“It’s A Horrible Situation”December 1st, 2012
Earlier this week, Woody Cummings of the Tampa Tribune dropped a phone call to talk all things Bucs with “The Fabulous Sports Babe,” heard on WHFS-FM 98.7. During part of the interview, “The Fabulous Sports Babe” acted like any Bucs fan, fearing the worst for Sunday, with one of the greatest quarterbacks to every take a snap lining up opposite one of the worst Bucs cornerbacks crew in memory, maybe in franchise history.
It doesn’t take a wizard to figure out Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning will try to light up the scoreboard by roasting the Bucs through the air.
“The Fabulous Sports Babe:” What about the defense, [Peyton Manning] is used to throwing and throwing and [the Bucs] have defensive backs that sound like me. They are not very good. So what does that say? He will be throwing it and they will be trying to defend it.
Woody Cummings: Yeah, you are right. It’s a horrible situation for the Bucs. You are going against a Hall of Fame quarterback who is clearly on top of his game and he is going up against a bunch of kids and I think it will be an issue for them. But here’s what they have to do: They have to rush the passer better they have to find a way to make Peyton Manning uncomfortable which is not easy to do became he gets rid of the ball so early. But if you are going to help that secondary, you have to get some pass rush and we haven’t seen enough of that really. I think we are starting to recognize how important Adrian Clayborn was to this team. I think Gerald McCoy is doing his part and he is facing two blockers every time. It’s hard to beat those guys. Michael Bennett has done is part but on the other side, Daniel Te’o-Nesheim has had some splash plays here and there but not enough, certainly not what Adrian Clayborn would have done. They are waiting for Da’Quan Bowers to get the feel back, get healthy. He is getting there, he is getting healthier every week but it will probably be the end of the season before he is fully in football shape. It is a tough deal for them, no doubt about it. They have to rush the passer better and cover better and maybe hope that Peyton Manning has an off day and if that all comes together, they have a chance. If not, they will be in some trouble.
Joe thinks Cummings hit on several points. Joe remembers asking GMC two weeks after Clayborn went down if he had noticed different blocking schemes by opponents to double- if not triple-team him in Clayborn’s absence. GMC didn’t want to answer the question, as admitting to this all but makes him look like he is searching for an excuse, but after beating around the bush for a while, GMC nodded “yes” to Joe that teams were going after him more, sans Clayborn to worry about.
If the Bucs are going to put heat on Manning, Bennett has to show up like he has most of the season. He was virtually invisible last week against the Dixie Chicks.
Going after Manning is virtually impossible unless the Bucs bring blitzes on just about every play because Manning will be in a three-step drop. Combined with his quick release, that’s nearly an impossible task to get Manning on the ground, regardless of how slow he is.
Joe’s of the mind that Manning can’t hurt you if he is standing on the sidelines wearing a cap and sipping Gatorade. So this should be a big day tomorrow for Doug Martin.
More Martin = less Manning, which means better chance to win.
The Bucs are in a pinch. They can realistically afford to lose one more game if they plan on playing after New Year’s Day. An upset would be a glorious step.