By Kyra Hallett
This will be the second time in a month that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers face off against the Washington Redskins. Tampa Bay faced the Redskins in the final week of preseason, winning 30-3.
Both teams comes into this game 1-2 records, with both of them winning in Week One before losing the next two. They have met eight times since 2003, with the Bucs winning five of those games.
This will also be a homecoming for Redskins defensive backs coach Raheem Morris and wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe. Morris was the Bucs head coach from 2009-2011 and helped the team win the Super Bowl in 2003 as a defensive quality control coach. Briscoe was with the team from 2010-2011. Both were signed by the Redskins soon after their releases. Washington head coach Mike Shanahan said that Morris has given them some inside information on the Bucs players.
Running backs have been an issue for the Redskins due to injuries. Mike Shanahan said rookie running back Alfred Morris will get most of the carries, but they don’t want to overplay him. Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said he is “doing great.” The team also brought in Ryan Grant at running back. Mike Shanahan said he fits in with what they do and he is big, fast and smart. Kyle Shanahan added that he runs well.
Quarterback Robert Griffin III seems to throw to tight end Fred Davis and wide receiver Leonard Hankerson the most. One wide receiver that is a game changer is Brandon Banks. Kyle Shanahan said he makes defenses change. Another huge player, when healthy, is wide receiver Pierre Garçon. He has only four receptions this season, both those four have been for 109 yards with a touchdown. He is a physical player that fights for yards. If Garçon does not play, the offense must adjust.
Kyle Shanahan said that they will continue with something until the defense stops them. He is also continually changing the offense and will make in-game adjustments.
The offensive line was not that strong last week. Offensive tackle Jordan Black left open a hole twice, leading to Griffin III getting sacked.
If the Bucs defense is as strong as they were last week in putting pressure on Tony Romo, the Redskins line better hold up. Kyle Shanahan said that Tampa Bay defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is talented, quick and will be a handful.
Griffin III is an explosive running and passing threat. Statistically, he is one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL this season with 747 yards and four touchdowns in the air. With his feet, he has 32 carries for 209 yards and three touchdowns. The bright side for the Bucs? He has been sacked nine times and one interception.
The Redskins feel if they can stop running back Doug Martin, they can stop the Bucs. Luckily for the Bucs, head coach Greg Schiano is also planning on using LeGarrette Blount, who is a much different running back than Martin. Washington defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said that stopping the run is the number one priority but so is putting more pressure on the quarterback. Mike Shanahan said that the secondary needs to play better. Haslett added that they are giving up to many yards in the passing game. This could be good for quarterback Josh Freeman, who may have more receivers open this week.
Once again, the game is blacked out in the Tampa Bay area, extending in a radius of 75 miles.
Two long-time key members of the Bucs defense, defensive tackle Warren Sapp and safety John Lynch, are among the 13 first-year-eligible nominees from the modern era for the Class of 2013 Pro Football Hall of Fame. The 25 semifinalist for this class will be announced at the end of November.
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Kyra Hallett is a freelance writer and a Multimedia Sports Journalist. She has experience covering Tampa Bay sports in many outlets including Examiner.com. Her dream job would be to work with the athletes and their fans. You can view some of her work at KyraHallett.com or here at Examiner.com.