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September 13, 2013 @ 2:58 pm
Current rating: 3.00 Stars/1 Votes

Bucs' Five Keys To Victory Vs. Saints

Written by Gil
Gil Arcia


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The Buccaneers are heading into Week 2 with lots of question marks surrounding them after their Week 1 loss to the New York Jets. PewterReport.com lists five keys to victory for the Bucs that can help them avoid a tough uphill climb.
The 0-1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers will play host to 1-0 division rival New Orleans Saints on Sunday. The Bucs will face a lot more weapons than what they saw in New York in Week 1. But this week was different for Tampa Bay as they faced a lot of questions not pertaining to the game itself. 

As the team stands firm with their claim of being focused on the Saints, the following Keys to Victory may help the Bucs get to 1-1 and avoid 0-2.

Key 1. “Perfect practice makes perfect.”
Those are the words of Vince Lombardi. You know, the guy that the Super Bowl trophy is named after? He knew a thing or two about coaching a football team to win football games. Last week, the Bucs coaching staff was out-coached on many levels which did not look like proper preparation to win.

They’ve practiced with crowd noise. They’ve practiced communication problems. They’ve practiced game situations. They failed on those and many others. 

We saw a play called in from the sideline which was a wheel route to Doug Martin on third-and-short. Was that the best option there on such a manageable down? I would think not. 

The Jets were seven-of-18 third downs in Week 1. Three of those were defensive line stunts called for the defense to run, where it gave Geno Smith forever and an eternity to convert. 

You want to beat the Saints? Don’t make those same coaching mistakes.

Key 2. A Slight Breeze Is Expected
Several forecast models are expecting cloudy skies with a slight breeze by game time Sunday. Don’t let New Orleans’ Brees be the stronger one of the two.

Quarterback Drew Brees likes playing the Bucs. Since 2009, he has thrown for 19 touchdowns and has had an average passer rating of over 100 against Tampa Bay. In Week 1, he lead the Saints to a 23-17 win over Atlanta and had a 74.3 percent completion percentage, 357 yards,  two touchdowns and one interception. 

Brees is one of the reasons why the Bucs upgraded their secondary and rightfully so. But the key to success against Brees is pressure and lots of it. The Bucs experienced that first hand last season when they played safe in the first half against the Saints at Raymond James Stadium and Brees ate them up. However, Tampa Bay applied pressure in the second half and we saw a different Saints offense. 

Key 3. The Four Stuntmen
Okay, I know this is not all on the players, but if they are called upon to run a stunt then they should at least execute it all the way through.

The Bucs have been unsuccessful getting to the quarterback after running stunts across the line and that scheme was exposed once again last week to start 2013.  But if you analyze the team’s success at getting pressure, you’ll see their success when rushing straight up field.

Either way, the front four of the Buccaneers need to get after the New Orleans backfield. They should not have issues stopping the Saints three-headed running attack after they had problems of their own running the ball (29 carries for 78 yards), but the threat of Brees getting the ball out to his speedy backs out in the flat remains.

Defensive tackles Gerald McCoy and Akeem Spence penetrated the Jets offensive line fairly well for the most part. The defensive ends now need to get in on the act and help the secondary against the Saints prolific passing attack.

Key 4. The Little Engine That Can
This is tough for the Buccaneers. The revamped secondary will be responsible for wide receivers Marques Colston, Lance Moore, and at times, Jimmy Graham. But New Orleans’ true threat can be running back Darren Sproles. 

Sproles was the Saints leading receiver in Week 1 with six receptions for 88 yards. Looking at the Saints’ arsenal, Sproles can easily be the most threatening one. He can run the football, catch the football, and return the football. That’s right, the lightning bolt from Kansas State will be everywhere and will possibly be the biggest threat on the field. 

Expect the Buccaneers to make sure he is accounted for at all times.

Key 5. Distractions Can Be Motivation
By now everyone knows what’s out there from being reported. The coaches and players were asked about it and they answered. Why not come out and prove it all wrong by using it as motivation?

These are all professional athletes. They shouldn’t need any motivation. But the potential scandal that started Wednesday afternoon has overshadowed questions about the upcoming game against the Saints and has set the focus on the off-the-field stuff. Many teams use things like this as motivation and you see them come out and perform better than expected. With that said, there is a possibility the Bucs can pull off the upset.

However, if the distractions show on the field, this can get bad quickly. Forget the 0-2 record the Bucs will face, it’s the possible explosion of emotion and words that may came out from the Bucs locker room and the fallout that may come of it if the game goes badly. Yes it’s early and we may be jumping the gun here, but it’s not a stretch given the fact that any controversy and speculation can soon become reality. Avoid that and winning cures everything. 

At least for the moment.

PewterReport.com Predictions
Gil Arcia (0-1): Buccaneers 23, Saints 20
Mark Cook (0-1): Saints 27, Buccaneers 13
Scott Reynolds (0-1):  Saints 27, Buccaneers 20
Last modified on Saturday, 14 September 2013 21:45

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  • avatar

    how about some keys to improve the whole team for long term: Get rid of Freeman and the Shianomik demon, GoBucs, Go!!
  • avatar

    Has anybody noticed how many head coaches we have on this staff? Question is whose got the Glazers' ear. I've come full circle and think its time for Schiano to go. You've got decent interim coaches on staff to get you through the season - Butch Davis, Dave Wannstadt, maybe even Sullivan. A win today glosses over some things, but alls not well at One Buc. We go 0-3 and I keep Freeman over Schiano and try to get the most out of this season with an interim coach.
  • avatar

    Coaching plays a big role - game planning, especially. Heard that Coach Schiano was involved too much in meddling with the plan, though - specifically the offensive one. Heard also that a weakness of the HC is that he doesn't adjust intra-game, very well. Guess we'll find out how well the coaching staff prepared the team at 4:15 pm today. BTW, bring your ponchos......Hot, and likely wet, day ahead for fans at Bucs home opener at Raymond James today.
  • avatar

    Relax, don't worry, have a home brew!
  • avatar

    I'm with Horse too. Coaching matters in football and especially in the NFL. Doesn't Schiano have more assistant coaches that any other NFL team? Man, what a weird season this is turning out to be. Scubog - glad to have you back doing your keys. You know I love it. Thanks.
  • avatar

    As far as I'm concerned, other than Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham, the Bucs roster is at least equal to the talent of the Saints. Of course coaching matters. If it didn't we wouldn't have 8 to 10 of them replaced every year. Anyone think what Jon Gruden could do with this offensive line-up? Think Dungy couldn't get the most out of the defense with that talented bunch? True that there is far less coaching needed when a team has one of the elite QB's. A good coaching staff gets maximum production from his players the same as a good chef can make the most out of what's in the cupboard. That's how Buffalo wings got invented. My five keys: Key 1.) " Score Early!" Bucs fans are in a foul mood and already down on the team. We fans that are there (not Morgan) need to support the home team. There will be a lot of Saints fans trying to make this their home game. Stay ahead in the game and the atmosphere will favor the red and pewter. Key 2.) "Nothing Big Easy!" The Saints offense can score a lot of points on their own. Don't give them a short field. Key 3.) "Feel the Heat". Saints will be wearing their black jerseys and facing the Sun. Play an up tempo game and those "domeboys" will feel the effects. Key # 4.) "In the Nicks of Time. Hopefully Carl Nicks gets in the line-up against his former team and can do just enough to clear a path for # 22 and keep pressure off of # 5. Key # 5.) Less Action for Jackson. Use all of the talent on offense. It just might surprise somebody. And the Bonus Key. As Michael Irvin would say. "DON"T EVER GIVE UP! "
  • avatar

    I'm with Horse. And, Freeman is not Payton Manning and Coach Fox is smart enough to let Manning play. Our coaching staff is "over it's head" and going down fast. You are suppose to know how to coach before you get to the NFL. Last weeks game exposed the weakness of the coaching staff. My guess is that the DBs are told to hit anyone who is on the way out of bounds.
  • avatar

    Hey HORSE, coaches don't throw passes, make blocks, catch footballs, or take command on the field. That's the job of PLAYERS. That is who will decide the game. It's not strategy, it's execution. Look at the Broncos dismantling of the Ravens in the season kickoff. John Fox didn't have didley squat to do with the win. Game ball went to Manning.
  • avatar

    Here's my five keys; coaching coaching coaching coaching coaching!
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