the Falcons are doing - put your best players on the field and if that means playing with 2 LBs (as it does for ATL) or playing with 3 DLs (as it should for the BUCS) then that's what you do - adjust to your circumstances. Let's see Watson/Hayward/Biggers some more and don't force the team to play 4 DLs just because that's supposed to our system. Put the best players on the field an adjust.
  • avatar


    Great post horse! I'm not worried about this game, I think this is the game when all 3 phases get in a rhythm. We just can't let up and get conservative with the lead
  • avatar


    All I ask is that this team remember the beat down they got in pre season with the Redskins and they showed no mercy. We should do the same to them and we should beat the snot out of them for all of the 60 minutes. Go Bucs!
  • avatar

    Lets hope Daniel Teo's up for the challenge...on a side note..I usually like the side ads you guys let advertise on here...Everytime I let my eyes settle on the Marco's ad, I gotta have a pizza...Shula's or Texas Cattle's ads make me scream Steak please to my wife...Sorry but some womans rear no matter how shapely lined up next to a plate of wings does NOT make me hungry for wings...it actually tends to make me think those wings taste like *censored*.
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