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Monday Musings: 5 Thoughts on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Loss to the Washington Redskins

October 1st, 2012 at 8:07 PM
By Wolf Heard

1. At times on Sunday it looked like the days of old when Derrick Brooks was making stop after stop and stuffing ball carriers all over the field. Rookie weakside linebacker Lavonte David had an amazing outing against the Redskins with 14 tackles, including three for a loss, in just his fourth NFL game. It's tough to compare anyone to the legendary Brooks, but it's hard not to notice how similar in size and skill set David is to the Bucs' all-time leading tackler. David is already better than his predecessor Geno Hayes ever was and is clearly best linebacker on Tampa Bay's roster. He has 33 tackles, including six for a loss, in just four games, and is making general manager Mark Dominik look real good for trading back up into second round to select him.

2. Props to quarterback Josh Freeman for bouncing back after a terrible performance against Dallas a week ago. In that game, Freeman completed just 10-of-28 passes and was dreadful all afternoon. Against Washington, Freeman looked much more confident and played near the level he performed at during his breakout 2010 season. Freeman was money in the second half and put the offense on his shoulders when his teammates needed him to the most. He went 11-of-17 for 211 yards and one touchdown in the final two quarters and would have had his seventh career fourth quarter comeback had it not been for Billy Cundiff's last second field goal. Freeman appears to be at his best when he given the green light to sling the ball down the field and the Bucs would be wise to let him do it more often moving forward.

3. was disgusted with the 15-yard penalty safety Mark Barron was hit with after he piledrived quarterback Robert Griffin III to the ground in the second quarter. We get the need to protect the quarterback when he is in the pocket, but RG3 made it perfectly clear he was running on that play and wasn't even inside the pocket when Barron got to him. At that point, Griffin was a runner and the QB protection rules should not apply. Yes, Barron lifted him off the ground and slammed him hard to the field. But he didn't hit him anywhere illegally and he didn't drive his head into the dirt or anything like that. It was a terrible call in our opinion. Keep laying the wood Barron.

4. The absence of defensive end Adrian Clayborn was noticeable against the Redskins. Not only is Clayborn one of the best pass rushers on the team but he is also a very good run stopper, and the Bucs missed him against Washington's No. 2 ranked rushing offense. Rookie tail back Alfred Morris had a lot of lanes to run through and eclipsed the 100-yard mark on Tampa Bay's top-ranked run defense without Clayborn in the lineup. Griffin also had 43 rushing yards and one touchdown. The wasn't much pressure from the side where Clayborn usually is and the Redskins took advantage of that on Sunday.

5. The addition of wide receiver Vincent Jackson has really rejuvenated Mike Williams and the duo played some great football on Sunday. Both Jackson and Williams had over 100 yards, which  is the first time in 20 years that Tampa Bay had two 100-yard receivers in the same game. Hopefully, teams will start focusing on trying to stop those two so things may open up in the middle for WR Arrelious Benn. Benn saw his most extensive action of the season against Washington and had three catches for 18 yards. He also picked up a first down on a reverse. At 6'2", 220 pounds, Benn has the body to withstand hits in the middle of the field. The former second round pick could be the slot receiver Tampa Bay has been looking for and would give the Bucs a deadly trio of receivers. Look for Benn to contribute more in the coming weeks after the bye.

Tags: Adrian Clayborn, Arrelious Benn, Derrick Brooks, Football, Josh Freeman, Lavonte David, Mark Barron, Mike Williams, NFL, RG3, Robert Griffin III, Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Vincent Jackson

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