The Buccaneers have preached turnovers all season and put even more emphasis on it this week. While the team struggled to take the ball away through the first nine games (6 interceptions and 6 forced fumbled), they certainly found a way to make it happen Sunday in Washington.
“That was all of our momentum. Everything we had was [focused] on taking the ball away this week,” said cornerback Johnthan Banks. “Coach [Lovie Smith] started the meeting off this week talking about taking the ball away. That’s what this defense is all about – seeing the quarterback doing those things and just doing our job.”
It didn’t take long for the defense to capitalize on splash play opportunities. Along with Danny Lansanah intercepting the first pass off a tip, Banks was also able to cash in off a deflection during the first quarter.
“I quick-jumped the guy,” Banks said. “He went inside and when I turned around the ball was in the air. It was a gift, a gift from God. I just ran under, got out in front with a couple of blockers and took it to the end zone.”
While Banks enjoyed the majority of glory, particularly on his pick-6, he claims it was the men up front making everything possible. The Buccaneers defensive line was constantly forcing Robert Griffin III off his mark and into quick decisions. The Mississippi State product went as far as to say the front seven made the game easy.
“Our defensive line and linebackers, they really got after it today up front,” Banks said. “It was an easy game. With that receiving core that they have, as good as they are, our defensive line and linebackers made they game so easy.
“Honestly, that was the easiest game I played in since I’ve been in the NFL,” he continued. “Our defensive line got after it. I mean they really got after it and I appreciate those guys.”
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
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